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Preemptive Defense

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Preemptive Defense

by Artemis

http://www.livejournal.com/users/artemisraine/


Rating: R
Pairing: Clark/Lex/Superman
Spoilers: Seasons 1- 2. AU from there. Disclaimers: I don't own the pretty boys or their friends in the Smallville universe. Summary: Lex tries to protect his heart from breaking by making a preemptive move out of the penthouse. Ficathon: For Rose_etta. Three things you'd love to see: R-Rated rather than NC-17, Clark/Lex/Supers, & hurt feelings and anger, and their resolution. Two things you don't want to see: Incest & Clark or Lex feminized. _Author's Notes_: Written for and dedicated to Roseetta. Huge thank you to laceymcbain, rose_etta, and joannec for helping me with my problems posting it to the community. Written for the lexandclark community Ficathon found at www.livejournal.com/community/lexandclark October 2004.


Preemptive Defense
By Artemis
October 2004


Lex was moving out when Clark came home.

He'd thought he'd moved past the hurt, that the anger had burned itself out. All that was left was weary resignation. Until he saw Clark and realized it wasn't that simple.

But then, it never had been since Clark Kent had crashed into his life.

"Damn it, Lex," Clark bit out angrily. "Will you look at me! You can't just stand there all aloof and distant, like this doesn't mean anything to you."

Blue eyes flickered at Clark before going back to stare stonily out the window.

"What is this about?" Clark asked desperately, fury still threading his voice. "Why are you leaving me?"

"I'm not the one who left," Lex said flatly, his chest squeezing in pain.

"What are you talking about?"

Lex said nothing.

"Lex!"

A hand fell on Lex's shoulder, but he didn't move, his back to Clark as he looked out across the city skyline.

"Please," the brunette pleaded in a wretched voice, "talk to me."

It was that voice which plucked at Lex's heart, and before he could stop himself he was turning around to look into Clark's heartbroken face. Green eyes were wild, dancing with fear and rage, and those beautiful dark locks were tousled as if Clark had run his fingers through his hair more than once in frustration.

He was beautiful.

It was like every other time Lex looked upon Clark, or his doppleganger Kal. His whole soul ached with longing and love, his heart twisting with a yearning so deep he wasn't sure if there was a single part of him that wasn't owned by the doe-eyed brunette. Looking at Clark, he knew if he could just stand here forever, his eyes feasting on the sight of Clark, he could be happy.

But Luthors weren't meant for happiness.

Carefully filtering the hurt out of his voice, Lex said evenly, "You shouldn't have thrown the movers out. This was supposed to be painless--"

"Painless!?" Clark cut in. "There's nothing painless about you...about you moving...about you leaving..." Voice breaking, he swallowed hard before continuing. "Why, Lex? Are you unhappy? Did I do something? Or was it Kal? Did he...did either of us...was it something we said? Or did?"

"This is for the best."

"The best? Nothing about this is for 'the best'," he spat. Stepping in closer, he crowded Lex against the window. "What's going on?"

"I'm moving out. You and Kal can have the penthouse--"

"Fuck the penthouse," Clark roared, spinning around. He started pacing, even as his focus remained on Lex, his gaze a hungry caress. "You can't leave. I won't let you."

"You don't have a say."

"The hell I don't."

"Don't try to dictate my life," Lex said quietly, jaw tightening. He strode towards the bed, picking up a tie he'd thrown on the comforter earlier, folding it carefully into the open suitcase. "My lawyer will contact you tomorrow about an account I've set up for you--"

"I don't want your money!"

"Well, you don't want me," Lex muttered before he could stop himself. It was a mistake, the sarcasm and bitterness a defense mechanism ingrained into his psyche since the age of nine, mixed in with a wistfulness he'd never been able to eradicate in moments like these. Superhearing picked up on it immediately, and Clark leapt onto the first chink he'd seen in his lover's icy demeanor.

"What do you mean? Of course I want you. I've always wanted you."

Clark quickly came to Lex's side, his hands petting at the plum silk shirt. He leaned down to kiss Lex on the lips, and when Lex turned his head aside, his lips fell on a smooth cheek. Undeterred, he began peppering Lex's face with soft kisses between softer murmurs.

"Is this some cry for attention?" Clark asked gently, hands slipping around to Lex's back. Pulling Lex in, amusement in his voice, he said, "You can be such a drama queen."

Clark was surprised when Lex's response was to shove him away, and it was that surprise which even allowed Lex to slip away so easily. Back straight, outrage pouring from him, Lex said very slowly and deliberately, "I'm leaving now. I won't be back. Have a nice life."

