Title: Honesty -- Chapter 1, The Kidnapping
Author: PepperjackCandy
Archive : Smallville Slash Archive (http://smallville.slashdom.com/), my writing at fanfiction.net
Rating: R for this chapter only, for language
Pairing: Clark/Lex
Category: First Time to Established Relationship
Spoilers for: Nothing.

Feedback: Always welcome, either by e-mail or using the review system at fanfiction.net.

Disclaimer: I own nothing Smallville-related, nor do I own any real estate in Chicago, much less the John Hancock Center, or any of the businesses or apartments located therein.

Author's Note: While writing Chapter 3, I finally came up with an overarching title for this whole thing. I have a tendency to "fongsic" things, which, of course, is a songfic turned inside-out -- after I've written some of a story, the song that it fits occurs to me, and I title the fic accordingly. In this case, the title is an old Billy Joel tune, called "Honesty." If anyone can tell me where to find a good audio file (wav, real audio, whatever) of the song, please leave me a review telling me. Until then, you can find the lyrics here: http://home.allgaeu.org/anvogler/alben/52nd_street.htm#2

I live in Texas now, but I'm a Chicago girl born and bred, so I guess "Lex" has ulterior motives for choosing Chicago. ;-) Also, I used to work in the Sears Tower, so I'm "borrowing" their elevator system for the John Hancock Center. The John Hancock Center has a real restaurant on the 95th Floor called the Signature Room. I'm borrowing some things about the restaurant, but not others. And the apartments and swimming pool are very real. You can read all about them here: http://members.aol.com/earlrealtr/

I've been a comic book reader since I was eight (which is longer ago than I really care to think about when writing about a show geared for teenagers) and have been loyally reading Superman comics since 1993 (the Return of Superman story arc won me over, for anyone curious about why 1993). I totally 'ship Clark/Lois in canon, but something about the Smallville Clark/Lex pairing just gets me, you know? Anyway, just wanted to let the nitpickers among us know that where I've diverged from DCU canon (and it'll be pretty darn obvious when you get there just where I've diverged), I'm fully aware of the fact.

Finally, I don't normally use language like this in my writing, but since I'm starting post-coitally, which is also OOC for me, what the hell . . .

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Stretching languorously, like a cat, Lex turned over and rested his chin on Clark's chest. "I've never done that before."

"What? Seduced a sixteen year old virgin?" Clark laughed, only to notice that Lex didn't seem to share his laughter.

"Actually, I was talking about the way you . . . reciprocated."

"Why so tongue-tied, Lex? After what we just did, I figured . . ."

"That I'd be able to perform a dispassionate post-mortem on it? Hardly." Lex laughed shortly. "It's just that my father's teachings were so deeply ingrained in me that I've never let myself be . . . taken like that."

Suddenly, Clark was all concern. "Oh? Did I . . . I mean, was that . . . ?"

"No, of course not, Clark. I wanted it. It was just a new experience for me. It felt . . . "

"Natural." They both said simultaneously.

Lex nodded, his chin digging harder into Clark's chest as he did so. "It's the damnedest thing I've ever experienced. In a good way, of course."

Lex pulled himself upwards in the bed they shared to kiss Clark quickly on the lips. "We'd better get you home, though." He said. "Your folks'll be wondering if I've kidnapped you. Not that I wouldn't love to kidnap you sometime," he added seductively.

Clark felt himself begin to respond. "Oh, really?"

"Yes." Kiss. "But that's." Kiss. "For another time." Long, lingering kiss. "Now go take a shower and put your clothes on."

Lex watched his new lover stand and admired the view as he walked into the bathroom off the master bedroom, thinking that he could watch that body forever and never tire of it. But once Clark was safely tucked in the bathroom, and he could hear the shower running, Lex began the dispassionate post-mortem that Clark had seemed to expect him to have conducted while wrapped around Clark's warm body.

My father would just shit if he saw us together, like that. What was it dear old dad told me? Always be one who does the fucking, not the one who gets fucked? He thought of the now not-so-innocent farm boy in the shower and immediately felt warmth flow through his body and, strangely, his heart, as well. And boy, am I ever fucked.

