No Apology Needed

by kHo



"You have no idea, Clark, do you? Not even the first clue," he'd said.

He was drunk, and that was a feat for Lex. Lex didn't get drunk easily. That's what happens when you drink on a regular basis, your tolerance builds. When he'd shown up in Clark's room, swaying slightly, his grin wilder and sloppier than Clark had seen it in a while, his first thought was that he was sick. Some cold, or flu, that had robbed him of his equilibrium. When Lex had walked closer though, he'd smelled the Brandy and his fists had clenched. Something had to have happened to make Lex drink enough to show it.

"I've wanted you from the first moment I met you. I've hidden it well, but it's not easy," he'd said.

Lex had a tendency to look right through him with his eyes, make Clark feel like he was examining his soul when he looked at him. He'd always found it unnerving, but as Lex stepped up and stopped a mere two inches from him he found it unbearable. He'd taken a step back and hit the wall behind him only to have Lex meet his step and stop even closer. His eyes had latched onto Lex's and no matter how much he wanted to look away, to run away from that intensity, he just couldn't.

"Do you have any idea how many dreams I've had? Where it wasn't CPR but a real kiss," he'd said.

Lex's fingers had reached out to trail down the buttons of his black and red flannel shirt, the tips grazing against his skin lightly. His eyes followed his fingers and his mouth quirked up in the slightest of smiles and then he was back to staring into Clark's eyes. Clark was finding it incredibly hard to breathe and he banged his head against the wall when he jerked his head back as Lex swayed slightly forward.

"I want you so bad I can taste it, Clark. I can feel it in my bones. It hurts to not have you," he'd said.

His finger had laced through a belt loop in Clark's jeans then, his palms resting on his hips as it curled around the loop and tugged lightly. He'd licked his lips, his gaze drifting down to rest on Clark's lips before taking a deep breath and shaking his head, a sad smile forming on his face. When he'd looked up at Clark then Clark had felt the sadness echoed in his eyes wash over him in a powerful wave.

"It'll never happen though, will it? Even if you liked men, you wouldn't want me, would you?" he'd said.

He'd known he should have something to say to that. He should have been able to say he'd never know because he didn't like men, not like that. He should have been able to say Lex was wrong, that he's sure if he liked men Lex would have been one of them. He should have been able to form words, to think in coherent sentences, to push Lex away as he pressed lightly into him. Instead he stared wide-eyed at the man before him, trying to remember this was the same man who never spoke about his emotions. Ever.

"You'll never want me, but that's okay. I'm not angry. A little broken, but not angry," he'd said.

He hadn't understood where the tears he could feel behind his eyes came from. Confusion, he'd later call it. Bewilderment, shock maybe. He thinks maybe it has more to do with the fact that it was in that moment, right there with Lex looking at him like he was bleeding on the inside, that he realized. This is why Lex is drunk. He, Clark Kent, is why Lex drank enough Brandy to get himself drunk. He caused this, and he hadn't even known he had that kind of power. He didn't want it.

"But I just have to see. I just want to, just once. Just one kiss, Clark. I have to," he'd said.

If it had been Pete, if it had been Chloe, if it had been anyone else, probably even Lana, he would have pushed them away. This wasn't what kisses were supposed to be, this isn't where kisses were supposed to come from. They weren't supposed to come from a drunken stupor, they weren't supposed to come from despair. They weren't supposed to taste like regret and misery. If it had been anyone else he would have stopped it before it started, but with Lex he just couldn't. He couldn't even move.

"You're welcome to hit me. Just, please, don't hate me. I don't think I could handle that," he'd said.

Lex had stepped back then, a hand rising to rest on Clark's cheek, a forlorn smile passing over his features as he took another step back. Clark had wanted to ask what he was thinking, why he had done that. He wanted to tell him he'd never hate him, and he certainly wasn't going to hit him. He wanted to say any one of a million things, but he was rendered speechless in that unwavering gaze. He'd cursed himself as he silently watched Lex turn and walk back down the stairs, feeling like he'd been punched in the gut when the door had shut downstairs.

So when he walks into Lex's main room the next day and Lex smiles easily at him, he's confounded.

Lex waves him in, the phone to his ear and tension lines around his eyes. Clark sits in the chair across from his desk and waits not so patiently for him to get off of the call. His eyes roam the room idly, his legs bouncing up and down, and catch on the now nearly empty decanter of Brandy. He has half an urge to get up and heave the glass bottle across the room with all the force in him, but he resists because Lex is hanging up now and finally looking at him.

