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 43

"It's not his job to keep us safe, Buffy. It's the other way around. How can we help him if he doesn't tell us the truth?" Jonathan would have said more but Martha stopped him with a hand on his arm. This was probably not the time for this discussion. Not with Buffy's younger sister in the other room.

"I think we should discuss this another time, just the three of us," Martha broke in. "For now, Buffy why don't you go upstairs and wash up. Dawn can use the downstairs bathroom. It's just down the hall." Firm mother-tones, and a look that had been effective in halting arguments between her two stubborn men. Martha was well aware that this discussion should be continued, but not now. Not with Dawn and Clark anywhere within earshot.

"Yes, ma'am," Buffy replied with a small smile. "Upstairs with me." She backed out of the kitchen and headed for the stairs. "Dawnie," she said on her way through the living room. "Mrs. Kent wants you to wash up for dinner. The bathroom is just down the hall." She pointed, and her sister nodded and went in the direction indicated.

With a smile for Clark, Buffy took the steps two at a time and looked around for the upstairs bathroom. There were four doors in the upstairs hall, plus a narrower one that might be a storage or linen closet. Making her best guess, Buffy headed towards the door beside the closet and was rewarded with a bathroom on the other side.

"I should probably show her where it is," Clark said even as he made a beeline for the stairs. His dad looked a little startled but this was probably going to be his only chance to get Buffy alone tonight.

He took the steps two at a time, jogged down the hallway and got there just as she was starting to shut the door. Clark slipped into the room, pushed the door the rest of the way closed and pulled Buffy into his arms. Mouth open over hers, kissing her hard and fast.

Buffy melted into Clark's arms and into his kiss. Her fingers tangled into his hair and she kissed him deeply, since she knew that she wouldn't likely get another chance to do so tonight.

"I'm glad you followed me," she whispered when his mouth finally left hers. "Thank you." She kissed him softly once more, then gently pulled away. She straightened his hair carefully, then turned on the water to wash her hands. "Come here, baby, please?" she asked. "Stand behind me and reach around me while we wash our hands. I want to stay close for the little time we have..."

Clark obeyed instantly, bumping into her in his haste. He really didn't need to wash his hands but any excuse to be close to her he would certainly use. Reaching around her, his fingertips brushing along her hips and seeing it in the mirror reminded him of Lex reaching around from behind earlier. "I don't know how we're going to hide this, Buffy. All I want to do is kiss you..."

She felt so good against him, so perfect. While he liked the way her jeans hugged her body, he wished she was still wearing the skirt. With a skirt he could turn her around and put her up on the sink which was just about the right height. Maybe drop to his knees and taste her. Or unbutton his jeans and... he officially had the dirtiest mind in Smallville now. No doubt about it.

Buffy turned off the water and quickly dried her hands with the little towel on the rack beside the sink. Then she turned in Clark's embrace and wrapped her arms around him as well. "I know, baby, I know. I feel it too. But we don't have a choice, unless we want to be in a lot of trouble. We will make this work. I promise. And we won't have to hide forever... just until you're legal." She gave him a small smile to go with that last comment.

It was a serious situation, but she meant it as a way to let him know that they didn't hold it against him. Clark was worth waiting for, worth hiding for.

"The minute I'm legal I'm going to tell them. I hate hiding things from my folks. I just don't want to get you two in trouble." Clark dipped down for another kiss, putting every ounce of what he'd learned in the last two days into it. He was trying not to be jealous, he really was.

But Lex was going to drop by Buffy's later tonight which translated to his missing out. With Dawn around they probably weren't going to be able to do much but still...

Buffy gave in and let him kiss her breathless. She felt so much from him, in that kiss, that it almost overwhelmed her. And when their mouths parted, it took her a moment before she regained her senses enough to answer him.

"We can tell them when you graduate, baby, I promise. And for right now, Lex and I are hiding our part of the relationship as well. It would do a lot of damage to both of us for people to know we're together. They'd think I got my job by sleeping with him and that he hired me so it would continue. So for now... it's only us who know. It's hard, but we'll manage. Okay?"

