by Nifra Idril
Title: Will to Bend
Author: Nifra Idril
Pairing: Lucas, Lex
Summary: Lucas knows how to do this, knows he doesn't have any other choice.
Disclaimer: Not me, yo.
A/N: As always, big sloppy kiss on the cheek to Lyra for a wonderful beta and a kick start.
A/N the second: This was written for the SV Flashfic challenge, from a bunny I was lucky enough to get from the lovely and talented Siobhan_W over at LJ. Thanks, honey! And thanks to Kormanfan, also, for putting the whole thing together - you rock star, you.
Will to Bend
It's not like he hasn't done this before, he tells himself before getting out of the car. Hell, it's not like he hasn't done worse, and he's even riding a high that smoothes out the sharp edges of the corners in the hallways, so this should be a fucking piece of cake.
Lived here for a week two long months ago. This place still makes him jumpy. Too dark, too open, too fucking much - but that's how Lionel likes things, isn't it? Huge, sweeping, no fucking subtlety whatsoever. Not like Lex, and that's why Lucas is here.
Because Lex moves slowly, takes his time, waits for all his ducks to be in a row and then bam, takes them out and Lucas hasn't ever liked identifying with something as helpless as a duck. Doesn't like the feeling of Lex's retribution hanging over him - knows that Lex might even wait years before he comes right down, and strikes. When he does, though, Lucas knows that it's not going to be little. Lex is a Luthor, too.
And Lucas is a goddamned idiot because he's crossed and double crossed plenty of dangerous men in his life, but he's proved to Lionel that he's a liability and he's pushed Lex harder than anyone ever should, and is it any wonder that every time he draws a breath he can feel it like he's stealing something that shouldn't be his? It's like there's an itch between the blades of his shoulders, and why the hell didn't he see this coming?
Maybe he really is a Luthor, because this is classic Lucas - and that's to say that he doesn't do anything small either.
Under Lex's protection and that means that Lionel can't strike him down the way he wants to. Means that Lex is keeping him alive for something; has to know that Lionel'd put a bullet in Lucas' head even without a second thought, or a first thought, just one aristocratic finger pulling on a trigger and then a phone call to get rid of the evidence. But then, maybe Lucas wouldn't even merit a one-on-one killing. Maybe there'd be an accident that Lionel could spin - make himself the grieving father. It's possible.
But his hand's been stayed by Lex, who has the greater claim on Lucas and fuck if Lucas wants to spend the rest of his life - however short it might be - wondering when Lex is going to make his move. Doesn't want to wake up nights anymore, thinking about it.
Besides, it gets pretty goddamned expensive to be this fucking tense all the time. Not even a Luthor can pay for the drug habit he'll have if this keeps up.
Knows this is pretty much the only way - knows that he's got to stay alive, that's always the most important thing. Keep moving, keep playing, keep breathing and to do that, he's got to be ready to make some sacrifices. Got to be ready to pay for his mistakes, and Lucas knows how to do this so he can't really explain why he's frozen outside the door to Lex's office.
Has to make this work, has to make himself indispensable to Lex. Make Lex see that Lucas can give him something he needs, and it's an old game. The classic ploys always work the best, and Lucas knows all the good ones. And this is what he does best - plays people just right, knows how to use the tools that he's got and in this case, what Lucas has is a lost gag reflex and the lung capacity to hold his breath for a good long time.
He saw the way Lex's eyes trailed over the Kent boy's face, and yeah, so the kid's good looking. Lucas is too. The kid's friend said Kent and Lex were like brothers - and if that's how brothers act, then it sure as hell never made it onto television, but Lucas can do that. Knows how to make this kind of thing go by quickly - and Lex can't possibly be getting any from Kent. The kid's got `squeaky clean' written all over his goddamned wholesome, corn-fed forehead.
So Lucas'll prove to Lex that he can be useful - that there are reasons to keep him around. He'll give a hard fuck, he'll give him a hand job, he'll suck Lex off. He'll pitch, he'll catch, he'll even answer to the name `Clark' and wear flannel and pretend to be a thousand kinds of innocent that he's never ever been. Fuck it, he'll even learn how to blush. He'll do whatever it takes. Because this is staying alive, just like before - just like Edge City. And he. Can. Do. This.
Closes his hand around the door knob, and turns, puts a little extra kick in his smile, lets his eyes go dark and smoky - the way the others always seemed to like. He's not pretty, not like the Kent boy, but he knows how to make a man hot.
Lex looks up, and his eyes are the same cold blue that Lucas remembers from before and this is his brother dammit, but Lucas isn't going to let that matter because this is staying alive.
"What are you doing here?" Lex asks, frown creasing his forehead. "Is everything all right, Lucas?"
"Yeah," he drawls. Sits down across from Lex, puts his feet up on the desk, lets his fingers toy with a button on his shirt. "Got bored in Metropolis with Daddy Dearest, came to see how life is out in the sticks."
And he grins at Lex, like there's nothing in the world that's more interesting than this, and he hopes to God that Lex doesn't see how dilated his pupils are in the low light.
"Did Dad threaten you?" Lex asks, voice silky soft with something that's a lot like concern, and yeah, he's smart. He's really fucking smart, and he sees that Lucas isn't comfortable. And that...won't do.
