Geeks and Dolls - posted Jan. 31, 2006
Pairing: Clark/Lex (pre-slash)
Word Count: ~ 6600
Summary: Clark's found the perfect Christmas
present for Lex, but will blundering bank robbers and Convenient Head
Timeline - probably S2 around Christmas. Written for the SV Gang Merry
Sue 2005. Blandine requested: hurt/comfort, nothing from S4 or S5, and
a happy ending. French translations can be found at the end. There are
minor appearances by all the SVG members and corporalmonkey.
Geeks and Dolls
stood on the sidewalk in front of Fordman’s department store just
enjoying the delicate fall of snowflakes against his skin. Of course,
they didn’t really feel all that cold, but he imagined they were and it
was almost as good. School was out for the holidays, his parents were
in Metropolis for the weekend, and his Christmas shopping was
finished—except for one thing. He’d gotten the new Martha Stewart
cookbook for his Mom and a heater for the water troughs for his Dad.
Well, for the cows, really, but in some ways it was the same thing and
it would make everyone’s life easier, Clark figured. Besides, he got
tired of using his heat vision to break up the crust of ice on the
water troughs. Family taken care of, he also had a blank journal and a
pen for Chloe, a new basketball for Pete (since Clark had accidentally
crushed the old one), and a pink scarf for Lana. Chloe had rolled her
eyes, but said, “yeah, she’ll like it,” and punched him on the arm hard
enough that he knew if he’d been anyone else it would’ve hurt. A lot.
he just had to get something for Lex, and he was pretty sure he’d come
up with the perfect gift. He’d done his research on-line, and this
morning he’d gotten the call saying it was in and he could pick it up.
Just in time for Christmas.
“You look like you’re in a good mood, Clark.”
turned as he heard Lana’s cheerful voice behind him. She was dressed in
jeans and a dark pink parka, the fur around the hood glistening with
“Hey, Lana. Shopping done?”
She held up two very full shopping bags in answer. “What about you?”
“Just one more gift to get, and it’s right across the street.”
peered at the shop across the way. It’s windows weren’t decorated for
Christmas except for a tasteful string of white lights that illuminated
the colourful displays of comic books and action figures.
“Geeks and Dolls? The comic book store? I didn’t know you were a
not exactly. I mean, I don’t mind them, but—well, I wanted to get Lex
something and he’s a big Warrior Angel fan.” Clark trailed off
uncertainly. He wasn’t sure Lex would appreciate him telling Lana about
his Warrior Angel collection that spanned 147 issues and included every
collectible figurine available. Except one.
Lana was still staring at the shop. “You know, every time I’ve gone
over there, it’s always closed. It’s weird.”
Now it was Clark’s turn to look at Lana quizzically. “You’re a closet
silly. But the woman who owns the store is from France. France!” Lana
said the word with an exaggerated roll of the “r” and a dreamy,
reverent tone. Clark wasn’t sure when Lana had started murmuring about
going to France to study art, but he remembered her drawings from art
class, and he wasn’t sure it was such a good idea. Clark had been sure
she would forget the whole thing when she’d almost flunked French
class, but then there was that incident with the teacher who turned out
to be able to set fires with her thoughts, and all the French marks had
disappeared in one spectacular blaze along with Madame Flambé.
come out of the ordeal with singed eyebrows and a clean slate.
I have to go over there,” Clark started, not really wanting to take
Lana along as he inquired about his order. Some things were just …
“Great! We can go together,” Lana said, already
starting across the street. Clark saw a flurry of movement inside the
comic book store and the blinds on the door seemed to shutter closed
when they got near the door.
Clark pointed to the sign that said, “Back in un moment” as
Lana peered through the highly reflective windows.
it look open from across the street?” Lana jiggled the door handle. “I
swear it was open just a minute ago. It’s so weird.”
focused his x-ray vision on the inside of the shop and saw the outline
of one person. Female. Sitting behind the cash desk, impatiently
tapping her fingers in a rhythm that Clark was almost positive was the
French national anthem—he’d heard Lana humming it out-of-tune often
enough. Suddenly, as if she knew she was being stared at, the figure
turned and looked directly at him, tilted her head, and Clark could’ve
sworn her heard the belaboured sigh from outside. A few moments later
the shutters raised, and Clark could hear the sound of a series of
locks, unlocking. Not one to miss an opportunity, Lana flung open the
door triumphantly and stepped into Smallville’s only comic book store.
