'Till I Collapse
by Kassie and Rabbit

Lex takes a moment to wonder how the caterer thought ice sculptures of whatlook like monkeys smoking crack would be appropriate for an afternoon wedding. When he looks over to the desert table, sees the man, Lex snaps several times to get his attention. "Two questions: what the hell are these, and how much do you want your competition to steal this gig right out from under you?"

"I know somebody who'll kill him. Cheap."

And that's really not the voice he was looking forward to hearing this afternoon. "Marshall, I see you got the invitation I didn't send." The blond saunters casually up next to Lex, leans over and picks at an appetizer selection that one of the food service workers is arranging against the starched tablecloth.

Lex crosses his arms across his chest, shifts his weight. "You know, that cost $300 a plate."

"I'll write you a check." Marshall promises around a mouthful of flaky pastry filled with spinach and feta. He chews several times, makes a face and starts spitting the canap onto the grass.

"I'm going to need to see two pieces of ID to take a check from you." Lex replies deadpan, already looking around the catering staff for someone he can wave over for a clean up. It occurs to him that this would be the perfect location for the cake. If all the food equipment is moved, and the gauze of the shade cover is lifted up, the southernmost border of the rose garden is such a beautiful backdrop. The pictures will be amazing. He needs to call the photographer right now, and pulls out his cell phone.

"Is that fucking goat cheese?" Marshall spits a few more miniscule pieces before he continues, "Do you know what I hadda do to get here? And first thing you're tryin' to poison my ass."

There's no answer from the photographer, and Lex ends the connection very annoyed. "I was under the mistaken impression that you were on a press junket for either your LP or your soon-to-be-released biopic film."

"Hold up. Who the fuck do you see standin' here?" There's a bottle of Clos du Menil sitting nesting in an engraved silver bucket filled with ice on the next table over. Marshall does not hesitate to lift it out by the neck and defiantly start popping the cork. "Don't talk to me like I'm on your fucking payroll. Don't make me hurt you."

Lex displays no concern over several hundred dollars being poured down Marshall's throat like it was a warm Bud Lite; he's ordered cases of champagne. Even if Debbie Mathers herself stumbled out of a car in the driveway this very instant, there would be enough. "I don't remember you having to be 'made' to do so. You seem to like hurting everyone you ever met."

The interloper lifts the bottle, tips it, and his adam's apple bobs as he guzzles. Ten seconds pass before he lowers it, and asks, "A'ight now I know you ain't right. Did she suck your brain out your dick?"

"Let's start again. Hello, Marshall. What brings you to Smallville when I know you have such pressing business elsewhere?"

"I heard you're making the same mistake I did, and I'ma remind you," he begins shaking the bottle at Lex to accentuate each word. "With extreme violence if I got to, why you shoulda listened to my music."

Like hell he's going to take love advice from Slim Shady here. He nods his head towards the house and turns, assuming Marshall will follow. He does, still clutching the bottle. "I assure you that Desiree is nothing like the ex-Mrs. Mathers."

Marshall gives a loud, yelping whoop that makes a busboy jump and knock a flat of strawberries off the back of one of the vans as they pass by. "Desiree? She a stripper?"

"I'll pretend you didn't say that."

Tucking the bottle under his left arm, Marshall starts bouncing from foot to foot, jabbing and punching into the air as they walk through the doorway of Lex's office. "Why? You think you can take me? What the fuck's wrong with you? I ain't talked to you since you came to Detroit during filming, and you don't even dial me to drop the shit about getting married?"

Marshall stands still finally, and Lex relaxes slightly, because this level of hyperactivity could signal some illegal substance on the drive over. But if Marshall can hold still for five seconds, he's just angry and not high. "It was sudden. And I've been busy."

"Busy. Yeah, I feel ya. Where's the bitch?" Marshall plunks the bottle down on top of the desk and seats himself in Lex's chair. It's a ritual he never misses on his visits Smallville, including the part where he picks up the phone and says in a high, manic voice, "Have everyone in the Western Hemisphere killed."

"At work. She's a teacher." Lex lets Marshall have the chair, considering that summoning security will be faster if he stands.

"She the one at the clinic teach kids how to put a rubber on a banana?" Marshall rifles through Lex's unopened mail, abandoning that when he apparently finds it all too boring to bother destroying or reading.

"Marshall, we go back a long way, so I'm not going to break your nose. Don't talk about her like you do your own wife." Lex's cool strains when confronted by this man, though. His entire timetable for the day destructed when Marshall appeared, and now Lex is having to make extra threats and spend more money to get everything together for the wedding.

