~  TheThere Series  ~

The There series was the first thing I wrote in any fandom, and was definitely a learning experience. I have not re-written this series, but left it as an example of my earliest writing.

In this series, there are two versions of each fic - one written in Lex's point of view and one written in Clark's point of view. I hope you enjoy reading them!

Thanks so much for taking the time to visit this site and read my work.

 

~ Chapter I: Almost There ~

 

Series: There
Pairing: Clark/Lex
Rating: NC-17
Spoilers: A tiny, tiny Jitters one
Summary: The companion piece to Getting There - same dialog but from Clark's point of view.

 

Author Notes: To my incredibetas - Kel (my kismet beta), Jennifus (my newly nicotine-free beta), La Casta (my red-ink-in-her-veins beta) & Kathryn (my eagle-eyes beta). And as always, thanks to Goss for getting me started. And to Henry Jones, Jr. for the preview. And finally, thank God for little red panties that don`t quite fit.

Archiving: SSA, Lexslash

Disclaimer: If they were mine, I'd make a sandwich.

Feedback: Like leather pants and collars, so thoroughly enjoyable. And even chaffing is somehow okay, so don't hold back.


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It's 8 o'clock and Clark`s elbow-deep in orange-tinted soap suds. Spaghetti`s his favorite, but it`s better when he doesn't have to wash the dishes afterwards. Especially since he has to take it slow now. Last time he used his speed on the dishes he had broken two plates and bent a fork. Martha was not happy. So, slow.

Well, at least it gives him time to think. About last night's dream. Nightmare. Dream. He still can`t decide.

The phone jerks him out of thoughts, makes him jump a little. He drops the plate back in the sink with a muted thud, grabs a dishtowel, quickly wipes the bubbles from his hand, grabs the phone off the hook.

"Hello?"

"Clark? Lex. I have a favor to ask." Too much of a coincidence. Be cool Clark, he doesn't know about the dream. Just be cool.

"Hey, Lex. What is it?" Sandwiching the phone between his shoulder and jaw, he turns back to the sink, fishes for his dishrag in the still-hot water. Hot. Water. Sucked back into his dream he only half-hears Lex rambling on about some big-wig party in Metropolis that he wants Clark to go to.

"I'm dedicating a wing at Metropolis Hospital next week on behalf of LuthorCorp and I need you to go with me. The bad news is that you'll have to wear a tux and put up with some really stuffy people for a couple of hours. The good news is Metropolis has a great nightlife that I`m very familiar with. What do you say? Up for a night on the town?"

Couldn't Lex just get a date? Duh, Clark, it is Lex you're talking to.

The bubbles are popping and tickling him just above his wrists as he dips the rag, rinses it, picks up another plate. That dream was so real - so... intense. He can still feel Lex's hands on him, gentle but demanding.

"Um, sure. But don't you want to take a date?"

"I don't want any hassles. I have some business that I have to attend to that night and I can't afford any distractions. These things are always only 50% pleasure."

It sounds reasonable - but it also means he *won't* be spending the evening with Lex - just schmoozing with some richies and trying not to say anything too stupid. No chance Lex will look at him across the room and their eyes will meet and they'll just know. Like in the dream.

"Oh, well I guess I'll go then." He swirls the rag inside a glass, gently drops it into the section of the sink he's using for rinsing.

"Don't sound so excited Clark."

Right now he thinks he would be excited if he was going to be spending the evening alone with Lex. If he had any courage when it came to Lex, he'd just tell him. About the dream. About everything.

But his resolve has the consistency of the wet noodles floating in the dishwater. So after a too-long pause, he takes a safer route.

"It's just - I never know what to say to people like that."

"People like what Clark? Like me?." Oh geez, Lex, not again. Doesn't he get it? He's not one of the stereotypical "them," and Clark's starting to get tired of telling him over and over. But he does it anyway, hoping one of these times it'll actually stick.

"You're not like them."

"Of course I am."

Even Clark's patience has it's limits. But Lex has been conditioned to think he's inherently bad - snobbish - arrogant - malicious. And if this is what it takes - if Clark has to recondition Lex, he will. If Lex needs to hear it, Clark will say it for him.

"No. You're - you care about people and actually..."

"Try to do the right thing? Yes I do. But I'm a Luthor - that makes me one of them." God. Lex was impossible sometimes.

Hasn't he ever heard that the name does not make the man? Well, at least that's true from where Clark is standing. In front of the sink. Oh, right - dishes. He reaches down into the greasy water and grabs some silverware. The water's cooling and too dirty. He pops the stopper out of the sink and stares as the mucky water whirlpools down the drain. Why does it do that anyway? He turns on the hot, pours too much soap into the stream of water. Dips his hand in and swishes it around, making more bubbles. Slick, soapy and clean. Calming. Lemony.

Oh, right. Lex. On the phone. Where were we? Oh yeah, Lex is once again not a bad guy. At least not to him.

"Not to me." Lame, Clark, but who can think with all this soap and water and Lex mixing together?

"The gala's on Friday night, so I'll pick you up after school on Friday and we'll go from there. Do you have a tux?"

What a laugh. Lex really lives in his own little world.

"Are you kidding?"

"Right. Well, we`ll go tomorrow and get you one. Be at my house at 3. Oh - and Clark?"

"Yeah?"

"Don't go commando tomorrow. I really like my tailor and I don't want to have to replace him."

Commando? Gross! And- ouch? Well, gross for sure.

"I never go commando Lex."

"And the young ladies of Smallville must be so disappointed."

"Ha ha."
"I'll see you tomorrow Clark."

And before Clark can say goodbye, Lex hangs up. Typical. And Clark realizes he's thinking of Lex as he was in his dream - not the real Lex. He's hoping for things, expecting Lex to say things to him like he said in the dream. A quick something - just for Clark. And he swallows the lump in his throat and resolves himself to forget that dream.

"It was just a dream, Clark. Not real. Just a dream. Forget about it," he says aloud, then glances over his shoulder to see if anyone heard. The kitchen's empty and silent except for the bubbles bursting softly in the sink. Clark turns back to his chore, deciding to use his super-speed to get it over-with. Somehow it isn't soothing anymore, just annoying.


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"Hold still." Clark hears Lex stifling a laugh behind him. Is Lex enjoying this?

"I said, hold still. This fabric is too nice for blood stains." Clark bites his bottom lip and tries to follow the tailor`s order. The man is pinning his tux pants in some rather - uncomfortable places.

"Don't worry Clark - he's almost done. I told you it would be painless." Hardy har har Lex.

"Yeah right. You're not the one getting stabbed. "

The tailor shoots Clark a dirty look. Something akin to one he got from his father last week when he talked back to him.

"You wouldn`t be getting stabbed if you would hold still! He's done, Mr. Luthor. I'll have these alterations finished tonight."

Done. Finally! He smiles into the mirror in front of him. Not the most comfortable of clothes, but this doesn't look half bad, despite the pins everywhere.

Lex catches Clark grinning at himself and laughs. Oh God, how embarrassing.

"Get dressed Clark."

Clark's happy to oblige, disappearing behind the curtain of the dressing room. Stripping off the pants as slowly as he can, trying not to disturb any pins for fear of being subjected to that torture again. He hears Lex's muffled words with the tailor as he slips the jacket off and hangs it on the hook.

"Randolph, we'll be stopping by tomorrow at 5pm on our way to Metropolis. I trust that Clark can dress here?"

"Of course sir. I'll see to it that the staff knows to expect you."

"Thank you."

Clark tugs on his jeans, reveling in the familiar way they mold to his body. He leaves them unzipped while he pulls on his t-shirt and slides an arm into his flannel. He stops mid-sleeve when his eyes catch the lapel of the tux jacket.

Oh God. Clark is actually going to wear that to a gala in Metropolis. Where there will be a lot of really wealthy people. And not even Lex to be at his side since he's going to be so busy. Alone. At a gala. In Metropolis. Wearing that. Shaking the thought from his head, he tucks his shirts in, buckles his belt, steps into his shoes and crouches on the floor to tie them. Well, at least he'd finally see Lex in his tux again. No - Clark, don't go there. It was just a dream. And the fact that he'd had another last night that was just as - good? - doesn't mean a thing.

When Clark comes out Lex is waiting for him, keys in hand and sunglasses already on. Guess he's in a hurry.

"You looked really sharp Clark - you're going to turn quite a few heads tomorrow night."

"Thanks Lex, but I'm actually pretty nervous. What am I going to talk to people about? I know they're not going to want to hear about some high school kid doing chores on a farm."

"You might be surprised Clark. People seem - drawn to you. These people are all grasping for anything that vaguely resembles success. Don't let them fool you though - they're either as nervous as you are or just complete pricks. Either way, you'll do fine. You're a good judge of character."

"I'm still a high school kid who doesn't know which fork to use for what." He realizes he's actually shuffling his feet and stops.

"Except a pitch fork - you know that one." Lex hits him quick on the stomach with the back of his hand. His version of "just kidding." And it sends chills up Clark's spine. Lex's fingers running lightly down his stomach, towards-. In your dreams Clark. He can't help thinking it, and oh, God. That's so ironic.

Forks, Clark. Forks.

"Lex, come on - I'm serious!"

"Count the tines then - you know, sometimes there are three tines - shrimp fork. Sometimes there are four tines - salad fork..."

"Please Lex - it's confusing enough already! I'll just hide in the bathroom during dinner, okay?"

"Clark, I'm going to be right there beside you. There's nothing to worry about. Just follow my lead."

"And what about when you're off doing business? Who's lead do I follow then, huh?"

"What you need is a distraction Clark. Think about Lana." Lana? Here we go again. Lana Schmana. But for appearance's sake, he'd play along.

"Oh, that's great. Exchange one terrifying thought for another, Lex. Thanks a lot."

"No I mean, think about the good times you've had. Think about her in your favorite places. The windmill, the loft, the Talon. Trust me, it'll work."

Always getting ignored whenever the jock comes in the room, then left behind, nothing to do but stare at the window to her empty room. Telescoping his way into that room every night while she slept. Never being looked at that way., no matter how many times he earned it. And don't even get Clark started on that necklace. Yep, loads of wonderful memories, Lex.

"Okay, but if I run from the ballroom and you find me cowering in the bushes outside, it's all your fault."

Lex is laughing again. "You're off a button, Clark."

