~ The There 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: Getting There ~

May 2002
Pairing: Clark/Lex
Rating: NC-17
Spoilers: A tiny, tiny Jitters one
Summary: The companion piece to Almost There.

Acknowledgements: To Goss for popping my Clex fic-writing cherry and to Jennifus, my If-I-could,- I-would-smack-her-upside-the-head-with-a-dictionary Beta, without whom this fic would be unpublished (and at the very least, mutilated).

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.

 


***


It’s 8 o’clock and Lex is just leaving the office. Another one of those days, made that much harder because his mind wasn’t anywhere near work today. Okay, here goes nothing. He flips his phone open and sticks it back in the holder on the dash.

"Dial Clark." He feels silly barking the order at the phone, but it’s so much easier than trying to find the numbers on that tiny piece of shit.

"Come on, come on - pick up."

"Hello?"

"Clark? Lex. I have a favor to ask." No point beating around the bush.

"Hey, Lex. What is it?."

"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?"

"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." Well, that was the truth - most of the truth anyway.

"Oh, well I guess I’ll go then." Not the reaction Lex was hoping for.

"Don’t sound so excited Clark."

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

"People like what Clark? Like me?."

"You’re not like them." So naïve Clark - so naïve.

"Of course I am."

"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."

"Not to me." God he was impossible sometimes.

"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?"

"Are you kidding?"

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

"Yeah?" Lex just couldn’t resist.

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

"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 snaps the phone shut. Perfect timing - he pulls through the gates of the Luthor house and around the back to the garage. Lionel’s there waiting for him.
His father runs a gloved hand along his Ferrari, then looks at his fingers. Must be dusty. Better have Mason take it to be detailed tomorrow.

"Hello Lex."

"Dad - to what do I owe this honor? Looking for another one of my ex-girlfriends? Or is it actually business this time?"

"It‘s always business, son. You should know that by now."

Their heels click sharply on the marble as they walk through the kitchen and down the hall. So much for relaxing tonight. They reach the living room and he sees that Lionel’s already been in here, making himself comfortable. The fire’s burning high and one of his $500 bottles of scotch has been opened. Shit. He kicks off his shoes and settles in for the sparring match with his father. During this - the latest of Lionel’s rants - he lets his mind wonder. He’s gotten used to these little tirades and can almost completely tune them out now.

He pours himself some of the scotch and leans his head back on the chair. He’ll have to call Randolph tonight and let him know that he and Clark are coming in for a fitting. But it’s not the tux he’s thinking about when his father lays a bony hand on his shoulder and gives it a hard squeeze.

"… Are you son?"

" Oh, sorry. Did you say something? Am I what?"

"Fond of your marketing department?"

"We’ve had to do some fancy work lately to boost PR after the toxins where dumped on the Kent land.

They’ve done a thorough job and have launched a new clean-environment campaign that’s made these people feel safe again. So, yes, I guess you could say I’m fond of my marketing department."

"Too bad son - I’m moving them to Metropolis - need them there." Lionel smirks, looking pleased with himself.

Lex squeezes the bridge of his nose and closes his eyes. His father’s presence always gives him a headache. Which means he’ll be up all night. Again.

"If you don’t mind, I have some work I need to get done, Dad. We’ll talk about this on Monday at the board meeting." *Go. Go. Get out. Leave me alone.*

"Yes, we will. Goodnight son."

Why does that always sound like a threat coming from his father? Like it should be followed by, "I wouldn’t close my eyes tonight if I were you."

Lex builds the fire back up a little, pours himself another scotch and flops back into the deep leather armchair. Well, at least he has the Gala covered. No hassles, no games - just Clark and dinner, a little business, cut a ribbon and he’s out of there. Then he’d show Clark the side of Metropolis that he knows best.


***


"Hold still." Lex is enjoying this. Clark’s literally twitching while Randolph pins the hems on his pants.

"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. Lex covers his smile with the back of his hand. Wouldn’t want Clark to feel any more embarrassed than he already is.

"Don’t worry Clark - he’s almost done. I told you it would be painless."

"Yeah right. You’re not the one getting stabbed. " Too cute, Clark.

The tailor shoots him a dirty look.

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

Clark’s just standing there, looking at his reflection in the mirror, grinning from ear to ear. Lex can’t help but laugh.

"Get dressed Clark."

Clark realizes his vanity in a snap and steps away from the mirror, then disappears behind the curtain of the dressing room. That was almost too easy for Lex. How far will Clark blindly follow his wishes? It’s so tempting to take advantage of that innocence. He could, oh say, dress him up in a tux and sweep him off to a Gala in the city.

