Love and Pain

by Betsanne



PRESENT

He trembled under the pain. He rocked back and forth, trying to dispel the agony but nothing helped. He looked out beyond his kryptonite-laced cell and prayed that this would be the day that he died. He couldn't take the agony of it anymore. Please, someone please, help me or let me die.

He heard the cruel laughter coming from beyond the cell and curled up into a ball. He knew what that voice meant. Pain, agony, shame and fear. He whimpered, fearing the man who was in charge of this hellhole.

He had always thought that Lionel Luthor would be the one to kidnap him and run tests but he hadn't. He didn't know if the elder Luthor paid the man but it didn't matter anymore. He just wanted to die.

He had nothing to live for even if he could escape this place. His home and his family were gone. His best friend no longer wanted anything to do with him. In moments of despair he wondered what Lex would say if he knew of his predicament. He would probably shrug and walk off. Or he would study you, an inner voice said viciously, you know he has always wanted to know the extent of your secrets.

He moved slightly then whimpered in pain. He sighed as tried to alleviate the pain. He curled up tighter on the cot that had been provided for him and finally fell into an exhausted sleep. His last thought was that Clark Kent had survived another day.

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FLASHBACK

Clark hurried into Lex's castle, eager to share his good news with his best friend. He jogged down the hallway towards Lex's office and threw open the door in his exuberance.

"Lex my buddy, my pal, my best friend. How are you on this glorious morning?" he asked with a bright smile towards his startled friend.

Lex looked at him in bemusement for a second then grinned at his friend. "What have you been sniffing Clark?" Clark shook his head.

"Inhaling?

Another shake.

"Smoking?"

Another shake

"Licking?" Lex asked slyly and watched as Clark blushed and shook his head. He loved making the younger man blush. It was too easy to embarrass his friend.

"Why must you think that a good mood has to be chemically induced?" Clark asked with mock annoyance.

"Because it usually is?" Lex said archly.

Clark rolled his eyes in exasperation and watched as his friend went and poured himself a snifter of scotch. He watched intently as Lex swallowed the scotch then licked his lips. Clark restrained a whimper at the movement. He didn't know how Lex would take knowing that his best friend would like nothing more than to throw him down on his desk and fuck him hard. Clark shifted at the image, swallowing a moan.

Lex turned towards him and Clark quickly pasted a bright smile on his face. He loved his best friend but feared that if Lex ever found out he would lose the man's friendship and that was more precious to him than anything else on this planet or the next.

"So to what do I owe the honor of this visit?" Lex asked.

"I got accepted to Metropolis University," Clark said with a huge grin and grinned even larger when he saw the answering grin on Lex's face.

"Excellent."

Clark looked at Lex with a mock frown, "You didn't have anything to do with this did you?"

Lex looked decidedly shifty for a second then his face cleared, "Of course not Clark. You know I would never do something like that. I have accepted that you didn't want my interference with college and that you wanted to be accepted on your own merit."

"Lex," Clark said with a small grin. He knew his friend and if Lex wanted to help, he would, regardless of the reaction. He watched as the man shifted on his feet, looking nervous.

Clark stalked up to him and watched as Lex's expression turned wary. He grabbed his Lex and gave him a hug, cradling Lex against his body. He savored the feeling of Lex's body next to his and sighed in contentment when he felt Lex's arms encircle his waist. They stood there for a minute, basking in the feeling of friendship, before Lex got uncomfortable and pulled back.

Clark looked at him and smiled gently, "Thank you Lex. You are the best friend anyone could ever have. I know you helped and this time I have no problem with that. I know you did it for me and I appreciate it more than you can ever know."

Lex's eyes shined brightly, emotions making the skin tight around the corners. He gave Clark a soft grin of affection and Clark's breath caught. He rarely saw his best friend this vulnerable. Lex's expression made Clark's heart clench and his groin tighten. He gazed at his best friend. Without realizing what he was doing, he leaned forward and kissed him.

He heard Lex's breath catch and then all thoughts disappeared at the feel of Lex's soft lips against his. He moved his lips softly against Lex's, gently licking his tongue over Lex's bottom lip. There was nothing in the world to describe the feeling and Clark felt the love for his best friend warm his heart.

He was startled out of the kiss when Lex pulled away. He looked at Lex with a scared expression when he realized what he had done. Oh god what did I just do? I never wanted him to know. He knew Lex was straight. He had never said anything about a male lover. Oh god....oh god...I am going to lose my best friend.

He watched as the expression on Lex's face blanked out. He had a sick feeling in his stomach when he realized he knew this look. It was the look Lex had reserved for his father or when he found out something he didn't like. It was a look of betrayal and Clark's heart began to pound.

"Lex," he whimpered softly.

"What the hell was that Clark?" Lex demanded.

"A kiss," he said softly. He shuffled his feet nervously waiting for Lex's reply.

"Yes Clark, I know it was a kiss. What I wanted to know is why is my best friend kissing me? My male best friend at that," Lex snarled.

"I'm sorry. It just happened. I didn't even realize it until I had already kissed you."

"So you just go around kissing any male that happens to be around when you get the urge? Since when are you gay Clark?" Lex asked demandingly.

"Since last year."

"And you're just now getting around to telling me. God Clark if I had known," Lex trailed off, rubbing his hand over his forehead.

"What? What would you have done? Stop speaking to me? Stop being my friend? What Lex?" Clark cried out in anger.

"I don't know but I can tell you this, there would've been no hugging that's for damn sure."

Clark took a step back and looked at Lex feeling betrayed. He felt pain where his heart should have been. He had been afraid of this. He was losing his best friend and there was nothing he could do about it.

"I'm sorry Lex. I really didn't mean to kiss you. It just happened. It won't ever happen again," Clark said desperately.

"You're damn right it will never happen again. Why now? Why me?" Lex asked.

Clark shook his head helplessly, "I..." he couldn't even complete the sentence.

Lex had started to pace when he stopped and shot Clark a sharp look. "How long have you wanted to fuck me Clark? I thought you were different from everyone else but you're not are you? You just want to use me don't you? What would have happened after you fucked me? Would you have gone off and told your friends for a laugh? Maybe you would have sold the story to the newspaper, making some money to help you through college. God, I can't believe I was so foolish as to believe you were really my friend," Lex said coldly, glaring at Clark.

Clark could barely breathe. His chest was tight and he wondered idly if it was possible for him to have a heart attack. "No Lex. I'm your friend. Your best friend. I would never use you. I love you damn it," he cried out and then looked at Lex, horrified by what he had said.

The room was silent and Clark could hear the ticking of the clock in the background. He watched as an unexplainable emotion flickered behind Lex's eyes. "Love? You love me?" Lex spat out. "Love indicates trust Clark and there is no way in hell that you trust me. You know as well as I do that there are secrets that you don't tell me. You think that I am some idiot that can't see when you do something extraordinary. I'm not; I know you aren't human Clark. I've waited for you to come to me, to share your secrets with me. I never cared that you weren't human or that you had special abilities. I just wanted to know that my best friend finally trusted me but you don't and I don't think you ever will. I am tired of this. I am tired of trying to prove myself to you, tired of trying to earn your trust."

"Now you tell me that you love me. That's rich. Leave Clark, leave and don't bother returning. I no longer want to have anything to do with you."

Clark watched as Lex turned and walked back to his desk, his back stiff with tension. Clark was sobbing, the pain was killing him. He had lost his best friend. His body felt as if it was being torn apart and the agony was tremendous. He gasped out another sob. "I'm sorry I couldn't be what you wanted. I tried to be the perfect friend that you wanted me to be. I tried to be without flaws so that I wouldn't disappoint you but apparently, I failed. I love you Lex and I know that you hate me now but if you ever doubted anything about our friendship, don't doubt that I love you more than anything in the world. I will always be here if you need me. I'm sorry Lex, so very sorry," Clark said softly, tears falling down his face. He put his hand in his pocket and pulled out a key ring. They were keys to all the doors in the castle. Lex had made them for Clark on his 16th birthday, saying that since Clark was over there all the time anyway he might as well have a way in.

Clark walked over to the desk, tears shimmering in his eyes. He glanced at Lex, put the keys down on the desk, whispered, "I love you always," turned and walked out. When he reached the hallway, he sped out of the mansion and took off running at super speed. He never saw the man with the camera.

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PRESENT

"Rise and shine freak," a voice said disturbing Clark's sleep. Clark looked around and saw a man standing by his cell. "It's time for another party. This group really seems to have a hard on for you since they paid a lot more than usual. We need to get you all nice and pretty."

The man walked into the cell, the kryptonite necklace hanging from his neck. Clark began to feel sick the closer the man came. His cell had enough kryptonite to make him human without making him too sick. The man's necklace, combined with the cell's kryptonite caused him to feel pain and sickness.

He cringed the closer the man got. The man enjoyed inflicting pain on him, telling him he deserved it for being abnormal, a freak against nature and God. He didn't know that Clark was an alien, not that it would matter to him. He still would inflict the parties on Clark.

When he had first been kidnapped, he had been defiant, sure that he would escape but as time went on, the defiance was beaten out of him and now all that Clark prayed for was an end to it all. If there was one thing he wished he could do it would be to tell his parents and Lex that he loved them one last time. He knew, however, that would never happen. Nobody knew where he was and it was doubtful they even cared.

He shuffled out of the cell slowly, stumbling when the man hit him from behind. He heard the man cackling in malicious amusement. "Hurry up you little freak. Time is money." The man pushed him again and Clark tripped, falling down. He braced himself with shaky arms and weakly pushed himself off the floor. He thought about glaring at the man but decided it was too much trouble. The man would only beat him if he did.

He shuffled towards the bathroom. He grimaced as he saw the man watch him take off his clothes. He turned on the shower and stepped into the stall. He grabbed the soap and began to clean himself. He gagged in disgust as he heard the man masturbating while watching him shower. The man never touched him but he made sure he was there when Clark showered. Clark could be thankful for small favors. Of course, the parties that the man hosted made up for that.

