“Mr. President,” Superman begins curtly, stepping into the Oval Office.
“Superman,” the president says, sounding lazily calm. “I’m pretty sure this thing has Kryptonite in it.”
“Why do you think I’m walking in here?” Superman huffs out a laugh as they both stare at the bomb sitting in front of the president.
“Pressure sensitive,” the president says, staring at his hands atop the innocent enough looking box, his hands beginning to look a bit shaky. “And Kryptonite filled. I think Superman has met his match.”
“Nonsense,” Superman says (“Arrogant,” breathes the president.) “Who would Superman be if he let the president die?”
“A logical person,” the president says calmly. “The world needs Superman, the president not so much.”
Superman gives him a look, pinning him down, although to the president’s credit he merely shrugs, somehow managing to keep his hands where they are. “The president is brokering peace across the world. I thought Superman ‘merely engaged in flimflammery, saving kittens out of trees.’”
“You did save that kitten last week,” the president says pointedly.
“The little girl was about to try and climb up the tree herself, and I was only a minute out.”
“You were a state away, and of course you actually have a good reason,” the president sighs. “Fine, Clark, we both know this bomb is able to kill the president and Superman. So get out.”
“Lex,” Clark says, then makes an abortive gesture with his hands. He has to tell a lie right now, so well that even Batman, even Lex, won’t be able to see through. He walks closer to the table. “This suit is pretty much Kryptonite proof, Batman has tested it for over a year.”
Lex rankles at that, “Bruce was able to do that before me? I’ve been trying for years…”
“Lex,” Clark says, genuinely laughing. “You realize that it was mainly to defend me against you, the person who possesses the most Kryptonite and comes after Superman every day that ends in a Y.” It’s too bad he won’t live this one through, he realizes. Batman would want to know Lex knows his identity, but truth be told Lex will always be Clark’s priority so he lets things lie. Regrets are for another time.
“Still,” Lex says irritably. “I want to look over that suit afterwards.” Clark manages a lopsided smile, Lex for all his age looking 21 again, caught up in a new obsession.
“Bruce has even shot Kryptonite bullets at the thing,” Clark manages and Lex looks utterly fascinated, ready to deconstruct it.
“I’m gonna come stand between you and the bomb. You keep your hands on that thing and then we’re gonna make a run for the window.”
“That’s a stupid plan,” Lex says. “I bet Bruce would have a better one.”
“Does he have a Kryptonite protected suit?” Clark asks him. “Because I think you should stop pouting that the president who hates Superman needs Superman to save him.”
“I’m not pouting!” Lex says, definitely pouting. Clark climbs under his arms coming up near his knees and Lex lets out a small uncomfortable gasp.
“Superman’s not that awful,” Clark protests. (“He’s an arrogant son of a bitch,” Lex protests. “Who thinks he can get away with anything because he saved some cats.”) Clark rolls his eyes as he carefully begins to cover Lex with his body. Luckily Lex has one of those rolling chairs that cost a million dollars for some memory foam and comfort. “Are you ready?” Clark asks, and Lex looks up at him, clearly terrified.
“What?” Clark asks teasingly, “Forgot how shitty a death threat feels? I thought you had one like a month ago.”
“Someone snuck a plastic gun in. The Secret Service had him killed in like two seconds,” Lex says sourly. “A little bit different.”
“Just pretend this is just like that,” Clark says soothingly. Lex gives him a dirty look. “I have a Kryptonite resistant suit!” Clark protests. “It’ll be fine.” He gives Lex a large smile, a Clark Kent smile, not a Superman one. He always wanted to go out with a smile, he reasons, as he starts to push the chair out as quickly as possible, a human run out the window as the bomb begins to explode behind them, glass shattering.
Tiny bits of Kryptonite are embedded in every single part of him, along with shrapnel. He rolls off of Lex with his last bit of energy, pushing the shrapnel in further as he lands on the grass. Lex, blessedly fine, Superman’s body doing what his suit most definitely could not. Clark begins to drift, thinking death is much more painful than what he was hoping for.
