Title: Unstoppable
Authors: Lex's Lady & Mistress Ace
E-mail: winter@sapphire-dragon.net & rosewood@inreach.com
Feedback: It's the icing on the cake. We write because the story demands to be told. Feedback lets us know if we struck a chord with you.
Distribution: Our website, of course, www.fandomwriters.com. The list archives are welcome to it also. Anyone else, please ask first. We'd like to know where our fic is going.
Rating: NC-17 (eventually or maybe quickly depending on the whim of the muses)
Category: Crossover, Romance, Angst
Spoilers: All of season 1 of Smallville and season 6 of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer
Pairings: Buffy/Clark/Lex, m/f, m/m
Disclaimer: We don't own the characters at all (however much we might wish we did). Buffy and all references to BTVS are property of the great god Joss Whedon, et al. Clark, Lex and the Smallville storyline belong to Miller-Gough et al. We're just borrowing them for a while. We promise to put them back unharmed and perhaps a little happier.
Notes: ** denotes internal thought, * = italics.
Summary: What if the Summers girls moved to Smallville? What if Buffy discovered that Clark had a secret and thought he could use a confidant?
Dedications: From Em: To Ace, for her never-ending support and her willingness to work on this with me. She writes both Clark and Lex in a way I could never hope to achieve, and I couldn't possibly have done this on my own.
From Ace: To Em for reminding me why I love Buffy. To Beth for being my Smallville watching partner even when the scripts were awful. To the whole Clark/Lex list for opening my eyes to the potential here. And finally to Christina for her great story; Runaway Trains at 3 A.M. which was part of our inspiration. You can find it at: this site.

Chapter 37

Lex frowned, there was still the low level awareness that something was wrong but it was more a nagging itch than a great gaping hole. Time to check if he had the same reaction to Buffy being gone. "Buffy, can you go get Clark and send him back in here?"

Buffy nodded. "Sure, love," she agreed. She kissed Lex gently and slid from the bed. She padded softly out of the room and into the study. She found Clark by the windows and crossed over to his side. She wrapped her arms around him and held him gently for a long moment.

"Go on back to Lex, baby," Buffy murmured to Clark. "I'll wait here." She thought it would be an equally indicative experiment to see how she dealt with being alone. She hadn't been since last night, and last night she'd been too tired to notice even if she had been feeling differently.

When Clark turned towards her, tears had left a silvered trail down his face. He was hurting Lex and maybe he was hurting Buffy too. It would probably be better for everybody if he just disappeared. Then the weirdness might stop.

He had to go away. He had to pack everything up and go far away. Antarctica maybe, somewhere that people didn't live so he wouldn't be tempted to touch and kiss and hold. Clark leaned over for a final kiss, first on her cheek and a fumbled one on her mouth. Two strong arms wrapped around his neck, holding him close and the few tears became many.

It was an itch under his skin. Worse when Buffy left the room. Lex swung his legs over the end of the bed, ready to follow her when he heard the sound of sobs. One or the other of his lovers was crying and that negated every other concern. A little itch under the skin he could deal with.

That sound... those hitched breaths and desperately muffled cries were unacceptable. No one, not even Lex himself was allowed to make Buffy or Clark cry.

Buffy held Clark gently, cradled him against her body. "Shh, baby. It's not your fault, honestly," she soothed. She was only guessing about the cause of his tears, but Clark had a guilt complex that rivaled her own, so she was likely right. She held him tightly, refused to let him pull away from her.

"I know strange things are happening, Clark," she murmured in his ear, "and I honestly don't care. I would rather have dozens of strange things happen than not have you in my life. And Lex feels the same way. You can see it in his eyes, when he looks at you. He wouldn't want you to blame yourself. He wouldn't want to see you cry."

So young... it was so easy to forget that Clark was still so young. So easy to confuse, to hurt. "Lex didn't mean to hurt you by asking you to come in here," Buffy continued gently. "He didn't mean to send you away. He just needed to know if he could handle being away from you, away from us. We don't want you to leave us, Clark. Promise me that you won't, please?" Her voice wavered through the last two sentences, but she couldn't help that.