Honestly, Buffy didn't think Clark had realized that she and Lex would have reason to be discreet other than him. He was a little young to realize all the repercussions of sleeping with her boss, so she told him as simply as she could. And it would reassure him that they were not going to be messing around in public.

"Oh. I didn't even think about that." It really hadn't occurred to him and it should have. Rumors traveled fast in Smallville and Lex already had enough problems after all the stuff his dad pulled in trying to get him to come back to Metropolis.

Clark shook his head and sighed, "Things are pretty complicated but you guys are worth it. We should probably get downstairs before they get worried."

"We should," Buffy agreed. She opened the door and stepped out into the hall. But there, she paused once more.

"Life is complicated, love, but it is worth it. You're worth it, and Lex is worth it, and what we have is worth holding on to. And I mean that with all my heart." She gave him another smile and continued down the hall to the stairs. She didn't wait for him to catch up because she didn't want to tempt either of them by being too close together.

But she did pause in the kitchen doorway to wait for him there. She knew that in company, they restrained themselves a little better. They'd be fine... it would just take a little work.

Jonathan spotted her immediately and rose from his seat at the table. "We were worried you two got lost. Where's Clark?"

"Right here, dad." Clark called from half way down the stairs. "I had to check something on my English homework. Sorry."

He brushed past Buffy on the way into the dining room, his hand resting in the small of her back for a second. Just a simple touch but it had them both shivering. "Dinner smells great, Mom." He skirted around the table and slid into his usual seat.

Buffy moved towards the empty chair beside Dawn and nodded her agreement. "It really does, Mrs. Kent," she said as she joined the others at the table. She smiled and thanked Mr. Kent for helping her into her chair and waited patiently until he was seated again too.

Dinner certainly did look wonderful. Roasted chicken, fresh peas, baked potatoes and what looked like homemade whole wheat bread. Buffy hadn't had a meal like this in a long time, and neither had Dawn. Buffy wasn't a bad cook, but she lacked the experience to turn out something like this on her own.

When Jonathan was seated, Martha smiled and said, "Help yourselves, girls. This is a family meal, not a formal one." She saw both Dawn and Buffy glance at her as if to be sure she meant it, then at each other. The girls shared a nod, and Martha hid a smile; it had been a long time since she'd seen a pair of siblings interact. The Summers girls seemed to have the silent communication thing down pretty well.

"Oh, be careful," Martha warned automatically when Buffy reached for the baked potatoes with her bare hands. But Buffy picked up one for herself and one for Dawn with a quick movement, then held up her hands to show unburned fingers and Martha breathed a sigh of relief.

Clark was tempted to use the same moves but years of discipline kept him from showing off. Besides, Dawn was already eyeing him almost as much as she was the food and there was no use courting disaster. He waited for his dad to pass the plate around and speared one of the potatoes with a fork... earning himself a nod of approval from his parents. At least Buffy didn't give him a 'you wuss' look which Pete would gladly have dished out even while sucking on burnt fingertips.

It was really strange being in love with one girl and avoiding her sister like the plague. Clark jumped in his seat when he felt a small foot brush against his leg. Unsure of whether it was Dawn or Buffy, he tried to cover the startled movement by dropping his napkin in his lap and grabbing his milk at the same time.

The ultimate result was his napkin on the floor, his milk almost being tipped over and a very curious look from his dad. "Son, are you all right?"

"Yeah, dad. Just having a little coordination problem." With that, Clark ducked under the table to grab his napkin and check on where feet were. Both Buffy and Dawn had slipped their shoes off so there was no using the shoeless factor as a clue. Damn...

Buffy saw Clark jump and shot a glance at her sister. Dawn looked far too self-satisfied as she spooned some peas onto her plate and then passed the dish to Buffy. When the sisters' eyes met, Buffy gave Dawn a rather pointed look that said, 'behave yourself' loud and clear. A look that Dawn pointedly ignored, but she put her feet on the rung of her chair.

