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Chasing Redemption

by P L Nunn


Part 4


Clark sat there for a moment, listening to the soft sound of Lex's footfalls as he padded down the tunnel. A long walk back to the grotto, but maybe Lex needed the time to clear his head as much as Clark did. The time to wrap his mind around what had just happened. The fact that Clark had just snapped - - total mental break - -and not beaten Lex to a pulp, but fucked him.

Clark winced a little at the mental terminology, but really, no other word fit quite so well. Certainly the repercussions of the former might have been easier to handle.

His enemy. A man who was the antithesis of all the things - - all the solid moral values that Clark believed in. A man who used people, hurt people, arranged for people's deaths like he was ordering coffee. A man who had waged a campaign against Superman from almost the day he'd had his 'coming out', becrying the alien threat and going to lengths to create the weaponry to destroy it. With or without the sanctum of the government. Excuses all, whether Lex truly believed in the threat Clark posed or not, to stockpile power of his own. A man who - - God - - who's body had felt so good against his own, under his own, surrounding him. Who's scent and taste Clark couldn't shake from his mind.

He shut his eyes and banged the side of his skull against the machine. Repeatedly, until he noted the buckling of the metal plating and winced. Lex wouldn't like that. And surprisingly enough that mattered. What his enemy thought. His enemy's comfort. His enemy's safety, over and above the safety of every other deserving or not-so deserving soul in this place.

When had that happened? How had it happened? What had he been damming, inside his head, that had built and built and built until the inevitable release resulted in this. Violent sex that had been ultimately more satiating than any short-lived, polite relationship he'd ventured into over the last decade.

He drew a deep breath. Let it out slowly and gathered scattered clothes. Pulled them on slowly, more aware of grime stiffened cloth that he had been. His skin was always more sensitive after sex. A lot of things were more sensitive. He dawdled for a bit, looking to see what progress Lex had made while Clark had been out soaking up negligible sunlight and saw the line of circuitry cards, neat and clean back in their places within what he assumed was the control unit. The unit he'd recently had Lex pressed up against relieving frustrations.

Clark swallowed, a little flash of recollection sending a shiver of sensation down his neural pathways.

He spent a little more time trying to fix the door. Before it had just been a matter of welding broken hinges, but he'd managed, in his fervor to get in this room and inside Lex, to tear the frame right out of the rock portal it had been attached to. Part of the rock the frame had been fastened to had crumbled away. It would take more than a quick fix to do the job right and he felt bad enough about mindlessly strong-arming his way back in here, that he wanted to make the effort.

He could probably find the makings of a new frame from the various stockpiles of abandoned track rail that he'd seen here and there within the mines. For the time being he leaned it against the wall outside the machine room, and headed back towards the active mines. He'd given Lex more than an enough of a head start. And as much as he wasn't looking forward to discussing what had happened, problems ignored had a tendency to come back and bite him on the ass. Problems ignored that involved Lex Luthor were likely to mutate into Superman-sized catastrophes.

He figured Lex would head to the grotto first. And the notion of an uninterrupted bath did sort of outweigh the idea of a bland meal, even in Clark's estimation.

Lex hadn't quite made it to the grotto entrance when Clark caught up. Either he'd been taking his own sweet time, or he'd gotten distracted along the way, because Clark had wasted a lot of time himself before heading out.

Lex didn't say a thing. The only indication that he'd noted Clark at all was a slight start at the sudden appearance of a man where no man had been a heartbeat before. Other than that, Clark didn't warrant a look.

"Before you say it," Clark started, though honestly, Lex might have been perfectly willing to carry on a campaign of silence. "I'm not here because of you."

Lex cast him a narrow, sidelong glance.

"You're not the only one who likes a bath now and then," Clark muttered, feeling foolish of a sudden and too big for the low ceilinged tunnel that fed into the grotto. He strode on ahead, and it was a relief to step into the big cavern, where he didn't feel quite so closed in.

There were a fair number of men here, most perhaps, like Clark and Lex, taking advantage of the disruption of the normal pecking order to partake of copious amounts of clean, warm water, while they could.

Clark let Lex go where he would, striding himself directly to the closest edge of the lake and wading in, clothes and all. He dove in once he'd reached hip level and once under the surface torpedoed out with a few mighty kicks towards the dark, placid depths at the far side.

No one else ventured out much past the edges. Perhaps none of them knew how to swim. Perhaps they feared the things that might lurk in the inky darkness of deep water so far from cleansing sunlight.

Clark tread water lazily, stripping off his clothing, a piece at a time, and rinsing it as well as he might without benefit of soap. He lay the wet clothing on a rocky protrusion against the wall and floated, enjoying the sensation of warmth. He spotted Lex along the far edge, waste deep and likely naked, working diligently at washing his own clothing. It would be easy to confirm, with a spot of enhanced vision, but memory served just as well.

Lex waded in deeper, using a wet shirt to scrub his skin. Dipped entirely under and came back up a few yards further out. He blinked water out of his eyes and stared into the shadows where Clark floated.

Clark eased closer, wary of what acknowledgement of his existence might bring.

"Generally, "Lex said, tone guarded. "When you interfere in one of my projects, you manage to destroy millions if not billions of dollars worth of equipment and research."

"Billions?" Clark interjected dubiously. He couldn't recall doing that much damage in one outing, but then who knew how much money Lex fed into his obsessions.

"Satellites aren't cheap, Clark." Lex said with just the hint of annoyance in his voice.

Oh. Well, there had been that. One could only hope if one were feeling generous towards its namesake, that LexCorp's above board business facades had some sort of accident insurance. "That's the price you pay for illegal orbital weapons - -" Clark started, automatically falling into Superman voice.

"So help me GOD," Lex cut him off, glowering. "If you go into that self-righteous spiel, I will dedicate my life to making yours miserable."

Clark glowered right back. "I thought you'd already done that."

Lex lifted a brow. "Not at all. If I'd wanted to make Clark Kent suffer, believe me, you'd know."

Clark swallowed, not entirely sure he was comfortable contemplating all the ways Lex could make the life he led separate from Superman - - the life that let him enjoy some bit of normalcy - - the one that kept him grounded and sane - - a living hell. But Lex never had. Lex had never come after Clark Kent. Not once in all the years since Lex had figured out the big secret.

"What's your point?" Clark asked.

Lex considered, obviously fighting down annoyance, arms making graceful figure eights in the water as he kept himself afloat, the shirt clutched in his left hand trailing lazily in its wake. They'd drifted closer, during the little exchange. A body distance or two away.

"My point? I had a point?" Lex said airily.

Clark sank deeper, water up past his mouth, watching the glint of distant light play off the sheen of water on Lex's skull. He imagined that if he were to run his tongue across that pale, bare skin it would taste slightly of salt, with the faint tang of sulfur and mineral that flavored the lake.

