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A First Time for Everything

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A First Time for Everything

by Lexalot

A First Time for Everything
By: Lexalot

Summary: There's nothing like a good first.

Rating: NC-17

Disclaimer: My philosophy is I've funded so much of WB and DC's projects with all my splurging on their products that I'm entitled to this loan :)

Pairing: Clark/Lex

Inspiration and Reference: Music--"God Put A Smile Upon Your Face" by Coldplay

Thanks: To Evangelene for being my test audience :)

"What?" Lex was certain he had misheard him, but as Clark sat down with a ridiculous grin written all over his face, Lex feared there was no mistake.

"Bruce asked me out." Clark behaved like it was the most natural and wonderful thing in the world. "We've got a date for tomorrow night."

"Tomorrow night?" Lex was in disbelief. There was no way this was happening. He had spent two years trying to deny the intense attraction he felt to Clark, wrestling with issues of his own sexuality as well as Clark's and the conflict potential therein, only to be beaten to the pass by someone who wasn't even supposed to be in the game. The most excruciating detail of it was that Clark seemed so willing, so open, so suddenly accessible, only that acceptance was being offered to someone else. Lex always imagined that he would be the one to break through that barrier and see if there was anywhere to go on the other side. Realizing Bruce had just haphazardly strolled across that line without meeting any resistance and had been so warmly received was heart wrenching. The idea left Lex with nothing that could soothe his wounded heart save for denial. "I think you misunderstood..."

"No, I didn't." Clark's tone was insistent, a sharpened edge of pride to it that scraped against Lex's ego. "He's taking me to dinner. We're eating at some restaurant near his hotel in Metropolis."

This made no sense to Lex.

Bruce and Lex had gone to boarding school together, and he knew as much about Bruce now as he did when he first met him. Now that Bruce was starting to take over his legacy and run Wayne Enterprises, Lex had offered to assist his old friend in a joint business venture that would give Bruce the freedom and the finances to start the charitable foundation out of his company that he made such a main priority of establishing. Bruce was here to collaborate with Lex on the first of a series of projects that would start Wayne Foundation and get it off the ground, but it seemed somewhere along the way, he had decided to break new ground elsewhere as well, namely with Clark.

When Bruce first arrived at the mansion, Clark and Lex had been playing pool, and introductions had been made. Since then, they had crossed paths a few times that week, and Lex had possessively taken notice of Bruce's eyes lingering on Clark a little too long for his liking more than just a few times in those encounters. Bruce had parted company with Lex mere moments ago, and apparently he had run into Clark shortly after leaving Lex's office. Then, seconds ago, Clark had walked in all smiles and sunshine, and after a brief silence, Lex had asked why Clark was standing there so full of radiant joy, and Clark had casually announced that Bruce had asked him out on a date.

Now Clark sat on the couch, beaming, almost mockingly.

Lex's selfishness aside, he was concerned for Clark, and it cast an even darker shadow on his heartbreak, because this didn't bode well. Bruce wasn't exactly known for his romances. Actually, he was, and that was the problem, because Bruce had a rather well earned reputation as a playboy. Truthfully, Bruce had no want of commitment, and he hardly had a fondness for relationships; Bruce's desire was for the occasional companion, someone to make a pretense of courting and to warm his bed for a short while until he tired of the company, which he inevitably did.

Clark was seventeen, and Bruce had just turned twenty-one. Lex did not doubt that Clark was still a virgin--Clark had confessed that to him recently when they had been discussing the local ice princess for the hundredth time... And speaking of whom, "What about Lana, Clark?" The real question Lex had asked was what about him, but any example significant to Clark would suffice in substitution for his name. "I thought you were still trying to get back what you had with her before this past summer started."

"Like I told you once before, Lex. It's a completely different feeling when the person likes you back."

Lex's heart ached as Clark's words grated against his stolid composure.

If only Clark knew... If only he had some perspective on the reality of the situation... If only he could grasp the irony...

And if only he could see what he was getting into--Clark did not know Bruce; Lex did.

"Clark..." Lex paused, holding his breath for a minute, leaving Clark dangling on a cliff too steep to be measured, on the brink of emotions and thoughts too important to be capable of articulation. "I'm glad that you're happy..."

Clark heard the empty space pregnant with unspoken sentiment, and voiced the skepticism he sensed. "But?"

Lex sighed exhaustively. No amount of explanation would ever do the present chaos in his head justice. He just chose the first and most relevant remark that came to mind, even though it felt so arbitrary at this point. "Bruce doesn't 'date', Clark."

