It was a Thursday evening and Clark was in Smallville, doing chores around the farm. They were well-off enough now that they could hire farm hands to do all the necessary work, but sometimes when the stress of being Superman and working at the Planet got to be too much, Clark liked to relax by doing odd jobs back at home.
Clark grabbed a bale of hay and tossed it on top of a pile he had going in the corner of the barn, raising a cloud of dust. A few seconds later, Clark coughed, instantly putting him on full alert. He x-rayed the barn, but didn’t spot any skeletons, or obvious obstructions that would hint at lead. He also didn’t see any mysterious green glowing, nor did he particularly feel like he was being affected by Kryptonite poisoning. When nothing happened for another couple of minutes, Clark shrugged it off as a fluke and forgot about it.
The next day was a perfectly ordinary day in Metropolis, or at least it should have been. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping (well the pigeons were cooing at any rate), Lois had gotten herself in over her head again, and Luthor was up to no good. Even the fact that carrying Lois to safety wasn’t quite as… enjoyable as it sometime was wasn’t all that worrisome. Whisking the woman of your dreams away from danger sounded romantic, but after about the fiftieth time it started to lose some of its appeal.
Once he was sure Lois was somewhere safe, Clark flew back over to Luthor, to make yet another attempt to lecture him out of committing evil deeds. Not that Clark thought it work any better this time than it had the last hundred, but it was pretty much tradition at this point. Besides, it’s not like he had any better ideas.
“Luthor,” Clark said, landing on the rooftop across from his arch-nemesis, “why don’t you just turn yourself in?”
Luthor responded with that infuriating smirk of his and a voice as smooth as silk. “Turn myself in? Really Superman, I’m afraid I don’t have the slightest clue what you’re talking about.”
All perfectly normal and expected. There wasn’t anything to indicate that this wasn’t just another ordinary day in Metropolis. Except for the fact that Clark was suddenly, unaccountably, and incredibly turned on.
Clark crossed his arms and glared at Luthor, trying to draw up the familiar rage. “I think you know exactly what I’m talking about.” Not his best line, but not bad considering the world has apparently just gone insane.
Luthor didn’t say anything, just quirked an eyebrow and took a step or two forward, like he’d sensed something was wrong with Clark and he was all too happy to take advantage of that weakness. Watching him move, Clark suddenly remembered Chloe saying something once about how Lex oozed sex when he walked. She was wrong though, Lex walking didn’t ooze sex, it was sex and Clark just really wanted to lick that scar on his lip and-
Oh thank God. “We’ll finish this later, Luthor,” Clark said before flying away. He has never been so glad to hear someone call for Superman in his life, or so aware of how little spandex does to cover a hard-on.
After dealing with the apartment fire that the call for help had brought him to, Clark changed back into his reporter clothes and headed back to the Planet. Clark and denial were pretty good friends at this point, and he was more than ready to pretend that the whole Luthor-Rooftop Incident never happened. He had almost completely repressed the event when he spotted Jimmy waving to him from across the room and Clark was suddenly struck by what nice arms he had. And then Ron walked by, leaving Clark wondering when Ron’s ass had gotten so attractive.
It wasn’t that Clark was really bothered by the fact that he was apparently gay now, other than a vague worry that his sexuality changing with the suddenness and completeness of a light switch probably wasn’t normal. The reality of it was, no matter how humanoid Clark looked, he was still an alien and should probably count himself lucky that he was attracted to humans at all. What bothered Clark was that becoming gay had apparently turned him back into that hormonal teenaged boy that used his telescope to spy on Lana’s house every night. He was getting hard each time the wind blew it seemed, and it took all his will power to not stare at Ron’s ass every time he walked by. Ron, who was married to Lucy, the sister of the woman who was supposed to be the girl of Clark’s dreams.
Okay, so maybe the whole being gay thing bothered him a little.
The only fortunate thing about the whole situation, an inexplicable act of mercy from a God that clearly hated him, was that Luthor hadn’t gotten up to anything that required Superman’s attention. After the Luthor-Rooftop Incident, which Clark was trying very hard not to think about, he was dreading the next time he came up against Luthor. Maybe, if he was really lucky Luthor will have decided to reform and Cark would never have to confront him again… and maybe Bruce would decide to redo his costume in pastels.
Then one day, just as abruptly as it started, Clark came into the Planet and found himself totally ignoring Ron’s spectacular ass in favor of Lois’s marvelous legs. He very nearly cried in relief.
