Author: Blue Gold E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Archive: midnightscribbles.com Pairings: Clark/Lex, Clark/Bruce,
Summary: The world has changed; things will never be the same; or so everyone thinks. What happens when the world makes things right? Can enemies, lovers, and friends find their place again?
Disclaimer: I *sniff* do not any of the characters in this story
Spoilers: General All Episodes, Warnings: Angst,
Authors Notes: Incorporates aspects of DCU.Clark returned to his desk at a right angle to Lois’ to find to find the area deserted. Glad he didn’t have to answer any awkward questions he returned to the article when a shadow fell over him again.
He looked up and she smiled. “Welcome back sugar,” Cat said sweetly. “This is a slice of your welcome cake. It had a little barn on it,” She said placing the cake on the desk and boldly giving Clark a kiss on the cheek.
“Thanks Cat,” Clark said eying the cake and what could be a bit of a barn door painted on it.
“No problem cutie, I for one am glad to have you back. Gives a girl something to look forward to in the office.”
“Thanks, but I should finish this article.”
“Of course Clarkie, we wouldn’t want you in hot water your first day back,” She said strutting off in a dress that he was surprised she could breathe in.
Returning to the article he saw that the way the ‘interview’ had gone left room for multiple follow ups. He finished transcribing the interview into an article and sent an e-mail to both Perry, and Lex, who still had a right to approve any article written by the Planet that was not based on public knowledge.
Lex’s response was almost instant.
These are not the type of articles I meant. I did not write anything I did not approve of.
Clark sat back for a moment wondering why he did not want to write his resignation at the moment. Instead he took a bite of his welcome cake. Chocolate, Lois’ favorite. Shrugging he ate it as he pulled out his thermos of protein shake. Giving the container a vigorous shake he downed half the contents in two large gulps.
“Lois,” Clark responded in the same tone wiping his mouth clean.
“I know Perry said you aren’t my partner but, Chloe has already ditched me for her favorite paparazzi. Can you help me with some research?”
“Sure, on what?”
“What is it?” Clark asked even as he pulled up Google.
“It’s the latest sex drug. And it’s being used increasingly as a date rape drug. It’s been around for maybe six months as far as we can figure out.”
“Wait,is this is?” Clark asks as he begins to read aloud. “First sight, renew that spark. One little red pill and it will be lust at first sight, your partner will be ready to play out any fantasy.”
“Yeah, that must be one of the ads from the three seconds it was legal and being marketed as organic.”
“It’s not?” Clark asked even as he clicked through more links.
“Not even close. Most of the ingredients are sixteen letter words and read like a chemistry text book. The clincher is that after you take it you will literally do anything, to get into the pants of the first person you see. Better than any of the old drugs, because then you get a willing partner regardless of things like sexual orientation.
“The worse part is, only about fifteen percent of people on it even remember what happened. Or so the European trials show.”
“Yes it, seems it showed up there a little while before the US debut under the name “Amore” being more liberal they were actually testing it to see if the claims were true.”
“Where was it developed?” Clark asked.
“That is one of the many things we are trying to find out. Or the name of some one behind it, the company that originally made it seems to have vanished in Singapore of all places and while it’s clear that the company is a front, we can’t even begin to trace the money.”
“Hmm, someone had to provide the pills for the European trials.”
“Yes that was the company in Singapore, keep up Smallville.”
“No, someone would have to ship it, look for a package signature or something, it will be no one important to the larger investigation, but a peon might have been dumb enough to sign for something and how many peons are there in Singapore, he may still be employed by the legitimate face of the company.”
“Not bad Smallville, it’s good to see that all that time away didn’t rot your brain.”
“Thanks Lois, but for all I know the guy is part of the Singapore mafia and has never had a legitimate job.”
“It’s a place to start that we didn’t have before.”
“I guess,” Clark said returning to the computer screen, now interested in this ‘First Sight’ drug. “Give me what you have on the drug already,” Clark said absently, fingers moving across the keys and Lois grinned.
“Two days,” Flash said in horror, not even glancing at whomever it was that had joined him. They were both looking through the glass at Superman who was still screaming. He couldn’t imagine the amount of pain he must be in to be screaming non-stop for two days.
The fact that he could even scream for two days was chilling. No one would have believed that it was possible for the Man of Steel to be reduced to this. Flash finally glanced at his companion and realized it was Batman. Batman who had spent the most time at the watchtower, ever, in the last two days. Then again, finding out what was wrong with big blue was much more important than any villain.
Batman looked up at the monitors and turned to the flash grabbing his arm. “Run.” Flash didn’t need to be told twice and in under a second they were in the command center of the Watchtower. Batman startling Wally at how fast Batman moved to the control panel for the sick bay.
