Warnings: Strange fluff, a few bad words here and there, and (of course) slash.
Disclaimer: I own not a single one of the characters named in this fic. I am not associated with, employed by, nor otherwise acknowledged by any of the many Superman franchises such as Smallville, the Superman comics, the Superman movies, and the Lois and Clark series.
Notes: The inspiration for this fic comes, oddly enough, from the first few minutes of the animated movie "The Incredibles".
It was a dark and stormy night…which was always how these things seemed to start. Clark sometimes thought that maybe Lex picked these nights on purpose—he was pretty sure that it couldn't just be one big coincidence. When the thunder and lightening started, Lex would inevitably come out and unleash some new diabolical plan. Clark suspected it was because Lex liked emerging from the shadows, lit up by nothing but lightening. It made him look more evil (and, Clark had to grudgingly admit, it also made him look really cool. Lex always did have a sense of style).
Regardless of whether it was by coincidence or by design, Clark had come to expect a nefarious plot every time a storm rolled in. In fact, Clark had gotten so good at predicting when Lex would launch his next dastardly attack that he had taken to setting out early to wait for it. It certainly saved time. Instead of having to drag himself out of bed, put on his costume, and then going out to look for Lex, Clark simply lounged around on a rooftop until Lex showed up.
On this particular night, the rain was coming down hard and fast. The wind was howling, and thunder rolled in the distance. Clark guessed it would be another fifteen minutes or so until Lex made his grand entrance.
Twenty minutes later, a sleek, black helicopter touched down onto the rooftop, its back end to Clark. Only Lex could pay a pilot enough to fly in this weather. Sure enough, Lex Luthor gracefully descended onto the rain-slicked roof. The helicopter flew away while Lex busied himself setting up some sort of equipment near the edge of the roof. Clark stepped forward and said in his best superhero-voice, "Alexander Luthor, cease your villainy!"
Lex started in surprise, lost his footing on the slippery surface, and fell clean off the roof. Clark super-speeded to the edge and grabbed for him. He caught him by the wrists and eanred a "Watch the cuff-links, Kent!" for his troubles.
He hauled Lex back up. "Don't call me Kent," he said, almost as a reflex.
"Right. Because we're on an abandoned rooftop during a thunderstorm at two o'clock in the morning—who knows who might be listening?"
"Don't get smart with me, Luthor," Clark warned. "I just saved your life."
Lex scoffed. "My life wouldn't have needed saving if an untimely speech hadn't startled me. Speaking of which, 'cease your villainy'? You really ought to stop watching those Sailormoon cartoons." Lex paused to examine his cuffs. Satisfied that they weren't damaged, he continued. "How did you manage to come so quickly, anyway?"
"I was already here. Waiting for you."
Lex looked horrified. "Waiting for me? How did you know that I was going to be here? This was a top secret operation—I was the only one who knew the full details!"
Clark did his best not to grin at the petulance in Lex's voice. "Never mind how I know, Luthor. It's time for you to go home and leave Metropolis alone." He turned and melted all of Lex's equipment with his heat-vision, ignoring Lex's indignant protests. "Like you don't have ten more prototypes at your lab. Come on, Luthor, I'm taking you home."
"Taking me—I can make it home by myself, thank you very much."
"Sorry, but it's the only way I can make sure you actually go home. I can't have you launching a sneak attack when I've let my guard down. Get on." Clark crouched down, intending to carry Lex piggyback-style to his apartment and making sure he stayed there.
"You are a sucky archenemy," Lex muttered to himself, not budging from his spot on the roof.
Clark straightened up. "What did you say? Did you just call me 'sucky'?"
"Yes you did!"
"Luthors don't use words like 'sucky'," Lex said with a certain amount of hauteur.
"You just did! Don't lie to me, Lex—I have super-hearing." Lex refused to comment.. Clark sighed. "Why am I sucky, Lex," he asked, switching to that voice he used when lecturing young children on the importance of not playing hear busy roads.
Lex let him know that he was acutely aware of his insulting tone of voice by turning on the cold, hard, Luthor Glare of Wrath. "Because, Clark, as my archenemy, you are responsible for such simple tasks as engaging in combat with me, finding ways to hinder me, and publicly denouncing me. You are not, however, responsible for saving me from falling, carrying me home, or tucking me in."
Ah, so he had bruised Lex's ego. "If you don't cause any more fuss tonight and you let me take you home, I promise you that no part of this humiliating evening will make it into the Daily Planet."
Lex 'hmph'ed. "Fine. But do something about your soggy cape, because I am not climbing on top of it."
The next time Clark got into an altercation, Lex was surprisingly not involved.
