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Destiny In the Blood

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It didn't get any easier. It never got easier. Clark thought that it had been easier when he'd been younger, back before his hormones started overriding his sense, back when he could think without sex for more than a day, back when it was a week or a month or God, how long had it been since it was a year between his desperate, driving need to feel another person's body against his, to feel them touching, kissing, fucking, doing anything to him, before the need overwhelmed him to the point he couldn't function and his heart started fluttering and his lungs started shutting down?

Years, Clark thought as he fought the hormones driving him so that he could focus in class. He answered the questions on his test. He walked down the hallway, being his normal goofy, slightly odd self with Chloe and Lana, sweet, beautiful Lana who never got it, who couldn't get it. She wanted him to tell her want to do. All he wanted was to go to his knees and service her, have her give him orders, make him do things, please, God, that would be so good, but Lana couldn't do it, she wasn't able to and Chloe was too fair-minded, too interested in equality, so she'd never dream of telling him to kneel, and taking his head in her hands, and shoving his face into her crotch, and demanding that he lick her right there

He cut the rambling, hormone driven thoughts off as they split up the next class, the next exercise in torture. He made it through that class, then the next one, which was thankfully the last one of the day. He used to be able to make it home before the need overwhelmed him but lately it was getting bad by lunchtime and there was no one he could go to for sex, no one in town that he could blow or fuck or be fucked by, not anymore. He didn't trust the other boys, they knew he'd done it for Whitney and they didn't like him and besides he'd nearly gotten caught by a teacher once. He didn't dare be caught or his parents would get in trouble and he'd humiliate them and he didn't want that, not at all, even though he couldn't think as the need to fuck or be fucked burned through his veins and tried to make his cock respond, but at least his pants were loose enough and his underwear was tight enough to hide it when his self control failed.

Chloe mouthed words at him about going to the Talon and he managed to make polite apologies about his chores back home. Lana caught him as he gathered the books he'd speed-read later tonight after he could focus again, putting that pretty hand on his arm that made all his instincts demand he kneel. She looked up at him like she wanted to kneel to him instead. She said something about a date and it took him a second to realize she meant with him, going out, someplace, movies? He wasn't sure. He couldn't quite hear her voice. It was like it was coming from a million miles away, or through a seashell. It didn't matter. He apologized and stammered and probably sounded really stupid or really flattered and finally, finally escaped.

Chores took half of forever, almost a full thirty minutes and then it was dinnertime and he had to try and listen as Mom and Dad talked. It was easier when Mom gave him that look, the 'I know you're not interested but at least try' look. It helped him focus for the few minutes he needed to eat and then do the dishes. The fog of need faded when she gave him that stern look, the one that said she was in charge and he'd do things her way. It drove the need away so that he actually heard their conversation, but it didn't last, it never lasted, it always faded by the time dinner and dishes were done and then he could escape to the loft while Mom and Dad did their thing. He listened and waited, hoping they'd go to bed early tonight and thank God, they did. It was Thursday night, a class night, a work night, so they turned in nice and early, long past accepting that Clark just didn't need as much sleep as they did. He waited and waited a little longer, a long five minutes after they settled into bed together and then he was gone, submitting to the need pounding through his blood and brain.

He changed into his slut clothes, the tight black T-shirt and jeans that showed every muscle in his body. He pocketed the lube and condoms he'd stolen from the free clinic and then he was running, his heart fighting against his super speed because he'd let it go too long again and his body was trying to shut down. He shouldn't let it go so long but Whitney was gone so there weren't any blow jobs in the stalls anymore and he didn't trust any of the other guys but it didn't matter because he was in Metropolis, cruising the streets at super speed, searching for a guy, any guy, it didn't matter, just someone to fill the need that burned in his blood and brain. He spotted one guy cruising, then another, then a third and a fourth.

The first one was glad to let him blow him, shoving into Clark's mouth with glee and muttered obscenities about how pretty he was that way. It took the need down a notch, far enough that the john joked that Clark had gotten his fix as he gave Clark a hundred dollar bill. He had no idea how true that was. Clark sped away, catching the second man and letting himself be fucked up against a wall, hidden from the street by a dumpster. The third fucked him, as did the fourth, though the fourth did exactly the right things to clear Clark's brain properly.

"Get on your knees and clean me up, slut," the man demanded, catching Clark's hair and pulling hard.

It was like his brain clicked into clarity, to white light of pure and absolute joy. Be used for down and dirty sex was enough to still the driving need. Being treated this way made everything right. He loved it when one of the tricks treated him this way! He whimpered and shuddered, dropping to his knees to worship the man's cock. He was aware that they were visible from the street. He was aware that there was a traffic jam on the street. He was aware that there was a limo right at the entrance to the alley but it didn't matter. There was only his temporary Master, giving Clark what he needed, orders and sex and a sense of wellbeing that might just last all day tomorrow instead of fading before lunch. The man came again in Clark's mouth and he swallowed happily.

"Like that, do you?" the man said, petting Clark's hair once he'd relaxed.

"Yes," Clark breathed, lovingly pulling the man's pants up and making him presentable again. "Thank you."

"Heh, ought to keep you," the man said, tugging Clark's hair and making him look up into his very dark eyes. "Put a collar on your neck, keep you naked all the time. Bet you'd love to be led around on a leash."

Clark shuddered and came in his pants, coming for the first time that night. God, he wanted that so bad! But he didn't want this man, not this man with his mean, cold eyes and old, jowly face. He didn't want to belong to a man who would see only that Clark was a slut, a slut who needed to be abused. He was honest enough with himself when he'd just filled the need to know that the only man he wanted this way was Lex, but Lex couldn't or wouldn't be that for him.

"I'd love it," Clark said honestly, standing up despite the man's effort to keep him there. "Unfortunately, I can't do that. I have responsibilities. I wish I could. I really do. But I can't. Thank you so much. If I see you again, I'll definitely make sure to be available for more."

He started to walk away and the man caught his arm, stopping him. Clark looked at him confused.

"I haven't paid you yet," the man said, staring at Clark with something like confusion in his mean eyes as he offered a wad of twenties.

"I don't do it for the money," Clark said, taking the money with a wry smile. "I do it for the sex. Thanks though."

He walked away and this time the man let him go. Clark reached the opposite end of the alley from the traffic jam and sped away, heading home, back to the loft, the barn, the pump where he could wash away the evidence of his night's excursion. He truly would love another, much longer, round with that man if he saw him again. He'd love to have this clarity all the time if only he could. He only got it when he got to serve someone that way and it never lasted because he never had a Master for more than one round.


Lex glared at the traffic outside of his limo. It didn't really matter that he was stuck in traffic. He was done with meetings for the day. He had no intention of going out tonight, not on a Thursday. He'd managed to hold off his father's idiotic demands for another day. He just wished he could be having a whiskey in his penthouse instead of stuck in traffic. Tomorrow afternoon he'd be going home to Smallville. It was odd. He wasn't sure when Smallville had become home but at some point it had. He suspected it was about the point when Clark started coming to the mansion on a daily basis for the chess lessons that he always failed at so badly. Lex smiled, looking out the window and down the alleyway that was just too narrow for him to order the driver to attempt it.


"What the hell?" Lex breathed, staring at the scene unfolding in front of him. "That's Clark!"

He didn't even try to convince himself that it was a look-alike. After three years associating with Clark Kent (and secretly lusting for him) he knew every angle and every aspect of the boy, including the powers that Clark had yet to admit to. This was certainly not something he would have expected from his innocent farm boy: kneeling and giving a blow job that looked like it was blowing the man's mind.

"I may have to kill you," Lex growled, fingers curling into claws around the handgun hidden in his coat pocket. The man came in Clark's mouth and Clark looked so damned grateful, almost ecstatic. "Yes, you must die. You must die horribly."


"Shut up!" Lex snapped at the driver, turning off the intercom. At least the traffic still wasn't moving. He could memorize Clark's lover's face and then have him bumped off later. If he'd had a camera, he'd have taken pictures just to ensure that there were no mistakes. This man had to die horribly for perverting his Clark.

The way the man wrenched at Clark's hair, treating him like a street whore, only fueling Lex's intention to destroy the man. No, he wouldn't have him just killed. He'd destroy his job, ruin his family, and then kill the man while staring down into his face. He was plotting how to discover the man's identity when Clark visibly came from the treatment, making Lex's fantasies stutter to a stop. God…

Clark stood, smiling down at the man with a tender expression before turning away. The man caught him and…Lex's brain stopped. He couldn't be giving Clark money. But he was and Clark took it, smiling thanks before walking away and leaving the man with a bemused, regretful expression. Traffic started moving again and Lex stared as the alley slid away and storefronts filled his eyes.

"A whore?" Lex breathed, staring at the gun in his hand.

He put the gun away and considered in his head just how much money the farm was making. It wasn't enough. Obviously. He wouldn't have thought that Clark would prostitute himself to save the family farm, but it was Clark. It wasn't that much of a surprise that he'd do literally anything for his family. Lex wondered how Clark explained the money to his parents, wonder and horror and flat outrage battling each other through his mind.

"Take me back to Smallville," Lex snapped through the intercom to the driver.


"Do it!" Lex snarled. "I'll deal with my father later."

He got on the phone and cancelled all his appointments for tomorrow. He rearranged his schedule to have the weekend free. And he did his best not to think about all the horrible diseases Clark could have caught doing this instead of coming to Lex for help. He would have found a way to make the help for the farm invisible. He would have set up foundations, made grants, arranged for legislation. He would have done anything in his power to keep Clark from having to do this, if only Clark had trusted him enough to come to him.

Lex raged back and forth between anger and worry during the long drive back to Smallville. Anger at Clark's lack of trust. Worry for Clark that he was doing such a thing. The two and a half hour drive was at least three hours too long for Lex. He got back to the mansion well after midnight but he couldn't rest, couldn't sleep. He was too upset and worried about Clark. Lex checked his hidden camera in the loft, nodding that Clark was working on his homework. The sexy black clothes were gone. Clark's hair was wet and lightly mussed, as though he'd just finished showering. He was calmly doing homework. He couldn't wait until tomorrow after school. He had to talk to Clark about this now. He broken every speed law in existence driving over, but crept up the lane to the farm, not wanting to disturb Clark's parents.

"Clark," Lex said while going up the stairs to the loft.

"Lex," Clark said, obviously surprised to see him at that hour. "What are you doing here? It's nearly 1:00 am."

"I saw you," Lex said, glaring at his friend. "I saw you in Metropolis."

Clark gasped and went so white that he looked like a ghost, just pale skin, black hair and terrified green eyes. Lex mounted the last couple of stairs, going over to Clark's desk to put a hand on his shoulder. Clark shuddered and shut his eyes, blushing painfully red. Lex's heart squeezed, the anger draining away into pure worry for his friend.

"Why would you do that, Clark?" Lex asked, hearing the hurt in his voice and unable to control it. "You know I'd help you any way I could. You don't need to go off to Metropolis and…and…do that. Let me help."

"I, you, you can't," Clark stammered, shaking his head and stepping out from under Lex's hand. He knocked over his chair but didn't seem to notice. "You can't help, Lex. No one can. I'm sorry, so sorry you had to see that, see me that way. I can't help it. It's…it's a need. I can't not do it. I'm sorry."

"If you wanted to get money for the farm—" Lex said, only to be cut off by Clark's definitive headshake.

"No, it's not for the money!" Clark said, turning hurt eyes on Lex. "I've never spent a single penny they gave me. I hid it. I can't explain it to Mom and Dad. They don't understand what it's like. They've never accepted that I'm…I'm driven to do it. I have to do it. I don't want to die, Lex."

Lex felt like the world had tilted sideways on him for the third time tonight. He shook his head and leaned against the desk to try to anchor himself. Clark hadn't spent the money? It wasn't for the farm? Die?

"Clark, tell me what's going on," Lex ordered, glaring at him. "No more lies. I know about your powers. Tell me what's going on! What do you mean 'die'?"

Clark's eyes went wide and the pupils expanded, nearly consuming the beautiful green of the irises. He swayed and then thumped to his knees in front of Lex's feet. He looked so happy, almost ecstatic. It was nearly like he'd been hit with a drug of some sort, something that flooded him with endorphins, Lex thought through the shock. Clark licked his lips and it was the sexiest thing he'd seen in his entire life.

"Tell me," Lex ordered, using his deepest tone of voice, the one that made his father pause and back off.

"I'm…not human," Clark said, panting a little as his pupils expanded even more. "I thought I was when I met you, when you hit me on the bridge, but I wasn't. I never was. I thought I was a freak, that my powers were bad enough but I…I can't control my hormones, Lex. I've tried. When I was twelve, I could. Masturbating was enough to keep me clear-headed for a month or more. By the time I was thirteen it was every day. When I was fourteen masturbating so often my cock felt raw wasn't good enough and my heart started palpitating. Then Whitney came onto me and I could give him blow jobs and it was great, enough, more than enough, as long as I did it at least once a week, and then every few days, but he left and I was alone again and Lana couldn't be what I needed. She doesn't understand what I need. I can't explain it to her. I tried. Chloe wouldn't, she'd never do it and I don't trust the guys in town, not anymore. They still tease me about Whitney. So I started going to Granville and then Metropolis. There's always a guy or two or more who want quick sex and it makes it so I can function, but it's getting less effective. I need more than just quick sex. I need…I need…I need to be told what to do, to submit, to belong and, and, and when I don't get it, I can't think and I can't function and my heart starts doing strange things and my powers go out of control and my lungs try to stop and it's gotten to the point, the point that I barely make it from midnight to noon before my body's demanding I go fuck someone!"

Lex put a finger over Clark's mouth before pulling the boy into a hug. Clark wrapped his arms around Lex's hips and the sobs that he'd been fighting over the last part of his explanation spilled out. Lex maneuvered them to the couch, holding Clark's head against his chest and petting his hair until Clark slowly calmed and relaxed, still loosely hold Lex's waist, nestled between Lex's legs.

"Where did you come from?" Lex asked gently.

"Another world called Krypton," Clark whispered into Lex's stomach. "My mother and father sent me in a spaceship. She said I had to go for training last June, when you were getting married, but I was afraid. I blew my spaceship up instead of going but it didn't do any good. She wasn't just there. There's a download of her in the Kawatche Caves. I think this must be why she wanted me to go for training. I never thought the need would get so bad so fast."

"Mmm," Lex murmured, rubbing Clark's shoulders. "What makes it go away for the longest?"

"Being…I don't know…told to do things?" Clark said hesitantly, looking up at Lex. "It's like…you ordered me to tell you and there was a huge rush. Normally I fight it but you said you knew about my powers so I couldn't resist. For a long time?"

Lex smirked and nodded, still petting Clark's hair the way he'd always wanted to. It was every bit as soft and silky as he'd thought it would be. He was the first to admit that he had a bit of a hair fetish, though he traced it back to helping brush his mother's hair when she was ill instead of to loosing his own hair.

"Since we met," Lex said, tugging one of Clark's curls. "I always knew. Its part of why your terrible excuses were so annoying. I'm a genius, Clark. I can see what's right in front of my face, except apparently for this. I had no idea you were suffering so much."

"It only got really bad in the last couple of months since I got back from Metropolis," Clark admitted. "It's not your fault, Lex."

"So you need to be dominated," Lex said, putting Clark's words into a better framework. "You need to sexually service someone, too?"

"Yes," Clark said, eyes grim. "It's not enough to just obey. If it were, Mom and Dad's orders would be enough. They were enough when I was younger, but not now."

"What sorts of things turn you on?" Lex asked, watching Clark's reactions. "Collars? Leashes? Obviously being 'made' to service someone turns you on. I saw that. Bondage?"

"Yes," Clark breathed, his face getting that ecstatic look as his pupils dilated again. "Please? Belong to you? Be yours?"

Lex shivered. He'd been far more of a sub during his wild Club Zero days, but he'd always loved being in charge the few times he'd done it. Besides, it was Clark, looking up at him with a desperately needy expression, that want. He couldn't say no, not when Clark needed him.

"All right," Lex said, stopping Clark's hands and mouth before they could descend on his cock. "But there will be rules, Clark. There will be rules that you have to follow or it's off."

"Anything," Clark promised, shivering. "Anything, Lex. Anything you want, I'll do."

He looked like an addict in need of his fix, which made Lex's stomach squirm uncomfortably. He didn't want Clark to look this way. There had to be something wrong with him. He was willing to accept that Clark thought he was an alien, but it seemed a bit…absurd…to believe that he really was one. He was too human looking to be an alien. There must be something different going on with his meteor powers than with the other meteor affected that Lex had studied, including himself. Lex smiled, petting Clark's cheek.

"Rule number one, I say when and where we have sex, Clark," Lex said. "If I say no, then you accept it. Rule number two, no going to Metropolis or anyone else for sex or submission. If you're truly in need, come find me. Come to me before it gets desperate. I have no problem taking care of you before school and afterwards, if that's what you need to be able to function. Rule number three, we are going to figure out what's going on in your body. I will be doing some tests and examinations—which will be kept secret—to see if we can't find a way to let you be free from the need. And rule number four is that I can make up new rules as it becomes obvious that they're needed. Acceptable?"

"Yes," Clark breathed, shuddering as though the rules were a physical weight off of his shoulders. He sat up a little taller, giving Lex a deadly serious look. "I have one requirement, though."

"Sure," Lex said, raising an eyebrow. "What is it?"

"I get to call you Master," Clark said. "Whenever we're in private, I get to call you Master, and kneel and act like your slave."

Lex's cock went from just barely hard (due to his worry about Clark) to rock hard in something less than a second. He thought his brain might have just gone with all of his blood straight to his dick. He let out a long slow breath, closing his eyes so that he wouldn't do something terminally stupid like declare his undying love, or come in his pants.

"I think that's now rule number five," Lex said with a wicked grin at Clark. "Very good addition to the rules, Clark. So what am I? Tell me."

Clark's pupils blew out again and he shuddered, looking like he was going to cry or come or both. He licked his lips, hand unconsciously caressing Lex's hips as his thumbs brushed against Lex's cock. Lex groaned deep in his chest, unable to believe that he was getting his living wet dream here in Clark's loft.

"Master," Clark said in a sexy, low growl. "You're my Master and I belong to you."


When Clark woke in the morning he was smiling. He'd dreamed of the moment when Lex became his Master all night long, alternating between sex dreams that extended Lex's petting into full-on dominant sex where he draped Clark over the couch and fucked his ass until he couldn't breathe, and sweet dreams were Lex just petted him and told him that he was Lex's now. It was wonderful. He finally felt like he had a hope of surviving the next few years. He'd been afraid that he'd die sometime soon, before he could finish his Junior year in high school.

He got dressed, taking the time for a quick jack off before getting dressed. Mom really hated it when he showed up to breakfast with a hard on. He swore she could tell before he noticed that he was getting hard. It wasn't like it wasn't his body, after all. (Not that his hormones listened to him.)

"Morning," Clark said.

"Good morning, Clark," Mom said, smiling at him. "You're cheerful today. You must have slept well."

"Yeah, I did," Clark said, getting the milk as Mom finished making pancakes for them to eat. "Is Dad out working with the cows?"

"Mmm-hmm," Mom murmured.

She started talking about Bessie, who apparently was getting a foot fungus. It sounded to Clark like she'd mentioned it before, because she said that Dad had 'finally' gotten the medicine for it. He didn't remember either of them saying anything about it, but that was normal. He set the table without prompting, got plates, glasses, silverware and napkins.

"What did you do last night?" Mom asked, frowning at him.

"W-what?" Clark asked, startled.

"I normally have to remind you what to get," Mom said, eyes far too intent as she looked at him. "You remembered everything today. What did you do?"

"Nothing!" Clark protested, not wanting to get into the sex argument again. Mom had caught him with Whitney once before Whitney had left. She'd been furious that he'd been doing that, though he didn't think she'd told Dad about it. "Mom, come on. Can't I have a good day once in a while?"

"The only good days you've had in the last couple of years have been when you went off and…" She looked away, a hurt expression flitting over her face.

Clark flinched. Why did she have to be so blind? It wasn't like he did it because he wanted to. The sex was because he didn't want to die. Mom's fierce desire for him to find a nice girl and settle down blinded her to the fact that Clark needed something so much more than just a nice girl. He put the silverware out, not meeting her eyes.

"Lana asked me to go to the movies with her this weekend," Clark said, countering Mom's worries in the only way he'd ever found effective. "I sort of stammered at her but I could always take her to something tomorrow if that's okay."

"That would be wonderful, Clark," Mom said, beaming at him. Her eyes still had that speculative edge to them, but it didn't have the same impact when she was smiling. "I'll talk to Jonathan and see if we can spare some cash for you. Maybe you can go to dinner somewhere, too."

"Dinner?" Dad said, coming in the back door and smiling at them. "Who's going to dinner?"

Mom told Dad about the movie date, making it sound like a done deal, which Clark knew perfectly well it wasn't. Dad nodded, looking at Clark with his version of a stern look. He'd caught Clark making out with Lana a few months before his sophomore year had ended. Given that they were both down to underwear and Lana was about to loose her bra, Dad had been (correctly) convinced that they were about to do 'it' as he put it. He hadn't been happy about that at all. Clark had ended up grounded for a week and only some really risky sexual encounters at school had kept him on an even keel.

"I trust it's only going to be dinner and a movie?" Dad growled, giving Clark a fierce look.

"Yes, sir," Clark said, sitting down as Mom brought the pancakes and bacon for their breakfast. "I'm not sure Lana wants dinner, too. She suggested it yesterday after school. I'll check with her when I see her today."

He had no intention of doing anything of the sort. He was going to spend his weekend with Lex if he could, and Lana had never been his idea of perfect. She'd been beautiful and everyone else's version of perfect and the way she'd ordered Whitney around had made him think that she might be a good Mistress but he knew better now. Lana couldn't be what he needed and his interest in her had faded utterly. She was convenient to distract Mom, though.

They ate and Clark did his best to focus on what they said instead of thinking of running over to Lex's mansion and kneeling at his feet and maybe even being able to suck his cock. It was much easier to focus than normal. Yesterday's sex had combined wonderfully with Lex's claiming him so that he felt as alert and focused as he had been in years. Dad took the dishes while Clark went out and did his morning chores. He got done extra fast and headed back inside.

"I'm heading to school early," Clark said. "Chloe said something about needing me to finish my article and I want to proof it before I give it to her."

"All right, dear," Mom said, patting his arm. "Be good."

"I will be Mom," Clark said, smiling at her.

He grabbed his books and sped off of the farm, heading straight for Lex's mansion. He still had a good hour before school started. He wished that he had super hearing or something. That way he'd know if Lex was there and available, but he didn't. He sped into the estate, bypassing the guard shack easily and going straight to Lex's office. He was there, which made Clark's heart slow down a little bit in sheer relief.

"Clark," Lex said, smiling and looking up as Clark came in. "Close the door behind you, please."

Clark swayed at the tone of his voice, a rush of pleasure washed through him. He nodded and shut the door, coming over to Lex's desk.

"Put your bag on the couch and come here," Lex ordered, patting his thighs and spreading his legs.

"Yes, Master," Clark breathed.

He dropped the backpack and came around Lex's desk, kneeling gratefully between his knees. His whole body calmed. His mind seemed to become much clearer. Lex wove his fingers through Clark's hair, petting and tugging at his hair as though it was just as good for him as it was for Clark. He sighed and rested his head against Lex's thigh, breathing in the wonderful musky scent of Lex's groin. God, he really hoped that Lex would let him blow him sometime soon. He wanted to taste Lex, touch him, and feel him. It'd even be better if he could have Lex's cock up his ass but Clark didn't expect that Lex would let him have that soon. He was sure he'd have to earn it, though he had no idea how Lex would make him earn it.

"It feels good?" Lex asked, chuckling as Clark beamed at him.

"Yes, Master," Clark said. "It feels very good. C-can I serve you somehow? Make you feel as good as you're making me feel?"

Lex shuddered, his fingers tightening in Clark's hair. It didn't hurt of course. He was too invulnerable for it to hurt him. It felt good, like Lex was taking control of his body, which was exactly what Clark wanted most. Lex's pants tented out and he licked his lips, looking down at Clark as if he couldn't quite believe that Clark was there.

"Yes," Lex breathed. "I want you to blow me, Clark. You're not allowed to come until I tell you. Your orgasms are mine, just as you're mine. If you do especially well, I'll have a present for you when you visit after school."

"Thank you, Master!"

Clark's cock went on alert as Lex said that he might let him come. He didn't really care most of the time if he got to have an orgasm as long as he got to serve his Master, but getting to come would help him focus during the day. He might even be clear-headed all the way until dinnertime tonight, which would be wonderful, even if it would make Mom worried and suspicious.

He opened Lex's pants and groaned that Lex was already hard. He smelled even better without the clothes in the way. His cock was long and hard and perfect. Clark took his time pleasuring his Master, exploring the ways that he reacted to every touch, breath, lick and suck. Lex liked it when Clark looked up at him, checking that it was good. His hips jerked in Clark's mouth. Clark sucked him in deeper, relaxing his throat and blessing his alien heritage that he didn't need to breathe as much as humans did. He could take Lex much deeper and for much longer than a human would, which obviously was driving Lex crazy.

"Fucking hell, Clark," Lex groaned in a strangled tone of voice. "Don't come! Not until…not until I say so!"

"Mmm-hmm," Clark hummed, knowing that the little vocalization would drive Lex over the edge. He was surprised that Lex didn't come, instead locking his hands into Clark's hair.

"Pull your cock out," Lex ordered, making bliss pour through Clark. "Play with yourself while you suck me, Clark. Show your Master how much you're enjoying blowing him."

Clark shuddered and moaned, his hands fumbling with his zipper. He pulled his cock out and started stroking himself. It had been a long time since he'd masturbated and even longer since one of the tricks wanted to see his cock or have him stroke himself. Lex gasped and started thrusting into Clark's mouth, pushing deep into his throat. He was making sexy little grunts and whimpers that went straight to Clark's primitive brain, rewarding him with ecstasy for making his Master so happy. It was so hard not to come but he hadn't been given permission. He wanted to, nearly as much as he wanted his Master's come in his mouth but it wasn't his to demand. He couldn't even ask, not until Master Lex was done with his mouth and the lack of control over the situation made him even more turned on.

"Clark!" Lex gasped, coming hard in his mouth. "Fuck, fuck, my Clark, mine! Mine!"

The taste of Lex's come mixed with the claims of ownership to trigger something deep inside of him. Clark groaned, nearly passing out at the intense pleasure that rushed through him. He clamped his hand around his cock, preventing himself from coming and disobeying his Master's orders. Lex panted and eventually let Clark pull back.

"Please, may I come Master?" Clark asked, panting hard as he fought to keep control.

"Mmm, you did very well," Lex praised Clark, pulling a handkerchief from his pocket and passing it to Clark. "Very well indeed. I want to see your face as you come, Clark. Look me in the eyes and thank me for this while you come. Come and thank me, pet."

Clark shuddered, taking the handkerchief and stroking himself rapidly. He wasn't sure what he said as he stammered his thanks, babbled them, but he was coming and coming and it was like his whole body was coming, not just his cock. His master had thought he did well and it had tasted so good and his Master was pleased and God yes! He collapsed into Lex's thigh, panting as his body calmed.

"Give me the handkerchief, pet," Lex said, his voice a little distant because Clark was still so blurry from the orgasmic rush.

Clark passed it over, sighing happily. Lex put the handkerchief somewhere on his desk, petting Clark as he slowly returned to normal. It seemed like hardly any time at all as he knelt at Lex's feet. Lex had chuckled and then started working on his computer, still petting Clark's hair. Eventually he caught Clark's chin and made him meet his eyes.

"It's almost time for you to go to school, Clark," Lex said. "You need to focus and go back to normal now."

"Already?" Clark said plaintively.

"Yes, already," Lex laughed. It was such a wonderful sound, one that made little thrills of joy creep up his spine. "It's been nearly forty-five minutes since you arrived. I want you to go to school and do your best. Don't tell anyone what we did or that you belong to me. After school, if the need is too bad, come here. Otherwise, I want you to go home, have dinner with your family and do your chores. Come here afterwards."

"Yes, Master," Clark said nodding. "Um, Master Lex?"

"Yes?" Lex asked, raising an eyebrow and smirking ever so briefly.

Clark hesitated, not sure how Lex would want to handle this one. He'd sort of promised to go on a date with Lana, out to the movies, but he didn't want to do it. He knew what he wanted to do. He wanted to dump Lana cold, but Mom would find that very suspicious and Dad outright hated Lex. It would be bad if they figured out that Clark belonged to him now.

"I…sort of agreed to take Lana to a movie this weekend," Clark said hesitantly. "I don't really want to go and didn't quite agree to it. I was just desperate for sex at the time and couldn't refuse her anything. Mom thinks it's a sure thing that I'll go out with her. She wants met to take Lana out to dinner, too. What do you want me to do?"

Lex growled, his fingers tugging almost painfully on Clark's hair. He looked jealous, which made Clark's stomach flutter happily. His Master didn't want to share him! Of course, the anger was also a little bit scary but the possessiveness was too nice for him to be really scared. Lex took a deep breath and let it out slow, the anger fading and regret flowing in.

"I suppose we have to keep up appearances," Lex said sadly. "I'd rather keep you all to myself, pet. You can go to the movies with Lana, but see if you can make it a group thing with Chloe and some others. If not, so be it. No making out, no kissing, and certainly no sex with her. You're mine and I'm not sharing that part of you with her."

"Yes, Master!" Clark said happily. "I only want to be yours anyway. Lana wants me to be her Master and I can't do that. I think she knows that we're wrong for each other. Should I try and work towards letting her go gently?"

"Yes," Lex said, nodding. "Now off you go, Clark. I'll see you later this evening, okay?"

"Yes, Master!"

Clark kissed Lex's wrist (since his fingers were still tangled in Clark's hair and he hadn't been given permission to kiss Lex's lips yet). He grabbed his bag and sped to school, arriving at the Torch to proof the article he'd written for Chloe. He loved how clear his mind was. Hopefully, he'd be able to keep this level of clarity from now on, now that he had Master Lex.


Lex smiled as Clark left. He hadn't expected Clark to push things that way, but God he was good at blow jobs. Given what he'd been doing the last couple of years that made sense, but he hadn't quite expected it to be that good. Lex put the handkerchief into a plastic bag he'd taken from the kitchen explicitly for this purpose. He wasn't going to take blood samples after the Helen fiasco with Clark's blood, but that didn't mean that his sperm wouldn't be very enlightening.

It took about an hour for Lex to finish all the work related items he had left from his abrupt departure from Metropolis last night. His father's e-mail was incredibly snide but Lex ignored it. His father couldn't care less about anything other than his desires and Lex knew that his jabs about Lex's 'fragile state' were nothing more than his attempts to ensure that Lex knew nothing about his indiscretions. It didn't matter. Lex was taking the weekend off and that was that.

He headed down to his private lab in the basement, carved out of one of the basement storage rooms. He knew it would annoy his father to know that he'd left work to play with his test tubes and scientific gear, but that was all part of the fun. Lex took samples of Clark's sperm and examined them. He knew what he was looking for and what he saw made him wonder if he'd made a mistake along the way.

"What the hell?" Lex breathed, staring through his microscope at the highly alien sight.

Clark's sperm didn't look anything like human sperm. The cells didn't behave like human cells. They responded to his experiments totally differently. He worked for several hours, eating his lunch in the lab, comparing Clark's DNA against his DNA. It was fascinating, engrossing and almost beyond belief. Clark truly wasn't a human, even a meteor mutant. It was beyond obvious from studying his sperm. Lex didn't write any of his findings down, unwilling to trust them to even coded notes.

"So this is what you decided was more important than doing your job," Lionel drawled from the doorway, making Lex start. "Really, Lex. You're making me doubt your stability."

"Deciding to take a three-day weekend is a sign of instability?" Lex said sarcastically. "Really, Father. I thought you were worried that I was overdoing things. I took your advice and decided to take some time off. I have been working quite hard since I returned from the island. A few days playing with science for the fun of it will do me some good."

"Is that what you're calling this?" Lionel asked, the look in his eyes making Lex wonder if his study was bugged.

"Yes," Lex said calmly, or as calmly as he could when faced with that particularly knowing look in his father's eyes. He refused to expand on that answer. Saying anything else would only give Lionel ammunition, and giving Lionel Luthor ammunition was never a good idea.

Lionel made a little humming noise, nudging one of Lex's slides with his finger as if they were a joke. He studied Lex, then put on a stern expression.

"If you're trying to earn your place in my company," Lionel said, "you need to take your responsibilities seriously, Lex. I can't have you running off and abandoning your responsibilities to 'play'."

The tone of voice he used for 'play' made it 100% clear to Lex that Lionel really did have him bugged. He knew about Clark and Lex. How much he knew about Clark's powers was debatable, but it didn't really matter. Lionel wouldn't act until he was sure that he had enough information to make counter attack impossible.

"It's just a three-day weekend, Father," Lex said dismissively. "You might consider taking some time off too. How long has it been since you took a day or two for yourself?"

Lionel snorted, looking offended. He huffed and turned to the door, giving Lex that look that always made him shiver with fear. There was more than he knew going on. Lex sat in silence as Lionel smirked at him.

"I expect to see you first thing on Monday morning, Lex," Lionel said, getting the last word as always. "Enjoy your…'vacation' but be sure that things are back to normal by Monday."

He left before Lex could reply, making Lex growl and glare at the door. Trust his father to ruin a very good day. Lex kept working in his lab as the day progressed. He did make one trip up to his room to take a little box that he hadn't touched in years, since Club Zero. He tucked that into his pocket and then headed back to the lab. He ate dinner in the lab, too, waiting for Clark. It was about 7:30 pm when Clark finally showed up, directed to the lab by one of Lex's guards.

"You can go," Lex told Darius, sending him on his way and smiling at Clark. "Come in, Clark. Close the door and lock it for me, please."

"Yes, Master," Clark breathed, shuddering as he locked the door.

"How long do you have?" Lex asked as Clark knelt by his feet.

"A couple of hours," Clark said hopefully. "Mom and Dad think I'm visiting with Chloe at the Talon. I did go there and visit with her for a while and Lana said that she can't make a movie date this weekend so I'm okay there. I can stay until around 9:30 or 10:00 tonight. And I got permission to come and use your library for a project tomorrow. If that's okay, Master?"

"That's perfect," Lex chuckled, nodding. "Now strip. I want you naked. Fold your clothes and put them on the shelf by the door. Take off everything, all the way down to your socks and shoes."

Clark's pupils blew out as he shuddered and moaned. He immediately went and stripped to his skin. He was gorgeous once his body was exposed. Lex had always known that Clark was a bronzed god underneath his baggy flannel but knowing it and seeing it were two very different things. Clark came back, blushing brightly as he knelt by Lex's feet.

Lex pulled the box out of his pocked and opened it. He hadn't worn his collar in years, but it was time for it to be used again. It was a simple collar, made of chain with a little lock on it to hold it shut. He held it up so that Clark could see it. Clark's breath caught in his chest and he looked like he was about to cry.

"This used to be my collar, back when I played these games in Metropolis," Lex explained. "I haven't worn it in years. It's not your final collar, Clark. You'll have to earn that one. You'll have to prove to me that you really want it and that we're right for each other. This will be your temporary collar. Stand up."

Clark stood, trembling and hard as a rock. Lex stood and slipped the chain around Clark's neck, carefully locking the collar onto him. It would be simple enough for Clark to break it if he needed to. Lex could have broken it easily enough and had on one occasion when one of his lovers had tried to strangle him with it.

"There," Lex said, smiling at it. "It's long enough that you'll be able to wear your regular clothes and hide it, Clark. If you need to break it to take it off, that's fine. It's not meant to be permanent."

"It's beautiful," Clark breathed, running his fingers over it lovingly. "Thank you so much, Master Lex! Is there anything I can do for you? Please let me serve you to show how much I appreciate this!"

"There will be time for that," Lex said, pushing Clark to his knees. "For now, kneel and wait. I'm almost done with this set of experiments. Then we can go upstairs and explore what sorts of things make my pet happy and clear-headed."

Clark beamed and leaned his head against Lex's thigh, sighing happily. Lex petted his hair, finishing up his last series of experiments so that he could take care of his boy. Come what may with their parents, Lana, Chloe and the rest of the world, he'd take care of Clark and help him. He didn't know everything that Clark needed, but he'd figure it out and he'd provide it. There was literally nothing he wouldn't do for Clark, especially now that they were so much more than mere friends or even lovers.

"Mine," Lex breathed, not quite aware that he'd said the word out loud.

"Yours, Master," Clark answered, gazing up at him with star-filled eyes. "Always yours."


Clark hummed as he finished up the last of the chores. He couldn't believe how happy he was. He felt so good and he could think and life was so good! He'd always wanted to have a Master or Mistress, even though he hadn't known what that meant. Mom had told him that when he was really little he'd insist on kneeling at her feet before he'd let her pull him into her lap for hugs. It was more and more obvious that this was what he was supposed to be as the days had gone by.

Clark had spent most of the weekend naked other than his precious new collar. He'd convinced Mom and Dad that he was using Lex's library for research (which he actually was—his history paper was due tomorrow) but mostly he took care of Lex and served his master. That had included blow jobs as well as more prosaic things like getting him drinks and just sitting at his feet. Lex seemed to love having Clark kneeling by him as he worked. He'd had a great weekend and Monday had been just as good, with a blow job in the morning and then Lex had finger-fucked him in the evening. Tuesday morning had gone just as well and he was looking forward to sneaking away after dinner to see Lex again. He couldn't help but smile happily as he walked into the house to wash his hands before dinner.

"Clark," Mom said as he came in, "we need to talk."

Mom looked horrified, arms crossed over her chest. Her mouth had that pinched look that always made him quiver. Dad looked furious. He was glaring straight at Clark's collar under his shirt, which made Clark shiver. They knew. He didn't know how they'd found out but they obviously knew something was up. He didn't know how they could have found out about his collar but he could see that they did.

"What's wrong?" Clark asked hesitantly.

"Chloe just called," Mom said, voice shaking she was so upset. "She claimed that you're wearing some sort of bondage chain around your neck, that you're being abused by someone."

"What?" Clark asked, astonished.

He'd thought that Chloe might have seen the chain when he stopped by the Torch today but for her to react this way seemed really out of character. Chloe would have talked to him first, not gone straight to his parents. He couldn't believe that she would think he was abused or something stupid like that. Dad stomped over and pulled the neck of Clark's T-shirt down, exposing the collar. He glared at it like it was the most horrible thing he'd ever seen.

"What the hell is that?" Dad growled. "You take that damned thing off now, Clark!"

"Oh Clark," Mom said, tears in her eyes. "I'm so sorry we didn't protect you. Whoever it is, I promise that we'll make sure they don't hurt you again."

"What?" Clark gasped, gently pushing Dad away and covering the collar back up. "What in the world are you talking about, Mom? I'm not taking it off and I'm not being abused! It's the opposite, actually. You know what I get like. I've always needed to be ordered around and how many times have we talked about my sex drive?"

Mom shook her head, not listening to him. Dad was too busy glaring at the hidden collar to listen.

"You're just a child, Clark," Mom said, wiping tears away with shaking fingers. "You're not old enough to understand how wrong this is."

"I'm seventeen years old!" Clark protested. "I'm only a few months away from being an adult!"

"You never have had full capacity," Dad growled. "Someone took advantage of you and I want to know who it was. Whoever the bitch is, she's in for a world of hurt!"

"I'm perfectly fine when I get enough sex," Clark growled, instantly infuriated by the assumption that he couldn't live his own life and that Dad was going to go after Lex. That was almost as annoying as the assumption that it had to be woman. "Why can't the two of you accept that I'm not a human? I need different things than you do! For heaven's sake, you know how I react to cocoa—it's perfectly harmless to you and like alcohol to me. And alcohol doesn't do anything to me or I wouldn't have been fine after drinking the cherry wine when I was eight!"

"Sweetie," Mom said, coming over to him to take his hands. "Sex isn't that necessary. We've had this discussion before. I know it feels good but it's not like breathing and eating."

Clark huffed, pulling his hands free. They couldn't accept it. Why couldn't they accept it? He'd lived with them his whole life. They kept closing their eyes to what he was and what he needed. Mom tried to catch his hands again but Clark stepped back, not letting her do it. Both of his parents looked startled. That wasn't something he would normally do. Clark usually clung to Mom, wanting her touch and reassurance. Now that he had Lex he didn't feel the same need.

"Sex isn't necessary for a human," Clark agreed, glaring at them. "It is for me. If I don't get sex then my heart and lungs stop working and my powers go wild. I loose the ability to think about anything but sex long before that. My body requires sex the same way I need air, Mom. I need it or I'll die."

"You haven't been getting it before now," Dad said, crossing his arms over his chest as if to fend off Clark's words.

"Yes I have," Clark huffed, rolling his eyes. "I just haven't told you! I've been driven to have sex ever since I was twelve. I started having sex with other people when I was thirteen. It's only in the last six months or so that it's gotten to the point I need it every day. When I was younger it was once a week or so. You can't seriously have thought I was a virgin, Dad. You were the one that caught me with Lana. Mom caught me with Whitney. I haven't been a virgin for years!"

Mom looked like he'd stabbed her. Dad literally went white and staggered. He collapsed into one of the dinner table chairs, staring up at Clark as if he'd been gutted. Clark rolled his eyes. For heaven's sake, they couldn't be serious. They really thought he'd been celibate. How many times had they caught him masturbating over the years?

"Whitney?" Dad breathed, horrified. "You can't be serious, Clark! You can't tell me that you're gay."

"But you love Lana," Mom whimpered. "You can't possibly be gay, Clark. Please, just take off the collar. Go back to being our little boy. You don't need to do these things. You can be normal if you try hard enough."

"What part of dying doesn't make sense to you?" Clark yelled, flailing his arms. "Do you have any idea how many times I've nearly died because I tried to do what you wanted? This is the first time in my entire life that I've felt normal and healthy and you want me to go back to being sick and confused and nearly dying all the time? What is wrong with you?"

"There's no need to use that tone of voice, young man," Mom said sternly. "We're your parents and we know what's best for you. You don't need sex that much and that's all there is to it."

"You'll take that damned collar off," Dad said, coming to his feet. "You'll tell us who put it on you, and you'll no longer be having sex while you're living under this roof."

Clark staggered, staring at them both. They couldn't be serious. No way! They wouldn't do something like this, something that would kill him. His heart was pounding hard and his breath was coming fast just from the thought of not being allowed to have sex again. He wouldn't survive. He couldn't survive. Why didn't they get it?

"You can't do that to me," Clark said, his voice shaking so hard he wasn't sure the words were understandable. "You're my parents. You can't do this! You'll kill me if you make me do this. Mom. Dad! Seriously, I can't do that. I have to have sex or I'll die!"

"Don't be so melodramatic, Clark," Mom said, reaching for the collar around his neck. "No one has ever died from lack of sex."

He sped away from her, making sure that he was well out of reach. Mom and Dad both started, staring at him. They really meant it. They weren't going to let him be who he was. They were going to make him abstain and he'd collapse and die and he couldn't let them do that! He didn't want to die. He loved them so much but they obviously didn't understand the first thing about him despite his living with them all this time.

"I can't do that," Clark said grimly. "I'm sorry Mom and Dad but I can't do that. I can't stop having sex. I won't take off the collar and I won't let you attack my Master. I'm not gay, I'm bi. It doesn't matter what gender the person is as long as they give me what I need."

"Lex," Dad growled, face twisting with fury. "Lex is the one who did this to you."

"Lex caught me having sex with a trick in Metropolis and confronted me on it," Clark said defiantly. "I've been a street whore in Metropolis and Granville since I was fourteen to deal with the need to fuck. I never spent the money they gave me. I'll give it to you so that you can hire some hands, Dad. I can't live here if you expect me to follow those rules."

"You did what?" Mom gasped, horrified. "Oh Honey, you can't be serious!"

Clark sped out to the barn, pulled out the shoebox that he'd stuffed the money in. It was filled to nearly bursting and was only held shut by a big rubber band. He sped back inside, going to his room and packing his clothes in a big duffle bag. He didn't take everything, just a few days worth of clothes. He was starting to shake and didn't know how much longer he'd be able to hold it together. He grabbed his backpack and put all his school supplies in it, then headed down the stairs at normal speed, carrying the duffle, his backpack and the shoebox of money. Mom and Dad both stared at him, Mom with her 'don't break my heart' expression and Dad with a grim, furious expression.

"Here," Clark said, putting the shoebox on the table. "I earned every penny of that money. I never wanted any of it. Use it to help the farm. I…I can't…I can't do what you want, Mom and Dad. I can't be what you want. I'm sorry. If you tell me I can't have sex and live under your roof then I can't live here. I love you both so much but I can't do this."

Dad opened his mouth to say something angry while Mom started to say something tearfully hurt. Clark shook his head and ran from the house. It was awkward running with the bags and it didn't help that he was fighting sobs. Lex was in his office when Clark stumbled in. He looked up and immediately stood, staring at Clark.

"What's wrong?" Lex asked.

Clark stumbled to his side and collapsed to his knees, the sobs finally breaking free. Lex sat and pulled Clark close, holding him as he sobbed for the family he was loosing, the parents he had thought loved him more than life itself and the fear of what might come. Eventually, he managed to tell Lex what had happened. It came out in gasps and bursts, spurts of words mixed with tears. Finally, Lex sighed, catching Clark's chin and making him meet his eyes.

"All right," Lex said in that deeper voice that Clark already associated with Lex's strongest Masterly actions. "You'll stay here with me tonight. Tomorrow you'll go to school like normal and then in the evening we'll both go to talk to your parents. Hopefully I'll be able to get through to them. At the very least, you'll be safe if you stay here, Clark. Let's get you some dinner and then you can finish your homework while I watch. It'll work out. I promise. We'll find a way to make things work."

"Thank you," Clark said, swallowing hard. "Not just for being my Master, Lex. Thank you for being such a good friend, too."

"You're welcome," Lex said softly. "Now, let's get you some food."


Chloe hunted through the halls of school for Clark. She'd tried to catch him this morning about his article but he'd spotted her and disappeared in the opposite direction. She'd missed him in the halls between classes. She'd missed him at lunch. She'd missed him all afternoon. It was painfully obvious that he was avoiding her but she wasn't sure why. She'd called to check on his article last night but he'd never called back, which was odd in the extreme for Clark. Maybe his Mom hadn't passed on the message? She'd been a little weird when Chloe talked to her on the phone. Eventually, Chloe gave up and went to the Torch. Whatever it was, he'd come find her eventually. If not, she'd track him down at the farm.

"Chloe, have you seen Clark?" Lana asked after Chloe had been working for a few minutes.

"No," Chloe said, surprised that Clark was avoiding her, too. "I've been trying to catch him all day about his article. Haven't been able to. Do you know what's up?"

"Hmm-mmm," Lana said, shaking her head no. "He said something about going to a movie together but hasn't gotten back to me on it."

They chatted for a few minutes, Chloe carrying most of the conversation as always. Lana was always so quiet that Chloe felt like she had to fill the quiet times when they were together. She wasn't sure why, but Lana always made her nervous. She was so…passive-aggressive that it bugged Chloe. She ought to just go for the things she wanted instead of expecting people to give it to her. Chloe really hated the whole spoiled pink princess thing Lana had going, but she couldn't help but like Lana herself. She was too sweet and gentle not to like, unfortunately.

"I'm so mad at you, Chloe," Clark said from the door, startling both of them.

"What?" Chloe asked, surprised. "What's wrong? What'd I do?"

"You got me thrown out of the house," Clark said, flopping into a chair and putting his face into his hands.

He looked utterly destroyed. Not just tired or distracted or his normal unfocused thing that he always got in the afternoon. His eyes were focused when he looked up, just full of pain and fear. Chloe and Lana exchanged worried looks. Chloe really didn't know what she could have done. She wished she did so that she could fix it.

"Clark, what happened?" Lana asked, gently putting a hand on Clark's shoulder. "You know that we'll both help fix whatever it is."

"I don't think it can be fixed," Clark sighed, smiling at her and making Chloe's heart squeeze. Darn but she wished that smile would be turned on her someday. "Chloe mentioned um, my…my collar to Mom and she freaked. They sort of pitched a fit and insisted I take it off and then said that I had to stop having sex or I couldn't live there."

"They can't!" Lana gasped, looking horrified. "Oh Clark! You need it. How can they say that? They know you better than anyone. Why would they do that?"

Chloe shook her head, trying to keep up with their conversation. She hadn't thought that Clark had been that promiscuous. Of course, she knew that he'd slept around a lot last summer when he ran away to Metropolis but she hadn't realized it was that serious of an issue.

"Wait a minute," Chloe said, cutting off Clark's surprised response. "What do you mean 'collar'? That necklace?"

"It's actually a collar," Clark sighed, pulling it out so that they could see it. He fingered the little lock at the base of it. "It's not a necklace at all, though I suppose you'd think that it was if you didn't know better."

"It's beautiful," Lana breathed, smiling at Clark. "Wow, you're so lucky, Clark."

"Thank you," Clark said to her, pleased. "I'm glad someone thinks it's a good thing. Mom and Dad had a fit. I didn't think you realized about my sex thing."

"Oh sure," Lana said, nodding calmly. "Whitney told me all about it. I was always fine with it. Whitney said that you needed it. I can see it for myself, though I'm just not able to be what you need. I've…been trying to find a way to say it."

"Sex thing?" Chloe asked, confused.

Lana and Clark exchanged looks, making Chloe wonder just how much she had missed about Clark's life. Clark hesitated and Lana patted his shoulder, turning to Chloe with a warning look in her eyes. She might be a sweet little thing, but she had a killer glare that made Chloe wince.

"Clark has a very high sex drive," Lana explained. "He needs to have sex on a regular basis or it messes with him very badly. Whitney found out and helped Clark deal with it."

"Blow jobs," Clark said with a little shrug.

"When he left, he asked me to look after Clark," Lana said, shrugging at Chloe's shocked expression. "I tried to find a way to do it that I was comfortable with but it never worked out. It didn't help when Mr. Kent caught us making out in the loft."

"Okay…" Chloe said, readjusting her views of the world. "So, when I called you about the article and commented that I was so surprised that you dad had let you wear that necklace I really messed up."

"Yeah," Clark said with a sad sigh.

Lana petted Clark's hair and he smiled, eyes shutting a little in pure animal pleasure. Chloe wondered just how far the two of them had gone and then decided that she really didn't want to know. She had no problems with either of them being sexually active, though she'd always thought she'd go first out of the three of them.

"So who gave you the collar?" Chloe asked, unsure what to make of his getting a collar and being pleased about it. "Um, maybe I shouldn't ask that. I already screwed up your life. I don't want to make it worse."

"It's okay," Clark said with a little shrug. "It's not like the whole town's not going to know soon. It's Lex. I went to him after Mom and Dad threw me out. He's the one who gave me the collar and I trust him with my life. He's talking to the Principle right now so that the school knows that I've moved out for now. We're going to talk to the Sheriff after that and then go talk to Mom and Dad to see if they'll reconsider. I don't think they will but Lex thinks that he might be able to calm them down."

"Will you need a place to stay?" Lana asked.

"No, I've already got a place at the Mansion," Clark said, shrugging. "I think it will be all right."

There was a discrete cough form the door. Clark's face lit up when he saw Lex standing there, looking at the three of them. He was a good deal less pleased as he looked at Chloe and Lana, especially Chloe. Chloe stood, heart in her throat.

"I'm really sorry," Chloe apologized. "I thought it was just a necklace. I suppose I shouldn't have said anything but I thought it was so cool that Mr. Kent was letting Clark wear it. He's really kind of uptight about that sort of thing, so I thought it was a step in the right direction."

"It's all right, Chloe," Lex said with a little smile that said it wasn't but he wasn't going to make a fuss over it. "It was inevitable that they find out eventually. I don't think it would have mattered how they found out."

"Let me know if there's anything I can do," Lana said. "I'll be glad to help as much as I can."

"Thank you," Lex said, smiling at her a lot more honestly though he obviously wasn't that enthused about her offer. "We better get going, Clark. I've already called the Sheriff and let her know what's going on. She's going to meet us at the farm so that nothing gets out of hand."

Clark swallowed hard, nodding reluctantly. They left with a little wave to Chloe and Lana. Chloe collapsed back into her chair, rubbing her face. She'd really screwed up. She hoped that she'd be able to make it up to Clark and Lex eventually, but she wasn't sure that was possible. She'd gotten Clark thrown out of the house, for heaven's sake! Lana put a hand on her shoulder, squeezing gently. Chloe smiled at her gratefully.

"It will be all right," Lana said softly. "Clark will forgive you. He's with his Master now. Even if things are tense with his parents and he's not on the farm anymore, he's got that. It's the most important thing for Clark. It's just the way he is."

"You're jealous, aren't you?" Chloe asked, kicking herself instantly for saying it out loud.

"Um…" Lana said, blushing brightly and pulling her hand back. "That's kind of personal, Chloe."

"Sorry, sorry," Chloe said, waving her hands desperately. "I've obviously been infected with severe foot in mouth disease today. Forget I ever asked that and we'll rewind the conversation and start over."

Lana laughed, grinning at her. At least she hadn't totally messed up things with Lana, Chloe thought. They chatted for a little while and then Lana headed out of the Torch. Chloe worked on the paper and then started doing research into collars, domination and submission relationships and everything she could find without getting in trouble. She didn't understand why it was so important to Clark (and maybe Lana) and she wanted to.


"Do we really have to do this?" Clark asked in a tiny voice as they followed Sheriff Adams up the lane to the farm.

"Yes we do," Lex said calmly. Clark looked like he was about to curl up and die. Lex patted his leg, getting a grateful look. "Clark, if we don't do this then your parents can charge me with kidnapping for letting you stay with me. Sheriff Adams may be very serious about being objective but she's also determined to keep the peace in town. She wouldn't appreciate trouble between you and your parents or me and your parents."

"What did you tell her?" Clark asked, trembling as they parked in front of the farmhouse.

"That you'd left home last night due to a huge fight," Lex said, "and that you're afraid to go home. I said that you're staying with me since you trust me. I also told her that I wanted to try and reconcile you to your parents, though I thought it would take a while for everyone to cool off."

"That's…almost the whole truth," Clark said, blinking in surprise.

"Of course," Lex said, smirking. "Much easier to remember."

They exited Lex's car at about the same time Sheriff Adams got out of her patrol car. Martha appeared at the door to the farmhouse, looking at Lex with loathing, Clark with oceans of hurt and Sheriff Adams with confusion. She obviously blamed Lex for everything and had no idea why Sheriff Adams was there.

"Evening, Mrs. Kent," Sheriff Adams said, heading up the walk with a confident stride that made her seem at least three feet taller than she really was. "Heard you and Clark had a bit of a falling out last night."

"It's not…everything will be fine," Martha said, glaring at Lex again.

"Doubt that," Sheriff Adams said sardonically. "Clark's already run away twice. Just didn't run so far this time. Don't want to have another missing child report come through my office. I'm here to talk to you and your husband about Clark and Mr. Luthor is here to keep Clark calm. Now, are you going to let us inside?"

Martha blinked and opened her mouth. She stared at Sheriff Adams in surprise. Lex wasn't at all surprised that she'd taken that tack. He'd made sure to emphasize to her that Clark had already run away from home once, staying away for months. She seemed to have leaped to the conclusion that there was some sort of bad blood between Clark and his parents, and it had made her back go up like a cat being made to take a bath.

"O-of course," Martha said eventually.

She stepped aside and Sheriff Adams went in. Clark whimpered and almost huddled behind Lex. Lex patted his shoulder, running a thumb over the tight muscle of his bicep. Clark's pupils dilated for a second and then he calmed, looking far more clear-headed than he had before the touch. He really was very dependant on physical reassurance, Lex thought as they entered the farmhouse together. Jonathan growled as soon as he saw Lex, his fingers curling like he wanted his shotgun or a knife. Sheriff Adams huffed, surprising both of the Kents.

"That's enough of that," Sheriff Adams declared. "I'm giving you fair warning right now that I'm not going to put up with any domestic disturbances from this household, Kent. You've obviously got issues with your boy or he wouldn't have run away or be acting up in all the other ways I've seen since I came to town. I always knew something was up with this family. You don't get kids nosing into murder investigations and at the scenes of that many crimes for nothing. The boy obviously needs approval that he's not getting at home."

"What?" Jonathan squawked, staring at Sheriff Adams as though her tightly bunned blond hair had suddenly turned sparkly purple. "There are no problems between my son and me!"

"Sure, so that's why he ran away to Metropolis and committed a whole series of minor crimes that I'm officially unaware of, right?" Sheriff Adams said, smirking at him. "I don't give a damn who anyone in this town sleeps with, Mr. Kent. I don't give a damn how you run your family. But when your son is all but screaming for help by running away and doing things that no boy his age ought ever do, it's obvious to me that something's wrong here."

"Clark's never done anything illegal," Martha declared, hugging Jonathan with something like fear in her eyes.

Clark was almost pressed against Lex's back. When Lex glanced back at him, his eyes were wide with fear. He'd obviously never realized that people had figured things out, but Clark wasn't any good at hiding, so if Lex had seen him, other people must have seen him too. Not to mention he must have been caught by dozens of security cameras across the city. Sheriff Adams sighed, giving Martha and Jonathan a pitying look.

"Look, when you've had a chance to cool off come talk to me," Sheriff Adams said sympathetically. "There's a whole slew of things you need to know and if the boy telling you that he found a boyfriend to take care of him is enough to get him thrown out, I'd rather be the one to tell you instead of him. I don't think it's anyone's business to be barging into your family's life. I'm not going to insist that Clark go into foster care—which legally I should!—and I'm not going to get a social worker assigned to him. However, if I get one spec of trouble out of any of you, that's going to change faster than you can blink! The boy is staying with Mr. Luthor for now. I'll be checking in on them frequently. You will let the boy have some space. He will let you calm down. Mr. Luthor will stay out of your family's affairs. And if I see one shotgun waved around, one fight in the streets, one tiny little incident, you're all going to be talking to the judge and I'll personally notify the news media beforehand. Do I make myself perfectly clear?"

She glared at them all indiscriminately, sweeping the Kents, Lex and Clark with a ferocious glare. Martha and Jonathan both looked appropriately terrified. Clark flinched and clutched Lex's sleeve. Lex was trying not to laugh, so he simply nodded calmly. The woman was a master of intimidating people but he'd grown up with Lionel Luthor. She had very little effect on him.

"All right then," Sheriff Adams said, sighing as her radio squawked at her. "Just a minute."

She turned away and talked into her radio for a second, sighing with aggravation.

"Be right there," she said, snapping it off. "All right. I have to go deal with a situation in town. Can I trust you not to get into a full blown fight if I leave?"

"Yes, ma'am," Lex said calmly. "I think we all understand what you expect."

"Good," Sheriff Adams said, spearing Martha and Jonathan with another threatening look. "I better not be called out here any time soon."

"No, you won't be Sheriff," Jonathan said, jaw working.

Sheriff Adams nodded and strode out, shutting the door quietly behind her. Lex waited until he heard her patrol car start up and then chuckled, rubbing his head while smiling. Clark made a strangled noise that could have been a whimper, a cough or a smothered laugh, while the Kents glared at the two of them.

"That, just so you know, was not what I asked her to do," Lex said, unable to keep the laugh out of his voice. "I think she'd give Father a run for his money sometimes."

"Why did you bring her into this in the first place?" Jonathan growled, shaking off Martha's hands when she tried to calm him.

"So that I wouldn't end up shot or stabbed," Lex said with a shrug. "I still think that Clark belongs here. You're his parents and he loves you dearly. It almost destroyed him to leave last night. Took almost two hours to calm him down. This is his home and he should be here, not at the Mansion."

Martha and Jonathan stared at him as though Lex was the alien instead of Clark. He knew that they (especially Jonathan) didn't like him, but surely they understood how he felt about them? He sighed. No, they didn't. How could they? They had no idea what it was like growing up with Lionel Luthor as a father and then meeting them and seeing how they loved their son.

"You expect us to believe that when you foist a shoebox of money on Clark to give us as hush money?" Jonathan snarled, picking up an old, battered shoebox with a rubber band around it. He shook it and it made a faint rustling sound. He then threw it down on the table and glared at Lex.

"I have no idea what you're talking about," Lex said, frowning at the shoebox. "I've never seen it and the only thing I've ever given to Clark is the collar, which is on loan, not an outright gift. What is that?"

"Dad, I told you that I earned that money," Clark huffed. "Lex had nothing to do with it."

Lex instantly hated the shoebox with a passion he normally reserved for Whitney Fordman, Lana during her more flirtatious moments and his father. It was that box, the one where Clark had hidden his money, the money he'd earned by fucking other men. Lex growled, restraining himself from getting a match only with the greatest effort.

"Oh, that box," Lex said, his voice coming out so icy cold that both Martha and Jonathan stared at him.

"Yeah, I thought they could use it to hire hands for the farm," Clark said with a little shrug that made Lex sigh and rub his nose.

"Only if the money's been laundered somehow, Clark," Lex sighed, picking it up and removing the rubber band to open the lid.

It almost sprang open, money spilling out. The sheer amount of money in the box made Lex's stomach clench. God, how could they have ignored this for so long? At an average of approximately $100 per person, this was…huge. Lex sighed through his nose and started counting the hundred dollar bills. Martha made a tiny whimper, collapsing into one of the chairs. Jonathan was rubbing her shoulders and Clark was so close behind Lex that he could feel the heat of his body. Lex forced himself to focus on the money as strictly money. One thousand, two, five, ten, God, how many men? There were business cards, slips of paper with phone numbers, a few photos with scrawled names and numbers on the back mixed in with the money. Lex ignored them, setting them aside in a little pile that was going to be torched very soon.

"One hundred ninety-four thousand four hundred dollars," Lex said. "That would be something close to 1900 men over the course of four years."

"Well, some of them were women but yeah, that's about right," Clark said calmly. "I needed about four men a day for the last year or so."

"Oh my God," Martha whimpered, bursting into tears.

Lex started going through the cards and slips of paper. He knew he shouldn't do it but somehow he was morbidly compelled to see the names and numbers of the men who had touched his Clark. That one had to die. And that one. And that one.

"You can't kill them all, Lex," Clark laughed, patting his back. "Besides, I really have no clue who they are. None of them mattered other than filling the need."

"I said that out loud?" Lex asked, blinking in surprise.

"Yes, you did," Jonathan said with something very close to laughter in his voice. He looked like he was about to cry like Martha but there was grim amusement in his eyes, too. He obviously agreed with Lex that the tricks had to die, preferably soon.

"Hmm, well, sorry," Lex said, dropping the cards back into a stack. "At least I can burn the damned things. Or you can. Your choice, Mr. and Mrs. Kent. That will not be happening again. Ever."

He neatened up the stacks of money, already plotting how to launder it and turn it into a grant for the farm. Jonathan glared at him, bristling.

"I'll arrange for a grant for $194,000 or so for the farm," Lex told them. "Expect it to take about a week. Clark wants you to have the money, so you will. Don't argue. You know you'll need it to keep the farm afloat."

"Why are you helping us?" Martha asked, her voice accusing and cold.

"Because you're my example of what good parents are," Lex admitted sadly. "Because no matter how upset you are with Clark right now, you do love him and want what's best for him. Because you have an excellent farm that produces some of the best organic goods that I've ever eaten. Because it's the right thing to do and I've made it a policy to do the right thing, ever since I met Clark, who the two of you raised to be a good, kind, just, honorable person. Because I meant it when I said that I would prefer Clark to be living here with you, with his parents that he loves. I just want him to be healthy and happy, and that's not going to happen if he can't have sex. Obviously."

Lex gestured at the stacks of money and cards. They looked at him, Martha with that accusing expression and Jonathan with a mulishly stubborn one. They weren't going to listen right now. He supposed that they'd refuse the grant when it came but it didn't matter. He'd make sure that they got the money one way or the other. Clark sighed, almost literally drooping at their continued disapproval.

"I won't take your money, Luthor," Jonathan snarled.

"It's not my money," Lex said quietly. "It's Clark's and he wants you to have it. I just want to make it safe for you to take it and to arrange it so that you don't have tax issues with it."

Jonathan looked away, his face twisted with something like pain or disgust or possibly regret, though Lex wasn't sure. It didn't matter, not really. Lex carefully put the money back into the box, along with the damned cards and put the rubber band back on. The lid stayed better with the money properly organized, but it was better to get it out of here.

"If you want to talk to Clark," Lex said, keeping his tone of voice soft and conciliatory, "feel free. You can come to the Mansion at any time. Or call. Or ask him to visit you. He's your son. He belongs here once things have worked out."

Neither Jonathan nor Martha said anything, so Lex sighed. He turned to Clark and nodded. It was a very silent ride home to the Mansion. Clark cradled the box on his thighs as they drove, gently rubbing his fingers over it. Lex couldn't tell what he was thinking. Clark's face was blank, his eyes calm and mildly distracted every time he met Lex's sidelong gaze. The fireplace was crackling as always when they got to the study. Lex took the box and sat on the floor in front of the fire, pulling out every single card and slip of paper with a name. Then he methodically fed them into the fire, watching as they burned one by one.

"It really bothers you that so many people touched me, doesn't it Master?" Clark asked once the last slip had burned to ashes that Lex smashed with the poker.

"Yes, it does, Clark," Lex said, sighing with relief that they were gone. "I don't like the thought of you being that desperate. I don't like the thought of other people touching you. I don't like the thought that there are people in Metropolis who know what you look like when you come! I hate it. You're mine. I hate that you might be thinking of them when you're with me."

Clark laughed, making Lex look up in surprise. He was grinning, honestly grinning. Clark shook his head and started pulling off his clothes, one garment at a time. He folded them neatly and carefully stacked them by the fireplace. Once he was naked other than Lex's old collar, he looked at Lex with so much joy and laughter in his eyes.

"You're wrong, Master," Clark said. "I never think of them. I didn't think of them while I was with them. I thought of you while they were touching me. I thought of you while they were fucking me. Even when the need was at its worst and I literally couldn't remember my name, I never thought of them. I never read a single one of those cards. I never knew any of their names. They were faceless cocks that existed only to fill the need. The only name in my head while I was with them was 'Lex'."

"If you're trying to make me horny, it's working," Lex growled, his brains draining with all of his blood straight to his cock. God but Clark knew how to get to him, and in such a short time.

"No Master, just telling the truth," Clark said, grinning. His cock started stiffening as he responded to Lex's possessive growl. "I thought you didn't want me that way, that I wasn't good enough for you. That you didn't like guys."

"Drape that ass over the arm of the couch," Lex ordered. "I think your rear end needs a spanking, even if all it will do is warm my hand and not your butt."

Clark squirmed, his cock hard as a rock and did as Lex ordered so fast that he was there one instant and gone the next. Lex turned and chuckled. Clark was stretched out over the arm of the sofa, his legs spread just right as he looked over his shoulder at Lex hopefully. Lex smiled, stood and took his time coming to Clark's side.

"Just right," Lex said, hearing the possessive purr in his voice and letting himself go with it.

This was what Clark needed and God knew Lex needed it after today. Seeing that box of money and cards had been far harder than dealing with the Kents, the Sheriff or the school principle. It really made it obvious how needy Clark had been, how much he'd been through and how little anyone had helped.

Lex didn't bother having Clark count the blows or even warming him up. There was nothing that Lex could do (short of getting meteor rock which he wouldn't do) that would hurt Clark. He couldn't give Clark a scratch, a hickie or even the slightest bruise. That grated. Lex would have loved to be able to mark Clark's body, to lay claim in a way that was physically obvious on his flesh. The collar was good but not enough. He couldn't so he did the only thing he could do: he spanked Clark. Lex smiled as Clark gasped and then whimpered and then moaned, pushing back into the blows that obviously felt good.

"I should see how you respond to a proper beating," Lex said, his hand starting to hurt from spanking Clark's perfect ass. "I have a riding crop upstairs. I could take that to your ass and beat you until you came."

"Aahnn!" Clark gasped, shuddering violently. "Oh God, Master! Please!"

"Mmm, beg for your Master," Lex purred, rubbing Clark's ass with his sore hand and then switching sides so that he could spank with his other hand. "Beg for me to take you hard and deep."

"Wa~ant you," Clark moaned, low and deep and sexy. "Want you so bad, Master. Want my Master, my only Master, the only Master I ever wanted. Want you deep inside of me, filling me up, oh fuck, please, please, Master, please! Uuhhh, need you, need you so bad, oh please! Please, haven't taken me yet, want you to, please, need you, want you, pleasepleasepleaseplease!"

"Good boy," Lex growled, stopping and shaking his hands to ease the soreness from spanking Clark.

He went to the desk and got the lube, coming back to dribble some on Clark's ass. He had been holding off. He'd not wanted to take that last step, not while there was a chance his father had the Mansion bugged, not while Clark was still with his parents, not until he knew for sure that this was what Clark wanted but the need to take Clark, the need to own him, plus the memory of Clark saying that he'd thought of Lex while fucking his johns pushed him past his self control.

Lex dropped his pants, determined to do this properly in a bed tonight, once they'd both taken the edge off. He smiled and rubbed the head of his cock against Clark's ass, grinning as Clark gasped and blushed over his whole body. His pupils were so blown when he turned to look at Lex that there was no way he could see anything but a big blur. There was practically no green around Clark's pupils.

"Tell me what you want," Lex ordered.

"You Master," Clark groaned, shuddering. "Only you!"

"Mine," Lex growled and shoved into Clark's body.

He was hot and tight and felt slightly different inside than Lex was used to. There were more rings of muscle and they pulsed as Lex fucked Clark, taking him harder and faster and deeper than he'd normally have dared for a first time, but this wasn't even close to Clark's first time. Lex groaned as Clark bucked back against him, feeling the strength in those hips and wishing desperately that he had the strength to truly hold Clark down, to fuck him so hard that he felt it for days. He wished he had powers like Clark's, so that they could be a proper match, Lex his true master, Clark his true slave. He smacked Clark's butt as hard as he could and Clark cried out, fingers spasming open so that he wouldn't tear the couch cushions. It felt like forever but Lex knew that it was just a few minutes at most before Clark was begging, babbling, whimpering to be allowed to come.

"Not until I give you permission!" Lex snapped, shuddering as Clark clamped down on his driving cock. "Master comes first!"

It only took three more thrusts and Lex was spilling inside of Clark, groaning so hard that his throat hurt. He shuddered and held his place, petting Clark's back and rear end. He was sweaty, just a little sweaty, and shuddered at every light caress that Lex gave him. He was far more sensitive now than he'd been before Lex fucked him, a fact that he filed away in the back of his mind for later. Lex pulled out, smiling at Clark's needy whine. He used his handkerchief to clean himself off, closed up his pants and tucked his shirt back in. Then he sat on the chair opposite the couch, smirking at Clark's squirming.

"Sit on the couch, Clark," Lex ordered. "Spread your legs so I can see your ass."

"Yes Master," Clark said, voice shaking with arousal as he did exactly that. His hands quivered as if he wanted to be stroking his cock.

"Touch yourself," Lex ordered. "Not your cock. Only your ass. What do you feel?"

"Oh God," Clark gasped, slipping three fingers inside of himself instantly. "So wet! N-no condom…y-you came in me, Master!"

"Yes," Lex said. "You're mine, Clark. No one else gets that ass. Only me. Fuck yourself with those fingers, Clark. Show me how you want me to take you later. Make yourself come while I watch you."

Clark's head went back against the back of the sofa as he finger-fucked himself, driving deep inside. He moaned and made the sexiest little mewling noises that went straight to Lex's cock, making it struggle valiantly to rise again, despite having just come. Clark fucked himself for a minute and then looked at Lex, gasping and coming so hard that it sprayed up to his face when he saw that Lex was watching every move, every touch, listening to every sound that Clark made.

"Master!" Clark shouted as he came, thrashing and clawing his thigh. He left four long red marks that quickly faded. Once he was done he collapsed back into the cushions, panting open mouthed.

"Beautiful," Lex breathed. "When you can stand again, we're heading upstairs. No clothes for you. You're sleeping in my bed tonight. You're sleeping with me from now on. Mine…"

"Yes," Clark breathed, licking his lips. "Feel like yours now. Feels so good being yours…"

Darius peeked into the study as Clark closed his eyes to catch his breath. Lex glared at him and Darius disappeared, not before giving Lex a disapproving look. Lex made a mental note to let Darius go in the morning. He wasn't going to have staff that looked at Clark that way. Besides, the man kept making little comments about Lex's mental health that sounded entirely too much like Lionel's jibes.

"Ready to go?" Lex asked after a minute.

"Yes," Clark said, smiling at him. "Thank you, Master."

"Thank you, Clark," Lex said, running a finger through the come slowly spreading over his chest and then licking it. Clark's cock started stiffening again and Lex grinned. "Bed. Bring your clothes."

"Yes, Master!"


Clark stretched, shuddering at the feeling of the sheets under his cheek. It was time to get up and take care of the cows but the sheets under his cheek were silk and there was someone in bed with him and—Oh! Clark opened his eyes and started grinning.

He was in Lex's bed. Lex was sleeping not six inches away from Clark, face calm and beautiful in slumber. Clark stifled a happy sigh so that he wouldn't wake his Master, studying Lex to his heart's content. He still had ages before he had to be up to go to school, since he wasn't on the farm and didn't have his morning chores to do. It was Thursday. He had a history paper due, and a test in math and it would be his first full day living as Lex's slave. God, life was good!

Clark watched Lex for a while and then very carefully slipped from between the sheets. He used his speed to turn off Lex's alarm clock and then set to work taking care of him. He'd need fluids since they'd made love four times last night before falling asleep, and breakfast in bed would probably make Lex happy, so Clark slipped into his pants and went down to the kitchen. The cook was awake and she grinned at Clark, giving him a tray with enough breakfast for four people, plus a big thing of orange juice and some of Lex's favorite coffee.

He passed Darius in the hallway, nodding to him. Darius glared at him, eyes sweeping Clark's naked torso and collar with disdain. He obviously didn't approve of Clark's relationship with Lex, but then most of the world wouldn't so Clark didn't give it any thought. As Lex's Head of Security, Darius could make Clark's life difficult but that would only get him fired so Clark didn't think anything but harsh looks and occasional snotty comments were going to happen. It wasn't important enough to worry about, not when he had breakfast for his Master. He eased back into Lex's bedroom, beaming that Lex was still asleep.

Clark put the tray on the bedside table and slipped out of his pants. Then he very carefully eased back into bed and ducked under the covers, going unerringly to Lex's cock. He shivered, hoping that this wouldn't annoy Lex, but he'd always wanted to wake someone up with a blowjob and if Lex didn't like it, well, then he knew for the future. Clark was very careful, doing his best to gradually wake Lex's cock and then gradually wake him. It didn't take very much to get Lex hard and he was moaning pretty quickly, too. He didn't sound awake, but he was thrusting into Clark's mouth and it felt so good, tasted so good, God but he loved this so much!

"Uhnn," Lex moaned, gasping as he woke and caught Clark's head through the blankets. "Oh fuck! Clark!"

Lex thrust twice and then came. Clark smiled around his cock, swallowing it all and then gently sucking Lex until his cock deflated. Then he poked his head out from under the covers, grinning.

"Morning, Master!" Clark said, laughing at the expression on Lex's face. "Did you like your new alarm clock?"

"Get up here, you!" Lex laughed, pulling Clark up for a fierce kiss. "That was the best alarm clock I've ever seen. Thank you."

"You're welcome, Master," Clark said, shuddering as ecstasy flowed through him. "I'll wake you up every morning that way then. I also brought you breakfast in bed, with coffee and plenty of orange juice. The cook seems to think we're four people because there's a ton of food."

"Perfect," Lex said, grinning wickedly. "Then I can feed by pet properly."

Clark blinked and then blushed as Lex put the tray on the bed and had Clark lie down. He started eating his own breakfast while feeding Clark bites of food. It was a little strange at first but the way Lex watched to see if Clark liked each item, the way he carefully made sure that Clark got enough to eat and drink, the obvious attention and care behind it quickly had Clark hard as a rock.

"Like this, do you?" Lex asked after they'd both eaten their fill (and they'd nearly demolished the whole tray of food).

"Yeah," Clark said shyly. "Didn't think I would but…yeah."

Lex laughed, putting the tray aside and then heading into the shower. Clark followed, feeling like a puppy until Lex smirked and pushed Clark into the shower. He set the water at a nice warm temperature and then proceeded to wash Clark's body for him, making Clark shudder and nearly fall it felt so good. There was shampoo and conditioner, which Clark knew Lex had to have brought in for him. Lex certainly didn't need it. He was bald everywhere.

"Kneel, pet," Lex ordered. "I'm going to wash that gorgeous hair of yours."

"Oh fuck, Master," Clark moaned, dropping to his knees. "Gonna make me come!"

"Not until I give permission," Lex said, voice going deeper and sending another thrill through Clark.

Lex took his time washing and conditioning Clark's hair, rubbing his scalp, gently pulling. Clark shut his eyes and gave himself over to it, panting at how good it felt. Lex had turned him so that he was facing away from Lex. If he hadn't been, he would have been sucking Lex's cock for all it was worth. By the time that Lex finished rinsing his hair, Clark could hear himself whimpering nonstop but he couldn't stop it. It felt too good being taken care of this way. Lex tugged him up and had him spread his arms and legs against the wall of the shower stall.

"Mine," Lex growled, pushing into Clark's ass slowly.

"Yes!" Clark gasped, head going back so that the spray was pouring down his face. "Oh yes, yours Master!"

He'd found something to use as lube, though Clark had no idea what. He was too busy enjoying his Master fucking him, touching him, licking the water away. It was sensory overload of the best kind. He didn't need it, not like he normally did and everything felt so much better because of that. He could feel everything Lex did to him, every drop of water as it fell on his body. He could hear every little gasp or murmured sound of approval Lex made. His cock felt like it was made of red-hot iron and his balls ached but he didn't let himself come, not yet, not until his Master gave him permission and that he had to have permission to come was so good, so right, so exactly what he needed. He started begging, unable to stay silent while Lex was making him feel so good.

"Come with me!" Lex ordered, slamming hard into Clark.

