~ Sense Memories ~

 

Written for the Clexfest Challenge - First Wave
Original Publication Date: 09/17/02
Warnings: None
Rating: NC-17
Disclaimer: If they were mine, I wouldn't be writing about this, I'd be
*watching* it.
Summary: Lex's metabolism is changed by the meteors. (Okay, so this fic barely has anything to do with that, but. you know how it goes!) Really: Clark can't remember and needs reminding.
Author Notes: Profuse thanks to my dear betas - can't believe how many worked on this one! LOL Edie, Kathryn, L.C., Jacyn, Sean, and special thanks to Rach for the almost daily support and encouragement and Kel for the lovely smacks and shoves in the this general direction.

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Cold tile stinging the bottoms of his feet, Lex crossed to the refrigerator, determined. He needed cold. Water. Front-and-center on the metal shelf and so frigid he knew his teeth would ache, but it didn’t matter, not this morning.

The glasses were lined up neatly on a shelf across the kitchen. Too far away to make the effort. A twist of the cap, sharp metal scraping the thin skin between thumb and finger a little. Lips to bottle and his throat clenched around the icy flow.

No headache as usual, but he wasn’t exactly feeling chipper this morning. Mouth, skin, throat, eyes. Head-to-toe dehydrated that left him desert-dry and feeling stretched. Thoughts came sharply with a false alertness, the kind brought on by necessity rather than rested wakefulness.

A shame that he couldn’t really appreciate anything but the temperature and wetness of the water this morning. It was decidedly the cleanest liquid he’d ever tasted, and it was nearly as addictive as anything he’d had last night. Maybe more addictive, at ten glasses a day. Somehow not as therapeutic though;
the cheerful blue bottle spoiled a contemplative mood in the same way that Scotch and Merlot always seemed to compliment one.

Sometime before dawn, Clark had passed out listening to him read Thoreau (a request that he‘d honored, however ludicrous from the mouth of a tipsy, sex-sated teenager). When the eyes looking up at him had lost their light and finally fell shut, he’d carefully scooted out from under the head on his lap,
pulled a blanket over Clark, turned out the lights and gone upstairs. He’d stayed holed-up in his room for hours this morning, half fearing and half hoping Clark would just be gone when he finally tread down the stairs to check on him.

He’d stopped by the office door on the way to the kitchen and opened it just a crack to see if his best friend was awake. He wasn’t though - he was still sleeping soundly on the couch, deep breaths in perfect rhythm. Light from the morning sun shown through the red window pane and hit his face. The soft-edged
rectangle was perfectly positioned, covering Clark’s face and neck, burning a false blush there.

In his sleep, Clark had thrown an arm across his face to shield his eyes from the light, and the arm glowed pale red as well. Lex considered going in to stand over him, thought maybe he could use blocking the light as an excuse to just watch Clark sleep. But he couldn’t rationalize allowing himself that level of freedom with Clark yet.

Last night, he had been too… honest. More honest than he’d let himself be in ages. Honest like a nightmare. He closed his eyes against the years-old memory of waking up, sweaty and struggling to breathe, then shook it off and opened his eyes again. This morning was already dangerous enough - not the time to let
himself get soft. He needed to rebuild his defenses again, carefully reestablish the boundaries that had blurred and bent the night before.

The things they’d done last night weren’t new, but the feelings they produced were. Their mutual desires laid bare, the unexpected emotions born within him were raw and stung with sharp honesty and clarity. It had been a journey; clumsy and awkward but laced with a connection and intimacy that he’d never
known before and thought he might never find again.

For once it didn‘t seem that knowledge was an advantage. His experience was no longer a source of arrogant pride, not after the lessons he’d learned last night. Even the fumbling alcohol-induced confidence of a sixteen-year-old brought him to his knees faster than the thousand-dollar whores he’d known in
the city. There’s something to be said for innocence and inexperience. There was also the flip side - he’d discovered that *teaching* made the blood run thick in his veins, made him feel the pulse of every heartbeat in wrists, throat, chest and cock.

The fact that they weren’t in a relationship was a moot point last night. Their tangling together had been pure give and take with no regard for tedious details.

Finishing another long draw on his water, he set the bottle down on the counter and absently wiped the cold dew off his lips with the back of his hand.

Clark was going to need something for his head, that much was certain. Last night, before they’d moved on to more… interesting topics, Clark had rambled on about all the things he’d tried at the party. Ticked off his drink list of the evening with unabashed youthful pride; White Russians that Chloe was now
apparently famous for, a half-dozen lime Jell-O shots that had stained his tongue green (he’d stuck it out at Lex to prove it), an assortment of beers and one joint split between him and three friends, although Clark had quietly admitted he wasn’t sure he’d even really inhaled.

Lex fished through the shelves, behind the milk - there it was - a bottle of Captain Morgan’s and just next to it, it’s partner in cure, Absolut Vodka. Trust Maria to have some on hand. Hell, she probably used it for herself by the looks of the half-empty bottles. He reached for the carton of eggs but decided
against breakfast. He had no idea what to expect from Clark’s stomach this morning, and he didn’t feel much like eating either.

He glanced across the kitchen at the row of glasses. Hell, he’d make the effort for Clark - across the freezing tiles again to the cabinet and back, glass in hand. As he plunked ice into it, he glanced at the clock - almost noon - shit. Clark should be on his way home by now, maybe even hard at work baling hay or
some other farm-necessary chore, instead of still asleep on his couch.

He’d known last night that sending Clark home the morning after wasn’t going to be fun or easy. The necessity of it would serve as a small concession if Clark left in a hurry. He poured, stirred and took a sip to make sure it was mild enough.

Bloody Mary well-mixed and chilled, he made his way back to the office. He wasn’t trying to be quiet, but he froze as the click of the door echoed through the room and the young man on the couch stirred.

Lex wasn’t in the habit of waking his lovers in the morning. Either he left before they woke or vice versa. He padded across the room silently, glancing down, grateful for the quiet of his bare feet. The rise and fall of Clark’s chest too precious a thing to interrupt with a harsh awakening. He positioned himself at the end of the couch and waited for the peaceful eyes to open.

As if on cue, Clark blinked against the red light then held a hand up to block it. Gingerly opening his eyes this time, Clark squinted up at him and Lex couldn’t help wincing in empathy. A half-step to the right and the light heated his back through his shirt, but spared Clark’s eyes.

Someone had to say something first, and he always did like to have the upper hand in these matters. These matters? Lionel was a bastard for conditioning him to be so clinical when it came to… things like this. "Good morning, Clark."

Clark groaned and pushed himself semi-upright, leaning back on the couch. "Not really, Lex. My head is *killing* me."

"I'm not surprised. Here.”

He drew in a breath and extended the freezing glass steadily. Clark reached up to take the drink from him, eyeing it with undisguised suspicion. "What is it?"

"Just tomato juice-"

Clark took a sip and choked, sputtering and sticking his tongue out. "No it's not! Lex, what *is* this?"

"It's a Bloody Mary, Clark. Like I was saying, tomato juice- and vodka."

"Vodka? Why are you giving me vodka, Lex?"

Of course Clark hadn‘t heard about such specific things as Bloody Marys for erasing the effects of a night of partying - he’d had no use for that kind of information up until now. "Well, of course I wouldn’t normally give you alcohol, Clark, but I assume you have to function today, and you‘re not going to
be able to think unless you get some alcohol in you.”

"I'm not drinking that! That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. If I'm hung-over, why would I drink more alcohol?”

Lex didn't even try to hide his chuckle. Somewhere he heard the 15 year-old version of himself echoing the same words to his father on a sunny morning after. "Just trust me. Drink it.” It was a rarity for him to quote his father, but the words just rolled off his tongue of their own volition.

Lex waited for Clark to drink, but he didn‘t. Strange that he was so uptight about drinking one Bloody Mary now, after everything he’d had last night. He’d assumed that even Clark would be acclimated to the idea of alcohol after that many drinks.

Clark set the drink down on the end table behind him and looked up at Lex, eyes searched his face. "You picked me up… at Pete‘s? Where‘s my truck?"

The truck? Clark was worried about *the truck?* Of course - the Kents would naturally have rules that extended far beyond a general, ‘Don‘t get caught.’ First things first - assuage the fear of the most severe consequences, then they could move on to the less publicly-obvious issues. "It‘s outside, Clark. I
had Enrique and Mitch go get it from Pete’s house this morning. And yes, I picked you up last night. Chloe called me, remember?"

Clark‘s eyebrows crinkled and his eyes narrowed defensively. “Chloe called you? Why would she do that?”

Lex wasn’t stupid - Clark wasn’t really asking about Chloe; he was asking about how he’d gotten here, why he was waking up on Lex’s couch. This was bad on so many levels, he didn‘t know where to begin.

It obviously meant that Clark had forgotten last night - not just details, but whole chunks of time. A choppy memory was *not* a symptom Lex was prepared to deal with this morning.

Irony was a bitch… he’d been upstairs in his room all morning, pacing, worrying about what this first sober conversation would be like. All those sleepless hours for nothing. There was nothing he could do but explain the basics and hope Clark remembered the rest on his own, then maybe they could discuss it.

“You were pretty drunk. Chloe said you were looking for your keys and talking about coming here to see me. Someone had the foresight to hide your keys or your truck might not have been so lucky.“

“Chloe didn‘t have to call you. I wasn’t going to drive - I would never do that, no matter how drunk I was. I’m not stupid.“

“Clark, when I got there Pete’s living room looked like a tornado blew through it, and I think it was mostly your doing. Chloe couldn’t get you to calm down. I think she thought I’d be sober enough to make sure you didn‘t hurt yourself.”

“So of course you sent the limo to get me. Jesus, Pete must’ve been freaking out over that. And his house. God, how bad was it?”