"You generally do." Clark tilted his head up out of the water enough to say. Lex stared at him, dark eyes boring into Clark's own.

"I seem to have forgotten," Lex said, flagrant lie, because Lex never forgot anything. He was just agitated and taking a tact disturbingly similar to one Lois liked to use when she was miffed and riding her high horse. It never worked as well as she seemed to think, feigned indifference often being more of boon with her than a punishment.

Lex, Clark wanted to swim right over and shove his head under water. But he'd already laid hands on Lex today in anger and damned if he'd do it again. So he sank underwater himself, shutting his eyes and drifting. Less effort than flight and Clark could hold his breath for a very long time.

He shouldn't have started an argument - - that had been an argument of sorts, right? - - when Lex had made the first move at breaking silence. He ought to surface and broach his own uneasy subject of conversation. So, Lex about what happened back there. About the sex - -

Only talking about sex - - even sex that had probably been a disastrous mistake - - when he was wet and naked and more importantly Lex was wet and naked - - might not be the best idea ever.

A little flash of mental imagery assaulted him. His thumbs pressed into the firm flesh of Lex's buttocks - - the curve of Lex's back - - the sharp wings of his shoulder blades, flexing, shifting as he'd pushed back against the edge of the machine, and against Clark, who was deep inside - - Ah, God.

Clark sank deeper, as erect now as he'd been then. He kicked off, putting distance between them. He settled down to the bottom of the lake, stayed there until his erection deflated and his lungs started to burn a little for want of air.

He came back up, shaking hair out of his eyes, looking for Lex while he was blinking water away. Lex had retreated closer to the shore, laid out his clothes to dry while he reclined, chest deep in the water, back against a protruding finger of rock. Not concerned at all apparently about Clark's possible drowning.

A pair of inmates walked by, hesitating by Lex's clothing on the bank. Clothing was a commodity here. Clark had seen a dead man stripped of his - -maybe even killed for it.

"Don't even think it," he heard Lex say softly and two sets of furtive eyes fixed on him. Sweet's gang was not the only dangerous element here. Clark grabbed his own wet clothing and dipped under water, one powerful kick taking him the length of the lake. He came up, like something out of the depths, twenty feet from the shore, and waded through shallow water towards it.

Lex's eyes shifted towards him, a casual appraisal that missed nothing, and if Clark hadn't been in the middle of trying to intimidate two possible thugs into retreat without resorting to physical means, he might have shifted the hand with the clothing to cover dangling parts.

Either Clark's abrupt appearance, or the look on his face, or the not so subtle intimidation factor that went hand in hand with his size served to make the two inmates think twice about accosting Lex or his clothing. They moved on, no small bit of haste in their step.

"You know, " Lex remarked lazily, eyes still unabashedly roaming Clark's body. "I ought to be annoyed, but honestly, at the moment the ability to summon indignation escapes me."

Clark swallowed, moving that hand with its trailing tails of wet clothing to cover his crotch. His cheeks were flaming. He just knew his cheeks were flaming. He sloshed out of the water under Lex's observation and with his back turned fast dried his clothing with a gusting lungful of breath. No matter that he'd had all those naked parts pressed as close as a body could get to Lex not much more than an hour or two past, modesty was a Kent instilled trait that he might never be capable of shaking.

Clark pulled on mostly dry trousers over wet skin and stood there, feeling disgruntled over the indecision of whether to offer to dry Lex's clothing in the same manner. Simply turning and forcing himself to meet Lex's eyes was ridiculously challenging. It had just been sex, damnit. Just sex. It wasn't like he hadn't had it before. It wasn't as if he wouldn't have it again at some point in his life. It was just - - ever since the disastrous affair with Lois, he'd gone out of his way to have it with partners that wouldn't complicate his life once it was over. And with Clark's duel life - - it never had really had a chance at lasting, nor had he found someone with whom he really wanted it to.

With Lex - - God - - Lex complicated his life when they weren't even in the same county. Lex was on his mind half the time anyway even when they were as deep in the 'outs' category as it was possible to get. Confusing the issue with sex could not be a good thing. Could it?

Clark had stopped relying on confidants for advice years and years ago, but right about now, he missed those in-depth talks he and Chloe used to have. Hell, he missed the ones between him and Lex and it had been close to two decades since they'd been amenable enough to sit in the same room and simply hold a pleasant conversation.

Clark had really liked those conversations.

He set his jaw, squared his shoulders and turned around. He could deal with this. He could deal with Lex the same way he always dealt with Lex - - like a particularly convoluted challenge that needed to be overcome.

Clark turned around, and blinked at Lex, ankle deep in the water, in the process of climbing back onto shore. It occurred to Clark that his preference for slim-hipped, long-legged, lean men might very well have been rooted in those first few years of Lex's residence in Smallville.

"I - - can - - what?" Clark's train of thought slipped. There were the faint marks of fingerprints on Lex's hips. Imprints that could just be glimpsed on the inside of pale thighs. Oh - - fuck.

Lex lifted a brow at him, not seeming particularly self-conscious, even if there were other eyes in this place that might be watching.

"Clothes," Clark drew a breath. "I can dry your clothes - -if you want?"

Lex considered. Shrugged, apparently coming to the conclusion that parting with a small bit of pride was an acceptable trade for dry clothes. He waved a hand, and Clark instinctually looked about to see if he were the direct object of anyone's attention, before air drying Lex's garments with a gust of superbreath.

After that the conversation dried up. Clark couldn't figure out how to broach his tender subject and Lex apparently had no intention of starting up one of his own. Slouching down the tunnels at Lex's side, awkward issues burning a hole in his psyche, should have been the most uncomfortable place in this world or any other to be. Surprisingly enough, it wasn't.

They got rations and supplies, and left the sparsely populated commissary with a new supply of oil - - Clark forced his mind away from how they'd managed to deplete the rest of the last bottle - - a coil of copper wire that the supply guard warily produced, and as much extra rations as Clark could buy with his remaining chits.

Lex strode off ahead, the supplies in his pocket, eating the hard, sharp cheese and dried fruit he'd exchanged for his own chit as he walked. Clark lingered, watching Lex's passage for a moment, before going about the task he'd appointed himself and distributing what he could.

A quiet night didn't mean there still weren't starving men or one's pushed past their limits. And just as back in his own city or his own planet or God forbid, his own dimension, he could only do so much.

He paused at a small gathering of men, grouped together for protection's sake in a shallow niche. Men hunkered down together for warmth, for comfort, for some semblance of companionship, even if it was strained. You made do with what you had down here. He saw Keever among them.

"Kal-el," Keever nodded up at him, and the others did, slowly, wariness in their eyes, but thankfully little fear.

