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Video Game

by Annie


Video Game

By Annie

Summary: Lex finds Clark in Gotham City; there's sex afterward. Rated: NC-17
Clark/m Clark/Lex
Spoilers: Exodus; Red
Disclaimer: Not mine, just trying to fill the void. Feedback: crehnert@ptd.net

If the number on the Caller ID hadn't read Wayne Industries, Lex would probably have never answered the phone. He shoved aside the stack of folders he had been studying, welcoming the interruption, even if it was just more business. At least it would be a friendly, albeit stoic, voice on the other end.

"Bruce?" Lex asked noncommittally, trying to keep his eyes away from the work he had been going through.

"I found your boy." The Batman announced steadily, without preamble, as if Lex had asked the question.

Silence on the Luthor end of the line, as Lex assimilated this unexpected information.

"In Gotham City?" Lex asked, heart beating faster, files forgotten. "Where? Is he hurt?" Lex glanced at his watch distractedly. "I can be there in two hours."

"Wait," Bruce demanded, anticipating that Lex was simply going to hang up on him and tear ass out of the mansion to head for the airport.

Lex closed his eyes briefly in preparation for bad news. "What's wrong? And don't pull any punches with me, Bruce. I'm not in any mood for it."

"You need to come here, to Wayne Manor, first," Bruce advised. "I have....a tape. You need to see it."

"A tape," Lex repeated evenly, grip tightening on the phone, little flip-flops in his stomach making him glad he hadn't eaten dinner yet. "Bruce. Is he hurt?"

"Not physically, and you don't want me talking about this on the phone, Lex. Critters, you know."

Certainly, Lex should have been worried about bugs in his office, even with Lionel and any of his cadre totally banned from the mansion, but still. Leave it to Bruce to be as paranoid as Lex usually was.

"You'd make a wonderful Luthor, you know that Bruce? Are you sure you weren't adopted into the Wayne family?"

Silence on the other end of the line, then finally, "Pretty sure. I don't think I want to be in that blast furnace you call a family. Just get here, and I'll show you what I found."

Lex had been right; it took him exactly two hours to get from Smallville to the gates of Wayne Manor outside of Gotham City, and the time dragged so slowly Lex thought he would go crazy with worry, the short flight marred by anxiety over Clark and the feeling of finality that was coming over him. Clark Kent was the last thing Lex still had no closure for. After the cruise ship full of partiers had found him on that ridiculously small island, starved, burnt almost to a crisp and dehydrated, he had arrived in Metropolis leading an army of lawyers and aides and run roughshod over everything his father had tried to take away from him. He had reminded Lionel of the tale of the son who returned with his army to conquer the father, and when he had finally left the huge office at LuthorCorp that day, Lionel had nothing of Lex's, and was strictly forbidden to ever set foot in the mansion as long as Lex was alive.

As for Helen, Lex hadn't even seen her since he came back, and was literally afraid of what he might do if he was in the same room with her. Lionel, bastard that he was, had no reluctance about telling Lex where she was residing, and hadn't hesitated a second to call the LuthorCorp attorneys and cut off all her widow's pensions. His actions didn't buy Lionel the bit of leniency he was hoping for, but Lex thought his father would get a few moments' satisfaction from the fact that Helen would now be helpful to her orphans in Rwanda indefinitely, if unwillingly, courtesy of LexCorp.

Finally, in the cab heading up the long drive to Wayne Manor's imposing front door, Lex was beginning to get a bit frantic, his imagination having run the gamut from an insane Clark with possible amnesia to a drug-dealing Clark in the alleys of Gotham.

A black-clad Bruce Wayne greeted him at the door and led the way back into the far regions of the huge residence, preliminaries having already been taken care of on the phone. "This way," was all he said, turning around, Lex following him through a labyrinth of halls and rooms until they came to what passed as the entertainment center. Or movie theater, because the screen on the wall across from him was the biggest thing Lex had ever seen outside of an actual theater. He raised an eyebrow and Bruce shrugged. "I have to bring women home sometimes," he said by way of explanation. "I can't exactly put on the suit to impress them. That kind of thing tends to play hell on the secret identity."

Lex waved at the screen impatiently. "Just play the tape already, if you're not going to tell me anything," he grumbled.

Bruce stared at the screen consideringly a moment, then shook his head. "This is better suited to the small set in the corner," he decided, heading over to where a more normal-sized set was placed in front of a small sofa. "This one is for watching the stock market," he explained, reaching into a cabinet and placing an unlabeled videotape into a vcr on top of the set. He reached for a bottle on a side table and poured something for both of them, handing one to Lex with a simple, "You'll want this."

