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Never Here

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Never Here
by Maygra

There was absolutely no reason for him to be driving on this road. He supposed, if asked, he could say he was stopping in to see Nell Lang; you know, old friend of the family. Nell would certainly be thrilled by the idea of a Luthor (even if not The Luthor,) popping by to say hello and socialize a bit.

Only he wasn't and if he even noticed her car was in the driveway, he'd be surprised at himself. No, he was out here cruising the Kent Farm like an adolescent. For an adolescent.

But a damned gorgeous adolescent.

He was having a difficult time getting his mind around that concept. The beauty who had breathed air back into his lungs hadn't struck him as being a kid. The half naked youth he'd rescued from the cornfield certainly didn't look like he had another four or five years of growing to do unless he was going to top out at seven feet.

However, all the evidence pointed to the conclusion that Clark Kent was little more than a boy and that should have put a stop to the thoughts he'd been having -- if he were a better human being, maybe. Or stronger, not so ruled by his emotions as his father liked to remind him. Only it wasn't his emotions he was trying to clamp down on -- exactly.

Freshman starter for the Varsity football team. Perspective like that had kind of made Lex stop and think for a moment. Seriously. And seeing Clark with Lana hadn't helped, as maybe he thought it might. He had, after all, gone to some effort to make sure that's exactly where Clark did end up, in Lana's good graces. He couldn't tell, from seeing them together, whether or not they were, in fact, together. Easier together maybe: Clark didn't quite look like he felt he would be the last person on earth Lana Lang might pay attention to any more.

And she was pretty, vivacious, sweet -- smart, all those things the most popular girl in her high school was supposed to be. She seemed to like Clark, and Lex was under no illusions as to what Clark thought of Lana and -- what the hell was he doing playing matchmaker one day and cruising the Kent farm the next?

The absurdity of it all made him stop, rather than speed up -- which would probably be wiser. Rev the engine and head back to the plant or the house, or to Metropolis and maybe find a short term cure for what was ailing him.

Not to mention the fact that should Clark find out what he was doing out here and where his thoughts were heading, he'd probably be lucky to have Clark only deck him before turning his back and taking himself and that fine ass of his out of Lex's life forever. Which would make Papa Kent pretty happy, no doubt. His own father wasn't likely to applaud his lack of restraint.

Right.

But it wouldn't make Lex happy at all, and that, was probably more surprising than anything else he'd realized about himself in the last few weeks.

He liked Clark. He liked him on a lot of levels -- not the least of which was on a physical and damnably visceral level. But he also liked him for reasons that were still sorting themselves out. It had surprised Lex, a little, that Clark had defied his father, on however minor an issue as football. (Which, given the lack of entertainment in this quaint little burg, wasn't quite as minor in relation to all else.)

And Jonathan had pretty much let him get away with it. Now that was unexpected. Whatever first impression the elder Kent had made on Lex, (and not in a good way,) it had shifted a bit. First in a handshake, which despite his ironic comment to Clark, had been a little unexpected. Jonathan Kent had turned Lex's father down once -- and no amount of persuasion or enticement had persuaded Kent to change his mind. Not an easy thing to do, to turn down a determined Luthor, or even wise. But he had, and yet...he had eased a bit toward Lex, into civility at least and Lex didn't know how much of that was just civility and how much was an indicator of a change in attitude. He wasn't quite sure how he felt about not knowing.

Nor was he likely to figure it out sitting on the side of the road, staring blankly at the freshly cleared fields.

He could barely see the edge of the Kent home beyond the trees that lined the narrow road. Bright yellow against a blue sky that still looked brilliant even with his tinted windshield and sunglasses. He vaguely remembered it all from his visit here as a child years ago. So wide open, so unbroken a landscape; green and blue with dots of browns and reds from houses and barns, all he managed to catch a glimpse of in a terrifying flight over miles of flat land with nothing much to mark it. He still preferred the comfort of concrete and steel and high rises and no unbroken vistas. He had conquered the fears that had so annoyed his father then, but given a choice: No, it wouldn't be here he'd choose to spend his life.

But here was where he was and for now, he would have to deal with that fact on his father's terms. He brought the engine up to speed, letting the soft rumbling of the very well tuned machine drown out the rest, then eased off and back onto the road. Somehow, despite all that power and precision and foreign engineering, he wasn't sure the Porsche would do any better against one of the tractors that clogged the narrow roads than its predecessor had against the bridge railing.

