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22 August 2006 @ 07:29 am
[fic] The Red Truck Affair (2/?) [clex, tim/kon; PG-13]  
AUTHOR'S NOTES: I can't thank you guys enough for the wonderful feedback I received on the first chapter. I was so worried about the quailty, but your kind comments helped me wrestle the muse for a second chapter. ^_^ *offers chocolate DC characters of choice*

Not much to say about this one, except that I hope it doesn't disappoint. As always, feedback will make me so very grateful. I'll even kiss your ring. ^_~

The Red Truck Affair:
A Disturbing Smallville/DC Mish-Mash (2/?)

by Meredith Bronwen Mallory

CHAPTER TWO: In Which The Truck is Frowned At Direly

The passing of an hour found Kon the kitchen, scraping the remains of the broken pitcher into the wastebasket. Aunt Martha was washing the dishes left in the wake of Breakfast: Round Two, unusually silent as she went about her work. She looked up briefly as Kon put the dust pan away.
"Thank you, dear," she said, "I forgot all about that."
"No prob," Kon waved his hand, "though I'd really like it if you could explain--"
"Clark will be here soon," Martha told him patiently. The dishes clinked and water splashed. After a moment, she added, "He's bringing Batman." Kon took off his glasses and wiped them on his shirt, just to give his hands something to do. His first thought was relief-- if Batman was coming, chances were good that Robin was also coming. Just having Tim around soothed Kon's nerves in ways he was in no hurry to examine. His second thought, however, swept away any relief what-so-ever.
Batman was coming.
To look at a _truck_.

Either things were really serious, or Batman was going to be extremely pissed.

"Okay," he said, simply because his aunt was looking at him expectantly. He shifted from foot to foot restlessly-- his chores were done, and everyone in the Kent household seemed determined to avoid the truck, and thus the front drive, altogether. "Do you need any help?" he asked, looking significantly at the dishes. He'd spent months on his own in Hawaii, taking care of himself, and it felt odd for him to let Martha do so much for him now. Although he'd be the first to admit her cooking was worlds better than his.
"You're a good boy, Kon," she replied, patting his cheek in a way that made the teenager feel simultaneously warm and utterly mortified. "You remind me so much of Clark." There seemed to be something else on her mind, but she turned back to the dishes with a small sigh. A loud crack echoed from out behind the barn, and she shook her head. Uncle Jon was outside chopping wood in a manner more suited to R-rated horror movies than to everyday farm chores. Kon flinched.
"Is he... gonna be okay?" he asked slowly, peering through the kitchen wall and the vague outlines of the barn with his X-Ray vision. Uncle Jon had amassed a large pile of finished wood in a short amount of time, and gave no indication of slowing down.
"He's just letting off some steam," Martha assured him in a bright, cheery tone that completely missed its mark. Kon was about to say something else, when a little prickle rose along the back of his neck. He looked through the roof and into the blue morning sky-- sure enough, there was a small red dot approaching.
"Clark's almost here," he told Martha, waiting for her nod before heading down the hall and out to the back porch.

Superman was on the ground when he got there, hair and cape looking as unruffled as ever. Robin was climbing down from his shoulders, and Batman stood off to the side in that stiff way that clearly telegraphed he resented being carried all this way. Superman made little to no sound when he landed, most of the time, but he never seemed surprised when Kon came out to meet him without being called. Kon always figured it was some Kryptonian thing-- either that, or he was just weird. Which, considering his origins, was a significant possibility. Robin hailed Kon with a wave, and they exchanged a high-five that turned into a somewhat prolonged handclasp.
"Hey, man," Kon greeted.
"Hey," said Robin, expertly dodging Kon's attempt at a noogie. The shorter boy then delivered an talented elbow maneuver that would have left a mortal doubled over in pain. To Kon, it merely tickled. They smiled sharply at each other. "So, what's going on? Superman was unusually close-mouthed on the way over."

Kon shrugged his shoulders, ushering Robin towards the front drive. Superman and Batman were already there, arms crossed, frowning direly at the truck. Looking up, Superman smiled a brief greeting to Kon, but quickly went right back to what the young man had always thought of as his 'now-stop-this-lawlessness-at-once' pose. Batman's face-- what could be seen of it-- was unreadable, but that was no different than any other day. There were times Kon was certain the Dark Knight had only three facial expressions, tops.
"It's a truck," Robin said flatly.
"Yup," Kon replied, trying to wrap his brain around the oddity of Batman and Superman standing in the Kent's dooryard in the middle of broad daylight. He quickly gave up.
Robin leaned a little closer, "Is it an alien truck?"
"A shape-shifting creature pretending to be a truck?"
"I don't think so."
"Secret government technology disguised as a truck?"
Kon shook his head, "Doesn't seem to be."

