Drug Ballad
by Kassie

Lex slumps back in his seat and tries to be as inconspicuous as he can. Normally, this is impossible with his ego entering any given room before his body and the fact that bald twenty year olds aren't a current fad. On this particular night, he would have to make himself a human torch to be noticed as anything beyond being an acceptable escort to his date.

Lisbet Lawrence hobnobs and gestures towards Lex as he smiles as genuinely as possible and contentedly floats in a world of chemically padded bliss. How exactly he and Betty had become a couple, Lex would be at a sort of loss to say. They met a few times, partied a little, and by the time her video was on constant rotation on MTV, 'everyone knew' they were an item. Apparently, Betty figures if the media think they're together, that's good enough for her. This is Lex's third Gotham spectacular in a week. For now he's going along with other people yanking his strings because his father opened up one of the trust funds "You never know when you might need to toss around the largesse in your new circle. Just remember to check for cameras before you vomit.", and he likes the money, so he copes with what he has to do to get it.

Tonight, it's all glam and hype and MTV. Betty appears to be seated in the Pop Star section, and Lex trys to look enthusiastic when people he would be able to place if he were less stoned keep greeting him by name. His own suit and tie would make him look stodgy or uptight in this sea of sequins and glitter if he didn't wear bemused privilege like a second skin.

"Baby, Britney and I are gonna tinkle before the cameras come up." Lex peers up into a face so plasticly beautiful the first thing he ever asked Betty was if she modeled for anime.

"I'll be here." Like he could move. Like she has ever seen him sober enough to know that the boneless sprawl isn't just his natural cool.

"I know you will, baby." When she leans over to publicly declare her territory, or that she's made it, or that she's really slutty under that veneer of bubblegum-pink good-girl, her hair tickles his skin, leaving trails of sparkling mica on his skin. Her tongue extends, and can be obviously seen by a bystanders, naughtily entering his mouth.

When she bounces off, Lex has no idea how long the groping went on, or even where he is.


During one of the commercial breaks, a guy he vaguely recognizes muscles into Lex's aisle to lean over Betty and force a sealed envelope into Lex's face.

"Lunatic! Where ya been at? Ain't seen ya 'round." Lex takes the offered token as Betty starts to squeal slightly.

"I've been busy." Lex glances towards Betty as the music cue kicks up to announce the return of the live feed.

"I feel ya, Lun. Bitches is all the same." He backs out of the aisle with a minimum of effect before Lisbet can comment on being called a bitch. To mention how she's been treated, she would have to say the word bitch, so Lex figures she won't.

As Macy Grey comes out, Lex opens the envelope and slides out the card.

"Yo! You are hereby invited to the 'After Fucking MTV Up the Ass' Party of Marshall Mathers. Show up or I'll find your punkass, bitch!

I'm just playin' (not really, but my lawyers says I have to say I am), MM"

"Who's that from?" Betty cranes her neck to read the card over Lex's arm.

"It's a note from my father. Don't worry about it." Betty smiles and pulls his right hand into her lap.

"Oh no! This guy makes me sick." Lex doesn't laugh when the guy being libeled is Eminem, but he can't help but crack up at his antics even if Betty and the rest of the Pop Mafia glare at him and whisper amongst themselves.


Lex lazes on his bed, watching MTV, waiting for the replay of the VMAs and the phone call from his dad when his day is seriously ruined:

boom boom boom

"This is Tabitha Soren with MTV News.

**picture of Lex Luthor walking from a courthouse looking extremely pissed off flashes in the corner of the screen.**

Lex Luthor, playboy son of business magnate Lionel Luthor, was arrested last night in Gotham City at a party thrown by notorious rap artist and producer, Dr Dre. Mr. Luthor's current girlfriend, pop sensation Lisbet Lawrence, was said to not be in attendance even though the two attended the VMAs together earlier in the evening. Witnesses report to MTV that the disturbance leading to Mr. Luthor's arrest may have been gang-related."

Lex's phone rings, but he's avoiding his father.

"If your message is interesting enough I'll call you back." His voicemail drawls at his latest attempted-interlocutor.

