DISCLAIMER - Not mine, I couldn't afford the motor and household insurance bills. I promise I'll scrub them down and give them back to DC comics, the WB and anyone else who does own a slice of them when I'm done with them. Story, such as it is, copyright Karen Colohan, May 2003.

Author's notes - Written for the Contrelamontre no dialogue challenge in 40 minutes.



Lex wasn't entirely sure when Clark's fascination with storms developed, but it wasn't unusual for him to find his lover outside in the midst of cascading rain and crashing thunder. And, heedless of the conditions, he generally dressed as he was now - barefoot, wearing only jeans and a T-shirt that the thorough soaking left clinging to the strong lines of his body.

Personally, Lex couldn't find it in himself to share Clark's enthusiasm. Storms were too elemental, uncontrollable in their violence, a raw power that could destroy without thought. It was a description that gave Lex pause, wondering if Clark felt a kind of kinship with this particular force of nature. Maybe he saw echoes in it of his own wild strength, which he'd come to distrust ever since unlocking the secrets of his ship.

Standing in the open doorway leading into the mansion's gardens, Lex watched as Clark tipped his head back, tilting his face up to meet the falling rain. It ran off of his cheeks in rivulets and plastered the dark strands of his hair to his scalp. His clothes were completely drenched now, the T-shirt almost transparent where it moulded itself to the contours of Clark's chest. The sight was enough to make Lex's breath hitch as a shiver skittered down his spine.

When another flash of lightning split the cloud filled sky, Clark flung his arms wide, almost as if he were daring the storm to seek him out. Though Lex was sure that even a direct strike would result in nothing more serious than burned clothing. Clark was - exposure to Kryptonite aside - effectively invulnerable.

Once, speeding cars and bullets fired in anger had left bruises, but not any more. More recently, with Lex's help, Clark had been testing his limits... only to find he apparently had none. Lex couldn't imagine how it would feel to learn that you were indestructible. Perhaps inciting Mother Nature to take her best shot was a perfectly normal response.

Outside, the storm's fury was unabated, but it seemed indifferent to the sacrifice being offered up, finding other paths through which to ground itself. Eventually, Clark drew back into himself, arms lowering and head falling forward once more. Instead of invulnerable he suddenly looked shockingly small and lost.

Impulsively, Lex left the shelter of the doorway and moved towards Clark with sure strides, water splashing around his feet with each step. The rain slid off of his bare scalp, but it rapidly soaked into his silk shirt and wool pants, leaving them clinging to him like a clammy second skin. He ignored the discomfort, intent only on the forlorn figure of his lover.

Clark didn't seem to notice his approach, hunched in on himself with his head bowed. This close, Lex could see that his eyes were squeezed tightly shut. Moving behind him, Lex slid his arms around Clark's waist and drew him back until they were pressed together. Even through two layers of wet clothing Lex could feel the heat of Clark's body and he hugged that warmth to him.

At first Clark was unresponsive, but Lex didn't let go. He angled his head so that he could lay a trail of kisses from Clark's shoulder up the side of his neck. When he breathed warmly against the whorls of his ear he felt Clark shudder. Then Clark was turning in the circle of his arms, matching Lex's embrace with one of his own as he pulled them tightly against one another again. His mouth sought Lex's blindly and Lex opened to him, tasting the coolness of the rainwater on Clark's lips.

The noise of the storm receded into the background as they concentrated on each other and on the kiss that had become the entire focus of their attention. Reality finally intruded in the shape of an intense flash of lightning that burned white across their vision as it seemed to illuminate the whole sky. The after-image had barely begun to fade when the thunder crashed in, the storm now immediately overhead.

Aware of his own human vulnerabilities, Lex carefully pulled free of Clark's hold. For a second Clark looked bereft, but Lex smiled and held out his hand. Clark's strong grip quickly enveloped it and Lex squeezed his fingers in reassurance. Without a word he turned and led Clark back towards the mansion and the refuge it offered.

Lex was already planning on soft towels to dry them and the heat of an open fire to ward off the rain's chill. Then he would take Clark into his bed and remind him that, while his skin might be invulnerable, it could still feel.


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