The Push and the Pull

by jessica

Disclaimer: this is my Clark, my Lex. You have your own.

Notes: Pearl-o did the beta. Then Jack got a hold of it and tore it apart all over again. And it wouldn't be this good without either of them.

Feedback: teases me like the beautiful boy in the house down the street.

Summary: Best looking boys don't always go all the way.

Clark is kissing him again. Lex sneaks his hands under the t-shirt and makes Clark moan. This is Lex's favourite part of the night.

After they've been to a movie, where Clark whispers plotlines in the dark: Chloe and Pete catch them at the concession, insist on joining them. Chloe sits too close and it doesn't escape her notice when Lex reaches over and takes Clark's greasy hand in his own.

"When were you going to tell me about this?" she hisses in Clark's ear.

"Um, now?"

Lex just squeezes him tighter.

After they've been to the Talon, where Clark sits too close on the couch: They drink coffee with only a few words between them. Lex asks about school. Clark tells him about the fight in the boys' locker room before gym class. As Lex stretches out, putting his feet up on the table, Clark tucks his own legs up.

"What are you thinking about?" Clark asks after another long silence, parking his chin on Lex's shoulder.


After they've been to a football game, where they huddle together under a blanket Clark brought from home: Lex grumbles, something about not being one for team sports, before Clark reminds him that football is an easy topic with Jonathan Kent. He pulls Lex's hat down to cover his ears. Lex rolls his eyes and pinches Clark under the blanket.

"What's the score?"

"Doesn't matter," says Clark, then kisses his cheek.

Lex kisses first when they're alone in the loft. Half an hour of Jonathan, Martha, and apple pie, and Clark doesn't say no when Lex pushes him back on the couch. He always gets a bit of a thrill making out with Clark. It's like being the kind of teenager Lex never got to be. Clark kisses long, and there are always loud protests when Lex has to pull away for breath. It reminds Lex of swimming underwater, only he keeps trying to dive deeper instead of making his way to the surface.

Lex is on top; it usually happens this way. Even when Clark starts the kissing, it's Lex who likes to stay in control. He's the one who smothers Clark, likes to feel their bodies pressed together. He's the one on top because they both know that Clark's not ready. They're hard, and Clark is moaning softly into his mouth, but more often lately, Lex is just waiting for the stop.

"Lex," Clark gasps. "Lex, wait."

"Yeah." He lets out a resigned sigh, then rolls off, pressing his back against the couch.

Propped up on an elbow, Lex watches Clark push his shirt down, rearrange himself. His touch brings Clark's eyes up as he runs his hand through the dark curls. Then Clark's focus shifts again, and Lex watches him button his jeans. He doesn't remember doing that.


"What for? Under the shirt is barely first base, Lex."

"I think I put us a little closer to third when I started in on your jeans."

Clark runs a hand over Lex's shirt, starting to smooth the wrinkles away, then decides to bring him down for another kiss.

"It's okay," he says between kisses. "I'm wearing underwear this time."

They're not supposed to go all the way, but the way Clark keeps kissing him is changing the rules. Lips, warm and confident, trap Lex in a loop of time. Clark's tongue is playing games, hiding, while Lex tries to move them forward.

He can feel the heat deep in his body and, even through the fabric, Clark's fingers burn, though it's nothing more than a caress, a hand on his back in a slow and lazy touch. It matches the kisses, the kind that are supposed to happen right after you come, when you're still in that warm glow and simple contact can get you trembling again.

Lex doesn't remember it being like this when he was a teenager.

"Why can't you be six years older?" he moans into Clark's mouth. Clark pulls away to laugh, keeps touching with the hand at Lex's back.

"Wouldn't you rather be six years younger?"

"Yeah," Lex agrees, grinning. "But we'd still be making out in your parents' barn."

Clark laughs; he always does. He's always smiling or laughing about something and, on the really good days, Lex can make him giggle. He stretches up to press a quick kiss to Lex's forehead, then draws them down to lie on the couch, as close as possible. There's not much space and Lex ends up half on the couch, half on Clark, his erection digging into Clark's hip and a knee pressed against Clark's own.

They talked about it, about a month ago, when all this started. All the first kisses happened in a doorway on a porch or over a stick shift in a car. They were nice. Clark's tongue would touch tentatively at Lex's lips, then retreat just as shyly. Then the kisses led upstairs to Clark's loft in the barn or Lex's office in the castle. Those kisses were better. Clark's hands would reach out to let him in.

There's a line, but Clark makes Lex feel like he can stand right at the edge. Lex is never quite sure where they're going, but it's always good.

He's almost asleep, his face is buried in Clark's neck. Clark is tracing the ridges of his ear and it makes Lex shiver before he remembers the warmth beneath him.