“Pete will probably catch hell for the mess, but I don’t think you did any permanent damage. I didn’t see him last night, but yes, I’m sure he’s heard about the limo by now. ”

He’d be surprised if everyone in town hadn’t heard about it by now. Stupid fucking thing to do, really. The town freak, pulling up in his limo to cradle-rob the misfit kid, his best friend. Who, by the way, couldn’t keep his mouth shut or his strength under control when he was high and flying on alcohol
and so-called un-inhaled grass. News like that would travel fast and feed the gossip hounds for weeks. The two of them would be lucky if Clark’s parents hadn’t already gotten several calls.

“I don‘t mean to sound ungrateful, Lex, but why didn’t you just come get me yourself? I mean, why’d you have to bring the limo? I’ll never live that down.”

“By the time Chloe called I was about halfway through a bottle of Scotch that my father sent me for… as a thank you.” His father’s final insult in the situation with Victoria, but Clark didn’t need to know that.

Clark rubbed his eyes and yawned into the back of his hand. “So you were drunk too?” A little smile and Clark’s eyebrows raised, teasing.

Smirking, he shook his head. “I didn’t trust myself to drive, but I wasn’t drunk, Clark. I don’t get drunk.”

“Yeah, right, Lex. Wait, don‘t tell me - Luthors don’t get drunk?”

“Actually, I’ve seen my father fairly inebriated a couple of times, but I’ve never been drunk. I don’t even think it‘s possible.” Clark looked at him like he had grown a third eye in the middle of his forehead.

He couldn’t blame Clark for not believing him. It was admittedly odd. Halfway through a bottle of strong, aged Scotch and he’d been barely tipsy enough to second-guess his driving abilities. Constant sobriety (or something very close to it) was the lesser evil of his souvenirs from his first venture into a cornfield.

It hadn’t taken him very long after he’d gotten back to boarding school to figure out that his lack of hair wasn‘t the only thing different about him.

Apparently premature baldness led directly to pre-teen rebellion. Under the school stage with two other boys, he’d watched amber liquid disappear in regular increments from a black-labeled bottle until there were only a few drops left, then he’d turned the tall container up and swallowed those too, desperate for
the giddy idiocy that his friends had found countless gulps earlier.

He hadn‘t been able to know the sweet freedom of that particular escape from reality, not until he was older and could afford stronger substances that bypassed mouth and throat and stomach and went straight into the bloodstream.

Even then, he’d never worried about overdoses or tainted goods. If things got bad for a few hours, he knew it wouldn’t last long. The effects of illness and toxins rarely touched him and when they did, they didn’t linger. Over the years, a handful of doctors had dismissed it as a quick metabolism, but he’d
always known when it started, always thought of this - gift - as a kind of concession from the meteors in return for his hair.

He wouldn’t bore Clark with all the details now… maybe someday, but not now.

“Well, thanks for picking me up, Lex. I’ve learned my lesson - I am *never* drinking again.” Clark rubbed his temples, then closed his eyes tight and took a deep breath, face tense with what looked like the pain Lex had predicted.

The comment was innocent enough, but the implications behind it sliced deep - Clark regretted the things he’d done last night. Something Clark would never intentionally say to him, he was sure. Which meant… he really *didn’t* remember what had happened between them.

"You have no idea, do you?" It came out as a scoff and Lex let it morph into a smile, amused to find himself bitter about being the only one who remembered.

"About… about what?" Clark tilted his head, the look on his face a perfect conveyance of confusion - transparent enough to make a drama professor proud.

"You don't remember what happened here last night.” An accusation, clear and concise, but low, like the words didn‘t want to be said.

"I remember drinking lots of stuff. I remember Chloe hanging on me and Pete taking off to the bedroom with his date. I *think* I remember you in the limo, but after that, everything gets fuzzy."

"How ‘fuzzy,’ Clark?"

"Fuzzy as in 'I don't remember a damn thing' fuzzy, Lex."

A shame really, that Clark didn’t know what he knew. At least this way he wouldn‘t have to listen to the apology he dreaded hearing from Clark. This way, he could write last night off as a drunken mistake or teenage experimentation gone too far. Easier really, to think of it as unintentional and insincere.
"Oh. Well, don’t worry about it then. It's probably for the best." Really, it probably was.

"What's that supposed to mean?"

That meant it was time to change the subject. "It's almost noon. What time were you supposed to be home?"

"Noon."

Perfect. A very simple solution to the problem of getting Clark on his way and out of this line of questioning. "Then you‘d better get dressed."

Clark stood up, his back to Lex, the thin blanket falling to the ground in front of him as he scanned the floor, obviously looking for his clothes.

Lex squatted down at the end of the couch to retrieve Clark’s jeans, eyes filling with his best friend’s almost-naked form, his skin aching to reconnect with it.

A wave of regret washed over him as he realized he could never really go back to the casual friendship they’d known before. Couldn’t think of Clark as an untouchable friend or be satisfied admiring him from a distance. He knew Clark differently now, knew his skin and mouth and body in a way that changed his
perceptions forever.

If he worked at it, he could probably rationalize letting Clark leave here unaware of the change in their relationship. Maybe Clark would come to him again some other day - or night - sober and honest, and they could start from *there* instead of here. It would be difficult to wait, but he could set aside
his desires - and would - for Clark’s sake. If he Clark never came to him, he’d know it wasn’t meant to be.

Then again, Clark’s bottom-shelf brand of insomnia was usually fairly temporary. Clark would remember pieces of last night at the very least, even if it was just the vague recollection of a kiss here, a touch there. He would wonder what they’d done - if it had even happened at all. Lex couldn’t just sit back and
lie to him about it. No, for better or worse - poor word choice - he wanted Clark to know what they‘d done.

"Um, Lex? Where are my-" One flushed cheek turned towards him as Clark stretched in an effort to look over his shoulder without turning around. Clark being shy was almost as good as Clark being confident. Almost.

Anxious need bleeding through his chest like a deep wound, demanding his attention. The inexplicable desire to be uninhibited with Clark again, to just be two kids with no responsibilities, whose parents who would shake their heads and dismiss anything they did as ‘boys being boys.’ But this morning, they were
both far too sober for that kind of carefree behavior.

Even so, maybe he could catch a glimpse of it at least, bring back a little of the spirit of last night. Maybe it would trigger some memories and he wouldn’t have to explain *everything* to Clark.

He hooked a finger through one of the belt loops on Clark's jeans and stood up, letting them sway back and forth as they dangled in front of him. "Looking for these?" Couldn’t help but smile wide at the look on Clark’s face.

"Um, yeah. Thanks." Clark turned slightly, reaching back to snag the pants off his finger and started clumsily stepping into them, face sunburn-red and eyes never meeting Lex’s at all.

Lex wanted those eyes to look into his own again, wanted to know the freedom that he’d known last night. That pure emptying then filling that flowed from the meadow-green gaze into his own, not flinching - not even blinking when it met the truth buried there.

It wouldn’t be hard to just tell Clark what had happened. He could bait him, make him wonder, then just casually drop the bomb. Hopefully it would turn out to be an explosion of smoke that would clear quickly away and not leave a lingering odor of disappointment in its wake.

Bomb? Jesus. Even *this* was war. Well, not war, but something very close. A quest maybe; Clark‘s memory the chalice he was searching for.

He didn‘t hesitate to use Clark’s modesty-weakness against him. All‘s fair… right?

"Clark, you're blushing. Do you want me to leave while you get dressed?" Archers attack on the right flank while the cavalry advances on the left - although he wasn’t sure William Wallace had done it precisely *this* way.

"Well..."

"You don't have to be so shy, Clark. It's not like I haven't seen it before."

A quick shrug of Clark‘s shoulders. "I'm not shy. I'm just... I'm late."

"I’ll leave if you want me to, but I don't really see the point." His teeth had never felt so good on a jugular before.

Clark’s eyes narrowed and locked on his. "You don't see the point in what?"

"In you being modest, Clark. It's a little late for that, don't you think?" This was almost too easy.

Clark was having more than a little difficulty with his pants. Fingers trembled on the fly and seemed to beg for Lex‘s help. He quickly tucked eager hands into his pockets to supplement the control he refused to relinquish.

As if the inability to button his jeans wasn‘t telling enough, Clark actually said the words, "Okay, Lex… I give up. What did I do?" The Gods were being kind to Lex today.

"You really don't remember anything?" Just verifying, making sure. Weighing the opponent’s knowledge against his own was an invaluable tactic he used almost daily.

Jeans miraculously buttoned with no help from him, Clark started looking around for his shirt. "No. Nothing after the limo - not even the limo really. I know I drank a lot though. Why are you being so weird? Did I do something stupid?"

Lex knew the shirt was long gone - stained the same green as Clark’s tongue had been the night before, torn with an urgency that couldn’t wait for buttons, tossed into the fire before Lex could distract him long enough to explain what a bad idea that really was. He didn’t say anything now though, he just watched
Clark search for it, turning around and around from his central point in the room, glaring at pieces of furniture like his eyes weren’t focusing or something.

This was his last chance to back away and let it lie. He could just tell Clark that the ‘something stupid’ he’d done was burn his shirt, but he couldn’t settle for that. He wanted Clark to know - wanted to see if Clark wanted him, too.

"Well, that depends. I’m not sure what you would consider ‘stupid,’ Clark.”

Clark sighed his resignation, apparently giving up the search for his shirt, and flopped back down on the couch, elbows on his knees, supporting his head in his hands, closing his eyes against the burning light of the day and looking the picture of impatience. "Lex, come on. You know I‘m in no mood for guessing
games. Besides, I have to leave in a minute. Just tell me what I did.”

"Me." Of all the things he could have said and *that* was what came out. Very anti-climactic. So much for storming the castle, banners blazing. This was more like sneaking in through the servant’s entrance and dropping a poisoned pearl in the king’s wine.

"*You* what?"

