Disclaimer: It's not mine, I'm not making a dime. The boys belong to DC comics, WB, Millar and Gough, etc. Author's Notes: This story was inspired by a Kris Kristofferson song of the same title. Because I love angst so much, I couldn't leave it alone.
Somewhere along the line, pain translated into love. You always caused the ones you held the dearest the truest of all agonies. You knew them the best. You knew how to make them bleed, be it a tiny flesh wound to a bone searing cut. If you could savage their mind and their body with a simple word, you held them closest to your heart.
There were times when words weren't even needed. When all it had to be was a look... Or a touch... Or a lack of either. The wind blew the coldest from eyes and hands that no longer cared.
Clark shivered. Naked, amongst the sheets of Egyptian cotton, on the top floor of a world-class hotel, he was cold. More so than he had ever been in his lifetime. He tugged the edges of the blanket up under his chin, miserably curling on his side. Alone, once more.
The mattress had the decency to sag as Lex Luthor sat down on it. Twin thumps as his shoes hit the carpet. Clark pulled his legs a little farther away as his lover settled beneath the covers, tugging some free from the grip Clark forced himself to loosen. With a loud sigh, Lex rolled onto his side, his back against Clark's.
He supposed he should have asked where Lex was. That would have appeased something inside the relationship. Clark worried. Lex worried. Then they talked. But Clark was getting too tired to care. He had heard enough lies in his life-had told enough of them to know what they were-to actively seek out more. He couldn't bear another chaste kiss, and a whispered assurance that it was best that he didn't know.
Because Clark did know. He would find out come the morning, he would help Lois Lane write the story, while dodging her slightly off-kilter hits at the small town hick assigned to her. He would help her put LexCorp in the headlines for their next scandal.
Lex Luthor always managed to come out on top. But it killed Clark a little more every time.
Clark closed his eyes, and tried to feign sleep. Anything to postpone the conversation he had been having since the dinner for one he had eaten at a table meant for two. He had tried his lines out on the empty chair, earning strange looks from the patrons of the restaurant. He had been witty and debonair. Lex hadn't stood a chance.
The fight was over. He had won, and Lex Luthor was devastated, left to stumble through the pieces that Clark had rent his life into. But that was all in Clark's mind. It didn't actually happen, save in his mutterings to the garlic bread.
A cold hand touched his thigh. Clark lowered his chin, letting Lex explore the back of his neck with icy lips. Another shiver waved through him. Was Lex enjoying this? Teeth bit into soft flesh where his skull connected with his shoulders. Strong arms wound around Clark's waist, pulling him into a possessive embrace.
The power was his. He could unwind the hands, push Lex away. He didn't have to lean into the kiss, didn't have to make the low sound in his throat that was all the encouragement that Lex needed. He didn't, he did, and oh, he did. Lex's hands wandered the pliant body Clark offered him.
It felt good. The touches. The kisses. He was fifteen again, feeling Lex draw his first breaths again. Smoothing a hand over cold skin, hoping to put warmth back into the body. For a while, he had been able to suffuse Lex with an otherworldly heat. Clark had been the moth to the flame he had ignited inside his lover. Passionate and wicked, Lex had been the lover he had hoped for all those years. Someone to complete him. Someone he completed.
"Clark." Lex hissed, his breath puffing against Clark's chest. He eased Clark over onto his back, trailing his fingers down Clark's sides, tongue touching Clark's belly. His skin tightened against Lex's assault, pulling away from the threat it perceived. Clark closed his eyes, trying. So hard.
Lex stripped off a bulletproof vest for the students trapped in the 'crap factory'. Clark relaxed a little, grasping Lex's shoulder. He was more willing now. Lex had been ready to lay down his life for some teenagers. He hadn't been mentioned in the Daily Planet for that. They didn't want to encourage foolhardy manoeuvres like that among the general population.
His eyes opened. Lex had stopped. Lex was looking at him. Clark swallowed reflexively, like he did whenever faced with a situation he didn't like. Whenever he had to go to LexCorp himself. Whenever he had to tell Ms. Lane that they were out of her favourite creamer. He brought a hand to his face, running it beneath his nose.
"When did this happen?" Lex traced the line down Clark's sternum. He closed his eyes and bit his lip. "When did my touch disgust you?"
"I don't know." Clark admitted softly.
"Are you mad at me?" Lex sat up, perched over Clark's thighs. Ready to devour him. Clark wet his lips. That was a good reason. He could use that as an excuse.
"No, Lex." Clark sat up, too, leaning against the headboard. The blue gaze on him made him feel like a science experiment of sorts. The thought made him sick. "It's... Not that."
Soft fingers wound through his hair, capturing a curl. Lex loved his hair. Told him so, even as Clark brushed it to hide his eyes. Loved his eyes, even though Clark wore glasses. Worshipped his body, though Clark wore rumpled, badly cut suits. "What is it, then, Clark?"
"I..." What answer would suffice? What could he tell Lex that he would believe? Why not the truth? Clark blinked through a sudden film of tears, his eyes venturing to the window. The lights of Metropolis danced across the ceiling of their room. His breath caught in his longs, moving neither out nor in. Not moving. Like he wasn't moving. "Do you love me?"
