Superman landed smoothly, transforming the momentum of his flight into a run and then a walk. He came to a halt in front of the podium with its bank of microphones and gently deposited Lex at his destination. Lex glared at him. Clark smirked and then leaned close to whisper, "Have a nice press conference." Before Lex could answer he was gone, soaring into the afternoon sky. Show-off, Lex thought nastily.
Lex looked at the group of men and women arrayed along the front of the Lexcorp building. He wanted some clue as to just how bad this appeared before he turned to face the waiting reporters. Maria McAuliffe, his soon to be official campaign manager, was pointing toward her waist. Lex glanced at his own waist; his shirt was partially untucked. Silently cursing Clark, his parents, his grandparents, and alien sex drives, Lex fixed his shirt. Nothing else appeared to be out of place. Turning, he flashed a smile at the assembled reporters and their cameras. "Perils of flying," he observed with a smile.
He had been en route to the press conference when a ten car pile-up had brought uptown traffic to a halt. Before he'd even had a chance to get irritated Clark had shown up, and when he'd stretched out his arms, Lex had climbed into them gratefully.
Then Clark had taken advantage of the situation, leaving Lex horny and disheveled. Lex hated being disheveled, and he wasn't all that fond of horny.
Resting his hands on the podium, Lex began to speak.
His speech was brief, just an announcement of his candidacy and a statement of his firm belief in Mom, apple pie, and that what was good for GM was good for America. Of course Lex believed that what was good for Lexcorp was good for America, but he'd learned the hard way to keep that opinion to himself.
Smiling what he hoped was his least shark like smile, Lex offered to take questions. Several hands flew up. He pointed at the gentleman in the third row with the navy blue pinstripes. Lex had always been of the opinion that it took guts to wear pinstripes, especially during the day.
"Mr. Luthor, is that a bruise on your neck?"
Lex reached inside the neck of his shirt. He knew exactly where it was. Damn Clark. Not only had he lost his favorite tie on the flight over, Clark had given him a hickey. Didn't he know hickeys were unsightly and completely at odds with Lex's elegant-but-still-dangerous image?
"I, well, I was…" Lex tried to think. He was a genius. He could think of a probable story, like, say, a fight with a vacuum cleaner and he was losing and Superman had rescued him. That wouldn't work. No one would vote for a man who couldn't win a battle with his own vacuum cleaner.
Lex looked at the crowd. Dozens of expectant faces looked back. He tried again. "Superman…"
Superman what? Lex took a deep breath. He was Lex Luthor. He was never at a loss for words. Pulling himself up to his full height, he said, "Superman is an alien, and he has a somewhat perverse sense of humor." Take that, Clark. "Torturing me seems to amuse him, and I feel that as a citizen of Metropolis it is my duty to humor him."
Instantly, every reporter lifted a hand into the air. Resuming his silent cursing of Clark, his ancestry, his mouth, and his overly broad shoulders, Lex called on a woman in the third row.
"How, exactly, does Superman torture you?"
Let me count the ways, Lex thought. Smiling, he tried to backtrack. "Maybe torture isn't the best word. Torment might be more accurate. It's little things, like not shaving for three days, or turning on the Power Puff Girls when I'm watching the stock reports." Lex started to warm to his subject. He had a lot of unvoiced complaints about Clark. "Or coming home in the middle of the night, covered in mud, and expecting me to wash his back. Or, this is the one that really gets me, sneaking into my office and hiding under my desk when he knows I have an important meeting and…" Lex stuttered to a halt. Apparently Clark's inability to think before speaking was contagious, yet another thing to be pissed at him for. "Never mind."
Desperate for a distraction, Lex called on another reporter.
"What, precisely, is your relationship with Superman?"
"We're friends," Lex answered confidently.
"Friends?" The reporter echoed.
"Exactly. We're friends." Lex scanned the crowd. Not a single person looked as though he believed Lex. "With perks," Lex added, hoping it would be enough of an admission to satisfy their curiosity.