"That's what you did. Whom you did." It was the truth, stark and simple. No pretty, tempting Trojan horse for Clark to open before the surprise knocked him on his ass.

Clark sank back into the couch cushions and gaped at him. A few moments passed with Lex’s eyebrows frozen high on his forehead, waiting for a more definitive reaction and Clark just staring up at him, mouth open and face twitching with thought.

Then, without warning, the gape was gone and Clark smiled up at him. "Stop kidding around, Lex. What did I really do?"

Lex moved to sit next to him on the couch and Clark scooted back a little, giving him the personal space he always demanded from everyone without a word. He never noticed that before, but he was sure now that Clark must’ve always done it, always known that it made him more comfortable and done it as a courtesy.

He inched closer as Clark backed away, closing the space between them, making sure that little formality - that required distance - was clearly no longer necessary now. Reveling in the familiar closeness he’d been so eager for all morning, Lex reached up and ran his fingers through Clark’s hair, tucking a runaway curl behind his ear before he could stop himself. It was an unmistakably intimate touch, one he knew Clark wouldn‘t be able to misinterpret.


"I'm not kidding, Clark."

“But…”

“It’s okay. Don‘t be upset.” It wasn’t nearly enough and he knew it, but this was uncharted territory and simple instructions seemed the best route to take.

Clark froze while Lex’s fingers trailed from his hair down his neck, coming to rest on his shoulder with a gentle squeeze. He hoped it was reassuring for Clark, but he could never be sure he was doing these kinds of things the way they were meant to be done. Yet another adornment courtesy of his father.

Clark jerked away from his hand and it fell a little before his reflexes reacted. “Don‘t be upset? Lex, you‘re saying we *had sex.* I‘ve never had sex. Not with - anyone.”

“I know, Clark.” That knowledge had been a masochistic device all morning, torturing him with guilt, pride, greed, and a humble gratefulness he couldn‘t remember ever feeling before.

Clark‘s hair flared out from his head just a little as he shook it in protest, eyes downcast. “If we really did, I would know it, Lex. I’d remember if we… I’d remember *that.*”

Lex looked on in wonder as Clark’s face filled with a panic he’d never thought he would see there. Clark was frightened, and Lex rarely saw him that way. Inexperienced, yes. Uneducated in the ways of the world, of course. But frightened? No. As quickly as it had come, the fear on Clark’s face dissolved into an embarrassed, pained expression that cut through Lex and made him want to kiss or slap it away - whichever would work faster.

Before he could do either, Clark moved slowly, aimlessly, not even rising off the couch but clearly readying himself to make a quick exit. “I have to go, Lex. I have to get home.”

“Don’t you want to stay for lunch and a swim?” It sounded rehearsed even to himself, though he hadn‘t even finished the thought before the words came tumbling out.

“What?”

“I think we should talk about this. Why don’t you call your parents and tell them I asked you to stay for lunch and a swim?” Wars are not won on the battlefield, even if that‘s really the only way to really get the attention of your opponent.

“They don’t even know I‘m here. They think I’m still at Pete’s place. How am I going to explain being with you?”

The effort might have been genuine, but Lex knew from the flimsy excuse that Clark wasn‘t really fighting anymore. “Tell them you stopped by on your way home from Pete’s. Do it, Clark. We need to talk about this.”

“Okay. Can I use this phone?” Clark stretched backwards on the couch and snagged the portable phone off the table, anxious… and apparently not making an effort to hide it.

“Sure.”

Clark started dialing and lost his coordination. He hung up, pushed the on button again, started dialing again. He hit five numbers before he dropped the phone, picked it up and accidentally turned it off.

It was like a Buster Keaton routine - ridiculously adorable. Lex gently pried the phone out of Clark’s hands and dialed, then handed it back to him. Clark’s mouth slacked open then snapped shut - was he surprised that he had the number memorized?

A pause of what must’ve been ringing before Clark’s mom answered the phone and he spoke. “Mom. It’s me. Yeah, listen. I’m at Lex’s. I just - I stopped by to see him on my way home from Pete‘s. He wants me to stay for lunch and a swim. Is that okay?” Clark listened for a minute as Martha spoke on the other end of the line, then nodded at him, said goodbye and hung up. “Okay, I have until four. Then I have to be home to help Dad with the tractor before it gets dark.”

“Good. So, where do you want to start?”

“I can’t even think with this headache, Lex. Just tell me what happened. I mean, how did it happen? Just start at the beginning.”

“That would be the most logical place to start, but I don’t know where that is. What’s the last thing you remember?”

Clark’s eyebrows furrowed with what must’ve been an effort to think around his headache. He eyed the Bloody Mary and licked his lips. “Will that really work?”

“What, the drink? Yes, it’ll work.”

“Okay, fine. But if I get sick, I’m blaming you.” Clark’s hair flopped a little as he leaned over to pick the glass up off the coffee table. When he straightened back on the couch, Lex took a chance and reached a hand out to tuck the curl back behind his ear again.

Clark immediately flinched back from the gesture. “Lex, stop. Don’t touch- don’t do that.”

Lex shifted away, holding his hands in the air for emphasis, swallowing hard around the lump in his throat. “Okay, Clark. I won’t touch you.”

“I didn‘t mean to sound- like that. I’m just…” Clark lowered his head and closed his eyes, breathing a frustrated-sounding sigh that Lex felt on his still-raised arm.

“You’re upset that we had sex.” Lex dropped his hands to his lap, fighting the urge to reach for Clark again.

“But you *wouldn’t…*”

Lex dipped his head and tilted it, trying to look Clark in the eyes. “I wouldn’t what, Clark?”

“You - We wouldn’t do that.”

“We did.” He wondered at the gentleness in his own voice, amazed that it sounded so natural instead of foreign. Didn’t even know he was capable of sounding soothing.

“I… are you sure?”

Lex forced a little laugh and tried to lighten the mood. “I’m pretty sure, Clark. There was kissing and touching and an exchange of body fluids.”

“Jesus, Lex!”

“What? I‘m just saying… I’m sure it happened.” This time he didn‘t have to force the laugh. Only Clark could get away with being innocent this morning.

“Did it happen like *that?*”

“Like what?” All greed and urgency and come everywhere? As a matter of fact, yes. It had happened *just* like that. He’d never tell Clark that though, not with him being so shy now.

“Just… did we just *do it*? I mean, wasn’t there… why did we do it?”

Yes. There’s the rub. Why? Last night they’d grunted and screamed and hissed a hundred different reasons, but those only sounded convincing in the foggy heat of sex. Now, Lex could only come up with a generic platitude that he was sure made him sound too much like Jonathan Kent for his own comfort.

“People are always more honest when they’re inebriated.” It was admitting everything, and he hoped Clark understood, knew he would if he just thought about it.

Which he did. A few silent moments as he watched the gears grinding in Clark‘s head. Then those eyes met his with all the intensity of the night before, albeit on a totally different plain.

“More honest?” Clark was whispering, letting the words settle between them as he obviously struggled to wrap his brain around Lex’s admission. “So you really wanted-”

“Yes.” The one-word confession was all that was needed to take the burden of truth from Clark.

“Why didn’t you say something before, Lex?”

“You’re six years younger than me, you’re my best friend and - then there’s the whole issue of you being in love with a Homecoming Queen.”

“I’m not. I don’t love her. I just - I’m *supposed* to love her.”

“I know, Clark. You explained it to me last night. You said Lana was just a place-holder for me.” The poetic words from a high school newspaper reporter, and how ironic was that? If Clark’s career unfolded as Lex expected, then a Luthor and a future journalist were on much more than a first-name basis.

Clark nodded and took a sip of the Bloody Mary - he looked like he was actually beginning to enjoy it a little - halfway through the glass and it should start helping his head soon.

Clark folded the leg closest to Lex underneath him, propped an elbow on the back of the couch and leaned his head on his hand. Lex watched him move, not even trying to be subtle about letting his eyes linger on Clark’s bare chest.

Clark scrubbed his face, paused with his hand over his eyes and rubbed hard there, then he glared up at Lex. “Wait. How come you can remember all of this? Why aren’t you hung-over too?”

“I have a very fast metabolism, Clark. That‘s why I don’t get drunk. That‘s also why I have to eat so much.”

“Eat so much? Lex, I don‘t think I‘ve ever seen you eat anything. Maybe a piece of fruit. I thought you lived on coffee.”

“No, I assure you, I eat. Maria prepares all my meals - at least four a day, sometimes five. Why do you think I order so much produce every week?”

“I thought it was because you wanted-”

“-to see you? It is - I was kidding, Clark. You’re starting to remember though, aren’t you? I told you last night that I order extra produce and schedule your deliveries so I can be home, so I can see you. Do you remember that?”

“Kind of. I think I remember you… giving me water? Is that right?”

“That’s right. We sat here on the couch and talked for awhile.”

Clark raised his hand to his mouth and mumbled through the two fingers he pressed to his lips. “Oh God.”

“What?”

“Did I - did I kiss you in the limo?”

“Yes, you did.” A smile and a nod for the memory.

“What did you do?”

Lex shrugged. “I kissed you back.”

Clark took another drink, then stared blankly into the glass. “I remember that. I remember you were sitting there in your black coat, just looking across the limo at me. I kept thinking you would never agree to it if I asked you to kiss me - that you‘d never say yes. Jeez, Lex, I didn’t mean to force myself on you like that. I didn’t - didn’t want it to happen like that.”

“I know you didn’t, Clark.” He wanted to be sure Clark understood that everything they had done was mutual, but he wasn’t sure how to say it. He reached out hesitantly, lightly touching Clark’s shoulder, then ran his fingers down Clark’s arm, testing the waters. Clark didn‘t flinch at all this time, but his eyes followed the touch.

Lex took a hand captive, fingers lacing through Clark’s. Palm-to-palm and arm-to-arm. His heart started racing at the intimate feeling of Clark‘s skin warming his.

