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Best Intentions

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Best Intentions

by Joyfulgirl41

Disclaimer: Clark, Duncan, Lex and Methos belong to many people, a group to which I don't belong. Trust me, if I were a PTB, things would be done a lot differently. But since I'm not, I'm just borrowing these boys for a little fun and I'll return them good as new as soon as I'm finished, no harm intended.

"Things We Cannot Change," and "It Ties". Many parts of it won't make sense if you haven't read those.

Okay, there are many people to thank here. Thanks to my prawn girls for putting up with all my whining. Thank you to Caro, Shelley and Stone Princess for the handholding.

Thank you to Caro, Stone Princess, Autumnyte, and Rhiannonhero for the super duper betaing. All remaining mistakes are mine.

And thanks to Ilexa, just 'cause I nub her and she encourages me, so I strive to make her happy.

Super special thanks this time to Rhiannonhero for taking the time to really think about the story and give me brilliant suggestions that made it 100 times better than it was. On top of that, she made me totally excited about this story, even when I was all tired of it. She's the best fic!cheerleader ever! {{hugs}}

Feedback: It's as cool as something that's really really cool. I can beg shamelessly if necessary.

Say, my love, I came to you with best intentions
You lay down and gave to me just what I'm seeking
Love, you drive me to distraction
-Dave Matthews

"There you are!" Chloe waved at him. "We're gonna be late!"

"We still have--" Clark checked his watch. "Five minutes."

Chloe rolled her eyes. "Says the chronically late one. Some of us like to be on time for our first day of class. What took you so long? I thought your other class ended like an hour ago."

"It did." Clark grimaced. "I was trying to buy books."

Chloe looked at him like he had just grown a second head. "You were trying to buy books on the first day of class? Are you mentally deficient?"

"Way to be supportive, Chlo'. I suppose you bought your books last week." Clark kicked a clump of snow. He hated winter quarter.

"Are you kidding? I bought them before break. Were you successful?"


Chloe rolled her eyes again. "In buying your books, space cadet."

"Oh, right." Clark looked down, blushing. "I only got half-way through the line."

"So, for your hour break you stood in line?" Chloe asked slowly, her eyebrows raised in disbelief.

Clark gave her a dirty look.

"Right, just checking." She offered him a placating smile. "Well, the lines should clear up in a week or so. You can use my books until then."

"Thanks. But tell me again why I'm taking this class?" Clark asked her.

"Because it fulfills one of your undergrad requirements, it'll be interesting and you bailed on the news writing class we were supposed to take together. Besides, don't you want to sound smart the next time your boyfriend goes into one of his history rants?"

"Lex doesn't rant, Chloe. And I didn't bail on you. I already told you, I couldn't get into that section of news writing." It wasn't like Clark hadn't wanted to take the class with Chloe. He had tried; it just hadn't worked out.

"Whatever." She looked at the paper in her hand. "It looks like this is the place." They walked into the lecture hall. Approximately forty people were already shifting in their seats, pulling out notebooks and trying to find their pens. "Here." Chloe tugged on his sleeve, leading him to two empty seats in the front row.

"And we're even here before the professor." Clark pointed out. "Do you know who it is?"

Chloe shook her head. "The timetable didn't say. Does it really matter? Oh! That's probably him now!"

Clark turned to where Chloe had pointed, shaking his head in denial. "Oh god, this can't be happening," he groaned quietly.

Chloe shot him a questioning look. Clark just shook his head again, slouching down in his chair. They would be sitting in the front row.

"Hello, class. I'm Professor Pierson, but you can call me Adam."

Clark glared at him as he set his briefcase down on the desk.

"And this is History 112, Intro to Civilization. Sorry I'm late. The class was originally supposed to be taught by Professor Smith, but he went somewhere sunny to study something that is no doubt historically significant. And here I am," he said, looking up with a charming smile. A few of the girls around Clark giggled softly.

"I'm going to pass around an attendance sheet." Adam dug around in his briefcase for a moment, pulling out a sheet of paper. "After today, I won't be taking atten--" Squinting at the paper for a moment before his eyes widened, he looked up, scanning the room until his gaze fell on Clark.

Clark was pretty sure he would have to kill Adam if he laughed.

Chloe picked that moment to lean in and whisper; "Doesn't he have the sexiest voice you've ever heard?"

Clark was pretty sure he was going to have to kill her too.

Adam looked away, a small smirk on his lips. "Attendance. You will be responsible for the lecture material and the tests, but attendance won't directly affect your grade."

So this is hell, Clark thought as he squirmed through the first hour of class. By the time the last fifty minutes had passed, he was ready to pull his fingernails out. One by one by. Slowly.

Chloe kept shooting him weird looks and had the gall to pinch him twice when his squirming got too noticeable. Not that it hurt, but still. Adam spent the entire time looking vaguely amused.

"That's about it for today," Adam said as he glanced at the clock. "Anyone who isn't registered for the class, but would like to be, come see me now," he called over the noise of a roomful of students shoving their notebooks and pens into their backpacks.

"C'mon." Clark grabbed Chloe and hauled her out while a few students pushed their way down to the front to see about joining the class. He heard Adam call his name, but he chose to ignore it.

"He was talking to you, Clark," Chloe said when he finally let her go. "What the hell is the matter with you?"

"Mind your own business," Clark said shortly. Then he turned to look at her, flinching when he saw that look on her face. That hurt look that he was always so good at causing. He mentally kicked himself. "I'm sorry, Chlo', I didn't mean it like that. It's just, um, not really something I want to talk about at the moment." He ran his fingers through his hair. "I think I'm gonna drop the class."

"The hell you are!" Chloe yelled, causing a few people to pause and glare at Clark.

He ducked his head, smiling at them guiltily. "Could we talk about this someplace else?"

"No." Chloe looked pissed. "There's nothing to talk about. You're not dropping the class, Clark. You promised me." She glared at him, hands on her hips, daring him to go back on his word.

Clark was torn. He didn't want to disappoint Chloe. He had done that too many times in the past. But he wasn't sure he could survive an entire quarter of listening to that arrogant sonofabitch. He gritted his teeth. If he dropped the class, not only would he hear about it from Chloe, he would also get lectured later by Pete for putting his girlfriend in a bad mood.

Clark sighed. He wouldn't go back on his word. The class was only three days a week. "Fine. I won't drop the class. But you owe me."

Chloe grinned happily, having gotten her way. "Great! How about a cup of coffee? My treat." She studied him for a moment, a concerned look crossing her face. "We can talk about what's bothering you."

"Thanks, but can I take a raincheck?" he asked. "There's something I have to do."

"Yeah, sure," she said, and Clark could tell it was killing her not to question him further. "I'll see you tonight?"

"Yeah." He leaned down and gave her a peck on the cheek. "Later," he called over his shoulders as he pushed his way through the crowd of students, thankful that his last class was over.

Methos sighed as he closed the door to his tiny office. He wished he had gotten the chance to speak to Clark. Instead, he had spent twenty minutes talking to students who wanted to add the class. Then he spent another forty-five minutes talking to the head of the department. The man, as far as Methos could tell, was a pompous windbag.

He'd tried calling Lex, but the secretary said that Lex was in a meeting.

There was a message from MacLeod that he had been avoiding returning. Methos wanted to talk to him, but their relationship was complicated at the moment. They'd both pointedly avoided discussing their attraction for several months, but both of them had known they couldn't continue to do that.

Finally, one night, MacLeod had asked him point blank what he wanted. At a turning point, MacLeod had left the direction they would take up to Methos.

Methos had told MacLeod he wanted to remain friends. And now things were awkward, more so than they'd been before. Methos had contemplated leaving town, but he couldn't quite bring himself to do it. He was afraid if he left now, things between them would only get worse, that they wouldn't be able to come back from it. It was a risk Methos wasn't willing to take.

So he picked up the phone and dialed Mac's number.


"Hey, Mac. It's Adam." Methos wondered how long it would take before he could talk to MacLeod again without feeling so offbalance.

"Adam, how were classes?" MacLeod's voice sounded cheery.

Methos leaned back, relaxing a little. "They went fairly well." He considered telling MacLeod about Clark, but decided that it was better not to open up that can of worms. He and MacLeod tended to carefully avoid mentioning Lex and Clark in any context other than Lex's lessons.

Besides, Methos was pretty sure that telling Mac about Clark's obvious irritation at being in the class wasn't the best idea. And to think that it was all because Methos had fucked Lex one night; it didn't seem like it should be such a big deal. "I was wondering if you wanted to get some dinner tonight." His question was met with silence. "MacLeod?"

MacLeod cleared his throat. "I, um. I have a date tonight."

"Oh." Of course. What had he really expected? For MacLeod to become celibate?

"Adam, said--"

"No." Methos shook his head. "No, that's fine. Great! Maybe some other night?"

"Yeah, I'll call you?"

"Sure. I'll talk to you later." Methos could barely hear MacLeod's 'goodbye' as he hung up the phone.

"Clark Kent to see you, sir," his secretary's voice sounded over the intercom.

"Send him in," Lex told her as he stood up. "And hold my calls, please."

Clark strolled in a second later, shut the door behind him and promptly pinned Lex against the wall. "Hi," he whispered before kissing Lex senseless.

And then Lex was without his shirt. He sincerely hoped that Clark hadn't ruined it; he hadn't brought any extras with him to work. "Miss me?" he asked, amused as Clark hauled him away from the wall and led him over to the couch.

In lieu of answering him, Clark pulled Lex's pants, boxers, shoes and socks off. Okay, then, Lex thought. He could definitely work with that.

He tugged at Clark's sweater. Clark moved away, hastily pulling the sweater off. Digging in his pocket, he pulled out a bottle of lube and handed it to Lex.

Lex reclined on the couch, watching through hooded eyes as Clark stripped off the rest of his clothes. When Clark was fully undressed, he crawled over Lex, a seductive smile on his face. "I'm going to fuck you now," Clark informed him in a low, throaty purr.

"Do I get a say in it?" Lex asked as he reached down to stroke Clark's cock.


Fuck, that was sexy.

Clark took the lube that Lex forgot he had been holding and squirted some out onto his palm. Coating two fingers, he reached down between Lex's spread legs and pressed in.

Lex gasped, a little indignant at the cold lube and the burn of the sudden stretch as Clark scissored his fingers. "Jesus, Clark!"

The pain faded a little as Clark started to slowly finger-fuck him. Lex twisted, his hips bucking up as Clark crooked his fingers. He grabbed a fistful of Clark's hair, trying to pull him down into a kiss, but Clark wouldn't budge. He just smiled and leaned down, nipping at Lex's throat.

