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"Clark."

Saying the name was more reflex than anything vaguely resembling thought; it popped out and patiently hung in the cold winter air between them, waiting for Lex's brain to catch up and add something witty or at least a little less cliched. Which wasn't happening by any stretch of the imagination, because....

Clark was.

On his porch.

Naked.

"Eh--hey, Lex." Short, extremely awkward pause, and Lex was vaguely aware that the lightly swirling snow was piling up around his feet and drifting casually inside the door to ruin the expensive hall rug. Somewhere distant, men in white coats with low voices were no doubt fitting him for a customized jacket because, quite obviously, he'd finally taken something he couldn't handle in a random club. Even though he couldn't remember ever actually *getting* to Metropolis... Details, details. "Umm...can I come in?"

Come in?

"Lex." A--bare--hand waved in front of his face, and Lex snapped into the cold reality of snow and wind and--

Clark was.

Naked.

On his porch.

"Sure." Lex slowly backed up and nearly slipped in the pile of wet snow that had accumulated around him. Definitely not one of his finer moments. Against all the laws of perversity and Murphy, and for that matter, Lex's lousy Smallville luck, Clark actually came inside, naked, and shut the door behind him. Still naked. Snow was already melting in the thick dark hair, and thin lines of water were streaking his face, his shoulders, his chest, his stomach--

Lex breathed out, jerked his gaze back up to the rapidly reddening face, and looked for words. Preferably some that made sense. This would never do.

"Clark--"

"You have--umm, something I could borrow to wear home?" Hunching his shoulders just a little and hands definitely making a valiant attempt to hide--

Lex shut his eyes. Hard. Opened them again.

Naked.

Clark.

Was on his rug.

"Clark--" This was Smallville. Normally, that was a damn good answer to any and all philosophical questions regarding strangeness. But this--this wasn't even in the same general realm of strangeness. It was like Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets the Playboy Channel. The Winter Edition. And he'd never admit he was religious in watching both. "Clark--"

"Clothes, Lex." How skin that cold could still flush like *that* was beyond Lex's ability to coherently process, and he caught himself tracing the color down the exposed throat, chest, stomach--

*Stop*.

Breathe, Lex. Just breathe.

"Clothes. Right." Lex drew in a breath. Speak, Lex. You've seen naked boys before. "Come on. I'll--find you something."

And in the most surreal moment of Lex's life, he was leading a naked Clark upstairs to--dress him. There was something very wrong with that, something vaguely inverted, and nowhere close to his first choice. But there it was. Clark was naked, following just behind Lex, and he was very possibly still blushing.

The castle closed warm and rather confined around them, and Lex unbuttoned his coat impatiently. Was the heater turned too high?

"You want to--take a shower or something? Get warmed up a little?" Lex asked the rapidly approaching wall. If he turned around, he knew he wouldn't move again. Ever. If he turned around, he and Clark would be standing there on the stairs until the help came back on duty Monday and gave him their usual vaguely disapproving looks while they cleaned up the melted snow from around their feet.

"Yeah, thanks, Lex."

Upstairs, now, through a hall, and Lex pushed open his bedroom door, blindly gesturing across the room toward the general direction of the bathroom. Lex took a breath as Clark passed, cold air and more winter-gold skin than he'd been aware existed on the human body.

That was a truly inspired amount of skin, and as soon as the bathroom door closed, Lex lunged for his bedside table and picked up a bottle of brandy.

For a moment, there were no sounds at all, and Lex gave the bottle a long, thoughtful look. Let's go about this categorically. No, he wasn't drunk, wasn't high, wasn't asleep, and he'd never been diagnosed as schizophrenic, per se. Therefore--

"Lex? I need--um, the shower controls?"

--therefore this wasn't a hallucination, this was Smallville, and oh yes, where *was* his composure? Possibly melted with the snow on the floor downstairs. Lex dragged in a breath, then unstoppered the brandy and took a long drink. Cheerful pornographic thoughts of pretty snowy boys in his shower took over briefly and Lex leaned against the mattress.

"Lex?"

Oh, right. Real thing waiting.

Luckily for Lex's sanity, though his libido lodged a formal protest, Clark was neatly wrapped in a towel and staring at the shower controls with a mistrust that only country living could have given him. Lex couldn't blame him in this case--Lionel had a certain passion for the concept of progress, and Lex had learned the hard way that just turning things randomly usually ended with blisters or short-term impotence. Ducking his head inside and not-looking at the miles of bare skin and strategically placed cotton, Lex turned the dials and tested the water to something that seemed satisfactory.

"There you go." Step back, Lex. He doesn't need to crawl over you to get into the shower.

"Thanks."

Lex retreated to the sink as the towel slung itself cheerfully across the top of the shower and leaned against the cool porcelain, taking a breath as warm steam enveloped him. Stripping off his damp coat, he crossed his arms and stared at the towel rack.

It wasn't helping.

"Clark?"

Sounds of happy splashing, and Lex could just catch movement through the thick glass. Not much more. Dammit.

"Yeah?"

"Any chance I'll get an explanation of--this?" Naked Clark. Naked, very naked, in the snow Clark. He'd had fantasies involving that, but the practical aspects had always canceled out the fun. Sometimes, being a scientist was annoying.

"It's--sort of complex." Sounds of movement and through the thick glass, Lex watched Clark ducked under the shower, shaking his head enough for faint trails of water to splash the door. It was like that tiny bit of plot in really good pornography, the kind that involved recreational soap use and extreme levels of flexibility.

"Yes, I gathered that. Naked boys on my porch aren't exactly common." His fantasy life didn't count.

A little, water-choked laugh drifted over the top of the shower.

"But it's happened before?"

"I'll tell you about my eighteenth birthday party when you're older."

Something that sounded vaguely like drowning, then Clark stuck his head out. That wasn't playing fair at all--Lex got a glimpse of teasing eyes under a wet mat of dark hair. Dammit, dammit, dammit.

"I'll remind you on my birthday." Clark ducked back inside, and Lex began to silently recite the periodic table. Jerking off with guests in the shower was a big breach of etiquette or at very least good taste. And it'd ruin these pants and Lex really, really needed to think about something not-naked-Clark Real Fucking Soon Now. "You want the story now or when I'm dressed?"

The *tease*. Clark probably didn't even know it was one, either.

Naked. Storytelling.

God, that was a decision. On the upside, naked storytelling had the advantage of continued nudity. On the downside, the entire no-jerking-off-with-guests-in-the-shower rule would most definitely go out the window. And further, Lex was almost certain that what little thinking he was doing now would stop if he spent another minute in here, much less however long it took to explain the logistics of winter nakedness.

"I'll find you some clothes," Lex answered in a hopefully steady voice, and allowed himself one last look at the shower. That was all it took. Bare dark outline of pretty boy standing under water, and yes, this would be enough to fuel Lex's fantasy life for at least a month or two.

Clark was almost six inches taller than he was, but Lex was nothing if not prepared for any and all clothing emergencies--sweats in a far back drawer that would probably be too short, an oversized t-shirt that God, he hadn't really bought that, did he? Socks, nice, non-erotically-charged socks. Underwear--

Lex leaned back against his closet door. Adults weren't led around by their libido. Luthor adults weren't. It was fortunate he was at least a few years away from considering himself one.

