Her hand fumbles for her purse, dragging out her cellphone, manicured nails playing with the cool silver metal. He realizes her hands are shaking. "Lana, tell me. What?"
For some reason, Clark flashes on the conversation they had a few days ago. Their personal guest lists for the inauguration, going over the names on the phone, since Lana was flying back from Phoenix and wouldn't be home until late. There'd been silence then, matching the silence now, her voice heavy and soft on the phone as she answered, yes, the list was complete, and that she had to go.
"There's someone else," Lana says softly, and Clark remembers something else, teasing at the edges of his mind, trying to draw up, but he's not sure he wants to know.
"Do you know who?"
Lana's eyes flash away. "Yes."
Jesus. No. "Since--how long?"
"Off and on since before I filed for divorce."
Clark runs through a mental list of every woman he's seen Pete with, since that irritating affair with Lydia that still makes Clark's teeth hurt to think about. Probably a body memory of every time his jaw clenched seeing them together in public, acting like acquaintances that weren't fucking every chance they got, Lydia's disparaging remarks on Lex, Pete's barely concealed dislike, all circling together to make Clark's first real experience with post-party migraines.
Nothing's coming up, just their friends, their staff, Pete's campaign manager, Lois, Chloe, a few business associates. No one that Clark doesn't know well, and God, Pete's been discreet. Or Clark's just not noticed.
He's good at that.
For a second, her face crumples like paper, and Clark knows she wasn't coming to see him tonight, she was walking, like he was, needing space and time in ways he didn't. Of all the things he'd every had to worry about with Lex, fidelity had never been one of them.
"I have to go." Phone in hand, she stands up, almost stumbling to get away from the chair. "I'll see you after the move--"
"Lana, stop." He's already on his feet, but Lana's too far from him, dragging her coat back around her like armor against him, turning away too quickly for him to follow. "Lana--"
"I'll call you." She might have picked up some superpowers herself, slipping out the door with her security trailing her like the tail of a comet.
Left standing alone in the coffee shop, Clark almost sighs, fumbling in his jacket for his phone. Staring at it, he thinks a few minutes, then turns to Damien, seated only a few feet away. "I need a car."
Driving blindly through Metropolis hadn't done much for Lana, but it did good things for Clark, and he picks up chicken on the way home, wondering if Lex is back from whatever the hell meeting was going on. It's climbing one and both of them need their sleep.
God, does Lex need sleep. Clark sometimes wonders if he even *does*, meteor-rock health aside. Clark's woken too many nights to Lex tapping on his computer, reading the latest polls, plotting out the next strategy with Ronald, who Clark honestly believes doesn't sleep at all. Ronald amuses him--he doesn't like Lex, doesn't really care for Clark, and dislikes the name Luthor.
But to watch him, to see him in action, to read what he says in public, you'd think Ronald was his best friend from birth.
It's no different tonight, when security lets Clark in, and Lex is up in pajama bottoms and his half-buttoned dress shirt on the phone, tie wrapped around one fist, like it caught him in the middle of undressing. His briefcase seems to have exploded, papers everywhere on the bed, and Lex is pacing the length of unoccupied floor, looking like a refugee camp survivor.
Lex this focused is easy to slide by, and Clark keeps out of direct line of sight, leaving the chicken on the kitchen counter before sidling into the room, crossing to the dresser to grab underwear and nightclothes, slipping by farther to get to the bathroom door. Once inside, he shuts the door before turning on the light, stripping quickly. A glimpse at the mirror stops him cold.
It sometimes hits him--time had stopped, for all intents and purposes, when he was twenty and reached his full growth, and only started again. It's strange to see change when for years there weren't any. Not just the razor cut hair or the clothes, but the changes in his body that age brings. Eventually, his body might catch up to his chronological age. Sometimes, when he looks too long, he thinks of forty, fifty, when grey hair will feather his temples, lines around his eyes and mouth.
Ageing. A very human thing to do.
Shaking himself free, Clark slides into the shower, closing his eyes at the first beat of hot water--riding that edge between too-hot and just-enough, almost burning but not quite. Clark-before hadn't ever really appreciated the range of water temperatures the way he did now. He remembers, grinning, all the times a cold shower had actually been *cold*, the first time he burned himself on hot water.
Picking up the shampoo, Clark ducks under the water, wetting his hair. Over the spray, he can't hear Lex's voice, but he can guess what he's saying. This law, that act, all the billion things that Lex wants to do in office, the billion ways he's already planning his first four years. With Lex in this mood, there's a good chance that Clark could actually get to bed and fall asleep without Lex noticing until he goes looking for the papers buried under Clark's body.
