by Lyra Sena

Sequel to Fracture, which can be found at

Thanks: Of course, to my Nifra.

The light bends through a crack in the window, leaving a messy path across the floor as daybreak invades the room and pushes night roughly away.

Lex turns over on his side, blocks the sun with a heavy arm thrown over his eyes.

There are ways of cleaning up disasters; measures which require careful planning and execution of eloquent timing. Plans that must be carried out precisely in an ordered rhythm, like dancers onstage, moving flawlessly around one another. If wishes and hope were the only remedy needed, then the remnants of damaged promises could be swept away cleanly; forgotten like tiny murmurs in thinly stretched hearts.

But there are larger problems, problems twisted by brutal force, problems that blaze through bodies like heat and blade - they sting and bury themselves; take root and grow deep, spreading over spaces of memory.

Lex sighs heavily, breath pushed out with force and little meaning.

"Clark," he whispers, into the air, into nothing that has any substantial measurement.

If Clark were a tangible equation, a logical solution to an algorithm or a process that demands meticulous planning, then Lex could sit at his desk and contemplate strategies and formulate plans of assault. Attack and conquer, and drive away the restless demons that disguise themselves as lust - as hunger, longing, and want.

Shrouds of recklessness taunt Lex, but devour Clark completely, swallowing him like darkness in the mouth of the alley. They're each bound to a truth that pushes at the edges, repelling them as though they're positive poles of two magnets.

It's the helplessness that's maddening - that coils, smoldering into thin strands of frustration that demand resolution. But it's unlike any provable theorem or calculated reaction, anything that's tangible or real or fixable.

He feels powerless, and it dims the edges of his life.

He can smell Clark throughout the penthouse; winding traces of crisp summer rain, and wisps of craving choke every step between the bed to the bathroom, to the kitchen, to the office. Memories encroach upon meetings, phone calls, and he escapes to the bottom of a bottle every night.

Lex dictates his actions, words, feelings around carefully constructed fundamental truths and now...he has one less.

There are pictures in his mind, which he rifles through methodically. He catalogues each one based on time, smell, sight, sound - images recorded in milliseconds that can only be remembered by the fall of lashes against sun-glazed cheeks, the low moan of wind teasing through dark curls, earth brown stains over the rise of knuckles and creased into fingernails, soft wandering hands over the curve of his face.

He and Clark had walked along the edges of the field to the pond. He was barefoot, thanks to Clark's lopsided grin and mischievous eyes, and the grass skimmed the bottoms of his heels, the blades soft - a graceful tickling under each step. The sun was high and warm on his face, and they had taken off their clothes, stood waist high in the cool water. The dappled ripples of small waves lapped at them and Clark's lips were satin against his. When Clark twined their fingers together, Lex thought of cashmere and flannel; divergent textures fusing in compliance.

Riding in the car, the windows rolled down and spring air mixing with leather. Pungent sweat clinging to Clark's shirt, colliding with the aroma of lavender and fresh cut grass, and Lex had inhaled deeply before pulling over to the side of the road. The scent of Clark's hair brushing against Lex's cheek as Clark kissed his way down Lex's neck, a crisp waft of shampoo laced with melon. Earnesty fragrant, exposed, as Clark sucked him - arousal and sex filling the night.

Clark's dark head, cradled in Lex's lap, outlined in shades of hazy pearl and incandescent blue. The full moon bathed the room in lingering hues, liquid arcs over Clark's shoulders, down the bend of his spine, over the rise of his hip, curled around his ankle and slid down the arch of his foot to wind around his toes. Clark's bare chest gently bowing in shallow breaths, his lashes fluttering against his cheek, and his fingers curled protectively into the front of Lex's shirt.

Pleading moans, Lex's name gasped on trembling lips as bodies twist under sheets, the rasp of skin against cotton. Under their movement, the bed groaned. Whimpers fell into his ear, hisses groped into his neck; mumbles of love stretching over his body. Hot sighs tasted his skin, urgent lips growling into his hip, heavy long pants of breath against his thighs. Wind sang into the room, chiming through the window.