"Lex!" Clark sprang towards him, hands reaching out to grab his arms. Pure anger resonated in his voice as he asked, "What the hell is going on?!?"

"I'd like to know that as well. I could hear you two arguing from New York."

Fuck. Lex looked up to see Superman standing just inside the French doors, stance straight and arms crossed over his chest imposingly. Not that Lex felt intimidated from seeing his other lover, even if he was wearing his superhero persona and exuding immense displeasure. But the young Luthor was annoyed at how the situation was quickly getting out of hand as Clark leapt at the chance of a sympathetic ear and the possibility of someone taking his side.

Pure Clark. It was always about sides, who was right, who was wrong. Funny that it was Kal who felt the greater desire to fly about saving the world when he was the one who was more emotionally distant from humanity as a whole, who saw the layers of complexity and the shades of color that made up the world. But then, Clark was very much like the teenager Lex first met, with a less evolved outlook of the world, the majority of him yearning for a normal life; being a superhero while juggling a career and a personal life was a mess of complications tied up into a Gordian knot.

No, Clark had never wanted to be Superman. He'd felt pressed into it by years of conditioning and an overblown sense of responsibility. Messiah complex firmly planted by one Jonathan Kent, until it had been ripped out by the roots by the consequences of the attack, and now neither Clark or Kal felt the overwhelming need to save humanity from itself. Clark had been relieved when the mantel of Superman passed to someone else, leaving him free to explore his newfound independence and choose a life of his own making.

Kal, for reasons unknown, took to wearing the cape like it was just another job, though Lex suspected the brunette liked the role because it allowed him the freedom to be a Kryptonian 24/7, with no need to hide his abilities. Watching Kal fly, the sheer orgasmic pleasure on that beloved face, Lex couldn't resent the time away, all the missed dinners and dates, not when Kal reminded him of a bird that had been caged away his entire life, now experiencing freedom for the first time.

He would never clip Kal's wings. Nor Clark's.

It was hard to resent Kal, who reveled in his alien nature and wore his differences like a second skin. Lex couldn't say the same about Clark, the old Clark, most likely because Lex had always felt deep down that Clark's manifestation of Superman was about control. Even as he understood it, he'd resented Clark's need to control his life after years of feeling out of control in Smallville by spending most of his time trying to control the environment around him. How could he not, when this desire for control was so much stronger than his desire for Lex?

"You won't believe what I came home to!"

The absolute outrage and affront from Clark spoke volumes, but Lex ignored the two brunettes. He returned to the dresser and began to unobtrusively pick up where he'd left off, packing the last of his personal affects. Most of his clothes were already packed and were probably being hung up in the master suite at the LexCorp penthouse even as he finished up here. There were some additional items he still needed to arrange to have moved, but he'd come back for the rest at a later date, when Clark and Kal were both working. There was no point in drawing this out, making it more painful than it had to be.

At least painful for him. He wasn't really sure it would be painful for his two lovers, even if they did make some noise about it. Kryptonians seemed to be somewhat territorial, even aggressively possessive. Or they had been since the split, but Lex had learned long ago that possessive didn't equate to love, and he'd known since the moment he'd acknowledged the depths of his feelings for a teenager in Smallville that he'd never settle for anything less than love from Clark Kent. Even if now there were two of him.

It was obvious what he had to do, it had been for a while, but Lex just hadn't wanted to admit it. Even Luthors could be weak when it came to admitting painful truths. Perhaps especially Luthors, when it came to such things like love and loss.

"And there were strangers just clearing out his office. Coming into our home, taking away pieces of Lex like they were just wiping him out of our lives. Everything's gone!"

"Clark--"

"They even took his damn soap out of the shower! If I'd been an hour later, it probably would have been like Lex had never lived here!"

As if Clark would have even noticed. Lex ignored the wrench this truth caused inside, the truth a cold, hard mistress of a bitch who'd long revealed just how little he mattered in the lives of the men he loved beyond anything rational or sane.

It had been days since he'd even seen Clark or Kal. In the last few months, he'd only seen either in passing as both men went about their lives as Clark Kent or Superman, the occasional swapping of roles to assuage Clark's guilty need to fulfill responsibilities pressed onto him by his father or Kal's need for contact with people outside his role as humanity's savior. The most he'd really seen of either Kryptonian was when he was in bed, being woken up as one or the other came home, kisses and touches meant to rouse him so sexual needs could be met. An exchange of services that once would have been mistaken for something meaningful now only left him feeling empty.

