Title: GREASY SPOON (Nourishment 2.14)
Author: Janet F. Caires-Lesgold
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Archive: Mailing list archives only--others please ask permission!
Category: Angst, story, Clark POV
Spoilers: Missing scenes from "Rosetta"
Rating: R for language and suggestions of m/m sexual interaction
Pairing: Clark/Lex established relationship
Summary: Clark chews on a few things on the road
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 her significant others.
COPYRIGHT: (C) May 13, 2003, Janet F. Caires-Lesgold, firstname.lastname@example.org
Please don't redistribute or alter this story in any way without the express permission of the author. Thank you very much.
Lex would have remembered to bring a map.
Traveling is his thing--cars, private planes, choppers... Me? I just get on the road and run.
I'm not lost, really. I got out to New York just fine. It's getting back that's causing me problems. Who am I kidding? I'll never get back to where I started out...
I'm pretty sure I'm still in Ohio, but I lost the interstate somewhere. The need to focus and stay alert has drawn me to this diner. I'm definitely in a small town in the middle of the afternoon. There's nobody here but me at a booth near the window and a grizzled old guy dribbling soup from his mustache over at the counter. Then there's whatever is in my cup--it may not be the Talon's double espresso, but it's coffee.
Not for a minute can I allow myself to wish that Lex were here--I don't really need his help, though his GPS might have been useful. His voice, his smile, his sense of humor--those things would have been useful, too.
But no. If my lover were here, he'd ask me what was bothering me, and I just plain couldn't tell him. Okay, so there's a lot I can never tell him, like about my recent miracle cure. I'd never had a fever before, and especially not one so high I'd actually gotten delirious. I think I was even hallucinating there for awhile! After it was gone and I ran into Lex at the hospital, I felt guilty and secretive having to pretend I'd just had the flu. Maybe I shouldn't have said anything, but I wasn't sure what he'd heard from my friends, and I thought he should know something. I thought sure he was going to give me hell for not telling him earlier, but he remembered the conversation I'd had with my mother last year and understood. "Your dad never promised to let me know if anything happened to you. Your mom was sick, and she couldn't call me. It's okay," he had said, though I'm sure I saw a little bit of hurt in his eyes.
This new bombshell, on the other hand, is almost too big, even for me. Along with every other secret about me, I sure as heck can't breathe a word of this to Lex, no matter how much I might want to. I've done all right so far without falling on my knees in front of him and telling him everything. "Lex," I can picture myself saying, "I'm an alien. I landed on Earth the day of the meteor shower, and I hurt all those people by accident, even you. I have superhuman strength and speed, and can see through things and set fires with my eyes. But please don't hate me for keeping these secrets from you! Can you still love me anyway?"
If he found out that I absorbed the meaning of the Kryptonian lettering just from putting the disc into that hole in the cave wall, what would he do? Would he laugh, thinking I'd just made it all up? Would he start putting all of my lies and half-truths together and figure out what I am without my even needing to tell him? Was his father right after all, so that the scientist part of Lex would have me dissected and spread open on a lab table in the blink of an eye? People say that the basic building block of a healthy relationship is honesty. I've had to hide so much from the man I love that I wonder what sort of response this kind of honesty would get me...
Oh, good. A refill. No cream this time. Gotta stay sharp...
Lex was so scared when he picked me up on the road the other morning--I guess I was so out of it that I almost didn't notice how close he came to hitting me. Sleepwalking? Is that the best I could come up with? At least knowing that I had been sick, he wrote it off to a relapse, and wrapped me in a blanket as he shoved me into his car to take me home with him.
He kept peppering me with questions all the way back to the mansion: Did I feel dizzy? Did I remember what day it was? Did I have a headache? It just made me feel helpless and stupid. I hated it.
An eternity later, we pulled into the drive and he actually helped me out of the car. For a minute, I thought he was going to try to pick me up and carry me inside. My dad claimed that it had taken *him* fifteen minutes to drag me into the house by himself after I'd collapsed on the porch, so I really didn't want to see Lex, who doesn't toss fifty-pound bags of feed around every day, hurt himself trying to help me. Hanging onto the blanket gratefully, I shook off his hands as politely as I could and let him guide me indoors.
It was one-thirty by the time he'd downed a couple of fingers of scotch and, assured that I wasn't going to hurl on the carpeting, taken me upstairs to bed. With his head on the pillow next to mine, I couldn't resist turning to kiss him affectionately, whereupon he held me and kissed me back, silencing all his questions for the rest of the night. Instead, he slipped off my pajamas and stroked my cock with his marvelous fingers. Soon he was using his blessedly imperfect mouth to make me come before I fell sound asleep in his arms, untroubled by further dreams.
Under a warm early morning shower, we spoke of anything except the night before. Fortunately, even leaving out mom's delicate condition, which was off-limits, there were some topics we hadn't gotten around to discussing in private. I reached for the shampoo he kept there for me, asking, "So, your dad has his sight back now? That's incredible..."
"Tell me about it," he groaned, flexing his shoulders under the needle spray. "Makes me wonder what he was snooping into when I thought he was safely wandering the garden, frightening the robins and whacking at the hydrangeas with his cane."
"Guess you're glad to have the house back to yourself, huh?" Scrubbing my hair and stepping under the nozzle, I realized that he hadn't answered me. As soon as I could see again, I looked at my lover's face. "Lex?"
He avoided my gaze and pursed his lips as if in deep thought. "I have to tell you something," he said at last.
