?

Log in

tubazrcool
01 October 2013 @ 15:41

I've been making quite a lot of graphics lately and it's something I really like to do, especially icons and maybe some headers and stuff. But I figured it's time for a resource post, considering I randomly find packs on the web and download them and when I'm making a graphic, I may not remember exactly from which folder I pulled the texture/screencap/action and I figure it's best to just have sites and blogs listed on one big post rather than accidentally forget to credit someone individually.

Screencaps (if not mine):

fandom_forever
homeofthenutty
enchantedfleur

Photoshop Brushes/Actions/Gradients/Patterns

Textures

texturize
criminal
tove_91
twinstrikeish
bttrfly_kiss
smyra0

Colourings

Tumblr blogs

http://frenchmystake.tumblr.com/
http://adamantiummithrilalloy.tumblr.com/
http://northerndawn.tumblr.com/
http://bucketofcolorings.tumblr.com/
http://niall-horans.tumblr.com/

deviantArt blogs

http://carllton.deviantart.com/
http://butterphil.deviantart.com/
http://nguyenew-is-me.deviantart.com/
http://scatterflee.deviantart.com/
http://clarabellafairestock.deviantart.com/
http://eeteuktim.deviantart.com/
http://memorylast.deviantart.com/
http://unknowndesires-sonia.deviantart.com/
http://rosebein.deviantart.com/
http://danisgraphic.deviantart.com/
http://yunyunsarang.deviantart.com/

Other blogs

http://contagiouz.org/x/
http://ex-posed.com/
http://fractured-sanity.org/
http://puzzle.digital-distortia.com/
http://www.textureking.com/

Since I'm a writer as well, both of fanfiction and original stories, I'll be listing/linking posts that I find helpful, whether they are actual resources or resource posts themselves.

http://dcu-bang.livejournal.com/22341.html

 
 
tubazrcool
21 June 2022 @ 22:22
Well, I might as well put this one up for those who are interested. I'll move all my fics here eventually so some Livejournal links may be pending. Those solely on Livejournal will not be put on FF.net. I'm going to slowly move them over here. Most WIPs are only a few chapters as of yet, but I really want to start finishing them.

FEMMESLASH - means female/female romantic/sexual situations
HET - means male/female romantic/sexual situations
SLASH - means male/male romantic/sexual situations
WIP - Work In Progress - means I have not posted (or, more aptly, written) all the chapters for this story, so it is incomplete

Stories (sorted alphabetically by fandoms)

Crossover:
Desires to Drabbles - multifandom (ANYTHING GOES) FF.net
Give me a pairing and a prompt and I will give you a drabble provided the muse strikes . This is to get me back into the swing of things. More fandoms allowed! Click the link!

(Not Really) Back From the Dead - Chloe/Aidan (Smallville/Being Human US) (HET, Vampirism, Implied Character Death) Livejournal

Glee:

After Sectionals - Kurt/Logan (SLASH, Dalton!verse) FF.net
Kurt and Logan talk on the bus ride home and something sparks between them. OC credit to CP Coulter. PG.

Just Kidding - Anti-Klaine (SLASH, mentions of underage sexytimes, implied dubcon) Livejournal
Inspired by Jay's post on Tumblr. Kurt tries to break up with Blaine, but things are not always as easy as they seem. PG-13 for sparse language and subtle mature themes.

Harry Potter:

5 Little Limericks - multi/crack!pairings (SLASH, HET) FF.net
Read the title! I wrote these during a basketball game because I got bored. My first shot at limericks, so please review and let me know what you think. NC-17.

5 More Little Limericks - multi/crack!pairings (SLASH, FEMMESLASH, HET) FF.net
Last Saturday was the final basketball game of the season, so I decided to write another 5 in honor of the week previous. NC-17.

Hermione - Harry/Hermione (WIP, HET, RAPE - though not H/Hr) FF.net
Hermione struggles through Hogwarts as the list of secrets she must keep gets longer. NC-17 from beginning.

Septum in Unum - Ron/Hermione (HET) FF.net
My take on the seven sins! How many sins can Ron and Hermione commit in one day? NC-17 for sexual content, bondage, toys, tiny bit of non-con, and lots of LEMONade!

A Walk in the Park - Harry/Piers Polkiss (WIP, SLASH, frottage, homophobia) FF.net
Harry finds someone in Surrey he can finally trust with everything. But what happens when the summer is over? Can they keep their relationship or is someone trying to sabotage them? PG-13/NC-17 for later.

Whatever Happened To . . .? - Harry/Harem (WIP, threesomes to orgies, lots of kinks) FF.net
Cloneserpents' challenge - what's happening to our Harry in the evil universe? My reply: strange things! NC-17.

Smallville:

All Tangled Up - Clark/Chloe/Jimmy (WIP, M/M/F threesome) FF.net
Chloe and Jimmy plan a not-so-quiet night together. The only thing for which they didn't prepare: Clark's interruption. PG-13/NC-17 for later.

The Strangest Little Object - Clark/Jimmy (WIP, SLASH) FF.net
Jimmy comes across a small stone with a pink vein running through it. What happens when Clark touches it? Very slashy. PG-13/NC-17 for later.

X-Men:

Series - Iceman/Pyro - (SLASH, mutant abilities kink) FF.net
A series of one-shots focussing on John and Bobby and the history they have together. Will get very slashy. M for later. NC-17.
 
 
Mood:: contentcontent
Tunes:: The Killing Moon by Echo and the Bunnymen
 
 
tubazrcool
20 November 2013 @ 14:16

 
 
 
 
 
tubazrcool
27 September 2013 @ 17:13
Blame her: tainted_want

1. Bold the names of guys you’d definitely get with.

2. Italicize the names of guys you might get with after a little persuasion.

3. Leave the guys who don’t do anything for you alone.

4. Put a question (?) mark after the guys you’ve never heard of.

5. Strike the guys you wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole.

6. Add three guys to the list.

So I found this from three years ago - I have definitely heard of a lot more now, and my tastes have changed somewhat, so we're re-doing this!

The list (now under a read more)Collapse )
 
 
tubazrcool
26 September 2013 @ 23:07
  

themes
favourite technique favourite colour(s) favourite colouring text or not? dark or light?
favourite female favourite male favourite pairing favourite episode favourite quote

category - provided caps
001 002 003 004 005

artist's choice
001 002 003 004 005
 
 
tubazrcool
02 November 2012 @ 22:41
Scarlet Nights - III

Part I | Part II | you are here

They're kicking me out of the computer lab, so I will post the final part tomorrow night when I have a chance to come back to the lab. We still don't have Internet at home, and using a mouse and keyboard to transfer from document to livejournal entry is so much easier.

Part I | Part II | you are here
 
 
tubazrcool
02 November 2012 @ 22:30

Scarlet Nights - II

Part I | you are here | Part III

Clark could see Oliver tense up as if to go through with the blow, but he dropped his sword and looked toward Zod. Clark’s gaze fell from Oliver and looked toward the other Kryptonian as well.  But Zod did something that Clark hadn’t foreseen: he tucked the crystal underneath his shirt. It was a smooth and inconspicuous motion, but as Clark had all his hopes riding on being able to grasp the crystal, Zod tucking it away from him was the gesture of ultimate defeat. He looked toward Oliver who met his gaze. Had he seen it too? Nothing in Oliver’s gaze gave away to any sign of emotion other than hatred.

Zod stood and descended through the crowd, a mirror image of when Clark was standing in Oliver’s place and the man Clark had refused to kill in his own. Zod unsheathed his sword. Clark reeled as the dizziness in his head increased with his rapid blood loss. His gaze slowly traveled up to Zod’s, whose gaze turned to Oliver’s.

“Congratulations. At last I have found a brother-in-arms worth joining me.” Brother. Clark had heard that word earlier when Zod was speaking with him. He looked to Oliver once more. “But this? This kill is mine.” Clark saw Oliver nod, so he turned away and back to Zod, looking up at yet another cold gaze. “At last, Kal-El, you will know my vengeance.”

Oliver moved out of the way to stand next to Zod. Clark saw Oliver lean in and whisper into the tyrant’s ear. No super-hearing was available to eavesdrop into the conversation, so Clark could only guess what was being said. Whatever it was though caused Zod to look at Oliver with fury. Had Oliver begged Zod to spare him? But Oliver still held his own and Clark could see Zod relent and give a slight nod.

The next thing Clark felt was his head ripped back as Oliver gripped his hair and pulled tightly. He could feel Oliver dragging him as he turned to face the crowd. “His father built this place.” The crowd went into a sudden uproar but quieted just as quickly. What was going on? What was Oliver’s plan? “Sent most of you here. The rest were sent by him.” Oliver punctuated the last word by flinging Clark’s head to the ground. Clark was doubled on all fours but then was kicked swiftly in the stomach, which flipped him over on his back. He groaned in pain, struggling to keep his consciousness from giving out. The Zoners were cheering on the violence. “I know for a fact every single one of you wants to see the House of El pay for what you’ve been through.

