The Sound of Icicles Falling
It's Christmas Eve, and the world is white and evergreen, the inside of a snow globe. The night's quiet except for the crunch of Clark's boots, the steady huff of his breath. As a kid, Clark thought that icicles would ring when he touched them, and even now he can't resist, reaching for a silver row on a branch. As usual, they snap off without chiming, quietly stabbing the snow. Maybe it's a matter of wishing hard enough, like with stars; either way, tonight's the last time.
More crunching, then the billowing snow parts to show the mansion, like he's stepped into a fairy tale. No lights, but he keeps going, opening the front door with a blast of heat vision. He leaves his boots, coat and gloves in a pile like a fallen scarecrow, then follows the pine smell upstairs, moving through the dark halls, thinking about broken icicles.
The tree stands in a corner, a few gold ornaments shining in the faint orange light of a fire that's nearly asleep. With no presents underneath, it's easy to bend and plug in the lights. Clark adjusts a candy cane, then steps back. "That's better."
"Shouldn't you be in church or on a sleigh ride or something equally Rockwell?" Lex speaks from the couch against the far wall where light from the window covers him like a cobweb. "Or is breaking and entering a Smallville Christmas tradition?"
"You can always call the police."
"And ruin your future as a criminal mastermind? I'll give you a few more years."
Lex is little drunk; Clark can hear it in the space between his words. This means that Lionel has been around, at least in spirit, like the ghost of Christmas past with clanking chains and scary predictions. "If you want to talk, Lex, I'm here for you. Or we don't have to talk. Anything you want. Anything." Please, he thinks to himself, please, please, please. Out loud it would sound like a prayer, and Clark's tempted to drop to his knees.
There's a creak of leather as Lex shifts, but all he says a minute later is, "You should be careful what you offer, Clark. Someone might take it the wrong way."
"There's no wrong way, Lex."
Another bout of quiet, then the sound of something liquid and orange sliding down Lex's throat.
"There's a tradition in Smallville," Clark says, then pauses to adjust his voice. "A Christmas Eve tradition." He's not sure what to say next, which way to aim his lie, but Lex's irony saves him.
"Does it involve offering virgins to the local lord of the manor?"
"Well, actually, yeah. There was this committee that met in May, and they, um, voted on who the virgin should be, bearing in mind things like compatibility, academic achievement, and, um, interest. This is the twenty-first century, after all. Virgin sacrifices have to be willing these days. Height was also a factor. The virgin's supposed to be the tallest one in Smallville."
A twig hisses from the fireplace while the wind picks up outside, tossing snow against the window above Lex, who sits without moving a muscle.
"And what exactly is the point of this ritual?" Lex's voice is as still as the rest of him.
"It guarantees a good harvest." He takes a step toward Lex. "For the next ten years." Another step. "So a lot is riding on it. As in, you don't really have a choice." This close, with the fire burping amber, the gloom thins around Lex, who might be smiling, or at least showing teeth. "It's your civic duty," Clark adds, "as the resident lord of the manor, to, you know, make the virgin happy."
"Isn't it usual to kill the virgin?"
"That's only in fairy tales, Lex. In real life, you have to sleep with them. It's kind of the law here, and you don't want to spend Christmas Eve in prison." When Clark sits beside Lex on the couch, it makes a soft whispery sound like icicles falling into snow.
"Prison would be unpleasant. No trees. No fire. No sacrificial virgins." Lex puts his drink on the floor, then turns to face Clark. "Aren't virgins traditionally female?"
"You're reading the wrong books. In Smallville, we alternate. This year, it's a male one. That's okay, right? Because it would be really hard to find a replacement at this point." The prayer loops in his head again.
"I can live with the committee's decision."
"That's a relief. Because I wouldn't want to disappoint them." They stare, then stare some more, and Lex is so pale he gives off his own light, like human snow. Clark, deciding that after coming this far backing down would be a waste of a good Christmas story, clears his throat and says, "There's a time limit on this offer. It has to start before midnight." He taps his watch, hoping Lex won't realize that midnight is three and a half hours away.
"You're pretty pushy for a virgin sacrifice."
"The handbook clearly states that virgins are allowed to be pushy, especially if the lord guy takes his time with the leaping." Their thighs are touching now.
"I always wondered what that song was about." Lex slides his arm behind Clark on the couch, but doesn't touch him. "So, are you sure about this? There are a lot of pitchforks in Kansas farm country, and the last thing I need is an armed mob descending on the castle. My insurance premiums would go through the--"
Kissing Lex is the bravest thing he's ever done, and Clark holds his breath, waiting for the icicles to snap. This is not the best plan, this non-breathing while his mouth's pressed against Lex's, and the noise he makes is embarrassing, a snort like a startled horse.