He passed the entrance to the Kent farm without slowing, a glance only to see the house that could have been used to illustrate the cover of any country living magazine on the grocery store shelves. Then it was fields on both sides and cows -- the bovines unimpressed by either Lex or his car. And yes, the ever present tractor. A big one, edging the side of the field, huge tiller blades turning the soil under, chopping up the dead stalks of whatever detritus was left after harvest. Plodding along at a ripping five miles per hour.

Open-cabbed and Lex was surprised, in spite of himself, to recognize the driver. Dark hair a little disarrayed even as Clark leaned out to wave. Well, there weren't that many Porsches tooling around Smallville and Lowell county, Lex supposed. He slowed again and pulled over, watching Clark pull the massive gears of the lumbering dinosaur into alignment, the thing shuddering to a stop with a belch of dark smoke like a mildly annoyed dragon.

Bad idea -- so bad, but he was cutting the engine and getting out of the car even as Clark was climbing down with athletic grace and none of the awkwardness Lex had observed at other times. Confronted now with his reason for being out here in the first place, his own awkwardness seemed out of place and disconcerting. And he couldn't deny the thrill of seeing Clark's smile as he hurriedly picked his way over the loose earth to the fence that separated field from road.

Control, old son. Lex reminded himself, pulling off his gloves but not his glasses -- the Kansas sky still too bright.

"Lex! What are you doing out here?" Clark called as he approached, already climbing over the wire and post construction, sturdy boots protecting him from the wire, forearms tensing under the strength need to pull himself up over the pole without falling flat on his face. There was more warmth and welcome in his voice than Lex could remember hearing from anyone in recent memory. Possibly years.

The ready lies were just there: Visiting Nell, getting familiar with the area. "Actually, I was kind of looking for you," Lex heard himself say, self-editing apparently needing some refinement.

"Yeah? How come?" Clark asked meeting him halfway, leaping across a shallow gully with standing water with all the self possession and grace of a young deer. Whatever made Lex or anyone think Clark was awkward? And he sounded pleased to see Lex, if slightly surprised.

Those lies would come in handy yet. "Thought I might see if there was anything more entertaining than football games and since I don't really know a lot of people yet, I thought you might like to do your civic duty and play welcome wagon?"

Clark grinned at him, a totally disarming expression of humor, and Lex found himself grinning in return, only to feel it fade when Clark shook his head and glanced at the tractor. "I need to finish this. Maybe some other time?"

He looked as disappointed as Lex felt, but not as annoyed. Clark's sense of responsibility was a little wearing. "So, how long is it going to take?"

"About an hour. I mean, if you want to wait." Clark offered. "It's kind of slow."

"I noticed. Top speed...say....oh, ten miles an hour?"

"Actually a whopping twenty five on the blacktop and no rig," Clark said with a soft chuckle and touched Lex's car lightly. "If you're going to ask for a race, I think you'd win."

"Ah, but for sheer size and power, you've got me beat hands down, Clark," Lex said holding the ...boy's ...eyes for just long enough for Clark to look uncertain. Lex broke the gaze first. "So, when did you learn to drive that thing?"

"I was about ten I guess. Dad sat behind me...you ever driven one?"

Lex shook his head and took his glasses off, rubbing at them against the brightness. "No. Somehow I managed to miss that little pleasure." He said dryly.

"You wanna?" Clark had missed the sarcasm entirely. He looked eager -- eager to please, to share. Offer. Lex wasn't sure which.

It was both a temptation and a challenge and Lex eyed the tractor dubiously. "I might ruin your field."

Clark rolled his eyes. "It's dirt, Lex. Harvest is in, I'm just turning the chaff under. How can you be in the agriculture business and never drive a tractor? Come on."

"Just lucky, I guess," Lex murmured, but he pushed off the car and followed Clark, trying not to think about what the damp and muddy ground would do to the Italian leather of his shoes, or what possible excuse for sanity he could offer to get out of this.

Trouble was, he'd come looking for Clark, and the younger man's enthusiasm for both his life and Lex's participation in it was pretty heady stuff.

Clark pulled the wire of the fencing apart, to make an opening for Lex to get through without having to climb over, following him, then leading the way. Closer up and the tractor looked huge -- and high. Not so terrifyingly high as all that, but Lex was still looking for excuses when Clark clambered up, then leaned down to offer Lex a hand.