Clark finished his shower and got out, grabbing the towel to dry off. The man stepped forward, his hard cock hanging out of his pants, and grabbed the towel. "Let me, "he uttered hoarsely. The man began to dry Clark, running the towel up and down his body. Clark grimaced in disgust but there was nothing he could do. The kryptonite was making him weak. There was no way he could fight the man.

The man dropped the towel and began to run his hand over Clark's body. The man's breathing sped up and Clark could see the man's eyes were dilated with lust. The man looked at him, "I think its time we got to know each other freak. You can call me Hank."

Hank grabbed Clark's hand and directed it towards his hard cock. He folded Clark's hand around it and began to move it. Hank moaned in pleasure, holding Clark's hand tighter. Hanks hips started thrusting and his cock began to move back and forth in Clark's hand. Clark watched, sickened as Hank got off on the forced hand job. Clark could feel the bile at the back of his throat and wondered if maybe he was going to throw up. His heart cried out for Lex only for his mind to remind him that his friend hated him.

Hank finally came with a loud moan, spilling hot cum all over Clark's hand. Hank was panting harshly for a few seconds then let go of Clark's hand. He began to look murderous, "You did this to me. I would never have touched you willingly. Its part of your powers you abomination. If I didn't get so much money from you, I would kill you. You are nothing more than a disgusting, perverted freak."

Clark stood there stoically, not flinching at the words. He heard them every time Hank masturbated while Clark showered. This had been the first time Hank had actually touched him sexually.

"Let's go you demon spawn. Why the Lord didn't strike you down I don't know but I am doing God's work by showing you the error of your perverted ways," Hank said fanatically.

He followed Hank out of the bathroom, past his cell and through another door. He entered a large room, full of tables and cushions. The walls were lined with whips, chains and floggers. There were several cases of knifes and nipple clamps sitting against the wall. Clark shuddered in horror at the toys. He had felt each of them at some point in time.

Hank walked him over to the wall and pulled out the chains. He attached them to the hooks that were imbedded in the wall. He turned towards Clark and attached the chains to Clark's wrists. The chains had tiny pieces of kryptonite imbedded into the cuffs of the chain. He couldn't get out of them no matter how hard he tried.

Clark stood there resigned to his fate. He knew what was going to happen tonight. The parties had started soon after Hank had kidnapped him. Since Clark was relatively impenetrable, Hank began to host parties for the gay sadomasochistic crowd. They would pay Hank a huge fee in order to whipped, beat, and cut Clark. Luckily, Hank had forbidden Clark's rape but had allowed everything else. He had given so many blowjobs and hand jobs that he couldn't even begin to count them. He knew that he would be in pain tonight and there was nothing he could do. Hank would take him to room that had enough kryptonite to heal him but still enough to weaken him. He would then arrange another party for tomorrow night. This had become his life and he hated every minute of it.

Clark began to tremble in fear as the men began to fill the room. Tears started to leak from his eyes and he sobbed once, wishing someone would help him.

After the party was over, he was dragged into another room. He was taken over to a bucket of water and Hank ordered him to clean up the blood and cum that covered his body. Clark gagged at the stench and washed off as much as he could. Hank backed out of the cell and closed the door. He locked it and watched Clark intently for a second before leaving the room.

Clark shuffled painfully over to the cot and laid down, hissing as he rubbed against his wounds. He rolled over and faced the wall, sobbing quietly until he slipped into exhausted sleep.

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FLASHBACK

Two weeks had passed since he had left Lex's castle. Clark could barely function and he saw his parents look at him worriedly. Every time they asked him what was wrong, he would brush them off with some excuse. He knew that it wouldn't be long before they got tired of his excuses and demanded an explanation.

He had seen Lex a couple of times around town. There had been a beautiful woman hanging off his arm each time. The second time he had seen him had been at the Talon. He had been drinking coffee with Chloe when Lex had walked in with the beautiful woman. Clark heart clenched, his jealousy flaring. He stared hard at the table in front of him, restraining himself from getting up and killing the woman who had been touching Lex. Chloe had been watching him in concern but he refused to answer any of her questions.

After ten minutes of staring at the table, he couldn't restrain himself any longer and looked over at Lex. He watched at the woman caressed his arm and giggled at something Lex had said. Lex looked up suddenly and caught Clark's gaze. His expression was unreadable and Clark stared at him, his pain reflected from his eyes. The woman reached up to kiss Lex on the cheek and Clark closed his eyes in pain, a tear falling from his eye. He opened them and looked at Lex one more time, resigned to the fact that his friend wanted nothing to do with him. Something died in him and he watched as Lex looked at him with an unidentifiable emotion flashing through his eyes. He saw Lex open his mouth to say something but Clark smiled at Lex painfully but lovingly, got up, and walked out of the Talon, ignoring Chloe calling his name. He had gotten Lex's message and he wouldn't bother the man again.

He walked down the street and began to run with super speed. By the time he stopped, he had reached New York. He stayed there walking around for a couple of hours before deciding to go home. He arrived several minutes later to frantic parents. Apparently, they had gotten a call from Chloe asking for Clark. When he didn't come home, they had begun to worry.

"Son, I don't know what's going on but your mother and I are worried. Something is bothering you, something huge. We can't help you if you won't tell us what it is," Jonathan said.

His mother grabbed his hand gently and squeezed. "We know something is wrong. I've heard you crying in your sleep at night and you don't eat, you barely sleep. You do nothing but sit up in the barn and brood. I think today was the first day that you've done anything with your friends. You haven't even seen Lex and I know you two are best friends."

Clark let out a sob at the mention of Lex and grabbed onto his mother's hand. Martha squeezed back gently, "Oh honey what is it? What's wrong?"

Clark finally broke down and began to sob, he wailed out his pain, drawing in large gasps of breath. He felt his mother and father enfold him into their arms and they held them as he sobbed. His parents rocked him, trying to console him. After an hour of sobbing, he finally stopped and he was exhausted. He could barely move. His father helped him up from the floor that he had fallen onto and walked him up the stairs to his room. He placed him gently on the bed. He took off his shoes and covered him with a blanket. He pushed Clark's hair back and rubbed his forehead.

"I don't know what happened to cause you this much pain and agony son but we will get through this together." His father leaned forward and gave him a soft kiss on the forehead. Clark whimpered and fell into an exhausted sleep.

The next couple of days Clark didn't even try to get out of bed. His depression was deep and he didn't have the energy to do anything. After the third day, he got out of bed and took a shower. He gazed at himself in the mirror and noticed that there were dark circles under his eyes. His face was pale and drawn and he looked tired. He walked out of the bathroom and headed towards the stairs. He heard his parents talking softly and stepped off the last step into the kitchen. He saw his mother give him a concerned look but ignored it. He grabbed some toast and forced himself to eat it.

"How are you feeling honey?" Martha asked.

"Fine," he said in a raspy voice. He hadn't talked for two days. He gulped down some orange juice.

"Now honey..."

"I'm gay and I told Lex I loved him," he blurted out.

There was a deafening silence in the house. "What?" his mother asked softly.

"I was stupid. I went over to tell Lex about my acceptance into college a couple of weeks ago. I stupidly kissed him and told him I was gay and that I was in love with him. You will be happy to know Dad that he hates my guts now and we are no longer friends," Clark said with a bitter smile.

He looked towards his father and the bitter smile dissipated. His father looked furious. Jonathan stood up from his chair and looked at Clark coldly, "I will not have a faggot for a son. It is against God's laws and I will not allow such abomination in my home. You will find somewhere else to live for you are no longer wanted here," he father said furiously.

Clark looked at him in shock, "But..."

Jonathan cut him off, "There is no but. You are longer welcome here. I will not tolerate your filthy perversions any more. For once Luthor was right about something. Get out!" he shouted and pointed towards the door.

Clark looked at his mother who was staring at Jonathon in shock, "Mom!" Clark pleaded. His mother looked at him but didn't say a single word. Clark began to sob, "Please I am sorry. I didn't mean for this to happen. Why are you doing this? You're my parents; you are supposed to love me unconditionally."

"Technically, we are not your parents. We've done everything for you. We took you in, cared for you, and hid the fact that you are an alien but this I will not tolerate. Leave now or I will find some kryptonite and force you out."

Clark stood up on shaky legs and began to walk to the door. He looked back at his furious father and his silent mother. With a sob, he ran out of the house and took off running. He realized that he had nowhere to go. If Lex had still been his friend, he would have gone there but he wasn't. Maybe he could to Chloe's, or even to Lana. He realized he had to leave Smallville because he knew that his father would let everyone know what kind of perverted child they had taken in.

He ran until he found a field. He realized that he had stopped at the field across the road from Lex's castle. He fell to his knees and began to sob out his pain. He rocked back and forth, his sobs choking him. He was crying so hard he didn't hear the man walk up behind him. He began to feel sick and he fell to the ground. His vision was blurry and he could only see the line of a man. He saw the man raise his arm and felt something his head. There was pain, then darkness.

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PRESENT

Clark woke up with a gasp. He sat up and rubbed his eyes. He had dreamed about the last time he had seen his parents. He felt a stab of pain in his chest at the thought of his parents and his father's hate. Maybe this life was all he was good for now. There was nobody to care about him, nobody to love him. He knew Hank would eventually rape him and when he did, the parties would become even more degrading. Maybe he could find some kryptonite and swallow it. It wouldn't have to be a large amount just enough to kill him.

He shuffled off the bed and reached the tray that held his breakfast on it. He grimaced at the cold congealed oatmeal but he knew better than to not eat it. The last time he tried to starved himself, Hank had forced a funnel into his mouth and forced fed him. It had been so humiliating that he hadn't tried it again.

He ate his breakfast and waited for Hank to come and take him into his other cell. A couple of hours had passed and Hank still didn't come to move him. He was beginning to wonder what the hell was going on when the door opened. Clark looked at the floor in resignation and waited for the man to begin berating him for his perversions.

"It's time for you to leave now," an unrecognizable voice said.

