What You Sow: 17

“How did you get here?”

Lex stopped outside the front door, eyes scanning the curved drive beyond the castle’s carriage porch. Driveway lights illuminated the fall of heavy snow, clinging to the cold paving stones, even if it only stuck to the wet ground in patches before it melted away. There was no truck though, and Clark felt the sting of stupidity slapping him in the face at the oversight. He hadn’t exactly jumped in the pickup in his rush to get over here.

“I ran,” he said and held out his hand without missing a beat. “I guess we’re taking your car. And since I’m guessing you’re still probably over the legal limit – – Keys?”

Lex’s look was about as inscrutable as Lex’s looks ever got, but he dug into the pocket of his coat and withdrew the keys to the black Audi that was parked half under the shelter of the portico. Dropped them wordlessly into Clark’s hand and walked around to the passenger side.

“You know,” Lex said, after Clark had gotten his seat adjusted and the car moving down the drive towards the gates. “There was a time when that answer would have irritated me beyond all reason.”

Clark licked his lips, noticing that the gate guard was still at his post, even though everybody else seemed to have abandoned the grounds. “Yeah? Not now?”

“Mmm. Just doesn’t seem to be striking any nerves.”

Lex had enough other things on his mind that it was hardly surprising a casual confession of Clark’s left him unfazed. And it was only a few miles. It wasn’t like it wasn’t possible Clark might have decided to take an afternoon jog.

Clark stopped at the gate and the guard leaned out of the guardhouse as the gates were swinging open. Lex rolled down his window. “I won’t be back until tomorrow, weather permitting. Lock up and go home before the roads get too bad.”

The guard nodded, rubbing gloved hands against the chill. “I’ll do that, Mr. Luthor. Have a good night, Mr. Luthor.”

Lex rolled up the window and leaned his head against the rest, face tilted towards the glass and the fields rolling by outside. He looked tired, a weariness that seemed to go beyond the physical. A quietness had come over him – – a sobriety that had nothing to do with the level of alcohol that might or might not still be in his system.

The whole ride home was silence. And silence was a good thing, because some issues needed to be worked out inside a man’s own head, without outside input. Clark had a few of his own mulling. Lex had been right, he hadn’t wanted anything to do with him this morning. Hadn’t wanted the complications Lex brought with him, the contradictions. The embarrassment. Until Lex had changed his mind with a half a smile that didn’t conceal the nerves beneath and a bit of ridiculous banter that had gone straight past Clark’s defenses like a guided missile.

Maybe it was a good thing Lois had shown up when she did, to shake him out of it. Maybe she just had crappy timing.

Regardless, Lex was wounded now. Confused now, but he’d get over it, and then what? What would he be, free of that influence? A better man or a worse one, damaged beyond repair? One way or another, Clark needed to find out. He didn’t have it in him to turn his back on the problem. He hadn’t been brought up to turn wounded things away – – even if they weren’t looking for help. Even if they might turn out to be the sort of half-wild creature that turned and bit the hand that helped them.

They reached the farm, and the kitchen light was still on and God, he hoped he hadn’t forgotten and left the stove on or anything, but since the house wasn’t in flames, he figured not. He pulled up behind the pickup, cut the headlights and plunged the yard into darkness. They crunched across the gravel in the drive towards the house, and Clark’s mind switched back to farm mode when it occurred to him that he had two horses in pasture that needed to be brought in tonight, what with the weather. The herd would fair fine, but he’d have hay to put out tomorrow and water troughs to thaw.

“Lex, door’s unlocked. I’ve got to close up the barn, but I’ll be right in.”

Lex hesitated, nodded and continued on. Clark walked towards the barn until the door shut behind Lex, then took off into the darkness towards the east pasture. The horses were waiting by the fence, no doubt put out that he’d left them out in first rain, then snow. He patted necks and noses on the walk back, and promised extra portions of grain. With the horses in their stalls, well fed and the barn shut snug, he hurried back to the house. He’d almost been afraid that Lex had bolted- – had almost been prepared for it. But that was just habit – – him expecting the worst where Lex was concerned and tying to shield himself.

But Lex was where he was supposed to be. In the house, with his coat laid neatly over the back of one of the kitchen chairs, standing in the hall under the stair gazing at the array of family photographs on the wall. The house was really quiet, and sort of cold, so Clark stuffed wood into the woodstove, looked over his shoulder to check were Lex was and started it burning the quick way, with a blast of inferno vision. He padded back into the kitchen and thought coffee might be something Lex dearly needed.

