In the Afterlife
The Easy Rest Motor Lodge was on the outskirts of town on the road toward Grandville, and was little more than a series of small cabins set in a semi-circle around a central courtyard. A tiny office stood at the end of the row. At Smallville high it was known as the place to go for sex with your girl if you couldn't sneak around and do it at home. Clark claimed to know a couple of people whose parents had actually caught them there in the act.
Adults employed the place too, primarily those finding life with their spouses a little too restrictive and looked outside of their marriages for sexual entertainment. Affairs and prostitution were common occurrences at the Easy Rest. Randy Fisher, who had run the place since the sixties, was extraordinarily tight lipped. He'd seen it all over the years, and knew the key to his successes was his discretion. He hadn't even batted an eye when Lex Luthor walked into his motel and asked for a room.
Lex cast a look over his shoulder. At least it was fairly clean.
Not, he added as an afterthought, that he hadn't spent the last three months sleeping on a fucking beach. Anything was better than that.
He stood at the window, looking out over the parking lot through a slit in the curtains. It was a bright sunny day, a fact which bothered him. He wasn't in a particularly sunny mood. There was, however, a bit of a crispness in the air hinting at a cold snap soon to arrive. Lex shuddered, felt ill. The malaria still lingered in his system, its insidious effects still rising to the surface every now and then. He was suddenly very cold and oddly, longed for the tropical sun again instead of the chill winds of the Kansas plains. He'd fought so hard to get back....
Lex rubbed his forehead. He had a headache. There was too much going on in his mind. There were too many decisions to make, too many plans to outline. Being sick, and hovering on the edge of exhaustion wasn't helping either; he felt sluggish, and stupid. For the first time in a long time he also felt the urge to simply break down and weep. Like the malaria, loneliness and grief leaped from the shadows to ambush him.
Not alone at least.
He turned again, this time his gaze lingering on the bed where Clark lay sprawled upon his back among the tangled sheets, dozing quietly. Clark had been a sight for sore eyes. Lex had instinctively run to him after the prerequisite confrontations with his father and Helen, seeking comfort that only Clark seemed to be able to provide. Clark's exhuberant greeting had been just what the doctor ordered. The sex was an afterthought. Lex asked, Clark didn't question. It was not until Lex lay beneath him, looking up into the face he thought he would never see again, did he realize there was something not quite right. Clark had changed.
Everything had changed while he was away, even the one thing he'd thought would never alter under any circumstances. Clark seemed preoccupied, somewhat distant, although his pleasure at having Lex back alive and (somewhat) well, was obvious. He also seemed more confident, carrying himself somewhat differently. At the risk of being facetious, Lex would have called him "cock sure." It was particularly evident in the way he performed sexually.
Maybe it was because Lex's request indicated he'd chosen Clark over Helen once and for all, or he'd just been missing their sexual encounters of old, but Clark took charge the moment they'd walked into the motel room. He said very little but dove right in with a hard thrust of his tongue into Lex's mouth while his hands quickly divested Lex of his clothing. It wasn't like Clark to take the lead, nor be so sure of himself. He'd backed Lex up against the wall and sucked him off without much preamble, and followed that up with a good fuck that left Lex wondering if Clark was actually Clark.
Lex turned away from the window and padded back to the bed, shedding the loose fitting trousers he'd chosen that morning as he went. His skin was still sensitive from weeks of exposure to sun and salt water. Clark had been careful of the burns, and his kisses on Lex's sore shoulders had been more of a balm than aloe, but Lex still ached.
He eased onto the bed and lay down on his back, staring up at the ceiling and trying to ignore the itching between his shoulder blades. Above their heads cobwebs sagged between the blades of a silent ceiling fan.
Clark made a small sound, like a whimper, and rolled over to embrace him, resting his head on Lex's shoulder. Lex toyed with his hair. It was longer, slightly unkept. It felt soft between the rough skin of Lex's fingers, like the silky coat of a Persian cat.
"You want to tell me what happened while I was gone?" he asked quietly.
Clark's voice was low and slightly slurred from drowsiness.