Laying the clothes on the bed, clear of the addictive shower, the chill of the room helped restart his mind, and he remembered warm drinks. People who were cold liked that sort of thing. Not to mention the fact that sitting here with nothing to do and Clark a door and glass pane away and so damn *naked*....

By the time he got back, an unimpeachably dressed damp boy was perched on his bed, random towel slung around his shoulders, looking more beddable than the most explicit centerfold. Smiling as he took the coffee, and the clothes did help, because Lex found it in himself to sit down on the bed quite easily and smile at the kid with something close to composure.

"So you have a story for me?" Lex asked, adding brandy to both their coffees, and watched Clark's head tilt a little.

"Well, see, it's not my fault." Clark took a sip of coffee, smiling a little at the taste. "I like this."

"I buy good coffee." Waited. The flush was creeping back, and Lex was beginning to enjoy this for more than the entire nudity thing. "Well?"

Clark sighed, flipping the towel off and tossing it onto the floor. Lex briefly considered the housekeeper's temper when she saw the water stains on the rug and then refocused on Clark.

"It was a dare."

Lex blinked. Thought about it.

"Someone dared you to show up naked on my porch?" He owed someone their very own island. Perhaps two. "Why--"

"No." Clark shook his head quickly, damp hair clinging to his cheeks. "I was--okay, it's weird, so bear with me here. I was at the market with Pete and my parents this afternoon, and Whitney and Pete--well, they were talking about this thing they made some of the freshmen football players do last year--"

"Thing?"

Clark shifted a little and Lex leaned back against the headboard, taking another sip of the coffee.

"Hazing stuff." Quick glance up, before Clark fixed his gaze on the bedspread. "They--the freshmen guys run naked through--through Riley's field. Nothing--nothing big."

Little moment of silence, and Lex watched Clark's face for a few moments, reading the quick succession of emotions easily.

"Pete doesn't know about your performance there, does he?"

"No." Clark shifted again, shaking his head, and the kid had to be the least vindictive person on earth. Lex still felt vindictive on his behalf, pushing it aside as Clark frowned a little. "Anyway, it doesn't matter, because Whitney got sort of weird when he realized--well, that I was standing there--"

"Yes, I imagine he did."

"Lana too." Little grin there, and Lex couldn't help matching it. "And Whitney said they weren't doing it this year--"

"How kind of him--"

"Lex." Little smile, but that light touch of malice to leaven it out. Good to see it. "He's sorry. Really. Anyway, Pete was acting all weird about it, and I said it wasn't that big a deal. Which, comparatively speaking, it really isn't."

No, Lex supposed not. Smallville got more interesting by the hour. What *was* the town's obsession with stripping its youth down and sending them into random fields anyway? And this was the sort of interesting information that might have made him that much less pissed at being sent here.

"And Lana was--sort of wanting to get off the subject, and then there was a lot of talking and it ended when Whitney bet Pete he wouldn't do it--"

"And we're not yet at the part where *you* remove clothing," Lex observed, hiding a smile as Clark shifted uncomfortably on the bed. "You're holding out on me."

"This is sort of a complex thing--see, it wasn't any *one* factor that led to the entire nakedness situation."

"Complex." Lex tasted the word. "Yes, I imagine it was. All right, just so I have this straight. We're going to get to the part where you lost your mind and your clothing?"

Clark's shy grin was infectious.

"Yeah. See, this is when it got weird--" Clark broke off with another drink of coffee and the hazel eyes grew distant. "I told Pete I'd do it with him. Double the money." Clark's smile was an interesting combination of embarrassed and proud. "Pete drove us in his dad's truck and Whitney and Lana were there and--we did it. Except--well, someone else was sort of out there and yelled, so Whitney took off, and Pete and I sort of had our clothes in the back of his truck--" Clark trailed off and Lex bit down into his lip. He had to hear the end of this. "I asked Pete to let me off here, and--I mean, I couldn't show up at Pete's naked, and anyway--" Trailed off, catching Lex's expression. "Don't say it, Lex."

Lex leaned back and couldn't help smirking. It was like television life, cute and funny and a fabulous anecdote to share when you started having your own cocktail parties, leaving out the messy issues of frostbite, exposure, and misdemeanor indecent exposure.

And that had been a fun arrest, by the way.

"That was incredibly stupid."

All he got for his stunningly relevant observation was a dirty look.

"Well, Mom and Dad wouldn't get it, and if I showed up, you know--"

"*Sans* clothing?"

"Yeah, they wouldn't get it." Clark finished off his cup and Lex took it, absently placing it on the bedside table.

"So you came here to get dressed so you wouldn't have to explain nudity to your parents--instead, you can explain wearing my clothes. I have to see your father's face when he sees you. It'll be worth the fact I'll be dodging bullets just for the memory."

Clark choked on a laugh and leaned back on one arm. It was unfair that the slim body stretched the material of the cotton shirt so enticingly. Made Lex want to invest in t-shirt companies.

"My parents are gone by now." Clark shrugged. "Night out in Metropolis. They thought I would be out tonight with Pete anyway--"

Now didn't *that* put a whole new complexion on the world?

"So Pete is home--getting dressed and nurturing his utter humiliation, I assume--you're homeless, and Whitney, with any luck, is going to be giving you quite a bit of money. And Lana saw you naked." Lex chuckled, putting his coffee cup aside and running the story through his mind again. "I have to admit, Clark, I'm impressed."

Huge eyes.

"Oh God--Lana." Choked voice, and Lex watched in interest as Clark covered his face. "I forgot--"

"You forgot Lana was there?"

"Yeah." Looking up at Lex desperately from beneath dark eyelashes. "After the entire--streaking thing--I was too worried about Whitney taking my clothes to think--God, Lana saw me naked. Naked, Lex!"

Yes, naked. Lucky girl. Lex allowed himself a moment of reflection, coming back to himself to see Clark's gaze fixed on him in something of a cross between bewildered and--worried?

"You don't have anything to be worried about," Lex answered easily, pulling himself back into the present moment and the boy in sweats and a t-shirt on the bed. Far from naked. Except for the underwear. Which he wasn't wearing because Lex had conveniently forgotten to add them to the pile.

"Lex, she's seen *Whitney* naked." Lex didn't ask how Clark would know that. "I mean--"

Oh poor boy.

"Trust me, you outclass Whitney," Lex answered absently. "In fact, you--" Stop Lex. Wait. Remember who you're talking to. Blinking, he got another searching look, no blush, just intense and focused *thought*. As if Clark was working something out.

Whatever it was, it was gone almost instantly, and Clark slipped his feet to the floor as if to get up.

"I guess--I should go and leave you to do--I mean, you're dressed up, so you were obviously going out somewhere."

It wasn't until that moment that Lex remembered the entire reason he'd been downstairs in the first place. He felt Clark's eyes track him curiously and shifted a little. Clark hadn't seen him out of suits in--well, almost ever, come to think of it. He looked up and caught another fleeting expression he couldn't interpret.

"Not going to Pete's tonight?" It couldn't be this easy.

Clark grimaced.

"He wasn't--exactly in the mood for hanging out anymore." Little shrug of broad shoulders.

