Wrongs To Make Right

by Pablo

Thanks to Yvette for the beta, and my fellow who-ites for feeling the "Whitney-Love".

The sound of fireworks is still loud in his ears, even though the sky is once again dark and the explosions had ended sometime earlier. It had been like this the last time he and Lana had fought as well. Memories from the event retained in his mind, filling his senses and he can hear her repeated words over and over again in his head.

It's not really like they fight often, well, if he's really honest with himself they'd never fought at all until recently.

He doesn't want to sound too much like a male chauvinist he's pretty sure it's not him that's changed, that it's more Lana. Up until recently Whitney wouldn't have entertained the thought, even for a moment that Lana might be interested in someone else. Now, that seems to be all he can think about, especially at this time, just after they've fought. She's not even really paying attention now, all Lana's doing is ignoring him, arms folded across her chest and Whitney's pretty sure he's caught her practising that look in the full length mirror in her room. He just didn't think he'd be the one on the receiving end of that look.

So she's pissed at him, Whitney knows he should really be trying to convince her otherwise, he knows that's the standard form in this sort of relationship. Boy convinces girl that he is interesting, but right at this very moment it's the last thing he feels like doing.

The first thing, right now? Well if Whitney lets himself be honest it's track down Clark fucking Kent and ...

And what?

He's not really sure he can answer that question but if he traces a line back from this point now, follows it back to their last argument and then traces it to the origins of Lana's, what he refers to as "strange behaviour" he knows that's the point he'll reach.

Clark Kent.

Up until recently Lana had barely noticed the kid, he'd always seemed too tongue tied around her, too clumsy and Whitney's gotta admit he actually felt sorry for Clark. He knows how hard it can be when you really like someone and you just seem to mess it up all the time but now pity's the last thing he feels for the Kent kid.

Like they say; opinions change when someone becomes actual competition.

'Oh, and now you're not even listening to me, Whitney Fordman.'

'Woah, sorry Lana I was ...' Whitney's not even really sure where he was let alone how exactly he might explain it.

'Look Lana, the last thing I wanna do with you tonight is fight, you were here first. What say I just leave and you let me try and make it up to you tomorrow?'

Faint hint of a smile and Whitney can tell he's won her over, he just follows along, lets her chastise him, tell him she'll call him if she gets a chance and he almost considers pushing it a little further, maybe leaning in for a kiss but he decides not to. Concedes this victory. Lets her think she's won because Whitney knows that the key to Lana is letting her think she's in charge.

It's what first attracted him to her and he has to wonder why exactly that seems like such a long time ago.

'Tomorrow then.'

Whitney just watches her as she leaves, moves back towards the house and for a moment he just lets himself stare at her. He's not always allowed this liberty. Whenever she catches him doing it she's all "what are you looking at?" or even worse, "what do you want?" She thinks she knows him so well.

He just smiles slightly to himself as she disappears up the steps of the Kent house, swallowed by the crowd and the music, Whitney tries hard not to think about who's there, who she's talking to. What she's doing.

Whitney's still watching the door Lana went in, thoughts totally occupied and he doesn't hear the movement next to him.

'Just when you think you understand them, they surprise you, huh?'

He tries to hide his surprise, doesn't know much more about Lex Luthor than his reputation but Whitney knows it takes more than that to reach the sort of social position Lex has.

'Understand them? Nah, I don't think I'd ever go as far as to say understand.'

Normally confident, but something about the way Lex always stares at him makes Whitney just a little nervous, maybe something to do with the fact that his family owns the Metropolis Sharks, but it always makes Whitney hyper-sensitive of his every move. Nervousness seems to take over when he knows that everything he says or does might at some later point be important. So, Whitney tries his hardest, smiles openly at Lex and tries to appear like he at least knows what he's talking about.

He regrets having a couple of beers before he came over because now he's not sure if Lex is expecting him to say anything or not, he's pretty sure he hasn't been asked a question but the way Lex is simply looking at him makes him think that maybe he did. Maybe he missed it and knowing Whitney's current luck, it was probably something vitally important. Like you wanna be our starting quarterback? Or, is this your large wad of cash that I found on the ground?

He's still thinking about it when Lex actually does start talking and it takes him a few moments to latch his brain onto that train of thought. It's okay though, most people always assume you're even more stupid when you wear a letterman jacket. Like all the schools get them made out of some material that leaches about 50 IQ points from your brain.

'So, Whitney right?'

He just nods, flashes a smile and balks slightly when Lex responds. Smiling. Just no teeth exposed, lips tight over his teeth and the small trace of a smile that appears, sends shivers down Whitney's spine. He tries to pretend it's the cold.

'I've heard a lot about you.'

And that's the last thing Whitney expected to hear. he stutters for awhile and when he looks up Lex is smiling even more, still no teeth but the smile's getting bigger.

'You've uh ... heard a lot?'

Whitney thinks this has got to be good. Maybe he's had more than a couple of beers earlier because now Lex is talking to him like he knows him, like he's heard about him. Starting quarterback for the Metropolis Sharks is suddenly looking a whole lot better.

'Yeah a lot, you're kind of a celebrity around these parts, not that I should say much but there's definitely some people around here that look up to you.'

'What have you heard, Mr Luthor?'

'Please, Whitney. Lex.'

'Uh ... Lex.'

'Well lets just say you're quite the hot topic of conversation around here. People look up to you, quarterback, dating the prettiest girl in school. Like I said, people look up to you. Certain people in particular.'

Whitney just nods his head, starts to worry that if he smiles anymore than he currently is, his head will split in two. He's kind of staring off just to the left of Lex, not really paying that much attention, more caught up in the moment and it takes him a little while to actually digest what the older man is saying.

'Certain people in particular?'

His full attention back to Lex and the other man's smile slightly unnerves him. For a moment, Whitney's glad he's still in school. That he's got college and a couple of years at least before he has to deal with someone like Lex Luthor. Whitney's without a doubt that a man like this gets what he wants. He also knows he doesn't say anything extraneous and whilst he's waiting for a reply, Whitney tries to untangle what Lex is implying.

'Sure Whitney, I'm surprised you haven't noticed.' Lex is looking back towards the Kent house, he gestures with his chin as he takes a slight pause before he continues.

Things are starting to make a little more sense to Whitney, but he just waits.

'After he played on the football team you were all Clark could talk about. How great a player you were, how you made him feel part of the team. How much he looked up to you.'

Whitney couldn't really be more surprised, even if Lex had actually offered him a position on the Sharks. All he can manage in response is a slightly high-pitched question and he clears his throat afterwards and repeats it, 'Clark?'

'Oh sure, he's been wanting to play for a long time and he mentioned how you okayed it with the coach, gave him your recommendation. In support of Clark.'

Whitney still can't respond, he isn't sure how what he's hearing can be true. He'd never really gone out of his way to help Clark for the short period of time he'd played football. Whitney had still been a little riled up over the Lana incident and if he's really honest he'd wanted to give Clark some room. He still hadn't really apologised and whilst Whitney might not have even admitted it to himself he was a little ashamed of what he'd done. The way he'd treated Clark.

That's why what Lex is saying is coming as even more of a shock. Clark respects him? He's not sure that it's not another ploy on Kent's behalf, his over-protectiveness clicking up a few notches and Whitney lets his eyes search the crowd, he's unsure exactly where Lana had gone after they'd fought but now he's worried it might have been back inside.

Back to Clark.

The fact that thinking about Lana has only just intruded on the thoughts in his brain isn't lost on Whitney.

'No way, I mean Clark ... and I ...'

Whitney hopes he's not blushing too much and is pleased when Lex steps in and fills the gap that the quarterback's incredulity has created.

'Yeah sure, at first there was a bit of jealousy there. But Clark's mature enough to get over that sort of thing. I'd be lying to you if I said that his interest in you was solely based on respect, but it's not really up to me to say that sort of thing.'

Whitney can't even answer this time. He can tell by the expression on Lex's face however that he's successfully conveying his disbelief.

'What? So now you're saying Clark ...' He lets his voice get quieter, takes a quick glance around to ensure nobody is within hearing distance before he starts speaking again.

'... Likes me? But ... Lana?' He can't quite frame that question but he's pretty sure he doesn't need to. He just runs over and over in his head, what he can remember about Clark.

The short time he spent on the team. He can understand the respect now. He gets that a lot from the younger kids. But, Clark? Liking him? He's sensed a certain amount of aloofness, but Whitney's always written that off as jealousy. He's always assumed that Clark's simply seen him as competition.

Lex is smiling again, Whitney tries to gauge what Lex s getting out of this conversation but he gives up trying to decipher the other man's emotion. //Does the fact that he's unreadable mean he's lying?//

He watches Lex shrug his shoulders, he's still smiling, but now Whitney's concentration is locked on his every move. So much so that he fails to even notice any of the other people standing near them.

'Whitney, I know certain things. It's my job to decipher what people are really thinking.'

Whitney's about to ask him to clarify that rather cryptic statement, but before he can, he notices out of the corner of his eye someone move up so they're standing just behind Lex, just to his left. Like they're waiting for the two to notice him. Close but not wanting to intrude.

When Whitney realises it's Clark he's beyond controlling the blush he can feel staining his cheeks.

//Clark, likes me?//

'Hey Lex, hey Whitney.'

And Whitney can't help but notice the way that Clark dips his head down when he says Whitney's name. How he doesn't really meet his gaze. Once Whitney's looking at him he's hiding behind impossibly thick lashes and droopy fringe.

Clark's body language is screaming uncomfortableness. His hands are both shoved into the back pockets of his jeans, he's slouched over slightly, still not meeting his gaze. Bottom lip pulled in between his teeth, lips slightly curled up in a smile and it looks like he's trying to decide what to say. Like he's rehearsing some sort of line over and over in his head, and not for the first time. Like he's planned this very moment.

Whitney tries to smile and hopes his voice doesn't falter when he responds, says hello and as hard as he tries not to look at Lex after he's said it, he does. Lex is smiling at him, slight twist to his lips as he just waits. Whitney watches as Lex slides his arm around Clark's shoulder, begins to talk but his eyes never leave Whitney. He's standing next to Clark and just watching him.

They're talking about school. Well, more honestly Lex is talking, Clark still seems to be finding his feet interesting.

Could Lex be right?

Lex asks them a question about their planned school trip to the Luther Corp plant and when Whitney tries to answer, both he and Clark talk at the same time. Their voices overlapping for a second but as soon as Clark notices he stops, blushes slightly and lets Whitney continue.

He just goes over what they have planned. Well, what he can remember and Lex is acting genuinely interested. Like he actually cares about their field trip. When Whitney's speaking to Lex he's trying to catch out of the corner of his eye what Clark's doing. He doesn't want Clark to see, but more importantly he doesn't want Lex to catch him doing it. The way Lex is listening doesn't help though, doesn't let him sneak occasional glances at Clark without first telegraphing his intention.

They're still talking fertiliser when a tall Asian girl walks up. Sinuous fluidity to her movement and Whitney can tell from not only her age but the way she's exhuding confidence that she must have come with Lex. Come. With. Lex. Lex's date. And when she makes excuses Whitney knows that Lex will also be leaving.

Whitney can't help but think that Lex's task is now done here and the last glance he gets from him as he turns away, his girl on his arm only solidifies that theory in Whitney's mind.

One last hand clasp, Whitney hopes his palms aren't sweaty as he shakes Lex's hand.

'You should think about what I said, Whitney.'

Then he's alone with Clark. Alone surrounded by god knows however many friends from school and people he only vaguely knows from the town, but for all intents and purposes he and Clark really are alone.

'So, what were you and Lex talking about?'

If it wasn't for the innocent smile on Clark's face, shock of white teeth between those impossibly full lips, Whitney would have thought this had been a setup right from the start.

//Where have you been hiding all this time, Kent?//

This night certainly turned out differently than Whitney had planned. First, Lana turning up and now this. Maybe a bit too much for Whitney to think about. Before this evening he'd viewed Clark as competition someone to watch closely. Now he's not exactly sure how he should be thinking about Clark. He knows though, that he'll probably be watching him even more closely.

Whitney stumbles over his response, writes off his conversation with Lex as "talking about football" before he decides to do a little investigating of his own.

'So Clark ... uh ...' He may not be as smooth as Lex, but the way Clark is looking at him, hanging off his every word, makes Whitney think that he'll answer any questions anyway. 'Your father still against you playing ball? You know we can always use someone like you on the team.'

Whitney can't believe it can actually have happened, but Clark's smile becomes even bigger. He can't help but find it infectious and for a moment he just smiles at Clark. Actually takes a good look at him and tries to decide if Lex Luthor has been right all this time.

He barely notices what they're talking about. He's not even thinking about Lana or their argument at all, anymore.

Whitney nods his head at Trevor and Pete. The two of them are standing in their usual position at the start of the hallway. He knows they're waiting for Judy to go to her locker. Trevor had made a bet with Pete that he wouldn't ask her out by the end of this week and it still looks like Trevor's money's pretty safe. Judging from the nervous look on Pete's face anyway.

He rounds the corner, adjusts the books he's holding in his hand and tries to remember what (if any) homework they'd had for calculus. He's thinking polynomials when he notices Clark standing next to Lana's locker.

His back is facing towards him and Clark's head is tipped forward. Even from this distance Whitney can see the wisps of hair poking under his collar. Dark red flannel shirt on, far too baggy and when did Whitney start thinking about that sort of thing? His mind's taken back to the conversation on the weekend with Lex Luthor. The things that he'd mentioned and the way that they seemed to have changed how Whitney feels about Clark.

He no longer sees him as a rival and if he's not quite sure how he feels about him he knows there's plenty of time to answer that question. Instead he goes back to watching the way that Clark's shoulders move under the brushed cotton of his shirt. He's leaning against the lockers talking. Whitney can see his mouth moving, strong muscles in his jaw as he speaks. He's smiling, as always and Whitney knows he could hear him laughing if he was just a bit closer, or if there was less noise in the hall.

Whitney slows down, doesn't walk as quickly as he normally would and just watches. Tries to take in from Clark's body language as much as he can gauge. He loses his smile when Clark turns around slightly, till he's almost facing where Whitney's walking but he's sure he won't have seen him looking. The distance between them is substantial enough for him not to have seen.

Whitney doesn't notice Lana until he's much closer. He hopes that's because she's obscured by the crowd of people in the hall and not for any other reason that Whitney doesn't want to dwell on.

And now he knows Clark can see him. Because when he twists around slightly, still leaning his body against the locker, he's smiling at him. Corded muscle in his neck even more pronounced, forming a line down under the collar of his shirt, long length of tanned skin. Whitney, losing his train of thought, only smiles back. Clark's teeth are so white and his smile, so genuine that Whitney's forgotten all about calculus. All about a whole lot of things including Lana, but when he hears her speaking he's reminded, instantaneously of the fact that he's supposed to be being extra nice to her. Making up for their "scene" on the weekend.

But he still says hi to Clark first, doesn't want to seem presumptuous and kiss Lana after he's said hello to her because he remembers they're still fighting and he doesn't want her to be annoyed with him. He repeats that a couple of times in his head until he almost starts believing it.


'Huh ... Lana ... uh we should talk.'

Whitney's looking at Lana now, he doesn't fail to notice the annoyed look on her face. He's about to say more when he catches out of the corner of his eye the look on Clark's face. He's not sure at first but he can see that he feels uncomfortable, he's about to say something to him when Lana's voice interrupts.

'What the hell's wrong with you, Whitney? You didn't call me all weekend and something tells me you're still not ready to talk about anything. Well, I'm not either.'

Door to her locker slammed shut and now Whitney's watching her leave. He doesn't move though as she walks the length of the hallway. He still hasn't spoken as she rounds the corner and disappears from view. He can hear the barely concealed laughter of the other students as they walk past.

He just shakes his head and lets out a sigh.

'I guess I don't need to ask if you guys are still arguing?'

Whitney, runs his hand through his hair, can't describe his mood in any other way than exasperated. Lana seems to have once again managed to confuse the shit out of him. He's beyond trying to understand her, had thought that everything would be simple to work out after the weekend. He'd pretty much apologised to her at Clark's party and had hoped all he'd needed to do was compliment her on what she was wearing and everything would be back to normal.

Whitney's starting to doubt whether he understands his girlfriend at all.

He moves to his locker before he responds to what Clark has said. Opens his mouth to say something and can't quite think of anything besides, 'Yeah, dude.'

Clark's doing that half-smile thing at him, showing no teeth but his lips are curled up. Whitney just stares at them for a moment, wonders if anybody else has noticed the way Clark's lips look. Full and red, too full for most guys, but Whitney can't help but think they look good. How they'd probably feel really good to kiss, firm, he's sure like the rest of Clark but he's without a doubt they'd be perfect for biting between your teeth, kissing and suckling Clark's lips. Whitney can't help but wonder what sort of noise Clark would make when he did it, when Whitney was nibbling on his lips, when he was ...


He doesn't know how long he's been standing like this. One hand holding his books, the other half way through opening his locker just staring at Clark's mouth.

'Are you OK?'

'Sorry ... uh, yeah. Just a little "spaced" out I guess. We had early practice and I ...'

He doesn't bother finishing his sentence. He just opens his locker and takes out the books he'll need for his next period. Piles the ones in his hands on the shelf in his locker.

'Lana getting to you? She's not really pissed at you or anything. She was saying ...'

Whitney turns to look at Clark again. He hadn't noticed how close the other boy was. Slouching his body against the locker next to him, bag hanging from his hand.

Clark changes what he was saying, ends mid sentence and becomes all defensive.

Whitney, one eyebrow raised as he waits to hear what Clark had been saying.

'Uh, sorry Whitney. I wasn't making any moves. We were just ... just talking and ...'

He can see the genuine concern on Clark's face and smiles at him, corner of his mouth turning up slightly. Whitney can't help recall what Lex had said and more importantly what Lex *hadn't* said. What he'd made a point of not mentioning even when Whitney had asked him and he's thinking yet again about Clark Kent.

This time he's trying to make sense of his skittish behaviour. The way that Clark's always so nervous around him. His eyes, downcast and Whitney catches him almost all the time watching him, sneaking glances when he thinks Whitney's not looking. He gets that a lot from the other students. Most of them look at him with jealousy and contempt, but Whitney's only just noticing that that's not how Clark's been looking at him.

He'd thought Clark had been so nervous because of Lana. But after his conversation with Lex Luthor he's beginning to wonder.

'That's OK Clark. I know you weren't.'

Without even thinking he slaps his hand on Clark's shoulder and squeezes him slightly. The sort of thing that he does to the guys, it's not like he doesn't touch other guys all the time. His team mates and friends. He's always been a pretty tactile guy, but when he puts his hand on Clark's shoulder it's like he's generating a whole lot more body heat than usual. Like he can feel the warmth of Clark's skin through all those layers of clothing he's wearing.

Clark's smiling at him now and Whitney leaves his hand there for just a little longer. Smiles back and gives his shoulder one last squeeze.

Clark's nodding his head as Whitney closes his locker. The shrill noise of the bell almost shocking him as he hears the last few people in the hallway clear out. Clark still hasn't moved from his position next to him and Whitney's starting to wonder if he's ever going to go to class.

Clark's still smiling and he dips his head down, look back up at Whitney from underneath those long dark lashes and Whitney starts wondering what the hell Lana has been thinking.

Why she's still with Whitney when this is the alternative.

'Well, I gotta go to class, Clark. I guess I'll see you around.'

It's like Clark's only just noticed they're the only two left in the now deserted hallway, Whitney can see him look up sharply at the clock. his eyes widening and Whitney laughs slightly at him. Watches him grab his bag and run down the end of the hall.

Whitney just stands there looking, watches as Clark bounds along. It's like the kid still hasn't really grown into his body.

