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by P L Nunn


Chapter 14


He wasn't entirely sure where he was going. He just needed to distance himself from Clark. From Clark's eyes that demanded too much of him, and Clark's body that made his knees watery and his pulse pound. From Clark that made him want to take up arms and simultaneously push him onto the sand and force him into compliance. Only Clark wasn't easily forcible. Clark was capable of turning tables and exerting force of his own. Clark wasn't that sixteen year old that had looked at Lex like he was best thing that had ever graced the streets of Smallville. Lex missed that Clark. Missed that boy with his trusting eyes and his not so innocent lies. Lex missed the person he'd been with that boy. He'd liked that man more than the one he was now. But then Clark was responsible for a good deal of that change. Clark's lies. Clark's deliberate omission of pertinent facts.

He might not believe now that Clark was the harbinger of doom, but Clark was still dangerous. And Clark was alien. And Lex couldn't shake the need to keep that upper hand. To keep some semblance of control over him. Only he'd lost it back at the lake. Lost every shred of it and he wasn't sure how the tables had been turned.

Worse still, was the inescapable fact that he'd liked it. That it made his pulse race even now, in the lengthening shadow of the woods surrounding the lake, remembering the strength of Clark's arms, holding him in place, the growl in Clark's throat while he drove into him, intimate invasion that had taken no prisoners and given no quarter. Pain/pleasure so intense it had tripped every synapse in his body. It was very likely he'd never come so hard in his life. And Clark hadn't even been trying. Just acting on animal instinct.

And that scared him. Terrified him. That Clark, who wasn't even close to that boy Lex had thought he was, could exert that much control over him. And when he got scared, he got reckless. And stupid. And picked fights and burned bridges, that he could ill-afford to burn. This wasn't a world anymore than a man could afford to casually throw away valuable resources. And Clark's value - - in any world - - was incalculable.

A week ago, he'd been so damned sure. No doubts, no regrets about what needed doing. A relief not to be conflicted for a change about Clark and what Clark represented. A relief to have a goal, an endgame to the crusade, even if he'd been driven there by lies and manipulations.

He was a hypocrite, of course, who half preferred the lies that reinforced his resentments, instead of the truths - - the ones he believed deep down, under years of ingrained suspicion - - that invalidated no few of his heartfelt beliefs. But not all. He'd been right about just as many things as he'd been wrong. And his mistakes were understandable, considering the misinformation he'd been working with. Considering Clark's refusal to share a speck of truth - - even the truths that would have saved them all a great deal of trouble.

So it was Clark's fault, as much as it was his - - everything. And he had every reason - - very justifiable reason, to want to keep that upper hand with Clark - - who had powers beyond belief and who lied like it was second nature.

He might not have been thinking clearly in the tent, the first time, but he'd walked into that water with a clear plan. A clear goal of cementing his influence over Clark, because he needed assurances of Clark's allegiances. And sex was a weapon as devastating as any other. More so, if you were careful and used your head. God knew he'd had it used against him. He'd been that victim, that dupe who let himself be blinded by the promise of inviting arms and a good fuck. So he should have had the sense - - the self-control not to let it get the better of him. And yet, he'd let it get away from him.

Back to that - - back to the plain fact that Clark had shattered his plans as easily as he shattered stone he'd used to make that little house on the bones of his old farm. And Lex couldn't have stopped him if he'd wanted. He'd been swept up in it, powerless in more ways than one. And maybe that was the crux of it, the crux of all his efforts, all his grand plans and his desperate need to build something to repel the darkness. Being powerless scared the fuck out of him.

Discovering that something in him responded to it - - that something in him liked it so much that he shivered and had to stop, leaning a hand against a tree, just reliving the memory of Clark taking the initiative - - pissed him off.

He shut his eyes, digging nails into pine bark, trying to clear the mass of conflicting emotions out of his head. If he couldn't hold onto a clear line of thought, how the hell was he going to deal with Clark?

