by Nifra Idril
It's late afternoon, and grass tickles the tip of Clark's nose. He sneezes and inches backward, farther into Lex's lap until the back of his head rests against Lex's stomach. The shade's cool; wind shivers the leaves above them just a little, just enough to make a sweet rustling sound.
"Tell me more," Lex says, one hand coming to rest lightly on Clark's chest. "About your family."
Clark covers Lex's hand with his own, rubs his thumb across the smooth skin there. "He came here once. My dad, I mean," he said. "When he was young, I think. It was a...punishment, actually."
"This was a punishment?" Lex asks, and laughs, body shaking slightly underneath Clark.
In front of Clark's eyes, it looks like the sky and the meadow go on forever, blue and green even and undisturbed - lying flat against each other. The sun is a warm kiss on his face, and he can smell something familiar, something sweet. And there's Lex, solid and soft and there.
"Yes," Clark says, closing his eyes. "It was. Kryptonians are superior to humans, so to be sent here, to this dirty inferior planet...it was a punishment," he hears himself saying, before his eyes snap open.
"No," he stammers up to Lex who smiles down at him, affectionately, "no, that's not - I didn't - I don't - "
Suddenly he's alone in the dark, cold. There is no Lex, there is no field. There's nothing, but Jor-El's booming voice.
"Kal-El, we need not be adversaries. I can give you what you want," Jor-El tells him, "if you only - "
"Never," Clark whispers, squeezing his eyes tightly shut. "Not ever."
Jor-El chuckles - dry, and harsh. "Never, you will find, my son, is quite a very long time."
Clark can't move, and he can't ignore the sound of Jor-El's voice. He can't keep himself from hearing over, and over, "You are a son of Krypton. You are my son. You are of the house of El, and you will do great things. I will see to it."
He repeats multiplication tables over and over. He recites Goodnight, Moon from memory. He sings every song he knows.
He wants to go home.
Jor-El tells him that he can, and Clark knows they don't mean the same thing. They don't mean the same thing at all.
The windows are clear and through them streams rose colored light. It stains the curve of Lex's pale cheek pink, shines red in his light lashes. Outside there are white buildings, tall and proud. People wearing bright-colored clothes walk briskly down the wide, gleaming sidewalks and following them are small metal men.
"They look like C-3P0," Lex quips, pointing. He turns to Clark and smiles, holds out his hand.
Clark takes it, hesitatingly. "This isn't real," he says firmly. "This isn't my home."
"It could be," Lex says. His eyes are bright and dark, almost purple in the red light of this strange sun. "Clark, look around you! This is...this is magnificent," he breathes.
"It isn't real," Clark repeats flatly, and Lex pulls him close, and their chests brush with each breath. Lex tucks his fingers into the back of Clark's pants, leans up, brushes a soft kiss against Clark's lips.
"It could be, Clark," he says. "Think of the medical advances alone. Think of what we could do. The people we could help. Jonathan Kent wouldn't have to worry about another - "
"My father," Clark interrupts, and Lex frowns, pulls back a little. "You mean my father."
"No," Lex says patiently, "I mean Jonathan Kent. He's not your father."
"Yes, he is. And Kandor doesn't exist anymore," Clark says, voice savage and low. "None of this does. It was ruined."
"It can be rebuilt, by us," Lex urges, turning Clark toward the window again with a hand on the flat of his back. He stands so close, scalp brushing Clark's cheek, his body pressed against the side of Clark's. Clark can feel the heat coming off of him and the simple, solid presence of Lex.
"There's no crime, there's no disease. There's nothing dirty, no one unhappy here, Clark. No war, no - "
"There was war, one that lasted a thousand years," Clark interrupts, "and there will be disease. All of these people are dead. They destroyed this."
Lex's smiles: sly, happy. His eyes sparkle, and his lips are soft against Clark's ear. "You paid attention to your history," he says. "But you're not thinking about the future - that's what we are. We know better than these people did. We can fix all of those problems. We can make this perfect - as it should have been. We can make it paradise."
Clark sways, and Lex pulls him, trails gentle kisses across the line of his jaw, up to his lips. "I'll help you, Clark. I'll always help you."