"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."

Lex can see Clark‘s hip through a gap at the side of the curtain as he tugs on his jeans. He turns his head but his eyes drift back, hoping for another peek. Hey, he has to get his kicks somehow.

When Clark comes out he’s already looking like a lost puppy. Lex wonders if this is a mistake, then feels pangs of guilt for even thinking about abusing Clark’s innocence.

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

"Thanks Lex. I’m still really nervous. What am I going to talk to these 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."

"Except a pitch fork - you know that one."

"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?"

Lex knows he’s genuinely nervous - he remembers he felt that way at his first formal dinner for LuthorCorp. Lionel told him to recite historical speeches in his head instead of getting emotional. Anything to distract himself from being nervous. He ended up working several great quotes into the conversations he was on the edges of and was an instant hit. People are always impressed and intimidated by what they don’t understand. Lex turned that to his advantage then and has been doing it ever since. But that would definitely not work for Clark.

"What you need is a distraction Clark. Think about Lana."

"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."

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

Lex has to laugh. Clark’s buttoned his shirt wrong. This is beyond nervous.

"You’re off a button Clark." Clark gives him a puzzled look and Lex raises his eyebrows at his shirt.

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

"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-buttoning his shirt and they walk outside.

"Trust me."


***


And they did. Adored him and fawned all over him, that is . So much that Lex barely got two words with Clark all evening. The lamb was dry - the mint sauce too sweet, but dinner was perfect next to Clark. He fumbled the forks despite all the memory tricks Lex had tried to teach him, and when someone else at the table noticed, they just smiled and looked away. That’s how much they adored him.

Business was good, but Lex wasn’t worried about that. He watched Clark in amused wonder as he blossomed. 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. In spite of all the encouragement he’d given, he didn’t really believe that Clark had this in him. This was a whole new side of Clark. Interesting.

When he finally catches up with Clark, he’s in the hallway sitting on a marble bench, one leg resting on the other knee, hands kneading his foot through his shoe.

"Ready to go?" Let’s get out of here so we can be alone.

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

"You get used to them." Well, almost.

"Not me. Give me some sneakers or nothing- these suck!"

"Ready to get out of that suit too?"

"Actually, I like it. It makes me feel - important."

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

"Maybe a little."

As they head for the car, Lex decides this is the time to try to move things along. He 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.

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

"Why? Where are we going?"

"Out. Is that okay with you?"

"How am I going to get in anywhere? I’m 16 Lex."

So naïve. He shoots Clark a smile and Clark nods.

"Right. I forgot. You‘re Lex Luthor."

Lex pulls off his jacket and strips off his shirt, reaching for his change of clothes. He feels Clark’s eyes on him and smiles.

"Jesus Lex. You - you‘re - "

"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."

"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."

"I’d rather shave and worry about shampoo than have to see that look on all of my lovers’ faces." Clark has his shirt off and is fumbling with the clasp in the tux pants. Tricky little buggers. Lex is trying hard not to stare.

"All of your lovers -? Oh, I’m sorry."

Lex waves it off without a word. He’s grown to expect this conversation every time he takes his shirt off.

"Lex, can I ask you something?"

"Of course."

"Is sex really all they say it is?" Where’s this coming from? Oh right - he’s 16.

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

"Well… I guess."

"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?" Did he really just say that to the boy who‘s had a crush on Lana Lang his entire life? Oh God - he sounds hurt. Lex can’t believe he made Clark’s voice sound like that. But it *was* the truth.

"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."

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

"Why Clark? Keeping a record?" Lex isn’t sure that’s something he wants Clark to know.

"Um - no. I was just curious."

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

"Right. Well, do you know how many men you’ve been with?" What was this? Men?

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

"I just thought - well, I’d heard-" Once again his reputation had preceded him. Great.

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

"Is it- I mean - well, is it-" This is just painful. Spit it out Clark!

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

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

"No."

"No? That’s it?"

"That’s it for now. We’re here."

Clark’s fidgeting with his seatbelt and trips as he climbs out of the limo. He must still be as nervous as he was at the gala. Maybe more. He pulls Clark 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 him a little. The music’s thumping, lights flashing, people everywhere and he can’t think. He yells in Clark’s ear to just stay close to him and then heads over to the bar.

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

"What’s this?"

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

"Sure, but -"

"No buts. Just relax - drink it. You’ll like it. It‘s really very tame."

The bartender comes back with Lex’s Martini. Ah, freedom. With an olive. Lex nods sideways at the dance floor.

"I’m going out there - you coming?"

