Clark always rose before the sunset died. He could feel incipient evening running in his veins, clamoring to part his lids and lips to night. His golden sunskin had faded, and he moved as a wraith through silken sheets, stretching blackpainted nails and twisting muscles set into Samson perfection for eternity. Keening nightbirds mourned the loss of day on the grounds just beyond a black-shuttered window, and Clark could taste the sweet iron sting of Lex's skin hanging in the air to taunt him.
Through silk and practice, Clark's hand fell on Lex's chest. Still, without breath or pulse, Lex had slipped into an ocean of black eternity like a god. Already pale, moonlight silver suited him, faint ginger lashes still closed, his brow unmarred by dreams. A painful clutch of desire stirred beneath Clark's skin, and he sank to take a taste of soft, scar-broken lips. Lilith's childe now, Clark finally knew agony- the endless hour between his morning and Lex's, when his lover slumbered too deeply to return his aching kisses.
Who could have suspected that the strange meteor rock, red as blood, blood pouring out on the floor, beautiful, crimson blood of life... would turn Clark into a vampyre? And faced with an immortality alone, it was only natural that he'd make his beloved, his pale, nightgod lover, into one of his own. Clark stroked Lex's cheek, smiling bitterly as he bent to kiss his childe again. Soon, he would wake, and they would feed.
"Thou shalt not," Lex said, as he straightened his roman collar, "Never mind. Oh yes, never mind!" He tipped his head to the side, staring at nothing in the mirror. Impossible, impossible to get the cassock to lay properly, without a mirror, and he frowned. He suspected that somewhere, between daylight and dark, he'd gone insane. Considering it a cheerful thought that he remembered there was such a thing as insanity, Lex decided that he must be perfectly lucid. Starving, but lucid.
Knotting rosewood beads around his waist, he played his fingers against the black velvet bag dangling from the end of them. His palm itched, warmed even through fabric, and perhaps it was a psychosomatic sensation, since he knew the velvet cradled a sterling cross. No better at being Clark's childe than he had been at being Lionel's son, Lex enjoyed the perversion of sacrament, and taking communion from the warm throats of pretty youths.
At least, he mused, I'm kind enough to bless them as they lay dying.
Annoyed with the lack of his reflection, Lex turned to graze heavy-lidded eyes over Clark's shape in the dark. He could see him perfectly, making him out down to the pale prussian shadows hollowing his cheeks. That inextricable connection of blood between them tightened Lex's muscles to coils, ready to snap with a step. Clark hungered, it had been days since their last feast, and in Lex's estimation, far too long since he'd brought the good word to the simple daylight sheep wandering the streets of Smallville.
He moved at decisive angles, the suffered hush of his feet echoing on cold, Scottish stone. Time to share the blood of the lamb, which he informed Clark with a serious, "Thou shalt not!"
Strange times had come to Smallville, and even the rain tasted like fear. Lana knew better than to close The Talon alone, but each night, its doors were the last to be shut, its lights, the last to be extinguished. Even though the till ran empty after sunset, she kept her doors thrown open, mocking the superstitious. Just because a few bodies had turned up with strange puncture wounds, just because half the junior class of Smallville High had mysterious disappeared, she refused to be afraid. Murders happened, she reasoned. People ran away. Everything else was a fairy tale, a ghost story, stupid campfire whispers just like the golden arm, and the monkey's paw.
Once the sun set, people closed their doors and windows, bolting them tight, leaving the streets empty. Stepping out into all that strange silence, she deliberately made noise. Rattling her keys when she locked the door, she hummed 'Sex and Candy' until her throat ached as headed down the street. Whitney had given her a crucifix to wear, but she'd tucked it in her bottom drawer, with her pennants and crowns. The newspaper hadn't transformed her, the Talon had turned into just another job, but Lana had finally found something that made her herself alone: utter courage in the face of superstition.
Buttoning her sweater, she tugged it tighter around herself. Heat seemed to seep out of Smallville faster without people to fill it after dark, but it wasn't unpleasant. The dark scent of roasted coffee still stuck to her skin, warmth that warred with the chill wind rolling in off the fields beyond town. Her thoughts meandered to something warm to eat, and a soft bed to sleep in, but her feet decided to take a more circuitous route home. By body memory alone, she found herself brushing her fingers against cold, black iron as she passed the gates of the cemetery.
The terrible claw of hunger raked through Clark's belly, red hot and sharp. He could smell blood on the air, young and foolishly fearless. Savaging Lex's mouth, he didn't have to speak to explain his need. It shimmered like sex on his skin, greedy, needy and wanton. Clutching Lex's arms, he pulled them over the side of the castle, tongues thrusting past parted lips as they fell. The earth swallowed up the sound of impact, and Clark pushed to his feet. "There's someone out there."
Taking Clark's hand, Lex pulled himself up and brushed at the stains only he could see on his cassock. "It wouldn't kill you to use the door like everyone else."
"Nothing would kill me," Clark said, painted in brooding moonlight for being chastised. Who was the sire here, anyway? Before they could bicker in earnest, he sprang to running, burning blood at a furious rate to run with feet that barely touched the ground. Lex's beads rattled, tackitytackity bone percussion keeping their tempo as Smallville melted to blurry moonlight with a single beacon of hot, living red.
When they finally slowed, Lex flattened his mouth to a smirk. "The cemetery. I have to say, Clark, the people of this charming hamlet show surprisingly little in the way of creativity."
Dark brows lifting to an annoyed arch, Clark considered the possibility that it had been a bad idea to turn Lex into a vampyre. Yes, he was a creature of terrible beauty, he wore the stain of the Kindred as if it were made for him, but an eternity of Lex's barbs between bouts of schizophrenia were skating just on the edge of driving Clark nuts himself. He should have given the gift of the embrace to Pete. Pete would have taken the embrace seriously.
