1. to drop or come down freely under the influence of gravity

"Just--come down, Clark!" Lex yelled.

"I can't!" Clark cried, flailing. He was suspended about twenty feet above ground. He found he could will himself to move from side to side--and that yes, his superspeed worked just as well in the air as on the ground--but he couldn't seem to make himself stick to the ground.

"You can't fall?" Lex said incredulously. "I'd think that's something you'd be able to without thinking."

Clark hoped that when he finally figured out how to get gravity working for him, he'd land right on Lex's bald head. Some help he was.

2. to drop oneself to a lower or less erect position

"I'm home," Lex called, dropping his keys on the end table with a jangle. He was in the process of taking off his shoes when he was pinned to the door by 6'3" of very enthusiastic alien and had the life kissed out of him. "Clark," Lex gasped.

Clark didn't say anything. He just fell to his knees and started unbuttoning Lex's pants while Lex shivered and moaned and clutched at Clark's hair.

"Clark," Lex tried again. "Clark, I--I--"

"I love you," Clark said, just before he sucked Lex into his mouth.

Lex bit his lip and came.

3. to drop wounded or dead, especially in battle

The day that Superman died, Lex Luthor sat in his office and said, very carefully to himself, "I won."

It was not a personal victory, no. Lex hadn't struck the final blow. He hadn't even been there for Superman's last moments. But he had won by virtue of the fact that he was the last man standing.

"I won," he repeated and stood. He paced back and forth, hands clasped behind his back. "I won."

He stopped in front of the windows and stared out at the sun setting over the city. His city now.

Superman was dead.

Now what?

4. to come or go as if by falling

Clark fell into Lex's life. Lex hit him with his car, and they both fell into the river.

Then Lex fell out of Clark's life. Killing Lionel was the one thing that Clark couldn't, wouldn't forgive, out of all the lies and secrets that had marred their relationship. So Clark walked away, and Lex found that the path to darkness was very well-lit.

Nowadays the only time they see each other is when Clark flies by LexCorp, bright against the night sky. Lex pours himself a glass of brandy, for old times' sake, and waits for Clark's turn to fall.

5. to come to rest; settle

"I'm home."

"I'm in the living room," Lex called, and changed the channel.

Clark stumbled in, reeking of ashes and earth, and fell onto the couch. He wrapped his arms around Lex's torso and burrowed, and Lex barely managed to rescue the bowl of popcorn, setting it on the floor. Clark mumbled something.

"Hard day?" Lex asked gently, smoothing his hands over Clark's back. Clark nodded against Lex's chest. Lex unfastened the cape and let it pool on the floor like a puddle of silky blood.

This was definitely another sweater consigned to the rag pile, but Lex didn't mind.

6. to hang down

"I don't think this is going to work," Clark said for what felt like the billionth time.

"It's worth a try," Martha said. "You need a haircut." She fished her compact out of her purse. "Go, try it outside."

Clark sighed and stuck the compact in his pocket. He went out to the field where he'd once practiced his heat vision on scarecrows, except that this time he aimed it at a mirror.

An hour later, Clark came back into the house reeking of burnt hair, but his bangs no longer fell in his eyes. His life was so weird.

7. to be cast down

This is common human psychology: people often look away when telling a lie. So when Lex asks Clark if he hit him with the car, he looks for it. Clark looks Lex straight in the eye and tells Lex to hit him with the hammer, and Lex backs off.

The next time Lex asks Clark about another strange occurrence, Clark's gaze falls to the carpet. Again and again and again, every single time.

It bothers him that Clark was once able to lie well enough to fool Lex, and that he doesn't seem to be able to do it again.

8. to assume an expression of consternation or disappointment

"Can we--"

"No," Lex said without even looking up. He didn't have to. He knew Clark was making that sad puppy face at him again.

"Why not?" Clark asked. He was probably pouting now. Scratch that, he was pouting. Lex knew this for sure because he was actually looking up now, and Clark was pouting with all the sincerity and earnestness of a six-year old.

"Dogs a lot of responsibility," Lex said. "You are Superman. I am head of a multibillionaire corporation. Furthermore, we live in a penthouse on the sixtieth floor."

Clark blinked overlarge eyes at him. "Please?"

