Disclaimer: Characters belong to the WB not me. Any dialogue from the play is by Shakespeare and is from "The complete works of Shakespeare."
Lex looks stressed. He has a mountain of paperwork there. I really shouldn't disturb him.
"Lex, are you busy?"
A smile, that's good. Sometimes I think I'm his favorite distraction.
"Of course I am Clark, which is why I want to talk to you. What do you need?" I wonder if he'd murder Whitney Forman for me.
"Well, I need some totally right, fool proof advice. Please." Damn, I think that scared him.
"Advice is doable. Shoot." Or maybe it didn't. Here goes.
"There's a play at school, it's Romeo and Juliet. I want to play Romeo because- because Lana is probably going to play Juliet." Sweat trickling down my back. God Kent, why are you such a wuss?
"Clark, can you act?" He's about to sprout fangs, I can tell. The smile is evil.
"Uuuum, I don't know. I sort of haven't thought that far yet." Oh smooth Clark. So very smooth. And now he's leaving, that's just great.
"Clark? Hello, Clark?" I'm doing something stupid, I know. Just give me a second to figure out what it is.
"Are you coming or not?" Come into my lair said the spider to the fly. I really shouldn't be thinking these thoughts about my best friend.
"We're finding Shakespeare. Under S, yes?" Last I checked, when I wasn't pressed up against Lex between two very narrow bookshelves and could still remember the alphabet.
"Here you go Clark, a scene with Romeo and Juliet. You be Romeo and I- I will be the lady." Funny image of Lex in a dress. Oh, or maybe not so funny.
"If they see thee they will murder thee!" He looks panicky. Ah, he's acting... quite well actually.
"Alack, there lies more peril in thine eyes than twenty of their swords. Look thou but sweet, and I am proof against their enmity."
Yikes, when did Lex get so close? And so much like... Juliet? I wish he'd stop looking so vulnerable and Oh! He's blushing!
"Well farm boy, you're actually quite good. But we should really quit now."
I'm a finger's width away from Lex and yet I'm disappointed.
"Clark you're floating off again." I'm floating? "You can borrow that copy of Romeo and Juliet if you want." I'm not floating.
"But Lex, it's like 18th century!"
"17th actually." I'm going to spill juice on it I just know. "Just take it Clark, I have to go." The brush-off, that's fine.
"If you need help learning lines?" Hey, not the brush off! He's blushing again.
It's a walk home, gives me time to think. I don't really want to do the play, but- Lana. Kissing. With Lana!
Ok, new school day and I'm actually quite calm considering I'm potentially about to have my heart ripped out by the love of my life.
"Hey Lana how's it going?" And breathe... God she's lovely.
"Heya Clark. So you're auditioning for Romeo, right?" She noticed, she noticed! And the lion pounces for the kill...
"Yeah. Actually that's why I wanted to talk to you. Do you want to, uuh, practice with me?"
She looks embarrassed. That would be a no then.
Now she looks sad.
"I'm sorry Clark. I said I'd practice with Whitney. He wants to be Romeo too." Tucks her hair behind her ear and looks down.
Have to get out of here: back away. "Hey, it's cool" Run to class like the wimp I am. Got to find Chloe: warm, safe gummy Chloe. Comfort.
"Got shot down, huh stud? Don't worry I'll rehearse with you. I'll be your Puck!" I know she's my friend but she's seriously delusional, I swear.
"Chloe, wrong play. You're thinking of a midsummer night's dream."
A puzzled look and a frown. Then her ears almost visibly perk up and she grins.
"Oh Clark! My beautiful nave little Clarky! I'll be fine, just call me the guru of Shakespeare!"
Rolling my eyes, I can help it. I love Chloe, I really do. If it wasn't for a certain L.L. Oh God 9 just thought Lex Luthor. Lana, I meant Lana!
"Earth to planet Clark! Come on, freakiness. We have literally two hours before auditions start at 6. Oh, Romeo!"
Oh, this is bad. My mouth is dry, my knees are shaking and I'm invulnerable so this shouldn't be happening. Lana got Juliet, but I didn't see her audition. Chloe still had me trapped in the GIRLS locker room, being lectured about positive thinking.
"Whitney Forman, next to go for Romeo." Mrs. * oh please call me Glenda * Chase. She's a weird teacher.
"Hey Clark!" Oh great, it's guru Shakespeare.
"Afternoon Chloe, what's up?"
"Oh nothing, except Whitney totally sucks. Lana is practically crying. Nice!"
"Don't be so mean Chloe!" But whatever I say, he really does suck.
I swear we must look like we're on a T.V. program because mine and Chloe's heads both tilt to the right at exactly the same time to watch Whitney.
It's just one of those moments.
"Ok thank you Whitney. That was... interesting." You have to love Mrs. Chase. She's a bit of a bat but she's cool. And she hates Whitney!
"So now we have Joshua followed by Clark."
Chloe starts her routine. "Ok and breath! In through the nose and out through the mouth. Remember, you've got the power!"
Joshua is done. He forgot his lines and dropped his glasses.
"Clark Kent next!"
Trying to walk straight.
