~ Cover By Goss ~


~ The Same Thing ~


Pub Date: 10/16/02

Pairing: Clark/Lex

Rating: NC-17

Spoilers: General ones for both seasons

Summary: Clark can’t rid himself of something he desperately needs.

Author Notes: Dedicated to my cheerleaders: Rhiannon, Dana, Stevenbear, Diana, Philtre, Karen, Goss. If you’re going to thank anyone for this fic, thank Rhiannon & Dana, who kept me going and threatened me until I finished it. Thanks also to all those who commented on my LJ. Brilliantly beta’ed by Rach & Dana - all lingering mistakes are my own!

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

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

Feedback: Like Clark on a motorcycle, an object of desire.



The Same Thing


Dusk had always been his favorite time of day. The sun falling behind the horizon so slowly that watching it was almost a trial of patience. When he was little, he thought gravity had to be stronger than anything to pull that much weight down. Of course, it never really did, never lowered or raised the sun. It just kept a constant, even pull on it, on the earth, on him and everything else, enough to keep every object moving in perfect cadence and elliptical form.

The sweet, sour smell of damp wood and hay permeated the air in his loft as he stood, one palm resting on the frame, fingers curling where glass would be in any other window. Outside, the orangey glow reflected off the newer mechanics of the tractor he resented, the gate of the fence he’d built with his own hands and repaired hundreds of times. Murky puddles on the driveway became brilliant sun-spots as the long rays reached them, filled them. Everything bloomed alive for one solid minute and he let his eyes burn and water with the intensity of the last light. Thin, bright brilliance lacing through the sea of cornstalks, and then it was gone, drowned deep below the vegetation and soil and life he cultivated every single day.

Sharp, even footfalls sunk into the wood below, pulling him from his thoughts, turning him from the window. It could have been Lana in her winter boots, or Chloe in her Doc Martins, but it wasn’t. It was designer, polished leather clicking sharply and he listened with relief as they ascended the stairs. If there was anyone who could appreciate and respect a morose mood, it was Lex.

Two sharp raps on the railing announced him, and Clark grinned in spite of himself. Lex could never just enter a room like a normal person. Either he was stealthy and silent or there was some flourish. Ironic that Clark had asked him to knock and Lex had scoffed at the notion of knocking on a barn, like wood was something he never knocked on.

"Clark, are you up there?"

"Yes. Come on up, Lex. I was just-"

"I know, Clark. I saw you from the road. Nice sunset tonight." Lex nodded at the window then walked over to stand close, forearms resting inches from his own on the frame.

Small talk never seemed like an annoyance with Lex. Tonight though, Clark could barely think of anything to say. "Last night was better. The rain didn’t stop soon enough for the clouds to clear very much."

"Ah, it’s always something, isn’t it?" Lex straightened, tucked his hands in his pockets and rocked back on his heels, eyes focused out on the corn. "You look like you’ve lost your best friend, Clark."

Leave it to Lex to see everything, without even looking. "Yeah."

And that made Lex turn his head, look up at him, thin, light eyebrows raised, head tilting back a little and cocked to one side. "Did you?"

"What? Oh, no. Not yet." It wasn’t enough and Clark knew it, but hoped Lex wouldn’t press him for more. He looked into the unrelenting eyes for a moment, marveling at Lex’s ability to ask anything without any words at all. Lex was waiting for more, and Clark knew he wouldn’t refuse him. "I think I will, though."

The eyes released him and stared back through the window, onto the blue-gray field beyond the road. "Pete is as loyal as they come, Clark. Whatever happened between you two, he’ll never walk away from you."

Lex had automatically assumed he was thinking of Pete.

Clark could never get over the insecurities that Lex subtly let slip in his presence. They were like little gifts, keepsakes that wouldn’t fit in a locket or a hope chest or a heart-shaped box because he wasn’t a little girl and Lex wasn’t his first love. They weren’t even stolen moments, although he always felt guilty for savoring them. Knowing Lex was vulnerable made it easier to trust him, easier to always, always give him the benefit of the doubt, no matter how many times Lex betrayed him.

His mind warred between wanting everyone to see Lex like this and keeping these revelations to himself for all eternity. He couldn’t bear the thought of his father rebuffing Lex during an honest, open moment. Could just imagine his mother tearing up and hugging Lex as he revealed a piece of himself to her that maybe only Lex’s mother had ever known. No typical reaction would ever do justice to one of Lex’s rare open moments.

Clark stepped back from the window, eyes on the floorboards as he walked to the hammock and sat down. A gift from his father. He hadn’t had the heart to tell him he didn’t want it there, so he’d spent an hour hanging it, adjusting the placement until it was just right for his weight, putting on an elaborate show of appreciation that had his father smiling and patting him on the back before leaving him to "hang out" in the new addition.

The thin threads of the hammock stretched as he sank into the pocket of space, leaning back with a hand tucked behind his head, one leg thrown over the side, foot touching the floor for balance. It was strange to lay like this, so relaxed, with Lex so close by. He was usually so tense, always worrying about saying the wrong thing, revealing too much of himself or touching some sore spot Lex hadn’t shown him yet. It would happen eventually, the separation would happen eventually. He just wanted to believe he could make it happen later rather than sooner.

"It’s not Pete I’m worried about."

When he looked back to the window, Lex was turned, leaning back against the frame, ankles crossed and attitude seeping into the room. "Lana then? I assure you, Clark, Lana is not going anywhere. The quiet, nice guys may not be the ones the girls go after in high school, but someday Lana will be looking for a dependable man that she can build a life with. The good guy always gets the girl eventually."

Clark shook his head and sighed. Sometimes Lex had to have things explained to him like a four year old, despite his education. Intelligence is a very vague concept. A willingness to believe the best about himself didn’t seem to be something Lex could grasp. "No, Lex. I meant you."