"I’ll just stay here."

"Suit yourself Clark."

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

The pounding music, the smell of alcohol mixed with cigarette smoke, the people everywhere, bumping into each other as they dance - it’s all so comforting to Lex. Sweet anonymity. He tries not to think about how back in the limo he saw Clark’s eyes lingering on his chest. But Clark’s still over there, on the stool alone - being Clark. 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 Clark’s asking what sex with Lana would be like and how many partners he‘s had.


***


Lex woke up with a headache and is in the kitchen of the penthouse fixing a redeye. Raw egg, tomato juice and Lager. Revolting, but it works. Where had he learned this trick? Oh right - Lionel gave him one before a Monday morning board meeting once.

Clark is sprawled where Lex had left him last night - on the couch. Wonder that he isn’t awake yet.

"Mmmph. Mmph - uh. Oh, ow. My head! What time is it? " Right on cue - what else did he expect from Clark?

"Um, 10. Want one of these?" Lex lifts his glass and Clark stares, trying to focus on it.

"Is that a raw egg Lex???"

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

"Pass." Face back in the pillow, his hair a curly, sexy mess.

"Suite yourself. The headache won’t go away unless you at least drink some water though. Here."

Clark looks up at Lex, the Ty-Nant bottle flies through the air and his hand shoots up to catch it. He twists the top off and gulps down the cool water.

"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."

"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."

"Okay. Hey Lex?"

"Uh huh?"

"How much did I drink last night?"

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

Bitch. Well, she got hers.

"Oh God. Really?" Clark’s face is beet red.

"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. Impossible to resist letting his hand brush up against Clark’s hard cock before fastening his pants and leading him outside. In the limo, he entertained thoughts of just taking what he wanted. But that would have been too easy. And he wanted Clark to respond to him, to be there with him.

"Thanks."

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

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

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


***


"You look horrible Lex."

"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."

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.

"Oh. Well I can see you‘re busy. I‘ll go." Lex doesn’t take his eyes off his work but he knows Clark hasn’t moved. He’s watching Lex, waiting for something.

"Wanna tell me what Lana did this time?"

"What do you mean?"

"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 here Clark - it’s a small town. 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."

"What is it then?"

"Nothing." That’s the most loaded "nothing" he’s ever heard. So Clark’s going to make him pry it out of him - well, he can do that.

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."

"So what kept you awake last night Lex?" Same thing that keeps me awake every night Clark.

Lex’s phone rings and he flips it open. "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." Yeah and hopefully hell would freeze over.

In the hallway of the Luthor Mansion, Clark can’t stop looking at the walls - the paintings - the maps - everywhere he looks there’s something interesting. Lex sees him gawking and smiles.

"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 new Porsche.

Clark opens the passenger door and crams himself into the compact car, ducking his head and all but sticking his knees in his ears.

"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. Lex is in no mood for music right now. 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, who obviously wonders if he’s the cause of this silence.

"I shouldn’t have asked why you can’t sleep Lex - I’m sorry. None of my business." Well hell, Lex didn’t mean to make him feel bad.

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

Clark climbs out of the car and stretches. Really, he has a point - it’s too small to cost so much. Clark is ten steps in front of him but he holds the Talon door. They grab a table by the window and Clark hooks his backpack over the back of his chair. So young. Too young? Maybe. And here she is - Lady Luck in the flesh.

"Ms. Lang -- nice to see you again. Drop any dishes today?"

"Um…."

" In that case, I’ll have a Cafe Mocha with whip - in a Styrofoam cup."

"You got it Lex. What about you Clark?"

"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. Clark’s still watching her when Lex looks back at him.

"You’ve got good taste Clark." Clark rolls his eyes.

"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’s eyes light up with laughter and Lex enjoys it a little more than he should. It’s now or never, so here goes nothing.

"So, what are your plans for the summer Clark?"

"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."

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

"I haven‘t thought about it really. Anywhere would be new. 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 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." Lex has nothing but good intentions, but somehow when he says it all, it comes out sounding like he’s after something.

"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. 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."

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

"Here are your drinks boys!" Lex could kiss Lana - she has the best timing.

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

"Delicious as ever Ms. Lang. You make the best Café Mocha in town." A neat dismissal.

"I have like five tables waiting on me guys - catch you later?" Good, she got the hint.

"Sure, Lana. Whenever you get the chance!" Clark’s never been a master of subtlety.

" Well, Clark, it’s been good talking but I’d better get going. Want a ride home?"