For the moment, anyway.

Buffy sighed softly and continued to serve herself from the dishes being passed around. She caught an amused glance being passed between the adult Kents and couldn't help but smile; she and Dawn really did behave like sisters, most of the time. Even though they didn't look much alike, it didn't take most people long to figure out the relationship.

Clark passed on the peas but to his credit he didn't make a face about them. He blushed faintly when he caught his mother's broad smile because of that fact. Or at least he hoped that's why she was smiling.

Once plates were full, his dad folded his hands together and Clark followed suit. He looked up from his folded hands to see Buffy's slightly confused look before she did the same. This was a Kent family tradition for as long as Clark could remember. His parents didn't go to church often but they did do this.

Jonathan cleared his throat and quietly intoned, "Our father, we thank thee for the bounty that you have given to us. Our home, our land, our heath, our family, our... friends. May we be always truly grateful for these gifts. Amen."

"Amen," the word was spoken with heartfelt intensity as Clark peered up from under his bangs. His gaze was intent on Buffy's down-turned face and if his parents hadn't been focused on the saying of grace, they would have seen exactly how he felt about her in that moment. But they were focused and when his mother raised her head, she was greeted with the sight of her son beaming at all of them... instead of at one special person.

Dawn caught Clark's wide smile and she smiled brightly back at him, and at the Kents. She and Buffy both waited until the others picked up their forks and began to eat, before they did the same. Neither girl was used to saying grace of any kind, so they wanted to be sure that there wasn't anything else that needed to happen before everyone ate.

Buffy also smiled when she saw Clark smiling, but it was a very careful expression. She had to be sure to make it the kind of smile she gave Dawn - sisterly, rather than the more predatory smile that she really wanted to give Clark. But better not to think about anything like that while at the table with his parents and her sister.

After finishing her first bite, Buffy smiled and said, "This is wonderful, Mrs. Kent. And thank you both for inviting us." She shifted her focus to include Mr. Kent in her smile, then returned her attention to her plate.

"Thank you, Buffy, and you know you and your sister both are welcome here," Martha replied. "Anytime you want to visit, please feel free."

While Buffy and Mrs. Kent were talking, Dawn's foot slipped off her chair again. She stretched out under the table, and this time her sock-covered foot brushed along Clark's leg and upwards to his knee. She tried to watch him closely for a reaction while appearing not to.

This time he didn't jump, or knock over his milk, or even drop his napkin. Instead Clark stared at the table really, really hard and his eyes tracked across its surface until they locked on Dawn's. Buffy's sister had her foot on his knee and Clark was momentarily at a loss of what to do.

Then he remembered watching Lex at a party where a girl latched onto him and wouldn't let go. Lex had finally taken the girl's hand and stepped away from her. The look his friend gave her would have frozen an active volcano to the core.

Drawing on that experience, Clark caught Dawn's foot in one hand and moved it away from him. He shook his head, giving her what he hoped qualified as a cold look even though Clark was pretty sure it came nowhere near the glacial quality that Lex could invoke.

Dawn blushed lightly at having been caught and pulled her foot away. She bent her head over her plate and focused on her food for several minutes before she pushed her hair away from her face and sat up straight again. This time, she kept her feet to herself.

Buffy caught the by-play between Dawn and Clark and knew she needed to talk to Dawn about it later. But not right now - it would be a very bad idea to scold Dawn in front of the Kents. Instead, she tried to think of a topic of dinnertime conversation. Finally she hit on one. "What do you produce on your farm?" she asked curiously. "Dawn and I haven't ever lived in a farming community before."

As he reached for some of the bread, Jonathan spoke up. "Organically grown vegetables, milk, some beef although we lost most of the herd earlier this year." Another thing to hate the Luthor boy for even though it had been proven that LuthorCorp had nothing to do with the dumping on their land. If the plant hadn't been there, then the chemicals that poisoned everything wouldn't have been available.

