All tax terms and most of Lex's idea of arousing dialogue taken verbatim from Celli's quotes of tax law and musings. I basically just added a little here and there so Clark would get laid. *g*
To my audience--celli, for whom this is written, girlinthetrilby, and pearl_o for being encouraging and laughing appropriately.
Resident Alien by jenn
When Clark alights on the balcony, he knows something is up.
A feeling. Premonition of doom, maybe. Like that time he was standing on the lip of Mount Saint Helen right before it suddenly made an unscheduled explosion on top of him, and damn, it was hell to get solid rock out of that last uniform during cleaning.
The dead silence and dark of the living room is right up there with a funeral, and the statues of Alexander littering the sideboard look on mournfully. They seem to be warning him that, just maybe, he should make a run for it.
There's something about today, he thinks. Anniversary? No. Daily Planet assignment? No. Something--important. Some reason that's escaping his mind, but his feet carry on, completely unaware that the air seems to be thickening, condensing, because isn't there a good reason he usually can find a major natural disaster in progress that lasts for *days* this time of year?
Did he clean up that situation with mudslides in Bolivia too quickly?
The only light is coming from Lex's study--a sacrosanct place, one Clark never steps toe in if he can possibly help it. Scarily full of heavy, leather-bound books, Lex's desk, and six different computers. They've had sex everywhere, including that memorable time in the utility closet and once, right above the hot water heater that had been oh-so-bizarre, but this room--this room--
It's against his better judgement that he pushes the door open, because it's two am, and right, this is Lex, but he's finally been able to prove that Lex does, indeed, sleep.
At least in theory.
Lex is kneeling on his chair--that in itself says disturbing things, since the chair was designed for maximum comfort during use. A pencil caught between his teeth, he's staring at the laptop's screen while reaching for a stack of papers on the edge of the desk.
Clark blinks. Make that one of several stacks of papers on the edge of the desk. Matching ones on the floor, little towers of white and black, neatly stuck with bright little post-it notes, and Lex hates post-it notes, using them only for….
Clark takes a slow step back, but Lex, like snakes and some amphibians, senses motion.
Or maybe he just smells the blank terror. "Clark?"
Run or fly? Run or fly? Run or--
"Good, I’m glad you're here. Sit down." Lex never even looks *up*, but Clark doesn’t trust that at all. The pencil is removed from between clenched teeth and falls into two pieces on the desk. Lex doesn’t seem to realize his hand is empty when he points toward the massive leather chair on this side of the desk. "Hurry."
"Um-" Bolivian mudslide, fixed. Armed robbers? In custody. It's his own fault. Metropolis is a model city these days. Superman's been far too efficient. Surely there's crime somewhere. "Lex, you know, I just--"
"Sit. Down." The hand comes down and grabs for another stack, drawing it closer. This one is smaller and looks like receipts. "You know, the least you could do is be grateful. Most people have to do their own taxes."
"I do my taxes!" He gives them to Lex when he's done, who redoes them. That counts, right?
Lex snorts his opinion on Clark's ability to handle the average W2 form. "Sit."
That's three commands, two more than Lex would usually give, but the laptop's distracting him. Slowly, with a sense of doom, Clark removes the receipts from the desk and places them gingerly on the floor, tensing when he realizes he might have just broken some Lex-specific kind of organization.
"How many capes did you go through this year?" An aggressive tap of a key.
Clark blinks. "Three. I think."
Lex waves a hand toward a stack of receipts decked in blue and red. All ten piles of them. "Find me the bills, please?"
Please. That means Lex has only been doing this for about seventeen hours. Five days to go. Taking a deep breath, Clark tentatively reaches out, glancing through each one, thanking God for X-ray vision, which makes this entire process so much more speedy.
"Um, what are you--"
"Doing Superman's taxes. Form 2106." Oh, so he's starting with that one this year. Clark had been blissfully ignorant of Superman's place in the tax hierarchy right up until moving in with Lex. At that time, he'd been carefully made to understand that the only reason tax collectors weren't banging down his door was that no one knew where the Fortress was.
"And that," Lex had said, implacably extending the form, "can change at any moment."
Superman is a taxpaying citizen now. It still freaks Clark out.
Clark plunges a hand into the first set and pulls out the correct receipts, throwing them on the desk. With superhuman, tax-defying speed, Lex snatches it out of midair, consulting it against his laptop.
"Good, good," Lex murmurs, doing that smile that always makes Clark worry. Lex smiles when he finds new loopholes. Despite the fact Superman doesn't have an income, Lex has managed to get him a return every year from earned income credit, and God knows *how* he's doing it.
Clark does donate it to charity, but *still*….
