Fairytales are just real-life horrors prettied up for publication.
In the real Cinderella, the ugly stepsisters mutilated their feet to fit them in a shoe. In Hansel and Gretel, a bunch of insubordinate children murdered an old lady because she tried to be nice to them. Of course, Hansel and Gretel were also probably on drugs because how else to describe a gingerbread house.
Lex knows all this because his childhood was something out of one of the Brothers Grimm fairytales. It's something that Walt Disney wouldn't even consider animating for the masses because some things just can't be made palatable.
They are what they are.
The whole idea of a childhood as something that's supposed to be fun is an alien concept to Lex. More alien than the fifteen year-old teenager bouncing up and down next to Lex right now, and that's saying something.
"Clark, this is not what I was expecting when you said you wanted a favor."
"Yeah, it's way better, isn't it?"
"I think that's a matter of opinion."
"But, Lex, look."
"Clark, it's a playground."
"Yeah, isn't it cool?"
'Cool' is not the word that Lex would have used to describe this experience. Insane, mental and repression-issues are just a few of the things that are floating around though.
"Clark, isn't a playground for kids?" And Clark is so not pouting at him. Alien bastard.
"It's for everyone, Lex. It's a playground."
"I don't really see anything my size here, Clark. Maybe if you suddenly develop a shrinking ray, though, it might work."
"I could always squish you."
And Lex has to blink because who knew that Clark had a dark side?
"They have swings and one of those tire things that you can sit in and spin around on. And look, there's one of those spinning wheels that you run and jump on."
"Those make me physically ill."
"Okay, but there's a slide and monkey bars and..." Clark is sounding less like Lex's boyfriend and more like an annoying child that he'd want to hang from a window by his ankles.
"Didn't you get enough of this when you were little?"
"No, not really. I got to come here on my own sometimes, but I never got to actually play with anyone," a slight pause, "my parents worried."
Oh, god, Lex is not falling for this, but it's just so damn depressing. Clark was probably a really cute kid.
"They were concerned about you playing with other kids?"
"They just, you know, didn't know. There was this accident in elementary school, and it wasn't my fault, but there was this guy, and he was bullying Pete."
"And you got upset."
"I pushed him through the door."
"Because no ever gets pushed through a door."
"Because most people don't get pushed through a door that's still shut and made of wood. Very thick, splintery wood."
No wonder Clark has a complex the size of Edge City. The only thing larger is Lex's unrelenting need to make it all up to him somehow. To give Clark everything he's ever been deprived of.
"You never got to play with other kids at all?" Hell, even Lex had playmates. The kind that went through a screening process, but he had them all the same.
"Oh, I could play with their toys and stuff. I just couldn't do the games part. Or the interactive part. There tended to be a lot of supervision when I played."
And no, damnit, Lex is not going to give in. He is not giving in to the quiet, doleful, big eyed alien who just looks so...lost.
So needing Lex.
Okay, maybe if Lex reaches out and pulls Clark to him, cups his face and kisses him lightly. Just a brush of his lips against Clark's and maybe one more. Soft, so soft and Lex just can't help himself. Can't help running his fingers through Clark's hair or tracing Clark's lower lip with his thumb.
Lex only has so much resolve, and most of that is spent trying not to fuck Clark in every room of the castle; it's not going to kill anybody if Lex just kisses him. Especially considering that it's seven o'clock in the morning on a Saturday, and there is no way that anybody else is going to be hanging around the park when they're all getting ready for the Farmer's Market.
Thank God the Kents went to Metropolis for the day.
Of course, if Lex and Clark were in Metropolis they would probably have an audience consisting of every mangy homeless person and misdirected club kid for three blocks, but not in Smallville. Thank God. It's going to be okay, and if Lex keeps murmuring that against Clark's mouth maybe one of them might begin to believe it.
"Just so you know, Clark, this is not what I had in mind when you asked for a favor."
"I know, but Lex, couldn't you try?" The 'for me' part is left unsaid, but it hangs there anyway, and Lex can't say 'no.' Even as a voice in his head is screaming that 'that's not fair,' because Luthors don't acknowledge the use of that word either.
