Project III: Understand
by Te
October 2001

Disclaimers: If they belonged to me, good days would take
on a whole new meaning.

Spoilers: None, really.

Summary: Clark needs an escape hatch.

Ratings Note: NC-17.

Author's Note: Follows pretty directly on Projects I and II,
which, for now, can be found here:

Acknowledgments: For V, who gave me a thrill ride, and
Lisa for staying up to listen to me ramble. And Deb for being

Feedback makes the day all shiny.


Clark is still in love with Lana.

He knows this, understands it as clearly as the day when he'd
tugged her pigtails and ran away (gently, so gently, never
forget, never forget) and she'd looked at him sadly instead of
hitting him back.

He remembers her eyes that day, wide and wondering and so

He remembers how desperately important it had seemed that
he never, ever make her look like that again, though he'd felt
too wound and ashamed to apologize. Hot tightness in his
chest and face.

She'd started wearing the chain the day after that, and Clark's
old enough now to understand that the look on her face had
more to do with her parents than anything he'd done, but.

Lana shines for him, smart and kind and beautiful, so

Sad as he imagines himself, sometimes, and Clark has had
more fantasies than he can count of just making her smile.

Holding her when she hurt.

Too many nights wondering what she could be doing with
*Whitney* of all people, and days, and stumbling, bumbling
*weak* in the face of it all. Love.

And looking at her beautiful face today had brought everything
he'd done the day before rushing back in a wave. Clark has no
idea what he managed to stammer out, but he's barely aware
that he's upright. Barely aware of anything but the soft, low
question in his head.

Can I kiss you, he'd asked, and Clark's blushing hard. Looking
like nothing but the idiot he always is, has always been when it
comes to Lana, who smiles at him over her shoulder as she runs
to join the other cheerleaders.

And it feels like he's cheating. Like he's *cheated* already, stupid
as that is, and oh, God, with a man.

Memory of all that smooth, ice-white skin. Offered to him so
easily, like there was nothing Lex wanted more than Clark's
hands on his body.

*His* body, and maybe Lana's parents really do talk to her.
Lana's "Dad's" little joke like a bone in his throat, now that he's


And liked it. God, so much. Thankful for his baggy jeans and
blushing to even think of it, and Pete just spending the whole
day teasing him about *Lana*.

As if she'd ever. As if he could ever ask for what Lex had given
him without a moment's hesitation.

Searing image of Lex above him, Clark's fingers in his mouth,
and then asking to...

In the bathroom between periods, splashing cold water on his
face and wishing for the privacy of his loft, parents somewhere
in the next county and likely to stay there for hours while Clark
touched himself and tried to think of anything but the way Lex
looked at him.

Somewhere between starved and amused and --

"Well, if it isn't the scarecrow. How's it *hanging*, Clark?"


"Real funny, Whitney." On the bright side, he's not thinking
about Lex anymore. Or maybe just Lex running Whitney over
with one of his cars.

Guilt like a vise around his stomach and the perfect, vivid image
of how Lana would look. Clark dries his face and makes to
leave, only to find Whitney blocking the door.

Great. Public humiliation scene, take nine thousand four hundred
and twelve. "Were you planning on moving anytime soon or do
you just like checking out my ass?" Which comes out way easier
than it should and the look on Whitney's face is so priceless that
Clark almost forgets to blush.


"What, you like that shit, Clark? Christ, I should've known.
Fucking --"

"Hey, I'm not the one who likes stripping teenaged boys and
tying them to poles, *Whit*."

Shoulders past him before he says anything stupid enough to
get himself into a fight he'd probably have to lose and the halls
are packed.

Post-lunch procrastination with all the cool kids and the kids
trying to be cool hanging out. Desperate to be almost the last
ones to class and it feels like everyone's looking.

Like everyone *knows* what he was doing yesterday, and just
how hard it was to stop touching Lex once he'd started. Like
he'd always imagined a woman would feel, only hard and sleek
all over and oh, yeah.

He's definitely earned himself all sorts of torment.

The football team will probably come up with entirely new
traditions for this, just for him.

Chloe spends the entire sixth period giving him those
narrow-eyed, fox-faced looks she usually reserves for
something she thinks is newsworthily bizarre.

And if the shoe fits... Chloe has always been disturbingly
accurate about that kind of thing, always wanting to *know*
things, everything, even if she didn't usually bother to put the
effort into her actual schoolwork.

Cheating on her, too, isn't he? Or lying, at least. One more
entry for her Wall of Weird.

Lex calling himself a freak and pretending he didn't mean it.
Badly. Something Clark understands the way he understands
breathing, the simple fact of something that had to be done.

No escape.

But Clark hadn't had to think of anything yesterday. Anything
at all.

Lex's mouth like a brand.

Lana's eyes in the back of his mind as he speeds through the
cornfields to the Luthor mansion, and Clark doesn't think he
knows what he wants.

