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Things We Cannot Change

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Things We Cannot Change

by Joyfulgirl41

Disclaimer: Nothing belongs to me. No super sexy aliens, sexy bald millionaires, overgrown boy scouts, or morally ambiguous really old guys. I have nothing but my fish, who has been really supportive.

Lex seduced me into writing it. It was only fair that the boys all meet each other.

Summary: What did Cassandra's visions really mean?

Special thanks to Lady Alys for being my token Highlander beta and to Thayli for making me fill in a bunch of the gaps.

Super Special thanks to Stone Princess/Starcat and Rhiannon/Rachel for just about everything. They are now the co-bosses of me. I'm pretty sure they put more time into this story than I did. <g> My gratitude knows no bounds. Pie and Clexy goodness to you both! ::hugs:: and ::kisses::

Celebrate we will
Because life is short but sweet for certain We're climbing two by two
To be sure these days continue
These things we cannot change
-Dave Matthews

Clark choked on the scream that jerked him out of his sleep. He always woke up at the same point, desperate and shivering, the feeling of helplessness breaking over his skin in a cold sweat. Tears of frustration welled in his eyes and threatened to spill over.

It had been four years since he'd suffered from this particular nightmare. After Cassandra died it had pursued him for months, like a mythological fury, punishing him for some unknown crime.

Dismissing the vision hadn't worked; the denial had only amplified his fears. The answer was there, staring him in the face, filling him with an unspeakable fear: immortality. It was the only explanation that fit.

He ran a trembling hand through his hair. The vision of an eternity abandoned and alone raced through his body like amphetamines making his limbs shake as he wondered why the nightmare had suddenly returned. Desperate to center himself, he hung his head over the edge of his bunk bed to check on his roommate. Pete's mouth hung open as he slept; he was drooling. The sight was enough to calm Clark's nerves a little and ground him back in the present.

Clark rolled over and tried to go back to sleep, but he couldn't relax. Every muscle in his body was wound and knotted. He flipped over, rubbing his eyes, desperate to get the image of the graveyard out of his head. Clark started to beat his pillow into submission, as if that would make everything better.

"Go to sleep or go somewhere else, man." Pete's voice was muffled and grumpy.

"Sorry," Clark mumbled, forcing himself to remain still as he tried to calm down. The graveyard loomed before him as he shut his eyes. It was then that he noticed something, which, until that point, had been lost in the horror that his nightmare evoked. He closed his eyes again, counting the graves, reading the names of everyone he loved except... How had he not noticed before? Lex's grave was missing.

Lex gasped as air forced its way back into his lungs. He felt the blood rushing painfully through his numb limbs. His chest was on fire and it felt like he was being pricked by thousands of tiny needles all over his body.

He was lying in a puddle of something and he was sure that the last time he had almost died it hadn't been so painful. Of course, last time he had woken up to a beautiful wet farmboy hovering over him. It seemed that tonight he was having no such luck.

Lex sat up as the pain began to recede, trying to remember what happened. His escape from death after almost drowning seemed reasonable. However, if Lex remembered correctly, he had just been shot point blank through the chest. People didn't usually recover from wounds like that.

Looking down, Lex examined the hole in his shirt; dark crimson, almost black, stained the pale lavender. Realizing the contents of the puddle he was sitting in, he brought up one bloody hand and pulled aside his shirt to examine his chest. There wasn't a mark on it.

//Drugs are a bad, bad thing. // Lex thought. He stood up, pulling his dark coat closed over his bloody shirt. He didn't remember taking any drugs, though. It was starting to get dark outside and Lex wasn't sure where he was. He was really beginning to hate Paris.

He walked toward the river, trying to figure out what had happened. Obviously his memory was wrong, because he clearly remembered getting mugged and then shot in a dark alley on his way to his hotel after work. Therefore, someone had slipped him some sort of drug and he was having the worst trip ever.

Lex knew there was a reason he didn't do drugs. Even in his rebellious days he hadn't tried anything stronger than pot. Lex didn't like the loss of control. There were too many things that could go wrong, as was being demonstrated by his current predicament.

His mental anti-drug rant was suddenly interrupted by an intense headache as he passed through a tunnel. He threw his hands up to rub his temples, shutting his eyes against the pain. When he opened them again, there was a tall man standing in front of him with a sword drawn.

//What the fuck? // "I am Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod," the man's deep voice echoed off the walls as he advanced toward Lex. Lex continued to rub his temples as his headache settled into a subtle buzz that ran up and down his spine.

"That's great," he answered, wondering what the hell he had been given. "Now if you don't mind, I have to figure out who slipped me the drugs that created you, so scamper off like a good hallucination." He did not just use the word scamper. Stupid drugs.

The man lowered his sword, cursing softly. Now that he was closer, Lex was able to get a better look at him. He had long, dark hair that was pulled back into a ponytail at the nape of his neck. He was about Clark's height, but was much broader through the shoulders.

Before Lex could protest, the man pulled Lex's jacket open, revealing his ruined shirt. "What happened?" he asked.

Lex shrugged, "My guess is drug induced hallucination."

The man gave him a slight smile. "It wasn't drugs." As suddenly as it had appeared, the sword he had been holding disappeared underneath his coat.

"It's either that or I was shot and I came back to life," Lex answered, eyeing the man warily. "Or, I'm dead and this is hell." He looked around. "I would have thought hell would be more... hellish." Confused now, his head spun at the possibility that he might still be dead, a thought that hadn't occurred to him before.

"This isn't hell," the man assured him.

"Well, I don't think there would be men with swords walking around in heaven," Lex mused. "Unless you're some sort of archangel. They have swords, don't they?" He wished he had paid a little more attention the few times he had gone to church. The man in front of him did have the look of some sort of dark avenging angel.

"You're not dead," the man, //Duncan?//, told him.

"Which brings me back to the drug theory," Lex answered crossly. Why was he still talking to this guy?

Duncan shook his head. "You're not high, you're immortal."

"Well sure, that makes sense," Lex agreed sarcastically. Dying evidently brought out his snarky side.

Duncan sighed. "Look, my barge is down the river a ways," he pointed behind him. "Come with me, you can change and I'll explain what's going on."

"Your barge?" Lex considered him for a moment. The man didn't look crazy, sword wielding aside. Finally, he nodded, deciding to see how this played out. He was either hallucinating, or he was already dead. What did he really have to lose?

Duncan turned around and started walking toward the barge, his long coat billowing out behind him. After a moment, Lex followed.

Duncan MacLeod examined the young man as he wandered around the barge. He looked only a few years older than Richie, his last student, had been at the time of his first death, probably early to mid-twenties.

His guest moved with an easy grace and a touch of arrogance that reminded Duncan of Methos. Duncan smiled at the thought of his friend, the world's oldest pain in the ass. Methos had arrived in Paris last week, fitting easily into Duncan's life as if he had never left. The 5,000-year-old man was still masquerading as Adam Pierson, mild mannered grad student, ex-watcher and new immortal. Duncan expected him to show up at the barge at any time and he wondered when that prospect had become so appealing. He had noticed that, of late, when the old man wasn't around, he really missed him.

Shaking his head to rid himself of these errant thoughts, Duncan addressed his guest. "The bathroom is through there if you want to take a quick shower," he handed him some clothes to change into. "You might feel better."

A raised eyebrow, "Yeah, that sounds like an idea." Duncan shifted a little under the cool, assessing gaze, a little annoyed that this boy was able to so easily unnerve him. After a moment, he took the clothes Duncan was holding and headed toward the bathroom.

"Hey, kid," Duncan called out. That earned him a nasty look. "What's your name?"

"Lex. Lex Luthor," he answered with a tight-lipped smile before closing the bathroom door.

//Luthor, // MacLeod thought. //Where have I heard that name before? //

Lex stood in the shower letting the hot water pound into his muscles, working out some of the kinks. He watched with a sort of morbid fascination as the bright red water swirled down the drain. As he dried himself off with a big, fluffy towel, he allowed himself a small smile. The shower had gone a long way toward improving his mood.

Pulling on the white T-shirt and soft gray sweat pants, Lex noted that both were a little big on him and tied the string of the pants tightly so that they didn't fall off. He felt a little weird about wearing someone else's clothes, but he didn't really have much of a choice. His were completely ruined, torn and soaked through with blood.

As Lex stepped out of the bathroom, the aroma of something cooking made his mouth water and his stomach growl in a reminder that he hadn't eaten since last night. He had been in meetings all day.

"Do you like fried rice?" Duncan asked, spooning out large portions into two bowls.

Lex nodded. The dreamlike quality of the evening hadn't left him and now the guy was cooking fried rice. "How long was I in the shower?"

Duncan smiled at him, "About half an hour."

"Really?" Lex rubbed his eyes tiredly. It hadn't seemed like that long.

Lex was suddenly attacked by the same piercing headache he had felt under the bridge. //Oh, God. // He felt like someone was trying to stab his eyes out of his head from the inside. He sat down on the couch hard, wondering if this was some sort of drug withdrawal.

"MacLeod?" a voice called out.

"Come on in, Adam," Duncan answered, "like you need my permission."

Lex opened his eyes as the headache started to recede again and watched as a tall, lanky form carrying a brown paper bag entered the barge.

"I come bearing beer," the man announced, his voice deep and quite frankly, very sexy. "You were out."

"Go figure," Duncan muttered.

"Hello," the new man turned toward Lex, his tone silky.

Duncan stepped forward, handing a bowl of rice to Lex. "Adam, this is Lex Luthor, Lex; Adam Pierson."

"It's a pleasure to meet you."

Lex met the man's appraising stare. He really wasn't sure what was expected of him, as he still didn't know why he was here.

Adam raised an eyebrow and turned an amused smirk toward Duncan.

"He's new," Duncan answered the unasked question.

Adam's tone was dryly amused, "So I gathered. Have you explained things yet?"

"No, I haven't gotten the chance."

"You know, you don't have to bring home every stray you find on the street, MacLeod." Adam chuckled, walking over to the refrigerator to deposit his beer.

Duncan looked annoyed. "What would you have me do? Just leave him out there to get killed?"

Lex had become fed up with the conversation almost immediately. "No, what you should do is bring him home, let him shower, feed him and then talk about him like he isn't in the room without explaining what the fuck is going on."

Adam laughed.

"I already told you," Duncan said calmly as he sat down, "you're immortal."

"Immortal?" Lex sat back, pinching the bridge of his nose.

Adam walked back into the room carrying three beers and a knife. He handed Duncan a beer and offered one to Lex, who responded with his best 'you've got to be kidding me' look. Adam shrugged, taking the beer back and setting it down in front of him.

