Parts of Lex were cold. Frigid almost, in comparison to other parts which were quite comfortably warm. He cracked his eyes just enough to let a few visuals past his lashes and took in a knee and an arm devoid of covers, half hanging over the side of the bed.
He opened his eyes a little further to take in the room the bed in question occupied. There were posters on the wall, and clothes on the floor – – some of which were definitely his – – the room was not. The room was Clark’s. And so – – he discovered when he tried to shift to find the edge of the cover that had migrated off some time during sleep – – was the heavy arm draped across his waist. Clark’s other arm had been stuffed under Lex’s pillow, the forearm and hand protruding from the other side, fingers loosely brushing the surface of Clark’s beside table. The rest of Clark was pressed up against Lex’s back, which accounted for the warm parts of him. The cold sections were due to the fact that Clark had hogged the majority of the no doubt hand crafted quilt haphazardly covering them.
Lex swallowed and lay there, abandoning his efforts at retrieving covers in favor of running over in his mind the events which had led to him waking up in Clark’s bed, playing the inside utensil to Clark’s naked spoon. Oh, the night had been memorable – – the night might stick with him forever – – but honestly, he’d made smarter moves. Mind blowing sex or not, he had the sinking feeling that he might have managed to put himself in the red in his efforts at cultivating Clark’s good will.
He knew Clark well enough to theorize that as soon as he really started thinking about what they’d done – – a panic attack of some order would soon follow. And after that, guilt. And after that, distance.
The anxiety and the guilt, Lex could deal with – – he could talk around – – but he wasn’t entirely certain if he was prepared to endure Clark’s avoidance – – again.
And he needed Clark in ways that he wasn’t entirely sure he could explain if he were pinned down and forced to validate. Clark was a lying bastard. Clark was hiding things vital to Lex’s Self. Clark was the only anchor he had left to cling to that he trusted – – implicitly and inexplicably trusted – – that wouldn’t let him drift out and drown. And last night when the psychological became too disturbing, he’d sought the physiological. Clark, as expected, had been better than any drug known to man, when it came to driving pesky thoughts to the edge of awareness. Repeated orgasm, Lex had found, was a fail-safe method for blanking the mind.
Of course it all came back in the morning, it just lacked that nails-on-chalkboard intensity that had been turning him inside out last night. The light of day and abject sobriety brought dissociation from the matter that was sorely needed. Claiming it was ludicrous, Clark’s disquieting suggestion, would be – – well quite the raging hypocrisy, all things considered.
If he’d been presented with an extraterrestrial tainted subject, it would have inspired a barrage of intriguing speculation. Funny how it left him cold, with the ghost of nausea, contemplating his own contamination. So he supposed he was a hypocrite after all.
Clark’s arm tightened around him, hand stretching flat on his stomach, pressing into the pulse under his ribs, while Clark murmured something breathy against his neck in his sleep. Lex shut his eyes and lay there, enjoying the feel of it – – of this brief respite for the time he had it, before Clark woke up and the inevitable awkwardness began.
It was easy to do, surprisingly enough, to let himself relax into Clark’s sleeping embrace, to let himself luxuriate in the feel of Clark’s body. The sex really had been – – for lack of a better term – – fucking amazing. If this was Clark’s first time with a man, other than the embarrassing incident at the Oriental – – and Lex had to stop a moment and darkly consider the possibility that it might not have been – – he’d outshined all beginner expectations.
Clark shifted, the restless movements of a sleeper drifting out of REM sleep and into something lighter. A knee shifted up, covering Lex’s thighs, and the arm flexed, a breathtaking little display of unconscious strength that threatened to steal Lex’s air. He felt the very distinct growth of morning wood against his ass. His own was engorging a little in sympathy.
Clark nuzzled the back of his head, soft warm lips against his skin. Little shivers of pleasure worked their way down Lex’s body from the point of contact.
“Mmmm, Lex,” Clark murmured, voice sleep-slurred, hand trailing down and brushing the head of Lex’s now very erect cock.
Lex felt it the moment Clark dropped out of sleep and into awareness. The supple sprawl of his body turned rigid. The breath on the back of Lex’s neck was withheld for a beat or two, before it picked up, tinged with the rhythm of the panic Lex had anticipated.