Deep breathing. Long, deep breaths to clear his head and try and find the center Clark had knocked him off of. Things came to him that he'd ignored in his rush to retreat - - God, retreat and he never retreated. He'd gotten dressed wet, his socks were damp, his sweater was, his pants, which all made, now that awareness for more than the inner turmoil was seeping back, for uncomfortable walking. It was getting dark, and he was in the woods with no earthly idea where exactly it was he was going. Clark claimed there was nothing much bigger than a rabbit out here. Lex hoped he was right. He was tired of dealing with aggressive, mutated animals. He was tired of sleeping on had ground. Tired of one pain fading and having another new one inflicted upon him. Tired of having all his beliefs shattered. Of having old, buried wounds reopened. Tired of the oppressive sense of guilt that he'd done things - - terrible things - - on the basis of faulty information. He was tired of not having a single human being he could trust to just let his guard down.

He was tired. Just fucking tired.

He sank down, into pine tags and mulch. Sat there with his back against a pine tree in a woods that had sprang up, healthy and thriving in the wake of complete devastation. Life carried on. Life was stubborn that way. Maybe not life as it had been, exactly, but it always found a way. Clark was right. The city would destroy what was left of humanity. But out here, where life grew, free of mutations, healthy and green and thriving - - out here maybe they had a chance to regain something they were steadily losing in the ruins of Metropolis, fighting for their lives on a daily basis.

Clark was right, and Clark wanted humanity to thrive and Clark would fight for the ragged remnants of it. Clark who wasn't human, but had a stake all the same. Clark who lied and lied, until he stopped lying and then the truths hit so hard they made Lex reel. Clark made Lex reel. Always had, one way or another.

He'd loved Helen and she'd lied to him and tried to kill him. He'd loved Lana and she'd lied to him, stolen from him, spied on him, set him up for murder and tried to kill him. He'd loved Clark and Clark had lied to him, destroyed his things, denounced him, fought him, and saved him and saved him and saved him no matter the animosity between them. Clark broke the pattern.

He dropped his forehead to his knees. Felt his balance coming back after a fit of something close to insanity. Or panic. Maybe nothing so dramatic as a slipping grip on mental stability, as it had been a plain, simple panic attack.

There was the rustle of something big moving through the undergrowth. He looked up, trying to pin point the direction, but it was big enough that it didn't take much looking to see the culprit.

Clark. Lex felt ridiculous, so he just sat there, like this was exactly where he'd planned on coming, when he'd stalked away from the lake.

Clark stopped in front of him, looking down, muscle twitching in his jaw, mouth a tight line. His hair was still damp. But his clothes were merely damp, instead of soaked, and they shouldn't have had the time to air dry.

"You wanna tell me what's going on?" Clark asked stiffly.

Lex didn't. "What? Did you expect to cuddle afterward?"

Clark's chin went up, hurt flashing through his eyes, which made Lex feel a little better and a little worse simultaneously. He waved a hand, regretting it, and offered up a little bit of truth.

"You caught me off guard. Forget it."

Clark took a breath, dropped down to crouch before him.

"Lex, what I did - - I'm sorry."

"Stop saying that. It wasn't the sex, Clark," he snapped, frustrated. "The sex was fantastic. Ranks right up there with the best I've ever had. I'm assuming it was your first time anal, since Lana didn't swing that way?"

He couldn't help himself.

"Jesus," Clark drew a breath, fists clenching and unclenching, as if it were all he could do not to lean down and latch hold of Lex. Lex almost wished he would. Just grab him and shake him until some semblance of sense flowed back in, because God knew all he was doing now was making matters worse. And he couldn't stop it. He used to be so much better at keeping his cool with Clark, even when Clark had him all snarled up inside.

Clark shook his head, frustrated himself, letting the Lana barb go. "Then what? Lex, I don't understand you. I don't know how to deal with you when you keep flaking out on me."

Lex laughed. "God, I was just having thoughts along those same lines."