"Yes, immortal. We're both immortal, too. We can't die unless someone takes our heads." Duncan went on to explain the basics of immortality. Lex listened, nodding at each point. There were immortals all over the world, and, like the rest of humanity some were good and some were evil. Lex tried not to smile at that.

Evidently, they were all foundlings. One's immortality was triggered by a violent death, at which point the person stopped aging. Once one's immortality was triggered, one became part of "The Game," which, if Lex understood correctly, consisted of immortals running around chopping off other immortals' heads so that they could absorb their power.

The "rules" of said game were simple: no more than two immortals could fight at a time, no fighting on holy ground, and "in the end, there can be only one."

It sounded like a cheesy sci-fi movie.

Lex just sat there for a moment, absorbing everything. He looked up, "That's a nice story, but do you really expect me to believe it?"

Before he could say anything else Adam stood up, reached over and grabbed his hand. Lex struggled to pull away, but Adam's grip was too tight. He picked up the knife that had been lying on the table and drew it across Lex's palm, laying his skin open to the bone with one swift stroke.

"What the hell?" Lex asked angrily as he tried to pull his hand away, eyes watering at the pain. Adam still wouldn't let him go. Lex watched his palm in fascination as tiny blue sparks jumped back and forth across the wound. After another moment Adam gently wiped his thumb along the cut, removing the blood. It revealed a long pink scar that was fading as they watched.

Lex looked up into sparkling hazel eyes. "Excuse me," he muttered as he stood up. He walked into the bathroom and promptly threw up.

He sat back on the cold bathroom floor after several minutes of dry heaves, his brain finally realizing that his stomach was empty. He didn't even notice the tears running down his face.

After a few more moments he stood up and walked over to the sink. Lex resolved not to be so emotional as he splashed cold water over his face and rinsed out his mouth. He needed more answers. As a scientist, he was having problems coming to grips with something that should be very impossible. But he had seen it, felt it. He needed more answers.

Methos examined Lex as he walked out of the bathroom. He felt a grudging admiration for the boy as he sat down looking fully composed; the look in his eyes was completely unreadable. Methos was impressed; it had taken him centuries to perfect that. It also made him wonder what had happened in Lex's short life that such defenses were already necessary. There was darkness behind that look that Methos recognized far too well.

Lex leaned forward, bracing his elbows on his knees. "You said all immortals were foundlings. What did you mean by that?" His question was directed toward MacLeod, but Methos decided to answer it.

"None of us have ever known our birth parents. We can't have children; our origins are a mystery."

Lex blinked at him. "I wasn't adopted."

"Yes, most likely, you were."

Without another word Lex pulled out his phone, checking his watch. Methos looked at the clock on the wall. It was 9:30 p.m. "Fourthirty," Lex muttered, dialing a number on his phone.

"Dad," Lex said after a moment. "Yeah, I don't really care, I have to ask you something." A pause. "Well the meeting can wait. Was I adopted?"

Lex chewed on his bottom lip impatiently. "Well, that's a touching sentiment, but could you just answer the question?" He closed his eyes, nodding slowly. "I see. Did you ever think that this was something I had a right to know?" Another nod. "Right, of course. It's only my fucking life."

Pulling the phone away from his ear, he looked at it for a moment before shutting it and pitching it across the room. Methos reached up and caught it before it hit the wall behind him, raising an eyebrow when it rang a second later.

Lex walked over, snatching the phone from his hand. "What?" he snapped. His face suddenly softened, causing him to look much younger and more approachable than the angry man whom had just thrown the phone across the room.

"Clark," his voice sounded warm and happy for the first time that evening, "sorry about that, I thought you were my dad." Lex wrinkled his nose, "Yeah, I'm sure it does."

"No, it's not too late. I've just had a stressful day. I was mugged." Lex smiled again as he listened to the reply to his statement. "I'm fine, just a little shaken up. Look, I can't really talk right now," Lex's gaze moved warily over Duncan and Methos, "Can I call you tomorrow?" He smiled again. "Yes, I'm sure I'm fine. I'll talk to you later."

"Yeah, you too. Bye."

Lex sat back down, still looking weary but a little less shaken. Methos wondered who Clark was.

Leaning forward again, a tight smile appeared on Lex's lips. "Now, tell me about the whole sword thing."

"What do you think?" Duncan asked as they pulled away from Lex's hotel. The new immortal had assured them he would be fine until tomorrow, adamantly refusing to sleep on the couch. He had agreed to meet them in the morning to discuss training.

Methos shrugged, "He needs a teacher."

Duncan glanced over at his friend, wondering what was going on in his head. He had been uncharacteristically silent most of the evening, studying Lex with an interest that both puzzled and annoyed Duncan.

"You think?" he knew he sounded exasperated, but he didn't really care. Methos knew what he was asking; he was just being his usual, irritating self.

"He's a survivor," Methos answered finally. "All he needs is the right training." Methos fixed his gaze on Duncan.

"You aren't suggesting I train him?"

"Why not," Methos questioned, "You don't have a student."

"Neither do you!" Duncan shot back. "Besides, I'm not moving to Metropolis."

Methos cocked his head and looked at him, "You were getting ready to go back to the states anyway and you said you didn't want to go back to Seacouver. Metropolis is a big city; you can open up another antique store there."

"Just because I'm moving back to the states doesn't mean that I want to move to Kansas to build my life around some snotty little rich kid." Duncan wasn't sure why Methos' interest in the kid got to him so much. "Why do you care anyway?"

Another shrug, "He's interesting."

"If you like him so much why don't you teach him?"

"What if we both did?" And somehow, that hadn't been the answer Duncan had been expecting.

"Let me get this straight," he answered as they stepped out of the car and headed toward the barge. "You want us both to move to Metropolis to teach this kid we barely know because you find him interesting?"

Methos smiled, "What can I say? I'm easily amused. You can teach him the finer points of fighting and all that and I can make sure you don't corrupt him with all your ideas of honor and chivalry."

"Somehow I don't think that will be a problem." Duncan knew Methos was only half joking.

"C'mon, MacLeod," his friend wheedled, "You telling me you have something better to do?" And in the end Duncan agreed because he couldn't think of a good reason not to.

Lex sighed as he closed the door to his hotel room. He had called his assistant and told her to call and cancel all his credit cards. Luckily he hadn't been carrying much cash. The muggers hadn't taken his hotel room key or his cell phone and Lex was thankful for small favors. He really hadn't wanted to come back to find everything in his room stolen.

He went into the bathroom and started the water in the oversized bathtub. Exhausted but too wired to go to sleep, Lex needed to think. Adopted. Somehow it seemed wrong that the thing he was hung up on was his adoption, but he couldn't help it.

//Your mother had several miscarriages; it was apparent she wasn't going to be able to carry a child to term. Nobody knows you were adopted. // Evidently he had been almost a year old. They had wanted an infant, but his mother had seen him with his head of bright red hair and insisted they adopt him, and wasn't that just a cruel thing to bring up? Lex ran a hand over his head. No wonder his father had been so excited when Julian was born. Who wouldn't be happy to have a real son after being so disappointed with their adopted one?

For an awful, gut-wrenching moment Lex had felt horribly and utterly alone. Then Clark had called. Eyes closed as he settled into his bath, Lex smiled at the thought of Clark. It was amazing how the sound of his voice had so easily brought Lex back from the brink of despair. Clark, who had also been adopted.

Lex sat up; the epiphany hitting him so suddenly that it took his breath away. What if Clark was immortal too? It made perfect sense! It would explain his secrecy, his invulnerability.

//Of course. // He wondered if Clark realized what he was. Smiling happily, Lex slid back down into the hot water. His only friend in the world was most likely exactly like he was. The prospect of eternal life was much brighter than it had been a moment before. Lex couldn't wait to return to Metropolis.

The sound of the sword fight made Clark pause as he walked into Lex's gym; it wasn't the sound of the fencing foils that Clark was used to hearing. As he opened the door to the practice room, a startling sight greeted him. Lex was wearing what Chloe referred to as a 'wife-beater' undershirt and a pair of loose fitting track pants, which in itself was weird enough. However, it was what he was currently doing that made Smallville's meteor mutants normal by comparison.

Lex was engaged in an actual sword fight with another man. His opponent was tall and lanky, with short dark hair and a rather large nose. Clark assumed by the look on Lex's face that the fight was not serious, though the intensity with which the swords clashed was enough to make Clark flinch. He had to wonder at the logic of Lex putting on several layers of padding to fence but wearing only a sleeveless shirt when broadswords were involved.

Neither man appeared to notice his presence, so he leaned against the wall to watch. It was obvious to Clark that his friend had bulked up in the past few months since he had returned from Paris. Lex's shoulders were a little broader, his muscles a little more defined. Lex was surprisingly good with a broadsword, but it was obvious that the other man was better. Their swords locked for a moment before Lex was disarmed and forced to his knees, sword at his throat.

"You're such a cocky little bastard," the man spoke in a rich, warm voice. "It's going to get you killed."

Lex started to laugh, but stopped when the sword was moved closer to his skin. Instead, "On my knees, Adam? How long have you wanted me like this?" Lex wet his lips with the tip of his tongue.

Adam chuckled, removing his sword and holding out his hand to help Lex up. "As tempting as that sounds, MacLeod will be here soon." Lex was standing now and Adam was still touching him. Clark pushed himself off the wall. The guy was still touching Lex, invading his personal space. They were both breathing heavily from the fight and who the hell did this guy think he was?

Clark gritted his teeth and stepped forward, trying to make his voice sound casual. "Here I thought all you did was fence, Lex."

Methos smirked as he noticed that Lex was suddenly six feet away from him. He had wondered how long it would take him to notice that there was someone else in the room. Methos had known the moment the young man walked in.

"Clark!" Lex smiled, "How long have you been here?"

Clark stepped forward, smiling tightly, "Long enough to see you lose. I'm just glad you had already lost your sword; I wasn't really in the mood to be run through."

"Oh sure, you throw a foil at a guy's head one time and you never hear the end of it."

Methos studied the kid in front of him. So, this was Clark. He had dark hair and clear green eyes with obscenely long eyelashes. As tall as Methos, with broad shoulders and slim hips, Clark made quite a pretty picture. Especially with those lips -- they could give a guy ideas. Just like Duncan, he had the look of a fallen angel. No wonder Lex was so infatuated with the kid.

Clark's posture was still rigid as he turned toward Methos. Lex stepped forward, "Clark, this is Adam Pierson, my new teacher, I guess you could say."