Sensing the lecture that was going to come, Clark looked up from where he was spreading butter over his potato. "I could show you around after dinner. There should still be enough light and Mom's garden is pretty spectacular."

"That would be cool," Dawn piped up. "Mom had a little garden in the back yard, in Sunnydale. It was mostly flowers, though." When Clark was done with the butter, she asked him to pass it. Dawn set it between herself and Buffy and both girls put butter on their potatoes and their bread.

"Organically grown vegetables?" Buffy asked. "That's quite a distinction. It's hard to get stuff these days that doesn't use chemicals," was Buffy's comment. She'd done enough grocery shopping to know. What little could be found was expensive. Especially in southern California.

"We think it's healthier to stick to organic goods," Martha explained. "It certainly seems to be good for us, and for Clark." She saw Buffy smile a bit and nod, and smiled back at the young woman.

"Dad says that's why I'm so big." Not going to blush, he was not going to blush. How could Lex get away with saying stuff like that and he never blushed? Clark hid behind his glass of milk while his dad chuckled.

"You're still a growing boy, Clark. Now eat up, son. You've still got some homework to do." Jonathan resisted the urge to ruffle Clark's hair. His son was still a boy but the way he was blushing around young Dawn reminded him that Clark was by no means a child. It was probably time for a frank talk with Clark about the things he wasn't going to learn about in school.

"That reminds me. Did you get all your homework done after school, Dawn?" Buffy asked lightly. She'd told Dawn to get it all done, if possible, so they'd both be available to have Lex show them around. The idea was for her boss/lover to meet what little of her family was left.

"Yep, I did," Dawn confirmed. "I remembered that you wanted me to, so I went right home after school." She started to say something about the friend Buffy had asked over, but she stopped when she saw her sister shake her head. Apparently that was something to not talk about.

Okay. Weird, but okay. It wasn't like they weren't both keeping secrets from the Kents anyway.

"I'm glad. Thanks," Buffy said with a smile. She bit back the nicknames she usually used when talking to Dawn; Buffy knew that her sister would be embarrassed if she used them in front of Clark and his parents. But mostly Clark.

"I've got a little bit to do for English and there's an extra credit paper for history. I was thinking of doing a piece on Alexander the Great." Clark congratulated himself on sounding so smooth. Not even the tiniest break when he mentioned the name although Buffy's fork clattered on the table. "Dad, Lex said I could use some of the books in his library. He's got stuff I can't get access to without going to Metropolis."

His dad looked skeptical and set his glass down on the table while Clark forged onward with the spur of the moment plan. "He's going to be busy at the plant all week but I can go over after my chores are done. I've been having a little trouble with history this semester and doing this paper would really help." And it really wasn't much of a lie. He had been struggling a little with history, pulling down a solid A- and there was an extra credit project available.

Jonathan rubbed a hand along the back of his neck. His misgivings were Lex was concerned were in full swing but if the Luthor boy was at the plant... "You sure it won't be an imposition, Clark? He is going to be at the plant all week?"

"Yes, he is," Buffy answered for Clark, albeit a little cautiously. "He's got a major meeting in Metropolis early next week, so there's a lot that needs to get done at the plant prior to that." Buffy almost blushed when every eye in the room was suddenly on her, but instead she sat up straight and kept her expression neutral. She'd forgotten that the Kents didn't know she worked for Lex.

"How do you know?" Martha asked lightly. She wondered if perhaps Buffy and Lex had talked yesterday and Lex had mentioned something. But she knew an awful lot for a casual acquaintance.

There was no need to lie about this and if he did, Clark knew he'd get caught. He cleared his throat and reached for the milk bottle to pour some into his glass. "Buffy's working at the plant. She's his new personal assistant." His voice sounded calm and his hand didn't shake as he poured the milk into his glass but Clark could feel his dad staring at him.