“But how long have you been suffering in this Zone, years? Many of you, tens of years? Hundreds? And he . . .” Clark tried keeping his gaze fixed on Oliver, focusing on whatever this was. Oliver’s gaze just kept getting colder; there was barely a reflection in his dark pupils. He couldn’t have been infected. Could he? Oliver started walking around, speaking to everyone. And the crowd cheered him on, gathering behind his words. “He’s been here an hour, maybe two? To me, that doesn’t seem fair. I admit, I’ve been fighting alongside of him for about four years, but General Zod made me see that I was fooling myself. I was never fighting alongside of him, I was fighting in his shadow. And today, it felt pretty damn good being given the chance to kick his ass.

“Now I’m sure every single one of you wants to have a go, torturing, shaming the House of El, the last of the family that imprisoned you in exile. And you have that chance now. Zod’s graciously allowed me, all of you, this chance.” Clark’s head was spinning. How could Oliver say these things, with such determination, such hostility? He saw Oliver come to stop right above him and then look up. Clark looked to Zod, who stood there looking back at Oliver with pride. Clark looked back to Oliver, who looked down at him, sneering. “So, do your worst.”

***

Clark wasn’t sure when he had blacked out, wasn’t sure whether they had continued raping him even after he was unconscious, and he definitely wasn’t sure how many different weapons had cut into him. Some of them had been one at a time, others simply ganged up and carved deep grooves into his flesh. His whole body had gone into spasm when some of the blades had hit his bones and nerves. The only thing he was absolutely sure of was that his body should have given out or given up rather than cling to the last of its life. The wounds should have taken their toll . . . what wounds? Clark did his best trying to examine his naked body. After twisting uncomfortably in the ropes that bound him to the ice platform, he had a fairly decent view. Surely there should be blood –bruises –crimson crevices as evidence of the endless torture he had endured at the hands of the Zoners. But Clark saw none of that, not even the tiniest of scratches.

“Curious little thing, this stone.” Clark heard Zod’s voice from behind, but he knew he wouldn’t be able to crane his neck that far to look at him. “Granted, it did take a while to find a stretch of skin that could be cleaned off enough so that you wouldn’t activate the portal when it touched your body, but here you are, fresh and ready to go for tonight’s entertainment.”

Of course there would be more torture. It would last until he died, whenever that would be. If Zod was using the crystal to heal his body, then the torment wouldn’t end until Zod had had his fun and simply disposed of him. But Oliver would be trapped, or perhaps sent back to wreak havoc as a villain instead of a protector. Why had Oliver betrayed him? What had Zod said to him to make him defect to the dark side so quickly? Was it too late to save the emerald archer? “Where’s Oliver?”

“I’m right here, Clark.” Yes, that was Oliver’s voice. Even without his super-hearing, there was no mistaking the influence of Darkseid in his friend’s timbre.

“But, I thought . . . when were you infected?”

“Let’s just say when Desaad lied to me about Chloe’s death, wrath got the better of me.”

“I’m sorry I couldn’t stop you sooner.”

“As much as I hate to interrupt your reunion, I’m here for a reason,” Zod cut in. “How about I offer you a deal?”

“I’ll never accept it,” Clark said. He saw the two men walk into his field of vision, their expressions condescendingly playful.

“The deal is this,” Zod continued. “You can be free from this, all of this, go back home, live your life or you can stay here, endure pain and suffering at the hands of all those you and Jor-El have wronged, and over time, I’ll heal you less and less until we’ve all simply grown bored. Then we’ll toss you out and let you wither and die. You’ll spend your last moments in this, our frozen hell, wishing you’d chosen your freedom instead.”

Clark wasn’t a fool. Of course, he wanted his freedom, but knowing Zod, that promise wouldn’t come free at all. “But at what cost would I get my freedom?”

“It’s a simple thing, really. Tiny . . . minute. I want you to . . .” Zod leaned in close to Clark’s ear. “Say yes, Kal-El. Embrace the darkness. Show the people on Earth that they should rightfully fear us. We are gods to them and we deserve to rule them with an iron fist . . . make them bend to our will. You could hold the Earth in the palm of your hand and crush it.” Clark shivered imperceptibly as Zod mimed the last sentence. The hatred in his expression and the gleam in his eyes as he squeezed his fingers into his palm frightened Clark. It wasn’t Zod though who scared him. It was the thought that if he said yes, that could be – would be – him.

This Zone, this prison, was his race’s definition of mercy – endless torment and suffering. Even the worst criminals on Earth – rapists, serial killers – were given a quick and painless lethal injection. It wasn’t because of his Kryptonian side that Clark refused to take a life; it was because he was afraid of letting that side of him out. Kara’s word came back to haunt him. Imagine that creature wielding all of your powers . . . people of this planet would be doomed.

“I’ll never join you,” Clark said. His voice didn’t sound like his own, though. It was smaller than normal, perhaps his survival instincts kicking in and trying not to seem threatening, trying not to anger his captors.

“So be it,” Zod said. The next thing Clark felt and saw was Zod thrusting deep into his ass without so much as a warning. He could almost hear himself ripping in two as the stretch took over him and the burning pain ate him alive. Another dick slapped against his mouth. Oliver’s. He turned his head away from it. He couldn’t bear seeing this side of his friend – former friend. The ache in ass increased in intensity and he felt like throwing up from the rough intrusion. Clark felt Oliver’s hand grip his chin and force his mouth open, twisting it back to him. He felt Oliver’s dick slip against his tongue and start moving in and out. Clark knew that if he bit down in vengeance it would only fuel the fire, so he let himself get abused. He couldn’t fight, he couldn’t let the darkness take over. The thrusting in his ass subsided and he felt Zod remove himself completely from inside him. Then Oliver stopped, but moved to take his place where Zod left off.

“God, Clark, it feels so . . . powerful having you under me.” Clark turned his head away from the archer, catching the sight of Zod slipping out through the tattered black cloths that hung as a barrier to the room. And then Clark felt Oliver press into him and he couldn’t help but turn back, looking directly into brown eyes, imploring Oliver with every fibre of his being not to do this. Not him.

“Oliver, please . . . don’t.” There it was, for just a moment, a flash of concern – or maybe hesitancy, but then he felt him plunge deep. When Oliver picked up the rhythm, it was different than Zod’s, less harsh, and Clark hoped against hope that, underneath everything, he hadn’t truly lost his best friend.

“Clark, I’m sorry, but there is no other way.”

“Oliver?” Was it really him?

“Yeah.”

“Why are you a part of all this?”

“I have to convince Zod somehow. He’s smart. If he detects the slightest friendship between us – if I show you the slightest courtesy, he’ll figure it out. I just can’t see you used like this by everyone else – they may cause you pain, but I want you to feel that pleasure can be had from it as well. That it may ease the strain somewhat if you know how to adjust yourself.”

“Oliver, I can’t do that. If I allow myself to feel pleasure from this, Darkseid could take control through lust. He can’t win, Oliver, no matter what price I have to pay.”

“Clark, if he descends upon Earth, then he’ll have won over the entire human race anyway. You have to get through this somehow. Say yes, Clark. Join him and maybe you can defeat him from within. Just think about it.”

And then Clark knew. The Oliver that had come with him had truly left and had been replaced by an instrument of darkness. “Oliver would never have asked me to say yes. He’d have told me to fight – to hold on. You’re not him.”

“Well, it was worth a shot.”

“Yeah, and you missed your mark.”

He could see the blackness swirl inside the brown eyes, and then Oliver was thrusting into him painfully. He tried once again to break free of his bonds, but the ropes were secure, preventing any escape. He could feel a knife at his neck and wondered when and from where Oliver had pulled it out. Would he use it? He stopped struggling as vehemently as he had been and forced his body to go as rigid as possible, despite the painful fucking he was receiving. It was in vain, though, for the moment Oliver came into him, he sliced the blade across Clark’s throat.

Clark could barely believe what he was experiencing. He hadn’t really felt pain when the knife cut him. All he could feel was Oliver leaving the space between his thighs. His sight was starting to blur as he could feel a warm, thick liquid trail down the skin of his neck. That would be blood – his blood. He finally let his consciousness slip away after barely making sense of Oliver tucking himself away and exiting the room.

***

“You may need to use the crystal again. Boy Scout pissed me off and I slit his throat.” Oliver stood in front of Zod and bowed respectively.

Zod got lazily to his feet. “You should definitely work on keeping your temper in check.” His words may have been admonishing, but Oliver noted the smile of mirth playing on Zod’s lips.

“Yes, General. I’ll remember that for next time.”

His eyes followed Zod as the leader swept across the hall and into the torture room. He turned back once Zod had slipped through the curtains and a momentary surprise crossed his features when he was gruffly led down some halls in the opposite direction by one of Zod’s ever-flanking guards. Oliver took in his surroundings.

The room wasn’t opulent by any standards, but it was with no doubt the best room in this prison. There was a fire pit that offered some relief from the stagnant cold. There was even a make-shift tub full of steamy water and a large pile of black cloths on an icy plateau formed the bed. As Oliver took in a breath, he realised that this was the only room he’d been in that didn’t have the permeating odour of blood.

