Lex used to think his relationship with Clark was complicated. He used to think that their give and take, their push and pull of information and trust would define the both of them in every way. At least he thought that until he found his moment of clarity one morning, long before the sun even thought to rise above the horizon. He was suffering from yet another restless night, trying to decide on his next move in their constantly evolving game of friendship chess when he finally understood two very important things.
One, he and Clark were meant to be together. They balanced each other in a way that no one else in their lives did for them. Clark kept them both more connected to their humanity and made sure they never lost sight of the people around them while he made sure they never lost sight of each other in the crush of the crowd.
Two, Clark was a liar. At first this particular revelation had filled him with rage. The person who he felt such kinship with could not seem to bring himself to tell him even a fraction of the truth. Every question no matter how innocent or innocuous was answered with a lie even more outlandish than the last.
Then he realized something else entirely that changed the game in ways he never thought it could be changed. Every time Clark opened his mouth and the lies tumbled out they weren’t Clarks’ words at all. No every lie bore the words of one Jonathan Kent, the man who hated and distrusted Lex more than anyone else in the world. More than people who truly knew him even. He just needed to separate Clark from the words of his father and see what would happen when he was given leave to choose his own words for once.
Would he still lie or would he finally tell the truth they both already knew but somehow couldn’t help but deny.
He started small at first, with every blatant lie he would refuse to speak a word to Clark for the rest of the day. Not a single syllable would pass between them. Clark would last less than forty-eight hours before he broke beneath the enforced silence and he would admit to the lie. He wouldn’t follow the admission with the truth, there wasn’t enough trust between them yet for that, but it was a good start.
Once they started dating the punishment changed. Rather than silence he would refuse to kiss him for three days following any obvious lie. He would still let the smaller un-truths pass seemingly without notice though he would hold his gaze just long enough to let him know that he did in fact hear the bullshit he was trying to shovel and was not amused by it.
This punishment worked even better. The more intimate nature of their new relationship made Clark feel guilty about the lies in general and his acknowledgement of those lies made him break down in shame every time within a handful of hours after the lie left his lips. Even with the revelation of the lie between them and Clark’s pleading for forgiveness the punishment would stand, they were past admission and needed to begin the cleansing now. Clark needed to start telling the truth.
It took less than a month for this new routine to finally start breaking down some of the walls built between them by a lifetime of conditioning at the hands of his parents. After a lie he would look at him with such disappointment and hurt that soon enough a teary eyed Clark would stutteringly begin telling him what really happened and slowly but surely he started actually answering Lex’s questions about those events. The how and why of anything to do with Smallville was always hard to grab hold of, the events of any given day refused to follow any form of logic or adhere to any kind of natural law. Sometimes the truth sounded more unbelievable and outlandish than the lie that preceded it, but he knew from looking into Clark’s eyes that it was the truth no matter how unbelievable it was.
Three months into their still secret relationship things shifted again with the addition of sex to their time together. He knew he was still missing some fairly large chunks of information like how a boy who was vigorously fucked nearly every day could still be virgin tight after so long. Or how a boy so tight could seemingly feel no discomfort at all no matter how rushed the act or how cursory the prep.
Instead of withholding kisses when he heard a lie or an evasion he would withhold himself entirely. He wouldn’t speak to him, he wouldn’t kiss him, and he wouldn’t touch him. They would simply sit in judgmental silence until Clark would begin to stutter and stammer his way towards the right path.
Now with the lies, though fewer in number, came the shame of not trusting someone who so obviously loved him. Soon enough even those lies would stop and he would know everything about Clark and their lives together could truly begin. Theirs was a great destiny but they needed to start it on the right foot. Together.