Whitney starts to walk the other way, thinks he catches Clark turn back to him, smiling and for a second just watching Whitney as he turns.

But when he looks back the hallway is empty. Clark's gone.

Whitney shakes his head and thinks again about giving Lex Luthor a call.

Clark quickly pushes the door to the classroom open. He'd pretty much lost track of time when he'd been talking to Whitney, it registers as one of their longest conversations to date, even though not much was actually said and Clark can't help but smile when he thinks back about what had happened.

He's not entirely sure why he's so happy about it. But it's one of the first times he and Whitney have finished a conversation without at least latently arguing about Lana.

Clark's running excuses for being late over in his head but can't quite think of any that don't sound too similar to "I kinda got distracted talking to the quarterback because when he smiled at me I lost all track of time". As reasonable as that sounds to Clark, he doesn't quite think that'll go down to well with Mr. Harrison.

So he's relieved when his teacher just waves him to his desk, acerbic comment his only response.

'So nice of you to join us, Mr. Kent.'

He slides into his seat. He has to move the chair back so he can fit himself behind the cramped space of the desk. Folds his legs under, top of his thighs brushing against the wooden surface.

He looks over at Chloe sitting next to him. One of her eyebrows raised questioningly.

There's a book open before her and when he notices it, that's when Clark realises he still hasn't been to his locker. He knows he can't ask to be excused to grab his book and the only excuse he can think of, once again to explain it's absence seems to revolve around blonde quarterbacks and their impossibly blue eyes.

'Pssst Chloe, can we share?'

He tries to look all innocent. He knows that Chloe'll help him out, all he has to do is ask. Well ask and then put up with the ribbing he'll receive for the rest of the day, but it's his only hope.

She just twists her mouth into a smirk, eyebrow still raised and he doesn't wait for an answer. He scooches his chair closer. Rubber stoppers on the seat dragging across the polished linoleum floor and a hollow high pitched noise attracts everybody's attention. Clark can feel himself blushing as everyone looks at him, Mr. Harrison included.

His teacher moving his glasses down to the end of his nose, as he waits.

Clark mouths "sorry", and moves his desk quickly so he can read from Chloe's book. He can hear her laughing softly and he just looks back to the front of the class, pretends to be intrigued by 16th century French history. Clark puts on his "Kent-Charm" smile (trademark Chloe), and is relieved when the teacher turns back to scrawling something on the board.

Something, everyone seems to be ignoring. Including Chloe.

'So, tell me Clark. Why exactly were you late? Putting in a few extra hours at the local "Lana Stalking" bureau?'

He can hear her laughing quietly as she speaks. He doesn't need to look at her to know her eyes are lighting up. That she's enjoying this, possibly too much.

'No, why do you think everything revolves around Lana?'

And Clark thinks this is a first. Chloe, mouth open but no words escaping. She's opening and closing it and for the very first time Clark sees Chloe speechless. He flashes his smile at her and she just shakes her head.

'OK, so you look like my friend Clark. But for some reason you don't sound at all like him. Don't move I gotta get my camera because this is so a picture for the wall of weird.'

Clark just fake laughs at her, she's still smiling and when he reaches over her to turn the page to the text, opening the book at chapter six, he can feel the length of her arm pressing against his own. Clark marvels how small she seems in comparison. He can remember a time when they'd been pretty much the same height, but now she makes him feel so much bigger than her. The same way that he realises Lana makes him feel.

'So no Lana? Where were you then?'

He finds it funny that she really seems genuinely confused. Like he couldn't have been doing anything else. There's one problem with having Chloe as a friend, Clark always has to wonder if she's his friend first, and a reporter second. Or if it's the other way around. He knows she's just concerned but sometimes it's so much easier to just make something up.

'I got caught up helping dad.'

'Oh, you should have just said. Soooo ... what's she wearing today then?'

'What?' He looks over at Chloe and she's scrawling some notes in her book, an overly innocent look on her face and then she cracks up into a smile. It only takes a few more seconds for Clark to work out what she's saying and then he joins in with her laughter.

'Mr. Kent, Miss Sullivan.' Their teacher's voice causing them both to lapse into silence. 'Is there anything you'd like to share with the rest of the class?'

Clark's blushing again, he's about to answer when he hears Chloe next to him.

'Well, Mr. Harrison, Clark was just telling me ...'

'No ... uh nothing, sir.'

Chloe's still smiling but at least now she's not talking. Clark can feel himself blushing and resolves to spend a little less time talking in class from now on.

'Clark, wait up.'

Last period over and Clark's pleased that he has 15 odd hours where he doesn't have to think about anything related to Smallville High School. He turns back, when he hears Pete's voice from behind him. Waits as his friend runs up towards him. He smiles at Pete and slaps him on the shoulder.

Clark hasn't been spending so much time with Pete lately. This time of the year's always busy around the farm and now that Pete's getting fully into the whole sports thing, something Clark *can't* join him in, they seem to be spending less and less time together.

It only makes sense he decides, considering how they're getting older. Clark has his responsibilities and he tries not to begrudge Pete the fact that he can still play football. That he's allowed this opportunity to fit in with the other kids at school.

Clark wonders sometimes if he's destined to just be that "Kent kid". Not really fitting into any groups at all. A loner.

'How's it going Pete, you asked Judy out yet?'

Clark smiles at the shocked look on Pete's face. He actually starts laughing when Pete shakes his head and smiles.

'Damn, does everyone know about that? Look, Chloe asked me to track you down.'

Clark decides to let Pete off and not mention the distinct lack of answer to his question.

'We need your help and Chloe said you'd be more than happy to lend a hand. I told her I better, you know ask first but she said it would be fine?'

Pete phrases the end of the sentence like a question, and Clark finds himself agreeing before he even realises he has no idea what exactly he's helping out with.

'Great one man, we just have to go past the Torch office, grab the camera and then head out to the field.'

Pete's already leading him back down the hallway, towards the Torch office and Clark follows. Questions already escaping his mouth.

'Wait...wait Pete, what? What are we doing?'

Pete's voice back over his shoulder as he keeps walking, doesn't slow his pace as he hurries down the hall. 'It's for a story. Danny, who usually does all the sports articles is sick and Chloe need us to help out. Nothing much, just take some pictures, ask a few questions from the new coach and a few players. Nothing strenuous. Well, a little strenuous for me. I'm training. You're doing the interviewing, Clark.'

It takes Pete a few moments to realise that Clark is no longer following him. When he looks back he can see his friend's mouth opening and shutting like he wants to ask a question but can't quite think of the right words.

'Don't worry, Clark. It's just a short story and hopefully if you get a good enough picture you won't need to say very much. Pretty much nobody reads the sports pages anyway. Except for the coach, and the principal, and the PTA. So, you know not many people.'

'Woah, Pete. Why me? Why not Chloe?'

'Dude, she's busy. That's why there's such a rush to get this article in. Paper's due out day after tomorrow, Clark.'

Pete's talking to him like this should all make some sort of sense, like it should fit into Clark's version of logic. But it doesn't really. Clark's dad's not going to be happy that he's late and really Clark doesn't have much in the way of experience. Oh sure, he's followed Chloe and Pete around before, watched them interview people, but Clark's more comfortable in the background. Holding the camera, not asking the questions.

He's trying to think of an excuse. They're almost to the Torch office now but when Pete turns around and tells Clark how much they're counting on his help he can't say no. He just agrees and tries not to think about it too much.

Clark holds the camera out in front of him, tries to position the coach in the centre of the frame, the members of the team standing behind him and finally gives up. Just takes the shot and hopes that it's not blurred beyond all recognition.

He tries not to think about the fact that his hands are shaking and the reason why.

Pete waves at him from the other side of the field, behind the coach and Clark wonders if it's too late to make a break for it.

That's when he notices Whitney. He can see the coach yelling at him, trying to get him to memorise some new play that up till now Clark's been ignoring. He repositions the camera and takes another shot. He looks around to see if anyone's actually seen him do it. Take a photo of Whitney. Nobody seems to have but he feels guilty, despite the fact that that's what he's here for.

Pete had told him to take some photos, try and get some shots of the team training and then to interview the new coach. After Coach Wallace had been replaced, everyone seemed to be quite keen to determine just how good his, still new, replacement was.

Clark takes another picture, this time of Whitney throwing the ball and then starts to worry if Chloe will notice any sort of pattern with the photos he's taken. Just to be sure, Clark quickly rattles off three in a row, one of Pete getting his ass kicked by a couple of the other guys and then two more. Clark's not even sure what they were of, but he's a little less worried now that Chloe will notice.

He's still undecided whether this is a good assignment or not. If he's really honest with himself, Clark's pretty pleased to be given the opportunity to watch Whitney. The way that he moves when he throws the ball, Clark can see the strength in his body and despite the fact that he knows he himself could throw it possibly hundreds of times as far, he's still impressed. He ignores the camera and watches the quarterback calling a play, the others all deferring to his experience and when Whitney's bending over, squatting behind the row of his team mates, Clark momentarily forgets what exactly he's doing here.

He has to take in a large gulp of air as he watches Whitney dodge first one, then another player. And then he's running, curving around the rest of his team, arms pumping as he moves. Clark can see the muscles in his legs working, powerful under his lightly tanned skin. Exposed slightly under his uniform. He watches as he runs past where Clark is standing, only a few feet away and he's still going.

He can only vaguely hear the coach screaming from where he's standing, can sense the excitement in his voice.

Clark's still watching Whitney and when he turns around and takes his helmet off he can see him smiling. Clark reciprocates that look, Whitney's face lighting up, his skin slightly beaded with moisture from under his helmet. His blonde hair plastered down over his forehead and Whitney's licking his lips. One of the other guys moves closer, slams him into a hug and now they're both yelling.

Camera hanging idly in Clark's hands, He's still smiling. He can see Whitney over the other guy's shoulder, someone he can't recognise from this angle and Clark is now feeling even more annoyed that his father won't let him play football.

A little distracted by his own thoughts and he notices he's still staring. Notices that Whitney's watching him as well. Can see his blue eyes so clearly even over this distance and Clark quickly looks away, he knows he's blushing. Been caught staring.

Clark quickly brings the camera up, takes two photos in a row of the cheerleaders he can see training over the other side of the field. Another one for good measure and spends the next ten minutes really hoping Chloe isn't paying that much attention when she goes over this story.

Clark's writing madly as the new coach continues to talk. He'd thought this would be easy, that the coach would hopefully be one of those strong silent types. A man of few words, but after Clark asked him how he saw the team now and what he saw as the future for the Smallville Crows he didn't seem to be able to shut up.

Clark's barely getting half of it down and he has to wonder if Chloe meant 5000 words, instead of 500. Misses about that many in the few seconds he isn't paying attention, the coach is trying to show Clark what he means, hands gesturing widely and when he suggests they go inside so they can use his white-board Clark quickly comes up with an excuse.

He tells him that he's probably got the story covered already so it won't be necessary. Then the coach reminds him that he's only answered the first part of the question and starts talking again.

Clark tries to seem interested but when he sees Pete walking past, leaving, he wonders if the coach would notice Clark grabbing his friend by the collar and making him take his place.

Pete just smiles and waves goodbye as he walks away, Clark notices rather quickly.

Clark's still listening as the other team members mill around in the background. Clark's vision is a sea of yellow and red letterman jackets. He tries to pay attention, to keep writing but every now and then he sneaks a glance to see if he can spot the one he's looking for.

After a while he does. He spots Whitney behind the coach's widely gesticulating arm. He tries to not seem like he's looking, to not make it look like he's wanting to make eye contact but when he does his smile grows larger. He's pleased when Whitney acknowledges him from behind the coach, slightly raises his chin in greeting and Clark dips his head down pretends to be writing and smiles back.

He's trying to think of a way to wrap this up, to maybe talk to Whitney before he goes, he'd been trying a couple of scenarios over in his head but most of them seem to involve Lana and that's something he doesn't want to speak to her boyfriend about. He doesn't want to remind himself of exactly who Whitney's going out with.

But he doesn't have to worry, Whitney moves up, interrupts the coach's flow of concentration. Clark notices the other players are standing around waiting as well.

'Hey coach, don't you think you've talked Kent's ear off enough as it is?'

Clark barely hears the coach's response, he's too distracted by Whitney's smile but he shakes his hand anyway. Thanks him for the interview and starts getting all his things ready to leave. Packs the camera away.

He was going to thank Whitney for helping him out, but as soon as the coach had walked away, one of the other players had thrown his arm around the quarterback. Clark just stands there, tries not to think about it and pretends to be busy.

He can hear them all talking about going into town, grabbing a drink at the Beanery before they all go home.

Clark just keeps his head low, doesn't look as he gets ready to go. He just listens out for that one voice in the crowd. So many voices overlapping as the remaining, eight or so players start to move away.

Clark pulls the camera bag onto his shoulder, grabs his notebook before he notices that he's still there. The others are all walking away out to the parking lot but Whitney's there waiting for something. //for him?//

'Sorry about the coach, you kinda have to shut him up or he'll never stop.'

'Yeah I noticed that.' The two of them are smiling at each other, Clark's not sure but Whitney almost seems unsure about what he's trying to say. He can see the indecision flicker over the blonde's face and when he gestures with his hand back to the other group of guys that are leaving he looks almost uncertain.

'Clark? You wanna maybe come and grab a coffee with me and the guys?'

Clark tries to hide his smile, he has to glance away when Whitney keeps looking at him, momentarily forgets the question and flounders with the answer as Whitney starts to smile.

'I mean, you don't have to. I just thought ...'

And Clark's mind is saying no, he knows his father's expecting him home. That helping out Pete and Chloe has already meant he's behind in his chores but he can't seem to bring himself to not say yes.

'Yeah, sure. But I gotta get this camera back to Chloe first?'

'Sure, I'll give you a hand and we can meet the guys there.'

Clark can't help but feel happy with himself. He watches Whitney run up to the others, can't hear what they're saying but when Whitney turns back to him he can feel himself smiling even more. One of the other guys waves at him and he just waves back. He watches as Whitney runs back to him and lets him grab the camera from Clark's hands. He doesn't really need the help but he just can't bring himself to turn down Whitney's offer.

The two of them wander down the hall to the Torch's office. School's pretty much deserted at this time so they don't see anybody at all. When they round the corner, Clark can see the light on in Chloe's office. He's not really sure he wants to be interrogated by Chloe at the moment but he's pretty sure she was well aware of the new coach's ability to talk too much and that's why she made him interview him.

'Hey Chloe.'

The way she leaps out of her chair in shock makes up for that somewhat.

'God, Clark. You scared the hell out of me. Hey ... Whitney.'

Clark can tell she's a bit confused, wasn't expecting to see these two together.

'Just dropping off the camera, see you tomorrow.'

He doesn't even give her a chance to question him, just leaves with Whitney following.

Whitney waves over at the guys, he and Clark have only just arrived and it looks like they've taken over a good portion of the Beanery already. He's pleased to see that they've at least saved the two of them some room to sit, a couple of tables moved closer together and some of the guys sprawled on one of the couches.

'We tend to come down here after we practice.' Whitney, tells Clark as they wait to place their order. 'It's a shame you're not still playing, Clark, but it's not like it means you can't still be friends with the guys.'


It's kind of endearing the way that Clark seems so genuinely pleased, Whitney's always amazed at how in awe of the football team the average kid in school is. He decides that it's probably something he's always taken for granted though, he's always been on the right side of popular and he's no idiot. He knows that that sort of thing can be important, especially in a town as remote as Smallville.

'Sure.' The two of them order, and move over to the table. A couple of guys move slightly so there's enough room and when there's a slight lull in conversation, Whitney reintroduces Clark to the other guys. Well, not so much a break in conversation, more when Billy's too busy drinking his coffee and at least then Whitney can be heard.

Whitney sits down on the couch and is pleased when Clark sits at the chair next to him. He just picks up with the conversation the guys were having before he sat down, keeps watching Clark out of the corner of his eye and is pleased when he too starts talking. He looks a little uncomfortable at first but when Billy starts talking to him about the coach he seems to fit in just fine.

Whitney just relaxes, stays a little quieter than he usually is and takes advantage of Clark being distracted in conversation. From his position on the couch he's able to get a pretty good view, so he decides to take advantage of it. Sips his coffee when it arrives and tries to decipher a little more of what there is to know about Clark Kent.

Whitney's been thinking pretty solidly lately about what Lex had told him. At first he'd been unsure what had motivated him to insinuate that Clark liked him. After that he'd spent most of his time trying to work out if what he'd said had been true.

There was no denying the way Clark looked at him, sidelong glances and half hidden eyes when he thought Whitney couldn't see him. He'd first thought they'd been based on resentment but now he's starting to change his mind. Clark's normally pretty quiet and even now in this sort of environment where everyone is relatively friendly, Clark still seems kind of shy.

He only really seems to break out of his shell when he's with his good friends. With Chloe and Pete. And Whitney has to admit Lana as well.

So why does Clark seem so friendly around Whitney as well now?

He takes another sip of coffee, realises someone's asked a question and he has no idea how to answer it. Whitney just shakes his head and joins in with their laughter, good-natured ribbing about the fact that he's so "out of it" at the moment.

Whitney notices Clark watching him then, and when he turns to look at him, Clark doesn't automatically look away, like he usually does. Instead he smiles a bit more, Whitney joins him and they stay like that for awhile.

He's almost afraid he'll lose track of time doing just that, simply watching Clark and when he notices a couple of the others stand up he takes a few moments to register that they're leaving. He just shakes their hands, lets them know that he'll see them again tomorrow at practice and watches them leave.

A few moments later and Billy stands to go as well. Whitney's coffee is only half finished and he and Clark are now alone.

'They seem cool. I didn't really get to spend much time with any of them when I tried out for the team.'

'Yeah, they're cool. They've all got their annoying habits, but don't we all?'

He can see Clark sipping from the white cup in his hands, he's smiling again and nodding at what Whitney's said.

'So, you helping Chloe out with the Torch full-time now?'

'Oh no, this was a once off. And if what happened today is anything to go by that will be a mutual decision.'

Whitney leans further back in the couch, moves his foot up so it's on the table. Clark's all hunched forward in his seat. Back all curved over and his head is dipping down. Whitney can see from the expression on his face, through the locks of his hair that are slipping down over his face that Clark genuinely feels he didn't do a good job. He's not sure why but he has a pretty good idea that that's an expression that Clark wears often.

'Hey.' He waits till Clark's looking at him before he continues. 'What makes you think that? You looked like you were doing a pretty good job to me and anyone who can put up with the coach deserves a commendation in my book.'

He's pleased when Clark's expression changes, mouth twisting into a smile. Not fully smiling yet though. Mouth still closed and his lips are just turned up slightly at the edges so Whitney tries for more. He wants to earn the prize of seeing Clark smile again.

'I was pretty impressed with your professionalism and coach even said the same thing.'

Flash of white teeth, his reward. Whitney's smiling as well now. //Result.// He can see that Clark's blushing, even under the tan of his skin he can see a slight tinge of red.

'You really think that?'

Whitney just nods, leans his arm further back behind his back as he agrees with him. He'd taken his letter jacket off earlier, just dumped it on the seat next to him. He's pretty sure he catches Clark staring at his arm when he moves it behind him. Decides to see if he can make sure and stretches a bit further. Rolls his shoulder and lets his hand drift down so he's stroking the back of his head, rubbing his neck with his hand.

//Oh yeah.//

There's no doubt in Whitney's mind now, he can see Clark watching him. Eyes following the movement as he runs his fingers through the back of his hair, underside of his arm exposed and then when Clark catches him watching him, his eyes dart away. He's looking at the ground again now and the blush only deepens further. Eyes almost shut and, Whitney decides seeing Clark looking a little guilty is one hell of a turn on.