Lex stood and began to clean up the detritus of their lovemaking - folding his clothes and placing them on his dresser, scooping up a bit of whipped cream and a half-eaten strawberry, picking up . . ."Fuck!"

"What is it, Lex?"

Lex jumped at the sound of Clark's voice. He turned and was greeted with the distinctly distracting sight of Clark with a towel wrapped around his hips. He couldn't help smiling as he said, "Always remember this, Clark. Never carry a condom around in your pocket for more than a couple of months. They don't age well." He held out the offending object, hopelessly split in two.

"It broke, huh?" Clark asked. "Was that yours or mine?"

Lex thought back through the haze of their evening of lovemaking. "Mine, I think. Let's see, after you were done, I . . ." He walked to the other side of the bed and picked up another discarded condom. "Here's yours." He said, his eyes twinkling as Clark began blushing furiously.

Lex kissed the embarrassment away then turned stern again. "Go. Put your clothes on. I'll drive you home."

Clark, sighing, did as his lover bade him.

They continued meeting, sometimes to talk, sometimes to make love, most often for both. But their time together was always limited by the close proximity of the Kent farm, and Lex, remembering his earlier threat -- or perhaps promise -- decided to do something about it.

One Friday in the early spring, as Clark came out of school, he was surprised to find Pete deeply engrossed in conversation with Lex. No good can come of this. Clark thought as he approached his best friend and his lover.

All he heard of their conversation was Lex's "Thank you, Pete."

And Pete's "No problem, Lex." In response.

"What was that about?" Clark asked as he watched Pete walk towards the bus.

"Get in the car. I'll tell you on the way there."

"On the way where?"

But all Clark got in response was a charming, enigmatic smile.

Soon, they were in Lex's car, heading towards the outskirts of town as fast as Lex could drive. "Lex? Where are you taking me?" Clark asked.

"Remember what I said, our first night together?"

Clark thought back those weeks. "About the condom?"

"No. About how much I'd love to kidnap you." Lex responded with a wicked grin.

A momentary terror slammed through Clark's body. "You're kidnapping me?"

His terror abated when Lex threw him a warm, flirtatious smile. "Only in the best possible way, of course." He pulled off the road and down a smaller, dirt path.

"Where are you taking me?"

But Lex was silent until they reached a barn that had been, apparently, turned into a makeshift hangar, judging from the small, two-seater airplane that was parked outside. As he pulled to a stop a safe distance from the plane, Lex grinned at him warmly and just before climbing out of the car, said one word. "Chicago."

Clark climbed out of the car and followed him, spluttering. "Chicago? Are you nuts?"

"Unless you don't want to spend the night on the town with me." Lex faux-pouted.

"You know that's not it at all. But . . my parents . . .!" Suddenly, he put two and two together. "That's what you were talking to Pete about, isn't it?"

Lex smiled. "You catch on quickly. He's covering for us. He'll call your folks and tell them that you're spending the night at his house "

"What did you do? Pay him off?"

"Of course not. But he knows that your parents wouldn't approve, even if this trip *is* vital to your European History grade."

"What?"

"Remember what you told me? Your paper? On France in the 1890s?"

"Yeah? What about it?"

"Well, I promise you, you'll be doing vital research for that paper. In addition to any other things we might get up to in the Windy City." Without another word, Lex headed for the plane, Clark hurrying to catch up.

"So you've decided to join me, then?" Lex asked.

"Lex. That was never in question. You know that." Clark admonished him gently.

"I know. But I'm glad you know that, too." Lex pulled Clark to him for a kiss. "Did you know that I used to be afraid to fly?"

Clark shook his head.

"But that ended six months ago. When you pulled me from the river and saved my life. Now, I'm not afraid of anything."

An hour later, their plane was spiraling towards a landing over Lake Michigan. Lex flawlessly landed the plane on a landing strip that bordered the lake. They stepped down from the plane and some faceless minion stepped forward to hangar it for them.

