by Pearl-o

Waking up was a slow process, and it was only as he yawned and rolled over -- stretching out easily in a way that really wouldn't be possible in his trusty twin bed -- that he realized he wasn't in his bedroom. Not even on the couch in the loft, where he'd drifted off a couple times, during the summers.

Clark could count every night he'd spent away from home without even thinking, and each one of them was off with his dad in a tent somewhere. This was something vividly different, and he sat upright with a sudden shock.

He blinked and rubbed his eyes as he looked around. The sheets were pooled around his waist, and he was naked. That was ... new, too.

The room was dark and cool, even though Clark thought it must be at least late morning, if not afternoon. It was large, too, but pretty much empty, except for a chest over to the side and the huge wide bed Clark lay in. There were lots of doors, though, and Clark thought he could just remember from last night which led to the hall, which to the bathroom, and the closet.

The closet. He could feel himself blushing. That would be where his clothes were, probably still strewn in a messy pile across Lex's dress shoes.

"Lex?" he called softly, not really expecting an answer. Unless Lex was just in the bathroom, but that seemed pretty unlikely; the rest of the bed was cool, with no residual body heat.

His voice sounded the same, he noticed, and that maybe should have been comforting, but instead it seemed off. It sounded too whiny for someone who'd spent the night with Lex. In Lex's bed. It was too immature for someone who'd had sex.

Well, practically. Almost. More or less.

Lex hadn't touched him, so much, but there had been kissing and hugging and then Lex had leaned against the closet door and said he wanted to see him, and he'd just watched as Clark stood in the middle of all Lex's shirts and ties and jackets and jerked himself off.

Sex ed wasn't really the best preparation for the situation, or for figuring out degrees, but god. Clark was definitely less of a virgin than he'd been yesterday. They hadn't actually, you know, done it, but Lex had licked his hand clean, tasted Clark's come, and they had slept together.

He'd fallen asleep with Lex's hand pressed flat against his chest and Lex's leg tangled with his own, and somehow that had been as big of a surprise as anything else: a Lex who touched and let Clark touch, too.

Clark bit his lip and wondered vaguely if he should get dressed and go search for Lex. Wandering around the mansion didn't have much appeal -- Lex was probably working, anyway, and Clark thought he might spontaneously combust if he had to face one of Lex's staff.

If spontaneous combustion was even possible for him. Clark frowned.

He did a fast scan of the mansion anyway, just to make sure, but there weren't any Lex-shaped bodies to be found.

Clark got out of bed. Just walking across the room -- just naked -- was oddly embarrassing. It hadn't been last night, with Lex there, but he felt out of place now. Lex's room wasn't exactly welcoming. He couldn't quite shake off the feeling that he was being watched and judged.

His clothes were on the floor in the closet, like he'd remembered, but they weren't in the heap where he'd carelessly dropped them; instead, they were neatly folded. Clark slipped into his underwear and pants quickly, but he stopped when he picked up his t-shirt.

He stood there for a minute, hesitating, feeling almost frozen, and he couldn't really understand why the decision of whether or not to put on his shirt had suddenly become such a big deal.

"You're being an moron," he told himself, and he dropped the shirt back onto the floor.

Lex's room really was incredibly spare; it felt more like a guest room or a hotel room than someplace where he actually lived, and Clark thought Lex must not spend much time there at all. Just because it didn't feel like Lex, and Lex had the sort of personality that could overtake any place within minutes. Lex had been living here for almost a year, but from his room, he could have just moved in. Or be about to move out.

He found an old mystery on the nightstand, and he was reading, lounging against the headboard when Lex entered.

Clark could feel the big doofus grin spreading across his face. Like clockwork. "Hi."

"Clark." Lex rewarded him with a small smile as he moved towards the bed. "I didn't expect to find you here."

"Oh," said Clark, suddenly struck by the prospect that he'd done this all wrong. He continued, confused, "Was I -- did you want me to leave?"

"Not at all." Lex began to unbutton his cuffs and roll up his shirtsleeves. "When I didn't find you downstairs, I thought you had headed home. Make sure the farm hadn't burnt down and all that."

