Components of Love










Part Six: Friendship



Lex checked his appearance in the full-length mirror one final time. He was dressed down, for him, wearing slacks and a ribbed midnight blue lightweight sweater. The dark circles under his eyes, caused by the predicted nightmares, and the discolored bruise on the back of his head were concealed by stage makeup. The abrasion on his scalp was once again hidden by a professionally blended bandage. Nathan still hadn't asked how Lex had gotten the injuries, a mark of a good personal assistant. Lex made a mental note to give him a raise.

Lex checked his watch as he headed downstairs. Clark would be arriving shortly, to collect Lex for the teen's birthday dinner. The original plan was to go to dinner with Clark's friends and then return to the castle for a private celebration, but with Lionel in town that plan had been shot to hell. Lex was thoroughly disappointed, and extremely horny. He'd been waiting a very long time to make love with Clark, and the next few days until his father left were going to be pure torture.

Lex's tormenter was in the study, sitting at Lex's desk and using Lex's computers. The bald man sneered at Lionel. "Don't forget to check out the folder labeled 'Plans to destroy father.' It makes for a fascinating read."

"Very amusing," Lionel said dryly.

"I wasn't joking." Lex rounded the desk, opened the bottom left drawer, and removed a plainly wrapped gift.

"Ah, yes, it's your little boy's birthday today. How old is he now, twelve? Thirteen?"

"Dad, you don't want to get into a battle with me over Clark," Lex warned icily. "You will lose."

"He's just a child, Lex," Lionel said. "Is he really worth you losing the company?"

"Is he really worth you losing an heir?" Lex countered, walking out of the study without a backward glance.

Lex found Clark waiting in the front hall for him. The raven-haired teen was dressed in farmboy chic, complete with blue plaid flannel and sturdy boots, a vast difference from yesterday's $3,000 attire.

Clark held a set of car keys out in front of him. "Dad says that if you give me a car for my birthday, he'll run you over with it. Repeatedly."

"Then it's a good thing that this is your gift." Lex held out the inch-thick present, taking the keys at the same time. "Happy Birthday."

"Can I open it?" Clark asked excitedly, accepting the package.

"That's normally what one does with gifts," Lex teased. Clark scowled, but still ripped off the wrapping on the gift, crumpling the paper in one hand.

"Hey, cool!" Clark exclaimed.

"It's a portable chess set," Lex said unnecessarily. Clark opened the latch to expose the chess pieces snapped snugly to the soft underside of the board. "The board opens flat, so you can play anywhere. Just don't go kissing other people across the board."

Clark's smile lit up the foyer as he remembered their first kiss. "Only you get that privilege," he said, leaning forward -- and across the board in his hands -- to kiss Lex. "Thank you."

"You're welcome." Lex took the crumpled wrapping paper and tossed it on a nearby table. "Ready to go?"

"Yeah." Clark looked past Lex at Lionel Luthor, who had been watching them the whole time. "Everyone's waiting for us at Annie's."

Lex turned, saw his father, and waved mockingly. "Bye, Dad. Have fun going through my files."

Lionel said nothing, and they left under his disapproving frown.

"How did things go today?" Clark asked once they were on the road.

"I hate my dad."

"That good, huh?" Clark studied Lex's profile in the golden light of the setting sun. Tension had Lex white-knuckling the steering wheel, and his shoulder muscles were visibly knotted. "What did he do this time?"

"We went through the plant's computerized books with a fine-toothed comb. He made me account for every single expenditure, down to why I ordered a certain brand of paperclips over another," Lex growled unhappily. "That took up most of the day, but still left him two hours to chew me out regarding keeping the employees on salary and insured."

"Is he going to stop the salaries?"

Lex shook his head. "No. There's an annual corporate budget for the plant, and it's up to me how it's spent. Despite Dad's words to the contrary, he really did give me the plant to run, or run into the ground, on my own. He just wants my way to be the same as his way, and that's one of the few reasons we get along so well," he finished sarcastically.