Lex moaned, writhing against him, pulling his hair with one hand, clawing at a shoulder with the other, but it was like trying to move a mountain. Evidently Clark was going to do things his way and Lex wasn't quite so amused anymore. It was rare that Clark got so controlling. Not that Lex minded, but Clark's unusual behavior worried him a little.

As suddenly as he had been filled, Lex was empty. He watched as Clark slicked his cock with more lube. Clark reached over the edge of the couch, wiping his hand on some discarded piece of clothing before returning his attention to Lex's throat.

Lex shut his eyes, arching his neck as he felt the blunt head of Clark's cock press slowly into him, past the ring of muscle, until he was completely filled. Suddenly, Clark's mouth wasn't on his neck anymore and he wasn't moving at all.

"Look at me," Clark commanded. The look on Clark's face as Lex opened his eyes was completely unreadable. "Don't close your eyes again."

Clark pulled away slowly, pausing for a moment before pushing back in, fucking Lex with slow, hard strokes. Lex's shoulders pressed into the cushions with every thrust. Clark made no move to kiss him. Lex relaxed into it, trying to open up to take in the hard thrusts. Clark stopped moving and Lex realized that his eyes had drifted shut.

"Look at me." There was something desperate in Clark's tone. Lex didn't close his eyes again, a little overwhelmed at the intensity of Clark's gaze. This was definitely more than some afternoon quickie.

Clark's thrusts grew more erratic as they sped up and he reached down to stroke Lex's cock, never looking away from Lex's face. Lex grunted as Clark drove into him, thinking that he was going to feel this for a week, immortal healing notwithstanding.

Clark ran his thumb over the head of Lex's cock as he stroked. "Come for me, Lex," he whispered.

Lex whimpered as Clark ran his other hand over Lex's throat, stroking his pulse-point. He thrust up, grunting as he spilled into Clark's hand, biting his lip to keep from calling out.

A few more thrusts and he felt Clark stiffen, finally leaning in to kiss Lex hard, almost brutally, as he came.

Clark pulled out and slumped against him, burying his face in the crook of Lex's neck, which made Lex twitch a little. Clark knew how sensitive his neck was.

"You're mine, Lex," Clark whispered, breath hot and moist against Lex's skin.

Lex threaded his fingers through Clark's hair. "I always have been, Clark. Is everything okay?"

"Everything is fine." Clark propped himself up on his elbows so he could look down at Lex. "What about you?"

"I'm fine," Lex said slowly. "Just a little...surprised. How were classes?"

Clark shrugged. "Fine. The usual, nothing too exciting."

"Are you sure?" Lex asked, pushing Clark's damp bangs away from his forehead. "You seemed a little...different when you came in here."

"I missed you." Clark smiled.

"You saw me this morning."

Clark pouted a little, looking at Lex through lowered eyelashes. "That was hours ago."

Lex wasn't fooled for a moment. "And you were just feeling particularly alpha?" He frowned, disconcerted by Clark's erratic behavior.

Clark's eyes darkened a little. "Is that a problem?"

"Not at all." He tugged Clark down for another kiss, relieved when Clark complied this time. Lex was learning when to press and when back off. Whatever was bothering Clark would come out soon enough. "But, I do actually have to get some work done before I can play again."

"Mmm, too bad," Clark said before rolling off the couch and standing up. He cleaned them both up with his discarded boxers before he pulled his jeans on, stuffing the boxers in his pocket.

Lex grinned. "Tell me about it." He stood up as well and started to pick up his clothes, following the trail to his shirt, which was still fully intact. His tie hadn't been so lucky. He was, however, pleased to note that Clark had wiped the lube on an item of his own clothing.

Clark was dressed and standing by the door by the time Lex got his pants on. "What time will you be done?" he asked, hands shoved in his coat pockets.

Lex checked his watch. "I'll probably be another three or four hours at least. Why don't I swing by your place later?"

"Sounds good." Clark grabbed him for another kiss before slipping out the door.

He frowned as he finished getting dressed, trying to figure out what Clark could be upset about. If it had been a fight with Chloe or Pete or something like that, Clark would have told him. Which meant that it was something else, something Clark didn't want to talk to him about and that bothered Lex more than he wanted to admit.

When he was as decent as he could get, he asked his secretary for his messages. There was one from Gabe, two from his father, probably about the contract for which LexCorp had underbid LuthorCorp, and one from Adam.

The number Adam had left was unfamiliar. The phone was answered on the second ring. "Adam. It's Lex."

"You want to tell me what was really going on this afternoon?"

Clark looked up as his bedroom door slammed shut behind Lex. He looked really pissed. "Um, what do you mean?"

"I mean, Adam called me." Lex stared at him expectantly.

Clark tried to feign disinterest. "Oh yeah? What'd he have to say?" he asked lamely, knowing that at this point a fight was inevitable.

"You know what he said, Clark," Lex snapped. "Why didn't you tell me you were in his class?"

"Oh, did I forget to mention that?" Clark mumbled. "Must have slipped my mind."

Lex looked like he wanted to strangle him. "Don't give me that. Clark, you have to get over this jealousy thing."

"Easy for you to say," Clark yelled, praying that Pete and Chloe had left the apartment. "You're the one who fucked him!"

"One time, Clark! Once!"

"And he's still interested!" Clark persisted.

"So what if he is?" Lex threw his hands up in exasperation. "Nothing is going to happen. You have to trust me. Do you really think I'd cheat on you?"

Clark looked away, afraid of what would come out of his mouth if he tried to answer that question. He felt more than saw Lex's stillness.

"You think I'm going to cheat on you," Lex whispered.

No, it's not that! Clark wanted to say. "You don't have the greatest track record," is what came out of his mouth instead.

"I see." Lex's voice was cold. "You either trust me or you don't, Clark. Which is it?"

"It's not about trust, Lex."

"That's exactly what it's about!" Lex was back to yelling. "Don't stand there and tell me you think I'm going to cheat on you and then say it's not about trust!"


"No." Lex cut him off. "You need to decide. If you can't trust me, I can't...I have to go."

Clark couldn't just let Lex leave. He had to say something, keep Lex there. "Was he good?" Lex froze. That really wasn't what Clark had intended to say.

"Excuse me?" Lex asked, turning around, his eyes wide with disbelief.

Resisting the urge to scuff his toe on the floor, Clark repeated the question without looking at Lex. "Was the sex with Adam good?"

"Do you really want to know that?"

No. Clark didn't want to know at all. Especially considering the way Lex asked the question. He asked it as if Clark really wouldn't like the answer. "I wouldn't have asked if I didn't." He looked up and immediately wished he hadn't. Lex's expression scared him.

"To say he was good would be something of an understatement," Lex said coldly. "Quite frankly, he was incredible. And as you know, I've had quite a bit of experience to compare it to." Now Lex was smiling. "He certainly knew what he was doing."

Clark nodded as he looked away; the wall suddenly seemed incredibly fascinating. "I see."

"Clark--" Lex started, his voice much gentler.

"Maybe you should go," Clark said quietly, effectively cutting him off. Lex had made his point.

"You asked," Lex said, his tone defensive.

"And you answered, in spades." Clark looked up. "Unless there was anything else you wanted to add, like how many times you came, maybe?"

Lex's eyes narrowed angrily. "I lost count."

"Fuck you, Lex. Get out!"

"Gladly." Lex said. "Call me when you grow up."

Much as he tried, Duncan couldn't shake the guilt he had felt ever since his conversation with Methos and it bothered him to no end. Why should he feel guilty? Methos was the one who had decided not to pursue a relationship. What did the man want from him? Duncan refused to feel guilty for dating and enjoying himself.


Of course, he probably shouldn't have spent half the night ignoring his date. "I'm sorry, Katie. What did you say?"

The petite blonde frowned at him. "I said, maybe I should go. You don't seem to be having a good time."

"I'm sorry," Duncan said, smiling charmingly. "I've been..."

"Distracted?" She asked archly.

He laughed. "Something like that. But you have my full attention now, I promise."

Katie sighed. "Look, Duncan. You seem like a nice enough guy, you really do. But the time you haven't spent ignoring me, you've spent talking about your friend." She gave him an assessing gaze. "It's pretty obvious there are places you'd rather be."

Of course there were places he'd rather be, people he'd rather be with. But that wasn't going to happen. "I'm sorry," he said again. "Let me make it up to you."

She considered him for another moment before shaking her head. "I'm sorry, Duncan. I don't think so." She patted him on the hand before standing up and putting on her coat. "I'm not used to being ignored on a first date. Most people find me terribly fascinating." She winked at him. "I hope you and your friend work things out."

Duncan let her leave the restaurant without protest. He signaled for the check before cradling his head in his hands. It wasn't that he expected his first few dates after the whole thing with Methos to be spectacular, but he was usually much smoother than he had been tonight.

Had he really spent the entire night talking about Methos? To a beautiful blonde and probably incredibly flexible dancer? This was going to be a lot harder than he originally thought it would be.

It was five-thirty in the morning before Lex gave up on trying to sleep. He almost fell asleep a few times, but then he would turn over, realize the bed was empty and get pissed off all over again. He wasn't used to sleeping alone anymore and that scared him a little. It scared him a lot, actually.

Lex went downstairs to work out a little before he had to go to the office. He had to spend almost the entire day in meetings, which meant that he was tired and hungry by the time he flipped through his messages. The conspicuous absence of one particular person's call made him frown.

"Is this all?" he asked his secretary as he sorted through the messages again.

"Yes, sir," she answered, and Lex didn't miss the sympathetic look she gave him.

"Thank you." He smiled tightly. If that was the way Clark wanted to play it, so be it. This was something Clark was going to have to deal with. Lex wasn't going to do it for him. Lex hadn't done anything wrong.

So he went home and had dinner. Alone. His anger simmered the whole evening, so much that he didn't even attempt to sleep. After a long, hot shower, he grabbed a random book off his bookshelf in an attempt to relax.

Several hours later, when it was time for him to go back to work, Lex had to check the spine to see what book he'd picked, he hadn't gotten much further than the title page. Sighing, he went to get ready for another day of work.

"Fuck you, Clark." Lex glared at his reflection as he knotted his tie. He was not going to be the one to break.

He felt a little bad about the things he'd said to Clark about his night with Adam, but Clark had asked and it wasn't as though Lex had lied. The sex with Adam had been incredible. It just wasn't something Lex had ever planned on telling Clark about.

Lex had had plenty of lovers, but Adam had made him feel more inexperienced than he'd ever remembered feeling. Which was something Lex would have been upset about had Adam given him time to think. However, Adam had quite efficiently kept Lex from thinking the entire night.