It tore her heart up to think of him leaving.

Between tears Clark managed to get a few words out. Not words that she probably wanted to hear but he had to say them. "I can't stay. I'm hurting both of you."

And those words were what Lex heard when he opened the door to find Clark being comforted by Buffy. Three steps was all it took to get him across the room. His arms wound around both of them and the itching stopped. It had been getting fainter by the minute and Lex suspected it actually had more to do with sex than anything else. But the theory could wait.

Clark needed reassurance now. Sometimes it was so damned easy to forget that Clark was little more than a boy. Barely past the stage where the growth of his body outstripped everything else. Add to that Clark's relative innocence and the combination was volatile.

"Clark, listen to me. Things are pretty strange right now and we've got lots of things to figure out. But we can't do it if you leave." Lex's hand covered the back of Clark's neck and squeezed a little. Just enough to hold his attention. "We need you. We love you. If what's going on means I can't survive more than five feet away from you, that's fine. I'll make it work. I just can't do it without you... or Buffy. Okay?"

Buffy closed her eyes and let Lex try to talk to Clark. Maybe their young lover would listen to him better than to her... it was worth a try. So she just listened, nodded her agreement, and continued to cling to Clark. He would have to break her body in order to get away from her, and she knew he would never be able to do that. So she held on, content to show him rather than tell him that she had no intention of letting him go.

Whatever it took, whatever they needed to do... they would make things work.

Anything else was unthinkable.

He hated crying. God, he hated crying. Clark had done more than his share when he was a kid. Not being able to play with the other kids because he was so strange usually resulted in tears because tears were safer than losing his temper. Losing his temper meant breaking things and breaking things meant hearing his mom cry after he was supposed to be in bed. She cried because they couldn't afford to replace the stuff he broke, so instead of breaking things, Clark started crying.

The silent kind was best. When he cried into his pillow then his folks never heard it and his mom wouldn't get those worry lines that were making her look older every day. He'd been doing that the day Lex hit him on the bridge. Just standing there at the edge and watching tears drop into the river.

Lex and Buffy were holding him and he was still crying. Listening to every single word even though he couldn't get the tears to stop. Or the noise coming out of his mouth. Desperate sounds, dying sounds that just wouldn't stop.

They finally did stop when Lex kissed him. Tapered away under an assault on his mouth. Lex storming the castle with lips and tongue and oh God teeth. Clark relaxed into the kiss, letting Lex do whatever he was going to do.

Soft sounds, soothing touches and soft kisses against Clark's chest... it was all she could think to do, anymore. She almost let go, almost backed away and let Lex take care of Clark - because it was so obvious that their connection to each other went much deeper, and Lex could calm him when she couldn't.

But she didn't let go, couldn't make herself do it. Because tearing herself away not only would tear her apart, it would hurt them too. And this wasn't about her. So she leaned into Clark, into Lex, and did her best to just be there. For them. With them. Anything they needed.

Lex's arm around Buffy tightened, holding onto her even as he continued to kiss Clark. Between the two of them, they'd managed to calm their lover down enough that maybe Clark wouldn't bolt when Lex let go of him. With one last bite on Clark's lower lip, Lex did just that... he let go.

Which turned out to be the right thing to do. Clark didn't run, he didn't retreat at all. Instead he dipped his head down to kiss Buffy and then kiss Lex again, then Buffy once more. Alternating between the two of them until the shaking subsided.

When Clark finally stopped shaking entirely, Buffy loosened her hold on him. She let herself relax, her head tilted to lean on Lex's arm and her eyes on Clark. She studied him carefully, took in tear-marks on his face and eyes that appeared calmer.

"Better now?" she finally asked softly. She needed to know, needed him to say it. Just because.

Clark wiped at the tears with the back of his hand and sniffled. One more reminder to Lex just how young he really was and not just physically. The Kents had somehow managed in the age of the Internet and live-feeds and information overload to raise an almost innocent boy. An innocence that had taken them twelve years to build and nurture and he'd managed to shatter it in one day.

