So. Happyfic. No, really. Happyfic. Seriously! Happyfic! It's total cotton candy goodness. Written for Nonchop, who asked for something happy, and egged on by Madelyn, who kept saying, in a terrifyingly awed voice "Pretty When You're Mine is your *happiest* WiP."
Anyway. The Epilogue at the end is by our darling svmadelyn who felt, deeply, that the goo needed more resolution. And she was right.
Frantic (Or, The Day There Were No Porkchops) by jenn
Toppy Lex, frantic Clark, lots of sex, futurefic, happy ending. Aside from that, go nuts.
That's so old that even Clark can't believe he said it. There are only so many excuses without resorting to concussions and the X-Files, though, and right, so sometimes he forgets who he used what with. It happens. From the tone of Lex's voice, this is one of those times. Lex can't even make himself pretend to believe long enough to get back to the castle and start really wondering. Or lair. Whatever the hell he's calling it these days.
This day had to come, Clark thinks glumly, staring at the road beyond his steering wheel. Somewhere far behind them is something gooey and iridescent green, and it's probably following them, but no, Lex couldn't worry about that. That would be *sensible*. That would be *productive*. No, the guy has to get all obsesso about Clark's *excuses* dammit, and that just wasn't fair at all.
"You are telling me," and Lex manages to fill that sentence with the kind of disbelief usually reserved for old lady Taylor, convinced that her rocking chair was trying to assault her virtue in her sleep, "you are telling me that it was *adrenaline*--"
"We're kind of running for our lives here," Clark grinds out between clenched teeth. He could have said metal fatigue. Or knocked Lex out. Or that Lex imagined it--oh, no, they're not taking that route again; that can only end up places where Lex is armed to the teeth and talking to disembodied children, and his aim is disturbingly good when he's crazy. Not going to happen. If Lex wants better excuses, he can damn well start making them up on his own. "Could we stop--"
"I don't believe you are still trying to *pull* this shit--and you're about to run off the road, could you fucking *get back on the asphalt before you kill us*?"
Clark steers to the right and wishes, with all his heart, that Lana had been the one in danger, not Lex, because at least Lana *shuts up* for awhile, and oh God, that green goo is closing in *fast*.
"After *fifteen fucking years*--"
"Christ, Lex." And now Lex is throwing *this* up in his face, and it might be yesterday in Smallville, except Lex at twenty-one would have just quietly gathered evidence for the future confrontation, while this one, who, by the way, is being a total *ass* about being rescued, just sits there, making righteous noises, like he has oh so much moral high ground--
"--you think that excuse still *works*?"
"I can so leave you for the goo, Lex."
Lex kicks the dashboard with one shoe. Those anger management classes never did take, Clark reflects, feeling a little nostalgic. "Fuck you."
"Whatever. Get your seatbelt on."
From the corner of his eye, Clark sees Lex's disbelieving look, like it is just the stupidest thing he's ever said in his life, but at least he listens, and Clark turns the truck as sharply as he dares. There's a plan involved here somewhere, but Clark's not sure what it is yet. He just watched the goo eat through a small herd of Belgian goats, and wonder of wonders, Clark hadn't known they *had* Belgian goats in Smallville. A lot of Blob movie references come to mind, but nothing useful. Except at the end of the movie, where the Blob is taken off to the Arctic to await the sequel, but hell if Clark's going to share prime frozen real estate with that thing.
Beside him, Clark can hear Lex's mumbled threats and promises, the endearing kind that involve cutlery, meteor rock baths, and Clark's hide. Yes, that's very productive, Lex. Just keep being that helpful.
"Could you use that brain of yours for something *useful* for a change?" Clark asks rhetorically, wishing that just once, visits home wouldn't degenerate into some kind of late night television drama. It's not that much to ask. Come home for dinner and pie, visit his childhood hangouts, watch some TV, maybe David Letterman, then go to bed at a decent hour. It's nice. He's heard of those things happening. To other people. But not him.
No. He gets goo.
If he was as paranoid as, say, oh, some of the *other* people in the truck, he just might think that it had something to do with *him*.
"...and I know better than to come down here when you're visiting your parents," Lex is mumbling, clinging to the armrest like he's developed a fatal attraction for faded vinyl. "Every fucking time...."
"Will you *shut up* already? What is that thing?"
Lex looks at him like he's grown a second head. "What the hell do you *mean*? I have no clue what that is!"
