Title: Wintergreen (Nourishment 3.13)
Author: Janet F. Caires-Lesgold
Feedback to: jfc@freeshell.org
Archive: Mailing list archives only--others please ask permission!
Category: Angst, Lex POV
Spoilers: Missing scene from "Memoria"
Rating: PG-13 for suggestions of m/m sexual behavior
Pairing: Clark/Lex established relationship
Summary: A rescue

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 in this archive - Enjoy!

DEDICATION: For Tiff, who watches over these boys as closely as I do.

COPYRIGHT: (C) Janet F. Caires-Lesgold, September 14, 2004, 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 hates my father. After today's events, I don't blame him a bit.

I won't deny that my lover and I have grown distant in recent weeks, though I can't really sum up the reasons easily. He doesn't trust me enough to tell me his secrets, even about the most innocuous things, and he's started to doubt my intentions, taking my investigation of my father far too personally for my comfort.

So I must admit my surprise at his approaching my old man about my involvement with Dr. Garner's research. Even though Clark ended up getting caught in his trap, I have to admire his sheer guts at contacting my dad.

Never did I want Clark to get mixed up in my self-explorations, and I certainly didn't want him to be hurt by them. I had never imagined that the green in the bath of the memory well could have come from the poisonous meteor rocks. Going by the minty smell of the room, I had thought that it was just some additive to make it more pleasant than the active chemicals.

It came as a complete shock to me to find a motionless Clark submerged in the solution when I went back to Garner's lab to see what the alarms meant. With all of the sparks and downed cables in the room, I thought for a moment he'd been electrocuted. Thank God he was able to speak to me after I cracked open the side of the tank and let the fluid drain out. I knew I wouldn't have been able to lift him out of there if he had been unconscious, but then, you know what they say about loved ones in crisis and adrenaline...

The broken edges of the safety glass crumbled easily as I whacked them away with a steel rod. As soon as it was safe to do so, I reached into the frame of the tank for a limp, groggy Clark. Working as quickly as I could at an odd angle, I released him from the fastenings in the suspension basket, then half-dragged him to me.

"C'mere, baby," I encouraged as I tried to get him to sit up on the edge of the platform.

"Wait, Lex," he hesitated, a look of extreme discomfort crossing his face.

I couldn't tell quite what was wrong, so I asked, "Does it hurt?"

"No, I..." He interrupted himself with an expression of horror, whereupon he grabbed the frame before him, leaned out, and threw up on my shoes. I left my hand on his shoulder for support as the spasm passed, then brushed his hair away from his forehead gently. "Oh, God! I'm so sorry!" he started apologizing as soon as he could speak.

"That's okay. They were ruined anyway. Feel better?" Any further questions regarding his presence there would have to wait until later.

"No," he answered, looking miserable as he crawled carefully out of the hole in the side of the tank.

"The washroom's down there," I advised, pointing to the other end of the hall. "Can you get there by yourself?" With a nod, he splashed off barefoot through the last of the green solution on the floor. I yelled after him, "There's a shower in there, too, so you can get that stuff off of you."

Once he had shut himself in the men's room, and I was alone except for the nearly-inert figure of Dr. Garner, who still twitched on the stairs. I nudged him a little with my foot, not sure if he were alive or dead, until two paramedics came running into the room.

"Is anybody else in here?" the taller one asked, scanning the area quickly.

"My friend was here during the accident, but he's in the shower right now. I'll take care of him--thanks. You'd better see about the doctor." He nodded his agreement and bent to join his partner over the lab-coated body.

Trying to stay out of the way, I stepped closer to the workstations to one side and found a scrap of red fabric discarded over a chair. Upon further investigation, I recognized it as one of Clark's favorite red t-shirts, now shredded and unwearable. The rest of his clothes had to be nearby, so I started poking around the debris of the lab to locate them.

Sure enough, his ridiculously huge workboots stood in front of a narrow closet, whose door I opened to find his denim jacket, jeans, and his leather belt. My fingers ran over the familiar contours of the belt buckle as I fondly recalled all of the times I'd unfastened it, still warm from his body, to touch his naked skin and give him pleasure. Before I could get more sentimental, I folded it out of sight between the other two articles of clothing, carried them and his boots over to the washroom, and knocked on the door.

"Lex? Is that you?" he hollered over the spray of the shower as I slipped into the cubicle of steel partitions and steam-dampened tile. A pair of red neoprene shorts lay peeled inside-out on the floor in the toilet stall.

"Yeah, Clark. I brought your clothes."


"Have you got everything you need?"

"Are there towels out there? I was a little rushed when I came in here."

"Sure thing." In a few minutes the water was shut off, so I grabbed a towel out of a nearby cabinet and stood by the shower stall door until it opened. Modestly, I avoided looking at him while I handed him the thick terrycloth rectangle so he could dart back inside and dry off in privacy. "Do you still feel sick?" I asked.

"A little, but I'll be okay." He opened the door again and stepped out, toweling his hair while unapologetically naked in front of me. "Does my hair still smell like that stuff? I hope I got it all out."

When he bent his head to me, I stole a longing glance at his body, then closed my eyes and sniffed politely. "Nope--it's all gone," I reassured him, then turned to reach for his pants.

Thanking me, he took the garment and put it on quickly with the towel draped around his neck, seemingly more embarrassed about being shirtless than completely unclothed. He lowered the toilet lid, tossed the towel on the floor to protect his feet from the wet, greenish footprints around it, and sat down to lace up his boots.

Clark looked a little more healthy when he stood up and came for his jacket. "Sorry about your shirt," I said. "Looked like they were pretty eager to get you out of it."

"Yeah," he chuckled humorlessly as he buttoned the coat over his flawless skin. "It's been awhile since anyone was so impatient to get my clothes off."

I could have made a wisecrack about him ripping off my shirt to uncover the wire I had worn to obtain dirt on my father, but it didn't seem the place. Instead, I pretended that he hadn't been aiming his barb at me and blandly offered, "Come on--let's get you home."

We stopped at a nearby pharmacy to pick up something to settle his stomach, then drove back to the farm in near silence except for the blare of my car radio. My beautiful boy smelled of cool mint again, this time from the antacid, while his closed-off mood chilled me to the bone.

In the driveway of the farmhouse, Clark lingered in my car for a moment like he wanted to explain something, but he said nothing. It was tempting to take him in my arms and comfort him, or at least kiss him on the temple before sending him in to his mother's loving care, but I dared not touch him. Whether that was due to my fear of being rejected or the possibility that I'd not be able to stop once I started, even in view of his parents, I couldn't exactly say. Instead, I promised to come back and check on him later, which earned me a crooked smile and a nod before he got out and climbed the steps home.

As we determined on my later visit, my father's desire to keep my memories lost resulted in injury to the person I love most in this world. Clark nearly sacrificed himself to protect me, making him a target of my father's fascination. If we love each other that much, why can't we communicate honestly about everything and be together?

Clark hates my father, apparently for good reason. Meanwhile after all these years, I realize that Dad hates me--maybe has since I was a child. If I ever get all of my memories back, will Clark end up hating me, too?



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