"Oh. No. My dad has one of our neighbors taking care of it, mostly. They don't really trust me after last time, and the party and everything."

Lex made a small noise Clark couldn't quite identify, and he climbed onto the bed to lie down the middle. Lex looked like he was stretching, like he was making a mark, conquering the entire bed, but he was hardly taking up any space at all, really. Which was a shame, because Clark kind of wished he had come a little bit closer.

Lex rolled his head toward Clark. "What were you reading?"

Clark silently flipped the cover of the book up for him.


"I found it over there. I didn't know you read this sort of thing."

"Keeps the mind sharp," Lex said. "I do crossword puzzles, too."

The only other person Clark knew who read mystery novels and did crosswords puzzles was his great-aunt. There were times when Clark had to remind himself that Lex was only a couple years older than he was.

Lex let out a deep breath and closed his eyes. "If you're hungry, there's plenty of food downstairs. Alice will make you whatever you want."

"Did you already eat?" Clark asked. He watched Lex breathe, chest rising and falling subtly. It was different, somehow, watching Lex while Lex couldn't see him. Nice. But then, it always felt like Lex was watching, even when he wasn't looking at you at all.

"I'm not hungry."

"Yeah," said Clark. "I'm not really either."

Lex's smile bared his teeth.

Clark set the book back down on the nightstand carefully, then scooted down the bed to lie beside Lex.

"Lex--" And it was stupid, but he did have to ask, because it wasn't that Lex was acting different. It was more like he was acting the same as always. "Can I kiss you?"

Lex sighed softly as he rolled over, halfway onto Clark, and licked Clark's bottom lip.

Slow kiss, deep and languorous, and Clark was almost melting, and he was so out of his depth here, but it didn't matter. It was Lex, and Lex was his best friend, and it was okay, and if Lex didn't have a problem with Clark just jumping him last night like some kind of freak, then ... then this would be fine, too.

"I like this," Lex said, breath soft against the corner of Clark's mouth. "You being here."

Clark squeezed his eyes shut for a second. "I like it, too," he managed.

"Good," said Lex, hardly more than another breath, so light Clark barely caught it. Clark expected him to kiss him again, but instead Lex bent his head, nuzzled against Clark's jaw and throat.

Clark made a noise that was pretty much just "mmm", and reached up to wrap his hand around the back of Lex's skull. He could feel the curve of it beneath his fingertips, the strength and solidity underneath. "Your head's so soft," Clark whispered, and if that was kind of a stupid thing to say, too, it really didn't matter at all.

Clark was completely aware of Lex's shirt as it pressed against his bare chest, and his skin tingled where Lex's hand rested at the side of his waist.

"Clark," Lex murmured, and Clark could feel teeth scrape slowly along his throat. His voice was low and vibrated against Clark's skin. Lex's hand drifted, skimming across Clark's chest and gliding over his nipple.

A groan escaped him, and he was trying to keep control, keep from moving too much, and asking for too much, even though this didn't feel like anywhere near enough. He wanted so much more, and Clark was used to wanting, but this was something he could have.

"Clark," Lex repeated, and he sat back, resting against Clark's thigh. He wasn't flustered, but he was closer to it than Clark had ever seen him, color bright in his cheeks and breath coming heavier. "Do you want me to touch you?"

And if the face-breaking smile and blush were permanent acquisitions, it would be more than worth it. "Yes. Yes." And Lex's mouth, as he licked his lips, opened it again to say something else, and Clark said, "I want to touch you, too, though."

Lex just gazed at him. "That can be arranged."

He climbed off of Clark to stand by the side of the bed, and Clark braced his arms behind himself to sit up. He sucked in a breath as Lex began to unbutton his shirt one-handed, lips parted and eyes fixed on Clark. The shirt slipped off his shoulders, and Lex broke the gaze to bend over and let his pants and underwear fall to the floor.

Lex in front of him, naked and hard and hairless, and Clark wondered if there could still be room in his face for anything but his eyes.

Lex stepped out of the pile at his feet and moved back to the edge of the bed. He leaned over and kissed Clark again; short and intent, like a reminder to Clark about something, but Clark couldn't imagine what Lex thought he could forget.