Methos stepped forward, his best humble 'Adam Pierson' persona in place. "Nice to meet you," he said holding out his hand. "I've heard quite a bit about you."

Clark took his hand in an impressive grip; tight enough for Methos to know he was being warned off, even if Clark didn't realize that was what he was doing. "Funny, I haven't heard anything about you."

"There's not much to hear." Methos was saved from saying any more by the tingle at the base of his spine alerting him to MacLeod's presence.

He saw Lex flinch out of the corner of his eye. Lex had been immortal long enough that 'the presence' was no longer intensely painful, but Methos knew it was still strong enough to leave Lex with a minor headache. The telltale warning sign of another immortal's presence faded in time, staying strong only long enough that its importance was not underestimated.

"I swear, one of these days I'm just going to kill her and be done with it," MacLeod spoke as he walked into the room, not realizing there was someone else there.

Methos chuckled. "How is Amanda?"

MacLeod gave him a dirty look.

"Duncan," Lex stepped forward before anyone could say anything else, "this is my friend, Clark Kent."

MacLeod turned to face Clark, all signs of annoyance dropping from his expression. //Ah, MacLeod, ever the charmer. //

"Nice to meet you." MacLeod shook Clark's hand.

Lex tried not to grit his teeth in frustration. He wondered what would have happened with Adam if Clark hadn't walked into the room. He sighed, deciding not to think about it. He had been disappointed when he returned from Paris to find out that Clark wasn't immortal. Whatever Clark's secrets were, they had nothing to do with 'The Game'.

"So what's up, Clark?" he smiled as Clark turned away from Duncan to face him.

"Not much. Can't a guy just visit his best friend?" Clark raised his eyebrows hopefully, looking a little guilty.

Lex knew that look. Clark wanted something but he didn't want to ask for it, which was really quite charming. The fact that, after all these years, Clark still felt bad about asking Lex for favors was incredibly endearing.

"Isn't said guy supposed to be in his English class at the moment?" Lex chided, smiling.

Clark returned the smile with a sheepish grin. "I actually have kind of a favor to ask. Remember Ashleigh?"

"Your girlfriend of the month?" Lex frowned. Yeah, he remembered her. He hadn't liked her. It was a moot point though; Lex never liked Clark's girlfriends.

"See, that's the thing. It's our one-month anniversary tonight and I'm taking her to dinner. I was wondering if I could borrow your Porsche?" Clark looked so hesitant about asking. Lex wondered if it was residual guilt from Jonathon Kent's numerous rants against the Luthors.

"Isn't that a bit much for a one-month anniversary, Clark?" It wasn't as though Lex didn't want Clark to use the car. Clark was his best friend; he had been for almost five years now. It was no coincidence that Lex's move back to the city had coincided with Clark's first quarter at Metropolis U.

What worried Lex was the fact that Clark rarely asked for favors on any sort of grand scale. Lex wondered if this meant that this thing with Ashleigh was serious. God, he hoped not. Clark deserved so much better.

Clark sighed, a worried look marring his features. "Things haven't been so great lately. I just want tonight to be special; impress her a little."

"Clark," This was why Lex had never liked the girls Clark dated. None of them seemed to appreciate him. Chloe had been the only one that Lex knew of who had realized how unique he was. However, in Clark's grand tradition of bad taste in women, he hadn't ever pursued the plucky reporter and she had eventually moved on.

"You can have the Porsche, but are you sure this is a good idea? Any girl who isn't impressed by just you isn't worth wasting your time on."

The remark earned him a patented Kent smile. "This from the guy who has designer everything?"

"It's not the same." Lex grinned.

"No, it isn't" Clark frowned suddenly, his voice soft. "You never even give people the chance to be impressed by just you."

Lex turned away from Clark's gaze. "It's fine, Clark, but you are not having sex in my car." Lex walked over to his gym bag, he was pretty sure he had the keys to the Porsche with him.

"God, Lex!" Clark rolled his eyes, blushing lightly. He was obviously embarrassed by the comment as he grabbed for the keys dangling from Lex's finger. "I wouldn't do that."

Lex felt a little guilty for embarrassing Clark, but damn if the boy didn't look adorable when he blushed like that. "I know you wouldn't. It would be way too cramped in there, you wouldn't know what to do." Lex sighed dramatically. "Poor, innocent Clark."

Clark grabbed Lex's wrist, grinning. "You're a funny guy. Do you really want to know the details of my sex life?" He jingled the keys. "Thanks for this. I owe you big time."

Lex knew he was gaping, but he couldn't help it. //What sex life? // Clark was having sex? "What sex life?"

"Huh uh, I don't kiss and tell." Clark grinned.

"But you've been...kissing?" Since when was Clark having sex and why hadn't Lex heard anything about it?

Clark smiled at Adam and MacLeod, though it seemed to Lex that the smile was forced, which was odd. "It was nice to meet you both. I'll call you tomorrow, Lex."

"Clark!" He hadn't answered the question and Lex was beginning to wonder if he really wanted to know. Clark and sex, his brain was busy trying to process this new information, but the initial analysis seemed to be that, no, Lex didn't like that at all.

"No, Lex. I've never kissed any of my girlfriends. Ashleigh and I have held hands a couple times, but anything else would be a little inappropriate, don't you think?" Clark smiled. "I'll talk to you tomorrow."

The sarcasm was uncalled for. Lex really wanted to flip him off, but resisted the urge. Instead, he turned to MacLeod and Adam as the door slammed shut behind his friend. It seemed they had been watching the exchange with a good deal of interest. "Yeah?" he sounded a little more upset than he had intended.

"So, that was Clark?" Adam smiled, eyebrow raised.

Frowning, Lex walked over to pick up his sword. "Yeah, that was Clark." He turned to face Adam, sword raised. "C'mon, let's give it another go."

Lex's training was going well. His fencing experience helped immensely, the kid had good instincts. After only a few months he was able to hold his own against both Duncan and Methos. He was light-years ahead of where Richie had been at that point in his training.

Upon arriving in Metropolis, Duncan had been pleased to learn that Lex already owned a building with a gym. It actually reminded Duncan of his dojo in Seacouver, with the gym on the ground level and an apartment upstairs, except that Lex's building was state-ofthe -art, naturally. His gym was also private, which made teaching him quite a bit easier.

After another hour or so of sparring Lex disappeared upstairs into his apartment, mumbling something about Porsches and slutty girlfriends. Duncan watched Methos watching Lex as the boy left and frowned.

"What do you say, old man? Think you can go another round?"

Methos smiled, "Any time, Highlander."

Duncan loved sparring with Methos. It was rare that he had a partner as adept with a sword as Methos was and Duncan relished the challenge. No matter how many times they sparred, it was always different and, though he always won, it was never easy. Duncan had to wonder if that was simply because that was what Methos wanted. He wasn't sure who would win if it ever came down to an actual fight between them and he hoped he would never have to find out.

Roughly an hour later, Duncan was ready to call it quits. He was still a little tired from traveling. He turned to Methos; "Do you want to go get something to eat?"

Methos tilted his head thoughtfully and Duncan didn't miss the way his eyes flicked toward the door before they settled back on him. "I'll take a raincheck," he said finally. "I wanted to talk to Lex."

Duncan nodded, trying not to be bothered by the amount of time Methos was spending with their student. After being out of town for the week in an effort to keep Amanda out of jail, Duncan had expected that his friend would at least have dinner with him if for no other reason than to give him a hard time about his chivalrous tendencies. He said goodbye, shrugging off his annoyance. He was emphatically not jealous.

Methos was still in the gym when Lex came down a few hours later. He had showered and changed into jeans and a sweater and was making sure all the equipment was put away before he locked up. He hummed in approval as he took in Lex's outfit. Lex was dressed in a silver mesh shirt, black leather pants, black boots and he was carrying a black duster.

"Where's MacLeod?" Lex asked, setting down his coat.

"He went to get something to eat, I think. Where are you going?" Methos admired the way Lex's shirt hung on his frame, outlining his muscles, as well as the way his leather pants hugged his ass. Methos was enjoying the dance he and Lex had been doing over the past few months, feeding the underlying attraction that both of them recognized. Methos knew that the attraction wasn't anything but sexual. However, after several years of MacLeod missing every clue he dropped, it was nice to have someone to play with.

"Out." It seemed that Lex was tired of playing.

"I gathered as much," Methos answered dryly. "Any particular reason?"

The look he received was calculating and predatory. "Yeah, I want to get laid and no one around here seems interested in doing the job." Lex's voice was low and seductive as he stalked toward Methos. Methos briefly wondered if Lex's sudden need had anything to do with Clark and his girlfriend and their one-month anniversary. He'd have to thank Clark later.

Methos chuckled, taking his time to look Lex up and down once more. "Hmm, maybe if you had worn those pants before..."

That earned him a wolfish grin. "You think so?"

"Mm hmm. Has your friend Clark seen you in those?" It was the wrong thing to say.

"Clark and I are just friends." All the teasing light disappeared from Lex's eyes as he turned around and started walking back toward his coat.

"Lex," Methos called out. //Way to fuck things up. // The reaction didn't surprise him. He was pretty sure he would act the same way if someone called him on his attraction to MacLeod.

Stopping mid-stride, Lex turned around. "My goal for the night is to get laid. Do I have to go out to accomplish that?"

"Only if you want to." Lex's predatory look came back with that comment as Methos strode toward him.

Methos stopped once he had stepped inside Lex's personal space. "I don't," Lex murmured before he grabbed a handful of sweater and pulled Methos in for a languidly erotic kiss.

Methos growled, moving his hands down to cup the leather-clad ass. Purring happily, Lex slid his fingers through Methos' short hair. Methos moved one hand from Lex's ass to his lower back under the mesh shirt. He pulled Lex in closer so that the younger man was pressed up against him and God, did that feel good.

It had been a long time since Methos had been with someone as blatantly sexual as Lex and Methos could think of nothing that he wanted to do more than strip off those leather pants and fuck the boy senseless. From the noises Lex was making, Methos assumed that he was on board with the idea.

Grabbing Lex by the waist, Methos swung him around and slammed him against the wall hard enough for Lex to grunt at the impact. He bent in for another kiss, biting Lex's lip hard enough to draw blood. Smiling, Methos drew back, pleased with Lex's swollen lips and slightly dazed look. "Shall we take this upstairs, or do you want me to fuck you here?"

Lex smiled darkly. He grabbed a fistful of hair and brought Methos down for another brutal kiss. This time Lex was the one to draw blood, his short nails biting into Methos' neck as his teeth nipped at Methos' lower lip. "Upstairs."

