"Mr. Luthor's busy. Sir, sir, you can't go in there," Kathryn, Lex's new PA, called frantically after the waft of air that was all Clark left behind as he strode into Lex's office. She had yet to learn that Lex was never too busy to see Clark.
Once the door was closed, Clark supersped across the room and around the desk to stand behind Lex, peering over his shoulder. Lex's attempt to close his laptop was far too slow for Clark.
"Virtual shares! Since when have you needed to trade in virtual shares?" Clark had hoped to catch him reading the cartoons that he was convinced Lex loved, despite his adamant denial, so this was an unexpected development.
"I don't. It's fun," Lex countered, steeling himself not to show the embarrassment he was feeling at the admission.
"I bet you read the Wall Street Journal for bed time stories when you were a little boy!"
"Actually I preferred Warrior Angel, as you well know."
"So, did you ever see yourself as a superhero?"
"What boy--." Lex interrupted himself. "Clark, where is this leading?" he asked suspiciously.
"I just thought you might like to be my superhero."
Lex smirked suggestively. "I thought I already was your superhero."
"Mmmh, but I thought you'd like to be one in a special way today."
"Assuming this is some kind of kinky sex game, I'm up for it," Lex replied with enthusiasm, share prices instantly forgotten.
Clark beamed happily and picked up a carrier bag that Lex hadn't noticed in the speed of his entry. He handed it over to Lex. "Put this on for me."
Lex opened up the bag, then shuddered and blanched as he saw the contents.
"I'm not wearing that!" Lex's tone left no room for negotiation, but that had never fazed Clark before.
"But I thought you liked it. It was your idea after all."
"It's excellent for its purpose. It's visible, a symbol. And besides, you've got the figure for spandex."
"So have you," Clark assured him, running his eyes appreciatively down Lex's body. "You're not just being snobbish because it's not made of natural fibers and it isn't purple, are you?"
"No, Clark," Lex replied with dignity, "and for the record, I wear aubergine, plum, lavender and many other shades, but never purple!"
"It's just this once. I want to see you in it. Please." Clark dragged out the final word in pleading emphasis.
"No." Lex turned back to his desk as though to return to his 'work'.
"I'll wear it in bed later if you do. Or I'll let you take it off me in the shower. You know how it clings when it's wet--."
Lex took in a deep breath, then let it out on another, slightly less firm denial. "The answer is still no, Clark."
"I won't tell Lois that you have Warrior Angel boxer shorts if you do it."
"Clark, angel," Lex said in his dangerous, 'I'm not to be trifled with' voice. "Playing blackmail with me isn't wise. I've got far more years of experience at it than you have."
Clark grinned unrepentantly. Since begging, bribing and bullying hadn't worked, there was only one thing for it. He pulled the suit out of the bag.
Less than a second later, a breathless Lex was standing in front of him naked. Before he had time to start shivering he was clad in an overlarge, slightly sagging and somewhat pungent Superman suit.
"Shit, Clark," Lex exclaimed as soon as he recovered enough to speak. "You could have at least washed the thing. How long have you been wearing this?"
"Well, I've only got two at the moment, since the fire in Montreal, and I have to keep one on all the time, so I guess it's had a full day's wear."
"OK, I'm phoning your mother. She's got to make you some more."
Lex reached out for the telephone, then pulled his hand back. "I'm not speaking to her while I'm wearing this though. I'd never be able to look her in the face again. And you can stop snickering. You put me in it; you can at least have the decency to pretend you think I look good in it."
"But you always say I'm too bad an actor to lie to you!"
Lex was opening his mouth for a suitable retort, when the double doors to the office were flung open, allowing them both to hear the tail end of Kathryn's plaintive "Mr. Luthor's busy. Sir, you can't go in there." It had clearly proved equally ineffectual this time, unsurprisingly as it turned out to be Mr. Luthor senior striding in.
For once however, Lionel didn't have a boisterous greeting. The sight of his son in an ill-fitting Superman costume had succeeded where exploding buildings and angry mistresses had failed: it silenced him.
Lex took the opportunity to get his greeting in first, and hopefully ensure that he appeared less ruffled than he felt. "Good morning, father. To what do I owe the honor of your visit today?"
"What on God's earth are you doing in that ridiculous costume?"
"They say you can't know what it's like to be a man until you've walked in his shoes. So, I'm getting to know what it's like to be Superman by wearing the costume. After all, every good businessman should know his enemies as well as possible."
"That's absurd." Lionel spluttered, clearly still dazed by his son's incongruous appearance.
"I'm sure you didn't come here to chat about my methods of dealing with Superman. You have business to discuss?"
Lionel recovered quickly, the magic word 'business' getting him back on track. "Yes Lex, regarding your voting stock options in Alhiba. You've shown your usual lack of business acumen there by--"
Clark tuned out the sound, finding Lionel in full flow too irritating to listen to. He wandered across to the dry bar and helped himself to a coke, asking Lex with a raised eyebrow and a waved bottle if he wanted a drink. Lex shook his head while keeping his attention on Lionel's rant. Two bottles of coke and three Hershey bars later, which was enough to make even Clark feel a little queasy, Lex finally manage to conclude the matter and shepherd his father out of the room.
He then turned to Clark, a stern look on his face. "I hope you feel suitably sorry for the embarrassment you just caused me."
Clark's lips twitched, once, then again, then his eyes started to crinkle, and finally the laughter burst out. "I--, he--, the look on--, worth it--"
Lex tried to keep the look of disapproval on his face, but Clark's laughter was infectious. He sat down and smiled, a smile that turned into helpless laughter.
"Well, now you know what's it's like to be Superman." Clark eventually got out a full sentence.
"Ah, but I still need to learn more." Lex's voice dropped to a husky whisper. "For example, I really should discover what it's like to be Superman being blown by his lover."
"I'm sure that can be arranged."
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