Twin Hieroglyphs that Swim the River Dust
Disclaimer: I don't own, lease, or control in any way the highly appealing, or greatly appalling people represented here. I'm not fit to shine Lex's shiny black shoes, comb Clark's silky black hair, or even prime one of Ty's particle board shelving units.
This is a sequel to 'The Inspired Chicken Bungalow Court," and like it, is another Bradbury Challenge fic.
Keys in hand (mostly for show, since the castle had an entire locking system), Jonathan and Martha Kent walked -- with a little trepidation -- into Luthor Castle. They followed the trail of Klieg lights towards the large bedroom Lex had chosen to receive the Trading Spaces treatment. Frank Bielic -- Lex's personal nightmare designer -- was waiting there, dressed in a white suit, that had seen better days at a 1970s Rotary dance. He also wore a wide tie, with a repeated cow pattern on it. It had been a premium when he'd donated $10 to Farm-Aid one year, because the cows won't feed themselves. He got up off the slate floor, held out a hand to Jonathan, and reached out to give a one armed hug to Martha.
"It's wonderful to meet you, Mr. and Mrs. Kent," he said effusively. "This project has me happier than Porky Pig in a Petunia patch."
"Call me Jonathan, please. I'm just a good ol' boy... Speaking of pigs, have I ever told you the big secret from my youth?"
"And I'm Martha. We're both so excited to be working with you. I just love your designs." She meant it, mostly. Frank did have some nice designs, he just had an annoying tendency to use them all at once.
"Martha, my dear. What a lovely thing to say!" Frank seemed genuinely touched. "Now tell me, what ideas do the two of you have for this drafty old room?" He looked around with faint distaste. There were no homey touches to be found here. No faux paint techniques -- just real marble. There was something about the space that put him into a cold sweat.
Jonathan knew that Lex was going to hate whatever Frank had in mind, and he had to admit, he was thrilled. Sure, he had finally come around to the fact that Clark loved him --that way, but he still got a kick out of the image of Lex recoiling at the changes in his home. Besides, Lex would have it fixed in a day, probably for $10,000, not $1,000. Lex really belonged on Designer's Challenge, not Trading Spaces.
"Lex has this thing for purple," Martha said. "And he's a real ancient history buff, especially for Alexander the Great."
"FABulous!" Frank replied. "How does he feel about Pharaohs?"
"I'm sure he thinks he's a God." Jonathan muttered under his breath. Martha shot him a dirty look.
"Well, kiddoes, this is what I had in mind..." Frank explained his colorful Banks of the River Nile plan, complete with a pyramid shaped bed, bright teal walls with purple trim, and metallic gold bedding. Instead of carpet or tile, they were going to do a floor treatment of real sand, with the blue-green walls representing the water.
"The piece-de-resistence will be the Hieroglyphic mural, all along the back wall." Frank was practically giddy with the idea.
"It certainly sounds colorful," Martha said. Her mother had taught her to always find something nice to say. This didn't sound like one of Frank's more livable ideas. She loved his work, but even Martha knew he had some over the top designs.
It had been nearly ten hours since the Trading Spaces camera crews had started filming at the Kent Farm, and Lex was eager for them to leave for the night. He and Clark had "homework," and it had nothing to do with the furniture painting, and wall treatment assignments with which Hildi had left them. He really didn't care about the hip deep pile of dried corn husks waiting to be glued to the wall, or the eight leather pillow shams yet to be sewn. All he wanted right now was to get the rest of the TLC crew out of the house, get Clark out of his clothes, and up to his old bedroom. Nearly a whole day of watching him stretch in well-fitting jeans, purple Trading Spaces logo shirt riding up to reveal an awe--inspiring expanse of torso, and he was close to losing it.
For his own part, Clark was having a hard time keeping his hands off Lex's ass. Watching covetously as Lex bent to lay carpet tile, he couldn't help but enjoy the view. He grinned as he imagined the television viewers doing the same thing. Clark didn't think people would watch this Trading Spaces just for the decorating tips. And though he was doing his best to hide it, he was sporting major wood -- in a way entirely unlike carpenter Ty Pennington.
With thoughts of stud-finders, hot glue guns and joinery in his head, Clark passed out wrapped pieces of his mother's apple pie to the last of the production assistants, and shooed them out the door. He was ready for his own "big reveal," away from the camera. They had until 7:00 a. m to get everything done, and with the help of Clark's superspeed, should be able to finish their assignments, spend some quality time decorating each other, and get some much needed rest.
It had been a fascinating -- and highly humorous -- day. Chloe had gotten permission to do a story on the shoot for The Torch, with a smaller excerpt in The Smallville Ledger. She was under orders not to get in the way, or reveal anything to the working parties, but otherwise had free reign. Clark had to laugh when he noted that both Chloe's and Page's first words to each other were "I like your hair!"
"I call this 'From Cow-Town to Now-Town,' Hildi told Page, as the camera panned around the highly experimental bedroom. The walls were covered in flattened corn husks, the bed had a tufted leather headboard, and matching pillows, and the floor had been re-covered in barn red carpet tiles. It actually looked pretty good, but the husks were already starting to leave little peelings.
Page led the Kents into their guestroom, hoping they didn't have the usual Hildi room reaction. They seemed the gracious sort, even if she knew they'd have preferred a Frank room for themselves. She was highly relieved when both Jonathan and Martha said they thought they would enjoy the changes. She didn't hear Martha's 'Don't worry, Lex will fix it," or her husband's indignant "He'd better, he got us into this mess. The carpet's nice, though..."
Clark and Lex's eyes were closed, as Page held onto their arms, and walked them into the room. Clark's keen hearing could sense the sand under his feet, by the scratchy sound it made. He just knew Lex was going to hate it. He hoped there would be no "Crying Pam" scene. Nah, Lex was grace under pressure. He'd just have Frank fired later. (No, not really)
"Clark, Lex, I hope you won't say tut tut tut when you're transported to Frank's 'A River in Egypt' design. Open your eyes!" Clark blinked, it was so bright, and so utterly unlike Lex. He looked over warily to see his lover's reaction.
Lex scanned the room, as much as he could with Page's iron grip on his forearm. It was garish. It was tacky. It brought the castle's property value down. But it was a hell of a lot of fun. "I love it," he said.
"Y-you do?" Clark was shocked. He thought it looked like a rejected Epcot design.
"Well, I mean, I wouldn't want it for my own bedroom, but there are so many rooms here, I can certainly spare one for something so fun. It's not at all what I expected.
"Do you think you'll use it?" Page asked.
"Of course, " Lex replied. "After all the work Martha and Jonathan put into it, it would be rude not to try it out."
After the crew headed out, the last of their equipment in tow, Clark leaned down to kiss Lex. "You were really nice about it all,' he said. "I thought for sure you'd give away how much you hated the room."
"I don't hate it," Lex said, with a hint of laughter in his voice.
"You can always give it to Enrique," Clark continued. "You don't?" He looked a little shocked. Lex usually had such good taste.
"Enrique's going to have to wait." Lex started unbuttoning Clark's paint spattered shirt. 'Have I ever told you about my Stargate SG-1 fantasy, Space-Monkey?"