“You hungry?” he asked, spooning ground beans into the filter.

“I’m fine.” The answer drifted in from the hall, followed shortly by Lex, who had composed his face into a pleasantly unreadable mask. All armored up then, like he was expecting a fight – – or expecting to be asked to give things he wasn’t prepared to part with. Or maybe just really, really upset over the things Clark had suggested and hating the idea of showing that inner turmoil. Who the hell knew with Lex when he had his game face on?

The best thing to do in these cases, Clark had learned during his early years of Lex watching, was to plow on regardless. “I think its time to break out the good stuff.”

Lex lifted a brow. Clark rummaged in the freezer and pulled out a plastic container of his mom’s county fair, prize-winning chicken Brunswick stew. She’d put up enough of it a few months ago to last him half the winter if he got tired of his own cooking. He dumped it into a pan on the stove and broke it into smaller frozen pieces with a ladle and a serving fork.

“You don’t listen very well,” Lex commented, but there wasn’t much in the way of complaint in his voice.

“When’s the last time you ate? Not drank, but actual food?”

“Are you sure your mother didn’t leave you cue cards lying about, so you could get the tone of maternal harassment down pat?” Lex inquired dryly.

Clark felt the edge of a smirk, flattened it out and glanced over his shoulder to give Lex a look. Lex was standing with his hands on the back of a chair, black cuffs against white bandages, long pale fingers below that. He remembered the last time Lex had been in the kitchen, those same long fingers trailing across the backs of chairs – – all seduction in the way he’d moved, the sway of his hips, the look in his eyes, the things he’d been saying – – but the frightening sort of seduction, designed to scandalize. He just looked weary now. Wrung out and badly used – – and most of that self-inflicted.

“You drink too much. Sit down, stew’s almost warmed.” Clark said flatly and turned with a mug of black coffee before Lex could narrow his eyes in offense, and held it out in offering.

Lex stared at it, jaw working tightly, then reached out and took it with a bandaged hand. He pulled out the chair and sat down. Silent. Definitely offended. If he’d have said the same thing to Lois, about the drinking, he might have gotten the cup flung at his head, Lex held his angers closer to heart – – expressed them in subtler, more devastating ways.

Clark turned back to the stew and took a breath. No doubt about it, this was going to be a long night.

“Don’t turn your nose up. My mom made it, not me.” He felt the need to clarify as he slid a bowl of the stuff in front of Lex and sat down with one of his own. Whether Lex cared to admit hunger or not, Clark was ravenous. Mental dilemma did not dwindle his appetite.

“I never doubted your culinary skills,” Lex said idly turning his spoon in the steaming concoction before him. “I would assume, growing up with your mother as an example, you know your way around a kitchen.”

“You’d think,” Clark mumbled. “After the second time I almost burned down the kitchen, she stopped asking me to help. There was this thing with hush puppies and – – well – – Gas stoves and grease fires suck.”

“I imagine they would.” Lex agreed mildly and Clark looked up at him, but Lex was still examining the contents of the stew.

“I was twelve,” Clark added, just in case there might be some mistaken belief that it had happened last year.

“It couldn’t have been an easy decision for her, taking the senate seat – -” Lex said quietly, looking past Clark out the kitchen window at the snow caught in the outside porch lights. Something flickered at the back of his eyes, a crack in the seams. Clark tightened his fingers on spoon, felt the metal give and let up, the both of them knew very well why that senate seat had opened up. He wanted to ask, ‘would you do it again? Now?’ Wanted to know whether that decision and the subsequent ones had been made under the influence of something more dangerous than aged scotch. Maybe Lex didn’t even know. Clark couldn’t begin to imagine how tangled the web had been or what sort of introspection it might take to untangle it. To figure out where Zod’s desires had ended and Lex’s had begun.

“We discussed selling the farm,” Was what he said instead, and surprised himself a little with the admission, because it was close to his heart and painful. More so because deep down, he wanted to, was terrified of being shackled to this plot of earth forever.

Lex’s eyes shifted back to him, sharpening, studying him and Clark leaned over his bowl to scrape the bottom.

“What’s keeping you from doing it? The fact that there are photographs of three generations of Kent’s working this land on your wall? Because your father died here?”

God, Lex was supposed to be the one off his balance here, and he was already under Clark’s skin like a surgeon with a scalpel, making all the right assumptions. And he didn’t have the right to bring up dad. He just – – didn’t. That’s what he got, trying to have a conversation with Lex, when everything they might talk about would trigger sore spots sooner or later.