"I can't believe I can't even leave your sorry ass alone for five minutes before you got the cops trying to do a full body search. I know your bald-ass is not trying to ignore me by not answering the phone. Fuck that, I ain't even feelin' this hangover shit, and I know you ain't even worried about that jail bullshit. First offense, your dad is richer than God and you ain't even have a gun. Come by tonight, when you stop jerkin off."


"Kurt Loder with MTV News. The story on sometimes college student and full-time celebrity Lex Luthor's arrest gets stranger and stranger. Reliable sources tell Mtv that the altercation leading to the police intervention involved rapper Ludacris and members of Eminem's posse, D12. Stay tuned for more details on this bizarre story as they break."

Marshall's phone lies charging on the table in his room at the Astoria as he lolls in the tub dangerously close to drowning.

"Em. Leave a message, bitch. I'ma call you back if you ain't MTV or Kim."

"This is hardly my first offense. Naturally, I've never been convicted of a felony. My lawyer wouldn't have let O.J. get to trial. Maybe I should give you his number, but he wouldn't do spots on you LPs. If my name gets permanently linked to 'gangland' violence, I will hold you responsible. I'll come over later if I feel like it."


"Serena Altschul for MTV News. In yet another odd twist in the Lex Luthor/Ludacris dust up, earlier this hour the Gotham County D.A.'s office announced that the matter would not be pursued further. Apparently, the conspiracy theories are already circulating on the Internet. The most popular speculates that Interscope set up the entire event for publicity for their acts."

Lex falls asleep around four in the afternoon and doesn't find out his father never called until he wakes up again at 11 p.m. He also has no way to know that his sleeping pattern is echoed across the city by Marshall who chats happily with Hailie for an hour before crashing completely himself.


The lights of the Vincefinkel Bridge pass by his windows like strobes as Lex finally finishes deleting the messages on his phone. He left the hotel before he'd listened far enough to come to Marshall's declaration of his destination. That comes three messages from the end. "Yo! Get your freak ass up! Party's in Old Gotham, Van Brenner Court. Don't know the number, but when you see the street blocked off and a buncha black people and smell barbeque, you there."

Lex thinks it might mark a paradigm shift for him, that he has no doubt in these directions or descriptions. The Bicentennial Expressway feeds him off onto a broad avenue with a wide median reclaimed in an urban beautification program. Lights mark every block, and Lex watches teens smoking pot on the corner, older people playing craps, and the salsa and rap rattle his windows as he moves down the street. The sidewalks crawl with pedestrians moving faster than his Porsche, and he's not too surprised that a candy-red Mercedes edges along ahead of him or that the car behind is a silver Lexus. The Mercedes cuts towards what looks like a vacant lot converted into a parking for the night, and Lex follows.

As he waits his turn to intimidate the man blocking the only access to the only parking, Lex peers down the street that's cordoned off and bursting with more color and noise than a carnival.

"You Luthor?" The boy looks about thirteen now that his face is hovering next to Lex's open window. He doesn't ask how he knows who he is.

"Yup." He waits.

"Gimme yo keys. Dre say you got a pass. Don't go that way." He points to where Lex was just looking. "Go on back 'round the cars, security know you comin'." He steps back, and Lex hands over his keys wondering if that's the most brilliant plan he ever formulated. He hands the boy a fifty out of habit.

"Don't gotta give me nothin'. But thanks." He pockets the bill and smiles.

Lex weaves through the cars, trying to keep from setting off alarms as he goes. There's no pattern, all the machines are piled right up against each other, only inches between, and he has to work to find his way to the other side.

He emerges into a half street that's really a connecting alley behind two sets of old, brick row houses. The party is definitely closing in.

At the mouth of the alley, several very large men, none blingin' or even looking anything other than the off-duty policemen they are stand around. "Can I help you?" says the first. His hand is obviously resting on he butt of a gun tucked in his pants.

"I think I'm on the list. Lex Luthor." He holds his hands away from his body and stays completely still as Cop One looks him over and then towards Cop Two.

"Let him in, Jerome. He's down." Lex figures this means down on a list and not down in any other way, because that would be extremely wrong. His pockets feel heavy as he slides by the security personnel.