Clark's head whipped up and he stared at the dark figure in disbelief. He gaped at the man in black, his cape was moving from the air coming through the vents. The black cowl covered his face and the dark eyes were intense.

"Your kidnapper has been caught and arrested, you are finally free," he said gruffly and unlocked the cell door.

Clark scooted back into the corner of the cell in fear. He whimpered, he didn't know what was going on but he wouldn't put it past Hank to pull some sick joke. The man reached out with a gloved hand and tried to touch him and Clark smacked his hand in reflex. "Don't touch me. God please I'm sorry for whatever I did. Don't hurt me. Please, please," he trailed off with a whimper.

The man took a step back and gazed at Clark intently. "I don't know what you think is going on but I am here to free you. What's your name?" he asked quietly.

Clark calmed down at the quiet voice. He licked his lips nervously and gazed at the man warily, "Clark, Clark Kent."

The masked man nodded, "Well then Clark its time for you to go home."

Clark shook his head in denial, "No, there is no home. I have nowhere to go. Leave me here. This is where I belong now. I'm nothing more than a perverted freak."

"No, that is not all you are."

Clark looked at the masked man, "No, I am also an alien. I can run faster than cars, I can see through walls, shoot lasers from my eyes and breathe air cold enough to freeze from my mouth. I am a freak, not natural. I shouldn't be here. My parents should have killed me before sending me to this wretched place. It's not worth the pain," Clark said absently. He didn't seem to be aware of his ramblings or the man's wide eyes.

He looked at the cell and the glowing pieces of kryptonite. He realized it was keeping the young man imprisoned.

"You can stay with me. I will keep you safe."

"Safe?" Clark asked his head cocked to the side.

"Yes, safe."

Clark looked at him intently, "Who are you?"

"I am called Batman."

"Can you fly? I dream of flying, usually after I dream of..." Clark closed his eyes in pain at the thought of Lex. He opened them and looked at the man, "Please kill me," he begged softly. "Please end my pain."

Batman shook his head, "No I can't do that. No matter how bad things seem right now and they do seem bad, they will get better. I can help you heal. Please let me help you," he asked quietly, holding his hand out.

Clark looked at him and studied the intense man in front of him. Clark made up his mind and grabbed Batman's hand. Batman helped him up from the cot and out of the cell. He walked him through the playroom and out the door. He walked into sunshine for first time in a very long time. He gasped at the warmth of the sun, feeling his whole body growing stronger. He felt the tender wounds on his body heal and he felt his strength return. He stood taller and looked at Batman, who had watched the wounds on his body heal in wonder, and smile slightly. "Thank you for saving me."

Batman nodded and walked him over to the Batmobile. He opened the car door and pulled out a large blanket. He wrapped it around Clark's naked body, giving him some dignity. He helped Clark into the car. He went around to the other side and got in. He looked over to his passenger and noticed that the young man was staring at the building he had been in hard. He watched in amazement as two beams of red light shot from Clark's eyes and hit the building. The building began to burn and he watched as a look of satisfaction crossed Clark's face.

Batman hit the button that closed the car door then started the engine and began the drive back to the Batcave. He hoped that Alfred would be able to help this young man as he had once helped him.

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Clark gazed out the window of the mansion absently. The large mansion that sat on top of the Batcave had surprised him. He remembered with a wry grin how Bruce tried to lie about being Batman. Bruce hadn't realized that Hank's friends like to blindfold Clark when they played with him. He had gotten good at recognizing voices even when they were muffled.

Clark turned and went back to the chair that was sitting in front of the fire. He sat down and picked up the book he had been reading. He tried to read but he couldn't. For some reason he was very restless today. He got up and began to pace nervously. He was deep into his thoughts and didn't hear the older man come into the room.

"Master Clark, are you alright?"

Clark jumped and whirled around settling into a defensive position. Bruce had decided a month after he had brought Clark to his mansion that he would teach Clark martial arts. When Clark had asked why since he had super strength, Bruce had replied, "You may have super strength but take that away and you are as weak as any human. You need to know how to fight and defend yourself so that nothing like what had happened before can happen again." That had made sense to Clark so he had agreed to the lessons. He had a natural aptitude for them and picked them up easily. When Bruce couldn't teach him anymore, he brought in fighting Master's from all over the world. Clark couldn't even begin to show Bruce's his appreciation. The one time he tried, he was gently rebuffed. "I am straight Clark. And even if I wasn't I'm not looking for payment. I am your friend and I help my friends." Clark had nodded, a twinge of pain shooting through his chest at the words. Lex had said the same thing but then Clark had screwed it up.

"I am sorry Master Clark. I thought you had heard me come into the room." Alfred said gently, trying to calm to tense man. It was not a good idea to sneak up on the younger man. He was still very jumpy from his imprisonment.

Clark relaxed, "Sorry Alfred. I was too lost in my thoughts. I am feeling very antsy today and I am not sure why. I have a feeling something big is coming but I am not sure what it is."

"Have you told Master Bruce?"

Clark shook his head, "No he is out for the morning. I will wait until he gets back. Hopefully whatever it is won't happen before then."

Alfred nodded in understanding. The last couple of times Clark had felt this sensation, Batman had been ambushed by the Joker. He had gotten away the first time with a few minor injuries but the second time; he had been captured and beaten. Clark had finally found in him a warehouse with the Joker's henchman taunting and beating the man. Clark had become angry and charged into the warehouse, flinging the henchmen aside. He had grabbed Batman and had flown back to the mansion. He had been so scared for Bruce that he hadn't realized that he had flown for the first time.

When Bruce brought it to his attention a couple of days later, Clark almost fainted. Bruce had chuckled at the queasy look Clark had given him. "I hate heights," he had muttered and Bruce laughed heartedly at the irony.

"I believe that Master Bruce is going to have an old friend from his school days staying with us for a while. He is in town and he usually stays here."

Clark nodded in understanding, "Alright."

"Is there anything you need Master Clark?" Alfred inquired softly.

Clark smiled affectionately at the man. "No not right now. Thank you though."

Alfred nodded and gave him a smile. He turned and walked out of the room. Clark watched the older man leave. Clark had been here for two years and he didn't think he would have gotten through any of it without Alfred. When he mentioned that to Bruce, the man had nodded in understanding. "That is exactly how I feel. I knew that if anyone could help you, it would be Alfred." The man was unflappable and a godsend.

Clark decided that he would go down to the Batcave and see if anything was happening. He had talked to Bruce briefly about becoming a super hero but he wasn't for sure if that was the thing for him anymore. He still had a hard time tolerating anyone's touch. He didn't think he could fight a bad guy without shuddering in revulsion.

Hours later Alfred called down to the Batcave to let him know that Bruce and his old school friend had arrived. Clark told him that he would stay in the Batcave, giving Bruce and his friend some time to catch up. If truth were told, he was wary of meeting anyone new and he knew that Alfred would know that was the reason for his stay in the Batcave.

Clark was startled out of his thoughts a couple of hours later by Bruce's voice. The man was standing to the left of him, his arms crossed and he was looking at him sternly.

"You cannot spend the whole day down here. Come up and meet my friend, have some dinner and stay a while."

Clark snorted, "You are telling me that I can't stay down here all day? Who are you and what have you done with the real Bruce Wayne?"

Bruce rolled his eyes, "Yes alright you got me. Now come up for dinner. Alfred made lasagna."

"Lasagna?" Clark asked, his face brightening. Alfred's lasagna was one his favorite dishes. "He is trying to bribe me to eat isn't he?" Clark asked in amusement.

"What do you think?" Bruce asked wryly, a small grin residing on his face.

With a sigh, Clark stood up from the chair and stepped away for the large console. "Fine since he went through all that effort to fix my favorite food I guess I can eat it."

Bruce chuckled and walked to the elevator with Clark. They got into together and Clark wondered how he had gotten so lucky that Bruce had been the one to rescue him. He was his best friend, brother, father and mentor all rolled up into one. He never asked Clark about his past. He knew about him being an alien, the fact that his parents turned him out after they found out he was gay, and that his best friend dropped him once it was known that he was in love with him. He remembered the pain of telling Bruce that particular tidbit. He had cried softly, still aching for Lex, even though he hadn't seen him for four years. He had flown into a rage once he found out that Hank had kept him caged for two years. Two years that he would never get back. Bruce had never forced any information out of him. He never asked where he came from or who his best friend was. He thought that Batman already knew but Bruce never brought it up.

They walked out of the elevator together and Clark tripped over the rug that was lying in front of the elevator.

"Damn it Bruce! I have told you repeatedly to move that stupid rug. I keep tripping over it," Clark said in exasperation.

Bruce walked out of the library chuckling, with Clark following, grumbling about stupid rugs. Bruce walked into the dining room, "I don't know what your problem is Clark but I don't have any trouble with the rug. I never have, its only you."

"I think you leave it there to have an excuse to laugh at me," Clark said with a grin.

Bruce looked around for his school friend and noticed him in the darkened corner. Wondering why the man was hiding, he turned back to Clark, "Clark I don't need an excuse to laugh at you. There is so much to laugh at already," he said with a grin.

Clark started to laugh aloud and he swatted at Bruce, who ducked. He heard his friend shuffling from out of the darkened corner and looked at Clark, getting ready to introduce his friend. He noticed Clark's gaze was directed over his shoulder. He looked at Clark in alarm when he saw the man's face turn completely white. The pain that filled his eyes was so intense that Bruce forgot his breathe. "Clark..."

"Lex." Clark said softly, agony in his voice. He began to back up, "No, God no."

"Clark," he heard Lex reply in strangled voice.

"NO!" Clark turned and ran out of the room.

"Clark please!" Lex yelled and began to follow. Bruce grabbed the man and held him back.

"Bruce let me go. I need to talk to him. Please." Lex struggled in Bruce's arms.

"No. I don't know what in the hell is going on but you are not talking to Clark. Clark is not in the frame of mind to talk to you right now. You will sit down and explain yourself and if I decide I like your explanation I may let you talk to him?'