"Hello, Clark," Lex says, that smooth nonchalance back in his demeanor. "I wasn't expecting you."

Clark looks at him and frowns. "Okay, well, ya know. I wasn't exactly expecting you last night so... even."

Something like confusion flits through Lex's eyes and a hand goes up to his head to rub at his temple. "Last night," he asks, frowning.

"Yeah," Clark says, feeling a little awkward. "You know. When you came to see me last night."

Lex's frown deepens and then he closes his eyes. "Ah. I'm afraid I don't remember last night so well, Clark," he says, leaning back in his chair and sighing.

"You don't remember?" Clark fidgets a little more before letting out a huff and leaning forward. "You were a little drunk, so--"

"I was probably well past a little," Lex says, traces of amusement seeping into his voice as he finally opens his eyes to look at Clark. "The hangover I had this morning was ungodly. The residual headache still plagues me."

Clark shakes his head, feeling impatient and more than just a little annoyed now. He'd fought with himself for three hours on whether or not to come see Lex today and now he wasn't sure he'd made the right decision. "You don't remember anything?"

Lex looks uncomfortable and his eyes avert from Clark's gaze, skittering to the floor. "I've done something to anger you haven't I? I said or did something to make you uncomfortable."

Clark's laugh is unnaturally loud and his heart is skittering around in his chest like a hyperactive ferret. "Nothing? You remember nothing?!"

Lex looks at him, licking his lips and leaning forward. "Clark, honestly. I don't remember. But whatever I've done, or said, I apologize."

Clark rolls his eyes and sinks back in his chair. "Forget it. You don't even know what you're apologizing for."

"Then tell me," Lex says, his voice stronger than Clark thinks his would have been if he were faced with himself right now. He knew he sounded angrier than he wanted to, but he couldn't help it. "Please. Tell me what I did."

Clark shakes his head, taking a deep breath. "It doesn't matter."

Lex gives him a look, that look that says he can see right through Clark, and smiles just a little condescendingly. "Clearly it does. I would appreciate knowing what I did so I can apologize properly."

"You don't need to apologize, Lex," Clark says, rolling his eyes as embarrassment begins to fill him. "Seriously. You didn't do anything."

Lex shakes his head, his hand rubbing at his temple again. "Now you're just trying to ease my discomfort, Clark," he says, smiling fondly. "Just tell me."

Clark closes his eyes, making a concerted effort to stop bouncing his leg so furiously. "No, we can just both forget it. It's forgotten."

"Damnit, Clark, I want to know what it is I did," Lex says, anger finally edging into his voice. He flinches and pinches the bridge of his nose. "I had the feeling I'd done something this morning, but for the life of me couldn't figure out what it is. Don't you think I have enough memories I can't access, Clark?"

Clark feels his heart clench a little at that, and then a spark of aggravation flares. He knows Lex well enough to know he's using Clark's guilty conscience to get what he wants. "I shouldn't have come," he says, frowning as he stands.

"Tell me," Lex demands, standing and calling after him as Clark begins to exit. "Clark! Just tell me what I did!"

"You said you wanted me," Clark yells, whirling around and throwing his arms out. "You barged into my room at 9 o'clock at night, told me you've wanted me since the moment you met me, and then you kissed me." As soon as the words are out of his mouth he can feel the humiliation washing through him again and he squeezes his eyes shut. "You didn't even stay long enough for me to respond."

When Lex is silent Clark opens his eyes to see Lex's face growing even paler and his hands landing on his desk as he swayed slightly. His eyes are focused somewhere on the floor past his desk and his mouth is contorted in a painful grimace.

"I'm sorry," Clark says softly, stepping forward quickly to the desk, leaning over to look at Lex. "I didn't mean for it to come out so abruptly."

Lex looks up at him, fear and panic easy to read in his eyes. "I thought that was a dream," he hisses, his eyes searching Clark's. "Clark, I--"

Clark sinks into the chair behind him, the confusion he'd been feeling since last night only amplifying. "It's okay, Lex. I didn't mean for it to come out that way."

"I'm sorry," Lex says, his eyes not meeting Clark's as he sinks back into his chair. "I shouldn't have-- I didn't--"

"It's okay," Clark says softly. "I meant it when I said you didn't have anything to apologize for, Lex."

Lex looks at him finally, clearly trying to control his emotions but his eyes still showed the same anxiety as they had at Clark's outburst. "I do owe you an apology though, Clark," he says softly, nodding resolutely. "I shouldn't have burdened you with that."