"You were missing...."
"I was just in Metropolis," Clark murmured. "No big deal."
Lex sighed. He was too tired to wage this war; his questions, Clark's denials. The fact that the Kents were losing their farm, however, concerned him. What had happened to cause that small microcosm of familial bliss to crumble? Why had Clark run away from home?
"When my family life is such a monumental fuck-up, Clark, I'd like to know that somewhere, someone else's isn't. What's wrong?"
Clark raised his head and looked at him. "I'm glad you're alive. I went to the funeral."
The abrupt change of subject told Lex Clark was not going to be cooperative. He let it go, for now.
"Dad's public relations department made him look like the epitome of the grieving father, I'm sure. Did Helen show up?"
"I don't know. I left before it was over. It was...."
"Sparsely attended?" Lex whispered.
"Painful," Clark put his head down again and became very still. Only his fingers moved, slowly stroking the soft skin of Lex's belly. He sighed softly. "Despite...where my head was at the time."
"Which of course you won't reveal to me."
"No more than you're going to tell me your plans for Helen," Clark's voice hardened, grew slightly ominous. "Don't think I didn't investigate what happened, Lex. I know she set you up."
Lex bristled, an angry denial poised on his lips. Clark's arms tightened around him, and Clark's voice soothed him quickly as he sensed Lex's sudden fury. Lex felt as if he was back on the island once again, battling "Lewis" as he desperately tried to sort out his feelings regarding Helen and her possible betrayal. He didn't want to believe he'd been such a fool, and still didn't, but Clark wouldn't lie about something like this. It was the confirmation Lex was afraid to hear.
He realized he was shaking. Clark kissed him, kept kissing him, and gradually the fear and the anger bled away beneath Clark's petting.
"I love her," Lex whispered.
Lex's voice was small, plaintive, even to himself. "Give me answers, Clark," he said. "I need to know."
Clark's hand slipped down Lex's belly to his thigh, then between his legs to fondle and caresses balls and cock. Lex squirmed. He closed his eyes, luxuriating in the feel of Clark's hand on him, feeling his body grow warm with arousal.
"Later," Clark murmured.
He reached up under the pillow where Lex had stashed the lube and condoms he'd brought from the mansion. He tore open the rubber and put it on one handed. It was such a casual gesture, done with such ease, Lex had to frown. He began to wonder if Clark had added someone else to his conquests while Lex was gone. He certainly owed no fidelity to Lex, who had run off and gotten married, but like the other unanswered questions about Clark's disappearance, and the loss of the farm, this one too would fall by the wayside.
Lex lay passive, his hand straying to his cock as Clark made his preparations. The lube felt cool against slightly fevered skin. Lex shuddered, half closed his eyes, and jacked himself with slow, even strokes. He jerked, gasping, when a finger found just the right spot inside. He moaned when Clark lifted his legs, anticipating the slow burn of tight muscles stretching around Clark's thick cock. He wasn't disappointed. Lex felt himself being opened, invaded, and filled. He squirmed, grimacing as Clark pushed deep. It had been a long time.
Clark paused, allowing Lex to relax around him. Lex raised himself slightly to meet him, spreading his legs further around Clark's bulk as they kissed. The press of Clark's belly against his cock felt good. <i>Clark</i> felt good, inside and out, and Lex dug his fingers into his shoulders to hold him down. He wanted the feeling of being one with him to last forever.
It couldn't last forever. Clark rose, his big hands encompassing Lex's ankles, holding him open as he pulled back. With only the head of his cock remaining inside of Lex, he drove forward again past protesting muscle. He was battering down any resistance, forging his way toward climax. Lex relaxed further with each thrust, opening himself wide to allow admittance until pain was an afterthought and pleasure rose to the forefront. His body sang under the abuse, but each stroke of Clark's cock over his prostate made up for it.
