The Cathexis of Lex

by Adsum

Clark had begun to feel Lex's gaze like a sudden change in barometric pressure, not like a touch so much as a change in atmosphere. It seemed to be something they were both aware of but neither were acknowledging aloud. Increasingly, there was the occasional protracted meeting of eyes, but they inevitably seemed to look away at the same moment, and as long as their staring contests ended in a tie, their tongues were unable, or unwilling, to comment.

Clark was beginning to wonder if there was more about his alien psychology that he needed to know, because the more Lex's regard flirted along the edges of obsession, the more Clark was warmed by it in a completely unexpected way. Either he was kinkier than anyone raised by Jonathon and Martha had a right to be, or Kryptonian love had a twisted edgy flavor to it…at least by Midwestern standards.

Aside from the way he was reacting to Lex's…focus, the theory went a long way towards explaining his own stalker-ish telescope fetish when he had thought that Lana was the one for him. He'd had more than one moment of regret, lately, that Lex's bedroom window was not within range of his telescope. It had even occurred to him that it might have been Lana's proximity (allowing for his almost compulsive watching) that drew his attention to her, rather than her looks or personality. It would, he thought, explain a lot of previously murky things if Kryptonian courting involved actions that could get you arrested in California.

Lex knew that he was far too interested in Clark, in almost any circumstance. He'd always tended towards minor obsessions instead of real relationships. At least that was what a series of therapists had told him. He tried for a time to tell himself it was Clark's mysterious secrets that fascinated him so much, rather than the boy per se, but once he started creating “The Room” to house his collection, he had to admit that it was Clark…all of Clark…that was the point of the exercise. After all, the crumpled car, the computer recreation of the accident, the occasional piece of clothing damaged beyond repair when the skin beneath was unmarred, those things could be chalked up to the mystery, but by the time he had started blowing up larger than poster-sized pictures to line the room's walls, even he had to admit that he just wanted the boy, in entirely physical and emotional ways. He was fixated to a degree that he had never attained before; the whole moth to a flame analogy had never made more sense. Funnily enough, it never occurred to him that it might not be just a natural progression of his own obsession-prone personality.

He also was beginning to have trouble denying that Clark was aware of it. Until recently though, he had successfully convinced himself that Clark was merely tolerant of his eccentric friend's regard. The assumption that Clark wrote it off to Lex not knowing what the boundaries of a friendship really entailed, having never been allowed by Lionel to have real friends, had given Lex the last six months of reprieve from admitting it to himself, but Clark seemed to have developed some kind of radar, lately, that allowed him to know whenever Lex truly focused on him, and that had finally stripped the last of Lex's illusions away. Consciously or not, Clark knew, and Lex had to admit it to himself. Clark had become his cathexis for better or worse, and Lex had come to feel that confession was, in this case, the braver part of valor.

He shuddered to think of Clark reacting badly to the existence of “The Room” and its collection, but the thought of someone else showing it to him first spurred Lex to take the chance. Clark might be appalled--he might even be angry--but at least Lex would be able to mitigate the fallout if he were the one who made a clean breast of it. Lex was reasonably sure that, even if Clark were totally obtuse to Lex's feelings, he would be, eventually, forgiven.

The Kents were not Catholic, but the idea that confession was good for the soul definitely fit into their moral framework. He could imagine Jonathon making a child-Clark confess and face the music over a stolen piece of candy or comic book. It was certainly in contrast to Lionel's condescending pride when child-Lex had stolen candy from a store in the lobby of his father's building and gotten away with it. The only lecture he'd gotten was a reminder of the pointlessness of stealing from a business from which, through LuthorCorp, he one day stood to profit. It was only later that he learned Lionel had fired the woman working the register that day for allowing a mere child to outwit her and impact the store's profits, however negligibly.

In Lex's imagined scenario, Clark would have learned from his ordeal that stealing was wrong and that telling the truth about it, while momentarily uncomfortable, was the right thing to do. Lex had learned to savor his accomplishments without sharing them, and to remember that his actions not only had consequences for himself but also sometimes for bystanders, regardless of their relative innocence. Lex had learned that confessing, or bragging, to Lionel was never the right thing to do.

However, Clark was patently not Lionel, so Lex was going to take what he perceived as the lesser of two risks; he was going to confess in the hopes that his cathexis was to some extent mutual. He just hoped he could do it without showing his fears; he was still a Luthor, after all.

Lex was surprised at how easily he managed to get Clark to arrange to spend a Friday night with him at the mansion, followed by a weekend in Metropolis. Of course, he had no real idea how difficult arranging it had been, he simply floated the idea, and Clark dealt with the details in a satisfyingly efficient manner. The plans were laid. Now all Lex had to do was have the fortitude to follow through with them. Showing Clark “The Room” was where it all began. What happened after would lie among any of a series of wide-ranging probabilities.

Now that the moment had come, both Lex and Clark were nervous: one because he knew what lay ahead and one because he didn't. That Lex appeared faintly nervous made Clark feel all the more on edge.

"Clark," Lex began firmly, "I need to show you something, and I want you to do me a favor: let me explain before you react. Can you do that?"

Clark nodded his head skittishly. "I promise, Lex. Honest."

