Distant-future sequel to "Only Sometimes", which I use when I read really depressing futurefic. We need happyfic, dammit! Anyway, this is specifically for Beth, who I depressed immensely with this concept. Alexa is really hers, I'm only borrowing her.
Anyway. Here. And look, comments! You can tell me I'm a hopeless romantic!
Something Like Forgetting
He dreamed of water.
A bridge, a car, and water, surrounding him. Thickly cold and dark, steering wheel against his chest, and no air, none at all. Clawing toward light and *something*--with warm dirt beneath him and a warm body, and God, so much *want* it was like an ache that would never go away--
--"I could have sworn I hit you."--
He woke with a start, hand pressed to his mouth with no idea why.
Lex Luthor sat up abruptly, kicking the sheets aside, barely noticing the bedmate that gave him a curious look before drifting back off to sleep. Lex spent a long, serious moment trying to decide whether to wake her up and throw her out, or just leave himself--not usually a debate at all, but Lex didn't want the distraction tonight. Grabbing his boxers and a shirt from the floor, he pulled them on idly, pushing into the hall with a short breath, still tasting river water on his tongue.
River water. He shouldn't know what that tasted like.
Confusing and frustrating and so fucking stupid, but he leaned back into the wall and just breathed in the filtered air for a moment. Tried to clear his head. He'd tried examining these dreams before and they never came to anything but an almost palpable need to hit something, yell, break things. Or people. He was never at his best confused. He wasn't used to it.
Another breath, calming, heart rate down again, and Lex turned, surveying the empty corridor briefly. Two doors down, he pushed open the heavy wood and crossed the room on quiet feet, looking down at the four year old girl sprawled across the bed.
Just about as idiotic as anything else, but he needed it, and had never really given a good fuck what anyone else thought of it anyway. He paid very well for his people to lack insight, and he paid even more for them to keep those with insight away.
Small, delicate, precious, totally his, in a way nothing else in his life had ever been. Everything in him relaxed at the sight of her.
Alexa was beautiful. His mother's red hair and his mother's face, but her mother's eyes. Lex tended to think that a good thing--she was going to break hearts when she grew up, and every paternal instinct in him tightened just a little.
Well, he had years. Many, many years. Maybe by then, he'd have wiped out the population of the earth and wouldn't have to worry what his little girl got up to at night.
Oh, that was a pleasant thought.
She slept lightly--Lex found a chair by touch and pulled it in, sitting down to watch her. Money, power, everything he'd ever wanted, but he'd found himself coming in here more often than not, just to watch her. It was calming in a way he didn't even begin to examine--few things in his life had ever given him peace. He wasn't about to give this up too, not for something as insubstantial as image, certainly not for the inner Lionel that abhorred all weaknesses. Fuck you, Dad. They've forgotten you, but they'll remember me.
He'd written himself into souls more deeply than even he had expected, and he'd expected quite a lot.
She twisted a little, sheets pulled between thin legs, one sock on the floor. Blood tells, he supposed--he'd never slept well in socks either. Frankly, he slept badly in clothes period, and by morning, he was amusedly aware that her nurse would find the child's nightgown on the floor where she'd finally tossed it sometime during the night.
There'd been speculation, of course, when Victoria had announced her pregnancy. Worldwide, newspapers yelling headlines on his sudden marriage; commentators, allies, and enemies alike speculating to high heaven what it meant, the significance of marriage and fatherhood for Lex Luthor. He hadn't cared when Victoria told him she was pregnant, never believed it was his, not even for a moment. He'd married her to have that child, the same drive that had sent his father to his mother, but at least they'd--he thought they'd loved each other. Nothing like that with Victoria, business all the way, signed contracts and ten lawyers between them, and he hadn't cared who the father was, in the end. Just the Luthor son, all he needed to finish, genetics be damned.
Object, possession, Victoria's very blue blood, and he'd only really hoped at very least that whoever she fucked had been worthy. She'd given birth in Metropolis because he'd had a business meeting he didn't feel like missing--he'd never planned on going to the hospital, but Lena had broken it up in her single-minded way, dragging him out and into the car when Victoria went into labor. Lena, sister or not, was the only person Lex would have let do that. Ten hours in an expensive private waiting room with his laptop and cell phone and Dominik, that alone grounds for justifiable homicide, until Lena had come out and told him it was time.