He took a breath and berated himself for not having already composed a soothing, reasonable spiel to offset the inescapable damage. “I realize that this could turn out to be incredibly awkward for the both of us, if not handled properly – -”
Clark hadn’t shoved him out of bed, or rolled away yet, which no doubt meant he was experiencing one of those ‘caught in the headlights’ moments of utter, frozen panic. Lex would have liked to turn over and see what sort of expression he was dealing with. Clark hadn’t particularly loosened his grip yet, though and Clark’s erection was still long and thick against the crack of Lex’s ass, which made coherent thinking – – much less speech making – – damned difficult.
” – – so, we should probably look at this reasonably – – both being consenting adults – -”
Clark pressed his forehead against the back of Lex’s neck and emitted a sound halfway between a moan and a groan, which Lex furrowed his brows trying to decipher, before Clark threw his mind off track by asking. “Do you wanna – – ?”
Lex blinked, sorting that uncompleted question in his head. It was almost comical how much leashed hope trembled in three simple words. So maybe, Clark hadn’t reached the anxiety laden, awkward stage yet.
“I’m game, ” he started, before Clark pulled him over and kissed him like he was on a mission. Which he was, for morning wood waited on no man and tended to be considerably more insistent the younger the man in question was. Foreplay was apparently not on the agenda, a refreshing lack in and of itself. It had been a long time since Lex had had a quick, dirty fuck in the morning without complications – – the lack of need for soft words and gentle coaxing that was generally required for this sort of morning activity out of a just roused woman. Men were considerably less complicated in their needs.
Mutual hands on cocks went a long way.
Clark had apparently found the Vaseline again, because he pushed himself up and pulled Lex up with him, an arm under his hips and the slick head of Clark’s cock nudged him from behind.
Lex shut his eyes and breathed out, relaxing. It still stung when Clark pushed in and if they were going to keep doing this – – god, please – – they needed to go over the niceties of prep work for those times when Lex wasn’t looking for punishing pain along with his pleasure. Because Clark was proportionally large and though Lex could work with the length, the girth took getting used to. It helped when Clark reached under and took firm hold of Lex’s cock. Helped quite a lot, actually, when he started to stroke with a petroleum jelly coated hand. Big hot palm, tight as a second skin around him that moved with the precision of someone who’d done quite a lot of experimental jerking off. Of course, if Lana had been Clark’s first and only and not for long at that – – then it stood to reason that there had been a great deal of self-satisfaction taking place on the Kent farm.
Lex almost laughed at the thought, but a soul deep thrust from Clark knocked it out of him – – and oh, fuck, but this was a particularly ideal position for hitting just the right spot – – and the girth thing was really, really coming in handy now. His arms gave out and his shoulders hit the mattress. It was very likely he was drooling a little and couldn’t have cared less, because nerves were tripping all over his body and his mind was blanking again from circuit overload and – – Goddamnit, it wasn’t like he hadn’t had a fuck and a hand job before- – it was maybe just that he hadn’t had it from Clark.
A dozen thrusts and Clark came, leaned over Lex’s back and shuddered while he found completion, then pulled back enough to slide out with a searing little pain that sent Lex over the edge.
When the white light faded, he was on his side with Clark’s hand still wrapped around his spent penis, Clark curled behind him, the rise and fall of the chest pressed against Lex’s back beginning to even out.
The fingers slowly unfurled, and it was a sad absence of warmth. There was a wet spot on the bed and probably a few dried, crusty places from last night. Come was cooling on Lex’s stomach. There were probably quite a few things cooling. Now, he thought, after Clark had satiated physical needs, he was going to have his second thoughts. Lex idly considered killing him.
“Damn,” Clark said softly, and Lex wasn’t sure if the weakness in his voice was from recent orgasm or onrushing regret. “These were the last clean sheets.”
Lex rolled over, which put him in the wet spot, but let him see Clark’s face. Of course he was flushed, cheeks that heated pink that on Clark was never splotchy or unbecoming. But his eyes were earnest and clear green in the light coming in through the bedroom window and there might have been something related to a tentative grin skirting around the corner of his mouth. So Lex took a breath and reevaluated.
“It happens,” he offered carefully, and tried to keep his gaze on Clark’s eyes, because Clark’s eyes weren’t capable of perpetrating convincing lies. But the lure of the rest of Clark’s body in the light of day was impossible to resist and Lex let his attention drift down. Golden skin, defined like someone with an artistic eye had taken a chisel to living stone. The sated softness that lay between his legs, a shade darker than the skin of his thighs and gorgeous, even deflated.
