~ TheThere Series ~

The There series was the first thing I wrote in any fandom, and was definitely a learning experience. I have not re-written this series, but left it as an example of my earliest writing. In this series, there are two versions of each fic - one written in Lex's point of view and one written in Clark's point of view. I hope you enjoy reading them!

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

~ Chapter V: Out There ~



Original Pub Date: 9/25/02

Series: There (#5)

Codes: Clark/Lex

Rating: NC-17

Spoilers: Season one

Summary: Clark and Lex at the penthouse, cont'd. <g> Clark's POV / Number 5 in
the THERE series / Companion piece to There Above Everything (coming soon)

Author Notes: Happy birthday to Rhiannon, my dear beta and friend. We're going
asap, hon. Profuse thanks and much groveling at the feet of my betas: Philtre,
Kathryn, Dana, Diana, Rachel, LaCasta and WHEW! When did I get SIX betas??
LOL I need you all though, and you all know it! :) Also Hen (whom I adore) for the
preview read and GOSS for getting me started (bless you doll)

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: One thing we should have all learned from Lex Luthor by now: don't



Three days.

Seventy-two hours under the microscope, just a very boring speck of something
that walked and talked and did every other fucking thing just like everyone else,
but that also, unfortunately, happened to be from another planet. And, by the way,
doesn’t even know which one.

Three days of their vacation wasted while Lex snapped at him for not responding
fast enough or with the information he‘d wanted. Three days of take-out and stale
apartment air and six showers just to get *away* from the questions.

Worse - three nights sleeping alone in the next bedroom, excuses invented and
given way too easily to sound genuine, even to himself. Lex had accepted them way
too easily, too. He’d sought refuge in the guest room that first night because Lex’s
eyes never really stopped watching. Since then, he hadn’t been able to ask to
return to Lex’s bed. Hadn’t been sure Lex would want him there.

Across the room, Lex leaned over the bed, knee denting the mattress for balance
on the only paper-free area of the entire comforter, stretching for one note, then
another, lips working silently as he puzzled over yet another theory about the
heritage Clark didn‘t even want to think about anymore. Always the scientist, even
in this. Of course in this.

Just a speck of something forgotten when the too-intense observation had made
way for analysis.

There was a twisted kind of rejection in the way Lex insisted on treating him as a
problem to be solved, the insult cleverly hidden beneath the constant deluge of
questions. Caught himself shaking his head at the thoughts and stopped. Pointless
to use body language at all now that no one was bothering to look, now that Lex was
completely preoccupied with his studies. He’d almost rather have Lex staring again.

Amazing that he could still be so uncomfortable with the idea of Lex analyzing him,
even after days of it. An uneasy, guilty feeling flooded his chest every time Lex
asked him some obscure question that he didn‘t have the answer to. Like *now* he
was lying and the real lies had been the truth all along. Like he was wearing the
wrong skin and knew where he‘d left the right one, just couldn‘t get back to it by
any road he could think of.

The shortest distance between two points never turned out to be a straight road,
and he was definitely getting carsick on the curves of this one. "Lex, can‘t we take
a break?"

"Hmm? You just had one." Didn’t even look up from the papers. Lex had been like
this all morning.

"That was hours ago. Come on, can’t we just- just forget about this for awhile?
Let’s go out. You can play scientist later. I’ll even show you my third nipple." It was
lame, but he was running out of attention-getters at this point.

Lex looked up at him, eyes narrowing for just a second like he was making sure
Clark was kidding. Lex didn’t actually think he was serious, did he?

"Let me finish this thought, Clark. Then I‘ll take you out."

Like it’s suddenly a chore to leave the penthouse - like now *he’s* a chore. "You
make it sound like I’m a dog you‘re going to walk.

"Jesus, Clark. I‘ve known for three days that you‘re not human. What do you
expect me to do, take you out for ice cream and a trip to the zoo?"

Clark had known the instant he’d told Lex that there was no way he would just let
this go - no chance that it wasn‘t going to be a big deal. But it shouldn’t have to be
- he wished it wasn‘t, because no matter where he came from, he was still the
same person he‘d been three days ago. Impossible to take it all back now, even if
he wanted to, but still. He *felt* human. "No, but I still-"

"I don’t think I have to tell you that this is important. Just give me a little while
longer and I’ll leave you alone while I digest this. I… may have a few more questions

He was bored. Selfish, yes, but Lex didn’t even seem to notice that they‘d been
caged like rats for seventy-two - no, seventy *six* hours. When it came down to it,
he was still just a small town kid on vacation in the city, holed up in a penthouse
explaining what little he knew about spaceships and aliens to his best friend, his
boyfriend, the eccentric millionaire playboy who’d promised to show him the sights.

Of course, that had been *before* the playboy learned that the small town kid is
really an alien.

"How many more questions?" He‘d indulge Lex a little longer, but then he was going
to have to cash in his boyfriend card. Considering the circumstances, he hoped it
would still be valid.

"However many you’ll answer." Eyebrows raised at him then lowered as Lex’s
attention focused back onto the spread of notes covering the bed.

Finally, something he could work with. "Three then. Three more." One for each day
of doubt and insecurity.

Lex’s head snapped up. "Three?" He had Lex’s attention again. Wow, twice in five
minutes. Amazing.

"If I’m allowed to choose, then three. Three for now, maybe a few more tonight."
Who cares if he was playing dirty? Not him - not when playing fair meant
answering anything Lex asked. Sure, he’d kept Lex in the dark for way too long, but
this was… just ridiculous. Luthors apparently took making up for lost time to a
whole new level. Which wouldn’t be bad thing if Lex ever bothered to act like a
boyfriend again.

So, yeah, it was time to set some limits. There wasn’t that much to tell, anyway. He
couldn’t answer half of the questions Lex asked and coming up with new ways to
say, "I don’t know" stopped being fun at least a day ago.

"Fine, Clark. Three more. Can you get me another drink while I decide which
three?" Lex lifted his glass from the nightstand and held it out to him.

He eyed the glass, then took it grudgingly, making a face at Lex that, of course, he
didn‘t even see, nose already buried back in the papers. "Don’t you think you’ve had

"No." A faint echo of "you’re not my mother" somewhere underneath it.

"Lex, that’s three glasses already and it’s only noon. You haven‘t even eaten
breakfast yet." Noon and they were supposed to be at the Planet in three hours to
see Chloe. They’d already had to postpone the visit once, and Chloe wasn’t the most
patient person in the world. He had to find a way to get Lex back to - well, earth -
sometime soon.

"Clark, get the drink. I promise I won’t slur when we go to the paper. God knows
what they‘d make of that."

