Title: Bugs and Gold

Author: Azure K. Mello

Words: 17,599

NOTE/PLOT: This is the first of seven stories. They are interconnected to one another. They span 33 years, from Smallville onwards. Clark tells Lex the truth and EVERTHING changes. With the scope we see Bruce Wayne and the Justice League. It all comes together in different ways so after Linage nothing is canon.

Summery: After Rachel Dunleavy, some secrets just can't be kept.

Disclaimer: All things DC belong to various parties, individuals mentioned belong to themselves, other television shows and bands belong to various companies and people. No copy right infringement is intended, please don't sue.

On Friday night Lex Luthor and Clark Kent made love. On Sunday Lex left Clark in Metropolis and drove back to Smallville in under forty minutes. On Monday they took a nap in the fortress of solitude and Lex considered changing his California king for a ratty couch.

But, the emails started arriving around ten in the morning on Thursday. "Lex, what are you doing? Bored in free period. Do you know what's happening with Rachel Dunleavy?- Clark." Lex read it and smiled.

He continued to talk about the importance of fertilizer to the investors he was in conference with as he typed, "Clark, she's been brought to Belle Reve. It's a shame she wasn't right. I would have liked to have you as a brother. You're bored I am being kept busy by my father. In phone conference with Japan.- Lex."

The response was almost immediate and left off the names. "If you're in a conference why are you emailing me? I'm sort of glad she was wrong. We're closer than brothers anyway." Lex replied saying, "You have five minutes left of free period do some work, young man." There was a lull and Lex finished his conference and played some pool. He heard the noise that told him he'd received another email. "It's lunch and now I'm really bored. Check this out. How ridiculous is that? I almost want one. Can we do something this weekend? I feel like we haven't hung out in forever."

Lex clicked on the "check this out" which was a link Clark had sent him. It led to a website selling champagne flavored lollypop that had gold leaf inside. Lex laughed and responded to the email accordingly, "Do something big or small? Are we taking about Metropolis or pizza? And a lollypop that cost seven dollars is ridiculous. Only people with more money than sense would buy that."

He picked up the phone and dialed the number on the website. He clicked through the contents of the site as he waited for an answer. "Hello," he said when a woman finally picked up. "I need to place an order. Yes, I need fifty gold lollypops and four grams of pearl dust. Also, can I have this over-nighted? Excellent." He gave the woman his credit card number and address and didn't flinch at the fact that he'd just spent nearly a thousand dollars on candy and something sparkly to add to champagne and desserts. Clearly, Lex had more money than sense.

The message, "I want to go for pizza in Metropolis. Somewhere where your dad can't bug you." made Lex laugh. And he typed what was the shortest email yet, "You're parents aren't going to go for that." The response was almost instant. "I'll say you're dragging me to the opera." Lex laughed again. He was having a better time now than he had since his father had moved in. "Or," he typed, "you could not lie and I could take you to see Carmen. In fact, I like the idea: I'm buying the tickets right now." He bought the tickets online. Afterwards he added to the email, "Fifth row. We'll have a great time. Come to the mansion after school tomorrow; we'll make a weekend of it." And ten minutes later Lex received the response, "You suck." He smiled to himself and decided to get some real work done.

Friday, Lex's order arrived at one, Clark came at three. Lex threw a bag of cheap dum-dum suckers at Clark's head, "There are two hundred in there and they cost five dollars: that's value." Clark ate half of them while Lex finished his work.

By four they were on their way to Metropolis. While the city was a hundred miles away Lex got them there in an hour and ten minutes in the Lamborghini. During the ride, Clark was in charge of the music but was aware of Lex's tastes and kept to hardcore techno.

"Clark, hand me a lollypop?" asked Lex over the blare of the music and wind.

"I left them at the mansion!" Clark shouted back.

Lex felt frustrated at talking over the wind and shut the roof of the Porsche, "There's some in the glove compartment."

Smiling Clark said, "Since when do you like candy?" He opened the glove compartment and had gold lollypops fall into his lap. "Lex! What the heck?"

"I couldn't help it," said Lex putting out a hand for one of the suckers.

They talked about school, work, and Clark finally said, "Lex, your house is bugged. I need to talk to you, tell you something, but your house is covered in bugs. And you most likely won't be happy with what I have to say. Is there someplace we can go? Maybe on Sunday? Let's have a nice weekend first."

"How do you know it's bugged?" asked Lex.

"The same way I know this car is bugged. I'll tell you on Sunday?"

"The Lamborghini is bugged?" Lex nearly screamed.

"Just for visual, it's under the front fender. It takes pictures of where you're going. All of your cars are," Clark said trying to ease the shock.

"What do you need to tell me?" asked Lex. He turned to fully look at Clark. He saw that Clark looked almost like he was going to vomit.

Clark looked out the window instead of at Lex as he said, "Everything, Lex, I need to tell you everything."

Managing to only blink a couple of times Lex nodded. He pulled the Lamborghini into the underground parking lot of his penthouse's apartment building. "Okay, pizza: order in or go someplace?"

As they got out of the car Clark said, "If we go out people will stare at you."

Lex threw his keys to the parking attendant. "I don't mind." Lex lied. He didn't want to keep Clark cloistered while in Metropolis just because he didn't like attention.

"No," said Clark, "this is supposed to be a quiet weekend. We left Smallville to make sure."

Lex nodded, "Delivery it is. Let's hope it doesn't turn into porn." In the elevator he said, "You've never come to my apartment, have you?"


"I'll give you the tour." The elevator opened with a key into a foyer that was, by itself, larger than most apartments. Lex threw his coat onto a chair and started pointing. "Kitchen's in there. Living room, media room, office, bedroom, guest bedroom, dining room, and the three bathrooms."

"This is huge, Lex." Clark looked around with wide eyes.

Laughing Lex said, "I need the space for my huge family and all my friends for the six times a year I use the place. You know how much company I keep."

"Lex," Clark said, "I didn't mean to upset you."

"No," Lex waved him off. "I agree. It's huge. You should call your parents and let them know we're here and didn't crash the car on the way here. There's a phone in the living room. I'm going to find us some sodas in the kitchen. Throw your stuff anywhere." In the kitchen Lex found sodas, chips, and set up the coffee maker so there would be coffee ready when he woke up in the morning, he hated waiting for coffee. He saw fresh milk and bread in the fridge and silently thanked his cleaning staff. He had told them he would be sleeping at his apartment the night before and it was nice to see that someone had taken note.

Clark dropped his bag down and went to call home. Lex came into the living room to hear Clark say, "We'll be home Sunday morning. Is Dad okay with the farm?... I did the back forty before school… yeah… okay. Love you too."

Handing Clark a can of Coke Lex said, "Everything alright?"

"Yeah, they can handle everything for a few days without me."

"I don't understand how you and your dad manage that huge farm by yourselves."

"Well, Lex, you know I'm not exactly normal," Clark smiled, "But that's a conversation for Sunday."

"Is this place bugged?" asked Lex with a smile, this was the safest place on Earth so he knew the answer before even asking.

Clark looked around and reached for a pad of paper on the table. "No," he said as he wrote. "Bugged for sound in here: behind the horse painting. There's audio in the kitchen in the microwave's engine, in the dining room sideboard, and in the headboard in the guest bedroom. There's visual in the bedroom, inside of your CD player, which is disturbing."

With a nod Lex asked, "How do you know it's clean?"

Clark looked down at his hands as he scrunched up the page he'd written on. "Don't make me lie, Lex, please. I don't want to lie to you. I'm so sick of it. I'll tell you everything on Sunday but right now just accept it."

"Well, I'm going to get cleaners in here tomorrow and I'll bet you ten dollars that you're wrong. My dad loves listening in on me. Why don't you go through the movie collection in the media room? I have pretty much everything. I'm going to make a few calls in the office. After that I'll be finally done with work for the weekend."

"Need a lollypop to ease the workload?" Clark held up the bag he'd grabbed from the car that was filled with the pops. Lex smiled and took a handful.

There were thousands of films in the collection. Clark speed-read all of them and had pulled five when Lex came in. Looking at the selection Lex smiled, "Horror movies?"

"If that's okay with you," replied Clark.

"It's fine with me, have you seen these ones?"

"No, none of them. What's a good one?"

Lex looked at the choice saying, "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? is really good. It's scary." Watching the film Clark was getting tenser and tenser and Lex asked softly "Are you okay?"

"I'm really glad Rachel was wrong. I would never want to end up with you torturing me in a wheelchair."

Lex laughed and said, "Maybe it is a good thing."

Looking away from the screen Clark said, "I really am glad we aren't related… it would make some of my feelings for you kind of sick." He glanced away from Lex. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said that."

"Don't," said Lex, "don't be sorry. Don't be sorry for caring about someone. Never apologize for the way you feel."

"Yeah but you can't be pleased. I'm sorry if I've upset you by saying it. I've kept my mouth shut for so long."

Lex forced Clark to look at him by guiding his face towards him. "Clark, I'm not angry. When you put it like that I'm pleased you're not my brother." He put an arm around Clark's shoulder and pulled him back. "Just relax, it's fine. Enjoy the film." He left his arm where it was and curled his fingers into Clark's hair.

As it finished Clark said, "Well, that was interesting."

"This doesn't have to change anything, Clark. Nothing needs to change. We can be just the same if you want."

"And what if I want things to change? What then, Lex? Is that going to be okay?"

"Yeah. That'll be okay too. It'll be harder but it's not out of the question. I'm not going to lie and say that it's not what I want. But right now, I'm going to order the pizza. What do you want on yours?"

"Cheddar and peppers. And thanks, for not being angry."

After he placed the order Lex turned to Clark and said, "I don't know how to do this Clark."

"I'm too young, it's wrong, it's illegal. I know. I get it."

"No. You're young but you know what you're doing. Emotions never get clearer, no matter how old you get. If you want this and I want this then it isn't wrong. I don't want to hurt you and you aren't doing this to hurt me. It could just be the rightist thing I've ever done in my personal life. And as for illegal, well, I've never gotten in trouble for anything I've ever done. I'm just worried about what happens if we… break up." He winced at how teenaged that sounded. "I never want to lose you. You're the first real friend I've had since Bruce Wayne and I don't want that to end. I like having two friends."

"You think I want to lose you either? You're my best friend. So how do we avoid that?"

"Honesty, and I think we need to keep our friendship first and foremost. Anything else is secondary to that. If we're honest and we're friends I think we can do it. I think you also need to tell your parents, we can't keep it a secret forever, and maybe if you tell them from the start they'll have an easier time accepting it."