He motioned to the sofa, but Lex was too anxious to even think about sitting.

"A short background first," Bruce started and Lex exhaled in frustration.

"Can we just get on with it?" he demanded.

"You need to hear this," Bruce insisted. "You need to be prepared. Listen. I have guys, rather The Batman does, who move in and out of the underworld here in the city. I have to keep tabs on things. After you got back from the island, when you told me you were looking for Clark Kent, Batman put the word out, even though I really didn't expect to find him anywhere near here. One of my guys works in a place, you know the kind of place, he's their, shall we say, jack of all trades, undercover spy, bouncer guy. He takes care of the back rooms. The very back rooms. He came to me this morning with this tape, and told me about the guy on it. Said he started coming there about a month ago, and that except for the eyes, he matched the description Batman had leaked."

"Except for the eyes?" Lex repeated puzzled, remembering the hazel of his friend's welcome gaze, and growing more impatient by the second.

"Well, no one in the room with him can actually see them. He wears specially painted sunglasses. Some kind of fetish, possibly?" Bruce asked the question as if he expected Lex to know the answer. Lex shook his head briefly. "No idea. Play the fucking tape."

Without another word, Bruce hit the play button.

The picture was better quality than Lex would have expected, but even so, he felt like he was watching some seedy, noir, B-movie. The room was empty, except for a large leather recliner, for the first few seconds, but then a male figure opened the door and entered, head bent slightly downward as he donned the glasses Bruce had mentioned. He was wearing a tight, black, muscle-hugging, short-sleeved shirt, revealing the strong arms, and black pants that looked like the softest leather ever, molding perfectly to his thighs and his ass. Even without a full, clear shot of the man's face, Lex knew it was Clark. After all those months spent drinking in the sheer, sex-on-a-stick presence of the boy, Lex wouldn't be mistaken. He went over to the chair with practiced steps, despite the glasses, and relaxed into it, giving Lex an unobstructed view of his face.

No mistake. Definitely Clark Kent, sporting black clothes and a pair of pass wraparound glasses that looked like sunglasses painted dull silver. No kind of fetish Lex had ever heard of. His instincts were to grab Bruce by the balls and demand to know right that second where Clark was, but if his old friend wanted him to see the tape, then he had good reason.

Clark's lips moved slightly and Lex was annoyed there was no sound, but apparently someone must have knocked or something, because a second later the door opened again and another man stepped in. Just a bit older, exactly like the singles who populated the clubs where Lex himself used to hang out. Lex had been in back rooms before, and he downed his drink quickly in anticipation, holding the glass out wordlessly to Bruce, who refilled it for him. The guy was blond, not bad-looking and built fairly well under his leather pants and see-through shirt.

The blond guy walked over to the chair and reached out to touch Clark's shoulder lightly, running his fingers from there up along Clark's throat and then reaching into his shirt to smooth along the collarbone. Clark reached down and reclined the chair, totally relaxing into the man's touch, although Clark's arms remained firmly on the arms of the chair, and the glasses weren't removed. The man bent down and kissed Clark's lips lightly, running a hand down the length of him to cup his crotch deliberately. Clark didn't even arch into the touch, didn't even look like he was returning the kiss, and the man moved his head down, pushing the shirt up so he could suck Clark's nipples. Still, no movement from Clark, resting easily in the chair, or so it seemed to Lex, who suddenly realized his glass was empty again. The blond head moved even further down, the man's hands working intently on the zipper of Clark's pants, and that was when Lex noticed the ring. The red class ring on Clark's hand. The ring that, by all accounts, should never be there, given Clark's extreme reactions to the meteor chunks he had encountered here and there. Lex knew the story, hadn't forgotten the Clark Kent who had come to the mansion, acting like he was under the influence of a drug, thinking it was a great idea for himself and Lex to go to Metropolis and live together. No, Lex wasn't about to forget that.

So, not only had Clark run away, he had taken his own variety of drugs to forget everything.

Bruce had filled his glass again and Lex's thoughts returned to the mesmerizing scene in front of him. Blond Guy had Clark's pants open and was pulling out his half-erect cock, almost reverently. Clark still hadn't moved, didn't move at all, even when the man started licking his shaft like it was the best thing in the world, eyes closed and so obviously enjoying himself that Lex felt his stomach drop with sudden rage and gut-twisting jealousy. Clark's cock was hardening quickly, and it didn't take long at all until it was fully erect, strong and rigid, shining wetly at the tip. The man looked delighted with this accomplishment, bent to suck lightly at the head and Lex stopped breathing.