Hesitating at the huge wooden doors until Mrs. Jansen bursts
through with three of her assistants in tow, almost knocking
him down the stairs. The owner of the Smallville Jolly Maid
Service never moved slower than a brisk near-jog as near as
Clark could tell, and now stared up at him with a wide and
deeply curious grin that makes Clark want to bolt for the fields

"Why, Clark! Whatever are you doing here?"

Clark has learned that telling yourself not to blush pretty much
never works. "Oh, uh, I'm ah. Returning a book. To the library.
Lex's library." His smile feels as sickly as he does.

"Oh, well that's nice. It's good to see young people taking an
interest in school, I always say." Pause while she and her crew
pin Clark to the spot with *their* interest. "So you and Mr.
Luthor are friends?"

"Oh, ah. Um..."

"Is anything the matter, Mrs. Jansen? Oh, Clark! Good to see
you again."

And this is going to get back to his father in approximately
thirty-seven seconds, but God, right now he just needs... Sends
a pleading look Lex's way.

Lex raises an eyebrow, but turns smoothly to the cleaners. "I'm
so glad I caught you all before you could go. I just saw what
you did with the conservatory, and, well... I don't think I've
*ever* seen it look as... clean as it is now. Please, accept this
with my thanks." Slips her a small bundle of what are probably
sizable bills and smiles.

Suddenly, no one's paying attention to Clark at all.

"Oh, Mr. Luthor --"

"Call me Lex."

"Well, I... *Lex*, then. Really, you've already been quite

"Nonsense, Mrs. Jansen. You all really did a marvelous job. Now,
if you'll excuse me...?"

"Oh, of course! I'm sure you have a lot of work to do, what
with all... well, yes. We'll just be going. Bye, Clark! Tell your
parents I said hi!"

Clark waves weakly and struggles to smile, slipping gratefully
into the cool dimness of the house when Lex gestures.

"Thanks, Lex. You just saved me from the third degree. Mrs.
Jansen is nice, but..." And notices that Lex is in his jacket and
driving gloves. "Oh, God, I'm sorry, you were about to go
somewhere, and I just turn up on your *doorstep* --"


Lex's eyes on his, serious and unreadable. "Yeah?"

Lex's hand on his face, cool leather no smoother than his skin
and Clark remembers the feel of it against his body -- "... all

"Hunh? I mean. Yeah. Just... you know. I really can't wait for
high school to be over sometimes."

Low and mostly humorless chuckle. "I can't say I blame you for
that... but think of it this way, Clark -- high school is absolutely
the last place you'll ever have to see most of... whoever is
making life difficult at the moment. Savor it."

"Last place? You really have no idea how life works in a small
town, do you, Lex?"

"You were planning to spend the rest of your life here?"

"Well... yeah." Lana. "I mean, there's the farm..."

Lex just nods slowly and moves closer, black clothes
emphasizing just how pale he is and. "You know, life decisions
don't have to be made immediately. It's kind of the... beauty
of them." And Lex is close enough now to share breath. Again.


Lex brushes his thumb over Clark's cheek once, lips parted and
studying his face. Slips his hand around to the back of Clark's
neck. "I have to say, Clark..." spoken against his mouth, "I'm
really glad to see you."

And the kiss that comes is too good not to fall into, some part
of his mind shocked that the rest had even thought of trying.
Lex kissed like he knew he was wonderful at it, and had all day
to get it right if it wasn't absolutely perfect.

Hot and hard and not teasing at all, just an invitation to take
what was offered. Be taken and Clark wants to give, wants to
know what would make Lex feel like he feels now, and if there
was any possible way he could do it for him.

Wants his skin like the sun, and reaches to cup Lex's face in his
hands. Runs one a little helplessly over the simple curve of his
skull and down to the open throated shirt. Breaks the kiss and
dips his head to taste there, salt tang and Lex's pulse against
his tongue, remembering the feel of wet, soft lips against his
own throat. So good.

Kissing there when Lex just pulls his head closer, when Lex
slips one gloved hand under Clark's shirts and touches him.

Slips cool fingers up and down his spine and Clark shivers.
Moans and gets dragged closer. Ridiculous to still be wearing
his backpack and all he wants to do is fall to the floor and God,
touch like this.

Sex like nothing he'd imagined, visceral and sweet to the point
of pain.

And Lex's scent like a drug, like the most expensive cologne in
the world, only it just gets stronger as Clark mouths, as Lex
touches him. Drags his teeth half-accidentally across Lex's skin
and the gasp he gets makes him bite down.

"God, *Clark* --"

Pulls back and kisses Lex with all he is, unable to close his eyes
because Lex *has*.

Kissing him back hotly and Clark *wants*.

"Can we... can we?"

"Yes. Absolutely yes. Come upstairs with me?"