“Allo, Clark,” a lightly-accented French voice said.
Madame Blandine,” Lana gushed. “It’s so nice to finally meet you.” She
thrust forward a pink-mittened hand that hung in the air between her
and the other woman.
“It is not ‘Madame Blandine,’ it is simply Blandine.” The tone was
crisp and polite, but Blandine’s dark eyes were unforgiving.
Cher,” Lana said, finally withdrawing her mittened hand. “That means
‘dear’ in French, Clark.” Lana was speaking to him as if he were
simple. Clark saw the French woman roll her eyes dramatically, but Lana
wasn’t stopping. “Oh, how very … chic. I just knew you would be so—so …
Clark busied himself studying the displays and trying
not to notice the way Blandine raised her eyebrow as if deciding where
to hide the body.
“Non, ma petite fouine, not like Cher. Do I look like the woman who has
had more plastic surgery than a Barbie doll?”
“No! No, of course, not,” Lana stammered. “Excusez-moi. Je suis
Mon Dieu! Do not make it worse by butchering my language with a dull,
rusty blade. You would not pain me so much if you carved out my heart
with a teaspoon. It is time for you to go.” With that, Blandine wrapped
one hand around Lana’s wrist and escorted her to the door. “Au revoir!”
she said as she pushed Lana out into the cold and locked the door
Blandine turned on Clark, who tried to shrink his
six-foot-four frame to blend in with the wall. “She followed me!” Clark
said defensively, flushing red as the petite French woman stood glaring
up at him. “I—she—”
“You will not bring her here again, or you will find that every issue
of The Fantastic Four
that you purchase will have the most important panel missing—seamlessly
razored from its spine, and no one in this town will tell you what you
have missed. Do you understand?”
Clark nodded. He knew better
than to argue. He’d heard about some guy at school that had made a joke
about Freedom Fries and the next thing he’d known, the guy was
desperately trying to find a new supplier for Ultimate X-Men.
Even the Smallville post office seemed to keep losing his packages.
“Um.” Clark looked around for something to change the subject. He
pointed at the display of The Lord of the Rings action figures
displayed on the shelf nearest his head. “Um, I like your action
are not ‘action figures’,” Blandine said with disdain. “They are dolls.
There is no difference between Barbie and Legolas except a pink boa,
and even that is open to debate. Call them what they are. If you are
man enough.” She raised an eyebrow, daring Clark to disagree.
didn’t think they could bend like that.” Clark blushed. He wasn’t
prepared to come down on the doll/action figure debate just yet. He’d
like G.I. Joe, and sure, maybe he’d once asked his mother why he
couldn’t buy the nice pink dress for his doll, but that was a really
long time ago. It didn’t mean anything.
Aragorn was seated in
front of a fake cooking fire. Clark didn’t know action figures … dolls
could do the lotus position, and wow, Boromir was bent over on his
knees in front of Legolas, and … whoa. Clark thought he must’ve missed
something when he read the book because he seriously didn’t think the
guys were that close, although the movie had kind of made him wonder
about Sam and Frodo, now that he thought about it.
smiled and patted Clark’s arm. “It is a hobby of mine, and the figures
are … rather flexible.” Clark blushed more deeply, fingering the small
sword that was tucked into Legolas’s quiver. “The sword is actually
Aragorn’s, but he prefers to keep it in Legolas’s quiver,” Blandine
continued with a dismissive wave of her hand. “It gives his hand a
“Um, okay,” Clark said, pulling his eyes away from the
diorama and consciously willing his erection to subside. He hated being
seventeen and perpetually turned on by … everything. Nothing. He wasn’t
sure he was ever going to be able to think about elves and men the same
way again, and damn, he and Lex were supposed to watch the extended
version of the movies over the Christmas holidays.
Blandine said. “I have the item you requested. It is … it is beautiful.
I am quite certain Lex will appreciate it like no one else can.”
She stretched a hand behind the counter and retrieved a cardboard box
brimming with tissue paper. From the middle of it, she pulled out a
small statue done in exquisite detail. “Ah, the Momentary Truce scene
from Warrior Angel Issue 117.”
Clark held the molded
plastic base gently in his large hands and observed the two figures.
