(N2 - Second Helpings 20) Opening Night Toast
by Janet F. Caires-Lesgold
Title: Opening Night Toast (Nourishment: Second Helpings 20)
Author: Janet F. Caires-Lesgold
Feedback to: email@example.com
Archive: Mailing list archives only--others please ask permission! Category: Story, romance, Chloe POV
Spoilers: None ever anymore
Rating: M (adults only due to language and sexual content) Pairing: Clark/Lex/Chloe established relationship Summary: Extracurricular activities
DISCLAIMER: These characters do not belong to me. Smallville is the property of Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, Tollin-Robbins Productions, and Warner Bros. Television, and based upon characters originally created by Jerome Siegel and Joe Shuster. This story is just for the entertainment of my online friends and myself, not for any profit.
WARNING!: Contains graphic descriptions of het sex. If you don't like that kind of thing, please don't complain to me!
AUTHOR'S NOTE: All parts of "The Nourishment Series" and "Second Helpings", which precede this story, can be found elsewhere on this archive - Enjoy!
AUTHOR'S ADDENDUM: The show as we knew it no longer exists--we've gotta write it ourselves now.
DEDICATION: For Mr. Davenport.
COPYRIGHT: (C) Janet F. Caires-Lesgold, June 17, 2006, firstname.lastname@example.org Please don't redistribute or alter this story in any way without the express permission of the author. Thank you very much.
Clark had stage fright.
His counselor had told him that the Torch was not enough, and that he needed one more extracurricular to graduate. He and I sat around the office late one afternoon trying to save his academic butt.
"Math club?" I suggested.
"Then I guess chemistry club is out of the question..."
"Ohhh, yeah," he answered, with a spectacular roll of his eyes.
We cogitated in silence awhile longer. "At least it's too late in the season for football..."
"Which my dad would have vetoed anyway..."
"Tennis? Golf? Swim team?"
"No, no, and no. Just a bad idea. I've never been much of a team player--I work best alone."
Once again the room got quiet. I waved my wax pencil above my newspaper pasteup, scanning casually for any errors that needed correcting. Suddenly, my eye fell on an advertisement from the drama club. "Clark... by any chance, can you sing?"
"I can fake it with the radio. Why?"
I spun the ad copy around on the desk so it was right side up for him to read. "Auditions for the spring musicale are Friday."
He looked at me so hard, it prompted a little shudder of fear down my spine. "What?"
Gathering my composure, I continued. "I happen to know that they're always hurting for men, so I'm sure they would be able to use you."
"Use me for what?" he protested, one eyebrow nearly obscuring one dark green eye.
"The musicale isn't like a scripted musical. You wouldn't have to learn a whole lot of dialogue or anything. There's an orchestra, and people get onstage in costume and sing showtunes. It's usually a pretty good show..."
"You think I could get up onstage and sing in front of a couple hundred of my fellow students?"
"And their parents. It's a pretty big deal."
"Excuse me while I go throw up now and save time."
"What's the matter? You said you work best alone. It'll just be one song. You'll be fine."
Clark looked pale and shaky just at the thought of performing in front of a crowd. "Can't I just move scenery or something? That would be kind of easy..."
I decided to use our recent upturn in our friendship in my favor. Getting up from my chair, I sashayed around the desks and stood near where he sat, then angled my butt up and plopped myself across his lap, winding my arms around his neck. "But you're more handsome than any of the other guys in drama club, Clark! They'll take one look at you and want you in the spotlight!"
That earned me the cutest suspicious glance from beneath his eyebrows. "What do I get out of this?"
Leaning in close to his ear, I whispered naughtily, "Maybe a blowjob in the dressing room when no one's around..." At that, he snickered so hard, he nearly pitched me off onto the floor. Settling back into my comfortable perch, I went on, "And there is always the credit for your college applications!"
He looked at me fondly and seriously. "If I do this, will you promise to audition, too? Maybe we can do a duet..."
"Me?" I whined incredulously. "But I can't sing!"
"You do fine at karaoke night at the Talon. C'mon--if you are so enthusiastic about me embarrassing myself in front of the whole school, it's only fair for you to be up there with me." With a very persuasive grin, he took my head between his huge hands and petted the skin behind my ears with his thumbs.
"Oh, all right," I conceded, sealing our agreement with a kiss.
Given the short time between our decision and the actual audition date, I was pretty glad that we weren't required to prepare any material in advance. Instead, after school on Friday, we all assembled in the hall outside the music room, signed up on a long sheet of paper, then got in line in the order of our names. As we waited, a few girls touched their toes and basically went through some kind of physical warmup. The rest of us just plopped on the floor in order and tried not to trip any passersby.
