by Amy Wolf
Clark walked into the Talon and froze. The sight before him made his blood run colder than the worst Kansas winter. He didn't
even notice when Pete walked into him.
"Damn, that hurt." Pete rubbed his nose. Clark wasn't moving. "Hey, you okay?" He waved his hand in Clark's face.
Clark pointed slowly, like something out of a horror movie. "They're talking."
Pete glanced over where Clark pointed. Lex Luthor was sitting in a corner booth with Chloe, talking animatedly over a cup of
coffee. "Yeah, so?" he asked, "I mean it's kind of weird, but there's no reason why they can't talk."
"You don't understand." Clark literally dragged Pete off into the corner. "The two most inquisitive people I know suddenly start
hanging out for no reason. Lex is still obsessing about the girl thing, and Chloe, well you know what she's like."
Pete nodded. "Boy do I ever. She hasn't let up about 'the mystery woman' all week." He glanced over. "But come on, how bad
can it be? It's not like either of them knows anything." His voice had dropped to a whisper.
Chloe had spotted them in the corner and was frantically waving them over. Pete's eyes went wide. "Tell her I've got homework or
something." He was out the door before Clark could argue.
Clark sighed and headed for the table. "Hey." He slid in beside Chloe.
"Nice to see you Clark." Lex was in full on smooth mode.
"Hey." Chloe ducked her head awkwardly. Despite their best efforts, things were still difficult between them. "So where was Pete
running off to?" she asked casually, but her eyes lit up.
"Homework? Pete's running off in the middle of the afternoon, to do homework?" Chloe's expression wavered between
incredulity and outright amusement.
"The history essay. He hasn't even started on it yet." Chloe gave a quick nod of understanding. Lex, however, had a knowing
smirk that infuriated Clark.
"I finally took your advice and enlisted Chloe's help with our little mystery."
"My advice?" He didn't remember giving any advice.
"Excellent advice it was, too. She's been most helpful." Somewhere this had turned into Lex's private joke, and Clark didn't like it.
"I knew she would be. So Chloe, what have you figured out?"
"Whatever's going on, Pete's in on it." Chloe said with relish.
"Pete?" Strange plot with mysterious glowing rocks, and Pete's in on it. Clark tried to remember how weird that should sound.
Chloe enthusiastically recounted the coffee shop encounter with the mystery woman, throwing in all kind of speculations about secret
code words and mysterious plots. Lex started going off about the rocks, radioactivity and something about atomic construction that
Clark couldn't even pretend to follow, but made Chloe go all bouncy and squealy.
"There were red meteor rocks on the class ring. They were selling them as rubies. I had one, but someone broke into my office
and stole it last June. Ohmigod, I tried to get Pete to help me with the investigation. He got all weird and kept running off suddenly.
You think he tipped somebody off?"
"I don't know. Why the delay then? If finding the mineral was the problem, they'd have stolen it right away. Something must have
changed to make it no longer safe in your possession. Can you think of anything that changed right then? Something that could tip
us off on the major players?"
"Okay," declared Clark, "I'm officially lost. Some girl lies about her name, Lex has a meteor in his yard that's the wrong color, and
suddenly we're in the X-Files?"
"How would you know?" snarked Chloe, "Your mom never let you watch the X-Files. Something about nightmares?" Lex
surprised a chuckle. Clark gave Chloe the best death glare he could manage, short of setting her hair on fire.
"Clark may have a point." said Lex, "No need to overcomplicate things. We should establish what we know before drawing
conclusions." Chloe nodded and whipped out a notebook.
Clark smiled weakly. "Just remembered, I have cows to feed. Let me know if you find Bigfoot."
"Sure." muttered Chloe absently. She was scribbling a mile a minute. "Oh, Clark?"
"I'm not asking you to spy on Pete or anything, I know he's your best friend, but if you just happened to notice something, you could
let me know. And maybe you could kind of keep an eye out, make sure you do notice something?" Chloe chewed on her lip.