“When we got back here, you told me that you’d never kissed anyone like that. You said you’d only thought about one person putting their tongue in your mouth. I thought you meant Lana.” Lex didn‘t move his eyes from Clark‘s face, watching for a reaction.

And got one.

Clark‘s eyes meeting his again, blinking slowly, almost bashfully. “I didn’t.”

“No, you didn’t. You made that quite clear, and not too gently, either.”

This was going to be one of the worst parts - but it was best to just get it over with and move on. Lex held his arm up to show a bluish-purple handprint.


A look of absolute terror transformed Clark‘s face as he reached up and wrapped his hand around the bruise, realizing it was a perfect match. “Oh God, Lex! I did that? I’m sorry! I would never-”

“Clark, stop.” The touch burned gently, the heat from Clark‘s palm creeping up his arm, spreading like wildfire and settling in a pool on his lap. “I know you wouldn’t hurt me. You were already upset and I said exactly the wrong thing. You let go as soon as you grabbed me - and you kissed it enough last night to make up for it.”

“I’m so sorry. I can’t believe I did that. Are you sure you’re okay?” Clark turned his arm slowly from side to side, looking at the whole mark, examining it. The blatant concern sensual, not motherly - a kind of uncontrolled display of affection that kicked Lex’s pulse up a notch.

“I’m fine. I bruise easily, but I heal quickly.”

“Fast metabolism again?”

“Apparently.” Best to get the logistics over with as fast as possible. Then they could deal with… whatever was going to come. “Do you want to hear more?”

“Yeah.” Clark gently laid his arm down, but didn‘t release his hand. Lex took it as a good sign.

“Like I said, after you grabbed me, you apologized. You looked like you were afraid of me - afraid that you had hurt me - but you wouldn’t let me get within two feet of you. You kept backing away like I was going to hit you or something.”

“What did you do?”

“I figured it was the alcohol making you a little paranoid, so I just told you I was fine, got you a bottle of water and walked here to the office.”

“Then what?”

“You followed me in here, sat down next to me on the couch and just started telling me all kinds of things.”

“What did I say?” Clark’s voice was cautious, a little worried. Who could blame him though? The honesty of alcohol wasn’t always - or even usually - a good thing.

“Well, you started off rambling about not knowing your own strength and that it was such a bad idea for you to be drunk because you barely knew how to control yourself sober. Then you said that you deserved to be drunk because you’re a teenager and all teenagers have the right to get drunk at least once.”

Clark shook his head. “Oh jeez. What was I thinking?”

“Actually, I was enjoying it. It was like playing priest for a little while. You were just confessing things and I just kept granting you absolution for them. Mostly though, you kept saying that you’d been waiting for months to kiss me and you were glad you’d finally done it. You said it was the best kiss of your life. That it was even better than kissing me in your dreams.”

“I said that?” Face flushed before Lex was even done talking and God, how did he *do* that anyway?

Clark had the worst habit of making an easy target of himself. Then again, it left him open for as many barbs as Lex could think of. Hell, he was already blushing - a little elbowing couldn’t hurt. In fact, it might be just the thing. “What? You don’t believe that I can kiss better in real life than I can in your dreams?”

“No, I-”

“Or you don’t want me to know that you dream about kissing me?”

“I just-”

Lex moved a little closer to him, squeezing Clark’s sweat-slick hand in his own. “You don’t have to be embarrassed, Clark. I dream about you too.”

“You do?” Eyes round with awe.

“Yes, I do. I’m actually quite fond of dreaming about you.” ‘Quite fond’ was a vast understatement, but there was no point in scaring him away with the whole truth.

“Lex, I remember little pieces of last night. I just - I don’t remember having sex with you. I can’t even remember what…” Clark’s voice just stopped working as Lex leaned in closer.

The young man’s breath on his face was the final straw and before Lex could stop himself, he was asking the question that had been hanging on the tip of his tongue. “Clark, can I kiss you?”

Clark’s breath hitched, but he nodded.

A hand finally on the smooth, dark skin of Clark’s chest, he gently disentangled his fingers from Clark’s other hand and moved it to his face. A thin shadow of stubble scratched against his fingertips.

Thumbs dragging across Clark‘s jaw, fingers wrapping lightly around the throat he couldn‘t wait to taste again. Christ, he loved to feel another man’s face in his hands.

Could live and die happily in the simple evidence of Clark’s life scraping against his tongue as he traced the line of Clark's jaw with a slow, hard lick. Last night those cheeks had been smooth.

Lex wasn’t sure how much of their first kiss Clark remembered, so this should be perfect. Eyes closed, leading, licking Clark’s mouth open, slipping his tongue just inside. He took his time, tongue sliding slowly along the warm, smooth curves of Clark‘s mouth, teasing his tongue, even teeth and strong lips. Letting Clark get to know him, too.

The spicy flavor of the was still too recent in Clark‘s mouth. Maybe he’d be able to taste him again some other time - later.

Later. Such a small word for so many possibilities. Too many to consider now, too distracting to think at all with Clark’s mouth finally on his again.

He moaned into the kiss, knowing that last night, the same thing had driven Clark to the point where he *couldn’t* hesitate anymore. Lex pulled back with one last lick, leaving Clark’s lips wet and red, thoroughly kissed. Behind his own pleasure he was vaguely worried about Clark‘s reaction, but almost instantly, Clark leaned back in for another kiss. Reaching across Lex’s lap to lay a hand on his thigh and he didn’t lean back, breath staying close, hot against Lex’s mouth.

They were too close to be casual now, but Clark wasn’t moving away. “Is it coming back to you now, Clark?”

“A little.” Breathless. Still so close, but easing away from him with obvious reluctance. “But I think I still want you to tell me.”

“Just stop me whenever you want to, okay?” It wasn’t supposed to sound like a proposition for more kisses, but somehow it came out that way.

“Okay.”

They were both turned sideways on the couch now, each with one leg laying flat on the cushion between them and one foot on the floor. Hand sliding down to rest on the boy’s chest, he took Clark’s hand in his other one and smiled up at him.

“Where was I? Right, you were telling me… everything. I listened to you for awhile but after about thirty minutes, I decided I couldn’t stand it anymore. You were sitting there, telling me how much you wanted me, how much you’d thought about me.”

Clark’s face sank, his eyes falling to stare at Lex’s pajama pants. “And you couldn’t stand it?”

“No, not like that, Clark. I couldn’t stand it in a good way. I was… really turned on by it.”

Clark smiled a little - God, so adorable - and lifted his eyes to Lex’s. “Oh, okay.” That was the sound of hope. Maybe last night wasn’t just a teenage whim after all.

“So anyway, it looked like you were never going to stop talking, so I kissed you. I hadn’t intended to take it further, but you were pretty insistent that I take my clothes off.”

“Insistent?”

“You ripped my shirt open and pulled it off before I could even react.”

“Sorry?” Clark smiled and didn’t sound sorry at all.

“Don’t be sorry about the shirt, Clark. I’m not. Now the pants, you can be sorry about those. They were one of my favorite pairs.”

“Did I rip them too?”

“It was more like disassembling them, but yes, you did.”

A light sparkled in Clark’s eyes. “So you were in your underwear?”

“Actually, no.”

“No?”

“I wasn’t wearing any.”

Clark‘s eyebrows shot up and he smiled wide. “You don’t wear underwear?”

“Not usually.”

“That’s… that’s really…”

Lex felt his heart quicken as Clark closed his eyes just a little and licked his lips. “It’s really what, Clark?”

“Hot. And… good to know.” Clark lowered his eyes to Lex’s crotch, grinning. Still blushing too though - so fucking shy and it just made it better, re-establishing some of the inhibitions that Clark had cast off the night before, the inhibitions that made him *Clark.*

Seeing him like this, accepting the idea of *them,* glad they were touching, even welcoming the touches, made Lex want to take last night back, erase the things they’d done and just start over with this coherent, cognizant Clark. He wanted the decisions unmade so they could remake them now, sober and sure.

Clark‘s eyes drifted back to his lap and almost begged, almost screamed what he knew Clark would never even whisper. But Lex could say it, he could do it, and easily too. “Should I take these off before I lose my favorite pair of pajamas too?”

Lex let go of Clark’s hand and stood up before he could answer. He felt almost-bashful eyes on him as he stripped his pajamas off, folded them neatly and laid them on the coffee table, then sat back down on the couch and smiled, eyebrows raised. “Better? Now we don’t have to worry about those.”

Clark’s eyes stayed purposefully high on Lex’s body, avoiding looking at anything below his waist. Clark was young, but control like that was rare. Whenever someone got naked in front of Lex, he’d always looked, *especially* when he’d been a teenager.

“Lex, I-”

“Clark, it’s okay. You can look at me. I don’t mind.” It was almost a dare.

Slowly, Clark’s eyes lowered, Adam’s apple bobbing as he swallowed hard. Lex half expected him to giggle, but he didn’t. Clark’s eyes just slid over his entire body, taking him in, mouth hanging open just a little, tongue snaking out and licking his lips again. “God, Lex. You’re- you’re like a statue.”

“Hard? Yes, Clark, and it’s your fault.”

“No. I mean, that’s not what I meant. You’re smooth like marble and your muscles are really… defined. You‘re… the most beautiful thing I‘ve ever seen.”

“Remind me to show you this really great invention later, Clark. It’s called a mirror.”

Red cheeks lifted in a smile, and Clark shook his head, rolled his eyes. “Very funny, Lex. I’m nothing like you. I’m so awkward. I’m too tall for my age and…”

Lex leaned in and caught Clark’s words in his mouth - and delivered his argument in the form of a kiss. This time he wasn’t asking permission first. He found all the consent he needed as Clark’s tongue slid along his, rough against the roof of his mouth.

