The Skin of His Teeth
Denton eased the cart over beside Clark and starting making some adjustments to the controls after powering it on. Clark fidgeted in his seat as Drake placed a heavy lead vest over his torso, trying to think of some way out of his predicament.
“Uh, umm…I don’t think that’s really necessary, Doctor. I feel fine, really!” he mumbled.
“I am the Doctor, Mr. Kent. Why don’t you let me decide what you need. It’s just an x-ray, not a drill, after all. I promise you won’t hurt a bit when I’m done with you.” Denton said, smiling that mesmerizing smile of his. He leaned in close to Clark and laid his strong hand on Clark’s shoulder, his thumb grazing and tickling his ear. Clark felt flushed and confused.
“Don’y worry about a thing. Just let me take over. I’ve never had a patient complain yet about my bedside manner.” he quipped, that damned grin dazzling and disarming him at the same time. He betrayed no sign of being guarded in this matter. Could Clark have been wrong about the nature of the suit? Perhaps it was just a dispute over a bill or insurance matter. His head was spinning as Drake casually placed a probe between his teeth and leaned in face to face, peering inside Clark’s open mouth. He jammed wads of unexposed film between his cheek and teeth. He could smell his minty breath, smell the warm musky mansmell of his body. Their lips were mere centimeters apart. Clark could not even begin to remember a man ever invading his space so closely. He almost forgot his objections to the procedure and relaxed back into the chair, ceding control to the briskly professional medico.
“There now” Drake intoned “Hold that pose, gorgeous, I want to remember you like this forever” he joked. He must use this on all his patients, Clark thought to himself. But he could not help but grin like a purring cat being stroked. Clark couldn’t imagine anyone even kiddingly flirting with drab dishrag Clark Kent. His praise always came as Superman; lorded to the skies after some heroic deed or other.
Drake snapped one or two times on the controls, the machine hummed into action. As Drake snapped each shot Clark saw out of the corner of his eye a greenish flash of light from a container in the bowels of the machine. Drake swung the machine over to Clark’s left side and quickly repeated the procedure. Then he trundled the machine away and left Clark alone with his whirling thoughts.
What had he done? Why had he not tried to stop him? He could have said he just remembered another appointment and bolted for the door before the dentist could raise an objection. Why did he just sit there like a dummy?
Drake entered the room again. The joking manner had been replaced by one of puzzelment and even sheepishness. “I’m sorry, Clark. I don’t know what to tell you. The x-rays came out blank. All sets of them. Like I’d attempted to x-ray your heart through that lead vest.” he mumbled. This time he looked confused and at a loss. “Nothing I can do but redo the test.”
To his horror Drake quickly repeated the process before Clark could marshall an objection. Again the machine was trundled out. Again the slight delay and humbled return.
“I give up. The same result. And that was from my last batch of film. I already had my girl order a resupply for Monday. She’s already left early for the day so I can’t even ask her to switch to another supplier as this one seems to have defective stock.” Drake said, more to himself than Clark.
Clark breathed a slight sigh of relief. He was afraid Drake would do control tests and discover it was Clark’s impregnable teeth that prevented the x-rays from penetrating through to the film. Hopefully he would simply call off the rest of the examination and provide Clark with his proof of having met with a dentist for his insurance.
But he miscalculated Drake’s persistence. “I’ll just have to do this the hard way. I may have to pres down into the gums slightly and expose the nerve. This could hurt even if the nerve is dead as I suspect. The surrounding tissue has it’s own network of smaller nerves, after all. You’ll need an injection first.” Drake turned and rummaged through the cabinet on the wall, extracting a sealed syringe and a small vial. He prepared the shot and reaching out rolled Clark’s shirtsleeve up, exposing his massive upper arm.
“Wheeeeoooh! Welcome to the GunShow! Those are some biceps and triceps. They look like a python gorging on a wild hog.” Drake quipped, alternately genuinely impressed and trying hard to distract Clark, whose growing nervousness was showing.
Before Clark could mount an objection he drew the point of the needle near a vein bulging from the massive rippling bicep. “Please, don’t. I mean…I …I don’t like needles.” Clark wimpered.