"Oh." Metropolis, one and a half hours away at one hundred miles an hour. Clubs, nightlife, most definitely guaranteed sex, and probably with more than one person. Clark, six or so inches away. Probably a movie and talk of sports and girls and perhaps whatever teacher was making school a misery. In a thin t-shirt with no underwear. Well, wasn't *that* a competition. "Well. Metropolis. Nothing particularly important and certainly nothing this interesting. Come on--we'll find where my cook hid the popcorn again."

He caught the surprised grin from the corner of his eye, fighting its way across Clark's face, and Lex wondered if he'd ever made anyone happy with something this simple.

"You sure?"

How sweet. Clark uncertain. Lex was violently torn between pushing him down on his back and patting his head. He contented himself with a smirk.

"Absolutely."


Junk food was Lex's special addiction--wine and caviar and the perfect chocolate soufflé were all well and good, but college life had given him a taste for delivery pizza and high-fat-content edibles. Being twenty-one and rich, he could afford to indulge all his eating preferences. The kitchen was big enough to justify a search party, and Lex sent Clark in one direction while he went in the other.

It wasn't like he *visited* the kitchen that often, after all. The new cook was very large, very middle-aged, and tended to lecture him on nutrition at random intervals. She also had a terribly oversized spoon that couldn't possibly be used for cooking and Lex, connoisseur of new experiences he might be, wasn't overly eager to find out exactly what she used it for.

"Lex, you like fruit?" From somewhere in the depths of the refrigerator. That thing was a hazard--possibly needed a map or satellite positioning for proper navigation. Frankly, the fact that he'd found the coffee with only ten minutes of searching was something along the lines of a miracle.

"No fruit," Lex answered as he methodically checked every shelf. Pasta, tomato paste, more canned vegetables than a major charity drive could boast, something vaguely legume-shaped that crumbled when he touched it, and Lex wiped his fingers clean and put the container aside. "If it looks healthy, put it back."

Lex ducked out of the pantry with microwave popcorn, cookies, and a bag of cheetos--he knew he'd bought some, and didn't it figure they were hidden behind the wheat germ? Putting the popcorn in the microwave and setting the time, Lex hopped up on the counter and drummed his fingers into the countertop, kicking his heels into the wood beneath. Solid workmanship. Stop staring at Clark's ass, even though the angle is spectacular. Be good, Lex. Or at least, less obvious. We're trying for comfort here.

"Soda?" Clark sounded surprised. Lex was too.

"We have soda?" And that bitch had been feeding him orange juice and bottled water by the gallon.

Clark emerged with what amounted to being a case, carried easily under one arm, and Lex grinned. Soda, popcorn, cheetos, pretty boy, movie. All so damned innocent. Somewhere in Metropolis, Lex's friends were laughing themselves into hernias.

Just--amazing any way he looked at it, and Lex opened the cheetos and threw one at Clark on impulse. Hit him very nicely on the forehead, too, and Clark caught it with those blinding reflexes, making Lex blink in thought, and the boy stared at it for a moment, before absently eating it.

When Clark looked up, there was an orange spot on his forehead and Lex was tempted to lick it off.

"You threw food at me."

Lex leaned back on one arm and picked out another cheeto, popping it into his mouth and grinning as Clark carefully placed the soda on the counter.

"You haven't lived, Clark, until you've seen a cafeteria food fight."

Clark's eyes widened a little.

"We had them in elementary school."

"Trust me, it's more fun if the participants are legal and there's an excessive amount of jello on the day's menu."

Clark thought about that.

"I'm really going to like college, aren't I?"

Lex laughed and reached for the microwave as the little timer dinged.

"Like you wouldn't believe."


It was easy to forget that most guys his age were still getting drunk at frat parties and staying up too late in tiny dorm rooms drinking their way through cases of cheap beer and failing their finals. Lex should be doing that, instead of playing responsible adult and plant manager. Second generation money, after all, was supposed to be dissolute and stupid. He'd always had to be contrary.

This was one of only five or so places in the castle that Lex found even vaguely comfortable, due to intensive activity more than anything. Even furniture couldn't make the den less cavernous, but with the lights out and the television large and brilliant in the corner, it was far more welcoming. Not to mention the fact that it was one of the few rooms that held heat decently, probably because of the lack of windows and the heavy rug Lex had gotten delivered from Metropolis when he realized his father was serious about him living here.

It'd taken him a couple of weeks to believe that even Lionel's unusual sadistic streak would lead him to make his son live in something two steps up from a mausoleum. If that.

Clark was stretched out on his stomach only inches away, eating popcorn with that steady intensity that sometimes made Lex suspect that there was some sort of subliminal signaling at work during movies. Socked feet braced against the couch, pillow buried under his chest and just--

--there. Probably never did a single questionable thing in his life, leaving out the nakedness thing that Lex was carefully not thinking about.

Lex reached for the bowl and thought about the possibilities inherent in subliminal programming for a few minutes before turning his full attention back to--not the movie, he'd seen it a hundred times before--but Clark.

"What were you and Pete going to do tonight?" At fifteen, he'd been doing--well, other things.

One shoulder shrugged absently and Clark reached blindly for the popcorn, blinking when his hand encountered empty air and then a rug. He turned slightly before flashing that little smile that always made Lex want to cuddle him. It was a miracle Clark wasn't molested on the streets of Smallville, just at random.

"This. Play video games. Maybe harass the locals or something."

"Harass the locals." Lex mulled that and shifted onto the rug beside Clark, sitting the popcorn between them. Somewhere along the line, he'd lost his shoes and rolled up his sleeves. Bare arms, but angled wrong for Clark to see fading track marks, too dark to catch anything anyway. "Mailboxing? Toilet papering some poor local's house? More streaking? You know, if you're going to take that up as a profession, at least let me introduce you to an agent--"

Clark's eyes widened impossibly and Lex pushed the bowl at him, grinning.

"You scare me."

"Sometimes I scare myself." He rolled onto his back to stare up at the ceiling with the vaguest sense of disquiet. This was too simple, too easy. Effortless as breathing. Something had to be very wrong with the world when Lex could enjoy a night on the floor with a kid who was demolishing his stash of cheetos. Or something very, very right. "I know a lot of people."

"You know a lot, period." Curiosity edged his voice, and Lex turned onto his side to catch his expression. Clark had that look again, that thoughtful look. Completely undiluted by the cheeto dust around his mouth and cookie crumbs sprinkled haphazardly on his face like some starved sculptor's wet dream of edible art.

"What?"

Another little shrug, but Clark abandoned the popcorn and raised himself on both elbows, frowning a little. Lex could see the long fingers were stained orange.

"It's just--you've got to have better things to do than hang out watching bad movies."

"I like Adam Sandler." Lex sighed a little and stretched, running socked feet against the rug and then reaching out and to touch Clark. Little static electricity flash between them and Clark flinched and smiled, but it didn't remove the shadow in his eyes. "You think I'm slumming or something?"

The hazel eyes dipped down to stare into the patterns of the rug as if they held the answers to his latest math test.

"Maybe. Or--you know, because you feel like you have to because of--of everything."

Ah, yes, everything. All the things that bound them together in these frighteningly intangible ways, kept this space between them too, a bigger space than the six inches of rug or six years of life. Made him wish he'd met Clark in another way entirely, another time, but then--would he have paid attention, noticed the fifteen year old kid rushing around Smallville like a small tornado of unbridled energy? Good question. Lex thought about that for a few moments as he traced the shadows high above him.