Methos was about to agree when he heard the door shut behind him. He didn't need to turn around to see who it was, the expression on Lex's face told him. "Oh shit, Clark..." Lex squirmed out of Methos' grip and ran after his friend.

Sighing, Methos rested his forehead against the wall as he tried to get his hormones back under control. //So close. // Clark had a fucking brilliant sense of timing.

It was quite possibly the worst night of Clark's life. Clark stood outside the Porsche, staring at the keys hanging from the ignition and wondered what else could go wrong. His date had gone horribly, ending with a spectacular break-up. For the life of him Clark couldn't figure out why he had such bad luck with women.

After he had dropped Ashleigh off at her dorm, he had immediately headed over to Lex's, in accordance with his post break-up ritual. Lex was always the first person Clark went to see and no matter how bad the break-up had been, he always left feeling better.

However, upon his arrival Clark hadn't found a friend with a sympathetic ear; he had found Lex making out with another guy in his gym. Clark really hadn't been ready to face that. There had always been the vague notion floating around the back of his mind that Lex's...interests ran both ways, but he had tried not to examine that thought too much.

Thinking about sex in regards to his friend always brought up lots of uncomfortable ideas that Clark really wasn't ready to deal with. Faced with such blatant proof of Lex's interest in men, Clark freaked out. He couldn't shake the image from his mind, Adam's hands on Lex's body, a body Adam had no right to be touching.

Clark had stood there stunned, faced with this new version of the man he had known for almost five years. Lex leaning against the wall, his lips red from kissing, his pupils dilated with passion and Clark had no idea how to process it. So he had turned around and walked back out the door, slamming it shut behind him before he realized what he was doing. //Fuck! // He felt like hitting something or someone...

"Clark," he heard Lex call out but didn't turn around. He wasn't ready to face him yet; he didn't know what to say. And maybe, if he hadn't been so preoccupied he would have heard the car coming, would have realized it was going too fast. He would have turned before he heard the sickening thud of a body hitting the windshield and the squeal of tires as the car sped away.

As it was, by the time he turned around, the only thing Clark saw was the broken body of his best friend lying in the middle of the street. //Oh, God. // Clark ran over to Lex, scanning his body with his x-ray vision. Among the other broken bones, Lex's neck was snapped.

Clark didn't register the sound of a car driving up; he couldn't see anything anymore because of the tears blurring his vision. He felt a warm hand on his shoulder, barely recognizing the voice that called his name. He looked up blinking the tears away until he recognized the man standing next to him as Duncan MacLeod.

"What happened?" Duncan asked softly.

"A car," Clark was having a hard time talking. "Can you fix him?" He was sobbing in earnest now, tears streaming down his face and it didn't matter because Lex was just lying there with his head cocked at an unnatural angle and nothing fucking mattered. "Oh, God, fix him!"

Duncan knelt beside him, checking Lex for a pulse as if it weren't obvious that he was already dead. "It'll be okay, let's just get him inside."

Clark just nodded dumbly as Duncan picked Lex up and walked into the building. He trailed after them feeling completely numb. He watched in a daze as Adam stepped out of the gym, asking what happened as Duncan passed him on his way upstairs.

Once inside the apartment, Duncan laid Lex down on the couch. Clark knelt down beside him. This wasn't Lex; it couldn't be. This was a bad dream that Clark was going to wake up from any minute. He ran his fingers over Lex's face gently. "C'mon Lex, wake up. Please?" Clark was hiccuping in-between sobs now and shaking so badly that he jerked his hand away from Lex's face, afraid that he might hurt him.

"It'll be okay," Duncan's voice sounded far away, like he was at the other end of a long tunnel, but he sounded so confident, so sure about what he was saying.

Clark was afraid that if he asked questions he would fall apart completely, he just sat there staring at Lex's body. //Lex, // his mind automatically corrected. Not a body, it wasn't a body. Lex wasn't dead. "God, Lex, please wake up," he whispered. "I'm sorry I freaked, I'm sorry, just, please!"

Caught up in his frantic apologies and whispered pleas, Clark didn't notice the noise at first. It sounded like someone was cracking their knuckles and it was coming from Lex. He x-rayed Lex's body again, gasping as he witnessed the bones snapping back together. A loud crack and Lex's neck was whole again. Then the sound of a heartbeat, the soft "whoosh" of blood pumping through the veins again and in another moment Lex's eyes flew open as he gasped for air.

"Is it always that fucking painful?" Lex ground out as he struggled to sit up.

Clark's mind was completely blank. The last thing he saw before he passed out was Lex's clear blue eyes focus on him. His friend was very much alive.

Duncan watched Lex sit up and look down at his friend passed out on the floor. "Well, that wasn't really the way I was planning on telling him." He looked back up, "Help me get him on the couch?"

They soon had Clark spread peacefully on the couch that Lex had just occupied. Lex looked more agitated than Duncan had ever seen him and part of Duncan was relieved at the evidence that Lex was subject to human emotions. The kid always seemed so calm and collected.

Lex looked down examining his ruined shirt. His leather pants had protected his legs, but his upper body was covered in dried blood from dozens of tiny cuts and scrapes. Walking toward the bathroom, Lex removed the remains of his shredded shirt. He emerged a moment later with a wet washcloth, wiping the dirt and blood off his chest as he walked.

"How long do you think he'll be out?" Lex asked, a worried look passing across his face.

"Hard to tell," Duncan shrugged.

"Is this a normal reaction?"

Duncan smiled a little at that, thinking of the various reactions he'd gotten over the centuries. Passing out really wasn't that uncommon. He just hoped that Clark wouldn't be too upset when he woke up. As far as Duncan could tell, Lex's friendship with Clark was the most important relationship in Lex's life. Duncan didn't fancy finding out what would happen if Clark weren't around to balance Lex's otherwise jaded existence.

"Don't worry about it," Methos said, walking over to Lex and taking the washcloth out of his hand. Duncan watched as his friend rinsed out the washcloth in the kitchen sink and walked back to Lex. "Turn around," he instructed. When Lex obeyed, Methos started to clean off his back with long, slow strokes.

Lex's back arched slightly into Methos' touch, like a cat being petted and Duncan was again struck by the similarity between the two men. They both had a sensuality inherent in their movements, a catlike grace that Duncan had always attributed to Methos' age - at least until he had met Lex. Both men were at home in their skin in a way that few people were.

Duncan felt the muscle in his jaw jump as Lex's eyes fluttered closed and realized he was clenching his teeth. "What happened?"

"I got hit by a car." Lex's eyes didn't open, but his lips curved into a bitter smile. "It hurt like hell."

A groan from the couch cut off Duncan's response. "Lex?" Clark sat up with a panicked look on his face.

Lex walked over to his friend, crouching down so he was eye-level with Clark, "Hey, are you okay?"

Clark stood up quickly, causing Lex to straighten up as well. "Lex, you're not dead." Reaching out, Clark swept his fingers over Lex's neck. "You were..." he trailed off, his eyes moving over Lex's still-naked torso.

Lex endured the examination patiently until Clark reached out with both hands running them lightly up Lex's ribcage. Grabbing Clark's wrists, Lex stilled the wandering hands, but didn't step away from their touch. "I'm alright, Clark."

Clark looked confused and hurt, a little like a lost puppy. "Lex, what's going on? How is that possible?"

Lex looked over at Methos and Duncan a little desperately before turning back to his friend. "I have something to tell you."

"I'd say so." Clark frowned.

Lex nodded slightly, "I'm immortal, Clark."

"What?" Clark shook his head, either not understand or refusing to accept Lex's confession.

"I can't die; not permanently, anyway. I'm immortal." Lex repeated slowly.

Clark shook his head again as he removed his hands from Lex's grasp. His eyes narrowed as he backed away, his features suddenly marred by suspicion and mistrust. Lex flinched as Clark pulled away.

Duncan felt like he was intruding on something very intimate, but he didn't want to draw attention to himself by leaving. He glanced over at Methos, who was observing the conversation with more than a little interest. Once again Duncan felt a surge of annoyance at Methos' preoccupation with Lex.

"You remember that night you called me in Paris and I told you I was mugged?"

Clark nodded, but didn't say anything.

Taking a deep breath, Lex continued. "I was mugged, but I was shot too, through the chest, point blank."

"That's not possible," Clark shook his head and took another step back.

"I know, it sounds impossible, but it's true. Duncan and Adam are immortal, too." Lex smiled nervously. "They're showing me the ropes, I guess you could say."

Lex started to move forward, but stopped as Clark took several more steps back. His arms were crossed against his chest, his posture screaming 'back off.' He looked like he was about to bolt.

Clark glanced over at Duncan and Methos; the hurt look was back. "You've known since Paris?" Clark frowned again at Lex's nod. "Why didn't you just tell me?"

"Because you've always been so honest with me, right?" Duncan was surprised by Lex's harsh tone. Clark didn't respond, just bit his lip and looked down.

Lex sighed as he ran his hand over his scalp. "I was going to tell you, Clark. I just didn't know how." He shrugged, looking a little helpless. "I was going to tell you."

"I need to think," Clark said slowly, still looking at the ground as if it held all the answers. "I should go."

Clark looked up at Duncan with an ill-fitting smirk. "Do you think you could give me a ride home? I locked the keys in the car." At Duncan's nod, he turned to leave.

"Clark," Lex stepped forward. Clark turned around but his gaze was fixed on the wall behind Lex. "We're still friends, right?" There was both pleading and a little desperation in Lex's tone.

The smile Clark gave was strained, unmistakably sad. "Of course. I just need to...process. I'll talk to you tomorrow, okay?" He looked like he had just lost his best friend.

"Okay," Lex watched as Clark left the room.

Duncan turned to him, feeling a grudging sense of compassion for the boy. He looked so helpless. "I'll talk to him." Lex just nodded.

"Here," Methos handed Lex a drink, a little worried at the tension that was radiating from the young man in front of him. Lex took the drink and tossed it back, his eyes watering a little as it went down.

Methos walked over to the couch and sat down, assuming his usual sprawl. Lex studied the glass in his hand for a moment and it didn't take much for Methos to guess what was coming next.

"Fuck!" Lex hurled his glass at the wall. The boy did have a temper.

"Do you want to spar?"

"What?" Lex looked surprised.

"Sparring is a good way to work off all that tension." Methos could tell that Lex was close to his breaking point. The smile he received in response to his question was still tired and frustrated, but held a shadow of the one Lex had worn downstairs when the night had looked promising.

"Can you think of a better way to work off tension?" Lex asked as he stepped between Methos' spread knees. "I've had enough fighting for one day."