“Now, now, let’s not be a big baby. You just need a momentary distraction and it will all be over before you know it.
“You don’t understand I’ve never done this before…” Clark started to interject, then stopped hilself.
“Come now, you’re a grown man. You must have had dozens of shots growing up. There can’t be too much a stud like you hasn’t done or tried before. Except maybe this…”
Like a bolt from the blue Drake suddenly seized Clark behind the head with his free arm and jerked him forward, simultaneously darting forward. He planted his mouth against Clark’s and kissed him fully and deeply, his powerful tongue playing between his splayed lips. Clark froze in place, not nowing what was happening. For what seemed an eternity they were locked together, flesh to flesh, soul to soul. Clark didn’t know where he ended and Drake began, like conjoined twins with a single heart. Drake’s lips were plush and wet. His tongue a wild, thrashing beast locked in combat with his own. Then, as suddenly as it began Drake broke away, leaving Clark wide-eyed and gasping for air,
“See? He grinned broadly. I told you. A little distraction and I got what I wanted.” he said trumphantly raiging his arm. Both of their eyes went to the syringe in his hand. It should have been empty after being jabbed into Clark’s arm, directly into the vein. Instead the needle was bent into a corkscrew, leaking the anesthetic.
“Impossible, I couldn’t have missed. Yet I must have jammed it against the steel rim of the chair instead. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have tried to trick you like that. You must think I’m some sort of bungling, incompetent quack.” Drake said, bewildred and crestfallen.
“No, of course not, Doctor, we all have our bad days. Let’s just call it off for now and I’ll just settle for the physical examination.” Clark added helpfully, while trying to conceal his relief this awkward encounter would soon be over.
“I can’t do that in good conscience, Clark. I suspect you may have some underlying condition that could prove insidious if not found out in time. I wouldn’t want those good looks being spoiled if you ended up loosing some teeeth just because I put you off seeing a dentist again.”
Clark squirmed in his seat, furious at himself with Drake’s intrangiance and his own inability to take control of the situation. Superman would know what to do, he thought to himself. But as Clark he was hobbled by his own self-definition of a submissive milktoast.
Denton once more turned on his heel and returned momentarily with another instrument. A gas tank affixed to a rolling cart, with tubes and a plastic mask. Clark didn’t need x-ray vision to tell it wasn’t simply oxygen it contained.
“Ever been put under with Laughing Gas?” he asked. “N;;No..I’ve never,,,I never laughed..I mean had a laugh..I—” Clark was totally tongue-tied and lost.
“Well don’t worry. It’s quite safe. I use it on all my patients at some point. You’d be surprised how many of the big burly jocks I treat are scared of needles and faint at the thought of a drill.” Drake briskly fixed the straps over Clark’s head and then pressed the mask firmly over his mouth and nose, muffling his weak objections.
Drake slowly turned the valve. Clark both felt and tasted the rush of gas into his lungs. There was nothing to do but play along. He could easily pretend to be asleep and simply bear with the indignity of Drake poking around in his mouth. He had already forgotten exactly what he intended to do while he was under. And so Clark eased his tense muscles and relaxed into the chair. He hadn’t noticed before but it was easily the most comfortable chair he’d ever been in. It was almost like when he was soaring through the sky. Leaning back against a thick cloud and idly looking into the sun. It was so calming, so dreamy. So,,,soo,,,,,,, .
“Good. He’s finally under. He’s a beauty, but what a handful. Why is it the most manly looking studs are the biggest wimps in a dentist’s office? Now I can finish what I let you come here for.” he said darkly to himself. He went over and picked up Clark’s notebook. He had only got a glance at it before, but as he perused the latest entries his handsome face darkened into a scowl. He turned back and stood face to face with his slumbering patient.
“You’ve been a bad boy, Mr. Clark Kent,
Investigative Reporter for the Daily Planet.
All those notes you made about digging into my past, the memo to contact
one of my trusted patients for a referral.
Playing undercover agent to get some dirt on me. No doubt for some planned expose on doctors
who abuse their patients. Well, I’ll
give you something to write about, although I doubt you’ll ever have the stones
to do it. You’ll soon find out what it’s
like to get under the covers with Me!”