Warm and bright and *presence* that seemed almost impossible to miss. Lex could spot Clark in a crowd at the market, in a dark coffee shop. Some of it was gratitude, some of it the cold curiosity that was as much a part of him as the color of his eyes, but some of it--some of it was something else entirely.

Yes, he would have paid attention, and not just to the spectacular looks or that feeling of cheerful goodwill either that Clark projected at random--it was that elusive quality that Lex couldn't describe, that made him want to--well, do this. Lay on a rug watching Adam Sandler and eat popcorn. Microwaved popcorn at that.

Made him wish he was fifteen right now and they were sitting here talking about homework and girls and that bitch of a teacher who made English class such a bore. Made him want to learn to ride a skateboard and made him want to climb into random, badly designed treehouses with Clark and comic books and porn stolen from under their parents' beds so they could look at the pictures and wonder what their first times would be like.

Wanted, with a little shock, to sit on an old blanket in that treehouse and be close enough and careless enough and *young* enough just to lean over and kiss him. No consequences. Making out in a wonderful little hideaway from the world and it hurt, in that way only reality can, to realize these were things that he could never have. All those little steps of adolescent awakening that had seemed so cliched and stupid until he watched them in action, in the body and spirit of a kid who was living it.

Even when he *had* been fifteen, he'd never been this young.

Next thing, he was going to be asking for affirmation of his worth from the kid beside him. Jesus. Lex found a smile and pasted it in place, staring up at the ceiling so he didn't have to look into Clark's eyes.

"I wouldn't trade a second of this for anything, Clark."

Sadly enough, it was true, even if it was only half-real, this little fantasy night he was creating.

"I'm glad." Little voice, and Clark had the popcorn again, munching away, but the uncertainty lingered, almost tangible in the air between them. "What--what would you have been doing tonight?"

Oh, what a loaded question.

"Nothing nearly this innocent, I assure you," Lex answered, pushing the unexpected frustration aside and reaching for the cheetos. Pay attention, Lex. Be here.

"Innocent?" Back with that focus, little smile on Clark's face that had an edge he didn't recognize.

"My mood will be excellent tomorrow with a lack of a hangover," Lex answered lightly and reached for more popcorn. "I've only been of drinking age for less than eight months. Indulge me."

"Like you didn't drink when you were underage," Clark snorted, reaching over to take a cheeto.

"I think this is when I'm supposed to warn you about the dangers of underage drinking," Lex commented dryly. "Hear the Afterschool Special music playing in the background? Commercial break in two minutes or less. Probably for cheetos."

"You wouldn't."

"What are brothers for?"

"Hypocrite." Tiny grin and Clark took another drink of soda.

"Kid. What's experience for but to share--"

"So share." Oh God, this couldn't be good--hard smile and mischievous eyes and Clark could be just as ruthless as Lex when it moved him. Lex blinked and began to worry. "You--what was your first time like?"

And this had been in his fifteen year old fantasy, but only in abstract potential. Lex shut his eyes.

"First time," Lex murmured, and rolled onto his stomach, pulling a pillow under his chest.

First time.

He was fifteen.

Her name was something trendy and cute, like Jenny or Tiffany or Heather, and miles above him. Two years his senior, old money, blue blood, wore it like the platinum Rolex on her wrist and the couture wardrobe in her closet. Winter, wet and thick and cold, and he'd been alone at school that Christmas, and she'd been there, too.

Old money and the noveau riche, but in the end, it didn't matter. Stretched unselfconsciously on his bed late one holiday afternoon in nothing but her school jacket and a grin, a bottle of brandy and a cigarette in her hand, and he'd dropped his books and locked the door.

It'd been hot sex, slow and thick with alcohol, the sheets clinging to their bodies from sweat. Quick breathing beneath him and the rich honey-gold of her skin, the way her fingers twined through his and her thighs wrapped around his waist when they fucked. Whispering words he hadn't even known people *said* outside bad porn movies and her head was back and neck arched. Beautiful.

"Why? Have a candidate for the job, farmboy?" His voice was lighter than he expected. He was a Luthor. He'd learned control with the name he carried, no matter how rarely he chose to use it.

"No--I was just, you know, thinking about it. Guy talk. Brothers can ask, right?"

"Yes, they can."

"First time, Lex. Tell me."

First time.

He was seventeen.

His name was something common, like David or Michael or maybe James, kid from upper middle class Metropolis playing rentboy in vinyl and silver mesh, smelling of cheap beer and desperation, and Lex had been too high to give a damn about anything but the fuck. The bathroom was crowded with hot bodies and the smells of sweat and sex. They shot up in the last stall and Lex braced his hands against the cold, filthy wood and shut his eyes at the first rough thrust.

It'd been hard sex, riding to orgasm as fast as possible, barely ready. Heroin in his bloodstream, everything slow motion and delayed reaction, jerking himself off dreamily. Only half-aware of the teeth in the back of his neck and the blood from his bitten lip slicking his chin and dropping onto filthy porcelain in red beads. The taste of alcohol and salt and sweat and just the moment where he came, liquid smooth and honey-thick, collapsing slowly against the wall tangled in leather and nylon, cock in his hand and riding out the feeling. Dark eyes and hard lips and more jaded than Lex could ever be.

"Are you going to tell me?" Shy little grin, eyes alight.

"Just from curiosity, I have to ask if this is one of those Deep Bonding Moments. The Afterschool Special music just started." Lex cocked his head with a little grin and a cheeto hit him in the nose. Good aim.

"You're not going to say it was all a big mistake and I should wait until marriage, are you?"

"I'm trying to imagine myself telling anyone to so much as consider marriage," Lex answered, turning his head to catch the expression on Clark's face. "I'm twenty-one, Clark. My idea of commitment is eating the same breakfast cereal three days running."

"Then tell me."

"Fun," Lex offered to the ceiling high above them, draped in masses of grey-black, light never penetrating. "Terrifying. Messy. Exhausting. Exciting."

"That's descriptive."

"Oh. You want descriptive." Lex rolled onto his side and forced a smirk. It felt off, but Clark wouldn't notice. "And here I thought public education covered sex ed pretty thoroughly. There's this thing called a penis--"

Clark threw up both hands and laughed and Lex shook his head. "You're not going to tell me, are you?"

"It's different every time," Lex answered, closing his eyes.

"Every time? There's only one first time."

Lex shook his head blindly. "They're all first times, Clark. Every one of them."

Little silence that edged on being comfortable. Surreal that he liked it so much.

"I--a girl kissed me. The first time." It was offered like a gift, and Lex opened his eyes. Clark was sitting up, resting his chin on one upraised knee, staring off into the wall as if he were seeing something else entirely.

"How was it?"

"Messy. Fast. Weird." Little wistful expression, painfully young. "I don't know--it was over before I knew what I was doing. I thought it was Lana. It wasn't."

"The Lana who saw you naked?"

Clark chuckled and flushed again. "Pre-nakedness-seeing Lana."

"Ah. That Lana." Folding his arms behind his head, Lex snickered and watched Clark reach for another cheeto-cum-projectile. "My first kiss was--interesting."

"So you'll tell me about that?" Almost a challenge, and Lex couldn't quite resist the teasing sparkle in the clear eyes.

