Summary: Clark offers the missing apology. Lex says he accepts it. But does he?
Warnings: Rated NC-17. Clark/Lex, Lex/other. Angst. Some mild violence.
There was nothing new about this scene, Clark standing in front of his desk, shuffling nervously, ready to launch into a song-and-dance of vague explanations and evasive half-truths. Lex sat back in his chair, his expression politely attentive, thinking how very far away his own face seemed, as if the outside of his body were a complete stranger. He often felt this way during business negotiations and when he tangled with his father, but it was most profound in moments like these. Moments when Clark was so clearly about to lie to him.
"Lex-- All that stuff I said-- you have to know I didn't mean it." Clark held his gaze, eager to be believed.
But the bruise on his arm where Clark shoved him was still a mottled green and blue, and Lex said coolly, "No?"
Clark shook his head. "Of course not. You're my friend. My best friend. I don't want you to--" He lowered his eyes. "Stay away."
But that other voice still rang in Lex's head. I'm sick of you just barging in like you own the place.
He regarded Clark impassively. "You know, it's not unreasonable to want some notice before I stop by. I'm happy to call first."
Clark's expression twisted unhappily. "I don't want you to do that. I'm always glad to see you. And, besides, you're not the one who just comes over whenever he feels like it. If anyone should call first--"
"My home is always open to you, Clark."
"So is mine," Clark said impassionedly. "I just-- The other day--"
Lex's face acted as if he understood. "You weren't yourself."
"No. I wasn't. I was--" Clark trailed off with a predictable stammer, and his eyes slid away.
I only tell people who don't go around stabbing me in the back and lying to me.
Lex held up his hand magnanimously. "That's all right, Clark. No need to explain. I accept your apology."
Clark blinked. "You do?"
Lex's expression formed a smile. "Of course. That is what friends do, isn't it? Cut each other slack?"
"Well, yeah. I guess."
"So consider it forgotten."
Relief brightened Clark's face like a floodlight, and Lex envied him that freedom, to be able to show what he felt.
"Just one thing, though, Clark. And then we'll close the subject for good. Not that I want to sound like your parents, but I do have some experience in this area. And you really don't want to get messed up with drugs. Nothing good ever comes of it. Trust me on this."
Clark's expression was profoundly earnest. "I wouldn't--" He turned red and hung his head. "You're right. I won't do it again."
I dare you to stop me.
"Good. I'm glad we cleared the air." His brisk, wrap-it-up voice, and Clark looked startled.
"Um. I guess I should-- You must be busy."
Lex gave him a brief smile before picking up a stack of papers and sorting through them.
"Well, uh-- See you later, Lex."
If you know what's good for you, stay the hell away from me.
"See you, Clark."
He listened to Clark's heavy work boots clomp down the hall. And waited long enough to be sure he was really gone. Then he picked up his cell phone and dialed.
"I want to see you. Tonight." He frowned in irritation at the reply. "I pay you not to have other plans. Just get here."
He slammed the phone down on the desk and stalked over to the bar. Poured himself three fingers of Scotch. Only one thing would take the sting out of the memory of that day in the barn. And there was nothing like drinking to help pass the time while he waited for the remedy to arrive from Metropolis.
He tossed back the Scotch and poured another. Moved over to the windows and stared out, his domain, all of it, as far as the eye could see. He could buy and sell this town a hundred times over, and yet, he'd let a couple of doped up teenagers make him feel like some junior high school outcast. His father would have a field day with that if he knew.
But it would be okay. He would take care of it. That was the point of the call, after all.
He drank and waited, and three hours later, relief finally sauntered into the room. Tall and solid, dark curly hair, red jacket, big green eyes. He settled his backpack on the floor and smiled brightly.
"I came over as soon as I got out of school, Lex."
Lex finished his drink and walked over to the young man, circled around him, appraising the merchandise. He congratulated himself, as he always did, on what a good find this had been. Shortly after the incident at the bridge, he'd started looking. One night, he'd spotted Devon standing by the bar in a dive on the outskirts of Edge City. They had quickly come to an agreement, and the search was over.
Devon unzipped his jacket and shrugged out of it. He was wearing jeans, a T-shirt and the familiar blue plaid flannel shirt, a trophy Clark had left behind one afternoon after they'd played pool and apparently never missed.
"You know, I'm not doing so well in chemistry. Maybe you could tutor me?"
That look through his lashes, so much like Clark, and Lex could feel the blood pounding in his temple. He grabbed Devon by the arm and pulled him close, grinding their bodies together. Devon was already hard. Whatever awkwardness he might have felt about pretending to be a high school sophomore had long since disappeared, and now it was a serious turn on, the horny billionaire and the virgin farmboy. That was just the kind of tawdry sex game that would appeal to someone like Devon.
Lex pushed away the queasy feeling it gave him and kissed him hungrily. He didn't want to think about any of that now. The man was nothing; only the boy mattered.