A slight bit of laughter erupted from Clark. "Then, what does he do?"

"He has flings--one night stands. He sleeps around." And obviously, if he was flirting with Clark, he slept all over the place, blind to sex, and though this was the first Lex had heard of it, the news did not surprise him in the slightest, knowing Bruce as he did.

Clark had the unwitting nerve to shrug this warning off, like it meant nothing, grinning like it didn't matter, even if it was true, or especially if it was true.

Alright, that didn't bother Lex one bit... It didn't bother him--he was just incredulous.

He had the overwhelming urge to comment on the gender discrepancy and prompt an address of that out of his immense curiosity, but he stayed quiet. He didn't want to make Clark uncomfortable, or give him the impression he didn't approve, or give him the impression that he did approve for that matter. He was too encouraged by this sudden turn of Clark's sexual preference to question it, and meanwhile, he was too disappointed by this revolutionary change in Clark's dating status to feel he could act on this revelation. Besides, it seemed hypocritical to put Clark on the spot and subject his decision and shocking switch in orientation to dubious criticism when Clark was the first male Lex had ever coveted in such a way, and he struggled with that on a daily basis. Now, he supposed the inner turmoil would threaten to drive him mad.

"Well? Are we going to shoot some pool?" Clark sounded so hopeful, but it all seemed like naivete to Lex. "I thought I was getting my rematch today."

"Actually, I have a lot of work to do. It's much more than I expected, because the plant is having problems, and I really should take care of this tonight." It wasn't a lie, but it was still an excuse.

"Oh." Disappointment on Clark's end now--seemed like there was a lot of that going around this afternoon. "I guess I'll see you Saturday, then."

Saturday. That meant not tomorrow. Tomorrow, he figured, was for Bruce. "Sure, Clark." He injected as much enthusiasm into it as possible.

As Clark made his exit in an awkward silence, Lex's nerves unraveled--there wasn't a single thing about this that sat right with him.

This was the most insufferable Friday night Lex ever had to bear.

As the evening set in, the places his idle mind drifted only to strand him in the dark and dreary abyss were depressing.

He could not pry his thoughts away from Clark and his so-called date with Bruce. The day had felt so empty without Clark dropping in after school and sticking around as usual to provide Lex with a welcome distraction and a much-needed break, lighting up otherwise dismal days and cumbersome work. Lex couldn't shake the sensation of being lost in Clark's absence, his daily routines so hollow without the sunshine of an enigmatic farmboy who obsessed him so. It was as if his very soul were missing.

Hours had passed, and he had barely budged from his position behind his desk, feeling rendered helpless and useless by a single event outside his control.

Finally, he grew tired of this self-loathing behavior, brooding like some dejected high school teen.

After shutting down, he slammed the laptop closed and picked himself up out of the chair, ready to abandon the office and its isolated atmosphere until the next morning as he went in search of solace. He would take it anywhere and anyhow he could find it, and he was in dire straits for relief by this point.

Just as he rounded the corner of his desk, the door opened wide and Clark burst in like a whirlwind force.

Lex was stunned, consciously freezing briefly before gathering his wits about him again. His concern was overriding his every instinct and defensive reflex. "Clark, what's wrong? What happened?" Genuine worry shaped those words more than Lex would have cared to show.

"He stood me up." Clark stood, looking truly hurt, a sadness marring his pretty features, lending his innocence a tragic quality that was miserable to witness. Lex felt an involuntary pang of the treacherous slight just looking at him. "He was supposed to come get me at five, but he never showed."

Lex should have known. He should have called Bruce to talk about his motives and seriousness regarding Clark. Lex was livid, both with Bruce for doing this and with himself for letting it happen. He never felt so small as he did in that moment. "I'm sorry, Clark." And he meant it. There were too many regrets and things going unsaid that had led to this moment. "I know you were looking forward to this evening."

"I just thought this might be different." The frustration in his tone was thick and carried a lot of weight in his soft voice.

"It might have been different if it hadn't been Bruce." Adrenaline flooded his senses as he was overcome by this alien feeling, something possessing him that felt like warmth and passion, but ran far deeper than any of those shallow streams he had waded through before only to meet disaster and emerge with one more scar. But this was Clark, his savior--surely it was safe to venture into unknown territory for him... with him. "If it were me, I'd be so good to you, Clark." Lex's mind recoiled--did he say that? Or just think it? Lex hoped he had hallucinated the vocalization of those words, as if they could have been a side effect of enduring his morbid loneliness all day--hell, maybe Clark wasn't even there.

