A Christmas Tale, V. 2.0
by zahra

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the penthouse, not a creature was stirring, except for an irate, bald billionaire, lying in bed half-dressed, surrounded by comic books, and waiting for his lover to finish saving the world.

The stockings had been hung by the chimney - okay, the gas fireplace - with care, in hopes that Superman would hurry up and get home so Lex could open the lube he had used as a stocking stuffer.

Lex was not asleep; he was snug in his bed. Instead of sugarplums, however, he had a plate of Double Stuff Oreos resting on Clark's pillow, where Clark's head should have been settling down for a long winter's nap. Which was currently a sore spot with Lex.

The cookies just went to show how vindictive he was feeling, as he never let anybody eat in bed, no matter how Super. On this particular evening, Lex was stretched out on his stomach, spreading crumbs all over Clark's side of the bed.

It was Christmas Eve, and he was alone, and he wasn't supposed to be. Clark had promised. All right, he hadn't promised so much as he had said that he was sure he could work a deal with Wonder Woman, because he didn't think Amazons celebrated Christian holidays.

Apparently he was wrong. And Lex was abandoned. But that was okay, because Lex had Warrior Angel; and at least Warrior Angel was a hero he could count on to always be there when he pulled open the third drawer in the nightstand.

Which was more than could be said for some.

It was times such as these that Lex wished for Tempus Inhibitors like the ones Devilicus had manufactured in Issue 88. The closest Lex had ever come was that chronic he had smoked in his Bio Engineering partner's bathroom during his sophomore year at Princeton. But that had been in plant form, and Devilicus had done his work in pill form: the blue pill to go back in time and the red one to go forward, which just went to show what good taste the Wachowski brothers had.

Perhaps Lex would create something like that, all the easier to get through Clark's frequent disappearing acts.

Lex suppressed something he was sure was a sigh, and flipped another page in Warrior Angel's quest to defeat his arch nemesis/un-official-but-rather-obvious ex-lover. Obviously, it had been a rather acrimonious breakup, and as much as Lex adored Warrior Angel, he kind of understood where Devilicus was coming from.

If Lex had lost Clark somewhere along the line, and then had to deal with Superman on a daily basis, he'd turn to The Side of Evil pretty damn quickly, too.

Picking up another Oreo, Lex absentmindedly twisted off the top and began licking at the filing, all the while casting a critical eye on the pages in front of him. Hector the Brave and Henry Constantinople had just realized that Warrior Angel was missing, and naturally, all signs pointed towards the usual suspect: Devilicus.

It had taken Lex a while, but he was beginning to warm up to Hector the Brave, Warrior Angel's new sidekick. It had taken four readings of the ninety-six issues that included the young Omega graduate, but Lex was coming around.

Of course, Hector was no Sean Devlin, but as Sean was now Devilicus, Lex wasn't holding his breath for a reprieve.

"Issue 102, huh?"

Clark's voice ignited every bit of tension in Lex's body, and Lex's tongue paused fractionally as he licked at the sugary filling before he continued on with his reading.

In the Christmas tales, Santa had at least made some noise when he showed up. Clark, on the other hand, was clearly attempting to take years off Lex's life by scaring him to death.

"Isn't that the one where Devilicus brainwashes Warrior Angel into thinking he's one of the bad guys?"

Lex finished with the icing and popped the chocolate wafer in his mouth. He felt the bed dip behind him as he chewed thoughtfully and flipped another page.

Devilicus and Warrior Angel were just about to revisit one of their old haunts, which made Lex nostalgic for pre-Issue 66 days, except this time they were hiring instead of arresting. The dialogue between the proprietress - Madam Candy - and Sean never failed to make Lex laugh. Plus, she was one of the few characters that called Warrior Angel by his real name, Callum.

"Or is that the one where Warrior Angel makes Hector the Brave his sex slave?"

Lex's breath hitched as he felt a warm hand brush against the small of his back, and he coughed a few Oreo crumbs onto Clark's pillow. "I must've missed that issue," he said, shifting on the comforter.

"Hmm. Maybe I'm thinking of the triple-X version." This was not the first time that Clark had mentioned Warrior Angel having sex, and while the concept of role-playing was still percolating in Lex's brain he felt a small gust of air against his back. The whisper of wind could have been a lot of things, but Lex was still annoyed with the Superman Call of Duty interrupting his holiday. If Clark was trying to seduce him, he was going to have to work a lot harder.

"Could be,' he said.

The room was silent for several seconds as Clark let the heat from his hand divert Lex's attention while Lex pretended to read the comic. Giving up the pretense when Clark began to move his hand in small circles, Lex reached out and snagged another Oreo. "Did the Samoan people give you something extra special for stopping a tsunami on Christmas Day?" he said, twisting the top off another cookie.

"Well, they gave me a bunch of Maori jewelry, which pretty much takes care of Lois and Chloe's presents."

"I thought you said you took care of those."

"I, um --"

"That's what I thought." Lex smirked into the paper booklet when he heard the sputtering protest behind him. Whether it was because of the cookies, the crumbs, the eating in bed or because he was right he wasn't sure. Lex didn't particularly care, until Clark's hand began moving up his spine and the mattress shifted underneath him, making Lex drop his cookie over the side of the bed.

Superhero on the prowl.

No, that made him think of Bruce and Gotham's Catwoman.

Instead, Lex bit his lip and stared at the panel of Devilicus and Warrior Angel reunited, pretending not to feel every breath that Clark was expelling against his bare back. He tasted blood when he felt lips on his left shoulder blade. "You left me alone on Christmas Eve," he said, rolling over suddenly and knocking Clark, the Oreos, and the comics off the bed.

