Summary: In the absence of the truth, Clark gives Lex what he can.

Warnings: Rated NC-17. m/m, spoilers for Velocity.

Clark hasn't seen Lex since he walked away with that unsurprised look of disappointment on his face. He knows he won't see him again until he makes the first move. Lex gave him a chance and the ball is in his court now--that's the way Lex sees things--and he always needs a cooling off period after one of Clark's more obvious lies. Clark uses the time to try to figure out how to smooth things over without offering up the one thing that would really make a difference, without actually telling Lex the truth.

It takes three days of contemplating what he's going to say--or more likely do--before he braves the mansion. He finds Lex on the sofa, feet up on the coffee table, laptop balanced on his knees, a pile of papers propped up on a throw pillow beside him.

Clark hovers in the doorway waiting for him to glance up. When he does, he smiles, although there's an ironic shimmer in his eyes, as well.


"Hey. I, uh-- Are you busy?"

It's a stupid question, Clark knows, when the evidence of Lex's busyness is everywhere to be seen.

Still, Lex is cordial. "Have a seat."

He sits, careful not to disturb Lex's files.

"How's your father doing?"

"Okay," Clark tells him. "Although stubborn. Mom's had her hands full trying to keep him on the diet the doctor s gave him."

"Knowing your mother I'm sure she'll ultimately prevail."

Clark grins. "You're probably right."

Lex smiles back, and things feel almost natural between them again.


Lex eyes him curiously, but doesn't ask what he wants. It is Clark's move, after all.

The moment presses heavily, and Clark's already sweating too much. "Um. You know what you said the other day? About friends doing anything for each other?"

"I do." Lex's gaze is steady, his expression opaque, giving nothing away.

"Sometimes you can't give a friend what he wants, but you'd do anything to make it up to him."

He lays his hand on Lex's thigh and leaves it there, a tight feeling clenching his throat while he waits for Lex's response

Before his reckless days in Metropolis, he never imagined that sex could be a form of apology. He was introduced to the notion one night in a dark alley, going down on some stranger he'd picked up in a bar. The guy clutched at his shoulders and just kept shouting: "Show me how sorry you are. Make it up to me. Make it all up to me."

The first time he offered Lex the penance of his mouth in lieu of the truth was after Van McNulty's meteor-mutant witch hunt, atonement for letting Lex believe he was the only freak in the room. Clark might not have been able to come clean with his secrets, but he could get down on his knees. Lex had been too startled to say no.

Clark never expected it to become a habit, but then, he'd never expected the nightmare of Belle Reve. Lex had been so different, so off balance after everything they'd done to him, everything Clark had failed to prevent. It seemed only natural to try to make it better, and Lex had been too shaken to turn down comfort, even the kind that sprang from guilt.

It's become Clark's worst fear that the day will come when Lex stops letting him work off his infractions this way. He can only hope it won't be today.

"You know, Clark, " Lex finally says, after long drumbeats of silence. "There are some sacrifices friends can't in good conscience accept from one another."

Clark lets out his breath in relief. This kind of hesitation he can deal with.

"What if sacrifice has nothing to do with it?" He starts to move his hand on Lex's leg, palm sliding over the smooth fabric of his trousers, fingers kneading the strong muscles underneath.

Lex's breath catches, and his eyes turn a dark shade of simmer. Clark moves quickly before either of them can think better of it, shifting the laptop to the coffee table, sliding off the couch, making a place for himself between Lex's thighs. He opens Lex's pants, and then Lex's cock is under his fingers, rising to meet his touch.

He likes the way Lex's cock feels on his tongue--always has--the hardest thing he can imagine, but also the silkiest, sliding past his lips like butter candy. He traces patterns along the shaft because he knows Lex admires artistry, and swirls his tongue around the head like an ice cream cone because that makes Lex whimper. He rubs his hands over Lex's thighs, and Lex strokes his hair like Clark is much more to him than someone who owes him an explanation. When Lex comes in his mouth, Clark feels almost clean again.

Lex squeezes his eyes tightly shut as he recovers from his orgasm, and Clark rests his head on his belly, listening to the rush of his breath.

"I'm sorry," he whispers. And it's probably the most honest thing he'll ever say in his whole life.

Lex's hands close on his shoulders, urging him up. He's met with the hot, insistent press of Lex's mouth on his. He sighs against Lex's lips and leans in, curving one hand along the smooth curve of his head. They've never kissed before, and it feels more intimate to have Lex's tongue in his mouth than it did even his cock.

Lex strings a line of kisses along his jaw. "I'm sure there must be something I should apologize to you for."

He slides his hand into Clark's pants. Clark's hips surge forward, and their eyes meet, a hot frisson of understanding passing between them. They both know a time will come when mouths and hands--not even love--will save them from the lies. Clark closes his eyes and gives himself over to Lex's touch. He's just glad that time isn't now.


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