The man began to work diligently on Clark's cock then, hungrily, cheeks moving in and out with the suction, eyes closed, one hand massaging Clark's balls and the other gripping the base of the hard cock like it was his favorite toy. Lex was riveted, still not breathing, and somewhere in the back of his mind he realized he had a raging hard-on himself. The man swallowed Clark's cock abruptly, hand abandoning Clark's balls to drift lower, finger seeking the opening there and pushing lightly.

Lex found himself wishing for sound, although it looked like Clark hadn't so much as moaned yet, and still hadn't moved. Hadn't reached down involuntarily to grab the guy by the hair when he swallowed that long cock, hadn't so much as arched a hip to thrust into that tight heat. The man suddenly reached for his own cock, squeezing it roughly, hips bucking into his own hand, and Lex saw the frantic swallowing movements, knew Clark was coming down the guy's throat, and started to breathe again with a painful jerk in his chest.

The action on the screen was apparently over, because the blond guy straightened up, after tucking Clark's spent cock back into his pants and zipping him up. He left the room then, without saying a word to the guy he had just blown.

Bruce hit the stop button. "He loses."

Lex was staring at the blank TV, throbbing cock clouding his mind just enough that he almost asked for a replay. He shook his head to clear it, and tried to ignore the aching heat in his own pants.

"Clark? What do you mean, loses?"

Bruce thought a moment, framing his reply in a way so Lex wouldn't totally flip.

"It's a game, Lex. He's very popular with the ladies at the clubs. And the men, as you saw. He's a braggart, as well. Says no one can touch him. That no one can make him do anything he doesn't want to do. So they came up with this game. Blow the Man Down."

Lex blinked, still trying to clear both of his heads. "Game?" he repeated.

Bruce nodded. "Rules are simple, so I'm told. Anyone who wants to play, male or female, puts up a hundred bucks. Each person gets a night, or as many as they want to pay for, and they get the chance to blow Clark. He calls himself Jerry, by the way. One person each night. The money goes into the pot, kept by the club owner, and whoever makes him move, or groan, or call a name, anything, they get all the money. If he can go 60 nights without any reactions, he gets the money. That's why they videotape. There's a voice recorder hidden near the chair, too. No one can say Clark did any of those things unless it's true. They don't actually watch the tapes, unless there's a claim for the money. One guy tried it, because he didn't know about the tapes. He's not allowed to play anymore. The game just keeps going until the time's up. Some of the guys have been in two or three different nights. Some of the women have been in four or five. Apparently, there's a long wait for turns." He concluded wryly. "Can't say I blame them, looking at him."

Lex glared. "When is your night, Bruce?" Lex asked dangerously.

Bruce smirked slightly. "Come off it, Lex, you know better. What do you think I have Robin for? They don't call him the Boy Wonder for nothing." Bruce admitted, in a rare burst of candidness, retreating immediately back into his usual darkly brooding self.

Lex looked at his watch. "Is this every night? What time do they do it?"

"Around midnight; it's done for tonight."

"I want to see him, Bruce. I want to take him home."

"Your home or his home?" Bruce asked, eyebrows raised. "I haven't found out where he's staying yet, but I have a guy on it. Your friend Clark is very slick. Blink your eyes and he's history. I may have to put Batman on the job himself."

Lex paused a moment, thinking.

"I want a turn." He said suddenly. "I don't want to wait until we get his address. Call your guy down there. Find out whose turn it is tomorrow night, and get me in there. I don't give a damn how much it costs."

"Just think, Lex. You make him squeal a bit and you could walk away with the boy and the cash."

"I'm not after the cash. Just the boy."

Lex spent a sleepless night in one of the cavernous guest bedrooms, and brooded over breakfast until Bruce couldn't stand him anymore and went to work. Timothy Drake, Robin to those in the know, had classes that morning, so Lex would be left with Alfred and the rest of the staff. He shut himself in the study and paced until Bruce called his cell phone near noon.

"You're on," Bruce stated simply. "Two grand, cash. I'll lend it to you from my safe, and you can get it back to me later. Unless you have it on you."

Lex frowned at this unexpected burst of humor from Batman. And that was as humorous as Bruce Wayne ever got.

"Yea, I'll mail you a check when I get back to Smallville. I don't think you'll miss it, Bruce. Midnight?"

