Little Thrills

by George H.

Thanks to Rageprufrock for the beta!

Little Thrills
a Smallville fanfiction
by George H.
26 February 2003

Blackness descended over Smallville in waves, blanketing even the stars from the sky. The clouds were thick and dark, hiding the waxing moon from sight. It seemed somehow appropriate to be preparing for a drowning downpour. After all, the rest of the world was dead.

Clark stood on a bluff, overlooking the city beyond that smouldered in ruins. His hands rested on his hips in a cocky gesture of dominance. The smoke melted into the clouds overhead, creating a mirage of ash that seemed to reach from the city to the sky, which then stretched out and covered the world in darkness. Clark's lips curled up in amusement as he observed it all. He had let this city run his life for too long; now he was in charge.

Overhead came an unfamiliar roaring, and Clark glanced skyward as jet fighters flew past. The destruction of an entire city did tend to warrant heavier militia. Clark let his enjoyment of the situation show as he watched with uncannily accurate vision as the ships scouted for enemy vessels, or more threats. How surprised they'd all be when they discovered a little sixteen-year-old alien boy had caused all this damage.

He looked over his shoulder, to where Lex leaned against a tree, arms and legs bound, mouth silenced with duct tape, eyes wide and clear, but not from shock; they were expressionless as they watched Clark. "I suppose they've brought in the National Guard," Clark said, placidly. "I'm pleased." He looked away from Lex, back out at the sky, as the roaring came again. This time he narrowed his eyes with fiery intent, and moments later the jets burst into flames. The creaking, screaming metal as the planes crashed sent chills up Clark's spine, and he loved it: it was among the first things he'd ever felt.

Clark had never considered much about his "gifts" when he had first discovered he was immortal. He had never considered what they meant. They had always been a dark secret; some gifts he wasn't supposed to have. But in truth, they were Powers. They were Powers bestowed on him that made him better than the people he lived among. He had spent sixteen years feeling a void of nothingness. No prick of pain, no dizzying swell of heat, or inner pangs of lust. He had thought Lana Lang was the one person in the world he could be with -- could feel, because she had made him dizzy. Being around her made his pulse go weak, and his hands go slack: he thought it was love. In truth, it was meteor rock, and she was no one special.

The first feeling he'd ever gotten, the first real twang of pain -- guilt, maybe -- had been when he'd been in the SCA facility with his father, and had been forced to clunk the guard over the head with the fire extinguisher. He had thought it was because he was sick that he'd gotten that thrill, but he hadn't let himself dwell on it. Now, he knew, that causing pain, and death, was the one thing that let him feel.

Somewhere below, a cornfield caught on fire as the jet fighters burned holes in the crop. Clark began to laugh as the warm joy of causing death tickled him along his backbone. He threw his head back, and let his laughter ring out over the bluff. Behind him, he heard Lex struggling against his bonds, and after the laughter had subsided, he turned back, advancing this time.

Lex was his best friend, someone he knew and admired more than Lana, or Pete, or perhaps even his parents. Lex had made him feel too. He had felt small and insignificant beside Lex's greatness. He had felt dwarfed by Lex's vast knowledge, his charm and good looks, and the very manner in which he conducted himself. Lex had also made him feel special. He had a secret he couldn't tell Lex, and he knew Lex was spending more money than he could imagine to find out those secrets. It gave Clark thrills. Little thrills, but they were all that mattered. They mattered so much that he had known he could never divulge his secrets to the Luthor, for fear of loosing that thrill.

But that was before he knew that destruction created a far greater thrill than anything Lex Luthor could offer him. He knelt beside his best friend, his face the kind familiar smile of a sixteen-year-old farm boy. "You're wondering when I'm going to kill you, aren't you, Lex?" Clark crooned, softly.

Lex's eyes fixed on him, but there was no fear in them, simply hard expressionlessness. Receiving no sign of an answer, Clark sneered. "What, you're not afraid?"

Lex looked away from Clark, out over the bluff. He couldn't see Smallville burning beyond, because he was too far back from the edge, but the column of smoke majestically rose up, and Lex knew what its source was. He did not answer Clark.

Clark's brows furrowed, and he shoved Lex's head back, until it slammed against the tree he was leaning against. "I don't like your indifference, Lex!" Clark shouted. Lex looked back to Clark, his expression flat. Clark hissed, and violently ripped the duct tape off his best friend's mouth. "Don't you fear death!?"

Lex rubbed his reddened lips together, savouring their pain for several moments, before he stoically replied. "I should have died the day I drove off that bridge. You saved my life. It seems only fitting you should now be the one to take it."

Clark narrowed his eyes in pleasure at the thought, as he looked at Lex, agreeing with the notion. "Killing you would be the greatest thrill of all, I think."

Lex seemed uninterested by the revelation. For him to cope with the chaotic world he now found himself in, he had had to turn off his emotions, and detach himself from reality. He could not afford to fear, despair, or hope. "Why is that, Clark?" he asked, although he knew the answer.

"Because killing the thing I love most in the world would be such sweet pain," he explained simply, and although the worlds conveyed warmth, there was nothing tender about them.

"You should let me go," Lex answered plainly. "You might discover joy in my favourite thrill that way."

"What's that?" Clark asked, his voice maintaining that curious innocence.

"The thrill of the hunt, Clark: the need to know, and the need to find out. Let me go, Clark, and relish in hunting me
down later."

"That'd be too easy," Clark answered, unimpressed.

Lex tilted his head slightly, eyes narrowing faintly. "I promise, Clark: I'll make it worth your while."

Thunder rumbled overhead, and seconds later lightning sketched across the clouds, and the two men looked at each other across the distance. Heavy drops of rain began to fall, kissing the tops of their heads, and turning the grass into a hushing, whispering voyeur. "You won't be able to stop me," Clark said against the downpour.

Lex locked his gaze on Clark and said, "I know," but the expression forming behind his eyes said, "Try me."

Clark studied Lex's face, watching the water trace rivulets down his pale features. He suddenly broke into a broad, pleased grin. "We will be the stuff of legends, Lex, you and I." He nodded his head, as if he approved of the situation. "It's written in the stars."

He shoved Lex back against the tree, forcing himself closer to the bound man as lightning arced across the sky again. He pressed a hand to Lex's throat, hard, but not hard enough to choke him. His face came in, nose-brushing nose, eyes fixed on Lex's. "I promise, you will have a glorious death, Lex," Clark whispered. Lex's eyes closed then, and Clark was stunned to find a thrill in act of Lex kissing him. Clark had thought he was in control, thought he was the one intimidating Lex, and manipulating the situation.

But Lex was the one kissing him now.

Clark pulled back, his hand dropping from Lex's throat, and the two looked at each other through dewy eyelashes. "No, Clark. I promise you an honourable death."

Clark backed up, and got to his feet, his face still drawn in thrilled-shock from the kiss. Lex was the one wearing the malicious smile now, and it dawned on Clark just what a situation they'd found themselves in. He nodded, his own devious grin returning to his lips as he took a step back. "To the thrill of the chase," he agreed, turned, and with super speed he dove off the edge of the bluff, and was shortly airborne, zipping away like a fleeting dream.

Left behind in the rain, Lex Luthor began to laugh.

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