"It's on Lexcorp land!"
"I own most of the county! Of *course* it's going to be on my land! Where else would it be? The fucking *sky*?"
Fifteen minutes ago, a blissful fifteen minutes, Clark was taking a quiet country drive, enjoying the smells of the day, fresh corn and wind and muffins, from the box his mom sent along. It was perfect, with a bright blue sky, waving yellow corn, and happy bird singing. Days didn't get better than that.
But then there was goo, and there was Lex on the hood of his Bentley, shooting at it of all godforsaken things, and Clark still has no idea what he thought *that* would accomplish, except maybe that Lex has gotten a little too friendly with firearms over the last few years. When 'a little' can translate as 'sleeps with them in bed', and yes, Clark knows that knowing that is probably way above and beyond the call of duty, but hey, he goes that extra mile. He's a good vigilante superhero like that.
Taking a deep breath, Clark focuses. "Okay, did you see where it came from?"
"Out of the field. I wasn't exactly watching for it."
"And shooting it seemed a good reason because--"
Lex doesn't answer, but Clark sees his hand twitch to his pocket, like he's fantasizing about using his gun on Clark's head. It doesn't have Kryptonite bullets, which is kind of a relief. That means that Lex wasn't involved in anything really nefarious out here. Probably contemplating more buying, or selling, or hell, how his car looked in the middle of a dusty road--
"Lex? Why are you in Smallville?"
And now Lex shuts up. Bastard. Clark checks the rearview mirror, then the gas gauge. He's not sure it's actually chasing them--after all, it might not be sentient--but on the other, he doesn't want to lead it back to town, either, or home, and he's really close to running out of gas. Which just sucks any way he looks at it. Concussion or imagination? Concussion or imagination? Maybe--
"I don't think that's any of your business," Lex says, with an edge of martyrdom that makes Clark grit his teeth. "But if you must know, I'm recovering from a bitter divorce--"
"Lex, you left her on a deserted island for a month and called her Helen the Third. *Please*."
"She was trying to kill me!"
"And you're not seeing a pattern here? You *marry psychopaths*. You date normal women, then you marry the scary ones. I mean, even Mom was saying--"
"Don't you dare bring your mother into this--"
"I'm just saying, serving her papers on a beach in the Bermuda Triangle after a month of isolation might have been a little over the top, you know?" Clark vaguely remembers prying the knife out of her hand before handing her over to the Met Police Department. Lex's ex-wives have their own cellblock. He hears they've started a bridge club recently.
Lex just looks out the windshield. "I was upset."
Imagine that. "Lex--"
"I don't want to talk about it."
If only Clark could get that in writing. And they are quickly running out of gas. Stupid non-fuel-efficient farm trucks from the eighties.
The field is coming quickly to another road, and a glance back shows no goo in sight. Right. Get rid of Lex somewhere, one, since there's no phone booth and Lex won't fall for that shit anyway, and two--well, there isn't a two. Go fight it, though Clark's unsure what to do with goo, but hey, he'll wing it. Three, get home in time for pork chops.
"Where are we?" Lex is squinting out the windshield in a really weird way. "Because it looks like you are trying to *drive us into the goo*."
And there's the goo, and maybe it's not sentient, but damned if it isn't following them. Probably following Lex, Clark thinks resentfully. Weird things happen to Clark, but only Lex and Lana get stalked by Kryptonite induced danger. Somewhat sentient Kryptonite induced danger.
The truck hates the turn, but it gets them on an alternate course, and Lex stares out the back window. "Clark. I think it's waving at me."
Case in point. "Just. Sit still."
It couldn't be an insane wife, girlfriend, or former nemesis stalking them. Not a disgruntled employee, a new vigilant superhero with something to prove, or even Lex's father, come back from the grave for the *third* time to wreck havoc (and why didn't anyone think to remove that damn ring he wore anyway? At least after the second time?). No. It was goo. Goo that slithered and, yes, a check out the windshield shows it's doing something ripply that could be waving.
"Lex! Don't wave back!" Reaching wildly, Clark drags down Lex's arm. "It's not a voter!"
"I'm *trying* to establish good relations with the thing that's trying to kill me."
"And waving at it while it plots your death is going to do it? I'm sure the *shooting* convinced it of your good intentions. And again, why were you shooting at it?"