So Lucas is out of practice, but he's still a better actor than this. Needs to get this back on track, needs to distract Lex from thoughts of Lionel - needs to make Lex forget that they're brothers. Would like to forget it himself, if only for the next couple of hours. He shrugs, and waves the question of Lionel away.
Lex leans forward, eyes grey in the light, and he looks like something cold and hard. "So, forgive me for repeating myself, but what are you doing here?"
"Just visiting. Should I have called ahead to schedule?" Lucas teases, drawing fingers up his chest, along exposed skin at the collarbone and he's being nothing like subtle.
"No, no, by all means. Feel free to visit whenever," Lex assures him, eyebrows drawing close together in a frown that's filled with confusion, and that's probably good. Keep him off balance, and then he's yours, Lucas thinks - that's the way it works on the tables, and off it isn't a bad bit of advice, either.
"You miss Metropolis, don't you?" Lucas asks, standing, circling around until he's behind Lex. Puts his hands on the back of the chair, leans in to whisper in Lex's ear. "Miss the parties? Miss the people?"
"Sometimes," Lex answers, and Lucas admires that he's still sitting in the same place. That he's rigidly in control of himself in the moment, and yeah, this is why he's the Luthor heir, why he's Lionel's choice because even with Lucas breathing on his neck, even with Lucas standing there behind him, Lex doesn't give a goddamned inch.
"You could come visit me," Lucas offers, crouching next to Lex's chair. "I'll take you out. You could show me around, show me off. We could go dancing, or just get really fucked up. Whatever you want, Lex."
Puts his hand on Lex's thigh, forces himself to lick his lips, looks up through a fringe of bangs and lashes and does his damndest to look shy. To look like someone else. "Whatever you want," he repeats.
Lex freezes, draws in a breath, cold eyes hot with something that looks a hell of a lot like...revulsion, and maybe Lucas has played this all wrong. Knows he must have been too fast, too forward, when Lex carefully picks Lucas' hand up and moves it off his leg, before standing and putting a desk between them.
"What the hell is this, Lucas?" Lex asks, and there's that control again - something Lucas has never had. It keeps Lex from sounding completely revolted, indignant, keeps Lex's voice low and level, and Lucas fucking wishes he could have something like that. Wishes he could keep himself good and steady just on willpower alone - wishes he could be more like Lex, and that's a funny fucking thought to have when he's trying to seduce his only brother. Isn't it?
"Lionel told me I was under your protection," Lucas tells him, standing slowly, making it a sinuous stretch, in the hopes that maybe, maybe he can still salvage this somehow.
Lex blinks, scrubs a hand over his face, and looks tired. "Lionel told you to do this?" and his voice breaks, like this hurts, somehow.
"No," Lucas says quietly. "He told me I was under your protection."
"You are," Lex responds, but not like he understands. "That still doesn't explain what this is about."
Lucas sits in Lex's chair, feels the buzz in his veins, the pounding in his head, closes his eyes against the room. Wishes he had a line to blow right now because a crash at this very moment could put him over the edge, make this even harder. "Why are you keeping me alive? What do you want from me?"
"What do I want?" Lex repeats, studying Lucas. "I don't want anything."
"Bullshit," Lucas accuses. "I took your life away and you're making sure that I stay safe. There's got to be a reason."
"You're my brother," Lex tells him, as if that explains everything. As if it means anything.
"Yeah, and Lionel's my father, but if you weren't standing between us I'd be in a body bag already," Lucas says on a chuckle, looking down at his hands against the dark wood of Lex's desk, watches them shake a little; knows Lex wouldn't shake, and hates that. "So don't tell me that Luthor family ties are keeping me alive right now. What do you want?"
And Lex seems to really think about the question, pacing across the carpet, rubbing a hand over his scalp and Lucas really fucking doesn't want to be here. Doesn't want to be doing this, none of this. Wishes he'd never found out who he was, wishes he was still Lucas Dunleavy, and that the only games he played with his life were games that he'd made up. Wishes his life was still his, not Lionel's and certainly not Lex's. Lionel...he's someone that Lucas can understand, but Lex is dangerous because he's an unknown quantity.
And so Lucas asks him again, too fucking worn out to wait another goddamned minute. "What do you want from me, Lex?"
"I want you to be my brother," Lex yells, control gone for a second, and Lucas finds that fascinating. "That's all I want. None of these games, none of the maneuvering. Just...be my brother, Lucas."
"How?" Lucas asks, and he's genuinely curious. "How do I do that?"
Lex stands still, hands clenched at his side, looking out the window. His eyes are dark, and filled with something Lucas doesn't know how to categorize, but it makes them look bottomless. Like there's something hurt in him that goes on forever, and then he shakes his head. "I don't know," Lex says quietly. "But I'd like to find out."
And Lucas nods, because if that's what Lex wants, then there's no question it's what Lucas will learn how to do, learn how to be. He'll leave the games at the door, or make it look like he has, because in the end, they're both Luthors and there will always be a game, but Lucas will just make sure that it's Lex's game. And if Lex wants to play at being someone else, wants to play at having a family then...fine. Lucas will learn the moves, will say the right things, will even learn to believe it after a while. He'll do whatever it takes to keep himself safe, even if it means learning how to be a different person.
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