Something in his voice unintentionally makes it sound like an order rather than an offer and 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 too loud - then to the window controls, then to the gear shift and they’re being blasted by music and wind before Clark can say anything. After that little reminder of Clark’s Lana-obsession, Lex doesn’t want to talk.

Clark is leaning back, eyes closed. On the empty rural route, he watches Clark more than the road, taking advantage of his closed eyes. His elbow rubs Clark’s arm when he changes gears. Clark inhales deeply and his chest rises. It’s too much. Lex can’t help but touch him. He speeds up, puts it into 5th gear and lays his hand lightly on Clark’s. Maybe he won’t notice. Lex stares straight ahead, pretending to pay attention to the road, dreading the moment he knows is coming - when Clark snatches his hand away and confronts him. But it doesn’t come. Clark moves his head slightly but keeps his eyes closed, smiles and goes back to catnapping.

"Clark?"

"Mmm?"

"You awake?"

"Define awake."

He’s awake. And not moving Lex’s hand away.

"Is this okay?" Please don’t say no.

"Mmmm."

Lex smiles to himself. That was *not* a “no.“ It’s a simple start, but it’s a start. There’s plenty of time to make things complicated. He raises his foot slightly and takes his time getting to Clark’s house.

When they get close to the Kent farm, Clark opens his eyes and smiles at Lex. Then his eyes fall on Lex‘s hand and Lex moves it to the gear shift. Nothing - no indication that he’s offended - or pleased. He’s giving Lex nothing to work with here.

"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." Now *that* Lex can work with.

"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.

"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.

"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 - he’s still obeying. Maybe he can push Clark a little further.

"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. "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, grinning like a fool. He turns into the farm, downshifting too slowly and letting out the clutch too fast, and the car jerks to a halt.

"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 and his little grins. Can’t even pull off sarcasm without one.

"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.

"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.

"Thanks, Lex."

"No problem Clark." And Clark’s still holding onto his arm. Lex looks down at it and Clark jerks his hand away like he’s just realized he was still holding it. Raising his eyebrows, Lex takes Clark’s hand. He doesn’t pull it away. No - this is too weird. Clark can’t possibly - no. Lex drops his hand and opens his car door, climbs inside and slams it shut.

"Shit."

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

"Lex-"

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

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

"Clark. You‘re going home." Can’t talk - can’t think. Have to get away from Clark before this happens - before these things are said.

"No Lex, I’m not. I need to talk and you need to listen." And Clark’s never sounded like *this* before. He’s never ordered him to do anything. And it floors Lex. So, okay.

"Where?"

"Anywhere - just drive." Surprising himself, Lex realizes he can obey too.

He 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’s hand snakes in and pulls them out of the breast pocket. Is he *trying* to drive Lex mad?

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

"Thanks." He takes the sunglasses, shakes them open and slides them on. He feels hidden from Clark now - safe. Clark’s turned toward him as far as he can in the tiny car, watching him. It’s too hot and Lex considers turning on the a/c. In January. Clark would think he was nuts. He looks over at Clark, who‘s got his mouth open but not saying anything. He gives Lex a look - like he can’t start this conversation, so Lex figures he might as well just dive in.

" So Clark, what is it you want to talk about?" An opener if there ever was one. And Clark bites.

"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. You - kissing him."

Uh-oh.

"I didn’t kiss him Clark." A little thing Lex likes to call plausible deniability.

"Lex I saw you -"

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

"Whatever. So are you - together?" What is that in his voice? Anger? Jealousy? Can’t be.

"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."

Here it comes. Just do it Lex, you know you want to. It’s now or never. A deep breath and then.

"It’s you." There. Chew on that, Clark.

"Me?"

Lex looks at him quickly to see the reaction - Clark’s surprised… but not disgusted. That has to be a good sign. He’s still turned towards Lex, a look of total shock on his 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." Clark swallows so loudly that Lex hears it. He reaches over and touches Clark’s leg.

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

A long silence. Too long. Painfully long. Clark swallows again and Lex turns on the a/c. In fucking January. It’s too hot in here. Clark clears his throat and plays with the corner of his flannel shirt.

"What do you - think about?" Now there’s a question.

"Are you sure you really want to know, Clark?" Clark actually pauses to think about this. As usual, his face tells Lex exactly what he’s thinking. Curiosity and embarrassment warring. Curiosity wins. He nods.

And Lex just goes for it. He 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 Clark’s lips are soft and warm - comforting and - strangely - welcoming. He’s so gentle - and it’s so hot. And then he’s gone. He’s looking at Lex with the first unreadable expression Lex has ever seen on Clark’s face.