'Uh, I think I should be getting home, Whitney. I'm kinda late already and my Mom and Dad will be wondering where I am.'

It's not even six but Whitney doesn't push it, he knows that the Kents rely on their son for helping out around the farm and the last thing Whitney wants to do now is get him in trouble.

'Sorry, it's my fault I shouldn't have kept you ...'

'No ... it's fine, I ...

Clark answering, maybe a little too forcefully, Whitney just smiles and stands up. Reaches down to grab his jacket and pulls it on. When he turns around Clark is standing as well, he can see his hands, fidgeting. Can sense the nervousness.

'You should have mentioned it earlier, you gotta let me give you a lift then?' For a moment it looks like Clark's going to say no, but Whitney's pleased when instead he just nods his head. He follows Clark out of the front door of the Beanery and the two jump into his truck.

Clark still hasn't spoken and Whitney's over half way back to the farm. He's not exactly happy that he had to tell Whitney he needed to leave. He's even more annoyed that he told him why. It seemed to be going okay but now Clark's worried that Whitney thinks he sounds like a little kid.

//I have to go home because my mommy and daddy will be worried about me.//

He feels like such a fool and he's thinking about a way he can cover it when he notices the fact that Whitney looks like he wants to say something. He's been virtually silent the whole way home that he hasn't noticed until now that Whitney hasn't said a word.


'Aha ...'

'You and Lex Luthor? You're friends right?'

Clark's nodding his head, he's a little unsure why Whitney's asking him this. It takes a moment before he remembers that Lex's family owns a football team in Metropolis. He can't help but wonder if this is what's motivated Whitney's sudden friendliness towards Clark.

'Yeah, friends I guess. I mean it's not like I know him too well. I don't think anyone really does. But, yeah we're definitely friends.'

He's trying to decide what he should really say to Whitney. He's not sure he wants to be put in a position where Whitney wants him to speak to Lex on his behalf. So he decides to downplay how close they really are.

'So you ... trust him then?'

'Uh ... yeah. I guess. Why are you asking?'

Clark thinks Whitney looks a little embarrassed, like he's been caught asking the wrong questions.

'Nothing in particular. Just something he said.'

He hadn't really noticed before how tense Whitney had looked, but now when he's so much more relaxed and smiling across at Clark, the change is obvious.

Whitney pulls the car over, slightly off the road in front of the gate to the farm. He's still smiling and something about that causes Clark to smile back. Something he seems to do every time he sees Whitney smiling, Like it's contagious or something.

'OK, Clark. Thanks for ... you know.'

He steps out of the cab of Whitney's truck, grabs his bag and leans against the still open door. The two of them are still smiling and for some reason, Clark's not that excited about leaving. He thinks it might be because he knows his dad's gonna be mighty pissed that he's so late but he's also pretty sure that there's another reason why he's feeling like that as well.

'Sure Whitney, thanks for inviting me out with you guys. I had a good time.'

'Anytime you want, Clark. Guess I'll see you tomorrow?'

Clark nods, closes the door and stands by the gate. Doesn't move to go inside until the dust cloud from Whitney's truck is getting almost too small to see. He stays there for a couple of moments more, then turns around and walks up to the house.

Clark's not surprised when Chloe's not on the bus this morning. He assumes she's busy already with the paper and he just hopes he's managed to salvage a story out of the notes that became less and less coherent the more the coach spoke.

After he'd finished his chores last night and sat through his father telling him off, Clark had worked on the story. He's not really that confident with it but he's hoping that it'll just slip by unnoticed, that there won't be a big mention of it at all. Nobody will see Clark Kent's first job as a reporter.

He makes sure he gives Pete a piece of his mind when he sees him. Of course it being Pete, Clark can't really stay mad at him for long.

Instead he just brings up the subject of Judy, and why Pete still hasn't asked her out.

They're still talking about it when the bus arrives at school, he tells Pete he'll see him later and he plucks up his courage and makes his way to see Chloe at the Torch office.

She's the only one there when he arrives and it looks like she's probably been there for awhile. Judging from the empty styrofoam cup and the mess of papers on, and around her desk.

Clark thinks she looks frazzled, but Chloe's always a bundle of nervous energy so he doesn't think twice about it.

'Hey, Chloe. I've got those notes for you and ... well what I've written.'

'Great, Clark. That's the last story we have to finish and then we should be ready to go.'

She's not really paying attention to him, she's still typing on her computer. But when she does look up she's got that look on her face, the one that Clark knows means he should be avoiding her. So he dumps his stuff, notes and what he's written on her desk and he starts moving back out the door.

He hopes that he won't need to make a run for it. That she won't say anything and he actually thinks for a moment that he might make it. But then when he's almost to the door her voice breaks the silence.

'So, Clark.'

She doesn't say anymore, but when Clark turns around that smile is still on her face, and she's not moving. She's just sitting watching him.

'Uh, yeah?'

He tries not looking at her but when she still doesn't say anything he inadvertently does. Her expression hasn't changed.

'I just wanted to thank you for your help on the story, I thought maybe you might wanna help me pick out a photo to accompany it?'

He can see the prints in her hand, Clark remembers the photos he's taken and based on that look he's not exactly keen.

'You choose, Chloe. I gotta get going. I have some math homework I need to go over before class so I'll leave you to it.'

'OK, oh and Clark?'

There's a noticeable pause before she continues, even though Clark's just standing there waiting for her to speak.

'What is up with you and Whitney? You're trying to tell me the two of you are all of a sudden friends?'

He's not surprised really, given Chloe's inquisitive nature. And isn't that a polite way of putting it?

'What's so surprising, Chloe? Why can't we be friends?'

'OK, so you want the list in alphabetical order? Or order of importance, either way you know that list is gonna start and finish with the letters L and L. C'mon, Clark, how does this fit into your Lana stalking plan?'

'God, Chloe. Everything doesn't always have to be based on Lana.'

Clark's actually kind of annoyed with her at the moment. He just wants to leave, but he knows if he doesn't get this resolved she'll just hound him till they do.

'What exactly is so strange about Whitney and I being friends?'

'Ignoring the whole Lana Lang thing for a moment. He's a jock, you're Clark. He's popular, you're Clark, he's older ...'

Clark decides he's heard enough, he just shakes his head and moves towards the open door.

'Jeez, Chloe it's not like the two of us are dating.'

'Clark, I'm sorry. I just don't wanna see you get hurt. I'm just worried you're just becoming friends with the jocks, hoping to get closer to Lana. I just don't wanna see you bleach your hair and go all "single white farm boy" on us, OK?'

That at least gets a smile out of him. He knows she means well so he just smiles at her, nods his head.

Her attention's already back to the pile of photos she's flicking through.

'I'll see you later then.'

'Sure thing, Clark.'

Clark's got study hall last period and he uses the time to coast through the rest of the day. He probably should be studying but his mind seems incapable of focusing at the moment. It's just full of random images and he tries to avoid actually working out what any of them mean.

He barely notices when Pete sits down at the desk next to him. Almost gets a shock when his friend throws a copy of the paper on top of the book that Clark's been not reading.

'Hey Pete.'

'So, check it out man. Chloe got the paper all finished and it looks like she liked your article.'

Clark unfolds the newspaper, front page and all he can see is a half page photo. It's Whitney. One of the ones that he took with the camera. Clark can tell it's him. Can see under the visor of his helmet and he's a bit surprised he doesn't have to think twice about who it is. He could tell from the body alone it's him.

Clark just gulps in much needed air. He still can't quite fathom why Chloe's put his article on the front cover and just under the photo, is his name.

He looks up at Pete and before he realises it he's smiling. He skims the first few paragraphs of the story and is surprised, more like amazed to see it's pretty much word for word how he wrote it.

'Chloe, said she thought it was great. Worthy of the front page.'

'She said that?'

'Yeah, she liked all the photos you took as well. Actually, when I come to think of it she liked one too much in particular.'

Clark's mouth is open as he tries to fathom what Pete is saying. He's about to ask when he notices Pete rummaging in his pocket. He pulls out a photo and shows it to Clark.

'But she was too busy to notice me take it.'

Clark's worried which photo it is. He can only barely remember the ones he took but either way it could be a problem.

He looks at the crumpled picture, feels a sense of relief when he realises it's just the photo of Pete getting his ass kicked. A pile of the other players on top of him and poor Pete is only barely visible under the pile of arms and legs.

He just laughs, 'Now this would have made a good cover photo.'

He's smiling again. Pete's simply shaking his head and before Clark can think about hiding the picture, Pete's snapped it back. Secreted it again in his pocket.

Clark's relieved when the final bell for the day rings. He's got some work to make up for yesterday, to placate his dad but he doesn't really see that as much of an issue. All things considered.

He's got a copy of the paper in his bag. When he thinks about it he can't help but smile. He'd been more than surprised Chloe had put his story on the cover and he was pleased with the photo she'd chosen.

Which of course led Clark's mind back to what he was trying not to think about. He's been trying so hard all day to not think about Whitney that that's pretty much all he's done. First period math class and Mrs Taylor had called him out. She'd said he'd been daydreaming, thinking about girls. He'd just agreed with her, looked suitably shame-faced because he really didn't want her to know the truth.

How he'd been thinking about Whitney. Imagining him playing football again, throwing the ball, all the other players deferring to him. He'd also been imagining a few other things but that was an issue he really wasn't yet ready to dwell on.

The rest of the day had been the same, he and Pete had sat alone at lunch. Chloe was still busy finalising the paper and Clark didn't even noticed if Whitney was there. He was too busy trying hard not to notice and when that failed he just hunched his body over. Rested his head against his hand and did his best job of remaining inconspicuous.

He'd even avoided walking past Lana's locker because he had a pretty good idea he'd run into Whitney if he did. He'd almost been late to a class because he ended up taking such a long route to avoid that spot.

He starts wandering out the front door of the school, he'd hung around a little to avoid the bus. He needed the walk home to clear his mind. To see if he could actually manage to think about something other than blonde quarterbacks.

Clark just lets his shoulders slump, the weight of his bag reassuringly heavy on his shoulder. He pretty much avoids everybody and manages to make it all the way down the front steps and past the line of cars in the parking lot when a familiar voice calls out his name.

'Clark. Wait up.'

He's turning around without thinking and he looks back to see Whitney jogging towards him. The blonde is smiling and that seems to lighten Clark's mood almost instantly.

//So much for avoiding the topic.//

He just smiles and waits till Whitney catches up with him.

'Hey, we got out of practice early and I thought I'd see if you wanted me to give you a lift home? Some of the others are going to hang, but I've got some stuff to do.'

Clark can swear that Whitney's almost blushing a little, he's avoiding looking at Clark when he speaks. His usual demeanour suddenly a lot more serious.

'Sure, Whitney.' Clark doesn't even think about saying no. All thoughts of wanting to be alone are instantly lost.

As soon as he answers, Whitney's smiling again. Such a sudden change in his expression that Clark has to wonder if he was just imagining it in the first place. The two of them move back to where Whitney's truck is parked.

He climbs into the passenger seat when Whitney opens the door. The blonde looks a little embarrassed, Clark can't help but notice him quickly grabbing something off the seat and hiding it in the glove box. He's not certain but he thinks it was a copy of the Torch. He just smiles over at him while Whitney rummages for his keys.

Clark throws his bag in the back seat and sits there smiling at him. He doesn't say a word but he's sure Whitney knows he saw it.

'I guess I should say thanks for that?' Whitney's gripping the steering wheel, looking straight ahead but he hasn't even started the engine.

'Why should you thank me?' Clark opens up the glove box and pulls out he copy of the torch. It's folded in half, one side covered in the photo and the other side is Clark's story. He's a little surprised when he realises the paper is folded with the photo on the back, like Whitney's been reading the story. Clark had assumed Whitney was referring to the photo instead.

'It's a really good story, Clark. You should be proud. Although I'm not so sure about the picture.' Whitney's laughing a little as he finishes speaking.

He's now looking at Clark, copy of the torch in his hand.

'You think it's good?'

'Sure, especially because I know what you had to put up with to get the coach to shut-up. The team doesn't always get good press in the Torch, so it's good to see a story that makes us look good.'

Clark's unfolding the paper and he's looking at the photo of Whitney. He nods his head as the other man finishes speaking. He's almost a little surprised when Whitney starts up the engine and he puts the paper back in the glove box as they pull out of the parking lot.

Clark had hoped that by avoiding Whitney for the whole day things would become clearer. He'd be able to fathom why he spent all of his spare time, hell most of his occupied time as well thinking about the quarterback. He'd hoped being separated from him would explain why he got that feeling in his stomach when he first saw him, or when someone mentioned his name and Clark had to listen to try and hear exactly what they were saying.

He'd hoped to explain why whenever the two were together he couldn't stop smiling. And also, why Whitney seemed to be the same. He's doing it now. He can tell, the more he tries not to the harder it becomes to keep a straight face.

Whitney stops talking and looks a little confused at Clark. He's pretty much laughing out loud and when he looks at Whitney he sees a moments' confusion flicker across his face.

Then he starts laughing as well.

Clark was hoping for some sort of explanation but as soon as he saw Whitney it was the same again. Slightly uncomfortable feeling in his stomach, like a few weeks ago when his mom had made him pick some under-ripe apples so she could can them. And he'd eaten maybe a few too many, she'd told him to stop but he'd just laughed it off and said they couldn't hurt him unless they were Kryptonite apples. She'd told him that he wouldn't be laughing soon.

And of course like all mom's she'd been right. Clark wasn't sure how many he'd eaten but apparently the stomach pain alone was nothing in comparison to what would have happened if someone else had eaten that many, like her, or Chloe, or Pete.

Or Whitney.

So Clark still can't explain why Whitney makes him feel like that. A little sick and unsure what the hell he's doing. Not that it matters because Clark's sure of one thing. He doesn't ever want that feeling to go away because he's pretty sure he knows what it means.

He won't let himself say it yet, doesn't want to spoil it by actually saying it out loud. But if what everyone says about ... it, is true then Clark's starting to feel pretty confident that that's what he's feeling.

He looks out the window of the truck as Whitney drives him home. He's not going that fast, but from this perspective it makes Clark think that the trees along the side of the Jensen farm are blurring into one, like some enormous hedge row. He can see a flock of birds circling around the top of them, can hear them even from this distance, but he shuts it all out. Turns back and concentrates fully on the man sitting next to him.

Whitney seems to have relaxed a little. Clark's got to be honest with himself and admit how pleased he is with the fact that Whitney likes the article. Clark himself thinks the article doesn't compare with the photo at all and he'd almost said pretty much that when they'd been talking about it before.

He'd had to stop himself. Something he's finding he has to do a lot lately. It's like he doesn't want to stop at all when Whitney's involved.

They're almost home and Clark's desperately trying to think of a way to get Whitney to stay. He has chores to do but he can rush through them later and anyway it would be worth another telling off from his dad to spend the next few hours with Whitney instead of alone.

But all he can think of is "you wanna come up to the barn and let me show you my telescope?" Even thinking about saying that makes Clark blush slightly. He has to wonder why saying something like that when you don't mean it in any other way is fine but as soon as you do, the most innocent things can seem so sordid.

Now he's fully blushing, Whitney's gone quiet again and Clark realises its probably too late now. They're at the farm already.

Whitney kills the engine, takes his hands off the wheel and Clark can see him resting them in his lap. He's got that look on his face again, like he wants to say something. Clark's still not sure if he's just imagining it, projecting his own thought but it almost looks to him, like Whitney's doing the same thing. Trying to think of a way to not have to leave.

Clark's so not used to this that he can't quite bring himself to simply ask Whitney if he wants to stay. He's also a little scared that he might be misreading the situation. He can feel his own heart-rate increasing. He's pleased that nobody seems to be around.

When he looks over at Whitney he notices just how nervous the other boy looks. He's looking down at his hands, curled together tightly in his lap.

'Well.' Whitney's head shoots up as Clark speaks, it looks to Clark like he's forcing a smile. He's not really looking at Clark.

'Thanks for the lift, Whitney. I guess I should be going.' He reaches for his bag from the back seat and he's about to get out of the door when he hears Whitney from behind him.

'Clark, wait.'

He turns back to him, slides a little further back on the seat and he was sure Whitney wasn't this close before. He's almost right over this side and there's hardly any space between them. Clark's taken aback a little and he's just mulling over in his mind that the two of them are close enough to kiss when Whitney adjusts his weight slightly and then he's so much closer.

He can feel Whitney's hand gently against his cheek. The pads of his fingers along his jaw-line as he pulls him in closer. Clark's unable to resist, doesn't think about it and he just moves that distance. Lets Whitney pull him in until he can feel the other man's lips on his own. His eyes drift closed, he's not even thinking about it. For the first time today Clark's not thinking about what it would feel like if Whitney kissed him, what he'd taste like. Because it's actually happening.

They're so close now, subtle movement on his face as Whitney cups his chin. Hardness of his lips against his own. He can smell the sharp tang of Whitney's skin, something he's never noticed before.

Clark can feel Whitney's breath against his lips as he pulls away, he moves involuntarily towards him. He knows he wants more but something about the chasteness of their first kiss seems right. Clark's sitting half out of the open door to Whitney's truck. His bags fallen out of the door, sprawled in the dust of the ground.

Clark can't bring himself to care, all he can think about is the way that it felt when Whitney was touching him, when they were kissing. The way that his fingers were stroking the skin of his face as he brushed his lips against his own.

It's like he's not really moving, everything really does seem frozen. Now he's standing by the closed door of Whitney's truck. Clark's trying to gauge the other boy's reaction as he starts the engine and prepares to drive away. Clark's almost tempted to stop him, to beg him to stay. To show him what else he wants to do but all he can do is smile. His bag by his feet and whilst he watches Whitney drive away his face breaks out into the goofiest expression he can ever recall.

Whitney Fordman just kissed him.

He kissed Whitney Fordman.

Suddenly the last thing on Clark's mind is his chores.

Jonathan finds Clark still standing in the same place a few minutes later. He hasn't moved a muscle.

His father's voice shocks him at first. He can tell from the statement on his face that he's been trying to get his attention for a few moments. Clark just looks at him, nods his head in agreement and is pleased when that seems to be an acceptable answer to the question he didn't even hear.

He swears he can still feel Whitney's hand on his face. When he lets his eyes drift closed slightly he can feel his hand cupping his chin, holding him. Pulling him closer, for another kiss.

'Clark, are you sure you're OK?'

He just nods again, doesn't trust himself to speak quite yet. He grabs his bag from the dirt at his feet and walks past his father. In through the front door of the house.

'So, when you're ready, come out back and we'll get started then.'

'Sure thing, dad.' Clark takes the stairs two at a time. He takes a few moments to get himself under control before he even thinks about going downstairs to help his father. His mind's a blur. He's not really sure what to think or how to behave. All he really knows is that every thought leads back to that same point.

When Whitney kissed him.

His father's carrying a large box of apples when Clark walks out back. He's struggling a little under the weight and without thinking Clark takes it from him. Holds them easily in one hand and smiles at his father.

'You seem pleased with yourself?'

All he can do is laugh as he carries the apples through to the back of the truck. It's already piled up high with other boxes.

'So once you've delivered all this I'll need you back here. I'll need your help fixing the tractor that I couldn't finish yesterday by myself.'

Clark recognises that tone immediately. He knows his father's still annoyed at him for not helping out yesterday. He might not say it outright but it's obvious he's disappointed in Clark.

'I said I was sorry, dad. Chloe needed my help and I couldn't just let her down.'

If there's one thing that Clark doesn't like doing, it's disappointing others.

His father's just looking at him, the way he always does when Clark's done something wrong. He just sighs, he knows he'll have to make it up to him.