Clark didn’t end up crying, but he did go to Smallville that evening to visit his mother, who he may have avoiding ever since the Luthor- Rooftop Incident, and celebrate by treating himself to her amazing cooking. He even let himself get wrangled into doing a few chores while he was there.
The next morning Clark woke up to sticky sheets and remnants of dreams of smooth pale limbs and stormy blue eyes.
Yep, God definitely hated him.
After that Clark continued to have sporadic “gay episodes” as he had taken to calling them in his head. The onset was always sudden and they typically lasted a few days to a week before ending just as suddenly. He tried to get to the bottom of what exactly was causing them, but the only conclusion he was able to come to was that he was probably never going to have a normal relationship ever again.
Admittedly, his quest for the truth of these incidents might have been facilitated by getting help from someone who wasn’t having a mental freak-out, but Clark couldn’t bring himself to tell anyone else. This was probably partially due to his small-town Kansas upbringing, and partially due to the fact that he couldn’t think of a way to explain what was happening without sounding a little crazy and a lot homophobic.
It was while he was dealing with this existential crisis, and right in the middle of one of his gay episodes, that Luthor got himself kidnapped, again.
Annie Young was in many ways an unremarkable woman. She was, however, a devoted sister to her brother, Will. Will had previously been an employee at Iaso Labs, one of LexCorp’s smaller medical facilities. Of course, in this case, “employee” was just a euphemism for “subject in illegal medical testing.” While there was no proof that Will died because of the experiments run on him, there was enough circumstantial evidence to convince Annie. Luckily for her, Annie was a reasonably tall brunette, which, when combined with her recently acquired homicidal tendencies, made her just Luthor’s type. Between that and Luthor’s absolute refusal to hire any sort of bodyguard, it was fairly easy for Annie to seduce him, drug him, and then drag him to a warehouse where, if Clark was hearing things correctly, a bomb was about to go off.
Clark crashed through one of the windows of the warehouse and was greeted by the sight of Luthor looking remarkably unruffled for someone who was going to be blown up in… three seconds. Shit.
Working quickly, Clark ripped apart the ropes tying Luthor’s ankles and wrists to the chair, and then picked him up and rushed out of the building with essentially no time to spare.
At this point Clark should have dropped Luthor off at a safe location, ideally a police station. Then he should have gone back to the warehouse and put out the fires and checked for any severe collateral damage.
Clark didn’t stop until he’d touched down on the balcony to Luthor’s penthouse.
Hands finally free to do something aside from holding on for dear life - he had never really gotten over his fear of heights - Luthor reached up and pulled off the duct tape covering his mouth, absently rubbing at his stinging cheeks. “I suppose I should thank you, Superman.”
Clark crossed his arms and did his best imitation of cool and distant. “If you hadn’t ordered those experiments that killed Will in the first place, then you wouldn’t have to be thanking me right now.”
“Are you trying to say that it’s my fault that a deranged woman drugged me, kidnapped me, and tried to kill me by tying me down in a room with an active bomb?” Luthor said, sounding equal parts amused and disgusted.
“What I’m trying to say,” Clark replied in measured tones between nearly gritted teeth, “is that you need to stop making enemies like it’s going out of style, because next time I might not be there to save you.”
“Is that a threat?” asked Luthor. Asked Lex, who didn’t know how to trust anyone because no one had ever taught him how. Lex, who was looking at Clark like he honestly believed that Clark would let him die, believed that Clark would kill him.
Enraged, Clark grabbed Lex by the shoulders and shoved him up against the wall. “You are not allowed to die.”
Standing there under the power of a man who could snap him in half easier than a normal person could a twig, Lex looked completely calm. As calm as he had when he was tied up with a bomb about to go off, and if Clark had been three seconds later, he would have died looking like he didn’t have a care in the world, with that stupid smirk still plastered across his face. Lex opened his mouth to say something that would have undoubtedly only pissed Clark off further, so Clark shut him up the only way he knew how.
Their mouths met with bruising force. Clark took all the rage and frustration and hate and fear and sheer desperate relief and poured into the nearly brutal attack of teeth and tongues. For the barest moment Lex was frozen, but then he moaned and began kissing Clark back with equal intensity. Lips and tongue and hands, all exploring Clark with the fervor of a man who has finally gotten everything he ever wanted but can’t quite believe it’s true.