As a twenty-one year old, Lex would have thought being the sex toy for two Clarks to be an amazingly kinky fantasy, his own personal heaven. For the first six months it had been.

He realized now that this brief span of time was only the honeymoon period. When the split first occurred, due to a kryptonite weapon that had accidentally caused Clark to split into two separate individuals, it had been a nightmare. Both men had insisted they were Clark Kent, both men wore Superman's uniform, and both men insisted Lex belonged to him. Metropolis had been treated to the terrifying, and mysterious, sight of two Supermans fighting it out in a Battle Royale all across the city that was still talked about a year later. To the public, the second Superman, wherever he came from, disappeared after the last aerial battle, perhaps slipping back to wherever he first came from; no one knew since Superman rarely talked to the press and refused to comment about it, not even to Lois Lane or Clark Kent, the two reporters he was occasionally friendly towards.

What wasn't known was that both Supermans might still be locked in battle, especially since neither man could use kryptonite on his opponent without weakening himself, if Lex hadn't negotiated a peace using himself as the bargaining chip. Neither Kryptonian was willing to give up his claim on Lex, and to keep the peace--and Lex--they were willing to share the Luthor scion, as well as the life of the old Clark Kent.

It had been bumpy at first, and at times even exhausting. Lex had felt like a toy being tugged between two obstinate children, but eventually both Kryptonian men settled down into the arrangement.

Luckily, the split had caused both men to deviate from that point in time so each really had no valid claim to being the old Clark over the other, which meant one less problem on Lex's part in managing the new world order for the three of them. For whatever unknown reason--one never knew when dealing with something as unpredictable and unstable as kryptonite--each man had certain character traits of the old Clark that were more pronounced. Not exactly a split of character, but more a shading of personality to create two different individuals with a shared memory of their past.

In some ways, this was extremely fortunate since the differing personalities leaned towards opposite goals. Kal became Kal, Clark became Clark. Kal assumed the majority of Superman's role, and Clark assumed the majority of Clark Kent's role. The only aspect of the old Clark Kent's life that they refused to give up was Lex, and Lex had already found a compromise to that issue that worked for them.

Lex had considered himself blessed.

At the time it had been difficult working through the situation, especially when it became clear there would be no reversal of the latest twist in their lives. No neat fixes where the two merged, no clean solutions that left everything the way it used to be. They'd had to adjust and adapt, making compromises and sometimes rewriting the rule book to forge a very unique life.

Yet, there had been a huge benefit to Lex beyond the obvious. Up to that point, Lex had always known he wasn't a very important part of Clark's life. Clark's role as Superman had superceded everything else. His duties as Clark Kent, intrepid reporter, had come next, which Lex had understood since that role was Clark's protection against the world. His only way of having a chance at a "normal" life. From there, Clark had been extremely dedicated to his parents and his friends, always worried about their lives and safety. Lex Luthor, lover and domestic partner, had rounded off that list and had been given attention whenever time allowed after his other priorities were taken care of, and Lex had accepted this because he'd always accepted Clark on whatever terms he could get Clark.

Until the split.

Then Lex Luthor became the most important, and Lex had gotten used to it. He'd reveled in knowing he was the essential factor in Clark and Kal's lives, the one thing neither would forfeit. For the first time in his life, Lex had felt unconditionally loved.

Until it all fell apart.

Perhaps it was never meant to be. Maybe he was never meant to be loved like that. Because eventually Clark and Kal fell back into old patterns, with Clark throwing himself into his career and Lois Lane's reckless investigations while Kal donned Superman's cape more and more. From having one or both men in his life constantly within his sphere to rarely seeing either, Lex had gorged on their attention until he'd experienced a famine. After several months of the latter, he'd gotten the message on just where he stood in either Kryptonian's heart.

It had hurt when he started to make preparations to move out of the penthouse, and neither Clark nor Kal were even around to notice he was going to make a quiet and dignified exit out of their lives. Or that had been the plan, until Clark had come home and started yelling.

It figured. Nothing was ever simple or easy for Lex Luthor. Of course the day he moved out was the first day in five weeks Clark came home for dinner.

Lex moved towards the closet, and he wasn't surprised when he ran into a solid blue wall of spandex covered muscle.

Great.

He took a step back, or tried, but Kal already had a hold of his arms. He definitely wasn't going anywhere. Yet. "Kal, I--"

Kal frowned. "You are not leaving."

"I don't think you und--"

"No."

"I--"

"No."

"This is--"

"No."