They sat in silence, waiting for the other to make the first move. Finally the phone rang and Lex picked up. "Yes?... Send him up… Thank you." Turning to Clark he said, "Pizza's here. I think next movie needs to be The Exorcist, scariest film ever." As the bell rang he went to open the elevator door. He paid calling over to Clark, "Grab some napkins from the kitchen and we can eat in the media room." He took the boxes through with him. Handing one to Clark he sat down.

Opening the box Clark said, "Ham and pineapple?" They traded boxes and then traded slices, the way they always did. They ate watching the film but again Clark was getting tense. "Does this have a happy ending?"

"Do you want me to turn it off?"

"No, it's just scary as hell."

"I needed to turn it off the first time I saw it and I was seventeen."

"I'm okay, I just won't be sleeping anytime soon."

"You need a goodnight's sleep before the opera."

"I can't sleep after this!" argued Clark. He put aside his now empty pizza box and said, "You think after, 'The sow is mine' I'm going to be able to sleep? Get real, Lex."

"You can sleep in my bed," offered Lex. Seeing the shock in Clark's face Lex said, "Or you can forget about that I just said that."

"No don't forget it." Clark stretched his arms over his head. "Turn this off. Maybe I could watch it in daylight… I'm going to wear pajamas. Okay?"

"Of course it's okay. You can sleep in the guest room."

"No, I want to be in your bed. I just… I don't know what I'm doing, Lex. I've never…"

"I haven't either." Lex saw the look of disbelief on Clark's face and said, "I've been with people, men, but not you. And I'm not being sentimental here. I've never been with someone whom I cared for before I slept with them. I've been with people I cared about but I only felt that way about them after weeks of sex. I'm… in love with you Clark, I want you by my side for life… and we're not sleeping together. That scares me."

"You love me?" asked Clark.

"I thought that was what we were talking about."

"Lex, you don't love people. You don't let people get that close to you. I know you like me, thought you wanted me, but I didn't think you loved me."

"Clark, I weigh risks and gains. If I just liked you, wanted you, the risk of this wouldn't be worth it. I've been tearing myself up inside since the day you gave me mouth to mouth. I want you in every sphere of my life, every minute of the day, every inch of my body. I want all of you, Clark. I've never felt this way with or without sex. Adding in physical intimacy is a huge risk. But I want to take the risk because the gain would be incredible. I was happy when Rachel Dunleavy said we were brothers because I thought it would bring me closer to you than I ever expected. My family is screwed up to a level Freud wouldn't believe. I thought it would be good if we were brothers. I could cope with being in love with my brother if it got me closer to you. But this is better, without blood making it weird. So go put on your PJs."

Clark leaned forward and kissed Lex slowly. Lex grabbed his face and pulled him closer. The kiss lacked fineness; it was a year and a half of longing trying to fit itself into a single kiss. Teeth clashed and noses bumped and Lex thought it was as close to perfection as possible. When they broke apart Clark said, "I taste of pizza. And I've loved you from the moment you hit me with your car."

Smiling at Clark's admission Lex said, "You taste great. Bed."

"There's a camera in your bedroom. The CD player."

Lex sighed, "Damn it… it's better than the one in the living room. I'm going to bring it out 'so you can hear Carmen'. We'll leave it facing a wall."

"Sounds like a good plan."

As they left the room Lex said, "No, Clark, you will like it. Let me get the good CD player and you can hear some, you'll love it."

"Lex, I'm never going to like opera. You should give up now."

"Just listen to a minute of it," argued Lex. He went into his room and brought the CD player and placed it so that it was facing a wall. He sorted through his CD collection and brought out the disk. They listened to a little bit.

When Lex nodded to Clark, the boy said, "Well, maybe tomorrow won't suck but I still can't see it being fun."

"Fine," said the other man. "I'm exhausted and I want to enjoy tomorrow night. So, goodnight."

Clark picked up his bag and followed Lex into the master bedroom. "We are so smooth."

"Bathroom's in there," Lex pointed to a door on the side of his room as he walked towards his closet. "I haven't worn sleepwear in years."

"Lex, I don't want you to change for me."

Lex shook his head, "I want you comfortable in my bed so I can touch you, and kiss you, and listen to you breathe throughout the night. Go change."

In the bathroom Clark smiled at the mirror. This was happening. And he hadn't planned it. When Rachel Dunleavy had appeared and claimed to be Clark's mother it had freaked him out. But when he saw how happy Lex seemed it had hurt. He never wanted Lex for a brother and now he was getting everything he had ever wanted from the man. He pulled off his clothes and pulled on flannel pants. Nervousness filled Clark but he pushed it away. They would take it as it happened, not rush it or keep it slow, they would go at their pace and be honest with one another. He cracked his neck, brushed his teeth, and opened the door to see Lex already in bed. He turned off the light behind himself and walked to the bed. Getting there he reached for Lex's face and climbed into bed kissing Lex. He groaned in the back of his throat as Lex licked his lips gently. Opening himself to the onslaught Clark felt lightheaded and happy.

"You brushed your teeth!" Lex complained panting as they broke apart. "Now I have to brush mine."

"Don't move," begged Clark. "You're delicious. Stay with me."

"I won't go anywhere." Lex promised as he claimed Clark's mouth. Pulling Clark closer he ran one hand over the boy's shoulders and the other through his hair. Clark was touching Lex everywhere he could reach. His hands slid under the waist of Lex's pants feeling the man's hip bones. They were hard against one another and writhing. Gasping Lex asked, "Are you okay? Is this okay?"

"I think this is better than okay."

"Yeah," agreed Lex, "kissing isn't this amazing."

"Can I touch you?"

"As long as I can touch you in the same ways. You're skin is so soft."

"Lex, thank you, thank you for this. This is everything I ever… Don't let me go."

"Never," agreed Lex. His had his hands in the small of Clark's back, rubbing, massaging, and encouraging him onwards.

"I can't," said Clark suddenly and vehemently and Lex moved to release him.

"It's alright," said Lex. "We can stop. It's okay."

"No, I can't wear these pants. Need all your skin against mine. Need you so bad, Lex."

Almost laughing in relief, Lex reached for the waistband of Clark's pants to strip him as Clark did the same. Once the offending layers had been removed Lex asked, "Better?" And Clark didn't reply he slid his fingers between their bodies and wrapped them around Lex's erection. "If you touch me I touch you," Lex reminded him.

"Please," replied Clark pushing closer, "I want you to touch me. Every time I came to see you, you would bring up Lana. And I had a crush on her but I never came to you to talk about her, not really. It just gave me a reason to be there. Only ever wanted you."

"Love you," breathed Lex as he kissed a line down Clark's neck. He could feel the pulse beneath Clark's skin and it was stronger and slower than any he'd ever heard. It was hard to believe how hard Clark's breath was in comparison to his easy pulse. But the beat ran steadily beneath his tongue and hand. "You're wonderful. You're everything."

Clark was just murmuring Lex's name over and over. He gripped the other man's shoulder. He never wanted this to end; he had wanted this since the moment they met. As they stroked one another Clark begged, "Lex, need your mouth."

"It's yours," promised Lex kissing back to Clark's mouth. As though sensing that Clark was getting worried he said, "I'm yours. No one else's. Never again. I'm yours for as long as you'll have me, longer. Keep me."

"Always. I'm immortal, Lex, I don't think I can die. And I don't want to be without you. Stay with me, Lex. Please, always." Clark reached for Lex as though Lex were his last hope.

Their mouths met and all begging and pledging ceased. They clung to one another and moved in sync and Lex laughed into Clark's mouth. "Who'd have thought you and I would end up here? And it's perfect." Clark laughed against Lex's mouth. "It's true."

"It's not even sex," countered Clark.

Pulling at the flesh in his hand Lex said, "It's not sex; we're making love. It's a rare form of sex."

"Lex, I'm gonna come," moaned Clark.

Lex laughed again, "So come, it's not the end. Let go." Clark came with a groan into Lex's hand and continued to stroke the man and kissed him slowly.

"Lex," he whimpered. Lex held the boy closer to him and came within a few rough breaths.

"I've got you," Lex said, "I've got you." Reaching to the floor he grabbed a pair of abandoned pants from the floor and wiped at their stomachs. He saw the way Clark was fighting off sleep, trying to keep his eyes open and said, "Go to sleep. I'm not going anywhere." The youth went pliant in his arms and Lex pulled him close. It was rare that he wanted to stay with the individual after sex but he wanted to breathe in Clark's scent and just enjoy it. Within moments he had joined Clark in the unconscious realm.

As he reemerged into the waking world Lex felt a body against his back. He could feel hard lines and angles and thought, "Not earrings, cufflinks." He opened his eyes and saw the penthouse walls. Sighing internally, he thought he shouldn't have brought a one nightstand to his damned apartment. As he reached for the phone to call the jewelers and the parking lot he saw the hand resting on his hip. He knew that hand and he relaxed.

"You okay?" asked Clark he sounded awake, as though he'd been up for at least a few minutes.

"Better than that. Sleep well?" he asked as he turned over. Clark nodded. Lex leaned in to kiss him good morning. "Are you okay?"

"Don't make me get out of this bed for a few more hours and I'll be great." He thought and then said, "Actually, I need to pee and brush my teeth. But then I want to stay here."

Rolling away Lex said, "I'll make us coffee and meet you back here in five minutes."

Clark stood up slowly and stretched with his back to Lex. Feeling eyes on his body he blushed and turning towards the bed he reached for a sheet. Lex moved over to stop his hand and Clark said, "Lex, I'm naked."

"You're the most gorgeous person I've ever seen. Don't hide from me." Clark blushed even more violently but let go of the sheet. Lex stood up, unashamed of his nudity and said, "I'm brushing my teeth in the kitchen," and moved past his lover, "Milk and sugar, right?" Clark nodded Lex said, "See you in a minute."

The coffee maker was full of hot, caffeinated, bliss and Lex poured the drink into two mugs, filled them with milk and sugar. He brushed his teeth over the sink. He didn't remember a morning this nice. It was grey outside but he didn't care, this was what mornings were meant to be like. As he passed the media room he thought that he should grab The Exorcist and so went into the room and carried the film back to bed with him. Clark was standing at the window. The view of Metropolis was stunning despite being overcast and Clark was looking out over the expanse of the city. Lex stood on tip toe to drape himself over Clark's back. He kissed the tall boy's neck and handed him a cup of coffee.

"Morning," he said. Holding up the DVD Lex asked, "Think you can manage it in daylight?"

Clark laughed, "We could try." He turned around and kissed Lex, "Morning… Being naked is great."

