~Cover by Meret~

~ Are You Fair ~

Pub Date: 1/4/03

Pairing: Clark/Lex

Rating: NC-17

Spoilers: General ones for both seasons

Summary: Sequel to "Are You Honest"

Author Notes: This is part two of a fic that I intended to end with the first part, but through the wonderful world of LJ, I got gently and gloriously roped into continuing it until I'd spent all of my angst and nothing was left but snuggles and happy endings. See Part one ("Are You Honest") if you're an angst-loving masochist like me. Sincere thanks to Soap, Hen, LadyFlowDi, DCook, Rhi and Kel for whipping this thing into shape. You guys are my saving grace (and here you thought it was my unswerving propensity for angst, didn't you? g)!

Archiving: Go for it. (Archived at SSA & Lexslash)

Disclaimer: If they were mine, I wouldn't be writing about this, I'd be doing it. Well... okay, at least I'd be watching it.

Feedback: Like butter on a bald monkey!

Countless nights ago, at the sagging end of a high he'd kept up for days, Lex had considered distancing himself before Clark got too close. Letting Clark slip out of his life, letting their could-haves linger at the back of his mind, unrealized. It would have been easier then.

But he owed Clark. Owed him his life, his gratitude... more than that. So he hadn't put a stop to any of it.

The daily struggle of maintaining a casual view of their friendship had grown annoying years ago. Clark allowed the frequent subtle flirtations that danced between them, and it had been a comfortable compromise. Something Lex could live with.

The thick air of regret and anger clung to him and he wanted to sluice it off and put it behind him as soon as possible. He walked back to the bathroom, pulling a towel from the shelf of the linen closet and hanging it over the shower wall. He turned on the faucet, keeping the water alarmingly cold, his skin numbing with the first stinging spray on against his chest.

Clark had been young, just out of high school, and the world was still fresh in his eyes. He hadn't wanted to rob Clark of exploring that world without feeling obligated to stick close to home.

So he'd settled into his life, balancing his time carefully between Smallville and Metropolis, maintaining the pretense of friendship in Smallville while indulging in what never amounted to more than a pitiful substitute in Metropolis. Pushing forward, he had established himself independently from his father, even as Lionel's clutch on him grew tighter.

It had taken a sturdy resolve to get him to this point. A sturdy resolve and Clark's unerring faith in him.

He'd even managed to time LexCorp's move to the city perfectly with Clark's ascension into higher education. He'd never encouraged Clark to take one path or another after high school, but the day Clark had told him he was going to Met U was one of their best.

"I'm going to school in the city, Lex. Isn't that great? You can visit me."

Like it was a gift, and really, it had been. The rare and priceless gift of time.

He'd considered the possibility that Clark would find someone at college. Hell, he'd firmly nudged Clark in the direction of several sorority girls whose sisters he'd known. The girls were more than willing, but he'd never heard a word about them from Clark. He'd taken it at face value. Anything more would have been assumption and he'd learned that lesson long ago.

Lex turned under the frigid spray of the shower, willing the cacophony of analysis to stop.

He tilted his head forward, closing his eyes, letting the water pound against his shoulders and neck. The water froze his aching muscles but did nothing to relieve the tension there. He squeezed his eyes shut and turned back around, the needle sting of the water biting his face and scalp.

When had it gotten so fucking complicated?

The easy give and take they were so good at had come with years of practice. Entire seasons spent with no doubts, no questions between them. Back before they'd started speaking the truth out loud.

They'd never spoken of Clark's abilities, of his origin, though both were fully aware that Lex knew about both.

He'd confirmed his suspicions late one night in the Kents' cellar, hands sliding along foreign metal, caressing and paying homage to the beings that had built an appropriately stunning ship for Clark to travel in. At first, he'd dismissed it as a sci-fi fan's hobby, as a father-and-son project Clark and Jonathan must've spent hours building together in the dank, musty air.

But there was no denying the facts. All the unexplained miraculous rescues, all the lost time Lex had never been able to account for, all the awkward lies that he knew Clark hated telling - they all clicked together in one long string of epiphanies. Lex linked them together one by one, disbelieving even as his eyes and logic told him it had to be the right conclusion. Clark wasn't human, but humanoid.