He hadn't wanted to go in that room. Victoria's child, his heir, but he hadn't really cared. Even less when they told him it was a girl. The room smelling of blood and rotting tissue and alcohol and God, he hated hospitals, ever since those years in one as a child. Somewhere, he'd heard the doctor talking to him and Lena answering, and then a blanket-wrapped bundle was thrust unceremoniously into his arms.
He hadn't cared, not at all, until he looked down into the small face that was his.
Yellowish and screaming and strangely misshapen and the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen. Tiny and strange and alien in a way that was kinship and instinctive familiarity and knowledge, that he'd done what God only knew how many doctors had told him he wouldn't be able to. He *knew*. Flesh of his flesh, blood of his blood, and there it was, all in one frighteningly simple package. It should have scared him, sent him running from the room, sent him to another country and let Victoria have their child as he'd meant to. It should have somehow reawakened the remains of Lionel in his head and the Borgia parenting techniques he'd inherited from his father.
It hadn't. Probably the biggest surprise of Lex's life to date, and he'd had several.
His daughter. Dear God. The gene tests Lena had ordered had only been meaningless confirmation of what he'd already known as fact in that first touch.
Lex had never fallen in love, had no idea he was even capable of it. Big blue eyes, tiny hands that had grabbed mindlessly for the lapels of his suit. He'd forgotten the smells of the room, the bright lights, doctors, nurses, white walls, Dominik, Lena, even Victoria, who'd watched him from the bed with a satisfaction that he usually would have found some way to shatter. Someone had brought a chair and he'd sat down, cradling her close. His daughter.
Alexa Luthor. Daughter and heir and the true love of Lex's life, and there was nothing, nothing on the planet, that could have taken him from that room that moment. No memory could compete. Nothing could take it away.
Sixteen hours and a battery of tests later, he'd left. With Alexa. Six lawyers had made a month's worth of legal tangles disappear, Victoria was on her way to London, and he'd given her everything she wanted, everything he'd said it would be a cold day in hell before she got. Armed with Alexa and enough legal documents to keep Victoria a country away for the rest of their lives, Lex got down to the blissful business of being a father.
Alexa, the one, single, wonderful thing in Lex's life, and it was perfect. Lena had showed him how to change diapers and the concept of feeding, a dozen pediatricians on call for when Alexa sneezed or breathed, and all the power of a Luthor hanging over them to make sure they got it right.
Such a fucking cliche it was almost depressing, and Lex had worked most of his life to break stereotypes of all kinds. Well, no, he hadn't succeeded, but he'd tried. Not so with Alexa. He didn't even care. It just stopped mattering. At all.
Reaching out, he lightly touched the flawless pale cheek, careful not to disturb her sleep. She'd inherited his perfect health, too, thank you meteorites. Never an ear infection or so much as a case of indigestion.
Blue eyes open. She smiled up at him with tiny pearly teeth and Lex smiled back down, tiny hand catching his prosthetic, running her fingers over the different textures of the glove. "Sleep, Papa?"
He was Lex Luthor, the most powerful man in the world. Feared and loved and hated with a passion that he basked in. Just a father today whose daughter wanted him.
He liked the contrast and tried to live up to it. Even in living a cliche, Lex was an overachiever.
She pulled until he pushed her covers back, removing her remaining sock, curling up beside her with her tiny face pressed against his shirt and her hands twisted into the hem, asleep almost immediately. Reaching down carefully, Lex pulled up the blankets around them and fell into peaceful sleep.
He dreamed of flying
One month later...
It'd been four years, but it felt like more--Clark Kent had buried his parents here long ago, stared at the grey tombstones rising out of the dirt like teeth waiting to cut him again. Lois had asked to be buried with his family, and he'd never been able to deny her anything, even this.
Wrapping his arms around his knees, Clark was, just for now, a grieving husband. Four years, four months, four days, four hours, four minutes--time didn't mean a thing. Time had never been kind enough to heal Clark's wounds--she just kept adding new ones on top of the old.
At least it had been fast, Lana had told him, sitting beside him in the downstairs waiting room. She'd never known what happened, hit by a car driving far too fast down the streets of Metropolis, on her way to cover the birth of the Luthor heir. Fast. She hadn't suffered--it was hard to suffer with a shattered cranium, and Clark had arrived at the hospital, soaked and scared, breaking through to find out that his wife was dying.
Dead, they didn't say that, even with her brain leaking fluid and a dozen neurosurgeons couldn't have saved her, not if they'd been on the pavement with her when her skull shattered. Lana had held his hand and Pete had knelt beside him, the only family he had now. Crying when he couldn't.