Methos sat forward, running his hands up the back of Lex's leatherclad thighs. Lex bent his knees so that they were resting on the edge of the couch. "I could probably think of something." Methos leaned in and kissed Lex's stomach lightly, nipping and scraping his teeth across developed abs, enjoying the way the muscles tensed and jerked beneath the skin.

"Adam," Lex groaned, apparently not in the mood for teasing.

Methos moved his hands up to Lex's hips, pushing him back a little. Once he had enough room, he slid off the couch onto his knees. He skimmed his knuckles over the front of Lex's pants, smiling a little at the gasp he received, before he unbuttoned them and undid the zipper.

Catching the waistbands of the leather pants and boxer briefs, Methos pulled them down, releasing Lex's erection. Lex's hands tightened in his hair a little as Methos placed a small kiss on the head of his cock.

Methos grinned wickedly. If Lex didn't want to be teased, who was he to go against his wishes? Licking his lips, Methos opened his mouth and swallowed Lex whole. It really wasn't an easy maneuver, but Methos had spent several centuries practicing.

"Christ!" Lex obviously hadn't expected to be deep-throated immediately.

Methos' only answer was to work his throat around Lex's cock, enjoying his response. Lex was making the sexiest noises, whimpering a little as his hips bucked forward. Methos moved his hands over Lex's ass, his fingers trailing gently over the cleft causing Lex's hips to jerk violently.

"Fuck." It came out as a breathy moan and Methos could tell that Lex wasn't going to last much longer. He felt the body under his hands shaking. A moment later Lex was coming down his throat. Methos swallowed until there was nothing more, then pulled away from Lex with a wet sucking sound.

Sitting back on his heels, Methos observed the pretty picture that Lex made. His eyes were closed, his lips parted and he was still panting. When he opened his eyes, they were dark with passion.

Lex sank slowly to his knees. They sat there for a moment, staring at each other. "Well, that certainly took the edge off my tension." Lex still sounded a little dazed, "Why don't we go to the bedroom and work off the rest?"

Methos wasn't about to argue with that.

The drive back to his dorm was quiet for the most part. Clark's mind was reeling from the revelation of Lex's immortality. He looked over at Duncan. "Lex said that you and Adam were immortal, too."

Duncan nodded.

"So how old are you?"

"Four hundred and fourteen years old this year." Duncan answered, keeping his eyes on the road.

Clark leaned back, his mind trying to process this new information. "How old is Adam?"

"Older." It didn't sound like Duncan was going to elaborate on that. "Clark," he said after a moment, "I know it's a little hard to process and I know you're upset, but imagine what Lex is going through. Finding out that you're different isn't easy, it's hard to tell how someone is going to react." Duncan paused, glancing over at him. "We have to keep our immortality a secret for obvious reasons. If people found out..."

"They would be scared, people are afraid of what they don't understand." Clark finished. The problem was, he didn't really have to imagine what Lex was going through, he pretty much knew. More than anyone, Clark understood how it felt to be different, to have to keep that difference a secret. He understood the desire to confide in those closest to him as well as the fear that kept him from doing so. Clark had reacted badly and he knew he had no right to be hurt that Lex had kept it a secret, not with Clark's secret still between them.

Clark felt an overwhelming sense of guilt for reacting the way he had. Every time he closed his eyes he saw the expression on Lex's face when Clark had pulled back. It was that very reason that had kept Clark from telling Lex his secret, he had feared that Lex would react in exactly that way. Lex had sounded so scared when he had asked Clark if they were still friends.

Duncan looked over at him, a small frown creasing his brow. "Are you all right?"

Closing his eyes, Clark nodded. "I'm not sure what freaked me out more, seeing Lex come back to life, or seeing him and Adam kissing." He felt more than saw Duncan stiffen beside him.

"They were what?" Duncan asked far too quietly.

//Uh oh. // Maybe Duncan wasn't supposed to know about that. Clark started back peddling. "Well, I don't know if they were actually kissing, exactly. I just broke up with my girlfriend and I was upset and I might have misinterpreted it..."

"It's all right, Clark." Duncan assured him, though his clenched jaw led Clark to believe that it really wasn't. "Adam and Lex are grown men; they can make their own decisions."

Clark smiled tightly, trying to swallow the ridiculous lump that had formed in his throat. It was amazing how one day could change everything so completely. He wondered what else Lex was hiding from him and if his assurance to Lex that they were still friends was true. Clark quite honestly didn't know where they would go from here.

"Thanks for the ride." And it was nice to know that in spite of everything, Clark could remember his manners. His mother would be proud.

Duncan smiled, "If you need someone to talk to..."

"Thanks." Clark found himself answering Duncan's smile. There was something about the man that made Clark comfortable, some sort of unspoken understanding and he had the feeling that he and Duncan were more alike than not.

He watched as Duncan's car turned the corner. Looking to make sure that nobody else was around, Clark took off running at full speed. He needed to think, and he couldn't do it here.

It always started the same way. He was standing in the Oval Office wearing a white suit, his hands braced on his desk. He knew that this was it; his dream had come true. He was one of the most powerful men in the world.

He walked out of the room and suddenly he was standing in an endless field of sunflowers, the sun shining overhead in the clear blue sky. He had always liked sunflowers, though he wasn't sure why. He bent over to smell one of them, but when he went to caress the flower with his gloved hand, it wilted.

As if his touch had spread an infection, all the flowers quickly wilted and died and he was left standing in a barren field, the earth black and littered with bones. Clouds moved into the sky, angry and blood red with flashes of lightning to make them more menacing.

As he turned to watch the sky, it began to rain. But when he looked down, he realized that it was blood falling from the sky. He then lifted his face and arms in supplication as the blood fell, staining his white suit until he was covered.

Lightning flashed out of the sky and surged through his body charging every nerve and it was like he had a split personality. Half of him felt an absolute power so addicting that he shook with need for it, the other half stood in horror frantically searching for some clue as to how he could avoid the future his vision showed him. This night, the horrified part of his soul won out.

"No!" Lex shouted, sitting up in bed before he was fully awake. He blinked and rubbed his eyes until he could no longer see the red. "No wonder she died," he muttered to himself.

"Who died?" Adam shifted next to him, reminding Lex that he wasn't alone. It had been awhile since anyone had spent the night. "Are you okay?"

Lex lay back down. "I'm fine, just a nightmare."

"It sounded like more than that to me. Do you want to talk about it?"

No, Lex really didn't want to talk about it, and yet, there was something about Adam that made Lex think that maybe he would understand. Lex certainly couldn't tell Clark. "There was this woman, Cassandra." Adam stiffened beside him.

"Cassandra?" He sounded wary.

Lex laughed a little, "Yeah, some old lady who went blind because of the meteor shower back in Smallville. She had visions. A blind seer named Cassandra, how's that for a Greek allusion?"

Adam chuckled beside him, but it sounded a little strained.

Lex stared at the ceiling. He had never told anyone about his visit to Cassandra. "I went to see her, to find out what she saw for my future."

"And?" Adam prodded when he didn't continue, "What did she see?"

"She died. She took my hand and saw my future and it killed her. I never knew what it was she saw, but lately I've been having these nightmares, one nightmare, actually."

"You think that your nightmare is her vision?"

Lex nodded in the dark. "It's always the same."

"What makes you think you're nightmare is connected to her at all?"

Lex was startled by the question, why had he connected the nightmare to Cassandra? "I don't know, I can't explain it. It's just a feeling I have." Jesus, when had he become so superstitious?

"Tell me," Adam requested softly.

Lex relayed his nightmare with as much detail as he could remember, ending with his conflicting emotions. He was shaking again by the time he was finished and Adam's thoughtful silence wasn't really helping.

"It's not as bad as you think, or it doesn't have to be, anyway." Adam said finally. "Visions are never literal and because we're immortal, they are not interpreted the same way as the vision of a mortal's future would be. First of all, you can never be President."

Lex turned, startled at the statement. "What do you mean? Why not?"

"We can't hold positions of power like that. You're no longer operating on a mortal playing field. Especially in today's world, you can't afford to have that kind of attention; you could be recognized as an immortal. Most likely that is what the first part of the vision is about."

"How so?" Lex frowned. Becoming President was pretty much his life's ambition.

"That was the major goal you had set for yourself, correct?" At Lex's nod, Adam continued. "The field of flowers represents your dreams and ambitions. The gloved hand serves as the disguise you have to wear to keep your immortality a secret. Your ambitions are killed as they are exposed to the realities of immortal life."

"What about the bones? And the blood?"

"Our way of life is inherently violent. We kill to survive. Unless you decide to become a monk or a priest and spend the rest of your days on holy ground, you will have blood on your hands, more than you can probably imagine at this point. Even men like MacLeod have the weight of those they have killed on their conscience."

Lex absorbed this information. Intellectually, he knew that there would come a time where he would have to either kill or be killed, but the idea of actually taking someone's head was still very unreal to him. He wasn't really worried that he couldn't so much as he worried about the implications that he could.

The only time Lex had ever taken a life had been to protect someone he loved, or rather, that someone's father. The twitch of a finger, the blink of an eye and Lex had blood staining his soul before he had lived a quarter of a century. He hadn't thought twice about pulling the trigger. Those nightmares still plagued him as well, the ones where he was a remorseless killer. It was nice that his psyche could mix his nighttime terrors up a bit. His sleep was never boring.

"What you have to worry about is the feeling of power." Adam said quietly after a few minutes. "Because we are immortal, we're not necessarily bound by mortal laws. There's a power that comes with our very nature, a feeling that we're above the law. It can be very easy to abuse that."

Lex felt Adam's eyes on him, but he didn't turn his head to meet the other man's gaze. After a moment Adam turned so that he was looking back up at the ceiling. "I know you're ambitious, Lex. You have to be careful. There's nothing more addictive than real power and once you get a taste of it, it's hard to remember why you shouldn't be ruling the world."

"You sound like you know."

"Better than you think." And something in Adam's tone kept Lex from questioning him further.

"There's already darkness in you, Lex. It's something you can't really escape. Believe me, I've tried. It's why we fall in love with men like Clark and MacLeod."

Lex didn't bother to deny it this time. "Why is that?"

"Because they have such clear definitions of right and wrong. They remind us that there's a reason to choose to do the right thing. They give us a reason to strive to be better. Everyone has a breaking point, Lex. If you live long enough, there will be several times in your life where you'll have the potential to choose the wrong path, to embrace the power offered to you without regard for the consequences."

"So how do you avoid that?" Lex shuddered, the image of his father trapped and calling out to him flashed through his mind. He knew the temptation Adam was describing far too intimately.