Lex jerks his arm away and curls into the seat, one shoe on the dashboard, and he's never looked closer to a sulky adolescent. It's endearing, or would be, if imminent demise wasn't in their future.
"We're kind of running out of options here." Clark gives the rearview mirror another glance. It's not gaining on them, but that stuff seems to travel pretty fast. Things chasing Lex usually do.
"You're the one that does the rescuing. You figure something out." Lex kicks his other foot up on the dashboard in a flagrant attempt to annoy Clark.
"That is so like you!" And it really is. "Oh Clark, rescue me, homicidal girlfriend, oh Clark, rescue me, psychotic ex-football star, oh Clark, rescue me, *I dropped the can opener*, did you really think I'd fall for that shit?"
Lex grins. "The view was worth it."
"No one else dropped a can opener every single time I had to deliver produce."
"Yet you never stopped bending over."
That's true. "We're about to run out of gas."
Lex looks smug. "So start rescuing."
This isn't an improvement.
A few months ago, when Clark was still sane and Lex was still trying to conquer China using mind controlling video games, Clark had discovered yoga through Lois, who thought he was way too tense for a guy his age. Clark's not sure what really made him go--could have been agreement with her, or his parents' worried looks, or the fact that the soothing whale song alternative had cost The Daily Planet a CD player, and wow, that had taken some fancy verbal footwork to explain why it ended up imbedded in solid stone in the old LuthorCorp building. It's still there today. Clark sometimes looks at it to remind himself that there are fates worse than death. They most definitely involve whale song.
Yoga has taught him patience, and breath control, and how to do some seriously strange body positions. It's supposed to help him find inner peace and tranquility, and there's even a mantra involved. Clark has a special one, and he's using it now. He saves it for occasions like this.
"Lex is not evil, merely misdirected and corrupted by power. He will discover the error of his ways. Lex is not evil--"
"*That's* your yoga mantra?"
Clark opens his eyes and glares at Lex, one branch over. The loss of his suit jacket and the artistically open collar of his shirt, revealing strangely vulnerable and soft-looking skin, isn't distracting at *all*. Clark shuts his eyes again. "We all have our ways of finding inner peace."
"We are about to be killed by sentient killer goo," Lex says slowly, and Clark finds it annoying on a lot of levels that Lex isn't even rumpled. Just sitting there, oozing sexy disbelief in overpriced silk blend and black socks, like he is so put upon to have Clark rescuing him from certain demise. Clark keeps noticing that his own jeans have holes in the knees. "We are in a tree. The situation isn't improving."
Considering that they just watched the truck being dissolved, no, it's not. The goo circled the tree a few minutes ago, but hasn't made any attempt to finish the job. If worst comes to worst, Clark can fly them out, but the way Lex is acting, he's just not sure he wants to take the trouble of pretending there's a logical reason to knock him out.
"It doesn't seem to be attacking." There's no reason for it not to, but Clark's learned a lot about pure evil, and that even in goo form, it conforms to neither human nor Kryptonian logic. It makes bubbly noises, similar to Zombie Lionel's evil laughter, and then groaning noises, like it's telling them its fiendish plans for their messy deaths. A few key pauses make Clark think it expects a response of some kind.
"I'm aware of that," Lex answers, twisting up onto his knees to look down. "It's still waving."
"Did you have some kind of experiment going on that got out of hand?" Clark asks. He hasn't forgotten the army of killer chickens that were supposed to lay genetically superior eggs and possibly take over civilization. The memory of the sheer amount of fried chicken Mom had made him take back to Metropolis with him isn't a pleasant one.
"Why the hell would I create sentient goo?"
"I never did get a good answer about those chickens, either."
Lex throws up both hands, letting go of the branch. Clark's heart stops, but Lex is a Luthor and of all the ways he could die today, none of them involve anything as déclassé as falling off a tree branch. "Can you stop harping on that?"
Right. Let's just pretend that Lex *never* has experiments that get totally out of control and almost destroy the world as they know it. "Do you have any better ideas?"
"I think getting the hell out of this tree would be a good start."
Clark's beginning to agree. The goo is looking a little proactive. A tentacle waves at him with merry menace, reminding him a little of Lex during his transitional phase from Corporate Sociopath to Mad Scientist. "You know--"
Lex gives him a hard look. Below them, the goo starts to ooze up the tree, and the wave of faint sickness is the deciding factor. Shit.