Quiet surprise and wide, curious eyes. "What?"

Shit! He had said it. Clark was there. "I would be the best thing that ever happened to you." And he was having a psychotic episode.

Somehow Lex had managed to maintain his tempered composure while taking a leave of his senses he expected wasn't permanent--just temporary enough to ruin everything, to tell the most incredible and perfect creature he had ever met that he was romantically drawn to him, to bury a friendship by revealing secret desires for a relationship that would defy every involvement he had ever had before in ways he was reluctant to admit.

He waited for Clark to have some sort of flippant reaction, but instead Clark's eyes fixed on him with profound understanding. "You would?"

Clark had sounded... receptive. Clark's demeanor switched to something wonderfully pleasant and approachable, but before Lex could think to test that seeming invitation, he was confronted with the surreal fact that Clark was closing the distance between them. Each step Clark took was brazenly entreating, and before he could fathom the implications of Clark's growing proximity and the budding promise filling the narrow gap between them, Clark was near enough that Lex could feel the incandescent energy around the boy. Practically drowning in the shadow of this aesthetically and spiritually beautiful being, he breathed out a response in a whisper. "Yes, I would." More meaning was injected into those words than any Lex had ever offered anyone. He was terrified in that split second, and it stretched like the precious few seconds he had been conscious during the accident, before the crash pulled him under that threshold, and he awakened in the hands of this mysterious angel.

Now, at this equally pivotal moment, his angel was hovering over him in an entirely different manner, one that was simultaneously frightening and alluring. Lex wanted to savor this, the taste of anticipation, the transition from dream to reality that is always so fleeting as to be lost in translation. All of a sudden, his every wish bordered on fruition, and he dreaded the notion that the fantasy would be shattered by a moment that was definitely too good to last.

Finally, the moment passed, but instead of deserting him, it hit him with an impact that would change everything forever. Lush lips dipped down, pressing tentatively to his, and Lex swooned under the sublime power of this kiss until he regained a will of his own. Quickly, he shifted gears and jumped from idle to overdrive. He reciprocated the pressure on his mouth and then some, probing past Clark's bee-stung lips with his tongue until it was feverishly connecting with Clark's. With their eyes closed and their hands working their way over silk and cotton covered contours, Lex pushed into Clark, backing him up while wedging one leg between Clark's. On Lex's subsequent steps forward, the span from his hip down to his knee pushed between Clark's thighs, rubbing up against the bulge that was becoming harder with every movement into it.

As they progressed on a blind path, Clark felt the back of his knee bump into the corner of the low polished table that was by the sofa. Almost immediately following, a shrill tumult and the ceramic sound of a fragile artifact smashing into a million pieces startled Clark, and he broke the intimate contact with Lex to glance down at the shards of debris in apologetic panic, "Oh God, I..."

Lex only heard Clark say 'Oh God' and he clamped his lips over Clark's mouth, stifling his words until they were forgotten, and Clark felt Lex smiling during that impromptu kiss. Then, Lex withdrew a little, cupped Clark's face in his hands, and his eyes darted over Clark's figure, then back. He could have sworn he felt Clark tremble faintly. "Are you okay?"

There were two sides to that question, and Clark knew by the consideration staring back at him that Lex meant psychologically as well as physically. "Yeah." Clark grinned widely, and Lex reintroduced his lips to Clark's, suppressing a small amount of laughter that might have been the mark of madness, but was certainly a display of happiness in the truest and most important sense, and Clark couldn't help but laugh a little himself.

The next time Lex inched Clark back with his aggressive advance, Clark found himself trapped between Lex and the side of the couch. Lex took full advantage of the circumstances and ground into Clark's crotch with the shift of his lower body. Clark exhaled a delicious sigh and moaned faintly on the end of it. Lex wanted more of that, wanted to behold more of the euphoria burning on Clark's face that kept his eyes nailed tightly shut and his mouth agape while generating the most subtly obscene noises.

Lex shoved Clark over the edge of the armrest and watched with a predatory thrill coursing through his veins as Clark tumbled backwards onto the cushions. Clark worked his way back until he was spread across the couch from end to end, and then he watched in his own excited awe as Lex climbed onto the couch and on top of him, straddling his hips, and rising to reclaim his swollen lips and lavish attention upon them.