“I need to go out and feed the cows,” Clark said and Lex narrowed his eyes a little, not sure if that was a euphemism for alone time in the barn.
“Okay,” he agreed slowly, doubtfully. He was generally so much better at handling these morning after situations. Really, he had been expecting more awkwardness.
“Honestly, I have to feed the cows.” Clark actually did smile then, albeit a little self-consciously, and he waved a hand towards the window as he rolled off the bed with a great deal of contained energy. “Have you looked out the window?”
Lex hadn’t. Lex didn’t recall Clark taking time to appreciate the morning view either, for that matter. But when he glanced that way, the panes were crystallized with frost around the edges and there seemed to be a thick layer of snow on the sill, a chill portent of what was actually outside on the ground.
Clark was rooting through the tangle of clothes on the floor for yesterday’s underwear, which he pulled on, followed by jeans. Watching him dress was more fascinating than Lex might have thought. An erotic little reverse striptease that had nothing of grace or seduction about it – – just a criminal obscuration of that beautiful body with clothing that did absolutely nothing to hint at what it hid.
Lex sat there, with the quilt pooled in his lap and just waited for the sky to drop, expecting it to come crashing down – – with some look or phrase or action – – even considered hastening the process with some cutting comment of his own. This was not the type of situation – – they were not the type of friends – – they weren’t friends at all – – to simply rebound from this without uneasiness and pain. The constriction in his chest echoed the certainty of that expectation.
“If you wanted to make a pot of coffee, that would be great. And if you want to, y’know, come outside, feel free to scrounge around in my closet and find something warmer than what you wore over.”
And then Clark was gone, clomping out of the room in high-topped work boots and flannel, that hitch in his stride that a man sometimes exhibited when he went off to work after a bout of exemplary sex.
Lex considered the possibility that he’d succumbed to alcohol poisoning and was experiencing some surreal, subconscious fantasy at the depths of a scotch-induced coma. But the fact that he was sitting in the crusty leavings of his own ejaculation negated the possibility that this was a concocted whimsy. His scenarios generally had much more spit and polish and more than likely wouldn’t leave him still aching from the enthusiasm of Clark’s efforts.
He heard the faint squeaking slam of the back door and took a breath. When reality was more disconcerting than fantasy, you knew you were in trouble. Plowing on was the only rational option.
He rose, dragging the quilt with him, and looked out Clark’s narrow window. Indeed, the world outside was white and featureless. A sea of powdered ice as far as the eye could see.
And quiet. The house was too quiet without Clark’s presence, and the silence Lex had been searching for yesterday echoed disturbingly inside his head.
He shivered and thought about the steam of a long, hot shower. He gathered up his clothes from the floor, shook them out and laid them across the end of Clark’s bed. The bathroom was predictably cool, and the water took forever to warm. When he had an acceptable temperature he cut on the shower and stepped into the old, claw-footed tub. Hot water eased the aches of a body that hadn’t been on the receiving end of sex for years.
He stood under the spray for a long while before reaching for soap. There were spots of mildew here and there on the inside shower curtain – – Martha Kent had been away for so short a while and already her house was falling apart. He wondered how offended she’d be if he arranged for someone to come in once a week and catch all those little things that Clark seemed oblivious to. She’d always been more reasonable than her husband when it came to things like that – – and someone needed to see to the things that any ordinary twenty-one year old male simply didn’t find important. She would appreciate that need.
Lex shut his eyes against the water and wondered when the state of Clark’s domestic welfare had become an issue again? Much less over and above a dozen or so other concerns that ought to be demanding his undivided attention.
It was predictably cold when he stepped out. He grabbed a towel off the rack on the back of the door and dried off. Took a moment to examine the fingertip shaped bruises on his hips. He didn’t mind the marks, he just had no recollection of getting them, and it must have hurt, if Clark had borne down enough to leave imprints. He supposed he’d been deftly distracted by other sensations.
He wrapped the towel around his hips, covering the telling marks and went back to Clark’s bedroom. Clark’s offer notwithstanding, Lex donned his own clothing.
He’d had his moment of insanity with Clark’s hand me down jeans, thank you. He had no intention of traipsing about in other appropriated clothing the morning after sex – – wait there had been sex in the morning as well, so – – late morning after? – – like a woman wearing her trophy shirt for all to see that she’d scored a man. He didn’t care if it was twenty degrees outside and there were apparently six to eight inches of snow on the ground and more coming down. Even if he’d been tossing it off like dead skin recently, there was still dignity to consider.