Lex hadn’t forgotten Chloe - of course. That kind of memory would be really handy
to have at his disposal someday, when they were both old and gray. Lex as an old
man didn’t seem possible though. Strong and wiry even then maybe, but - well, Lex
wouldn’t have any gray hair to attest to his age. Youthful even with wrinkles and
age spots. Couldn’t wrap his brain around the idea of Lex with wrinkles. That skin
would always be smooth and tight, muscles hard underneath it, shaping it into the
curves and lines he had memorized, knew by heart even after three nights without
Lex lying next to him.

How had he gotten from geriatric Lex to naked Lex? Oh, right, skin. And that’s
why fire engines are red. Beyond the initial pull of desire, he didn’t even consider
taking his clothes off in the same room as Lex now. But when it came to the idea of
the two of them naked, his hormones were apparently indifferent to scientific

He needed a quick distraction from the blood rushing to every important part on
his body. It was pointless though with Lex in the room, cologne permeating the air
and the fabric of his pants rustling softly as he moved.

Conceding victory to his hormones, Clark snuck a peak under the pale purple cloth
he’d practically drooled over in his club shirt quest a few days before. Hell, he was
still a teenager, alien or no, and Lex was still *Lex.* The material was no
competition for the skin underneath - not in softness or structure or style. He ran
his eyes over the broad chest and bare skin and toned muscles, savoring the
memory of how they felt against his own skin.

Then he focused deeper, to the bones, and it was a good thing he didn’t have a
weak stomach. Too many ragged lines attesting to breaks that he hadn’t been
around to stop. They should have known each other all these years. He could’ve
prevented those thin lines scarring Lex’s bones.

He raised his eyes and started over at Lex’s skull - wanted to memorize every flaw
so he could ask Lex about them later. He wanted to hear every story, wanted
*details* so he could come up with ways to make up for not being there to prevent
them. From the perfect row of gently bending vertebrae to the even, curved lines
of ribs, then over to Lex‘s arm. Vision shifted and the muscles of Lex’s arm flexed
as he bent to retrieve another paper from the bed.

The buckle of Lex’s belt flashed in Clark’s eyes and he blinked hard, pulling back
from the brick wall he just couldn’t go beyond without permission. His dad would
be proud - okay, maybe not *proud* - that he hadn’t used his power to look in Lex’s
pants. He refocused, no point in not looking at other parts if he could behave
himself, right?

He lowered his gaze, carefully avoiding zipper and buckle because hell, who knew if
Lex was going commando today. A quick glance - not even a glance really - a micro-
glance. Yep, commando. He scoffed and turned away from the temptation. Okay,
so maybe he wasn’t so virtuous after all.

Breathing deeply and trying hard to convince his cock it wasn’t dawn and now would
be a very inopportune time to think about crowing, he started for the bedroom
door, then realized he was still holding Lex’s empty glass. "Do you know what this
stuff is doing to your liver?"

Oh God. What *was* it doing to Lex’s liver? He glanced back, through Lex’s shirt,
to his stomach - suddenly curious and intentions completely honorable as he
examined the organs there. What was a liver supposed to look like anyway? Hell if
he knew. He blinked, averted his eyes long enough for them to return to normal,
then looked back.

God, Lex was adorable when he bit his pen like that, lips pulled back a little and
eyes intent on the paper in his hand. A smirk around the pen and it dropped from
teeth to hand. "Clean bill of health, Clark. You know I take my Scotch neat,

How could he not know? It was like not knowing what brand of water Lex bought by
the case. The drink still seemed like a really stupid way to cope, if this could be
called coping.

No point nagging Lex anymore - he’d do what he wanted to anyway - but Clark
couldn‘t resist a little jab. "Alcoholic."

"Alien." Lex raised eyebrows at him and smiled wide.

"You win." Clark turned and picked up the decanter, pouring shakily, almost giddy
with the play between them. Behind him, Lex’s quiet laughter closed the rift a
little. A little was good. More would be better.

Maybe they could find normalcy again while they were out. "Ask your three and
let’s get out of here."

"You‘re immortal, aren‘t you?"


"Just answer."

"No, I‘m not immortal. One down, two to go." He handed the squat glass to Lex,
who dropped one of the papers and gave him an appreciative smile for his trouble,
then bent over the paper he’d dropped and started scribbling again. Might as well
appease him for now. Looks like they weren‘t going anywhere anytime soon anyway.
He leaned back, settling in for another barrage.

Lex shook his pen, then raked it across the back of the paper in hard strokes, then
threw it into the metal trash can beside the desk with a loud clatter. "Can you
hand me another pen?"

He twisted around and pulled a pen from the holder on the desk behind him.
Handing it to Lex, he grinned. "Here. And that’s two."

Hand outstretched for the pen, Lex looked up from his papers, face still with
seriousness. "That doesn’t count and you know it."

Clark was cheating a lot today, so sue him. It was stifling in here and he wasn’t
going out on the balcony for air. "Fine, but hurry up and ask your other two. I’m
hungry and I finished off the pizza at breakfast."

Lex moved a stack of papers to the floor, clearing a place on the edge of the bed,
then sat, elbows resting on his knees, hands gesturing as he spoke. "You don’t get
sick, you can’t have intravenous immunizations like everyone else because your skin
in impenetrable."

Clark rolled his eyes in response. Lex was bordering on annoying. They’d been over
this a hundred times. "No shots, no sickness, no splinters, no broken bones. No.
Your point?"

"My point is, you can’t be killed."

Could have fooled him - meteor rocks seemed pretty effective in that department.
"Except with-"

"You don’t know that, Clark. You only *think* they could kill you."

"I think *this* could kill me, Lex."

"Bear with me."

"Uh-huh. Hurry up."

"I can’t believe you’re so blase about this, Clark. Listen to what I’m saying. You.
Can’t. Be. Killed."

"Whatever you say, Lex. Can we go now?"

"Don’t you want to know how I know?"

"Not really. I want ice cream and the zoo, remember? I’m warning you, I can throw
a mean hissy fit."

"Christ." Lex tossed down the papers he was holding and sighed, shaking his head.
"Fucking teenager."

It probably stung like a bee, but he wouldn‘t know would he? Suddenly a green-
tinged image of Lex feeding meteor rocks to bees and locking him in a room with
them flickered across his mind. He shook it off and smiled to himself. "Fucking
teenager? Well, at least you’ve given up on the age thing. I thought you‘d decided I
was older than *you* there for a while."

Lex pushed up off the bed and walked over to him, gray eyes *seeing* him for the
first time in too many hours. He straightened from his seat on the edge of the
desk when Lex reached for him, running both hands down his arms and lacing their
fingers together, looking down between them.