When they pulled back to breathe, the name Clark dropped from Lex’s mouth like a prayer and Clark froze. Sudden realization of where he was and what he was doing broke over him. Clark probably wasn’t even really gay and he just all but forced himself on Lex Luthor, his arch-enemy-cum-ex-best-friend, who knew his secret identity and oh God, Clark needed to leave, now, he needed to leave five minutes ago.
Lex, who could undoubtedly see a panic attack coming from a mile away, apparently decided that this was his cue to take the initiative. He took his hands, which had firmly planted themselves on Clark’s ass, and tugged. Suddenly their bodies were flush up against each other and Clark could feel every point of contact like a bolt of electricity. Added on to the abrupt awareness of exactly how turned on Lex was, and all thoughts of fleeing evaporated. In fact, Clark was pretty sure he’d lost track of coherent thought altogether at this point.
“Bedroom,” Lex commanded in a husky voice, “now.”
They were tangled half-naked among the silken sheets before Lex could even finish the sentence.
Later, when Clark was feeling sleepy and sated, the memory of why he had come to the penthouse in the first place floated through his head.
“Lex,” he ventured tentatively and he got a muffled sort of noise in response. Encouraged, Clark continued. “You really should stop those tests you’re doing at Iaso Labs; I don’t want you to get blown up. Besides experimenting on humans is… is wrong.” Clark ran that over in his brain again and decided, yeah, it was pretty good for someone who had gotten his brains fucked out not too long ago.
Lex, who never had really appreciated Clark’s superior speech-making ability, groaned in response. “I’ll think about it. Now go to sleep.”
Clark happily complied.
The next morning Clark woke up to rumpled sheets, a tray laid out with breakfast, and no Lex. There was also no Kryptonite to be found, not even when he inspected the food with microscopic and x-ray vision. The whole thing was even more surreal than the night before, Clark mused as he munched on a piece of toast.
He probably would have spent more time trying to figure out when exactly the world had gone insane, and might have even gotten a brief panic in as well, if he hadn’t spotted the clock sitting on the bedside table. Regretfully leaving the food half eaten - the eggs were really good - Clark pulled back on the Superman suit, went to his apartment, got dressed in Clark Kent’s clothes, and headed right back to the Planet, all at super-speed. And he still was over an hour late.
Lois looked up as he approached, her sour look of disapproval slowly melting into a sharp-toothed smile. “Well, someone had a good night last night. No wonder you were late.”
“Morning, Lois,” Clark replied, cheeks flushing bright red. “Sorr-“
“Don’t worry about it, Smallville,” she interrupted with an imperious wave of her hand. “Finally getting a life is an excused absence as far as I’m concerned. Perry on the other hand…” she said with a sadistic smirk. She watched him squirm uncomfortably for a few seconds before relenting. “But then, what Perry doesn’t know won’t hurt him.”
“Thanks,” Clark said, relieved. This was why he loved Lois. Of course he meant that more platonically than usual at the moment, but the sentiment was still true.
“Not a problem. I don’t have time to wait for Perry to tell you off anyway. We’ve got a story.”
“What is it?” asked Clark, leaning over to peer interestedly at the papers on her desk.
“You remember Iaso Labs?” Lois asked, and then continued on without waiting for an answer. Which was a good thing since Clark wasn’t sure he would have been able to do much more than squeak in response. “Well, word is LexCorp is completely shutting it down.”
“What,” Clark said, apparently too startled to even manage the proper inflection for a question.
“Exactly, it doesn’t make sense. Iaso Labs isn’t one of their big cash cows by any means, but all the records I can find suggest that it was making a tidy profit. There’s something else going on here.”
“Well, the woman who kidnapped Le-Luthor yesterday claimed it was because her brother died in Iaso Labs. Maybe it’s a PR move?” Clark suggested.
“Something like that would just make it look like LexCorp really is responsible for his death; no way in hell Luthor does something that stupid. Jeez Smallville, where’s your head today?” Lois looked him up and down again, before shaking her head. “Never mind. Go get yourself a cup of coffee or something. Come back and talk to me after you’re clear of your post-coital haze.”
“Okay,” Clark agreed, glad for an excuse to leave so he could try to figure out exactly what was going on. “Thanks Lois.” Lois waved at him dismissively, but didn’t look away from her computer screen.
Clark thought he’d take her advice and get a cup of coffee. He was pretty sure caffeine didn’t actually do anything to him physiologically, but placebo effects were wonderful things.