Lex’s eyes deadened instantly and Clark closed his eyes against the sight of Lex pulling away. That quick, he was gone. Standing ten feet away, cool and collected, oozing style and balance and a suave manner that Clark would never achieve, not even if Lex gave him lessons. But for all of the show, Lex was somewhere very far from this loft, very far from Clark. He was in that place where Clark knew he spent so many hours, so many days of his life. The place he went when they weren’t alone together. Where Lex went when their fathers were in the room, when Chloe bounced up to say hi or Lana asked for his order at the Talon. The place where Lex had to make an effort to be personable, the place where he had to keep up appearances.

"Why would you lose me, Clark?" Cold, distant. The obvious question stolen from the pages of some Ms. Manners guidebook. What to Say When Your Best Friend Confronts You with the Truth.

Clark shifted to sit up in the hammock, eyes back on the floor, the only safe place really. He scraped his thumbnail along a spot of dirt on his jeans, trying to look casual. This was a discussion meant for a late night, alone in the castle, slightly inebriated and sock-footed and warm on the deep cushions of Lex’s couch. Instead he breathed in the thick, humid air, slid his foot along a crack in the wood beneath him, then stood, sighed, locked eyes with Lex. "Do you really have to ask?"

Lex looked down and to the side, blatantly avoiding his eyes, teeth clenched and jaw muscles tight under his skin. One sharp movement like he was going to shake his head, then he brought his eyes back up to meet Clark’s. "Yes."

Clark took a step forward and Lex shifted back, pressing hard against the wall of the barn, then leaned back on the window sill, elbows propping him up. A casual pose but Lex’s muscles were tense and solid.

"I’m a liar." Plain and simply honest. The way he wished he could always be with Lex.

Lex relaxed a little, a soft smile lifting his lips. Then a small smirk, challenging him. "So am I."

Clark shook his head, smiling at the irony. "No. Well, yes. You are. But I lie to you, Lex. You lie to other people, not me."

"I’ve lied to you, Clark." Penetrating gaze and Clark wouldn’t look away, would make himself feel every stinging sensation of this moment because it might be their last. It might be his last chance to feel anything with Lex, even pain.

Clark swallowed hard around the lump in his throat and nodded slowly, instilling a gentle tone in his voice. "I know you have."

"You’re still here. What makes you think I’m going to leave?" A questioning flicker across Lex’s features and Clark groaned inside. This was it. It was about to happen. Sooner rather than later. Now, and that was just wrong. His brain screamed through a thousand reasons to delay this moment. The same thousand reasons he’d run through a thousand times before. This time though, he came back to the truth.

He had to make this happen, had to touch all of the points he knew Lex hated acknowledging. He was pushing Lex away, knew he was doing it, wanted to stop and couldn’t help himself. Had to fill this void somehow, even with the depth of loss he knew he would feel. Even with pain and tears if he had to, because the void was too terrifying to leave open and empty and vast any longer.

"I know you, Lex. Everyone gets one chance. Deception is unforgivable in your book. And..." Paused and took a breath, summoning courage before he dealt the last blow. "... and I know what you want." It was the death stroke. The one thing he knew Lex wouldn’t be able to accept.

Lex pushed off the wall, stepping towards him, not reaching out platonically for his shoulder as he usually did, but for his face instead. Didn't stop at a comfortable distance either, moved right into his personal space and the non-distance between them was unmistakably intimate. Their lips inches apart and the fingers touching gently on his cheek bushed down and rubbed along his jaw, slipped softly across his lips. Lex smiled and whispered, heated breath ghosting on Clark’s face. "What do I want, Clark?"

So much harder to do this now. Worse than Clark had imagined, Lex opening himself up to this, offering Clark something he couldn’t pass up without hurting both of them. The weight of what he was rejecting grew too large for him to consider if he was going to do this. It wasn’t just a friend he was ridding himself of. Not just another person who might get too close. Another person who was already too close.

"Lex, stop. I don’t-"

Fingers pressing on his lips and he could smell them, could smell Lex and leather and something clean underneath. Lex shook his head and smiled as he spoke. "Don’t try it, Clark. It won’t work. I’ve done the same thing too many times to too many people to fall for it. Tell me why you want me out of your life. It’s not really because of this, is it?"

Lex this close to him would have thrilled him a week ago, but now it made him want to run, fast and hard and far. "No. It’s because I’m not really your friend."

Lex’s eyes searched his and the lips that hovered so close to his own curved into a purely Lexian smile. "Because you want more?"

Couldn’t bring himself to back away, couldn’t not savor this, take this while he could. He shook his head gently. "I can’t be more, either."

"I know, Clark." Contact. Electric and fast and heated, kicking the world into a dizzy, slow-motion ride that spun his head. Warm, soft lips working against his, linking them, flesh to flesh and they were now one, not two. Lips parting to match the ones pressing against his and Lex’s tongue slipped along his and licked, lapped, tasted. Thought cutting into his pleasure and turning it, twisting it into something harsh and prickly.

Lifted his hands to Lex’s chest, an intimate touch that he craved and couldn’t resist taking, the feeling of muscles under his fingers, soft material that covered the skin he needed to feel. Another time, another night, he would have tugged it up and off, drawn his fingers over the muscles and down, would have felt every inch of Lex. This material-interrupted touch -this non-liberty - was all he could take, a small consolation when he curled his fingers over Lex’s shoulders and pushed him firmly back. "No, Lex. I can’t. You don’t know."

The courage of his conviction faltered as the weight of Lex’s hand slipped down from his face and long fingers laced into his own, holding fast until he responded, quickly disentangling his fingers from Lex’s even as his body screamed for him to tighten them and never let go.

Lex stepped back then, shoes muted but somehow loud on the wood boards, the vibration of the steps traveling along the wood and reverberating up through Clark’s shoes, touching the soles of his feet. The quick, intimate contact with Lex died in the soft hum of vibration through the wood and Clark closed his eyes, immortalizing the touches in his memory. Burnt there for reference, for remembrance, as a tool of sanity he knew he would need as he walked through life and Smallville knowing Lex would never be at his side. The impression of Lex’s fingers on his mouth, his hands on Lex’s chest, the too-soft, too-short kiss would carry him through hours, days, years maybe, if he was lucky. If he doled them out to himself in small doses and didn’t wear them thin with use.

