Detour

Rating - R
Pairing - Clark/Lex/Whitney
A/N - SVFF Pinch Hit for chasethecat who wanted some combination of Clark/Lex/Whitney, and happy, fluffy schmoop, please. Someone gets a surprise; or, something domestic.


The elevator ride came to an end on the topmost floor of the Lex Corp. Tower, a bright, glistening needle of glass and steel that rose up from the center of Metropolis. In its lance-like shadow stood the blockier structure that had once been the pride and joy of LuthorCorp. Lex still owned it too. He liked looking down on it.

Stepping off the elevator, he put his gloves in his overcoat pocket, and quietly removed the coat from his shoulders. The scent of snow clung to it still - the scent of cold.

The scent of loneliness.

He held the coat to his face for a moment, eyes closed, reminiscing. It was late. He was tired. He hung the coat in the closet with a sigh. Melancholy was not his strong suit, and he knew how to cure it. A quick nightcap and sleep would cure it. Dark moods were darkest just before dawn. Was that how the saying went? Something like that. He was too tired to sort it out the right way.

The table was laid out for two. A fire burned in the hearth. Lex paused as he entered the great room, his eyes tracking across the table where candles sputtered in stalactites of wax, and champaign sat bubbleless in two tall, untouched glasses.

He inhaled deeply, exhaled a long sigh, and turning he discovered the orchestrator of it all asleep on the sofa like the fair haired invader from a child's nursery tale. Clark, however, wasn't fair of hair, uninvited, and definitely no longer a child.

Lex's mouth quirked into a small smile as a pair of eyes flickered open to greet him.

"I thought you were in Chicago with Lois," Lex whispered

Clark's own voice was soft, muzzy from sleep. Lines underscored his eyes with weariness. Maybe nobody but Lex could see it, or maybe they just didn't understand, but he was stretched very thin - all the time.

For what?

Maybe Lex didn't understand either.

"I came back," Clark stretched, smiled a little. "I must have dozed off."

"I see that," Lex stood near the table, fingering the edge of a gold-rimmed plate. "This for us?"

"Supposed to be."

Clark sat up, rubbing his eyes. Here, in their sanctuary, he was Lex's Clark. He wore no glasses, bore no cape upon his shoulders. Soft cotton covered his chest, denim clothed long, lean legs. Lex liked him that way because anything else was a lie, and there were no longer lies between them.

Well, there was, perhaps, one.

"I'm sorry."

"Where were you?"

Lex looked up into his eyes.

"Business emergency."

It was one of many since Autumn.

Lex looked away.


Lionel would have flown, and in fact, he once had, taking his young son with him on a trip to the country.

"Open your eyes, Lex."

The trip had opened Lex's eyes all right. It had opened his eyes to the world around him, full of possibilities, and to balance the scale, everything dark and frightening he'd only imagined before. It was funny how all roads seemed to lead back to Smallville and how one's life in general seemed to always circle back around on itself.

Lex sold Plant Number Three, and with it, the Castle. He drove to the closing, or rather, was driven. The cars of his youth had long been in storage, and he rarely drove himself anywhere anymore. He supposed he should put them up for sale too, and as he stared out at the cornfields passing by his window, he made a note to do so. They, he thought, would be his last tie to Smallville - except for Clark of course.

Miles of corn flashed past the window, tall and nearly ready for harvest. It had been twenty years and Lex still couldn't stand the smell of popcorn, the hot, dry corn smell a poignant reminder of the meteor shower. He had never told anyone of his aversion to popcorn, not even Clark. They'd discussed the meteor shower exactly twice since they'd met, once soon after, and the second time when Clark had....

Confessed.

Please forgive me Lex, for I have sinned....

Lex smiled slightly. Clark hadn't phrased it that way, but he'd been just as pious and wracked with guilt. It had been a rough night for both of them. Afterward they avoided the subject of the meteor shower just like they avoided the subject of Clark's other two persona, both the reporter and the alien.