"Lex," Clark stared at him desperately. "I don't want to fight with you anymore. There's nothing here to fight over. Do you get that? I don't want to - - to not touch you. I'm not sure I could stop if I wanted to now that I've started."

"God," Lex rolled his head back against the tree, looking at Clark from under his lashes. "That might be one of the nicest things anyone's ever said to me."

He wasn't entirely sure if he were being painfully sarcastic, or painfully honest. Clark stared at him like he was trying to figure it out himself.

"I'm sorry," Clark finally said.

Lex narrowed his eyes. "I told you to stop apologizing."

"Not for that," Clark said, voice somber, eyes sincere. "I'm sorry we got to this point. I'm sorry I never trusted you enough to tell you the truth when it might have mattered. I'm sorry you can't trust me enough to realize I don't want to hurt you."

Lex tightened his mouth, denial on the tip of his tongue. There were so many things Clark didn't understand about him - - but sometimes he hit so close to the truth it was unnerving.

"Trust is a two way street Clark. You never did seem to get that. How much did you trust me - - say, yesterday, when I stepped out of my father's vault with that box of kryptonite tipped ammo? What was the first thing that entered your mind?"

Clark swallowed, but came back with a faster rejoinder than Lex expected. "What do you think, when a day before that you slammed me upside the head with a piece of the same stuff on the end of a stick?"

Lex inclined his head, granting Clark that. "Yeah. There was that."

"I knew you wouldn't kill me with it," Clark added, somberly.

Lex canted his head dubiously. "Why would you have thought that?"

Clark shrugged. "I dunno. I just did. I've always trusted," and Clark gave him an under the brows look as he emphasized the word. "That there's something in you that'll do the right thing, if you just give it a chance."

Lex hissed through his teeth in irritation. "What makes you think I haven't been doing the right thing all along?"

Clark's mouth twitched, half a smile, but it was a sad one. "You know you haven't."

He stood up, holding out a hand before they could get into an argument about the finer points of hard decisions and the greater good.

"You planning on sleeping here tonight, or you want to go someplace with a roof. It smells like it might rain again."

He could be stubborn and retain a little pride and refuse Clark's offer. Maybe suffer through the rain tonight in a dark woods with maybe more than normal everyday rabbits prowling it - - damn but the roaches had him skittish about the wildlife now - - or he could just take a breath, stifle that damned untenable desire to never back down, and accept Clark hand. Accept the fact that he needed Clark more than Clark needed him.

He thrust his hand out and Clark clasped it, pulled him up in one smooth motion. Didn't let him go immediately, big warm hand locked on his. Wherever they went, he'd have to rely on Clark's strength and Clark's speed to get them there, unless he wanted to spend the night walking. And he really didn't. Not with the subtle aches and pains. The residual ache of an impromptu bout of anal sex hovered in the background with the rest of the bodily complaints. What he wouldn't give for a soft mattress or a long, hot shower.

"Can I?" Clark asked, deciding to ask for a change, before he took liberties.

"Sure. Why not?"

Clark pulled him in with that grip on his hand, eyes dark in the shadows, intent on him. And Clark had always been tall, always been physically impressive, but somewhere in the last few years, he'd lost that puppyish quality that made you overlook the height and the breadth of solid muscle, and just become imposing. It might not have been so much physical as simply something in his eyes. The ability to hold a stare and back it up with absolute confidence.

Lex thought he might have had a hand in imparting that ability. He'd patented that stare. He supposed, if one were portioning out credit, that he might be responsible for no small bit of what Clark had become. Just as Clark held some responsibility for him. If he were being cynical, he'd almost think he deserved the greater credit.

The world upended. Clark didn't waste time, and before it had sunk in that he'd been swept off his feet, Clark was sitting him back down outside the little stone house at the farm. Careful with him, one hand lingering on his arm to assure he'd regained equilibrium before Clark backed off. Aware of human frailty. Always aware of human frailty. He would have had to have been to pass unnoticed among them all those years. Had to have practiced restraint every day of his life. No easy task for a teenager. Lex had gone through most of his teenage years without any at all. He practiced it now - - or then, before slipping into a world destroyed - - when it suited his whim. Or when it profited him.