Lex had stayed there processing each realization as it came to him, squatting on the dirt floor until the gray light of morning filtered through the crack of the doorway, pulling him from the awe he'd spent the night lingering in.

Clark had found him at the Talon that day, laid a hand on his shoulder in a gesture Lex carefully didn't flinch away from.

"You have dirt on your coat, Lex."

"Do I?" He`d twisted around to see the red-brown clay dust in a long streak around the bottom edge of his jacket, where it had rubbed against the floor of the cellar. He`d smiled wide and shrugged. "Have to get it cleaned."

Clark had sat down across from him, elbows on his knees, leaning across the table to stare hard into his eyes. "Dad bought a new lock today."

Lex had hidden the pause of surprise behind a long drink of coffee, gathering himself and summoning a casual, teasing tone. "That's... very interesting, Clark. Any other fascinating tidbits you'd like to share before I get back to work?"

"The combination is 45-72-36."

And just that easily, their future had opened wide. This was the one thing Clark had kept from him, the last secret between them. And Clark had set them both free from the guilt and isolation without ever admitting a thing.

He'd thought then that Clark could never give him more than he had at that table, the numbers hanging in the air like quartz glittering in a cave wall.

Lex's self-denied hope for something more was renewed that day. But a relationship, the too-superficial naming of the connection they'd always shared, seemed a generic label for the sheen of a richer truth, that their very existences were linked inseparably forever.

The change had come just a few short weeks ago. It had been simple and efficient, sudden like a summer shower, washing down on them as if the clouds of their emotions had finally become too heavy and let loose their contents in one tumultuous downpour.

Clark had come over to play pool, the two of them reminiscing briefly about the day they met for the second time. They'd searched their memories for details of the first time they'd met, but neither could conjure up anything beyond a vague hesitation to discuss meteors and hair loss.

Obviously trying to ease the tension, Clark had mused about how they seemed to enjoy crashing into one another at high speeds, Clark with his ship, Lex with his car. Like the forces pulling them together kept getting frustrated at their near misses and ended up throwing up proverbial hands, saying "fuck it," and sending them slamming into each other at full force, hoping they'd get the picture.

And Lex had been completely overpowered by the realization that none of this, nothing associated with Clark, could be just a coincidence. There was no denying the inexplicable chance meetings, the eerie way they sensed and responded to each other's moods automatically. Their entire lives had run on parallel courses, even if you had to look deep to find the similarities, they were undeniably there.

He couldn`t refuse to recognize his need for Clark as valid and real. Necessary. And Clark needed him too.

The only one who ever needed him.

They'd stood there staring at each other, cues in their hands, hips leaning against the pool table in a false pretense of relaxation. Clark had broken the gaze first, looking awkwardly around the room as if he could change the subject and pull the thick veil back up over their secret.

Lex had stepped around the table and watched Clark's muscles tense with anticipation as he reached out and took the cue from him, walked both wooden sticks to the rack and hung them up. He'd paused there, hands curling tight around the graduated lengths of the cues, back to Clark, feeling every ounce of Clark's regard on the back of his head.

"You don't want to play anymore?"

The strangely hopeful words had echoed in the rafters and Lex had turned, head swimming and eyes heavy with hesitation. His body had taken over and moved him across the room, hands curving around Clark`s arms, head tilting back to look straight into wide, denying eyes. "No, I don't want to play anymore."

Clark's mouth had opened, his chest swelling with a deep breath. Then he'd nodded, eyelashes falling to his cheeks, and leaned down. Their faces stopped an inch apart, breaths reflecting off each other's mouths. The instant had dragged, slowing Lex's brain, quickening his heart, his pulse deafening in his ears.

He'd been doubtful even then, reluctant to actually follow through with it. But the hitch of Clark's shirt against his, the warm wall of flesh that he needed to taste, the sweet breath he wanted to drink dulled his reasoning and lifted his hand.

It slid easily into the groove of Clark's neck, thumb brushing over flushed skin, fingers curling into silky loose curls and pulling so gently, guiding Clark's mouth onto his own.

Lex had kept his eyes open as their lips pressed lightly together.

He'd known at the first touch that the acknowledgement of their attraction was a mistake.

Every wrong he'd ever committed against Clark, every guilty evasion of the truth, every lie and deception and manipulation had rushed through his brain as they'd kissed. He'd pulled out of it, stalked to the bar and poured himself a drink. When he'd drained the glass and turned around, Clark was gone.