Iaso Labs shutting down wasn’t – couldn’t be because of what happened last night. People don’t stop being evil just because they got laid. It had to be a coincidence.
Despite his continued mental resistance to the idea, Clark couldn’t seem to get that sleepy conversation out of his head. Besides, shutting down Iaso Labs because of an off-hand comment Clark made was such a grand gesture that was just so Lex. Not Luthor, but Lex from the earlier years of their friendship, when he had apparently made it his mission in life to fulfill every one of Clark’s little whims. Plus, if there was one thing that Clark had learned from Lois, it was that there was no such thing as coincidences. And if there was one thing he learned from growing up in Smallville, it was that the least likely explanation was always the correct one.
Plus, if him having sex with Lex really was what had brought on this sudden about-face, then it was Clark’s responsibility to investigate the possibility further. You know, for Justice. Yep, Clark thought, his mind frozen on images of flushed skin and pupils blown wide, he was definitely doing this for Justice.
Justice, as it turned out, was well served by Clark… well, servicing Lex. Lex didn’t necessarily do everything that Clark suggested, and there had been no more gestures quite as over-the-top as shutting down a whole division of his company, but overall LexCorp was definitely showing improvement, morally speaking. Not to mention the fact that Luthor’s attempts on Superman’s life had dropped off to zero. Of course, trying to kill someone you were getting semi-regular sex from was probably counterintuitive even by Lex’s standards.
After a while, Clark started to take care to show up sometimes when he didn’t have anything in particular to complain about. He was worried that, if he didn’t, Lex might figure out Clark’s ulterior motives and then start refusing to have sex with Clark altogether. And that would be a Very Bad Thing.
The most frustrating thing about this whole arrangement was that Clark still wasn’t sure what was triggering his gay episodes. Lex didn’t seem to be bothered by the rather sporadic nature of Clark’s visits, but there were times when Clark knew Lex was up to something nefarious and found himself in the unusual position of being too straight to do anything about it. It was times like these that Clark was sorely tempted to put on his Superman suit and attack the problem head on like he used to. Luckily, he was a bit older and wiser now than he had been when he was a teenager and knew that that was precisely not the way to deal with Lex.
Clark did make an exception for people being held against their will, though. Lex, to his credit, caught on to the new status quo pretty quickly, and highly detailed consent forms became the new LexCorp gold standard.
That was probably why Clark was so pissed to find out the experiments from the shutdown Iaso Labs were still going on in one of LexCorp's other medical labs. Not only were the experiments highly illegal and immoral, it was the same damn thing that nearly got Lex killed not that long ago. Clark wanted to burst in there and smash everything to bits, but, as cathartic as it might sound, it wouldn’t do Clark any good in the long run. Plus all the people “working” there had undoubtedly signed a mountain of consent forms and received some pretty hefty compensation, so were likely unlikely to appreciate Superman’s help.
Instead Clark shot off at full speed to the penthouse. Lex might still be in his office, but the balcony had proximity alarms installed in it and Clark had no doubt that Lex would be willing to drop any paperwork he was working on to come upstairs. And if not, Clark could wait… probably.
Clark lucked out, though, because by the time he walked in from outside, Lex was casually reclined on a couch, the first couple of buttons of his shirt already undone, waiting. Still furiously angry, Clark stormed across the room and captured Lex’s lips in a fierce kiss, which Lex returned in kind. And it was… nice. Clark didn’t think it would be possible to not enjoy a kiss from Lex, the other man could do things with his tongue that Clark was pretty sure were actually illegal in some countries. But no matter how intense the kiss got, Clark couldn’t find anything more exciting to say about it than nice, and he wasn’t getting even a twinge of interest from downstairs. That was weird in itself, since normally just the sight of Lex lounging on the couch like he had been earlier would be enough to get Clark hard and–
Holy shit! Clark wasn’t gay right now!
Shit, shit, shit. All thoughts of medical testing and Lex getting himself blown up fled from his mind as Clark tried to figure out a way to get out of this one without screwing everything up. Because really, Clark had a good thing going here, but he just didn’t think he could actually sleep with Lex while he was straight.
“I’m hungry,” Clark blurted out suddenly.
Lex, who had moved to lining kiss along Clark’s jaw, just smirked in response. “Oh really?” he asked, completely misunderstanding.
“Yeah,” Clark continued earnestly. “Do you think we could order a pizza?”
Lex pulled back and gave Clark a scrutinizing look that quite clearly said that he thought Clark was crazy. “A pizza?”