There's no such thing.
If there was, Lex would be pushing Clark down on one of those park benches and showing him how sorry he really is. Showing Clark how badly Lex wants to make all the bad memories go away, how Lex is hoping that Clark will erase some of his bad memories too.
Instead, Lex is left swaying slightly as Clark - scampers - god, what a Disney word to use for a fifteen year old, over to the swing set. This is going to be priceless.
"Clark, you're never going to fit on that thing."
And yet again, Clark is proving Lex wrong. It's funny and sad and only Lex is perverse enough to find Clark attempting to get himself moving on the swings something dangerously erotic.
It has to be the legs. The way that Clark is pumping his jean-clad thighs harder and harder in an effort to get off the ground. But Clark already floats, isn't that enough endorsement for the Aviation Industry?
"C'mon, Lex. Please."
God. Lex is not whipped. Lex is not even contemplating joining Clark. Only he is, but public swings? God only knows what snot-nosed, bacteria-laden child has sat here before him. Swings are dirty, and Armani slacks aren't meant for playground dirt.
Of course it's not like Lex can't buy the whole Armani fall collection.
But the swings?
Lex already has toys. Big toys. Expensive toys with V12 engines and polished finishes. Lex has cars and Trojan miniature sets and chess boards. He's never had the other kind of toy, like the kind that comes from Toys R' Us or K-mart. Lex has actually been in K-mart before, but that was only to buy large quantities of rubbing alcohol for a chemistry experiment back when he went to Met U. He can't actually understand the appeal of cheap plastic toys that break after one too many temper tantrums.
But then again, Lex isn't like everybody else. He's never wanted to be like everybody else, even if he knows Clark does.
Lex isn't like Clark and maybe that's why Clark is so important to him. It can't possibly be because Clark is trying to sandwich his 6'3 frame into a rubber swing meant for a five year-old.
Besides, Lex doesn't need to get his kicks on a public swing.
"C'mon Lex, put your back into it."
If it wasn't for that slightly sadistic grin on Clark's face, Lex might think that he was the only one who understood all the implications of what Clark just said. However, this is not a good idea. This is a really bad idea.
Lex does not swing. Not like this. And there are some things that even Clark can't make him do.
"Well then, will you push me?" Oh, Jesus, what are they, ten? Actually, Lex has to thank God that they're not because that would just be wrong; and Lex does want to push Clark, just not in the way he's talking about.
"Clark, you're too big for this." Lex didn't mean for that to be a goad, but Clark is too big for the swings. The whole apparatus is shaking like hurricane winds.
And no, Clark is not sulking, and he's not pumping his legs harder either. Jesus, in a minute Clark will be horizontal with the bar. This is not happening to Lex, except that the whole contraption is beginning to vibrate and rattle like a rebuilt engine.
"Clark. Clark, c'mon, stop now."
"But I like the swings."
"I know you do, but the swings don't like you. How about something a bit less earth shattering?" Like sex on the park bench.
"Like the monkey bars?"
The monkey bars? Oh, fuck no. Lex Luthor does not do the monkey bars. The next thing he knows Clark will be making him jump through hoops, although this really isn't that far off. Still, Lex is not getting on the monkey bars. Ferragamo loafers do not come with traction.
Lex is more than satisfied watching Clark scurrying about like Tarzan; as long as his knees don't completely give out thinking about Clark running around the castle in a loincloth.
Hell, maybe Lex will build Clark a playground of his own in the backyard. Someplace with a very, very high hedge.
"Lex, c'mon. Climb up."
"Don't tell me you're afraid of heights," and Lex knows that Clark is trying to entice him. That he's taunting him. If only Lex wasn't so competitive.
"Okay, farmboy, but be careful what you ask for."
Somewhere that voice that takes great pride in howling and shrieking with delight when Lex goes off the rails is telling him that of all his bad ideas, this one is just not smart at all. And not in that good way. Except that Lex isn't listening. It doesn't matter that he's has never done this in his life. He's gone rock climbing in Sydney, how hard can this be?