He watched Clark gathering up his little pile of produce, corn and turnips and clumps of carrots. His own little treasure trove of rescued libation sat under the canvas lean to, so far untouched. Lex thought opening one of the precious bottles might not be out of line. But unlike Clark, he had no intention whatsoever in taking them back to the shantytown and sharing with the population at large. He had no issue admitting avarice when it came to hoarding what might be the last decent liquor on the planet.

"They've been surviving fine on cockroach and rodent for the last few decades, one more night won't make much of a difference."

Clark looked up at him, in the midst of stuffing corn into one of the canvas sacks salvaged from the Kent root cellar. "You - - you don't want to go back tonight?"

Lex shrugged, moving past him and shifting through the battered crate of bottles that Clark had brought back to him. Mostly bottles of wine, various vintages, but one priceless double malt that had been old the last time Lex had browsed the wine cellars of the estate.

Clark squatted there, staring at Lex as if he couldn't figure out the way Lex's mind worked. Lex could have told him not to bother trying, sometimes he had trouble fathoming it himself.

"No. I'd just as soon sleep here, where the air doesn't smell like we're down wind from a landfill."

"Okay." Clark turned an ear of corn in his hands. "You want me to stay, too?"

"You built the house. Hard to kick you out."

"Lex - -"

"Yes. I want you to stay." He chose the bottle of scotch, and rose heading towards the house. Four walls and a roof were comforting things, even if it did lack a door.

It was dark inside, the light from a rising half moon not doing much to penetrate the small windows. Clark followed him in a few moments later, with an armful of splintered wood. He dumped it into his rough stone hearth, and knelt there, arranging it to his liking, before he ignited it with a burst of his heat vision.

It still made Lex catch his breath, witnessing these feats of casual power. It didn't frighten him. It wasn't Clark's strength or his super human abilities that threatened his composure.

"I only ever build a flue once," Clark said, staring at his new fire. "When I was helping my dad rebuild the house after the second meteor shower. I hope I got it right."

Since smoke wasn't filling the chamber, Lex assumed he had. He took off his coat and sat down, near the hearth where the light reached, casting everything in a warm orange glow. He opened the bottle, inhaling the scent, shutting his eyes at the aroma. He took a sip and sighed at the mellow burn.

Clark sat there, on the lip of the hearth, watching him.

"Care for a taste?" It was only polite to offer. He thought Clark would decline, but he surprised him, reaching out and taking the bottle, taking a swallow. He passed it back.

Lex eyed him curiously, cradling the bottle between his knees. "I've never seen you drink."

Clark shrugged. "Not much point. Why suffer through the taste if you can't get the buzz?"

"Ah. That's - - sad."

"I've never had a hangover or spent the night bent over a toilet either, so I guess I'll survive."

Lex laughed, remembering no few nights like that when he'd been spreading himself thin on the club scene. He was intimately familiar with the inside of a toilet bowl. "It never is as good coming up as it is going down."

Clark shuddered. "No more details, please."

Lex took another swallow, eyes watering from the pure bliss. Watering from the knowledge that once this was gone, there might not be more. Learning the distillation process of fine whiskey had never been on his list of things to do. It had never occurred to him that he might need the knowledge. It had never occurred to him when he'd prepared for his confrontation with Clark that he'd end up stranded with him in a future that had none of the amenities he'd taken for granted in his own time. Cold, bleak world. Dismal future. A handful of humans left to make something of it and most of them ignorant of everything but the grim reality of survival. And one alien.

Lex watched Clark watching the fire, orange light lining his profile, highlighting the stark perfection of his bone structure, the sensuous curve of his lips. God, Lex loved looking at him. Had always loved looking at him, even after they couldn't be in the same room together without barking angry words.

