Author's Note: This was done for the wednesday100 challenge No Holding Back way back in September. It kind of...um... grew on itself? And yes, yes- I know it's already October and I'm only posting it now XD
Disclaimer: Don't own 'em. Wish I did, though.
"Lex, can I talk to you for a minute?"
Lex looked up from whatever he was working on, looking curious and strangely resigned.
"Sure, Clark. What do you need?"
Clark hesitated, feeling suddenly unsure. What if Lex just laughed in his face and threw him out? What if Lex had Kryptonite and used it against him, using him as a lab rat?
What if Lex looked at him like he was a freak?
"Lex...I... there's something I have to tell you."
Lex had been working diligently on the quarterly reports, even though he'd rather be anywhere else right now. So, when Clark's voice brought him out of his daze, he was grateful. Even though they weren't really friends any more, Lex liked to imagine that Clark would still come to him for anything.
So, what could Clark need this time? More advice, perhaps?
Silently, he waited for Clark to speak again.
"I..." Clark couldn't think of any words, all of them totally lost when he came to it.
"You hit me with your car," Clark suddenly blurted, cutting off whatever Lex was going to say. Lex stared at Clark in the silence that followed, looking stunned.
"I... what?" Any other time, making Lex Luthor speechless would have been hilarious. But right now, it caused Clark's stomach to drop and lurch painfully.
"I'm admitting it, now. You hit me with your car. But I'm not-- I'm not a meteor mutant... I've never even been human..."
Lex stared at Clark, wide-eyed and uncomprehending. This had to be a dream, some kind of joke. Because Clark Kent was never so brutally honest, at least not while Jonathan Kent had anything to say about it. But the headache forming behind his eyes was testament that this wasn't a dream, and the look on Clark's face confirmed that he was telling the truth. His stomach flipped uncomfortably and he swallowed painfully.
"Lex... Please tell me that you're not-- not going to freak out."
Clark watched as a myriad of emotions flew over his best friend's face, feeling something clench inside himself painfully tight.
"Lex... Please tell me that you're not-- not going to freak out."
Lex continued to stare at him, obviously in shock. And Clark was beginning to panic. Why wasn't he saying anything? Had Clark done this wrong, said it wrong? Or did Lex think he was a freak?
"I... I'm going to have to ask you to leave, Clark... I have a lot to think about."
Swallowing painfully and feeling the sting of tears, Clark turned and walked out.
"Okay, what the HELL did you do to him?!" Chloe's yell startled the half-drunk man into nearly dropping the glass of scotch he had in his hand.
"Miss Sullivan," he acknowledged, his voice rough from three days of nearly no sleep.
Chloe stared at the bald man, her face showing her shock at finding the usually meticulous man so disheveled and rumpled-looking. Even during the worst times, Lex had never looked so... worn. And honestly, she'd thought that Clark had looked bad but when compared to this...
Lex went back to finishing his drink and throwing files in the fire, ignoring the girl's presence. If she wasn't going to do anything more than stare, he would ignore her. After all, he'd ignored the stares of classmates and business executives since he was nine-years-old. He was pretty sure that he could ignore a 17-year-old girl.
Drinking, throwing the files into the fire, and back again, the cycle continued until he had both taken from him with a scowl of distaste on the blonde's face.
"We need to talk."
Lex stared at her like she was out of her mind. And she supposed she was.
"And what could you possibly want to talk about?" Lex drawled darkly, his voice holding an edge that she ignored with a mental roll of her eyes.
"What do you think?" She paused, eyeing him. "Clark told you, didn't he." More a statement than a question. Lex scowled deeply, shrinking in his chair and reminding her distinctly of a 5-year-old who'd gotten caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
"What do you think?" He snapped, pouting. Dear gods, Lex Luthor was POUTING!
Chloe shook herself from her random thoughts. "I'm guessing he didn't tell you all of it, did he?" She continued on, curious. If he, Clark, had told Lex the entire truth, why was the older bald man looking like he'd been sucker punched?
"All of it? You mean there's more than him being an alien?" He asked sharply, staring at her.
This was going to be a long day.
Clark sat fumbling with some origami bird that he'd watched Lana make. She'd said it calmed her when she folded the paper.
Damn pinkish, sluttish, calm--
"Clark? You up here?"
Startled at the sound of a voice he hadn't been sure, five seconds ago, that he'd ever hear again, he dropped the poor swan he'd been trying to make, staring at Lex as he ascended the stairs to the loft.
"Lex?" He wondered briefly if maybe he'd drifted off to sleep and this was some painful, really horrible dream that he really wanted to continue.
