Long After Midnight

by edie

Thanks to Alax for the awesome beta!

Clark didn't know what time it was, and if he was being honest with himself, he didn't really care anymore. His father had seriously pissed him off this time. Oh, sure, he was used to the periodical rants about 'The Luthors' and all they'd done to ruin the town. He'd even learned to tune most of them out and just nod in the right places. He wasn't even sure what had made him snap this time. Maybe it was just stress.

Or maybe it was the dream that had haunted him all day.

The dream he'd been having for weeks but had been especially vivid this morning. The soft skin, graceful limbs, gray eyes; the parts of Lex's body that he'd only seen glimpses of, intensified by the images from his dream, ran through his mind every time he closed his eyes.

The moonlight played over the water, casting shadows and dancing on the rocks he knew were buried in the shallow creek bed. He just sat on the bank of the creek, knees to his chin, arms wrapped around them, just staring over the water.

Memories of the dreams crowded his thoughts, pushed at the fringes, forced him to think and analyze them. Things that were too scary to actually form complete thoughts

There hadn't been any dreams about Lana lately. Even when he had dreamed about Lana, they had been friendly things, like picnics and football games with hugs. Not like these sweaty, intense ones about Lex.

Did the dreams mean he was gay? Even if he could come to terms with possibly being gay, what did that mean? Did Lex ever think of him like that? How would he find out? Would this make him a bigger freak or would anyone even notice?

What would his dad say? His dad had made it obviously clear what he thought of Lex as a choice for a friend. How would he react to something like this?

Clark shook his head and hugged his knees tighter to his chest. Futile thoughts. None of them mattered. Lex obviously liked women, after Victoria he really had no doubt. He sighed and stared back at the water.

Three nights later, he was back at the creek, the cool breeze of the night calming him. He was having entirely too many arguments with his dad. Lex again. This time his father said something about Lex being just like his father and Dad hadn't liked it when Clark had brought up the plant and getting the farm back. Or when he'd helped Whitney and his dad with the Sharks practice. There were so many other things his dad didn't know about that Clark couldn't tell him. How Lex never mentioned Pete's gun wielding night. How he just took the rudeness his father spouted when he'd been sick. When he'd saved Clark in that cornfield. So much that he just couldn't bring himself to share with his father. Things that were either too embarrassing to share or things that just weren't his story to tell. And it wasn't like his father would listen and believe anything he had to say about Lex anyway.

He was tired of defending Lex to his dad. Tired of having to defend him. He just wanted to scream and make him understand.

The leaves of the tree he'd leaned on shifted in the wind. It was becoming a habit. A ritual. Showing up here, at the water, sometime after midnight, staying until just before dawn. Alone in the silence, Clark waited for the breeze to whisper an answer. Or even the right question.

He tried to cover the yawn. It just wasn't polite to yawn in Lex's face like this. And it wasn't like he was bored. And there was no way he wanted to go home when Lex was here talking to him, paying attention to him. But here he was, yawning.

"Not getting enough sleep, Clark?" Lex asked with a raise of his eyebrow.

Clark smiled in return, answered, "Having weird dreams."

"Oh yeah?" Lex could make anything sound dirty.

Clark blushed and just nodded. "Just vague dreams that don't let me get back to sleep. I've been spending my nights at the creek over in the woods, near where Kyle used to live. It's peaceful there."

"Not the loft?"

"Nah...too close, y'know? Just need to get away from everyone and everything sometimes."

Lex nodded like he knew exactly what Clark was talking about. Clark just shrugged and folded his arms in front of him. "So, what were you saying? About the castle renovation?"

Clark went back to listening to Lex talk. He was talking about construction on his office and how slow it was going, and Clark just couldn't pay attention. Instead he found himself staring at Lex's lips, the way they moved, that little scar above his upper lip. The way his tongue poked out of his mouth as he emphasized specific words. He hoped he looked like he was paying attention. He forced his eyes back to Lex's and found that Lex had stopped talking. And he hadn't been paying attention.

Lex laughed, "Okay, Clark. I'm taking you home. Either I'm infinitely boring or you're more tired than I've ever seen you. And I'm hoping for the latter. Come on."

Clark tried to protest. He heard the words in his head, but somehow they never reached his lips. Clark just chalked it up to exhaustion and followed Lex out of the coffee house.

The ride home was mostly silent. He felt Lex's eyes on him intermittently, but just stared out the window.

Short good-night to Lex, quick nod at his parents, and he was undressed and in bed within minutes, hoping the night would bring a dreamless sleep.

Unfortunately it didn't work out that way. He got a few hours in, but sometime when the moon was full and most people were asleep, he found himself back in his spot against the tree, staring at the creek.

He wasn't even sure what brought him here. Nothing significant had happened here; it wasn't like the swimming hole he'd spent hours in as a kid with Pete, or public pool they'd gone to in Smallville proper up until last summer with Chloe. And it was nothing like the river that he'd pulled Lex from last fall. It was just a quiet place, with moonlight flickering on the water and he was alone. Alone with his thoughts to let them roam and wander.