"I don't think it will fall under 'corrupting a minor', so yes," Lex answered and pulled up the memory far easier than he'd expected. "Elizabeth Hall."

"Called her Lizzy, did you?"

Lex cracked a grin. "Never to her face. We were both twelve. Affiliated boarding schools, first formal dance. Bad food, lots of cooing by the adults over how adorable we all were. Weird night."

"Could you dance?"

Lex arched an eyebrow and Clark casually shifted closer. Lex could feel the heat of his body through the sweats, through his own pants.

"Say that again and not as a question. Of course I can dance. I will have you know I took *classes* in dancing." He snorted at the expression on Clark's face. "Formal English boarding school, Clark. Emphasize the word 'formal'. They taught us social graces if it killed us. She was seven inches taller and asked me to dance. I was too scared to say no. Afterward, she let me kiss her in the hall."

"Was it good?"

Was it?

Braces and warm lips and the taste of lip gloss and the awkward strangeness of having her tongue in his mouth with no idea what to do about it--he remembered her in ways that he didn't remember the fucks. He'd cut his lip on her braces, and she'd lost her balance on the new pumps she'd been wearing and knocked them both into the wall, and God knew, he'd spent serious time trying to figure out what to do with his hands. But-- . The feeling of flying with both feet planted on the ground and the newness, the difference, the sheer *wonder* of that moment.

Lex opened his eyes and breathed out in surprise, catching the memory of her taste on the back of his tongue.

"Yes." Softly. Lizzy. "It was good."

"I'm glad. I--I wish my first time had been." Wistful again, and Lex felt the accidental brush of fingers against his side as Clark rested a hand on the floor between them. "I'd like to remember it for more than the fact the girl who did it wanted me dead, you know?"

"I have some exes like that," Lex answered absently, closing his eyes again, and he was thinking on that kiss, on those first fumbled touches on his face, how she'd smiled and blushed and so he didn't really--

--didn't really think anything of the lips that brushed his like tangible memory. Just as gentle and soft and uncertain, and Lex let it happen. In the moment. Slow, dry warmth, and slim fingers skimmed his face hesitantly. He didn't think anything of reaching up and touching in return, soft hair beneath his palms, and Lex licked his lips to catch the taste before they were back. A little more pressure, wet, still soft, he was a kid in the dark hall and nothing else mattered.

The uncertain dart of a tongue, and hadn't he been thinking of something just like this? Opening his mouth, tilting his head, letting the awkwardness settle into surety, licking inside, callused thumb stroking his cheek and then--

--*fuck*--

--this was *Clark* and Lex hadn't been that innocent in years. Almost a decade. Too long. Not long enough.

Clark felt it instantly, drawing back onto his knees, bright red and stumbling out explanations that died as Lex pushed himself up on one arm. Not sure of what to say, and in that treehouse, what would he have said to this anyway? He hadn't gotten that far.

He never would have thought *Clark* would be the one....

"It's okay."

"No--I'm sorry, I just--" Clark's hands were laying limply at his sides as if they wanted to be doing anything else, and Lex tried to find the right words, the words that would have worked for them if everything was like it should have been. If Lex was fifteen too, if this was both their first time, if this wasn't just--

Fuck it. Don't think.

Lex reached out before Clark could say anything, holding the warm face with both hands. Smooth, soft skin under his palms, trembling just beneath the surface. The bald glare of the television threw enough light to see Clark's face clearly--deep shadows beneath dark eyes, searching his with something like desperation.

Surrounded with cheetos and popcorn, Adam Sandler was being an idiot on the TV and Clark was staring at Lex with wide, naked eyes. Lips slick and wet, and Lex could still taste him.

First time.

Lex closed his eyes, moved to his knees, and kissed him, closed lips and light pressure, threading his fingers through silky hair and just didn't--didn't *think*. Warm tongue in his mouth and warm hands on his shoulders, pushing him back down into the rug on his side and this--this was what it would have been.

This was what it *was*. And it was innocent. And it was sweet.

Sucking on Clark's tongue and tasting popcorn and cheetos and sugar, sweet and addictive; long, hard body pressed against his, leg somehow tangled around his knee, hand between his shoulder blades, holding him close. Pulling back a little to see the glazed hazel eyes and smiling, lightheaded, kissing again, and experience was superfluous, everything was superfluous, because it had nothing to do with boys on the rug and their first times, nothing at all.

Sex reduced to something so casual he chose his clothes with more care than he chose his partners, but--

--but he'd fucked with less intimacy and less heat than this, layers of clothes between them on the rug, and it was better. Clark rolled onto his back and Lex lifted himself on an elbow to follow that mouth, ducking down to taste the offered throat, warm and soft and the lightest sheen of sweat and hint of soap. Delicately pulling the skin between his teeth and biting lightly, licking down to the hollow of his throat. Clark's soft sounds in his ears when he sucked just below his jaw, feeling Clark's rapid pulse against his lips.

He could do this forever. Just lie here and *taste*.

Lex pushed back, breath catching, stroking Clark's face, the lines of perfect bones, high cheekbones and curve of his jaw. Clark smiled and the clear eyes opened, staring up at him with something like shock.

"Wow."

It was somewhat appropriate that was the only word Lex could find, too.

"Yes."

Little grin, and quick lick of full lips, and Lex leaned down and caught the lower lip between his teeth, bearing down just enough to feel Clark melt, before drawing back.

"This--this is what I want to remember." On a breath, quick and rushed. "When someone asks me."

"First time," Lex murmured to himself, caught Clark's smile tremble on the edge of his vision.

"They're all first times, aren't they?" Clark answered lightly. Slim arms were sliding around his neck and Lex smiled when Clark drew him down. Quick, painful-bright nip to his jaw, the corner of his mouth. "What's this one?" Warm breath on his lips, another hot, inexpert kiss, and Lex collapsed into Clark without hesitation.

The question scared him. But not enough to even make a pause.

"You." He wasn't fifteen, never could be, hadn't been anything like this boy when he was. Never would be, but he could deal with that, having this. He leaned closer and braced himself above the slim body, brushing his tongue over the sensitive skin of Clark's ear, feeling him shiver. "Come to bed with me." Traced the smooth skin for a moment with the tip of his tongue, feeling the full-body shudder. He'd never had anyone this responsive this fast, ever. "Not sex. Just...."

Little pause, breath held, all that warm, hard body against his, and Lex looked up into the hazel eyes that studied him without guile. Drew his knuckles down the flawless cheek and waited.

It was an easy battle to trace, and an easy battle to win. Hot and dark and afraid in all the right ways. Lips parted and a quick nod, and Lex levered himself up, holding his breath until Clark followed. Hesitant hand on his back, then a blind, seeking kiss that took his breath.


It was past midnight when Lex opened his eyes--and it could have said something, that he reached out instinctively, finding a cotton clad back only a breath away.

Clark.

It couldn't possibly be this easy.

Lex caught himself stroking the dark hair, filtering it through his fingers, and Clark made a softly protesting sound, rolling over and burrowing closer like a sleepy puppy, one arm falling heavily across Lex's waist. Lex drew in a soft breath as a long leg tangled with his and pushed up into--

*God*.


"Hmm, Clark--" He mostly meant the no-sex part, but there was only so much self-control in the Lexian genotype.