"Afraid to fly, huh?" Clark asked with humor. "I'd love to see how you'd pilot that thing if you *weren't* afraid to fly."

Lex shared Clark's laughter, kissing him again. "God, I love kissing you." He moaned into Clark's mouth. "And I'd give anything to be able to kiss you, whenever, wherever."

Clark pulled back. "You would?" He asked in a flattered tone.

They began to walk towards the terminal. "Of course I would. I . . ." Lex couldn't bring himself to follow that thought, too afraid of what he'd find there if he did. "can't get enough of you." He finished lamely. "Let's go. We've got dinner reservations."

"Reservations? I'm still in my school clothes." He looked down at his t-shirt and faded jeans, then over at Lex's khakis and t-shirt. "At least your clothes are black. You can at least pass for dressed up."

"Clark, Clark, Clark," Lex sighed. "You've got to learn that when you have enough money, you don't need to dress up to impress people. The cast of dead presidents in your pocket does that for you. But if you insist on changing, I'm sure my people can arrange something."

At the mention of Lex'speople, Clark's tune changed. "All right. I'll go dressed like this." Clark knew that he'd played right into Lex's hands by the self-satisfied grin on his lover's face.

"Shall we?" Lex asked as they exited the terminal, where a limousine waited by the curb.

They climbed into the limo, which pulled away from the curb without any direction from Lex. Clark wondered just how much planning Lex had to do for this little kidnapping. Finally, as they headed north on Michigan Avenue, Clark spoke. "Why Chicago, Lex? Why not Metropolis?"

Lex paused before answering. "Because my father owns Metropolis."

Somehow, Clark knew there was more to it than that. "You're ashamed of . . . us?"

"Of course not! Never, ever think that!"

Clark, surprised by Lex's vehemence, said, softly. "All right. Sorry."

Lex smiled at Clark sadly. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to yell at you. But. . . this thing between my father and me is a . . . long-standing issue."

He could tell that there were volumes that Lex didn't say, but Clark didn't push, hoping that Lex would share someday, of his own accord. Goodness knew there were enough things Clark was hiding from Lex.

They rode on in silence, Clark admiring the buildings and pricey shops of North Michigan Avenue, until the limo pulled to a stop in front of the John Hancock Center. "This is our first stop." Lex said with a smile as the driver came around to open the door for them.

"Our *first* stop?"

Lex grinned at Clark's surprise. "Well, we can't research your term paper on an empty stomach, can we?"

They stepped out onto the sidewalk, and Lex shamelessly took Clark's hand, leading his young lover into the skyscraper.

"I haven't been to Chicago in years, you know." Clark said as they approached the first bank of elevators.

Lex looked crestfallen. "I should have known that your folks would have taken you to Chicago before."

"Don't worry about it. My dad brought us here to see an old friend play football. He's with the Bears. Somehow I don't think a football game is on your agenda."

"I suspect you might be right on that score." Lex pressed the button for the elevator. Once the doors opened, they stepped inside.

"Why are there only three buttons in this elevator?" Clark asked.

Lex smiled. "It's an express. Once we get up to 66, we'll switch to a local elevator."

The doors slid shut and the elevator began accelerating up the shaft. Lex pulled Clark to him for a kiss. "You know," he said, as he broke the kiss, "if no one gets on at 33, we'll have the elevator to ourselves for a whole five minutes."

It was two minutes short of the old kissing game, but it was enough to tide them over.

The elevators opened on the 66th floor, and Lex led Clark to a second bank of elevators, where one door stood open. They climbed in and Lex pushed the button for the 95th floor. After another comparatively brief elevator ride, the elevator let them out in a restaurant totally unlike any Clark had ever been to before.

It wasn't odd, or unusual in any way, other than its unmistakable expensiveness. "Lex, are they going to charge me for the air I breathe in here?" He asked self-consciously.

Lex smiled at him. "Don't worry. You're with me. I've got . . . friends." He emphasized this last word curiously.