Simplicity had flooded the barn that night when he'd gone in search of a happy medium. It hadn't taken much: an apology, Clark's dismissal of that apology as unnecessary, an obligatory verification of the mutual intent behind the kiss. They'd validated each other over and over again with short reassurances and slow, honest touches. Clark had been just as eager to stop talking.

The cool air on their skin that night had made the heat between them more obvious, their chests sliding, legs twining, mouths sucking and slipping. Lex had found himself in the awkward position of being shirtless, lying heavily between Clark's legs on the well-worn couch, Clark's arms holding him tightly.

No one had held him in years. Through every sexual encounter, he'd been the leader, the dominant partner. Mostly though, he'd not been interested in the cold, selfish touches of his lovers beyond the initial goal of orgasm.

But Clark was never in a hurry. He didn't rush to that end-all that Lex set out for every time he inched into someone's personal space.

With Clark, the reward was the experience, the journey to orgasm and the long road home after it was over. It was circular, whole, complete. Being intimate with Clark had meant hours of touching, whispering, building slowly from a glance or the casual brush of a hand to the fevered, desperate rocking of their bodies, the hard swallow of a throat, the throb of a cock being sheathed in the wet heat of a mouth or a moist, soft fist.

He'd counted on being the more experienced one, but Clark had taught him too. Each lesson was more intense, less awkward for both of them, until finally, tonight.

He'd never questioned his ability to commit before. In fact, he'd been a devout partner in anything that had come close to resembling a relationship in his life. He'd played the games and said the lines he knew were expected of him with suitable alacrity and enthusiasm. He'd remained faithful, had attempted to give as much as he'd taken. Had respected his partners, even for their cunningness or ambitions.

Even at his own expense.

But Clark had no ulterior motives.

The relationship had progressed quickly and Lex hadn't put a stop to it. Clark needed him this way, too.

They were basically the same together, with the exception of their nights. There were some subtle but unmistakably intimate touches that passed between them throughout the day, but at night, all masks fell.

They sat together in the penthouse every evening as Clark read his English lit assignments, Lex kicking off his shoes and leaning heavily back against the chest that rose and fell behind him. He'd drift off and wake up in their bed on the inside curve of Clark's body, heavy arm thrown over his waist and warm breath against his neck, the young man curling around him in a possessive hold that Lex had never really gotten used to. Still, it had become a kind of tradition, them falling asleep twined together like old lovers.

In their bed.

The bed that he'd sleep alone in tonight, maybe every night now.

He leaned his back against the slick shower wall, ducking his head and closing his eyes, sliding down to sit in the inch of swirling, cool water on the floor. The dissipated spray from above fell in stinging, thin drops on his shoulders and scalp, sharp cold lashes of a penance he willingly took. He shouldn't have allowed it to go this far.

He'd been reluctant to move Clark from the guest quarters to his bedroom so soon. It would have been so easy to fall into bed with Clark immediately, to plow past any standard courtship, but he'd wanted to take his time and learn Clark slowly, savor the awkwardness as they felt each other out.

He'd reveled in the adjustment phase as they picked up on each other`s sensitivities and needs, and controlled his eagerness carefully. There were nights when too much skin overpowered his conviction, and he'd taken them an inch closer than he'd intended. Clark never shrank away from anything he'd done, never even hesitated as he'd introduced him to new sensations one by one.

Lex had graduated their progress, slowly taking them around the bases, watching Clark sink further and further into a level of comfort that would let them both explore without embarrassment or inhibition.

Tonight Clark had stripped off his pajamas and climbed into bed beside him, eyes and hands roaming unabashedly, fingers inching under his clothes, wet lips spilling the words he'd heard in his mind a thousand times, but never from Clark's own lips.

Clark`s tongue licked over his stomach, his face burying low, voice murmuring against his bare skin. "I want you."

"Mmm, you have me." He`d dug his head back into the pillow, rocking up a little in encouragement. Clark`s mouth slipped warm and slick on his hip.

Hair had tickled along his stomach, a nose pressing into his hipbone as Clark shook his head gently. "No, Lex, I want you.