He remembered that he hadn't cried, even then. He'd burned out everything in him to cope, and he wasn't sure, even now, if he had ever accepted it. He still found himself talking to her when he got breakfast, going to their bedroom and expecting to step on her pencils or trip over her heels. Beautiful and so strong, so blindingly intelligent, and he missed her in ways that had nothing to do with being her lover and her husband. They'd been friends before all else, and he missed the woman he drank coffee with and argued with and fought with as remorselessly and bitterly as he missed the woman who'd shared his bed.
"I'm selling the farm," he told the headstone, and leaned back into the bench. Lana did this too, he thought, and he'd never understood until now. The connection. He felt Lois here, tangible. "Pete will do wonders with it, you know. Natural farmer, the bastard. My dad loved to have him over. They talked for hours about everything there was to know about corn. I never did get the entire thing with corn. Him and my dad--they treated it like a religious experience."
He could see Lois' head tilt, amusement lighting up her eyes.
"So, what, you think you're good to go with no ties anymore? Just cut everyone off and go about being a superhero to the world?"
"Someone has to be," he answered lightly. "There aren't many of us, you know."
Her eyes sparkled and she leaned into the bench beside him, long nails playing over the hem of her skirt.
"I know, Kent. But you have to have more than that."
"Somehow, I just don't think so anymore. I like--this." Quiet and numb and utterly at ease. Nothing could hurt him now.
"You're not living. No sane person would call what you're doing living, lover."
Lois could be too smart for her own good.
"It works for me."
"If it was you, I suppose it might. But it's not you, never has been. This isn't healthy. None of it. You're not selling the farm to make Pete happy or because it's time--you're selling to cut yourself off from the last of your past. If they'd let you, you'd cut Pete and Lana out of your future as thoroughly as you're removing the farm. Don't start the crap with me, Clark. I know you too well."
"Does it matter? You're dead and I'm alone. Which is pretty much the way I expected my life to end up." There was a trace of bitterness in his voice. More than a trace. Clark disciplined himself into acceptance, shutting his eyes briefly. When he opened them, he was meeting her sardonic gaze, and he shook his head. "You don't understand, Lois. Even you didn't know everything."
No one really did, not anymore. Lana and Pete were the links to his childhood, Perry and Jimmy to his present, but Lois was his link to his soul. That was gone, a gaping hole the only reminder.
"I didn't need to know everything. You wore your scars on your face and your body. I wasn't your first lover or your first love. Maybe it's time you start remembering again."
Clark stiffened, but she was simply beside him, checking her manicure for flaws like it was any other day in their lives. He could see the pencil that pulled her hair back on the left side, the chewed eraser. Smell her perfume.
"You have no idea what you're talking about."
"You're so sweet. And so stupid sometimes, but that's you to a tee. You do denial like it's a requirement for survival. You fence when you're stressed and you make love like it's the last time you ever will, every time. You thought I never knew?"
Clark shut his eyes tight, but she sat in his mind, just as powerful and beautiful and frighteningly sharp.
"I love you."
"I love you more."
"I love you more."
"Maybe. Just maybe. But that doesn't mean you have to be alone."
"That's destiny. I tried the other way, and it didn't work."
"And there's your creed, my love. Sell the farm, sell your childhood, disappear into Superman and forget that you're as human as anyone on this planet in mind if not in blood. Be Superman for the rest of your doubtless long life and forget everything that made you human. They'll bow down and worship you, you know. You could be a god. Just forget."
"Shut up! I never wanted that!" God, the very thought, the very *concept*...
"Then get off it, Clark. I loved you more than life. I won't be the reason you refuse to live it. You walked out when you thought you had to. Twelve years is a long time to live a lie."
"It wasn't a lie. None of it." That she could believe that--believe....
"It was always real, and it was always love, I always knew that. But that doesn't mean it wasn't anything else."
Cassandra, so long ago, who saw all this. Almost. He'd saved Lana in a car accident that should have killed her, saved Pete from machinery, saved Chloe the first time, though not the second, not the time that mattered. Two headstones were missing from his dream.
One headstone had never existed at all, and Clark shut his eyes. It should have been what he wanted most, and it wasn't.
"You believe in destiny, Lois?"
"Clark. My love. Tell destiny to fuck itself."
When Clark opened his eyes, he was alone in the cemetery. The wind was his only companion, blowing cold and hard and remorseless around him. Shivering, he pulled his jacket closer from the chill that was all internal. Lowering his head onto his knees, Clark wondered if he'd ever find peace again.
