Say Something Worth Breath

by Lyra Sena

Nifra is amazing. This can't be said enough. She helped shape this story and did an amazing beta job.

Whispering 'I love you' should be simple enough, Lex thinks. Should be so simple to lean over, curl the edge of his tongue around Clark's ear and say 'I love you'. To breathe 'I want you' and 'I need you' over Clark's neck. They're just words, after all, and Lex is good with words. He knows them; knows how to bend vowels and consonants into demands and threats, how to manipulate phrases until they have no meaning. Until they have been reduced to nothing but the menace in his tone.

Other phrases come easily. 'You lied' and 'this would never have worked' and 'you're a good fuck'. And Lex wants to say 'I love you'. He really, really wants to say 'I love you'.

He just doesn't think Clark deserves to hear it.

So he doesn't say it, and it sticks deep in his throat, the pressure of the words burning there, desiring release. They burn more when Clark's cock is halfway down his throat, and Lex's muscles fight to contract around the heavy flesh, fight to form the words against Clark pulsing down his throat.

Afterwards (always afterwards) when the bed beside him is cold and the smell of Clark is strong in his nostrils, Lex rolls over. He buries his face in the pillow, breathes in deeply.

Exhales slowly and whispers, "I love you."

There hadn't been any clouds in the sky for three days the first time Lex kissed Clark.

The air was thick and damp and they were standing beside one another on Clark's front porch, staring at a night filled with stars. It had been so natural, so easy, to slide his hand over and brush the back of his knuckles against Clark's. And when Clark moved his fingers, so slightly, and threaded them through Lex's, Lex turned to him, and smiled.

Clark's face was beaming, so bright that Lex thought the sky might catch on fire from it, but Clark's eyes were clear and wide and made Lex's breath catch in his throat. He leaned into Clark, shoulder to shoulder, and Clark bent his head toward Lex.

That's all Lex remembers, except for the way Clark's lips were soft and rough and wet and dry. The way Clark left no part of Lex untouched. His hands were grasping and tugging and inexperienced, but Clark was determined.

Lex never knew his heart could burst open until that moment. It was like tiny sparkles of light, warm and soft as the stars. They filled him until he felt like he was dreaming.

Clark moved into the penthouse during the middle of his junior year of college. It had rained for two straight days, and Lex had just closed a multi-million dollar investment deal with an agricultural development research facility.

When Clark walked through the door and dropped the last of his boxes on the floor, Lex looked at him and smiled like an idiot. Clark grinned and shook himself like a big puppy, water droplets tumbling off and clinging to the floor and furniture.

Lex laughed, and wrapped his arms around Clark's neck. He could smell rain and sweat, and he traced his tongue along the curve of Clark's collarbone.

He glanced up, and had to close his eyes; it was overwhelming, and frightening, and exhilarating. Clark's hands tugged him close, pressed firmly into Lex's back.

"I love you," Lex finally rasped out. "I fucking love you, Clark."

And Clark smiled, glowed, shined, and Lex went under.

Habits are what happen when you fall in love.

A passing glance, loving and sweet, on his way out of the door to work. A hand on his shoulder, squeezed lightly, at a boring business party. A head in his lap, soft dark curls laced through his fingers, while they watched television.

These are the things Lex never let himself have before Clark. These are the things he never wanted before Clark.

Friday nights were for lounging on the sofa, eating popcorn and watching old movies. Saturday mornings were for slow, sweet blowjobs and lazy grins from underneath dark lashes. Sunday mornings were for sleeping late, strong coffee, and being fucked through the bed.

It was always the same, and Lex knew the world had realigned itself just for them, delicately spun and twisted around because finally love was real. They kissed. They made love. Clark curled around him and murmured sleepily into Lex's neck.

The stars tilted and fell and Lex was there to catch them. They twinkled like Clark's eyes and pillowed into his fingers as gently as Clark's lips.

Lex tried to keep out of trouble, but often it seemed as though it was permanently attached to him. The first time he was rescued by Superman, he groaned, thinking he had left his days of head trauma and killer stalkers back in Smallville.

He'd cordially thanked Superman, extended his appreciation, and Superman nodded, curt and quick.

He flew off before Lex was able to say more, and the air that lingered behind smelled faintly of sunshine.

Clark liked to talk during sex. He told Lex more and harder and faster, and writhed underneath Lex constantly, like his body couldn't stay still if Lex's hands were on it.

Lex liked to tease. Clark would say harder and Lex would relax his grip on Clark's cock, and slow his strokes. He loved to hear Clark groan when he did - loved to hear Clark beg him to be rougher.

Lex sometimes would stop. Just stop. Take his hands off Clark, sit back, and look at Clark, sprawled out and stretched open and panting, his mouth wet from Lex's kisses.

That's when Lex would snap, completely break, and slide two slick fingers into Clark. He loved the way Clark bucked up when Lex hit his prostate, loved the way he just opened for Lex, and it was always a fight with himself not to come until he was inside Clark.