The calculating glare of Lex’s eyes caught his, laughter swirling in them and making them seem even more cold. "I do. I know what you’re hiding, Clark. I know enough to understand why you can’t tell me any more. It’s okay though. I don’t need to know everything. I thought I did, but... I know enough. This secret does not encapsulate you. You might define it, but it will never define you."

"It’s the only thing in my life that does define me, Lex." Clark’s hands combed through the air behind him as he backed further away from Lex, fingertips connecting with rough wood of the barn wall beside his desk. The distance cleared his head and he breathed deeply there, leaning against the wall.

"No. Your actions define you, Clark." Hands slipped back into his pockets, Lex stood with an air of casualness in the center of the loft, nothing grounding him, nothing supporting him, pure confidence radiating around him as usual.

"There isn’t a distinction then. This thing... it drives my actions." Ran a hand through his hair and realized his body language was betraying him.

"Your conscience drives your actions." Lex’s eyes narrowed and the words sounded like simple truth on his tongue. Truth made bittersweet because it wasn’t real, couldn’t be real.

Shook his head, trying to push down the want, the need to believe Lex’s words. "No. If that were true, I wouldn’t lie to you."

"You lie because you have to. You hate lying to me. I watch you fight with yourself every single time, Clark."

"You... you can tell when I’m lying?"

"Yes." Simple, sharp nod of his head and Lex looked the picture of acceptance. So hard to imagine not having that in his life, not having Lex’s easy faith in him.

Clark would never put up with this from anyone, this daily feed of bullshit and denial. Could never bring himself to forgive Lex as many times as Lex had already forgiven him. If he knew, really knew, then he knew just how much Clark had been lying. "Jesus. You can’t want to be in my life, Lex. If I were you-"

Slowly, Lex stepped towards him, hands slipping from his pockets and hanging loosely at his sides. Closer, closing the space between them. "You’ll never be me, Clark. That’s what I admire about you. You don’t have it in you to be me."

"You have no idea... how much alike we really are, Lex." Pushed away from the wall and eased towards Lex, smiling just a little, keeping his eyes low, avoiding Lex’s.

"We shouldn’t be alike. You don’t deserve to be alone." The back of one cool hand brushed across his face and Clark couldn’t resist leaning into the touch. Shook his head softly at the idea of a future with Lex, a future he knew could never be.

"Some people are meant to be alone. Isn’t that what you said?"

Lex’s hand fell and he looked away from the sharp honesty of his own words used against him. "I didn’t mean you."

Clark took a small step back, hands clasped behind his back, fighting the urge to reach out, to relent. "I know. You meant you. You think you’re the only person in the world who can’t have a real relationship. You’re wrong. I know exactly what the future holds for me, and no one can be a part of it, not really. The things you don’t know - they’re the most important parts of my life. I can’t keep letting myself believe that you care about me. You don’t even know me."

"Ah, a double-edged sword then, Clark. I do know you, because we *are* so alike. I know exactly why you hide. I know why you’re running from me now. I know why you will always choose to be alone, even though it kills you to push people away."

"What did you tell me the night of the tornado, Lex? Relationships based on lies are destined to fail. I lied to you then, Lex."

"Stop. You and I are not destined to fail, Clark. Look. Don’t trust me, don’t confess to me. Don’t tell me your secrets. I don’t care. I know you, and I will always know you." Strong hands curled around his arms, holding him in place as he lifted a foot to step back again. "You can’t push me away, Clark." Lex pulled him close, as if to emphasize the words.

Knew he should break the grasp, should free himself from Lex’s hold on him, but couldn’t do it. Couldn’t summon the courage to rid himself of someone he depended on so completely. Lex had faith in him when he didn’t even have faith in himself.

Tonight and so many other times, it was the same. Lex had won, and losing somehow seemed like victory every single time.

This time though, there would be conditions of surrender. Lex had taught him well. "You can’t question me anymore."

Lex’s hands loosening, sliding up his arms, resting gently on his shoulders. "I won’t."

Clark tilted his head down to face Lex at this close angle, their eyes already half-closed and dreamy, but he would finish this before they started anything else. "No more investigations? No more reporters?"

"I promise. Whatever it takes, Clark." A promise breathed against his mouth, and he believed it more easily because of the intimacy.

"I want to tell you, you know. I’ve always wanted to tell you." The culmination of this, the only thing he could give to Lex, and he hoped the dream of honesty was enough to pacify Lex for a while longer because he couldn’t win this argument, not yet. Not while Lex still believed in him, wanted him.

"Someday maybe you will. I’m a patient man, Clark." Lex’s eyes fell closed and Clark’s followed, lungs carefully controlled, slowly drawing in breath as silently as possible. Licked his lips and waited for the gentle pressure to push against him, the slick heat of Lex’s tongue parting his lips and slipping inside. No shock there, no surprise, just comfort, familiar, foggy and tangible. Wanted to wrap the feeling around himself, wrap himself around Lex and make him feel it, too. Nothing was more important than learning Lex like this. Tongues sliding and the weight of Lex’s hands on his chest, fingers stretched out and thumbs pressing in, moving hard down to his stomach and around to his back, pulling him closer.

Didn’t mean to pull back, but found himself inches from Lex, strong arms holding him still and he forced himself to relax. He wouldn’t struggle, wouldn’t resist.

Couldn’t look at Lex’s face though, and stared down at the strange sight of his trainers lined up on either side of a pair of shoes that could probably feed his family and the animals for a couple weeks at least. It wasn’t wrong, didn’t bother him; not really. Some things would always strike him as odd though. The insane notion of opposites forming a parallel had occurred to him more than once when it came to Lex’s possessions and his own.

Thinking about money and *things* and God, had to stop because Lex was so close, close enough to move his hair with his breath. Damp air, thick and wet from the rain of the day, hanging between them like the cologne wafting from Lex’s neck. Hazy, detached, surreal feeling like this wasn’t really happening, like it had already happened a thousand times and Clark knew it had, in his mind. But it never ended like this, with Lex tucked close, leaning in closer to mouth his neck, Clark’s lips brushing on Lex’s shoulder by default, tasting cotton and fabric softener and Lex.