"Don't you fucking *dare* tell me what I should and shouldn't do!"
There was this thing that came along with Alexa-- to wit, her aunt, his sister, possibly the single greatest source of frustration in Lex's life, and that was *really* saying something, considering he dealt with Superman on a near weekly basis. He hated Superman, but at least he could try to kill him. And frankly, Superman kept the conqueror in Lex satisfied--he had an uncomfortable suspicion that he would have suicided or destroyed the planet by now if he hadn't had the man to face. He needed competition for simple survival.
He could fantasize about killing Lena, but never actually do it. Ever. Even though right this second, wrapping a hand around her throat and squeezing was so appealing that Lex felt his hand flex in his lap in anticipation. Family was family was family--Lex had found in himself a hitherto unknown sense of familial obligation resting in the body of his sister thanks to Alexa.
And the fact that Lena was the only other constant figure in Alexa's life. That ended up counting for *a lot*.
"You're second term is nearly over," Lena said softly, and Lex winced. He didn't like to think about it. "You've done everything, Lex. Now for God's sake, just fucking *think* about maybe fixing the world up for Alexa? Or do you think she's going to *like* growing up surrounded by bodyguards instead of friends? You want her life to be ours all over again?"
Lex pushed away from the desk, glancing out the doors to see secret service looking as stone-like as ever. His own people were better than this, but appearances had to be kept up. And he couldn't break his sister's jaw in front of the them.
Though he wanted to. Badly.
Lena tapped a foot against the carpet, leaning back into the couch without looking away once. He was Lex Luthor--in some households, his name scared children into submission and sleep. Lena watched him like an annoying older brother she could still beat in a war of wills.
Sad thing was, she could. He supposed that it said something about either his personality or his luck, that every woman he'd ever had in his life had been the dominant type.
"She's the President's daughter, and Lex Luthor's heir." Her hand waved to the windows, at the world outside that he spent considerable energy running. "They're waiting. Waiting for you to get out of here, lose the public spotlight that until now has kept her safe. When you're a private citizen again. You've done what no president and no man before you has ever done--you've kept her absolutely private, absolutely sequestered from the public. You've enforced it in every way possible, and the body count is something I have memorized. That's not going to last forever, Lex. You're known all over the world, for good and for ill, and Alexa is going to know it all, and she's going to suffer for it." A beat. "Like we did for Dad, and Dad's crimes weren't nearly as flamboyant or as commonly known. You know that."
"I'm preparing for that."
"Sent her off to England for school? Switzerland? As far and as exclusive as you can get?"
Lex shuddered a little.
"I'm not leaving her, Lena. Not ever." It wasn't even an option. Life without Alexa wasn't worth living, just that simple. He thought he saw pity in his sister's eyes and turned away, running his fingers over the edge of his suit. She didn't understand--or maybe she did.
"Take a break," she said, and her voice was softer, gentler. Standing up, she crossed the room, hand pressed to his shoulder. "You can't run forever, you know."
Lex winced, catching her hand and jerking it out, and looked down into his mother's blue eyes.
"I'm not running."
"You've run all your life." Her other arm circled his waist, lowering her head briefly to his shoulder. "You've been running for years, and even I don't know from what. I'll bet you don't either."
Lex pulled away, but the hand on his waist tightened, and she looked up at him with naked frustration.
"Dad's dead," she said softly, and Lex shut his eyes. Frustration again, but a different kind. "He died, and you won. You always win, Lex. You've done everything and lived everything, and you ran the free world for eight years. You have more money than God, and you have all the power a man can have. What the hell else do you want? Beat Superman? He's not Dad either. Beating him won't make Dad say you're the best."
Lex bit into his lip briefly, turning his head away.
"It has nothing to do with our departed father and you've been watching daytime talk shows too much. Pop psychology crap doesn't work on me." Even to himself, his voice sounded sincere. Lying was far too easy. Just another skill mastered before he'd hit puberty. Instinct, to deny it.
"What do you want, Lex?"
Good question. Lex finally stopped fighting her grip, and both slim arms went around him, and he held her, just for a moment.
Alexa was having a bad effect on him.
"What's left for you to do?"
"That's what Alexander said, paraphrased," Lex murmured into her hair, breathing her in. "There aren't any worlds left to conquer, are there? I was a good president."
"Yes, you were."
Lex nodded slowly. He'd had a lot of time to think about the secondary effects of the meteors. And to test them. Thoroughly.
