Rating: Adult, NC-17
Length: 3379 words
Spoilers: "Transference", SV 4x06
Warnings: slash, wacky what-if-ishness
Disclaimer: Not mine, seriously. All belongs to Al & Miles, WB/CW.
Summary: Lex misleads. Clark follows. Lex gets lost.
Lex, having made discreet inquiries in town through his security staff, learned that Clark Kent was back in full farm boy uniform apologizing to anyone and everyone for odd transgressions.
Typical Clark behavior, to take responsibility for events outside of his sphere of influence. A cat got out and he's sorry. It's raining and he's sorry. Meteors fell from the sky one day and he's sorry.
Almost endearing. Once. Now merely grating, which would be tolerable except for the faint possibility that it all might be true. Clark disappeared into caves and lied and hid and apologized for all of it.
And Lex, despite the bruises and Lionel forcing Clark's breath into his ear, wanted so very badly not to accept the forthcoming apology that Clark was bound to deliver.
He needed a drink, he needed to end it, and all he could do was wait.
The drink he could do something about, and so he calmly walked to the liquor stand and poured himself a 29-year old scotch that he had indeed pilfered from Lionel's collection.
The welcome burn tasted sweet, no bitterness, but a widening of the senses.
"Lex..." Clark began as he entered those doors, the doors that had always been open to him. As if there were any possibility that Lex could keep him out, bar him.
Lex had two choices: to let him continue and accept half-truths, or to prevent them altogether with a lie of his own. And Lex controlled his own destiny, so he put down the glass ever so carefully, turned and embraced him.
"Clark," he said as he reached in, mouthed that neck, letting his tongue trace a long line.
Clearly baffled, Clark pushed him to arm's length and looked at him. "Lex, what did I do? Whatever it is..."
Lex pushed back into those arms, wrapped his own around him. He pressed his head into Clark's shoulder and said nothing. He felt Clark's arms, uncertain, return the embrace.
"Please, Lex. What did he...what did I do?"
Lex pulled back slightly, allowing every bit of wonder and hurt he'd ever experienced to show on his face as he kept himself at such an intimate distance. Clark's eyes shifted color within the hazel, blues and greens and greys. "Everything. Don't even begin to pretend otherwise."
Clark's mouth parted as he pushed back and away. He sank back onto one of the couches, eyes never leaving Lex's, the breath gone out of him. Lex felt like an incubus as he sat beside him. He harnessed the hysterical glee into a mere fidgeting of his hands. "I realize that you might have had second thoughts once you had time..." He let his voice trail into a controlled desolation. "Clark, clearly I should take all responsibility and apologize. After all, I'm the adult in this situation and laws are enacted for a reason." He looked over at Clark who had still not managed to breathe, and Lex reached out only to take his hand back. "I should have stopped you no matter what my feelings."
A breath managed to shudder its way into Clark and he put his head in his hands. "Lex, I wasn't myself. I don't remember. Please, I would never..."
"Are you saying that it wasn't you, that you were under some kind of influence?" Ah, righteous fury, barely contained, so useful. "You expect me to believe that?" With a brilliant catch in his voice, he said, "Well, this is Smallville. Strange things happen." He closed his eyes and let out a long breath. "Don't they, Clark?"
Clark took one of Lex's hands and held it in both his own. Lex marvelled at how he just disappeared into them, his hand swallowed up as if nothing. "Lex...Lex, hey, look at me. I would never hurt you like that."
Lex smiled, leaned in and brushed his lips against Clark's. "But you didn't hurt me, Clark." He pushed him back, straddled him. And Clark allowed it, paralyzed by inappropriate guilt, no doubt. "Nothing happened that I didn't want. That I don't want again." He couldn't let himself pause to relish the amazement of it all. "Was it really that horrible?" he whispered as he leaned down and kissed him, softly.
And, dear god, Clark tentatively kissed him in return. His lips were slightly chapped, rough edges against his own, slight stubble on his lip. All so different from a woman, and yet no less terrifyingly wonderful for being Clark. Clark's mouth opened, and Lex found himself amid the toothpaste and coffee and the aftertaste, still, of Lionel's scotch.
Lex needed to remember that impartiality served as one of the major rules of engagement. Unchecked emotions changed the tide of battle. He cursed the whimper he made as his tongue swirled and his hand wound itself into that glorious head of hair.
