by Kitty Fisher
Disclaimer: Not mine
Author's notes: Sweet boys, happy Lex, for Lorelei.
He walked away from the bridge, following the path that curved along the river's edge; walking slowly, his boots kicking up little puffs of dust off the barren ground, crunching softly as he stepped on pebbles and twigs. There were old soda cans, some battered and faded from exposure, some shiny, brand new as if they'd been thrown here in the last couple of days. He didn't play soccer with any of them, like he'd have done a few years back, when he'd spent hours here, just messing about, imagining taking a boat up-river and finding things. Boy things. He had different aims now.
Just where the river curved, he stopped and turned, looking behind him. He'd walked about 200 yards. It was very quiet; the flit and lap of water on damp earth very soft. In the distance he could hear a car, travelling fast. Lex's Porsche sat on the bridge, quiescent, still, the sun flashing brightly off its smoky glass. He couldn't see Lex anywhere. Which meant he hadn't somehow missed him. Clark frowned, peering over at the other bank, seeing the place where he'd dragged the inert body up onto dry land. A year ago? Less. It had been cold that day. Cold enough to make his breath mist in the air.
He checked the undergrowth, the trees that sat back from the river.
No one. He sighed, and walked on. It was very warm. Shrugging out of his jacket he hooked its collar onto his finger and slung it over his shoulder. Insects were darting in the air, gathering where water pooled in little inlets. He let them settle on his skin. They flew off quick enough. He wondered if they were confused. No dinner here, boys and girls. Go suck on different skin.
Lex was probably being eaten alive.
The river widened just past the bend. Clark found himself walking on a less well-used path. Less dust, more undergrowth. Vines snagged at his boots, and somewhere there was wild mint, he could smell it, strong in the morning sun. Garlic too. Sweet and cloying in his nostrils. He preferred the mint.
Which would only be smelling so strongly if someone had disturbed it.
Clark stepped off the path, and climbed slowly up the bank. Milkweed and mint, grasses rustling softly, seedheads full to bursting. The trees grew in a line that curved away from the water. He walked up towards them, through the swathes of Queen Ann's Lace, his fingers touching the froths of white blossom, the earthy scent lifting as he walked. Where the trees shaded him, he stood and turned, looking carefully from his higher vantage point. And there, further along, just where the bank dipped, hidden from the path, hidden from everything but the most determined seeker, sat Lex.
Frowning, Clark walked along the ridge, then dipped down to where Lex was hiding.
His dark, formal suit was dusty, the pant legs covered in seeds from where he had walked through long grass. He looked tired, his body loosely sprawled on the earth, one knee drawn up, the other leg curled under it. His skin was pale, shadowed under the closed eyes with a pale shade of lavender. The one hand that lay in the grass was a closed fist. The knuckles stark as bone tried to press though the skin.
"Hi." Clark jumped down into the dip. Lex jerked his eyes open. Seeing Clark, he let them half-close again, his body somehow relaxing, easing back into the ground, even though Clark was certain he hadn't seen him tense. "How did you know it was me?"
"A lucky guess."
"I could have been going to mug you.'
"Dunno - what does a millionaire normally carry around?"
"Bet your shoes are worth enough though."
Lex peered down at the black leather. "They're custom made, wouldn't fit anyone else."
"How would a mugger know that?"
A shrug. Clark stared at him. Seeing Lex like this was confusing. Not that he looked out of place or awkward, which was improbably true. But this was Lex. Lying on the grass, staining his expensive suit and looking if anything, well, forlorn. Which was a damned stupid idea and he wasn't sure where it had come from, unless reading too many of his mom's romances had done unspeakable things to his internal vocabulary. The romances had been meant to broaden his education - some of the sex scenes were way hot, Pete had been right about that - not add to his soppiness.
He sighed. Lex wasn't the stuff of romances. Especially not his own. "You just got back from Metropolis?"
"Clark, I don't do formal for riverside walks. It's a no-no in the gentleman's guide to everyday attire."
"So you are?"
"Yes." Pause. "Just back. I wanted to be alone."
Pointed. Clark ignored him. "I locked up your car."
"No problem. Even if they didn't mug you, someone might have taken that."
"They'd know it was mine."
"And that makes it safe to leave unlocked?" Maybe it did. Clark kicked his heel into the ground. He should walk away, leave Lex to whatever he was doing, alone half a mile from the road. Clark looked around; the river was dark grey, almost mirrored in the brightness. Then he sat down. The grass was warm to the touch. Tossing his jacket to one side, he lay back, looking up at the sky. "What are you doing here, Lex?"