Lex picked up on his tension, or was familiar enough with the flexing of the muscles in Clark’s jaw to know upset when he saw it broadcast. He slid the bowl away, untouched and pushed back from the table. “No offense to your mother’s cooking – – but I just can’t eat this now. Does that antique in your living room get Cspan, CNN anything with decent news?”

“We have satellite,” Clark said crossly. It had sort of been essential with his mom’s political responsibilities, that they get more than the local channel’s take on world news. Lex nodded and disappeared into the living room. After a moment, Clark heard the television come to life.

He emptied Lex’s stew back into the pot. It could be reheated later and damned if he was going to let it go to waste. He stared at the mixture, vegetables and chicken and mush and it occurred to him that a man with a hangover might not find its appearance particularly appetizing. It did sort of resemble food that had seen the light of day a second time around. God.

A touch of hot coffee added to what was cooling in Lex’s mug and Clark followed into the living room. Lex had settled on the couch, slouched into the corner closest to the wood stove. He’d found one of the news channels, but there was something in his face that made Clark think he wasn’t paying much attention. Clark held out the mug and after a second, Lex looked up and accepted it, cupping his hands around it as if to soak up the warmth.

“You still – -” Clark didn’t know how to phrase it politically, so he made a vague motion towards his own head.

“Hung-over?” Lex asked, then shrugged a little. “The dregs of one. I tend to recover quickly from these sorts of things. One of those rare advantages of – -”

He trailed off, but Clark knew what he’d been about to say. Maybe Lex knew he knew and simply waited to see if Clark would fill in the blanks.

“From meteor exposure?” he asked, because what the hell, they both knew – – what was the point in dancing around the issue? He collapsed down on the other end of the couch, a whole empty cushion between them. Lex’s mouth curved momentarily with a wry smile, a cold flash of practicality dancing across his eyes.

“Yes. My own personal – – alteration.” He looked away for a moment, staring back at the TV with narrow intensity, his hands around the mug tightening, fingers tensing. “But it’s different now. Faster. Metabolically, restoratively I’m leaps and bounds ahead of where I used to be.” He held up one bandaged hand and didn’t even seem to care that it was shaking. “This will be closed up by tomorrow. You’ll never know I had it in four or five days. Whatever the Ship did to me – – I’m not the same. I’ve never been quite certain whether to take it as a blessing or a punishment. Who would have guessed there might be other lingering – – side effects?”

Clark felt his stomach lurch a little. He hadn’t known. Hadn’t even considered that the fundamental physical alterations the Ship had made out of necessity, might not have vanished as completely as they’d assumed. He’d cared about three things at the time – – that the powers were gone, that Zod was gone, that Lex was alive. Beyond that, he’d been focused on other things.

How had it not occurred to him that to be a suitable host for a Kryptonian, a human shell would have had to be altered at a basic genetic level? Genetic code changed into something more than human. Something a step closer to Clark. And Lex knew. Lex had lived most of his life with the obvious physical effects of one mutation. That he’d been subjected to the unknown factors of a second one – – specifically forced upon him by alien abductors must have driven him mad. Must have been terrifying for a man who thrived on control, to have absolutely none at the most rudimentary of levels.

“I – – I didn’t know.” Clark said slowly, mind still spinning with what ifs. If Lex realized all of this – – with Lex’s obsessions with the nature of mutation – – had he offered himself up, in one of those facilities of his, as a subject for testing?

“Why would you?” Loaded question, but hollow sounding. Lex’s eyes back on him now. It was the most amazing thing how their color seemed to shift with lighting and mood.

Clark didn’t have an answer for that – – not an easy one, at any rate. “Somebody should have figured,” he muttered, not sure if he were more uncomfortable, or irritated with absolutely everyone who had been in the know who hadn’t questioned, himself at the top of the list. “Did you tell Lana?”

“No,” Lex said after a moment of silence. “I’d already given her enough to worry over – – enough reasons to fear anything connected with the ship and Zod – – and me.”

“Right, because what if she thought less of you for it?” Clark said and Lex narrowed his eyes, then his mouth twitched and he shrugged.

“Exactly. I see we’re on the same page. Is that why you kept your secrets?”

Clark swallowed, denials familiar as the flavor of his mom’s stew sitting on the tip of his tongue. But they both knew those lines by heart and Lex had one-upped him in the honesty department tonight, and it made Clark feel shallow and small. “Yeah, maybe it was. Is.”

