by Te
January 2002

Disclaimers: If they belonged to me, y'all would hear from me a lot
less often.

Spoilers: Pilot, Rogue. Bits of stuff in between.

Ratings Note: NC-17.

Summary: Clark wants to apologize. Lex wants more.

Author's Note: This is what happens when you look at Debchan's
gorgeous Hurting!Lex caps too often.

Acknowledgments: To my We, as always, and the denizens of
IRC for help along the way, especially Livia, who made me put
in more angst, damn her. Well, fine, she made it better. And, of
course, for the divine Miz E, from whom all twistedness flows.

Feedback is good and good for you: leytelj@gmail.com


There are about nine hundred different things about the past few days
that Clark never, ever wants to repeat. It's a symptom of the insanity of
his life that jumping in front of a bus is relatively low on the list.

After all, out-of-control mass transit vehicles *needed* to be stopped,

Clark laughs to himself a little and finishes loading the truck.

There aren't too many things he *can* fix about the past few days. Phelan
is dead, and maybe he could be a little more upset about that, and he's
already promised himself to try. Though he thinks he's maybe justified in
not shedding any tears.

Never, ever wants to see his father in jail again.

The... the *bastard* had hurt his family and... well, how *was* he
supposed to have stopped that bus without anyone seeing?

Maybe if he just spent all his time in public in superspeed... but that
wouldn't work. Mainly because accidents have a way of happening
when people -- including him -- least expect them.

It would be nice if he still had Cassandra around to point him to
disasters waiting to happen.

It would be nicer if he wasn't pissing and moaning about how he
couldn't use a *dead* woman to make his life easier.

It would be *great* if... well, if he had the kind of roadmap Lex had
been so contemptuous of. Because, while everyone knows that teenage
life is one big chaos after another, Clark's pretty sure he's... unique.
Doesn't think he'll ever understand the kids at school who go out of
their *way* to be different. All fright makeup and artfully ripped clothes
and hey, look at me.

Sometimes Clark thinks a little invisibility would be a good thing.

Though these days Clark doesn't let himself think too much about
special powers, lest he suddenly wake *up* with one.

And none of this is getting the produce delivered.

Clark figures he has about fourteen more seconds of free brooding time
before his father comes out of the kitchen with a worried look and a
manly hug. Which he could probably use, but...

He really doesn't want to make his parents any more worried than they
already are. If he could manage *that* much today, it would be kind of
a victory, so.

Into the truck.

And he knows what delivery he'll be making last, carefully mapped out
route notwithstanding.

Because for all the things he *can't* fix, there's at least one where he

Or, well. Where he can *try*.

Winces to himself at the memory of just *losing* it at Lex in front of the
Beanery, and, yeah, he can definitely live without ever doing that again.

Like everything his parents always warned him about. Never hurt the
other kids. And Lex isn't a kid, maybe never *was* a kid, and he hadn't
used his fists, but...


Clark doesn't have any problems remembering what it was like to be the
freak 'foreign' adopted kid in school. Especially since certain members of
his class had only stopped reminding him of that after his last growth
spurt. So... yeah. Lex would pretty much have to be made of steel to not
be affected by what Clark had said.

And he's probably not crying in his eighty-year-old Scotch, but he
definitely has a right to be pissed. Right to tell Clark to take his vegetables
and go, really, though Clark hopes it goes a little better than that.

Apologize, present himself to be yelled at -- it's surprisingly easy to
imagine a Chloe-rant coming out of Lex's mouth, in that bizarre way where
it's also easy to picture a pink elephant doing the tango with a giant
squash -- and then... something.

Hopefully, something that involves Lex not kicking Clark out of his life
forever. Because... well, he doesn't have enough friends to lose any.

And that's a complete enough answer for now.

The deliveries go by ridiculously fast, though, and Clark's hands are a
little slick on the steering wheel by the time he's about a mile away from
the castle. Not even old Mrs. Thompkins, who *always* wants Clark to
stay and chat, had kept him for more than ten minutes. He tries to think
of it as the universe being kind, helping him to get this over with as soon
as possible, but...

Clark doesn't really want to think about a pissed off Lex. It just doesn't
seem like the kind of thing any reasonably sane person would put
themselves through. Not that he's ever *seen* Lex angry, but...

Well, actually, that's probably the worst part of it. The not *knowing*. Is
Lex a yeller? A brooder? A thrower of sharp objects?

Smiles to himself a little at the memory of walking in on Lex fencing
with... Heidi? Helga? Something like that. He's pretty sure Lex won't throw
a sword at him again. Though if he does, Clark will have to remember to
duck fast enough to avoid having to explain why he isn't dead.

And it's a little harder to smile at that. Lex doesn't seem to have any
problems whatsoever figuring out when he's lying, even if he's never
*exactly* called Clark on it.

One more reason for Lex to not want Clark around.

Sets the crate down on the counter and bangs his head against the
splintered wood a few times. He'd never realized that it would get
*harder* to keep his secrets as time passed. That just... doesn't
seem fair?

And what is he, five?

Life's not fair. And he can get a grip *any* second now.

"Produce that interesting this week, Clark?"

Barely manages not to jump out of his skin at Lex's voice, and then
he's too busy trying not to look like a freak to try and *read* it for
any cues. Clues. Anything. Turns around and smiles ruefully. "I was
raised by farmers, Lex. Produce is *always* interesting."

Lex nods at him from the doorway, leaning in a way that would
probably make whoever tailored those clothes want to strangle him.
Casual as ever, except for a tightness around his eyes and mouth that
could be fatigue, anger, upset... pretty much anything.