“You’re to join him tonight.” The voice was male, Oliver noted. Before he could reply, the guard left the room and Oliver was at a standstill as to what to do. He decided to sit on a flat stalagmite between the bed and the bath.

He didn’t have long to wait as Zod swept into the room with all the grace of tiger hunting his prey. Oliver immediately stood up and bowed once more.

“As touched as I am by your human submission, I prefer my subjects to kneel.”

Without hesitation, Oliver let one of his knees hit the ground, ignoring the jolt as it connected with the unforgivable surface of ice. Zod’s right hand came up to caress his cheek, and he could feel it tilting his head up. Their eyes locked together and, with no further instruction necessary, Oliver knew what Zod wanted him to do while they were in this position.

His assumptions proved correct when Zod unfastened the front of his trousers. Oliver brought his hands up to rim the top edge of Zod’s pants, pulling the material down to his knees. Oliver took in Zod’s cock as soon as it sprung from its fabric restraint.

“Does everyone freeball around here?” Oliver didn’t wait for Zod’s response as he immediately moved his head forward. He opened his mouth and took in a few of the inches, feeling the weight against his tongue, inside his mouth. He closed his lips over the warm flesh and sucked a few times, only going a few centimetres further when he slightly twisted his mouth as he bobbed down. He paused momentarily as the heady sensations washed over him, listening to the soft *pop* as the tip of Zod’s cock dropped from his lips. He licked the head a few times and circled the crown with his tongue before allowing himself to speak again. “It’s been a long time since I’ve done this. Not since . . . college?”

“Not to worry,” Zod said. “You’ll get plenty of practise with me.” Zod moved his hand around the back of Oliver’s head and threaded his fingers in the short blond hair, pulling Oliver’s mouth closer to his cock, eager for the archer to continue his administrations. He felt his cock sink into the warm wet heat of Oliver’s mouth and thrust in deeper before Oliver could resist. His head hit the back of Oliver’s throat and he could feel the blond’s throat almost undulating around it. Two hands cupped his ass and pulled him even deeper, until Zod’s cock was practically getting swallowed.

Zod let his head fall back, balancing more on Oliver than his own two legs. He felt the wet sheath slide off his length and heard Oliver breathing in deeply, sucking the head of his cock and licking occasionally. And then it was back. Oliver took him in all the way, deepthroating him to the point where Oliver’s tongue touched his ballsack. Oliver continued this for some time. Small licks at the head, sucking only the crown, licking the length, and then, by the gods, taking him in full. Zod could feel himself slowly losing control, but he didn’t want the fun over so soon. When Oliver released him next, Zod pressed against the archer’s shoulders, silently telling him ‘enough.’

Zod tugged Oliver up gently, but brought their mouths together in a whirlwind of lust. The two held onto the other’s waist. Their tongues slid against each other passionately. Zod hooked his left arm under Oliver’s right to grip the back of the blond’s head, holding onto him tightly. Zod walked forward slowly, leading Oliver closer to the bath. He used his hands to unbuckle the straps of Oliver’s armor, discarding the metal on the floor. Then he began to work off Oliver’s pants, getting them down only a bit before Oliver ran his hands over Zod’s shoulders, removing his overcoat.

They broke apart, unhooking, unbuckling, and unzipping their respective clothing, baring themselves in front of each other. Zod watched Oliver’s face for any signs of disloyalty, but apart from a few side-to-side glances at the clothing strewn everywhere, Oliver’s eyes shone with the lust Zod knew he himself was feeling too. Zod held out his hand in the direction of the tub. There was less steam emanating from the water’s surface than there had been when he entered the room, but their bodies would soon make up for the lack of heat by producing their own. He doubted they would even begin to notice the cooling water until their skin had shriveled up.

Oliver took note of Zod’s gesture and slipped into the tub, glad the water was still rather warm. He stroked himself while Zod walked over and climbed into the bath with him. There was some rearranging to be done as Oliver bent up his knees to go over Zod’s hips. Zod’s own knees were bent as well, keeping the two pressed together by their torsos. Oliver could feel their dicks bobbing against each other due to the water’s currents they had caused. By the time, they were both comfortably settled, Oliver was pretty much as hard as he could get. He started stroking Zod’s cock together with his own, allowing Zod to once again grab the back of his head and pull him into a kiss. The heady sensations were causing him to moan, the sound echoing around the somewhat barren room of ice, sounding a lot louder – and a lot hotter – than he had thought it would be.

Zod followed Oliver’s moan with one of his own and the two created their own symphony. The water swished around them and rocked to and fro from the ends of the tub. Zod moved his hands across Oliver’s hard chest, letting his rough nails skim over the perfect flesh. He watched as Oliver’s head tilted back in pleasure and then leaned forward to suck and bite along the archer’s neck and shoulder.

The groans that elicited from Oliver took Zod to the brink and he pulled back, taking Oliver’s busy hand into his own and moving it away. There was still more to do – more to experience. Zod grinned lasciviously as he scooted almost all the way back into the side of the tub. Oliver lifted his legs out of the way, hooking them over the rims of the tub as Zod repositioned himself. Gripping the edge of the tub with his hands as a brace, Zod stood up from the bath, the water licking at his shins.

“I want you to kneel in the tub,” Zod said. Oliver wasn’t fully sure how that would work or even if there were enough room for the both of him should he be in that position, but nevertheless, Oliver moved both of his legs back into the tub and then stood halfway up. He tucked his legs gently under himself and sat the rest of the way back down, his ass resting on his heels.

Zod sat back down slowly in the bathwater, stretching his own legs around the brim of the tub. Oliver looked at the opening he had and then looked up at Zod, understanding dawning on him. Zod nodded slowly. Oliver bent down, guiding his cock up to his stomach with a free hand so that it would slide gently against the tub floor instead of prodding into it. Then he braced his forearms on either side of Zod’s hips, his chin just dipping into the water’s surface as he looked into Zod’s eyes one more time.

Oliver gave Zod a smile and looked down toward the water. He took a deep breath and put his head underwater. He changed the position of his right forearm to brace horizontally instead of vertically, so he could pinch his nose together. He kept his mouth closed and pushed the crown of Zod’s cock smoothly into the empty warmth. He sucked up and down under the water, some of the water getting in and mixing in with his saliva. He could feel Zod’s legs resting on top of his back now. He kept up the rhythm until he knew he needed to go up for air. He released Zod’s cock from his mouth, but then felt Zod’s hand grip the back of his head and hold him down. The message was clear – not until he came.

Oliver immediately continued his ministrations, desperate for air at this point. His chest hurt, but he forced himself to suck, the sooner Zod came, the sooner he could breathe. He deep throated once, twice and then let his throat work around Zod’s cock as if he could suck the very air from Zod’s body into his own. His own body started involuntarily writhing in the cool water, but Zod’s legs had clamped down and there was nowhere for Oliver to go. Then the moment arrived that Oliver had been praying for. Zod’s hips bucked his cock further down his throat and the streams of cum shot down. He was released immediately and Oliver shot his head up out of the water, taking in deep breaths of frigid air, some of the pearly liquid dripping down and out of his mouth, mixing in with the bathwater. Oliver watched as the milky white color from above met the milky white color from below and only then realized that he had come too.

“Holy hell,” Oliver said after he had caught his breath. He stretched up so that his chest was lying on top of Zod’s and nestled his head into the crook of Zod’s neck, allowing only enough space to breathe. “That was . . . intense.”

“Yes, it was.” Zod let his head fall back and it was a while before either of their bodies cooled their internal temperatures enough so that they realized that the external wasn’t helping matters. “Come, let us go to the bed.”

Oliver nodded and got up first, stepping out of the tub, followed by Zod. They both padded to the cloth-covered plateau and lay down, wrapped up in each other and the make-shift sheets.

***

After Clark had awoken, again surprised that he wasn’t already dead, he had been whipped repeatedly by a female Zoner. She recited all the grievances she and her brethren had received at the hands of Jor-El and for each one, the whip cracked down. The rest of the Zoners had since moved him and chained his hands to a suspended hook. His toes barely touched the floor. Clark felt more exposed than ever, dangling from the ceiling like their plaything instead of a person. He had been fucked so many times he had lost count. Even the women had taken sword hilts and fucked him with those.

Then there was a large man who used a cat-of-nine tails. He circled Clark while ticking off his and his family’s unjust punishments. From what he and his family had done though, Clark had no doubt that his father had done right locking the maniac up. The man came up close to Clark’s face and Clark almost retched at the rotten smell of the man’s skin.

“It was only a bit of fun. Besides, they wanted it. What could I do but force them? You should have seen the girl, all of maybe fifteen years, coming into her own as a woman, you know? The man? Real religious fellow. I threatened to kill their families if they didn’t . . . cooperate. I bent her over real proper like, cut off her skirt – arse and cunny to the air. My brothers had the families good and watching. Told the man to give the girl a right proper fucking, or else. You should have seen him break down. They both enjoyed it. You see, they all say no when they really mean yes. Just got to give them the proper environment in which to become the animals they were born to be. Nobody got hurt. We let all of ‘em live afterwards. So I ask you, what was the crime?”