Adam had licked and sucked and caressed, found and taken advantage of erogenous zones that Lex hadn't known existed. He had turned Lex into a throbbing mass of hormones, made Lex aware of his body in a way he'd never been before. Lex had come so hard and so many times that his whole body ached by the time they were done. Adam had quite effectively and effortlessly driven Lex out of his mind on a purely carnal level.

Unfortunately, Clark could quite effortlessly drive Lex out of his mind on many different levels, not all of them good.

"So, how was your date the other night?" Methos asked casually as they strolled back towards his office.

Duncan had been waiting for the question all throughout lunch, dreading it. What was he supposed to say? Well, she left because I talked about you the entire night? Because that would go over well. He shrugged. "I think it's safe to say that there won't be a second date anytime soon."

"An unsuccessful date for the Highlander." Methos squinted at the sky, gray and overcast. "Mark that on the calendar, it doesn't happen too often."

Duncan shrugged again. "I guess my heart just wasn't in it," he said softly. Methos looked away. Right. Okay then. "I should get going."

"Unless." Methos paused. "If you'd like to come observe the class." He raised an eyebrow. "Hear the fairytales they're trying to pass off as history these days."

"I, um." Duncan smiled, wondering if the expression looked as awkward as it felt. "I have some things I need to take care of, actually," he finally answered. "Maybe some other time?"

"Sure, I'll see you later."

Duncan frowned as he watched Methos walk across the courtyard and wondered if their friendship was ever going to be anything but forced from now on. Maybe it would be better if they just stopped seeing each other altogether, went their separate ways. Except he didn't want that and he was pretty sure Methos didn't really want that either.

"I'm not going." A familiar voice interrupted his thoughts. "Just...take notes for me or something. I'll go next week."

"It's the second day of class. You can't skip." Duncan turned to see a petite blonde girl glaring up at Clark Kent.

Clark frowned. "Watch me."

"Is it because you don't like the professor?" the girl asked. When she got no answer, she rolled her eyes. "Look, whatever bug crawled up your ass, just go apologize to Lex and get over it."

"Why do you automatically assume that I'm the one who needs to apologize?"

Duncan had been known to use pouting and puppy dog eyes to get his way over the years, but he had nothing on Clark.

"Whatever. Fine, be miserable. I'm going to class." With that, the girl spun and stalked away in her clunky shoes.

Clark stood there and watched her retreating figure as Duncan approached him. "Clark," he said finally, startling the young man.

"Duncan, hey." Clark's smile looked painful.

"You want to talk about it?" Duncan asked gently.

"I, um." Clark shifted on his feet a little, obviously hesitant to share.

"No pressure," Duncan said, his most disarming smile firmly in place. "But if you want, sometimes it's nice to have a sympathetic ear."

Clark looked like he was trying to decide something. He finally sighed, looking up with a rueful grin. "Coffee?"

"Lead the way." He followed Clark to the student union building. They didn't speak until they had gotten their coffee and found a place to sit.

"Lex and I had a fight," Clark finally admitted as he stared at the steam swirling up from his Americano. The student union was almost deserted at this time of the day, so they had the corner of the room to themselves. Clark looked up at him. "But I suppose that much was obvious?"

Duncan smiled a little. "I overheard. What happened?"

"Well." Clark paused. "Lex thinks I don't trust him."

"Do you?" Duncan asked.

"Trust him? Of course I do. It's just." Clark frowned. "We come from very different backgrounds," he said slowly. "Relationships have always been pretty casual for him. Like recreation or something." He sighed. "His dad cheated on his mom when she was sick and he wasn't faithful to her before that even."

"And you're afraid that Lex is going to cheat on you because he doesn't know any better?" Duncan asked. He knew that he had been that young once upon a time, so insistent upon viewing the world in black and white, but it seemed so far away now.

Clark shook his head a little. "Well when you put it that way it sounds dumb. I know he," Clark floundered. "God, I sound like a kid, I know. I just...There's other stuff too."

"Clark, there are a lot of different kinds of relationships out there. For some people monogamy works, for others it doesn't." Duncan thought of his relationship with Amanda. The idea of trying to have a monogamous relationship with her was laughable. He loved her, but it would never work.

However, having a relationship like he had with Amanda with Methos was unthinkable. No matter what, things would never be that casual with Methos. "And sometimes neither one ends up working out." He wasn't anything with Methos, barely even friends at the moment.

"So what are you saying?" Clark looked a little stricken.

"Sorry," Duncan said. "I didn't mean that like it sounded. My point is that you can't always judge how a person's going to be in a relationship based on their previous ones. Especially someone as young as you or Lex."

Clark looked down. "Yeah, I guess."

"I'll admit, I didn't have the greatest impression of Lex when I first met him." Duncan smiled ruefully. "But he cares about you, Clark. That much is pretty obvious."

Clark looked up at that, nodding a little miserably. "I know he does."

He smiled. "Besides, aren't you the one who's always saying that Lex isn't his father?"

"I know, yeah." Clark rubbed his eyes tiredly. "I'll call him tonight."

By the time Lex left the office, Clark still hadn't called. Lex hadn't slept in two days but he'd be damned if he was going to wait around all night for a call that might or might not come.

After a quick dinner and shower, he dug out his clubbing clothes. He'd banished them to the back of his closet when he started dating Clark. Half an hour later, Lex was in the hottest club in Metropolis and even more miserable than he'd been the previous two nights.

He tossed back a shot and grimaced as the alcohol burned its way down his throat. It had been a long time since he had set out to get drunk. He sat the shot glass down on the bar and slid back into the crowd, onto the dance floor.

His sword was in the limo, concealed within his coat, but he had a knife strapped into his boot. Adam had spouted the virtues of paranoia often enough for Lex to take the lesson to heart. Although he was sure that getting drunk wasn't the best idea, at this point Lex didn't really care.

At the center of the crowd, Lex closed his eyes, trying to get lost in the rhythm, pulse and press of the bodies around him. Random people brushed up against him as he moved, accidental touches that weren't accidental at all and Lex was trying to remember why he'd ever enjoyed this.

A hot, hard body pressed up behind him, hands sliding down to settle on his hips. Lex's eyes flew open, but he fought his instinct to pull away. He leaned back instead, moved against the grind of the guy's hips and refused to feel guilty.

They stayed like that for awhile, moving to the music. Lex closed his eyes and tried to pretend it was Clark. Clark's hand sliding up from his hips, under his shirt. Clark's fingers skating over his abs and up to pinch his nipples. Clark's lips pressed against his neck, sucking lightly.

Which worked until the lips moved up to press against his ear. "Wanna go somewhere more private?" A voice that wasn't Clark's at all.

Lex pulled away then, turning to face the guy. "I'm sorry," he said, stumbling a little as he backed up, bumping into someone else. "I can't."

The guy just rolled his eyes and shrugged, turning away to find a more willing partner. Lex pushed his way off the dance floor, more disturbed by the encounter than he really should have been. What the hell was he doing here?

He fished his phone out of his pocket and dialed the limo. "I'm ready to leave," he said before closing the phone.

It wasn't until he was outside in the cool, crisp air that he realized how thick the atmosphere of the club had been. The smell of smoke, alcohol and sweat clung to his clothes. He started to feel a little light headed, more drunk that he had originally thought.

Just as Lex spotted the limo turning the corner at the end of the block, he felt a tingling at the back of his skull, like the presence of another immortal, but not quite. He looked around, trying to spot the source of the feeling. Drunken college students spilled out of the club, their laughter loud as they lit their cigarettes and stumbled down the street. He turned back to the street, frowning as the limo pulled up to the curb.

The driver got out and opened the door. After taking one last look around, Lex slid into the car. As the driver pulled out, back into traffic, Lex felt the definite tingling of an immortal presence at the base of his spine for a brief moment before the feeling disappeared altogether.

"Here a little late, aren't you?" Lex asked, interrupting his meditations.

Methos opened his eyes, slowly taking in Lex's attire. "I'm sorry," he said as he pushed himself off the ground. "I figured you'd be at Clark's."

Lex snorted softly. "Not tonight. Hey." He paused, tilting his head and studying Methos for a moment. "You weren't out near Rumors tonight, were you?"

"The club?" Methos asked. "Not really my kind of place. Why?"

Lex frowned. "I just thought I felt..." He pinched the bridge of his nose, his eyes closed. "It was probably nothing. I think I'm drunk."

"You thought you felt another immortal?" Methos asked. He wasn't aware of anyone else being in town. He'd have to call Joe.

"I don't know, it first it felt like someone was watching me, but not strong enough to be a noticeable presence. Does that make sense?" Lex asked, looking up. "But then as I was leaving." He shrugged again. "I don't know."

It was probably safe to guess that whoever was in town was an older immortal, old enough to know how close he could get, dancing on the edges of immortal awareness.

But Lex didn't have any enemies, not yet anyway. Which meant it was more likely than not someone from Methos or MacLeod's past. Perfect. "What were you doing at Rumors?" he asked instead of voicing his suspicions.

"Dancing," Lex said shortly.

"Without Clark?"

Lex gave him an annoyed look. "We had a fight. As if you hadn't already figured that out."

Methos ignored that comment. "What happened?"

"He doesn't trust me." A wry smile twisted his lips. "For as long as I've known him, he's always looked beyond my name and my past and I just thought that--I suppose it was too much to ask for that faith to extend to our relationship."

"He thinks you'll cheat on him?"

"I don't exactly have the best track record," Lex said bitterly.

Methos quietly studied Lex for a moment as he paced around the room. "Maybe it's for the best," he said finally, not quite sure of his motivations. Did he really believe that, or was he just playing devil's advocate? There were too many things about Lex and Clark's relationship that reminded Methos of his relationship with Duncan.

Lex stopped his pacing. "What do you mean?"

"Maybe it's better if you and Clark go back to being just friends." Methos shrugged looking away. "Having a relationship with a mortal can be...difficult. All the problems that mortals have seem to multiply for us. We have to watch them grow older...die," he whispered, thinking of Alexia, his last mortal lover. It had been years since her death, but it still ached to think about her. They'd had so little time together. "Watching someone you care about die is the hardest thing in the world."

When he looked back up, Lex's expression was curiously hard. "And what if he was immortal?"

"Clark isn't immortal, Lex." Methos frowned. He knew that when Lex first found out about his immortality, he had hoped that Clark was the same. He'd shared his suspicions with Adam while they'd still been in Paris. Adam remembered the disappointed look on Lex's face when he'd found out that Clark wasn't one of them.

"That's not the point, Adam. What if he was? What would the reasons for me not to be with him be then? What have you come up with to convince yourself to stay away from MacLeod?" Lex asked.

