Driving back from yet another pointless meeting in Metropolis, and Lex's tie is choking him. Yanks on it hard and grimaces at the way it seems to bind him. Recalls a time when the only use he had for the sleek pieces of silk was something far more perverse and has to sigh. Life was good once upon a time. Or, as 'good' as it's ever going to get, considering that in most circles his name is synonymous with devil-worshipping and virgin sacrifices. So, 'good' back then meaning indulging in the three D's of drugs, destruction, and debauchery. Hell, at least back in the 'good old days', part of his life wasn't being razed and turned into a fucking supper club.
Honestly hadn't believed it until he saw it with his own eyes. The end of an era. The end of Zero. Shakes his head and prefers to remember the glory instead. Revel in the realization that for once, the truth far surpasses the myth.
Has to grin at all the prurient thoughts that this implacable truth comes along with, and his trousers weren't this tight when he left Metropolis. Something about the rough wool binding him, almost cruelly. Not necessarily a bad thing, but far less pleasant than the feel of leather against his naked skull, or between his legs.
Shifts the Ferrari into fourth and remembers a better time. One when he would be getting ready for a night out in Metropolis rather than driving away from it. Instead of heading back to West Bumblefuck and its idea of a quality Saturday night. Probably something consisting of hayrides and barn dances. Just the idea makes him itch. He's better off reminiscing and thinking of better days and better plans. Better clubs.
In Lex's mind, clubbing is an experience. Something to be savored and enjoyed. Better than Cohibas and single-malt. Better than sex with Cohibas, but perhaps not better than blowjobs starring Bailey's Irish Cream. Has to thank Danny for that particular lesson because club life was definitely good to Lex.
Can't remember the first club he went to, or the last - but definitely has memories of the ones in between. 1015 in San Francisco. Liquid and Warsaw in Miami. Vinyl and Twilo in New York. The Fridge, Mass and Hanover Grand in London, and Moomba in LA. All the best venues, all drawing the cream of the club kids in any given city, and none of them able to hold a candle to Zero. His home. Understands that it was the pinnacle and everything else just detritus.
Less than Zero.
Velvet ropes to keep out the proles and bartenders to meet his every whim. Beautiful people to match his every desire and Lex had some very... elaborate desires. Beautiful girls in feather boas and beautiful boys in violet eyeliner. Bathroom hustlers wearing frost lipstick, more than willing to supply his Class A choice and suck him off while he snorted his fill off the back of a gold-plated toilet.
Truly a place where there was nothing money couldn't buy him.
Slips the stick into fifth gear and finds the Electronica channel on XM satellite radio. Chemical Brothers' vocalist swearing up and down that life is sweet, and Lex remembers when it was. When it was everything. When everything was a high and daylight was just a hurdle to the night. A time when the only thing that mattered was everything but what matters now.
Tingles in his fingers and between his toes, and Lex scratches absently at his inner arm. Feels rather proud at the amount of restraint he showed back then. Track marks the one thing Lex refused to ever deal with. He believes that needles are too much damn work, but was pleasantly amazed at the sorts of people who didn't share his opinion: the mayor's daughter, the features editor of the Planet, the head of the Metropolis Space Museum. The mayor's wife.
Remembers the night he wore black nail polish to drinks with the head of the Luthor Corp European Division, and then took the exact same gentleman and introduced him to his world. Earlier model Ferrari Diablo and Lex dressed in midnight blue silk and calfskin leather pants. Always dressed to impress and never really needed to. His body like a super-charged ion and drawing sycophants and admirers by the truckload.
Thinks back on this particular evening and decides that it really was a pity about those Patrick Cox ankle boots that got destroyed that night. Lex has never had any patience for people who can't hold their alcohol and drugs, and alas this Luthor minion was no different. Hadn't exactly been serious when he had told the suit to lick the boots clean, but the Luthor name has always had a funny effect on people. And that, coupled with whatever that guy had shot into his veins just made him, well. Interesting. If only for a few hours. Definitely left an impression though.
And Lex has always appreciated people who know how to make an 'impression.' It's probably what draws him to Clark. Certainly what drew him to Danny.