"What? You in with the Mob or something?"

"You've been watching too many movies, Clark." Lex responded with wry humor.

"Good evening, Mr. Luthor. Your table is ready." The maitre'd said as they reached his stand. He led them to a table by the westward-facing windows, affording them a view of the city skyline as the sun set behind it.

"I thought you'd like this view better than the eastward one. All you can see over there is the lake." Lex smiled at him. "And at lunch, you can see a beautiful view of the steel mills in Indiana from the south windows."

"Sounds charming." Clark said dubiously, hoping his lover was joking.

They sat and Clark opened his menu. "I don't have the faintest idea what half of this stuff is." He said as he scanned the menu.

"Well, first, what are you in the mood for? Red meat? Poultry? Fish?"

Clark could handle that level of questioning. "Um . . . red meat. Beef."

"There. That wasn't so bad." Lex smiled at him. "In that case, I'd suggest the veal."

"Veal." Clark nodded. He knew where veal came from, of course. Nice, safe, "er, Lex?"

"Yes?"

"What's salsify?"

"It's a root vegetable. Like a carrot. That tastes like an oyster."

"Oh." Clark had trouble wrapping his brain around that one. "I guess I'll try the veal, then."

"You won't be disappointed."

They placed their orders, and Lex, over Clark's objections, ordered a bottle of wine for them to split.

"But Lex, I'm only . . ."

"Are you driving tonight?" Lex asked.

"Of course not."

"Then why're you so worried? Here, have just a little sip." He poured a splash in the bottom of Clark's glass. "If you don't like it, you can get a Coke or whatever."

"Pepsi." Clark corrected quietly as he sipped the wine. "Mm. That's really good."

"So? Will you share this bottle of wine with me?"

Clark rolled his eyes humorously. "Yeah. You win."

"I almost always do." Lex's gray eyes twinkled at him as he filled Clark's glass.

Clark heard a baritone voice behind him, then. "Lex."

"Bruce! Great to see you again!" Lex stood to shake hands with the man, whom Clark still couldn't see.

"Bruce, this is Clark Kent." Clark turned in his seat and found himself gazing up at a young man about Lex's age, with wavy brown hair and a firm jaw.

"Clark, this is Bruce Wayne, of Wayne Enterprises."

It took his strongest force of will for Clark's jaw not to drop as he realized that the two young men chatting so amiably together could buy the entire state of Kansas, with enough left over for Missouri and Iowa.

"You in town long?" Bruce asked. "Or are you returning to . . . where was it, again?"

"Smallville, Kansas. We're just in town for the one night. Have to get back to the fertilizer plant."

"Oh. Because I'm having a little get-together at my place in Lake Forest. . . ."

"Sorry, Bruce, but we're going to be . . . busy tonight."

"Oh?" Bruce sounded intrigued. "Well, then have a . . . nice evening. Perhaps we can get together over the summer sometime. It was good to meet you, Mr. Kent."

Clark managed to choke out, "Likewise, Mr. Wayne."

Bruce returned to the buxom blonde he was dining with, and once he was safely away from the table, Clark leaned towards Lex. "Lex! You didn't tell me that you knew Bruce Wayne!"

"Oh? Didn't I?" Lex joked. "Actually, I did. You just weren't paying attention."

"When?"

"When I told you that I have friends in Chicago. Come on, Clark! Of course I meant Bruce Wayne. He owns Chicago just as surely as my father owns Metropolis."

"Why do I think there's a connection there you're not telling me about?"

"All in good time, my dear Clark. All in good time."

They sat, watching the night over Chicago deepen as they ate their dinner, then their dessert. Finally, the meal concluded, Lex handed his credit card to the waiter, and signed a bill for what must have been an obscene amount of money.

"You ready for our next stop?" Lex asked as he nodded across the room at Bruce Wayne.

"Sure. Where's that?"

Lex winked. "You'll find out when we get there."

The ride back down the ninety-five stories to the ground wasn't nearly as passionate as their ride up had been, since Clark plied Lex with questions about Bruce Wayne.