"In blue is the Fortress documentation," Lex says, tapping another set of keys. "Hand it to me. I’m working on depreciation now."
This is where things get tricky. "Um--why--"
"We've discussed this."
Well, Clark might have slept through it. He thinks longingly of tornadoes in Kansas. Fucking winter non-tornado season. "Well, I don't--"
"Technically, the Fortress is a business expense," Lex says in his best lecturing tone. "Mileage accrued to get there and back, time spent, repairs--"
"It's an AI! It repairs itself."
Lex squints at the monitor. "Don't bother me with that. Give me that stack."
Sighing, Clark reaches over, picking up the thick sheaf of papers.
"Improvements, additions, subtractions--"
Clark frowns. "How would you know?"
"I have you watched, of course." Of course. "Didn't you add a skylight this year?"
Clark blinks. "That was an explosion!"
Lex leans forward, rubbing a hand into the small of his back idly. "Hmm. Probably a necessary expense, and repairs…."
There used to be a tax attorney. Fleets of them. That was Before. Before Lex realized that tax laws, like other kinds of laws, were just too much fun to leave unbroken and unbowed.
"Did you know with the new changes in tax code, I can get a tax break for housing a superhero? Though that would make the Fortress your non-primary residence…." Lex picks up the eraser half of the broken pencil, sliding it between his teeth. Obviously trying to work out which way the most money will be saved. Lex has tax law *memorized*. Clark thinks, in some awe, that the reason its' so complex these days is simply to keep up with Lex.
"Resident aliens are generally taxed the same way as US citizens," Lex quotes to himself. "This means that their worldwide income is subject to US tax law and must be reported on their US tax return. You must report these amounts whether from sources within or outside the United States." Lex looks up thoughtfully, but Clark's pretty sure Lex doesn't see him. The blue eyes are lost in a bliss of moneymaking opportunities. "Have we considered getting Superman American citizenship?"
Well, Clark's officially in hell.
"Let's have sex."
It comes out just like that. Blank, to the point, and sometimes, that works with Lex. Sometimes.
"Clark, I need the dry cleaning bills for the suits--"
"The AI does them."
Lex blinks. "Self-employed, that's right. Hold on, there's a special form for expenses accrued during--"
Back on the laptop, and Clark looks around the room. The IRS encircles him like hyenas around a corpse, every monitor set for the IRS website.
"It might be worth the hassle to set up Superman as a charity," Lex muses, picking up the Fortress documentation. "They report their income, but don't have to pay taxes. If I shift Superman's residence to LexCorp towers, then the Fortress is covered under the charity, and you don't have to worry about business use of home issues. It's the single most audited form by the IRS, you know."
"I want you so bad right now." Clark stands up unsteadily, looking at the piles of paper that seem to be leering. He's never felt less sexy in his life. "So bad, Lex. Do me now."
Lex frowns over the laptop screen. "Exercise equipment--"
Clark takes his life in his hands and sweeps a pile of papers dramatically onto the floor. It's a small one, and not as romantic as shown on TV, because he's pretty sure Lex will kill him if he goes for the entire desk.
Lex is instantly on the floor, scooping them up like a beloved child. "Clark!"
"I need you, Lex." He can do this. He can have sex surrounded by tax forms. He's Superman, for God's sake, and sex, for Lex, especially long, drawn out, hard sex, will put Lex to sleep. And Clark can get away before he wakes up. Somewhere, there's going to be a disaster, if Clark has to start it himself. "Take me now."
That seems to have penetrated. Lex frowns. "Clark, you haven't been watching Bolivian porn through windows again, have you? I told you before--"
Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Dropping on the floor, Clark makes a frenzied grab for Lex's waist, managing to get both arms around him and dragging him closer before he can return to the chair and pretty much assure Clark goes completely insane.
"Clark!" The papers are juggled precariously before Lex lovingly lays them in their abandoned spot on the desk, making sure they line up with the edge at an exact angle. "Clark, I'm busy--"
"Sex," Clark says, wondering if he sounds as terrified as he feels. "I have to have you. It's been--" Ten hours, to be exact. Damn. "Too long."
"Did you get into the red Kryptonite again?" And Lex sounds worried. "I was going to ask about that, by the way--apparently, mental illness, even short term, can be deducted if it incurs unusual expenses and requires medical intervention…."
Oh my *God*. Keeping one arm around Lex's waist, Clark grabs for the waist of the pants, tearing them down. "Lex, you so turn me on." Boxers next. Even Lex can't discuss taxes half-naked.
"…could be counted as a business expense, I think, but not until next year. Dammit, let me write this down."