Warrior Angel and his arch-enemy, Devillicus, shaking hands. Clark
looked at the tiny faces, lips curled into friendly smiles, hands
clasped in a firm grip, and he hoped Lex would get it. He really hoped
The small bell over the door jangled sharply, but the
door didn’t open. “It’s Lex,” Clark hissed, shoving the figures roughly
back into the box.
“Un moment, Monsieur Luthor,” Blandine
called, pulling the box away from Clark and tucking it under the
counter. She jogged quickly to the door and opened it.
Blandine,” Lex said in a polished French accent, taking her hand and
kissing it gently. When he raised his head, he caught sight of Clark
shuffling awkwardly from one foot to another. “Clark? What are you
“Just--just looking around,” Clark stammered
awkwardly, his eyes flickering over to the shelf with the action
figures. Lex followed his gaze and grinned.
“Well, yes, Blandine always has the most interesting displays. Even so,
Aragorn does seem rather … flexible.”
“Super-poseable,” Blandine corrected. “36 points of articulation. Much
better than the standard models, if you ask me.”
course,” Lex agreed demurely. He smiled at Clark, and picked up a comic
book, sliding it from its protective plastic case. “Don’t let me
interrupt whatever you were doing. When the door was locked.”
raised an eyebrow at Blandine. She met his glance with a steady gaze.
“Allons, Lex. Vous devriez savoir que mes autres activités ne
s’étendent pas aux mineurs.”
“Ah, mais il a dix-sept ans. C’est parfaitement légal. Au moins
pour l’une d’entre nous.”
“Mais, oui. Je comprends.” Blandine patted Lex on the arm. “Mais ‘A
coeur valiant rien d’impossible’.”
“Hey, I don’t speak French, you know.” Clark was suddenly suspicious of
what they were saying.
“We know,” Blandine and Lex said simultaneously, sharing a smile. Lex
glanced through the latest issue of Warrior Angel while Clark
browsed through The Fantastic Four.
He thought the Human Torch was cool. Way cooler than just having heat
vision. And the Human Torch could fly. All Clark could manage was
floating, and even that was only in his sleep. Being a super-hero was
nothing at all like the comic books suggested.
The door jangled
again and four men entered. They were all dressed in black outfits from
head-to-toe and wearing gloves. Well, it was winter, but Clark thought
it looked a little odd. He flipped the pages of his comic, but kept one
eye on the men as they wandered throughout the small shop.
“Hey, where’s your Spider-man comics?” one of the men asked. He
was a little taller than the rest, and his voice was pleasant and deep.
“I do not carry such a thing,” Blandine replied.
“You don’t carry Spider-man?” the man asked, obviously
“I do not like spiders.”
“Yeah, but—” he started to protest.
“Non. It is my store. I do not like spiders. Therefore, no
web-slinging, wall-climbing spider-infected vigilantes here.”
lady, he’s a hero!” A second man had stepped into the debate. He was
younger than the first, but had similar dark hair and sharp blue eyes.
The two men could easily be brothers, Clark thought.
“There are heroes, and then there are heroes!”
Blandine retorted proudly. She got the same choked-up tone when she
spoke about France. Or really good cheese. She grabbed a comic off the
rack and waved it in the men’s faces. “Daredevil is a hero. Batman is a
Clark wondered why Lex let out a sudden choked cough that sounded
partly like chuckle, but not exactly.
“You okay?” Clark whispered.
“Sure,” Lex said, but he was clearly trying not to laugh. “Bruce would
be appalled,” Clark heard him mutter under his breath.
voice continued to carry: “Asterix—Asterix is a hero of the finest
calibre, but Spider-man is nothing more than a bug.”
“Who’s Asterix?” the third man asked. Clark could see a fringe of
red-hair peeking out of the man’s toque.
“Thought that was some sort of punctuation mark,” the final guy
murmured just loudly enough that Clark heard him too.
first guy was still trying to win an obviously hopeless argument, and
Clark imagined this was sort of how the French must have felt when the
Americans decided to get involved in Vietnam. “So a guy who dresses up
like a bat, hides his true identity, and only comes out at night is a
“Yes,” Blandine said with utter conviction.
was snickering into his comic book again and muttering to himself: “The
ears are too long, but the rest … surprisingly accurate.”
poked him in the ribs to quiet him. He had no idea why Lex thought
Batman was so funny; it wasn’t like Warrior Angel didn’t have a few
quirks Clark could point out. Purple spandex? At least Batman’s costume
was cool and sleek. Exactly the kind of thing Clark would choose if he
was ever going to do the hero thing for real.