"This is *not* the body of a teenager, Clark." Lex stretched up and kissed his
forehead. "Even if this *is* the mind of one."

He knew that voice. The soft clip of the words, the laughter behind them. *His*
Lex, not Oxford’s. It was the voice he‘d been dying to hear since their frozen trip
to the balcony three torturous days ago. Since the first question.

If he could get this Lex out of the penthouse, maybe he could keep him for awhile.
"Let’s go out, Lex. Please?"

A finger touching his lips, tickling along the lower one, then the finger disappeared
and a thumb stroked his jaw, work-weary eyes blessedly fixing on his. "Let me tell
you what I‘m getting at first?"

It was actually a *request.* Knock him over with a feather. Lex really *was* back,
albeit still preoccupied. But *back* enough to let Clark take his first real breath
of the day. His first pain-free one in three days.

"Okay, go ahead." Half listening and unconvinced of whatever it was before Lex
opened his mouth.

"If you can’t be injured and you’re immune to all diseases, including fatal ones, it
would follow that your planet isn’t entirely populated with- people like you. It
would be over-run in a matter of generations. Assuming, of course, that it’s
approximately the size of Earth and you reproduce the same way- we do."

Clark winced inside at the pauses when Lex searched for appropriate nouns, and
fuck, *that* must be what a bee sting feels like. Not human and not normal even
for a - whatever he was. "So you’re saying I was a freak there too. Maybe that’s
why they sent me-"

A soft, dry hand covered his mouth. Shushed like a dog. He was going to have to
have a talk with Lex about that - if Lex would *let* him talk. Slumping back
against the desk, he crossed his arms over his chest and rolled his eyes. Thought
about sticking out his tongue but just couldn’t be that juvenile with Lex again. Not

The hand slid from his mouth, a finger catching his lower lip and pulling it down
just a little. "No. You said you didn’t have most of your powers then, Clark. Think
about it. You said they developed gradually as you got older. They couldn’t have
known about your abilities when you were - that young, unless everyone on your
planet is just like you."

A theory full of holes and he didn’t want to point them all out now. If everyone was
like him, why would they have sent him away? He wanted to believe it was true,
that he really did belong somewhere, even if he could never go back there. Too
much of a stretch though, and he knew it.

"If the entire population *is* like you, then there has to be a toxin, a threat - a
vulnerability. Maybe a substance that doesn’t exist here. Some Achilles heel that
would regulate the population." Lex was reading his mind - maybe *he* was an
alien, too. Lex’s lips pressed quickly against his then pulled away before he could

So strange to see Lex’s features smoothed and relaxed now. Soft, blinking eyes,
smile serene with satisfaction. A peaceful air about him, Like Lex had finally
stopped the gears in his brain for a minute. A reprieve from the *work* of it, and
it seemed like Lex was coming out of his scholastic hibernation. No other option
but to lean in and kiss. No option at all then, really, because he couldn’t take
liberties with Lex, not now.

Didn‘t have time to lament it though, not with Lex‘s lips on his throat, tongue
sliding hot and wet and slow over his Adam‘s apple. He sighed into it, pushing
ludicrous thoughts of a taste-testing scientist Lex from his head. If Lex was going
to experiment on him, well, he knew where they’d put the lead box and meteor

"There was a good reason your parents sent you away, Clark. I just haven’t figured
out what it is yet." The words vibrated against his throat like flies buzzing, only
infinitely more welcome and Lex started making the sounds Clark never wanted to
hear anyone but Lex make. Three nights alone in a lifeless bedroom and his jeans
were last-summer tight that fast. "Mmm. Lex-"

"Why aren‘t you sleeping in here, Clark?" Soft and unaccusing in his ear, a bite to
the flesh just behind it soothing and gentle and really, if Lex just did that a few
more times-

Cool fingers curled under the hem of his shirt, lifting it gently but deliberately.
Pulling it off over his head and he ducked a little, lifted his arms to help. Half-
naked and that had to mean that Lex was okay with him. Okay with this.

Slow, deliberate lick down and Lex’s mouth paused on his chest, sucking and sucking
until he thought he might turn inside out with the pull of it. New meaning to the
words ‘weak knees‘ and he was so grateful for the mahogany behind him, although
after this Lex might be burning it for firewood come winter.

Regret washing over him like wind in the fields before a storm. "That first night -
God, Lex, please don’t stop - the first night, you knew what I was and that I‘d lied
to you. I couldn’t stand you looking at me like that. Like you were sus - oh God, Lex
- suspicious. Or curious."

"Was I?" Flat, hot tongue across his stomach, licking, following the dip in his chest
all the way back to his throat. Warm, wet and leaving a rapidly cooling trail behind

"Uh huh." All he could manage as he leaned his head back, offering Lex as much
skin as he could. Simple patterns licked along his neck, skin brought back to life
wherever it was touched.

"What about the second night? After your shower? I waited for you." Strong, sure
hands warm and opened wide against his back, palms flat, trimmed nails digging in,
pulling his chest, stomach, cock, thighs, tight against Lex. Hip bones pushed into
him, steel-hard flesh grinding too slowly against his own.

Mind swimming hard against the current of pleasure and acceptance and need.
Next to impossible to say what he wanted to say.

"I didn’t- ah - didn’t think you wanted-" His own voice low and shaking at the
memory of pausing at Lex’s bedroom door that night. Towel wrapped around his
waist, cock half-hard from the sight of Lex naked on top of the sheets. Dark silk
that seemed to move under the white skin, even as Lex laid perfectly still. He’d
paused, and on the knob. The very thing that had stopped him from going in. "The
door was closed."

"Was it?" Fingertips traced the lines of his face and slid to cover his jaw, thumb
rubbing his cheekbone, one nail barely brushing his eyelashes, making him blink a
little then close his eyes.

"Yes." Hissed out because Lex should have known the door had been closed, should
have thought of that, and even with the resentment behind it, it sounded so
desperate because now - it didn’t matter if he’d known or not.

"What about last night?" Warm, wet mouth on his neck, the gentle pulling of skin
and muscle knotting low in his stomach, making thought something he didn’t need
anymore, didn’t want.

"Yesterday you were so… oh, God, yes - you just didn’t act like we were… still
together. I was ah- please, Lex, just… just. God, I was afraid. That you’d want to
be alone."

A small noise in Lex’s throat like a low, soft growl, and it purred against his ear. A
long, slow lick up his neck and Lex tongued his ear, breath heavy and slow. "I was,
Clark. Alone and thinking about you under me. Imagining you there when you didn’t
show up."