"Alexa isn't strictly human, and neither are you. We both know that, and so do the doctors whose families you have contracts on for their silence. You've done everything. Just--stop for awhile. Stop running, stand still, and figure out what you're going to do. You can't run LexCorp the way you have and be her father."
Lex took a breath.
"You said you won't be the image of Lionel Luthor as a father. Prove it."
Lex slowly nodded, and Lena stepped back, looking up at him with a little smile.
"I can run LexCorp just fine as a father." A pause. "But it won't hurt to take a vacation. As soon as this term is over." Looked at Lena speculatively. "You already run it for me as CEO. Don't fuck me over when this term is over and you can keep running it for awhile."
Lena inclined her head, and Lex touched her nose lightly, letting her see exactly what he was thinking.
"You know I won't hesitate to destroy you if you fail me. Blood only binds so far."
"I'm a Luthor too, Lex." Tiny smile. "I know my value."
Six months later
The thing was, he stopped at that fucking river that barely deserved the name. Just--stopped the car and got out, looking down over the edge of the bridge, water rushing mindlessly below.
His car was left in the middle of the road, but Smallville still wasn't exactly far famous for its crowded streets. Hating the sight of it, Lex walked to the railing, looking over at the water below.
Dark and churning and muddy-brown, but deep, and how did he know that exactly? Running his hands over the cold metal railing, Lex stalked the length, looking down.
He'd never been here. Driven over it, yes, but that was it. He hadn't been one to scout out nature after all.
It was like random chance, that he'd come back to Smallville, for no better reason than Lena. Lena, happily running LexCorp with all the skill of a Luthor but less of his ruthlessness. She didn't need to be ruthless though--the fear built in the fifteen years Lex had been master was ingrained into everyone. Alexa was with her for now, while Lex worked out his issues, as Lena put it.
He'd spent four years of his life here, before being recalled to Metropolis, before he'd finished his masters and his doctorate, took over his father's company. Frankly, he had no idea why he'd stayed so long, to this day. His exile was supposed to be only a year. But he'd stayed for four, rebuilding Plant #3 to one of the most powerful of the LuthorCorp companies, and he was glad he had. His first true success. Had built confidence and experience from that.
Almost got killed a couple of times too, but well, that was life with the name Luthor.
Now he was running again, secret service and the world thinking he was hiding in his house in Metropolis. He hadn't driven his car in longer than he wanted to remember. Looking back, the silver blue Porsche gleamed. Well cared for, only a little younger than he was. Leaning back on the railing, he surveyed the land.
He hated Smallville, senselessly. Or maybe not--he'd almost died here a few times. That had always sat pretty badly with Lex as a rule.
Lex turned just in time to see the truck barreling toward his Porsche, and it was instinct, that pushed him toward the rail, leaning backward, balance shot to hell....
And the water, it turned out, was familiar. Cold and wet, and the taste....
"Oh god. Oh--oh *fuck* what the hell kind of *joke* is this?" Frantic voice near his ear, the memory of a warm mouth on his lips, and Lex was suddenly aware that he was not only apparently alive, but--
--but, well, he knew what the river tasted like. Dream touch, body memory, and the taste was real.
It was always real. He'd been here before.
Lex opened his eyes on brilliant hazel, staring down at him with naked fear. There was mud squishing disgustingly beneath his back and the taste of the river in his mouth, and maybe he'd dreamed of this day, though he'd never credited himself with psychic powers before.
Dear God. He was finally going to live up to the epithet of insane. All on its own, he choked out a laugh and spit out more of the taste of the water.
"I could have sworn I hit you," Lex murmured, and the warm body pressed to his leg jerked back as if he'd been burned. Lex couldn't help the laugh, raising himself on an elbow and reaching out without thinking, grabbing the edges of thick wet flannel. Prosthetic was just fine and dandy, but then, he'd had it designed for such situations in mind. Well, granted, not this situation, and that started him harder, shaking his chest, trying to keep something resembling his composure. He should be pissed. He should be God--so angry. He was just--
--this was funny, this was hysterical, this was the punchline to a joke he didn't even know.
Looked up again into bright hazel eyes and cheekbones sharp enough to cut wood. Beautiful. Soaked brown hair hanging over the wide forehead, lips slightly parted, and Lex stopped breathing.
The boy was just breathtaking--
--no, the man. Lex blinked, and the--man's--hand came up, pushing dark hair aside. Not a boy, not a kid, no matter what his mind kept feeding him. He must have hit his head. Pity he couldn't feel it. Or, not so much.
