|Driving with Crocodile Shoes
It's wrong, and Clark shouldn't. Because they've only done it once, and Lex was the shot-caller, while Clark just groaned and moaned and came. He blames the impulse -- if something constant can be an impulse -- on Lex's driving, one hand hard on the wheel, the other controlling the stick shift, the straight line of him that's part of the car, this tight flow from his skull to the gas pedal.
That, and the air blasting from the half-open window, full of hay and Halloween, not pumpkins, just this cold, toffee smell that stays in his mouth before doing this slippery dance down his throat. And the sunglasses, hiding Lex's eyes, so even though Lex is attached to the car, this stupid metal thing, he's apart from Clark, not a part of him, like whatever invisible lines zipping between them are breaking or broken.
They speed faster, Lex's foot pressed down in what has to be a very expensive shoe, black, shiny, and scaly. Dead animal shoes, no feelings, just a hard shell. One day he'll make Lex give them up. The car zooms along, smoothsmoothsmooth, no grind or fight like his dad's pick-up, just doing what Lex wants. At least it knows what Lex wants. Clark thought he knew when Lex kissed him the other night, when Lex did, God, those dirty things with his mouth and his hand and his...
Lex is wearing these black pants, and the way he's sitting, his legs spread a little, his jacket fallen open, Clark can see an outline. He never really got to see Lex, not that part; Lex was too busy doing stuff to him, and left Clark somewhere between dead and very alive on the messed-up sofa in the loft. Any time Clark tried to touch him, Lex said, "No, I want to," and used his tongue to make his case. 'That Lex Luthor is very persuasive,' his dad has said, and, boy, if he only knew.
Only Lex doesn't seem interested in persuading today, just driving him to school like some weird rich uncle with crocodile shoes and this skin that's bright and shiny like the moon from the loft window. He's not even talking, and Lex always talks, asks him questions that can itch, but mostly in a good way, like about his grandfather, the one who stayed away all these years. Clark's friends are cool, but they don't see inside him the way Lex does, the way Lex reads him with a look.
Clark shifts when Lex does, and the leather sighs and settles. Lucky leather, because Clark's nerves don't understand that they're supposed to stay quiet under his skin. He feels raw, like he's been peeled in one go, like his mom does with apples and that small silver knife she got for her birthday a hundred years ago.
Fields float by, green going brown, patches of yellow grass like snapped-off pieces of sun. Lex's eyes are the same color as the car, gray metal that looks blue if you catch it in the right light. His shirt's purple and fits so well, painted on, that Clark gulps a few times. Lex keeps driving, like he's totally clued out about his jumpability. Or maybe Clark's being so obvious that Lex is thinking the cooler vocabulary version of "Dorksville."
Except. Lex seemed to like what happened, or he wouldn't have kept at it for hours, would he? He could've stopped after the first time, when it was just his hand, his mouth on Clark's. Only he didn't, just kept kissing him until Clark was ready for round two. Some of it wasn't even making out, more like these soft brushes over Clark's face, on his eyes and cheeks. And in the candlelight his face was even softer, like the time Lex woke up after he died.
"Lex," Clark says, "bridge accidents aside, you're a good driver, right?" Because the urge to peel is twisting inside him, and his hands are shaking, ready to move.
"Why? You want to drive?"
"Would you let me?"
A quick turn, and the look's unreadable with the glasses on. "It's up to you, Clark."
So Clark counts to ten, going fast as the car, and reaches under Lex's arm on the gear shift. Clutch of wool, then the cool metal of the belt buckle, the scrape of the zipper, and Lex makes a sound low as the engine. The car swerves, not much, as Clark tugs and yanks, getting a hot handful of skin for his troubles. He just holds him at first, feeling the swell and pulse under his fingers. Cut and big when Lex is ready, damp at the end, and wetter when Clark runs his thumb over the head.
The angle's wrong until Lex moves his hand, and Clark thinks the car might've stopped, especially when Lex says, "I'm not that good a driver," as he settles like leather, legs open wide. Clark, who's been known to miss opportunities, king of clueless sometimes, is awake for this one, and makes a long pass with his filled hand from the bottom to the top and back again.