"I want you to see it all at once, so can I put this on you?" Lex held up a long, narrow black scarf. Their eyes locked for a moment, then instead of answering, Clark turned his back to Lex and bent his knees slightly to make them close to the same height. The breath Lex hadn't realized he was holding puffed out onto Clark's neck, causing Clark to shiver, as he draped the scarf over his eyes and tied it into place.

Lex leaned his head forward as Clark straightened and rested his forehead between Clark's shoulder blades.

"I want you to know how much your friendship means to me, Clark." He said quietly almost whispering. "I know I've told you before that I'm not a very nice person, and I know that you don't like to believe it...."

Clark made a noise that could have turned into a denial, but Lex cut him off.

"No, listen to me. I know you have faith in who I can be, but I'm talking about who I am, who I was brought up to be. Not just by my father but by everything life has thrown at me. What I’m about to show you is a result of all that…and I just hope you will try to understand."

Turning from Clark to face the door, he unlocked it, then guided Clark inside before closing and locking it again. Taking a deep breath and letting it out as slowly as possible, Lex took a last moment to live in his and Clark's past.

Lex took the blindfold off Clark while standing behind him to let Clark get an unimpeded view of the room and to spare himself the initial reaction on Clark's face. He knew that once everything went to hell, he would go over and over the moment on the private security tapes that were covering everything that happened here from multiple angles.

Clark's breathing increased: shallower and quicker, but too slow to be panting. His head turned slowly to take in more of the peripheral details of the collection displayed so exactly before him. He took a tentative step towards the small flight of stairs that led down to the room's proper floor, then slowly began a circuit clockwise around the exhibits, examining each one with care and in complete silence. The extent of Lex's obsession with him was truly impressive. There were remnants of moments Clark would have been willing to bet anything Lex was unaware of, and yet here they were: Scorched cloth, flattened bullets, twisted metal. The animated, wire frame recreation of the accident on the bridge played over and over in an eerie, morbid loop; Clark had a hard time tearing his eyes away from it. Then there were the pictures; some of them could have come from the family album; some of them were of an unrecognizable blur.

Suddenly Clark realized that a few of them were paired off, and that perhaps blurred plaid was still correlatable. In each set, the clear photo of Clark was wearing a shirt that could conceivably match the blurred colors in the other photo. However, there were also photos of Clark and Lex--mostly taken by Chloe, it seemed--where he and Lex exchanged what could only be described as private smiles. Clark had no idea they looked at each other like that, and in public no less, but Lex had known and somehow collected these proofs of it: this wasn't evidence; this was a shrine.

By the time Clark had made it half way around the room, he had begun shaking with reaction. It was clear Lex was utterly obsessed with him, and it was making his heart race, his temperature rise, and his mouth go dry in anticipation. Something in him reacted to this as if it were proof of a devoted lover's attentions, instead of a stalker's fixation or a mad scientist's pet project. Clark's mouth fell slightly open, and he periodically moistened his lips as he continued his route from item to item, no longer able to breathe heavily enough through his nose alone. His quiet panting fought with the tympani of blood rushing in his ears to distract him from the increasing lightheadedness he felt.

Lex, meanwhile, had descended to the bottom riser of the stairs and watched Clark make his inevitable rounds. He assumed Clark was speechless and shaking with anger at the incredible intrusion into his life that this room represented. The silence, broken only by Clark's increasingly harsh breathing and halting footsteps on the wooden floor, was like a knife slowly pushing into Lex's lungs and stealing his oxygen away. Lex was wan with dread, seeing only the worst possible interpretations for Clark's physical reactions, but he was judging them from a human standpoint, and because he didn't know that Clark was not human, he was about to find out how wrong his assumptions were.

Clark walked to the center of the room and turned in a complete circle, taking it all in once more and swallowing convulsively in reaction. His face was blank with shock. His palms were sweating; his knees were holding him up only because they were locked in place, and he thought it was entirely possible that his eyes might roll back in his head and he might drop like a stone at any moment. Lex wanted him…wanted to possess him…certainly wanted, at least, to touch him…probably wanted to keep him, and while he could acknowledge the human mindset that found that disturbing, the alien part of Clark was ready to sink to his knees and worship in sincere and abject gratitude. He felt desired in a right and proper way that no hand-holding, note-writing, gazing-from-afar gesture of human romanticism had ever come close to equaling. To a human, this room might be the sign of a sick and twisted stalker, but to a Kryptonian (at least Clark liked to assume he was typical of his race), this room was flowers, candy, poetry, and handcrafted gifts all rolled into one; this was courtship, proposal, and a decent start on foreplay. This was everything that he’d never understood was missing until now: Love Kryptonian style.

Lex watched Clark walk towards him and less than gracefully collapse to his knees, moaning wordlessly on the way down with a low, passionate Oh. He had expected yelling, at the very least. He'd certainly expected demands that he explain himself, and possibly a blow or shove until Clark calmed. What he never expected was to find Clark kneeling at his feet; hands resting palm up atop his thighs, head inclined with eyes firmly on the floor, shivering and softly moaning in an attitude of complete submission. However, quick recovery and seizing the moment were bred into Lex as surely as good manners and stylish couture. He forced his left hand to stop trembling as he reached out to rest it gently on Clark's dark curls, as if in blessing.

"Clark?" He queried in a firm but low tone.

A shudder ran through Clark, and he caught his breath momentarily but did not reply.