One day. Self-loathing came with the Luthor name. At least it did for Lex. The sight and sound of Clark's tears only strengthened it. Clark was innocence and goodness and he'd been a fucking virgin up until yesterday afternoon. Now there was nothing about Clark that was virginal, nothing at all. And the blame for that wore not only Lex's name but his address as well.

Carefully schooled by his father to never let anyone read him, Lex kept the rage bottled inside. He waited until the tears stopped before kissing Clark again. Salt and sorrow tainted that touch and he sighed when their mouths parted.

"Um... yeah. I think I'm okay, Buffy. Sorry about... you know." Clark's shrug was one hundred percent teenaged boy. Supremely embarrassed at having been caught doing something unmanly and if the tears hadn't been so gut-wrenching to witness, Lex would have let it slide.

Let Clark keep the illusion of being Jonathan Kent's perfect son. Turn a blind eye and walk away. Like hell. Lex gripped the nape of Clark's neck and waited until his lover looked at him. "Clark, it's nothing to be ashamed of. Crying's perfectly natural... especially when your lover's being an ass."

Buffy raised an eyebrow and tilted her head to look up at Lex. "I fail to see how you're being an ass, Lex. None of this was intentional, and we all know that. We have unusual lives. Unexpected things happen; it's part of the norm. And we deal. It's all we can do."

Her gaze returned to Clark and softened visibly. "Lex is right, though. There's nothing to be ashamed of. If you can't cry with your lovers, then who's going to be there for you? We're here for you, whether you need a smile or a hug or a shoulder to cry on. Okay?" She tilted her head slightly and added, "If it were me, you wouldn't want me to be sorry, would you?" She already knew the answer to that one, but perhaps he would see her point.

"No." Clark scrubbed at his eyes again only to have Lex wipe the tears away with infinite care. "Why'd you send me away, Lex? Did I do something wrong?"

The fear behind those words was so strong Lex could practically taste it. And the part of him that was Lionel Luthor's son felt something very close to victory. Clark was his, wholly and completely. If being sent into another room could reduce him to tears, just imagine what further deprivation would do. How much would he have to push to break the morality the Kents had instilled into their adoptive son?

Probably not far, all things considered. The image of Clark on his knees, begging for a touch, for a kiss, for anything at all was a siren call to his inner monster. A monster that Lex was trying to irradicate.

"No, Clark. You didn't do anything wrong." This was going to require absolutely honesty, something Lex wasn't used to giving to anyone. But it was what Clark and Buffy deserved. "When you pulled away, I felt... empty. Isolated. There was a loss of connection that went beyond sheer mechanics."

"So you tested the theory and put more distance between you," Buffy added. "And then you sent me out to see if it would make things worse or not." She turned to look at Lex again. Her comment was based partly on what she knew of him and partly on the similarity between his behavior and that of another uniquely scientific mind. Buffy herself didn't think that way, but she had a certain amount of understanding of people who did.

She saw Lex nod and smiled a bit. She'd been right... wow. "So, did it make any difference?" she asked finally. She wasn't really as unconcerned as she sounded, but her curiosity wasn't a facade. She needed to know, because if she went back into the other room alone it could happen to her as well. They did need to find out what was happening. If anything.

"Yes," immediate response, steel-grey eyes locked on hers for a minute before snapping back to Clark. "You should probably experiment as well. See if it affects you." Lex chose not to share the symptoms with her so as not to color the results of the test.

The itch was completely gone at this point. The emptiness was fading slowly as more time elapsed. Something else to experiment with - duration. Was the effect only momentary or did it last over the course of hours? The need to be in physical contact with Clark was certainly a plausible explanation for yesterday's aberrant behavior.

No one human should have been able to rise to the occasion as many times as he had without being too sore to move the following day. Sitting down should have qualified as a religious experience this morning. Yet all Lex had felt was a mild tingling the first few times he tried to move.

Buffy nodded slowly. "Okay." But she didn't move. Instead, she looked up at Clark with a gentle question in her eyes. "Is it okay if I go back into the bedroom for a few minutes?" she asked softly. If he was still upset, she wouldn't leave. It was as simple as that. "I won't go far, and if you need me, either of you for whatever reason, you can call or follow. I promise."