As Lex's hips jerk, his glasses slip down his nose, and Lex bats them off. They land on the floor by his feet, and Clark hopes the shoes eat them. The invisible threads are back as he and Lex share a look, with Lex actually flushed and missing every second breath while he stares like Clark is a unowned Porsche. Lex moves, and he's going to kiss him, but Clark has another kind of kissing in mind, so he bends.
Then the toffee in the air is in his mouth, the salty kind you get at the ocean, slick and contoured, and he sucks it, sucks the head of Lex's cock. Solid against his tongue, spicy-orange smell like the tea his mom drinks, and Clark's not sure what to do, only knows he wants to keep doing it, with Lex saying four-letter words above him and the muscles in Lex's thighs tense like his engine's revving. Clark lifts his hand to check, slips it under Lex's shirt and over his heart, and finds the same quick beat that he's learning with his tongue.
This makes him braver, so he pulls back to lick, holding Lex with one hand and rubbing over his heart with the other. It's like driving, and he suddenly understands Lex's obsession with speed: he could do this, licking away for hours, no stopping, just faster and faster forever. Clark does stop when Lex touches his hair, but it's not a red light, just encouraging strokes with warm pressing fingers. For a second, things go black behind Clark's eyes as his want meets Lex's; it's a miracle the car doesn't blow up or melt, that he doesn't, with his jeans and the leather seat under him holding his own cock too tight.
More licks, because he likes the sound, the wet, slurpy sound of his mouth against Lex's skin. Sucking's even better, so he goes back to that, taking more inside to make Lex part of him. There's a vague sense of the outside world, and what if they got caught like this? Only it's weird: he'd like it, like everyone to see what he can do to Lex, how he can drive Lex to dirty words and squirming. The guilt from the other night, for being the done-to one and not the doer, fades, and he smiles around Lex's cock.
"You're so..." Lex says, and tilts Clark's head until they're seeing each other. "You are so..."
Whatever Lex wants to say, it's good, with Lex's eyes only Porsche-gray lines under his lashes, and his voice rough and almost young. Clark wishes he could kiss Lex's scarred mouth and suck his cock at the same time, even though it's practically the same. A compromise kiss where he is, and Lex has both hands in Clark's hair, never pushing, just holding on like he's scared they're going to drive off a bridge. This time Clark wants to see Lex fall, because he'll be there to catch him in his mouth.
A blue line runs like a river down the front of Lex's cock, and Clark follows it with a finger, then his tongue. Lex whimpers, a noise Clark's never heard from anyone before, and it's so hot that he goes a little crazy, licking, kissing and sucking so Lex will do it again. He does, about a dozen times, while his hands catch more of Clark's hair and his hips rock. Clark might be super-strong, but Lex is so wired, vibrating with it, that Clark's not sure the car will hold, that he will.
"Clark. You might want to stop. Because I won't be able to." Lex's mouth is red as an apple, the scar even darker, and he swallows between sentences.
Clark bends even lower, filling himself, lips stretched around Lex, who's harder than ever. Okay, a little scary to think what's coming next, but good, too, so good that Clark wonders if he'll get there first, and shifts against the seat for relief.
"You're hard," Lex says, and sounds amazed. "Hard from doing this to me." He puts his hand over Clark's on his chest, keeps it there.
Impossible to tell where he starts and Lex stops, just this line of connected parts. Only one way to get closer, which is to have Lex inside him, in his blood, and Clark lowers his mouth until Lex is deep, then rises and falls in a steady rhythm, base to head and back again. Lex's four-letter words become five, Clark's name over and over, bouncing off the car's roof, the windshield, until it's buried inside Clark as far as his cock.
The air thickens, close and salty, and Lex is so wet, slick everywhere, cock, chest and thighs. Rumbling under his skin, this push of blood against Clark's tongue, and he sucks harder, his hand moving in regular strokes, while Lex arches, tense outside instead of inside now. More words from Lex, a string of them, dirty mixed with new, cleaner ones, and he's going to break, quivering like his bones are trying to burst out.
Then Lex goes still.
A long second filled with wet sounds and leather settling, before Lex grips Clark's hand so tight it would hurt anyone else, and it happens. Not scary at all, just a steady pump of thicker salt into his mouth, the secret taste of Lex.