The red-haired guy tried to intervene between Blandine and the
dark-haired man. “Hey, they’re all just comic books, right?”
looked horrified. She snatched the comic book he was looking at out of
his hand, the plastic cover fluttering to the floor beside him. “No,
they are not just comic books. They are the free press, the
voice of the people. They are our urban legends and modern myths, and
they tell the stories that newspapers are too frightened to report.
What really walks the streets at night. What evil lurks in the hearts
of men.” She took a step forward, and the men stepped back. All of
them. Clark felt himself taking a step back as well.
the Truth,” Blandine said firmly, and Clark had no doubt in his mind
that the word only ever had a capital “t” in Blandine’s vocabulary.
“And if you believe less, get out of my shop.”
“We can’t do
that, I’m afraid,” the first man replied almost apologetically, and
Clark barely saw the movement of his hand as he pulled a gun from his
pocket and raised it to Blandine’s chest. “Lock the door or you all
die.” The man gestured at Clark with the barrel of the automatic he
Lex laid a hand on Clark’s arm, his eyes pale and blue. “Do exactly as
he says, Clark.”
Clark did. Lex, however, wasn’t good at taking his own advice and as
soon as Clark’s back was turned, he made a lunge for the gun. Clark
caught the movement out of the corner of his eye, heard Blandine’s
shout, and whirled just in time to see Lex slip on the discarded
plastic comic book cover and land hard, his head smashing into the
glass display case as he fell.
“Lex!” Clark yelled and started to move to his side, but the barrel of
a gun stopped him cold.
where you are, boy,” the man with the gun said, and now Clark could see
the other three pulling out weapons as well. “Lock the door, and no one
else gets hurt. Nobody has to be a hero. Let’s leave them in the
comics, shall we?”
Clark reached back and turned the latch on
the door, never taking his eyes off the men. “Look, it’s not worth it.
It’s just a comic book store. Blandine can’t have more than a couple of
hundred dollars here. Why don’t you take what you want and leave before
someone else gets hurt?” Clark glanced at where Lex was moaning softly
on the snow-damp floor, a thin trickle of blood running across his
“We don’t want the comic book money, kid,” the
red-haired man said, pulling a length of rope out of his backpack.
“We’ve got much bigger plans that that!”
“The bank,” Blandine said angrily when the three of them were secured
in the backroom of the store.
Clark asked, struggling against the handcuffs they’d locked around his
wrists. He wasn’t entirely sure why Blandine had three sets of
handcuffs in the drawer under the counter, but they were lightly-padded
so at least they weren’t chaffing his wrists. Still, Clark didn’t
really want to get used to wearing them, and the black satin was a
little disconcerting. Lex was still unconscious and moaning softly, his
body a warm presence along Clark’s side.
“The bank,” Blandine repeated. “My shop backs the Smallville Savings
and Loan. They’re going to rob the bank.”
glared at the men who were pulling supplies out of their matching black
backpacks. He could see wires and something that looked like putty. All
four of the men had shiny automatics tucked into their pants. Even if
Clark could do something with Lex conveniently unconscious, it would be
tough with four men, not to mention Blandine as a witness. Clark was
beginning to think the French woman already had suspicions about him,
and he wasn’t ready to reveal his secret if he didn’t have to.
“Why do you want to rob the bank?” Clark had to ask.
dark-haired man who appeared to be the leader responded: “We’ve been
planning this for two months. Bryan and me—that’s my brother—” He
pointed at the younger man with similar features, “used to work there
till they let us go. Said we were stealing.”
No damn way Jim and me would be dishonest in our employment,” Bryan
said bitterly. “But they didn’t care. Fired us anyway. Couldn’t get
jobs anywhere in Smallville after that.”
“What about Metropolis? Granville? Edge City?” Bryan looked at Clark
blankly and Jim just shook his head.
is where our family is. We didn’t want to move to some big city full of
crime and pollution! No, this is where our roots are. We’re staying
right here. Making them pay. Rusty and Clint were kind enough to help
“And why are you two involved?” Blandine raised her chin towards the
and me?” The man scratched his head absently. “Well, we weren’t really
doing anything else, and the plan needed four guys.”
Lex started to come to. He moaned loudly and lifted his head from where
Clark had insisted the robbers make a temporary pillow out of Clark’s
“It’s okay, Lex. You got hit in the head, but we’re okay.”
opened his eyes, blinked and looked around. “Aren’t we handcuffed and
being held prisoner in the backroom of the comic book store while four
guys are about to cut through the wall?”