And then they would be moving, together, fit together so tightly and so hot and so good. Lex panted against Clark's neck and he couldn't stop whispering, couldn't stop saying 'I want you' and 'I need you' and 'I love you' over and over across Clark's sweating skin.

He was always whispering when he came.

On the day of Clark's college graduation, the sun was high and bright in the sky, and Lex narrowly missed stepping in dog shit on the sidewalk.

Clark smiled brilliantly at Lex as he tossed his cap in the air, and when they got home, Lex unzipped his robe, slowly, letting it fall with a soft whoosh to the floor.

They made love that night, sweetly and gently. Clark nuzzled his ear, and nudged his leg between Lex's thighs.

"Lex," Clark started, "I'm ready to be me now, you know? I'm ready to be an adult. Sure, the Daily Planet's gonna be tough, and Lois kinda scares me to be honest, but I think I'm...ready."

Lex soothed his hands over Clark's back, and pulled him close. "You're already you, Clark."

"Yeah, but I mean, I want the world to know 'Clark Kent, Reporter'."

Laughing, Lex kissed Clark, his tongue going deep in Clark's mouth, around his teeth, over his tongue, scraping the roof of his mouth. He sucked Clark's bottom lip between his teeth, nipping gently before releasing and pulling back.

Clark looked at him with serious eyes. "Who do you think I am, Lex?" he asked, and his voice was hesitant.

"Clark," Lex sighed, and then he didn't speak for a long time after that, letting his lips tell Clark what he couldn't say.

Finally, he said, "I love you, Clark. There are things about you that I don't fully understand. And I want to understand, Clark. I really want to."

"You do know me, Lex," Clark protested. "You know me better than anyone, I swear."

They were silent, their bodies touching from shoulders to their tangled feet.

"Clark, do you love me?" Lex asked.

"Of course, Lex, you know I do," Clark answered quickly. "You know I love you."

"Then," and Lex took a deep breath. "Then I trust you, Clark." Lex paused and sighed. "You're aware I don't always tell you everything about my business practices."

"I know," Clark said softly.

Lex nodded, more to himself. "But I'll never betray your trust, Clark."

"I know," Clark said again, his voice barely audible.

On the morning of LexCorp's final coup over LuthorCorp, Lex awoke to Clark's mouth on his neck. He stretched and slid his eyes open, a smile tugging at his lips.

"Morning," he yawned.

Clark responded by laughing and sucking harder. Lex groaned, pushing a little at Clark. "I have that meeting today. I can't go in there with a hickey. My dad would have a field day with that." Lex pulled away, reluctantly.

Clark sat up, suddenly serious. "Lionel thinks he can take advantage, doesn't he? Like you're in love now so you aren't as sharp or something?"

Lex grabbed Clark's hair in his fist and kissed him hard on the lips. "My dad can go fuck himself and every two-bit whore in Metropolis," he said fiercely, before forcing himself calm. He released his grip from Clark's hair and stroked his fingers down Clark's cheek. "It's always been like this, Clark, ever since I was a kid. I do something he doesn't approve of, and he tries to punish me."

Clark nodded, and then broke out in a grin. "Why bother?" he snorted. "I bet you were the kind of kid who punished yourself."

Lex relaxed slowly, and then laughed, and then smothered Clark with kisses.

It was on a Thursday afternoon at three forty-two p.m. when Lex learned that Clark was Superman. There was a dip in the stock market of twenty-eight points, and the temperature outside was sixty-seven degrees.

Lex was sitting at his desk, relaxed and content. There was a bottle of amber liquid to his left, and a half-empty glass idling in his hand.

Clark was away on assignment for the Daily Planet. Superman was in Hong Kong negotiating a hostage crisis that had been ongoing for three days.

He flipped through the television channels and stopped to watch the news coverage. The camera panned over Superman's face, and Lex sat up sharply. Superman was looking into the camera, his eyes wide. So piercing green and clear. Haunted, tired.

And familiar.

Lex tossed back a shot of whiskey. He could swear Superman's lips moved, curving into a ghost of Lex's name.

The hostage crisis ended and Clark came home. Lex asked about his trip. Clark told him the story would make front page and Clark would finally get his own byline.

Lex nodded, but continued asking questions, even through dinner. Because there was so much here, in this room, in this penthouse, in his life, that was blinding and binding and much less real than the day before.

"So you were able to get an exclusive with Superman?" Lex asked casually.

Clark paused with his fork halfway to his mouth, the pale piece of chicken dangling from the tines. He cleared his throat. "Uh...yeah. Kinda cool, huh?"

"Indeed," Lex replied. He held the stem of the wineglass between his thumb and forefinger, and swirled the red wine around and around the glass.

"You know that I'm proud of you, Clark," Lex said solemnly. "You surprise me."

Clark forced a grin, and Lex restrained from wincing.

"Yeah, course I do," Clark answered, and shoved the rest of his food into his mouth.