"Robin," Batman said, and Kon's friend shrugged, hurrying over to his mentor's side. Robin's red tunic and green armored leggings were very formfitting, and yet somehow he managed to produce a scanner seemingly from out of no where. Black and yellow cape rustling in the light breeze, Robin scanned the truck, while Batman popped the hood so he could frown disapprovingly at the truck's insides as well. Superman, meanwhile, was staring at the vehicle intently, with an expression that clearly told Kon he was X-Raying it. Briefly Kon frowned, hoping he didn't adopt a similar look when he used his own powers-- Superman looked a little constipated.
"No traces of explosives, Kryptonite dust, or any other suspicious elements," Robin reported dutifully. "She's clean."
"There's no obvious tampering here," Batman said, closing the hood.
"I don't see anything, either," Superman sighed, biting his lower lip. He looked very young when he did that.
"It's a truck," Robin said, echoing Kon's thoughts exactly. "What's the big deal?"
"That's what _I'd_ like the know!" Kon let out, more than a little agitation bleeding into his voice. "It's nine in the morning, there's a brand new, extremely cool truck in my driveway, and everyone's acting like it's Roswell, or something! And, dudes!" Kon looked disbelievingly at his watch for a second time, "No one expected me to go to school today! I got off *school* for this!" Which, of course, was perfectly fine with Kon, who loathed Smallville High in ways usually reserved for galactic murderers, but both Clark and the Kents were very insistent on his attendance. Kon had found that any arguments revolving around the fact he hadn't been *around* to attend grades K-8 didn't help his cause. It only made everyone uncomfortable.

"Did anything else come with the truck?" Superman asked, squeezing Kon's shoulder in a manner that was probably supposed to be reassuring. "Dad mentioned a note."
"Yeah," Kon said, fishing in the back pocket of his jeans. He handed the creamy, heavyweight paper over to Superman, who handled it as gingerly as one would a snapping, spitting Tree Devil from Rylos 5.
"I can't believe you were so careless," Batman told Kon. "That could well have been laced with Kryptonite dust." Kon rolled his eyes and looked at Robin in askance.
"You're not supposed to disturb the chain of evidence, Kon," Robin said apologetically. Behind Batman's back, however, he gave Kon a look that-- even through the mask-- clearly said he thought his own mentor was going a little overboard this time.

Carefully, Superman unfolded the paper. His eyes scanned across it once, then twice, and then again. He let out a small, quick bark of laughter that he muffled with his hand. Batman confiscated the note to read for himself.
"I think he's finally lost it," Superman said when the other hero finished.
"What do you mean, 'finally lost it'?" Batman asked. "He's never had it-- he's insane. He always has been insane, he always will be insane. He spent time in an institution, for god's sake." Kon watched in a sort of confused fascination as Superman's normally open expression shuttered, and the Kryptionian shot his fellow warrior a angry, warning look.
"That's not fair," Superman said quietly, "and you know it."
The muscle in Batman's jaw twitched. "This is your problem, you *still* stick up for him, even after..." He waved a black gauntlet in Kon's general direction.
"He does have a point, son," Jonathan Kent's voice rang quietly in the yard. Kon turned around-- he'd been so wrapped up in the odd exchange before him that he hadn't even heard his Aunt and Uncle approaching from behind.
"I don't want to talk about this, Dad," Superman said, briefly looking all of about fifteen years old. "I never should have listened to you in the first place-- if I'd just gone in and brought him out..."
"Out of Belle Reve?" Uncle Jon's voice hit an odd pitch. "And done what, son?"
"Ran," Superman said sadly. "When Edge came, I should have just picked him up and ran. It's all my fault."
Jonathan's expression darkened, "For God's sake, Clark--"
"Boys, please--" Martha said, shooting a worried look at Kon.
"You know you can't trust him," Uncle Jon went on seamlessly, "You never *could* trust him, and now he's fishing around for Kon--"
"Lex probably thinks its a joke, Dad," Superman's voice seemed very tired. "He's just twisting the knife a little. He's always had a weird sense of humor and..."

