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30 November 2006 @ 05:59 pm
Fic: The Graduation Present (Florida)  
Title: The Graduation Present
Rating: PG
Pairing: Clark/Lex
Summary: A trip, a storm, and an orange grove
Thanks to danceswithgary for the beta job!
Challenge: 50_in_50--Florida
Disclaimer: These characters are owned by DC Comics and the CW Network.

When Lex asked Clark what he wanted for his graduation gift, Clark said, “I want to travel.” Lex began to envision the two of them strolling through Europe: London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Milan, where they would hopefully say goodbye to the flannel and hello to the leather, fine Italian leather.

Like all of Lex’s dreams, they were crushed. Terribly crushed, when Clark’s eyes lit to a glittering brightness and he said, “Let’s go to Florida.” One did not travel to Florida. One went to Florida to retire or to visit…take the family and such. In Lex’s mind the two words were mutually exclusive. He stopped his negative thinking as Clark continued to look at him expectantly. There were parts of Florida didn’t have a median age of 68, he’d actually hidden in some of them during his wild and reckless youth. The things he’d done and people he’d…well, done were no longer marks of glory in the halls of his sexual exploits.


Ft Lauderdale.

Key West--Fantasy Fest.

Oh, visions of neon lights and Duvall Street lit up in Lex’s mind like the glittering sounds and colors of an on the roll pinball machine. He’d actually become reconciled to the idea. Of course, Clark piped up, “Let’s drive there!”

And as always he couldn’t begrudge Clark anything.

Weeks and one graduation later and Lex was tearing up I-95 South in his new Mercedes MLB AM63. “Do you hear that?” Clark asked, his eyes going slightly distant and face rapt in concentration.

Lex listened for a moment. Nothing struck him except the buzz of rural insects and the occasional family fun-packed vehicles cruising up and down the interstate. “I don’t hear anything.” Of course not. Because that look of Clark’s face was telling of sounds and sights that only Clark and possibly members of the genus Canis could hear.

Seeing the opportunity for what it was, Lex pushed a bit closer to the truth that was buried and kept from him like a Lionel from a good pair of clippers. He glanced at Clark in the passenger seat, “What exactly do you hear?”

A half shrug. “It’s nothing. Just the wind… probably.”

Of course, they would get trapped on a lonely interstate as a hurricane bore down on the sunshine state and inevitably took away all parts of the sunshine.

As Lex stood beside his newest vehicular acquisition mud-caked and half buried in a ditch, Lex could only mentally kick himself until Clark sent a hangdog pout his way, effectively stopping his internal cursing.

“I’m soooo sorry, Lex.” Clark took the opportunity to kneel beside Lex and stare at the expensive exhausted machine. “I was *sure* you would have checked the Weather Channel--”

A headache was building. A mild throb between his eyes, pulsing to the beat of Salsa or the Rumba, at this point Lex wasn’t too sure of anything except his desire to toss back some aspirin, drink some Scotch—no matter how inadvisable mixing the two were, and have Clark continue to look pretty while being very quiet. “Why would I check the Weather Channel, Clark? This is your trip after all. A graduation gift that your best friend is chaperoning--”

Clark was gaping at him. Mouth open pink tongue partially exposed to the once again flawless Florida sky. “You are Lex Luthor, are you not?” Clark asked while infusing equal parts sarcasm and dead seriousness into his voice.

Lex nodded slowly, confusion growing proportionately to his headache. “Yes.”

“You’re Lex L-U-T-H-O-R—my overly meticulous friend that puts most obsessive compulsives to shame.” Clark said with glee.

“I wouldn’t say all that, Clark.” Lex wondered if it was possible to feel simultaneously aroused and pissed off. If not, then Clark had once again done the impossible.

The heat was growing. Heavy and thick like a dog’s tongue in the middle of summer. Clark’s head was thrown back, eyes closed, a slight smile on his lips as the sunshine kissed his skin. Clark’s skin seemed to possess the type of relationship similar to a mother and child. Mother Nature doted on him and Clark was a son of the land, a perfect combination in Lex’s mind. The same couldn’t be said for Lex, whose darker thoughts were making an already sad situation all the more morose.

“We’ll find something. I’m sure that the storm couldn’t have covered the entire state.” Lex relied on Luthor confidence, hopefully it worked on Clark. “A phone call or two, and we’ll be back on schedule.”