He hit the button for shields as well as set off the alarms for an evacuation to the Monitor Womb, which they were currently standing in the center of.
“What just happened?” Flash asked as they were joined in the room.
“He just started emitting increasing levels of UV radiation. We got out of there before it was a concern but another few minutes and we would most likely be facing cancer.”
The Flash gulped as J’onn phased into the room, becoming silent beside Batman. “His screams have subsided.”
“Is he conscious?”
“Not at the moment,” the Martian Manhunter replied.
“His body is still emitting a low grade radiation, but nothing near as much as a few minutes ago. I will monitor him from here and we will see about lifting the shields in another twenty minutes,” Batman said adjusting some dials on the monitor. “For now the fact that he isn’t conscious is likely a blessing.”
“Not joking there, Supes doesn’t even like visiting the sick bay.” Flash said his grin falling off at the cold look from Batman.
Clark blinked feeling as if he was coming out of a daze, the smell of Chinese food drawing his attention. He looked up and Lois held out a carton to him.
“Thanks. What time is it?”
“Nearly seven, Smallville. You haven’t gotten rusty I see, with all those puff pieces,” Lois said leaning against his desk and lifting the topmost stack of printouts. She made interested noises as she read and Clark opened his food amazed at how much time had passed since he has started researching ‘first sight’, or ‘red lust’ as he had found it was called in the Asian markets.
Sadly, it was widely used in their prostitution markets, especially on the children. The thought sickened Clark, and he hoped that he would be able to do something as Clark Kent that Superman would not be able to do.
Superman’s resources in such a situation were such a quick fix. And until the true culprit was dealt with, the wealth businessmen willing to pay anything for a child to be their toy anything he did would be useless.
“People are disgusting,” Lois said with a sigh, almost as if she was reading his mind. “Eat your Bok Choy, greens are good for you.” She said when noticing he was shoving it around with his chopsticks.
“Thanks,” Clark muttered shoving the leaf into his mouth.
“How’d you find the Asian link?” Lois asked.
“Luck,” Clark said with a shrug, not about to admit that he could still read Mandarin and Cantonese and had found an ad for one of the brothels and the description had sounded like the symptoms of first sight.
“Find anything else?”
“Some people when they take the drug, it acts as a truth serum between them and their…”
“Addiction?” Lois suggested.
“I guess,” Clark replied. “And like any drug people tend to get violent, someone who was slipped the drug broke someone’s arm who tried to get them away from their ‘addiction’. They come down off of it about four to six hours later.”
“It just gets better and better.”
“So did you want to know it’s really popular in the new club district in Suicide Slums?”
“Lois, have you been working Clark?” Chloe asked approaching their paired desks.
“Well since my so called new partner deserted me-”Lois started in irritation.
“I didn’t desert you, I actually got a lead. There is one club where all the first sight is coming out of. But it’s going to be hard getting in there.”
“What is it some exclusive club? We can fake our way in,” Lois said with conviction, “we can just play up the bouncer.”
Chloe laughed. “Not a chance-”
“You don’t think I can work a bouncer?”
“Like all guys aren’t interested,” she said puffing her chest slightly while gesturing at her breast.
“Actually they are more interested in,” Chloe gestured to Clark’s crotch. Clark raised an eyebrow but continued to eat his food watching the antics of the cousins.
“Why hasn’t anyone raided the club?” Clark asked.
“It’s an openly high end men’s club, gay models, pretty rich boys, and celebrities. And unlike the clubs of our youth they take age seriously. The only reason I know you can get First Sight there is there was a talkative queen talking about his latest conquest. I’m betting dealers pick up there, but the club is clean; nothing to raid,” Chloe explained leaning against his desk. Clark purposely avoided making eye contact with Chloe avoiding her significant looks.
Bok Choy was fascinating.
“Except first sight,” Lois put in not noticing the tension.
“Well they have to be exposed first. I bet the police aren’t even looking in on this club. How many of these clients would want to report such a thing? It could be happening often at the club and no one would notice a thing.”
“That and the memory loss make this thing a nightmare to track,” Clark piped in.
“So Smallville how do you feel about gay bars?”
“I’m strictly research Lois, chief’s orders.”
“This would be research, in person, incognito research.”
“Lois I don’t think Clark should do this. Besides people recognize him as much as they do you.”
“Maybe before, but he almost looks like a model with those cheekbones, and that hair and that size? He can get in easily. Especially, if we throw some contacts on him. Glad to see the plastic monsters are gone,” Lois said touching the wire rim frame.