Laughing Lex said, "Are we still okay? After last night, I mean."

"It's weird, definitely, but we're still good."

Lex nodded and moved to put the DVD into the bedroom's media system, "Let's see about staying in bed for a few more hours." He clicked through the menu to find the scene where they'd left off the night before and joined Clark in bed. "If it gets to be too much you can use me as a sexy human shield."

As the movie progressed Clark yet again became tense even though Lex was rubbing soothing circles into his hip. Maybe that was part of it. When the phone rang Clark nearly jumped out of his skin. Lex laughed and said, "Should I pause it?"

"Yeah, I need more coffee. Can I top you up?"

"That would be great," replied Lex reaching for the phone. He answered with a short, "Yeah?"

"Did I interrupt something?"

"Only a little, Bruce. What's up?"

"Well, I phoned your house to invite you to the opera tonight but they told me you were already attending it and were in the city. I know it's short notice but would you like to meet for dinner?"

"Um, gimme a second." As Clark came back in carrying the coffee Lex asked, "Do you want to go to dinner with a friend of mine?"

Clark handed Lex one of the mugs and said, "That depends, do you actually like this person?" He heard laughter from the phone and said, "Lex, you didn't cover the mouth piece."

"It's my friend Bruce. He's not offended; he's asked the same question in the past. You can say no: this is supposed to be a quiet weekend."

"No, if you like him then I'm sure it'll be fun."

"Bruce, seven o'clock at Demina's?"

"Sounds, great. Is that your latest conquest in the background?" Bruce's voice sounded knowing and amused.

"It's Clark Kent."

"That doesn't answer the question, Alex."

"We'll see you at seven," replied Lex before hanging up on his laughing friend.

They recommenced the film and once the credits were rolling Clark said, "That was the most terrifying thing I've ever seen."

"Outside of events in reality, I agree with you. Want to take a shower? It'll be the best shower of your life."

"Is your shower that amazing?"

"No but the blowjob I'm going to give you will be."

The day passed by with gentle kisses, take out Vietnamese food, and equal time was shared between the couch and the bed. They went out for a couple of hours while the 'cleaners' came and found all the bugs without Lex telling them the locations. In the streets of Metropolis, Lex played tour guide. He pointed out important land marks, a brief history, and a falsely glib personal background story. "I got arrested here." "I broke my ribs falling down the stairs in there while drunk."

Eventually they wound their way back to Lex's apartment. Clark ate cold lemongrass chicken in chili and Lex raised an eyebrow and said, "We're going to dinner in two hours."

"I'll be hungry," Clark replied watching Lex pour a drink. "Can I blow you in the kitchen?"

Lex had just taken a sip of his brandy Alexander which he then spewed out all over his silk shirt. He looked down at the ruined silk and then back at Clark, "What? Seriously? I have to stop wearing silk around you. Sex in the kitchen, why?"

"The marble counter tops are like your skin… sorry, lame," Clark blushed as a smirk came over Lex's face.

As Clark started to turn away Lex grabbed his arm, "Let's go christen the counters." He walked towards the kitchen stripping his shirt off. He dropped it into the trash and kicked his shoes and socks off and jumped up onto the counter. Swinging his legs back and forth he grinned at Clark who was still standing in the doorway. "Come over here." Clark joined him looking almost hesitant and Lex pulled him close and kissed him slowly. Sighing into Clark's mouth Lex said, "Don't stress out. It's you and me, you can stop anytime, you won't mess up, no one's keeping score."

Clark whispered against Lex's lips, "Love you." He dove into Lex's mouth and there were hands searching out skin. Lex slid his hands under Clark's tee shirt. They broke apart long enough to strip Clark of his layers and pull one another back. As Lex was on the counter, and a couple of inches higher than he normally was, their crotches were perfectly lined up. Taking advantage of the lack of height difference they were grinding against one another franticly. Clark's hands went to Lex's belt and fly. Breaking apart they both breathed rigidly. And Clark kissed a line down Lex's stomach and dropped to his knees he breathed in the scent of Lex's crotch. He smelled good, expensive soap and sweat, and Lex. Pushing the cloth of Lex's trousers back he pulled Lex's cock out and held him gently. And he said softly, "How can I really mess up?" He slowly started stroking Lex.

"Just don't use your teeth," Lex laughed and reached down to hold Clark's face. He ran his thumbs over the boy's cheeks. "And you can stop at anytime. I won't be angry. Do whatever you like."

Clark nodded and took the flesh into his mouth. It was weird on his tongue the tissue was spongy yet solid and it felt comfortingly heavy in his mouth. He liked the place where the head and shaft met; the difference in texture was fun. It felt good and Lex was stroking his face. While Clark knew he was clumsy and unpolished Lex was moaning and clearly fighting not to thrust into Clark's willing mouth. The action was making Clark hard; it felt so good to have Lex falling apart because of him. But Clark knew he couldn't really take it if Lex thrust.

Lex was huge and Clark couldn't figure out how the girls in porn could possibly fit a cock in their mouths. Pete's older brothers had a lot of porn and Clark couldn't figure out how they, those girls, did it, was it an illusion? Some big magic trick? 'Cause he just didn't think his mouth was big enough… and he had a pretty big mouth. He massaged Lex's balls because he liked it when he did it to himself when jerking off. And he swallowed his saliva but then worried as he was swallowing that maybe he shouldn't until Lex groaned and his fingers tightened slightly.

"I'm gonna come," Lex managed to choked out. It was meant as a warning but Clark ignored it. He wanted to taste Lex. Even if it was awful he wanted that part of Lex. So he swallowed again and Lex came with a muttered curse and Clark's name. Clark nearly gagged on the taste but he swallowed and concentrated on the feeling of Lex's fingers on his face. He focused on the burning need he felt inside himself and the soft words of endearment and comfort spilling from Lex's mouth as the older boy pulled him up and kissed him slowly. Against Clark's lips he said, "Thank you. What do you want?"

"Anything," said Clark.

"No," Lex was almost laughing pulling back slightly, "not 'what would get you off': what do you want?"

"Bed?" suggested Clark. He wanted to be naked and flush against Lex's skin but he couldn't quite bring himself to say it aloud.

"You're blushing." Clark shut his eyes as he felt warmth flood over his skin. He thought, blushing is fine, just don't let me shoot heat out of my eyes. "You don't need to be embarrassed."

"It's not… When I have dirty thoughts I have… heat shoot out of my eyes. Gimme a second." Lex started to laugh. "I'm totally serious. I started that fire in Desiree's class, and in the Talon. But I never blew up her car. The school and the Talon weren't on purpose: I didn't even know what it was. The one at the police station was on purpose, but I knew you were in danger… It's been a weird few months."

"So all you need is a filthy mind and we can have a bonfire?"

"Yeah, I've learned to control it… mostly." He ran his hands down Lex's back and finally reopened his eyes, "It's tricky."

"Do you have a lot of… abilities?" asked Lex, he sounded amused and Clark felt his blush rising again.

Clark had promised himself that he would be honest. He wasn't excited about telling Lex the truth as he didn't want his friend to get angry. He felt his erection wilt as he said, "I can run really fast… Smallville to Metropolis in under twenty minutes fast, I got shot with an automatic and the bullets bounced off me, I'm strong, I can see through solid objects-"

"You got shot?"

Seeing the look of concern Clark said, "I only bruised, and I've gotten stronger since then."

"Who the hell shot you?" asked Lex sounding murderous.

But the question made Clark smile, "You did. When Bob Rickman shook your hand he made you do it. His handshake didn't do anything to me so he came at me through you."

"But you're still here with me this weekend?" Lex sound uncertain and Clark understood why. He wasn't angry that his friend didn't believe him. The onus was on Clark to tell the truth not Lex to believe it.

"You would never hurt me on purpose. If I didn't trust you I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't tell you any of this." He smiled and pulled away. "Besides," he went to the knife block, "I'm pretty much invulnerable. Even if there is another Bob Rickman in the wings, I'm safe and I'll protect you." He selected a large, frightening carving knife and asked, "Is it okay if this gets broken?"

Lex was still studying Clark and he shrugged, "It doesn't matter. But, Clark-"

Before Lex could ask more questions or call Clark a liar the boy brought the blade down as hard as he could against his arm. Clark heard Lex's frightened exclamation just before the metal touched his skin and shattered. "See." Lex was pale and grabbing Clark's arm, "I'm fine."

Staring at the unmarred skin Lex said, "What the fuck were you thinking?" the voice was cold and low and Clark didn't think he'd ever heard such strong language from Lex before.

Taken aback Clark started to explain, "Lex, I'm-"

"Be quiet," Lex interrupted. He was rubbing the skin of Clark's arm as though to reassure himself that Clark was safe. "I'm incredulous when you tell me that you're a fucking tank. So instead of giving me a minute to adjust you decide to stab yourself as a fucking demonstration? What if this one time your skin decided it wasn't perfect? What if this one time you ended up and stabbed and bleeding in the kitchen. Be glad your mother isn't here, Martha would kill you for being so reckless. Moron. God, that was so stupid."

"Lex, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to scare you."

"Scare me?" Lex repeated. "You just stabbed yourself in the fucking arm, Clark. Scare me?"

"It's so normal for me… I mean I've been like this my whole life. I'm sorry."

As though he was just realizing his actions Lex released Clark's arm and said, "Just warn me when you're going to do something terrifying." He seemed to shake off his anger, pulled Clark back towards him, and kissed him slowly. "Don't stab yourself again, okay?" He smiled again, finally a little recovered from the shock and said, "So meteors?"

That felt like a jab to Clark even though he knew it wasn't meant to be one. "No… not exactly… it's…"

"A conversation for tomorrow?" guessed Lex.


"Don't be. I never thought you'd be this honest with me."

"I've always wanted to be. I was just scared. Meteor freak isn't exactly a friendly label."

Lex nodded. Clark knew that Lex had been called it in the past, he lost his hair the day of the meteor shower and everyone knew his immune system was juiced through the roof. The once sickly Luthor heir hadn't been ill since, healed fast, and was just slightly too strong. "What changed?"

"Rachel came and I knew I wasn't who she said I was and I didn't want you to be in the dark as to why. Maybe if you'd known she wouldn't have been able to-"

"Hindsight is a gift no one possesses at the time," Lex interrupted, "come on. You said bed." Lex hopped off the counter and pulled his pants up a little. That nearly made Clark laugh: the realization that Lex had been sitting exposed for the whole conversation. As Lex passed the microwave he paused, "Is that really the time?"

Clark glanced at the display that read 6:40. "I think so."

"We have twenty minutes before meeting Bruce and we reek of kitchen sex."