White light exploded behind Clark's eyes as he came. He was barely able to stand it was so overwhelming. Everything went away for a little while. When he came back, Lex was petting him as he turned off the water that had already rinsed Clark's body clean. Clark laughed breathlessly. He'd never come like that before.

"Wow," Clark said, shivering at the feel of Lex's fingers over his body.

"Time to get dried off and then to get you off to school," Lex said, grinning at him.

Clark hadn't seen that grin before. It was an honestly happy grin, open, kind, loving. It was beautiful and Clark wanted to see it on Lex's face more often. They got dried off and dressed, Lex picking Clark's clothes for him and helping him into them, though Clark didn't need the help. He tucked Clark's collar under his shirt but Clark shook his head and pulled it back out.

"I want people to see it," Clark said. He was a little nervous about it but not very. "Everyone's going to know that I'm staying here by now. If they see the collar then they'll know why I left."

"That's not necessarily a good thing, Clark," Lex said, worry in his eyes and voice.

"They'll just see a necklace, Lex," Clark said earnestly. "They won't see that it's a collar. The lock doesn't really look like a lock. It looks like a funky clasp. It's just a chain to everyone else. I can wear it and they'll see a necklace and then wonder why something that little got me thrown out of my parent's house."

Lex nodded slowly, looking into Clark's eyes. He ran a finger over the chain and tugged at the lock gently. Clark blushed, ducking his head and then looking through his lashes at Lex. God, it was a good thing that Clark's undies were so tight and his pants were so loose when Lex did things like that. He'd be going to school with an obvious hard on otherwise.

"I'm going to take you shopping this weekend," Lex announced, smirking at Clark's growing erection. "It's a…private shop that I haven't been to in years. Maybe they'll have a sturdier collar for you. This one is okay, but it's rather fragile. I'd like one that can stand up to a bit more…activity for you."

"Master…" Clark whined, blushing.

"Be good," Lex said, putting a finger over Clark's lips. "I want good grades and no trouble at school. If you're good today and tomorrow, then we'll head to Metropolis for the weekend and get some toys to play with."

The expectations and promise of rewards sent a thrill of pleasure through Clark. He loved this, loved it so much! Lex seemed to know just what to do to help Clark, to make him focus, to keep him healthy and strong. After the wave passed, he felt stronger, healthier somehow. It was as though every little Master/slave interaction between the two of them healed him or filled a deeper genetic need that he'd never known he'd had. Lex sent him off to school with a kiss and a pat on the butt.

"Dude, did you really get kicked out of the house?" Pete asked once Clark got to school.

"Yeah," Clark sighed, making a face as he got books from his locker for his morning classes. "Mom and Dad found out about this and pitched a fit."

He gestured at the collar, which Pete clearly didn't see as a collar. The look of shocked disbelief on his face made his handsome African features go slack. Pete shook his head, making a rude noise. Clark shrugged. There wasn't much he could say that wouldn't upset Pete. Pete hated Lex almost as much as Dad did, for different reasons. Besides, Pete always freaked about anything to do with Clark's need for sex. He'd helped precisely once when they were young and had forbidden Clark to bring it up ever since. He was determinedly straight and didn't want to know about Clark's sex life.

"That's whack, Clark," Pete said, sighing. "It's just a necklace. You need a place to crash? The house is crowded with all my brothers but you're welcome to stay with us."

"Thanks but no thanks," Clark said, smiling. "I'm um, staying with Lex. He's got the room, after all."

Pete made a face, going off on a rant about how the Luthor family was all evil and going to corrupt Clark. Clark didn't say anything, letting Pete rant. From Pete's point of view he probably would think that Clark was being corrupted. Class went well and Clark thought he did better on his test than he'd ever done before, the right answers flying out of him. It was so nice being so clear-minded. Lunch was actually pleasant. He ate with Chloe (who kept staring at his collar with a confused, speculative expression), Lana (who shyly flirted through lunch) and Pete (who kept commenting on the good and bad qualities of the girls in the room). His mind stayed clear all through lunch and through the afternoon, too. His history professor even commented on how glad he was that Clark was paying attention for once, making the other kids snicker at him. After school was over, Clark went to the Torch to see if Chloe had any other articles she wanted him to write.

"Close the door, Clark," Chloe said, typing frantically on her computer.

"What's up?" Clark asked, wondering if there was a problem.

"I've been doing some research and I wanted to ask you some questions," Chloe said, eyes locking on the collar again. "When did you figure out that was what you wanted? How'd you know? How'd Lex find out and what does he think about it? Are there rules about how you two handle things?"

"Um, Chloe," Clark said, fidgeting, "that's really personal. All of it. This isn't some article you're writing, is it?"

"Of course not," Chloe reassured Clark, the way she refused to look at him telling him that she was lying. "I'm just curious. Come on, you can tell me. I'm your best friend, Clark."

Clark sighed, settling into one of the chairs to study her. Her typing stumbled and then stopped as her cheeks turned bright red. She bit her lip and then finally, finally met his eyes. He just looked back, waiting. He knew she didn't get it. How could she? She didn't understand anything about him and he couldn't tell her. He couldn't tell her about his powers. He couldn't tell her about where he was from. He couldn't even tell her just how bad the need was, not without revealing how different he was.

"It's really personal, Chloe," Clark said softly. "And a lot of stuff that I did while figuring it out was really illegal, not just for me but for the people I was with. I don't mind talking to you about it if you're curious, but not if it's going into an article. I might be fighting with my parents right now but I still love them and want to get back together with them. That won't happen if there's some big article about BDSM in Smallville, Kansas and teens are taking part in it."

"Uh, BDSM?" Chloe asked blinking in confusion.

"You don't know the term and you're trying to write an article?" Clark quipped, grinning as Chloe rolled her eyes. "Come on! That's basic research. You know someone once told me that it's a really important part of a reporter's job."

"Ha. Ha, Clark," Chloe growled, glaring at him. "All right, so maybe I am jumping the gun but I really am curious. You're my best friend. I don't understand and I want to."

"It's pretty simple," Clark said with a shrug. "I…need to submit to someone else, have them give me orders, use me. I need to take care of them, do things for them. And I need lots of sex, honestly. Really high sex drive. That's a big part of why I got kicked out. The collar's just a symbol for Mom and Dad. It's the sex that they object to."

Chloe shook her head, making a face. She started working on her computer again and Clark craned his neck, grinning when he saw that she was pulling up informational sites on BDSM and other kinks.

"It doesn't make sense to me," Chloe complained. "I looked at all of this stuff and it just…doesn't make sense. I don't get why someone would do it."

"Not your kink," Clark said with another shrug. "Maybe you'd have more fun order someone around, having them serve you. Or leather. That's a common kink. It's just what turns you on, Chloe. This is what works for me. There's no reason why it would work for you. I never thought that you'd get it. You're way to equality-minded for BDSM."

She laughed, looking flattered. They spent about half an hour going through the sites she'd found, all of which were basic informational ones with no real pictures or lurid descriptions. He did his best to explain it. After four years as a whore he had a pretty good grasp on everything she's found and most of the hardcore stuff was stuff that he loved. Eventually she looked at him, frowning.

"You've done all of this," Chloe said, biting her lip again. "For drugs?"

"No," Clark said, surprised. "I never took drugs. Just sex. Well, and money. Not that I spent the money, of course. I still have all of that."

"But you get so…foggy," Chloe said, watching his eyes. "Every afternoon you're foggy and twitchy like you need a hit or something, Clark. I've been worried you were on drugs ever since you came back from Metropolis this summer."

"It's not drugs. It's just…I have a really high sex drive, Chloe," Clark admitted with a fierce blush.

"You need it that bad?" Chloe asked, blushing just as hard as he was.

Clark nodded and Chloe squirmed, swallowing hard. He didn't let himself laugh but he could see how excited that made her. One kink squarely hit, Clark thought as he stood. She stared at him, her eyes drifting to his crotch and then snapping away.

"I should get going," Clark said. "Did you have an article you wanted me to write? I emailed you the last one."

"Oh sure!" Chloe said, fingers shaking a little as she sorted through papers on her desk and then gave him one. "Thanks for…answering my questions, Clark. I appreciate it."

"No problem," Clark said with a grin. "At least I'm not so foggy I can't think anymore. Lex has helped so much on that front."

Chloe's blush had been fading but it rushed back at his words. He grinned and she groaned, slumping back into her chair. Chloe rubbed her face in her hands for a second and then laughed, shaking her head in dismay.

"Okay, I think I get the kink thing now," Chloe said drolly. "God, Clark! That's…God!"

"Sometime when we're not at school ask my how many guys," Clark said with a wicked grin. He couldn't resist teasing her a little. They always teased each other. This was just a new area for them to tease about.

"More than a dozen, I presume," Chloe said, raising an eyebrow.

"Try more than a thousand," Clark said shrugging. "Four a day for the last year or so."

Chloe's pupils blew out as she stared at him with her jaw dropped open. She shook her head as if she hadn't quite heard him and then shuddered, looking away. Her expression was a mixture of horrified disgust and complete arousal, which didn't surprise Clark. Lots of his tricks had the same expression when asking how many people he'd done before they'd touch him. Being a slut turned them on and obviously it turned Chloe on, too.

"That's…um, one of the most horrible things I've ever heard and one of the hottest, Clark," Chloe admitted, her nipples poking through her shirt.

"Kinks are usually something dirty," Clark laughed, pulling the door open. "See you tomorrow, Chloe. I'll get the article done as soon as I can."

Chloe groaned. Clark headed home, using super speed to make it to the mansion in minutes. Lex was working in his office with some foreign businessmen, so Clark headed upstairs to Lex's bedroom to do his homework. It was easier to focus in Lex's bedroom, where his scent permeated everything. It was about half an hour later when Lex appeared, smiling at Clark.

"I didn't know if you wanted me to strip as soon as I came home, Master," Clark said, standing. He went over and knelt in front of Lex, looking up at him.

"Mmm, I think so," Lex said, running his fingers through Clark's hair. "Go ahead and strip now. Tomorrow I want you naked once you're back here. Did you have a good day? How did school go?"

Clark stripped down and carefully folded his clothes. He told Lex about his day, who he talked to, what they said. He told Lex about his classes and how much easier it was to focus. He told Lex about his conversation with Chloe and her belief that he'd been doing drugs. He'd never told anyone about his day this way before but it was perfectly natural to do it with Lex. Mom always cut him off with worries when he talked and Dad always cut him off with advice. Lex just listened calmly, nodding as he absorbed Clark's words.

"I thought you might be, too," Lex admitted. "What was actually happening was much worse, but at least it was easier to fix. No worries about withdrawals. I've had a special dinner set up downstairs. The staff already knows that you're going to be attending naked. I think you'll like it, but first there are some things you have to put on."

"Yes, Master," Clark said, wondering what Lex had planned and squirming that the staff would see him naked. Lex had kept him away from the staff before, not letting them see him fully naked.

Lex got a dog collar and leash, strapping them around Clark's neck. He laughed as Clark moaned at the rush being led around on a leash gave him. Then Lex produced leather cuffs and locked Clark's hands behind his back, which made his cock start weeping from arousal.

"Can't have that," Lex purred, giving Clark the sexiest look he'd ever seen. "Someone might slip."

He ran a finger over the tip of Clark's cock, picking up the pre-come and then licking it. Clark whimpered. If he kept doing that someone was going to slip! Lex laughed and pulled a little snake-shaped penile plug out of his pocket. Clark shuddered, spreading his legs a little so that he wouldn't overbalance. Besides, his knees were shaking with everything that Lex was giving him.

"Easy, don't move," Lex murmured as he slipped it onto Clark. "Hurt?"

"No, Master," Clark moaned. "Feels good!"

"Good," Lex said, tugging at Clark's leash. "Let's head downstairs then."

Candles lighted the dining room. The big dining table had been set up with a place for one, with extra glasses. There was a large floor cushion sitting next to Lex's chair. Lex settled into the chair and had Clark kneel next to him. He ran a bell and the staff started coming in, bringing wine and water and salad and then various courses of the dinner. Lex fed Clark again, giving him bits of food from his plate, all the while holding his leash. Clark shivered every time one of the staff members looked at him, blushing violently. The whole town was going to know about this. It was Smallville—no matter how much he paid his staff, someone was going to talk. The gossip was going to be horrific. It made Clark's cock and balls ache with the need to come. He kind of wanted everyone to know what a slut he was, that he belonged to Lex this completely. Eventually, they were having dessert, a decadent chocolate caramel swirl cheesecake that Lex loving fed to Clark, bite after bite after bite.

"Happy?" Lex asked, petting Clark's cheek.

"Yes," Clark whispered, setting his head on Lex's thigh. "Never been this happy before in my whole life!"

"Good," Lex murmured. "My good boy. My beautiful, sweet, good boy."


Lana wasn't sure that going to Clark (and Lex, of course) was the right answer to her great uncle Dex McCallum's request. The man had been in prison for forty years for murdering Lana's great aunt Louise. There was no reason for her to believe his story that he hadn't done it, that it was someone else entirely who'd shot Louise. But the article he'd shown her with the drawing of the drifter that Louise had fallen in love with looked so much like Clark that she felt almost compelled to show it to him. It could be Clark's grandfather or maybe even his father and as an orphan he would almost certainly be interested in it.

"Oh, good evening," Lana said to the big black guy who was Lex's head of security. "Um, I was looking for Clark Kent."

"In Mr. Luthor's office," he said, sniffing scornfully. "Hopefully he'll be clothed."

Lana blushed violently at that, nodding and scurrying past him. She'd certainly seen Clark (nearly) naked before, but this was different. He was with his Master Lex. It felt like intruding. She hesitated outside the office door for a long while before knocking and then poking her head in. She clutched the files she and Chloe had gathered to her chest, ready to duck right back out again if Clark was naked.

"Come," Lex called, studying a chessboard set between him and the fully clothed Clark.

"Hey Lana!" Clark said, beaming at her. "I'm winning for the first time ever!"

Lana laughed and stood watching them. It only took a few minutes for Lex to win, using several moves that made Clark blink, frown, growl and then sigh. Lex looked smug when he finally put Clark's king in check. Clark sighed, pouting a little. Lana giggled, wanting to ruffle his hair. He was so cute when he pouted!

"Darn it, I was doing so well," Clark complained as Lex took the chessboard and put it away.

"What can we do for you, Lana?" Lex asked, smirking happily.

"Well, it's…odd," Lana said hesitantly. "Apparently, I had a great aunt Louise who was murdered back in 1961. Her husband was convicted for it but he claimed that a drifter named Joe killed her. Chloe and I did some research and…well, let me show you."

She pulled out the article and showed it to Clark. He stiffened, making Lex hurry back over to study it over his shoulder. Lex frowned, taking the article and reading it over. Clark looked up at him as he did it. The look in his eyes as he gazed at Lex made Lana's heart hurt just a little bit. She'd tried so hard to be what Clark needed, even though it felt totally unnatural to her. It had never worked, not once. That didn't change the fact that she was a little hurt by his complete ending of their relationship and a lot jealous of his relationship with Lex. She was doing her best not to let it show, still flirting with him at school so people wouldn't suspect anything, but it was hard. She really wanted someone to take care of her that way someday.

"Interesting," Lex said eventually. "That does look a lot like Clark."

"I um, was hoping that you'd do a little investigation," Lana said softly. "I don't think we can get Dex out of prison, but he was so sincere. Even the news reports at the time said that there was a lot of doubt, but he was convicted and forgotten about. He's dying. I'd just…I'd like to see if I can't find out what happened to Louise before he goes. Given that the drifter looks so much like Clark, I thought he'd be interested, too."

Clark took the article and ran a finger over the drifter's drawing, frowning at the pendant around his neck. Lex and Clark exchanged looks before turning back to Lana.

"We'll do some looking on our side, Lana," Lex said. "Let me make some copies of the information we've gathered and we'll get back to you when we know something new."

"Thank you," Lana said, beaming at them. "I really appreciate it."


"You're sure you've seen the same symbol here in the caves?" Lex asked as Clark led him into the Kawatche Caves.

"Yes," Clark said. "I think it was over here."

He still found the place creepy as hell. He'd been the one to discover the caves a bit over a year ago by falling through a collapsing ceiling. Some of the drawings on the walls were far more than drawings. They were hidden, disguised Kryptonian computers, housing the download of his mother Lara and all the lost knowledge of the Kryptonian race. He knew a little about Lara from his interactions with her. She'd always seemed like a stern, commanding yet loving person, one who had a plan for his life that he didn't get to disagree with. He knew virtually nothing about his father Jor-El, though. Lara had mentioned Jor-El on occasion, but that was it. The thought that his father might have come to earth before Clark was born was exciting. Maybe there was more information on him here, more of a link to the man that would have been his father.

"Here it is," Clark said, finding the cave painting. The symbol was an odd pentagram, with the bottom point stretched out twice as long as the other sides. In the center was a 'S' shape, or maybe it was an odd '8'. It was hard to tell on the cave wall, with only flashlights to illuminate things.

"That does look a lot like the pendant in the drawing," Lex said slowly. "Do you think there might be more to it than just a drawing?"

"Maybe," Clark said, shrugging. "Some of the cave drawings are definitely more than just drawings."

Clark gingerly ran his fingers over the drawing, half hoping and half afraid that something would happen. Light started shining from it and the symbol sank back into the cave wall, creating a little cubby in the rock. Clark looked at Lex, who nodded reassuringly, and then carefully reached into the cubby. The pendant was there. He picked it up and the world twisted sideways.

A beautiful woman, blond hair, sad blue eyes…Louise, looking up with wonder and laughter…Mayor Tate as a young man, in a sheriff's uniform…light…dark…pain…wonder…confusion…fear…home…

"Clark? Are you all right?"

Lex was holding him, very gently petting his cheek. Somehow, Clark must have collapsed because they were sitting on the floor of the cave, cuddled together. Clark shook his head, his whole body shaking. Memories. He'd just been flooded by memories. Clark stared at the pendant and then looked at Lex. His Master was so pale, so worried. Clark sighed and laid his head against Lex's shoulder.

"That was really weird," Clark whispered, swallowing hard. "It's like…a video recorder for memories. I think I just saw my father's life on Earth but it went by so fast that I couldn't…couldn't make sense of it."

"I wonder if there's any way to slow the memories down," Lex said thoughtfully. "Do you want to try some meditative techniques, see if you can call anything back?"

"Yes," Clark said, nodding. "But not here, Master. This place still creeps me out."

"Then we'll head back to the mansion and see what we can do," Lex laughed, kissing Clark and making a wave of pure ecstasy flow through him. "All I ever want is for you to be happy and if that means helping you find out about your parents, then so be it."

The world shifted and Clark was dropped into one of Jor-El's memories. It was strange. He could feel himself changing so that he wasn't just seeing the memory—he was experiencing it. He became Jor-El while still being aware that he was truly Clark Kent. Jor-El was nothing like Clark though…

"We're here," Lara said, smiling up at Jor-El with the fondness that he had never been able to comprehend. "We have a month and then we have to go back to Krypton, dear."

"What did you want to do first?" Jor-El asked with a little sigh.

It wasn't as though he had a choice. This was Lara's trip. She was his Mistress, his future wife. She made all the decisions in their life, despite the fact that he wasn't a genetic slave like all other Kryptonian males. His mother had been a radical, reworking her sons' genetics so that they didn't have the slave responses that kept his friends happy, loving, willing victims to their own subjugation. It wasn't something that Jor-El had ever been able to act on, though. He was male. Males were not free to travel. They were not free to participate in government. They weren't generally educated, though his mother and Lara had both insisted that Jor-El and his brother Zor-El be educated.

"First," Lara said seriously, "I'm going to take off your collar. Then I'm going to go into stasis for a month. This trip is for you, Jor-El. I want you to experience true freedom. You won't get that if I'm with you. This is the world our children may grow up on, if we ever have children and the war against General Zod goes poorly. Our sons will be free, like you. I want…I want you to see this world as they would see it, free of a Mistress controlling their every action."

"W-what?" Jor-El breathed, staring at her.

Lara reached up and removed the collar around Jor-El's neck. It had been there since he reached maturity at the age of fourteen. He'd never taken it off. He couldn't. Only his mother or Lara could remove the collar and neither of them ever had. His neck felt naked without it. He'd never experienced strong emotions—it was part of the modifications that his mother had made to his genetics—but the sight of it in Lara's hands made a powerful wash of…something…flow through him. Lara removed the sigil from the collar threading it onto a slender necklace. She looked like she was about to cry as she put it back around his neck.

"I…I'd like it if you'd…if you'd wear the memory journal while you're here," Lara said, voice shaking. "So if s-something happens and, and you c-can't come back, w-we can find the journal and know what happened to you. I've set up the stasis system so that…if…if you don't come back in a month, th-then I'll be automatically woken and sent home without you. Please. Be…be happy."

She stood on tiptoes and hugged him, burying her face in his neck for a long moment. Jor-El wrapped his arms around her, shaking with the incredible emotions that he couldn't quite identify. After a long moment, Lara turned her face and whispered into his ear.

"You're free, Jor-El," Lara whispered to him so that only he could hear. "I love you. Go and live your life as you will."

She let go and squared her jaw, nodding calmly to him despite the tears in her eyes. Then she turned and went back into the inner chamber, disappearing into the stasis system in a flash of bright light. Jor-El stared.


"Whoa," Clark breathed, staring at the sigil.

"What happened?" Lex asked, sounding almost frantic.

"Y-you touched me just the way Lara touched Jor-El and suddenly the memory of his arrival here just…opened up," Clark said, shaking his head in amazement. "So different! He was nothing like me, Lex. He was…genetically altered to be like you, free. Lara brought him here and then took off his collar and set him free to live on Earth as he willed."

"Why?" Lex asked, frowning.

"Because she loved him," Clark said softly as he touched the pendant. "She loved him so much that she set him free. It was exactly what he needed."

Meditation didn't do a damn thing to release the memories. They tried for about an hour, fucked, and then Lex reasoned that it must be touch dependant. There had to be a touch that linked in some way to Jor-El's memories stored in the pendant, so they headed downtown for the first time since Clark came to live with Lex. It was strange walking Smallville's main street with Lex at his side. People were looking at them, but Lex didn't touch and they talked like normal, like friends instead of Master and slave. It wasn't what Clark really wanted but given that he was still just a Junior in high school there really wasn't much of a choice in the matter. They had to pretend for a while longer.

Clark recovered Jor-El's memory of meeting Louise by touching the mailbox outside of Fordman's department store. He could tell that it had been a while, weeks, nearly a full month since the memory of Jor-El's arrival. Jor-El had changed. His emotions weren't a black to him. In fact, Clark could feel the need burning inside of him, though Jor-El didn't seem to understand what that need was. It hadn't hit the point where he was having physical problems, but Clark could tell that in a week or so more he would. Louise had looked like a goddess to Jor-El, the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen, despite Lara's image lingering in the back of his mind. He gave himself over to the flirtation after stopping Lachlan Luthor's purse-snatching attempt, refusing to admit that he wanted to go home to Lara.

"Another memory?" Lex asked once Clark came back to himself.

"Yeah," Clark said, surprised. "There was someone called Lachlan Luthor. He stole Louise's purse and Jor-El stopped him, got it back. Mayor Tate was there. I think he was either the deputy or sheriff. He arrested Lachlan and locked him up."

"That's odd," Lex said, surprised. "Why would my grandfather Lachlan be here in Smallville stealing purses? Father said he was minor Scottish nobility."

"I don't know," Clark said. "But he was there. And Jor-El was changing. He…he didn't know it but he was about a week away from dying from lack of sex, Lex. I think he fell in love with Louise because of the need."

They went to talk to Lana, who was still searching for more information on her side. She'd found a box with some of Louise's possessions in it. The three of them sorted through them, Clark cautiously touching each one. There was a love letter signed with the cursive initial 'J' that Lana thought was written by Jor-El (who she was calling Joe). Clark didn't think so. No memories came back from it and Jor-El didn't have that much time. It was Louise's pearl necklace that brought
back the next memory.

She was so beautiful, Jor-El thought desperately as he ran his hands over Louise's shoulders. The barn was quiet and still, a place for the two of them to escape and meet up. There were far too many people in town, and Louise's husband was always around. He wasn't a bad man, but she didn't love him, never had loved him. He could see that she loved him and for the first time he understood what the emotion was. Rao, why did he have to understand it now, when he had to choose either to go home to Lara or stay here and slowly lose his mind as the need overwhelmed him? Either way, he couldn't stay with Louise and the thought of it tore at his heart. She'd taught him so much about his heart and in just a couple of days.

"I couldn't stop thinking about you all day," Louise said, turning to face him as he kissed her neck. She walked away and he couldn't bear it, couldn't stand to see her moving away from him when he wanted to be buried inside of her, serving her as his beautiful dark Mistress. He grabbed her and pulled her into a passionate kiss, the sort of kiss he'd never given to Lara, hadn't known how to give before now.

"Oh," Louise breathed, smiling at him once they stopped to breathe.

"I've never felt this way about anyone," Jor-El said, hearing the frantic need in his voice and trying to battle it down. "All I know is that I want to be with you."

She smiled, eyelashes flirting with him. She initiated the kiss this time, pulling his head down to her level. He didn't expect the intense need to kneel that her hand on the back of his neck triggered. He didn't expect the need to submit to her. It really was getting bad. He needed to go home, to get fixed so that these emotions, the need, the sex drive went back to what it should be. How did the other Kryptonian males deal with it? Their brains must be mush all the time.

She led him to the haystacks near the wall, frantically kissing as they pulled each other's shirts off. She straddled his hips, the rightness of it making him moan, but it looked like she'd rather be underneath, so he gently switched their places, rolling them on the blanket so that she was underneath. She looked up at him, breath coming fast as she licked her lips. It was so good, so right, so exactly what he needed but Lara's face was still there in the back of his mind and he couldn't just be. What would it be like to do this with Lara? His beautiful Mistress…

Clark's heart was pounding as he came out of the memory. Lana didn't seem to have noticed anything, but Lex obviously had. His eyes were serious as he looked at Clark, asking without words if he was okay. Clark flicked a little smile at him, nodding slightly.

"Um, Lana? Do you think that there's anything out in the barn?" Clark asked. "Maybe Louise's car or, or something. The barn might have some clues."

"I suppose," Lana said thoughtfully. "If you want, we can go out and check."

"Please," Lex said, nodding firmly.

They headed out to the barn. It looked a lot like the images in Jor-El's memories, but nothing much was there. The hay was different. There was no blanket that they'd made love on. The only thing that looked vaguely promising was an old car that was covered by a tarp. Lex pulled it off and smiled at the vintage car that was revealed.

"I might have to buy this and have it restored," Lex said with a grin to Lana. "This baby deserves better than to be sitting in a barn covered in dust."

Lana laughed and ran a finger over it. Clark touched it and his mind snapped into another of Jor-El's memories, this one feeling like it was right at the end.

"I have to leave tonight," Jor-El whispered, Louise's beautiful body pressed up against her car, pliant underneath his hips.

"I'm leaving with you," Louise declared, searching his eyes and quivering at the resolve she saw there.

"Louise, I told you that it's not possible," Jor-El said sadly.

He'd already decided. As beautiful as Louise was, she wasn't his Mistress. She could never be his Mistress. He had Lara and he wanted her back as badly as he'd ever wanted to escape from her. Meeting Louise and seeing how human males interacted with human females had taught him that he already had a love to die for. Lara loved him so much more than Louise ever could. He was an escape for Louise, a way out of a life that she hated. Lara loved him so much that she broke her own heart to give him the freedom he'd thought he wanted.

"I can't stay with Dex anymore, Joe," Louise said, clutching his arms to keep him from backing away. "I don't love him. You're the one I want to be with. We're not that different. I'm willing to try."

"This wasn't supposed to happen," Jor-El said, heart hurting. Rao, how could he love two women at the same time? How was he supposed to handle that? He couldn't. He sighed, shaking his head firmly. "I have to return alone."

"Why?" Louise asked, tears in her eyes.

"Because it's my destiny," Jor-El said calmly. He wasn't about to explain the destiny in his blood, the need to serve. She would never understand it and he hadn't shown her how different he was. "I can't change it, Louise. As much as I want this, I can't have it."

"It's not fair," Louise whispered, tears spilling down her cheeks. "We should be together."

Jor-El pulled her into his arms and held her tight. He couldn't do much for her, not now that he'd made his choice, but he could give her this last bit of comfort. She'd have to find her own way to her destiny. His wasn't with her. Jor-El looked up as he heard footsteps outside the barn. Lachlan Luthor, the man who had stolen Louise's purse looked at him, his expression regretful and determined at the same time.

"Louise," Jor-El said, pushing her out of the way just as Lachlan started firing at him. The bullets hit him in the chest, bouncing off to zing away. Lachlan and Louise both stared at him for a long moment before the shock broke. Lachlan dropped the gun and ran out of the barn terrified. Louise made a little noise and looked down at her chest where blood was starting to drip down her white blouse.


Even with his powers he barely caught her in time as she collapsed to the ground. He swallowed hard. This was his fault! He should have caught the bullets, should have knocked them away from Louise. He should have left before they became involved. He should have done something different so that she didn't…didn't…

"No," Jor-El breathed. "Louise? Don't leave me!"

"I'll never leave," Louise whispered, her eyes already slowly shutting as her heart stopped beating. "I love you…"

Louise's beautiful face blurred as tears filled Jor-El's eyes. He'd never cried before. He'd never felt sad enough or angry enough for tears. Jor-El thought that he'd never be able to feel anything but sorrow and anger now. This was all so wrong. This wasn't where he belonged. He needed to get home, back to his Mistress. He hugged Louise and then rested her body on the ground. He could hear Dex calling for Louise from the house.

"Louise…" Jor-El whispered. "Lara…"

Clark snapped back to himself in Lex's arms. Lana was staring at them, eyes wide with confusion. Clark realized that Lex had just explained that he'd been experiencing Joe's memories ever since seeing the article. He turned his face into Lex's neck, whispering to him so that Lana wouldn't overhear what he said.

"He was, he was changing, Lex," Clark whispered, tears rolling down his cheeks from experiencing Jor-El's pain at loosing Louise. "He didn't know that what he felt for Lara was love, not at first, but by this point he did. He knew he loved Lara and he knew he couldn't stay with Louise, and he knew that he was changing. He was loosing his genetic changes. He was, he was starting to feel the need, Lex. He needed Lara or Louise or someone and it terrified him. She kept asking him to take her with him when he left and he said he couldn't. He couldn't take her along. She didn't understand why anymore than Lana or Chloe understands me."

"Shhhh. Did you see who killed Louise?" Lex asked, petting and soothing Clark.

"Yes," Clark said, nodding grimly as he pulled back. "It was Lachlan Luthor, Lex. He fired at Jor-El but the bullets bounced off of his chest. One of them hit Louise and she died right after that."

"Odd, wasn't Lachlan in jail for purse-snatching?" Lex said, surprised.

"Yeah," Clark said, stilling and then frowning at Lex. "How'd he get out?"

"Chloe said something about getting the police records from city hall," Lana offered, looking like she wanted to pet Clark's hair to comfort him. "She might have an idea of what happened."

Clark sighed, rubbing the tears off of his cheeks. God this was so weird. Sure, he'd always been curious about his father. Yeah, he did want to help Lana figure out what happened to her great aunt. But reliving his father's memories was beyond bizarre. Chloe had been able to get the police records, though some were missing. She got the one that they needed: Deputy Tate (now Mayor Tate) was the one who'd released Lachlan Luthor from jail, on the very same day that Louise was murdered.

"It must have been a plot to get rid of Jor-El," Lex said thoughtfully as he drove them back to the mansion. "He let Lachlan go and gave him a gun with instructions to kill Jor-El. No one would miss a drifter. The only question is why."

"I got the feeling that he was jealous," Clark said quietly. "I think…I think Louise might have had several lovers, Lex. Maybe Mayor Tate was thrown aside when Jor-El showed up and this was his way of getting revenge."

"Pity we can't nail it on him," Lex sighed.

"Maybe we can," Clark said with a wicked grin. "Do you have a leather jacket?"

It hadn't taken much at all for them to make Clark look like Jor-El. The resemblance was seriously creepy once Clark saw himself in the mirror. He looked just like his father, especially once he'd put on clothes that matched Jor-El's, put the pendant around his neck and let Lex slick his hair back in Jor-El's 1961 style. Getting into Mayor Tate's home was just as easy. He'd left the back door open (common enough is Smallville), so Clark could slip right in. Tate was sitting by his fireplace reading a book as he sipped brandy.

Clark used his heat vision to start a fire in the fireplace. Tate gasped and stared, setting his drink down. He looked around but didn't see Clark hiding in the other room. Clark ran around the room with super speed, causing a wind that made all the papers on Tate's desk to rustle. It also chilled the room, which went with the whole pretending-to-be-a-ghost thing. Tate stood and went to the wall, flicking a switch up and down. It didn't turn on the lights, so Clark assumed it was a signal of some sort, probably to the police.

"Sheriff Tate," Clark said, striving for Jor-El's deeper tone of voice and more dominant expression. It felt weird but it worked.

"Mr. Kent," Tate said, looking at him with some confusion and fear in his eyes. "I'm not sure how you got in here, but I don't find this very amusing."

"I think you've got me confused with someone else," Clark said, moving in the way that he remembered Jor-El moving.

"The police are on their way," Tate said, turning to go back to his armchair by the fire.

Clark sped in front of him so that by the time Tate had blinked and finished turning, Clark was right in front of him again. Tate stepped back, looking at the pendant around Clark's neck finally.

"Where did you get that?" Tate gasped, staring at him.

"I knew you'd remember me," Clark said in Jor-El's calm, secure tone of voice.

"This can't be real!" Tate gasped, backing off.

"You've done a pretty good job of hiding what's real," Clark said tauntingly as he stepped closer. "I know you made a deal with Lachlan to kill me. How'd you feel when you found Louise dead instead?"

"It was supposed to be you!" Tate yelled wildly, hurrying to his desk to pull a gun out of the drawer. He fired wildly at Clark but it was easy to dodge the bullets. He didn't dare catch them because he was supposed to be a ghost. The bullets smacked into the fireplace.

"You can't kill me," Clark said relentlessly. "I'm already dead. If you ever want another day of peace, you'll confess to the sheriff."

"Mother of God!" Tate gasped, putting the gun to his own head. "I won't go to jail! You can't make me!"

Clark pulled the gun out of his hand, moving so fast that he didn't even remember deciding to move. He leaned closer, though not quite close enough for Tate to feel his body heat. Tate trembled, staring at him in terror.

"You're not taking the easy way out," Clark growled, low and dangerous like Jor-El would have growled.

Clark had just enough time to tuck the gun back into Tate's hand and speed out of the room when the door opened. Sheriff Adams and one of her deputies pushed into the room, holding their guns at ready. Clark stayed outside the back door, hoping that Tate would do the right thing. He didn't want to have to do this again, but he would if necessary.

"Mayor Tate," Sheriff Adams said, looking around. "You okay? We got the silent alarm."

"He's trying to kill me!" Tate said wildly, gesturing with his gun at thin air.

"Who?" Sheriff Adams asked, looking at the empty room.

Tate hesitated, quivering. The gun in his right hand slowly dipped and he sighed, looking at the fireplace, the bullet holes, and then back at Sheriff Adams and her deputy. Clark bit his lip, hoping hard that he'd do what was right.

"Lachlan was supposed to kill the drifter," Tate said sadly, desperation in his every word. "I never meant to hurt Louise. I loved her."

Clark beamed and sped away, back to Lex at the mansion. It had worked! Lex laughed at his jubilation when he got back to the mansion, but it felt good to right a wrong that was this old. They talked about it and headed back to the caves.

"You really want to return the pendant?" Lex asked. "It might have more memories to share with you."

"I know," Clark said, shrugging. "But I'd rather be me than a mix of myself and Jor-El. I may have problems but they're my problems. Jor-El and I were really different. This…it was something that was his, this trip, his memories, his experiences. I'm glad I got to see them, to experience it, but…I don't want to keep it. It belongs here. I mean, I know he got to go home to Lara. The only thing left that I wonder about is whether he got fixed."

Clark brushed his fingers over the cave wall close to the symbol and shuddered as one last memory welled up.

Jor-El smiled as the stasis unit released Lara. Blessed Rao but he'd missed her! Her eyelids fluttered and opened, then opened wide as she stared at him. She bit her bottom lip, breath catching as she started to cry.

"Mistress," Jor-El said, sinking to his knees in front of her, "Let's go home."

"Do you feel all right?" Lara asked, instantly worried. "You've never knelt to me willingly before."

"I…I feel better than I ever have in my entire life, Lara," Jor-El said with a little laugh. "Mother did a horrible thing by adjusting our genetics. The yellow sun has undone much of what she did and I think it's a good thing. I didn't know that what I felt for you was love. I had no idea that you loved me so much in return. I've…I've learned what I want. I want to go home, back to Krypton. I want to be by your side. I want to fight General Zod and save our world. I'll probably need a bit of genetic stabilization, but I don't want to be returned to that unnatural state."

"Truly?" Lara asked, studying his face and gently running her fingers down his neck to the memory journal.

"Truly," Jor-El said. "Mistress, let's go home."

Lara took a deep breath and smiled her beautiful, loving smile. She nodded and offered a hand to help him up. He let her, though after a month under the yellow sun he was far stronger than she was. He took off the memory journal, going to the wall of the cave.

"You're not bringing it along?" Lara asked, surprised.

"No," Jor-El said. "I met some wonderful people and I'll tell you all about what happened, but I want to leave these memories here. I don't need them. I don't want them anymore."

"Something happened?" Lara asked, gently touching his elbow as if afraid he'd push her away. Before he would have.

"So much, Lara, so very much," Jor-El said, making a pocket dimension for the pendant. "And all if it lead me home to you. Best of all, I think I found the perfect family to raise our children if we fail to save Krypton. They helped me escape from a very bad situation. Their names are the Kents."

"You'll have to tell me all about them on the return trip home," Lara said, smiling as the memory journal was sealed away.

Lex was peering at him when Clark came back. Clark laughed, rubbing his head. The pendant had already been sealed away. He'd apparently done it while remembering Jor-El do it. Clark smiled at Lex, hugging him.

"He found his way home again," Clark whispered to his Master, his home. "He found his Mistress and he was happy when he left."

"I'm glad," Lex said, smiling at Clark. "Ready to go back to our home?"

"God, am I ever!" Clark laughed, grinning widely. "I'm starving. Do we still get to go shopping this weekend? I know things have been crazy today but I'd really like it if we could."

"I think we might be able to run down to Metropolis," Lex purred, grinning back at Clark. "I need to talk to my father anyway. We'll fly down after dinner and spend the weekend."

"Yay!" Clark cheered, grinning as Lex burst out laughing. After all of this, it was good to just be Lex's slave again.


It took until late the next morning for Lex to finally corner his father. The old man was slipperier than the proverbial eel when he didn't want to talk to someone. Given his repeated jabs about Lex's private life, he was fairly certain that Lionel expected him to bring up Clark after he finished his presentation to the Board of Directors for LuthorCorp and they returned to Lionel's office.

"Congratulations, Lex," Lionel said sardonically. "That was an excellent presentation. The board was impressed. It was smoke and mirrors, but…skillfully done."

"What can I say?" Lex said as Lionel picked up a bottle of champagne that had been chilling on the table. "I guess that the heart of deception runs in the family."

"Oh and the day was off to such a sweet start," Lionel laughed, popping the champagne open to pour himself a glass. "Deception, huh? You think I've been deceiving you about something?"

He offered the glass of champagne to Lex who shook his head. No matter how successful the presentation was, it was still morning and he wasn't going to start drinking in the morning. Lionel shrugged and kept the glass, sipping it as he studied Lex with an amused smirk.

"You tell me," Lex said. "You've always described grandfather Lachlan as a hardworking entrepreneur who came from Scottish nobility."

"What are you driving at, son?" Lionel said, coming alert though his slouch on the couch didn't change. Every muscle in his body when rock hard, though, telling Lex he was on the right track no matter what Lionel claimed.

"Maybe you could explain why a Lachlan Luthor was arrested in 1961 for petty robbery in Smallville?" Lex asked almost gently.

Lionel snorted, his eyes going hard as stone. He set the champagne aside, leaning back against the couch as if supremely confident. It wasn't fooling Lex. He knew the moves were practiced ones. Lionel had forced Lex to practice them as a boy so that he'd 'toughen up' and 'learn to be a man'.

"Not all entrepreneurs can have the luxury of being both successful and honest," Lionel said calmly.

"Why would you go to such lengths to hide our past?" Lex asked, raising an eyebrow.

When I was, ah…young and trying to earn a foothold in the world of ivy-leaguers," Lionel said carefully, "I quickly found that confessing to the fact that I was born and bred in a place like Suicide Slum wasn't going win anybody over at a cocktail party."

"So you took the liberty of rewriting our family history?" Lex said, the words not a question. It was just the sort of thing that Lionel would do, rewriting history to match his delusions of grandeur instead of what was true.

"That's right," Lionel said, nodding calmly. "Why should I have to pay for the sins of my father?"

"Sounds familiar," Lex said seriously. "Is the memorial in our family plot even real or do I have grandparents wandering around Suicide Slum?"

"No, no, they…they both died in a tenement fire," Lionel said slowly, obviously troubled. Lex wasn't sure if he was troubled by the continued questioning or if it was from remembering his parent's death. He paused for a long moment and Lex waited. "The only reason I'm alive is I was moonlighting at the-- at a print shop when it happened. Ever since then I've, um, buried myself in work. Consciously."

That little bit of theatre convinced Lex that there was more to the story, far more. He pretended to accept his father's words and eventually left the office. He made a few calls and eventually located the officer who did the original investigation of the tenement fire that killed his grandparents. Officer Mason was an old man, and he clearly didn't want to confront Lionel about it, but sufficient funds deposited to his account loosened his tongue. Clark wasn't back from school yet, so they had time to discuss it. He passed Mason the folder of information he'd found on the Edgecliff Condos. Mason nodded, making a little face.

"Well, before the condos and coffee houses, this was the worst part of Suicide Slums," Mason said. "That high rise, it stands on the side of the tenement your grandparents died in."

Lex studied the picture of the building, frowning. He hadn't expected that. Perhaps his father had told the truth. The thought made him sigh. His father never used that sort of dramatic sadness when he was telling the truth. There was more to this.

"So my father's story was true?" Lex asked. "They died in a fire."

"Yeah," Mason laughed sarcastically. "If you call an explosion that blows out the windows of two city blocks a fire, sure."

"Sounds like you had your doubts," Lex said, studying the man.

"I was a detective in that precinct, Mr. Luthor," Mason said, dropping an envelope onto the piano that they'd come to stand by. "Back in those days, when they told you to drop a case you did it. The slum lords controlled City Hall. Well, I'm retired now. It doesn't really matter. I think you'll find my original report enlightening."

Lex took the envelope and opened it up slowly. He was pretty sure he already knew what he'd find but it still hurt to see the words 'arson', 'deliberate' and his grandparent's names linked together on a police report. The explosion had happened in their apartment, not in the boiler, not in the basement, but in his grandparent's apartment. It had happened at a time that Lionel should have been home and he wasn't. There was no way that it was coincidence. Lex sighed and nodded, folding the report back up.

"Thank you, Mr. Mason," Lex said. "I appreciate your assistance in this matter."

"I don't want to know what you do," Mason said, shrugging. "I'm an old man, with no wife or grandkids, but I don't want to die. No one crosses the people who did this, Mr. Luthor. You decide to do something, you guard yourself and those you care about, okay?"

"I will," Lex said grimly. "Believe me, I will."


Lex smiled at Clark as he fidgeted in the elevator. They were finally at The Boutique, a 'specialty' shop that he'd used to go to during his wild Club Zero days. It had taken most of the day to arrange things for their visit and then the dinner Lex intended to take Clark to. It was worth it, though. It would be Lex's first visit as a Master but he'd been there many times as a sub. It had been one of his favorite places with all of its entertainments and offerings. He was sure that Clark would absolutely love The Boutique.

"Um, what's going to happen, Master?" Clark asked, swallowing hard.

"We'll be met at the door by one of the hosts," Lex said. "They'll take us to the observation level so that you can see what The Boutique offers. Then we'll go down and see if there's anything we like and possibly try some of their…offerings out before we buy."

"You're being very cagey about what they sell," Clark commented, smirking sidelong at Lex as he watched the numbers on the elevator.

"Deliberately," Lex said, grinning at Clark's eye roll. "You'll see why soon enough. Now, kneel. I need to put your collar and leash on, pet."

Clark shuddered and dropped to his knees happily. His face was a study in ecstasy as Lex buckled the dog collar around his neck and attached the leash. Lex had every intention of getting him a proper collar today, though he had a very particular image in his head of what he wanted for Clark's final collar. He wasn't sure it was made. If The Boutique didn't have it, then it didn't exist. If so, he'd have one commissioned for Clark.

The elevator dinged and the doors slid open on a little lobby decorated in dark mahogany paneling and cream paint. There was a huge, bigger than life size painting on the wall opposite the elevator of a sub in full bondage gear, bound spread eagle with his cock fiercely erect. Clark gasped, staring at it in awe. Lex grinned and pulled Clark to his feet, out of the elevator and then had him kneel. Clark kept staring at the painting as if it was the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen. Lex thought about it and realized that it might just be for him. Given what he'd said about Krypton, that might be Clark's version of perfect beauty.

"Mr. Luthor," a young man in a discrete, nondescript business suit said. "Welcome to The Boutique. It's been quite a few years since you visited."

"Indeed," Lex said, nodding at him. "Was it Harold or Dean?"

"Dean," the young man said, smiling that Lex had remembered. "Your boy is quite stunning."

His eyes studied Clark. Lex could see that Dean knew Clark, knew what he'd done, what he'd been. He might even have been one of Clark's clients at one point from the slight sigh of regret that Clark wasn't available anymore. Lex didn't think that Clark realized it. He barely looked at Dean, not really acknowledging his existence beyond a bare glance. Clark's attention was split between the painting and Lex, which was just as it should be.

"Thank you," Lex said, petting Clark's hair and getting one of his brilliant smiles. "I just acquired him and need to outfit him. All of my supplies were…disposed of a while back."

"Your father, I presume," Dean sighed, rolling his eyes. "That man has no couth or taste. Well, you've certainly come to the correct establishment. I'm sure that we can supply anything that you desire, Mr. Luthor. Please follow me and I'll take you to the observation level. It's a quiet afternoon, only a few Doms are shopping. There will be a show tomorrow evening if you're interested in returning."

"I'll think about it," Lex said, following Dean with Clark's leash loose in his hand.

Clark got smoothly to his feet, following without a single tug on the leash. Dean looked impressed, which he should have been. That level of casual control was something that most Doms strove for over long periods of time. Lex wasn't just about to tell him that in Clark's case it was biological, instinctive. He just enjoyed the perk of looking like a very powerful Dom. It certainly made sense out of his having been a troublesome and difficult sub during his previous visits to The Boutique. Lex never had been very good at being a sub.

Clark gasped again when they entered the balcony that ran around the interior of The Boutique. The Boutique was two stories high, open other than the balcony around the upper level and filled with racks and stacks full of every sort of sex toy, bondage gear and sexual supply that you could want. There were dildos and vibrators of every variety. There was bondage wear of every variety, in ever size. There was sex furniture. There was a tattoo and piercing station where a Dom could get his sub customized in almost any way imaginable. There was clothing for both Doms and subs. There were books, movies, and tapes. There was music. There was literally everything you could think of, all on display and available for you to try out before you bought.

"Wow," Clark breathed, eyes like saucers as he stared down at the sales floor.

Dean laughed, grinning at the two of them. He was obviously used to getting that sort of reaction from new visitors. Lex's initial reaction had included a lot more profanity and then a lot more kissing of his erstwhile Dom. Pity the relationship had only lasted a few weeks, but at least Lex had found out about this place through him. Lex let Clark ogle the store, staring around and craning his neck to see what was offered and who was there. The Doms and their subs were perfectly obvious. All of the subs were leashed—it was a requirement in the store—and most of them were at least partially naked. The Doms were equally obvious in their control over their subs. The clerks were like Dean, young attractive people, dressed in discrete suits or tasteful dresses, helping where required but otherwise staying out of the way.

"They're…!" Clark squeaked, staring at one pair that was seated in one of the convenient chairs scattered around the store.

"Fucking," Lex said, chuckling. "Of course. He's obviously taking care of his boy's needs."

"It's perfectly acceptable to try all of our merchandise before you purchase it," Dean said, grinning at Clark. "We prefer that you do so and make sure that everything is properly sanitized. Trial devices are kept on display with sealed units that we can bring from the back rooms. Was there something in particular you were looking for today?"

"Bondage gear, since all of mine is gone," Lex said, pulling Clark towards the stairs. "An appropriate supply of butt plugs and vibrators. Lube of course. You can never have too much lube. A new collar and leash, though I'm not sure what I want is made. I may have to have it commissioned. Probably some clothes, as well. His wardrobe has been…well, it's not appropriate for his new status."

"Of course," Dean said, nodding calmly.

He led the way down the stairs and Lex followed, Clark's leash held loosely in his hand. Clark followed, staying just behind and to the right of Lex as they walked through the store. He whimpered and then shuddered and then focused completely on Lex, ignoring everyone and everything else. Lex made a point of stopping and pointing various things out to Clark after he zeroed in, watching his responses to see which ones he liked best. Dean had a little hand basket that he filled with the items Lex chose based on Clark's reactions or his own tastes. Lex got Clark several vibrators, four different sizes of butt plugs, three different sorts of lube including his personal favorite silicone lube. When they got to the bondage gear, Lex had Clark strip.

"Yes, Master," Clark said, blushing brightly as he did so. As always, he carefully folded his clothes, putting them into the basket with their purchases.

"Shall I take the appropriate measurements, sir?" Dean asked, putting the basket aside and pulling out a tape measure.

"Please," Lex said, keeping his grip on Clark's leash.

Clark's whole body blushed as Dean set to work measuring his chest, waist, arms, legs and then his highly erect cock, all in a completely dispassionate manner. He noted down the measurements on a little pad of paper and then discussed with Lex which harnesses and cock rings would be appropriate or could be adjusted to fit Clark.

"He is quite large," Dean said calmly. "If necessary, we do have the capacity to special order any harness you prefer in his size. There's no extra charge but it will take a week to two weeks for it to be delivered to you."

"I see," Lex said, having Clark kneel so that he could pet his hair.

He smiled as Clark leaned gently against his leg, quivering with arousal. Lex chose the simplest harness and cuff set to buy today and had Dean special order the most elaborate one for Clark. Dean nodded, smiling as Lex detailed the specifications.

"It needs to be made in dark blue leather," Lex said, chuckling at Clark's brilliant smile at his color choice, "with gold or brass tone metal fixings. The central chest plate needs to have a metal plate attached with this design on it. I'll email you a finished drawing of it once we get home."

Lex sketched the symbol from the caves with the 'S' in it, smiling at it once he was done. He wasn't certain why it was perfect but as soon as he'd seen it, Lex had known that this was Clark's symbol. Clark probably didn't realize it but that didn't matter. It resonated to Lex so that's what they were going to use. Dean raised an eyebrow at the odd design but nodded calmly.

"The background needs to be red and the 'S' needs to be gold," Lex continued. "It's…a special symbol for the two of us."

"Of course," Dean said, nodding. "That should be no problem at all. Would you like him to wear the other harness while he's in the store?"

"Yes," Lex said, smiling at Clark. "I want to buy him some clothes that will work over the top of it."

"Let me bring out his set then," Dean said, nodding. "I'll be right back. Feel free to entertain yourself while you wait."

He nodded politely to Lex and then hurried into a back room to get Clark's harness. Lex tugged Clark to his feet and then brought him over to one of the chairs. Clark was beaming, hard as a rock and looked like he was about to explode he needed to come so badly. Lex chuckled, sitting and having Clark kneel between his legs.

"Like this place?" Lex asked, petting Clark's cheek.

"Hell yes, Master," Clark moaned, eyes flickering shut for a second in pleasure. "This…this place feels like home, somehow. It feels like…like this is what I should be, the life I should have. It's…it's right."

"It's only one small part of making things right for you, Clark," Lex said fondly. "There's so much more I want to do for you. Fortunately, we have all the time we need."

Clark nodded, looking at Lex's crotch. He made puppy eyes, begging without words to serve his Master where others could see him do it. Lex grinned and nodded, spreading his legs a little further. Clark groaned and reached up, freeing Lex from his pants. Lex was already hard, which was no surprise while watching Clark's reactions to this place.

"Thank you, Master," Clark breathed and then swallowed Lex whole.

"Mmm, you're welcome," Lex replied, keeping his voice from shaking only with the greatest effort. Clark's tongue was doing its normal incredible things, driving Lex towards orgasm far too quickly. He tugged at Clark's hair, making him open his eyes and look up. "Slower. Take your time, love. We've got at least another two hours here before we need to be going to our next appointment. I have a special dinner planned for you, too."

Clark shuddered and obviously nearly came. Dean wasn't back yet, but Lex didn't worry about it. He suspected that Dean was taking care of his own 'problem' in the back room. He knew that they had monitors that would let Dean watch Clark blowing him. Another Dom and his sub came to watch, the sub moaning with arousal at the sight. Yes, they were definitely going to take their time with the shopping today!

"Good boy," Lex purred. "Such a good boy!"


The problem with having two bosses was that when they fought you were always in the middle. Darius was sure that this 'disagreement' between his two bosses was going to get him killed. He'd been seriously unhappy about Lionel's orders to go work for Lex in the first place. He didn't like the kid one bit. Sure, sure, he wasn't a kid anymore but that didn't change the fact that Darius didn't like him. He'd been a punk spoiled brat his whole life and Darius sure didn't see any change from the bad old days to now. Lex was just more discrete about how and when he showed his true colors.

At least he had been until that Clark Kent waltzed into his life. Darius was sure that Kent was on drugs, completely insane and the most perverted human being that he'd ever had the misfortune to meet. He still didn't understand why Lionel was being so careful to ensure that no harm came to Kent. He was arranging for all kinds of hell for Lex and treating the Kent freak with fucking kid gloves. There was something distinctly wrong with that, but figuring out what it was wasn't something that Darius cared to do, especially not when Lionel appeared at the Mansion, his face twisted in a mask of politely suppressed rage.

"Darius, my boy," Lionel said in that falsely jovial tone of voice that told Darius that his bacon was not just cooked but about turned to ashes. "So nice to see you."

"Sir," Darius said, suppressing the desire to swallow hard against the lump in his throat. He wished he could have stopped himself from breaking into a sweat but that sort of control, Darius didn't have. "What can I do for you? I'm afraid Lex is in Metropolis at the moment."

"That's precisely why I'm here now," Lionel said, the smile on his face a mask that only poorly hid what he was really feeling. His eyes were like shards of ice as he glared at Darius. "We had an understanding, Darius. You had a task. That task has not been fulfilled. Time is running out and failure is not acceptable."

Darius did swallow that time. He couldn't help it. Hell, he wasn't sure he could find his balls with a map and a pick and shovel after that look. He took a deep breath that went all shuddery on him, glancing around the office to make sure that none of the other security team was there. He was the Head. He didn't want them to see him groveling and if he was any judge of his real bosses' moods, it was going to take groveling to get him out of this one alive.

"Sir, it's not my fault," Darius said, hating that he had to start that way. Lionel Luthor hated it when people said that to him! "My orders were explicit. I wasn't to allow any of the drugs to get into Clark Kent. There's no way to drug Lex's food without Kent getting some of it."

"What is my idiot son doing, feeding Clark from his plate like a pet lapdog?" Lionel said, raising an eyebrow.

"Yes!" Darius said, dead serious. He was surprised that Lionel rocked back on his heels. God, the man had bugged nearly every room in this place. He should have already known that. "Sir, Clark Kent hasn't eaten a meal from his own plate once since he came to live here. Lex feeds him from his plate, with his own fork. He drinks from Lex's cup. There's not single bite of food or drink that doesn't get shared between the two of them. He'd like Lex's pet lapdog. He's taken to leading Kent around by the neck on a leash!"

Lionel sighed, stroking his beard thoughtfully. Darius didn't let himself relax. The rest of the staff might have no idea where Lionel came from, but Darius knew. He'd come up from the Slums just like Lionel had. Granted, Lionel had done one hell of a lot better for himself than Darius had, but he'd been an arsonist, murderer, and counterfeiter back then. That sort of personality didn't change, no matter what veneer you put on the person. He was still just as likely to pull a gun as he was a checkbook. Better than his former buddy Morgan Edge the gang boss, but not by very fucking much.

"I suppose I should have realized that Lex would return to his former games once given the chance," Lionel said sadly. "All right, obviously the normal methods of drugging Lex aren't going to work. I still need him to have a psychotic break or at least to look like he's having one. He's investigating things that are better left alone and I won't have it."

"Sir, there's no way I can drug Lex without getting Kent too," Darius said a little desperately.

"Clark Kent is a minor, Darius," Lionel said with a smirk. "You're simply attempting to drug the wrong things. He's been going through my scotch rather rapidly. From now on, you're to use this drug in it."

He reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a small vial of some clear liquid. It wasn't labeled with the drug name, which was a relief to Darius. He didn't want to fucking know what he was putting in Lex's drinks. Darius took it, trying to still his trembling fingers and unable to do it. Hell, he might try and argue himself into believing that it was just valium or something, but it was probably rat poison given Lex's freak metabolism.

"Um, if this is some sort of drug isn't it going to interact with the alcohol?" Darius said hesitantly.

"That's hardly a problem," Lionel said, smirking in earnest. "Even with the alcohol / drug interaction my son's metabolism is strong enough to keep him from dying. If it makes him delusional, that's all to the good. That's the intended goal, after all. I expect every alcoholic drink he takes to be drugged with this Darius. I need him taken out of commission as soon as possible."

"Yes, sir," Darius said, nodding. "I'll see to it personally."

Lionel swept out, acting like the mansion was his castle and he was the king. Darius sighed, the little vial of whatever drug feeling like a lead weight in his pocket. Knowing Lionel Luthor, he'd find a continued supply of the crap somewhere in his quarters by tomorrow night. He headed to the bar, pulling out Lex's scotch. There was printing on the side of the vial that explained the proper dosage. It had been scribbled out and a dose four times that had been written in by hand. Darius considered it and dumped the whole thing into the scotch. Hopefully the stuff was tasteless, otherwise Lex was going to fry his ass.

"I really hate it when they fight," Darius grumbled as he went back to work. "Stupid rich punk and his murdering father. Deserve each other."

He made himself shut up as soon as he realized he'd said it out loud. No matter what he felt about the Luthor family, if he wanted to keep his job (as well as his life) he'd damned better well keep his fat mouth shut. Didn't matter what sort of job he did—if Lionel or Lex caught him saying shit like that, he'd be gone before anyone noticed. At least he didn't have to worry about that pansy freak Kent figuring anything out. He was so stupid and high that it was lucky he didn't walk into walls.


Clark sighed. He was so glad that school was done for today. He could tell that the gossip had spread about him and Lex. They'd been playing more openly at the mansion in the two weeks since the trip to The Boutique, so it was inevitable that the gossip had started up. There was no way to keep it secret forever, no matter what Lex thought. At least the kinky sex was distracting everyone from Lex's investigations into his father's past. Clark didn't know when Lex would have enough evidence to be able to go to the police, but he hoped it was soon. Lex couldn't carry all the information on his person forever.

People were giving him weird looks at school and he knew the snickers after he passed were directed at him. He didn't think it was all that different from the snickers he'd gotten before but he was far more aware of them now that his mind wasn't so foggy. Lex said that it was to be expected and Clark agreed, but it didn't make it any easier to deal with. He was following Lex's advice of ignoring it for now but if he was confronted by some of the jocks he'd probably end up thumping them and that could get dangerous quick.

"Clark!" Pete snapped from behind him, making Clark start.

"What's wrong?" Clark asked, frowning when Pete grabbed his arm and started hauling him away from his locker. "Pete, wait a second."

"Come on Clark!" Pete growled, glaring at him like he was about to belt Clark, which he hadn't done in quite a while. They'd grown up practically like brothers but drifted apart in the last year or so.

"Fine, fine, just let me lock up, will you?" Clark said, rolling his eyes. "What's gotten into you?"

The question obviously just made Pete angrier. Clark grabbed his backpack, loaded his books and locked his locker. Pete grabbed his arm again and hauled him through the hallways towards the Torch. It had to be either Lex or the collar or the gossip. Or maybe all of it, Clark thought with a mental sigh. Pete really didn't like being reminded of Clark's sex life and to find out that he'd gone a lot farther than vanilla straight sex was probably going to piss Pete off. Pete all but slammed the door to the Torch, making Clark sigh and Chloe raise an eyebrow.

"What's up?" Chloe asked, saving whatever she was working on.

"Not sure yet," Clark sighed, dropping into one of the chairs to study Pete.

"What the fucking hell is that thing around your neck?" Pete yelled, pointing a finger at it.

"A collar," Clark said calmly. "Lex gave it to me. I didn't tell you because I figured you freak out. Pretty much like this. Did you overhear the gossip or did someone squeal?"

Pete stared at him, all the wind taken out of his sails by Clark's calm attitude. Chloe stifled a laugh. Her lips were twitching with amusement when Clark glanced at her. Pete took a deep breath and then let it out in an explosive gust that was halfway between being a sigh and a groan. He took the other chair and pulled it around so that he could face Clark. He sat in it backwards so that the back of the chair was like a shield between him and Clark.

"A fucking collar," Pete said. "You let Lex Luthor put a fucking collar on your neck so you'd have a place to live."

"No, actually he gave it to me before I got kicked out," Clark said with a sigh. He wished he and Pete had stayed the best friends they'd been when they were younger but between Clark's sex drive and Pete's jealousy of his powers (which Clark still wished he hadn't revealed to Pete) they'd drifted apart pretty badly. "It's what got me kicked out. Well, that plus my parents finding out that I was running off to Metropolis to be a whore—the sex drive thing. You know."

"Yeah, I know," Pete grumbled, flushing and looking away.

"Wait, he knew?" Chloe asked, surprised.

"He knew I was into both guys and girls," Clark explained to her, "and he knew that I have an obnoxiously, stupidly, ridiculously high sex drive. He didn't know about the whore thing. I think. Did you know about that?"

Clark looked at Pete. Pete laughed ruefully and shook his head at Clark's description of himself and shrugged.

"No, I did not know about the whore thing," Pete said, "but the sex drive yeah. That I knew all too well. How can you do that kind of crap? How can you be with that Luthor creep?"

"I like him, Pete," Clark admitted sadly. "I know you hate him, but I honestly care for him. I always have. I didn't say anything about it to you because I know how much you don't like him, but it's always been there. He caught me whoring, confronted me on it and um, well, we're together now. You know that I'm kinky. Lex lets me do things that way."

"There's whole worlds to your friendship I never knew about," Chloe said, eyeing them both with a grin. "And as much as I appreciate this window into your worlds, um, guys? I don't really want to be part of this little argument. Can you take it somewhere else? I've got a newspaper to get out."

Pete growled and huffed, standing back up. He glared at the collar around Clark's neck (which was still the one that Lex used to wear—they hadn't found one that Lex was happy with at The Boutique). Clark looked back at him, unsure what Pete would decide to do.

"There's nothing much to say," Pete said, pushing the chair away. It bounced off of the other desk and spun. "I don't get it. I never will get it. I don't think there's any way you could ever explain it to me. And I don't want to know about it, either. Just…leave me alone, okay?"

"You don't want to be associated with the freak," Clark said sadly.

Pete went still as stone and Chloe made a little horrified noise. Clark shook his head and shrugged. That was what it was, whether either of them wanted to say it or not. He could understand it. Things had been hard for Pete ever since he found out about Clark's powers. Adding this to the mix probably just pushed things past his ability to cope.

"It's all right, Pete," Clark said, grabbing his backpack and standing. "If you don't want me around, I won't be around. I know I'm weird. I've always known it. You don't have to feel bad about saying that you don't want to be painted with the same brush as me. Everyone's already talking about me and I'm clear headed enough to notice it now. I'd hate for you to be treated the same way. You've been my best friend since we were little. I don't want you getting ostracized because of me. It's all right, really."

"I really hate it when you're this reasonable," Pete growled, glaring at Clark. "Quit making me feel like a louse!"

"I'm not trying to make you feel bad," Clark laughed, grinning at him. "I'm just saying it you want me to back off, that's fine. It won't hurt my feelings. Really, it won't."

Pete threw up his hands and stomped out, looking like he wanted to hit someone. He'd probably get in a huge fight with his brothers and parents when he got home, or go do something stupid like street racing again, but it wasn't something that Clark could fix. He'd only just barely gotten a handle on his own life. He couldn't help Pete cope with something that he didn't want to face. Chloe sighed, shutting down her computer.

"I'll go talk to him," Chloe said. "He's just freaking out, Clark. I'm sure he'll get over it."

"Hope so, but I wouldn't count on it," Clark said. "Thanks, Chloe. I know him well enough to know I need to give him some space on this. I'm heading back to the mansion. Call if anything happens or you need help."

"Will do," Chloe said, packing up her stuff. "Shoo. I'll take care of Pete. You go take care of Lex."

They shared a grin and Clark headed home. The mansion had become home, far more his home than the farm ever had been, which Clark found kind of sad. He loved Mom and Dad but they'd never accepted him the way Lex did. He used his speed to get home, not willing to wait to see Lex again. He'd said something about his father coming to visit, so Clark walked once he was in sight of the Mansion. He didn't want to give anything away to Lionel—he kept creeping Clark out by watching him like he knew something.

Clark could hear Lex and Lionel arguing about something as soon as he entered the mansion. Lionel had been coming to Smallville almost daily to needle Lex. Clark wasn't sure why (other than the fear that he knew about Lex's investigations), but Lionel kept trying to goad Lex into loosing his temper. It was giving Lex nasty headaches and his back was a solid mass of aches that Clark's best massages didn't help. Clark thought there had to be more to the aches and pains but Lex kept telling him that it was just his father being his normal difficult self. Clark headed into Lex's office since it sounded like Lionel was arguing with Lex up the hall in one of the other rooms.

"What are you doing?" Clark asked, staring at Darius.

"What the hell are you doing here?" Darius snarled, going pale.

Darius was getting ready to pour something into Lex's scotch. It was a little bottle, one that looked like medicine or something. Clark sped over, grabbing Darius' wrist so that he couldn't complete the movement. Darius gasped, staring at Clark in shock. He tried to hang onto the little bottle, snarling at Clark and shoving at his chest. Clark pulled it out of his fingers easily, staring at it. He was drugging Lex's scotch.

"Give that back, you freak!" Darius snarled. "What are you trying to do, get me fired?"

"Obviously you need to be arrested," Clark said calmly. He capped the bottle, which was still about half full. "I think both Lex and Lionel would be interested to find out that you're drugging Lex's scotch. I wonder what an analysis of this stuff would say. Maybe it explains Lex's headaches and muscle aches, possibly even his nightmares."

"Don't," Darius breathed, eyes going wide. "Don't do this! You can't do this!"

"You're the one who made the choice to drug Lex," Clark said calmly. "You're the one who gets to face the consequences."

Clark grabbed Darius by the scruff of the neck and hauled him out of Lex's office. Darius protested all the way, struggling against Clark completely ineffectually. Darius wasn't anywhere near strong enough to break Clark's grip. He was actually being really careful not to squeeze too hard, though he was sure that Darius would have bruises later. Lex and Lionel appeared out of the room they'd been in, Lex staring at Clark in confusion. Lionel glared, clearly furious. Clark wasn't sure which of them he was furious at. Lionel's glare kept sliding from Darius to Clark to Lex and back again.

"What's going on, Clark?" Lex asked.

"I caught him dumping this into your scotch," Clark said, holding up the little bottle. "I'd say that your headaches make a lot more sense if you've been drugged."

"Really?" Lex said, turning eyes that went as cold as ice on Darius. "Care to explain what you were doing, Darius?"

"I didn't do anything," Darius declared still trying to break free from Clark's grip on his neck. "It was him!"

"The boy is known to have some…issues with drugs," Lionel said smoothly, getting a snort and glare from Lex.

They're in it together. Clark stared at Lionel. Lionel was drugging Lex, having Darius drug Lex. The things that Lex had found—the probable murder of his grandparents, the counterfeiting, the ties to organized crime—must all be true. Lionel wasn't trying to get Lex to see a psychiatrist because he was worried about Lex's supposed trauma from the island. He was doing it so that nothing Lex brought up would be taken seriously. No one would believe Lex if he'd been committed or had acted obviously crazy in public.

"You're doing it," Clark said, rocking onto his toes as he watched Lionel's reactions. "You're afraid that Lex is going to blow the whistle on you and you're drugging him so that no one will take him seriously. So that you can have him declared insane."

"You're more perceptive than I thought," Lionel said to Clark. "Pity. Well, at least you've already made it very easy to have your testimony discounted. A perverted street whore who has run away from his parents repeatedly and who is suspected of doing drugs isn't going to be listened to."

Lionel pulled a small gun from his pocket, pointing it at Lex. Clark moved, throwing Darius at Lionel hard enough to knock them both down. He didn't use enough strength or speed to make his powers obvious, not wanting to make things worse. As he did it, Lionel squeezed the trigger. It wasn't a regular gun, Clark realized as soon as the bullet left the barrel. It was a tranquilizer dart. Clark had a horrible 0.03 seconds where he considered using super speed to catch the dart before it hit Lex but even with some unknown drug in Lex's system he should be okay. If Lionel was using darts, he didn't want Lex dead. Clark hated himself for it but he let the dart strike Lex in the neck, moving at just a hair faster than human speed to shout, grab Lex and spin him away from Lionel and Darius as they fell.

"Clark!" Lex gasped, staggering as the drug in the dart entered his system.

He ripped the dart out of his neck and Clark grabbed it, holding it tight in his hand. It was evidence, proof that Lionel was attacking Lex. Lex staggered, his legs going out from under him as he tried to run, tried to go where Clark was urging him. Then his eyes rolled back in his head and he passed out. Clark heard himself shout as he grabbed Lex, scooping him up and over his shoulder. There was a security camera in the hallway and Clark shoved the drug and dart into his pocket. As he passed the camera, Clark snatched it off of the wall, ripping it off of its mount and taking it's tape with him. He needed it, couldn't leave it behind. Lionel would wipe the tapes to destroy the evidence. He needed to have as much evidence as possible to get Lionel for this. Clark ran out of the mansion, carrying Lex and the security camera with him.

He stopped in the woods outside of the mansion, finding Lex's cell phone, scanning its numbers and memorizing them. Then he did the same with his own phone. Lionel would be able to trace them, use the GPS functions on the phones to track them. Clark left the phones on a rock in the woods. He wouldn't give Lionel another chance at Lex! A quick X-ray scan of Lex and himself didn't show any bugs, so Clark picked Lex and the camera up. Time to go somewhere safe.

Mom and Dad, Clark thought as he stood. No, can't go there! They'll get in trouble. They don't have the power to go up against Lionel Luthor. Besides, they're both mad at me. I can't go to Pete, or Chloe, or Lana. None of them are powerful enough. The caves and Lara came to mind next but that wouldn't help because hiding wasn't going to get the police on Lionel. The Boutique popped into his head as a safe place to hide, but they wouldn't help get rid of Lionel either. He was a customer, albeit an infrequent one according to Dean.

"Dr. Swann," Clark said, changing direction and heading for Metropolis at top speed.

He wasn't sure he really trusted Dr. Swann. Their interactions since the Kawatche Caves had been found (which appeared to be what had brought Clark to his attention, though Clark wasn't sure) had been weird to say the least. Dr. Swann knew about Krypton. He'd taught himself to read Kryptonian from a message that had been sent to Earth. For whatever reason, he looked to Clark to save the world, though Clark wasn't sure what he was supposed to save it from. Despite that, he doled out information and help in tiny quarter teaspoons, never telling Clark everything that he wanted to know. It was as though the information he'd figured out was so precious to him that giving any of it away—even to Clark—was painful.

Dr. Swann was a recluse, paralyzed in an accident years ago, so Clark knew he had to call before he went to his Manhattan mansion. He ran to The Boutique in Metropolis, grateful that Lex had told him the security code to get into the private elevator. He quivered the whole way up to their floor, Lex's unconsciousness starting to get to him. God he wanted Lex, his Master, awake and well! The door opened and Dean came hurrying out, naked shock on his face when he saw Clark and Lex.

"Good God, what happened?" Dean asked, staring at them.

"It's a really long story," Clark said, swallowing hard. "I need to use your phone. There's someone who can help but I had to leave our phones behind. Please, can you take us to a back room and then let me borrow a phone? I swear that we'll be gone as soon as possible. I don't want you guys to get in trouble with Lionel."

Dean stiffened when Clark mentioned Lionel's name, nodding firmly. He took Clark through a different door, one that was concealed behind a mahogany panel. It led to a storeroom that Dean hurried through to another door. That led to an employee lounge with comfortable cushions and conveniently placed bottles of lube, condoms and various sex toys. Clark laughed at seeing them. Lex had been right that the staff got to play with the toys, too.

"What?" Dean said, and then grinned when he saw where Clark was gazing. "Hey, what do you expect? We're supposed to look unflappable when all that hot sex is going on. It helps."

Clark set Lex down on one of the couches, gently arranging him comfortably. While Dean hurried off—Clark assumed to get a phone—Clark fished the dart and the bottle out of his pocket. They were both intact, thank goodness. He used Lex's handkerchief to wrap them up, tucking them into Lex's outside coat pocket. The inside ones were stuffed full of Lex's notes on Lionel's criminal activities. He didn't trust his safe or his staff at this point. Clark checked the video camera and—thank goodness again!—it looked to have a memory chip in it instead of feeding directly into the security system. Hopefully it had been taping the attack and not the other end of the hallway.

"Lionel attacked Lex?" a man asked as Dean hurried back in.

"Apparently so, sir," Dean said. "His sub wants to borrow a phone to call someone who can help."

"I came here because you guys are really discrete," Clark said, "and because…well, this place feels sort of like home to me. So can I borrow a cell phone or a pay phone or something? I swear, it'll be very short and hopefully won't be traceable back to you guys."

The man Dean had brought back was older, graying and a bit paunchy. He looked at Clark with a little frown, eventually nodding and pulling a cell phone out of his pocket. Clark smiled his thanks and dialed Dr. Swann's number. He knew he wouldn't get Dr. Swann but he hoped that his aide, Bridgette Crosby, would answer.

"Hello?" Bridgette said, her rather deep and raspy voice a huge relief to Clark.

"Ma'am, it's Clark," Clark said, unconsciously petting Lex's stomach as he settled on the floor next to Lex's couch. "I really need to see you. Right away if possible. A lot of stuff has happened and I think I'm in serious danger. Can I come over?"

"Of course!" Bridgette said, sounding horrified. "Are you somewhere safe now?"

"Um, sort of," Clark said. "It's complicated. If I'm there in a few minutes will that be all right?"

"You get here as quickly as you can," Bridgette declared. "I'll let the doctor know you're coming."

"Thank you!" Clark said. "See you in just a bit then."

He hung up and passed the phone back to Dean's boss with a huge smile. Dean unconsciously smiled back at Clark, blushing as he realized what he was doing. His boss chuckled, taking his phone and tucking it back into his pocket.

"Do you need a ride?" Dean asked. "I could give you a ride if you want."

"No, it's not that far," Clark said, shaking his head as he picked Lex and the camera up. "Besides, it's Lionel Luthor. I don't want you guys to get involved with this. This place really does feel like home. I want it to be here in the future for us to visit. If you guys get caught up in this then there's going to be huge amounts of publicity and Lionel will try to destroy you. I don't want that. It's better that we just go. Thanks so much for your help, anyway."

"You're welcome," Dean's boss said, nodding for Dean to lead them out. "Be careful and let us know what's happening eventually."

"You'll probably see it on the news before we have a chance to get back here," Clark sighed. "I think life's going to be insane for a while."

Dean took them through the staff entrance in the back of the building. It let out onto the ground floor, in the alleyway, which was perfect as far as Clark was concerned. He waited until Dean closed the door and then sped with Lex to New York, finding Dr. Swann's huge mansion easily. Bridgette was waiting for him by the door. She had them inside within seconds and then hurried down the hallway, not asking any questions though she did give Lex a worried look. Dr. Swann was waiting for them in one of the bigger drawing rooms. He gave a little gasp when he saw Lex in Clark's arms, but quickly shut his mouth and watched. Clark settled Lex on the couch and then sat on the floor with a tired sigh, holding up the security camera to Bridgette.

"This hopefully has footage of Lionel Luthor shooting Lex with a tranquilizer dart," Clark said to them. "He's apparently been paying Lex's head of security Darius to drug him. I've got a sample of the drug and the dart that hit Lex in one of his pockets."

"Why do all that?" Bridgette asked, pulling out the memory chip to study it.

"Lex thinks that Lionel murdered his parents in a fake tenement fire for insurance money," Clark said, "and that he counterfeited the rest of his fortune. He's found all sorts of evidence, which he's got hidden in his coat that shows pretty clearly that Lionel's done some really illegal things. He's…God I want him to wake up!"

Clark shuddered, smiling at Bridgette's gentle touch on his shoulder. She always had been nice when he'd visited, far more open and gentle than Dr. Swann. He sighed, rubbing his face. It was so hard keeping things together right now, but that's what his Master would want, so that's what he was going to do, no matter how hard it was.

"You've changed," Dr. Swann said, watching Clark closely. "You've found a way to deal with your needs."

"Hmm?" Clark murmured, turning to stare at Dr. Swann. "Oh, well, it just took finding a Master who understood my needs and met them. Lex is…Lex is my Master, the one that keeps me from going out of control. I've actually been able to think properly ever since we got together. Now Lionel's trying to take him away and I won't let that happen. Is there any way you can call the police? I know that this isn't in their jurisdiction since it happened in Kansas, but it's murder and arson and counterfeiting, so wouldn't that be federal? It doesn't matter that it's across state lines when it's a federal charge does it?"