Clark smiled wistfully. “I’m really sorry about this again, Lex. But, I really doubt there’ll be anything to do in the next few days.” Clark looked at the stuck SUV and stiffened as if it were a great loss to Lex. “And your truck--”

“Come on.” That’s all Lex said before he began walking down the road.

Clark fell into step behind him, tossing only a slight worried glance over his shoulder. “Where are we going?”

“We’ll find something…” He felt the hesitant glance on him. “This is your chance to be wild and spontaneous. And honestly, who else should be your guide through a ‘wild and spontaneous’ adventure but me, Lex Luthor, King of Ruckus, Mayhem, and Shenanigans.” Even the air quotes in Lex’s voice pushed Clark to the edge of hysterics.

“Shenanigans, Lex?” Clark chortled.

“Yes, shenanigans that certain farm boys will miss out on if they’re not more open and eager for new experiences.”

Clark bowed obsequiously. “Lead away, oh great King of mine.” That shouldn’t have sent a shiver down Lex’s spine. Not in this heat. Clark’s king, he liked the sound of that.

They walked in silence, taking in the sights of the fractured palm limbs strewn across the interstate. Lex’s mind wandered back to the moments leading up to and during the storm. Having a Clark security blanket was his favorite part to recall.

He wouldn’t have pulled over his truck for a few clouds blocking out the sun. No, it was the steadily increasing darkness accompanied by the howl and screeching of the wind. Clark’s solid hands found purchase on the back of his seat, fingers digging into the leather, hard enough to perforate once the rain and thunder began. That long body, that wasn’t stuffed into the seat for once, had gradually shifted closer, all but hovering in Lex’s orbit. Security, protection, even in the middle of a storm, Clark tried to keep Lex safe from harm.

Clark stopped. A solid hand on his shoulder stirred Lex from his thoughts. “What’s that smell?”

“It’s nice.” Soft, vibrant—as if a color could equate to a fragrance.

Clark sniffed the air lightly before smiling, “It’s…it’s oranges.” In the seconds following, Lex realized once again that no matter how sexy his shoes were, they were strictly for walking, gliding, sauntering—everything except running.

Kansas had corn—lots of it. And Florida had oranges, miles and miles of oranges. In the recesses of Lex’s brain, in the area where dark humor blossomed like summertime orange blossoms, he couldn’t help but think scurvy would be the least of his problems after this trip.

“There are so many of them. Oranges--” Clark was awed by the trees increasing in height down terribly neat and ordered lines.

“It‘s just oranges. You have corn, Florida has oranges.” From the look on Clark’s face, it might as well have been Lana Lang with a star spangled bikini holding warm apple pie. “Ready to jump ship? We could stay here and learn about the wonderful world of orange cultivation.”

A sharp snap and bright orange globe sat on Clark’s palm. A thing of wonder, a thing of beauty. “Wow.” Lex watched Clark move, walking through row after row, head snapping to and fro. All he needed to go was twirling down a neatly spaced aisle, and he and Mary Tyler Moore would officially have a lot more in common.

“Before you begin to burst into song, I think we should find a phone. Then, we can return to our O.C. adventure.”

Clark shook his head slowly. “Nah-uh. King Spontaneous started this and I think I want to finish it.” Cockiness and batted eyelashes and Lex was. Done. “ Pweese, Lex.” It was that voice which led to the pout and the pout which transitioned into that brilliant smile that showed off those imperfect perfect canine teeth. Clark wrapped a too big hand around his wrist and it was like localized sunstroke as they began to move deeper down the line.

Green eyes sharpened, “Take that tree and I’ll take this one.” Clark nudged him along, before setting about to pick the ripe pieces of fruit. For a farm boy, Clark really didn’t seem too ready to respect the crops of a fellow farmer. If Clark could find them a phone, he’d make sure the Kents had the best orange grove in all of Kansas, if not the country, if Clark so wanted.

“Someone’s coming.” Lex strained to hear a sound as an arm wrapped around him and another tossed a coat full of oranges into his chest. A low humph passed from his lips, as if he'd been hit with a giant organic medicine ball. The one time and one time only that Lex had ventured to go on a carnival ride was parallel to this moment; the sudden upsweeping motion, a void of light and sounds that blurred into one nauseating jumble perfumed by the fresh scent of oranges. Clark gripped him tightly and it wasn’t so much that Clark was still leading him then as it was Lex trying to hold on and not vomit all over Clark’s t-shirts.