Lex glared at him viciously, "What are you? His Keeper?"

"Actually, yes I am. Now sit down and explain," he ordered sternly.

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Clark sped from the room and out of the mansion. He ran out Gotham City and continued to run until he had to stop at the ocean. Frustrated by the water he flew into air and began to fly. His mind was in chaos.

He had seen Lex. His former friend and his love. He couldn't handle it. He finally had his life on track and Lex had to come back and screw it all up. He had been getting used to not having Lex in his life and now he was going to have to start all over again when Lex finally left. He didn't know what to do. He brooded over it for hours before making up his mind.

He would go back to Bruce's mansion and stay there. He would avoid Lex, thank god for super powers, and wait for the man to leave. There would be no interaction. He would not allow Lex to hurt him again as he had done four years ago. From this day forward Lex Luthor was dead to him.

He flew back to the mansion and entered the Batcave. He landed and walked over to the console where Batman was busy analyzing some compound found at a crime scene. "Have you figured out what it is yet?" he asked curiously.

Batman grunted, "Not yet. It's still analyzing." Batman looked over at Clark then took off his cowl. "How are you?"

"I'm fine. You?" Clark asked flippantly.

"Clark about Lex,"

"Lex Luthor is dead to me. He died four years ago and I have just now realized that I have finished mourning his loss. He will never have another chance to hurt me. I want nothing to do with this. If you push it, I will leave."

Bruce opened his mouth then closed it with a snap. He gave a resigned sigh, "Alright but you will find it hard to evade the man. He is determined to talk to you."

Clark shrugged, "Then I will leave until he does. He lost the chance to talk to me years ago. I had always blamed myself but no longer. He didn't have to treat me as he did. I would have taken a kind rejection just fine. I wouldn't have liked it but I would have at least kept my friend. But that didn't happen and he hurt me Bruce, and nothing he can say that will make me ever forget that. Goodnight." With a nod, he walked to the elevator and got on. He turned on his super hearing and heard Lex breathing in the den. He appeared to be asleep. Clark got off the elevator and sped up to his room. He locked the door and turned on the alarm. Bruce had installed them to make Clark feel safer. He had stopped using them six months after his rescue. He knew that Bruce had an override button but it was in the Batcave. Lex wouldn't be getting into his room to talk anytime soon.

With a cheerful humming, he got ready for bed. He lay down and for the first time in years, he had no trouble going to sleep.

A week later Clark was getting frustrated. Lex was still here and it looked like he wasn't leaving anytime soon. He had successfully avoided him and he had heard Lex cursing several times whenever he left the room when Lex came in. Now that Lex knew about his abilities, Clark didn't bother hiding them. As soon as he saw Lex, he sped out of the room. He would have thought after a week ignoring Lex that the man would have gotten the message but he hadn't.

He was sitting in den, chewing on a cookie, reading a book when he heard a footstep across the threshold. Thinking it was Bruce coming back from his date, he absently asked, "So how was your date?"

"Clark," a voice said behind him.

Clark stiffened, closed the book, got to his feet and began to walk out of the den. He didn't want to be around Lex. He was about to step out of the room when he felt dizziness pass over him. He swayed and grabbed a hold of the doorway. Looking around in confusing at his sudden weakness, his eyes widened in horror at the green glowing rock that was sitting in the lead case that Lex was holding.

He looked at the determined look on Lex's face, "Why Lex?" he asked, gasping in pain.

Lex looked slightly sick but determined. "You won't talk to me. You have been avoiding me, leaving whenever I come into the room. I was desperate. I needed something to slow you down."

Clark gasped, his mind going back to his kryptonite laced cell. He fell down and curled into a ball, whimpering at the images that played through his mind. "No! Please I am sorry. I won't do it again. Don't hurt me," he begged, rocking back and forth, drowning in memories. He never noticed Lex's horrified expression, nor did he notice when Lex closed the box. He kept whimpering and pleading for someone to help, to save him. He felt someone touch his arm and with a reflex swept his arm up to swat away the person who had touched him. He never knew that Lex flew across the room to slam into the wall, sliding down, and unconscious.

He trembled in fear, lost in the images of the past. He never heard Bruce come into the room and look at the scene in horror. He never heard Bruce call Alfred to deal with Lex. He just kept rocking back and forth, whimpering.

Clark heard a voice calling his name. He paused in his rocking and tilted his head. That voice was familiar, giving him a sense of peace and safety. He kept listening and the voice got louder. "Come on Clark, come back to me. You are safe here nobody will hurt you again. Come on Clark, its Bruce. You are safe with me my friend."

Clark looked up at the face in front of him dazedly, and then looked around as memories of what happened invaded his mind. He glared at the lead box that held the kryptonite then looked over to where Alfred was standing over an unconscious Lex. He looked at them confused, "What happen?" he asked hoarsely.

"I am not sure. I came home from my date to find you curled up in a ball, rocking back and forth and Lex was slumped against the wall unconscious. I was too worried about you to figure anything out. Can you remember what happened?"

Clark nodded wearily, "I was sitting here reading a book when I heard someone entering the room. I thought it was you coming back from your date. I heard Lex say my name so I got up and began to leave the room when I felt weak and dizzy. I turned around looking for the source when I saw that Lex had kryptonite in his hand. I couldn't believe that he would hurt me like that Bruce," Clark gasped in pain, trying to push the betrayal back in mind. "He told me that I had been avoiding him and it was the only way he could slow down enough to talk to me. He didn't even care that it was making me sick or that I was in pain. I guess I flashed back to my cell and I was overwhelmed by the images. Last thing I remember was falling to the floor and curling up into a ball. What happened after that I am not sure," Clark explained leaning against the wall.

Bruce nodded then looked over at Lex with an angry expression. Lex was just coming around so he got up and walked over to his friend. "What the hell were you thinking?" he roared out not caring that Lex flinched in pain. "You know as well as I do that kryptonite makes him sick but you didn't care did you? You wanted something so you were going to do whatever it took to get it, regardless of the consequences. I am ashamed to know you right now Lex," Bruce said with a look of disgust directed towards his friend. "Alfred will help you to your room. I have to take care of a friend. I think that maybe its time for you to leave. I told you to take it slowly but you ignored me. I can't have you jeopardizing Clark. You screwed up Lex, badly." Bruce shook his head then walked away. He walked over to Clark and helped the young man up.

"Come on buddy, let's get you into bed." Clark nodded then got up from the floor. He leaned against Bruce, feeling shaky. Even though the kryptonite was no longer affecting him, the trauma of reliving his memories made him feel weak. He was about to walk out of the room when he heard Lex.

"Clark, I'm sorry. I never meant to hurt you. I just wanted to talk," he said softly.

Clark stopped for a second then left the room. With Bruce's help, he made it up to his room. Bruce helped him to his bed, laid him down, took off his shoes then covered him with a blanket. "Sleep Clark. If you need me you know where I'm at."

Clark nodded wearily, his eyes heavy. He heard Bruce leaving his room as he fell asleep.

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Something woke him up. Glancing around he noticed the room was dark. He looked at the clock then sighed. 3:14 a.m. He highly doubted he would be getting back to sleep anytime soon. Maybe he could go down to the Batcave and do some work for Bruce. He laid there thinking idly when he heard a noise next to his bed. He froze then slowly turned over. He inhaled a sharp breath. Lex was sitting in the chair next to his bed, watching him with an unexplainable expression.

"What are you doing here? How in the hell did you get into my room?" Clark asked harshly.

"Clark, I..." Lex began before Clark cut him off.

"I don't care what you want, get out. You are not wanted here anymore so leave. You have nothing to say to me that I want to hear."

"Clark I'm sorry about the meteor rock. I just wanted to talk to you. I knew they made you a little sick but I never realized just how sick you got. I am sorry, so very sorry. Please just give me an opportunity to talk."

Clark sat up on his bed and glared at Lex, "You mean like when you let me talk? Like when you listened to what I had to say? Why should I Lex? There is nothing to talk about. There is nothing you have to say that I want to hear. Get out!" he demanded harshly.

Lex got up from the chair and sat on the bed. Clark cringed inside but sat very still, not wanting to give Lex the satisfaction of knowing the fear he felt with him so close. Lex lifted his hand to touch him when Clark flinched away sharply. "Don't touch me. Don't you ever touch me."

There was a look of pain of Lex's face but Clark couldn't care right now. Too much had happened within the last several hours. His fear of touch was getting out of control thanks to the memories that had replayed over in his mind. He was breathing harshly in the silence.

"I thought you told me that if I ever needed you, you would be there. I thought you told me that you would always love me," Lex said softly.

Clark felt pain at the words. It didn't matter now. He was nothing but a freak, a perversion of nature. He couldn't let Lex be tainted by his very presence. Clark looked Lex straight in the eye, "I lied."

Lex flinched back as if someone had slapped him. The look of pain in his eyes made Clark almost whimper but he had to be strong. He couldn't allow Lex to hurt him, no wait he couldn't allow Lex to be tainted by his presence. He was so confused now; he didn't know what he wanted. On one hand he wanted to do nothing more than grab Lex and hold him and on the other he wanted nothing to do with him.

Lex looked away from Clark, gazing out into the dark bedroom. "Your parents have been looking for you. I have been looking for you. You disappeared without a trace four years ago and no one knew where you were. I was shocked to see you here."

Clark snorted, "Don't lie to me Lex. I know my parents could care less if I was dead or alive. They didn't want such an abomination under their roof. They told me to leave. I am no longer their son. So try something else," Clark said bitterly.

Lex swallowed then looked back at Clark, "Your father is sorry for what he said. Once you left, Martha yelled at Jonathan for his words. They argued for several days before Jonathan realized what he had done. He was raised to believe that homosexuality was wrong and he had a knee jerk reaction. When they tried to find you and couldn't, the came to me, hoping that maybe you had come to stay with me even though we had been fighting."

