Disclaimer: Not mine..not fair, but true :( Acknowledgements: Thank you so much lolitaluther for the awesome beta! You rock. And thanks to xandyrd for being there as always. Any errors left in the fic are solely mine.
"I'll have the early bird special and a coke," said the young man as the waitress took his order. He had been waiting for a little over fifteen minutes in the foyer of the restaurant before he was seated, and he was starving.
The "Joint", as the restaurant's gaudy sign proclaimed itself, seemed to be a rather popular place. It boasted a 50s theme and a `full soda bar', and even in the wee hours of the morning was jam packed full.
He couldn't remember ever having been in a place like the large diner before, but then again there wasn't much he could remember at all. Two months ago he had awoken in a hospital with only the clothes on his back, a watch and a compass. No memory of who he was or how he had gotten there. He couldn't even remember his own name.
The nurses at the UCLA Medical Center had become fond of calling him Warren, a more acceptable form of the Daddy Warbucks they had originally named him. One nurse, Alice, had spent an afternoon explaining why they had chosen the name for him. She had said that his strange hairlessness and proper speaking voice had immediately brought images of the classic Broadway character to mind.
Warren had just been happy to have a name and an image he could associate with himself. Having people refer to him for over a week as `The John Doe in room 12' had been disconcerting to say the least. Once a name had been unofficially bestowed, the nurses and other help had warmed up to his presence, and he had immediately felt more at ease.
He may not have known who he was, but somehow he had felt comfortable being the charming young man who had suffered an unfortunate accident. What that accident was no one could say, for even the doctors were not sure what was causing his memory loss.
He had spent three weeks in the psychiatric ward of the hospital being put through test after test to check his memory. Shown picture after picture, some of places and others of people. Not a single one familiar.
He felt that perhaps the experience should have been more confusing or frightening to him than it had been. Instead he had taken it all in stride. It almost felt as if he were on a vacation. So little to worry about, either he would remember or he wouldn't, not much he could do about it either way.
Alice had told him the day he left the medical center that he was probably the most logical person she had ever met, even when he was faced with the most illogical events. He had simply smiled at her, and promised to visit, which he was sure she had been confused by, until they had noticed him missing from his room later that day.
Warren used that same smile on his waitress when she brought him his coke. He had been told that he could melt ice when he turned on the charm, and he had learned in the past few months that people responded well to personal attention.
Sharon he noted--looking at her name tag, was no different than most in that area.
"Can I get you something else hun?" she said through her chewing gum, managing a smile of her own.
"No, thank you," Warren responded distractedly, his attention suddenly pulled in another direction, as a tall young man entered the restaurant. Pulling off his jacket, the young man sat himself down at the bar.
The boy couldn't be over 17, though one might easily assume otherwise due to his size. However, something about his expression gave his youth away. He looked innocent.
The kid was well built at easily six foot plus, and muscular. His hair was dark black, worn shaggy; it curled around his well shaped ears. Full lips tinged just slightly pink, he had a wind blown look. And, if the black leather riding jacket and blue jeans were any indication, he had just been driving a motorcycle.
He was also enticingly familiar.
Coke forgotten, Warren stared at the kid unabashedly. In the three months since he had awoken, nothing had seemed more than passingly familiar. Well, except for the shaggy haired business man who had come to visit him two weeks into his stay at the UCLA Medical Center, but he didn't like to think about that.
He suffered an almost selective amnesia; he could remember how to speak not just English, but French, Latin and Greek. He also knew what a quantum equation was, could quote Shakespeare and Nietzsche, but could not remember where he born, how old he was, or even the names of famous people on TV.
Now, suddenly after months, there was this kid, whom he had no doubt in his mind he knew. He closed his eyes for a moment and could almost imagine what the boy's name would sound like if he were to try and speak it. It would have a hard sound, but would only make him think of something gentle.
"Well...who would have imagined! In L.A., of all places?"
Warren's eyes snapped open at the sudden sound of the light tenor. He was staring at a white t-shirt clad chest for a few moments of shock, before moving up to the face he knew he would see.
The boy smiled at him, and planted his hands firmly on the table before leaning forward as if to get a better view of Warren.