"It's all set. We'll meet my guy in the back. You'll give him the cash, which he will hand over to the guy whose turn you're buying. You give him a tip and your hundred bucks to show the owner, and you're in. No one else will see you, and this guy won't tell."

"How do you know?" Lex asked suspiciously.

"He won't. Assurances have been exchanged," Bruce replied seriously.

"There's another stipulation."

"Which is?"

"The tapes. Video and voice. They come directly to me and they are not to be copied. Or watched."

Dark chuckle on the other end of the line. "I'll forward that on. Don't worry, Lex. It'll be fine. I just don't know how you expect to talk him into going home."

Lex almost smiled then. "I'm not planning to do any talking." He said, hanging up the phone and slipping it back into his pocket, calmer now and actually looking at the room he had been pacing around blindly.

Well-appointed, expensive everything, and Lex wondered suddenly if he'd have turned out like Bruce Wayne if his parents had both died when he was eight. If his Mother had not been taken from him and his Father had been a little less bastard and a little more parent. Smiled when he remember the summer a few years ago when he had been visiting Gotham City, attending endless meetings with his father, staying as guests right here in Wayne Manor. Remembered how his sleepless teen-aged curiosity had gotten the better of him in the middle of the night and he'd been wandering the mansion silently, only to suddenly catch sight of the beacon in the sky, the famed bat signal, the brilliant circle with the silhouetted bat in the center, emblazoned across the sky for all to see.

For Lex to see, and he'd formulated a plan. A simple and effective plan. Out on the town the next night, right after dinner, and heading into the seamier parts of Gotham, dressed to the teeth, expensive watch, bulging wallet displayed at every opportunity. He wanted to see this Batman up close; not on a television screen or printed page.

He had gotten his wish, for as he rounded a corner near a particularly dark street, three men came out of nowhere, bricks and broken glass in their hands, waving the makeshift weapons at him threateningly. Lex had taken his time getting his watch off, his good leather belt and shoes, pulling out his wallet, and by the time they were reaching for it, the Batman was there, dropping like a dark angel, cape fluttering, and the men had run. Batman had turned to Lex and asked him simply, "Are you okay?" Lex had been fascinated, had merely nodded, mumbled a gentlemanly thank you, and the Batman had disappeared as fast as he had arrived, off to seek out more scum, Lex assumed.

Walking back into Wayne Manor that night, still in awe, Lex had been met by Bruce himself, having a brandy in the library. Bruce had taken one look at Lex and asked, "Are you okay?" and Lex had raised his face to Bruce's with the shock of recognition plain to see.

Bruce had tried to deny it, of course, but Lex Luthor knew the truth, and there was no sense arguing with him. Bruce told all, and Lex had promised solemnly to never reveal what he knew.

Now, Batman's dark links to the seedy nature of Gotham had paid off in spades. Lex had no idea what he'd do with himself until midnight.

Five minutes after midnight, having handed over the envelopes of cash to Bruce's mysterious contact, Lex was being led by the man through a narrow, dark hallway, distant bass sounds from some chaotic band drifting from somewhere ahead. He had sent Bruce back to Wayne Manor, having no idea what would actually transpire for the rest of the night.

"He's in there. He's ready," the guy said briefly, stopping before a closed door. "There's no lock, but I'll be right out here to make sure no one goes in." He smirked almost imperceptibly. "Also, in case you didn't know, there's no time limit, so you can take five minutes or five hours, whatever. You just can't run into tomorrow night's game."

Lex almost asked if the guy remembered the longest time anyone had ever been in the room, but decided against it. Inside somewhere, he really didn't want to know. Pushing aside any guilt he might have been feeling about this bit of deception, heart about to jump out of his chest, he knocked once and went in.

Lex shut the door behind him and leaned up against it, frozen by the sight of Clark, reclining in the chair, weird glasses in place. He had chosen flesh-colored leather tonight, not something Lex would have ever looked at twice at his tailor's, but at first glance, with the soft leather molding to his body, Clark looked naked. Might as well have been, what with every nuance of muscle making it seem like the outfit was form-fitted right onto Clark's body. Lex stood still, his pounding heart and suddenly non-functioning lungs warring inside, until he forced himself to move, walk steadily toward the recliner.

He watched Clark's face as he approached, saw the tiny flare of his nostrils as the scent of Lex's cologne hit him, caught the tiniest of frowns above the glasses for the split second it was visible. Lex smiled slightly at this reaction he had hoped for. Clark apparently couldn't see him, and Lex wasn't going to let Clark hear him speak, but he was most certainly going to smell and feel him.