Clark nodded, unconsciously leaning against Lex when his lover moved in even closer. "Yeah, it'll be okay. We need to find out what's going on."

And they did. If being separated from him caused Lex or Buffy pain, then all hell was going to break loose. There was no way they were going to be able to hide their relationship if that was the case. Telling his parents about this was going to be rough but Clark couldn't let his lovers get hurt because of him.

Buffy released her lovers with another nod and backed away a few steps. She turned around and took another step, but had to pause when a wave of dizziness washed over her. She closed her eyes and focused on her breathing as a way to keep calm, even has her mind flickered back to an occurrence the previous evening. She'd dismissed it then, and the feeling had faded when Clark got up from the chair and picked her up.

But they wouldn't learn much that way, so she made herself take another step. And another, slowly.

It ached. Her whole body ached with every step she took. But she didn't allow herself to stop, though it was probably just as well that her back was to her lovers. Clark, at least, would be worried if he could see her face right now.

Buffy finally made it to the doorway and paused, leaning against the wood frame for a moment. Then she stepped through the door and crossed back over to the bed. The ache faded with walls between them, but she still felt empty inside. It felt... wrong somehow. Didn't hurt anymore, but it wasn't entirely pleasant either.

The tug was there, fainter than before but Lex felt it when Buffy left the room. He wanted to pace, his body screaming for movement. The sub-level itch crawled underneath his skin, his mouth went dry as unreasoning panic clawed through his whole body.

The only thing that kept him in the room was Clark. Who watched the closed door with the singular concentration that could only be his using the X-ray vision to track Buffy. Incredibly useful skill. "Clark, do you feel anything?"

In response, Clark nodded before speaking. "Yes. I miss her. It doesn't hurt, Lex, but I miss her." He scratched at his arms, nails scoring the impenetrable skin as he continued to watch.

When Clark saw Buffy crawl up onto the bed and curl into a little ball, that broke the waiting game. He'd never moved so fast in his life. One second he was in the study, standing next to Lex and the next, he was curving his whole body around Buffy. Pulled her up against him and murmuring nonsensical syllables that bore no resemblance to any language Clark had ever heard before. They just sounded... right.

Every second, the itching eased. Lex was able to wait almost three minutes before he had to join them. He watched from the doorway as Clark rocked Buffy, soothing her with kisses and liquid words that made his whole body ache.

Buffy relaxed into Clark's arms, letting him soothe her - an interaction that was probably as good for him to be able to do as it was for her to let him. As she relaxed, she considered what she was feeling. The emptiness had mostly faded within minutes of Clark joining her. The itchy, achy feeling was taking a lot longer, though. And it took Lex's presence in the room before the emptiness faded entirely.

She knew the instant he stepped into the doorway, just by the difference in what she felt.

Now, she and Lex needed to compare notes, as it were. To see if it affected them the same one, or if it was stronger with one or the other of them. They also needed to know if it eased with time, though she suspected that they wouldn't be able to do that until they had to part. Clark had to be home eventually, as did Buffy, and Lex had his meeting.

The distance did seem to help a little, so the question was whether enough distance would allow them to cope for longer... or if it would be better for a while and get worse again later.

Lex pushed off from the doorframe, his feet making no noise as he drew closer to the bed. While Clark continued to do credible imitation of a Chinese puzzle around Buffy, Lex swung up onto the bed and settled down beside them. Long, broad fingers combed through Clark's hair as Lex reestablished minor contact with their alien lover. "Beauty, what did you feel?"

"Dizzy, at first," Buffy answered softly. "That head-rush feeling you get when you've been sitting or laying down for a while and then get up too fast. That was at about three feet. Two more steps and I ached. Felt so empty and just... just wrong somehow. And it kept getting worse the farther away I got, until there were walls between us. Then the ache started to fade and turned kind of... well, itchy is the best word for it but it's really not the same. The wrongness didn't fade, though. It got worse. I was going to lie down and see how long I could wait it out, but then Clark followed me."

