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by P L Nunn


Chapter 13


Walking a mile over uneven terrain hadn't helped the bruise on his hip. In fact, it felt rather as if the damp material of his pants had rubbed the scrape he'd gotten when he'd dove to the pavement to avoid being riddled by flung shards of debris, to a bloody mess.

Lex had gotten over being squeamish over bodily injury long ago - - for the most part - - but he still winced, when he peeled down the top of his pants and saw the palm sized, oozing scrape covering his left hip.

He sat under Clark's little impromptu tent and stared morosely at the rain, trying to decide whether to fashion a make shift bandage or just let the damned thing air dry for a few hours and give his accelerated healing the chance to do its thing. It wasn't as if he had anything else of import on his schedule today. Or tomorrow. Or ever, if he wanted to be brutally honest with himself.

A scavenged cask of by now, very, very old whisky would have eased his discomfort. But Clark and his puritanical values had decided that mucking around in the shambles of the castle's cellars was not as valuable of a use of his time as going out in the rain and searching out plots of wild vegetables.

Lex supposed, in the long term, food was of greater import, but really the occasional creature comfort was a vital part of keeping up moral.

He wondered if Clark's alien constitution, which seemed resistant to pretty much everything save meteor rock would even allow him the luxury of enjoying the soothing effects of a good shot of liquor. Probably not, which explained why, if Clark claimed to want nothing more than a normal, 'human' life, the teenaged portion of it had been so damned boring. Well, aside from the natural disasters, the mutants, the psychopaths, various alien-related drama and too many other bizarre events for Lex to properly catalogue when he was damp and aching and longing for a good stiff drink to ease the pain. Clark's wild phases usually involved the effects of meteor rock or mind alteration. As far as Lex knew, he'd never in the grips of his right mind, initiated anything vaguely resembling teenaged rebellion. At least as far as drinking, fucking, partying and experimental drugs were concerned. But then, maybe Lex was biased. Using his own formidable years as a baseline for anything was fundamentally unfair to a small town raised boy.

And he had to admit, that he had no room to complain. Clark's purity had been as much of a draw for him, as Clark's mystery. Among other things.


He looked up, having heard nothing of Clark's approach. Clark stood at the edge of the shelter, a scrap of tarp fashioned as a sack in one hand, water beading off his jacket, hair wet and glistening and plastered in strands to his forehead. He stared down at Lex, wide eyed.

"Why didn't you say something?"

It took Lex a moment to figure out that Clark meant the nasty bruise/scrape on his hip, which was where Clark's wide gaze was fastened. Lex fought the urge to pull the edge of his briefs up and hide his weakness. But, sometimes with Clark, showing a little weakness got him things he'd otherwise go without. A little sympathy went a long way.

"If I complained every time I got a scuff, you'd never hear the end up it. I've had worse. Recently in fact."

Clark sank to his knees next to Lex on the tarp, what looked like turnips or potatoes tumbling from his makeshift sack. "This isn't a scuff. It looks really painful."

Clark reached out unexpectedly, big fingers ghosting across the outside edges of the bruise, Clark's eyes fixed on the slice of Lex's flesh bared between shirt and unfastened pants. His thumb grazed the whole skin below Lex's navel. Again, as if it were some reflex action.

Lex caught his breath, experiencing the rare phenomena of his mind going inexplicably blank. He couldn't get past the visual stimulus of Clark's tanned hand against his pale skin. Couldn't get past the feel of rough finger pads, or - - god - - how close those fingers were to the band of his briefs. He felt lightheaded from it.

Clark pulled his hand back, color rising in his cheeks.

"Sorry," Clark muttered, clear signs of embarrassment. Wet hair was curling over his brow, into his eyes. Easy enough to reach out and brush it aside, to let his fingers linger on the warmth of Clark's face and use the lack of currently rational thought as an excuse. It had been a damned long twenty-four hours. A damned trying one. Mentally and physically exhausting. He was due a little complete loss of reasonable action. And touching Clark, just reaching out and doing something he'd never had a good enough excuse to do back when he'd always wanted to, seemed justifiable now.

Clark stared at him, wide eyes fixed on his face, trying to suss out this sudden and mutual, unexpected loss of common sense. If Lex let himself try and start figuring out the same, he'd be caught in the loop for days. Impulsive action wasn't a sure thing. In fact it was known to backfire on him two out of three times, but on those occasions when it didn't - - it was always worth the risk. Clark had always been worth the risk - - he'd just never had the guts or the proper moment of insanity to make that move. Sure, he'd taken plenty of action designed to infuriate/frustrate Clark, to uncover Clark's secrets or stymie his love life. That was as easy as pulling the pigtail of a girl in the schoolyard. Stepping up and kissing her was a whole different ball game. A harder one that a man just might find himself mortally injured in if luck turned against him.