Off a button? What the- Lex raises his eyebrows at his shirt. Oh.

"Oh shit - thanks. See, I'm already messing things up."

This is beyond embarrassing. He flushes to his ears and quickly untucks his shirt, unbuttons, starts carefully rebuttoning.

"Clark, you're going to be great. You'll be a breath of fresh air for these people. They're going to fawn all over you. In that suit? Come on!"

"Well, the tux is pretty cool. I don't know about fawning though." Clark finishes re-tucking in his shirt and they walk outside.

"Trust me."

With anything Lex. Anything.


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Lex was right - they fawned all over Clark at the gala. He barely got two words with Lex all evening. The lamb was incredible - and mint sauce? Wow. Dinner was perfect - next to Lex, eating and laughing. He fumbled the forks despite all the memory tricks Lex had tried to teach him, but no one seemed to notice so it didn't matter too much after all.

Clark felt like a turtle after dinner - coming out of his shell and really taking in this new world. He told jokes, talked politics and flirted like mad. One young lady literally hung on his arm for an hour, and Clark just took it all in stride. Clark never would have guessed he could be like this. It was a whole new side of himself. And he just let it wash over him.

He kept catching Lex watching him with a little smirk from across the room. Which was fine with him - at least he hadn't forgotten him.

When Lex finally catches up to him, he's in the hallway sitting on a marble bench, one leg resting on the other knee, hands kneading his foot through his shoe. He's sure there's a blister on his heel.

"Ready to go?"

"Absolutely. My feet are killing me - how do you wear these shoes all the time Lex?"

"You get used to them."

Clark could never get used to them. "Not me. Give me some sneakers or nothing- these suck!"

"Ready to get out of that suit too?" Now we're talkin' Lex. Out of the suit and into the pool and wet and cool and slippery. Stop it Clark - it was just a dream. No, stay in the suit. It's safer this way.

"Actually, I like it. It makes me feel - important." And clothed, which is a very good thing right now.

"Ah, so the truth comes out. You can take the farm out of the boy!"

"Maybe a little." Farm out of the boy? Clark's innocent, but not that innocent. Where does Lex think he's been? Oh, right. Smallville. Well, there was the internet.

As he follows Lex to the car, he watches him move. His posture is perfect, the suit draping over his back like the surface of a still pool, and his cuffs flowing like liquid around his shoes. His gait is so smooth - like he's doesn't have to make an effort to just glide.

Lex reaches for the limo door as the driver rounds the front of the car. "I got it man - thanks." The driver turns on his heels and gets back in.

Clark follows Lex into the huge space, ducking his head until he reaches the long, leather-covered seat on the opposite side of the limo, and sits down. Lex is already toeing off his shoes and kicking them to the side.

"Go ahead and change your shoes Clark - in fact, change your clothes."

Change clothes? Um, as in take them off? In the limo? In front of Lex? No, no, no, no, no.

"Why? Where are we going?"

"Out. Is that okay with you?"

Out. To a club, he guesses. To a club where he can't wear his tux anymore. Come on, think. There has to be some excuse not to take his clothes off. Besides the one he can't tell Lex.

He's got it. "How am I going to get in anywhere? I'm 16 Lex."

Lex gives him a wicked smile and Clark nods.

"Right. I forgot. You`re Lex Luthor."

He forgot? What was he thinking? That sounds so stupid, even to him.

Lex pulls off his jacket and unbuttons his shirt, stashing the cufflinks and buttons in his tux pocket. Clark makes a mental note to do the same and shrugs out of the jacket, throwing it on top of Lex`s. He steals a quick look at Lex as he works on getting his tie off.

God he's beautiful. Perfect skin and- Wait - something is-. Oh Jesus. Lex has no chest hair. No arm hair. No- hair... at all.

"Jesus Lex. You - you`re - " He snaps his mouth shut before he can say anything else that he'll have to apologize for later. Smooth Clark, real smooth.

"Bald everywhere? What did you expect? I figure it`s good though - at least this way I`m 100% freak and not just 10% freak."

Clark has his cummerbund and shirt off and is fumbling with the clasp in the tux pants. Tricky little buggers. He looks up at Lex and he's watching Clark again. His little smirk is back too.

What is wrong with these pants? He's going to have to rip them off if this stupid little hook won't- there! Finally!

"It's not so bad Lex. I mean, it's kind of cool. You don't ever have to shave or worry about which shampoo to use." Was that a save? Clark thinks that was definitely a save.

"I'd rather shave and worry about shampoo than have to see that look on all of my lovers' faces."

"All of your lovers' -? Oh, sorry." Way to put your foot in your mouth, Clark. Should look into a career as a contortionist.

Lex waves it off without a word and strips off his tux pants. Like he hears this all the time, Clark realizes with a twinge of pain. Every time he takes a new lover, which is- all the time. Clark's seen a lot of women come and go from the Luthor mansion. Only caught a couple of their names though. And his curiosity is killing him. Must be part feline.

And suddenly Clark wants to ask Lex so many questions.

"Lex, can I ask you something?"

Lex steps into black pants and- are those sneakers? They are.

"Of course."

"Is sex really all they say it is?" So that's a good one, right? Good enough. And it was easier than he thought it would be. He tries to look casual as he tosses his pants on top of the growing pile of tux parts and pulls his jeans out of his backpack.

"Well, it depends Clark. Who are we talking about here? Lana?"

"Well... I guess."

Really? No, not Lana. But okay, she'll do. For now. Just keep talking Lex. Clark's hands are shaking a little as he pulls on his shoes. At least changing gives him an excuse not to look Lex in the eye while he's talking about sex.

"Then my guess is that it would be awkward, uncomfortable and embarrassing. I'm sure she's a virgin too Clark. First times don't usually go very well even if only one partner is a virgin. I doubt either of you'd know what to do."

"Lex?" Clark drops his shoes laces mid-tie and raises his head to look at Lex. Did he really just say that to him? Lex knows he's had a crush on Lana Lang his entire life. But really - what Lex said was probably true. And Clark's put Lana behind him now. It's just - well, it's been years of nothing but Lana. So it stings a little. He turns his attention back to his shoes, finishes tying them and looks back up at Lex, who's half-standing, head bumping the ceiling and legs spread for balance, tucking his gray ribbed shirt into his pants.

"Just being honest Clark. Trust me - even if everything went well it still wouldn`t be very enjoyable for either of you. Not until you know what you`re doing. Then things get more interesting."

Until you know what you're doing. How long will that take? And- interesting? Clark could live with interesting.

Lex buckles his belt without taking his eyes off Clark. He sits down on the seat, grabs one wrist with the other hand and raises his arms above his head. His shirt untucks just a little, perfectly even. Clark realizes that he's probably the only person on Earth who's seen Lex do that. It's like a secret. That only he knows. And he wants to pull Lex's shirt out of his pants just to see him do it again.

Okay, focus Clark. Next question. You can do this.

"Um. So, how many people have you been with anyway?"

"Why Clark? Keeping a record?" A grin. Lex's grin. For him.

Well, yes as a matter of fact. "Um - no. I was just curious."

"I lost count. I don't collect people - they just come in and out of my life."

In and out. Out. There's the rub. No one ever stays long. In fact, Clark has already outlasted all the others. At least the ones he knows about. But what about the ones he doesn't? The men that never make it all the way to the Luthor mansion. The ones Lex tries not to expose Smallville to.

"Right. Well, do you know how many men you've been with?" Clark didn't really mean to ask it that way, but there it was. Hanging in the air. Sounding ridiculous and nosy and really, he doesn't want to know the answer anyway.

"What makes you think I've been with men?"

Pete mentioned it when Clark said he was going to this gala with Lex - alone with Lex. He said that he wouldn't go anywhere alone with Lex, that people would talk. Clark didn't get it. So Pete said he'd explain it so Clark could understand. * "Lex plows both sides of the field, Clark."* And Clark's mouth had dropped open and he didn't even have to fake surprise.

But he couldn't tell Lex that he and Pete were gossiping about him. It seemed such a young thing to do. And he so didn't want to be young right now.

"I just thought - well, I'd heard-"

"I can imagine what you heard. Well, I'm not sure. Several. Why do you want to know?"

Clark doesn't want to know. He just wanted Lex to know that he knows that he is - bisexual? Say something Clark - anything. Quick.

And before he realizes that he's talking, he's already started another question. The one that he's been dying to have answered ever since that first dream.

"Is it- I mean - well, is it-" Oh, God. This is just painful. He can do this. Just needs a minute.

"Clark, just ask me. I'm not judging you here. Ask. If I don`t want to tell you, I won`t."

Lex sounds impatient. Clark pulls his thoughts together and comes up with something that sounds rational. Coherent even.

"Okay. When you're with them - is it like being with a woman?"

"No."

"No? That's it?" Come on, that`s just not fair, Lex.

"That's it for now. We're here."

Clark's fidgeting with his seatbelt and trips on the sidewalk, reaches for anything to steady himself and finds a fistful of Lex's shirt. He's such a klutz when he's nervous. He lets go, smoothes Lex's shirt out a little. He wonders if Lex even notices that Clark's rubbing his chest, but Lex just grabs his arm and pulls him through the door of the club behind him with a nod and a loaded handshake for the bouncer. Clark sways when they get inside, leaning against Lex a little. The music's thumping, lights flashing, people everywhere and he can't think. Lex yells in his ear to just stay close to him and then heads toward the bar.

Lex tosses some bills to the bartender, yells something at him and a minute later the guy sets a red drink down on a napkin in front of Clark, then walks away.

"What's this?"

"Just drink it. You trust me don't you?"

"Sure, but -" But Clark knows if he gets drunk, he might say something even more stupid than he already has.

"No buts. Just relax - drink it. You'll like it. It`s really very tame." Tame? Okay, Clark can do tame. Tame is his middle name. Clark Tame Kent.

The bartender comes back with a Martini for Lex. He takes a drink, his throat moving as he swallows, tongue flicking out to catch a stray drop. He nods sideways at the dance floor.

"I'm going out there - you coming?"

Coming? Did Lex just ask if he was coming? Oh - coming. Out on the dance floor. With Lex.

No way. No chance of getting Clark out there so he can fall on his face or- worse.

"I'll just stay here."

"Suit yourself Clark."

Lex drains the glass, pops the olive off the end of the toothpick and into his mouth and heads out into the mob chewing and smiling.