Years ago, Lex might have joined him. Considering the trouble Lex took to install this shower, Clark might have thought Lex would remember that more often. But no. That was Before the Presidency, or really, Before the Campaign, or to be really honest, a Really Fucking Long Time Ago, and if Clark could sound more like a disgruntled housewife mourning the end of romance, it could only happen if he was actually quoting Redbook.
Rubbing at his temples, Clark dismisses thoughts of Lana and Pete, focusing on the future. Moving. All the packing he's been avoiding. His parents? Also avoiding. Not deliberately, and it's not like a total mystery that Lex is going to Washington and taking Clark with him. It's just not something that comes up over Sunday dinner these days. Or, well, ever.
Clark rubs an absent hand over his face. He wasn't going to think about this tonight.
Over the rush of water, Clark can hear the sound of the door opening. "When did you get home?"
So. He noticed. "A few minutes ago." Ducking back under the water, Clark rinses his hair and pulls back the door just enough to see the slim figure lounging elegantly against the sink. At some point, he'd remembered his shirt, and the tie was no longer strangling one hand, but the phone sat beside him on the counter. God knew what horror would occur if Lex was away from his phone for even a second, or long enough to talk to Clark.
Lex didn't look angry, but neutral was about as bad, a professional politician's look, and Clark misses the days when he could read Lex like a book. A book written in a dead language, but a book nonetheless. "Feel better?"
Clark's not sure how to answer that question. "Did you eat yet?"
Lex's eyebrows arch, but he shakes his head. Not unexpected. "Not yet."
"There's chicken in the kitchen." Fried fast food, in a bucket. Clark doesn't think he's going to get a lot of fast food in the White House. "I'll be out in a minute."
Lex might have argued once. Clark listens to the door close and almost sighs before ducking back under the spray.
A lot of things are different, Clark thinks, padding into the dark kitchen still drying his hair. Lex has made considerable headway into the chicken, though, having found butter from the almost-barren refrigerator and attacking the biscuits. A plate and glass are already set out for him across from Lex.
A glance up, over a half-picked bone, blue eyes so mild that Clark's instantly worried. For some reason, Clark flashes on Lana's eyes, old hurt and even older resignation, and he wonders if he'll ever have that look, or if he has it now.
"I went for a drive." Clark pauses, picking out the last chicken leg from the bottom of the bucket. "Lana and I had coffee."
Clark thinks he must have imagined the second of hesitation before Lex nods, eyes turning back down to eating. Clark wonders what Lex's last meal was. Probably coffee at the office. "How is she?"
*Lex knows. I guess--I thought he would tell you. Everyone knows. Everyone around us, anyway*
Clark shakes the thought away. He doesn't want to know. "Tired."
Lex nods, eyes flickering back up. "You want to tell me what's going on?"
"Pre-move nerves?" With a sigh, Clark picks up a biscuit. "I'm tired, that's all."
"You should have gone with Lois."
Clark stares at him across the short length of the kitchen table. "Yes, I'm sure a week wandering through the Middle East would have done *wonders* for my nerves. Why didn't I think of that?"
Lex's mouth tightens, dropping the denuded chicken bone with another frown, a patient frown, a 'my partner is being unreasonable yet I must comfort him' frown, and Clark's so tired of seeing those that it's tempting to see just how hard he can throw a chicken leg. "Clark--"
"I know. I know, I'm handling it badly. I know, this is not all new shit, I know, I've known since we started dating that we would end up here. It's just--" Rubbing his forehead, Clark tries to find the right words. There aren't any. He's known this was coming. And he's being an ass on what's pretty much their last night as relatively private citizens. Knowing, however, doesn't change anything. It's still hard.
Fingers brush over his, and Clark looks up, and if Lex has that look again, Clark *will* be throwing chicken legs, no matter how juvenile it is, but it's not that at all. Just that touch, and that look, that private look, the one that always makes Clark ache and smile at the same time.
Clark takes a deep breath, letting Lex's fingers twine around his. "Let's go to bed."
It won't change anything. Tomorrow, Metropolis won't be home anymore, not for years. In a few days, Lex will be president, and Clark will be in the White House, surrounded by more security than he can imagine, but that won't be entirely new, he's been surrounded by security for years. But tomorrow isn't now.
He lets Lex tuck him into bed, watches Lex go about his strange, anal-retentive pre-bed routine, which is still just funny, no matter how many times Clark's watched it happen. Then a slow slide into bed, warm body and even warmer hands that slide over his skin, familiar and comforting.
Lex's voice, low in his ear. "What are you thinking?"
Clark grins. "Tell me again what we'll do the night before inauguration."
"Yes, 'oh, that'." Clark grins at the hard press of silk against his thigh. So Lex is thinking about it. So far so good. Settling himself more comfortably, Clark closes his eyes. "Tell me."
