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Punch-Drunk Love, or The Third Mrs. Luthor

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Clark woke up in the clothes he'd worn the previous day, on top of the covers, to the sound of someone in the bathroom of his hotel room, violently throwing up. He rolled over onto his back, his temples throbbing. Was this a hangover? He hadn't realized he *could* get drunk, but-- the inside of his mouth tasted like a garbage dump, his head hurt, and the morning light intruding between the gaps in the curtains stung his eyes. He'd have to check with Pete, but this seemed pretty hangover-y. It just *figured* that he'd get drunk for the first time on vacation with Lex... oh yeah. Lex. He squinted in the general direction of the bathroom, winced, and decided not to even try his x-ray vision.

"Lex," he managed to grunt. "Are you okay?"

One last painful-sounding heave, and then Lex coughed. "I don't think I was using my spleen for anything much."

Clark got up when he heard the toilet flush, and wobbled over to the bathroom. Lex was bent over the sink, rinsing out his mouth, and Clark reached for one of the plastic-wrapped cups by the soapdish. The sound bit into his ears when he tried to unwrap it, and he crushed it in his hand. "Gah."

"So much for Clark 'I don't get drunk' Kent," Lex said, turning around and leaning against the counter. He was grinning far too widely for a guy who'd just horked up half a sushi bar.

"I hate you," Clark said. "Move, please."

Lex moved, and Clark stuck his head under the faucet and drank thirstily. His mouth was still a little tingly from the wasabi, and he suddenly wondered if *that* was why he felt so awful this morning. Hadn't he heard from Chloe that there were some kind of chemicals in raw fish-- mercury or something-- that you could poison yourself with if you ate too much sushi?

Lex headed out into the bedroom, collapsing onto the bed with a thump, and Clark stared at himself in the mirror. *Sushi*. He couldn't get drunk on beer, but apparently he could get drunk on raw fish... great. One more little bit of alien weirdness to remember. He rubbed his hand over the stubble on his chin, and decided not to bother shaving. He heard Lex on the phone, ordering something from room service, as he brushed his teeth.

"I can't believe you're hungry," he said, coming back out of the bathroom. "Move."

Lex scooted over, still smirking. "I have a good metabolism," he explained lazily. "No *wonder* you never get drunk, if your hangovers are always this bad."

Clark buried his face in the pillows. "I can't even remember most of last night." he groaned. "Is that normal?"

The bed shifted as Lex shrugged. "What's the last thing you do remember?"

"You made me eat raw fish," Clark stuck his tongue out. "Ugh."

"And as *I* recall, you liked it." Lex yawned and slid down the bed again. Clark could feel the warmth of his body all along his left side, close but not touching. "That's the last thing you remember? There were at least two bars after that. And a strip club."

"Oh, yay," Clark said, his face heating up. Maybe it was good that he didn't remember that part. It had taken Clark about eighteen years to realize that he was really, really gay, but knowing Lex, he'd pick it up in about two minutes. Maybe he'd been drunk by then, too. Clark could hope.

"We could go again tonight," Lex offered. "Try and get some memories into long-term storage."

"Yeah, or I could put a pillow over my head and stay in bed forever." Clark put the first part of that plan into effect immediately. It was a good plan. He liked it.

Lex slapped his back. "Vegas is like a woman, Kent, and like all women, you spurn her at your own risk."

Clark had to move the pillow just to make sure Lex caught the full effect of his incredulous stare. "Are you *still* drunk?"

"Little hair of the dog," Lex said, waggling a flask at him. "Want some?"

"No." Clark stuck his head back under the pillow again. There was a knock at the door, and Lex got up to answer it. Thankfully for Clark's stomach, it wasn't breakfast, but a bellboy with a change of clothes from Lex's room. Clark craned his neck just in time to see see Lex tip the guy extravagantly, and shook his head.

"You called the front desk to get a change of clothes? You're *across the hall*."

Lex looked back at him and shrugged, slipping off his wrinkled shirt over his head and dropping it on a chair. Clark snickered into the covers. "What, are you that worried about your reputation?"

That made Lex pause. Clark noticed the sudden stillness out of the corner of his eye, and looked over at Lex just in time to catch a funny smile on his face, his clean shirt halfway buttoned up. "Maybe I'm worried about yours."

"What?" Clark blinked at him for a long moment. "I meant your reputation as... like... mister fashion plate, not... what'd you think I meant?"

"We did spend the night in the same hotel room," Lex shot back. He reached for the buckle of his belt, and Clark sat up, turning away and swinging his legs over the edge of the bed. "The Inquisitor doesn't need much more proof than that."

"I doubt the Inquisitor followed you to Vegas, Lex." Clark walked over to his dresser, feeling a little steadier, but still not ready to turn around until Lex was totally dressed or he wasn't blushing. Whichever came first.