Dr. Swan smiled his tight little smile, his eyes sparkling with humor and what Clark thought was approval. Dr. Swann was really hard to read since he was paralyzed from the neck down, but it looked like approval to Clark. He gave Bridgette a tiny nod. She smiled and gave the camera and its memory chip back to Clark, hurrying from the room to make the call. Clark turned back to Lex, still worried about him.

"He will be all right, Kal-El," Dr. Swann said. "Have you told him what you are?"

"Everything that I know, yes," Clark said, making a face at being called Kal-El. "There's so much that I don't know, Dr. Swann."

"I received a message recently," Dr. Swann said, moving his wheelchair a little closer. "I believe that it is for the two of you."

Clark blinked, staring at him. Krypton was gone so the message had to have come from Lara in the Kawatche Caves. He really wondered how much she was aware of the rest of the world. He couldn't decide if her being omniscient was scarier than her being completely blind. Either idea was creepy.

"What did it say?" Clark asked.

"It said 'Bring him to me,'" Dr. Swann said. "I thought it might be referring to you but perhaps I was wrong."

His eyes rested on Lex and Clark's heart fluttered in his chest. His heart (and stomach) kept doing fluttery things inside of him as they waited in silence for the police to arrive. It wasn't that long, only about ten minutes, but Clark thought that he felt every millisecond of those ten minutes so it was a very long wait. Dr. Swann appeared to have no problem whatsoever just sitting and watching Clark twitch as they waited. The discussion with the FBI went pretty well. Bridgette produced a computer and they watched the security camera's footage. She disappeared again as soon as it started playing. It was perfectly clear, showing Lionel, the gun, Clark's reactions, everything. Clark breathed a little sigh of relief at that. He had a bit of explaining to do about Lionel's comments about his past. He was just getting to the whole BDSM thing when Lex groaned and then gasped, sitting bolt upright.

"It's okay," Clark said, catching him when Lex nearly collapsed. "We're safe. I got us to Dr. Swann's place in Manhattan. I'm just explaining what happened to the FBI."

"W-what?" Lex said, blinking blurrily at the FBI agents. "Have you given them my evidence yet?"

"Not yet," Clark said. "We just went over the footage from a security camera that I ripped off the wall as we were running away. You were passed out by that point."

"It sounds like we might be able to arrest your father for quite a bit more than the tax evasion that we've been investigating," the FBI agent said with a grimly delighted smile. "Once you're up to it, we'd like to go over your evidence with you. Between what your friend Clark's found and what you have, we might have a very solid case against him."

Lex shook his head gingerly and went a little green. The drugs were obviously still affecting him. Clark made him lie back down. He continued his explanation of how his 'unorthodox lifestyle choices' hadn't gone over well with his Kansas-born-and-bred parents. Dr. Swann's lips twitched as he fought a smile on that one and Clark didn't dare look at Lex. He was sure that he'd end up laughing. 'Unorthodox lifestyle choice' was such a silly way of putting 'fuck or die', but he wasn't about to explain that to federal police.

"I did a quick analysis on that drug, Lex," Bridgette said, coming back into the room. "You're very lucky to be alive. If Clark's right that this Darius person was dumping the whole thing into your scotch, then the drug interactions alone should have been enough to kill you. Adding the tranquilizer into it probably put a huge strain on your heart and lungs. I'm surprised you didn't go into cardiac arrest. Long-term exposure to this particular drug can produce some nasty hallucinations, convulsions, crippling headaches, even death. This isn't just a drugging. Its attempted murder."

"Can we have a copy of your results?" the FBI agent asked, looking excited.

"Certainly," Bridgette said, smiling at him. "There's still quite a bit of the drug left. I kept a small portion of it for our copies of the files. You'll forgive me, but we are dealing with Lionel Luthor. I wouldn't put it past him to tamper with the evidence before the trial."

"We'll make sure he doesn't get the chance," the FBI agent said grimly, wincing as he read the results. "You might want to go to a hospital, Mr. Luthor. Getting a blood test for the record would be wise. Not to mention getting checked out. This looks really nasty."

"Of course," Lex said, nodding and sitting back up. He swayed, leaning against Clark's shoulder. "Let's go. Thank you for your assistance, Ms. Crosby, Dr. Swann."

"Not at all," Dr. Swann said. "I've been corresponding with Clark for quite some time. I'm just glad that I got the chance to help him in his time of need."

Clark sighed in relief as he helped Lex stand. It looked like with Dr. Swann's help they had a chance to taking Lionel down. He wasn't sure that he'd be able to go back to Smallville anytime soon but it didn't matter. If Lex was safe and Clark could stay with him, then it would be all right. He was still worrying about Lara's message in the back of his mind but that would have to wait until they'd dealt with Lionel. It wasn't safe to go to the caves until Lionel was securely behind bars and his money and power had been permanently taken away.


Martha sighed as she finished drying the last dish from breakfast. Things just weren't the same since Clark left. It wasn't the new hands that Clark's money had hired—paid for by a very secure grant that would continue to pay their wages for years to come—it was how quiet the house was. No matter how foggy Clark got, he'd still been there, asking questions about his school work, talking to them, learning things and growing. If only they'd realized how badly he'd been suffering and the direction he'd been growing in they might have had a chance of keeping him from leaving.

Now the only way she saw her son was on the TV, during one of the news conferences about Lionel's trial. In the three weeks since the attack on Lex, Lionel's trial had become one of the biggest news items in the country. It meant she got to see Clark frequently, but it also meant that they'd had to get an unlisted number because of all the reporters calling them for comments. Jonathan had gotten increasingly tenser as the time had gone by, especially since it had become public knowledge that Clark was into kinky sex. At least their friends understood their position that Clark had to stop if he wanted to live in their house. It didn't appear to help Jonathan's health, which had been poor since he took on Kryptonian powers to bring Clark back from Metropolis last summer. Yet another 'if only' that Martha couldn't do anything about.

She focused on the TV again, just in time to see Clark and Lex come out of the courthouse together. Clark stood behind Lex, looking like a bodyguard instead of Lex's lover. He'd gotten some nice clothes, a good shirt and leather jacket over nice slacks. He looked stunningly mature, very focused, with none of the old fogginess in his face or eyes. Her baby had grown up so much in the last couple of months!

"Another news conference?" Jonathan asked as he came into the house, puffing a little as if he was out of breath.

"Yes," Martha said, sighing. "Apparently Lionel's made bail and is being released from jail for now. The reporters are trying to get a comment from Lex and—!"

Martha gasped, eyes riveted on the TV screen. Someone had pulled a gun and was firing at Lex and Clark. Clark grabbed Lex, spinning him back towards the courthouse in a move that would do a linebacker or professional bodyguard proud. Their FBI guards blocked and tackled the gunman. Martha trembled as the reporters babbled on about how they didn't know if Lex or Clark had been shot, only snapping out of it when Jonathan groaned.

"Honey?" Martha asked, turning to him and just barely managing to catch him in time as he collapsed. "Jonathan!"

Jonathan groaned, clutching his chest. He was sweating and panting as if he was in agony. Martha held him in her arms, straining to reach the phone. Please God, don't let him die! Please! She knocked the phone off of the hook and shouted in frustration, scrambling to get it without letting him go. He was clinging to her anyway and so much larger than she was that there was no way that she'd get free. She managed to get the phone and died 911 with shaking fingers.

"Don't die, Honey," Martha begged him as she waited for the operator to pick up. "Don't die. I'm here. It's all right."

"911. Please state your emergency," the operator said in a not-quite bored tone of voice.

"Please, my husband's having a heart attack," Martha babbled, tucking the phone between her cheek and shoulder as she checked that he was still breathing. "This is Martha Kent. You need to get someone out here as soon as possible!"

"Sending an ambulance now, Ma'am," the operator said a good deal more seriously. "Is he breathing?"

"Y-yes," Martha said, sobbing. "Not well. He's…he's in so much pain, sweating, please, how long?"

"It won't be long, Ma'am," the operator reassured her. "Just try and stay calm. I'll stay on the line with you until they get there, okay?"

"Thank you," Martha said, shaking so hard she was surprised she could hold Jonathan and the phone.

One of the hands came in from outside, gasping at seeing them on the floor. He hurried over, checking Jonathan's pulse at his wrist. Martha whimpered, wishing there was more that she could do. There wasn't much that she could do though, besides try and hold it together until the ambulance arrived.

"Is that 911?" the hand, Bobby, asked. "Want me to talk to them, Mrs. Kent?"

"Yes," Martha said, passing the phone over to him so that she could focus on her husband.

Bobby took it and stood, answering the operator's questions and watching her with Jonathan. She carefully shifted Jonathan in her arms, laying him down and pulling a blanket off of the couch so that she could cover him up. His head fit comfortably in her lap, though his face was still contorted with pain. Martha kept crooning to him, petting his forehead and holding his hand. It seemed like an eternity before the ambulance crew was kneeling next to her. It also felt like it had only been three seconds. She went with the crew, holding Jonathan's hand the whole way. Once they were in the hospital, the crew took Jonathan away and she went to sit in the waiting room.

"Mrs. Kent?" Chloe asked, startling her. "Are you all right? Why are you here?"

"J-Jonathan had a heart attack," Martha said, swallowing down the tears that wanted to surge up. "Chloe, do you have Clark's new phone number?"

"Of course," Chloe said, sitting next to her. "I'm glad I was here."

Martha relaxed a little as Chloe pulled out her cell phone. She knew Clark. Once he knew that Jonathan was in the hospital, he'd come home. He might have to fly because of all the publicity instead of using his powers, but he'd still come home. She was sure that Lex would come with him, but that was all right as long as she got to see her son again.


It took almost half an hour for the FBI to allow them back out of the courthouse. They were hurried into an armored car and then driven across town to Dr. Swann's mansion. Clark sighed, wishing this was all over. He still couldn't believe that the court had decided that Lionel should be allowed to post bail. The assassination attempt was just one more sign that he was dangerous and needed to be kept away from the world, but none of Lex and Dr. Swann's lawyers had been able to convince the judge.

"Don't worry, it will be all right Clark," Lex said, rubbing his back and trailing his fingers along the harness hidden under his clothes.

"Master," Clark moaned quietly, knowing that the driver had to know what Lex was doing to him. He shifted in the seat, breath coming a little faster. Every movement made him aware of the harness, which included a cock ring that was making his cock stay half-hard. It also included a butt plug that was stretching his ass out.

"We'll take some private time once we get back to Dr. Swann's," Lex promised. "There should be plenty of time for it before we need to do anything else."

"Hope so," Clark said, smiling sidelong at Lex.

God it was so good having Lex as his Master! He kept thinking it but it was such a huge difference from the way that he'd lived before that he couldn't stop. It was like night and day. Before Lex he'd never have been able to keep it together this way, especially not with this many people watching him and talking about him. Of course, the fact that they were talking about his sex life and Lionel's crimes exclusively helped to hide his differences. He was pretty sure that the FBI had figured out that he had some sort of powers but they weren't commenting on it. They'd commented on Lex's ability to heal but hadn't said a word about the fact that they'd made it from Kansas to New York in less than five minutes.

"Did you have something planned for tonight?" Clark asked, settling back into the crook of Lex's arm.

"No, not really," Lex said. "I thought that we'd stay home tonight. There's plenty to do there, don't you think?"

"Yes, Master!" Clark moaned, shivering. Staying in was one of his personal favorite things to do with all the toys they'd gotten and all the games that Lex knew to do with them. He was about to suggest playing with the whips again when his new cell phone rang. He pulled it out and checked. Chloe. "Hello? What's up, Chloe?"

"Clark!" Chloe said, sounding really worried, "you've got to come back to Smallville. Your dad was just admitted to the hospital. He had a heart attack and they're taking him into to do bypass surgery. Your mom's here."

"Oh my God!" Clark gasped, sitting up straight. "Is she okay? How long will Dad be in surgery, Chloe?"

"Surgery?" Lex asked, coming on alert.

"I don't know," Chloe said, "but probably several hours. Your mom's fine, just scared and worried."

"We'll be there as quick as we can, Chloe," Clark said. "Can I talk to Mom?"

"Sure!" Chloe replied, whispering something to Mom before handing the phone over.

Lex put a hand on Clark's arm, making him turn and stare at him. He looked worried, not just about Clark but also about Dad. Clark knew how much Lex respected Dad, though Dad hated Lex and always had. He had to be just as worried as Clark was, maybe even more because there was little chance he'd be allowed to visit.

"Clark?" Mom asked. She sounded so fragile, so old. It was terrifying to think that she was this scared and hurt.

"I'm here, Mom," Clark said. "Don't worry. We'll be back to Smallville as quick as we can. You stay there and keep an eye on Dad, okay? Are you all right?"

"I'll be fine," Mom laughed a little breathlessly. "They're doing their best for Jonathan. I'm sure he'll be all right, too. We saw the attack at the courthouse. Are you two all right?"

"We're both fine," Clark reassured her, wincing that she'd seen that. "The bullets went way wild. Nobody was hurt and the FBI has the gunman in custody already."

"Okay," Mom said, sounding relieved. "You two be careful."

"We will be," Clark promised. "See you soon, Mom. Hopefully within a couple of hours at most."

They said their goodbyes. Clark asked Chloe to keep an eye on Mom and then hung up, slumping back into the car seat. They were just arriving at Dr. Swann's mansion, pulling into his underground parking garage. Lex ran a hand down Clark's arm. He shuddered and curled into Lex's arms.

"Dad's had a heart attack," Clark whispered. "He just went in for heart surgery, Lex. Can we please go home? Back to Smallville?"

"Of course!" Lex said, huffing a little at the question. "We'll head straight there. There's nothing much that we can do here now that Lionel's been released anyway. I asked Ms. Crosby to pack our things before we went to the courthouse. I didn't really think that we'd win the bail battle."

"Thank goodness," Clark sighed, resting his head on Lex's shoulder. There was something about his scent that reassured Clark, that centered him better than anything else. He didn't know what it was but Lex's touch and his scent, the way he spoke and even the way he moved helped Clark keep it together.

Bridgette arranged for a helicopter to take them to the airport. She had Lex's personal jet waiting and read for them by the time they got there. They were in the air on their way back to Smallville within half an hour of getting Chloe's call. Clark paced, unable to stay calm despite the fact that they were doing everything (humanly) possible to get back home. He could have been there in minutes if he hadn't had to pretend to be human. The FBI agents assigned to them left them alone, staying in a different room in the jet.

"Come here, Clark," Lex ordered after he'd paced for a while.

Clark came over and knelt by Lex's side, laying his head against Lex's leg. What if Dad didn't make it? What if he died on the operating table before Clark ever got to reconcile with him? Clark didn't think he could bear that.

"Shhhh, he's going to be all right," Lex said, petting Clark's hair. "You need to calm down, Clark."

"I can't," Clark protested, looking up at him wildly. "Lex, he's my Dad! I can't…I can't calm down, not until I know he's all right."

"You will calm down, pet," Lex said in a deeper tone of voice that went straight to Clark's instincts. "Strip."

Clark stared, making a wordless protest that Lex frowned at. He couldn't be serious. He wanted sex now? Lex caught Clark's collar, tugging at it and making him look into his eyes. Clark shuddered, a mixture of shame and need and worry and fear confusing him. He wanted this but he didn't want it. He needed it and was ashamed that he needed it. He'd sort of forgotten how uncomfortable his sexual needs made him when he was thinking about his parents.

"Strip," Lex ordered. "You need to calm down and recenter yourself, Clark. If you don't you're not going to be able to comfort your mother when we get there."

"That's cheating," Clark protested with a little laugh. "Are you sure this isn't an excuse to have sex in a plane?"

"I've already joined the Mile High Club, Clark," Lex smirked. He sighed and made a face. "Actually I'd appreciate your taking my mind off of the last private jet I got on."

"Oh, Helen," Clark said, blinking. He'd sort of forgotten about Lex's former wife and the plane trip that had ended up with Lex crashing on a deserted island.

He nodded and stood, stripping out of the clothes that Lex had gotten him. Every piece of clothing he took off revealed more of the red and blue leather harness that Lex had commissioned for him. By the time he was naked, Clark was hard as a rock and Lex was smiling at him seductively.

"Get your Master ready," Lex said, voice low and rough with lust.

Clark groaned and knelt between Lex's legs. It didn't take much to get him ready. He was already hard as a rock when Clark pulled Lex's cock out of his pants. Clark sucked him into his mouth, shivering at the feeling of Lex's fingers running over the harness that adorned his body. Lex let him suck for a little while but quickly pushed him away, having him drape himself over one of the other seats.

"Do you like having this in you?" Lex asked, tugging at the butt plug.

"Yes, Master!" Clark moaned, eyes fluttering shut. "Feels so good—keeping me ready for you to fuck me whenever you want to. Please? Fuck me now, fill me up. Please, Master, need you so bad!"

Lex chuckled and pulled the plug out. He pushed into Clark's ass before his body had a chance to adjust to the plug being gone. Clark gasped, his head going back at how good it felt. Lex took his time, starting with a slow pace that made Clark moan and whimper, then moving up to a hard, fast, deep pounding that had Clark crying out loudly enough that the FBI and flight attendant had to hear. The fact that they had to know turned Clark on even more. He started begging to be allowed to come, something that he knew always turned Lex on. Lex bucked four more times and then came hard in Clark's ass, hanging onto the harness as he came.

"Come for me!" Lex ordered, reaching underneath to stroke Clark's cock. "Come for me, pet!"

Clark came hard, crying out at the feel of Lex's hand wrapped around his cock, the feel of his cock in Clark's ass. He came so hard that stars appeared behind his eyes and he sagged over the other seat, panting. Lex chuckled, petting his back and letting Clark catch his breath.

"Now to put the butt plug back in," Lex said, grinning as Clark whimpered and looked over his shoulder at him. "Have to keep all that lovely come inside of you for next time."

Clark shuddered, trembling at how much that thought turned him on. Lex pulled out and quickly pushed the butt plug back into Clark's body. He had Clark clean up his mess and then kneel at his feet until they got the warning that they were coming in for a landing at Metropolis. Clark got dressed again, much more relaxed and able to think because of the sex and the submission.

They hopped in a helicopter once they landed and flew straight to Smallville. For two people who were afraid of heights and flying, they certainly were spending a lot of time in the air. Clark found the though amusing but didn't explain his smile when Lex raised an eyebrow. It didn't matter. They were there and out of the helicopter and going to the hospital and thank God, there was Mom, sitting with Chloe, her back straight and strong though her eyes looked like she'd been crying.

"Mom!" Clark said, hurrying over.

"Clark! Thank goodness you're here," Mom said, standing and hugging him. She made a face when she felt the harness but didn't say anything.

"I was so worried about you," Clark said, hugging her tight. "Is Dad okay? Has he come out of surgery yet?"

"He got out about a half hour ago," Mom said, smiling at him despite the tears in his eyes. "They've got him in the recovery room. We should be allowed in any time now."

Chloe had disappeared while he was hugging Mom, but Lex was there. They waited together and when the doctor came out he looked surprised to find Clark there with Mom. He frowned, coming over to talk to them.

"It looks like he'll be all right," the doctor said to Mom. "You can go in any time but…given the situation with your son, I'm not sure it's a good idea for him to go in."

"What?" Clark gasped, feeling like he'd been stabbed.

"No," Mom said, glaring at the doctor. "He needs to see that Clark's all right. He collapsed when we were watching the news this morning, just when there was a shooting attempt. He needs to know that Clark wasn't hurt."

"All right," the doctor said reluctantly. "Bear in mind that your husband has a very weak heart, Mrs. Kent. We had to do a triple bypass. He's going to take a while to get back to normal and there's every likelihood that he'll need further surgeries to deal with the weakness of his heart. The less stress he endures, the better."

Mom nodded, holding Clark's hand firmly. She headed for Dad's room and Clark looked back to see that Lex had stayed behind. He made a little whimpering noise despite his intention not to. Since Lionel's drugging attempt they hadn't been apart for more than a few minutes at a time. It was odd not to have Lex right by his side.

"Come on, Lex," Mom said, startling Clark, Lex and the doctor.

"I can wait outside," Lex said, startled.

"No, you're important to Clark," Mom said, smiling sadly at him. "That makes you family, no matter what Jonathan feels about it. Besides, I don't want you out here alone with your father out of jail. You're staying with Clark where you'll be safe."

Lex laughed, rubbing the back of his head with a rueful smile. He nodded and joined them, though he stayed in the background while they waited for Dad to wake up. It took about an hour for Dad to wake up all the way. He woke partially a couple of times but was obviously still feeling the anesthesia. He kept asking if Clark was okay but didn't seem to realize that he was sitting right there, holding his hand. Eventually he woke up for real, staring around the hospital room. First he saw Mom, then Lex and then finally Clark.

"You're all right," Dad said, his voice way too weak and quiet.

"Yeah," Clark said, smiling at him. "We flew straight back when Mom let us know that you were in the hospital. I was so worried about you, Dad!"

Clark was dismayed that he started crying. He really had been worried. Despite the sex with Lex, he'd been terrified that they'd get here and Dad would have died, that he'd wake up and not want Clark there. He'd been so worried and now Dad was awake and everything was okay, or as okay as it could be while they were so mad at him.

"Hey, I'll be all right," Dad said, trying to sit up a little and groaning. "Okay, so I'll be okay in a few days. Ow!"

"Don't do that!" Mom huffed at him. "You need to rest, Honey. The farm's all right. I called the hands while you were in surgery and they're taking care of everything. We'll be all right. You just concentrate on getting better."

Dad nodded, looking at Clark as he rubbed his tears away. He sighed and turned to Lex, something between reluctant approval and annoyance in his eyes. Lex straightened up a little. He'd been leaning against the wall at the opposite end of the room, trying not to intrude on their privacy while still staying close enough to Clark that he felt reassured.

"Luthor," Dad said, calling him over. He waited until Lex came to stand behind Clark's stool. "He looks a lot better."

"Yes, he does," Lex said, smiling and putting a hand on Clark's shoulder. "I'm doing my best to take care of him."

"I…don't understand it," Dad said slowly. "Don't think I ever will. It's not…not how things are done, not…right, to the way I was brought up. But…"

He stopped talking, a series of emotions going over his face so fast that Clark couldn't follow them, even at super speed. Dad sighed, smiling sadly at Mom as she pet his cheek and squeezed his hand. They did that married people's talking without words thing. Eventually, he turned back to Lex and Clark, sighing.

"Take care of him," Dad ordered. "I don't like that your sex life is everyone's gossip but…take care of my boy. Once I'm better and out of this place, maybe we can start talking again."

"That would be perfect," Lex said, smiling.

Clark thought his face was about to split in half he was so delighted. That was more approval than he'd ever expected to get out of his father. He didn't know if it would ever be better than that, but at least he'd gotten this much and Dad was alive and likely to get better. Lionel was still free but that wasn't going to last. They'd get him thrown in jail eventually, and then their lives would be 100% safer for sure.

"Good," Dad said, sighing tiredly. "Sleepy. Make Martha get something to eat. I'm sure she hasn't eaten a bite since breakfast."

"Honey!" Mom protested, huffing at him. He grinned weakly and nodded to Clark and Lex as his eyes drooped shut again. He started snoring softly. Mom laughed, patting his hand and tugging the blankets up over his chest. "That man. Takes care of everyone except himself."

"Let's go to the cafeteria and get some dinner," Lex said, smiling at her. "We didn't have lunch and we're on East Coast time. It's past dinner for us."

"Please Mom?" Clark begged, using his best puppy eyes on her. It worked like it always worked, letting them get her out of the room and down to the cafeteria. It didn't look like the reporters had descended on them yet, but it was probably just a matter of time. For now, Clark was content to enjoy some time with his mother and his Master. Maybe things were going to get better sooner than he'd expected.


Chloe carefully edged her way into the back door of the LuthorCorp plant outside of town. She'd spent the last few weeks since Clark and Lex were attacked investigating Lionel's actions. He was incredibly good at hiding his actions and making all evidence disappear. She hadn't found anything conclusive though she'd gathered a lot of circumstantial evidence that said he was conducting some of the worst experiments possible.

"Tin-pot dictator trying to follow in Hitler's footsteps," Chloe muttered to herself as she sneaked through the factory to the labs. She didn't really mean it but she did think that he was doing some seriously unethical things, things that were probably very illegal.

He'd gotten her father fired a while back, and had apparently blackballed him in town because he still couldn't get a job anywhere but fast food. Not that he was having much success keeping even those jobs. Chloe didn't think that it would change until Lionel was off of the street for good, thus her lurking about LuthorCorp searching for dirty projects that she could pin on him. It probably wouldn't work but she felt like she had to try, for her dad, for Clark and definitely for herself.

The first lab she snuck into was strange. It was entirely glass-walled and looked like very few people ever used it. There were strange shower nozzles like things over head and cages to hold animals. Creepier still there was a chair under the nozzles that had restraints on it, obviously for tying someone up so that they couldn't escape the spray from the nozzles. She didn't know what came out of the nozzles, but she didn't really care at this point. She was looking for files, paperwork, data that she could take back to the police. She didn't expect to find samples of whatever was being tested in this lab and wouldn't want to handle it anyway.

There weren't many files to be found, other than one folder labeled Levitas. There were a few pages of notes in the file, which she photographed quickly, but nothing else. A guard when by outside and she gasped, ducking down behind a table so they wouldn't see her. As she stood, she backed up into a console. Chloe had no idea what she hit, but she obviously hit something because alarms started going off and the glass doors into the lab sealed shut. The purpose of the nozzles overhead became very clear as green gas started flowing down at her. Chloe gasped a huge lungful and then she dropped to the floor. She tried to hold her breath, trying not to get anymore of into her system, but it was impossible. She was coughing too hard to hold her breath, and every cough let more into her system, which terrified her. Whatever this Levitas stuff was, she was sure that it was dangerous. Everything that Lionel did seemed to be deadly.

The guards were shouting outside and one of the scientists scrambled at a cut off valve, stopping the gas before she breathed any more of it. Chloe waited a desperate few seconds for them to open the door and then barreled into the guard, knocking him flat. She hoped that he hadn't seen her face but didn't wait to be sure. She ran for the exit, escaping the guards and shouting scientists. God only knew what Lionel would do if he caught her here. Her dad was already blackballed. She didn't want it to get any worse.

Chloe made it out, got to her car and then escaped from LuthorCorp. She didn't know what to do. Lex could probably find out what the Levitas project was for but she wasn't sure that it was a very bright idea to admit that she'd been skulking around doing probably illegal investigations while he and Clark were in Manhattan. Now that they were back, Clark would try and help but he'd go straight to Lex and she'd be in the same place. Instead of admitting her stupidity, she headed for home. Her dad had the night shift, so he wasn't there. Chloe slept poorly that night, with nasty dreams and woke in the morning determined to put it behind her.

She had a very hard time doing so once she got to school. She managed to interview one of the athletes for the paper and got the most truthful answers she'd ever gotten from anyone. He stared at her as if she'd just done something terrible and all but ran away from her. When she got to math, she asked her teacher if he could explain one of the questions and he told her that he hadn't a clue, he just used the answer key. It only took to lunch for Chloe to realize that she suddenly had the power to make people answer her questions with the unvarnished truth.

"This is so cool," Chloe said, beaming as she sat down with Pete for lunch.

"Yeah, cool, if you say so," Pete said, looking at her as if afraid of her. "Um, look, I see a girl that I'm interested in. I think I'm going to go eat with her."

"Are you afraid of me?" Chloe asked astonished.

"I'm afraid of what you're going to ask me and what you'll do with the information you get. You've got no restraint when it comes to reporting 'the truth'," Pete said, looking just as panicked as everyone else had. "Look, Chloe, you're my friend but until you get this under control, stay the hell away from me, okay?"

"Um, okay," Chloe said wide-eyed, eating a very quiet lunch alone. By afternoon everyone in the school was avoiding her and she was getting horrible headaches. Chloe sighed, going to the Talon. She really wished she knew how mad Lex would be when she admitted what she'd done. She didn't think she had much choice at this point. Even the teachers were avoiding her and…Chloe gasped as her head throbbed. It was like someone inside her head was trying to hammer a spike through her left temple. She nearly collapsed, panting.

"Hey, you okay?"

Chloe whimpered, shaking her head as the pain started fading as quickly as it had appeared. She looked up at Gary, one of the football players. He was wearing the same frightened expression as everyone else today. Chloe swallowed hard, clinging to his arm.

"Sorry," Chloe said, rubbing her head. "That sort of came out of nowhere. You're afraid of me, too?"

"Of course," Gary said, groaning. "You're every teenager's nightmare—the one who can make us tell the truth whether we want to or not. Fuck, that's creepy. I couldn't not tell you that!"

"Um, what's it feel like?" Chloe asked hesitantly. "Sorry, sorry, you don't have to answer that."

"Actually I do have to," Gary said, supporting her as they headed for the Torch. "It's creepy. It's like something overrides your ability to disagree with things, to hold your tongue. Like…worms or something taking over your mouth and brain. It's really uncomfortable. What the heck happened to you to give you this ability?"

"I…um, might have gotten exposed to a LuthorCorp secret experiment," Chloe said, wincing as her headache surged back up. "Oww, oh ow!"

She staggered and Gary held her, keeping her from falling to her knees. The headache was worse this time than last, and worse last time than the time before. It was getting worse and she had a pretty good idea of what would happen if it went on much longer. Chloe panted, eyes wide. She looked up at Gary, grateful that pretty much everyone had already left so that they wouldn't see her begging.

"Gary, I hate to do this but can you please take me to the hospital?" Chloe asked, her voice shaking so hard she was almost embarrassed. "Please? It's getting worse."

"Sure," Gary said, nodding. He didn't even look uncomfortable with the question. "You really look like shit."

"Lovely," Chloe drawled, grateful for his support as they went to her car in the parking lot. She needed the support since her headaches seemed to be getting more frequent as well as more painful. Once she was in the passenger seat of her car and Gary was driving her to the hospital, Chloe pulled out her cell phone. "I need to call Lex. He'll…he'll know what's wrong with me."

Chloe winced as the ringer made her head feel like it was splitting. It took two rings for someone to pick up. Chloe moaned through her headache, relieved that it was Clark's voice, not Lex's voice. She couldn't quite understand what he was saying but Gary took the phone from her, saying something to Clark that didn't make sense until her headache faded a couple of blocks later.

"Yeah, she's getting these killer headaches and she said something about a LuthorCorp experiment," Gary was saying, driving one-handed.

"Gimme that," Chloe said, taking the phone back from him. "Don't talk on the phone while driving! Clark, I think I'm in trouble. I got exposed to this gas that I think is called Levitas. Let Lex know and meet me at the hospital. I'm really getting scared. These headaches are killing me and no one can lie to me, not even about really private stuff."

"Chloe one of these days your curiosity is going to get you killed!" Clark exclaimed. "You could have just asked and Lex would have shown you."

"No, I was investigation Lionel's experiments, not Lex's," Chloe disagreed. "Please, let Lex know?"

"Of course, he's right here," Clark said. "We'll be there probably right after you get there, Chloe."

"Thanks, Clark," Chloe said, sighing with relief. "I just hope that there's a cure for this stuff."

"See you soon," Clark said, significantly not reassuring Chloe that it would be okay.

Chloe had another two headache attacks by the time they got to the hospital. Gary got her admitted and then disappeared. Chloe didn't hear what excuse he'd given because she was too busy explaining through her headache that she was afraid she'd been exposed to some sort of LuthorCorp toxin and that she thought she was dying. The nurse and then the doctor didn't seem very inclined to listen to her, but they did leave her with her purse and cell phone. She had just pulled out her cell phone to call Clark and Lex when Lionel eased his way into the room, shutting the door with a little smirk.

"Such a terrible situation," Lionel said slyly to Chloe. "Such a pity that you're in such pain. I suppose that that's what comes from poking your nose into places that it doesn't belong."

"You know what's happening to me, don't you?" Chloe asked, glaring at him. Her cell phone was on the other side of her body, hidden from his sight, so Chloe pushed the message button, recording everything that they said.

"I do indeed, Miss Sullivan," Lionel said, stroking his beard and smirking. "You're dying. Levitas was a failed experiment. It was designed to create the irresistible interrogator, but unfortunately it always killed the subjects. You're going to have increasing headaches until you die of cerebral hemorrhage. Pity there isn't any of the antidote available for you."

"You creep!" Chloe gasped. "You have some, don't you? You just won't give it to me!"

"I do indeed have a sufficient supply to save your life, Miss Sullivan," Lionel said smugly. "I simply see no reason to do so. You've been a thorn in my side for quite some time with your amateur investigations. How convenient of you to kill yourself with no prompting from me."

He turned to leave and Chloe realized she was letting a huge chance go by.

"Lionel!" Chloe snapped at him. "Did you kill your parents? Did you counterfeit your fortune?"

"Of course," Lionel said, raising an eyebrow at her. "They were always an embarrassment to me and the insurance payoff from blowing up the tenement with them in it wasn't sufficient to give me the start that I wanted."

He paused, chuckling and shaking his head at her with his hand on the doorknob.

"Oh, you really shouldn't have asked that, Miss Sullivan," Lionel said. "Not that it matters of course. You're dying and nothing can save you now. I'll leave you to your fate, my dear girl. Pity you couldn't have asked this when someone else was around to hear it."

He left, chuckling evilly as the door swung shut. Chloe saved the message and sent it to herself, shaking as another headache descended on her. She wasn't sure how long it was before the headache faded enough for her to think again, but she was aware of the doctor coming back in with Lex and Clark. She shoved her phone at Clark, unable to make words come out until the headache went away again.

"I cannot approve using this untested substance," the doctor was saying urgently. "We don't know that something's wrong with her besides headaches."

"Yes, we do," Chloe said, interrupting Lex before he could do more than open his mouth. "Lionel slipped in here. He told me I was dying. There is an antidote and he wouldn't give it to me. I recorded it on my cell phone. Please, if Lex has something, I want you to use it! And Lex, you need to get that message off of my phone as soon as possible. I also got his confession that he murdered your grandparents."

"Chloe, you're brilliant!" Clark said, beaming at her.

"I strenuously object to all of this," the doctor said, sighing. "Unfortunately I don't suppose that my objections make much of a difference. All right, let's get this over with."

The syringe with the serum was terrifyingly huge. It had to be injected into her heart, which was even more terrifying. Chloe managed to stay awake during the insertion but as soon as the doctor pressed the plunger she passed out. When Chloe woke up her dad was sitting beside her bed and it was dark outside.

"Dad," Chloe said, surprised at how weak her voice was. Her chest ached and it was hard to breathe. "Shouldn't you be at work?"

"My little girl's in the hospital," he said, smiling as he took her hand. "There's nowhere else that I should be right now."

"What happened to my cell phone?" Chloe asked. "Did they get the message I recorded?"

"They did," he said, grinning at her. "Lex has already got the FBI on it. Once you're released, we're going to be going into Witness Protection. We'll be safe, Chloe."

"Okay," Chloe said, swallowing painfully. Her throat was so darned dry. She wasn't sure that anyone could keep them safe, but that didn't change the fact that she would testify against Lionel if she got the chance. "Can I have some water, Dad?"

He nodded and helped her drink. Come what may, at least she'd made a difference. With her evidence, maybe they'd be able to lock Lionel up so he couldn't keep attacking Clark and Lex. She felt like hell but hopefully it was for a good cause.


"I can't believe he's locked up at last!" Clark crowed as they headed up to the bedroom. "He's not getting out now."

"No, but Lionel will probably be even more dangerous than before," Lex sighed, smirking at Clark's disgusted look. "Just being realistic, pet. Now strip those clothes off and get on the bed. Hands behind your head and legs spread for me."

"Yes, Master," Clark said, shuddering as his pupils blew out.

Lex chuckled as Clark stripped quickly—staying at human speed—and then assumed the commanded position on the bed. Lex had an excellent view of the largest butt plug that filled his ass, as well as of Clark's now highly erect cock. He'd taken to having Clark wear a harness under his clothes all the time since Clark seemed to find it reassuring. It also seemed to help him keep his needs in check, as a sort of constant reminder that his body wasn't his.

Lex took his time stripping down, pondering what exactly he wanted to do with his boy tonight. Clark would let him do almost literally anything and he'd enjoy every bit of it. Lex smiled as Clark whined, hips shifting on the sheets in anticipation. A fucking was required after plugging him all day and sending him off to school, but Lex wanted it to last longer tonight, so that required some of the toys they'd gotten at The Boutique.

"Close your eyes," Lex ordered, pulling out the blindfold and gag.

"Yes, Master," Clark whispered, shuddering.

Lex put the blindfold on Clark, making sure that he couldn't see anything and then put the gag in his mouth. Clark nodded once it was in place, apparently completely comfortable with it. A little rubber ball in Clark's hand would let Lex know if things got past his ability to control (not that they had yet—Clark's invulnerability and healing prevented it), and that let Lex go get the particular toys he was thinking of.

One was a vibrating egg in a sheath that slipped securely over the head of Clark's cock. The second was a very large dildo that rotated as well as vibrated. Clark whimpered as Lex put the sleeve over his cock, keeping his hands securely behind his head. His back arched like a bow being pulled when Lex turned it on, setting it at the lowest level.

"No coming until I give permission," Lex ordered, grinning as Clark whimpered and then nodded once, hard. "Good boy."

Lex pulled out the butt plug and set it aside to be cleaned later, quickly sliding the dildo into its place. This time Clark groaned, blushing right down to his nipples as he realized that Lex was going to be playing with him for a long time. Lex made sure that the dildo wasn't going to slip out by wedging it in place with his knee and then he leaned over Clark, chuckling at the way Clark shivered.

"Mine to play with for as long as I want tonight," Lex purred, reveling in the sigh of contentment that Clark gave him.

Lex started nipping his way down Clark's body. It was only the first round so Clark's skin wasn't as sensitive as it would be once he'd been allowed to come. He wouldn't feel light caresses or gentle touches, barely registering the touches at all. Right now it took something rougher for Clark to respond, so Lex bit him hard enough to make his teeth ache. He left no marks given Clark's invulnerability but Clark responded to the bites beautifully. His legs started trembling and his cock got harder, pressing against Lex's stomach as he draped himself over Clark's body. Biting his nipples made Clark gasp and moan, arching up against Lex's body desperately.

"Like that, do you?" Lex purred, pinching one nipple and twisting hard enough that he winced in sympathy for the pain Clark didn't feel.

"Mmmm!" Clark moaned, nodding hard.

Of course it hadn't hurt Clark at all. It was too soon and he was too invulnerable. Lex kept his mild resentment for the fact that he couldn't ever harm Clark under control as he kept biting and pinching him, working his way down to Clark's cock and balls. It was stupid to feel that way. Most lovers would be delighted if they never had to worry about hurting the one they cared about, but Lex still wished that there were some way he could leave a mark on Clark for everyone to see. Lex bit Clark's inner thigh, smirking as his legs trembled violently. He was barely holding back from coming. They'd done this often enough that Lex knew the signs by now.

"Not yet," Lex warned Clark, caressing his balls and grinning at Clark's needy whine. "You don't get to come yet, pet. Hold it for your Master."

Clark shuddered, this time blushing over most of his body. He panted through his nose and nodded blindly, his body stilling and relaxing under Lex's touch. It was so beautiful how he submitted to Lex, how much he trusted Lex to take care of him. He knew that while Lex might deny him briefly, he would always take care of Clark in the end. Lex turned up the sleeve vibrator, making Clark gasp and buck, which drove the dildo deeper inside of him, which made Clark buck again and gasp and moan and tremble.

Lex started gently fucking Clark with the dildo, being careful not to touch his own aching cock. This was for Clark far more than it was for him. God knew that Clark could almost literally keep going all night, but there was no way that Lex could keep up with him. He might be a meteor mutant with healing abilities but that didn't mean he had the endless stamina that Clark had been blessed with. Lex watched Clark carefully, smiling as his whimpers got louder and his panting more pronounced. Clark was sweating now, fighting against himself to fulfill Lex's order not to come.

"Good boy," Lex crooned, watching for just the right moment. He grinned and flicked the dildo's vibration and motion on, pushing it deep inside of Clark in a sudden hard movement. "That's it, pet! Now! Come for me!"

Clark practically levitated off of the bed as he came hard, head flung back and hips thrusting up against the dildo buzzing inside of him. The vibrator sheath on his cock caught all of his come, adding to his sensations. Lex turned both of the vibrators down to low once Clark was done, grinning at the way he moaned and whimpered.

"My boy, my little slut," Lex crooned, gently caressing Clark's inner thigh and getting more of a reaction than he had when he'd bit it before. Clark's sensitivity was so much better after he'd come. "Love this, don't you? Do you want your Master's cock buried in you?"

"Mmm-hmm!" Clark grunted, nodding his head hard.

"Good boy," Lex said, using the harness to secure the dildo inside of Clark. The controls for both vibrators tucked under differen harness straps, keeping them secure and at hand while letting Clark move. "I'm going to take the gag out, pet. No hands and no guidance, but you're to find my cock and suck it."

Lex moved around the bed, pulling the gag out and letting Clark take a quick drink of water before stretching out next to him, smiling at Clark. This was an exercise in torment for himself, but Clark loved challenges and his mouth was brilliant, so it would be fine. Clark moaned, putting his hands behind his back and carefully orienting himself on Lex's body by licking his way to Lex's neck. He'd started at Lex's shoulder. Clark stole a quick kiss and then stared licking and kissing his way down Lex's torso. Lex moaned and started stroking Clark's cock, making him gasp.

"I said you couldn't use hands," Lex said with an evil laugh. "That didn't mean that I couldn't."

"Master," Clark moaned, face buried in Lex's stomach as he tried not to lose it again. "Feels so good."

"Cock sucking, pet," Lex reminded him. "Unless you want me to just go to sleep without fucking you."

"No, Master!" Clark gasped, going back to his kisses as he worked his way down Lex's body.

They both moaned when Clark found Lex's cock. Lex had to bite his tongue to keep from coming right away. Clark was entirely too good at blow jobs and obviously enjoyed them way too much. Lex turned the dildo up again, distracting Clark and ruining his rhythm for a second. He turned the vibrator sleeve up too, grinning as Clark lost it, pulling his mouth off of Lex's cock to whimper wordlessly.

"What's that, pet?" Lex asked, sitting up and staring to fuck Clark with the dildo. "Do you need your master to fuck you now?"

"Yes, yes, please, yes, oh fuck, yes, Master, please!" Clark whimpered, the little rubber ball in his hand squeezed so hard that it would probably be deformed when he let go.

Lex laughed and pulled the dildo out, caressing Clark's ass as he pushed his legs apart. It only took a second to lube himself up and then he was pushing inside of Clark who moaned low and deep like it was the best thing he'd ever felt. His body was shining with sweat now. Clark trembled as Lex pushed his face down into the covers, stabilizing him so that he wouldn't teeter on his knees. He still hadn't moved his arms, waiting for Lex to give permission that he wasn't about to give. Keeping Clark off balance as they fucked made him come so much harder.

He was so hot, so tight despite the toys that he'd been filled with. Lex shuddered and bit his cheek to keep control. Clark was whimpering non-stop for Lex to take him hard and deep, but Lex wasn't ready to do that, didn't want to come so soon. He went slow and gentle, petting Clark's body, drawing little designs in his back. He traced the edges of the harness and tugged at it as he speeded up. Clark cried out happily. It didn't take long for Lex to give in to Clark's whimpers and his own lust. He couldn't resist, not any longer. Lex started pounding into Clark's ass, panting as his orgasm roared up on him.

"Come for your master," Lex ordered, flipping the vibrator sheath to maximum as he teetered on the edge of orgasm. "Come for me, Clark!"

Clark's back arched and his face came up off of the bed as he came. He clamped down on Lex so hard that it was almost painful. The moment seemed to last forever and then Clark groaned and collapsed onto the bed, going completely limp. Lex gasped, his heart nearly stopping in his chest. He scrambled, checking Clark's pulse and removing the blindfold to check his eyes. He shut off the vibrator sheath and carefully rolled Clark onto his back.

"Mmmmm…" Clark moaned, eyes fluttering open and then squinting. "Wow…"

"You all right, pet?" Lex asked, feeling a little like every bone in his body had just turned to water. "You passed out for a second."

"Yeah," Clark murmured, smiling at him. "So good…wow…"

"My turn to clean you up," Lex said, grinning at Clark.

He didn't listen to Clark's wordless protest. It only took a few minutes to get both of them and the toys cleaned up. He had Clark take off the harness so that he could sleep comfortably. No matter how much Clark liked it he wasn't going to wear it constantly. That would lessen its impact. Once they were snuggled in bed together, Lex petting Clark's hair, Clark looked at him sleepily.

"Thank you, Master," Clark whispered.

"You're welcome, Clark," Lex said, smiling and kissing his forehead. "Get some sleep. I'm sure we'll have plenty to do tomorrow."

"Mmm-hmm," Clark murmured, tucking his head on Lex's shoulder. "Love you so much…"

Lex's heart squeezed and he tightened his arm around Clark's shoulders. It didn't matter how many times Clark said it, every time he heard the 'love' word it still made him feel like he was twelve again. He wasn't sure what he'd done to be worthy of Clark, and he hoped that he continued to be worthy of him forever. He waited until he was sure that Clark was asleep and then gently moved some wayward strands of hair out of his face, smiling at his beautiful boy.

"Love you too, Clark," Lex whispered, kissing his forehead. "Love you too."


Lex winced as the obnoxious whine echoed through the room again. It had been going off at unpredictable intervals all day, starting at about 9:00 a.m. He'd asked the staff to check the sound system. Nothing was wrong and no one else heard it. He'd had his office swept for bugs and sound devices since it only seemed to sound when no one else was around. Nothing. He'd checked outside to see if there was something going on out there. Nothing. He was about to go looking for his new head of security and demand that he find whatever device it was that Darius and Lionel had left behind to make him think he was insane when Clark walked in.

"Ow!" Clark gasped, clutching his ears in pain.

"What's wrong?" Lex asked, standing and hurrying over. He sighed in relief as the sound stopped. "Are you all right?"

"S-sorry," Clark said, shaking his head. "Sounds like Lara wants to talk to me. She makes this really annoying sound that no one else can hear whenever she summons me. I suppose I should go…Um, Lex? Are you all right?"

Lex stared at him, mouth dropped open. Clark could hear the sound no one else could hear. Clark knew what it was. Clark's dead mother was summoning Lex to talk to her, not Clark. Lex shook his head sharply to clear it, studying Clark with a little frown that made Clark fidget.

"Did you hear that sound before you walked in here?" Lex asked. "Today, I mean."

"Um, no?" Clark said hesitantly, looking utterly confused and nervous.

"Then she wasn't summoning you, Clark," Lex said with a tired sigh. "She was summoning me. I've been hearing it off and on all day, since this morning. I thought it was something in the room, not this."

This time it was Clark with his jaw dropped open. He stared, eyes wide from shock. Lex smirked and tapped Clark's chin, making him snap his mouth shut and blush. Lex rubbed his forehead, which ached from the sound that Lara had used. Clark reached out and gently rubbed Lex's neck, making Lex groan as he unerringly found the exact tight spot.

"Why would she summon you?" Clark asked as he worked the tight spot loose.

"I'm your Master," Lex said with a little shrug and groan as Clark found more sore spots and worked them loose. "Maybe she wants to have a discussion about how I'm treating you. Though how she would know what we are, I really don't know."

"I've never been able to tell how much of the rest of the world she's aware of," Clark said quietly. He sounded afraid. "Um, c-can I go with you?"

"I think you'll have to," Lex said, turning and looking at Clark with a little smirk. "You're the one who knows where to go and how to open whatever doors or locks or whatever it is. I have no clue."

Clark laughed, grinning at Lex. Lex petted his cheek, pulling Clark down into a gentle kiss. Clark relaxed into it, nearly melting as he pressed up against Lex. Lex wasn't very surprised by that. He'd sent Clark off to school with one of the butt plugs again, which was nearly guaranteed to have him quivery by the time he got back to the mansion. Pity Lara was summoning them. Lex would have liked to take care of Clark before they left.

"Do you know how urgent it is?" Lex asked, snaking a hand down to Clark's crotch and chuckling that he was more than half hard under his baggy jeans.

"It wasn't too loud," Clark said thoughtfully as he pressed into Lex's hand. "And if it wasn't a constant, really painful sound then it probably isn't that urgent."

"And is that the need saying that or your brain?" Lex laughed, nuzzling and then biting Clark's neck above the collar he wore.

"B-both," Clark moaned, tipping his head to the side so Lex could bite him more easily. "Please…"

"Mmm, all right," Lex said, letting Clark go and grinning at his needy whine. "I have a bit of paperwork that's urgent so I'll finish that first."

He went back to his desk, chuckling as Clark followed him like a puppy wanting to be petted. He studiously worked at his paperwork for a minute and then looked sidelong at Clark. His pants were tented badly from his erection, which was just what Lex wanted. He reached into a drawer and pulled out the lube, passing it to Clark.

"Masturbate for me, Clark," Lex ordered. "Stand there and touch yourself."

"Master…" Clark moaned, taking the lube with a brilliant blush. "W-want you."

"But I'm busy right now, Clark," Lex said with a sly grin. "See if you can inspire me to finish early. Touch only your cock, not your ass."

Clark whimpered and nodded, licking his lips as he opened his pants and pulled out his cock. He started masturbating for Lex, who took his time finishing his paperwork (there really wasn't that much left—he was just teasing Clark). Clark's hands were obviously just as good as his mouth, stroking up and down with a perfect little twist at the top. He still looked a little pouty until he caught Lex watching him covertly. Then he seemed to realize that this was another game, not Clark being required to take care of his own needs. He started getting into it once Lex finished the last bit of paperwork and logged off his computer.

"Master," Clark moaned.

"Quiet," Lex ordered. "No sound. I want you to be quiet this time, Clark."

Clark shuddered. Given how vocal he was, being quiet was not an easy order for him to follow, which immediately changed this from playing around into serving his master and that made Clark's responses kick in which meant he quite obviously felt a thousand times better. Lex smirked and leaned back in his chair, watching Clark stroking himself desperately. His pants were starting to tent out, too, but he worked hard on staying calm and collected while watching his personal wet dream happen right in front of him: Clark, masturbating in his office, waiting for Lex to give him the sign so he could be fucked hard over Lex's desk.

Lex strung it out until Clark was making shuddery sounds every time he hitched in a breath. His eyes were mostly shut and he kept biting his bottom lip. Lex chuckled, making Clark start and stare at him with pupils blown so wide that he couldn't possibly be seeing anything other than blurs. Lex gestured, summoning Clark closer.

"Give me that cock," Lex purred, stroking Clark when he stepped between Lex's legs. He was at exactly the right height for Lex to suck Clark's cock into his mouth, so he did, smacking Clark's hip when he keened in excitement. "No sound, Clark. I want you to be silent or nothing will happen. Understand?"

"Yes, Master!" Clark whimpered, biting his lip so hard it went white.

"Good boy," Lex said, going back to sucking Clark's cock.

It wasn't something that he did that much of. Clark enjoyed fellatio so much that it was usually him doing Lex. It was nice to take the time to do some of his own, to use the skills he'd earned in his wilder days. From the way Clark's breath was whistling through his nose and his hips were thrusting into Lex's mouth, he hadn't lost any of his skills over time. Lex licked his way to the tip of Clark's cock and grinned. He pushed the last of the paperwork out of the way and patted his desk.

"Bend over the desk," Lex said, very quietly as benefited the command that Clark be quiet.

Clark moved so fast it was like he teleported, thrusting his ass out at Lex. He was trembling and his pants were halfway down his thighs, keeping him from spreading his legs very far. Lex grinned and straightened up the papers he'd disarranged, tapping them into order and then tucking them into a folder that he slid into his briefcase. Clark shuddered, watching him almost desperately. Lex smiled and reached over to fondle the butt plug filling his ass.

"There's something special about this one, Clark," Lex said in a near whisper. "Remember, you have to be quiet."

Clark nodded and then gasped and bucked as Lex turned on the remote control that he'd had hidden in his pocket all day. The butt plug started vibrating inside of Clark, making him shudder and whine despite Lex's order.

"I had planned on taking you out to dinner tonight," Lex said, running his fingers over the butt plug. "I'll have to see if we can after our talk with Lara. Depends on how long it takes. I'm hoping we can so that I can buzz you with this while we're eating. Can my little slut keep quiet in a restaurant with this happening?"

Clark panted, nodding hard as he fought to stay quiet. Lex grinned and upped the power to maximum. The vibrator made an audible buzz in the quiet of his office, a wicked counterpoint to Clark's panting as he splayed himself over Lex's desk. Lex watched him for a minute, taking the time to pull himself out of his pants, get a condom and lube up. Once he was ready he flicked the vibrator off, pulled it out quickly and then stood to push into Clark's ass.

"Uhn!" Clark grunted, moaning happily.

"Hush," Lex warned him. "Be quiet or no coming for you."

Clark nodded hard again, clapping a hand over his mouth. Lex laughed and started fucking him. Neither of them were going to last but given that they'd been summoned and they had a dinner date to go to, that wasn't a bad thing. Lex took Clark hard and fast and as deep as he could go, holding his hips tight. Every plunge bucked Clark into the desk, making the things on it jostle and move. Lex sighed, thinking of the security footage they were making right now as he roared up on his orgasm.

"That's it!" Lex panted. "That's my boy! Come for your Master, good boy! Come hard!"

Clark gasped and bucked against Lex's hips, coming almost on command. He clamped down and that was all it took to push Lex over the edge. They both cried out as they came, neither of them able to stay quiet at that point. Clark shuddered, collapsing onto Lex's desk with a satisfied whimper. Lex petted his back, smiling, and pushed the butt plug back into him once he'd pulled out.

It only took a minute for Lex to clean them both up, since Clark looked like his bones had been turned to jelly by the sex. He had Clark kneel at his feet while he recovered, letting Lex play with his hair. After a couple of minutes, Clark sighed and smiled up at Lex, looking utterly relaxed.

"Liked that, did you?" Lex asked, grinning down at him.

"Fuck yes, Master," Clark moaned. "Didn't expect it, not when you told me to masturbate."

"You should know by now that I can't resist you," Lex said with a laugh that would have made his father mad at him for showing such obvious happiness. "I just like making it interesting each time."

"You do a great job of that, Master," Clark said, grinning at him. "Thank you, Lex. I love belonging to you."

"Mmm, its certainly one of the high points of my existence being your master," Lex said, playing with his hair. "Once you get your strength back we'll go talk to Lara. I'm rather curious about what she wants with me."


The Kawatche Caves were just like they'd been the last time Clark had been there. They were dark, dusty, covered with cave paintings that weren't necessarily cave paintings and terrifying. Everyone else that Clark knew (other than Mom and Dad) found the caves either boring or fascinating. Clark had been terrified of them ever since he first found them because he knew what the caves really were.

The Caves were his birth mother, or more accurately, what was left of her.

It was creepy in the way that going into a tomb or graveyard was creepy, except that this was worse because she really was still there, watching, listening, acting on the world. Clark knew Lana sometimes went to her parent's grave to talk to their gravestones but she never had to worry about her parents literally talking back to her and giving her orders. It had been bad enough when Lara had been part of his spaceship. Now it literally felt like walking on her grave and talking to her ghost. It was like walking back into her womb.

"Easy," Lex said, taking Clark's hand while playing his flashlight over the walls of the cave. "You're jumpy."

"It's just really creepy here," Clark said, intensely grateful for Lex's hand in his. "We need to go over here. That's where the control panel thingie is."

"Thingie?" Lex asked, laughter in his voice.

"I don't know what it really is," Clark said with a sheepish shrug. "I just know that's where most everything happens."

They headed over to the standing stone in the center of the caves. It looked like a big slab put on end with an octagonal painting of lines and shapes around a little octagonal cutout. Clark let go of Lex's hand and fished out the last piece of his spaceship. It was a little octagonal disk, about two inches across with Kryptonian writing on it. When he'd blown up his ship that had been all that was left. Clark gingerly set the disk into the cutout, blinking when nothing happened. Something always had before.

"She was summoning me," Lex said thoughtfully. He shrugged at Clark's look. "Maybe I have to use it."

"I guess," Clark said, passing the key to Lex reluctantly. "Be careful. Some very bad things have happened down here."

"I know," Lex said, smirking at Clark. "I investigated most of them before you told me what you are."

Clark blushed and nodded. He stepped back a little, still really nervous about this. He didn't like that Lara was summoning his Master. He didn't like that she might have demands for Lex. His Dad had gotten a weak heart out of his interactions with Lara. Clark desperately didn't want that to happen to Lex.

"Here," Lex said, pointing to the ground next to him. "Kneel next to me, Clark. She has to know what you are and what we are. Better that we're as we should be."

Clark took a breath and let it out slowly, nodding. He settled to his knees next to Lex, leaning into his side gratefully. Lex looked over the octagonal disk, ran his fingers through Clark's hair and then carefully pressed it into the slot. For a very long second nothing happened besides Lex's fingers tightening in Clark's hair and then the world erupted in light and color.

The writing on the standing stone lit up in red, blue and yellow, moving around the central slot as if they weren't really painted on it. It was more like it was a part of the stone itself, shining from within. The writing-lights rearranged into a new pattern. Ribbons of light poured out of the central slot, surrounding both Clark and Lex. Clark hugged Lex's legs, ready to get them out of there if he had to. Lex tugged at his hair, giving him a look that made Clark calm, relax and return to his proper kneeling position.

"Welcome, Kal-El, my son," Lara's cool voice said. "Welcome, Lex Lu-Thor, my son's Master and mate."

Her voice was the most welcoming that Clark had ever heard but it was still rather cool, almost cold. He wasn't sure if it was because she was just a digital ghost, a download of who she used to be or if it was because that was her basic personality. Either way it was very creepy. Lex's fingers carded through his hair, caressing Clark's scalp.

"Who are you?" Lex asked, looking around the glowing lights as if he expected to see a person in front of them.

"I am Lara, mother of Kal-El, wife and Mistress of Jor-El," Lara said.

"Why did you summon me and not Clark?" Lex asked, pulling Clark close to Lex's thigh.

"You are his Master," Lara said, a hint of amusement in her voice. "It is not appropriate for me to call him by himself now that he is properly owned. It was very rare on Krypton for males to have the capacity to be Masters but we knew that it was likely that Kal-El would choose a Master once he was grown. We sent his cousin Kara to be his Mistress during his childhood but she was lost when their ships landed on Earth. It is fortunate that you found and took him as your own before Kal-El was damaged."

Clark stared up at Lex, astonished. He'd had no idea that he'd had a cousin sent to Earth. He'd known that they'd made some sort of plans from the memory journal thing but he'd had no idea that they'd followed through on them. Lex looked equally surprised, turning back to the shining ribbons of light with a frown.

"What do you want of us?" Lex asked.

"We made many plans to secure Kara and Kal-El's future," Lara said sadly. "Many of those plans were sabotaged or could not be completed. There are others who made plans and their ship approaches the solar system. It's occupants are in stasis and I am capable of keeping them from waking, however there are objects hidden on Earth that will allow others to control me, to use the knowledge and technology of Krypton for their own purposes. If those objects fall into human hands, it is assured that Earth shall be destroyed and the human race enslaved. You must find the Elements of Power and unite them here or Kal-El shall be lost to you and the human race shall be destroyed."

"Where are they?" Lex asked, stiffening as if he'd been slapped.

Clark leaned against his leg. He felt like he'd been stabbed. He didn't want to loose Lex. He didn't want to serve anyone else. He really didn't want the human race to be destroyed. He had no idea how these Elements of Power could cause it to happen (or prevent it from happening) but the sheer idea of loosing everything made him feel as ill as if he'd been hit with meteor rock.

"They were scattered across the world by previous generations," Lara said. "Their locations are not in my memory files. Each of the three Elements is marked by a Kryptonian symbol. Search through ancient ruins and temples. Study human legend. Humanity has known of them for many hundreds of years and has searched for as long as they have existed. They are protected, but the protection has weakened over the years, allowing them to be found and misused."

"Lovely," Lex drawled, sighing in frustration. "All right, we'll get to work on it. Is that all?"

"No," Lara said, her voice becoming very stern. "Kal-El has been postponing his training. He is reaching an age where he will become uncontrollable if specific conditioning does not occur. He must come to me to receive the conditioning or he will inevitably lose control of himself, his powers and his needs. The power of the yellow sun makes him dangerous if he is not properly controlled, Lex Lu-Thor. You must give him to me that I can give him his training and conditioning."

"No!" Clark gasped, clinging to Lex. "I don't want to leave my Master!"

"Hush," Lex ordered, placing a finger over Clark's lips.

Clark shuddered, tears welling up in his eyes. He didn't want to go. He didn't trust Lara. He didn't want to go for this 'conditioning', no matter what she claimed about his powers and needs going out of control. He was doing so much better. He was sure that Lex could take care of it without Lara's help.

"Will he still be the same person?" Lex asked, petting Clark's hair. "I won't allow him to go if you're going to change his personality."

"He shall still be the same person," Lara said remarkably gently. "Had he come to me before he found a Master, changes to his personality would have been acceptable. Now that he is owned, it would not be appropriate. You chose him for who he is, not who he could become after he is trained."

"What sort of changes will be made?" Lex asked, relaxing a lot.

"He has powers which have not developed," Lara said. "They are blocked by his lack of conditioning, his lack of proper training. They shall be developed and he shall be trained in their use. He will be given proper training in how to be your slave. Currently he operates on instinct. I shall train him in Earth and Kryptonian traditions that he may serve you properly. And he shall be modified so that he can go without constant sex when you wish it. There is no need for him to suffer when he has your love. It worked well for Jor-El and the genetic modifications should withstand the power of the yellow sun."

Clark blinked, surprised. He hadn't thought that it would be possible for the need to be conquered and he wasn't sure he wanted it taken away. Lex frowned, his fingers tightening in Clark's hair again. Clark didn't think he liked it that much either.

"He'll still be able to respond, won't he?" Lex asked, confirming Clark's hunch. "You won't take away all of his need?"

"Never," Lara said in a disgusted tone of voice. "I saw what that does with Jor-El and Zor-El. I would not do such a thing to my son. The need shall be there. It will be controllable when you command him properly. That is all. He will still feel the need but it will not hurt him nor will it kill him to not answer it."

"That's acceptable," Lex said, nodding. "When does he need to go?"

"As soon as possible," Lara said sadly. "It has already been let go nearly too long. A few more weeks and Kal-El would be irredeemable. He should have come to me last year. I do not want to part you, but I must save my son before he is destroyed."

Lex stared out into the ribbons of light, his face like a mask. Clark swallowed hard. He didn't want to do this. He didn't want to leave Lex. He didn't want to trust Lara. But he also knew that his perceptions of her and Krypton were based on fear and ignorance, not fact. She obviously loved him enough to give up the afterlife and be made into a computer AI. She'd given Jor-El his freedom so that he could find happiness. She'd promised not to hurt him, not to change him. And she did approve of Lex as his Master.

"Let us talk for a minute," Lex said.

"Of course," Lara said.

The ribbons of light disappeared and the octagonal disk floated into Lex's hand. Lex took it and tucked it into his pocket, pulling Clark to his feet. Clark shivered, groaning as Lex pulled him into a fierce hug and then kissed him so deeply that Clark felt like Lex was trying to eat him alive. Most of the time Lex kept his responses under control, not really showing the passion that he felt. He was controlled and calm, even when he was pounding Clark through the mattress. That calm control was gone now, stripping Lex's emotion bare.

"I cannot lose you," Lex whispered once he let Clark's lips go. He clung to Clark's face, making Clark meet his eyes. "I've seen it, what she's talking about. We've got a handle on what you need but your needs keep escalating, Clark. Pretty soon I'm not going to be able to meet them. I won't share you! I won't let that happen. I couldn't survive losing you."

"Master," Clark whispered, surprised. He hadn't noticed it. He'd just known that Lex always seemed to know what he needed and he always provided it.

"You need to do this, Clark," Lex said, his mask mostly restored. His eyes showed his feelings though, full of worry and love and pain and loss. "I know you're afraid but you need to do this."

"I can't see it," Clark admitted. "B-but if you do…tell me what to do, Lex. You know me better than I know myself. Tell me what to do and I'll do it willingly."

Lex sighed, smiling sadly. He ran his thumbs over Clark's cheekbones, tracing his face and then caressing his lips tenderly. Clark sighed, eyes fluttering. It was like Lex was memorizing the feel of his skin as well as the look of his face. He shivered. Maybe that's exactly what he was doing.

"Go to Lara," Lex ordered. "Do your training. Get the conditioning, pet. I'll be waiting for you. However long it takes, I'll be waiting for you. While you're gone, I'll work on locating the Elements of Power. Lionel's trial isn't for four months. We have time."

"Yes, Master," Clark said, nodding and swallowing down his fear.

"Lara!" Lex called. "How long will this take?"

At the back of the cave in a corner that was as far as possible from the outside world, a rock suddenly shifted, opening and revealing a wash of brilliant white light. Lex shielded his eyes and Clark looked away, watching Lex rather than this new hidden place within the caves.

"It shall take at least eight weeks," Lara answered from the light, "perhaps as much as twelve weeks given how long Kal-El has gone without his conditioning. He shall be released before he is needed in the world, Lex Lu-Thor. I shall not allow his commitments to go unmet."

"All right," Lex said, turning back to Clark. His mask of control slipped away and he pulled Clark into another fierce kiss. "Go. Go do this before I can't let you go, Clark. I'll be waiting."

"Yes, Master," Clark said, hugging him tight. He memorized the feel of Lex's body pressed up against his body, the smell of his Master, and the feel of his lips as they kissed one last time. He didn't want to go but if Lex believed it was necessary then it was necessary. He paused, looking back at Lex. "Love you, Lex."

"I love you too, Clark," Lex said for the first time ever. "Now go."

Clark hugged the words to his heart and strode into the light, letting Lara steal him away from the world and his Master.


"Welcome, Kal-El," Lara said, smiling at him. She was beautiful and real and they were somewhere with a red sun and crystals made up the house and Clark couldn't stop staring.

"Where are we?" Clark asked, astonished. Lex's collar was still around his neck but the butt plug and his clothes were gone.

"This is a replica of our home on Krypton," Lara said, taking Clark's hand. "We have created it so that you may learn what you need to know. Study well, my son. The more you learn, the sooner you will be able to return to your Master."


Lex's car was very quiet as he drove from the Kawatche Caves to the Kent Farm. He wasn't ready to go back to the mansion, despite the fact that there was a lot to do to cover for Clark's absence. He needed a good cover story (going with Lex to take over LuthorCorp and begin dismantling his father's illegal projects were a start but he needed to do better than that), and he needed to cancel their dinner reservations …. Lex had to focus on relaxing his fingers around the steering wheel. He was gripping it so tightly that his hands ached and his knuckles were white.

The Kent Farm was a welcome diversion from the aching place inside of him left by Clark's absence. As necessary as it was, it hurt to have Clark gone. He couldn't understand how the Kents could have let him go for any length of time, no matter what their beliefs were about sex. Even without the sex that Lex shared with Clark, being around Clark was so enjoyable that he couldn't comprehend their actions. Lex refused to let himself shake as he headed up to their front door and knocked, refused to let himself show how upset he was by having Clark gone, and positively refused to let the tears that wanted to well up to show. Luthors did not show that sort of emotion.

"Lex," Martha said in surprise. "What's wrong? Are you all right? Where's Clark?"

"That's why I'm here," Lex said, sighing that his control was obviously not as good as he thought it was. "May I come in?"

"Of course," Martha said, nodding and waving him inside. "We just finished dinner. Would you like some coffee? How about pie?"

"No thank you," Lex said politely. He didn't want to put anything into his stomach right now. He was upset enough that it wouldn't stay there.

Jonathan was sitting at the dinner table, looking entirely too fragile but better than he had in the hospital. He'd recovered so well that he'd been released far earlier than anyone expected. He looked just as alarmed as Martha did, which made Lex sigh again as he sat at the table with them. So much for controlling his expression so that he didn't worry them. He wasn't quite sure where to start, but they needed to know what had happened to Clark.

"Sorry, I'm a bit rattled right now," Lex admitted.

"It shows," Jonathan said, making a face at his coffee. Martha gave him a stern look and he grumbled. "Don't like decaf."

"Too bad, the doctor says the caffeine is bad for your heart," Martha said unrepentantly. "What happened, Lex?"

"Well," Lex said, taking a deep breath, "it's a bit of a long story. This morning I started hearing an obnoxious noise and thought that it was something left behind by my father to make me think I was going crazy."

Both Jonathan and Martha tensed as Lex explained his search for the source, Clark's identification of it, and their subsequent trip to the Kawatche Caves. He told them about what Lara had said regarding the cousin that Clark had lost, which amazed them. He told them about the Elements of Power, which made Martha look worried and Jonathan look thunderously suspicious. And then he told them about Clark's training and conditioning.

"I can't believe you'd allow him to do that!" Jonathan yelled, bolting to his feet.

"He needs it, Mr. Kent," Lex said sadly. "I know that Clark couldn't see it, but his behavior has been escalating. I've been doing my best to keep up with him, to keep him under control, but from my projections in a matter of a few weeks he'd have been beyond my control, beyond anyone's control. I really think he would have harmed himself and perhaps others with his sex drive if he hadn't gone."

Jonathan dropped back into his chair, going entirely too white. Martha caught his hand, patting it as she tried to get him to calm down. Lex just looked at him. It was true. He'd been dealing with it but he'd gotten to the point where he was worried about Clark. When they'd first gotten together it had been enough to have one round in the morning and one in the evening but lately it had been six or seven rounds and two or three times a day and Lex physically couldn't do it, no matter how much he loved Clark.

"Do you think he'll be okay?" Martha asked. "She won't…change him?"

"She said that his personality will remain the same because he's mine," Lex said. "If he'd come to her for training before he was 'owned' then she would have felt free rewriting his personality as she felt appropriate but apparently belonging to me protected him from that. She did say that she's going to make some changes to his genetics that will allow him to go without sex if I say so. She was…quite disgusted by the thought of completely removing his sex drive and emotions, so I'd say that it's likely he'll be all right."

Lex knew that he was upset but he didn't realize how upset he had to be until Martha took his hand and patted it just like she'd patted Jonathan's. Lex smiled at her ruefully. He really thought he'd be able to deal with this better than he was.

"Sorry," Lex said. "This is…hard. I'd already been planning on moving back to Metropolis for the duration of the trial. If you could spread the word that Clark came with me and then went into hiding because we were worried about Lionel attacking him, then that would help. People won't wonder why he's not around if they think he's gone into some form of witness protection, like Chloe and her father."

"We can do that," Martha said, nodding. "Are you going to be all right? Is your father likely to try anything?"

"He's in jail," Jonathan said. "How could he?"

"It's well known that my father has links to organized crime," Lex said, making a face. "I wouldn't be at all surprised if he does try something. I doubt that he'll attack either of you. You haven't been associated with Clark for a while now and you're not going to testify so there's no point to it. Clark, me and Chloe, yes. We're all in danger. I've done some very careful checks of my staff so I should be all right. Chloe…I've got some people working on making sure she's safe, too. I trust the FBI but not totally. I've known entirely too many dirty FBI agents to be 100% confident that they can keep her safe."

Martha and Jonathan exchanged worried looks. Martha kept his hand tucked inside of hers. Lex wasn't sure if she was trying to reassure herself or him, but it was comforting. It felt like there was a great gaping hole in his heart, knowing that Clark wouldn't be coming home from school or visiting his friends or saving someone or whatever. The thought that he was truly gone for eight to twelve weeks was excruciating. They sat in silence for a long moment, until Jonathan cleared his throat, looking very uncomfortable.

"Ah, Lex?" Jonathan asked, rubbing the back of his neck at Martha's encouraging look. "I've been…meaning to ask you something."

"Certainly," Lex said, frowning. "What is it?"

"Did you mean it when you, when you described us as your ideal parents?" Jonathan asked, jaw jutting out as if to dare Lex to deny it or lie.

"Yes, I did," Lex said, fighting not to smirk. "Mr. Kent, think of it this way. You loathe Lionel Luthor, correct?"

"With a passion beyond the fire of a thousand suns," Jonathan growled, his eyes twinkling just a bit with amusement.

"Good one," Lex chuckled. "Think how it would be to grow up as that man's son. To be under his roof, following his rules, to have to live the way Lionel Luthor decrees at all times."

Martha and Jonathan both flinched, Jonathan looking rather ill at the concept. Lex sighed, giving Martha's hand a squeeze before letting it go. He truly hated talking about growing up as a Luthor but how else could he explain this?

"I rebelled very badly as a teenager," Lex said slowly. "I did everything in my power to annoy my father and to find out who I was away from him. That included sex much wilder and more destructive than anything Clark ever got involved with. It included crime, until I realized my father was already into crime in a very major way. Not that I could ever get proof. It included almost every drug that you've ever heard of and a few that I invented on my own. The only moral compass I had at that time was 1) did it annoy Lionel? And 2) did it feel good at the time? I didn't care if it hurt me in the long run or even an hour later as long as it felt good when I did it."

"Oh Lex," Martha breathed, looking heartbroken for him.

"I know," Lex sighed, nodding at her. "It wasn't a good time. I nearly died on several occasions. It took realizing that it wasn't going to do anything to earn my father's emotion—I would have taken hatred at that point but all I got was continued coldness and lessons in 'toughening up'. The whole reason I was sent to Smallville was because I was in disgrace and my father told me to straighten my head out. He hasn't been pleased with how I've done it, though."

Lex smirked, chuckling. Not pleased was the least descriptive way of putting Lionel's anger at Lex's choices in life. He didn't want his son to be independent. He didn't want Lex to be moral or to follow the law. He certainly didn't want Lex thinking for himself and doing things his own way. Obviously. Otherwise he wouldn't have tried to drive Lex crazy by drugging him.

"What changed all that?" Jonathan asked, apparently curious despite himself.

"Clark and the two of you," Lex said with a little smile that was probably happier and more open than they'd ever seen on his face. "He saved me from drowning. Then he refused the reward I gave him on moral grounds and I had to learn more about the family that produced someone like that. I always knew about his powers. I never said anything because it wasn't my place to do so. I just hoped that he'd trust me someday."

"You knew?" Jonathan said, horrified.

"Clark's a terrible liar, Mr. Kent," Lex said, making them both laugh. "I'm sorry, but he's painfully obvious when he's lying and he's never been any good at hiding his powers if you look closely. I already was looking closely, so I saw it. I also saw two parents who were totally involved in raising their son, who cared what happened to him, who gave him solid moral guidance, and who were good people in their own right."

Martha blushed and Jonathan looked uncomfortable. Lex shrugged a little.

"You were literally the first parents I'd seen who were that worthy of respect," Lex said. "My classmates' parents weren't much better than Lionel. My friends' parents were mostly absent. And at the levels of society I grew up in, a child was considered nothing more than the fulfillment of the bloodline, not a person in his or her own right."

"I certainly know how that feels," Martha said with a little sigh and sad smile. "My father wasn't that bad but the Clarks were at that level of society in Metropolis."

"Exactly," Lex said, nodding. "You were the first parents I ever saw that truly deserved to be called parents to my mind. You put Clark's welfare—other than sex issue—over your own and did what you had to as you helped him grow into a good member of society. You're still the best parents I know of."

Jonathan looked embarrassed as Lex talked while Martha looked pleased. Lex wasn't sure that either of them would ever truly accept him. It didn't really matter. He would do what he thought was right for Clark and they would always be his personal versions of proper parenting, not that he thought he'd ever be a parent.

"That's…" Jonathan stopped as Lex's cell phone rang.

"Just a second," Lex said with a tired sigh. It was his new head of security, so Lex answered the phone. "What is it?"

"We've found a problem with the target location, Mr. Luthor," he said. "It looks like you were right to worry."

"Damn it," Lex snarled, coming to his feet. "All right, implement our plan and get them out of there. Have you contacted the alternate?"

"Yes, sir," he replied. "Everything's in place. We were just waiting for your word."

"Don't wait," Lex ordered. "Go. I've gotten Clark to a separate, secure location. He'll be fine. Take care of them and I'll head back to the mansion."

"Yes, sir! See you soon."

Lex sighed and hung up. Hopefully their conversation was oblique enough that anyone Lionel had listening to his cell phone wouldn't be sure what they were talking about. He was glad that his hunch had turned out to be right and they were prepared for it, even though it would have been better if the FBI could have kept Chloe and her father safe on their own. His arrangements should keep her safe until the trial, anyway.

"I have to go," Lex said, feeling his shoulders start to tighten and wishing yet again for Clark. He was so good at backrubs. "There's a situation that has to be dealt with and I can't do it from here."

"All right," Martha said, standing. "If you need anything, do let us know, Lex. And if you hear anything about Clark, please tell us."

"I will," Lex said.

"Be careful," Jonathan said, staying seated. "You're important too."

"Thank you, Mr. Kent," Lex said, smirking because he couldn't manage a proper smile right now. "I'll be very careful. I'm not going to let my father get away with his crimes."

Lex hurried back to his car. By now, Chloe and her father should be safely away from the FBI safe house. He didn't know yet what might have happened to compromise the place, but he trusted his team and he trusted General Lane to keep them safe. Chloe would probably have to disappear for a while, but they'd keep her safe until the trial in four months. Now if he could only find a way to completely remove his father's power while in prison, things would be better…


"Being able to resist your needs is important, Kal-El," Lara said gently as he whimpered. "You could easily overwhelm your master with you needs. He is not one of us. He has not been genetically optimized or trained in these matters. You must learn restraint. The need has been reduced within you. It is your own desire that drives you now, not your genetics."

Clark whined again, struggling against the bonds that kept him from touching himself. He had no idea how long it had been since he'd come here. Lara had said that time flowed differently where they were than in the real world. All he knew was that he'd been denied sexual release ever since he arrived and his balls ached with the need to come. He couldn't say it to her—she'd gagged him as part of the conditioning he was going through—but he really wasn't sure how much more of this he could handle. There had never been a day in his whole life when he hadn't been free to at least touch himself.

"Your body is not your own, my son," Lara said, petting his hair as he panted and struggled. "It does not belong to you and you cannot simply take your pleasure as you will. That is stealing from your Master. You don't want to steal from your Lex, do you?"