"How is that not spying?"
"It's journalism." Chloe said, and that was that.
"If I catch Pete lurking around my clothesline with a pocketful of rocks, I'll let you know." Clark ducked out the door.
Clark crept into the lab. After he told his dad about Lex's little obsession, it was easy to talk him into 'hiding the evidence', although
he left out the underwear. While Dad and Pete were doing the heavy digging in the crater, cause Clark couldn't get near it, he got the
job of breaking into Lex's lab and retrieving the sample. And since he couldn't do it without touching the rock, and he wasn't doing
it in oversized jeans held up by a belt, he'd scrounged up Pete's chunk of rock, and was currently rifling through Lex's drawers in a
spare set of his mom's work clothes he'd dug out of the bottom of the laundry basket.
Clark x-rayed the room. He couldn't see it, but there were three different lead-lined boxes. He also found his underwear and
stuffed it in his pocket. He reached for the first one, a wall safe, and tore the door off. Bingo. His hand closed on the rock, just
as the door creaked open behind him.
Lex. Neatly silhouetted in the doorway, leaning casually against the sill. Staring at Clark like he'd expected this the whole time.
"Um, hi?" Clark couldn't think of anything to say.
"Clara, is it? Nice of you to drop in. I was beginning to think I wouldn't see you again." Lex stepped forward and he was
standing close. Way too close. "So, I'm guessing this," Lex closed his hand around Clark's on the crystal, "is what you came for." "Yeah," Clark swallowed. His mouth was suddenly very dry. "I have to take it. It's dangerous."
"Dangerous?" Lex cocked his head. "The radiation? I'd think it would be less worrisome than the ordinary green variety."
"It does other stuff." Be careful, Clark reminded himself. Saying the wrong thing could make things worse.
"I can't say. There are something you're better off not knowing. Trust me."
"Trust you?" Lex laughed harshly. "You're a liar, a thief, and God alone knows what else." Lex's hands rested on Clark's
shoulders. "Do you do a lot of jobs like this? Seduction, manipulation? Did my father hand you a file?"
"Your father has nothing to do with this." Clark tried to sound cool. His mind couldn't focus, the word 'seduction' echoing like a
movie special effect. It didn't help that Lex's hands seemed to be caressing his back. He put his hand up and gently, very gently
pushed Lex away.
"If that's how you want to play it." Lex's eyes narrowed. Suddenly, his hand twisted sharply, trying to wrench the red kryptonite
free. A slick move, one that would have worked if he hadn't had super strength. Clark let his arm move to avoid breaking Lex's
wrist, gripping the rock with his fingers.
"Impressive." Lex stood back in what looked like a fencing stance. "Where do they grow women like you?"
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you." Clark tried to step around Lex, but the maneuver went wrong somewhere, and he wound
up pressed between Lex and the counter. Lex had stumbled on the perfect way of trapping him, positioning himself so Clark
couldn't slide by without hurting him.
"Who are you working for? The government?" Lex's leg was pressed into Clark's hipbone, in a way that Clark knew should be
"Nobody...you'd know." Maybe it was the girl parts, nothing to get in the way. But the rhythmic rocking thing felt strangely
"Who else is involved, the Kents? The Ross boy?"
"No." Clark exclaimed, alarmed. There was a strange urgent feeling that made Clark's voice squeak. "The Kents, I robbed their
clothesline. That's all. And Pete..." He couldn't think of a lie about Pete.
"Teenage boy, beautiful woman? I can guess." That was a relief. Clark wiggled by, and was almost out when Lex said, "Please."
Damn Chloe making him watch the Princess bride anyways.
"What's your name? Really?" asked Lex.
"I'm sorry, Lex." Clark shook his head.
The next bit he'd never manage to sort out in his head. Something about the surrealism of the moment, the alien girl-hormones
running through his body, the strange squeezing/pressure thing Lex had been doing, or just clinging to the rock like that, but he kissed
Lex. Tentatively, on the lips, before Lex's hungry mouth opened up and swallowed his tongue.