It took less effort than Lex expected, Clark's grip on his hand sure and strong, pulling him to the seat without even a hint of strain, only that pleased-as-a-puppy look on his face. He shifted back so Lex could take the seat, Clark directly behind him, braced against the frame of the open cab, chest pressed to Lex's back as he leaned forward to explain the gears and clutch.

"Maybe you should drive," Lex said, perfectly at home with a five speed and fast clutching, but the upright gear and clutch looked far more complicated. The possibility of plowing through the Kent fields -- or their house -- with a ton of machinery was a very real one and not likely to endear him any further to Pa Kent.

"It's easy," Clark said with all the assurance of someone who'd been driving the behemoth since ten. He leaned past Lex to crank the engine, easing the clutch out and encouraging Lex to take the wheel.

The tractor bucked a little: the response to one person adding diesel and another shifting, but Clark only gripped the hood of the cab and grinned at Lex as the tractor rolled forward.

It was noisy as hell and Lex had to wonder why Clark wasn't deaf. There was not even a hint of shocks or suspension save with a vehicle this large, the ground gave way under the massive wheels rather than bouncing up from obstructions.

His rows were by no means as even as the ones Clark had laid before but the ground was dutifully chewed up behind them, the drying straw and chaff churned under the dark soil like foam in the wake of a boat. Every shake and rattle seemed certain to vibrate Lex's bones from his flesh and had Clark been not so obviously pleased he would have quit a lot sooner. As it was, he finally mastered the odd upright clutch and shift and before too long -- or too much damage -- Clark was leaning back, enjoying the ride while Lex did his chores for him. Conversation was almost impossible over the noise, but Clark seemed to know when Lex spoke, and leaned close, one hand steadying him on the cab top, the other resting lightly on Lex's shoulder, as he bent his head close enough so they could "Talk" by virtue of yelling at one another.

It was damnably embarrassing and not a little perverted to find himself actively seeking out questions to ask, just to get Clark to lean in again.

It took them less than the predicted hour, but not by much, and Clark once more leaned in to point out the route back to the barn. Off the soft earth, the bounce and shake was a little less and Lex managed not to take out either house or barn before Clark directed him to an empty space in the yard between both and cut the engine.

The silence took a few moments to reassert itself and Lex looked back. Save for his "practice rows", the field looked orderly and dark, rows turned under, ready for whatever arcane things Jonathan Kent would do next to winterize it. His ears popped and he sat back. Clark just grinned at him and jumped down. "What do you think?"

Lex figured out the question much more from lip reading than actually hearing anything. He followed Clark down, dusting himself off. "I think if I ever own a farm, I'm hiring you to work it," he said honestly, wondering if he was just sounding overly loud to himself.

Laughing, Clark led him toward the house. "You want something to drink? You can wash up too," he offered, pointing at Lex's hands which were covered in a fine layer of dark dust.

"Tell me I'm not covered in this and look like a tar baby."

"No, just your hands and arms mostly. Just dust."

The Kent kitchen was another magazine perfect picture, cluttered and cared for and comfortable. Clark got him a towel and showed him the bathroom and by the time Lex returned was rummaging through the refrigerator.

"Where are your parents?"

"In town," Clark said emerging from the refrigerator with sodas and a bowl of something. "You hungry? Mom's apple salad. It' s really good, or there's..." Clark glanced back at the refrigerator as if he could see the contents through the door. "Some leftover chicken and lettuce and stuff if you want a sandwich."

"Skip a meal, Clark?" Lex asked, sitting down at the table as large spoons were produced and Clark got a portion directly from the bowl.

"No, just easier than making anything," Clark said with a grin. "Try it," he offered again and Lex dutifully dipped his spoon into the bowl. It actually wasn't bad. Cold and crunchy slightly sweet without being like candy. Clark opened his soda and shifted to sit on the edge of the table. "Did you still want to take the ten cent tour?"

"Sure. Are you done for the day?"

"Well, for now. Have chores tonight but I have a couple of hours. I'm supposed to be studying."

Lex laughed at his expression. "I don't want to be the reason you flunk out of high school."

The smile he got in return allayed any fears on that count. "I won't. Dad would kill me. Right after Mom did. What did you want to see?"

"Nothing in particular." You. Lex thought but didn't dwell on the thought, only helped himself to another bite of Martha Kent's apple salad. "Now that I've helped you plow, maybe you could show me around your farm."