The pounding music, the smell of alcohol mixed with cigarette smoke, the people everywhere, it's all so overwhelming to Clark. He tries not to think about how back in the limo he thought he saw Lex's eyes lingering on him as he changed. But Lex is out there- almost completely concealed from Clark's view by gyrating bodies - being Lex. It's infuriating and irresistible at the same time. It feels so wrong not to tell him what he`s been thinking. It feels like he`s betraying him. But he knows he's not going to tell him the truth - not tonight. Not when Lex is rubbing more than elbows with scantily clad girls in a club.

Clark swivels on his bar stool, taking in the entire scene. People, lots of them. Mostly not talking - who can hear in this place anyway? Girls everywhere. And guys too. One guy in particular catches his eye. Leather pants, long hair, great shoes. He takes a small step sideways and Clark sees that he's hitting on a girl in a halter top and mini-skirt. She's hot, but really - what a shame.

He runs a hand through his hair. Must be a mess by now. He could probably stand to look in a mirror. Wonder if there's a restroom in this place? Wonder if it's safe to go in? Does he take his drink with him? Oh jeez - he'd better. He wants it but he knows he can't just leave it on the bar. He spots the restroom in the back of the club and starts to make his way towards it, drink in hand. He's trying not to look lost while he scoots between couples, parts groups to get by.

He's almost there when he spots Lex against a wall, almost completely covered by- a man. A man taller than Clark. With blond hair. And tight jeans. And no shirt. A man who's too close to Lex's face, whose left hand pins Lex's arm against the wall. Whose right fingers move down Lex's face, his chest, to his belt - and hook into a belt loop. And Lex is turning his head, looking away from where Clark is standing, at the floor. And the man - the man that Clark hates - bends down, comes up at Lex from underneath, kissing him. Lex straightens, but closes his eyes. And Clark wants to stare but can't stand it. He turns away, starts moving. One foot in front of the other. As fast as he can without shifting into super-speed.

He looks around for a place to- well, hide. An empty booth in the corner of the club - perfect. Still holding his drink, a small miracle in itself, he makes a beeline for the booth, sitting down on one side just as a young lady sits down on the other. Young lady? Well, that was generous. This redhead has on the tightest dress Clark's ever seen. It leaves nothing to the imagination. And that's good because Clark's imagination is very busy at the moment.

She's smiling at Clark like a fox. A fox with red hair spilling over her shoulders, curling at the tips. And long, perfect fingers that reach for his hand, a mouth laughing around perfect teeth. And Clark's belly feels warm from his drink. A waitress speed walks past them and Red calls out to her, telling her to bring two of something.

Trying to act cool, he drinks down the rest of his- whatever it is- and pushes the glass to the edge of the table for the Roadrunner waitress to pick up. He can't think of anything to say, doesn't really want to be bothered to try to think of something, and apparently that's just fine with Red. Well, as long as she's happy. He stretches his neck to try to see if Lex is back on the dance floor yet, but he doesn`t spot him. He settles back into the booth, his head swimming. He smiles as Red raises her newly-delivered beer for a toast. He clinks his bottle against hers and drinks.


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Lex is in the- kitchen? Fixing- something, making too much noise. Enough noise to wake Clark. His first thought is that Lex is doing it on purpose. His second is not so coherent.

He's sprawled on the couch in Lex`s penthouse. At least, he guesses it's Lex's penthouse. Hopes it is.

"Mmmph. Mmph - uh. Oh, ow. My head! What time is it? " God, what a price to pay for a little fun. His head is going to split open any second. And his tongue feels swollen and thick. Disgusting.

"Um, 10. Want one of these?" Lex lifts his glass and Clark stares, trying to focus on it. It looks like tomato juice with a yellow blob in the bottom of the glass. He thinks he knows what that yellow blob is and swallows hard.

"Is that a raw egg Lex???" Please say no. Please say no.

Oh, God - Lex is nodding.

"Redeye - hangover cure. It`s not so bad."

"Pass." Double pass. Clark puts his face back on the pillow, trying not to be sick. Trying just to feel his teeth. Okay, they're there. Is he even wearing clothes? He moves a hand under the covers. Boxers but no shirt. Well, that's something at least. He wonders if Lex brought that man back here last night. Probably not. Then again, he could be in the other room right now.

"Suit yourself. The headache won't go away unless you at least drink some water though. Here." Lex's arm swings a couple of times and he throws a bottle to Clark underhand.

The Ty-Nant bottle flies through the air and luckily, he catches it. That could have been really bad. He twists the top off and gulps down the cool water. Heaven. Perfect, clean, flavorless, odorless, silent liquid. So cold it almost washes down the lump in his throat.

"Thanks man."

"That's what I'm here for - hangover advice. Better get moving Clark - your parents are probably waiting on the porch by now, phone in hand, ready to call the police if they don't hear from you soon."

Oh shit. His parents. And it's 10 already, right? He's in for a lecture when he gets home.

"I'll call them-"

"Shower first, then you can call in the car - they`ll be happier if you`re already on your way home, clean and not smelling like a brewery."

Brewery? Oh - that's where the smell is coming from - him. Suddenly he's desperate to take a shower, get the stench off of himself.

"Okay. Hey Lex?"

"Uh huh?"

"How much did I drink last night?" Just for the record, you know. Pete will ask.

"Well, after the Cosmopolitan, you got hold of some nasty little imported beer. I don't know how many you had, but I found you in a corner with a redhead whose hands were under the table."

"Oh God. Really?"

Under the table? Doing what? Never mind, he didn't want to know.

"Yeah, but you didn't seem to mind. I got rid of her and put you back together, then brought you back here."

Put him back together? What was- apart? Oh man, this is so humiliating. Lex finding him like- like what? And having to baby-sit him like some... high school kid. Who got drunk for the first time. And did God knows what with a stranger. Clark can't believe this is happening. That isn't him. He would never do that. But he did. And Lex had to clean up after him.

"Thanks." It's not much, but it's all Clark can manage. Lex nods and smiles like it's nothing. Thank God for that.

"No problem. I just hope you had a good time."

"I'm sure if I could remember anything, I'd tell you I did."

Except for the fact that I saw you Lex. Saw you with him. Kissing him. And he just wants to say it, but he can't. He just can't.

"Get cleaned up and let's get out of here Clark. Your parents are waiting."

Shit, right. Parents. Shower. He pushes himself up off the couch too fast. Presses his palm to his forehead and walks- carefully - to the bathroom where he finds a towel and soap waiting for him on the counter. He strips off his boxers, turns on the shower and looks at himself in the mirror before it starts to steam up.

He looks like shit. Hair's a mess, eyes bloodshot, face - drawn. What a night. Well, at least he hadn't dreamed.


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It's been weeks since they were in Metropolis and Lex has barely called. Been busy, Clark guesses. But Clark doesn't feel like waiting anymore.

After school, he manages to side-step Chloe and Pete and runs to the Luthor mansion before he can chicken out. He pokes his head in the door to Lex's office, checking to see if Lex is there. He's on the phone but when he sees Clark, he waves him in. Clark steps in and frowns at the dark circles under Lex`s eyes. Lex hangs up the phone without saying goodbye.

"You look horrible Lex."

Lex looks up at him and his mouth grows into a smile.

"Thanks Clark. I didn`t get much sleep last night. What brings you out here?"

"My dad got a call from Earl. He's doing better. I thought you'd want to know." Sounds pretty good as far as lame excuses go, but he thinks Lex is buying it.

Lex tosses down the papers he's been reading and leans back in his chair.

"I know Clark. I went to see him in the hospital yesterday."

Lex grudgingly pulls his chair back up to the desk and starts typing on his laptop. Is that a dismissal? It seems like one. So Clark starts to make an exit. But doesn't try very hard.

"Oh. Well I can see you`re busy. I`ll go."

Lex doesn't take his eyes off his work and Clark can't move. He wants to pull Lex away from his desk and just- make everything better. He's been standing there silent too long, and Lex notices.

"Wanna tell me what Lana did this time?"

"What do you mean?"

Lana? Who said anything about Lana?

"Clark. You come skulking into my office with some lame excuse about letting me know how Earl's doing when you know perfectly well that I'm on top of his case. Besides, there aren't many secrets in Smallville Clark. Small town, you know? I know Lana`s going away with Nell for summer vacation - I am her boss now, remember? She had to ask for the time off. Don`t worry. She`ll only be gone a few weeks."

"It's really not Lana, Lex." Not at all.

"What is it then?" The man. In the club. It's him -and you.

"Nothing." Its sounds unconvincing even to Clark, and he wishes he could think of some insignificant thing to tell Lex so he could just leave. Coming here was a mistake. Lex is busy. And Clark's a high school kid. Who saw something he shouldn't have at the club. Something between Lex and his- lover? The thought makes him crazy jealous.

He's about to just turn and go when Lex key-locks his screen, slaps his laptop shut, and grabs a handful of signed papers from his desk. He swings on his jacket and motions Clark out the door, locking it behind him.

"Let's get some coffee Clark. I need to drop these papers off at the Talon anyway."

Clark is just moving - letting Lex guide him through the halls with silent directions.

"So what kept you awake last night Lex?" A dream maybe?

Lex's phone rings and he flips it open. Clark wonders if Lex knows how cool he looks when he`s on that phone. It's sleek, silver, fits perfectly in Lex's hand. And Lex always uses his other hand to gesture while he's talking.

"Lex Luthor... no, I didn't...no, he didn't...no, you won't...I'll take care of it myself. Cancel the appointment with Dominic and tell him I am not at my father's beck and call." He slaps the phone shut and slides it into his jacket.

"Not what Clark - who."

"Huh?"

"You asked what's keeping me up at night. It's a person. But hopefully I`ll be able to put it all behind me soon."

Yep, definitely the guy at the bar then. He wants to track him down and clobber him for making Lex so miserable. What had he done? Cheated on Lex? Dumped him? Whatever it was, it was bad. But now was not the time to bring it up - not with Lex so edgy.

So he tries to look interested in the walls as they walk - not difficult with all the paintings, maps and antiques.

What was that herb mom uses? Bella - Belladonna.

"Mom says Belladonna works great if you can't sleep."

"Yeah, but take enough and you never have to worry about sleeping again."