Clark turns his head sharply, staring into amused blue eyes. "This is me, who is going to sleep and leaving you with *that*." And maybe it's mean, but that's fine, Clark feels mean right now, reaching down to slide the heel of his hand over hard flesh, just beneath too-thin silk. Lex makes a low sound in the back of his throat.
"You manipulative little bastard."
Clark smiles back. "But you like that about me."
"In the oval office--" Lex's hands are working up the edge of his shirt.
"Did we work out how exactly we were getting by security or possible press yet?"
The hand that's moving beneath his shirt jerks out. "Jesus, Clark--"
"Never mind. What will you do?"
Teeth graze the side of his throat. "I'm going to fuck you."
Clark rolls his eyes. "You're not so great at this sex talk thing, you know."
Then Lex is on top of him, one of those liquid, disconcertingly fast movements that always make Clark wonder, just a little, if Lex got more from the meteor shower than he's ever admitted to. It's hot. And even better when that perfect mouth is against his ear. "I'm so much better at doing."
The hand around his cock's good--Clark's with that, breathing through quick fingers that seem to touch everything at once--sliding up the length, circling the head, pressing gently just behind his balls and making him tense, shivering at every too-gentle touch, like Lex is teasing him, just wanting to play, and Clark's so far beyond play it's not even funny. Reaching up, he curves a hand around Lex's neck, have to get to his mouth, soft and wet, licking the line of Lex's scar, slipping just inside with the softest pressure against his tongue before pulling back. Glazed blue eyes and quickened breath--Clark's liking this. "I'm going to blow you in that office, you know."
He can feel Lex's cock, rubbing distractedly against his hip, hard and damp, and pushes up against him. "You can sit there with your paperwork, and you can break a pen when I take you in my mouth."
Lex's breath catches, blue eyes dilated to an electric circle of blue.
"You didn't even know I was there. There are people outside--maybe Ronald. And they want to come in and do whatever the fuck it is you need to be doing, and you see me on my knees under your desk and you realize the door isn't even locked.
"They're out there, the door's unlocked, and you can't do a damn thing to stop me. You don't even want to."
It happened like that, once. Lex's LexCorp office, and Clark, finished with a story, a little drunk from Lois' celebratory brandy, a little high from lack of sleep. Lex had a slow breakdown on a conference call to Turkey. Two lawyers sat across the desk from Lex and to this day never knew why Lex Luthor told them they could do whatever they damned well pleased with the new company, just get the fuck *out*.
Clark pushes Lex onto his back, straddling him. "You can't even answer the phone when it rings. You just sit there, hoping to God they don't hear you, hear me, hear *us*."
Sliding back, Clark pulls the pajamas down, just enough, letting his fingers linger on warm, hard flesh, just to hear Lex moan. Yes. This. "And then I'll do this."
Lex is easy. He likes sex. He likes sex with Clark. And he loves Clark's mouth, murmurs poetry devoted to nothing but the quick movements of his tongue, his lips, and it's kind of funny and pretty fucking cool, all things considered, that all it takes is this, Clark bent over Lex's cock, swallowing him down, to make Lex yell.
Like *this*, licking just beneath the head, easing him back to breathe, like *that*, taking a breath and swallowing him down, holding him in his throat, hips pushed up, back arched, saying things that stopped making sense a while ago. Hard fingers twisting into his hair, but carefully, because there was that time with the pulling and the teeth, and Lex won't be forgetting that anytime soon.
Lex is so easy, or maybe it's Clark, who's fucked him for years and knows almost everything. How he likes the gentle trace of Clark's fingers over his balls, the press just behind for a few long, blissful seconds. Coming back up, Clark sucks his finger into his mouth, letting Lex watch, letting him see it, then grins, taking just the head in his mouth, sucking gently. Pushing up Lex's thigh, just enough to slide a hand down beneath, press a finger against him, pushing inside the second he goes down again, fast and hard, both at once, and Lex is too keyed up to even try to make it last, coming with a surprised yell and Clark smiles to himself.
Swallowing and just holding for a few seconds, then sits up, tucking the pajamas back up and sprawling on the bed, listening to Lex pant beside him.
When Lex finally looks at him, Clark grins. "That night? It'll be just like that."
Tomorrow, they move and start a new life in a place Clark's almost sure he hates, and tomorrow, they'll see Pete and Lana, and Clark will think of Lana's face and her words, think of Ronald and how very much he hates the way the man treats him like an idiot, think of all the ways their lives are never going to belong to them again.
But tomorrow's not tonight, and tomorrow's not now, and Clark's learned how to forget when he needs to.
"So." Settling himself on one elbow, Clark slides a hand over his own cock, shivering at the feeling, the flare of something hot and dangerous in Lex's eyes when he looks back. "Show me what you'll do to me."