He's been fed directly into the heart of the street portion of the gathering. Bodies block his view in both directions, lanterns are strung on make-shift poles and wires along the sidewalks, people hang off stoops and out of windows screaming in voices Lex can't hear over the steady murmur and thump of several competing bass riffs.

Because he has no particular destination, he wanders a bit. He takes a drink from a gorgeous Latina girl who appears to be well under- aged, eats a plate of macaroni salad shoved into his hands by someone's mama, manages to find an abandoned lawn chair and parks himself in hopes of being spotted. Since he imagines himself glowing like a bald beacon, he figures it won't be long.

It isn't.

"Damn, you sober?" Marshall's voice cuts through the party noise, and in his mind, Lex sees a sea of people parting and falling to the ground under the force of Marshall's piercing, siren voice. When he turns, he's disappointed to see that he's just really close. And not alone.

Lex stands up and brushes crumbs from garlic Texas toast from the crotch of his jeans. "It took you long enough to find me."

"This is my party, bitch. I get to your ass after I get my dick sucked by your girlfriend." A man substantially larger and darker than Marshall rubs his eyes and then sticks his fist out in the air. Lex knows enough to make a fist too and knock it. Something. Dre does the work.

"Good to meetcha. Marshall seems to like you. Proof, too. You must be righteous." Marshall's smirking. Lex thinks there's a whole helluva lot more going on in this exchange than he realizes. Is he meeting Marshall's parents?

"I guess you know I'm Lex. Marshall said something good about me?" Marshall and Dre mirror each other with their heads thrown back, hitting each other on the back over what must have been the funniest joke ever. Lex then realizes these two are stoned. Very stoned.

"Come on up to Didi's and we can talk." Dre turns, and Marshall falls into step by Lex as they weave up the stoop in front of one of the reclaimed, gentrified brownstones. What really strikes Lex at this point is how no one is approaching them or even paying them any attention. The ways of the industry: he's not getting it.


Once they're safely behind the front door, shouldering their way through wall-to-wall bodies, they lose Dre. They shimmy and lambada through the living room and into a side hall. Marshall's fingers dig bruises that will instantly vanish into Lex's elbow, and when he turns around to complain, Marshall shoves a pill into Lex's preverbal, open mouth. He swallows on reflex. He's starting to think about some sort of re-education program for his automatic responses.

Marshall laughs like a loop on one of his tracks when Lex glares and grimaces over the bitter taste left in his mouth.

"Hold up." Marshall squirms slightly and smiles at the closest girl. The chick presses her boobs into him, and Marshall snatches her drink. "Gimme this, slut." Lex drinks it as he moves as fast as possible to get away from his companion and the eminent eye gouging he's going to get.

They surge and wiggle until Lex finally takes a full breath in the kitchen. "You tryin' to ditch me, yo?" Lex considers nodding, but instead turns to rub his cheek on the embossed wallpaper beckoning him silently in all its fuzzy apple and pear glory.

"You already blown off the hinges? Shit." He digs in his jeans and pulls out a blunt, wanders over to the gas stove and lights the pot off the flame. "Hit this." Lex stares at him and feels the smile slowly creeping up his face until it's a full-blown shit-eater. "Hit this!" Marshall holds the unlit end of the Swisher Sweet to Lex's lips.

When nothing more happens beside Lex smiling in a very disturbing way and Marshall standing with his hand extended, there's a murmured "Fuck this." Fingers clench at the base of Lex's skull shoving him toward the smoldering cigar. He opens his mouth and sucks in slowly, savoring the smooth smoke, the taste lingering on his tongue, his in-drawn breath seeming to last an eternity. The hit blends in with the sensation of fingers trailing over the bumps on the back of his head and the first couple of his vertebrae in his neck.

When he opens his eyes, two women stand a couple feet in front of him, and Marshall's voice issues from some place behind them.

"Ain't seen Dwayne. Check in the basement. Tell Jessica she looks hot, too bad she's such a skeeze." The girls twitter and give the obligatory 'fuck offs', but there's some inside joke happening. Lex wishes they'd come back when they start to move off. He really wants to feel the yellow corduroy pants the prettier girl was wearing.

