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, August 2003.
Author's notes - For alax's 50 ways to 50 lays challenge.
Clark bent over the basin, splashing cold water on his face. Cool droplets caught in his hair, leaving it curling damply on his forehead. He turned off the tap and slowly straightened, reaching for a towel. When he looked up, into the mirror, not only his own reflection stared back at him. Lex's eyes met his in the glass, watching him with an odd sadness.
"You're late tonight," Clark said softly.
The blue gaze was abruptly shuttered, Lex's sparse lashes sweeping down.
"What happened?" Feeling a strange dread, Clark spun round. He needed to see Lex in the flesh, not just his reflected image.
"It's over, Clark," Lex said simply.
"I don't understand." Clark stretched out his hand, resting it lightly on Lex's shoulder. "You said something about a board meeting. Is it LexCorp? Tell me, Lex."
Absently, Lex reached up, covering Clark's hand with his own, warm fingers lacing together.
"It was a LuthorCorp meeting, Clark," he said finally. "The board voted my father out of his position with the company."
Clark's sharp gasp of shock didn't deter Lex from continuing. "They felt that his single-minded pursuit of research into the meteor rocks, coupled with the morally dubious nature of the previously undisclosed cloning program, were having a negative impact on the company's performance and its reputation."
Looking deep into his eyes, Lex held Clark's gaze. "There will be no more experiments and the current stocks of the refined meteor rock will be destroyed as soon as possible. He's no longer going to be in a position to threaten you, Clark."
Clark's mouth dropped open. He hardly dared to believe what he was hearing, but there was one thing he had to know. "Did you do this?"
There was a noticeable pause before Lex admitted, "I set certain events in motion, made various pieces of information more widely available, that's all. The rest was in the hands of the board."
"How did your dad take it?" Clark squeezed Lex's fingers gently.
"Badly." Lex gave a wry smile. "As was to be expected. I'm sure I haven't heard the last of it, but his threats hold a lot less power now."
"Why did you do it?" Clark's expression was very serious.
"You know why, Clark," Lex replied at once.
"I need to hear it," Clark insisted.
"I did it for you," Lex said, his voice soft but determined. "I needed to know that you'd be safe."
"Lex..." Clark protested, but Lex was shaking his head, silencing him.
"Don't, Clark," he said firmly. "I have no doubt that it was worth it and I'd do it again, if I had to."
"God, Lex..." Clark murmured. He leaned in close and kissed Lex hard on the lips, trying to convey everything that he was feeling without words.
"Come to bed, please," Lex begged softly when his mouth was free again. There was a shadow of uncertainty in his eyes, as if he were still unsure of Clark's reaction to what he'd done.
There was no hesitation.
Their hands were still tightly clasped and Clark made use of that fact to pull Lex out of the bathroom towards the welcoming softness of their bed. He pressed Lex down onto the mattress and set about showing him just how much this sacrifice meant to him.
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