"Was there ever a time when the two of you did get along?" Clark asked curiously.

"1987." Lex shot Clark a self-deprecating smirk. "That was the year I was sent to boarding school."

Annie's Pizza was the local pizza place, anchoring the beginning of Main Street. Inside, the atmosphere was comfortable; it was a restaurant for families and friends. There were booths and tables covered in red plastic tablecloths, and the wait staff wore jeans and were known by name. The scents of spices, mozzarella, peppers, and freshly baked crust combined in the air to make stomachs rumble in anticipation.

Lex parked the car in the side lot next to the brown brick building, and he and Clark entered the restaurant laughing over something Lex had said. The quarter-fed jukebox was playing Buddy Holly, and Connie, the matronly hostess, was humming along. She smiled widely when she saw Clark. "Hello, birthday boy!"

"Hi, Connie." Clark and his friends had been coming to Annie's for his birthday since the sixth grade. "Are Chloe, Pete, and Lana here yet?"

"They sure are, honey." Connie motioned for him and Lex to enter the dining area. "I put you guys in the back corner booth."

Six-person booths lined the perimeter of the dining area. As told, the boys found Chloe Sullivan, Pete Ross, and Lana Lang squished together on one side of the cracked vinyl booth, with Pete in the middle. It was a seating arrangement Pete didn't seem too unhappy about.

"Hey, guys," Clark said cheerfully, sliding his lanky frame into the corner of the booth. Lex sat beside him as the three across the table greeted them with friendly welcome.

Clark set his chess set on the table, pushing it towards his friends. "Look what I got from Lex!"

"A chess set?" Chloe half-smirked. "You do realize that you're affirming your geek status by being excited about a chess set."

"Chess is not geeky," Clark stated. Pete opened the latch to the chess set to see the pieces. Lana made sounds of appreciation as she looked over his shoulder.

"Clark, you've seen the pictures of the Chess Team at school," Chloe said. "Only nerds who dress weird and use words like 'quasi-molecular destabilization' in normal conversation play chess."

"I play chess," Lex said.

Chloe smiled smugly. "I prove my point."

Lex gave her a dirty look. Clark tried to hide his snickers behind his hand and failed miserably. Lex's dirty look swung to Clark, and the teen grinned unabashedly. "Sorry," he lied.

"You will be," Lex told him. Clark's grin only grew larger.

The waitress, Darcy, stopped at the table, took their order, and wished Clark a Happy Birthday. Clark beamed a thank you.

Conversation started up again when Darcy left, centered around something that happened at the high school earlier that day. Lex settled back on the bench seat and simply listened. It was times like this when he felt more out of place than usual with Clark's friends. They were somewhat Lex's friends, too, by default, because of his relationship with Clark. Although they didn't know he and Kent were dating, the two men were together often enough for Lex to be included within the small circle.

Surreptitiously, Lex watched his onetime rival, Lana Lang. She hadn't changed much in the years he'd known her. She still was sweet, caring, and had the personality of a wet noodle. Lex never understood why Clark saw her as the ideal girl. She was pretty, but Chloe was more so and she had a vivacious zeal for life. Lana seemed sad all the time.

Luckily for Lex, it didn't really matter. Clark was as gay as Elton John, minus the diamond-studded glasses, and the teen had chosen Lex as who he wanted, which worked out fine with the billionaire. Lex had wanted Clark since that fateful day on the riverbank, when he'd opened his eyes and thought he was in hell, because heaven wouldn't have an angel that sinfully hot.

They were friends, though, first and foremost. Best friends, who shared occasional mind-shattering kisses. Lex needed Clark outside of the bedroom in a way that was both exhilarating and frightening. He could get sex from anyone, but Clark was the only person he could talk to, openly and honestly. He still had his secrets, many of them, both in the business world and in his past personal life, but he could share things with Clark that he could never tell anyone else. The downside was that if he and Clark ever broke up, Lex could lose more than just a boyfriend. He doubted Clark would ever disclose confidences, but the possibility was still there.