"Quiet tonight," Clark commented. He'd given away all but a half chunk of cheese that he'd saved for himself, but these men were not as bad off as some so he felt no guilt hording it.

They murmured noncommittal response to that, none of them willing to voice opinions on the state of mine politics to a relative stranger.

"Did Sweet survive?" Clark asked. He probably could have tracked down whatever den Sweet's gang had claimed for their own, but his presence would facilitate nothing but trouble.

"Far as I know," Keever said, some bit of bitterness in his voice. Another man then, that would just as well see the prison tyrant dead. "When he's back on his feet, there'll be hell to pay."

Clark clenched his fists, figuring that was probably an accurate assumption. Sweet's authority had been mortally challenged and he'd have to work hard to reestablish it. Lex's culpability was likely to remain unearthed as long as Kraiser didn't spread the information, and Clark had the feeling that the big man wouldn't. But Kraiser himself would be a target. Not a soft one, granted, but still, he'd suffer as a result of Lex's failed plan. Clark vowed to keep an eye out, willing to go to some efforts to keep yet one more casualty off the list Lex had attached to his name.

He prowled the mines for a while, but there was little enough of the normal brand of casual violence that permeated the place. Perhaps it was a calm before the storm, men waiting to see what trouble might stir when Sweet and Sweet's men sought retaliation. Grim thought.

Clark found Kraiser, methodically smashing rock in one of the deep shafts that he seemed to prefer. The man had a few bruises on visible skin but seemed no worse for wear otherwise. Clark did not approach. Not even to feed the growling beast lurking at the edge of his thoughts that wanted badly to get right up in the big man's face and let him know to stay away from Lex. No matter Lex had initiated the whole thing, no matter that Clark believed Lex when he'd said nothing had been traded but possibility - - he'd still had those images in his mind and he hadn't liked them.

He left with no such ridiculous ultimatum uttered, having spent enough time doing good deeds and avoiding real issues.

Like sex with Lex how many hours ago? Sex was not a cardinal sin, damnit. He really needed to get over it. He knew people that had sex all the time - - with strangers - - and walked away from it without a backward glance. A stranger couldn't be worse than an enemy, could they? Better maybe, because you didn't have to deal with the awkward moments afterwards when you inevitably had to face them again. And how the hell were you supposed to work up the proper loathing and condemnation when dealing with the latest unscrupulous scheme when you couldn't tear your mind away from the utterly erotic dip at the small of his back, or the absolute smooth perfection of his skin, or god help you, the breathy, helpless sounds he'd made when you were deep inside him?

Their working relationship, when they got out of this mess, was going to be seriously skewed.

When he finally returned to the machine room, Lex had apparently devoted himself to things other than making himself wretched over the ramifications of impromptu sex. He had already started working on the big flywheel unit and had wedged himself up behind the massive rotors, arms thrust into the guts of the machinery, doing something that involved the spool of copper wire.

There was a great deal of smeared rust and aged grease, which made the trip to the grotto seem a premature one. It was a wonder Lex was still on his feet. It had been a long day, a strenuous evening and a lengthy walk to and from the grotto. Lex's diligence was as admirable as his stamina. But then, Lex never undertook a project for which he didn't hold absolute resolution. It was what made him so much more dangerous than your run of the mill villain. Lex Luthor had vision and the means to carry it out. Only problem was, Lex was more than a little obsessive, no small bit compulsive, ruthless, paranoid and very possibly on occasion and by his own admission a little schizophrenic.

He was also brilliant and passionate and the things he cared about, he'd defend till his last breath. If only all those fierce attributes could be channeled into purposes that didn't threaten lives, tread upon basic human rights or flagrantly disregard the laws of the land, Clark's life might be considerably less difficult.

Clark stood for a moment, close to scuffing a toe in the dust of the floor in a fit of nervous energy, wondering if he ought to say something or do something or just turn around and slip away and give Lex the room for the night. God help him, but he hadn't been this indecisive since high school.

But Lex squeezed out from between the blades of the rotor before Clark could make up his mind, noticed Clark and acknowledged his presence with the hitch of one brow, before he padded over to the smaller control unit and slid back a panel Clark hadn't even realized was there.

Clark sighed and drifted deeper into the room, crinkling his nose at the scents of oil and dampened rust. Lex was fiddling under the panel, pressing things, flicking things until there was a surprising series of klaks from the flywheel unit. A resonating groan. But not more than that.

Clark started a little, not prepared for the signs of life from the thing. Lex frowned, blue eyes narrowed, staring at the big machine like he was trying to intimidate it into obedience. He tried the buttons and switches again. Another groaning whine like the apparatus was trying to do something - - it just didn't have the impetus to quite get past the hump of years of inactivity.

Lex cursed softly, dirty up to his elbows with machine grease and smeared rust. He stood for a moment, nothing like defeat on his face, just tired deliberation. Thinking. Lex was always thinking.

"You know," Clark offered. "Maybe it just needs to be loosened up. I could give it a spin, like jumpstarting an old prop plane to get the blades moving?"

Lex chewed his lip, eyeing Clark thoughtfully. He nodded.

"Gently," he cautioned, when Clark stepped up and laid hands on the edge of one giant blade. "I don't want the thing flying off its axel."

Clark declined the retort that he knew his own strength and was capable of handling things far more fragile than this without fear of breaking. Lex knew it too, but Lex was nervous, and Lex had a lot invested in this rusty mechanism, even though the uneducated observer might never detect it.

"Now," Lex said and the flywheel engine groaned, pieces and parts clicking internally. Clark spun the flywheel, and chunks of rust and maybe even limestone deposits that had been hindering the free rotation of the rotor on the hub, flew free. It spun wildly for a moment, then slowed of its own accord, then there was a stuttering rumble as power kicked in and it began picking up speed, the sputtering rumble of the engine evening out.

Clark let out a whoop of excitement and pulled Lex into an exuberant victory hug. A moment later the thinking part of his brain reminded him that Lex in his arms an uncomfortable situation made. But Lex didn't go stiff with offense, and Lex had on a pleased grin that was so reminiscent of Lex of old that Clark had to release him and take a step back because it was making his body start thinking about the sex again despite other distractions.

Lex wasn't paying much attention to Clark's hasty retreat, his eyes gleaming in half quiet satisfaction over this achievement, half plotting the next step. Clark could tell. Clark had seen the look and it usually set off internal alarms. Not this time.

Lex padded over to the spinning flywheel, closer than Clark thought was safe now that the blades were moving at a steady, lazy clip. The breeze from the rotation ruffled his clothing and the engine behind rumbled with deep vibration.

"I should put the face plate back on," Clark said. "I can always remove it again if it stops working and we need to get back in."

Lex nodded, eyes hooded, distracted by thoughts that went beyond the functioning flywheel.