Terence, the only other gay kid I know in school, was acting as the director's assistant, and came out between auditioners to read the next name off of the list. It seemed an eternity before Clark's and my names were called, but I'm sure to my partner, it felt like no time at all.
Terence gave me an appreciative thumbs-up as I ushered Clark into the room. "Nice going, Sullivan!" he congratulated me, probably for coercing Clark into auditioning, since our physical relationship was still completely casual and secret.
The director asked me to sing the national anthem, which I guess I did all right, except for going flat on the high note. He seemed as impressed to see Clark there as had Terence, and left him standing next to the piano in front of the risers for a long time while he just looked at him.
I could tell Clark was terrified, because he barely could be heard when he answered the director's questions. Eventually, he was asked to sing "Happy Birthday" to me, and I was put in the back row so he would be forced to sing loud enough for me to hear him. Much to my surprise, he has a very lovely singing voice. As my reluctant partner escorted me out of the music room, I could feel from his arm around my shoulders that he was shaking like a leaf!
Within a week, both our names were posted on the performers' list, and the sheet music was available for pickup so we could start rehearsing on our own. I tucked it deep into my totebag and made Clark agree to meet me at the mansion because I felt that I could teach him the song more easily away from the ratty old pianos and the hectic rehearsal-room reservation schedule at school.
Lex was relaxing on the sofa when I got home with Clark hot on my heels. I made a beeline for the piano and dug out the music, propping it up on the rack. Clark came up behind me and read the title over my shoulder. "'Camelot'?"
Our other third bounded up from his seat when he heard that. "Clark, as King Arthur?" he questioned immediately before his eyes fell on the page. "Oh, of course not," he corrected himself with a sly smile. "Sir Lancelot, then. That will do quite nicely!"
My beautiful baritone continued, "'If Ever I Would Leave You', huh? Sounds kinda stilted, if you ask me..."
"But Clark!" Lex protested as I started picking out the chord progression on the keyboard. "It's a beautiful love song, by a noble knight swearing faithfulness to his mistress!"
I piped up with, "Yeah--who just happens to be the king's wife. Real nice guy..."
"Oh, one can't govern where one's heart will turn, right?" he sighed, kissing Clark gently on the mouth before striding off across the room.
Glancing over my shoulder, I could see the self-conscious grin on Clark's face before he bent closer to the music on the piano, so I hid my own smile from him as I worked through the melody.
With a flourish, Lex came back, swishing a sword through the air.
"What the hell is that for?" I asked with a chuckle.
Standing well clear, he continued posturing with the blade. "Props. You are going to be in costume for this, aren't you?"
"I guess so..." Clark mumbled.
"Excellent! I've always wanted to see you in tights!" Lex spun precisely into our orbit and held out the grip for Clark to take. "There you go. First-quality movie-prop hang-it-on-the-wall sword. Perfect to go with your knight in shining silver yarn mail! You can give it back to me after your show closes." Clark carefully took the weapon and placed it on the piano and out of harm's way. Our friend then turned his attentions to me. "So, I guess that makes you Guinevere, then?" he asked.
"Yep," I replied, pausing in my musical interlude.
He bent to kiss me, then glanced again at the printed song. "As I recall, there's not much for you to sing in this one."
That was true enough. The director had been less charitable about my singing abilities than was Clark. "I know. I think I'm just supposed to stand there and look pretty in a gorgeous dress and let Clark sing to me."
"Sounds like a role you were born to play!" he added with a squeeze around my shoulders. "I'll get out of here and let you kids rehearse in peace, all right?" With that, he swept past the sofa and retrieved his reading matter and left us alone.
Clark and I looked at each other, dumbfounded at the small cyclone Lex had made of himself, then settled down to work.
We had three weeks of independent rehearsal before opening night, during which we met with the director once or twice a week to show off our progress. Clark quickly learned the song, an easy tune based on the major scale with a few weird intervals that gave him no trouble at all, but his performance was somehow lacking.
"You don't want to do this, do you?" I asked him over the piano about a week before dress rehearsal.
His pout wouldn't have been out of place on a six-year-old. "I don't really, but I kind of have to. I'm stuck."
His speech resonated easily off of the highly-polished floor and numerous windows--a little too easily, to my ear. We needed a space that absorbed sound rather than reflecting it like light off of chrome. A solution had occurred to me, but I had no idea if he would go for it. "Do you need help finding your motivation?" I asked in as neutral a voice as possible.