A choked noise that just came out, without warning, without direction. Lex leaned back and a hand slid around from his back to tilt his chin up, forcing him back to this strange reality.

"Are you afraid, Clark?"

Eyes meeting eyes and Lex expected him to say yes. Innocence and inexperience be damned, he wasn’t afraid.


Not afraid of this. Not worried about doing the wrong thing or letting himself have Lex after all this time. Not scared to feel these things, not with Lex, not when all of it just fell in to place without any effort at all. Lex would be there with him through all of it. A comforting thought now instead of a hindrance, instead of a threat.

This was the one thing they could share that he would never have to regret. This wasn’t about secrets or lies or truth. This was about pleasure and wanting and knowing each other as intimately as possible. He would die to know Lex this way, to possess the feelings, the memories of their bodies taking and giving more than either of them ever could any other way. He craved this level of connection, needed to have it.

Lex stepped sideways, hands sliding along his skin, around, over his arm and back as Lex circled him, stood behind him. Lex’s hands moved in tandem, pressing into the flesh and muscle of his back, rubbing down, touching every inch once, again as they slid back up to his neck. Clark tilted his head forward and watched as the hands came into view on his sides, pulling his t-shirt from his jeans and lifting it up until it stopped on his chest, under his arms. Raised his hands up and the buttons of Lex’s shirt scratched along his spine as the t-shirt was peeled off over his head. Lex's hands, cool on the warm skin of his bare chest and he covered them both with his own hands, holding them there for a moment. Looked down at the duality of his hands on Lex’s, and closed his eyes when the paler hands slid out from under his and brushed over his stomach, fingers working the button on his jeans.

Not afraid, not scared. Just... this much urgency seemed wrong, seemed cheap somehow. "Lex?"

Breath in his ear that sent the words straight to his cock. "I’m right here, Clark." Obvious, ludicrous statement. Like he couldn’t feel Lex’s body aligned against his back and legs, the hard muscles of Lex’s arms against his sides, the fabric of Lex’s pants catching and hitching on the back pockets of his jeans.

"Can we...? Are we going to..." Needed to know. Needed the promise of it, the reassurance that this wasn’t another one of their near misses. That this was really happening.

Warm breath against the back of his neck, breezing through the short curls there, sending chills from scalp to ass. "Yes, Clark. We are."

Yes. Here, in his loft. Parents one small lawn away. In his father’s barn, on the floor, on the couch, on the hammock and Clark couldn’t imagine Lex kneeling here, lying there. Ridiculous images of dirt-stained knees and pale, smooth skin waffle-marked by the diamond shapes of nylon string flitted through his mind.

"Here, Lex?" He wanted this to be perfect, not something they’d laugh about someday. Wanted it to be warm and comfortable and slow, gentle, rough in a good way someday, but not now, not until after this first time.

"No... you’re right. Not here. My place. Let’s go." A gentle push forward and Clark bent to retrieve his shirt, pulled it on after double-checking the tag to make sure there was no chance it was on backwards or inside-out. Ran down the steps, Lex’s heels thunking behind him, almost as fast as his own.

Cool, clean air outside the barn and Lex headed for the Porsche just as Clark motioned at the house. "I’ve got to..."

"Right. I’ll wait."

Clumped up the stairs on the porch and opened the screen door fast, hinges screeching in protest. Snagged his jacket off the hook by the door and pulled it on before popping his head into the kitchen.

"Hey, mom. Lex is here - he wants me to go over to his place. Okay if I stay the night?"

"Stay the night?"

Jesus, fuck yes, mom. Stay the night. Plausible excuse? Fuck. Should have thought before he moved so fast.

"Yeah. He’s, um. His dad’s being a jerk again and I think he wants to talk about it, but you know how he is. I’ll have to pry it out of him probably. So is it okay if I go?"

Seriously wrong to play that card with his mother for something like this, but he knew it would work. His mom felt like she was the only parent Lex had. She never balked at helping Lex with family issues, never neglected to try and teach Lex whenever the opportunity presented itself.

Maybe if she knew what was really going on, she’d be happy for them. After she lectured them for hours and made them promise not to have sex. She might actually like the idea of them together.

"Go on - but be home early tomorrow, Clark. Your Dad will have my hide if I let you blow off your chores for Lex Luthor."

Clark stepped into the florescent light of the kitchen and leaned over to kiss her on the cheek, his own face heating at the idea of his mother giving him permission to have sex and his father being upset about *chores.* She froze for a second and he was sure she was noticing the flush on his cheeks when she glanced at him oddly, almost questioning but not quite, then drew in a breath and smiled up at him. "Well, go on! He’s waiting, isn’t he?"

Whether or not she guessed, he decided he would always tell himself that she knew exactly what Lex was waiting for tonight. It was better that way, easier to leave her standing there in the kitchen, smiling after him, dishtowel in hand, heart full of approval and pride for him.

So easy to speed up the stairs, throw a change of clothes into his backpack, shoulder it and burst through the front door without a backward glance. Eyes intent on the one thing that occupied his mind. Lex. Lex, leaning back against the slick silver gloss of paint that shone even in the darkness that surrounded it. Ankles crossed, legs stretched out before him at a careful angle, perfectly balanced with his arms crossed low over his chest and his head cocked to the side. Narrow eyes and Cheshire grin betraying the innocent pretense of friendship. A low noise in Lex’s throat as hungry eyes devoured him from sneakers to eyelashes.

No one could get away with the open sexuality that Lex oozed on a daily basis. He must practice in front of a mirror or something. Clark grinned back, sure that he managed only to look all of his 17 years and nothing beyond, nothing even close to sexy.

"Ready?" Lex’s voice cut through the damp evening air and Clark nodded and reached over, opened the door and started to climb in before Lex even had a chance to move. Noticed Lex grinning, shaking his head, moving to the driver’s side. Threw his backpack onto the floor between his legs and strapped on his seat belt. Knew he’d need it if the look in Lex’s eyes was any indication of the urgency of the situation. They’d be running the Porsche on a closed course all the way to the mansion, he was sure.