"Oh God, Lex. That’s. But you - I didn’t think you-"

A soft kiss silenced him and he melted into it, arms sliding along Lex’s back,
reveling in the freedom to touch, to feel Lex this close to him.

Hot breath whispered onto his lips. "Sex-" A wet lick and mouth sliding on his,
seconds passing like hours in the haze of Lex’s kiss. "-is the best way to apologize."

Guilt and shame heated Clark’s cheeks and he closed his eyes, lowered his head, not
even capable of looking into those eyes. He should never have underestimated Lex.
Not after the things they‘d shared. "I’m sor-"

Lex’s mouth connected with his, tongue wrapping around the word, cutting it off,
sucking it right out of his throat and swallowing it. Like having the wind knocked
out of him, like the cold winter air that used to freeze his lungs after he’d missed
the bus again.

Words, thoughts, everything else just completely insignificant. Nothing but Lex’s
tongue sliding on his, taste-buds rough and smooth too, and how was that possible?
Tickling the roof of his mouth, slipping along behind his teeth and he *had* to bite,
just a little, couldn’t help it. Lex moaned into his mouth and Christ, making Lex
moan used to be a goal for him and now it was just something he could take for
granted, something he knew he could do every time without even trying.

A slow, lingering end to it, small, gentle kisses that just kept coming, like neither
of them wanted to feel the void when Lex leaned back, looking up at him. Strange
to be taller than Lex when they kissed, always a little bit of a shock to open his
eyes and look *down* at him.

"You aren‘t the one who needed to apologize, Clark."

Seconds before he caught up, then seconds more as he tried to find words that
could come close to being coherent. Maybe something about how Lex didn’t owe him
an apology, but really, it would just come out all wrong now anyway.

Lex’s breath ghosted over his closed eyelids, nose, and mouth again. Another slow
kiss, more intimate somehow. He pulled back a little to breathe, to ground himself
a little, but Lex wrapped a hand around the back of his neck, pulling him close
again. Foreheads pressed together, mouths sharing breath after breath.

Clark closed his eyes again; the darkness behind shut lids somehow more
comforting than seeing Lex this close to him after believing the worst for days.

"You do know that none of this changes *us,* right?"

A rarity, Lex being so blunt. No riddles or historical references that he’d have to
look up later. Just what he needed, exactly, everything he needed to know, was
dying to know. "I’d hoped you would still want to… be with me. I mean, it must be
weird knowing that I‘m an-" This was a day made for thesauruses. ‘Alien’ just
seemed so over-the-top, so *extreme.* " -- that I’m not like you."

"It took me a little while to wrap my brain around the idea, yes." Another
unhurried kiss, almost as reassuring as Lex’s words. Then Lex pulled back and
looked at him. If honesty could be found in someone‘s eyes, it was there in Lex‘s.

"The truth is, I don‘t see you any differently. I respect you more - now that you‘re
not lying. Since you told me I‘ve been - well, I’m a little compulsive when it comes
to knowledge. I should have realized I was neglecting you - us. Let me apologize?"

Barely got a smile out before Lex stepped away, socked feet flexing under the
cuffs of his pants as he crossed the room, heading towards the windows. Too much
skin just *covered,* dress pants taking on a selfishness that could not go
unpunished. He’d rip them to shreds and feed the pieces to the lions at the zoo, if
they ever got there.

Lex stopped, a hand on the balcony door, and turned, smirking. "Aren’t you coming?"

Just the *idea* of being out there again choked him. "I can’t." He looked down at
the carpet and shook his head at the shame heating his cheeks.

Quiet footsteps, socks on carpet, the rustle of fabric as Lex walked back to him.
Familiar fingers brushed under his chin, tilting it up, a fiercely confident look in
Lex’s eyes. "You can. I know you can."

Fingers twined through his and Lex’s palm felt hot on his fear-chilled hand. His
mind fought with the height he wasn’t supposed to be so scared of, but the
argument must’ve been lost somewhere between head and feet because he let
himself be tugged gently along, towards the door.

Lex flipped the latch and metal scraped metal as the balcony door slid open. Clark
closed his eyes and breathed deeply, the wind blowing roughly on his face, then
opened his eyes and braced his hands on the cold metal frame of the doorway,
trying to summon the courage to step through it. The balcony stretched before
him like a giant albatross with its white concrete and sprawling curved wall.
Irrational and childish and stupid, stupid, stupid. But he couldn’t do it.

"There’s something out there, Clark. Something you need to see."

Lex gave him a push - not too hard, but fuck, he didn’t have to do *that.* Didn’t
have to force him onto the 56 story-high slab without any concern, like he thought
Clark would just look down and all of a sudden be fine.

"It’s just over there, Clark, to the right." Lex was guiding him, urging him further
onto the balcony with one hand on the small of his back and another on his arm.

The empty city air tugged at their clothes, whipping his hair into his eyes, stinging
them. A tear dripped down his cheek and he scrubbed it away. Just the wind in his

"Lex, do we really have to- what-?" Clark reached out and ran his hands over the
black and white tube, touching to make sure it was real. It was far and away
better than the one he had, better than any one he’d ever looked through. "You
bought a telescope?"

Lex nodded and smiled. "I bought it at the museum, but I didn’t set it up until you
were in the shower this morning. I understand why it’s so important for you to
have one now." Lex squeezed his arm and stepped back, tucking his hands in his
pockets, shadows highlighting then hiding his face as he moved. "Do you think you
can stand to come out here to use it?"

Clark’s heart stuck in his throat and pounded there. The wind sucked the last of
his breath away and he choked on a sob. Lex was too far away, smiling too casually
at him.

Cool metal slid out from under his hand and he moved fast, before his body could
protest. Feet stopping just in front of Lex‘s. In front of his lover. Lover, God, what
a great word. Unreal though - Lex was his *lover* -- and the friend he never
dreamed he’d be allowed to have. The one who knew him, really knew him, and
accepted him anyway. The one who would never really leave, no matter what. His
legs wouldn’t hold him up and he fell hard on his knees, arms wrapping around Lex’s
waist, belt buckle digging sharply into his cheek.

It was awkward, needy, obvious, ridiculous. He didn’t care. He just wanted Lex -
wanted to share every piece of him, every inch of his body, every memory he‘d ever
made, every thought he‘d ever had. They shouldn’t be two people, two bodies, two
minds. Skin not touching skin wasn’t just an inconvenience now. It *hurt.*

Leaning back on his heels, he ran his hands down the thin, wind-smoothed material
covering Lex’s legs. All the way down to sock feet then in between cuffs and socks
to skin. Hooking fingers into the top of a sock, he wiggled them down until his
fingertips connected with Lex’s ankle bone, and rubbed there.