He surprised Lex. Clark saw it in the widening of his eyes, the momentary parting of lips as maybe a question or an accusation trembled there – – but didn’t come out. Then Lex’s mouth tightened and he turned back to stare at the television, gathering himself in a little, like he was cold, or defensive. His skin was very pale in the glow from the TV, his eyes nothing but shadow. There was a tense sort of fragility to the set of him now that screamed, okay, I’m done talking. Leave me the hell alone.

Clark sat there for a while, watching Lex pretend to watch TV. But Lex wasn’t paying attention, because there was some story about a painting dog, that even Clark found silly, and Lex had the remote within reach and didn’t bother to switch channels. He was just sitting there, wrapped up in the silence of his own screaming thoughts.

Clark wasn’t sure he wanted to know what was passing through Lex’s mind – – was almost certain if he did, it would leave him dizzy and confused.

He left Lex on the couch, and went to bring in a few more armfuls of wood. Snow was sticking now and there was a fine covering of it across the yard, more on the roof of the barn and the shells of the truck and Lex’s car. He stood out on the porch for a while, watching the snowfall, listening to the muted sounds of the horses in the barn, of the herd in their pasture over the rise, the buzz of the television inside the house – – the soft revolutions of Lex’s breathing. If he tried hard enough he could discern the impact of individual flakes as they landed, each one adding to the growing blanket of white.

The phone rang in the house. Clark blinked, the sound of it like the roar of a freight train in comparison to the gentle resonance of crystallized ice. He hurried into the house and snatched it off the hook.

It was his mother, exhaustion edging her voice, concern hard at the center.

“Everything’s okay, mom,” he assured her, taking the phone and heading back to the porch. He’d wanted so bad to talk earlier, but now, he didn’t know how to broach subject. How did he explain that he’d lost his grip on good sense and dragged Lex home with him – – that somehow Lex had wormed his way past the ranks of Clark’s other concerns to find a place at the top. It wasn’t an unfamiliar circumstance, it had just been a while.

“Nancy said you sounded upset. I tried to call this afternoon but you didn’t answer. Are you sure, you’re okay?”

“Yeah. I was – – out.” Sleeping in Lex’s bed with Lex sprawled on top of him. And liking it. A lot. Bet you didn’t see that one coming, huh, mom? Neither did I.

“You forgot to charge your phone.”


“Write a note and stick it on the refrigerator, honey.” She knew him so well, it was scary. “I’m so sorry I missed you earlier. I think I should shuffle aside a few meetings and fly home this weekend.”

“Mom, its snowing here and looks like more’s on the way. You’ll just end up getting stranded at an airport between here and there. Stay. I’m fine. I just – – missed your voice, is all.”

She was quiet for a few breaths, and he just knew she was analyzing him, putting together little clues he hadn’t even realized he’d been giving. She hardly ever failed to come up with anything but dead on accurate assumptions about his state of mind. Maybe he should get her home, put her in a room with Lex and let her help hash out that quandary

“Okay,” she finally said, not pushing. “Call me, if you need to talk about anything, honey. I’ll tell Nancy to make sure to put you through. I love you.”

He nodded, feeling a little lump in his throat, then curled his free hand in annoyance, because damnit, he was twenty-one, not fourteen and he ought not need mom’s miracle touch to solve his problems for him. “Love you, too, mom. Bye.”

He stood there with his hands on the rail for a while. He couldn’t begin to explain the depths of his dilemma with Lex – – oh, the Zod part was pretty straightforward – – it was just the other stuff – – the mess in New York and the way he couldn’t quite manage to shake images of Lex naked – – or the feel of his skin or how his mouth tasted – – that was the sort of stuff that made him light headed just contemplating talking to his mom about.

He didn’t even want to think about what advice she’d give on the subject. He shuddered a little bit in horror at the notion and thought maybe one quick little zip around the borders of Lowell county would clear his mind.

But that would be cowardly, and his head was in pretty good shape, comparatively speaking, so there was nothing to do but go back inside.

Lex was still sitting there, scary quiet. Clark stood in the doorway between living room and kitchen and tried to come up with something intelligent to say.

“Shower’s upstairs if you want to use it.” But of course, Lex knew where it was, having been here a time or two. Clark decided to dig a little deeper. “You can crash in my bed when you’re ready.”

Lex’s eyes flicked to him and Clark couldn’t see past the shadows to what was in them.