Too close to home. Her knowing Clark's secret and working for the Luthor kid was just too close to home. Jonathan grabbed his napkin and wiped it across his mouth even as he was pushing his chair out from the table. Only Martha's hand on his shoulder kept him from dragging his son out to the barn for one hell of a talk.

Clark looked up at his father and tried not to wince. His dad was pale and breathing a little hard which was a sure sign of trouble. "Her dad got her the job... Dad, it's gonna be okay. I promise."

"It is something my father set up for me. I didn't know the people involved until yesterday," Buffy confirmed. "And you really don't need to worry. There's not a person in the world who could successfully threaten me." With the exception of Clark, but it was his secret that Mr. Kent was so worried about. And since Dawn didn't know about Clark's secret, Buffy would see to it that it stayed that way.

Dawn was watching the scene in front of her with wide eyes. Buffy's boss was Clark's friend Lex? Mr. Kent didn't like Lex, that much was obvious, but it was enough to make him angry that Buffy worked for him too? Why? What was he afraid of? It's not like anyone had secrets like hers or Buffy's, right?

Martha was also wide-eyed, but she kept her hand firmly on Jonathan's shoulder. "Everybody calm down," she said firmly. "I will not allow dinner to be interrupted like this. We can talk about this afterwards." While Clark showed Dawn the garden, perhaps. Get the kids out of the way so she, Buffy and Jonathan could talk this out without causing more alarm or spilling secrets.

Giving into his wife's calm reason was something Jonathan did on a daily basis. He sat back down more out of habit than anything else and picked up his fork. A bite of chicken with some peas, a little bit of potato, some buttered bread - anything to keep from losing his cool again.

Grateful that his dad wasn't going ballistic, Clark ate as well. He scooped something out of a bowl without looking at it and grabbed a slice of bread. The next mouthful from his plate tasted funny and Clark looked down to find a small heap of peas staring back up at him. He washed that mouthful down as fast as he could while shooting his mother both a thankful and exasperated look at the same time. She knew he hated peas with a passion.

Catching Clark's expression and the half-eaten spoonful in his son's hand wrenched a chuckle from Jonathan. He watched Clark swallow the dreaded vegetable and then dip his spoon down for a little more. Now that was incomprehensible - Clark eating peas - voluntarily? Jonathan looked from his son, to the plate and then across the table to their guests. Buffy was lifting a forkful of peas to her mouth and smiling at Clark.

A sisterly smile. Nothing else behind it that Jonathan could see. But Clark was eating peas.

The world was coming to an end.

Buffy's eyes darted around the table, taking in all the various reactions from people. Both Mr. and Mrs. Kent were watching Clark like they were seeing a sign of the apocalypse, and they were glancing from him to her with confused expressions.

Clark didn't eat peas? Was that it? But she did, and so did Dawn. Hmm. Content with her conclusions, she simply smiled at Clark again and continued to eat. And to watch him choke down the small spoonful of peas on his plate. When he finished them, she gave him one more smile and made a mental note to find him some kind of surprise as a reward - both for doing something he didn't like and for helping to diffuse the tension in the room.

So maybe peas weren't so bad, once you got past the taste and the texture and how they coated your tongue long after anything else would have disappeared. Clark chewed on some bread and drank a bit more milk before the taste finally faded. Chicken was the next thing on the agenda and he tore into a piece of it, looking up at Buffy who was gazing intently at his mouth.

He licked at his lips, catching a tiny piece that had escaped. She was still watching and there was a faint flush at the base of her throat. Clark glanced at his folks who were eating quietly and Dawn who was sort of staring over his left shoulder. Taking a chance, Clark bit into the chicken again, tearing a little more loose and licking his lips once more.

It was his turn to touch Buffy. A quick glance through the table revealed that the leg closest to his right foot was hers. Clark nudged first, a casual brush against her ankle.