"Do you want to go back inside?" The blowing air muffled Lex’s voice above him.

Didn’t want to speak, didn’t want to interrupt this. Clark shook his head absently
and slid his hands up under Lex‘s pant legs, around the backs of toned, smooth calf
muscles. Clark shook the hair out of his eyes as he looked up. He didn’t want to
hide anymore, didn’t want to lie to Lex about anything, even the tears flowing down
his cheeks. The wind wasn‘t on his face this time and he had no excuse, but he
didn‘t care if Lex saw. He *needed* Lex to see.

"Clark-" Hands wrapped around his arms and tugged gently, asking him to stand.
He drew his hands down Lex’s legs, out from under the material there, and started
to get up, but tumbled forward, catching himself on his knuckles. Before he could
try again, Lex was there, crouching in front of him, brushing his wet face, kissing
him softly.

"Let’s go inside." Lex’s voice barely audible as the wind stole it away.

A minute ago, it would have been a tempting offer. Now, it seemed like a threat, a
concession from Lex. One that would take this moment away from them forever.

Both precious arms wrapped around him and Lex knelt beside him on the cold
cement. 56 stories high and dizzy-drunk on the thin air that would only let him get
half a breath before whipping away in another direction. Knees flattened by rough
concrete, buildings jutting up on the edges of his vision, interrupting the blue
expanse of sky around them. Clark relaxed into the hard chest, closing his eyes
and not opening them until he felt Lex push a little.

Lips against his, soft, and wet - yes, perfect. Kiss like a question and he answered
the only way he could, tongue slowly licking at Lex’s lips, opening them, sliding
between and in.

Clark stood up, pulling Lex with him, fingers working the buttons on the shirt he no
longer admired. One button undone and too many more to worry about, he lifted
the shirt up, un-tucking it, and pulled at the fabric on the front. The buttons shot
off, rolling away in the wind. Lex’s shirt caught on his chin as Clark lifted it off
over his head.

Hard, fast kisses reconnecting them, closing the space between them as Lex’s
fingers opened his jeans, peeling them down over his hips, boxers catching on his
hard cock and pulling until Lex pulled them out a little, then pushed them down
with his jeans. Clark kicked them the rest of the way off and shoved them to the

Need-clumsy fingers fumbled on Lex’s belt buckle and another button, a zipper.
Pants that Clark would’ve shredded if not for the fact that slipping them down and
off Lex’s legs was a pleasure in itself. Folded them once then discarded them on
the clump of socks and jeans beside them.

Gentle pressure of Lex’s guiding hands on his shoulders and they knelt awkwardly
for a second before Lex slowly pushed him back, the chill slab underneath him icy
cold on his back and ass and thighs. Pressed into it by the weight of Lex’s hips on
his and hell, even that was perfect.

Lex leaned over, pulling his pants from the pile beside them and Clark held his
breath. Lex wasn’t going to leave him - he wouldn’t. Relief like a wave rolled over
him as Lex balled up the pants and leaned down. He lifted his head and Lex tucked
them under, a welcome cushion that was almost as comfortable as the idea behind

Heat sliding slick along his chest, down and down over his stomach, Lex’s face
nuzzled against the hair on his stomach, inhaling, smelling and God, that was sexy.
Mouth pressing hard against his belly, wrapping around him, sucking so gently. Clark
curled his lips in and bit down on them to keep from begging for faster, tighter,

Slow and steady pull of Lex’s mouth, constant, repetitive stroke of his tongue and
Clark wanted to move, wanted to relieve tensed muscles and just jerk up into the

Can’t wait- but wanted to, God, wanted to make this go on forever because this was
what forever should feel like. Reached down, hands on Lex’s shoulders and pushed
him off, pulled out of Lex’s mouth in what seemed like a good idea before but now-

Just lonely and cold and something he’ll have to explain unless, unless Lex knows
him that well, knows that he wants his mouth somewhere else, everywhere else.

Smooth, smooth skin. More naked than Clark will ever be able to be and Lex will
never know, never feel any skin this bare, this perfectly uninterrupted and soft
unless he’s touching - God - touching himself. Astounding that Lex didn’t just sit
around naked all day, running his hands over every part of himself he could reach
and God, maybe he’ll ask Lex do that for him someday.

Slid his fingers across Lex’s back, Lex straddling his leg and rubbing against his
thigh like a need that Lex can’t help but indulge. Clark slid his foot along the
concrete, tiny bumps on the rough surface scraping, tickling the pads of his toes.
Knee bent up, thigh pressing against Lex‘s ass and Lex’s hips started rocking. Good
and just what he wanted, maybe better than the tongue in his mouth, sliding along
his teeth.

Lifted his leg higher and pressed it up harder, making Lex pull away from his
mouth. Lean down and lick his throat, moaning or humming, didn’t matter because
he wasn’t listening now anyway. Just feeling. Lex’s mouth hot and slick on his neck
like sweat but better, so much better. Rhythmic rubbing of Lex’s cock, balls, ass on
his thigh and even that was warm and wet now, hair pulling just a little with the
friction of it and God that was-

Hands under Lex’s arms, solid muscles flexing against them as he lifted. Pulled Lex
up and when he was balanced enough, Clark squeezed the smooth, hard thighs that
straddled his waist. Both of them hard against his stomach, thin line of hair there
just a little wet, catching his eye as he looked down between them, reached for
Lex’s cock.

Softly rippled stomach trapping his hand there as Lex leaned down, mouth already
open, tongue flicking across his lips, wetting them as he moved to kiss him. Clark
closed his eyes and the lips on his were too soft, too sweet to be Lex’s, but the
taste was there and the body over his so familiar now he didn’t need to open his
eyes for proof.

Wind yanked his hair, plastering it to Lex’s head as a bare cheek brushed his. A
tongue in his ear, teeth nibbling the edge and a low whisper he felt in his knees.
"I’m sorry."

Clark pulled his hand from between them and wrapped both arms tight around the
broad back, holding Lex too hard, but anything less would have been - not enough.
Hips bucking up, cock rubbing along something way too hard to be stomach and Lex
heavy, passive on him, letting him do - anything.

Cupped a hand over the back of Lex’s skull and rolled, easy to push the makeshift
pillow under the bare head and move before Lex could say anything. His own and his
only and Lex’s body arched into his, chin lifting, eyes closed. Clark mouthed nipples,
chest, navel, before sucking Lex into his mouth. Stealing words, permission,
everything from Lex while he wasn’t looking. Lips stretching, closing tight around
the base, tongue teasing. A moan of approval from above his head and he started
sucking steadily.