“I’ll use my mom’s.” He stuffed the tips of his fingers in his pockets, feeling the need to qualify – – because, well, otherwise embarrassing assumptions might be drawn. Assumptions that the part of him that dwelled below the belt twitched a little at the notion of. He was not blushing, it was absolutely not heat he felt in his cheeks. He muttered something that sounded vaguely like babble in his own ears and headed for the stairs to check on the sorry state of his sheets.

Laundry, like charging his cell, tended to slip Clark’s notice. He hadn’t gotten around to it for a while and there was a hip high pile of ‘waiting to be washed’ in the basement by the washer and dryer. There were a lot of things that just didn’t seem as important as they had a few months ago – – a year ago.

There was maybe one clean fitted sheet, and a mismatched flat that he found clean in the upstairs linen closet. He did a really quick job of stripping off the old and putting on the clean. He sucked at wrinkle-free bed making. Hospital corners were beyond his ken, but it was as good as he was going to get it,, At least the room didn’t smell like old socks, thank god – – and one day soon, he vowed to take down the Crow’s banner and the Radiohead poster, and the Yasmine Bleeth swimsuit poster Pete had gotten him for – – what, his sixteen birthday? – – that was still stuck on the outside of his closet door.

Clark stepped out into the hall and stopped, startled, Lex not more than a few steps away and damned quiet about it. But then, Clark had been preoccupied with the antiquated adornments on his walls.

“Hey, I was just changing sheets. I’ll be out of your way – -”

Lex stepped closer, close enough that the tips of their shoes were only inches apart. His eyes were murky, blue green, fixed on Clark’s hands with their balled sheets, moving up to his face with slow, deliberate scrutiny. The dimness in the hallway created hollows and rolling shadows on Lex’s face – – on the delicate curve of his head. “No bother.”

Clark stood paralyzed, heart beating crazily, egged on by some primal instinct that warned danger.

“Why am I here?” Lex asked, voice low, rough velvet. His eyes didn’t leave Clark’s, and he had really mesmerizing eyes once he snared you. The sort of eyes that dug down into your soul, took your measure without loosing a beat and came back out with ammunition to use against you. Clark had gone out of his way, the last few years to avoid looking too hard and too long into Lex’s eyes, afraid of the inherent traps. Afraid of giving Lex things he didn’t want Lex to have.

He swallowed, mouth desert dry, palms hot and clammy where he clutched the sheets. The answers to Lex’s question were rolling around in bits and pieces inside his head, not a cohesive one in the bunch. “Nobody as messed up as you were ought to be left alone. Look what you did to yourself? I figured if you were someplace booze free, you’d could get your head – -”

Lex leaned in and kissed him. Clark’s back hit the door jamb, his mind going curiously white for a breathless moment, with Lex’s hands on his shoulders and Lex’s mouth, warm and soft pulling at his bottom lip. Lex drew back, and the retreat of his mouth seemed to have a direct correlation to the coherency of Clark’s thoughts.

“That’s not a good enough answer,” Lex said on the exhalation of a soft breath, while Clark blinked in shock. “Try again.”

Like he expected a decent answer, pressing against Clark in the doorway, nothing but the wadded laundry between him and what was really starting to feel like a full-blown erection in Clark’s jeans. Words were escaping him at the moment.

“Never mind,” Lex amended his demand, and trailed his tongue across the edge of Clark’s jaw and really, Clark could have pushed him away, could have moved his head to avoid it – – but nerves he didn’t even know he had were popping and it just felt so damn hot.

“It’s probably better – -” Lex slid his mouth back to Clark’s and the back of Clark’s head hit the wall with a thump that would have made anyone else see stars.

“- – if you don’t – -” Lex pressed closer from necessity, having to lean in and up to gain access. The concept that this was a bad idea kept trying to raise its hand and demand his attention, but it was being too polite, drowned out by the chorus of riotous excitement crowding up from lower regions.

Clark opened his mouth with a sort of helpless groan and Lex’s tongue slithered in, crafty and warm.

“- – talk at all.”

The scent of Lex’s skin was warm, sultry with the hint of whiskey. It went through Clark like something alive, shuddering to the surface, this quiver of craving that had a life all its own.

“God,” Clark gasped, releasing his death grip on the sheets and reaching up to grasp the sides of Lex’s head, fingers curling around the back of his skull, thumbs pressed into the hollow of his cheeks. Dragging him up closer, because he couldn’t get deep enough inside to satisfy the inexplicable thirst.