Lex opens a door, hits a button on the wall and the garage door grinds open. Thumbing his key chain, the horn sounds on his newest Porsche. Sweet car, but tiny. Claustrophobic even.

Clark opens the passenger door and crams himself into the compact car, ducking his head and all but sticking his knees in his ears. He wonders why Lex got another Porsche. He's not a small man either and his head almost touches the roof, just like Clark's. He looks almost as uncomfortable as Clark feels.

"Great car Lex. Could you get anything smaller next time?"

"Don`t they say that size doesn`t matter?"

Eyebrows raised, Clark smiles and reaches for the radio. Lex's hand catches his before he can turn it on.

"Headache."

Clark just nods. Is Lex getting sick maybe? He really looks beat.

Lex starts the car, pulls out of the Luthor mansion and heads for town.

In just a few awkwardly silent minutes, they round the corner and pull up in front of the Talon. Lex yanks the emergency break up too hard and glances at Clark. Man, Lex can say a lot in a glance.

"I shouldn't have asked why you can't sleep Lex - I'm sorry. None of my business." And really, it is none of his business. Except that he wants it to be his business.

"I'm just preoccupied Clark, that's all."

Clark climbs out of the car and stretches. Really, it's too small to cost so much. Clark is ten steps in front of Lex so he turns and holds the Talon door. They grab a table by the window and Clark hooks his backpack over the back of his chair. He wishes he hadn't brought it with him to Lex's. It just screams `young.' Should've left it at the Talon.

Lana bobs into his sight, tablet on her tray and pencil in hand. Lex smiles up at her and it almost looks genuine. Almost.

"Ms. Lang -- nice to see you again. Drop any dishes today?" And there it was. Lex always seemed to work an insult into every conversation he had with Lana. At least the conversations that Clark had overheard.

Lana's not the greatest waitress, but Lex didn't have to be that rude. Then again, she's staring at her notepad like she's going to find the answer somewhere on it and mumbles a very guilty, "Um."

" In that case, I'll have a Cafe Mocha with whip - in a Styrofoam cup. Oh, and here are those contracts Nell wanted signed. I only pulled one of them - she can call me if she has any questions about it. Can you make sure she gets them tonight?"

How strange. Caf Mocha? Clark thought he knew Lex better than that.

"You got it Lex. What about you Clark?" He pulls his eyes from Lex, brows still furrowed, and answers her.

"Coffee."

"Comin' right up boys."

Both of them watch her walk away. She stretches up, holding her tray over her head as another waitress passes beside her in the narrow aisle. When Clark looks back at Lex, he's looking at him and smiling and nodding.

"You've got good taste Clark." Clark rolls his eyes. You have no idea Lex.

"I thought you always got Cappuccinos."

"I do, and that's what I just ordered. I finally figured out what to ask for so Lana will bring me a Cappuccino. You should've tasted the lattes I had to go through to get it right!"

Clark smiles and relaxes. Just a technicality - he really does know Lex better than that. Caf Mocha -with whip. What a laugh.

"So, what are your plans for the summer Clark?" Huh? Um, nada. Zilch. Zero. High school Freshman here, remember Lex?

"You know, chores, reading, more chores. There's a lot of work on the farm."

"That hardly sounds like a summer vacation. Why not go somewhere?"

"Well, Pete and I usually go fishing..."

"That's not what I mean. I mean somewhere besides Smallville."

"Well Dad needs me to stick close to the farm." He can't bring himself to tell Lex that he can't afford to go anywhere. He's used to being on a budget, but Lex wouldn't understand. He'd just throw some expensive trip at Clark and wait for a postcard.

"Surely he can spare you for a couple of weeks. Where would you go if you could go anywhere?"

Clark doesn't know. There are so many choices. And he hasn't let himself consider any of them. He's not into masochism, after all.

"I haven`t thought about it really. Anywhere would be new. Even Metropolis would be an adventure compared to Smallville."

"So go. My penthouse is just sitting there - empty."

"I don't know Lex, that's your place and - ." And he can't just say that he wouldn't want to be there without Lex. It would be too strange - he'd feel like he was peeking into Lex's medicine cabinet or something.

"And I'm not using it. Listen Clark, you don't have to clean or cook or anything while you're there. Order in every night. I'll take care of everything. You can sit around all day and read or go to every museum in Metropolis for all I care. Go visit Chloe at the Daily Planet - they're rough on the interns and I bet she'd be happy to see a friendly face. Just give yourself some time away from the farm. I`ll even come into town when I can and we can go clubbing again."

Clubbing. Again. With Lex. And ending the night in the Penthouse. With Lex. Again. Only this time, he wouldn't get caught by a red fox or blinded by alcohol. He'd stay sober and pray that Lex didn't. Because he could see things happening between them. Maybe some not-innocent-enough-to-dismiss-later things.

"Maybe... I'll have to think about it."

"That sounds like a `yes' to me. Clark, just do it. You saved my life - twice - I can't give you any presents. Just take this at least."

"I'll have to check with my parents you know."

"Good, here are the keys - remember how to get there? Of course you don't - we were in the limo and you were - well. Okay. I'll write out the directions for you, or I can get Maurice to drive you there when you decide you want to go. There's a BMW in the garage at the penthouse if you want to drive somewhere - the space number's on the key. Blue opens the penthouse door, red opens the garage, green the mailbox, yellow is the car key. It's all yours."

Here are the keys? Is Lex crazy? This is nuts - giving your penthouse to a sixteen-year-old on a whim? No. Lex had this planned. He's already made copies of the keys. Clark can't believe this. Lex knew he would say yes.

"Uh, Lex - how long have you been planning on offering me this?"

"Here are your drinks boys!" Clark could strangle Lana - she has the worst timing.

Lex lifts the lid on his drink, blows on it and takes a big gulp. He sneaks a smile to Clark who returns it. It must be a cappuccino.

"Delicious as ever Ms. Lang. You make the best Caf Mocha in town." Lex is so good at that. Dismissing people without offending them. Lana nods her thanks with a smile.

"I have like five tables waiting on me guys - catch you later?" Good, at least she won't be bothering us. Oh, wait - he's supposed to be in love with her. Riiiiiight.

"Sure, Lana. Whenever you get the chance!" It comes out sounding too enthusiastic and he feels like a dork. He's never been a very good actor.

"Well, Clark, it's been good talking but I'd better get going. Want a ride home?" Um, yes. Home. Anywhere.

Clark nods, stands up and shoulders his backpack. Lex throws some bills on the table and pushes his chair back.

They climb into the car and Lex's hand goes straight to the radio, turning it up loud - then to the gear shift and they're being blasted by music and flying through town before Clark can say anything. Not that he could think of anything worth saying when he's this close to Lex.

He leans back, eyes closed against the long rays of the setting sun. He's just thinking about what he would do on a vacation in Metropolis when he feels something brush his arm. Lex's elbow. Rubbing his arm when he changes gears. Clark inhales deeply, trying to remain calm. It was a dream Clark. Not real. He`s not really - interested in Lex. Not interested in doing those things with Lex. Not... really.

Lex speeds up, smoothly transferring the car into the next gear. And the light brush against his arm again. And then Clark feels the weight of Lex's hand on his. Maybe he's dreaming again. No. That is definitely Lex's hand, holding his so... gently. And Clark`s stomach flip-flops when he realizes what that hand on his means. He stays perfectly still, muscles tense and eyes closed. He lowers his head just a tiny bit, takes a deep breath, smiles just a little, pretends to not notice that Lex is holding his hand.

"Clark?"

"Mmm?" It's all he can do to get that out.

"You awake?" No way to deny it now. He has to answer Lex.

"Define awake."

Yes, Lex, awake. And not moving this hand for anything.

"Is this okay?" Lex sounds so - unsure. It's very unLexlike and honestly, it makes Clark nervous. But the hand on his is more than okay. And that was the question. So he tries to answer.

"Mmmm."

That was a yes. Clark thinks maybe this is a beginning. Where his dream starts being reality - and the line between friendship and well, more is at least starting to blur a bit.

When they get close to the Kent farm, Clark hears the change of sound on the tires from pavement to gravel and opens his eyes, smiling at Lex. Then his eyes fall on Lex`s hand and Lex moves it to the gear shift. Nothing - no indication that Lex is happy - or- anything. He grasps for something to say - something to break the silence.

"You know, I don't even know how to drive a five speed. Dad won't let me drive the truck yet - not even around the farm." Clark can almost see a light bulb appear over Lex's head.

"Maybe it's time you had a lesson Clark."

He slams on the brakes and Clark's backpack hit's the back of his seat.

"Lex, Jesus! What are you doing?" Well, that woke him up. Back to reality now for sure.

"Clark, every young man should know how to drive a five speed. Automatics are for the weak. Come on, you`re going to drive." Lex opens his door and heads around to the passenger side, sliding in past Clark, who`s just standing there by the door.

He can't do this - this is a Porsche for God's sake. What if he wrecks it?

"Lex, I don't think I should-"

"Of course you should Clark, now get in." Clark opens the door and eases in behind the wheel.

"Lex, maybe I should start on something less - well, expensive."

"You're starting now Clark. Left foot on the clutch. Right on the break. Put it in neutral." Clark obeys and Lex wriggles the gearshift around to make sure it's in neutral.

"Okay, now start the car."

"Lex I think this is a bad idea-" But he starts the car. Lex smiles and reaches for his seatbelt.

"Good, now take your foot off the break. Right. Now slowly - VERY slowly, lift your foot off the clutch while you give it some gas. It`s all about balance."

The Porsche lurches forward and stalls. How embarrassing. Clark wants to get out, switch back, crawl under the too-small seat and bury his head.

"See Lex, I told you this was a bad idea."

"Do you know how many times I did that before I got it right Clark? Keep trying. Come on - left foot on the clutch, right on the brake. Put it in neutral."

They repeat the process until Clark is finally cruising past the Kent's south field. He knows he's grinning like a fool, but he can`t help it. And he doesn`t really care. He turns into the farm, downshifting too slowly and letting out the clutch too fast, and the car jerks to a halt. Shit. Almost had a perfect run.

"Oops."

Lex smiles and nods. "You did great Clark. My first drive was across a parking lot. I never got out of first."

"And now you never stay in first." Little grin.

"Clark, no one stays in first. You can't get anywhere if you stay in first - you'll see."

