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, June 2003.

Author's notes - Written for the Contre la Montre flash-forward challenge in 55 minutes. AKA Letting the Cat Out of the Closet and Other Mixed Metaphors, this was written somewhat tongue in cheek and should be read in the same vein!

Lex can't help but wonder what it is about a small town like Smallville that seems to attract the criminal element so unfailingly. But, whatever the whys and wherefores, he doesn't seem to be able to go more than a week or two without someone wanting to kill him or, at the very least, give him another concussion. It gets a little wearing at times.

However, sometimes there's an upside to the mayhem and that's when Clark is around, acting as his de facto guardian angel. Lex is good with any situation that puts a particular, fiercely protective look in the boy's eyes.

He's been missing that look lately, though. With a disturbing regularity it's been directed at Lana Lang instead, as she seems to have become Smallville's newest magnet for trouble. And Lex isn't jealous of a teenage girl, really he isn't... Except, Clark saved him first and now it seems as if the foundations of the friendship that act engendered are being chipped away, piece by piece.

Lex is aware that's not entirely Clark's fault. He wonders what would happen if he gave up Helen as well as the contents of a certain locked room in the mansion. Could things go back to the way they used to be, with the long looks and the effortless flirting? From his side, at least, Lex thinks the answer is a resounding yes.

In fact, given his body's response to its current proximity to Clark he's positive they could.

But now really isn't the best time to be thinking about this, Lex concedes. There is, after all, still someone out there with designs on terminating his life. The villain of the piece on this occasion seems to be just a regular guy with a grudge, rather than a meteor mutant. At least, Lex assumes that's the case given the absence of anything green and glowing.

He does have a large gun, though, which is why Lex is hiding out with Clark in a tiny, darkened space that's barely more than a closet. And Lex is really glad at the moment that he doesn't suffer from claustrophobia. It's one thing to be getting a hard on because Clark's ass is rubbing against his crotch each time the boy moves to peer outside their confined hiding place. Turning into a gibbering wreck due to the close quarters would be something else entirely. Lex still has his pride.

Although that's debatable, Lex decides, when Clark eases the door fully shut again and turns to face him. Green eyes glitter in the scant light filtering into the closet and Lex can't look away. Then Clark is leaning closer, lips brushing against his ear as he whispers, "Lex..."

At which point Lex's control slips its leash, sensing the imminent fulfilment of certain cherished fantasies. Warm breath caresses his skin and Lex shivers. This might not be the perfect venue, but Lex will take whatever he's offered. Instinctively, he crowds Clark, pressing his aching cock against one strong thigh.

Lex is breathing rapidly now, the harsh sound of it drowning out the rest of Clark's whispered words, but that's not important. What matters is Lex turning his head so that the soft lips that were against his ear drag moistly across his cheek, stopping just short of his mouth. Lex wants this kiss, but he wants to savour the moment just as much. He's been waiting for it long enough.

He glances up, seeking Clark's eyes with his own. They're staring back at him, wild and startled. It's a good look on Clark, he decides as his hips grind slowly against solid muscle, making his cock ache even more. It feels perfect, until Lex realises that Clark is backing away - as far as the limited space allows - and that it's shock, not arousal, dilating those wide eyes.

Oh fuck...

Clark's hands are gripping his shoulders, holding him still, and Lex can feel everything suddenly turning to dust. It seems that he was getting ahead of himself, making assumptions, and after all that's happened it's going to be his libido that puts the last nail in the coffin of his friendship with Clark. And wouldn't his father just be laughing himself into an early grave if he could see this!

"Lex! Lex, are you listening to me?" The softly hissed question finally penetrates Lex's brain, putting a stop to his silent berating of himself.

"Clark," he whispers back with as much sincerity as he can muster. "I'm sorry. I have no idea what came over me. What can I say to..."

The torrent of words is halted by the broad palm that is suddenly clapped over his mouth.

"Lex, stop!" Clark insists, still trying to keep his voice down. "It's not a problem. I'm fine with it. Really..." The hand tightens as Lex tries to speak again. "Honestly, Lex, it's okay. It's just, well..." Clark manages a soft, slightly nervous chuckle. "You know, your timing really sucks."

Lex glares up at Clark, obliged to speak with his eyes given that Clark's hand doesn't seem to be moving any time soon. The look he gives him is quite eloquent, Lex thinks.

He gets a sigh and a shake of the head in return. "There's a guy out there with a gun and you're trying to have sex with me. Lex, I thought I was the teenager in this partnership."

When he realises that Clark is actually smiling, Lex feels himself relax. Apparently Clark feels the tension leave him too, because the big hand finally lets go of Lex.

"Was that really necessary?" Lex mutters. He's trying to regain some semblance of dignity and not doing a very good job of it.

"Well, I needed to shut you up somehow," Clark hisses back unrepentantly. "We don't want that madman to find us, do we?"

Lex sighs. "Clark, don't you know anything? This is how you shut someone up."

He proceeds to demonstrate by reaching up and kissing Clark enthusiastically. Lex never did much care for the alternative of slapping someone to quieten them down and he's pretty sure if he tried that on Clark he'd just end up with a broken hand.

At any rate, Clark seems to be enjoying the lesson and Lex can think of worse ways to spend the time while they hide from the man hunting them. This is Smallville, after all.

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