Notes: For Madelyn’s Smallville Flash Fiction Challenge 2.0. The prompt was: Clex, “What on earth are you wearing?” For Lacey McBain.
Warnings: Extreme silliness.
Lex couldn’t quite contain his laughter.
Clark glared at him, and the wounded look on his face almost made Lex feel bad, but really, Clark had brought this on himself.
“You’re the one who’s always calling me ‘farmboy,’” Clark protested, spreading his arms. “I thought I’d take a page from your book.”
It was too much. Lex wasn’t sure he could speak.
“First of all,” Lex said, gripping the edge of the bar for balance. “Purple isn’t really your color. Second of all, you have never seen me wear leather pants, ever. And certainly not…” Lex blinked, unsure that he was seeing this right, “…purple leather pants.”
Clark looked down at himself and Lex almost fell over.
“Clark, where did you even get those? And the shirt…”
“Oh, come on. You wear purple silk shirts all the time.”
“Not with… Honestly, have you even looked in a mirror?” Clark scowled at him. Lex didn’t mean to hurt his feelings, but it was true: Clark was a beautiful, sulking, pouting purple monstrosity. If Lex weren’t so appalled and blinded, he might be turned on.
“Fine. You know what? Fine.” Clark huffed angrily, and started to unbutton his shirt.
“Oh, no, look. I’m kidding, Clark.”
In a flash, Clark had his shirt off, and Lex’s breath caught in his throat for a whole different reason.
Clark was naked from the waist up, and Lex's eyes traveled up Clark's shiny golden skin, chiseled abs, and perfect shoulders.
Clark threw the silk shirt onto a chair across the room and sat down on the couch, leaning back and resting his feet on the ottoman.
“There. It’s gone. Happy now? Let’s just watch the movie, Lex.”
Happy didn’t quite cover it.
If Lex didn’t know better, he’d think Clark was smirking.
Clark was not having a good night.
This whole experience was unbelievably surreal. The first thing that made it surreal was the fact that it was a Christmas costume party. That was the curse of living in a small town: attending cutesy, costume-required events with your parents at the mansion of your crush and, up until tonight, potential boyfriend.
But now that had all gone out the window, and Clark had no one to blame but himself. When his mother had insisted on making his costume, he should have been paying attention. When the words “Nutcracker” and “Fantasia” came up, that really should have set off the alarm bells in his head. When his mother presented him with the final product, he should have simply run away. He could be in Michigan by now. Or Peru.
The worst part of it all was that he’d been working so hard recently to impress Lex and, crazy as it sounded, he thought it might be working. God, he looked so, so stupid. And rather unmanly. Lex hadn’t spoken to him all evening, and that alone was enough to make him feel more than a little bitter and sulky. Which would be worth it if it meant that Lex hadn’t seen him, but he knew that wasn’t the case.
“Hey,” the familiar low voice came from behind him.
He turned to find Lex standing less than a foot away, somehow managing to look suave and sexy in a green elf suit.
Lex smiled. “You make a very cute flower.”
Clark’s heart skipped a beat. Was Lex flirting with him? That had to be flirting, right? And the way Lex was looking at him. Like he was some kind of tasty dessert, slathered in honey. It made Clark’s insides twist and his stomach flutter.
See, this was the sort of thing that made him wonder. It seemed like too much to hope, but maybe Lex felt the same way. This was killing him, and he wanted, he needed to know, and well… how could this night get any worse? After you were dressed as a flower, was there really any difference in admitting you were a gay flower? He might as well take the plunge.
“Lex, could we go someplace to talk?”
Lex nodded, led him out into the hallway, and looked at him questioningly.
“Everything all right, Clark?”
“Yeah, Lex, I just wanted to ask you…I mean, I wanted you to know…” His mouth was suddenly very, very dry. “This is hard. I have feel—I… I mean, I’m… Look, you probably already figured this out, what with the flower costume and all… but I’m, well, I’m not exactly norm—”
Clark pushed a big cloth petal out of his face and took a deep breath. “I’m gay, Lex.”
Lex didn’t say anything for a moment but continued to gaze at Clark evenly.
“I’m glad you feel comfortable sharing this with me,” he said finally.
For a second, Clark couldn’t move. That wasn’t the answer he’d expected.
“Okay…” Maybe he needed to be clearer. ”No, see… I like you. I mean, I really, really like you.”
Lex rolled his eyes.