Clark was numbed to the core. How could someone have it in them to be that cruel? That twisted? “My father was right. People like you deserve this place.”

The Zoner didn’t really care for that statement as he backed up and brought the leather straps down right on Clark’s exposed groin. Clark’s entire body tensed up as the pain rocked his nervous system. He felt someone grip him from behind and force themselves into his ass. He had grown accustomed to the dull ache, but feigned disgust and anguish simply to keep them at bay.

“You think that hurts, pretty boy?” The big Zoner walked up to him, and Clark again had to resist the urge to hurl. “You ain’t felt nothing yet.” The next thing Clark knew, the Zoner had hoisted both of Clark’s legs up, switching the angle the guy behind him was fucking him. A slight twinge of pain coursed through him at the sudden movement, but before it had even subsided, Clark could feel the intrusion of a second dick at the tip of his already full hole.

Clark shook his head, silently begging the man not to, but he received a rough backhand instead. The stretch of yet another dick burned Clark like he hadn’t known it could. He had no doubt he was bleeding from his hole. The rank smell and the double thrusting contributed to the already queasy feeling of Clark’s stomach and he couldn’t help himself from groaning in pain.

“Shut it, you. Or you’ll get my fist in your mouth. Too bad you’re too high up for another dick.” Clark really wanted to hold in the pain, but another groan escaped him. The man was true to his word and Clark let out an inhuman noise as the man punched into his mouth so forcefully his jaw unhinged. The sound ripped across his throat, which only seemed to spur on the wild thrusting movements inside his ass. He could feel the warm, sticky liquid shoot in thin streams as the men’s cum spurted deep inside of him. When the two men pulled out, releasing their hold on him as well, his body ejected what had been plugged up in a short gush of diarrhea.

“Now, that’s right disgusting, mate.” The large Zoner backhanded him again, causing extreme pain due to the state his jaw was already in. He could feel it hanging at an unnatural angle, too unnatural even for speech. The next thing he felt was rough arms hoisting him up so that his shackled lifted off of the hook. He was dropped to the ground and all he knew was that his entire body was in way too much pain for one person to handle. Why couldn’t he simply pass out?

A hand gripped his hair and he was dragged across the floor and shoved up and on to the icy platform that he’d been chained to for the past three days. Today’s group filed out of the room. Clark simply let his head rest against the cold plateau, letting it numb him to unconsciousness.

 

Clark woke up when a painful crack vibrated through his jaw. After the initial pain, it didn’t hurt anymore and Clark moved it a little bit to test it out. It was healed.

“So how’ve you been? My people tell me you’ve been quite the treat. I’m sure you could use a few days’ rest from all this, though. I, for one, am getting tired of having to come down and heal you after you pass out. Can’t take the pain without your invulnerability? You’re weak . . . pathetic.”

Clark tuned Zod’s words out, simply allowing his body to accept the healing it was being offered.

“You’ll have to be on your best behavior over the next few days. Follow your orders and try not to get too bruised up. I’ll heal you again in three days.”

Clark watched Zod leave and then two guards came in and unfastened the ropes. He was led out and brought to one of the women by Zod’s side. She buckled a collar and leash around his throat. Over the next three days he was forced to scrub the mess of shit he had made from the torture room as well as scrubbing all the bloodstains from the floor and walls where it had splattered. He was made to scrub the armor and weapons free of blood as well as repair anything that had been broken. No matter what needed to be done, however sore his body was from the day’s work, he would still have to endure the men using his mouth for their pleasure at night. The women seemed to stay away from him at night. During the day, however, only the women would feed him. They would use the long leash to tie his hands up behind his back and force him to eat scraps from the floor and drink water from a scuffed up hole like he was a dog. It was food and water, though, and Clark needed it. When the time came for his torture to start up again, he endured it without complaint, without any negative remarks of any kind. Zod allowed him the one day of torture for every three days of servitude over the next few weeks.

There were many times where Oliver called him at night. On one night in particular, he had forced Clark to take him in all the way. Clark had started gagging immediately, but Oliver forced himself past that barrier and then had proceeded to spread the word around to the other guys that he had taught Clark to deep-throat. There were some sessions in which Clark thought he would faint from the lack of oxygen, but apparently the Zoners had picked up on his tipping point and he was allowed to breathe only right when he needed to, then it back to taking them in all the way.

There were also nights where Zod called upon him. He only forced Clark to deep-throat him the first night. But every other time he called him, Zod would simply flip Clark around on his back and fuck him. Zod was the first one who fisted him. It was twice the stretch the two men had been, but Zod had fastened the collar inside his mouth and behind his head so Clark had something to bite into.

And then there was the night where Zod and Oliver had teamed up. Clark walked in dutifully to Zod’s chambers and the two were in each other’s embrace on the bed. Their heads had come up upon Clark’s arrival and, after a curt nod from the general, Oliver led Clark over to the bed where he was forced on his knees. Zod had fucked him from behind while he was forced to take Oliver in his mouth. When Oliver had come down his throat, Zod, still thrusting into him from behind, pulled Clark back against him. Clark felt Oliver run his hands over his chest, felt as Oliver thumbed his nipples. And then a wet heat washed over them. God! Clark compelled himself to not feel pleasure from it, but it was almost useless. He was starting to feel the pleasure that Oliver had told him about those countless days ago. And then the warm wet heat moved onto Clark’s cock and after so many days of torture and pain, Clark let the ecstasy wash over him, through him, and deep into Oliver’s mouth.

It wasn’t long before Zod came into him. Zod and Oliver lay down, and Clark started to get up to go complete the rest of his nightly duties when Zod grabbed the leash and pulled him back down.

“You’re staying here tonight, Clark.”

Clark warily lay down, convinced this whole night had been some sort of trick, playing nice to catch him off guard and beat him. But the more minutes passed, both Oliver and Zod’s breathing grew rhythmic and Clark let himself relax and catch a much-needed rest.

When the three woke up, dawn was just creeping in through the cracks in the icy pikes above. The light bounced cheerfully around from ice facet to ice facet, reflecting off such a multitude, it gave the room an eerie peaceful glow.

“Wouldn’t you like to rest here, Clark? Repeat last night? The pleasure to be had . . .”

Zod’s voice trailed off and Clark could only tilt his head toward. He couldn’t deny that last night had been amazing, and he couldn’t say that he preferred the torture and servitude to how it felt having Zod and Oliver indulge his body in carnal rapture, but if openly agreed . . .

“I could send you back out there. Today you go back to the torture room. I daresay some of the men might be a little irked that you didn’t show up for them last night. Would you like me to send you there?”

Clark shook his head. He was so very tired, mentally and physically and the few hours’ he had gotten last night just weren’t enough to make up for the days – at least two weeks – of hell he had been put through.

“It’s just one simple word, Kal-El. You can go back to Earth, back to your loved ones. I’m sure he’ll let you spare a handful of lives in return for the billions you’ll make fall to his knees. Come on, what do you say? One word.”

Clark looked deep into Zod’s eyes. The man’s gaze was condescending, but truthful. And then he looked into Oliver’s, who hadn’t said a word all morning. The brown gaze bore into his own eyes, but Clark couldn’t read the expression.

Clark could only nod in acceptance to Zod’s demand. The smile Zod graced him with was predatory. “And your response to Darkseid will be the same?”

Clark nodded again. He saw Zod’s eyes turn black, the blackest he had ever seen any of the infected’s turn.  And that was when Clark felt it. It was like a shiver passed through him – a shiver of all things horrible and maimed, terrifying and gruesome. The light of the room was snuffed out as darkness swirled all around them. He couldn’t see anything around him anymore. It was if the darkness was suffocating his senses.

But then came the voice – the voice he had heard when other Marked people spoke. It entered into his very subconscious, saturated his very thoughts, and asked a single question.

“Will you at last let me in?”

Clark could feel the intrusion before the word was even out of his mouth.

“Yes.”

Part I | you are here | Part III

 
 
Mood:: lethargic
 
 
tubazrcool
02 November 2012 @ 17:06

Scarlet Nights – I

you are here | Part II | Part III

Tess had finally relented to Clark’s plan: the gateway, and thereby the only way for Clark to come back to Earth, was to be destroyed if he wasn’t able to return in three hours.

“You know the risks as much as I do, Tess. Losing me is a small price for the world to pay compared to letting it get ripped apart by 28 galaxies’ worth of supernatural criminals. I have to make sure that Slade is the only casualty that’ll come out of the Phantom Zone.”

“’I’ll start getting everything ready.” True to her word, she turned and busied herself with setting up computer execution codes, getting the necessary equipment out to handle the crystal, and hooking it up to the modems. Clark admired Tess’ brave front when faced with impossible odds. It was why she was the only person he could tell. She had the world’s best interests at heart, same as he did. She knew what Zod was like, knew the type of monsters that awaited the chance to destroy the world, and would do her damnedest to make sure they never got it. But she was more fragile than she let on, and that was why Clark felt the overwhelming need to reassure her.