Alien in a cornfield. It was like a bad science fiction movie.

In Lex's presence, Clark was Clark and that's the way he liked it.

"Mr. Luthor."

Lex turned his attention away from the window. "Yes, Michael?"

"We'll need to fuel-up for the return trip."

"That's fine."

Except Clark doesn't seem to be in my presence very much anymore.

Lois Lane saw more of Clark than Lex did. The entire world saw more of Clark than Lex did, and the small frightened boy inside the man wanted to whine about the injustice of it all.

I won his heart. I know his secrets. He's mine.

"I miss him," Lex fingered the fogged glass of his window, idly tracing his initials there as he waited for his chauffeur to finish pumping the gas. When they were done here he would never come back to Smallville again, not even with Clark. It just wasn't the same. Perhaps, he thought, because they weren't the same.

He knew Clark's powers didn't include telepathy, but that didn't stop him from smiling when the phone rang.

"Guess," he said. "Where I am?"

"Is this a trick question? Will the answer be followed by a description of what you're wearing and what your left hand is doing, because if so I should hang up because this get-up doesn't hide much...."

Lex frowned. Superman then. Fuck. That meant Clark would not be waiting for him when he got back.

"I'm in Smallville, Kansas at the Pump-N-Go."

"There's a dirty joke there...."

"Just where does Superman keep his cell phone?"

"Funny."

It was funny that Lex suddenly didn't want to having this conversation, not when Clark was him and Lex knew it was irrational but sometimes he despised Superman. It was as if Clark were having an affair.

"So I take it there's a crisis?"

"I'm sorry...."

Lex didn't bother to reply. The situation was a repeat of a thousand that had come before.

"So, uhm. Why are you in Smallville?"

"I sold the plant, and the mansion. I was here for the closing."

There was a plaintive note to Clark's voice that reminded Lex of the past as poignantly as actually being in Smallville. Superman vanished from Lex's mind's eye to be replaced by a pouty young teen.

"You sold the mansion?"

"Yes."

"Oh."

"What's the matter?"

"Nothing."

Lex sighed, and switched ears with the phone. "Come on, Clark. What's wrong? Please don't tell me you've attached sentiment to that hulking wreck of a house."

"It's where we first met."

"We first met on a riverbank. I remember the stench of the river like it was yesterday - dead fish and sewage."

"That's my point."

Laughing, Lex shook his head. "You're so elliptical. Is that a Kent thing or an alien thing?"

"I mean," Clark said, clearly not amused. "Dead fish aren't very romantic. A castle - that's romantic. We first - made love there."

"We fucked like monkeys."

"Keep your day job, Lex. Comedy isn't your forte, especially vulgar comedy."

"You're genuinely mad about this aren't you?" Lex scowled into the phone. "I'm sorry, Clark. If I'd have known you were so attached to the house I wouldn't have included it in the deal."

There was a long silence. "It's your house."

"No, you're right. It was our house, and I didn't consult you. Forgive me?"

"Yeah." Clark paused again. "It's just that....never mind. It doesn't matter, as long as I still have you. When will you be home?"

"A few hours. I'm not planning on any more stops. You?"

"I don't know, hopefully before morning. Hey, I've got to go."

"Sure. Clark....."

He didn't finish. The phone went dead.

Lex stared at it for a moment before he put it away, realizing that he'd just had the longest conversation he'd had with his lover in days, and Clark was disappointed in him. He didn't really have to ask himself why, either. Clark had felt it too; the past slipping away.


"It's snowing harder." Clark rose fluidly from the sofa and glided across the floor toward the big windows that looked out across the city. He always seemed to be flying, even when he walked, as if gravity meant very little to him. Only as Clark Kent, reporter, did he lose that preternatural grace in favor of calculated clumsiness. "I'm glad you're home. I would have worried."

