Notes: First posting in this fandom, so, um… mercy? *g* Big thanks to sori1773 *hugs* for the beta and justabi for the encouragement. (I let my inner angst-princess out to play. *bg*)
He’d sent them all away – anyone who might have been at the penthouse to cook meals he wouldn’t eat or clean rooms he wouldn’t enter. Until further notice, he’d said. Until Clark comes back, he thinks. If he’s going to be alone then he wants to be alone. He does his best brooding in solitude.
But this time the penthouse isn’t empty when he finally opens the door. He finds Clark in the darkened living room, sprawled in an armchair, his head turned to the side as if he’d simply slept where he’d fallen. For a minute relief takes away his ability to move, but then he drops into the opposite armchair, briefcase and jacket forgotten on the floor, and rubs his face, watching Clark.
Lit only by the city beyond the windows, Lex can see that Clark’s clothes are torn and dirty. He catalogues the ruined places one by one – rips across his thighs, dried mud caking the cuffs. Clark’s t-shirt is in tatters, slashed open over his heart, exposing unmarred skin and one shadowed nipple. Suddenly Lex wants to bend and press a kiss there, lick over that hard pebble and wake Clark up; make sure it’s only his clothes that are damaged.
Before he can move, Clark opens his eyes, his startlingly clear gaze meeting Lex’s. Now Lex can see that there are torn places inside, too.
“Hi.” Clark says, laying still.
“You didn’t answer your phone.” That isn’t what Lex means to say, or maybe it is. The used and rusted sound of his voice definitely isn’t intentional.
“I lost it.” Clark’s voice sounds worse.
Lex nods, then says softly, “Three days, Clark.”
“Yeah, I know.”
Lex doesn’t mention the GPS locator in Clark’s phone and his own strung-out tension when the signal didn’t move. He doesn’t tell Clark about the slow-crawling panic circling the certainty that of course, Clark was fine, that earthquakes in Venezuela are no more threatening to him than speeding cars in Smallville. Lex could never quite convince himself of that fact.
“I didn’t expect you to be gone so long.”
Clark leans his head back and there’s a distance in Clark’s expression that takes him miles from the apartment. “I had no idea – what it would be like. I’ve never seen anything so – I mean even the tornados… this was worse. I didn’t even know where to start.”
Lex is silent for a moment, sits back. “You’ll have to come up with a suitable family emergency. I told the Planet your absence was unavoidable, but I’m sure someone there will want details.”
Clark turns his head, and meets Lex’s eyes, suddenly present. “I’m sorry,” Clark says, sounding like he means it. “I should have called you.” Clark is really looking at him now, not at some far off destruction, and Lex feels forced to weigh his own misery against thousands.
“Well.” Lex has to look away. “It looked bad. On the news, I mean. Lexcorp made a donation.”
“That was a good thing to do, Lex. Generous.” Gentle words.
Lex shakes his head, stares at his hands. “More than they know. I let them have you.”
Clark shifts in his chair, drops his head back. “Don’t ask me not to do this,” he whispers.
“I won’t,” Lex says. I want to, he thinks. Keep you here. Keep you mine. A deep breath. “So you’re okay, then? Do you need anything?”
“Shower,” said with a tired smile. “Bed for three days. You.”
“That can be arranged, I think.” Then Lex has to ask, “Did anyone see you?”
“Lex…” Weary, but there’s hysteria behind it.
“It’s a valid question, Clark.” A touch of frustration for the first time. “Not all the relief workers were moving beams and seeing through debris, I imagine. I just wondered if anyone saw you.”
Clark scrubs his hands over his eyes. “I don’t think so. But I wasn’t thinking about it. Lex, you didn’t see it, you don’t know what it was like – I could have stayed there for weeks…”
And that was it, of course, Lex’s true fear put into words.
“Lucky you came back at all, I guess.” Low and bitter and the wrong thing to say, Lex knows this even before Clark pulls himself up from the chair and walks back toward their bedroom.
“I going to take that shower now, I think.”
Lex only waits a minute or two before he follows, not willing to let Clark go again so soon after getting him back. He slips into the steamy room and strips off his clothes, watching Clark stand under the spray with his head bent and eyes closed so that if Lex didn’t know better he’d think Clark was beginning to relax. He steps over Clark’s shredded clothing piled on the floor. Burn them later, he thinks.
Heat as he steps in behind Clark, from the steam, from Clark’s body, and immediately Lex is touching, pressed up close and using his whole body to reclaim what’s his. Holds Clark close, mouths the tension at the back of Clark’s neck until he feels the tense, hard body relax by degrees. He reaches out to take the soap in his hands. Smooth lather and smoother skin, ridges and angles that he never tires of exploring, and he can feel a shudder go through Clark’s body.
Clark takes a deep, shaky breath. “You shouldn’t --” Worry. Wonder. Doubt me.
“Tell me how,” Lex answers, his mouth muffled against the arc of Clark’s shoulder blade.
Clark turns faster than Lex can follow, implacable arms forcing an immediate connection at mouth and chest and cock. Completion, even if it’s just for now, and Lex is moaning around Clark’s tongue. It’s okay if Clark holds him too tightly, if his mouth is too rough because bruises will be proof in the morning. He feels slick skin against his cock, slippery with soap and silky fluid as their fingers tangle together. Lex wants Clark inside him, would fall to his knees or turn to the wall but Clark is too frantic, too needy to wait. When it’s like this between them all Lex can do is hold on; hold on with everything in him and let Clark make him come with hot splashes that mark his chest and his belly.
“Lex. God, Lex –” Clark’s words are torn, too, cracked and broken and they make Lex despair of ever being able to fix this.
“I’m right here,” he whispers, in someone else’s ragged voice, just before Clark shakes apart like it’s killing him, like it actually hurts. He’s breathing hard and hasn’t loosened his grip on Lex at all.
“It was awful,” he murmurs. “The things I saw.”
“I know. I’m sorry.” For all of it.
“I need you to come home to,” said against Lex’s skin, never to be forgotten.
“Yes.” Lex turns his face into Clark’s neck. “Just call next time.”