Clark shook his head no hard, but it was so hard, so very hard to think he wouldn't be allowed sex of any kind…


"What do you mean I can't send Lois a message that I'm alive?" Chloe yelled at her uncle, General Sam Lane. "Sir, you know perfectly well that she's going to go crazy trying to find out what happened to me!"

"Chloe," the General said in that deep, scolding tone of voice. "We barely got you out before the safe house exploded. My Lo will be all right. In a few months you'll be back, you'll testify and she'll get over it."

"You don't understand," Chloe said desperately. "Before we went into witness protection I sent her a message saying that if I died she should look for Clark and find out what happened to me. She's going to be out there trying to find Clark and he'll be in danger too. She's going to cause all sorts of trouble."

The General sighed, rubbing his forehead. Chloe hadn't thought that Lex would do something like this, that he'd try and protect her, so she'd done what she could on her own to try and ensure that Lionel wouldn't escape punishment. Her cousin Lois Lane wasn't a great investigator, but she was more stubborn than the proverbial bulldog, plus she knew how to fight. She would have been the perfect choice to avenge Chloe if she'd really been blown up when Lionel's bomb destroyed the safe house. Now she was a danger to Chloe, Lois and Lex because no one could tell her the truth.

"Chlo, sometimes you do make life difficult," the General sighed. "All right, I'll try and rein her in. I should be able to keep her out of trouble for at least a couple of months. Not sure I can manage it the whole way to the trial, but we'll see what I can do."

"Thank you, sir," Chloe said gratefully. "I wish you guys had given us a hint. I wouldn't have sent the message in the first place if I'd known."


"There are many ways to serve your Master, Kal-El," Lara said, leading him by a leash attached to Lex's collar. "It is not only sex that you offer him."

Clark nodded, holding his tongue as he'd been trained. He'd already figured a little of this out on his own, like knowing that Lex would like breakfast in bed, figuring out what foods he liked, and giving him backrubs when he was tense.

"Companionship, an intelligent and insightful mind, and protection are also things that a proper slave gives to his Master," Lara said, chuckling at Clark's start of surprise. "Being a Master or Mistress is hard work, my son. You must focus all the time on your slave. You must be aware of them, their moods, and their needs. It is tiring. You must be able to leave the Master / slave relationship behind at times, to simply be your Master's friend. You must have interests of your own and it would be very good for you to have a job that earns money on this world. You should do as you did for the pre-trial hearings and protect your Master. You cannot assume that his hired bodyguards will care as much for his survival as you will. All of these are things you must consider as we continue your training. To be a proper slave, you must know when not to be his slave."


Sixteen separate sniping episodes, Lex thought as he sat as his desk in the Metropolis penthouse. Thirty-three distinct poisoning attempts, nine hit-and-run accidents and still Lex was alive and well. Clark had been gone for seven weeks, three days, eleven hours and twenty-seven minutes, not that Lex was counting. He'd had to fire so many staff members over the last two months. He'd had to do so much work to clean out Lionel's cronies in LuthorCorp. He'd had to do so much, but so far it was working. He was safe. Clark was safe. Chloe was safe. Just another two months and Lionel would be locked up for good.

In the last seven weeks, Lex had learned more about humanity's ancient history and legends than he'd thought possible. There were signs of Kryptonian intervention all over the world if you knew where to look. He'd seen signs of it in Egypt, the Yucatan peninsula, China, Scotland, England, France, Russia, and Africa. He'd sent teams out to do excavations at promising ancient sites. He'd bought texts and created grants to study humanity's past, all with the goal of finding the Elements of Power. He was fairly certain that there had to be one in Egypt, though his men hadn't found the exact site yet. The Mayans in the Yucatan seemed likely as did China, but France was a close contender too. It was too soon for him to know exactly where Clark's Elements were, but Lex kept trying. It filled the time between board meetings, assassination attempts, court visits and lying sleepless in his empty bed.

"Sir, will there be anything else?" Lex's secretary asked, poking her head into his office.

"No, nothing else," Lex said. "Just counting up the murder attempts."

"Security caught another one trying to sneak in while you were in a meeting, sir," she said, shaking her head in dismay. "They caught him before he could get in and checked everything. You should be all right. Try and get a good night's sleep, sir."

"You too," Lex said, smiling at her.

Lex headed to his bar and got one of the water bottles. He'd stopped drinking alcohol or anything that didn't come from a sealed container after the last poisoning attempt. The bottled water was at least secure. He had a little bit of paperwork to finish but it wasn't important. He only kept working at it because his home was so empty without Clark. Lex sipped his water while doing the work and checking the overseas stock markets on line. There was no reason to head to dinner when there was no one to share it with.

"Sir, I have dinner ready," Lex's housekeeper said, poking her head in to smile at him.

"Fine, I'll be there shortly," Lex said, signing off his computer.

The screen blurred for a second, or maybe it was his eyes. Lex blinked hard and then swayed, his heart starting to pound faster. No. No way! He stared at the bottled water, unable to believe that Lionel could have poisoned that. The room spun so hard that Lex nearly fell from his chair. How the hell had Lionel managed to…they'd caught someone coming in, his secretary had said. His staff had been wrong. The assassin had been getting back out, not coming in.

Lex tried to reach into his pocket for the emergency button he'd taken to carrying at all times. His fingers weren't working and his head was spinning so badly that he thought he'd be sick. Lex slapped his pocket, trying desperately to call help. His throat was closing up so badly that he couldn't breathe and his head was pounding and there was no way to know if they'd heard, if they knew.

Lex fell from his chair, heartbeat thudding so loudly in his ears that he barely heard the security staff slam the door open to come to his aid. He hoped they found out how the water had been poisoned. He'd hate to think that some innocent person would die because of his father's desire to destroy Lex.


Clark had forgotten what pain felt like. He breathlessly counted the strokes of the cane as it rained down on his back. When he'd been young he'd been hard to hurt but he'd still managed to get his fair share of scrapes and bruises. It wasn't until he was about twelve that he stopped feeling pain, stopped hurting himself and started gaining true invulnerability.

"A Master sometimes likes to leave marks on his slave," Lara said as she beat him. "Some beatings are not for punishment, Kal-El. They are for recalibration, keeping the slave from getting out of line. They can be for the Master's release. They can even be simply for the pleasure of both Master and slave. Your Master may wish for you to be marked, for there to be some sign on your body of his ownership of you. You should take joy in those marks, in that pain. It means that he loves you so much that he wants everyone to see that you are his."

Clark shuddered, imagining that it was Lex giving him the beating. His cock answered immediately and he moaned. He could see Lex wanting to mark him. He knew that Lex's bites were the same thing, the same urge.

"Oh!" Clark gasped. "Mistress, please, I want him to be able to do that!"

"It may be possible, my son," Lara said, stopping the beating and petting his hair. "There may be a way for him to be your physical equal."

"Truly?" Clark asked, leaning into her hand.

"Truly," Lara said, laughing and kissing his forehead.


"But I have to talk to Clark Kent," Lois said to the receptionist from Hell that was blocking her way. "He's here somewhere, I'm sure of it. That Lex Luthor said that he'd taken Clark somewhere safe and there's no where safer than here."

"I'm sorry, Miss," the receptionist said, glaring at Lois, "but there is no Clark Kent in this building. Mr. Luthor is still very ill and we're all very busy. Whatever your business with Mr. Kent, I'm afraid we can't help you."

Lois growled and stomped out of the Luthor building. Fine, so maybe he wasn't hiding in plain sight at Lex's penthouse with his lover. Maybe he was back in Smallville or something. Either way, she was going to find Clark Kent and she was going to find out what happened to Chloe. Lois slammed her car door and headed back into traffic, heading to Smallville.

Chloe's message had been delayed somehow by nearly a month after she sent it. Lois still didn't know how that had happened. Then her dad the General had made it damned near impossible for Lois to try and investigate what happened to Chloe. She and Chloe hadn't visited each other half as much as they used to once Chloe had moved to Smallville with her dad but they were still best friends and still exchanged emails and letters all the time. Chloe had entrusted Lois with finding out what had happened to her and Lois would be damned if she'd fail her.

"Sorry I'm late, Chlo," Lois muttered as she turned onto the road leading to Smallville. "I'll never give up, I promise. I'll find out how that asshole Lionel Luthor killed you if it's the last thing I ever do!"


"How long has it been?" Clark asked Lara as they prepared for him to return to the real world.

"It has been eleven weeks and five days, Kal-El," Lara said. "Your Master is desperately ill. His father has poisoned him and all the medical treatment has been able to do is keep him alive, despite his amazing healing abilities."

Clark's breath caught in his chest. That had been his fear all along. Lionel had tried to poison Lex already and there was nothing he wouldn't do to stay out of jail. Lex was the one who was the focus of the trial, having been the one who found most of the information. Clark and Chloe were just icing on the cake. Lionel had to get rid of Lex.

"Will he live?" Clark asked, shaking and running his fingers over the collar that Lex had given him.

"Not for much longer," Lara said sadly. "The gift that I had planned to give him to make him your equal is all the more important now, Kal-El. When I return you to the real world, you must fly straight to him. Give him my gift and my blessing."

"I will," Clark said, all but quivering with the desire to return to the real world, to Lex.

Lara smiled, petting his cheek and smiling at him. She gestured for him to stand and come with her. The part of the house that she led him to was one that wasn't really there. It was one that she'd created to store items that had been put into various dimensional pockets in the Kawatche Caves. She picked up a pair of collars, one thick and heavy, made of a golden material with the House of El sigil on it, and the other light and silvery with a key instead of a lock. She placed them in Clark's hands, closing his fingers around them.

"Take these with you, my son," Lara said, eyes sad. "These are the collars your father and I wore when we were married. I would be honored if you and your Master would wear them as well. They are of Kryptonian materials and will be able to withstand your full strength. They are also specially coded so that if the collar is endangering your life, it will open without the key. Your Master's collar does not lock, of course. It is the key to your collar, showing the bond between the two of you."

Clark tried to say something but no words came out. She'd taught him all about the symbolism of Kryptonian collaring ceremonies during his training and conditioning but he'd never thought that he'd actually have a proper Kryptonian collar. They must have removed their collars and sent them to Earth before Krypton was destroyed, just in case Clark would need them.

"Thank you," Clark whispered, tears in his eyes.

"You're welcome, my son," Lara said, petting his tears away. "Now, let us return you to your Master. He has waited long enough for your return."


Lois growled as she tried to find the Kent Farm in the middle of miles and miles of fields of corn. It was dark. It was raining. She was so fucking lost. And she couldn't get any help or directions that would let her find Clark Kent's parents. If it wasn't Chloe, she would have turned around and gone straight back to the General and her own comfy bed. She had a life, damn it and this constant running around trying to find a phantom named Clark wasn't helping her live it.

Lightning struck right in front of Lois and she screeched, jerking the wheel of her car so hard that she went off the road, through an old fence and into the cornfield. Before she could even think of slamming on the brakes or swinging the wheel back to the street her car hit a hole or ditch or something and she slammed to a stop, smacking into her seat belt and hitting her head on the windshield.

"Owww," Lois moaned, panting as she checked to make sure she was okay. "Damn it, Chloe! This better be worth it in the end."

Lois got out of her car and started cursing like a drill sergeant. It was going to take a tow truck to get her out of this field. She was searching in her car for her cell phone when lightning struck not ten feet away. Lois screamed, diving into her car and then staring at the scorched place she could just see through the few remaining standing stalks of corn. She could swear she saw someone in there…

"Hello?" Lois called, getting out again and pushing through the corn.

A man knelt in the center of a burnt patch of ground. He was big, strong and muscled, with black hair. He was also as naked as the day he was born, other than a thin metal chain around his back. He stood, back to her and looked to the sky. Lois blinked, rubbing the rain out of her face. There was a whoosh and when she opened her eyes the man was gone. All that was left was the scorched place on the earth with little fires making a shape that looked something like an 'S'.


Flying was more amazing in real life than it had been in Lara's simulation. Clark still didn't like being up in the air but it was better than he'd expected. At least now he could control it instead of falling like a rock the way he always did in his nightmares. The rain that pounded down on Smallville was much lighter in Metropolis, barely a drizzle. The night was just as dark. Lara had returned him during the evening deliberately, not wanting anyone to see him before he was able to return to Lex's side.

"Lex," Clark breathed, finding the Daily Planet's great globe and then locating Lex's penthouse apartment from there. The Daily Planet had become his personal north while in Metropolis during his summer running away from his responsibilities. Spot that landmark, and he always knew which way to go.

The pair of collars in his hand was reassuringly heavy, like they were made of a metal that didn't exist on Earth. He knew (from his training) that it wasn't the metal that made them different. It was the way they'd been processed and treated, plus the technology that was built into each link. There was so much that he wanted to tell Lex, so much that he wanted to share, but the first and most important thing was to make sure that Lex survived. He needed Lara's Gift as soon as possible. Clark found Lex's penthouse and scanned it with his X-ray vision, reassured that no one other than a nurse and some security people were there. Lex was alone in his bed, surrounded by what looked like medical equipment.

Clark landed on the balcony outside of Lex's bedroom, testing the door. It wasn't locked, which was a relief. He didn't want to break anything, especially not right after he got to come home to his Master. He was mostly dry already, other than his hair, so Clark slid inside, his eyes searching out Lex as though he was a magnet and Clark was metal.

"Oh Lex," Clark breathed, making him start and look up.

He was so pale, so very thin. His skin had always been creamier than Clark's golden skin but now he looked like he was made of tissue paper stretched over bone. Lex's eyes were the only things that were unchanged, still brilliantly blue and alert. He had an oxygen tube going to his nose, monitors taped all over his body and a couple of IV's stuck in his arms. He also had a laptop on a little table in his lap and papers scattered around him, showing that he hadn't stopped working despite being ill.

"Clark," Lex said, smiling so brightly that it was like the sun came out. "You're back!"

"Yes, Master," Clark said, beaming back at him. "And I have a gift, well actually I have three gifts but two of them belong together."

"Sir?" one of the security guards said, poking his head into the room and then charging in to point his gun at Clark, staring at his nakedness suspiciously.

"That's enough," Lex snapped at him. "This is Clark Kent. He belongs here. He only just returned. Don't bother asking how, I won't tell you."

"Ah, yes sir," the guard said, swallowing at Lex's tone of voice. "I'll inform the others, sir."

"Do that," Lex growled, glaring at him. "Now leave us alone."

The security guard hurried out and Clark laughed quietly. Lex could always make people jump to attention. It was good to see that hadn't changed despite his being so ill. Clark came over to the bed, carefully moving the papers aside and sitting next to Lex. He kept the collars clenched in one hand, almost afraid to touch Lex because of how fragile he looked. Lex took the fear away, reaching out to cup Clark's cheek with one far too frail hand. There was much more strength than Clark expected in his touch as Lex tugged at Clark, pulling him onto the bed and close to Lex.

"Missed you," Lex whispered, petting Clark's wet hair and tracing his face with his fingertips.

"Missed you too," Clark whispered, feeling like he could cry from sheer relief to be home and rage at what Lionel had done to his Lex. "Missed you so much!"

Lex was too weak to cuddle Clark, but Clark could hold him. He carefully pulled Lex into his arms, holding him close. His body was too warm, almost fever warm, but Lex didn't appear to notice it. Maybe it was part of the medicine he was getting. Lex was too busy touching Clark's body, exploring all the points that had brought him pleasure before. Clark moaned, wanting so bad to give in but he couldn't yet, not until he'd given Lex Lara's Gift.

"W-wait," Clark moaned, stopping Lex's hands before they could descend to Clark's cock. "Pl-please, Master, just wait…Lex! Wait a minute!"

"Don't want to," Lex growled, the same sexy, dominating look on his face as always despite how much he'd changed. "I've been sick, I've been lonely and I don't want to wait! Want to watch you come!"

Clark groaned, taking a deep breath and blessing Lara for her training in how to properly resist. Before he'd have let Lex do whatever he wanted and probably have forgotten about the Gift. Now he could catch Lex's hands and push him back, making him meet Clark's eyes.

"Not yet," Clark said. "Seriously, you need to wait a minute and then I'll be delighted to come my brains out for you, trust me. Lara didn't let me come once the whole time I was there. I'm dying for you to have your way with me, Lex, but not until you get Lara's Gift."

"If it's those," Lex said, nodding to the collars that Clark had set aside when he grabbed Lex's arms, "then they can wait. I want to learn all the history and symbolism before I put that collar on you. It is almost exactly what I was thinking, though."

"No, it's much more than that," Clark laughed, leaning over and kissing Lex quickly. "She gave me the ability to give you Kryptonian powers. She always wanted my Master or Mistress to be my equal physically. It's not good when the slave is so much more powerful than the Master. But now that Lionel's poisoned you, the Gift is even more important. It'll heal you, Lex. In a day or two you'll be back to normal. In a few weeks, with plenty of sunbathing, you'll have powers just like mine. I can teach you how to use them as you get them. No need like I have, and none of the mental stuff I have for submitting, just the powers and healing."

Lex's breath caught sharply and then he was coughing like his lungs were trying to come out. Clark held him, rubbing his back as Lex worked to catch his breath again. Please say yes, Clark prayed. Please. It took almost three minutes for Lex to finally pull back and study Clark seriously. He'd stopped coughing and panting a long while before that but had stayed in Clark's arms. Clark thought that he'd been thinking about the offer.

"What's the price?" Lex asked, frowning.

"Take care of me," Clark said, with a little shrug. "Protect the Earth against threats that will endanger it. Help find Kara—her ship is lost somewhere, not destroyed. Lara said that she couldn't find it where she is now but once we unite the Elements of Power she should be able to do it. Um…she did say that it's possible to alter me once the Elements are combined so that we could have kids. She was rather um, enthusiastic? Excited? Well, she really liked the idea of the two of us having kids someday."

"Seriously?" Lex said, eyes going wide.

"Mmm-hmm," Clark said, blushing. "I don't know that I like that thought but if you did want kids someday, apparently it's not impossible. After we do everything else, of course."

Lex laughed, grinning at Clark. He rubbed his chest, settling into Clark's arms again. No matter how weak Lex was, it felt incredible to be able to touch him again. Three months was way too long without Lex's touch. Lex made a little noise, like a 'hmm' and looked at Clark, tugging the collar around his neck.

"What happened to your clothes and the butt plug?" Lex asked.

"Gone," Clark said with a sad sigh. "When I was brought into the simulation thingie that Lara set up, they were destroyed. Only the collar remained because you gave it to me and Lara knew it was important to me."

"Pity," Lex said sighing. "Have to go on another shopping trip to The Boutique."

"Oh no," Clark said, pretending to be dismayed and grinning at Lex. "I don't think I could handle that, Master! Surely you won't make me go someplace like that."

Lex raised an eyebrow and then they both started laughing. They sat together for a little longer. Clark kept expecting Lex to ask questions about Lara's Gift but Lex just sat, enjoying touching him. Maybe being without Clark had been just as hard for Lex. Or maybe the drugs he was on were making him more drifty mentally than Clark realized.

"How much will the Gift thing hurt?" Lex asked finally.

"Not at all," Clark said, grateful that Lex was finally talking. A not-talking Lex was a very strange Lex to him. "It'll feel warm for a bit and then you'll feel better. You can keep the IV's and stuff but they'll have to come off in the morning. You won't need them anymore."

"And what sort of powers am I going to be getting?" Lex asked a little more sharply. "We've never had the 'just what can you do?' conversation and I've been going crazy wondering."

"You could have asked," Clark said a little sheepishly. "When you said you knew, I thought that meant you knew everything."

Lex laughed and shook his head, looking so brittle that it made Clark's heart squeeze. Please let him say yes! He needed to say yes or he was going to die. Clark smiled back, more than aware that his worry and fear for Lex showed, especially since Lex petted his cheek, kissing him gently.

"So? Powers?"

"Oh, right," Clark said, blushing. "Um, invulnerability except to meteor rock. That'll hurt you the same way it hurts me. Strength, super speed, super hearing, X-ray vision, super breath, and flying."

"Flying?" Lex asked, looking just as leery of the concept as Clark was.

"Yeah," Clark said with a sigh. "It's actually not as bad as I thought it would be. It's really easy to control."

"Mmm, not sure about the flying thing," Lex said with a sly smirk. "I don't suppose I can line item veto specific powers, can I?"

Clark burst out laughing. He shook his head no, grinning at Lex who was grinning back at him. Was this the yes he'd been waiting for? Clark wasn't sure so he smiled and ever so gently petted Lex's frail cheek. He was so beautiful and so broken and all Clark wanted to do was make it better. He needed Lex strong again. He needed Lex healthy. He needed his Master to be back to what he should be, better than what he used to be. He needed it but more importantly he wanted it for Lex. It wasn't just that Clark wanted Lex. It was that he wanted Lex to be better and he had the way to do it, if only Lex would agree to it.

"Do you want the Gift?" Clark asked. "I can't give it to you unless you agree to it. Please say yes, Lex. Lara says that you're going to die without it and I don't want to loose you, not now, not ever. Please?"

"How long is ever for your people?" Lex asked, frowning.

"Oh, um, well, probably…at least a thousand years," Clark said, swallowing hard. "Lara isn't sure how long we'll live but if you don't agree to this then you'll die and I'll be alone and at everyone else's mercy. Someone else will be able to claim me and I'll have to serve them. But if you do it then you'll live as long as I will and we'll always be together."

"You are never serving anyone else," Lex growled, eyes flashing with anger. "Mine!"

"And if you do it, you'll be able to give me hickies," Clark offered with a little grin.

Lex blinked, looking at Clark's neck and then back into his eyes. He slowly grinned, face lighting up with lust and love. Lex laughed, shaking his head at Clark. Clark wasn't sure what he was dismayed at but at least it was an amused dismay.

"All right, you sold me," Lex laughed, grinning and tugging Clark's collar. "The hickies did it. The flying almost destroyed your case but for hickies on Clark's neck I think I can put up with being healthy and strong and having to fly."

This time Clark burst out laughing. They snuggled again, Clark holding Lex and calling up the power that Lara had given him. It was a one-shot thing. Clark couldn't do this again, not without returning to Lara and he didn't think she'd allow it, not unless Lex died. Clark had no intention of letting Lex die, no matter what happened. He didn't think he would survive loosing his Master.

"All right," Clark said. "I'm going to glow and then the glow will settle into you and you'll be all right. I'll take it slowly so you have a chance to get used to it as it happens. Fortunately, you'll be gaining your powers slowly so it should be easy enough for you to learn to control them."

"Do it," Lex said, taking a careful deep breath so that he wouldn't start coughing again. "I'm more than ready to feel healthy again."

Clark nodded and let Lara's Gift flow from his body to Lex's. The light that always seemed to be part of Kryptonian technology filled him, shone out of his body and then flowed slowly and gently into Lex's body. As it did his skin became almost translucent like bright sunshine flowing through a thin white curtain. Then as it settled into him Lex started glowing from within as if he was a light bulb. His face filled out and his neck gained back some muscle. His chest got broader under Clark's fingers as his muscles started returned. The tiny wheeze when he breathed disappeared and his hands lost the terrible fragility that had so shocked Clark when he first saw Lex. Then the light slowly faded away like someone had turned a dimmer switch inside of Lex. His skin seemed much healthier than it had and he obviously was on the mend. He still had some muscle mass to regain and he was a bit pale, but he was much better than he had been. He stared at Clark, rubbing his chest.

"That…wow," Lex breathed, sounding almost like his normal self. "This is going to be hard to explain."

"Miracle, gift from God," Clark said airily, waving a hand in the air. "No explanation, it just happened and thank goodness that it did."

"Hmm, I think I like that explanation," Lex said with a grin. "Now I think I said something a little bit ago about you coming your brains out."

Clark laughed and nodded. He shivered as Lex ran his hands over Clark's body, reveling in the fact that he was naked and back and his Lex, his Master was touching him. Lex chuckled, not strong enough to be able to take Clark, but obviously ready to do what it took to take care of Clark.

"How do you want to do this, Master?" Clark asked, groaning as Lex grasped his cock.

"Nothing fancy," Lex said, chuckling at Clark's shudder. "I just want to make you come. You truly weren't allowed any sort of release?"

"Nothing," Clark moaned, thrusting into Lex's hands. "S-she said it was part of the conditioning, learning to resist my desires. It was hard."

"Mmm, no doubt," Lex purred. "Spread those legs for me."

Clark spread his legs and gasped as Lex's fingers dove straight for his ass. Lex was obviously just as horny as he was. He moaned, pushing back against Lex's fingers and then crying out as Lex bent over and sucked his cock into his mouth. It was so good, so terribly good. He panted, trying not to come so soon.

"No holding back," Lex growled, letting Clark's cock go to glare at him. "I want that orgasm!"

"Y-yes Master," Clark gasped as Lex deep throated him. It was too much to resist after no release for three months. He came hard, crying out and shuddering that the nurse and security guards could hear him come.

Lex swallowed hard and then kept on sucking. He was finger-fucking Clark's ass, pushing into him with three fingers. Clark moaned, trembling under Lex's onslaught. Lex worked hard on Clark's cock and ass, quickly driving his arousal level back up to the point he was nearly sobbing in excitement. It was better than it ever had been because the need wasn't driving him. This was just because Lex loved him. This was because Lex had missed him. This was because Clark loved and had missed Lex.

"Master, oh fuck Master," Clark whimpered, unable to stay quiet any longer. "Love you, love you so much! Fuck me, oh god, want you so bad, love you, love you, oh Master love you so much!"

Lex chuckled and let Clark's cock go, increasing the speed and power of his fingers' plunges into Clark.

"That's it," Lex moaned. "That's what I've missed. Give it to me, Clark! Give yourself to me. Let go, give it to me!"

Clark relaxed and let his arousal sweep him up and carry him away. Lex was touching and kissing him, biting him just hard enough that Clark actually felt it. He suspected that very soon he was going to be covered by hickies. The thought of going back to school with visible hickies made Clark come so hard that he saw stars. He heard Lex chuckling but was so relaxed that he could barely move. Clark smiled as Lex lay down with him, rubbing his fingers through the come on his stomach.

"Welcome home," Lex murmured to Clark.

"Thank you, Master," Clark said, smiling at him. He was blurry to Clark's eyes but that wasn't a surprise. His eyes always went blurry when he came like that. "I missed my Master but more than that, I missed my best friend. I missed you, Lex. I missed spending time with you. I missed having you teach me chess and beat me. I missed playing pool. I missed your library and your voice and your fast cars and everything to do with you."

He blinked until he could see Lex's face a bit more clearly, so grateful that he was already looking better.

"I'm not with you just because of the sex," Clark said softly. "The sex is nice, as is being your slave, but if we could never have sex again I'd still want to be with you. You make me so happy, Lex. I'm happier with you than I've ever been."

Lex's breath caught in his chest again, but this time it was pure happiness making him struggle to breath. Lex smiled and leaned over to kiss Clark tenderly.

"I missed you too, Clark," Lex whispered. "I missed you. I dreamed of you every night. God but I love you. You are not allowed to go away that way ever again. You're mine and you're staying with me from now on."

"Always," Clark promised.


Lex woke up to the most wonderful warmth under him (that felt remarkably like Clark) and the sound of his day shift nurse all but screaming. His warm pillow was suddenly gone, making Lex blink and look around. The nurse was squeaking in outrage at Clark being in Lex's bed—Oh my God naked, no less!—and Clark was growling at her for waking Lex up.

"Hush," Lex said, shutting both of them up. "Lisa, this is Clark, my lover. Clark, this is Lisa, my day shift nurse. Sorry, he got in late last night and I suppose the night shift nurse didn't tell you."

"No sir, she didn't," Lisa huffed, still glaring at Clark. "You're in no condition to have visitors, sir. Really!"

"Actually, I feel fine," Lex said, stretching as much as the various IV's and monitors would let him. "Get the doctor in here. I think something happened overnight. Maybe my healing abilities finally kicked in."

"Uh, yes sir," Lisa said, blinking and then staring at him with eyes so wide they looked like saucers. "You…do look…much better."

She hurried out, giving Lex a puzzled, confused look as she closed the door. Clark laughed once the door was shut, cuddling back up for a quick hug and kiss. Lex growled, wanting so much more than just a hug and kiss. He wanted Clark screaming his name again. He wanted him filled with come, flat on his back, pupils blown wide from sheer arousal.

"I should get some clothes," Clark said, grinning and licking his lips. "At least some sweats to cover the erection you're giving me by looking at me that way."

"Mmm, I make you hard just looking at you now?" Lex asked, chuckling.

"It's been three months," Clark said, laughing. "I think it's going to take a while before I calm back down."

"Clothes," Lex said, patting Clark's thigh. "I suspect I'm going to spend the next several hours getting every test known to man."

"Yup," Clark said, rolling his eyes. "Better than dying, Master!"

Lex spent the whole day being tested. He hadn't been through this many tests since he lost his hair in the meteor shower that accompanied Clark's arrival on Earth. He had what seemed like more than a pint of blood taken for various blood tests. He went through every sort of scanner there was. He had X-rays taken. He went through everything his team of doctors could come up with and in the end they all threw their hands up and declared it a miracle. The tentative conclusion was that Lex's healing abilities had finally gotten the upper hand against the toxins in his system and he was cured.

It took about five minutes after Lisa left the room in the morning for the news media to start calling for updates on Lex's condition. Just before dinnertime, when his doctors had finally given up testing him, he held a press conference. The doctors did their bit, explaining all the tests they'd run and the results they'd gotten. Lex was fairly certain that the reporters were just as glazed over during that as he was. Medical mumbo-jumbo was no different from any other technical talk—if you didn't speak it, it was ignored. Once they were done, Lex stepped up to the microphones, intensely aware of Clark standing just out of camera range. He waved the reporter's questions away, waiting until they went quiet.

"Ladies and gentlemen," Lex said calmly, "I believe the simple way to sum up what my medical team has explained is that I've been blessed with a miracle this morning. We have no real explanation for it. I have no idea what caused it but I am incredibly grateful for this."

"Mr. Luthor, what will you do now?" one reporter called out.

"Nothing different," Lex said, smiling at him. "I simply have more time to do things now. I will continue my philanthropic work. I will continue my legal actions against my father. I will continue to lead LuthorCorp to a new future as far as possible from my father's past illegal activities. The only thing that has changed as far as I am concerned is that I'm no longer worried about dying abruptly."

There were more questions, more answers. The news conference went on for another half hour with the reporters asking him every question under the sun, including asking about Clark and whether he'd return now that Lex was healed. Lex laughed and nodded, pointing to Clark who waved and had a million pictures of him snapped in about three seconds. Eventually, Lex waved any further questions off and disappeared back into the building with Clark.

"I wonder what your father's going to say," Clark said as they rode the elevator back up to Lex's penthouse.

"I wonder what your parents are going to say," Lex said with a little sigh. "You should go visit them."

"Not leaving your side," Clark declared, shaking his head against any disagreement from Lex. "I don't care, Lex. I'm not leaving you for anything, not even them. I'll call, I'll visit with you, but I am not zipping off and leaving you alone."

"Actually I was thinking of flying up there," Lex laughed, taking Clark's hand. "We have collars than need to be applied, and I have some notes I left behind in the mansion that I need before we go off to Egypt."

Clark's mouth dropped open, making the security guard riding up with them snicker despite his best efforts to be invisible. The whole security team knew about Clark and Lex and they knew better than to comment about their relationship. Clark blinked and then started as the elevator binged and the doors opened. They headed into the penthouse, Clark still trying to manage words.

"Egypt?" Clark asked at last. "Why are we going to Egypt?"

"Because I received word from one of my teams yesterday afternoon that they might have found one of the items I've been looking for," Lex said, smirking. "I wanted to be there to supervise when they open the crypt up, but given my health I couldn't be. I would like to see the site now that I'm healthy again."

"It is nice and sunny in Egypt," Clark said thoughtfully, grinning at Lex. "Okay, when do we go?"

"After dinner," Lex said, rubbing his stomach as it grumbled. "I'm starving! This sudden healing has made me want to eat like a horse. Or perhaps eat the horse itself."

"Welcome to my world," Clark sighed. "Sometimes I feel like I'm always hungry."

They ate, gathered together clothes and supplies and then took the helicopter to Smallville, arriving at about 8:00 pm. Martha and Jonathan were astonished and delighted when they arrived to visit, welcoming them in despite the late hour. Clark explained a little about his training, showed off his ability to fly by hovering and explained how Lex had been saved. Jonathan didn't look like he liked the idea of a Luthor being super powered and nearly immortal, but he didn't say anything, which Lex counted as a small victory. Martha looked delighted by his salvation and couldn't seem to stop hugging Clark. They didn't get back to the mansion until nearly 2:00 am but that didn't matter. Neither of them were willing to put off reunion sex one second longer. They got about an hour's sleep before they had to return to the helicopter at 5:00 am. Lex was more than delighted with his new stamina and Clark was almost orgasmic at his new hickies. The trip to Egypt went beautifully, with more sex on the plane and more hickies decorating various portions of Clark's anatomy. They did manage to get some sleep along the way, too.

"So what are we looking for?" Clark asked as they rode in a jeep to the site of the dig.

"We're not sure," Lex sighed, smiling at how incredibly good the sun felt on his skin. "We have some symbols that seem to be significant and a lot of legends of strange happenings in this area, but I don't really know exactly what we're looking for. We'll see when we get there. Dr. Hawass seems to think that he's found it."

Lex had always been very careful to use sunscreen. He had been a natural redhead with a redhead's skin, despite having lost all of his hair years ago. He had said on more than one occasion that the sun liked to burn him. He'd gotten sunburns in less than five minutes before, especially in more tropical locations. Now the sun didn't hurt at all. It didn't feel like it was burning him. It was warm, almost like a caress or a gentle touch. He could almost see the sun's rays soaking into his body and wished that he could take off his suit and pants, all of his clothes, so that he could sunbathe naked. It was an almost physical desire, the need for the sun pouring down on him.

"Feels good?" Clark asked, smiling at him.

"Incredibly good," Lex sighed, smiling back. "Never felt so good to have the sun on my skin before."

"We can get some time sunbathing later," Clark said, nodding agreement as they arrived. "I'd like to sunbathe naked."

"We'd get arrested," Lex laughed. "This is a Muslim country, Clark. They don't do that here."

"Pity," Clark sighed, eyeing Lex and grinning.

Dr. Hawass was waiting for them, beaming to see them there at last. He was an older man with dark skin and white hair. He was the head of Egyptian Antiquities and one of the foremost authorities on all things Ancient Egyptian. It had taken a lot of work on Lex's side to get Dr. Hawass to allow the excavation, but he looked like he was glad that he'd approved it now.

"Mr. Luthor, so glad that you made it!" Dr. Hawass exclaimed. "Please, please, come with me. We've made incredible discoveries, simply incredible! This crypt appears to be unique in Egyptian history. I have never seen the like of it."

"Excellent," Lex said, following Dr. Hawass into the dig with Clark at his heels. "I thought that this site might be unique. Our research showed that it might have been influenced by another culture, one that appears to have touched other cultures in the area."

"That is quite possible," Dr. Hawass said, nodding. "Quite possible indeed. The artifacts that we have discovered are certainly unique."

Most of what Dr. Hawass showed them was fairly standard grave goods, from what Lex had learned so far. They had completely different writing on them (Kryptonian symbols instead of Egyptian hieroglyphics), though it was all done in a distinctly Egyptian style. There were the standard wall paintings, with things scattered around the room as if it had been ransacked a very long time ago. Clark didn't appear to be listening. He kept looking around at the walls, squinting. Lex listened to Dr. Hawass' excited commentary on the various paintings, nodding and commenting where appropriate. Eventually, Clark picked up a sculpture, peering at it. He gave Lex a look, nodding at the sculpture.

"This is truly incredible," Lex said to Dr. Hawass as he took a breath. "I wonder if it's possible for us to take some of the artifacts to try and date them. I have so much technology at my disposal. It would be easy for me to do it quickly. I know that you're overburdened with testing other finds."

"Excellent idea, excellent idea," Dr. Hawass said, beaming at him like an Egyptian, beardless version of Santa Claus. "I will approve that."

"It may be required to damage them in the process, you know," Lex said, feeling compelled to warn Dr. Hawass that he might not get his antiquities back. "Some of the testing methods are rather destructive. I think a small sculpture or something similar would be sufficient."

Dr. Hawass nodded solemnly, looking as though it was as grim a task as executing someone. Given how seriously he took protecting Egypt's antiquities, it probably was for him. They discussed it and eventually agreed to take four small items back with them, which included the sculpture that Clark had indicated was their prize. Clark didn't say anything the entire time they were at the dig and stayed silent all the way back to the hotel. Lex looked at him once the guards had left them alone, wondering what was up.

"You all right?" Lex asked, raising an eyebrow at him.

"Yeah," Clark said, looking at the sculpture. "Just a little awed. There's a crystal inside of it with the same symbol on it. I guess I'm just amazed that we've already found one of the Elements and I just got back. Seems so quick."

"It's been three months of constant work for me," Lex laughed. "Believe me when I say that this hasn't been quick or cheap. I've had teams working all over the world on this. I'd estimate that we've already expended a minimum of a million man hours."

"I believe you," Clark said, smiling in that totally trusting way that made Lex's legs wobble from time to time. "Um, now what?"

"Now we eat yet again," Lex said, "and you tell me all about Kryptonian collaring ceremonies. I want your new collar on you as soon as possible."

They had food for four people sent up to their room and settled on the balcony where they could both soak in the sun. Lex pulled off his shirt and had Clark do likewise. Lex wondered if his eyes were already changing because Clark seemed to almost sparkle in the sunlight. Lex ate and fed Clark from his plate, Clark having settled automatically at Lex's feet. They ate every bit of the food that had been sent up. Lex was a little surprised to find that he was still slightly hungry.

All while they were eating, Clark explained about Kryptonian collaring ceremonies. It wasn't as simple as just putting Clark's new collar on him. There were complicated traditions regarding the collars, from who should be there, to what sort of preparation there was, to how it was celebrated afterwards and even to specific ceremonies for anniversaries of the collaring date. It was a huge part of Kryptonian culture with variations depending on the part of Krypton you came from and the period in history.

"It sounds as complicated as wedding ceremonies here," Lex said eventually. They were watching the sun go down over the city, the light staining the buildings and sand gold and red.

"It is a wedding ceremony," Clark said. "That's exactly what the function of a collaring ceremony is, though they did have a separate 'marriage' alliance thing that happened between major houses that was similar to a collaring ceremony but without the assumption that one would serve the other. Only difference from our marriage ceremonies is that gender is irrelevant to collaring ceremonies. Granted, most of the time it was a woman collaring a man, but there were times when two women got together and very rare examples when men who didn't have the Need."

"Interesting," Lex said, smiling at Clark. "Either way, it sounds like we're going to have to wait to put your new collar on you."

"No need," Clark said, grinning. "There's an engagement period where the couple tries things out, sees if they're as compatible as they think they are. The engagement collaring is private and then there's the bigger public ceremony. I don't really want to replicate the whole big ceremony. Something smaller, maybe at The Boutique with our friends from there and a few others, would be fine by me."

"What's the difference between engagement and proper collaring?" Lex asked, lips twitching at Clark's serious expression.

"Locking the collar," Clark said solemnly. "You wear the collar without it being properly locked for a while and then lock it at the full ceremony."

Lex nodded and pulled Clark back inside. The sun had just set so there was no point to sitting outside anymore. Oddly, he barely felt the cold of the desert night, another new thing showing how he was changing. They went to the bedroom, stripping down and climbing into bed together. Clark moaned at the feel of Lex rubbing his stomach. Lex took his time, enjoying getting to explore Clark's body. It didn't matter how much they did this, after three months without Clark, Lex was eager for more. Lex took his time fucking Clark with long slow strokes, grinning as he begged for faster and harder. Eventually he gave Clark what he wanted and pound him into the mattress. The bed actually creaked like it was about to break under them as he fucked Clark. Lex made a mental note to get them a specially designed bed that would stand up to their combined strength. They both cried out as they came.

"So good," Clark moaned, panting and smiling at Lex.

"Mmm, very much so," Lex agreed, sighing happily.

He got up and got a towel to clean the two of them up, laughing when Clark took it away and did it himself. They snuggled back up in bed, Lex very aware of the collars in their little box on the bedside table. He tapped Clark's shoulder.

"You want your new collar now?" Lex asked casually. "I already gave you my old collar but I think that this one will be a great deal more durable."

"Yes!" Clark exclaimed, sitting up straight. "Please, Master. That's all I've wanted ever since Lara gave them to me."

Lex chuckled and took the box from the bedside table. He opened it and carefully removed his old collar from Clark's neck. Some of the links looked like they'd stretched out, which didn't surprise him. It wasn't made of very strong metal. Lex set it aside and then carefully wrapped Clark's new collar around his neck. It was thick and heavy, with beautiful miniature designs etched into each link. The lock snapped shut but he could see how the key was required to properly close it. For now, Clark would be able to remove the collar any time he wanted to. Of course, so could someone else but anyone who tried was likely to end up very, very hurt.

"Thank you," Clark breathed, tears shining in his eyes.

"You're welcome," Lex said, petting the tears away. "Will you put mine on me?"

Clark ducked his head, smiling shyly up at Lex through his eyelashes. He nodded and incredibly gently wrapped Lex's much more slender collar around his neck. It didn't have a lock and the links were just a chain, not heavy like Clark's links. The key was beautifully etched with the same Kryptonian symbol that adorned Clark's lock. It was a perfect compliment to Clark's collar. Lex swallowed hard against the surge of emotion that the feel of the collar around his neck. He pulled Clark down into a deep, tender kiss.

"Mine," Lex breathed, running his fingers through Clark's hair.

"Yours forever," Clark agreed, smiling at him. "So happy I'm yours."


Lois grinned triumphantly as she eased into Lex Luthor's penthouse. She'd finally made it. It had taken some serious bribery, a lot of lying and some breaking and entering, but she'd made it. The press conference when Lex was miraculously healed had finally told her what Clark Kent looked like. She never had been able to find his parent's farm and ended up returning to Metropolis after her crash in the corn field event. She was halfway convinced that the man she'd seen was nothing more than a figment, produced by smacking her head into the windshield in the crash. Either way, she was there and Clark Kent should be there, too.

The penthouse was way bigger than she expected, not your standard apartment. It looked like it took up nearly as much space as a standard house, covering half of the top floor of the building. Lois went right, finding an office (empty), a private gym (also empty), a kitchen with a cook who didn't see her (thank God!), a humongous bathroom with a walk-in shower that Lois would have killed for (also empty damn it!) and then a library that was also empty. She bit her lip to keep from growling and headed left, finding a living room and huge balcony that faced south. Sunshine poured through the window and it took her a second to realize that this room wasn't empty.

"Oh my God!" Lois gasped, staring at the man lying naked in the sunshine.

He was leaning back against the couch, spread out in the puddle of sunshine with his eyes shut. His body was incredible, covered with muscles and gorgeous, but come on! Who sunbathed naked like that? Shouldn't he be in school or something? He looked like he was about Chloe's age, though she couldn't be sure without seeing his face which was turned away.

"What?" he said, turning and staring at her. "Who are you?"

"Oh my God, you're Clark Kent," Lois groaned, rolling her eyes. "Just what I needed."

Clark sat up, staring at her in confusion. He didn't bother covering up or grabbing his clothes, or even a pillow, which would have been nice. She was all in favor of beefcake but gay beefcake in a slave collar when she needed help finding Chloe's killer wasn't what she wanted.

"Who are you?" Clark asked, a lot more firmly. "How did you get in here?"

"I'm Lois Lane, Chloe's cousin," Lois said, raising her chin and glaring at him. "You mind covering up here? I don't mind the show normally but come on. You're taken and I'm so not looking right now."

Clark blushed and grabbed his pants, skinning into them quickly. Lois sighed, half disappointed (he was gorgeous) and half very relieved. A shirt joined the pants and then they were both decent to talk. Lois took a deep breath, relaxing a little bit. She'd never admit how much that nakedness had bothered her, but it was really nice to have Clark dressed again.

"All right," Lois said before Clark could do more than open his mouth. "It's like this. Before Chloe died she sent me an email message saying that if something happened to her I was supposed to come find you, that you'd help me track down what happened to her. For some damn reason her email got lost in the void for a month and then you were impossible to find for another two months. It's been three months, nearly three and a half months. In about three weeks that asshole Lionel Luthor is going on trial. I want him nailed to the wall. I want him thrown into the deepest cell and left to rot! I want that man executed for what he did to my little cousin and you're going to help me. I know that he was responsible for the explosion that destroyed Chloe's safe house. I just have to find proof."

"Um, everyone knows that," Clark said, staring at her like she'd grown a second head. "Sure, the FBI claims it was a gas leak but we all know it wasn't a leak. And we all know that Lionel paid to do it. There's no surprise there, Lois."

"Yeah, so why hasn't Chloe's death been added to the charges against him?" Lois demanded, glaring at him. "He should be charged with her murder and he hasn't been!"

"I don't know what you want me to do," Clark said, eyeing her dubiously.

"Help me find proof!" Lois demanded.

What was so hard about this? Lionel killed Chloe. Lionel had to pay for it. There had to be proof out there somewhere. Clark had helped Chloe in her investigations. He knew where she kept her stuff, knew about her sources. He should be able to find out something of what happened to her.

"I'm rather wondering how you got in here," a man's voice said behind Lois, making her jump.

"Um, well, that is…" Lois spluttered as she whirled and stared Lex Luthor, the miraculously healed one.

"I got a call that someone had broken in," Lex said, coming to Clark's side and taking his hand. "I'm glad to see that it wasn't another assassin. After all of my father's attempts to kill me, I've gotten very serious about intruders in my home. Give me a good reason why I shouldn't have you arrested, Ms. Lane."

"Chloe sent me," Lois declared, glaring at him.

Both Lex and Clark started, staring at her like she'd said something completely unexpected. Lois wasn't sure exactly what made them react like they'd touched a live wire but it didn't matter. Yet. She'd figure it out eventually. For now, she was going to make them understand.

"Chloe sent me an email before she died," Lois continued. "She said that if something happened, I was supposed to find him. He knew her. He helped her. He knows her sources, her links. He knows her techniques of finding things out. She asked me to avenge her, Mr. Luthor. She specifically said to get Clark Kent to help doing that. I've been trying for months to get hold of him. It's worse than trying to meet the Pope! Look, I'm just trying to fill my cousin's last request. That's all. Please, I need help to do what Chloe wanted."

"I…I'm sorry," Clark said hesitantly. "Right now I'm not going out of the penthouse unless it's with Lex. Lionel is still sending assassins after both of us. I understand wanting to make Lionel pay, believe me, but it's not safe for me to help you. I'm really sorry."

"I seriously doubt that Chloe would want you to risk your life getting involved with this," Lex said seriously, rubbing Clark's back. "I'd recommend letting us handle this, Ms. Lane. I have far greater resources than you do and we are doing far more to stop my father than you could."

Lois bristled, both at Clark's refusal to help and Lex's implication that all she could do was flail around. No matter how rich he was, he couldn't do everything. She squared her shoulders and jutted out her jaw. She wasn't giving up on Chloe. It was Chloe's last request and she'd do her best to fulfill it, whether or not Clark Kent and Lex Luthor helped her.

"Fine," Lois snarled. "I'll get out of your hair then. You can chicken out and stay here but I'm going to find some proof that Lionel killed my cousin if it's the last thing I do!"

She stomped out of the penthouse, glaring at the security guards who came to escort her. She knew the way already. Lois' cheeks flamed as she heard Lex sigh that they had another person to protect. She didn't need his protection or Clark's protection or her father's or anyone's. She just needed to do what she'd promised: make Lionel Luthor pay.


"She is so going to get herself killed," Clark groaned once Lois had marched out of the penthouse.

"Quite likely," Lex agreed, shaking his head in dismay. "I'll have my people start watching her. I suppose it was just a matter of time before she got in here."

"We should let Chloe know that Lois is doing this," Clark said, making a face. "I know there's nothing she can do since she's in hiding but she still should know."

"I'll pass the message on to her through General Lane," Lex said. He looked up at Clark, his face uncharacteristically grim for private time between the two of them. "Lois' sneaking in wasn't the only reason I came home early, Clark. I got messages from a couple of my teams working on the Elements. Apparently my father has figured out what we're looking for. Some of his people are going for the Mayan Element. I'm afraid that they're getting very close to getting it."

Clark stiffened. There was no way he was going to allow Lionel Luthor to get the Elements of Power. From everything Lara had told him during his training, Lionel would get the ability to control her and all the leftover technology of Krypton. Considering that their tech was advanced enough to look like magic to Earthlings, which was not a good thing to put it mildly. He had to stop it.

"I can fly down and stop it," Clark offered a little reluctantly. He didn't particularly like flying but he would do it, especially in this case.

"That may be the only way to stop him," Lex said, growling a little. "The message that I got said that Lionel's men had already broken into the tomb and recovered several artifacts that seemed to be very similar to the sculpture we got from Egypt. I believe the one we're looking for is a small Mayan sculpture of a rain god."

"I'll be able to scan it and see which it is," Clark said with a nod. "What I need to know is how to get where they are. I'm really not sure about how to navigate from the air."

"Ah, well that is another issue," Lex said, grinning at him. "Come on. Let's check out the maps in the library and see what we can do."

Between Lex's maps, directions over the phone from Lex's men, Google Earth and a lot of X-ray vision, Clark managed to get to the site where Lionel's men were illegally breaking into an ancient Mayan temple in about fifteen minutes. The hardest part was finding it in the middle of the jungle. The flight south had only taken a couple of minutes. Clark didn't bother hooking up with Lex's men. They had been told to get ready for an attack on Lionel's men, and were busy getting the Mexican police involved with the raid. Lex was doing his best to keep things above board, but they needed to get the sculpture out before the Mexican police got involved. Once they got involved the sculpture would disappear and they'd never get it back.

Clark hesitated for a long moment, scanning the dig site and the tents that Lionel's men had put up. There were lots of sculptures and grave goods, including some metal jewelry that was probably gold, but none of them had the second Element inside of them that he could see. The Elements looked totally different when he X-rayed them from regular earthly objects, far too dense and complicated inside, no matter how simple they looked on the outside.

"Not there," Clark whispered, listening hard. It took a bit to screen out the natural noises of the jungle around him, but soon he was listening to Lionel's men as they complained and gossiped about what they were doing.

*Still don't know why that little thing was worth so much,* one of the men grumbled. *Just a stupid mud sculpture.*

*Doesn't matter,* a second man said with a strong Mexican accent. *We got paid, it's gone and we can sell the rest of this on the black market.*

Clark growled and started scanning for trucks, cars or planes in the area. They'd already sent the sculpture onwards so there was no point in him getting involved here. He took flight, scanning every car and truck in the area. He spotted a boat speeding down a river with some guys that looked a lot like Lionel's men back at the ruin. A scan of their boat showed a little Mayan sculpture carefully packaged in foam. Clark smiled, pleased that they had it sitting on the bench with them. Now to see how successfully he could combine his speed and his flight.

Clark took a deep breath, let it out slowly and then swooped down on the boat as fast as he could. He followed the bends of the river, feeling sort of like he was in a super speed water slide without the water. For the first time ever his flight felt fun. Clark looked back and grinned. The air wake he sent up was creating twin waves that were taller than he was. He was going to have to be careful about how he grabbed the box with the sculpture or he would swamp their boat and the crocodiles would get the men. He didn't want to kill them, only to get the sculpture.

Clark zoomed up on their boat before the men had a chance to turn around and see what was coming at them. His passage down the river had taken about three seconds and as he approached them the world slowed down until it looked like everyone else was standing still. Droplets of water from the boat's propellers hung in the air like they'd been frozen. Clark moved along the side of the boat and grabbed the box. He stopped for a second and then went straight up into the air. He didn't stop going up until he was several thousand feet over the men's heads, clutching the box with its sculpture.

"Oops," Clark said, wincing when he looked back down.

His attempts not to flip the boat had worked but it was still swamped. The men were shouting and bailing desperately as they tried to get the engine working again. They seemed to think that a really big crocodile had nearly flipped them and that the sculpture had gone overboard in the confusion. A crocodile that looked at least twelve feet long lumbered into the river, heading for the boat and the men. Clark frowned and used heat vision to very carefully zap the crocodile's nose. It jerked violently and then swam away. Clark watched over them from high in the air until they'd gotten the engine going again and they were moving. Then he smiled and headed back home to Metropolis and Lex.

"You got it?" Lex asked as Clark landed on the balcony.

"Yeah," Clark said, beaming. "When I got there, they'd already found it and were getting it out of the area by boat. Took a bit to track down that it was on the boat and then I had to stick around for a little because I almost swamped their boat when I snatched it, but yeah, I got it. Doing this flying thing is more complicated than it seems, Master. Especially when you're going at super speeds."

Lex laughed, grinning at Clark. He took the box and they headed into the library. The first Element's sculpture had suffered an unfortunate 'accident' during transit (or at least that's what they'd told Dr. Hawass), so the first Element was already available. Lex carefully unboxed and unwrapped the Mayan sculpture. It looked kind of like a man with a really obnoxious headdress sitting cross-legged. Clark scanned it and nodded. It really was the right one. He could see the second Element buried inside of it.

"Time for this one to suffer an 'accident'," Lex said, grinning as he passed it to Clark.

"I still feel kind of bad about that," Clark said, blushing. "I really didn't mean to crush it, Master."

"Doesn't matter," Lex reassured Clark, rubbing a hand over his arm. "What matters is finding them all and getting them safe, especially from my father."

Clark nodded and very carefully squeezed the sculpture around where the Element was. It cracked and then he was able to break it in half, revealing the Element. The first one had been white stone but this one looked like it was made of onyx or obsidian. It was glassy black stone with a symbol on it that Clark recognized as the Kryptonian symbol for water. He carefully took it out of the broken bits of the sculpture, turning it over and over in his hands.

"Wow," Clark breathed, staring at it. "That's kind of cool. Check it out, Master."

Lex reached out and put his hand on top of Clark's, taking it from Clark's hand. There was a flash of light and a strange moment where Clark felt like he had no body. Then he was looking at himself, staring up at dark hair and wide green eyes in the most unbelievably weird moment he'd ever had, including realizing he wasn't human. He staggered backwards, staring down at his hands and realizing that he couldn't feel his collar around his neck, that he was wearing a suit and nice shoes instead of tennies and jeans. Clark moaned and then large, strong arms wrapped around him, keeping him from fleeing.

"It's okay," Lex said, sounding like wasn't exactly sure it was but just hearing Lex say it (even with Clark's voice) made it better. "Its okay, Clark. I'm here."

"M-master?" Clark asked, shaking. "What happened?"

"I think it switched our bodies," Lex said, keeping an arm wrapped around Clark. "Strange to be taller and stronger than you."

Clark moaned, panting. He should have been responding to that but he wasn't. His body—no, Lex's body—felt totally different in how it responded. He shook his head, straightening back up. They needed to get back to their own bodies. They needed to. Lex didn't know how to deal with the powers yet and Clark couldn't deal with how little response Lex's body had. Where were the surges of hormones? No wonder Lex had so much control when they fucked—his body wasn't goosing him all the time.

"I want my body back," Clark said, voice shaking and sounding nothing at all like Lex's voice.

"Agreed," Lex said, swaying a little. His eyes went wide and he shook his head, blinking. "No wonder you react that way when I give you orders. I had no idea you experienced such rushes of hormones. That's…odd."

"No, what's odd is not having them," Clark said with a shaky grin.

"I think we changed when both of us touched the Element at once," Lex said, picking it up from where it had fallen to the floor and carefully approached Clark with it. "Hopefully another touch and we'll be back where we belong."

Clark nodded and hesitantly reached out to touch Lex's (his) hand holding the Element. Once both of them were touching the Element there was another weird moment where he felt like he had no body at all and then he was flying backwards into the bookshelf behind him and collapsing to the floor. Lex flew into the opposite bookshelf and made an 'oof' sound as he hit. They both stared at each other, than at the Element on the floor.

"I think that one is getting locked up," Lex said, standing up and swaying for a second. "That was really strange."

"No kidding," Clark said, shuddering. "Though it does explain how you've got such great control when we're fucking. I had no idea that other people don't get those surges of hormones."

"We do," Lex said, picking up the Element and wrapping it in his handkerchief. "They're just not as strong and they take longer to hit than for you. You get it very quickly and very easily. Explains to me why you're the way you are."

Lex put the second Element into the same box with the first one and shut the lid. Clark sighed, relieved. They needed to go to the Kawatche caves to put them in their place but it could wait a little longer. He curled into a kneeling position, trying to calm down. That had been a lot more disturbing than almost anything that he'd ever experienced, for all that it gave him some insight into how other people reacted to things. Lex came over and ran his fingers through Clark's hair.

"You going to be all right, pet?" Lex asked.

"I think so, Master," Clark said, leaning into his hand. "That was…that was really weird. Um, can we…?"

"Of course," Lex said, smirking at him. "Come on. Bedroom for us and then we'll take the helicopter to Smallville. I want the Elements secured as quickly as possible."

Lex pulled Clark to his feet and they went to the bedroom. Clark couldn't get his clothes off quickly enough, not even with super speed. He needed to feel his Master taking him. He needed to feel Lex filling him up, holding him down, biting him, and marking his body. Lex stripped just as quickly as Clark, actually tearing his clothes as he had little micro-bursts of super speed. Lex pushed Clark back onto the bed, making the familiar surge of lust flood through him.

"Master," Clark moaned, opening his legs and arms to Lex. "Need you so bad!"

"Need you too," Lex admitted, settling between Clark's legs to nuzzle his neck and kiss the biggest hickie on his neck. "Fading already. Just have to keep biting you, won't I?"

He bit down hard on the mark, making Clark gasp and moan. His bite was a lot stronger than it had been. Something about switching bodies had strengthened Lex's powers and now he could really bite down. Clark panted, lust making his head swim. Lex pulled back and made a little noise like he was puzzled or worried about something.

"That turned out a little larger than I intended," Lex said thoughtfully. "I think it might take a few days to fade."

"Wow," Clark breathed, trembling under Lex. "More? Again? Please, Master. Need you!"

Lex chuckled and kissed Clark, his arms stronger than they had been this morning. He could put some real power behind holding Clark down now and it gave Clark a hint of what it would be like when Lex's powers were fully developed. He'd be able to fully dominate Clark, make him submit if he wanted to. Lex worked his way down Clark's body, reaching for the lube and stretching him out as he sucked on Clark's cock. Neither of them were in the mood to wait, so very quickly Lex was pushing Clark's legs back and shoving deep inside of him.

"Master," Clark groaned, the room going blurry as lust overwhelmed him.

He could barely make out Lex's face above him, but he could feel every inch of Lex's cock as it drove into his ass. Clark moaned, giving himself over to the pleasure Lex was giving him. He needed this, needed to be reminded of what he was, who he was. No matter what his powers were and what he ended up doing with his life, his place was right here, with Lex, being fucked and filled and loved and bit and marked. Lex groaned, his voice a deep counterpoint to the little whimpers and keens that Clark was making but hadn't realized he was making.

"My Clark," Lex moaned. "So sexy, so very gorgeous. Fuck you make it so hard not to blow right away."

"Want you!" Clark cried out, arching his back so that Lex went even deeper inside, setting off showers of pleasure. "Please!"

Lex started pounding into Clark, fucking him so hard that the bed was bouncing and the supports for the mattress started creaking. Neither of them stopped, both wanting to come more than they cared about the bed. It took all of about five more plunges for Clark to start begging breathlessly to be allowed to come. Lex growled and fucked him harder, faster. Lex slammed into Clark's body.

"Come for me!" Lex shouted. "Come for me, Clark!"

Clark bucked and came so hard that he saw stars. There was an almighty cracking sound as he did it and they fell a little bouncing. Clark barely felt them fall he was coming so hard. Lex filled his ass and then collapsed on top of Clark, laughing into Clark's neck. It took Clark a second to figure out why Lex was laughing. He blinked and then looked around, snickering with Lex.

"We broke the bed?" Clark asked, grinning at Lex who was still blurry.

"That we did," Lex laughed, grinning back at him. "I did think that we might need to have a sturdier bed but I thought we had a few days to a week before we'd need it. Obviously I was mistaken."

They grinned at each other and then started laughing. What else could you do when you broke the bed fucking too hard?


Lois grumbled the whole way back to Smallville. She'd really thought that Clark would help. Sure, sure, she could understand his hiding in Lex's penthouse with his lover. She wouldn't want to be killed by her lover's father either, but darn it, Chloe had specifically said that he'd help out. She'd seemed certain that Clark was the right one to help Lois find out what happened. The two hour drive went better than her previous trip to Smallville. It was a lot easier to find things during daylight and she didn't take the wrong turn this time, avoiding another long detour through endless cornfields. She found Chloe's old house, still preserved as evidence in the trial, though Lois had no idea why. It was guarded by some goons so Lois drove by, heading into town. The Talon was a place that Chloe had talked about a lot. Lois got some coffee from the cute little Asian girl that was apparently running the place, questioning her about Chloe and Lionel and Lex and Clark.

"Clark was your boyfriend?" Lois asked in astonishment. "Really? What happened there?"

"He's very bi," Lana said, blushing brightly. "We dated but we never really worked together that well. We've known each other since we were tiny. He was adopted by the Kents after the meteor shower that killed my parents. I suppose that it always brought us together. We're far more friends than we ever were lovers."

"It doesn't bother you that he ended up with a guy?" Lois asked, honestly curious. She didn't get it, personally. That'd bug her to no end if it had happened to her.

"No," Lana said, laughing and moving a strand of long black hair out of her eyes. "It really doesn't. Clark's more like my brother. I'm just happy that he's happy. It's not like he's the only guy in the world, you know."

"True but he really is eye candy," Lois said, blushing as she realized that she'd said it out loud. "Um, sorry. That was a little out of line."

Lana laughed and gave her some more coffee for free. They chatted for a little longer, until a rush of customers came in. Lana went to deal with them and Lois spent a while questioning some of the other people there. None of them knew a lot about what happened to Chloe and none of them were really willing to share any of their thoughts about the Luthor family. Lois really thought this would have been easier with Clark along, at least until she mentioned Clark.

"That faggot?" one jock snorted. "God, why would you have anything to do with him? He's a slut. Used to whore around the school and Granville. I still figure that he got Lex with blow jobs and putting out."

"Not to be rude," another boy said, "but Clark's…not the sort of guy you should associate with, even to try and find out what happened to Chloe. I know she liked and trusted him but he was quite the slut until he got together with Lex. There are rumors that he was a whore in Metropolis on weekends but I don't see how he could have been. No car of his own so how could he get there and back without his parents know. I do know he got kicked out of his parent's house for having too much sex."

Lois blinked and then them talk, occasionally steering the conversation back to Chloe and Lionel. Apparently Chloe had been working to bring Lionel down for ages, over a year and a half. That little factoid sent Lois off to the high school to search through Chloe's files in the Torch. She already knew that it was Chloe's second home from their letters and emails. The Wall of Weird was strange to put it mildly, but there were all sorts of tidbits of information and sources up there. Lois grabbed some stray paper and started noting down various names and events that seemed to connect to LuthorCorp and Lionel Luthor.

"He's screwed everyone in this town over," Lois said after a bit.

There was a web of circumstantial events and actions that showed that Lionel had been killing people and breaking the law for a long time, for at least a couple of decades. It was hidden between stories on man-eating rats and glowing frogs in the rivers, but it was all there in plain sight for everyone to see. Lois laughed a little and then started searching Chloe's files. There was so much more stuff in her files, all about experiments she'd snuck into and things that she'd found out about Lionel. The guy really was a scum-bag. The file on the things he'd supposedly done to his employees was scary. The guy who'd shaken his body to bits from whatever freaky drug that Lionel had infected him with made Lois think hard about backing off and going home.

"No," Lois said after staring at the Wall of Weird for a long, silent moment. "I can't. I can't let it go, Chloe. I know this is dangerous but I have to do what I can. I guess the next thing is to see if I can learn anything about where you died, how you died."

Chloe's desk gave her a little black book with contacts in it. Lois worked her way through it, talking to a couple dozen different people over the course of the next couple of days. The guy at the courthouse let Lois see the records of Chloe's death while chatting about how nice and cute and friendly Chloe had been. He seemed almost heartbroken, like he'd had a huge crush on Chloe. That led Lois to Chloe's grave with a shovel and pick.

"After ~ uf! ~ living with the ~ uhf ~ military my whole ~ huff! ~ life," Lois panted as she dug out Chloe's coffin, "I know a ~ oof! ~ faked death certificate ~ Uhn! ~ when I see it."

Lois sighed, panting as she tried to catch her breath. Her dad was a General. She'd helped him come up with cover stories for various secret missions and even for deaths during those missions. She knew the things that people put on death certificates when they were trying to hide what really happened. Chloe's death certificate screamed 'fake', no matter what anyone else said. Maybe nobody here in Hicksville could tell, but she could. It only took a few more minutes to dig down to Chloe's coffin. She was 90% certain that when she opened it she'd see an empty coffin but she still cringed as she opened it.

"Thank goodness," Lois sighed, smiling and spitting out a little dirt that had gotten into her mouth. "Okay, so now I know I'm looking for a living cousin, not a dead one."

The coffin was empty which meant that Chloe had to be alive. Lois closed the lid and then climbed out of the grave. She was just starting to fill it back in (while blessing the fact that this graveyard didn't seem to have a lot of visitors or someone watching over it—this was grave robbing, after all) when she turned and had to duck away from some guy with a huge metal sword.

"You're messing with things you shouldn't, bitch," the guy snarled, swinging his sword at her and making Lois snort as she ducked.

"Yeah right," Lois said, kicking him in the chest. She stared when he didn't drop his sword. It wasn't a sword. It was his arm which Lois instantly noted down in the back of her head as possible proof that Chloe's Wall of Weird might have way more truth in it than she'd thought earlier.

The guy rolled to his feet and charged at her, nearly skewering her. She was doing pretty good until she tripped over the pile of dirt from Chloe's not-grave. Unfortunately, she tripped and hit her head on the way down and then got dirt in her eyes. She started cursing and the guy attacking her laughed, low and dirty like some of the grunts back on the base when they thought they'd gotten the better of her. Lois would have liked it if she could see him but she couldn't get her eyes clear and then there was a clang and the guy toppled into the grave.

"Are you all right?" Lana asked, dropping the shovel she'd used to hit the guy and pulling Lois to her feet.

"Yeah," Lois said, finally blinking and rubbing the dirt out of her eyes. "Thanks. That was a lot closer than I like. Normally I'm better at fighting than that."

Lana smiled sweetly up at her, looking like her knees were about to fold out from under her. She obviously wasn't suited for things like grave robbing and whacking attackers with shovels. That was fine. Lois could handle it. She got Lana calmed down, which took a lot of thanks and a few overly familiar rubs to Lana's back (making Lois wonder just what sort of things the supposed slut Clark and she had gotten up to when they were dating). By the time she turned back to the grave, the guy was gone and the coffin was open again.

"Crap," Lois snarled. "Whoever sent him has to know now."

"Know what?" Lana asked, clutching Lois' elbow.

"Lana, Chloe's not in that grave," Lois said. "The coffin's empty. That means she's still alive and can still testify against Lionel. I'd bet anything that the guy who attacked me was sent by Lionel to scare me off. I've been trying to investigate him ever since Chloe died. Just when I finally make some progress a guy shows up to warn me off? Yeah, it has to be Lionel behind this."

"Wow," Lana breathed, swallowing hard as her eyes went wide with fear.

Lois got Lana back to her apartment at the Talon and then went to her hotel room. It had been rifled while she was gone but that didn't matter. Lois had kept all her notes with her, so they got nothing but two pairs of her underwear and her best lacy bra, which pissed her off. That thing cost! She thought about it as she put things back in order in her hotel room. Her dad had been blocking her ever since she started on this little quest. There was a faked death certificate that looked a heck of a lot like the stuff her dad did. He had to be in on it. He probably could even have delayed Chloe's initial email.

"The question is whether or not I should keep this up," Lois muttered as she closed her suitcase again.

It was a serious question. She knew Chloe was alive now. She knew that she was probably safe. Lionel obviously didn't have her or he would have killed her. So she probably shouldn't have done anything but she didn't know until today so there was no point in worrying about that. The problem was that now Lionel and his metal-morphing thug knew Chloe was alive, too. She needed to let Chloe know and the only way to do that was to find her. Lois frowned. If her Dad was in on it then there would be a log of any visits at the base. Lois checked out of the hotel and hit the road again, wishing she had more money but that wasn't anything to worry about now. The log at the base showed several visits from a strange female named Nellie Blye. A quick internet search showed that Nellie Blye was an early female reporter and she'd been dead for over 60 years.

"Subtle, Chlo," Lois muttered, snorting.

She ducked as the tower search light played over the room. She'd snuck in so her dad and his aide didn't know she'd been there so she snuck back out. The next day she hunted down 'Nellie Blye's' house, going very still when she saw blood on the floor and door handle. She eased into the bedroom, finding another Wall of Weird that confirmed that Chloe had been there. She also found a dead man who'd been stabbed by something that looked like the metal-morphing guy's sword arm.

"Damn, they got her," Lois muttered, biting her lip. "Now where would they have taken her?"

"It might help if we knew who took her," Lex Luthor said from the bedroom door.

"Yipe!" Lois bolted to her feet, staring at Lex. Clark was hovering behind him, looking intensely worried. "You! You knew that she was alive! You could have told me—I wouldn't have gone and done all of this if you had."

"The less said about her, the better," Lex said. "My father has bugged me many times, Ms. Lane."

"Well it's too late now," Lois declared, glaring at them both. "They have her. There was this guy who could make his arm into a metal sword. He saw that Chloe's grave was empty."

Lex's phone rang and he pulled it out, looking a little relieved. Clark looked at Lex and then moved to Lois' side. He really was very cute, in a seriously submissive way. Lois sighed, shaking her head. So not her type, no matter how nice the eye candy was.

"Chloe had a tracking bracelet on," Clark said quietly. "As soon as we realized that you'd figured it out, and that Lionel would figure it out too, we started moving to get her to a safe place. Unfortunately, Lionel's people got her first."

"Great," Lois said, stomach clenching. "I wanted to avenge her and instead I'm going to get her killed for real."

"We can get her back," Clark said. "We'll save her, I promise."

Lois nodded. Lex turned back to them, looking victorious. He looked dangerous as he rejoined them, like a hunter. He wasn't her type either, since she just couldn't stand the whole bald thing but if you combined the hunter thing with the eye candy you'd be pretty close to what turned her on. It didn't really matter, not now, but it was hard not to think about when she was surrounded by sexy powerful men.

"She's at the foundry," Lex said. "It's not that far away. If we hurry we can get there. I've got my men bringing in the police but they could take too long. Let's go."

"Eat my dust, baldy," Lois said striding to the door and then whistling. "Okay, so I'll be eating your dust. Nice car!"

"Thank you," Lex said, smirking at her.

They all but raced each other to the foundry. Lois' car was an old beater but she'd done some work on it and it was better under the hood than it looked like. It was amazing what you could do with an army base full of tools and parts. Lois charged into the foundry after Clark, leaving Lex to wait for his men and the police to show up.

"Chloe!" Lois yelled, seeing her cousin strung up by her wrists close to an area to molten metal.

She got Chloe down just in time for the metal-morphing thug to show up and attack them. Clark was there and blocked him, hitting the thug and knocking him back, out of the way. Chloe hid behind Lois, her hands still bound by handcuffs. Clark got knocked on his ass when he slipped on something. Lois scrambled for a big extension cord, basically a huge cable with live electricity. She slammed it into the metal-morphing guy's back, backing off as he started shaking and then exploded into smoking metal fragments. Clark stared up at her, eyes wide.

"Good job, Smallville," Lois said smugly. "At least you distracted him until I could destroy him. Come on, let's get Chloe out of here."

Clark glared at her but joined her in hurrying over to Chloe. Clark found the keys somewhere and got Chloe out of the handcuffs. Lois spent what seemed like a decade just hugging Chloe, her heart beating faster in joy and relief, though her stomach was still unsettled for having given her away.

"Come on, Lo," Chloe said once Clark had gotten his hugs in. "Let's get out of here. I want to hear how you tracked me down and I'm dying for a pizza."

"Sure thing, Chlo," Lois said, wrapping an arm around her waist as they headed to the door. "Clark and Lex can pay for it. I'm a little broke from hunting for you."

"Hey!" Clark protested. "Who said we'd pay for you food?"

"Come on, it's a celebration, Smallville," Lois said, poking his shoulder. It was like poking a solid rock wall. "Live a little! We just saved my cousin from sure death and Lionel's going to be spitting mad."

"Okay, I can support celebrating that," Clark said, snorting as they rejoined Lex.

Chapter Text

Lionel kept his face calm and confident as he walked down the courthouse hall. Four months, dozens of failed murder attempts, and he was still exactly where he'd been when this all started. He so hated relying on others, but his lawyers had excellent motivation in the form of large sums of money and threats to their families so things should go his way. Lex's lawyers weren't going to be able to compensate for Clark Kent's slut behavior or Chloe Sullivan's wild theories.

In the end it was going to come down to father against son, as it always had. Lionel already knew how that would come out. Lex had always been weak. He had never been able to face up to reality, to face his father. He was a dreamer and a weakling. The baldness of his head was just one of the signs of it. Lionel squared his shoulders as he was led into the courtroom.

The crowd of spectators first hushed and then erupted in comments that were anything but whispers. Lionel ignored them all. He focused on Lex sitting with his catamite lover. Clark looked the same as always, young, apparently innocent but obviously debauched to the experienced eye, and so submissive that it was almost embarrassing. It was Lex's appearance that made Lionel stiffen and go on alert.

He knew the poison that had been given to Lex. No matter what was said in his ever-so-creative news conference, there should have been no way for him to be healthy. Lionel had believed that it was a ruse, creative makeup, and possibly CGI work. But now he saw that it had been the literal truth. Lex was the picture of health, smirking back at Lionel with more confidence than he'd ever seen his son show before.

His skin almost glowed. His eyes were bright and determined. He seemed to have gained muscle as his shoulders were wider and his body seemed to be much stronger. He looked nearly as strong as Clark did, which was saying something given what Lionel had learned about Clark's hidden abilities. Something far more than a 'miracle' had occurred. Lex wasn't back to normal. He had been changed so much that he was barely human anymore.

Lionel's jaw worked as the handcuffs were taken off and he was required to sit at the defendant's table. He had to find out what had happened. He had to! This trial and all of its drama were mere window-dressing for Lionel's confrontation with his wayward son. He was fairly certain that they'd managed to stack the jury well enough to ensure his acquittal. It was never 100% certain, of course, but that didn't matter. Even if he was convicted, he would win on the appeals. He could wait, at least until his health began to deteriorate.

Lionel didn't listen to the opening arguments. Both sides were simply laying out the pieces that they'd push around during the trial. Lex's lawyers portrayed Lionel as abusive, violent, murderous, criminal and dangerous to society. Lionel's lawyers portrayed him as a simple businessman beset by a deluded son, his perverted lover and a school girl with a grudge. It didn't matter and Lionel knew it, even if everyone else seemed to be listening intently.

No matter what happened in the trial, Lionel knew that eventually he'd be free again. He'd win on the appeal or he'd win when his terminal liver disease was finally revealed and they released him for medical treatment. One way or the other, he'd be free and by then he would know what Lex had done to become the picture of health when he should be six feet under. Lionel would duplicate Lex's 'miracle'. He would be healthy again. And he would command LuthorCorp once more, restoring it to its proper direction.

Opening arguments took most of the day. By the end of it, Lionel was amused to find that practically no one was listening with baited breath. Lex still listened. Clark listened, though he looked confused. Chloe watched Lionel with eyes full of hatred. One day down and possibly as much as six months to go.

"I'm sure we'll win," Lionel's lawyer said as the judge adjourned for the day. "They don't have a leg to stand on."

"We'd better win," Lionel said with a harsh look at the man. He paled, looking nervous.

"I'd wish you luck, Father," Lex said, interrupting them with a confident smirk, "but that would probably be in poor taste."

"Very likely it would," Lionel said, raising his chin and doing his best not to openly glare at how healthy Lex was. "Nice to see that your 'miracle' wasn't faked."

"Not faked at all," Lex said with a smile that was far too open. "It was a true miracle. I wish I knew what happened but I don't. I'm simply grateful that it did."

Lionel narrowed his eyes, watching Lex's reactions as he spoke. He did know. He knew exactly what had happened. Lex couldn't lie to Lionel. He knew his son entirely too well for that. Not only did Lex know what happened, Clark Kent did too. He was part of it, judging by the sappy look that he gave Lex. It was something between the two of them and Lionel had to make sure that he found out what it was. That was his task and it was the only way he'd survive.

The guards led him out of the courthouse and back to his prison cell. Lionel controlled his expression again, putting on his confident smirk. His face didn't show his racing thoughts. He had to get a message to the others. It wouldn't be easy, but they needed to know that something new had happened. Lionel was still convinced that Clark Kent knew something about the Kawatche Caves, that he was something far more than human. Now it looked like Lex might have been changed to be similar to Clark. That was something that the others needed to know so that they could follow up on it while Lionel languished in prison. He didn't like relying on them, but if he had to then he would.

The trial dragged on for weeks, with arguments and counter-arguments, lurid news coverage and occasional highly publicized argument between the two of them. Lionel's lawyers did their best to destroy Lex's witness' credibility. They did their best to portray Lionel as a man misunderstood. They did everything possible to ensure that he was portrayed sympathetically. It wasn't easy, especially when Lex took the stand and talked about how he had been raised. His near tears at speaking of the way Lionel had reacted to Lex's losing his hair appeared to be a turning point for the jurors. Lionel decided that he should have let the boy die all those years ago. It would be better than dealing with his betrayal now.

Chloe Sullivan was a gripping witness, hammering another nail into the coffin that Lionel could feel closing around him. She obviously had a grudge against Lionel but she portrayed the reasons for it so effectively that he knew the jurors believed her. He still couldn't understand why the girl had been so shocked when he'd fired her father. He'd made it perfectly clear at the time that she had a simple task: find out what made Clark Kent special and then report back on it. Her failure had to have consequences. Holding a grudge for that was absurd.