Clark pulled back and his hand was lifted, fingers kissed. Christ, he could *see* Clark remembering. He held his breath as Clark gently sucked his fingers, running his tongue over the lines of his fingerprints.

Lex took a deep breath, filling his lungs only because he *had* to. Clark’s teeth bit lightly on the pads of his fingers, scraping them one by one. Then the tip of his tongue flicked over the bitten flesh, warming it. This was all a perfect re-enactment of last night. “You do remember, Clark. You just don’t know that you do.”

An interruption of the heat and that was not a good thing, even if it meant he got to hear Clark‘s low, quiet voice. “I don’t remember everything we did, Lex. I wish I did. I know that you love this. I just don’t know *how* I know.”

Clark licked a stripe to Lex’s wrist, then sucked on the pulse there, teeth scraping gently along the tendons and veins. Having his wrists sucked was the one kink he could never resist, the one he‘d never told anyone about until last night. “Mmm, yes… just like that. You know because I told you.”

A soft kiss to the palm of each hand and Clark leaned back. “You did?”

“Yes. You said you didn’t know what do to and you wanted me to tell you what I liked. So I did.”

“What else did you tell me to do?”

“Everything, Clark. I told you how to kiss me, how to turn me on, how to touch me.”

“How to touch you. Hard enough not to tickle but you don’t like fingernails, right?” Clark pulled on Lex’s hand, straightening his arm. He swallowed a gasp as Clark ran his hand up sensitive skin on the underside of the outstretched arm, like he was testing to see if that‘s how Lex liked it.

“That’s right.” The details might still be fuzzy now, but Lex knew Clark’s hands on him would help bring last night back to him. His body was something Clark knew now. He would remember the curves, the bones, the muscles. He’d seen them before, felt them before. Touched them. Tasted them. Sense memories weren’t easily forgotten.

“I am. I can remember… I remember your skin against mine. I remember thinking how smooth it was and how I wished I didn’t have any hair either so we could have nothing between us. That’s stupid, I know, but I that‘s what I thought.”

“You told me, and it’s not stupid. It’s a wonderful thought, Clark.” Lex ran a hand across the smooth skin of Clark’s chest then down, over young, work-toned muscles, fingers finally coming to a stop and curving under the waistband of the boy’s jeans, sliding slowly between denim and skin. Rubbing there, hard enough
not to elicit giggles, fingertips just touching the head of Clark’s swollen cock.

Clark glanced down, but Lex never moved his eyes from the boy’s. When he looked back up, Lex caught Clark’s gaze and held it. If he could make Clark watch his eyes, he might not be so nervous about what was going on in his lap.

Clark’s eyes locked on his as if he was thinking the same thing, and he nodded. A loud swallow that would have been awkward but wasn‘t because any noise from Clark sounded sexy now. Nothing in the world sexier than Clark leaning in and whispering in a low voice, breath ghosting across his ear. “Nothing between us, Lex.”

Mouth to mouth again and almost as desperate and life-giving as it was months ago, but the old version had nothing on this. Fingers fast on Clark’s button fly and Lex gave him control of the kiss so he could concentrate on pushing too-big metal through too-small holes.

Raised up off the couch, kneeling on the cushions, fingers hooked in two belt loops on the now-open jeans, gently pulling Clark up with him. Working his thumbs under the edge of Clark’s boxers, he pulled them forward a little, down over the stiff cock that just wanted out and didn‘t seem to care if it pushed through the hole in front or got trapped by elastic.

Way too easy to push denim and cotton down around Clark’s thighs, naked skin and blood-filled cock and God, hair. For a second, he forgot how to start. Couldn’t decide what to taste first, then just leaned in, mouth devouring chest, throat, lips.

Fevered rush of blood as Clark’s hands connected with his face, tilting his chin up. A tongue licked at his lips, pushed its way into his mouth again, Clark sighing and moaning as they settled back down onto the couch.

Clark’s hands slid under his ass, lifting him, pushing one of his legs to the side so he was straddling Clark’s lap. Lex wasn’t sure he liked being manhandled, but he wasn’t about to complain. Besides, Clark’s way was better than any he could come up with.

Arms wrapped tightly around Lex and held him almost still over Clark’s lap. Material brushed underneath his thighs as the boy kicked the jeans and boxers off onto the floor. “Tell me more, Lex. What did you do to me?”

No point in holding back now. Either Clark would run or he’d stay and do this. “I knelt between your legs and sucked you, Clark.”

“You did? I - I don’t remember that.” Quiet, shy and a hint of regret.

“Yes, I did.” Not wanting Clark to lose any of this confidence, he hid his smile against Clark’s neck and bit into the hard muscle there. Scooting backwards off Clark’s lap, he knelt on the floor, grasping his best friend’s knees in his hands.

He looked up into Clark’s eyes for an answer to the question he knew he didn’t have to ask. He wanted to see it though - wanted to see Clark asking for this, needing this, even if Clark wasn’t ready to actually say the words.

“I want to remember, Lex.” Whispered to cover an unsteady voice.

“I know you do.” Lex gently, firmly pushed the knees apart a little and felt all resistance dissolve as muscles relaxed and Clark’s legs falling open.

Between Clark’s thighs - where the lines of dominance and submission blurred beautifully. Hands at the top of Clark’s legs, mouth sucking the crease where thigh joined torso, just as he had last night, the taste a salty tang and he wanted to pour that over every meal he ate for the rest of his life. Maybe the only thin skin on Clark’s entire body - there would be time to go looking for more later.

Clark relaxed, eyes closed and brown curls tilted to the back of Lex’s couch, throat offered up like an appetizer. A sigh breezed across Lex’s head as he stretched up to lick a path from the softly moaning mouth to the thin line of hair far below. Tongue not even touching Clark yet and he was already dripping. It wouldn’t last long, but that didn’t matter. Lex hadn’t had enough of this last night either - would probably never get enough of it.

Couldn’t help it anymore and risked making Clark more nervous by looking up at him, hungry for the look he knew he’d find on Clark’s face. He painted a thin, wet line from Clark’s balls to the tip of his cock and wrapped his mouth around the head.

Clark’s eyes snapped open like he was desperate to watch Lex do this. Lex loved that too; loved to see someone sucking his cock, their head moving on him, to see himself disappearing between their lips. Loved watching himself fuck someone’s mouth, loved watching their eyes change with the pace and desire. Last
night it was Clark’s face, and the show was better than ever.

Lips tightened around the end of Clark’s shaft at the memory and he flicked his tongue over the head, along the slit. Another low moan and Clark’s eyes half closed but stayed locked on his. So that wasn’t as sensitive now as it was last night. Well, good. Maybe he’d get to show off a little before swallowing him this time.

He lifted off, gently releasing Clark’s cock, and licked all along the length, slicking it, pointed tongue drawing a hard, wet streak up the vein on the underside before he sucked the head back into his mouth.

A loud gasp and an uncontrolled, wild buck into his mouth and Clark’s body language was almost as good as the sexy, throaty sounds he was making - almost as good as the begging Lex had elicited from him last night. His cock jerked at the memory of the young, rebellious voice pleading for him to lead Clark one step further away from virginity.

Clark arched up into his mouth again, an apology creeping across his face, then settled back down on the couch, thighs tensed like he was determined not to buck again. Lex thought about telling him to stand up, considered letting Clark wrap strong hands around his head and just fuck his mouth but dismissed the idea when he saw Clark bite his lower lip, drop his head backwards, eyes fluttering closed again.

Clark’s hand trailed absently up his own chest, found a nipple like it was an old habit and squeezed, rolling it, pulling it. Did Clark know he looked this sexy when he touched himself? Did he even realize that Lex was watching him? God, he hoped so, hoped at least part of that simple sensuality was directed at him.

His name took on an entirely different meaning when it was moaned and Clark arched up a little to punctuate it. All the encouragement he needed to open his throat and take the cock deeper. Chin and nose touched skin and hair as his throat stretched. He swallowed, muscles constricting convulsively and Clark
pushed up, slamming deeper, making Lex blink hard. One eye-watering, sharp stab in his throat, then another, and hands wrapped too tightly on his shoulders, fingers digging into muscle as Clark exploded down his throat.

Lex squeezed the cock with stretched lips and swallowed quickly as it pulsed, making sure he kept things neat. Clark tensed ass, thighs and face from the first pulse to the last, then sagged in a beautiful post-orgasmic slump.

The taste of a new lover’s life on Lex’s tongue and he wanted more. He lapped at Clark’s stomach, along the half-hard length. Couldn’t have anyone getting embarrassed over a little spilt come. Catering to Clark’s teenage sensibilities had never been this much fun before.

Not quite ready to part with it all together, Lex covered the cock with his hand and sat back on his heels. Couldn’t help but smile at the sight of the dazed teenager hovering miles away from him in a fog of endorphins. Clark’s eyes were closed, one arm hung lifelessly beside him, resting on the couch. Another hand reached out for him, wrapping around the back of his neck to pull him closer.

He inched forward on his knees, getting as close as he could to Clark without changing positions. The fabric of the couch scratched against his stomach and still-hard cock, his knees cold and flattened by the stone floor, but those things were just a momentary distraction. Lex allowed himself to be pulled to Clark’s mouth and thoroughly kissed. He kept his eyes open this time, wanted to see the moment when Clark realized what he was tasting.

A hitch of Clark’s eyebrows and his tongue paused, then delved deeper into Lex’s mouth hungrily. Last night, Lex had wondered that Clark had never bothered to taste his own come before; he thought all guys did that at some point. Now, Clark’s tongue fucked his mouth like he couldn’t get enough of the new flavor,
lips crushing against his, bruising them.

Lex pulled away to catch his breath, his chest rubbing against Clark’s stomach and cock as he moved back a little. His asthma was long-gone, but he and Clark were both panting.

“Was it like this last night?”