Well, pretty much anything negative.

"You're late today."

And Lex's voice is just... normal. So much for cues. "I. Yeah. I left
your delivery for last."

A raised eyebrow is the only response he gets.

"I wanted to have time to. Apologize."

Something like a smile. "Did you have a speech planned? And what,
exactly, are you apologizing for?"

"For acting like a jerk, Lex. You... you really didn't deserve that."

And Lex looks down for a moment, but not before Clark can see his
jaw working.

"Lex? I was thinking maybe you could yell at me now, and then -- "

Lex's eyes on him again as sudden as breath. "And then *what*,

"And then... maybe we can start over? I just. I don't want to lose you
as a friend, Lex." Takes a chance on meeting Lex halfway, but he never
moves from the doorway and Clark just stops midway through the

"You... want me to yell at you?"

Tries another smile. "It seems to work with Chloe..."

"You're comparing our... friendship to you and Chloe?"

Scrubs a hand through his hair. "I don't have too many friendships to
base this stuff on, Lex. If you don't want to yell, you can... well, you can
do something else."

And Lex finally uncurls out of his lean. Studies Clark for long moments.
"Something else."

"I... yeah." And even though Clark is almost entirely sure that Lex *is*
angry, knowing that doesn't help at all. Lex's gaze on him like something
pulling his skin tight, hot and crawling.

Eventually, Lex smiles. Except that it doesn't reach his eyes. "All right,
Clark. I'll accept your apology. When you tell me exactly why a
blackmailing thug like Phelan could get the better of a young, innocent
farmboy. I think he gave you some idea of how he could get the better
of *me*, after all."

And yeah, he did. No hard facts, no details, just hints and innuendo.
And the broad, broad hint that only Lex's power and money kept Phelan
from telling much more. "He's not... he wasn't exactly the most reliable
source of information I've ever met, Lex."

"Are you going to tell me, Clark?"

Unfair. Unfair and Clark has to laugh a little. Laugh more because that's
the first thing he's done that gets a genuine *expression* out of Lex --
surprise. Anger. "You already know he was blackmailing me, Lex. What
more do you want?"

"I want --"

"Wait." And Clark is more than a little shocked at himself, and yeah,
that's his heart trying to crawl out of his throat, but. Wait. "Before you
say anything, ask yourself whether or not there's anything *remotely*
fair in you... holding our friendship *hostage* for secrets that I was
willing to be blackmailed in order to hide when you haven't exactly
been forthcoming about *your* past."

"Tit for tat, Clark?"

"What? No! Jesus Christ, Lex, my whole point... some things should
stay secret."

"Even between... friends?"

"Are you saying you want to tell me all the things you're 'not proud

"Well, it would certainly be a waste of all that money my father put
into burying them... which, normally, would be a damned good reason
to do it. But, no, I don't."

"Then... then what's the problem?"

"The *problem* is. Is." And Lex laughs then, an honest one for all the
bitter even Clark can read. "You're always going to be looking over my
shoulder for proof of all the things Phelan told you."

"*No*, Lex, Jesus, why would I believe anything that... *asshole*

"Because you know firsthand that he never blackmailed anyone without

"Are you *trying* to make this impossible?"

"I don't have to *try*, it already *is* --"

"Lex, if you're about to tell me that everyone you know, everyone you
care about knows all of your secrets --"

"It'll prove I'm a liar?" Lex smirks, closes the gap between them. "Don't
worry, Clark. I won't tell you any lies that are *that* easy for you to

"So what *are* you telling me?" And really, Clark thinks he might know.
In that way where he also thinks he's probably too young to be having
this conversation, and curling up in a ball in the barn would be preferable
to this, *anything* would, but... "This isn't *about* me having secrets, is
it, Lex?"

"No?" Dangerously calm.

"No." Manages not to take too deep a breath. Barely manages not to look
away. "It's about me having secrets from *you*."

Stops Lex for a second, obviously and terrifyingly, but the smooth mask
slips back on after a moment. "Of *course* it is. Secrets are for
*friends* --"

"So you think Chloe knows? Pete? No, don't start. You're too smart for
that. You *know* they don't. And I've known them my whole life. I
know all of *their* secrets. So why should I tell *you*?"

A moment's pause. "Because, unlike Chloe and Pete, you know I can
*keep* your secrets."

"You're lying."

"Be very, very careful --"

"You know what, Lex? I'm *sick* of being careful. You want me to
just... put my *life* in your hands and you're not even going to tell
me *why*? That's... that's *bullshit*, Lex!"

Lex tilts his head at him and Clark can't help but see that expression,
that *pose* on him while he... does whatever it is that biochemical
engineers did with aliens. Jesus. "So let me get this straight, Clark.
You've decided that the reason you won't tell me is *not* because I
won't tell you *my* secrets, but because I won't tell you why I want
to know. Why do *you* think I want to know, Clark? What are you
afraid of?"

"Don't... don't *patronize* me. Jesus. If I *knew* what was going on
in your head..."


"Then... I don't *know*, Lex. What do you want from me? If you
wanted to be friends, you wouldn't... you wouldn't *force* this. I'd
never make you... *God*. Look, I've got an essay to write, and
chores, and you've got... whatever it is that you have to do --"

Hand on his arm, hot and hard through his shirts.


Lex just *looking* at him. Through him. And then focused on him,
blindingly so. Squeezing Clark's arm in a way he suspects would
probably hurt someone normal.