Clark laughed bitterly, "We weren't fighting Lex. It was the end of our friendship and you know it. You weren't any different then my parents when it came to me. You were all too happy to throw me away. You harped on friendship and trust but when it came right down to it, you had no more trust in me than I had in you. And you wondered why I never told you my secrets. If you hated me for being gay then how would you feel about me being an alien?"

"Clark I didn't hate you for being gay."

"Bullshit. You hated me; you found my love for you disgusting. I saw the look you gave me. You reserved that look for your father. You couldn't have made it any clearer."

"I was shocked. I didn't mean it. I never knew that you felt that way about me. I was a jerk I know and I regretted it after you left but I was too proud to call you and apologize. I am sorry Clark," Lex whispered softly.

"Oh I'm sure. I got your message Lex. What about the woman hanging off your arm? You couldn't have made it more obvious about how you felt about my confession. You hurt me Lex and there is nothing you can say that will ever change that. I don't think I can forgive you. The funny thing is that what happened with you hurt more than what happened with my parents. I loved you so much and you threw it in my face," Clark said with a sob, a tear falling from his eyes. He took a shuddering breath and looked down at his lap. He couldn't do this, even after all these years it still hurt. The pain still felt just a fresh as it had when it happened. He wondered idly if it had something to do with him being an alien.

"I am sorry Clark. I know there is nothing that I can say that will make you forgive me. I guess I had hoped that we could be friends again but I can see that won't ever happen. I am glad to see that you are alright and that the years away from Smallville have done you some good."

Clark started to laugh bitterly; he looked up at Lex with a glare, "Is that what you think? That I have been living the high life since I left Smallville. Let me tell you Lex, I never left Smallville on my own. A psycho who thought I was an abomination to God kidnapped me. He was there to teach me a lesson for my perversion against God. He had been watching me for weeks it seems. He had gotten a glance at me lifting a tree trunk out of the ground for my father. Since then he followed me around, taking pictures, watching for my weakness. He finally found it when he saw me exposed to a meteor rock. He collected quite a few since they aren't hard to find around Smallville and waited for a chance to grab me. He finally got his chance the day I told my parents that I was gay and in love with you. After my father told me to leave, I realized I had nowhere to go. I ran and found myself in the field across the road from your castle." Clark watched the horrified expression fly over Lex's face.

"I collapsed under the pain and pressure I had been feeling for the previous two weeks. I never saw Hank come up behind me. He had a meteor rock, which weakened me, and then he knocked me unconscious with a bat. He kidnapped me and transported me to Gotham City where he kept me in a kryptonite-laced cell for two years. He sold me Lex, sold me to sadomasochist groups who would whip me, cut me, and hurt me. I had to perform blowjobs and hand jobs because Hank was just waiting to gain the courage to rape me. I had hopes of rescue when I was first kidnapped but then I realized no one was going to miss me. You hated me, my parents hated me and I was nothing more than a perverted freak that should have been killed at birth. By the end, I was praying to die. If I could have, I would have swallowed some kryptonite to poison me therefore taking my life. I wasn't that lucky though. Batman finally rescued me. I learned later the Hank was killed in prison."

Lex's eyes were horrified and there were tears running down his face. "Clark, oh god, Clark. I never knew. If I had known...,"

Clark interrupted, "You would have told me I deserved it. You might have had a good laugh over it. The pathetic love struck alien being taught his true purpose in life. Or maybe you would have run tests to see the true extent of my abilities. I mean that was the purpose of our friendship wasn't it? You were so obsessed with my secrets."

"No! Damn it Clark no! I would have saved you. You didn't deserve that. You are not a freak, an abomination or a perversion under God's eyes. I can't believe you said that about me. I never wanted to run tests on you. I just wanted to know that you trusted me. Maybe I should have backed off and let you tell me in your own time but damn it, it hurt to know that you didn't trust me."

Clark looked at Lex sadly, "Oh Lex I trusted you but I was so scared that you would hate me. I thought I would loose your friendship if you knew. You told me that you hated to being lied to and that you never would forgive that. How was I too know that you wouldn't hate me for lying to you all those years?" he asked softly, clenching his hands in his lap.

"Not that it mattered. I still lost your friendship and it had nothing to do with me being an alien. I just wanted to love you Lex. You could have told me you weren't interested and I would have stayed your friend. That was the reason I never told you how I felt about you. I didn't want to risk losing the best friend I ever had. I would have been happy with just knowing that you were still in my life. But you threw me away, you threw our friendship away and it hurt Lex, god it hurt so much." Clark began to sob from the pain. He couldn't take this anymore. His emotions were all over the place. He hated Lex then he loved him. He wanted to hold him, he wanted to punch him and push him away. He didn't know if he could take the strain.

He felt arms close around him and he froze. He tried to pull away but wouldn't let him go. Lex held on tightly, whispering into his hair brokenly, "I'm sorry Clark. I never meant to hurt you. I am here for you know. I was so stupid. Please Clark. Let me help you." Clark whimpered at the feel of Lex's arms holding him. He took in a deep breath and he could smell Lex's scent. The taut wire of tension that had been building in his body since he first saw Lex snapped and he threw himself at Lex. The arms tightened and Clark laid his head on Lex's shoulder and sobbed out all the pain that he had been feeling for the last four years.

"Never again Clark. I will never hurt you again. I will always be here for you," Lex said gently, rocking them back and forth.

For the first time in four years, Clark felt that maybe there was something worth living for after all.

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Clark watched the door anxiously, moving around impatiently. He heard a noise and looked at the door expectantly only to be disappointed. He heard a chuckle from the man in the room with him. He turned and glared at Bruce, "What?"

"Watching the door isn't going to get him here any faster. Why don't you sit down and wait?"

Clark stomped over to the chair and flung himself down. He was sulking and he knew it. He couldn't help it though. It had been three months since he last saw Lex and now waiting for him to get here was agonizing.

After the night he finally broke down, Lex and Clark decided to rebuild their friendship slowly. Lex had stayed at Bruce's for another couple of weeks before he had to leave on a business trip. Clark and Lex talked over the phone, racking up thousands of dollars in long distance but it was worth it. There had been fights though, terrible fights but Lex had made a promise to be there for him and he had never let him down. Clark never brought up his love for Lex, fearing that he would lose his friend all over again. He was just thankful that his friend was back in his life. So he encouraged Lex to date woman and ignored the pangs of jealousy and hurt that would flare up at the mention of another woman.

It had been eight months since they found each other again and their friendship was stronger than it had been then when they lived in Smallville. The only thing they still fought about was Clark's parents. Clark wasn't ready to face them and he didn't know if he ever would be. He knew that he blamed his parents for his kidnapping. No matter how much he knew that it wasn't their fault, he couldn't help thinking that if they hadn't told him to leave that day he wouldn't have been kidnapped. He tried telling himself that Hank would have just waited another day but it didn't work. Lex was adamant about Clark telling his parents where he was but Clark refused. They had fought and Clark had threatened to break of their friendship if Lex told his parents his whereabouts. At that comment, Lex had realized how serious Clark had been about his refusal to see his parents and promised to never tell.

There was a knock on the front door and Clark perked up. He was trembling in anticipation, ignoring Bruce's chuckling. He remembered how angry Bruce had been when he had found Lex in Clark's room the morning after their talk. It had taken a lot of reassurance from Clark that he was fine before Bruce left but not before he warned Lex of the consequences if he hurt Clark again. Clark smiled at the memory of his friend's protection. It had been the best thing in the world the day that Batman rescued him.

He heard someone walking towards the door and he looked at it expectantly. The door opened quietly and Clark's breath caught. Lex stood there, wearing a purple silk shirt and black pants. His gaze found Clark's and his expression turned tender. Clark couldn't breathe. His best friend was here and he was frozen, unable to move.

Lex's gaze turned a little worried, "Clark you okay?"

Clark jumped out of his chair and rushed over to Lex, grabbed him and hugged him hard. "I missed you!" he said exuberantly.

Lex hugged him back and chuckled, "I can see that."

After a few minutes of holding each other Clark stepped back, "How was Hong Kong? Did you make any money? Did you bring me back anything? Are you here to stay?" he asked in a rush.

Lex raised his hand to stop the flow of words, "Whoa Clark, calm down."

Clark took a deep breath to calm his breathing and beamed at Lex. His best friend was back after three months in Hong Kong. While he could have flown over there to see him, Lex had decided to take this time apart to see if their friendship could survive the distance. They had cut their phone calls down to once a week and only for a couple of hours. While Clark hated every minute of it, he would do anything for his friend.

Lex chuckled at the smile, "Hong Kong was fine, yes I made money, yes I brought you back some gifts and yes I am here to stay."

Clark just grinned in excitement. He heard Bruce chuckling behind him but decided to ignore it, again.

"Welcome back Lex. It's been hard to contain bouncing boy there. He has been watching the door since this morning as if it would help you to hurry along."

Lex and Bruce chuckled at the sheepish grin that appeared on Clark's face. "I couldn't help it. I was excited. I missed you Lex and one phone call a week was not good enough."

"Well I am back. We can go out tomorrow night and paint the town if you want."

Clark smiled then his smiled dimmed a little. "Um...I can't tomorrow."

"Oh?"

Clark looked at Lex shyly. "I have a date. I met this cute guy at a fundraiser for Wayne Enterprises and we seemed to hit it off. He asked me out several time but I said no. I finally decided that I needed to get past my kidnapping so I finally said yes. I am actually excited about it. That's alright isn't?" he asked Lex anxiously. The expression on Lex's face had frozen and it was looking a little strained. When Clark asked his question, the look softened.

"That's fine. We can go do something the night after. It's alright."

Clark blew out a sigh of relief. "Thanks! I was really looking forward to this and I didn't want to miss it but I would have if you wanted me too. It has been three months since we saw each other last."

Lex shook his head. "It's fine Clark. Go on your date."

Clark nodded but he couldn't help feel that he had missed something. He threw his arm around Lex, "Come on buddy, let me help you unpack. You can tell me everything about Hong Kong." He led Lex out of the room and up the stairs.