Lex smiled wanly at the pale-looking young man sitting on the old, ratty couch at the top of the stairs. In a moment, he'd catalogued every little change in Clark that had occurred since the last time he'd seen the young man. Took in the dark circles, the paleness of his skin like he hadn't been outside in years, the odd and sickly greenish-cast the young man suddenly had, and the lifelessness that seemed to permeate the normally happy-go-lucky teenager.
He smiled a little as he sat down beside the young man, suddenly feeling much better than he had in three days. And all because of the presence of the young man beside him. But there was something...off...
Clark stared in wonder at the man beside him, his empty stomach clenching a little more painfully.
"Lex...what are you doing here?" And he hoped he could mask the excitement, the sheer joy of seeing his friend again, even if the older man was going to tell him to come with him to run experiments.
"Chloe came to see me," Lex informed him, looking amused. Inwardly, Clark cringed.
Damn Chloe. When was she going to learn when to stay out of his business?
Lex eyed him carefully, frowning at the barely contained scowl that had bloomed on the younger teenager's face.
"She was concerned about you, Clark. Nothing more," Lex soothed, hesitantly placing a hand on the younger man's shoulder. He was surprised at the angry look he got and quickly withdrew his hand. But his wrist was grabbed in a painfully tight grip and he barely stopped himself from wincing.
"You mean she was concerned about the freak alien, right?" He sneered, an ugly look on his face. Lex's stomach flipped and he swallowed the bile that rose; what was Clark's problem?
Clark barely held his resolve when he saw (or thought he saw) the fear that flashed through Lex's eyes. But he had to make the bald man understand.
"You know, I could shatter your wrist with a flick of mine. I could kill you in a split second and you wouldn't even know what hit you," Clark said in a calm, slightly detached voice, completely missing the scowl that lined Lex's face for a moment. Clark leaned forward, still holding Lex's wrist, just tight enough to bruise.
"I could snap your neck, and you wouldn't even have time to scream."
Lex shivered a little at the hot breath that blew across his ear with the growled words, making his skin prick with goose bumps. His breathing hitched a little and he wondered why he wasn't afraid by this display of strength.
But the answer to his own question shifted against him.
Because this was Clark. And Clark would never willingly hurt him, not permanently and never in malice.
"I trust you, Clark." The words had slipped out of him before he could even begin to form an answer in his mind.
Clark immediately released Lex at the bald man's words, stomach easing just a little and leaving him light headed with relief he didn't even know he needed. Scooting back to his own end of the couch, he curled in on himself.
"God... Lex, I'm so sorry," Clark whispered, swallowing a little in an attempt to keep what little he had in his stomach down. Because even though Lex trusted him, he still didn't trust himself. At all.
"Clark..." Lex trailed off with a sigh, scooting a little closer to the curled-up young man, resting a hand on his knee hesitantly, remembering how his last gesture had been taken. But Clark didn't move, mentally rejoicing that Lex wanted to even be near him. "Chloe told me you've been having problems lately, and..." Guilt flashed across his face like a fluttering butterfly and leaving Clark briefly confused. "And I'm sorry I wasn't there for you," he said softly, thumb rubbing over the worn denim that covered Clark's knee.
"It's not your fault, Lex," Clark immediately refuted, shaking his head a little in denial. And it hadn't been, not really. It was just everything suddenly crashing down around his ears- Lana breaking up with him for some jock but still claiming to be his friend when all she did was rub her boyfriend's "greatness" in his face, Pete and Chloe having a tiff that ended in them not being friends any more, his parents having problems (both with him and with each other) and then the thing with Lex. That had been the last straw. So, he'd gone hunting and through a rather large amount of pain, finally decided his best course of action.
"No, Lex. It really wasn't your fault; I understand you being busy," he said firmly, hand clasping Lex's own on his knee. Smiling wanly, not nearly the brilliance it had been even a day prior, he gave the strong, ink-stained fingers a gentle squeeze of reassurance.
"You can't tell me I didn't have something to do with your current state," Lex said, a little angrily, his mouth set in a grim line.
"Alright, so you did have a little bit to do with it. But not nearly as much as some other people," Clark admitted hesitantly, stroking over Lex's knuckles with one surprisingly un-callussed thumb.
Curious at the smoothness, Lex gently grabbed one of Clark's hands in both of his own, turning it over to take a look at the finger tips and palm.
"There aren't any calluses," Lex murmured in wonder, brow furrowing as he studied the pale, clammy hand in his own.
"No... there haven't been for a while. They just kind of went away," Clark said, shifting a little uncomfortably under the scrutiny his hand was receiving. Hands that had been pampered, leaving the skin smooth and soft rubbed against one of his own, feeling and studying curiously.