"We'd better switch seats before my Dad sees." Clark glances nervously at the house, the barn. Jonathan must be out in the fields. There's no sign of him or Martha.

"Definitely - I don't want to give him anything else to be mad at me about. You'll just have to pretend to learn all this again when he finally teaches you."

Lex climbs out of the car and passes Clark on his way to the driver's side. Clark grabs his arm. He just wants - contact.

"Thanks, Lex."

"No problem Clark."

And he's still holding onto Lex's arm. Lex looks down at it and Clark jerks his hand away. Raising his eyebrows, Lex reaches for Clark's hand. Folds his fingers into Clark's, palm to palm. Oh God. This is- nothing. It has to be nothing. But it's everything. And Clark knows it. Lex drops his hand and gets back in the driver's side, slamming the door.

"Shit."

Clark opens his door and stuffs himself back into the seat.

"Lex-"

"Home Clark - we've got to get you home."

No, you're not getting away so easy Lex. We're going to have this conversation. If he's going to work up the courage, Lex is going to listen.

"I need to talk to you Lex - and not at my house."

"Clark. You`re going home." Lex seems agitated. Angry, almost. Distant.

"No Lex, I'm not. I need to talk and you need to listen." And Clark's never sounded like this before. Where is this coming from? From the dream. This happened in his dream. Almost exactly the same thing, the same way. And Clark knows exactly what to say. And what will happen when he says it. And he's not scared - he's just... anxious.

"Where?" Lex is still somewhere else. But not for long.

"Anywhere - just drive."

Lex backs up the car, spins around and takes off down the long, straight road. He's fumbling around in his jacket for his sunglasses. Can't find them. Clark snakes his hand in and pulls them out of the breast pocket. That got a smile from Lex.

"Saw you put them in there at the Talon."

"Thanks." Lex takes the sunglasses, shakes them open and slides them on. It's too hot and Clark wishes Lex would roll down the windows. He turns his head to look at Lex and he wants to tell him about the dream. But he can't stop thinking about him kissing that man. He's not sure where to start. The man? The dream?

He gives Lex what he hopes is a desperate look - hoping he'll help him out.

" So Clark, what is it you want to talk about?" An opener if there ever was one. But Clark can't bring himself to confess the dream yet.

"Remember the night of the gala? I saw you with that man at the club Lex. I was looking for the bathroom and I saw you. Him - you - kissing him."

And there it was. This thing Clark had been carrying around with him, making his stomach knot up and making him desperate to confront Lex without making things worse.

"I didn't kiss him Clark." He's lying - how could he lie?

"Lex I saw you -"

"No Clark, you saw him kiss me. There's a difference."

Right. Sure, Lex. He kissed you. Technicality.

"Whatever. So are you - together?" Subtle, Clark. Why don't you just blurt out that you're jealous?

Lex gives him a strange look, like he`s weighing him.

"We had a relationship. It's in the past. It was a long time ago. Why the sudden interest?"

"I just wondered. I mean, you've seemed really strange since that night and I thought maybe he - upset you. Is he why you can't sleep?"

"It's not him." Lex takes a deep breath. "It's you."

"Me?" Me. Me? Really? Clark's heart pounds and he tries his best not to look giddy.

He's still turned towards Lex, making an effort to look shocked. It`s not too hard considering that he`s scared to death now. Fear and shock look a lot the same on Clark's face.

"Shut your mouth, Clark - it's not that big of a deal."

"Not that big of a - are you kidding? Yes it is. You - you think of me like that?"

"I think of you lots of ways Clark. Friend, child, little brother, and yes, sometimes - lover."

Lover. Clark swallows the golf ball in his throat and looks down as Lex reaches over and touches his leg. Lex is comforting him. Showing him that his touch can be innocent, friendly. Without any sexual connotations whatsoever.

"Don't worry, I'm not going to attack you. I assure you - I'm harmless. Well. Mostly."

Lex thinks Clark's worried that he'll come on to him. But Clark is scared that he *won't*. It's almost funny. Almost.

A long silence. Too long. Painfully long. Clark swallows again and Lex turns on the a/c. Thank God. He clears his throat and plays with the corner of his flannel shirt, not knowing where to look, what to say next. He wants to know what Lex thinks about - what he dreams when he actually does sleep.

"What do you - think about?" God he hopes Lex knows what he means.

"Are you sure you really want to know, Clark?"

He actually pauses to think about it, curiosity and embarrassment warring. Curiosity wins. He nods and Lex's mouth shows a tiny, faint smile.

Lex nods and pulls the car over, leaving a black trail on the pavement, smell of burnt rubber filtering in through the vents and rough shriek of tires echoing in the still car. And his lips are soft and warm on Clark's - comforting and - strangely - familiar. Lex is so gentle - and it's so hot. And then he's gone. He's looking at Clark, waiting for a reaction. Clark's not sure what he's supposed to say.

"That. That's what I think about. Well, that and more." Lex waits, impossible pleading look on his face, like he's expecting - a punch, a laugh, something negative and he's begging Clark not to do it.

Clark reaches up to touch his own lips in wonder. Like he can't believe they just kissed. His mouth curls into a smile and he moves his fingers from his lips to Lex's. Has to touch - so soft. Lex doesn't pull away at all. Permission granted, he leans forward and kisses Lex. It's different this time, more desperate, more passionate, not nearly as innocent or awkward. Their tongues mingle and Lex licks Clark's lips softly as he starts to lean away. Good thing Clark isn't standing up because he literally can't feel his legs.

"Wow."

That wasn't what he meant to say. He meant to tell Lex that he'd been waiting for this - for him - for days. Weeks. For years - for his whole life maybe.

"Yeah?" Lex sounds like can't believe this is happening either.

"Lex, I`ve thought about you too." Clark wants him to know, to know- everything.

"You have not - Clark, you`ve been moping around about Lana since I met you."

Oh God, not Lana again. Please, not now.

"Everyone expects me to like her. She's untouchable - unreachable - she has been for years. Every time I get close, she says something about Whitney. It's torture."

Lex is listening, patiently.

"So, I gave up trying to get close to her. I`ve just been going through the motions because everyone expected me to. And, well, it's habit now. That's all. Honest."

"You don`t love her? I mean, if she was here right now, offering herself to you, you wouldn`t take her?"

"No. I don't even think about her anymore when I - when I think about that." Good Clark, just go ahead and tell Lex that you jack off. That's not embarrassing at all.

"What do you think about Clark? What turns you on?"

Clark looks down at his shoes. He does not want Lex to know everything. Not anymore. It's too- honest.

"I don`t want you to know"

"Why?"

"It`s embarrassing." And Lex would probably throw him out of the car and never call him again.

"Clark, it's not embarrassing. Look at me. I'm not embarrassed. It's sex. It's human nature to think about it."

"Human nature. Right." How ironic.

"Have you read any Walt Whitman Clark?"

Huh? They just kissed and he wants to talk about dead poets?

"What?"

"Walt Whitman. `If life and the soul are sacred the human body is sacred. And the glory and sweet of a man is the token of manhood untainted.' Clark, you can tell me what turns you on. You're my friend - you're beautiful to me - and I'm not going to judge you."

Friend? Right. They are friends. The best - the closest of friends. And Clark can tell him anything. And that shouldn't change just because some boundaries of friendship are blurring. So he just takes a second to get his courage up.

"I had a dream about you and. Well. You... you were touching me and kissing me and I - I woke up in a soaked bed. I think about it all the time. I think about you - doing those things to me. It`s stupid, I know."

"Everyone dreams about their friends like that at some point. That doesn`t mean you`re attracted to me. It was just a dream. It means nothing."

"Nothing?" Oh God, it can't mean nothing. It doesn't mean nothing - to Clark.

"Well, yes. It was a dream. It doesn't mean you want to actually do it."

"What if I do?" Is he really here, in Lex's car saying these words to him? Keep it together Clark. It's Lex and if all of this was just over some meaningless dream, it wouldn't be happening. It. Wouldn't. Be. Happening. If it was all just about the dream. But it isn't. About the dream. At all.

Clark reaches across Lex's arm and starts to loosen his tie. Lex flinches and Clark almost stops. But then Lex reaches up, jerks his tie loose and slips it off over his head, tossing it into the backseat. Clark's hands are fumbling with Lex's shirt buttons and Lex is smiling at him, his hand resting passively on Clark's thigh. What is wrong with this shirt? Jesus!

"Clark, let me." Lex quickly unbuttons his shirt. Thank you Lex. And then his hands are pushing it off Lex's shoulders before he realizes that Lex is wearing cufflinks.

"Whoa Clark - take it easy. I'm not going anywhere."

"Sorry I just- I need to see you- "

And Lex's mouth covers his before he can finish apologizing. Clark leans away long enough to pull his shirt and sweater over his head. There`s too much room between them. He just looks at Lex. It's an awkward moment. This is the point of no return. Once they've done this, there's no going back to just being friends. He's is waiting for Lex to retreat. He doesn't, though. He doesn't.

He's not sure where to put his hands. But when he slides one lightly across Lex's chest, then down his side, it makes Lex suck in air. He must be doing something right, then.

Lex pulls him in for another kiss. And Clark's body just takes over. He's not even really thinking as his mouth follows the line he traced with his hand a minute ago.

And when he tastes Lex's stomach, Clark knows he`s down there for a reason. And it`s terrifying and thrilling and he doesn`t think he`s even breathing anymore. The sound of Lex's zipper is deafening when he opens it. His hand feels cool on Lex's hot skin. He licks his lips, rolls them back over his teeth just a little, absently wondering where he learned he was supposed to do that.

Tasting Lex is amazing. Salt, and God- sex. Full, overwhelming and like - Lex. Clark turns his head a little so he can take a quick glance at Lex. His eyes are closed and Clark just stares at him, burning the moment into his memory. Lex moans his encouragement and Clark wants to kiss him again, but he doesn't think he should move away yet. But then Lex grabs Clark`s shoulder and tugs at it.

"Clark. Stop. Clark - stop." Was he reading Clark's mind?

He sits up slowly, kisses Lex again, keeps moving his hand along Lex's length. Lex reaches down, lifts Clark's hand off of him and brings it to his mouth. He kisses it and smiles.

"What's wrong?"

Clark leans back on his seat, completely pulling away from Lex, trying to give him as much space as he could want. He wants to open the door, climb out and speed home. He wants to forget this ever happened.