Clark grabbed his arms and pushed Lex off, away, at an arm's distance. Lex gazed at that red, red mouth, almost forgetting the purpose of all this, as if the purpose could be anything else but sinking back down.
"Lex...Lex, I can't..."
Reason threatened to scamper away, but Lex couldn't let it. He balked at the part of him that ached to let Clark go scurry back to his farm, for himself to retreat back into the wretched safety of terse-lipped hints, veiled accusations, vague entreaties for salvation, nights alone in his office after yet another frustrating trip to the Kent farm. Clark everywhere and yet nowhere.
No, a greater purpose, beyond simple seduction, lay between them. And Lex would serve it.
And that long drive from the prison, few words, but coy looks, that hand wandering to his knee as he downshifted through the occasional turn. How the light shimmered as what he thought to be Clark smiled. He had permitted himself to imagine this then, that Clark might entertain the notion as well. He swallowed down a laugh because, at the time, that's all Lionel thought Clark meant, a beautiful boy, an infatuation. Only later did he understand that he was so much more.
And all his father wanted was money. So laughable.
Lex smiled, took one hand and traced a finger down Clark's jaw. "There aren't any more secrets, Clark. You've shown me everything. Your incredible strength, your speed. And God, what you can do with your eyes...You're nothing short of amazing." All suspicions, surmisings only, but Clark couldn't know that.
Clark froze, hands still gripping Lex's arms almost painfully. This moment so crucial. He could still deny everything, thrust Lex away, storm off. A slow panic shifted across that beautiful face and Lex's must have surely echoed it even with the mask of false knowledge, acceptance.
And then Clark exhaled, the grip lessened. "I wanted to tell you, Lex, a lot of times." Clark looked around the room, somewhat frantically. "I didn't burn anything, you know, before...when we...I can usually control it." A sigh escaped him taking with it some invisible weight, his shoulders relaxed back into the leather. Clark, for the first time in all of this, smiled.
"Nothing that can't be replaced," Lex said as he catalogued this new possibility, this admission of ability. He must remember to at least singe a book, a painting, to show as proof later. "Besides, you weren't yourself, as you said. I could hardly hold you responsible."
"It must have seemed kind of freaky though. I mean..." An uncertainty threatened to return; Lex couldn't permit that retreat.
"Clark, you're not a freak. Far from it."
Clark laughed. "Is this the part where you tell me I'm special? Because, really, it's not all it's cracked up to be."
"You are. To me." Lex paused. "Clark, could you let go of my arms now? I need circulation among other things."
"Oh, yeah, sorry," he said as he released him.
Lex rubbed both his arms. He was sure to have two handprints blossom up to the surface when next he cared to look. His hands, how they spanned him.
"And Clark, could we save the talking for later?" Lex said as he leaned back down.
The only reply, the one he needed, was the feel of Clark's arms around him, stroking his back. Clumsy, yet so full of control, encompassing. The kiss responsive, searching, wandering until they were, Christ, until they were necking. They rolled off the couch, barely missing the coffee table, Clark on top of him.
Lex, almost drunk from it all, said, "Don't. I don't want to hear any apologies from you." He struggled up. "Get back on the couch. Now. And sit."
As Clark nodded and did indeed sit, Lex knelt and pushed those knees apart. He reached for that button, unzipped, and pulled.
"What...what are you doing?" Clark said, delightfully confused.
"Giving you something. Relax." Lex pulled until Clark's cock, free of the three-per-pack cheap blue boxers, lay hard and wanting against the edge of his rucked-up plaid shirt. He pushed, one more time, until the jeans were past Clark's knees. "We're going to have to do something about the boots." He unlaced each, took them off, following with the jeans. "The shirts and socks are up to you."
"Lex, you don't have to..." Clark's voice trailed off as Lex took the head into his mouth, worked his way down. "Oh God!"
He wanted to close his eyes, feel nothing but his mouth and full, but he needed to look up, see Clark. And there was Clark, wanton, eyes half-lidded and gasping, the flush disappearing inside that unfortunate shirt. Lex reached out, took one of those hands that grasped nothing but the leather, now ripped, and held it. With the other, he traced the hair of Clark's thigh, wandered over the balls and beyond towards the cleft, teasing.