"It's okay," he said carefully. "Perfectly understandable that a man with invulnerable skin would find a little fascination with those of us who don't."

He let his hand slide down Clark's cheek, let his thumb graze across Clark's lower lip with the same ghosting touch as Clark had used when he brushed his skin.

Clark froze, not even breathing, the blush spread all the way to his lips. God, but his mouth was beautiful. A little more of Lex's common sense dribbled away. It had been a long, long couple of days - - his body ached from it. His mind did. He needed something - he needed this, to distance himself from the pains.

"It's okay, you know," Lex leaned forward, let his fingers curl in Clark's wet hair and reeled him in to a meeting somewhere in the middle. "Exploring the unknown."

He breathed it against the side of Clark's mouth, a bit of coherent reasoning rearing its head, always cognizant of the risk of outright horrified rebuttal on Clark's part if he dared more and Lex's ego, despite the public façade, was far from bulletproof. It shattered rather easily, truth be told so better to gauge Clark's reaction at the suggestion and go from there. Better yet, let Clark answer Lex's probative move with one of his own.

For a moment, Clark was unmoving, breath mingling with Lex's, then he made a strangled sound and jerked backwards. Not so devastating a blow as it might have been when it went hand in hand with flushed cheeks and dilated pupils and the shape of the unmistakable erection in Clark's jeans.

"So are those potatoes?" Lex leaned back, and asked offhandedly, barely glancing at the scattered root vegetables on the canvas. No matter how badly he ached for this, the need to keep Clark off balance, to keep the upper hand was intrinsic.

Clark's eyes widened, flicked to his face and then down, where Lex's unfastened pants very poorly hid the evidence of his own arousal. If it grew much larger it was going to slip out the top of his boxers, which might or might not help his present pursuit.

"What?" Clark asked blankly, still staring.


"Turnips," Clark said distractedly. "They - - they winter better."

"Really? That's too bad. I never did have a taste for turnips."

Clark blinked. Looked up and met Lex's eyes, his own wide with what might only be described as some high panic.

"I - - I'll go look for some potatoes."

Before Lex could tell him that, really, he could live fine without, Clark was gone. The roof of the tent fluttered in his wake.

Lex ground his teeth. Took a breath to calm the surge of annoyance, and did the only thing left to him that would come even close to soothing the surprising sting of disappointment.

Manual relief of the tension. He flopped onto his back on the canvas, jammed his hand down his boxers and started to jerk off. Angry, rough strokes at first, before the sensation cooled his temper and he lengthened his stroke. God. How long had it been since he'd had the chance to enjoy a little simple, physical relief? Too long.

A flutter of canvas, the casting of long shadow and Clark was back. And just fuck him and his timing anyway.

Lex glared up, refusing to be embarrassed for perfectly normal physical activity, if Clark insisted on disappearing and showing back up at supersonic speeds.

He hardly had time to read Clark's expression or extract his hand from his boxers before Clark skidded down to his knees next to him, the flush still coloring his cheeks, but his eyes gone focused and intent. He wrapped big fingers in the lapel of Lex's coat and pulled him up roughly. Complaint flittered right out of Lex's mind when Clark kissed him.

It was this rough, clumsy meeting of mouths that drew blood on Lex's end when his upper lip got mashed against his teeth. But Clark's tongue was in his mouth and it was thick and warm and strong and he rather liked the feel of it. His hands went to Clark's arms, tangling in the cloth of his jacket. Clark pulled back a fraction, breathing hard, eyes wide and surprised, as if doing this had taken some great effort, or if he'd been entirely uncertain whether he'd like it or not. And found perhaps, to his surprise, that he had, since he went back in, gentler this time, less damage to Lex, just soft lips and Clark smell and big hands moving up to the sides of Lex's face, straddling his ears and holding him fast while Clark repositioned. A knee between Lex's legs that brushed the unfinished business in his pants.

"I'm not afraid of the unknown," Clark claimed breathily against the side of Lex's mouth.

"I never doubted." Well, maybe a bit of doubt had existed and part of Lex wanted to analyze and pick apart the possible reasons Clark had for his change of heart. A bigger part simply wanted to grind up against Clark's leg until he came.

He dug his fingers into Clark's wet hair and pulled himself up, straddling Clark's oh so hard thigh.

"I like - - I really - - like - -girls." Clark gasped arching up when Lex ground against his crotch. Lex didn't even care if Clark's belt scraped against the bruise on his hip. The tingle of pain made it all the better.