"WAIT," Kon fairly shouted, holding up both hands. For the first time, he found he had actually gained everyone's attention, and he didn't bother to hide his irritation. "Back up a second, here." He met Superman's gaze head-on. "The truck is from Lex Luthor?"
The was a long pause. "Yes."
"Lex Luthor!?" Kon cried in disbelief. "LEX FREAKIN' LUTHOR?"
"Shhhh!" his aunt and uncle said insistently, as if saying the name could summon the man.
"The note was addressed to 'C'," Robin said. His voice was close to Kon's ear, and soothing. The young man had no idea when exactly his friend had come to his side, but he was glad of it.
"It was sent to the Kent's house," Kon finished the thought. He looked at Superman with a growing sense of terror and plummeting unease. Quietly-- so quietly, "He knows who you are?"
"Yes," Superman did not look away, but nor did his gaze seem to actually focus on Kon.
"Since when?"
The hero rolled his shoulders-- it was a Clark mannerism on Superman's body. "Since always."
"What do you mean, 'always'?" Kon couldn't even name the emotion in his own voice. "If he knows, why aren't your parents in, like, Timbuktu, or on the moon-- someplace _safe_? Why doesn't the whole world _know_?" Robin's hand was on Kon's arm, grip so tight as to be punishing on a human. As it was, Kon was just thankful he could feel it.
"Lex wouldn't do that," Superman replied, with the same assurance one uses when stating that the sky is blue.
"He's your enemy!" Kon exploded, aware that he himself sounded all of five. "You _said_ he was your enemy! You said! You fight all the time! He's tried to kill you! Why _wouldn't_ he take advantage, if he knew?"
Superman looked pained, "We are enemies."
"This is a mess," Batman said flatly.
"Thanks so much, Bruce," Superman said nastily. He took a step towards Kon, expression pleading. "There's a lot you don't understand, it's complicated--"
"How is it complicated?" Kon asked, eyes wild. "How is," he moved his hands to illustrate, "good guys here, bad guys there, complicated? What is going ON?"
"Kon," Superman's expression was wholly Clark, naked in a way Kon was not prepared to handle.
"No-- no." He shook his head. For a moment, he stood frozen in the middle of the front yard, muscles tensed and torn. Then, he went with his instincts.

He picked Robin up and ran.

Feed the muse, please, before she eats my brain. ^_~
Emotional Temperature: lovedloved
The Band Plays:: "It's My Life"-- by Bon Jovi
stranj100stranj100 on August 22nd, 2006 12:38 pm (UTC)
"He picked Robin up and ran."

At least, he's got is priorities straight.

I think Bruce is jealous that Lex got to Clark first.
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: zoegarnettrees on August 26th, 2006 11:45 pm (UTC)
At least, he's got is priorities straight.
*grins* Kon's a little more honest with himself than Clark was, I think.

Bruce is the King of Cranky, isn't he?

Thanks so much for the feedback!
jakrarjakrar on August 22nd, 2006 02:37 pm (UTC)
This keeps getting more interesting, and I absolutely LOVE the way you ended this section. (And, yes, it was easier to read this time. Thank you!)
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: pmsgarnettrees on August 26th, 2006 11:46 pm (UTC)
I'm glad it was easier to read this time, Jak. I'm also glad you stuck around! I can't thank you enough for the feedback-- it makes writing so much easier.
digitalwavedigitalwave on August 22nd, 2006 03:43 pm (UTC)
This is wonderful, sweetie. Sometimes I just want to kick both Bruce and Jon. Now, if only this would make the two of them actually talk to instead of at each other.
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: magicgarnettrees on August 26th, 2006 11:48 pm (UTC)
I think Lex has plenty more up his sleeve, but you're right-- SV Jonathon needs a swift kick to the arse. ^_^ I'm so happy to hear you liked this part, and I hope you'll stay tuned.
Thanks for the fb,
Lady Dayladydey on August 22nd, 2006 04:11 pm (UTC)

I love how weirded Kon is by everyone just frowning at a truck - excuse me an extremely cool truck.

I adore his exchange with Robin - you would think with all the frowning that the truck would be some kind of alien or shape-shifter, or something.

I actually think that it is hilarious - and I can totally understand Lex's strange sense of humor - how everyone Batman, Jonathan, seems to have conveniently blamed Lex for the Belle Reve troubles and at least for Jon taken no responsibility for what part his own actions and irrational feelings (at the time) for Lex played into the trouble that Lex was in then . Nice Rationalizations Buddies!