"So, what's up with you and him? He an old boyfriend or something?"

A cloud crossed Lex's face. "No. Just a friend. We went to prep school together."

"Oh. So why all the secrecy, then?"

Lex sighed. "I run here when I don't want my father to know what I'm doing, see? Chicagoans are very loyal to Bruce. They don't rat on Bruce's friends."

"So you don't want your father to know about us?"

Lex winced at the hurt tone in Clark's voice. "It's not that simple, Clark. Really, I'll tell you. I promise. Just not tonight. Let's just let tonight be about tonight. About us, all right?"

Clark couldn't deny something that Lex so clearly wanted so desperately. "All right." He said, relaxing when Lex favored him with one of his dazzling smiles.

The elevator released them on the ground floor, and they walked out onto the Michigan Avenue side of the building. "This way," Lex indicated the southward direction, taking Clark's hand in his.

The early spring evening still carried a bit of winter's bite, but their walk was pleasant enough, past the Water Tower, over the Michigan Avenue Bridge, until finally they came to a stop in front of the Art Institute.

"Here we are."

"What's this? The art museum?" Clark was confused.

"I promised we'd work on your paper, right?"

"Yeah."

"Well, if you want to do a paper on France in the 1890s, what better way than to meet some people who lived in France then? Or one person, in particular." Lex wiggled his eyebrows at Clark. "This museum has one of the best collections of paintings by Claude Monet outside of France. And tonight, we don't have to share old Claude, or Marc Chagall, or any of the other artists here, with anyone else but each other."

He led Clark up the steps and in through the front door.

"They left the doors unlocked?" Clark asked.

Lex shook his head. "No. They knew we were coming. They'll lock them behind us once we're in the museum."

"I've always thought that art museums were quiet, but . . ." Clark stopped speaking as his voice echoed through the stillness of the gallery.

"Thrilling, isn't it?" Lex asked. "I've always wanted to collect fine art, but," he shrugged, "I don't have enough people in my home to justify it. I much prefer it this way."

"You've done this before?"

"Once or twice."

"With . . .?" Clark forced himself to choke back the jealous question he was about to ask.

Lex, hearing the unspoken question clearly, turned and pulled Clark down to him for a firm kiss. "No. By myself. For my own term papers." He grinned and released his lover.

"I'm sorry."

"Don't be. I'm older than you, more . . . experienced. It's fair that you know whether I treat all of my wide array of past lovers this way, and I want you to know that I don't. You're special, Clark, and you're just going to have to learn to live with it." He kissed Clark again.

"Special, huh?" Clark asked.

"Unique." Lex confirmed with a sort nod and a dazzling smile. "And all the more precious because you don't realize it."

Lex's use of the word brought on unbidden thoughts. Oh, I know I'm unique. Clark thought. Who else single-handedly destroyed a small town, killed a friend's parents, damaged the boy destined to become the man he loves?

"Now you're quiet. What's the matter, Clark?"

Clark shook his head as if to clear it. "Nothing." He said with a wan smile, forestalling further questions by drawing Lex to him for another kiss.

They continued walking the museum, hand-in-hand, Lex pointing out some of his favorites, Clark asking about others. They got into a very spirited argument in the modern and contemporary art gallery about what constitutes art - Clark arguing that some of the more abstract works showed little actual talent, Lex arguing that since *he* wouldn't be capable of even the most minimalist of works, he held any and all works of art in awe.

They finally had to agree that they'd never see eye-to-eye on the issue and left the modern and contemporary gallery, taking refuge back on the lower floors among the Asian artwork.

They wandered through Chinese artwork, and Japanese artwork, Clark finally coming to a complete halt in front of an unassuming piece of Indian artwork purporting to be one of the Hindu gods "in ecstatic union" with a concubine. Clark looked at it closely, blushing when he realized that it truly was a statue of a god having sex with . . . someone.

"They take their sexuality very seriously in India." Lex told him solemnly. Then, adding with a wicked grin. "Come on, I'll show you something *really* arousing."