"Maybe. What's my motivation supposed to be?"
With an exaggerated fake swoon, I replied, "You are supposed to be totally smitten with me and pleading your case for loooooove..." Instead of a laugh, I got a crooked grin that almost looked apologetic, so I restored my usual snide expression. "It's called 'acting', Kent. Look it up."
"I dunno..." he whined softly.
"I know--let's get out of here and go someplace with a little more timeless atmosphere... a sense of ancient history!" Yanking him up from the piano bench, we hustled out to my car and away to my secret motivational rehearsal location, me remaining mum at Clark's questions the entire way. I almost wished I'd thought to stick a blindfold on him.
Within half an hour, we pulled up to the deserted site I'd had in mind. "The Kawatche caves?" he asked incredulously as he got out of my red VW.
"Sure--why not? They've got vaulted ceilings, nobody comes anywhere near here since Lionel's staff moved out, and the place sucks up echoes like a sponge. I'm gonna make you learn to sing loud with passion one way or another!" Out of his view, I slipped something off of my rear-view mirror and stuck it in my pocket as a last-resort backup.
Clambering over the stones at the entrance, I switched on the flashlights I'd brought and handed one to Clark. Before long, we were in the largest room, where I found a place to prop our lamps to illuminate the place at least a little.
Inside, the February chill was cut down to an occasional draft. The air was strangely warm yet clammy, and the whole place smelled of dusty clay. Our lights bounced off of the stone formations to give walls a harsh glow that mellowed as my eyes grew used to the darkness.
"You expect me to sing in here," Clark stated bluntly.
"Yep," I answered. "Give it a shot."
He cleared his throat and began to sing. The sound didn't bounce like it had in Lex's study. Instead, it sort of vanished, and he naturally tried to sing a bit louder.
"That's it!" I encouraged him.
Modifying his volume, he managed to project much better. However, the fire still wasn't there. Maybe I'd hoped that he'd be more romantic away from the possibility of Lex walking in on us, but no such luck.
"Good, good," I praised, "but let me try something." Reaching into my pocket, I pulled out the string I'd taken out of my car when he wasn't paying attention, reached up high, and dropped it over his head.
I may not exactly remember what I did or what Clark said while I was infected with that parasite from the cave, but I recalled something about the stone in my class ring removing some of his inhibitions, and I waited to see if it might have any effect on him. The looped string fell neatly outside his collar, and he might not have noticed had the ring strung on it not bounced lightly when it hit his chest.
Glancing down at the metal band, he snatched it up in one hand in an eyeblink. "What is this for?" he demanded to know with an accusing glare, his fingers clutching the ring tightly. But before I could answer, his expression was transformed, his eyes even changing color, though I suspect that that was just due to a trick of the light, and he smiled. "You want me to work on my performance, do you?"
"I hope you don't mind. I just thought that would help you bring a little more of yourself into your characterization."
At once, huge hands gripped my shoulders, and he looked me over like he was a caged lion and I was a rare steak held just outside the bars. "Tell me what I'm supposed to do again..." he just breathed.
My mouth went dry in the damp room. "Um, sing to me like I'm the most beautiful woman you've ever seen, like you'd die if you had to give me up, like you'd devote your life to me without question."
"Oh," he replied with a wicked grin, then took my mouth in a ferocious kiss. Thank god he was holding me up, because my knees very nearly buckled under me at the heat of his mouth.
Then, much to my surprise, without my having to remind him of the purpose of our little spelunking expedition, he began to sing. His notes were sure, his volume rumbled through my chest as he held me to his own, and his emotion was true, fooling me for just a moment that it was not the effect of the red meteor rock but true devotion making him sound like that.
Once the chorus had faded on his lips, he pressed them once again to mine, his tongue plundering my mouth for treasure. I bit back my words when he finished, afraid that I would tell him I loved him and that he would just laugh in response. As soon as I trusted myself to speak, I praised his delivery of the song. "Perfect! Now if you can just use your sense memory to recreate this feeling on the night of the show, you'll bring down the house."
"You liked that?" he growled deep in his throat. "I'm glad." I was nearly crushed in an overwhelming bear hug that lifted me a little off of the floor, and couldn't ignore the erection that pushed into my belly through his jeans. His voice simultaneously softened and intensified. "I need to fuck you. Now."