"Lex, let go --"

"A girl died. Messily. I woke up cuffed to Phelan's desk, covered in
blood. The consensus was that I'd killed her. I don't remember. But I
might have, Clark." Another tilted look, Lex's eyes almost glittering with
some poorly repressed emotion. "Phelan made it all go away. With help,
of course, but Phelan got the most money. A finder's fee, if you will."
And then Lex lets go.

Steps back.


And that's. Too much. And maybe also not enough in some way that
Clark has no idea how to express. Knows he's just standing there
shaking his head, but can't come up with a thing to say.

"If you'd like, I could maybe open a vein, Clark."

"Lex... Lex, what...?"

"I killed a girl. Or I didn't. I was extremely stoned. And also drunk. In
any case, there are quite a few reasons why I should be in prison... but
I'm not. Because I let my father buy my way out of trouble."

"No --"

"*Yes*, Clark."

"No, I mean... I... Lex. Why --"

"Because I didn't want to go to prison."

"Jesus, shut *up* for a second, would you? I mean... why can you tell
me *this* when you can't tell me why it's so important that you know
my secrets? What's... what can be more... terrible?" Reaches out a little
helplessly, *has* to reach out because you don't let someone hurt like
that when you can... Has to reach out and Lex doesn't stop him. Lets
Clark touch his cheek. Hot, dry, fine-grained. (Touchable)

A fine tremor just beneath the surface, and Clark doesn't know whether
to hug Lex or run away.

Except that running away is probably the worst thing he could do right
now if he wants...

And why does he want it? Still. Lex's... horror offered up between them
like a bribe. Like a sacrifice. "Lex, tell me, *please* --" Gasps at Lex's
sudden move, but all he does is grip Clark's wrist. Squeezes once,
relaxes, but doesn't let go.

Brittle smile "Are you sure, Clark?"

And Clark can only think to give in to the urge to stroke Lex's face,
shaking out of Lex's grip a little too easily and just. Brushing that face.
And maybe this isn't the message he wants to send and maybe it is,
maybe it's --

And Lex's hand is in his hair, tugging Clark down while he tilts his head
up and.


Soft, wet tongue in his mouth when he gasps, and the softness is the
strangest thing about it. Everything else is so. Hard.

And if he's ever going to let his mind go there, it should be now, right?
When Lex is kissing him, holding him and not letting go.

Practically daring him to break away, object. Something other than just
*take* it.

Which is what he's doing now, and is this...? God, needs to *think* and
that's just not going to happen. Not like this. But it feels...

Sucks Lex's tongue a little helplessly, catching the softness and tasting
and hearing Lex moan is a little like what he thinks drunkenness must
be, all uneasy stomach and untrustworthy floors and Clark pulls back
when he catches himself start to sway.

Licks his lips and opens his eyes to find Lex watching him. Heated look
and the anger is still there, the *hunger* is still there, and Clark knows,
abruptly, that it had always been there. In one way or another.


Brings his free hand up between them, only then realizing that he's still
cupping Lex's head with the other. Smooth, smooth skin and he wants
to be able to think. Wants to have something other than a hormone for
a brain. Presses his other hand against Lex's chest, wanting to just
*hold* him there, but. He can feel Lex's heartbeat.

Fast and strong, practically thudding against his palm and this... this is
part of it, too. This *need*.

For him.

And if Lex needs him this much, enough that it's easier to confess to
murder than to the need...

Looks up and Lex is just.

Waiting for him.

As open as he's... likely to get. But what does *he* need?

More than this?

"You're not exactly giving me time to think here, Lex." Tries not to blush
at the shaky sound of his own voice. Tries not to squeeze too hard when
Lex moves to back away. Has to stop him, though. "Wait. Please, Lex,
just... *wait*."

"Why do you need time?"

"Are you *serious*?"

"Yes. And no. Fuck, *Clark*. What do you *need*?"

"You... do you really not *get* how hard you're pushing here, Lex?" And
it's an honest question, really, because... because it's possible that Lex

And Lex just gives him that blank, studying stare for much too long
before closing his eyes. Brushing his fingers over Clark's hand on his
arm, and for a minute Clark wonders if Lex wants him to let go, but...
it's just a caress. "I know, Clark. I do." Eyes open again and fixed on
his own. "But I think you can take it."

Voice so low and rough that Clark can feel it inside. Digging low at his
belly and pulling. Wants to get closer. Thinks that would maybe be the
absolute worst thing he can do right now. The most dangerous.

How many secrets is Lex going to pull out of him?

Isn't sex supposed to be safer than this?

Laughs a little helplessly and Lex's hand is on his face, brushing at his
cheek and it's so warm. So smooth.

And Clark can't help knowing that Lex would be even smoother
elsewhere. Swallows hard. "Lex..."

"It doesn't have to be hard, Clark." So gentle all of a sudden and can
Clark believe this? Should he even try?


"I know they warned you not to tell anyone. Told you all the bad
things that could happen if the wrong person found out... but they
can't protect you the way I can. You know that now, don't you?"

Protect him. And Jesus, that would be so... different. But. "Protect
me, how, Lex? Buy people off? Make things disappear? Make
*people*... disappear?" Steps back and is this really the first time he's
thinking about... "What. What was her name, Lex?"

And Lex just smirks a little. Like he knew this was coming. "Melanie
Brown. She was seventeen. Dyed blonde hair in these... lots of little
pigtails. Vinyl shorts and a mesh top and a lot of expensive and oddly
colored makeup. I saw her at a lot of the clubs I went to..."