Somehow they always ended back on Lex, though.

He had no one to talk to about the dreams with. No one to find out if these feelings were just normal, maybe hero-worship, maybe all boys had them at one time. He couldn't ask his father. Not even a remote possibility. Pete? With all the issues he has with Lex? And Chloe still wasn't talking to him after the formal debacle. And Lana was no better since all she ever did was talk about Whitney.

Clark sighed and listened to the wind. Watched the water. Thought.

Could have been hours, could have been minutes. He wasn't sure. All he knew was that someone else was there. It wasn't something he heard or even saw. It was more something he felt. The solitude, the calmness, the actual reason he was here, changed.

And when he heard the voice, he should have known. The only person he'd even mentioned this place to, the only person that wouldn't ruin it with his very presence. It figures he'd show up here.

"I thought you were going to sleep, Clark."

"I did. Dreams woke me up again."

Clark moved a bit, so only half of his back was against the tree. Open invitation for Lex to sit next to him and lean too. Lex looked at Clark, and flicked his eyes to the ground as if measuring the amount his dry cleaning bill was going to be with ground in mud. It was barely recognizable, but so Lex that it made Clark grin before Lex gracefully dropped next to Clark against the tree.

"Want to talk about the dreams? They're probably normal, and all that."

Clark shook his head. "I can't remember details, just vague glimpses. A broad generalization of what the dream was about." Clark tried not to blush, and hoped in the moonlight that Lex wouldn't see.


Clark just shook his head, staring at the water. Lex tried again, "Chloe?" Clark gave Lex a look, one he hoped said, 'quit asking,' and shook his head again.

"Is there something else that you want to talk about, Clark?"

"Not especially."

Lex nodded and folded himself to mirror Clark's position. Resting his chin on his folded hands, he sat.

"Are you usually here long, Clark?"

"Usually until sunrise. Then I have to help with the chores. I think my parents assume I'm in the barn, so they haven't said anything. What time is it, anyways?"

"Late. I think I left the house about 3 to come look for you."

Clark nodded. "Couple of hours then. You don't have to stay."

"No, I want to, if you don't mind. In case you decide you want to talk about whatever it is. It seems rather important. I'm just wondering if I should see if there's a blanket or something in the car." He rubbed his hands up and down his arms, trying to warm them.

"Where did you park? I didn't hear anything." He was already taking off his flannel. Already draping it around Lex before Lex could answer him. He just took the look he got from Lex, not acknowledging anything.

"Back by the road. It was quite a walk out here."

Clark just nodded and turned back to the creek.

It was still dark when Clark looked over at Lex and noticed him shivering slightly. "Still cold?" Lex just looked at him. Clark wrapped an arm around Lex and pulled him into his side. Clark didn't even attempt to give into the little resistance Lex offered. Instead, he enjoyed the feeling of Lex pressed against his side, trying not to think about anything except how right and how good that felt.

When the sky turned light purple and the stars faded, Clark stood up and tugged Lex up to stand next to him.

"Want a ride back to your place?"

Clark nodded and followed Lex to his car.

Clark was prepared the next night. A blanket and thermos of hot chocolate accompanied him to his creek and tree. He didn't know if Lex would show up again, but he hoped. Hoped that it meant something. Hoped it meant something more than Lex couldn't sleep. That Lex came out here to sit with him.

He didn't have to wait very long, maybe an hour, maybe a little less. Clark didn't know what time it was, he only knew that he'd gone to bed at ten when his parents did and that he'd woken up a few hours later with the dream.

The time he did wait, he was able to reflect on the dream. He remembered more this time, something beyond the skin and eyes. The smell of sweat, the taste of Lex's skin and the feel of it had filled his senses. And this time he'd woken up with Lex's name on his lips.

Clark didn't turn around when he heard Lex. He just let him sit down next to him. This time though, thoughts of the dream gave way into thoughts of what this meant. What it could mean. Clark wanted to believe. He wanted to hope. But he was afraid of hoping too much, afraid of believing too much and he had no idea what to do. No idea what to say.

Clark passed the thermos to Lex without looking at him. He felt Lex's eyes on him but he didn't turn towards him. He kept looking at the water, trying not to blush. Lex spoke first, "Are you sure you don't want to talk about the dream? I can be a good listener, Clark. Who knows? I may have gone through the same thing at one point."

Clark thought about it for a moment and said "I don't know if it would help. The dream just brings up all kinds of questions that I don't have the answers to, and I don't know how to get the answers. It's all just confusing."

Lex nodded and folded himself into Clark's position again.

"After my mother died, I did a lot of things that I am not proud of. I didn't have anyone I could talk to about everything I was going through." Lex paused for a few seconds, licked his lips and narrowed his eyes at the water.

