Fearful Symmetry

by FayJay

DISCLAIMER: Messrs Kent and Luthor are not mine. But you knew that already.

COMMENTS: With thanks to the foamy PPO folks, for their Beta work.

Written in response to The Smallville X Titles Challenge. http://www.debchan.com/livia/smallville/xtitle.html

"Tyger! Tyger! Burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?"

William Blake Songs of Experience

Lex Luthor did not believe in gods or demons or weird sisters controlling the warp and weft of life. He did not believe in fate or redemption, in celestial watchmakers or miracles of nature; in life after death, little green men or happily ever after. He had learned early on that shooting stars did not grant wishes; that the figure hanging from the cross was no avatar, just a man in the wrong place at the wrong time. Lex was a scientist and a businessman; and all the empirical evidence accrued so far in his short life pointed to a world in which nothing was inexplicable and everything was for sale.

His Damascus was the former creamed corn capital of Kansas.

Consciousness returned with the pressure of large hands on Lex's chest and the brush of warm lips against his mouth. For a moment he was all at sea, scrabbling for a context for this sensation and unable to place just where or when he was. Confusion. Then water welled up from aching lungs and the world came rushing back as he spluttered gracelessly and scrabbled for his bearings; Lazarus back from a watery grave. Everything hurt.

He recognised the boy immediately; the startled face that was the last thing he had thought he'd ever see. But somehow, quite inexplicably, it wasn't after all.

Lex knew beyond question that he had hit Clark Kent. He was in no hurry to change his name, but Lex began to consider believing.

The figure still familiar from his darkest childhood dreams had materialised in the present and shocked him to the core. Later he laughed at the rush of stunned credulity that preceded recognition; for it was not the same man after all, of course; nothing like the same. That first crucifixion was all wonder and terror and disillusionment. This was - something else.

This was Clark, his personal saviour, transforming anguish into art; outstretched limbs and taut torso described in moonlight and shadow like a lost Caravaggio. Chiaroscuro-sculpted flesh and feverish green eyes peering pleadingly through the tangled curtain of bangs. So ridiculously beautiful that Lex knew even then that there would be no more nightmares; though there would certainly be more dreams.

"Help me."

The very same words gasped out in sweetly desperate entreaty; and so, this time, he did. Suddenly his arms were full of bare and trembling boyflesh, and the uncomplicated intimacy of need and warmth and helplessness was entirely irresistible. Over in a moment.

He stared after Clark's vanishing back, trying to reconcile the burst of renewed energy with the weakness of a moment before, and the necklace caught his eye almost by accident. He picked it up and rested the chip of rock against his palm, running the chain between his fingers absently. Tried to see a world in this polished pebble and found only questions.

If you enjoyed this story, please send feedback to FayJay

Also, why not join Level Three, the Smallville all-fic list?