"Trying to sleep."
There was a cloud, a tiny one, shaped just like a sheep. Clark smiled at it. The rest of the sky was blue, perfect, a huge spread of summer, arcing over the world. "Why didn't you go home?"
There was a rustling sound, and looking sideways, Clark watched as Lex turned onto his belly, resting his head on his folded arms. "This seemed a good idea. At the time."
"You mean when it was solitary?"
"I'm glad you used the past tense."
"I was worried about you." There was no sound here; just the soft swirl of moving water and the rustle of grass shifting above them in the breeze. "I saw the car and wondered what had happened."
"I wasn't re-enacting the drowning, Clark." Wry amusement, just, overlaid with a certain bitterness. "But the riverbank where I died? That's a perfect place to reassess one's life, wouldn't you say?"
"You died under the water - you came back to life here."
"Forgive me, the details are still a little hazy. I mean, if I trusted my memory I'd have to say I hit you with the car and that you should be more of a ghost than I am."
"You're not a ghost, Lex." He hadn't winced. He was sure of it.
"No?" Lex lifted his head, his eyes staring straight at Clark, their grey so cold, so starkly painful that Clark felt his own gut twist in sympathetic response.
It took him a moment to reply. "No. You're very much flesh and blood and alive."
"I wonder." Lex swallowed, his throat moving visible, before he tucked his head back onto his sleeve, leaving Clark staring at the sunlight catching a shine onto the naked skin of his scalp. There were stalks of grass clinging to the back of his jacket. Clark reached forward and picked one off, then another. Lex jerked, and rolled to one side.
The muscles in Lex's face tensed, then he shook his head very gently. "Why are you still here, Clark? I might have to be very rude to you."
"You might." Clark rolled the grass stem between his finger and thumb. "I bet you won't."
"For God's sake, why shouldn't I?"
"Because you like me."
Lex laughed. He sounded a little more like himself, though he didn't lift his head, just talked into the ground, his words slightly muffled. "Yeah, I like you, Clark. So nice of you to notice."
"I like you, too. That's why I was worried."
"You worry about everyone, Clark. I know that."
More about some than others. He didn't lie awake at night thinking about any of the other men he knew. Hell, these days even Lana was less in his thoughts than Lex. Whitney had taken a little of the gloss off his adoration of the fairy princess. Maybe he was outgrowing her. Along with a lot of other things.
Lex was quite still. The skin on the back of his neck was in a little fold, created by the angle he was resting at. Clark wondered what it would feel like if he ran his tongue along that shallow groove. Salt and sweat, maybe soap too. He knew Lex's smell. Knew what his mouth felt like, though he remembered only the taste of river water and the heart-stopping instant when he had begun breathing on his own. If he kissed him now, he would taste of something different. Wine maybe. Coffee from the end of his meal, or from an early breakfast if he'd stopped somewhere on the way back.
How did you seduce someone? The romance books had been unhelpful. He didn't have a cleavage and if his truck broke down and Lex found him, then Lex would only call his mechanic. Baking a cake didn't seem a bright idea either. Though Lex had enjoyed the ginger-cake his mother had sent up to the house after Lex got whacked over the head by his housekeeper's son. Clark had enjoyed it too. He enjoyed most things with Lex. Even this. Whatever they were doing.
"Aren't you uncomfortable in your jacket?"
Lex kept still for a moment, then he turned, rolling onto his side, propped on one elbow. "You don't want me to sleep, do you." It wasn't a question.
"I just thought you looked hot."
Lex sighed. He took in a sharp breath through his nose, then sat up the rest of the way. In a quick move he eased out of the jacket, letting it drop behind him. "Better?"
Shirtsleeves, undone black tie, trailing from his unbuttoned collar. Much better. Clark leaned forward, sure and certain that Lex could hear the pounding of his heart, and gripped one end of the tie in his fingers. Very slowly, he pulled, watching as it slid free from Lex's collar until it dropped lightly into his hand. "Now it is."
"Clark..." He sounded strained.
Maybe the seduction thing wasn't that hard after all. Clark looked into Lex's eyes, and slowly licked his lips. The tie was soft in his hand. He lifted it to his face, breathed in deeply. Silk, Lex, and the faintest trace of Chanel pour Homme. He knew it well. He'd spent forty dollars of birthday money on a bottle, just because he'd seen it on Lex's nightstand.
"I kissed you here."