"Too bad," Lex replied. "Maybe they could let us know what we did last night."

Clark grinned, sifting through the detrius of last night. His keys were on the dresser, as well as a scattering of junk from his pockets-- a pink plastic ID bracelet from some bar, assorted coasters and napkins he'd probably picked up as reminders of places he couldn't even remember now. A cheap laser-printed picture of him and Lex standing in some garden, Lex's arm around his waist to keep him from falling as he laughed into Clark's shoulder. Clark didn't look too steady himself. Clark squinted at it curiously-- where had they had their *picture* taken?

Underneath the picture was the answer. Clark felt the blood rush from his face, then rush *back* with a hot, tangible, tingle.

"Um, Lex?"

"What?"

"I don't think you have to worry about there being some kind of scandal."

"Why's that?" Lex asked, knotting his tie.

Clark unfolded the paper and held it up. "'Cause there's nothing scandalous about having sex if you're married."

Lex laughed. Then stopped. "Seriously," he said, "that's not funny."

"I know," Clark said. "My parents are gonna kill me. You didn't even ask for my hand."

"That's not funny," Lex repeated, and Clark started snickering. Lex shot him a sharp look, stalked across the room and snatched the marriage license out of Clark's hand. A truly hilarious look of panic and rage flew across his face when he realized it was legit. "Oh, *fuck!*"

Unable to control his laughter, Clark slid down the dresser to a seated position on the floor, and howled. Married. He was actually married to Lex. For *real*, since Nevada was one of the first couple of states that had gone ahead and legalized gay marriage.

Oh, God. It was practically his fucking dream come true. Married to Lex. If only Lex was actually, you know, *gay*, and attracted to him, and not still trying to set him up with Chloe even after both of them had presented him with actual written lists of reasons why he should stop.

"Shut up!" Lex kicked him in the thigh, flipping the marriage license over to stare at the seal on the back. Clark hugged his knees and laughed some more. Okay, so Lex's obvious horror was taking a tiny bit of the shine off the moment, but not very much of it. He was married! To Lex!

It was going to be worth it just for the looks on Mom and Dad's faces. "Hey," he realized, "does this mean I own half of LexCorp?"

"No! Goddammit, Clark, would you let me think?"

"I think it does," Clark sang. "I own half your stuff."

He tilted his head back and beamed up at Lex, who gave him the glare of death. "You realize this means Lionel's your father-in-law."

"Aaah." Clark stopped laughing.

"And Lucas is your brother-in-law."

"Okay, point taken." Clark said, swallowing.

"As a matter of fact, according to your signature here," Lex said, looking at the front of the marriage license again, "you agreed to take my name after marriage. Congratulations-- you're a Luthor."

"What?" Clark grabbed it back. "I wouldn't have agreed to that!"

"Oh, but you *would* have agreed to marry me?" Lex shot back, grabbing the license back. "Come on. We're going to City Hall and getting this straightened out now."

"Can I at least change clothes?" Clark tugged at last night's t-shirt.

"No. You look fine. Let's go." Lex grabbed his wrist and pulled him towards the door. He opened it just as the bellboy from five minutes ago was about to knock.

"Mr. Luthor," he said, "I thought you'd like to know. There's a couple of photographers down in the lobby. I think they're waiting for you to come downstairs, sir."

Lex was shelling out bills before the kid had even stopped talking. "All right, this is what we're gonna do..."

*

The taxi had tinted windows, but Lex slumped low in his seat anyway, hand covering his face. Clark poked him in the arm. "Hey, how come I didn't get a ring? Desiree got a *rock*."

"Hang on," Lex said to the taxi driver, leaning forward suddenly. "I changed my mind. You know the Graceland Chapel?"

"Sure do," said the heavyset man driving the cab. He checked them both out in the rearview mirror. "You kids getting hitched?"

"Actually, I'm already married," Clark said cheerfully.

"Shut *up,*" Lex gritted out.

*

"Why are we here?" Clark said, staring at the Graceland Chapel. It wasn't as tacky as he'd feared. Kinda nice, actually. He'd have to see if they had postcards inside. Maybe a t-shirt. Chloe would definitely want a shot glass.

"Somebody leaked our names to the press," Lex said. "Somebody probably got paid a pretty penny for it. I'm thinking that *someone* probably had a lot to do with us getting-- here in the first place."

Clark sighed. Of course this couldn't just be two guys getting drunk. Of course it was some Machiavellian anti-Lex plot to... whatever, make Lex look irresponsible and dumb and not a good CEO of LexCorp, probably set into effect by Lex's dad or Dominic or some other jerk. "Yeah, probably. You go do whatever, I'm going to sit around out here, okay?" He shrugged at Lex's sudden sharp look. "Hey, I still have a hangover. And I'm kinda hungry."