Buffy tried very hard not to blush when she saw Clark realize that she was watching him. And she almost lost the battle when his foot found her ankle. Her foot shifted just a touch towards his, and she gave him a smile that was still sisterly unless he really looked at her eyes. Briefly, while no one was watching them, her eyes darkened and turned hungry. For him.

She bent her head slightly and when she looked up again the emotion in her eyes was carefully masked. But Buffy knew Clark had seen it, knew what his teasing was doing to her, even though she kept her reactions to herself.

But God, if she thought they had a chance at even a half an hour alone, she'd be on him so fast that even his vision couldn't account for it.

At the other end of the table, Dawn was doing her best to help diffuse the last bit of tension by asking Mr. and Mrs. Kent questions about the town and its history. Things like the Talon's movie screen and when did the multiplex move into town. Little things. Over the past few years, Dawn had gotten good at distracting people from questioning her secret or Buffy's. It was just one of those things that needed to be done.

The turn of her foot towards him was invitation enough for Clark. The look Buffy gave him only sweetened the deal... and he'd been hanging with Lex for far too long with those kind of thoughts in his head. Clark ducked his chin down a little and lifted his foot, dragging it along the length of her calf.

Dawn was a bright kid, no mistaking that. Jonathan felt the tension between his shoulders easing as she continued to talk and ask questions. Buffy and Clark were being very quiet, probably thinking about what they'd been hiding. The food on Clark's plate was disappearing a lot slower than usual but when Jonathan started to make a comment about it, Dawn launched into another round of questions.

Reaching for another potato, Clark slid his foot into between Buffy's knees. Any minute now, he expected her to stop him like he stopped Dawn. But instead, her knees parted a little more and there was another one of those heated looks. Maybe he could ask Buffy for help with his homework...

He could lead her up to his room and lock the door behind her. Unbutton her jeans and tug them down and hook her legs over his shoulders. Let her read to him from his assignment while he kept his mouth busy with other things.

Buffy concentrated on trying to eat while allowing Clark to touch her body. She couldn't tell him no... not with the look he was giving her. She doubted she could tell him no anyway. But she'd be lucky not to choke on her food as her breathing changed. Still quiet - she knew better than to let anyone else catch on to what they were doing.

And it was a very good thing that Dawn had dedicated herself to distracting the Kents, because as Clark's foot crept higher up her thigh it became visible to her - and to Dawn, if she looked. But Dawn was listening very intently to Mr. Kent talking about how the Talon theatre had been all the rage when he was a young man. And Martha added memories of Jonathan taking her there sometimes when she first moved to Smallville with him.

Just as he hit the point where the imaginary Clark was wrapping slender legs around his waist and sliding into familiar heat, the real Clark was brought up short by a question from his dad. "Son, you should finish up your plate if you want to show the girls around."

Clark managed to get his foot out of Buffy's lap without dropping anything or calling attention to where it had been. "Sure, dad." He swallowed the last bit of bread, shoveled the final bit of potato into his mouth and then wiped his hands on his napkin. Just as Buffy looked up from her plate, Clark used the napkin to wipe his face as well and he mouthed, "I love you."

Buffy smiled and finished her last bite of bread, her eyes still on Clark's. She lifted her glass to finish her milk, and when it obstructed everyone's vision except Clark's, she mouthed back, "I love you too." Her milk was finished in a few swallows, and she lowered the glass back to the table. Wiped her mouth with her napkin, and she was done.

Dawn had finished eating while listening to the Kents, but she was used to finishing before her sister. Buffy ate a lot, for a girl and for someone out of her teens. Their mom had commented on it, but Buffy chalked it up to being the Slayer. Higher metabolism or something. Plus, all that energy had to come from somewhere, right?

Martha noticed that everyone was pretty much finished with dinner and pushed back her chair. She began gathering up dishes to take to the sink. Both girls took their own dishes to the sink as well, and Buffy began to help clear the table afterwards. "You really don't have to do that, Buffy," Martha said lightly. "You're a guest. You don't have to help out."