“I’ve hardly had anything to eat all day,” Clark explained. Of course, strictly speaking that wasn’t true, but Clark was pretty much always hungry so he felt justified in skewing his definition of “hardly anything.” “I thought we could get a pizza and maybe watch a movie.” And if this was Clark’s master plan for not screwing everything up, he could only be glad that most of Superman’s villains were easily defeated with super-strength and not much thinking.
The silence stretched out for what seemed like hours, but was really only a few seconds. Clark spent the time tense, waiting for Lex to scoff and the suggestion and kick him out, so he was more than a little surprised when Lex said:
“Really?” Clark asked, a little uncertain.
“I’m picking the movie, though,” Lex asserted.
“Deal.” Clark gave Lex a blinding grin, which Lex tentatively returned.
In some ways hanging out with Lex was ridiculously easy. The two of them really didn’t have all that much in common, but that hadn’t stopped them from being best friends back in Smallville. Things with Lex were just comfortable in a way that Clark didn’t really understand. Lex had called it destiny at one point, a word that Clark was none too fond of, but there was definitely something there.
In other ways, that evening was the most on edge Clark had been in a very long time. If Clark thought having lust-filled sex with his arch-nemesis was weird, it had nothing on the awkwardness of watching a movie together. Clark really wished he could ask Mario how he managed go-karting with the giant dinosaur turtle who kidnapped his girlfriend on a regular basis.
But even without the advice of a fictional plumber, by the time they had popped the second movie in (Clark insisted on a chance to pick one out too) Clark had mostly relaxed, even if Lex hadn’t. At first Clark figured Lex’s continued tension was just a Luthor thing, never trust anyone and what not, but as more time passed Clark was less certain. It was just that Lex didn’t seem uncomfortable so much as anxious, and the looks he kept sending Clark were less, “why am I still hanging out with this idiot?” and more “why is this idiot still hanging out with me?”
Clark made a concentrated effort not to squirm uncomfortably, even as he started to feel guilty. It’s not like having relatively frequent sex meant they were dating or anything, but Clark was still starting to feel like a neglectful boyfriend. He didn’t run right after they had sex exactly, Clark spent the night most days, but aside from sleeping together and sleeping together, he and Lex didn’t really hang out. Actually, he had been pretty much treating Lex like a booty call, which was not something Clark did. He dated (well, he didn’t actually, but that was more due to social ineptitude than a moral thing) and he could be open to the idea of friendship with benefits, but Clark did not do the booty call thing. Besides it’s not like hanging out with Lex was a hardship.
By the time Clark had come to this decision and focused back on the movie, the credits were starting to roll. Clark was officially out of stalling tactics. And, new resolve or not, he really didn’t want to have gay sex, even gay sex with Lex, while he was straight.
Desperate, Clark strained his super-hearing, listening and listening until… yes!
“Apartment fire, I have to go,” Clark said, unconsciously dropping into Superman’s booming tones. Risking a glance over at Lex, Clark winced. He looked pissed.
“Sorry,” offered Clark sheepishly, and Lex’s expression lightened maybe a little. Clark didn’t blame him exactly. It’s not like Clark was happy about all the sex they weren’t having, but he didn’t see much other option. Stupid sporadic gayness.
Clark dropped a quick kiss on Lex’s lips in a moderately successful attempt to mollify him, and then ran outside and took off into the night.
Clearly, Clark needed to step up his efforts to figure out what exactly was going on with him. Right after he put out this fire.
Three days later Clark found himself to be gay again, which simultaneously simplified and complicated matters. It was simpler because Clark was pretty sure he could just tell the Fortress what was going on and the absurdly advanced Kryptonian technology could probably get to the bottom of the matter in seconds. It was more complicated because, well, Clark would have to tell the Fortress what was going on. And telling the Fortress he was randomly going gay felt remarkably like coming out to Jor-El, a prospect that was only slightly less terrifying than the idea of coming out to Jonathan Kent would have been.
Still, it was becoming clear at this point that Clark would probably never figure out what was going on himself, so the Fortress was his best option.
“Greetings Kal-El,” boomed Jor-El’s voice when Clark entered and, oh God his dad was going to kill him.
“I’ve been noticing some… anomalies in my behavior lately,” Clark said, carefully avoiding saying just what about his behavior was so anomalous. “I was hoping you could do a scan and uncover the root of this change.”