Clark lifted his head. "I kissed you when I brought you back to life."
"And I keep thinking about the way you tasted."
"Clark, have you been sniffing glue?"
"Sampling the mushrooms that grow in your south pasture?"
"No, should I?"
"God, no! Your father would skin me."
"I'm not a child, Lex."
"No." Clark looked steadfastly at a patch of mint growing just by his jacket. He reached over, and brushed his fingers on the leaves, smiling as the scent rose headily into the air. "I've been wanting to kiss you for ages."
"Oh." Even not looking at Lex, Clark could tell he was intent, scarcely moving a muscle. He heard the intake of breath that was almost a thought spoken out loud. And the gap in the conversation where he clearly thought again and kept silent.
"I lie in bed and think about you. How that scar on your lip felt under my tongue."
Lex made a very incoherent noise. "Clark, please..."
"I know. You're tired. I shouldn't have made myself a nuisance - I'd better go now." He took hold of a clump of mint, held it tight in his hand, then he let go and began to stand up.
"Do you really?" Lex sounded odd. "Think about me, I mean, like that."
"Yeah. I want you. Like that." Clark thought about it. "I'd like to have sex with you." Which should clear up any misunderstandings.
"And you can't say you don't feel the same way." Clark was on his feet, brushing grass off his jeans, the scent of mint strong and sweet. He had no idea what he was doing. Or if he was making a fool of himself. He didn't really care. He'd said it. Unburdening really was a release. He smiled down at Lex. "I'll kiss you one day. Properly. When you aren't likely to die on me."
Three steps and he was at the top of the bank. The river was still flowing. It hadn't turned red, nor the sky orange. He even suspected his heart would return to its normal, measured beat quite soon.
"Clark. I'm not dying. Not today."
Ah. And what did that mean exactly? Clark shoved his hands into his pockets. "I guess not."
"And you've left your jacket behind."
Confidence slipped away just as suddenly as it had appeared. Clark chewed at his upper lip. He turned and looked down into the dip. "Is that why you called me back?"
"No." Lex was kneeling. He was squinting slightly in the early morning sunlight. "Why did you walk along here to find me?"
"I told you. I was worried about you."
"And I didn't want to have to drag you from the water again."
Lex stared into the distance. "My father thinks I'm having an affair with you."
Clark sat down. Then he slid the rest of the way back into the hollow. "Oh."
"Yeah, oh." Lex wiped his hands over his face. He looked thin and pale. It took a moment, then Clark realized what he felt was more than lust. More than a need to seduce and touch. His belly flipped over, hard, and he was sure the ground lurched beneath him. "What did you say to him?"
"I told him I wasn't." Lex put his hands on his thighs, and looked at Clark. "I told him I wasn't interested." Clark felt himself twitch. "I lied."
Clark concentrated on the silky feel of grass between his fingers, on the way Lex's hands looked pale against the black wool of his pants. "Did you?"
"Yes. I dream about you, Clark." A finger began to stroke patterns onto the wool. His nails were short, neat, probably manicured. "And I think about kissing you."
Clark felt slightly dizzy. "You never said."
"I couldn't think of a way." Lex's hand stilled, and he straightened, looking at Clark with a hint of fear deep in his eyes. "And I didn't want to be mistaken."
"Then come here."
Clark, without even thinking about it, scrambled over the grass to kneel facing Lex. "Here?"
Oh, yes. Lex, this close. There were specks of gold in the flat grey of his eyes. His lashes were pale, soft looking. "Lex..."
"If we do this, there's no turning back." Lex reached out and touched a hand to Clark's shirtfront. Just resting it there. Warm and strong, the fingers long and elegant, very steady as Clark stared at them. "You know that."
Clark nodded. "I think so." Oh, he could speak. Fantastical things then were possible. To think he had wanted to seduce Lex. It would have been so much easier just to manipulate Lex into seducing him. Hindsight, like history, had a complete agenda of its own.
"Your parents will freak too."
"You want that?"
"No. But I want this so much." Hesitantly, he lifted his hand and touched Lex's. After a moment, Lex wove their fingers together. "I'll fight for it." Another new concept. He hadn't known what this would mean. What knowing that Lex cared in the same way would do to him.
"You may have to. Though we could just fuck - not bother with all the other shit."
Oh, that was a dark, cold place. "Is that what you want?"
"No." Casual shrug that shifted the white cotton tight across Lex's broad shoulders. Skinny, Pete called him, but he wasn't.
"Good." And it was.