It slides down warm, and he's swallowing when Lex tugs him up, demanding enough that Clark doesn't resist. Lex gives Clark a look equally warm before kissing him, his tongue mixing with Clark's and the come glazing his mouth. Wrapping his arms around Lex's still-shaking body, like Lex is the best present ever, Clark kisses him back, less gentle than Lex, because he's aching for it, edgy under the fuzzy glow.
This time it's Lex who reaches down, not fumbling like Clark did. The kiss goes on, Lex owning his mouth, but now he owns Clark with his hand, too. Sure, deliberate strokes, while Clark moans, a rumble that works through them both. He's not clear how many strokes it takes, only that it's not a lot, with Lex's hand so hot and his tongue slippery against Clark's. His brain shuts down except for the echo of Lex's name, and it's his turn to arch and shake.
Clark comes fast and hard, ripples of heat all over Lex's fingers. He's panting when the kiss finally ends, and Lex raises his hand, licking it clean. It's the most beautiful thing Clark has ever seen, and he manages a mellow kiss before collapsing back into his seat. "I think you broke me."
"Better put yourself back together, because you look...Well, it won't take a genius to figure out what you've been doing. Don't want Chloe and Pete to know that I've debauched you. Again."
Chloe and Pete. School. Clark checks the clock. Five minutes to go, and they're -- he glances out the window -- parked under a tree off Chandler's Field, about ten minutes away, even by Lex's standards.
"You're going to be late."
"I don't care." Lex's pants are still open, his shirt's riding high, and his mouth is still very red. It's so red that Clark has to kiss him again.
Lex finally untangles himself. "Clark, much as I'd like to spend the day making out in my car, I don't want to be responsible for getting you into trouble."
"I like this kind of trouble." He stretches, and when his fingers brush Lex's cheek, Lex kisses them.
"I wish you didn't. It would make things easier. Now get dressed so I can take you to school."
Some adjusting and smoothing, then Lex lowers the roof, letting the air cool them as the car speeds toward boring life. Late, and there's some guy, a big, solid one with crocodile teeth, standing at the school gate. The locked gate.
"Great," Lex says. "Cosmic payback."
"Can I see you later?"
"Go, Clark. He's waiting, and trust me, he's not amused."
A last look at Lex, then he jumps out. "Excuse me," he tells the guy, who's very official in his suit and disapproval. "What's going on? I need to get in there." Lex is right: the guy doesn't look amused at all.
"Then you should have been here four minutes ago, Mr.--"
"Kent. Clark Kent." Somehow it always sounds cooler when James Bond says it. Bond, or Lex.
"Ah, of course. I noticed in your records you have a penchant for tardiness."
"Who exactly are you?" He's rude, hears his mom say, 'Clark, respect your elders,' but this guy is scraping his glow down to nothing.
"I'm Mr. Reynolds, your new principal."
"Oh." Great. When did the day do a one-eighty? "Um, nice to meet you."
"Yes. Just so you're aware, from now on, this gate locks when the first bell rings and doesn't open again until school is out." It's his dad all over again, trying to spoil things between him and Lex.
A car door opens, then Lex is moving beside him. "I'd, uh, I'd appreciate it if you give Clark a pass this time. He was late because of me."
Lex is defending him, lying to do it, and if Mr. Reynolds weren't on his dictator-high, with access to student phone numbers, Clark would kiss Lex again.
"Lex Luthor. The Porsche, the attitude...Somehow I'm not surprised you're involved." He's even less amused now, big and bearish, with a familiar and annoying parental vibe.
And he doesn't like Lex. How can anyone not like Lex? Then Clark tweaks to the truth. "You two know each other." Had to be a long time ago, and he's right.
"Mr. Reynolds was headmaster at Excelsior Prep," Lex says, "during my infamous stay there."
"You might find this hard to believe, Lex, but I think people should take responsibility for their own actions."
Which isn't fair, and Clark steps up. "It won't happen again."
"I'm keeping my eye on you, Mr. Kent. Next time it happens, automatic detention." Grudgingly, he unlocks the gate.
Lex will never want to see him again. Humiliating and unfair, and he's heading toward the gate when Lex says, "Catch you later, Clark." It's like they're back in the car, no stupid principals pulling stupider father tricks, and Clark puts a little extra kick in his smile.