"That. That’s what I think about. Well, that and more." He waits, expecting - a punch, a laugh, *something.*

Clark reaches up to touch his own lips in wonder. Like he can’t believe they just kissed. His mouth curls into a sweet smile and he moves his fingers from his lips to Lex’s. 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 Clark starts to lean away. The first time someone did that to Lex, his knees turned to Jell-O. Good thing Clark isn’t standing up. And Clark may as well have punched him.

"Wow." Simple and perfect.

"Yeah?" Lex can’t believe his ears. Wow? That has to be good.

"Lex, I‘ve thought about you too." This is not happening - it can’t be - he’s lying.

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

"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 knows the feeling.

"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."

"What do you think about Clark? What turns you on?" Clark looks down at his sneakers and a blush creeps up from his collar to his ears. He’s so shy and it just makes Lex’s heart beat faster. So he and Lana never had sex. Probably never even kissed. He doesn’t even think about her sexually anymore. Lex holds his breath, waiting for Clark to answer. His heart is beating in his ears.

"I don‘t want you to know"

"Why?"

"It‘s embarrassing." Right. He’s 16. Lex has to keep reminding himself of that.

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

"Human nature. Right." Irony there, Lex thinks, but doesn’t understand it. It’s Clark, so simplify things for him.

"Have you read any Walt Whitman Clark?"

"What?"

"Walt Whitman. He wrote about the beauty of all people - the universal beauty of every person. He saw the world as full of passion and pleasure. Even pain and death held beauty for him. I feel the same way, Clark. Every person is beautiful, seductive. 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."

"I had a dream about you once 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?"

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

"What if I do?" Too good to be true. Clark is really here, in his car, saying these words to him. Composure Lex - remember, he’s just a boy. Just an amazing boy. Just a beautiful, amazing boy. Yeah. Just a -. Jesus.

Clark reaches across Lex’s arm and starts to loosen his tie. Lex flinches - he wasn’t expecting this. In a half-second he decides not to protest. He jerks his tie loose and slips it off over his head, letting it fall into the backseat. Clark’s hands are fumbling with Lex’s shirt buttons and he’s got his eyebrows crinkled up and tongue stuck out in concentration. Lex smiles at him but he doesn’t even see it. So adorable.

"Clark, let me." Lex quickly unbuttons his shirt and then Clark’s hands are pushing it off his shoulders before he can get the cufflinks off.

"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 pulls away long enough to pull his shirt and sweater over his head. There‘s too much room between them. Clark‘s just looking at him. It’s an awkward moment. They both know this is the last chance to stop this - that this is the point of no return. Once they’ve done this, there’s no going back to just being friends. Lex is waiting for Clark to retreat. He doesn’t, though. He doesn’t.

Clark slides his hand across Lex’s chest, then down his side, making Lex suck in air. He moves his hand down to Clark’s thigh and squeezes. Clark’s hands are maddening on him - so strong and rough but inexperienced and they almost tickle. Lex puts a hand around Clark’s neck and pulls him in for another kiss. He’s torn between the kiss and being able to see Clark like this and compromises by opening his eyes. Kissing Clark with his eyes open is a whole different experience.

Clark reaches for Lex’s belt. The sound of his zipper is deafening. His hand is cool on Lex’s hot skin, but when he leans down, Clark’s mouth is hot on him. The contrast takes Lex’s breath away. Clark’s mouth moving up and down on him, his hair tickling Lex’s stomach. It’s strange - the rhythm’s off and it’s achingly shallow and then Lex remembers. Clark has never done this before - never even had this done *to* him. An innocent blowjob - how ironic. It’s incredibly erotic though, knowing his is the first cock Clark has tasted. Lex takes a deep breath and tilts his head back on the headrest, trying to relax. He moans his encouragement to Clark, who’s moving faster now. This is too much, too soon, too- something. He grabs Clark‘s shoulder and tugs at it.

"Clark. Stop. Clark - stop."

Clark sits up slowly, but 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?"

"I don’t want you to do this Clark. Not yet." He wants to show him - teach him - guide him. And not here.

Clark leans back on his seat, completely pulling away from Lex. Exactly what Lex was afraid of. The distance between them is less than a foot but it feels like the length of a football field.

"Lex -" He can’t let him talk - Clark will convince him to do this now if he talks. This isn’t how it should be. Clark deserves better.

"Clark, not yet. Not here, not like this."

"Then when, where?"