9. to undergo conquest or capture, especially as the result of an armed attack

Every Sunday night, Lex makes sure to finish all his work by sunset. When dark falls, Lex sits on a couch in the living room with a glass of scotch and waits.

The windows are mirrored glass, but that's never made any difference to Superman. One of them opens from the outside; Superman uses it and floats over to Lex.

They never kiss, only suck and fuck. Superman is always gone the morning after, and they return to their public enmity. But every Sunday night Lex stares out the window and waits, and he loses to Superman all over again.

10. to experience defeat or ruin

The truth is, Clark ruined Lionel. Lionel knows this for a fact. Lex might have struck the final blow, but it was because of Clark that he did it. Lex loves Clark, wants to protect him, which is ridiculous because Lionel is perfectly certain that Clark can take care of himself, perhaps even moreso than Lex realizes.

Clark makes Lex want to be good. Lionel knows all about moral relativism, knows that some people have different ideas of "good" and what ends justify what means. He knows that, eventually, Clark will ruin Lex, too.

Lionel is patient. He can wait.

11. to slope downward

The fall of Clark's shoulders is beautiful. So is the curve of his neck, the dip of his lower back, the rise of his buttocks. His ankles are the most elegant things ever created. Even his feet are sexy.

Lex thinks Clark is the most beautiful thing in the world. Clark doesn't seem to believe it; he grows shy when they're in bed together and Lex just rakes him with his eyes.

"It's just," Clark tries to explain, "you're so beautiful. And I'm just me."

Lex has never thought of himself as beautiful. But Clark persists, and eventually Lex believes him.

12. to lessen in amount or degree

Clark finds the crib in the storm cellar, underneath the tarp that hid the ship, and he thinks his mother looks thinner, paler. He puts things in boxes and tries not to think, but the words beat with his heart: This is my fault.

Chloe told him. Lana said so. But he hadn't believed them, hadn't wanted to believe them. The ring made it easy.

He can't pretend to forget all the sacrifices his parents have made over the years, the sacrifices they make for him now.

Lex could make it better, he thinks, but that's another thing that's changed.

13. to diminish in pitch or volume

Sometimes Clark pitched his superhearing so that he could hear Lex's body: his heartbeat, his blood, his lungs. He thought it was kind of cool that he could be so close to Lex without him knowing. Other times it made him feel guilty, but he told himself he was just keeping tabs on Lex's health.

One day, Lex caught him at it. "Clark?"

Clark shut off his superhearing, even though he knew Lex couldn't tell he was using it. "Um. Uh. Nothing. Just spaced out."

Lex looked at him suspiciously. Clark wondered if he could hear Lex's brain working, too.

14. to give into temptation; sin

Lex wants Clark to like him; he wants to be the person Clark thinks he is. But when Clark is around, Lex just wants to kiss him, suck him, fuck him--make him cry out, beg, come.

He's not lying when he tells Helen the room is a place for him to be alone. To think. When he goes there, he contemplates Clark's lips, his hands, his mysterious lifesaving powers. Sometimes he strokes his cock hard and fast until he comes, hissing Clark's name.

He wants to be good, the problem is that Clark makes him want to be bad.

15. to pass into a particular state, condition, or situation

Lex flies. He passes over cornfields, barns, farmhouses, cows, even the plant. Even the castle that is to be his home for however long.

Smallville is beautiful. Lex never saw this before; he never thought of Smallville as anything but an exile, a humiliation. Now he sees that it is a blank slate, where he can start over and make himself into something other than what his father has made him.

His lungs burn. He opens his eyes, chokes, coughs, and shivers. When he looks up, he sees the most beautiful boy in the world and knows himself in love.

16. to occur at a specified time

Lex has a special place in his heart for Tuesdays.

There are many reasons for this. Tuesday is named after the Nordic god of war, Tyr, and Lex naturally has an appreciation for battle. Tuesday is Election Day, and he plans to be President of the United States someday.

Of course, there are equally as many reasons to dislike Tuesdays. Black Tuesday began the Great Depression. In the Greek world--which Lex pays a great deal of attention to--Tuesday is an unlucky day.

But Lex died and met Clark on a Tuesday, and sometimes that is all that matters.

17. to occur at a specified place

"Why here, Lex?"

"Because this is where we met," Lex says. Clark looks young and heartbroken, and Lex feels the anger start all over again. "I thought it'd be the appropriate place to say goodbye. So, goodbye, Clark."