“Superheating the crystal is just the final precaution. I may not have any abilities in the Zone, but my blood is the only thing that can open the gateway, which is why I have to make sure that whatever activated the gateway to let Slade out is a one-time thing.”

Tess placed the crystal on the scanner’s base so that the laser beam hit it dead center. “Clark, there’s gotta be a better way to solve this than to send yourself into inter-dimensional exile.”

“Someone’s releasing people from the Phantom Zone; I need to figure out who – and why – before they release anyone else.”

“You mean we, right? I’m going with him.” At the sound of Oliver’s voice, Clark looked over his shoulder, turning around slightly. He wasn’t sure how he should feel towards Oliver volunteering himself. On the one hand, he was taken aback by his friend’s willingness to risk his life to help him without the slightest concern that he might not come back. On the other, however, Oliver didn’t know what the Phantom Zone was like and Clark owed it to Chloe to keep her husband safe – this time, he didn’t plan on failing that duty.

Clark shifted back around to look at Tess. “You told Oliver I was going in?” Tess faced him, about to reply, but Oliver beat her to the punch.

“Hey, I come back here willing to risk life and limb with you in the Phantom Zone, and I get not so much as a ‘welcome back?’”

He processed the archer’s words, but kept his gaze fixed on Tess, not knowing how, when, or why she called in someone else to enter that frozen hell. “Clark, you’ll be powerless there.” Her voice was calm and matter-of-fact. “Oliver has more experience with that.”

“Thanks,” came Oliver’s sarcastic reply. A small niche in Clark’s brain found it amusing, but he knew Oliver knew exactly what Tess was saying. He felt a familiar pat on his arm. “You could use me in there.”

Clark looked back toward Oliver sharply. “Absolutely not.” This time it was Oliver’s look that Clark couldn’t decipher. “I appreciate the offer, but the Phantom Zone is not a place for humans. I need to do this alone.”

“Not completely alone,” Tess said. She grabbed some sort of watch and walked up to him, taking his left wrist, and strapping it on. “Thanks to Booster’s upgrade, Watchtower should be able to maintain two-way communication using the frequency vibrations in the crystal.” She turned it on and the computer to his right came to life, acknowledging the connection.

Clark sensed the doubt in Oliver’s voice. “Should as in might not?”

Tess seemed to share the doubts Oliver had and went over to the computer. “It’s not exactly a vacation destination, so I haven’t had the chance to test it.” Almost as soon as she finished speaking, the crystal scanner’s beam brightened and an automated female voice announced that the crystal was online. The portal to the Phantom Zone started opening up.

“Clark,” Tess said. Frequency locked. “Be careful.” And come home. She didn’t have to say that part, but Clark had learned to read people’s true meaning behind their words. He chanced a glance to Oliver, who nodded an encouraging farewell. Turning to face the crystal, the portal having opened up a bit further, he stood ready to be sucked in. It wasn’t until he felt a strong pair of arms grab him from behind that he realized Oliver had never had any intention of staying on Earth. But the portal had already taken them both.

The next thing he knew, frigid air was whipping all around him and he was propelled forward. He hit the snow-dusted ground on all fours and heard Oliver’s grunt beside him.

“If I’d have known about the long drop in, I would have brought some rappelling equipment.”

Clark roughly grabbed Oliver’s shoulder and pulled him up close. “If I’d have known you’d ignore my warning to come here, I would have told you to bring it.” He was furious that Oliver had disobeyed and accompanied him, and on top of that, the archer was back to making sarcastic comments. Thing is, the Phantom Zone was too brutal a place to take anything as a joke, much less your arrival. “I know what I’m doing; you should have trusted me.”

“You should have more faith in your friends, Clark,” Oliver said, shrugging off the Kryptonian’s grip, surprisingly easy without the super strength. Clark got up and walked away. “I came here to help you.” Oliver followed Clark through the stalagmites of black ice and rock. “Wherever the hell this is.” The two reached a turning point; looking farther down, they noticed skulls put on pikes, warding off the entrance. “You know where I’m from, people just hang a wreath.”

“It’s a warning from the Zoners,” Clark said. Oliver could see the Omega symbols deeply etched into the white bone. “Consider it a not-so-friendly keep-out sign.”

Oliver looked around again, the looming pillars overhead suddenly seeming a lot more foreboding at the moment. “Guess we didn’t corner the market on darkness.”

“Darkseid’s been to more places in the galaxy than just Earth.” The two continued walking, past the skulls.

“He really gets around. Do you think he had anything to do with tossing Slade back through the portal?”

“I don’t know. But if he’s strong enough to make it here, then no place is safe.” Throughout all his training, Clark had learned everything about the Phantom Zone, including the right to remain there for all eternity. The thought of Darkseid coming and going as easily as the wind whipping around them right now made him shiver inside. He knew he had to remain strong though; if Darkseid saw doubt in him again, then all would be surely lost, and that was something Clark wouldn’t let happen if he could help it.

“Listen, about this zone, Clark?” Clark turned to face Oliver, who still kept looking around. “You know, when you said Jor-El built a prison, I kinda pictured something a little more confined than a national park.”

Clark knew the humans’ definition of prison was forefront in Oliver’s mind, so he explained the reasoning behind such a barren wasteland being used for the Zoners. “He built this place so that Krypton’s worst criminals could have some kind of life.” He turned and walked away, shielding his ruminations from Oliver.

“Seems like a real sweetheart.”

After a few more twists and turns, Clark checked his watch. “Watchtower, you read me?”

Tess’ voice came through the slight static. “We’re picking you up.”

“We reached the gateway.” Clark turned back to Oliver. “There must be some clues to who opened the portal.” As soon as Clark started up the steps, he heard the sound of a Zoner’s imminent approach and remembered Oliver didn’t know much about them. “Phantoms.” Their screeching continued as they got closer to Oliver and his position.

“I thought this was just a clever name for jail.”

“They’re the most dangerous prisoners here. We need to hurry.” Clark ascended the rest of the steps and looked at the stone crest. There was a hole in the middle where the crystal should have been.

“How’s it look?”

Clark realized that with the crystal gone and no clue as to where it might be, he and Oliver were stuck here. With him powerless and neither possessing a weapon of any kind, Clark deduced that the chances of both, or either, of them surviving were close to nil. “Someone took the crystal.”

“But the gate’s still open, right?” He heard Oliver’s concerned voice behind him and turned to look him in the eye.

“You don’t understand. The crystal is the gate.” Clark pointed behind him. “Whoever sent Slade back must’ve taken it with him.”

“It’s our only ticket out of here, Clark.” The screeching resumed. Clark hadn’t noticed the previous abatement. “Get ready.” He stepped down and walked until he was between the Zoners and Oliver. “They’re coming.”

“Okay, here we go.”

A wraith rounded the corner and headed straight for the two of them, consuming them in its shroud, clawing and biting into their flesh. Two more wraiths joined and it was all Clark could do to focus the brunt of it on him. Clark tried landing a punch, but the Zoner grabbed his wrist; one of claws scratched through the strap on the watch and it fell onto the ground. Another Zoner knocked him forward and he could hear the crunch as his knee destroyed the only contact Clark had with Earth. He and Oliver were truly on their own.

The wraith’s torment stopped as two much more solid figures approached through the hall. Clark checked on Oliver, who was as cut up as he was, but alive and on his knees just the same. The figures came and shackled their hands, gruffly pulling them up and walking them through the tunnels into what appeared to be a very crude throne room.

Clark took note of yet another solid figure sitting in the chair, a giant yellow snake woven around him. The robes covered the man’s face, yet Clark could sense something foreboding and strangely familiar about this particular Zoner.

The man stood up and pulled his hood back. It was none other than Zod. Clark looked toward Oliver before they both looked back toward Zod.

“Kneel.” Zod’s voice was much more condescending and arrogant now that he had the two of them at his mercy. Powerless to resist, the two of them were pushed to their knees. Clark felt submissive before the other Kryptonian and had no doubt that the smirk on Zod’s face was there because of it. Though he didn’t have any of his other abilities, his mind still worked like Zod’s, so he focused on the general’s every twitch, to see if he could deduce the next move. Zod lifted his head toward the guards and gave a nod. “Kal-El stays with me.” Zod directed his head toward Oliver. “Put him with the others.”

Clark twisted around to see both the guards haul Oliver to his feet and drag him off down the hallway they had come through. He got to his feet as best he could with his arms still shackled at the wrist. “Where are you taking Oliver?”

“You’re worried for him. You should be.” Clark could hear Zod coming closer with every word and he turned his gaze back to him. Zod was closer than Clark had originally thought and as soon as Zod placed a hand on Clark’s shoulder, he knocked their heads together, sending Clark back to the ground on his knees. “But there’s nothing you can do.”