'I'll come straight back then.'

The paper feels smooth and slightly cold under his skin as Lex trails his fingers down the column of figures on the page before him. It's the last thing he really feels like doing but Lex knows in his sort of position it pays to check the work of others.

Not that there's a trend in LuthorCorp for ineptitude, Lionel's made sure of that, but if there's nobody to watch Lex's back he's more than happy to make the time to do it.

They say it's lonely at the top, but Lex knows that your position in the relative scheme of things really has little to do with that.

The room is dark, a soft yellow light from the desk lamp illuminating the open page before him. The rest of the room is obscured by shadow.

It's the way Lex likes it. No noise to break his concentration.

Lex had sent Marcus home, so he's surprised when he senses movement from the doorway. He doesn't even bother looking up and his annoyance is clear in his voice when he speaks.

'I thought I asked to be alone.'

'Uh, sorry ... I can ...'

Lex is even more surprised when he realises who is speaking.

'Clark, come in. Sorry about that I thought it was just Marcus.'

Lex stands up and moves towards the doorway to his study, he smoothes the material of his slacks down with a stroke of his hand. Soft fabric bunching from the way he's been sitting, hunched close to his desk for the last few hours. He's given up wondering exactly how Clark gets past the gate. It's been so many times that the boy has turned up unannounced at his house. that he barely gives it another thought anymore.

He's always pleased when he sees him though, and he lets Clark know that. A large smile taking over his face as he ushers him inside. It doesn't take a genius to realise that Clark is nervous. A little unsure about something, and that only makes Lex even more interested.

'I can leave you alone if you're busy?'

The dark haired boy looks genuinely unsure about whether or not he should be intruding. Like he doesn't know if it's polite to stay, or simply to go.

That's one of the things that Lex likes so much about Smallville. Well, one of the only things really, the way that Clark is genuine and honest. The way his feelings are so close to the surface. Simple and easy to judge.

'No, no I was just running over the figures for the quarterly report. In all honesty, Clark, I could do with the break. Take a seat, I can get you a soda if you want?'

Lex hovers slightly behind him as Clark takes a seat opposite the desk. He's shaking his head in response and Lex notes that he's being even quieter than usual. He just circles his desk and sits back in his own chair.

Clark's looking down at his hands. A piece of paper desperately close to being torn into pieces as he toys absently with it. His fringe falling down and obscuring his eyes. He still hasn't said a word since he sat down.

'Is that for me?' Lex is pointing at the piece of folded paper in Clark's hand. He watches him intently, notices the flicker of embarrassment playing across his face, eyes widening slightly at first. He's smiling soon enough though. Lex reaches across his desk and takes the invoice from Clark's hand.

He doesn't even look at it, his eyes never leaving Clark's face. He adds it to the pile of papers on his desk, makes a mental note to have someone pay that first thing in the morning. He knows it won't be due till the twentieth, but Lex always makes sure to pay the Kents immediately.

'So, are you going to tell me why you're so distracted?'

Clark looks almost shocked for a second, he's starting to think it hadn't been such a good idea to see Lex. He'd wanted to kill some time, to not go straight home in an attempt to avoid his father. For some reason, Lex always seems to be able to gauge how he's really feeling. Like he can't keep any secrets from him.

Clark's so used to hiding the truth about who he really is that he sometimes wonders if Lex doesn't already know, doesn't know more than he himself does because he always seems to be able to see what Clark is hiding.

There's something reassuring about that fact, actually. It seems to put Clark at ease a little. He feels differently when he's around Lex, like he's known the other man his entire life.

So he's more than happy to admit that he's kind of distracted. In fact pretty much every thought revolves around Whitney. Himself and Whitney, and what it had felt like when they'd kissed.

Almost an hour ago. 53 minutes when Clark quickly steals a glance at the display on his watch. He doesn't think Lex will have noticed that, but when he looks back, runs over what excuse to tell him and he's staring straight into Lex's eyes, he can't quite think of anything to say.

He's sitting there, mouth open. Lex is still waiting for him to answer and all he can do is stare blankly back at him. Lex is leaning slightly forward, waiting for Clark to answer and he can't think of any other way to describe the way he's sitting than alert. Like he's expecting Clark to say something and he's already ready to react. It wouldn't surprise Clark in fact. Nothing really seems to phase Lex and he's not sure he could even surprise him by telling him exactly what he has been up to for the last hour.

Lex is so different from everyone else that Clark knows and he can't help but wonder what Lex's secrets are. He's pretty sure there's got to be something there. Someone that complex and worldly has got to be hiding something.

Then Lex starts to smile at him and he loses that train of thought. He just smiles back and hopes that Lex will change the subject. He's not surprised when he doesn't though.

'Well I know it's not about Lana then.'

Clark's shocked. He hadn't really thought about Lana and now that Lex has mentioned her he can't help but worry about how she'll react. About whether or not she'll know and what she'll think. He'd been too caught up in the fact that Whitney had kissed him to actually consider any of the ramifications. Like what people would think.

The room, all of a sudden feels just a little bit cooler. Like someone's adjusted the air conditioning without telling him. He can feel the hairs on his arms rising slightly, reacting to the coolness. He can't help but feel guilty. The more he thinks about how she'll react, the more he starts to worry. He's also a little surprised that it hadn't even occurred to him to think about how she'd be affected.

'How do you know it's not about Lana?' His voice catching slightly as he says her name. He tries to cover it, but he thinks Lex will have noticed. The way he always seems to notice everything. He makes Clark feel like an open book, like he can be read at will.

Lex is leaning back in his chair and it takes a few moments before he responds. That small pause making Clark just a little bit nervous.

'Well, let's just say that whenever you turn up at my house and you've been thinking about her you tend to not be this happy. You definitely don't get that look, when something's happened with Lana.'

'Look? What look?'

The only response he receives from Lex is a slightly raised eyebrow. The room's so silent. All he can hear is the sound the chair he's sitting in makes when he adjusts his weight. He hasn't taken a breath and it's so quiet that he swears he can hear Lex, breathing.

He knows he's blushing now. He's smiling, like he does whenever he sees Whitney. He tries to hide it a little, but when he looks back at Lex sitting opposite him, sees him smiling as well, he's a lost cause.

'Oh yeah, that look.' Clark can hear the amusement in Lex's voice when he speaks.

Lex is looking far too pleased with himself, he's leaning back further, leather chair tilting and his feet are now up on the desk. Clark can see the soles of his leather shoes. He has no idea what sort they are but he's pretty sure if he takes a closer look at them. he'll find some expensive label sown onto the inside.

Some foreign name. One that would make Chloe laugh at him, when he tried to pronounce it. Like she used to do when he'd go to her house and she'd be reading some glossy fashion magazine. It was like a game to her, laughing as he stumbled over the syllables of some model's name.

He's distracted now, his mind a jumble of thoughts. He still doesn't know how he should answer Lex's question. He's a little surprised that he isn't more worried about the other man finding out.

'So are you going to tell me why you're so happy, Clark? Or is this going to be like some game show and I have to guess before I get another chance to spin the wheel?'

Clark's laughing in response, the sound just a little too forced due to nervousness. He's still thinking about Lana. About how she'll react. What she'll say if //when// she finds out. If Whitney will tell her or if there's even anything for him to tell her about. He's not entirely sure what it had meant to him, he knows what it means to himself but what if Whitney doesn't want her to know?

Clark's not sure if he's the sort of person that could hurt someone like that. Lana's still his friend and he doesn't want to be the one to hurt her. Everything's all of a sudden more complicated and the fact that Lex now seems intrigued by Clark's current position doesn't seem to be helping. Clark's got so many questions of his own that he needs answering. The fact that Lex wants to know so much seems to be making things even more difficult.

He tries to answer but he can't really think of anything to say, he has to admit to himself that when he'd turned up he'd definitely been in a good mood, but now that he's thinking about the consequences, things are a little different. There's so many scenarios running through Clark's head that he's having trouble keeping up. The fact that most of them seem to end badly, also isn't lost on him.

It doesn't really matter how comfortable Lex makes him feel, he doesn't want to lose him as a friend. He's the only person he knows that he could probably discuss this with but that doesn't really make it any easier to tell him. Clark's a little worried about how he might react, there's always the chance that he could take the news badly. Clark's strong enough to cope if Lex responds physically, but emotionally? He's pretty sure he couldn't handle that.

In all honesty, Clark has to admit to himself that he's also not entirely sure he wants to admit the way he's feeling to himself.

He considers trying to be subtle about it, to push Lex. To try and gauge how he'll respond, but Clark's the first to admit he's a little nave when it comes to manipulation. He's from a small-town and he knows Lex won't be fooled by his amateurish attempts.

'So I take it I'm going to have to guess then?'

Lex's voice shocks him slightly. When he looks up at the man sitting opposite him he knows that Lex can see the change in his demeanour. Clark feels like an open book where Lex is concerned and he's not even sure he can keep things hidden from him if he stays.

He thinks about making a break for it. Coming up with some excuse but the way that Lex is looking at him, like he genuinely cares, makes him stop. Running away from the issue won't solve it. This is a problem that Clark *can't* run away from and he's used to that happening in his life.

Clark's trying to decide if this is an opportunity he doesn't want to throw away. He's still trying to process what's happened in his own head and the more he thinks about it, the more questions he answers, the more confused he's becoming.

'Are you sure you're OK, Clark?'

He can only nod his head, Lex is leaning further forward now. His feet are off the desk and Clark can't quite look at him. Instead he's looking down at the top of Lex's desk, or at his hands. Anywhere but looking at Lex's face and the way that the other man is staring at him. There's a certain inevitability. And that fact is making Clark even more unsure.

'Is this something you want to talk to me about?'

From the way Clark's acting, Lex has got a pretty good idea where this is leading. His talk with the quarterback had obviously been interpreted the way he'd intended. Lex is a little surprised at how quickly things have progressed and he's definitely pleased that Clark seems to have little problem adjusting to the events. He just seems a little unsure, not worried as such. Just confused about how to react.

He banishes those thoughts from his mind as he focuses more intently on what his guest is saying. He can hear Clark take a few long breaths to steady himself. He starts to speak, stops and only on the second time can he find the words.

'I ... there's just ... something that I'm not so sure about.'

Clark's still not looking at him, he's staring down at his hands. Lex, stands and moves around his desk. He sits down on the edge of the wooden surface. Not too far from where Clark is sitting in the chair and he waits until the dark haired boy is finally looking at him. His eyes are wide open, almost like he's been crying but when Lex looks he can't see any tears. He's a little worried that Clark's not going to be able to tell him what's wrong. Not so much that he doesn't want to, more that he doesn't know how to.

'I get the feeling that letting me know what exactly it is that's bothering you, will make you feel better. If you're worried about it, you have my word that whatever you say won't go any further than these walls.'

It's a little different for Lex, being so supportive But he's got a pretty good idea from the look on Clark's face that it's coming across as genuine. When Lex moves his arm, hand illustrating his point, Clark's eyes follow the movement around the room. Lex can see him swallowing. Like he's trying to decide and just when he thinks Clark's not going to say a word he's a little shocked when he hears him speak.

Clark's voice is quiet. Even in the relative silence of the study, Lex has to lean forward slightly to make out the words that he's having so much trouble forming. It's like he's saying something for the first time out loud. Like he's asking himself the question just as much as he's asking Lex.

'Have you ever had a secret, something that you weren't sure if you could talk to anyone about?'

When Clark looks up at him, Lex has to stop himself from moving forward. He can see the uncertainty plainly written on his face and Lex is a little surprised at how calm Clark sounds. He nods, he doesn't really want to interrupt what he's saying. It's awhile before Clark starts speaking again.

'I don't know ... I'm not ... It's like something has crept up on me and I didn't even realise what it was until it had happened. And now ... well now I don't think I want to do without it.'

Lex is shocked how quickly Clark gets up on his feet. An image of Clark running out the door flashes through his mind and he's about to get up, to say something to him when Clark circles the chair instead. Clark's ringing his hands, biting his lower lip into his mouth as he moves about the room.

Lex is familiar with that feeling. That need for activity when your mind is trying to process something. He's about to let Clark know once again that he won't have to worry about his privacy, but then he stops moving. He's staring so intently at Lex and when he speaks, Lex once again wonders how sometimes Clark can seem so much older than he really is.

'We kissed ... I ... he kissed me.'

The words are out of Clark's mouth like it's the most natural thing to say. He's watching Lex, trying to decide how he's reacting. And he thinks the only thing worse than him reacting badly would have been this.

No reaction at all.

It's too late to worry about it though. He's said it. Those six words. He swears he can still hear them ringing in his head. Echoing around the walls of the room, becoming louder with every passing moments' silence.

Lex is just sitting there, leaning back against his desk. Clark can see the tightening of his jaw, muscles contracting. Other than that Lex doesn't seem to have moved at all.

'Whitney, kissed me. He kissed me ... and I liked it.'

Now Clark can't even look at him, he turns away so his back is facing him. He's looking down at his feet. His shoes in contrast to the thick rug on the floor.


He's not sure he can turn around. Not sure he wants to see Lex. He's worried about what the other man will think of him. He's unsure what to do, how exactly to react and when he feels Lex's hand on his shoulder, he realises he's been holding his breath. Soft pressure from Lex's hand as he grips his shoulder gently. Clark can feel the length of his fingers through the fabric of his shirt. Can feel each one so clearly, like Lex is touching his skin directly. All Clark's senses seem to be on overload, like he's waiting for something to happen. Something he's not sure he wants to be around to see occur.

He lets himself be turned around, eyes still locked to the floor. He slowly looks up and is pleased when he sees the edge of Lex's mouth curl up in a smile.

He can't help but start to smile as well. He can feel his face is hot and he knows he's blushing but when he sees how Lex is reacting, Clark feels a hell of a lot better.

'Like I said before, Clark, you needn't worry about how I'm going to react. You're my friend and nothing like this will change what we have together. I'm not from around here, remember?'

And at the moment such a simple statement makes so much sense to Clark. Makes everything seem so much simpler. Clark had been worried about how his friend would react, he'd still been deciding so much himself. The rush of events today and he's only just now realising that he's been feeling like this for a little while now. He should have really guessed it in retrospect. The way he feels when he and Whitney are together. And how he feels when they're apart.

He's just been so caught up in everything, hasn't taken a moment to stop and think about what's going on.

'I was just worried, I'm still not sure about ... well, pretty much everything at the moment.'

Lex is still smiling at him. Clark sits back down, leans forward, his arms against his legs and looks up at Lex. He's smiling again and can't help but feel like a burden has been lifted.

'So what are you more worried about? The fact that Whitney kissed you, or the fact that you liked it?'

Lex's light tone is the only thing stopping Clark from running from the room in embarrassment. He's never really talked to anyone about the way he feels. Even when it had been Lana, that had made him feel like this and he's a little unused to it. He's not sure what to say but he knows that Lex is definitely making him feel more relaxed.

'In all honesty, I hadn't really thought about it until now. It hadn't even occurred to me to think that there was anything wrong, it just seemed ... so right. God, now I sound like a twelve year old girl.'

Clark's shaking his head as he joins in with Lex's laughter.

'From the way you're telling it, it sounds pretty serious to me.'

'It all just seems so quick, like I want more but there's just so many other things to think about.'

'You're worried about how Lana will react?'

'Lana ... you, mom, dad. I can make a list if you like?'

Clark's feeling more relaxed and it feels kind of odd to be able to simply talk about this sort of thing with somebody. Odd, but in a good way. Clark's pretty sure Lex is the only person he knows that he could be having this conversation with. The only one that would take such earth shattering news without flinching.

'That's the only thing you're worried about?'

He takes a moment to respond, thinks about it and then all he can do is shake his head.

'You'll know when it's the right time, Clark. It's just the way things work, it's important to remember that. If things don't feel right, they probably aren't. Just keep that in mind and remember that I'm always here if you need to talk. Or, if you're not quite sure about something. There's no need to rush these things.'

He's nodding his head in response, he wants to thank Lex but somehow reaching across the desk and shaking his hand seems inappropriate.

'I probably should go, dad's waiting for me back at the farm.' He's already on his feet, moving towards the door.

'Sure thing, Clark.'

Lex watches Clark leave his study. He's standing a hell of a lot straighter than he had been when he'd walked in, shoulders stooped. He doesn't look so confused and Lex, thinks for a moment about going back to work on the quarterly report but decides against it.

Instead he pours himself a drink. Takes a large sip of the scotch he's poured into his glass and lets the alcohol warm his body.

Lex thinks he can probably call it a night now, he's pretty sure he's earned an early finish.

The loud noise coming from the cafeteria is the last thing that Whitney feels like putting up with today. He spent most of his time this morning on the drive to school trying to decide if it would be better to see Clark straight away, or to delay the inevitable. Either option seems to have it's advantages, as well as it's disadvantages of course.

He's in one of those moods where he doesn't really know what he wants to do. Being by himself is probably affording him too much time to actually think about what's been happening. But the last thing he really wants right now is to be surrounded by people.

He's pretty sure that what Lex had told him was the truth. That Clark did in fact like him. That Clark wanted more from him. He's pretty sure he's been reading all the signs correctly.

Not that he'd admit it to anyone else, but Whitney knows he's not really that good at interpreting these sorts of signals. He and Lana had pretty much fallen into their relationship. It was only natural. She being a cheerleader and he, the quarterback. Before he'd even noticed he was turning up to her house on a Saturday night, being introduced to her Aunt Nell, and promising that they wouldn't be home late from their first date.

He's just been taking things as they come. He hasn't really spent that much time on minor details. Like what he wants, who he wants and whether or not what he has is right for him.

So Whitney's not exactly experienced when it comes to this sort of thing but there's something's that everyone knows no matter how inexperienced they are. He's noticed the way Clark looks at him, the way he acts.

So why exactly is he so worried about what Clark might do or say?

Whitney slides his tray onto one of the empty tables right down the back. He'd told Lana earlier that he had to study for a test he has later this week and needed to be alone. He's almost too distracted to remember that he should at least take a book out of his bag to make it look like he's studying.

He starts picking at the food on his tray. More out of instinct than anything else. He's not really hungry and his stomach probably could do with some food to settle it, but he can't bring himself to eat. He's got a mouthful of soda when he finally notices him, standing at the end of the table, tray in hand.

Whitney swallows uncomfortably. Clark still hasn't said anything and it's starting to make Whitney even more nervous.


Not really much to go on and Whitney can't fathom what Clark is feeling based on the look on his face. He's looking down, stealing glances in Whitney's direction every now and then. The way he's looking at him under his lashes, cheeks slightly pink makes Whitney get that feeling in his stomach. First sign of need coiling inside him, and he almost starts smiling when he remembers.

'I was hoping we could ... talk.'

Clark seems almost as nervous as he feels. He has to swallow the lump he can feel forming in his throat and Whitney thinks it highly unlikely that he's going to be able to manage a conversation with Clark let alone anything resembling what he actually wants to say.


Clark's looking around the room and Whitney hopes he's only wanting privacy. Not that he's embarrassed or doesn't want to be alone with him. Hs still hasn't moved, the tray he was carrying is half on the table, balanced by Clark's hand. Both of them seem to be unable to react, unsure of what they should be doing or saying.

'I wanted to apologise, Clark. I shouldn't have done that yesterday. I was just hoping that we could forget about it?'

Clark worries he's going to drop the tray he's holding. When he looks up, Whitney's not even looking at him, he's looking straight down at his own hands. This isn't exactly going how Clark had planned it. Not that he really had anything that resembled a plan but he was at least hoping that Whitney wouldn't regret the kiss they'd shared.

He's trying to think of something to say, anything that will just get him away from here. From the embarrassment of Whitney telling him how it was all a mistake, how he didn't mean to kiss him.

