Over the years, Lex eventually had learned that giving gifts to Clark required a certain economy of scale. It took a method of gently and not-so-gently returned gifts for Lex to plot out the line of acceptability. He took the constant refusal of his more extravagant presents in stride, because he wasn't going to stop giving Clark gifts, Clark Kent wasn't going to turn into an amoral socialite, and quite frankly, Lex had always found grand gestures easier than the small ones.
Signing a check from the comfort of his leather couch was infinitely less arduous than what he was currently doing. Today's gesture was tiny in comparison to any previous offers of a brand new truck or paying for Clark's college education, and perhaps that was why Clark had accepted it so readily. Clark no longer lived with his parents, but the Kent influence remained strong.
"Enjoying yourself?" Lex asked.
Clark turned his head as he shoved the last bite of his chili dog into his mouth, which made his face lumpy as he grinned in response and nodded his head. "This is great!" Clark enthused when he finished chewing.
Lex tried to see it through Clark's eyes, tried to be stirred by the crack of the bat, the dull roar of the crowd, the scent of beer, popcorn, and sweat hanging in the air. But their seats continued to be hard and far from the action, the Metropolis Tornados were losing abysmally, and Lex still believed that baseball was like morphine. With hot dogs.
But terrible seats or not, Clark was smiling broadly and bouncing a giant foam tornado on his knee, and Lex was content to sip his water and watch Clark watch the game. No unanswered questions, no lies, no meteor rocks, and no one accusing Lex of being the antichrist. It was easy like this, with nothing between them but twenty dollars' worth of junk food from the concession stand, and Lex watching Clark enjoy himself from behind his sunglasses.
Quite some time passed in this fashion before Clark said, "So, Lex."
Clark flashed him a shrewd grin. "Just exactly how bored are you?"
"Not at all, Clark," Lex said. "After all, this is our country's favorite pastime. It's as all-American as your mother's homemade apple pie."
"If you're not bored, then what's the score?" Clark asked. When Lex shifted slightly to look at the score board, Clark immediately blocked his view with the foam tornado. "No peeking."
Annoyed at being caught-out, Lex said, "Four to one."
"Nope," Clark said cheerfully, tapping his cheek with the tornado. "Guess again?"
Lex raised an eyebrow, and said, "I'm not bored."
"Right," Clark said, drawing out the word in his disbelief. "You're so into the game that you missed, like, six guys scoring runs."
Lex took off his sunglasses. "I'm not bored because I wasn't watching the game, Clark."
He furrowed his eyebrows. "What do you mean?"
Lex just smiled, and continued to stare at Clark.
And because he wasn't stupid, Clark got it fairly quickly. "Oh!" he said. His expression cleared up. "Really?"
"You're having fun," Lex said quietly. "Shut up and let me enjoy it."
Clark's smile came back full-force as he turned back to watch the game. A few minutes later, Clark transferred his foam tornado to his far hand, and nudged the remains of his chili dog wrapper onto the ground. Then, as casual as could be, Clark took Lex's hand and laced their fingers together.
For the remainder of the game, their joined hands rested on the empty space between their seats.
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