Clark's tongue had traced coffee and berries over the roof of Lex's mouth, behind his teeth, colliding with his own tongue. Infusing brightness along the corners of his lips, a rush of farm fresh sunshine that invaded him. The hint of sticky caramel sweetness just underneath that mapped the inside of his mouth in fiery licks and sloppy hunger. Clark imprinted Lex's lower lip with a lingering sharpness, like green apples, and over his top lip cast clean swipes of blooming violets on lazy mornings.

Clark, hard and thrusting into his mouth. He tasted like promise and desire.

The rush of memory overwhelms the sensory phantoms, demands attention to details that should hurt less, that should be blurred and thrown away with nostalgia. Illusions evaporated with the turn of Clark's back to him, the stumbling feet into the black laced night, the wrench of hurt that he refuses to believe exists, because he can control this. Control himself. Offer his bare soul and have it carved into bloody pieces and feel...nothing.

Pushes through the minutes and hours of each day, forces himself not to wander the hallways of the castle, looking for something he'll never find.

Never find again.

Crawls into the crook of the sofa and pulls the blanket over his body, seeking warmth that will never be the same as a heavy body fitted around his back, or an arm draped over his chest, or fingers rubbing in small circles that fluctuate between gentle strokes and insistent searching. Will never be lips moving behind his ear, up his neck and across his brow, or hands dipping below sheets to run over his hips and between his thighs, kneading and grasping with fervor. Could never replace frantic movements led by passion - two bodies crashing into one another with want and wildness.

Silhouettes of body memory ebb with ticking seconds and fade into idle daydreams, leaving voids that can't be filled with determination or will or any of the other tools Lex regularly employs. He wants quantifiable answers, anything, to lash himself against; to throw his body upon as an offering, to heal the open sores he hates himself for allowing.

He wants a fount; something that flows and rolls and turns and never fades. Something that will leak into his pores and, with blunt honesty, force some semblance of order into his brain.

He has reserves of understanding for Clark; wells to be tapped into and drained slowly over time. Dense feelings that don't belong in the parts of his mind where he's tried to block sentimentality. He's looking at the dank bottom; since the night in the alley, when he had been on his knees, supplicating and pleading, and no matter what influence Clark was under, whatever Clark's motivation, it should have been enough.

Lex should be enough.

The day was cool; fall approaching with crisp orange and yellows, the air flushing through the tall grass. Lex spread his arms and fell softly to the ground, the corn high around him in waves of motion. He stared up at the sky, lit clear blue with clouds floating in and out of his periphery. Clark had fallen beside him in a heap of flannel and denim, nestling his head in the crook of Lex's shoulder.

"Lex, do you ever wish for something more?" Clark had asked, while his fingers fumbled with the buttons on Lex's shirt before finding their way inside and resting over Lex's chest.

*And Lex could think of lots of things that he wished were more. He wished he were more like what Clark deserved, wished he were more like the man Clark believed he was, wished there were more time right here, right now.*

Lex groped his way underneath Clark's shirt and dug his nails into Clark's back, arching his hips up. Felt lashes fluttering against his neck, dotted tiny kisses across Clark's forehead and twined his fingers in hair that slipped through his fingers.

"I have everything I need, Clark."

Arms had tightened around him and Clark's kiss was hot against his cheek.

"So do I."

He's in his office, sitting at his desk, when the door opens and the doorway is filled with...anticipation - jittery nervousness hunching shoulders and lowering a dark head.

"Can you forgive me?"

And it's said in such a plaintive tone, with downcast eyes, red and puffy...tinged with layers of regret.

The raw emotion drapes the room in brittle remains of a history with glossy panes and coats of familiarity.

Lex turns in his chair, the creak of leather cutting loudly into the fragile air, and looks out the window before the slide of his lids blocks the errant film of light. Images filter dully behind his closed eyes, and the past settles around him in dusty fragments that cling tightly to his skin.

Forgiveness has too many memories.

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