Savored the taste of Lex’s cock dripping in his mouth, the head massaging the back
of his throat like a courtesy, and swallowed with the next nudge. A strangled cry
from too far away, somewhere above his head and Lex was coming down his open
throat. He moved off fast, replacing his mouth with a hand and watched Lex’s
face, then his cock as he rode out the orgasm, fucking his fist.

Stomach muscles crunching and flexing with Lex’s effort to see himself coming and
God that was just. Perfect. He dipped his fingers into the slickness on Lex’s chest,
smearing and spreading, catching some up and moving between Lex’s legs. The pale
body arched up and Lex’s chin tilted back as he slipped a wet finger in and twisted

Smoothing the tight muscle open, he rubbed his thumb against his other fingers to
make sure they were all slick. Two. Long, slow motions because this had to be good
and good didn’t mean painful. Not now. Thumb stretched up, teasing Lex’s sack as
another finger slid in beside the first two. A strangled version of his name died
slowly on Lex‘s lips, like it had been ripped from him instead of pulled with
pleasure. Then moans like words that wouldn’t form but they said enough. More
than enough.

Knelt between Lex’s legs, his cock heavy on the palm there. Replaced his fingers in
one quick move that happened too fast, even for him. A gasp that matched his own
when he tucked himself all the way in, then air sucked through teeth and he
couldn’t tell which sounds were his and which were Lex’s anymore.

Held himself there, as deep as he could, muscles tight and stretched but worth it
to stay like that as long as he-. Movement controlling him instead of the other way
around. Out just a little and sliding back in a desperate relief like breath after
drowning, like thawing out. Rocking and pushing and filling and being tugged. Pulling.
Lex squeezing, trying to hold him in with every stroke out. Closed his eyes and
could feel the fullness of it in his own ass, in his chest and mouth and hand. He
knew Lex that well, knew what he was feeling and thinking and God, that he
probably *wasn’t* thinking now.

Settled into a rhythm, fucking Lex easy and slow, timing perfect, ache just good
enough to keep him on the edge but not push him over. Cool, long fingers brushed
his cheek and he turned his lips into Lex’s palm, licked it, sucked it gently and
smiled into it when Lex whimpered. Low, soft moans like hard breath or loud sighs
and those were his, not Lex’s. Close, so close with salty fingers slipping into his
mouth, dry ones finding his nipple and rolling it, pulling it gently away from his
chest. The fingers gone from his chest way too soon, but then Lex curled up, an
arm around his back, and sucked the nipple into his mouth. Teeth bit lightly, then
tighter when he groaned and pounded harder, rhythm shot to hell and erratic, cock
emptying into Lex with every thrust. Perfect.

Wind cooled the sweat on his skin and he shivered, pulled out of Lex and the ache
returned to his cock as soon as he was free. The mouth on his chest was gone but a
hand wrapped around his neck, and pulled him down and that was almost as good. A
fast kiss, too fast to leave him wanting anything but another, but Lex was looking
at him, demanding that he look back.

"Let it go, Clark. Just let it go."

One undeniable sob, the gulp to swallow it totally unsuccessful, and it stuck in his
throat. Didn’t realize the depth of - everything - until the words hit him. Hate,
anger, resentment, pain washed over him as it fell from his body. A fast-forward
through years of lies, countless regrets and three days of terrifying uncertainty.
He fell heavy on Lex, let himself be held. Let Lex wrap around him. Until muscles
started to protest the position and he rolled to his side, pulling Lex to face him.
He glanced over Lex’s shoulder as long fingers wiped the tears from his face.

Empty air surrounded them, like freedom and promise and potential. The city rose
up to meet them, holding them up above everything.




"Chloe Sullivan?" The big-haired blonde receptionist at the Planet was staring
from him to Lex and back again, heavily-painted eyes unblinking.

"What? Who?"

"Chloe. Sullivan. She’s interning here." He was sure he was speaking English.
Apparently the sight of Lex Luthor was enough to fry synapses, even here in

"Clark! You came!" Chloe bounded up to him from across the lobby, arms flying
around his neck and pulling him down for a tight hug.

"Chloe! There you are! We were just-"

Chloe rolled her eyes at the awestruck receptionist and laughed. "They’re here for
me, Bren, thanks!" Amazingly, the stunned woman actually blinked - then looked at
Chloe like a wounded caribou ripe for slaughter. Clark wrapped an arm
protectively around Chloe’s shoulders and kissed her on the cheek. She beamed up
at him then ducked out from under his arm, turning to Lex.

"Lex, thanks for coming - I know this isn’t exactly your idea of a good time, but I
wanted you guys to see my office."

Lex nodded politely, smile plastered on his face like a Colorforms sticker. He
wanted to lean over and nibble Lex’s ear just to make the smile look more genuine.
Of course that would probably have given Lex an embolism or something since they
were standing in the lobby of the Daily Planet building. This place was crawling
with reporters who would sell their souls for a photo op like that.

Chloe moved into action, waving them along behind her, leading them down one hall,
then another. She looked over her shoulder every now and then like she was afraid
they were going to disappear. Clark reached for Lex’s hand before he could stop
himself and Lex glanced down, shaking his head just once. Clark squeezed fast and
let go, making his best apologetic face and then relaxing when Lex gave him a little
smile. They both almost walked into Chloe when she stopped walking to push a
door open.

"So, this is it guys! This is where I transform from high school newspaper nerd to
star reporter." Chloe opened her arms and gestured at the jumble of desks,
papers, computers, and speeding people crowding the large room they had just

"Wow. It’s-"

"A mess, I know! Isn’t it great?" Chloe was effervescent as usual, a very good thing
since the last time Clark had seen her in Smallville, she’d still been a little pissed
at him for leaving her at the dance to go save Lana. He’d been half-afraid she
would give him the cold shoulder today.

"No, it’s awesome Chlo!" He took at tentative step towards the rows of desks.
"Which one is yours?"

"Down at the end, second from the right. Come on, I’ll show you." They weaved
through the maze of desks and printer stations, finally stopping near the windows
at what was obviously Chloe’s desk. There were post-it notes framing her computer
monitor, a picture of her father taped to the wall her desk butted against.

A young man in a short-sleeved dress shirt and Donald Duck tie sidled up beside
Lex, extending a hand before Clark could move between them. "Mr. Luthor? Jonah
Fields. How are things out in Smallville?"

Lex narrowed his eyes at the annoyance, then looked down at the young man’s hand
and smirked, tucking his hands in his pockets in an obvious dismissal. Clark was
about to move when he saw Chloe’s head snap around, her eyes glaring at the
reporter. "Back off Jonah."