Lex’s fingers slid under the untucked flannel shirt, up Clark’s sides and raked down, digging in hard enough that he would have scored flesh through the layer of T-shirt – – if Clark’s flesh had been easily marked. Welts didn’t raise, but goose pimples did, in a ripple all over his body. He wanted so bad it ached – – so bad it stole thought – – like in New York when he’d thrust Lex against the wall in blind frenzy and anger. Only he wasn’t angry now and he wasn’t the one who was on the verge of out of control. He wasn’t the one looking for a substitute addiction – –

Some trickle of willpower got through past the energetic clamor of his libido. He broke the kiss, forcing Lex back far enough to meet his eyes. “Lex – – what are we – -? I can’t – -”

“Shut up,” Lex lifted his hands, fingers wrapping around Clark’s wrists, teeth bared a little in his fight for breath. “You brought me here – – just shut up – – and play the good host – – and do this for me.” He tried to close the distance, but Clark wouldn’t let him, that reasonable, reckoning part of his mind verging on appalled. But the rest of him, all those pesky lower brain functions – – all those animal instincts – – were trilling with exhilaration.

Lex’s breath was jagged, harsh, and Clark could feel it against his body, could feel it under his hands, the beat of Lex’s pulse through the big arteries in his neck. He was hard. Just beautifully stiff against Clark’s own erection and how did you just turn away and ignore something so crucial and just damned obvious?

Did it really matter that this was a crutch, when there was no downside? Really, it wasn’t like it was going to make more of a difference than what had happened in New York? Right? His lower brain was very insistent on that point.

Lex moved his hips and constrained erections brushed in a way that had Clark seeing little dancing stars. That had his body humming and rational thought crowded out by the primal need to get down to basics.

“Ah – – fuck.”

“Exactly.” Lex concurred and it slid downhill from there. Or sideways in a stumbling, graceless migration into Clark’s room.

There was a great deal of fumbling with buttons and belts and Clark’s feet had no earthly idea what to do with themselves when confronted with Lex shoving him in increments towards the bed.

The back of his knees hit the mattress and he sat down hard enough to make the springs squeak, his shirt and t-shirt discarded on the floor between bed and door. Lex shoved his way between Clark’s knees, sinking down with a purpose, hands working at Clark’s jeans, fingers grasping denim and pulling and Clark’s body was two steps ahead of his mind, because it helpfully lifted his hips so Lex could pull the pants down baring – – just everything. He should have been embarrassed – – really embarrassed like the way he’d felt the first time Lana had seen him naked and just stared at his cock like she’d never seen uncut foreskin and wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. Only it didn’t seem to bother Lex in the least – – in fact Lex was sort of looking at him like he was something expensive and gourmet and he hadn’t eaten in a while.

Which analogy might have been funny, if Clark’s sense of humor hadn’t been tucked away somewhere with his good sense. As it was, all he could really focus on was Lex on his knees between his legs, his shirt unbuttoned, revealing the pale, creamy curve his neck, the ridge of his clavicle, the tantalizing strip of smooth, hard chest and belly. His belt was loose, the button of his pants undone, and Clark had the hazy, surreal recollection of having done that.

Then he stopped thinking altogether when Lex leaned forward and sucked in the head of his cock. Wrapped his hand around the shaft, pulled the skin back and slid his tongue across the slick, leaking tip.

Clark almost came, then and there. Because – – fuck, fuck, fuck – – Lex had his mouth on his cock and hadn’t there been one or two fleeting teenaged masturbatory images of just such a thing? And even then, he’d never imagined Lex trying to worm the tip of his tongue into the slit of his dick like he couldn’t get enough of the taste, while his oh, so clever hand massaged the shaft and his other oh so clever hand rolled Clark’s balls like dice he was warming up for a lucky throw.

Then Lex changed tactics, licking down the underside, to the fleshy V of skin connecting balls and shaft and Clark dug his hands into the edge of the mattress and heard himself making strangled sounds. When Lex came back up, he met Clark’s feverish eyes for a heartbeat, gaze nothing short of pornographic, then swallowed him whole. Or it seemed that way, because Lex was really good with his hands, and bent over Clark, fucking him with his mouth, lips stretched around the girth of Clark’s dick in this incredibly dirty/sexy way, teeth scraping just a little – – not that Clark cared – – in fact it made it all the better, heightened the sensation, like Lex’s nails down his skin.

Lex was swallowing, making little humming sounds and the head of Clark’s cock was snug in his throat and it was maybe one of the most erotic things Clark had ever felt. He went over the edge and spilled, jerking helplessly, hands hovering and clenching, afraid that if he laid hands on Lex now, he’d hurt him.

