Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Clark/Lex
Genres: Challenge, Drama
Rating (this chapter): PG-13
Halloween Challenge Prompt: Lex has a painting/statue that comes to life.
Summary (this chapter): Clark requests to borrow books on Alexander the Great from Lex.
Date Of Completion: October 24, 2007
Dates Of Posting: October 31, 2007/November 1, 2007
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC and Warner Brothers do, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1182
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: Written for the old_school_clex Halloween Challenge.
Also fits the 2007 DCU Fic/Art Halloween Challenge run by me! J Again, I used too many prompts to list, but my Special Prompt is ‘Magic Spell’.
All chapters can be found here.
Clark walked up the front driveway and took deep lungfuls of autumn air. His heightened senses loved this time of year: the smell of apples fresh off the trees, the sound of wind rustling through trees as the blue sky framed the brilliantly-colored leaves as they fell to earth.
His mouth watered at the thought of his mom’s apple and pumpkin pies. The harvest was all in and his mother had canned preserves and stored in the root cellar. The long winter would be filled with wonderful homegrown food.
As the Luthor mansion came into view, Clark felt happiness surge through him. He loved coming over here and seeing Lex. He always felt relaxed around him, especially since the older man never mocked his naivete and almost complete lack of sophistication.
He did feel like a country bumpkin at times next to his sleek, sophisticated friend with his expert knowledge of wines, exotic places, foreign languages, history…
In fact, history was the reason that Clark was here. Clark had chosen Alexander the Great for his history term paper, and Lex was an expert on the Macedonian.
He rang the doorbell and smiled as he heard Lex’s footsteps. Lex’s curiosity would cause him to open the door if he was close enough even if the staff was in residence.
The door was opened and Lex smiled to match Clark. “Why, hello, Clark.”
“Come on in.”
Clark entered the palatial foyer, Lex closing the door behind him.
“Always glad to see you, Clark.”
“Come on into the library.”
Clark followed Lex through the familiar halls.
“The library is the perfect place.”
“Yes. I’d like to borrow some books on Alexander the Great.”
A pleased tone entered Lex’s voice. “Well, I certainly have many to choose from.”
They entered the library, the sun shining through the stained-glass windows, creating diamond-shaped rainbow patterns on the walls and floor. Clark loved the designs, and he always felt comfortable here.
It was easy with Lex.
“Okay, here are the books.” Lex indicated a large selection in the bookshelf. “I can recommend several. How many do you need?”
“It’s for a term paper. I need some basics. No tomes in Greek.” Clark winked.
Lex laughed. “Okay, let’s start with Mary Renault’s The Nature Of Alexander…”
After going through the collection, Lex stacked up eight books on his desk. “You can keep them as long as you want.”
“Thanks, Lex.” Clark pointed to the bookshelf. “What about those books by Mary Renault?”
Lex chuckled lightly. “They’re novels written about Alexander. The Persian Boy is told from the viewpoint of Bagoas, an ex-slave who falls in love with Alexander. That’s the second book in her trilogy. The first book, Fire From Heaven, is about Alexander’s younger years and focuses on him and his childhood friend, Hephaestion.”
“Hephaestion? His most trusted friend, and later his most trusted general?”
Lex nodded. “They’re good books, but the facts you need are in the others.”
Clark smiled. He made a mental note about the novels, then riffled through the pages of the first book. “Oh, yeah.”
“They were also lovers.”
Lex turned back to the bookcase. “Yes, there’s some pretty strong evidence to back that up.”
Clark’s fingers ran over the pages. “These are great, Lex.”
Lex turned back with s smile. “Glad I can help, Clark.”
“I do know he was a pretty dynamic personality.”
“Very much.” Lex glanced out through one of the clear windows at the gardens. “He clashed with Philip, his father, and Olympia, his mother, who was twisted and possessive. After his father’s death he assumed kingship of Macedonia and then went on to conquer the known world by the age of thirty-three.”
“Sounds very ambitious,” Clark said teasingly.
“Oh, I’d say a bit.”
Lex’s smile warmed Clark’s insides.
“So, you’re taking Ancient Civilizations this semester.”
Clark nodded. “I’ve already taken modern World History and still keep American History on my schedule, but I thought learning about ancient humans would be interesting.”
Clark had two reasons beyond that: he wished to know all he could about his adopted planet, and also Lex knew and enjoyed so much ancient history, especially Alexander the Great, that Clark wanted to know more about the subject, too. He didn’t want to be ignorant in front of Lex. He wanted to be a sophisticated intellectual companion for him.
“I’d like to show you something.”
Clark followed Lex out into the formal gardens with their neat hedges, sparkling fountains, and marble statuary.
In one small grove were two statues, carved in ancient Greek battle dress.
The shorter statue had a leonine head, a bold, determined expression on his face as he gazed out over the brightly-colored hedges and flowers. The taller statue was wearing an expression that was calmer but just as confident.
Lex waved his hand. “Alexander and Hephaestion.”
Clark gazed upon the statues, admiring the talent that had created them.
“Their expressions are so…lifelike.”
“Yes, the Italian sculptor who created them is tops in his field.” Lex stood next to Clark, their shoulders touching. A tingle went through Clark. “I’ve got other statues around here by Bagonini, but these two are my favorites.”
They were silent for a few moments, then Lex asked, “You are coming to the Halloween Ball, aren’t you?”
Clark looked at Lex. “It’s a costume ball, of course.”
“Yes, it is.”
Clark sighed. “I never know what to wear.”
Lex brushed his hand over Clark’s forearm. “I’m sure your mom can help you decide.”
Clark smiled. “I’m sure she can.” Green eyes sparkled. “I think sometimes she wished I’d been a girl. She loved to dress me up when I was little.”
“Oh?” Pale blue eyes twinkled. “As what?”
“No dresses,” Clark laughed. “Little boy suits for Sundays, but there was always Halloween. I got to dress up as the Gray Ghost and the Lone Ranger and other cool heroes.” The happy memories warmed him. “What time does your party start?”
“Good, the little ones should be done trick-or-treating by then.” Clark smiled. “I like to help Mom and Dad give out the candy and see the kids’ costumes.”
Lex’s face was wistful. “I remember trick-or-treating when my mom was alive.”
Clark wanted to gather Lex up into a bear hug, but he manfully restrained himself. Instead he gently put his hand on Lex’s arm, and the other man smiled slightly. “Thanks for inviting me, Lex.”
“It’s mostly corporate types. Maybe next year I’ll invite the townsfolk instead. In any case, don’t worry, Clark. I’ll take care of you.”
Clark was glad that Lex hadn’t mentioned brining a date. He enjoyed giving Lex his undivided attention…and liked it in return.
“Let me give you a ride home. That’s too many books to walk with.”
Even without the suspicion of him handling so many books without a problem due to his superstrength and speed, Clark was happy to spend more time with Lex.
He followed Lex out of the grove, the two statues left alone in the autumn sunlight.