Doomsday Machine


October 2003

Disclaimer: Not mine or they’d be a lot happier.


"But I don’t want to rule the planet!"

Clark’s protest was in vain as the small pod powered down, leaving him standing in a very ordinary storm cellar, staring at the decidedly otherworldly harbinger of his unwanted future.

Over the next several weeks, after a great deal of soul-searching and a great many platitudes from the man he considered his true father, the teenager came to the conclusion that Kal-El of Krypton’s intended destiny did not have to be that of Clark Kent. And for the next several years, he held to that decision, avoiding anything that had any link to his origins.



"It continually astounds me that you manage to meet every deadline at the paper yet cannot manage to be on time for anything else." Lex Luthor leaned against the wall next to the door between the bathroom and the bedroom he’d shared with Clark for the last several years, since Clark had graduated from college in fact. Although the two men had been lovers since Clark’s junior year in high school, out of respect for the Kents they hadn’t moved in together until he was on his own.

"Ha ha. It’s easy to be on time with an army of assistants and without Perry demanding a draft of an article before leaving!" Clark was occasionally tempted to use his full speed to get things done, but so far he’d held firm to his vow to be an ordinary human being. And he’d proven that good really was its own reward by winning Lex, who’d gradually lost that pinched look as time passed and Clark did nothing out of the ordinary and no longer had to lie to him. Less than a year after Clark had stopped using his powers, Lex had drawn Clark into his bed and never let him out. Clark’s relationships with his friends improved as well without the constant mysterious disappearances and obvious lies, and while he occasionally thought about the people he could help, he wasn’t willing to give up the life he’d made with Lex.

"Those assistants would be more than happy to help you organize your time if it would mean we’d occasionally get somewhere on time." Lex crossed one tuxedo-clad ankle over the other as he watched Clark dash around the room, still dressed only in his boxer briefs.

"It’s not like they can start without you," Clark pointed out. "The dinner is in your honor."

"Most people try not to keep officials and the press waiting."

"You’re not most people. You’re Lex Luthor."

"And you’re incapable of being on time."

Clark grinned at Lex, green eyes gleaming merrily. "Good thing you love me then. Besides, don’t you think I’m worth waiting for?"

Lex rolled his eyes as Clark unleashed the pout. "Stop that. You know we don’t have time. Pout at me after dinner and I’ll see what I can do to make you feel better."

"I’ll hold you to that." Nearly dressed now, Clark moved to stand in front of Lex, who straightened up with a knowing smirk.

"You can ferret out dirty dealing, follow the faintest hit of a story straight to a Pulitzer, yet you can’t tie a bow-tie?" Lex shook his head as he did it for Clark, remembering the first time he’d done this. He much preferred Clark dressed up for him instead of Chloe Sullivan or anyone else for that matter.

"Ever consider that maybe I just like having you do it for me?"

Laughter rang between them as they left the apartment.

Several hours later, Clark was beginning to wonder if he would ever be able to unstick the social smile from his face. Everyone in Metropolis apparently had decided to make nice with Lex, and they’d all decided to do it through Clark. He almost missed the days when he’d been snubbed and ignored as a useless boy-toy.

Escaping the latest well-wisher, Lex made his way over to Clark, a glass of champagne in his hand as he slid an arm around Clark’s waist. "We should have been later," he muttered, smiling and nodding in response to someone across the room. "A couple of days later."

Clark chuckled, glancing around the room to make sure no one was going to interrupt these few moments together. Gilt, sparkling crystal, silks, velvets, and gemstones, it was like every other function he and Lex had gone to lately.

"Do you ever miss Smallville?" he asked idly.

Lex glanced up sharply, the blue eyes intent on the familiar features. "Sometimes," he said slowly, "but I know I could never have stayed there. I like the challenges of my life. I only stayed as long as I did because you were there."

Clark nodded. "I know. And I suppose I wouldn’t want that life either, but... I wish we could just be Lex and Clark sometimes, you know?"

"Do you want me not to announce my candidacy for the House?" Lex had finally decided to work toward his old political ambitions, and he was planning to join the next House race. He planned to spend a term or possibly two there before moving on to the Senate, though his newly hired campaign manager was suggesting he start with the Senate. That was something he planned to discuss with Clark.

"What? Oh! No, that’s not what I meant, Lex. I’ve known you wanted to rule the planet for years," Clark teased, making sure his voice was low enough that no one could overhear. "I was just wishing we had fewer demands on our time. Both of us." He shrugged. "So we can look forward to retirement like everyone else."