"I need to see if the tracks are live," Lex said, shifting his gaze outward again and looking to Clark. Clark figured it was a request formed in the shape of a statement, because Lex wasn't making a move for the door and chances were Lex wasn't quite up to another hour and a half walk round trip to and from the active section of mines again. Clark's internal clock claimed it was pretty damned late and even he was starting to feel the need for a little rest. Physically he could go for days, but mentally - - well, the mind needed what the mind needed.

"Just a sec," Clark hefted up the huge metal faceplate and Lex had to step back out of necessity to make way for Clark to maneuver it over the flywheel. Clark bolted it back into place and the thick cover muffled some of the sound. Maybe sleeping in the machine room might be possible after all, once he got used to the constant drone of the active generator.

He stepped back from the newly reattached face plate and was faced with the prospect of Lex in close contact - - Lex in his arms - - and really when had that not been a little unsettling, one way or another, but now Clark felt the vague stirrings of panic at the notion.

He manned up though. Thrust out his jaw in determination and figured the faster he got this over with the better.

A few seconds later they were at the intersection outside the hub. Quiet this time of night, but there were always a few nightshifters or the desperately weak that worked through both shifts slowly filling a cart to capacity.

Clark put Lex down, removing his hands, but Lex was a little slow to step away, preoccupied listening for the sound of clattering carts. There was one coming up the left shaft. Lex moved that way, stepping off to the side of the tracks as one of the nightshifters, big and vaguely non-human laboriously pushed a full cart up the incline towards the hub. The was nothing to suggest the tracks were active at all, the cart moving completely under the power of the man behind it.

Lex stood there for a moment, fists clenched at his sides, as the inmate passed him with the cart. His back was straight; the rigid posture of a man who might be desperately fighting back the urge to simply slump against a handy wall in disappointment. Lex had never taken setbacks particularly well. Though usually defeat resulted more in fits of temper than self-suffering.

"Maybe," Clark suggested, sidling around so he could get a glimpse of Lex's shadowed expression. "The thing just needs to charge up."

"Possibly," Lex murmured. He started walking, slow thoughtful steps. Stopped and stood for a long moment, utterly still, gaze fixed on the tracks.

"There's a section of track, between here and the flywheel where the rail is missing from the track."

Clark could only take his word on it. His trips back and forth from prison mines to generator room usually didn't leave a lot of time for picking up on the tiny details. Lex had walked that route at a human pace and Lex did have the habit of noticing the little things.

"Yeah?" Clark urged him to get on with the theory.

"A break in the line would mean an interruption in the flow. Cave ins, lack of proper maintenance, scavenging - - all could account for damage to the rails. We need to take a cart back to test."

"Now?" Clark asked.

"No. You might be right about the generator needing to charge. Tomorrow."

"You know, technically it probably is tomorrow."

Lex glanced up at him finally, the shadows under his eyes making the blue all the more intense. The spark of invention was fading and in its place was the edge of dull exhaustion.

"Back?" Clark asked and Lex nodded. Clark stepped up to him, hesitated, because it was harder to grab and run and not think about it, with Lex actually looking at him.

"Stop by the spring on the way back." Lex suggested, holding up a filthy arm. Not his bossy voice, or the condescending one Clark was all too familiar with, but the nice one, that made it sound like there might have been a mental 'please' tacked on at the end, even though Lex never got around to actually voicing it.

Clark took a breath that felt fluttery in his chest, and scooped Lex off his feet. Ran slow enough that he didn't threaten Lex with whip lash when he slowed at the spring seeping out of the wall down from the generator room. Stood there for a second, seeking breath that he had no business being short of, before he sat Lex down. Lex was a little slower uncurling his fist from the collar of Clark's shirt. He stuck his hands into the water, scrubbing at the grease and rust and shivered a little from what had to be frigid temperatures.

Clark knew from years of experience working on the grungiest old tractor in existence, that cold water did not make the shedding of machine grease any easier. He could help with that.

He followed the path of the little spring up through the rock over their heads and saturated the surrounding stone with a low-grade burst of heat vision.

Lex made a surprised sound and yanked his hands back, and for a second Clark was afraid he'd heated the spring to boiling, but Lex wasn't shaking out his hands in pain, just staring at the water in a moment of question before he figured it out and canted his head to give Clark a look.

"See, now that is a utilitarian skill." Lex commented, and plunged his hands back in. "And here I thought you were all show."

"You're all show," Clark muttered back, but he felt mildly pleased with himself.

Lex shook water off of wet, clean arms and headed back to the generator room. The flywheel was still humming steadily and Lex circled the collection of machines once, before he let out a sigh and the adrenalin that he'd been running on empty on now for hours, finally gave out. He leaned back against the far wall, slowly letting himself slide to the floor. Sat there with his forearms resting on his raised knees and stared at the collection of equipment.

"If a broken line is the problem," he said quietly, "We will have to bring the inmates in on this project. "There are too many miles of track for you to cover properly at anything much more than human speeds and still catch the small faults."

Clark shrugged. He was willing to try, but Lex had a point. He could zip past at super speed and find the big breaks, where sections of rail were missing, if he were paying attention, but the little damages would take more of a fine-toothed comb to root out.

"Besides, the organization of a group project will go a long way to changing the balance of power in this place."

Ah, politics. Leave it to Lex - - Clark must have gotten a look on his face, because Lex drew his brows and gave him a narrowed eyed glare.

"Don't," he snapped at Clark's half formed conjecture. "This is no pleasant place to live out a life, and if the so called Magistrates have no interest in interfering in prison politics, then that chore falls to the hands of the inmates. Since Sweet and his little group seem the only organized faction, they hold that power. Even you have to admit that's not a good thing."

Clark stood there, thumbs hooked in the waistband of his pants. Ingrained habit said take an opposing stance of whatever view Lex was preaching, even if it sounded reasonable on the outside, because there had to be some angle, some hidden agenda that was bound to serve no one but Lex Luthor. And he supposed that was true here as well, but he couldn't fault Lex for looking for ways to make the place mildly more livable for himself when it would benefit everyone. He even supposed that if he looked at a marginal number of Lexian projects over the years, he might be able to find that same reasoning.

He sighed, picked up the blanket Lex had left folded by his little stock of supplies and brought it over. Held it out as an offering and Lex accepted it wryly.

"Its not a good thing," Clark conceded and slid down the wall to sit next to Lex. "Just avoid the bloody prison riot route, okay? That would make my life a lot easier."

"Sometime you need the bloody prison riots. Revolution is evil, but often the lesser evil."

"See, now you're just twisting Orwell."

A tired grin flicked across Lex's mouth. Honest amusement. "There was a time when my obscure references sailed right over your head."

