Season 3, sometime after "Phoenix"
Rating: Adult. If you're under eighteen, please go elsewhere now.
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
Read Chapter 8 here.
Read the story from the beginning here.
"It’s chilly out here."
Clark spoke awkwardly. He'd suggested stepping out onto the balcony, rather than heading toward the bedroom. The image of the purple coverlet still floated temptingly around the edges of his mind, but he hadn't been quite sure he was ready to just bluntly admit he wanted to screw. So he'd suggested the balcony, and Lex had agreed.
Now Clark stood on the long, narrow balcony, staring out over the vast city. Its lights gleamed like diamonds scattered beneath a black velvet sky, and the full moon rode low in the sky, gilding the tall, graceful buildings with silver. The cool night air blew into his face, carrying the noises of the city-- the dull roar of traffic, the sounds of sirens-- as well as the smells of the city, the scent of the bay and the smell of exhaust and the faint but enticing fragrance of bratwurst.
He leaned his hands on the railing and stared out into the night, feeling an ache in his chest. God, he'd missed Metropolis. He hadn't wanted to admit to himself how much he'd missed it. He'd done so many terrible things over the summer, so terrible he couldn't even think about those months without guilt.
And yet, he couldn't stop drinking in the sight of his city.
Lex stepped up beside him, so that the two of them stood shoulder to shoulder, and spoke quietly, almost reverently. "Pretty, isn't it?"
"Yeah." Clark nodded. "It's... it's not like home."
"No." He could hear the wry humor in Lex's voice. "There are times I enjoy the peace and quiet of the country. But there is something to be said for the city, too."
"Yeah. There is." Clark didn’t glance at his friend. He stared out over the city, letting its lights fill the darkness inside him. For the first time he realized he'd actually been homesick for Metropolis.
Which was crazy, because Metropolis wasn't his home.
Lex put an arm around him, and Clark leaned against him, automatically wrapping an arm around him, too. They stood together for a long moment, staring out over the city lights in silent introspection.
At last Lex turned his head a little and brushed a kiss over Clark's throat. Clark shivered.
"You’re thinking about your summer," Lex said softly. “You spent it here, didn’t you?”
The caution that had been drilled into Clark for years rose to the forefront, and he stiffened. “How did you know that?”
Lex laughed, a little grimly. “It wasn’t hard to figure out, Clark. Every time someone mentions Metropolis, you get a very odd expression on your face, as if you’re sad and guilty and missing something very dear to you.”
Clark blew out a sigh. He’d never had a really good poker face. “Yeah,” he admitted. “I spent my summer here.”
“Tell me about it.”
Clark closed his eyes. Just remembering the events of the summer filled him with nearly intolerable guilt and pain. "I can't. Not really. I just... I was alone, and scared, and..."
"Yes. I can relate to that, Clark. Did anyone..." Lex hesitated. "Take advantage of you?"
Clark realized Lex was worried someone, male or female, had seduced him. He shook his head. He'd had plenty of offers, both male and female, but somehow he hadn't really wanted anyone. He realized now he'd been grieving, not just for his mom and the baby, but for Lex. Despite the numbing effect of the red K, he'd been in mourning.
"No," he said, very softly. "I've never... I mean, I haven't..."
"So you're a virgin."
Lex sounded oddly pleased. That note of possessiveness filtered through his voice again, and his arm tightened around Clark’s shoulders.
Clark nodded, feeling very young all of a sudden. "What about your summer, Lex?"
"What about it?" Lex’s tone took on a sudden defensive edge. "I was alone and frightened too, Clark."
"You said earlier... you said you didn't have anyone to keep you company except your own darkness. What did you mean, exactly?"
"I just..." Lex sighed, and his arm uncurled from around Clark. He stepped back a bit, putting distance between them. "I was utterly alone on that island, Clark. I was sick, feverish… and I... I imagined there was someone else there."
"Hallucinations, you mean?"
"Yes." Lex blew out his breath, staring moodily over the city. "I imagined his name was Louis, and he...” He fell silent, then went on, slowly and painfully. “He was everything I'm afraid I might become, Clark. He had killed his own father. He was a murderer. I'm... I'm afraid..."