He was going to be sick. His stomach thought about it, but wound up having the decision made for it. They stopped and Lex was still reeling, but not on solid ground. The earth beneath his feet was soft, shifting, hot—small waves of heat worked upwards through his flat bottomed shoes to tickle the bottoms of his feet.

Lex gazed at the rolling tide of blue-green waves that were definitely a long way away from the orange grove and the irate farmer’s shotgun. “How…when?” Unflappable, not in this moment, even more so as Clark gave him a smile, followed by the showing of more golden skin than on the French Riviera.

A howl of joy. “This…this is paradise, Lex!” Big dirty sneakers joined the pile of hastily removed t-shirts and jeans. Clark passed the bundles aside.

Clark ran forward, diving like a fish beneath the waves and Lex was once again speechless. A minute or two and there was a dark shadow circling under the white crests, and Clark walked out of the waves with water streaming down his body and trickling off the ends of his curls. A vision that could only be interpreted by myth in its beauty. A merman—turned Lex’s newest kink.

Clark left a trail of water leading from the ocean’s mouth to the hot dry sand. Clark landed beside him, dislodging enough water and sand to make Lex grimy. “How was it?” Lex asked.

Clark began to divvy up their citrus treasure, smiling softly, he caught Lex’s eye. “It was warm-- wet, of course…I saw fish. Lots of fish!” Lex was really enjoying being the sole recipient of Clark’s smiles. “This is the best trip ever, Lex….Thank you.” The last part was so soft. There’d be no continuing until Clark finished devouring the rapidly peeled oranges.

Nothing in the world could ever compare to the sight of those too pink lips squeezing a ripe orange slice between them, caressing, sucking, and extracting the juice that traveled down the hot paths of that strong neck, cooling it both inside and out. Lex was staring and Clark was blushing.

Tasting the flavor would only be fulfilling if he was allowed to taste the additional flavor of Clark beneath it. Clark caught his gaze, his suckling of the slice gradually slowed until he left licking the sticky juice from his lips and a hot feeling in his cheeks. He peeled the orange some more, noticing Lex’s lack of eating. A bit of shame, for not offering sooner, curbed his appetite. “Want some?”

The slice was sticky, dripping and sloppily peeled. All common sense was telling Lex to decline politely, but it was…Clark who was offering him a taste…of pure sweetness. “Yes.”

Clark edged closer on the sand, but not enough. The moment strangely reminded Lex of the phrase about Mohammed and the mountain. Of course, Clark would be his mountain and he’d go him willing. Any time, any day.

Lex’s lips took the slice from Clark’s fingers, leaving a glossy trace of juice where it once had been. Clark didn’t recoil. He didn’t lash out to strike Lex. His hand continued to hover, before seeking Lex’s lips again, imploring on their own behalf for him to continue what he started.

A moan. There was a moan. The sweetest sound Lex had ever heard, barely audible over the roar of the ocean, faint and wonderful. This was Clark’s graduation gift for four years of hard work and dedication. Feeling Clark’s sticky hands slide over his shoulders and gentle themselves down his back, Lex felt rewarded for his own shy perseverance.

This wasn’t the graduation present he’d planned for. This place only had castles made of sand and no attractions, other than the line-free expanse of beach before them. Yet, to Lex, this was the happiest place on Earth. It was Florida.

The End.
danceswithgarydanceswithgary on December 1st, 2006 12:13 am (UTC)
Yay! There you are!

I really like this story, it was fun to read it again. The way you invoked heat and storm was a nice touch. Adventures in Oranges. *grin*
La Nena: roseSC182supercaptain182 on December 1st, 2006 05:20 am (UTC)
It took me a while to get here, but I'm here! Writing about the oranges, the heat and the storm made me feel like I was back home again. *g*

Thanks again for the helping me!
president of the back seat: SV Tommy guhvibrantharmony on December 2nd, 2006 02:34 pm (UTC)
Awwww, I love that Lex can't refuse Clark anything- he's such a pushover! Plus, food porn! Very very hot! :D
La Nenasupercaptain182 on December 3rd, 2006 10:25 pm (UTC)
Food porn = guh!

I think Lex will have a thing for oranges from now on. *g*