“Certainly,” Jor-El agreed. After that Clark didn’t see anything happening, but he could feel himself being scanned. It was unsettling.
“The most likely source has been located. There are traces of dust in your lungs and blood whose chemical structure suggest it to be a type of Kryptonite.”
“There’s Kryptonite in me?!” Clark exclaimed, frantically checking his body for weird glowing or some other sign. “What kind is it?”
“Do not worry Kal-El. The Kryptonite does not appear to be having any negative effect on you, and your body should purge all of it from your systems within the next four days.”
Four days being, of course, the average length of one of Clark’s gay episodes. The Kryptonite was making him gay.
Back in middle school, right after the millionth or so time Clark had tripped and landed flat on his face right in front of Lana, he had come up with the theory that the entirety of existence was really just one big practical joke on him. He had later discarded this idea as being too self-centered, but Clark was beginning to see the merits of it again. Because apparently there was a type of Kryptonite that made him gay.
“Can you tell when I would have breathed the Kryptonite in?” Clark asked, because if there was yet another type of Kryptonite out there, Clark really needed to know where it was.
“The amount in your lungs compared to the concentration in your blood suggests the infection occurred approximately three hours ago.” Three hours ago Clark had been visiting his mom, in Smallville. Of course.
“Thanks,” Clark said. Then he got the hell out of there before any questions of what kind of anomalous behavior he was exhibiting could arise.
Glittery pink dust everywhere. Well, not everywhere, Clark conceded as he turned his microscopic vision up to the barn’s ceiling, but pretty damn close.
It figures that the Kryptonite would be pink. Green means stop, red means go, and pink means gay. Clark was beginning to suspect that Kryptonite was actually a sentient being with a really twisted sense of humor. Sighing heavily, Clark got a container and a pair of tweezers and got to work.
Even with superspeed it took over an hour to collect all the tiny rock fragments in the barn, and then another three hours to inspect the rest of the farm and the house and pick up any stray bits that people might have dragged out of the barn with them. He would still have to check his apartment and the Planet, and probably the Fortress and Lex’s penthouse while he was at it, and he would have to figure out how the dust got into the barn in the first place, but for today he was done.
Well, almost done, Clark thought as he used his heat vision to melt the Kryptonite down into one solid mass. The resulting stone was about twice the size of Clark’s fist, which meant he’d have to make a new lead container for it since none of the ones he had were large enough. Great, more work.
Of course now that there was no Kryptonite dust to breathe in, Clark wouldn’t be turning gay again. And not being gay meant no more sleeping with Lex and Clark probably wouldn’t be allowed to go out to the penthouse just to hang out anymore either. And that would be bad. Oh, and he wouldn’t be able to thwart Lex’s evil schemes if he wasn’t gay. Definitely a problem.
The solution came, as all good solutions do, in an epiphanic flash. He could, if he broke off a small chunk, make the Kryptonite into a ring, a la the Red K class rings. Of course, he wouldn’t use the same people for the ring itself, since those class rings had a real bad habit of shattering into tiny pieces.
After using his heat vision to break off and cut down a piece of the stone, Clark took off in search of a jeweler.
The one thing Clark had forgotten to plan on when he came up with his brilliant Pink K ring idea was that men, even gay men, don’t normally wear pink jewelry. This was brought to his attention when Clark showed up at the penthouse and Lex asked, “What’s with the ring?”
“I like it,” Clark objected automatically, before realizing that that probably wasn’t the right answer. “That is, Chloe picked out for me. I think she meant it as a joke, but I thought it looked kind of cool, so I bought it.”
It was a good lie. Picking out a pink ring as a joke sounded like something she would do, and Lex and Chloe didn’t ever talk to each other, so there was no way Lex would find out that she had nothing to do with the ring.
The intensely jealous and insanely possessive make-out session that came after Clark’s announcement? That was a bonus.
Being gay turned out to work remarkably well for Clark, now that it was a full-time thing and he had gotten his libido under control. Or, rather, had found himself an outlet for it.
The first thing Clark noticed was how much easier it was dealing with Lois when he wasn’t in love with her. Really, Clark had had enough of the unrequited pining thing with Lana, and not having to deal with it with Lois anymore was a god-send. Now they could be good friends without the added complication of a one-sided attraction. Not to mention Clark had never really noticed how much Lois used her sexual appeal to get her way until it stopped working.