Clark had to jerk away suddenly, feeling his stomach lurch and clench painfully as he rolled off the couch, belatedly hoping he didn't hit Lex as he stumbled over to the trash can. He couldn't hold it down anymore and painfully, like acid tearing away at his throat, he threw up the tiny slivers of meteor rocks he'd swallowed. They came up with the water and juice he'd drunken, leaving a bit of a mess of the trash can.
Lex was right beside him the entire time, gentling him and petting him, whispering softly in his ear. They were simple words, and they didn't really have any meaning, but they eased the discomfort and the pain that clenched his stomach as he dry heaved after there was nothing left to bring up. Once he was done, Lex removed the trash can, setting it as far away as possible before leading Clark back over to the couch.
Surprisingly, when they were sitting back on the couch, Lex held onto him still, both arms wrapped around him while he leaned into the older man's side. Hesitantly, his own arms went around Lex loosely and he sighed, relaxing a little and feeling better than he had in days, maybe even weeks.
"Clark-- were those-- why did you--" Lex asked softly, stumbling over the words, brushing sweat-dampened hair away from his slightly flushed face.
"I... I wanted to see if I could--" he broke off, breath hitching a little while he hid his face in Lex's soft, expensive shirt, mentally cringing. But Lex held onto him tighter, leaning back a little farther into the couch and Clark was nearly in Lex's lap by now, burrowing into the warmth and comfort that was offered. Lex said nothing more, just giving him a little squeeze before shifting a little so he was stretched out on the battered old couch, Clark lying over his lap like a warm, heavy blanket whose weight was most welcome.
The minutes seemed to tick by pleasantly in the silence, Lex still holding tightly to the young man while he drifted between sleep and the waking world. And slowly, they both began to drift peacefully, forgetting just for the moment the problems of the world around them. It seemed like seconds after they'd dropped peacefully to sleep, they were both blinking awake at the sound of footsteps on the stairs. Still feeling tired, but not quite so exhausted, they both waited until Lana had fully ascended before relaxing just a little.
Lana's eyes flared a little when she noticed the way they were curled up on the couch, still not quite awake.
"Hey, Clark; your mom said I'd find you out here... I didn't know you already had company," Lana said in that annoyingly waspish voice that set Lex's teeth on edge while she glared balefully at him. He smirked a little, his expression one step away from a grimace of disgust, blue eyes half-lidded while he struggled to keep them open. To be honest, he was warm and comfortable and really didn't want to deal with the little girl who so obviously didn't deserve Clark.
"Hey, Lana..." Clark's voice was groggy and slightly muffled by Lex's shirt. Still having his face buried in Lex's side, he missed the look of disgust that passed over Lana's face. The bald man being used as a body pillow, however, did see the look and glared harshly, eyes like chips of ice.
"I, uh..." the young woman stuttered, swallowing a little in fear as the glare continued, just as harsh and cold. "I came to let you know that Jay and I broke up," she said hesitantly, shifting uncomfortably. Clark lifted his head slowly, blinking sleep-blurred eyes to stare at Lana, his cheek lined from where he'd been laying on Lex.
He blinked, his eyes clearing into a surprisingly cold emerald, brows drawn with a frown. "And what, Lana? You think I care?" He asked sharply, burrowing closer to Lex and the edge of the couch, covering older man's body with his own as though protecting him. Even Lex was shocked at Clark's behavior.
"I just... I thought you'd be happy," Lana said with a small amount of spite in her voice, scowling clearly at Lex.
"Miss Lang, I don't think Clark is feeling very well at the moment. Perhaps you should come back later?" he suggested mildly, eyes cold and his arm tightening around the younger man using him as a pillow. Though it was just a little uncomfortable, it felt strangely like coming home and he wouldn't let anything take that away.
Lana snorted, muttering to herself as she stomped back downstairs and out of the barn. Sighing a little, running his hand through Clark's hair, Lex tried to carefully sit up.
"Clark... you do realize she'll most likely get your parents," Lex asked, petting Clark's hair after combing through it with his fingers; the younger man's hair was like the finest silk, soft and shiny and smelling faintly of hay and sunshine and Suave shampoo.
Clark heaved an annoyed sigh, closing his eyes and tightening his hold on Lex, gently pushing him back down into the couch. "I don't care; let them come out here. It's not like we're doing anything," Clark muttered stubbornly, nuzzling gently at the purple cloth under his cheek. Lex stilled, closing his eyes and willed his body not to react. But it gave him away and he was silently thankful when Clark didn't mention his embarrassment. Sighing a little to himself, he petted Clark's hair some more, eyes going distant.