"I'm fine," Lex murmured. He watched Clark stand silhouetted against the eerily white sky outside the window. Snow swirled against the glass, skittering across the smooth surface with a sandpapery sound. "Tired."

"Hungry?"

"No. I'm sorry...."

"I wish you'd called."

Lex couldn't see his face. The area by the windows was not touched by the candlelight. He was only a shadow standing framed in the window. Lex pictured him standing against the sky at the top of the tallest building in Metropolis, his long red cape swirling out behind him. Closing his eyes, he erased the vision. He rubbed his fingers together, remembering the sensation of soft cotton flannel between them, and the taste of another man's lips against his own.

Oh, by the way, Clark, have dinner without me. I won't be home until I finish fucking someone else.

"I couldn't," he said.

"Lex."

Clark spoke hesitantly. Lex interrupted him before he could say any more. He avoided Clark's gaze, and whatever else he might have said by turning away toward the bedroom.

"I'm tired, Clark, and I'm sure Superman has somewhere he ought to be."


"Mr. Luthor?" Michael queried as Lex stepped out of the limo.

"I'll just be a minute. Keep the car warm."

He went inside the convenience store, not expecting much. This had been only a service station during his residency in Smallville, but now instead of selling oil changes and wheel rotation, it specialized in packaged foods, cigarettes and beer. Lex didn't know what he wanted. The limo was well stocked. He wandered idly through the small, narrow aisles, fingering the dusty packages on the shelves. Cookies, potato chips, lip balm and gum; Lex finally picked up a pack of mints.

With an idle gesture he flipped the mints and a dollar bill down on the counter. Big spender. He could have bought the entire business if he'd wanted to do so, and hired the clerk as his valet for far more than the poor man made in a year. Feeling facetious, Lex also bought a lottery ticket. With his luck he'd win, cheating some poor old woman of her dreams.

"Mr. Luthor?"

The clerk was staring at him from beneath the heavy fall of thick, wheat-colored bangs. He was tall, and pale, and his eyes looked startlingly blue in the bright lights of the store. A vague familiarity graced his features.

"You probably don't recognize me. It's been a while. It's...."

"Whitney Fordman," Lex murmured. "You were MIA."

A hand rose, pushing back his hair. He was, Lex recalled, only slightly older than Clark, but the harsh reality of his life had aged him. Lines surrounded his eyes. His face looked worn and his eyes tired. The small smile he gave Lex was weak.

"I was AWOL. A long story." Whitney reached above his head and pulled a lottery ticket off of a long roll. He held it between two fingers. "Have you run into hard times?"

"Just feeling lucky."

The ticket and Lex's change were pushed back across the counter. After a moment, Whitney shrugged, and said: "I...uh...heard you and Clark...."

Lex studied his face. There was no malice in his expression, nor even disapproval, only an honest curiosity - and perhaps something else. It startled him somewhat. It was not expected in this venue, from this player. His curiosity was piqued.

"Yes, it's true," Lex replied, and kept his own expression neutral. "And?" It was a bit of a challenge, to see what the former quarterback had on his mind.

Whitney did not rise to the bait. His voice lowered. "I wish I'd have known Clark was gay, back in high school." And his eyes grew distant as if he were looking back into the past.

Idly, Lex tapped the edge of his lottery ticket up on the glass counter-top, recalling the incident that had nearly killed Clark one chill October night very much like this one.

If I hadn't found him that Kryptonite necklace would have killed him by morning.

"Perhaps a few misunderstandings could have been avoided," Lex said. "Or would there have been some of a different nature?"

With a soft snort, Whitney pushed back his hair again and smiled ruefully. "I went AWOL for a reason, Mr. Luthor." He turned away and crossed his arms over his chest, gazing out the big window where Lex's limo sat idling beside the gas pumps. His gaze, when he returned it to Lex, was frank. "I don't know why you're here, or if you'll be back, but it's nice to see you again - in person that is."