“And by your definition this qualifies as okay?”
could be worse,” Blandine said. “You could have broken the glass
display case when you fell. Instead, it appears you only have a mild
“Ah, the French,” Lex murmured with a smile. “Such
an optimistic people. Did I ever tell you I have a cousin named
Blandine? On my mother’s side.”
“I am not surprised.” Blandine
brushed the comment off quickly. “It is a very common name in France.
Practically as common as Penelope or Anastasia is here.”
shook his head, but decided not to argue the point. Blandine just had a
slightly different way of looking at things, and Clark at least was
happy not to be dealing with the situation alone, although maybe it
would’ve been easier to rescue them all. He’d just have to wait for the
There was a sudden beeping from the main shop and
Clark heard the store shutters sliding into place over the door. Bryan
and Jim grabbed for their guns and stood in the doorway between the
backroom and the store. “What’s that?”
“It is my Difficult Customer Proximity Alarm,” Blandine explained.
was a put-upon sigh. “Retail is not the friendly, happy business you
might think. There are people I would rather not deal with on a daily
basis—and quite frankly, you four will be banned from this shop as soon
as we manage to escape. However, the truth is I do not like to be
bothered with mindless twits who waste my time, so I have an alarm
rigged to detect their approach. When they are within ten feet of the
store, the door locks, and the shutters close. It has ensured my sanity
“You are one crazy bitch,” Rusty said, shaking his head. He glanced
towards the doorway as there was a tentative knock.
“Mademoiselle Blandine?” Lana’s voice was clear, if somewhat cowed.
Rusty set down his power saw immediately.
that Lana?” Lex whispered, wiggling himself into a sitting position.
Clark nodded. This scenario didn’t need another hostage.
“Hello? Anyone there?” Lana’s voice cut through the air like a diamond
through glass. “I’m looking for Clark Kent. Hello?”
say a word.” Bryan waved his gun in the air to emphasize the point.
They waited as Lana called a few more times, then apparently gave up
and left. Clark couldn’t help but feel relieved. Being trapped in a
building with Lex and the comic book lady was one thing, but Lana …
well, they just weren’t that close anymore, and besides, he thought
Blandine would probably snap and strangle Lana before too much time had
Bryan looked through the doorway and Clark could see the
sun had gone down and the street lights had come on. Obviously the
robbers were waiting for evening when the bank would be empty and so
would the streets of downtown Smallville.
“Okay, let’s get this show on the road,” Rusty said, picking up his
circular saw and setting the blade against the drywall.
“Hey!” Bryan shouted as the blade started to churn. “Safety first!”
looked abashed and grabbed for the safety goggles Clint handed him.
Clark just stared. Smallville had always had its own unique brand of
criminal. The next few minutes were filled with the sound of a power
saw slicing through wood and plaster, the air full of drywall and
sawdust until everyone was covered with a grainy residue.
through,” Rusty shouted triumphantly, clearing away the debris. Clark
could see the outline of a large safe. He struggled to bend his
handcuffs apart—far enough he could slip out of them, but not enough to
make anyone suspicious—so that he’d be ready to move when the
opportunity presented itself. He just had to bide his time.
what?” Blandine asked, choking on the dust in the air. It made her
voice even more sultry than usual. “You have destroyed my wall and
covered my belongings in dust.” She spat out the word like a cherry
pit. “I suppose you will not even allow a woman the luxury of going to
the toilette to repair the damage to her wardrobe.”
The men looked at each other shame-facedly, Rusty blinking from behind
large safety goggles.
we’re sorry, ma’am. You go on and fix yourself up, if you like.
Clint’ll just escort you to the bathroom.” Jim looked apologetic even
as he said it, and his face crumbled a little as Blandine got up, shook
herself to get the worst of the dust off, and huffed through the
“Man, that woman is—how do the French say?—oo-la-la!” Bryan grinned
“Hey,” Clark said. “Be careful how you talk about a lady.”
“Oh, she’s a lady all right,” the man returned. “And that
was getting angry, and the worst thing was he wasn’t even sure what the
men were implying. Blandine had always come across as a nice,
respectable woman. There was nothing in her manner or dress to indicate
otherwise—at least, not that he’d noticed.