"This happened when you were seventeen?" Blurts it out before he
can think, but... Jesus.

"No, I had just turned sixteen." And Lex's voice is almost *absent* and
his hand is still on Clark's face. Still just brushing lightly. Calluses
from... fencing, maybe? And focusing is so hard.

"You were... friends?"

Lex's expression manages to be both dreamy and bleak and some
part of Clark *understands*. Though what, he's not sure. "No, Clark.
Not friends. You didn't really have friends on that scene. Or... I didn't."
Focused blade of a smile. "I didn't know her last name until after. I
didn't know that she wanted to be a fashion designer, and had already
produced a respectable portfolio.

"I didn't know that her parents had stayed up all night waiting for her, or
that she was the one who always scrawled the bad poetry on the
bathroom mirrors in green lipstick. Really, really bad poetry. Sometimes

"I didn't know any of that, but... I made a point of finding out."

"... why?"

"Kiss me again."

Groans before he can bite it off and leans in without thinking. Paying
for this. Lex is *paying* for this, but Clark isn't... but it feels too good
to press his lips to Lex's own, to open his mouth and try to memorize
every move Lex's tongue makes, to try to respond in kind. Lex's hand in
his hair again, but only briefly before he pulls back altogether.

"You want this."

"So do you." And that's probably the stupidest thing he's ever said, but
it makes Lex grin.

"Oh, yes." The dreamy look is back, brighter now. "We can be..."
Shuttered off in a blink. "Well." Thumb pressed against Clark's lower
lip. "I did it because I wanted to remind myself that I was human. And
because my father had been so *thorough* about burying the
information that it was a challenge. And because I wanted to see if I
could fill the holes in my memory. And because I... wanted to know."

Terrifying, but so *honest*, and Clark knows no one's ever heard this
before, knows that no one else had ever been allowed to *ask*. So
much power here, and Lex is being so... obvious. Touching him,
asking him, telling him, except... who would believe anything Clark
said about Lex if it all fell apart?

Well, other than his family. Who would be the hardest hit. And,
God. His father in *jail*. So easily.

"You're still scared. Of me?" Tiny smile. "That would be reasonable."

"I... I don't think you killed her."

"No? Then why are you afraid, Clark? What's stopping you from...
doing what you want?" And Lex closes the last few inches between
them, pressing them close at thigh, hip, and chest. Warm, darkly
sweet breath against Clark's chin and their clothes aren't hiding...
anything, really.

"What... do you think I want?"

"Other than... touch?" Small smile, not quite directed at Clark's throat.
"I think... I think it's been killing you to keep your secrets. I think that
whenever you try to get close to someone, you remember that your
secrets hold you back. Because if the other person knows, even if they
don't try to use it against you, they might run away. Right, Clark?"
Soft kiss to his jawline, chaste in every way but fact and Clark

Gasps and bends his head. Just enough to brush his lips against Lex's
scalp. Not quite kissing, but it feels... nothing should be this smooth.
Insane nudity of it shocking, impossible. Lex is this naked all the time
and... Lex is still talking.

"... alone, all the time. Just you, and your secrets, and your parents
know, but... they're your parents. They'll always love you. Can you
say the same for your friends? You can imagine their faces, can't you?
When they find out you've been lying for all this time?"

"Lex, please..."

Soft lips against his throat, flick of a tongue over his thudding pulse
and Clark wonders if Lex can *feel* it. "I understand, Clark. Don't
you see? I know what it's like..."

And where's the anger now? Where's the mockery? Does he really
miss it, when he can have... this? And he *can* have it. Knows this
the way he knows the precise softness around Lana's mouth when
Whitney's nearby, the way he knows Halloween's coming by the
sound of the wind through shedding trees. Shakes his head a little,
trying to clear it, but Lex shivers at the brush of his hair.

Presses closer.

"Oh, God..." Feels his hands clenching against the need to just... to

"But I've told you my deep, dark secret, Clark." Whispered against
his ear. "And I feel... don't you want to know how I feel?" Takes one
of Clark's hands in his own and pulls back just enough to press it
against his chest.

Uncurls Clark's fingers one by one and Clark can't tell which one of
them gasps when Clark's fingertip slips between buttons and stutters
over hot, silky skin. "Lex..."

"I want you to touch me, Clark."

"You want... you want my secrets."

"That, too." And it's almost a growl, almost like being bitten even
though Lex is still just barely kissing his jaw.

"Seduce them out of me?"

"Is that a request?" Smile against his cheek.

"*No*. I... God, Lex, please don't do this..."

And Lex pulls back immediately, sudden loss of heat making Clark's
skin prickle, but Lex just. Unbuttons his collar.

And keeps going, down and down, brushing his thumb over Clark's
hand and looking pure challenge at him and yes, God, yes, the skin
is bare. Even around the small, pink nipples. Even under the shallow
dip of Lex's navel and Clark's tongue curls against his teeth in pure

But... there's a price for this, isn't there?

Can't bring himself to ask. Touching before he can think, trying to be
gentle but Lex just pushes against his hands, eyelids dipping a little,
head tilted. Dreamy. Like he can't feel the tension in the room. Like it
isn't pressing in on his head like a *vise*.

Like he can breathe perfectly fine, even with Clark's hands all over

Too much. Too *much* and Clark can hear himself swallow when he
finally lets his fingers skate over a hard little nipple. He can feel Lex
watching him, but he *can't* look up.