"Me too," Lex slipped a hand down between them, palm against the bulge under Clark's jeans. Squeezed hard, figuring no amount of pressure he could deliver would actually hurt Clark. Wondering in the back of his mind even as neurons were tripping all over his body how much sensitivity a man could have, that could withstand bullets or a head on collision with a fast moving car.

Apparently a good deal, because Clark arched and shuddered, and his cock strained valiantly against the front of his jeans. In fact there was the sound of thread popping, the straining of zipper teeth and Clark moaned again and shifted, throwing Lex half off in his attempts to unbuckle and unzip. He was afraid of popping the zipper, Lex realized with sex-dulled amazement.

Fascinating. Incredible. Lex had to get his hands on the threat in question. He shoved Clark backwards, climbing back on, snaking up to suck Clark's bottom lip into his mouth before he slipped his hand under the band of Clark's boxers and laid his hand across the length of what lay beneath. It twitched under his fingers. Clark did, going shaky and stiff in more ways than the good one.

Too fast. It was going too fast for Clark's down home sense of morals to cope. Lex didn't move his hand, just settled down full body upon Clark and stroked softly with his thumb, while he breathed against Clark's mouth.

"It's okay. There's no one that cares here about arcane social pretenses. It's just you and me and we deserve this. You take comfort where you can get it, Clark. I think anyone who lives in this world will hold that motto close."

There was precome beading at the top of Clark's cock, Lex swirled it with his thumb, and Clark's eyes rolled back in their sockets.

Lex slid his hand down the length of it, tracking the big vein, scraping a nail along skin stretched thin and taut. Clark moaned, head back, throat bared, hands clenching in the canvas under them, as if he were afraid to touch Lex.

That was fine. If he were a little afraid of Lex, Lex could work with that. As long as Clark wasn't running, Lex could control this. Control Clark by easing him into something they both might benefit from.

He sucked his way along the edge of Clark's jaw, to his mouth, rubbing himself against Clark's hip, squeezing the head of Clark's cock in his hand. Clark opened his mouth, letting Lex's tongue in, shuddering and moaning softly, one hand rising to ghost up under Lex's coat, fingers trailing across the small of his back.

Lex echoed Clark's shudder. Visions entered his head of Clark naked, thighs spread, staring up with those big eyes wide and hazy with supplication. Of himself sinking in.

God, he felt himself leaking precome and all he was doing was rubbing against Clark. He tightened his grip, jacking his hand up and down Clark's velvety shaft, plunging his tongue savagely into Clark's mouth.

Clark was whimpering, sucking at Lex's mouth, taking his tongue, thrusting up into his hand. Both his hands were on Lex now, under his coat, fumbling their way under his sweater and splayed across his back. Big, strong fingers pressing into his flesh as Clark dragged his hands up his spine, then back down.

It occurred to Lex somewhere in the back of his mind, what Clark might do to him, in the throes of blind passion. That his alien strength might be capable of rending human flesh as easily as tearing tissue paper, that the fingers pressing against his skin might just as easily tear through it. Then Clark's hands drifted down to his ass, tentatively slipping below the loosened band of his pants, pulling him harder against Clark's hip, against the edge of denim and smooth flesh and - - God, he saw stars - - and worrying about Clark tearing him to pieces was the least of the things flashing through his head.

"Lex - - Lex - - oh, God, Lex - -" Clark was gasping his name. And the way Clark said it, the way Clark had always said it, even when he was pissed at him, just made Lex shiver.

Clark's back arched off the ground, almost bucking Lex off as he strained, cock pulsing in Lex's hand, warm wetness spurting, coating his fingers as he continued to stroke. He dug the fingers of his free hand in Clark's hair, brutal kiss, that Clark responded to through his climax. His hands on Lex's ass tightening, dragging him up his body, making him loose his grip on Clark's cock. It didn't stop Clark from coming, Lex felt it on his bared skin.

He wedged a hand between them, grasping his own throbbing cock, squeezing and jerking himself as Clark's hands kneaded his ass, fingers sliding into the crack, grazing his anus and sending little electric waves of unexpected pleasure through the entirety of Lex's nervous system.

He came as Clark was finishing, trusting into his hand and against Clark's stomach, forehead pressed into the warm juncture of Clark's shoulder as climax rolled over him. It took everything with it, robbing him of everything but physical sensation. Really good orgasms tended to blindside him. He hadn't had one in a damned long time that he hadn't been able to think through.

