Title: Of Any Price, A Pearl
Rating: Adult, NC-17
Length: 2070 words
Spoilers: future fic, no particular spoilers
Warnings: slash, obsession, shower kink, general weirdness
Disclaimer: Not mine, seriously. All belongs to Al & Miles, CW/WB and DC Comics.
Summary: Clark interviews Lex. He excuses himself to use the restroom. Things get weird from there.
"May I use your restroom, Mr. Luthor?" Clark says, tapping his pencil against his notepad a final time.
Lois, next to him on the sofa, hisses, "Can't you wait?"
She has a point, but their alloted twenty minutes for a rare home interview has pretty much run out, with Lex artfully giving vague answers. The Luthor party line, all spun and pretty and, well, pretty much meaningless.
Lex smiles, genuine and startling, completely different from how he'd been throughout the interview. "Of course you can, Clark." He takes a sip of coffee, drapes his arm on the back of the couch. "Oh, something's not quite right with the toilet in the powder room. You'll have to use the one in the master. Just straight at the end of the hall. I'm sure you'll find it." Taking another sip of coffee, he adds, "If you don't see a towel out, extras are in the second drawer on the right." He waves his hand dismissively, turns back to Lois. "I'm sure you'll take this opportunity to get in a few more questions?"
Clark wanders off down the hall. The fabulous Luthor penthouse. He's never been beyond the living room, either as Clark or as Superman, although Lex certainly had this place back in their Smallville days. He'd promised to give Clark a tour, when they'd been talking and supposedly friends, but it never panned out.
After what seems like a mile past more artwork, lonely and unviewed, than any private collector has a right to, Clark opens the double doors leading to the master suite. Palatial, to say the least. Quietly ostentatious and so Lex. The bed has been made, throw pillows in tasteful array. The bedroom alone is bigger than his whole apartment, with an office space, small library, even a minibar. Lex could hunker down here for weeks, if for some reason Metropolis and this very apartment were under seige.
Knowing him, he designed this with that in mind.
Something about the bed alcove doesn't look quite right. The wall on the left doesn't line up with the wall on the right. He concentrates...and can't see anything beyond the plaster and paint. Lead lined. Weapons cabinet probably. Figures.
On the wall opposite the bed, hangs a large oil painting of the man himself, intimidating and larger than life. Just...why? Did he...? Clark doesn't want to think about it so a spindly curio table catches his attention instead, covered with photographs, all in simple silver frames: Lex shaking hands with the previous president, one of his mother, a few from his various weddings—including Lana. Clark winces at that one. Near the back though, almost hidden, Clark's own face beams back at him. His senior year portrait, all bangs and innocence and toothy grin, J.C. Penny's suit.
Clark blinks. Sure, they were still talking then, but Clark hadn't given this to him. Maybe his mom? But why keep it? He picks it up. Not knowing why, he scans it. Behind the picture itself, two envelopes. One holds his graduation announcement, and the other a simple card, "Congratulations!". And inside that card, a check for $10,000 plus two expired season passes to the Sharks. Well, expired now, anyway.
Slightly shaky, he sets the picture back down near the back. Maybe he really does have to pee. Pee? Be a man, Clark. You need to take a piss. That's right, a piss.
He bolts to the bathroom.
Okay, if the bedroom is as big as his whole apartment, the bathroom is only half as small. Claw foot tub, small jacuzzi, a huge glass lined shower. Long vanity with a million drawers. Toilet. Bidet.
Bidet. Of course. Lex would want to keep his ass as clean as he kept his nose, no matter how dirty his hands.
Clark walks over to the toilet, lifts the lid and the seat. Unzips. And nothing. He widens his stance, shakes little Clark once, and nothing again. Freaking shy bladder. Now? He can take a piss in Lex's bathroom if he wants. He breathes and finally. Something. A manly piss. Right on target and a good twenty seconds. He flushes, turns to the sink, washes his hands.
And no towel.
Second drawer on the right he said. Clark opens it and stares.
Yeah, there's a towel all right. A whole set. Ivory with a gold monogram. Not LL. Not AJL. But CJK. Bath towel, hand towel, washcloth. All folded nice as you please. And next to the towels, a blue leather shaving kit. He takes it out, opens it. Shaving mirror, no razor. Comb and brush. Cologne—his current brand—and he's switched since Smallville. Aftershave. Clark pulls the drawer out further. Shampoo and conditioner bottles. Soaps. A simple blue toothbrush in a wrapper. Toothpaste. Floss. There's even a small hairdryer. Every single one of these a duplicate for what he has in his apartment.
"I suppose you want an explanation."
Clark turns, the shampoo bottle in his hand dropping to the floor and bouncing. Lex has one arm against the door frame, leaning. Cup of coffee still in hand.
"Ms. Lane has already been escorted from the building. We don't need to worry about her." Lex just takes another sip of his coffee. He tilts his head slightly, a small smile on his face. Not the grimace of victory he gets when he's pounding him in the head with a chunk of kryptonite, just a wistful one.
Every sweat gland Clark has decides to turn the tap on. He opens his mouth but no words come out.
Lex pushes off the frame, places his coffee on the marble top. He leans down, picks up the shampoo bottle. "Why don't you take a shower, Clark?" He says this with the same smile on his face.
