by HYPERFocused

If you ask Lex what the battered plaid couch with the broken springs is doing in his private office at LexCorp, Mr Luthor will tell you, "It's the one place in the world where I was happiest."

There will be a rare smile on his face, as if he's thinking of something -- or someone - dear to him. You won't see that expression when he talks about the company, how it's risen in the Fortune 100 ranks, how he's single handedly improved Smallville's employment situation enough to make up for his father's failings.

"It's the place where Clark first kissed me," he'll tell you. Depending on his mood, he may or may not give you details when you ask for them. "He tasted like Hershey's cocoa," Lex will say. "It was late fall, and Clark's mother had made us a snack." Lex will look at you sadly when he talks about Martha, newly widowed. Jonathan is gone now, none of Lex's money or influence could stop the flow of time or illness, nor could Clark's powers.

Or he'll tell you what it felt like, those soft lips on his-- nothing like he'd expected, like he'd dreamt about for almost a year before it actually happened. He'd always figured it would be him who made the first move. After all, he had the experience. Clark was new -- to everything.

Instead it's Clark who decides he and Lex have been waiting too long, and on a blustery November day, puts down his cocoa, takes Lex's mug from his hand, and leans in to kiss him. Closed mouth at first, and then he gets brave; warm tongue tracing Lex's lips until they have to open. A virgin, but neither shy nor blushing, there is strength there even Lex didn't anticipate.

The couch is sturdy and supportive, despite the sprung spring. Clark insists on sitting on that side; he always wants Lex to be comfortable. It smells just a little musty, like leather and straw, and other unnamable barn scents. Even after all these years -- the Kent farm, and Clark's first Fortress of Solitude is only a memory now -- you can still tell its origins. It's more pleasant than not, like autumn leaves turned loamy.

When the interview goes on too long, the little white light at the top of Lex's phone will start to blink, and he'll pick it up. "Hi. Not much longer, I don't think. No, she's fine. Yes, I'll tell her. Me too. Soon, I promise." And then he'll beckon you closer, as if he's going to give you the tip to end all tips.

When he just kisses you on the cheek, and says "That was from Clark, he's sorry he missed you. He says to say hello to Wally," you know the interview's over. Lex is anxious to get home to the man he loves, to the comfort that started on a cheap, scratchy sofa. It may not go with his designer furniture, and fast paced lifestyle, but no one would ever tell him it doesn't fit.


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