by s.a.

I had this idea. It might not have worked. But I wrote, which made me happy. I have this affair with Smallville and the second person. (Website:

Clark Kent is a good-looking guy. You look at him and you see modesty-- he's one of those rare people who don't really understand the double looks they always get.

You're okay with that, because it means you can get in a few double looks of your own.

You've mapped out every single strip of visible skin on his body. You know the smooth lines of his knuckles to the innocent twist on his mouth. There's a small, dark brown spot on the left corner of his face where his jaw meets his neck. Sometimes you suspect that you might know Clark better than his own mother.

One day, he invites you over to show you some new exciting thing he's gotten. When you arrive, his mom smiles at you as she says Clark is still working out in the field with his father. She offers you some of her homemade applesauce, which you accept gladly.

While you wait, tasting slightly tart apple, his mother brings out a heavy blue bound book. You realize that it's a photo album; there's probably one of you, buried somewhere, but you have no desire to dredge up that history. Clark's, however, is interesting fair game.

She flips the book open to the first page, which features a mostly naked baby version of Clark with the same sunny smile you see on his face so often. His dark hair is tousled, and you can see the light of the camera flash in his eyes.

Mrs. Kent leaves to check on the timer of some home-baked wonder, and you're alone with your applesauce and the book. You figure it's an opportunity, and you always take the opportunities presented to you.

The next set of pictures features Pete and Clark playing in the Kent's garden. There's one shot of Clark eating a lilac, and Pete looking on hysterically. You bury a snort as you finger traces the outline of his small face.

Something catches your eye, and you look closer at the picture in the bottom right hand corner of the page. It might simply be a trick of the light, but Clark's skin looks darker than his normal complexion. Almost...brown. It's probably just shadow, you think, but despite all your oddities you've always had perfect vision. Clark looks dark in this picture.

You file it away with a million other little things in your brain related to Clark Kent and shrug it off, flipping a few pages forward.

Clark's twelve, his already lanky arms hanging from the necks of his smiling best friends, Chloe and Pete. There was some kind of competition, because in the next few pictures there are crowds cheering and proud faces with trophies held high. You eyes zoom in on Clark, taking in this younger facade, mentally overlaying it with what you know of him now.

There are differences, again. You can feel a frown transforming your face. His hair is lighter; in places it seems almost blond. It's as though he has highlights, but you sincerely doubt that Mr. Kent would approve.

His hands are different too. His fingers are longer, thinner, almost feminine. It's a stark contrast to the large, farm-working hands he carries now. Surely there can't be that much of a change over three years, you ask yourself.

Mrs. Kent comes in to check on you, and you recede back into that pleasant smile you reserve for your father's whores and your chef. She takes your bowl, and smiles as she looks at the pictures. You study her face, watch as she goes somewhere else--probably reviewing the memories wrapped up in this book. She tells you that Clark should be home soon, and you nod as she leaves.

The next few pages bring you up to date, to the point where you entered Clark's life. His school picture from his sophomore year shows the Clark that you know, and your eyes rove over the picture until you are distracted by the sound of teenage boy clumsily barging through the kitchen. You half-close the book and stand, grinning as he enters. You don't grin. At least, not for anyone else.

He starts talking excitedly about his new toy, which turns out to be some attachment for his telescope. You nod and make encouraging comments, telling him that you'll meet him in the barn after you wash up.

You go to the bathroom and look at yourself in the mirror. You sigh, running your hands through the water, and splash a little on your face and neck. You see something in the mirror and your brow furrows. You extend your neck, crane it sideways, and there you see--a small, dark brown spot. On that corner of skin where your jaw meets your neck.

You hold your own gaze for a long moment, breathing shallowly, trying to understand. There's a soft knock on the door, and at your acknowledgement, Clark sticks his head in, giving you that beautiful smile. You reassure him that you're coming, and then look at that mark one more time before exiting the small room. Luthors are not ones to miss opportunities, after all.

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