"Thank you," Clark says, softly. "For being patient."

Lex doesn't say anything, just kisses the skin where his lips are resting. It's quiet, dark, and it's getting later. They usually don't have to worry about Clark's parents, not on the nights that Lex agrees to the post-date debriefing. Lex doesn't often turn down Martha's pie.

When they come out to the loft, sometimes it really is just to talk.

"How long has it been?"

Lex pushes himself up and studies Clark, trying to figure out what kind of answer he wants to that question.

"How long has it been since someone made you wait?" Clark grins.

Lex grins back. "Luthors don't wait."

"But you do." Clark turns them over to climb atop Lex. "What do you think that says about you?"

This is where it starts to get confusing. Clark wants to wait, but he hasn't said how long. Now he's sitting above Lex, hair messy and falling in his eyes, lips wet and swollen from too many kisses. These are the moments that get Lex hard; Clark must be able to feel it, straddled across his hips. These are the moments that Lex uses after dark when he needs to get off and he hasn't let himself do it with Clark.

"It says you had better be worth it, Farmboy."

He moves Clark's shirt away, just a bit, just enough to stroke the soft skin underneath. His hands slide around to the back and Lex sits upright, pressing their chests together. Lex takes his lips, and soon it's Clark who has to hold them up.

Maybe it doesn't have to go anywhere just yet. A kiss on a couch in a barn and Lex has never felt like this. They're pressed close. Clark is still kissing him. Lex thinks that this could be it, that this could be all he needs to keep him right here. Clark isn't ready to pull and that's okay. Lex doesn't want to push. So they just keep kissing.

Clark isn't home from school yet. Jonathan is making the coffee because Martha is in Metropolis. This is something Lex loves, being welcome when he drops by unannounced.

Before breakfast, when he knows Clark hasn't left yet: Martha is baking fresh muffins and she offers him an oatmeal blueberry with melting butter. Lex takes a seat at the table, nodding at Martha's conversation and trying to keep his eyes on the muffin. He tries not to let them travel up the stairs and if he can't, he tries to do it when her back is turned.

"Be patient, Lex," Martha says when she catches him. "He'll be down in a minute."

Before lunch, when he finds Clark in the hallway outside the Torch: He tries to tempt Clark into the car with the enticement of his mouth and promises that break speed limits. Eyes flashing, Clark leads them past classrooms and brightly coloured lockers and closes them inside a janitor's closet instead. Lex used to make fun of girls who lost time and space in their lovers' eyes. Then the bell rings, Clark breaks the kiss and lunch is over.

"Gotta go," Clark whispers, and he leaves Lex lost in the closet wondering where time goes.

Before dinner, when Clark invites him over without asking his parents: Martha sets another place at the table and sends Lex to wash his hands. He leaves the door open and listens to Clark come out to his parents. He might have not agreed to dinner if he had known this was happening tonight. Lex stares at himself in the mirror, tells himself to go out there, to stand beside Clark if Clark won't let him stand in front.

"I love him," Lex says, when the Kents turn to watch him step into the kitchen.

Jonathan's shoulders don't tense around Lex the way they used to; it's a whole new way now. Lex is sure it's not about being a Luthor anymore. It took the fall of Roger Nixon, but things are different between them. These days the tension between them is still about Clark, just in a whole new way.

"What are you boys doing today?" Jonathan asks. Lex takes the mug he's handed and leans back against the counter.

"I don't know, Mr. Kent. It's always different with Clark."

Jonathan smiles, nods that he understands.

"He did his chores pretty fast this morning," Jonathan says. He laughs, then corrects himself. "Faster than usual. With Martha away for dinner tonight, I thought you might have made some plans."

"I haven't talked to Clark today, Mr. Kent."

"But you knew your father would be going to Metropolis. You must have known Martha would be with him."

"Clark still needs your permission."

Jonathan looks at him, pointedly. There's a long moment as he sips from his mug, watching over the rim. Lex is afraid to breathe, much less lift his own mug to his lips. The coffee in his cup cools in the long silence. Jonathan's looking for something, searching his face, and Lex almost laughs, knowing he won't find it. He isn't Clark, and even his own father used to miss the signs.

"He'll be home any minute." Jonathan gets up from his stool and puts the empty mug in the sink, like he doesn't even know he's doing it. "Tell Clark I'm in the fields." He stops to stand in front of Lex on his way out. "Tell him not to worry about dinner."

"Yes, sir." Lex barely gets the words out, then Jonathan is gone.

Lex is still standing at the counter when Clark comes through the door, dust in his hair. He shakes himself out like a big dog. It makes Lex laugh; Martha would never allow that in the house.