He took another swig of scotch, and twisted the cap back on. Clark had driven him to drink before, driven him to black out incidents of complete inebriation, but he couldn't afford it now. And nothing Clark had done warranted it. It was all in Lex's head. Lex's problem. Not Clark's.

He folded his coat, hoping for a little cushion to lay his head, but the pockets were too full of his accumulated booty to make it a comfortable pillow. He began emptying pockets. Two guns and several boxes of ammo. A silver flask full of water, his penlight, a utility blade, the jewelry he'd taken from his father's safe, a few other things he'd outfitted himself with before he'd made the trek to Clark's fortress. The crystal shard.

He held it up in the fire light. Clark stared at it, reached out and took it from Lex's hand, turning it almost gingerly in his big fingers. There was a pink stain along the faceted surface. Dried blood, Lex assumed.

"I thought - -I thought you were dead," Clark whispered, staring at the crystal with wide, green eyes. "I didn't think it would hurt as much as it did - - I was so mad at you, for so many things - - it shouldn't have hurt as much as it did."

Lex swallowed, taken off guard by that admission. He remembered waking up in the cave, Clark's jacket under his head, Clark's fire staving off the bitter cold. Before either one of them had known the world as they'd known it was gone. Clark could have solved all his problems by simply leaving him and Clark hadn't. But Clark's mind didn't work that way. Clark was incapable of that sort of cold calculation. Lex wondered if their positions had been reversed if he'd have had the same moral fortitude.

"I never wanted to kill you," he said softly. "I didn't go there planning it. I thought I was doing the right thing."

"You thought you were saving the world." Clark said. There was no sarcasm in his tone, no derision. As if he'd decided to believe Lex's motives, at the core, had been just. As if he'd decided to believe in Lex, after doubting him so long. As if it were that easy to simply change your opinion about long held beliefs. As if it were that simple to forgive. It made Lex shiver, made his hands tremble, so he clenched his fists, hiding it.

Clark blew out a breath, putting the crystal down next to Lex's little pile of belongings, shifting his fingers over a string of pearls Lex had looted from his father's safe. "Pretty. You planning on dressing up?"

Lex snorted, the moment of too many solemn confessions broken. It was a relief. "They're for barter."

"A lot of stuff to carry around. I think I have something - -" he pushed himself up, shuffling outside. Came back a few minutes later, with a small, battered metal toolbox, something that had been in the cellar. It was covered with faded, peeling stickers that he doubted Jonathan Kent would have chosen to decorate it. Clark's then. He sat down cross-legged opposite Lex and flipped the lid. The hinges creaked as rust powdered off. There was a tray on top with a few odds and ends. Some old coins, smooth rock - - not alien in nature - - what looked like maybe half disintegrated ticket stubs, other things that a teenage boy might have collected and then shuffled away, forgotten as he grew older. And underneath the tray, a half rotted rag wrapped around something that glinted smooth and rust free. Clark took it out, unwrapped it and held up a familiar octagonal disc. The very one Lex's people had found when they excavated the field where the original spaceship had crash-landed. Clark's ship.

"I knew you'd taken that," he said dryly.

"I didn't," Clark denied. "My mom took it from your dad. Don't ask me how he got it."

Lex turned that over in his head and found it credible. His father had known a hell of a lot more than he had about all things alien from the get go. Insidious, old bastard.

"Anyway. Might as well keep the stuff you don't need to carry around someplace safe. There's a secret spot in the cellar where you can keep the box."

Lex could look at this two ways. The paranoid one entailed Clark trying to get the crystal out of Lex's keeping for reasons of his own. Or the more rational one, that if Clark wanted anything he had, nothing Lex could do could stop him from taking it outright, and that this simply was what it was, Clark offering him a way to lighten the load. Boxes of ammo were heavy. The crystal was awkward and too precious to lose. He was lucky it hadn't slipped out of his pocket already.

He made sure his extra clips were full and laid them next to the gun he was keeping. His father's gun, he put in the box as back up along with the majority of the jewelry and a few other things.