Leans in instead, wrapping one arm low around Lex's waist, pulling
him in, holding him there and.


"Clark, yes..."

Moans into Lex's skin and sucks hard and he wants, he *wants*.
Easiest thing in the world to fall to his knees. Even better at Lex's
surprised gasp, hands in his hair and Lex isn't stopping him, isn't
doing anything but.


And it's somehow okay that he doesn't know what he's doing, because
he knows what he *wants*. This skin, this touch, this taste of sweat
and Lex and the drag of it on his tongue. The shocking rush when he
dips his tongue into Lex's navel and down here he can see how hard
Lex is.

He can feel it.

Press his cheek there and rub and wonder if it was always like this, if
Lex beat off thinking about Clark's mouth the way Clark sometimes did
about Lex's.

Power of it like raw possibility. Potential in this for something so much
*more* than secrets and lies and the only thing that convinces his
hands to stop roving over and over Lex's back is the thought that he
can touch... lower.

And he won't ask. Questions are nothing but trouble. Questions won't
get him what he needs, not here, maybe not ever with Lex and it's
just getting easier.

Clark's just getting harder.

He can *smell* Lex. Smell him wanting Clark, wanting this from him
even as he strokes Clark's hair.

Not pushing anymore... and why should he?

Getting what he wants, right? And Clark doesn't want to look, and
maybe he doesn't have to, maybe this is enough, this touch and
not-quite silent encouragement as Clark cups his ass and pulls him

Breathes him in and. Oh. Noses against the head of Lex's cock and
thinks he might know what that feels like from the other side. Only it
was just his own fingers and is this different for Lex? Is he liking it?

Old, nameless, faceless fantasy picked up from a Penthouse letter,
old tattered stack of magazines to be giggled over, pored over in the
treehouse, in the summers when Chloe was seeing her grandparents
in Metropolis... and he doesn't want to think about Greg right now.
Doesn't want to think about anything, and thinks he might be able to
manage that when he opens his mouth against the expensive material
of Lex's pants and sucks hard --

"Fuck, *Clark*, do you know --"

Too much like a question, too close to where he doesn't want to go
and Clark sucks harder, and gets just the barest hint of *taste*. Moans
and scrabbles at Lex's fly, tearing it a little as he yanks pants and
boxers down around Lex's ankles, but that's okay, chalk it up to the
heat of the moment, something, anything to get Lex *naked* and
shut that tiny voice up that's always, *always* telling him to be careful,
to watch himself, to do anything but just let *go*.

The same voice that Lex wants to strangle, and God, that's an image
for right now.

Lex's cock, hard and dark with blood. Bare to the root, and there's a
subtle wrongness there that's more than Clark's mind can quite wrap

Can't finish the thought.

Can't do anything but lean in and kiss that... mound? Weirdly girly
word but it's the only one he can think of. Sweaty, salty there, and it's
just so good to *taste* Lex, strange enough that freaking out is
something that's happening in the universe next door, the one where
Lex isn't clutching at Clark's hair every time he runs his tongue over
Lex's tightening balls.

The sudden knowledge that he can, maybe, make Lex *come* is
enough to make Clark thrust at empty air. Listening for and getting
bitten off moans from Lex as he touches, strokes, squeezes. Sucks.

Suck his cock.

God, fuck, yes. Wants to. Wants to bad enough that he can look up
and meet Lex's eyes as he pulls back, as he takes Lex's cock by the
root and opens his mouth and --

"*Clark* --"

Lex's eyes are wide, shocky in a way Clark hasn't seen since the first
few seconds after Lex came back to life. Focused on him *and* the
world, like he hasn't seen either before and it's all... incredible.

It's enough.

Lets his eyes close and tries to relax his mouth as much as possible.
Wants this, wants more of this familiar and *not* taste on his tongue,
painting the inside of his mouth. Tilts Lex's cock enough that the head
rubs his palate, back and forth and back and forth and there's
something so wonderfully *selfish* about this, about doing what *he*

And knowing that Lex wants it, too.

Strange, hot tickle of it. Only not a tickle so much as an *itch*.
Something he can scratch just by doing *this* and he's drooling and
that just makes it wetter.


Lex in his *mouth*. Giving him this, or taking it, or Clark's taking it,
and it doesn't really matter. It's just *good*, and his hands are in
love with Lex's ass, all smooth skin over tight muscle.

God, tight.

Not so much thoughts as images of what he can have, what he wants,
and it's only one more impossible thing to slip a finger between Lex's
cheeks, to do what he hasn't quite been able to do to *himself*, but
this is. Different.

This is Lex, all slick sweat and tightly wrinkled little hole that makes
him gasp, makes him moan when Clark... teases it.

Hot spurt of pre-come on his tongue and now Clark's moaning,
tasting and pressing his tongue at the slit for more. Wondering if he
should jack Lex's cock and deciding he must be insane, because...
because that would just make it better, right?

Tries it out  and Lex jerks in his fist, a sharply aborted thrust that
makes Clark have to look up again, *see* Lex. And Lex is... flushed.

Lips parted, slicked with his tongue while Clark watches. Heat and
hunger and disbelief and Clark has no idea whose winning, if
anyone is. If it even matters anymore.

But that's a lie, isn't it?

Angles his head a little and takes Lex in a little deeper, missing the
feel of the slit against his tongue for just long enough to figure out a
way to, God, fuck his own mouth. Down and up and lick and down
and it's an easy enough rhythm to follow, thoughtless after a while.
Rubbing his lips something like raw, kissing his own fist and getting
more and more obsessed with that little *hole*.