"Yeah, well, college and a career that requires a fair deal of knowing what you're writing about tends to broaden horizons."

"Among other things, I'm sure," Lex said dryly.

Among other things of the superheroring sort. Clark didn't say it and Lex didn't pursue a topic that would have only dissolved into argument between them. For that Clark was grateful.

"When the tracks are active, we're likely to stir up more than the inmate hierarchy," Lex said and Clark frowned at the thought of having to deal with the Magistrate's ire hobbled as he was by the bracelets that linked his good behavior to Lex's life.

"But then," Lex mused. "As long as they're getting a steady supply of ore, they might not care."

Maybe not. They hadn't struck Clark as particularly interested in anything but their own agenda. He leaned his head back against rock and sighed. Long slow breath that he let take some of the tension built up in neck and shoulders out with it. He hoped tomorrow the rain let up, because he needed that time in the sun. What he wouldn't give for a sunny day back home, hovering high above the glint of Metropolis. High enough that he could see the outlying towns and the flat farmland further out and even the tiny hamlet he still called home.

He felt the pressure of Lex's shoulder, just barely touching his. Warm brush of shocking contact that sent a jolt of adrenalin to Clark's drifting senses. Lex had the blanket still half folded, over his crossed legs, but he was listing just a little and Clark was ever so aware of the weight of his body.

"My point," Lex said, not drifting quite as much as Clark might have expected.

Clark blinked, baffled, shaking himself up past the simple, base awareness of Lex leaning into him and tried to figure out what he'd missed, because it seemed like some portion of that statement had gotten past him.

Lex shrugged, the curl at the corner of his mouth covering a fleeting glimpse of something that might be, at the far reaches of possibility, disconcerted. "My point was, in the future, in lieu of you demolishing multi-million dollar pieces of real estate and equipment, putting people out of work, inflating insurance prices and endangering workers in retaliation for some perceived injustice on my part - - you might consider changing tactics and pursuing a more physical confrontation. I wouldn't be adverse to making myself available for those moments when verbal condemnation just isn't enough. Think of the money, time and clean-up effort it would save."

Clark blinked some more, bafflement turning rather wide-eyed. Because - - well, had Lex just suggested - -? Had that unusually long, rambling dissertation meant - - ? Okay, get a hold. Was Lex saying that being thrown up against a wall and - - and - - fucked - - Clark was man enough to use the word, damnit, - - wasn't an entirely unwelcome option? It had honestly sounded like that was what he'd been suggesting.

Clark's breathing picked up a notch all of its own accord. He wasn't sure if it were panic or excitement. Because on the one hand, it was a really, really bad idea. Morally corrupt arch-nemesis did not good relationships make. And they had a pretty dismal track record without sex ever being an issue. Sex hadn't been an issue, had it? Clark felt that panic rising head and shoulders over the excitement, gaining vital ground when it occurred to him that maybe sex - - just not the actual act of it - - had been an issue for a very long time in every battle, argument, feud or all out war waged between them.

"It could be mutually beneficial," Lex cocked a brow, eyes unwavering now that he'd fired an opening salvo, for all that Clark had the ability to cheat and hear the rapid patter of his heart beneath its fragile casing of ribs and flesh and skin. "You get to take out your frustrations and lecture me on the error of my ways."

"And you? What would you get?" Clark asked, rather amazed his voice didn't come out breathless.

Lex looked at him, a long, contemplative stare as if he were turning over those very benefits inside that incomprehensible mind of his. "I thought we'd established that," he said softly.

Right. Money and real estate and equipment. And when had Lex's thigh shifted enough to press against Clark's? Clark stared down at Lex's long lean leg next to his longer, thicker limb and that other hand started asserting itself. The one that didn't much care about nemesis and moral differences. The one that liked the way Lex smelled, and the way he moved under his clothing. That treasured scraps of conversation that weren't laced with bitter sarcasm or rancor. The other hand that couldn't get over how well they'd fit together, how good it had felt even impromptu and angry.

He stared at Lex, torn, the throb of the flywheel generator a persistent ambiance in the background. Blue, blue eyes that always had possessed the ability to snare Clark when they weren't narrowed and spitting ill intent. Hell, even then sometimes if Lex were particularly passionate about the current rant. A few lines around the corners, laugh lines on anybody else, only he didn't imagine Lex had let himself be amused a lot over the last decade or so. Remarkably, wonderfully smooth skin otherwise, considering the stress he'd put himself under. Considering the pull of time. But then the remnants of Krypton had graced Lex in that one respect.

"Are you asking for a - - truce?" Clark didn't know how else to phrase it. How else to even consider the possibility.

"No," Lex said and Clark felt a flutter of dismay.

He shook his head. "I can't fight you on the one hand and - -"

"I didn't say that," Lex shifted, hand on Clark's thigh as he leaned closer. "You're over thinking, Clark."

"Me?" It was a ridiculous accusation coming from Lex. He wondered if Lex even knew what it was he wanted.

"You." Lex's hand slid up, grazed the crease of Clark's thigh, a whisper of suggestion past his cock. Clark's uncertainties had no effect whatsoever on the blood rushing to fill the void there. Don't look down. Just don't look down, because if he didn't and Lex didn't then his traitorous erection might feel miffed and go away.

Of course Lex did, which made it swell a little more and strain at the thin material of his trousers. Clark shut his eyes, left them that way for a beat, while Lex leaned close to him, waiting for Clark to make up his mind. It would have helped matters if Clark knew what the question was.

Other than the obvious one that had the obvious answer. He nodded, an ambiguous agreement that he'd worry about the consequences of later.

Lex's mouth curved in a moment of satisfaction, before he swung a leg over Clark's thighs and straddled him, the weight of his body, the heat of it, dangerously close to Clark's erection. Lex placed hands on his shoulders, fingers running with slow deliberation across the swell of muscle, as if he were mapping Clark out beneath the layer of cheap prison issue. His eyes followed the path of his fingertips and Clark couldn't quite breathe until he looked up, languorous gaze under auburn tipped lashes. Then breath was released with a shuddery gust. Lex smiled like he'd won something, shifted his body closer, until Clark could feel the press of an answering erection. Even separated by two layers of fabric it was electric.

Of their own accord, Clark's hands found their way to Lex's hips, under the loose fall of his outer shirt, where skin was just a hair's breadth away. He flexed his hands, following the sharp angle of Lex's hipbones down to the sleek line of his thighs. Lex shivered under his touch, involuntary quiver of skin where Clark's hands passed. A tell that Lex couldn't control. Lex pushed forward hard, to cover it maybe, grinding their erections together. Clark gasped, little bright lights flaring behind his eyes. Lex tangled his fingers in his hair and kissed him.

