The Bed is Empty

by jessica

Disclaimer: It's true, I don't own them. I try not to think about it.

Feedback: fills the empty spaces.

Summary: Lex knows.

When he was small, Lex often mistook Pamela for his mother. She explained to him that they wore the same perfume but Lex knew it was more than that. He always knew when she was in the room, watching over him, silently. It felt like a mother was supposed to. Lex was confused, the first time he turned around and saw Pam. But it didn't take him long to get used to it.

When he was big, he couldn't feel Pamela anymore. His mother's perfume had long faded from the house, replaced with something that was nothing like his father and everything like Lionel Luthor. Lionel was in every room and, hiding behind doors and in closets, Lex tried to escape. He could still feel him, even with a fog on his mind and a mouth on his cock. And that's when Lex realised that it wasn't Lionel he could feel.

Exiled to an abandoned castle, more than anything, Lex was afraid of being alone with himself. His father was only a helicopter away and the Luthors were on the air in every stale room, but he couldn't feel anything. Until Lex caught himself in a moment, half unconscious and coughing up bitter river water. He couldn't escape Clark after that. Lex was sure of this presence. There was no confusion about what or who it was.

And still Clark tries to sneak into their room before the sun; like he doesn't know that even half asleep, glass of water on the bedside table, Lex knows that he's there.

Clark feels like a soft kiss on his cheek and words to match in his ear.

"I have to sleep."

Lex is in his office, talking to Japan, when Clark announces that he's heading to bed.

"You're gonna stay up a little longer?"

A nod. Another kiss and Clark leaves him.

Days often end like this. With exams and mergers, they can go days without seeing each other. In recent years, the dinner hour, once spent in a dark booth in an expensive restaurant, has become a five minute meeting in the kitchen when schedules overlap.

Time is becoming a conscious effort to spend together. They are becoming more easily distracted. Lex tells himself that it won't last forever and walks upstairs to join Clark.

The bed is empty. The cover has been thrown back but the sheets are smooth. The bed hasn't been slept in, but Lex is supposed to believe it has.

He sits at the edge, closes his eyes. Lex closes his eyes and tries to feel Clark in the room. He wonders if Clark can feel him too. He wonders if Clark could feel him coming every time that Lex climbed the barn loft stairs after dark.

Lex falls asleep, in his clothes, above the covers, and doesn't wake until he hears Clark, quietly, crossing the room. He doesn't look at Lex, but walks into the bathroom, stripping his clothes as he goes.

Lex undresses too, gets under the covers and waits for Clark to return. Clark isn't expecting him to be awake; Lex can see that on his face. But more too. His eyes are different. Lex pretends to be asleep most nights, doesn't look into his eyes until morning. Clark has been able to hide this.

"Are you okay?" Lex asks.

Clark nods, only a tiny movement of his still body.

"Well, get in here." Lex pulls the blanket away, then wraps it around the already warm body when Clark lays down next to him. Clark lays close, pressing a hand to Lex's chest, silently waiting.

"Have you discovered healing powers now?"

"I wish," Clark sighs, moving his hand slowly. He lays his head on Lex's chest, still wet hair soaking through the t-shirt. Lex doesn't feel the cold with Clark's arms around him, but he knows it's there. It reminds him of the first time he could feel Clark, when he knew what it was, but when it didn't have a name.

They don't sleep. The last hours of night pass slowly with their eyes open.

When, finally, the sun peeks through the buildings of Metropolis, Lex speaks.

"When are you going to tell me what you do at night?"

Clark tenses but Lex believes that he knew the question was coming.

Silence. At times like these, Lex wishes for a clock, not the red burn of the digital alarm. Something older, with the clicking passage of time that Lex can trust.

"As soon as I know what to call it," Clark whispers. "You'll be the first one to know."


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