"By a name
I know not how to tell thee who I am:
My name, dear saint, is hateful to myself, Because it is an enemy to thee;
Had I it written, I would tear the word."
Mrs. Chase is crying and was I really that bad?
Looking to the back of the room and Lex is standing: leaning against the doorframe with his legs crossed and hands in his pockets.
"Clark? Hellooo!" But I can't stop staring at Lex. He's smiling softly, not smirking. He looks proud, kind of wistful and... loving? Maybe?
Finally Chloe gives up and wanders off muttering about teenage boys and gratitude.
"Clark, my dearest boy. My Romeo!" Oh God Mrs. Chase has fallen in love with me. "You have the part, learn the lines; FEEL Romeo within you!" Phew, she hasn't fallen in love with me. And I beat Whitney. Why don't I care?
"Hey farm boy." Lex is looking happy.
"I got the part." Little smile, trying to look happy, I really am.
"Well done! If you want to... you know, learn your lines. I can help." He's blushing again, Am I making him blush?
"I'd love to Lex." He perked! He so perked! I'm a shit. "But I think I'm expected to practice with Lana now."
I can't handle being alone with you right now. He's scowling. Doesn't like getting shot down. "Fine Clark. Have fun with your precious Juliet!" Wow, he's practically spitting venom.
"Lex, you know you're always my Mercutio, right?" But he looks me in the eye and stalks off.
If I look out the window I'll see him in his car with his head on the steering wheel.
"Great, so I get to lust after you then just DIE! That's great Clark!"
But I've promised myself I won't look.
I'm really starting to wish I'd practiced this with Lex. Lana is unbearable! Oh, she's still the same sweet old Lana, and that's the problem. She's * still * the same sweet old Lana when she's meant to be playing Juliet!
"Romeo, Romeo! Where for art thou Romeo?" She turns round, beaming. "Was that good?" Dammit! Her only decent line of the day and she ruins it!
She's sweet, but still...
Of course Mrs. Chase rescues her. "Lana dear, just look pretty, you'll be fine. We'll give Juliet a crown like the one you wore at Homecoming. They'll adore you!"
I just sit here listening to them babble about dresses and think about Lex sitting next to me making gagging noises. If only.
I should really phone him. Speed-dial the number and it's ringing.
"Clark! Uh... I haven't heard from you in days." Something like sadness in his voice. Or maybe its just boredom. "So how are rehearsals going?" That's better: Lex is smiling now. I can tell.
"Oh they're ok. Well not really. Lana is... not so good and we only have a few days left."
He mutters something that sounds suspiciously like 'I told you so.'
"Clark, I'll be your Juliet if you want." Lex is still laughing I think. But only just. This is a very uncomfortable silence.
"Would you like to come for dinner at my house tonight?" He's holding his breath, wow.
"I think that... yeah. I'd like that." That just fell out.
He's laughing at me again dammit! Sometimes I think I'm his favorite joke as well as his favorite distraction. But in a good way. Actually I think I'm just his favorite.
"That's settled then. I'll see you around 8. Going for a swim now so... bye."
"See you Lex."
"I'll be thinking of you." He'll be what?!
Rehearsals are over, phew. Lana has gone off to get an injection of pep I think. And I have Pete and Chloe. Great.
"So Clark, why aren't you with Lana?" Pete just can't help himself. I really don't want to field these questions right now. Silence.
"Don't tell me you've gone off her!" Shrug. Silence.
"After all we've been through!" Guilt trip. I should answer.
"It's just... she can't act. At all." Either of them understand?
Pete rolls his eyes.
Chloe snorts, "I could have told you she can't act!" Yes, she probably could have.
I just sigh.
"Sounds like you've finally woken up and smelt the cafeteria jello, Clark."
Pete nods, "Yup. Fine as she is, she's a cardboard cutout. A Barbie! A cardboard cutout OF a Barbie!"
Suddenly I hate my friends.
Chloe grins, "So, video fest tonight? Clark, will you bring cookies?" Oh no. Lex!
"Actually guys, I have...plans. I guess I couldn't look any guiltier. Playing with my fork and looking at my plate.
"Lex?" really doesn't have to sound so disgusted. Nod, and focus on a piece of sweet corn.
"Honestly Clark, you should just marry him, the amount of time you spend together!" Now Chloe looks disgusted, and hurt.
Pete looks at me then picks up his plate and leaves.
Chloe and I just sit here in silence. And look at our plates.
It's easy to forget about Chloe and Pete when I'm with Lex. It's easy to forget about most things. It's a little too easy just to let go and start talking.
"I'm terrified Lex. I'm panicking. What if Lana ruins it?" I know I look like a rabbit caught in the headlights.
"Ah, don't worry Romeo. They'll be too busy watching your handsome face to even notice Lana!"
I look up sharply and I can feel my ears burning. Lex is looking at his plate. That seems to be happening a lot today. He's acting kind of strange.
It's also kind of strange that it doesn't bother me one bit.
Lex clears his throat, "Actually, I bought a ticket."
Panic, "You what!"
"I'm going to see you play Romeo," He's calm again, damn him.