Yet another reason to mourn the passing of Zero, and Lex is feeling something teetering dangerously close to remorse. A slight twinge that they just don't make them like Danny anymore: beautiful, amoral, fearless and the best fuck for six states in either direction, as attested to in the bathroom stalls of all the better clubs. So... when Lex met Danny. Well. It was the closest to monogamy that Lex has ever gotten. Although that probably says less about Lex and more about Danny.
Green-eyed bandit that would steal your wallet as soon as steel your soul or snort your last line. Spikey, chocolate brown hair just long enough to grab onto and yank. A mouth with better suction than a Hoover and an ass tighter than Microsoft security. Lex isn't necessarily easy to impress but distinctly remembers the first time they met and Danny just shooting him the kind of grin that made all the blood in his body go elsewhere. Kind of like Clark's, only a bit more XXX-rated. A promise of things to come. Thought at the time that it was just the E talking, but no other explanation for Lex dropping to his knees and sucking Danny off -- right in the middle of the VIP lounge.
Catches the tail end of the radio wailing Massive Attack, and Lex is bordering on maudlin now. Still doesn't know how much his father paid Danny to leave the country, but has to grin because his boy always did want to go to Thailand, and he was definitely worth it. Whatever the cost.
Focusing on the asphalt that's flying under the chassis of the car and yellow reflectors that beat in time to Paul Oakenfold. Reminds him of strobe lights and one too many light shows on the walls. Remembers that his first night at Zero, Barney had King Kong playing on one wall and Alice in Acidland on the other.
Thinks of seas of writhing sweaty bodies illuminated by red and blue lights and bottles of water that were never meant to be drunk. Has discovered there are some seriously sinister uses for plastic water bottles and not all of them involve sex. Learned the important lesson of always making sure the seal is actually sealed. Amazing how many noxious things look like water when people are high, or stoned, or drunk. Or a combination thereof.
Always lessons to be learned at Zero and Lex loved every last one of them. Loved it all. The sweat, the sex, the contained space that pulsated with tab-fueled hormones. And no better place to be than in the thick of it all. Always dead center on the dance floor and surrounded by the kind of beautiful kids that would make Calvin Klein weep. Glow sticks waving in the air, pacifiers to prevent lockjaw and hands in places that couldn't be illuminated by the lights. Pornographic groping and the kind of loose morality that he gladly appreciated. Why choose between the beautiful boy and the beautiful girl when you could have both? Right there on the dance floor. In plain sight of everyone. His father really loved seeing those photographs, and he can't help but feel a little pride in that coup.
Wishes that the photographer had stuck around to see what happened when he finally got back to Zero after his 'grounding.' Always good to be missed and the sort of welcome home that would get him arrested in all 50 states. Bacchanalia on the dance floor and as close to an all-out orgy as they ever came during operating hours. At least, insofar as the general public knew, but then again, the management was always good about keeping the really seedy things private. Something to be said for a VIP lounge that you had to earn your membership to.
All those beautiful memories, barring the occasional stabbing or homicide, and Lex can't believe that his den of debauchery is going to turn into a jazz club. So sad. So fucking tragic.
Sign for Smallville city limits and Lex has to downshift and let up on the accelerator. Can just see the front page of the Ledger now, screaming about Lex Luthor drag racing in the middle of fucking nowhere and plowing into some poor defenseless cow. Spares a thought for propriety and banishment and really misses Zero. Really misses life before Smallville but has to admit that there are a few saving graces.
Passes the turn-off for the Kent Farm and wonders what Clark is doing tonight. Wonders if he even thinks about all the things that he's missing out on. If he even knows how badly he needs to be saved by a place like Zero. Gets a vague image of Clark as Rapunzel, and has to chuckle because Clark really would make a pretty damsel in distress. Thinks that in an alternate Saturday night universe, Lex would be rescuing the fair Clark Kent from his tower and squiring him away in search of Metropolis nightlife. But that's not this universe, and tonight all Lex can do is head back to the House of Usher and mourn the passing of Zero.
Dedication: For Lar. I know you wanted Lindsey, but Clubbing!Lex is nothing to scoff at. To my darling Kass, just because, and to Yvette & Paul for 'consultation' duties.
Feedback: The good, the bad and the critical - bring it on.
Improv #5: violet, frost, pity, stand
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