Harlequin's Slash Fic

Only Human: 02 The Fort Knox of Secrets

Title: Only Human: 02 The Fort Knox of Secrets
Author: Harlequin
Universe: Smallville
Characters featured: Clark/Lex
Category, Word count: Short story; 3172 words
Rating: R (though relatively mild)
Summary, Notes: Following on from Human Interlude, this story begins immediately after the first season episode Nicodemus, and wanders on through further episodes.
First published: 4 January 2008 on Harlequin’s Slash Site


The Fort Knox of Secrets

‘Well, well, Clark Kent. Are you darkening my doorstep once more?’

‘Seems so,’ Clark replied.

Lex Luthor responded with a smile that grew from zero to glowing grin in ten seconds. ‘You’d better come in.’

Clark stepped inside, and led the way through to the television room. ‘I might not be one for giving sympathy rides,’ he explained over his shoulder, ‘but I figure a gratitude kiss isn’t too far out of line.’

‘Just promise me it won’t ever be for pity, Clark.’

The minor fuss of them each settling into their previously established places on the sofa allowed Clark to pretty much let that comment go by. But then he looked levelly into Lex’s pretty eyes and said very seriously, ‘You saved my father’s life, Lex. I don’t know how you did it, or what you had to do, but if it wasn’t for those doctors of yours in Metropolis…’

‘You’re welcome, Clark.’

‘No, I haven’t thanked you yet. Not properly.’

Lex settled back with an anticipatory smile. ‘Please. Be my guest.’

Clark leaned in after him, let their mouths brush. ‘I trusted you,’ he murmured. And yet he still wasn’t quite kissing the man. ‘I trust you.’

‘You sound surprised. Or is that a note of uncertainty I detect?’

‘Pete was very – Well, I know he was delusional when he was accusing you of working with Dr Hamilton and all, but he was also very, uh –’

‘Plausible? Yes.’ The barest hint of pain drifted under Lex’s cool exterior and then was gone.

Which was exactly the kind of reaction that had convinced Clark that he mattered to Lex, really mattered. This man could usually hide anything behind a direct deadpan stare. But when it came to his feelings for Clark… It must be a case of opposites attracting, because Clark knew he showed everything on his face. Everything. Chloe called him Completely Transparent Clark. So, given the secrets Clark had to keep, maybe that mask of Lex’s was something Clark could practice wearing himself.

‘Clark… You are turning into a tease.’


Lex chuckled under his breath. ‘I wasn’t complaining.’ He sank back a little further, gave way as Clark leaned in with a kiss so enthusiastic it was almost an assault. Lex Luthor, of all people, willing to surrender – to Clark Kent, of all people! Clark almost let out a growl. They parted for a breathless moment. ‘You stop now and I’ll complain,’ Lex said. But Clark gave him no cause.

‘I’ve got tickets to the Sharks game on Saturday night.’

Clark lit up, he knew he did. His Mom would have laughed at him if she’d been there.

Lex pondered. ‘Do you know anyone who’d come with me?’

‘Uh, yeah,’ Clark replied with a fair stab at irony.

For a moment it seemed that Lex would ask who, but instead he smiled, and his usual self–possession collapsed into an equally familiar self–satisfaction. Or could it be… could it possibly be, Clark wondered… was Lex feeling a simpler emotion than that? Happiness. Lex Luthor was simply happy at the thought of taking Clark Kent to a football game.

‘I’ll already be in Metropolis,’ Lex said, ‘so I’ll send a limo for you.’

‘Sure.’ Clark was still pretty much lit up, only now it was more of a deep inner glow. He made Lex happy. There weren’t many people in the world he simply made happy. Clark knew his parents adored him, but there were difficulties with him being who he was, with them having to keep his secrets.

‘Any chance you’d stay the night with me?’

Clark froze.

‘We could do something on Sunday, too. A movie, the museum, I think there’s a Warriors game. Whatever you like,’ Lex continued, trying to warm Clark up again with his smooth words and a smile. ‘And nothing you don’t like, I promise.’ A winning smile that made it hard to resist. ‘Come on! You can sleep in the guest bedroom. No strings attached.’

‘Sure,’ Clark eventually replied. And he slowly began lighting up again. ‘Sure.’

But once Clark got to the game, he discovered that ‘I’ve got tickets’ – which he’d interpreted as two seats high in the stands, jostling neighbours and stale hot dogs – really meant ‘I’ve got a corporate sky–box’, complete with self–effacing waiter in a bow–tie and waistcoat, and a full buffet, and more varieties of alcohol than Clark had ever imagined, all for just the two of them.