We sit there staring at each other and I can't think of anything to say.
"Mercutio was Romeo's best friend you know," Lex breaks the silence, "Mercutio loved Romeo." Where did that come from?
He looks at me. There is total sincerity in his eyes. "I know, Lex."
Suddenly he's leaning forwards and pressing his lips to my cheek. And it's actually ok.
The rest of the evening is a little weird, but it's not uncomfortable or anything. It's not like he wants to do anything else. Shouldn't even be thinking about that.
It's 5 minutes before the performance. Now I'm really nervous. Lana can't act at all, my family is here and Lex will be watching! I am really, desperately nervous.
"Hey Clark, you nervous?" Lana, my favorite person.
"No not at all Lana. Are you?"
"Of course not, I know exactly what I'm doing!" She does? Since when? Why didn't anyone tell me?
Mrs. Chase comes in, beaming. What the hell is she so happy about? "My would you just look at this huge bouquet! I can barely see over it! Mind your head there Clark!
She's right too, that is one monster bunch of flowers. Dozens and dozens of red roses. "I assumed they were for you Lana dear, being the heroine and all." Lana smiles prettily, which has actually started to get annoying. She takes the flowers and looks at the label.
Then she gets the weirdest expression on her face and looks up at me. I try to look innocent. Is it even working?
"They're for you, Clark." Everyone stares at me. But yes, my name is one the envelope.
I open the card... 'Mercutio loves Romeo always.' Fancy writing. Lex's writing.
I'm acting like a teenage girl, smelling the flowers and cuddling the card to my chest. It's only Lex; he's do it for anyone. So why not Lana, why just me? Oh no, not that. And why do I feel this way about it? That again. This cannot be happening to me!
Lex gave me flowers, and there he is sitting in the front row. It's almost funny.
He sees me watching him and I'm blushing. It's only Lex. It's only Lex. It's only Lex. Yeah right. My Stomach just did a flip and I don't think it's the nerves.
The opening scenes are o.k. But then again Lana hasn't come on yet.
When she does, the audience visibly straightens up. Until she starts to speak that is. Everyone looks a bit bemused. Lana is just hanging in there, keeping it together. The big kissing scene is next. Romeo and Juliet's first kiss. It's * meant * to be romantic. Lana seems to have lost the plot slightly. I say slightly because I'm meant to be in love with her.
"Have saints not lips, and holy palmers too?" I'm doing well, all things considered.
Why isn't Lana saying anything? She's frozen up; she isn't turning around to look at the cue guy. Oh crap.
"Juliet, have saints not LIPS?"
"I...lips? Uum, yes?" She's almost crying now. I look out into the audience. My parents are looking worried. Lex is looking at Lana like she's a bug in a jam jar. He raises an eyebrow at me.
"Lex," I mouth, "You don't have to be Mercutio."
For a moment he stares at me in confusion and completely inappropriate amusement.
After a second he gets it and rolls his eyes. Then he smiles, and pushes himself out of his seat. Every single pair of eyes turns on Lex as he climbs on stage and gently pushes Lana off. "Have saints not lips, and holy palmers too?" He smiles and takes a deep breath- oh shit.
"Aye, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer." He's perfect and the audience is aghast, but not really the way I am.
"O then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do; they pray; grant thou, lest faith turn to despair." I think I just asked Lex to kiss me.
"Saints do not move, though grant for prayer." Lex says it beautifully and it's pretty cool because no one is stopping us. Which means I'm actually going to do this.
"Then move not, while my prayer's effect I take. Thus from my lips, by yours, my sin is purged."
I think I'm kissing him. There's his tongue and oh yes! I'm definitely kissing him. In front of everyone. We wind our arms around each other, bodies pressed tightly together. He's hard, really hard, and oh God so am I.
I think people are shouting... I think.
Lex breaks the kiss and we stand with our hands clasped together and our foreheads touching.
"Then have my lips the sin that they have took," he whispers it to me. He's a crazy bastard, he really is.
"Sin from my lips? O trespass sweetly urged! Give me my sin again." Which is my cue to kiss him again and exactly what he wanted.
We kiss again, no hands, just tongues exploring and tasting. Lex tastes like a dream. And he feels like a dream too, a wet dream. His body is hard and soft at the same time and he's definitely not Lana.
Pulling away and suddenly the noise of the audience filters through. My friends, my father. Standing there with his face pale as white- hot rage courses through his body.
Lex drags me offstage and into the wings and grabs me.
"You kiss by the book," he mutters, and he really IS a crazy bastard but he's nibbling along my collarbone and making funny little noises that really aren't helping me think straight.
But we're about to pay for this as Mrs. Chase storms towards us.
Lex clutches the front of my shirt and I think he's only just realized how much * trouble * he could get into for doing this. I hang onto his belt and bury my head into his shoulder. I don't want to lose him now.
He looks at me and murmurs, "Never was there a story of more woe, than this of Juliet and her Romeo."
A glooming peace this morning with it brings; The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head; Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things; Some shall be pardon'd and some shall punished: For never was there a story of more woe Than this of Juliet and her Romeo - Prince Escalus.
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