Ups and Downs
by Kayla




Disclaimer: The boys aren't mine, I'm just playing with them for a bit. I promise to return them relatively unscathed.

Notes: Originally written for the 7th Wave CLFF.




Looking down at the fields below him, he had never felt more terrified, or more in awe. It was as if a strange checkerboard were laid out beneath, green and yellow squares stretching far and wide, unbroken but for the winding strip of dirt road that meandered through them.

Several minutes later, as he continued to hover in place, it became apparent that he had absolutely no control over...this. And he was floating more than thirty feet above the ground with no idea how to get back down. Or, at the very least, get someplace less visible.

A gentle breeze rustled through the corn, seemingly taunting him; fortunately, it didn't appear to send him drifting along with it - that would have been utterly humiliating. Not that being stuck in mid-air over a field of corn with no way to get back down to solid earth - and has he mentioned recently that heights and him do not get along? - wasn't bad enough. Still, at least no one had seen him in this undignified position.

After he'd spent a few more minutes contorting ineffectually, the awe had completely worn off, terror had subsided to brief bouts of only semi-paralyzing fear, and Clark's emotions had finally settled on outright annoyance.

What had he done to deserve this?

Ok, the strength and speed were fine; they came in handy during cores and getting to school on time, and he'd dealt with them for most of his life anyway. The x-ray vision he could live with, once he'd learned to control it so he didn't end up talking to someone who suddenly turned into a mass of muscle and fat. So the heat vision had given him some problems; none of that was his fault! And that was under control now, too...mostly.

But this? Really, he could handle the occasional floating-in-his-sleep episode; at least he was safely inside and couldn't rise too high. For crying out loud, though. He was hovering over a field! In Kansas! In the middle of the day! He'd be lucky if he didn't end up on the front page of every tabloid in the state!

Taking a deep breath to calm himself, Clark closed his eyes and concentrated. He was sure he could do this. Really. He was positive. He just had to think heavy thoughts. He just had to block everything out and think--

"Um...Clark?"

Well, fuck. And he was going to have to wash his mouth out with soap for that.

Very reluctantly, Clark opened one eye and peeked down. "Er, hi Lex?" His other eye opened and he tried to smile innocently.

It was obvious that Lex wasn't buying it. With a look of confusion, Lex shut the door of his car - a lovely little Porsche in a deep purple color - and leaned against the hood, studying Clark's gravity-defying display in fascination. "Nice day," he remarked casually as he crossed his arms over his chest.

"Oh. Yeah. Um, lovely weather. And the sunshine. And...yeah." Clark gave a hopeful wriggle, but was no more successful in this attempt than in any of the others.

"So this afternoon I was thinking, it's been a while since I've seen my dear friend Clark; why don't I go pay him a visit?" Lex leaned back, moving to rest his elbows on the hood so he could look up more easily. "Unfortunately," he continued, "my dear friend was nowhere to be found. Leaving me with no choice but to drive back to the mansion all by myself." He looked around at the field of corn on either side of the deserted road.

"Lex? Your mansion is on the other side of town."

"Mmm, I know. I was taking a shortcut." He smiled wryly at that. "Not a very good one, apparently, but look where it's gotten me."

Clark laughed weakly. And gave his hips a little shimmy. Maybe if he flapped his arms-?

Lex watched his antics, an interested gleam in his eyes at some of the more enticing contortions that Clark was achieving. "Clark," he finally asked, "what, precisely, are you doing?"

Clark sighed in exasperation. "I'm trying to get down!" he snapped, his frustration making his tone much sharper than normal..

"Ah. Well, what's the problem?"

"I can't!" he growled, twisting frantically until he actually made a bit of progress...he was now floating upside down in exactly the same spot as before. "Damn it," he muttered, mentally adding another bout of mouth-washing to his schedule.

"Do you mind if I ask how you got up there in the first place?" Lex managed to make himself only mildly curious about this when in fact he was fighting not to bounce up and down and squeal "I was right!" like a little girl. There was no way Clark could deny this.

"If I knew, do you think I'd still be up here?" That wasn't quite the truth. In reality, Clark had been testing his speed and had been bounding along quite happily when a particularly energetic jump had propelled him up...and up. And he hadn't quite figured out how to jump down yet.

Lex smirked. "So what you're saying is you aren't having any problems getting up, the hard part is getting yourself down." He watched in amusement as Clark flushed bright red at that.

"Lex!" He did not need to think about Lex in the same context as getting up - or down - or-- Clark grunted loudly as he twisted his body again.

"Seriously though, Clark. Is this another one of those things that's going to be chalked up to adrenaline or concussions or some other inane explanation? I just want to clear that up before we go any further."

A surge of guilt rushed through Clark. "Lex, I--"

"Have I ever given you the impression that I am an idiot?"

"What? No!"

"Then can we just agree that you have secrets, I know you have secrets, and as much as I'd like to find out what those secrets are, I'll wait until you're ready to tell me? Stop feeding me lines about what I've seen with my own eyes. You're my best friend, Clark. You don't have to tell me everything, but don't lie to me."

