Well folks this is it, the final and first chapter that was written when this bunny was hatched :D. The way this chapter turned out from the initial notes is a product of way too many oatmeal cookies and over-sugared kool-aid. Not to mention the orange chocolate cheesecake that I made two days ago and can't seem to stop finger-swiping. I keep tellin myself, "It's gonna go straight to my thighs...straight to my thighs...straight to my mouth...mmmmmmmm." I think this deserves some cheesecake. :D Enjoy!

This week on Lifestyles of the Buff 'N Shameless - S is for stalkers, which aren't for everyone - Lex learns the truth...


The weeks of November were often chilly, the air carrying winter's approaching presence, lingering longer throughout the days until snow settled across the landscape. Today the skies were clear, the sun bright, and the air was tinged with the dregs of summer's warmth. Lex was looking forward to spending his afternoon away from his office having spent his entire morning processing documents to keep his plant going strong. He had let his staff know he wasn't taking any other meetings for the rest of the day, and then headed to the garage where he slipped into his waiting car.

By the time his car came to a stop, gravel crunching under the tires, Lex had located Clark in the fields with the truck parked near bales of hay. Clark had looked up at his arrival, one gloved hand moving up to shield his eyes before waving a greeting, the other keeping a hold upon the pitchfork when Lex stepped out of the driver's seat. The chirp of the car alarm setting raised a couple of curious cow heads briefly but it didn't hold their attention long from the hay that he could see Clark had been bailing.

"Hey Lex," a bright grin greeted him when he reached the fence-line; a foot was placed on the pitchfork indicating that it was time for a break.

"Clark," Lex drawled slowly, allowing a pleased expression to settle on his face as he watched Clark rest his forearms on the butt of the tool, "Hard at work today I see."

Clark's amused chuckle danced lightly down his spine, "Not really." The dampened head dropped to rub briefly against his wrist; Lex let his gaze dart over the well-worn jeans and a smallish white A-shirt before returning to where he had been looking before Clark looked back up again. He barely managed to refrain from cringing when he heard a mental voice that sounded suspiciously like Chloe remarking that Clark's current pose would have been perfect for her collection, all of Clark's assets were posed in a relaxed stretch that showed off the lean stomach and…he knew he needed to cut down on monitoring her LiveJournal, he was starting to view things like her.

"So what would you call this?" Lex asked while gesturing towards the pitchfork and the hay that had been strewn about for the cattle in an attempt to cover for his mental slide.

A slow pull at the full lips that would have been called a leer on anyone else was the beginning, the rumbling seductive tone further tilted Lex off balance, "Entertainment."

Blink "What?" Did Lex hear him correctly?

"Could you scoot a little to your right?" Asked in a tone so agreeable that Lex shifted without question and nearly missed the rest of what Clark was saying. "My stalker can't get a good shot if you're in the way."

When Clark's words settled in a few beats later he paused in confusion, "Wait…you have a stalker?!"

Clark beamed proudly, "I've got a couple of stalkers."

Lex seemed to pale, had Smallville's oddness finally caught up to Clark? Had he become that unhinged that he was proud to have people stalking him? Did he know and count Lex in that plural? Was he taking too long to respond to this information? Oh god, quick! Say something normal, Lex! What would Clark have said had it been him who had the stalkers and not currently insane?

"Clark," he started slowly, the calmness not at all a reflection upon the turmoil within, "That's not something to be proud of. Stalkers can get dangerous." Good, Lex, channel your inner Clark. "Believe me, I should know." Inwardly he congratulated himself on managing the perfect amount of wry humor to soften his moment of fretting.

Clark tossed him an easy grin before pulling off his shirt, hanging it partially out of his back pocket, and resuming his work. "I know," Clark acknowledge agreeably, giving Lex hope that this madness was brief. Like his hope…"But I'm special."

Lex waited for Clark to continue and was not disappointed, "My stalkers are perfectly happy with pictures."

Lex saw an opening in which he could correct Clark's thinking, a glimmer of hope that was his own experiences with people who stalked. "That so?" Calm, knowing.

"Yup, I have nothing to worry about."

Youthful obliviousness, Lex thought, you died an early death in my case. Hello reasonableness, have you come to crash the party? "What happens when they've got enough pictures?"

Clark laughed, bright and carefree, lips pulled into a large smile showing his amusement. Clark met his serious and concerned gaze with twinkling eyes, "See, that's the difference between your stalkers and mine. You didn't know you had them, so you gave them everything they wanted right away."

"And?" Lex was intrigued with what sort of twist his logic was going to take.

"So they're forced to proceed to the next level of stalking and come after you physically," Clark had the tone of patiently instructing him and humoring him at the same time.

"And yours?"

"Mine I've been stringing along for a few years now."

Surprise at the length of time that Clark had known about the girls but he still was unsure if his own stalker-like tendencies had been noticed but he still was startled enough to let slip, "What?!"

The rippling muscles on the bared back didn't slow at his query nor at the explanation, "Oh come on Lex. You don't really believe my dad would make me wash the truck to have Pete spend the night? That the fences near the house and road need repaired that often? The garden hoed? Grass cut and the leaves raked? Or that I sleep in the loft half naked in the middle of the day?"

"You knew they're stalking you and you're egging them on?" Absently Lex noted that Clark was careful not to raise his voice so that it could carry beyond their range of hearing, it was what kept his own voice subdued.

"It's kind of cute actually," softly spoken as Clark's cheeks pinked slowly, a measure of his rising amusement at Lex's expense, his slight embarrassment at enjoying the attention showing in the demurring turn of his head towards the ground.

"Have you lost your mind, Clark? Stalkers are not, in any way, cute," Lex wasn't sure what it was that caused him to loose control of his mouth but there was something wrong with being thought of as being cute. Luthors are never cute, especially if they're old enough to pick up stalking the locals. He lost his train of thought at the sheer sexual magnetism of Clark's gaze when it swung up and past him to where he assumed laid Chloe with her camera.

"If Chloe and Lana and the couple other stalkers want to spend their free time laying in the fields and grass ogling and photographing me then they're not out chasing meteor freaks for stories and putting their lives in danger. If that means that I have to pretend that I don't notice the occasional flash or bright clothing or the convenient 'just passing by' moments…" he watched as Clark turned away with a shrug and continued with his chores.

"It means that they have a better chance at having a future," Lex offered as an apology.

"Yeah," Clark agreed. "Seemed safer for me this way instead of telling Chloe not to do her journalistic duties."

"Better not let her hear you say that," Lex sagely warned which caused both Lex and Clark to laugh, the seriousness dissipating under the onslaught of friendship, sunshine, and farming chores.

"Better not tell them, Lex," Clark tossed back, catching Lex's slight grin before returning to his chores so that Chloe would have plenty of pictures to fill her camera, Pete had been slacking off on his part of keeping the girls busy since Halloween. Definitely slacking.