“Thanks,” Clark said with an eye roll
“We can use someone else.”
“Who Jimmy? Sorry Chloe that’s your cup of tea, the geek is just not in any more. Smallville is perfect and you know it.”
“:What’s the name of this club?” Clark asked.
“That’s the spirit-”
“I didn’t say I’d go, but I’ll look the club over, the owner might be involved.”
“It’s The Prince’s Ransom,” Chloe filled in and finally making a decision with herself moved to hug Clark, Almost desperate to use her power on him, though she knew she couldn’t do it in the heart of the Planet and he would never forgive himself if she never woke up.
She sniffed slightly trying to cover it with a laugh and failing. “I’m going to go now before I make a bigger fool of myself,” she said running off.
Clark glanced up at Lois who snorted and walked over to her desk. He grinned at her and with practiced ease ate with one hand and scrolled search engines with the other. He didn’t notice Lois’ smirk as he worked only looking up when she dropped a file.
Clark smiled when he caught his eye and she returned the smile as she tried to picture the new slimmer Clark in clubbing attire. He would work out perfectly if she could get him to agree and the second he felt that he was useful he wouldn’t even consider resignation.
Lois sure now that she had a plan wondered if she should recruit Chloe, but she didn’t think here cousin would be able to keep the reason she was doing this from Clark. Yes he would help expose the distributors of first sight. But he would also, get back into the groove of things. As much as Lois loved her cousin she was not cousin material.
“So what does that mean?”
“For all intensive purposes he’s human. Whatever Luthor did fundamentally changed his biology.”
“Is that why he’s not waking up?” Diana asked as she looked across the table to where Batman and J’onn sat. The flash and Green Lantern on one side, Green Arrow and Black Canary on the other side oval table, she was at an approximate head of the table an empty chair at her side. One that usually belonged to the being they were discussing.
“We are not sure why he is not waking up; his brain activity does not indicate he’s in a coma.”
“Quite the contrary in fact,” J’onn said with a shake of his head.
“What does it indicate?” Diana said a heavy feeling in her stomach.
“That he is still in immense pain,” Batman admitted.
“Can we do anything for him?” The Flash asked. “Something to stop the pain?”
“His body is changing on multiple levels,” Batman stood and began to circle the area. “If he survives the change, it will have to be on his own. Any more forging matter introduced to his body would most likely kill him.”
Gasps were heard round the table. “Luthor must pay for this,” Diana snarled.
“And how would you like to do that? Display to the world that Superman is powerless? What crime did he commit? Unless Clark dies and we reveal his secret, there is nothing we can bring Luthor in on. Kryptonite is not an illegal substance, and he pays his taxes every year.”
“Taxes?” J’onn cut in perplexed.
“Mob bosses, never paid their taxes back in the day, it was the only charge to stick to Capone,” Ollie explained.
“I would like to sit with him,” Diana said standing.
“He will not know you are there.”
“Regardless, he should not be alone,” she said marching from the room.
“We have something else to discuss,” Batman began. “We have to do something about the disappearance of Superman. That will not panic the people of Metropolis or cause the less savory aspects to simply take this as an opportunity.”
“A mission?” Flash interjected. “We can have some people keep an eye on the city. As long as the regular guys think he’s coming back, and the criminals think they are still being watched by more than the law it should be fine.”
“And who would you have do this? We all have cities to watch,” Bruce pointed out.
“Rotation? It’s been quiet in Star City for a while,” the Flash admitted.
“And what do you think will happen when they see you in Metropolis?” Batman asked.
“Well by then it should be someone else’s turn. Maybe it’s time we opened up the league some. Some of those kids Green Arrow worked with.”
“They are not ready to handle a city,” Batman said.
“Alone yes,” Oliver stated, “but together, Victor has a good head on his shoulders and can keep Bart in line. He also mentioned meeting someone by the name of Gar… Can’t remember his full name, but we know Superman tends to bounces back.”
“We’ll bring them up to the Watchtower and see,” Batman said coldly.
“Mercy a toast,” Lex said holding a glass out to his body guard.
“I don’t drink.”
“On this occasion you must.”
“Superman is as good as dead.”
“But what about the rest of the Justice League?”
“Oh, that will be simple, they will come storming in here demanding answers, and poor innocent Lex Luthor will have to press charges. There are already Questions arising since they built their Watchtower. Beings from the stars watching over us, with powers that can destroy us mere mortals.”
“Without their sunshine symbol it is only a matter of time before they do something that they will be seen as the devil for. And if not we can always help them along,” Lex added raising his glass. Mercy nodded as she raised the glass he had handed her though she did not drink.
She was looking forward to what Lex would decide to do with the league.