Clark bit his lip and looked away from Lex. "I...I'm sorry, Lex. I don't...I hate lying to you. It's just--"

"It's ok, Clark. Like I've told you before, I'll do anything for my friends. Anything. And I know how to keep my mouth shut." He straightened. "Well, this really isn't the place for getting into that any more deeply," he said briskly, "Let's see about getting you down. Has anyone ever told you that it's stunts like this that make you such a lousy liar?" Lex grinned again as he chuckled softly.

Clark heaved a sigh of relief. He knew he'd have to come clean to Lex eventually; Lex was right, he wasn't an idiot. In fact, he was one of the smartest people Clark had ever met or even heard of. If he'd wanted to study Clark under a microscope he'd had plenty of opportunity to do so. But he hadn't. He'd let Clark go on lying, making up excuses for the things he could do.

He was so used to having to protect himself, to deflect attention, to play dumb, to lie if he had to. He hated having to keep that front up around Lex, especially when the other man could obviously see through him. Maybe he could let his guard down this once. Maybe he could trust Lex with all of his secrets.

"Quit daydreaming, farmboy, day's not getting any younger. I have an idea."

Clark blinked and forced his mind to stop churning. "Does it involve a very long ladder? Because I like ladders. Really." Unless it came attached to a fire truck, in which case the issue of utter humiliation came into play again.

"No ladder," Lex laughed. "Just a really long rope."

"Sounds kinky." The statement escaped his lips before his brain could edit the remark, and Clark winced.

Lex arched an eyebrow. "You have unplumbed depths, Clark. I look forward to...plumbing them."

Holy. Shit. Lex did not just say that. Clark kicked his legs frantically, trying desperately to reroute the flow of blood in his body. He finally ended up horizontal to the ground, and his face-down position did nothing to help hide any...indiscretions from Lex's knowing gaze.

He was going to be permanently red, he just knew it.

Lex tore his eyes from the alluring sight and headed for his trunk. Sure enough, inside he found a length of bright yellow rope that would suit his purpose.

"Do you know what you're doing?" Clark asked, striving to keep the touch of worry out of his voice.

Lex just let out an inelegant snort in response. He moved back to stand near Clark but not directly under him. "Shut up and catch." Squinting up in the dimming light, Lex aimed and tossed.

The rope managed to span only half the distance required before falling back to the earth. Lex glared at the offending rope, head cocked in thought. Then he lifted the fallen end and, with quick movements of his fingers, tied it into a lasso.

"Lex? Are you sure you know what you're doing."

"Of course, Clark," Lex responded confidently as he began to spin the impromptu lasso over his head. "Remember that ranch in Montana I told you about?" With that, he let the rope go with a great deal more force than before.

Clark watched in resignation as the rope flew up...some 10 feet away from where he was hovering. Really, it wasn't so bad here. Lots of fresh air and sun, and surely Lex would come visit him on occasion. And he'd get over the heights thing...eventually.

Undaunted, Lex began to twirl the lasso again. "Of course," he called, "roping a hovering Clark isn't exactly like roping running animals. Different amount of force and angle involved, you see." He tossed again; this time his aim was much better and the lasso latched around Clark's ankle. With a smug grin, Lex began to pull the rope down.

Clark let out a very unmanly squeak. How embarrassing! He just knew he resembled a very large, ungainly balloon. Maybe he could try out for a Thanksgiving parade... But the ground was closer, that's all that mattered. Closer and closer and--a hand wrapped around his ankle and tugged.

Clark dropped as gravity once more gained hold on him. Unfortunately, he was hovering just above Lex at the time, and the two ended up sprawled in the dirt.

"Ow."

"Oh geez, Lex! Are you ok? I'm sorry! Did I hurt you?" Clark scrambled to his feet, tugging Lex up after him and brushing the other man off. A quick x-ray assured him that nothing was broken.

"Clark, I'm fine." As a matter of fact, he was more than fine. It wasn't every day he had a warm Clark blanketing him, his weight pressing him down as his breath ghosted over his skin. Clearing his throat, Lex smoothed himself out.

"Are you sure?" Clark gave him another searching look.

Lex reached out and lifted Clark's chin. "Clark. I'm fine."

"Oh." Clark couldn't help himself; his gaze dropped from Lex's eyes to his limp, and he gulped when the tip of a tongue came out and licked over that intriguing scar. A soft moan left him.

"Clark."

The name was barely breathed, but spoken with a reverence that Clark had never heard before. Unconsciously, he leaned in towards Lex, his eyes fluttering shut.

He was going to hell. Because he was going to kiss Clark in the middle of this goddamned cornfield, regardless of state laws or age of consent.

Their lips pressed together in a sweet, gentle kiss. It lasted for only a second before Lex pulled away with a stifled groan.

"Clark," he whispered, his voice husky. "We can't do this here." He should be sainted for this. Or at least awarded some sort of medal.

Clark opened his eyes. He stepped back, hurt and confusion on his face.

"I'm not going to debauch you on a dirt road, no matter how much that goes against the unwritten rules of Kansas farmboys. Cornfields just don't do it for me." He smiled. "Why don't I give you a ride back to my place."

"Y-your place?" Clark was still attempting to wrap his mind around that 'debauch'. What exactly did Lex mean by that? "Debauch?"

Lex's smile turned predatory. "Of course. After all, someone has to teach you how to get up and down."


Finit