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Two months later, Clark walked into the mansion after his date with Wally West. They had been dating for two months and Clark was having fun. He didn't think there would ever be anything serious between the two of them but Wally was helping him get past his fear of touch. He was exuberant and cheerful and he always made Clark laugh. He had a light-hearted way of looking at things that made Clark smile. They had done nothing more than kissing. Wally didn't know what happen to Clark in the past but he knew something had made him wary of being touched. Clark blushed and smiled softly as he remembered the kiss Wally had given him tonight. It had bee a lot more passionate than any other kiss that Wally had given him earlier tonight. For the first time in years, he hadn't flinched or pulled away. He chuckled as he remembered Wally's smug expression at Clark's look of wonder.

He walked into the den and found Lex sitting in the chair, staring at the fire. Clark watched him quietly for a second. He didn't know what was wrong with his friend. Since he had come back from Hong Kong, he had been more subdued. He had found Lex staring at him several times with a sad expression that had been quickly wiped away when he noticed Clark's gaze. Whenever he asked Lex what was wrong, he brushed it aside with flimsy excuses. Clark didn't push, he felt that whenever Lex wanted to let him know what was going on he would tell him.

He walked up to Lex. "Hey," he said softly.

Lex looked up at Clark with a sad gaze before directing his gaze back towards the fire. Clark frowned then kneeled down next to the chair. He looked at his friend, "Lex what's wrong? You haven't been yourself since you came back from Hong Kong. Tell me, I want to help."

"Do you know the saying 'You don't what you have until it's gone?' Well I have found out that the saying is true," he said sadly. Clark's heart clenched at the pain he heard in Lex's voice. What could have happened to make Lex so sad? He reached up, grabbed his friend's hand, and held it gently in his. He didn't know if he could help but he would try.

"Tell me Lex."

Lex shook his head, "I hurt you so bad Clark and I never realized it. I knew you were hurt of course but I hadn't given it much thought. I realized just how much I had hurt you when I saw you in the Talon that last time. Lord the pain in your eyes when you gazed at me. I couldn't breathe and when that woman kissed me, I saw something die in your eyes. Your love for life was missing. Your eyes were so hollow and dead. You gave me a smile that was full of such love and pain. It shook me so much that I couldn't even move. By the time I was able you had already left. I told myself that I would talk to you later and we would work things out. Several hours later, I stopped by your house and knocked on your door. No one came to answer and I opened the door to go in when I saw you on your knees sobbing. Your parents were holding you and looking at you with concern. I froze, watching you as you cried with such pain. I realized then what I had done to you. I had hurt you in such a way that I didn't know if you would ever recover from it. I am ashamed to say that I left. I couldn't face what I had done."

"A week later your mother came to me to see if you were staying with me. I hadn't known you were gone. When she told me what had happened between you and your father I was shocked. I was also afraid because I knew you had nowhere to go. I began to look for you. I paid private investigators to find you but there was no trace of you anywhere. I was going out of my mind. I blamed myself. I had been such a jerk and when you needed me the most you couldn't come to me. I realized then I never knew what friendship meant if I could treat you like I had."

"For two three years we looked, your parents and I. Your father was filled with so much guilt at what he had said that he had become an old man before his time. He no longer laughed, neither did Martha. She had her own guilt for not saying anything to make you stay. Her only excuse was that she was in shock at Jonathan's reaction." Clark's hand tightened at the mention of his parents. He stayed quiet though, wanting to hear more.

"I was shocked when I saw you standing next to Bruce. To finally see you standing before me after all this time was wonderful but then you looked at me with pain in your eyes and I realized that I had destroyed something within you. Bruce stopped me from going after you. He sat me down and explained that there were things that had happened in your life that had changed you. You were no longer the same innocent, nave boy I once knew. He told me that I needed to take things slow."

"I promised, believing that I would have the opportunity to talk to you. I never realized you would act as if I didn't exist. You ignored me and if I was lucky enough to find you in the same room with me, you left the room. There was nothing I could do to make you talk to me. I tried sneaking into your room at night but you locked your door. I tried every night on the off chance that you might have forgotten but you never did. I became desperate."

Lex's hand clenched in his and he swallowed hard. He looked at Clark, "I had someone get a piece of the meteor rock and mail it to me. I knew that you would be weakened and unable to run off if exposed to it. I knew that it made you a little sick but I never realized how utterly vulnerable you are to it. I was horrified by what I had done. I had closed the box and went over to help you but you were so terrified you automatically responded by throwing me across the room. I don't blame you though, it was my fault."

"It scared me to see you like that. I didn't know then why you had freaked out so bad. I just knew that I had betrayed you again. I decided to try to talk to you one more time and I was overjoyed when I found the door to your room unlocked. You hadn't had the chance to lock it. I walked over to your bed and you looked so scared and sad even while you slept. I sat there and watched you sleep. When you woke up I knew my chance to talk had finally come."

"It hurt when you said that you had lied about being there for me. I knew I had nobody else to blame but me. Then you told me about your kidnapping and I was horrified and enraged that someone would do that to you. I realized then the reason you had freaked out so bad with the meteor rock. Then you began to talk and all the bitterness, pain and hate that you had held inside for so long came out and you finally broke down. I didn't know what to do so I just held you. I promised you that I would never hurt you again and that I would be there for you always. When you hugged me back, I cried. I was relieved when I realized that there might be another chance to rebuild our friendship."

Clark saw the tears in Lex's eyes and he couldn't stand it anymore. He sat down on the floor, grabbed Lex's hand and pulled him down next to him. He cradled Lex against him, leaning back against the chair and holding Lex close to him. He caressed Lex's back slowly and gazed into the fire. They were quiet and he heard Lex sniffle. He tightened his hold on Lex and held him tighter.

"We began to rebuild our friendship slowly and I realized that you had changed. Of course, there were reasons for it but you were so afraid to argue with me. I saw the fear in your eyes every time you didn't agree with me on something. I knew you feared losing my friendship again. I tried to help by reassuring you that I wasn't ever going to leave. I like to think that I succeeded."

"Yes you did," Clark said softly and Lex nodded. "Good."

"I decided to use Hong Kong as a test for our friendship. I had hoped that we had built it strong enough that it would survive three months apart. I am glad to say that it did."

"Me too Lex."

Lex pulled his head back and gazed up at Clark. There was a tender look on his face that Clark had only seen once. It made breathing difficult for Clark. Lex rarely looked that vulnerable and Clark had never seen this look directed at him except for the time Lex came home from Hong Kong. Lex lifted his hand and caressed Clark's face. Clark had to stop himself from whimpering in pleasure. He was confused; he didn't know what was going on.

"I had three months in Hong Kong to realize that I cared for you Clark. It hit me one night while I was at a club. I was watching a male couple and the older male kissed the younger male so tenderly. You could practically feel the love radiating off them. I watched them and realized I could have had that."

"I had an opportunity for a love so powerful that it would leave one breathless but I threw it away because of some stupid fear. I watched them and I knew then that I had fallen in love with you. I was so excited by the knowledge that I couldn't wait to come back and tell you. When I got back, I walked into the room where you were waiting for me and I couldn't breathe."

"You were so beautiful standing there and when you smiled at me, I melted. I couldn't wait to tell you that I loved you. I had planned to romance you the next day but then you broke the news that you had found someone. You were so shy and nervous, looking for my approval. I realized then that you never told me that you still loved me. I was devastated. It was all I could do not to scream from the pain of it. When you looked at me so anxiously, I knew that I couldn't interfere with your happiness even if it was killing me inside. I told you to go on the date. I had hoped that maybe it was a one-time thing, that maybe there was still a chance for me. It's been two months now and you are still dating Wally. I saw you kissing tonight and the passion that was radiating off you two made me realize that you were over me. Because of my stupidity I had lost the one thing I hadn't realize I wanted the most. I know it's too late now but I love you Clark. I just want you to be happy."

Tears blurred Clark eyes. He sobbed once, catching his quivering lip between his teeth to hold in the sobs. Lex loved him, oh lord finally. He looked at Lex and lifted his hand to caress the face that meant so much to him. He ran his finger down the side of his face and watched as Lex's face relaxed at the touch. Lex closed his eyes and leaned into Clark's touch.

"I never stopped loving you Lex," he said hoarsely.

Lex's eyes flew open and widened in shock and hope. Clark smiled softly at him, "I knew I didn't have a chance with you. I was just happy that I had you friendship again. I wasn't going to jeopardize our friendship by repeating my earlier mistake. I encouraged you to date but each time I had to suppress the hurt and jealousy that I felt. I wasn't going to lose you again Lex."

Lex's eyes shimmered with tears and joy, "What about Wally?" he whispered.

Clark smiled, "Wally is a good friend and he has helped me a lot to get over my fear of touching but it has never gone beyond kissing. We both knew it was never serious between us. I think he is pining for someone else. He would be happy to know that I have found love. I love you Lex, only you. It has always been you."

Lex gave him a blinding smile and surged up to press his lips against Clark's. Clark moaned at the taste that exploded through him. He could taste the scotch that Lex had earlier this evening and the subtle, masculine flavor that was purely Lex. He grabbed Lex and held him tighter, the kiss deepening. Lex licked his bottom lip and Clark gasped at the sensation. Lex tongue took the opportunity to gain entrance to Clark's mouth. Their tongues dueled softly and Clark moaned at the sensation. His hands roamed up and down Lex's back. He lowered his hands, grabbed Lex's ass, and pulled him up against his hard cock. They both moaned at the sensation and their kisses became more intense. Clark drew back to draw in a gasping breath and moaned as Lex nibbled on this jaw line. He nipped gently down Clark's neck, sucking and kissing every inch he could reach.

"Lex, oh god, please more," Clark pleaded.

Lex began to move against Clark and Clark moaned heavily. The sensation of Lex's hard cock rubbing against his was exquisite. He felt close to coming, the years of pent up desire made it hard to keep in control.