The furious lust, the tempestuous passion that dominated Lex amazed him in its unbridled strength, especially since this wasn't something he had ever attempted before, but he knew he wanted to have Clark, wanted to take him and be taken, and own him, and he wanted Clark to have something--he wanted to offer Clark something that would be exclusively for him, to do something for him that he would not have done for any other man, and in principle, he wouldn't have done it for any woman either; Lex was going to grant Clark unprecedented license over his own will and pleasure, and give him his all, his submission. The most astounding thing Lex recognized about this concept was that he was actually yearning to do it. It wasn't just a gesture or an act, a strategy or an indulgence, or something he was doing out of atypical selflessness--it was a consuming desire to satisfy his new lover and please himself in the process, because he craved that brand of mutual gratification like it was impossible for him to live without it.

While fingers tore at the button and zipper of Clark's jeans, Lex separated from the nectarine sweetness of their kiss and crawled down Clark's body until he was directly above the white cotton boxer briefs. He yanked the material down, and without wasting the tiniest sliver of time, he descended on Clark's cock with his mouth, starting off gradually with the head, realizing he would have to discipline himself in the methods of this school of oral sex. Gathering all the patience he knew this lesson would require, he remembered all the nuances of having this done to him that had brought him the kind of ecstasy he wanted to provoke in Clark. The seduction of his first male lover was proving extraordinarily successful thus far, and he aimed to perpetuate the illusion that he had done this a hundred times before and was unsurpassed at it.

Careful to slow his activity, he eased more of Clark's stiff length into his mouth until the head reached the tip of his throat. As he continued in a measured fashion, Lex heard Clark whimper at the torturous rate of progress, and he smiled around the width knowing this was an excruciating ecstasy for the virgin beneath him restraining his compulsion to arch into the wet heat that nurtured his need. The rigid flesh felt strange in Lex's mouth, but he devoured the taste and relished the velvety feel of it there, and the sensuous flavor of the act had him getting rapidly addicted, which just served to amplify his efforts. Clark started to writhe the more of him Lex took, and that only goaded Lex into testing the limitations of his abstract knowledge by attempting to deep throat the rest of the shaft. In the process of training himself in this experience, Lex's playful libido got the best of him, and he wedged his hand between Clark's thighs, running his hand over the sultry terrain there, applying pressure to his scrotum with his palm and his fingers skated over the hypersensitive bit of skin behind them.

The stimulation was too much at once and Clark shot over the edge. Lex felt the spasms start and to avoid any adverse effects, he drew back, tugging on the erect muscle with his lips, dragging his tongue along the vein on the underside of the organ as it began to release its seed into the back of his mouth. Once he came to the rim of the circumcised head, Lex reversed and eased down the length, then sucked back again, repeating the long, slick strokes as Clark came. The milky fluid gushed out, and Lex swallowed every drop as he finished Clark off only stopping when the thick member lodged in his mouth went mostly limp.

Lex crawled up Clark's body to see his face--it was flushed with rosy hues and his eyes glazed over with the dreamy appearance of bliss. When Lex brushed his lips against Clark's, his teenaged lover barely had the mind to return the affection. Figuring he would give both of them a chance to recover, he lazily nipped at the boy, patient, but eager to relocate this rendezvous somewhere more private.

In the space of a mere minute, Clark's erection amazingly regained its raging hard-on status and was digging into Lex where his legs split to bracket the warm body beneath his. Lex rolled his hips over Clark's, and inexplicably, this position felt so perfectly right and the presence of the large sex so tantalizing there; it brought on the sweeping and potent desire that trampled his pride and begged to feel Clark inside him. "Do you want me, Clark?"

At the stir that question incited in him, all Clark could do was nod emphatically until the answer came. "I need you--more than anything, Lex."

Lex rewarded that answer by partaking of Clark's full lips again. As Clark inhaled sharply, Lex pressed against him in cruel teasing ways. "Clark..."

Before Lex could even piece together the rest of that sentence, Clark practically voiced it for him and with fitting urgency. "Upstairs."

They gathered themselves up off the couch and headed for the door with a hastened pace that spoke for their determination. When they exited Lex's office, Clark redid the fly on his jeans and Lex led the way to the side stairwell that would bring them up the flight to his bedroom. As they ascended to the next floor, Lex wondered what it would be like to throw Clark down and fuck him on the staircase against the steps--but that would have to wait. He had made a mental note of it, and they could do that another time, which would be soon enough, or at least he hoped.