Lex ran his hand down Clark's hair then let his fingers curl forward and under Clark's jaw as his thumb traced Clark’s cheekbone. He firmly pressed up with his fingertips to tilt Clark's head as he called him once again.

"Clark, look at me."

Clark's resistance faded, and he let Lex raise his head until their eyes met. Lex's breath caught in his throat as he took in Clark's glistening lower lip, reddened and swollen from where he'd obviously been biting it. As Clark's neck arched to obey Lex's touch, his lips parted, and the dark fringe of his eyelashes rose from his cheeks like a flirtatious fan in a courtesan's hand. Clark's eyes were dark with desire and not a little fear, but within his pupils, faint but literal flames danced.

Lex exhaled slowly. "Am I going to catch on fire, Clark?" He asked with more wonder than concern.

A blush spread across Clark's cheeks, and he started to duck his head but remembered himself. "Only in a good way," he whispered, "that is, if you want…." He swallowed hard and began again. "Some times I have to close my eyes, but I control it usually…the literal fire, that is, not…well, you know…you."

That one soft truth peeled a layer of tension away from Lex, and Clark felt relief at the ease of the minor confession. To both of them, it seemed like a sign that the lies between them were repairable after all.

The one who understood what lengths love required was not turning away, and Clark felt like champagne and rockets were zinging though his veins.

"Lex," he began softly, "you want me." He paused as Lex's automatic denial washed across his features but was thrust away. Lex smiled in a proprietary manner; Clark exhaled and smiled in giddy relief. Lex twisted his hand so that his knuckles were now tracing Clark's jaw line and his thumb could brush lightly over Clark's lips and teasingly almost penetrate past his teeth. Clark moaned and let his tongue chase after the thumb as it pulled away. Lex made a pleased, rumbling noise in the back of his throat. When it became clear that Lex's evading digit was not returning, Clark looked up at him again. "You know." He stated flatly.

Lex tilted his head slightly, in more of an acknowledgment than a nod. "I know some things; I suspect others," he replied, "and I've found that any way I look at it, it doesn't matter. You are…Clark, and that is all I need you to be, other than mine."

Clark sighed happily and bent forward to touch the step between Lex's feet with his forehead. "I can do that." He sighed.

Lex was still having difficulty switching from defense mode to whatever mode it took to deal with his grand obsession kowtowing at his feet. He tried to observe objectively, but for a few moments all his brain could come up with was how beautiful Clark looked in that unexpected position. Eventually, a few synapses began to fire, and he noticed that Clark was shivering and breathing so fast and shallow it was a miracle he hadn't hyperventilated and passed out. Lex was prepared to see Clark tremble--in fact it was the centerpiece of several of his favorite fantasies--but he wanted more than just his presence to be the cause of it. He wanted to make sure Clark was shaking with passion, not fear, and the only way he knew to make sure of that was to take control of the situation. No matter what was happening here, Lex understood control. Despite the disparities in their upbringings, it was not much easier to get a Kent to talk about his feelings than it was to get a Luthor to admit to even having them. A wild grin flashed across Lex’s unguarded face; there was nothing he loved more than a challenge.

"Look at me," he demanded, certainty in his delivery. Clark sat up quickly as if jerked up by puppet strings, resting on his heels and gazing up to ascertain if standing was required. Lex's fondly rapacious expression left no doubt that Clark's place was still at his feet. Clark closed his eyes as a rush of emotion left him dizzy and swaying, but the need to look at Lex brought them open as he fought for control.

"You don't know what you're feeling, do you?" Lex asked gently. He could see Clark struggling with clearly unaccustomed emotions and reactions. The silent bewilderment in Clark's eyes was answer enough. "It's alright, you know. We're going figure this out together. I'm going to help you and keep you safe…and you are going to let me." Lex smiled encouragingly. "I will find a way to provide whatever you need, now that you are my demesne. You want that, don't you?"

Clark nodded with shining eyes, a blink away from tears falling.

"The stuff of legend," he asked, voice crackling and rough. "I want…I need….” He paused as words failed him. “This…", he gestured around them, "shows me you understand. You covet. I need that, somehow. It is…fitting."

Lex stepped off the stair, so that his legs straddled Clark's thighs, and pulled Clark's face against his abdomen, stroking the dark hair and turning Clark's cheek to nuzzle into him as close as possible. He felt a warm, damp sigh penetrate his shirt, and the perfection of the moment, the absolute unexpectedness of it, froze him in a contented caesura.

Clark realized that quite a while had passed since Lex had held him close and that he had spent that time in literally breathless anticipation. Mentally, he shrugged it off. What exactly Lex knew or didn’t know was no longer an issue really. He took a deep, jagged breath and let it out slowly, relaxing as he acknowledged that the decision to tell Lex everything had already been made and had only to be acted on. The utter lack of indecision seemed odd to him (and probably wouldn't last), yet on an instinctual level, he knew that he had no real choice in the matter. Something in him, physiologically or psychologically, had come to its fruition since entering this room and seeing the extent of Lex’s fascination with him. Maybe it had been building for a long time. Maybe it was the work of this one moment. He might never know. Maybe Lex could help him figure out some of these things now, but regardless, he suspected that this change, whatever it entailed, was permanent. He felt bound to Lex in some freaky Kryptonian fashion, and no amount of indignant yelling by either of their families was going to have any impact on that. That thought made Clark smile one of their secret smiles.