You're crazy! Clark wants to blurt out. He can punch Lex through the wall if he wants to. Instead, he blinks and says, "You want." Because he has to clarify. "To see me." He's been off-planet recently and maybe he's picked up some alien virus that affects his ears, misinterprets sound. "Take a shower."
Lex just nods like maybe Clark isn't such an idiot after all. Like maybe he gets it. Whatever this insane it is. He hands him the shampoo bottle.
He should just run for it. Seriously. But maybe that's what Lex wants, to fluster him enough so that he witnesses Clark Kent do the impossible and disappear. He's got to have a zillion cameras in place, all recording.
Or maybe Lex thinks he has the suit on underneath, that he can't strip down, reveal everything. That's got to be it. But he doesn't. He's learned that one. The suit's hidden, super-compressed, easily accessible.
"Fine," Clark says, flinging off his coat, undoing his tie. He kicks off his shoes. And soon he's standing there buck naked. See? No suit. Just Clark.
Lex's smile doesn't fade. He closes his eyes, only lifting the lids halfway again. He leans to the side, gets the towel and washcloth, conditioner and soap, from the drawer, handing them to Clark without saying a word.
Jesus. He really does want Clark to take a shower. Well, he's already naked. Logic says that he should just pick up his clothes and run in human time. But Clark can't seem to head anywhere but toward that glass encased shower. He opens the door, turns on the spray, hot. Believe him, he can take hot. If he steams up the room, Lex won't be able to see anything anyway.
But the glass is the fancy mistfree kind, so even though Clark's got some serious steam going, he's completely visible.
Lex always wanted him in a cage. Now he's in one and totally wet.
Clark sighs and opens up the shampoo, washes his hair. Maybe he's just as crazy as Lex. He rinses and does the same with the conditioner. He opens up the soap, froths up the washcloth, scrubs.
"You missed a spot," Lex says. "Don't be shy, Clark."
And he says this right up against the glass. He's...Oh God.
Lex's back is against the wall, the side of his face leaning into the glass. His tie and jacket are...somewhere. His shirt's open, one hand caressing his chest. And the other hand...Oh God.
Lex is jerking off.
So that spot Lex's referring to, Clark's not an idiot no matter how many times people mutter it around him, that spot is his own dick. Lex wants him to do the same thing.
"Anything, Clark," Lex whispers as Clark's hand hovers over that spot.
And this is the real test. Lex already knows his weakness. Now he's showing Clark his. And well, it's him. That whispered anything means he can ask for something, put a price to this. "About your lab in New Jersey," he could say. But then how much for a blowjob, how much to let Lex blow him? How much for a fuck? How much just to get Clark to say the word 'fuck'? Whatever Lex's fantasies are, and they can't all be showers, Clark could ask for something in return. Make the world a better place. Make Lex satiated, content maybe, if not saner.
But then Superman wouldn't exist anymore. Not in any real way. The ends don't justify the means.
And it's not like Clark hasn't thought about it. Not the price structure thing, that could only come from Lex's brain, never his. But maybe being a little friendlier, seeing if his suspicions over the years were true. Maybe being a little less lonely.
If he does this, he has to do it for free. So he doesn't say anything, doesn't answer, just reaches down and strokes, strokes until he's hard.
"Jesus, Clark," Lex says, head thumping against the glass, his hand moving quickly now. "Anything."
Clark just shakes his head, refusing to answer, strokes harder, harder until he has to put his hand against the stone backsplash to brace. Until he thinks of nothing but the sounds that Lex is making. Until he comes.
When he opens his eyes, there are five small gouges in the stone from the splay of his fingertips. Lex is panting against the glass and a complete mess.
Clark rinses off, turns off the shower. Lex is undressing, shaking a little.
When Clark opens the door, Lex steps past him, squeezing his arm, just a little, on the way. He squeezes with the clean one, thank God, not the sticky one. "You should stay for dinner," Lex says as he turns the shower back on.
Clark mumbles something about having to get back to the office into his towel as he dries off.
He has to think. This is still crazy. What did he just do?
He gets dressed, unwraps the toothbrush, brushes his teeth. Lex is using his soap and washcloth and well, they're not his really, Lex owns them. God, his brain. Just all fogged up.
Lex is humming in the shower. "We should do lunch then," he says, letting the spray fall on his back, arching into it. Lex...Lex hasn't looked this relaxed in years.
"Maybe," Clark says as he spits into the sink. He combs his hair, decides against the blowdryer. As fast as he's going to be taking off, the wind will take care of that.
Lex opens the shower door, pokes his head out. "Come here and say goodbye," he says.
Clark puts down the comb, walks over.
"If you're going to blow me off," he says, dripping and bemused, "At least kiss me before you go."
Lex cuts him off by leaning up, brushing his lips. "Take a few days to think about it, Clark. Then we'll do lunch."
"Okay," he says. He's a man who's not afraid of lunch. "But, Lex--"
"Shhh. Not now." Lex closes the shower door, starts humming again.
Clark picks up his glasses. Those aren't mistfree. He wipes them on the hand towel. The CJK hand towel. Yeah, he needs a few days.
"Bye," he says. A sorry exit line, but it's polite.
Within five minutes, he's sitting on Mt. McKinley. The cold air will do him good. His hair's still wet.