"Shower?" suggested Clark.

"Yeah, or else the restaurant and the theater will all resent and envy us… and Bruce will be catty… but Bruce is usually catty." Lex stripped as he walked towards the master bedroom.

Forty minutes later they walked into Demina's. Lex pointed to a pissed looking guy at the bar, "See, bitchy." He smiled vaguely at the maitre de and walked into the bar area. "Bruce, sorry, we got held up. Have a gold leaf lollypop," Lex said holding out one of the confectionary delights.

Bruce smiled as he saw it, "You really know the way to my heart. That's just… decedent. And hey, you're always late. That's why I made the reservation for seven thirty. Drinks and introductions," he held out a hand to Clark, "Bruce Wayne. You must be Clark Kent. What can I get for you?"

"A coke would be great." Clark smiled as he took Bruce's hand.

With faux interests and shock asked, "Are you a minor?"

"Next he'll start in with the breakfast club," muttered Lex rolling his eyes.

"Are you a virgin?" asked Bruce.

Aloud Lex said, "It wasn't even a good movie."

"Blasphemy. Clark liked it, didn't you, Clark?"

"Um," Clark looked between the two.

"Why do you have to be such a prick when you first meet people?" asked Lex.

"It's part of my image." The bartender came over and Bruce said, "Three rum and cokes. Hold the rum on the third." Turning back he said, "You haven't come to Gotham in months, you dick."

"Just give me a hug and let's pretend we like each other." Bruce wrapped his arms tightly around Lex and they stood still for a few moments. "I meant to come see you but Dad's been squatting in my house and some woman claimed to be Clark's mom from an affair with my father."

"Wow, Alfred's taken up mosaics… I thought it was exciting. He's making a really ugly mural in the kitchen."

"I liked the socks he knitted me."

"Alfred and his hobbies." Bruce shrugged, "So, Clark, how did you get roped into the opera?"

"I thought we could use a weekend break and it seemed like a good cover but instead he," he gestured to Lex, "he decided it was a good idea."

Bruce nodded, "At least it's a once off. Alfred thinks I like this. He always gets me tickets. And I just can't bring myself to tell him otherwise. Where are you sitting?"

"Fifth row," offered Lex.

"I have an empty box if you'd rather?"

Lex looked to Clark who gave an assenting shrug. "Absolutely."

Bruce took the drinks from the barkeep and said, "Excellent." Glancing over he said, "Oh and the maitre de's telling us that the table's ready."

Over dinner they chatted about current affairs, politics, school, business, Alfred's desire to get a puppy. Bruce told Lex he'd been seeing a woman named Jillian Maxwell but that, it turned out, she had a list of aliases and she married men and then killed them for the inheritance. In response Lex told him all about Desiree trying to get Mr. Kent to kill him. And Clark added that she had framed him for blowing up a car. Lex smiled at that and Clark knew that Lex was thinking of their earlier conversation about all the fires.

Lex left to use the bathroom and Bruce leaned towards Clark and said, "I don't think I'm supposed to know but… Don't fuck this up, Clark. I would hate to have to hurt you." Clark smiled in response and Bruce said, "I'm not joking."

"I didn't think you were," replied Clark. "I'm just pleased that there's you on Lex's side. I don't want to 'fuck this up'. But I'm still glad that you're taking the time to threaten me: that you're doing it on Lex's behalf. 'Cause I know my parents, friends, lots of people would do it for me but… I mean, you know Lionel… and the papers or, whatever, they would just say that he's raping a minor… so, yeah. Thank you for the threat."

Lex came back and asked, "Were you talking about me?"

"Bruce was just saying he'll break my legs if this ends badly."

"He won't," Lex assured him. "He'll pay someone to do it."

"Actually, Alfred's great with a crowbar. He's truly vicious."

When the bill came Bruce got pissed that Lex grabbed it before he could.

"You know the rules, you pay in Gotham." Lex said sounding like he wanted to add a nah-nah-nah-nah-nah afterwards.

"Yeah but I've been out four times since the last time you were in Gotham."

"Obey the rules, boy." Clark smiled, Lex was more comfortable and relaxed than he ever was in Smallville. Lex slid his card into the bill's envelope and said, "So we'll follow you. Yeah?"

In the Lamborghini Lex asked, "So, what do you think of Bruce?"

"He's cool. He calls you Alex. You were roommates? So is he, like, a business guy too?"

Lex laughed, "He's Bruce Wayne." Clark looked at him blankly. "Wayne Enterprises? Is the patron of Gotham and most of the east coast? Really, Clark, nothing?"

"I think he might have made one of our tractors? Does he make tractors?"

"Not with his own hands," Lex joked, "but it's probable that his company makes them."

"He doesn't really seem like a business tycoon… sometimes you do but… he just doesn't seem like he could be serious for long enough to get anything done."

Lex nodded and said, "Yeah, but that's an act."

"What do you mean?"

"He puts on the devil may care attitude. He cares. Most of the time he puts on a stupid playboy mask. With his friends he puts on an 'I'm totally happy with life' act. He's not."

"Does it bother you?" asked Clark.

"The act doesn't bother me in the least, we all have different faces, none of them are fake and some of them aren't true. The fact that he's miserable bothers me a lot. Plus, oddly, (and this goes no further than us and maybe your parents- ever- I'm only telling you this because you're you and I think some day you maybe be in the same position and you might need to talk to him), I think he's Batman."

"What? Why do you think that? Why would I need to talk to him?"

"When I say 'think' I'm actually being tactful, he's not very good at hiding it. He can hide it from the world, maybe, but I'm his best friend. Plus, one time I was at his manor I sort of wandered into his 'bat cave' by mistake. I was really shitfaced and Batman helped me find my way back to bed while complaining that my ass was both fat and heavy in a voice that was two octaves higher than the one he uses on the news… I think that he believes I was too gone to remember. As for you needing him… I'm not saying you should become like him, or that it's a duty, or something. But you already save everyone. And I think, the older you get, the more abilities you attain, the more unable you're going to be to let stuff happen. Just… don't have a cowl, it's ugly."

"You think I'm going to be like Batman?"

"I sort of hope you don't, because I think it'll end up making you miserable, there too much awfulness in the world and you would want to shoulder it all. I hope you're happier and kinder than he is… but yeah, I genuinely think you'll end up being a superhero."

"Happier and kinder?" repeated Clark.

Lex sighed, "He's my best friend and more like family than my own father, I love Bruce but Batman is frightening. I think he does great things… but he's still frightening. He doesn't let anyone in and I think it's breaking him. Every time I see him he looks more tired. Alfred's the only person he really lets get close… you need someone. I mean, I'm shut off, I know. But I have you, Bruce, I have your family, who (even when they don't like me) back me up. People make a difference."

Clark saw the sadness in Lex's face as he spoke about Bruce and he said gently, "Cheer up, maybe you're right and I'll wear a cape. And we'll become friends and found a super group. Like the Super Awesome Friends League of the United States of Justice." Lex laughed "You can be an honorary member… or like learn to use a lasso so well that we have to let you in."

"A lasso?"

"Well you're talking about being happier and I can't think of a super-tool less offensive and giggle worthy."

"So you want me to be the laughingstock?"

"More like light comic relief who always pulls through."

"Is this a functional group or a Saturday Morning cartoon?"

"Maybe both. We could maybe live off the money from the cartoon but the cartoon would be based on our awesome exploits… And maybe, y'know for the sake of cheering Bruce up, we could all have stupid outfits. I doubt he'll be willing to lose the bat but I could wear like, my underwear over my pants… or tights. That would be pretty ridiculous. And you could wear a ten gallon hat and supersonic chaps."

"Supersonic chaps?"

"Superheroes always have weird ass accessories that make little sense. But, the chaps make sense, with the lasso and all. Lex the Lassoing Lieutenant… a nice alliterative handle."

"And what will we call you?"

Clark gave him a look that told Lex he was stupid and it was obvious, "Clark."

Lex smiled as he pulled up in front of the theater and said, "All jokes aside, I've just told you a huge secret. And he wouldn't be angry, not if he knew who you are, but he doesn't. And I know I can trust you because you deal with your own secret. But don't try to josh him about it, or anything." Clark reached for Lex's hand and squeezed gently.

"How long have you known?"

"Three years."

"And you didn't tell anyone?"

"You're the only person who I trust, felt it was relevant to, and thought would benefit as opposed to suffer for knowing. You're the only person who Bruce wouldn't kill me for telling… not if he knew you like I did."

A parking attendant opened the driver's side door with a simple, "Evening Mr. Luthor."

"Hello," Lex said with an easy smile.

"You don't need a card, we know your car," The attendant smiled in return and Lex nodded as he got out and stepped onto the curb.

At the box office Lex told the woman to sell their tickets to someone else but to keep the money he'd paid as a contribution to the arts. The three young men went up through a large stairway to a box where an attendant came to offer them drinks.

"I thought you couldn't have food in theaters?" asked Clark as the man left.

"You can't if you're in normal seats but if you're in a box the management thinks you're refined. The plebs down there," Lex pointed over's the box's banister, "they're liable to spill something on the upholstery. We're better bred."

"Which is funny," Bruce added, "because, as spoiled rich kids, Alex and I are liable to get ratassed and vomit everywhere because we don't really appreciate the arts we're just here to meet the right sort of one-night stands."

"Speak for yourself," Lex sounded genuinely offended, "I love Carmen."

The lights dimmed and the three took their seats. Bruce spent much of the play looking at his nails and folding several copies of the playbill into origami swans, fish, and spherical boxes. At intermission Lex asked mildly, "Why don't you just not come? You could just tell Alfred you came, it's not like you can't BS on Carmen."

Bruce looked slightly taken aback as he said, "Lie to Alfred? Do you want me to burn in hell? I can't lie to Alfred, especially as he always knows and calls me on 'fibbing'. I feel like a twelve year old who claims he didn't stay up after lights out the night before when he's groggy the next afternoon. It's awful. Besides, I like the action, like seeing it play out. It's just that the singing is so damned interminable. Clark knows what I mean, right?" The entreaty was honest as opposed to his early plea for Clark to praise The Breakfast Club.

"Well," Clark deliberated, "I hate to say this- and, Lex, please don't take this to mean that I'm a convert to your opera love- but I'm liking it."

Bruce looked wounded, "Et tu Clark?"

"No, not really. It's not the slow torture I was expecting that's all." He pointed to the small screen just below the banister that had been flashing with subtitles, "They translate it for you and everything."

When the play recommenced Clark was sitting farther forward in his seat. He felt eyes on him and turned to see that Lex was watching him and not the stage. "What?" he mouthed.