Lex is pummeling his chest angrily, Clark could swear there were tears. “Stupid, stupid, I thought you weren’t lying to me anymore,” his voice sounds truly venomous.
Clark feels like he’s floating away, although all he wants to say is Ha. He wouldn’t have it any other way, from the day Lex’s stupid car hit him.
Superman’s funeral is a crowded affair, it feels like half the country is there. Lois’s face is red and puffy, as are Chloe and Lana’s. Pete looks…quiet, and his mom in shock. The president doesn’t say anything, looking cold and drawn, until it’s his turn on stage. “He saved my life, even after I said he was a son of a bitch. He was that good of a person.” The president’s voice cracks, and apparently that’s the end of his speech because the Secret Service begins to usher him out. “We didn’t deserve him,” Lex blurts out loudly before he’s pulled off the stage.
Clark Kent’s funeral is a quieter affair, in Smallville, Everyone who knew who he was looks quietly resigned at the photo of him standing near the casket. Others are crying quietly, like his mother. He feels bad about that but really, did she expect anything different? he wonders. Meanwhile Lex is in the back row, quietly getting sloshed with a bottle of bourbon he must have brought himself. He’s drinking directly from the bottle, not even bothering to hide it. At least he waits until most people clear out before he begins yelling at Clark’s portrait. It’s mostly incomprehensible, although Clark can make out son of a bitch more than a few times. Self sacrificing asshole is another one and stupid ass martyr complex. ‘Fair,’ Clark thinks, although he wouldn’t change a thing. Lex is alive and, well, well enough. Minus the drinking and shouting at a picture beside a casket. Martha is the only person still remaining, looking like she’s debating if she should hug the President of the United States or slap him. Instead she walks out, Lex still ranting and raving.
Clark wakes up slowly, bit by bit, feeling creaky and sore. Everything is dark and Clark squints, trying to see out. Dirt. And in a space that feels like…a casket? he thinks. He’s buried. Clark has a mild case of claustrophobia but all he wants is out. He feels as weak as a kitten, pushing himself out and then wiggling upwards. Pulling himself out is hard. Starting to fly is…a disaster. Clark leaves more than a few crater holes on the way to Washington D.C. But he makes it, eventually, even manages to fly to the president’s suite unnoticed. He lands on the balcony, feeling dizzy. So this is what dizzy feels like Clark realizes.
“Lex,” he says, somewhat tentative, trying to remember why he’s here, his head pounding.
Lex comes out to the balcony, brushing his teeth. “Oh fuck you!” he yells angrily, throwing the toothbrush at Clark and managing to squarely hit him in the chest.
Clark does not have the energy to deal with the President of the United States hating him, so he begins to try to take off, finding it even more difficult, feeling like a dog with its tail between its legs. The flight back to Smallville to see his mom is going to take longer, maybe even twice as long, he’s fairly sure.
“Clark!” Lex is yelling behind him. “Clark!” And then, “Kal-El get your ass back here.”
Clark doesn’t have the energy to say no to a comfortable balcony right now. He crash lands on it, feeling bewildered until he notices Lex’s green ring. Well, he does really hate him, Clark realizes resigned, before Lex looks down at it cursing, taking it off to throw it as far away he can chuck it. “It was part of the bomb,” he says, by ways of explanation. “You know how I like…”
“Collecting things,” Clark supplements, remembering a room of collected Clark items.
Lex nods, open-mouthed. “Get yourself a bourbon,” Clark suggests, and Lex laughs.
“I don’t think Clark Kent has ever told anyone to take a drink.”
Clark shrugs, sing-songing, “Doctor’s orders.”
Lex returns after making a short call to security to leave him the fuck alone with a glass and a grumble. “Why are you so dirty?” he asks, crinkling his nose. He looks so young, Clark aches with it.
Clark looks at him a bit mystified. “There’s a lot of dirt above a casket.”