Clark could see Zod get into a crouching position to level with him. He noticed Zod’s robe was gone now, underneath had been a deep black, almost musketeer-like uniform, complete with a sword.

“I know. It’s terrible – feeling so powerless – when you know you’ve got such strength inside of you with no way of unleashing it.” Zod seemed much more superior to him now than when they were on Earth together, much more devious, controlling . . . calculating.

“Even without the yellow sun, I will find a way to defeat you.”

“You’ll have to work twice as hard.”

Clark picked up on the playful tone, could see Zod’s interest in letting him try. He watched as Zod stood up and walked toward his throne. “Because when I arrived here,” he sat down on the first step up. “I met a very special acquaintance, someone you know . . . and someone I am very very fond of.”

“Who?”

“Me.” Now it made sense – and it made Zod all the more dangerous.

“The original Zod’s phantom.” Clark knew what they were both capable of and it took a moment to sink in that the power duo would be a nigh unstoppable force on his own terrain.

“Finally. Back in the body that you stripped me of.” Zod’s hand came to rest on the hilt of his sword, drawing it out slowly. “Now I have the full knowledge of two lives and you . . . you’re my enemy in both.”

Clark knew he had to rely on his inner strength rather than his super-strength to outwit the two Zods now joined as one inside this frozen hell. “And I defeated you in both.” He saw Zod’s nod and grimace at his words and knew he had struck a chord. It would be a battle of wills and vulnerable flesh that would get him and Oliver out of here alive – if Oliver were still alive.

Zod rose to his feet and stood above Clark. “Which is why it will give me double the satisfaction to see you kneel.” Clark felt the tip of the blade against his chest, the cotton T-shirt providing no defense against the cold steel. Zod let the blade slip downward and dig in where one of the wraiths had already tunneled into his body with their claws. “Serve . . . ‘til you die.”

Clark could feel the sword go in deeper. As much as Clark would have liked to verbally defy the tyrant standing before him, he knew goading Zod wouldn’t end well, for him or Oliver. However, Clark let his eyes speak his hatred. Zod relented his sword’s torture and leaned in close.

“You sent me to my death sentence. You left me at the mercy of those Kandorians. This was my punishment.”

Clark dropped his gaze and noticed his House’s crystal dangling from a length of wire, the two fashioned into some sort of pendant. He now had the way out of this place. Now all he needed to do was get Oliver close to him as well. To do that he needed to play it cool – play it smart. He looked back up at Zod, schooling his expression so as not to reveal the hope around the man’s neck.

“Jor-El built this place for your kind.” He could see Zod rear back and took the punch that came his way.

“My kind? Is that why you sent Slade here?”

Clark hadn’t known Zod knew about Slade, but it made sense now.

“What would Jor-El think about you using his prison for your purposes? There’s no trial, no jury, just the rule of Kal-El.”

Clark didn’t have to think about his father’s opinions of his actions regarding Slade. He regretted them enough. His inner turmoil was only half-reduced when Slade came back through the portal. Yes, Slade was a monster of a man, but he was only a man, and Clark had sent him to a place that made him look like an angel.

“But I suppose in the end, it became your undoing, didn’t it?” Clark wasn’t sure how Zod saw that far into him, but he was dead-on and there was no denying it. But his wits started working again. The only reason Slade was back on Earth was because Zod knew he wouldn’t track down and kill him given he was human. Had it been any other phantom, Clark wouldn’t have hesitated to do just that. But to release Slade, Clark would have to go to the Phantom Zone to make sure none of the other inhabitants escaped. Except the crystal was taken after Slade returned.

“It was all a trap. And you knew, once that I saw Slade had been sent back, I’d come here looking for answers.”

“And you came.” Their gaze held only for a moment longer before Zod walked past Clark. He could hear shouting and cheering coming from behind him, but it didn’t seem like Zod was in the mood for more chit-chat.

Clark knew he had to play the ace up his sleeve to get more information out of Zod about his plans. “You have the console crystal. How?” As he predicted, he could hear Zod stop.

“We’re blood brothers, Kal-El. Have you forgotten how you healed me with your blood on Earth?”

Clark remembered, but it was something he would do again, damn the consequences. But Zod was wrong on one account. “We’re not brothers.” Clark managed to get to his feet. “I saved you because it was the right thing to do.” He turned to look at Zod. “We have nothing in common.”

“We’re from the same world. Do you really think that having powers is the only thing that makes you Kryptonian? It’s not.” Zod now walked back towards him. “We share the same instincts. We’re decisive . . . single-minded, headstrong. No, we were meant to be leaders.”

“Leaders? You’re a tyrant who only believes in himself.”

Zod showed no remorse at Clark’s words. “Who else should I put my faith in? We both know that trusting others is a . . . calculated risk, one a Kryptonian is not willing to take.”

There was that word, calculated. Clark again realized that he was working against two Zods and not one. Everything he was thinking was being blocked and rerouted by the man in front of him.

“We can easily fool those closest to us, can’t we? But we can lean on no one. Do you remember that most famous story about two brothers from your adopted planet? You’ve got Cain.” Clark knew it was no coincidence that Zod used the fist holding the sword to symbolize the dark brother. “And Abel. Which brother are you, Kal-El?”

Clark knew he was Abel, but it would spoil the game if he answered too fast, or was it doubt attempting to take over again? If he could send Slade here, to this hell, did he have it in him to kill? He couldn’t allow himself to believe that, but doubt has a funny way of rooting its home in your weakest spot. “Well, I’d never murder you. I saved you.”

Zod’s next blow Clark hadn’t anticipated and he landed back on his knees, the shocks making their way through his body. And again, Zod loomed over him. “You exiled me. I’m in charge here. And you’re about to find out what that means . . . brother.” Clark could hear the venom in the last word, Zod’s insistence on calling him that when Clark so desperately didn’t want to believe it. Zod turned around and left through the hallway, as arrogant as when Clark first stepped into the throne room.

No sooner had he had a moment to think, two more guards appeared, shrouded in dark robes like the others. They dragged him down the hallway and through another set of winding corridors. Clark could hear the noise getting louder and as they approached, he noticed the clearing was set up as an arena. Large cages held some of the prisoners, while others were standing free, cheering on as two warriors battled in the inner circle. Zod had already taken his place at the head of the arena, overlooking the match.

As he was taking everything in, Clark barely noticed that one of the guards had gone off to stand her post and the other one had removed the shackles. He could hear his name being shouted and saw Oliver in the cage closest to him.

“They want you to fight . . . to the death.” Clark looked toward Zod. This is what he had meant in the throne room. He had asked whether Clark would be willing to kill, because that was what Zod wanted him to do. He was forcing Clark to choose between letting himself die and Earth be taken over by Darkseid, or staying alive by Zod’s rules in the hopes that he would be able to return before it was too late to save the humans from their own vices.

As Clark turned his attention to the fight going on at the moment, he saw the larger of the two men swing an axe violently at the other. One slice to knock away his shield, one to knock out his equilibrium just long enough for the third – the death blow. Even though the defeated man’s back was to him, the amount of blood that sprayed out from the wound confirmed his demise. The man fell backward and Zoner guards collected his body, unceremoniously dragging it from the arena. Clark was disgusted by the way the victor took pride in taking the man’s life. Somehow, Clark found himself caught in the center of the ring, people closing in around him. He heard Oliver’s warning only seconds before the victor took another swing, this time at him.

Clark jumped back and the axe’s blade narrowly missed slicing out his intestines, but the opponent was merciless. He swung yet again, a diagonal blow that Clark was able to dodge. It was two-handed, cumbersome, easily avoided. If Clark didn’t take the offensive much, he could continue dodging until the man tired out. The man lunged and Clark moved backward, against a pillar of ice. He ducked the man’s next blow and the axe shattered the ice instead of Clark’s brains.

“The shield . . . use the shield!”

Oliver came through again. Clark picked up the fallen man’s shield and used it to block the brunt of the blows his opponent now showered down upon him. The third one sliced the shield completely in half and Clark got to his feet quickly enough to move out of the way of another downward swing. With the axe’s blade wedged slightly in the ground, his opponent was open. Clark, using his shield instead of his fist, uppercut the man. Clark then used what was left of the shield one last time to knock the weapon away. Both of them were now defenseless and weapon-less and were forced to rely on brute strength.

Clark ran in, head down, to try and knock the man off balance, but his momentum was used against him as the guy easily deflected him, pushing him down. He hit the ground in front of Oliver’s cage and his friend tossed a helmet to him. Clark got back on his feet and, noticing the man had picked up his axe again, slammed the helmet upward into the guy’s face. He ducked through another swing of the axe and used the helmet again toward the other side of his opponent’s face. The guy readied himself for another swing, but Clark swung first, the helmet striking the man directly under the chin. This time, it was his opponent that fell backward, stopped by the cage. Clark watched as the man used the cage for support, trying desperately to get back on his feet and into the fight.