The intoxication of the moment had pulled all reason from him, pushing excuse after excuse from his mind. He had let go of his trepidation and answered the warmth seeping into his skin, the blood coursing through his veins to pool low in his belly.

"Yes. Fuck yes, Clark."

He'd pushed up off the bed, urged Clark onto his back and sucked the pulse of Clark's throat, the rose circles on his chest, the soft, stretched skin over his bicep before sinking his teeth into the muscle and thrusting his hips to rub his cock against Clark's.

Thin streaks of arousal painted their stomachs as they slid against each other and Lex braced himself up again, fingers curling around fistfuls of sheet.

Thoughts he'd pushed down for years sprang into his mind and he'd struggled to give one of them a voice as he reached for the night stand drawer, taking out a bottle and slicking his fingers and cock.

"Will this hurt you?"

"I don't... I don't think so." Clark had blinked, like the thought had never occurred to him. They never spoke of pain or temperature or illness, and the question hung thick in the air around them, even after it was answered. Clark shifted a little and Lex slid his hand down between their bodies, lowering his chest, pushing Clark into the mattress. Slipping his fingers between Clark's legs, one fingertip slid slowly home.

Clark had arched up and gasped, then slowly relaxed back to the bed, settling into the easy strokes of his finger. When Clark's hips began lifting, bumping up against him, Lex pushed a second finger in beside the first.

"Oh, God, Lex..." Clark's hand had brushed Lex's cock as it reached down to cover his hand, wrapping over his knuckles and following the rhythmic motion of his fingers as they worked their way deeper inside.

Clark had answered every question Lex had with the curve of his throat, his head thrown back on the pillow, shaking slowly back and forth. The powerful, eager body beneath him had arched and answered his touches as he stretched and opened the muscles inside it.

Clark's hand disappeared from his and swept over his back in a reverent caress. "Lex... please..."

Lex had knelt at the only altar he'd ever lowered himself in front of. As he'd aligned flesh against flesh for the first push in, Clark's words sliced through the thick fog of arousal, shocking him out of the haze.

"I love you. God, Lex, I love you so much."

He'd shifted back and Clark had looked at him with understand pooling in his eyes. "Lex, don't. Please, God, don't. I'm never going to leave. You don't have to-"

When Clark reached for him, he'd slid off the bed and stumbled into the bathroom.

The pipes rang behind the wall, jerking him from the pain of the still-raw memory. It was a welcome relief and Lex reached up and turned the water off, stood and pulled the towel from the shower wall. His arm dropped heavily by his side, towel in hand, and he froze there, the last dregs of water tickling along his feet and wetting the tip of the towel as it drained from the shower.

He swayed a little in a drawn-out blink, eyes swallowing the liquid pain he wouldn`t admit, not even alone. "Stop it. Fucking pussy. Just stop. It had to be done."

Lex slammed his fist into the shower door and it flung open. Towel around his waist, he crossed the counter and smirked at himself as he swiped a hand across the mirror out of habit. Cold showers didn't fog up the mirror.

The flushed-skinned image opened its mouth and spoke, eyes narrowing in a glare of accusation. "Why the fuck did you let him in? You knew this would happen."

He shook his head in denial and the reflection did the same. Hadn't he read that talking to one's self was a sign of high intelligence? A small consolation when the things one said were all stating the obvious.

"So fucking stupid. I thought- Jesus." He ducked his head to rid himself of those knowing eyes, to whisper the only regret he could allow himself if he was going to stay sane. "I thought I could do it."

Lex tore the towel from his body, went to the bedroom and climbed into a pair of sweats, eyes carefully avoiding the books on the dresser, the unmade bed, the bottle that hid its label under the edge of the comforter.

He flicked off the light, shrouding all evidence of the night's events in darkness before descending the stairs in search of healing at the bottom of a bottle.

The crystal decanter on the bar shimmered in the dim light of the fireplace and Lex didn't bother turning on the lamps. The view from the broad windows was spectacular, particularly at night. He poured himself a glass, neat, and went to the windows, pushing all guilt and raw nerves down deep.

A mouthful of flavorless liquid startled him enough to spit part of it out, spraying the window with drops of what could only be water. "Fuck. Jesus, Clark. Thanks a lot."

"You're welcome."