"My penthouse Clark." Lex watches Clark for a reaction. He’s sure to put it all together now - he’ll know that Lex had this in mind all along. And suddenly it dawns on Clark, and he finally gets it. And he smiles. And it’s contagious. Lex pulls Clark’s head down on his chest and leans back. Clark’s arms wrap around him in a tight embrace. This is nice. Lex can’t remember the last time someone just held him - or the last time he held someone. Was it Pamela? Or his mother? Too long ago to matter, now.

"Lex, how long have you been planning this?" Now that is the question, isn’t it?

"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?"

"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 for yourself 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 looks at his shoes.

"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?" As soon as he says it, Lex knows he shouldn’t have. Clark’s muscles go taut against him.

"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.

"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 him 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."

Lex can’t argue with that logic. Losing your virginity is not all fun and games and who better to be by your side than your best friend?

"Okay, Clark." Okay, Clark? Who was he kidding? Like Clark had to twist his arm.

"Okay?" Now Clark’s scared again. This could go wrong in so many ways. Better proceed with caution.

"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.

Then he starts the car up and heads back towards the Kent farm. He could have had Clark right there. Being the one to make them wait feels strangely satisfying.

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

"Leave that to me Clark." Lex has this part already figured out.

He peels 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. He can do it. He can talk Jonathan Kent into sending his only son to Metropolis with him, a Luthor. Yeah. Right.

Lex thuds up the wooden porch stairs ahead of Clark, but waits for him to open the door.

"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."
Jonathan comes clunking into the room smelling like hay and tugging off his work gloves.

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

"Sorry Dad. I stopped by Lex’s to tell him about Earl."

"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. Might be something to work with. He takes a breath and tries not to make this sound desperate - or shady.

"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?"

Jonathan looks surprised, to say the least. Martha looks just as shocked, but also suddenly… eager. Ah, thank you, Martha.

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

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

Martha raises her eyebrows and purses her lips, waiting for Jonathan’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."

There it is - the look he’s been watching for. Jonathan, considering. And… accepting.

"Sounds good, Lex, but we’ll have to talk it over."

Hook, line and sinker.

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

Lex tries not to laugh at the stupid grin on Clark’s face. Could he be any more obvious? Still, Lex knows as well as Clark that he’s said all the right things and he’s about to acquire a guest in his penthouse.


***


"Lex Luthor."

"It’s Clark."

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

"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?" No time like the present.

"No."

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

"I don’t." Okay, this was odd.

"You don’t? Have you changed your mind Clark?"

"No. I want you to take me. I want you there with me. Tonight." Lex almost falls out of his chair. Tries to make a quick recovery. Not like anyone is watching him - but, still.

"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."

"Great. I’ll see you at 5." And just like that Clark hung up. What’s going on here? Lex knows he’s missing something.

Lex pushes the call button on his desk.

"Rachel, could you come in here please?"

"Certainly, Mr. Luthor." And she’s standing in the doorway when Lex looks up.

"I need to cancel my appointments for the rest of the week. I’ll be working from Metropolis - strike that. I’ll be in Metropolis but completely off limits the rest of the week. That means no cell, no office - and Rachel, don’t tell my father."

"Of course." And she’s gone. Efficient little woman. Cold, but efficient.

So Clark’s ready huh? Wants him to take him to Metropolis himself. And stay with him. Tonight. Lex’s stomach tightens and he stifles a giggle. A *giggle*? This must be what Christmas Eve feels like to most kids.


***


All through dinner, Clark’s silent. Silent, but smiling to himself. He’s okay, Lex thinks. It’s not the usual Clark, but he must be nervous. Well, first times weren’t usually great, but Lex could maybe work a little enjoyment into Clark’s second time. He’s sure they would both happen tonight. Well, if he had any say in it.

So he lets Clark brood a little over his steak. Smiles openly at him when he asks for A-1 and a straw for his Coke. He’d get him to talk in the car. Or maybe after they were in Metropolis. Anyway, it’d be fine. Lex was more than willing to play teacher tonight. And counselor. And leader. And whatever else Clark needed. But for now, the silence was fine. Electric even, charged with anticipation.

So when Clark finally breaks the silence in a serious voice on the way to the city, it’s not a surprise.

"Lex, we need to talk." Despite expecting it, that *really* was never a good thing to hear. From anyone. Especially Clark. Especially not when Lex has a hand on Clark’s knee and they’re halfway to Metropolis, on their way to be together.

"Okay - what’s up?" Clark’s staring at his shoes.

"I am completely clueless. I don’t know anything. About sex. Especially sex with - another man." Okay, Clark’s going for the straightforward, business-like approach. Lex knows how to handle this - he expected 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." No problem.

"So I’ll start."