Lex shook his head and reached out to take Clark's hand instead.

As the house lights came up and the audience surged to their feet Clark said, "So that was good."

"Maybe I just don't get it. The music… I like the Entra'cte at the start of act four but the rest of it, eh." lamented Bruce. They walked down to the lobby talking and laughing and at the foot of the stairs Bruce said, "Let's say goodbye here instead of in the mad scram of people." He nodded towards the main body of the lobby which was packed with exiting theater goers.

Without a word Lex pulled him into a hug and said, "I'll try to get out to you soon, any deals come up on the east coast and I'm there." Bruce laughed. "Seriously," said Lex.

Separating himself from his friend Bruce said to Clark, "It was great to finally meet you. If you ever head out to Gotham let me know."

"Yeah, it was good to meet you, put a face to all the stories."

"Don't believe all the stories. Alex and I usually ended up in a lot more trouble than the events truly merited so over the years Alex has changed the events to fit the penalty." Bruce gave Clark a crooked smile and then turned and left.

As they walked to the parking lot Clark said, "You once told me that friendship was a fairytale. But Bruce is your friend."

"Yeah well… some little girls marry princes. Real friendship…" he shrugged. The valet saw them coming and ran to get the Lamborghini. "It's rare it's not nonexistent."

As they settled back into the Lamborghini Lex took the roof off and held out a hand, "Pop me."

Clark went into the glove compartment to get a couple of the gold leaf lollypops out, "When did you develop a sweet tooth?"

"When candy started taking itself so seriously it became a joke." Lex pulled off the cellophane and placed the sweet between his lips. He was silent for a while and then he asked, "When did I tell you that friendship wasn't real?"

Feeling awkward Clark twirled the lollypop in his hand and said, "Just before shooting me actually… you also said that you knew I'd been keeping secrets you just didn't realize they were so 'good'."

Lex nodded and said, "I'm sorry."

"You didn't mean it. I mean, Rickman must have talked you into being mad enough to kill me."

"I don't know, but it doesn't matter. Whether or not I was responsible as the origin of the words I'm still sorry you had to hear it. The fact is, it is a good secret, you're wonderful and you have all these amazing special abilities to help you be more an efficiently great man. A bad secret is murder, malicious acts, deception-"

"Lex, I have deceived you."

"Not out of spite. You had reasons, good reasons. I shot you, and whether or not I was in control, I hurt you."

"It only bruised."

"I'm not talking about physical pain. And it's true, I knew you had secrets and I did resent you for not telling me, but I didn't have any idea of the scope. I didn't understand why it was so important. And I'm sorry for that too. I'm awed that you told me at all."

They slipped into a comfortable silence and as they pulled up fifteen minutes later at Lex's building Lex said, "I can't wait to get out of this suit."

"Do you even own a pair of jeans?" countered Clark.

"Two," replied Lex, "They're Armani."

Clark laughed and they passed the Lamborghini off to yet another valet and took the private elevator up to the penthouse. As the passed the sixtieth floor Clark was still laughing and Lex said, "It's not that funny." He pulled off his tie and jacket.

The door opened with a "ting" as Clark caught his breath and said, "Not funny, just so typical." Taking a deep breath he asked, "You want Vietnamese? There still tons of leftovers."

"You're not really hungry?" asked Lex while kicking his shoes off.

"I eat, like, ten thousand calories a day. Mom says I have a superfast metabolism because my body uses so much energy…"

Clark trailed off and looked away. "Clark, you don't need to-"

"I want to. I just… I know I can trust you, it's not that. But it'll change it. This won't be the same."

"You don't know that."

Suddenly looking tired Clark said, "Just one more night like this, Lex? It has to change… when I found out I was fifteen and it changed the way I looked at myself. Even I was freaked. And I want one more night-"

"I won't let it change anything," Lex promised. Clark turned to see out the window, not wanting to have to face the man. Lex must have seen the dejected stoop of his shoulders, because he said, "There's jackfruit chè in the fridge." He passed Clark and paused to kiss the edge of his mouth. "I promise it won't matter," he said and took Clark's hand, dragging him into the kitchen.

Together they went through the fridge, pulling out stuff to eat cold. Lex untucked his shirt and sat up on the counter. He smiled, understanding the smile, Clark said, "I'm already blushing, stop smiling."

Instead Lex grabbed his face and kissed him on the mouth. "You're pretty when you blush." Clark shook his head and turned his face away. Lex reached out and turned the boy face back to him and kissed him slowly, "You're beautiful." He pulled Clark to stand between his legs and attacked his mouth. Clark's hands rested on Lex's thighs, massaging the muscles and holding himself upright. Lex slid his arms around Clark's waist and kept his boy close to him. Then he reached for a fork and had some jackfruit chè. "You almost done?" asked Lex lightly. "I want to get you to bed." There was a sudden blur and a slight wind and then Clark was back between his legs while the kitchen was clean. "You're fast."

"Bed," responded Clark. This time it was he who pulled Lex to the bedroom and striping Lex of his remaining clothes.

Lex was murmuring something that Clark couldn't quite make out, and they were both laughing, and touching, and kissing. It was perfect and everything Clark had wanted earlier in the evening. Lex's fingers danced up Clark's flanks and Clark arched against him as Lex whispered words like beautiful, handsome, sexy. "Sexy" made Clark blush and Lex said, "You are. Young, silly, and sexy."

"You're only twenty-two," replied Clark. And Lex nodded, it was true. His fingers curled into Clark's hair; they were kissing and had no time for words. Clark could feel Lex smiling against his mouth and asked "What?"

"Love having you here."

Clark said, "I love you too." Lex stroked him to completion as Clark rubbed against him. Coming with a ragged, "Lex," Clark jolted upwards, into the older man's arms. Lex moaned into his mouth and came into his hand.

Lex went for the pajamas that had been used yesterday and cleaned them both up. Clark blinked slowly at him and Lex said, "I have you, go to sleep. I have you" He kissed a line down Clark's neck. "I have you." Clark's eyes were fighting to stay open. "Go to sleep."

"Wanna stay awake," Clark said, taking a deep breath as though oxygen could stave off sleep.


"Because tomorrow is Sunday. And I have to tell you, and then we'll go home, and the weekend will be over."

"Clark, it'll be okay. You could tell me now and it would still be okay. Alright? I won't let whatever it is change this. So go to sleep."

Lex didn't assure him; Clark simply lost the fight and fell asleep. But even unconscious he looked worried. Lex kissed the boy's forehead and held him close for ages prior to following his lover into sleep. It felt like only moments before he opened his eyes and smelled coffee and heard Clark in the kitchen. Lex stretched and stood and walked out to the kitchen, uncaring of his nudity.

Clark was at the stove, naked, and cooking bacon. "Oh," he said disappointedly, "I was hoping you wouldn't wake up."

"Breakfast in bed?" Lex smirked, "Just say it, Clark. It can't be bad enough to warrant room service."

Clark handed him a cup of coffee, took the bacon off the heat, and inhaled deeply, "I came down the day of the meteor shower. I caused the meteors, all those deaths, your hair, all the weird shit. It's all my fault. I'm an alien. I'm from Krypton."

"What?" asked Lex slowly.

"I'm so sorry."

"No, 'what' was a poorly phrased response. I meant to ask 'what the fuck'?" Lex sounded cold.

"I can't… I was three, I didn't choose to come here or want any of this. I didn't want to tell you because it's dangerous for you to know, people could hurt you or-"

"Clark, how the hell do you think anyone could blame you for that? The meteors would have come with or without you."

"What?" Clark couldn't figure out what Lex meant.

"A meteor shower of that magnitude had to have been the detritus of a planet. That was the result of an explosion. Krypton must have exploded."

"Really?" asked Clark because he'd never thought of that.

"What did you think happened?"

"I figured that… well maybe there were too many kids, or that my people weren't like me."

"You thought you were sent away?" Lex sounded horrified.

"Well, what if I wasn't normal even there? What if I wasn't right?"

Shaking his head angrily Lex said, "No. Whether or not you were like everyone else that wasn't what happened. There was a blast. Krypton is gone. Someone wanted you to live." He ran a hand down Clark's face. "So, even if you hadn't been there we still would have been hit with the blast. It's not your fault. That's like blaming a fish on the shore for the tsunami that brought it there. You were a child; someone had the forethought to save you. You can't be blamed for any of it."

"I'm an alien." Clark was hoarse and quiet.

"I got that," Lex nodded. The disbelief must have been obvious because Lex said, "You're just you, Clark, you don't have weird tentacles, you don't secretly eat brains. No matter what powers you have, what you are biologically, you are still a kind, well raised, kid from Kansas." Lex took Clark's arms and pulled him towards the table. Pushing him into a chair he said

"How," Clark stumbled over his words. "You knew. You knew."

"What makes you think that?" Lex had the decency to at least fake being confused.

"When I was fifteen you hit me with a car and my parents told me the truth and I nearly lost my mind. After lying to you for over a year, you act like it's nothing?" Clark shook his head.

"I had suspicions and then… with all that happened with Rachel Dunleavy, I looked into it. You were adopted two days after the shower through a company that didn't exist?" Lex smirked, "It did come to mind. I didn't know about all of your abilities, though I did hit you with a car."

"You aren't mad?"

Lex studied him and then said, "Call your parents." He stood and grabbed the phone off the counter. He handed it over and Clark just held it.

"What? Are you crazy?" Clark examined Lex's face as though the other man had truly lost him mind.

"They must be scared witless that your even here. Their alien son is with the mad-scientist Luthor. Clark, you can't lie so they must have some idea what's going on here. Call them, tell them that you told me, that we're okay, and that I have no designs on dissecting you." He stood and started to dish out plates of the food Clark had been cooking.

"I can't," Clark said.

"Why not?"

"I'm naked, Lex."

"They can't see you, Clark."

"Let me put on pants." He stood and then blurred out of the room returning only moments later as Lex laughed. Clark smiled as he stopped and came into focus, "I needed to hear that noise."

"They love you, they must be frightened, and you haven't done anything wrong. Call them." There were pancakes, bacon, and omelets and Lex poured them juice while Clark steeled his nerve, sat down, and dialed home.

Lex pulled out utensils as Clark said, "Hi, Mom."

Her voice bubbled into his ear, never failing to make him feel more at ease, "Clark, how are you? How was the opera? What time are you coming home?"

"It's was great. We went out to dinner with Lex's friend Bruce who was really cool. And the play was amazing. We'll be home later."

"Clark, is everything okay? You sound upset."