“Stop it,” Clark bit out, trying to look indignant, though he suspected the brightly colored ring of petals framing his face muted the effect somewhat. It gave him some measure of comfort to know that Lex was wearing green tights, too. Though Lex somehow managed to wear them with more dignity.
Lex looked away and laughed bitterly, his elf hat slipping down his brow just a little. “Clark, do you have any idea how much trouble I could get into?”
Clark brightened. “Oh, none at all.” Clark flashed his most winning smile. “I’m very good at keeping secrets.”
Surprisingly, that got a laugh out of Lex.
“Come on,” Lex said, moving away, leaving Clark to stare at the back of his bright green hat. “Let’s go rejoin the party.”
Clark cheeks were burning. “That’s it? That’s all you have to say?”
“Look, I appreciate it, Clark. I’m flattered. I really am. But considering the situation, I think it would be best if we forget we had this conversation.”
Clark stomped a green boot angrily. “No! No, Lex. I don’t want to forget it. Do you have any idea how long I’ve wanted to tell you this? And I know you want me. I can tell, I’m not an idiot. God, you’re such a fucking liar.”
“I think we should just be friends,” Lex said evenly.
“Well then stop checking out my ass.”
Lex froze. His eyes flashed angrily, and bore into Clark’s with such intensity that Clark shrank back a little. Had he said that last bit just a little too loud? The party was just around the corner, and if he really had shouted… that would explain why Lex was now gripping his elbow and dragging him down the hallway. Probably wanted to bring him into the office for a more private place to yell at Clark. And Clark knew exactly what Lex would say: Clark was being inappropriate, Lex was an adult, Clark was a child, this could get Lex in serious trouble, and blah, blah, blah.
So he was more than a little surprised when Lex pulled him into the dark hall closet instead. And he was even more surprised when Lex kissed him softly, slid his tongue between Clark’s parted lips, and brushed his thumbs against Clark’s cheekbones. His knees felt weak, and he could smell the scent of Lex’s soap. It was a smell that would stay with him for the rest of his life.
When Lex finally broke off the kiss, he struggled to catch his breath.
Clark smiled into the darkness. “You make a cute elf.”
For Clark’s twenty-first birthday, Lex agreed to do whatever Clark wanted for the evening. Clark had yet to inform him what exactly that would entail. As he waited outside Clark’s dorm, he started to regret that decision. Why would he agree to such a thing?
Lex jumped. Clark was standing next to his car, dressed in a formal 18th century ensemble, with long coattails and a frilly pink shirt.
“No. No way.”
“You said whatever I want…”
“You want to humiliate yourself?”
“You don’t think it’s sexy?”
“Come on, Lex, the first time you kissed me I was dressed as a flower.”
“Go. Change. Now.”
Clark needed a costume.
Lex had some ideas. He’d been talking about it for weeks, planning, visualizing, drawing sketches, and using words like “stealth” and “fear” and “power.”
Clark wasn’t sure if those were the qualities he wanted to convey.
He appreciated Lex's help, he really did. More than anything, he didn't want to disappoint Lex and he had to admit that Lex's fashion sense was decidedly better than his own. It had been years since he'd given up his fashion independence and allowed Lex to start dressing him. His closet was now almost completely devoid of flannel.
But this was different. This was personal. This is about who he was, who he wanted to be, for himself and for the world. If he were to go public, as it were, and become, well, a superhero, he was going to have to do it on his own terms.
It wasn't a task he took lightly. He went on a pilgrimage around the world, seeking out others who chose the hero path, watching (spying on) them, studying their methods, purpose, motives, and, most importantly... their costumes. It was fascinating. The colors they chose to dress themselves in…it was like…like a pure reflection of their truest selves. Like they were wearing their souls on the outside. Clark loved them all, the archer's green cloth, the canary's black leather, or the runner's red spandex.
But enlightenment came at his final destination, in Gotham. After days of searching, he finally managed to catch a glimpse of the Batman. The man was dressed in all black, with thick Kevlar body armor and a stiff cape. He moved quickly and gracefully, and he seemed to be not at all what Clark had expected. Clark watched from the shadows, transfixed, as Batman pummeled a couple of thugs into submission. It was insane, and Clark knew that he really should step in and stop it, but something made him pause. He was here to observe and to learn. Batman’s violence was controlled, purposeful; the blows were designed to hurt without doing any permanent harm.
So he stayed in the shadows, watching. That seemed like a good plan. There wasn’t any way Batman could see him. So it didn’t concern him at first when Batman turned towards him and looked straight in his direction.
