Just after breakfast, which consisted of pancakes and a mouthful of Lex's cock, Clark stands in the kitchen before his father and wipes his palms on the thighs of his jeans while trying very hard not to think about what's been rubbed on those jeans.
He ducks his head.
Squeezes his eyes closed.
Takes a deep breath and says in a steady voice, "Dad, I'm gay."
Jonathan's mouth falls open.
Clark's mouth fell open.
"You want to what?"
"You say it as though it's shocking," Lex said, folding his laptop closed and rising from his chair. He walked over to the pool table and took up a cue.
"Well, it is," Clark said, following after him, passing Lex the square of blue chalk when he motioned.
"Why? You've known me for a long time," Lex said, racking the balls. "Why should this surprise you?"
"I dunno, Lex, it's just..."
"Go ahead," he said, and broke. "Say it."
Clark watched the red solid roll into the side pocket. "That's a lot of money for a book."
"But it's one of a kind, Clark. Hand written on parchment with gold leaf illustrations."
"Do you even know what parchment is?" Lex asked at Clark's blank expression. "It's animal skin. Stretched out and preserved. It's even got imperfections in it -- little holes -- where the skin was flawed." He took another shot, and the solid yellow rolled into the far left pocket.
"And that's worth several thousand dollars?"
"It's history, Clark. To touch a book like that..." He stood straight, regarding Clark while he thought, absently running his fingers over the pool cue in his hand. "It's like traveling back in time."
Clark shook his head. "I don't get it."
Lex shrugged. "You don't have to. What can I do for you?"
"Well, it's -- " Lex checked the wall clock "-- seven in the morning. On Saturday. I don't suppose you're here just to say hello. So what can I do for you?"
What's he supposed to do? Is this the part where he hugs Clark and says, "It's okay, I'll love you no matter what, my wonderful gay alien son"? For a minute, Jonathan's very quiet and regards Clark through wide, neutral-to-the-side-of-shocked eyes. Curling his fingers into fists, he takes a step back toward the counter and leans against it. Swallows twice. Opens his mouth but nothing comes out.
Alien is one thing, but...well, this just isn't on the same level as being an alien. Because this isn't about alien-ness and learning to deal with strange powers and accidentally burning holes in the side of the barn. This is about...oh, god, did he really have to think about this? -- Clark with his tongue in places that make Jonathan's cheeks burn red at the thought. That's just not...normal, is it?
And what about Lana? Clark's been proclaiming his love for her since the age of five. You don't gush over someone like that unless you really feel something, right? Of course, Jonathan's the first to admit that Lana's figure is really more androgynous than anything. He's never understood what Clark would see in a girl like that, pink and tears and shaped straight up-and-down like a boy instead of curved like Chloe and, oh. The room's spinning before his eyes, and he wishes he could stop himself from thinking.
"Well," Clark said. "I've been thinking."
"A dangerous pastime," Lex observed. "And what were you thinking about, exactly?"
"See," Clark said, sitting down on the side of the pool table, despite the slightly-annoyed look Lex shot him. "Okay. You know how for, like, the last few years, I've had this thing for Lana?"
"Is it possible for anyone in this town to forget that?" Lex asked, raising an eyebrow.
Clark let out a nervous laugh and shook his head. "I guess not."
Lex smiled, coming to stand beside him. "What about Lana?" he urged, nudging Clark's shoulder.
"Oh. Well, I haven't wanted to see her. For a while. And I thought that was kinda weird, you know? Because, I mean, I've always liked her. She's really nice. And pretty. But."
"But you're not really attracted to her."
Absently, Clark traced the purple felt.
"And..." Lex continued, taking Clark's silence as affirmative, "you've found yourself attracted to someone else."
Slowly, Clark began to nod.
"Is it Chloe?" Lex guessed, taking aim at the green ball and sinking it in the side pocket.
"I'm afraid I'm unfamiliar with most of the female population at Smallville High," Lex confessed, laying the pool cue across the table and walking to the refrigerator in the corner. "It is a girl, isn't it?" he called over his shoulder.
This was definitely the sort of time when Clark wished the floor could open and suck him under. He could always lie, he supposed, but he swore upon leaving the house that morning that he wouldn't lie to Lex anymore. Because Lex, as his best friend, deserved the truth in all matters. Even if that matter was confessing that Clark really, really wanted to see him naked right now.
"Um," he said, feeling the blood rise in his cheeks. "Not exactly, no."