Clark looks up at the sound and blushes, an involuntary reaction that only lasts a second.

"Don't say anything," warns Clark.

"I think I'm allowed," Lex teases back.

Clark glares at him, then lets it go with a smile. He kicks off his boots and leaves them at the door. He's humming to himself, walking to the fridge and kissing Lex's cheek as he passes. It's a glimpse of something Lex thinks might be their future. There's a smile on his lips as he watches Clark pouring milk into a glass from the cupboard.

"Your mother's not home."

"I know," Clark says, drinking the milk down in one big gulp. "It would still feel wrong."

"Because someone might see you?"

He just grins, doesn't say anything, and puts the bottle back in the fridge. The glass goes in the sink with the same unconscious action as his father. Then Clark is standing in front of Lex, eyes on his lips. The potential kiss hangs in the air.

"You're waiting for me?" Clark asks.

With a mischievous smile, he watches Lex, like the right answer could change the world.

"I can wait longer."

Clark likes the answer because he leans forward to kiss him. Like all of the kisses Lex has had in this kitchen, it's Clark's lips on his, Clark's hands on the counter. Martha's more than three hours away, but this is her kitchen, the Kents' house. Clark is kissing him against the counter like Jonathan and Martha are waiting at the table to start dinner.

"Wanna go to my room instead?"

Lex opens his eyes to that mischief still there. Clark pushes their hips together and they both moan, Clark louder than he has before, like he doesn't have to stay quiet anymore. Lex tries to say no, tries to shake his head, but Clark is kissing his words away.

"I won't make you wait, Lex."

When he doesn't speak, or move, Clark takes his hand and leads them upstairs. They're quiet, listening to the click of Lex's shoes on the stairs. Clark is in his socks and stepping carefully, like sneaking in after curfew. There are four doors at the top of the stairs. Clark's room is clearly marked; on the door is a wooden sign that Lex knows Jonathan made Clark for his fifth birthday. He waits for Clark to open the door and steps in.

Lex can count exactly how many times he has been in this room. He used to think that Clark just preferred the loft, but this is something different. In the loft, in the barn, he can be Clark, that dorky Kent boy who has great friends and isn't too good with girls. On the bed, making out with his boyfriend, he's the Clark who lives in this room. Pete knows about the powers, and Chloe knows about Lex. Clark must know that a door can't hold in all your secrets forever.

Clark is pulling now. He tries to get Lex's shirt off, yanking when the cuffs get caught at his wrists. He pushes Lex back on the bed, then reaches up to get his own shirt off. Lex grabs at Clark's jeans and tries to work the button. Deep breath, and they're open.

"I'm not wearing underwear," Clark says, a warning he never really planned to give.

Lex looks up at him and wonders how many times the world can change in a week. This is only the second time they've made out in Clark's bed. The first time was the first time, when Clark set the rules. Lex fingers the stiff curls under the jeans and Clark moans like the sound of rules breaking.

It happens fast, but it happens. They kiss, tongues wet, and Lex gets his hand around Clark. Lex strokes him and soon Clark is bucking, groaning, breaking the kiss to suck at Lex's throat, neck and shoulder. Then Clark is coming into his hand, and Lex is still hard, but he knows he won't have to wait.

"So much better than I thought," he breathes. Clark is kissing Lex again, pulling, giving permission to push. "And we haven't even gone all the way."

Lex pulls into the driveway. Clark is waiting on the doorstep. This is what makes Lex come home.

If he's at the plant, and he starts to feel that ache: Clark held on too tight the last night and Lex is reminded when he reaches too far. Gabe looks at him funny each time he groans.

"Long night, Lex?"

It's a genuine smile, that friendly one that Gabe has for everyone. Lex is almost sure he's not teasing, but he doesn't know what Chloe has told her dad. Lex shakes off the question and checks his watch again.

If he's staying in Metropolis, and Clark calls in the middle of the night: Lex answers the phone with a sleepy voice.

"It's me," Clark says, and Lex doesn't really have to say anything back.

Clark says that he had a bad day, that he misses Lex.

"Will you wait on the phone?" he asks. "Just until I fall asleep?"

Lex lies awake listening to Clark breathing three hours away.

If he's out for a drive, and he forgets where he was going: Clark is always awake and waiting, whether Lex shows up or not. When he reaches the top of the stairs, Clark is sitting on the couch, though the hammock is swinging. They've tried the hammock before, but it's never been as comfortable, or as familiar, as this couch. It's worn all over and smells like everything.

Clark doesn't say anything, just pulls Lex down next to him.