Lex backs off a bit. "Maybe you're not ready for reality."
Because it sounds like an ending Clark's stomach does a vertical plunge. "Sorry. I really want this, but I'm a little nervous."
"So am I," Lex says, a confession that loosens the knots under Clark's skin.
The next time is smoother, Lex's tongue orangey-sweet against Clark's, hot like the fire has moved inside him, so that Clark melts and burns at the same time, wondering if anyone's ever died from a kiss. Not that he's complaining as Lex finds all these corners and rhythms, and the kiss is less a kiss than a life-altering experience.
Everything about Lex is like that: huge and almost overwhelming, tidal waves and hurricanes and orgasms. Clark's not at the last point, not yet, just painfully confined by his jeans, by the lack of direct contact, although Lex is unbuttoning Clark's shirt, a very good sign.
Clark reclines against the back of the couch, gripping Lex's shoulder through one of those purple dress shirts that never wrinkles, learning from the rumbles and sighs just how Lex likes to be kissed. His scar is sensitive; when Clark licks it, Lex slows down, looking into Clark's eyes like his favorite movie's playing there. Lex also likes when Clark thrusts his tongue deep, opening even wider while he squeezes the back of Clark's neck or his thigh, or pinches one of Clark's nipples. Once he even says "Clark" in this low, almost-hurting voice, causing Clark to pop every button on Lex's shirt, sending them in a pearly arc across the room--an accident he can't regret as his hands connect with warm skin.
There's just one problem: Clark is dying. He's too hard already, and when Lex bites his neck or licks his nipples Clark gets even harder, defying physical laws. To relieve some tension he sends a blast of heat straight into the fire, and there's a shower of sparks.
It's Lex's fault for having this slippery smooth skin, these shoulders made for teeth. Lex arches when Clark discovers this, the thrill of nips and sharper bites, and the small bruise that develops on one brings no guilt, just another rush between his legs knowing that he's given Lex Luthor a hickey. Lex only encourages him, offering his neck, and Clark latches onto him, sucking and biting while Lex's hand burns Clark's thigh.
"Lex," Clark finally says, one hand on Lex's bare damp back.
Lex looks up from Clark's nipples, sleepy-eyed, mouth very red even in the firelight, his skin glowing. "You want me to stop."
"No. I want--" But saying it isn't the Kent way, so Clark takes Lex's hand in his and places it where he needs it most. "This."
No time for embarrassment with Lex's fingers closing tight around him through the jeans. Clark's unprepared for the jolt of contact, collapsing back, arms spread wide, legs extended, hips jerking, and moans when Lex strokes him. If Lex would just do that again, then again--
His eyes close as it happens, barely hearing his own whimpers before Lex stops them with a kiss. Then the pressure changes between his legs, a few short tugs at his waist, and, God, Lex's expert fingers have opened Clark's jeans. There's cool air followed by the heat of Lex's hand, and Clark bucks up, throwing an arm around Lex's shoulder for balance.
Lex leans into him, stroking the whole time. "You like that?"
"Can't you tell?" He spreads his thighs further apart while Lex jerks him off.
"You said I was supposed to make you happy. For the harvest. I'm just checking."
"If I get any happier, Lex, you'll feel it all over your hand."
"I'm ready just looking at you." Lex stares a path down Clark's naked chest to his cock, hard and slick in Lex's hand, then up again. "You look even better than I imagined."
"There was imagining?"
"Of course, Clark."
"Because you picture everybody...?"
His thumb slips wetly over the head of Clark's cock. "Just you."
"So why did this take so long?"
"I have a bad habit of breaking the things that I love."
"I'm indestructible," Clark says, mixing the truth in with the joke. He can't say anything after that, not with Lex stroking him faster now, steady as the tide. So warm, like the whole place is on fire, like it's midsummer, like the sun's exploding. "Lex...I'm..."
Like a dolphin, Lex does this boneless slide down, kneeling on the floor between Clark's legs. Holding Clark in both hands, he bends, his mouth open, until the world's just this wet tight heat, better than Clark's own hand the way living is better than dying. The leather couch sucks at his damp back like Lex is sucking his cock, and Clark drums his fingers against the seat, scared that if he holds onto Lex now he might hurt him.