"Sometimes you have to rely on your friends. You won't ever be able to fight that kind of temptation on your own, no one can."

That made Lex wonder if his and Clark's friendship was salvageable. Clark had told him that they were still friends, but there was something in his eyes that left Lex unsure.

"Do whatever it takes to maintain your friendship with him," Adam said and Lex wondered if he could read minds. "Friends like that are too important to lose."




Lex didn't dream again for the rest of the night.

Duncan didn't get much sleep that night. Clark's words kept haunting him. Clark had seen Lex and Methos together, kissing. Everything, the looks, the small touches, it was all starting to make sense and ignorance really was bliss.

Around 3 a.m. Duncan gave up on trying to sleep altogether. Every time he closed his eyes his mind supplied him with very vivid pictures of all the things Methos and Lex could possibly be doing and even some things that Duncan was pretty sure weren't possible.

Pacing around his apartment, he tried to figure out why the thought of Methos with Lex threw him for such a loop. It wasn't like the idea that Methos liked men surprised him, not really. His friend had lived in ancient Greek and Roman societies where same sex relationships were expected.

Besides that, Duncan was pretty sure that Methos and Byron had been lovers. Thinking of the way Byron had looked at Methos made Duncan frown. Any guilt he felt at killing one of Methos' old lovers was drowned out by the fact that Duncan had really hated Byron.

Duncan stopped pacing. He had hated Byron. It wasn't because Byron had harmed a mortal; that was an excuse for killing him, not a reason for hating him. Duncan had been so overwhelmingly jealous that it had taken almost all of his willpower to refrain from killing the man the moment they met. Duncan had seen the way that Methos smiled at Byron and he had hated the man before he had even opened his mouth.

More than once Duncan had wondered why his friendship with Methos was so unbelievably complicated. At first he had thought it was just because of Methos' age, but he blamed too much on that already. It was more than that, or possibly less. Duncan wasn't sure which.

After over a decade of friendship Duncan wasn't even close to figuring Methos out. The man ran hot and cold and Duncan could never predict what he would do in any given situation.

//Well, that's not entirely true. // There was one way in which Methos was wholly predictable, it was something Duncan had always refused to examine too closely. Whenever Duncan needed him, Methos was there, no matter what, no questions asked.

Methos had trusted Duncan immediately with his true identity, with his life. When it looked as though Duncan wouldn't be able to defeat Kalas, Methos had offered him his head, his strength. After 5,000 years he had been willing to give up his life to ensure Duncan's survival and Duncan wasn't quite sure what to do with that.

And perhaps that was the real reason their friendship had survived as much as it had, simply because Methos wanted it to. He had once told Duncan that he was too important to lose. Duncan had never let Methos know that he felt the same way and he wondered if Methos even knew that he was Duncan's best friend.

One of the most horrible moments of Duncan's life was when he had found out about Methos' past. That Methos had once been Death, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, had stunned Duncan, cut him to the core. And yet, even then part of him had still trusted Methos, had screamed out against the betrayal and begged Duncan to give him the benefit of the doubt. He had and it had worked out. The other three Horsemen were dead and Methos was still alive. Duncan had worried that their friendship couldn't weather so large a breach, but it had. Methos was too important to lose.

"Shit." Duncan sat down, cradling his head in his hands. It had been a long time since he had been so willfully blind. His head was starting to catch up with the conclusions his heart and soul had reached years ago, putting into crystal clear perspective the reason why the thought of Methos with Lex made Duncan want to kill something. Lex wasn't good enough for Methos; he could never love him the way..."Shit."

Duncan decided to talk to him in the morning. The first thing he had to do was break whatever fascination Lex held for Methos. He would calmly explain why a relationship his student was unacceptable. Checking his watch, Duncan decided to shower and eat breakfast. When he was done it was late enough in the morning to head over to Lex's apartment. Part of him fervently hoped that Methos wouldn't be there.

It was several minutes before anyone came to the door. Duncan gritted his teeth as it finally swung open to reveal Methos. His hair was wet and he was in the same outfit that he had been wearing the night before.

"MacLeod, you're a little early aren't you?" Methos stepped aside to let Duncan pass into Lex's apartment.

Duncan could hear the shower running in the other room. "I hope I didn't interrupt anything."

"No," Methos looked at him warily. "Is everything okay? You seem a little...tense."

"I was just thinking that when we moved to Metropolis, it was because you wanted to teach Lex, not fuck him." Duncan hadn't quite meant for the conversation to start like that, but presented with the reality of what had gone on last night, of what had probably been going on in the shower when he arrived, he couldn't remember what he had planned on saying.

"Oh, that."

"Yeah, that. What the hell were you thinking, Methos?" Well, so much for not losing his temper.

Methos looked over his shoulder toward the bedroom; the sound of running water had stopped. "It's really none of your business who I fuck and now really isn't the time to be having this conversation."

Duncan took a step toward Methos. "It's my business when it's my student that you're sleeping with," his voice was low and menacing.

"I'm sorry, I didn't know you were in charge of who Lex could and couldn't sleep with. I'm sure he'd be interested to know that."

"Know what?" Lex walked into the room. He was wearing a pair of black pants and a blue shirt, which only served to emphasize his startling blue eyes. His skin was still flushed from the heat of the shower and there were dark circles under his eyes, like he hadn't gotten much sleep.

Thinking of why Lex hadn't slept pissed Duncan off even more. Who did the cocky little bastard think he was, anyway?

"What's going on guys?" Eyes moving back and forth between Methos and Duncan, Lex didn't really look all that concerned.

"I thought you might be concerned about your friend. My mistake." Duncan wondered what had happened to his mental filter. //Think before you speak. //

Lex's eyes narrowed and Duncan once again realized how uncomfortable it was to be the object of Lex Luthor's undivided scrutiny. "What makes you think I'm not?"

Duncan bit his lip to keep from responding, trying to get his temper in check. He simply looked at Methos and then back at Lex. The boy bristled almost immediately, understanding the meaning behind Duncan's look.

"Clark said he needed to take some time to think." Lex was definitely defensive now and something about it being unwise to corner dangerous animals ran through Duncan's mind.

"Maybe you should have done the same thing." Yep, his filter was definitely gone. His brain was on autopilot, which really wasn't a good thing.

"And maybe it's really none of your business."

Methos, who had been watching the exchange with a semi-amused expression up until this point, stepped forward. "Lex, excuse us for a moment." Lex nodded as Methos grabbed Duncan's arm and pulled him aside. Duncan watched Lex walk into the kitchen; his movements smooth, but controlled in a way that proved the kid was really upset. Duncan didn't particularly care.

"We need to talk," Methos was no longer smiling.

"Yeah, thanks, Pete." Lex hung the phone up as Methos walked into the kitchen to tell him he was leaving. He didn't think Lex's apartment was the appropriate place to have an argument with MacLeod.

"Is everything all right?" Methos asked, noting Lex's concerned expression.

"That was Clark's roommate; he never went back to his room last night."

"I'm sure he's okay," Methos tried awkwardly, not really sure what to say. He wasn't the comforting type.

"I think I know where he is," Lex muttered, grabbing his coat. "Lock up before you leave."

Methos watched Lex leave before turning to MacLeod. "I'll meet you at your place, I'm not discussing this here." MacLeod just nodded.

During the drive over to MacLeod's apartment Methos' anger blossomed into a full-fledged rage. What the hell was the man's problem, anyway? He could screw anything and everything in a skirt, but one of the few times Methos gets lucky he freaks out!

The little outburst was completely out of character for MacLeod. In fact, he had been weird ever since they moved to Metropolis. Though MacLeod had been completely focused and thorough during his sessions with Lex, he had otherwise treated his student with a cold aloofness that had surprised Methos. He would have thought that Lex's troubled childhood and unloving father would have appealed to Duncan's savior instincts; it certainly seemed to strike a chord with Clark's.

"Do you mind telling me what the hell that was all about, MacLeod?" He demanded as soon as the apartment door had slammed shut behind him.

"I was simply expressing my concern about the nature of your relationship with our student." MacLeod didn't even sound like he believed that, why in the world would he think Methos would?

"No, what you were doing was throwing a temper tantrum and I want to know why."

"I wasn't throwing a temper tantrum." Now MacLeod just sounded petulant.

"Duncan." That got his attention. Methos never used MacLeod's first name. "What's going on? What is this really about?"

"I'm concerned about the amount of time you've been spending with Lex." MacLeod answered finally.

Methos looked at him incredulously. "You're jealous? That's what this is?"

"I'm not jealous of that..." MacLeod was back to sounding angry. "I'm not jealous," he reaffirmed. "I'm just concerned."

"Because I'm having sex?"

"With a student!" MacLeod yelled. "Do you not understand how wrong that is?"

"That's pretty rich coming from you, MacLeod." Lord, somebody save him from self-righteous Highlanders.

MacLeod made a sound that Methos assumed was supposed to be indignant. "I don't sleep with students!"

"No, just everyone else!" Methos snapped. "He's not my student."

MacLeod glared at him. "You still shouldn't be sleeping with him."

"Why, because you say so?"

"No, because I love you!"

Methos just stood there for a moment staring at MacLeod, unable to believe what he had just heard. He had figured that MacLeod would eventually realize the nature of Methos' feelings, but he had always been confident that MacLeod would never use them against him. Methos hadn't even suspected that Duncan was capable of that sort of manipulation. "Fuck you, MacLeod." He turned and left without another word.

Clark heard Lex's car pull up and for a moment he contemplated leaving before Lex found him, but decided against it. He remained sitting on the bank; his eyes focused on the river as he heard Lex carefully make his way down toward him. Lex didn't say anything as he sat down in the dirt next to Clark, evidently unconcerned about ruining his pants.

"I thought I might find you here," Lex finally broke the silence. They still weren't looking at each other.

Clark sighed. "I needed to think."

"So you said. What did you come up with?"

"That it didn't really matter," Clark gestured vaguely toward the water.

He felt the weight of Lex's gaze. "What do you mean, Clark?"

"My saving you that day. It didn't matter, you would have survived anyway, with or without me."

"Clark, look at me."

When Clark finally turned, he was surprised at how upset Lex looked.

"Don't ever think that what you did didn't matter. You did much more than save my life that day, you changed it." Lex's eyes searched his face, but Clark wasn't sure what they found. He turned away. "You're probably the only person who ever thought that I was worth saving, even after you found out who I was."

The comment reminded Clark of a saying he had heard somewhere. //A friend is someone who knows everything about you, but likes you anyway. // "I have something to tell you, Lex." His statement drew a dry laugh from his friend. "What's so funny?"