Clark was increasingly aware of the sounds of Lex’s body: the steady, slightly rapid beat of his heart, the almost wave-like susurrus of his blood through his veins, even the inhale and exhale that for the moment was light and slow like languid, summer breezes. He couldn’t have guessed how long the two of them were wrapped in this still moment, but Lex, never still for long, began running his fingers through Clark’s hair, almost absent-absentmindedly petting him but working his way towards conscious interaction again.

Lex eyed the hardwood floor somewhat distastefully. He had nothing against the occasional brutal tryst against an unforgiving surface, but as a first-time memory, it was less than ideal. As he considered moving venues, a question arose.

“Clark, is there something specific in this room making you feel like this, or is it the fact of the room itself?”

Clark blinked slowly, considering the distinction Lex posed.

“It's specific, Lex,” he sighed. “It's you.” He nuzzled Lex's abs with sultry hum. “No rocks, no mania, no field of influence...just you wanting me this much. Do you want to go somewhere more comfortable?” Clark's intuitive offer was laced with more than a little condescending amusement, and Lex's alpha switch flipped on hard.

Burying his fingers deep into Clark's curls, he stepped to the side pulled back hard until Clark was far enough off balance to be supported only by Lex's grip in his hair. Lex was slightly amazed but extremely satisfied by Clark's unnerved cry as his spine was arched back beyond his ability to maintain his balance. Lex's triumphant glare locked with Clark's wide-eyed surprise for a moment, before Lex went to his knees, carrying Clark down onto his back. As they landed, Lex swung a leg over, sitting astride Clark's waist, and bent down to seize Clark's mouth in a blatant show of territoriality that left them both with roughened, bloody lips. Clark began struggling underneath Lex, whimpering when it quickly became clear that he could not overpower him. The realization left him trembling in shock and burning with lust. He was helpless under Lex's onslaught and disturbingly turned on by that fact.

Lex stilled as his mind worked furiously. He knew Clark was stronger than he was and, for all intents and purposes, physically invulnerable.

“You're bleeding.” He whispered, his mind suddenly a million miles away. “At least it's red. Why can I hurt you?” A reply to his rhetorical question startled him into perceiving Clark and the world outside his mind again.

“To let me belong to you,” Clark stated flatly.

“I don't want to hurt you, Clark. I shouldn't be able to hurt you.”

Lex wrestled with the change in their circumstances. Clark shrugged slightly.

“This has to be wanting each other...mating, whatever. Finish it, Lex. Let this be what it wants to be. Please.” Clark licked some of the blood off his quivering lower lip as a horrible thought occurred to him. “Unless you don't want....”

Lex laid a cautionary finger against Clark's lips to silence him.

“Whatever is happening here...” he started slowly, then paused, sliding his body down so he laid full length on top of Clark before continuing, “Mine to me, Clark. Later, you'll tell me everything, but now, just...mine. Always.”

Clark relaxed, satisfied that Lex would lead the way; Lex quit thinking, letting his newfound instincts, however alien they might be, guide him.

Lex kissed Clark to distraction while unbuttoning both their shirts. Skin against skin seemed to focus what they were feeling and to make it more wildly out of control, but Lex was used to riding sensory overloads. In fact at the moment, it seemed as if every night he'd spent at some Metropolis club, out of his mind on more chemicals than any one human should possibly ingest, was training for this moment, when he needed to be in control and establish his dominance while physical circumstances allowed.

He sat up and removed his and Clark's shirts, then running his fingernails lightly down Clark's ribcage, he waited patiently until Clark muzzily focused on him. He rocked back so that his ass pressed against Clark's cock. Sure that he now had his attention, he said, “When I get up, I want you to strip off the rest of your clothes for me.” He stood regally, towering over Clark's supine form. A low moan escaped Clark's lips, less than a protest, more than appreciation. He stared up at Lex raptly, moving slowly to obey, careful not to rise any higher off the floor than necessary to accomplish Lex's command. All too conscious of being at Lex's feet, literally and figuratively.

Clark's sun-kissed skin and black hair complemented the deep red mahogany of the floorboards. Suddenly it seemed to Lex as if there could be no better place to consummate their relationship than in this room surrounded by the things that gave proof to the mutually alien natures of both men involved, whether those natures proved figurative, literal or a mixture of both.

Lex casually toed off his shoes and socks, making the process look as graceful as a martial arts form. The coolness of the wood against his bare feet was grounding. Clark seemed to radiate heat and light, a kind of golden glow that reminded Lex of saints' icons, surreal yet delicately grounded in life. Clark gazed up worshipfully from heavy-lidded eyes, minute tremors traversing his body from head to toe. He felt like the world had stopped in order for this moment to happen and was filled with a triumphant languor, as if this were the culmination of something he had worked so hard for that all he could do now was experience it and be eternally sated. He watched, and Lex loomed dark and vaguely menacing. His tailored trousers a stark contrast to his pale skin, Lex looked like a statuesque study in black and white.

The suddenness of the movement seemed violent when it finally happened, though all Lex did was drop to his hands and knees. He crawled slowly up Clark's frame, pausing to lower himself repeatedly to taste and nip at skin as it flowed away beneath him. As if Clark were a river of flesh and he forging his way to its source, Lex tasted and tested his way to Clark's mouth, which was slack with anticipation, breathing ragged and strained. Looking deep into Clark's eyes, Lex ground down, pelvis to pelvis, smiling fleetingly as Clark's eyes rolled back and he moaned with a pleading tone.