"But what if I-" Stop that thought before he gets it stuck in his head.

"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."

More than fine if Lex can help it.

Clark nods, but is silent the rest of the way there, and when Lex pulls into the garage and parks, he nearly falls out of the car, catching his foot on the door frame. So nervous.

"Clark, come here." Lex grabs Clark’s hand and pulls him over to him, leaning back against the car. He reaches up and cups Clark’s face in his hands.

"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. It’s like coming home - to his childhood home - where he was safe and loved. Clark’s arms fold around him and he doesn’t even feel the cold of the parking garage now.

"Let’s go upstairs Lex." No arguments here.

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. He’s not getting through though. 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 he takes it between his hands to warm it. This is going to be a long night. Long, but good.

"You know where the bedroom is Clark. Put your stuff in there and come back out. I have a surprise for you." Clark’s already blushing - even at the mention of the word ‘bedroom.’

When Clark comes out, Lex is sitting on the couch with a book in his hand. This has to work. It has to.

"What’s that?"

"It’s a book Clark. You know, pages, words. A book." Damn it Lex, curb the sarcasm already.

"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 Lex and lays it on the coffee table.

"I know what you’re trying to tell me Lex. I understand." Maybe he does. Lex doesn’t think so. He shakes his head slightly and hopes Clark doesn‘t see.

"What am I trying to tell you?"

"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."

"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."

Okay, so he wants to be lead. Predictable and innocent and it’s so- hot.

"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 ear. Clark’s warm breath in his ear has Lex hard in seconds. Maybe he doesn’t just want to be led. Maybe he wants to lead a little too.

"What else, Lex?"

"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." Is it wrong that they’ve only just begun and he’s already fumbling for words? No - nothing about this is wrong.

"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.

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 to overcome his inhibitions, to come to him. Finally he does. Clark’s hands slip over his shoulders, down his chest, around his waist. Lex begins to unbutton Clark’s shirt, and Clark steps back far enough that he has a good view of him. He pulls his shirt over his head, ignoring the buttons. He unzips his jeans and kicks them off.

They stand there, just looking - seeing - for a few long moments. Lex runs his hands over Clark’s chest, his shoulder, walks around to touch his back. He’s behind Clark, arms holding him firmly around the waist, mouth on Clark’s ear, sending chills down his back.

"Walk to the bedroom. Don’t turn around and don’t talk." Clark obeys, hesitantly.

"Kneel down on the floor." Clark drops to his knees on the hardwood floor with what sounds like a painful thud. He winces but then moans. So far, so good.

Lex follows him - crouching behind him, and curls his body over Clark’s. He whispers in Clark’s ear.

"Do you want it like this?"

"No. I want to see you, Lex. I want to look at you." That can be arranged. Lex crawls around to Clark’s front and licks a wet stripe from his stomach to his chest. He pushes Clark down on his back with a firm kiss.

Raising up with his hands on either side of Clark’s head, he smiles.

"Tell me what you want, Clark."

"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 and Lex isn’t surprised to find him hard and dripping when he takes him in his mouth.

"Oh, God-" That’s all the consent he needs.

Lex starts going through his favorites - a firm lick all the way up, teasing the tip with his tongue, teeth barely touching as he slowly sucks. Then, increasing everything - speed, strength, depth. Clark’s so close now but when he gets just to the edge, he seems to turn it off on purpose.

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

Lex just keeps going, building Clark back up, hoping he gets the message that this is what he had in mind all along.

And he must, because after just a little more encouragement, he’s swallowing Clark’s come, holding his hips tightly as he bucks into Lex‘s mouth. The taste… amazing. Bitter, but like citrus, like- Clark.

He sits up, straddling Clark’s legs. He watches his face change from pleasure to pain in an instant.

"Lex - I - I’m sorry."

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

"Really?"

"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? Clark’s hands on him, slipping over his skin, kneading his back, pulling him down. They’re faces are almost touching when Clark whispers to him.

"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. This must be how Clark touches himself. Oh God. Lex’s stomach tightens and something in him - breaks. All of his fears come down to this moment. He’s doing this - with Clark - and he’s open - completely vulnerable. And he has to stay this way. For it to be what he wants, he has to stay this way.

"Lex?"

"Okay, Clark. Okay. Stand up - get in the bed." Clark blindly obeys, pulling down the comforter and sheets before climbing under them, then thinking almost out loud, kicks 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, finding his rhythm again in a heartbeat. A heartbeat - that’s what it feels like. Only. Faster.

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. Clark sees him, realizes what he’s getting, shakes his head.

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

"Clark-" Why is his voice so- broken?