"But I want to, Mrs. Kent," Buffy answered honestly. "And if we're like family, then I really should. My mom would have thought so too." Besides which, it gave her a chance to calm her body down before getting too close to Clark again. She really couldn't jump him, no matter how much she wanted to.

While Buffy and his mom talked, Clark cleared his own place. He carried the milk bottle into the kitchen along with the remaining bread. Buffy was on her way back into the dining area for another load and they bumped into each other. One of those full length bumps and it was all Clark could do to keep from throwing her over his shoulder and racing up to his room.

She was breathing a little hard and looking up at him with her mouth open. Clark swallowed hard, stepped back and continued on his way to the fridge. It was a good thing his shirt was untucked. A really good thing.

Jonathan observed that little exchange from his seat at the table. It was more than obvious that his son was smitten by Buffy and not Dawn. Dawn was flirting with him, opening the fridge door and leaning against it while he put the milk away. But it was like she wasn't even there. When Clark turned back toward the table, his gaze went automatically to where Buffy was gathering up a few more dishes.

Birds and the bees. Definitely. Complete with a lecture on birth control. The one that his own father used when he first brought Martha home for a visit.

Buffy tried to ignore the heat that flooded her body when she bumped into Clark. She could feel his gaze burning into her body and it took every ounce of control to keep herself from reacting visibly. Her arousal couldn't be helped, but fortunately she was female and dressed in enough layers for that particular reaction to be undetectable to the rest of the family.

She focused her attention on helping Martha put the leftovers away, then she filled the sink with hot water and dish soap to let them soak. She did the same with the roasting pan that sat on the counter; it would be much easier to clean if it had soaked in soapy water for a little while.

Dawn was doing her best not to pout while she spoke to Clark. He was very pointedly ignoring her flirting and she sighed to herself. She missed the glances in Buffy's direction, though. She just knew that he kept avoiding her eyes and giving monosyllabic answers to her comments.

Sometimes, Dawn decided, boys just sucked. They were frustrating.

Buffy had her back to him and Clark couldn't resist. He'd been good so far, really good. Clark tucked his hands in his pockets, listened to Dawn with about half an ear and let the X-ray vision kick in. Not much of it. Just enough to peel away the upper layer of clothes and see what was underneath.

And it was a really good thing that he was leaning against the center counter. Otherwise, Clark would have ended up on the floor. A teddy, she was wearing a teddy... something he'd only seen in the Victoria Secret catalog that had fallen out of Chloe's locker last month. It was black with silver threads running through it and it barely covered anything. Before Clark could stop himself, he was standing behind Buffy. Pressed up tight against her as he reached into the cabinet above her head for... a vase.

"Hey, Mom... Can we cut some flowers for Buffy to take home with her?" He didn't just grind against her. Clark would swear in a court of law that his cock was not nestled into the small of her back and his other hand which was supposed to be on the rim of the sink wasn't touching her breast.

Right.

Buffy closed her eyes and her hands gripped the counter as tightly as possible. Clark's cock was pressed into the small of her back, and hard... so hard. His hand was on her breast and his fingers squeezed slightly as they cupped her soft flesh. She had to bite back a moan when he pressed closer to her, and she closed her eyes even tighter. She was hanging on to control by the finest of threads, and she was very, very close to snapping.

"Sure, honey," Martha called back from the dining area. "You can cut some when you take them out to the garden." Martha's eyes were on Dawn, though, studying the younger girl much as with her sister the night before. "You can help Clark pick out some flowers, maybe?" she suggested to the girl. She smiled when Dawn brightened and nodded. "Good."

Clark got the vase down and set it on the counter. He even managed to turn the water to straight cold one-handed while the other hand - the one on the counter - the counter which was soft and pliable and had a nipple poking into his palm. He checked over his shoulder and every one else was in the dining room at the moment.