"Clark... you never answered why you--" Lex hesitated and Clark sighed against him, his arms tightening in a hug, both to calm the older man and comfort himself.
"I... I really don't want to talk about it, Lex. It's... Let's just stay like this for a while, alright?"
Lex smiled fondly, warmly, down at the young man he was holding, stroking the cheek nearest his hand in reassurance. "Alright."
It seemed like only moments later that he was being awoken by a gentle shaking. Blinking his eyes open and yawning widely, cringing when he felt the muscles in his neck that had knotted sometime during their nap. The late afternoon, early evening sunlight had been shining through last time he had checked and now it was completely dark outside. And the only light in the loft was a small desk lamp.
"Hey, sleepy head," Clark chuckled at him, smiling widely down at him. Sitting up, Lex rubbed the back of his neck with a sigh.
"How long was I out?" Lex asked, his voice rough with sleep. The younger man shrugged, sitting down beside him once he'd swung his legs off the couch.
"Dunno; a few hours. Mom woke me up about half an hour ago," Clark explained, his cheeks turning a little pink. "I... you look peaceful when you sleep," Clark blurted out. Lex blinked in surprise, glancing questioningly at him. "I'm sorry, I just couldn't help it... I didn't really want to wake you up, but I figured you might want something to eat." He nodded to the plate on Clark's cluttered desk; the plate held a sandwich and some carrots. "It's not much, but..."
"It's alright, Clark. You didn't have to," Lex told him gently, smiling faintly, still not quite awake. Silence reigned for a few moments until Lex turned towards Clark.
"I came here earlier to apologize to you, Clark. I reacted badly. But you have to know that I will never, ever give away your secret, even if it means my life. I--" he stopped himself from saying it, bighting his tongue to stem the flow of words that wanted to come. Clark's eyes widened minutely, green glittering in a face that looked much, much healthier than it had hours ago. Sleep and getting rid of those be-damned rocks from his body had done him some good. The older bald man was shocked to notice just how close they were.
"Lex..." Clark stopped, taking a shuddering breath. "I'm... I'm going to kiss you now," he whispered, and before Lex could protest, Clark was kissing him.
The kiss was just a little awkward, but sweet and a balm that Lex hadn't known he'd needed. Big hands that could crush him easily gently cupped his face, tilting his jaw for better access, gently pulling the smaller man into a strong lap. So gentle, so sweet, and it was all nearly too much when he found himself kissing back, taking the kiss deeper than he should probably let it. Lips opened underneath his questing tongue, and he was soon exploring carefully, just as gently as he was being held. Breath stopping in his lungs, he knotted his hand in Clark's hair, pressing a little more firmly against the farm boy who'd initiated the encounter. That kiss seemed to go on forever, until they needed to part so they could breathe. Panting, eyes half-lidded, Clark stroked the older man's face gently, leaning his forehead against Lex's, raven hair tickling against his bald scalp.
"Clark," Lex whispered desperately, heart pounding painfully against his ribcage. "I... I can't do this," he panted, swallowing raggedly in a throat gone dry.
"Yes you can, Lex. Just so long as you promise me this isn't a one-time thing," Clark said solemnly, suddenly seeming older than his 17 years. Lex pulled back just enough to get a look at the young man's face, petting the hair he'd mussed and then stroking his cheek.
"Clark..." His voice caught, sounding a little strangled. He wanted to protest. God, he needed to protest. But his vocal cords wouldn't work any more and he swallowed painfully around the lump that'd found its way to his throat, Adam's apple bobbing with emotion.
"Shh; it's alright, Lex. I promise," Clark whispered, already leaning forward for another kiss.
Whimpering in the back of his throat, Lex met him half way, opening his mouth and letting the questing tongue have access. Their hands scrabbled against clothing, unbuttoning, lifting, un-tucking and trying to stay on each other all at once. Things were quickly getting to be just a little out of hand. Lex had just realized this when he felt a small breeze and he was suddenly naked with an equally naked Clark settling over him on the couch.
"Sorry, couldn't wait any more..." Clark breathed, kissing him again, running his hands down his sides, easing him a little.
After that, there was no more talking, the only sound their skin sliding together and the breathy moans that sometimes split the silence as they rocked together, gentle strong hands guiding them both. The slide was a delicious burn, and Lex could feel his orgasm beginning to build, his balls tightening almost painfully.
"Clark!" Lex yelled, coming painfully hard, covering himself and the grunting man above him with his seed. Moments later, Clark was coming, too, a long broken groan sounding vaguely like Lex's name.
It wasn't too long after that, despite their mess, they were falling asleep again, warm and sated and together.
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