How it meant nothing to him.

He's starting to feel a little sick, slightly unsteady on his feet and he's not sure that this had been such a good idea. After speaking with Lex, Clark had felt so much better about what had happened.

'I should have given you more time, not forced this on you. I just hope you can forgive me for acting like a dork. I should have made sure it's what you wanted as well.'

Whitney's speaking so quietly, at first Clark's unsure he's hearing him correctly. //He doesn't regret it?// Whitney's at least looking at him now. His face, however is still blank and unreadable.

'So you don't ... regret it?'

He can see confusion flicker across the quarterback's face. A moment before he responds, as he's obviously processing what Clark is saying.

'Regret? Clark? Do you think ... I didn't want to kiss you?'

Now it's Clark's turn not to look at him. He's still standing at the end of the table, the noise of the cafeteria almost drowning out their conversation.

When he finally looks at him, Whitney's starting to smile. He can see his mouth curling up. Clark can't resist smiling in response.

'Now, who's acting like a dork?'

'You're not a dork, Clark. You wanna sit down?'

Whitney's pleased that Clark's smiling again. He knows that sense of relief because at the moment it's the exact way he's feeling. Maybe not all the questions he has have been answered but Whitney's feeling one hell of a lot better than he has been, since yesterday afternoon.

He's now not even bothering to pretend to eat his lunch. He just slides his tray along the table, sits there and watches Clark take a seat. The dark haired boy folding his tall frame into the rather small sized chair. The smile hasn't left his face and Whitney knows he looks pretty much the same.

Clark's taking a bite out of the sandwich he's just unwrapped. Whitney can see his fingers curled around the white bread. He can't resist watching as Clark moves it up to his mouth, opens wide and takes a bite out of it. The muscles of his jaw working as he chews.

His mouth is still full as he speaks, 'What?'

'Nothing. I was just ... watching.'

'OK Whitney, creep me out some more.'

'What? So I can't just sit here and watch you eat?' He's trying hard now to actually not break into fits of laughter. To attract more attention than he wants but the way Clark is looking at him, wide eyed and innocent isn't helping.

"Just eat your lunch, Whitney'

'Not hungry.'

'Really? You could have fooled me with that look on your face.'

He actually starts laughing now. Clark joins in and for a moment it doesn't really matter to Whitney that they're sitting in a crowded cafeteria. It doesn't matter that he told Lana he needed to be alone to study.

All that really matters to him is Clark.

Whitney slides his hand across the empty surface of the table in front of him. It's about halfway across when he stops. He's looking straight into Clark's smiling face and when the boy opposite him moves slightly he can feel the length of his leg brushing against him. Through the denim of the jeans he's wearing. Whitney's almost shocked by the shivers of excitement he can feel shooting through his body every time they brush against each other.

Even the smallest contact resonates through him. He can see it's affecting Clark in a similar way and Whitney just slides his body further down in his chair, makes sure that every time he moves he can feel Clark's leg touch him. He's pleased when he rests his leg against Clark and holds it there that the other boy returns the pressure. Presses his own leg back in response.

Whitney's still smiling. Finger tracing the dark almost scorched ink mark on the surface of the table. It's so smooth under his fingers, so many years of use has faded it so the lines are almost unrecognisable. Some prior student's legacy now almost gone. Graffiti fading to nothing

Clark's blushing slightly and a loud noise behind him makes him gasp and pull away quickly. The smallest of movement and they're no longer touching The boy in front of him is looking embarrassed as the volume levels increase. Over Clark's shoulder and Whitney can see one of the seniors has dropped the tray of food she was carrying. Loud raucous laughter echoing through the room.

Whitney takes advantage of the noise level, pitches his voice low as he speaks. Makes sure Clark is watching him before he continues.

'Clark? I ... I wanted to apologise.'

The dark haired boy looks confused. Whitney can see his forehead wrinkling slightly in thought under the length of his fringe. Partially obscuring Clark's face and much to Whitney's annoyance, his eyes.

'I wanted to let you know how sorry I am for the whole ... the whole scarecrow thing.'

He cuts Clark off before he can speak.

'No, I know what you're gonna say. That it's OK and it's over now and that you don't care, but I do. I do care, because I was an asshole. And ... and I was scared.'

Whitney's looking down at the table again. It seems so much easier to say these things when he doesn't have to look at Clark. Large hazel eyes, that seem to be able to see right inside of him.


Clark's voice is soft and he sounds confused, without thinking Whitney looks up. He can hear the uncertainty in his voice and he's looking at him so intently that it feels so natural for Whitney to keep going. To tell him everything.

'I chose you ... I thought at first it was because of Lana. Because you liked her but I realise now that that's not the reason. Choosing you was never about Lana. I didn't realise it then but I was scared about the way you made me feel. The way that you made me want to act in ways that I thought I shouldn't. Made me want you.'

Now he's started it's almost like he can't stop. He's looking into Clark's eyes, like the two of them are locked together. Everyone else completely ignored.

'I was scared because I didn't think I could stop myself. I thought if you hated me that it wouldn't matter. That how I felt was irrelevant because if you hated me there was no chance and I'd forget about you. God, Clark. I wanted you to hate me so much because of the way you made me feel. And if I couldn't have you there was no way I wanted you to have Lana. I couldn't stand having you love her when I couldn't have who I ...'

He just stops, Whitney's a little scared that Clark still hasn't responded. He wishes he could do something, show Clark how sorry he is, but the fact that they're surrounded by so many other people excludes any possibility of that.

He's scared that Clark might actually get up and simply walk away. The boy in front of him just lowers his eyes. He's no longer looking at Whitney and for once he decides that silence is so much worse than being rejected.

'Clark, I'm sorry. I wanted you to know.'

He can see Clark moving uncomfortably in his seat. Tray, now ignored and pushed slightly off to the side. Clark's sliding his hand across the table, he's once again looking straight into Whitney's eyes.

Whitney can feel the warmth of Clark's fingers against his own. One brief moment and they're curled around the length of his hand and squeezing him gently. Over in a second but that heat and that contact is enough to make Whitney smile. Clark's hand is gone again but it doesn't matter because now Whitney knows it's okay.

'Whitney. It's OK and it's over now and I don't care.'

Clark's smile and the fact that he's repeating what Whitney said earlier, isn't lost on him. He wants to reach across the table and grab hold of him, to not let go. To simply reassure himself that he is there. That this is all happening.

Loud shriek of the bell surprising both of them out of their reverie.

'Shit, I should go. Do you wanna meet up after school?'

He tries hard to contain his excitement but when he sees how much Clark is smiling when he says yes, he no longer bothers. The two of them, sitting opposite each other, neither one having moved.

'After school then.'


Whitney's never really been to the Kent farm. Really been there. He can remember when he was younger, waiting out in the truck whilst his father stopped off and bought some apples. Sitting with his feet up on the dash, silently cursing the fact that he has to sit around and wait. When instead he could be spending his time more constructively. Hanging out with his friends, playing a little ball.

Considering how remote a town he lives in, Whitney hasn't really spent that much time on farms. Most of his friends and the guys from the team seem to live in town.

Lana's place is a little different. Whenever he's there he spends most of his time with her in the house. He's never really paid that much attention to the Kent Farm, right next door.

He also hasn't been able to appreciate the opportunities afforded by having a barn. Clark calls it his Fortress of Solitude. Slightly embarrassed look on his face, down cast eyes and slightly blushing cheeks. He explains how his father named it that.

Clark had thrown his bag inside the house when they'd arrived, muttered a quick greeting to his mother and dragged Whitney straight back out the front door. All Whitney had been able to do was politely smile in greeting to Mrs Kent. He felt a little awkward all things considered, but her smile and open, honest face had put him at ease.

Clark's dragging him up the stairs now. As soon as they were out of sight of the farmhouse, partially obscured by the tractor parked next to the house, they'd started kissing.

Whitney has to admit it's a little awkward actually. He's walking backwards his arm around Clark's waist, pulling the other boy against him. He can feel Clark's hands on his back as well, one sliding up under the cotton of his shirt, skimming over the warmth of his skin. When he traces patterns against his backbone, Whitney's moaning out loud.

He doesn't care though. The two of them almost stumbling as they manoeuvre across the wooden floorboards of the barn. Can't care because when Clark is kissing him, mouth pressed flush against his own, tongues meeting as they touch each other. The last thing on Whitney's mind is thinking about stopping.

Thinking logically isn't even a factor for Whitney. He's kissing the side of Clark's mouth, kissing a trail down over his chin and neck. He simply lets Clark move him backwards as he traces along his throat with his tongue. Clark's making little whimpering noises as he suckles against his slightly salty skin.

Somehow, Clark's managed to manoeuvre him back, he can feel something against his legs and then he's being lowered down. Something soft beneath him and Whitney doesn't even pause to find out what they're lying on. It feels comfortable and soft under him so he guesses it's a couch and not the hard floor.

He doesn't care though because it doesn't feel as good as the hard length of Clark's body resting flush against him. One of his legs slides between Whitney's and he moves his body, accommodates Clark's tall frame and moulds himself against him.

Their legs intertwined, they're hip to hip. Chest to chest, and Whitney's lapping at Clark's throat. He doesn't mind the fact that Clark's resting his weight against him because that reminds him he's there. Makes him realise who and what he's bucking up against.

Louder moan this time and Whitney can feel the hard length of his cock brushing against Clark's. He re-establishes that rhythm and now the two of them are bucking against each other. Clark's lips back on his mouth and he's sucking the other man's tongue, kissing him. He slides his hand under Clark's shirt, he wants him to take it off, to beg for him to remove it but that would mean stopping and Whitney can't quite formulate that thought in his mind let alone say those few words out loud.

Clark's riding against him, thrusting down every time Whitney moves his body up. They're still kissing and when they break apart, the two of them no longer touching along the entire lengths of their body, Whitney slips his hand in between. Waits till Clark thrusts down again and wraps his hand around the outline of Clark's cock. He can feel him aching and hard through the denim of his jeans.

He squeezes him slightly, follows his movement back up and when he's touching him he can hear Clark, so loud, moaning in his ear. His head's thrown back, eyes pulled so tightly closed and his thrusting becomes even harder. Whitney adjusts his leg slightly and cocoons Clark in his own body.

Clark's face is buried in the crook of Whitney's neck. He can see how his hair is slightly damp and he's making tiny mewling noises. Low, harsh sounds that become even louder and intense each time Whitney places more pressure on his cock.

Whitney wants more, his shirt's riding up and his belly's exposed. Pushing against Clark's hip and stomach as he presses against him. His skin feels so warm with each touch and Whitney's getting even harder because of it. He moves his hand, tries to slide his fingers under the waistband of Clark's pants. He wants to see him, to touch him, skin to skin. His fingers trembling slightly as he fumbles. His own excitement making him uncharacteristically clumsy.

One button popped, and Whitney can see a small patch of white, from his boxers. Can see the outline of Clark's cock pressed against the now almost translucent cotton material. Dampness making them see-through. He's about to slide his fingers inside the material of Clark's pants when he feels the other man press his face even more tightly against his neck.

His nose pressing against the slightly damp warmth of his skin. He can feel Clark's lips moving as he whispers his name. Voice scratched and broken, barely recognisable.

Whitney's so close when he feels Clark's hand clamp around his own, almost painfully tight. Thumb and forefinger almost circling his wrist. Whitney can't even move it, just a fraction of an inch from touching Clark and he can't move. He's surprised at Clark's strength and Whitney's almost worried about how tightly his wrist is being held.

Only for a moment though and Clark's leaning back. Head thrown back against the couch. He's mumbling over and over and his lips are parted as he speaks, tongue slightly exposed and Whitney can't even fathom how erotic he looks. Still fully clothed, pants slightly open.

'Sorry ... I'm sorry ... I'm sorry ...'

He's repeating it over and over, he's loosened his grip and Whitney's finally able to move. He pulls him closer, makes sure not to brush against the hard length of his cock. He pulls Clark so he's lying against him and buries the other man's head against his neck.

Whitney can still hear him, slightly muffled from the position he's in.

'Shhh ... it's OK Clark, it's OK.'

'I'm sorry, Whitney ... I just ...'

'It's OK ... we can take a break. I shouldn't have pushed so far, I just got ... a little carried away.'

Clark's still breathing heavily and Whitney just pulls him close. He's lying slightly under him. Clark's resting his weight against him. The two curled together on the couch.

'You feeling alright now?'

Clark's looking down at him, he looks slightly embarrassed. Whitney's still hard himself and he's pleased when the other man starts to smile a little.

Whitney pulls him in closer, rests his hand against his cheek. He can feel Clark trembling slightly under his touch. He closes the distance and kisses him softly on the mouth. His eyes drift closed when he feels Clark's mouth part slightly.

Whitney's now more conscious, he tries not to let himself get too carried away. He slows Clark's movement a little when he begins to slide his body against him. His fingers gently stroking Clark's face as he laps at his mouth.

When he pulls away he bites Clark's bottom lip softly between his teeth, suckles it into his mouth and takes one last swipe with the tip of his tongue. Whitney's not used to getting this caught up in the moment He's having to exert all his control to stop himself from wanting more.

He slides his hand under the fabric of Clark's shirt, wraps his fingers around the side of Clark's hip. He's squeezing him gently. His skin feels so warm under his hand as he circles his thumb, pushing against the hard muscled skin.

He's making small circles on his skin, sliding his fingers gradually further up under Clark's shirt. The boy is lying prone against the back of the couch, his head is thrown back even further, mouth parted slightly, eyes closed.

'God, you're beautiful, Clark.'

He can feel the heavily corded muscle of Clark's chest as he breathes in and out, traces along the lines of his stomach with his hand.

'I'm sorry, Whitney. I'm just not sure'

'Hey, Clark, it's OK. Just when you're ready, I know what it's like.'

Clark's got that serious look on his face, Whitney knows there's something he's trying to say. He just keeps quiet, His hand under Clark's shirt just touching him, absorbing the warmth from his skin.

'Have you ... ever ... with another guy before, I mean.'

It's so silent in the barn, Whitney's starting to realise why Mr Kent calls it Clark's fortress of solitude. He almost feels like he's intruding, like he doesn't belong. But lying here, on the couch, Clark's arm around his shoulders he's without a doubt that he really does. The feeling in his stomach's altered somewhat. It's not so strong now, tight coil of need building inside him. Now he's feeling much more relaxed, just as intense but he's feeling, in a way, a whole lot more content now.

Whitney can feel Clark's body pressing against him, the two sandwiched together along the length of the couch. The contact helping him as he starts to talk about something that he's never mentioned to anyone else before.

'Last summer, one of the guys from the team. His older brother.' Whitney can feel himself blushing slightly, he's having a little trouble finding the words. He can feel Clark's arm tighten slightly, squeezing the muscles of his shoulder gently. Whitney's a little unsure where to look but when he when he sees Clark looking straight at him, he just looks straight back.

'He was back from college. God you should have seen him, Clark. He was amazing. I dunno, maybe it was me, but I'd never noticed how fucking beautiful he was. I went over to see .... uh, my friend and he was there. I can remember walking in and he asked me how I was and dude, I was speechless.'

Clark's smiling now. His other hand is stroking up and down Whitney's arm.

'I ended up staying over for dinner, and that's when it happened. The others were all busy and we ended up back in his old room. Just lying on his bed. God, I was so scared, fucking petrified. I didn't think I'd be able to move. Then, he started touching me and I don't think I was scared anymore. Hell, if I was, I certainly can't remember. Nobody had ever touched me like that, he made me feel so good.'

'Do you still love him?'

Clark's voice is quiet, but Whitney had been so lost in his thoughts that it actually shocks him a little when he hears the other boy speak. He's hard again. Not that he really wasn't before. But he's really really hard again, like when he and Clark were kissing and he's sure that Clark will be able to tell. The way they're lying, Whitney's crotch pressed tightly against him.

'He left again for college. I haven't seen him since.'

'Did you ... do you want to?'

Now Clark's not looking at him at all. His head's dipped down and because they're so close, Whitney can see the top of his head. The way the back of his neck dips down into his shoulders. Golden coloured skin, accentuated by the hard lines of muscle. Whitney really wants Clark to take his shirt off, to be able to feel him, skin to skin.

He reaches his hand up to Clark's chin, gently lifts his head up so they're looking into each other's eyes again. He moves the inches that separate them and places a soft kiss against his mouth. His lips are sweet, like too much soda combined with chocolate. The sort of taste that you probably know you shouldn't have too much of, but once you've started you just can't quite bring yourself to stop.

He moves his mouth close again. He's pleased when he kisses Clark, that he parts his lips slightly. Whitney suckles his bottom lip in between his own, licks across the soft flesh before relinquishing it. Clark's pushing his body towards him.

They part, 'It's not him I'm interested in, Clark.'

Clark's smiling again and this time it's him that moves closer to bridge the gap. Whitney lets him take over. He starts stroking the warmth of Clark's back with his hand as he lets him kiss him. His eyes drifting closed as Clark's tongue invades his mouth.

They're just resting their faces together now. He can feel the way that when Clark breathes in and out, just like he's doing now, he can feel his breath against his cheek. He starts talking, so softly. they're so close that he barely needs to raise his voice above a whisper for Clark to hear him.

'It's kinda weird really. When we were young he used to tease the fuck out of me. I remember one winter a few years back, he used to pelt me with snowballs. He even pushed me over on my ass in the snow.'

When Clark laughs slightly, the movement transfers through his body to Whitney's, where they're touching. Whitney smiles, he moves his face slightly, nuzzling against Clark's. Strong scent of hay from the barn but the strong scent of Clark is more distinctive.

'Then I find out, that he likes me. It's weird what some people will do.'

'Yeah, like tie people up like scarecrows.'

Clark's smiling and Whitney knows he's joking but he pulls away nonetheless. He still feels embarrassed. Well more stupid actually.

'It's OK, Whitney. I was just joking.'

Whitney looks back at him, indignant look on his face. He tries to maintain that look but fails the moment Clark smiles at him.

'Tell me more?'

He adjusts his weight slightly, pulls Clark with him so they're touching. He's lying along the edge of the couch now. Clark's leaning further on his back. He's outstretched. Whitney moves his hand under the thin fabric of Clark's shirt. He lets his fingers drift along the waistband of his pants, not really touching him yet. When his fingers contact the skin of Clark's belly he places more pressure. Clark's taking in little gulps of breath, Whitney can feel his stomach rising and falling.

He uses his hand to lift up Clark's shirt as he moves, pushes it up, almost to his neck. The corded muscle of his stomach and his upper body exposed. Whitney's watching him as he speaks.

'I can still remember it. At first I thought he must be joking. But I knew straight away he wasn't. Just the way he was looking at me. Then he started touching me.'

When Clark's breathing in, Whitney can see the faint outline of his boxers under his jeans. Where the darker skin fades to a more pale shade. He's rubbing his hand gently along Clark's stomach, tracing the muscles with his fingers. Clark's eyes are drifting closed. He moves his hand further up Clark's body, cups the palm of his hand flat against his chest. Uses more pressure as he rubs against the now hard point of his nipple.

Whitney's not surprised when he sees how amazing Clark's body is. Tinged dark by hours in the sun and his skin feels so soft. Under that layer an unyielding hardness of bone and muscle. He dips his head down, lowering his face to Clark's body. He can smell his skin, slightly tainted with sweat and ozone. Like the rays of the sun first thing in the morning when Whitney goes out for a run. So fresh.

He opens his mouth and licks one long stripe with his tongue, along Clark' right nipple. Hard nub against his tongue. Clark's bucking against him when he does it, moaning gently. When he moves away he can see Clark's erection straining against the front of his jeans.