"Clark," he murmured.
"Lex." He responded eagerly, pushing his hips into Lex's, wrapping his arms around Lex's waist.
For a moment, Lex was lost in the urgency of touch, the hot mouth beneath his, the hard body moving against him. But the anger soon got the better of his need, and he bit the boy's lip, hard, drawing blood.
"Hey!" Green eyes widened with surprise. And hurt.
Lex felt a vicious thrill of satisfaction.
"So I'm the one who lies, am I? The backstabber?"
"Lex?" His face startled, confused.
Lex grabbed him by the arm and pushed him toward the sofa.
"What's wrong?" The voice tremulous, maybe even afraid.
Lust surged savagely through Lex.
"You're going to threaten me? That's how much our friendship means to you?"
A frantic shake of the head. "No! I swear! I wouldn't--"
"Damned right." He pushed the boy over the arm of the sofa and yanked his jeans down to his ankles. "I'm not going to stay away from you. Ever. Do you understand that?"
"I understand, Lex. Please. Please."
But he had no mercy, and the emptiness, the coldness of it was a relief. He jerked open the drawer of the end table. Undid his own pants, tore open a foil packet and rolled on the condom.
The first thrust was vicious, and the boy screamed. So tight, so hot, and the knowledge that he was hurting him only made it better.
"I'm sorry, Lex!" the boy cried out. "I'm sorry."
In control again, and everything finally felt right, for the first time since that humiliating exchange in the barn. He pounded into the boy's body. And every gasp, every whimper, every sobbed apology helped blot out the memory of hands he trusted pushing him away, eyes he loved filled with mockery, that voice taunting him.
He reached beneath the boy and jacked him roughly.
"Say it!" he commanded.
He tightened his grip. The boy knew what he wanted. The boy would give it to him.
"Fuck me," he said at last, but only half-heartedly.
Not enough, and Lex worked him faster, harder.
The boy bucked up. "God! Fuck me, Lex. Fuck me!"
Like he meant it now, and that was a white-hot spark all the way up Lex's spine.
"Clark," he moaned, his face buried in the soft curls at the back of his neck, breathing in warm skin, the homey scent of flannel, the sharp, artificial freshness of laundry detergent.
"Lex," the boy's voice was breathy, fevered. "I want you so much. I need you. Please."
Point of no return, and he fucked the boy wildly. Kissed his neck. Fisted his cock. Called his name as if it was the last word he ever wanted to say. When he felt the boy spurt in his hand, his entire body jerked. He surged forward and came so hard he thought he was going to black out.
Afterwards, he lay there, the full burden of his weight on the boy, swimming in sensation, the hard, hot, gasping body beneath him, the tight clench of a sweet ass around his cock, the smell of sweat and semen in the air. And for a moment, it was all so incredibly good.
But then, "Hey, um, Lex? Could you get off me now?"
The man, not the boy, and the illusion shattered. Lex took a deep, shaky breath and pulled out as gently as he could. He stumbled back a step, turned around, fumbled with his pants. He didn't want to watch Devon get dressed. Didn't want to see. Whatever he might have done. His stomach turned over at the thought of it.
This wasn't who he was anymore. It wasn't who he wanted to be.
He went to the desk and took out cash, more than he owed. Devon joined him shortly, and he tossed him the stack of bills.
"For a job well done."
Devon's face lit up. "Hey, thanks, man."
Lex focused on a spot on the wall just past Devon's shoulder, a trick he'd learned from various unpleasant business dealings. "Do you need to see somebody? I can arrange it."
Devon shook his head. "Nah. It's not too bad. I can take care of it." He laughed. "That was one wild ride, though."
An apology teetered on Lex's lips, but that wasn't how you stayed in control, by saying you were sorry.
Devon watched him, a quizzical look on his face. "I have to admit I am curious. What did he do that's got you so pissed off?"
Lex's jaw tightened, and he said nothing.
Devon shrugged. "Hey, man, just thought you might want to get it off your chest. But whatever. See you next time."
Devon grabbed his jacket and the backpack and took off, and Lex felt even more relieved to see him go than he had been to see him arrive. He fixed himself yet another drink and looked forward to getting staggeringly drunk.
"Lex?" A quiet voice in the doorway.
He turned around impatiently, ready to snap at Devon. He just wanted to be left alone. But then his heart lurched in his chest, and he swallowed hard.
"Clark." He frantically calculated how long Clark could have been there. "It's late. What are you doing here?"
Clark took a few uncertain steps toward him. "I, uh-- I guess I didn't really feel right about how we left things. I know you said-- But it seemed too easy."
"You should go home," Lex said, sharply. "Your parents will be worried."
"They're asleep. They have no idea I'm gone." Clark's gaze bored into him. "And I was right, wasn't I? You are still mad at me."