“Do you want me, Clark?” Lex whispered with seductive promise.

Clark gasped for breath but just moaned without words.

“Do you want to be mine, Clark?” Lex taunted. “Do you want me to fuck you?” He laughed, assured of the answer and reveling in it.

“Lex.” Clark managed to get out a barely discernible whisper.

Lex bent closer and put his ear to Clark's mouth. “Tell me what I need to know, Clark. Something is missing; I can feel it. Tell me.”

Clark lost himself for a moment in the smell of Lex's skin, but shook himself out of the drug-like daze just enough to grasp the kernel of knowledge provided by his fore bearers. “My name...” he panted, “my name is Kal-El.”

Lex pulled away to look down on him again, a secretive smile on his face.

“Do you accept me, Kal-El? Do you offer this gift of which, ever after, only I can partake?” Lex knew the gist of what he'd said, but his own ears heard words leave his lips that made no sense in any language he'd ever heard.

There seemed to be a wind in the closed, windowless room, and the temperature rose markedly. A white light surrounded them as Clark spoke, “I offer myself, Lex-Luthor. In every possible way, I yield. Let us be one.” Clark knew he was speaking Kryptonian, which made him realize that Lex had been too, yet he also knew they both understood what was passing between them, regardless of where the words came from or whatever language they were expressed in.

Later, Lex was never quite sure how exactly the rest of his clothes got removed since he never found a trace of them. All he knew was that in the blinding, hot light storm, he entered Clark for the first time and heard him crying out in pain; he felt an unexpected slickness easing the way into incomparable, sultry, taut flesh; he gripped the body under him bruisingly, forcing Clark to still his instinctive attempts to escape the unfamiliar mixture of pleasure and pain; and for the first time in Lex's life, he found that fucked blind was no longer a figure of speech. With the first orgasm, he lost all sense of sight and was overwhelmed by the rest of his sensory input. He could smell the saltiness in the blissful tears tracking down Clark's cheeks. He could taste the triumph of Clark's satisfaction as he came, touched only by their closely pressed bodies. Under their cries and the powerful wind that surrounded them like a layer of protective batting, he heard Clark's and his hearts wildly beating and ultimately syncing.

Eventually, Lex softened and slipped from Clark's body. He slid down, nuzzling and reveling in the taste of Clark's skin mixed with sweat, cum and whatever alien pheromones were driving them in this act. Finding his quiescent cock he suckled it into his mouth, teasing it slowly to fill and grow in its moist new home. Clark, still mostly pre-verbal, whimpered and gasped helpless benedictions to his new god in a language of his own devising: guttural, breathy and heartfelt. He tried to thrust up faster, but Lex pinned his hips to the floor and slowed until Clark quit struggling. When he came, it was at the command of Lex's tongue and hands, surrendering without condition, making obeisance to his new liege lord.

Lex languidly crept up Clark's body once again, his energy all but spent, but knowing that one more thing had yet to be done. He kissed Clark's swollen lips, letting him taste himself, then crawled up to slide his once again erect cock past Clark's seeking lips. The hands that reached up to encourage his hips surprised him. Lex was fairly sure it was the first time Clark had ever performed fellatio, and given the dominating position, he wasn't really expecting active participation. However, Clark sucked Lex eagerly, and his hands suggested a rapid pace, so though Lex could have forced his will here too, he chose not to this time. Clark's rhythm was quick and desperate, as if the result he sought was some sort of cure he could find nowhere else. Lex reminded himself to consider that idea the next time his consciousness was unaltered and his brain wasn't being melted out of his head with repeated orgasms. For the moment though, he surrendered to Clark's desire and gave him the results of what seemed like an endless orgasm. Eventually, Clark stopped swallowing and Lex pulled gently away from him. He was conscious that he had had his cock shoved all the way down Clark's throat and hoped that the fact that Clark had encouraged it meant that it had been equally pleasurable for them both. Clark looked stunned, but his slack mouth kept trying to twitch into a euphoric smile.

Lex let a self-satisfied smile flicker over his face then rested his head on Clark's still panting chest and threw an arm and a leg over him, protectively. Clark sighed in satisfaction. The lights and wind were gone. Lex was not sure when he had begun seeing again, but the room about them looked oddly undisturbed. Clark, however, looked delightfully rumpled: sweaty and tousled. Lex monitored their heartbeats and breathing without consciously realizing he was doing it and, seconds after Clark fell asleep, drifted after him.

A short time later, Lex awoke wrapped in a Clark cocoon, long limbs twined around him like a Trumpet vine attempting a particularly difficult ascent. He lay still and tried to take in the enormity of what he assumed had just happened. As mating rituals went, it had been very different from an Earth perspective, but impressive nonetheless. There was this lingering awareness of Clark, physically and emotionally, that sat in the back of his mind now, making itself at home. It gave Lex a sense of connectedness that went a long way towards making up for being born into the Luthor family. The memory of over-powering and controlling Clark was quite heady. Even if it never happened again, Lex knew that his old power, politics, his relationship with his Father...would forevermore pale in comparison to this one moment when he held sway over what had to be the strongest “man” on the planet. It was going to make relinquishing a variety of old pursuits easier. Lex knew his future had changed irrevocably with this one act, but strangely enough, he found he was more than content with the result.