Lips tightening into a thin line, Lex stared up at Kal unhappily, even as a tiny warm glow flared to life in his chest. Maybe Kal and Clark did want him. However, it was quickly doused as he remembered that if they did, it was little more than how one wants a toy, with just as much disregard because it's owned. Tossed aside and forgotten, since the point was in the possession. If they showed any distress at seeing him leave, it was due to their toy was being taken away from them, nothing more.

Pain. Complete and utter pain inside of him, like a gnawing hole that was eating him alive, but he refused to lie to himself. Their actions spoke more eloquently than anything either Kryptonian could ever say on Lex's place in their life.

Shoulders falling, he raised his hands to Kal's chest, palms against the familiar yellow symbol, and pushed. Futilely, but he still pushed. "Release me."

"No."

"Kal, this isn't some game--"

"You belong here."

"No, I don't. Damn it! I won't let you--"

"No! There will be no more talk about you leaving."

Fuck. Kal was in cave man mode. Not that there wasn't a time and place when that wasn't sexy as hell, but he really didn't want to have to deal with this. It was hard enough coming to this decision and then carrying it out.

"I really don't think this is helping. Lex, what's going on? Why are you leaving us?"

Double fuck. Now Clark had to chime in, blinking big, sad green eyes at him, somehow looking tragic and hurt at the same time. Like Lex was just scooping his heart out with a dull spoon, and damn Clark, because Lex did feel like he was being a monster despite intellectually knowing he hadn't done anything wrong.

"I don't want to talk about--"

"Lex, please," Clark said softly, slipping behind Lex. He wrapped his arms around Lex's waist, spooning in behind Lex and pressing his cheek against Lex's scalp. Kal, the bastard, followed Clark's cue, releasing Lex's arms to press himself against Lex's front. Arms sneaked around to his lower back, even as Clark repeated, "Please."

Weakness clawed at Lex, his immediate response to just drink in the double embrace while he could. Soak up Clark and Kal's heat, their love, and memorize the feel of both men wrapped around him like they'd never leave. But he knew better. He also knew that wanting to be loved was an entirely different thing than actually being loved.

"Why?" Kal asked, his voice gruff. Blue eyes--Kryptonian technology that had to do with the suit, not that Lex would ever have the opportunity to understand it now that he'd decided to leave, which just proved you shouldn't put things off until 'tomorrow'--looked at Lex in betrayal. "I thought you loved us. Both of us. Even if we're no longer Clark Kent as you knew him."

Right for the throat. That was Kal, blunt and honest, in a way Clark never had been, who also had a talent for spotting people's weakness. Keeping the wince off his face, Lex said evenly around the lump in his throat, "I do. This isn't about that. You know I accept that you're still Clark Kent, both of you, just in two separate forms."

"Then what is it about?" Clark asked, voice full of pain. "Did we do something wrong? Drive you away?"

"No." He didn't think he could do this. But he couldn't live one more week in this place that once held so much happiness for him, feeling like a neglected pet.

"Then what?" Clark asked.

"It's...complicated."

Kal snorted, a trace of anger on his smooth face. Hair slicked back in Superman's style, wearing the suit, Lex had an inkling of why so many criminals felt intimidated by a disgruntled superhero. Not that he felt intimidated. "Complicated," Kal echoed, a trace of disgust in the word. "You were leaving us. You promised you belonged to us. Both of us. And now you're breaking your promise. What's complicated about that?"

This time Lex did wince. "It's not that simple. I'm doing what's best for all of us--"

"What's best?!" Clark yelled. Arms squeezed Lex tighter, as if he thought the slimmer man might slip away. "There's nothing 'best' about you leaving."

The hell with it. A fight was inevitable. "When was the last time you were home?"

"What?" Clark asked, confusion coloring his voice. "Home? Last night--"

"No," Lex interrupted. "I mean home, spending time with me. Having dinner, or even watching TV while you gorge on junk food. Not coming in for a few hours of sleep or some quick sex before going back to work or out to save someone."

"I...I don't know," Clark said slowly. "Is this because I've been busy..."

"Busy?" Lex scoffed. "I've hardly seen you, either of you, in the last two months. How do you--" He cut himself off, not wanting to go there. What was the point in throwing around accusations, pulling open the wounds on his heart? He didn't want to hurt Clark or Kal. It wasn't their fault if they couldn't love him enough to want to stay. He finished gently, "It's easier this way. Sometimes people grow apart and--"

"Bullshit."

Lex stared at Kal in shock.

"That's complete bullshit," Kal bit out. "We haven't grown apart. Maybe we got caught up in our jobs, but you don't just move out. You talk about it. Make compromises. But you don't just give up. Not if we matter."