"See how it goes then, shall we?" Lex in formal mode. It always made Clark want to rip the suit off and make Lex say nothing but curses, over and over.
Lex smiled then. Clark grinned back. He'd never made a declaration of love before. It was easier than he'd expected.
"Clark. Before you make any decisions, I think you ought to kiss me first. We might not have the spark."
"You know, the whatever that makes for hot, horny sex."
Clark had thought that kissing Lex would be that automatically. Then his brain caught up with the rest of Lex's comment and he almost groaned out loud. Hot, horny sex. The words whirled around in Clark's head, doing a wild and slightly erratic dance. He could feel his cock pulsing in his jeans. Why wouldn't they have good sex? Clark came harder and faster from just thinking about Lex than anyone or anything else. He'd begun to have a hard-on just from walking into the shower, he'd jerked off in there so often. Always with Lex in his head. Lex wet. Lex playing pool, bending over the table - naked because that's what fantasies were for. Lex, his hands on the driving wheel, shouting Clark's name as he sucked him off. Lex just smiling.
Actually touching him might be positively historic. Closing his mouth, Clark swallowed and brought himself back to reality. There was a damn fine chance he looked as dumb as he felt.
"You think we might not? Have the spark thing."
"No. I want an excuse to kiss you, idiot."
"Oh." Lex, was teasing. Even that made Clark want him more. He leaned forward. Lex's skin was fine-grained, a dusting of sweat curved into the slight indent of his temples. "You don't need an excuse."
A breeze shivered through the grasses as Lex curled his hand around Clark's arm.
His best friend. The millionaire. The town pariah. The man he wanted to tell everything to. The man who...
Mouth met mouth, and Clark stopped thinking. Soft breath, mint and coffee, warm enough to raise skin into goosebumps all over his body. He groaned when Lex's tongue slid between his lips, and as he somehow shifted forward, sliding a knee between Clark's, bringing them close, kneeling up, bringing Clark with him.
Clark brought up a hand for balance, gripping Lex's shoulder, holding on as the kiss deepened, his lips widening without thought, parting to let Lex inside, to let his tongue fill his mouth, to possess it. Grinding into Lex, sucking his air, greedy, wanting the kiss to last forever, wanting the edge of need to last and last, though he knew he was close, too close, just from this. From Lex wanting him, kissing him. Clark edged his tongue into Lex's mouth, licked his teeth, sliding along his gum, teasing, bolder now. When he bit Lex's tongue, Lex groaned out loud, the sound reverberating in Clark's mouth, in his spine and all the way down to his balls.
He could make Lex groan with incoherent need.
Then he could do anything. Anything. Was going to do it all to every inch of Lex. Kiss it. Suck it. He brought his hands up and cupped Lex's head. Holding him closer, stroking his hands over the smooth, warm skin. Who needed hair, when skin felt like this. Clark grinned around the kiss, then gasped as Lex sucked his lower lip. Sucked it hard and just flickered his tongue over it, fast, before diving back into his mouth, deep and hard, before backing away, letting Clark breathe, feathering his lips with tiny kisses. Brushes of skin on skin.
Clark took a breath. Another, though it was hard when he was gasping. After a long moment he opened his eyes. Saw Lex looking at him. His lips were reddened, swollen. There were marks on his scalp from Clark's fingers. Clark groaned. Very little made sense other than the ache in his cock that seemed to envelop the entire world.
Let Lex what? Dazed, Clark watched as Lex unsnapped his jeans. The zipper was tough, and he had to curse softly before it would ease downwards. Over Clark's cock. Over his erection. Lex touching him. There.
Suddenly his chest was tight as a drum. "I'm going to come."
Smile. "Oh, I know."
Clark shushed. Though when Lex bent forward and sucked him into his mouth, he cried out softly, coming as soon as the heat of Lex's mouth wrapped around him, sucked him, worked him until he was spent and nothing but twitching flesh.
Lex kissed him, his mouth lingering on the softening heat. Clark looked down at him. His brain was having trouble processing the image. It looked like Lex Luthor had just blown him. And he had.
Smiling, Lex, looked him in the eye as he straightened. Licking his lips, his eyes bright, lazy with pleasure.
"Lex." Like identification. "Lex." Maybe he was permanently deprived of the ability to speak anything else.
"Clark, you taste... delicious."
God, Lex knew what he tasted like. Clark felt his cock twinge. Lex did too. He grinned. Patted the overeager length, and tucked it away. Then he put a hand on Clark's chest and pushed him backwards.