"Goodbye, Lex" Clark says, but he doesn't look like he believes it.

Lex nods and gets into the car. He starts the engine and glances at Clark, who still looks sad and stunned. The Porsche heads away, out of Smallville, and then Lex brings it around so fast that the tires squeal, and heads straight for Clark, who doesn't see it coming.

18. to come, as by chance

Lex tapped his pencil eraser against the yellow legal pad. "Superman," he said slowly, "do you realize how improbable this is?"

"What?" Clark asked, trying to look innocent.

"Out of the last seven times I've been in trouble, you have always been there to save me." Lex cocked his head. "It's beginning to look rather suspicious."

"I save Lois, too," Clark said desperately.

Lex leaned forward. Clark wondered if he could fake a mudslide somewhere to get out of this.

"Clark," Lex said, "are you arranging these incidents? Because there are easier ways to cop a feel." And he grinned.

19. to be given by assignment or distribution

"Kent, see if you can wrangle an interview out of Luthor."

"Er," said Clark.

Perry gave him a look. "You got a problem?"

Clark couldn't very well say, It might be a conflict of interest, sir, seeing as how we used to be best friends except now he hates me and I don't know why he hasn't killed me yet considering he knows my weakness and my secret identity. "No, sir," he said, adding a fake cough. "Just clearing my throat."

"Good," said Perry.

Clark tried not to sigh too obviously. This was going to be such a bad day.

20. to be included within the range or scope or something

Lex had created three categories for Clark's visits: favors, friendly, and saving. Approximately ten percent of his visits were for favors, seventy-five percent were friendly, and the remaining fifteen percent involved saving Lex's life or property in some way.

Then, one day, Clark made a visit that Lex could not account.

At first, he thought Clark was going to ask for a favor. Clark seemed nervous and wouldn't meet Lex's eyes, just fumbled and stammered. Lex just relaxed and waited, as he usually did.

Then Clark leaned over and kissed him.

After that, Lex had to make a new category.

21. to come into contact; strike

Kal-El opens his eyes. His universe is very small and dark, but he has the feeling that he's safe. Protected. Suddenly, the ceiling springs open. Kal-El squints into the strange-colored sunlight; the sky, too, is the wrong shade.

Everything is bright and unfamiliar. Kal-El scrambles out of the ship and leaps to the ground. A couple stares at him, mouths open. Kal-El walks towards them, unaware that his arrival has shattered any number of homes and lives, that his presence may not be welcome.

Kal-El grins. He is unafraid. It will be the Kents, later, who teach him to fear.

22. to come out; issue


Lex doesn't move or open his eyes. Sometimes he thinks he's going crazy. Other times he thinks it's only natural that he's appropriated Clark's voice as his conscience.

Lex, you don't have to do this, Clark's voice pleads.

Of course not. Strictly speaking, he doesn't have to do anything. He's Lex Luthor, President of the United States, and he doesn't do anything he doesn't want to.

But Clark died three days ago, and Lex wants the world to pay for it.

Please don't do this.

Lex opens his eyes.

He says the word and sets the world on fire.

23. to apply oneself

Clark found Lex in, of all places, Norway. Fishing. At the fjords.

"What are you doing here?" Clark hisses. At least there's no one around to watch Superman berating Lex Luthor.

Lex smiles benignly up at Clark. "I was pining."

"Pining?" Clark echoes.

"For the fjords," Lex explains.

Clark stares. "Everyone's been looking for you!"

"I knew you'd find me," Lex says, "if you tried hard enough." He pats the ground next to him. "Sit down."

"Why, Lex?" Clark demands.

"I thought you needed a vacation," Lex says. "Would you like some fish? They do amazing things with fish here."

24. to be born. used chiefly of lambs

Red. The color of his mother's hair, the blood running underneath the skins of the people he wants to protect, the rock that makes him crazy. A warning. Danger, violence, anger, passion.

Blue. The color of the Kansas sky under which he was raised, the uniforms that the police wear, the lifegiving waters so precious to life. A balance. Sadness, serenity, authority, infinity.

Yellow. The color of the sun from which he draws his strength, the cornfields that surround the town, the farmhouse that has always been his home. A reminder. Joy, hope, optimism, happiness.

And then Superman was born.