About a month after he first started wearing the ring Clark finally broke down and told Chloe about his new-found gayness and his on-going… relationship with Lex. He did leave out the whole part with the pink Kryptonite, because she was already going to be mad enough that he was sleeping with Lex, he really didn’t want her to know how much of a choice he had in the matter.
Chloe though, who Clark sometimes suspected was deliberately contrary just to annoy him, wasn’t too upset about the Lex thing. Instead she was really angry that Clark had apparently discovered his latent homosexuality and not come out of the closet. Superman, she argued, needed to show his support for gay people everywhere, and it was at her urging that Superman officially came out.
The announcement did come with some negative feedback, but none of it had anything on the hey-day of Lex’s alien menace protests. And the amount of positive feedback was phenomenal. Huge numbers of people, including one Clark Kent, finally felt confident enough to come out in the wake of it and donations for LGBT organizations sky-rocketed. Superman also got a fresh out-pouring of fan mail, including one letter in particular that Clark kept folded in his bed side table for repeated readings.
You’ve never me, but my name is Andrew Redding. I’m sixteen, gay, and you saved my life.
My father is not a very tolerant man, and I was worried if I ever told him the truth about myself he wouldn’t be able to accept me. On March 18 I was planning on committing suicide when I saw your press release on TV. My father has always been a big fan of yours and while he wasn’t happy to find out you were gay, he doesn’t hate you either. I still haven’t told him that I’m gay yet, but now I think that if I do he won’t hate me either.
Thank You Superman,
But the best part of being gay all the time was Lex. Clark had forgotten how much fun it was to just to spend time with Lex. It was like having his best friend back again, but this time they were both mature enough to actually handle their issues. That and they were having a lot of sex. But, no matter how awesome the sex was, Clark was making a point of ensuring they did something besides having sex every time he came over. To facilitate this, he stopped flying in as Superman, and started coming in through the front door as Clark. About a week after he started doing that, Clark came back to his apartment to find a keycard to the penthouse sitting on his kitchen table. Clark thought he probably should feel creeped out by that, but mostly he was just excited.
The only downside was that Clark didn’t know what, exactly, his and Lex’s relationship was. Sure they spent a lot of time together, and Clark had a key to the penthouse (and Lex apparently had a key to Clark’s apartment too), but Clark wasn’t sure if that meant anything. Then, about ten minutes after Clark had officially come out to his co-workers, Lex called him and asked Clark to come to a charity function at the Metropolis Museum with him. Even if Clark, in a fit of pessimism, managed to convince himself that the invitation was a friendly thing and the timing was a coincidence, there was no mistaking the possessive arm Lex had wrapped around Clark’s waist the entire evening.
Of course it didn’t matter how happy Clark was about the fact that he and Lex were actually dating, the Justice League wasn’t pleased. Well, the Justice League except for Wally, who was always in favor of any of his friends getting laid by anyone at any time. Luckily for Clark, just when it looked like John was about to really lay into him, J’onn, who if Clark was being honest with himself probably knew about the whole thing with Lex from shortly after it started, pointed out that Luthor had cleaned up his act a good deal in recent months and Bruce, who probably known about it before it started, agreed. After that, the rest of the League accepted the relationship, with varying degrees of reluctance.
Except for Oliver. Oliver was pissed.
But, Green Arrow’s disapproval aside, being gay was working out really well for Clark. In fact, all things considered, his life was pretty perfect right now.
Which, according to the inviolable laws of the universe, meant something bad was about to happen.
Clark woke up in bed at Lex’s penthouse with a horrible sense of wrongness. He did a quick scan around the room, but that didn’t reveal anything terribly off. And that’s when he noticed his ring was missing.
Clark never took off his ring, not even in the shower. Which, considering the turn some of his showers in the penthouse took, was definitely a good decision. X-raying the bed and the surrounding area eliminated the possibility that it had somehow just fallen off in his sleep. And, considering what he had done before he went to sleep last night, there wasn’t any chance he had taken it off and forgotten it somewhere yesterday. That didn’t leave too many options for what could have happened to it.
Praying to God that he had started sleepwalking, Clark got up and threw on some clothes before walking out to the kitchen. And that’s where he found Lex staring at the Pink K ring on the counter in front of him, looking positively murderous.
Clark had forgotten that God hated him.
“Good morning,” Clark said cautiously walking over to stand next to Lex.
“I talked to Chloe,” said Lex, and Clark was so fucked. And not in a good way either. “It’s funny, she said she doesn’t remember picking out a pink ring for you.”