For the first time Lex caught a hint of suspicion in Clark's expression. It was quickly masked and he nodded moment later. "If you want. It's like most farms."

"And totally organic."

"Yeah," Clark said. "Afraid we're not adding any to the price of Luthor Corps share prices."

Lex met that comment with silence, startled on his part for all that Clark hadn't said it with any particular bitterness or sarcasm. "Does that bother you, Clark? That I'm rich?" he asked when Clark shifted uncomfortably under his gaze.

"No! God no, Lex." Clark was on his feet that fast. "Look, I'm sorry. I didn't mean it that way."

"I know," Lex said with a quick smile. "In a way it would be kind of a relief to know that is what bothers you about me, rather than..." he lifted his hand to his bald head.

"Lex, no," Clark said, leaning in and down, so Lex didn't have to look up quite so far. "Lex, nothing about you bothers me at all. I mean, being rich isn't something I know anything about and how you look...you look fine. There's nothing wrong with how you look or if you are rich or..." words failed him, but Lex was people savvy enough to recognize real distress when he saw it. What was it about Clark's guileless apologies that made his usually prickly defenses just settle down quietly? Very briefly he laid his hand on Clark's arm.

"No offense taken and thanks," he said, and to distract them both, took another spoonful of salad. "So, how about that tour?

Clark's relief was as obvious as Lex's own and he covered the food, putting it away, waiting for Lex to grab up his soda and his sunglasses and they headed back outside.

There wasn't much to tour, which they both knew, and they ended up wandering along the edges of the still green fields, vaguely heading toward Lex's car.

"Have you always known you were adopted?" Lex asked.

Clark gave him an odd look but nodded. "Pretty much. I mean as long as I can remember. I don't remember exactly when they told me or why, only that I've known it." Having answered, he felt bold enough to ask his own questions. "You don't get along very well with your dad, do you?"

"Not like you do with yours, no," Lex said. It wasn't exactly something Clark was unaware of. Lex had been angry enough and mouthy enough on arriving in Smallville, and since, to pretty well establish that. "He just has some interesting ideas on how I should live my life. Not all of which I agree with. I guess we share that much."

"Sometimes," Clark said glancing up as they entered the shade of the trees along the lane. He looked up, staring at the canopy. "He just..."

"Wants what's best for you," Lex supplied.

Clark grinned, a quick smile, replaced by a more thoughtful expression. "Yeah. He does. And I don't always agree, but I usually end up doing what he wants."

"Here, here!" Lex said with false cheerfulness, tapping his soda can against Clark's

"You always do what your father wants? I'd be surprised...." Clark admitted.

Lex gave him a sideways glance and watched the awkwardness descend upon the handsome features again, Clark choosing his words carefully. "I mean, you just strike me as...I don't know. Stronger than that...than me...sure of yourself."

"Ah," Lex said, voice dropping a bit. "Well, I've had a few more years practice than you...so sometimes I can hold my own for a bit. How old were you? When you were adopted?"

"I was...." Clark slowed his pace. They were barely strolling. "They think I was three or four or so...the adoption agency..." he paused, fell silent and Lex suddenly felt both curious and sorry he had asked.

"You don't have to talk about it, you know."

"No. It's okay...they...we aren't really sure. My papers gave a "Male child, approximately..." agee tbut they don't have an exact...year. I didn't...wasn't talking exactly...not making sense anyway, so they figured about that...but...then I grew really tall and fast so..." he shrugged.

"You know, I could probably find out more, if you want," Lex offered, wondering why the Kents hadn't if it bothered Clark so much not to know. Not that he didn't have his own reason for wanting to know. He wondered why it mattered. It wouldn't have a year ago...fifteen, twenty-five, seventeen...his own exploration into sex and power hadn't started yesterday.

Except it wasn't just that, he had to admit. Hated to admit, almost. Clark wanted nothing from him but his friendship, was impressed, but not overwhelmed by his wealth, didn't honestly seem to find Lex freakish looking or an odd person to have friendship with

The Kents had neither his money nor his connections. "I could do some checking, maybe find your real parents, if that's what you want?"

"No...it's not..." Clark stopped, staring out over the fields. "Thanks, Lex, but no. These are my folks, this is where I belong and ..." he looked down. Lex had to tilt his head to see Clark's face.