Lex twisted around to see Clark sitting in the corner on a barstool, hands resting on his thighs, face relaxed and the barest hint of a smile playing across his lips.

"What the-"

"You didn't actually think I'd leave, did you?"

Lex tossed his glass into the fireplace, water hissing in the flames and crystal shattering against the stones. "I expected you to."

Clark sat in the shadows and Lex tilted his head as he stepped closer, trying to get a better look. The cloak of darkness over Clark's face quickened his heart a little, made him a little nervous.

"I would never run from an argument with you."

Lex stopped a couch-length away from Clark and squinted, trying to make out the features he knew so well. "It wasn't an argument. I asked you to leave. You should have."

"Well, I thought we could just discuss this instead of wasting our time being stubborn and distant when we both know we'll just end up together again. Oh, and in case you've forgotten, I no longer have a dorm room. I doubt you want me wandering into my parents' barn at this hour and explaining to them why I'm there."

Lex shook his head, disappointed with the obvious error of his brash decision. Clark was right, he couldn`t just put him out in the middle of the night. He didn`t want him here though. "I'll call the car for you. They'll take you to any hotel in the city. Stay as long as you need too - until you can find a place."

"So now you care whether I'm actually sleeping on the street or not. Well, I guess that's progress." Clark rocked forward on the stool, then stood and reached for his face.

Lex stepped back quickly, avoiding Clark's touch. "I'll call the car."

"Sit down and listen to me. Don't make me resort to guerrilla tactics." Out of the corner of his eye, Lex saw Clark shaking a finger at him.

"Jesus, Clark. Can't you take a hint? I`m not kidding around. I don`t want you here."

Clark shrugged as Lex lifted the receiver and started to dial. "All right. Just remember I warned you."

"You warned me?"

The phone flew across the room, leaving his hand open and holding air. Flannelled arms wrapped around him, lifting him and depositing him on the deep cushions of a couch Clark had picked out, the only couch in all of Metropolis that had passed Clark's couch-comfort standards.

He pushed the ludicrous memory of couch shopping from his head and summoned what dignity he could find in the oversized comfort. He clenched his teeth together and set his jaw, sitting up as well as he could. "Never do that again."

Clark`s hands and body imprisoned him on the couch, the young man crouching in front of him, between his knees. The seam of Clark`s jeans scratched through the thin fabric of his sweats. "Why? It's more comfortable than the floor of the shower, isn't it?"

Lex's head snapped up at Clark's words. Fuck. Clark had seen him, had watched him. "You saw me? Heard me?"

"Yeah, I did. I don't know why you still think I'm going to leave you after all these years."

Lex scoffed and shook his head. "It's been a month."

The hands on his thighs squeezed and Clark smirked. "It's been years... and we both know it."

Clark's eyes locked on his, a challenge that Lex despised and answered on principle. "I don't think you'll leave. Hell, you won't even leave when I ask you to."

Shaking his head, Clark pursed his lips in the impatient look Lex had seen on Martha`s face a dozen times. "You think you're not good enough. You think I'm going to realize that and walk out of your life."

Clark was apparently flexing his psycho-bullshit muscles. "That's ridiculous."

Clark nodded, hands sliding slowly up Lex's legs. "I think so too. You're good enough, Lex. You're all I need. I. Am. Not. Going. To. Leave."

Lex smiled at the nave conviction behind Clark's words. Clark had no idea. "Someday I`ll throw those words in your face."

Clark shrugged. "Probably. You like to do that to me."


Kneeling up between his legs, Clark leaned closer. He was waiting, not pushing.


Lex`s pulse thrummed through his body, tightening every muscle, coiling tendons and readying him for flight. He closed his eyes and whispered out the vulnerability that twisted in his chest. "I'm not ready for this."

"I'll be right here with you."

The boy that he'd wanted had become the man that he needed.

Clark's mouth closed on his stomach, skin burning as the warmth of Clark's tongue slid against his cold flesh.

Lex shook his head; he knew it was over and hated losing. A moan vibrated pure electricity against his chest, Clark's lips and tongue sliding up and up, over one shoulder, his neck, then closed over his own.

Lex let his eyes fall closed in a concession his mind still warred against. He couldn't fight this, and refused to run.

He could do this.