They walked, once again hand-in-hand, through the building, finally arriving at a lobby of some sort. "This is arousing?" Clark asked.

"No. This is." Lex opened one of the doors off the lobby, and led Clark inside. It was a perfectly serviceable room, with tall, floor-to-ceiling windows covered with blinds. Blackboards dominated the front of the room.

Clark wasn't sure what to say. "Er, well, I guess if you," he tilted his head to one side, hoping that he just was looking at the room the wrong way.

"It's the old Chicago Stock Exchange trading room? Isn't that sexy? No? I guess you have to be a Luthor to get worked up over something like this." Lex gave Clark a flirtatious smile.

Clark smiled back. "I guess you probably would. Why is the old Chicago Stock Exchange trading room in an art museum?"

Lex shrugged. "Dunno. It's just always been here, so far as I know. The entrance of the building's outside. We can look at it in the morning. It's pretty cool, if you like architecture and things. Actually, all of Chicago's pretty good for that sort of thing."

"You'll have to share it with me, then." Clark gave Lex a winsome smile as he walked closer. "Now, this," He kissed Lex passionately, "I think we'd both find sexy."

Lex's only response was, "Mmmm," as he gave himself up to his lover's kiss.

An hour later, they lay entwined on the floor of the trading room, still mostly-clothed. "You're right." Clark admitted as he looked around half-heartedly for his t-shirt. "This is a very arousing room. Or is it the company I keep?"

"I can't think right now. Call back later once my brain's working again." Lex said, kissing Clark again. "But I think we've about done the museum thing. I've got one last thing to show you." He stood and unobtrusively called someone on his cell phone. "It's time." He said shortly, then hung up.

"Time for what?" Clark asked.

"Time to get out of here, so I can share my one last secret with you."

Clark had the feeling that Lex had more than this one secret to share, but nodded. "Whatever you want. This is your show."

"Come on."

Lex and Clark walked, together, back to Michigan Avenue, and headed north again. They stopped at the Michigan Avenue Bridge, and Lex leaned on the railing. "This is one of my favorite places in the city." He said. "I can just stand here for hours."

"It smells kind of weird, doesn't it?" Clark asked.

Lex shrugged. "Pity it's not daytime. You can see the lovely green color of the river - even when it's not St. Patrick's Day." He grinned.

"Did you know this is the first double-leaf, double-deck trunnion bascule bridge ever built?" He continued.

"Is that good?" Clark asked.

"It's historical. Basically, it means that there's two levels of traffic, the cars up here, and," he walked to the center of the bridge, and pointed to the crack at their feet, "more cars down there, and it opens up in the middle when a tall boat comes up the river."

"Ah."

"Let's go." Lex took Clark's hand again and they kept walking.

Finally, they arrived back at the John Hancock Center. "Well, here we are."

"We've already been here, Lex."

"Ah. But you haven't seen what I want to show you yet." He led his lover into the building through a different door. This time, the express elevator went directly to the 44th floor. "If I ever disappear without warning, I want you to know where I am."

"Where will you be?"

Lex smiled at him. "A little place I keep here. I don't feel like paying top dollar for something that's empty so often, so it's on one of the lower floors."

"Lower than what?"

"It's on the 46th floor. Only the second floor of apartments." He shrugged. "But it's convenient to the swimming pool."

Clark's jaw dropped. "Swimming pool?"

Lex winked. "Thought that'd get you."

Lex's Chicago apartment was every bit as lavish as Clark had expected. But Lex, with his charming personality, soon had Clark comfortable on the couch, watching television. "This is the other reason I requested a westward view at dinner." He pointed towards the window that dominated one wall of the living area. "You'll be treated to the best view of Lake Michigan in the morning."

"Your bedroom faces east?"

"The whole apartment faces east, Clark."

"Wow."

"In fact, you see that red light out there?"

"Yeah."

"That's a lighthouse. Maybe this summer, we can come back, and we can go out on the lake."

"I'd like that, Lex."

"So would I, Clark. So would I."