by Pearl-o

Sequel to Driving in the Dark.

When Clark was younger and he had trouble sleeping, he used to go out to his loft and look through his telescope. The stars, sometimes, and the night sky, but mostly just down to the farm next door. Down to Lana. He'd never told anyone, of course -- Pete made enough stalker jokes as it was, and Clark didn't really want to encourage him, for one thing.

Lana had been gone from next door for almost a year now, but somehow Clark didn't think he'd still be looking for her, anyway.

It wasn't that he didn't still care about her, but... There were other things. And maybe he really was growing up now, really learning the differences between real people and the fantasies he'd always had in his head.

Either way, though, he couldn't sleep now. His body was almost vibrating with the effort of keeping still in his bed, and it wasn't Lana he wanted to check on.

Clark wondered if Lex was getting enough sleep. Lex's habits had never seemed completely healthy, really, and he was away so much more since he came back. And he looked different all the time now, tense where he used to just be aware.

It'd been a week, almost, since Lex had found him wandering the back roads. Lex could be doing that right now, driving all around like that.

Clark's pulse strummed, and he hissed in a frustrated breath. It would be easy to check. It'd only take a minute -- his parents wouldn't even notice. Maybe he'd even sleep afterwards.

He knew he was making up justifications, even as he climbed out of bed, but he just felt relieved to have an excuse.

It was weird, but most of the time things were the same as ever, mostly. Clark didn't think about it a lot, except when he was all alone, and didn't really have time to do anything but think.

Running was always a pleasure in the back of his head, no matter what, and he could do the way to Lex's blindfolded.

Clark checked the garage first anyway, but all the cars were there. He wasn't sure what he would have done if they hadn't been. He hadn't planned that far.

Clark swallowed hard and slipped into the house.

Lex had moved his room after he came back. The old one had been on a whole different floor all the way across the house, all imposing and stately. The new one was smaller, tucked away just down the hall from his office. Clark had only seen it once, but he wouldn't have been able to identify it as Lex's in a line-up. It felt ... sparse. Bare.

The halls of the mansion were dark and still, and maybe Clark should have felt bad about sneaking in like this. And maybe he should have even thought this through more, but...

He pressed his ear against Lex's door. At first he couldn't hear anything at all, but after a while he could make out light, even breaths. Asleep, then. Clark sighed in relief and slowly cracked the door open.

Lex was on top of the covers, wearing pajama pants and no shirt. He was curled up on his side in sleep, utterly still. His face was screwed up tight, in -- concentration? Some kind of weird intensity. He looked for all the world like he was ready, waiting to pounce. Attack.

Clark had thought he'd just check on him, look it for a second and go home. Maybe even that was creepy or stalker-like or whatever, but there was a line, right? And Clark hadn't gone over it.

Except, God. Staring at Lex now, all quiet and fierce in this dark little Spartan room -- it hit Clark, all together, till he was out of breath and achy with missing, and he stepped forward quickly to kneel by Lex's bed.

Clark reached out his hand to stroke his head, resting on the pillow, but he caught himself in time. His hand wavered there uncertainly for a moment, and he pulled it back sharply, to lie on the edge of the bed.

Lex hadn't noticed; he was still asleep. Clark could see each intake and exhalation of breath.

Clark had self-control now, he didn't have the kryptonite, and he didn't have any excuses. But he wanted, he did want, so much. He leaned forward, slowly, slowly, pressed his lips lightly to Lex's forehead. His skin wasn't as soft as Clark had always thought -- rougher, more dry.

Clark backed away again, took a deep breath, and looked down at Lex's open eyes.

"Hi," Clark said softly.

Lex hadn't moved at all, just -- frozen into place, just his eyes open. Just watching Clark. He didn't say anything.

"Lex, I--" He trailed off uncertainly.

Lex turned onto his back, locking his hands together over his chest. He left his eyes on Clark, but he still didn't say a word.

Slowly, Clark reached out his hand. Lex didn't move, not even as Clark set it down on his shoulder.

Clark swallowed. "I just-- I just wanted. I wanted you."

Lex closed his eyes for a moment and took in another deep breath, then opened them again. He smiled at Clark, uneven and almost sad.

"Clark," Lex said, moving his hand to wrap it softly around Clark's wrist, pressing Clark's hand down against the bare skin. He felt the same there.

"Can I--" Clark started, and Lex sat up and kissed his mouth.

The angle was awkward -- that couldn't be comfortable for Lex, could it? Clark tried to rise from his knees without disturbing the kiss. Lex adjusted to each move, clutching where he still held Clark's wrist and Clark ended up poised awkwardly over him, one knee on the bed.

"Take off your shirt. Please," Lex said. Clark shivered and threw off his t-shirt; there wasn't anything else he could have thought of doing.

"Kiss me," Lex said then, and Clark did that, too. He lay down next to Lex on the bed, and wrapped his arms around him. Lex was covered with skin, Clark thought, and then he felt immediately stupid.

"Clark," Lex said into his ear, with a tinge of faint amusement, "do you know how much therapy material you give me?" He breathed out again in a soft stream, brushing over Clark's hair, and Clark shook and ignored his guilt.