Subtle whoosh of air as Lex took his place behind the wheel, that cologne breezing in just over top of the new car smell Clark loved so much. Key rasping into the ignition and the car purred to life, leather slipped on leather and they were off at a speed Clark knew like a childhood friend. A speed that he remembered surpassing years ago. Pushed down the urge to show off and tell Lex how fast he was used to moving, how Porsches had nothing on him.

Lex yanked his seat belt away from his chest, thumb sliding under it, adjusting the placement. Glanced over at him and lifted the corners of his mouth in a generous, sexy smile. A hand laid heavily on his leg and Lex’s fingers were there - inches from his cock and rubbing slow and hard, drawing along the tense muscle of his thigh. "Cat got your tongue?"

Clark shook his head and stared out the windshield, avoiding Lex’s teases. "Just... drive, Lex. Get us there."

The hand slid up his thigh, rubbed once, hard over his cock and was gone.

"Let’s see if we can top her out, then." Lex’s foot tilted down on the gas pedal and the cornstalks went from blended to blurred in an instant. A loaded silence, anticipation thick in the small space of the car and Clark wiped his palms on his jeans as the car slowed and pulled into the Luthor drive.

Climbed out and was greeted by Enrique, who stepped aside for Lex, then climbed into the car and drove around the side of the mansion, out of sight.

Lex’s hand open and guiding him, pressing into his back, urging him towards the front door. "He’ll bring your backpack in, Clark, don’t worry."

"Oh shit. I can’t believe I forgot it." They stopped on the porch and Lex reached for the doorknob.

Lex shook his head and waved a hand at him, dismissing the mistake. "It’s fine, really."

It was weird, but the backpack, his clothes - it just felt like he was naked and exposed without them. Like all ties to himself were gone and there was nothing to ground him. "What if he doesn’t see it?"

"Relax, Clark. He’s paid to be perceptive. If he doesn’t bring it in, we’ll go to the garage and get it ourselves. It’s not a big deal. Why are you so tense?"

Risked a glance over and Lex wasn’t teasing, wasn’t smirking now. Seriously asking why he was tense. Like sex was... yes. Something normal and casual and not at all embarrassing. Something natural and fun and easy. Except it couldn’t be those things for them yet, and that was exactly why he was tense.

"You know why."

Lex turned away, staring across the foyer at a painting Clark had never liked. Lex pointedly avoiding his eyes was never a good sign. Lex drew in a deep breath and sighed, then turned back. Definitely had to practice in front of a mirror to get that effect. "Look, Clark. If you’re not sure-"

"I’m sure, Lex." Clark could say it, he could share these things with Lex now. Now, even if he wouldn’t be able to later. Now, maybe *because* he wouldn’t be able to later. "But you know I’m... I haven’t ever... and I don’t want anything to get in the way this time. You don’t know how many times..."

Lex nodded and when the unexpected agreement caught Clark’s words in his throat, Lex finished his sentence for him. "How many times it’s almost happened? I do know, Clark. I didn’t think you knew though."

Found his voice and blurted out, "Oh yeah, I knew, Lex. I knew every single fucking time. Trust me."

Lex moved close and Clark froze, waiting for Lex to lead him wherever he wanted to go. A firm hand wrapped around the back of his neck as Lex’s tongue darted out to lick his lips.

"I do trust you. Now it’s your turn, Clark. Trust me. Trust me with this."

Nodded because words completely failed him and the hand on his neck pulled him down. Mouth almost on Lex’s again and it was so close, close enough that he had to close his eyes. Breath passing between them and he could taste Lex, could feel the heat of Lex’s lips before they even touched his.

Fingers laced in his hair and lips parted against his, Lex’s tongue tickling along his lips until he remembered to open them, to let Lex inside. Soft, so soft and like liquid that he couldn’t swallow but wanted to, wanted to drink Lex’s mouth, to make it part of his so he never had to feel the sharp hollowness of separation again. Knew Lex’s mouth was only the beginning.

Heart racing at the idea of Lex filling him, entering his body, Lex’s flesh molding to his, skin brushing skin. They could do it all, have it all. Whatever happened was theirs, their secret together. Kept from everyone else, but not each other. Never again.

"Come upstairs with me, Clark."

Warm hand reaching down, taking his own and pulling slowly, leading him up the expansive staircase, the sound of polished wood under their feet echoing the same sound on his loft stairs as they ascended.

Heavy click of the bedroom door, a whisper of hinges working and Lex guided him inside, reached for something on a small table by the door and a dim light instantly lit the room. Clark glanced around, taking in the fireplace, the carpet, the pile of papers on the small desk by the wall, the four (*four*) doors leading to other rooms or closets, the tall, dark posts of Lex’s bed. The thick black comforter and the sheen of the pillowcases.

He’d seen it before, once, but it looked different now. Somehow more familiar, more a place where he belonged, a place he knew.

Lex released his hand and slowly walked to the bed, held onto a post for balance, and toed his shoes off. "Come here, Clark."

Stepping softly on the rug, stopping just within Lex’s reach. Lex took his face in both hands and kissed him slowly, lips parting to share breath, melting away the last of his anxiety. A simple kiss, not hungry or demanding or taking. Just slow and simple and so good.

Lex’s tongue slipped into his mouth and the hands on his face were gone. Felt them reconnect on his collarbone, knew that their gentle movement there had a purpose and sighed into Lex’s mouth as he straightened his arms and let Lex push the jacket down. Used one foot to kick it away from his feet, then kicked off his shoes and scooted them aside too. Lips busy and breath through his nose like he was drowning and he didn’t mind at all because Lex’s mouth on his was the best kind of suffocation, the kind that went straight to his cock and made him feel things he’d only ever imagined before.

A tug on his chest and a tickle of fingertips brushing under his arms and he realized that Lex was lifting his shirt, thought he was so far behind because the wool of Lex’s jacket was scratching against his chest. Reached up to the collar and pushed it back, hoping Lex would just take it off because hell, he didn’t know how to undress another man. The jacket slid from his grasp and he heard it fall to the floor as he focused on getting to the skin he ached to touch. The buttons of Lex’s shirt were backwards and he fumbled them, leaning back out of the lingering kisses to look, to watch what he was doing so maybe he could make some progress.