"I'll show you the hidey hole when its light," Clark promised.

Lex leaned back against the wall, the closed toolbox at his knees. "What did the disc do?"

Clark shrugged, hesitating a moment, old habit, before he said. "It activated the ship. It was a key."

"There was an indention in the wall of the Kawatche Caves that matched it."

"Yeah. That was the lock. It opened a doorway to a shortcut to the fortress."

"And the ship? What happened to the ship?"

"I destroyed it." Clark said softly.

Lex lifted a brow. "Why?"

Clark looked away, into the fire, silent a long time. Then, "Because I thought it wanted to make me into something I didn't want to be. Something I refused to be. And who the hell knows, maybe that was a test, too. I gotta tell you sometimes I hated my biological father."

That was a concept Lex could embrace wholeheartedly. Father's with their schemes and machinations. He reached for the bottle again, took another swallow. Capped it, and slid down, pillowing his coat under his head. The floor was hard and cool, but at least it was smooth and bug free.

Clark moved a few feet away, further from the fire, his back to the wall, long legs stretched out. Lex turned his face to the hearth. Not cold, but the fire held no opinions and asked none of him.

He drifted, that exhaustion catching up with him.

He roused with sunlight on his face. Opened his eyes to Clark, lying on his side, head pillowed on his arm, staring at him. It was disconcerting.

"God. Don't you sleep?" Lacking a watch, which he had every intention of bartering back from the old woman who had his, he didn't know what time it was. But it felt early and he tended towards testy when he was woken early.

"A little," Clark admitted with a flash of teeth. "Not as much as I used to."

The way he was laying accentuated the breadth of his shoulders, the curve of his pectorals under the thin folds of the t-shirt. The lack of a comb for the last week or so left his hair in untamed, gleaming waves. He was too pretty to stay annoyed at this early in the morning.

Lex stretched, squinting up at the slash of light angling in through the window on the opposite wall, then rolled his head to stare back at Clark.

"How long have you been awake?"

"Not that long."

"It's not creepy at all, to wake up with you staring at me." Lex remarked.

Clark's lashes fluttered, a little embarrassed. "Sorry. I was just thinking."

"About me? Should I be flattered or worried?" First instinct was always worry, even with Clark. Especially with Clark.

Clark rolled his eyes. "I was thinking that maybe we haven't been approaching things right."

"Approaching things?" Lex lifted a brow warily, trying to translate Clark's meaning and his serious gaze.

"I mean, we sort of just dove into the deep end, instead of starting off slow. And maybe that sort of skewed things."

"Clark, I thought I made it clear, the sex wasn't the problem."

"I sorta think it was. Or at least it had something to do with it," Clark said.

Lex hated it, when Clark thought he knew Lex better than Lex did. Hated it more when he hit close to home. Uncomfortable that someone - - anyone, much less an adversary- - knew him so well.

"What? Are you suggesting a courtship? Maybe a few dates? Dinner and a movie, before any serious making out? Little bit hard with no more movies. Maybe you can take me to the city and we can shoot giant cockroaches as the sun sets."

"Stop deflecting," Clark said. "I know I spooked you."

"God, I'm not and you didn't - -"

"I spooked me, too," Clark cut him off. "What I felt when I was with you was - - powerful. I wasn't prepared for it. And I didn't handle it well."

Lex rather thought Clark had handled it too well, but he didn't voice it.

"So what are your thoughts on the matter, since you've been mulling it over?" He asked instead.

"I dunno. You tell me what you want and I'll do it."

What he wanted. Wouldn't it be nice if he knew? But, looking at Clark, lying there watching him with big, expectant eyes, he thought that wasn't hard to figure out.

"Really? Mine to command?"

Clark gave him a look and shrugged. It did interesting things to the flow of muscles under his shirt.

"All right. Take off your shirt."