"Really, Lex. Please." Really. So, okay. He lets the condom fall 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.

"No, wait - it‘s cold. Rub your hands together - get it warm first." Clark looks a little embarrassed. Like he should have known he was supposed to do that. 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. Wants to devour him, but he knows he has to go slow - so slow. This is not going to be easy.

"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’s lips part but he doesn’t say anything. He gives Lex a slow nod. He lets go of Lex when he starts to pull away. Clark unconsciously rubs his hand clean on the sheet and Lex smiles to himself, just a little.

He runs his hands along Clark’s thighs, pushing them open gently. Clark closes his eyes and tilts his head back. Just. Breathing. He’s hard again. So - *young.*

Lex curls his hand around his own cock, getting his fingers slick, draws a wet line down Clark‘s leg, inside his thigh. He’s watching Clark for a reaction as he slowly slips his finger into him.

A gasp - and Clark opens his eyes for just a second. Then he licks his lips and closes them again.

Lex pushes his finger further in. So warm - and tight. He’s going so slow that it’s near torture, but he knows it won‘t always be like this. He moves his finger in and out of Clark, who moans and balls the sheet up in his fists. Another finger. Clark raises his hips and moans.

"Lex, I can’t wait. I want you inside me."

"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.

Lex is dying here - Clark is so - small. So - new. He wonders if he should keep this up for awhile longer, but decides against it as Clark starts to rock his hips. He’s ready.

Lex lays down on him, getting as close as he can. Clark’s body is so warm, and he’s wrapping his arms around Lex. He’s clutching him - obviously terrified.

"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, Lex, remember- and when he slides into Clark, *almost* carefully, every muscle in his body goes tense.

"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‘s muscles relax a little under him. That’s better. Lex slowly moves in and out, so gently, shallow and easy. This is really trying his patience, but it’s so necessary. He can’t take his eyes off Clark - he’s so beautiful. Lex’s rocking moves Clark gently underneath him, their chests sliding against each other. But something seems wrong when he looks at Clark‘s face. There’s no sign of pain, but something isn’t right. But - something… isn’t right. Lex is completely disarmed when he realizes that Clark is *holding his breath*.

Lex can’t manage anything more than a whisper.

"You okay, Clark?" Silence.

"Clark. I need to know - are you okay?" Nothing. Clark’s eyes are still closed - tight. He stops moving.

"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. Wanting, so badly.

"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 on Clark’s face.

"No! No, don’t stop. I’m okay."

Lex can’t decide if he should put a stop to this. Clark’s hard against his stomach, but he’s slick with sweat and the shaking… can‘t be a good sign.

"Clark, maybe I should-"

"No, Lex. I just - I didn’t think it would be so- like this. It’s so - it’s not- dirty."

"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 and Lex starts rocking into him again.

Lex 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 seems to melt under him. His hands move along Lex’s back and he’s sighing. He wraps his legs around Lex, finding his rhythm and matching it. This is more like it.

"Is that okay?" He has to ask?

"Oh God Clark, you’re so incredible. It’s - you‘re - perfect."

Clark stares into his eyes, tongue unconsciously moving over his lips. Lex picks up the pace, harder, faster, a little deeper. He’s holding back, but it’s so sweet that he doesn’t mind taking his time.

"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."

"Oh - Lex - I’m- I’m going to -don‘t stop-"

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

Right now, in this moment, Clark is his. His lover. His student. His- God. His. Just the thought is more than enough. He can’t wait anymore. He comes inside Clark, rocking in waves against him. After a few moments, he pulls out, the feeling of separation exquisitely sharp. He leans down and licks Clark‘s tears away, an impulse that seems so strange - so erotic. Salt. From inside Clark. His mouth finds Clark’s and he kisses him softly. He moves off to lie just beside him.

He kisses Clark’s shoulder and brings a leg up to rest across his legs, pulling him in close. When he pulls Clark’s head down on his chest, Clark swallows hard and his tears start again. Lex can feel him jerking with his silent crying. He closes his eyes. Lex can’t stand this.

He makes an effort to sound gentle, comforting, patient.

"Shhh. Clark it’s okay. It’s okay." Clark just barely nods. "What’s wrong?"

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

And Clark‘s arms enfold him. He clings to Lex, turning on his side to face him, burying his head in Lex‘s shoulder. Lex holds him close, knowing there‘s nothing else to say. And at this moment, Lex knows that he is loved -desperately, completely, wholly and without judgement. He holds onto that feeling like it’s the most precious thing in the world.


And it is.

~ FINIS ~

 

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