Trying to ignore the ominous tone in his voice, I rinsed the last of the suds off my head and gave him my full attention. "Tell me."
His eyes met mine solemnly. "I've asked Helen to move in with me."
Where it had only been undefined thoughts before, suddenly I got the clear mental image of him lying between her legs, fucking her hard in the same bed where he'd made love to me the night before. I'm sure my horror at the idea showed on my face as I answered simply, "Oh..."
"I'm sorry I couldn't tell you until after the fact. It happened very unexpectedly." My silence must have hinted at my fears, for he began, "This isn't about you, Clark," but I cut him off.
"Is that so? Moving in with the woman you're dating so your father doesn't give you hell because of me isn't about me?" I challenged him. "That makes a lot of sense," I added, sarcasm running thick in my voice.
"God, Clark, I knew you wouldn't take this well," he interjected, stepping out of the shower and grabbing a towel. "We've been over this before. You knew I liked her!"
Shutting off the water and joining him outside the curtain, I argued, "But I thought you loved me!"
"I do, baby," he insisted, reaching for my arm, though I moved out of range quickly. With a frustrated grimace, he went on. "My father may have tried to buy Helen off to get her to leave me, but there is some validity to his original challenge: I will have an easier time of it in the business world if I have a wife by my side." Addressing me carefully and sincerely, he added, "I really enjoy Helen's mind--her inquisitive personality. If I'm going to marry anyone, I think she's the kind of woman I could really call an equal partner."
Using the towel on my hair to hide my expression a little, I did some out-loud thinking. "So you're using Helen both to defy your father and to abide by his wishes all at the same time. Isn't that trying to have it both ways?"
That made him smile apologetically. "I guess I always want it all. I want you in my life--I just want her, too."
With a serious look, I couldn't let him go unchallenged. "But the castle has always been a place where we could be alone! I never thought I'd be forced to share it, even if I have to share you! Why can't we just go on the way we have been? Why does she have to move in with you?"
"I really want to see if I can make it work with her, even while I have you by my side, but I've got to make an effort. She's got to believe that I'm serious about her. If I were here all alone again, she'd suspect that you were spending all your free time here with me after I sent her away."
"Like last night, when I came waltzing in here of my own volition?" I asked, dropping my wet towel unceremoniously on the floor and stalking out of the room.
Hurriedly, he scooped up my towel and threw it along with his into a laundry hamper, then followed me into the bedroom. "It was late," he explained. "I didn't want to disturb your parents."
"How considerate," I snarled, feeling unwanted and out-of-place in Lex's house for the first time since we'd first kissed. "I didn't mind your using Helen as a beard for your father, but this sounds awfully official."
"It is," he replied. "Look, it's not like I'm moving in with just any woman at random, here. I like her. She's special to me. Maybe I don't want to risk losing her."
"But I might be an acceptable loss?"
This brought him up short. He stopped between me and the window where I had sought a neutral corner, and touched my arm gently. "Losing you would never be 'acceptable', Clark. You're special to me, too, more than Helen could ever be. If the law were on our side, I'd give you half of everything I owned. But I can't do that. All I can do is swear that I love you and will keep you in my life in whatever manner is possible."
My initial fury had dissipated somewhat when I looked into his sad blue eyes, so I didn't turn away from him. "How much does Helen know about us? Will she let you see me when you want?"
"She knows enough. She knows that you're going to get a certain amount of my attention, no matter what."
"Does she know that we're lovers, or is that going to be an issue anymore?"
"Dammit, Clark!" he exclaimed, starting to pace away, but coming back to grab my arms firmly and look me square in the eye. "I love making love with you. I'm not going to give that up, even if I marry Helen!" Before I could protest, he appended, very softly, "And I'd never ask you to give it up, either. You will always be the first one in my heart, the person I care about more than any other. She will just have to learn to live with that."
I knew Lex was promising me the moon and the stars as earnestly as he could, but whether he could deliver seemed very doubtful to me, and I tried very hard not to let my heart break in front of him. With as steady a voice as I could muster, I whispered, "Take me home," then looked away and went to find my t-shirt and pajama pants.
Silently, he slipped into his closet, then emerged a few moments later in clothes suitable for the office. "I'm sorry, Clark," he said at last. "I should have realized how hard this would be for you. Do you believe me when I tell you I love you, and would do anything I could for you?"
Not sure I could speak without my voice breaking, I swallowed back the tears on my tongue and nodded slightly. He moved to stand before me and grabbed me in his arms, hugging me so hard it must have hurt him, for which I was perversely glad. Pulling back, he kissed me roughly, jarring loose a droplet from my eye, which I did my best to ignore. "I love you, Lex," I said as soon as I could.
At that, he nodded with sorrow pinching his face so he looked like I felt. However, he said nothing more than, "Let's get you home."
Since then, so much has changed. If I didn't think that Helen's presence would separate us, these new revelations might do the trick instead. It would be easier if I didn't love Lex so much--I could take whatever affection he chose to give me and it wouldn't kill me to think of sharing him with anyone else. Besides, if I didn't love him, it wouldn't bother me to keep so many secrets from him.
I know myself and how I came to be here better now than I ever have before. So why do I feel so lost and confused?
Time to ask the waitress how to find my way back to Route 70, and head for home.
If Lex were with me, he'd at least have brought a map. Unfortunately, it wouldn't tell me which way to go from here...
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