Lex wondered if his father had ever been in a similar situation. Had Mom and Dad been best friends as well as lovers? Lex hadn't been home enough to objectively view the relationship between his parents. He remembered them fighting, but not overly much, when he was on school breaks.

Then, his mom had gotten sick, and Lex had gotten angry with the world. By the time his mother had died, the rift between father and son was as wide as a chasm and Lex only made it worse by his wild and reckless behavior. Why Lionel never disowned him was a question for the ages. For some of the things Lex had done, he deserved to be out on the street, or locked up in a penitentiary. Yet, his dad had paid the lawyers and the doctors and the cover-up slime, like Phelan and Benson, to clean up Lex's messes, with only screaming as his punishment until Lionel had finally exiled him to Smallville. And that last punishment had become the best reward of Lex's life.

Lex looked tenderly at Clark as the pizzas arrived, with a fat candle in the center of one. The wait staff gathered at the end of the booth and began singing the traditional birthday tune along with Clark's friends. Soon, the other patrons of the restaurant joined in -- everyone knew Clark Kent -- and the birthday boy squirmed embarrassingly in his seat.

"Make a wish, Clark," Lana prompted, when the last note faded.

Clark closed his eyes briefly, his face as red as the tablecloth. Then, he leaned forward and blew out the candle.

The wait staff clapped, wished Clark an extra Happy Birthday, and the candle was taken away. Pete and Chloe reached for pizza slices immediately. Lana took a piece a moment later.

Lex was curious as to the teen's wish. He would give Clark anything in his power to give, and that included a hell of a lot. "So, what did you wish for?"

Clark sent Lex a wicked, wicked smile in response, his blue eyes burning as hot as molten fire.

Lex flushed pink. His composure flew out the window at Clark's darkly amused chuckle, and Lex quickly excused himself to take refuge in the restroom. He knew exactly what the gorgeous man-child had wished for, without a word being said, and he wondered if he could convince Lionel to stay elsewhere for the night.

Clark watched Lex until he was gone from sight, and snickered softly. He took a large, gooey bite of pizza.

"Clark, you made Lex blush," Chloe said with interest.

"I know," Clark said, swallowing. Chloe looked expectantly for an explanation. "Inside joke, Chloe. You wouldn't understand."

Chloe hummed unsatisfactorily, but let it slide. Clark was glad. He had come out to his parents and Lionel Luthor today, but he wasn't quite ready to tell his friends that he was playing footsie with Lex. Annie's Pizza wasn't really the place to do so, either.

Lex returned, sans blush, and asked Chloe if she lined up her summer internship yet, as he began to eat. Conversation turned from there to a discussion on everyone's summer plans. Clark's plans mostly involved getting Lex naked as often as possible, but he didn't voice that to his friends.

Dinner eventually ended with groans about being stuffed, and the check was split between Chloe, Lana, and Pete as Clark's birthday gift. Lex left the tip, and the group jokingly tumbled outside into the warm night.

Clark waved when Pete honked, the two girls with him in his truck. They yelled another Happy Birthday to Clark out the window before Pete drove off, taking Chloe and Lana home.

Lex folded his arms on the roof of the car in the parking lot and looked across at Clark. "What now, birthday boy? And don't suggest sex, because that isn't going to happen."

Clark pouted.

"Clark--."

He added puppy-dog eyes.

"Clark--."

He dropped his chin and looked at Lex through his fringe.

"Clark!"

He sighed forlornly, and with great exaggeration.

Lex banged his forehead on his crossed arms. "I. hate. my. father."

Lionel Luthor strode rapidly from the shadows of the restaurant building towards Lex. "Now, Lex, you don't mean that."