"No, everything's fine. I just -I told Lex- and he thought I should tell you. Because he said that you would be worried and that I should just tell you." Lex leaned over him to place a plate in front of Clark.

"Told him what exactly?" Martha's words were slow as though she were wishing that she misunderstood.

"The truth."

"Clark," one word had never been spoken with so much longing. Clark knew his mom wanted him at home so she could hug him, and shout at him, and hug him some more.

"I couldn't lie anymore, not after that Dunleavy woman nearly killed him. I wanted him to know the truth."


"I trust Lex and I know he's strong enough to handle it. He's not going to hurt me."

"I know, honey, I know it's just… it's frightening, he's your friend but it's still frightening, this isn't like Pete knowing."

"Mom, you're right. It isn't like that. You know why I had to tell Lex." The tone was so earnest Lex stopped pretending to care about food and instead crouched down in front of his lover. He took hold of Clark's free hand and just looked him in the eye. He could only hear what Clark was saying. But even without knowing or hearing what Martha would say Lex waited for the response.

"I know," Martha agreed.

"Are you mad?" asked Clark softly.

"No, of course not. You're dad won't be either but we do need to talk about this, Clark."

"I know, Lex and I are about to have breakfast but I can run home." He could hear his mother's shaky breath. "He knows, Mom, I couldn't do it."

In his mind's eye Clark could see her nod, "It's alright, Clark, I understand. We never meant to force you to lie; we wanted our son to be safe. You stay for breakfast, take your time. But I do want you to run home afterward. Can Lex come to dinner?"

"Is Dad going to shoot Lex?"

"No, I promise. He won't be mad."

Turning to Lex he asked, "Dinner?"

"Ask what I can bring," replied Lex.

"And tell him he's not allowed to bring anything. He's not an unwanted guest."

"Okay, I'll see you soon."

"Bye, Clark. Love you."

"Love you too, Mom." He hung up. He picked up his fork, dug into his breakfast, and said, "You have to come to dinner. Mom promises Dad won't shoot you."

"That's very good of her," he replied and leaned in towards Clark. The boy didn't look up from his plate. Lex pulled Clark's chair out from the table. Clark looked down at his hands and Lex asked, "Are you okay?"

"She's not mad; she said Dad wouldn't be either."

"That doesn't answer the question."

"But that's good, right?"

"Yeah. So, why won't you look at me?" asked Lex.

Clark looked up and nearly whispered, "I'm an alien, Lex, I'm a goddamn alien… it's not okay."

Lex nodded, Clark saw a muscle clench in the other boy's jaw. "You called your parents, that buys us an extra hour, I know you worked hard on this breakfast but I'd rather taste you." He picked Clark up off the chair.

"You're strong," observed Clark as Lex carried him towards the bedroom.

"I lost my hair, my asthma, and a lot of my physical weakness. I'm not saying I would be alright if you hit me with a Porsche but I can carry my boy to bed."

"Yours?" asked Clark nearly laughing as he wrapped his hands around Lex's neck. He wondered if everyone he'd ever carried who was conscious had felt foolish. Then again, most people he carried couldn't walk at the time.

"Just as I'm yours," said Lex, "for as long as you'll have me."

Clark claimed Lex's mouth and found himself dropped on the bed. "Get those pants off," said Lex as he crawled up next to Clark, attacking the drawstring.

Lex took Clark's mouth and Clark could feel the possessiveness there. It felt good. He was quickly naked and beneath Lex, moving happily against him. "Love you," gasped Clark.

Lex paused above him, "I love you too, Clark, now shush, need to worship my alien farmboy." Clark started to laugh and Lex rolled his eyes, "Lots of people would love to be worshipped by me." Instead of responding Clark pulled Lex down to kiss him. He ran his hands down Lex's back and arched against him. Lex wound his fingers into Clark's hair, massaging his scalp.

Rubbing against each other they kissed, panted, and sweat, and Clark couldn't think of anything much more sexy. Clark gasped, "Thank you."

"What?" Lex asked, short of breath, so close.

"For this, for letting it be normal."

"Clark," Lex came with a gasp. He reached down to stroke the other boy to completion. And then he brought his hand up to his mouth to lick Clark's seed away. "I really knew for a long time. I was just waiting for you to trust me. Didn't want to make you worry, or scared, or angry."

"Well then, thank you for the time to do it." He came as Lex kissed him again.

"Always welcome," replied Lex. He blinked slowly and said, "We need to shower, I can't send you home reeking." He kissed him, took Clark's hands, and went to move out of bed. "Clark, we're floating." His fingers tightened. "We're floating."

Clark looked around, realized they were three feet above the bed, and said, "Huh."

"Huh?" repeated Lex.

"This has never happened to me when I was awake. Sometimes I wake up floating after really dirty dreams but-"

"How many of your powers are sex related?" asked Lex with an amused smirk. They slowly drifted down towards the bed.

"Just two. But sometimes I break stuff 'cause, super strength and lust don't mix well."

Lex smiled as Clark's back hit the mattress and dragged him upward. "Sadly all that food you cooked has gone cold and reheated breakfast food is never as good. We'll stop at Corrinies' for breakfast. They have the world's best stuffed French toast." He turned the water on as they entered the bathroom and asked, "Can you run faster than the Lamborghini?"

"Much," said Clark.

"So you run home, and I'll follow you as quickly as possible. You call me if you need. I'll pull off the road if I'm driving, okay?" Clark nodded and then Lex pulled him under the warm spray. "Are you alright?"

Clark nodded, "I'm better than alright, Lex, I'm good." Lex reached up to run his fingers through Clark's hair and reached for the shampoo. "Lex, um," Clark paused, unsure of how to ask his question.

"I like it more than body wash. Stay still."

Clark leaned into the hands and moaned, "That feels really good. Do you do this a lot?"

Lex shook his head, he spoke softly as he said, "No, I don't shower with people. I don't like being wet, naked, and unarmed while alone, add someone else in? I used to wash Bruce's hair, in the dorm sinks. He refused to cut it yet still continued to drink until he vomited. By the end of any given weekend he'd be puking drunk with bile matted hair."

"That's disgusting."

"That's having a brother."

"Well in that case I'm really glad Rachel Dunleavy was wrong."

"It would make the impending conversation with your parents much worse."

"I can't get drunk, so you won't have to wash puke out of my hair."

"So liquor, guns, fire, is there anything that can hurt you?" Clark froze under his hands.

"Those all hurt but… as for damage…"

"You don't need to tell me."

"It could place you in danger."

"Or it could protect you." Clark thought about it for a moment.

"Kryptonite, the meteors, they hurt me. I don't know why as they're from Krypton and so am I but… The green makes me feel like I'm dying, the red makes me stupid, I lack any sort of conscience, I do whatever I want. It's awful."

"The meteorites?" repeated Lex. "I have a ton of that. I need to get rid of it. None of it has proven stable enough to be valuable in medical research. The FDA would never approve of any study that used it and the more radical studies have failed spectacularly. Can I bury it? Or is there some way to neutralize it?"

"If you heat it up really high it goes black or clear, those don't hurt me."

"What about the red? Silver? Blue?"

"I don't know how to neutralize those. They're rarer."

Lex nodded and turned off the water. He opened the shower door and reached for a white fluffy towel that he wrapped around Clark. He reached for his cell phone on the counter and called one of his many minions working on a Sunday. When the man picked up Lex said, "David, it's me. I'm sick of the medical tests with the meteors, they're failing, costly, and inefficient. I recently discovered that if you heat the rocks they changing color. I'm sick of the green, it makes me angrier every time I see them. So super heat all of it until it's clear."

Clark could hear the man splutter, "It will change the rocks properties."

"Considering that the rocks have yet to prove that they have any use maybe it will be an improvement."

"Sir, you have over a ton and a half of it."

"And I want it all super heated to clear. The projects have all been unsuccessful and I want to be rid of the reminder."

"Then consider it done," said the man.

"Call me when it's finished," replied Lex and hung up. Turning to Clark he said, "A ton and a half of it will be destroyed as soon as they can get the furnaces hot enough." Clark was in his arms so fast Lex hadn't seen him move and he was being kissed slowly and thoroughly and when Clark released him for air he asked, "What was that?"

Shaking his head Clark said, "You are amazing."

"I know," agreed Lex sarcastically. Clark rolled his eyes and Lex smiled, "Let's get dressed." Clark super speeded into clothes and then sat on the bed watching Lex. "Now you're just showing off," Lex laughed and pulled on his pants.

The drive over to the restaurant was quick and Clark found a pop station that made Lex groan, Clark bopped about in his seat. Inside they ordered a huge stack of stuffed French toast which they just worked through. The staff at the restaurant came over and said hello, touched Lex casually, referred to him as Alexander. And when Lex saw the surprised look on Clark's face he said, "My mom and I used to come here every Sunday morning; I kept coming here until I was banished to Smallville." Lex asked for the bill which failed to come.

A man came instead and sat down without asking, "Alexander, I need help with my taxes. I have a tax guy but… Do you have any time within the month?"

"Next Thursday? I'll be in for a meeting in the afternoon but I can stay for the evening."

"Excellent. I'll cook, and Alex, you know you don't have a bill." He smiled at Clark and said, "I'm Markus Corrinie."

"This is Clark Kent, we really enjoyed breakfast, as always, but Clark needs to get home."

"Of course," agreed Markus and stood. And then he stage whispered to Clark, "You know he never brings anyone here… I lie, Bruce, he's brought Bruce but no one else."

Lex sighed loudly, "Thank you, Markus, see you Thursday." Clark laughed and stood with Lex.

Outside the restaurant they walked to the car, "You nearly blushed back there," said Clark.

"I don't blush."

"I said nearly," Clark nudged against Lex's side. Looking around the area he said, "I'll run. And if nothing goes wrong I'll see you at six ish?"

Lex nodded and kissed his mouth. "See you soon." Then he was nothing but a blur and Lex smiled as he climbed into the car. He sort of wanted to race but he thought it was pointless. He still put his foot down wanting to be home as soon as possible. Fifteen minutes into the drive he heard his phone ring. He pulled over, after all he'd promised Clark he would, and answered.


"Lex, I hope you aren't trying to race me. I'm home."

"I'm forty-five miles in."

Lex could practically hear Clark's eye roll. "Please don't kill yourself."

"I pulled over to answer."

"Okay, I will see you later."

"I love you, too, Clark."

"Good," said Clark and he hung up. Lex laughed and pulled back onto road going from zero to a hundred and ten in under fifteen seconds.

Martha walked into the kitchen as Clark hung up. "How was Metropolis?"