Not misery but not exactly joy either. "Okay. I won't...but if you ever want to know, I'll do what I can," Lex said. "Don't stress, Clark."

"Yeah," Clark said and took a breath. "I appreciate the offer, Lex. I really do. But some things are just better left alone, you know?"

"Yeah, I do," Lex said slowly, watching the relief come slowly to Clark's face to the dark eyes that hovered disconcertingly between brown and green. "If this is what you want..." he said gesturing to the farm, the fields.

Clark followed his gesture, the expression on his face showing a lot more concentration for the implication than Lex actually thought it warranted. Granted, this was not what he wanted -- this place, this town, green fields and dirt -- but Smallville had its little surprises. Some pleasant. Some a little mysterious. Some both.

"Trying to lure me away from my boring as dirt life, Lex?" Clark asked and it was direct, the smile on his face less humorous and more calculating. Yeah, like that. There was very little of the "boy" in that gaze, and maybe more honesty, less dissembling.

"Be kind of difficult to lure you away, if you're really happy here," Lex said, not denying it. He'd have to watch Clark -- that ability to catch Lex off guard seemed to be improving the more time they spent together and that felt odd. Thrilling, but odd.

"That would kind of disappoint you if I really am happy here, wouldn't it?"

Maybe not so thrilling. "If you are really happy here, Clark, then this is where you should be," Lex answered smoothly --and didn't. Not the question or the previous one. Either the boy was incredibly intuitive or his brain was traveling down a different track entirely but Lex wondered.

Clark made a noise that was almost a laugh but wasn't and started walking, slowly. He wasn't walking away, just moving. Lex moved with him, taking the brief respite from words to observe. Not a hardship, surely, and he wondered what Clark saw when he looked at Lex. Apparently not a freak, but Lex could still envy Clark's long, lean grace. He had to walk slowly or those long legs would outdistance Lex in a heartbeat and Clark didn't seem to want that, or maybe he just automatically shortened his stride so that anyone walking with him wouldn't have to double their pace to keep up.

"Most days, I'm pretty happy here." It came out of nowhere as they hit the end of the lane. Turning back along the road and Lex could just barely make out his car. "Other days, I wonder what's out there. That's pretty normal, don't you think?"

"Yeah...not unusual," Lex answered. "So, why don't you go see what's out there?"

Clark stopped again, balancing his now empty soda can on a fence post. "I will. Someday...for now...well I kind of don't have a...."

Lex could almost hear it: "Truck." And the color in Clark's cheeks wasn't a trick of the light. Lex was inordinately pleased that the return of his gift might not have been the most politic of things for Pa Kent to put his foot down about. At the same time, he found he really didn't want to be a point of contention between Clark and his father. It hadn't been an unreasonable gesture for saving his life.

"You could always borrow it," Lex said quietly, watching Clark's face. "I didn't take it back. Seems to be ...oh, kind of local tradition. You know, having a truck. You do have a license, right?"

"Uh...yeah." Clark said, stammering, eyeing Lex a little more guardedly.

"You know, Clark...you make it really difficult when I only want to be...friends. You know, do things for you. Opportunities," Lex said, looking away. He almost tried shading his tone with a little hurt, but there was something that made taking unfair advantage seem, well, unfair.

"I'm not...I appreciate..." Clark sighed. "You don't have to do anything for us to be friends, Lex."

"Yeah, but that's what friends do, right? Tell me you don't do things for your friends."

"I don't give them trucks," Clark said, the smile back, humor returning to his expression that fast.

"Bet you would if you could," Lex pointed out and got to see Clark blush a little and laugh and duck his head in an utterly charming way. He leaned back against the fence with one foot braced on the lower rail, arms out, and Lex's jeans got that much tighter.

Deck you. He will deck you, Lex reminded himself and stepped in a little closer, but it was too tempting to pass up. And Clark didn't move, didn't really shift or even tense, only looked down at Lex with that smile. "So, what can I do that you won't refuse?" Lex asked. "Take a spin up to Metropolis one Saturday? Take you riding? You ride horses too, right?"

Clark gave him a look of long patience. "Yes, I ride horses. I don't compete like Lana, but I can ride. We have horses you know. Two of them."

"They aren't here to pull the plows or something?"

"We have a tractor, remember?" Clark said and he still hadn't moved, except fractionally, body still open and relaxed and Lex would almost swear that Clark wasn't as unaware of the heat building between them as he seemed. Or maybe he was so oblivious that it was only Lex's reaction that seemed palpable.