"Yes." Lex answered, far too readily. Clark closed his eyes, blocking out the confusion that suddenly brimmed in the blue gaze. "Why? Do you love me, Clark?"
His answer was not as fast. Clark wound his fingers through Lex's, pulling them to his chest. They were still cold. "I've been asking that question all afternoon, Lex. I used to love you."
"But you don't anymore?" A shift, and Lex was closer. Holding him, almost. But not quite.
Clark shook his head, not as an answer. As an askance that Lex not make that statement. He didn't know. He couldn't know. There were so many things about Lex Luthor that he adored.
Or used to adore.
"Hold me." Clark pleaded softly. Maybe just once more. Maybe that would... He pressed his face against Lex's chest, listened to the dull double thump of his heart beating beneath Clark's ear. The heart he had thought didn't exist anymore. "Lex..."
"Shh." Lex's finger touched Clark's mouth, silencing him. He cradled Clark against his body, his hand securely around the base of Clark's head. "It's okay, Clark. Really."
It wasn't. It wasn't okay. Clark tried to say something, but it came out as a small whimper. "I can't..."
Lex tilted his chin up, looking down at him. Clark blinked the tears from his eyes. "Don't say anything, Clark. Let me hold you."
His lips touched Clark's tentatively. Gently. Clark drew a shuddery breath through them before the kiss became urgent. Demanding. He parted his lips, allowing Lex into the moist cavern he had been questing for. Lex's tongue brushed against Clark's teeth, along his cheeks. The fingers on his face would have hurt, digging into Clark's cheekbones.
His back touched the soft sheets. Lex braced himself on a bent elbow, hovering just over Clark, staring down into his eyes as they kissed. Clark tried to close his eyes, to spare Lex the look he knew was there. The one he was receiving.
Lex's pelvis ground against his, letting Clark know of his need. He parted his thighs, kicking the sheet onto the floor. They worked together in the movements they had long ago memorized. The touch here, the move there... And Lex was inside him. Clark threw his head back against the pillow. The ultimate sign of trust, Lex had once teased, revealing his throat for a Luthor. Once upon a time, Clark had thought nothing of it. It was a self-depreciating statement that he swore Lionel Luthor would pay for. That man had had no right to influence Lex the way he had.
Now, more than ever, Clark felt that conviction. He wanted Lionel to stand up before him again. He wanted to cut the man to pieces. But he knew that Lex wouldn't stand for it. Lionel Luthor would finally be proud of him.
He squeezed his mind shut, pushing out those thoughts. There were so many better things to think of. Lex wandering through the caves, remarking on the exquisiteness of them. The caves Clark had convinced him to protect. Hadn't Lex been doing something nice then?
Remember Lex ducking his head sheepishly when he and Clark had stood outside Jonathan Kent's hospital room, and Clark had called him on taking a nine iron to a meter maid's car. Remember how he had, with a smile, set up reservations for Jonathan and Martha at the most exclusive restaurant in Metropolis.
God, that had been so long ago. Not so long, but when you were a teenager, it went so quickly. And took so long. How long had he waited to be old enough for Lex to touch? How much had he wished... And now he had him.
Lex Luthor didn't have to touch him to be inside him. He had somehow earned that place when he had run over Clark with the Porsche. There was a piece of Clark's heart that was now, and forever, owned solely by Lex. He had belonged there, fitting in without any rough edges. Smooth and glib, that was Lex Luthor. Without causing pain, he had demolished that piece of Clark, until all that was left was a gaping void.
"You're a million miles away."
Clark opened his eyes. He wished he didn't have to. He wished they were back in Smallville, in the mansion, in the barn, anywhere. Just not here. Not now. A tear streamed from the corner of his eye, dripping into his hair. "I'm sorry, Lex."
A comforting hand touched his face. "I know. I'm sorry, too."
Clark drew him closer, wrapping his arms around Lex's shoulders. Lex found a comfortable position, resting his head on Clark's pillow. Lex spooned behind Clark, putting his arms around Clark again. Clark hugged the warmth to him. "You're..."
"Don't." Lex said, his voice sounding funny in Clark's ears. "It's not so bad by yourself, Clark. You'll do fine."
Oh, god. Not nice. He couldn't handle nice. What had happened to the rip-roaring fight he had imagined? Why couldn't Lex be anything less than graceful about this? "I have no doubt." He muttered.
"That's good, Clark. No need for you to doubt anything." Lex nuzzled the back of his neck. "You'll do fine."
He didn't point out that Lex had said that already. Clark clasped the hands around him, shuddering. "I'll still love you, Lex. Just..."
"Not the way I am now." Lex finished for him. "I understand, Clark. I was waiting for this to happen."
Really? Waiting? Wanting...? Clark didn't dare ask that question. He didn't want to know the answer. Lex already knew that the man he shared his bed with and the man who foiled his plans constantly were one and the same. How awkward was it for him, hating someone he was supposed to love?
Clark felt nauseous. He tried to sit up. "I should go."
"You can leave in the morning, Clark." Lex said softly. "We don't have to rush this."
Lex's embrace folded him even tighter against the human's body. There was that distinction now. Alien and human. Hero and villain. Enemy and friend. No. Not until the morning. For now, they could be lovers. Until the morning, they could pretend.
For the good times.
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