"It was good. We watched some horror movies, ate good pizza, got his apartment cleaned for spyware, had Vietnamese food, we met Bruce, the opera was amazing. So yeah, good weekend."

"Clark, are you being glib?"

"I'm not sure. What does glib mean?"

"It means funny in a superficial way; overly comfortable."

"Oh, because I skipped the whole 'told Lex I love him and that I'm an alien from Krypton' bit? No." Martha opened her mouth to argue but Clark said, "That wasn't good, Mom, it was great. I told Lex I liked him and he said wonderful and I said I was an alien and he said that he sort of already knew and that it was cool of me to tell him."

Martha nodded. "But you didn't talk to us about it."

"I knew what you would have said. Well," he paused, "I knew what Dad would have said and I didn't really want to hear it. I couldn't keep that secret from Lex any longer. I couldn't not tell him. Maybe if he'd laughed at me, or thrown me out, when I said I liked him, maybe I could have kept it from him. But even then… he's been in danger so many times because of me and at times I could have helped him if he'd known."

"Clark," Martha started slowly. Clark nodded and went to the fridge for milk. He thought about getting a glass but that seemed too formal instead he drank from the jug. "Clark!" Martha got a glass and handed it to Clark with an eye roll.

Clark watched the glass as he poured instead of looking at his mother. "Is Dad really angry?"

"No. Just worried."

"About me telling Lex or for being with a guy?"

"Your father and I have accepted everything different about you in our stride. Being gay-"

"Mom!" Clark could feel his blush rising.

"Liking Lex, is a lot more easily understood than heat vision." She started to laugh at her own words. She smiled at him. "We had the talk right?"

Clark could feel his blush getting darker. "Yes." His dad had stammered his way through telling Clark to use condoms because, even though he couldn't get sick, he could probably get someone in trouble. His mom had told him to always respect himself and his partner. Realizing that she was taking it all too well he asked, "Did you know?"

Martha smiled. "Observant parents don't miss much and when you're son is a teenaged alien you tend to pay close attention."

"Did Dad know?"

"It's why he's never really warmed to Lex. First he hits you with a car, buys you a flashy truck seemingly to get close to you, and then you fell for one of the most dangerous and powerful men in America."

"I should go talk to him, shouldn't I?"

"He's out doing your chores."

"Then I should definitely go talk to him." He placed his empty milk glass in the sink before running, at human speed, into the fields. "Hi, Dad." He said reaching for a shovel next to his father's feet and started turning the soil along with his father.

"Son, what was the opera like?"

"It was so cool, they had this little screen that translated the words for you, and the people had amazing lungs."

"I went once when I was in college. They didn't translate it for you I couldn't understand any of it. I spent the whole time folding the playbill."

"That's what Bruce did. He made swans and stuff."

Jonathan laughed, "Bruce?"

"A friend of Lex's," he didn't mention that he was Bruce Wayne, Clark thought his dad might not like that. "They went to school together. We met for dinner and sat together. He was nice. A bit glib," he felt proud of his new word, "but cool." His dad nodded and they lapsed into silence. "Are you mad?"

"No… if you'd talked to me I would have told you not to tell him, and you would have been mad, and told him, and we'd be here now. I would have liked it if you'd talked to your mother and me but… we'd be here now."

Clark nodded, "But, about Lex…" he didn't know how to say it.

Jonathan swallowed and grimaced slightly, "Clark, you're my son. I want grandkids but you're an alien, that might not even be possible, and I'd rather you be happy. And this is the Midwest but it's not as though someone can beat you up. I'd be a lot happier if you just found a nice girl but you care about Lex. I'd rather it was Pete but you don't have a choice. Maybe everyone on your planet is… gay, maybe not, it doesn't matter. You're my son and I've never been anything but proud of you. As long as Lex doesn't start getting out his chemistry set I'm not going to start anything with him. You haven't-" Jonathan blushed and Clark would have laughed if he wasn't so embarrassed.

"No, I'm sixteen. I'm not really ready yet. And Lex, he's older -twenty-two- but it's important to him too, you know?"

Jonathan nodded, "Just make sure you're ready when you do." Clark nodded.

"Dad," he wanted to reassure his father that telling Lex wasn't a mistake. "When I told Lex about kryptonite he called someone and had them super heat over a ton of it he'd been using for medical research. He said that the research wasn't useful but he did it for me. He got rid of it because it hurt me."

Jonathan smiled, "Good man," he said, then looked around the fields. "I've done all the chores, let's go back to the house."

"All of them?" asked Clark, shocked.

"It's been a stressful weekend. You were off with a mad scientist."

"That's what Lex said, that's why he had me call, he said you were worried enough without keeping it from you. He said you needed to know that I'd told him and he wasn't going to do some awful experiment."

Jonathan smiled, "I get it Clark: he's not a bad guy."

They walked back to the house talking about what was wrong with the John Deere tractor. In the kitchen Martha made them a snack and discussed what they should have for dinner. Afterwards Clark went up to the fortress of solitude and did his homework. Once he was done he saw that there was only a half hour until Lex was supposed to arrive. He thought irritating his mother in the kitchen might be better than pacing alone.

Martha was making chicken and dumplings. "Clark, honey, would you make the salad?"

All of the vegetables were laid out on the counter and he started the wash the lettuce. "Chicken and dumplings is Lex's favorite."

"I know," Martha said, "I figure he must feel like he's willingly going to the Inquisition. The least I can do if give him comfort food." Clark laughed, easily and happy. "Plus, I know he's Lex Luthor, but he doesn't get much home cooking. It's all high culture cuisine at Luthor manor." She wrapped her arm around Clark's waist, stole a piece of carrot off the cutting board, and kissed his cheek. "Good boy," she said almost absently. "So what was Bruce like?"

"Cool, he is henpecked by his butler which was funny. He only went to the opera because Alfred bought him the tickets."

"Alfred? Was it Bruce Wayne?"

"How did you know?"

"Well it's no wonder that he doesn't like opera, his parents were shot outside of Gotham Opera house. He was raised by Alfred Pennyworth, his butler. He's a strange boy. I met him once at a ball in Metropolis the summer before I met your father, before his parents died, he was only about five."

"But he and Lex were roommates in highschool."

"Bruce missed a lot of school when he was a kid, gradated two years late and Lex graduated three years early. They both went to Princeton."

"Lex said he's Batman."

"Well that would explain why Batman stopped three muggings in Metropolis last night."

Clark laughed, "He told me after I told him about my abilities. Said that if I ever get into the superhero business Bruce would help me."

Martha sighed, "Heaven forbid. How long has Lex known about Bruce?"

"Three years, hasn't told anyone, he said that he knew Bruce wouldn't be mad at him for telling me."

"Well, that's a good sign. He and Bruce had a well known falling out two years ago, he wouldn't have anything to do with any Luthor Corp. deals with Wayne Industries. And Lex didn't go to the press. Although, even without the proof of his silence, Lex isn't the type to speak out."

Clark finished cutting everything and threw it into the salad bowl. There was a knock at the door and Martha laughed at the way he perked up as she called, "Come in."

Lex opened the door, still wiping his feet. "Hi, Mrs. Kent, Clark, I hope I'm not too early."

"Not at all, Lex, Clark just finished the salad, the rest needs a few more minutes."

"It all smells amazing, is that chicken and dumplings?"

"Your favorite," replied Martha.

He smiled, genuinely, and held out a bag. "I know you said not to bring anything but I couldn't resist."

"Lex," she said in rebuke but accepted the bag. Inside there were boxed tulip buds. The pictures on the box were in vibrant colors. "Wow," she said.

"I know you like tulips and these are amazing. The photos don't do them justice. We got them for the garden; some woman in Australia bred them. I saw them at a flower show in Gotham and tracked her down on the internet."

"These are beautiful, thank you."

"You're welcome, is there anything I can do to help with dinner?"

"No, grab a drink and make yourself comfortable." Lex poured himself a glass of iced tea for the fridge and straightened up as Jonathan came in.

"I hate that Deere tractor, nothing I do to the engine will get it to run and it's warranty usefully expired two days ago. Clark, I might need you to go stomp on it to show it who is boss."

"How is turning it into slag going to help?"

"It won't but we will have won. Hello, Lex," he said going to the sink to wash his hands.

"Mr. Kent," responded Lex. "It's good to see you."

"You too, Lex. Did you enjoy the opera?"

"I think poor Bruce is the only one who really suffers through it. I thought it was fantastic. They've changed the girl who played Carmen since the last time I saw it and I think it was for the best."

Clark and Lex set the table and over dinner they didn't talk about Clark's alien gayness, instead they spoke of business, the economy, who would do a good job as president, the weather, if Clark would actually like psychology which was being offered next term, and how the harvest would go. It was pleasant.

Over peaches and angel food cake Jonathan finally said, "Now, Lex, I don't need to tell you how important the secret you know is. Clark told me that you got rid of all your kryptonite."

"Yes, sir. And now that it's clear, it's some of the most faultless stone I've ever seen so I've asked to have it cut into a cheap alternative to CZs."

"And?" asked Jonathan.

"Anything that LexCorp does Luthor Corp does. My father wants me to be great but not greater than him. So he has a large store of kryptonite, anything that Luthor Corp does the rest of the industry does. When it hits the media that I've heated and cut the rock everyone else will. If Lex Luthor doesn't think a science experiment is viable people think it must not be. The best part is that the stone has faults until it is heated to clear. They can't sell it as fake emeralds, it has to be clarified to have a fiscal value. By this time next month all commercially owned green kryptonite will no longer be a problem. Everyone will think I'm a fool who is trying to save face and some money. But, small price."

"Nice," said Clark. Lex nodded, thinking that the one words pretty much summed it up.

Martha and Jonathan sat silently. Jonathan's jaw had actually dropped. Finally Martha said, "What about your research?"

"It was too volatile anyway, we'll just have to find other, safer means to reach the end goal. Clark's safety matters more to me than that. We can find other ways to fight diseases, it might be myopic of me, but Clark's health and well being are my top priority." He shrugged, as though apologizing for scrapping research on cancer and HIV in favor of Clark. As though the Kents would attack him, his shoulders slumped.

Martha stood and rounded the table. She wrapped her arms around Lex's shoulders and pulled him into a tight hug. She whispered something to him, Clark didn't listen, didn't want to invade on the moment. He heard Lex's clear laughter in response and saw his mother kisses pressed into Lex's cheek. "Thank you," she said, softly but clearly audible to human ears. "You want coffee? I'm going to make a pot."

"Sure," Lex nodded and sounded shaky. "Coffee."