“Clark,” Lex cautioned. “Don’t let them bother you. Besides, she’s used
to the talk.”
“You did notice she always wears a corset and cut-off lace gloves,
could feel his whole face getting hot and hoped the drywall dust was
giving him adequate cover to hide his blush. “Um, yeah. Of course, I
did.” Truthfully, he hadn’t noticed at all, but he knew Lex was wearing
a pale lavender silk shirt with a long black jacket, that his pants
were cuffed and his shoes were Gucci, and that there was a tiny
imperfection on the buckle of his belt. He hoped Lex wasn’t coming to
the same conclusions he was because this was seriously not the right
time to be having an epiphany about his sexual orientation and the
reason why Lana was becoming less interesting all the time. Clark
cleared his throat and tried to look nonchalant.
“Interesting,” Lex murmured, and squeezed himself a little closer to
took Jim, Bryan, Clint and Rusty almost an hour to clear away all the
debris and clean up the room. They mostly did it to get Blandine to be
quiet, Clark thought, since when she returned from the bathroom she was
less than enthusiastic about the possibility of getting drywall dust
all over herself again. The robbers cleared off a chair for her, made
her a cup of chamomile tea with lemon, but it still wasn’t enough until
Clint volunteered to get the Shop-vac and clean up properly. As far as
hostage-takers went, Clark had to admit he’d had worse.
“How’s your head?” Clark murmured as Lex slumped awkwardly against his
bad.” The blood had dried and crusted, and Clark could see the edges of
a bruise beginning to form. “Hey, it takes more than a knock on the
head to take Lex Luthor out of the picture,” Lex said bravely. Clark
grinned and gave him an affectionate nudge, even though he knew Lex’s
words were a complete fiction. A strong breeze could probably knock Lex
out. The man had the most sensitive head in Smallville, Clark thought,
wondering why his pants suddenly felt tighter. Erections seemed to
arise without any rhyme or reason to them. Being a teenager was really
a pain when you needed to concentrate on thwarting bank robbers and
saving the people around you.
“You okay, Clark?”
blue eyes looked up into his, and Clark found himself wishing they were
alone. Sure the padded settee that the men had pushed them onto was
more comfortable than the floor, and Clark had to admit Blandine had
done a nice job with the blue and yellow chintz fabric, but it was
still too risky for Clark to make a move. Against the thieves.
Blandine’s voice suddenly broke into Clark’s thoughts. “Exactly how are
you going to break into that safe?”
Jim looked at her as if she’d asked the stupidest question in the
world. “How do you think?”
“Well, do you have a gun that can dissolve metallic objects?” she asked
“Can you walk through walls?” Lex asked. “Or maybe shape-shift into a
bank employee and by-pass security that way?”
you have super-human strength to rend the metal from its hinges? Or
maybe heat vision to melt the lock?” Blandine suggested.
heat vision,” Clark muttered under his breath, but no one seemed to be
paying attention to him. The four men were looking at Blandine and Lex
with concerned expressions.
“No! Are you people insane? We’re
going to blow the vault with C4!” Rusty was already untangling a set of
wires and starting to press blobs of grey looking putty around the
edges of the vault.
“You are going to blow the entire block,
espèce de crétins,” Blandine said with utter contempt in
her voice. She
shook her head. “That is a Renard 627 safe. It is an older model with
steel-enforced doors, but it is relatively simple to open. You want a
tiny bang, not an eruption like Mt. Vesuvius.”
“And what exactly do you know about it?” Bryan asked.
took a course.” Blandine shrugged as Lex raised an eyebrow. “Community
college back home. Oddly enough, it never really caught on, but I was
rather good at working with explosives.”
“You really remind me
of my cousin,” Lex said again, and Clark couldn’t help the concern that
washed over his face. No doubt in his mind that Lex had a
concussion—repeating insignificant bits of information was a dead
“Just rest, Lex. Lay your head on my shoulder,” Clark
murmured, and was surprised when Lex did so immediately and without
complaint. It felt nice, and Lex smelled spicy and sweet, a little like
the trees after a full day of rain.
“Okay, Blandine will help Rusty with the C4,” Bryan said, “but don’t
get any ideas about trying anything funny.”
French are never funny,” Blandine said with a completely straight face,
then proceeded to give Clint and Rusty a lesson on the placement of
explosives and how not to get oneself killed while robbing a bank.