Clark jumped in surprise. Lex snapped around to face his father. Lionel grabbed Lex by the arms and practically flung him to the ground.

A shot echoed in the parking lot.

"DAD!"





Part Seven: Unconditional





Clark drove Lex's car behind the ambulance to the hospital. He had to park at the far end of the parking lot and, by the time he rushed inside the hospital, Lionel had already been taken into the emergency unit.

Lex was standing stiffly in front of the swinging doors that prohibited admittance from unauthorized persons. His ashen face reflected in the glass of one door's window.

Clark came up behind him and laid a comforting hand on his shoulder. Lex jumped, spinning quickly, blue-grey eyes large and scared.

"It's just me," Clark said.

Lex immediately stepped into Clark's arms, burying his face into the hollow of Clark's shoulder. He started to curse vehemently and continued until Clark's ears were burning. Nancy Parker, the nurse at the desk who was in his mom's quilting circle, looked on with unabashed interest.

Lex abruptly pulled away from Clark, dashing the back of his hand across his wet eyes. He swore again, removed his cell phone from his pocket, and hit speed dial. Sliding a hand over his scalp, wincing when he hit his bruise, he began to pace as he spoke into the phone.

"Nathan, I'm at Good Samaritan Hospital. My father's been shot." Lex glanced at the swinging doors barring his admittance and purposely turned his back to them. "I'm going to need security here immediately. Smallville is still plagued with reporters because of the plant and they'll converge on the hospital in no time. Call my dad's idiot assistant, Dominic, so he's aware of the situation. Also, prepare me a list of LuthorCorp's majority stockholders and their phone numbers. I'll call them personally when I learn Dad's condition."

Lex looked down at himself and continued in an almost detached state. "I'll need a change of clothing, too. Casual professional. My sweater has blood on it."

The doors to the emergency unit opened, and Lex pivoted sharply as he terminated his call. Hope flashed across his face before his emotions could be suppressed. It wasn't a doctor who passed through the doors, however, only the janitor with a mop bucket.

Lex muttered another curse and walked over to Nancy's desk. "I'd like to speak with the hospital administrator in charge tonight," he said to her.

"Say 'please,'" Clark stage-whispered from behind him.

"Please," Lex added nonplusedly.

Nancy smiled motherly at Clark, nodded to Lex, and picked up the receiver on her desk phone. "That would be Kyla LaPaich. I'll dial her for you."

"Thanks, Mrs. Parker," Clark said. When Lex got on the phone with the hospital administrator, Clark lowered his voice and asked Nancy, "Have you heard anything about Mr. Luthor?"

"Nothing yet, sweetie." Nancy glanced past Clark into the waiting area, before adding, "But I'll see what I can find out."

Clark gave her a grateful smile. "Thank you."

Nancy left the desk and Clark's smile turned into a frown of worry. Lionel Luthor had been shot. Clark had seen the bullet only a millisecond before it had hit Lionel in the back, because of the darkness of the parking lot. Clark had scanned the lot for the assailant but found no one, which greatly worried him. He should have heard someone run away, at least. What scared him more, however, was that if Lionel hadn't pushed his son to the ground, it would have been Lex who had gotten shot. Coupled with the bomb at the plant, Clark was able to draw a frightening conclusion: someone was trying to kill Lex.

And Lionel Luthor knew it.

Nancy returned just as Lex hung up the phone. She informed them that Lionel was in the operating theater and that it would be at least a half-hour before a definitive answer could be given on his condition.

A half-hour turned into an hour and during that time the hospital became a media circus. Nathan arrived with a suit and security, followed by Kyla LaPaich. An administrative conference room was set up for the press and Lex was given Kyla's office for privacy, with only Clark and Nathan allowed to pass through the door.

The reporters were like vultures, hungry at the scent of death. They ruthlessly pecked at hospital staff until security contained them in the conference room. Lex gave them a very brief statement, which was repeated almost non-stop on the television during commercial breaks.