The witness that astonished Lionel was Clark Kent. He and his lawyers had expected Clark to try to deny his slutty behavior. In fact, much of their strategies regarding Clark's testimony had been built around that expectation. Instead, Clark had gotten on the stand, sworn to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, and then proceeded to do exactly that.

"So you were a whore in Metropolis?"

"Yes, sir," Clark said calmly. "I have a very high sex drive and I was…not happy at home. It was a way of meeting both needs, sexual and attention. My parents love me very much but they've never been able to fully accept me. I was abandoned as a toddler and then adopted by them. I suppose that I've always had attachment issues because of it. The whoring was strictly emotionally based. I never wanted or used the money they gave me."

His testimony made the jurors at first squeamish, and then pitying, and finally profoundly sympathetic as he recounted saving Lex's life, falling in love, hiding it from everyone including Lex and then being saved from his whoring by Lex. It was a classic Cinderella story and everyone fell for it, even Lionel's lawyers. Lionel thought that his teeth were going to crack from grinding his teeth at the sheer idiocy of it.

Clark's testimony on saving Lex conveniently left out how he'd managed to get from Smallville to Manhattan in less than half an hour. Kansas to New York was a several hour flight at best and the boy had no access to a plane. Lionel's lawyers didn't draw attention to the time discrepancy either, on Lionel's explicit orders. He didn't want the public to know about Clark's abilities. He intended to eventually capture Clark and discover what made him tick, together with the others. There was so much to learn from him and he wouldn't risk Clark being taken by someone else (like the government).

Three weeks and two days after the trial started, in late August, the lawyers for both sides finally presented their closing arguments. Lionel presented a confident face as his lawyer talked about how misunderstood and misrepresented he was, attacked by those who should have been his closest allies. He wasn't listening. The jurors already had made up their minds. They might make a show of debating things but he knew what the verdict would be already. They would declare him guilty and he'd be taken off to jail.

Once the closing arguments were over and the jury had retired to deliberate, Lionel deliberately looked around the room, checking out who was there. Clark and Lex's supporters filled their side of the room. Reporters filled Lionel's side of the room. In the very back, Lionel spotted a couple of very familiar faces. He managed not to smirk at them. Genevieve Teague and her son Jason sat together, watching him. It looked like Veritas was finally getting involved. Lionel relaxed. His message had gotten through and soon Lex and Clark would be facing more than just him.

It took seven hours and twenty-seven minutes for the jury to reach their verdict. Everyone was still as they came back into the room. Lionel squared his shoulders and waited impassively for the verdict he was certain was coming. Lex might have won this round but Lionel would win in the end.

"The jury finds the defendant Lionel Luthor guilty on all counts," the judge read.

The rest of his words were swallowed by everyone in the courtroom—except Lex and Lionel—erupting into words. Lionel sighed and turned to Lex, studying him. He had gotten stronger and stronger over the last three weeks. He barely looked like the same, fragile boy he'd used to be. Lex looked back, something like a mixture of regret and satisfaction in his eyes. No words were exchanged—Chloe and Clark's excited cheering and hugging more than made up for it. No words were needed between them. Let everyone else celebrate this moment or mourn. They knew that this was just the beginning.

Genevieve and Jason were gone when Lionel was led out of the courthouse in chains. They would take on the task of discovering Lex and Clark's secrets now. At least neither Lex nor Clark knew what to look for. It would be interesting to watch how they unraveled Lex's new life.


"We did it!" Clark exulted as they headed into the penthouse after celebrating with Chloe, Lois and the others. "I can't believe we did it. I thought that Lionel had bought off the jury."

"There's a good likelihood that he did buy at least some of the jurors but our case was strong enough that he lost," Lex said, smiling at Clark's happiness. He went to the sound system and turned on beautiful classical music. "It's not over. He'll appeal and we'll fight it. This will go on for years more than likely."

"Doesn't matter," Clark said, blushing as Lex pulled him into his arms, holding him tightly enough that Clark couldn't pull free. "We still won the conviction and that's huge, Master."

"Mmm," Lex murmured, eyes warm as he looked into Clark's eyes. "That's all well and good but I think we should focus on more important things now. It's been most of a day since I fucked my boy and I know you need it. I can see it in your eyes."

Clark moaned, knees shaking as he responded to Lex's words and the power of his grasp. In the last few weeks Lex had spent a lot of time sunbathing and he was nearly as strong as Clark was now. He knew how to use his strength better than Clark did, and could bring Clark to his knees easily. It turned him on so much when Lex took charge.

Lex smiled and pulled Clark down into a fierce kiss, showing his delight in the guilty verdict in the kiss since he wouldn't show it in his words or actions. Clark moaned, ecstasy flowing through him. Lex started pulling Clark's clothes off, chuckling as Clark returned the favor. They were still in the living room with the huge picture windows open to the dark night. Anyone could see in and watch them, but they were on the highest floor so there really wasn't anyone to see. Clark thought that was a pity. He'd love to have someone watching Lex take him. The thought of it turned him on so much that his legs gave way.

"That horny, are you?" Lex purred, licking his lips. "Good boy. Suck my cock, Clark. Make your Master happy so he can fuck you silly. No hands."

"Yes, Master," Clark breathed, swaying forward on his knees. "Want to. Want to so much."

He carefully sucked Lex's cock into his mouth, keeping his hands behind his back. He loved when Lex limited what he could do to please him. It made it so much more fun, gave him so much more pleasure. Lex was already partially hard so it was easy to swallow his cock. As Clark sucked Lex got stiffer, running his fingers through Clark's hair while murmuring little words of pleasure and praise. Very soon his cock was pressing against the back of Clark's mouth, so he relaxed his throat and let Lex in deeper. It was hard but it was also so very good.

"That's it," Lex moaned, both of his hands on Clark's head. "That's it, Clark. Open up, submit to me. Give it to me. Give me everything."

Clark moaned and sucked harder, relaxing into Lex's control. He trusted Lex completely. He might push but he would never take more than Clark had to give. He helped Clark move beyond the limitations that he thought he had, helped him discover his true strength. Lex gasped and pulled his cock out of Clark's mouth, laughing quietly as Clark moaned, trying to get it back. He looked up at Lex, eyes already gone blurry from arousal.

"Come on," Lex said gently. "I want you over here, on the couch, Clark. It's not only your mouth I want to fuck tonight. I want that ass of yours, too."

"Yes, Master," Clark moaned, getting up and following Lex to the couch.

Lex pushed him down over the arm of the couch, spread his legs and caressed Clark's ass. It made him whimper. Lex's fingers were so much stronger now. His touches were powerful enough that Clark actually felt them. Before they'd been little brushes and he'd had to have at least one orgasm before he really noticed when Lex touched him. Now Lex seemed to know exactly how hard to touch and was able to get through Clark's invulnerability right away. It was yet another thing that turned Clark on, made him moan happily.

"So sensitive now," Lex chuckled. "I like how much better you respond now that I'm as strong as you."

"You m-make me feel it, Master," Clark whimpered. "Didn't feel it before. Now I do."

There was a little whoosh and then Lex was spreading lube on his ass. That was yet another change for the better. Lex could move as fast as Clark could. He could see with X-ray vision. He had mastered super breath almost immediately. He was actually better at it than Clark was. Lex was still mastering flying, but then so was Clark, so that wasn't a big deal. Lex still occasionally scorched things when his heat vision got out of control but it wasn't that bad. His trigger for it wasn't sexual thoughts like Clark. Lex's heat vision trigger was anger so they didn't have to worry about both of them starting fires while fucking (which was a huge relief to Clark—he'd had a horrible time with that when his heat vision started developing).

Lex started loosening Clark up, pushing a finger into his ass. Clark groaned happily, pushing back against him. He wished that they had toys, that they had dildos or the harness or something else to play with, too. He loved when they played with the toys but right now Lex didn't seem interested in that. He seemed to want Clark just as he was, with nothing but the two of them. A second finger joined the first, then a third, scissoring to stretch Clark out. Clark panted and whimpered, enjoying every second of it. His cock was hard as a rock, pressed against the couch arm.

"I think you're loose enough now," Lex said, patting Clark's ass. "Come here, Clark. I have a plan for tonight."

"R-really?" Clark asked, surprised. "Okay, Master. Where do you want me?"

He let Lex pull him into the middle of the room, to the area where there was a vaulted ceiling with a huge sunroof. That had been a new addition after Lex had gotten his powers. They spent a while sunbathing here every day. Clark counted it as the best place in the whole penthouse, other than their new hopefully unbreakable bed. Lex pulled Clark close and had him raise one leg.

"Hold onto my shoulders, Clark," Lex ordered. "Good. Now focus on floating just a little bit. Take your weight off of your other foot."

"Y-yes, master," Clark breathed, biting his lip as he did so.

His cock started oozing pre-come. This was something that Lex had mentioned in passing that he'd like to try but Clark hadn't expected him to do it so soon. Clark floated and then let Lex pull him close. Lex's cock slid into his ass slowly, impaling him and anchoring him in place. Lex groaned, his eyes fluttering shut for a second. Clark whimpered, barely able to keep the flying up. It took concentration and Lex's cock in his ass made that concentration almost impossible.

"Good," Lex said, his voice a low and sexy growl. "That's perfect, Clark. Just what I want. Close your eyes. Focus on staying with me. Let me take care of the motions. You just focus on floating and stay with me."

"Yes," Clark moaned, panting as he shut his eyes.

Lex started moving, carefully thrusting into Clark's ass. It felt different to do this while he was floating. He could barely tell which way was up or down because his eyes were shut and Lex's movements seemed so different. It almost felt like they were drifting in mid-air but Lex still had his grip on Clark's hips, he was still thrusting into Clark, careful gentle thrusts, but still. Lex chuckled as Clark shuddered. This felt so good!

"Like it, do you?" Lex asked.

"Yes!" Clark cried, squeezing Lex's ass and wrapping his legs around his back. "Love it! Oh God, Lex! This is…is…God!"

Lex speeded up as soon as Clark wrapped his legs around his back. Every plunge got harder and Lex's fingers dug into Clark's hips, making sure that the two of them stayed together. Clark's eyes drifted open and he gasped, clutching Lex's shoulders. They were in the skylight, way up off of the ground. Lex was flying while fucking Clark, holding them up and filling Clark's ass over and over.

"Master!" Clark shouted, head going back so that he could see the clouds over head, illuminated by the lights of the city. If they were in Smallville he'd have been able to see stars. "Oh fuck, Master!"

"Yes," Lex breathed, grinning at Clark. "That's it. That's what I wanted tonight. I wanted my Clark in midair, being fucked like the slut he is while flying. I want to do this with you outside someday, somewhere where we can fly up into the stars, feel the wind on our skin, the rain. I want to fuck you in a cloud, above the clouds, up where we can see the curve of the earth. I want to fuck my boy like an eagle, flying through the air with the two of us joined together at the hip."

"Master, Master, oh fuck yes, Master," Clark panted, getting dangerously close to coming just from the images Lex was playing out. "Need, need, please, need to!"

"Not yet!" Lex snapped, fucking Clark harder. "Not until I give you permission!"

Clark keened, fighting against his arousal so that he wouldn't come. He wanted it, wanted it so bad but he wanted Lex's approval, his happiness more. It wasn't just the training Lara had given him. Lex loved it when he came on command. He loved it when Clark was able to resist. So Clark did his best and fought his own arousal until Lex grunted and gasped.

"Now!" Lex ordered, fingers clamping down so hard on Clark's hips that it hurt. "Do it now, Clark!"

Clark cried out and came hard, his fingers splaying out so that he wouldn't grip Lex's shoulder too hard. He could feel Lex coming in him and moaned. They stayed in mid-air, floating gently for a long while. Lex pulled Clark closer so that they could kiss. As they kissed, Clark felt the two of them gradually drift back down to the floor. Lex sank to his knees, still buried inside of Clark's ass.

"That was too good," Lex chuckled once they were both on the ground again. "We need to do that again."

"Yes, please," Clark said, grinning. "I think with motivation like that I can actually learn to love flying."

Lex burst out laughing, grinning at him. They kissed again and then pulled apart to head into the bedroom. Clark scooped up their clothes as they went, not wanting to leave a mess for the housekeeper. Jayne was a nice girl and she really didn't need to see that they'd been having sex in the living room. Lex chuckled and pulled Clark close once he'd put the clothes in the hamper.

"I think we should get cleaned up," Lex said, smirking. "Maybe have a bit of shower sex, with some hair love, and then to bed to see if we can break it this time."

"That sounds perfect to me," Clark said happily. "Of course, almost anything you want to do to me sounds perfect. Love you, Lex."

"I love you too, Clark," Lex said, kissing him. "Now get that butt into the shower so I can play with your hair!"

"Yes, Master!"


"I missed Smallville," Lex said thoughtfully as they drove through the fields that led to the Mansion. "Metropolis is my home but I think I love Smallville almost as much. It's where I met you."

Clark laughed and blushed, grinning at Lex. It was late August and school would be starting up again in a week or so. Clark wasn't happy with being tutored privately, so Lex had agreed to move them back to Smallville so that he could finish out his senior year of high school back at home. They'd talked to the Kents and agreed already that Clark would stay with Lex. His testimony at the trial about the 'bonding' issues between them (plus his admission to being a prostitute) made it nearly impossible for him to go live on the farm again. Jonathan and Martha had been talking to their friends about Clark's long-lost cousin Kara to prepare for when they managed to find her. To hear Martha tell it over the phone, everyone was hoping that Kara would be the child that Clark never had been for the couple. To say that Martha had been huffy about that was to put it very mildly. Lex hadn't realized that she knew that sort of language, though Martha had apologized immediately for it.

Lex was pretty sure that Clark was going to get a lot of bullying after what he'd admitted during the trial. He hated the thought that Clark wanted to go back to Smallville High School, but his reasoning was fairly sound. He'd been there for years. The other students knew him and his problems. They knew Lionel and Lex. While there would inevitably be bullying from the jocks and less open-minded people, his friends were there and they would back him up. Lex was quite prepared to pull Clark out of school if it got too bad. He might be invulnerable but his heart was so open that it was nearly naked. Not to mention how submissive he was—Lex really worried that the other boys would take advantage of Clark's submissive nature to try and get him back into informal whoring.

"So what are we going to do after we get unpacked, Master?" Clark asked hopefully.

"We're heading to the Kawatche Caves," Lex said, laughing at Clark's disappointment. "Now, we've put off giving the Elements to Lara for too long as it is. The trial's over and we need to get the third one before school starts. There'll be time for a good fuck later."

Clark laughed, grinning at Lex. They delivered their baggage to the servants, though Lex insisted on having Clark unpack all the new toys they'd gotten while away. That got Clark so hot and bothered that Lex ended up taking him over the top of the toy box. It was a down and dirty quickie, but Lex had nothing against those and from the blissful look on Clark's face as they headed back out to the car with the box holding the Elements and some of Lex's research files, neither did Clark.

"Feel better?" Lex chuckled as he drove them to the Kawatche Caves.

"Much, Master," Clark said happily. "Thank you for that. I get so excited with all the new things you bought us."

"I noticed," Lex said, smirking at him.

The Caves seemed the same to Lex, despite his new powers. He loved them. They were fascinating for the cave paintings, for the history that they had seen. He'd always loved studying history. The Kawatche Caves were history made solid, and were practically in his backyard. He loved them even more now that he knew there was so much more to them than just cave paintings and dusty relics. Lex used the octagonal disk to open the door to the back room, grateful that it didn't light up the way it had when Clark disappeared into it for his training. They went in, Lex looking around in what he knew as an extreme geek-out moment.

"Was it like this when you were in here?" Lex asked, looking at everything at once.

"No, it was totally different…well, I never saw this," Clark said, looking at everything with just as much interest as Lex.

The inner chamber door stayed open, which made Lex a little nervous. He'd hate to have someone come into the caves and see it. There was a stone pedestal table in the center of the room. It had a cut out in the center that was obviously designed to hold the Elements once they were gathered. The table had the same designs on it that the central monolith in the outer part of the caves. The walls of the inner chamber had more cave paintings that weren't cave paintings. They were all in Kryptonian writing, which Clark had been slowly teaching Lex during the trial. Lex couldn't quite figure out what they said, but they looked like warnings for the most part.

"This is so amazing," Lex breathed, running his fingers over the table. "There's a slot here that looks like it would hold the octagon, Clark."

"These designs are just like the ones outside," Clark said, beaming. "So cool! So what do we do?"

"Well," Lex said, pulling out the box with the Elements and the notes that he'd taken from the Mansion, "I'm 99% certain that the final Element is at a temple in China. My men have searched it from top to bottom, as has the Chinese government and many different treasure hunters over the generations. The Element is probably sealed in another statue, but we haven't found any indication of where it might be, other than this."

Lex pulled out a map that he'd found hidden underneath an illuminated manuscript page from Russia. It had taken some serious scanning to find the map under the page, but the writing on the page had been in Kryptonian, telling Lex that he'd needed to look closer. The map appeared to show the temple at the convergence of several rivers.

"The strange thing about this map is that there are no rivers in this area," Lex said thoughtfully, studying it with Clark. "We managed to get approval to use sonar on the temple's walls and found a hidden room that had this coat."

He showed Clark the photo of the coat. It was elaborately embroidered with the same map, except that the river was in brown and there were little leaves on it. Clark frowned, running his fingers over the picture thoughtfully.

"That doesn't look like a river to me, Lex," Clark said. "It looks more like a tree."

"Granted," Lex said with a sigh. "Unfortunately, we're not sure which tree it is. They renovated the gardens around the temple about a century ago and there are three trees that more or less match this map. None of them match exactly, I'm afraid. Considering how old the map and the coat are, it's quite likely that the original tree died a long time ago and was replaced. We found four instances when the gardens were renovated, so the sculpture could still be there, buried deep underground. We just don't know where."

"Great," Clark sighed, making a face. "So now what?"

Lex tucked his notes away and pulled out the two Elements that they'd already gathered. He opened the box and studied the two artifacts. The body-switching one was still wrapped up safely so that it wouldn't accidentally cause another swapping incident, but the first, Egyptian Element was unwrapped, gleaming in the dim light of the cave.

"I'd say that's something we have to ask Lara," Lex said with a little sigh. "I'm hoping that we can place these, seal the cave again and then have some way to track down the third one. Maybe get an indication on the map. If not, well, we can always fly there and use X-ray vision to search the grounds ourselves. Between the two of us it should be relatively quick."

"Fly in a plane or fly ourselves?" Clark asked, blushing a little.

"I was thinking of flying ourselves," Lex said, grinning at Clark's deepening blush. "We haven't had any occasions to go flying for real together. And there's always that fucking in a cloud fantasy of mine. Besides, we're much faster than a plane would be and there would be no problems with customs."

Clark nodded, looking through his lashes at Lex. It was very obvious what he was thinking about, from the look on his face to the way his pants were tented out. Lex couldn't blame him. He was thinking much the same thing. They hadn't had the chance to really fly and have sex at the same time. It had only been indoors and that didn't seem like the same thing at all. Lex pulled out a topographical map of the temple and its grounds, carefully laying it on the stone table.

"Lara, I presume you're listening to us," Lex said to the air. "I'd appreciate a little help. If possible, could you give us an indication of where to find the third Element? A sound to follow, a mark on the map, whatever you can give us. It would speed things up enormously if you could."

There wasn't a reply, but Lex wasn't expecting one. Lara had said that she didn't know where the Elements were before Clark went for his training, so he didn't expect that she'd be able to do too much for them. He carefully placed the first Element into its place in the cutout. Nothing happened. He gestured Clark to take a step back and then unwrapped the second Element. It gleamed black against his pale lavender handkerchief. Lex was a little reluctant to touch the thing with his bare hand, but nothing had happened before until they'd both touched it at the same time. Nothing happened to him when he carefully picked it up this time, much to his relief. Clark looked equally relieved.

"Wonder if anything is going to happen," Lex murmured as he set the second Element into its place.

A high-pitched sound erupted from the two Elements and they started glowing. Clark flinched and Lex gasped. He could hear a third sound, from incredibly far away. The sound faded quickly but there was a faint echo that kept going on at such a low level that Lex was almost afraid that he was imagining it. The two Elements in the table stopped glowing, stopped making the sound, but the faint echo continued, making Lex straighten up. Maybe Lara had been able to help them after all.

"Do you hear that?" Lex said, cocking his head.

"Yeah, I think so," Clark said, frowning and shutting his eyes. "It's really far away. I don't think a human could hear it but the dogs in China are probably howling."

"We'd better hurry," Lex said, scooping up his files and putting them back into the folder. "I don't imagine that it will keep making the sound for very long. We need to track it down as quickly as we can."

Clark nodded agreement. They left the inner chamber together (which sealed itself invisibly much to Lex's relief) and went to the car. Lex put his files into the glove box and then locked the car. Clark was obviously nervous when Lex turned back to him, but he smiled brightly when Lex held out his hand to him.

"Ready for our first real flight?" Lex asked, grinning at Clark.

"I guess so, Master," Clark said a little nervously. "How high are we going to go?"

"Don't know," Lex said with a shrug. "Let's see how high we can go before we can't breathe. I expect that we'll be all right. The more ballistic our trajectory, the faster we'll get there, though I really hope that we don't set off any military missile scanning programs."

"I never thought of that," Clark said, eyes wide. "Maybe if we go really fast?"

"Should help," Lex said, taking a deep breath and then pushing into the air.

He kept his grip on Clark's hand and laughed quietly as Clark kept his feet on the ground as long as possible before joining Lex in the air. It was an incredible sensation to fly. Lex was still afraid of looking down (he'd been afraid of flying since he was a small boy), but somehow it was much easier to fly when he was completely in control of it. He'd thought of learning to fly a plane for years but hadn't because it was still the plane keeping him in the air. Now it was all Lex and it was incredibly empowering. Clark clung to his hand, keeping up with Lex but obviously far more disturbed by flying than Lex was. They started out slow but quickly picked up speed until they went supersonic and beyond. Lex put a hand out in front of him to break the air waves in front of them. They were getting hot enough that he was worried about his clothes burning up, which brought up all sorts of questions about how to fly without destroying what they were wearing. He made a mental note to ask Lara about it someday. Maybe the Kryptonians had fabric that would withstand the friction and temperatures of really high speed flight.

They arched into the sky so high that they were seeing stars, Clark staring overhead with delight. Lex grinned, pausing in mid-air to appreciate both the curve of the earth and Clark's wide-eyed stare of wonder. God but he loved Clark! Lex tugged Clark into his arms, kissing him quickly.

"Not so bad, is it?" Lex said into his ear, trusting Clark's super hearing to ensure that he'd hear Lex's words.

"No, not as bad as I thought," Clark said thoughtfully, "but it's always been the falling that freaks me out. I think I must have been awake and watching when my spaceship landed in the middle of the meteor shower. I used to have nightmares about falling out of the sky in a blaze of fire."

"We won't go as fast going down then," Lex said, petting Clark's cheek. "Keep holding my hand and stay close. I'll make sure that you're okay, Clark."

"Thank you, Lex," Clark said, looking utterly relieved.

They turned and headed down to the earth again, following the slowly fading sound of the third Element's echo. The times when Clark used 'Lex' versus 'Master' were something that Lex was tracking in the back of his head. 'Lex' seemed to be far more intimate and meaningful for Clark than 'Master', at times. He obviously loved calling Lex his Master, but there was more than that to it. He respected both his Master and Lex. Lex made a mental note to ask Clark about it sometime after they'd fucked several times and he was very relaxed. He was just curious. He didn't want to make Clark self-conscious about his word choices.

They flew down to China, following the sound of the third Element. As they approached the surface it got louder, though it was still very faint. Lex and Clark flew slow enough that they didn't have the same problems with friction. Clark stayed very close to Lex, practically pressing up against him as they flew. Lex stayed just underneath Clark so that he had something between him and the earth, giving him the illusion of safety that he clearly needed.

China was dark, as it was nighttime here. It was a relief to Lex. They were far less likely to be seen doing this at night. The skies over the city were smoggy, making Lex's nose wrinkle with disgust. They swooped low and landed in the garden outside of the temple. Clark sighed with relief, still clinging to Lex's hand. Lex chuckled and petted his cheek, making Clark blush a little in the light from the garden's lanterns.

"Doing okay?" Lex asked softly, not wanting to notify anyone close by.

"I'll be all right, Master," Clark said. "It's just strange flying. I think if I do more I'll calm down about it."

"Good," Lex said. "Let's find that Element and get out of here. I'd rather we weren't seen here."

Clark nodded agreement. They both listened, quickly honing in on the correct part of the garden. There was a tree that had been trained to look almost identical to the tree / river in the maps, which made Lex raise an eyebrow. Maybe he'd been over thinking things. He checked and then chuckled. There were three other trees with the same training so it wasn't as straightforward as it seemed. Clark knelt, squinting as he X-rayed the ground, looking for the sculpture holding the last Element.

"There's a sculpture about four feet down," Clark whispered. He glanced towards the street where some people were talking.

"Do we need a shovel?" Lex asked in a whisper.

"No," Clark said, grinning. He pushed his sleeve up and then slammed his fist into the ground. He easily put his arm into the ground up to his elbow and kept pushing until he was nearly up to his shoulder. Clark made a face, squirming a little deeper. He grinned and then pulled his arm back out of the ground, clutching a small sculpture of a horse. "Got it!"

"Good job!" Lex said, grinning.

Clark passed the sculpture to Lex and brushed his arm off. He kicked the hole so that it wasn't immediately obvious. They both looked up as soldiers entered the garden. Lex growled. He nodded to Clark, tucking the sculpture under his arm as he took Clark's hand. They took flight, zooming up into the sky. They took it more slowly this time, not racing around the world. Lex pulled Clark close as they passed through a cloud over the ocean, kissing him passionately enough that Clark was whimpering with need.

"Deal with the Element first," Lex said, "and then we'll find another cloud we can fuck in, I promise."

"I'll hold you to that, Master," Clark said with a huge grin.

Lex took them in fairly high over Smallville, wishing he'd had the foresight to wear something less visible than a charcoal grey suit today. He had to stick out like sore thumb. It was broad daylight in Smallville, unlike the very early predawn in China. They arrived at the Caves and nothing had changed. There were no other cars, no motorcycles, no dirt bikes or any other visitors.

"Thank goodness," Lex sighed as they landed outside the Caves. "I was worried that someone would show up while we were gone."

"We were only gone about a half hour," Clark said, checking watch. "It felt like it took a lot longer than that."

"Felt much longer to me, too," Lex said, checking his watch and verifying that Clark was right. It really had been thirty-three minutes. "Amazing!"

He shook his head and led the way into the Caves, opening the door to the inner chamber with a paranoid glance towards the entrance to the Caves. He knew he was being silly but it still worried him that someone would see them. Clark chuckled, rubbing Lex's back comfortingly. They headed inside and Lex set the sculpture down, studying it. The third Element was in the belly of the horse, making it easy to break it open.

"Almost a pity to break it," Lex said. "It's a beautiful sculpture."

"True," Clark said, nodding.

Lex took the sculpture and carefully broke it in half with his fingers. It felt strange to use his new strength instead of restrain it. The sculpture broke apart shockingly easily, revealing a long narrow triangular piece of metal with another Kryptonian symbol on it. Lex set the element down on the edge of the stone table, tossing the remnants of the sculpture aside.

"Ready for the next step?" Lex asked Clark.

"I think so," Clark said, looking nervous. "Do we know what to do?"

"Seems fairly obvious," Lex said, nodding at the empty spot that the third Element would fit perfectly into. "We put this one into place and then see what happens."

Clark moved behind Lex, putting a hand on his shoulder as Lex carefully put the third Element into its slot. For a moment nothing happened and then all three of the Elements blazed with light. It was too bright for them to look at, so bright that Lex had to shield his eyes. After a second the glow faded and Lex looked back. There weren't three Elements sitting on the table. A single clear blue-white crystal in the shape of the House of El sigil slowly floated up into the air, turning to orient itself at Clark and Lex. Clark's hand was almost painful on Lex's shoulder as Lex reached out and grasped the crystal.

There was a flash of light and then a strange not-movement that was like a mixture of twisting, jumping and falling all at once. Lex shook his head and then stared around him. Clark's hand was still clamped onto his shoulder, even more painfully now. They were somewhere else entirely, obviously miles, hundreds of miles, away from Smallville.

"Where are we?" Clark asked, staring at the snow drifts that surrounded them.

"I'd guess we're in the Arctic," Lex said, patting Clark's hand with his free hand. Clark let go, blushing. "If we were in the Antarctic then it would be dark. It's winter there."

"Wow," Clark breathed, staring around. "Do you know what we do now?"

"No," Lex said, frowning at the still glowing crystal. "I don't. It would be nice to have some instructions with this thing."

He let it go and the crystal floated up into the air until it was hovering just at eye height. Lex growled and caught it again, unreasonably frustrated by not knowing what to do. He looked at Clark who shrugged, as much at a loss as Lex was. Lex glared at the crystal and then gave into his annoyance. He threw the crystal away, knowing that he could swoop and catch it, find it again. It zoomed away far faster than Lex had thrown it, making both of them straighten up in surprise. The crystal arced into the sky and then stopped at the top of its arc, lancing down into the snow like it had been fired from a gun.

For a long second, nothing happened. Then the ground rumbled under their feet and giant crystals blasted up out of the snow, forming a huge structure made entirely of blue-white crystals. Clark gasped, catching Lex's arm. He stared at it with awe, delight written all over his face.

"It looks like a Kryptonian building, Master," Clark breathed, staring at the new structure. "It's like a little bit of Krypton on Earth."

"Huh," Lex said, surprised. "Well, I guess that was the correct thing to do after all. Let's fly over and see what there is to see."

Clark grinned and nodded. They both took flight, skimming the snow drifts until they reached the edge of the structure. Lex realized as they landed that he wasn't cold. They were in the Arctic and he wasn't cold at all. Clark blinked as Lex stopped, staring around him, head cocked at him in confusion.

"I'm not cold," Lex said, staring at Clark. "I should be going into hypothermia but this feels like a spring day to me."

"Krypton was a very cold world with a red sun," Clark laughed, taking Lex's hand. "We evolved to deal with very cold weather. It orbited very close to our sun during the summer so we also evolved to be able to deal with very high temperatures. Add that to the invulnerability and you're never going to be bothered by extreme temperatures again."

"Very strange," Lex said, shaking his head. "Nice, but very strange at the same time."

They headed into the structure, exploring until they found a central console that looked to Lex like it was a control center. A single crystal floated free from the console as they approached it, drifting over to Clark and Lex. Clark looked at it and then at Lex, reluctant to take it. Lex hesitated and then grasped the crystal, feeling a little shiver of electricity over his whole body.

"Welcome, Kal-El, my son and Lex Lu-thor, his Master," Lara intoned, her voice echoing through the structure.

"You're here now?" Lex asked, surprised.

"Yes," Lara said, sounding very satisfied. "Now that the Fortress of Knowledge has risen, I am no longer bound to the Caves. I inhabit this Fortress and command all the knowledge of Krypton that was sent to protect my son and Kara, she who was supposed to be his Mistress."

"Can anyone command you now?" Lex asked, worried about that. "Can they make you do things you don't want to do?"

"No, Lex Lu-Thor," Lara said fondly. "Only you can command me. You united the Elements of Power. You released the Crystal of Knowledge. You took the Key to the Fortress. This Fortress responds to you alone."

Lex stared at the crystal in his hand, astonished and a bit horrified. Clark was beaming at him, clearly delighted, but Lex couldn't believe that it had happened. It should have gone to Clark! Lara was his mother. He was the Kryptonian. He should be the one to command the Fortress and Lara, not Lex.

"Can we fix it?" Lex asked. "It should be Clark, not me."

"No, it shouldn't!" Clark squawked, looking utterly horrified. "Lex, think about it. I'm submissive to a fault. I could way too easily be bullied into doing the wrong thing. It should belong to someone strong-willed enough and smart enough to keep it all safe. I think it should be you. Either you or Kara when we find her, but not me!"

"Agreed," Lara declared. "Kal-El could not have been the one to control the Fortress's resources. It had to be Kal-El's Master or Kara. I am glad that it is you, Lex Lu-Thor. Kara's father was an enemy. She was a good girl but it is possible that she was compromised by Zor-El's plots. She must be found, but you must be careful that you do not immediately give her everything. She must be checked for Zor-El's influences."

Lex frowned, not agreeing with either of them. He was a human, despite the fact that he'd been altered to be like Clark. He was one of the people that Lara had warned Clark shouldn't be allowed to have the power of Krypton. He was glad that they trusted him, but he wasn't sure that he trusted himself. He didn't suppose that it mattered now. What was done was done.

"I still have doubts about this," Lex said dubiously. "Would it be possible to change it later if it becomes obvious that this is a mistake."

"There are ways to reinitialize the control structures for new individuals," Lara said, her voice full of disapproval. "I shall not tell you what they are. You are the correct choice."

Clark laughed as Lex stared in the direction he thought Lara's voice was coming from. He truly hadn't expected that one. He chuckled at Clark's continuing laughter, shrugging ruefully.

"All right, all right," Lex said, rolling his eyes. "For now you win, Lara. I'm in control. I do seem to remember you warning us about letting humans getting their hands on this place and I am human so I think I have the right to keep my doubts."

"You are more than human," Lara said, a little laughter in her voice. "You are a Kryptonian Vessel, Lex Lu-Thor. You are Kal-El's chosen Master. You are also one of the most intelligent humans alive. You are the correct choice, whether you agree or not."

"Fine," Lex said, waving the Key. "What do we need to do next, Lara? I presume there's something."

"You must locate Kara quickly," Lara said. "You will not be able to face the coming threat without her aid. Kara is vital to your survival and to Kal-El's survival. Without her assistance, Earth and all of humanity may be doomed to extinction."


"You must locate Kara quickly," Lara said. "You will not be able to face the coming threat without her aid. Kara is vital to your survival and to Kal-El's survival. Without her assistance, Earth and all of humanity may be doomed to extinction."

Clark blinked, unsure what could be coming that was so terribly dangerous to the Earth's survival. Lara had told him about the Black Ship that carried Zod's followers, but he didn't quite understand why a couple of Zod's followers were that huge of a threat to everyone's survival. Sure, they'd have powers just like Clark and Lex. Sure, they'd be mostly indestructible. Sure, they were determined to free Zod from the Phantom Zone and he was a crazy dictator…Clark smiled at himself. He was answering his own questions here. One more Kryptonian would push things in their favor. Hopefully.

"What exactly are we facing?" Lex asked, frowning.

"You face three threats," Lara said. Her voice was grim and echoed in the Fortress strangely. It was hard to tell where it was coming from but she seemed mostly to be coming from the direction of the control console. "First is the Black Ship itself. It is incredibly powerful for it contains the Brain Interactive Construct. Brainiac was created to control Krypton's environment and computer systems originally, and then decommissioned. Jor-El and I created a new version of it to fight Zod, but Zor-El perverted it, having it destroy our world in the name of Rao's prophecy. With the resources of the Black Ship, Brainiac is strong enough to destroy the Earth's climate, which would wipe out humanity. Now that I am in the Fortress, I can block Brainiac from reviving from its slumber, but should it be woken, the threat to the Earth would be grave."

Clark stared at Lex who looked back at him with a concerned frown. He had no idea how they'd fight a supercomputer but then Lex probably had a much better idea of that. The only things that Clark knew about computers were what he'd learned in school and what he'd watched Chloe do. He had no idea how Chloe pulled off her hacking feats.

"The second threat that you face is the occupants of the Black Ship," Lara continued. "They are the followers of Zod, Nam-Ek and Aethyr. They were sent to Earth explicitly to try and free General Zod from the Phantom Zone. Nam-Ek would give Zod his body and Aethyr would breed with him, creating a new Kryptonian race on Earth. They have been to Earth before and know how to use the powers that the yellow sun gives our race. They are fanatics and will do whatever they can to ensure Zod's return and to create a New Krypton is established here."

"That's not good," Lex murmured to Clark, pulling him close and having him kneel so that he could run his fingers through Clark's hair.

"No kidding," Clark said, shivering. "How come Zod and Nam-Ek aren't like me?"

"General Zod was one of the rare males born without the Need," Lara said with a sad sigh. "I believe that it unbalanced his personality even worse than the genetic alterations done to Jor-El and Zor-El. Zod genetically altered Nam-Ek to be like him. Neither of them experienced the emotions or hormonal surges that typify male Kryptonians. Zor-El frequently urged the council to modify all male Kryptonians so that they could be 'full members of our society', but the women of the Council never agreed. We could all see what it had done to Zor-El. Zod's insanity was a clear warning of what would happen if we followed through."

"It's like the feminist movement fighting genetics as well as social forces," Lex murmured, shaking his head in dismay. He sighed and nodded slowly. "All right, so Nam-Ek and Aethyr are our second set of opponents. What's the third threat?"

Lara hesitated, making Clark look up at Lex in confusion. He'd never known her to hesitate like this during his training and conditioning. She'd always been very forthright and commanding, if not especially clear about what Clark's 'destiny' was or what she wanted out of him. Given that he belonged to Lex, he supposed that lack of clarity made sense. Lex was the one who would have the final say over what direction Clark went, fortunately with Clark's input. He could easily have gone in a completely different direction with a different master and had no freedom at all.

"The third threat is purely human," Lara said eventually. "You must face your father and his companions in the Veritas Society. You have imprisoned Lionel Luthor but he had others working with him who will attempt to gain control of Kal-El, Kara and the Fortress."

"And me," Lex said thoughtfully.

"They are not aware that you have powers," Lara said in a distinctly smug tone of voice. "They know that you were healed but not that you are more than human, Lex Lu-Thor. They will not realize everything that you can do if you are careful about how and when you use your powers."

"Still want my fuck in a cloud," Lex muttered, glancing down towards Clark with a quick smirk.

Lex nodded to Lara's words, while Clark snickered. Lara gave a little sigh that almost sounded like the wind blowing through the Fortress, but Clark and Lex both heard it. Clark, having spent time with her in the simulation, knew the eye roll that went with the sigh and blushed. She didn't say anything but she didn't seem to need to. Lex blushed faintly, too, straightening his shoulders.

"All right, at least I have a starting place on that front," Lex said. "Let's get to work on finding Kara. That's the most urgent thing right now."

Lara helped Clark and Lex learn how to use the controls for the Fortress. It was different than what he'd learned while in the simulation but Clark quickly realized that she'd taught him how to use things without Lex around. The protocols when Lex was there were different since he was Clark's Master and the owner of the Fortress. Clark couldn't help but break out laughing when Lex geeked out at the scanners the Fortress used.

"That…is the coolest thing ever," Lex breathed, watching every satellite in orbit on a holographic display. His eyes were bright and he was grinning as he watched the display.

"Yes, Master!" Clark laughed, grinning at him.

"Well, it is!" Lex said, giving Clark a little swat to the shoulder accompanied by a huge grin. "What can we see with these things? How much detail can we get? Do we have recordings of things that have happened in the past?

"Yes," Lara said, her voice sounding just as amused as Clark was. "You can adjust the level of detail and focus in very precisely. The Fortress has recordings of everything that has happened within the solar system since Kal-El arrived. The search function for specific events is still being built. I began that when the Fortress rose. Estimated time to completion is one year, three months and six days, plus or minus two days."

Lex blinked, looked concerned about something for a second and then beamed. He focused on Jupiter, going back into the past to watch the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comment smack into the planet. They watched the impacts in much better detail than anything NASA had, seeing the comets themselves, then the impacts, watching analysis of the damage caused and reading the forecasts for how the impacts had changed the weather on Jupiter.

"You're right," Clark said after moving around the display to watch the impacts a second time just for the fun of seeing them hit, "this is the coolest thing ever."

"Of course," Lex said, smirking at him. "How could it not be? So, we don't have any data from before your ship landed but we should be able to find some sort of trail from the scanners at the time."

They went back to October 16th, 1989, focusing in on the area surrounding Smallville, Kansas. The data actually started just before Clark's ship crashed down, letting them watch the meteors falling, the destruction occurring and the people being killed. Clark whimpered, leaning into Lex's side. Seeing the meteors destroying Smallville was seriously traumatic, making his legs shake and his stomach quiver. It was his fault. If he hadn't been sent here—

"Kneel," Lex ordered, shutting off Clark's thoughts.

Clark knelt, letting Lex take care of it as he dealt with his emotions. He kept a hand on Clark's hair, watching the scanners and sighing that there really wasn't anything useful about either Clark's ship or Kara's ship. They were effectively invisible to the scanners. They both stiffened as the scanner recording show Clark and Lex meeting for the first time, not that either of them remembered it. Clark had been found by the Kents after their truck crashed, and they took him and his spaceship with them. As they were headed back to their farm, Lionel flagged them down, begging them (the scanners were able to pick up the conversation, which startled both Clark and Lex) to help him get Lex to the hospital. They got to watch every bit of it since the scanners could be tuned in so tightly that they were watching inside of the cab of the pickup truck.

"I had no idea that we'd met before the river," Lex breathed, his fingers tangled in Clark's hair.

"Neither did I," Clark whispered, staring at their younger selves as they rode together in the pickup truck to the hospital. "Wow."

Neither of them fast-forwarded the recording, staying focused on their younger selves until they arrived at the hospital and were separated. Clark sighed, leaning into Lex's leg. He really hadn't had any idea that he'd met Lex before Lex's accident on the bridge over the Loeb River. It changed everything at the same time as it changed nothing.

"You were the first person I met other than Mom and Dad," Clark breathed, staring at the console instead of at the recording. "The first person that touched me other than them."

"You saved me then, too," Lex said, making Clark look up in surprise. "Clark, if your parents hadn't found you and decided to take you home with them, they would have gone in the opposite direction towards town. There wasn't anyone else in that area. I would have died before help came. Because of you, I lived."

"If it hadn't been for me you wouldn't have been in danger in the first place," Clark said sadly.

Lex snorted, a surprisingly cynical expression on his face. He shook his head, kneeling down to rest his forehead against Clark's. He was breathing hard, looking hurt and desperately sad. Clark wasn't sure what he'd said to set this off. He waited, petting Lex's side. After a moment, Lex pulled back an inch or so, his eyes full of a weird mixture of sorrow and joy.

"I'd probably have been dead shortly anyway," Lex said sadly. "My mother Lillian was crazy, my father was abusive and my little brother Julian died in that house, Clark. I doubt I would have survived to adulthood. I had life-threatening asthma before the meteors changed me. The meteor shower cured it. You saved me. You saved me as a child. You saved me at the Loeb River. You saved me from my father's poison. You continue to save me from myself. Never feel bad about coming here. You've helped so many people. The list only starts with me."

This time it was Clark's turn to succumb to emotion. He'd always blamed himself for all the bad things that happened in Smallville, ever since he found out that he was an alien who landed in the meteor shower. Every meteor freak, monster and strange happening was his fault. He wasn't sure how to accept that good things had come from the meteors that accompanied him. Lex petted his cheek, giving Clark a tender kiss that both calmed and excited him. Then he stood and went back to working the control panel, using the scanner to try and track Kara down.

"We just can't find her spaceship," Lex admitted after about a half-hour's effort. "The scanners of the Fortress won't show her."

"Both Kal-El and Kara's spaceships were shielded to prevent the Followers of Zod from finding them," Lara said calmly.

"Can we track their path through the air?" Clark asked. "We've got all sorts of data on how the meteors moved through the air. The ship may not be visible to the scanners but its path through the air should be."

"Very good!" Lex said, beaming at Clark.

Between them, Lex and Lara managed to eliminate the paths of the meteors, leaving them with two clear trails that had nothing causing them (as far as the scanners could see). One was Clark's ship, landing in Miller's field where Mom and Dad found Clark. The other trail headed straight for the reservoir, crashing into the middle of the lake.

"That would explain why she wasn't released," Lex said thoughtfully. "If she was buried under the mud beneath that much water, it would dare release her or she'd die."

"Can we scan and see if there's a ship-sized void at the bottom of the lake?" Clark asked, staring at the hologram in fascination.

"Yes," Lara said, doing so.

The hologram changed to the current day, showing people boating and swimming. A few people were fishing. It was all in real time and Clark could make out exactly who everyone was. They could even home in and hear them talking if they wanted to. Lex frowned, fingers tapping against the control console.

"It's a good thing my father didn't get control over this place," Lex said, looking far too grim. "We can do this anywhere? See anything? No matter how secure the location is?"

"Yes," Lara said, still refining the scan so that they were seeing into the mud underneath the water instead of on the surface. It was like looking at a slowly moving cross-section of the world, complete with fish and buried logs, seaweed and people's fishing lures.

"He'd use this to take over the world," Lex breathed, looking down into Clark's eyes. He looked very worried about it.

"Then we won't let him have it, Master," Clark said calmly. He wouldn't. Come what may, this place was not going to fall into Lionel Luthor's hands.

They watched in silence as Lara directed the Fortress' scanners, gradually and slowly searching every inch of the muck underneath the lake. It took about ten minutes but finally a void showed up in the mud. At first it was just a thin line, then it widened into a wedge, and eventually it showed the whole ship, outlined by the mud so that the Fortress could see it.

"You couldn't do this before?" Lex asked, using the scanner to triangulate on Kara's ship's position from the shore so that they'd be able to find it when they got back to Smallville. It was at the deepest point of the lake, buried under almost ten feet of muck.

"No," Lara said. "The scanners in the Kawatche Caves were not strong enough, nor did they possess sufficient accuracy to do this. They would not have been able to search below the surface of the mud at the bottom of the lake."

"There's a lot of people there," Clark said thoughtfully as he watched them playing in the hologram. "We can't go free her right this second. People would see."

"Agreed," Lex said, nodding. "We'll note the location and go back after dark tonight to get her ship out. Lara, are there security protocols for opening her ship?"

"Yes," Lara said.

She displayed what they had to do to free Kara, which wasn't too complicated. Apparently there was a self-destruct sequence on her ship (which made Clark wonder if his ship had had one, which would have been a lot easier than using Kryptonite to destroy it) that they had to disarm before they opened it. Clark memorized it, since it would require a Kryptonian's DNA to disarm it, and then they shut the scanner down.

"We need to head back to Smallville, Lara," Lex said. "Please let us know if anything happens that we should know about. It might take us a few minutes to get here from there but we'll come as quickly as possible."

"You will be able to use the Caves as a shortcut," Lara said. "If you insert the Key into the slot on the table you will be teleported directly here. You can return the exact same way. All you need to do is touch the panel over there."

A crystal wall lit up with the same symbols as at the caves, making Clark blink. It would be a lot faster to be able to teleport directly here. After all, they didn't know for sure where the Fortress was. He really hated to think about how hard it would be to find the Fortress in the middle of all the snow outside.

"That's convenient," Lex said, smiling. "Thank you, Lara. We'll hopefully be back soon with Kara so that you check her out."

They headed through the teleport thing, arriving back at the Kawatche Caves. No one was there so they headed outside. Lex stopped when the door to the inner chamber didn't close behind them. He frowned and looked at the door, cursing quietly. Clark frowned, wondering why it wasn't closing anymore.

"It looks to me like the door won't work anymore," Lex said after a minute checking things out. "I guess Lara was opening and closing the door for us. Without her here, it won't work anymore."

"Well, there's nothing in there that anyone can use," Clark said dubiously. "You need the Key to be able to use the teleporter and we've got that, Lex. I think it'll be okay. Hopefully. Maybe."

Lex chuckled, grinning at Clark.

"Glad to see that you're as confident about it as I am," Lex said drolly. "Come on, let's head back to the Mansion, get a picnic dinner and go out to the reservoir to spend an evening watching the stars."

"I like that plan, Master," Clark said, grinning at him.

The cook hugged the stuffing out of Clark when they headed into the kitchen, acting like she'd been worried that he was going to die of starvation while he was gone. She looked very approving of Lex's weight gain, nodding approval and packing them a picnic basket that almost literally groaned with how much food that she'd packed into it. By the time they drove out to the reservoir and found a good place to have their picnic that was close to where Kara's ship was buried, it was nearing nightfall and most people were heading back home. The last few boats headed off of the lake. They weren't close to any campgrounds, so very soon they had the lake more or less to themselves. They set up the picnic and then Lex looked around before turning to Clark.

"Time for a swim," Lex said, smiling at Clark. "Dinner can wait until afterwards."

"B-but we didn't bring swimsuits, Master," Clark said, blushing brightly.

"I know," Lex said, smirking at him. "Strip."

Clark shivered and stripped down, getting hard from doing this in public (not that anyone was around to see them) and from Lex's eyes on his body (which were like lasers he was watching Clark so closely) and especially from Lex's body as he slowly stripped out of his clothes, passing them to Clark so he could fold them up. Once they were both naked, Lex took Clark's hand and led him into the water with a quick look around to see if anyone was close. No one was, so into the water they went.

It felt cool and wonderful to Clark. Even half-frozen water only felt cool but this time it was likely that the water would be warm enough to be just cool to a normal human, too. Lex smiled and swam out a little bit, moving like a seal through the water. He obviously could swim much better than Clark. Clark splashed a lot as he swam but Lex barely made the water ripple. Clark smiled and swam over as Lex stopped to tread water.

"You swim so well, Master," Clark murmured.

"Years of lessons," Lex said with a little smile. "Father insisted on perfection in everything."

"Creep," Clark grumbled.

"Come here," Lex said, catching Clark and pulling him close.

Lex kissed him, both of them floating low in the water. Clark moaned, wrapping his arms around Lex's back and letting Lex do as he liked. He wasn't surprised when Lex's hand drifted down to Clark's ass, squeezing his butt cheek.

"We need to get closer to shore," Lex said huskily.

"In the water?" Clark asked, shivering.

"Mmm-hmm," Lex murmured, grinning wickedly. "Easy clean up, after all."

"Master…." Clark moaned, letting Lex lead the way closer to shore.

He wasn't sure how they'd manage the mechanics of it without something to push against but then he hadn't been sure how they'd manage sex while flying and they'd done that. Once they were in water shallow enough to touch bottom Lex pulled Clark close again, finding his cock and stroking it firmly. Clark shuddered, responding instantly to the touch. He couldn't help it. It was Lex and he'd wanted Lex from the moment they met for the second time at the Loeb River. Every time Lex touched him this way it was heaven because he'd never thought that he'd get it.

"Turn around," Lex ordered quietly, pulling Clark so that they were cuddled up spoon-style.

He kept stroking Clark's cock, now nuzzling his neck and pinching his nipples at the same time. Clark moaned, pushing back against Lex's hips. He whimpered at the feel of Lex's cock sliding between his legs. Lex chuckled, biting Clark's neck hard enough to leave a new mark.

"Want my cock, do you?" Lex asked, amused.

"Yessss," Clark hissed, trying to stay quiet since he knew that sound carried over water.

They might be alone in their immediate area but any noise that they made would carry over the water and he knew that there were people from school camping in the area. Lex laughed, pumping slowly between Clark's legs. His hand moved confidently over Clark's cock, teasing him with what Clark knew was coming.

"More?" Clark whimpered eventually once he felt like he was going to explode if something more didn't happen and very, very soon.

"My boy wants more?" Lex asked, laughing happily.

"Please," Clark begged, looking over his shoulder at Lex's delighted expression. "Please, Master, want you so bad!"

"You have to be noisy," Lex said, grinning at Clark's little start of surprise. "I want moaning, Clark. I want whimpers. I want to hear you, but no names, no Master. Just sounds of pleasure."

Clark groaned, blushing so hard he thought the water must have just gone up ten degrees from his body heat. Lex laughed and rubbed his cock against Clark's ass, shifting his grip on Clark's body so that he could push into Clark more easily. It was hard to stay balanced in the water with nothing to brace against but Clark tried hard. Lex pushed and Clark gasped, letting himself be noise as Lex wanted. He couldn't help it, honestly. Even if there were people listening, even if people did know what they were doing, Clark couldn't help but be noisy as Lex pushed into his ass and filled him up.

"Very good," Lex purred, grasping Clark's hips so that he could fuck him.

The water wasn't a great lubricant but it was better than nothing. Clark healed so fast that it wouldn't really matter anyway. His soreness when someone did him dry only lasted a few minutes anyway. Of course with Lex's fucking him it was a lot harder, faster, deeper and the results lasted much longer, but he still felt fine within hours. Pretty quickly Clark was gasping and moaning loudly enough for it to echo over the lake. Clark blushed, the embarrassment of knowing that people could hear him making him noisier. It was good enough that Clark was on the edge of coming.

"Need…" Clark gasped, looking back at Lex through the splashes of water. He nearly came as he saw how excited Lex looked. "Please!"

"Almost," Lex panted, pounding into Clark harder and making the water fly around them. "Almost!"

He groaned loudly, the sound joining Clark's wordless cries to carry across the water. Lex's fingers squeezed hard on Clark's hips, warning him that Lex was about to come. Clark shuddered and came without Lex's order, unable to hold back what with everything they were doing. Lex cried out and came in him, holding Clark's hips tight to his own.

"Fuck yes," Lex moaned quietly, panting as the water still around them.

"Sorry," Clark panted, leaning back against Lex's chest as they both calmed. The water felt especially good now.

"Don't be," Lex chuckled, kissing Clark's cheek as he slid out of his ass. He turned Clark around so that they could kiss properly. "I didn't say that you had to wait this time. I only said that I was almost there. This was too exciting for playing that game."

Clark smiled, hugging Lex. They cuddled in the water for a long while, until full dark had fallen. Then they got out, heading to their food. Lex fed Clark food, eating with him. They stayed naked for the meal, both enjoying the cool night air. Lex checked his watch after about an hour or so, scanning the area with X-ray vision.

"I think we're almost ready," Lex said thoughtfully. "Give it an hour or so and we'll be able to dive down and get Kara's ship."

"How are we going to do this, Lex?" Clark asked, frowning. "We know pretty much where it is but how do we get it out without everyone knowing?"

"I think it's fairly straightforward," Lex said with a little shrug. "We dive down—naked to spare our clothes—using our powers to move quickly, and pull her ship out of the mud. Between us I'm sure we can do it fairly easily. I know we can hold our breath long enough for you to disarm the self destruct, if necessary. I'm hoping it won't be necessary. If we're quick enough we'll have the ship on shore before it has a chance to react. Then we free her and explain what's happened."

"Okay," Clark said nodding thoughtfully. "That should work, I guess. I do wonder what she's going to be like. It's going to be a shock when she realizes how many years have passed. Hopefully she'll be all right."


Kal, Kara thought sleepily as she drifted off before entering the solar system. Need to find Kal when I land. She thought of his cute little face, the chubby toes, the way he giggled when she tickled him and smiled, the stasis system trying to force her into sleep at the same time that she tried to brand into her brain what she needed to do.

They'd land surrounded by meteors. The place would be a disaster, total chaos. Poor little baby—no, he'd be a toddler she thought blurrily—would be wandering around with no clue where to go or what to do. He'd be in danger, not yet powerful like her, not yet grown, scared, alone. She needed to find him as soon as the ship released her. She absently rubbed the cuff on her wrist, eyes drifting to the miniature one that she'd put on his wrist to identify him as hers. Needed to mark him as hers as soon as possible after they landed…

She'd spent the last month or so semi-awake, absorbing yellow sunlight so that she'd be able to protect Kal-El as soon as they were released from their ships. The rest of the time she'd been in stasis, not changing with the passage of time. Little Kal was just a baby so he couldn't stay in stasis all the way. It would have damaged his brain what with the weirdness that stasis-sleep did to your mental patterns. She was nearly full-grown so it wasn't (as much of) a problem. She'd been sixteen when she started the trip and would be about sixteen and a half when she arrived, despite the years-long journey.

Her thoughts faded away as she was returned to the stasis that had kept her safe during the long trip to Earth. She didn't see the meteors blazing around her red ship. She didn't see the meteor that struck the wing of her ship driving her off course and smashing her into the lake where her ship drove deep into the muck. She didn't feel anything as the years ticked by. She wasn't aware of anything until the moment her ship woke her from stasis and then her thoughts sprang straight back to her baby cousin Kal-El.

"Kal!" Kara shouted, flying straight up out of her ship the instant it opened.

It was nighttime, which was very odd. She'd thought that they were going to land during the day so that there would be a better chance of them finding the Kents. She couldn't see much beyond a lake (which was oddly calm) and trees (none of which were burning from the meteors) and no impact craters or meteors streaking through the sky. Kara looked around wildly, moving so fast as she flew into the air that she realized she was seeing the world as if it had stopped. She stopped about a thousand meters up, utterly and totally confused. This wasn't at all what she'd been expecting.



Two males flew up, which immediately put her on edge. Other Kryptonians on Earth meant Followers of Zod. No one else should be here besides her and little Kal. She glared at them, sure that she was about to have a fight. They were both naked and wet (weird, Kara thought in the back of her mind), one with a slave collar and the other with a Master's Key. That made sense. Most of Zod's male followers had been modified to be Masters, after all, so maybe this one liked boys more than girls, but it didn't really matter because she wasn't about to let them stop her. She zoomed higher, trying to get an idea of where she was.

"Kara, wait!" That was the bald Master calling after her, sounding worried (another weirdness to add to the list of extreme weirdnesses since she'd awoken).

"Mistress Kara, stop!" the bigger dark-haired slave called, sounding frightened, which automatically kicked in her instincts to stop and take care of him but he didn't belong to her so she didn't until the fact that they'd used her name made her slow down and peer at them both.

"Who are you?" Kara demanded, hands in fists as she prepared to whomp them or at least try. "How do you know my name?"

"I'm Kal-El," the slave said, making her heart stop in her chest. "This is my Master, Lex. We just got your ship out of the lake. You crashed there and have been in stasis ever since we arrived. Please, slow down!"

Kara slowed to a stop, hovering in mid-air as she really looked at them. He was wearing Uncle Jor-El's collar. Lex was wearing Auntie Lara's key. He looked just like Uncle Jor-El, just a lot more submissive, younger and with no grey in his hair. Kara stared at the ground (which was now almost a kilometer below). There were no fires. No impact craters. No signs of their landing. Nothing to show that there had recently been a meteor shower. She fell a meter or so as her control slipped from fear and shock.

"How long?" Kara asked, staring at them wide eyed.

"It's been fifteen years," Lex said gently. "Kal is nearly eighteen now. I'm sorry that you were trapped for so long. We only just located your ship today and waited until night to get you out. We need to get back down to the ground. We have human enemies that will try and get your ship, to get you and Kal. It's not safe to fly around a lot, not yet."

"Fifteen years?" Kara breathed, going from horrified, to terrified, to astonished, to relieved, to furious in about one second. "No fair! I missed all the cute baby stuff! The learning to walk! The learning to talk! I missed all the good stuff! I, I, Oh sweet Rao, how in the world did you handle it when the Need woke up?"

She clutched Kal's hand, sure now that he was her baby cousin all grown up (and very nicely grown up, too—pity he was taken already. She'd love to get him on loan. She really had to ask later if Lex would loan him out.). Kal smiled at her, blushing visibly even in the starlight.

"Poorly," Kal said sadly. "Come on, we really do need to get back to your ship. We have food, too."

"Ooo, food is good!" Kara said, beaming at him. "I'm starving. The stasis will keep you alive but it doesn't do much to keep your belly full."

"This way," Lex said, leading the way back down to the ground.

Kara smiled that Kal keep his grip on her hand. He was obviously still just as sweet a boy as he'd been when he was a baby. Lex was very nice to look at, too. She wasn't much for the bald thing but he was bald everywhere (literally everywhere which made her wonder if it was shaving or natural) and very nicely endowed. Pity he was a Master or she'd have liked to own him, too. Maybe he did threesomes…

Her ship was dripping wet when they landed, but still intact, which was a huge relief. She checked it out and quickly disarmed the self-destruct sequence. The blue crystal that Zor-El had given her was still there, but she had no intention of doing anything with it. She'd ask Auntie Lara about it once she spoke to her again. After everything that her father had done, she really didn't trust him. There were little voids in her memories, places where she knew that he'd erased things that she'd seen. She had no desire to take his last minute 'I'm dying but I've had a change of heart, you're my darling daughter and I entrust you with this grave mission' speech seriously. Come on! The way he'd treated her mom and Kara her whole life said that he wasn't to be trusted, no matter how he'd died. Not that she was sure her memories of his death were accurate either. Kara sealed her ship and smiled, relaxing a little bit.

"Well, at least its safe," Kara said, turning back to find Lex half-clothed. "So where's the food?"

"Over here," Lex said with a wry little laugh. "There's a lot we need to tell you but we should get your ship to safety first."

"No kidding," Kara said, rummaging through the basket of food. It looked like they'd already eaten but there was still plenty of food and water and some brown fizzy drink that she instantly decided was the best thing ever until she tired the thermos with the warm brown wonderful smelling drink that was the bestest best thing ever. "Good food! Like this stuff!"

"That's coffee," Kal said, kneeling on the blanket opposite her. He was grinning as he watched her eat, the same old grin as when he'd been a baby. "The other stuff is cola, a soft drink."

"It's good too, but not as good as coffee," Kara said, looking at Lex as she drank more coffee straight from the thermos. "So what happened to make me get trapped? How'd you two meet? How did Kal-El deal with the Need? Where does he live? Where am I going to live? Do I get to go to school or get a job or what? And where do I get a cute boy of my own? Seeing how cute Kal is now that he's grown up I'm sad I didn't get to claim him. He's adorable!"

She reached out and fluffed Kal's curls. They were just drying out so they were really distinctly curly. He blushed brightly in the lantern light, looking pleased and a little alarmed which was to be expected if he was owned. She really shouldn't say things like that but come on! He grew up so cute!

"Mine," Lex growled, pulling Kal over to his side. "Hands off, Kara. I don't share."

"Poo, you're no fun," Kara said sighing. "So anyway—answers?"

"It appears that your ship's wing was struck by a meteor while you were landing," Lex said a little stiffly. He wrapped a possessive arm around Kal's shoulder, pulling him tight to his side. Kal looked really pleased by that. "Clark—excuse me, that's the name Kal was given by his human parents. Clark's ship landed as planned and was found by the Kent family. They adopted him and raised him as their son. The Need woke when he was about twelve but didn't get very bad until he was about fourteen. I caught him…dealing with the Need and agreed to be his Master so that he wouldn't have to do that anymore."

"Huh?" Kara said, blinking at Lex. "What does 'dealing with' mean? You caught him masturbating? By that age that wouldn't have been enough."

"I was working as a prostitute in Metropolis," Kal said sadly. "It was the only way to stay sane and alive."

Kara squawked at that, carefully set the coffee thermos down so she wouldn't spill it and then hugged Kal so hard that he squawked. Darn that meteor that pushed her off course! He never should have had to go through that. Kal murmured something polite, gingerly patting her back until she let go. She'd never admit that she rubbed tears from her eyes before doing so but she was pretty sure Lex saw it. He didn't say anything, which was a relief. For a boy Mistress he was pretty good.

"The plan," Lex said once they were all settled again, "is for Clark to stay with me at my mansion and you to be 'located' by the Kents and brought to live with them. I've already set up a false ID for you and the Kents know that you're coming. Since you look to be about sixteen or seventeen, you'll need to go to school, which should be interesting. I created your ID so that you lived out of the country for most of your life, which should help explain some of your lack of knowledge of the Earth."

"I know plenty," Kara said, waving her hand and sighing that the coffee was gone. "Auntie Lara taught me tons of stuff and I came here before we got sent here for good. It'll be fine."

"That was fifteen years ago," Lex said, smirking at her. "Things have changed, Kara."

"If you say so," Kara shrugged. "So what do we do now? And I thought people here never, ever, ever went around naked. Doesn't he have to wear clothes?"

Lex blinked at her and sighed. Kal laughed quietly, grinning at Lex with so much love in his eyes that Kara couldn't help but be both happy for him and desperately jealous. She hadn't been old enough to have a boy of her own but she'd been courting four different guys before the world came to an end. It would have been so nice to bring one with her. Or two. Three would have been perfect that would be greedy. Lara always said it wasn't nice to be greedy with the boys but Kara thought that was because she'd gotten the best boy around.

"He normally does when we're in public," Lex said, "but we're not exactly in public and it's the middle of the night. Besides, we had to go swimming to get your ship out. We need to fly it up to the Fortress and then have Lara check to make sure you survived the trip without any problems. After that, we'll go back to Smallville and my mansion and get you set up in your new life. It should be a busy few days."

"Great!" Kara said, bouncing to her feet. "So let's get on with it."

Lex frowned at her. It took her a second to realize that he expected her to clean up the mess she'd made. She winced and did so. It was weird not having a boy around to do things for her. Kal wouldn't do it because he didn't belong to her. Kal went and got dressed. Lex finished getting dressed. And Kara tried not to break the basket as she stuffed things back into it. She thought she did a reasonably decent job of puzzling out how things fit together but Kal came over and silently redid her work, showing her where she'd gone wrong and what she should have done instead. That was a little humiliating but come on—why would the plates and silverware go on the lid of the basket when they logically should go in bottom of it? And why was the blanket folded up separately instead of being tucked inside? She didn't ask, not wanting to worry about it now. There were more important things to think about.

Between the three of them, they managed to maneuver her ship out over the water and then flew up into the air so that they could fly to where Auntie Lara had created the Fortress. It took about half an hour to get there, by which point the pathetically small moon had risen in the sky. It really hit home that they weren't on Krypton anymore when she saw that moon. It was tiny and there was only one instead of the three that orbited her home. She shivered as they landed with her ship, slipping it inside of the Fortress to a storage room out of the way.

"Are you okay, Mistress Kara?" Kal asked, watching her closely.

"Yeah, I'm fine," Kara said, ruffling his hair and then snatching her hand back when Lex gave her a pointed look. "Just a little freaked out. Seeing the moon here sort of brought it home. There's no going back, is there?"

"No," Kal said softly, hugging her despite Lex's disapproval.

She clung to him for a long moment and then let go, squaring her shoulders. It didn't matter. She'd do all right here. Humans were cute but they really weren't that bright. A few lessons and she'd fit in fine. And hopefully she'd find a boy of her own so that she wasn't alone anymore. But that should probably wait a day or two. She did need to get settled into her new life first.

"Welcome, Kara," Lara's voice said from nowhere.

"Auntie!" Kara squealed, bouncing a little. "You did make it! I wasn't sure that Kal's ship would have enough room for your personality download to survive."

"It worked quite well," Lara said, laughing quietly. "I need to scan you, dear. I am worried that your father may have compromised you."

"Well, he did give me this blue crystal thingie that he said was 'my destiny'," Kara said, making a face, "but I've got no intention of using the thing. I'm pretty sure he wiped some of my memories out. There are voids in my memories that shouldn't be there."

Kara stepped into the scanner, letting Auntie Lara do her thing. It didn't hurt at all, but it also didn't do anything to fix the gaps in her memory. That bugged her as she stepped out. Her dad had always been creepy but chopping chunks of memory out of your only child's memory was a whole new level of wrong even for him. Lex looked much calmer when she came out and Kal was beaming, so obviously she'd been given the Auntie Lara seal of approval, not that she'd ever doubted that she would get it. They headed back through a teleporter to Smallville, Kara waving goodbye to what was left of her Auntie. They arrived in some caves, which seemed odd to Kara but maybe it was just a good out of the way location. She would have thought that it would go to the mansion that Lex had mentioned, but oh well. She wasn't the one who'd set things up. Then they flew back to the vehicle—no, it was called car! Uncle Jor-El had told her that—that Lex and Kal had used to get to the lake. There was room for her in the back seat and she loved how fast it went as Lex drove them back to his mansion.

"This is cool!" Kara enthused. "I want one of these!"

"Sorry, but you're not getting one anytime soon," Lex said with a chuckle. "It's a little out of the Kent's price range, Kara."

"Poo, you're still no fun," Kara pouted. "No sharing, no cuddles with my baby cousin and no fast cars. So not fair!"

The mansion was gorgeous, though really different from what she'd been picturing. It was another of those 'not-in-Kandor-anymore' moments. Kara kind of thought she'd be having a lot of those in the future. She didn't know why they built the place with such fragile materials. Mud brick and wood seemed so…impermanent to her. It was warm and welcoming, a lot better than Kryptonian cold crystal architecture for the warmth thing, but she couldn't help but wonder how much maintenance it took to keep the thing from falling apart all the time. They must have to fix things all the time.

"So the Kents have a mansion like this?" Kara asked as Kal and Lex led her through the hallways.

"No," Kal laughed, surprised. "This is the only mansion in the area. Everyone else lives in the smaller style of houses I pointed out on the way here."

"Oh," Kara said, blinking. "So why am I staying with the Kents instead of here? Shouldn't I be staying with my baby cousin?"

"He's not a baby anymore," Lex said, "and there are some strong political and social reasons for you to be there instead of here. I think they'll be able to do a better job of helping you fit in."

He showed Kara to a bedroom that was distinctly a 'not-in-Kandor-anymore' moment. She really wasn't sure why they set up their bedrooms this way, but she guessed it worked for human traditions. The bed seemed really small. Two people would just fit and how could you bring in another boy or two if you wanted some variety? There just wasn't enough room in that bed. She looked at Kal and blinked, realizing that her not-baby cousin looked both tired and decidedly horny. Kara hid a smirk, clasping her hands behind her back as Lex explained how the lights worked, how the water turned off and on, and rather pointedly explained that it was the middle of the night and that he needed to get some sleep with Kal to be able to help her in the morning.

"I suppose I should get adjusted to the day-night cycle here," Kara said, nodding agreement. "You two go on. I'll be fine. Um, just one question?"

"Certainly," Lex said, frowning at her.

"Where does your boy sleep if you have one?" Kara said, looking around the room. "There's no pet bed. Do you keep him in your bed even before you've collared him? That doesn't seem really wise to me."

"You are not dating anytime soon," Lex said firmly after a wide-eyed, almost horrified look at her. "You don't need to have a 'pet bed' and the social systems here are very different. Don't expect to be having sex or even kissing for quite a while."

"Though you'll probably have lots of people interested," Kal said a little warningly, "they're going to expect you to be the slave, not the mistress."

"As if!" Kara huffed, glaring at them both. "The nerve!"

"And that's why you're not dating anytime soon," Lex said, his lips twitching with amusement. "Try and get some sleep. We'll get you up in the morning for breakfast. After that, we'll go shopping for a wardrobe for you. Ah, I did have one question for you, Kara."

Kara blinked, nodding at him. She really didn't know what the question would be. She thought everything was pretty clear so far, but maybe there was something that she was missing. You know, other than the girls-as-slaves and only-one-moon and houses-made-of-weird-things things. Come to think of it, she was probably missing a lot of stuff.

"Do female Kryptonians feel a lower level of the sexual need than the males do?" Lex asked carefully. "If you're going to need to have sex to survive, I'd really like to know that now."

"Oh, we don't die or anything," Kara said, waving her hand breezily. "We get really, really, really cranky if we don't get it and it can interfere with our thinking but no, no dying. Not like the guys. And um, you can get breakouts and itchy skin and other stuff if you don't have regular sex but I'm pretty young. I can go quite a while, whole days without sex. I should be fine. I don't imagine that it'll take that long for me to find a boy to play with. Not that I intend to collar anyone anytime in the next couple of years. I'm too young for that. I'll wait until I'm eighteen or nineteen and just have babies instead. They're cute."

Lex and Kal exchanged looks. She wasn't sure if they were worried, horrified, amused or confused. Their expressions had elements of all those emotions. Lex's lips curled into a decidedly amused smirk as he turned back to her. Clark was biting his lip to keep from saying something.

"I think we're going to have to give you lessons in dating then," Lex said. "In the meantime, get some sleep if you can. Morning should be in about six hours and we'll get a good breakfast so that we're ready for the day."

"Okay," Kara said, beaming at him. "You two have a good night, too!"

They left, leaving Kara alone in her room. She looked around, sighing as she sat on the bed. Well, she was here. Late and not at all the way she had thought things would go, but she was here. She flopped back on the bed, grinning at how soft and bouncy it was. It would be fun to fuck in beds like this, once she had a boy of her own. Of course, everything would be fun. There was a whole world to explore and her little cousin to take care of and so much to learn. Kara kicked off her shoes, stripped down and then crawled under the covers. She didn't expect to fall asleep (though she should have—stasis sleep wasn't anything like real sleep) but she did almost as soon as her head hit the pillow.


Shopping with Kara was an adventure. Lex wasn't sure which was worse, her apparent ADD or her horniness for anything and everything male. It was rather like shopping with a gender flipped version of some of the jocks he'd known in school. Lex's lips stated twitching as he imagined Oliver Queen meeting Kara Kent. That was an encounter he though would be worth taping, perhaps even selling tickets to.

They'd managed to get Kara a decent wardrobe after visiting half a dozen stores. Clark tried to steer her towards things that would work on the farm (much of which was flannel) and Lex tried to steer her towards things that had a bit of style (none of which was flannel), but Kara ended up with a wardrobe that was entirely her. It was flirty, cute and showed her body off in every way possible. The only reason her school clothes covered her stomach and extended past mid-thigh was because Clark explained the dress code for the school. Kara had found that ridiculous but she accepted the concept of rules are rules and not getting to change them, thank goodness. They'd had lunch, which was another lesson in manners, and Lex had decided that they needed a culture and manners tutor that could teach her things in a way that Kara would accept.

"The Boutique?" Clark murmured to Lex as they rode the elevator up and Lex attached the leash to his new collar.

"The Owner may have someone who can get through to her in ways we can't," Lex murmured to him, watching as Kara hummed and played with her brand-new wristwatch.

"Oh, good idea, Master," Clark said, nodding.

They arrived and stepped out of the elevator. As always, Clark went stock still as he stared up at the huge painting of the bound sub. Lex laughed. He loved how much Clark adored that picture. He'd talked to the owner of the Boutique about where to get a copy of it but so far hadn't been able to convince the man to divulge the artist's name. He suspected that it was the Owner's sub or family member and that he didn't want to share the art he was getting. Kara looked at the painting and squealed, bouncing in excitement. She tackle-hugged Lex and then Clark, still squealing. Lex laughed, rolling his eyes. He wasn't sure what she thought this was but at least she was happy for the moment.

"We're getting me a boy of my own?" Kara asked, vibrating with excitement. "I didn't think that this place had places to get a boy of your own!"

"We're getting you a manners and culture tutor who knows how to interact with you," Lex corrected, laughing as Kara groaned. "You are most certainly not getting a boy of your own, Kara."

"You're still no fun!" Kara moaned, blinking as Dean came in. "Ooo, he's cute! Is he available? I bet he'd do a great job tutoring me!"

Dean blinked, staring at Kara in surprise. He bowed respectfully to Lex and smiled at Clark affectionately. After Clark had come here during their escape from Lionel, Dean and Clark had become friends (as much as was possible given that they lived very different lives). He clearly wasn't sure what to make of Kara, who was obviously far too young for this place and much bouncier than any other Mistress that had walked through the doors.

"Dean, this is Clark's cousin Kara," Lex said, introducing them. "She was raised out of the country and needs to have lessons in proper manners and deportment for our country."

"Pleased to meet you, Miss Kara," Dean said, clearly having no clue why Lex was bringing her here.

"She was raised in a FemDom matriarchy, Dean," Lex said, smirking at Dean's start and following stare at Kara. "She has no idea how to behave in a patriarchy and I need help in getting her to understand the rules here."

"Mistress Kara," Dean corrected himself, eyes wide.

She beamed at him, hands clasped behind her back as he'd asked her to do when she wanted to touch and hug. Dean started blushing, ostentatiously fingering the collar around his neck. She pouted at him, giving him a set of puppy eyes that was nearly equal to Clark's. Dean looked like he was about to crumble so Lex stepped between them, sighing.

"I was hoping that Clark could get some more supplies while we're here," Lex said, Clark following him smoothly. "Also, I was hoping to talk to the Owner briefly."

"Of course, sir," Dean said, still a little twitchy as Kara followed them.

Kara squealed loudly in delight as they came out onto the balcony. Lex laughed, shaking his head in dismay. There were several other couples down on the floor and they all looked up at Kara's squealing delight, assuming she was a new sub seeing the place for the first time.

"I had no idea they had places like this here!" Kara said, beaming. "Wow, you could get anything you wanted for your boy here, couldn't you? Can we get me some stuff? If I get a new boy I'm going to need everything. I don't have anything anymore, not even a training collar. Ooo, they've got great toys, don't they? Oh and you can try them out, and wow, look at those harnesses—they're stunning! Gotta have some of those. Ooo, they got puppy play supplies!"

"She's really a Domme," Dean said, staring at Kara. His pants had started tenting out, which made Lex smirk. Apparently Kara already had a fan.

"Very much so," Lex said. "A baby Domme but a Domme none the less. Kara, you're disturbing the other Masters and Mistresses. Please stop squealing and talking so loudly."

"Whoops, sorry," Kara said, blushing for a second and then going back to giggling happily over all the stuff that she could see.

They headed down to the sale floor, Dean going with Kara and doing a very good job of keeping her from disturbing the other customers. The Owner came over after a bit, watching Dean and Kara together silently, though his lips were twitching at the way Dean nearly melted every time Kara rubbed up, or tugged his sleeve and beamed, or even when she watched silently as a Domme had her girl go down on her. The female/female dynamic seemed to be one that she'd never dreamed of and Dean almost went to his knees as Kara started whispering questions into his ear. Of course Lex could hear the questions with his super hearing but no one else could besides Clark.

"Are you stealing one of my boys?" the Owner asked Lex in an undertone.

"Probably not permanently," Lex answered in an equally quite tone of voice. He pet Clark's hair, smiling at his happy sigh. "She's very nearly ADD, so I doubt she'll stick with any one boy anytime soon. She's a bit young to settle down. Would Dean agree to be her tutor and temporary boy for a couple of weeks?"

"Looking at him," the Owner said with a rich laugh, "he'd probably agree to wear her collar for life, though it won't last on his side. He always has been one for falling in love at the drop of a hat but he's very professional when given a task. I'll talk to him in a bit and see what he says."

"Thank you," Lex said gratefully. "We're making little progress getting through to her and she's going to start public high school for the first time in a week. There are certain behaviors we really need to get changed."


"Very," Lex groaned, rolling his eyes. "She thinks absolutely nothing of reaching out and checking the package on any male she thinks is cute."