Lex's hands weren't soft -- they were rough, callused, sun-toughened now -- but his touch was, all light and graceful as his hands moved all over Clark's back, sides, arms. His face, even, tracing his lips with a reverent finger between kisses. It was like Lex thought he could hurt him. Like he could break Clark.

Each touch was so gentle it almost hurt. Clark wanted to touch Lex like that, show how much it meant, but when he tried he just ended up thick and clumsy.

Sometimes Clark didn't feel like a whole person, kind of -- like he was a bunch of fragments, maybe, all put together into a person. He told his mother that once, and she smiled at him and told him that was what being a teenager meant. He hadn't felt like that since he came home, though, and he thought maybe that was what it meant to grow up. This was who he was.

He thought maybe it had happened to Lex, too, while he was gone.

Lex was practically silent, just sharp harsh breaths that sounded like he was fighting each of them.

Clark felt awkward and impatient and strange, and when Lex soothed his hand down his neck again, he groaned and gave up and pushed Lex down beneath him. And Lex let Clark kiss him like that, hold him down and rub against him, taste his mouth again, and the tendons of his neck.

Lex buried his hand through Clark's hair while Clark sucked at his pulse. He said, almost dreamily, "I saw things when I was on the island. Some of them were dreams. Some of them felt more real than anything that's happened since then."

Clark stopped, and looked at him; Lex's mouth curved faintly upward in something like a smile.

"I never saw you, though," Lex said, before Clark could ask.

Clark nodded and rested his head down against Lex's belly. It was firm, muscled, and he rubbed his face against it slowly. He ran one hand down Lex's leg, feeling the hard thigh and the bone of his knee beneath his pants.

Everything changed, Clark thought. Everything had changed, whether it seemed that way or not. There was no reason why not one thing more.

He kept his hand on Lex's thigh, a comforting anchor as he moved his head. Lex's erection stood out clearly; Clark sucked in air and leaned in to nuzzle it through the thin fabric.

Clark heard Lex take in a sharp breath, but he didn't say anything, just started patting Clark's head in smooth calm strokes. Clark took his hand off Lex's leg but he still felt the complete control, almost dizzying as he pulled on the elastic waistband.

Lex's cock was long and hard, and Clark took it in his hand and felt the heat of it in his grip. He swallowed hard and stroked once, twice, thrillingly new and nerve-wracking, then glanced back up toward Lex's face.

Clark knew Lex better than anyone, even changed Lex, but he still couldn't tell how much of that look was appraising, or sad, or fond.

"Kiss me again, Clark," Lex said. His voice was firm and almost kind.

Clark closed his eyes tight for a brief second; he couldn't help a thrust, rubbing his own cock against the bed. Lex said "Clark" again, and Clark climbed up the blanket, feeling like he was in a daze.

"Here," Lex said, "like this," and his fingers were nimble and gentle, rough skin against Clark's cock.

"Lex!" Clark cried. It sounded almost more like a cry of pain or fear or something, but Lex just repeated "Like this" and pressed against him. Clark's cock was out of his boxers now, in Lex's hand, and Lex's cock was there too, as Lex stroked them together. Up and down, fast and slow, brushing the two of them together all over with short little thrusts.

He was looking straight into Clark's eyes, barely even blinking. Clark felt light-headed; he shook and writhed and said "I don't--" and came all over Lex's hand with a stammering cry.

When he opened his eyes Lex was still staring at him, all fixed with concentration even as he let Clark's cock free and wiped his hand.

Sometimes Clark was glad in more than one way that he was one of the people Lex cared about; it was hard to imagine being on the wrong end of his focus.

Clark pushed himself up on his elbow and looked down at Lex. He was holding himself again, his fist wrapped back around the base of his cock, holding it out. Clark was filled with more want than he knew what to do with.

"Go ahead." Lex's voice was low and gravelly. Clark looked to his face and back to his groin, and nodded.

He licked the head first, taking in the odd and unfamiliar taste, then wrapped his mouth around. Just a little bit, and a little bit more, licking and sucking while he felt Lex hold so still beneath him. Oh, Clark though, going down, and his lips hit and kissed Lex's fist.

He moved off Lex's cock, just as slowly. Lex's inner thighs were smooth. He pressed his tongue against them and dragged his teeth down the tender skin. Lex's balls were hairless, too, just the same, and Clark licked all around, moving his head to give Lex room as he stroked urgently at his cock.

When Clark pulled off to look and watch, Lex sounded pained, almost. "Clark, I want you to look at me."

Clark raised himself up over Lex, licking his own lips. He looked into Lex's face earnestly, and Lex shut his eyes tight before jerking harshly and coming all over Clark's chest.

Clark held himself absolutely frozen for a moment, feeling stunned in a way he couldn't exactly identify.

Lex opened his eyes. He looked still again, the way he had before, but more relaxed, maybe, Clark thought. He reached a hand up to Clark's shoulder, the small touch making Clark burn and fall heavily back next to him.

"Other people," Lex murmured, as much to the room as to Clark, "would break. We just come out stronger."

It would have made Clark uneasy, or maybe comforted, but he was already drifting to sleep.

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