Lex stood over him for a minute, waiting, watching for any sign of impatience, but Clark lay as calm as if he was taking a nap. When Lex's own impatience finally got the better of him, he reached a hand out tentatively and brushed his fingers lightly through the dark, rich hair, silk whispering against his fingers and Lex couldn't believe the amount of relief he felt from this simple act, the sheer ache that came over him. So long. Clark had been gone from him for so long.

Bending over while Clark was in the recliner seemed like an uncomfortable prospect to Lex, so he climbed onto the chair carefully, straddling Clark's thighs, staying away from his hips deliberately, avoiding contact with any...delicate areas.

Clark hadn't moved a muscle, and as far as Lex could discern, wasn't even breathing faster. But that was all right with Lex, because he had all night.

Lex put both hands gently against the sides of Clark's face, stroking downward, jaw, throat, stopping at the top of the soft shirt to slowly undo the buttons. He wanted to grab the shirt and rip the buttons off wantonly, but Lex was afraid this might be the only time he would ever be able to experience this with Clark, and he intended to take every minute he could.

Lex pulled the sides of the shirt aside and his breath quickened at the expanse of warm, muscled skin exposed to him. He leaned forward carefully, cock brushing over Clark's, despite his attempts to avoid it, and licked a wet trail along Clark's collarbone, both hands smoothing up along the flawless skin to the nipples, brushing them lightly, a tease. Clark tensed imperceptibly, lungs expanding as he inhaled deliberately, taking in the cologne Lex knew Clark could name effortlessly.

Lex smiled and brought his head down to flick his tongue gently over one nipple, biting suddenly, roughly, and he felt the body under him stiffen, sensed the control Clark was exerting to stay still, to stay quiet. Lex marveled that the boy could do this night after night, with no visible reaction, knew he would be hard-pressed to be as strong himself.

Clark's cock was hardening quickly, Lex could feel the stiffness and pushed his hips against Clark's, stifling a groan of want. He didn't want Clark to be able to hear him yet.

Lex began to lick Clark's stomach, every inch, broad, luxurious swipes of his tongue, and then, on a sudden whim, turned his head and brushed the damp sensitized skin with his bare scalp, felt Clark's sudden, sharp inhale, silent, but obvious to Lex.

Lex pushed his tongue into Clark's navel briefly, then reached over and gently tugged one of Clark's arms from the chair, the one sporting the class ring. He sucked the finger into his mouth slowly, tongue running around the ring suggestively before he pulled back off the finger. He held Clark's hand firmly, took the tip of the ring finger and blew on it gently, then ran it slowly, teasingly, across his lips, feeling the full-body shudder from Clark as his flesh smoothed over the imperfection on Lex's upper lip. Lex bit the tip of the finger, hard, watched the chills run up Clark's flesh before he returned it to the arm of the recliner, noted with satisfaction the white of Clark's knuckles when he gripped the chair.

Lex's cock was throbbing, and he was having a hard time ignoring the needy ache, but he sat back and reached to open Clark's pants, freeing the long, thick cock from the soft leather. Clark was going commando tonight, probably in deference to the game, and that just made it so much easier. Lex bent down and blew softly across the head of Clark's cock, then used the leaking tip to trace the outline of his lips, mimicking what he had just done with Clark's finger. He felt the body beneath him tense for the bite, and Lex nipped gently at the skin just under the head. He bent his head further down to lap at the skin of Clark's balls, pumping the hard shaft slowly, not fast enough, not using any regular rhythm. Lex knew this would be frustrating as hell to Clark, knew that if it was Clark doing this to him, he'd never be able to restrain himself. His own cock was leaking pre-cum, painfully hard and wanting release.

Needing a better taste than the little bite, Lex began to lick Clark's cock from root to tip, made sure he didn't miss any of it, and when he thought Clark had probably had enough of the tease, he simply opened his mouth and took the heated shaft in, suddenly, deeply.

Still, nothing from Clark, not even when Lex began sucking in earnest, taking what he'd wanted for so long. Lex himself had had just about enough teasing, and pulled off the cock abruptly, crawling back up over Clark's body, pressing with his own body all the way up to Clark's face, and when he got there, he leaned in and captured Clark's lips with his, a hungry, tantalizing kiss, one-sided, all Lex, until he felt Clark's tongue edge out the tiniest bit, slip across the scar on Lex's lip.

