by Victoria P.


Clark was tired.

It was after midnight, and he'd spent the day being mocked by his new partner Lois, and the evening saving Metropolis from a madman who wanted to take over the world using gingerbread men.

All Clark wanted right now was a can of soda and a long, hot shower.

He let himself into the dingy apartment he rented on the south side of the city, and stopped dead.

Moonlight threw the room into sharp relief, and gleamed off Lex's scalp where he lay on the couch.


"Mmm..." He sounded so comfortable and sleepy. Clark almost hated to disturb him. But he did anyway.

"What are you doing here?"

"Waiting for you?"

"How'd you get in?"

"Your landlady is a big fan of opera. Did you know that?" Clark nodded. He'd been kept awake five nights running by the loud, shrill sounds of I Pagliacci blaring from his landlady's apartment downstairs. Sometimes having superhearing sucked. "I offered her two tickets to the Metropolis Opera's performance of Don Giovanni, and she let me in."

Clark nodded, still wary. He and Lex had been on the outs since he'd refused Lex's offer to work in the Corporate Communications office at LexCorp. Getting a job at The Daily Planet had always been Chloe's dream, and now that Chloe was gone...

"You're thinking about Chloe again, aren't you?" Lex asked softly.

Clark swallowed hard. Her death had been hard on them all, and he still felt responsible, despite knowing that he couldn't have saved her. "How'd you guess?"

"I know you." Lex sat up and patted the cushion beside him. "Come on. Sit down. Saving the world is hard work."

Clark stumbled over and sunk down onto the sofa. "Tell me about it. Metropolis has the weirdest criminals, too, Lex. I mean, sentient gingerbread men?"

"Did you defeat them with a big glass of milk?" Lex asked, wrapping himself around Clark's body, warm and solid, comforting after the long, busy day.

Clark relaxed into Lex's embrace. "No. Damn. Why didn't I think of that?"

"Because you're not a criminal mastermind." Lex's voice was muffled as he pressed soft kisses to Clark's shoulder. "How'd you do it?"

Clark was distracted by the soft warmth spreading through him. It wasn't even sexual. Well, it wasn't totally sexual. It was almost like being held by his mother when he was younger. He felt safe. Comfortable. Loved.

They shifted as one, stretching out along the old couch, which creaked and groaned under their combined weight, but Clark didn't care. Lex was here, and he was in a cuddling mood. Clark sighed and leaned against him. Lex's mouth traced a warm path against Clark's neck, distracting him from the question at hand.

"So how'd you do it?" Lex repeated.

"What? Oh, the gingerbread men. Heat vision. They burned to a cinder." He snuggled back against Lex's body. "Burnt gingerbread men don't smell so good, though. I think the Mayor is a little upset about the stench hanging over City Hall now."

"Ingrate," Lex mumbled against Clark's ear.


"I'm sorry." Lex's voice was so low that even Clark had to strain to hear. He felt a flood of emotion -- joy, relief, love -- at Lex's words.

"I know. So am I," he answered.

"So you'll come home?"

"Will you be waiting for me on the couch like this?"

"Every night."

"Okay, then. I'll come home." He gave a huge yawn. "But not right now."

"Okay," Lex said in the same sleepy tone.

They shifted a little to get more comfortable, and within minutes, were asleep on the old couch, tangled in each other's arms.



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