Exerting the force of their blood-bond, Clark gazed deep into Lex's eyes. "A heart beats here, we must silence it."
Lex wrapped his hand around the velvet-clad rosary. "If you insist, my sire." He could have sounded more sarcastic, but it would have required a pulpit, and perhaps a megaphone. Lex made a quick mental note to buy both as soon as possible. Following Clark's winding path through granite memorials, Lex whispered a hymn just under his voice and watched with a warm sense of satisfaction when Clark's shoulders tightened with annoyance.
Weeping willows rustled in the breeze, grazing the ground with their defeated boughs. Under the watchful gaze of stars, the cemetery slept, content to be what it was- a place for the dead. When Clark stopped abruptly, Lex rolled his eyes and leaned against a marble crypt. "I assume we're close to the offensive pulse?"
"Wait here," Clark told him, eyes wide and black with hunger. Sliding around the tomb, he disappeared.
Finally, some quiet, and Lex started to plan his next sermon. One possibly entitled "Eve had the right idea, the path to salvation is knowledge." Cold radiated from the stone against his back, and Lex fondly remembered a time when that kind of sensation would have made him ache. He'd enjoyed aching. Sweating, too, and pushing a willing body down into his bed to fuck at his leisure. Glancing down at the front of his pants, Lex fingered the cross again. Immortality had more than a few drawbacks.
"Clark, you scared me!" Lana slid to her feet, clutching her perfectly pink sweater set that matched her perfectly pink eye shadow, and probably her perfectly pink panties and bra. With all the grace of a romance novel heroine, she threw herself against Clark's broad chest, batting her lashes at him. "I've been so worried, your parents are going crazy. What happened to you?"
Wrapping his arms around her, Clark answered with a kiss. He owned the night and everything in it. Since she'd ventured into his dark realm, all mortal consequences were broken. And oh yeah, she tasted like strawberry Bubble Yum. Drawing her into his embrace, Clark worked magicks on her, blurring her mind to daylight, making her forget that she had ever wanted anything but his mouth on hers.
Clark drew an unnecessary breath, dipping his head to trace the curve of her throat with the tip of his tongue. He could smell her pulse, feel it burning beneath her skin and taunting him with its richness. Gums itching, he drew back just enough to open his mouth, and plunged his fangs into her golden throat. The first splash of blood spread over his tongue, and he swayed with her, drinking up her life and her whimpers, luxuriating in the way she dug her nails into her back.
Then, from darkness, a sharp sear stung at his waist. Lex had slipped up behind him and pressed the rosary to his skin. Flesh burning, and blood raging, Clark fought against the urge to drain Lana completely, a battle he lost when Lex buried his teeth in Clark's flesh to drink. Lana flowed through him, an endless, tight clutch of drunken bloodsex, feeding on pain and sorrow and desire...
"Okay, roll. Both of you. Right now."
Chloe flopped back in her chair, glaring first at Clark, then at Lex. Squeezing the can of soda in her hand, she listened to the fizzlepop of carbonation as Clark scrabbled across the red felt surface of the pool table for his dice. Books splayed open, and character sheets spread out, Clark finally found his D-10 hiding in one of the pockets.
"What are we rolling against?" Lex perused his character sheet, calculator already in hand.
Glaring some more, Chloe snapped her fingers. "Perception. Come on, chop chop."
Ten-sided dice skittered across the table, and Clark winced when they landed. "I failed."
Lex frowned at his own die, but rephrased. "I didn't succeed."
With a quick motion, Chloe slapped her hands down on the edge of the pool table and stood up. "Oh, so sorry, while you guys were busy downing Lana Lang like a pixie stick, you completely didn't notice the cute, perky blonde with the stake behind the crypt. Oops, you're dust. Eternity over. The end."
"Hey!" Clark splayed out his hands, betrayal etched into his furrowed brow. "You can't bring Buffy into the World of Darkness!"
"It's not Buffy," Chloe said, starting to collect her books and dice. "It's me. Buffy bought it again, Faith is missing, and now I'm Chloe, slayer of stupid, mopey, GAY vampires." Turning her gaze on Lex, she added for his benefit, "I'm also the slayer of crazy, religious-obsessed vampires with bad attitudes."
Lex smoothed his hand over the green Masquerade book. "Malkavians are insane. It says so on page XX, I was merely roleplaying."
With a disgusted snort, Chloe leaned her head back to stare. "It says they're insane. It doesn't say they do nothing but quote bible verses and use crosses for kinky S&M games! I'm not playing with you guys anymore! You didn't even get to the first clue, and you know what? I had a really great story planned. Action, adventure, drama... you guys suck."
Clark jumped up after her. "Chloe, come on! I was trying to set the mood!"
Whirling around, Chloe snatched up the Storyteller's Screen and made a rude gesture behind it. "Set this, Clark. Next time... if there IS a next time, you can be the game master."
Swallowing back a smile, Lex raised his hand. "I'll be the game master."
"Forget it." Clark sliced a hand through the air. "The last time you were the game master, you let an elf discover nuclear fission. I'll be the game master."
Chloe sulked as she stuffed her carefully laid, completely unused plans in her backpack. "Fine. But I'm telling you right now: If Lana shows up in a titanium bikini with a blaster, I quit." Jerking her backpack onto her shoulder, Chloe gave Lex and Clark another glare before stalking out of the library.
Throwing himself into his chair, Clark said nothing for a long moment. When he finally looked up, he frowned. "I wouldn't put Lana in a metallic bikini."
"And that's why you'll never get the girl, Clark."
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