Methos clenched his jaw. "I really don't see how the two are related."

"Don't you? I shouldn't be with Clark because he's mortal. But you won't be with MacLeod because he's immortal, isn't that right?"

"There are a lot of things you know nothing about, Lex. My relationship with MacLeod is one of them. I suggest you tread lightly," he said softly. He didn't need to stand there and be lectured by someone as young and clueless as Lex.

Lex was either too drunk or too dumb to heed the warning, however. "What's there to know? You love him. That much is pretty obvious. And you know that he feels the same way. So what's stopping you?"

"It's a bit more complicated than that."

Lex sighed suddenly, the blaze of anger in his eyes disappearing. "Why does it have to be so complicated?"

"Because our world is complicated, Lex," Methos snapped. "If you'd grow up a little, you'd see that."

"No." Lex shook his head. "I don't accept that. I think it's complicated because we make it that way. I'm not going to make that mistake anymore," Lex said as he moved back toward the door.

"That's an incredibly naive way of looking at things."

"Maybe," Lex said without stopping. "But which one of us will be sleeping alone tonight?"

"Lex." Methos waited until Lex stopped to continue. "Be careful. If there's another immortal in town..."

Lex nodded once before leaving.

Methos didn't want to think about what Lex had said, so he pulled out his phone and dialed.

"Hello?" The gruff voice sounded over the other end.

"Joe, it's Adam."

"Do you have any idea what time it is?" Joe asked crossly.

"Yeah, I'm sorry to wake you up, but I need some information." He smiled at the heavy sigh he got in response.

"Of course you do. What's going on?"

"I think there may be someone else in town. Lex may have run into him earlier. I need to know if we should be expecting trouble."

"Hold on, I'll check." The soft tap of computer keys sounded over the line, then a soft curse from Joe. "This is no good."


"Felicia Martins. You heard of her?" Joe asked.

"No, but I'm guessing that MacLeod has?" Methos was dreading the answer to that question.

Joe snorted. "You could say that."


Clark knew he shouldn't have laughed, but at the time, it had been so funny. His dad had looked so serious when he said it. "Everything seems easy right now because you two are still in the honeymoon phase of your relationship." His dad had frowned at him as Clark started to snicker. "Just wait until you guys have a fight. Things won't seem quite so wonderful then."

It had taken at least five minutes for Clark to compose himself and stop laughing long enough to speak.

"You think I'm joking?" The question had sent Clark into another fit of laughter. Thinking back on the conversation now, it didn't seem quite so funny.

"I'm sorry, Dad," he'd gasped. "I'm sorry. It's think we haven't fought?" He'd started laughing again. "I mean, you've met us, right?"

The truth was, Clark and Lex fought on a regular basis and until now it had never been a big deal. Both of them had grown up being the only child and neither had ever learned to control his temper very well. Lex still had the court order for his anger management class to prove it.

Although, it had actually taken a little longer for Lex to snap than Clark had anticipated. When they had been "just friends," Clark would do or say something stupid, they wouldn't talk for a few days and then everything would go back to normal. It was as though Lex had been worried that if he lost his temper with Clark, they wouldn't be friends anymore.

When they started dating, Clark had made bets with himself about how long it would take for Lex to crack. Then, one night, a few months into the relationship, Clark was half-an-hour late to dinner without calling and Lex had just lost it. Months of pentup frustrations came pouring out of his mouth, seasoned with colorful language that Clark had never heard Lex use and punctuated with three broken glasses.

When he had finished, he had stared at Clark, a look of absolute horror on his face. Clark's feathers had been ruffled, but Lex's expression was too hilarious. Clark had laughed, walked over to Lex, pulled him into his arms and asked, "Feel better now?"

Lex had laughed, returned the embrace and lost his inhibitions about yelling at Clark

For the most part, their fights never lasted long. Short bursts of tempers where one of them yelled things that the other had learned to ignore, because both of them had developed a nasty talent for forming deeply cutting remarks.

And Clark had a special talent for pissing Lex off, once they'd gotten past that first fight. The worst one they'd ever had lasted all day and ended with the most mind-blowing sex Clark had ever experienced. A truly pissed off Lex was a revelation and after that realization, sometimes Clark did stupid stuff just to get Lex riled.

But this hadn't been on purpose and it was ridiculous that Clark hadn't seen Lex in two days. He was starting to panic a little. He'd meant to call Lex as soon as he got home.

Talking with Duncan had put things in perspective. But Chloe had waylaid him, begging for his help with a story she was doing. They hadn't gotten back to the apartment until close to midnight. Clark had told himself it was too late to call at that point, but now he was regretting his decision.

Maybe this was what his dad had meant by fighting. It was two a.m. when he finally decided just to go over to Lex's and apologize. After all, Lex was already mad at him for a variety of things. What would waking him up in the middle of the night matter?

He was pulling on his jacket when he heard the knock.

"I'm still mad at you," Lex said as the door swung open.

Clark frowned, the fact that he had been about to go find Lex and apologize slipping his mind. "Then why are you here?"

Lex looked away for a moment, jaw clenched before meeting Clark's gaze. "I couldn't sleep," he whispered finally.

And if Clark had taken a moment to really look, he would have realized that immediately. The skin under Lex's eyes was dark, bruised looking. He looked miserable.

"You haven't slept at all?" Clark asked.

"Do you think I'd be here if I had?" Lex sounded irate. His eyes narrowed as he took in Clark's fully dressed state. "Where are you going?"

"I was going to look for you to apologize," Clark admitted. "I couldn't sleep either."

"Oh." Lex nodded, his shoulders slumping a little. "We still need to talk about this, Clark."

"Yeah, I know, but can we do it tomorrow? After we sleep?" Clark smiled as Lex nodded. Because the worst was over. Lex was here and they would talk and it would be better. He pulled Lex into his arms.

Lex didn't struggle, just slumped tiredly into Clark's embrace. "Next time you're going to be the one to break," he whispered.

"Did I break you, Lex?" Clark asked quietly.

"No, but I had to bend a little."

Clark snickered softly. "Well, I think you were already a little bent."

"Funny guy."

"Come on, let's go to bed." He tugged Lex toward the bedroom.

"Yeah," Lex said. "Sounds like a plan."

"Lex?" Clark pulled away, frowning a little as he looked at Lex again, taking in the outfit he was wearing. "Why do you smell like smoke?" he asked softly.

Lex looked away. "I went out. Earlier. I was in a bad mood."

The implication in the admission sunk sickeningly in Clark's stomach. "I see. So what happened?"

Lex looked startled. "Nothing happened, Clark. I drank, danced, got bored and went home."

"You got bored?" Clark raised an eyebrow skeptically.

"What do you think happened?"

Clark didn't answer. He couldn't believe that they were about to have the exact same fight all over again but he couldn't see any way to avoid it at this point.

"Do you really think I would go out, fuck around and then come straight to your place without showering or changing? I can't believe you!" Lex shook his head. "I should have known."

"You're telling me nothing happened?" Clark asked.

"Yeah, Clark. I already told you nothing happened. Once should have been enough."

"Was Adam there?" Clark asked quietly. The last time he had seen Lex in those pants had been that night. He'd thought Lex had gotten rid of them. Obviously, he'd been wrong.

"I can't believe you just asked me that." Lex looked incredulous and Clark almost felt guilty about it, but he noticed that Lex also hadn't answered the question.

"Is that a no?"

"Do I have to actually say it?"

Clark winced at the hard edge of Lex's voice, but nodded. "I'd prefer it if you did."

"No, Clark. Adam wasn't there. I went and I danced with a bunch of strangers and then left when some guy hit on me. I realized that the various forms of intoxication and escape that I used to revel in no longer appealed to me because what I had with you was the real thing." He smiled sharply. "Or at least, I thought we had something real. I'm beginning to think I was mistaken."

"You weren't mistaken," Clark said, reaching out for Lex. But Lex sidestepped his touch.

"I wish I could believe that, Clark. I guess Adam was right." Lex turned to leave.

Clark bristled at that. "Right about what? Please, don't go." He reached out again, but refrained from touching Lex. "We can talk about this."

"I really don't want to talk to you right now," Lex said, his tone deceptively soft. "I should go."

Clark watched helplessly as Lex left the apartment angry for the second time that week. "God, what is my problem?" He banged his head back against the wall, wincing when he felt the plaster give way. There went the security deposit.

Oh, but he knew what his problem was. His problem was Adam Pierson, with his sexy voice and worldly knowledge. He was everything that Clark wasn't.

Clark wasn't sure what fascination he held for Lex, but part of him knew that it wouldn't last long. Lex had always treated Clark's naive black and white views of the world with an amused tolerance, which had been fine when they were friends. But as lovers, Lex wasn't bound to remain so amused for long.

And in comparison with Adam, Clark knew he was severely lacking. He figured it was only a matter of time before Lex figured that out too.

Lex and Adam were cut from the same cloth. They were both smooth and seductive and incredibly intelligent. They shared the same wry sense of humor and pragmatic outlook on the world.

From what little information he had been able to wrest from Duncan, Clark knew that Adam was also significantly older. He would be able to show Lex things that Clark had no clue about. With Adam, Lex didn't have to be the adult, the teacher. With Lex's never-ending quest for knowledge, that was a huge mark against Clark.

Adam was also a part of Lex's world now. A world of which Clark, for all his intellectual understanding, would never be a part. Lex had found someone who was like him in a way that Clark and his freaky alien powers would never be. And despite what Lex had told him about Adam and Duncan's relationship, they still weren't together and Clark couldn't help but think that Adam's attraction to Lex had something to do with that.

For all his trust in Lex, part of Clark had always viewed their break-up as inevitable. Adam was an opponent that Clark was destined to lose to and he had tried to brace himself for that. He just hadn't realized it would be so hard, that it would happen so soon.

The way Clark figured it, he was operating on borrowed time in his relationship with Lex and he'd be damned if he was going to use what little time he had arguing about Adam. He was already losing too much to the man.

Lex blinked as the alley he was walking down came to an abrupt dead end. He looked around, realizing he wasn't familiar with the neighborhood he was in. Walking home from Clark's apartment had probably been a mistake, but Lex had been too angry to think straight when he had left.

"Oh, please not now," he whispered as a tingling crept up his spine.

"You look lost." The woman's voice echoed off the brick walls around them. "I'd have thought that MacLeod would have taught you not to corner yourself in a dark alley."

"And you are?" Lex turned around. "A prostitute?" he asked, taking in her attire. She wore dark, skin-tight pants and a tight sweater and had obviously used far too much eyeshadow and hairspray.