Finally, they came to Lex's door and anxiously dashed inside. The instant the door was closed and locked behind them, clothes were being ripped away by frenzied hands that sought to touch and expose the skin underneath the thin materials. Smaller pieces were discarded first, then shirts and pants. Neither of them took too much time to soak up the vision of the other until the last article remained. Clark waited, observing keenly as Lex pulled his lavender silk boxers down past his hips, then dropped them to the carpet. Lex was such a pale shade of white, his flesh like marble but looking warm with the pink tone of arousal to it. His dark sex hung heavy and engorged, and Clark wanted to touch it desperately.

Lex didn't give Clark the chance to get close enough before leaping onto the bed and scurrying backwards until he came to the pillows, and he laid himself out, his eyes beckoning Clark to join him. Clark broke from admiring Lex's slender and appealing form, the thought having occurred to him that Lex appeared so vulnerable without his fine tailored garments, and that only endeared him to this man seeking his company while lying on satin sheets that glistened the color of alexandrite. Without further delay, Clark peeled the white, curve-hugging boxer briefs from his muscular frame while Lex reveled in his turn to admire the impeccable physical specimen before him. Clark was even more magnificent then Lex had believed possible, and this stunning boy was slinking his way up from the foot of the bed now on his hands and knees. He settled to rest between Lex's open legs as Lex spread them wider.

With this tall and built figure hulking over him, Lex suddenly felt so frail and fragile. He never thought he would be totally comfortable with being humbled to the point of weakness, but tonight Clark was breaking a lot of rules and Lex was making a lot of exceptions.

Clark gazed at Lex like he was a precious gift just for him, and he memorized the image of Lex there, ready for him, pining for him. When Lex's hands started roaming, Clark dipped his into the valley where his sex waited, the bold move scrambling Lex's senses for a minute. Before Lex could regroup his thoughts, Clark dared to become even bolder, pressing his finger to the opening--and that had happened too fast, because Lex barely had time to bask in Clark's wanton state, and he really didn't know what he was doing. But Clark seemed prepared, like this act had come with instructions, and for all Lex knew it had. Lex didn't doubt Clark was a virgin in every respect, so he jumped to the conclusion that Clark had done research for his whatever with Bruce tonight or something akin to that, probably teaching himself a few tricks courtesy of the internet, or via practice on himself, which was a mental picture Lex truly appreciated.

The finger burrowed into him, and the carnal wonder of it was astounding. This was the first form of penetration in that forbidden place Lex had ever experienced and it was intoxicating. Clark twisted his finger and then bent it until Lex felt the wave surge through his every nerve, and as Clark relentlessly grazed the same spot again, Lex fought the spontaneous climax he felt looming at the manipulation of that little gland--Lex knew anatomy, and from the tales he heard and the facts he remembered, that must have been his prostate. He was grateful Clark ceased his vicious taunting and withdrew his finger, because it gave him a chance to catch his breath and calm himself to prolong the inevitable culmination. Clark, however, seemed to be blessed with stamina that never quit, not that Lex was complaining.

The angelic face looked at him with debauchery defining it now. Lex realized Clark was poised on the brink of entry, but it also occurred to him, given Clark's serious equipment and size, there should be some sort of lubrication to lessen the potential internal damage to Lex--apparently, Clark had missed that detail in his self-education. "Clark, wait. We need something..." Lex had no clue what, though. He hadn't exactly stocked up on lubricants on the basis that the only man he would ever consider using it with might miraculously wind up in his bed someday. Nothing came to mind, and all he could think was that anything would do! "There's lotion in the nightstand over there." That was fine, and it would serve them well.

After rifling around in the drawer, Clark leaned back to hover above Lex again, and his older lover grabbed the little jar and a swiped a bit of it in his hand. Lex reached down and wrapped that hand around Clark's throbbing member. The slippery feel as the creamy lotion coated it made Lex reluctant to remove his hand, because the tactile sensation exhilarated him so fiercely.

As soon as Lex let go, Clark brought his erection back to the crevice and abruptly drove it inside inch by inch--Lex noted that Clark had the patience of a virgin, even if his knowledge transcended his experience. While Clark tried to be considerate of Lex and do this gradually, he still rushed a bit to impale Lex until he was completely buried inside him. The friction racked both of them, and nothing should have been this deliciously gratifying. Pleasure came with pain on Lex's end however, as the slickness did surprisingly little to dull the feel of lining as it was ravaged by Clark plunging in and out of his body. The pressure was another shock, and the tissue there really burned after Clark had thrust into him several times. Lex wouldn't have traded the pain if it meant sacrificing the pleasure, though. He was too delirious with this high to even acknowledge any minor damage it might have been doing to him.