"I notice you didn't say no," Lex pointed out and Clark only grinned at him.

"No, I didn't. If we go to Metropolis I'd have to tell my folks," Clark said and finally looked away, up toward the house, but he was still smiling. "But riding...you could give me the tour of your estate. Maybe Metropolis..."

"Some other day." Lex pulled his gloves out of his pocket. "Good enough. Day after tomorrow?"

Clark nodded and pushed off the fence, slowly, giving Lex time to step back only Lex didn't at first and for a brief moment they were as close as they had been on the tractor, only face to face. It was Clark who leaned back first and Lex moved, pulling his gloves on, stepping toward the road, Clark falling in beside him to walk him back to his car.

The tension wasn't uncomfortable, but it was obvious, and Lex made sure not to "notice" the sideways glances Clark kept shooting him on the walk back.

"I'm going to hold you to that trip to Metropolis, you know," Lex said as they reached his car. "Nothing outrageous. I wouldn't want your folks to ground you or anything."

Clark gave him one of those little smiles, mischief glinting in his eyes as he looked down and yes, kicked the dirt a little. "Probably a good plan. I'll ask. And then I'll ask again."

"You have a lot of patience."

"For some things," Clark said and once more Lex watched that boyish facade slip a little. A rumble on the road interrupted any further contemplation of that phenomena, the blue truck both familiar and a little annoying at the present moment. Lex put on his best smile as the truck slowed, Jonathan Kent leaning out the window.

"Afternoon, Lex," he offered first. A little thaw there maybe, but Lex didn't miss the way Jonathan's eyes went to the field, briefly.

"Afternoon, Mr. Kent, Mrs. Kent," Lex said leaning in to wave at Martha. Her smile was far less guarded than Jonathan's. "I should compliment you on your culinary expertise, Mrs. Kent."

Martha's eyebrows went up, smiling at his choice of words. "Oh? I'm hardly an expert, Lex."

"You might think about packaging that apple salad of yours." Okay, so he was laying it on a bit thick, but Martha seemed both pleased and amused.

"Why thank you, Lex. I'm glad you enjoyed it. There is some of it left, isn't there? Clark?"

"Yes," Clark said with another roll of his eyes. Apparently a family joke.

"I should head out," Lex said. "Clark, thanks for the tour. Have a good day, Mr. and Mrs. Kent "

"You too, Lex," Jonathan said eyeing him once more as Lex opened the door to his car.

"Keeping to the speed limit, Mr. Kent," Lex promised and had the pleasure of seeing the minor hit score.

Clark backed up, hand resting on the door for a moment. "I'll see you Saturday," he said then let go, waiting for Lex to close his door before vaulting into the back of the truck. Lex started the engine as Jonathan pulled out, Clark perched on the side, eyes on Lex's car. Clark gave a small wave and Lex watched it all through his rearview mirror until the truck and Clark disappeared into the shade and the curve of the road.

Coming out here had probably not been his best idea, but it hadn't lessened his desire or his curiosity. Pulling onto the road, Lex did keep to the speed limit for a bit, just thinking. Saturday and maybe more. Academic inquiries perhaps, into a past Clark didn't really want him to dig into and that was almost too much a temptation to deny.

Not unlike the person whose past he was about to dig into.

He didn't have Clark's honesty. Not bone deep and uncompromising, but he was starting to believe that Clark was possibly not as blithely honest as he'd appeared -- and that was interesting.

Academic interest. Right. If he were more honest he'd admit to tactics not unlike his father used in sizing up an opponent. Tactics he had used. Only Clark wasn't an opponent and Lex didn't want him to be. He wasn't sure exactly what he wanted him to be yet. Friend, yes. Maybe first, for all the tightness of his jeans, which had eased considerably with the arrival of Clark's parents. A challenge: that too. Lex wasn't all that interested in the corruption of innocents, no matter what his hormones and body led him to believe, and he was absolutely not interested in getting arrested over this particular challenge, but...Clark had indeed, been the one to mention being lured away.

And there was still the little matter of life saving and reward between them, even if Clark didn't see it that way, the details of which still piqued Lex's curiosity.

So, he couldn't actually put the whole idea of Clark into the Never category. Never here. Never ever. Never when...

Three years, five. Lex could be patient too.

At least until Saturday.

~end~

11/07/2001