It was like Lex had his mouth on the tap of Clark’s tension – -his pent up energy, and was draining it off, swallowing it down with convulsive movements of his throat, leaving Clark blissful and satisfied in the wake. When Lex pulled back, Clark’s cock plopped from his mouth, wet and still flushed with gathered blood that hadn’t decided yet to declare total retreat. Not with combatants still on the field. Not with Lex’s eyes fixed on Clark’s face as he shrugged off his shirt. Not with Lex using Clark’s thighs to push himself up, the tent in his pants so obvious it looked painful.

Clark knew what Lex looked like down there, had had his hands on smooth, hairless skin, the silky heat of Lex’s cock – – He lifted his fingers to the waist of Lex’s pants and surprisingly enough they were steady. Surprisingly enough, even though his breath came hard and his heart pounded, he knew exactly what he wanted to do. His fingers skimmed Lex’s hips and a little shiver rippled across Lex’s skin – – an honest reaction that couldn’t be hidden by glib words or schooled expressions and Clark felt a shiver of his own that he’d caused it.

He curled his fingers in material and drew slacks and briefs down, rougher than he’d meant to, because restraint was just a nine letter word, the meaning of which had been lost somewhere along the way. Lex bobbed free, and he was beautiful, just like Clark remembered, belly flat and hard, the concave between hip and groin framing his jutting, pink cock.

Clark stared for a second too long, and Lex’s hands connected with his shoulders, pushing him back and oh, god the feel of Lex’s skin when there was nothing between them was amazing.

Clark’s hands moved of their own accord, exploring all the curves and hollows and sharp edges, while Lex’s mouth and fingers were performing their own assessment. Lex was grinding against his hip, leaving slick little trails of precome, and Clark was hard again – – big surprise there.

Clark got a hand on his hip and reversed positions, rolling Lex onto his back, sliding hand from hip to cock.

“That’s it – – that’s good,” Lex gasped when Clark tightened his grip and stroked. Tight, sleek skin. Rosy, leaking head that kept disappearing down the circle of Clark’s thumb and index finger. Clark couldn’t tear his eyes away, until Lex’s fingers twisted in his hair, drawing him down to his mouth, tongue thrusting into Clark’s in a matching rhythm. Then Lex tensed and he threw his head back, back arching off the bed, pumping into the channel of Clark’s fist with discordant, wild strokes and he came, warm and wet across Clark’s hand and his own stomach.

Clark opened his fist, slowly, while Lex collapsed back against the newly changed sheets, long, pale body shuddering on the heels of climax, breath gradually slowing. Clark stared at the glistening residue on his hand – – he’d never had another man’s come on his skin. Never considered how it would taste, but Lex had swallowed everything Clark had offered with no flicker of distaste – – with no hesitation. Lex’s mouth tasted phenomenal and the salty tang of his skin, sheened with sweat was addictive, so maybe – – Clark lifted his hand, rubbing the edge of his thumb across his lips, testing the flavor with the tip of his tongue.

It was interesting, a little salty, a little musk – – an intimate sampling of the basest part of a man. Of Lex.

He looked up, met Lex’s stare, the naked fascination in his eyes as he watched Clark lick the rest of the come off his mouth.

“An acquired taste,” Lex said slowly, pushing himself up onto his elbows. “For some.”

“You like it?” Clark could hardly find his voice.

“Like wine, there are vintages – -” Lex’s lashes fluttered down, trailing off, half a wry smile crossing his lips as he reconsidered the slick answer and decided on something more cut and dry. “I like yours.”

Clark’s dick thrummed, trapped between his belly and Lex’s hip, back to full, avid attention. Lex must have noticed, because he looked down.

“You have something?”

Clark most certainly did. He wasn’t sure what Lex meant right off, though.

Lex caught his brief bafflement and clarified. “Condoms? Lubrication?”

God – – Lex was offering and Clark couldn’t think past it, other than the half lucid memory of pressing Lex against a wall and thrusting against his white buttocks. And maybe Lex was recalling the same thing, because he pushed at Clark’s shoulder, scooting back enough to get his back against the pillows and the headboard and said. “If you need a few hints to get it right this time, I’m happy to give pointers.”

The growl that curled its way up Clark’s throat had nothing to do with anger and everything to do with building desperation. He reached for the bed table, and the jar of Vaseline jelly, which was as close to real lube as you got in the Kent household. Pitifully enough, there hadn’t been a condom here in years and even then, he’d been scared shitless his mom would discover the stash. Not that he’d ever had sex in this house more than once and then – – well, surprisingly enough it didn’t even matter at the moment that he was about to have it a second time with his first partner’s lawful spouse. He’d agonize over that later and in detail, he was sure.