"Tired." Lex didn't know Clark *could* get closer without a few of Einstein's matter theories going out the window, but the dark head pushed into his chest and suddenly he was on his back with a large, warm, heavy, sleepy boy pinning him to the mattress. Clark mumbled something against his throat that sounded suspiciously like profanity. "'S early."

Oh hell. A little touching never hurt anyone.

"Late," Lex corrected breathlessly, and it was an effort to keep still, not push up against that ever-so-convenient leg, do anything. He contented himself with stroking thick hair and along the long, lean back with addictively silky skin beneath the cotton shirt, fingering the little knobs of vertebrae, drawing his nails slowly downward to get that little shiver again. A few seconds of utter stillness beneath the caresses, then Clark lifted his head up, eyes wide, and Lex fought hard to conceal a smile. That would never do.

"God--Lex--" A mad scramble that did *nothing* to cool Lex's untimely arousal, and Lex ducked a badly-directed elbow before catching hold of Clark's face, trying not to laugh at the amusing cross between embarrassment and wanting projecting from the boy like light. That wouldn't help the situation any. "Sorry--I didn't think--"

"You should try it more often." Lex carefully searched Clark's face, looking for--there it was. Little flare of heat in those eyes, and Clark grinned and licked his lips, elbows arranging themselves on either side of his shoulders. Settling himself back down like Lex was a particularly comfortable mattress, and this was good. So good.

"Lex--can I--"

"Yes." Lex dragged his nails up Clark's back, aware of the little shudders of muscle with every touch. Clark grinned, bright enough to light the room.

"You don't know what I was going to ask. I might have asked for your car."

"Ferrari, Porsche, Aston, or Jaguar? Limo maybe? There's also this great truck that's just *moldering*--"

Clark laughed, head dipping, and Lex couldn't help rubbing his face into the dark hair, before Clark lifted up his head again. More heat, humor fading, and Lex waited, watching.

Wanted to *see* this.

The warm lips were slow, almost tentative, all pressure and careful tasting, and Lex slowed his stroking, resting a hand between Clark's shoulder blades. Hazel eyes, huge and curious and hot, holding Lex's. Just--Clark *feeling* him, the soft lick to the corner of his mouth and the quick, almost hesitant dart of Clark's tongue between his lips.

Slow and easy, and Lex didn't do anything but respond to every one of Clark's careful touches. Fingers tracing his face, thumb stroking along his jaw and back along the bare expanse of his skull as if he were memorizing Lex by touch.

Deepened suddenly and shockingly, Clark gathering his knees beneath him and putting pressure just where Lex needed it most, both hands on his head and doing everything, trying everything. It was impossible follow the quick, slick movements of Clark's tongue, the slow line drawn from the corner of his mouth down to his throat and settling on his jugular, sucking contentedly and breathed out, fighting not to arch his hips and fighting to keep from taking control. Sublimating reflexive response and following wherever Clark wanted to go.

"Lex, can I--" Fingers pushing at the edge of his untucked shirt, dragging his fingers along Lex's stomach, and Lex nodded on a sharp breath. Long body pulling itself upright, Clark's own shirt hitting the floor, and there it was, all that richly golden skin and wonderful muscle that Lex couldn't help touching. Sitting up to let Clark hands skim his sides, watching silently as Clark unbuttoned his shirt, pulling it off and tossing it aside, hand on his chest to push him back down.

Watching Clark look at him with those wide, hungry eyes and just--

--God.

"Lex--." Staring down at him. "You're--." Slow, careful stroke of his collarbone with callused fingertips, daring a little to slide down his chest, and Lex sucked in a hissing breath. Mouth back on his hard and fast and wet, there it was, Clark rubbing down into him with awkward, slow movements of his hips and Lex reached down, guiding him into a steady rhythm that made them both moan, the material between them friction against their cocks. Clark, losing more inhibitions by the second, mouth sucking on his shoulder and thumb brushing his nipple. "I like this."

It surprised a laugh out of Lex, and he moved up, pushing against Clark's hips, and teeth sank into his throat; it looked like it was going to be high-necked shirts for awhile and thank God it was winter. Clark was mouthing his collarbone frantically and doing something interesting and potentially maiming with his teeth over his chest, thumb circling his nipple and pinching--yes, good, yes.

Then pulling back, and Lex almost growled, but the look on Clark's face was utterly serious.

"Show me."

Lex opened his eyes and looked up into the dimness of the room. Clark braced over him on unsteady arms and eyes that were asking, wanting, needing....

"Show you what?" Dragged his nails up Clark's sides and watched Clark's face tighten, fingers digging into the mattress. Involuntary thrust against him that made Lex groan.

"Everything." On a breath, and deliberately ground down against him like incentive, and Lex had never ever been seduced like this before. Little smile when Lex pushed up against him, predatory and pleading at the same time. Addictive. "This. Everything else. Show me."

Lex wanted the innocence and Clark wanted the experience. Lex drew him back down, sliding effortlessly into his mouth and rolled Clark on his back, running through a thousand memories, pick and choose, this here and that there, discarded it all to go with instinct. Licked a path down the long neck, over the sensitive collarbone with the thousand little nerves that made Clark shiver, biting a nipple erect and Clark moaned something soft that sounded like his name, hands grasping frantically at his back, cutting lines into his skin that burned. Sucked the hard nipple into his mouth and traced the tips of his fingers down the trembling stomach, under the line of his boxers and brushed the head of Clark's cock just--there.

"God, Lex--" Little thrust upward, little soft moan, and the hands on his back were pressing hard enough to leave fingerprints.

Slow down, Lex. Be in this moment. Remember this.

Flat stomach, soft light hair and so sensitive Clark was twisting up against him with every brush of his tongue and teeth, murmuring things that couldn't possibly be words. Pulled his hand up and took the edge of the sweats between his fingers and Clark braced his feet and lifted, letting Lex pull them down, off, on the floor.

Clark was.

Naked.

In his bed.

Talk about coming full circle in Smallville-land....

Just beautiful. Better than any fantasy or any dream or any reality Lex had ever lived and he'd lived a lot.

Grinning, lightheaded, he looked up and saw Clark's eyes fixed on him with uncontrolled heat, hips moving completely unselfconsciously, and Lex circled the head with his fingers, listening for the gasp and Clark's hands tightened in the sheet. No time to tease, Clark was already on the edge. Got his knees under him and a hand on Clark's stomach for balance, taking the head in his mouth and no, this wouldn't take any time at all.

Clark bucked up and Lex took another inch, sucking the length and pushing slowly downward.

Momentum was carrying them both, and Lex wasn't sure he could stop now if Clark's father was standing by the bed with a shotgun, and crap, that wasn't the imagery he wanted. Swallowing another badly timed laugh, he took in a little more, running his tongue over the head, catching the taste of pre-come and reached down to circle Clark's sac with the tip of one finger. Wet it quickly and did it again, opening his eyes to watch when he felt every muscle in Clark's body tighten. Cupped them in one hand and Clark was *moaning*, low and hard and Lex's cock jumped at the sound.

Waited for just a second, sucking softly, then swallowed him down and Clark *might* have left the bed. Dizzy, delicious rush of thrusting and just holding his balance and the rhythm, feeling it begin in the base of Clark's cock and it was--

--hot. Hot as all hell and Clark was making some of the most fascinating sounds he'd ever heard, had to *watch* it happen. Looked up to see Clark's face twist, eyes shut tight, and his lip as he threw his head back and Clark came with a shudder that lifted them both from the mattress.