'I remember how he made me feel, when he touched me. At first it was almost too much. His hands stroking my back as we kissed. When he started touching my cock. God, I was so hard. I really didn't think anything in the world could feel any better. But I was wrong. He took me into his mouth and I thought that would be the end of it right away. I wanted it to last forever but when I was inside his mouth, when he was sucking my cock I knew I wouldn't last long.'

Whitney's still stroking Clark's chest. He lets his fingers settle against the top of his body. He holds back Clark's shirt with his fingers whilst he traces circles around Clark's nipple with his thumb. He presses the hard length of his cock against him.

'I just stood there. I didn't move. I thought at least if I didn't move I wouldn't be doing anything wrong. Anything that I shouldn't be doing. But fuck, nothing felt wrong. Everything that was happening, for the first time that I can remember just felt so perfect.'

Whitney's barely noticed Clark sit up a little, pushing against his hand. His eyes are open wide, stained a little darker than usual. The irises are wider, Whitney's amazed at how beautiful he looks. His bottom lip looks darker and slightly bruised. Clark's been sucking it into his mouth between his teeth. It's almost dewy and at the moment Whitney wants so much to lean over and lick it clean.

Before he even thinks about it, Clark's covered that small distance for him. They're kissing again, Clark's tongue in his mouth. Lips pressed against his own and he can hear himself moaning uncontrollably. His hands still pressed between the two of them, from where he was stroking Clark's chest. It's kind of uncomfortable, but Whitney doesn't care.

He lets himself be pushed back as Clark rolls him over slightly. His back now on the couch and Clark's resting his weight up on one leg. Whitney moves his hand and begins to rub the muscles of Clark's chest with his palm.

The look alone on Clark's face making Whitney so much harder, but when he feels Clark's fingers at the waistband of his pants all he can do is moan out loudly. He pushes up, its not really helping but at least when he does it he drives the length of his cock against Clark's hand. The dark haired boy is fumbling at his belt buckle, one leg straddling each side of Whitney's body.

Whitney's trying to pull Clark's shirt off, material bunching around his head and Clark's gaze is transfixed on Whitney's crotch. His shaking fingers still having trouble reaching his goal.

Whitney thinks he's finally managed to undo it, he can feel Clark's fingers sliding under his waistband. He's breathing in and when he does those fingers slip further under. He can feel them brushing the hardness of his cock and Whitney's moaning out Clark's name.

He's shocked though when he hears that name spoken so much more loudly. Not as close but he can still hear it.


The boy in question suddenly looking straight up at him. His hands no longer moving. Whitney's amazed at how quickly Clark stands up, pulls his shirt so it's back on fully. From his position on the couch, pants half undone, Whitney can see how hard Clark is.

His voice is scratchy when he starts to speak. 'Uh, yeah mom?'

Mrs Kent, voice again from downstairs. Whitney doesn't quite catch what she's saying as he's too busy fumbling with his belt. Desperately trying to do his pants back up. The fact that he's so hard isn't helping. His own cock, straining against the fly to his pants. He quickly adjusts himself and sits up. Uses the flat of his hands to straighten his hair. The position he's been lying in causing it to bunch up at the back.

'I'll be right down, mom.' Clark looks back at him and nods. Whitney watches as he runs down the stairs. He can hear them talking but can't quite make out the words. Whitney takes in a few deep breaths, tries to settle his body and waits for Clark to return.

Only a few moments later, and he's back. Whitney smiles up at him, he's pleased when Clark smiles back. Slightly embarrassed look on his face.

'Mom, wants to know if you want to stay for dinner?'

Whitney's still sitting down, he reaches his hand out for Clark and when he takes it he pulls the other boy close against him. Opens his legs and pulls him in, head flush against Clark's belly. He can feel the other boy's hand stroking his head. Fingers trailing through his hair and then resting on his shoulder.

'I should go, Clark. If I stay I'm not sure I'll be able to control myself.'

He lets himself be pulled up till he's standing. Wrapped in Clark's arms. The two of them are smiling at each other and Clark moves closer and kisses him once, softly on the mouth. Then again, this time more deeply. Tongue sliding between his own lips and Whitney kisses him back.

Clark's smiling when they break apart, 'Who says I want you to control yourself, Whitney?'

The two of them are laughing as Whitney unwinds himself from Clark's hold. One last squeeze on his shoulder as Clark seems reluctant to let go.

'Mom's expecting me home for dinner. We should meet up at school tomorrow, though?'

Whitney smiles even more, when Clark nods his head in agreement.

Whitney lifts up his hand, brushes the beads of sweat he can feel forming on his forehead and shields his eyes from the brightness of the sun. It's around about that time, when the sun dips down low in the horizon. A harsh yellow light straining through the rows and rows of seats. Painting stripes of pattern across the lush green of the field.

Practice has been going well. At first the guys had all been a little surprised about Whitney's good mood. In contrast to his stoic silence that morning. They'd laughed it off. A couple of them had whispered that Whitney must have got lucky during his lunch break. He didn't think it was a good idea to tell them that yeah he had, just not as lucky as he wanted and not as they had insinuated, with Lana.

Of course practice, and more importantly Whitney's concentration levels had depreciated dramatically when Whitney saw Clark take a seat in one of the top rows of the bleachers. He was almost tempted to ask coach if he could hit the showers early. That of course was why he was so distracted. Why he forgot to actually throw the ball. And more importantly why he's ended up on the ground, four of his team mates piled on top of him.

It takes a couple of minutes for Whitney to extricate himself from the pile of limbs. About twice as long pretending to ignore his team mates' laughter. The rest of the practice being told off by the coach.

His attention is continuously drawn back to where Clark is sitting. He can recognise him even from this distance, squinting into the sunlight through the visor to his helmet. He's smiling again and Whitney knows if he's going to make it out of practice alive he really needs to pay more attention to the play.

Instead he steals glances in Clark's direction, he doesn't fail to notice how attentively he's watching the field.

Whitney's pleased when practice is finally over and the coach lets them go. Pleased and a little sore, it's not only his ego that's been bruised in the last half hour.

Which only makes him think of Clark again, he's still sitting in the same spot. Whitney's not sure he wants to take the time to grab a shower, he really wants to leave now, grab Clark on the way out and not look back.

He removes his helmet, unbuckling the strap and takes a moment to run his hand through his hair. It's slightly damp with sweat and the constraint and it sticks up in tiny bunches. Slightly darker than it's usual blonde.

Whitney heads towards the changing rooms. He can't resist watching Clark as he gets closer. Thinks he can see him smiling and nodding his head in greeting but it's a little hard for Whitney to tell from this distance. The way he's leaning forward slightly, resting his weight on his legs. Whitney's not really sure but he thinks he can hear one of the guys calling out to him. He pretends not to notice, instead just takes in all he can see. Memorises the way Clark looks.

He spends the next five minutes trying hard not to think about anything related to Clark. Because that's just one more thing he doesn't want to have to explain to the guys whilst he's showering.

He's feeling decidedly sweaty from practice as he peels his clothes off, strips down and wraps a towel around his waist. Trying not to think about Clark is proving harder and harder. Uses the material of his shirt to wipe under his arms, removes the thin sheen of sweat from his skin. The room's rank, just the usual and for some reason that musky smell gets associated with the guy who's outside waiting for him.

It takes a little longer than he'd planned but Whitney finally packs his things and quickly makes his way up the bleachers to where Clark is sitting. He mutters a goodbye to the last of the team that still haven't left.

Takes the steps two at a time and now he's without a doubt that Clark is smiling. Squinting against the last rays of the run as they dip low in the sky. His hand slightly raised to shield them.

'Hey, Clark.'

Clark's jacket is off and on the seat next to him, so Whitney lets his eyes drift along the long lines of Clark's body. The way the cotton of his T-Shirt is pulled tight over the muscled expanse of his chest. The way his body moves. Muscles fluidly expanding and contracting as Clark sits up slightly. Whitney also can't help but follow that movement down, traces a line down his body past his crotch and down his legs. The way the dark blue denim seems to hug his legs so tightly.

He's greeted with that smile again, and Whitney's sure if he'd seen that look about ten minutes again there is no way he'd have been able to have taken a shower with the others. He throws his bag on the ground and sits down next to him. He leans back against the seat, body moulding against the plastic. Adjusts the way he's sitting and moves his leg closer to the other boy.

He can feel the hardness of Clark's leg pressing against his own and when he looks at Clark, he's wearing a similar dopey statement on his face. Blushing slightly and smiling. Lips pulled back, teeth exposed.

'How was practice?'

'Good, until a certain someone made me a little too distracted.'

That smile growing even larger before he continues. 'Clark, I'm really sorry but I've got a couple of things I need to get done. I was hoping that we could hook up in an hour or two?'

'That's fine, I've got a few things I need to do as well.'


Whitney reaches down for his bag, from the space in front of where they're sitting. At the same time Clark leans forward and the two of them are now so close. There's nobody around, just the faint sound of voices coming from somewhere.

He can see the smoothness of Clark's skin. The way it's burnished golden from the sun, the tan fading slightly as it moves further up his arm. Dipping under his shirt. His arm is coated in a thin layer of hair that looks so soft. Whitney can see the play of muscles under Clark's skin. He's still amazed at how strong Clark looks. How his body, despite the fact that it's hidden under so many layers of clothing, seems to him just so perfect.

It's almost like Whitney's not breathing and then he can feel Clark's hand holding his leg. Cupping the hard muscle of his thigh and his fingers are curled around him. A small movement and he can feel Clark stroke his hand up the length of it, agonisingly close to his crotch. Slight pressure as Clark is squeezing him.

Whitney's hand is frozen, only inches from grabbing his bag. Clark's leaning further and his face is so close to his own. He's smiling, looking though his fringe at Whitney. His dark eyes seem so much wider, shaded darker and Whitney's pretty sure it's not because of the shadow from the bleachers covering the two of them.

He still hasn't moved and when he speaks, Clark's voice is soft and the words are spoken so slowly.

'God, you smell good, Whitney.' His eyes almost drifting closed as he speaks.

One last squeeze and Clark's hand is gone but it's still like Whitney can feel him there. Like his hand is still stroking his leg, so close to his hardening cock. He can feel the first faint stirrings of need growing in the pit of his stomach. Becoming stronger with each passing second.

He watches the other boy stand, turn and walk away. He's moving down the line of seats and when Clark looks back, over his shoulder, Whitney can see the white of Clark's teeth in contrast to his skin when he smiles.

Whitney's still hard and watching him as Clark disappears down the row of seats. Tall frame getting smaller and smaller. Whitney still hasn't even picked his bag up off the ground.

When Lana had asked for his help, Whitney hadn't hesitated in saying yes. Truth be told he was feeling a little guilty. A lot, actually. Not so much because of what seemed to be happening between him and Clark, because that just felt right. It was more the way it made him feel. So much stronger than it ever had with Lana.

Like last night after he'd left Clark's farm. He was reluctant to go but knew he had to. If he'd stayed he would have wanted so much more, possibly more than Clark was prepared to give. The way the dark-haired boy was driving him wild with his mouth was almost too much for Whitney.

He'd rushed home, hadn't even spoken to his parents before he'd rushed upstairs. He was still hard. Had been all the way on the drive home. He'd jerked off in the shower, thinking about him. The way he felt when he was thrusting against Whitney as they kissed. Except this time they were both naked. Sweat slicked and grinding their bodies against one another. And this time they didn't have to stop.

Whitney had come, his thoughts totally occupied imagining Clark naked and thrusting against him. Imagining the way he looked when he was coming as well. Holding his softening cock in his hand, he could see the image of Clark burned indelibly on the back of his eyelids.

And it's Clark's face on his mind, his name on his lips but it isn't Clark's hand around his cock, it's his own. That used to be more than enough when it was Lana, that Whitney was thinking about. But now that it's Clark it doesn't seem nearly enough., by any stretch of the imagination because Whitney does want so much more.

And that's what makes him feel so guilty, the fact that the difference between how he feels with Clark and how he feels //Felt?// with Lana is that when it comes to six foot something of dark-haired farm boy, it's never enough.

Whitney's almost to Nell's shop now and he has to stop. He's hard again, like he seems to have been so much over the last few days. He's thankful he's still wearing his jacket because hopefully that will go some way towards covering up the fact that thinking about Clark has made him that hard again

It won't cover it up that much though, so he stops and waits. That's something he definitely doesn't want to have to explain to Lana.

He tries to think of something other than Clark in an attempt to calm down, but when he looks across the street, he sees the boy in question. Exiting a shop, he hasn't seen Whitney yet. He's facing back towards the still open door he has just walked out of. Whitney, without even thinking starts moving to cross the street, right in front of Nell's flower shop. He's smiling again when he sees him and that's another thing that is so different between Lana and Clark.

Clark always makes him want to smile, he also makes him want to touch him. It doesn't really matter where he is, Whitney has to control himself because he just wants to reach out and feel Clark, to reassure himself that he's still there.

That's when Whitney notices him. Lex Luthor.

Clark's holding the door open for him and when Lex walks out, Whitney can see even from this distance how much Clark's smiling. His Clark. Except this time he's not smiling for him. He's smiling for Lex and that makes Whitney stop.

He's only seen Clark smile like that at him and even though Whitney has never thought about the fact that someone else might make Clark happy like that it still hurts to see it. To see that smile directed at someone other than himself.

Lex is holding something out to Clark. The dark haired man is letting the door shut and reaching out to take it with his hand. He's still smiling. So is Lex and as they start to walk away, Whitney can see they're talking. Laughing together and then Lex slides his arm around Clark's shoulders. They just look so comfortable.

He's sure there's a reason, but he can't stop thinking, he's unsure he wants to know what that reason is. Whitney just hopes that maybe it's human nature to assume the worse.

Whitney's still hard, despite what he's just seen but he moves inside Nell's shop anyway. The footpath is now the last place he wants to be.

Lex is walking down the street with Clark. He supposes this is probably what's considered a busy time in downtown Smallville. Most of the parking spaces seem to be full. There's an old lady walking towards them and a younger woman pushing a stroller. When they walk past them, they greet Clark. By name.

It still takes a fair bit of getting used to.

He looks over at his friend. Clark's still smiling and holding the package in his hand. 'Its a nice frame, Clark. It means a lot.'

Clark's looking back at him rather blankly in response as they move back towards where Lex has parked.

'I mean you must really like Whitney. You spent about thirty minutes picking out just the right frame for that photo.'

Lex tries to keep his statement neutral, he's not surprised when Clark laughs back at him. The boy seems to have an uncanny knack of being able to judge how Lex is really feeling. Something that most of the employees of LuthorCorp, people he's known most of his life seem to still have trouble doing.

'I wanted to make sure I got it right. God, Mrs Johnson at the store must think I'm a freak. Was it really thirty minutes?'

Lex stops a moment, looks down at the watch on his wrist. 'Thirty four minutes actually and I thought we'd been through this, Clark. What does it matter if Mrs Jacobs thinks you're a freak.'


'You shouldn't care what Mrs Jacobs thinks. What's more important is what you think.'


'Clark? You do know I know her name's not really Jacobs?'

Clark nods his head, he's tying not to smile. Not too successfully though.

'Good, I was just checking. So what did Chloe say when you asked her for the photo of Whitney?'

Clark's looking a little guilty, the corners of his mouth turning up slightly. 'Uh, she doesn't know I've got it.'

Lex just starts laughing. 'You stole it?'

'No.' Clark responds straight away, 'I just ... borrowed it, that's all.'

'Clark Kent, what would your parents say?'

'Fuck off, Lex.'

'Clark? First theft now bad language. I do believe that I'm a bad influence on you. What do you have planned next?'

It' so easy to embarrass Clark and if that look wasn't so worth it Lex probably wouldn't bother. But he can't quite resist. Seeing Clark, blush dipping his head down, looking up at Lex through his fringe is worth it. Lex decides it would take a stronger man than himself to resist a look like that.

Lex puts his arm around Clark's shoulder as they start to walk down the street. He's only really partially listening. He's trying to decide if he should see if Clark wants to grab a coffee at the beanery. He decides against it when he remembers Clark mentioning meeting up with Whitney on the first, about eight times, he'd told him.

He knows he has a certain amount of time before they're meeting up, but Lex has things of his own he needs to attend to.

'I can give you a lift home?' He makes sure that Clark is looking towards him. That he's not facing across the street and doesn't have the opportunity to see Whitney watching them.

Clark nods and moves around to the other side of Lex's car as he switches the alarm off.

Clark rings the door bell at Whitney's house. He's holding his bag in his hand with the photograph in there. In it's frame. He's even wrapped it in some paper he'd bought.

He hadn't spent as long choosing the paper as he had with the frame. He'd wanted to avoid having Lex make fun of him. He'd already been laughing at his expense so Clark had chosen quickly. Plain blue paper, he'd wanted to go with something decidedly masculine.

He can hear some noise from the other side of the door, vague outline of a body through the opaque glass. Clark knows it's Whitney, even though from this position it's hard to make out any shape at all. More an amorphous blob than anything resembling human.

He smiles when the door opens and Whitney's head and upper body is exposed through the doorway.


Clark smiles at him, has to stop himself from reaching out and touching him. He seems to be finding it harder not to do just that. Like earlier today, at practice when he'd needed to reach out and hold onto Whitney.

Whitney looks a little unsure. Clark keeps his distance, assumes that Whitney's parents are there. Or one of his friends. He just follows him in the door.

Clark follows Whitney down the hallway. He's never been inside the Fordman's house before. He knew where it was. He practically knows where everyone in Smallville lives. It's not exactly how he'd imagined it would look, everything is so neat and tidy; like everything has it's own space. He can see into the living room, kitchen counter further back past all the furniture.

There's no sign of anyone else, in fact the house is silent. There's no noise except what the two of them are making as they walk down the hall. Clark follows Whitney through a door into his room. He just stands there and looks around. There's a desk in one corner, piled high with books. A few of them are open, a pen marking a page in the top one.

There's a shelf on one side of the room piled high with more books. The top is covered with trophies, a couple of photos and down one end is a football. Clark tries to take it all in, to memorise the way that everything looks. Whitney's bed is a little messy, like it's not usually made, like Whitney's just pulled the covers up. He's not sure where to sit, there's one desk chair but Clark doesn't want to sit there. He wants to be closer to Whitney.

He watches as Whitney closes the door and moves past him into the room. He reaches out almost absently and grabs the ball from the shelf with one hand. Then sits down in the chair at his desk, moves it a little closer to the bed and gestures for Clark to sit down.

'Is everything OK, Whitney?'

It takes a few moments for him to answer. Clark's a bit worried. Whitney's not really looking at him, he's looking at the ball he's spinning around and around in his hands. Clark can't help but wish he was one of those people //Like Lex// that finds it easy to know what people are thinking. He's not though. He plays back over and over in his head what might be wrong. He can't think of anything, but he knows there's definitely something "off".

Clark just takes a seat on the edge of Whitney's bed. There's only about a foot separating the two of them but to Clark it all of a sudden feels so much further.

Whitney's nodding his head, forcing a smile on his face. 'Sure, Clark. Everything's fine.'

Something about the way Whitney is speaking doesn't make Clark believe him. He's about to ask more when his attention is distracted by the ball that Whitney's holding. When it spins the white seams are making a pattern against the darker colour of the rest of the ball.

He just sits there for a moment before saying more. 'Is there anyone else here?'

Whitney's shaking his head, 'they'll be back in an hour or so.'

'Do you think we could ...' Clark lets his voice trail off. He doesn't need to not look at Whitney to cover his embarrassment, the other boy's still looking down at the ball in his hands. His face partially obscured by the fringe of hair covering his eyes.


'Tell me what you want to do, Clark?'