“Fuck,” Lex says, blank, looking like he wants to be sick. “You were dead? I was hoping you had gone off on some alien adventure to find yourself. That’s why I threw my toothbrush at you…” That does explain the cheap suit Clark is wearing he supposes.
Clark manages a shrug. “Pretty sure I was at least mostly dead.” Tries to sound casual. “If it’s easier for you, you can pretend I went on an alien adventure. Pretty sure Jupiter’s beautiful this time of year,” he says, trying to sound light, failing, as Lex gives him a hard look.
He sits down hard on the balcony, pretty sure he could doze off on the tile if Lex would give him a moment. Lex turns into a whirlwind of action, rushing in to toss a sloshing glass of bourbon onto the table, coming back with a robe that is much too small for Clark. Clark tries to fit it on anyway, too tired to say no, until Lex tugs it off, leaning down to pick Clark up. “You have to help me out Kent,” he says apologetically, “Even a few months of death doesn’t make you light enough.” Clearly trying to be funny but instead he goes dark and quiet. Clark shuffles beside him, until Lex pushes Clark into his presidential bed.
Clark protests, “I’m gonna get dirt all over your five thousand count thread sheets.”
“Five thousand count thread isn’t a thing Clark,” Lex replies flatly. They both go quiet as Clark shoves his face into a pillow and tries not to cry. “Clark…Clark. Clark, what are you thinking right now?” Clark forgot how easily Lex could read him once upon a time. Could see every lie and still remained his friend for all those years.
Too tired to lie, Clark says, muffled by the pillow, “Pretending.” Tries to not feel too badly for himself, it’s not an attractive quality.
Somehow able to interpret that, Lex asks curiously, “Pretending what?” Lex runs his fingers through Clark’s hair, which has gone long and shaggy and is full of dirt.
Clark turns to stare mutinously at the wall. “Pretending you don’t hate me.” He gives the wall a dark look.
“Clark,” Lex says and then goes silent. Ever-versed in Clark Kent’s body language, knowing eye contact would be tantamount to betrayal, Lex instead says, “Shove over.” Clark moves over just enough for Lex to balance precariously on the edge before he gives into old instincts, throwing an arm over Clark’s overlarge shoulders and playing big spoon, Clark’s knees falling into the crook of Lex’s.
“Do you remember grade school?” Lex asks.
“No,” Clark says, sounding bewildered. “My parents had me homeschooled.”
Lex sighs. “That actually explains a lot.” Clark stiffens up beside him, until Lex swoops an arm over his chest, hugging him closer. “That’s not an insult, Clark, it just explains a lot.”
“Like what?” Clark asks, suspiciously.
“When young boys like young girls they pull their pigtails.”
Clark remains silent.
“Pretend I’m pulling your pigtails Clark,” Lex says drily.
“Oh, okay,” Clark says as if it all makes sense.
Lex sighs. “You don’t get it do you?”
Clark shrugs into him, “Maybe I’m too alien,” he says, self-hatred evident.
“Your alien bits are beautiful,” Lex whispers into Clark’s neck who shivers. (“That’s not what the president said,” Clark says, a delicate balance between self-hatred and sadness.) “The president,” Lex says, “might be not sure how else to get a big beautiful alien to notice him. Other than making trouble.”
Lex can almost hear Clark considering this, before he flips around overly quickly, grabbing Lex before he falls off the bed. Lex just snuggles into being manhandled, which has honestly been a thing of his ever since he met fifteen year old Clark Kent. Clark presses his (dirty) forehead up against Lex’s and Lex shivers. And then, almost a non-sequitur, “I saw my funerals.” He sounds distant, stuck in memories. “Like a movie.” He’s shaking and Lex manages to encircle most of Clark’s chest, hugging him. “You were so sad,” Clark whispers, barely audible.
“That’s what happens when your best friend dies,” Lex says shortly, not particularly wanting to remember those times, but also too morose to let anyone but Clark steer the conversation. “Has your mom forgiven me for yelling at your portrait and then throwing up in the bushes?” He winces. He’s had better days.
Clark stares at him with confusion. “I haven’t talked to my mom.”