"Lex," whispered against his mouth so quietly Lex thought he might have imagined it, then, "Finally, waited so long," needy, desperate words coming from Clark, and his arms left the chair and wrapped themselves around Lex powerfully. It was all Lex wanted to hear.

He slipped through Clark's embrace and went back to the throbbing cock, taking it in fluidly, Clark finally giving in and thrusting his hips to push the shaft solidly into Lex's throat. A few more thrusts and Clark was pumping down Lex's throat, pulling at Lex's shoulders frantically and hissing through his teeth something that might have been words or might not.

Clark ripped the strange glasses from his face, flinging them away carelessly, and sat up, pulling Lex off his softening cock and crushing his mouth to Lex's needily, tasting himself and Lex at the same time. Murmuring, "Lex," over and over, until Clark realized Lex's cock was hard and waiting, and he reached down and pulled Lex's pants open, freed the hard cock and grabbed it almost in relief, working it until Lex gasped against Clark's chest frantically, hot come jetting between them. They rested for a minute, foreheads pressed together, breath still coming fast, and Clark finally broke the silence. He put a hand under Lex's jaw and raised his head to look into Lex's eyes. The smile on Clark's face was the same smile he'd had at the mansion that day, and the sight both sped up Lex's heart and made him wary at the same time.

Clark reached out with his tongue and licked Lex's lips teasingly. "What the hell took you so long, Lex?" he asked. "I've been waiting forever for you to catch up. Thought you'd never get here."

Lex tried to pull away a bit, but found himself prisoner on Clark's lap, hip to hip, his legs still straddling Clark's hips, the strong arms around him effectively holding him prisoner. Lex wasn't ready to complain yet.

"I didn't know you were waiting. I would have come sooner."

Clark's smile got wider. "You can be sure of that!" he replied meaningfully, leaning in to bite playfully along Lex's jaw, hands pulling firmly on Lex's backside, pressure against his groin as he felt Clark's already half-erect cock.

"You didn't have to play a game, Clark. All you had to do was call."

Clark laughed. "This was way more fun. Anyway, I don't want to go home. I wanted you to come here. I thought, I hoped, it was you the minute you walked in the room and I smelled you. Do you know how often I used to just stop and smell you? Then when I felt your head and your lip..." Clark shuddered, closed his eyes briefly and let go of Lex's ass to grab the sides of his face and plunder his mouth with renewed hunger.

"Do me. Touch me," he demanded, grabbing one of Lex's hands and placing it on his newly-engorged cock, whispered "please, Lex" as Clark felt the heat of Lex's fingers on him.

"As much as you want," Lex promised quietly, raising up slightly to breathe the words into Clark's ear, lick softly with his tongue while he worked Clark's cock smoothly. "Just come home with me, be with me, everything will be fine." Worked his hand a bit faster, setting cadence for Clark's hitching breaths. "But I want something," Lex whispered, tiny bites along Clark's earlobe, pause in the rhythm of his hand, resulting in a frustrated groan from Clark.

"Anything," he vowed desperately, reaching between them to grab Lex's hand and force it to move, needy moan escaping when Lex started pumping again.

"Anything? Promise?" Lex whispered, biting along the side of Clark's throat, sucking bits of skin into his mouth and Lex thought Clark's chest would explode with the effort of his breathing.

"Promise, I promise," Clark moaned, just as orgasm hit him again and he thrust frantically into Lex's hand, brought his hand up to the back of Lex's head to pull them together for a bruising kiss.

Lex broke away slowly and reached down for Clark's hand, pausing with his fingers around the offending class ring, heart pounding with the fear that this would end if Clark actually allowed him to remove it.

"You promised," Lex reminded him sadly. "This is what I want."

Clark regarded him seriously, but didn't pull his hand away. "If you take that off, will this be over? Will you not want me?"

Lex almost laughed, starting to pull the ring up along Clark's finger. "I've always wanted this, Clark, with or without the stupid ring. The real question is, can you go home without it? Your parents want you there. I certainly want you there. And if we can't be like this with the ring off, I am going to regret taking it. What do you think?"

"My parents want me back?" Clark repeated.

"Desperately. As do I. And.....others."

"I would want us to be like this, Lex, all the time. Lex Luthor and Clark Kent. Do you like the sound of that?"

"I've always liked the sound of that," Lex assured him, giving another pull and then the ring was off. He watched Clark's eyes dull for a second, then look back into his warmly.

"It'll be okay, right?" Clark asked.

Lex kissed him lightly. "It'll be fine. Let's go home."

(PS The pot went to the Gothan City Orphan's Fund.)