He still hasn't moved. Clark gets up so he's standing directly in front of the seated boy. At least now Whitney's looking up at him. He reaches his hand down and when Whitney reaches out to him he pulls him up. The ball falling from his hands to the floor, forgotten.

He wraps his arms around Whitney, pulls him close. He's pleased when he lets him mould his body against him. He can feel his arms sliding around his waist. One of Whitney's hands resting against the top of his ass.

He moves his face closer, so their lips are a fraction of an inch apart. He lets his eyes drift closed a little, so he can barely see through his lashes. 'I want to kiss you, Whitney.'

Clark moves his mouth so he can feel Whitney's lips against his own, waits for him to react. Only a second and he can feel Whitney placing pressure against him, his hands stroking his back. He lets Whitney's tongue into his mouth, suckles it in as they kiss.

He's reluctant to break contact. Lapping his tongue against Whitney's mouth as they part. He lets him move back slightly. He just watches as Whitney pulls his shirt off, over his head, in one fluid movement. Whitney's mouth is slightly parted, he's breathing heavily as he lets his shirt fall to the floor.

Clark's tracing the contours of Whitney's body with his eyes. Hard muscles of his upper body, pinkness of his nipples. Dipping down lower, he can see the play of his muscles across his stomach as he breathes in. A small trail of hair, light dusting of blonde coloured hairs dipping down below his belly button. Trailing down till they disappear under the waistband of his pants.

Clark's all of a sudden starting to feel a bit warmer. The temperature seems so much hotter in the room. Whitney's room. It seems so small and when he breathes in that's all he can smell. Unmistakable smell of Whitney filling the room.

Clark moves his hand down, under the bottom of his own shirt. He can feel his own fingers trembling as they slide under, brushing his skin. He's looking directly at Whitney, the way his mouth is parted, he can see his tongue between the redness of his lips. Clark slides his own shirt off and discards it on the floor. Material pooling unnoticed at his feet.

Within seconds he's closed that gap again. Whitney's touching him, his hand across his back, leaving trails of heat on his slightly sticky skin. They're kissing, mouths pressed together, tongues entwined. Teeth knocking together slightly, but Clark doesn't care.

He just pulls Whitney close to him, presses their naked chests together. He's moaning as his nipples, now hard points brush against Whitney's skin. They're still kissing, Clark lets his head fall back as Whitney begins moving down his neck, over his chin and he's suckling against the muscled line of Clark's neck. Lapping at his skin, sucking and kissing his adam's apple.

One of Whitney's hands is drifting down, Clark can feel it cupping his ass through his jeans. Squeezing him. He's bucking against Whitney, hard.

Whitney's tongue is trailing down his neck, to the top of his chest. He's kissing along Clark's shoulder while Clark moans against him. He can feel Whitney slide one of his hands between their bodies. He's palming Clark's stomach with the flat of his hand. Clark can feel it drifting down, tips of his fingers under the waistband of his jeans. He can feel Whitney gripping the top of his pants, pulling their bodies closer together. Bringing his erection into contact with Whitney's own. Clark's grinding against him as they both thrust forward.

Whitney's moving his mouth back up, kissing a long trail up to Clark's ear. His mouth is against the side of his face and Clark can hear his voice. Throaty and guttural. Full of emotion.

'You're so fucking beautiful, Clark.'

Whitney's fumbling at the buttons to his jeans, Clark's moaning out loud. He can feel each button popping, loses count after the second or third. He's thrusting against Whitney's hand, head thrown back.

'Sometimes, I just want to look at you. To remind myself that you're mine. I'm not quite sure what I did to deserve someone like you. So. Fucking. Beautiful. Sometimes I worry that if I close my eyes, even for a moment, when I open them up again, you'll be gone.'

Whitney's kissing against his mouth as he speaks. Clark's gulping in air as the other boy holds him close.

'Whitney, I ...' His voice breaking as he speaks. He's unable to finish the sentence as he feels Whitney's hand against his cock. All he can do is moan the other boy's name.

'Shhh, Clark. You don't have to say anything. It's just enough that you're here.'

Clark can barely think through the haze taking over his brain. All he can think about is Whitney. Whitney's hands, Whitney's mouth. The way Whitney tastes. The way his hand is snaking inside the front of his pants, rubbing the hard length of his cock. He's slick and Whitney's fingers are wrapping around the shaft. Clark's pumping forward, fucking himself on Whitney's hand, a small hot circle of skin. He's sticky already. He can feel himself sliding between Whitney's fingers. Whitney's nuzzling his neck again.

Slight squeeze of his hand and Whitney's pumping his cock. His other hand's sliding around his back, under the waistband of his jeans. Simply resting on the top of his ass.

Whitney's making Clark so "out of it". Given the fact that he can't for the life of him remember how it got so far, that seems like a pretty accurate description. Whitney's hand is around his cock, he's hard and sliding forward. He can feel the strength of Whitney's hand around him, the hard calluses on his fingers.

Clark can't even begin to comprehend how this feels. So much better than when it's his own hand. Like it was this morning. He'd been thinking about Whitney, but that doesn't even compare to how it feels when it's the real thing.

It's like comparing an old movie, in black and white with something Clark can now see on TV. On Lex's wide-screen, with full surround sound.

The fact that it feels so much more intense can be the only explanation for why Clark's feeling so out of control. He has no idea what led to this point. He can remember Whitney's hand undoing the buttons on his belt, heat against him. But that's it. All the bits in between are a blank and Clark's now teetering on that point. Of no return. Even a moment more and he really will have done it.

Lost control.

He's not used to it, knows it's something he can't afford to do. Hell, that's what his whole life has been about and so he reacts instinctively. Doesn't think twice, he's moving faster than even Whitney can see. Despite the fact that he has his body moulded against him. His mouth against the warm column of Clark's neck. At least he won't see Clark react. He's pushing Whitney away from him. A bit harder than he'd intended and it takes all of Whitney's efforts to not fall on his ass.

He's got a hurt look on his face and Clark's immediately regretting it. When he notices the way his cock is hard and sticking out through the gap in his jeans, he quickly covers himself up. He's not sure what to do, he's pushed Whitney away and the look on the other boy's face is making Clark even more unsure of himself.

'I'm sorry, Whitney. I didn't mean to ... I didn't want ...' He can't even finish what he's saying.

Whitney's regained control, Clark can see where he's pushed him back against the chair. His leg striking it hard.

'You didn't mean to what, Clark?'

Whitney looks angry, Clark's trying to think of what to say to make it all better. To take it back to what it had been like when he'd arrived, but he can't. He's not sure what to say and what to do. All he knows is he's fucked this up.

'You didn't mean to push me away? Or you didn't mean to let me do this to you in the first place?'

Whitney's voice is raised, his cheeks are red and Clark can tell he's angry. When he speaks a small bubble of spit escapes his mouth. Clark can see it clearly, can see how angry he's made him.

Clark's still so hard, when the front of his jeans brush against the hard length of his cock he's worried that it will be too late. That despite his best efforts he'll still come. He was so far gone that even a last ditch effort to regain control might fail. He's so busy trying to keep his body under control that it takes him a moment to register Whitney's raised voice.

'Well, Clark? Which one is it?' He's pulling his shirt back on, picked up from the floor at his feet. Clark's not sure if he hurt him when he pushed him back, but he knows without a doubt that he's hurt him in other ways.

Hurt him so much that it looks like Whitney doesn't even care that Clark pushed him back into the chair.

'I'm sorry, Whitney. I didn't mean to ...'

'Yeah, Clark? Well I'm sorry too. '

He's still not looking at him and when he speaks next, his voice is quiet and measured, the exact opposite of how Clark himself feels.

'I think you should go.'

Whitney turns around and faces away from him. Clark wants to reach out and make everything okay again but he has no idea what to do. He can hear Whitney breathing heavily, ragged sounds coming from the man who won't even look at him now.

Clark's voice is soft as he speaks, 'I'm so sorry, Whitney.'

He grabs his shirt off the floor, pulls it on quickly. Grabs his bag on the way out the door.

Clark's not really thinking; when he slams the front door to Whitney's house. He's still really trying to process exactly what's just happened.

He's pretty freaked as he quickly moves down the street, along the line of houses. There's nobody around and Clark has this eerie feeling that everyone is hidden inside, watching him. Like they all know what he's done. He has to stop himself from running at full speed. He almost does it without thinking, his mind's a blur and all he knows is he needs to get away.

He breaks into a jog. Well, more a sprint really and when he finally turns the corner, he starts running for the edge of town.

Previous events playing over in his mind. Clark had almost lost control. Something he's always prided himself on not doing. Control's an important part of his life. He needs to exert it whenever he needs to conceal his abilities. When Whitney had started touching him, actually touching him, he'd started to let everything go. Not intentionally, but that only makes it worse.

Clark knows he doesn't have that liberty, he can't allow himself to give in like that. Because, what would that mean?

Clark's pretty sure he loves Whitney, or he's at least as close to it as he's ever been. But what would happen if he found out about Clark? Would Whitney understand? Clark's not sure but he knows he doesn't want to risk it. Doesn't want Whitney to think of him as a freak. To push him away.

Just like he'd done to Whitney.

Clark's not ashamed to admit that he's scared of how Whitney might react. What he might do if he found out what Clark was really hiding. It really does put everything into perspective. Why is it that no matter how many questions get answered, more spring up in their place? That no matter what Clark does he still has to hide.

He's even hiding from Whitney. The only one who seems able to understand him, is Lex.

Why is it that everything about Lex leads to answers, not more questions? Like he's the last missing piece of a puzzle. Clark's not sure why it is, but he knows it's true. The way Lex seems to make it all complete.

Clark stops moving. He's almost past the last line of houses on the route north. It's a much quieter part of town. He has to take in a few deep breaths, try and regulate the fast pace his heart seems to have achieved. He's not sure exactly when things had gone wrong, he's pretty sure it's his fault though.

He doesn't know if Whitney will ever forgive him.

He picks up the pace, moves past the Franklin house., the last on the street and starts running at full pace. He cuts through the cornfield off the side of the road. He can feel the stalks of the corn brushing against his body. Yielding as he quickly moves through them. The countryside fading to an almost blur and the wind's strong in his face. Brushing against him and Clark pretends that when they brush the dampness off his cheeks that it wasn't there in the first place. That he's not crying.

He tells himself this and he almost believes it.

Clark stops when he reaches the other side of the cornfield. If he turns left at the road he'll end up on his way home. Back to the farm house and at least there he can hide out. Of course his parents will sense something's wrong. That's a conversation he can't see himself having.

So he turns right instead. further away from town. Crosses the road and makes his way through another field.

He's there before he even knows it. At the Luthor Estate. He's not sure it's a conscious decision on his part, to go to see Lex, but he moves up to the gate anyway. It's starting to get late now. The Luthor castle is even more dark and ominous looking. One whole side of the building covered in shadow and when Clark slips through the gate he has to take a moment to let his eyes adjust.

Soft crunch of pebbles under his feet. There's a large hedge just to the right of the long drive and when the sun dips even lower towards the horizon, the play of shadows on the ground is all distorted. It makes it look so much larger.

Clark just steps past it, for some reason he feels like he's invading this space. An almost sacred quiet seems to be in residence. Like every footstep he makes, echoing sound in the open air, is an intrusion.

When Clark thinks he hears a noise behind him, he spins around. But he's still alone. There's nobody else there. His nerves are on edge, his breathing is still all ragged.

He moves quickly up to the front door, doesn't bother to knock or ring the bell. He's pleased when it opens, he's sure Lex will be home. He hadn't even considered the fact that he might not be, until this point.

In through the front hallway and Clark follows the sounds he can hear coming from upstairs. Soft noise of music, something Classical. Clark wouldn't know what it is, even if he was capable of logical thought at the moment. He just walks towards the noise and the light he can see coming from down he hall. Dark wooden walls illuminated by a light coming from what Clark guesses as Lex's study.

He must still be working and Clark's not surprised. Almost every time Clark comes to see Lex; he's busy at work. He always stops as soon as Clark gets there though. Always makes the time to listen.

Clark moves through the open door. The music's slightly louder now, still faint and somewhat in the background. He simply stands in the doorway, one hand against the door frame. He can see Lex busy behind his desk. He's hunched over a pile of papers. Blue manilla folder open on his desk. There's news clippings, cut out from some paper to his right. On his left, Clark can see a glass. Half full with liquid.

When Lex reaches for it, his face lifts up and he must be able to sense Clark from where he's standing.

He can see a moment's shock pass across his features. A frightened expression before Lex can hide it behind his usual mask of stoicism. Then he realises who it is and smiles.

'Clark, I didn't hear you come in. You gave me quite a fright.'

Clark can't actually think of anything to say, he's just standing there. Lex is sitting back further in his chair, the pile of papers he'd been scanning now being ignored.

'Clark? Is everything OK?'

He just wants to tell him that it isn't. Everything isn't okay, in fact it's the exact opposite. That he's fucked everything up and now thanks to him everything is very much not okay. But he still can't speak. He just watches Lex. His initial smile replaced with a look of confusion.

In the faint light, Clark notices how striking Lex looks. Lines of his face and his head. Lex is wearing a dark coloured shirt, it's open at the neck, and he's not wearing a tie. Clark can see through the opening, a pale column of white flesh, dipping further down Lex's chest.

Faint sound of classical music still filling the room.

He still hasn't spoken when Lex stands up. Moves his chair back and crosses over to the other side of the room.

Clark simply watches him. He's grabbing another glass from the dresser next to his desk, filling it from the large bottle next to it. He's still looking concerned when he hands the glass to Clark. It's cool against his skin, a good few inches of what Clark only guesses as whiskey, half filling it. He can smell the harsh tang of the alcohol even though he's only holding it in his hand. Then it becomes stronger as he moves it up to his mouth. Then it's all he can smell as he places the glass against his lips. Coolness of the glass replaced by a rich warm feeling as he tilts his head back, starts drinking and doesn't stop.

When he moves it down his eyes are watering. The back of his throat feels scratched raw. It's the most disgusting feeling he can recall. He's trying hard not to gag, to cough and splutter. His cheeks are once again damp, this time the effects of the alcohol causing his eyes to water.

He can feel the liquid sliding down his throat and then he no longer cares about how awful his throat feels, how he has a bad taste in his mouth. The alcohol warming him. Clark just closes his eyes and lets the effects take over.

'Christ, Clark. You really should have sipped that. Although judging from the look on your face I think you might have needed it.'

The glass feels heavy in his hands, like it's slowly slipping from between his fingers. Right when he thinks it's about to drop, to fall crashing to the floor, he feels the warmth of Lex's hand slightly touch him. The glass is gone. He reaches out quickly, fingers resting against Lex's hand. He's resting it gently atop the other man's wrist.

'You wanna take a seat? Tell me what's wrong.'

Clark just lets himself be moved. He's surprised when Lex moves him over to the couch on the other side of the room. Doesn't sit in his own chair on the other side of his desk. He slumps his body down, drops the bag he's still carrying on the floor at his feet.

Lex is sitting down the other end of the couch facing him. Glass no longer in his hand and he's simply watching Clark. Waiting for him to say something.

'I take it Whitney didn't like his present, then?'

'I didn't even give it to him.' Clark's reaching down, unzipping his bag. He pulls out the framed photo wrapped in blue paper. The present he'd got for Whitney, that he hadn't given him.

'Whitney asked me to leave. I couldn't ... we were ... and then I made him stop.'

Clark's looking down at his hands. They're folded in his lap, his movements are slightly jerky as he twists them together. He doesn't look up at Lex, he's still a little embarrassed about discussing this with him. He's not used to talking so openly.

'God, Lex. It's all my fault. I pushed him away, made him stop and now I'm scared he won't want to see me again.'

When he looks up at the other man sitting at the end of the couch he notices how close they are. He's looking into Lex's eyes and he can see genuine concern there. He knows Lex isn't judging him, that he just wants to be there to help him.

'Clark. Listen to me, it's not your fault. If you didn't feel comfortable with what you were doing, you probably shouldn't have been doing it. There's no need to rush things. Remember when I said that if things didn't feel right you should wait?'

'I could have ...' //Hurt him.//

And that's one secret Clark can't share with anyone. Not even Lex

Clark's nodding his head. Lex has moved his hand up so he's resting it against Clark's shoulder, at the top of his neck and his fingers are warm against his skin. He's squeezing him gently, trying to reassure him.

'But... I made him stop. I wasn't even sure what was happening.'

'You'll know when it's the right time, Clark.'

'But what if I don't, Lex? What about Whitney? He knew when it was right.'

Lex is smiling slightly, his lips are curled up and when Clark looks at him it makes him feel more reassured.

'But it's not about Whitney, is it?'

After a moment Clark begins to nod, he's swallowing hard. He can still feel the alcohol he'd drunk in his throat and mouth and his eyes still sting.

'It's about you, Clark. You'll know when you're ready for more.'

It's like he's only just realising it himself. Lex's hand on his shoulder, the two of them are sitting so close. One of Lex's legs is raised up, flat on the couch. Clark can feel it pressing against his thigh. Through the fabric of Lex's slacks and the jeans he's wearing. When he looks at Lex, it seems so obvious.

There's no mistaking how he feels about Lex. The way Lex makes him feel. Like he's really only just woken up. It's not really that it hasn't been about Whitney, it's just always been about Lex.

Lex is telling him that he'll know when it feels right. And it does. Clark's never been more sure in his life. It. Feels. Right.

He moves forward, closing the distance quickly. He's leaning forward, his body weight pressing against Lex. He brushes his lips against the other man's. Softly at first, but then he presses them tight. He can taste the sharp tang of alcohol on Lex's lips. The thick scent of Lex's cologne is so strong. They're so close and Clark's picking up that unmistakable smell of Lex. He's never really consciously associated it with him, but now they're touching he knows it's him.

Clark pulls his bottom lip into his mouth as the two break apart. He's watching Lex from under his lashes, trying to gauge his reaction. Lex still hasn't moved but then Clark notices the pinkness of his tongue sneak out and circle his lips.

Clark can't even fathom why he didn't realise it earlier. There's always been a reason that Lex made everything seem right. Made him feel like he was somebody. Because to Lex, he's always been just that. Somebody. Never that Kent kid. Never the one not allowed to play football. Not the one that doesn't get to go out with the cheerleader. Clark really is somebody to Lex.

Lex's hand is still on his shoulder. Clark can see him watching him intently. He still hasn't spoken a word. He's leaning further back against the arm of the couch where Clark had pressed him back with the length of his body. He can still remember the way he'd felt against him. Hard length of his chest, when he'd pressed himself against him as they kissed.

'Clark, you're not thinking straight.'

'Uh yeah ... that's the whole idea.' He swears he can see the edge of Lex's mouth turn up slightly in a smile, before he realises and then the usual unreadable mask replaces it. Before he can say something again, Clark moves back to where he'd been, lays his body against Lex's and moves his mouth back to the other man's lips.

He notices Lex's eyes drift closed before his own do just that. And this time when they're kissing, he nudges Lex's lips with his tongue. He's licking along the line of his mouth when his lips part slightly. Clark deepens the kiss, slides his tongue between Lex's lips and laps at his mouth.

He can feel Lex tighten his grip on him, pulling him against him. Slight movement and Lex slides one leg further over the couch. opening up a gap and Clark effortlessly slots his body into that new space. He can't even fathom how comfortable this seems to feel. It's like Lex knows exactly how to move, what to do.

Clark's about to break the kiss, when Lex sucks against his tongue. Almost hard, it feels so good and when he does it, Clark's moaning into his mouth. One last nibble of Clark's lips and they're no longer kissing. One of Lex's legs is up against Clark's side, he's leaning over him supporting himself against the back of the couch.