It took Lex more than a few seconds to realize he was being hit on. Whitney had apparently abandoned football in favor of chess, and it was now Lex's move.


Clark intercepted him in the bedroom doorway, wrapping his hands around Lex's arms as he leaned in for a kiss. Lex protested only mildly by turning his head, but Clark was unphased and Lex could not keep up the pretense. He loved Clark, loved being held by Clark, and on this night wanted nothing more than to curl up to sleep against his strong, warm body. Sex wasn't an option.

He allowed the kisses, opening his mouth to them, throwing back his head in surrender as Clark drew him closer and his mouth found Lex's throat. Unspoken desires were communicated with hands, and hips, and the hard jut of Clark's cock against his thigh, but these Lex denied by squirming away into the darkness of the room. When he'd caught his breath he turned on a lamp, revealing Clark still standing, rejected, by the door.

Lex removed his cufflinks and his tie, shaking his head slowly. "I'm sorry, Clark. I'm really tired."

And Clark nodded. "It's okay." He started to move away, back out into the living room.

"Are you leaving?" Lex asked, pausing with shirt in hand and his belt undone. "Clark?"

"No, Lex. But if you want to go to bed...."

Lex swallowed. He looked away, feeling his face flush as if he were some innocent girl on her wedding night, suddenly unsure how to voice his request. It was too - simple - for one who dealt so much in complexity.

"I just want you," he said finally. "Stay with me tonight. Don't go out again."

He thought he sounded petulant and hated it. But words or tone served their purpose - Clark came back to him. His kiss was tender. Lex fingered his shirt.

"I'll stay," Clark murmured. "Of course I'll stay."


Lex won fifty dollars with his lottery ticket. It paid for the room Whitney got in a seedy little hotel just outside of Smallville while Lex shivered in the cab of a battered pick-up truck and the limo went on to Metropolis without him. The truck stunk of old beer and cigarettes. So did the hotel room. So did Whitney, but Lex chose to overlook it.

The sheets were clean at least. Lex inhaled their soapy scent as Whitney showed him what lessons he'd learned in the intervening years. He was far less gentle than Clark, and Lex was far less forgiving when Whitney hurt him. Their coupling was part sex, part wrestling and Lex's fingers slipped across sweat slicked shoulders as he hung on for dear life. Clark didn't sweat.

Everything cried out with wrongness; from the very situation to the way their bodies fit together. Whitney was lean and soft where boyhood muscle had given way to an older man's flab, when athleticism turned to sloth. In contrast Clark's coltishness had given way to bulk, alien muscle broadened him, hardened him. His body knew nothing of fat or flab, and his kisses were flavored with arctic mint instead of the dusky tang of tobacco. Lex got off with Whitney, but there was something of a bitterness left behind when climax finally faded.

Whitney sat naked at the table just inside the door, smoking again. Lex watched dispassionately from the bed as smoke rose to hover just beneath the water-stained ceiling. The younger man looked profoundly weary.

It bothered Lex to see how far he had fallen.

"Whitney," he murmured. "If you need money...."

Years earlier, Lex thought, Whitney would have been infuriated by the suggestion. He waited for the response. It came with a sigh and a plume of smoke and a tone of miserable resignation.

"I'm not a whore."

"That's not why I offered."

Whitney snubbed out his cigarette. His eyes remained on the ashtray as he turned it around and around in nicotine stained fingers. "Everyone needs money."


The last thing Lex remembered was lying in the warm hollow of a body curled around his own. Clark's cheek had rested upon his shoulder, his thighs curled beneath Lex's thighs as they lay spoon fashioned beneath the quilts. Cold winter air leeched through the glass of the penthouse's windows despite their thickness. Lex could feel the draft in their bedroom. He had curled around himself protectively, safe within Clark's arms, and matched his breathing with the slow rise and fall of Clark's chest against his back.

When he woke, sunlight had chased away the drafts.