No, it hadn’t been like this. Last night, neither of them had cared about where they came, just as long as they did. Clark had made quite a mess and then shocked both of them by sliding to his knees on the floor beside Lex and licking his neck and chest clean. Maybe he’d leave that part of the narration for another day.

“There were a few differences, but yeah, it was basically the same.” He raised up off of Clark’s stomach, skin sweat-sticking, aching for the contact he was pulling away from. Resting a hand on each of Clark’s legs, he pushed himself up off the floor, standing and unintentionally offering Clark a front-row view of
his enthusiasm. Lex closed his eyes and rolled his neck from side to side stretching tired muscles. Let him look.

Clark stood up, arm wrapping around Lex’s waist to pull them together. Clark’s mouth sucked at his throat for a second, then stopped as he drew in a deep breath. The air moving along his neck sent shivers down his arms, and standing up suddenly seemed like a very bad idea.

“What did I do next?”

Clark’s words vibrated against the thin layer of skin on his throat, and his cock was suddenly sheathed in a hand that wasn‘t his, palm wrapped around him, soft thumb sliding over the wet tip.

“You - ah, Jesus - you got down on the floor with me and asked me if you could fuck me.”

Clark’s hand quickened, loosening a little to let Lex slide in and out of the fist with only a whisper of friction against the soft, dry flesh of his palm. Torture.

“What did you say?”

Reaching down, he stilled Clark’s hand and looked up into his eyes. Clark was smiling just a little, apparently enjoying his reactions. So much trust and hope there, and he just couldn’t do it.

He leaned in and licked Clark’s lips, then pushed his way between them, gently taking Clark’s mouth. He peeked out from under his eyelashes and saw Clark’s eyes closed, then let his fall shut too.

Holding Clark's hand still on his cock, he kissed until he found the words. “I said no.” Simple, really, but there was really no good way to say it.

"No."

"I wasn't going to have sex with you, Clark. Not like that."

"Right, I get it. Drunk teenager. But Lex--you said we--"

"There are a lot of different kinds of sex, Clark. For example, what we just did was sex."

"I thought you meant--I thought you meant *real* sex. Not this."

"Would it have changed your reaction, Clark? To know that I didn't take advantage of you and fuck you instead of--what we did?"

Clark blinked at him. "I would have... been more scared. But... I still think I would have wanted this."

Lex held firmly to the hand on his cock and wrapped his other arm around Clark‘s waist, trapping him there. He tilted his head down and to the side, trying to interrupt Clark’s staring contest with the floor.

Lex finally managed to catch his eyes. “We didn’t have sex - but isn’t that a good thing, Clark? The decision is all yours now. This can end right now. It can be a mistake that we never make again. Or it can begin right now and we‘ll never have to regret it.”

Before he could offer any more reassurances, Clark’s hand was brushing his away, then moving on his cock again.

“So, I take it you’re not-” He had never had the words actually sucked from his mouth before, but Clark somehow managed to do it now.

He reached up to Clark’s chest, rubbing hard, massaging, pausing to brush his thumbs roughly over Clark’s nipples, swallowing the moan that he got for his effort. Clark’s tongue moved fast and sure in his mouth now, licking, thrusting in and out, slipping along his teeth.

Lex savored the feeling of Clark in his mouth, but the kiss was rapidly turning into a one-sided mouth fuck and he couldn’t stand the thought of Clark having total control over where this was going. Not when the surprisingly skilled hand on his cock was pumping him fast enough - in just the right way - to make him
come much sooner than he wanted to.

He slid his hands from Clark’s chest to his hair, fingers tangling, forearms pushing on Clark’s shoulders, urging him down, all but forcing him to his knees. Clark broke the kiss and sank down, looking up at him with a mischievous smile, like he’d been planning this all along.

“Tell me what to do, Lex.”

“You remember, Clark. You’ve done this already. You know what to do.”

“Tell me anyway.”

He wasn‘t going to fight against something he wanted. “Cover your teeth with your lips just a little and take me in your mouth. As much as you can.” The sound of his own voice giving sexual instructions made his cock twitch.

Clark smiled at the movement, then nodded. Licked his lips and wrapped a thumb and finger tight around the base of Lex’s cock.

Lex watched the brown mop of loose curls moving up and down along his shaft, and quickly dismissed the thought that maybe it was the Bloody Mary making Clark forget his inhibitions. That much Vodka wouldn’t get results like this. Air cooled his teeth as he sucked it in. Important to breathe, even - fuck - now.

His entire existence consisted of his cock and his best friend, which might as well have been one thing instead of two now. He had to tell Clark what to do, had to lead and show and God, yes. Teach.

“Mmmm - Christ... Yeah, just like that. Now find a rhythm - like with your hand. Find a- oh Jesus - that’s right, that‘s perfect. No, a little faster. There. Just - just keep doing that - just like that.” Oxford eloquence
abandoned him as his body pulled his mind down along with it, just *reacting* to Clark’s actions.

Cause and effect was the only concept he could grasp now. Clark’s tongue a comfortable, familiar cushion of heat and wet, his mouth a perfectly tight, slippery, warm sheath that seemed custom-made for him.

The pull of each suck made him want to thrust hard into Clark’s mouth, quasi-virginity be damned. He forced his hands out of Clark’s hair and let them hang at his sides, clenching into fists, fighting the urge to hold Clark’s head still and just fuck his throat and finish this.

Lex closed his eyes and let his head fall back. He wanted to watch Clark’s mouth on him, but the sight of Clark, *sober,* on his knees, sucking him off was too much. There was no way he was going to come in Clark’s mouth - it was too soon for Clark to handle that, and besides, he really didn’t want this to be
over yet.

Had to find an image of Clark - something that he could hold in his mind and concentrate on. It didn’t take long to decide and picture burned the backs of his eyelids as if it was painted there. His only real link to humanity kneeling, bent over him, strong hands on his chest, wet, black hair in brilliant contrast
to the clear blue sky. Clothes dripping with river-water, eyes full of concern. A vague recognition flickered in the eyes and they changed, became those of a friend instead of a stranger. Swaying, Lex opened his eyes.

Clark's rhythm hadn't changed, but he was moving so fast that his cock was almost numb. He was beyond aroused, beyond sensitive, and this had to *stop* soon or the control he was known for would be a thing of the past. His fingers laced through Clark's hair, and he thrust forward once, need overpowering will.
Clark choked a little and stopped moving, eyes - God - asking and still a little shy at the edges. Lex fought a sigh and lost as he pulled his cock slowly from the warm, wet home it had found.

He smiled down at the boy on his knees in front of him, and got a smile from glistening, red, swollen lips in return. A mischievous glimmer in Clark’s eye was his only warning before Clark’s hand tightened and slipped from the base of his cock to the tip, just once. Lex reeled and stumbled back, barely staying
upright. “Jesus Clark! Are you *trying* to make me come?!”

The grin on Clark’s face broadened and he laughed. “Well, yeah. That’s kind of the idea.”

“I can‘t.” Words just… failed him.

“You can‘t?”

“No. Not yet.”

Clark sat back on his heels and the smile faded from his lips. Lex stole a glance at himself - at them - in the reflection of the window. So much skin, all muscled and gorgeous. Clark‘s hair a little wet with sweat, sticking along neck and face like a calendar boy on the beach. Himself a perfect snapshot from a
porn video, chest heaving, mouth slacking open, cock jutting out, wet, swollen and flushed the same color as Clark’s face.

“I’m not going to leave you like that Lex.”

“No. I’m - no, you aren’t.”

“Tell me what to do Lex. I don’t know what you want me to do.” The words echoed in his memory, connecting and overlapping almost the same words said to him last night. The most incredible case of deja vu he’d ever had.

Half-crouching, reaching down, wrapping a hand around Clark‘s elbow, Lex him gently to his feet, then leaned in and kissed swollen lips. “Clark, as much as I want to, I won’t tell you what to do now.”

“Why not?”

He wouldn‘t lead Clark into this. He needed Clark to make the decision, needed him to be the one with the final vote. “Because you have to decide. This isn’t up to me now.”

“If I have to decide, then you have to ask.”

Such a strange demand, but there was no way Clark was that slow. “You already know what I‘m asking.”

“I want to hear you say it.”

Christ, Clark. “Why?”

“Just say it, Lex.”

Now way he was going to say it out loud - it was too crass and blunt for Clark’s ears that way. He dropped his forehead to the bronzed muscle of Clark’s shoulder and whispered against his collar bone. “I want to fuck you.”

Clark’s arms tightened around his waist a little as he said the words, then released him. Clark stepped back, and for a split second, he thought it was over. The friendship, the sex, everything. Panic and relief (oddly enough) warred in his chest, but before a victor could be declared, Clark walked over to the table behind the couch and picked up the phone and all thought stopped.

Clark didn’t need help dialing this time. “Mom, it’s me. Look, something came up and Lex needs me to stay here tonight… Yeah, I know, but you know I wouldn‘t ask if it wasn‘t important, right? … Yes, I’m sure everything’s going to be fine… Tell Dad I’m sorry about the tractor - we can work on it tomorrow… Right.
I’ll be home by one. Oh, and when Pete and Chloe call, just tell them I’ll call them tomorrow, okay? Thanks. I love you too, mom… Okay, I will… Bye.”

“Let me guess. Your mom says ‘hi?’”

“Yeah.” Clark put the phone back on the base and smiled across the couch at him, then walked slowly back to him, eyes locked on his.

Lex closed his eyes, a small reprieve from the intensity of Clark’s gaze, and felt his waist wrapped in warmth again, two strong arms circling him, pulling him close. His cock hung heavily against Clark‘s leg, blood still pulsing hard through it. “Clark?”

“Yes.” It wasn’t a question. It was an answer.

Clark’s hand slid down between them to his cock and started stroking it back to solidity. Lex had to touch that face, pull that mouth hard against his. Lips stung with the pressure but it felt so good to take Clark’s mouth again, to fuck it and control it, to know that it was finally, wholly his.