Lex swallows, goes still. “Clark, you were in Smallville. And you flew to DC first?”
“Well, I needed to check on you,” Clark says defiantly, as if Lex is upset with him. His voice goes small, “I may have crash-landed. A lot.” Lex makes a mental note to get government teams covering that one up.
Lex can’t help himself, he’s kissing Clark’s nose, his forehead, his left cheek, and then his right, under Clark’s wriggling and protest. “I’m dirty!” he exclaims before Lex licks a stripe from Clark’s collarbone to his jaw, ignoring dirt and Clark goes still with an, “Ohhhh.” Lex repeats the motion, and Clark sighs happily. “Why couldn’t you have done that-“ He’s interrupted by Lex nipping his neck lightly then kissing it, and Clark says in a quavering voice, “Before.”
“Timing,” Lex says lightly, although it’s so much more than that, and Clark is rubbing up against him, erection clear, before Lex shoves a leg between Clark’s and lets him get purchase, and Clark lets out a sigh, humping up against Lex’s leg with the strength of a newborn kitten.
Clark goes red, ear to throat, before he mutters to Lex, “I’m gonna, ah,” as Lex moves fractionally to help him along, “Come in my pants.”
Lex laughs. “Clark those pants are a lost cause anyway, and it’s been what, months?” and Clark goes if anything, redder.
“Longer,” he mutters, before shivering into it, wet spot up against Lex’s leg. Lex lets Clark huff and puff up against him, like he’s run a long race, as a human.
“C’mon that stupid suit has to be uncomfortable,” Lex reasons with him and Clark is red and nodding as Lex unbuttons him, pulling him out of pants, with nothing in between, Lex winces at the scratchy material, but tugs at the buttons on Clark’s shirt pulling him out of jacket and shirt.
Clark is clinging to him, pulling at Lex’s silk pajamas, “Can you take these off?” he asks, sounding desperate. Lex has no qualms with it, untying and pushing his pants off, and unbuttoning his shirt slowly, as Clark is watching him avidly, and Lex isn’t sure when this opportunity will come again. “Oh you’re beautiful,” Clark breathes and Lex is trying desperately, and failing, not to blush.
“We should have done this earlier,” Clark declares, and snuggles into Lex’s body, tucking his chin over Lex’s head and pulling Lex as close as humanly (or alienly) possible.
Lex’s erection must be digging into Clark’s thigh, and Clark hums before taking it into hand. “Ignore it,” Lex says a little desperately, his voice going high and reedy as Clark’s large palm takes hold of him. Clark plays with him ever so softly, running his fingers over every bit of Lex’s cock as if he’s trying to memorize it as his other hand pets Lex’s back and all Lex can do is cling, making embarrassing noises, as he’s imagined this far too long in his life. Clark touches him softly for nearly half an hour, always pulling back right before Lex gets close, as Lex moans, nips at Clark’s throat softly, can’t be bothered to be impatient. When Lex finally comes it’s a soft exhalation, and over Clark’s stomach. Clark pulls him close and for all intents and purposes is ready to fall asleep.
Lex pushes at him. “Clark, we’re going to be stuck together tomorrow morning.”
“Good,” Clark yawns. “We’ll have to shower together.”
“Clark, you should call your mother,” Lex insists.
“Tomorrow,” Clark says stubbornly, pulling Lex too close for him to call anyone to ask them to call Martha. It’s a lost cause Lex tells himself as he snuggles in close, pushing his leg between Clark’s once more, ends up chest to chest as Clark’s head curls around him.
“Stop thinking,” Clark tell Lex after a few minutes. “It’s too loud.” And then after another minute he says irritably, “I’m not psychic, you just keep twitching.”
“I know you’re not psychic,” Lex says reasonably. “Or else we might have done this earlier.”
“Hm,” Clark manages, before a snore, and Lex laughs quietly to himself. Superman snores.
When he wakes up on top of a floating, sleeping Clark, Lex looks down the ten feet to the floor, shrugs, and falls back asleep. Clark would catch him anyways.