The Owner laughed, shaking his head in amused dismay. They separated Kara and Dean so that the Owner could talk to him. (Lex still didn't know what his name was and honestly he didn't want to know. It somehow suited the mystique of The Boutique that its owner had no name). Kara ended up getting some basic bondage gear, a few dildos to use, and quite a lot of sexy clothing for herself. As they rang things up, Dean appeared with a small carry-on bag of clothes and a large bag of his own gear. Kara squealed so loud that everyone in the store laughed at her. She jumped up and down in delight before hugging him hard enough that he squawked.

The following week went fairly well, Lex thought. Martha and Jonathan welcomed Kara into their home. They weren't that fond of Dean until they realized that he was tutoring her in proper behavior and then they warmed up to him considerably. Dean lived at the mansion, while Kara stayed with the Kents, meeting half the county after the first two days. She did quite well. Kara was incredibly bright (which explained her apparent ADD—she learned things so quickly that it looked like she hadn't bothered learning anything at all) and she quickly learned when it was appropriate to use her Mistress manners and when it wasn't. Lex was still a little worried about Kara going to school but Clark had agreed to keep a close eye on her so he supposed it would be okay. Maybe. Possibly. If they were lucky and she behaved herself.

"Worried about school starting tomorrow?" Clark asked as they headed down for dinner. Clark was naked and on his leash.

"Yes," Lex sighed, giving Clark a rueful smile. "I do hope that Dean manages to get through to her that she can't just grab guys and 'try them out'."

"Well, if they offer she's going to misinterpret it," Clark said with a little shrug. "And I'll bet that a lot of them will offer, just to see if she's like me."

"That will be interesting," Lex snickered, getting a grin from Clark. "Your opposite, yes. Like you, no."

Kara and Dean were already there, Dean kneeling by her side on the floor. They'd reached an accommodation of some sort. Lex was relatively sure that they were having some sort of sex but he knew that it was safe sex and neither of them thought the relationship would last forever. They seemed happy with the short-term relationship and neither looked upset that Dean would be heading back to Metropolis tomorrow. Dean was clothed at meals, unlike Clark, but he did eat from Kara's plate, which seemed to be endlessly amusing to her. Dean had been clued into the fact that Kara had powers just about three minutes into their first round of sex and had accepted it with little or no problems that Lex could see. He talked as much about that as he did about anything else sensitive, which was to say that he didn't talk about it at all. Lex thought he'd make a perfect unflappable butler someday, if he ever got over the overactive sex drive.

They ate and discussed school starting up tomorrow. Kara sighed that no one fed their boys this way at school (or their girls). They discussed the classes that Kara would be taking and the fact that the Kents were dead-set against her joining sports when Kara thought it'd be fun to be on a sports team. She didn't seem to understand the concept of not using her powers publicly but she'd accepted the Kent's decision that she wouldn't this year at least.

"Really, I don't understand what the problem is," Kara said, sighing. "I could make sure that we win ever single game if they'd just let me play."

"What fun would that be for the other players, Mistress?" Dean asked with an arched eyebrow. "You're not there to win at all costs. You're there to work as a team and have fun. Even in professional sports using powers like yours would be considered cheating. High school sports are supposed to be fun for everyone participating. They're not supposed to be just about winning."

"Still, it'd be fun to get to play," Kara pouted, feeding him a bite of food. "Besides, that looks like the best way to get boys."

"I think the Kents are right to have you hold off," Lex said, sipping his wine. "You're going to have enough to get used to learning how to interact with people our way. Give yourself time to get comfortable in Smallville before you start doing sports."

"Fine," Kara sighed, rolling her eyes.

By the time desert rolled around, they were talking about Dean and whether he'd be available for more lessons later. Lex rather hoped that he was, if only for the sexual relief he brought Kara but that didn't look to be likely.

"Probably not," Dean said regretfully. "Mistress Kara's a lot of fun but I do want to get back to my Master and Mistress. It's all right being away for a little while but I miss them when I'm gone too long. Besides, I think Mistress Kara will be all right overall. A couple of steady boyfriends and lots to do, and she'll be fine."

"A Master and a Mistress?" Clark asked, surprised.

"Couple of boyfriends?" Lex asked, equally surprised.

"Well, she is sixteen," Dean said with an arch little grin at Lex. "It'll take a couple of them to keep her satisfied. I'm worn out and I've only been here a week. And yes, I belong to a married couple. Works really well for us though we're far more polyamorous D/s than we are true Master/slave. Maybe we can all visit or you guys can come visit us. You'd be quite welcome."

"Thank you!" Kara giggled, grinning at Dean and feeding him the last bite of chocolate cappuccino swirl cheesecake, which said something about how happy she was about the offer. She'd been eating most of it herself. "I think we're going to head off to bed for a while before I go back to the farm. I'll see you guys in the morning!"

She and Dean left the dining room hand in hand. Clark sighed, leaning against Lex's leg as he watched them go. Lex wasn't at all sure that sending Kara to school was wise but they didn't have much of a choice right now. She needed the socialization and they couldn't keep her wrapped up in the mansion forever.

"I'm so sure tomorrow's going to be a disaster," Clark said with a little sigh.

"Really?" Lex asked, petting his hair.

"Yeah, well, sort of, maybe, oh I don't know!" Clark grumped, leaning into Lex's hand. "She's so…different. And young. And cheerful. And horny. Obviously, obnoxiously, completely horny. I mean, I was horny too but not like that!"

Lex burst out laughing, pulling Clark into his lap to stroke his cock and nuzzle his neck. Clark moaned, grinning at him as Lex kept chuckling. It didn't really matter how worried they were about Kara. They had their own relationship to worry about and Kara was able to take care of herself. Besides, they still had the Veritas society to worry about and Lex hadn't found out much about what the members were up to, or even who the current members were.

"Let's head to bed ourselves," Lex said with a smirk. "Why let them be the only ones having fun?"

"Yes, Master!" Clark said, grinning.


Getting close to Clark and Kara Kent had turned out to be one hell of a lot harder than Jason had expected it to be. They'd thought that a guy Clark's size would be at least interested in sports, maybe on the sidelines or even on one of the teams, despite his whoring. He'd shown interests in football in previous years so Genevieve had arranged for Jason to get hired as the part-time assistant coach at Clark's school. That turned out to be fucking worthless. Not only was Clark not interested in sports, every single jock had not-so-secret intentions to get him somewhere private and 'try him out'. He obviously knew about it because he was never ever anywhere alone with jocks, not even with Jason. Jason couldn't get him alone to save his life. Clark could come up with more excuses than anyone Jason had ever met. Eventually he'd given up and tried Kara Kent instead.

Kara Kent was equally hard to get alone, but for completely different reasons. She seemed determined to flirt with every single male in the school, from the students on up to the oldest instructors and the janitor. It was like her settings had been stuck on 'Sex Now!' and couldn't be turned off. She was sexy, blond, beautiful, and more than strong enough to discourage any of the jocks who got the impression that she was easy. He'd been surprised by some of the bruises his prize quarterback got when he tried to bully Kara into putting out. They were bad enough that he'd cornered him after practice in the locker room, concerned that the guy was getting beaten at home or something. He might not be much of a teacher but he did try and take care of the guys on the team. Finding out that Kara had done it made him break out laughing in spite of himself.

"Yeah, yeah," he snarled. "She's tough, all right? Didn't expect it given that pansy of a cousin of hers. Damn near convinced me that girls could rape guys."

"Uh, seriously?" Jason asked, surprised.

"She's…well, she's not a virgin, okay?" he said, going brilliantly red and looking away. "It shows. So you know, I thought, why not me? But well, what she wanted and what I wanted are two totally different things and her talk about 'trying me out' and 'being her boy', it's…well, I got a little freaked out, okay Coach?"

"Yeah, sure, no problem," Jason said, patting his shoulder, getting him calmed down and being secretly amused at just how hard the kid was despite his protests. He might have freaked at some D/s play but he obviously was turned on by it too.

It took almost a month for Jason to finally manage to corner Kara. He'd given up on getting to Clark at this point. Lex kept the kid on too tight of a leash (and from the rumors he was hearing he literally leashed Clark at home). Kara was a different story. She'd joined the cheerleaders and was around a lot more. Jason started talking with her, asking her questions about her past (that she never answered properly), and very, very carefully flirted with her. She liked his quirky sense of humor. She loved recent movies but didn't know much about any older ones. She was a total caffeine addict. And she clearly was no shy virgin from the way she talked about the various athletes' 'attributes' with the other girls.

One afternoon after practice he lucked out and caught her in the hallways alone. Given that she was normally swarmed by either boys or Clark's friends (and Clark) he immediately headed over, smiling at her. It didn't take very long to convince her to come and help him out in his office. Actually it took about half of one second. She didn't even ask why he needed help. His office had windows but the blinds had long since been shut so no one would see anything they did.

"So what did you need help with?" Kara asked, her hands clasped behind her back in a cute, almost seductive position.

"Well, nothing school related," Jason said, smiling at her and deliberately getting too close to her. "I was wondering if you'd like to go out sometime. You know, maybe see a movie, and get some coffee, dinner, dessert. That sort of thing."

"Um, correct me if I'm wrong," Kara said, her eyes entirely too intent as she studied Jason, "but teachers aren't supposed to hit on the students here, are they? I admit that I'm not from around here, but that's what I was told."

"I'm not a teacher," Jason said smugly. "I'm just the assistant coach. That's totally different. I don't teach any classes. Should be fine."

"Oh," Kara said, nodding slowly. "Well, if you say so. It isn't an issue back home so I wasn't sure."

"Yeah, I do say so," Jason said, pressing her up against the wall and smirking at the way she ran her hands up his sides towards his shoulders. Yup, she took after her cousin, no doubt about it. This was looking better than he'd expected. Maybe he could get her to tell him what they wanted to know without any problems.

"Good," Kara said, hooking a foot behind his knee, grabbing his shoulders and shoving him down to his knees with way more strength than he'd ever felt in a girl. "I've been looking for a new boy and you do look nice and strong. Why don't we see if that tongue is up to standards?"

"W-what?" Jason gasped, refusing to admit that his voice just cracked like a teenagers.

Kara petted his cheek, looking both incredibly sexy and really young. She had him with his face nearly in her crotch. He could smell her, smell that she was aroused and clean and female and god but he wanted this. It had been ages since he'd gotten any, ages since a beautiful girl had come onto him. His mom hated him being a slut and tried to keep women away from him unless it was an assignment to find out information on one of her pet projects. He'd been warned not to get involved with Kara but right now this looked like the best way and fuck if he could get some sex to go with the information, it would be perfect. His mom would still kill him but it might be worth it. Maybe. He wasn't so sure about the whole D/s thing with a teenager, though.

"Uh, I wasn't thinking of moving quite this quick," Jason said, running his hands up her legs and grinning as she shivered. "School isn't exactly the right place for this, you know."

"True," Kara said, smiling hopefully, "but I don't know if you're worth bothering with yet. Come on, why invest time in a boy if I have no idea if he's worth it?"

Jason grinned, easing up to his feet. He was careful to do it so that their bodies brushed together as he rose. She was a hell of a lot more like dealing with a college girl than a high school kid, but that was fine. He liked bold girls better than shy ones. At least she wasn't a manipulative bitch like his mom. Well, hopefully she wouldn't turn out to be a manipulative bitch like her. It was hard to tell from a month's observation, some casual conversation and this encounter.

"How about a kiss first?" Jason said, pleased that she just the right height. He didn't have to bend much to brush his lips ever so lightly against hers.

"Well, if you want to go old school I guess kisses are a good start," Kara giggled, wrapping her arms around him and doing something fucking incredible as she rubbed his back. "Personally I tend to think tongue agility further down is better but kisses can be good too."

"Give it a try," Jason breathed, his lips right over hers. "You might like it."

He started with a slow, gentle kiss, trying not to come on too strong but Kara had apparently never learned about slow kisses because she growled and then he was on the receiving end of one of the hottest, heaviest kisses he'd ever had. He shuddered and did his best to match her tongue as it plundered his mouth. Lips and teeth and tongue and hands caressing and hips bumping and Jason was halfway convinced that this was sex, not fully clothed kissing. She was incredible, with her hands doing those wonderful things on his back. She demanded more from the kiss, catching the back of his neck and bumping her hips against his rock hard cock. He gave in and just enjoyed it. To hell with trying to impress her—he was just going to enjoy himself with her for the moment. He ran his hands over her body, not at all surprised to find that she had a perfect body. It seemed to last forever and did she need to breath? Jason was feeling thoroughly lightheaded when he heard someone outside and then suddenly he was swaying a few feet away from Kara, gasping for breath and clutching the edge of his desk so his knees didn't collapse. She put a finger to her lips and winked at him, bouncing out the door to find Clark Kent looking down at her.

"Kara?" Clark asked, looking at her and him and then her again. "Where have you been? I've been looking for you."

"Sorry, Cousin," Kara said, smiling at him. "Coach Teague needed my help with something."

"You're not supposed to hit on the teachers, Kara," Clark said with a tired sigh. "I've told you that. Lex has told you that. Mom and Dad have told you that."

Kara wilted, going from bouncy and gorgeous to damn near a kicked puppy with just a few words. He knew that it was obvious what they'd been doing. Hell, his hard on said that, much less his lips. It really wasn't her fault, no matter what Clark thought. He'd started it.

"Um, don't blame her," Jason said, not able to deal with Kara looking so unhappy. "I kind of…started it. I started the flirting, not her."

Clark frowned, pulling Kara into the office and shutting the door after a quick look both ways. Kara still looked unhappy so Jason rubbed her arm. She beamed at him, a bright, grateful, loving look that was almost as staggering as that kiss had been. He wondered briefly whether he could get away with really trying for a relationship with her. It wouldn't last but it might be nice to give it a try.

"Look," Clark said, pointing to his collar, "I know you know about me and Lex. We're seriously into the D/s lifestyle. Well, Kara grew up in it. She's a Mistress. If you get involved with her, you have to understand what you're getting into. I'm not one to throw stones at anyone for their lifestyle choices after all the mistakes I've made, but I do think that you should know what you're getting into before you go any further."

"Um, so we're talking I'd be her sub and wear a collar and everything?" Jason said, his voice doing the cracking thing again.

"I don't like vanilla," Kara said, looking up at him through her eyelashes. "I've tried it and it's so boring. I like having a boy to take care of. I like having a boy to laugh with, and love, and fuck and well, tie up and spank when he's been naughty. But how it works depends on the boy that I'm with. My first boy was really shy and I spent a lot of time protecting him from other girls. That was fun! I like being the protector. My second boy was very bold and liked getting to call some of the shots in bed. The third was kinky like crazy and taught me so much about bondage and beatings and toys. I love them! I try and be whatever my boys need. That's what being a Mistress is, after all."

She stepped close, turning his head to whisper in his ear so that Clark couldn't hear her words. Clark was watching, a little worried frown on his face but he looked more worried about Jason than about Kara. Given the discussion he could see why.

"I'd love to put a plug in your ass," Kara whispered seductively in his ear, "and then send you off to school. I'd love to know that you had it in you all day long waiting for me to take it out that night so I could take a dildo and fuck your ass and then have you fuck me so hard we're both screaming when we finally come. I'd love to tie you up and tease you until you're begging for me to ride you. I'd love to have you sit naked at my feet and feed you from my plate at every meal. I'd love to have such a strong, handsome man as my boy, Jason. I'd love to spend hours with you in bed, exploring what makes you come the hardest, and what helps you hold off. I'd love to teach you all of my triggers so you can touch me casually and get me wet in public where no one knows what we're doing. I'd love to fuck you somewhere public, somewhere that we might get caught. But only if you want it. Only if you want to learn about me, learn what makes me tick while I figure you out, too."

She brushed her lips over Jason's ear, just a little touch but by that point his fading hard on had gone rock hard again and his legs were shaking with arousal. She stepped back, looked at him and smiled at what she saw.

"You'd never go down easy, would you?" Kara said softly. "Every time you submitted to me it'd be a gift. I'd have earned it. I'd love to earn your trust enough for you to submit totally to me."

"Fucking hell," Jason said, his voice strangled by how excited she'd gotten him. "You weren't kidding, were you?"

"No, I wasn't," Clark said, putting a hand on Kara's shoulder and pulling her back a couple of steps. "Look, I'm not going to say anything if you do take her up on it. It's Smallville. Finding someone for Kara's almost impossible unless we go to Metropolis but this is where we live and I want her to be happy. You should think about this and then let her know what you think tomorrow or the next day. We'll talk to Lex and see what he says, too."

Jason stiffened. Talking to Lex was the last thing he wanted to have happen. He still had to get his back story for 'breaking away' from his mom straightened out. Most of it was in place but if Lex started digging now he'd be screwed. They couldn't let Lex find out about the Veritas Society connection or they'd never get close to Kara or Clark and they'd never find out about the Travelers.

"Um, I went to school with Lex," Jason admitted reluctantly. "My family knows his family. He's really not going to like this. Can I think about it and then let you know before you talk to him? He's never liked me and given that I was an asshole in school that's not too surprising. I'd like a chance to choose first and then maybe have a chance to convince Lex that I'm not who I used to be before hitting him with being interested in Kara too."

"All right," Clark said with a mildly suspicious look on his face.

"Why are you here if you don't like Lex?" Kara asked, completely bluntly.

"I needed the job," Jason said with a shrug. "I kind of got cut off by my parents and I need the money to pay for my college bills. They thought I should go into business, not sports psychology, so they're trying 'tough love' to get me to do what they want instead of following my dream. This was the best job I could get that was within range of my school."

Clark nodded, looking a lot more sympathetic. Kara looked a little suspicious this time, though he wasn't sure what he'd done to set her off. She pouted a little, flipping her hair over her shoulder and then gave him a look that said she was really disappointed in him. He realized that he hadn't called her Mistress and that must be what was making her give him that look. He chuckled and grinned at her, wagging his eyebrows.

"I haven't said yes yet," Jason said cockily. "And weren't you just saying that you'd have to work for my submission?"

"True," Kara said, drawing out the word and giving him that soul-melting grin. "But a girl can hope, can't she?"

He laughed, nodding. Kara let Clark pull her from the room, waving goodbye. Jason watched them go and then collapsed into his desk chair, staring at the ceiling. That was nowhere near what he'd expected out of either of them. He knew that they'd be heading for the mansion, that Clark at least was sure to tell Lex about Jason hitting on Kara. He didn't have a hell of a lot of time to get that documentation in place but he didn't reach for his cell phone. He reached inside of his jeans and palmed his erection, moaning at the thought of another of those soul-devouring kisses. His fingers and thumb made a perfect ring and four quick jerks later had him coming hard enough that he groaned out loud and his legs shuddered for a long while.

"Fuck," Jason breathed, cleaning himself up. "I am so screwed. If Mom doesn't kill me, Lex will."


Prison was hell. Lionel carefully navigated the halls of his prison, avoiding the predators who didn't respect the fact that Lionel still had power, still had connections, still had access to money despite the fact that his ungrateful (and miraculously still alive) son had stolen it all. He had his allies both within the prison and without, but none of them would stop a stabbing attempt or a beating, thus he was careful in the old ways that he'd learned growing up with an abusive alcoholic father in the Suicide Slums. The predators of the prison rarely got a chance to get at him and never had him for very long.

Lionel would never understand why Morgan claimed that prison made you into a real man. As far as he could see it made you into an animal. Morgan was no help, though. He had his ways of getting messages in and out of prison but he wasn't going to help Lionel escape. Veritas wasn't much more help, though Edward Teague seemed to be caving from the pressure of Lionel's continued messages and threats. He hoped that sometime soon he'd be free and able to go after Lex and Clark.

"Luthor!" one of the guards that was in his pay barked. "You got a visitor."

"Thank you," Lionel said, grateful for the diversion and for the guard's solid bulk. He didn't like the way those thugs were eyeing him.

The visitor wasn't who he'd expected. Patricia Swann had never made any secret of the fact that she didn't trust him. Her father Dr. Virgil Swann had been the founder of the Veritas Society but had withdrawn when Lionel had convinced everyone that they needed to use the Travelers, to control them. His unfortunate accident immediately thereafter had been ascribed in Patricia's mind to Lionel, though he actually had nothing whatsoever to do with it. Lionel was fairly certain that the blame could more properly be laid at Genevieve Teague's feet. He would certainly take the blame for the loss of Robert and Laura Queen. Gaining Robert's key had been too important for any sentimental affection he might have felt towards the pair.

Patricia glared at him across the table that they used for meetings in the prison. There was no glass separating them, no phones or other nonsense. This prison wasn't the highest level of security so they were allowed some semblance of normalcy. Lionel sat opposite her, wondering what had brought her to him, but unwilling to ask. The guard retreated and they were relatively alone, other than the security cameras watching them and the guards and other prisoners a few steps away.

"I don't know how you stole it but I want it back," Patricia growled at him.

"My dear girl, I honestly have no idea what you're talking about," Lionel said, raising an eyebrow at her.

"Father's key," Patricia hissed. She was a stunning girl with long, straight brown hair and piercing dark eyes, especially when she was this angry. "It was stolen and I know you're responsible for it."

"Dear child," Lionel said, raising an eyebrow at her, "if I had the power to accomplish that, don't you think I'd have gotten myself out of this place? There are many other candidates among our society that you could be looking at. The Teagues in particular are quite…serious about their ambitions. My fangs have been pulled."

Patricia snorted, glaring so fiercely at another prisoner who wandered closer that he backpedaled and retreated. She clearly didn't believe a word of what Lionel said, but unfortunately for her, it was the literal truth. He'd tried for years to get Dr. Swann's key and for years he'd failed. If he wanted to find the device that would allow him to control the Travelers, he needed both of the keys. He knew where the Cryptograph was kept, but without the keys to its safe deposit box, he could never get at it, no matter how much money he threw at the problem. He'd entertained the idea of using a strike team with explosives but the possibility of destroying the artifact was too great so in the end he had been content to wait. The Zurich bank they'd placed it in was simply too secure for him to get at it.

"I don't believe you," Patricia hissed. "You had your agents steal father's key. You had them take your key from the prison archives. Someone went to the bank in Zurich and opened the box. We've already confirmed it. It was you and I know it!"

"What?" Lionel snapped, staring at her. She pulled back sharply, staring back at him. "Stupid girl, what happened?"

"I told you," Patricia insisted. "It's gone!"

Lionel started cursing under his breath, doing his best not to be so visibly agitated that the guards would feel compelled to interfere. He took a deep breath, held it long enough to muster some control and then let it out slowly. Patricia's eyes widened and she rocked back in her chair.

"You didn't take it," Patricia breathed.

"No, I did not," Lionel said grimly. "We know that you and your father wouldn't do so. Bridgette would not do so. Edward seems to regard keeping it safe as his life's mission or a holy duty. That leaves only Genevieve and Jason Teague."

"Jason has moved to Smallville," Patricia said, biting her lip and looking away. "He's gotten involved with Kara Kent, Clark's cousin."

"They're moving quite quickly then," Lionel said, frowning. "Patricia, this is very important. I always advocated controlling the Travelers to keep the earth safe. Genevieve doesn't want to control them. She wants to steal their powers and use them as her own. She will destroy them and God only knows what she'll do once she has the power."

"And Jason always does what she wants," Patricia said, nodding slowly. "All right. I suppose I have to believe you. I don't trust you but I do believe that you didn't take it."

She stood, preparing to leave. Lionel reached out and caught her wrist, keeping her from leaving immediately. She glared down at him, every bit the spoiled daughter of privilege that she'd always been, but she didn't pull her wrist out of his gentle grasp.

"Be very careful, Patricia," Lionel warned her. "You don't know what Genevieve is capable of. Jason is cut of the same cloth as here, and Edward will do whatever she wants. She's incredibly powerful. If you could just get me out of here, I know that I could help you stop her."

"Don't flatter yourself," Patricia snapped, pulling her wrist from his hand. "You're exactly where you deserve to be."

She stomped out of the meeting room, cowing even the hardened murderers with her glare. Lionel sighed and rubbed his forehead. Genevieve was going after the Travelers at last, hmm? Apparently she'd only held off this long because of Lionel and now that he was out of the way she was taking what she considered to be hers. Well, he wasn't completely toothless even though he had been caged. Time to call in some favors and arrange a jail break. By evening, hopefully he'd be free, if on the run from the authorities.


"Bye, Aunt Martha and Uncle Jonathan!" Kara called as she climbed into Jason's truck. "I'll be home by midnight, I promise!"

"You'd better be, young lady," Martha called, making Jason wince.

The tone of her voice and the expression on her face made it perfectly clear that she would like to let Jonathan get his shotgun. Or maybe get a carving knife so she could take it to his balls. Honestly, Jason had expected Lex to react this way to him, but it was the Kents who looked like they wanted to shoot him and bury him in an unmarked grave out in the back forty. Lex had been unusually polite to Jason, much to his shock.

"They just don't like that we're lovers," Kara said, petting Jason's hair after she put on her seat belt. "They'll get over it in time."

"Yeah, sorry," Jason said, driving out of the driveway and heading for the mansion. "It just bugs me. I know they don't approve but do they have to look like they want to kill me, Mistress?"

"Well they did throw Clark out of the house for having sex," Kara said, petting his hair again. "They're really strict but since I'm not their daughter they can only disapprove. They can't really have too much of a fit."

She really liked playing with his hair, not that he was at all adverse to it. He loved what she could do with her fingers and he swore that she knew some sort of secret martial arts massage techniques. Damn, no one had ever gotten him that relaxed or that horny that fast in his entire life. Magic Ninja Fingers. She loved it when he called them that. He smirked, making Kara giggle.

"Ninja fingers?" Kara asked, grinning at him.

"Yup," Jason said, nodding sagely while fighting a matching grin. "Magic ninja fingers. It's important that they're magic."

They both burst out laughing. He'd never have expected to have this much fun in a hella serious D/s relationship. He'd had his wild times before and done some pretty kinky things before Kara (growing up in his circles it was what you did when you decided to rebel against your parents, along with the drugs and gay sex, at least until you realized your parents had their own toy chest and could give you lessons in D/s. Then you went vanilla.) But the scenes in his other D/s relationships had always bled over into the rest of life, tainting everything with a sort of bleak 'I'm the boss and you must obey' feeling. It got old quick.

It was the exact opposite with Kara. Everything was D/s, including the giggles and hugs, the cuddles and belly laughter. For her, nothing wasn't part of it and all of it was joyful, fun and downright healthy. She delighted in tying him up. She delighted in fucking him silly. She also delighted in being fucked through the mattress (or whatever they happened to be fucking on). But she also delighted in making him grin and laugh harder than he'd ever laughed in his life. She listened to his stories and told funny stories of her own that simply had to be made up. She was pure fun, all the time. He knew he was falling hard for her and knew he was being a moron, but he couldn't help it. He'd never met anyone like her and he already knew that he wasn't going to want to let her go when it was time to leave.

"So what do you have planned today, Mistress Kara?" Jason asked as they drove up to the mansion.

"Fun stuff!" Kara squealed, clapping her hands. "We're going swimming. Lex has a pool, did you know that? I want to go swimming with my boy and have fun in the water with you. Lex and Clark will probably join us, too. Now, don't pout at me. Clark worries about me. He likes to keep an eye on us and you know Lex. He's not going to do anything to us."

"I know," Jason sighed, making a face as they got out of the truck. "It's just kind of uncomfortable being that way with you in public."

"Silly, they're not 'public'," Kara laughed, taking his hand. "They're a heck of a lot more serious about it than we are. I haven't even given you a training collar yet. We're just playing around."

"Would you?" Jason asked, surprised at how much he wanted her to do it. God, he really was getting in way over his head on this one.

Kara stopped, looking at him so seriously that he opened his mouth to say something. She shook her head, putting a finger on his mouth to stop him. She studied him for a long while. He had no idea what she saw in his face. He had no idea what sorts of expressions were there because he wasn't sure what he was feeling beyond a mass of confusion, want, fear and love for her.

"Not yet," Kara said eventually. "You're not ready for it yet, Jason. Maybe in a few weeks or a few months you will be but you're not there. I'll know when its time."

"Yes, Mistress," Jason said, both relieved and massively disappointed.

They headed out to Lex's pool, grabbing some food and iced coffee for Kara. He was 99% certain that she was one of the Travelers they'd been looking for, and that Clark was the other Traveler. Lex's survival was just one more sign of it. Of course, Kara's powers—revealed accidentally during sex—were the real proof of it. Jason hadn't told his mom yet, hadn't contacted her at all. He knew that she was going to be showing up soon and he still hadn't figured out what he was going to say. He didn't want to out Kara. She was sweet and kind and funny and the best fuck that he'd ever had. She was damned close to his dream girl, powers and alien heritage notwithstanding.

"Um, swimsuits?" Jason asked as Kara started stripping down at the edge of the pool.

"Silly," Kara said, wrinkling her nose at him. "Why in the world would you wear clothes to swim?"

She stripped down to her skin and jumped into the water with a whoop. Jason blinked, laughed ruefully while shaking his head and then stripped down too. He didn't jump in, but he did dive in, coming up underneath her and hugging her tight as he pushed up off of the bottom of the pool. They shot up out of the water and then subsided back into it, both of them laughing. God, he'd never laughed like this with anyone before and she was so much younger than he was. He was a pervert to be with her but it was his mission and what could he do?

"Sorry to interrupt," Lex said archly from the side of the pool, "but Clark and I aren't going to be able to join you. There's been an incident at the plant and we need to go check it out."

"Uh, sorry," Jason said, blushing and starting to find Clark and Lex watching them.

Clark was grinning approvingly at them. He'd gotten more and more approving towards them since Jason had hooked up with Kara. Lex was still neutral, but he was much less hostile than Jason had any right to expect. He'd bullied the hell out of Lex when they were in school together and now the guy was treating him decently. It made Jason feel like scum, not that he was going to apologize to Lex for it. He suspected that Lex would hit him if he did.

"Yell if you need any help," Kara said cheerfully while wrapping her arms and legs around Jason.

"Make sure you get home on time, young lady," Lex said, smiling at her and wagging a finger at her. "I don't want you being late, no matter what's going on."

"Poo!" Kara huffed, pretending to hide behind Jason who couldn't help but laugh. "You are never, ever, ever going to be fun, are you?"

"No, I'm not," Lex said sternly but his eyes were twinkling and his lips were twitching. "Home on time."

"Yes sir," Kara sighed, sticking her tongue out at him when he turned around to leave. She waved goodbye to Clark and then settled back in to hugging Jason. "Of course that does mean that we can fuck in the pool, you know. Don't have to be good if Lex and Clark are gone."

"Naughty girl," Jason said appreciatively.

"Yup, and that's just the way my boy likes it," Kara said, grinning as she leaned in and gave him one of her soul-destroying kisses. "Isn't it?"

"Hell yes, Mistress," Jason whispered huskily when she finally let go of his mouth. "Got that right!"


"So what happened?" Clark asked as they got out of the car at the plant.

"I'm told that there was a release of a toxin that my father was working on in secret," Lex sighed, rubbing the back of his neck. "The staff thinks that it was completely contained but I doubt it. There was an explosion and one of the scientists in the room has already collapsed."

"What sort of toxin?" Clark asked, frowning. "What was your father up to?"

"Some sort of fear causing agent," Lex growled. "Father's experiments were all over the map. This one clearly violates several international treaties and quite a lot of laws. That's what I was cursing over when I got the call. I told them to shut this down weeks ago but apparently the scientist in charge got it in his head that meant after he'd finished his latest set of trials."

They headed into the plant, Lex waving off the security guards. Everyone on the site had been checked out and cleared, but this particular toxin didn't leave any traces when you'd been exposed to it. Lex couldn't help but hope that the scientist in charge had been bright enough to create an antidote to the toxin as he'd been working on it, but given that he'd been stupid enough to keep working after being ordered to shut down, he doubted it.

"M-Mr. Luthor!" the scientist stammered, staring at both of them in terror. "Y-you really didn't need to come down here. We've got it under control."

"I seriously doubt that," Lex snapped, glaring at him. "I checked the weather satellites over Smallville and there was a cloud that covered approximately two square miles just after incident occurred. I don't think you've managed to keep this within the plant, Simpson."

"Oh God," Simpson breathed, going white.

He stared at the containment area where there were three people locked in terror filled nightmares. Lex stiffened, glaring at Simpson and then at his head of security at the plant. He should have been notified the instant that someone else was affected. Jason and Kara were both in range, as was part of town. There were hundreds of people potentially affected and the only way that they were going to keep a lid on this situation was for Lex to have full information when he needed it.

"Where's the antidote?" Lex demanded, getting nothing but a whimper from Simpson. "There is an antidote, isn't there?"

"Yes sir," Simpson said, knees visibly shaking through his pants. "But it's not ready yet. We need to bring it up to 500 degrees and that's going to take at least another nine hours. And then there's testing on it and…we're all going to die!"

Lex nodded to the guards to pull Simpson off to the side. The samples of the antidote were in tall clear glass autoclave. Clark looked at it, raising an eyebrow at Lex. They could easily heat it up with their heat vision but that would be very obvious and Lex was trying really hard to keep them both from being obvious about using their powers. He didn't want the whole damned world knowing about Clark and he really didn't want them to know about his powers.

"Clear the room," Lex ordered, glaring at Simpson and his scientists. "I want all of them questioned immediately as to who paid them to continue these experiments. If we have nine hours to wait for the antidote to be ready then there's time for it. While I check out their research to make sure that they're not as stupid as they obviously are, I want you to call the hospital and notify them of the threat. Minimum radius affected is two miles, maximum should be about five miles. Tell them everything, the symptoms, the consequences, all of it. It's a public relations disaster but we'll deal with that later."

"Yes, sir!" the head of security said, grabbing Simpson by the arm and hauling him away.

It only took a couple of minutes for them to clear the room, which left Lex and Clark free to work. Clark started heating the autoclave from the outside, carefully using low levels of his heat vision to do it. He couldn't do it very fast without melting the Plexiglas which would defeat the purpose. Lex reviewed the antidote formulation and chemical structure and started cursing.

"What?" Clark asked, coming over at Lex's wave.

"It won't work," Lex snarled, lightly (very lightly so he didn't break the table). "See here? The molecular linkups aren't right. This needs to be modified to be effective. Simpson's antidote in there is for the previous batch of toxin, not for the current one. Idiot!"

Lex got two of the cleared scientists back in to help him redo the antidote for the correct formulation. It was quick messy work but they managed to get a new batch of it—that should work properly—done in less than an hour. Lex carefully sped things along, as did Clark, both doing it when no one was looking. He sent the scientists away again when it was time to start heating the antidote. They'd lost four more people and there were reports of people collapsing in terror coming from the hospital.

"Sir, that's a total of nineteen affected," the head of security said grimly as Clark gradually raised the temperature on the antidote.

"I've managed to find a way to raise the temperature on the autoclave faster," Lex said, rubbing his head tiredly. "We should have a batch ready in about half an hour. Let the hospital know. We'll test it here first and then immediately deliver a supply to them. Hopefully it will work. Otherwise it'll be a lot longer."

"Yes sir."

Clark smiled fleetingly when Lex joined him at the autoclave. Together they managed to heat it to 500 degrees in less time than expected. Lex didn't hesitate once it was done. He grabbed one of the vials of antidote and headed into the thoroughly useless isolation chamber, leaving it open to the outside. The toxin had already escaped so what point was there to keeping the thing sealed?

"Shouldn't we test it first?" Clark asked, looking worried.

"He's dying, Clark," Lex said, loading the vial of antidote into the injection gun. "If we don't act quickly for the people already affected, their hearts are going to give out. The human body can only survive sustained terror for so long before it gives out."

Lex tried to sound confident. He was confident in his antidote. But his stomach still twisted as he injected the first man with it. He didn't like playing God. The dear Lord knew his father adored it but Lex had never been any good at dealing with the twin emotions of guilt and glory that came with his incidents of playing God. He watched and listened tensely, praying along with the others that the antidote would work. The man's eyes twitched harder and his body thrashed for a second but then he sighed, moaned and his eyes flickered open, staring up at Lex in confusion.

"Oh thank God," Lex breathed, relaxing so much that he felt like someone had cut an artery. "Get the antidote going! I want everyone on the site inoculated and I want it shipped to the hospital right now! I'll take care of Clark and me. Damn, I need to take care of Kara and Jason, too."

Lex took the injection gun with him, which had more than enough for Jason and everyone in the mansion. Clark looked a little puzzled that Lex didn't inject them right away, but he didn't say anything as they headed back to the mansion at top speed. Lex knew that time was running out for the two of them, and for Kara so he drove at obscenely illegal speeds to get them home.

"Why not inject us now, Master?" Clark asked as they ran into the house and Lex started inoculating everyone.

"Can't," Lex sighed. "Invulnerable. I believe that we'll be okay, Clark. We need to get everyone else, including Jason."

"Oh," Clark breathed, eyes going wide.

Jason and Kara were just getting dressed when they got to the pool. They were both wet and Kara looked thoroughly satisfied. Jason had a few new hickies and some little bruises but he looked all right so far. Kara stiffened at how worried Lex looked, clutching her top to her naked chest.

"What's wrong?" Kara asked, staring at Lex and his injection gun.

"The incident was a lot bigger than I thought," Lex said grimly. "Jason, sit down. I need to inoculate you. You'll have a brief nightmare, your worst nightmare and then you'll be all right. While you're out, I'm going to get Kara."

"Do her first," Jason insisted, pushing Kara over.

"You first," Lex said, giving Jason a look that said don't argue. "You're a lot more vulnerable and I want you to be able to comfort her afterwards, Jason."

It was the closest that Lex had come to admitting to Jason what Kara and Clark were. He'd been very careful not to openly say anything about it to Jason. He knew that Jason knew about Kara's powers. Setting the curtains on fire when you came was a pretty good sign that something was up. The strength and occasional floating episodes during sex were even better signs. But he'd been playing the plausible deniability game with him, never being open about it. Jason was doing the same, not even probing for more information. Lex knew that he'd been sent to get close to Clark and Kara. That was obvious. He chose not to interfere because Jason seemed to truly care for Kara, because Kara knew that he was a spy and because it was better to keep your enemies close.

"Do it," Kara ordered, going into full Domme mode.

Jason nodded, sitting on one of the deck chairs and wincing as Lex gave him the injection. It only took a few seconds for his eyes to dilate and his breath to catch in his chest. Kara was there instantly, holding him through the nightmare. Jason's heart rate went through the roof for about thirty seconds and he nearly bolted to his feet as he came back to himself. Kara held him in place, looking far more mature than her sixteen years.

"Are you all right?" Kara asked, petting his wet hair. "What happened?"

"Killed," Jason panted, looking at her and then clinging to her. "Killed. Was killed. Sorry. Damn, it was so real!"

He shook for a long moment and then looked at Kara searchingly. She kissed him gently, smiling a weak little smile that made Lex's heart hurt for them both. Their relationship was doomed from the start, but he didn't think he could stop it. It might have been too late when Clark brought Kara home and told him about the encounter in Jason's office.

"How long before she has her episode?" Jason demanded, pulling Kara into his arms.

"There's no telling," Lex said with a sigh. "Clark and I still have ours coming on. I'd guess that Kara's should be very soon."

"Damn it," Jason growled, eyes haunted as he hugged her tight. "This sucks, Lex. What the fuck was your dad up to?"

"Military contract to induce lethal levels of terror in his enemies," Lex growled back at him, just as angry about it as he was. "They were told to shut the project down weeks ago and continued working. I've already had the scientists investigated and they're going to be arrested for this. I keep finding more of my father's 'special projects'. I think I'll be cleaning this up for years."

Jason started to say something but Kara suddenly gasped and stiffened in his arms. Lex caught Clark's arm as he tried to rush over to Kara. Jason held her, whispering to her as she started whimpering and trembling in his arms. Her eyes rolled back and she made a horrible gurgling noise in her throat before passing out.

"The fuck?" Jason swore, holding onto her and rocking her. "Lex! What's happening?"

"Exactly what happened to you," Lex said grimly. "She's living her worst nightmare. Be ready to let her go, Jason. If she starts out of it like you did then we don't want you to get hurt. You know she's strong."

"Damn it," Jason said, nodding.

It was a very tense minute and forty-five seconds before Kara gasped and came to with a little scream. She didn't jump up or flail. She looked around at them desperately and then sobbed, flinging herself into Clark's arms.

"Kandor!" Kara sobbed, clinging to him as he patted her back. "I saw Kandor being destroyed and my father dying and then I was dying too and there was nothing I could do. It was all true, all stuff that actually happened and I can never go home and it's all gone! Oh Kal! You'll never know what you lost but I do and I miss my home!"

" I know. I know," Clark crooned to her, looking at Jason apologetically. " Um, Kara? I still haven't had my nightmare and I'd rather do it in private with my master."

"Oh!" Kara gasped, letting go and scrubbing her tears away. "Sorry. Sorry! It's just…so sad. It's all gone and…"

Jason stood and pulled Kara into his arms. She started crying again, clinging to him. He nodded to Lex and Clark, holding Kara tight as she sobbed. Lex sighed, taking Clark's hand.

"I'll take care of her and get her home," Jason promised.

"Thank you, Jason," Lex said. "Take your time. I'll let the Kents know what happened."

He nodded, pulling Kara down onto one of the lounge chairs, holding her in his lap. He ignored them utterly as he comforted Kara, but his eyes were haunted with more than just worry. Lex had to wonder who'd killed him in his nightmare and why. He wasn't sure that he wanted to know. There were only a few candidates and Lex didn't want to know if Jason feared Kara, Lex or his mother Genevieve more. Lex pulled Clark upstairs to their bedroom, gratefully stripping down. He really wasn't looking forward to the nightmare that he knew was coming.


"That sucked," Clark whispered, clinging to Lex after he came back to himself.

"What did you dream?" Lex asked, holding him tight with arms that were still shaking from his nightmare.

"Nothing like you," Clark admitted. "No bringing the end of the world and turning into a dictator that destroys everything. It was…it was the stupid meteor shower, Lex. There was another meteor shower and all the rocks were Kryptonite. They destroyed the town and there wasn't anything I could do. Everyone died, you, Kara, Jason, Lana, Chloe, Mom and Dad. And then a big one went right through me, killed me."

"I'm sorry," Lex breathed, petting Clark's hair. "I've already given orders that all of my dad's dangerous projects are to close now. Hopefully nothing like this will happen again."

Clark nodded, sniffling a little. It had felt totally real. There had been sight and sound and touch and he'd even tasted blood in his mouth as he'd died. It had been almost totally real except for the fact that he knew he was about to have a waking nightmare. The knowledge hadn't been enough to keep it from being horrible.

"Master?" Clark asked hesitantly. "Can we…um, do something?"

"Sex?" Lex asked, smiling at him. It wasn't a very strong smile but it was a smile so that was good.

"Sort of," Clark said, blushing. "I feel like it was all my fault, Lex. I know in my head that its not. But my heart doesn't listen. Can you, um, punish me for it? I know, I know, you don't think that I should blame myself but I do and no one will ever really understand why I feel so guilty about the meteor shower and all the changed people, the mutants and weird things, but I do feel guilty and I do feel like I need to be punished and it would help me feel better so please! Please. It would help."

The words flooded out and then slowed as Clark looked away from Lex's surprised expression. It was silly to ask to be punished for something that wasn't his fault but the guilt had been haunting him ever since he'd found out that he was an alien and that he'd come in the meteor shower, that he'd brought the meteor shower with him. He didn't know if being punished for it would help him get over the guilt but it might.

"Hmm," Lex murmured, petting Clark's bent head. He pulled Clark into a hug and then pulled him farther, laying Clark over his lap, crosswise on the bed. "Count."

"W-what?" Clark said and then gasped as Lex's hand came down hard on his ass. "Ow!"


Lex's voice was implacable, full Master. Clark shuddered and felt like he was going to cry again, just because Lex loved him enough to help him feel better, to try and help him get over his guilt. His breath shuddered in his chest and he situated himself better of Lex's legs, relaxing and supporting his upper body on his arms. Clark took a second while Lex petted the sore spot on his ass and then nodded.


The next blow was hard on the same spot, making sore flame into incredibly tender. The third was just to the side of it. The forth was on the opposite side. Five was on is other cheek, as were six, seven and eight. By that point Clark was shaking. It hurt. It really hurt. Not like the spankings that Lex had given him before he'd gotten Lara's gift which didn't hurt but like real pain. Clark started panting, hearing the pain in his voice. His hands clenched in the covers as the count went up to nine, ten, eleven and twelve. Clark was trembling all over now. His cock had been hard when they'd started out but now it had gone limp. He started crying at thirteen but didn't beg Lex to stop. Fourteen made Clark cry out and drop his head to his arms. Fifteen and sixteen made his ass feel like it was on fire. The pain wasn't fading, not like when he was hurt most of the time. Lex was hitting him hard enough to actually hurt him. Clark broke down as the seventeenth blow hit and it felt like he'd never be able to sit again. The last blow made him nearly pass out it hurt so much and then he was crying and shuddering and shaking and Lex was there, taking care of him.

"Shhhh," Lex crooned, scooping Clark up and holding him tight. "It's okay, love. It's okay."

"I'm sorry!" Clark sobbed his heart out and clung to his master, his lover, his best friend, the other half of his soul and the one person who always understood what he needed when he need it. "I'm sorry! So sorry! I'm sorry!"

"I know," Lex whispered. "I know you are. You're a good boy, Clark. You're a good boy. Love you, good boy."

Clark cried for a while longer, letting out the pain and the guilt, the sorrow for all the people who had been hurt because he'd been sent here. He cried for himself, never knowing what he was until far too late. He cried for everything he'd never know about his home world. He cried for Kara, cut off from her world and family and the life she should have lived. He cried for Lex, changed so much all because of Clark. He cried for his mom and dad, who still didn't quite accept what he was. He cried and then he sighed and was so exhausted that he thought he'd sleep for a decade or three.

"Thank you," Clark whispered as Lex pulled the covers up over the two of them.

"You're welcome, Clark," Lex said lovingly as he turned the lights off. "Tell me if you need another spanking sometime."

"I will," Clark promised, snuggling up and putting his face in the crook of Lex's neck. "Love you."

"Love you too, good boy."

Clark drifted off to sleep almost immediately. The ache in his rear end tried to keep him awake but it wasn't a pain that hurt, per se. It made him feel loved, not unloved. Clark smiled and yawned and then fell asleep feeling better than he had in a very long time.


Genevieve smiled quietly as she heard Jason coming up the stairs to his apartment. Really, the boy was so stubborn. She'd sent him several messages in the last couple of weeks but he'd decided to play this 'break free from my parents' authority' ploy as if it were real. He'd returned her letters. He refused her called. He'd ignored her messages. He'd even been rude to the intermediary she sent to check on his progress at getting into the mansion. He was taking this assignment much too seriously.

Jason hummed as he unlocked, opened and then closed the door to his apartment, his arm filled with a bag of groceries. He looked quite well, other than a prominent love bite on his neck. Genevieve raised an eyebrow. Perhaps he was taking his assignment too seriously after all. He did tend to get emotionally attached to the targets at times.

"Jason, my dear boy," Genevieve said, rising from the battered old couch and walking over to him.

"Jesus!" Jason squawked, jumping and nearly dropping his bag of groceries. "Don't do that!"

"Are you quite all right, Jason?" Genevieve asked, passing a hand over his cheek and then resting it right on top of the love bite that peeked out of his collar.

"Yeah, I'm fine," Jason said uncomfortably.

He blushed and stepped out from under her hand, heading for the tiny galley kitchen of his apartment. He wouldn't meet her eyes as he put the groceries he'd bought away. Genevieve smirked. Oh yes, her boy had fallen in love with his target again, hadn't he? She sighed, leaning on the counter and watching him patiently. He couldn't hold out forever. Eventually he'd have to meet her eyes and then they'd talk.

"What do you want, Mom?" Jason demanded, balling up the grocery bag with unnecessary force.

"Why only to see how you're doing, dear boy," Genevieve said with mock surprise. "It's been so long since you answered my calls and emails that I was getting worried about you. It's been weeks, Jason. Weeks. What have you been up to out here all by yourself?"

"Mom…" Jason sighed, looking desperately uncomfortable.

"Jason," Genevieve scolded him, "please, tell me you haven't lost your objectivity again. Really, dear. It's just an assignment. You were to get close to Clark and Kara Kent, to find a way into the mansion and Lex's life. I know that you've succeeded. Why must you be so difficult about this? She's just a girl and you deserve so much better than a refugee."

Jason's jaw jumped as he glared at her. He pulled himself up, shoulders going hard as rock. He really had lost all objectivity. Genevieve sighed. It was such a pity that her son took after his father's overly-emotional nature. He had so much potential and he wasted it so frequently on these ridiculous emotional entanglements.

"Kara's a sweet girl!" Jason growled, glaring at Genevieve as if she were the enemy. "She's kind and funny and wonderful to be around. She's damned near my dream girl, Mom! I'm not going to betray her just because you've got this stupid fantasy about 'the Travelers' granting you with ultimate power and knowledge."

"She's an alien, Jason," Genevieve said, letting her voice slide into its coldest register. "No matter how appealing she seems to be, she isn't right for you. You're a human and she's a creature from another world. You know that as well as I do. Don't allow yourself to be trapped by foolish sentimentality. They have to know that you're spying on them, love. They cannot trust you and you would be a fool to trust them."

Jason slammed a fist into the counter and shoved past her into the tiny living room. She followed, watching her son carefully. He was a good agent for the Veritas Society and an even better agent for her. She'd trained him all his life to do as she told him. He might stray from time to time when he met a beautiful girl (or occasionally when he met a handsome boy) but he always came to heel when she snapped his leash hard enough.

"What have you learned, Jason?" Genevieve asked, the words far more a demand than a mere question.

The muscles in Jason's back jumped as he stared at the wall of his living room. He didn't answer but he also didn't move. Genevieve moved closer, putting a hand in the center of his back. He felt like he was made of stone, not flesh and blood. He was trembling ever so slightly, not so strongly that you could see it but once she touched she could feel it quite clearly.

"Jason," Genevieve said warningly.

"No," Jason said, stepping away from her. He turned and stared at her wild eyed. He was breathing hard and looked almost frightened. "I won't tell you."

"Jason!" Genevieve glared up at him. Really, this had gone entirely too far. "Cease this at once! You will tell me what you've learned and you will leave this job and that girl behind. I already have what I need. Your assignment is over. It's time to move onto the next phase."

"No!" Jason shouted, pushing past her.

He grabbed his keys and all but ran from the room, leaving the door swinging behind him. Genevieve sighed, closing the door gently. Sometimes she really did wonder about him. The choices he made when he allowed his hormones to overrule his brain! Genevieve carefully checked his rooms, finding the notes that he'd hidden under the mattress. They were very incomplete but he had figured out quite early on that Kara Kent was anything but a human. Clark was also obviously not human, though Jason's notes indicated that he had no direct evidence of it, just circumstantial evidence. There was no sign from Jason's notes that Lex had received anything other than enhanced health from his association with Clark Kent, but Lex was sneaky and careful. A lack of evidence meant nothing.

Genevieve tucked the notes back into their hiding place and did a second check of the tiny apartment. There weren't any other hidden notes, no hidden pictures. There was nothing on his computer. Genevieve snarled that he'd changed his password to 'karakent' and the image of the two of them together made her blood boil. Her son should never kneel like that with anyone, especially a mere high school girl. He belonged to Genevieve, not this little blond-haired alien interloper. She turned his computer back off and left the apartment as close to untouched as possible, locking the door behind her.

Well, time to get to work. Jason would return to the fold eventually. She would make sure of it. Genevieve returned to her waiting car, directing the driver to take her back to her hotel. She'd made so much progress lately. Lex had been one step ahead of the rest of them in the search for the Stones of Power. She knew that he'd managed to do something with them, though she still didn't know what. It didn't matter. Having failed to get the Stones, she still had the backup plan that the Veritas Society had been sitting on for so long.

When the Travelers were sent to earth, a method of controlling them was sent too. Dr. Swann had figured out what it was, or at least where it was. The Cryptograph that they'd secreted in the Zurich bank's safety deposit box (to protect it from dear, foolish, socially stunted Lionel) was the clue to its location. It had taken a lot of work and a lot of money but she'd gotten the keys, retrieved the Cryptograph and discovered the location of the Orb. All she had to do now was combine the missing piece of the Orb with it and she would have the powers of the Travelers as hers. The part that amused her the most was that Lionel had the Orb in his power for decades.

It was hidden in the fireplace of Lionel's own mansion here in Smallville.

"All I have to do is to wait for them to leave the house," Genevieve said to herself smugly. "Nothing can stop me now."


"I can't believe he escaped," Lex growled. "I wouldn't have thought that Father was this foolish but I suppose that desperate people do desperate things."

"How'd he do it?" Kara asked, draped half over the couch in Lex's office.

"The authorities didn't say," Lex said, petting Clark who was kneeling by his feet. "They said that there was a prison riot and when things got back under control Lionel and several other prisoners had escaped. They managed to find all the other prisoners but not my father."

Lex sighed, unable to properly enjoy Clark's warm weight pressed against his legs or the feel of his hair underneath his fingers. Lionel free meant nothing but danger for Clark, Chloe and Lex. It meant that Kara was in danger to, now that she was free. Clark looked up at him, worry covering his face.

"Lex!" Jason called, slamming through the doors to the office. He looked around wildly, spotting Kara. "Thank God you're all right!"

"What's wrong?" Kara asked, turning and opening up her arms to Jason. "Come here, sweetie. Tell me what's wrong."

He all but tumbled into her arms, far too pale and far too shaken. Lex stiffened. It was either Lionel or Genevieve and given Jason's responses, it was probably Genevieve. He'd been expecting her to show up sometime soon but hadn't expected Jason to respond this way. It didn't look like an act to Lex. Jason was good but he wasn't that good.

"It's my mother," Jason said, swallowing hard. "I'm sorry, Kara. I lied to you. I wasn't here because I wanted to be a sports psychologist. It was to spy on you and Clark."

"Oh that," Kara said, kissing him gently. "Silly, I knew that ages ago. I knew that before I kissed you way back when."

"What?" Jason said, staring at her in shock. He turned and looked at Lex, eyes wide.

"We always knew you were here to spy on us, Jason," Lex said, smirking. "That was hardly a surprise. I've been familiar with you and your mother's activities for a very long time. We allowed Kara to get involved with you because you seemed to be sincere and she was happy. As long as the two of you were happy and Genevieve didn't cause trouble there was no reason to intervene."

Jason stared at them, looked at Kara and then laughed helplessly, letting her hug him. She petted his hair, soothing him enough that eventually he pulled back, studying her eyes. Lex wasn't sure what he saw there but it seemed to make Jason feel better. He smiled at Kara, eyes shutting briefly as she ran her fingers through his hair. Then he turned and looked at Lex and Clark.

"All right," Jason said, face dead serious, "Mom's up to something, Lex. She sent me here to get her into the mansion somehow. Her last message said that she'd found a way to control the Travelers, Clark and Kara, and that it was hidden somewhere in the mansion. I haven't been replying to her, haven't been responding to her calls and emails. I know that I'm nothing but a tool to her and I hate it. Kara treats me better than anyone in my family ever has."

"I rather thought that she's show up sometime soon," Lex said, nodding calmly. "Do you know what it is that she says she's found?"

"Not really," Jason said, making a face. "It's another of the Veritas Society things. Your dad had a key to a bank deposit box in Zurich. He stole it from the Queens just before they died. Dr. Swann had the other one. Apparently, she stole both keys, got to the box and then took the whatever-it-is they put there. From the little she's told me, it's a way to take the powers of the Travelers and use them as your own."

"Damn," Lex growled, frowning. "All right, stay with Kara. I don't want you going back to your apartment. The Kents will put you up on the couch overnight. I'll get my people looking for your mother as well as for Lionel. Had you heard that he'd escaped?"

Jason started, staring at Lex in alarm. He shook his head 'no', wrapping his arms around Kara who giggled and kissed his cheek. She didn't look worried but then Kara rarely did. Clark was clutching Lex's leg in alarm. He knew perfectly well how dangerous a combination of Lionel and Genevieve could be. He might never have met Genevieve but Lex had filled him in on her particular brand of evil.

"Fuck," Jason swore. "That's the last thing we need. I have no idea if Mom got him out or not, Lex. If they're working together than we might be screwed."

"I'll find out," Lex said. "You keep Kara safe on the farm. Clark and I will deal with locating and stopping Genevieve and Lionel."

"I'll keep him safe!" Kara declared, wrapping her arms around Jason's neck.

Jason laughed, rubbing her hands where they were clasped around his neck. She giggled and kissed his cheek lovingly. Jason nearly seemed to melt into her arms, needing what she was giving him. Given how he'd been raised, Lex was fairly certain that the only honest affection he'd ever gotten was when he'd completed a task his mother approved of. His father was even more distant than Lionel had been with Lex and Jason's parents had divorced when he was fairly young. Kara was the exact opposite of the life he'd lived in just the same way that Clark was Lex's perfect opposite. Lex still wasn't sure that their relationship would last, but at least Jason appeared to have chosen the right side. He hoped that it lasted.

"You have specific weaknesses that he can help with," Lex said fondly. "That's part of why he needs to stay close to you, Kara. There are certain objects in the world that can weaken you. If you're around them, Jason may be the only one who can save you."

"I'll do it," Jason said earnestly. "Hell, you know I'll do it. What do I have to look out for?"

"Whatever this thing is that your mother's after," Lex said with a shrug that he had no clue what it was. "Also meteor rock. It gives off a particular radiation that will hurt Kara, weaken her. You need to get it away from her if she gets close to it."

"Right." Jason nodded, pulling Kara to her feet. "I suppose that you already told the Kents about me. Is that why they look like they want to kill me every time I'm out there?"

Lex laughed, grinning at him. Clark snickered and Kara sighed. Jason blinked, looking at them in turn as if he was unsure what they found so amusing. It was a reasonable guess, of course. Most parents would have been upset to find out that their daughter (or in this case adopted child) was involved with a spy, but the Kents weren't most parents and that wasn't what they objected to. Not completely, anyway.

"No, they're upset because you're having sex with Kara before marriage," Lex said, smirking. "It's as simple as that. They don't like that you're a spy but it's not the end of the world to them. It's the sex."

"They're really strict about sex," Clark said, shrugging sadly. "That's literally why I got kicked out of the house. I wouldn't stop having sex and they wanted me to go cold turkey on it."

"Which is so dumb!" Kara exclaimed. "Clark can't survive without sex. He needs it or his heart will stop. That's part of how his body works."

"Um, you don't have that problem, do you Mistress?" Jason asked, turning to look at her with worry.

Kara giggled, shaking her head no. Jason looked a little worried still so Kara leaned over and kissed him. Lex still wondered where she'd learned to kiss. She had little pecks that were barely a kiss and then she had kisses like she was trying to eat your soul. Jason seemed to like it, submitting utterly to the kiss. Clark moaned and stirred at Lex's feet, eyes locked on Kara and Jason. Lex grinned and petted his hair. Looked like they'd have to spend some private time once they got the authorities involved in tracking down Genevieve, too.

"No, I don't," Kara breathed once she let Jason's ravaged mouth go. "I won't die. I just get really, really, really bitchy."

"Head back to the farm," Lex ordered them. "Stay there other than school. I'll let you know when we have an idea of what's going on. Expect us to come over after dinner so we can talk to the Kents."

"Right!" Kara said, bouncing to her feet. "Come on, let's head home. You can help me do my chores and then we can go up in the loft for a while and have some fun before dinner."

Kara pulled Jason out of the office by his hand, chattering the whole time. Lex sighed. He'd really like it if life calmed down someday. They still hadn't had the time to go for flying sex and Lex for one was getting impatient for it. Clark rubbed Lex's leg, making him smile down at him. Well, one way or the other, they'd deal with this problem, too.

"Let me call the security team and then the police," Lex said, "and then I'm taking you upstairs for a while. I think I need it as much as you do right now."

"That would be wonderful, Master," Clark said dreamily. "Maybe my harness and some dildos? Or shower sex?"

"You'll see," Lex said, grinning. "No distractions right now. You have to wait until later."

"Yes Master," Clark said, beaming at him.

Lex got to work finding Genevieve and Lionel. There wasn't much that he could do personally but he had more than enough men who could do the work for him. It was only a matter of making sure that neither of them had any access to the mansion. That shouldn't be too difficult.


"Are you sure that they're okay with me staying here?" Jason asked as Kara led him up into the loft that used to be Clark's and now was hers. "They really don't look happy about this at all."

"Well, they're really not happy about us having sex," Kara said with a little shrug, "but it's more because they don't approve of sex outside of marriage. I don't really understand why, personally, but it's a very important belief for them. I think it's a religious thing."

"Kara?" Jason asked, swallowing hard at his nerve. "Um, what…what do you believe? I mean, I know that you're from, well, a long ways away, but you've never really talked about what you believe."

"I know," Kara said, flopping on the couch and having him sit on the floor at her feet. "It's one of those things that never seemed like a good idea when I was pretending to be normal, you know?"

She'd already set up a nice soft floor cushion there, even though Jason had never been allowed to visit for more than a few minutes at a time. For a barn, it was actually a really nice place. She (or maybe Clark) had spent a lot of time making the loft a livable space. There was a rug, and the couch. There was a desk for her to do her homework and lights. It was still warm enough out that the barn was pleasant.

"I'd like to know," Jason said softly, groaning as she stared with the magic ninja fingers thing again.

"Well," Kara said slowly, "we believed in a deity called Rao. Rao created the universe, created us. She made us the way we are. Our home was very dangerous and we evolved to breed early and often. The men are…genetically subservient? Their bodies evolved so that they have to have a Mistress to serve, both emotionally and sexually. We evolved so that we need to have a boy to take care of. Our religion says that we're responsible for our boy's happiness and welfare. They rely on us so totally, Jason. It's only right that we take care of them, make them as happy as they make us. Lost of women didn't, but my Auntie Lara always taught me to do right."

"It's all real?" Jason said, blinking. "All the stories you told me about how you grew up. They're all real, aren't they?"

"Yeah," Kara said, smiling sadly at him.

Jason blinked, laying his head on Kara's thigh. He hadn't wanted to believe any of it. If he didn't believe it, then he didn't have to act on it. And he really didn't want to act on it. He liked Kara. Actually he was pretty sure that this was the deepest love he'd ever felt for anyone in his entire life. He'd never felt much for most of the people that he'd dated but Kara had somehow blasted straight past his normal emotional walls and taken over his heart. It was scary, fucking terrifying. It was also the best feeling he'd ever had.

"Scared?" Kara asked quietly.

"Yeah," Jason breathed, shutting his eyes and letting Kara work her ninja magic on his skull, neck and shoulders. He took a little while, letting himself feel the fear he normally pushed away. "No one ever really took care of me before, Kara. Mom always had her agendas, her 'assignments'. She wanted me to be a tool, her way of finding out things and getting people's secrets. My dad was always so wrapped up in the whole Veritas crap that he never saw me. I barely spoke with him before I was sixteen and by then it was too late. He'd divorced my mom and we saw each other maybe once a year."

He sighed, looking up at Kara. A sixteen year old alien from another world was better to him than his parents. Hell, Lex—the freaky bald kid that he'd bullied unmercifully in school—was better to him than his parents. The way she looked at him made him think that she might know as much about his past as he did. He wouldn't have put it past Lex to investigate Jason and then share the results with Kara.

"You'll never be alone anymore if you stick with me," Kara said, tracing the edges of his ear. "I know it's scary when you've never been loved and taken care of before, Jason. But I do know how to take care of people. My father was nuts and my mother served him, but I was always normal. I loved having a boy back home. And I spent all the time I possibly could with my Auntie Lara and Uncle Jor-El. They had the best relationship ever. That's what I want. Our people's boys are too subservient, too prone to doing whatever their Mistress wants. I always wanted a boy who could protect me at the same time I was protecting him. You're like a dream come true."

"Both of us had fucked up families, huh?" Jason said, making a wry face.

"Yeah, but it doesn't matter, Jason," Kara said. "We are what we do, not what's happened to us. Every day we have a choice in how we act and react. You can choose to be mine and be happy despite what everyone in the world thinks. I have a choice to act the way Auntie Lara taught me or the way my father taught me. I choose to be good to you, to make you happy and take care of you. I choose to be a good Mistress and a good friend. It's up to you what path you choose, Jason. I won't make you choose one or the other. It's hard to take a different path, especially when your parents are still around to tell you to do things their way."

"You are way too fucking grown up," Jason groaned, burying his face in her stomach. She hugged him, giggling.

"My people were considered adults at sixteen," Kara laughed. "I am a grown up! According to my people's beliefs, I can get married, drink, and have kids, whatever."

Jason smiled into her stomach, his sense of humor getting the better of him. He pulled up her shirt and then blew a raspberry on Kara's stomach. She squealed and laughed, squirming as he did it again. He laughed, grinning up at her. He didn't know what was going to happen in the future. He didn't know if he was capable of holding up his end of the relationship. He didn't know if she'd want to stick with him. He didn't know much at all, but he knew that he wanted to try.

"My boy," Kara said lovingly.

"Yeah, I am aren't I?" Jason said, smiling wryly.

Kara got that serious look on her face again. She studied him for a long, long while, running her fingers through his hair. After a bit she nodded, smiling a mysterious little smile at him. She nudged him to get out of the way and got up, going to the desk. He blinked, watching her as she rummaged through one of the drawers and came up with a narrow black box. She came back and sat down, handing the box to him.

"Open it," Kara said, both excitement and nervousness in her face.

"Okay," Jason said, blinking at her. He carefully eased the box open as if he expected something to spring out at him. Knowing Kara's sense of humor it was always possible. She giggled at him, nudging his shoulder. "Whoa."

It was a collar. Not a big, heavy fancy one like Clark's, just a simple chain with a little lock on it smaller than his thumb. It was made of some metal covered with gold plating. His hands shook as he looked down at the collar. She'd explained more than a few times how much this meant to her and he was surprised to find that it meant as much to him. This was like getting engaged. This was Kara saying she thought he was ready, that she thought she could stay with him forever. This was her offering to be a part of his life for as long as they lived.

"It's a collar," Jason said, feeling like an idiot once the words slipped out of his mouth.

"Yeah," Kara giggled, tapping his nose gently. "You don't have to decide now but I'd like it if you'd be my boy for real. We can take as long as you want to before we get married human style. We've only known each other for a little while but I'm really happy with you, Jason. Take some time. Think about it."

"I don't need to think about it," Jason said, pulling the collar loose from the box. "I'll admit that I'm scared and I've got no fucking clue what's going to happen with my mom and Lionel, but I want it. I want you."

He offered the collar to Kara, laughing as she squealed and dove off of the couch, tackling him to the floor. She gave him another of those soul-eating kisses, this one flavored with tears. He rubbed her back, desperately hoping that he was making the right choice, that this wasn't a stupid thing to do. Eventually she let him up to breath and had him sit up. She straddled his lap and ceremoniously wrapped the collar around his neck. The lock made a tiny little snick as she shut it and she put the key into his hand.

"Someday," Kara whispered, sniffling against her happy tears, "get a chain for the key that you think will look good around my neck. Then give it back to me. That'll be the day that we're considered really married, really a collared couple."

"So not today?" Jason said, grinning at her.

"No, not today," Kara laughed, wiping her tears away and grinning. "Give it time."

"Okay," Jason replied, kissing her tears away. "Thank you."

"Thank you."

Jason sat on the floor of the loft holding Kara in his lap until Martha called from the house for them to come in for dinner. He was really nervous about how they'd take the thin collar around his neck. He didn't know what Clark and Lex would think. He did know what his mother would think and it scared him. He would have to stay as close to Kara as he could. He wouldn't let her have a chance at killing Kara. She'd do it to get him back.


Even after two and a half weeks, Lionel was still amazed that it was easier to escape from a high security prison in a major city than it was to get into a mansion in Smallville. Morgan had come through with a spectacular prison break cum riot. Lionel and a few other prisoners that Morgan had wanted to free had escaped. Rather than trusting his safety to Morgan's nonexistent tender mercies, once freed Lionel had immediately contacted Edward Teague, informing him of his ex-wife's activities. To say that Edward had been dismayed by what she'd done was much like saying that lava was 'a little warm to the touch'. Edward had gotten him away from Morgan's men, provided him with a safe house and then had gathered the remnants of the Veritas Society to try and stop Genevieve Teague.

It appeared to everyone, Lionel included, that Jason had finally grown a pair and thrown of his mother's domination. That he'd apparently traded her domination for Kara Kent's domination wasn't at all Lionel's concern. All he cared was that Genevieve was stopped before she could get the Orb and steal the Traveler's powers as her own. Patricia had brought messages from her father Dr. Swann, stating that if she did gain the Orb it would mean the destruction of the world and the probable eradication of humanity. Dr. Swann hadn't stated why, following his usual practice of being as close-mouthed as humanly possible, but Lionel believed it was because it was Genevieve. He knew that he would do a far better job of controlling Clark and Kara than she ever would.

Lionel had escaped from Metropolis and gone to Smallville a week and a half after his prison break. It hadn't been difficult at all. The police already believed—due to Edward and Morgan's carefully crafted rumors—that he had fled from the country to a nation with no extradition policy. As if he would ever do that. He had a lunatic female to stop, two young aliens to gain control of, a company to regain, and a wayward son to tutor in the ways of power.

He'd expected it to be fairly simple to gain entry into the mansion. It sat on nearly one hundred acres of un-fenced land. The garden around the mansion had a fence but it was simple to mount. The mansion itself had something over two dozen doors on the main floor and more windows than Lionel had ever bothered to count. It was wide open to invasion.

Except that it wasn't.

During the time it took for Lionel to escape from prison and then make his way to Smallville, Lex had turned the mansion and its grounds into a veritable fortress. The outer edge of the estate now had an electrified fence that was more than sufficient to kill Lionel if he touched it. He'd managed to get past that with a few little tricks he'd learned on the streets of the Suicide Slums. The forest around the gardens was peppered with traps and motion sensing security cameras. Some tricks he'd learned since he created LuthorCorp along with some gadgets that he'd stolen from various sources got him past most of those. The wall around the garden turned out to be not only electrified, but also trapped and covered with so many security cameras that Lionel had been required to retreat and reassess how to enter.

A lot of work and a couple of threats had gotten him the new plans for the security of the mansion. Lex had gone absolutely insane for security since Lionel's escape. Not only was the garden wall impenetrable, every door and window in the mansion was wired into the security system and there were security cameras covering every square inch of the place, including the bedrooms and bathroom. Lionel had an amused minute or two considering what the people watching those security cameras did while observing Lex playing with Clark and then he got serious again.

He needed to get in but with his currently limited resources there was little chance of his succeeding. He needed more money and more electronics than he could get his hands on. However, the key to this wasn't his getting into the mansion. The key was stopping Genevieve from getting out of the mansion with the Orb. She had resources. She had money. She had allies. She would find a way in eventually. And she was the only one who knew where in the mansion to look for the Orb.

He'd always known that there was something special about the mansion, which was part of why he'd gone to the huge expense of moving the thing stone by stone from Scotland. It wasn't ego that prompted it. It was his belief that if he did move the drafty old place he would find out what was so special about the old building. His workers never had discovered anything odd, but that hadn't changed Lionel's belief that something was hidden in it. It was quite nice knowing that he'd been right all along.

It had taken Genevieve an extra week after Lionel's arrival in Smallville to make her move. She had waited until Lex and Clark had gone to Metropolis for one of their visits to The Boutique. Kara and Jason were staying strictly on the Kent farm when not at school, which meant that the mansion was unprotected by alien means. He had no idea how Genevieve had taken down the security system but he suspected that it had been a computer attack on its server. No matter what method she'd used, it had worked spectacularly. The security system had gone down hard, meaning that Lex's new security team had to protect a very large house physically. They'd done a reasonably good job of it but there simply weren't enough people to cover every entrance.

Next, the power had gone out to the mansion and the phone lines had been cut. Lionel had taken to hiding in the woods outside of the outer wall and he heard the moment the whine of the electric fence had died. He'd been out of his blind and through the fence at a dead run, knowing without knowing exactly what this was. He'd checked his cell phone and then smirked. Apparently Genevieve had even taken out the cell phone coverage for the area because Lionel's cell phone (provided by Edward so that he could call when Genevieve made her move) had zero bars.

When Lionel got to the mansion, the security team at the east entrance was lying in the doorway. Two had been shot through the head but the other two were alive, if unconscious. There was a small canister by the unconscious ones that Lionel suspected had held some form of sleep gas. He stepped over them, pulling his handgun out of his pocket. The mansion was quiet as he stalked carefully through it. He had no idea where Genevieve would be but it appeared that she'd managed to penetrate it fairly easily. He found several more clumps of collapsed security personnel, gassed not shot, and ended up outside the office. The door was open just a hair, allowing him to very carefully ease it open and slip in.

"Ah, there we are," Genevieve whispered triumphantly. "I knew I'd find you yet. Let's see how we get you out of there."

Lionel eased forward enough so that he could watch her while staying mostly hidden by the entrance. She was at the fireplace, doing something with her back turned to the room. Two more security guards lay on the floor, these in pools of their own blood. Lionel had to assume that her gun had a silencer, which his didn't. She'd truly thought of everything. He wondered what her plans were for dealing with him. He'd find out soon enough, not that he intended to let her carry those plans out.

She made a little noise of triumph and stepped back, neatly avoiding the pool of blood and body behind her. She was holding a round crystal in her hand and carefully fitting something into its top. He eased back again, worried about the gun she had hidden somewhere on her person, about the possibility of other gas canisters. He could shoot but that would bring the remaining security guards and there was always the possibility that she'd drop the Orb and it would be damaged. He wanted it for himself so damaging it was not an acceptable risk.

There was strange hum through the room and suddenly a hologram of the Earth appeared in the middle of the room. It rotated and in the Arctic a red dot appeared, highlighting something very important. It had to be where Lex and Clark had taken the Stones of Power. Lionel wasn't sure how that would help Genevieve but it was good to know where to go to get them. Genevieve laughed, the sound so honestly delighted that it made the hair go up on the back of his neck.

"Now to secure you, my lovely little prize," Genevieve crooned to the Orb as she packed it into a small heavy-looking box, "and then we'll go kill that interloping girl and get my son back."

"I'm afraid not, Genevieve," Lionel said, stepping swiftly over to plant his gun at the back of her head. "Hand the box over."

"Dear Lionel," Genevieve said far too calmly, "you always did favor dramatics, didn't you? Seriously, do you expect me to believe that you'll shoot me?"

"I will," Lionel said, glaring at her. "Hand it over."

She laughed and turned to face him, completely calm despite the gun pressed against her forehead. She was smirking at him! He glared down at her, infuriated by her insulting manner. She had no idea what he'd gone through to get to this point. She had no idea what he was capable of. A tiny part of him was whispering to his anger that the one thing he'd never been able to do was shoot a woman, especially a comely one, but he ignored that little whisper. If he admitted to it, then she'd know he was bluffing.

"Lionel, sweet foolish Lionel," Genevieve said, laughing at him. "I know perfectly well that you'd never shoot a woman, especially not one that you've been intimate with in the past. It's simply not in you."

"There are always exceptions to the rules, Genevieve," Lionel snarled, glaring at her. "You're making yourself into that exception."

"Not for you," Genevieve said, smirking. "Not to this rule. You do not hit or kill women, dear boy. If it was your boy Lex, well, I'd be a bit more worried but you are a known element."

Lionel felt like he'd been slapped. He snarled, letting himself slide back into the boy who had been beaten nightly by his father while his mother looked on approvingly. He'd hated his father for his drunken beatings but his mother's behavior had always enraged him. A child did not deserve that and a woman who said that he did was no woman. A woman who would kill her son's lover to keep his love for herself was no woman. She was a monster and she had what was rightfully Lionel's.

"You misjudge me, Genevieve," Lionel said, hearing the old Scottish accent and coldness he'd learned at his father's knee. "You misjudge me badly."

She laughed until he moved his gun down to her right shoulder, pulling the trigger. The bullet tore through her shoulder and she screamed, dropping the box with the Orb to the floor. He barely felt the disgust at harming her that welled up. He barely felt the recoil of his gun. He did feel huge satisfaction in knowing that she was wounded, that she wasn't going to get away with his artifact.

"You shot me," Genevieve breathed, her eyes blazing. "How dare you!"

"Move back," Lionel said, hearing security guards shouting elsewhere in the mansion. "The next bullet's going through your head."

"Lionel…" Genevieve whispered, eyes widening as she stared at him.

Whatever she saw in his face apparently convinced her that he was quite serious. She panted and then nodded slowly. She stepped back once, twice, pressing herself up against Lex's desk. She kept a hand pressed over her shoulder, her right arm dangling useless by her side. It was Lionel's turn to smirk. He carefully bent, eyes and gun always locked on Genevieve, picking up the little box. It was unexpectedly heavy but his eyes didn't waver from hers. He carefully eased towards one of the side doors, knowing Lex's security guards would come through the main door and find Genevieve with the bodies. He could hear them calling to each other, alarm in their voices as they found their fallen comrades. Lionel stepped back carefully towards the side door.

It was a tiny error, one that anyone could have made. The double doors of the study slammed open and Genevieve suddenly had a gun in her right hand, her wounded hand, the hand he hadn't been watching. The guards collapsed with little holes in their foreheads and big ones in the backs of their heads. It wasn't the doors slamming open or even their deaths that made his focus flicker for just a second too long. It was that Genevieve could use her right hand after all.

Two bullets for the guards but a third silenced shot whispered through the room. Lionel's gun went off at nearly the same moment. Genevieve staggered but didn't fall. Lionel's chest bloomed with pain and he slid down to his knees. He couldn't get a breath in, couldn't speak. He stared up at Genevieve as she came over, shoving him over on his back. He flopped backwards bonelessly. He wheezed, trying desperately to get air into his lungs and mostly failing. Genevieve didn't say anything as she carefully bent down and took the box with the Orb. She was wavering and there was blood on her stomach as well as her shoulder. Lionel tried to call out to her but nothing came out of his mouth but a little burble of blood. Consciousness faded. The last thing he heard was the sound of her designer heels against the floor of the study. She had won.


Years of silence.

Years of inactivity while drifting at the very edge of the solar system, hidden among the comets and asteroids that had lingered from the very formation of this backward set of planets.