The man scoffed at her, smiled at Lex and turned on his heel, looking back over his
shoulder at the three of them.

When Clark turned back to Chloe’s desk, she was pulling out her chair and climbing
up on it. Clark watched in horror as she stuck two fingers in her mouth and blew a
sharp, high-pitched whistle that sliced through the cacophony of paper-shuffling
and people talking.

"Listen up! Lex Luthor is here as my guest. *NO ONE* bothers him. Got it? Good."
Chloe smiled down at them, then held out a hand to Clark for support as she
climbed off the chair. "That should keep the vultures at bay so we can talk."

Lex’s face came to life as he smirked at her, nodding his approval. "Nice, Chloe."

"Let it never be said that I can’t handle a crowd." Chloe was doing that thing with
her eyebrows and touching Lex’s arm as she talked. Clark got the distinct
impression that she was… flirting. Chloe coming on to Lex? That was just *weird,*
but at least it meant she hadn’t guessed what was going on between him and Lex.

"So whadja bring me, Clark?" Chloe nodded at the small bag in his hand and he
opened it, strangely grateful for her attention to be focused on him again.

He reached in the bag and presented her with the pens. "Just some pens I thought
you’d like. Lex took me to the science museum a few days ago and I found them in
the gift shop. They have really cool pictures of geological phenomenon on them.
Thought you could use them as substitutes for the Wall of Weird while you’re

Clark stole a glance at Lex as Chloe turned each pen over in her fingers, reading
them. Lex was watching Chloe, but just before Clark drew his eyes away from his
face, Lex looked over at him. For one torturously short moment their eyes met,
locked, spoke. A thousand times said in a thousand different ways and Clark still
couldn’t believe it. Lex would rather be with him, even here, than alone. Lex could
say it in 5 languages, not including eye-speak. Then Lex’s eyes were back on Chloe.
Before he could think to miss them, she was thanking him and hugging him again,
hair clip scratching under his chin.

He was glad that Lex hadn’t been able to bring the meteor rocks he’d bought for
Chloe. Somehow he still thought those patented Chloe-hugs should belong only to
him. It was selfish and stupid, but they’d been exclusively his for so long, and until
Lex simply breathed his way into his life, he hadn’t even realized how important
Chloe was to him. How important her friendship was anyway.

"So, you guys, sit down. Tell me about the vacation. I know you haven’t been
spending all your time in museums. What have you been up to?" Chloe motioned to
two chairs near her desk, then sat down and started clicking on her computer,
launching her web browser.

Clark was grasping at straws. Every time he thought of something to say, it
somehow involved sleeping with Lex. The effect of his newly acquired education,
he guessed. The museum really was the only thing they’d done outside the
penthouse. Well, besides torment Lionel at his office, and Clark really didn‘t want
to bring that up again. "Well, not much really. Lex has every Chaplin movie ever
made. I’ve been working my way through those."

"Lex, he’s not serious is he? You actually *let* him watch those things?" The back
of Chloe’s head bobbed as she talked but she didn’t turn from her computer.

He looked at Lex and saw Lex looking back at him, eyes wary and narrowed, like he
was having a hard time thinking of something safe to say too. They should have
rehearsed this. "I usually just sleep while he’s watching them."

Good one, Lex. Sleep, blow him, same difference.

"I established a Chaplin ban years ago, didn’t I, Clark?" Chloe spun in her chair,
hair flaring out a little with the motion. "It was the only way I could step foot into
a video store with him and not end up running screaming into the parking lot."

"Don’t forget I had to institute a no-Kevin rule. Chloe will watch anything Kevin
Costner has ever filmed. Twice. In a row." Chloe’s face flushed and she opened her
mouth then snapped it shut again and turned back to her screen.

"Look, Clark. I found a list of all the lesser-known points of interest in Metropolis.
There are some really strange things here too- apparently Smallville hasn’t
cornered the market on weird." Chloe moved to the side as he leaned forward to
look at the screen.

"Chloe that’s great! Look, Lex. Apparently there’s a secret tunnel that leads to the
Luthor Corp Headquarters sub-basement."

Lex leaned up and glared at the screen. "What?"

Clark loved catching Lex off guard like that. "Gotcha."

Lex shoved him a little and looked at the screen again. "Can you print that out for
us, Chloe? We‘re running out of places we can both agree on. Clark seems to be
interested in the zoo." Lex smiled wide and looked at him out of the corner of his
eye. Chloe giggled and nodded at them over her shoulder, then turned back to the
computer and clicked the print command.

"And Lex thinks we should visit every place the Metropolis school system sends
kids on a fieldtrip."

"Except the zoo." Damn, Chloe was quick.

"Yeah, except the zoo. What do you have against zoos anyway, Lex?"

"Caged animals make me nauseous." Lex reached out and took the fresh printout
from Chloe, scanning it.

This was the easy banter he’d always known with Chloe, but it seemed wrong that
she was so at ease talking to Lex like this too. It was like she’d known him for
years or something, like she’d forgotten all the suspicions she’d had about Lex
since he’d moved to Smallville. "Look, Clark, there’s a funerary museum. Didn’t you
say something about caskets the other day? Maybe we should stop by."

Clark felt blood rushing to his face and tried to cover. "Funerary museum? Ew,
Lex. Lemme see." He snatched the list from Lex and started pretending to read.

He could *not* get hard in front of Chloe. He grasped for any thought that didn’t
involve the other night, when he had pinned Lex on the couch and teased him about
French orgasms. Baling hay? Oh God - Lex in his loft - they *had* to do that
sometime. Algebra? Lex tutoring him and Jesus that must be what Lex called a
kink. Meteor rocks? Oh, no, not meteor rocks. Not even meteor *slivers.* He
needed to focus - he could *not* get horny at a newspaper office with Chloe.
Chloe? Hell, that worked. Chloe at school. Nada! Chloe at the Talon. This was
definitely working. Chloe interviewing Lex. Shit. Well, two out of three wasn’t bad.

"So what are you guys doing tonight?"

Lex smiled and tucked the printout into his pocket. "Oh, probably just fucking

Clark stifled a laugh and bit his tongue to stop himself from outing them both. It
was an innocent enough question, she probably just wanted to hang out, but Chloe
had a way of saying exactly the right thing at the wrong time. Lex didn’t know this
was her way of inviting herself into their evening, and if he didn’t move quick, they
would definitely *not* be fucking around.

"No Lex, don’t you remember?" He shot Lex a look then smiled wide at Chloe. "I’m
helping Lex with some research he’s doing. He promised not to do any work while
we were here, but, well, you know him."

Chloe looked at him and shook her head too. "Research while on vacation? Lex,
you’ve really gotta learn to loosen up."