It began as a simple smash-and-grab on a jewellery store. Clark could remember having wondered why anyone in Metropolis would even try that anymore, when they knew Superman would just get them. This guy, however, had obviously done his homework. He was ready for Superman.
Which was how Clark found himself in an alley, on his knees, with a kryptonite-loaded gun pressed against his temple
The crook was laughing at him. "Looks like you ain't so super now, are you, Superman? Or, should I call you Not-so-super-man?" He chortled at his own cleverness.
Clark opened his mouth to deliver a scathing retort, and was pistol-whipped before he could make a sound. His head snapped back agonizingly. But before the guy could hit him again, Lex Luthor appeared from the shadows of the alley. With a cocked gun in his hand.
"Drop it," he commanded the crook.
The crook sneered and said, "What are you gonna do if I don't, make—"
His taunting was abruptly interrupted by a large chunk of his head flying off, thanks to Lex's nearly point-blank shot. Clark quickly kicked the dropped kryptonite-loaded gun away from himself. Lex bent to retrieve it.
"Nice timing, Lex. How'd you find me?" Clark asked, once his nausea had somewhat diminished. "You're not paying people to stalk me again, are you?"
"No, I'm stalking this," Lex replied, holding up the crook's gun.
"The kryptonite," he clarified. "I own pretty much the entire world supply of meteor rock, but some small amounts are still out there. I've devised a few ways of detecting and locating any kryptonite that shows up on the streets."
Clark chose not to ask why Lex wanted to own every last piece of kryptonite on Earth. He didn't really want to know. He did, however, want to know something else. "And why the hell did you shoot him?" he asked, eyeing the remains of what used to be a jewellery store robber.
"Because he had a gun loaded with kryptonite bullets pointed at your head? Really, Clark, if you failed to notice that, perhaps you have no business prowling the night in brightly-coloured spandex, trolling for trouble."
Clark tried to wrap his head around what Lex said. He failed. "Lex, I am, as you like to keep reminding me, your archenemy. When stuff like this happens, you're supposed to stand back and enjoy the show."
Lex carefully stashed the kryptonite bullets in a lead case that disappeared into his coat, and said, "Exactly. You are, as I like to remind you, my archenemy. My archenemy. And as we both know, I don't share well." He flashed Clark a grin that was just a wee bit on the scary side. "I claim the exclusive right to shoot at you, send out hit-men after you, and try out new and deadly technology on you. No one else is allowed to do any of that."
Clark thought this reasoning was a little unhinged, even for Lex. But before he could say anything, Lex manoeuvred himself distractingly close to Clark.
"Besides," Lex said, his face mere inches from Clark's, "I had to kill him. 'Not-so-super-man'? He was an embarrassment to witty villains everywhere." With that, Lex crushed their mouths together. He growled something that may or may not have been "Mine" into Clark's lips before pulling away.
Clark watched him disappear back into the dark shadows of the night. Lex got hyper like this sometimes. Lately, it seemed to be getting more and more frequent. Clark briefly wrestled with the idea of checking out what Lex had been taking lately. Would it be an abuse of his superpowers if he used them to examine Lex's pharmacy records?
But then it occurred to him that Lex's drugs of choice were usually suppressants; hyper was probably Lex's sober and normal state. Now that was a frightening thought. Clark made a mental note to confront Lex about being less…excitable the next time they met.
It was of course Clark's luck that the next time they met happened to be at the Metropolis Children's Hospital Charity Ball. He couldn't very well make a scene there, but then again, neither could Lex, so there was some good in it.
It wasn't hard to find Lex, especially if you were with the media. You simply had to follow all of the other media, and the herd would eventually end up surrounding the Luthor. When they had finally squeezed as much tabloidy goodness out of Lex as humanly possible and moved on to some other wealthy socialite, Clark broke free of the group.
"I'm going to…uh…" he told Lois eloquently.
"Talk to Luthor?"
"Yeah." Wait. "No. No, I was going to say I'm going for a drink, but that's a good idea. I should go talk to Luthor…about…um…LexCorp's role in Metropolis charities. To see if we can't get an exclusive scoop. Or something."
"Uh huh. Or something." Lois gave him a disturbing wink-and-smile combo and sent him on his way.
Due to more than two years of endless teasing, Clark was well aware that Lois knew something about him and Lex, but exactly how much did she know? It was impossible to tell. He tried to sweep all thoughts of Lois out of his mind as he walked up to the drinks table, where Lex was currently getting some champagne.
"Good evening, Mr. Luthor," Clark said with polite professionalism.
"Clark! How are you?" Lex replied, putting his drink down to give him a warm hug.