Clark was in the kitchen, cooking breakfast. Cooking breakfast. Lex smiled at the memory of a hastily heat-visioned breakfast burrito which had exploded unexpectedly. There would be no quick breakfast heat-up and mad scramble for the front door (or the balcony) this morning. No exploding burritos or singed Pop-Tarts.

"Stuffed French Toast," Clark said, without looking up from his chore. "With fresh berries."

"Did you make a quick trip to California before I woke up?"

The blush and the wry smile told the tale.

Lex sat down to a table slightly changed from the previous evening. The champagne was gone, replaced by a pitcher of orange juice that shone brightly in the sun streaming in through the windows. There was coffee too.

But no newspaper, and no television remote.

"I thought," Clark said, procuring their plates so that he could serve up his masterpiece. "We might keep the rest of the world at bay for a little while this morning. So we can talk."

He spun away as Lex looked up to him, carrying the plates back into the kitchen. Lex turned instead to the window where a thick layer of snow glistened on the balcony and he shivered. A stiff, probably cold, breeze caught a fine mist of snow up from the railing and swirled it out over the edge into the blue, blue sky.

Clark assembled breakfast in silence, without giving Lex a second glance. Had he looked he might have seen the rapid beat of Lex's heart or seen the note of panic in Lex's eyes.

Oh, God. He knows.


October gave way to November, and Thanksgiving spent with Clark's parents. Normally they came into Metropolis and Martha helped Clark prepare dinner. Clark had learned to cook out of his reluctance to have someone else wait on him. Lex was used to having servants, Clark wasn't at all comfortable with having a third party hanging around. He cooked, he cleaned, he took care of all things domestic except for paying the bills. He did, however, contribute to their "household" fund on a monthly basis.

Lex and Martha Kent had an understanding. Clark was too proud to live off Lex's money, and Jonathan Kent was too proud to admit he fell short every month. Clark's contribution was accepted graciously and deposited into Martha's "household" fund without either Kent male being the wiser.

In November another secret account was opened up at the Smallville Savings and Loan. Hidden within miles and miles of names appearing on the LexCorp. payroll there was added, "Fordman, Whitney."

Over Thanksgiving turkey, Martha remarked upon seeing Whitney at the bank.

"He's doing much better," she said.

The conversation, luckily, ended quickly. Jonathan was still not comfortable with his son's most recent revelation - the one NOT connected to his alien heritage. Having Whitney miraculously return from the dead with a scandal attached to him, hadn't gone over well with Jonathan Kent either. He quite candidly admitted to Lex over coffee and pumpkin pie that he felt as if he were the only straight man left in the country. He'd been terribly fond of Whitney, he said, almost as if Whitney were still gone. Lex curbed his tongue and did not ask Jonathan if he would prefer Clark dead too.

Thanksgiving ended, Martha and Jonathan departed, and Superman spent the busiest shopping day of the year putting out fires and preventing traffic accidents. Lex dusted off one of his cars and drove to Smallville in the Kents' wake.

Whitney now had an apartment instead of a hotel room, and a new truck.

"It was Tina who convinced me to leave. She was fine, she said. All she wanted was to live a normal life. I thought, why not let her go back and let her be me? Lana would never know." Whitney took a last draw on his cigarette, and reached across Lex to snuff it out in an ashtray beside the bed. "So Ben and I took off. Figured we'd disappear somewhere in Europe and nobody would be the wiser." He snorted. "Tina fucked that up."

Lex sighed. "Actually, I think Clark did."

Whitney raised an eyebrow, reminding Lex that some things were best left unexplained, especially when it came to Clark.

"He got in the way," he explained. "Lana was in love with him by then."

"His ruse worked," Whitney said, and there was a bit of bitterness there, the remnants of an old and misunderstood jealousy.

"Too well." Lex moved closer to him, running a hand down his chest to his hip. Their mouths met, and parted gently. "I don't want to talk about Clark," Lex murmured. He traced Whitney's lips with his finger. "Anything but Clark."