She sneered at the comment. "Felicia. And I'm here to kill you."

"Are you serious?" Lex raised an eyebrow. "Why would you want to kill me?"

Felicia withdrew her sword. "Oh, I'm very serious. It's nothing personal. Let's just say I owe MacLeod"

This was not good. Lex's hands shook as he withdrew his own sword and tossed his coat aside. The woman was smaller than he was, but Lex wasn't dumb enough to believe that mattered. He hadn't slept in days; he'd barely eaten. Luckily, he had sobered up during his walk.

They circled each other warily until she lunged at him. Lex blocked the move with an instinct ingrained by training and he stopped thinking. He defended himself, trusting Adam and Duncan's teaching so much that it took him several long seconds to realize he was on the offense.

The clash of the swords echoed ridiculously down the alley. Lex slipped on something but regained his balance quickly, twisting his body and sword. He was startled when resistance suddenly disappeared and he heard the loud clatter of his opponent's sword hitting the ground.

Faced with victory, Lex did the worst thing possible. He froze, as obviously feminine eyes looked up at him, her puffs of breath visible in the cold night air. This was the moment he had been dreading. What would it feel like when his blade went through the skin and bone of the slim, elegant neck?

And then it was too late. Lex didn't even register the pain until his sword fell from numb fingers. He stared, disbelieving at the knife hilt protruding from his chest.

"Duncan should have taught you to have a back-up plan as well, kid. You're as dumb as Richie was."

The words sounded far away, barely audible over the rush of blood in his ears as he fell hard to his knees. The last thing he had time to do before the world went black was regret the fact that Clark would blame himself for this.

"I wonder," Methos said, forcing a casual tone of voice. "How long you would last against someone with a little more experience."

"You can't interfere," Felicia said. She was standing over Lex's body, posed to take his head.

"I wouldn't dream of it." Methos leaned against the wall. "It's much easier to wait until you're weak from the quickening and just take your head then."

Felicia paused. "You wouldn't."

Methos smiled darkly. "Wouldn't I? Why don't we go ahead and find out."

"What do you want?" Her blade was a little farther away from Lex's neck now and Methos gave a mental sigh of relief.

"You and me. A fair fight."

"What makes you think I'll fight fairly?" Felicia asked.

Methos allowed a little of the menace he was feeling creep into his expression. "Because you really wouldn't want to face me if we were playing dirty."

Clark frowned, a sick feeling in his gut as he walked away from Lex's apartment. He'd super-sped over there only to find it dark and empty. He didn't know what to do, wondered if he should head to Adam's apartment. But...if Lex was there, Clark wasn't sure he wanted to know that. He'd royally fucked things up this time.

The moon was bright overhead. Without the cover of clouds, the cold winter wind had even more of a bite, not that Clark really felt it. He tilted his head back, wishing that he could see the stars that the city lights blocked out. It was times like this that he missed Smallville's dark countryside.

Suddenly there was a bright flash a few blocks over and all of the lights around him went out, stars appearing out of nowhere. In the eerily silent night air, lightning flashed again with a distant, unnatural crackling sound.

It took several long moments for the implications to penetrate Clark's mind. The clear sky, the lightning shooting up from the ground and his brain finally caught up with his gut, body and soul.


He was there before the name had fully formed on his lips and he vaguely wondered if he had accidentally gone through any buildings along the way.

Chest heaving from fear, Clark surveyed the scene before him. Adam's back was to him; muscles tensed as more lightning ran up through him and through the sword he was holding.

Clark scanned the ground, his eyes catching on a body, Lex's body. And all he could see was legs and a chest, a knife. He took a step closer, Lex's head coming into view, still gloriously attached to Lex's body.

The silence pressed around him, finally overwhelming the rush of blood in his ears. Clark blinked, lines of purple jagged behind his eyelids and he must have made some sort of noise because there was a hand on his shoulder.

"We have to get out of here," Adam said quietly, his voice hoarse. "Get Lex. We have to get out of here now."

Clark nodded, hadn't noticed that he'd sunk to his knees until he tried to walk. He stood up hurriedly and stumbled over to Lex. Bending to pick him up, Clark tried not to recoil at the cold feeling of Lex's skin. Lex's limbs moved awkwardly as Clark picked him up. A dead weight in Clark's arms. Dead weight, dead body...Lex, god not again.

He made the mistake of looking over to see what Adam was doing. Another body, dead and so much blood, bright red against the banks of dirty snow. Something else, a head, and Clark looked away again. Up at the sky, because he wasn't sure he could handle studying Lex's slack features, knew the picture was already permanently imprinted on his mind, would haunt him for years to come.

Except Clark remembered that there was still a knife in Lex's chest. He made a move to remove it, moving Lex in his arms to get one of his hands free when Adam's voice cut through his thoughts.

"Leave it for now, we have to go." It was ridiculous that Adam's cold, efficient manner was comforting, but it was.

"Are you okay?" Adam asked. "You aren't going to pass out on me again, are you?"

The flair of anger was enough to shake Clark out of his daze. "I'm fine. Let's go."

Lex's world was pain. Every part of him hurt with the rush of life. There was something wrong with that, with him being alive right now, but he hurt too much to try and figure out what. A soft glow behind his eyelids and loud angry voices echoed in his ears.

"If she was an enemy of Duncan's, why the hell was she after Lex?"


"Because she wanted to throw MacLeod off his game. Grief can be a powerful weapon to use against an opponent. She knew that MacLeod would feel responsible for Lex's death."

And that was Adam. Lex opened his eyes and blinked a few times, until shapes became less blurry and he couldn't hear the scrape of his eyelids against his eyes anymore.

He was lying on the couch in his apartment. The room was bathed in the soft glow of several candles and across the room Clark and Adam were glaring at each other, hackles raised. Lex expected to hear growling at any moment.

"He could have died!" Clark yelled.

"I know. I'm the one who saved him, remember."

Clark flinched and then stiffened at that and Lex rolled his eyes. Leave it to Adam to rub that in, like he was unaware of how Clark would take it.

"Guys," Lex croaked and then closed his eyes again. His throat was dry and raw and his head was pounding. He really wasn't in the mood to deal with either of them at the moment.

"Lex." Clark's voice was whisper soft and only inches away. "Here." A warm hand was at the back of his neck, helping him sit up and a cool glass pressed against his lips.

He took a few sips before pushing the glass away, letting the water trickle down his parched throat, his eyes still closed. He opened them to find Clark kneeling before him. Clark's eyes held a thousand unspoken apologies and promises, declarations that they had both avoided making. There was also a desperate fear that shone through, one that Lex understood all too well.

"Oh, Clark," Lex whispered, reaching out to brush errant bangs out of Clark's eyes.

Clark smiled weakly and quickly rubbed his eyes. "I'm sorry," he croaked and then cleared his throat. "About earlier. I'm sorry I--" Whatever Clark had been about to say was cut off by a deep, shuddering breath. "I was scared, when I saw you there..."

Lex's mouth twisted into an ironic smile. "I was a little nervous there for a few minutes myself," he said, running his fingers though Clark's hair, almost petting him. He looked around the room, only to find that Adam had left.

"I can't." Clark shook his head at some unspoken statement. "I can't do this, Lex."

"This?" Lex asked, pulling his hand away. "What do you mean, 'this'? Are you..." He trailed off, unable to finish the rest of his question."

"No, not that. I just. I can't lose you. Not like that. Even if..." He closed his eyes. "Even if you leave me, I need you to be. There. Still. I need to know that you're alive, even if..."

"Clark." Lex grabbed Clark's chin, tilting his face up gently. "Clark," he said more sharply. "Look at me." He waited for Clark to open his eyes before he continued. "I'm not going to leave you. I have no desire to leave you. I wish you would believe that."

Clark just looked away again.

"If I could change my past for you, I would," Lex said quietly. Clark looked startled at the statement. "I would go back and make decisions that would prove to you that I can do this, that I can be the man you need me to be."

"Lex, that isn't what I want. I don't want you to change. You're already exactly what I need. More than that, you're what I want and your past is part of that."

"Then what is it?" Lex was starting to feel a little crazy. Clark said he didn't care about his past, but then he didn't trust him because of it. "What do you want me to do, Clark? How can I prove to you that what we have isn't anything I'm going to walk away from? What is it you're so worried about?"

"What I said about your past, about your track record wasn't exactly true," Clark admitted. "It's not the 'long term relationship' part of the equation that I'm worried about so much as the 'me' part."

Lex turned, moving until he was sitting upright, his legs on either side of where Clark knelt. He leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. He was almost afraid to ask. "What do you mean, 'the me part'?"

"I mean, I don't see you wasting any significant part of eternity on me."


"Not when you could have someone like Adam," Clark continued.

Things were rapidly becoming horribly clear. "Adam?" Lex would have laughed except that Clark looked so heartbreakingly earnest, so much like a kicked puppy. "You honestly believe that I would- -I'm going to tell you this one more time and I'm going to need you to believe me, okay?" Clark nodded. "I'm not going to leave you for Adam."

"It's not like I'd blame you," Clark said rather pathetically. "I hear he knows what he's doing."

"Clark." Lex shut his eyes, praying for patience. "I'm sorry about what I said before."

Clark looked up hopefully. "So, it wasn't true?"

"No, it was true. I just--" Lex studied Clark for a moment. "Why do you think I'm with you, Clark? Why do you think I broke off what I had with Adam to be with you?"

"I dunno." Clark shrugged. "Things happened so fast. Maybe because you thought Adam was going to get together with Duncan? Or maybe it was out of curiosity, sleeping with an alien and all? Or--" Clark blushed. "Because you were attracted to me and wondered? I've been told I have nice lips."

The last part of the sentence was so mumbled Lex almost didn't catch it. When he realized what Clark had said, he almost laughed. He settled for an indulgent smile instead. "You have great lips, Clark. In fact, you have the most incredible mouth I've ever seen. You have the sort of mouth that makes grown men weep and women wish they had dicks."


Lex thought it was a wonderful that, after all these years of friendship he could still thoroughly scandalize Clark. "And if I had wanted you for your mouth, I would have seduced you when you were sixteen and so hard-up that the cows looked good."

"Jesus, Lex." Clark frowned at him. "So why, then? If the sex with Adam was so fucking incredible, what would you want with me?"

"Language, Clark," Lex chided, but the look Clark shot him sobered him a little. "That night, with Adam...after." Clark's expression got darker. "The sex was great, but I still had nightmares afterwards." Lex looked down. "I don't have nightmares with you, Clark."

"Oh." When Lex looked up again he was relieved to see understanding dawning on Clark's features.