A hand tangled through Clark's hair, pulling him deeper into the kiss. Another hand slid down Clark's chest, Mom's worn flannel
shirt sliding open.
Lex pulled back from the kiss. "You really need to talk to your employers about providing you a wardrobe. Flannel doesn't suit
you." He nuzzled gently against Clark's neck. "Demand silk."
Lex's hand brushed Clark's nipple, making him gasp. "I like silk."
Lex slid his right hand over Clark's breasts, the other reaching around to unhook his bra. "You're wearing the underwear that I gave
you. I like that." Stealing Mom's underwear would have been too weird. Not that this wasn't weird.
"Perhaps I should give you more clothes." Lex murmured, before doing licking Clark's ear in a way that made his knee go wobbly.
His hands closed around Clark's nipples, pinching sharply. Clark squealed. It felt different, like an electric shock when Lex
"Lex." Clark moaned breathily. Lex nipped gently at his ear.
"I love the way you say my name." Lex's hands worked skillfully on the fly of Clark's jeans. "Flannel and denim? If you must be
pedestrian, try spandex."
"Spandex?" hissed Clark. The fingers were creeping towards parts he only knew of from sex ed class. This had to stop.
"Ideally, a leather cat suit. Very Emma Peel" Lex sucked on Clark's neck. The fingers touched something Clark had learned the
name of is sex ed class, but a white hot light filled his brain and he couldn't have told you how to tie his shoes.
"Stop." Clark didn't want to say it, but if he waited any longer, his brain would leak out his ears and things would happen he didn't
dare imagine. Already, Lex had touched him in places that shouldn't even be there.
Lex pulled back abruptly. "You want me to stop?" He sounded genuinely surprised.
"I have to go." Clark grabbed the crystal.
"When will I see you again?" Lex couldn't sound longing. Luthors never longed.
"I'm sorry. Never." Clark super speeded out of there.
In a stand of trees further down on the property, Clark stripped fast. The pocket of his jeans clunked as they his the ground. He
wrapped the rocks in the bundle of cloth. The bra and panties he threw up a tree. He didn't want any mementos. Remembering
meant he had to think about what he did. With Lex.
Clark got dressed in his normal clothes, and super speeded to the truck. His dad was loading the meteor into the bed, and Pete was
searching the crater for stray fragments. He tossed the rocks into it, and switched back to normal.
"Two points." He forced a casual smile on his face. Nope, not thinking about it.
"Clark." His dad waved. "How did everything go."
"No problem. It was a snap." He hopped in the truck. "So we ready?"
The next afternoon.
They were talking. Again.
The only thing worse than Chloe and Lex talking, was Chloe and Lex making a habit of talking. He eased over to the table, and sat
down as nonchalantly as he could.
"Clark, you won't believe it. That mystery woman, Clara, she showed up at Lex's and stole the red meteor rocks. She's got all
kinds of crazy powers like Eric did that one time. And the big meteor? Gone. The one at Hobson's pond? Gone. It's like a
conspiracy and there's some huge cover-up going on. Say don't you have one of those class rings? Lex really needs a sample, so
he can figure out what they do." Chloe stopped for air.
"No, I gave mine back when they recalled them. After your big expose?"
"Damn. Whoever this is, they're good. They scooped up all the evidence in one night." Chloe slammed her mug down on the
table. "I know it's not much, but if you see Pete do anything suspicious, please tell me. It's all we have to go on."
"Clara said he wasn't involved." Lex spoke slowly.
"And you believe her? Evil conspiracy women always lie. Don't you people know anything?"
"I imagine I know more about conspiracies than you. It's only a matter of time until they slip up. The best thing we can do now is
wait." Lex took a long sip of his cappuccino.
"You wait. I'm exploring. Clark, are you with me?"
Clark thought for a moment. They'd cleaned up well enough that even Chloe poking around wouldn't find anything. "Count me in."
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