They kissed again, this time more forcefully. Whitney's fingers dug into Lex's arms as he pulled their bodies together. He had a lot to be thankful for, and proceeded to demonstrate just how grateful he was to his new employer. Lex commended him for his initiative and gave him a raise.

November became December.


January was bitterly cold.

"It's good," Lex said quietly. He'd left half his breakfast untouched. What he'd managed to choke down had tasted like dust, and not for lack of Clark's culinary skills. "I'm just not hungry."

Concern flickered across Clark's features. He frowned.

"I had dinner late," Lex said, not lying. He'd left Whitney long past nightfall and ate an apple during the long drive back to Metropolis. Michael's silence had been bought with a sizeable Christmas bonus.

They stared at each other for a long moment before Clark rose from the table. Lex stared down at the remains of his breakfast, swirling his fork through the cream cheese and berries, creating swirls of red within the pale white cream like blood on snow. Or, he thought, the swirl of Superman's cape against a billowing cloud....

"Clark," Lex began.

He was interrupted by the thump of a large box being set down on one end of the table. It was a large white box, the kind in which gifts of clothing were made. Clark began clearing the table. He said nothing but:

"Open it."

Lex stared at the box. He was still staring at it when Clark came back for another stack of dirty dishes. He paused before he returned to the kitchen.

"I had meant to give it to you last night."

"Clark, you shouldn't...."

The anger caught him off guard. It was sudden, and fierce, as if it had not meant to escape but had found freedom through a crack in Clark's steely control.

"Just open it, Lex! Fuck!"

Their eyes met. Clark quickly turned his away. He took Lex's plate with a mumbled apology.

Lex's fingers shook as he opened the lid. His heart was pounding as he pulled from within thick folds of scarlet cloth. It pooled down onto the table, sliding through his hands like silk. It had been pillowed upon pale blue, and the garish sigil the world over recognized as Superman's signature stared up at Lex as he let the cape drape down into his lap.

The clink of china drew him out of his trance. Clark was loading the dishwasher.

"What is this?"

Clark straightened. He let out his breath in a sigh.

"I quit."

Lex stared at him dumbly. His fists clenched in the cape, and he dragged it with him as he rose from his chair. "What? What do you, mean, you quit?"

"Just that," Clark said, and turned his gaze down toward his hands. "I was waiting for you, last night. I wanted to tell you that, and ask you...."

"Ask me what?" Lex felt his chest tighten. "About Whitney?" he breathed.

He had forgotten how beautiful Clark's eyes were, and how one could drown in them. Lex found himself drowning, in guilt, in desire, and in fear.

Don't leave me!

"To marry me," Clark said, and when Lex made no response he continued with almost a desperate tone, mistaking shock for reluctance. "Not - well - legally, or anything if that's going to be a problem. I want to exchange vows with you. This is part of it." He inhaled shakily. "I am willing to give up everything that I am for you."

"Clark...."

"I don't have to ask about Whitney, Lex. I know all about Whitney. I know how I've been. I know...." His voice softened. "You've been lonely." His expression turned down into a look of remorse and deep rooted sadness. "And I'll understand if\ you don't want me anymore. But I thought that if maybe I could change....you'd stay."

Lex went to him. He raised the cape in his hands and wrapped it around Clark's shoulders, drawing him in for an embrace within its folds. Lex quietly gathered his thoughts.

"I'm sorry isn't enough, is it?" he said. His fingers tightened around Clark's shoulders, caressing them. "Clark, I can't explain. I can't. I don't know why I...strayed."

"I told you, you don't have to explain anything." Clark shrugged. His expression grew more morose. "I just wish it hadn't been Whitney." He raised a trembling hand to his forehead. "Jesus, Lex."

"He reminded me of you, or more accurately, of us, how we were - before." Lex chewed his lip and sighed. "You were right, Clark. I shouldn't have sold the mansion."