Kon's incredulousness over the fact that Lex knows who Superman is and the nature or enemies is soooo cute.

..at least Kon was smart enough to grab his touchstone when he ran.

Lex is just going to drive everyone nuts in this story isn't he?? Hee and good for him.
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: dcgirlsgarnettrees on August 26th, 2006 11:51 pm (UTC)
Wow-- thanks for all the detailed feedback, LadyeDey! I'm glad the bit about the shape-shifting truck was funny. Sometimes our heroes do run into the weirdest things. ^_^

I actually think that it is hilarious - and I can totally understand Lex's strange sense of humor - how everyone Batman, Jonathan, seems to have conveniently blamed Lex for the Belle Reve troubles
In Jonathon's book, I think everything, including the weather, is The Fault of Some Luthor. *shakes head* Poor Lex.

..at least Kon was smart enough to grab his touchstone when he ran.
*grins* Hope I wasn't being too obvious with that, but I had to put it in. ^_^

Hopefully you'll stick around to see what Lex is up to next.
Thanks again,
Natasha: futureclextheclexfactor on August 22nd, 2006 04:14 pm (UTC)
YAY! Update. This is getting more and more intriguing. Oh I can't wait for Chapter 3
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: badgirlsgarnettrees on August 26th, 2006 11:53 pm (UTC)
*blushes* Thank you so much, ClexFactor.
*is mesmerized by the future clex icon*
Rachel 2: Tim > Batmanvespa331 on August 22nd, 2006 04:44 pm (UTC)
Yaaaay! I love how everyone's so freaked out and then Clark reads the note and just laughs. He's the only one who gets Lex. Tim/Kon running away together is wonderful and I can't wait to see what happens there. This is one of those instances I wish fanfic was actually in a comic because I would love to see the look on Timmy's face when Kon picked him up and took off. Heck, I wanna see the look on Batman's face too, I bet he got hella pissed at Superman - "Your clone just stole my sidekick!" :D

Kon doesn't know that Lex is his other daddy yet right?
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: marthakentgarnettrees on August 26th, 2006 11:56 pm (UTC)
He's the only one who gets Lex.
I know! *clutches SV season 1* They had such chemistry...

Heck, I wanna see the look on Batman's face too, I bet he got hella pissed at Superman - "Your clone just stole my sidekick!"
*laughs hard* Oh, Bruce would totally say something like that. He's so sane, it's driven him crazy, poor fellow.

Actually, Kon does know that Lex is his other daddy-- I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear enough. He's just trying *really* hard no to think about it. But he knows, and he confided in Tim.
Thanks for the feedback!
althea_astrea on August 22nd, 2006 05:30 pm (UTC)
Poor Kon, it must be confusing as hell!!

He picked Robin up and ran.

Uh-oh. Batman is going to be pissed! But I'm glad Kon is not going away alone. He needs to think and he needs his friend at his side. *nods*
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: alicekatie2garnettrees on August 26th, 2006 11:58 pm (UTC)
*grins* Batman was *born* pissed. ^_~

I'm so glad you enjoyed this part. Btw, I've been following your Older!Kal story, and I have to say that I just love it. I can't wait to see where you're going. Your Lex is wonderfully strong and vulnerable.
(no subject) - althea_astrea on August 27th, 2006 12:02 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - vespa331 on September 24th, 2006 11:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - althea_astrea on September 24th, 2006 11:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
AerynSun: Bitch Kalpeach1250 on August 22nd, 2006 06:31 pm (UTC)
::tapping foot:: More Now!!!! :-)
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: togethergarnettrees on August 26th, 2006 11:59 pm (UTC)
*grins* Soon, I hope. We aim to please! ^_^

Glad you enjoyed!
Magdelena: SV - Clex (love) by _night_lilymagdelena1969 on August 23rd, 2006 03:54 am (UTC)
This is AWESOME. I somehow missed the first chapter, so I caught up on both today, and I'm so intrigued. Kon's incredulousness at the actions of the others is perfect. I can so see him acting like that!

I can't wait to see more. :D
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: fab4garnettrees on August 27th, 2006 12:11 am (UTC)
I'm so glad you think Kon is in character, Magdelena. I read your story where Kon goes back in time to change things, and I really loved it. You write some of the best Clex, so I'm very happy to get suck good feedback from you.