The police arrived at one point and took Lex and Clark's statements. Clark talked to his parents, too, on the phone, and told them not to come to the hospital when they suggested it.

Clark was sitting in Kyla's office, silently watching Lex. The bald businessman was untouchable at the moment, distant and cold. He was acting like a Luthor, rather than as Lex.

Clark let him be, and Lex appreciated that more than any type of consoling. Sympathy was just a polite way of saying 'glad it's you and not me,' and Lex didn't want that from Clark.

Lex stared out of the office window into the night. His composure was wound tightly around him, letting no hint of his tumultuous emotions show. Self-control was essential. The Luthor empire was balanced precariously on his shoulders while the business world waited for news on his father. One slip, and the empire would crumble within minutes, should the worst occur and Lionel died.

Lex's stomach churned at the possibility that his father might die. He hated the man, but Lionel was his dad. Blood ran thicker than feelings and emotions. Lex had already lost his mother, and he didn't want to be alone in the world.

Though, he wasn't entirely alone. Lex shifted his focus and looked at Clark's reflection in the window. The boy was sprawled in a chair, hands folded on his stomach, watching Lex with compassionate eyes. God, he loved Clark Kent. Lex didn't know if their relationship would last, but he'd hold on to Clark for as long as he could.

There was a knock on the door before Nathan came in, followed by the doctor. Clark stood as Lex rounded the desk to meet Dr. Williams. "My father--"

"--Is in recovery," Dr. Williams said. "The bullet punctured his left lung, but we were able to repair it with little trouble. He is currently sleeping off the anesthetic. He will be moved to a private room once he awakens and then you'll be able to visit."

Lex shook the doctor's hand. "Thank you. Please, have someone inform me when I may see him."

The doctor agreed and left. Lex turned to Nathan. "I'll make a statement to the press in five minutes."

"Yes, sir," Nathan said. He closed the office door behind him as he left to prepare the reporters.

Lex looked over at Clark. "You can go home now."

"No, I can't," Clark said. "Someone has tried twice to kill you, and they all say that the third time's the charm."

"You think the bomb and the shooting are connected?" Lex said.

"Yes."

Lex sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. "So do I."

Clark hesitated, then said, "I think your dad's involved, too."

"I have no doubt." Lex didn't believe his father's appearance at Annie's, or his subsequent actions, to be a coincidence. "As soon as I'm able to see him, I'll ask."

"Do you think he'll be straight with you?"

"My father has never lied to me," Lex said. "He just has an obscure way of telling the truth."



*****



The color scheme in the private rooms of Good Samaritan Hospital would give a monkey epileptic fits. Lionel Luthor's room was painted mauve and seafoam green, with blinding white trim. It matched the hospital gown he wore. He was sitting propped up in bed, with a heart monitor and an IV-line attached to him. He looked pale but well-groomed, and was barking orders into a cell phone in spite of it being the middle of the night.

Lex shut the hospital room door, leaving Clark in the hallway along with the security officer. Lex was tired, irritable, and not looking forward to sparring verbally with his father. There had been too much excitement in too few days, and all Lex wanted to do was sleep with his boyfriend.

Lionel terminated his call when he saw Lex and set the phone aside. "Lex, I'm pleasantly surprised. You've done a fairly adequate job of keeping the wolves at bay."

"Maybe next time I'll earn a gold star, if I have all the facts first," Lex said. He walked over to the heart monitor and ran his finger along the screen. He was inwardly pleased to see the steady blip on the display. "So, do you plan on telling me what's going on?"

"Well, at the moment, I'm recovering after being shot in the back," Lionel said acerbically.

"Dad, don't be a dick; you know what I mean."

"Language, Lex," Lionel tisked. "That's no way to talk to your father."

"It is when it's the truth," Lex said. "Something I'm still waiting to hear from you."

Lionel folded his hands and rested them on his lap. "And what is it you want to know, precisely?"