"Lex." Clark spoke, very gently. "You're not a murderer."
"Sometimes..." Lex's voice shook. "Sometimes I'm afraid I could be."
Clark could understand that. He’d watched himself grow unpredictably violent under the influence of red K, and he was unhappily aware that he could easily have killed someone. There were savage impulses deep inside him, too. Maybe everyone had those impulses, deep down.
But he figured that what really mattered was whether or not a person acted on them.
"No,” he said firmly, moving toward the other man and dropping his hand onto his shoulder, trying to convey all the faith he had in his friend. "You’re not. You never will be. Don't do that to yourself, Lex. Don’t beat yourself up over it. It was a hallucination. Nothing more."
"I just...the thing is…" Lex trailed off and stood silent for a long moment, then blurted out, "What if I'm going insane, Clark? What if it wasn't malaria, or a fever? What if I'm just..."
"Crazy?" Clark quirked an eyebrow. "Lex… have you been visited by Louis since you got back to civilization?"
Lex was silent for a moment. "No," he admitted at last.
"Then don't worry about it. You were sick, and under a hell of a lot of stress. Trust me, you're not crazy, Lex. You're one of the sanest people I know."
"But Clark." Lex sounded like he was hell-bent on confessing, on making sure Clark knew all his demons. "I do have this... this darkness inside of me..."
"So do I, Lex. So do I."
Clark thought grimly of his long list of crimes, the money he'd stolen, the people he'd beaten up, the laws he'd shattered. Yeah, he'd been under the influence... but he knew those dark impulses were inside him somewhere. Buried deeply, but nonetheless there.
The idea of his own terrible darkness ever escaping his control and breaking out again made his knees shake. He tightened his grip on Lex, hanging onto him as if the other man was the only thing that could save him, as if Lex was the only light bright enough to banish his inner darkness.
His voice trembled and broke. And then Lex's hands were on him, stroking the bare skin of his back, offering comfort once again.
Clark clung to him, letting the other man touch him. Slowly it dawned on him that his knees were shaking harder than ever.
Not from fear, but from lust.
He made a soft sound of longing and submission, deep in his throat. Part of him wanted to give in, to let Lex touch him again, the way he’d touched him earlier. But Lex had already touched him everywhere, and Clark figured it was his turn. He wanted to know what Lex felt like beneath his hands.
Reaching up, he unknotted Lex's deeper purple tie with shaking hands, then began to struggle with the buttons. But his fingers were big, and his hands were trembling with awkward eagerness, and the buttons just didn't want to cooperate.
"Clark." Lex spoke against his throat. "Just rip it off."
Clark hesitated, because he'd been brought up in a household where money was tight, and where clothes had to be treated well. But he realized that buying a new shirt for Lex was pretty much like buying a stick of gum for anyone else.
He ripped the shirt wide open. Buttons flew everywhere, just as they had in the elevator, and Lex moaned.
And then he was shoving off Lex's shirt, and the two of them were in each other's arms, kissing, bare chest to bare chest. Clark let his hands roam all over Lex's back, feeling the solidity of his firm, toned muscles beneath sleek flesh, feeling the satiny heat of his smooth skin.
Their bodies moved together, and Lex reached down and began unbuttoning his slacks again.
"Lex..." Clark reared back a bit. "We're in public."
"Clark." Even in the darkness he could see the quick white flash of Lex's teeth. "No one can see us. That's why I turned out the lights in the apartment. We're not giving anyone a peep show, okay?"
Intellectually he knew Lex was right, that no one could see them in the darkness, but emotionally he felt like he was being stripped naked in front of all of Metropolis, the moon shining a spotlight onto them both. But Lex didn't stop what he was doing, and Clark's pants fell down around his knees again. This time, he toed off his dress shoes and stepped out of his slacks.
And then Lex was caressing him, right through his briefs. He dropped his head back, hissing through his teeth.
“No.” Lex’s mouth was on his chest and his throat, kissing him everywhere, and his hand moved on Clark relentlessly. His voice was soft, but implacable. “No, Clark. I’m done with waiting.”
Read Chapter 10 here.