He’d agonize over a lot of things that just didn’t seem to make a damn bit of difference now with Lex propped against his headboard, long white thighs spread like he was posing for dirty pictures, hand idly curled around the base of his half flaccid cock.

“For starters,” Lex drawled, the faintest hint of challenge in his voice. “Vaseline’s a little messy, but it gets the job done. You need to actually apply it, though. I could help, if you’re – -”

Clark grabbed his hips and dragged him out of his recline, got himself between Lex’s thighs. Between Lex’s thighs – – Lex sprawled out under him, heartbeat accelerating, eyes so dark with dilated pupils they were almost black.

Come on. Come on. Lex’s lips were forming the words, but the sound didn’t get past the rush of blood in Clark’s ears.

He greased himself, fingers glopped with petroleum jelly making a sort of ribald suckling sound as he stroked his cock. And there was procedure for this, wasn’t there? But Lex drew him forward, intent on the endgame and growled at him. “Now. Fuck me, now.”

Clark was on him, before he’d finished processing the command, Lex’s knees in the crooks of his elbows, leaning forward and sliding down the crevice of Lex’s ass. Finding the right spot by animal instinct and driving in with a lot more strength than he probably should have used, because Lex gasped like the air had been knocked out of him, fingers scrambling for a hold on Clark’s thighs. Clark froze, hunched over, halfway inside flesh that grasped him like a close fitting glove.

“Move,” Lex hissed, face flushed, pained, but he lifted his hips, moving against Clark, impaling himself further. And God – – balls deep inside of Lex was like absolutely nothing Clark had ever felt. He drew back and slammed in again and the slide was transforming, like the first time he’d run so fast that gravity seemed to loose a little bit of its hold on him. Astonishing that fragile human flesh could grip him so tightly, with heat to match what was bubbling inside him. It pushed him over the edge, and it stopped being anything but the need to get off hard and fast. That narrow focus of purpose that had him lifting Lex for a better angle and pumping into him. That had the bed creaking and swaying ominously in time.

Somewhere along the way, Lex must have gotten religion, because he kept gasping Jesus – – God – – Jesus, on the release of each jagged breath and his hands were just splayed out, clutching at sheets, like Clark had driven the strength right out of him. His mouth, open and gasping was so gorgeous, Clark had to lean down, forcing Lex’s knees almost to his shoulders, and cover it with his own. And that maybe did it, the fucking and the kissing simultaneously, because Lex clenched around him, muscles tight and convulsing – – Clark hadn’t thought it could feel any better – – and came again, spattering both their stomachs, screaming something incoherent and possibly lewd.

And Clark kept moving, reveling in the feel of it around him, finding it beyond electrifying when Lex’s body went loose and jointless under him afterward, willing receptacle that made little breathless sounds at the apex of each inward stroke. Not the sort of sounds he would have ever imagined Lex making. But he liked them, and thought he’d like to cause Lex to make them again.

When Clark came, it was almost liberating, because Lex was durable, and tensile strong and not likely to break because Clark let himself go for a few precious minutes. Maybe even a little part of him didn’t care if he did.

Clark leaned there for a few seconds afterwards, feeling that odd sort of exhaustion that was more mental than physical. Things other than that central connection of bodies, started to come back into slow focus. The faded pattern on the rumpled sheets. The new dent in the old plaster wall behind his bed right about where the headboard would have slammed into it – – repeatedly and with force. The warm press of Lex’s legs against his arms.

Clark drew in a slow breath and pulled back, and Lex drew in a quiet, hissing breath as Clark slid free of his body and lay there after Clark had rolled off, eyes shut, just breathing. Maybe giving Clark an out. An avenue of escape that didn’t involve after sex conversation that Clark was almost entirely sure he couldn’t handle.

The bandage on Lex’s left hand had come undone, gauze trailing off onto the sheets. The one with the dried blood. The bandage on the other hand was intact. He looked back at the unraveled one and it just screamed disarray, an untidy middle finger to all of Lex’s calculated precision. If Lex had had hair – – it would have been tousled, too and that thought made Clark grin a little.

Getting out of the room might have been nice, but he reached down for the quilt at the end of the bed and pulled it up, instead. He might have just made one of the bigger mistakes of his life, but he wasn’t going to run from it.

He was tired of running from it.