Clark shook his head. "We don't need it."

"But it was ours. We made it ours when you first walked in the doors and I saw you there," Lex raised a hand to finger Clark's hair. "Standing in the sunshine looking lost. There was something in your eyes that day that wouldn't let me go."

"I couldn't let you go," Clark muttered. "I'd found out the truth the night before. I was walking around trying to figure out what being an alien meant and felt like I was drowning. You gave me something to hold onto." He faltered. "I know why you needed Whitney. I've felt it, Lex. I've lived it. I'm so sorry I wasn't there when you needed me. I wasn't paying attention. It's my fault."

"It's a shared fault, Clark. We should have talked about it before now."

"If it weren't for Superman we could have."

Quietly Lex slipped a hand beneath Clark's chin and forced their eyes to meet.

"I love you." he whispered. "All of you."

And that ended it.

Clark dipped his head toward Lex's, touching their foreheads together. They stood like that until Clark closed his eyes and sighed.

Lex kissed him gently, and slightly breathless, said: "Don't."

"Don't what?"

"Give up Superman. I can't ask you that, Clark, no matter how much I long for more time with you."

Clark caught the edge of the cape in his hand, and ran his hand over the cloth. He gazed at it bitterly, as if it were something foul, but at the same time, an eager glint came to his eyes. He both loathed and desired the role he played. Lex understood.

"I am willing...." Clark breathed. The cloth fell from his fingers. "For you."

"I know," Lex said. He added a smile. "And yes."

Clark's head tipped sideways like a perplexed puppy. "Yes what?"

"I'll give you my vow."


Lex held out the envelope toward Whitney, who regarded it skeptically. After a moment he sighed, and took it.

"My pink slip?" he asked.

Lex was impressed with his insight.

"It's over, Whit."

Whitney nodded. "Yeah."

They stood in the doorway of Whitney's apartment. Lex had been invited in, and he had declined. Instead he stood in the hall, with his hands in his pockets, listening to the faint thump of music issuing from within Whitney's home.

"I'm keeping you on the payroll, at least until you get back on your feet."

"What makes you think I will, or even can? I've probably reached the pinnacle of my career working at the Pump-N-Go."

Lex met his gaze directly. "I know you, Whitney. I knew you before, and I sure as hell know you now. This isn't the life you wanted when you left Smallville the first time, or when you deserted the Marines. It's just a slight deviation from your path."

He paused.

"And I know all about that."

Flipping the envelope back and forth in his fingers, Whitney sighed again, deeply. "So Clark knows?"

"Yes."

Whitney raised his head. "He mad?"

Lex rolled his shoulders back and let out a sigh of his own. "Disappointed maybe, but not mad, and certainly not at you. That letter isn't from Clark."

"Who's it from?"

"Ben," Lex said quietly.


Clark was waiting in the limo.

"Did you give it to him?"

"Yes."

"Did he read it?"

"Yes." Lex peeled off his gloves and settled back against Clark's shoulder.

"And?"

"He said he'd make the call. They'll work it out I think."

Clark beamed. Lex had to laugh at him because he saw the slight glint of satisfaction behind his green eyes. If Whitney went back overseas to be with Ben - that was good in more ways than one.

"So where are we going now?" Clark murmured. His voice was low, sultry, and his kisses light against Lex's neck, but Lex did not let that distract him.

"I want to show you something."

"What?"

Lex looked up at him, grinning. "A plot of land, just outside Smallville."

Clark raised an eyebrow.

"I heard a nice young couple bought it," Lex continued, casually peeling off his gloves. "Rumor has it that they plan on building a house." He leaned over to whisper in Clark's ear. "I understand there will be an exchange of vows held there next fall."

Deadpan, Clark replied:

"I'm not wearing white."

"Red and blue perhaps?"

"Superman is not invited."

"Ah." Lex laughed. "So what will you be wearing?"

Clark's eyes sparkled wickedly.

"Plaid."

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