Lex shrugged and grinned way too much like a fox. "Something came up. What can
I say?"

Chloe rolled her eyes and sighed. "Well call me if you guys finish early, okay? I
hate going out alone."

Finish early? No way. He was going to lick Lex from head to toe and back again
tonight. This afternoon had been phenomenal, but they still had a lot of making up
to do. "Sure Chlo, but this is a big project - I doubt we’ll be done tonight."

A movement caught the corner of his eye. Lex was brushing at the shoulder of his
coat. Time to go, then.

He hated leaving so quickly, even if a huge part of him really wanted to be alone
with Lex again. He loved being near Chloe‘s enthusiasm and cheerfulness. It was a
sharp contrast to Lex‘s somber quietude. But the shoulder brush was their signal,
the "out" they‘d established on the ride over, so he had no choice now but wrap up
the visit and leave.

"Well, Chloe, I guess we’d better let you get back to work. I‘d like to get a head
start on that research. The sooner we get it over with, the better." He
reluctantly leaned in to hug Chloe good-bye, thankful for her chest pressing
against his only because he didn’t have to look at her pouting face that way.

She took a step back from him, turned and almost fell into Lex, arms closing
awkwardly around him. Clark felt almost as surprised as Lex looked, but unwelcome
or not, Lex wasn’t rude about the hug, thank goodness. He slowly closed his arms
around Chloe’s back and stiffly patted a couple of times.

Chloe’s eyes were closed as she held Lex, and Clark just had to look away, already
dreading the conversation he knew he’d have to have with her soon. Better for
Clark to tell her Lex wasn’t interested than for her to embarrass herself by asking
him out or something.

Chloe let go of Lex and smiled from him to Clark. "Thanks for coming by. I’ll call
you later, guys."

"We’ll get together sometime this week, okay Chlo?" Clark winked at her and
turned to leave, following Lex as he all but strutted out of the office.

In the lobby, the receptionist stood as Lex breezed past her, fake, blood red nails
digging into her thigh. What was it about Lex that did that to women? Oh right.
Probably the same thing that did it to him. He waved at the secretary and grinned.
She didn’t even see it.

Outside at the curb, they climbed into the limo and sat side by side, legs touching
from knee to hip. Clark leaned over to kiss Lex even before the door was shut
behind them - fuck getting caught. He‘d been so good the whole time they were at
the paper. Apparently Lex wasn’t worried about being seen though - his lips parted
under Clark’s and a hand laced through his hair. As they kissed, he heard Lex knock
twice on the glass, the universal wealthy person code for "Home, Jeeves," he

Lex’s tongue in his mouth, deep and wet and *taking.* Hard. Teeth biting into his
lower lip like kissing nicely wasn’t enough - wasn’t an option now. The hand in his
hair tightened when he reached blindly down and found Lex’s cock with his hand,
rubbing against the cotton pants he was learning to despise. Lex released his hair
and reached for his hand, stilled it, held it there.

"I changed my mind, Lex. I don’t want to go out anywhere - ever again."

Lex nodded, closing his eyes, then leaned his head back on the seat and sighed. "I
know. A necessary evil though, Clark. We can’t have your parents find out about us
in the papers."

"God, I hate that, Lex. Sometimes I wish you weren’t-" He bit off ‘a Luthor.’
That would be going too far. Lex was *Lex* because he was a Luthor. "-famous.
It’s not fair that we have to hide."

"One more benefit of having my father’s name. At least Chloe had the hounds on a
short leash. That was impressive."

It had all happened so quickly - so naturally, that Clark hadn‘t given it much
thought, but their visit had gone off without a hitch. Well, almost. "I thought the
whole thing went pretty well. Except the whole Chloe flirting with you part."

Lex’s eyelids flew open and gray eyes flashed. "What?"

"Yeah, she was totally flirting with you, Lex. You mean you didn’t notice?"

Lex’s face was a mask of impatience. "No, I didn’t."

"Well she was."

"You have the most vivid imagination, Clark." Lex leaned back into the seat and
closed his eyes, pinching the bridge of his nose.

"Headache?" He wrapped a hand around the back of Lex’s neck, thumb and fingers
kneading the muscles just under the line of Lex’s skull.

"Mmmm. No, but don’t stop. You have incredible hands - have I ever told you that?"

"No, but thank you."

Clark was watching his hand on Lex’s neck and didn’t see the kiss coming. Soft and
wet and slow this time, like Lex savoring wine or taking his time to find the right
words. Perfect.

Beeping pulse of the cell phone in Lex’s jacket and the kiss ended slowly enough
that Lex nearly scrambled to flip the phone open before the fifth ring. A broad
smile and Lex’s eyebrows shot up, giving him a skeptical look. "Well, hello, Ms.
Sullivan. Of course, he’s right here."

"Hey Chloe - forget something?"

"Nope. I just wanted you to know that I know." Chloe’s voice a little too smug and
a little shaky, but still cheerful, like she was smiling into the phone.

There were so many things she could think she knew, too many of them true and he
didn’t want to try and guess. "Know *what,* Chloe?" Lex’s smile faded and he tilted
his head, questioning. Clark shook his head at Lex and grinned. She probably
thought Lex liked her.

"I know about you and Lex." Way too smug and not shaky at all now.

His breath hitched and he looked at the floor of the limo, carefully avoiding Lex’s
eyes. "What? I don’t know what you’re talking about."

"I thought maybe something was going on before, but I wasn’t sure. I watched you
together today, Clark. You were too careful, you consciously didn’t touch Lex the
whole time you were here - and you... sat too far apart."

"Chloe, you’re nuts. There’s nothing going on-" Clark bit off the lie and turned his
head back to Lex, whose eyes widened and head shook almost imperceptibly.

A little giggle, then Chloe presented her proof. "Clark, I saw your code - Lex
brushing his shoulder? Only couples have codes like that. Adorable, by the way - I
can just imagine you two coming up with that on the way over here."

"I-" Clark stammered and searched Lex’s eyes for the right words. Lex always
knew what to say - *he* should be talking to Chloe - but Clark couldn’t put Lex on
now, that would be a dead giveaway.

"I’ll let you go, Clark. I just wanted you to know that I know, and I’m happy for you.
I know if you love him, there has to be a reason. And don’t worry, I won’t tell
anyone." Another giggle, a smile reaching through the phone and he could *feel* it
beaming against his ear as he stammered his goodbye.

Clark lowered the phone from his ear and held it out to Lex, who took it, closed it
and reached down to put it away.

The phone missed the pocket and thudded to the floor of the limo when Clark

"She knows about us."





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