"I couldn't go to Lionel. Even before Mom's funeral, he sent away the only person I could talk to. The only two people I had ever loved were gone. There just wasn't anyone I could trust. I was scared and confused. And I was just discovering a lot of things about myself. I wish I'd had someone to talk to then. Things might be completely different if I had."

Clark looked at Lex, wide-eyed and a little shocked. "Wow. Lex, I really don't know what to say to that."

"Does it change your opinion of me, Clark?"

Clark shook his head fiercely. "No way, Lex. It couldn't."

Lex nodded and turned back to the water. "You were right, Clark. This place is calming."

Clark nodded and thought about what Lex had said. Wondered if he could talk to Lex about everything without letting Lex know it was him he was confused about. Or if he should just get everything out there, tell Lex everything.

Despite the blanket and thermos, Lex was still shivering before long. He leaned into Clark this time, asking for his arm without words. They sat, leaning against the tree, leaning into each other, just watching the moonlight play over the water.

After a while, Clark's voice broke the easy silence. "You're sure that whatever I'm dreaming is normal? And that no matter what it is you'll understand?"

Lex nodded. "No matter what, Clark, we'll still be friends."

Clark nodded. "Even if the dreams are about you?"

Clark heard the sharp intake of breath and felt the heat flood his cheeks and ears. His gaze didn't leave the water though, and he left his arm around Lex. Lex didn't pull away or freak out, so Clark took that as at least a positive sign that Lex wasn't lying about the always being friends.

"The dreams were about me?"

Clark nodded and held his breath.

"What about me?"

Clark still didn't look at Lex. He couldn't. "Exactly what you think, Lex. Mostly, I remember skin and sweat and," he finally got the courage to look at Lex, "you."

Lex made a strangled noise and Clark was a little worried now.

"Lex? You said I could tell you anything. You said it would be okay. Please tell me this is okay. Please?"

Clark took his arm from around Lex and folded his hands in his lap. He looked up at the water again, rather than look back at Lex, but he could see Lex looking at him again out of the corner of his eye.

"Clark. Look at me."

Clark turned, raised his eyes to Lex's and waited. "It's okay. It's completely okay. I said you could tell me anything, and I meant it. I just...I don't know if I should...What do you want to...Clark? I'm sorry I should know what to say."

Clark stared at Lex for a long moment. "It's okay that the dreams are about you? Or do you mean that it's ok that they're about guys? I don't know if this means I'm gay, or if I just feel this way about you, or if it's just a passing thing and I'll get over it. I do know that I like you and...really, that's the only thing I've been totally sure about."

"All of those things are okay. And you need to know that you aren't the only one that feels that way. I...I like you, too, Clark."

Clark decided he had nothing left to lose. He'd already offered up his dignity and some of his secrets. He put his arm back around Lex and awkwardly dropped a very chaste kiss onto his lips. One of those kisses that reminded you of family or friends of your parents. Lex smiled and asked, "Want to try that again?"

Clark grinned, sheepishly and nodded. "I don't really know how..." Lex cut him off mid-sentence. He shoved his hands in Clark's hair and dragged his mouth to meet his. The little noise of surprise Clark made was swallowed by Lex's questing mouth. Lips pressed to his, and Lex's slick tongue pressed inside. A shot of arousal shot through Clark. It started in his belly, twisting upwards, tightening his chest. He heard himself moaning.

When Lex pulled away, Clark whimpered before he could stop the sound. He opened his eyes to find himself sprawled on the blanket with Lex stretched out on top of him. There was a grin on Lex's face and his hands were running across his chest, and somehow their hips had lined up together, and Clark could only grin back.

"It's almost dawn, I think, Clark. Maybe we should get you back to the farm?"

Clark frowned and shook his head. "I don't want to go...unless you're saying you want to go...If I'm horrible at this or..."

Lex rocked his hips against Clark's. "Does this feel like I want to go?" Clark gasped and his eyes flew open wide. "I just don't want to confuse you or rush you or freak you out."

"You haven't, Lex. I don't want to go yet."

Lex nodded and slid next to Clark, snuggling up next to him. Lex pressed another kiss to Clark's lips and twisted so his head was on Clark's chest. Clark stretched with his hands behind his head and closed his eyes. It felt right to have Lex leaning on him. Right enough that Clark finally felt himself relax.

Clark woke up with fingers trailing down his face. He sat up abruptly and looked around. Lex was still touching him.

"I thought you better wake up before the sun rose."

Clark smiled and leaned forward in the hopes that Lex would kiss him again. He wasn't disappointed. Lex's lips met his, gently at first, but then Lex's tongue was in his mouth, sliding against his own tongue, exploring his mouth and Clark wrapped his arms around Lex to drag him closer.

Lex pulled away, lips shiny in the low light. "Clark, I have to get you home. At least you got a little sleep."

He stood and held his hand out to Clark, smiling as he continued. "And next time you can't sleep, come over to the castle. If nothing else, it's warmer."

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