Apparently a lot harder than it looks. Or maybe that's just the ground because it seems that monkey bars are a lot more slippery than they appear.
It also seems that Ferragamo loafers don't come with traction for a good reason: you're not supposed to climb in them.
"Oh my god, Lex! Lex, are you okay?"
Of course, Lex is okay. He landed on his rear and the only thing he's injured is his pride. However, if Clark thinks that a full body consultation using his hands is necessary, who is Lex to argue?
"I'm fine, Clark. Just fine. I don't think my pants are going to survive this outing though. How about we do something closer to the ground?"
Like fuck on the park bench.
"Are you sure you're okay?" And oh, Lex could really milk this one. Especially considering the way Clark keeps rubbing Lex's cheek with his thumb... and Lex's shoulders and his back. He just needs to go a bit lower.
"I'll be fine."
"Scouts honor." Or not.
"Okay, how about the sandbox?"
The sandbox? Yeah, Lex knows all about sand. It gets in places it doesn't belong. They didn't have that disclaimer in 'From Here to Eternity.'
"Sure, why not."
"Cool, but can I go on the slide first?"
Oh god. Lex is dating an alien with the mindset of a five year old. And the body of a Greek god. There are worse things in life.
"Clark, you were really deprived as a child, weren't you?"
"What? No, I wasn't. I just - I missed out on some stuff." That's something that Lex can relate to; he knows what it's like to be deprived. He's been trying to compensate for it his entire life.
"Okay, Clark, the slide it is," and watching Clark climb up the little stairs should not be as erotic as it is, except that, god, Clark wears jeans well.
"You're going to meet me at the bottom of the slide, right?"
"Clark, you have to be joking."
"Nope. C'mon, Lex."
"I was a deprived child."
This slide thing has to be a euphemism for something. It has to be. It's the only way Lex can reconcile what he's doing in his mind. Otherwise. Otherwise, it's just too silly. Too jejune.
Otherwise, Lex is too whipped.
God, no. Only, Jesus, Clark is really expecting Lex to catch him.
He really expected Lex to catch him. All 6'3 farmboy alien of him. Barreling down the slide like a runaway tractor.
And Lex hadn't actually planned on being on his back in the dirt, but Clark looks so adorable sitting on him that he just can't do anything but grin maniacally. Lex can't even say anything. It's all too stupidly hilarious.
He must still be asleep.
Oh fuck, Lex is a sad sad little man, but Clark is happy. He must be because he's got this enormous grin on his face, and he's bringing it closer and closer... and he's rubbing noses with Lex.
What the fuck?
Jesus. This is just too sappily inane to be believed. Is that all Lex gets for his trouble? Not even a proper kiss? Not even a grope?
All this for nothing. Except Clark smiling at him and kissing him. Again. And again. And Clark is learning exceptionally fast. A quick bite here, soft lips and wet tongue there and Lex is just gone. Or Clark is gone, and damnit, there are a lot of people who'd sell their grandmothers to get Lex on his back this way.
Only Lex can't say that because Clark is giving him this look. And it's so close between lust and adoration that Lex isn't sure if he'll be able to think of anything else ever again.
"C'mon, lets go."
"Home? Thank God."
"No, not home."
"Just one more thing, Lex, please?"
And Clark is not holding Lex's hand like an errant child. Clark is not leading Lex away from the monkey bars of doom and the slide of sex.
Lex is not in denial. Lex is never doing Clark another favor in his life.
Except that now they're in a sandbox, and this is more Lex's speed. Building, destroying. Rebuilding. Lex is going to make a great corporate raider when he grows up.
"See, it's not so bad."
"No, Clark, it's not so bad, but I still prefer my toys."
Not that Lex meant Clark but if Clark wants to touch him and give him that smile, hey Lex can include Clark.
"I like your toys too, but not everyone can afford a Ferrari Berlinetta, Lex."
"If everyone could afford them, Clark, they would be called Yugos."
"Sorry, you're too young to remember those."
"Lex, can I ask another favor?"
"Oh, god. Now what?"
"Can I drive your car?"
Also, why not join Level Three, the Smallville all-fic list?