He kisses Clark long and slow, his mouth hot and hungry, and Clark moans, his hands bunching the fabric of Lex's shirt. When he pulls away Lex is flushed and glittering. He looks lush - he looks like he could give Clark everything he's ever wanted.
"I love you," he says, and Clark leans his head against Lex's shoulder. "I will love you forever. We can make that happen."
And Clark murmurs, "No, I won't," and finds his hands empty.
"Why do you do this to yourself, Kal-El?" Jor-El asks, and Clark says nothing. He stares at his fingers, motionless and pale in the dark that goes on and on and on all around him.
"These people don't care for you, they don't care for each other. You could change that, you could give them something better. Something more than what they have now," Jor-El cajoles.
"What they have now is good," Clark answers, eyes trained on the palms of his hands, the swirls and loops and lines there.
"Is it, now?" Jor-El sounds smug, like Clark's handed him a doorway, and opened it, too. "Are you truly so satisfied?"
"Yes," Clark says, brashly, and Jor-El laughs.
Lex is young - maybe thirteen. Clark knows that it's him, would know the line of his profile anywhere. He stands in front of an open window, shaking.
"Lex?" Clark calls, voice soft. He doesn't turn, just keeps staring out at the black night. When Clark comes closer he can see that Lex's small cheeks glisten, like tears have slipped over them some time recently. Clark wants to reach out, to comfort him, to do something, but he can't.
The door opens, and a line of light falls upon the room, upon Lex's thin back.
"Lex," calls Lionel's voice. "You can't continue to hide this way."
"I - " Lex begins, but says nothing. He rubs his arms, and turns half-way, looks at his father over his shoulder. His face is small, pinched.
Lex looks so afraid and dread leaves icy trails up Clark's spine.
"God damnit, Lex," Lionel snarls, storming into the room. Clark tries to move toward him, tries to stop him, but he's rooted to the spot. His whole body is paralyzed, and Lionel takes Lex by the shoulders, shakes him roughly.
"You will pull yourself together. You will stop these histrionics. You will be a man," Lionel demands.
Lex shrinks away from his father's touch, his eyes are so hollow, and he says, "Don't you care at all? Don't you even care that Mom's dead?"
Lionel goes deadly still, his lips pulling back from his teeth. He's feral, he's dangerous, he's balling up his hand into a fist and hitting Lex in the face, so hard that Lex falls to the ground.
Clark cries out, inarticulate, but he still can't move.
"Get up," Lionel orders, ragged. "Get up now."
Lex curls in on himself on the floor, and Clark can hear his muffled sobs. Lionel kicks him in the ribs, says again, "Get up."
Blood mixes with tears on Lex's young face and he turns toward Clark. "Help me," he whispers, and Lionel kicks him again. "Please help me - I know you can."
"Stop it, stop it, stop it, stop it, STOP IT!" Clark yells, his fingers biting into his skin, his eyes shuttered tightly closed.
"That never - how do you know that happened?" Clark demands of Jor-El, and he can feel the apathy pouring off the voice that answers him.
"I don't, but it's what you believe. And even if it didn't happen to him, it happens often in this world of yours. This world you're so determined to preserve as it is."
"I didn't mean that this is what I want. It isn't - it isn't right. I can't play God, I ...I won't. I won't let you make me do this," Clark shouts. "I won't remake your precious goddamned Krypton!"
"That isn't what I want, Kal-El," Jor-El says soothingly. "You haven't been paying attention."
"Then what the hell do you want?" Clark asks, and Jor-El says, "I'll show you, son."
Clark is too tired to protest that he isn't Jor-El's son. He's too tired to do anything, but let himself be swept away.
It's a crisp morning, and the wind combs through Clark's hair. He's flying, over Metropolis. It isn't a Metropolis he recognizes though - there's no noise. No paper shuffling over the streets, or thick curls of smoke climbing up from shoddy mufflers.
It smells like grass, and when he lands on the sidewalk people bow to him - deep and reverent. They don't meet his eyes. They don't speak, but instead, scurry away, bent back against the wind.
"It's good to be the king, isn't it?" Lex's familiar voice drawls from behind him, slow and warm. When Clark turns Lex is there, leaning against a lamppost with his arms crossed, and beside him there's a flush faced little boy, with bright eyes and dark hair.
"Daddy!" the boy says, before hurling himself at Clark's knees.