Clark drifted. His body seemed to be busy rewiring parts of himself, but since the end result of that was never having to leave Lex, he too was more than okay with his fate. He couldn't explain how he knew that he and Lex were inextricably linked now, but he not only knew, he could tell Lex knew also and was happy about it. Lex, happy, was a very nice thing to be in close proximity with, indeed. Clark felt bathed in an aura of smug satisfaction. On someone else, it might be irritating, but on Lex, it just seemed right. Lex wore entitlement well. Rather than examining what had just passed any closer, Clark allowed himself to slip back into a doze.

Lex tried to slip away from Clark without waking him. Despite the languid warmth of the arms around him, it was somewhat like trying to nudge dried concrete. Obviously, the super-strength had returned. Lex swallowed his momentary disappointment at once again being a mere mortal in comparison to Clark, then experimentally whispered, “Let me up.” Clark's hold immediately loosened, and Lex disentangled himself, nurturing the hope that some degree of control had been retained. Clark, whatever else he was, was emotionally a teenager, and Lex could foresee moments when he would need to be the authority in the relationship. He rose and went to the en suite bath, from when “The Room” had been merely another guest room, and looked at his reflection in the well-lit mirror. He seemed unchanged in any obvious way, which was a relief since he intended to hide this from his father--hell, from both their fathers--for as long as possible.

Assuming that it was still Friday night, their original plans has been to leave early in the morning for Metropolis and a weekend of city fun, heading back late Sunday afternoon. In general, they could stick to that outline, but since this was probably as close to a honeymoon as they were likely to get any time soon, Lex began to mentally change the details as he adjusted the hot water for a shower. Less time in public, more time alone at the penthouse, but still, some memorable moments that were not centered in Lex's king size bed. Clark had to be able to tell his parents something about the trip. Lex shrugged off a moment of despair at Clark ever learning to lie convincingly to his parents. Besides all that, it was more important than ever that Clark's comfort zones start to broaden beyond Smallville. There were unavoidable things that went along with Lex being a Luthor and Clark would not always be able to avoid that now.

Clark stretched languidly, identifying and enjoying the unaccustomed aches. He sat up gingerly, expecting to be weak, but his level of strength seemed normal. A full body shudder worked its way down his back as a visceral recall of Lex pinning him to the floor while thrusting inside him burst across his memory. The physical act alone had been enough to short out his higher brain function, but when the realization hit that he could not control what was happening, that Lex was somehow stronger than he and prepared to take advantage of that fact, it was like rounding the top of the high hill on a roller coaster and plunging into free fall.

At the time, the spike of arousal was astonishingly welcome, but now it left him aware of parts of himself that he wasn't sure he was comfortable facing. He had no doubt that what happened was acceptable from a Kryptonian point of view, but he was raised human and in a small town to boot. He'd known for some time he was attracted to Lex, but flirting with that idea in his dreams was a far cry from the reality of what just happened between them. It just kept coming back to him. Lex had overpowered him when the white light came: setting the pace, controlling Clark's movements, leaving him superficially bruised and bloodied. It was something that lived in his darkest, dream laden fantasies, which he never imagined he would experience, and the reality of it was so much more overwhelming than his imagination. In fact, it occurred to him that if he stayed alone and thinking about it much longer, he was going to start freaking out.

Lex marveled at this new sense of Clark, which told him that his lover was awake and approaching the bathroom. It allowed him to continue calmly with his shower when his ears heard nothing of the approach over the running water.

“Lex?” Clark stood in the doorway, rubbing his eyes groggily. “Can I come in?”

“Of course, you can. Always.” Lex answered. The shower stall door opened and Clark stepped into the warm steamy atmosphere. He stood in front of Lex tentatively, as if unsure how to progress. Lex smiled up at him, and Clark blushed, grinned and ducked his head.

“Hey,” Lex teased, “what's that about? You're not having doubts, are you?”

Clark, reassured by the familiar teasing, immediately responded by wrapping his arms around Lex and pulling him close. “Oh, the 'why me' kind of doubts. You could have anyone, Lex.” Clark glowed with adoration as he stroked up Lex's neck to caress the back of his head.

Lex's delighted laughter danced across the steaming air. “You, my friend, are the true prize here, and the fact that you don't know it makes you all the more valuable to me.”

They stood under the cascading water, relaxing into each other's touch. Eventually, Lex reached for a bath sponge and shower gel and began washing Clark, slowly and sensually.

“I thought we'd go ahead and leave for Metropolis tonight,” Lex offered casually.

“Mmm,” Clark made an agreeable sound of pleasure. “Whatever you want, Lex.”

“We do have some things to talk about, ...Kal-El.”

Clark flinched slightly. “I know. Just be...I don't know...patient? Kind? That sounds so lame. I know I owe you answers, Lex. Just remember that I've been...programmed...all my life to avoid giving them. And there's a lot I don't know... not to mention the stuff I don't even know how I know.” Clark's tone, at first wistful, grew challenging, “Some of it you'll have to help me figure out, or decide if it's best left alone.” Clark shot Lex a pointed look then let his head fall onto Lex's shoulder as if it were too heavy to hold up any longer. Relief colored his words. “I'm so glad you know now. My folks have done their best, but sometimes they don't like looking at all this powers stuff any longer than it takes to control it and hide it.”