Clark grunted. His grip on Lex's ankles tightened. He was past the point of fine control. Lex's mouth opened, his moans coming from deep in his chest as he let go of his cock. He could feel the climax building deep within him. His balls felt tight and heavy. His cock jerked against his belly, leaving a smear of pre-cum and as much as he longed to touch himself again, he resisted. He deprived the hot, swollen skin of his cock the rough friction of his hand, wanting Clark to make him come.
It was torture, but he made it, coming with a cry when Clark abruptly changed angles. He was no longer stroking Lex's prostate, but ramming into it, sending sparks of pleasure stabbing into Lex's brain. It short circuited. He came. Only then did he resume jacking himself off, milking his cock of the come that spilled over his hand and chest, prolonging the sensations as long as he could. The air was filled with the scents of sweat and sex.
Lex looked up into Clark's eyes. They were a reflection of his own, filled with something like grief. Clark appeared haunted, tormented, but by what Lex couldn't determine. Lex looked away, enjoying instead the view of Clark's body moving against him instead. He lay back admiring the cut of Clark's broad shoulders and the flat, muscular planes of his chest and abdomen. The muscles in his thighs bowed and flexed as he continued to thrust into his lover's body. Lex gazed at the fully engorged length of Clark's cock as it moved in and out and felt a renewed arousal himself. Clark's thighs slapped Lex's ass, the bed creaked.
The haunted look fled when Clark's climax struck, replaced by a slack mouthed expression of ecstasy. He came with a cry and kept coming, pulling Lex back to meet him until his cock finished emptying. Lex felt him shudder, then withdraw, and nearly cried at the profound sense of emptiness left behind. It was more than physical.
Clark cleaned up with a corner of the sheet then flung it aside to curl himself spoon fashioned around Lex. Again he spent a long time petting him, caressing Lex's stiff muscles and kissing his hurts. Externally the bruises and abrasions were fading. He would always have scars inside.
Quietly, Clark told him what he'd found out about the crash, confirming his worst suspicions; Helen had betrayed him for his money. She'd tried to kill him. Lionel had little, if anything, to do with it beyond trying to get Helen to spy on him, and Lex should have known better. He should not have let himself love her, or anyone else for that matter. They always betrayed him in the end, always.
His fingers tightened around Clark's. It was only a matter of time.
"So what are you going to do?"
Clark's voice rumbled close to his ear. Clark's voice always deepened after sex, taking on a growly tone Lex found appealing. Only once had Lex heard him use that tone in casual conversation, but it was said, and Lex believed it, that Clark wasn't himself at the time.
"What would you do?"
There was a significant pause. Lex turned his head slightly and felt Clark's whisper against his cheek. The growly under-tone to his voice was still there. Maybe it was malaria that made Lex grow cold, but it was more likely the words, and the way they were said.
"My first instinct would be to kill her," Clark whispered. "Give her a dose of her own medicine, and make it look like an accident."
Lex sat up and turned to look at him. He lay there perfectly unconcerned that he'd just suggested Lex murder his wife. It was a suggestion not borne of jealousy, Lex knew that, but it was very unlike Clark to say such a thing under any circumstances. Lex's brows dipped. Clark's eyes glittered. A muscle twitched in his cheek, and he met Lex's gaze unwaveringly. He was dead serious.
"Do you realize what you just said, Clark?"
Clark rolled over onto his back and laced his fingers behind his head. His tone this time was aggrieved. "You weren't the only one who got a nasty look at their dark side, Lex," he said softly. "My parents are losing the farm because of me. My father nearly lost his life. I'm not who you think I am."
"Maybe so," Lex lay back down with him, settling into the crook of his arm. "But I accept that. We," he breathed. "Are much alike."
There was a long silence. Lex felt Clark's fingertips stroke his back.
"You can love someone and still want them dead, out of your life. I think it depends on how much pain you can take." Clark rolled over, now facing Lex. "It hurts to have Helen alive. It would hurt to have her dead. No matter what you choose you're going to be fucked."
Lex watched his expression crumble. Tears that would not fall, but were there all the same dampened his lashes. Placing a hand upon Clark's chest, Lex felt the rapid beat of his heart beneath his ribs and understood the struggle he was going through. Clark closed his eyes, and tucked his head into Lex's shoulder. His words were muffled and broken.