Clark knew he was getting close, and he felt Lex's sinews tense beneath him. That only served to increase the pressure that surrounded his cock. "You're so tight," Clark murmured into Lex's ear. He angled his next movement to aim for that luscious spot again, and it was obvious he had hit it when Lex shouted aloud, caught off guard by the electrifying attack upon his senses. Clark was glowing at his lover. "Come for me, Lex."

To hear those words from Clark Kent's mouth was paramount to nearly any method of stimulation and Lex was coming, as if on command. Lex had never come during a sexual encounter without any direct attention being paid to his cock, not even in his adolescence. On the brink of Lex's final shudder, Clark pushed deeper into Lex with a calculated fury that brought him to his own climax.

In his sudden exhaustion, Clark collapsed on top of Lex. The burn that lingered told Lex he must have been bleeding a little, but he felt the sweat and satisfaction more than anything else. He clung to Clark with all the strength he had left, which did not feel like much. More staggering was the idea that he was clinging to Clark as though his life depended on it, and perhaps that was why he believed he would be shaking if he had not latched onto Clark for support.

Clark began to lift himself up off Lex, but he was held firmly in place by an insistent embrace. "No! Don't pull out yet. Please." Lex never pleaded in such a way, never used the word please, and never dispensed with his invincible veneer. Knowing this kept Clark happily anchored where he was, as Lex planted light kisses along his lover's neck and shoulder. It was as if Lex's tired spirit had been reborn to this unique feel of belonging, and he vowed never to let go.

Lex was awake. In truth, he had not really fallen asleep in the first place. Like a child, he was afraid this would turn out to be a dream and it would vanish with waking consciousness at daybreak. He gazed adoringly at Clark sleeping at his side, looking so innocent and exposed. He seemed to rouse a little, but his eyes didn't even flutter open. Lex guessed he wasn't quite stirring yet, but he wanted to be sure. "Clark, are you awake?"

He received no trace of a reaction, so he assumed he could run downstairs to fetch the laptop he had left in a hurry--since he hated leaving it lying around, lest a certain despised father take advantage of an opportunity to blatantly spy--and with Clark sunken into slumber, there would be no chance for him to be missed. He would return in a few minutes, and Clark would not have to suffer Lex's side of the bed turning cold.

Pausing as he prepared to glide out from under the covers, Lex regarded Clark with doting eyes. He pried himself away from the bed and his dear lover peaceful and comfortable in it, and made his way to the door. Taking care not to disturb Clark, Lex opened the door silently, and then held the knob as he closed it to avoid any sound the deafening acoustics of the castle would carry. He was still facing the door after he shut it, and laying his hand tenderly upon the solid, polished wood, he whispered into the sturdy barrier. "I love you."

Those words he had secretly uttered in the blue-black darkness were the first Clark ever picked up with superhearing.

Of course, Lex couldn't have known that at the time.

He simply turned to travel down the moonlit corridor, confident his sentiment had been lost to the vacuous air as he had meant it to be.

Suddenly, a jolt shot through him when, in his peripheral vision, he caught sight of a mysterious silhouette sitting right behind him, across from his bedroom door, and as he whirled around in shock to face this intruder, he recognized the familiar features carved out by the shadows. Lex went from aghast to pissed.

"Jesus Christ!" Why did Bruce have to be so fucking creepy! "Where the hell were you tonight?"

Bruce didn't even blink. His deep timbre rumbled. "You're welcome."

As Bruce stared at him blankly, Lex's brow instantly knitted knots of sudden confusion.

Damned if Bruce weren't the weirdest person he had ever known, and that spoke massive volumes. Then, as if to illustrate the mute thought, without care or reason, his unannounced visitor rose and walked away down the hall--but it was then that comprehension dawned and Lex was abruptly cast in its light.

This had been Bruce's doing. Bruce had plotted this--the entire thing arranged, the situation set up to achieve an intentional and predicted outcome.

Lex wondered if Clark had been in on this... and in that case, who had been the first to broach the subject? He could only imagine the conspiracy.

Suddenly, everything that had transpired in the past thirty-six hours made much more sense... Astonishingly so, come to think of it.

Lex was speechless, and that was definitely a first.