Clark fought each thrust, not quite managing stillness. Short jerks and gasps and soon Lex heard, "Stop! I'm going to...stop."
Lex pulled up enough to say, voice rough, "You're not going to hurt me, Clark. You didn't before. Just let go." And he swallowed him back down.
All a lie, of course. Lex giddily considered the possibility that he could die from this. But he couldn't stop; he had to know.
Clark thrust one more time and came, came like any other man would, salty, copper-tinged and fast. And Lex did not die but merely swallowed.
"Believe me now?" Lex said as he slithered up, unbuckling his belt, loosing himself, placing himself in Clark's trembling hand. "Just do it like you would," he said as he let that hand curl around him. "Maybe...maybe not so hard."
Clark pulled inexpertly, a bit roughly, but it didn't matter as he nuzzled Lex's neck, still blissful from orgasm, purred his name, long and soft, "Lex..."
"Clark, Jesus...just like that..." A sharp rising, too fast, and he came. So far from perfect, but perfectly Clark, no longer imagined but here in this one place. "Clark..." he managed as he fell boneless against him.
They stayed that way for several minutes, a physical discomfort approaching, but Lex didn't dare shift. For everything could shift if he did.
"Uh, Lex, I need..." Clark began.
"Something for the mess?" Lex said, still inhaling the neck of Clark's shirt.
"What did I say about that?" Lex couldn't help but smile. Habits did die hard, apparently. He rose, reassembled himself to the point of mobility and retrieved a bar towel from the liquor stand. "This should suffice."
Clark grinned. "Thanks," he said as he wiped his hand clean.
And then the uncomfortable silence, the seconds ticked in heartbeats. Any moment, Clark would retrieve his jeans and boots from the floor and go home to his parents. Christ, the Kents, surely he would confess. Lex doubted he kept any secrets from them. How they would twist this. And probably with some right. He could fight any charges, but Clark would be lost. After all his suspicions had been wondrously confirmed, and Clark so open when, if he had bothered to read any of the books Lex gave him, he should have been guarded.
So easily deceived, that Lex felt he only needed one more lie to prevent the Kent fortress from locking him out.
"Clark," he said as he sat back down beside him.
Some of the fears and doubts, his own suspicions, paraded across Clark's face as he turned to face him. Perhaps regret as well. Half-naked and yet absurdly regal.
Lex cupped his chin, kissed him. "I love you, Clark Kent. I always have."
And the horrible truth of it bubbled past the lie, disintegrating into bared fact. The hangman's noose he had intended to wrap around Clark's neck only lay across his own. Underneath the ambition and the struggle and the hurt and the anger, love managed to survive, tarnished but there.
He hadn't conquered anything. His, a kingdom of nothing. Unleashed words to be caught and used. All his searching for keys, doors that wouldn't open, and it was Clark who held the key, or rather, Clark himself the door.
"It's alright, Clark, you don't need to say anything. I overstepped." All so calm, but Lex didn't know whether to laugh or be sick. How Lionel would laugh, was probably laughing.
"Don't," Clark said, almost grim.
Yes, Lionel, back in prison, was most definitely laughing.
"Don't apologize, Lex. You think I'm some horny idiot who'd let this happen to just, I don't know, get off?" Clark paused, angry, and picked up his jeans. "The one thing I know is control. I...I control myself all the time."
Lex blinked, and Clark was completely dressed, boots laced. "We need to talk."
"Sure, Clark, I think we do." Lex, always five moves ahead, had lost sight of the board. He had to wait for Clark's move to regain it.
Clark paced a bit. "Okay, here's the thing, Lex. You know about me, and part of me is glad, and part of me is wondering if you're planning on marching me down to LuthorCorp for testing."
"Have you ever been tested, Clark? What you have to give the world..." Lex said.
Clark crossed his arms. "See, that's just it, you'll try to convince me it's for the best, when really, it's just about research and market share."
Lex fell back slightly, the couch catching him. "You think I'd use you for profit? Do you know how many times I've protected you, from what my father could do? Do you, Clark?" Lex tilted his head back, put his hand over his eyes and let out a small laugh, "Jesus, Clark, we just had sex. I just said..." And he couldn't say it again. As a lie once, yes, but now only simple truth. It was too much. "And this is your answer?" He raised his head, looked at Clark shrewdly. "Or is this just a smokescreen because you're panicking about a possible shift in orientation? Really, Clark, I would think you'd be above such high school definitions."