But no, Jonathan thinks, Clark can't be gay.
Clark doesn't flap his hands around or speak with a lisp.
He doesn't know anything about decorating.
He can't even dress himself in anything other than primary colors!
This just can't be right. It can't be.
Unless it's standard operating procedure on Krypton for seventeen year old farmboys to lust after other...farmboys.
Assuming Clark is lusting after farmboys instead of something else. Like, twenty-three year old bald billionaires.
The billionaire turned around, and though he tried to keep the surprise from his face, his eyes were wider than usual. He took a sip of water and dabbed at his mouth.
"You think I'm a freak now," Clark murmured, face falling.
Holding up a hand, Lex shook his head. "No," he said. "I don't think you're a freak."
"I'm just surprised, is all," he said, which was a lie, because Lex had kept close watch on The Sexuality of Clark Kent for quite some time, now. That, and he was quite aware of the date. "Did I mention I'm considering a hair transplant?"
Blinking, Clark looked taken aback. "...you are?"
"Mmm. I want to look just like my father."
The image of Lex with a head full of Lionel's curls infiltrated Clark's mind and refused to leave.
"You're kidding," he said.
"You know," Lex observed with a small shake of his head, "the charm of naivete only goes so far."
Clark froze and blinked. "Huh?"
"April Fools'? I assume that's what this all is."
"Oh," Clark said. "No. Not really."
"You mean you honestly came by at seven in the morning to discuss your sexuality with me?"
Scratching his head, Clark muttered "Yeah."
What had seemed like such a brilliant idea when the sun first came up was now quite possibly the worst mistake Clark had ever made in his life, including the time he kissed Lana in the barn on a whim. But this hadn't come about because of a single impulse. This was buildup from years of flirting and touching and what Clark could refer to only as "eyefucking."
Anyone would fall for that after a while, right?
Right when Jonathan's breakfast -- eggs, pancakes, and two cups of coffee -- threatens to resurface, his gaze falls upon the calendar hanging above the telephone. A deep laugh bubbles up in his chest. Placing a hand on the counter, he bends at the waist and shakes his head. Laughs long and hard. His eyes sting and his stomach hurts from laughing so completely.
"Clark," he says finally, wiping his eyes, "you got me. I forgot it was April first. Good one, son."
It's Clark's turn to appear confused, crumpling up his brow and sighing. Of all days, he thinks, why'd he choose to come out on this one?
"Dad," he says, scuffing a shoe along the floor. "I'm not kidding. I'm really gay."
Jonathan nods, biting back the smile on his lips. "I suppose next you'll tell me you're dating Lex Luthor."
Lex returned to Clark's side, water in hand, and cast his eyes down to the floor.
"Is it me?" he asked, arm brushing up against Clark's.
Cheeks reddening, Clark bit at his lower lip and averted his eyes. "I'm sorry."
"If you honestly think I'd be offended because you're attracted to me..." Lex trailed off, laughing quietly.
"So...wait." Clark paused for a moment to think. "You mean, you're not?"
"Clark..." Exhaling, Lex screwed the cap back on his bottle of water and set it upon the pool table. "I shouldn't tell you this, because you're still underage and we're in Kansas, of all places. But, I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel the same."
A small gasp escaped Clark's throat, and the next thing Lex knew, he was spread out on his back on the pool table with Clark's arms on either side of his head, and the boy's mouth was moving against his. Tongue and teeth so beautifully inexperienced, fingertips dancing over his scalp. Clark pushed his hips forward and Lex had to cry out because fuck, how'd he know to do that?
"God, Clark --" he said, breaking away for air. "Are you sure about this?"
Clark nodded furiously, licking at Lex's mouth and delving back inside. Lex eyes rolled back in his head, and he nudged a leg between Clark's. Gripped his hips. Inhaled what Clark breathed out. When Clark thrust again, Lex pushed a hand between them and undid Clark's zipper while the boy's teeth teased his lip. Reached his hand inside and wrapped it around Clark's cock and felt his body stiffen. Clark lowered his head to Lex's shouder and nuzzled his neck, biting. Fucked that smooth, tight space with sharp thrusts of his hips; breathed hard against the crook of Lex's neck. From the sounds Clark was making, Lex knew he was having a good time.