The rest of the day finds new ways to suck. In math, Mr. Franklin is so boring that Clark's tempted to hold a mirror in front of the guy's mouth, just to see if he's breathing. Not likely. English is worse, with the teacher yapping on about the world's moldiest poem. To top it off, squashed under a desk built for fifth-graders, Clark sees that time has actually stopped: the hands on the clock refuse to move. The only highlight is a note from Pete that says, "Kill me now."
Finally, a few centuries later, it's three o'clock, and he races out, passing Mr. Reynolds who gives him a look that says, "I know what you did this morning, you tardy pervert." He makes it home in record time, faster than Lex's Porsche, and whips through his chores.
"Have a date tonight?" his mom asks, as he bursts back into the house, tearing off his clothes on the way to the shower. She should never try to be funny.
"Just going to Lex's." Fast, fast, and he's at Lex's by 4:30, wearing his favorite blue shirt while his stomach leaps.
Only problem is, Lex isn't there.
Big, dark house, more haunted-looking than usual with the sun on the fall schedule, throwing down shadows from the turrets. The doorbell only brings the maid, who says that Lex is in Metropolis and doesn't know when he'll be back. Clark hates her, and Mr. Reynolds, too, because he knows that Lex's vanishing act is connected to him and his lecture on responsibility.
Unsure what to do and full of twitchy energy, he goes to the Talon to help Lana move boxes into the old theater. This doesn't improve his mood. He and Lana get into a serious downer of a talk about his grandfather and families and how life should make sense but never does. She's a nice girl, really pretty, and he hopes it works out for her, only she's not Lex. When Clark talks, Lex drops everything and listens to every word, concentrating like he does behind the wheel. Then he offers advice or cracks a joke, even though his own life basically stinks, money or not, with a father like Mr. Reynolds on crack and a mother who died.
When Nell shows up and Lana gets ready to grill her about family secrets, Clark finds Chloe and Pete having coffee over a snark contest. He sits in the chair across from Chloe, stands, then sits again.
Pete watches him like he's a circus freak, which is probably how he looks. "What's up with you today, Clark? Wind any tighter and we'll be scraping you off the ceiling. And Lana just got this place looking good again." He clutches his mug with both hands like it's a football and he's gearing up for a pass. "It's not Reynolds, is it? Man, you could use a little trouble in your life. You're so straight I could use you as a crowbar."
"And what would you do with a crowbar, Mr. Mechanical?" Chloe shakes her porcupine head. "Chop wood?"
"This from the girl who thinks shop class is about going to the mall."
"Hey! I'm strictly a thrift-store girl." She stands, proudly displaying her shaggy pink and red skirt that flounces on command, her green t-shirt that says, ‘It's Miss Bitch to You.' "Malls are for cheerleaders and prom queens, not future Pulitzer-prize winners. I'm all about originality."
"Is that what you call your style? I was thinking more Early Bag-Lady."
While Pete ducks, grinning like a little kid, Chloe thwaps him on the head. "This from the guy whose idea of fashion is whatever's clean. And not always that." She sniffs noisily, although Pete smells like soap and coffee.
Clark loves them both, he really does, but right now their friendly snarking only makes him feel worse. And there's no way he could tell them the truth; they'd do ten kinds of freaking out. Sure, Pete knows he's outerspace-boy, but that's nothing compared to getting naked with Lex Luthor. "I'm kind of tired, guys. I think I'll head home."
"That's Kent-speak for 'go to Lex's,'" Chloe says, tapping a creamer on the table. "We're being ditched again, Pete."
"We need to find our own billionaire boyfriends." He gives Clark a sly look.
"He's not my boyfriend," they all say at the same time. It's an old joke, and usually he secretly enjoys it. Today, it hurts.
"Trouble in paradise?" Pete asks.
"Maybe Lex found another farmboy with a savior complex. Oh, wait. We only have one in Smallville."
"He's in Metropolis." They go quiet while he toys with an empty sugar pack. The silence defines awkward.
"I think it's pretty much a fact," Chloe says to no one in particular, her voice surprisingly snark-free, "that Lex Luthor has a serious devotion to all things farmish."
Pete, who usually jumps on this kind of opportunity, just nods, staring somewhere above Clark's head. "For a big- city tycoon type, he's pretty much spent his whole time in Smallville proving that he's a fan of...farming. Don't think that's going to change any time soon."
"Right. And sometimes urban billionaires might worry about, um, hurting the farm equipment."