Clark blinked at him, maybe not expecting Lex to take him up on it with an immediate direct command. But he sat up, and pulled the t-shirt over his head regardless. Sat there with one hand braced on the floor, the other holding the balled shirt. Lex shifted an arm under his head and made a show of casually letting his eyes travel over Clark's bared torso. He couldn't stop the revving of his pulse, though, or the migration of blood towards his groin.

Clark didn't have the coltish leanness he'd had at fifteen, more solid muscle, more breadth of shoulder, more height - - just damned perfect. Sculpted like someone had taken a chisel to piece of living stone.

"Come here."

Clark did, shifting to place a hand on the stone next to Lex's shoulder, leaning over and putting himself between the shaft of sunlight and Lex's eyes. Lex reached up, running a thumb across one flat brown nipple. It hardened under his finger, sensitive to his touch. A muscle twitched, rippling under smooth skin. Lex spread his hand out, entranced by the feel of it under his palm. He slid his hand down, testing waters, outlining the lengthening bulge in Clark's jeans, before abandoning it. Just fingers on Clark's bicep, tracing a vein.

Clark was staring down at him, wide, dilated eyes, the faintest quiver in the arm bracing his weight. His pink tongue flicked out, wetting his lips, and God, Clark's mouth had never failed to make Lex entertain dirty thoughts. He'd had fantasies regarding Clark's mouth. Before these last few days, he'd never thought he'd have the occasion to voice them.

"You know what I want?" He pulled Clark down, grazing his lips across the side of Clark's jaw. Clark shivered, full body at the contact.

"What?" Hoarsely asked.

"You on your knees between my legs, sucking my cock."

Clark swallowed, throat working, eyes locked on Lex's. He opened his mouth - - shut it. "Okay."

Just that. Bare whisper. Lex's heart lurched up somewhere in the area of his throat, half suffocating him in expectation.

Clark shifted down Lex's torso and Lex spread his legs to give him room. He settled between Lex's thighs, dark head, bare shoulders, thick lashes hiding his eyes as he looked down at the bulge in Lex's pants. It was a wonder Lex hadn't popped a zipper, he was so hard.

Clark hesitated, hands hovering over Lex's belt. "Do you want me to - -?"

"You're not going to get very far if you don't." Lex managed to keep the cool in his voice. He was shaking inside.

He had to shut his eyes for a moment as Clark's knuckles brushed against his cock when he started unbuckling his belt. Hesitant at first, but his fingers grew more confident as he got the belt undone, and went for the button and zipper, breaking open Lex's pants. Lex's boxer briefs were too elastic to contain him. Clark blew out a breath, staring at him, then hooked a finger in the band of the briefs and pulled them down, below his balls, freeing him completely. His cock bounced up, and if Clark kept staring at it, without touching, Lex was going to have to take matters into his own hands.

But Clark caught it in his big hand, and flicked a glance up at Lex. "I haven't done this before - -"

"I know. It's not rocket science. You can figure it out." Longer sentences were presently beyond his capacity.

He got a quirk of a brow for that, but Clark lowered his head, and took the plunge, wrapping his lips around the head, drawing it into his mouth. And God, it was like paradise. Warm and wet, the rough velvet of Clark's tongue pressing up from beneath. He made an inarticulate sound, he couldn't help himself, and Clark looked up from beneath his lashes. And fuck, nothing Lex had seen in his entire life was as hot as Clark peering up at him with his lips wrapped around his cock.

Then Clark started sucking, gentle at first, as if he were deciding whether he liked the feel of it, or the taste in his mouth, then with more enthusiasm, as if he'd decided that, yeah, he did. He made little sounds as he went down, taking more of Lex into his mouth. Sinful sounds that made Lex groan and clench up inside. He thrust up, wanting more of himself in Clark's mouth. Clark didn't complain. Clark obliged him, swallowing him deeper, hands tangling in the waist bands of pants and briefs and drawing them down to his thighs, then sliding around and grasping his ass, kneading and lifting.

