December 21, 2001

Disclaimer: It's all Ces' fault. I don't imagine anyone would believe that I made these guys up myself. This is one of the Canadian shacks. I honestly can't remember who edited which shack, so thanks to the hive mind. Do not archive this without permission.

Shack 52

He pushed the door open, trying not to break the lock too badly. It was almost dark inside. Lex huddled by the far wall, next to the stove, wrapped in a blanket, shivering. "I don't want you to be here," he said. "Go away."

"Jesus, Lex. You have to build up the fire. It's freezing in here." Clark closed the door and crossed the room in five strides, dropping down by the woodstove. He opened it and began to put more wood on the embers, stirring them with one finger to make sure the logs caught.

"You lied to me." Lex's voice was flat, and there was no force behind it.

"Lots of times." Clark looked down. His cheeks burned, and not from the cold. "Lex, give me your hands." They were like ice, and Clark shuddered in sympathy. "Your father's issued a reward."

"Really." He had to lean in closer to hear what Lex was whispering. "I thought Kents didn't take anything from Luthors. Or was that another lie?" A racking cough. "Oh, I forgot. You're not really a Kent, are you."

Clark breathed on Lex's fingers. "I'm just me." An unknown quantity even to himself, but this was not the time. "I'm not here because of the reward. Lex. You have to come back."

"Why? So you can lie to me some more? So my father can lie to me some more? So I can lie to everyone some more?" Lex's eyes gleamed with reflected firelight. Clark touched his shoulder, thinking of the unbroken field of snow outside. "Don't."

"You can't stay here, Lex. You'll hurt yourself."

"It seems to be the thing to do." Lex turned his face away.

Clark rested his head in Lex's hands, hot cheeks against cool palms. He could feel the pulse beat at Lex's wrist, a thin thrum of life against his lips. "I do trust you," he said. There was no answer. "I do."

Lex pulled one of his hands free and threaded it into Clark's hair. "That's nice." He sounded very remote. "I don't trust you, Clark." He stroked through Clark's hair in short, gentle movements. "I don't trust you."

Unbreathing, Clark could not find his voice. "Oh." He tried again. "Lex." Fingers tightened in his hair. "Your father—"

"Wants his heir back." Lex sat so eerily still, except for his moving fingers.

Clark squeezed his eyes shut. "I want my friend back."

"Do you?" Lex tugged at his hair, and he lifted his head. He would not resist. Not this. "Do you really?"

The dancing shadows darkened the bruised skin under Lex's eyes. Clark didn't want to see through him. He opened his mouth to say yes, and then, between one moment and the next, he knew. "You're not my friend." He shifted forward, unafraid now, and put his arms around Lex and pulled him in close. "I want you to come back, Lex. Please."

"I don't trust you," Lex said into his chest.

"I know. I'm sorry." He pulled the blanket around Lex's shoulder, and Lex softened against him. "Can I. Um. Can I kiss you?"

"No," Lex said, and pushed at him, and then Lex's arm was around his neck and their mouths crushed together. Lex tasted like snow and shadows. Clark decided to kiss him until he melted.

Until the night was over.

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