by Celli Lane

Thanks to Caro and Shelley for the betas, and the prawn chat people for audiencing.

"And this," Clark said, gesturing grandly, "is a Chili's."

Lex snorted. "I've been in one of these before, you know."

"No you haven't."

"Well, not these these. But franchise restaurants, certainly."

"Like there's no difference between a Dairy Queen and here."

Lex lifted his glass. "Dairy Queen doesn't have a liquor license."

"Well...okay, good point." Clark tapped his plastic margarita shaker against Lex's brandy glass. "Here's to liquor licenses."

"And driver's licenses that allow us into places with liquor licenses." Lex took a slow drink as he watched Clark shake his margarita. Again. "So how does it feel? Being twenty-one?"


"Besides that."

Clark poured the margarita into his glass and took a tentative sip. "Ew. Why did I pick this?"

"Because you're a pushover and the bartender talked you into it?"

"Right. Ew. Anyway. It feels...liberating." A little smile that Lex had never seen before played briefly across Clark's face. "I thought that after today, drinking would be boring."

"And it's not?"

"The forbidden thrill part is gone. But it's still..." That smile again. "Intoxicating."

Lex leaned forward, intrigued by the tone in his friend's voice. "Really?"

"Some things don't have to be forbidden to be appealing. Some things just...are." Clark's voice lowered, and he leaned in too. "Don't you want to kiss me, Lex?"

Lex's glass clattered to the tabletop.

Clark was speaking quietly, but those laser-sharp eyes never wavered. "You've known for years. Years. And I could never quite decide, was it because of Mom and Dad or Smallville and decency laws and our age difference? Or am I wrong, and you just want to be friends?"



Lex would have laughed if there had been breath in his body. "I...I like being your friend, Clark." He searched for the words that never failed him in the business world. They remained jammed at the base of his throat.

Clark picked up the glass and held it back out to him. When Lex took it, Clark held on, brushing his fingers against Lex's wrist. "Six years. More pool games, road trips, and near-death experiences than either of us can remember. And that's all you want from me, friendship?"

Lex brought his other hand up to capture Clark's. "I want a great many things from you, Clark." He looked around. "But is this the place for me to list them?"

He drained his glass and raised his hand. He was going to need another drink if Clark kept looking at him this way. Possibly several.

But Clark raised his hand, too. "Check, please."

Lex wondered if they'd let him take the bottle.

"I don't see why we couldn't go back to my place." Lex looked around Clark's dorm room. Did Clark have an exhibitionist streak he needed to worry about? The walls were paper-thin. Clark reached over to shut the door behind him, happily invading Lex's personal space. "Look at this. If I stretch my arms out, I can touch the closet and the opposite wall. Have you seen my penthouse lately? I have acres." And alcohol. Lex's fingers were tight on the bottle he had indeed appropriated from the bar.



"Shut up."

Clark's mouth was warm on his. He tasted just a little of his detested margarita. There was salt at the corner of his mouth; Lex resisted the temptation to lick it away.

"Clark," he said. Oh, hell, just one lick. "Mmm. No, wait. Clark." He pushed him away. "We need to talk about this."

Clark actually rolled his eyes. "No, really, we don't."

Normally, Lex didn't notice the height difference between himself and Clark. But with Clark looming over him--and when had he ended up with his back pressed against the door? The peephole was digging into his head--those three inches suddenly seemed very important. The bottle didn't seem to be in his hand anymore. He hoped it hadn't broken; he was going to need it later.

"We have been friends for six years," Clark said. "We have talked."

"Not about this. I would have remembered. You need to know--"

"Lex." Clark's voice was deeper than usual, more intense. "You know more about me than anyone except my parents. I know more about you than anyone except maybe your dad's private detectives. We've had every conversation there is to have. I need...the only thing left is to know if you want me. We've covered everything else." Clark leaned back a little. His eyes dropped just a bit, and for the first time Lex realized he was nervous.

"Fuck, yes," he said without thinking.

This time, when Clark kissed him, Lex pushed away from the door and leaned into him. He felt Clark's hands roaming along his back, and had never appreciated the silk in his wardrobe more.

Clark shifted angles and deepened the kiss. Over the rush of blood in his ears, Lex could hear Clark making soft sounds that went straight to his groin.

Lex backed away just enough to breathe. Clark's hands stayed tight on his back. "When did you learn to kiss like that?" Lex asked.

Clark just grinned. "Jealous?"

Lex narrowed his eyes at him.

Clark ran his hands down Lex's back and stepped forward again. "I was just practicing," he said. "I had to keep busy somehow while I waited for you."

Lex wasn't sure whether to be jealous of whomever Clark had been practicing on, or aroused because Clark had been waiting for him. He opted for the latter, and made a mental note to talk to Clark about the former. In some detail. Later. Because Clark was tugging Lex's shirt up, which pressed their cocks together, and Lex really had more important things to concentrate on right now.

The shirt came up and off, and a rush of cool air followed the silk. Lex closed his eyes and leaned over to kiss Clark again. His fingers went to work on Clark's shirtfront.

"You know," Clark said between kisses, "I hate to admit this, but I hadn't planned much farther then getting you back here."

His collarbones were irresistible. Lex licked along the edge of one. "I know."

"How do you know?"

Lex sank his teeth delicately into the spot beneath Clark's Adam's apple. "Because all your laundry is still on your bed."

"Oh. Right. Any suggestions?" Clark let go of Lex long enough to wriggle out of his shirt.

Lex looked down. "You have a floor, don't you?"

Clark had to knock a chair, a pillow, and the TV remote out of the way, but he got them both to the floor. Lex landed on top of him and tried not to aim his elbow anywhere too painful.

"That was graceful," he said. Clark just grinned.

"I've got better things to do than be graceful."

He slid one hand around the back of Lex's neck and pulled him in for another of those "practiced" kisses.

Lex discovered that by balancing on top of Clark just so, and hooking his hands under Clark's shoulders just right, he could achieve the most full-body contact possible.

Of course, in this position, he couldn't do much except kiss Clark, but Clark was making up for it with his hands. One slipped around in front long enough to unfasten Lex's belt. Then they were on Lex's back again, pushing them more closely against each other.

"God, Clark," Lex groaned into his mouth.

Clark reached past slacks and boxers and smoothed his hands over Lex's ass. He was making those noises again, and Lex's nerves hummed in time to them.

Clark rocked up into him, setting a rhythm that made Lex's eyes glaze over. He hung on to his last shreds of selfcontrol, though. Clark shuddered once and came, knocking his head back against the floor.

Lex came, too, and collapsed on top of Clark, trying to remember how that breathing thing went.

"I think I saw stars," Clark said finally.

"That was from hitting your head on the floor."

Clark kissed the top of Lex's head and sighed. "Probably. Remind me to pick my laundry up next time."

"Better yet, did I mention the penthouse? With a bed bigger than this room? And the appropriate accessories?"

"You mean condoms? I have condoms." Clark leaned sideways and rooted around under the bed, pulling out a dusty, halfempty box. Lex just looked at him. "What?"

"Nothing." He took the box and placed it on the bed. "I'm glad you're prepared."

Clark looked at him suspiciously, and Lex couldn't help laughing. He settled himself more comfortably on the floor next to Clark, his head cushioned by Clark's shoulder.

"I have to admit," Lex said, "this isn't what I had in mind as a birthday celebration."

"It's what I had in mind." Clark's voice was smug. "More or less."

"Oh, really." They'd come a long way in a few hours. Lex thought back to the beginning of the evening. "So, Clark, how does it feel, being twenty-one?"

Clark's chest shook under Lex as he laughed.


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