"I don't want you to do this Clark."

Oh God. Clark can't believe this. Lex didn't want this? "Lex -" He wants to apologize. To ask Lex to forget it ever happened. To beg Lex to forgive him for ever thinking this could happen between them. But Lex puts a hand over Clark's mouth.

"Clark, not yet. Not here, not like this." It's such a relief that Clark actually laughs.

"Then when, where?" He doesn't even care that he sounds too anxious.

"My penthouse Clark." Lex is watching him for a reaction again. And suddenly it dawns on Clark - the penthouse. In Metropolis. He puts it together, like he's just heard it for the first time. And he smiles. And it's contagious. Lex pulls Clark's head down on his chest and leans back. Clark wraps his arms around him in a tight embrace. This is nice. Not like when he hugs Martha or Jonathan or Chloe. Something infinitely more intimate.

"Lex, how long have you been planning this?"

"Not long. I didn't even think it was possible until you saved me on Level 3. That night, after our parents left, I gave you a ride home - do you remember?"

Lex's breath on his hair, almost tickling his neck.

"Yeah - and I remember you were hurt. Your back and ribs were bruised but you wouldn't go to the hospital."

"You lifted my shirt and looked at my back when I told you I was fine. You didn't ask -you just did it - like it was the most natural thing in the world to be pulling my shirt up and touching me. I think I started thinking it was possible then. Hoping it was anyway."

"I wanted to take care of you. I wanted you to stay at my house that night."

"I remember Clark. You see why I couldn't now, right?" Clark hadn't even had his dreams yet, but he wonders if Lex sleeping in his bed would have been enough to make Clark realize.

"So that night - if you'd stayed, then we would've-"

"Would've what?"

"Well, you know - been together."

"Jesus, Clark - you're so young. You can't even say the word fuck - how are you going to do it?"

Clark feels his muscles tighten at the insult. But for a second, he wonders if maybe Lex is right.

"Sorry, Clark. It's just that I'm not sure you really know what you`re getting into here. You`ve never been with anyone. Don`t you want to be with a woman first?"

Clark shakes his head. That is definitely not what he wants.

"How do you know that you won`t regret being with me your first time?" And a rush of cold as Clark sits up and leans back on his own seat. The absence of Lex's arms around him, his fingers in his hair, is almost painful.

"I just know, Lex. I`m usually so nervous when I think about having sex, but when I think about having it with you, I know I`ll be okay - whatever happens. It's just that I know you`ll be there with me."

"Okay, Clark."

Now Clark's scared again. This could go wrong in so many ways. A million `what-ifs` flood his head. He looks to Lex for help. "Okay?"

"We'll just go really slowly. You call the shots. I'll tell you whatever you want to know. I'll lead you through it. But it's not going to happen in a car by a cornfield. Let`s get you home."

"Your penthouse then, right?" Clark smirks and pulls his shirts back on. Lex fastens his pants and buttons his shirt, tucking it as best he can sitting in the car. He doesn't do the untucking trick and Clark lets himself be a little disappointed.

Lex starts up the car and heads back towards the Kent farm.

"You know, I'll never get mom and dad to agree to let me stay in Metropolis alone."

"Leave that to me Clark," Lex says - like he has this part already figured out.

They peel into the Kent driveway, kicking up a dust cloud laced with green flecks. They slide to a stop in front of the house. Clark turns to thank him for the ride and Lex gives him a quick kiss.

"I`m coming in, Clark."

"For dinner? I'm sure mom made enough. She likes to cook one day and have leftovers the next so she can have more time."

"I'm not coming inside to eat, Clark, but thanks."

"Then why are you coming in?"

"I'm going to get you a vacation in Metropolis." Lex grins at him. Clark smiles back, but he's really wishing Lex wouldn't even try. It's nuts. His dad will never go for it. Not in a million years.

Lex thuds up the wooden porch stairs ahead of Clark, but waits for him to open the door. His mom is in the kitchen and smiles at the boys when they come in.

"Clark, good - you're home. Dinner's almost ready. Oh, hi Lex - what brings you here?"

"Just giving Clark a lift home Mrs. Kent."

"Well thank you, Lex. Would you like to stay for dinner?"

"Thank you, Mrs. Kent. I'm sorry - I can't. I just wanted to talk to you and Mr. Kent for a moment."

Clark tosses his backpack on a chair and kisses his mom on the cheek.

His dad comes clunking into the room right on cue and apparently in full costume. He smells like hay and is tugging off his work gloves.

"Clark, where have you been? It's nearly 6 and your chores aren't done."

Clark winces. "Sorry Dad. I stopped by Lex's to tell him about Earl." It was a good excuse for him once already today, may as well try it out again. Lex takes a step towards Jonathan and smiles.

"I've been keeping up with his case Mr. Kent, but I appreciate your son's visit. There was something I wanted to ask you and Mrs. Kent anyway."

"Then ask, Lex." And there is slight exasperation there, slight annoyance. But not as much as usual. Clark thinks there may be a chance there. Come on Lex, you can do this.

"I have a property in Hawaii that is booked for three weeks next month, but obviously I'm not going to be able to go now that we've started the cleanup of level 3. I can't cancel the reservations - they were of the better ends of a bargain I made with a business colleague of mine. I want to pass that bargain on to you and Mrs. Kent. Give you a chance to get away and get some much-deserved rest. What do you say?"

His dad looks surprised, to say the least. Mom looks just as shocked, but also suddenly... eager. Ah, thank you, mom.

"And what exactly is our end of the deal?"

"You supply my produce for six months without charge."

His mom raises her eyebrows and purses her lips, waiting for his dad's reaction. Waiting hopefully. He stares at Lex like he's trying to figure out the catch in this bargain.

"I'm sorry Lex, we can't leave Clark. Besides, the farm doesn't take care of itself you know."

"I thought you'd say that. So I'll put Clark in my penthouse in Metropolis and you hire whoever you want to cover the farm until you get back. I promise I'll order enough produce that it will be an equal trade. I have some meetings and parties coming up that will have to be catered. I`m sure I`ll be ordering more than enough to cover the deal."

"We'll have to talk it over." His father has that look on his face. The one that he gets when Clark does something stupid and he's about to give him a lecture.

"Fair enough. Clark has my cell number. Just call when you decide."

And when Lex leaves, his dad shakes his head at him.

"You knew he was doing this, didn't you Clark?"

"He told me he thought I should get a summer vacation. But I didn't know about the Hawaii thing."

"Jonathan, it's the opportunity of a lifetime. We could have a real honeymoon." His mom's practically begging for this.

"You know we can't leave Clark. Especially not with Lex. He's- he's a Luthor and I won't trust him with Clark."

"Dad, you don't have to trust him. Trust me." Clark's searching his father's face for any sign that those were the right words. His only reward is a sideways glance and a nod from his mom. He knows it's time to get out of there so they can talk alone.

"I'll be in the barn." He stops at the edge of the porch, willing himself to keep moving, but he can`t help it. Clark has to hear how this turns out. He can't wait.

"Jonathan, we need to trust Clark on this one. He's shown us that we can trust him, that people can't manipulate him. That he knows what he's doing. He can be careful. He needs to know that we know that. "He would be safe there. The place has enough security for Fort Knox. I know you're right Martha, but it's Lex Luthor. What if-"

"What if we don't trust Clark this time and he doesn't ever get another opportunity to prove himself? What if he goes looking for trust somewhere else? We have to do this Jonathan - for him."

Jonathan crosses the kitchen, pulling Martha against his chest. "And for us too, right honey?"

"For us too Jonathan."

Completely elated, Clark speeds to the barn and stretches out on the couch, feet on the arm and hands behind his head.

Metropolis. Three whole weeks of Lex. And in the city too. Now this is a dream.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

His fingers are so shaky that he has to dial the number three times to get it right. This is it.

"Lex Luthor." Thank God he answered. Clark doesn't think he could have handled voicemail right now.

"It's Clark."

"Hey, Clark. I was just about to call you."

Clark takes a deep breath, holds it for a second, then just lets go of it. Because they both know this is coming. And it's time.

"Lex, I'm ready to go to Metropolis. I'm all packed and mom and Dad went on to Metropolis tonight so they can catch their plane tomorrow morning."

"Great Clark. Want me to send Maurice to drive you there tonight then?" Here comes the hard part.

"No."

"Okay. When do you want him to come by?"

"I don't." He's trying to tell Lex, but he keeps interrupting him.

"You don't? Have you changed your mind Clark?" God, Lex. Just give me a second. Breath. Okay, here goes.

"No. I want you to take me. I want you there with me. Tonight." Lex is silent for a moment on the other end of the line. But not for too long.

"Tonight, Clark? That's - fast."

"Tonight. Can we go?"

"Sure. I'll have to pack a few things and then I'll pick you up. Say, 5 o'clock? We can get dinner and then go on to Metropolis."

How can Lex think of food at a time like this? No way Clark is eating on this stomach.

"Great. I'll see you at 5." And Clark hangs up before he can say anything stupid. Or make any stupid noises - like, say - a whimper?

He opens his suitcase, double-checks everything in there. Decides he needs a couple more pairs of socks. Gets them from the laundry room. Goes to the kitchen, makes sure the stove is off, the fridge is empty of any possible source of a three-week-old foul odor, walks around the table, neatly pushing in the chairs. He knows he's just killing time. Fidgeting, really. It's 4:40 and he's dying here. Be early Lex, just be early.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And Lex is early. He shows up just as Clark is locking up the house. He was going to wait on the porch but he's so thankful he doesn't have to.

When he climbs into Lex's Blazer, he has to smile. This is a Clark-sized car. Lex did this on purpose. For him.

All through dinner, Clark's silent. He's not sure what to say. What do you say when you know you`re going to be with someone? When you're so nervous you can barely hold your fork? Still, he`s with Lex. And it's just like dinner with Lex always is, almost the casual, comfortable silence they`re used to. So he tries to enjoy the eggplant ravioli appetizer and push his nervousness down where it won`t disturb the food.

When Clark's steak arrives, he asks for A-1 and a straw for his Coke. Lex grins at him and he suddenly feels like a fish in a tree. But hey, the restaurant actually has A-1 and straws, so he can't be the first one to have asked.

