Pairings: Clex, Clark/Tess
Spoilers: Up to S10's Luthor
Plot: When Clark returns from another dimension, he is visited by strange dreams.
It's such a huge relief to be back in his own world that at first Clark doesn't notice the slight "hangover" from that other Metropolis. There are these odd moments….like when he walked through the Planet doors this morning, he could have sworn, just for a fraction of a second, that Lionel was standing behind him.
The memories from the other world are uncomfortably vivid. He remembers the feel of Lionel's cold hands clasping his face. He remembers Lionel telling him the story of King Siegbert of Cologne, murdered by his own son. Clark can hear the words in Lionel's smooth voice, yet objectively he knows this memory never happened. It was the story of King Lear that Lionel had told him.
So where did King Siegbert come from? Has Clark's brain patched a memory together from fragments: Lionel's face meshed with one of Lex's old stories?
Clark has these flashes, these moments where it feels like he's glimpsing back into that other world. What's frightening is, he's not sure if he's seeing through his own eyes, or through Clark Luthor's. Is King Siegbert a memory belonging to the other Clark?
"That's twice now you've been forced into Lex's head," Lois had said, adding wryly, "I wouldn't make a habit of it."
It usually takes Clark a long time to fall asleep, to shut himself off from the world. Tonight he is asleep almost as soon as his head hits the pillow.
He dreams of hallways, long and silent. He's in the Luthor Manor. He's been walking a long time but there's no hurry. Clark is relaxed, enjoying the quiet, the pad of soft carpet under his feet.
A door in front of him swings open: Tess's office. No, it's Lex's office. Those are Lex's things strewn about: his fencing whites, his books. Even Lex's watch, the one his mother gave him, is here, sitting on the pool table
Tess gets up from behind the desk.
"You’re back." Pleasure in her voice, warmth in her eyes. She walks over to him, tilts her head. "But which one are you?"
"I'm….who I've always been," says Clark. Her head tilt reminds him of someone. "Who are you?"
Tess laughs, genuinely amused, and Clark laughs too because it's suddenly so comical.
She's wearing a blue wrap dress and her hair is coiled in a tight bun. Clark uncoils the hair with one hand and unwraps the dress with the other. Tess steps into his arms, naked, a wave of warmth coming towards him. Clark bends to kiss her…
* * * *
The next day, Clark is distracted – at both his jobs. Lois is patient with him at the Planet, Oliver is less so at Watchtower. His brain keeps circling around what it all means.
His dreams don't always have significance, but sometimes they do. There have been dreams that have shown Clark flashes of his future, hints to mysteries he hasn't encountered yet. And this dream had felt especially real, like a glimpse into a work in progress.
When Tess arrives at Watchtower, Clark avoids meeting her eye, at first. She notices; Tess notices everything. He doesn’t want to be rude; she's part of the team now. So he overcompensates and makes a point of smiling at her. When Tess drops her flash drive, Clark bends to pick it up. He looks up into her face.
Lex finding him asleep on the highway, bending down to peer into his face.
"Does everyone have butter fingers today?" says Oliver, irritably. Clark blushes, hands Tess the flash drive.
Oliver is still watching him, a little too intently for Clark's liking. He says:
"So you say Granny Goodness was sighted in Suicide Slums?"
* * * *
Clark doesn't go to bed that night, or the night after. On the third night, Lois lays down the law.
"What are these?" says Clark, poking a package on the kitchen table.
"New pyjamas," says Lois. "Which you will be wearing tonight."
Clark points out that he doesn't require as much rest as a human. Lois says:
"Not physical rest maybe, but your brain needs some down time, Clark. You need to shut it off for a while."
She's right. In bed that night, Clark listens to Lois sleep, her soft breathing blending with the wind through the fields outside.
* * * *
"He won't find us here."
A whisper close to his ear. Where is he? It's dark and he's surrounded by….clothes?
"Who won't find us?" says Clark. Tess laughs:
"I always used to hide in the closet when my father had parties," says Tess. Her mouth is pressed to Clark's ear. A strand of hair tickles his cheek.
But that wasn't you, thinks Clark. Lex did that. He told me that story.
He says, gently:
"Tess, are you sure that's your memory?""
There's a sharp intake of breath but she doesn't take offense. A hand slips into Clark's.
"It's happening all over again, Clark. Lionel came back. But it will end the right way this time."
She kisses him and Clark has a flicker of panic. It's dark and she's warm and so close and this doesn't feel like a dream at all, it feels so real….
"Where am I?" he says. "Are you the Tess I know - or are you the other one?"
She laughs and pushes the closet door open a crack. It lets in enough light for him to see her face. Tess is watching him. She has always looked at him like this, parsing his mysteries, fascinated.