Clark matched his ferocity, tongue thrusting in time with the jerk of the hand on Lex’s cock. Every stroke brought Clark’s knuckles brushing against his stomach, rubbing a red streak where there should be hair. A thumb pressed into the head of his cock and his knees gave a little under him before he could stop them.

Clark broke the kiss and they both sucked in air, but he dove back into Clark’s mouth after a few breaths, demanding more. A sure hand rested on the small of his back, a constant pressure to keep them close, as if he might pull away at any second and deny Clark this.

There was no hesitation in Lex’s mind or body, just pure need and want and the raw emptiness screaming to be filled again. Aching to be sated by the hand jacking him, the mouth sliding on his, the sweat-slick chest sticking against his own, Clark’s hard length rubbing against his too-smooth thigh. Not enough friction there to do any good and he needed to wrap his fingers, his body, his mouth, *something* around that cock, needed to make sure it was sated too because for once, this wasn’t about him.

He pushed Clark’s chest away from his, and the hand on his back released him. Lex looked straight into Clark’s verdant eyes, knowing that they‘d see more than he really wanted to show. Even sober, Clark didn’t flinch or turn away from whatever it was he saw there, but his hand slowed and stopped its fevered stroking and just held him in a half-grip.

Taking Clark's cock in his hand, the knuckles of their fingers touched between their bodies as he started a slow, methodical rhythm and leaned in to whisper in Clark’s ear. "I want to fuck you, Clark."

He rested his head on Clark’s shoulder and sucked at the salty skin on his neck, Clark’s hair brushing against his ear as he looked down between them, watching. Lex followed Clark’s lead and looked down too, watching his own cock peek through the opening at the top of Clark’s fist, watching the head of Clark’s
cock become slick with the evidence of pleasure from the strokes Lex tried to keep constant.

The sight of mirrored cocks, muscles, and skin was enough to make him wish he wasn’t bare - make him wish Clark was - whichever meant they matched everywhere. Even the color of their blood-engorged cocks was the same regal purplish-red.

The sight, the duality of it, could make him come in a heartbeat if he let himself go, but he wouldn’t. There was more he wanted to show Clark, more he wanted to make him feel before this was over. He tore his eyes away from the fists when he could no longer recognize which one was his and which one was Clark‘s, and looked up at Clark’s face instead, desperate for control. Breath hitched at the sight of Clark’s blood-stained cheeks. They matched their cocks and Clark’s lips perfectly - lips he wanted to lick, kiss, fuck.

Not here though. Clark probably harbored some lingering ideas of what losing his virginity would be like, and they more than likely didn’t include the chilly stone floor of his office. “Do you want to go upstairs?”

Clark’s eyes didn’t move from the double stroking between them. “Can we - can we go to your room, Lex? I want to - I want it to be on your bed, okay?”

God, on his bed - more than okay - fucking hot. “Of course. Come on, Clark, let‘s go.”

Lex uncurled his fingers from Clark's length, then moved his hand and slowly unwrapped the hand covering his own cock, bringing the fingers to his mouth to kiss. He held tightly onto Clark's hand, pulling him along behind until Clark froze, making him trip just a little. What-? Oh right. Clark was naked and hard and not used to any of this. Lex bent and picked the discarded sheet up off the floor and handed it to Clark, offering an understanding look. “The staff is used to me, but I know you’re not used to them yet.”

He allowed himself to smile openly, as Clark took the sheet and wrapped it around himself like a huge, billowing cotton cape. They walked from the office, up the stairs, down the hallway. He couldn’t think of anything to say, didn’t think he could look back and see Clark behind him, shy and embarrassed; despised
the fact that his office wasn’t up here. It was too much of a reality check for them both to be traipsing through the house, too much of an interruption. But it would be worth it to be on a bed - to make this a better memory for Clark.

Lex had a hand on the light switch just inside the door to his room before he could think. He caught the motion and flicked the switch back down before the lights came on. No doubt Clark would prefer darkness, but dim was the best he could do in the middle of the afternoon. He walked to the curtains and pulled
them closed, shutting out the light and all distractions.

He turned back, eyes adjusting to the lack of light, and found Clark standing at the corner of the bed, hands gripping the sheet that still draped generously over his body. That peaceful anticipation that had been written across Clark’s features downstairs was nowhere to be found.

Lex crossed to him, closed his hands over the tightly-clenched fists and gently, slowly pried the fingers loose from the cloth. By the time the cloth was falling to the floor, Clark’s arms were around him, pulling Lex into the most chaste hug their nudity could allow.

Lex knew the walk upstairs had been too distracting. It had given Clark time to realize what he was doing, who he was doing it with. It had given him time to be scared. An out should be offered - graciously given, no matter how painful it would be at this point. “Clark, we don’t have to do this.”

“I want to, Lex. I’m just-”

“Frightened?”

A nod of soft brown hair against his cheek, full lips pressing into his shoulder as Clark hid his face.

“What are you afraid of?”

Clark lifted his head and held him tight when Lex tried to step back and look at him. Clark couldn‘t even look him in the eye now.

“I’m afraid I’ll mess it up. I’m afraid I - I won’t be able to do it. I’m just… I’m nervous. It’s *you,* Lex. I know that should make this easy but it just makes it worse because I don‘t know if we‘ll - ever be the same now.”

Valid fears all. Lex wasn‘t sure he could resolve them with words, but he was willing to try. “Clark, look at me.”

He tilted Clark’s chin up with a gentle fist, leading Clark’s eyes to look into his own. “First of all, Clark, I know you’re nervous, but sex isn‘t a test. You can’t really do anything wrong. Not if you’re doing what feels right to you and paying attention to how your partner reacts.”

“Really?”

Lex lifted the corners of his mouth into a reassuring smile and ran his thumb across Clark‘s cheekbone . “You‘re going to be amazing, Clark. You already have been.” Clark smiled a little and looked down at the floor, his long eyelashes brushing against Lex‘s thumb.

“Secondly, our friendship will change, has changed, but it is *never* going to die. You’ll never come across a picture of me in the newspaper and have to read the article to find out where I am, and I’ll never have to hire someone to find out what your life is like. We’ll never be apart long enough that we start forgetting each other, Clark. I promise.”

Worry-lined eyes looked into his. "I... I trust you, Lex. I just... you're my best friend. I don't ever want to lose that, not even for this."

"You won't lose me, Clark. Not for this, not for anything." It was a truth that Lex depended on everyday, a truth he hoped Clark would depend on too.

Lacing his fingers into Clark’s and gently backing up, he pulled Clark along with him, until the backs of his own legs touched against the bed. "No matter what happens in the future, Clark, we‘ll always remember this."

Clark nodded, swallowing hard, and glanced over Lex‘s shoulder at the bed. "Just... you have to tell me what to do, Lex."

A bittersweet irony that he was the one erasing the very thing he could never get enough of- Clark‘s innocence. Impossible for him to have both the act and the innocence of it after this first time, though. A quiet greed burned away any reluctance, and he leaned, lightly biting Clark's jaw. "Let me show you instead.”

Hands moving to Clark’s arms, pulling him gently down on the bed with him. Lying on their sides, Lex tucked his face into the hollow of Clark’s neck, licking and sucking and whispering in Clark’s ear until a moan vibrated against his lips and Clark’s hands started roaming again.

The whisper of a brush against his stomach and he glanced down to see Clark’s cock stiffening, rising next to his own. Snaking a hand down between their chests, he caught both of their lengths tight in his fist. He squeezed them together, hard muscle and pulsing veins complimenting, mirroring, answering each
other. Jacking them together slowly, he held his breath and just watched as Clark arched his back, pushing their bodies closer together.

In one swift motion, he slid out of his own fist, climbed on top to straddle shins, and bent to quickly suck Clark’s cock into his mouth.

Bracing himself on one hand, he shifted one leg, then the other, sliding them between Clark’s knees, pushing his legs apart. At the same time, he exhaled and swallowed Clark, cock sliding easily into his throat. Held him there, swallowing over and over, he let Clark fill him, stretch his lips and throat until he knew Clark was getting close.

On the next uncontrollable thrust against the back of his throat, he lifted his mouth off slowly, leaving the cock slick, wet and tight against the smooth skin of Clark’s stomach. Lex stretched up to take his mouth now, to share the taste that he knew Clark would never be able to admit he loved - not out loud - but
the truth was obvious with the thrust of Clark’s tongue licking the flavor from his mouth.

Lex reached down, pushed his stiff length away from his body so it rested aching between Clark’s legs, burning against the virgin skin he knew waited for him. At the touch of cock to ass Lex rocked his hips, Clark’s cock sliding, leaving a shimmery trail over his stomach.

A whimper muffled against Lex’s mouth gave him the green light, and he moved his mouth from Clark’s long enough to stretch over to the bedside table, retrieving a small white bottle and a condom. He was clean, but Clark probably wouldn’t know how to ask. Didn’t want to take the time to talk about it but wanted Clark to know that he was always watching out for him, making sure he was safe in all things - especially this.

Lex lowered his head again, catching the tip of Clark’s cock, licking, sucking it back into his mouth. His hands were busy opening the condom, feeling for the edges, rolling it onto his cock. He flipped open the bottle top and let the slick liquid trickle onto his fingers, then snapped the cap shut and tossed it
to the floor.

He pulled his mouth off of Clark with one last flick of his tongue, one last taste tonight. Clark’s eyes were closed, chin tilted up, breath coming in long, slow efforts like he was trying to relax. Good. Lex rubbed his fingers together, ran them down and around his sheathed cock once, then traced a wet line from thigh to cleft.