Fierce and hard at first, and some corner of Clark's brain realized it was an attempt to establish dominance. Lex liked his upper hand. Lex liked to think he was in control. Lex had spent the majority of his life trying to gain the sort of power that would assure he'd never be in the position of having to rely on another man's mercy. And he'd been playing that role a lot here and it was tearing him up.

He let Lex take control of the kiss. No great strain because though Clark felt secure in the knowledge that he wasn't a bad kisser, Lex was really, really good at it. When it was clear Clark was willing to follow his lead, Lex let up trying to plunder and things got the sort of interesting that involved little swirls of the tongue and the occasional bit of play with teeth and the slick insides of Lex's lips. Lex rose up, body moving up Clark's so he could get a better angle, moaning into Clark's mouth as his erection slid up Clark's stomach. Lex's fingers trying to dig their way into his skull made Clark's scalp tingle in a very pleasant way. Lex made everything tingle.

Lex came back down, slow glide that made him break the kiss and gasp, the long line of his throat an irresistible temptation. Clark fastened his mouth to the big pulse, one hand sliding up Lex's back under the shirt, splaying out between his shoulder blades, while Clark sucked his way down to Lex's clavicle, reveling in the taste of his skin and the silky texture.

Lex shivered, settling full weight upon Clark's painfully swollen penis. It never ceased to amaze that Clark could shake off a dead on missile strike without experiencing much more than a slight thump of impact and yet when the blood rushed down to fill his cock, you could breath on it and he could feel it down to the core of his bones. Thank God for that biological oddity.

Thank God for Lex shifting, grinding down with a gyration of his hips that made Clark's eyes roll back in their sockets. Then Lex reached down, worming his hand between them and into Clark's pants. He grasped the base of Clark's cock, firm grip, fingers, palm, stroking up the length, tugging it up in line with his own. And God, but Lex had magic in his fingers that Clark had never suspected.

His balls were tightening, spasming on the verge of overload almost before he managed to fumble his own big hand down to join Lex's. Too big to easily slip down Lex's trousers, close as they were pressed together. Too mind blown with the searing onrush of climax to do anything more articulate than gasp against Lex's neck and grind the flat of his palm across the front of Lex's pants. Up and down the length of his erection, cloth rubbing against skin, the seeping spot of moisture that leaked through cool against Clark's skin.

Lex bucked against him, fingers tightening around the head of Clark's cock, free hand bunched in the collar of Clark's shirt, gasping incomplete words under his breath that might have been encouragement, might have been halfhearted curses.

Clark came, spurting hard and long, spilling over Lex's hand to spatter both their stomachs. He groaned, Lex's name rolling naturally off his tongue and Lex shuddered, full bodied quiver and followed not long after in Clark's wake.

Lex sagged against him, lax limbs and harsh breath, the fingers of one hand still clenched in Clark's shirt. His breath was a warm tickle against Clark's ear, his body a comfortable, solid presence sprawled in Clark's lap, against his chest.

It felt - - right. The way they fit together, even on a hard stone floor with Clark's back against a chiseled rock wall, cooling come sticky between them. He shifted the hand not trapped between them up to the back of Lex's neck, where the skin was warm and moist with perspiration. Idly stroked his thumb across the knot at the back of Lex's skull, while his fingertips felt the throb of pulse.

Fragile human life. Complex and breakable and precious. And his. His responsibility, his burden one way or another since the day he'd saved Lex for that first time and made it so.

There was an old Chinese proverb that if you saved a man's life, you were responsible for him forever. Responsible for his welfare no less than the acts he never would have committed had fate not seen fit to place you in the path of his calamity. Clark wasn't entirely sure he believed that - - wasn't sure he could afford to believe that philosophy wholesale - -Superman saved an awful lot of lives to hold himself accountable for the future acts of all of them - - but with Lex he accepted the mantle. Lex had been first and foremost among all those lives. Lex was the one that signaled the change of everything.

Lex, he figured, would probably be entirely pissed at the entire notion and Clark was just sated enough to consider that probability endearing.

Lex stirred, pushed himself back with a hand on Clark's shoulder. His heartbeat was still a little accelerated, but the expression on his face gave nothing away.

"See. Conflict resolution at work," Lex said with that generic wryness he used to mask the sorts of things he probably considered weak, reducing the moment to nothing more than the successful implementation of a point. He moved off Clark, no doubt not a big fan of basking in the afterglow. Clark let him, feeling a little pang of regret at the departure. A twinge of annoyance at Lex cold plating something that had left Clark surprisingly content.

But that was Lex at his misanthropic best. He didn't let people close enough to him to do harm. Not anymore. Oh, he cultivated relationships, he charmed, he swayed, he negotiated his way into the graces of anyone that didn't have damned good reason to hate him, but Clark had the feeling they were all one-sided affairs. Lex made conquests because he could, used people until they had no more value to him, but it had been a very long time since anyone had gotten past the armor plating around his heart. Just ask any of his ex-wives. But he'd damn well started this and reeled Clark back in when Clark had almost convinced himself that it had all been a terrible, terrible mistake.

Clark had two choices, let him get away with it, let Lex trivialize this very huge thing that had slipped past both their defenses and cast a new light on years of unresolved conflict - - or take what seemed a very big plunge and roll over to snag Lex before he could reestablish personal space, pull him close against his side with an arm curled around his waist that was as solid and steady as Clark's convictions.

Clark chose the latter, shifting on his side and pressing his face into the curve of Lex's shoulder while Lex drew in an affronted breath.

"Oh, just be still and take it." Clark murmured, reaching down to untangle the blanket. "It comes part and parcel with conflict resolution with me."

Lex stopped trying to pry Clark's arm off and lay there silently in the bow of Clark's body, an almost imperceptible shiver passing over him. Like the sex had been fine and dandy, as casual as downing a glass of brandy, but this - - this lying together in intimacy afterwards was terrifying for him. Clark shut his eyes and tightened his grip, no small bit frightened himself. But not willing to do the one without the other - - not emotionally capable of letting it play out as a business arrangement.

Lex settled finally, incremental loosening of his body as tension fled and it felt like Clark's own strain was connected and seeped out with it. It was a wonderful thing, how climax and the peaceful negotiations of bodies made sleep come easy.

Clark woke up with Lex-scent filling his nostrils and Lex's body sprawled bonelessly against his side. There was a knee across his groin and a hand on his stomach and soft breath tickling his jaw. Pleasant sensations and Clark lay for a while, allowing himself the indulgence of slowly shaking off sleep.