Clark wants to tell Lex how scared he is. How nervous. How worried. He almost says something about it to Lex a few times. But he's not sure he wants Lex to know. He's hoping he can just sail through this like a - well, not like a virgin, that's for sure. But for now, the silence was fine with him. Electric even, charged with anticipation.

But once they're back on the road, darkness surrounding them as they drive toward the hazy light that must be Metropolis, Clark feels more comfortable with the idea of telling Lex. He wants to let him know all the things he's going through. Maybe he'll know what Clark should do to get over being nervous.

"Lex, we need to talk." Lex has a hand on Clark's knee and he looks a little worried, but turns to look at Clark and smiles just a little.

"Okay - what's up?"

"I am completely clueless. I don't know anything. About sex. Especially sex with - another man." Okay, Clark's just spilling it. Sloppily, haphazardly - he doesn't care. Just so long as it comes out and Lex hears it.

"That's the point Clark. You're not supposed to know anything yet. The fun part is learning. And you won't ever know everything about sex. It's different with every single person. Everyone has to learn when they have sex. You learn about the person you're with - what they want and need."

"But I mean I don't even know where to start."

"So I'll start."

"But what if I-" Lex cuts him off before he can share that particular fear.

"Clark, you're going to be wonderful. You're going to feel good, you're going to make me feel good. You're going to be excited and terrified and nervous and perfect. And you`re going to love it."

"How do you know?"

"Because it's you. And it's you with me. You're going to be fine."

Clark nods, but is silent the rest of the way there, not even feeling the need to speak. But when Lex pulls into the garage and parks, he nearly falls out of the car, catching his foot on the door frame. So clumsy when he's nervous. Well, if that's the most embarrassing thing that happens tonight, Clark will count himself lucky.

"Clark, come here." Lex grabs his hand and pulls him over to him, leaning back against the car. He reaches up and cups Clark's face in his hands. God, those hands. Clean and perfect. A tiny hint of roughness, a thin streak of a scar on his left palm. Lex's hands. And they're on him. Already.

"I won't let you do this if you're not ready."

"I'm ready. I just - I don't know what to do. What if I do something wrong? What if I hurt you?"

"Clark, I won't let you hurt me. You can't hurt me. It's all a matter of trust. I trust you."

"I trust you too. I just don`t know if I trust myself." Lex stretches up just a little to meet Clark's mouth. Clark's arms fold around him and he doesn't even feel the cold of the parking garage now.

"Let's go upstairs Lex."

The elevator ride is too long, too quiet. Lex keeps giving Clark encouraging looks, tries to make him laugh by offering a lame joke from that afternoon`s board meeting. Clark's tapping his fingers on the side of his bag and fingering a button on his shirt with his other hand. Lex reaches over and stops the tapping. Clark's hand is freezing and Lex takes it between his hands to warm it. So nervous.

The elevator opens and they step out, into the penthouse. It's even bigger than Clark remembered. Of course, he was hung over the last time he was here. The marble tiles under their feet shine when Lex grabs the remote and adjusts the lighting. Clark stands in the entryway, not knowing where to go.

"You know where the bedroom is Clark. Put your stuff in there and come back out. I have a surprise for you."

Right. Stuff in bedroom. And a surprise? Clark carries his suitcase into the bedroom and picks a low table along the wall to put it on. He takes a second to look around. The bed is huge - must be a king. Mirrors line one wall and what look like closet doors line another. And a wall of windows. Overlooking downtown Metropolis. He pushes the long blinds to the side and stares at the lights, the metal, the enormity of the buildings. It takes his breath away. After a few moments he realizes Lex is still waiting for him.

When he comes out, Lex is sitting on the couch with a book in his hand.

"What's that?"

"It's a book Clark. You know, pages, words. A book."

Damn it Lex, don't ruin this. Try nice, okay? Hello, nervous high school virgin over here. Remember?

"Right. What book?"

"Leaves of Grass. It's a first edition copy. It's a little ragged but it's the best one I could find."

"Walt Whitman. Don't look so surprised. I listen when you talk Lex. Checked it out of the library. But that one wasn`t like this."

"Well, it's yours." Clark takes the book from him, fingers the spine, opens it slowly to the ribbon-marked page. And reads.

` The expression of a well made man appears not only in his face. It is in his limbs and joints also... it is curiously in the joints of his hips and wrists, It is in his walk... The carriage of his neck... the flex of his waist and knees... dress does not hide him. The strong sweet supple quality he has strikes through the cotton and flannel...'

Clark's blushing; he knows this poem. It's his favorite one from the book. And it continues.

`... I have perceived that to be with those I like is enough, To stop company with the rest at evening is enough, To be surrounded by beautiful curious breathing laughing flesh enough, To pass among them... to touch any one... to rest my arm so lightly round his or her neck for a moment... what is this then? I do not ask any more delight... I swim in it as a in a sea.'

"I know what you're trying to tell me Lex. I understand."

Lex shakes his head almost inperceptibly. Clark knows he wasn't supposed to see that.

"What am I trying to tell you?" Lex's voice is patient and gentle.

"You want me to be happy?"

"I want you to be incredible, Clark. I want you to know that whatever you want to do is fine with me - I think every intimacy shared is beautiful. No matter how insignificant it seems. You don't have to do - everything - anything. That's what I'm telling you, Clark."

Just that. Just the offer of an out is enough to make Clark sure he wants to do anything - everything. He knows he can stop it at any time now. He knows Lex has thought of everything he hoped he would think of. And he knows he's safe here. With Lex. And he wants Lex to talk now.

"What do you want, Lex? No - don't think about what I want. I want to hear it, Lex - what do you want to do? Here. Tonight."

Lex barely grins, licks his lips, looks Clark directly in the eyes.

"I want to be the first one who sees you, touches you. I want to be the first one inside you. I want to be the first one you're inside. I want your hands on me - your mouth on me. I want to hold you and taste you and feel you. I want to know what makes you forget your own name, what makes you lose control and scream and laugh and cry. I want to know you, Clark."

"All those things. Tonight." Clark's drinking it in - he's staring at Lex and just tasting his words. And then, his mouth. He pushes Lex gently back on the couch with a slow kiss, then slides his knee between Lex's and moves his mouth to Lex's throat. Clark can feel Lex, hard against his thigh, and he did that to Lex.

"What else, Lex?" He breathes the words into Lex's ear.

"I want to make love to you, Clark. I want to fuck you. I want to hear you like that - hear you call my name. I want to see all of you. I want to watch you move. I want to find out who you are. I want to know you - all of you - memorize you."

"Yeah - and - oh God Lex - I want to see you - can I - can you -" Clark's moving off of him and his hands are tugging Lex's shirt up. He wants it off - he wants to see him. Now.

Lex stands and takes a few steps back, hands moving to his collar. He goes from button to button, staring straight into Clark's eyes. He peels off his shirt and drops it on the floor at his feet. His eyes never move from Clark as he unfastens his pants and steps out of them. He's completely naked and Clark is just... just devouring him with his eyes.

He stands there, waiting for Clark. He doesn't have to wait long. His hands slip over Lex's shoulders, down his chest, around his waist. God, he can feel Lex's muscles flexing under his touch. Lex begins to unbutton Clark's shirt, and Clark suddenly feels brave. He steps back far enough that he thinks Lex has a good view of him. He pulls his shirt over his head, ignoring the buttons. He unzips his jeans and kicks them off, boxers still inside. He's naked. With Lex. And Lex isn't laughing. Or leaving. Or saying anything. He's just looking.

So Clark stands still, until he just *can't* be that far from him anymore. He reaches out, hands on Lex's arms, and pulls him close. Lex runs his hands over Clark's chest, his shoulder, walks around to touch his back. He's behind Clark, arms hugging him firmly around the waist, mouth at Clark's ear, sending chills down his back.

"Walk to the bedroom. Don't turn around and don't talk." Clark obeys, hesitantly. He's not sure about being ordered. But what could be better, really? Since he doesn't know what to do yet.

"Kneel down on the floor." Clark drops to his knees on the hardwood floor of the bedroom with a thud. He winces at the sound but then moans when Lex lays a hand on his back.

Lex follows him down - crouching behind him, and curls his body over Clark's. Lex's whisper isn't a whisper at all. It's quiet, but rough and- demanding.

"Do you want it like this?"

"No. I want to see you, Lex. I want to look at you." He can't believe that Lex asked. He asked. He didn't just- do it. Do whatever. He asked what Clark wanted. And Clark answered. And God, how had he done that? Lex might ask something else and he would need to know.

Lex. God- Lex, crawling around Clark and licking a wet stripe from his stomach to his chest. Pushing Clark down on his back with a firm kiss. He asked and Lex listened. And they are doing this how Clark wanted. How Clark told him he wanted to do it. God.

Raising up with his hands on either side of Clark's head, Lex smiles.

"Tell me what you want, Clark."

And he can`t think of one thing that doesn`t scare him. One thing that doesn`t turn him on and make him want to just do anything. Right there on the floor with Lex.

"I- I don't know."

"What about this? " Lex crawls down Clark's body, softly biting his stomach, sides, chest. Clark is moaning with every nibble. This is too - it's just like his dream. And when he raises his head a little to watch, Lex leans up just long enough to kiss him. He's licking Clark. Leaving snail-trails from his neck to his- stomach. And then Lex just takes him in his mouth.

"Oh, God-" If there were any doubts left in Clark's mind, they've just disappeared.

Lex starts doing things with his mouth, his tongue - a firm lick all the way up, teasing the tip, teeth barely touching as he slowly sucks. Then, increasing everything - speed, strength, depth. Clark's trying to memorize what Lex is doing, but it's so hard to concentrate with Lex's mouth just- on him. And oh God, he's- close. And it's all because of Lex's lips, his teeth, his- his mouth. Oh Jesus. He can't be this close and be in Lex's mouth. He *can't*. Would it be gross if he- it would be. Lex might think so. So he tries to tell him. And he tries to calm down, slow his heart, think of anything but Lex's mouth on him.

"Lex. Lex, stop. I have to- God I'm going to-I don't want to-"

But Lex just keeps going. God. Swallowing him. And Clark can't help it. There is nothing but Lex's mouth.

Lex holds onto his hips tightly as he bucks into his mouth. Is he swallowing? God he's swallowing. Swallowing Clark's- oh God. And it's not gross. It's perfect. And Clark's never felt release like that. Complete, all the way through. No worrying about making a mess. No thinking at all. And warm until the very end.