She wasn't upset at Clark for following her, by any means. She snuggled closer to him and wrapped an arm around him gently. "The emptiness faded a lot when you came into the room, Clark. And the rest stuck around until you came back too, Lex. The ache is fading now, but it's taking longer."

She sighed softly and shrugged. "It's possible to cope with it, I think. But it's either going to ease further with time and distance or it's going to get worse. It obviously didn't kill us last night, but who knows what might be different between yesterday and today?"

"If it gets worse, then we need to come clean to my folks. I'm not going to put you two in danger because of me." Buffy was starting to uncurl a little so Clark did the same, stretching out behind her while staying as close as he could. The hand in his hair tightened and then relaxed after a moment of two.

Orange was a good color. His hair had almost been that color before the whole world shifted. He could get used to it again... right? "If it gets worse, Clark, I'll tell them."

Only fair. This had been his idea in the first place. Lex Luthor was a lot of things but a coward was not one of them. He'd stood up to Jude Royce even after the man cut his shoulder to the bone, he even took the fall for Jude's death when it was Amanda who'd pulled the trigger. Facing Jonathan Kent had nothing on the terse discussion Lex had with his father the morning after that fiasco.

Goodbye Metropolis and Club Zero. Hello Princeton. Complete with a class load that should have staggered a small elephant. Daddy's idea of punishment.

"If we have to, we can talk to them," Buffy corrected. There was no way the truth was coming out to the Kents without herself and Clark there to put themselves between Mr. Kent and Lex. Because the truth was so not going to go over well. "I think we should wait and see if it's necessary, though. Clark, love, telling your parents the truth could have very serious consequences. It's probably not a good idea unless it's absolutely necessary."

"If being us being apart hurt you or Lex, then we already have serious consequences." He wasn't a kid, he knew the risks and knew his dad's temper but Clark wasn't going to stand idly by and watch his lovers be hurt. Doing that was the coward's way out. He wasn't a coward. Never had been and never would be.

"Clark," Lex rubbed the back of his neck, the only outward sign of the exasperation he felt. A little pain they could deal with. Buffy was the Slayer; pain was an every day occurrence for her. Since moving to Smallville, it had become so for him as well.

So pain, they could deal with. Prison was a whole different subject. Lex was certain he could navigate the criminal justice system but it would be expensive and messy and Clark's life with his family would become a living hell for a few months. Despite Buffy's insistence that she be included in the revelation, Lex had no intention of allowing that to happen.

They needed to be calm and rational about this. He felt no ill effects yesterday after dropping them off so there was every possibility given sufficient down-time after sex physical separation wouldn't pose that much of a problem. "Let's give it a few minutes and see. No need to go off half-cocked." That turn of phrase garnered him a sideways smile from Clark and a muffled noise that sounded suspiciously like a giggle.

Thank God for juvenile humor.

Buffy managed to not roll her eyes and simply nodded her agreement. "It seems to go away fairly quickly. It would be my guess that if distance makes it easier to handle, time would also be a factor as well." She tilted her head slightly and shrugged. "Even if it doesn't, it's not that bad. I've lived with worse, to be honest." She was the Slayer. Pain was a fact of life.

Giles had taught her a few pain-controlling techniques, too, and one of those might be effective with this. If not, the pain could just be dealt with. It certainly wasn't worth causing problems over. Okay, yeah, it hurt. And she could see where Clark was coming from, but he was missing the big picture. Specifically, just how illegal this kind of relationship was.

And if Clark had the idea of keeping her from ever being hurt, that notion needed to be derailed quickly. He couldn't. If he tried to prevent her from going out and Slaying, she'd be climbing the walls within 24 hours. The metabolism and physicality of a Slayer demanded it. It was just the way she was made.

They didn't need to belabor the point with Clark. If he pushed, then Lex would lay it all out for him, including the current jail terms associated with sodomy and pederasty. Sad to think he had the site book-marked on his laptop... ever since a certain night in a Kansas cornfield.