"Does this mean I get to be privy to Clark Kent's secrets? And all I had to do was die."

Clark started to stand up, Lex's comment stinging more than it should. "Fuck you, Lex. If you don't..."

"Clark, wait." He heard Lex sigh. "I'm sorry, that wasn't fair."

After a moment he sat back down. "That was the most horrible moment of my life, you know that? Seeing you there, lying in the street..." Clark closed his eyes for a moment, unable to finish his statement.

Fingertips trailed softly over his forehead as Lex brushed a lock of hair out of his eyes. They moved lightly over his cheek in a gentle request for him to turn, and if Clark leaned into the touch, Lex was nice enough not to mention it. The fingers remained for another moment, moving down Clark's neck before Lex drew them away. Clark missed their warmth immediately.

"I never meant for you to find out like that, Clark. I was planning on telling you, I just didn't know how. I didn't want to lose you."

And somehow, that made things easier. "I have something to tell you, Lex." Clark turned back toward the water. Despite everything that had happened in the last 24 hours, he had spent five years lying to Lex, he couldn't quite look him in the eye now.

"I'm not exactly human." When Lex didn't say anything Clark continued, afraid to look at his friend before his confession was over. "The day of the meteor shower my parents found me in Miller's field...where my ship crashed."

"Your ship?" Lex sounded confused.

"My, um, my spaceship." Clark was studying his hands now; unsure of how Lex would react. After all, in the fucked up universe they seemed to inhabit, being immortal was still way more normal that being an alien from outer space. It sounded like a cheesy comic book story.

"Your spaceship?"

"Are you going to repeat everything I say?" He hoped his tone was light and teasing; his guts were churning and a speechless Lex wasn't a good thing. Lex always had something to say, regardless of whether you wanted him to or not.

"You're telling me what, that you're an alien?" Lex sounded amused, of all things.

"Yeah, pretty much. Big, invulnerable, possibly immortal, alien from another planet here."

"I hit you with my car."


Lex started laughing, great uncontrollable sobs of laughter and if it sounded a bit hysterical, so what? There were worse reactions in Clark's estimation.

"We really do make a pair, don't we, Clark?" He asked between bouts of laughter, when he had calmed down enough to talk, though his shoulders still heaved and he seemed to be having trouble catching his breath.

Another few minutes and Lex was back under control, for the most part anyway. "So, do you have any special powers?"

Clark smiled, "Well, I'm pretty strong and fast. I can bend steel and stuff. Oh, and bullets won't kill me. They used to leave really nasty bruises, but they don't even hurt anymore. And I have x-ray vision." Clark blushed as he added, "heat vision, too."


"Sometimes I float when I'm sleeping." Clark paused, "You're really okay with this?"

"The alien asked the immortal." Lex shrugged, the expression on his face suddenly very somber. "I wish you had trusted me, Clark."

"It wasn't about trust, Lex."

Lex looked over at him again, the look in his eyes still dark. "Wasn't it? What was it then, Clark, if not trust?"

"What do you think, Mr. I've-been-an-immortal-for-three-monthswithout -telling-my-best-friend?" Clark was mad now. Who the hell was Lex to talk about keeping secrets?

Lex's anger matched Clark's. "I've known about my immortality for three months, Clark! How long have you know about being an alien? Don't try and turn this around on me."

"And how long would you have waited, if you hadn't..." God, that thought was never going to get easier, the picture of Lex's broken body; Clark was going to be sick. He took a deep breath, willing himself to calm down. "If last night hadn't happened, how long would you have waited to tell me?"

"If last night had never happened, would you have ever told me?" Lex countered softly as he studied his fingers.

Clark decided to tell the truth. "I don't know. I was afraid of how you'd react. I came down in the meteor storm that caused you to lose your hair. I was afraid that you would look at me differently, that you would hate me. I couldn't stand the thought of losing you, I still can't." He finally made himself look at Lex. "Have I lost you, Lex?"

"You don't have to worry about that, Clark." Lex finally turned to face him. "You're the single most important person in my world, you know that, don't you?"

Clark felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off his shoulders, he no longer had to hide from Lex. The excitement Clark felt at Lex's words was quickly squelched by the picture his brain had been supplying him with when it wasn't reminding him of Lex lying dead in the middle of the road. "What about Adam?"

"Adam?" Lex sounded genuinely surprised by the question. "Clark, what you saw...It was just sex. There's nothing between me and Adam."

"You call sex nothing?" He was cringing inwardly at how completely pathetic that sounded.

Lex shifted a little, which was an incredibly telling sign of how uncomfortable he was with the conversation. "We were attracted to each other, that's all it was." Lex was back to staring at his hands and Clark felt sorry for bringing it up. He didn't want Lex to think he was some sort of bigot. "Clark, he could never even be marginally as important to me as you are, no one I date ever is. You have to know that by now."

Turning toward Lex, Clark only had one question left to ask. "Where does that leave us?"

Lex cocked his head, meeting Clark's eyes with a thoughtful gaze. "Where do you want it to leave us?" His voice was softly curious.

And maybe Clark had known the answer the whole time; he had just been waiting for the right opportunity to acknowledge it. He really hoped he was right as he leaned in toward his friend, because there was no going back. The last thought that went through Clark's head before Lex's hot, wet mouth became the center of his universe was how appropriate it was that their first kiss was happening on the same riverbank where they had met a lifetime ago.

Lex was beginning to wonder just how many hands Clark had. At the moment, it felt like at least half a dozen, not that Lex was complaining. All the hands seemed to know what they were doing, especially... //Oh, yes. Right there. // Lex pressed up into Clark's touch and he hadn't guessed that Clark would be so aggressive.

After almost twenty minutes of exploratory kisses and heavy petting, however, Lex placed his hand on Clark's chest, pushing him back a little. "If we're going to go any further perhaps we should take this somewhere a little more comfortable." Clark had taken his jacket off so that Lex could use it as a pillow, but the rocks digging into his back were getting a little uncomfortable.

Clark pulled back with a sheepish grin. "Okay."

"God, you're beautiful." Lex sat up. Clark blushed and that never stopped being adorable. "So, should we go to the mansion or drive back to Metropolis?"

Laughing, Clark stood up, pulling Lex up with him. "The mansion, definitely. I don't think I could survive the three hour trip back to the city."

"If you don't stop looking at me like that, I'm not going to survive the five minute drive back to the castle." Lex tossed his keys to Clark. "You drive."

They made it to the mansion in record time.

The front door had barely shut behind them before Lex found himself pinned against the wall, which was nice, but..."I actually was thinking more along the lines of the bedroom." It came out more breathy than he had intended, but Clark was, at the moment, kissing his neck in the most distracting way.

Clark smiled against his neck. "To the bedroom, then." He pulled Lex upstairs like their lives depended on them making it to the bed in the next thirty seconds.

In Lex's bedroom, Lex was once again pinned under an amorous Clark Kent. Clark was kissing him, hot hands running up his sides under his shirt, which was most definitely not a bad thing...except.

Kissing Clark only served to emphasize how utterly meaningless the sex with Adam had been and Lex was starting to feel incredibly guilty for fucking around last night when Clark had been sitting outside by the river soul searching.


"Hmm? Busy." Lex's shirt had already been removed //When had that happened? // and Clark was working on his pants.

//Now is not confession time, // part of his brain protested as he tried to regain his control. "Clark, I have to tell you something."

Clark sat back, pulling his hands away from the zipper of Lex's pants. "What is it?" Lex now had his full and undivided attention. //Great. //

"I, last night after you left, Adam and I, we...Adam stayed over last night." When Clark didn't respond to his confession, Lex panicked a little. "I'm sorry. I wasn't really thinking. I never even imagined that you might have feelings for me beyond friendship. If I had known..."

Leaning over, Clark cut off Lex's frantic apology with a kiss. "Lex, it's okay. If I didn't know how I felt, it would be unfair of me to expect you to."

"So you're not mad?"

"Well, I'm not exactly happy about it." Clark shrugged. "It happened, it's over. Getting mad isn't going to change that." He leaned back over and claimed Lex's mouth in a fierce kiss. The possessiveness of the action went straight to Lex's cock. "If he ever touches you again, however, I'll kill him." Oh yes, Lex could get very used to that growl.

"He's immortal," Lex gasped. His brain was asking him why he was still talking, or maybe that wasn't his brain. Either way, Lex didn't have a good answer to that.

Clark gave him a wicked grin that Lex hadn't known him to be capable of. "Then I won't have to worry about what to do with the body, will I? Stop talking." Considering what Clark was now doing with his hands, Lex didn't even care to consider disobeying that command.

It seemed that Lex had gotten over his chatty mood and decided to put his mouth to better use. Clark was glad. Despite what he had said, he was definitely not okay with Lex and Adam sleeping together. Not wanting to hear any more about it, he put his mind toward erasing the memory of Adam's touch from Lex's body.

He had finally succeeded in getting Lex out of his pants and, God, why had they waited so long to do this? Leaning forward, he claimed Lex's mouth in a brutal kiss, far more forceful than he had ever been with any of his previous lovers and Clark knew it was an act of possession, but he really couldn't help himself. Especially not with Lex making those sexy little noises in the back of his throat. Having Lex under him and whimpering with need was a heady experience; Clark had never been so turned on.

Clark pulled away from the kiss to enjoy the dazed look on Lex's face. He grabbed Lex's wrists, pinning them against the pillow above his head with one hand. Lex's eyes opened and he looked surprised by the action. He struggled a little, but Clark could tell that Lex had no real desire to break his grip. "I'm not letting you go, Lex."

With his free hand Clark stroked the side of Lex's face, over his neck, his chest, Lex's body was spread out before him -- his. Lex belonged to him now, he always had. A voice in his head was screaming that it was about time he staked his claim.

"Clark," Lex groaned, struggling a little more earnestly. "Touch me, get naked, or let me touch you. Do something." Lex was wiggling under him in a deliciously distracting way.

"I'm admiring the view." He could feel Lex's erection press into him as Lex's hips bucked up. Everything about Lex was hot and hard and his and Clark's own erection was throbbing painfully at how unbelievably sexy the man under him was.

"You're driving me crazy!" The low, rough tone of Lex's voice made Clark want to do so many things all at once, all of which involved much more touching.

Clark released Lex's wrists, preferring to have both hands free to explore. They roamed over the exposed skin, smooth and hot. He bent down to worship Lex's throat, kissing, licking and sucking the salty skin under his lips. Lex's whole body shuddered as Clark scraped his teeth lightly across his Adam's apple.