Lex ran a hand over Clark's bowed head in slow, tranquil strokes, careful to avoid tangling his fingers in Clark's wet hair. “It's alright.” he soothed, “We'll figure things out together from now on, and I promise that I'll work on that whole 'no knowledge is bad knowledge' thing. I promise I'll learn to let things go when it's in your best interest. I won't let anything happen to you, Clark. You're mine, and no one gets to hurt you, not even me.”

As they hugged each other comfortingly, Lex realized that neither of them was aroused. They had both certainly been enjoying the feeling of hands exploring wet skin. Maybe his underlying desire to get them out of Smallville as soon as possible was manifesting itself by controlling their libidos. Mentally shrugging it off, he added it to the list of things to observe as time progressed. He suspected that his already-mutated body would react differently now that he and Clark were “together” for lack of a better word. If his control extended to Clark too that would be a bonus. Time would tell. Right now, it allowed him to progress forward without dealing with the attentions of a randy, newly ex-virgin and that fit in with his plans just fine. The next time they had sex, Lex wanted a bed at the very least, preferably in a more secure location with less likelihood of anyone's parents being outside the door. Clark had seemed a little pensive when he entered the shower, and Lex was frankly expecting more of a reaction to their situation than he'd gotten so far, but the emotional stuff that was surely to come would hopefully wait until they were in a more secure place.

“Wash your hair and let's get going,” Lex suggested as he stepped out from under the water and left Clark to finish up.

By the time Lex had dried off and gathered up what remained of their scattered clothing, Clark was dry and ready to go. Lex had a towel wrapped around his waist since his pants were missing in action, so Clark followed suit. As Lex hesitated at the door, Clark gave him a quizzical look. Lex grinned sheepishly.

“I just keep picturing our fathers waiting on the other side of that door. Yours has a shotgun.”

Clark grinned then got a look of concentration on his face as his head scanned left then right.

“We're OK. No one on this entire floor.” He stated firmly with a bit of cockiness in his tone. He was showing off and enjoying it.

“I'll bite, Clark. How do you know that?” Lex asked with an indulgent smile.

“I can see through things. We call it X-ray vision, but it's better than that. I can look through in layers sort of: at first I kept seeing skin or muscles or bones. The seeing through walls and clothes was kind of cool,” he paused and his cheeks took on a rosy bloom, “but talking to someone who looks like they've been skinned alive is seriously scary.” A light shudder ran down Clark's frame, despite his goofy grin at remembering his initial reaction.

Lex looked appropriately impressed.

“You can see through anything?”

“Anything except lead,” Clark shrugged.

“Workable, as restrictions go,” Lex noted as he unlocked the door and motioned Clark into the hallway.

They made their way quickly to Lex's room. Once behind closed doors, Lex ran his fingers through Clark's hair then disappeared into his closet to dress. Clark sat on the edge of the bed digging through his overnight bag for fresh clothes. Lex, knowing that confessions were sometimes easier when you weren't face to face, asked a casual question from the depths of the walk-in.

“So fast, strong, mostly invulnerable skin, the x-ray vision thing...there's fire too, isn't there?”

Clark's voice was quiet but steady.

“That's my eyes too. Heat saw earlier.”

“Ah, the flames in your eyes, and here I thought that was just your burning desire for me.” Lex's voice was warmly self-deprecating. Suddenly, an old puzzle became clear. “Of course, the fires at school and at the Talon. What else have I missed?”

“I can freeze stuff with my breath, and hear things really far away or really quiet if I concentrate. That one was annoying at first. Oh, I've woke up floating a few times, so I think I might fly someday.” Clark kept expecting Lex to over-react, but the disembodied voice from the closet was reassuringly matter of fact.

“Flying, that might be handy. Wait, aren't you an acrophobe?”

Clark chuckled. “The irony hasn't escaped me.”

Clark started dressing when heard Lex had found an outfit and was putting it on. The lull in the conversation lasted until Lex wandered out of the closet, dressed but barefoot, and headed for his dresser. Clark found himself unaccountably fascinated by the contrast of Lex's pale feet on the dark carpet, jerking his head up when he heard Lex begin to speak.

“I made you bleed earlier. I find that slightly disturbing,” he commented calmly as he selected cuff links and inserted them. He turned in place and met Clark's eyes in a way simultaneously that relaxed him and put him on edge. Clark shook his head slowly, used to Lex effectively being a synonym for contradiction.

“This is one of those times where I don't know. I don't know why you creating that room made me feel like I finally understood what love felt like; I don't know why kneeling at your feet made me vulnerable to you; and I don't know why we both spoke Kryptonian or why it caused the light show. I do know I liked the end result though,” Clark added coyly.

“Kryptonian?” Lex queried succinctly.

“I came on the day of the meteor shower, from Krypton. As near as we can figure the meteors are what is left of my home planet.”

“And you know the language because?”

“Oh, there's an AI version of my birth father in the space capsule I came in: his name was Jor-El. I don't really know Kryptonian as much as I remember it when I hear it. He talks to me in it sometimes.” A pause ended by a jerky shrug. “Sometimes it's even useful information. Usually though, he just wants me to take over the world.”