Clark lifted his hands to Lex's head and pulled him back from his neck. Lex whimpered in protest. Clark looked Lex in the eyes, "If you keep doing this I am going to come in my pants."

Lex's eyes dilated more until there was just a sliver of blue left. He growled, "Good," and savagely kissed Clark. He grounded his cock against Clark's making Clark gasped aloud.

He kept moving while sucking on Clark's tongue then pulled back and gazed at him possessively. "You are mine Clark. Mine to kiss, mine to touch, mine to fuck, and mine to love. I love you and you are mine," Lex growled out.

Clark shouted as he came, floating through the sensation and he distantly heard Lex come. His body was trembling and his was gulping in gulps of air. Lex was lying against him limply, his breathing erratic. They stayed like that for a time until Lex looked up with a soft smile, "Mine," he said with love glowing in his eyes.

Clark kissed him softly, "Yours always."

Lex gave a sigh of contentment and leaned against Clark as they watched the fire together, secure in the knowledge that they were finally together.

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Clark was sitting on the couch with Lex leaning back against him. They were talking about Lex's love of Warrior Angel while Clark made mocking remarks. Clark grinned when Lex sat up and turned around, glaring at him in mock anger.

"You know you should really pay for you rude remarks. Mocking me like that. It's not nice."

Clark gave Lex a sultry look, "How are you going to punish me?" he purred and watch as Lex's breath caught and his eyes dilated. Lex licked his lips and he gaze dropped towards Clark's lips. He leaned forward and caught Clark's lips in a kiss. The sat there for several minutes kissing.

Clark pulled away and smiled at Lex softly. "I love you."

Lex's face brightened and he smiled, "And I you."

They sat there cuddling and talking about nothing in particular. It had been three months since Lex told him that he loved him and Clark couldn't be happier. Bruce had been happy but a little wary of Lex's confession but after watching them together, he wished Clark and Lex all the happiness that they deserved. He had finally decided since Lex was going to a large part of Clark's life then he needed to know about Bruce's life as Batman. Clark grinned as he remembered the shocked look on Bruce's face when Lex smirked at him and said, "Yes Bruce, I already knew you were Batman. I am your friend after all."

Lex had geeked out when he finally saw the Batcave. Clark had a hard time getting his lover to leave the Batcave. He was becoming as bad as Bruce was. He couldn't count the times he had gone down there to see the two of them arguing over some analysis that the computer was running. Clark just shook his head, grabbed Lex, kissed him and directed him back upstairs for some quality time.

He had ended things with Wally on a good note. His friend had just smirked and commented on his good taste. He was now dating a man named John Stewart who had a weird obsession with the color green. Apparently, that had been the man that Wally had been pining for. When John had realized that he might be losing out on something, he had asked Wally out on a date. Clark was glad his friend was happy.

There was a knock on the door and then the door opened. Clark was busy arguing with Lex over the differences in chunky and smooth peanut butter when he heard a voice call his name.

"Clark," the strangled voice whispered. Clark froze in shock and Lex's eyes widened as he looked over Clark's shoulder. He went to move away from Clark but Clark grabbed him and held him close. "No, I am not 17 years old anymore and they cannot tell me what to do. I went through to much to be ashamed of you. Their opinions mean little to me anymore."

"Clark, son please," Jonathan Kent pleaded. Clark leaned forward and gave Lex a kiss then turned towards his parents. His cold gaze looked them over and he sneered, "What do you want? How did you find me?"

"Chloe saw your picture in the paper. You were with Lex and Mr. Wayne at a fundraiser. Once we knew which city you were in it was simple enough to find out where you lived. We didn't know that Lex had already found you. He never told us," Martha said with disapproval.

He glared at his parents, "You have no say in this. It was my decision not to have Lex tell you. He wanted you to know but I could have cared less if you ever found out I was even alive. I figured you wouldn't care about your freak of a son. Your abomination, wasn't that what you called me Dad? Oh wait I forgot, you aren't technically my parents. Isn't that right Mr. Kent?" Clark asked coldly. He saw the guilty and ashamed look on his father's face but it did nothing to alleviate the pain that Clark felt.

"I don't think you have anything to say that I want to hear. I've known about your guilt for over a year and as you can see, I could care less. Now if you don't mind, Alfred will show you the way out. Thanks for coming, don't come back." Clark turned his back on his parents and sat down next to Lex, ignoring his parents.

Lex looked at him in concern, "Clark maybe you should let them talk."

Clark glared at him and stood up, "They have nothing to say that I need or want to hear. They had an opportunity to be supportive 5 years ago but they fucked that up. Now you expect me to listen to their pathetic excuses because the feel guilty. Fuck that. I'm leaving, I'll be downstairs. Be sure to show the Kents the way out."

Clark turned and began to walk towards the door. Jonathan reached out and grabbed his arm and Clark knocked him away, "Careful Dad, you wouldn't want to taint yourself with my filthy perversions." He walked out of the room and headed down to the Batcave.

He tried to work on some things for Bruce but he couldn't concentrate. He was tense and unhappy. He should have known he wouldn't happy for long. He growled and threw the pen down onto the computer console. He leaned back in the chair and rubbed his eyes wearily.

He was startled out of his thoughts by Lex's touch. He looked up and noticed that Lex was looking at him in concern. He suddenly felt desperate and grabbed Lex and pulled him down onto the chair with him. He stuck his face in the crook of Lex's neck and took a deep breath. He could feel himself slowly relax as Lex caressed his back. With a sigh, he pulled back and looked at Lex. Lex smiled at him and leaned forward to kiss him. He placed a gentle kiss on his lips and then pulled back. He raked his hand through Clark's hair. "How are you doing?"

Clark shook his head, "Crappy. I wasn't ready to face them Lex. There was no warning."

"I think you should give it a couple of days before you confront them again."

Clark looked at Lex in disbelief, "What do you mean confront them? I am done with them Lex. There isn't going to be any confronting. I said what I needed too. If they can't handle their guilt well then that is there own problem."

Lex looked at him in disapproval, "Clark you know that you will regret it if you ignore them. They are your parents and no matter what mistakes they have made they still love you. They may not have shown it before but you know that they do."

Clark gently pushed Lex off his lap and got out of the chair. He ran his hand through his hair in frustration. "Why are you making such a big deal out of this?"

Lex sighed, "Because I only wish I had parents like yours. Instead I have a father like Lionel."

Clark glared at Lex, "Fine, you want parents like mine then you can have mine. I don't want them anymore Lex. The more you push the angrier I get. I am tired of you harping about how I need to forgive them. I am tired of you making me feel like if I don't you are going to leave me. I am putting my foot down on this and if you leave because of it that is your choice but leave me alone about my damn parents," he shouted.

The Batcave echoed his shout and then there was silence. Lex looked at him with a blank expression. "Fine." He walked past Clark towards the elevator. Clark listened to him leave and wondered if this was the last time he was going to see him. He wanted to believe that it wasn't but so much had happened in the last years that it was hard to trust anything, even Lex. He just had fear of abandonment that he couldn't seem to get past. Of course, he had reason for that fear.

He walked over to the console and threw himself down in the chair. He stared absently at the console, lost deep in thought.

"You know he's right," Bruce said from behind him.

"Don't you start on me about this either. I have had enough about it from Lex. I thought I had finally gotten him to stop talking about it but then my parents had to come and screw it all up. I don't want to forgive them Bruce and if that makes me childish and immature then so be it. I could really care less at this point." He got out of the chair and stalked towards the elevator. He ignored Bruce when he called his name. He took the elevator to the library and walked out the room. He didn't bother checking to see if Lex was still in the mansion. He walked to the front door, opened it then walked out. He began to take walk around the grounds but that didn't seem to help. He yelled in frustration then took of flying. He flew around the world a couple of times then landed in Colorado to take in the scenery. He stayed there for the day, thinking.

He still hadn't made any decision when he decided to fly back to the mansion. He landed in the gardens and made his way up to his room. He took off his clothes and walked into the bathroom to take a shower. He washed his hair and body then stepped out of the shower. He grabbed a towel and wrapped it around his waist. He grabbed another one and began to rub his hair dry. He walked out of the bathroom and found Lex waiting for him on the bed. He felt a rush of relief at seeing him but ignored it. He walked over to his dresser and took out a pair of boxers. He dropped the towel and pulled on his boxers. He walked over to the bed, still ignoring Lex, and pulled down the covers. He got in, laid down and pulled the cover him. He waited in silence for Lex to do something or say something.

"So that's the way it's going to be? You are just going to ignore me?" Lex asked angrily.

"What do you want me to do Lex? Start a fight; give in, beg you not to leave? What? I am tired of being the pathetic boy who cries at the drop of the hat. You want to leave, fine. You want to fight, fine. You want me to give in, not going to happen. I am waiting for you to make up your mind about what you want me to do."

"You fucking asshole. Don't you do this to me. When will you get it through your head that I am not leaving you? You are mine Clark and you had better believe that I am keeping you until we are both dead."

Clark felt emotions flare up and his eyes prick with tears. He didn't know why he was being this way but he couldn't seem to help it. Fear made him an asshole and he was treating Lex like crap. He swallowed past the lump in his throat and turned over to look at Lex.

"Promise me Lex. No matter how much of an asshole I become, you will never leave me," he whispered harshly.

Lex lay down beside him and wrapped his arms around him, holding on tightly. "Never Clark. I will never leave you. I may have to knock the shit out of you but I will never leave you," he said fiercely.

Clark chuckled softly and held on to Lex tightly. "I'm sorry for the way I acted. I have this uncontrollable fear of you abandoning me. I know I should be over it but I can't help it when it flares up. Seeing my parents did nothing to help it. It threw me for a loop and I lashed out." He rose up, leaned over and kissed Lex.

Lex pulled back and smiled at him, "I know how you can make it up to me," he said slyly.

Clark grinned and leaned down to kiss Lex again. He moaned as Lex's mouth opened and his tongue slipped into Clark's mouth. Lex's hands began to wander and they slipped into Clark's boxers, grabbing his ass and began fondling it.