Clark’s heart sank. ‘Oh, Lex…’ he murmured, looking over the twenty empty seats. He should have known better. And so should Lex! ‘You could have said. Pete would have loved to come, and Chloe. And Whitney and –’

‘Lana?’ Lex shrugged. ‘She’s been here before, with Nell – and was suitably unimpressed. Besides, I wanted you to myself, Clark.’

He blushed, and glanced at the waiter, who seemed professionally oblivious. ‘Still, just for the game…’ Clark grumbled. Pete would have thought it so cool. ‘You could have had me to yourself for the rest of the weekend.’

An expression crept across Lex’s face that Clark hadn’t ever seen before. Lex aware that he’d misjudged, miscalculated. That he hadn’t been quite as clever as he’d thought. Making Clark’s friends happy as well as Clark himself would have been a far better plan.

But Clark wasn’t one to spoil the evening. ‘Never mind,’ he said. And, despite the waiter (oblivious or not), he reached for Lex’s hand and squeezed it. ‘Game’s about to start.’

‘Oh, I think it’s already started,’ Lex murmured, ‘and in earnest.’

They went to choose the two best seats in the box.

‘Even if you end up sleeping in the guest room,’ Lex murmured late that night, ‘grace my bed. Just for an hour or two.’

Clark was following him down the twists and turns of a darkened hallway in Lex’s labyrinthine apartment, with Lex slowly backing away and Clark matching him step for step. They were barely touching each other, and yet it felt like some weird kind of complicated dance. ‘Sure,’ Clark said. And to tell the truth he was aching, for it had been far too long since he’d last said goodbye to Lex.

Despite which, Lex was saying, ‘Nothing more than we’ve already done, Clark, I promise. Different, but no further. Do you trust me?’


Lex stopped unexpectedly, as if surprised, and Clark ran right into him. They kissed, Lex’s arms circling his shoulders. Clark pressed the man up against the nearest wall, pushed against him, lifted him so they were of a height and held him there body to body. Lex was gasping by the time Clark let him down again, let him go, but he managed to bestow a coolly impressed smile before taking Clark’s hand and leading him on.

They spent forever rolling around on top of the silken quilt on Lex’s bed, fully dressed, kissing. It was like the first time, when Clark’s lips ended up sore and swollen. Totally wonderful! Yet there were two things bothering Clark and getting in the way, so at last he whispered one of them. ‘You’re gonna get bored with me.’

A laugh greeted this preposterous idea. ‘Never,’ Lex declared.

‘Doing the same old simple things.’

‘You know I find you endlessly fascinating. I love – I love being your friend.’ Lex leaned over him, his mask slightly mocking. ‘Anything else is a delightful bonus.’

‘Are you sure?’

‘Lie still – and ask me that again in about, oh, fifteen minutes.’

And Lex arranged them both to his liking. Nothing more than they’d already done, that was true. And yet… Lex moving over him, sinuous as a cat, those eyes darkening with heated possessive surrendering passion. Lex thrusting into Clark’s curled–up hand, so that Lex was fucking rather than Clark jerking. Still mostly dressed, like before. Still only using hands, like before. And yet… And yet if they were naked, and if Lex were thrusting some inches left of where Clark’s hand rested by his right hip… Clark groaned. Lex was so damned gorgeous, moving the way he did, every thrust rippling through him from head to toe – so damned gorgeous that Clark began to suspect (or fear) that he’d actually rather like to take it all a whole lot further.

He remembered Pete aghast – Clark had no idea of how the topic of homosexuality and sodomy got raised, but Pete was horrified by the notion. How could they do that? That is the grossest thing ever! Not to mention it would hurt! No, it’s girls all the way for me. Well, Clark mentally countered, staring up at Lex Luthor, I can guess exactly why they do it, and right now it’s looking beautiful. Not to mention that Lex couldn’t possibly hurt him. Oh, guys sure do have their attractions, Pete.

Lex had been holding back, but despite his extraordinary powers of control he was almost there whether he liked it or not – Clark knew all the signs by now. ‘Get down here,’ Clark muttered roughly, and an obedient Lex collapsed onto him, hot, kissing, thrusting, until the familiar mess bloomed between them.

For a few moments Lex hid his face in the pillow and Clark’s hair, but then he answered, ‘I’m sure.’