"You do." They'd never know how much. Clark...Clark had been his world since Lex had drowned in a river in the middle of nowhere. The fact that there were now two Clarks changed nothing. Other than it hurting all the more to be deemed unimportant twice over. "I'm not giving up. I'm gracefully surrendering to the inevitable."

"The inevitable?" Clark echoed. "Kal's right. This is bullshit. There's nothing inevitable about you leaving. About us...not being us. God, Lex, I know I've been wrapped up in my career, and I'm sorry. I've never actually concentrated on it. Before now, it was something I did while I wasn't Superman, a way to make a little money while hiding myself in the mass population. Maybe make a few friends. But my job isn't more important than you."

The doubt must have showed on Lex's face, since Clark immediately swore. "Damn it, Lex! I can't believe you'd think that! Give me a little more credit."

"I'm not denigrating you," Lex said quietly. Repeating what he'd told himself in the past, he continued, "It's natural for couples to grow apart. As each partner changes, sometimes--"

"Jeez! Will you listen to yourself?" Clark broke in, exasperated. "Don't spout that pop psychology crap at me. I love you, Lex. All you had to do was tell me I've been working too much."

"I've been preoccupied being Superman," Kal added. "I hadn't realized how bad it had gotten, but you should have said something. It won't happen again. Or if you want, if it makes you that unhappy, I'll burn the suit."

Lex turned towards Kal in disbelief.

"You're everything," Kal said simply. "I love you."

Swallowing hard, Lex struggled not to make a fool of himself by doing something embarrassing like blurt out how much his lovers meant to him. He could write entire dissertations on his feelings for Clark and Kal, and it wouldn't come close to encapsulating what he felt for them. Not that he would ever tell anyone, not when he couldn't quite manage to communicate it with the two men wrapped around him.

"I can't believe you didn't know that," Clark chided. He rubbed his cheek against the back of Lex's head, turning slightly to press a light kiss to the bare skin.

Kal leaned down, bussing Lex gently on the lips. "If something's bothering you, talk to us first."

"You can't hold everything inside," Clark murmured, hands moving to untuck Lex's shirt. He began stroking the nearest skin, petting Lex's stomach and moving up. "You start thinking crazy thoughts, and look where it gets you."

Breath hitching as Kal cupped his ass, drawing their hips together, Lex asked breathlessly, "In between the two most gorgeous men on the planet?"

Clark and Kal laughed warmly, even as they began kissing Lex. Clark mouthed down along the back of Lex's head to spend some quality time at a soft, pale nape. His touches were soft, gentle, as he touched Lex reverently. Kal, on the other hand, took possession of Lex's mouth, tongue dipping in to kiss deeply. Hungrily. His touches were more possessive, hips moving against Lex in a blatantly arousing manner.

He wasn't sure who moved him, but one of his Kryptonians did the speed whammy on him. One minute he was in between two gorgeous brunette twins--in a sense--and the next he was on the bed naked. On his left was an equally naked Clark, and on his right was an equally naked Kal.

Kal was nibbling his way down Lex's spine, mouth hot and wet, while Clark was kissing him like the end of the world was approaching. Tongues tangling, two pairs of hands moved along his body. Lex gasped into Clark's mouth as the younger man slipped one leg between his thighs, rubbing sinuously to cause liquid heat pool in Lex's stomach.

He knew nothing was solved. As much as it pained him, he knew Clark would be insisting they talk later, Martha's influence strong in him, the younger man a believer in communication and sharing of emotions. Definitely a child of his generation.

Kal would want promises, assurances this would never happen again, the man a strange mix of vulnerability and alpha male. But then, of the two, Kal had felt the least secure in his standing with Lex since in some ways he wasn't as close to 'Clark Kent' as Clark, his comfort in his alien nature and heritage at odds with how the old Clark Kent had felt for most of his life.

However, Lex was going to live in the moment. Clark and Kal loved him. They wanted him. And he would stay. Because Clark and Kal were home, and he hadn't wanted to leave. It had just hurt too much to stay. So he'd talk. He'd let his lovers yell at him. In the end, they'd work things out somehow.

Hopefully.

If not, Lex knew the penthouse at LexCorp was waiting. Too many people had left him, not loved him, to believe there was going to be some magic cure or fix for their relationship.

But for the first time in a long while, he had hope.

Bodies moving against each other, mouths worshipping one another, skin sliding along skin spoke its own language. I love you. I want you. I need you. Don't leave. Lex didn't speak any other language for the next several hours as Clark and Kal showed Lex just how much he was wanted.

END