Part of him wanted to feel guilty over enjoying this - - but it was a small part and its voice was weak compared to the other parts that were playing out little fantasies in his head. Little whimsies of waking up in a nice cozy bed instead of on a rock floor, with warm sunlight streaming in revitalizing everything. Soft sheets and the sort of fluffy comforters that Lois always preferred that he could roll over and pin Lex under him on and not worry about his comfort. He really wanted Lex under him, so Clark could work his way down his body, exploring in detail all the smooth places and boney ridges and svelte muscles that lay under pale skin. They'd had sex twice and he hadn't had the chance to properly take stock.

He shifted the arm Lex was laying on enough to move his hand so he could graze his fingers along the small of Lex's back. Bare skin between the top of his pants and where the shirts had ridden up. Clark spread his hand out, fingertips slipping under the edge of the trousers and drew a shuddery breath.

He moved his hips, sliding his half erect cock under the weight of Lex's knee. Felt a little like a thief coping feels with Lex dead to the world. Better to rouse him so he could have his equal say in the matter of groping, even though asleep Lex was safe and uncomplicated.

Clark chewed his lip, stroking that appealing strip of flesh and thought he'd been tackling Lex the uncomplicated way for far too long now, meeting violence with violence and physical prowess. It was time maybe for a new tact. Time to start unraveling those complications that Lex used to keep the world in its place.

"Hey," he nuzzled Lex's temple, brought his free hand around to trace a finger down the side of his jaw. Lex flinched away from it, as though caresses during sleep were not something he was used to enduring. He blinked into wakefulness, a flash of disorientation in his eyes.

"The machine's still working," Clark said, undeterred, knuckles brushing the space between jaw line and jugular.

That focused Lex, who pushed himself up on an elbow and scrutinized the steadily humming flywheel generator.

"We need to get that cart." Was the first thing out of his mouth.

Clark pursed his lips, still on his back with tented trousers, while Lex was making plans that had nothing whatsoever to do with sex. It simply wasn't right.

Clark wasn't above taking it upon himself in righting blatant wrongs.

"Okay." Lex could have suggested anything short of homicide and Clark would have lent his agreement, intent on furthering his own needs as he was. He rose to his knees, stopping Lex from gaining his feet with hands on his hips, brushing a kiss across his lips and smiling when Lex pulled back and eyed him cautiously.

"Does it have to be right now?" Clark asked, loving the wary look on Lex's face while he turned over Clark's attitude adjustment in his head.

"Just how long has it been," Lex asked with the cagey speculation of a man torn between two wants. "Since the last time you've had sex?"

Clark grinned, too busy thinking about sex now to be offended by the question. "I dunno, a while. The last guy I - - uh - - dated, got an assignment in the middle east and left town." Really, was dated the proper term? They'd known each other for months before sex was ever involved and they'd been friends.

"What, the photographer? Springer? That was almost two years ago, Clark." Lex arched a brow and Clark blinked surprised that Lex knew. Of course Lex would keep track of what Superman was up to, but that he'd been keeping tabs on Clark Kent . . .

"That's a very long time, Clark." Lex canted his head. "I assume your techniques in masturbation are extraordinary."

"How did you know about Scott?" Clark asked.

"I like to keep abreast." Lex shrugged. "It wouldn't have worked out between you. He cheated on his taxes and lied on his resumes. Your sense of justice would have been sorely tested if he hadn't landed his dream job with CNN."

Clark opened his mouth in shock, remembering very clearly the out of the blue job offer that had come along and taken Scott Springer out of his life. It hadn't been a heartbreaking departure by any means, but still - - "Damnit, Lex - - did you have a hand -- ?"

Lex gave another little half shrug, indolent and lazy and pleased with himself even years after the fact. Because apparently breaking up Clark's relationships was a fun pastime for him.

Or he'd been jealous.

God. What a thought. Clark's half hard cock stood to sudden, unwavering attention. He shoved Lex backwards, one hand behind his head keeping him from smacking it on the stone when he went unexpectedly horizontal. Clark swung a leg over and straddled him, keeping him down with a hand in the center of his chest when he protested the change in position.

"So, do you not like me having boyfriends?" He leaned down, nose to nose, and put on the superman face. He might have been a little more upset if not quite boyfriend in question hadn't been alive and well.

Lex's smile was faintly serpentine and he shifted a little to unbend a leg trapped under him. "I could care less who you fuck," he said airily. "But you have terrible taste in partners. Bottom feeding scavengers are below you, Clark. You need to date outside your field. "

Clark snorted in amazement. "You have something against journalists?"


"I dated a lawyer once." For all of two weeks. His associations tended to be in-house. People he worked with, people he met during the job. Because face it, Clark didn't get out a lot socially.

"My point exactly." Lex retorted smugly to the lawyer remark.

"So what about megalomaniacal billionaires who want to rule the world?"

"Dating them?" Lex asked dryly.

Clark took a breath. Wouldn't that mark a change in the status quo. Was such a thing even possible? Co-existing with Lex Luthor in the real world without them trying to kill each other? Actually showing up at his doorstep and having conversations again. Or grabbing a bite to eat without it involving accusations or digging for secrets and lies? And the sex. Lots and lots of sex. He swallowed, liking that far-fetched fancy way too much.

"That would be - - complicated."

"Umm," Lex agreed.

Clark pressed his jaw, forced out a breath and then another and felt his head clear. "I'm going to get you naked now."

"Before you bring back that cart?" Lex inquired mildly, having made himself comfortable under Clark's weight.

"Absolutely." Clark clarified the situation for him.

Lex gave that little quirk of the brow that indicated forfeit and lazily raised his arms above his head.

Blatant invitation. Clark caught the edges of Lex's shirt and drew it up over his head. Lex shed it the rest of the way while Clark bent down to press his mouth to the hollow of his throat. He trailed his hands down the planes of a lithely toned chest, silk smooth skin, flat pink nipples softer still. Lex gasped as Clark grazed them with his thumbs, arching up under the touch.

Little nubs formed, just enough for Clark to roll between his fingers and Lex cursed under his breath, fingers curling in Clark's hair. It took a second for Clark to figure out that was a good thing. The curses and the hair pulling. He hadn't been paying a lot of attention before to the little tells. He bent his head and sucked a nipple into his mouth. Lex wrapped a leg around his thighs and pressed up against him, uneven breathing, hard cock grinding up alongside Clark's own.

Clark wanted to touch it. He hadn't yet, not really. The first time he'd been too intent on satisfying his own needs and the second there hadn't been room or time. Now, he really, really needed to feel the texture of Lex's skin down there.

He abandoned the nipple, working his way down the center of Lex's chest, ribs, the flat planes of his belly. Hooked fingers in the top of his trousers and pulled them down long pale thighs. Lex popped free, pink and cut, the purple of veins showing through translucent skin, hard blushing tip that leaked precome. Long, straight and beautiful, straining there without pubic hairs to distract from it.