"You can start by explaining why you were shot."

"That's easy. The bad guy pulls the trigger on a pistol, causing the hammer to strike--"

"Jesus Christ, Dad!" Lex exclaimed, interrupting the caustic science lesson. "I'm not in the mood to play your stupid mind games. You and I both know you had something to do with what happened tonight and at the plant."

"If I did, why should I tell you?" Lionel said with a mocking lift of his brows.

"Because I'm your son, goddamn it," Lex spat between clenched teeth, "and you could have died tonight and I would never know why."

Lionel looked at Lex a moment. "Very well, since you wish to know so badly," he began. "Three days ago, I received a telephone call from someone, demanding $2-million dollars in exchange for your life. Naturally, I ignored the threat. You know that I never bow to blackmailers. Hell, everyone does."

"Except for him," Lex sniped sarcastically.

"Apparently so," Lionel agreed. "Yesterday, he called and claimed the bomb at the plant was from him, and that you wouldn't get lucky a second time."

"And you still didn't pay him?" Lex said incredulously.

"Of course not," Lionel replied. "Word would get out that I could be blackmailed, and I'd soon have nothing. No company, no money, nothing."

"So, I'm nothing to you, huh?" Lex forcefully hid the hurt that struck him as one of his fears was verified. "Why doesn't that surprise me?"

"I didn't say that."

"You don't have to; your actions speak loud enough."

"Now listen here, you spoiled little punk," Lionel suddenly snapped angrily. "I love you more than my own life, no matter what shit you do, but what kind of example would I be for you if I let others have control over me? You will one day be at the helm of the Luthor empire, while I enjoy a life of leisure, but that time is not now and I will not allow all that I worked hard to build to be taken away."

Lex gaped, speechless. Shock had frozen him to the spot. Dad loved him. For the first time since as far back as he could remember, his father had said that he loved Lex.

Lionel's cell phone trilled, causing Lex to jump. The older man answered. "Luthor." He covered the mouthpiece immediately and said, "It's him."

Lex cleared his throat, straightened to his full height, and held out his hand. "May I?"

Lionel acquiesced, passing Lex the cell. Lex put the phone to his ear. "This is Lex Luthor. You shot my father. I owe you a thanks, Mr--."

"Ah, the heir apparent," a digitally cyberized voice said over the line. "You may call me Mr. Jones. And, incidentally, I was aiming for you."

Lex looked at his father again in surprise as the pieces fell into place. Lionel must have followed Lex, seen Mr. Jones, and sacrificed himself to save Lex's life. If it hadn't actually happened, Lex wouldn't have believed it.

Lex turned away from Lionel and concentrated on the task at hand. "As I'm to understand it, you want $2-million in exchange for my life."

"That was three days ago. Now, I want $5-million."

"Luthors do not play blackmailers, Mr. Jones. Never," Lex stated. "However, I am seeking a man such as yourself to put on payroll. The salary is $500,000 per year, plus a sign on bonus of $7-million."

Mr. Jones was silent for a long moment. Finally, he said, "The catch?"

"You work for me and me alone," Lex said. "You will not freelance, you will be on call 24-hours a day year round, and you will not make further attempts on my life. Do we have an agreement, Mr. Jones?"

Another long pause. Then, "Yes."

"Good," Lex said. "Purchase yourself a new cell phone that will only be called by me." He rattled of his own personal cell phone number. "Call me back when you have the phone, to give me the numbers to your off-shore accounts. It's a pleasure to have you on board, Mr. Jones."

Lex terminated the call, turned, and tossed the cell to his father. Lionel looked extremely impressed. "Perhaps you're worthy to be my son, after all," he said. "I'm proud of you."

Lex shook his head disgustedly. "I put a murderer on payroll and you're proud of me, but when I turn Plant No. 3 into a profit-making subsidy you tear me a new one. I will never understand you."

"If you did what I said in regards to the plant, we wouldn't have a problem."