Once he got the vase under the spout, Clark leaned forward and whispered into Buffy's ear. "I want you." Those three words were accompanied by another gentle squeeze and a tiny rock of his hips. "This is driving me crazy."

"I know," Buffy whispered back. "Me too... you're driving me insane, baby." And he was. He really, truly was driving her out of her mind. "But what can we do? If we disappear, your parents will be suspicious. And what about Dawn?" The garden tour would've been a perfect excuse, but they'd have to take Dawn with them. Buffy bit her lip and kept her eyes tightly closed. She couldn't handle much more of this...

"How good are you with English?" He murmured quietly while the water flowed over the top of the vase and into the sink. Maybe he could get her up to his room? No. It was impossible. His folks would never allow it but God... that didn't stop Clark from thinking about it.

It was a little too quiet in the kitchen and Jonathan got to his feet to investigate. Dawn and Martha were looking out the main window and his wife was pointing at several spots of interest. "Son, is everything all right in there?"

"Yeah, dad. Everything's fine." Clark stepped back, turning the vase to dump some of the water out. In a quick check of the room, Clark spotted the pie his mom made. Apple pie meant ice cream and the last bit of ice cream got eaten two days ago. Maybe his mom hadn't thought to get more.

It was a slim chance but slim was better than nothing. "Mom... do we have any ice cream?"

Martha thought about it, then shook her head when she realized they didn't. "No, honey, we're out. You finished it the other night, remember?" But she knew that tone of voice. Clark always wanted ice cream with his pie. So did Jonathan, but the elder Kent male didn't pout about it at least. "I suppose we could take a trip into town for more," she said finally.

"Ooh, ice cream. Can I go with, please?" Dawn asked sweetly. The younger Summers girl was almost bouncing on her toes, and she looked like shopping for ice cream was a real treat. And perhaps it was, Martha mused, considering what Buffy had said about money being tight with their mom gone.

A bouncing young girl was something Jonathan rarely saw these days and he was inclined to indulge Dawn. Her enthusiasm was contagious. "Certainly. Let's grab some coats and we'll make an outing of it. Martha's pie is the best in the world but it's even better with ice cream."

It was working. Clark crossed his fingers as he shoved his hands into his pockets and turned around. "I should probably stay. English... I have to memorize three sonnets for class tomorrow."

Catching on, Buffy offered, "I can stay and help, if you'd like me to. Dawn knows what kinds of ice cream I like." Amazing. Her voice actually sounded normal, rather than stressed or breathy or needy. Absolutely incredible, and she had no idea how she managed it. "I was always pretty good at English."

Dawn nodded her agreement, a little reluctantly. "She did help me with my poetry earlier in the year. But I'd still like to go, if it's okay..."

"Of course, sweetie. Get your coat," Martha said easily. She and Jonathan shared a glance, then shrugged. They could trust their son, and if he said he had homework he really must. "We'll be back in a while, then, okay honey?" she called to Clark.

"Sure, mom. Hurry back. I don't know how long I can wait for a slice of your pie." Even as he said those words, Clark was studying Buffy's mouth. The minute they were gone, the instant that he was sure the car was on the main road he was going to be on top of her.

Now that sounded like his son. Always thinking with his stomach. "It won't take long, son. Now get upstairs and grab your books. You can study at the table." Jonathan slipped an arm around Martha as the three of them headed for the front door. He stopped long enough to help both of his girls with their coats while Clark raced up the stairs. At normal human speed.

Buffy walked with them to the door. "We'll be here when you get back," she promised as she gave everyone hugs. "Have fun," she added to Dawn as she hugged her sister tightly.

"You know I will," Dawn quipped lightly with a smile. "Count on it." Buffy smiled back, and Dawn walked between the Kents towards the car.

Dawn felt - and probably looked - like she was in Heaven, walking quietly between two parental figures. It had been so long since she and Buffy'd had anything resembling a normal family, and Dawn missed it. She felt like, for a few minutes anyway, that she had something like a family again.

****

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