Lex let out his breath, tiredly. "Don't you think this can wait until tomorrow?"
"Not when you're fucking some other guy and pretending it's me."
Lex rubbed his temple. He was not nearly drunk enough for this "You, uh-- How much did--"
"I saw everything. I saw you hurt him, because you're pissed at me. That's not right, Lex."
"Maybe not. But I couldn't very well hurt you, now could I, Clark?"
There was absolute silence for what felt like decades.
And then Clark finally shook his head. "No. No, you couldn't."
Lex went perfectly still, the ground shifting beneath his feet. An honest Clark didn't fit into anything he thought he knew, and he felt uncharacteristically at sea.
"I wasn't high that day," Clark said. "I don't take drugs. You know that. But I was out of my mind."
"Like that time when you wanted to borrow the Ferrari."
"You won't tell me why." A statement, not a question.
Clark shook his head. "Even though I want to. But it's not just about me and what I want. So I'm going to keep my secret. And I'm going to go to the caves. Because I need to. And I don't expect you to stop wondering. Or even stop trying to figure it out. But if you'd just quit asking me questions you know I can't answer, then I wouldn't have to lie. And I hate lying to Lex. I really, really do."
The world as Lex understood it spun dizzily away from him, and suddenly the idea that you could ever be in control of anything struck him as quaintly naive.
Clark drew near. "I'm sorry I can't give you an explanation. But--" A flush crept up his neck, and he dropped his voice. "Those other things you want-- I'll let you. Anything. I can make it up to you if you'll just let me."
Lex would have bet any amount of money that he was too jaded to be shocked by anything at this point in his life. And he would have totally lost that bet.
"You don't know what you're saying, Clark. I really think you should leave."
"I know exactly what I'm saying. You don't need him, Lex. He's not the one."
Jealousy in his voice, not altruism, and Lex felt it everywhere. Clark saw the opportunity and pressed himself close, body against body, and Lex forgot how to breathe.
"Take it out on me," Clark whispered against his temple. "Take it all out on me."
Clark's lips warm and fumbling on his, and connoisseur that he was, Lex should always have known. There was never any substitute for the real thing. The smell of fresh air in the flannel shirt, and Clark's wholesome, teenage-boy scent beneath it. His body fairly vibrating with need. But still innocent, the way his hands moved, frantic, even a little clumsy. No one could ever come close to approximating that. And Lex couldn't make himself push him away.
"I'm so sorry," Clark kept saying. "I'm sorry I hurt you."
He punctuated each whispered apology with a feathery little kiss, to Lex's forehead, his cheek, eyes, chin.
Lex shook, his usually dependable vicious streak deserting him completely. He pulled Clark closer, kissed his throat.
"It's okay. It's okay," he murmured. "I forgive you."
It was funny that things could be so clear when he was blurred by Scotch and dizzy with need. That he could finally see that it wasn't just him. He wasn't on the outside of anything. Clark was knotted up with everyone. All the lies and secrets, the unintended insults and subtle disappointments suddenly receded. And all that mattered were Clark's breathy little moans, his stroking hands and eager body. How damned much Lex wanted him.
Three steps backward, and he had Clark on the sofa.
"Yeah, yeah, Lex," Clark said, as Lex opened his jeans. "Anything. Whatever you wanted to do to him. Do it to me."
Green eyes sparkling, and the expression in them made Lex's chest ache. Stunned, aroused, such a beautiful kid.
"It's going to be good, Clark. I promise."
He slid to his knees, and Clark moaned, before he even touched him.
"Please." Like he might die if Lex didn't.
But Lex did. Skillful play of tongue and lips and teeth that had Clark spreading his legs and begging. Lex liked to think he was the first, but if he wasn't, he definitely intended to be the best. Clark's frenzied little whimpers, and Lex yanked his own zipper down, fisted his cock.
Any memory of ever having wanted to hurt Clark seemed like it must have been somebody else.
Clark clutched at his head and bucked up. Lex held him down, sucked him hard, until he came in great, shuddering waves. Warm and salty in his mouth, Clark, and that was an electric thrill all over his body. He quickly climaxed in his own hand.
When he could move again, he slid onto the sofa, pulling Clark into his arms, and spread the throw over them both.
"You mean I can stay?" Clark said, as if he'd just been given a present.
Lex kissed his shoulder. "Just don't get into trouble, okay?"
"I'll go home before my parents get up."
He settled into the crook of Lex's arm and held onto his hand. Lex idly stroked his hair.
"Yeah?" Lex said.
A pause. "If you have me-- You don't need him anymore, right?" And then more softly. "Please."
Lex pressed his face into Clark's neck. "I never needed him."
Clark's grip tightened on his hand. And Lex could tell that he was smiling.
Lex settled in comfortably and closed his eyes. He wondered
what the appropriate severance was when you were finished with
the stand-in and ready to start for real with the person you loved.