Weightless and dizzy, he squeezed his eyes tighter shut when he realized Clark had lifted him off the couch, was carrying him. He despised feeling vulnerable, and if he didn't open his eyes, he could deny it just enough to sink into the sensation of being a precious, loved child who'd fallen asleep in the wrong place.

Except for the wet warmth pressing into and against his mouth, the hand that rubbed along his thigh, the chilly rush of air on his face that meant Clark was in a hurry this time.

The cool sheets of the bed were a shock, but only for a moment before they warmed under his skin. Clark's weight covered him like a lead blanket, heavy and strong, and Lex spread his legs, let Clark settle and rub there. Fingers wriggled down the back of his sweatpants and Clark's hand squeezed on his ass and moaned pure heat into his mouth.

Lex ground up against the hips that rested heavy between his legs, his mind retreating back in defeat, letting his body twist and flex and feel. The last of his hesitation was eaten away by Clark's knuckles digging into the small of his back and he arched up, letting Clark strip the pants off. Another burst of cool air left him bare and alone on the bed and he closed his eyes against the blur of Clark undressing, of plaid and denim blue falling to the floor, boots thudding on the polished wood.

Covered, warm and comfortably confined by Clark's body on his again, he threaded his fingers through dark, loose curls and took Clark's mouth like he owned it, like he was stealing it, the urgency replacing thoughts with a fog and he breathed it in, heavy and thick.

He arched up against hipbones and hard cock and held the curve of his spine and the flex of his legs, rubbing himself against Clark. Anything, God, anything to relieve the pressure. He shouldn't be so eager, shouldn't answer Clark's advances with advances of his own but time sped by and he didn't want to waste any more of it.

Lips found his again, tongue thrusting in instead of waiting for permission this time, hands pushing along his skin, reddening it, heating it. Lex wanted - needed to be on top, needed to be behind, wanted to feel his fingers digging into the groove of Clark's hips, pulling Clark back as he pushed inside.

He'd imagined it that way for so long that the scene, the feeling was almost like a memory in his mind: the sheen of sweat on the long, broad back, their moans and whispered words growing into a cacophony of more and yes and God until finally, Clark would reach the crescendo. His own rhythm would turn ragged and he would follow. They`d lie on their backs, sweat cooling on their bodies, one arm and one leg touching, completely incapable of total separation but neither of them speaking the words - it would be just be understood between them. The long-unsatisfied needs finally sated, they'd listen to their slowing breaths echoing in the numb silence. The tang of sweat salt stung his mouth as he drifted deeper into the surreal world he'd created, honed, perfected in his mind.

Clark licked along his chin then pushed up, smiling down at him, and rolled over, reaching for his arm, pulling him on top. Not behind, then, but he could watch Clark this way, watch what this was doing to him. He could kiss and lick and take that mouth, watch Clark change from virgin to debauched. Could witness the exact moment the subtle change took place. His imagination spun with the possibilities and he wondered that he had never thought about it this way. Seeing Clark's face made this blatant and undeniable. No fantasies creeping in to coat the reality with a false light that could never compare to the dim glow of truth that surrounded them.

He wanted... needed to say something. Not the something he knew Clark was hoping for, not the something that had brought about the abrupt end to this earlier.

He rolled to the side a little, grasping Clark's cock in his fist and pumping slowly as he spoke. "I don't want you to leave."

It was all he could give.

Clark reached up and brushed his cheek, eyes as trusting and patient as ever. "I know. I won`t leave, Lex. I won`t ever leave." Clark's low whisper softened the words he ached to hear but couldn't believe.

Could never believe.

Lex buried his face against warm flesh, Clark's collarbone pressing into the bridge of his nose. It didn't matter if he wasn`t capable of more, didn't matter if this was the right time or if Clark would someday realize his mistake. Because now, his fingers trailing up Clark's chest, dipping into that mouth to be sucked and wetted, he knew. No matter how hard he fought against it, Clark was bound to him. This was just a very pleasurable formality.

He drew a thin, wet line down Clark's chest, over his cock and between his legs. Lex teased then pressed, touching just inside and Clark arched up, eyes closed, moaning and writhing against his finger. Beautiful.

Closed eyes meant he could watch, could look at anything without eliciting the blush that always stung a little. Long lashes lay on Clark's cheeks, a sigh - that sigh, meant Lex could look without reservation, could revel in the lines of golden muscle, the thin streak of hair low on Clark's belly, the cording of muscle in his neck as he arched up again, as Lex worked another finger in beside the first.