"Especially," Pete adds, "when the, uh, the machinery is kind of new."
"If I were farm equipment," Chloe says to Pete, "I'd cut Lex some slack and maybe talk to him about how to run things better so things don't break down." She takes a long sip of her coffee, then pushes it away, grinning. "Okay, when you compare yourself to farm equipment you know it's time to stop with the caffeine."
Pete laughs a little. "How 'bout we catch a movie? Something funny with fart jokes."
"You're a walking fart joke. But, yeah, I need a break. Want to come, Clark?"
"Thanks, but I, uh, have to see a man about a tractor." Clark has to make a joke or he might start crying, and they'd never let him forget it. "Thanks, guys."
"Have fun plowing the field," Pete says, and receives another head-thwap from Chloe. "You are so paying for that," and he chases her out the door, laughing like a loon.
Clark follows them, but goes right instead of left, running as soon as they're out of sight, pulled by one of those invisible lines. Still no light at the castle, and the rush from his friends' pep talk fades a bit. As he stands in the autumn dark, Clark remembers something Lana said a few months back, when he didn't make it to her party and Lex tried to cheer her up. When Lex was a kid and his father threw these huge bashes, he'd hide from everyone in the cloakroom. Hard to believe that Lex would ever hide, especially from him, but...
A minor act of vandalism, and Clark's inside. Lines of heat float past, pushed around by the stone walls. Different from home, where his mom's baking keeps the place toasty and smelling of bread and cinnamon. Here at Lex's castle it smells like the poem from English class. The urge to find Lex, to touch him, grows so strong that Clark finally moves, doing a room search like a kid in a horror movie. No crazed serial killers jump out, just lots of cold space. Finally, getting desperate, Clark reaches the study, where the moon peers in from the window, Lex-colored, and shows him sitting on a leather couch. No light, no music, no tv -- it's like Lex is another piece of furniture, not even moving when Clark walks in.
"You shouldn't be here, Clark." Shades of Mr. Reynolds.
"You wouldn't understand."
"It's because I'm new farm equipment," Clark says, standing in front of him. Like this explains everything, only it does.
"I really need to invest in a Smallville-Metropolis dictionary."
"And you think you're going to ruin me or something. You don't know farm equipment, Lex. Take it from me: it's pretty hard to break."
"Clark, I should never have let things get this far. It was a mistake. You like me for all the wrong reasons."
"You mean because you're bald? Or because you listen to me? Or because you defend me to stupid principals?"
"Don't make me laugh, Clark. You'd kill an impressive bout of self-pity."
"Good. Because if you think I'm here for the Porsches and what we do in them...Well, I liked you before the sex stuff, and there's a lot more to you than fancy cars."
"I used to think that my life was complicated before I got to Smallville. Lesson learned."
"You know what you need?"
"Unfortunately, yes. That's the problem."
Clark lets that sink in, and it spreads under his skin, coming out in a smile. A big one, that's probably goofy as hell, but it won't go away. "I think you need to go for a drive. With me. Right now." He offers Lex his hand, and waits.
"If I say no, are you going to go away?"
"I was afraid of that. What about a bribe?"
"Even you don't have enough money."
"Your friends might find out about us."
He has to laugh at that. "It's a little late. Where do you think I got the farm equipment stuff?"
"Your parents wouldn't like it," Lex says, but gives Clark his hand and gets to his feet.
"Lex, we're not getting married. We're just going for a drive."
"If you call what happened this morning just 'going for a drive,' I'm going to insist that you don't accept lifts from anyone but me."
He pulls Lex's hand, leading him out. At the clack of soles on tile, Clark looks down at Lex's feet in their armored animal skin, and adds, "Oh, there's just one more thing."
"I knew this was too easy. What do you want? To hear about my sordid past at Excelsior?"
"That can wait. First, get rid of those shoes."
"Not a problem." Lex's teeth flash in the dark. "Anything else?"
Clark pictures how Lex looked when he touched him this morning, how Lex tasted when he finally lost control. "Well, now that you mention it..."
"Tell me fast," Lex says, "because I really need to be with you in the car."
"Tonight, I'd like to be the one in the driver's seat."
And they walk into the night, still holding hands, while the moon smiles
Driving with Crocodile Shoes. (c) Thamiris, January 2003