The world eased off its axis. Clark fell sideways, tumbling onto the grass, onto a cloud of mint; staring at the sky, then at Lex's face as he knelt. From somewhere he found the means to lift his hand, to touch Lex's mouth with one unsteady finger. "Thank you." He knew there was more. He knew he should be reciprocating, but Lex was smiling.
He nodded. And reached for Lex, pulling him down, making the breath oof from Lex's lungs as he held him tight. Not skinny. Slender, but the muscles were there, and Lex didn't feel as if he would break easily. He wasn't fragile. Clark palmed down the lean ribs, pressed his hands to Lex's ass. Watched as Lex's face grew serious.
"You didn't come, Lex."
"Do that again and I will."
Clark obliged. Pulling Lex to him, lifting his own hips as he pressed Lex into him, grinding in little circles. "Like this?"
Perfect face, eyes like a medieval saint, hooded and deep. Clark wanted to paint him, eat him, absorb him. Make him come, make him sob like a child as he screamed Clark's name. He tightened his grip, and lifting his face, bit the soft skin of Lex's neck, sucking just below his ear, scraping his teeth again and again, as he rocked Lex on his body, as he felt Lex tense, his hands clutching tight to Clark's shoulders as he shuddered, and with a muffled groan, came hard, his muscles wracked in waves of tension as he rode through it, held by Clark, grounded, safe.
Clark stroked Lex's back. The cotton shirt was very fine, damp from sweat, sticking to his skin, dragging as he stroked. The sky was still blue above his head; Clark stared up at it, his lips were smiling, though he was hardly aware of anything but the comforting weight of Lex's body.
When Lex stirred, Clark eased him to one side, rolling him off his body, turning to face him.
"I'm glad I followed you."
"I'm glad I came here. And that you found me." Lex stretched, one hand lax over his head as he stared up at the sky.
Clark watched him. Then he picked a sprig of mint, and traced it down Lex's neck, where the shirt buttons were open. "You think we're sparky then?"
"You know, compatible for the hot and horny sex stuff."
A quirk of Lex's lips, and Clark smiled. "I think we might be. Though for a true test, once is not enough."
"In a bed?"
"Anywhere you want."
"Not in The Beanery, please?" Lex smirked at him. "I gave up public displays for my sixteenth birthday."
"Okay. But I kinda like outside."
"Mmm. Me too." He sighed, and sat up. "Come along."
"Just come on." He was on his feet, climbing out of the hollow. Clark followed warily. He made sure he was tucked away, then, picking up their jackets, his boots skittering on the grass, made it down to the river's edge. Lex was staring at the expanse of water.
"What are you doing?" Lex looked... determined. Quite what for was a mystery. One Clark felt he might not like the answer to.
"Getting wet." And without even kicking off his shoes, Lex waded in.
"Come on. Just up to your knees."
"Damn it, Lex, are you crazy?" But even as he was complaining, Clark followed Lex into the water. It was cold, and horribly reminiscent of another day, one where they both might have died.
"Maybe. I don't care. I died here." He turned, and walked towards Clark, his shoes kicking up mud which darkened the water lapping around his pant legs. "I was reborn here."
"Oh." Clark took in a breath; the air was cooler here by the river.
Lex stopped at his side. "How many times do you think I can do this, come here and start again?"
"Cats have nine lives." Clark reached out and let his fingers cup Lex's. "You're catlike, sometimes."
"Well, I'm done now. This life, Clark, this is the one." He lifted his hand, bringing Clark's with it. Their fingers made a pleasing shape, woven together. Clark nodded. This life.
They walked out of the shallows and onto the bank. Lex's shoes squelched as he walked.
The car was waiting for them. Climbing up to the bridge they walked along the sidewalk, past the stretch of newly mended railing. Clark watched as Lex idly ran his fingers along it. His face was calm, very slightly remote. At the car, Clark tossed the keys to Lex. The central locking beeped softly as it was released.
Clark climbed into the passenger seat, Lex, neat and contained, sat behind the wheel, his hands resting on the leather.
He would tell Lex one day. Sooner, rather than later. It was fair.
"The diner over on Pemberton, okay?"
"You don't want to change?"
"No, I'm starving." He glanced at Clark, then started up the engine. "Can you come home with me, afterwards?"
"Yeah." Clark smiled, warming right through at the answering brightness in Lex's eyes.
Clark sat back, settling into the seat as Lex pulled out into the road. All he could smell was mint. It made him smile. Maybe it always would.
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