"I'm not with you out of curiosity, or because you have an incredible mouth, or simply because I'm attracted to you. It's so much more than that." Lex was at a loss as to how to explain it. "Sex with you is pretty fucking incredible, not because you know special tricks. It's because it's you."

"Oh," Clark said again.

"You're my best friend, the best friend I've ever had. And--" Lex stopped. They had never actually said it. Not directly to each other anyway, although Lex had always assumed that Clark knew and felt the same way. "I love you."

The declaration was met with a stunned silence, which made Lex wonder if he had been making the wrong assumptions all along.

"I love you too, Lex," Clark finally whispered. "So much that it scares me. When I think of how easily I could have lost you tonight..."

"But you didn't." Lex considered the situation for a moment before coming to a decision. "I'll stop being friends with him, if that's what you want."


"Adam. If you want me to, I'll stop seeing him." Lex didn't really want that. Adam was one of the few people he considered a true friend, despite the somewhat unconventional nature of their friendship. But he wasn't as important as Clark and if that's what it took--

"No." Clark shook his head. "No. I believe you. He's your friend and he saved your life tonight. It's just something I'll have to get over."

"You're sure?" Lex asked, smiling at the expression of distaste on Clark's face. Lex was sure that Clark was unaware of it.

"Yeah." Clark smiled too. "But I don't think I'm ever going to like him."

Lex laughed. "Fair enough." He leaned forward, kissing Clark softly on the lips, sealing the promises, spoken and unspoken, that they had both just made. "I think I need a shower. Care to join me?"

"Mind if I use your shower?" Methos asked as soon as Duncan opened the door.

"Not at all," Duncan said with a sleepy gesture as he admitted Methos into the apartment. He didn't even bother to question Methos showing up in the middle of the night asking to use his shower.

When Methos had shut the bathroom door behind him after a brief detour to Duncan's dresser to get clothes, Duncan pulled on a pair of pants and took off his robe, not bothering with a shirt before wandering into the kitchen to start a pot of coffee. He had the feeling that, whatever the reason for Methos' appearance, they were going to need it.

A few minutes later, Methos walked into the room, wearing a pair of Duncan's sweats and an old T-shirt.

"Help yourself to some clothes," Duncan muttered before offering Methos a mug of coffee. "Shall we go talk?"

Methos just nodded. Duncan frowned at him before turning to walk out of the kitchen into the living room. Neither of them sat down, however. Methos was practically humming with excess energy, which usually meant...

"Who was it?" Duncan asked.

"Felicia Martins." Methos sighed wearily. "She went after Lex, presumably to get to you."

Duncan froze. "Lex? Did she..." he trailed off, unable to finish the question.

"Lex is fine. He nearly lost his head, but I got there in time to prevent it."

"Lex is fine?" Duncan asked, relief coursing through him, leaving him shaken. This was why he hadn't wanted to take on new students, not since Richie. Duncan wasn't sure he could handle anyone else dying because of him.


"And you're okay?" Duncan turned to study Methos more fully.

Methos gave him an impatient look. "What does it look like to you?"

"You could have been killed," Duncan said shortly.

"You're faith in my abilities is overwhelming, Highlander. I can take care of myself." Methos shrugged a little. "She wasn't that great a fighter.

"It wasn't your fight!" Part of him knew he was being irrational, but it was one of those things none of his friends ever seemed to understand. Duncan didn't want them fighting his fights for him. He wouldn't have them dying for him. Sure, Felicia was a poor fighter, but what about the next one?

"Would you rather I left Lex to die?" Methos asked angrily. "You know, if you had killed her the first time you faced her, it wouldn't have been a problem!"

"You think I don't know that?" Duncan closed his eyes. "Richie asked me to spare her, before. He was so young then, so--" He stopped. "And if Lex had died tonight, it would have been my fault. I know." There had been so many mistakes over the years, options that Duncan had or hadn't taken and he tried not to think about the 'what ifs'. What if he had done this or that differently? Would Richie still be alive today? Would Tessa?

"I didn't mean it like that. You know that." Methos' voice held an odd edge to it.

"There weren't a lot of other ways to mean that, Methos." Duncan answered tiredly. "What I know is that Lex almost died tonight because of me, because he's my student."

Methos snorted. "You and your guilt trips. If you hadn't taken Lex on as a student, he probably would have lost his head long before tonight. You've met him; you know how arrogant he is. I have a great amount of faith in his ability to make enemies." Duncan found himself answering Methos' smile. "At least with you as a teacher, he has a shot. He made a mistake tonight. He hesitated. My guess is that won't happen again."

Duncan shrugged. "Maybe." But maybe not. Too much had happened over the years for Duncan to be that confident. Too many people had died because of him.


"Don't what?" Duncan looked up to find Methos frowning at him.

"Don't second guess yourself, MacLeod. It won't do anything but drive you crazy."

"That's easy for you to say," Duncan said, still thinking of Richie.

"You think so?" Methos asked. "Do you think I've never made choices that I've regretted later, deaths that I don't feel responsible for? You remember my background, right?"

And that was just so...typical. Methos was always trying to save Duncan from himself. "Why are you here, Methos?" Duncan hadn't questioned his arrival earlier, but it didn't quite make sense to him now.

Methos looked surprised by the question. "What do you mean?"

"I mean, why are you here? It's almost four a.m. You have a shower at your apartment. Lex is safe and Felicia's dead. You haven't told me anything so far that couldn't have waited until morning." He moved closer taking the coffee mug from Methos' hand and setting it down on the coffee table along with his own. "So there must be some other reason for you to be here," he finished softly.

"I didn't--I didn't really have a reason," Methos said carefully.

Duncan smiled. "So you just came to me without thinking. It's the middle of the night and you came to me. Doesn't that tell you anything?"

Methos took a short step back, the couch behind him effectively preventing any further retreat. "Not everything has a hidden meaning," he said.

"I don't believe that." Duncan shook his head. "With you, everything has a hidden meaning. Some lesson or message I always have to decipher. What am I supposed to be learning here?"

"I think you're reading too much into things, MacLeod." There was a definite hitch in Methos' voice.

Duncan began to think that he was finally on the right track. "Actually, I don't think I've been reading enough into things. I think I've left too much up to you." He reached out, grabbing Methos by the waist with one hand, cupping the back of his neck with the other. "I think I'm done doing that."


Duncan ignored the weak protest, pulling Methos in for a kiss that was long overdue. Finally, he'd figured out the right way to handle things, because there wasn't even a moment of hesitation from Methos before his hot, wet tongue was licking at Duncan's lips, begging for entrance, which Duncan was more than happy to provide. Licking and sucking, tongues twisting, teeth clashing with a barely contained violence.

He groaned as Methos' arms slipped around his waist, hot against his bare skin, pulling their bodies closer together. The feeling of hard lines where he was used to soft curves made Duncan dizzy with want.

Methos pulled back a little, but didn't step out of the embrace.

"We've done it your way," Duncan said before Methos had a chance to speak. "Now we're going to try mine."

He tugged Methos towards the bed and was met with no resistance. When they got there, Duncan stopped, suddenly unsure of himself. He hadn't thought this far ahead, certainly hadn't planned on any of this happening tonight.

"Don't think about it," Methos said. Duncan's surprise must have shown on his face because Methos was suddenly smiling. "Where has thinking ever gotten us?"

Duncan nodded as he pulled at the shirt Methos wore until Methos lifted his arms, allowing Duncan to remove it. Pale skin and hard curves of muscle that was usually hidden by baggy sweaters.

Sucking in a breath, Duncan took a step back to admire the man in front of him. He'd seen Methos shirtless before, but never in this context. He hadn't expected it to affect him so much.

When he looked back up, Methos was eyeing him with a wary expression, tension obvious in every line of his body.

"You're so..." Duncan trailed off, reaching out to touch. He watched Methos' eyes slide shut, muscles relaxing and then tensing in a totally different way as Duncan's fingers trailed over Methos' throat, down his chest to settle at his waist. "Beautiful," he finished with a reverent whisper.

"MacLeod," Methos whispered.



Duncan smiled at the confused look Methos gave him. "Duncan," he whispered again, pulling Methos closer. "Say my name."

"Oh." Methos smiled, bending to nuzzle Duncan's neck. Duncan gasped as the hot, wet tip of Methos' tongue traced lightly over his pulse point, moving up along his jaw, teeth grazing his earlobe, the touch too light to do anything but tease. "Duncan." Methos' voice was low and rough and Duncan was pretty sure he could come from that voice alone.

Gripping Methos' hips tighter, Duncan pulled Methos with him as he fell back on the bed. They landed with a bounce, Methos on top of Duncan, laughing down at him. Duncan's breath caught again, his heart aching a little at the carefree look on Methos' face. It had been years since Methos had seemed so young.

Methos' expression suddenly sobered. "Duncan, I want--"

"Yes," Duncan cut him off.

"You don't even know what I was going to say."

Duncan smiled. "It doesn't matter."

Methos smiled back, a mischievous glint in his eyes. "Dangerous ground, Duncan. I could ask you for anything."

"And I would give it to you."

"MacLeod." Methos pulled back, his smile gone.

"Duncan." He reminded Methos, sitting up quickly, twisting their bodies around until he was on top. Straddling Methos' hips, Duncan pinned Methos' wrists on either side of his head before bending in for a quick kiss. "Whatever you want," he said again before releasing Methos' wrists.

"Duncan," Methos groaned as Duncan started exploring with his lips and tongue.

He started at Methos' neck, his lips ghosting over the smooth, pale skin, teasing and tasting, reveling in the sound of Methos' harsh panting. The skin beneath Duncan's lips was silky, slightly salty, so much better than he had dreamed.

Duncan's hands explored Methos' body, fingers brushing against a pebbled nipple as he continued taste Methos' throat. Methos groaned as Duncan played with the hard nub, rolling it between his fingers while he sucked on Methos' Adam's apple. The feeling of power at being free to touch, to do what he wanted was heady.

When Duncan couldn't stand it anymore, he moved down Methos' body, wanting to taste more. His tongue licked over the nipple he had been playing with before he moved over to the other one, his cock throbbing painfully as Methos arched up to his mouth.

"Duncan," Methos gasped at Duncan's gentle bite. Duncan felt a hand in his hair, tugging him up. He moved until he was looking down into Methos' eyes, noting the dilated pupils, not quite able to believe that he was the one who had caused that. "Duncan," Methos repeated, running his fingers through Duncan's hair. "I want you to fuck me."

"Oh." Duncan blinked, a little nervous and startled at the request. He had honestly thought Methos would want it the other way around, would want to be in control of their first time.

"Dazzle me, MacLeod." Methos taunted. "I'm yours to seduce."