"I don't think this will take long," Lex said, not even looking at him as he squared his shoulders and headed into the chapel. He was out of sight before Clark even had time to make some crack about being married to a workaholic. He sighed and wandered around to the garden, recognizing it with a kind of dulled shock as the garden in the picture. Yep, there was the path, and there was the arch, and there was what he realized now was a big marble statue of Elvis, that had just been a white blur in the picture.

He drifted further into the garden and looked up at Elvis, then wandered further and stood under the arch where he'd had his picture taken last night. He tried to imagine everything darker, tried to remember standing here with Lex, but it wasn't any good, he couldn't remember a thing. Some wedding night. A sudden thought struck him, and he swallowed. They'd both been drunk last night, but what if Clark had-- what if getting married had been all Clark's idea? And he'd dragged Lex into it while he was drunk, and now Lex would have *three* failed marriages under his belt. Three strikes, and it would be all Clark's fault. Ugh. It *wasn't* really funny. His stomach hurt.

"Apparently we're just morons," Lex said, and Clark jumped as Lex slammed the back door of the chapel open and stalked over to his side.

"What? I mean... what?"

"You, me, morons, married," Lex said shortly, staring at the statue of Elvis in horror. "God."

"I'm sorry," Clark said.

"I said, how about spring break in Paris, Clark?" Lex was still staring at Elvis. "Or Rome, Rome is lovely this time of year. I said you haven't lived till you've seen the girls in Venice in springtime. But no. *You* wanted to come to *Vegas.*"

"We can go to City Hall now if you want," Clark said.

Lex sighed, rolled his head to one side, and cracked his neck. "You know," he said, a smile quirking at the edges of his mouth, "if you don't actually sleep with anybody else or try to kill me before we get there, this is officially my best marriage ever."

Clark couldn't help but smile back. "Really?"

"By a long shot, Mrs. Luthor."

Clark elbowed him in the ribs, relieved. "Shut up."

"Oh," Lex said, "I asked, and apparently our song is 'Fools Rush In,' which I think is applicable to you, at least. So I'll let you have it in the settlement."

Clark sighed. "We can share it."

"And already it's the best annulment ever." Lex smiled.

"See," Clark said, "third time's the charm."

"Oh, God," Lex said, pained. "It is, isn't it. Hell."

"Um." A wild idea struck Clark, and his sleep-deprived, alcohol-shriveled, alien brain couldn't really see anything wrong with it. He turned to Lex, slid an arm around his waist and kissed him firmly, sliding his tongue sloppily into Lex's mouth and then pulling back with a grin. "There."

"What was that?" Lex spluttered, his hand over his mouth.

"I thought, um." Clark's eyes went wide as he realized he hadn't really thought about the ramifications of his whole plan. "I thought it might be better... I mean, I'm..."

"What?"

"Look," Clark said, his face hot, "I figured if you have to get divorced..." He cleared his throat. "Again... then at least you could be divorced from someone who really wants to be married to you."

Lex blinked. "What?"

"I mean somebody who cares about you. Like I do. In, ah, you know." He looked over Lex's shoulder. "Do they have shot glasses in there? I was thinking about getting one. For, um. Chloe."

Lex gave him a very suspicious look.

Clark gave him his best innocent look, and then remembered he still had his arm around Lex's waist. He let go. "So we should probably go do that, huh."

"Yeah," Lex said, "Probably." But he was smiling as they slid into the taxi, which had waited. "City hall, my good man."

They rode in silence for a while, Clark looking around at the Strip and the tourists and the billboards and everything in the bright light of day.

"Hey," he said, "where are we going on our honeymoon?"

He looked over to find Lex giving him a dark, lazy stare. "You want to get tossed off Niagara Falls, Kent, you just keep it up."

"That's Luthor to you," Clark said quietly, just in case the taxi driver was listening.

"You know it wouldn't be legal in Kansas anyway," Lex said. The taxi slowed as it pulled up to City Hall, and Lex turned away, scanning for photographers.

"Yeah," Clark said, trying not to sound disappointed.

"Personally, I don't think we need all this bureacratic B.S. anyway," Lex said. He turned back, his head cocked slightly, an odd, questioning look on his face. "I mean, who's in control of my life, me or this piece of paper? If two people mean something to each other, if they commit to each other, then who needs the state of Nevada, or some guy in a gold jumpsuit--"

A slow grin spread over Clark's face, and Lex stopped talking. He shrugged, looking at Clark, and Clark bit his lip. "Yeah," he said, reaching out, sliding his hand across the car seat towards Lex's. "yeah."

Lex looked down at his hand, and for a second, Clark thought he'd read him all wrong. He started to pull back, but then Lex leaned across the seat and kissed him quickly, his lips hot against Clark's cheek. Before Clark could blink, Lex had opened the door and ducked out into the sunlight, heading up the steps to City Hall. Clark swallowed hard and followed after.