Easy, lingering touches to Clark’s balls, the soft skin just behind them, the virgin ass and he couldn’t tear his gaze from Clark’s face, eyes unwavering as he slid a fingertip slowly inside. It hadn’t occurred to him before that he was going to be the first one inside Clark, that he had the honor of watching Clark discover this sensation. Clark’s face shifted from timid to rebellious, then relaxed a little into a kind of preoccupied pleasure, eyes loosely closed and the slightest smile on his lips.

Lex pushed in up to the second knuckle then hesitated as the moaning stopped dead in Clark’s throat. He waited for Clark to catch up, for him to start breathing again, to tell him somehow that this was still okay. He saw it happen in Clark’s heavy-lidded eyes - saw Clark giving himself permission to stop being ashamed and scared and just enjoy this.

Lex turned his lips to kiss the palm of Clark’s hand as it moved up to touch his face. He sucked gently on the thumb Clark slid into his mouth and when he slipped another finger into Clark, Clark mirrored the action in his mouth, withdrawing the thumb and replacing it with two fingers. Lex closed his eyes and fucked and sucked slowly, mimicking the tightness and smoothness of Clark’s ass with his lips and tongue. He stretched Clark carefully, thoroughly, wondering at his own self control. Another finger in Clark, and the trio of
fingers now fucking his mouth were a welcome distraction from the urge to rush this.

The blood pounding in his ears was almost too loud to hear anything as soft as Clark’s whisper. He didn’t need to hear it though - he recognized the words as Clark mouthed them. Blinking, denying and accepting in one breath, Lex crawled up the solid body beneath him, Clark‘s fingers slipping from his mouth as he moved.

Sinking his hand into the bed beside Clark’s chest, he moved to position himself against the newly-awakened opening. A slow, firm push in and Clark’s hands grabbed his arms. He stilled, looking down as the boy beneath him closed his eyes and whispered so softly to him. He heard Clark clearly this time, maybe
because of the frightened look or the too-tight grip on his arms.

“I’m so scared, Lex.”

“I know you are. Do you want me to stop?” Anything, he’d do *anything* to take that fear away and replace it with pleasure.

Clark opened his eyes and looked up at him, then shook his head. Clark must’ve known too, that the only way to truly stop fear was to face it.

“It’s going to feel so right, Clark, so good. I promise.”

Clark nodded again, though the worry didn‘t disappear from the corners of his mouth.

Aching, he slid carefully, slowly into Clark’s body. After an initial rebellion, the tight sheath welcomed him, drew him in. He let himself fall to his elbows, body alive with the feel of Clark’s chest against his.

Everything was an annoyance but this - Clark under him, muscles giving in to him, letting him in, accepting him.

Lex moved slowly, pushing the urge to slam into Clark to the back of his mind, promising himself he would have that some other day, when Clark was ready.

The smooth skin of Clark’s cock brushed against his stomach with every long, slow thrust, and Clark relaxed more and more around him, letting him drive deeper.

Lex felt Clark reaching for his own cock, then changing direction and laying his hand on Lex’s back instead.

So young, so careful and concerned with doing everything right. “Clark, it’s okay if you want to touch yourself. Do you want to?”

Clark’s breathing was still even, but every breath was deep, almost like he was sighing over and over instead of breathing. When he answered, the sigh wavered a little.

“I think so.”

“Please, Clark?” The request barely passed his lips before Clark was licking his palm and wrapping it around his own cock, rhythm the same as Lex’s quickening thrusts.

Clark’s free hand spread across the back of Lex’s neck and pulled him down into a clumsy, hard kiss. Lex shook his head and pulled away gently, pushing back up on his hands so he could look down between them.

“Let me watch, Clark. I want- oh yes - want to so you do it.”

Clark groaned low and slid his hand from Lex’s neck to the handprint on his arm, absently covering the fading bruises and squeezing. Every sense in his body heightened, Lex could have sworn he felt capillaries break, felt blood blooming back to the skin under Clark’s hand. Maybe Clark would be willing to do this
everyday, just so he never had to forget what it felt like.

Mind filled with the determination that he would let Clark come first, but the methodical pumping was taking on an urgency he wouldn’t be able to control much longer if he didn‘t stop and there was no way he could stop now.

Lex propped himself back up, changing the angle of his penetration, hoping it would slow him down and speed Clark up. Clark arched back on his next thrust in, moaning loud through clenched teeth, head tilting back on the pillow.

He loved that he could find and please places that Clark probably didn’t even know he had. He kept his thrusts regular, even, constant, but he increased their speed as he watched the head of Clark’s cock dripping onto his fingers.

"You’re - Lex, this… this is incredible. Tell me I won't forget this time - tell me I'll remember this forever."

“You’ll always remember this, Clark. I won‘t let you forget.” It was a vow that could be easily made and eagerly kept.

Clark’s rhythmic stroking changed a little, lost its cadence and Lex knew he was getting close. “Move your hips, Clark. Fuck your fist. Yeah, like that. Yes… Christ, you’re so sexy like this.” His voice came out ragged and growling, but it didn‘t matter. Made it better.

“God, Lex, I can’t wait. Ah - I want… want to, but I can‘t-.”

“You don‘t have to wait, Clark. Come for me. Please, yes, come for me.”

Clark’s fist flew on his own cock and Lex almost slipped out of him as Clark bucked and arched up. Slick patterns of come criss-crossed Clark’s chest when he finally relaxed back onto the bed. Clark wiped his palm absently on the sheet, then moved both hands to Lex’s hips, lifting his legs a little, pulling
Lex in deeper.

“Fuck me, Lex. Like you want to. Oh God, yes. I don‘t want you to - don’t hold back. You won’t - won’t hurt me.”

Lex’s head swam with the words. Permission. He pushed himself up to kneel low against the bed between Clark’s legs and wrapped an arm around each of the boy’s thighs. Lex squeezed his eyes shut and bit his lower lip, the pull of skin along his scar an exquisite tightness to balance the constricting body around
his cock.

“Open your eyes, Lex.” Clark wasn’t whispering anymore.

Recognizing the tenseness that always came with the urgency of hard sex, he released his lip and forced his eyes open, made himself look down at the reality he’d imagined so many times and never dared to hope for. Clark’s eyes fixed on his and the light in them told him things he couldn’t fathom , things he didn’t
think he could let himself hear, things he knew he needed but things he could never let himself have.

He tightened his grip on Clark’s thighs, pumping into him with no rhythm at all, just wild and erratic. Clark slid a hand over Lex’s sweat-slicked head, then licked the wet palm, pink tongue tasting the sweat from the most forbidden place on his body.

The oddly sensual act sent Lex crashing down before he had a chance to think and he slammed hard inside Clark - once, again - body straining to keep moving but muscles betraying him, failing him. Drained, he fell heavy and laid there on Clark’s chest until the intimacy was choking him.

Aching knees protested as they slowly worked out from under Clark’s legs. Blood pulsed painfully under his fingers as he carefully held the condom tight against his spent cock. He quickly pulled it off and tossed it in the trashcan next to the bed.

Sitting back, he looked down at a sex-transformed Clark, the most beautiful version yet of the young man he’d thought he’d seen in every light.

When he thought he could trust his legs again, he stood, went the adjoining bathroom and quickly cleaned, then returned to the bed with two towels for Clark, one soaked in warm water, one dry.

When he was finished cleaning Clark off, Lex took his hand and led him slowly across the bedroom to the plush rug in front of the fireplace. Bless the inventor of gas logs. He reached for the remote on the mantle, pressed a button and the flames licked up, burning their heat into the chill room.

They needed something to drink, so he pulled his robe from the hook in the edge of the bathroom and went to the hallway where he smirked, shaking his head. Enrique’s quarterly raise would be doubled if he kept up that level of service. Cheese and crackers, some grapes, two bottles of water and a bottle of his favorite Chardonnay waited on a silver tray just outside the bedroom door. He picked the tray up, kicked the door shut behind him and took it over to Clark, then stripped off his robe and tossed it onto a nearby chair.

“Do they always do this?”

“You mean after-sex snacks? No, this is new. Enrique seems to know what I want before I do these days.”

“He knows about us then.”

“He knows. But he won‘t tell anyone.”

“I don’t think I care if he does, Lex.”

A brave, new Clark was sitting across from him, and he was already learning to love the confidence that had taken the place of the beloved innocence. Both wonderful attributes had been taken and given by him, by their union.

Lex sat down on the rug, leaning back against the base of the overstuffed couch. He poured a glass of wine for each of them, handed one to Clark and swirled his own, savoring the rich scent of lavender wafting from the wine.

Clark sipped his glass, and Lex couldn’t help but smile just a little at the face he made before taking a bite of a wedge of cheese. They sat there on the floor, snacking and drinking in comfortable silence.

The tray empty, Lex stood, picked it up and set it back outside the door. The wine and glasses they kept. He returned to his spot and motioned for Clark to move closer. He didn’t want to speak, didn’t want to ruin the peaceful silence they’d found here in front of the fire. He pulled Clark to sit between his legs, both of them facing the fireplace, his arms wrapped around Clark’s shoulders.

He reached back and pulled the afghan from the sofa he was leaning against, wrapped it around his shoulders and then down and around Clark, too. Clark turned a little, sinking down and snuggling into Lex’s chest. That was so incredible, Clark comfortable enough to just do it without asking first. It was
breathtaking to feel Clark so unquestionably committed to him.

Lex wasn’t sure what time it was when his eyes closed, when he fell asleep, when this lucid dream ended and his sleeping dreams began, but when he woke again, he was lying on his side by the low fire and the light filtering in through the curtains was soft and pale. Gloaming light. Clark’s naked, sleep-slacked body
was just in front of him, facing away from him, touching back against him from chest to feet.

Lex leaned forward and kissed soft hair then tightened his arm around Clark‘s waist. He closed his eyes and concentrated on slowing the wild pounding of his heart. Fear an irrational thing because this was Clark.

And with Clark, there were no mistakes, no regrets.

 

~ FINIS ~

 

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