Duncan sat back a little, realization dawning. "Does everything have to be a test with you?" he asked.

Methos sighed. "Duncan, I--" He pulled Duncan down for a quick kiss. "I know what I want. I have for a very long time. This..." He waved his hands between their bodies. "I need to know it's what you want too. It took you over ten years to figure it out. I want tonight to be your decision, entirely. The ball's in your court." He smirked. "So to speak."

"I thought we weren't supposed to be thinking," Duncan said quietly, suddenly much more nervous than he had been before.

The look Methos gave him was challenging. "So make me stop."

"No pressure there," Duncan mumbled.

Methos smiled up at him. "Well, your reputation precedes you."

Duncan groaned. "Have you been talking to Amanda again?"

"She likes to brag."

Duncan laughed, his confidence returning as he sat back, tugging on Methos' sweatpants until Methos lifted his hips so that Duncan could slide them off. Methos sat up then, batting Duncan's hands away as they fumbled to undo his own pants.

"Let me," he whispered. Duncan sat back to watch as Methos slipped a finger under the waistband of Duncan's pants, softly moving back and forth, tickling the sensitive skin of his stomach before moving to undo the button.

Duncan was surprised to see Methos' hand shake as he lowered the zipper of Duncan's pants. "Methos," he whispered, running his fingers through the silky, dark hair. "Are you okay?"

Methos looked up shyly, a nervous smile playing at his lips. "It's just...I've wanted this, you, for awhile," he admitted. "It's a little hard to believe it's actually happening."

An unexpected wave of guilt washed over Duncan at the admission, guilt that he had been so oblivious to his friend's feelings for so long. "I'm sorry."

"Don't be," Methos said as he tugged Duncan's pants down, not looking Duncan in the eye. "You're worth the wait."

Not knowing what to say to that, Duncan kicked his pants away before pushing Methos back down, moving between his spread thighs. He lowered his weight until he was pressed against Methos' body, groaning at the press of hot, slick skin.

Duncan bent his head, panting against Methos' neck, the sudden heat of the body beneath him a little overwhelming, and he wondered how he could have waited this long, how it had taken him so long to realize that Methos was everything he wanted. Methos' hands moved over Duncan's back, fingers digging into his shoulders. "I meant it. You're worth the wait," Methos said, thrusting his hips up, his cock pressing into Duncan's stomach. "But I'm ready for the wait to be over."

Something between a laugh and a groan came out of Duncan's mouth as he thrust back against Methos. "Point taken," he said, capturing Methos' mouth in a hungry kiss before reaching over to the nightstand drawer to pull out the bottle of lube.

Methos raised an eyebrow at him. "Ever the Boy Scout."

"It's good to be prepared." Duncan sat back on his heals, between Methos' legs. He set the lube down next to him as he studied Methos' body. Duncan wondered how someone could be so perfect. Smooth, hard muscles and pale skin that Duncan wanted to worship. He wondered if Methos had been worshiped at some point in his endless history, a beautiful, ageless god, if he had loved the attention or loathed it. Had he been worshiped as Death? Duncan pushed the thought away.

Methos shifted under Duncan's gaze, spreading his legs a little, watching Duncan with hooded eyes. For a moment, pinned by the depth of longing Duncan saw in Methos' eyes, Duncan wondered if he would be enough, if he could live up to the other lovers in Methos' past. And then Methos smiled at him, a little quirk of his lips that reminded Duncan of the first time they'd met, when Duncan had realized that Methos was less than Duncan had expected from the man who had survived the millennia, and so much more in every way that mattered.

Duncan ran his hands over Methos' thighs, from the outside in, pushing Methos' legs back, spreading him until he could see the tight pucker of Methos' hole. He grabbed the bottle of lube again, his hands shaking from a combination of nerves and lust as he squeezed some out. Duncan tried to remember a time when he had wanted something as much as he wanted Methos right now.

He took a moment to warm the lube in his hand before circling Methos' entrance with one slick finger, pressing in slowly. The pounding of his own heart sounded loud in Duncan's ears as he pushed a second finger in. Methos' body clung to his fingers, hot and tight and so good that Duncan wasn't sure he would last long enough to get to the actual fucking.

"Duncan," Methos pleaded, writhing so beautifully, pressing back against Duncan's fingers, lust and longing written on his face and something else, something deeper shining through in his eyes. "Please."

Duncan pulled his fingers out, squirting more lube into his hand to coat his cock. He moved back over Methos, guiding the tip of his cock to Methos' hole, his stomach tightening in anticipation.

Taking a moment to wipe his hand on the edge of the sheet, Duncan took a deep breath. He pressed into the hot, tight passage until his balls were pressed against Methos' ass while Methos looked up at him with eyes hot and steady, almost as if he could pull Duncan's cock into him with the force of his gaze alone.

Duncan stopped, every muscle in his body wound and tensed in an effort not to move. Methos' body throbbed around him, caressing his erection even as still as they were. He could feel the harsh bursts of Methos' breath against his neck. The sound of their breathing mingled in the otherwise quiet room and Duncan felt as if they were suspended in time, like everything in their history had been leading up to this moment.

"Are you okay?" Duncan asked, gently stroking his thumb along Methos' jaw.

"Oh yes," Methos said, wiggling his hips a little, his cock pressing against Duncan's stomach.

Duncan pulled out and then thrust back in, his movements slow and controlled, groaning as Methos' legs wrapped around his waist, urging him to go faster. Every nerve in Duncan's body was singing with the need to possess, to make Methos his.

"You're so incredible," Duncan whispered, before leaning in to taste Methos' lips again, greedily drinking in the grunts and whimpers sounding from the other man, the sounds that he had caused. He thought that he could spend several lifetimes trying to get Methos to make more of those noises.

Duncan's whole body shook with an effort to maintain his control as Methos moved against him, around him, silky heat caressing him, slick skin pressed against him and Methos was making those noises. It was too much for Duncan to handle.

The smell of sweat and sex hung in the air as they moved together, the taste of Methos' salty sweet skin clinging to Duncan's tongue. His thrusts became harder, faster, more uneven as he approached orgasm.

"God, Methos--" Duncan stopped, too many ways to finish the sentence tripping him up. *I never knew. I want you so much. I'm so in love with you that it hurts.* He moved his hand between their bodies, fingers wrapping around Methos' cock, hot, hard silky skin against his hand.

"Duncan," Methos gasped, his fingers threading through Duncan's hair, pulling him down for another kiss. Duncan continued to stroke Methos' cock as they kissed and Methos' mouth broke away. His head tilted back, Duncan's name falling from his lips like a prayer as Methos grabbed him, pulling Duncan deep into him as he came, his body convulsing around Duncan's cock.

Duncan opened his eyes to watch, the look of ecstasy on Methos' face sending him closer to the edge. The world around them disappeared and all Duncan could see were hazel eyes staring into him, claiming him as he slammed into Methos' body, coming hard, his voice low and hoarse as he called Methos' name.

Duncan had barely enough presence of mind to brace himself on his elbows as he collapsed against the body under him. It took several long moments for Duncan to catch his breath, feeling the press of Methos' chest as he tried to do the same thing.

After his heart stopped racing a little, Duncan pulled away to gaze at Methos, taking in the flushed cheeks, the warm look in his eyes. Neither of them spoke as Methos reached out to tuck a strand of hair behind Duncan's ear. Finally pulling out, Duncan leaned down, gently kissing one corner of Methos' mouth, then the other. Methos closed his eyes and Duncan moved to press a soft kiss against both eyelids before returning to Methos' lips.

They stayed like that for awhile, exchanging slow, soft kisses. Methos' hands moved over Duncan's back, tracing random patterns over his skin.

Neither of them spoke when Duncan finally moved from between Methos' thighs to go to the bathroom and get a wet washcloth. Their silence continued as Duncan cleaned them both up and then slid back in bed, spooning up behind Methos.

Duncan smiled as he felt Methos relax back against him, thinking that, for once, it was okay that neither of them were speaking. He was still smiling when he finally drifted off to sleep, warm and sated, holding everything that was important in his world in the circle of his arms.

Clark studied Lex as he slept, ridiculously glad to be in a position to do so again. Lex was resting on his side turned toward Clark, one hand resting, with fingers slightly curled, over Clark's heart.

Covering the hand with his own, Clark pulled Lex closer to him with his other arm, which was wrapped around Lex's waist. Lex stirred, murmuring a little, but he just snuggled closer to Clark's side without waking up.

The dark circles under Lex's eyes had almost disappeared and his skin didn't look as pale as it had the night before. All of which just made Clark want to wake him up so that they could have the make-up sex already.

They had fooled around a bit in the shower last night and started making out when they got back to bed, but Lex had been so completely exhausted that it hadn't gone any further than that.

"Clark?" He could feel the flutter of Lex's eyelashes against his skin as Lex pressed up against him.

"Morning," Clark answered, moving the hand on his chest until their fingers were laced together.

"How long have you been awake?" Lex asked around a huge yawn.

"Awhile." He stroked the skin at the small of Lex's back softly. "It's still early, if you want to sleep some more."

"Hmmm." Lex untangled their fingers to rub his eyes before glancing at the clock. "It's eight o'clock, Clark. Did you sleep at all?"

Clark shrugged. "A little." They hadn't gone to bed until after four a.m.

"Well." Lex shifted again, running his fingers down Clark's side, tickling over his balls before wrapping his hand around Clark's erection. "You always were an early riser."

"Ohhh," Clark groaned, as much from what Lex was doing with his hands as from the bad pun.

"Yeah, I should probably get some more sleep," Lex said as he shifted to move over Clark, his knees straddling Clark's hips.

"Go right ahead." Clark grabbed Lex's hips, pulling him down until their cocks were pressed together, rubbing against each other. "Don't mind me."

Lex's breathy chuckle sounded in his ear. "Mmm, I don't mind at all," he said, thrusting against Clark.

And god it felt so good to have Lex back in his arms. "I missed you," he said, three days worth of longing in his voice.

Lex's smile was soft as he leaned in to kiss the tip of Clark's nose. "I missed you too, you little--"

Clark cut him off with a kiss, not sure he wanted to hear the end of that sentence. Evidently whatever Lex had meant to say hadn't been too important, as he started kissing Clark in earnest, running his fingers over Clark's throat and through his hair.

"I wanted to thank you for waiting for a few hours before attacking me," Lex said, his eyes sparkling merrily. "I was a little sleepy last night."

And it was really unfair that Lex could be so fucking sexy and adorable at the same time. "Actually, I was thinking," Clark said, trying to dispel his sudden nervousness.