"Who? What?" Clark asks Lex, patting mechanically at the small sturdy back of the little boy.
Lex raises a fine brow and a smirk quirks the corner of his lips. "Your son. Or, clone, more appropriately, but well, cloning is practically the only way to recreate the House of El, so why not raise him as your own, your Excellency?"
"Don't call me that," Clark says frantically, and Lex laughs, pushes off from the light post. His walk is a subtle slide of sex, and his smile's a promise.
"Ahh, but the Caesar's wife must be beyond reproach in all arenas, even comportment," Lex teases.
"Up! Up!" the boy demands, bouncing on Clark's feet. He waves his chubby arms and smiles up at Clark.
"Well? Are you going to pick Kon-El up, or are you just going to let your son whine all morning?" Lex asks, gaze shifting from Clark to the boy in front of him.
Kon-El taps his little foot, knits his brow with frustration and says vehemently, "Up!"
Clark lifts him, and the child is a squirming armful, with small hands and a high giggle. "I saw a puppy!" Kon-El reports, and Lex smoothes down the boy's hair, smiles at Clark over him.
Clark feels like there's light inside of him, like this boy in his arms and the man next to him are a current he's floating on. He loves them both, so suddenly, so much.
"Am I...am I a good father?" he asks, hesitant, and Kon-El's smile is missing two teeth.
"The best!" he chirps happily, and Lex nods, hides a grin with his hand. "And you're in charge of everything! You made it all better and nice just for me and for other people and nobody cries anymore. Before you, it was a bad, bad place, Papa says."
Blinking, he turns to Lex, and Lex takes his hand. "It was, Kon-El," Lex says, and then gestures at Metropolis, new and clean and safe. "But look at it now. Look what your Daddy did."
"But...but they're afraid of me, Lex," Clark says, nodding at the people who pass, their eyes skittering away from him.
"No, they're not," Lex says, sounding sure. "They love you, Clark."
"They do?" he asks, and Kon-El's hands swoop around in front of his face as the child makes airplane noises.
Lex nods. "They do. And so do we. Don't we, Kon-El?"
Kon-El nods gravely. "A whole big lot."
"And...and everybody's happy?" Clark looks around, eyes jumping from each tall and gleaming building to the next.
"Yes, everybody," Lex tells him, indulgent.
"But, that's impossible," Clark protests, turning back to Lex. "That's just...that can't happen. Not everyone can be happy. This - this isn't real. You aren't..." Clark stumbles back, shoves the baby into Lex's arms. "You aren't real. Neither of you."
"Daddy!" Kon-El wails, his hands grabbing for Clark.
"Clark," Lex says reproachfully, but Clark takes another frightened step backward.
"This isn't real, none of this, it isn't - it can't be...this isn't right! I can't!" and as Lex disappears, Clark can see the lines of his face set with disappointment. It hurts.
Time passes slowly in silence before Jor-El speaks again. It may be days, it may be hours. Clark isn't sure.
"You are one of very few Kryptonians who were ever able to leave the planet," Jor-El proclaims, finally. "When I found that our planet would fail, I knew that you would need to be somewhere else, somewhere safe to live and prosper and grow. I removed you from the Birthing Matrix, and I altered your DNA. Our people had once been able to leave the planet, long ago, but by the time of your gestation period, many of us were bound to Krypton by genetic defects. Your mother was one, and I would not leave her. Krypton's doom was our own, but not with you, Kal-El. You were spared that, I saw to it."
Jor-El paused. "You, and you alone have survived."
"I don't care," Clark tells Jor-El, plaintive. "I don't care."
"Oh, but you do, my son, you do care that you are alone," Jor-El says, and he sounds kind. "As I do. You are the only Kryptonian left, the last and best of all of us. You were meant to live a life apart, but not completely bereft of comfort. Not completely bereft of love."
"My parents love me," Clark says.
"They are nothing," Jor-El responds thunderously. "They are petty and insignificant and they will wither and die. They are not equipped to deal with you, now that you are grown."
"Lex is human, too." Clark raises his head, gazes out into the darkness, toward Jor-El's voice. "Did you forget that?"
"He is different," Jor-El says. "He shows potential to help you toward greatness."
"I don't want greatness!" Clark roars.
