Disclaimers: So very not mine.
Summary: Too few years between them and it's almost time.
Notes: Chocolate hugs to Grail for the beta and inspiration. For Livia's Ray Bradbury Challenge.
In the darkness Lex's eyes are closed, his hand pressed to Clark's chest like he might somehow be able to draw extra beats from the heart there to feed his own. Clark traces the veins of that hand by memory through brittle skin, feeling the slowing eddy of life under his fingertips.
Theirs has always been the time between the sun. Convenient enough to say Superman couldn't work at night, couldn't fly without the sunlight to lift him up. No one knew, after all, except he and Lex. Enough time passed, enough jail cells filled, that the nights were eventually kept safe by fear alone, leaving them together with the silent fall of midnight.
And now, more than ever, the darkness obscures the truth from their eyes. It's a place where touch is enough to fill the spaces, where Lex will always be twenty five and strong and Clark will never be Superman.
I love you. Words mouthed into Lex's cheek, felt more than heard. Because this is the way they've always been: spinning tales with the only language that makes sense in the in the dark, in the silence. Speech always secondary, a forgone conclusion long before they'd ever said those three words.
But there are no touches left for this, for them, anymore.
He stands, gently rolling Lex down, and shuffles to the window. Floor to ceiling glass and he pulls back the drapery, watching the light creep over the horizon. He leans his head against the window, the glass cold with winter chill.
He'd always thought Clark Kent would fade away, would die with Lex, leaving nothing more than a carefully crafted persona. But then there had been the children, and the line between man and Superman blurred. A generation of Sullivans and Langs and Rosses that had grown up knowing Uncle Clark would always be there, long after their own parents, long after their own children.
Lex's idea, not his, to tether Clark to the world.
Clark closes his eyes against the sun, listening to the unsteady rhythm of breath, the hitching sighs that echo in the room. And he knows, he knows. Too few years between them and it's almost time.
He returns to Lex, sitting lightly on the bed's edge, and waits for the sun to paint everything in color. He's never seen the room in daylight; never seen Lex in anything but stark relief. Not since he's been more than just Clark.
Eyes closed, he slides his fingers over the planes of Lex's face, committing each line to memory. He's careful, so careful, not to bruise the skin that's grown too thin, like parchment stretched taut over sharp bone.
His fingers are slick. Opening his eyes, he gasps at the baptismal fall of his tears onto Lex's forehead. He's had twenty years to forget how they burn; hundreds, maybe, to remember.
He strokes a translucent cheek, coaxing Lex to open his eyes. The blue is unclouded, bright and deep and filled with a silent plea. Clark nods, closing his eyes, quietly steeling himself. He feels the slight turn and then there are promises of forever kissed into his palm. Clutching them tightly in hand he leans down, brushing lips to lips, and rests his brow against Lex's.
Whispers into the space between let go.
And Clark breathes in Lex's last breath.
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