Clark entwined their fingers beneath the table. Lex rubbed his thumb over the back of Clark's hand and squeezed gently. Jonathan cleared his throat and asked, "Lex, how much money are you losing on this?"

Shrugging Lex said, "A million maybe, but don't worry, it's not Lex Corp money, it was out of my own pocket. This won't affect Smallville at all."

"No, Lex, I'm worried about you."

"It won't be much in the long run. I can manage. The recoup will bring it down to eight hundred thousand." He moved his head in a "so that's okay" gesture. And then his eyes widened as though he realized that he had just told a farmer who was constantly facing foreclosure that eight hundred thousand wasn't much money.

"Good," said Jonathan he accepted a cup of coffee from his wife. He smiled, "I don't want this to hurt you."

"It'll be fine," said Lex also taking a cup from Martha. "Thank you, Mrs. Kent." He released Clark's hand and took a sip. Clark thought it was cool that Lex drank black coffee. Martha left Clark's own cup half empty so that he could add a ton of milk and sugar. They slipped back into easy conversation and finally Lex said, "I should go, it's almost late and we all have early mornings. Thanks you for a lovely evening, Mr. and Mrs. Kent."

"You're always welcome here, Lex," said Jonathan standing to shake his hand. Lex stood to take the offered hand. He hugged Martha and grabbed his coat.

"I'll walk you out," said Clark and he stood and opened the door.

The car was only out by the barn and Lex said, "Wow, thanks for walking me, I would have gotten lonely, lost, and hungry."

"I just wanted you alone for a moment." Clark backed Lex up against the car and kissed him slowly. "You were really amazing tonight." He kissed him again.

"Should we really be kissing when you're parents are almost certainly looking out the window? This doesn't really scream responsible adults who should be trusted with secrets."

"They know I'm not an adult and I think they're quickly realizing you aren't either. And I think they trust that more. Kids can be read; adults have motives. Plus, the strange tulips followed by losing money to protect me? They're not going to care about driveway kisses."

"I wasn't thinking about the money," said Lex.

"I know and they know, and I don't think they really understood that before tonight. No matter how hard they tried they saw your last name before they saw you. But you just lost a ton of money, Luthors don't lose tons of money for anything. Luthors don't do people's taxes for free meals."

"Were you eating the same stuffed toast I was? You haven't had dinner there yet."

"Lex, don't be glib."

"Is that a new word?"

"I learned it today."

"Good for you." Lex leaned in to kiss Clark. He wound his fingers into Clark's hair and as they broke apart Lex said, "Come over after you finish your chores tomorrow?"

Clark nodded and kissed Lex one last time, "I'll see you tomorrow."

Lex slid into his car and pulled out of the drive. Walking back into the kitchen Clark saw that his mother was smiling while his father was furiously reading the newspaper. "Were you really looking out the window?"

"We just wanted to make sure Lex got to his car."

"He was going to get lost and die from exposure?"

"Lex lost eight hundred thousand dollars today and acted like it was pocket change." Jonathan never looked up from the paper.

"Is this a Luthors are so rich they don't even care about losing money speech?" asked Clark. "Because, I get it, but I might want to go to bed."

"No, but that's not coins, even to Lex. It really proves his mettle."

"Dad, Lex cares more about people than money he always has."

Jonathan nodded. "All kidding aside, it's getting late, I think we should all turn in." Clark nodded, kissed his mother, hugged his father, and went upstairs.

In bed he stared up at the ceiling for about an hour. Clark couldn't get comfortable. He felt himself start to float and drift until he was bumping against the glass of his window. He could see the lights of Luthor manor away in the distance. Lex was still awake and he hit the glass harder. "I get it," he muttered. "If you let me down, I'll go see him." He hit the floor with a thud and said, "Great, my alien powers want me to sneak in to see Lex." He stood and pulled on a light coat, toed on his shoes and walked, as quietly as possible, out through the house. Once outside he ran as fast as he could to Lex's and was slipping into a bed bigger than his own in only seconds. The light had been off for less than a second so he knew Lex wasn't asleep.

Lex had a gun to his head almost as quickly as Clark could have done it, if Clark used a gun, which he wouldn't. Guns are bad. Guns can kill people. Guns are only okay if you need to hunt to eat, or, like, there's a horse that needs shooting. Or old Yeller. You can shoot a rabid dog, but Clark thinks that's really sad and that they should get a cure for rabies in pets. Maybe if Lex hadn't gotten rid of his kryptonite there could have been one. "Clark? What the hell are you- I could have shot you… again." Lex pulled the gun back as though he had been burned.

"The light was on."

"You were supposed to come over after chores. Not at lights out."

"I couldn't sleep and then I floated at the window so I took the hint."

"At the window?"

"Yeah, I sort of slammed into it a few times. When I decided to come I fell."

"You're powers really are all sex related, aren't they?"

"Yeah, maybe. Can I stay here?"

"You're dad will shoot me and ground you."

"I'll get home before they're awake. Please, Lex, please?"

"You know that I can't say no to you." Lex pulled the covers up, kissed Clark chastely, wrapped an arm around his waist, and said, "Go to sleep, it's late, and I have a hostile takeover to mastermind it the morning, no funny business."

"You think I'm funny?"

"Riotous, Clark. Go to sleep."

"Love you," whispered Clark, he got comfy as Lex sort of pulled Clark on top of him. Clark almost laughed. But it felt good. Clark slept on his stomach, Lex slept on his back; together they made a snug sandwich.

Clark was asleep before Lex's mumbled, "You too, Clark."

He woke up at four forty-five, his farmboy internal clock knew it was a Monday, and left bed. He wanted to kiss Lex but knew it would wake him. Lex slept light, years of worry and paranoia taking their toll. He ran as fast as he could to the farm, slid upstairs, and was dressed before his parents stirred. He was in the kitchen eating Pop Tarts when his mother came down stairs.

She smiled and then said, "I love this old house. It makes me happy to know that so many Kents have lived here. I love the noises, the creaky stairs. How's Lex?"

"I couldn't sleep."

"You shouldn't be sleeping over there. People could get the wrong impression. Lex needs to maintain his image."

"Until a year and a half ago his image was a clubbing druggy."

"Well since he came here he's been nearly unimpeachable. And it would be awful-"

"We didn't do anything but sleep."

"Do you think the people of Smallville will believe that? You're only sixteen."

"According to the adoption papers, who knows how old I really was when you and Dad found me? Maybe I'm eighteen. Maybe I'm thirty and the ship slowed down my aging."

"Clark," his mother sounded frustrated and Clark felt bad.

"No one saw me, I made sure. I know Lex could get in trouble. I just… I started floating and my body threw me against the window until I said I'd go to Lex."

"You're blaming your powers?"

"Yeah." He finished his fourth Pop Tart.

"Did you think that maybe it was your subconscious giving you an excuse?"

"Not until you just said it like that," Clark felt defensive now. "It's not like we… y'know. We just slept."

"Clark this isn't about sex. This is about my son sleeping at his boyfriend's house on a school night."

"So weekends and holidays?" Clark laughed dryly. "I have to go feed the cattle and go to school. I'll see you later, Mom." Out in the barn he quickly fed the cattle and then led them out into one of the fields. He waved to his dad and then super speeded to school. He couldn't pay attention in class and during free period he checked his email and saw a message from Lex that just read, "You didn't say goodbye."

He responded with, "You still had a half hour to sleep. I wasn't ruining that. I'll see you at four ish."

Feeling better he went back to classes and was almost able to concentrate. In English class he rambled about emotions as a plot device and how sorrow in Tess of the D'Urbervilles is more than just the baby's name. Everyone sort of laughed and Clark took that at a good sign. Gym and math flew by and, no matter what anyone says, the small fire in the chem. lab wasn't Clark's fault. Chloe commented that he was in better spirits than he had been for weeks. He had almost forgiven her for the whole Rachel Dunleavy thing. So he laughed and said that he and Lex had had a really awesome weekend.

After school he super speeded home and through his chores and was done shortly before three thirty. He considered going to Lex's early but then he thought that Lex might need the time to actually finish up his work. So instead he went up to the fortress of solitude for a short nap. He flopped down on the couch and thought, "Just ten minutes."

When his eyes next opened he took in two facts. The sky was dark and there was an arm around his waist. He considered running, screaming, and going to Lex to be comforted until he looked down and saw the thin, long, elegant pale fingers and relaxed.

"You okay?" asked Lex.

"Better than that," he echoed Lex's words from Saturday morning. "Did I over sleep?"

"Well what time were you aiming for?"

"About four o'clock."

"Then yes, by about two hours."

"Did I scare you?"

Lex gave a half nod, "I became concerned that you had been attacked by some kryptonite charged mutant and came over."

"That sounds at least half sarcastic."

"I upped the gaiety to cover that I was two thirds serious."

"When did you get here?"

"Four thirty. I saw you here and decided to climb in with you."

"Did you sleep at all?"

"For about an hour actually. This couch is doing wonders for my back," He arched a little. "My posture is going to be fantastic tomorrow."

Clark snorted at the very idea of Lex standing straighter than he already did. He rolled over, which was difficult in respect to the couch's size, and said, "Mom told me you had a falling out with Bruce."

Understanding without any question Lex replied. "He was miserable and I couldn't understand why he did so much for the world when it hurt him so badly. I told him that he needed to readjust his priorities. I couldn't just blame the Bat because I wasn't supposed to know. But I said that if his life was making him so miserable maybe he needed to reevaluate.

"He told me to go fuck myself, that I had no vision, said I should go get wasted, screw a bimbo, and kill myself for all the difference I made in the world… it was sort of what led me to do a few choicer and stupider things that landed me in exile to Smallville.

"So I might well owe him a thank you card. But he called me just after the car accident to apologize, said he was wrong, I'm not sure he was. In a way, I think I needed someone to point it out to me what a fool I was, and I needed to do all those stupid things before I went mad. But when he called I told him I'd seen him on the news and he looked 'pretty fuckin' morose'. He laughed, said he was, but he was but that he was working on it. And after that I didn't bring it up."

"Don't worry, once I start wearing briefs over tights and you get good with the lasso we'll cheer him up."

Lex laughed and pulled Clark closer for a kiss.

"Boys?" Martha's voice called up the stairs. "Dinner's almost ready. Lex, I hope you'll stay. It's roast beef."

Lex smiled into Clark's clavicle and called back, "I'd love to, thank you, Mrs. Kent." He slid out from behind Clark with feline grace and offered his lover a hand.

Clark laughed as Lex hauled him onto his feet and said, "I'm glad it's you."

"Me too," agreed Lex.

The End... but stay tuned