Lex’s slim fingers covering his own, their foreheads pressed together, smiles mirrored on their faces, and Lex slipped the buttons through their holes, tugged the shirt out of his pants and tossed it to the floor as Clark stared and stared at the bare chest brushing against his own. Seventeen and he had hair but... the smooth, uninterrupted flesh that curved and angled with the movement of muscle underneath didn’t. Have any. He’d known it already of course. Just... never thought about what it would *feel* like against his own.

Didn’t step away to peel his jeans off, and he and Lex bumped arms, legs, shoulders as they both stepped out of their pants. So strange to undress in front of someone else, so clumsy and awkward but natural and perfect to be naked in front of Lex, to feel every curve matching his, to feel Lex heavy on the thigh he slid between Lex’s legs. He could be bold, too, especially with this kind of motivation.

"So fucking perfect, Clark."

"I was just thinking the same-" Mouth on his and he didn’t want to talk anymore, didn’t need to say *anything* if it meant his tongue had to stop tasting Lex for even a second.

Lex’s mouth gone too soon, a cool, wet series of sucking kisses down his chest. Rested his hands on Lex’s shoulders and wouldn’t, didn’t push down, not even when Lex’s lips covered a nipple, and teeth scraped it hard and fast. A swirl of Lex’s tongue around the bite and Clark moved his hand to cover the abandoned nipple, face flushing with embarrassment that he pushed away. Pinched his own nipple and moaned when Lex smiled at him and moved to kneel on the floor at his feet. Eyes never leaving his, Lex licked his lips, kissed the tip of his cock, licked the slickness from it.

Clark gasped as Lex’s tongue swirled around his cock, then forced himself to relax as strong hands wrapped around his thighs, squeezing gently. Tensed and tried not to move too much when Lex mouthed the length of his cock, when the too-red lips finally parted and he slipped inside the warmth, Lex’s mouth a tight sheathe around him. Lex’s eyes looked up at him, a constant reminder that this was real. This was finally real.

"I can’t believe this is really happening. This is *really* happening, Lex."

A moan of agreement answered him and the vibration shivered up his spine, sending chills across his back. Lex tightened his grip on the backs of his thighs and before Clark could wrap his brain around the idea, he was deep in Lex’s throat. The best thing he’d ever known, the safety and comfort and completeness of being surrounded, of being inside, of Lex taking him in, letting him in.

Slow, easy, wet movement up and down his shaft, rhythm picking up and making him dizzy. Never knew what a voice *felt* like, never imagined the buzzing vibration of moaning could carry him this high. Lex’s fingernails scraped lightly along the backs of his legs, up and up. Hands spreading, squeezing his ass, kneading the muscles there and Lex didn’t forget anything, ever.

Vague pull of *not yet* and Clark managed to grab hold of the thought and use it. Placed hands on Lex’s shoulders and pushed, and when Lex didn’t relent, Clark caught Lex’s eyes and shook his head. Scant eyebrows furrowed, questioning, but Lex released him, licked swollen lips, knelt back on his heels. Clark moved slowly, carefully controlling every muscle, every movement because this wasn't a time to get clumsy or impatient.

On his knees in front of Lex, hands on his chest, fingertips memorizing bone and muscle and flesh. Skin like silk but not as thin, not as foreign and he wanted to feel all of it. Cock swollen and half-hanging against Lex’s, the two of them pressing in, hard against each other, not moving, not hurrying.

No need to rush any of this, nothing distracting them or waiting for them. Clark’s hands couldn’t feel the heated, matte skin as well as his chest, his thighs, his mouth could. Lips lazy and loose, dragging along Lex’s collarbone, slowing to scrape there, to draw a heavy, moaning sigh from Lex and Clark answered, tongue tasting chest and stomach. Slid a hand around the back of Lex’s head and forced him gently back with another on his chest, lowering him gently to the thickly padded rug beneath them, pausing to let Lex untangle his legs. Staring into Lex’s eyes, unflinching as he lowered himself, one thigh between Lex’s, propped on one hand while the other pressed into the hard flesh of Lex’s hip, fingers digging in.

Sank down, knees bending, on all fours low over Lex and rested his cheek against the velvet of Lex’s cock. Drew it slowly along his face, eyes closed, inhaling the subtle scent before licking, tasting. Lips opening, closing around Lex. Sucking because he couldn’t bite, couldn’t trust himself to be gentle because he’d waited so long for this, had pushed this need so far down. Far enough that it took Lex’s cock fitting perfectly his mouth to bring it bubbling to the surface, encouraging him to move faster, to fall into the comfort of Lex’s hands in his hair.

Looked up and took in the sight of heavily-lidded eyes opening and closing as he sucked hard, lips closed around Lex in a tight circle. Lex’s shoulders lifted off the floor and his stomach muscles flexed with the effort to watch. Saw the moment of concession, when Lex stopped trying and just let himself feel, his head tilting back and the easy curve of him arching up, sliding deeper, working slowly into his throat.

Distracted daze of taste and scent and Lex, and Clark barely felt the hands tugging his hair, only half-heard Lex whispering to him. "... want you Clark... not - not yet... want this to last..."

Words that might as well have been his own, drifting across his brain and registering, forming into coherent thoughts that tripped one over the other until Lex’s fingers clawed deep into his shoulders, making him pause. Long enough for Lex to slip too easily from his mouth, cock brushing over his lips in some bittersweet form of a goodbye kiss.

Breathed heavily, resting his forehead low on Lex’s belly, hard, wet cock still so close to his lips, close enough to taste, to take, but he didn’t. Mouthed the hairless flesh under his mouth instead, moaning and moving his head side to side, protesting the separation as much as he dared. Lex’s voice low and sure, guiding him even now, telling him to look at him and Clark did, had to, couldn’t not obey.