Marshall waves his hand dismissively in front of him. "Luthor, you drugged? I ain't never seen you lose you mind over pussy. This whore's playin' your ass. You got a prenup?"

Lex decides to try and call the photographer again, flips his cell back out. "You don't get a prenup when you plan to keep your vows."

The chair spins and topples as one outraged rapper flies out of it. "You? You fucked Dre's hat, bitch! You fucked a boybander! Plan all you want, you'll be fucking one of the bridesmaids at the reception."

"Could you keep it down?" Lex hisses, afraid that Marshall will be heard over the phone line. It hits four rings, and switches to voicemail. He mutters a "fuck" while he shoves it back in his pocket. Why the hell is he paying so much for a fool that he can never get in touch with? The asshole was supposed to have been there a half an hour ago.

"Uh uh. I'ma shake this bitch down. I got some people on it already. I can't letcha fuck yourself up like this. I don't get down like that with my boys." Marshall has his keys out, jangling them as he starts to pull Lex by the elbow.

Lex shrugs out of the restraint, pissed now. How typical of Marshall to go off on some misogynist rant when he hasn't even met Desiree yet. No way will he let him talk about his true love like this. "What makes you think you can come here and order me to obey your very mistaken directions regarding my life? You don't know Desiree, and you will speak about her with respect, or you will leave."

Maybe it's time to re-evaluate just what compels him to hang with Marshall Mathers. "Were you under the mistaken impression I was your boyfriend?"

Lex doesn't see the punch coming, but he sure responds when the force of Marshall's fist hits him, knocking his head to the side.


Lex wakes to the screeching of tires. Yet another head-trauma, exactly what he needed. He peels open an eyelid and winces as the car swerves. When the vehicle stops shimmying, he looks over and finds Marshall in the driver's seat. "Is this a dream?"

Marshall laughs at the peevish tone, and shifts into a higher gear. "I knew you had wet dreams about me, bitch."

Lex puts the heel of his hand to his left eye, it feels like he's having an aneurysm and maybe he can push his brain back in if it explodes out of his eye socket. His cheek throbs. He flinches at the twinge of pain, then spends an extended period of time obsessively touching it. "Since you enjoy your dreams about me so much, you'll love the part where I fuck you in the ass."

"That would be more of a memory than a dream. They say that drugs have long lasting effects on the memory. I see that's true." Lex's smirk is obvious as Marshall reaches over and starts pushing buttons on the stereo. A burst of jangly guitar chords fills the inside of the car with a volume that makes them both start. Marshall randomly presses buttons, one hand casually draped on top of the steering wheel. A car horn blares off to their left when they start floating over the line.

He's really too young to die today, and he already did the auto- accident version of his demise, so he slaps Marshall's hand away and finds a station they can both live with, turns the volume down.

"My memory's a'ight. Can't ever forget the things I wanna." Marshall flips the finger out of his window and screams in the general direction of the offending car, "Crawl out my ass, bitch."

Wouldn't that be nice, if someone gets a photo of he and Slim Shady assaulting random motorists on the freeway. He may have to put that photo on his Christmas cards this year- Marshall with a tire iron standing over some soccer mom, while Lex slaps down her crying children, ' Peace On Earth' emblazoned beneath the photo.

"Where are you taking me?"

"Back to the City. Where your ass belongs. Then we're gonna 'talk' about you and you losin' you mind." Marshall looks over, recoils, then laughs as he says, "Dawg, you look like shit."

He feels like it too. The worst part is the hazy memory of his interrupted marriage to Desiree. His feelings about her were intense, but hell if he can figure out what the appeal actually was. "I don't really know what to say. I met her and decided I could never live without her."

"Probably wouldn't. Bitch woulda busted a cap in your ass before you could turn your back on her. She knew what she had when you fucked her the first time: more money than all the Vanderbilts and Rockafellers mushed together." Lex has heard this diatribe too many times to count.

Waves of nausea begin. Mild, but strong enough to make him want to lay back against the seat, roll the window down so cold air flows into the car. "I feel really strange."

Marshall reaches over, pushes against the bruise on Lex's cheek gingerly, making sympathetic noises. "You got knocked the fuck out. And I drugged your ass. In case you tried to fight me more."

"You what? No, I'm not surprised." It should be disturbing that he feels thankful for being kidnapped, but Marshall's probably saved him from a huge mistake. It seems a little clearer here, with his stomach rolling, and brain blurring until he passes back out.