Lex used those dry phrases as a touchstone for months. Whenever the longing for Clark got to be too much, he'd click on the link and read them again. Yes, he could bribe his way out of it. But if he did that, it would be Amanda all over again.

Forbidden to see them, to talk with them. His dad would break LexCorp and drag him back to Metropolis, which was totally unacceptable. Especially since he was so close to being free of the old bastard.

While Lex watched, Clark finally unwound. He and Buffy stretched out on the bed, still side-by-side by no longer wrapped around one another. Clark wasn't arguing either. Instead he was quietly rubbing Buffy's arm and kissing her shoulder. Clearly enjoying a moment or two of peace.

Buffy smiled and let her eyes drift half-closed. She purred softly in the back of her throat and stretched out lazily.

"You know," she said after a moment of contented quiet. "If this keeps up, Dawn is going to have every reason to continue being suspicious. I haven't felt this good in a very long time, and I'm pretty sure I couldn't keep it completely hidden even it if I wanted to..." She opened her eyes fully and gave her lovers a very satisfied smile. "I can't help it, you just have that effect on me."

"Tell her your boss gave you a raise." Smooth tone, too smooth. Clark looked up from an aborted snuggle to find Lex smirking at them. He rolled his eyes and blushed. There were far too many ways to interpret that and almost all of them were dirty.

Buffy laughed and rolled her eyes at that. Innuendo was very definitely a large part of Lex's sense of humor. "I could do that. I'd have to neglect to tell her what kind of raise, though. And that I get elevated hormone levels to go along with a raise like that. And that you do, too." She smirked back at Lex.

This sort of banter she could definitely handle. The sexual angle was new for her but otherwise it was enough like the friendly teasing she and her friends had shared, back when.

She'd also have to neglect to tell Dawn to what use Lex's desk was almost put. Caution had won out, but if he'd kissed her just once more before she said anything to stop them, it might not have. And wouldn't that have been a dilemma, when his lawyers showed up...

"I hope the new benefits package will prove attractive enough to make you stay. If not..." He pushed off from the headboard and slithered down the bed until he was even with both of them. Very slowly, Lex leaned forward and stopped a hairs-breath away from kissing Buffy. "I can probably sweeten the deal."

Oh Jesus. That tone of voice should be illegal. His cock had been taking a break. It really had. Clark licked suddenly dry lips and dug his fingers into the bedspread to keep from grabbing both of them.

Buffy's head tilted slightly, as if she were considering his offer, but she remained just that whisper away from Lex's mouth. "Sweeten it how?" she asked with pretend-curiosity. She actually had a fairly good idea, and he could probably tell from the way her eyes sparkled. But she was enjoying this little game, and very willing to see where he would go with it. "A girl's gotta know what her options are, now doesn't she?"

"Cell phone, lap-top..." every single word was illustrated by a flicker of his tongue over her lips. Touch to each corner, long slide along the lower one before he pulled back a little. "Company credit card... flexible hours... me going down on you during lunch. Take your pick."

Okay, whimpering now and trying so hard not to rock into Buffy. Clark knew they were playing a game. A really adult game that only involved him on a peripheral level... At least until Lex started petting his hip.

Buffy found one of Clark's hands with one of hers and squeezed gently. He could play too, if he wanted to... she wouldn't mind. "Hmmm," she purred softly. "That's quite a benefits package. You've certainly got me interested. I don't think I've ever heard of a company that offers lunchtime orgasms as a benefit..." And truth be told, it'd better not be on the main list of benefits or she was going to have to knock some heads around.

Of course, she didn't believe for a moment that it was actually a listed benefit. Which was why this was only a game.

"Service with a smile. LexCorp's new motto... Do you think I can convince you to stay or should I provide a demonstration?" Another tease with the tip of his tongue before Lex pulled back again. His hand swept down from her throat, followed the curve of her breast before sliding over her stomach.

Next to her, Clark rolled a little so he could nuzzle Buffy's neck. His hand joined Lex's, both of them seeking the same spot. Damp curls that gave way to incredible heat. If Lex didn't stop talking and start doing, Clark was going to get there first.

*****

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