"So it is you!" the kid said, depressing the cushion of the booth's seat when he suddenly sat himself at the table. The red glint of a gaudy class ring shined in Warren's eyes as the boy pushed the silverware aside and slid along the bench to place himself right next to Warren.
"You know me?" Warren couldn't keep the excitement from creeping into his voice. He may not worry about his situation day and night, but that didn't mean he wasn't curious. He had a feeling that something very important was about to happen.
"Know you? Heh... we're best friends, or don't you remember, Lex? Hit your head on the honeymoon flight to the Caribbean?" The kid flashed a suggestive smile before reaching for Warren's coke and helping himself to a deep drink. His pink tongue flashing over the straw before he set the soda down again. "Did you follow me here?"
"No." Warren swallowed thickly and looked away. An image of that pink tongue burned into his mind. Something didn't seem right about the situation. If he knew this kid, then what kind of relationship had they had? And Lex? That didn't seem familiar at all.
Honeymoon flights and head injuries, just thinking about it made his head hurt. He could almost feel something at the edge of his mind, a reminder of the constant backdrop to his days--the sound of water rushing, his pleas for help, and the stench of his own fear. No he certainly didn't want to remember that.
He was on vacation.
Taking possession of his coke again he took a long sip, lingering over the straw. He could almost imagine that the kids taste was still there.
The boy was still staring at him, and though Warren hadn't turned to face him again he couldn't bring himself to move either. The silence was thick, yet somehow comfortable. As if they were used to such pregnant moments.
The waitress delivered his food in record time, and, seeming to sense the strange atmosphere, was gone just as quickly.
He dug into his potatoes and began eating mechanically.
Suddenly the kid leaned forward, his hand moving to Warren's leg for better purchase. It felt like the kid's eyes were boring into him. His hand branding Warren's thigh.
"You really don't remember do you?" he said, the hand now moving up in a caressing movement. "What happened to you, Lex?"
"Couldn't tell you, don't remember..." Warren said honestly as he turned to face the boy.
He didn't want to worry about it, and that was something the doctors just couldn't understand. Maybe he liked the freedom of not knowing. The shaggy haired business man certainly hadn't understood him. He had laughed and mocked at first. Finally he had yelled and threatened.
Warren hadn't been afraid. Instead he had left. It had seemed, in that moment, that the world was stretched before him in one long road, and that he was meant to take that road to its end. The doctors, the nurses and the business man would only hinder him.
Would the boy as well?
"Got a name, or are you going to keep me in suspense?"
"Clark Kent." Hard sounding but with a gentle feel, just like Warren knew it would be.
"Warren." He responded.
"Warren?" Clark mocked. "Ok... I can live with that. It somehow fits you."
Reaching over, Clark grabbed the fork from his hand and dug into the potatoes. He brought a huge fork full to his mouth and ate with relish. "So Warren... any plans?" his mouth still full.
"You shouldn't talk with your mouth full, Clark." He answered absently.
"Heh, you haven't changed much, `Warren'. This could be fun." Clark said, placing another forkful of potatoes in his mouth, obviously rubbing in the fact that he was speaking while eating.
Warren smiled. The routine seemed familiar, and somehow comforting.
And in that split moment he had made a decision. He wanted this, whatever it was. The comfort Clark seemed to imply, without the knowledge he didn't want to face.
Placing his hand over Clark's, Warren ran the pad of his thumb over the rough skin of his knuckles, his eyes losing focus as he contemplated the situation. Something didn't feel right at all; Clark's experienced leer suggesting things that made Warren's pants uncomfortably tight, and the gaudy ring he wore-- all seemed wrong and yet at the same time felt completely perfect.
"Want to ditch this Popsicle stand, as they say?" Warren said suddenly in a fit of inspiration.
"Oh yeah," Clark breathed in his ear as he boldly moved both hands over the zipped seam of Warren's pants, squeezing the bulge there once before he stood up. His hand still holding Warren's, he led him towards the door.
"You know this is going to be a lot of fun, you and me, in Hollywood. They won't know what hit them." Clark smirked as they reached the exit. "This was how it was supposed to be." He said with one last intense look as they left the dinner, bill unpaid.
"I like the sound of that." Warren said simply as he straddled the Harley behind Clark.
He may not remember where he came from, or who he was, but he knew where he was going. And that Clark Kent would be the one to take him there.
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