That was definitely a good thing, because in addition to this being a good time for Clark, it was also a first time. From the way Clark's blush was hot against his neck, Lex was sure of his virgin status. And Lex was determined to make it the kind of first time that a person never really forgot. The kind Clark would think about no matter who he was with and whose hand he was fucking in the future.
He had a feeling he'd never be able to forget it, either.
It wasn't long before Clark fell against him, panting hard, and Lex's hand was warm and sticky.
"You know," he whispered after Clark's shaking subsided, "I have a bed for things like this."
A part of Clark wishes he hadn't left Lex's bed, but if his dad has to hear about Lex, might as well be a time when he's already laughing. Maybe it won't kill him that way. Maybe he won't kill Lex that way. Clark would feel terrible were his father to crumple over in a heart attack or show up at Lex's with a shotgun.
"Well, actually, um. That's kinda where I was this morning. At Lex's, I mean."
"I'm afraid a joke like that's only funny once," Jonathan says, laughing. He steps forward and claps him on the shoulder. "But you had me. You really had me. Clark Kent, gay." He shakes his head. "I'll be out in the fields, son. Why don't you take care of those dishes for your mother and join me when you're finished."
"Join me?" Lex asked, holding out a hand, and Clark took it even though his pants were hanging open and allowed himself to be led upstairs and promptly stripped of the remainder of his clothing.
He was surprised at how gently Lex handled him, how he regarded Clark with a heavy gaze and slid his hands over those wide expanses of skin as he guided Clark onto the bed and eased him onto his back. Licked down his stomach in lazy patterns, dipping into his navel, and tracing back up again to suck on the hollow of his throat.
"You know," Lex said after a while, dancing his fingers over Clark's lower stomach. "It's getting close to eight. I'd feel bad about sending you home so early in the morning without food. Can I interest you in a high-protein breakfast?"
Blushing, Clark arched up against Lex's hips and laughed. "You're so gross."
He didn't seem to think it so gross, though, when his tongue was making itself useful between Lex's legs and Lex was thrashing about beneath him, chanting, "Clark, oh jesus fucking god" and gripping Clark's hair tightly.
Clark hadn't ever thought about what it would taste like to do this before, even though he'd imagined it so many times when he lay in bed at night. But it tasted like skin. Really warm skin, but skin. And when Lex bucked up a final time, Clark pulled back so he caught the flavor on his tongue. Licking his lips, he sat back, closing one eye. Salty, he thought. And kinda bitter. But in a good way. A very Lex way.
Breathing hard, Lex fell back against the headboard and stared up at the ceiling, turning his arms so that they rested wrists up in an attempt to cool off.
"Where the fuck did you learn to do that?"
"Innate ability, I guess," Clark shrugged.
Yawning, Clark shook his head. "Alien."
"Alien," Lex repeated.
Turning his head to the side, Lex exhaled quietly and leaned forward to kiss Clark's shoulder. "Is this that thing called 'the truth' that people talk about?"
Clark threaded his fingers through Lex's and squeezed, palms warm and sweat-slicked, pressing firmly together.
"Yeah, sure, dad," Clark says, and the screen door snaps shut. Clark watches his father round the corner of the house and laughs in a completely unamused fashion, then turns his attention toward the sink and runs the water until steam rises. Reaching into the cabinet below, he takes out the dish soap and drizzles it on top of the cups and plates, watching as a few bubbles rise into the air and shine a rainbow of colors, then pop.
Coming out on April Fools' Day. He should consider buying a calendar for the loft, really.
"I'm really glad you told me," Lex whispered, his voice belying how tired he was after the early-morning exertion.
"Hey," Lex said, flopping a hand onto Clark's stomach and tracing it in circles until Clark shivered. "You should probably get back. Your parents will wonder where you are."
"I know," Clark groaned, nuzzling Lex's neck. "You're sure you're not mad I didn't tell you before?"
"Maybe a little," Lex confessed. "But now I know. Certainly explains what happened to my Porsche."
A grin broke out across Clark's face. "I can't believe you kept that."
"Call it a souvenir," Lex mused. "Of when we first met."
"And our first kiss," Clark pointed out.
"Doesn't count," Lex laughed. "I was dead."
Jonathan will probably drop dead, Clark reasons, when he realizes that Clark isn't kidding. That, or he'll form a local PFLAG group and fly a rainbow flag in front of the house.
Clark isn't sure which scenario is more disturbing.
He does know, however, that his high-protein breakfast sparked quite an appetite in him.
He's thinking maybe he'll head back over just after lunch.