Lex went downstairs, looked out the kitchen door at the white-coated yard. Clark’s footprints were gentle pockmarks in powdery snow, leading off towards the big red barn. There was no sign of him otherwise. The Audi and the Kent truck were snow-covered mounds. The roads were most likely a lost cause anyway, Smallville’s one snowplow being notoriously slow at getting to the back rural routes. He didn’t have his phone. He didn’t have his laptop. He felt vaguely marooned in the middle of Kansas farmland.
He’d been marooned worse places. There was coffee here at least, even if it was brand name pre-ground crap. He found the container in the freezer and put some on to brew.
The telephone on the wall rang while Lex was staring at black coffee dribbling into a glass pot. He considered ignoring it. The complications of having to explain to any number of Clark’s friends why he was here was ample enough reason. Still, it was a ringing phone and Lex’s sense of order screamed, pick it up, pick it up.
There was a pregnant pause, then. “Lex?”
Lex shut his eyes and cursed himself for not ignoring the compulsion. Why the hell was his father calling here anyway, with Martha Kent out of town? What could Lionel Luthor possibly have to talk about with Clark? The contemplation of it, sent little shivers of unease up his spine.
“Did you misdial, dad,” he forced casual disinterest into his tone. “Or is this just a happy coincidence?”
“Actually, I was looking for you, son.” His father never missed a beat.
“And the first place you thought to call was the Kent farm?” Lex stared steadily at the back door, with its cheery paint and its handmade, rooster-patterned curtains. Martha Kent’s curtains. Martha Kent who had a relationship with his father that Lex had yet to figure out the specifics of. He idly wondered if Lionel had fucked her – – in this house under the disapproving eye of her husband’s ghost. He wondered what that same ghost thought of Clark fucking the younger Luthor in the same hallowed, creaky environs of the farmhouse. A faint, humorless smile touched his lips.
“I was concerned, Lex. There was no answer at the mansion. Not even a stray domestic to pick up the line. Then to discover from your head of estate security that you’d had a bit of a – – tantrum – – and fired the staff – -”
“I didn’t fire the staff.” He was almost 100 percent certain that he hadn’t.
“Yes, well, you might want to clear that up, then. Your man at the gate said you left with a young man fitting Clark Kent’s description. A surprise certainly, considering your recent interactions. But I thought I’d call to check, just the same.”
“If I was sixteen and out past curfew, I’d understand the concern. I fail to see your interest, now.”
Lionel laughed and it grated on Lex’s ears. “I was worried. You know, I’ve been worried. You haven’t been yourself, lately, son.”
It hit Lex, like a frozen fist in the gut, that Lionel knew. That somehow, his father suspected the things that Clark had suggested – – the things that made all too much terrible sense once pieces started falling into place, one puzzle shard after another locking together to form a hazy sense of an alarming whole.
“Good bye, dad.” He hung up the phone. Stood there with his hand on it, grinding his teeth. Clark knew. His father knew. How many other people were on the inside of a secret that Lex felt himself floundering at the edges of?
Of course his father had known about the Zod thing, just as Clark had and Martha Kent, and God knew who else. Half of Smallville probably – – everyone but Lex who’d been at the center of it. He took a breath and fought back paranoia. He wasn’t paranoid he was just outside of the fucking loop.
Lex hated being outside of the loop.
He snatched his coat off the back of the kitchen chair and went outside. He stood on the porch where the snow was only a light dusting under the roof and pulled on leather driving gloves that were too thin to really be much protection against the cold. He stuffed his hands in his pockets and stalked to the railing to look for that sign of color against the whiteness that would indicate Clark.
He heard the cantankerous rattle of the old tractor before he saw it, coming up the service road behind the barn, between pasturage and fields. The shoulder high back wheels rolled through the snow with precision, dragging a flat bed behind, that was littered with the remains of the hay that Clark had probably loaded it with on his trip out to the Kent cows.
Lex crunched across the yard to intercept it, and Clark, perched in the precarious narrow seat at the back of the rig, waved and yelled something that might have been a request to open the barn door. Lex did so, pushing the big doors back on tracks that Clark had already cleared of snow.
Clark eased the tractor into the shelter of the barn and cut the engine. The lack of rumbling diesel engine that had to be older than Clark and Lex combined, was a blessing to the ears.