Clark thought it was an incredibly useful lecture for potential
Clark sat and listened to Lex’s breathing, the
warmth of Lex’s cheek pressed against Clark’s shoulder, and thought
this was really the best sort of hostage-taking he’d ever been involved
with. Clark couldn’t resist the urge to slip one arm loosely around
“That feels nice,” Lex murmured, and Clark gave
him a little squeeze. A few moments later, Lex raised his head
slightly, and Clark noted the glassy look still in his eyes. Definitely
concussed. “Clark, do you have your hand free?”
A touch of super-speed and Clark’s wrist was back in the handcuffs.
“No. Of course not. You’ve got a concussion, Lex.”
“Hm. I could’ve sworn—”
settled on the end of the settee beside Clark. “While they are busy
assessing the charges, we should consider our plan.”
“We have a plan?” Lex asked.
yet,” Clark admitted, but he was certainly open to suggestions. Lex sat
up and Clark immediately missed the warmth. He sighed, but only
Blandine seemed to notice. She looked at him and smiled.
“What about the plan Warrior Angel used to escape from the Evil
Temptress Obscura in Issue 69?” Blandine offered.
face brightened with enthusiasm for a moment, then he shook his head.
“No, it would take too long, and besides, we don’t have a cat.”
Well, there’s always the escape plan from Issue 14, when Devillicus has
Warrior Angel and Corporal Monkey trapped in the jungle treehouse on
the Island of Death.”
Lex and Blandine both studied the ceiling for a long moment, then
looked back at each other.
guess not,” Blandine said. “What about the issue where Warrior Angel is
seduced by the Sorceress Nightbloom with her field of purple orchids—”
Devillicus is forced to rescue Warrior Angel in order to save the world
from an even greater evil? I loved that issue,” Lex whispered. “102 was
one of my favourite issues ever.”
“That’s 112,” Blandine corrected. “It was after Nuala took over doing
“No, I’m sure it was 102,” Lex countered.
“Who cares?” Clark interrupted frantically. “How did they get out?”
“Oh,” Lex said. “Well, it was kind of complicated. There was a quantum
mirror and a time traveler from the distant past, and—”
“Do either of you have an idea that will actually work in this
reality?” Clark said, trying not to sound angry.
“Issue 45?” Lex suggested.
shook her head. “Not unless you can engineer a stun-gun from the
stapler and elastic bands in my desk drawer. Issue 88?”
“Only if one of them is deathly allergic to citrus. Issue 100?”
was a beautiful issue,” Blandine murmured, and Lex nodded in happy
agreement. Clark considered bashing their heads together and simply
super-speeding to the rescue. “But that will never work, Lex. Unless
Clark is hiding a tentacle we know nothing about.” Blandine looked at
Clark hopefully. “I don’t suppose you’ve got a—”
“No,” Clark responded in whispered horror. “And even if I did, there’s
no way I’d be—it’d be a—a private
tentacle—okay, this conversation has officially become ridiculous. We
have to do something. They’re going to rob the bank! All the people in
Smallville will lose their money.”
“No, they won’t,” Lex
amended. “The bank’s assets are insured. The worst that will happen is
these poor saps will go to jail when they’re caught.”
looked over at Rusty’s boyish face, delightedly checking the charges
along the seams of the vault, safety goggles still in place. He looked
at Clint’s admiring gaze; the easy camaraderie of Jim and Bryan.
Suddenly, he wished there was a way to end this without getting the
police involved, without anyone having to go to jail.
if we could end this now without anyone getting hurt, I’m sure the
sheriff would go easy on them,” Blandine said softly, as if she could
read Clark’s mind.
Lex closed his eyes heavily, and Clark knew
the head injury was taking its toll. Lex really needed to get home and
get some rest. “Go to sleep, Lex,” he murmured. “We’ll figure it out.”
“You know,” Lex said, just before his eyes slid closed, “all we really
need is a distraction.”
eyed Clark carefully. “For example, a good distraction might be if
someone could generate enough heat to set off the sensor underneath my
cash register causing it to send an alarm to the fire department.”
“Then what?” Clark asked, trying to sound casual although his heart was
pounding in his chest.
I did pocket the handcuff key in my corset when I went to the
washroom,” Blandine whispered and waved her free hand at Clark. “And
I’m somewhat handy with a whip.” Clark’s eyes glanced up to where a
replica of Catwoman’s whip was displayed prominently on the storeroom
wall. This might actually work.