Lex snorted. “Let me get this straight...your father wants you to take over the world?”

“See, we have more in common than anyone thinks.”

They both laughed softly, grinning in the dim, indirect lighting. Still connected even though they were separated by several yards.

Lex paused, enjoying the moment, then sauntered over to Clark and bonelessly reclined on the bed next to him. He laid on his back, putting himself on a lower, less threatening level before mentioning the next subject. Clark twisted to face him, leaning back on one arm, and looking down into Lex's suddenly earnest face.

“The meteor rocks hurt you,” Lex said in a hushed but firm voice. “I've figured that out. Can they kill you?”

Clark swallowed thickly and smiled humorlessly in the way some people do when talking about something terrible they have survived.

“I don't know, but they can make me wish I were dead, so maybe enough of them might kill me. Then again,” he shrugged, “I always get better as soon as they're far enough away.” He took a deep breath that someone other than Lex might not have noticed was shaky, then the Kent power of positive thinking reemerged. “My powers have changed over time--Old ones grown stronger, new ones appearing--maybe eventually the rocks won't affect me so much.”

Lex was quiet for a moment.

“We can only hope. In the meantime, we'll have to see about cleaning up Smallville.”

Clark sighed in relief at the thought of Lex dealing with even some of the meteor fragments. Lex allowed some of the tension he had been feeling over the thought of Clark being in danger to release. Having an immediate goal to plan for let him relax slightly as his mind began to play out various clean-up scenarios.

“Lex?” Clark ventured hesitantly into the silence. He sounded conflicted and unsure.

A muted tension grew as Clark struggled to find words to express what he needed to say.

“Clark, does it bother you more that you had sex with a man, that it made you temporarily weak, or that I held you down and you liked it?” Lex said softly.

“Lex!” Clark protested. “ All of the above?” He stammered lamely.

Lex laughed, low and evil. It made Clark shiver and feel weak in new and pleasurable ways. Lex's voice felt even more intimate than his touch.

Clark strove to be worthy of Lex's regard now that there could be truth between them. “Maybe, mostly, the last one, you know?” He sounded hopelessly embarrassed but at the same time wistful.

Lex beamed in approval.

“Don't worry. Your strength seems back to normal...for you...but I can find ways to make you feel just as helpless. Dominance is mostly in the mind, Clark, and fortunately for you, I am a past master. It's been bred into me. There's nothing wrong with enjoying being out of control. I promise.”

Clark's hand reached tentatively to rest on Lex's thigh. Lex made a small pleased hum deep in his throat. Clark squeezed gently then let his other arm slide across the bed until he was lying next to Lex facing him on his side. He closed his eyes with a sliver of a sweet smile. His instincts were telling him to let Lex take care of things. For once, he would not resist his nature. If this thing with Lex, how Lex made him feel, was part of his Kryptonian heritage, then maybe he was okay with being an alien for the first time since he'd angrily stuck his hand in the wood chipper. He drifted into a light repose unaware that his thumb was lightly caressing back and forth on Lex's inner thigh, making Lex float between being soothed and aroused by the touch. Lex luxuriated in the moment, so much simpler yet more rich than any contact he had felt in a long time, but eventually laid his hand over Clark's then lightly bussed Clark's incredibly kissable lips when his eyes opened inquiringly.

“Let's hit the road,” Lex suggested firmly. There was a part of him that was going to feel infinitely better when he had Clark miles away from Smallville and in his high rise penthouse, behind the layers of security only afforded by the very rich. There was a strong appeal in being tucked away in a secure, easily defendable location, and it made him realize that the underlying instinct to protect Clark had been nagging at him ever since they had left the locked safety of “The Room.” He hoped the strength of the desire was a function of the newness of their situation, because he recognized that Clark would likely only allow himself to be protected so far. Lex, though, knew that there were limits and strictures to Clark's invulnerability and was determined to instill a bit more caution in his errant white knight. Now that they had established whatever this was between them, Lex intended to enjoy it for decades to come, and that meant Clark needed to be more careful, and Lex needed to become more vigilant.

Lex got up off the bed decisively and finished dressing. He was pleased to see Clark immediately follow his lead. How much of that was the connection and how much Clark's innate amiability remained to be seen, but further experimentation could take place in Metropolis, preferably in his large, firm bed.

Lex grabbed Clark suddenly and kissed him like he was marking his territory for all to see. Clark enthusiastically participated to the extent allowed, making small, almost wounded sounds of delight. Lex released him with a triumphant smirk.

“Grab the bags, Clark. The bright lights of the big city await,” he said expansively as he headed towards the door. As he reached for the doorknob, he looked over his shoulder and raised an eyebrow inquiringly. Clark grinned. “The coast is clear, Lex: no parents or shotguns in any combination.”

Lex opened the door and motioned Clark through it with a mocking flourish. “Come on, Clark. If I'm not mistaken, we're on our Honeymoon, and Sunday night is going to come way too soon. A star-filled night awaits, and we have a convertible. If you're lucky, I might even let you drive.”

They ran playfully down the stairs, each feeling the other's lighthearted happiness like a glowing coal deep inside. When they returned, life was undoubtedly making a turn for the complicated even by Smallville standards, but that was a weekend away. For now, the night air tasted like beginnings.

Ad Finum