As he drifted back to awareness, it occurred to him that Clark hadn't even really touched him - - not where it mattered - - and still he'd lost all semblance of reason and control. It was almost scary. God help him if Clark actually had the wherewithal to get proactive. All that control Lex desperately felt he needed in any situation including Clark, would evaporate.

He rolled off Clark and lay gasping on his back on the canvas, next to him. His sweater was half way up his stomach, his pants where down around his thighs, his coat tangled under his uncomfortably. He couldn't quite move yet to rectify any of those things. He rolled his head to find Clark staring at him, wide eyes, dilated pupils.

Clark's t-shirt was stained with mutual ejaculation. His cock was still half hard, livid at the head, nestled in his thatch of dark pubic hair. It reminded Lex had bare he was in that area, an embarrassment, that he never had been able to shake.

He couldn't quite lift his arms to pull his pants up. He need just another minute to recover. His mind was working though. Wondering in the aftermath , if this did backfire on him, just how badly this little experiment was going to fuck the restoration headway they'd been making in their relationship. It was entirely likely that Clark would plunge into self-loathing sinner mode and not come out. Was entirely likely that Lex had managed to fuck himself more thoroughly than he might have hoped to get from Clark by pulling this stunt, if Clark felt the need to distance himself from the scene of the crime.

"God, Lex," Clark filled his line of vision, hovering over him on hands and knees. "How does this happen - - and I not know it's - - there?"

Lex canted his head, blinking up in surprise at Clark's legitimately thoughtful question. He wasn't running, he was questioning. Which meant perhaps Lex might not need as much damage control as he'd thought. Which meant maybe, Clark wasn't regretting, he was simply tyring to understand.

"Does the term 'denial' mean anything to you? It was there, Clark. You chose to pretend it didn't exist and I chose to ignore it."

Clark swallowed, turning that over in his head, wanting to practice a bit of denial out of reflex, but considering what they'd just done, it would be flat out hypocrisy and even Clark realized that. Clark looked down at himself, and blushed - -now he blushed - - and tucked himself into his pants. He looked at Lex and drew in a breath, licking his lips, attention glued to LEx's exposed skin.

Lex couldn't take it. Not with Clark already zipped and buttoned back up. He made the effort, lifting his hips and pulling up pants, easing them over the scrape on his hip that had begun to make itself noticed again.

Clark watched him do it, and God knew what he was thinking. There was a curious lack of conflicted emotion for Lex to read. A curious focused contemplation that he wasn't used to seeing on Clark. He brushed his fingers across Lex's stomach, before he pulled his sweater down. A warm, solid touch that made Lex shudder.

"You're right. The rules aren't the same anymore. Nothing's the same. I sort of like - - the way your skin feels. I like - - a lot of things about you."

Lex laughed on an expelled breath. Clark kept surprising him. Knocking him off his balance when he was supposed to be rocking Clark's composure. But, Clark's inarticulate honesty made him want to stake a claim and guard it with lethal force.

Clark sighed and flopped down onto his back next to Lex, staring at the splotchy canvas ceiling with drawn brows, trying to suss out the mysteries of the universe.

Or his own sexuality.

"I really do like women. I thought exclusively." Clark admitted with an embarrassed shrug.

"It is possible, you know, to enjoy the fruits of both.'

Clark turned his head and gave Lex a look. "Now that just sounds creepy. The fruits part. And if you're this huge connoisseur, how come I never heard about you with any guys before?"

Lex shrugged, feeling as if the ground were evening out. Rational conversation was good. He excelled at it. "Its called discretion, Clark. Some dalliances the press will love you for, others will get you crucified. Others will get you 8 to 12 in a state penitentiary, if the judge is feeling lenient. Don't think I didn't consider it regardless."

Clark blinked, realizing Lex was talking about him. Then he started analyzing it, and Clark analyzing anything never failed to end up badly for Lex. "So you've been with a lot of guys? Before you came to Smallville? After?"

The self-righteous tone and the frown of disapproval triggered no small annoyance. A bout of therapeutic sex where Lex had done all the work, did not the right to Lex's private affairs, grant. He might have said something to that effect, save that it occurred to him that Clark always got sanctimonious and judgmental whenever the subject of Lex and sex came up. Whether it be with a woman he'd actually slept with on a regular basis, a one-night fling or a future Ex, Clark never had taken it well. So maybe it hadn't been so much moral fortitude as jealously. It was a satisfying thought.

"Since they're all long dead and I'm not in the mood to be called out for my sexual exploits - - does it really matter?"

Clark stuffed an arm behind his head and stared out at the rain.

"I guess not," he finally said. Lex was too much of a pessimist to believe that, but for the moment, he'd take what he could get.




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