The sun is out today. Clark is sprawled on the stairs, the same way he always sits on the couch. It looks like confidence, like Clark knows exactly what his body can do. Lex knows that it's just Clark, making himself comfortable. He's stretched back, eyes closed, body arching up to meet the sun's heat. Lex tries not to stare, but he's allowed and Clark already knows he's there.

Lex stands in front of him, blocking out the sun and kicking Clark's foot when he pretends not to notice.

"Lex." Clark turns his eyes toward him. "I didn't hear you," he says with an innocent look that Lex always falls for.

"Yes, you did," he counters. Clark holds his stare, before laughing and giving himself away.

Clark grabs Lex's hand and pulls him down between his legs. It's fast and Lex doesn't have a chance to protest before he's on the ground in his tailored black pants with Clark's farm dirty legs around him. It's times like these that Lex overlooks for Clark the way he never would for anyone else. He still complains, but with Clark wrapped around him, he does it with a smile.

"We could go inside, you know."

"It's such a nice day, Lex. And you're always saying you never see enough of Kansas."

"I'm never saying that."

Clark is quiet, resting his chin on Lex's shoulder and enjoying the sun.

"Well," he says. "Maybe you should start."

It's a calm, still moment, not completely out of character for Clark, who is so comfortable at high speeds. Before Clark kissed Lex and let Lex kiss him back, they had moments like this. They were supposed to be friends, but they always found ways to touch. They always preferred the couch that let them sit too close.

This feels new again. It wasn't that long ago that Clark finally pulled Lex across the line. A kiss is more than a touch, and sex is more than a kiss. But sometimes he just wants to sit in Clark's arms. Lex didn't even realise he'd been missing this.

Clark's arms are around his chest, their fingers tangled together. He studies Lex's hand carefully, turning it over, rubbing a thumb into the palm and tracing the etched lines. It's a task that has Clark's full attention. He sighs when Lex rubs their cheeks together, but makes no other noise. Lex watches, fascinated, as Clark makes his comparisons, then stops to brush a bit of dirt off his jeans. Lex didn't know that it could be this good.

"Are you done?"

Clark blushes, the warmth heating Lex's neck where Clark's face is buried.

"Yeah, I'm done."

"Then let's go inside."

Lex stands, rearranging himself as Clark gets to his feet. He turns Lex around and spends too long brushing dirt from the places Lex already did. When Clark stops, Lex takes his hand and leads him up the rest of the stairs, fumbling for a moment with keys, then getting the door open.

Inside, Clark follows a step or two behind. Up the stairs, to Lex's bedroom. It's dark and Lex doesn't bother turning on the lights, just opens the curtains to let in the sun, not wanting to lose the heat of downstairs. He drops his jacket on a chair and loosens his tie. Clark is watching him undress when a move forward is stopped by a sudden quirk of Clark's mouth.


"I'll be right back."

Lex asks the question with his eyes.

"I don't want to get you all dirty," Clark explains, holding his hands up.

Lex smiles, looks down at his clothes, still mussed from sitting on the steps. "You're worried about this now? Clark, I've spent the night in your barn."

"It's different in here." Clark gestures to the room. Nowhere in particularly, just drawing Lex's attention to the details. Neat and dark, Lex's room is everything that Clark's is not.

"Go," Lex says, with a smile and a shake of his head that gets Clark moving towards the bathroom. Clark likes to remind him of all the ways they're different. Lex suspects that the waiting may have had something to do with that; Clark's way of saying, this is me, this is you, and this is how we can be together.

"Wait." Lex is across the room with a few short steps, catching Clark in the doorway. "I haven't kissed you yet."

Clark grins. "Can I get you dirty?" he asks, hands climbing up Lex's arms, over his white shirt.

"I already am."

He reaches up and bites Clark's lip, getting a hold on it, and leading him back onto the bed. Lex lands with a groan, but it doesn't stop Clark, who kisses more intently. Clark likes using his tongue. Kisses are frantic, with lips that don't always stay together. They've had time to practice and Clark still kisses like someone not afraid to colour outside the lines.

He breaks the kiss with a final bite, and licks across Lex's cheek to his ear. Clark tickles with the tip of his tongue, waiting for him to laugh, but Lex is distracted. The light is streaming in through the curtains, and it makes the room glow. Clark is sucking a mark onto his collarbone, but Lex wants to be back on those steps in the sun. He wonders why he was in such a hurry. Clark can't stay tonight, and Lex doesn't want it to be over all at once.

"Clark." Lex runs a hand up to his neck, drawing Clark's attention up. "Can we just do this tonight?"

He holds himself up with hands on either side of Lex and stares down, then smiles, without a hint of anything else but Clark.

"Sure," says Clark, lips coming down to Lex's forehead. "It's just kissing. I'm not going to push, Lex."

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