Their faces are close, Lex's voice is soft and has this husky tone that Clark's never heard. As soon as he starts speaking Clark swears he gets shiver up and down his spine. His eyes are closed to slits.

'It's not me you want to kiss though. Is it, Clark?'

When his eyes shoot open, he's looking straight into Lex's dilated pupils. There's almost no iris, his eyes tinted so much darker. He can feel the other man's breath against his lips. Their mouths only a fraction of an inch apart. When Clark starts to speak he can feel his own lips brushing against Lex's.

'It is, Lex. It's you I want to kiss.'

Clark's sure of it now. Like everything's been leading up to this point. He can't help but curse himself for not realising it earlier.

When Lex looks at him that way, Clark's no longer thinking about Whitney. no longer thinking about Lana. All he's thinking about is Lex. And how much lost time he wants to make up for.

Then Lex is pulling him closer and they're kissing again. Except this time it's so much more, like they hadn't really been kissing before. Because this time it feels so much better and Clark can hear himself moaning. Lex is grinding himself against him. Clark's simply leaning forward, one of Lex's legs twisting around him, pulling him down further. He can feel Lex's hand sliding under the material of his shirt, ghosting over his back, sliding a line up his back bone that causes him to murmur out loud. Mumble Lex's name as he kisses his mouth.

He can feel Lex's tongue in his mouth, his other hand against the side of his face. Simply holding him there as they kiss. He can feel a slight trail of sweat trickle down his back. Lex is stroking against the muscles there, sending hot points of contact when they touch. They break apart and Clark lets his eyes drift closed when he hears Lex speak, voice deep and husky again.

'Want you out of these clothes.' He's pulling at Clark's shirt. Where his hands slide under and touch the muscles of his belly, Clark pushes forward. Wants so much more.

He's pulling his shirt off, it's getting tangled over his head, and one of his hands is stuck in the sleeve. He's in such a hurry and the sound of fabric ripping, deep tearing noise, fills the room. Clark's shirt comes apart in his slightly shaking hands and he can feel himself blush. He's embarrassed when he looks down at Lex, is worried what he thinks, but Lex is simply staring at him. Mouth slightly parted. Lips bruised and swollen from where Clark has been kissing and sucking them into his mouth. He looks wild and it's the most beautiful sight Clark's ever seen.

He lets Lex push him back so he's lying, back against the cool leather. Difference in temperature against the slick warmth of his back causing him to buck upwards against the initial contact. That just slams him against Lex's body. He circles his arms around the other man. Lex's lips once again lapping at his mouth. He lets him kiss against the side of his mouth, a trail down over his chin and then he's sucking at his neck. Clark rocks against him, tries to manoeuvre his hand to the front of Lex's shirt. Shaking hands trying to undo the buttons and it's hard enough from this position alone, let alone with Clark's current lack of co-ordination.

Lex is sucking against the pulse point at his throat. Licking stripes up his neck while Clark moans out loud.

'Please Lex ... shirt.' It's all he can manage, but it seems enough for the other man. One last open mouthed kiss against his neck and Lex sits up slightly. He's got one leg each side of Clark, straddling him and from this position Clark can see how close his cock is to the outline of Lex's. Large bulge tenting the material of his slacks.

Jacket removed. Lex is now pulling at his shirt. The few buttons Clark couldn't quite manage, pop open and fly across the room as Lex tears at his own shirt. His arms are free and the material goes flying the same way his buttons did. Discarded as no longer important.

Clark just drinks in the sight of Lex's body. He moves his hands and strokes up his belly and chest. One gripping each side. He uses his thumbs to trace along the lines of muscles in Lex's stomach, up over his ribs and he's palming the hard muscles of his upper body. His skin feels so smooth under Clark's fingers. He marvels at how beautiful the pale skin of the other man is.

He's still trying to absorb every inch of him, to commit every line, every detail but Lex dips his head down again. Starts lapping at his neck. Clark can feel himself sweating and he's stroking his hand down Lex's back. The tightly bunched muscles of his shoulders hard under his hand.

Lex starts moving his head and Clark can see him dipping down, licking his skin. Lex adjusts his weight slightly, grabs both of Clark's hands in his own and moves them up behind Clark's head and crosses them at the wrists. Clark's bucking against him and Lex leaves one hand there. He's circling one of Clark's nipples with his tongue, sucking the hard nub into his mouth and flicking just the point.

Clark's lying there, arms outstretched behind him. He can feel the weight of Lex's body against his own. Hardness of his cock as Lex straddles him, grinds against him in a circular motion. Clark's panting and moaning and when Lex bites down on his nipple he's almost screaming out loud. He's moving onto the other one. Licking across the top of his chest. Suckling the hard point into his mouth.

Clark's whimpering, his hands crossed behind his head. He's bucking up against Lex. Driving the hard length of his cock against him. Lex's legs are on either side of his, squeezing him tightly.

Clark's head is thrown back. He can feel Lex kissing his way up to his mouth again, along the side of his pectoral muscle. Soft kisses and then small bites. Up over his collar bone and neck. He presses his lips against Clark's mouth. He's desperate, sucking against Lex's tongue as they kiss. They break apart and Lex moves and whispers in Clark's ear.

'Keep your hands like that. Don't move them. If you do, I'll stop.'

Clark can only mumble his assent. Lex is biting and sucking the soft flesh of his earlobe into his mouth. Clark's whimpering again.

Lex moves down his body, kisses a trail down Clark's chest. He keeps his hands behind his head. When he looks down at Lex he can see the other man watching him. His eyes never leaving Clark's face as he licks against the flat of his stomach. Circles his belly button, tongue dipping in. Clark can see tiny beads of sweat on his skin as Lex licks them off. Little trails of saliva, criss crossing his body.

He almost doesn't notice Lex's hand against his crotch until he places a gentle squeeze. Clark thrusts up against his hand. Lex's fingers surrounding the hard shaft of his cock through his pants. He can see his stomach rising and falling as he gulps in large breaths. Lex is still kissing him and now his fingers are fumbling with the buttons of Clark's fly.

Lex sits up slightly, Clark involuntarily following the movement. All he does though is slam his cock against Lex's hand. Both of Lex's hands are now sliding under the material of his jeans. He's still watching him as he begins to peel back the layers. Exposing Clark's cock. Rush of air against his skin feels cool. He can see how slick he looks in anticipation. His cock is hard, jutting upwards. Clark almost moves forward, sits up but then he remembers Lex's warnings.

His voice is almost unrecognisable, ragged and broken with lust. 'Please, Lex ...'

Lex is smiling at him, he's rocking against him gently. One of his hands sliding down his own body. His fingers squeezing his nipple, cupping the pectoral muscle before it dips down further. Flat against the muscles of his stomach, to the fly of his pants. Clark can see him slowly unzip himself. His fingers disappear inside. Then he can see it, Lex's cock removed from his pants. he's stroking it slowly. The head looks slick as he slides his hand up and down it.

Clark's own cock is slick and hard, only a fraction of an inch separating them. One last stroke and Lex moves his hand from his own cock and starts stroking Clark's. He can hear himself moan out loud when the warmth of Lex's fingers surround him. He's lifting his hips up, pumping his cock into Lex's hand. The other man has a large smile on his face as he squeezes Clark's cock. He uses his other hand to stroke his own.

Lex is half naked straddling him. Stroking Clark's cock with one hand and his own in the other. Clark's thrusting up in time to the gentle strokes of Lex's hand. Long slow fluid movements and Clark worries that it's not enough. He wants more. He's about to say something to beg Lex for more, when the other man adjusts his weight.

Lex is moving himself backwards, bringing his face down closer to Clark's cock. He places one hand on Clark's chest, pushing him down with his fingers. Clark can see the skin of his chest turning slightly red from the pressure Lex is applying.

He's pushing up against him, then he feels the heat of Lex's mouth around his cock. Just the head at first and Lex is licking him and sucking him into his mouth. Clark thinks he's going to lose control, he's lying with his head thrown back over the arm of the couch, his arms still outstretched behind him. Uncrossed now, they're curled around the arm of the leather couch. He's holding it so tight that he's worried he might actually break it.

When he looks back at Lex, he's watching his head dip down. Surrounding the shaft of his cock as he takes him further into his mouth. Clark's never felt anything this intense. It feels so warm and sticky as Lex sucks him. He's burying his cock deep inside Lex's mouth. Each stroke he seems to be going further and further until he's fully in. Then he's buried fully in Lex's mouth and Lex is swallowing against him. Clark's trying hard not to thrust up against him. He can feel Lex's other hand holding the base of his cock. His thumb drifting down, playing with his balls. Teasing him.

Lex re-establishes that rhythm, long slow movements taking him fully in, till he's buried deep and then he's swallowing. He doesn't think he'll last much longer and when he feels Lex's thumb drift down between his legs and circle the entrance to Clark's ass, he's desperate to warn him.

He's crying out Lex's name, but he doesn't stop. Lex just surrounds Clark's cock with his mouth and then he's coming.

Clark can't even keep his eyes open. He can hear himself moaning, can hear Lex's name. Lex's mouth is still surrounding him as he comes. Licking up the shaft of his cock, removing all traces of him as he continues to come.

Clark's gulping in air as Lex places one last lick on his now softening cock. Root to tip, roughness of his tongue on the sensitive flesh of his cock causing him to shudder in pleasure. He finally gets his eyes open and Lex is watching him. Large smile on his face and his lips look wet, slightly darker. Bruised and his tongue looks so much pinker when it snakes out and removes the last trace of Clark from his lips.

Lex is moving up his body again. Kissing his chest, suckling each nipple into his mouth. Clark reaches his hand out and pulls Lex up so he's lying on top of him. Brings his mouth closer for a kiss. Lips and tongues pressed together.

Clark can feel how hard Lex is. His cock against his hip and when Clark uses his hand to push Lex's body closer, pushing his own upwards, grinding them together, Lex lets out a deep throaty moan.

'God, Lex ...that was ...' Clark can't even think of any way to describe it. They start kissing again and when they break apart, Clark moves his weight quickly. Superior speed catching Lex off balance. Lex is on his back now, his eyes widening slightly in shock. That look soon replaced with lust.

Clark moves his hand down to Lex's cock. Surrounds the shaft with his hand and is pleased when Lex bucks his weight upwards and fucks himself against the warmth of Clark's hand.

'Your turn.'

Clark uses his hand to undo Lex's belt. Pulls the belt completely out of the loop of Lex's pants and throws it aside. He can hear it land, striking against something. He doesn't even bother to see what. He's already undoing the top button of Lex's pants. Slides them and the boxers down his legs so they're around his ankles.

Clark sits back a little, takes in the sight before him. Lex is lying on his back, totally naked except for the pants he now has wrapped around his ankles. His cock is hard, Clark can see it's slick with pre come. Lex's legs are slightly parted.

Clark slides the palms of his hands, one on each of Lex's legs. Starts slightly below his knees and moves his hands further up. Lex parts his legs even further for him, Clark lets his fingers dip down, circle underneath Lex's legs. He's squeezing the hard muscles of his thigh. Rubbing small circles with his thumbs.

Lex is simply watching him. His mouth is parted and Clark can see him sucking in small amounts of air. Short shallow breaths.

Clark dips his head down, moves his mouth so he's only a fraction of an inch from the head of Lex's cock. Uses his hands, one on the top of each of Lex's thighs to control the movement he can see he's desperate for. He's looking straight into Lex's eyes when he lets his tongue sneak out of his mouth. Takes one long lick over the head of Lex's cock. He can feel the other man shudder and moan when he roughness of his tongue first touches him.

Strong almost metallic taste in Clark's mouth, he moves it back and sucks the head fully in. Lex is moaning when Clark starts to tongue the slit of his cock. His mouth's full of the taste of the other man. Not exactly unpleasant because Clark knows that it's Lex. It's him that he can taste and that just makes Clark want this so much more.

He wants to make it good for Lex. Wants him to remember their first time, like Clark himself knows he will.

Lex slides his hand down his body. Brushes the back of his fingers over Clark's cheek. He laces his fingers through Clark's hair, starts to stroke tiny circles against his scalp as Clark continues to lick him.

Clark uses one hand to steady Lex, slides his cock further into his mouth. Slowly at first, as far as he can go. It takes a little while, but each stroke is getting deeper and deeper. He can hear Lex moaning, long almost sibilant whisper and that just makes Clark want this more. The fact that he's driving Lex crazy and before he's even noticed, Lex's cock is buried fully in his mouth. He takes long strokes, tracing the vein in Lex's cock with his tongue. The shaft is dewy with his saliva.

Lex's hand is stroking the juncture of his neck, fingers sliding through his hair. It's slightly damp at the ends and Clark just matches each stroke to the movement that Lex is making.

He keeps that rhythm. Buries Lex's cock in his mouth.

He can hear Lex trying to warn him but Clark doesn't want to stop. He just keeps licking up and down Lex's cock. Warm rush filling his mouth when Lex comes and Clark tries to swallow as much of him as he can. Doing anything else would somehow feel wrong to Clark. He's lapping at him, licking the head of his cock as he comes. He almost doesn't notice when Lex gradually becomes soft, doesn't notice when Lex reaches down and moves his head away from his cock.

Clark's surprised that he doesn't feel embarrassed, he simply lets Lex kiss him. Licking his lips, sucking them into his own mouth. Lex is removing the last traces of himself from Clark's lips.

Clark feels almost exhausted, like he could barely move even if he had to. When Lex wraps his arms around him and lies his naked body on top of him, the last thing Clark wants to think about is moving. He just presses his body closer. Claims another kiss from Lex and curls as close to him as he can.

Lex still hasn't bothered to put any clothes on. It's starting to get cool. He can feel the way his skin's starting to get covered in goose bumps from the cold. He can see his arm, exposed from under the rug that he's lying under.

Clark had gone and fetched it. He'd told Lex he didn't want him to move. That he wanted him to stay here, the two of them lying on the big leather couch in Lex's study.

He hadn't been able to resist that, Clark had been looking up at him. They were both still naked and that look on his face was enough to make Lex agree to anything.

Well, almost anything. He's still a Luthor after all.

So they'd stayed like they were. The two of them still naked, bodies entwined. They'd just talked. Lex let Clark snuggle against him, his arms wrapped around his body and Lex hadn't once mentioned Whitney.

He was pretty sure Clark was trying hard not to mention him as well. Although given the way he'd reacted to Lex's "affections" he was hoping he probably hadn't even thought of him at all.

Clark had been reluctant to go. That much was apparent. He'd said that his parents were expecting him home and he'd asked with downcast eyes if he could see Lex again tomorrow.

//The boy needs to work on his self esteem.//

Lex had told him to come over whenever he wanted. Clark's face had lit up at that. He'd looked so excited. Like a kid during his first Christmas and Lex can't help but think how correct an analogy that really is.

So he'd watched him go, still naked wrapped in the rug. He'd sent Clark to find a shirt to wear home, his own was ruined. Torn and discarded on the floor.

One final kiss, Lex had held him close, could feel Clark getting hard again as he suckled the boy's tongue into his mouth. Lex had let the rug fall to his feet, somehow no longer managing to hold onto it. His hand drifting down Clark's back, cupping his ass. Kneading the hard flesh in his hands.

They'd broken apart, Clark was breathless again. Lex just held him close, grinding the hard length of Clark's cock against his own. He'd moved his mouth up to the boy's ear and whispered to him.

'Come over tomorrow, Clark. And I'll fuck you ... All. Night. Long.'

And it almost looked like Clark would stay. Indecision across his face. Lex wouldn't have been surprised, all things considered. But given the lateness of the hour and the potential scolding he'd receive from his father, he'd left.

Lex stands up from where he's been lying. Has to unravel the rug from around his feet so he can walk. He's about to call it a night, to move upstairs. Take a long hot shower //Alone// and retire for the evening.

Just thinking about the way Clark had felt, is making him hard again.

//Make that a very long shower.//

He's moving past the end of the couch towards the door when he notices the present on the floor. Clark's framed photo of Whitney. He must have left it when he took it out of his bag.

Lex bends down and picks it up, holds it in his hand, turning it. He moves towards his desk and discards it in the trash.

Almost thinks twice about it. Considers picking it straight back up and making sure Whitney gets it. God knows, Lex at least owes the boy a thank you.

Clark covers the distance back to the farm in practically no time. He knows his father will be annoyed at him, his mother worrying about his whereabouts. And not for the first time this week, but Clark can't seem to bring himself to worry too much. He'll sit through a telling off, agree to more chores as long as he gets one thing. The freedom to be able to see Lex tomorrow.

He's never actually been grounded before. It had come close with the whole "football" incident but Clark's never really done anything before to incur his parents' wrath.

They've always been the most important thing in his life so he's made sure to be a good son. He has to wonder if things are going to change. If your first time really does make the rest of your life so different.

//His first time.//

At the moment, it certainly seems that way.

//With Lex.//

So Clark's pretty sure he can put up with anything as long as he's not grounded. He's trying to think of excuses to tell his parents. Something he's never really done to them before, but now Clark's trying to think of a convincing lie. Maybe it's his inexperience that's causing him to have so much trouble thinking of something convincing.

He's rounding the side of the barn, moving towards the front of the house when out of the corner of his eye he catches a shock of red and yellow. Slows to a more normal pace just in time.


It looks like he's waiting. He doesn't notice Clark at first and when he notices the look on the blonde's face, Clark realises that maybe not everything is as good as he'd thought.


The boy still looks in shock. Like he hasn't fully recovered.

'Hi, Clark. I had to see you. Where have you been? Your parents didn't know.'

Clark's too caught up in thinking of an answer to notice the tightness of Whitney's jaw. The muscles in his face are tense, mouth pulled closed. Rest of his posture equally as uncomfortable.

Clark doesn't notice any of that. Doesn't notice the way Whitney's not looking at him. The way he can't quite bring himself to meet the other boy's gaze.

'Uh ... I was at ... at Chloe's.' It doesn't even sound convincing to Clark himself and he's pretty sure Whitney doesn't believe him.

Whitney's voice is quiet, so controlled when he speaks. It's almost creepy and Clark can't quite shake that feeling. Like it's giving him shivers up and down his spine. He just hopes he doesn't look as guilty as he feels.


One single word. But it makes Clark realise he doesn't want to make this worse. Doesn't want to compound the problem by creating even more lies.

'Why are you lying? I called Chloe's.'

And Whitney's just staring at him. Making up for not being able to look at him only moments before. Clark's unable to move, he's just standing there. Whitney moves forward slightly, so they're only about a foot apart. Clark can see his hands, balled tightly into fists. His knuckles are white from the way he's holding them.

Clark can hear Whitney stumble over what he's saying. His voice catching on the words as he speaks.

'Were you with him? And don't make it any worse than it is, Clark.'

Clark can't seem to manage to speak. He can see the hurt on Whitney's face. He knows he's the sole cause of it. The way he's betrayed him. He's not sure how, but Whitney seems to know exactly what's happened. He can probably tell by the way Clark is reacting. Guilt plainly written across his face.

'I'm sorry, Whitney.'

Whitney's still watching him. Then he turns to leave. Clark can't help but feel like he's in slow motion. Like it's taking so long to react. Whitney's taken about four or five steps away before Clark's even moving. He still can't find the words to make everything okay, he's not even sure there are any words that can do that. He's reaching out his hand and he doesn't fail to notice the way Whitney flinches when he touches him.

Spins his body weight so Clark's hand is no longer on his shoulder.

'Please, Whitney. Don't go.'

His voice is so controlled. It doesn't sound at all like the way Clark is speaking, his voice ragged and heavy with emotion.

'Why, Clark? There's nothing here to make me stay anymore.'

This time Clark lets him go. Whitney walks away, leaving Clark alone in the near darkness.

the end

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