A swirl of red and blue and Clark was standing a foot away, his arms crossed in front of his chest, and glaring at Lex.
Lex sighed, unable to fathom what it was he'd done this time. After all, Clark was the one who'd outed them.
Reporters were shouting 'Superman' and jumping up and down, waving their arms in the air and trying to get Clark's attention. He ignored them, his steely blue eyes fixed firmly on Lex. "Friends, Lex," he said slowly, his enunciation careful and deliberate.
"It's what we are," Lex replied, bristling.
"You are the biggest commitmentphobe on the planet. Do you realize that?"
"I do not fear commitment," Lex said evenly, refusing to let Clark bait him. "I was married twice before I was 23."
"Both times to women who tried to kill you."
"I inspire strong emotions," Lex answered, a tad smugly.
"I'm beginning to think they had the right of it," Clark muttered.
"What?" Lex exclaimed. Clark would never. He wouldn't even think it.
"How long have we been together?"
"Ten years, and yet you still refer to us as friends."
"Lex, I have closet space. We have fish."
"So does my dentist."
"My father calls you son."
"And mine calls you spandex boy. What's your point?"
Clark advanced toward him and only ten years of practice allowed Lex to hold his ground against an alien he knew for a fact you couldn't run over. He'd hit Clark with a Porsche, his favorite Porsche, then a truck, and once with a tractor. He still couldn't figure out why Clark hadn't simply outrun the tractor.
"We are not friends," Clark said, darkly enough that Lex glanced around, looking for red kryptonite.
"Fine. What are we?" Lex asked, hoping to distract Clark long enough to find the rock.
"A couple. Partners, spousal equivalents, significant others." Clark paused. "Lovers."
"Yes, oh." Clark smiled the devastating smile that made him look fifteen and in need of debauching.
Lex smiled helplessly back.
The reporters began clamoring for their attention. Turning toward them, Lex held up his hands. Surprisingly, they fell silent. "I think there have been quite enough revelations for one day, but just in case you missed it. My name is Lex Luthor." He chose his words carefully, deliberately echoing a movie that he dismissed as hopelessly idealistic, but that Clark loved. Sometimes Clark was really gay. "I'm running for Congress, and my male lover of ten years is an alien superhero."
Before he could say anything more, Clark wrapped one arm around his waist and raised the other into the air. Lex closed his eyes, not wanting to see the ground disappear below them.
Lex tried to be annoyed. Clark had just outed them, without Lex's consent. Lex had every right to be angry not just annoyed, but some small part of his brain kept chanting 'Clark says we're lovers' over and over again.
Clark rolled in the air, settling Lex on top of him.
"What are you doing?" Lex demanded, or tried to. His voice didn't seem to want to cooperate.
"It's easier to molest you like this." Clark already had his hands under Lex's shirt.
"I think there's been quite enough in flight molesting for one day."
"No, you don't."
"I'm a grown man. I think I know what I—" Lex stopped as Clark's mouth settled on the spot just under his ear. "Clark."
"Are we really lovers?"
"Umm-hmm." Clark was too busy using his mouth for other things to form actual words. Lex tried again to be annoyed.
Clark pulled back enough that Lex could see his face. "Yes, I do."
Clark chuckled. "You're so articulate."
"This isn't something they teach in rhetoric class."
"Or debate club."
"I was never in a club, Clark."
"Of course not. That would mean playing well with others."
"I play well with you."
Cupping Lex's ass in his hands, Clark lifted his hips against Lex's in a way that made Lex forget they were miles in the air. "Prove it."
"Take us home first."
Clark turned over and Lex was suddenly under him. Instinctively, he wrapped both his arms and legs around his lover. His lover. "Clark?"
Clark didn't answer, but their speed increased noticeably. Lex buried his face in Clark's neck. To think he'd thought they were just friends with perks.