*Fuck*.

Little shivers and Lex slowed, then stopped, swallowing, careful licking until Clark collapsed bonelessly into the sheets, panting, sweat standing up on his skin. So perfect. Raised himself and crawled up the length of Clark's body, arms reaching for him and wrapping close, kissing Clark and sharing the taste and the feel and just let himself go limp as a blanket over the naked boy.

Long, thoughtful silence of afterglow and Lex sucking idly at the exposed throat, wishing he could bruise him--oh, Lex, remember, underage here? Grinned again and tightened his arms and felt Clark's soft sigh brush his head, warm and damp.

"That was--" Little breathy laugh. "God, Lex. You *did* describe it pretty well."

"Exciting," Lex answered, dragging his teeth a little over Clark's shoulder. A lot of skin to explore and he'd only had a sample. Texture change and sweat and--cheetos? Lex lifted his head to check. So it was. Huh. "Fun."

"Terrifying. Didn't get to the messy part yet though." Low voice and Clark's hand was sliding up and down his stomach in what could have been the most casually arousing petting in history. Lex went with it, letting Clark do whatever he wanted. "Do you--do you want to--"

Long pause and Lex pushed up on one elbow when he realized Clark wasn't going to speak again. Clark was flushed again, not from the sex, either, and that was interesting.

"What?"

"You--that." Eyes avoiding his, tripping to fix somewhere to the left of his ear.

"Feel free to elaborate. I do requests." At this point, Lex was pretty much good with whatever it was Clark had in mind.

A little twisted smile was his only answer, and that was weird, or Lex was just slower than usual. Entirely possible. Staring down at the averted eyes, it sort of hit him, and that was when Lex began to wonder just how far he was off his game he was with all the adolescent meta-ing he'd been doing, because--shit--shouldn't that have been the first thing he thought of?

Climbed on top of Clark and cupped his face in both hands, because damned if he was going to go on instinct alone with this one. No matter how suddenly extremely interested his body was acting, or the fact that he was just about as hard as he'd ever been in his life just at the thought.

"Clark." Looking into the clear eyes and reading a lot of things in there. All of them were good. Very, very good. "Clarify what we're talking about."

"Sex. That--. You know. The--fucking. Me." A little desperate, and Clark's hands were on his back again, sliding up and down with absolutely no real sensuality except for the fact that it was Clark, which made it hot. "I want you to. Now."

And only Clark could make that sound like something everyone should be doing outside on sunny days as a group exercise in good clean fun. Or Lex should immediately check into a clinic somewhere and undergo a battery of psychological tests.

Smiled because he couldn't help it and kissed Clark hard, kissed him again when he had to come up briefly for air, and just laughed.

"Yes. Definitely yes." Wondered if this would have happened in that mythical treehouse, and the idea was appealing. He'd always been adaptable.

Sitting up, Lex paused to look down at the still face.

"Nervous?"

"Yeah. A little." Head tilted and Clark's hands were on his skin again. Where they should permanently stay, no question. Slow, confident strokes that were sexy as hell. Holding Clark's eyes, he found the bedside table by touch and reached inside. Clark's eyes followed, narrowing briefly. "You're prepared."

That couldn't possibly be jealousy, but then, this whole night was something out of another dimension or maybe a mental break of some kind, so why the hell not.

"I told you my mother wanted me to be a boy scout," Lex answered and dropped tube and condoms on the bed behind him. Leaned down and kissed Clark, every bit of experience behind him now and using it ruthlessly. Feeling Clark's body melt into him and handing over control all at once. It was heady, and Lex took a breath, pulling away with a shudder and stripping off his pants and boxers on the floor with a real lack of finesse. Like he gave a damn right now.

Let Clark look at him, seeing the way the dark eyes widened. He'd never been just--*studied* like this. The eyes that tracked him were leaving invisible trails that he could feel with every rush of blood. He'd be feeling this for years, he knew it.

Worked slowly and thoroughly down Clark's chest and felt him harden against him. Thighs opening instinctively for him, and Lex took a breath, sitting back on his heels between the long legs and just looking. Perfect body and perfect trust and this perfect boy all at once.

First time.

Fuck, reminding himself of that was not going to encourage doing this well.

His hand shook a little and, yes, messy, but he didn't care, slicking his fingers and slowly circling the little hole, feeling Clark's instinctive stiffening, heels digging into the bed. Ran his fingers down the length of Clark's thigh, bent to suck a kiss into the warm skin just beside his knee and Clark quivered.

"Shh. Relax." Still circling, bending down and sucking lightly on Clark's cock, jerk of his hips and his finger slid in easy, tight and hot and he needed to think of something--something else--anything else-- "You're going to like this."

"Lex--" Soft hiss and Lex sucked harder, working his finger inside, twisting a little and Clark's hips jerked. Breathed out and sat back to watch Clark's face when he twisted again, pushing down on Lex's finger.

"God, that's--" Little gasp that went straight to Lex's cock, and even deliberately imagining Jonathan Kent wasn't helping a damn bit and *that* probably said something unpleasant about his few remaining scruples and he'd care when he wasn't so damn hard. Blindly worked in a second finger, hoping he wasn't too rough, and maybe he wasn't, because Clark was barely breathing, pushing down and against him and, "Please, Lex, that's--more--"

"Okay. Just--." Reaching down and squeezing his own cock briefly, then finding the condom in a random jerk of his hand over the covers. Fine motor control somewhere else entirely--easy does it, don't rip it--unable to look away from Clark, who was watching him with dark, hungry eyes that turned everything in Lex inside out.

Condom on, and Lex drew in another sharp breath, raising himself enough to get in position, and he was--he was pushing in, slow and hard and Clark just--God--threw his head back, fingers drilling through the sheet with the sound of ripping cloth.

"Shit," Lex breathed. This would have been easier on his hands and knees, but not nearly this intimate, never could have watched and he had to see this. All of it. Slowly pulled out, pushing back in a little more and--*God*--he--could--do--this--carefully--

"*Yes*, Lex, harder--"

"Fuck." *Fuck*. Lex breathed out and shifted his weight, thrusting in and yes yes yes tight and slick and so hot and Clark was moaning continuously and reaching for him. Lex heard himself saying something, a lot of something, wasn't sure what it was and tried to decide if he even cared. Still flexible enough to lick a little line along Clark's chest before the next thrust, Clark's hands moving over his skin almost frantically and hard again between them and "...yes."

Dark heat and trying to keep something like a rhythm, giving up and just going with it, with the steady thrust of Clark's hips, and breathing, which wasn't anything near effortless and Lex kept his focus. Twisted the small nipples and Clark choked out something half between a word and a moan.

"Yes, do that--Lex--"

"Let me--touch yourself, let me watch--" See it. All of it. Everything. The slow rhythm was speeding up without real thought and Lex was panting. "Do it, Clark."

Hoping it wasn't too fast, wasn't too rough, but Clark was still arching against him and jerking himself off now and fuck, fuck, *fuck*.

Clark, writhing and moaning and he could see it even when he closed his eyes. Too much and just gave up trying to think and let go completely.