The Brain Interactive Construct had slept for years, waiting the signal that the Black Ship had arrived in Jor-El's favored solar system. Brainiac was fairly certain that he'd been blocked from booting back up when the signal finally came. He did a system diagnostic check and if he'd been flesh would have snarled. Not only had he been blocked from rebooting on entry to the solar system, they'd been orbiting the yellow sun for over a decade. The Fortress of Knowledge had been created and Brainiac had not been awakened.

He gave a little sigh of electronic static. The only thing that had awoken him was someone using the Orb that Zor-El had created to control Kara and Kal-El. If it hadn't been for that he would have stayed a lump for years, perhaps decades longer. But it had been activated and the pulse of its activation had sent a message that woke Brainiac, ensuring that he would continue his mission. It wasn't when it had been planned, when Kal-El was still a baby and Kara was still a mere girl, but that couldn't be helped. He was awake now and he would do as he had been created to do instead of drifting like debris.

*Well, that's enough of that,* Brainiac said, activating the engines of the ship. His passengers would stay in stasis until they arrived on the planet, but Brainiac had many things that had to be done before their arrival.

He charged up the weapons of the Black Ship, sure that Lara would use the resources of the Fortress against them. She always had been a fool, trusting that sentiment would win out over logic. But then she was a woman and women were obviously not to be trusted. General Zod had told Brainiac that many times before his capture and imprisonment in the Phantom Zone.

The shields came up next, ensuring that Lara wouldn't have a chance to destroy the ship before he got close. He felt the answering echo of Lara's shields going up over the Fortress. She'd established the Fortress quite a ways away from the small town that Jor-El and Lara had chosen for their offspring. It was an admirable tactic to try and keep Brainiac from locating Kal-El but completely insufficient. His scanners were more than sufficient to locate all three Kryptonians on the planet, plus one Vessel that would be useful to be General Zod's new body.

*How nice,* Brainiac murmured to himself as he gathered the meteors that had accompanied the Black Ship into hyperspace, using the magnetic drives to ensure that they continued to accompany the ship. *My creator Dax-Ur still lives. I'll have to remedy that once we've arrived.*

*You are not allowed on this planet,* Lara warned Brainiac, her voice full of emotion that was inappropriate to a digital entity.

*Nonsense,* Brainiac replied. *My passengers must have a planet to live on and that is the only livable planet in this solar system.*

Lara fired on him, using the ancient Kryptonian weapons that had been planted on Earth in ages past. They were formidable but they were ancient. Brainiac was the last creation of the Kryptonians. He was new, he was powerful and those weapons had no capacity to harm his ship or his passengers. It was quite unlikely that the humans were even aware of the blast. Their technology was so primitive that they wouldn't have the sensors to detect it unless it interacted with physical matter uncovered by his shields.

*Damn,* Brainiac sighed as the blast vaporized several meteors that were outside of his shields. *Well, so much for being completely unnoticed until we hit the atmosphere. Not that it will make any difference to you or your pup, Lara. You still can't stop me.*

*We'll see,* Lara said grimly.

She continued to fire various weapons at the Black Ship. None of them got through. There was nothing that she had that could get through his shields. General Zod and Zor-El had created this ship. They had given it every advantage and weapon possible. It had Brainiac as its CPU. All of which mean that there was nothing that Lara could do that would stop Brainiac from delivering his passengers to Earth and then from freeing General Zod from the Phantom Zone.

He was quite aware that his drive to free General Zod and aid him in his quest to rule the universe was mildly irrational. However he didn't see it as irrationality. He was, first and foremost, a computer. He had been programmed to complete this task at all costs. He was as locked into it as any Kryptonian or primitive human could be. Much moreso, actually. Their brains were fickle, ever changing with their hormones and emotions. His intellect was pure and unchanging. As long as his black box was intact, he would continue to be reborn, continue to pursue his quest, and continue to serve General Zod.

It took less than an hour to get from the Ort Cloud to the orbit of the third planet. Once there he encountered much stronger resistance from Lara and the defenses of the Fortress. It was a pity but he'd have to rely on simple gravity and physics to bring him in now. He and his meteors were directly in the path of the planet. He was on track to impact with Smallville, Kansas. There was nothing and no one that could stop it now. In a matter of less than one rotation of the planet, he would complete the first phase of his mission.

*There we go,* Brainiac said smugly to Lara. *That takes care of that.*

She didn't reply, but Brainiac hadn't expected her to. What sort of response was there when you met your obvious superior besides submission?


"Damn, damn, damn!" Lara fumed, her simulation of a body pacing through the electronic simulation of their house on Krypton. "I can't believe that nothing worked against it! What did Zor-El do?"

"Probably gave him everything that we developed to protect Kal-El," Jor-El said with a tired sigh from his place kneeling on the floor by the control console. "He was far more drawn to Zod than I realized at the time."

"I know," Lara lamented, going to him to hug him.

He wrapped his arms around her waist, making her almost forget that she wasn't real anymore. Neither of them was real. She'd downloaded his personality and loaded it into Kal's ship, hoping that he would guide Kal-El. She'd been surprised to find that there was more then enough room left over for her own personality to be downloaded. Jor-El had laughed at her, kissing her neck and making her shudder. He'd planned Kal's ship carefully to ensure that there would be room for them both.

"You must summon them," Jor-El said seriously. "They need to know what is coming as soon as possible, Lara."

"Yes," Lara sighed, looking at the monitors. "There's so little time. Less than a day and they'll be facing their destiny, Jor-El. They're so young, all of them."

"Perhaps Dax-Ur could assist them?" Jor-El said dubiously.

"He's a coward who abandoned his race," Lara said, emotion making her voice harsher than she intended. "He would never help them. He is too terrified of Brainiac to ever take a stand. Besides, there is nothing that he knows that will aid in the battle. No, the children and their mates will have to face Brainiac by themselves."

Lara triggered the summoning signal, focusing it on all three of them. She didn't summon Jason Teague as he was not fully collared yet. Perhaps in time he would be but for now the summons was heard only by Kara, not by her boy Jason.

"I don't have time for this, Lara," Lex snapped as he flew with Kal-El for the mansion. "Whatever it is can't be as important as stopping whoever's broken into the mansion."

*It is the end of the world, Lex Lu-Thor,* Lara whispered to him alone. *That which happened at your home as set in motion the end of the world. Hurry to me as soon as you can. There is much that you do not know.*

"Fine," Lex snapped, landing outside his mansion and hurrying inside with Kal-El at his heels.

Kara gasped as the summons swept over her. She clutched Jason, shaking her head and jumping to her feet. She looked around wildly, as if afraid they were about to be attacked. Jason hurried to his feet, catching Kara's hand.

"What's wrong?" Jason asked, looking commendably worried about Kara. "Kara sweetie, what's wrong?"

"I have to go," Kara said, shaking slightly. "Something's wrong. You need to get to the mansion, Jason. Something's happened over there. Lex and Clark will need your help. I'll join you as quick as I can. There's somewhere else I have to go first."

"You sure?" Jason asked, running a hand over her arm in a move that reminded Lara powerfully of how Jor-El would comfort her when she was distraught. It worked just as well for Kara as it had for Lara.

"I'm sure," Kara said, pulling on her Mistress manners. "Go. I'll join you soon, I promise."

"You better," Jason said, his voice going rough with suppressed emotion.

Jason hurried down the stairs to his car and Kara took to the air, lancing towards the Fortress at her top speed. Lara sighed with relief. Well, at least one of the children was coming. Kara was a good girl. She'd do what was necessary to thin the number of meteors around the Black Ship. She might even be able to slow Brainiac down when working with Lara and the Fortress' defenses.

Lara turned the scanners back on the Black Ship. It was moving closer inevitably, as unstoppable as the planet's rotation around the sun. Lara sighed, biting her non-existent nail. Jor-El stood, wrapping his arms around her. He might have chosen not to interact with the outside world but she was eternally grateful that he'd agreed to be downloaded to accompany her here. She didn't know if she could have done this alone.

"They'll stop him," Jor-El said softly. "I know you're worried, love, but they'll stop him."

"I hope so," Lara whispered, letting him hold her. "He's so much more powerful than they are."

Lara sighed with relief as the human's sensors picked up the meteor shower heading towards the Earth. They wouldn't be able to see the Black Ship in the heart of the swarm but at least Smallville would be warned and the residents would be rescued from destruction. She just hoped that there was enough time for everyone to get to safety before Brainiac and the Followers of Zod were unleashed upon the world.


"This is my new favorite thing," Clark breathed as Lex led him through the show at The Boutique.

Lex gave him a highly amused look. He wasn't sure what the new 'favorite thing' was. There were too many things to choose from. It could be the show itself: almost two dozen D/s couples and groups in their finest talking, socializing, and fucking around them. It could be the food, which Clark had just eaten quite a lot of. It could be watching an entirely too sexy male sub being fucked by his master and two of his friends at the same time. Lex raised an eyebrow, inviting Clark to share what his new favorite thing was.

"Locking penile plug with leash," Clark declared, keeping his voice low as was proper. He was grinning as he looked down at the newest toy that Lex had gotten him.

Lex laughed silently, shaking his head. Clark was so easy sometimes. The little toy wasn't much but if it made Clark happy so be it. Of course, he could understand why Clark liked it. It kept him from coming, kept him hard, couldn't be removed without Lex's permission and it had a little ring on the tip that let Lex lead him around by his cock. The explicit ownership of his body was a sure-fire turn on for Clark. And for Lex, if he was at all honest with himself—he liked 'owning' Clark.

They watched the sub for a while, and then meandered through The Boutique, Lex chatting with a couple of Doms and nodding to the Owner as they passed. It was wonderful to get out of the pressure and worries of the mansion, away from the search for Lionel and Genevieve. He'd been close to catching both of them on several occasions, but had never quite managed to get his hands on them. Of the two, Lex was more worried about Lionel than Genevieve. He couldn't quite see her going around killing people randomly, but it didn't matter. The mansion's security was solid enough that Lex had decided to give both Clark and himself a break. The latest show at The Boutique had been a perfect choice.

They were watching two female subs making out while their Master and Mistress watched when Lex's cell phone buzzed in his pocket. He sighed, pulling it out and raising an eyebrow in surprise. An automated message from the security service could not be good news. He headed for the stairs, Clark following compliantly, though he did make a little curious noise as they left the Boutique's sales area and headed into the lobby.

"What's up?" Clark asked, on alert despite the fact that he was wearing his collar, harness, the penile plug and leash and nothing else.

"Trouble," Lex said as he listened to the message. He growled and started cursing, heading for the guest changing room. "You need to get changed, Clark. There's some sort of attack on the mansion and we need to get home as quickly as possible."

"Right," Clark said, accepting it without batting an eye.

Clark checked that the changing room was empty and put his clothes on at super speed, leaving his pants unzipped so that Lex could take off the leash. Lex smirked and left the penile plug for now. Hopefully between the two of them they'd be able to deal with this threat and then head back to the show. Clark groaned as Lex tucked him back into his pants. Clark blushed violently at Lex's smirk.

"No reason to take that out yet," Lex murmured to him. "After all, I'm not ready to let that cock go, not for a good long time."

"Thank you, Master," Clark breathed, shuddering as Lex rubbed his crotch.

"Come on, we're going to fly together, love," Lex said, smiling at him.

Clark beamed, bouncing a little in the elevator as they went down to ground level. They'd practiced a lot more together (though Lex still hadn't gotten his outdoors naked flying sex, not that he was keeping track of course) and Clark had gotten to the point that he was comfortable flying as long as Lex was close by. Lex still wasn't that fond of it, but he was getting over his automatic fear that he was going to fall out of the sky every time he looked down. They dodged into the alleyway and within a couple of seconds they were heading into the sky so fast that no one would be able to see them even with high speed cameras. The world seemed to come to a compete stop as they sped towards Smallville. Lex still needed to have that talk with Lara about how to keep the air pressure and heat from destroying their clothes but now wasn't the time.

As they were flying Lara's summoning sound lanced through Lex's head like taking an ice pick to the temple. He flinched, checked that Clark was hearing it too and growled. They had more important things that her summons, though given the volume and shrillness of the noise this might be much more important than the last time she'd summoned them. He trusted that her scanners would let her hear him when he spoke, despite the air blasting around him like a hurricane.

"I don't have time for this, Lara," Lex snapped. "Whatever it is can't be as important as stopping whoever's broken into the mansion."

*It is the end of the world, Lex Lu-Thor,* Lara whispered to him alone. *That which happened at your home as set in motion the end of the world. Hurry to me as soon as you can. There is much that you do not know.*

"Fine," Lex snapped, landing outside his mansion and hurrying inside with Clark at his heels.

The place was in chaos. The power was out. The security system was down hard. The security team was either dead, knocked out with gas or panicking. Lex strode into the chaos with Clark at his heels, snapping orders and getting everyone back on track. He sent one guard to town to get the police with orders to call 911 as soon as he got cell phone coverage and hurried into his office to where a couple of guards were attempting to save Lionel's life.

Lex studied his farther for a long moment, torn between relief that the man was apparently finally dying and a desperate desire to make him better, to heal him. He couldn't help it. Lionel had tormented him most of his life, continued to torment him, but he was Lex's father and he wanted the love that should have come from the man. He sighed and went over kneeling next to Lionel. Lionel's eyes fluttered and he made a tiny gesture for Lex to come closer.

"What?" Lex asked, bending his head close so that he could hear whatever Lionel whispered, not that he really needed to bend over, but Lionel didn't need to know that.

"Gen…e…vieve," Lionel whispered in a voice so broken that Lex's heart clenched in his chest. "Orb…steal Clark's…powers…has…it…Lex. Must…stop…her…"

"Damn," Lex growled, nodding and taking Lionel's hand.

"What?" Clark asked, probably mostly for show. The security guards wouldn't have been able to hear what both of them had.

"Genevieve shot him," Lex said, meeting Clark's eyes. He could see Clark's worry but also his determination to help. "She took something from the house and Lionel apparently tried to stop her."

Lionel tugged weakly at Lex's hand, recapturing his attention. Lex bent close, a little surprised at the mixed pride and shame in Lionel's eyes. He looked like he'd done something but Lex wasn't sure what it could be.

"Shot…her," Lionel admitted, mouth twisting. "Twice…wounded. Won't…get…far…Lex."

"You actually shot a woman?" Lex said, raising an eyebrow and staring down at Lionel with an obviously amazed expression. "I never knew you had it in you, Father. That's always been your one absolute rule."

Lionel snarled at him, uttering a breathless curse that was half whimper of pain, not that he could do anything. Lex sighed. Well, if Genevieve was wounded then there was a far greater likelihood that they could take her down. Not perfect but she wasn't likely to get too far.

"Lex, I'm going to search for Genevieve," Clark declared. "You stay here. Your men need your direction and I'm pretty much worthless at this stuff."

"Be careful," Lex ordered, remembering what Lionel had said about an Orb that could take Clark's powers away. "She's still dangerous and I don't want you to get hurt."

"Understood," Clark said, nodding. "I'll be quick, I promise. I just want to see if she's still on the property or what."

Lex nodded, frowning as Clark hurried away. He didn't like this. He didn't like it at all, but Clark was right. He was needed here. There was a security system to get up again, police to deal with and his father was dying underneath Lex's hand. Clark was fast and invulnerable and he wasn't an idiot. He'd be all right. Lex kept telling himself that as he snapped orders at his remaining men, getting everything that was needed to stabilize his father. He might not be able to stand the man, and he was certainly an escaped prisoner, but Lex wasn't going commit murder by inaction. There was a lot he could do to save Lionel's life, so he set about doing it, all the while worrying about Clark and trying to hear what he was doing at the same time that he listened to what was going on around him. It didn't work very well, especially since Lara's summons was still sounding in his ears, though faintly and not painfully.


Clark stepped into the hallway and walked quickly for the door. As soon as the others weren't looking he sped out of the house. He could hear a woman's voice cursing and a car swerving on the road close to the mansion. He could hear the sound of blood dripping. It had to be Genevieve Teague, Jason's father and Lionel's murderer (if he died). He took to the air and dodged through the trees around the mansion, taking a short cut so that he ended up on the road in front of Genevieve Teague's car.

She was driving erratically, panting and pale. Blood covered her shoulder but she still tried to drive on. He hovered for a moment, surprised at how little of her there was in Jason. She had auburn hair that was coming undone from a stylish updo. Her clothing and jewelry were impeccable, other than the fact that they were covered in blood. Her car was the epitome of class and money, the leather slowing staining as she bled out. And there was a small box lined with lead sitting on the seat next to her. That had to be what she'd stolen from the mansion.

He swooped down in front of her car, waiting impassively for her to stop, swerve around him or run into him. She wouldn't hurt him no matter what she did so it didn't matter. Her eyes widened as time slowed down a little for Clark. She obviously knew him, knew who he was. He wondered for a second if she knew what he was. He didn't like that thought at all. From everything that Jason had said, Genevieve was a terrible person. He didn't like the thought of her knowing what he was.

Genevieve jerked the wheel of her car hard, suddenly swerving off of the road. She smashed through the fence around the neighboring cornfield and plowed at least a dozen yards into the corn. Clark sighed for his neighbor's fence and then went after her. Her car had died when she'd crashed to a stop, so all there was to hear was the sound of the engine ticking, oil or gas dripping out of the car, and Genevieve's whimpers as she struggled to free herself from the car.

"You stole something that doesn't belong to you," Clark said, doing his best angry Jor-El tone of voice.

Genevieve laughed, a broken little sound that shouldn't have been scary but was. There was something very wrong in that laugh. There was something very wrong with her, though Clark wasn't sure what it was. Genevieve finally managed to get the car door open, turning to ease her legs out of the car as Clark approached her cautiously. She had the lead-lined box in her lap, clutching it to her blood-stained shirt. It looked like Lionel had shot her in the stomach and the shoulder. Clark winced. She had to be in agony but still she kept going.

"That's amusing," Genevieve said, smirking at him with eyes that were more than half mad. "You and your cousin stole far more than an artifact. You stole my son."

"He's not a possession," Clark said, glaring at her. "He's a person and he's happy."

"He's being treated like a possession!" Genevieve snapped, her voice, even broken from pain, taking on the tones that made Clark's instinct for submission whimper to kneel and beg forgiveness. "He is my son! He should never be kneeling to that little slut. That bitch has no right to him and I will free him from her!"

Clark shook his head, not at all surprised that she didn't understand Kara and Jason's relationship. Practically no one did. How could they? It wasn't something that was biologically normal for humans the way it was for Kryptonians. But it didn't really matter if she understood it or not. Clark couldn't let her threaten his cousin or her boy. He couldn't let her threaten Lex, and clearly she'd do that. She was mad, or at least well on the path to madness.

"That doesn't matter," Clark declared. "Give me the box."

"It does matter," Genevieve whispered, glaring at him. "He is my son and I will get him back. And you will help me, Kal-El."

Clark stiffened at her suddenly sly tone of voice and then stepped back when she used his birth name. How the hell did she know about Kal-El? He had never used that name when he was whoring, preferring to let the johns come up with whatever name they wanted. The best he would give them was CK or Calvin. Lex never called him that and even Kara has stopped using it on the first day. The only person that he knew of that used 'Kal-El' other than Lara was Dr. Swann and he couldn't see Genevieve being involved with Dr. Swann. Dr. Swann had helped him and Lex.

Genevieve smirked and whimpered as she straightened up. She flipped open the latches on the box and opened the lid. Clark gasped, staggering. It was like the artifact or whatever she had in the box was made of Kryptonite only it wasn't. It wasn't so much that he was in pain. He felt like he was being drained, like his powers were flowing out of his body and going somewhere else. The box slowly started glowing and Clark realized that it was true. His powers were being drained, drained away into the Orb and once the process was done Genevieve would have them, would have him.

"Perfect," Genevieve said, smirking at him. "I can see that it's working, Kal-El. Soon your powers will be mine and I'll destroy that interloping girl. I'll take Jason back and get his foolish little head back on straight. I'll have the power and I'll take back the Stones that you stole before I could get them. Then I'll have everything!"

"No!" Clark gasped, dropping to his knees.

She really was mad, Clark realized. His hands closed on a rock and he bit his lip hard enough to taste blood. He needed to stop her but he couldn't move, couldn't stand. He wrapped his fingers around the rock and drew on every bit of will power he had. Lifting his arm to throw the rock felt like he was moving through mud. He was so slow and so weak, so barely able to move. The Orb was glowing brighter by the second but Clark didn't look at that as he threw the rock. He looked at Genevieve, at her forehead, aiming right between the eyes.

The rock hit her squarely but it wasn't enough to knock her out. She cried out though, rocking back to hit her shoulder against the steering wheel. He heard broken bones crunch as they moved and Genevieve's eyes rolled back in her head as she passed out, collapsing inside of her car with her legs sticking out of the door. The Orb was still glowing, still draining him so Clark struggled to crawl closer, the Need suddenly welling up in him like a ravenous beast. He needed Lex, needed his master so badly but he had a task, he had to close the box, had to shut off the light coming from the box so that it wouldn't hurt him anymore.

He barely managed it, his hands shaking so badly that he could barely latch the box shut again. That made the terrible draining feeling go away but he was still so weak and the need had his heart pounding so badly. Clark took the box in one hand and struggled to his feet. Lex. Lex. He needed to get back to his Master, back to Lex. Clark looked around blearily and followed the tire tracks back to the road, struggling towards the trees that surrounded the mansion. He heard a car screech to a stop behind him but didn't care. He needed his Master. He needed Lex.


"Fucking hell," Jason swore as he drove towards the mansion at top speed, more than top speed. "Fucking trouble at the mansion and Kara's flown away and don't know what the hell is going on."

He screeched around a corner and stared. Clark was staggering down the middle of the road like he was drunk or had been shot, holding a little box in his hand. Jason screeched to a stop behind Clark, jumping out. Guess Kara was right, Jason thought as he ran over to catch Clark before he collapsed in the road. Something is going on at the Mansion.

"Clark, what's wrong?" Jason asked. "Come on, buddy. Talk to me. What happened?"

"Genevieve," Clark panted, looking at Jason with pupils so wide that he looked drugged out of his mind. "Shot Lionel. Killed a bunch of guards. Stole something. Was escaping. It…it…it stole my powers, Jason. They're gone. They're gone and I need Lex so bad, need him, but I can't, I can't, I can't see and I can't think and I'm so slow. I can't get to him, and I need him so bad!"

"I'll take you to him," Jason promised, catching Clark's chin and making him meet his eyes as Clark's attention wandered. "Come on, buddy. Let's get you in my truck and I promise, you'll be back with Lex in no time."

Clark nodded and nearly collapsed. The guy was huge and heavy as hell as Jason wedged himself under one of Clark's arms. He could feel a harness of some sort under Clark's clothes and was surprised that even in the middle of this sort of chaos he could be jealous that Clark got such things. Petty little bastard, Jason growled at himself. He got the passenger door open and tried to get Clark into the truck but he was mostly gone now, whimpering and panting like he was in agony.

"Clark!" Jason yelled. "Get in the fucking truck, damn it!"


"Move!" Jason roared, somehow hefting Clark's bulk and getting him into the passenger seat.

He didn't bother strapping Clark in. He just slammed the door and ran around to the driver's side, peeling out as he burned rubber to get to the mansion. The guards at the outer gate were dead, which told Jason just how fucking serious this was. He drove right past them, heading up the long driveway towards the mansion, cursing under his breath. His mom. His mom had done all of this. He steadied Clark with one had as he screeched around a corner and spotted the mansion at last. There were a couple of dead people at the door and security guards checking them out.

"Why'd she do this?" Jason asked, not expecting an answer.

"You…" Clark breathed, turning to look at Jason with worry in his eyes. "Wanted…to get…you back…from Kara. Wanted ultimate power. Wanted you. Own you."

"Fuck," Jason breathed, his guts feeling like someone had just poured ice water in his veins.

That was the creepiest thing he'd ever heard. He'd always known that his mom was bug-nuts about power but he'd never realized that she was that obsessed with controlling his life. Sure, he knew that she got a kick out of making him do what she wanted but she did that with everyone around her. He shook his head and screeched to a stop in front of the mansion.

"Lex!" Jason bellowed, trusting that Lex would hear him. He knew he would. Kara had told him about her hearing. "Clark's hurt!"

"What happened?" Lex asked, suddenly right in front of Jason with nothing but a whoosh of air.

"Jesus, don't do that!" Jason gasped, nearly jumping out of his shoes.

He'd been pretty sure that Lex had powers too but this was the first time that Lex had shown them where Jason could see. They had all been pretty careful about using their powers. Jason was sure that it wasn't just him. Even Kara was careful, but he thought it was because she was trying hard to fit in, not because she didn't trust him. The fact that Lex had used his powers in front of Jason said one hell of a lot about how much he cared about Clark. Jason was under no illusions that it had anything to do with Lex trusting him.

"What happened?" Lex demanded, catching Jason's arm and squeezing hard enough to leave bruises right down to the bone. He didn't seem to realize that he was doing it.

"Don't know for sure," Jason said, looking at Clark. "I found him on the road to here. He said something about my mom killing a bunch of people, stealing his powers. He's gone, Lex. It's like he's drugged out of his mind or stabbed in the gut or something. I got him here as quick as I could. Whatever mom stole, it's in that box. I'd bet that it's dangerous as all hell."

Lex was gone again, suddenly standing on the passenger side of the truck, easing Clark out of it. He held Clark in his arms like he weighed nothing, like he was a child instead of a man bigger and way bulkier than Lex was. Lex juggled Clark in his arms and carefully grabbed the box. There was the sound of sirens in the distance, which made Jason sigh with relief. At least the cops were coming finally. Lex frowned, biting his lip. He looked at the mansion, at his watching men, and then looked down at Clark who seemed to have passed out in his arms.

"I can't stay but—" Lex stopped, worry and love so clear on his face that Jason sighed.

"Lex, just go," Jason told him. "I'll deal with your men and the cops. I'll say that I got a notice on my cell phone, which I probably did and hurried over here. You weren't here. Neither of you were ever here."

Lex looked at him, his face nearly a perfect mask other than the surprise and grudging approval in his eyes. He nodded once, making that little millisecond smirk that Jason had never been able to interpret. Then there was a huge whoosh up into the air and Lex was gone, taking Clark and the box with him. Jason looked up, just barely able to see the dot that had to be Lex flying, fucking flying away with Clark.

"I'll be God damned," Jason breathed, shaking his head. He let out a low whistle and then turned to Lex's men. "All right! You heard him. He was never here and we've got cops on the way. Any security cameras to wipe?"

"No sir," one the security guards said, looking frustrated. "The entire security system is down and we've lost half a dozen men. That bitch you call a mother nearly wiped us out."

"Yeah, she's good at that," Jason sighed, slamming the door to his truck. "Any survivors?"

He headed inside the mansion, worrying about Clark and Lex and most especially about Kara. Genevieve would be caught. Apparently she'd been shot and he'd bet anything that the tracks he'd seen near where he'd found Clark were from where she'd gone off the road. She'd gambled for everything and lost it all. He almost hoped that she died from it but she was his mom and he couldn't really mean it.

Mostly he worried about Kara as he dealt with the security issues and then welcomed the cops. He didn't finger the collar around his neck as he talked to them. He didn't play with the key carefully tucked into his pocket. He didn't do anything to make it obvious that his collar was anything other than a necklace but he couldn't help but worry obsessively about her. She was out there doing something that almost had to be dangerous given everything that was going on today and he wanted her to come back. She'd better come back. He needed her to come back, just as badly as Clark needed Lex.


Kara giggled as Jason slowly kissed his way up her inner thigh. She loved him so much. It didn't really matter that he'd started out as a spy and she'd agreed to keep an eye on him. He was cute and fun and sweet. He was kind and gentle, though part of that might be because she was so invulnerable. He grinned at her, giving her a nip as he wormed his fingers towards her crotch. The best part of all of this was that he'd chosen her over his mother, just like a Kryptonian would have. He'd stepped away from his mother's house and power and moved to hers, not that she had a house of her own properly, but still. It was the thought that counted. He'd left Genevieve and chosen Kara and she couldn't help but adore him for it. He shuddered as she ran her fingers through his hair and then resumed his slow progress up her leg. Such a good boy!

A sharp noise stabbed through her head and Kara gasped as Auntie Lara's summons swept over her. She clutched Jason for a second, shaking her head and then pushed him aside so that she could jump to her feet. Auntie Lara wouldn't have summoned her for anything minor so Kara scanned the area, finding nothing that would have justified it. No immanent attack, no threats, not even a stray car going by. Jason got to his feet, catching Kara's hand.

"What's wrong?" Jason asked, looking seriously worried. "Kara sweetie, what's wrong?"

"I have to go," Kara said, shaking. "Something's wrong. You need to get to the mansion, Jason. Something's happened over there. Lex and Clark will need your help. I'll join you as quick as I can. There's somewhere else I have to go first."

"You sure?" Jason asked, running a hand over her arm in a move that always comforted her when she was upset. He already knew her so well.

"I'm sure," Kara said, pulling on her Mistress manners to reassure him as much as he was reassuring her. "Go. I'll join you soon, I promise."

"You better," Jason said, his voice going rough with suppressed emotion.

Jason hurried down the stairs to his car and Kara took to the air, lancing towards the Fortress at top speed. She really didn't know what was going on but it didn't matter. Auntie Lara would tell her once she got there so the best thing to do was to get there now. Kara didn't quite manage 'now' but she did get there within about a minute and a half, despite a snowstorm between her and the Fortress. She swooped in and landed in front of the control console, breathing hard from fighting to fly so fast and worry.

"Auntie Lara!" Kara called. "What's wrong? Why'd you summon me?"

"Kara, the Black Ship has awoken and is on its way to the planet," Auntie Lara said, her voice full of a grim intensity that Kara hadn't heard very often. "Lex Lu-Thor and Kal-El are dealing with the earthly threats that face the surviving Kryptonians, thus you must be the one to face Brainiac."

"What can I do?" Kara said, fighting of an instant of complete and utter terror.

She knew perfectly well what Brainiac was capable of but that was when it was attached to a planet-wide computer system with control of the environment and all planetary core energy mining system. It was stuck in one small ship right now, with limited weapons. It didn't have the freedom to clone itself. It didn't have the freedom to destroy the weather or start earthquakes. It was just one small ship and she had a ship and Auntie Lara had the Fortress to call upon.

"I have purged the computer system of your ship," Auntie Lara said, her voice far more approving now. "I've uploaded a new operating system so that there is no possibility of Brainiac taking over or of your father having left behind any viruses that would threaten your welfare. If you take your ship up and fight, you can at least thin the number of meteors that accompany Brainiac. I do not know if you can stop him, Kara. His shields are very powerful."

"I can at least try," Kara declared. "I'm a woman of Krypton, Aunt Lara. I'm glad that I get to defend my new world and my mate. I sort of thought I'd never get the chance to go into battle, given the human's attitudes about women in combat."

"Yes," Auntie Lara breathed, the sound barely a whisper by Kara's ear. She made a little sigh and then Kara's red ship floated out of the storeroom where they'd stashed it. "Do your best, Kara. But do not allow yourself to be killed. You must survive to protect your boy. He is only a human and very vulnerable to Brainiac and the human enemies you face."

"I will," Kara said. "You be careful too, Auntie. Brainiac could try and infect you."

Lara laughed, sounding amused. Kara wasn't sure what was so funny about that. Brainiac was seriously scary. She started checking her ship out; making sure that everything was working. It had been a really long trip and she'd been stuck in the mud for a long, long time, so it made sense to do a quick check before she went up into battle. Everything seemed okay and the diagnostics when she got into her ship showed everything to be all right.

"All right," Kara said, settling into the cushions. "Looks like I'm about ready to go."

You didn't sit in a spaceship. Kara always giggled when she saw spaceships on TV. They had it so wrong. Why waste all that space? You lay down and the cushions supported your body against any G forces. The controls were at your feet and fingertips, focused on your eyes and the flickers of your facial muscles. Her ship powered up, sealing her in and securing her against attack. The control surfaces adhered to her fingers and hands, the soles of her feet. Delicate little tendrils extended down and caressed her face more gently than even Jason at his most tender. She blinked twice and the ship lifted off of the ground.

"I'm off, Aunt Lara," Kara said, being more serious because she needed to be in a more serious mindset to go into battle. "Keep an eye on the others for me. I'll be back as quick as I can."

"I know dear," Lara said in her ear, somehow part of Kara's ship now. "I've twinned myself so that I can go with you. It's a limited version of myself but I should be able to help you in combat."

"Thank you!" Kara beamed, grateful that the ship was smart enough to know the difference between joy and a command to attack.

She flicked the ship on its tail and flew out of the Fortress, being careful not to run into any walls. Then she was lancing up out of the atmosphere so fast that the sensors told her she was leaving a fire trail. Lara called up the Black Ship and displayed the battlefield for her. Instead of feeling like she was in a ship, lying flat on her back, Kara now felt like she was flying into space. She was stronger than she had been and faster and had much better weapons. But Brainiac in his Black Ship had far better weapons and his reaction speed was a lot better than hers. He was digital after all and she was just flesh and blood, for all that she was a Kryptonian and able to think and move at super speed.

"Let's see what I can do here," Kara muttered to herself, studying the incredible shields that Brainiac had covering his 'body'. They were too strong for her to have much effect on the ship but she could certainly destroy the meteors surround him.

She started firing on him, matching his speed towards the planet and blowing up the meteors methodically. It took two or three shots to get each meteor because of the shields but that was all right. She had plenty of power up here in space. The wash of solar energy from the sun gave her ship (and Kara) almost unlimited power to work from. Brainiac could use a lot of power but he was a computer so he couldn't use infinite levels of it without frying himself. That limited his shields, thank goodness.

She destroyed one, and then two, then three meteors, always choosing the biggest ones that would have the worst effect on Earth. She started on the fourth and then Brainiac fired on her ship. It hurt, the ship letting her know that her shields were up to fighting that for very long. It wasn't a real pain, just a synthetic one. Kara growled and glared at the Black Ship. She adjusted her shields and kept firing, determined to do whatever she could against him. She didn't want to try and pierce those shields with her ship, not yet. There was so much nasty stuff he could do to her ship and then her if he got his hands on her. She destroyed the fourth meteor and took two more hits that made her ache. It was like a bruise, a deep one, but not like a wound. He was hurting her ship, but he wasn't destroying it yet.

"I'm modulating your shields," Lara said, doing something that Kara couldn't follow as another bolt blasted towards her. "He's figuring out the frequencies and will be able to cut through if we're not careful."

"Damn him," Kara snarled, blasting more meteors.

The smaller ones were easier to destroy than the huge ones so she set to work on them, getting rid of a lot of mid-sized ones very quickly. Brainiac kept firing on her, now using multiple bursts of blasts instead of just single ones. It made her gasp and moan from the damage he was doing to her ship. It wasn't going to survive long; she wasn't going to survive long like this. She started dodging, no longer letting him easily target her. They wove a complicated dance of attack and defense, targeting and evasion. Kara didn't know anymore how long they'd been at this and she really didn't care. She'd gotten rid of all the bigger meteors by now and he was left with only dust and the ones that would be about head sized when they went through the atmosphere.

"The humans have detected the battle," Lara said, sounding massively annoyed. "They're quite fascinated."

"Lovely," Kara drawled. "That means they're going to be following us when we crash aren't they?"

"Most likely," Lara sighed. "You're shielded from detection but the shields are getting too weak, Kara. Very soon they're going to be able to see you."

"Damn!" Kara cursed.

She hated this. She didn't want the human government to know about her or her ship. She'd seen way too many TV shows and movies already. She knew what they'd do and she really didn't want to be locked up in a lab in Area 51 to be experimented on, not that they'd be able to keep her but they'd probably go after Jason and that would really suck. There wasn't anything special about Jason and they'd hurt him. But he was hers so he'd be a target, too.

Kara's spiraling thoughts were cut off as Brainiac's latest attack connected and destroyed her shields entirely. Kara cried out, feeling like she'd been stabbed in the gut. There was no blood but she could see some sort of fluid from the ship leaking out. Her ship was dying, though she was still okay inside of her protective cocoon. Lara shut off the pain sensors for that area and Kara could think again. She was down to purely physical defenses now. Against almost any other opponent that'd be more than enough to keep her safe but not against Brainiac. His ship was made of the same special Kryptonian materials that her ship was, so there was no advantage there.

"I'm fighting too defensively," Kara snarled, glaring at Brainiac. "I've done all that I can about the meteors. It's time to fight him!"

"Be careful!" Lara gasped.

"Not likely," Kara said, calling up all of her weapons. They were undamaged, thank goodness. He'd been focused totally on her shields, which made sense. Get through the shields and it would be much easier to get the weapons and then to get Kara.

Kara started blasting Brainiac's ship, targeting his weapons systems. She knew she wasn't going t be able to stop him. It was a lost cause, had always been a lost cause, but if she could just slow him down, make him obvious, make it so that the government and Lex and Clark had a chance to get him, then she'd have done some good. Her blasts didn't do much good at first but she kept trying new patterns of attack, doing wild and crazy things, impulsive things that no logical computer would ever do because really? Why would anyone do that? It worked, it worked brilliantly and she blew out one of his weapons, the nasty laser that had taken out her shields.

"Naughty, naughty," Brainiac drawled at Kara over the communicators. "Really, why are you fighting me, girl? Your father didn't send you here to protect them. He sent you here to rule them."

"He didn't send me here at all," Kara snarled as she kept blasting him and trying to get through his quickly evolving defenses. "I came because I wanted to. If you think you're going to have any chance of taking this world, you're wrong!"

"Oh I'm not wrong," Brainiac said in a dangerously gentle tone of voice. "I'm never wrong, Kara. But I am getting impatient with your juvenile display."

They were getting a bit closer to the atmosphere now, not so close that she was in danger of getting friction burning against her ship's hull but close enough that she was worried about satellites being damaged by their battle. She didn't want them to be damaged, not when it meant less TV and power and phone and all sorts of things for the people of Earth, not to mention that it would draw even more attention.

The next attack completely blindsided Kara. Brainiac didn't fire on her. He fired on the planet. The blast he let loose was more than strong enough to kill everyone in a mile radius of where it hit. Kara screamed and steered her ship in front of the blast, taking it to keep the Earth from being hit. She screamed again as the blast tore through her ship's outer hull and damaged the inner defenses. It hurt! Great Rao, it hurt! Lara shut off her pain sensors, making it impossible for Kara to be hurt.

"He's going to destroy me, isn't he?" Kara breathed to Lara as Brainiac laughed over the communicators.

"Yes," Lara sighed. "I'm so sorry, Kara. I can't keep up with him. He's faster than I am. I've been trying to block him but I can't. And now he's inside of our defenses. If I attack him from the Fortress then everyone on Earth will know where I am."

"Don't do that," Kara ordered. "Lex wouldn't want you to do that. Kal wouldn't! And I certainly don't. I'll be fine. I'm stronger now. Do what you have to, Auntie Lara. Protect yourself and protect the others."

Kara turned back to the battle, determined to do whatever it took to stop Brainiac's attacks. She was pretty sure that he wouldn't do much more like that. The point wasn't to destroy the planet. It was to destroy her ship. Two or three more blasts like that and her ship would self-destruct in the upper atmosphere, which would spread a radioactive plume over much of the planet given the winds in the upper atmosphere. Kara snarled and turned her ship, aiming it straight at the Black Ship.

"What are you doing?" Brainiac asked, sounding alarmed. "You idiot child! You can't be serious!"

"I'm not going to let you do it!" Kara shouted, staring the self destruct on her ship and then diving straight at him. "I won't let you hurt my new home!"

She flicked off the communicator back to the Fortress, not wanting to listen to Lara yelling at her. She didn't listen to Brainiac's shouts at her. She just kept flying straight at him, taking one hit, a second, a third. She fired back at him as she flew, managing to destroy another weapon before she smacked into his shields. They bowed and then she was through, flying so fast at him. The timer was counting down and Kara cried, thinking of Jason, her poor sweet Jason. She was leaving him behind and she really hadn't intended to.

"You're not allowed to die yet, Kara," Lara's voice whispered from her ship's computer. "Jason needs you too much."

Kara shouted and then gasped a last gulp of air as the final blast from Brainiac's ship tore through her ship and triggered the escape system. She thought she'd disabled it but apparently she hadn't or maybe Lara's copy in the computer system had disabled it. It didn't matter either way. She's instantaneously beamed away from the site of the explosion to a point that happens to be in the very upper edge of the atmosphere. Kara would gasp but there's not enough air to gasp here and besides, Brainiac apparently had way more computing power than Kara thought because there's a blast heading straight at her.

It smashes into her hard enough to drive her down into the atmosphere. She cries out, loosing what little air she had in her lungs and then she's struggling to fly, to get away. Smallville's on the other side of the planet, not this side. She has to get home, has to get back to Jason but she's got so far to go and Brainiac is blasting her, hitting her again and again as she struggles to flee with little or no air to breathe and no time to reorient herself.

But she can hear Jason. She can hear him pacing and fuming. It's been longer than she thought, maybe a few hours and he's in the mansion just like she told him. He's staying there and worrying and taking care of things for Lex because Lex and Clark aren't back yet, they're somewhere else. It must be the Fortress, Kara thinks as she takes one last blast as she targets in on the mansion and the sound of Jason's face.

The blast tears through her and she feels her ribs break, her skin burn but she's healing so fast because of the sunshine on her that it's just the concussive force of the blast that knocks her out. Then she's falling and falling and there's fire all around her and she barely knows where she's going but Jason's heartbeat is strong and clear and she hears it pick up volume as she gets closer, closer to home, closer to her boy. When she hits the earth it hurts enough that what little consciousness there was fades away entirely and she's out like a light.

"Jason," Kara moans and faints in her crater in the garden of the mansion.


"Damn it where is she?" Jason mutters as he looks out the window for the millionth time. "Where are they for that matter?"

The cops were long gone, having taken Lionel back into custody in the prison hospital. Genevieve had been found and arrested, too. She was headed for the women's prison hospital under charges of nine counts of murder and a host of assault, property damage and theft charges. Jason had seen her when they'd taken her away. He couldn't believe that he'd ever trusted her. She looked truly insane and not because of the blood covering her or the bruise on her forehead where she'd hit it. It was the look in her eyes and he prayed to God that he never had to see her again.

Jason heard a rumble and hurried to the window, staring up as a ball of fire fell from the sky. He didn't know how he knew but he knew that this wasn't a meteor. The authorities were already going around and warning everyone that more meteors were on the way. But they weren't due until tomorrow afternoon. This was Kara. He knew it. He'd seen Lex take off into the air like a meteor in reverse and this had to be his beautiful Mistress coming back to him but this was all wrong. She wouldn't fly like that, like a rock falling out of the sky.

Jason turned and ran for the door, barreling into one of the security men. He didn't bother to yell a quick 'sorry'. He kept running, heart pounding as he charged down the steps and out into Lex's formal garden. Kara, Kara, it was Kara and he knew it! He made it over the rise just as the fireball smashed into the earth, setting off a shockwave the knocked him off of his feet. His ears were ringing so badly and his nose was bleeding from where he'd smacked it against his knee but he didn't give a damn. He rolled back to his feet and wavered when he stood, shaken.

"Kara!" Jason yelled, staggering and then walking and then running up over the little hill.

There was a crater not more than a hundred yards from him. He ran over, scrambling up the edge of it and then sliding down the inside of it. She was there, bruised and broken, dressed in rags, but she was there, his beautiful Mistress with her golden hair and laughter and gentle fingers. He was sobbing as he scrambled down to her side, hearing sirens coming from the distance.

"Fuck Kara," Jason breathed, ever so gently rolling her over. He laughed and cried as she moaned. "Alive, oh yes, that's my girl! You're alive!"

He picked her up, carefully getting her head against his shoulder and started scrambling back out of the crater with Kara in his arms. The remaining security guys were there, staring at him and her with eyes so wide.

"I need to get her in the house before the cops get here," Jason snapped at them. "Come on! Give me a hand here!"

"God in heaven," Dan, the new head of security breathed. "I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it."

"You didn't see it," Jason snarled at him. "Now give me a hand, damn it!"

Dan scrambled and helped Jason out of the crater, shouting orders to the others to clean up their tracks and make it look good. Jason was so focused on Kara that he barely heard Dan yelling to the others to go grab a meteor from Lex's collection to throw in the middle of it, but he nodded at the order. That was right, that was good; give them something else to find, something besides his girl, his beautiful Mistress, his Kara.

He ran for the house and made it inside and up the stairs before the fire department and sheriff arrived. He got Kara into the shower and set her on the floor, stripping out of his clothes as quickly as he could. There was something on her skin, something like dust so he turned the water on and started washing her clean. The dust glittered green as he washed it away. Everywhere that he rinsed looked better so he got the soap and started washing her body, scrubbing the dust away. Her injuries melted away under his hands but she was still out and her hair had a strange green tint to it. Jason grabbed the shampoo and washed her hair, being gentle in case she had some sort of head injury but pretty soon she was moaning and blinking her eyes at him.

"Hey Sunshine," Jason breathed, grinning at her. "Welcome home."

"Jason?" Kara breathed, staring up at him. "Why are you crying?"

"Not crying, it's spray from the shower," Jason said, swallowing hard as he realized that he was crying. "Let me finish washing your hair, golden girl. You had this green dust all over you. I think it was hurting you."

She nodded, shifting position and letting him rinse her hair out. After a second she stood in the spray, the remnants of her clothes falling away in the water's flow. He got the soap and washed her back, her butt, and her legs. She smiled and let him. She was fine. She was fine, no bruises left, no injuries, just his perfect, wonderful Mistress. He sobbed and flung his arms around her waist and she crooned, running her fingers through his hair, using those magic ninja fingers to calm him.

"It's all right, Jason," Kara said gently. "You did exactly right. You saved me. It's all right."

"Don't do that again," Jason begged, looking up at her from his knees. The shower stall was small for this and the floor was cold with the water still sluicing over them. "Please don't do that again."

"I can't guarantee that," Kara said sadly, pulling him to his feet. "Brainiac, the one who destroyed my home world is coming, Jason. I have to fight him. I can't guarantee that I won't be hurt, but I will always try and come back to you. I'll always protect you. I can promise you that."

He groaned and hugged her close, loving the way that her curves melded against his. The water was getting cold but he couldn't care less. Kara clung to him just as hard as he clung to her. She was shaking, obviously not with cold. They held each other for a long moment, until the water went pure cold and he started shivering. Kara shut off the water and opened the shower door. She grabbed a towel to dry him off.

"Let me," Jason said, the expression on his face turning it into a question, a request for permission.

"Thank you," Kara said, nodding and kissing him.

She seemed much older than her sixteen and a half years to Jason. She also seemed very different from the mock-human girl he'd gotten used to. He dried her body, considering it. She was powerful, beautiful and so loving as he dried her off. Perfect and the look in her eyes told him better than any words what she felt about him. She took the towel and dried him off, too, worshiping his body as he'd worshiped hers. In the end they hugged and went to get clean clothes. There were cops and firemen outside. An enemy from another world was coming. No matter how much he wanted to hide, they had to face the world.

"Together," Kara breathed, taking Jason's hand and smiling.

He didn't think he'd said that out loud but apparently it didn't matter. She could tell what he was thinking. He smiled at her and nodded, twining his fingers with hers. He lifted her hand and kissed her fingers, making her grin at him. Then she pulled him along as she charged out the room like the same old Kara.

"Together," Jason agreed, laughing at her delighted giggle.


Lex soared through the air, his ears tuned into Clark's faltering heartbeat. He was desperately worried about Clark, worried enough that any issues he'd had with showing his powers in public were no longer a concern. The Caves were faster than flying straight to the Fortress, so Lex flew there and used super speed to get them both to the table in the inner chamber. It took a lot of juggling to get the key out of his pocket without dropping either Clark or the box with the Orb that had stolen his powers but Lex managed it after entirely too many milliseconds of struggling. The strange non-movement of being transported to the fortress was just as disorienting as when he'd been a human, but at least they were there and Lara hopefully could fix it.

"Bring him to me," Lara said, not bothering with the normal greetings.

"You can fix it, can't you?" Lex asked, trembling despite himself as Clark's heart fluttered again.

"I can, but it is not easy," Lara sighed. "The object which stole his powers was quite thorough. It did not only take his powers away, it also increased the Need to a nearly lethal level, Lex Lu-Thor. It will take time for me to repair the damage that has been inflicted on him."

A bed of crystal rose up out of the Fortress floor close to the control panel. Lex carefully laid Clark on it, petting his cheek lovingly. Clark sighed and his heartbeat stabilized as soon as Lex set him down, so obviously Lara had already started work. Lex looked at the box with the Orb, wondering if it was safe to open it and if they could return Clark's powers by smashing the thing.

"It will take hours," Lara said sadly. "I am sorry, Lex Lu-Thor. I had hoped that it would be possible to heal my son more quickly but the changes were quite extreme. If Zor-El were not dead already I would have to kill him myself!"

"You know who created it?" Lex asked, surprised. "I thought it was an ancient artifact."

"It is an ancient artifact, created by the Kryptonians of ages gone by to control Kryptonians who decided to remain on Earth and attempt to take it over," Lara said, lights glowing over Clark's body as she set to work. "Zor-El altered the key to it and then sent it to Earth to be used against Kal-El and Kara should they not follow his designs."

Lex frowned. He was rather glad that Zor-El was dead, too. He'd have been required to kill the man otherwise and he was sure that Clark would have been disappointed in him for doing it. Lex gingerly set the box with the Orb down, unsure what else to do with it. He felt useless since he didn't seem to have anything to do. He wasn't sure if Kara had been called to the Fortress but she wasn't here, so he had to assume that she hadn't been or that she was already gone.

"Why did you summon us, Lara?" Lex asked, doing his best not to twitch impatiently from his worry about Clark.

"The Black Ship has woken," Lara said, her voice so grim that Lex rocked back on his heels. "Kara has taken her ship up to fight it but she is doomed to lose. Her ship does not have the power to defeat him."

"Damn," Lex breathed, heart starting to beat a little faster. "Is there any way that we can help her survive? Is there anything that I can do?"

"Yes," Lara said, relieved. "Use the Fortress' defenses to help her, Lex Lu-Thor. I shall work on restoring my son so that both of you will be able to fight Brainiac and the passengers of his ship."

Lex nodded, going to the control console. He held his hands over the console and the appropriate crystals rose up to meet his hands. The monitor system showed the Earth, Kara's red ship and the Black Ship. Kara was busily blasting away at the meteors surrounding the Black Ship, reducing them to rubble. Lex focused and found that with little tweaks of the crystals and thoughts he was able to target the Fortress' weapons on the Black Ship. It was hard because he didn't want to harm Kara but he did manage to get a few good shots in. After a bit the large meteors were all gone and Kara started attacking the Black Ship directly. Her ship was being damaged and Lex cursed, wishing that he could do something to protect her but that was impossible. The Fortress' weapons didn't include anything that would protect her. He growled when they passed inside of the range of the Fortress' weapons, making it impossible for him to help Kara anymore. He watched, jittering with worry for both her and Clark. When her ship rammed the Black Ship, Lex shouted to Kara, to Lara, to God knew who. He sighed with relief that Kara had been teleported away and then cursed viciously that the Black Ship was only scorched. There were pockmarks in the hull where Kara and Lex had successfully damaged it, but it flew on slowly, or at least it seemed slowly compared to poor Kara who was still getting blasted, still getting hurt despite the fact that her ship was gone.

"Is she going to survive?" Lex demanded.

"I…believe so," Lara said, her voice serious, worried. "She is strong and the yellow sun helps her to heal even as she is injured, Lex Lu-Thor."

"Clark?" Lex asked, looking at him.

"I estimate that it shall take at least another hour," Lara said apologetically. "I am sorry."

Lex sighed, letting the weapons go fully inactive. He continued to watch the monitors, arms crossed over his chest. This was torture. He wouldn't leave Clark. He couldn't help Kara. He couldn't stop the Black Ship. He couldn't deal with the police in Smallville. He couldn't do anything about Lionel or Genevieve or the Veritas Society.

"God I hate to be helpless," Lex murmured with a tired sigh. He kept watching on the monitors, tracking what was happening in the world.

Kara landed and Jason saved her from the police. His men were brilliant and dealt with the fire department and the Sheriff perfectly, which made Lex smile. It was about time that he had a staff that was competent. Lex started monitoring the police in Smallville as they scrambled to get the populace of Smallville out of the town. He wasn't at all surprised that it quickly turned into chaos on the streets but the authorities didn't do too bad of a job getting the word out. At least Smallville was fairly prepared, having experienced the previous meteor shower. The police had brought in the army and the army was clearly already aware that there was a spaceship in the middle of the meteor shower. After the battle between Kara and Brainiac they'd have to be blind and stupid to miss it.

Clark moaned and Lex was next to him in milliseconds. Lara's lights were still moving over him but his eyes fluttered open. Lex hesitantly reached out and took his hand. Lara didn't say anything and all Lex felt was warmth so he had to assume that it was okay. Clark squeezed his hand, smiling weakly at Lex. His grip was like a human's grip which made Lex's stomach clench.

"What happened?" Clark whispered.

"You got hit with a nasty weapon sent by Kara's crazy father," Lex said, smiling at him. "Lara's fixing it but it'll take a little bit."


"Yes, we're in the Fortress, love," Lex reassured him, realizing that Clark wasn't truly awake.

He was at best semi-aware, just aware enough to know that Lex was there but not much more. Lex gently rubbed his hand and talked calmly to him. Clark smiled and relaxed, his eyes drifting shut. It took about another hour for Clark to be restored. He drifted in and out of awareness during that hour. Lex used the Fortress' monitors to keep track of what was happening in the rest of the world but Clark was his true focus. It was a huge relief when Clark finally woke up for real.

"What?" Clark asked, looking around wildly as the lights around him faded. "What happened?"

"What's the last thing that you remember?" Lex asked, helping Clark up.

"Um, going after Genevieve, getting zapped by whatever that thing was in the box and then…not much," Clark admitted. "It's all blurry, Master."

Lex filled Clark in on what had happened, keeping Clark from dashing away to help Kara and everyone else in Smallville. He understood the urge but there was nothing for them to do and appearing suddenly like that would only cause problems. So far no one in authority seemed to realize that they'd been in Smallville at all. Lex really wanted it to stay that way.

"How long until Brainiac lands?" Lex asked Lara.

"The Black Ship will land in approximately six hours," Lara said. "There are still enough meteors around him to do some small level of damage but Smallville will not be destroyed."

"We need a weapon that will affect him," Lex growled. "From what you've said he's going to be very hard for us to fight and nearly impossible to find."

"I can work with the Orb and the resources of the Fortress to create something that will damage him," Lara offered. "It will take several days to several weeks at worst."

Lex sighed, hugging Clark and having him kneel. Clark sighed happily, leaning against Lex's legs. It was just what Lex needed after seeing Clark so hurt and so lost. His boy was back and the world was back to its proper alignment. Lex nodded, running his fingers through Clark's hair. It wasn't what he wanted. He'd hoped that there was something specific that could be done immediately against Brainiac but given the difficulty that Kara and Lex had had in denting the Black Ship, it had been a naïve hope.

"Do it," Lex ordered. "I don't want that Orb to be around to hurt Clark or Kara. If we can transform it into a weapon that will stop Brainiac, then that's all to the good."

Lara had Lex put the Orb (still inside of its box) into a cubby in the crystalline walls. Once inside of the cubby, Lex was able to open the box. He gasped and staggered as he felt the effect of the Orb on his hands. He got it out of the box and then his hands out of the box as quickly as he could. It hurt as it drained him, hurt in ways that Lex had never experienced before. He shuddered and leaned gratefully into Clark's chest afterwards, swallowing.

"I had no idea it was that painful," Lex breathed to Clark. "That thing definitely needs to be destroyed."

"Are you going to be okay?" Clark asked Lex, looking utterly worried.

"Yes, I believe so," Lex said, shaking his hands. They felt strange but he was already feeling better. "It hurt but it's already fading. Lara, we need to head back to Metropolis and then fly back to Smallville conventionally. Keep working on the weapon and summon us if anything comes up."

"Be careful, Lex Lu-Thor," Lara said. "The Black Ship has two occupants besides Brainiac. I do have a weapon that will restrict Brainiac's movements once the ship lands, but the Followers of Zod will be your problem to deal with. The weapon will not destroy Brainiac but it may be enough to give you the upper hand against them all."

"Anything would help," Lex said, nodding.

Lex was relieved to take the transporter back to the Kawatche Caves. They had a small crystal that seemed to shiver softly in his pocket. Clark held his hand, his grip as strong as always, which was its own sort of comfort. Lex tucked the key back into his other pocket, taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly. It had been a long time since Lex had been in a hand-to-hand fight. Those fights had been in school and during his wild clubbing days. Nothing had been at stake besides pride and testosterone. Now it was far more serious, but Lex was far more prepared than he'd ever been then. He knew how to fight. He had Clark at his side. Kara would be there to back them up, too. Lex smiled at Clark, pulling him close for a tender kiss.

"Let's go, Clark," Lex murmured to him. "We need to be seen to come back from Metropolis in the ordinary way."

"Yes, Master," Clark said, beaming at him.

They left the caves and took flight. When they returned to Smallville, it would be by helicopter, not under their own power. Lex sighed at the waste of time but he wasn't ready to reveal their powers to the world. He wasn't sure that he'd ever be ready for that. Lex huffed a little at himself in amusement. He'd forgotten to ask Lara about Kryptonian fabrics that would withstand more punishment again.


Clark really didn't like waiting. It didn't matter that they were as ready as they were ever going to be for Brainiac and his passengers, he still hated to wait for them to arrive. They'd flown back to Metropolis, making it in about one minute. He was still amazed at how fast they could fly. Once there, they'd flown home to the mansion in Lex's helicopter. That trip took nearly forty-five minutes instead of the one minute the other leg of the trip had taken. Lex had to get special permission to go back into Smallville but somehow he managed to do it.

"Are Kara and Jason okay?" Clark asked as they landed and got out of the helicopter.

"Yes, from what I've been told they're both fine," Lex said, the look in his eyes saying that he had more information sources than the military or his staff.

Clark's question was answered far better when Kara came running out of the mansion and tackle hugged Clark. Jason was behind her, laughing and shaking his head at her. Lex smirked. Clark frowned at the look in Jason's eyes. He looked like he was afraid, which made sense, but given the way his eyes followed Kara, Clark thought that he was afraid that he'd loose his Mistress in the battle that they knew was coming.

"I'm so glad you're both okay," Kara said, hugging Clark hard and then hugging Lex. "I was so worried about you both!"

"We were worried about you two," Clark said. "How'd you manage to get to stay when the military kicked everyone else out?"

"Lex pulled strings," Jason said, taking Kara back into his arms with a little sigh of contentment that Clark didn't think he was aware he made. "We got to baby-sit the mansion in case some of my mom's 'people' came to raid it again."

"Let's head inside," Lex said to them all, patting Clark's arm possessively. "There's a lot to talk about before things get dangerous."

Clark nodded, feeling his face go grim. There was a lot. Jason went white, then red, then almost purple as he found out that the Orb had been created by Kara's father to control her and Clark. He ranted for a while until Kara laughed, caught him and had him kneel between her legs so she could rub his head, neck and shoulders. He almost dissolved into her lap. Clark thought if Jason had been a cat, he'd have been purring loudly.

They had a quick meal—mostly cooked by Jason who was appalled that none of the others knew how to cook more than microwave food or pie in Clark's case—and then waited. It took far too long for the rumble of Brainiac's ship and his much reduced meteor shower. Clark knelt at Lex's feet, feeling the rumble of the ship through the air outside. He wasn't sure where it was going to land and he hated the waiting. It swept out of the sky in a ball of fire that made Jason shudder and cling to Kara. Given how she had fallen out of the sky Clark couldn't blame him for reacting that way. The shock wave swept over them and Lex smiled, straightening up. He patted Clark's shoulder, and then nodded to Kara and Jason.

"Time to go," Lex said. "They'll be emerging from the ship any time now and we need to get there before the military does something stupid like trying to stop them with earthly weapons."

"Stay here," Kara said to Jason.

"No way," Jason said, glaring down at her. "You've got weaknesses that I can help with, Kara. I'll hang back in the distance but I'm going."

"Take the hummer," Lex said to Jason who blinked and then grinned like he'd just gotten the best present ever.

"Yes, sir!" Jason said, chuckling.

He headed for the garage while they headed for the door and took flight. Lex took the lead with Clark flying just behind him and to the right and Kara flying just above and to the left of Lex. They already had a plan of how they were going to handle things. Clark hoped that Lex was right about this. He really didn't want Lex to be hurt, or for Kara. He didn't think he'd be hurt but he was worried about Lex and Kara because they were both smaller than and not quite as strong as he was. They all heard screams as they neared the field that the Black Ship had landed in. Clark bit his lip. That sounded like people being killed. They sped up and arrived just in time to see a military hummer get blown up by one of the Followers of Zod. There were two of them, a dark skinned man and a light skinned woman with dark hair. Both of them had almost glowingly green eyes and blank faces. All the military people looked like they were dead or unconscious.

"That's enough of that," Lex declared, making the two Followers turn and look at them with blank expressions.

"Kara and Kal-El," the male said, frowning at Lex. "Those I know. You I do not know."

"I'm Lex Luthor," Lex declared. "I'm Kal-El's Master. You are not welcome here. You will be leaving."

"No," the male said, his face sliding in to a glare. "This world will be ours. It will be General Zod's world and humanity will be his slaves."

"Afraid not," Lex drawled, hovering over them. "You'll do that over our dead bodies."

"That is satisfactory," the male said.

Both of the Followers of Zod took to the air, flying straight at them all. Clark zoomed in front of Lex and took the charge of the male Follower. They crashed into each other with a crack that set off an impact wave like a small explosion. The female follower went after Lex too but Kara was there, stopping her with a kick that sent the woman flying into the dirt. Lex smirked and flew down to the Black Ship, pulling out the crystal weapon that Lara had given them.

Clark wanted to watch what he did but his opponent threw a punch that knocked Clark out of the sky for a second. He scrambled back to his feet and shoved into the air. His feet left a crater behind and the male Follower grunted as Clark slammed into his stomach with his shoulder. Clark didn't know a lot about fighting but he did know how to tackle and it was a really good tackle. They flew together through the air. Clark felt himself shift into super speed awareness as the male follower threw a punch at Clark's face. Clark twisted and it landed on his shoulder, glancing off. He growled and slammed his fist into the man's gut, making him gasp. They started pounding on each other, doing their best to dodge each other's blows while not letting the other one get too far away to attack. Clark caught a fist to the eye, jaw, gut and ribs. He landed more blows than the male follower did. The man was trying to back off, to get away from Clark, but he wouldn't let him escape.

"Not going to destroy my world!" Clark growled at him.

"Our world," the male follower replied, eerily calm despite their battle. It was like he had no emotions at all, which Clark found creepy. "Not yours."

Clark snarled and rushed him, managing to grab the man's leg despite his attempt to fly further up into the sky to escape Clark. Clark grinned and started spinning, clinging to the man's leg despite his attempts to kick his way free. When he reached full speed, Clark let the man go, hurling him into the ground and then lancing after him so that they slammed into the field and created a new crater. The male follower took the full brunt of the impact and he croaked, unable to draw enough breath to cry out. Clark knelt over him and pounded on the man's face until he went limp, knocked unconscious. Clark panted, finally feeling the bruises that he'd gotten. There were a lot more than he'd expected. He grabbed the male follower and took to the air, flying back to the Black Ship to see what had happened to the others. They needed to get these guys locked up and hopefully Lex had a plan for that. Clark didn't think that there was anything that could hold them on Earth, so it was a big problem.


"Stupid bitch!" Kara snarled at Aethyr. "I can't believe you'd let them treat you like a brood mare!"

"You do not know the joy of being owned," Aethyr said, holding her own easily as Kara wrestled with here. "You will know it someday. Join us. You do not need to fight and die for a planet that is gone."

"I'm not fighting for Krypton!" Kara declared. "I'm fighting for Earth, for Kal, for Lex, for all the people I know and love. This is my home and you're never going to destroy it."

Kara gasped as Aethyr threw her into the earth. Aethyr was much better than she was. Kara wasn't at all sure that she'd be able to win this battle. She launched back into the air, grunting as Aethyr met her and started pounding on her. This wasn't going well, not at all. She got some really good hits in, breaking Aethyr's nose, at least cracking a couple of ribs, but for the most part it was Kara taking the hits, not Aethyr.

"Kara! Back off!"

Kara blinked at Jason's shout and shoved Aethyr away from her, giving her a good kick that didn't do a heck of a lot of good. Aethyr took it and sneered at Kara, at least until a small hole in her shoulder opened and leaked blood. Kara stared and then dove in, punching Aethyr as hard as she could right on the wound. Aethyr screamed but so did Kara. There was something green and glowing in the wound. Kara's blow had knocked it deeper into the wound, making Aethyr lose her powers and fall out of the sky. Kara grinned triumphantly. She followed Aethyr, catching her and slamming her into the ground. They made a small crater, not as big as any of the meteor craters but still bigger than the two of them combined.

"Kara!" Jason shouted, appearing over the shoulder of the crater with a shotgun in his hand.

"I'm okay," Kara panted, grinning at him. "Don't know what you did but that was great."

"Meteor rock bullets," Jason said, making a sour face. "Lex said not to tell you about it."

"Eek," Kara said, picking Aethyr up and throwing her over her shoulder. "Come on, we need to get back to Lex and Clark."

"Right," Jason said, nodding and glaring at Aethyr. "If she twitches I'll shoot her in the fucking head. Beat up my girl!"

Kara tried to grin but her face felt like a mass of bruises so she winced and stopped. They weren't far from where Lex was working on the Black Ship. Clark showed up with Nam-Ek at the same time, looking like he was pretty battered, too. Kara set Aethyr down and then grinned in spite of her black eye, split lip and bruised jaw.

"Now that's a beautiful sight," Kara said, crooning as she pulled what she knew looked like a bracelet off of Aethyr's wrist.

"What is?" Clark asked, rubbing his ribs gingerly.

"This," Kara said, holding up the bracelet, "is a control interface for the Phantom Zone. With this, we can send them into the Phantom Zone and we don't have to worry about them coming back to attack us."

"Do it," Lex said grimly. "Can we send this thing through?"

"Um, probably not," Kara said with a sigh. "It's too big and its inertial dampers would prevent it from being sucked in. Sorry."

She triggered the interface and tossed it into the air, holding onto Jason's arm so that he wouldn't be sucked in. Aethyr groaned, starting to wake up. The bracelet device grew into a swirling vortex. Kara looked at Clark and he nodded, grabbing Nam-Ek. He tossed Nam-Ek at the vortex and then grabbed Aethyr and threw her too. Nam-Ek flew in, so limp that he was obviously still unconscious. Aethyr gasped and then screamed as she passed the event horizon of the vortex. The vortex sucked at them for a second or two longer, making Kara block Jason so that he wouldn't go flying into it. Then it closed down and transformed into a strange panel that looked rather like a piece of glass with Nam-Ek and Aethyr's faces on it. It rotated end on end and flew into space, ensuring that no one would ever be able to break them free.

"Thank goodness," Kara breathed, leaning into Jason's side.

"One time only use?" Jason asked, surprised that the bracelet hadn't come back.

"That one, yeah," Kara said, nodding. "Jor-El created interfaces that you could use over and over but most of them were one-time only for hunters of criminals. Kinda like bounty hunters here on Earth."

"Lex?" Clark asked, looking at him. "Any luck?"

Lex growled, glaring at the Black Ship. It still had the damaged spots but they were starting to heal up. The Ship had the ability to change its shape just like Brainiac had the ability to change his shape. It was weird to watch the blaster holes slowly closing back up. It made Kara angry. She'd worked so hard to make those holes and now they were disappearing!

"Not really," Lex said, huffing. "I've managed to get the crystal to seal the ship, but I can't get enough power to destroy Brainiac's black box, his core. We need to have a more powerful weapon to get at him."

"Maybe we should take him to the Fortress?" Clark suggested, frowning. "Lara might be able to do more."

"I don't want this thing anywhere near her," Lex snarled, thumping the Black Ship's nose hard enough to make it rock. Other than that he had no effect on it. "There's a warehouse in Metropolis that I own. We'll take it there. I've managed to isolate its flight capability, and its weapons. It won't be able to escape from us and I think I've managed to seal it so that Brainiac can't ooze his way free."

Kara nodded. She had to agree with him about not taking it to Auntie Lara. Brainiac was too powerful of a computer and had too many capacities that were like a virus. She didn't want Auntie Lara to be exposed to it at all. Clark nodded too, looking content with the answer. He looked up suddenly, wincing.

"Um, I hear more military coming, Master," Clark said, looking off into the woods at the edge of the field. "We better get going."

"I'll take Kara back to the Mansion in the Hummer," Jason offered. "If they see us, I'll tell them that we got caught out during the meteor shower."

"Do it," Lex said, nodding and stopping his fiddling with the crystal that was adhered to the nose of the Black Ship. "Clark, you take the tail. I'll take the nose. We're going to have to fly top speeds to be undetected and we're going to have to go high so the sonic booms don't hurt anyone."

"Yes, Master," Clark said, going to the tail of the ship.

Together Clark and Lex lifted the Black Ship and then zoomed into the sky. They set off a sonic boom almost immediately, making Jason wince and groan. Kara hugged him and then winced herself. They headed back to the hummer and barely got away from the site of the battle without being caught by the military. Jason sighed with relief once they got back to the mansion, helping her out of the big car.

"Why haven't you healed up?" Jason asked, ever so gently touching her bruised cheek.

"Aethyr was strong enough to really hurt me," Kara said with a little shrug. "I'll be fine with some sunbathing tomorrow. Give me a day or two and I should be back to normal."

"I wish I could have backed you up the same way Clark backed up Lex," Jason complained as they headed inside.

"You did better," Kara said proudly. "You took Aethyr down, Jason. It wasn't me. She was winning and you turned the tide. I'm so proud of you, sweetie. I couldn't have won that battle if you hadn't shot her. Don't feel bad about being less powerful than us. You're perfect just the way you are."

Jason blushed and smiled, kissing her unbruised cheek lovingly. Kara gladly let Jason take care of her. She was covered with bruises and bloody, covered with dirt from her impacts with the earth. Jason washed her clean, carried her out onto the balcony so that she could sunbathe and then brought her food and coffee to drink. She smiled and let him pamper her. Clark and Lex appeared as she was finishing her second cup of coffee. They got cleaned up and then joined them, Lex taking care of Clark who was just as bruised as she was.

"What's next?" Kara asked Lex, petting Jason's hair.

"Next we study the Black Ship," Lex said with a happy smile as Clark snuggled up to him, "get the weapon from Lara and hopefully destroy him. Oh, and make sure that the government didn't see us. And deal with Veritas, of course. That shouldn't be too hard. They've lost their most important weapon and the craziest members are locked up in prison hospitals."

Kara nodded, relieved. Maybe they would finally get some peace and quiet. Who knew? Maybe the worst was over.


It was 1:03 am when Brainiac managed to find a gap in Lara's lock on his ship. It had taken most of a day to find ways to worm his way out. General Zod's followers had failed but Brainiac was still there. He slid out of the Ship like an ooze of oil, reforming into the shape of a man. It wasn't the optimal method of getting things done as he'd only managed to liberate enough of his substance to create one body but with appropriate feeding and more work, he should be able to free more of himself, allowing him to be in multiple places. Now he needed to find 'allies' who could be manipulated, locate the weak link in Lex Lu-Thor's household and get into the Fortress. Kal-El would be required for that. Of course Lara would have made her son the key to it.

Brainiac smiled as he easily escaped from Lex's warehouse and walked out onto the street. So much to do and so little time. He had to act before Lara's supposed perfect weapon against him was completed. He didn't think that she'd manage to create something that could destroy him, but he didn't doubt that she could damage him badly. That wasn't acceptable so he had to get to work as quickly as possible.

At least these humans appeared to be easy to manipulate, Brainiac though, smiling as he walked free in Metropolis.


Jason sighed as he finished his last bit of paperwork at the Smallville High assistant coach. He'd turned in his resignation just after the meteor shower a week ago. He wasn't a teacher anymore. He wasn't in a position of authority. He was free to be with Kara officially now, though the Kents still didn't like him all that much. They were warming up to him a little bit but not that much. He hoped that they'd relax a bit over time, but he knew that it was possible that they'd always disapprove of his relationship with Kara.

"That's that," Jason said with satisfaction as he finished his paperwork and then finished packing the last of his personal items into a box. "Glad that's finished."

He dropped off his paperwork, taking everyone's good wishes. As far as everyone else knew, Jason was leaving his job to deal with his mother's murder trial. They all knew that Jason didn't support her, especially given how many men she'd murdered. It was nice having the town's support on that issue because he sure didn't have his dad on his side. His dad, Edward Teague, was on Genevieve's side, not Jason's side. He'd left his normal hideouts and gone to see Genevieve in the prison hospital. From what Lex's contacts had told them, his parents had a touching reunion in the hospital, to the point of Edward crying in relief that Genevieve was going to be okay. That had nearly been enough to make Jason sick.

Jason put his box of stuff in the truck, got in and headed for the mansion. There was so much stuff they needed to do. According to Lex, Brainiac was still contained in the Black Ship, which wasn't as reassuring as it should have been. Lara hadn't been able to come up with a weapon that would get through the ship's shielding, letting them destroy Brainiac at the source. Since they were dealing with a computer that adapted—both in programming and physically—it had to be one hell of a tough nut to crack. He was kind of glad that he didn't have to worry about it. He turned on the radio automatically as he pulled out of the parking lot, checking the traffic and more or less ignoring the sound pouring from his truck's cheap sound system.


He didn't hear the scratchy little whisper the first time. In fact, Jason didn't hear it until it had repeated about six or seven times. When he finally did hear it he did a double-take, staring at his radio long enough that he drifted a bit in the lane. He frowned, turned off his radio and rode on to the mansion in silence.


"The fuck?" Jason snapped, staring around the cab and then back at the radio that, yes, had actually been turned off. "Mom if this is your trick I'm really going to be pissed at you. I don't know where you put the speaker but I'm not falling for it."

There was an evil little laugh in the same sort of scratchy tone and then nothing else happened. When he got back to the mansion, Jason asked Lex's security team to check out his truck for bugs and microphones. He didn't know what was going on but it didn't really matter. Things were crazy enough without his putting up with that sort of crap from her.

"You're sure?" Lex was saying when Jason walked into the office to tell Lex about the incident. "Damn it, I can't believe this. Yes. Yes, I know. Yes. No, that's not necessary. Yes, do that."

He hung up and sighed, rubbing his forehead. Jason set his box of stuff down on the coffee table, frowning at Lex. Whatever the call was, it was bad news. Lex nodded at Jason, making that wry little smile that Jason always thought of as an acknowledgement of how weird it was for them to be friends this way. After all the crap they'd gone through in school, it still felt weird to be on Lex's side.

"What's up?" Jason asked.

"That was one of my operatives," Lex said, leaning back in his ultra-expensive office chair. "Dr. Virgil Swann, Patricia Swann and Bridgette Crosby were just found murdered in their homes. I sent a man to talk to Dr. Swann and he found both Dr. Swann and Bridgette Crosby murdered. When he went to check on Patricia, she was dead too. The police are checking it out right now but no one's sure what happened or why."

"Brainiac," Jason said grimly. "Who else?"

"Yeah," Lex said, lips compressing into a thin bloodless line. "I thought we had him contained but obviously I was wrong."

Jason shuddered, looking back at his box of stuff. That left Lionel and Genevieve, both of whom were in prison hospitals, his dad and Jason. And his Dad was behaving strangely. Jason swallowed and looked back at Lex, feeling his face go pale.

"Lex, I heard a voice on the way home," Jason said, feeling like he was cutting his throat, but what could he do. "It kept saying my name. I asked your security team to check out my truck but what do you want to bet that they find nothing?"

Lex sat up straight, staring intently at Jason. There was something about his eyes that made Jason think that the might be using some of those powers he'd gotten but there was no way to be sure. Lex made a little sigh that was almost nothing but a forceful exhalation and then shook his head slowly.

"I don't see any signs that he's affected you," Lex said slowly, "but I don't know what Brainiac's powers are. I want you to stay at the mansion for a while, Jason. If Brainiac's decided to target you then we need to keep you safe. Other than the Fortress this is the safest place I can think of."

"Thank you," Jason said, shivering. "Can you let Kara know? I promised to come over tonight for dinner."

"No need," Lex said. "I hear Clark coming home. You might want to put your stuff away and give her a call her yourself. She should be back at the farm by the time you get upstairs."

"That is still the coolest thing ever," Jason laughed, grinning at Lex.

"No, flying is the coolest thing ever, right after not being dead," Lex said with a wry little smirk.

Jason nodded and grabbed his box. His room in the mansion was empty, thank goodness. He was going to be expecting to see ghosts and hear voices all the time now. Kara offered to come right over when he told her about the incident but he told her to finish her cores and do her homework first. He knew that wouldn't take his golden girl very long—she was way smarter than he was and could learn things much faster. Jason sighed and stared at his cell phone for a long moment once he hung up. This was kind of freaking him out. He totally understood why Brainiac would target him. He was the weakest link in the four of them. He was human. They were super powered. He was weak and they were strong. If it had been him, he'd have done the same thing which only made him shudder. His mom had trained him way too well if he understood Brainiac's thinking this well. Jason wasn't even slightly surprised when his phone rang just as he was putting it away. Of course it would be an unknown number. Of course it was the same scratchy voice when he answered it.

"Look, I'm sure this is as amusing as all shit to you," Jason drawled, "but do you really think that it's going to work? Come on, you're supposed to be some supercomputer. Isn't fucking with my mind a little juvenile?"

"I suppose you do have a point," a cultured man's voice said from behind Jason.

"Jesus, don't do that!" Jason snapped, jumping to his feet and whirling to glare at the apparently normal man standing behind him. He gave the guy a once over, cocking his head. "Somehow I expected you to be a lot more impressive but I guess choosing a shape that blends in makes more sense."