Opened his eyes and met Lex’s, but only for one long, intense moment before Clark closed them again and moved, chest brushing over Lex’s cock, stomach, chest. Up to where they were equal, face to face, cock to cock, lips to lips and the heat from Lex’s skin rose in waves between them, burned against his own. Melting into the kiss, declaring and acknowledging, giving and taking. Lex’s tongue coated in a slick truth that tasted sweeter, felt heavier than his cock had, but just as good, just as blatantly real.

Clark pushed back when the kiss ended, looked down at the beautiful lips swelling and heated with urgency, pink edges of Lex’s mouth blurred and undefined now. Gorgeous gratification and Clark didn’t care if it was strange, slipped his tongue out and traced a line around Lex’s lips. Lex’s eyes fell shut as he moaned and mimicked Clark’s motion, tasting the ring that Clark had drawn, then biting his lower lip.

Stilled the rocking of his hips against Lex’s, lifted up and settled down, heavy between the silky thighs that instantly moved to encircle him. Lex’s heels digging hard into the backs of his legs and Clark pushed closer, cock rubbing hard, slow strokes between Lex’s legs, Lex smearing enthusiasm across his stomach with the tip of his cock at every down stroke.

Sharp intake of breath next to his ear and Lex’s low, struggling voice went straight to his cock. "Clark... Jesus... we have to... bed."

Bed? Oh fuck. Fuck, they were on the *floor* and that was just... fuck. Clark sat up on his knees, reached down for Lex’s hand and pulled a little, urging him to sit up too. Stood and pulled Lex up with him in one quick move, plausibly human speed but Lex’s eyes looked unfocused and he swayed a little.

Steadied Lex and after a moment he turned to draw down the comforter, fist balling, catching sheets and a pillow too and jerking them all down, a large gesture that left the bed mostly uncovered, the linens bunched in an odd pile at the foot of the bed. Clark waited, watched for some cue and with one broad smile, Lex’s arms snaked around his waist, wet mouth catching Clark's and that tongue back in his mouth, exploring again. Unbalanced from the kiss and weight of Lex pressing against him and there was nothing to do but fall down when Lex shoved him a little. On his back on the bed, *Lex's* bed and Lex climbed on top of him, crawled up him with the sensuality of a lion stalking its prey.

Lex straddled his legs, reached behind himself and stretched back to grab a corner of the sheet. Pulled it up to their shoulders, the thin fabric billowing up with a clean snap, and Clark rubbed his hands along Lex’s back as Lex leaned down to kiss him, face glowing in the gentle light. The slide of silk on the backs of his hands and smooth skin against his palms, the reflected sensation making him shiver a little.

A moan in his mouth and Lex’s tongue plunged deeper as he rubbed along the pale skin, fingertips ghosting over Lex’s back at first, then pressing hard into the muscles that flexed under his hands. The sheet fell from Lex’s shoulders as he sat up, took his own cock in one hand and drew the other slowly down Clark’s chest.

The separation exquisitely sharp and Clark didn’t want to wait, didn’t care if this went on for seconds or hours or days, just needed it to happen *now.* "Lex, please... I need you to-"

"Shhh, Clark. I know. Just... we need..." Lex started to move off of him, and that was wrong, nauseating. Clark grabbed his thighs and held him in place.

Locked eyes and tried not to growl. "No. We don’t need anything."

"Clark, I..." Lex’s eyes skeptical, thinking, processing. Accepting, amused. "Right. Just let me get..."

Lex’s hands strong on his own, lifting them slowly off his legs, moving off again, stretching up to the night stand and a drawer rolled open and closed. Chills raced over his body when the hair on his leg rubbed the wrong way as Lex shifted, pushed his knees apart and knelt between them. The wet heat of Lex’s mouth enveloped his cock again, slicking it quickly. A tight circle of fingers around the base, catching in the hair there, pulling just a little, not hurting, just tugging as he was swallowed stroke after stroke. Concentration like a prize he was fighting for, emotions and feelings pooling low in his stomach, burning a path to the base of his spine and he clenched his teeth and bucked up once, again.

Opened his eyes wide and saw Lex, watching him steadily as he sucked, swallowed. Eyes locked on his and he never wanted it to end, never wanted to lose this feeling. On the edge and Lex was humming, gentle vibrations as good as the heat, the feeling of his cock being owned, belonging to Lex. Two long strokes and Lex’s throat closed convulsively around him as he fought release, denied himself that pleasure in exchange for this one. The slow exit from Lex’s mouth more painful than he’d ever thought this could be, but the words whispered up to him, the hand squeezing his thigh made up for the ache.

Lex’s hand replaced his mouth and superpower-fast, Lex’s weight was pushing him into the mattress. Hot breath on his ear, Lex’s hand pumping him slowly, grip like a vice and skin heated with the friction of slickness and rubbing. Lex’s voice, low and soft against his ear, so close and he heard Lex swallowing hard before he whispered, "I’m not lying now, Clark."

Warmth of Lex’s chest on his gone, the brush of Lex’s legs between his and the lack of contact was horrible, lonely. Mouth back on his cock and fingers wrapping tightly around the base again and gray eyes locked on his as he lifted his neck, straining to see. Nothing but truth now, nothing but this and he arched back, eyes closing against it, flowed into Lex’s mouth and fuck that was so sexy, Lex swallowing him instead of brandy or wine. Sinking into the last pulses of orgasm and Lex’s hand tightened around him again, pumping gently until his body arched and shook with raw nerves being rubbed too soon. Vague realization that the wetness coating his stomach was his own and loved the raw proof of it, the tangible evidence of their sex.

Propped up a little on elbows to see it and Lex was smiling down at him, long fingers trailing through the drops, spreading them, wiping them up. Lex shifted down on his body, mouth finding his half-hard cock and kissing, licking there. Lex knelt up again, looking down between Clark’s legs and this... being so open, so exposed was a little scary, a little embarrassing.

Sweet, gentle push of Lex’s open hand on the inside of his thigh and he moved it, opened his legs and let Lex take control, let him have whatever he wanted. Gave him complete trust.