"I'm sorry," the man said, and Lex blinked. "I didn't see--I didn't expect-"
Did he say that? Did he mean it? Why yes, he did. He'd killed people for far less than knocking him off a high bridge. Elbows pressed to wet earth, soaking wet and cold in a suit that cost nearly as much as that car, Lex couldn't even bring himself to care.
"Okay?" The voice cracked, and Lex began to smile. He really couldn't help it. "You're--you're--"
"Lex Luthor, in the--wet flesh." Lex looked down at the ruined suit and gave up. Leaning back into the ground, he began to laugh. Gloved hands against his face, the sky wide above him, he'd been thrown off a Smallville bridge and almost drowned, and this was, in fact, a felony. Of some sort. Surely it was. Former presidents did not get tossed off bridges. Men with the name Luthor never got thrown off of bridges. It just didn't happen.
Except when it did.
"Lex." Choked it out, then kicked at his waterlogged shoes. "I don't believe this. How's my car?"
The hazel eyes looked away and Lex followed them to the fender of blue metal sinking slowly into the water. How the *hell* had that avoided falling on him? Pushing a hand into the soft dirt, Lex stumbled to his feet and tried to breathe normally, but this was really too much. He had people who would pay good money to kill him, people who had made it their life mission to kill him, and a car driven by a fucking Smallville *farmer* had almost finished it by accident.
There was so much irony here that Lex could have made a sandwich out of it. He could explode and order this--man--killed, or he could just sit down and laugh.
Lex hated to be predictable. He dropped onto the dirt again and wondered if his ribs would crack. He hadn't laughed like this in years.
"Sir--" Worried. Perhaps a little--afraid? No, there was no fear in that voice or that body. If there was, Lex would have felt it. Turning his head, he grinned.
"Lex. You toss me from a bridge then save my life, you call me Lex. And for the record, you are--?"
For a second, Lex thought the man wouldn't tell him--something chased itself through the hazel eyes, something that was neither pain nor fear, but akin to both. Without thinking, Lex extended a hand, and after an awkward second, the man shook it.
"Kent. Clark Kent. I'm--I'm so sorry--"
"Oh, don't worry about it. You almost fulfilled the wet dreams of about half the known world, you know." Grinning, Lex got to his feet again. Alexa was obviously having a detrimental affect on him, but he couldn't help but smile into the hazel eyes, any more than he could let go of the strong hand in his. Long finger, square palm, just beautiful. Lex thought he could be perfectly content to stand here forever, with mud slipping up around his feet, looking into that perfect face. He was concussed. Or it was Smallville getting to him. God. "Kent." Tasted the word.
"Kent," the man answered firmly, then abruptly pulled his hand away. "I--I better take you into town, to the hospital--"
Oh, bad idea. Lex blinked, shaking his head, and got a curious look in response. Incognito, remember? And this guy had seen him. Shit. That was quite enough to suck all the fun out of his near death experience, and Lex rubbed his hands on his pants, suddenly aware of the mud working its soggy way beneath his nails.
"Do you know where the old Luthor castle is?" Lex asked, thinking quickly.
"Yes." Pause. "You're--alone. I thought you were required to travel--"
"Even I need a break from it all." A pause, and Lex let the last of his humor drop, studying the man in front of him. Not a farmer--eyes as sharp as those cheekbones, smooth hands, and the clothes didn't quite fit the image and still fit perfectly. A feeling, tickling the back of Lex's mind, rushing along his spine, tingling, whispering--*something*.
Familiar. He'd felt this way looking into Alexa's eyes the first time. Perfect recognition.
"Kent." His memory had always been strangely patchy, but that name came up. The other man tensed, Lex noted. Slightest stiffening of muscles, and all on his own, his hand slid out, cupping the strong jaw, feeling every movement beneath smooth skin. Tense. Wired. Afraid of something. Panicked. Hopeful. It was like sandpaper and silk and it was familiar.
He *knew* this.
"Clark, don't worry about it." A painfully long pause, and the man--Clark--didn't move away. Stared down at him--and what the *hell* was he doing? Pulling away, Lex stepped back, dragging in a short breath.
"I'll drive you." Low voice. "Yeah, I know where it is."
Lex wanted to touch him again. Feel him again. Figure out what the hell made this man so damn familiar.
Instead, he simply smiled. He hadn't had a challenge like this in fucking *years*.