Leaning forward, Clark nuzzles gently at the shirt, pushing it out of his way, finding Lex's cock. Taxes don't turn Clark on, but apparently, they do Lex. Big time. Wow. Clark licks a line from the tip down to his balls, and one hand freezes on his shoulder.
That sounds more promising. Tilting his head, Clark lets his hand tentatively loosen from Lex's waist and sucks the head of Lex's cock into his mouth.
No sound--that's a good thing. Clark loves Lex's voice--loves it when he talks dirty, muttering suggestive, filthy promises in his ear, loves it when Lex gets down to one chanted word that's Clark's name, but right now, bliss is the stuttering breath and broken pants and soft gasps when Clark swallows him and goes to work.
Oh yeah. Lex is going to be *unconscious* when this is all over.
"Royalties," Lex murmurs blissfully, and his hand slams down on the desk. Serendipitously missing any pile of papers. Huh. "Royalties, partnerships, trusts, or subchapter S corporations, income line--"
This can't be happening.
"--can be--oh God, yes--deducted as a charitable expenditure over the course of a year…" Lex breaks off to moan. "I have receipts and documentation---somewhere."
Clark takes drastic action. Hands on Lex's hips, Clark gets him to the floor, spread out on someone's anal nightmare of tax season, receipts going everywhere. Clark wants to say it's his mouth that makes Lex moan, but it could be laying in all that paper.
"Kerosene," Lex murmurs dreamily, and Clark sucks harder. "The Fortress is cold. If you--oh yes, please--if you bought undyed kerosene and used it in your home--for lighting, cooking, or--oh fuck, harder--or heating--heating purposes, the bottom tax rate's been reduced from fifteen to ten percent….connected--to last year's rate reduction credit…oh yes, Clark. Please--"
Clark sucks harder, getting one hand beneath Lex's balls, sliding hard over the silky, tender skin. Lex arches into the ceiling and he says something like "accrued", but Clark ignores it. Get Lex past verbal. Now.
"Qualified--nonrecourse financing," Lex says dreamily, settling a hand in his hair. "It's--"
One finger pushed inside, and mission achieved. Lex is *yelling*.
Keep him here. Lube is here, but it's probably hidden under receipts and forms with random letter assignments. Pulling his mouth off, Clark sucks in a breath, staring down at the dazed blue eyes.
Okay, so taxes don't turn him on, but they do Lex. This could have possibilities if Clark doesn't have a nervous breakdown first. "Lube? Deductible, right?"
"Oooh fuck yes," Lex murmurs, waving toward the desk, and Clark speeds over. Superspeed is so useful for keeping one's boyfriend away from tax law. It's under a WR40, a declaration of something, and two sets of Visa receipts. Clark wonders vaguely when paying off assassins became deductible, but Lex could come out of this at any time.
Long thighs wrap around him willingly when he sinks back down, and Clark kisses Lex, shutting his mouth before he starts telling Clark how much he's going to get out of lube deductions.
Slicking up his fingers, Clark slides them in, tensing at the tight heat surrounding him, and sex could happen, it really could. Hard, fun sex, as long as Lex doesn't say--
"--non-profit expenditure since you aren't employed--as a sexual worker--"
Okay, he's just going to have to go with this. Face up to it. His boyfriend's more aroused by tax law than by blowjobs.
Any way Clark can get exhaustion, he'll take it. A quick slick, Lex's legs up, and Clark slides in. So what if they're spread out on a bed of loose papers, receipts, and tax forms? So what if dirty talk consists of Lex murmuring about mental trauma being deductible and did Clark want to consider their dinners together work-related since they only do dinners out after Clark foils one of Lex's schemes?
It's Lex, arching into him, panting into his mouth, words like accredited and accrued and real estate subsidies, and Lex's fingernails digging into his back and Lex coming so hard that Clark can feel him shake. Lex, who tastes incredible and feels good and Clark shudders like a teenager and comes way too fast, shocked by the force of the orgasm rippling through him, Lex's arms tight around him and murmuring deductible in his ear.
It's a good five minutes before Lex finally pulls away, sleepy-eyed and--thank you God, tired.
"Ready to go to bed?" Clark asks. Lex squints, obviously longing for his pencil and laptop and a pile of receipts. "You can tell me more about the new changes in current tax law. You know, so we know what I'm due."
Lex lights up. Perfect.
"Good idea, Clark. I really don't think you understand how important this is. Auditing can be a nightmare…."
Clark tunes him out as he gathers their clothes and follows Lex out, but glancing back, one sad pile of receipts will probably never be seen by any IRS agent.
It feels good to win against a stack of paper. Clark sticks his tongue out at it and closes the door.