“Le monde à besoin de heroes, Clark.”
took a deep breath and glared at the wall, focusing his heat vision on
the area where the sensor was. Of course, lighting the wall on fire
caused the sensor to go off immediately, but it was exactly the
distraction they needed. Clark slipped his hands free and batted out
the flames, while Blandine whirled, grabbed the whip off the wall, and
had up-ended Clint and Rusty before the flames were out. Another quick
flick of her wrist, and Bryan’s arm was caught in the leather whip.
Clark knocked him and Jim gently together and secured their hands with
the handcuffs he and Blandine had been wearing just moments ago. In the
distance, Clark could hear the faint sounds of the Smallville Fire
Brigade readying for action.
Lex dozed lightly on the settee, and Clark sat down beside him, patting
Lex’s leg. They were safe.
the fire department had arrived and made sure they were all right, and
the sheriff had taken the men down to the station for questioning,
Clark, Blandine and Lex stood in the comic book store and considered
their lucky escape.
“So there was a faulty circuit in the wall,”
Lex said, still mystified that he’d woken up to find himself no longer
a hostage. “And it just caught on fire?”
“Oui, bien sur,” Blandine said without glancing at Clark.
“Yeah, it was pure luck,” Clark added.
unfortunately, one item was damaged in the fire.” Blandine pulled out
the cardboard box she’d shown Clark earlier in the afternoon. The box
that held Lex’s Christmas present. He cradled it in his hands, black
ash flaking off on his skin.
“Oh, no,” Clark murmured.
‘What’s that?” Lex asked.
was supposed to be your Christmas present.” Clark opened the lid
gingerly, not quite daring to look. Lex smiled up at him and reached
into the box, pulling out the two figures. Warrior Angel’s costume was
scorched and there was a slight indentation to the crown of his bald
head. Devillicus had fared slightly worse, the heat melting the figure
slightly, so that Devillicus’s head was now pressed against Warrior
Angel’s in what could only be called a blistering kiss. Their mouths
fused together for all eternity.
Lex stared at it for a moment, then looked at Clark with a wide,
“It’s perfect, Clark. Absolutely perfect.”
When Lex reached up to kiss him, Clark thought he heard the sound of a
French woman laughing.
Omniscient Narrator’s Epilogue:
Blandine and Clark all spoke at the hearing for the four bank robbers,
and in light of their positive testimonies, the four men were given
suspended sentences. Jim and Bryan returned to their jobs at the bank,
volunteering 200 hours of their time to train new employees in security
measures. Rusty took a safe-cracking course and joined the Smallville
Sheriff’s Department as the newest—and only—member of the Smallville
bomb squad. Clint still works part-time at Blandine’s comic book store
and is working on a graphic novel about a seventeenth-century French
witch. He is coincidentally dating Lana Lang, who is still not allowed
in the store when Blandine is there.
With a contribution from Lex Luthor, Blandine renovated Geeks and
and expanded the business to include a line of teddy bears wearing
super-hero costumes. When Clark finally became Superman, Blandine was
granted the merchandising rights. She lives in Smallville, but travels
to France whenever the urge for decent cheese strikes her.
and Clark lived happily ever after without the need for secrets or lies
or convenient head trauma. Clark finally found out why Lex was
snickering at the Batman comic books and Bruce refused to help Clark
with his wardrobe; consequently, Dick helped Clark with costume design,
and the rest is history.
Convenient Head Trauma continues to
thrive wherever there is villainy and injustice. He is happily living
off the revenues from a syndicated television show based on Clark’s
youth in Smallville.
Translations (with a little help from Blandine):
ma petite fouine - my little weasel
Excusez-moi. Je suis vraiment désolée - Excuse me!
I'm truly sorry.
“Allons, Lex. Vous devriez savoir que mes autres activités ne
s’étendent pas aux mineurs.” - Come on, Lex. You know my
sideline business doesn't extend to minors/jailbait!
“Ah, mais il a dix-sept ans. C’est parfaitement légal. Au
moins pour l’une d’entre nous.” - Ah, but he's 17. Perfectly legal.
At least for one of us.
“Mais, oui. Je comprends.” - Ah yes, I understand.
“Mais ‘A coeur valiant rien d’impossible’.” - But for the
valiant heart nothing is impossible.
Le monde à besoin de heroes, Clark. - The world needs its
Feedback to Lacey
Lacey's Smallville Page