Clark hovers, trying to make this last, ready to watch Lex do it for hours--except that he stops watching Lex's full mouth long enough to catch Lex's eyes, which is a mistake. He's seen versions of this look before, a dozen times tonight alone, but never full-force, and it knocks the breath from his body, Lex's name from his mouth, as every muscle tightens.
There's a snap somewhere inside him, and the release is like falling, this sharp, clean, shocking plunge into snow. Lex catches him, his hands slower now, his tongue soothing even as he swallows.
Eventually Clark risks a touch to Lex's hollowed cheek, his thumb skimming over the bone, and Lex pulls back after a final lick, crawling up beside Clark until they're tangled, shirts still off, Clark's jeans still open and low over his hips. The orange has faded from Lex's mouth, which tastes salty now, and Clark surprises himself by liking it, proof of what happened. He can tell when Lex realizes this, can feel him relax and kiss deeper.
No, he thinks, not relaxed, just freer, with Lex vibrating under his skin, hard where he presses against Clark's hip. Clark lacks Lex's smooth moves, fumbling as he opens Lex's belt, dropping it to the floor before tackling the button, then the zipper. Lex doesn't fight him, even raises his hips obediently as Clark works his cock free, a side of Lex he could love.
It feels right in his hand, even while it feels different, a little shorter and cut. The sounds from Lex are the best part, these hot gasps as Clark starts to jerk him off, nice and slow. Lex's kisses change, rougher now with an edge of teeth, and Clark gives in to it, lets Lex do whatever he wants because Clark's the one causing this with his fingers tight around Lex's big cock.
Even saving Lex's life, pulling him from the river, didn't bring such a rush of power; this is more personal, with Lex's tongue in Clark's mouth, his hand cupping Clark's damp, spent cock while Clark keeps up this steady rhythm. When Lex comes, he'll do it for Clark, no one else, because he likes the slide of Clark's fingers, the brush of his thumb, the press of Clark's tongue against his scar.
Clark speeds up, his hand racing over Lex's cock, the couch groaning under the strain, Lex panting into Clark's mouth. Then there's this long, glorious second where Lex stiffens, and it happens: Clark's king of the world, master of the universe, maybe even God as Lex bites down on Clark's lower lip and comes in hot sticky splatters all over Clark's hand.
The shudders seem to last forever, until Lex breaks the kiss, his head dropping back against the couch. "God, Clark. That was...intense."
"I know the feeling."
"You look pretty pleased with yourself," Lex says, taking Clark's hand to rub the wetness over Clark's cock, then his stomach, like he's trying to spell out something.
"Look who's talking." Because there are barns smaller than Lex's grin.
"I'm just happy that we'll have good harvests for the next ten years."
Clark presses his cheek to Lex's shoulder. "Is it Christmas yet? It feels like Christmas."
"Christmas started two hours ago."
"I'd better get going then. My parents will wonder what happened to me," Clark says without moving. "You're still coming over for Christmas dinner, right?" He hates the thought of a night alone without Lex. A minute alone without him, and hates his alien skin for refusing to bruise.
"I'm not sure that's such a good idea, Clark. I'm not sure that I can keep my hands off you, and your father probably has about ten pitchforks."
"You don't have to keep your hand off me. You know how there are actually twelve days of Christmas? Well, we have to renew this contract for every one of those days. For the harvest and all."
"What happens when those twelve days are over?"
"Well, we also have this Valentine's Day tradition here in Smallville. Remember that lord of the manor guy? If he doesn't fool around with the ex-virgin, there are plagues and stuff. You can't be too careful when it comes to crops. We have an Easter tradition, too, and one for Halloween. Can't forget Veteran's Day. You can't be too careful when it comes to crops. Oh, and President's Day. And..."
An hour later, Clark heads home. Snow falls in huge white flakes, but he doesn't tilt back his head to catch it on his tongue, too busy licking his lips for the last traces of Lex. After all, he's grown up now, not a kid anymore, and it really is time to give up childish things. Only--
There's a row of icicles hanging from the low branch of an oak, and he can't ignore them: a sweep of his gloved hand sends them plunging into a snowbank. With his eyes closed, he listens very carefully, and the wind carries the sound to him, the Twelve Days of Christmas on a very expensive car stereo. He turns, and Lex is there, throwing open the passenger door of his Ferrari.
"I know you said you wanted to walk--"
Clark waits for the joke about virgins, sacrifices and walks home alone.
Instead, Lex smiles and adds, "But I missed you." When Clark's settled beside him, Lex glances over. "What were you doing out there when I showed up? You were just standing there like a statue."
Leaning over to kiss Lex, he says, "Just thinking that you're never too old to make wishes."