by Nifra Idril

Three guesses as to who I'm thanking, and the first two tries don't count.
That's right. You betta believe it's Lyra.

Clark looks directly into the sun - it doesn't burn at all, but lines of red and gold flare at the edges of his vision, just in the periphery. It's like the light is seeping into him, from the corners inward and Lex's warm hand touches his shoulder. He's talking, but Clark doesn't hear what he's saying. All Clark can hear is the simple quiet sound of Lex's breathing, and the rustle of Lex's fingers moving over the starched fabric of his shirt.

When he turns his head, and looks at Lex, he can feel the image printing itself into his memory - the way Lex's dark clothes and pale skin look against the sunspots that flare and flash before Clark's eyes. The red, and the gold, and the smooth white surface of Lex's neck where it dips into his stark black shirt is the most beautiful thing Clark's ever seen. His eyes travel up, along the lines of Lex's face, over the bent bow of his mouth and toward his eyes. They're fringed with light lashes, and the color is so pale that doesn't know a word for it - it makes him think of the way water looks behind glass, except warmer, because Lex is looking back at him. And suddenly, neither one of them is pretending any of the things they usually pretend - that they're friends, or that they've never caught the other staring. That they don't want whatever this thing between them could become, if they only let it.

This isn't the man that he met two years ago, but then, Clark's not the guy who ripped the roof off that Porsche, either. Lex is harder, and Clark is, too, but they're closer to who they will be someday, Clark knows. Maybe this is closer to meaning what Clark wants it to. Because for once, he knows what that is, and it's this: he wants Lex's hand to stay on his shoulder. He wants Lex's eyes to stay locked with his, wants Lex to always be close enough to reach out and touch so that Clark will know that he's there.

He wants to kiss Lex in three million different ways, and do it over and over and over again. He wants Lex to think about him at least every three minutes, and he wants to argue with Lex, a little - just to know that they can yell at one another without everything falling apart.

What he sees when he looks at Lex is encouraging, because Lex is staring at Clark like he's something Lex has never seen before, something that he likes, and it's the way that Lex always used to look at him but hasn't in so long. It makes Clark's breath stutter, and electricity dance across his spine, landing like lightly -- like snow. He shivers, and Lex must feel it with his hand still there, still warm on Clark's shoulder, but Lex doesn't move. Instead, Lex closes his eyes once, lids drifting shut sleepily, lazily.

Clark reaches up, and covers Lex's hand with his, twines his thumb and his forefinger around Lex's wrist, and tugs. And Lex lets himself be tugged until he's standing so close that Clark can feel Lex's shallow exhalations brush over his skin. He cups Lex's cheek, forms his hand to the line of it, and brushes his thumb over the shallow dip of Lex's temple.

"Clark?" Lex asks, his voice shuddering, skipping across Clark's skin though Lex stays perfectly still.

And there's a pause, as Clark thinks of what he should say, what he could say but when he opens his mouth to speak, he can't. It seems that saying the words is too small an act, and the words don't mean enough anyway. They're too hollow, too limited to tell Lex what he means, and he's always been better at acting any way. So he says nothing, and leans in to rub his face gently across the delicate skin of Lex's neck, brushes his lips over that pale brow, and nuzzles his nose against Lex's. He cups the nape of Lex's neck, and it's so delicate in his hand, and Clark closes his eyes. He rests his face beside Lex's, his lips against Lex's ear, and still, Clark says nothing.

Lex is tense, taut, but slowly, slowly his hands come up, to lie on Clark's back, almost tentative - like even after all this Lex is still asking permission. Clark sighs, and presses himself against Lex completely, because it seems like if he opens his mouth, if he says anything, this will somehow go away. And now, now with Lex's hands sliding up and up into his hair, pulling his head back and Lex's eyes like silver in the sun, Clark knows that losing this would kill him.

Below them cows kick softly at hay and call to one another, and outside there's the thrum of late August cicadas and the clinking of the wind chime Clark's mother put on the porch. But here, the only sound is the growl that Lex can't seem to help as he drags Clark's lips to his.

There, standing in Clark's loft in the thick heat of a sultry Sunday, they kiss for the first time. It's awkward, at first, because they both want so much from it. Lex nips at Clark's lip and maps out the lines of his mouth, tickling Clark's tongue with his own, and Clark looses his balance, stumbles a little. Lex follows him, though, his hands restless as they brush over Clark's back, his neck, his shoulders, his ass. Clark moans a little, and Lex growls again.

When he pulls back for air, and looks up at Clark, Clark feels the flush that sweeps over his whole body like a delicious chill. Lex's thumb comes up, rubs over Clark's lower lip, and his other hand settles on Clark's hips, pulling him closer, pulling him snug against Lex's body. They both gasp at the same time when hardness meets hardness, and this time Clark is the one who does the growling. He nibbles his way up Lex's white neck, leaving little red marks as he goes. Lex lets him; just moves his hips against Clark's and leans his head back.

