Title: GOING VEGETARIAN (Nourishment 2.17)
Author: Janet F. Caires-Lesgold
Feedback to: jfc@freeshell.org
Archive: Mailing list archives only--others please ask permission!
Category: Story, angst, Pete POV
Spoilers: None, but set after "Precipice"
Rating: R for language and implications of m/m sexual interaction
Pairing: Clark/Lex established relationship
Summary: Pete finds out Clark's other secret

DISCLAIMER: These characters do not belong to me. Smallville is the property of Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, Tollin-Robbins Productions, and Warner Bros. Television, and based upon characters originally created by Jerome Siegel and Joe Shuster. This story is just for the entertainment of my online friends and myself, not for any profit.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: The rest of "The Nourishment Series" can be found elsewhere on this archive - Enjoy!

DEDICATION: For Tiff and the boys of summer

COPYRIGHT: (C) August 12, 2003, Janet F. Caires-Lesgold, jfc@freeshell.org

Please don't redistribute or alter this story in any way without the express permission of the author. Thank you very much.


Clark is so gay. I mean, he's always so dorky around Lana at school...

We were standing by my locker before lunch and he was staring past me to see if she was looking at him, like he was twelve or something. I finally got sick of it and I told him so.

"Clark, man, you are *soooo* gay!" He didn't even act like he'd heard me at first, so I said it again. "Clark! You big faggot! Stop looking at her like she's a football trophy in a glass case, dude! That is just queer!"

I guess I finally got through the pink fog around his brain, because he glared at me, his face losing every bit of his usual blush. "What did you say?"

Even Lana glanced over at us then, because we were pretty loud. "I said you would be gay not to go after her if you really want her."

He must have used some of his superspeed on me, because he slammed my locker shut, grabbed me painfully by the arm, and dragged me into the boys' room before I could even finish my sentence. He got that weird squinty face as he looked around the room, which I guess meant he was x-raying the stalls to see if we were alone, then turned the janitor's lock to make sure nobody else came in. Breathing hard, he dug his fingers a little harder into my arm. "Don't you *ever* use that word around me, you got me?"

"What?" I protested, trying and failing to shake off his grip.

"Especially not around *Lana*!" he hissed right into my face.

"Man, what the fuck are you talking about?"

With one last squeeze, he muttered, "I can't let Lana think I'm gay, okay?" Dropping my arm, he stalked off over to the sinks, but didn't look at himself in the mirror at all.

The laugh that burst out of my mouth felt like it was in a big hurry. It wasn't alone, either, so I stood there laughing at Clark's joke for more than a minute, I think.

However long it took me to calm down, it was a few seconds more before I realized that Clark wasn't laughing. The last echo faded out in the tiled room, replaced by his voice saying, very quietly, "It's not funny, Pete."

"Sure, it is," I answered, still grinning. "Nobody'd ever believe you were gay!"

He turned really slowly and just looked me in the eye across the bathroom. I kept waiting for him to crack up at me, but he didn't.

"Come on," I encouraged him. "You got me. You are not gay."

Dropping his eyes from my face to the floor, he licked his lips like he wanted to say something, but he remained silent.

When I saw that, my mouth went dry. "Knock it off, man. Stop fucking around. Joke's over." At my words, his shoulders twitched as if I'd insulted his mom. For some reason, I was really glad I wasn't in punching distance right then. I thought I'd better apologize, besides. "Hey--I didn't mean it. I wasn't really calling you gay, you know... Because I *know* you, and I know you're..."

"I'm gay, Pete."

Whatever I was going to say next, my mouth chewed the air for a second like a puppet whose ventriloquist had just died. "Huh?" was the most intelligent thing I could think of to reply.

"I'm sorry I never told you before. I'm gay."

A chuckle that had been left over from before snuck up on me, because he must have been yanking my chain. "No, you're not."

Once again, he caught my eye with a frighteningly serious expression. "Yes, I am."

"No. That's just too much." My brain scrambled around for a logical explanation. "I mean, you're an alien, right?" I added, hushing my voice at the last minute in case anyone was right outside the door. "You can run real fast and jump real high and lift heavy stuff and light fires. You can't be gay."

"Why can't I?"

"Because... just *because*, okay?" I offered, starting to get desperate. "It's okay for other guys, like Terence in English class..."

"The guy who got all weepy reciting that poetry?"

"Yeah. He's gay. That's cool. I can deal with that. But you..."

"What *about* me?" he said so calmly I thought he was going to kill me.

"I don't believe you're gay. You're wrong. You like girls. You're straight."

"Yeah," he agreed, turning to pace further away from me, "I *like* girls. I want to *fuck* guys."

"No, you *DON'T*!" I insisted, trying to forget he'd ever said it. "You're just upset. I know you don't mean that. Just because you haven't had much luck with girls is no reason to say that kind of thing."

Spinning back on me, he gave me the most miserable look I'd ever seen on him. "I'm not just saying this, Pete! It's a fact! It's something that I've thought about a lot..."

"Yeah? For how long?"

"For like a year--nearly a year and a half, maybe."

"You've thought you might be gay for over a year? Have you talked to anybody about this?"

That actually made him mad. "'Talked to anybody'? You mean like a doctor? You think I'm crazy?"

"Well," I flustered, "no... Does your mom know?"