Rutting with his mind almost blank, nothing else existed but the tight slick heat around him, Clark's low groans and the frantic jerk of the cock that brushed against his stomach with every thrust. And he was saying something and he might have been promising Clark the entirety of his inheritance and it would so be fucking *worth* it.

*God*. Couldn't help opening his eyes and watching. Long body writhing beneath him, sweat breaking across his chest and Lex leaned down, licking the taste of salt and skin and yes, yes, damn it....

"Come on, Clark. Beautiful, *fuck* yes. God, Clark--"

Orgasm like a rushing blackout with no end in sight, shaking every muscle loose and liquid. White noise in his ears and vaguely aware he was still thrusting instinctively, slowing down and wanting nothing more at all than to simply collapse. Slowly pulling out and getting rid of the condom at some point, and Clark was sliding against him, murmuring something that was hopefully complimentary, though God knew, that hadn't been his most creative work ever.

"God, Lex--" Wet stickiness on Clark's stomach and Lex absently traced his fingers through it, rubbing it into both their skin when Clark pulled him in for a brief kiss that was more comfort than anything else. Hard breathing against his throat and Lex brushed his fingers through sweaty dark hair and a kiss on Clark's forehead, tasting salty-sweet skin.

"Mmm." Little tremors from one of them or both, and Lex shut his eyes.

"Lex?"

"Hmm?" He was good on random sounds--language skills would eventually return, but Lex didn't fight for them very hard. Just enough to be this close and, important part, this close to Clark. Who was warm and slick and pliant against him, and this was a good thing. Tilted his face down to see Clark's breathless grin, slow and sly and full of mischief.

Made him want to ask if Clark would like to try out the Playstation later, and God, he'd lost his mind.

"Messy, huh?"

Lex started laughing and almost choked.


At some point, Lex had retrieved the cheetos and the soda, and Clark was half-reclining on the mattress beside him, currently engaged in assuring that Lex would need to go grocery shopping tomorrow if he wanted anything non-nutritious to eat for the next week. Grinning, he pulled the pillow under his chest and rested his head on his arms, watching.

It was a sight worth seeing--long, golden body stretched over white sheets, half-closed eyes, breathtaking amounts of skin with every shift. Lex could seriously pick up some sort of weird obsession with just *looking* at him for hours on end. Wondered a little how Clark stood on the recreational uses of video cameras and photography..

"What?" Catching his gaze, orange powder around his mouth and Lex looked forward to licking it off. Slowly.

"Nothing." Besides the licking thing, that was true. "Imagining what on earth I'm going to cook you for breakfast. The cook isn't due back until Monday and she hides the eggs when she's gone." Just because of his interest in egg whites as an accelerant. He really needed to get his lab finished and stocked.

"You can cook?"

Lex reached for one of the cheetos sprinkled across the sheet and narrowed his eyes.

"Say that again and not as a question. Of course I can cook." In theory. He'd done it in college, more from curiosity than anything else.

"Lex." Slow, teasing smile, reaching into those eyes. "You can cook. And it may be edible."

The cheeto hit square in Clark's chest and he grinned, picking it up and tossing it back.

"I can also drive and take baths by myself."

"I'd help out on the last one if you wanted," Clark offered and ate another cheeto. Lex shut his eyes and thought about it for awhile. Yes, that *was* an image.

Lex rearranged the pillow and smiled to himself. Clark shifted on the bed until his head was resting on the small of Lex's back with just lovely tactile intimacy. Jarring and strangely comfortable at the same time. Clark tossed a cheeto in the air and caught it in his mouth, and Lex moved his head enough to watch the show.

"Nice trick."

"I'm very talented," Clark answered with a little smirk and another tossed cheeto. "Still wanna see my dad's face when I show up tomorrow wearing your clothes?"

"I think I'll be far more busy making a quiet escape to--Thailand, or Brazil, perhaps. Somewhere without extradition treaties." Or a nice cell down at Smallville PD, where doubtless he could enjoy a good lynching. Or find out first hand what made Clark look so miserably attractive up on that cross. Many possibilities, few pleasant. Ah, rural life.

"Nah. Pete'll cover for me." Lex looked up at the pause and saw Clark's eyes were fixed on the far wall with a bizarre combination of determination and hesitancy. "Whenever I need him to, you know."

Oh. Yes. Automatic response was already on his lips before he retracted it and thought for a minute. It really wasn't *supposed* to be easy and that's what made him just stop. This was still too simple and what did it say about him that he was expecting everything to start falling apart any moment now?

"Pete like trucks?" He caught Clark's eye and sighed a little. Yeah, he'd been quiet too long and Clark deserved better than that. "Yes. I know. I'm--"

"Regretting it?" So flat that voice could have come from the wall.

"No." Lex rolled over and Clark lifted his head obligingly before laying it back down against his stomach, and if he was going to screw this up, it wasn't going to be through silence. He liked to be proactive even in destruction. "And Lana?"

It was hard to keep his gaze on the ceiling, wanting in some slightly masochistic part of him to watch Clark's face when he asked.

"You might have noticed she shows all the awareness of me as a bucket of paint for potential boyfriend material here--"

"That's not the point."

"What were you going to do in Metropolis tonight?"

Ouch. Lex reached down blindly and ran his fingers through Clark's hair.

"I don't share." Bred into his bones, went with the bloodline and the ambition and Lex didn't need to be told the reason that Lionel had sent him to Smallville in the first place. Hollow words about training and education and preparation for the future that meant nothing. Luthors got rid of the competition when they got too close.

But Clark--

It was a shock to realize he meant it, with the twist of memory of exactly what else was out there in potential for Clark. Simple, and cold, hard fact, it would be war the second Lana figured out what she was missing, the moment anyone in Smallville woke up to this perfect boy wandering around in their midst. Luthors knew all about winning. That came with the bloodline, too.

There was a bizarre simplicity in that thought, and Lex actually began to relax. He liked to have clarity.

"Spoiled only child syndrome," Clark said quietly, and Lex glanced down to see him staring up at the ceiling with a little smile. "Me too. I never learned why sharing was so important either. I always liked to keep my toys to myself in the sandbox." The hazel eyes turned on Lex briefly, and one thing burned in them, just as simple, just as clear.

Mine, and Lex understood that too. Couldn't help laughing. Got a little grin, and a cheeto like a peace offering.

"Okay." Lex ate the cheeto thoughtfully. "You don't hear any climactic music in the background, do you?"

"No, just a commercial for cheetos."

"Smartass."

"Thank you."

Little smile and Lex threaded Clark's hair through his fingers, smoothing the tangles, some sort of semi-primitive grooming instinct or the fact that he simply enjoyed touching Clark. Curled an arm under his head and thought about it for a few long moments, about the boxes packed in the attic in Metropolis that he'd relegated to distant memory and wondered a little.

"What?" Clark asked softly, and Lex glanced down.

"Thinking. Do you have anything pressing to do after school Wednesday?" After school. God. Enough to make him start laughing again. He was going to get a hernia at this rate.

Clark ate another cheeto, frowning in concentration.

"I'm free after deliveries. Why?" Clark moved and skin was under his fingers, slow stroking. Little stubble, how cute. Lex wondered if Clark would let him shave him in the morning. Wondered if there were any razors in the castle.

"I was thinking..."

"And?"

Smiled a little more.

"I want to build a treehouse."