"If I did what you said, half the town would be unemployed."

"Your point?"

The ensuing argument was cut off by a nurse in yellow scrubs entering the room, with Clark right behind her. The teen crossed to Lex, keeping one eye on the nurse as she checked Lionel's blood pressure and pulse rate.

"Everything okay?" Clark asked Lex quietly.

"I'll tell you later," Lex replied, and he would, too. He would explain to Clark about Jones, the blackmail, the shooting and the bomb at the plant. He would also tell Clark about putting Jones on payroll, explaining why it was the perfect way to ensure he would not try to kill Lex or blackmail the Luthors again. If asked, Lex would agree that he was not planning to use Jones, which would be true. He had no definite plans to use Jones' skills, but he never knew when those skills might be needed. It was an obscured truth. Perhaps he really was his father's son, after all.

The nurse left the room, but Clark stayed behind. "I'm glad you're all right, Mr. Luthor."

Lionel studied Clark. "You actually mean that, don't you?"

"Uh, yes?" Clark seemed unsure of the correct answer. He glanced at Lex, standing beside him, for help.

"Hmm." Lionel looked between Clark and Lex, before addressing his son. "Bring Mr. Kent with you when you come for dinner in Metropolis next month. I'd like to get to know your lover better."

Clark blushed beet red, and even Lex colored some. The teen stammered an excuse and practically fled from the room.

"Dad," Lex said with a hint of embarrassment. "Clark and I haven't... we aren't lovers."

"But you will be by the time you come for dinner," Lionel said knowingly.

"I'm leaving now." Lex ignored Lionel's chuckles as he went to leave. "I'll be back to check you out of the hospital around noon."

He paused at the door, a hand on the knob, and glanced over his shoulder at his father. "I'm glad you're okay, too, Dad, and... Iloveyou."

With that, Lex fled as quickly as Clark, not daring to wait for a reply.



Epilogue: Happily Ever After



"Hey, Lex," Clark greeted cheerfully as he entered the study at Luthor manor. "What's going on?"

Lex didn't lift his eyes from the blueprints spread out over the desk. "I'm deciding where to put a storage facility for the meteor rocks. I want it to be convenient to the new plant, but separate enough for safety. I'd really like to avoid turning my employees into mutants, if possible."

Once the police investigation into the bombing had finished (case unsolved, filed: unimportant), Lionel had decided to give full control over LuthorCorp Plant No. 3 to Lex. After the cleverness involving the Mr. Jones problem last May, the elder Luthor wanted to see what else Lex was capable of doing on his own initiative. It was an opportunity Lex had been waiting for, to show Lionel that he was a Luthor, too, and he would make his father proud.

"It sounds like you've been working hard," Clark said casually. "It's probably time for you to take a break and have sex with me."

Lex didn't look up. "Clark, the surveyor needs my decision by five o'clock."

"It's only noon."

Lex still didn't look up. "It's Wednesday. I'm working."

"It's summer. I'm horny."

Lex refused to look up. "So jerk off and I'll screw you after five o'clock."

"Okay."

Lex wasn't going to look up. He wasn't, even when he heard the rub of material against skin... the sound of Clark's breathy groan... the slide of a hand on flesh...

His voice cracked when he said, "I didn't mean to jerk off here."

Clark laughed darkly.

"Clark--."

He moaned.

"Clark--."

He gasped softly. "Oh, Lex."

Lex couldn't stand it any more. He looked up.

Clark was perched on the arm of the couch, fully clothed and smiling evilly, while rubbing the palms of his hands together.

"You are so dead."

Lex took off after Clark as he ran from the room, their laughter filling the ancient halls of the castle. The bald billionaire and the beautiful boy, subtle media darlings, were completely happy. They loved each other, and did so through the ups and downs, dealing with Clark's alienness, and the fact that Lex was very much his father's son.

Proving that, sometimes, fairy tale endings do come true.



End



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