Only two of the three actually hit the floor.

"I had to work." Clark hovered three feet above the floor, spandex having been swapped at some point for flannel pajama bottoms. "I didn't do it on purpose."

"You know, I don't think Chloe has these sorts of problems in her relationship," Lex mused, reaching down, picking up the abused comic book and placing it safely back in its drawer.

"You're comparing me to Wally?" Clark's tone was somewhere between aghast and disbelieving.

"One superhero is as good as another, I don't see why you have to be the one to save everyone."


"I admit my Alexander complex is large, but I'm beginning to suspect that your Messiah complex is going to outdo it one day. You know, this is probably why Sean really left Callum."

Lex felt several Oreos shift mid-digestion when Clark moved suddenly, and landed on Lex's stomach without preamble or apology. "You're comparing us to Warrior Angel and Devilicus? Are you serious?"

"I think that depends on your point of view." Lex's point of view currently consisted entirely of Clark sitting on him, pouting. It reminded Lex of a determined puppy.

"My point of view is that Sean and Cal are over," Clark said. "You need to get over it. Devilicus is evil; Warrior Angel is not. He's got Hector now, even Henry and Pepper approve, or have you not been reading the latest issues?"

Lex began to protest, but was prevented by a finger held to his lips.

"I know the whole breakup of that friendship really bothered you, but it happened. Sometimes things like that just do. People grow older and they grow apart. They want different things. Cal didn't want to rule the world, he just wanted to protect it, and Sean didn't feel the same way. They are not us. Did you miss the part about Warrior Angel being a comic book? I could've sworn I put that fax on your chair."

Lex attempted to speak, again, but was cut off, by Clark's shushing noise.

"That's not to say they weren't happy once upon a time, you know. There's a Christmas story - copies are very rare apparently - where it's canon that they're more than friends."

Lex blinked, which was as close as he was prepared to come to having his eyes pop out of his head, but Clark seemed to be in another world. "Remember that party they throw at the precinct every year for the children of the 32nd Zone? Well, this year they had Henry working as Santa, and you know he's wearing a Holo-Pack because kids will buy a lot, but the eight-foot tall blue hermaphrodite with a tiger tail would probably be pushing it. So, they've got Henry cum Santa and Warrior Angel working the room and you can tell the kids are having the time of their lives."

Lex blinked again, but this time he could feel the smile twitching on his lips. Henry Constantinople was Clark's favorite character, and whenever Clark talked about him his eyes got really bright and he grinned like a little kid.

"...the water cooler with Pepper, and you know Pepper's always had a soft spot where Sean's concerned, probably because of that time with Cal. So, anyway, they're talking about whatever and Pepper says 'could you stop drooling over him for five seconds so you don't scare the kids' and Sean goes really quiet. Pepper just keeps on talking; you know how girls are. 'It's the Interference, isn't it? I bet you're really good at that.' And Sean's all, 'Not that I don't appreciate your faith in my sexual prowess, but are you suggesting that I'm Interfering with Cal?' To which Pepper says 'the whole precinct knows you're Interfering with Cal. The Irish Devil and Warrior Angel? You should see the writing in the women's bathroom.' The rest of the story is really cute: after the story hour, Sean and Cal spend Christmas together. Which, you know, since they live together already, just makes things a lot easier."

When Clark finished he smiled down at Lex, and removed his finger.

"That's a nice story," Lex said, licking his lips, which strangely weren't that dry. "Are you preparing for when Chloe starts having children? Because I have to tell you, if their first words are 'Warrior Angel' and not 'The Flash' or 'Journalism,' I'm thinking their parents might be a little upset."

Clark laughed and shifted until he was stretched out alongside Lex. Propping himself up on one elbow, he gazed down with that look of self-satisfaction that sometimes threw Lex off-guard. "Actually, no, I'm just paraphrasing what the guys at Metro-verse wrote for Superman."

Lex froze as Clark's hand came to rest on his bicep. "Wrote for who when?"

"When Superman went to visit them some time after Thanksgiving, because he wanted something special for a friend," Clark said, the smile practically taking over his entire face.

"That's where I was this evening, just so you know. The guy who does ink right now, Joe Kavalier, he's Jewish hence the Christmas availability, plus he's a big fan. He's been working on this for me as a favor."

If Lex had frozen before, he was thoroughly incapacitated now. "You - you got me a personalized copy of Warrior Angel?" he began, not sure quite where his train of thought was going.

"It wasn't easy," Clark said, sliding his hand upwards, over Lex's shoulder and letting it rest on his clavicle. "Getting you something you didn't already have. But I figured a one-of-a-kind, specially drawn for Alexander J. Luthor issue of Warrior Angel, might make a little dent in saying how much I appreciate you."

"You said there was a tsunami," Lex countered weakly, as Clark brought his head to rest on the pillow next to Lex's.

"There was, about four hours ago. I've been waiting on Joe for the last three and a half."

"I..." Lex's hand waved in the air, and he brought it back down helplessly, on several cookie crumbs.

"Am sorry. Yes, you are," Clark finished, curling around Lex and closing his eyes. "That was really low with the Wally thing," he added.

"I thought..."

"Doesn't matter, it's Christmas, Lex."

"Yeah, but--"

"Merry Christmas."

"Clark --"

"You can sleep on the cookie crumbs, that will be a good enough 'sorry.'"


"I try."


A yawn. "Yeah."

"Can I see it now?"

"No, you have to wait until Christmas morning."

"Technically it is Christmas morning."

"No, Lex."




"Good night, Lex."


"Good night, Lex."

Silence. "Good night, Clark."


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