Lex wakes to find himself laying on a hard mattress fitted with what feel like sheets of the standard hotel variety. He knows this isn't his bed, not his house, but what exactly transpired to get him in this position is hazy. Oh yes, he knows this feeling well: where am I and what day of the week is it? It's been a while, though.

"Yo, I fucking know that shit. I got some business to handle. No, it ain't none of your business. You deal with them, it's what I pay your ass for. I'ma call you when I know when. Fuck you too. I need some time. A'ight. Get off my ass. Fuck off." [click]

"Marshall." Lex croaks out the name.

"You awake, LL?" Em sounds tentative, almost sympathetic.

This is all far too familiar. He opens his eyes. At least it's not quite as bad as he thought; there's no blood smeared on the wall or obvious bullet holes. Still...

"Awake and wondering how my life came to this."

Marshall flops down next to Lex, they both bounce with the shock waves. "You born, you got bald, you lost your head over some pussy. I got some ice for your face."

"Is this your apology?"

"No, you're just ugly enough without two black eyes." Marshall rolls over, snatches the remote control off of the bed stand, and turns the TV on. He flips through at least 20 channels before something catches his attention.

"I wish the world could see your softer side. Like Sears." Lex reaches down to scratch his nipple, and realizes he isn't wearing a shirt. When he glances down, he knows those aren't his warm up pants. "Did you strip me naked?"

Marshall rolls to face Lex, giving him a slightly disapproving look. "I missed you, too. Now, why you play me like you did? Not gonna call your boy when you meet the ho you wanna have kids with?"

"I am starting to rethink that plan." He's grateful, really, but trying not to get too sappy about it. Marshall's changed his clothes too, and the shirt wears looks vaguely familiar. "This mine?" as he plucks at the hemline of it. "Did you switch our clothes?"

Marshall laughs softly, eyes sleepy. Obviously, he started the party early. "This was all a plan to get me to love you, wuddn't it? You want to be in Shady's world." Lex decided one snowy afternoon in Detroit that Marshall Mathers is definitely the only person who can match Lex Luthor for sheer bizarre personality quirks and inexplicable behavior.

Lex should know better than to attempt to elicit any semblance of serious thought from Marshall when he gets his drug on. "Uh. I think Desiree used the same drug on me that you did the first time I met you."

Marshall punches Lex's shoulder playfully before rolling back to get something else from the nightstand. He has to roll all the way over on his belly and wiggle his hips against the comforter in order to reach something in the corner tucked behind the base of the lamp. With his arm stretched out, he snags it with his fingertips and sweeps it across the tabletop and into his palm before resuming his reclining position next to Lex.

"Those was your drugs. And you ain't never asked me to Adam and Steve it in Vermont."

Man, it seems stuffy in here, and he's wondering why the fuck there isn't any air conditioning. He feels a tingly all over, like his whole body is about to fall asleep. "Something's wrong with me." It sounds paranoid, even to him.

"Nothing this can't fix." Marshall unwraps the packet in his hand, takes out a small pill and holds it to Lex's mouth. When he doesn't open right away, Marshall pushes it past Lex's lips, sinking his finger in up past the nail and pushing it onto the center of Lex's tongue.

His mouth is too dry for it to dissolve, and Marshall luckily, or not, depending on whether they go to jail tonight or not, reaches over to the floor next to his side of the bed, comes up with a beer. His fingers glide over the bumps at the base of Lex's head, digging the pads of his fingers into smooth skin, holding him steady, tipping the bottle up until the liquid fills Lex's mouth. No one could ever get away with this, he thinks as his throat reflexively swallows. The pill slides down easily. Marshall's the only one who can take care of him, and fuck him up at the same time.

"I can always count on you." Lex sighs, smiling as he lets his head fall back against the bed. They must be staying here tonight, because they'd never get this wasted and try to make the drive. No, actually, Lex revisits that immediately, they would definitely drive.

"You're my boy." Marshall agrees, returning the bottle to the floor and slipping a pill on his own tongue before tossing the rest of the packet back on the table. It ricochets off the telephone and lands on the floor under the bed. Marshall's unconcerned, and concentrates instead on the heir of the Luthor fortune, touching the edges of the bruises on Lex's face, lingering over a patch that feels like it's half-healed. After a flinch of pain from his victim, he asks softly "Did I hurt you? Anyone else would've got a broke jaw from that punch."