Lex chuckled. "Only you, Clark."

A disturbance at the far end of the room drew their attention, along with everyone else’s, and gasps and muffled screams rang out as people saw the gun in the man’s hand.

He shot wildly, shattering an expensive light fixture, and several more screams rang out as people tried to get away. His gaze focused unerringly on Lex, and with his attention diverted, many of the guests stampeded toward the doors, several becoming injured in the crush. Dropped and forgotten crystal glasses and delicate china plates rolled on the floor and were crushed underfoot, ruining the expensive carpeting.

"You won’t get away with it, Luthor! You’re just like your old man, and I won’t let you do it too!" The dark haired man incongruously dressed in a slightly rumpled suit that had seen better days raised his hand, the gun pointing straight at Lex.

Time seemed to slow, making every second stretch out, and by the time the bullet traveled across the room, Clark was standing in front of his lover, taking the bullet that would have killed him.


Lex fell to his knees beside Clark, trembling fingers reaching toward the hole in his suit. He froze and his eyes shot to Clark’s face when instead of blood he touched flattened metal.

Ashen-faced, Clark stared back wordlessly as Lex rose to his feet and somehow got them out of there without anyone else getting close enough to see. Lex made it clear that his partner had only suffered a flesh wound and his own doctor would see to him. "We’ll be at home if the police need a statement." No one else would have gotten away with it, but this was Lex Luthor, and when he wanted to leave, he left.

The ride home passed in utter silence, and once back inside the security of the penthouse, Lex went straight to his den where he poured himself a glass of Armegnac, which he tossed back like a shot of cheap whiskey. Second glass in hand, he stared at Clark.

"Do you have something you want to tell me, Clark? About bullets and possibly Porsches." His eyes were coolly measuring as he wondered if he’d been mistaken all these years. Maybe Clark had never loved him but simply pretended to deflect his questions.

Clark felt sick. "Lex..." He winced away from the expression in the blue eyes that usually showed him such love.

Slumping into a chair, he stared down at the floor between his feet, not able to watch his life shattering around him. "I’m an alien." Bluntness was perhaps best under the circumstances. "I landed with the meteors."

Lex simply stared. "You must have been fairly young."

"About three, my parents figure. They found me in a field after the meteor shower. My... pod was nearby. They kept it in the storm cellar." Clark sighed. "I never knew. They didn’t tell me until the day you... hit me with your car."

Lex made a soft sound as his old suspicions were confirmed.

"I... I was always strong and fast, but I started developing other powers after that. I don’t know why, if it was a normal stage of growth for me or what, but I could see through things, light fires with my eyes... and sometimes float. I was pretty freaked, Lex." He still didn’t dare look at Lex to see his reaction.

"Then that key. It activated the ship, and I got a message from my biological father. He told me to rule the planet." Clark laughed wildly. "I never wanted that. By then I’d figured out that all I really wanted was you."

Lex came to his feet and started to pace. "So what then? I’ve never seen any of those... powers you mentioned."

"No, after that, I decided that I wasn’t going to do it. I was just going to be Clark Kent, so I refused to use them. I wonder sometimes, though, how many of the people killed by mutants could I have saved? My parents couldn’t understand. My father kept telling me that I had these gifts to help people." Clark laughed bitterly. "I told him that I just wanted a normal life. And I was right. When I stopped all that stuff, Chloe and I were friends again, and... I got you."

"With how many lies, Clark?" Lex lashed out. "How much was real and how much was just protecting yourself? How can I ever trust anything you say again?"

Clark closed his eyes to hide the tears welling up. "It was all real, Lex."

Lex bit back the angry words, trying to think. One thing kept coming back to him. "You stepped in front of the bullet. You saved my life. Again." Whether Clark knew the bullet wouldn’t harm him or not, he’d risked everything to save Lex’s own life. If that wasn’t love...

Lex sighed. "So are you telling me you’re some kind of doomsday machine?"

Clark thought he heard something in Lex’s voice that had his head coming up, green eyes desperately searching shuttered blue ones. "I think I was supposed to be, but..."

"But in the end, that kind of machine destroys itself as well, along with anyone who becomes fixated on stopping it." Lex smiled crookedly. "I think I’d rather have Clark Kent."

Clark was out of his seat and in Lex’s arms before another moment passed, and they clung together. "That’s all I want to be."



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