With absolute seriousness, he nodded. "Yeah. She knows."

"And she's okay with it?"

"I think so. If it was hard for her at first, she's gotten over it. She's very supportive..."

At that, I had to chuckle softly. "Doesn't that kind of *define* your mom, man?" Grudgingly, he gave me a little smile at the thought.

Looking hard at his face, I tried to see if there was anything different about him, whether his being gay was something so obvious I would kick myself for having missed it. Then I realized: this was Clark--my buddy, whom I'd known forever, who just happened to come from another planet. Who was I to judge him if he just happened to be gay, too?

I'd gotten used to him being different from everybody else in one way, and it didn't make him anything but the same guy he'd always been. Maybe this was similar. Besides, Mrs. Kent was the most reasonable person I'd ever met. If she accepted this about her son, then I guessed I would have to do so, too.

I moved as close to him as I really dared, still a little bit thrown by his declaration. "This is so heavy... So, have you, like, *done* anything about this situation?"

"What situation?"

"*You* know," I winked, "after-hours tonsil hockey behind the bleachers? Mutual groping in the showers?"

He straightened his spine, in effect pulling away from me without taking a step. "I'm, uh, seeing someone, Pete..."

"Dude!" I almost cheered. "You mean you've gotten your cherry popped and you didn't even tell me? Who's the hottie?"

Clark's eyes got that weird pale color they turn when he's really upset. "I don't... It's... uh..."

"Oh, I gotcha. Some linebacker who doesn't want his girlfriend to know. That's cool. I can keep a secret, can't I, last son of Krypton?"

Quickly, he shook his head in the negative. "No, no, no. I mean, yeah, you can keep a secret."

"So then trust me. Spill."

Swallowing carefully, he looked me straight in the eye. "It's Lex."

"But... but... *What*???" I sputtered, backing away from the guy I thought I knew, but who kept changing before my very eyes. "Lex *Luthor*???"

"Look, Pete--I *knew* you wouldn't take this well! That's why I never told you!"

"You're letting that scum of the earth suck your dick? Did you think that I was never going to find out?"

"You hadn't found out before now, had you? I mean, we've been together since before my birthday party last year!"

I found myself pressed up against a metal partition with nowhere to run. "I knew you two were friends, but I never understood *why*... Are you like his sex slave or something? Has he got some kinky control over you? Is that why you're doing it?"

Instead of reacting with his typical anger, he actually looked like I'd hurt his feelings. "No. He loves me. He loves me, and I love him..."

"You are shittin' me, man. This can't be true."

"It's true," he said, almost whispering. "Look--if you don't want to be my friend anymore because of this, or because I kept it from you, I guess that's okay..."

I was wrong. When I'd thought he'd looked miserable before, that had been nothing. *Now* he looked like he was totally lost, alone, and broken-hearted. I realized suddenly that he was telling me the truth: that he was gay and fucking Lex Luthor because he was in love with the guy. Letting this idea take root in my head gave me a minute to think what I should say next.

Finally, I started over. "Clark, man... I didn't stop being your friend when I found out that you weren't from around here. I can't stop being your friend just because you've got rotten taste in men..." He looked up at me like he wasn't quite sure what part of that I meant, so I punched him lightly on the arm. "I may not know Lex like you do, but *you're* okay, and if he means that much to you, maybe I was a little bit wrong about him."

"Really?" he asked, with this weird hopeful grin on his face.

"Yeah," I answered. "It doesn't mean I can't give you shit about him sometimes, but if you love him, I guess that's cool with me."

A couple seconds of that big toothy smile were all I got before he grabbed me and hugged me hard. We didn't do that for very long, well, *because*, but it felt good anyway.

Everything sort of shifted back into place then, and I marveled at how the world had changed. "Whoa... You and Lex Luthor... Wait a minute... What about that doctor? The one that Lex is supposed to *marry*?"

"You mean Helen?"

"Yeah, her. What's up with that?"

"Oh--she's just a front. His dad's really against us being together, so he says he'll leave us alone if we date girls--well, *women*--just for appearances."

"And Lex is willing to *marry* somebody just for appearances?"

He shrugged and leaned his butt against the sink as I tried not to picture things that Lex might have done *to* that butt. "He likes her. He could do worse..."

"Why should he marry anybody? What could his dad do to him?"

"Lex is always spouting stuff about the law, but I've seen how Lionel got to him when they were just at odds over Lucas. He threw him out of his own *house*, Pete. I don't wanna think about what could happen if he really defied him on this one..." Something in his eyes made me wonder what Lionel could have said that made even *Clark* that afraid of him.

Suddenly I remembered what had brought us in here to discuss this in the first place. "You're supposed to date a girl, too, aren't you?"

"Yeah," he answered, studying the toes of his shoes very intently.

"That's why you don't want Lana to know that you're gay..."

"Uh-huh." His gaze flew up to me urgently. "You see why you shouldn't kid around like that in front of her anymore, don't you?"

"Yeah, man. Gonna go for the dream girl after all, huh?"

"I guess so..." he muttered, apparently not all that enthusiastic about his plan. "Promise me you won't tell *anybody* about what we talked about in here?"

"Promise, man." He held out his fist, and I raised my hand to touch knuckles and seal my oath.

Damn. Clark Kent is gay. And I'd thought he was from outer space *before*...


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