"Tess, I think going into that other world, it changed me."
"It's changing everything," says Tess, and kisses him again.
This time, Clark doesn't resist. He stands still as she undresses him, then herself. Her breasts press against his chest and his hand lingers on the delicate nape of her neck.
He kisses her mouth, then dips his head to kiss between her breasts. It feels peaceful to rest his head there, warm and safe.
Clark drops to his knees, presses his cheek to Tess's stomach; her fingers are curled in his hair.
He grasps her hips in his hands, dips his tongue inside her, tastes her. Tess makes a little hiss of contentment, then a more urgent sound, tugging at Clark's arm.
Clark lifts her up. She's breathing heavily, eyes dilated and she's smiling. Not her mysterious, cat-like smile, but a grin that shins in the dark.
He fucks her against the closet door, giving into her totally. His control is slipping, he's probably being too rough but she doesn't protest. When Tess comes, her eyes stare into his, huge as teacups. He knows those eyes; he knows that look.
Lex on the riverbank.
Clark shivers, and comes.
"We're opening the door," says Tess, sleepily. Her forehead rests against Clark's shoulder. "We're bringing him back."
"Lionel?" says Clark.
* * * *
Clark can talk to Lois about anything….but not these dreams. He definitely can't tell Oliver. Chloe's not here and he doesn't know Emil well enough.
Ironic that the one person he wishes he could talk to is Tess herself. There's probably not much that shocks her…but, no. He can't do it.
Clark sits on the roof of the Planet and tries to work it out.
He never used to see Tess in a sexual way. He couldn't help but notice her beauty, but only in an abstract way; she was his opponent, after all. His conscious mind is faithful to Lois. He loves Lois. So what's changed? Was it going into that other world, being kissed by another version of Tess…just that alone?
Or was it when you found out that Tess is a Luthor? says a little voice in his head. Was that when everything changed?
"No", says Clark aloud.
Lex, meeting Kara, instantly obsessed. "You're Clark's cousin?"
Lex's sister. No, it's not that.
In the bullpen, Cat drops an armload of papers and Tess passing by, allows herself the tiniest smirk in Clark's direction. For an instant, she looks just like –
* * * *
"Why the spread?" Clark says. The table is covered with Thai take-out boxes.
"I'm allowed to feed you," says Lois. She adds; "You've been brooding. That burns calories."
Clark looks at her but says nothing.
"You don't have to tell me," says Lois. "Though I'd love if you did. And anything I can do to help you get through it…"
"Letting me have the last spring roll would be very helpful," says Clark, and grins when she throws it at him.
* * * *
"To sleep perchance to dream," says Lois, yawning. "See, military brats know their Shakespeare."
Clark decides not to fight his dreams tonight, just accept what comes. He turns out the light.
* * * *
He's playing basketball by himself. It's early evening, the sun is casting a buttery glow over the barn. He can hear his dad whistling in the house.
This isn't a dream, he remembers this. This happened. And he knows what happens next.
He turns around, just in time to catch a football flying towards him.
"Damn!" says Lex. "I thought I'd get you this time."
Clark grins. He'd reacted a little too quickly, catching the ball, and he sees Lex tuck that fact away, add it to his Clark-dossier. Whenever Lex had staged these little tests, it had always been hard not to take the bait. He'd liked, Clark realizes belatedly, showing off for Lex, just a little bit. He enjoyed impressing Lex.
Clark holds up the basketball and football:
"Name your game!"
Then he fires the football back before Lex can answer. Lex catches it neatly.
They throw the ball back and forth, talking. Clark is both a participant in the memory and a spectator. He notices things now that he hadn't noticed at the time: that Lex, for all his "just dropping by" casualness has come dressed to play, at a time he knew Clark would be finished with his chores; that Jonathan looks out the window every other minute, monitoring their game.
Clark snaps the ball out of the air and runs with it: "Touchdown!"
Lex is running behind him and Clark lets himself be caught. Lex's arms go round his waist and they topple into the hay. Clark laughs and looks up at Lex, sprawled on top of him, squinting into the sun.
"You've got-" Lex reaches for Clark's hair, brushes it with his fingers, extracts a straw. But he doesn't pull back his hand.
Clark knows what will happen next. Jonathan will come out the kitchen door and shout "Clark! Dinner!" Clark will pull himself away from Lex, blushing because he knows exactly why his father chose this particular moment to interrupt them and he knows Lex knows too.
But there is no interruption this time, only silence and Lex smiling down at him. Clark wonders if he turns his head, if the farmhouse would even be there. It feels like they've slipped into another world altogether or another strata of time.