Clark ran his fingertips up, pressing Lex's erection flat to his belly while he leaned down and sucked a nut into his mouth. Lex growled, thrusting up and Clark reached up and laid a hand across his stomach to keep him where he wanted. Musky flavor. Petal soft and pliable. He moved down, teased his tongue across the smooth little bridge of skin at the base of Lex's balls and Lex jerked like Clark had applied electric shock.

"Clark - - Clark - - Fuck - -" His hands tangled in the blanket. His stomach heaved under Clark's hands. The little puckered hole below beckoned and Clark circled it with the tip of his tongue while Lex squirmed under him, gasping curses and pleas and breathy nonsense. Clark stroked the length of Lex's pink cock.

Back up, swiping a path with the flat of his tongue across balls and up the underside of Lex's erection until the glossy tip teased his lips. He took it in, rising up on his knees to swallow the head and work his way down the silky shaft.

"Oh, God - - you're so fucking good - - at - - that." Lex gasped and tried to thrust up, but Clark had a hand on his hip, keeping him in place. "How - - oh fuck - - how can you have sex as infrequently as you do and - - Yes - - right there - - and be this fucking good?"

Clark thought it was a rhetorical question. Lex would have likely taken issue if he'd stopped what he was doing and tried to formulate an answer.

Clark hummed around Lex's shaft, savoring the feel and the taste and the thrum of life pulsing within. He ran a hand up Lex's chest to his throat, back down again, savoring that feel too. Incredible skin. He brushed his fingers across Lex's bottom lip, slipped two inside when Lex opened his mouth and felt his own balls tighten with Lex sucked at them, tongue rasping across the pads of his fingertips.

He withdrew his fingers, sliding them down between Lex's legs and pressed one moist tip inside. Lex thrust up into Clark's mouth, and Clark obligingly swallowed him to the root, nose against smooth skin while he pushed his finger in to the knuckle. He found the sweet spot, stroking until Lex screamed and defied Clark's hand on his hip, straining up and spilling into Clark's mouth.

Clark knelt there, Lex's dick warm in his mouth, while the shudders stopped, until Lex's body stopped clenching around his finger and he lay panting, the blanket tangled under him. Clark pulled away, Lex slipping, softened, from his mouth. Clark's own erection strained heroically against his trousers . He leaned forward, a hand on the floor next to Lex's head.

"I'm going to fuck you now." No more polite way to put it. Lex looked up at him, sex hazed blue eyes. Sex hazed everything and God he was gorgeous.

Lex didn't voice a protest, so Clark reached down to pull himself out of his trousers.

"Son of a bitch," Lex's voice was hoarse and Clark froze, not sure if his body were going to peaceably agree to a cessation of action. He stared down, wide eyed.

Lex lifted a hand and tugged sharply at Clark's shirt. "So help me god, Clark, you fuck me with your clothes on, I will make you regret it."

Oh. That Clark could do. He tore the seams of his shirt in his haste to get it off over his head, and scrambled out of his trousers. He used the moment to superspeed over to Lex's little cache and snag one of the new bottles of oil. Lex was tight as a trap and saliva and precome would not ease the way as thoroughly as a little all-purpose lubricant.

He was naked, oil in hand before Lex had drawn two breaths. He leaned down, breathless and shuddery with anticipation, stroking himself with an oil slick hand. He hooked an arm under Lex's knee, caught the other one and leaned forward, the eager head of his cock sliding up the crack of Lex's ass and nudging his balls. Lex shuddered, full body, hands forming fists, heart beating like he'd just run a fast mile.

"You okay?" Clark leaned down, pressing Lex's knees closer to his body. Lex ran his hands up Clark's arms, fingers skimming the hard curve of biceps. His eyes flicked up, from Clark's chest to his face, dark and wide with the sort of honest expectation Clark hadn't seen in Lex since they'd both been young and naïve.

"Its not my first time, Clark." Lex said, trying for a nonchalance that a man with his feet in the air just wasn't quite capable of achieving.

"I didn't think it was," Clark grinned and dipped down to kiss him. Slow lingering kiss because it mattered that Lex understood this wasn't that quick fix to relieve frustrations he'd suggested. Lex melted into it, fingers coiling in the hair at the nape of Clark's neck, thighs clenching against his arms.

Clark edged back enough to position himself and pressed in. Lex hissed, nails curling against Clark's shoulders.

Slow this time. He'd promised himself he'd take it slow, but Lex was pressing up, trying to draw him in, body clenching around the tip of Clark's cock in the most amazing way. He shut his eyes and slid in, one long, easy stroke that made Lex gasp on a stalled breath. Clark went still, gasping himself at all the little undulations of muscle and flesh trying to adapt themselves to his presence, willing himself not to spill prematurely from just that. When he felt his balls loosen a little, and that edge of desperation ease off, he started to move.

Long, deep thrusts that made Lex writhe and flex under him, back to gasping incoherencies. Clark could very well come to love Lex when he was incoherent. He curled his fingers around Lex's reawakened erection and stroked, not quite able to keep time with his own thrusts, but Lex didn't seem to mind.

He'd wanted to savor this, but it was hard to go slow and careful when Lex was making his thoughts scatter. Being inside of Lex was like a straight shot of liquid red K. Overwhelming pleasure that made his mind go blank. And Lex wasn't helping the whole control thing. Bucking up against Clark, hips moving in a way that made him see stars, nails raking ineffectually, making noises that just begged Clark to loose what restraint he had left and come, hard and fast and messy.

Another dozen thrusts and he did, that knot of unbearable tension bursting loose and all his vaunted strength flowing out the holes it left in its wake.

He slumped afterwards, happy and sated and for a few moments this place was not so dark and depressing. His hand was sticky with Lex's come and he lifted it idly as he rolled to his side, licking the residue off his index finger.

Lex made a sound next to him, a little wanton groan and pushed himself up, panting and flushed to grab Clark's wrist. He glared down, huge black pupils, swollen pink lips and if Clark had been anyone else, he probably would have felt the grip of Lex's white knuckled fingers.

"What are you doing?" Lex growled, accusation, passion, uncertainty, fear all mingled together at the edge of his expression. Clark didn't quite understand. This was one of those complications that he'd vowed to try and untangle - - he was just a little too sated at the moment to put a lot of effort into it.

"Basking?" He thought that was a good answer and it was true because he felt ridiculously sated. "I like the way you taste."

Lex swallowed, staring for a second like he was trying to crawl inside Clark's head. "God," he growled finally, and not to be outdone, pulled Clark's hand closer, sucking his thumb into his mouth. Unaccountably hot, considering it was Lex's come on Clark's finger.

"All right," Lex pulled back after the thorough cleaning of Clark's thumb, expression focused and sharp. He reached for his shirt. Clark had flung his trousers a good ways across the floor of the chamber. "Why don't you go and fetch that cart, now?"




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