Clark clambered down, red cheeked and bright eyed, and unaccountably pleased it seemed, to be about farm work at quarter past eight in the morning. Or maybe it was the snow. Clark had always liked snow.
“Hey, you came out.” Clark stated the obvious with a toothy grin.
“My father called.” If Lex had been less annoyed, he might have eased into the subject with a little more finesse, instead of snapping it out like an accusation.
“Really?” Clark stopped dusting particles of hay off his jeans, eyes wide and startled.
Lex narrowed his. “I surprised him by answering the phone. He claimed he was looking for me – – but I get the feeling your number is on his speed dial.”
Clark blinked, wariness starting to creep into his eyes. “Yeah, well – – him and my mom talk a lot.”
“You know another feeling I got? That you and he were on the same page in your – – hypotheses – – concerning the state of my mind. So how long have you and my father been chatting, Clark?”
Clark opened his mouth. Shut it with a frown. “I don’t chat with your dad, Lex.” He marched out of the barn, waiting for Lex to follow before pulling the doors closed.
“Really? It seems to me he’s been in rather tight with the Kent’s since your father died. And why not – -? Lionel Luthor has always proven trustworthy beyond compare.”
Clark turned on him, halfway between the barn and the house, with an exasperated huff. “Lex, stop it. Yes, I occasionally talk to your dad and no, I don’t particularly like it.”
“All that proves is that you’re not a masochist.”
Clark gave him a look and a raised brow and muttered. “No, I’m beginning to think I’m entirely masochistic. I’m not plotting against you, though.”
Clark looked earnest. But then Clark always looked earnest, even when he was self-righteous and pissed. He looked better when he was naked. Lex looked away, chewing on the inside of his cheek.
Hands grasped his face. Big palms that were fever hot against his chilled cheeks and for a heartbeat Lex felt the pull of irritation at Clark’s audacity. People just didn’t go about touching him without invitation. He had the beginnings of a look that would shrivel the courage of lesser men – – but Clark wasn’t paying it heed and Clark was looking down at him with a steely glint in his eyes that some part of Lex must have found appealing because he lost track of the biting reprimand that had been on the tip of his tongue.
“Lex, if you don’t trust anything else I tell you, trust this. I’m not working against you and if I can help it, I won’t let you get hurt again.”
Lex let out a gusty breath of pricked pride. It rolled in front of his face in a little cloud of white, mingling with Clark’s frosted exhalations. “I’ve been seeing to my own welfare for the last twenty-eight years, so I think I can manage without you.”
Both Clark’s brows rose. His mouth twitched in what looked suspiciously like skepticism. And yes, there were a few incidents where Clark’s presence might have come in handy, but Lex could overlook them for the sake of argument.
“Sure. Whatever you say.” Clark smiled at him with good-natured condensation – – if there was such a thing when directed towards Lex personally – – and moved past him towards the house.
“Damn right, whatever I say,” Lex snarled at him back. “Because half of the things you’re dredging up in your memory were probably a direct result of something you dragged to my doorstep to begin with.”
“True,” Clark admitted, stomping the snow off his boots on the mat before the door. “Of course the other half – -”
He wiped his own feet and followed Clark into the kitchen. It smelled pleasantly of coffee, which Clark made a beeline for. He poured two cups and held one out to Lex. Lex took it with a frown, feeling rather like the sulky child in the face of Clark’s good humor. It was a disconcerting turn of events, for usually Lex was the one in possession of cool wits while Clark stomped around in a temper.
“So, I’m thinking scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast,” Clark said as he doctored his coffee with powdered creamer and sugar. “And maybe waffles. Yeah, waffles would be good. That okay with you?”
Lex stared at the indication of Clark’s ass through the baggy fall of his jeans and considered the possibility that it had been so long since Clark had had sex that he’d gone off the deep end into terminally giddy now that he’d had it twice in twelve hours. God knew, Lex had had the occasional partner that had made the leap into irrationality after a night spent in his bed. And while his ego was certainly capable of maintaining the notion that he was simply that good, he rather thought it was more along the lines that he had abysmally bad luck.
“Waffles sound good.”
Clark cast a grin at him over his shoulder and Lex let out a breath, the curve of a smile grudgingly touching his lips. It was hard not to soften around the edges when Clark smiled at you. The only solution to the question of whether this were some weird physiological sex reaction on Clark’s part, was to have it another ten twelve times minimum and see if the good mood diminished.