"God - - oh, fucking God - - Clark - - yes!" It burst free, a babble of encouragement as Clark took him down to the root, throat tight around the head of his cock, fingers digging into his ass hard enough to leave bruises. Then he backed off and did it again, and it was hard to believe he'd never sucked a cock in his life, as good at it as he was. Natural talent and a mouth made for it, excused a certain lack of finesse.

Lex propped himself up on his elbows and watched. He felt drunk from it, a head spinning sex high. Rode the wave of it as it crested, crying out something incomprehensible, arms falling out from under him and just arching and thrusting desperately into Clark's mouth as he came. Clark held on to him, hands firm on his hips, sucking him with the sort of gusto that suggested Lex was his new favorite flavor.

When he'd finished, he lay there, stars dancing at the edges of his vision, Clark's mouth still on him, Clark's hands sliding over his hips, up under his sweater, exploring the feel of him under it. Euphoric. No other word fit so well. This time as he came out of it, it didn't disturb him so much, the utter debilitating strength of the experience, because when Clark looked up, Lex's softening cock slipping from his red lips, his eyes were hazed and desperate, his breathing patchy, his shoulder's quivering now and then from his own unquenched desire. Clark wanted him, as much as he wanted Clark. Clark was just more honest about it.

He licked his lips, swallowing past a throat gone bone dry. "What I want you to do now," he said softly, eyes drifting down from Clark's face to the erection straining at his jeans. "Is to masturbate for me."

"What?" Clark blinked at him, slow on the uptake. Which was fine. Lex liked the idea of him frazzled and dazed.

"Unzip your pants, take yourself out and jerk off for me." He repeated it slowly, enunciating his words just to make sure Clark got it.

Clark shuddered, breathing getting harsher. He'd run across a continent and not been short of breath afterwards.

His fingers moved to his jeans, popping the button, moaning as the zipper slid down, and his cock burst free from the slit of his boxers. He gripped himself, a short, hard stroke.

"Boxers down," Lex said. "I want to see detail."

"God," Clark gasped, clenching his fist around the shaft. "You're just gonna lay there and - - and watch?"

"Yes." Lex would have crossed his legs, but Clark was between his knees and prevented him. He folded an arm behind his head instead, and swept his gaze lazily over Clark's body. With the majority of his own tension sucked out of him, it was easy to pretend nonchalance when Clark was kneeling there, trembling.

He let out a slow breath as Clark did as instructed, shoving boxers and jeans down around his thighs. His balls were dark and swollen, shifting easily in their sack as Clark cupped them with one hand while he made a fist around his straining erection with the other. It was fascinating, the way the foreskin slid back and forth, revealing tantalizing glimpses of the flushed head of Clark's cock. Fascinating watching the tendons in Clark's hand flex as he loosened and tightened his grip as he stroked. Big hand pale against the ruddy flush of his cock. Lex lazily ran a hand down, stroking his own flaccid length, and Clark's eyes fixed on him, a desperate, needy sound bubbling up his throat.

He started jerking, hard, fast, head down, hair obscuring his eyes. The first spurt arched up, hit Lex's bare hip, hot and potent and then he was spilling, milky eruption that spattered Lex and coated Clark's hand, made his cock glisten with it as he thrust into the circle of his fist.

Lex drew a breath, half hard again, clenching all over, eyes glued to the slick thickness of Clark's cock, body recalling so very well the feel of it filling him up. The novel sensation of the heat of ejaculate flooding him from the inside.

Clark collapsed forward, caught himself with one hand on the floor at Lex's side, and leaned there, head down, quaking, while he finished one handed. After a half dozen breaths, he lifted his head, looked to Lex.

"That - - that make you happy?"

Lex took a breath of his own, vision a little tunneled. "Very. Next time you're in the city - - go back to one of the apartments near my father's penthouse - - find a kitchen that wasn't demolished and see if there's a intact bottle of olive oil."

"What?" Clark blinked at him, confused.

"It'll have a shelf life," Lex explained. "We'll have a conversation about anal sex and the benefits of proper preparation. It'll be educational."




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