Lex smiled. "That's never a good sign," he teased. "Hey." He frowned. "What's wrong."

"I want you to fuck me," Clark said, unable to keep his muscles from tensing a little.

"Clark, we don't have to..." Lex looked a little concerned at the request.

It was something they hadn't ever done. Part of Clark had always been afraid to take that final step. Not that he thought Lex could hurt him.

They had tried it once before, at the very beginning of their relationship. Lex had asked if he could fuck Clark and Clark had been afraid to say no. But when Lex went to prepare him, Clark had tensed up and nothing Lex had done had been able to relax him. Lex had finally given up, gotten out of bed and stalked to the bathroom without a word.

Clark had lain there waiting for Lex to come back out, to yell at him, to leave him, maybe. But when Lex finally did come out, he had simply crawled into bed, lying close to Clark, but not quite touching. "Don't ever do that to me again, Clark," he'd said quietly. "I'll never try and make you do anything you don't want to do, but you have to tell me. Don't just--don't do that again, okay?"

Clark had nodded and apologized and they'd never talked about it again.

It was just that everything had happened so fast with them, admissions, their first kiss and first time all within the period of a day and it was so overwhelming. Afterwards, when Clark had time to think; about himself and Lex, Lex and Adam, he'd been afraid.

He had given up so much to Lex so immediately. He was afraid he would lose something essential if he gave that part of himself, that last bit of control, over to Lex as well. He was afraid that he wouldn't be able to handle it when Lex finally left him.

While he was watching Lex sleep, Clark had realized that Lex had been right. Part of it was about trust. Clark had expected Lex to trust him with his heart when Clark hadn't taken that final leap himself. Clark was ready to take that leap now.

"I want to, Lex," he said, trying to convey his sincerity. "Please. I want this."

"Are you sure?" Lex asked quietly. Oddly enough, Clark found Lex's reluctance comforting.

"I'm sure."

Lex gazed at him for a long moment before nodding and bending down to kiss Clark slowly. Clark groaned. Lex's mouth was hot, wet and consuming, quickly robbing Clark of any higher brain functions he might have been in possession of.

After a moment, Lex moved off of him, readjusting their positions so that he was kneeling between Clark's thighs. He focused on breathing deep, even breaths, reminding himself that he trusted Lex.

"Shh, it's okay," Lex whispered, stroking Clark's side. "I'm going to make you feel so good. Relax."

Clark nodded, closing his eyes to focus on the feel of Lex's hands and tongue as Lex moved down his body. Clark felt strong hands on his thighs, urging them to spread wider.

"Beautiful," Lex whispered, his breath ghosting over Clark's cock. "God, you're so fucking gorgeous."

Lex's hands caressed Clark's thighs, Lex's tongue licking over Clark's balls before moving lower. Clark had to keep his hips from bucking off the bed when he felt the rough texture of Lex's tongue licking at his opening; a shock of wet heat that had Clark spreading his legs in a silent plea for more.

He forgot to be nervous as Lex licked and sucked at his hole, Lex's thumbs spreading him, a hot, wet tongue probing him open. "God, Lex," Clark gasped, twisting the sheets in his hands in order to maintain some control. "Please!"

Lex's tongue was moving in and out of him, fucking him with slow, hard licks. Clark squirmed against him, wanting more. "I need...please, Lex," he begged again.

With one final stab of his tongue, Lex pulled away, moving his way back up Clark's body. Clark arched his back as Lex's teeth scraped across a nipple.

Lex sat up, fumbling to find the lube they kept by the bed. Clark found it first, squirting some into his hand and then moving to coat Lex's cock. Wiping his hand off, he laid back, spreading his legs as wide as he could.

As Lex moved back over him, Clark could feel the blunt nudge of Lex's cock against Clark's hole, which was still loose and wet from Lex's tongue. Clark groaned as Lex pressed into him, slowly filling him, forcing him open, so big, so much more than Clark had expected. He closed his eyes and tried to concentrate on Lex's body, above him, in him, Lex's lips ghosting over his skin.

"It's okay." Lex's breath was hot against his ear, whispering soothing words. "Just relax. It's, ohh," Lex groaned. "So good, you're doing so good, baby. Just relax." Clark nodded, breathing deeply as his body adjusted; Lex's words coursing through Clark's veins, making his blood run hot. Lex licked Clark's ear as he continued to whisper. "So hot and tight. Jesus, Clark, you're so good, so--" he broke off, panting.

Clark could feel the throb of Lex's pulse through his body, felt connected to Lex in a totally new way. Then Lex was pulling out, and Clark couldn't help but moan at the loss. He moved his hips to meet Lex as Lex thrust back in, brushing over that spot and, oh, fuck. Clark could feel the pleasure coiling at the base of his spine, spreading throughout his body as Lex moved against him.

"Please, Lex," Clark groaned as Lex started moving a little faster. "Harder." He pushed up to meet Lex's thrusts.

"God," Lex whispered, as his movements became more forceful.

Clark crossed his ankles across Lex's back changing the angle so that Lex hit that spot with every thrust. Clark's head thrashed against the pillow and he knew he wouldn't last long. "Please, Lex. Touch me."

"Open your eyes, Clark," Lex said, his voice strained. Clark obeyed, glad to have something to focus on, something to keep the sensations of his body from overwhelming him. Something to connect with. "I want you to look at me. Don't close your eyes again," Lex ordered.

Clark's nod was rewarded as Lex's long, slim fingers closed around him, jacking him slowly. Clark was unable to look away, Lex's gaze compelling, overwhelming as he thrust into Clark.

"Come for me," Lex growled, moving his hand faster.

"Lex!" Clark cried, his eyes squeezing shut as liquid heat filled his body and spilled into Lex's hand. The room was filled with the thrum of Lex's pulse as Clark opened his eyes again to watch Lex above him.

"God, Clark. So fucking..." Lex groaned as he moved, his breath coming in short, hot bursts against Clark's neck. Clark moved his hands over Lex's back, urging him on until Lex stiffened, calling Clark's name as he came deep in his body.

Lex collapsed against him, kissing his neck softly. "You're mine, Clark, as much as I am yours."

"I know," Clark whispered, enjoying Lex's weight pressing him down. "It's always been you, Lex. I could never belong to anyone else."

Duncan was awake when Methos walked out of the bathroom.

"I wasn't going to leave," Methos said, responding to the wary expression on Duncan's face.

"I didn't think you were."

Methos smiled. "Yes you did."

Duncan seemed to consider that. "It wouldn't have been completely out of character for you."

"No, it wouldn't." He sat back down on the bed. "But that doesn't change the fact that I wasn't going to." Even if it had been the first thing he'd thought the moment he'd woken up in Duncan's arms. He wasn't going to tell Duncan that, though. Instead, he crawled back under the covers, lying on his side facing Duncan.

"So, what now?" Duncan asked.

"I thought we were doing things your way, MacLeod." It took Methos a long moment to figure out why Duncan had flinched at the comment. "Duncan." He smiled apologetically, the name still a little unfamiliar on his tongue, more intimate than he was used to. "Old habits die hard."

"Yeah, they do," Duncan agreed. "Last night changed things, Methos. I need to know if it's for better or worse."

Methos wasn't sure how to answer that. Last night had definitely changed things. It had taken faith on Methos' part to give up control to Duncan. He could have taken over, could have driven Duncan out of his mind with lust; Methos had learned a lot in five thousand years. But he had wanted something more, and he'd gotten it. Methos hadn't expected to be so overwhelmed. He thought he'd been prepared. He should have known better. Duncan had a way of getting past all of Methos' defenses; he always had.

"Do you think that maybe we make things more complicated than they have to be?" he asked. Last night had changed things and there was no going back to the way things were. Methos was an idiot to think that had ever been possible, that it was something he had even wanted.

Duncan looked surprised and maybe a little pleased by the question. "All the time."

"Then I think..." He moved closer to Duncan, running his hand over Duncan's neck and then up to thread his fingers through silky, dark hair. "I think that we should stop."

"Stop?" Duncan asked, his eyes fluttering closed.

"Making things so complicated. Just see where things take us and trust that this is important enough for us to make it work." He was done testing Duncan. For the moment, anyway.

"Gee, why didn't I think of that?" Duncan muttered, opening his eyes and pinning Methos with an annoyed look.

Methos just grinned. "It's a wisdom that comes with age. You'll learn these things in time."

Methos laughed at Duncan's indignant expression and promptly found himself pinned on his back with Duncan smiling down at him. Duncan's expression sobered a little, but neither his smile nor Methos' disappeared.

"I love you," Duncan whispered.

Methos took a deep breath to quiet the sudden hammering of his heart. "I love you too," he whispered back.

"You can do this," Clark told himself as he stood outside the door. He hesitated for another moment before knocking.

"Come in."

"Hey," he said, stuffing his hands in his pocket. He could do this.

"Clark." Adam blinked at him, clearly surprised.

"I--You have office hours now, right?" Clark had considered the fact that this might be an inappropriate conversation to have at school, but he didn't really want to call Adam and set up some other meeting time.

"Yeah, have a seat. You aren't having problems in the class already, I hope." Adam said with a raised eyebrow. "It's only the second week."

"No, it's not that." Clark took a deep breath. This was going to be harder than he thought. "I just wanted to thank you. For the other night, for saving Lex."

Adam nodded a little, but said; "I didn't do it for you, Clark."

Clark frowned. Couldn't the guy just say 'you're welcome'? "I know you didn't do it for me. I'm thanking you anyway." Okay, so that came out a little more hostile than he'd intended. "Look, I know we don't exactly get along and I realize that's mostly my problem. I just wanted to thank you for saving Lex. Even though you didn't do it for me, I owe you."

"Not a problem," Adam said, a smile playing at the corners of his mouth.

"Okay." Clark nodded once and stood up. "I guess that's it then." He started to leave, but then turned back around. "I still don't like you," he warned, trying to hide his own smile.

Adam grinned at that. "I'll try not to let that influence me when I'm grading."

"Great!" Clark smiled. "I'll see you in class then," he said before shutting the door on Adam's laughter.

The sun was shining for the first time in almost a month as Clark stepped outside. Some of the snow was melting, but Clark knew better than to hope it would last. There was supposed to be a storm coming through at the end of the week.

Clark pulled out his sunglasses as he headed for the bus that would take him by Lex's office. He wasn't sure what Lex's schedule was like, but with no classes for the rest of the day, Clark was hoping Lex would have time for an afternoon quickie.

Maybe in front of the big picture window Lex had in his office. One of the advantages of having an office on the top floor was that nobody would be able to see them. Clark wanted to enjoy the sunshine while he could. It was the only way to survive a Kansas winter.