So Lex was apparently going to treat him as a close friend rather than an adversary tonight. Clark sighed and wished his life was filled with unambiguous people who gave one story and stuck with it. All this flip-flopping was starting to wear him out.
"Hey, Lex. I'm great. Listen, there's something I want to talk to you about. Do you think we could go somewhere more private?"
"Sure." Lex took his elbow and steered him to the cloakroom. On the way there, Lois caught Clark's eye and grinned. Clark sighed once more.
"So, what is it?" Lex purred, closing the cloakroom door before getting all up in his personal space.
Clark resisted the urge to back up a step. "I'm confused, Lex. Do you have any idea how confusing this is? One second, we're best friends, and the next second you hate my guts. One second, you're trying to kill me, and the next second we're…" Clark trailed off to stare at Lex's invitingly red lips.
Lex leaned in and kissed him thoroughly. "The next second we're making out?"
"And the next second we're making out," Clark agreed. "Our relationship switches around so fast, I can't even keep up anymore."
"What you need to learn to do, Clark, is compartmentalize," Lex told him. "When I'm at work, I'm a different person than when I'm at home. When I'm at a social event, I act differently than when I'm alone with you in a dark room. I don't mix business with pleasure, so I don't get confused."
Clark wasn't sure what Lex was trying to be: difficult, or a hypocrite. He was telling him to keep Superman vs. Lex Luthor separate from Clark and Lex, but if memory served, Lex was the one who kissed him in an alley last week. Was that supposed to be ClarkandLex, or Supermanvs.LexLuthor? If there were lines between business and pleasure, they were heavily blurred and only Lex seemed to know where they were. Actually, that was a pretty accurate description of their entire relationship in general.
"I'm really glad that's working so well for you, Lex, but I can't be like that anymore. Can't we just be one thing all the time?"
"I'm assuming you don't mean you would like us to be enemies all the time," Lex said.
Clark looked at him and thought that was pretty obvious.
"The problem with calling a truce," Lex explained, "is the fact that I'm evil and you're super-good. We'd never be able to get around that."
"You could just start being nicer to people and obey a few laws every now and then," Clark suggested.
"Don't be silly, Clark."
Clark couldn't help but laugh. It was a very Lex kind of answer, and of course Clark didn't really want him to change anyway, no matter how much easier everything would be if he did. "You know what? You're right. I'm being totally stupid about all this. I should just learn to sort it all out and keep my personal life separate from my professional life. Forget that I even brought it up, okay?"
Lex leered at him in a way that implied he would be more than happy to forget anything that didn't involve Clark's mouth, and they proceeded to make good use of the very private cloakroom.
Clark realized, rather belatedly, that he probably should have investigated what Lex was doing with all that kryptonite when he still had the chance.
The son of a bitch had figured out a way to make kryptonite thread. He had actually made a freaking net, and caught Superman the way one caught tuna. It was really, really embarrassing.
Clark lay on the sidewalk like a sack of humiliated potatoes and waited for Lex to finish his evil cackles of triumph. "Okay, so you got me. What now?"
Lex pulled out a gun loaded with kryptonite bullets. And then paused with a frown. "What now indeed?"
Clark had always suspected that Lex didn't really want to capture Superman, he just wanted to see if his inventions worked. They usually didn't, so when one did, Lex had no idea what to do.
With absolutely no warning whatsoever, Lex said, "Marry me."
"Marry me, or else I'll shoot you," Lex said, waving the gun for emphasis.
"You wouldn't," Clark said.
Lex shot him in the shoulder.
It was a clean through-and-through, and the wound began healing right away, but goddammit, it hurt. Lex cocked an eyebrow at him and dared him to keep thinking he was bluffing.
"Lex, I can't marry you. You're the one who didn't want a truce, and now you want the Defender of Metropolis to marry Lex Luthor?"
"No, you nitwit. I'm not asking Superman; I'm asking Clark Kent."
Clark really didn't see how any of this was going to help him solve his compartmentalization problems. Then again, it was Lex, so it was probably a perfectly logical move in Lex-world. And since Lex wasn't about to join the rest of them in the normal world any time soon, it was up to Clark to join him in Lex-world. Oh, what the hell. "Okay."
Lex looked confused.
"I'll marry you," Clark clarified. He only had one real misgiving about it, anyway: Lois was going to be way too delighted. He couldn't very well let that be the only reason refused. Besides, it made Lex so happy, and he always had a soft spot for happy Lex.
Lex hurried to cut him out of the kryptonite net and help him up. Clark knew that his life was going to get a whole lot more confusing after this, but maybe this was exactly what they needed. Maybe they needed a little domesticity to calm them down. Some normalcy would do them good.
(As this is my first Smallville fic, feedback would be much appreciated.)