Lex's ass impossibly *available*, here in this sunny kitchen where
anyone could walk by. Servants, more delivery men, Christ,
*Victoria* and that... that actually comes close to stopping him,
because hadn't Lex seemed...

Pulls off and settles on his heels and is *just* fast enough to catch
Lex when his knees collapse.

"Clark, what... what is it?"

Hands on his face again, making Clark meet his eyes. Wild, now.
Desperate, and there's something small and hard inside Clark that
wants to smile.

Something that makes him want to run screaming. "I... I just..."

"Are you... *fuck* --" And Lex struggles *visibly* to get control and
Clark understands that hard feeling inside.

Triumph. Jesus.

"Clark... is this... too much?" And Lex's eyes are practically screaming
at him, 'don't say no, don't say no...'

It would be funny if it just... wasn't. At all. Shakes his head helplessly
and leans in to kiss Lex, be kissed. Pulls at him until Lex comes closer,
straddles his thighs a little awkwardly and oh, God, *contact*.

Wicked brush of Lex's cock against his own still-clothed crotch and
Clark can't stop himself from kissing harder, wilder. Shoves his tongue
into Lex's mouth and Lex just *opens* for him. All of this, endless
permission, and Clark thinks he knows exactly how addictive this will

How much he'd be willing to pay to have Lex's eyes wide like that, to
have Lex's hips thrusting at him and God, God, needs to get his pants
open but doesn't want to stop touching.

That *skin*.

"Clark, *please* --"

"Oh... Oh, God, don't if you touch me I'll come --"

Half-wild laughter and Lex's hands are between them now, opening
Clark's jeans and tugging his boxers down and he's already slick,
already leaking, it's too *much* and Clark licks his palm a little
frantically. Wraps it back around Lex's cock and tries to find something
like a rhythm.

Backwards, awkward, but Lex is still watching, still unfocused, and
that's... God, that's a *gift*.

Tries to focus on making it good for Lex, on doing more than just
thrusting up into Lex's fist and moaning like some dying animal. Can't
keep his eyes open anymore. In the dark, with the sounds, with the
*feel*... it isn't any easier, but at least he thinks he might last more
than three seconds.

"Christ, Clark, *harder* --"

Not much more. "Oh God, I can't --"

"You *can*." And Lex's hand is in his hair again, pulling him into a
kiss Clark can only take, Lex's tongue wicked in his mouth, thrusting
the way, the same way --

Thumb at the head of his cock --

"*Lex* --"

Rough, juddering stroke --


"C'mon, Clark, let me see you come --"

"Oh *God* --"

Manages one more thrust and that's it, white out and it's like being
bled, being emptied, has to rip his hand away from Lex's cock to keep
from squeezing too hard and he's groaning into Lex's mouth, needing,
just needing, and Lex strokes him through it.

Eases him down to something like consciousness.

Something like the ability to realize that he's basically... teased the
*hell* out of Lex. Opens his eyes and smiles ruefully and Lex looks...
God, Lex looks like Clark could do anything to him right now and it
would be okay. Like he could do anything... and pay for it. "Lex, I...
how do you want me to touch you?"

"Clark. *Fuck*. Just..." Closes his eyes. "Just do whatever you

So much like his thoughts that Clark has to shiver. Or it's maybe just
that *voice*. Low and hoarse and male and *needy*. For him. Needs

Absolutely necessary to push Lex back, help him lay down on the
cool tile.

Stroke his chest and belly when he hisses. Kiss him, God, just kiss him
all over until he thinks his lips should be sore, as opposed to just wet.
And Lex lets him. Done with pushing for now, though probably not for
very long.

And Clark can't bring himself to take advantage of that.

Can he?

He just wants to *see*.

Looks up to find Lex's jaw clenched, eyes closed, but... anything.

Takes a shuddering breath and slips one hand down Lex's hip, can't
quite stop himself from rubbing slow circles into the hollow there.
From lifting, just a little, until Lex's eyes fly open. Watchful.

And Clark's heart is choking him again.

"You want me to turn over, Clark?"

"I... if you don't want to, it's..."

Quick, sharp smile that doesn't last. Something dark in Lex's eyes,
unreadable and vast. But he does it.

Gets up on his hands and knees and oh, God, he hadn't known...

He hadn't even known he *wanted* this.

"God, Lex, you're so..."

And Lex is the one shuddering now, and Clark doesn't know if he wants
that or not. Cruel and hot at the same time. Either way, he has to touch
him, smooth his hands over long, lean muscles and press closer,
shuffling a little until he can toe off his boots and strip out of his jeans
and shorts.

Weird to be naked like this, in a *kitchen*, but... Lex's kitchen is
probably the least kitchen-like place he's ever seen.

Pulls off his shirts and reaches for Lex's shoes. Pauses. Would it be
better or worse to ask?

And how had they gotten back to this silent place so fast?

Presses a kiss between Lex's shoulderblades and lets it linger for a long
moment before pulling back to work on his shoes, peel off the thin,
silky socks that are perfect for Lex but absolutely wrong for winter in

Thin skin of his ankles something else he needs to touch. Everything,

Kisses the base of his spine before tugging Lex's pants and briefs
from around Lex's ankles and then he's naked.

They're naked.

Naked and having sex on the floor like... like something he's not
even sure he's old enough to think about, but... it's good.

Really good.

Strokes Lex's back, his thighs. Wraps his hand around Lex's achingly
hard cock and, from this angle, it's... perfect.