Jor-El chuckles. "And you don't want to be alone. There is no reason why both you and I cannot have what we desire most."
Clark's lying on his back in a soft, soft bed. The sheets are satin; they slither around his hips and Lex's hands are smoothing up his legs. They spark, they crackle as they tease up his thighs, and Lex stares up at him - lips red, and swollen.
He looks like he's been making love to Clark for years, like he could make love to Clark for years to come. Like he will, and that idea makes Clark throw his head back, moan.
Lex's mouth latches on to his throat - right by his ear, where it's most sensitive. He nips, he sucks, he whispers, "We can do anything, Clark. Together."
Clark can't respond, can't do anything other than helplessly rub his hands over Lex's body - cup the delicate arch of Lex's hip, feel the firm swell of Lex's ass.
"I can't," he whispers, and Lex silences him, palm flat over Clark's mouth. Lex's eyes are fierce, and God, he's so hard against Clark's thigh.
"Yes," Lex says to him, sultry and sexy, "we can." He keeps his hand over Clark's mouth, and licks his way across Clark's chest, sucks at Clark's nipple just a little, before slanting a look up at Clark - a look that singes Clark, makes him suck in a breath through Lex's cupped fingers. The air tastes like salt and Lex's skin. He bites down, just a little, just enough to make Clark arch his back, and groan.
Lex's tongue traces Clark's abdomen - each line, each muscle, and Clark's already thrusting his hips up, begging.
"If I take my hand back, will you be good? Will you be quiet?" Lex asks.
Clark shakes his head wordlessly. "Lex, it's not ri- "
"Yes, it is!" Lex hisses vehemently. His slender chest is flushed, and sweating, and his hand has strayed down to Clark's cock, God, right where he needs it. Those long fingers trace up and down his length.
"It is right, it's the only way! You'll give them hope, Clark! You'll give them a better life, you'll give them a goddamned chance, if you just say you will, say that you'll do this with me," Lex says, sliding down Clark's body. Clark's skin is too tight on his body. Electricity is snapping over his skin, and Lex's tongue is flicking out over the head of his cock, and oh God, oh God, oh GOD, Clark's never felt anything so good in his whole life as those teasing little licks.
"They need you," Lex whispers against Clark's skin, lips wet and smooth, and not enough not enough not enough. Clark's giving little wordless cries, begging for Lex's mouth, begging for something, anything - more of that hand, more of that tongue, just more.
"Can't you see how they need you?" Lex asks, before taking the head of Clark's cock in his mouth, where it's warm and wet. He sucks once, good and hard, and then pulls off and Clark makes a sound of frustration.
"Without you their lives are pointless and dangerous, and you...you'll make it better," Lex murmurs kissing up Clark's thighs. "You'll make things make sense, you'll make sure that villains are put away. You'll stand for everything that's important to them, Clark, only you have to do it. Don't you see? Don't you see?"
"Lex, please," Clark moans. "Please!"
And Lex hears him, Lex takes care of him, Lex gives him what he needs. He swallows Clark down, whole - takes Clark's cock so deep into his throat, where it's hot, and tight, and Clark can't stop thrusting, can't stop himself from pushing up into that wet heat and oh, Lex's eyes. They glitter, they gleam, they're so fucking beautiful, everything is so fucking beautiful when Lex is there, and Clark is, Clark is -
Clark shatters when he comes, screaming Lex's name, and Lex climbs up his body after, whispers hot promises as he takes Clark's hand and presses his cock into it. Lex laces his fingers with Clark's and together they bring Lex off - jacking him fast and ruthless.
Lex is beautiful, his face twisted with his release, Clark's name on his lips. He pants against Clark's neck, the breath hot and skittering over Clark's skin, still so sensitive and minutes pass, Lex slumped against Clark.
"Will you?" Lex asks, his voice a ghost in the still room, and Clark closes his eyes, swallows hard.
"I'll give them hope," Clark says.
Lex's smile is pleased, sated, and he cups Clark's cheeks. "Yes, you will."
"And I'll do good," Clark says, eyes prickling, and Lex only nods. "And...and you'll be there. You will, won't you?"
"Always," Lex promises, pressing a kiss to Clark's collarbone.
Clark nods, and lets his eyes flicker shut, and as he drifts into sleep, he hears the rasp of laughter.
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