Lex is staring at Clark like he's trying to memorize him. Clark looks back at Lex; they've never been this close, for this long before. Lex has reddish eyelashes and a tiny dusting of freckles by his nose. Clark wonders what Lex is seeing in his face.
Clark rolls them over so they're lying side by side. There's a rumble in the distance.
"Storm's coming," says Lex.
"But it was so clear before," says Clark.
Kissing Lex sends a surge running through him: Red Kryptonite and lightning strike and dangerous magic all at once. His hand is cupped round the back of Lex's head; Lex is clutching Clark's arms like he's never letting go.
Clark's never letting go. And maybe Lex will need to stop kissing and breathe soon but Clark's not worried about that, just wants to get closer, deeper…
Their clothes tear off like paper – this is a dream after all, isn't it? Lex pounces on Clark, pins him. He is fierce and possessive and Clark allows himself to be possessed. Allows Lex to lick his nipples and kiss his throat and wrap a hand around his cock.
Fireworks behind his eyelids, Lex's mouth hard against his. When Clark opens his eyes again, the pink sunset sky has a purple tinge.
They kiss. Their legs are tangled; their hands are busy with each other's cocks. Clark jacks Lex in patient steady strokes that make Lex tremble in his grip; Lex uses a thumb to rub the tip of Clark's cock and Clark nearly loses control. His free hand is dangerously clamped against Lex's damp neck; Lex's other hand is pushing, not gently, its way between Clark's ass cheeks.
Lex mumbles something into Clark's neck. Clark thrusts into his hand.
Lex says it again, more urgently, tugging on Clark's arm.
"What?" says Clark.
Lex pulls back, as far as Clark will let him. His skin is flushed and criss-crossed with the marks of hay.
"I said "who fucks who?" says Lex, "Who fucks who, Clark?"
Another rumble from the sky. Clark looks up. His voice seems to come from a new place inside him:
"You submit to me,"
Lex stares at him.
"You submit to me, Lex Luthor."
Clark's voice is suddenly a roar. It shakes the ground, rattles the trees. Lex's eyes glitter. He dives at Clark.
Clark flips him around. Lex's back is pressed to Clark's chest. Clark spits into his hand, jacks his wet cock and lines himself up with Lex's ass. It goes against every fibre of his being to pause, but he does:
"Do it!" shouts Lex, in a roar that nearly equals Clark's.
Clark presses his face to Lex's neck and eases himself into Lex's body. He is careful at first, though he doesn't want to be. Lex moans and pushes back against Clark, his hand is clenched on Clark's arm.
"More," says Lex.
Give him more, I’ll give him more.
Clark closes his eyes; his cheek bumps the rim of Lex's ear. He pushes into Lex, again and again. Lex is wriggling beneath him, giving himself to Clark and fighting Clark at the same time. Clark wraps his hands around Lex's wrists to hold him still. The ground shakes below them and the sky rumbles above.
"Clark!" shouts Lex, desperate. Clark rolls him onto his side and wraps his hand around Lex's cock, pumping him, as he pumps into Lex.
Lex scrabbles at the ground, lunges forward, then comes into Clark's hand. He collapses back against Clark, breathing in gasps.
Clark closes his eyes as his own orgasm rushes over him: Lex is moaning, rain is starting to pelt down, the world is spinning too fast on its axis and none of that matters. He plunges deep into Lex's heat, one last time, and then -
Silence, except for their breathing. The storm has stopped. Lex is stroking a hand across Clark's chest: gentle, testing strokes, like petting a jungle cat.
"This….this is a dream."
"Then, where are you, Lex? Where are you really?"
"I don't know," Lex looks puzzled. "I got lost. I'm trying to find my way back. Will you help me come back, Clark?"
You're a risk, thinks Clark. More than Lionel probably. You love me and that makes you dangerous. I love you and that makes me vulnerable. The future that Brainiac 5 showed me – you weren't there and it was safer that way. Simpler.
"Yes," he says "I'll help you find your way back, Lex."
And then Clark wakes up.
* * * *
"Clark, I need to show you something."
Tess is bending over her computer. Clark looks at the pale line of her neck, and is relieved to find he isn't blushing. So that's good.
"This footage is from St. Pancras Station, London….watch."
It's a shot of a crowd, commuters in raincoats. Tess freezes the footage, Clark leans forward.
A face in a crowd. Thinner than before. Reddish brown hair. Confused expression, as though he's not certain where he is.
Clark could spot that face in a crowd of millions. But Tess tells him anyway:
"It's him, Clark." she says. "It’s Lex. The real one. He's come back."
(Hope you have a wonderful birthday XXOO)