‘Good.’ Clark smiled when the man finally showed himself.

‘Now, what can I do for you?’

‘Oh, just touch me,’ Clark lightly replied. ‘I think that’s about all it’s gonna take.’

‘Clark, you know I’d do anything you wanted. You could do… anything.’

‘I know. Just touch me.’ The truth was, the other thing bothering him was his strength. Now that he had it back in full measure, he shouldn’t be risking this with Lex. But surely if Lex simply touched him, if Clark simply lay there and forced himself not to move, then he couldn’t hurt anyone or betray anything. But if they did anything more, and Clark got carried away and ended up bruising Lex – or floating over the bed or something weird like that…

Lex, obedient again, was slipping one of his fine hands inside Clark’s jeans, and carefully stroking him, encircling him, embracing him, murmuring, ‘You are so ridiculously beautiful, Clark Kent.’ And all too soon it was all too much. Clark quaked, remembered to keep still, quaked harder – and came like Old Faithful.

‘Good grief,’ Lex murmured.

♦ ♦ ♦

‘I just think you’re with the wrong guy, that’s all.’

Resentment flared in her heart. Lana had lost track of the number of times Lex Luthor had said that to her. Well, for once she was going to speak her mind. ‘You like Clark so much, boss – you date him.’

Lex, of course, was too worldly to even blink. ‘Oh, if he cared for me the way he cares for you,’ he smoothly replied, ‘believe me, I would.’ He took a mouthful of his cappuccino and sat back in his chair. ‘I know people, Lana, and I know he’s worth ten of the quarterback.’

‘If you were such a good judge of character, you wouldn’t dismiss Whitney so easily.’

‘Thus speaks young love.’

Lana sighed. The Talon was empty around them, and she would have closed up long ago if she and her boss hadn’t been in such obvious need of a late night mutual comfort session. Well, she’d risked a retort, and it hadn’t backfired, so perhaps she could risk a question. ‘Lex, why do you take such an interest in Clark?’

She thought for a moment he’d counter with something like ‘Why do you?’ which would provoke a tirade that had long been bubbling in Lana’s heart about how even the Homecoming Queen, the cheerleader, the girlfriend of the quarterback was allowed to choose her own friends, no matter how unfashionable they might be. But instead Lex said with simple sincerity, ‘He’s a friend.’

‘Even as a friend, he doesn’t quite seem your type.’

Lex smiled. ‘There’s a lot more to him than meets the eye, Lana. Though I have to say that what meets the eye is nothing to complain about.’ When Lana refused to respond to this sortie, Lex asked, ‘So, what is my type, Ms Lang?’

Lana thought for a moment, and then a shiver ran through her. ‘Someone a little… darker, perhaps. Clark Kent is the kind of guy you love. The kind of guy a girl marries rather than dates. But you always seem to choose the kind of women that you… well, the kind that you don’t love. I would have thought you’d choose your friends on the same basis.’

Those clear eyes of Lex’s glinted at her with sudden, laughing interest. ‘You’re a good judge of character, too, it seems.’

‘And I judge Whitney highly,’ she brightly replied. But then she took the opportunity to offer a little serious advice. ‘Lex, there’s something I think I should warn you about.’

‘Yes…?’ he asked, obviously amused at the thought of taking advice from a sixteen–year–old high school girl, but also obviously willing to listen.

‘I was talking with Clark once, it was our first ever real conversation, and he was sad, and I asked him – well, I didn’t ask him, but – never mind. I asked him if he was sad over a girl, and he said no. Then I asked if it was a guy. And he made it pretty clear that he’s not into guys.’

Lex was still amused, but he leaned forward confidentially and said, ‘I know Clark. He simply couldn’t bear it if you, Lana, thought he didn’t like girls. Whether he likes guys as well is another matter entirely.’

Lana considered this.

‘Why is that a warning, anyway?’

She looked at him directly. If one was going to challenge the boss, one might as well go all the way. ‘Because I think you’re already half in love with him.’

‘He’s a friend!’ Lex protested. ‘And he’s… intriguing. That’s all.’

‘Sounds like a good definition of love to me,’ Lana replied. ‘A friend who intrigues you.’

Lex mimed a mock heart attack. ‘Thus speaks true wisdom.’ He shook his head, stood, fished in his pockets for dollar notes which he left on the table, for his car keys which he palmed. ‘Goodnight, oh Delphic oracle mine’ – with a flourish – ‘as wise as she is beautiful.’