"Lex... just... yes, God... can you-" Clark pushed against him, arms circling around his waist, pulling him on top, trapping his hand between them.

Clark's knees brushing against Lex's sides, he shifted back, freeing his hand to feel the comforter for the bottle that had lain forgotten until now. He squinted in the darkness, catching a glimpse of white, and reached for it. When he turned back to Clark, he was met with a small smile.

Lex slicked himself quickly, not wanting this to turn into something amusing, and lowered himself back down between Clark's legs. Fingers tight in Clark's hair, he took his mouth hard and fast, erasing the awkwardness the pause in their rhythm had created and driving them back to the edge of need and want.

He slid his hand down between them and positioned himself against Clark, mouth busy on lips and tongue and jaw. He pressed inside slowly, sliding by increments and waiting for a reaction.

He tried to curb his own, to make this all about Clark, but he couldn't suppress the short grunts of relief, the tightening of his muscles at the first touch inside. The slick, close sheathe around him felt like liquid warmth, like safety.

Like home.

The mouth on his stilled and opened wide against his, first in an O, then in what felt like a smile against his lips. As he pushed deeper, the last inch of space between them disappeared and a moan tickled out over his lips. His moan. Clark's. He couldn't tell, didn't care. His head swam with the pleasure that heated out of Clark's skin onto his own. Clark's legs flexed against his sides, squeezing tight against his ribs. Palms rubbed up and down his back, pausing with every push deeper.

He pumped slowly at first, but the hands squeezing his ass, nails digging into the flesh there, encouraged him to thrust harder and faster. He propped himself up on his forearms, fingers still clenching Clark's hair, pulling it a little with every rock inside. One of the hands moved from his ass and slipped between their bodies.

Fingers slid along his cock on the next pull out. Paused and waited as Clark's thumb and forefinger circled tight around the base. Slid, God, back in, yes, and Clark's finger and thumb squeezed, a torturous barrier between them as Lex drove in. He pulled slowly out, sweet friction inside and the harsh constriction of Clark's thin circle of grip around him outside and he moved, pushing and pulling, rocking slow then slamming in, varying his depth and pace. Anything, every trick to keep Clark's gasps coming, to keep the finger and thumb from releasing him. So fucking good and new - something he'd never felt before to highlight and burn this experience on his brain.

Clark's lips curved into half words, tingling against his ear, echoing his own, voices blending together. The bed's slightest protests registered regularly somewhere below the whispered truths, promises, pleas, answers.

Clark's lashes rested on his cheeks, lids twitching a little with the roll of his eyes, mouth open and drawing in breaths that were deep, then shallow, then almost undetectable and silence filled the room for one long, full moment.

Holding deep inside, Lex pumped slowly, moving just enough to keep Clark's skin sliding on his. Clark licked his lips, eyes fluttering open, one short, shuddering breath the only betrayal of any permanent change. It breezed across Lex's face, full of sentimentality and promise.

Slowly nodding his understanding, Lex stretched the moment out until Clark's hesitation unfurled beneath him and strong hips rocked gently up to meet his own.

Lex tore his eyes from Clark's face when the exquisite ring of Clark's fingers released him and Clark arched up, hand rubbing wet and hard, pulling the skin of his stomach as it moved from his cock to Clark's own, wrapping around to pump once, twice before the air thickened with Clark's voice, altered and pained and desperate.

"God, yes, Lex..."

Like he was dying. Or coming to life.

Lex lowered himself down onto Clark's chest, fingers gripping in place, tight and pulling Clark's too-long hair. He lifted his hips, pulling slowly back, and watched that face, the transformed Clark, react.

Neck stretched, mouth open, eyes closed, head falling back on the pillow, Lex drank in Clark's responses as he pushed back in, leaning down to lick and bite at the jaw that scratched against his lips.

Morning stubble tore at his tongue. Soft curls tickled along his palms and wrists as he released Clark's hair and rubbed down Clark's thighs, hands moving in perfect tandem, slipping under Clark's knees, pulling them higher, and Lex took full advantage, pressing deeper into the new angle.