"Fuck," Clark whimpered.

"Oh yes please," Lex pleaded and Clark chuckled. He leaned down to nibble on Lex's earlobe.

"Do you know how much I love you?" Clark whispered.

"As much as I love you?" Lex moaned out as Clark caressed his hard cock through his pants.

Clark pulled back, "Take off you clothes now. I need you."

Lex scrambled off the bed and quickly took off his sweater and pants. Clark watched avidly as his pants fell and he licked his lips. Lex wasn't wearing any underwear. That made Clark moan hoarsely. "Get over here."

Lex smirked at him and slithered back on to the bed. He forced Clark to lie down and settled down on top of him. "I think it's my turn pretty boy. I get to fuck you today."

Clark arched up into Lex's touch and gasped loudly. "Yes."

Lex grabbed Clark's arms and pulled them above Clark's head. "Keep them there. If you move them I'll stop."

Clark nodded, breathing heavily. He watched Lex gazed at him with heavy lidded eyes. He could see the flush of arousal in his face and his eyes were dilated with lust. Clark wiggled in anticipation, barely able to contain his excitement.

Lex leaned down and gently kissed him. He licked Clark's lips, fluttering against them lightly. Clark sighed and closed his eyes. He moaned softly when he felt Lex's stroke his chest tenderly. He felt fingers trace his jaw line, his nose and his eyes.

"Mine," Lex said softly

Clark opened his eyes and looked at Lex, "Yours and no one else's."

Lex stared at him intently, his eyes blazing. He groaned and slammed his lips against Clark's. He kissed him savagely and Clark quivered in delight. He loved it when Lex lost control and just took him. He opened his mouth to let Lex's tongue and they dueled fiercely. Lex's hand roamed over his chest, pinching his nipples then soothing them. He pinched them hard and Clark threw his head back and moaned loudly. He started to gasp for air. Lex had barely started and Clark was ready to come.

Lex moved to nibble his neck, sucking lightly. Clark felt Lex's tongue run down his neck then back up until it reached his ear, which he bit. Clark shivered. Lex pulled back and looked down at him. "Mine to kiss, mine to touch and mine to fuck," Lex said hoarsely.

"Oh yes. Yours."

Lex gave him a feral smile and began to lick his chest. He moved to his right nipple and began to bite, and then suck. He fingered it and tugged at it making Clark squirm. He watched Clark with heavy eyes and smiled when Clark whimpered in pleasure. He switched to the other nipple and did the same. Clark knew he was being teased and it wouldn't take much more before he was begging to be fucked. He knew that Lex love to hear him beg.

Lex shimmied down his body and began to lick. He reached his belly button and dipped his tongue in for a short caress. He teased the edge of Clark's boxers, running a finger along it. He looked up at Clark who was watching him avidly, "Lift up"

Clark arched his body and watched as Lex took off his boxers. He shivered in anticipation as Lex began to lick some more. He bypassed his hard cock and licked the junction where leg met groin. Clark groaned in frustration and he heard Lex chuckle. He kept licking and it was driving Clark mad. Lex switch sides and began to lick some more. His hand touched Clark's cock lightly, making Clark jump. His teasing touch wasn't enough to cause any friction. Lex began to run his hands down Clark's ass and his finger dipped into the valley of his ass, stroking over his hole lightly.

"Damn it Lex either suck me or fuck me but do something," Clark begged, panting harshly. He gulped down air and tried to swallow but his throat was parched.

Lex looked up and chuckled, "Which one do you want Clark? You can have one or the other."

Clark growled and grabbed sat up and grabbed Lex under his arms. He pulled him up face to face and growled out, "I want you to fuck me. I want you to put your cock in me and pound me through the mattress. Is that plain enough for you?"

Lex gasped in arousal and his eyes darkened even more. He slammed Clark back down on the bed and ravaged his mouth. He bit, nipped, and thrust his tongue into his mouth. He leaned back and gasped for air. "Your wish is my command." He reached over to the nightstand and opened the drawer. He rummaged around and found the oil. He pulled out the bottle and opened it. He turned back to Clark and gave him another feral smile. "Spread your legs."

Clark gave a gasp of relief and spread his legs. He wiggled into a comfortable position and waited impatiently for Lex to begin. Lex moved down and settled between his legs. He placed Clark's legs over his thighs and smirked at Clark's position. He poured some oil on his fingers then reached down and spread his cheeks. He fingered the hole softly before placing a finger in gently. He thrust in and out a couple of time while Clark moaned in satisfaction. "More Lex," he whimpered.

Lex pulled his hand back and added more oil. He slipped two fingers in and began to thrust gently. He did this for several minutes before he added another finger. Clark began to get impatient. "Damn it Lex you can't hurt me. Enough already. Put your cock in me and fuck me. Now damn it!"

Lex was breathing harshly but his breathing grew ragged when he heard Clark's comment. He poured some oil in his palm and stroked his cock, covering it with oil. He grabbed Clark's ass and raised it, his cock positioned at Clark's hole. He began to enter slowly and moaned at the sensation.

Clark yipped in delight when he felt Lex's cock push in. Lex was going too slow so Clark pushed back against him and heard Lex moan as his cock slipped in deeper. He was all the way in and Clark could feel him rubbing up against his prostrate. "Move damn it!"

Lex growled and pulled back then slammed back in. Clark yelled out in pleasure, begging for more. He felt like he was going to explode as the pleasure built up. He could feel Lex moving in him and the pleasure was intense. He was begging Lex and he could barely understand the words he was saying. He felt the tension in his body get tighter and tighter until it finally snapped and Clark yelled out Lex's name and came. He was soaring, his body engulfed in sensation. He whimpered and moaned out Lex's name as he felt him still moving inside him. He clenched as ass tighter and heard Lex moan. He felt warmth in his ass as Lex came with a shout. He felt Lex slump over his body and weakly moved his arms to hold his lover.

After a few minutes of gasping for air, Lex moved and pulled out. Clark whimpered in loss and Lex soothed him. Lex collapsed next to him, rolled over, grabbed Clark, and held on to him. With a slurred "Love you," he fell asleep. Clark smiled tiredly, snuggled up to his lover and fell into an exhausted sleep.

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They pulled into the drive and Lex turned off the engine. He looked at Clark, "You ready?"

Clark shook his head and gazed at the house. "No not all."

Lex nodded, "Take your time. I will be with you every step of the way."

Clark leaned over and gave Lex a gentle kiss, grabbing his hand. "Thank you Lex. For everything. Especially when I was acting like a child."

"You weren't acting like a child. You were acting like a confused adult who had fears. I understood that."

Clark squeezed Lex's hand in affection then looked back at the house. There were two people standing on the porch, waiting anxiously for them to get out of the car. Clark swallowed nervously then opened the car door before he could change his mind. He looked at Lex, gave him a strained smile and got out of the car. He closed the door gently and looked around. Not much had changed since the last time he had been here, close to six years now. It had been six months since his parents visit and with Lex's help, they had been rebuilding their relationship. He hadn't wanted to visit but he did talk to them every week, then every other day.

He had decided last week that it was time to go home. He needed closure on his past before he could fully live his future with Lex. When he called his parents to let them know that he was coming for a visit, they were ecstatic. If this visit worked out then Clark would be moving to Smallville with Lex for at least year while Lex took care of some business for LexCorp.

He pulled away from the car and began to walk towards his parents. He looked over his shoulder at Lex, who smiled at him encouragingly. Clark gave him a weak smile then turned back towards his parents. He walked up to the porch then stopped in front of them.

"Mom, Dad," he said softly. He couldn't understand why he was so nervous. He had just talked to them hours before. He guessed it had to do with being back here on the farm. His last memories here were not happy ones.

They stood there frozen, uncertain what to do when Martha moved off the porch, grabbed a hold of Clark and hugged him. "Oh Clark, it's so good to see you."

Clark relaxed and hugged his mother. He held her gently and tilted his head down to sniff her hair. She still used the strawberry shampoo she had been using since he was a child. The smell comforted him and he relaxed even further. His mother finally pulled back and beamed up at him. "Welcome home Clark."

Clark smiled at her and then looked up at the nervous man standing uncertainly behind his mother. Clark swallowed hard; it had been easier to forgive his mother than it had been to forgive his father. There had been many fights and tears over the phone between the two of them and without Lex and his mother; they might have never reached that point.

His mother stepped back and Clark watched as his father took an uncertain step towards him. Taking a deep breath, he moved forward, grabbed his father and hugged him hard. "Dad," he said in a strangled voice.

"Clark, son," Jonathan whispered hoarsely. "Welcome home." Clark could feel the tears that his father was shedding and it hurt him.

"It's alright Dad. Everything is forgiven. I love you and I won't disappear again." After a few minutes, his father sniffed then pulled back. His eyes were wet but joy was glowing from his eyes.

"Why don't you get Lex and come in for some dinner. Your mother made chicken. It's your favorite."

Clark beamed at his father. "We'll be right in."

His father gave him a nod. He turned towards his wife, put his arm around her and walked into the house with her.

Clark watched them go in, then turned and walked back towards Lex, who had been leaning against the car, watching their reunion. Clark stopped in front of his lover. "You were right. I feel better. I feel like a load has been lifted off my shoulder. For the first time in years I feel truly free." He pulled Lex close to him and gave him a kiss. He leaned his head against Lex's. "Thank you."

"For what?" Lex asked softly.

"For your help, for your understanding, for your stubbornness but most of all thank you for loving me."

"Trust me Clark that was the easy part."

"Come on, its time to eat. We are having chicken. It's my favorite," Clark said brightly.

Lex rolled his eyes, "Oh yea, who's the spoiled one now."

Clark chuckled, placing an arm around his lover's waist and began walking them towards the house. "You know you like me to spoil me just as much as my mother."

He heard Lex grumbled and grinned in happiness. It had been a long road with many pitfalls but now Clark was ready to live. He had the pain now it was time for the love.

THE END.



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