"I'll survive." Lex decides out loud. Encased in lined nylon pants, he's sweating. The material sticks to him, twisting uncomfortably around his thighs and crotch. Why did Marshall trade their clothes? Naked sounds much more comfortable, but there's that small shred of survival instinct that reminds him that this very strange creature occupying the bed with him has vastly different reactions to being the company of another naked man.

"Shit, I hope I locked that door." Marshall says with a grunt, slapping Lex across his bare stomach. Which informs Lex that today, according to the unfathomable device that is Em's brain, being naked would be just fine.

"Why am I doing this? I don't do drugs anymore. Unless you're around." It's true, he's given up those hedonistic days of his youth, mostly, but this seems like the perfect place to be right now. He's gone from the clutches of a black widow to the manipulations of a punk ass from Detroit in less than 24 hours. All his concern slides away while Marshall absently taps beats along his stomach and torso. The drugs are already making him horny, even the slight touch makes him hard.

"Anymore? Yo, you only twenty-two. Don't kill yourself off yet." Marshall advises as his fingers push into Lex's pubic bone, scrape underneath the elastic of the pants and lightly grip his cock. The blonde rolls to his side to get a better angle, props his head on one hand as he looks down on Lex. "You are such a slut. Pop a few pills into you, and you're practically creaming your pants."

"And yet, you still keep giving them to me." The corners of Marshall's mouth turn up, and he doesn't try to deny what is obviously truth. Lex knows why this man usually gets his way, especially like this-eyes dilated, lips pouting and still wet from the alcohol he's consumed. "You have a mouth that was made for sucking cock."

"And you got a death wish." Marshall breathes heavily, continuing to pump Lex's cock in his hand- slowing, then giving a few harder tugs. He chuckles lightly at the whine that rises from Lex, who rises off the bed slightly.

"I believe I do." Lex swallows and focuses on breathing, in and out, in and out, the reflex not seeming so automatic in this situation. Marshall's hand squeezes and slides, and Lex feels like he's falling backwards through every other night/day they have played this scene. The mattress, Lex and Marshall, spiral into a void where this is all there ever is or will be. "Why don't you kiss me?"

Lex's cock flares when Marshall takes a nipple in his mouth, flippantly worrying it with his tongue. "That... wasn't quite what I meant. Kiss me on the lips, on the mouth."

"Oh," Marshall answers with a cocky smile that dissolves into his drug-face. Lex always reads surprise and childish wonderment in that expression. "Always was my bitch. You're a romantic," Marshall's voice trails off, lips meet, dry and chaste. But only for a second, because Marshall opens his mouth wide, stabs his tongue in. He's never one for half measures, living every second like he has the answers to everything. And Lex isn't theromantic one. But that's part of the ritual too, the pretending from Marshall and the tact from Lex.

The interlude begins to alternate between freeze-frame and getting caught on super-slow-mo. Marshall's now somewhat unknown body, skinnier than Lex's fingers remember, hovers and presses. Lex's sense of self collapses into Marshall's tattoos and his jagged breathing, the sensation of clothes being shoved aside for flesh to meet, and his own name being repeated over and over, over and over, until the word has no meaning to him.

His voice seems to come from far over his head when he speaks. "Fuck me. Right. Now." He doesn't want to talk anymore. And he has no expectations of his request being met, or even that he made it out loud as he looses himself again. This time he vanishes into the jingle blaring out of the television speaker.

When he skips back in to reality, Marshall's in charge as usual, pulling necessary barriers out of the way. Lex finds a thought: how can he be so organized while Lex can't remember what the number seven means? Even that doesn't matter as Lex gasps against the cold sensation of slick fingers against, and then in, his ass. Marshall's watch slides against his inner thigh, and the band pinches a blood blister when one of them moves.

So much going on, and there's more and more and more when Lex opens his eyes to see Marshall kneeling between his legs in an unbuttoned lavender oxford and gaping black wool trousers. Maybe no one's in control, because Marshall appears frozen.

He's about to force speech when the fingers withdraw, and Marshall reaches into his pants. The fabric slips down and gathers around his thighs. Purple silk boxers, and Lex's mind presents him with an image of his own hand removing them from his wardrobe, his feet as they stepped into them. This too fades as the blood-warm material slides over his cock, the membrane separating Marshall from him and him from Marshall, but not really. Falling is like this: cooed attempts at sex-talk and an inky, marked body rocking a nearly unblemished one against a mattress; forgetting and spinning until the pivotof your world is the feel of an answering thrust, the sound of the breath in-drawn to call your name in orgasm.


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