Strange sweetness to the contact that's making his throat burn.

"Lex... Lex, you feel so good. Tell me how I can make this better
for you?"

Breathless laugh. "I can't... I can't do that oh... God, please don't
stop again --"

And just like that Clark's getting hard again. *Needing* again, and
they could be skin to skin. They could be touching all *over* and,
Jesus, yes, needs that. Covers Lex's back and wraps his free arm
around his chest. Hauls them both back up before he can think, and
it's just so *good* to hear Lex gasp his name like that.

To *feel* him, back to his chest and oh, God, ass socketed tight
against his groin and Clark can't help but thrust, can't help but speed
his strokes, needs Lex to *need* this.

Buries his face against Lex's throat and his scent is just *there*. Some
kind of cologne and clean sweat and all this *sex* that's surrounding
them. Flashes on an image of someone walking into the kitchen long
after they've gone and *knowing* what happened, just by taking a

Just by existing in the same space, and he can't stop pushing, can't
stop himself from sucking Lex's throat, can't do anything but *have*
this, everything Lex offered and maybe... maybe a lot more than that,

Licks helplessly at Lex's ear, lets his tongue dip in when it makes Lex
buck and thrash, just a little.

"Clark *yes*..."

Almost hissed and Lex slips his hand in the almost nonexistent space
between them, fingertips brushing Clark's cock, but he doesn't take
him in hand. Doesn't do anything but.

Spread himself and the next helpless thrust puts Clark's cock *right* in
Lex's cleft. Heat and sweat and tight and not tight enough and the
head of his cock nudges that tiny hole again and again and he's *not*
going to lose it before Lex does, he won't, he can't...

Manages to slow his hips and speed his hand and thinks he might just
deserve a medal for the accomplishment.

Thinks he's maybe gotten it when Lex's head falls back against his
shoulder and he can catch a breathless, messy kiss.

Has to turn away, though, has to *see*.

Lex's cock pumping in his fist.

Lex's pale skin flushed and shining with sweat.

Lex's fingers digging into the arm Clark has around his chest. Not
fighting, not pulling, just... holding *on*.

So open.

"Please, Lex, God, please you're so sexy... I've wanted this, I
wanted --"

Cut off by this wordless *noise* as Lex shoots all over his hand. As
he tightens his hold to the point where it should probably be painful,
but just feels... *intense*.

And absolutely nothing compared to the feeling of Lex *clenching*
around him as he comes and Clark *can't* hold back. Thrusts and
thrusts and tries to get *more*, groans aloud at the thought of
actually being *inside* Lex and he knows he's making noise but can't
be sure if it's actually *words*.

Dangerous. So incredibly dangerous and hot and Lex's hand cupping
his ass, holding him closer, and Clark kisses him again.

Takes his mouth the way he wants to take everything else and loses it
completely when Lex just opens wide and *accepts* it.

Comes... God, comes all over Lex's *ass*, and it's wrong, and it's hot
and Clark never wants to leave. Wants time and the universe to stop,
right here, in this moment where Lex is panting in his arms and
nobody needs to have said anything at all.

But Lex breaks the kiss eventually, breathing hard. Pushes a little at
Clark's arm, but doesn't quite fight when Clark just holds him a little

Clark feels him sigh more than hears it, and it might as well be a clock
ticking. A bomb instead of a prank.

Buries his face against Lex's damp throat again and struggles not to
squeeze his eyes shut, because.

Because there's always a price.

He just isn't sure he's ready to pay.

But then... a debt like this just might kill him. Laughs a little brokenly
and Lex *is* fighting him now, but Clark won't let go.

Not this time.

"Lex, stop."

And he freezes, just like that, and Clark can almost *hear* him
thinking. Calculating how much force he'd used to how little Clark had
had to move to just hold him still.

Wonders just how much calculating Lex has been doing lately and has
to smile, even though he's not sure why. Takes a breath and tries to
figure out where to start.

"It *had* to be adrenaline, you know -- Christ, Lex, let me finish. I
don't want to hurt you, but I... I need you here. For this. Right here."

Lex stills again. "... all right."

"Okay. Okay. I. I wouldn't have had the strength to pull both of you
up otherwise. Or, I would've, if Earl wasn't full of those meteor rocks.

"They make me sick, Lex. Nothing else does."

And Clark waits, but Lex doesn't say anything. Barely relaxes and
Clark has to laugh again. Or maybe scream.

"Oh, no, Lex, see, you promised. You're not allowed to run away."
Hates the bile in his voice and can't do a thing about it.

"I'm not running, Clark."

Nods. Pulls back just enough to run a hand over Lex's scalp. Thinks
about nuzzling it. Thinks about the rest of the story and Jesus, at
least it should be easy to tell once he's already started. "You were
in the meteor shower. I *was* the meteor shower. Or part of it.
I'm not human. I don't know *what* I am, but..." Doesn't really
want to bring up the spaceship in the storm cellar, but.


Clark sighs and reminds himself not to hold Lex any tighter than
he already is. Or maybe he should let go. It would be... more
honest that way? For someone, at least. Can't make himself do it,
though. "There was a spaceship along with all the meteors, and
inside the spaceship was... me. My parents... the *Kents* found me
Or I found them... something. And then they adopted me, and that's
pretty much it."

Lex's heart is thudding. "Pretty much?"

"I've started developing all these weird powers, Lex. I... I'm stronger
than ever. I can see through things. I... it's how I knew it wasn't you
who robbed that bank. I can run faster than a car. A lot faster."
Laughs to himself. "And, you know, sometimes when I have a really
good dream I wake up floating a few feet over the bed."