The last thing Clark wanted to do was go through another round in which he might not be the one to make it out alive. He readied the helmet for another swing, but his anger was brought to a standstill by the crowd’s deafening shouts of “kill, kill, kill.” Clark took a good look at the other guy’s face, blood on his face, helmet askew, the metal most likely cutting into some part of his face or neck, but more importantly, the fear Clark saw in his eyes. Death was easy enough to accept if it wasn’t your own, but the realisation of your last few moments put most in a shock. Clark didn’t have it in him to rob anyone of their life and he could hold the helmet as high, as threatening, as long as he wanted to, but it wouldn’t change the fact that when it came down to it, Clark would never go through with it. He dropped his arm and turned to face the blood-thirsty crowd. He paused when he connected his gaze with Zod’s and threw the helmet onto the ground behind him, blatantly refusing to take his opponent’s life. The crowd got angry, but it was Zod, sitting back in his chair, disappointment evident, that was the only thing that held Clark’s attention.

Then Zod stood up, a smirk on his face. In his eyes, Clark could see yet another game, another test, playing itself out in Zod’s mind. He held up his hand, wordlessly calling for silence, and the crowd abated.

“In the arena, we answer failure with the only thing suitable . . . death.” At Zod’s last word, the crowd started its cheering. Who were these people, to treat life so poorly as long as it were not their own? Clark spotted a guard on either side of him and they crossed pikes in front of his chest. Zod descended the steps into the ring, grabbing the hilt of his sword. He unsheathed it and, once again, at the first sign of promised bloodshed, the crowd cheered him on. Zod pointed the tip of the blade at Clark and, just when Clark thought he was about to take the blow, Zod thrust the blade into the man still backed against the cage. He saw as Oliver moved to the side to avoid the blood-coated blade now sticking through to the other side.

Clark was appalled at Zod’s action but without his powers, there was nothing Clark could do now to the help the man. He was stunned as the man fell lifeless to the ground. He looked toward Zod with hate in his eyes. “You killed him for no reason.” The pikes against his chest prevented him from getting any closer to Zod, but they didn’t prevent him from trying.

“In any arena, one fighter walks away. When are you going to learn? It’s kill or be killed. It always was.”

“Maybe in your world, but not in mine.”

Zod smiled at him, triumph in his eyes. “This is my world.” Clark saw him turn to walk away, only to pause and deliver a warning straight to him. “Oh, and consider this your one free pass. If you fail to finish the job again, it’ll be you dragged along by your heels.”

Zod glanced away from him, toward the spot where Oliver was and Clark could only imagine what sinister test Zod had invented for the two of them. There was no way Clark would take Oliver’s life. Zod met Clark’s gaze once again before turning away and resuming his place at the top, his lesson taught.  He signaled for another match to begin, but the guards were already leading Clark to the cages. He was shoved roughly into the one beside Oliver, his shoulder slammed up against the grate separating the two of them.

“You’d have a better chance of surviving your dad’s desert than Zod’s thunderdome.”

“Hiding out in the wasteland’s not going to help.” One of the combatants hit the cage hard and moved away quickly from the approaching opponent.

“I’d rather take my chances playing patty cakes with the phantoms.”

“Zod has what we need to get home. We’re running out of time. Before you invited yourself, Tess and I put a plan in motion to protect Earth if any phantoms escaped.” The fight going on outside the cage turned ugly as one of the combatants beat the other one to the ground.

“What’d you do, set it to self-destruct?” Clark looked toward Oliver seriously as his friend, ever the vigilant archer, hit the target’s mark dead center. Oliver’s casual dismissal that Clark would actually do that faded into the realization that their chances of going home decreased by the second. Clark could see the fear evident in Oliver’s eyes now. “She set it to self-destruct.”

Clark nodded. The look in Oliver eyes seemed like betrayal to Clark, and Clark failed to hold the gaze. He should have told Tess that if anyone else came with him to abort the plan, but Tess was hard. She would keep to the original mission, no matter the cost, knowing that releasing this hell onto the Earth was a million times worse than losing two of the team. This knowledge seemed to strengthen Clark’s resolve that he had made the right choice. “It’s the only option.”

“How does Lois feel about that?”

“Lois doesn’t know.” Clark knew that if he’d had to face Lois and tell her that he might not make it back home, she would have refused to let him make the necessary sacrifice. “But I hope to get us out of here before we have to worry about that.”

“And how’re you gonna do that? You can’t bend metal in here. You can’t super-speed us back in time, Clark.”

“I know everything Jor-El wrote about the Phantom Zone. And I know how Zod thinks.” The crowd shouted the kill mantra once again, pulling Clark’s attention to the fight. A beheading. Clark gritted his teeth as yet another life was taken in the forty-five minutes they’d been here.

“Well, I hope all your studying paid off, ‘cause it’s test time.” Clark looked toward Oliver once again. Test time. He was worried that perhaps Oliver was a little too close to Zod’s thinking as well. Nevertheless, he was sure that Zod was going to make them fight each other and, if his display earlier was any indication, it was going to end in one or both of their deaths. Since that was the case, Clark knew he had to talk to Oliver about how to approach the tyrant.

“Oliver, listen to me. You need to make Zod think you’re on his side, think you’ll kill me.”

He saw the confusion in his friend’s eyes. “Clark, I would never . . .”

“Listen to me! Zod won’t let you. I bet you anything he’ll want to kill me himself, some sick form of self-satisfaction. So don’t hold all the way back when you get to the final blow. Once Zod’s close enough, I can grab the crystal and we can get home. The crystal should heal any wounds I get, so don’t worry about hurting me. Just keep a cool head so you don’t get hurt.”

“Clark, I’m not sure about this. What if he doesn’t stop me?” The guards opened the door to Oliver’s cage, grabbing him and dragging him out. “Clark?”

“He will.” Clark wasn’t sure when he would see Oliver again, what Zod would do to him, say to him, but if they faced each other in the arena, he needed to know Oliver would trust him. And Oliver’s timid nod showed that all the trust Oliver had was in him, at least until they got out of here and Oliver could rely on himself again. Then, Oliver turned into the guards’ direction, led off down the hallway that Clark had come through. He looked toward the dais in the arena and noticed that Zod had left. Oliver would be subject to him now, but Clark had every faith that Oliver would stand by him.

***

Oliver was pushed down to his knees as the guards stopped before Zod’s throne. “At least here, you are on equal footing with Kal-El. Having to walk alongside someone with the powers of a god must be so demoralizing.”

“My ego’s firmly intact, thank you very much.” Zod smiled at Oliver’s fighter instinct. “If you release your pet monkeys here, I’d be more than willing to give the Wicked Witch a personal demonstration.”

Zod’s smile stayed and he nodded gently to the guards. “Go.” The guards released their hold on Oliver and left obediently at their ruler’s command. “Yeah. That’s it. That’s the anger I was looking for.” Zod got up and approached Oliver. “That dark side of you that you fear so badly, and you should.” Zod turned away and headed toward a table. “I’ve seen what Darkseid is capable of.”

“What do you know?”

“After the Kandorians sent me here, a very powerful entity came looking for me.” Zod turned back toward Oliver. “Darkseid promised me lordship over this dominion if I solved one problem for him.”

Oliver got to his feet. “Clark.”

“Darkseid has certain ambitions for your planet.”

“The thing is, we took care of that. We blocked him. Took care of his three little minions too.”

Zod smirked. “Kal-El might delude himself, as usual, that he’s won but . . . there are millions, millions on Earth just waiting to surrender to the will of Darkseid. And you,” Zod walked up to Oliver and stared him down, “. . . friend, are one of them.”

Oliver was indeed marked with the Omega symbol, but he had kept on following Clark. Perhaps doing so would bring back the light he had lost when he had given into his wrath that night. He looked down, almost ashamed that he had allowed himself to become a servant of Darkseid. He noticed Zod holding a cup of water out to him and he took it slowly. His eyes rose up to meet the man in front of him.

“I know exactly what you’re doing.”

“Yeah. But you know it’s true, don’t you?” Zod licked his lips. “And it goes way back. After your parents were murdered, that anger . . . and desire for revenge . . . ah, you can feel it now, can’t you, that . . . darkness bubbling under the surface.” Zod held his gaze with Oliver, pausing only a little longer to let his words sink in. “It terrifies you.”

“Well, even if that were true, I would beat it.” Oliver walked past Zod so the man wouldn’t be able to see his expression of self-loathing.

“Too late. You’re an agent of Darkseid now. Just one of the many sinful souls at his beck and call. What would Clark think, knowing you were a marked man?”

Zod relished the time it took Oliver to answer to that, knowing that Oliver was starting to wonder what Clark would do if he found out the truth. When Oliver spoke, Zod could hear the hesitancy and doubt in the human’s voice.

“He would, uh . . . he’d stand by me.”

“But his faith in you would be compromised. That mistrust, it would grow. It would manifest like a cancer.” Zod’s voice was quiet, almost a whisper, punctuating each word subtly, knowing the less obtrusive his declaration, the more quickly it would find itself buried underneath Oliver’s skin, itching, with no way out, no fighter instinct battling it. “Inevitably, you’ll be cast aside, out of his good graces, like I was.” Zod walked up behind Oliver. “We can rule here, together, as brothers.”