Nods and follows, hard. Harder when Lex looks over his shoulder
at him with something like promise. He couldn't turn back if he

Clark strips off his sweaters almost absently. Lex's bedroom
seems less vast than it did yesterday. Something with the sheets
being removed from the rest of the furniture. Something with the
tight, hot feeling of belonging here.

Needing to be here for this, to try to make his clumsy fingers
understand buttons again, to get to Lex's body and just *touch*.

Sleek and pale like something utterly unearthly. Gloved fingers
he wants to suck and the thought makes his knees watery,
makes it hard to even focus, but Lex is there, biting his lip and
licking his throat and leaving Clark swaying while he pulls his
shirt off himself.

Nipples pale pink against all that white and Clark is frozen
between wanting to touch them, pinch them the way Lex had
done his own, and needing to be naked.

Decision made when Lex undoes his belt, black leather arcing
across the room to hit the floor with a sound Clark can barely
hear over the pound of blood in his ears.

Has to get close again, smell him, touch him, kiss him quick
and "you said... you said I could touch you h-however..."

"However, whenever you want, Clark,"

Lex's voice low and hoarse and rough against every part of him
and Clark can't breathe, can't think, oh thank you, can't think at
all. Drops to his knees just as Lex is unzipping his fly and the
scent of him makes Clark moan.

Push his face close in and nuzzle what must be pure silk. The
heat of Lex beyond.

"Clark, you -- oh, *fuck*."

Tugs the flap out the way and Lex is hard. For him. And Clark
wants to know, wants to live inside the memory of Lex's mouth
on his cock and never leave. Takes him in hand and opens his
mouth, flushing and leaking pre-come when Lex thrusts at him,
this little push like Lex can't help himself.

Wants him.

Sucks the head into his mouth, tongue screaming ecstatic and
terrified at the taste. Lex's still-gloved hand in his hair and
Clark's own need to be blown away, taken some place
completely other than where he's been.

Lex looking down into his eyes and Clark is pleading again,
needing again.

Show me, he thinks, and licks the scar, tongues at the slit for
more of everything, and Lex. Thrusts.

Slick friction and the push and Clark is drooling a little now,
hoping for more and getting it when he takes more of Lex in,
some primally maddening safety with his fist around the base
of Lex's cock and none anywhere else.

Lex finding a rhythm that makes Clark ache all over, the
phantom of some pain he has no name for, pushing and
thrusting, over and over and Clark thinks he might be moaning
for it now. Blushing and unable to stop and needing this to be
good, so good --

And Lex pushes him off, shock of it making him sit on his heels
and he only just manages to look a needful question before
Lex is coming, god, all over his chest.

"*Clark*..." Lex stroking himself almost brutally through the
shudders and Clark feels.


Lex still with the *gloves* on and Clark has to get his jeans
open, has to free himself, one hand in the slick, hot mess on his
chest and. Tastes.


Looks up to find Lex watching him, watching him suck the come
off his fingers and touch himself and wants to hide, wants to
do it all again, and again, and it's almost like freedom to be so
lost in his own need. Knowing Lex won't let him go too far. Lex
who sinks to his knees in front of him and kisses and kisses and
pushes at him until they're stretched out on the floor, a tangle of
bodies and clothes and everything Clark wants to beg for.

Lex's mouth on Clark's belly and chest, bite to his nipple that
makes him groan and rub frantically up against him.

Lex rolling them over and urging Clark on and the slide of cock
to cock makes him shake and he can't stop, chanting Lex's name
like it's the only word left and thrusting against him. Needing
some indefinable more and finally just rolling them on their sides
so he can get as close as he wants, hold Lex still while he urges
Clark on and piston his hips.

Bury his face in that pale, salt throat and bite again, and again,
until Lex slides one cool, cool finger between his cheeks and.
Teases. Circles and the softest pressure and Clark yells against
Lex's throat and comes, jerking and shuddering.

Lays there clinging to Lex for what he suspects is much too long
before he can bring himself to let go, roll over on his back.

Lex looking cool and pale and perfect again, save for the
darkening red blotch on his neck. Smiling like a hungry animal.

"Feeling better, Clark?"

Blushing again. "I. Oh... um. Yeah. Yeah, I am. Lex, when you
started... when you were in my mouth..."

Gloved thumb pressing at his lower lip and Clark feels his cock
wanting to twitch. "Did you like it?"

"Yeah. Yeah, I..." Sucks Lex's thumb into his mouth for lack of
actual language. Leather under the taste of him like new and
powerful knowledge.

Lex's eyes like fire. "I hope you don't think you're going
anywhere, Clark."

Lex's thumb pressing his tongue down before slipping out of
his mouth, shiny with spit. "I. No. I don't have to be home for
a while."


And Lex's kiss doesn't demand anything more than what Clark
needs to give, which means it's hard, and deep, and chases
everything away but itself and this moment between them.

Clark has never felt so light.