"Jesus, Clark. I. Jesus. Is there more?"

"Not yet, no."

Lex nods slowly, turns to face him. "This would be easier without the
vise around my chest, Clark." And his smile is rueful, but it's also...

Clark swallows and nods. Lets go and sits back on his heels and his
body can't decide whether or not losing the feel of Lex's sweaty,
come-slick back is a good thing. Runs a hand down his torso half
absently, half doing anything to avoid looking directly at Lex.

"This is what Phelan had on you?"

"He saw me stop a bus. And dropped a generator on me."

"He did *what*?"

And Clark can look up at that. Grin, even though it just feels mean. "He
said he wanted to be sure."

Lex reaches out, brushes a hand over Clark's cheek. "He could've..."
Shakes it off. "Well, obviously he couldn't, but he didn't *know* that
and Jesus, Clark. *Jesus*. I could've *destroyed* him for you. I
*would've* done it, but you wouldn't let me help and --"

"He's dead, now, Lex. It doesn't matter." Not sure who he wants to
convince, but... it's just disturbing on too many levels to think of Lex
*destroying* people. Like it's something he's done before. Grabs the
hand on his face in his own and squeezes a little. Tries to make his
body say everything that's jumbled at the back of his throat, but Lex
just looks *angry*.

"Am I your friend, Clark?"

Tries a smile. "Well, I think we probably went a little beyond friendship
when nudity came into things..."

And Lex snorts, which is both comforting and not. Too many things to
think about. "All right, Clark. I just meant..." And now Lex is the one
squeezing his hand. "No more bullshit, Clark. I can't... you can't push
me out of your life when you need help. Not anymore.

"I won't *let* you."

"That would be a lot more comforting if it didn't sound so much like
a *threat*, Lex."

And Lex actually looks *surprised*. Sits back on his heels and tilts his
head, very obviously going back over what he'd just said to try to figure
out where, exactly, Clark was getting this weird opinion from.

Has to laugh a little, because... because it's *good* to be able to read
Lex. To be able to see the mask he's been wearing slip, just a little.
"I take it you didn't mean it that way."

"'Let me help you or *else*?'" Smiles at him. "No, Clark, I didn't. Or...
I did. Some. Do you have any idea how... frustrating it was to have
you just... push me away?"

And it's impossible to miss the tiny pauses, the words Lex isn't saying.
Clark wonders just what he missed by walking away.

Doesn't really want to think about what could've happened if he'd
taken Lex up on his offer. "Lex... I don't want you... I don't want you
to break the law for me."

"And what happens the next time the law breaks itself because of
you? Phelan had all the cards, Clark."

"I managed to stop him without hurting him, Lex --"

"He *shot* at you."

"But he couldn't have hit me. And... Lex, Jesus, we're supposed to
be *better* than people like Phelan."

And it's just a little too weird to have Lex looking at him the same
way his *grandmother* does when he's done something cute. Too
many disturbing images there, but that's at least... normal? Would he
know normal if it shoved a meteor rock in his eye and laughed at

"Don't *even* start the "aww, that's cute" stuff, Lex. I'm *serious*."

Shakes his head. "I know you are, Clark. Which is part of what makes
it cute. But... this isn't a fairy tale. The bad guys won't always get
themselves conveniently shot, or whatever else has happened to the
more... interesting Smallville residents over the past few months."

"That's... really sickening, Lex."

"That's *life*, Clark." Hands on his face and Lex looks so *earnest*.
Almost *needy*. Impossible to look away. "It's the kind of life I can
keep you out of."

Tries a shaky smile. "Somehow, I wasn't picturing this when you talked
about us having a future together."

Thumb brushing over his ear. "The kitchen sex?"

"Well, no, actually that was pretty much the first thing I came up
with, given the way you were looking at me. And *kept* looking at

"There's nothing like being obvious to get the job done, Clark. But...
look. I'm not going to let you get hurt. And that extends to your
family, your friends. It's like I told your parents, Clark. Your future is...
very important to me."

Blinks a little. "All this because I saved your life?"

Slow, oddly rueful smile. "Well, I can think of a few other reasons,
but you do have a habit of dragging me back from the dead."

"I... I wouldn't let anything happen to you, Lex --"

"I know that --"

"No, let me finish, okay?"

Slow nod.

"I wouldn't let anything happen to you, *including* you going to jail
for... protecting me. God, I don't want you to have to become the
kind of person who *knows* why they're covered in. Blood."

"You think I'm not?"

"I know you aren't."

And Lex dips his head a little, but not before Clark can see the
humorless smile on his face.

"Lex --"

"You have to let me protect you, Clark. I can't... I won't let any
more Phelans get to you."

And it would be so *sweet* to believe in that kind of safety, but...
"We... we can protect each other, Lex."

Cock-eyed smile, like Lex knows everything Clark isn't saying. Like
Lex knows the truth behind every naive thing Clark believes, and it
makes him grit his teeth, but... there's time, right? "You'll protect
me from myself?"

Takes Lex's hands in his own and tries to focus on something other
than how they would feel on his skin, on just how many different
things they could try, together. "Someone has to..."

"Mm. Is that so?" Thumbs pressing into his palms.

"I trust you." And God, please, don't make me stop...

Lex's smile is soothingly, scarily sharp. "I'm glad."

It keeps Clark there, hands bared and held, until the daylight starts to