Clark only met his gaze, stood his ground. "I know what I am, Lex. And I know what feelings I have. You've got to admit that this is a lot more complicated than two guys making out."
And the impossibility of it flayed Lex's heart open even further. If Clark had simply responded in kind then yes, he would have taken Clark down to LuthorCorp, tomorrow or the next day, done it all in the name of love and science but not respect. Clark had always been a match for him, surprised him. Lex should have known better. "I need to shower, Clark. I think you'd better leave. You're certainly dressed for it."
But Clark didn't move. "How much of it did you know, Lex, and how much did you just guess?"
That was it, any semblance of control fell away. Lex rose, stopped just inches away from Clark. "I did not just use you for sex! And I did not say anything that I did not mean!"
Clark's face softened. "I know that, Lex. It's just everything else."
"Is this about trust, Clark? Let's talk about trust, shall we?" And his voice was so near to breaking. "Let's talk about how you could keep such things from me when I gave..."
"Gave what, Lex? How many times have I told you that I don't want your things?"
And he finished in a defeated whisper, "Gave you everything."
Clark looked at him, hurt and searching. "You really believe that, don't you? Oh, Lex..." And this time it was Clark who leaned in, kissed him. "Why does it have to be all or nothing with you?"
"And it's not for you, Clark? I know you. It's one of your more infuriating qualities." Lex sighed, breathed in the tang of dust and fabric softener. He never did get that shirt off, open Clark up completely.
"I'm not saying no, Lex, but there's just so much stuff. That room...
"Which I dismantled. For you."
"Yeah, but you made it in the first place. You following me down to the caves all the time..."
"Yes, about the caves, Clark..."
"Have you ever heard of personal space, Lex? I kind of need some."
"You are not making all the rules, Clark. Relationships are about negotiation, compromise, not ultimatums.
"This isn't the boardroom, Lex. Just stop. I don't want to fight with you."
And Lex did stop, felt the shimmering heat, that distance between them. All he wanted to do was close it. "What do you want, Clark?"
"A shower. You said something about taking one."
Lex just leaned his head into that shoulder and laughed. "I don't believe I invited you."
"No, you didn't. This is me being pushy." Clark stood back and started unbuttoning his shirt. "I call dibs." And with just a slight pull of air to fill the vacuum of Clark's absence, Lex heard the water running upstairs.
Lex could do nothing but follow in human time. He walked that damning distance to his bedroom, loosening his watch, pocketing it so that he could undo the cufflinks. He had only just sorted his clothes when Clark emerged from the master suite bathroom, steam rolling around him, in nothing but a towel.
"I wanted to save you some hot water."
"I'll only be a few minutes, Clark. Make yourself comfortable."
Too many thoughts competed for his attention as, yes, there happened to be enough hot water. He could almost feel Clark pressed against the solid marble wall, water as rivulets and tributaries down his back, Lex's fingers pressing in. All simple desire and subterfuge. Clark had certainly revealed no more than Lex had opened for himself. He certainly had more abilities, had said nothing about the crystals or the caves, still held secrets. Lex certainly felt no compulsion to reveal his own part in any of that, or the sly maneuvering it took to get Clark here at all.
Clark who, not promising to stay, was most likely gone. A simple twist of the handle would determine that. Lex stood for a minute, then two, dripping water upon the stone floor before opening the door.
He found him sitting cross-legged on the bed, the faint stain of water underneath him, towel still wrapped for a ludicrous discretion. And he was watching television. The light, answering images, shifted across his face. Even the subtlest, dimmest of lights, managed to find Clark.
"I hope you don't mind. You said..."
"That you could get comfortable. Yes, Clark, I remember." Lex paused in the doorway, approached the bed, dropped the towel. "When do you need to get back?"
"I'm not sure. Why?"
"Because you're going to need another shower," Lex said as he pushed Clark back, his tongue wandering across that broad chest. He worked his way back up the throat, to his mouth.
Clark had stayed. That was all the forthcoming that Lex needed at the moment. He was sure to need more later. But all that mattered now was Clark's answering tongue, his hand reaching towards Lex's cock. Lex could do this.
After all, he had drowned once and lived. Drowning again was only a welcome return.