"You don't wanna hit that, yo. The older one's pushing sixteen." Marshall shoves a glass of iced something into his hand, standing close, very. His shirt's some athletic team jersey hanging open with a tight, white tee under. No hat tonight. In the kitchen brightness, Lex sees where the millimeters of roots cling to Marshall's scalp and how brittle the rest of the hair seems.

"Story of my life." They both laugh.

"You a baby, too. Ain't no harm, I 'spose, unless one of their fathers' have a gun." Lex drinks his beverage as Marshall makes on the spot rhymes around women's names. The beat is all Lex hears, inflection and tempo that's pure Slim Shady.

Lex reaches out and tugs on Em's closest earring, plain, silver loops glinting dully in the fluorescent light of the kitchen. "The only fucking thing that rhymes with Lex is sex, dawg." His fingers run up and down, up and down, on the piping of his shirt.

"Can I touch your shirt, too?" A hand indicates invitation with an up- turned palm and tiny wave.

"Your's cashmere? You such a bitch, Luthor." But that doesn't keep his hands back, doesn't stop his bitten fingernails from snagging on tightly woven material, the brush of a cheek on Lex's shoulder. "If I ask you to marry me later, it's cos I'm high as fuck."

The fabric of Marshall's jersey melts around Lex's fingers, bleeds fibers over his hand, down his arm.

"Come on, Em, you, me, and Lex's gonna go to tha park." Their escort is Proof, and the park doesn't turn out to be outside but some kind of rumpus room that freaks Lex out so badly at first that Proof smacks him a few times before leaving.

The walls undulate and rustle with palm trees. Eyes peak out from behind fronds, and when he leans his head back, the ceiling twinkles with constellations far too bright for being in-doors.

"Where in the hell are we?" Lex does his best to be composed, but his skin's crawling off and his eyes are so dilated that the muted tv almost blinds him.

Marshall reclines on a leather couch flipping stations on the television with the remote. "Get me a beer, over there." He points, and Lex sees the full bar against the far wall. The room's so big the light from the television barely makes it to that corner.

Lex doesn't consider protesting, telling the asshole on the couch to get his own beer, and by the way, to suck his dick. He slouches through the clinging, writhing darkness and stumbles against the cabinets until he feels the smooth enamel of the mini-fridge door.

Inside a vortex of scorching, white, purity yawns. White light so intense Lex's yelp floods out and over to Marshall.

"Don't look directly at it, bitch!" Marshall's voice commands in his usual tone from the other side of the room.

Collecting all of his available wits, Lex retrieves as many bottles as he can carry, because he truly believes this is a one-time-only trip. As he walks back to the couch, he imagines that the far wall mocks him by retreating further away.

"Why you just standin' there?" Em barks. Lex remembers he's supposed to be walking.

Collapsing on the couch next to Marshall, Lex lets the beers roll out of his arms in ten, independent whirly-gigs on the carpeted floor.

"We was acting funny." Lex strains to see what's going on with the flicking television to see who Marshall means. "That's why he dumped our asses up in here. So no one catches us. X makes me funny."

"Like you're melting?" Since his body's become one substance with the leather upholstery, Lex finds this reasonable.

"Sometimes." But Marshall explains in his own way, in the only way Lex could really understand then. Slick lips bump over the exposed flesh above his right ear, fingers twist in his shirt rubbing the material against Lex's belly. His body was ready to fuck way back with the raised wallpaper, and Lex is beyond playing. He rubs himself through his jeans, pops the top button.

"Uh." Marshall moans, the voice, always the voice rough and used, raw, right in Lex's ear.

They both swim in leather, cotton, denim, cashmere, heated skin. Lex tries to taste every inch of Marshall's body one lick at a time, but only makes it to the crook of his elbow when a voice keens, and he feels muscle throb and leak in clenching bursts against his stomach.

Then they tumble onto the woodland undergrowth carpet, wool burning where knees and elbows try to find purchase, give leverage. The idea of a blowjob is all Lex gets to savor because two breaths exhaled on his exposed cock get a muffled curse from Marshall, then a laugh.

Lex wakes up the next afternoon at the Astoria completely naked. The television flickers, and 'Stan' blares out from MTV.


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