“I can explain,” stammered Clark, but Lex was apparently in no mood to listen.
“I was worried because you never take it off, so I thought I would examine it and make sure it wasn’t dangerous. So I slipped it off you last night and took a few scans. And you know what I found? That pink stone is a type of Kryptonite. You’re wearing a fucking ring made of fucking Kryptonite! What the fuck Clark?”
“It’s not dangerous,” Clark protested.
“Not dangerous,” Lex echoed incredulously. “Then what the hell does it do?”
“It… ah… it makes me gay?”
“It makes you gay. I think that may be your least believable lie yet.”
“It’s not a lie!” objected Clark. “I don’t – I don’t do that anymore.”
“Really? Because I have a ring right here that would beg to differ.”
“That’s not – Look Lex, I swear I can explain, I just need you to give me a chance,” Clark begged.
“Fine,” Lex said. “But I swear to God Clark, you better tell the truth this time.”
“I promise,” Clark agreed eagerly. “Okay so I guess this whole thing started about eight months ago. One minute I was thwarting one of your evil schemes and the next I was incredibly turned on. At first I didn’t know what was going on, because I had never been attracted to men before, but all the sudden I just couldn’t stop looking at them. And then out of nowhere it stopped and I was attracted to girls again. After that it just kept switching back and forth. And then the thing with the bomb and Annie Young happened and I just… lost control.”
“I remember,” Lex said with dry amusement.
“Then next day you shut down Iaso Labs like I had asked you to the night before, so I, uh, I kind of thought that… I hoped that if I kept having sex with you I could get you to stop doing evil things.” The last came out all at a rush and for a few second Clark just stared at his hands, nervous as to Lex’s reaction. When he chanced a glance up though, Lex didn’t look angry at all.
“You aren’t mad?” Clark asked tentatively.
“I might have been if I hadn’t already known. It wasn’t exactly a subtle manipulation, but I decided to go along with it anyway. I got to stop worrying about Superman bursting into my facilities unannounced and causing millions of dollars in damage, you got to have your concerns about LexCorp addressed to the best of my ability, and we both got to have a lot of sex. It seemed like a good arrangement.”
Only Lex could make having sex with his arch-nemesis sound like a business deal. Shaking his head slightly, Clark continued. “Eventually though the Fortress was able to identify traces of Kryptonite in my lungs and blood stream. Somehow a bunch of pink Kryptonite dust had gotten in the barn at Smallville and every time I went down there I was breathing it in. That’s why I had been gay on and off. So I gathered it all up and melted it down into a solid rock that I encased in lead. All except the one piece I had made into this ring so I could be gay all the time.”
“Why would a guy who has been straight his whole life decide to be gay? So you continue to keep an eye on me and my ‘evil schemes?’”
“No!” Clark objected. Lex didn’t accuse Clark of lying exactly, but something in the delicate raise of his eyebrows made it clear that that was what he was thinking.
“Okay,” conceded Clark, “maybe a little. Mostly, though, I was just really enjoying spending time with you. It was like having my best friend back only better because of… well because of the sex. The really, really good sex. Oh and there were other good things about being gay too, like that letter I showed you, and not having to deal with being attracted to Lois anymore. But even without that other stuff I still would have made the ring because I think maybe I… uh… I love you?”
Clark was staring intently at the floor and nothing was going to make him look up. He did love Lex, but he hadn’t planned on telling Lex that ever. People who loved Lex always ended up hurting him, usually by trying to kill him, and Clark had thought he could head that off by never actually admitting to his feelings. In retrospect it wasn’t the best plan, but Clark had never been very good at emotions to begin with.
For a long minute Lex didn’t say anything, and with each passing second Clark was increasingly certain that the other man was going to kick him out. In fact, Clark was so busy trying to figure out how he was going to win Lex back, he didn’t even notice the ring being slid onto his finger.
“Okay,” Lex said.
Clark’s head jerked up, eyes searching Lex’s face. The expression he saw there was soft, amazed and fond. Affectionate even. “Okay?” Clark asked, barely believing his luck.
“Okay,” Lex confirmed and he placed his hand on Clark’s cheek before lightly pressing their mouths together. The kiss was gentle and brief and when Lex pulled away it’s only far enough that their lips barely brushed as they spoke.
“Yeah,” Clark responded dazedly, made somewhat incoherent by both his good fortune and their close proximity.
“I love you too.”