Slick fingers moved on his stomach again, taking wetness with them when the moved down and in between his legs, smearing the warmth there. Knew what was happening, knew exactly what Lex was about to do and couldn’t do anything but close his eyes and wait, anticipation quickening his heart and making his legs shake just a little. Licked his lips and tasted Lex there just as a finger slipped inside, pressed firmly in and up. So good, but not nearly enough.

Wanted this part over and Lex on him, in him. "Lex, please..."

"Shh, Clark. Just another minute." Smooth, steady voice calming him, sedating his nervousness and melting the tension from his muscles. The promise of Lex inside him reaffirmed when another finger twisted in.

Stretching, pulling ache that could never be painful, could never be anything but perfect. Then the cavernous, empty feeling as the fingers slid out. Opened his eyes and saw Lex dripping liquid to his fingers from a small bottle, tossing it off the side of the bed, slicking his cock. One hand denting the bed just beside him and Lex looked down between them, biting his lip, his free hand around his cock as he positioned himself carefully. Both of them sucking in air when the head of Lex’s cock pushed firmly against him and slid quickly inside. Lex’s hands fisted the sheet as he caught the movement, slowed his entry. Clark wanted it all, didn’t want to go slow and easy anymore and he lifted his legs, wrapped calves around the backs of Lex’s thighs and arms around his sweat-slicked back pulling him down, in.

Clark closed his eyes, breathed deeply enough for both of them, swallowing hard, pushing down the lump of relief in his throat. Never closer to anyone, never this connected, this understood. Pleasure a relative term that couldn’t be defined between the simple filling and emptying of Lex’s lungs and the rush of blood, pounding in his ears. Time froze, hours passed, entire lives lived in the moment Lex became him and he became Lex. No end or beginning between them, just a continuous circle of raw electricity, emotions, power.

Minutes of nothing but adjusting, feeling, savoring before Lex pushed up just a little on his chest, their skin sweat-sticking. Broken whisper cutting through the inches of air between them. "Clark, are you-"

"God, yes. Are you?"

"I’ve never been..." Lex’s eyes closed and he drew in a deep breath, stomach brushing against his and cock swelling inside him, filling him fuller. "...more."

"Lex, I want you to-"

"Okay. Shh..." Hands, Lex’s hands, firmly tucking under him, palms heating high on the back of his shoulders. Fingers curled over, digging with wonderful tightness into his collarbone.


Lex’s arms flexing, pulling down on him with the first long stroke in. Filled, connected, free because there was nothing more intimate, nothing beyond this. No greater closeness to crave or mourn. Muscles twitching inside him, Lex answering the tiny spasms with harder pushes, slow and easy, sure. Lex’s breath breezed across his face and he exhaled, realized he was holding his breath. Closed his eyes and tilted his head back, arching up into the gentle thrusts, encouragement welcomed and answered. Lex’s strokes quickened, deepened and the grip on his shoulders tightened. Every pull out of him was a lie, every push in, the truth. Couldn’t pick one if he had to, couldn’t live without either of them, one making the other possible, sweeter, better.

One hand gone from his shoulder, throwing off the intensity of strength that might match his own if he was another man, making him open his eyes. Saw spots before them and realized he’d had them squeezed shut against the power of their union.

Lex’s thumb rubbed rough across his cheekbone. "Keep them open for me?"

"Yes, yes..." The only word he ever wanted to say to Lex again, the only one he ever thought he’d need from now on.

Breath like the wind before a storm, deep and electric, charged with something unpredictable. Faster thrusts now and Clark lifted his legs higher, brought his knees up to touch Lex’s elbows, bumping against them and almost smiling. Lex’s eyes on his, focused and greedy, keeping Clark’s attention so closely that nothing, nothing would have pulled him away from them. Smooth, easy strokes inside him, depth constant and perfect, pace a little quicker now and Lex closed his eyes.

Clark closed his too, the wet tears there smoothing away the grit of staring, the dryness of countless missed blinks.

"No, Clark, open them. Don’t stop..." Rhythm beating out in his head, in his cock, in his veins and Lex slipping in and out and in without a hitch. Smooth, liquid motions like it was normal, natural. Unthinkable that they hadn’t done this before, unbelievable that he had never felt the graceful glide of Lex inside him until now.

Beautiful, languid motions of Lex’s muscles, flexing and working in tandem, perfectly in sync with his own muscles, their bodies matching stroke for stroke, bend for bend. Unmistakable feeling, just like he’d always imagined, nothing like he’d expected. Perfect, sweet moment he’d hold onto, savor for the rest of his life. Smooth, pale skin surrounding the mind, the person he knew he could never push away. The one who would always be in his life, as constant as the setting sun.

"Lex... Lex I-"

Shining eyes silenced him, understanding without words, unyielding. Liquid truth pooling subtly in them, breath hitching and throat working as Lex swallowed hard. Thrusting hips paused on the next stroke and Lex fell, sliding deep and holding there, grip tight on Clark’s shoulders, chest pressing the breath from their bodies, chin tucked into Clark’s neck. Teeth sinking gently into his throat as Lex pulsed into him, liquid warmth flowing deep inside him.

Teeth releasing his skin with a hot lick and a gentle suck. "No one’s ever looked at me like that." Soft, low voice against his throat. Lex’s voice, full of the awe and admiration he’d heard the day they met, beside the river.

"I’ll never stop looking at you that way." A vow his heart made, even before his mind could protest, could reason with him. Make him push up the walls of secrecy again.

Slow, lingering kiss that left him breathless and Lex looking down at him, eyes blinking heavily with the sleepy smile. "I’ll never let you, Clark."

Breath tickling against his neck again as Lex laid heavily down on his chest. Clark reached back, folding the pillows under their heads, earning a heavy sigh of approval from the lips next to his ear. Lex’s muscles lean and hard under his hands, but below, Lex was soft and warm, still inside him. The slickness between their legs sent a weak charge through his veins. Covers too far below them to consider, so he wrapped his arms tight around Lex’s back and hooked his legs lazily around the backs of Lex’s knees. Warmth enough to fall asleep in, even though they might awake separated and freezing later.

Easy enough to find their way back to each other if they did.




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