SUMMARY: Chapter One Lex wakes up to find himself in a very strange situation. Is this a kidnapping gone wrong?

Not exactly.

WARNINGS: Rated Teen for language and sexuality. Veers into the realm of AU after the episode "Red" from Season 2. Because I just – LOVE red kryptonite!

DISCLAIMER: So many people own Superman and Smallville that I don't even know where to begin. We'll just sweepingly say Siegel and Shuster, DC Comics, and the show's creators. It's this twisted copyright situation, anyway. But I'm not making any money of them, rest assured. Just – playing with them. In my mind. It's not my fault they picked Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum, eh!

AUTHOR NOTE: My version of red kryptonite varies from the show's use. In comic canon, red kryptonite causes a different reaction each time Superman/Clark is exposed to it, and the results typically last 24 to 48 hours.


Slant


Chapter One

Lex's head hurt like a bitch. That was the first thought that nuzzled its way through the sleepy fog of his brain, forcing him away from half-remembered dreams of flying and falling and freezing river water. He dreamed often about that day, but he'd never woken up with a headache because of it. A hard-on, sure, occasionally. But not a headache.

His second thought was much more disturbing. This was not his bed. His bed was top-of-the-line, with an automated pressure comfort system, back massager, and lush pillows that retained their plump shapes even after a night of fitful sleeping. Not to mention the fact that the sheets partially covering him were definitely not Egyptian-woven 800-count threads. No, this stuff was rougher, though not particularly scratchy. It was almost, in fact, soothing. Still, the fact that it was not his bed was the more dominating thought.

That, and the fact that he didn't feel cold. With his lack of appreciable body hair, Lex became colder at night a lot more easily than the average twenty-two year old man. Hell, more easily than the average Homo sapien. When you lost nearly sixty percent of your body heat through your head, and you were bald, cool weather was a true pain in the ass. His bed was consequently piled high with swan-feather down comforters imported straight from Paris. But no, right now he only had one sheet above him, and not even fully covering him at that. But he felt warm - hell, he felt hot.

His eyes cracked open, and he immediately winced at the sunlight pouring through from the window. He never had his curtains opened in the morning. He hated sunlight pouring through from the window. Proof positive that he was not only in the wrong bed, but the wrong room as well. Had he… he didn't really remember at the moment what had happened last night, but it had involved drinking. Obviously quite heavily. Perhaps one of the servants, maybe Jerome, had taken him to a guest bedroom rather than the master one? Not that that made any sense. Besides, all of the guest rooms were equipped with equally expensive fare, not this (admittedly semi-comfortable) brand of sheet.

Alright. So not in his bed, not in his room, not in one of the castle's many (was it twenty-five or one hundred or some number in between? Lex could never be sure) rooms. The conclusion would naturally follow that he was not, in fact, in the castle at all, unless by some strange magic the castle had been fully renovated and re-done within, say, the twelve hours or so that he'd been asleep. It was possible, of course. Lex – or his father Lionel – could easily have ordered such a thing and had it done. But certainly Lex hadn't remembered ordering such a momentous task. Key word was "remembered", but even if he had actually gotten drunk enough to do such a thing, the servants certainly wouldn't have paid it any mind. And as for Lionel - well, somehow changing around the furnishings at the castle just didn't seem dastardly enough for his father. For anyone at all, in fact, except maybe an interior decorator. Of which Lionel most certainly was not, judging from the state of his own home, which looked more like an ancient museum then a place where one might actually live. Not that he could make any "livable" claims of his own home…

Lex was drifting, and he knew it. He needed to get a grip and try to discover if he was in any danger from this (hopefully temporary) displacement. Casually, as if he hadn't realized that the environment was out of order, he stretched on the bed. No crack of his spine. Lex always stretched in the morning, and there was always the crack of a readjusting spine. This was even more disturbing than the bed and the sunlight. But he didn't feel injured at all. In fact, except for the quickly receding headache, he felt pretty damn good. Excellent, in fact.

Okay. He'd assessed that he wasn't in any pain, or restrained. The door to whatever room this was could be locked, of course. He could have been kidnapped. Plenty of people had a grudge against the Luthors, whether it was because of the son or the father (or both at the same time), or just on the general principle of the thing. But Lex had plenty of intuition (what Clark might've called "gut feeling") that he wasn't in any danger. There was almost an aura around the place, practically pulsing with good wishes.

Lex must've drunken much more than he'd thought last night to have such foolish thoughts. He needed to take action, not sit and consider the soothing, cheery warmth of the foreign bedroom. Sitting up, he pushed off the covers. They were blue flannel and seemed to naturally mold themselves into an unsightly lump at the foot of the bed. He took a quick look around to further assess the situation.

It was the bedroom of a boy. It simply had to be. Of course, Lex as a youth was not your normal, average boy, and he most certainly hadn't had jeans and t-shirts tossed into piles around the bed (one pile in particular looked as though it had been dragged repeatedly through mud), books stacked haphazardly on a wooden desk by a computer that was ancient by this month's (even this year's) standards, ragged posters for bands decorating his walls, or model ships hanging from the ceiling. But he'd learned from Clark a thing or two about actually being a child in the real world, one that didn't involve billions of dollars and vicious fathers, and this certainly seemed like the perfect prototype of a "real world" boy's bedroom.

Alright. So he was in a kid's – or teen's, judging by the algebra and history textbooks – bedroom. If this was a kidnapping, it was the strangest one he'd ever participated in (as an added factor to his overall peculiarity, he'd been in enough kidnappings himself to know a thing or two about them). And they usually didn't involve the kidnappers keeping him in their son's room.

Shifting his legs over, Lex pushed off the bed and landed with a thump on the wooden floor, which by all rights should have been cold (it was early November - last time he'd been awake, anyhow), but once again, he merely felt warmth. He gave a second look around. The world seemed somehow – at a slant. He didn't understand it at first, peering over at the computer, the closet, then the room's door (which didn't have a lock, thus completely negating his kidnapping theory). It felt like he was looking down at things that should be level with his eyes. That made absolutely no sense at all.

Then again, very little was making sense right about now. In the back corner of his mind, Lex thought he heard a name being called, but he brushed it aside. He was really far too busy worrying about his mental and physical state of affairs at the moment. A little exploration of the place might key him into something, he reasoned, so he took a step away from the bed and shuffled toward the closet, still tossing off the last bits of sleepiness. It was a plain door, painted white and smothered with a poster curling slightly at the edges. It was a panorama of the solar system. Lex found himself absentmindedly admiring it in his (admittedly nerdy, at least to Clark) scientific mind.

He opened the closet door. He didn't know what he'd expected to find – it was full of clothes; jeans, flannels, jackets, while plain shoes littered the floor. It was cheap clothing, the kind that farmers might wear, and indeed there was the smell of the farm in the closet. It was a healthy sort of smell, like golden wheat and corn and grass and the cloying warm scent of a barn. A familiar smell. A smell like –

"Honey, didn't you hear me calling you?" Lex froze. That voice… that sweet, maternal voice… He turned slightly to the right, and for the first time noticed the mirror on the inside of the closet door. The reflection stared back at him, wide-eyed and wild. No. NO.

Tall.

Golden-skinned.

Muscular.

Hazel eyes.

Dark… hair?

Oh. My. God.

That was Lex's last thought before he collapsed in a pile, faintly hearing Martha Kent's "Clark!" before he passed out of the world completely.