Oliver turned to Zod now, disbelief showing slightly in his eyes. Zod saw that and knew that complete honesty would win Oliver over to him. There was no need to lie about his ambitions; Oliver already knew what he was capable of.

“I was looking for a brother in Kal-El. I was. Ultimately, I realized we have nothing in common.” Zod allowed himself to laugh off the major differences between himself and Clark. He took a key out of his pocket and stretched his hands out to Oliver’s shackles, unlocking one of them as a small promise of freedom if Oliver switched alliances. He backed away a few steps, allowing Oliver every chance to escape if should want to. But though his body proved no obstacle, his gaze still held the human in check, sizing him up as a man. “Unlike you and I.”

Oliver’s jaw twitched at the comparison, but he nodded his consent after thinking it through. “He does set the bar pretty high, doesn’t he?” Oliver had taken a humorous approach and Zod chuckled along with him appropriately, not dropping his guard too much in case Oliver’s deception was two-sided.

“Kal-El would never embrace his dark side and because of that . . . he will die here, but you . . . you can be saved. If you’re brave enough to walk along that darker path.” Zod had slowly been walking back up to Oliver and now his hand came to rest on the human’s shoulder. Oliver looked toward it, that symbol of brotherhood, of friendship, of allegiance. “You have to honor it.” Oliver’s eyes came back up to look into Zod’s, as a student looking into the eyes of his mentor. “You have to draw from that darkness, because if you don’t . . . you will die.”

Zod schooled his expression into that of concern for Oliver’s life, letting the human believe that his death would be a tragedy to one so strong, so full of promise, of darkness. He let himself exhale the tiniest confirmation of pride in his execution of soliloquy. Zod moved his hand slightly from Oliver’s shoulder, gripping the hem of Oliver’s sleeve between his thumb and forefinger. “Shall we get you dressed for the fight?”

Oliver inclined his head in respect then turned away. He drank deeply from the cup of water, before setting it on the table. He then took off his shirt, leaving himself exposed to the cold air. Oliver turned back toward Zod, who took the gray material from him and placed it on the table beside the water basin. He went to a corner of the room where a makeshift armor stand was. He chose a chest plate of some kind along with a pair of dark gloves.

Zod walked back over and placed the armor down on the table. Oliver noted this with confusion and when Zod looked toward him, he cocked his head a little further. His confusion ended when Zod’s mouth claimed his own. Zod’s hand grasped the back of his head and pulled him closer. Oliver matched the man’s urgency. He placed both his hands on either side of Zod’s hips, pulling him closer as well. When they broke apart, they let their eyes continue the battle that their tongues had started.

A clinking sound drew Oliver’s attention down to where Zod had unlocked the other shackle and the chained cuffs fell to the ground. Oliver leaned forward, initiating round two, but Zod put a hand to his chest. He turned and picked up the chest plate once more, walking around Oliver to come up behind him. He placed the armor in position and Oliver held it in place as Zod buckled it, his movements over Oliver’s bare skin sensuous. Zod smoothed down the shoulder guard before taking a step to close the distance between their bodies. He leaned his head into Oliver’s and whispered into his ear.

“You are truly remarkable, you know that? A perfect specimen of the human race. It’s survival of the fittest out there, and you, Oliver, are certainly fit.”

“Well, after the match, perhaps I’ll show you just how fit.” Oliver’s interest in Zod shown through his eyes and Zod nodded, the interest mutual. Oliver turned and brushed past Zod on his way to the gloves. He pulled them on. They didn’t cover his hand completely, leaving his fingers bare; a hole was ripped into the fabric where his thumb went. The fashion allowed for a solid grip while giving his palms and wrist the protection they needed for hand to hand combat if it had to go that far.

Zod walked back to the armor stand and took two swords, sheathing them into the straps that crossed Oliver’s back. Oliver grasped the hilts to prevent them from falling back out. “I’ll see you after the match then.”

Having said that, Zod left. Oliver took a deep breath before taking his time to walk out to the arena.

As he approached the ring, he drew out the swords slightly, noticing Zoners backing out of the way. His view of his opponent clear, he noted that Clark had been armored as well; he’d been given a red cape, a sword, and a shield.

***

Clark turned when he heard the crowd start their cheering again. His opponent was as he feared – Oliver. What he hadn’t expected, though, was the coldness in Oliver’s eyes, the set determination to fight. When Oliver’s gaze looked beyond him, to the dais behind him, it was as if Oliver was seeking Zod’s approval, his permission. Clark looked back to Zod as well, who had taken his seat only a few moments ago. What had he said? What had he done? Clark hoped with every fibre of his being that Oliver was simply playing his role, that Zod hadn’t broken his friend. Clark saw Zod give a nod, and was confused for a moment. Did he want the fight to start now? He turned back to Oliver, who had advanced rapidly.

Clark was taken aback by the sudden attack. Oliver lunged forward and Clark backed away. Oliver’s other arm came up to swing his sword and Clark met the blade with his shield. Oliver kept swinging at the shield, but Clark held onto it, though his arm was throbbing from the reverberations. Oliver switched to swing his left sword but Clark parried with his own blade, then Oliver swung his right sword another time. Clark blocked with his shield and attacked with his sword. Oliver easily deflected it with his left blade. Clark had left his sword arm open and Oliver sliced a deep cut into his bicep. Clark saw Oliver walk away, practically satisfied that he had won the first round. Clark remembered that he had told Oliver to not spare him any wounds, but Oliver wasn’t fighting like the Oliver he knew. It was as if . . .

Clark got back up and met Oliver in battle once again. This time Oliver brought both swords down and Clark had to use all his strength to shield himself. He parried another of Oliver’s attacks with his sword and dodged away from another lunge. Their stances reversed. Oliver attacked again, relentlessly. He went to kick Clark in the stomach but Clark was able to barely sidestep it. Another attack and Clark used his shield again. He swung his sword at Oliver’s this time and jump kicked him in the chest while he was distracted. He could see that Oliver had lost the grip on his left sword. But Oliver was back on his feet in a split second, barely fazed. Clark realized he had never given Oliver’s fighting skills enough credit. Three attacks with the sword and Clark deflected them – shield, sword, shield. He tried taking a swipe at Oliver but Oliver used his free hand to guide Clark’s elbow away from him and then brought his sword down on Clark’s, knocking it out of his hands. But Clark still had his shield, which he used to block another of Oliver’s swings. He was able to throw his full weight into the sword, practically bashing it back into Oliver’s sword, causing him to drop it.

Clark used his shield as an offensive weapon and swung it toward Oliver, who, now with both hands free, grasped it and pushed it back, the two at a momentary impasse. Clark could see the fire in Oliver’s eyes, as well as . . . was that hatred? With both of them pushing against the other, Clark wasn’t sure why Oliver’s expression changed until he sidestepped and flung Clark to the ground, wrenching the shield away from him on the way down. Clark stumbled to his feet and Oliver bashed the shield upward against his jaw. Clark could feel the blood pool in his mouth and, knocked back once again, his jaw loosened and he could see the red liquid fly out and land on the ground, mixing together with all the rest of the spilt blood that stained the permafrost.

Clark used his arms to brace his fall, and pushed himself off to land on his side. He saw Oliver drop the shield to the ground and pick up one of the swords. Clark tried getting to his feet quickly then, but Oliver wasted no time in attacking, and Clark was still on his knees when the sword came down. Clark grabbed Oliver’s wrist in an attempt to throw him off. He pulled himself to his feet using Oliver as leverage and landed a punch that sent Oliver to the ground. He could see Oliver clutch his stomach. Was he hurt? Clark couldn’t see what had kept Oliver down, so instead of grabbing a weapon, he jumped up to land a punch to Oliver’s back. But then Oliver turned toward him, a sword held stiffly in his hand. Without his powers, Clark couldn’t manipulate the gravity to throw him back. Before he could register anything else, he felt the cold steel embed itself all the way through his stomach, the leather armor giving way like butter, his flesh without any form of resistance. Oliver’s gaze was dark and Clark could barely see any sign that his friend was inside at all. The sword had punctured him just below his left lung, barely missing his vitals.

He looked at Oliver, whose gaze never wavered from hate. The sword was still inside of Clark and Oliver put his weight on it as he stood up. Clark felt more shock than pain as the sword dug a little deeper. Oliver ripped it out and Clark sunk to all fours, trying to catch his breath and breathe through the shock. He pressed his hands to his wound and could feel the warm liquid coating them, cooling rapidly as it exited his body. Oliver kept a hand on Clark’s shoulder, forcing him to stay down.

And the kill mantra started up. For the first time, Clark was scared that it would be the last time he would hear it. The look in Oliver’s eyes was unforgiving. Clark saw Oliver draw his arm up, poised dramatically for a killing blow and it gave him hope that Oliver was still going along with the plan. Then Zod’s voice rang through the arena, loud and clear, a single word piercing through the deafening noise.

“Stop.”

you are here | Part II | Part III

 
 
Mood:: busy