The Rain


It was raining pretty hard, the fat droplets beating a tempo on his bare scalp, sliding along the curve of his head under the collar of his suit coat. It was uncomfortable and cold, and he would much rather be inside where it was dry and warm and there was scotch. But no, he was outside in the spring rain, assisting Clark in covering a decorative fence that had recently been painted. Lex could’ve let his staff do this, or just have the fence repainted once the white coating ran off from the rain. Instead, Lex had traipsed outside into the garden, getting drenched in his Hugo Boss, to help.

Clearly, he was insane. Or infatuated. Either one didn’t bode well for him.

It wasn’t as if the fence cared if it lost its coat, or that the people he’d hired to paint it would be put off. Heck, they’d get paid extra in order to repaint the waist-high slats that ran along the border of the garden. He didn’t bother asking Clark why he was going through the trouble of covering the fence; it was simply something Clark did without thinking, being kind and courteous and just plain nice. It was in Clark’s character to help people, whether it was saving them from a hopped-up meteorite mutant or giving someone a tissue when their nose was running. Clark had taken one look at the paint cans, brushes, and the fence on his rainy walk up the drive, and had promptly gone to save the work.

And Lex was helping, in the cold rain, in his five thousand-dollar suit. His old friends in Metropolis were probably laughing their asses off. He didn’t blame them.

The paint drop cloth draped over the fence, and Lex frowned generally at it before neatening the corner. There, now the damp-wet paint would come off on the cover instead of running in the rain. Somehow, the act seemed more pointless than nice. Oh well. It wasn’t as if he could reverse time and stay dry.

Speaking of dry, he turned to Clark to usher him into the castle, only to find a flower shoved in his face. The drooping, wet petals bopped his nose, and he reared back and grabbed the flower by the stem.

Lowering the quasi-offensive weapon, he looked down at the white tulip, with its dark center and long green stem, squishy on the end where it had been snapped off. A missing flower from the row of tulips along the covered fence-line showed where it came from, and who’d it come from…

Lex raised his gaze. Clark stood before him, soaked by the rain and looking studiously at his feet. Droplets clung to dark eyelashes that swept up briefly, Clark giving Lex a shy glance before returning to the fascination of his shoes.

“For me?” Lex said, curiosity mixing with a strange tightness in his chest.

Clark nodded, and shoved his hands into wet denim pockets. “For helping. And stuff.”

“Stuff?” Lex swallowed thickly, daring not to hope.

“Yeah,” Clark said awkwardly. He shifted his weight, pulled his hands out of his pockets, and clenched them into fists. He glanced at Lex, looked back down at his feet, and set his jaw.

Lex held his breath in anticipation, wondering what Clark was gearing up for. Would Lex be disappointed, or would he—

Clark closed the distance abruptly, squashing the flower between them, as he pressed his mouth against Lex’s in a too hard kiss. Their noses bumped, Lex’s teeth cut against the insides of his lips, and it was over before he knew it.

Lex blinked, stunned, and stared momentarily at Clark. He licked his lips, but all he tasted was rain. That would never do.

He reached out, clutched Clark’s shirt with one hand, his other hand holding the flower, and kissed Clark again. Clark responded immediately, cupping a hand behind Lex’s scalp and proving the first kiss clumsiness had to do with fear, not technique. Lex was warmed from the inside as Clark showed him a new meaning of the word ‘nice.’

Lex breathed a sigh into the kiss and reminded himself to give the painters and the gardener a hefty bonus. He wondered whom he could pay for the rain.


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