After that, Lex stopped saying 'I love you'. Clark would bury his face in the crook of Lex's neck, breathe short hot pants against Lex's skin. Moan and strain against Lex's body and tell Lex more and harder and faster. Groan that he loved Lex, never would leave Lex, and sloppily lick his way into Lex's mouth, smiling the whole time.

Lex just grabbed Clark's cock and pulled roughly, harder and faster and more like Clark asked. Pushed his own cock into the curve of Clark's hip and when Clark came, hot and pulsing through Lex's fingers, Lex would let out one single breath, simple and short, and silently come into the hollow of Clark's hip.

It only took three weeks for Clark to catch on.

The day Clark moved out of the penthouse, Lex stood on the balcony, the sun hitting off the railing and into his eyes. He could hear Clark just inside the doors, hesitating.

"Lex, I don't understand," Clark said, pleading.

Lex had turned then, slowly and carefully. He looked Clark directly in the eye.

"I know," Lex said flatly.

Clark stumbled forward, his hands reaching out into the air. "Lex, I can explain..." Clark took a deep breath. "I was going to tell you...I just." Clark was rubbing his hands on his jeans, desperately. "Lex, I was going to tell you, I swear, when the time was right. I just couldn' never felt..."

Lex lazily turned away again, and looked out over the Metropolis skyline. He braced his hands on the railing, smooth and cold underneath his fingers.

"Tell Superman he can have all of you now," Lex said, his voice low and even.

Lex cocked his head sideways and watched Clark back away into the penthouse. By the time the sun had lowered and night was stretching blankly across the sky, Lex was in his study with a bottle of scotch and all traces of Clark had been removed from his home.

Only four days later, Lex had the misfortune of needing Superman.

He was tied to the chair, hands and feet bound tight, and he was drooling around the gag in his mouth. Superman burst through the wall, and wrapped his body around the bomb as it exploded.

Lex looked on impassively.

Superman's hands gently released him from the restraints, pulled him up and pressed him against that long hard body, their chests tight against one another. Lex did little more than turn his head away.

And when Superman began mouthing the base of Lex's neck, tiny wet kisses that trailed over his cheek, his ear, his scalp, Lex heaved a sigh.

When Superman was naked, in front of him, Lex snapped, and jerked his hands roughly into Superman's hair, tight and unyielding. Superman swallowed his cock, swallowed him whole and completely, and Lex pumped into Superman's mouth.

He thrust in time with his words, the words (only words) he flung against Superman. 'You lied' Lex grunted over and over, spilling into Superman's mouth. 'You lied' he whispered again, tugging Superman up.

'Thanks for the fuck' he blew, hot and final, against Superman's lips.

Habits are what happen when you can't have what you want.

Lex leaves the balcony doors unlocked on Tuesday night. At eight o'clock sharp, every week, they open and the gusty wind billows the curtains. Sometimes it's Clark. Sometimes it's Superman.

Lex doesn't care. It doesn't matter.

They never speak to one another before they begin. Clark, or Superman, will be halfway out of his clothes by the time he reaches Lex. Lex invariably lets him suck him off in the study before moving to the bedroom.

Each time it's the same. They suck. They fuck. Clark leaves.

And Lex is alone.

Lex has just fucked Clark for the third time this night, and they're both exhausted. The early morning sun is trying to filter in through the curtains. Clark sleepily rolls over on his side, and studies Lex.

Lex lies on his back, keeps his body still, his breathing slow and even.

"Lex," Clark whispers, running his finger lightly over Lex's jaw. "You know know me. You know who I am. Can't we...can't we start over or something?"

Lex turns his head. Clark's face is open, his expression hopeful.

"Who are you, Clark?" Lex asks dryly.

"I' know. You know me," Clark stutters.

The silence is heavy.

"Who are you, Clark?" Lex asks again, lazily rolling up to face Clark. He props on one elbow and the edge in his voice grows sharper. "Who are you?"

Clark's eyes widen. "Lex, don't...don't make me."

"I never could make you, could I?" Lex interrupts. He reaches out, strokes his hand down Clark's chest. He leans over, close, so close to Clark, and his lips brush against Clark's as he whispers, "You're a good fuck."

Clark staggers up and off the bed. "Lex," and his voice is hoarse. "You already know. Why do I have to...?"

Lex knows there is a wicked glint in his eyes, and he sits up, lets the sheet pool around his hips. He clears his throat and speaks louder. "You're a good fuck, Clark."

Clark says nothing, but his face is twisted. He fumbles into his clothes, and he's almost to the door when Lex calls out to him.

"This never would have worked out, anyway."

Clark pauses, and then turns to look at him. His body is tight, his eyes hardened. "So I'll see you next Tuesday?" he asks, jaw clenched.

Lex lets his lips turn up into a small, feral grin. "Of course," he replies.

Clark is probably halfway home before Lex falls back onto the bed. There is a pricking behind his eyes that he ignores, and he rolls over, into Clark's pillow.

He breathes in deeply. Exhales slowly, and whispers, "I love you" before falling asleep.

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