Lex's hand was in his hair. "Your clothes," he said, and Clark nodded. Jeans. Okay. He'd taken these off hundreds of times. It was easy. Nothing at all. That was, if Clark could get the stupid button to fucking open.

He watched Lex's hands push his away, begin to unfasten and unzip. He lifted his hips off the bed and Lex peeled off the pants and boxers in one smooth motion.

Then -- he was naked. With Lex. Again.

And this time yesterday, Clark was home at the farm, feeding the cows, and kissing Lex, having sex with Lex was the last thing he would have expected. Nothing but a vague sort of wish, longing at the edge of his mind -- the sideways images that floated up sometimes when he was around Lex, or when people talked about Lex in that tone of voice that made Clark want to yell and tell them that they didn't know Lex at all, or when he was all alone, in the shower or in the fortress or in his bed in the dark.

A day ago, it was nothing more than that, and he knew it never would be. And if he wasn't, you know, happy about that, he was accepting; it wasn't anything he ever thought to question or challenge.

Kissing Lex last night had been a bigger surprise to him than it ever could have been to Lex.

Lex had pushed him back on the bed and crawled over him. "I love your mouth," he said, between tiny shallow kisses. He tugged at Clark's shoulders, and Clark rolled them over as gently as he could.

"Lex," he said breathlessly, rocking and moving his hands over Lex's body. Warmer than he'd guessed, completely alive, and the texture was different, too: he hadn't expected it to be this variable. The skin of his skull, his ribs, hips, the back of his knees, all so distinct, and Clark had a nonsensical wish for hours, days, for enough time to learn him, know each of the differences. Taste them. "Do you want me to --"

Lex's mouth quirked into the same utterly familiar expression, the one practically etched on Clark's brain. "God, yes."

Oh. God, this grin really was going to be a permanent fixture, wasn't it? He kissed the corners of Lex's eyes, then his lips again. "Okay," he said.

More kisses. Lots of kisses. Taste Lex's throat, suck at his collarbone, lick the nipple, small bite at Lex's belly and another kiss to make it better. Lex was making quiet gasping noises, and his cock brushed wetly up against Clark.

Clark rubbed his face over Lex's belly again, moving down slowly to his hipbones, his upper thighs and cock. The smell was Lex, overwhelming and heavy, and he breathed in deeply.

The feel of Lex's cock in his mouth was like nothing else, ever, and Clark wondered how long Lex had wanted this, how long he -- they -- could have had this and had missed it.

It was so easy to do this, to suck Lex, licking and tasting and stroking, with the new fullness of his mouth, the rhythm and slide as his head moved, and the feeling of Lex beneath him, twisting and whispering words Clark couldn't make out. He wasn't even sure they were English.

"Fuck, Clark," Lex said abruptly and reverently, and jerked again. His name in Lex's mouth, and Lex's dick in his; Clark moaned around it. This should be even more and better, he thought, and he tried sucking harder, letting his tongue write patterns on the skin.

"Yes," Lex hissed sharply, and he was arching off the bed. "Jesus Christ," and Clark swallowed as best he could as Lex came into him.

He pulled off when Lex's quivering had mostly stopped. Lex's hands tangled in his hair again, pulled him up, and Lex's tongue began to explore his mouth slowly and leisurely.

Clark broke away. "Lex, please," he panted. He couldn't even think of any words. Nothing. "God, please. I need..."

Lex's eyes were as wide and open as Clark had ever seen them as he pushed Clark back down. "It's okay," he promised, and he wrapped his mouth around Clark's cock. It was sweet and warm and wet, so much more than Clark had imagined sex would be, and he wished he wasn't so far gone already just so he could stay here longer, forever. But then Lex swallowed again, and it was over as pure goodness shot through him. Like football and running through the fields as fast as he could and pretty girls and summer afternoons and milk straight from the bottle and the stars from his loft in the middle of the night and Lex's face when Clark had made him smile. Like all of it, but more.

Clark opened his eyes as Lex's mouth kissed a design across his face. He said helplessly, "Lex. That was amazing..."