Thanks so much!
(no subject) - magdelena1969 on August 31st, 2006 03:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
squeeze me, stomp me,  make me winemoosesal on August 23rd, 2006 06:42 am (UTC)
Love the ending, it cracked me up that he picked up Tim. Nice.

I love Clark's memory of Lex in Belle Reve and wishing he'd taken different action. And Batman's attitude (a little jealousy there? *g*) about it all.

Also, Clark rereading the note? *happy sigh*
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: kissmegarnettrees on August 27th, 2006 12:01 am (UTC)
*grins* I hoped that wasn't too obvious, but I really do think Kon would just pick Tim up and scram. ^_^

I love Clark's memory of Lex in Belle Reve and wishing he'd taken different action
I think, in Clark's mind at least, that's really where everything Went Wrong. Lex may take a longer view, with the lies and all, but I think Clark sees that as the beginning of the end.

Thanks so much for the kind comment! Your icon is darling, btw.
Bagheera: disguisebagheera_san on August 23rd, 2006 01:58 pm (UTC)
Yay! I waited for this :)

There a few things as weird as Batman on the Kent farm. In costume. Bruce on the farm, okay, but Batman? Cracktastic. (And somehow, I can't imagine Smallville!Jonathan ever approving of either Batman or Bruce Wayne.)

Bringing up the Belle Reve incident as catalyst to have Clark defend Lex was clever, since I think that no matter how bad things get between them or how little he believes that their friendship was ever genuine, this is one occasion where Clark simply can't see Lex as anything but a victim.

Also interesting is Bruce taking the 'he's insane' stance on the Lex issue, since most of his own villains are insane. Still, in most Smallville/DCU fic I've seen, he treats Lex as a dangerous criminal, but not technically insane. It makes me want to know how well your Batman knows Lex and what Lex's current state of mind is - if this is Teen Titans era, this would be one of DC!Lex's less sane phases.

Meredith Bronwen Mallory: love2garnettrees on August 27th, 2006 12:23 am (UTC)
Bruce on the farm, okay, but Batman? Cracktastic.
*grins* I'm so glad you agree with me. As soon as I got that image in my head, I had to write it, if only to save my brain.

You know, I hadn't really though about it, but you're right-- I don't think Jonathon would approve of either of Bruce's identities either. He'd tolerate him, because of what it means to Clark, but he'd still relate to him in that Not-Smallville-Bad way of his.

this is one occasion where Clark simply can't see Lex as anything but a victim.
I think that's really where Clark sees things as going down hill, and he really blames himself for running, because he might now have done that with his other friends. But he let Jonathon's retoric get to him.

I think Bruce has a broad definition of insanity-- he sees Lex as more dangerous than people like The Joker, in some ways, because Lex has a calculating mind, and he can disguise his excentricities long enough to operate in the world. But you're right, TT is DC!Lex's less sane periods. Though my Lex characterization is all Smallville, I won't deny that this may come into play.

Thanks for the indepth comments!
Mona: Lex président (herohunter)mona_may56 on August 23rd, 2006 07:48 pm (UTC)
I loved both chapters, I can't wait to read more of this story!

My favorite lines: "Is it an alien truck?"
"A shape-shifting creature pretending to be a truck?"
"I don't think so."
"Secret government technology disguised as a truck?"
Kon shook his head, "Doesn't seem to be."

They are absolutly not paranoid LOL

Meredith Bronwen Mallory: kayleegarnettrees on August 27th, 2006 12:14 am (UTC)
*grins* I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed this. ^_^ I can't thank you enough for commenting.

They are absolutly not paranoid LOL
If I lived in the DCU, I'd be paranoid. ^_~

Btw, your icon totally has my vote. *grin*
LauraB1laurab1 on August 23rd, 2006 10:17 pm (UTC)
Oh, fabulous :) I love Kon.
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: love1garnettrees on August 26th, 2006 11:58 pm (UTC)
Kon is just love, period. ^_^

Thanks for the comment!
(Deleted comment)
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: katiegarnettrees on August 27th, 2006 12:17 am (UTC)
"SQUEE" is honest-to-god feedback, in my book. ^_^ Thanks so much-- I'm so glad you liked it!
Clareblisstasteful on August 28th, 2006 07:42 pm (UTC)
Great first two chapters! I love the visuals in this story, everyone suited up and stood around staring at an innocuous truck!

Poor Tim, stood standing one minute and the next.... still I guess you get used to that kind of thing when teen angst and superpowers collide. *loves tim/kon*