Lana grimaced at his excessiveness. ‘Goodnight, Lex.’ As he walked out a thought occurred to her, and she called to him – ‘Wasn’t she cursed to never be believed?’

Lex just waved dismissively without turning back. ‘Goodnight!’

♦ ♦ ♦

‘Ah, good,’ said Lex as Clark wandered into the library. ‘It’s Clark Kent, International Man of Mystery.’

Clark smiled, and went to sit in one of the chairs facing the desk. ‘Hello, Lex.’

The file that Lex had been reading was tossed aside with an exaggerated sigh. ‘Do you know what I was going to give you for your birthday, Clark?’

‘No.’ The smile turned into a delighted smirk as all kinds of colourfully expensive goodies flitted through Clark’s mind. If Lex had bought him a new truck just for saving his life, then what was a birthday worth? And how mad would Clark’s Dad be? But surely Clark wouldn’t be made to return a birthday present…

‘I was going to tell you the name of your real parents.’

That brought him back to earth with a crash. ‘Jonathan and Martha Kent.’

‘Yes, they are your real parents, aren’t they? But your biological parents –’

‘No, Lex.’

The man just stared at him for a long moment. Lex Luthor wasn’t often lost for words. ‘All right. But what do you mean, no?’

No, don’t do it. No, I’m not interested. No, don’t dig all that up again.’ He’d stood and was pacing around the room now.

‘But, Clark –’

‘I don’t want to know, Lex! They’re long gone, and that’s all there is to say about that.’

Lex cleared his throat, and after a moment said, ‘I don’t understand.’

‘I don’t care whether you understand or not! Just leave it alone!’ And here was Clark, full of righteous resentment again, all for the sake of self–preservation. Which wasn’t good. But this time he was scared. Clark was scared almost witless.

‘I’m sorry.’ Lex stayed behind his desk and remained safely seated, but he lifted his hands palm–out in a gesture of reconciliation. ‘I’m sorry, Clark, I’ll drop it, I promise. I thought I was doing the right thing…’

Clark didn’t reply. But he didn’t leave, either. He just kept pacing round and around Lex’s library. Maybe this day was inevitable, given Lex’s unquenchable curiosity. But he had to stop the man before he discovered that the Kents had committed fraud for Clark’s sake.

‘I just thought that – what with all the chaos at the time – and the Smallville police wouldn’t have had the resources we have now. There might have been a family reported missing since then that they didn’t connect to you. I mean, your parents reported the car they saw just before the meteor hit… I’m still not sure how you were thrown free, but there are so many mysteries about that day.’ Lex offered him a smile. ‘You’re the one conundrum I can’t leave alone.’

Please, Lex…’ He wondered if he should venture a little of the compelling truth. Clark wandered closer, met Lex’s penetrating gaze. ‘I’m just – I’m just scared. They’re my real parents, Lex. And they went through a lot to keep me. It wasn’t straightforward like it was for Nell and Lana. They had to fight hard. And I don’t want anyone taking that away from them.’

‘No one’s going to take you away now, Clark,’ Lex said reasonably. ‘You’ve been with them for over twelve years, and you’re almost of age anyway.’

‘Please, Lex, I’m begging you.’

Lex looked up at him. Rapid re–calculations were flickering behind Lex’s light eyes; he’d been surprised. But Clark thought Lex might also have been a little bit scared by Clark’s reaction, too. ‘All right,’ Lex murmured. Now he stood and came round the desk to lay reassuring hands on Clark’s shoulders. ‘All right. I’m sorry. Consider it dropped.’

‘Thank you.’

‘You’re welcome.’

Clark shifted into the man’s arms for a moment, hugged him. But then he pulled away, and went back to pacing.

After a long moment, Lex murmured, ‘You came to say goodbye again, didn’t you? Our on–again is off–again.’

A grimace overtook him. How did Lex always know this stuff almost before Clark himself did? ‘I guess.’ He cast Lex an imploring gaze. ‘But I need a favour, Lex. Not for me – it’s for Whitney and his Dad. I need an enormous favour, and if there’s something you want in return, I’ll do it, all right? Because we’re still friends, no matter what.’

Lex smoothly slid his hands into his trouser pockets, and leaned back against his desk. ‘Don’t be ridiculous, Clark,’ he said urbanely. ‘A favour never has strings attached. Now, tell me what you need.’

Posted in: Slash fic, Smallville

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