His voice was disturbing to his own ears, too similar to the way he sounded as a little kid, given a bike or taken to a carnival -- all the same amazement and stupidity and loudness. Too close to childhood again, and the last thing he wanted to be around Lex was a kid.

"Shh," said Lex. "I know." He kissed Clark's ear and settled in close to him.

Clark wrapped himself around Lex, slick and hot and heavy, and he listened as Lex's breath gradually calmed and slowed. Asleep. Clark lay still and silent, letting his fingertips brush tiny strokes over Lex's bicep.

There was precedent now, he thought as he began to drift off. This made two times. That was a pattern, basically. That was a series.

He snapped awake to the sudden feeling of something missing. Lex stood in the middle of the room, buttoning his shirt. He raised his eyebrow at Clark. "Dinner?"

Lex had kind of soured on live-in help after the whole Palmer family thing, but the cook had left dinner in the fridge, two large plates of thinly sliced beef and salad.

Clark hadn't realized until he actually saw the food exactly how long it had been since he'd eaten. He attacked his plate, gulping the food down quickly.

Lex, on the other hand, seemed split evenly between eating and just watching Clark. He was seated across the table from Clark, a few feet away, not any closer than he'd ever sat before. But the distance was okay, because Clark knew he could touch Lex now, and that meant he didn't need to be right there. None of this was going to fade away when Lex left his sight. It was real.

The salad really was enormous: lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, peas. "You really eat all that produce," Clark said, spearing a piece of tomato with his fork.

"Most of it. The rest gets made into compost for the grounds. Alice starts bawling at the idea of throwing food away." Lex took a sip of water.

"We couldn't have that."

"No. I don't think making old women cry would be good for my image, do you? Lex Luthor, perfect gentleman. Friend to the little children and the dumb animals. All-around nice guy."

The gay sex with a minor probably wouldn't look good, either, but Clark wasn't going to mention that. "You're in a good mood," he said, amused.

"Mmm," Lex agreed. "I am. Earlier today I was ... tired." He looked down, rubbed his hand across the back of his head, and glanced up again and smiled suddenly. "You seem to have revived me."

Not talking about the nap, and Lex didn't sound like he was talking about the sex, either; his voice didn't have that tone in it, and that was significant, really, considering how much of Lex's conversation came off innuendo-laden. It made Clark think back to Lex by the fence when he'd lost his powers, to Lex with him in his loft watching the sunset or getting ready for the dance. All the times over and over that Lex had assured him that they'd always be friends.

It was almost scary to think about how much Lex cared about him. "I like doing that," Clark said. "Reviving you."

"Lucky me," said Lex, and it could have been flippant, if it wasn't for the expression on his face, thoughtful and completely serious, and for the intensity of his gaze like a tangible thing.

It was only a second, barely even a moment before Lex looked away from him again, and seemed to visibly relax himself, mold somehow into his normal state. It was fascinating, kind of, and Clark couldn't decide if he missed the stare or not. It was almost enough that Lex let him see it at all.

"What time are your parents coming home tomorrow?" Lex asked, leaning back and stretching his arms. Clark found himself following the movements in a decidedly non-smooth fashion, and jerked his eyes back up to Lex's face.

"I don't know, exactly. After breakfast and before dinner, I guess."

"So you should probably head home tonight, then," Lex said.

"Oh. Yeah, I guess." Clark bit his lip as he pushed the last piece of lettuce around his plate.

Lex walked around the table to stand against the table, next to Clark. "I'll give you a ride home."

Clark leaned over and let his head rest against Lex's side. "You could stay over."

"In your parents' house?" Clark could feel the muscles in Lex's stomach move against him as he sighed. "I should be sorry for putting you in a position where you have to lie to them." His hand stroked the nape of Clark's neck.

"Don't be. It's okay," Clark said softly. He didn't say, "I'm used to it," but he thought maybe Lex heard it anyway, there under the surface.

It was okay, in a way, because it was like a strange sort of balance. Keeping a secret from everybody for Lex, with Lex, almost made up for all the secrets he kept from Lex. It almost made them even.

"Oh, I'm not," said Lex. "I just think I should be." He took a step away, and turned around to hold his hand out to help Clark up. "Come on, Clark. We'll get you home."

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