Making a valiant effort to disregard my sodden panties, I tried to talk him out of the idea. "I don't know, Clark. We really shouldn't... It's so dirty down here--"
"Just like you," he purred, reaching around and grabbing my butt with both hands, breaking down my resistance with his agile fingers. He hoisted me up and carried me over to the wall, shoving my back up against it and moving one hand down to yank the hem of my skirt up high, exposing my undies to the close, damp air. "Don't tell me you don't want this," he added, rubbing the moist pink cotton against my body.
"I won't," I sighed, nearly helpless with arousal. "Have you got a...?" I trailed off, my pursuit of a condom obliterated in the onslaught of desire. "Aw, fuck it," I groaned, kissing him deeply and relishing the smile against my mouth.
"I will," he swore once he pulled away from my lips. In a blur, he grabbed the waistband of my panties and ripped them away, and I didn't care if he actually tore them. A slight adjustment, and I could hear his zipper being opened, but all I could see was his gorgeous face, his lips slack and munchable, his strong cheekbones, and his eyes that were almost entirely black holes of need.
A few more shoves of clothing, and suddenly his firm tip teased my clit. With one hand, he raised my ass to the perfect height, then positioned me over his erect cock. I wrapped my legs around his hips, and took him inside. Gradually, thanks to the wetness there, he slid deeper into my hole with barely a twinge of pain, remarkable considering his angle of approach and the rough conditions.
Clark made animal noises as he fucked me, and I may have slipped a few evolutionary notches myself. I felt wild, desperate, and possessed like I never had before, and I rode him as hard as I could as he pushed inside me again and again.
All awareness of the cool cave wall at my back vanished beside the searing heat being generated between my legs. Clark placed a thumb just against me alongside his impressive penis and dragged the digit through the moisture on my sex, and I was lost. Fireworks burst behind my eyelids, I broke into a hard sweat across my chest and stomach, and I screamed in sexual release.
Just then, he let out a frightening roar and erupted in a blazing rush within my folds, coming with a series of jerks down his spine that transferred directly into me, and I couldn't stop coming for what felt like an hour.
After it was over, I stole back my class ring on its cord and hid it in my skirt pocket again. Clark cradled me in his arms and eased me away from the wall, murmuring, "That was great, Chloe. Are you all right?"
I popped my hips back into place and reached down with my toes as he lowered me to my feet. While we cleaned up with a couple of tissues and put our clothes back together, Clark whisked off his jacket and spread it on the cave floor, offering me a hand so I could sit down and catch my breath, then taking a seat beside me. "I'm fine. Damned good rehearsal, wouldn't you say?"
His eyes had returned to their normal pale green color, but his face still wore a post-orgasmic flush. "So I'm doing it right if I do that?" he asked with a breathy gulp.
My grin threatened to stretch around to the back of my head. "You don't have to throw in the fuck every time. Just remember how it felt to want it, and you should do just fine."
He gave me a blush and a smile that nearly lit up the cave brighter than the maglites.
Still zinging from the encounter, I lay back and closed my eyes for a moment. Clark didn't follow suit, so I looked up at him to reconnect with my best friend.
Suddenly a pattern on the ceiling above him caught my eye. "What the hell is that?" I asked rhetorically, reaching for my flashlight and aiming it up.
"What?" he asked, lying down beside me to see what I had spotted.
"That," I indicated, pointing at the painting of a two-headed monster that loomed overhead. "It looks really familiar for some reason. Where have I seen that thing before?"
"It's been here for a couple hundred years, Chloe. I thought you'd seen it before..."
"Yeah, but it was somewhere else since then... Oh, yeah! That museum room of Lex's! You know--the one with the computers and the meteor rock and stuff..." Perhaps I was still addled from the intensity of our coupling, because there was something about the display that was escaping me, but I couldn't put my finger on it.
Clark sat back up, his face unreadable. "He still has that?" he asked himself more than me.
"Sure, I think... I ran across it when I was scouting around for a bedroom," I admitted, feeling stupid that I couldn't remember anything else about it. "Is it important?"
"No," he answered quickly, shuttering his expression and changing the subject by asking, "So do you think I'm ready for the musicale?"
"I think you'll be great," I confessed, getting up and handing him his jacket. "Just remember the work we did down here today, and you'll get a standing ovation!"
"Kinda like the one you gave me?" he grinned.
"Maybe not quite like that..." Still chuckling, we picked up our flashlights and made our way back to the car.
A week later, Clark Kent, wearing silver-yarn mail and white tights, with Lex's sword in hand, made his stage debut to thunderous applause, a glowing mention in the Torch review (written by Terence), and the extracurricular credit he needed to graduate.
Clark did have stage fright, but he managed to overcome it in fine fashion. I think I benefited from his breaking out of his shell just as much as he did!