Clark's eyebrows rise at that. "So then... it's true?"

An ironic smile flits over Lex's face briefly and is replaced with a frown. "I'm afraid so, yes."

Clark feels himself floundering for something to say. "Lex," is all that comes out.

Lex's eyes close and he bends his head forward to rest in his hands, letting out a long heavy sigh. "Shit."

Clark blinks, shaking his head. "You want me?"

Lex tenses, letting out another sigh. "What do you want me to say here Clark? Would it be easier for you if I denied it?"

"No, I--" Clark shakes his head, his hand flailing out. "I don't want you to lie about it, Lex. I just. I didn't expect--"

Lex's laugh is bitter and he cuts it short. "Well, I didn't expect to have told you, Clark."

Clark looks up at him and takes a deep breath. "You've wanted me since you met me?"

Lex sighs. "Yes."

Clark frowns. "Really?"

Lex laughs, looking at him like he doesn't want to be amused but is. "Yes, Clark. Really."

"Why?"

"Oh, Clark," Lex grouses, rolling his eyes and shaking his head. "That's not exactly something I can answer. Does anyone ever really know why someone wants what they want? It's kind of just something that is. You just do."

"And you just--" Clark shrugs, confused. "Want me?"

Lex looks at him for a good minute before responding, leaning over and placing his elbows on the desk in front of him. "Are you afraid that this friendship is tainted by my being attracted to you, Clark? Because it's never been my wish to eschew our friendship in lieu of something more physical."

Clark shrugs, shaking his head. "No, that hadn't even..." His frown deepens. "Didn't even cross my mind. I guess I'm just confused is all. Why didn't you tell me before now?"

Lex laughs, genuinely laughs. "I don't know Clark. I guess I thought you might... freak out?"

"I'm not freaking out," Clark squawks, only aware he was squawking after he'd already done so. "I'm not. I'm... confused."

Lex stands and walks around the desk, Clark standing to face him as he reaches him. He reaches out and places his hands on Clark's shoulders, looking at him. "Clark, I apologize for taking you off guard. It wasn't my intention to ever tell you that. I don't want this to ruin what we have."

Clark shakes his head, finding it hard to breathe once again as Lex looks into his eyes. "You didn't. Lex, I'm not upset."

Lex cocks his head slightly at him. "You seem as though you are, Clark."

"No, I--" Clark sighs, frustrated, and looks away. "I'm confused because... See, none of this would have happened if you hadn't left before I had a chance to respond."

Lex raises his eyebrows. "And what would your response have been?"

Clark looks at him and shrugs. "I don't know. But when you left, I..."

Lex's fingers tighten on his shoulders and though his face remains passive Clark can see a spark of something in his eyes. "After I left, you... what Clark?"

"I wanted you to kiss me again," Clark says softly, breathing out heavily. "I want you to kiss me again, Lex, because it's not fair I didn't get to respond."

Lex's fingers twitch on his shoulders but nothing else changes in his demeanor. "You want me to kiss you again."

Clark nods. "Yes."

"Clark," Lex says, tilting his head and arching an eyebrow. "Are you sure that's really what you want?"

Clark nods again, his hands raising and clasping onto Lex's. "I'm sure."

Lex shakes his head, frowning slightly. "I don't want you to think that just because my feelings for you are more than platonic that you are in any way obligated to--"

"God, Lex, just shut up and kiss me already," Clark says, feeling himself starting to smirk. "I'm not a business transaction, you don't need a lawyer to go over the contract. I just want you to kiss me."

Lex barely contains a smirk. "Are you of sound mind and body?"

Clark's grin breaks through at that. "Sounder mind and body than you were last night."

Lex's hands rise to frame Clark's face, his eyes sweeping over him briefly before rising once again to meet Clark's eyes. "You can back out at any time. Any time you start to feel the slightest bit--"

Clark pitches forward and interrupts Lex with his lips, his arms winding around Lex's waist and pulling him closer. Lex's grunt of surprise is muffled and sends a thrill through Clark's body, assuring him that the sensation niggling at him since last night was indeed arousal. He opens his mouth under Lex's and sighs in content as Lex's tongue tangles with his.

Pulling back to catch his breath he looks at Lex and fists his fingers in Lex's white dress shirt. "You know, Lex. I think you should get drunk more often. It leads to really, really good things."

Lex's laugh is, for once, not guarded as he tangles his fingers in Clark's hair. "That's not always the case, but in this situation I'm inclined to agree."



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