When Clark reaches Lex's lips, he licks lightly at the lower one, before Lex gets impatient, and pulls him into a real kiss. Clark's hands smooth down Lex's back, and pull Lex's shirt from his waistband, and then slide around front to start unbuttoning. Lex's chest feels amazing under his thumbs as he moves them in small circles across the skin there, and Lex purrs against his mouth. It tickles.

Clark chuckles, steps back a little, just looks at Lex. Looks at the way his lips are dark against his pale face, and how his eyes flicker. The light from outside is thick and lazy and yellow and it clings to every line of Lex's chest, every curve of his arms. He can't help himself from reaching out, tracing a finger over Lex's collarbone, and across his bicep.

He wants to tell Lex that Lex is glorious, or magnificent, or something, but Lex's fingers play at his waist, and what he does instead is take off his own shirt. And then Lex's fingers are tapping at the button on his jeans, and Clark's taking those off, too, trying not to get his legs caught or fall as Lex's slacks slip to the floor of the loft as well.

And this time Lex is the one taking Clark's hand, and pulling Clark forward, and the slide of Lex's skin against his shocks a shiver and a sigh out of him. Lex's lips are hot, and ruthless, and his hands are everywhere, and his cock against Clark's is hot and smooth and hard and right, so very, very right. Clark whimpers a little and his hands skate over the planes of Lex's shoulders, down the tight muscles of his back, over the curves of his buttocks. He touches Lex everywhere, and when Lex thrusts against him and bites at his shoulder, Clark's knees get a little weak.

He sits on his couch, pulls Lex on top of him. When Lex props his arms up on either side of Clark's head and looks down at him, Clark feels like he's beginning to burn from the inside out -- like Lex is the one who put the fire there, and like Lex is burning, too. And then Lex thrusts again, and this time, Clark thrusts back. The way they move against one another makes Clark catch his lip between his teeth, makes him drag his hands to Lex's hips and just hold on.

He's never felt anything like this. He thinks he never will with anyone else, because this charge, this spark, this wildness that turns and turns and turns and turns inside of him is for Lex. This moan that slips from his lips, and this arch of his hips, they're for Lex and Clark can't imagine it being anyone else that he looks up at through his half-slitted eyes. There's no one else who would ever look at him the way Lex is, like Clark's something rare and vital.

Clark's lips keep moving over the skin of Lex's face, pressing soft kisses to Lex's cheeks, his eyes, his lips, his chin, anything Clark can reach as his breath starts to come shorter, and shorter. Lex grins at him, wicked and sexy, and reaches down, takes both of them in his hand, and strokes. Squeezes. Does it again and again, so that both of them are heaving, and gasping, and Lex is panting with every stroke, his eyes getting hotter and hotter as they trace over Clark's face.

And when it starts, Clark feels it everywhere in his body, this orgasm that turns him inside out, that makes his eyes roll back in his head as he comes and comes and comes. He makes no sound, except to whisper, "Oh, oh yes," into Lex's ear.

Lex keeps moving, faster and faster, and when Clark opens his eyes he sees that Lex's teeth are gritted, his eyes are glittering. Clark reaches up, drags a finger over Lex's mouth, and pushes back against Lex - gives him the friction he needs. Their eyes meet, and Lex throws his head back, and comes. After he catches his breath, Lex rests against Clark's chest, drawing circles on Clark's skin with his fingers.

Clark kisses the curve of his skull, and Lex looks up, flushed, happy. He smiles, and Clark smiles back, and he can't keep from kissing Lex again, just a small brush of lips over lips. Beneath them, the couch creaks as Clark shifts to his side, and rests his arm over Lex's waist.

"Hi," Clark says, rubbing his nose against Lex's.

Lex laughs, draws back a little. "Hi?"

"Yeah," he grins, closing his eyes, "hi."

"That's all you have to say?" Lex asks, but his voice is warm, amused, and his fingers trail over Clark's chest. "Just `hi', no explanation?"

Clark opens his eyes, and meets the curiosity in Lex's gaze. He curls his fingers over Lex's hip, and thinks before saying, "It just seemed like it was time. I had to, or I wouldn't have, and I...I need you, I think. I know I love you, but I'm pretty sure that...I have to have you. Like this. I couldn't wait any more, though. Like, now or forever hold your peace. You know?"

Lex nods once, slowly, and draws his fingers down Clark's cheek gently. His eyes never waver from Clark's, and his smile doesn't falter, just changes a little - gets deeper, maybe softer, and he says, "I do."

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