"Jesus, Clark! If you keep that up this is going to be over way too fast." Clark moved away reluctantly. Lex's neck seemed to be overly sensitive and Clark was enjoying the responses he was drawing out because of it. The fact that Lex was reacting so passionately to his touch made Clark dizzy with desire.

It was only when Lex started fumbling with the button of Clark's pants that Clark realized he was still partially dressed, he had been too distracted by Lex's bare skin to notice. He pushed Lex's hands away to strip off the restricting garments himself.

When he was completely naked, he covered Lex's body with his own, overwhelmed by the feeling of hot skin and hard muscles beneath him. "Let me fuck you, Lex." Lex's hips jerked at the request and Clark could feel the hot erection pressing into his hip, making Clark harder than he had ever thought possible.

That was at least the third time that Lex had almost come from the sound of Clark's voice. The control he had always prided himself on had vanished and Lex couldn't have cared less.

He opened the drawer to the nightstand with one hand while he drew Clark down for another kiss with the other. When he found what he was looking for in the drawer, he pressed the little bottle into Clark's hand and hoped to God that Clark knew what to do with it, because Lex was beyond the point of explaining.

Clark set the bottle aside. "I'm not done exploring yet." Clark's fingers trailed over his abdomen and Lex sucked in a breath and prayed that he wouldn't embarrass himself.

"I don't know if I can handle much more exploring, Clark." He ground out when Clark's fingers trailed lightly over his cock. It was obvious that Lex was going to have to take matters into his own hands. He grabbed the bottle and he poured some of the slippery substance onto his palm.

"Shit, Lex!" The hand on his hip tightened as Lex coated Clark's cock. Clark groaned as Lex slowly stroked the hard length in his hand. "Point." gasp "Taken." Lex removed his hand slowly and poured more lube on it before moving his fingers toward his own opening and pressing in. Clark watched Lex with a heated, desperate gaze as Lex prepared himself to be fucked.

"Feel free to join in at any time." Lex almost lost it again at the intensity of Clark's gaze. He wrapped his free hand around the back of Clark's neck, and that was all the encouragement Clark needed. He positioned himself between Lex's legs and slowly pressed in.

Lex dug his fingers into the broad shoulders above him as he arched his hips up, gasping as the hot slide of Clark's cock slowly filled him. He didn't realize he was trembling until he heard Clark whispering in his ear. "Shh, it's okay. I've got you."

Unable to speak, Lex simply nodded and Clark began to move. Slow thrusts and slick heat and Clark was driving him crazy. He had never felt so safe and so vulnerable. He moved his hips up to meet Clark's in a desperate attempt to speed the tempo up, to gain some sort of control and make the thrusts more brutal, but Clark wouldn't allow it.

Lex's senses were heightened, making his skin tingle every time Clark touched him. The heat was rolling off of his skin in waves and the room smelled like sweat and sex and Clark. Lex had never been so overwhelmed by his desires, so completely powerless to do anything but give himself up to the moment.

Clark was in charge and Lex surrendered, closing his eyes as the sensations washed over him. Clark stroked his ribs, murmuring in his ear, the hot moist breath adding to the stimulation. When Clark whispered "Come for me, Lex," as his hand wrapped around Lex's cock, Lex had no choice but to obey.

Lex arched his neck and yelled Clark's name as he climaxed, feeling Clark follow him over the edge almost immediately. He welcomed the warm weight of Clark's body on top of him as he traced his fingers over the broad back. He drifted off to sleep smiling contentedly, Clark's hand softly stroking his hip.

Duncan walked into Lex's gym unsure of the reception he would receive. He had been out of line yesterday. He owed Lex an apology.

He had tried calling Methos, but he had no luck reaching him. For all he knew, Methos had already left the country, not that Duncan would blame him. Telling Methos that he loved him after acting like a huge jerk for the past few months was definitely not the smartest thing he had ever done.

What made it worse was that Duncan was almost positive Methos felt the same way, he had seen the look on his face when the words had come out of Duncan's mouth. He had acted like a jealous teenager, using the words as a weapon. Methos hadn't deserved that.

"I didn't expect to see you here again." Lex's manner was cold, his eyes giving away nothing. The kid wasn't going to make it easy for him.

"I came to apologize. I had no right to say what I did." Lex smirked, but said nothing. "I recently realized the depth of my feelings for Adam. I was jealous and I took it out on you. I'm sorry."

To Duncan's surprise Lex's expression softened and his smile turned genuine. "It's amazing how stupid we act when we're in love and in denial, isn't it?" Lex paused. "If it makes you feel any better, it was just the one night."

Duncan returned Lex's smile. Understanding and sympathy were the last things he had expected upon coming here.

"Am I safe, then, to assume that our teaching arrangement still stands?" Lex asked, throwing Duncan off again.

"Yeah, of course." Duncan answered, tensing a moment later as the presence of another Immortal hit him.

Clark exited the locker room as Methos entered from the front door. The tension in the room was palpable as the four of them stood there looking at each other.

Clark was the first to break the silence. "Lex, I have to go home and finish my English paper for tomorrow. Do you want me to come by later?"

Lex turned to Clark with a smile, Duncan and Methos momentarily forgotten. "Do you even have to ask?"

"No, I guess not." Clark gave Lex a brilliant smile. However, when Clark's gaze settled on Methos the smile faded from his face.

"What's the..." The rest of Lex's question was cut off as Clark grabbed the front of his shirt and pulled him in for a long, passionate kiss. Lex groaned, wrapping his arms around Clark's waist.

Duncan shifted uncomfortably at the intensity of the kiss. He was pretty sure that they had forgotten that he and Methos were in the room, even though the kiss was clearly for Methos' benefit. Anyone watching them would have to be blind not to see that Clark was staking his claim and Lex looked like he wasn't anywhere close to being upset about it.

When Clark broke away, Lex tangled his fingers in Clark's hair, pulling his head down to whisper in his ear. Duncan tried not to laugh when he overheard Lex ask, "Are you going to pee on me now?"

Clark laughed. "I don't think that'll be necessary."

"Oh, good." Lex winked at him. "Go finish your paper and get back here."

"Will do." Clark left without another glance toward Methos. His point had been made.

Duncan turned to look at Methos. The man's expression showed nothing more than amused interest.

Lex was still staring at the door Clark had left through, an uncharacteristically silly grin plastered on his face. After a moment he turned to face Duncan and Methos, his smile almost, but not quite, fading. "Do you want me to leave you two alone?"

"Yes," Duncan almost shouted, his eagerness to talk to Methos overriding his manners.

"No," Methos said with a frown.

"Right," Lex considered them both. "I'll be upstairs if anyone needs me."

"Methos," Duncan called after him as he started to follow Lex out of the gym. "Please talk to me; at least let me apologize."

"And what are you apologizing for, MacLeod?" he asked without turning around.

"For being such a jerk, for not realizing how I felt about you sooner, for telling you the way I did."

Methos did turn around at that, his eyes narrowed. "How do you feel about me? Think hard before you answer, because I won't be jerked around while you try and figure things out. If you want to experiment, do it with someone else."

"I haven't been thinking about anything else. I don't want to experiment, Methos. I know how I feel about you. It may have taken me awhile to figure out," he smiled a little, trying to break the tension, "but once you realize that you're desperately in love with your best friend, it's really hard to return to a state of denial."

"I'm still not convinced, MacLeod. Did you ever stop to think about why you were in denial?"

"Because I didn't want to lose you. Because trying to have a relationship with another immortal is scary. It took me over three hundred years to tell Amanda that I loved her as a friend. I'm afraid. If I love you this intensely now, what would happen if we got together? What would I do if I lost you?" Duncan was close to shouting, wanting desperately to make Methos understand. "But then I realized that if I ever lost you I would spend the rest of my life regretting the fact that I never had you, that I never even tried."

Methos was just staring at the floor and Duncan was beginning to think that nothing he could say would matter. He had already lost his friend because he had been too stubborn to realize how he felt about him.

"I'm not going anywhere, MacLeod."

"You don't exactly have the best track record for sticking around." And maybe that was what scared Duncan the most, not knowing if this would be the day that Methos decided that it wasn't worth it and left for good.

"I always come back, don't I?" Methos voice was soft.

"I want more than that, Methos."

Methos looked at him and Duncan realized he wasn't the only one who was scared shitless. "I'm not sure I can give you more."

"I guess the question is, are you willing to try?"

Lex smiled, watching from his living room window as Adam and Duncan left the building. Tension still visible between them, but at least they were talking.

He went back to his bedroom, having decided to take a little nap before Clark came back. They really hadn't gotten much sleep last night. After spending the afternoon in bed at the mansion, they had driven back to Metropolis for dinner and then back to Lex's apartment for several more hours of not sleeping in Lex's bed.

Lex hadn't told Clark about all the details of his immortality. He was starting to worry about how Clark would react to the whole beheading thing. Trying to figure out exactly what he would say, Lex fell into an uneasy sleep.

"Lex, c'mon. Wake up, Lex."

He opened his eyes to find Clark standing over him with a concerned look on his face. "Hey, what's the matter?"

Clark frowned at him. "You were having a nightmare."

Ah yes, Cassandra's vision. Except that Clark had woken him up before the blood rain had started, before the field of sunflowers had turned to bones and dust. "I have to tell you something.

"I'm starting to get tired of that phrase," Clark's smile took the sting out of his words. "Scoot over." He sat down on the bed next to Lex and wrapped his arms around him. Lex sighed, relaxing into the warmth of his lover's body.

"Spill it." Clark said lightly, threading his fingers through Lex's. Lex nodded. He could do this. With a deep breath he began to tell Clark everything.

Clark listened quietly as Lex talked about the Game, the rules, Cassandra's vision and Lex's nightmares. When Lex was done Clark kissed his neck lightly as he thought about everything Lex had told him. "Is that everything?" he asked softly.

"Yeah," Lex answered. Clark could feel the tension radiating from Lex's body. His first concern was to rid Lex of it.

"Thank you for telling me," he smiled as he felt Lex relax a little in his arms.

"What do you think?" Lex still sounded worried. Clark didn't blame him. For as long as he had known him, Lex had been fighting to break free from the darkness of his family name, the picture of immortal life that Lex had just painted was bleak.

"I think that every gift comes with responsibilities." Clark said slowly, trying to think of what his parents would tell him. In a lot of ways, he and Lex weren't all that different. "Immortality is no exception. I guess the trick is to learn how to handle those responsibilities and gifts without losing yourself to them."

Lex sighed. "This isn't going to be easy, Clark, none of it."

"The things most worth doing rarely are."