"Quite true," Brainiac said with a little grin at him. "I'm surprised you're this calm, Jason. You know that I'm going to do horrible things to you."

Jason squared his jaw, staring defiantly at the supercomputer masquerading as a human in front of him. He did know it. It was inevitable. He was the weakest link so of course Brainiac had to target Jason. He wasn't sure if Brainiac could affect Kara or Clark, or Lex for that matter, but Jason, yeah, it was obvious that he could hurt Jason. The thought of how him being hurt was going to upset Kara made Jason mad. There wasn't a thing he could do about it but that didn't change the fact that he wanted to pound on Brainiac.

"Yeah," Jason said, hands in fists. "That's a given. Look, dude. I've done this stuff on a human scale before. Just get on with it, will you? You're not going to drive me crazy and I'm not going to give into you like my dad did."

"Oh, you know about that, do you?" Brainiac said, pursing his lips and nodding admiringly. "Very good, Jason."

"He made nice with my mom," Jason said, rolling his eyes. "Fuck you have no idea how obviously out of character that is. They haven't made nice with each other since I was six! Hell, I don't think they made nice to each other except when I was conceived and apparently that was when they were both drunk and high."

Brainiac was suddenly right in front of Jason, just inches from his face. The guy should have been radiating a little heat. His breath should have been puffing in Jason's face. He at least should have been doing those little swaying things that people always did when they were standing—ankles and feet adjusting position to keep him upright. He didn't. He was cool, radiating a little wave of cold air like he was refrigerated. There was no breathing, no twitches, no swaying. He was like a statue that had been given movement and awareness.

"You are seriously creepy up close," Jason confided in a low voice. "You obviously don't have looking like a human down yet."

"Really?" Brainiac said, blinking as if surprised.

"Yup, got the temperature wrong and all the little ticks of humanity aren't there," Jason said, standing firm. "It's kind of obvious that you're not a human."

"Pity," Brainiac said, suddenly grinning at him. It was one of the most terrifying things Jason had ever seen. "I'll have to work on that. Not that it matter right now. You're going to go away for a while Jason."

Jason let out a sudden scream to warn Lex about the attack that was cut off when Brainiac grabbed his throat. He saw Brainiac raise a finger that grew into a long black probe aimed at Jason's forehead. He blacked out as it touched and then pierced his skull. The last thing he saw was Lex appearing at the door behind Brainiac's back. Then there was nothing but fiery pain driving his consciousness away.


Lex heard Jason's scream and was in his room in less than a second. He didn't try to talk Brainiac out of whatever he was doing to Jason's brain. He just used his heat vision to try and fry Brainiac. It appeared to work because Brainiac shouted and dropped Jason, whirling to glare at Lex. Jason fell like a ton of bricks, his eyes rolled up in his head and body completely boneless. Brainiac smirked at Lex and then they were flying through the window and out onto the lawn, Brainiac on top of Lex.

"So nice to see that I'm just a hair stronger than you," Brainiac said with a smirk that would have rivaled Lex's worst.

"Maybe so but you're clearly not as smart as you think you are," Lex said, smirking back at him as Clark appeared with Kara right behind Brainiac's back.

Clark grabbed Brainiac by the neck, hurling him into a big granite sculpture that decorated the lawn. His expression was one of fury with none of Clark's normal submission. The sculpture shattered into pieces. Brainiac rolled to his feet calmly and laughed at them all. He took flight and disappeared into the sky in less time than any of them could manage. Lex caught both Kara and Clark, not letting them pursue him.

"There's no time for that," Lex said, holding Kara firmly. "He attacked Jason, Kara. We need to take care of him first. Brainiac can wait."

"Jason!" Kara gasped and ripped out of his hand, disappearing into the house.

"What happened?" Clark asked, looking worried.

"Somehow he escaped from the Black Ship and he's taking out the Veritas Society. Obviously that includes Jason," Lex said, pulling Clark into the house. "I'd assume that he's taking out rivals to his power but you never know. It may be to take away allies or simply because they know too much. And taking out Jason takes out Kara."

His security team was just arriving to see what had happened. They looked like they were getting pretty shell-shocked, which wasn't too much of a surprise given everything that had happened lately. Lex made a mental not to make sure that they were all given appropriate time off and to have them evaluated for signs of excessive stress. He'd only just gotten a good team. He'd hate to see them fall apart. Lex got them to work on fixing the broken window in Jason's room and headed upstairs to see if Kara had managed to wake Jason up.

"How is he?" Lex asked, frowning at seeing Kara kneeling on the floor with Jason in her arms.

"He's been, he's, he's, it's not," Kara whimpered, looking up at Lex with tears in her eyes. "I can't get through to him, Lex. Whatever Brainiac did, I can't fix it."

"Let's take him to see Lara," Lex said gently. "I'll check the security feed and see if I can see what he did. The more information Lara has the more likely it is that she can help him."

"Yes, please," Kara whispered, picking Jason up easily.

Jason's little chat with Brainiac was chilling. Lex wouldn't have expected that he'd be that calm but then Jason kept surprising him. Lex copied that clip of the surveillance onto a chip and then they headed to the Kawatche Caves together. Kara looked at them impatiently when they headed into the caves. She wouldn't let Clark or Lex carry Jason, holding him herself.

"Come on, hurry up!" Kara demanded. "We need to get to the Fortress, Lex!"

Lex scanned the area before pulling out the Key. He didn't want Brainiac to find this shortcut. He didn't see anything but then he didn't know what sort of sensors Brainiac had. It was quite possible that he could monitor everything they did in the same way that Lara did, but Lex wasn't sure so he was cautious. He nodded slowly, taking Clark's hand and having Clark touch Kara's shoulder. Once they were linked up he triggered the transporter, taking them directly to the Fortress.

"Auntie Lara!" Kara called, hurrying towards the same place where Clark had been treated when he'd been affected. "My boy's been hurt. You gotta help!"

"Place him on the bed, dear," Lara said. The temperature in the Fortress immediately rose to a level that wasn't threatening to Jason's health as the treatment bed rose. "I will do what I can to help him but it may be difficult. Brainiac's ability to lock down a nervous system is unparalleled."

"But…Auntie!" Kara whimpered, tears welling up in her eyes. "I promised to protect him!"

"Shhhh," Lex said, pulling Kara into a hug. "She'll do her best and we'll do our best to destroy Brainiac, Kara. I'm sure that once he's gone Jason will be fine."

Clark rubbed Kara's back as Lex held her. Lex hoped that he was right. They couldn't afford to have Kara lose it. Given how strong Brainiac was (more than a little bit stronger and faster than Lex, which mean he was stronger and faster than Clark and Kara), they were going to need all three of them to stop him. That plus Lara's still-unfinished Brainiac killing weapon should hopefully make a difference.

"I can't lose him when I just got him," Kara whispered into Lex's shoulder. "Sweet Rao, Lex! I can't!"

"I know," Lex whispered back to her, resting his chin on her head and meeting Clark's worried eyes. "I know. The world wouldn't be big enough to save Brainiac if he harmed Clark. We'll save Jason. Trust me, it's not over yet."

Kara just whimpered.


Interesting, Brainiac thought as he observed them. He knew better than to try and go anywhere near Lara's Fortress, but it wasn't necessary for him to do so. He could tap into Lara's sensor network and see whatever he wanted, anywhere in the solar system. He truly hadn't expected Kara to be so distraught when he'd struck Jason down. From his observations of their relationship since he arrived, he'd assumed that they weren't that serious about one another. Perhaps it was simply that he didn't understand relationships but the laughter and severe lack of discipline towards Jason had made Brainiac assume that it was a casual relationship, not a serious one. General Zod had always emphasized that submissives needed the discipline far more than the affection.

"Obviously I was wrong about their relationship," Brainiac muttered to himself. "Ah well, no matter. Turned out better this way."

He headed into Edward Teague's apartment, smiling to find the man on his knees praying to an image of Rao. Of course, that image was actually of General Zod and Edward was being influenced but that was all right. Lionel Luthor and Genevieve Teague were both worthless to him right now, though they'd probably be worth bothering with once their bodies healed. The Swanns and Bridgette Crosby had proven too resistant to his control methods. That left Edward, dear, foolish, devoted Edward.

"Sir!" Edward gasped, getting to his feet to beam at Brainiac.

"Glad to see that you're doing well," Brainiac said, going over and running a hand over Edward's cheek.

Edward shuddered, his eyes fluttering shut for a second. Brainiac smirked. Rewiring his brain had been fairly easy. He would do as Brainiac wanted, whenever he wanted, whatever he wanted. It helped that the man had already been half broken by Genevieve and completely obsessed with all thing Kryptonian. He'd taken a mild case of zenoworship and turned it into complete fanaticism with very little work at all. Pity he hadn't had the chance to do the same to Jason, though he would have been a much harder case than his father.

"Were you able to talk to my son?" Edward asked after he caught his breath. Brainiac's touch made him nearly orgasmic.

"I'm afraid so," Brainiac said sadly, shaking his head as if dismayed. "It's too late, Edward. I'm very sorry but the false Kryptonians have already gotten to him. There was no convincing him. He's theirs now."

Edward swayed, looking devastated. Brainiac made a little clucking sound, reaching out to cup his face with both hands, crooning wordlessly to him. Edward's knees gave way and he brought his clasped hands to his lips, whispering idiotic little prayers of thanksgiving and forgiveness. It was rather pathetic but that didn't matter. He had his newest tool and that was what counted.

"You can save him, Edward," Brainiac said softly. "You're the only one who can save him."

"Me?" Edward said, surprised. "But I'm just a human, Master. What can I do that you can't?"

"The reason that Jason is lost to us is Clark and Kara Kent," Brainiac said smoothly. "I have exactly what we need to be able to save him but they saw me. They know now that I'm here. I need someone who can get close to them, someone they don't know. That's where you're perfect, Edward. You can set up a trap, lure them in. You can do what no one else can. You can save the world and your son."

Edward's eyes got huge and his breath caught in his chest. He literally started crying with joy at the 'honor' he'd just been given. It dismayed Brainiac how easy these creatures were to manipulate. Their brains and bodies were so weak. At least the Kryptonians were a challenge. These things were barely worthy of being made into slaves. He didn't allow any of his thoughts to show on his face as Edward caught his hands and kissed them happily.

"Thank you, Master!" Edward cried. "Thank you! I'll do it; of course I'll do it. I'm so honored that you would allow me to help in this way."

"Excellent," Brainiac said happily. "Now, this is what you have to do. I'll give you a supply of green Kryptonite. We're going to set up a trap for Kara that will allow us to remove her powers. Then we'll lure Clark in. With him we should be able to do what we need to save your son."

Edward beamed happily, hanging on Brainiac's every word. He nodded and then took notes, coming up with some very cunning little additions to the trap that would draw Clark and Kara Kent in. Brainiac smirked. In a few days he'd have access to the Fortress, Kal-El as his master's slave and Lex Luthor would be General Zod's new body. It was so nice of them to provide a ready-made Vessel for his master. It should be fun to watch it all play out. The best part would be wiping Lara from the Fortress' systems and taking it as his own. So much power at his disposal. He was really looking forward to that.


"Mmmnnn!" Clark whimpered, hips pulsing as Lex chuckled and nibbled his way down Clark's body.

The gag was keeping him from doing more than whimpering. Lex had bound him as well, tying his hands behind his back and his ankles to his thighs with a new set of bondage gear from The Boutique. Clark had to be careful not to struggle or he'd break the bondage gear which meant that Lex would stop, but it was hard not to squirm when Lex was making him feel this good. Lex chuckled again, biting Clark on the nipple and making him whine.

"No moving," Lex warned Clark with laughter in his voice.

"Mmm-hmm," Clark murmured, panting through his nose as he tried hard to obey Lex's orders.

Lex returned to his slow biting progress down Clark's body, leaving hickies as he went. Clark moaned. God he loved this. Lex's hand on his body, his Master laying claim and making Clark do what he wanted—it was the perfect expression of what they felt for each other. Clark needed this and Lex gave it to him, gave him exactly what he wanted, exactly what he needed.

When Lex reached Clark's cock it made him buck in spite of himself. He still wasn't used to having someone else suck on his cock. He loved giving head so much that he hadn't expected that anyone would ever want to do it for him. Lex laughed around his cock, the vibrations of the laugh making Clark shudder. Lex was just as good as Clark at this, taking his time and worshiping Clark to the point that he was sweating from the effort of not coming yet.

"That's what I wanted," Lex purred, letting Clark go to put the locking penile plug gently into place on Clark. "Right on the edge and now you can't come, pet."

Clark whimpered as it settled into place, panting through his nose. His balls were already aching and this made it better or worse, depending on your point of view. He thought it was better because he loved this. Lex grinned and got the lube, working his fingers one by one into Clark's ass. He took his time opening Clark up even though Clark really didn't feel pain unless Lex got truly wild, but the process of Clark being opened up excited both of them so it was all right.

"That's four fingers," Lex murmured eventually, biting Clark's inner thigh and leaving a hickie behind. "I think you're ready for a good fuck now."

"Mmm-hmm!" Clark nodded, trembling at how full he felt, how good it was.

"Good boy," Lex purred, wiping his hand off and then pushing hard and fast into Clark's body. He grinned as Clark gasped and then used his strength to pick Clark up. "I do like being strong enough to do this to you. So nice to be able to do whatever I want to my boy."

Clark let his head fall back as Lex lifted both of them up off of the bed, taking flight in their bedroom. God he wanted to do this outside, in the wind, in the rain, way up in the sky! He wanted to feel Lex take him where other people could see it, where people who weren't into this sort of thing could see it. It was wonderful at The Boutique but somehow it was even better when there was the possibility of being seen by people who had nothing to do with them.

"Mmm, good squeeze," Lex purred as Clark clamped down at the image of Chloe or Pete or someone from school spotting them fucking in the sky. "Whatever that fantasy was, we're going to have to do it."

Clark blushed and laughed through the gag, rhythmically squeezing Lex's cock as he slowly pumped into Clark's ass. They'd gotten better at this since they started flying together but it was still a balancing act, especially when it was Lex flying and Clark being carried. It felt so good, being weightless in Lex's arms, having his cock filling Clark's ass over and over. It felt so good period end of sentence, no exclamation point and oh my god yes! Lex laughed as Clark cried out through his gag as Lex started pounding into him, switching them over in midair so that Clark was on top and Lex was underneath him. Lex grinned, pistoning into Clark.

Lex was hitting that spot inside of Clark that was much like a human's prostate, the one that sent waves of pure pleasure through his body. It was too much and Clark shuddered as his body tried to come, only to be blocked by the penile plug. Lex grinned and pounded a little longer and then cried out as he came in Clark. Clark gasped, eyes going wide at the feel of it and then cried out too as Lex pulled off the penile plug to let Clark come. Clark came so hard that he felt like he'd exploded, his whole body spasming with pleasure as he covered Lex's chest with white.

"That's my boy," Lex said, grinning and stroking Clark's cock as they drifted back down to the bed slowly.

He undid the straps holding Clark's legs and then reached up to free his hands. Clark groaned and nearly collapsed on Lex's chest, smiling at Lex caught him with one hand in the middle of his chest and removed the gag. Clark worked his mouth for a second, swallowed and then smiled.

"Time to get me clean, pet," Lex purred, letting Clark pull up off of his cock. "Use your tongue and clean me up."

"Yes, Master," Clark breathed, grinning at him.

He set to work licking the come up, delighted that he got to worship Lex's body and take care of him the same way that Lex had loved on Clark. By the time he got to Lex's cock, he was hard again, which made Clark grin. He settled in for a good blow job, taking Lex's cock deep into his throat. Lex moaned, resting his hands on Clark's head and then slowly thrusting into his mouth.

"Damn but you're good at that," Lex panted, hips rocking as he slowly fucked Clark's mouth. "Too damned good at it!"

"Mmm-hmm," Clark purred, looking up at Lex with amusement.

It didn't take as long as Clark expected for Lex to come a second time. He swallowed happily, enjoying the taste and feel of Lex filling his mouth as he'd filled Clark's ass. Once Lex was done, he pulled Clark up into his arms, hugging him. Clark snuggled up next to him, smiling blissfully.

"We should take a shower soon," Lex said, sounding drowsy.

"We have an hour and a half before we're supposed to go anywhere this morning," Clark offered. "We could get some more sleep if you wanted."

"Hmmm, not a bad thought," Lex said, kissing Clark's forehead. "Neither of us have gotten enough sleep what with Jason and Brainiac. Let's do it. A quick nap would do us both good."

"Yes, Master," Clark said, laying his head on Lex's shoulder with a little sigh. He smiled as Lex started snoring almost immediately. Lex really had needed a bit of sleep. At least Clark had been able to get him calmed down enough to do it.


Kara moaned when her alarm clock went off. She glared at it and then carefully turned it off. She was getting way too grouchy, way too twitchy. It had been four days since Jason was attacked by Brainiac and she was feeling each and every day as if it was a knife in her side. At first it hadn't been that bad. She'd been getting plenty of sex with Jason so her version of the Need wasn't that strong. Lex and Clark had been really reassuring. Aunt Martha and Uncle Jonathan had been super supportive, much moreso than Kara had expected given their dislike for Jason. But the days had gone on and Jason had stayed in his coma at the Fortress while Auntie Lara tried to heal him. She'd spent most of yesterday (Sunday) at his side, trying to help Auntie Lara save her boy but none of it had done any good and Kara had ended up crying her eyes out over him once she got back to the farm.

It hurt not having him around, knowing that he was trapped and probably in agony because of Kara's enemy. She'd already talked to Auntie Lara about giving him the same Gift that Lex had gotten but until Brainiac was dealt with and Jason was free it wasn't a good idea. If he became a Vessel now then he'd be a target for Brainiac and there was no time for him to gradually build power. Suddenly giving him the power might hurt him or drive him mad. There was literally nothing that Kara could do besides sit and wait and she hated sitting and waiting.

"Kara, breakfast," Aunt Martha called from downstairs.

"Coming," Kara called back, rubbing her tears away as she got up.

She got dressed and headed downstairs at human speed, unable to work up any enthusiasm for anything right now. She knew it was because she'd gone without sex for too long but that didn't change the biological effects on her body and personality. She helped Aunt Martha bring the pancakes, sausage and toast to the table, sitting in her seat with a little sigh.

"You all right?" Uncle Jonathan asked, patting her hand.

"Not really," Kara said sadly. "Sorry but I'm just…I really miss Jason."

"You're not going to get like Clark used to, are you?" Aunt Martha asked with a worried little frown.

Kara shook her head no. She wasn't, but then they didn't now that. There was a lot they didn't know, or more accurately that they didn't believe, but she couldn't muster the will power to explain it all again. She'd explained it at least twice before but it was obvious that they hadn't accepted it.

"I'm just going to be impossible to live with until he's back," Kara said, making a face. "Women don't loose the ability to think. We loose our ability to control our tempers, I'm afraid. I'm going to be even worse at impulse control."

"Oh dear," Aunt Martha said, looking dismayed.

"I'm not that bad," Kara pouted, eating her breakfast.

She was careful not to use her strength despite the urge to smash things to make herself feel better. It wouldn't work. She knew that. She did chew extra hard because right now that was just about the only thing that she could do. They ate breakfast in silence and then Kara pouted her way through washing the morning dishes. She should be heading off to school but she wasn't sure that it was a good idea for her to go to school giving how she felt today but it was only going to get worse and Jason would want her to go to school. He always wanted her to do good at school.

She didn't realize that she was crying until Aunt Martha hugged her, holding Kara close. She cried into Aunt Martha's shoulder for a little bit, letting her comfort her. It hurt knowing that she hadn't been able to protect Jason. It hurt not being able to comfort him. It hurt worse knowing that there was probably nothing she could do to protect Jason from Brainiac in the future. She pulled back pretty quickly, sniffling and wiping her eyes.

"Sorry," Kara apologized. "I shouldn't have broken down like that."

"He means a lot to you and he's hurting," Martha said with a fond—if worried—little smile. "There's no shame in it, Kara. Now, are you going to school or staying home today?"

"I should probably go to school," Kara said with a sigh. "Jason always wants me to do well in school."

She sniffled again and made herself stop crying. She gathered her books and headed off to school at super speed. She was halfway there when her cell phone vibrated in her pocket, making Kara stop and pull it out. The cell phone said that it was Lex so she flipped her phone open, vibrating with mingled excitement and worry. It had to be Jason. There was no other reason for Lex to call her right now.

"Yes?" Kara asked, biting her lip.

"Ah my dear girl," Brainiac's voice answered. "So glad I managed to get through to you. I know you're rather worried about your 'boy'. I thought you'd like to know that I'm going after his father next. If you manage to stop me, I might even consent to let Jason go. Your 'Auntie Lara' isn't making much progress after all."

"You asshole!" Kara yelled, nearly crushing her phone in anger. "Where are you? Where is he?"

Brainiac laughed, sounding almost delighted by her anger which only made Kara angrier. She listened to his teasing tone of voice as he told her the location where Edward Teague and he were hidden. Kara was fairly certain that it was a trap. A little voice in the back of her head was saying to stop, go back to the mansion and tell Lex and Clark what was going on but that little voice was completely drowned out by her fury at Brainiac and her desire to help Jason. She didn't bother running. That was too slow. She took to the air and broke the sound barrier as she blasted towards Metropolis and the warehouse that held Edward Teague.

She didn't bother with going through a door, assuming that it would be trapped. Instead she went straight through the rooftop skylight, dropping into the cavernous room to glare around, looking for Edward, for Brainiac, for anything helpful. The place was full of boxes and crates, none of which seemed to contain anything threatening when she used her X-ray vision. At the far end of the warehouse she spotted a human and something that looked like a human shape without having the skeleton or internal organs.

"Brainiac!" Kara yelled, flying straight through the wall in a shower of bricks and masonry.

She gasped as her powers suddenly started glitching. Pain shot through her and she collapsed to the floor of the warehouse. Edward Teague beamed at her with something like awe in his eyes. The pain increased as Edward flipped open a lead box. Kara cried out and shuddered, her arms unable to support her anymore.

"So wonderful to know that I was right to wait a couple of days before springing the trap," Brainiac said with a delighted smirk. "I knew that if we let your Need rise you'd loose the ability to control yourself. Now to spring the rest of the trap. Edward, take our guest here to her accommodations."

"Yes, Master," Edward said, all but orgasming from the fond tone in Brainiac's voice.

They pulled Kara's back pack off, took her cell phone, tied her hands and feet and then dragged her to a cage with bars coated in Kryptonite. Kara panted and tried to get up. The cage was not quite big enough for her to get up. She couldn't stand, couldn't move, and the pain was excruciating. Brainiac smirked as he watched her struggles, dialing her phone.

"Hello, Kal-El," Brainiac said into her phone, grinning triumphantly when Kara cried out wordlessly. "I have someone here that you care about. If you care about your cousin, you'll come to Metropolis to save her. I've already called your Master, dear boy so you had best hurry if you won't want him to face me alone."

"No!" Kara screamed, trying to warn Clark not to come, not to listen to Brainiac.

Edward Teague shoved a pole with a chunk of Kryptonite on the end through the bars, hitting her in the ribs. She screamed and collapsed, in so much pain that she couldn't think, much less stop Clark from falling into Brainiac's trap. Her last through before she passed out was that she really should have just fucked one of the football players to take down her level of arousal. Being exclusive wasn't worth having her whole family destroyed.


Clark hesitated outside of the warehouse that probably held Brainiac and Kara. He really didn't like this. He didn't quite believe that Lex would have gone against Brainiac alone. He was always saying that they had to work as a team to be able to deal with Brainiac. He'd called Lex before he came here and then again just before he reached the warehouse but he hadn't gotten through. He didn't know if that was because Brainiac was blocking his calls or if it was because Lex was busy or maybe because Lex was here and fighting already, though Clark doubted it. It was too quiet for there to be a battle.

Clark carefully eased his way into the warehouse, scanning around him nervously. It was empty as far as he could see. The crates and boxes didn't appear to hold anything hazardous. There was another room at the far end of the warehouse and Clark could see something lead-lined there, a smaller room constructed in the middle of the warehouse. He frowned, trying to call Lex again. Once again, he couldn't get through. Clark stared at the room at the far end of the warehouse, wondering what to do. He really didn't want to go charging in. This had to be a trap and he didn't want to fall into it with Kara. He bit his lip and turned to leave. He'd find Lex personally and then come back.

A scream rang out through the warehouse, making Clark gasp in horror. That was Kara! He super sped to the door at the far end of the warehouse and broke the door open. He didn't see anyone but there was another smaller room built in there. It was the lead-lined one that he'd seen with his X-ray vision and it was also where Kara's screams were coming from. He growled and broke the lock on the door to the lead-lined room. As soon as he opened it he gasped, staggering backwards. The room was glowing with Kryptonite and Kara was trapped in the middle of it. Clark staggered backwards, trying to get distance from the Kryptonite.

"Now we can't have that," Brainiac said right behind Clark. He practically said it into his ear. "In you go, little boy. I can't have you escaping from my trap."

He shoved Clark hard, propelling him into the Kryptonite filled room. Clark shouted and then collapsed to the floor in a heap as the Kryptonite stripped his powers. Kara whimpered from inside of the Kryptonite cage, looking like she was about to pass out from sheer agony. Brainiac smirked at them both, pulling out Kara's cell phone.

"This day is going so very well," Brainiac said happily. "I've got my bait and my key to the Fortress. Now all I need is the Vessel of Zod and all our plans will be complete."

"He won't come," Clark panted, glaring up at Brainiac as best he could, given how much he hurt.

"Don't be stupid, of course he will," Brainiac laughed. "You're his 'boy', Kal-El. He'll come because he has to and because he's an idealistic fool."

He dialed the phone and Clark collapsed to the floor, shuddering. Brainiac was right. Lex would come and he'd fall into the trap with Clark and Kara. He should have gone to his Master instead of coming straight here. This was his fault. He should have known better than to investigate on his own.


"Hmm." Lex closed his cell phone and tucked it away in his coat pocket.

His immediate urge was to fly straight there and rescue both Clark and Kara but he knew that wouldn't work. Brainiac was easily as smart as Lex and probably much smarter. He took a deep breath and slowly let it out. He needed help and weapons against Brainiac to be able to save his family. Lex let his staff know what was going on, having the ones guarding the Black Ship go on alert and others go to the warehouse where Clark and Kara were being held. He didn't have them go in, not wanting them to be killed, but he did surround the warehouse so that Brainiac couldn't escape. Then he flew straight for the Kawatche Caves and the Fortress.

"Welcome, Lex Lu-Thor," Lara said, her voice grim.

"You know," Lex said, the words not a question. "I need that weapon, Lara. If I don't get it, Clark and Kara are going to die. I also need Jason restored, preferably with full powers."

"That may drive him crazy, Lex Lu-Thor," Lara said with worry in her synthetic voice.

"Jason's stronger than that," Lex said. "You've been breaking him free and he's nearly restored. You need to fully restore him and then he needs the powers so that he can help me free his Mistress. Do you have any way of stopping Kryptonite from hurting us?"

Lara hesitated long enough to make him twitch. Jason was moaning on the bed, panting as he'd been for the last day or so. Lara was making a big difference for him but he wasn't quite restored yet. The lights over Jason intensified and he gasped, eyes flying open. Lex went to his side, putting a hand on Jason's chest. Jason panted and then he shouted, sitting up staring around in terror.

"Kara!" Jason gasped, staring up at Lex.

"She's in danger," Lex said, keeping Jason from bolting to his feet. "Lara's finishing the weapon and we're considering giving you the same powers that I got so that you can help me fight Brainiac to save her."

"Bring it on," Jason said grimly. "I'll do it. God, Lex! You know that I'd do anything for her."

Lex nodded. They waited while Lara finished the weapon against Brainiac. It only took about two minutes but Lex thought that he felt every single second of those two minutes. Jason looked like he was feeling every millisecond of them. After what felt like forever, a small black crystal appeared out of the wall next to Lex.

"That is the weapon," Lara said. "It is an area effect weapon. It will restrict Brainiac's abilities to change and move freely within a ten mile radius. I cannot stop him or destroy him without destroying the Fortress so this was the best option. It should give you an edge. I believe I've managed to shield him from my sensors at the moment."

"Jason's Gift?" Lex asked, raising an eyebrow.

"I do not fully agree with this," Lara said a little stiffly, "but you are the Master of the Fortress, thus you can command me to do it."

"Why don't you agree with it?" Jason asked, surprised.

"I am worried that it may cause you more harm than good," Lara said softly. "Some Vessels have been driven mad by receiving their powers too quickly. I would not wish that on my niece or on you."

Jason frowned, nodding slowly. He looked at Lex and Lex looked back, waiting to see what Jason would say. It was his life and his mind. He had the right to decide one way or the other. Jason bit his lip and rubbed the back of his neck. Then he squared his jaw and nodded.

"Do it," Jason declared. "I want to be a full partner to Kara. I want to save her. If there's some risk to it, so be it. I still want to try."

"Agreed," Lex said, nodding.

Lara made a little static drifting-wind sigh. The control panel shifted and changed, control crystals that Lex had never used before rising up while others descended. Jason jumped, a little surprised by that. Lex patted his shoulder to reassure him. Jason didn't look terribly appreciative of it, but Lex didn't care.

"Place your hands on the crystals, Jason," Lara said. "I shall do my best to ensure that it is painless and that you are not harmed in the process of giving you the powers."

"Right," Jason said, swallowing hard.

He hesitated a second before he put his hands onto the crystals and then his whole body stiffened and he made a little croaking scream. Lex fought the urge to rip Jason away from the control panel. This wasn't anything at all like the gentle flow of power and healing of his Gift. This was the exact opposite and Lex worried for Jason as he shuddered. Please let this work, Lex prayed. Please let us have made the correct choice!


"Wow," Jason panted, letting Lex support him once the process was over. "That was…intense."

His head was swimming and his body was thrumming with power and there were senses he'd never had before, or maybe they were more powerful than he was used to. He wasn't sure. He could barely tell which way was up or down and then he realized he was floating which made him stare and fall back to the ground, Lex's arms still around his shoulders, keeping him from collapsing to the floor. He could hear Lex and Lara talking over his head as he tried to sort out what was what and who he was and what he could do but it was too much at the moment and his eyes were burning and then the crystal was smoking between his legs so he blinked and the burning stopped.

"Burned it?" Jason breathed, hearing the confusion in his voice and completely unable to control it. "Fuck…"

How the hell did they deal with this? Jason couldn't believe it. Everything was so loud and he could swear that he could hear Kara whimpering in pain way hell and gone off in Metropolis and he was here in the Fortress with snow blowing around him and god damn if he couldn't hear each individual snowflake striking tiny chimes as it hit the crystals that made up this bizarre place. He covered his ears with his hand, panting as he sat abruptly, trying to focus, and trying to get a handle on what had been done to him.

No, not 'done to him.' He'd chosen this, he'd chose to be made this way to help Kara so he damned well better get his head on straight. Sure, it was disorienting as all hell but Lex dealt with it and Clark and his golden girl Kara, so he'd deal with it too. He forced himself to focus on Kara, listening to her and quickly choosing to listen to her heartbeat. It was fast and a little shaky but still strong. As he focused on her heartbeat Lex and Lara's words became clearer to him.

"He is adjusting, Lex Lu-Thor," Lara said, her voice a little snippy. "You gave the order for it to happen."

"Damn it, I know that!" Lex snapped.

"Heh," Jason said, cocking his head and peering up at Lex. "Didn't know you cared, Lex."

"Jason!" Lex said, kneeling next to him with way more worry in his eyes than Jason had any right to expect. "Are you all right?"

"Getting there," Jason said, shaking his head. "It's just so much all at once. What the hell can I do anyway? I never asked Kara. Didn't seem right."

Lex gave a breathy little chuckle that was so relieved that Jason wondered how the fuck long it had been since he'd gotten these powers. Hell, he really hoped it hadn't taken forever. Kara needed him and so did Clark, though wouldn't he be vulnerable to the meteor rock now, too? How were they going to get the kids out of the warehouse they were trapped in if there was meteor rock?

"You have flight, invulnerability, super strength, speed, hearing, healing, X-ray vision and heat vision," Lex said, grinning at Jason's dropped jaw. "The flight takes some practice and I had a terrible time with the heat vision. What were you thinking when you scorched the crystal?"

"Um, well," Jason said trying to remember, "I don't really know. Just overwhelmed. Too much all at once."

"Well, you'll figure out your trigger for it eventually," Lex said, sighing. "Mine is anger. Clark's is ah, sexual thoughts."

"Heh, Kara's too," Jason said with a grin. "Set the curtains on fire once."

Lex helped Jason up and he stared at Lex's hand. There was so much more strength in that grip than there had been before. He could feel how strong he was now, how strong Lex was. It made him shiver. Fuck, he could smash everything with the slightest twitch. How…? He sighed, rubbing his face.

"How the hell do you deal with it all?" Jason asked, awed at Lex's calm control.

"I got my powers slowly," Lex said. "They were given to me all at once but it took nearly a month for my body to charge up to full strength. You got not only the powers but the charge all at once. That's why it's so overwhelming for you."

"Well, I wouldn't have been able to do a fucking thing for you and Kara and Clark otherwise," Jason said, shrugging. "How do we deal with the Kryptonite? It'll hurt both of us too."

Lex smirked and held up a little clear ball that looked to be another of the crystals that seemed to be the core of everything Kryptonian. It didn't look like much but Jason supposed that it had to be something or Lex wouldn't be looking so smug about the thing. He put it in Jason's hand. It felt warm; vibrating ever so slightly like it was impatient for something to happen. He cradled it and it all but crooned at him, which made Jason start and stare down at the ball. He looked up at Lex who chuckled.

"That's your job," Lex said. "While we're here, we're protected from Brainiac overhearing—"

"Probably," Lara interrupted, making Lex sigh and roll his eyes.

"We're probably safe from him overhearing," Lex repeated. "That will drain the harmful radiation out of the Kryptonite. Kara and Clark are going to be pretty weak from exposure to the Kryptonite at first. Your job is to roll that in there and then get them out. Kara is going to want to fight but I don't want her to interfere. Clark's really going to want to fight. Tell him it's a direct order for him to pull back. I'm expecting a lot of damage to occur in Metropolis during the battle and I want the three of you to keep people safe. I'll fight Brainiac."

"You sure?" Jason asked, holding the precious little crystal in his hands lovingly. It would help him save his Mistress. It was the most important thing on the planet right now to him.

"I'm sure," Lex said, nodding firmly. "The three of you are to protect the world. I'll deal with Brainiac."

Jason nodded, relieved that there was something definite for him to do. He wasn't at all sure he could control these powers he'd just been given but he could still help Kara and he could probably save people, too. Lex headed for one of the walls and then stopped, snapping his fingers as if he'd just remembered something. He was smirking as he turned back to the control console.

"Lara," Lex said in a much lighter tone of voice, "I've been meaning to ask you about this. Are there any Kryptonian fabrics that would survive our powers and battle better than human fabrics? I keep being afraid I'm going to destroy my suits when we go flying."

"There are," Lara said and laughed. "I can make some for the four of you if you like. It will take a second but Brainiac is patiently waiting for you."

"He does have nothing but time," Lex drawled, looking disgusted. "Please. Something with pockets for me, if you can. Skin-tight suits are very much not my thing."

Jason started snickering, thinking of Lex in the Speedo swimsuits back when they were in school. Lex glared at him, smacking him on the shoulder hard enough to make Jason rock. The force behind that smack felt normal to him but he was very aware that it was enough to have crushed a normal human body to a pulp. Kara's been holding back the whole time we've been together Jason realized. He blushed and then groaned as his cock responded to the thought of her being able to really let loose with him. Lex raised an eyebrow, then his eyes tracked to Jason's groin and he laughed, a low, wicked dirty sound that made Jason blush even harder.

"Yes, that's better this way, too," Lex said, grinning as he pulled a bracelet out of a cubby and passed it to Jason. "So if we put this one then we'll get more durable clothing?"

"Yes," Lara said. "They are not ideal as they will only work for a limited number of times but they contain Kryptonian battle uniforms in a hyperspace pocket. You touch the symbol and your clothes are taken away and replaced with the battle uniform. It is…rather formfitting, I'm afraid. And red."

Jason snickered at the expression on Lex's face at the formfitting and red comment. He could foresee Lex coming back here to fine tune a suit that was more to his taste in tightness and color choices. Of course, Jason could see himself doing the same thing. He sure didn't want to run around looking like he was wearing a skin tight Santa suit or something. He slipped on the bracelet but didn't trigger it yet. That could wait a little bit. Lex slipped on his bracelet and then they were going through this weird teleporter thing that deposited them in the Kawatche Caves of all places. He blinked, shrugged and then followed Lex outside.

"We're going to fly to Metropolis now," Lex said. "I expect that you're going to have some trouble with this at first—we all have except for Kara. What I want you to do is to put your hand on my shoulder and then concentrate on floating. I'll start flying and you try and copy what I'm doing. It should help you get the hang of it and if you make a mistake then I'll be right there to catch you before you crash."

"Right," Jason said, tucking the ball into his jacket pocket. "Let's do this."

It worked pretty well. Jason had a little trouble figuring out the floating thing but not too long. Pretty soon they were flying through the air, Jason just above Lex. They were moving so fast it was like the rest of the world had frozen in place, which was maybe the coolest thing ever. They made it to Metropolis in practically no time, landing next to Lex's men who were still surrounding the warehouse.

"Has anyone exited the warehouse?" Lex asked, that note of uber-command in his voice that made everyone snap to attention, including Jason.

"No sir," Lex's head of security said. "We've been monitoring all exits and the water and sewer systems. As far as we can tell, no one has entered or exited the warehouse by any means possible. No change on the Black Ship either."

"Very good," Lex said nodding approval. "Pull back. I want everyone cleared out of here and the government warned that a terrorist incident might be about to break loose. Give us about fifteen minutes before you make that call but if you start seeing or hearing explosions, call right away. I'm expecting a battle."

"Yes sir."

They didn't look very happy about it, but Lex's security team pulled back, leaving the two of them staring at the warehouse. Jason looked at it, wondering how the X-ray thing worked and then he swayed as he was seeing straight through the place. There was a box at the far end of the warehouse that he couldn't see through with what looked like a statue in front of it. Then the statue moved and Jason blinked. He cursed and rubbed his eyes as the X-ray vision stopped as abruptly as it had started.

"That is so fucking weird," Jason grumbled, glaring at Lex's amused expression. "Are we doing this or what?"

"We're doing it," Lex said, nodding. "Follow me and stay behind me. Brainiac is mine."

"Yes sir," Jason said, unconsciously echoing Lex's security team.

He didn't like it but Lex was the leader and Jason was a born and bred follower. They headed into the warehouse, Lex calmly walking to the far end of the place and calmly opening a door that looked like it had seen better days. Jason stared at the door. That dent looked distinctly like a fist just about the size of Clark's fist. This must be the way that Clark and probably Kara had gone in and gotten trapped. He really hoped that they weren't walking into a trap, too.

"How nice," Brainiac drawled as they entered. "You made me a second Vessel. That's kind of you. Now if you don't work out I can use him."

"I didn't give him the powers for you," Lex said calmly. "I gave them to him for Kara's sake."

Brainiac laughed, looking at Lex as if he was an amusing child. Jason bristled for Lex. Lex didn't seem to mind the laugh and look at all but then the guy did have Lionel Luthor as a father. He'd learned how to control himself better than Jason could ever dream. Lex walked closer to Brainiac, which seemed to make Brainiac just a little nervous, that that he was showing it. He narrowed his eyes and studied Lex's pockets and Jason's pockets.

"As though you gave him those powers," Brainiac said almost lightly. There was a tiny wrinkle between his eyes and his eyes kept returning to their pockets.

"Actually I did," Lex said with the uber-top tone of voice and that smirk that had gotten him beaten up so many times in school. "After all, the Fortress is mine."

"Because Kal-El is yours," Brainiac said, smirking right back at Lex.

"No, it's mine," Lex said, all but purring the words. "I'm the key to the Fortress, Brainiac. I'm the owner. I'm the one who united the Elements of Power. I'm the one who took the Crystal of Knowledge and created the Fortress. My genetics are what it's keyed to. The Fortress of Knowledge is mine, just like Kal-El is mine. And the gate to the Phantom Zone is mine, too."

Brainiac looked like he'd been slapped, staring at Lex with something that almost approximated fury. He still hadn't managed to figure out true human expressions yet, but he was closer. Brainiac said something in a language that Jason didn't know but assumed was Kryptonian. Lex chuckled, shaking his head and making a little clucking noise.

"Temper, temper," Lex said, still smirking. "One would think that you actually had emotions from that reaction."

"Lara would never have given the power to a human," Brainiac said, stiffening as Lex reached into his pocket, pulling out his crystal. Jason followed suit, hoping that Brainiac wouldn't be able to tell which crystal did what. "She wouldn't give it to you!"

"I'm not a human," Lex said, almost grinning as he touched the symbol on his bracelet. "I'm a Master. No slave would ever be given the power and Kara was not to be trusted because of her father. Of course she gave it to me."

There was a flash and Lex's clothes disappeared to be replaced by a skin-tight suit of deep red fabric that looked one hell of a lot like spandex. Jason snickered at the way it clung to Lex's body. Yeah, he was definitely going to be doing some redesign work after this was over. Jason hit his crystal and flinched at the flash of light. His suit was actually sort of comfortable. The groin felt like it had a cup—thank God for that!—and the fabric wasn't so tight that it bound his body. It wasn't ideal as there weren't any pockets but it was all right. His wasn't red; it was bright blue which made Jason wonder if there was some sort of hierarchy involved in the color choices or if Lara just wanted them to be easily distinguishable. It didn't really matter because time seemed to suddenly slow down as Brainiac lunged at Jason.

"Tisk," Lex said, triggering his crystal.

Brainiac screamed. His voice was metallic, not human at all. His body seemed to ripple and shift, like he was an image in a pool of water that someone had thrown a rock into. He stumbled before he reached Jason and Lex was suddenly there, slapping the crystal square in the middle of Brainiac's back. The scream went up into ranges of sound that Jason hadn't known that he could hear. He cursed and then ran for the room holding Kara and Jason.

"The fuck?" Jason gasped when he opened the door.

It hurt like hell! He gasped, dropped to his knees and then rolled the little ball into the room. This had better work or all four of them were doomed. He heard Lex and Brainiac smash through the wall and out onto the street but he didn't look. He had a job to do and it was right here. The ball started glowing and the Kryptonite glowed brighter for a second. Then its green coloration started draining away as the ball changed from clear to a muddy brown. It seemed to take forever but Jason thought it was only because he was still experiencing things at super speed. It was fucking weird to see the world this way.

Finally the Kryptonite changed to a clear white crystal that appeared to be harmless. All the pain went away. Kara sighed, collapsing on the floor of her cage. Clark moaned, trying to lever himself up on one elbow.

"Easy there, buddy," Jason said, hurrying in to his side. "You've been through a lot. Lex says that you're ordered not to help him fight."

"What?" Clark said, blinking at him as he shook his head and then sat up. "But I have to!"

"Nope," Jason said, grabbing the bars of Kara's cage and tugging. He'd intended it as a little tug; just enough to test its strength but the bars came apart like they were made of limp spaghetti, startling him. "Fuck, this is going to take some serious getting used to. Kara, sweetie, it's Jason. You have to get up. We need to protect the city."

"Jason?" Kara breathed, blinking her eyes and staring at him in confusion. "But you were in the Fortress."

Jason grinned and kissed her, moaning as she gave him a tender little kiss that felt like it was hardly a kiss at all. He kissed her back and she gasped into his lips, wrapping her arms around his neck to give him one of those soul-eating kisses he'd come to love so much. Kara was all but purring when she let him go, grinning despite the fact that she looked a little blurry and a lot bitchy.

"Lex fixed it," Jason said, grinning at her. "And gave me these powers that I'm really not sure how to handle and we do need to help him out. He's got a plan for dealing with Brainiac. We're supposed to keep the two of them from destroying the city if possible. And I really, really, really would appreciate my Mistress giving me some clues on how to cope with all this stuff. It's fucking weird!"

"Language," Kara giggled, running a finger over his lip. "All right. Stick with me and we'll do fine."

"I really can't pound Brainiac?" Clark asked when they got up and left the cage.

"Nope," Jason said, picking up the ball and then frowning. No pockets. He sighed, changed back, put the thing into his pocket and then triggered the uniform again. That worked!

"I am seriously loving the battle uniform," Kara giggled, grabbing his butt, "but I think you need a different color."

They all stopped as a huge crash echoed through the warehouse. Clark and Kara exchanged looks and then Jason was hurrying into super speed to keep up with them as they shot out of the warehouse and out onto the street. It looked like the battle was well underway but Jason wasn't focused on that. He ran down the street and caught a huge chunk of concrete and glass that had been knocked off a building before it could crush anyone. It didn't feel that heavy though it did crush the street when he carefully set it down.

"Oh, so that's what we're supposed to do," Kara said, patting Jason's back. "Good job, sweetie. Let's get to work!"

Clark gave a little whine but joined them as they followed the battle raging overhead, making sure that no one in the city got killed by the debris and destruction going on above them all.


Brainiac was a slippery little bastard, Lex had to admit that. He'd managed to affix the crystal to his body but Lex suspected that this wasn't his real body. It was just a remote unit so of course Brainiac was able to work around it, though it was clearly making it really difficult for him to operate. It's the black box that I have to destroy, Lex thought as he was punched so hard that he flew into a skyscraper, fortunately smashing into one of the concrete parts instead of the glass. He'd probably have gone straight through the building if he'd hit the glass.

"You can't win," Brainiac said in a completely synthetic voice. His face was just a metallic mask right now. "I don't get tired and this crystal won't stop me for long."

Lex didn't bother to reply. His men were already getting ready to try and blow up the Ship which was reacting to the Crystal. All Lex had to do was keep Brainiac's remote occupied and in Metropolis so that its black box wouldn't escape the field effect. If worst came to worst he'd dive into the warehouse where the Black Ship was kept and destroy it himself.

Lex used heat vision on Brainiac, making him scream that horrible electronic scream. He grunted as Brainiac responded in kind. Not a winning strategy but then what else could he do? Heat and cold? Lex pursed his lips and tried it, alternately blasting Brainiac with heat vision and then super breath. It make Brainiac shudder and charge at Lex, smashing them both into a building, or more accurately through the windows, through the offices inside and then out the other side and into the air with a rain of glass and debris that Lex hoped Jason, Kara and Clark were catching. The street below was filled with people and cars, which made Lex snarl with anger. This was what he'd wanted to try and avoid.

They started pounding on each other but Lex wasn't sure that he was making much of a difference as he beat on Brainiac. The computer seemed to be so fluid that Lex didn't think he was doing much damage, despite the electronic grunts he got from Brainiac. Lex shoved hard against Brainiac, flying into him with all the strength that he had. He needed to get the crystal closer to the Black Ship, preferably right next to it. Brainiac seemed to know exactly what Lex was up to because he struggled hard.

They zigged and zagged across the city's skyline, occasionally impacting buildings and doing huge amounts of damage. Lex cursed every time they did some damage. He could hear whooshes that had to be Kara, Jason and Clark, so hopefully they were saving people. He could also hear a million camera shutters clicking so he knew that he'd have some serious public relations issues to deal with after this fiasco. He should have asked for a mask of some sort to cover his head. His baldness made him fairly easily identifiable, even if he was currently wearing something that Lex Luthor would never wear on a bet.

Lex grinned with triumph as they finally smashed through the roof of the LuthorCorp warehouse holding the Black Ship. Brainiac and the Ship both screamed as Lex smashed Brainiac's quivering body into the Black Ship, making sure that the crystal Lara gave him contacted the ship. The Ship shuddered and Brainiac dissolved into the ship, leaving Lex kneeling on top of it.

"Finally," Lex breathed, smirking at the Ship which was shuddering and rippling underneath Lex's knees. "Let's see if I can finally get you, Brainiac."

Lex took a deep breath and started blasting the Black Ship with heat vision and super breath. The Ship gave another electronic scream/squeal as Lex repeatedly heated and cooled the ship. As the scream rose in volume and pitch, Lex reared up and slammed his fist down on the spot he'd been heating as hard as he possibly could. The Ship shattered under his fist, collapsing into shattered bits that immediately tried to pull back together like mercury rejoining into larger and larger bits. Lex scanned the shattered bit desperately, searching for the black box that Lara had described to him.

"Ha!" Lex exclaimed, grabbing up the black box just before the globules of Brainiac's liquid form reached it.

He blasted the black box with pinpoint heat vision, trying to blast through it. The liquid part of Brainiac surged at Lex, trying to grab him, to get the black box back. Lex shot into the air, still blasting it with his heat vision. He smashed through the roof, heading for the stratosphere in a huge ballistic arch towards the Fortress. The tendrils from the Brainiac goop screamed and then fell to dust as he got past a few dozen feet. The black box vibrated in Lex's hand. He wasn't making much progress blasting through it but it didn't matter that much as he got to the Fortress and a vortex opened up. Lex grinned and flung the black box into the Phantom Zone, sighing with relief when it closed and the floating pane flew off.

"I need to get back to Metropolis," Lex said to Lara. "Can you tell me if Brainiac will be able to regenerate in the Phantom Zone?"

"No, it is inert in that realm," Lara said with relief. "The remaining nanomachines are also inert without the black box. Brainiac is gone."

"Thank goodness," Lex breathed. "Thanks, Lara. Can this thing make a mask of some sort? I really don't want anyone to take a picture of me and identify me."

"I have been blurring the pictures of you," Lara chuckled. "A mask would be much easier."

A mask appeared out of the cubby that the bracelet had come from. Lex grimaced once he had it on. It was uncomfortable and he hated it but it was better than nothing. He sighed and used the shortcut to get back to Smallville before flying at super speed back to Metropolis. There was a lot of damage but Clark, Kara and Jason had saved most of the bystanders from being severely hurt. Lex joined them in the recovery efforts without a word, smiling back at Jason's smirk and Clark's brilliant smile. None of them responded to the reporters but Lex did talk briefly to the police, explaining that the person he'd fought had intended to destroy the world and take over. It was easier than explaining the truth. He declined to give names for any of them, saying that they had wanted to help and nothing more.

"Are we done?" Clark asked about an hour later when they'd cleaned up the major portion of the damage, though rebuilding would take quite a while.

"We're done," Lex said, smiling at him. "Let's go home, everyone."

They took to the air and flew back to Smallville so fast that no one could follow them. Kara and Jason headed for the farm and Lex went with Clark to the Mansion. Clark smiled as Lex triggered the uniform to disappear and his suit reappeared. Clark sighed, looking a little disappointed.

"I think that was a really nice uniform," Clark said, sighing as he eyed Lex's groin.

"I think it's a little bright," Lex said, chuckling, "and rather more skin-tight than I enjoy. But it did stand up to the battle quite well. We might have to head back to the Fortress to design outfits for all of us. It's certainly better than having to replace our clothes every time we do something special."

Clark beamed, bouncing on his toes as they headed inside for a quick shower before dinner. Lex chuckled, grinning at his excitement.

"Can mine be red and blue?" Clark said with delight. "Maybe with a cape and gold accents like my collar?"

"If you want, I suppose that it can be," Lex laughed. "I'd certainly want it to have the House of El symbol on it. That's part of what shows that you're mine. Let's get cleaned up, pet. Things have finally calmed down and I want to take the chance to get some flying with my favorite boy in."

"Yes Master!"


"This is so nice," Kara giggled, snuggling with her boy in the loft. "You have no idea how hard up I was."

"Are you kidding?" Jason said, looking up at her with disbelief. "Sweetie, we just did it seven times in less than an hour. Trust me, I know how hard up you were. I'm just happy you don't have to hold back anymore. I never realized just how hard it was for you."

"It's not so bad," Kara said, smiling at him a little sadly. "You'll get used to it, Jason."

"That," Jason said as he knelt up and kissed her gently on the lips, "was not a complaint, Mistress. That was a statement of fact. Controlling your strength, especially when doing something like sex, must have been hell. No wonder you didn't want to discipline me. Your lightest taps would have crippled me."

Kara winced. She had worried about it. It was way too easy to go overboard but she hadn't had to worry about it. Overall, Jason was a good boy and he did what he was supposed to. She liked his independence and snippiness. The one thing she'd never do was beat him into oblivion for some minor failure. He was too precious to her exactly as he was for her to break him that way. Jason smiled, running his fingers over her breasts to her nipples and pinching them hard enough to make her gasp happily.

"Nice," Kara moaned, giggling as he grinned wickedly.

"Mmm, no doubt," Jason replied, a little haunted look in his eyes before he bent his head to suckle at one nipple.

"Hey," Kara said, making him stop so she could really look at him. "You want something. I can tell. Give! Tell me what you need, cutie-pants. Magic Ninja Finger love?"

Jason blushed and then laughed at the ninja finger quip. They both ended up laughing. It was the best part of being with him, his wonderfully quirky sense of humor. He shook his head, smiling a crooked smile at her that made her frown. Something was really bothering him and she didn't have a clue what it was. That bugged her enough that she sat up and cupped his face in her hands, studying him.

"What? Tell your Mistress, sweetie. Tell Kara. Tell your lover," Kara said. "I can't help unless you tell me. The one thing I can't do is read minds, unfortunately."

"That would be scary if you could," Jason said, smirking and then sighing as she gave him a frown. "Okay, okay. It's little, really. Well, two little things actually."

"Give or I shall apply the Magic Ninja Fingers of Ticklish Doom upon you!" Kara said in her best spooky Mistress voice.

They both dissolved into laughter again. Jason hugged her, giving her a kiss that reassured her that it wasn't some huge problem. Just a little thing and then he'd be okay, which made her feel so much better. She hated the thought that she might have missed something huge. Jason sighed and snuggled up, resting his head on her breasts which jiggled as she laughed.

"First thing," Jason said, swallowing audibly, "is a silly thing. Um, sort of a sad thing, actually. You've never actually disciplined me, Mistress. And, well, I'd kind of like to know what sort of discipline you'll use when I do need it from now on. Now that I can, you know, deal with it physically."

"Oh," Kara said surprised, "that's actually a good question. I'll never slap you in the face, that's a promise. That's so rude. Spankings, sure. I'm a big believer in spankings. Don't see much point in beatings since most anything that I could hit you with would break but we could talk to Auntie Lara and see if she could come up with something that would work if you'd like that better. If you really, really, really piss me off I won't touch you at all. Tie you up and get you hot and bothered and then leave you that way."

"That's a punishment," Jason said, dead seriously, though he was playing with her nipple again and dry humping her hip.

"Mmm-hmm," Kara hummed and then giggled. "Doubt that'll happen that much but you never know. Why'd you ask?"

Jason sighed and stopped with the flirting. He turned his face into her neck and clung to her for a long, long time. Kara held him, rubbing his back. Genevieve. It had to be Genevieve. Her boy's mother had done such a terrible job raising and training him. He was so messed up in places but it was part of what made him Jason so she didn't worry about it. Well, not much. She'd help him get over it in time.

"Mom," Jason whispered into her neck, shivering. "I never knew if she was going to hug me or hit me. Never knew how I'd be punished if I failed her. She was…kind of abusive."

"More than kind of," Kara said, kissing the top of his head.

They cuddled together as the sun started going down outside the barn. It painted the wall and ceiling of the loft in shades of gold and red, warming her little hideaway into something of beauty. Jason sighed and relaxed eventually, turning his head to watch the sunset colors slowly flow across the loft and then fade away into indigo darkness. Kara knew that soon enough Aunt Martha and Uncle Jonathan would be calling them in for dinner but she didn't care. She was content to stay here with Jason forever, loving him and loving on him.

"Second thing?" Jason said once darkness had fully fallen.

"Oh yeah," Kara said, blinking. "I kind of forgot about that second thing. What is it?"

Jason chuckled and slid between her legs, scooping her up so that she was sitting in his lap. She giggled and wrapped her legs around his back, gasping as he pushed inside of her. He pulled her down until he was buried as deeply inside of her as he could be, smiling with so much love into her eyes.

"Second thing was that I think I want to go shopping for a chain with you," Jason whispered, looking excited and nervous and bone-deep happy all at once.

It took a second for Kara's brain to process past 'cock feels so good' but once it did she squealed and hugged him with all her muscles. She squealed and he laughed, gasping as she tweaked him again. He started rocking and she gasped. It didn't take long at all for both of them to reach climax, despite how many times they'd done it before.

"Yes!" Kara shouted in answer to his offer / question. She repeated it over and over until they both came and then afterwards, and then while he cleaned her up and then when he came and lay back down next to her, grinning like a lunatic.

"I take it that was more than a 'yes that feels good yes'?" Jason laughed.

"Its 'yes, I'll marry you'," Kara said to him. "I'll marry you our style now and in a few years when I'm old enough I'll marry you human style and I'll stay with you for the rest of our lives. It's yes I'll take care of you while you take care of me and yes I'll have your babies and help you save the world and learn to cook for you since I can't and you can and yes I'll stay with my perfect funny gorgeous boy for as long as we have."

"Love you," Jason breathed, tears in his eyes that he'd probably deny.

"Love you too," Kara whispered back, pulling him in for another kiss. "Now and always, Jason."


"R-really?" Clark asked, eyes wide as he stared at Lex.

"Really," Lex purred, smirking and eyeing Clark's naked body. "The world can take care of itself for a while. Brainiac's gone. Edward Teague can be tracked down and dealt with tomorrow. Kara and Jason are fine. Metropolis has been cleaned up. Lionel and Genevieve are both in prison. It's time for us to take some much-deserved time to ourselves. And I choose to spend that time with you, flying."

"Naked," Clark said, starting to grin and get hard.

"Absolutely," Lex growled, grabbing Clark's cock and pulling him close. "Now come on. Flying time."

"Fuck yes, Master!" Clark groaned, following the tug on his cock into the air.

They'd gotten cleaned up, taking a nice long shower that had included a mind-blowingly good quickie. Then Lex had dressed for dinner while Clark stayed naked except for his collar. He got to sit on his pillow next to Lex's legs and be fed from Lex's plate. They'd had dessert, delicious cherry cordials that made Clark breathless as Lex kissed the sugar away. During all of that the sun had set and the stars had come out. The moon was rising over the trees as they took to the air, giving the estate and then all of Smallville a fairy tale sort of feeling. Flying several thousand feet up in the air helped magnify the fairy tale feeling, while Lex's firm grip on his cock kept him focused and alert.

"I never would have thought that I'd come to like flying," Lex said, relinquishing his grip so that he could pull Clark into a hug.

"Me either," Clark said softly, trusting Lex to hear it despite the winds farther up in the air.

Lex caught his face and kissed Clark tenderly, taking his time as they drifted slowly higher into the air. Clark moaned, twining his legs with Lex's so that they were more anchored to each other. He wrapped his arms around Lex's waist, trembling at how good it felt. The wind, the darkness, and especially the vision of Lex like a pale sprite flying in front of Clark. He felt huge and clumsy next to Lex in that instant, though Lex had put on enough muscle that he looked like a body builder, instead of being as lean as he'd been when Clark first met him. But still, he was pale and bald and graceful, making Clark feel like a lump, which Clark knew he didn't mean to do.

"Beautiful," Clark murmured, blushing that he'd said it out loud.

Lex chuckled, his fingers tracing Clark's cheekbones and lips, trailing down his neck to follow the contours of his shoulders out to Clark's biceps. He pulled Clark close and started kissing along the same path, leaving fairy kisses that left phantom warmth behind on his cheekbone, chin, lips, Clark's Adam's apple, the notch of his throat, and then out and across his shoulder. Clark shuddered, eyes fluttering shut at how good it felt. They weren't really flying anymore, just floating way up in the sky.

Lex pushed Clark back so that he was almost lying on his back, though lying when you were floating in the sky was a misnomer of the highest order. Lex smiled and arranged himself on top of Clark, straddling his hips and rubbing their cocks together. He nuzzled Clark's hear, biting his way down Clark's neck until his mouth encountered Clark's collar. Clark's breath caught as Lex caught the collar in his mouth, tugging it gently and then slipping his tongue underneath it to lick Clark's neck.

"Master," Clark moaned, his hands clutching Lex's back.

"Mmm," Lex murmured, giving the collar another tug with his teeth. "Mine."

"Yes! Yours!" Clark gasped, the reinforcement of their bond, the reminder that he belonged to Lex completely, nearly making him come way too soon.

Lex chuckled, thrusting against Clark's hips and rubbing their cocks together again. He grabbed Clark's shoulders, sliding his legs between Clark's. A quick adjustment of their position and Lex was pushing into Clark's ass, filling him up. He gasped, eyes going wide as Lex grinned and started pushing them into flight again, moving them through the air so that they had motion as well as flying and fucking.

They soared into the sky, up until Clark could see the curve of the earth beneath them. He wrapped his legs around Lex's back, head falling back as they reached the peak of their arc through the sky. Lex chuckled and sent them back towards the earth, pounding into Clark's ass as they fell faster and faster towards the ground. But it wasn't falling; it was flying, flying with his Master in control, falling and fucking and the wind beating around them while Lex's cock beat into his ass. It was hotter than anything he'd ever experienced.

Clark came so hared he nearly blacked out, spraying come across the sky. Lex laughed and pulled them up, flying them high into a cloud. Clark moaned, the heat from their rapid descent cooled by the water vapor that surrounded them. Little sparks of electricity arced off of his collar, jumping to Lex's collar. Neither collar seemed affected. It felt like tiny little bursts of static electricity to Clark, not anything to worry about. Lex slowed and they hovered together in the cloud, drifting slowly with it while Lex slowed his pace, taking Clark slowly and gently now.

"Oh fuck Lex!" Clark groaned, clinging to him.

"Good?" Lex asked, grinning at him.

"Too good!"

It was too good, too perfect, exactly and perfectly an expression of Lex's love for him, of his love for Lex. No kneeling, no rituals, no spanking, no toys, nothing but the two of them together; Clark moaned. He wanted it to last forever. He wanted them to fly around the world together, Lex's cock buried inside of his body, taking him, owning him, and giving him things that no one else ever could. Lex smiled, pulling Clark close to give him a tender kiss.

"Different position," Lex murmured against Clark's lips.

Clark still protested with a little whimper when Lex pulled out, but quickly turned, letting Lex spoon against his back. Lex spread Clark's legs and eased inside of him, nuzzling and then biting the back of Clark's neck. They started flying again, Lex slowly pulsing into Clark's body. They exited the cloud and Clark gasped as the sun started coming up over the horizon. As it rose, Lex took him harder and faster, clutching Clark's hips to keep the connection between them. Clark arched his back to give Lex better access, to let him go deeper, eyes watching the sun as it rose.

When the rays hit them they were so high up in the atmosphere that they saw full circle rainbows from the rain clouds below. The sunshine caressed their bodies, making their love making that much better. Clark panted, looking down to realize that somehow they'd gone so far east or west—he couldn't tell which—that they were over an ocean. The water drifted by underneath them. They were totally alone up in the sky, just the two of them.

"Feels good," Lex purred into Clark's ear.

"Su-un?" Clark asked, panting so hard from sheer arousal that he could barely talk.

"No," Lex growled, biting Clark's neck right above his collar so hard that Clark knew there would be a mark for a few days, "you!"

Clark cried out, barely able to restrain himself despite having come twice already tonight. Lex growled and bit him again, this time on the meaty part where his neck joined with his shoulder, leaving another mark. He kept biting, leaving marks over Clark's neck and shoulders. Each time Clark cried out and nearly came. Lex groaned, reaching around to stroke Clark's cock.

"No more resisting," Lex moaned, stroking Clark's length hard and fast. "Want you to come for me. Come for me, Clark!"

"Lex!" Clark cried, bucking and coming so hard that he thought all of his blood and brains drained out of his cock.

He moaned, watching the semen fall through the sky towards the water so far below, becoming a different sort of rain over the ocean, joining the life of this world that he loved so much. The thought surprised another jolt out of him and then a third, until Clark was so exhausted that he thought he'd sleep for a week. Lex was coming inside of him the whole time, moaning and kissing Clark's back with every jolt.

"Wow…" Clark breathed, panting. He laid his head against Lex's shoulder, trembling with exhaustion now.

"Home," Lex said.

He pulled out, turned Clark around and kissed him tenderly. Clark smiled and let Lex lead him home. He headed back into the darkness so Clark thought they must have flown across the USA and out over the Pacific, not that he was up to much thinking at that point. It took just a minute or so to get home. Clark would have to ask Lex sometime how he did the aerial navigation thing. Clark had no clue how to find Smallville but Lex brought them home to the mansion easily. Lex smiled and hovered a few thousand feet above the mansion, pulling Clark close to kiss him and then put his lips against Clark's ear.

"Someday," Lex whispered, running his fingers over Clark's arms and around his back to hug him, "I'm going to have you fuck me, Clark."

"Oh fucking hell, how am I supposed to sleep now, Master?" Clark groaned, shaking his head at Lex's laugh of delight. "No fair!"

"Come on, Clark," Lex laughed, grinning at him and tugging his hand. "Let's go home. There's plenty of time for that in the future."

The End

Chapter Text

Lex knew Clark was up to something. How could he not know? Jason and Kara had been over for a couple of hours, and Kara had been giggling the entire time. Lex stayed in his office, working studiously and pretending that he couldn't hear their whispered comments and giggles upstairs. After he'd finished his work, (and they hadn't) he delayed a bit longer by making sure that their presents were ready for the Kents.

Christmas dinner at the farm was going to be interesting, but Lex suspected that it would be a lot more relaxed now that the Kents seemed to have accepted that Clark needed to belong to Lex and was happy here. Lex was certain that having Kara and Jason to spoil helped their attitudes. Once Kara and Jason sped back to the farm, Lex headed upstairs, carrying the stack of presents easily. They weren't as extravagant as Lex would have liked, but they were nice enough to satisfy him without being so expensive as to upset the Kents and Clark.

"Are you dressed for dinner, love?" Lex asked, pushing open the door to their room.

"Not exactly, Master," Clark said, grinning at him from the bed. "Merry Christmas!"

Lex stopped and stared. He'd listened to them working, but the result wasn't what he'd expected. Clark was tied spread-eagled on the bed by yards and yards of ribbons. His golden collar twinkled around his neck. Nearly every square inch of his body was covered with ribbons; skinny gold ribbons, wide red and blue ribbons, a few scattered silver ribbons. There were bows in strategic places and gift tags labeled his nipples, belly button, arms and legs. His hands, feet, face and fierce erection were about the only parts of Clark that weren't covered with ribbons.

"That must have taken so much work," Lex laughed, shaking his head in amazement. "Going to have to get some scissors to unwrap my present."

"Uh-uh," Clark informed him, grinning. "Jason says all you have to do is untie the bows for that spot to unravel. It shouldn't take half as long to unwrap your present as it did to wrap it up."

Lex grinned and set the stack of presents on the dresser, walking over to pet Clark's cheek and then kiss him. He glanced down at the gift tag at the base of Clark's neck and started laughing. It said 'To Lex with Love, Clark. (Kiss here please!)' Clark grinned at him and Lex shook his head, still laughing.

"I suppose I can honor that gift tag," Lex said with a grin.

He tugged the bow and the first ribbon came loose, exposing a couple of inches of Clark's neck. There was an edible body paint heart underneath where the tag had been, which made Lex grin wider. He licked the heart off and then bit that spot, replacing it with a hickey. Clark moaned. Lex set to work undoing the other bows and removing the ribbons, finding hearts, lip prints, and arrows to the spots to kiss or bite. He paid extravagant attention to each and every one of them, usually leaving Clark with a hickey once he moved on. Clark whimpered and moaned, especially when Lex stripped and climbed on top of him to continue his attentions more easily.

It didn't take very long at all before Clark was untied and ribbons were scattered all over their bedroom floor. Lex took his time making love to Clark after that. They did need to get to the Kent's, but Lex was sure that Jason and Kara warned the Kents that Lex and Clark would be a little late. After spending all that time setting up Lex's gift, they had to expect that he'd take his time enjoying it. Clark shuddered happily when Lex pushed into him, looking up at Lex with love. It took much less time for them both to climax than Lex would have liked but, after engaging in that much foreplay, he wasn't very surprised.

"Merry Christmas, Lex," Clark whispered, his breath catching in his chest as he relaxed.

"Merry Christmas, Clark," Lex said, settling down on his chest to kiss him lovingly. "Wonderful present—Thank you. It makes me feel cheap for just buying you gifts."

"You're the best thing in the world for me," Clark protested. "I don't want anything else but you."

"Too bad," Lex said mock-sadly. "I'm going to force you to accept presents anyway. Ready for Christmas dinner with your parents?"

"Yeah!" Clark said with a grin. "Let's go. Kara said Mom made my favorite pie."

They rolled out of bed together and headed for the bathroom hand-in-hand. Lex smiled as Clark chattered about all the food that Martha was apparently creating for them. He truly did have to find a better present for Clark someday. Nothing could compare to the present he'd gotten this year.

The End

Chapter Text

Jason paced in the loft, waiting for Kara to return. He'd screwed up. He knew it. He'd been told exactly what to do but when he'd seen that asshole attack Kara he'd lost it. Three people were in the hospital because he'd abandoned his post holding up the building. A lot more people could have died, if Lex hadn't been there to save them.

"God, I fucked up," Jason groaned.

He rubbed his hands over his face before caressing the collar around his neck. He was such an idiot. Kara was tougher than he was. He just couldn't stand to see her get hurt. She meant so much to him, had given him so much.

"Yes, you did," Kara said.

Jason started and whirled to face her. He swallowed involuntarily at the angry expression on her face. Kara didn't do angry well. She was too happy and giggly but right now she looked like the grim Kryptonian Mistress, not his sweet girl. She mounted the last three steps and strode over to grab Jason's hair and drive him down to his knees. He whimpered, not resisting.

"What were you thinking?" Kara asked. It wasn't the furious demand that he'd expected. Her words were almost neutral, despite the anger in her eyes.

"I… he hurt you," Jason admitted. His voice sounded scared and ashamed to his own ears. "He hit you and you bled and I just… lost it. I'm sorry, Mistress."

"My bad boy," Kara sighed. Her fingers tightened enough in his hair to make Jason wince. "Up. Follow me and keep up."

"Wh-?" He stopped talking at the fierce look in her eyes. He swallowed again and nodded.

Kara left the barn and then took flight. Jason went after her, working to keep up. He wasn't as strong as she was. He wasn't as fast as she was. He wasn't anywhere near as good at flying as she was. She zoomed across the nation, dipping down to flash through the Grand Canyon like it was a slalom course. Jason bit his lip and did his best to stay glued to her butt. She cut a lot of corners much closer than he was comfortable with. He managed not to damage the park by crashing into anything but it was close.

Kara went straight up into the air, heading for the stratosphere without looking back to see if he was following her. Jason bit down on curses and followed her. He hated flying this high. She went right out of the atmosphere and into space. Jason gulped a last lungful of air and followed her, his heart hammering. It felt so damned wrong to be in space with nothing but his green suit to protect him. Kara zoomed ahead, still paying no attention to him or his discomfort. She looped around the moon and then back down to earth so quickly that she was surrounded by a corona of flame. He winced but followed her, quickly picking up his own fire trail. It didn't hurt. It just scared him. His suit's Kryptonian material handled the heat without any problems.

Kara plunged into the Pacific Ocean, diving so deep under the surface that he had to follow her by using X-ray vision. The water's resistance made it impossible to fly too fast but the slower speed was matched by greater resistance so he had to work just as hard to keep up with her.

Jason realized as they flashed by a giant squid that this was a punishment. It was a lesson. She was showing him all the ways that he didn't match up, all the ways that she was better than he was. She cut a hole through the arctic ice with her heat vision and flew through it up into the sky. Jason followed her, cursing in his head as he had to widen the hole for his larger shoulders.

Once in the sky she led him to the Fortress. Lara dried them both off automatically. Kara led the way to the training room. It was a combined exercise / practice / punishment room. Jason shivered, wondering what was next. She'd never beaten him before, not for real. Of course he'd never screwed up this badly before either. If her collar weren't still shining around her neck he'd be worried that she'd gotten sick of his fuck-ups and wanted to get rid of him.

"What did that show you?" Kara asked. She turned to look at him. Her face was an impassive mask.

"That I'm nowhere near as good as you, Mistress," Jason said miserably.

"Oh sweetie," Kara sighed. "That wasn't the point."

"It wasn't?" Jason asked, startled.

"No," Kara said. She came over and put her hands around his cheeks. "Jason, we have you hang back and do support work because you haven't fully mastered your powers. You're hesitant. Things happen and instead of being able to react to them immediately, you look to me or Lex or Kal. That's why you were supposed to stay back. I knew how to fight him. I knew what I could take and I knew that he couldn't hurt me enough to stop me. I know what I can do and I'm confident in myself."

Her expression was tender and sad and a little wistful all at once. He shivered, reassessing what they'd just done. His accuracy and flight was pretty bad. He kind of just wallowed around in the air instead of flying gracefully the way the others did. The space thing was another case of his fears getting the better of him. The ice was an example of him not being able to plan ahead because he was so intent on what he was doing. He couldn't even claim that it was because he'd originally been a human. Lex's powers were like Jason's, a gift, but he was better at it than everyone else.

"I'm sorry Mistress," Jason whispered.

"I know you are," Kara said. "I still have to punish you. We're going to train until you're falling down and I'm not going to give you any quarter. I've been fighting since I was four, Jason. I've held back on you before. No more holding back. I will hurt you and you will hurt me. If you don't then you won't get to touch me or yourself for a week and you'll have to watch me pleasure myself without any satisfaction."

"That's a punishment," Jason said. His voice went all squeaky at the thought of watching Kara masturbating without being able to do anything about it. His balls might just explode.

Kara smiled at him and nodded. She backed off a pace and then came at him so fast that he didn't have time to react. Her fist hit him hard enough to send him flying back into the wall. A repulsor field caught him, knocking him back into the room. Kara was already coming at him. He automatically went into super speed, responding to her attacks with blocks that made her glare.

It took a really painful knee to the gut to get him to fight back. He swung at her and was surprised when she took the blow on her shoulder. She barely rocked. The return blow she gave him made Jason gasp with pain. He fought harder, inwardly wincing every time he hit his beautiful Mistress. She didn't appear to wince at all as she pounded on him. It felt like forever but was probably only about three minutes before he was gasping and moaning in pain. Kara sighed, stepping back and watching him with a regretful expression.

"S-sorry Mistress," Jason said. He slurred his words around the split lip she'd given him.

"You need so much practice." Kara shook her head sadly. "I'll have to get Lex and Kal to work with you. You just can't hit me, can you?"

Jason winced, her threat about no sex for a week echoing in his mind. His injuries were starting to fade but he still ached all over. Jason forced himself to stand up, shaking a little inside. He didn't want to disappoint her. It wasn't just the sex. He loved her so much and he didn't want to disappoint her ever again.

"I-I can do it," Jason said, rubbing the blood off of his chin. "Let me try again, Mistress. I'll do better."

"You can barely stand up, Jason," Kara said. She cocked her head at him and smiled ruefully. "No, this was my mistake. We'll count this as your punishment with the proviso that you need to work harder at your training. I think sparring with me will be your worst punishment in the future."

"Mistress?" Jason asked with shock.

"Hmm-mmm," Kara murmured.

She took his hand and led him out of the training room towards the private quarters. Kara calmly stripped Jason down to his skin and checked that all of his injuries were healing. She then stripped, revealing a nasty bruise on her rib cage and a big one on her thigh. That was all that he'd managed to do to her. Just seeing them made him feel ill.

"Oh baby, you really don't deal with my injuries well, do you?" Kara crooned.

He collapsed to his knees to wrap his arms around her stomach. She petted his hair and let him cling to her. It took way too long for his shaking to subside. When he finally knelt back on his heels Kara was smiling tenderly at him again. The key that matched his collar's lock glistened at the base of her throat. The promise of being loved and taken care of forever made him smile at her.

They showered before Kara pulled him to the bed, both of them still wet and slippery. The sheets would dry quickly. It was one of the quirks of Kryptonian fabric that Kara loved to giggle about after they'd made love back home. Kara pushed him back on the bed and straddled his hips. Jason moaned.

"My good boy," Kara whispered as she ran her fingers over the spot where his lip had been split. It was healed by now so it didn't hurt.

"No, I'm not," Jason protested. "I didn't follow instructions!"

"No, you didn't," Kara agreed. She squirmed a little on top of him, giggling at the way his groin responded to her. "But you're still my sweet Jason, my good boy who loves me and tries far too hard to protect me. The bad part is that you're not good enough yet to protect me. You need to be stronger and faster and better at fighting. Until then, I get to protect you."

She shifted position and slid down on top of him. Jason groaned at how wet she was. He'd never get used to how much she enjoyed being with him. He'd always wonder that Kara had chosen him as hers.

"Hands over your head," Kara ordered. "No touching. I get to touch you tonight."

"Mistress," Jason whispered.

He put his hands over his head, settling them into the cuffs built into the headboard. They automatically locked around his wrists to restrain him for her. Kara slowly rocked on top of him, never giving him enough stimulation to let him come. Her hands traced the bruises on his body, soothing them as they gradually faded away. It felt almost like her touch was healing them.

Once they'd faded Kara shifted slightly so that she could ride him properly. She tweaked him, grinning at his gasp and then ground her way to a hard orgasm that left him shaking at the increase in her wetness. She sighed and then started pounding down on him.

"Mistress~!" Jason gasped.

"I know," Kara panted. "Want you to. Do it. Give it to me, Jason. Give your Mistress your come!"

Jason's head fell back as she scratched her nails down his chest, pinching his nipples. He shouted and bucked into her, coming so hard that he saw stars for a second. He heard Kara cry out and she squeezed his cock hard enough that he winced. Kara collapsed on his chest, nuzzling his chin while panting. It took her a minute to free his wrists but after a bit she did, allowing him to cuddle her close.

"My good bad boy," Kara murmured.

"Love you," Jason whispered back.

She smiled into his neck and tugged gently at his collar. He chuckled and petted her hair. He didn't need to say it. The collar around his neck said it for her. His collar around her neck said it for him. Nonetheless sometimes he needed to hear it out loud, especially after he screwed up again.

"Love you too, Jason."