"If I'd known then what I know now, I would have killed him, Lex. I would have, I swear."
Lex made soothing noises, kissed his hair, and pulled him in closer, tighter, clinging to him as if he were the broken wing Lex had ridden to safety after the crash. Clark could carry him to safety now, and Lex could return the favor. They'd both been tested, and came back alive, but not quite whole. Maybe together they could heal.
Letting the warmth of Clark's body chase away his chills, Lex relaxed for the first time in months. Together they dozed in a thin beam of light snaking in through the crack in the curtain, each haunted by darkness and maddened with pain. Lex dreamed of the ocean, and woke abruptly after a nightmare an hour later. He reached out for Clark, only to find him gone.
It was just as well. He had plans to make.
Clark walked Lex back to the car.
"Thank you," he whispered. "You didn't have to do that."
"It's the least I could do."
Grinning, Clark ducked his head in the coy manner Lex remembered from their earliest associations. "You lied about the compass didn't you?"
"Absolutely. I was totally out of it, Clark and I had no idea where I was. I just went where the tide took me. Your father, however, doesn't have to know that, understand?"
Clark nodded. "Understood."
They stood as close to each other as they could. Lex longed to kiss him but didn't dare, not when the Kents were at home and potentially watching. They had enough to deal with now, and didn't need the revelation of their son's relationship with Lex to complicate matters. To resist the temptation Lex put his hands in his pockets and settled with simply staring into Clark's eyes. Some of the haunted look had faded away, but there was still a lot going on behind those hazel eyes. Lex wanted to know just what. Clark was not forthcoming.
"I confronted Helen," Lex said. "With what you told me."
"Yeah. The official story is when she found out I was alive, she showed her true colors, and ran off to escape possible repercussions for her actions. I of course am still in love with her, and like a fool am not going to take any action against her besides having the marriage annulled."
Clark's expression shifted to one of fear. "Lex you didn't...."
Lex shrugged. "I took her up in the plane, confronted her with what I knew, and she tried to kill me. Instead she shot the pilot, and while I was busy trying not to destroy another of Dad's planes, she took a parachute and bailed."
"Oh," Clark's stance relaxed, but he said nothing more. If he suspected a lie, he didn't mention it.
"She's somewhere in South Dakota." Lex looked up at Clark and his mouth shifted into a smile. "Dad left for Metropolis. The mansion is ours again. Come over tonight. I'll have something special set up."
"Yes," Lex hesitated. "You haven't mentioned Lana."
Clark only shrugged, but there was sadness in his expression. "It's not going to work."
"Have you told her?"
"I'm sorry, Clark."
Clark's eyes flickered down, then up again. "I'm not sure I am." He paused, his eyes gentle. "I missed you."
Lex nodded. "It's just you and me again." He allowed himself another wry smile. "So are you coming over tonight?"
"Good. I promise you won't be disappointed."
The smile was beatific. Clark, unheeding of his parents, leaned in and kissed Lex's mouth, lingering just slightly as they parted, his breath short and warm upon Lex's lips. Lex's hands remained in his pockets, clenched into fists to keep from grabbing him and prolonging the contact. Clark stepped back just out of his reach again.
"I'll be there," he whispered, then turned to go back to work in the house, but this time to unpack the Kents' belongings.
Lex quietly returned to his car and sat down in the driver's seat, watching Clark skip up the stairs into the house. When Clark was gone, he turned to look at the items sitting beside him in the passenger's seat.
There was a knife, and a coil of thin nylon rope. Lex reached out a hand and picked up the rope, letting it run between his fingers. For the longest time he watched it as he coiled it around his hand, almost hypnotized by it. His voice, when he spoke, was a whisper.
"Funny how just one or two missing strings can render a parachute useless."
He let the rope fall from his hand. Lex could only take so much pain.
As he drove home he thought of spending the evening with Clark, and the remnants of that pain shattered, scattering away on the wind and leaving Lex feeling cleansed. He'd finally made the right choice.