It took him a moment to realize what was happening. It couldn’t be…there was no way Batman could see him. And yet he did. A cold shiver ran up Clark’s spine. He wasn’t used to feeling afraid like this.
When Batman didn’t look away, Clark cleared his throat. “Uh, Hi. Hello.”
Batman narrowed his eyes.
Not too fast, not fast enough to be superhuman. Not fast enough to give Batman any indication that he was anything other than a normal boy lost in the wrong alleyway.
Just fast enough to… Get. Away.
After he was absolutely sure he'd lost him, Clark sped up and ran all the way home.
Lex was waiting up for him with drawings in his hand and a dangerous glimmer in his eye.
“Here, I’ve got it,” Lex purred, and led him over to the desk.
Spreading the paper across the surface, Lex grinned in satisfaction as he revealed his plans.
The outfit… it actually looked scarier than Batman’s costume. It was designed to cover every inch of his body and all of his face except his eyes, which Lex had not-too-subtly colored in fire red.
“Not only will you be able to sneak up on people,” Lex explained proudly, “but you’ll look damn sexy, too.”
And that’s when it dawned on him. Why everything Lex suggested about his costume sounded so wrong. He didn’t want to be scary. He didn’t want people to fear him. He wanted to inspire hope, and love, and kindness, and… stuff like that.
Besides, black wasn’t really his color.
Clark smiled to himself. It was time to prepare.
The next day, Lex caught him leaving the apartment and asked where he was going.
“Oh, you know. Out... shopping,” he muttered.
“By yourself?” Lex raised an eyebrow, and it was clear he didn't think this a good idea at all. “What exactly are you planning on buying?”
Clark smiled. “Something black.” He gave Lex a quick peck on the lips and slipped out the door.
It wasn't a lie, he thought, as he pulled the thick, black-rimmed glasses off the wall.
Blue, Red, and Yellow
The best thing about having a young, gorgeous, out-of-the-closet boyfriend was being able to show him off at parties.
At least it would be, theoretically, if Clark didn’t insist on dressing himself.
Lex didn’t think anything could be worse than the flannel. But he had been horribly, horribly wrong. It wasn’t just that all of Clark's shirts clashed with his ties like some finely crafted diabolical scheme. And it wasn’t just that all his suits were made of 100 percent polyester. It was that the man couldn’t buy a suit that actually fit him to save his life.
Lex sighed as he glanced over at Clark, wearing a tux that was clearly two sizes too large for him, and Lex really couldn’t imagine how that had happened, since Lex had sent him to his tailor.
But no matter how much Lex protested, Clark wouldn’t let him come clothes shopping anymore. Clark said Lex was too controlling, and that he didn’t want to be “stifled” any longer.
“Take it or leave it, baby.” Clark had told him, smirking. “Love all of me or love me not at all.” He then spun around and strode away.
And Lex ran after him and tackled him on the couch.
It really wasn't much of a choice.
Still, on days like this one, he longed for the time when Clark would let Lex dress him in an Armani.
The tux Clark was wearing didn’t show off his beautiful form at all. And the glasses… he couldn’t even comprehend why Clark insisted on wearing those horrible glasses. But Clark had made it very clear that he wanted control over his own wardrobe for a while, so Lex resolved to stop complaining about Clark’s clothing and to just enjoy spending time with him.
But Lex’s evening only went downhill from there, as the ceiling of the ballroom collapsed on top of him.
But that wasn't the bad part. The bad part came after, when Lex was still coughing from the dust in the air. His vision began to clear, and he could make out a blurry form of red and blue looming over him.
Lex didn’t think anything could be worse than the polyester suits.
He had been horribly, horribly wrong.
“Clark!” Lex couldn’t quite wrap his mind around it. “What the hell?”
“What?” Clark asked.
“What on earth are you wearing?”
“Wha—oh!” Clark looked down at himself. “Hey!” He made a little cutting motion across his neck. “Ix-nay on the Lark-cay!”
“What am I supposed to call you?” Lex retorted. “Spandex-man?”
“No,” Clark said indignantly, puffing his chest out. “You can call me ‘Superman.’”
“Yeah, right.” Lex snorted. “No way.”
Clark sighed. “Well, at least call me ‘Kal’, okay? I’m undercover here.”
“If you think I’m going to be seen with you while you’re wearing that, you’re crazy. I swear, Cl—Kal—this is the last straw."
Clark opened his mouth to protest, but Lex cut him off.
"Next time, I’m coming to the tailor with you.”