Clark sucked in air, eyes flying open at the deepest penetration then drifting slowly closed again, a small smile curving on his lips. Yanked out of the dream but apparently reveling in the reality.

Lex closed his eyes against the dim light of morning that crept into the air around them, putting a too-bright spotlight on what should be a soft, sentimental memory for Clark. For him too, maybe.

Clark's fingers traced over his chest, curving over his shoulders, pulling him down, ruining the angle but worth it when lips and tongue connected and moved on his chest. Working there, sucking moans from places no one had touched in years. Clark's mouth held endless curiosity, even silent. Especially silent.

The pace caught up with him too soon, trapping him in the upward spiral and pulling him towards an end he dreaded and couldn't resist. Hips thrusting, Lex squeezed his eyes shut and concentrated on the fingers that dug into his ribs, the mouth sucking and teeth biting gently on his chest.

Clark picked up his rhythm, hips thrusting up to meet his, body sheathing him deep as he came. He fell hard, the hoarse, rough call of release muffled by his clenched teeth and all but lost against Clark's chest. The movements that answered his ragged pumping slowed and stopped when Lex curled his hands on Clark's arms and squeezed.

Legs falling gently to the bed and arms tight around Lex's back, Clark lay still and wordless beneath him.

No reassurances or tears of regret marred the silence.

Nothing interrupted the post-coital, emotionally saturated moment but the cooling of the sweat on Lex's chest as he rolled to lie beside Clark. The morning's pseudo-gloaming highlighted dust in the air and the stillness held them in a cocoon of solitude.

One arm and one leg touched his, unabashedly incapable of complete separation. He closed his eyes and listened to their slowing breaths echoing in the numb silence.

Morning dragged by, Clark's deep sleep-breathing lulling Lex into a daze that he welcomed. His mind needed the rest.

The red glow of the clock caught his eye and he sighed heavily, gaining no ground with Clark's wakefulness, and rolled off the bed, not carefully. Clark didn't stir.

He stepped over jeans and smiled at the wet circle on the carpet - he must not have gotten the cap back on. He wouldn't mention it to the cleaning service - a stain for remembrance, though it rang sharply with the sentimentality he'd schooled himself against so carefully.

But the universe had a changeful nature, and it might be a nice reminder.

The bathroom light was blue compared to the golden rays that filtered in through the crack in the curtains in the bedroom.

He grabbed a towel from the rack and reached for the faucet, catching his reflection in the mirror. His face sagged. It was drawn and ridiculously spent-looking for someone who had once been known for measuring parties in days rather than hours.

He ran a hand over his scalp, fingers coming to rest and squeeze on the back of his neck.

Eyes closed, he listened the rush of water from the tap for a moment, then leaned down over the basin, splashing his face with the warm water. Wiping face and hands dry with a towel, he rose up and reached for his toothbrush, hand stilling in mid air.

Clark's, smiling and beautiful, beamed over his shoulder in the mirror. Arms snaked around his waist and held him tight, and he forced the tension from his limbs and covered Clark's hands with his own.

Clark nuzzled close, inhaling against the back of his neck, sending chills down his spine. The hands slid out from under Lex's and rubbed low on his stomach as Clark's hips rocked gently against his ass.

"Come back to bed?" The low whisper in his ear pulled his head around and his mouth met Clark's at an awkward, delicious angle.

Lex groaned against the slip of Clark's tongue on his own, pulling back and speaking to their reflection in the mirror. "I have a meeting in an hour."

Clark's hair flopped into his eyes as he ducking his head, lips kissing Lex's shoulder, nibbling lightly enough to hasten his pulse.

"Mmm. Don't make this harder on yourself, Lex."

The sly smirk that played across Clark's lips widened into a smile as Lex turned deftly in the slackened embrace.

"Harder on you, you mean." Lex grinned up into the mischievous eyes and they shown just a little in the fluorescent light as Clark laughed softly.

Red, full lips smiled all the way to his own, then kissed gently for a moment before a promise breathed between them. "I'll be here when you get back."

Lex tightened his arms around Clark's back, fingers twining in his hair to pull him down for a deeper kiss. Eyes closed, Lex let himself drown in the lingering perfection of their unspoken vow.

Breathless and sated, he turned back to the mirror and smiled at their dual reflection. "I'm counting on it."



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