In Which I Could Not Get Pete Laid. Sorry Pete.
Coming of age has never been more decadent, like they're splashed across the pages of some trendy new bestseller set in Manhattan or maybe Los Angeles, where pretentious people drink Starbucks coffee and talk about their sex lives with a little too much candor. The room's huge and cavernous in the dark, things hiding in the corners, but Pete's not looking.
The word is slumming, Pete. Learn to enjoy it.
Lex will tell this story someday, he thinks, burying his face in cool cotton, scented with detergent and sweat and sex. He'd expected silk.
A story that will start out with Lex laughing, surrounded by glittery people with too much money and too much time on their hands. Cocktail party, maybe, or some classy dinner where everyone has a anecdote about fucking in the lower classes to see if the orgasms are any better.
Lex will grin and pick up his glass and take a drink with that little twist to his wrist, that secret smile on his face. They'll all look at him and maybe they'll ask or maybe they'll just wait, because they know Lex Luthor and he'll tell. Of course he'll tell.
He'll put down the glass and say, interesting question. Or maybe he'll just smirk and wait until someoen shifts meaningfully and then lean into the table. Elbows pressed to cut glass or expensive, imported wood, polished to a high gloss to reflect the chandalier overhead.
I was very drunk, he'll say, and take another drink. Any more Cristal or should I call for something a little cheaper? Because I think this one should be told over whiskey.
So it won't be in a restaurant. Party at his penthouse maybe? French chateau? Italian villa? Who the fuck knows? Somewhere, though, maybe private, so he can send someone for whiskey, something aged twenty years or better, shot glasses emblazoned with his initials, and everyone will take one and everyone will look and everyone will wait.
I was very drunk, he'll begin, taking his shot in a single smooth motion. Very drunk. Just got finished trying to cause the deaths of a few dozen people in this rat ass town I was exiled to and then pretending to care. Had to watch my best friend have a breakdown in the hospital. All in all, a really full day. And we rich people like to get drunk afterward. High too, but Smallville just doesn’t have any good drugs.
God. Pete keeps his eyes closed, rubbing his face into the pillow. The haze of sweat drying slowly into his skin is making him too cool, but hell if he'll move yet. A shiver cuts him ass to shoulder from a light breeze, open window on the other side of the room. The significance of that he's not even going to bother examining.
No, he won't say that part. Even rich people like Lex might not want to advertise attempted murder.
I was very drunk, he'll say, and shake his head. Very drunk. And this kid shows up. My dad screwed his dad out of a creamed corn company. Business as usual, you know. Another shot, please.
He was mad, like all these little Smallville people are. You know the type. Like I give a shit about any of them. He came in and started yelling crap at me. Oh God no, I don't remember, why the fuck would I listen? Probably the usual. Doesn’t matter, it's not important to the story.
What's important is that he stopped.
And they'll all grin and ask, what happened next?
And what happened next, Pete?
Rosses don't hide. Never have. Pete doesn't, anyway. Pushing himself on his elbows, he takes a breath and opens his eyes, staring at the headboard. Vague shape painted in grey shadow, nothing he can identify now, though he remembers pale metal and how his fingers felt wrapped around it. Burned cold into his palms even now, and he rubs them into the sheets for the heat. It doesn't last.
What *did* happen next? This is the part where Lex will stop and smile again, maybe take another shot. Maybe because he doesn't know, but Pete doesn't buy that. He knows. Bastard knows everything--how to charm Clark into blind faith and the town into restrained ambivalence and his employees into a loyalty that Pete still doesn't understand.
Knows how to manipulate and what to say and how to say it. How to look up with blue eyes that seem open and honest and how to look like he's in pain.
How to apologize and make you believe he *means* it.
I said I was sorry, Lex will say, and that'll get some laughs. Disbelief and amusment and Lex, they'll say, you really did a number on him, didn't you? He didn't believe you, did he? Doesn't he *know* you?
Lex said he was sorry. Knows how to make it real and true, even when you know it's not, and--what *happened*? That's what they'll ask. Get to the good part, Lex. Tell us how you got this kid in bed. And why you wanted to, for that matter. I mean, really, do you just fuck anything that walks?
And Lex will laugh and consider taking another shot.
I said I was sorry, he'll say, and smirk. And he believed me. Not at first, but well, you know how that goes.
Yeah, they'll agree. Pull one over on the smalltown kid. Easy to do.
Very easy, he'll agree. He stopped talking and just stared at me. You know boys like that. Believe anything if you say it right. And he believed me. Maybe he wanted to, who the fuck knows, but he shut up. Just stared.
This is--so fucked up. Pete shuts his eyes again, rolling onto his back and wincing at pulled muscles and the soft burn, gritting his teeth against an involuntary exclamation. Fuck-drunk, maybe, the world moving too slow, and inches away, he can feel Lex. Long, too thin line of his body, like eating's an option, not a right. Pete doesn't turn his head because he chooses not to.
Lex, they'll say, getting impatient. Tell the story. Come *on*. What happened?
Sat down beside me. Took the brandy and started asking questions about this scientist. Nothing important.
Important, right. Like how Lex had pulled away, stumbling to his feet, and Pete would have sworn there was real hurt everywhere there. That no one was that good an actor. And when he stumbled into the end table, knocking over the lamp, Pete caught him. Shaking and cool skin and rumpled clothing, like he'd never seen Lex before, wet traces on his face that Pete didn't want to believe when he felt them with the tips of his fingers.