Lex sits up, straddling Clark's legs. And when Clark sees his face, he instantly feels guilty. Lex had to swallow that. And the thought isn't perfect anymore- it's horrifying.

"Lex - I - I'm sorry."

"Jesus, Clark, don't apologize. I've been wanting to taste you for so long."

"Really?" He wonders what it tastes like. It never occurred to him to taste it.

"Yes Clark - it's okay."

Clark reaches up and touches his face. Lex shivers a little. This is so surreal. How many times has he imagined this? Lex's hands on him, slipping over his skin, his skin on Clark's skin, no room for even air between then. Their faces are almost touching when Clark whispers to him. Tells him his biggest secret. Well, almost.

"Lex, I want you to - I want you inside me." The room dissolves around them as Clark reaches down between them and his hand strokes Lex's cock. His hand around Lex. Oh, God. Lex's stomach tightens as Clark runs his thumb over the tip, and Lex's breath catches, but when Clark looks at him, he seems to be somewhere else.

"Lex?" And he's back - lazily blinking down at Clark and smiling a little.

"Okay, Clark. Okay. Stand up - get in the bed." Clark blindly obeys, standing, walking to the enormous bed, pulling down the comforter and sheets before climbing under them, then thinking almost out loud, kicking them to the bottom of the bed. Lex crawls up from the foot of the bed to cover him. Clark slides his hand down Lex's chest, his stomach, and wraps his hand around Lex again. He's not sure what Lex likes yet, so he just sticks to what he knows. A solid rhythm that has somehow always reminded Clark of a heartbeat. This is how he strokes himself. The same way.

And Lex is stretching across the bed to open the nightstand drawer. He's watching Clark's hand move on him and finds the bottle and condom without looking. But Clark sees him, realizes what he's getting, shakes his head. That's not what he wants. It's not- real, somehow.

"No Lex. I don't want anything between us."

"Clark-" Why is Lex's voice so- broken? Doesn't he know by now that Clark trusts him?

"Really, Lex. Please."

Lex lets the condom fall from his hand to the floor and opens the bottle. "Give me your hand, Clark. Here." Lex squeezes a few drops into his palm. Clark starts to reach for Lex's cock again, anxious for that contact.

"No, wait - it`s cold. Rub your hands together - get it warm first." Clark`s embarrassed. He should have known that. Everyone knows that lotion`s cold right out of the bottle. He rubs his hands together and after a few seconds, he reaches back down for Lex.

Lex takes Clark's hand in his own, guiding him, showing him how to touch him - long, rhythmic strokes - not so desperate as before. Lex leans down and kisses him. This is what Clark wants. What he's wanted all along. He didn't know it until tonight. But this is it. He wants to be taken.

"Okay Clark, there's something you have to do. Relax. I know you're nervous, but it's important. You have to tell me if I hurt you. Pain is not part of this, unless you want it to be. Understand?"

Clark understands, but he doesn't know how to relax when every touch is fire and Lex's breath is so intoxicating. Clark's opens his mouth but the words won`t come out. So he just gives Lex a slow nod. He lets go of him when he starts to pull away, dreading the temporary separation.

Lex runs his hands along Clark's thighs, pushing them open gently. Clark closes his eyes and tilts his head back. Just. Breath. Relax.

Clark opens his eyes and looks- down. He wants to see what Lex is doing. Lex curls his hand around his own cock, getting his fingers slick, draws a wet line down Clark`s leg, inside his thigh. His eyes lock on Clark's as he slowly slips his finger into him.

Clark can't stifle his gasp. He closes his eyes for just a second. Has to. Then he licks his lips and opens them again, not wanting to miss a second of Lex like this.

Lex pushes his finger further in. He's going so slow that it's near torture, but Clark knows it won`t always be like this. Lex moves his finger in and out, and Clark can't help but moan and ball the sheet up in his fists. Another finger. Oh God.

"Lex, I can't wait. I want you inside me." His voice sounds so desperate and he doesn't even care.

"I know Clark - I'm getting there. This will make it better. I promise."

Clark just nods, takes a deep breath, closes his eyes again, tries to relax more.

Lex is hesitating - Clark can tell he`s frustrated with the slow pace. He's so nervous, but he wants this. He doesn't want Lex to back down. He starts to rock his hips, hoping Lex gets the message.

Lex lays down on him, getting as close as he can, closing that space that Clark despises. Clark wraps his arms around Lex. He knows he's clutching Lex to him - but he hopes he doesn't notice. But it's Lex. And he notices everything.

"Shhh. Clark, it's okay. Are you sure-" Clark's quick nod, his desperate kiss, answer for him.

Lex reaches down to guide himself - slowly, and when he slides into Clark, every muscle in Clark's body goes tense. It's - a total shock and exactly what Clark expected at the same time. It's Lex. God, Lex, inside him. He doesn't want to move. Ever. He'll die if he moves. If Lex moves. If they move.

"Clark? Relax, Clark. It's okay. It's me - I'm here with you. I'm never going to let anything happen to you, Clark. I'm here-"

Clark forces himself to relax a little. It's even better. Lex slowly moves in and out, so gently, shallow and easy. Clark's not dead, but he's close. Lex doesn't take his eyes off him. His movements push Clark gently back and forth underneath him, their chests sliding together. Clark closes his eyes tight, just feels Lex. He can't help it - he holds his breath, wishing this would never end. And fighting back tears of relief.

He opens his eyes long enough to see Lex noticing that he's holding his breath, looking worried. He closes his eyes again, drowning in the feeling of Lex, the sound of his voice, the taste.

Lex slows a little. He whispers something to Clark. It sounds like, "You okay, Clark?"

More than okay. Never been so okay. Never been so- this with anyone Lex. Don't ever leave. Don't ever stop.

"Clark. I need to know - are you okay?" Clark's eyes are still closed - tight. He desperately doesn't want to talk right now. Doesn't know if he can even make his voice work.

But Lex stops moving. That's enough to bring Clark back to reality, to make him consider breaking his precious silence.

"Clark, open your eyes. Take a deep breath. Clark. Look at me." He obeys.

"It's okay. Try to relax. I'm not going to hurt you."

"Lex - I know-" and his voice breaks and Lex holds him tighter, closer, trying to soothe. It's so- comforting. But the enormity of this is waiting for Clark when he opens his eyes. It's not a dream this time. He's having sex. With Lex. And liking it. Loving it. Wanting it to happen again and again. And he's so scared. More scared of this reality than anything.

"Jesus - Clark. Are you shaking? You're shaking. Does it hurt? Do you want me to stop?" Lex starts to pull out and Clark's hands are on his hips, holding him in place.

Panic overpowering fear. Lex was actually about to leave his body. No.

"No! No, don't stop. I'm okay."

"Clark, maybe I should-" No, Lex. Never stop. Clark doesn't know how to tell him - this isn't how he thought it would be. It`s the kind of intimacy he couldn`t imagine with a man. The kind he thought of with Lana. The kind he longed for with Lex.

"No, Lex. I just - I didn't think it would be so- like this. It's so - it's not- dirty." The right words just won't come, and it's the best he can do.

"Well, it can be, Clark, but no, it's not this time." Lex gives him a little smile to show that he's teasing. Clark lifts his hips a little, asking. And Lex answers, rocking into him again.

He raises up on his hands and nods toward where their bodies are joining.

"Look at us, Clark. Look." Clark pushes himself up on his elbows to see and Lex starts moving slowly.

"Oh, God-"

"Isn't it beautiful?"

"Yeah-" His voice cracks but he doesn`t stop watching.

Clark melts into Lex`s arms. He finds the safe place he`s always wanted. Here, in Lex`s bed. His hands move along Lex's back and he's sighing. He wraps his legs around Lex`s, finding his rhythm and matching it.

"Is that okay?" Clark figures it can't hurt to check.

"Oh God Clark, you're so incredible. It's - you`re - perfect."

He stares into Lex's eyes, tongue unconsciously moving over his lips. Lex picks up the pace, harder, faster, a little deeper. Clark thinks Lex is holding back, but maybe it's better that way this time. His first time. With Lex. It's more - of a full feeling than he imagined. More like he didn't ever know he wasn't a whole person until he felt Lex inside him. And now he never wants to be empty again. And the fact that he will be hits him like a ton of bricks.

"Lex. Oh, God - I'm - I feel so-" And tears are sliding from the corners of Clark's eyes, down the sides of his face and disappearing into his hair.

"I know Clark. I know." And just Lex's voice is enough. Clark barely has time to realize how close he is before he's there.

"Oh - Lex - I'm- I'm going to -don`t stop-"

"Yes Clark - yes-" Hot drops pulse onto their chests and stomachs and God, Lex is so beautiful like this - guiding, leading. Clark pulls him down, holding him tightly against his chest. Like he's going to fall if he lets go. And Lex never stops moving. Thank God.

Right now, in this moment, Clark is his. He'll be anything for Lex. His lover. His student. His- God. His. He drinks in Lex's expressions, his movements. Clark moves in rhythm to his thrusts. Lex's breathing changes, and Clark can tell he's close. After just a moment he comes inside Clark, rocking in waves against him. Lex leans down and licks Clark`s tears away, an impulse that seems so strange - but so erotic. Clark arches up to Lex's mouth and he kisses him.

After a few amazing minutes with Lex lying heavily, sweating, breathing hard on top of Clark, he pulls out, the feeling of separation exquisitely sharp. He moves off to lie beside Clark, close, so they're touching all down the length of their bodies.

Lex kisses his shoulder and brings a leg up to rest across Clark`s legs, pulling him in close. Lex is pulling Clark's head onto his chest, and Clark just... lets him. He swallows hard and he can't help it - his tears start again. He knows Lex can feel him jerking against him with his silent crying.

"Shhh. Clark it's okay. It's okay." Clark just barely nods. The tone of Lex`s voice is so comforting. There's concern there too.

"What's wrong Clark?" He's been silent too long and Lex must be worrying about him.

"It's just - you're so far away now. I miss you."

And Clark enfolds Lex in his arms. He clings to him, turning on his side to face him, burying his head in Lex`s shoulder. Lex holds him close, and they both know there`s nothing else to say. And at this moment, Clark is loved -desperately, completely, wholly and without judgment. He holds onto that feeling like it's the most precious thing in the world.

And it is.

 


~FINIS~


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