Falling Free

by dystocia

There was still disbelief in Clark's eyes when you ran as fast he did.

You kept your eyes on the horizon and a part of you thought that you might be able to reach it now, chase it like people sought the end of the rainbow ages ago. You watched Clark, and you're not sure what he can't quite bring himself to believe. More important than the disbelief though was that Clark looked happy, as if this just solidified the sense of distance both of you always felt with the rest of the world. Only Clark tried to keep bridging it, and you've long ago burned them all down.

You watched him run, the ease in those long limbs that have attained a state of grace you know you won't ever match. Clark finally felt comfortable in his own flesh, but only because you were now just finding out the new limits of your own. He explained to you earlier the mechanics of his running, what routes he used to love when both of you still lived in Smallville. In many ways, the situation has been reversed. He knew a lot more than you did, and maybe he always did, but considering what you have now, there's only a little twinge of resentment in you about that.

You made sure you both stayed in this huge flat expanse that you own now in between Metropolis and Smallville. You felt like a child and you didn't give a damn. It was the fairest of the seasons.

The sex was astonishing. You let go of the control you used to demand and let him lose his. He was, as always, endearingly awkward. You guided him through the steps and the subtleties of making someone melt with your hands, your tongue.

He learned quickly. When he did, he learned to surrender control too, and part of you felt so bizarrely proud of him for that, that he picked up on that without you ever saying a word. Sex used to be pleasure as it was about power. You've learned otherwise through Clark's own unique and non-verbal way of teaching, to let go of your illusions about having the upper hand and you let yourself go. There have been times you went to bed with someone and you had battle plans in your head. Not now though.

You left marks on his skin. It was the only way you still held on to some of your old beliefs, like times in the past you've caught yourself about to say grace before you ate, just like your mother and Pamela taught you. You marked him now because it satisfied the urge in you to brand everything that's yours, and you don't ever see that changing.

Metropolis was still your home. You loved how famous, or infamous, you were here. Everyone knew to stay out of the way, knew better than to say one single word about you or Clark to your face. You've taken the slings, but Clark hasn't and you made a vow long ago that he would never be exposed to all of the venom people aimed towards you.

Your father was here though. No longer blind but still with a decided limp, his expensive cane that cleared a path before him, he still commanded respect. He treated his cane like a sword; both to cut and to bless those he thought deserved some sort of reward.

You remembered arching a brow at him once, asking him why he seemingly knighted some of his lackeys. He had seethed. Ah, you had thought, something to keep track of.

The next morning had brought about a blatant blind item about "an heir" and "a student" in all the rags and perfectly chosen words that said debauchery without ever saying it.

Sometimes, you went into work with a smile that scared people. You couldn't help it. You were happy, almost to the point of distraction. Your rivals thought you actually were distracted and took advantage. You always proved them wrong.

You felt like laughing at them, sometimes at the world in general. Everything became more vibrant, more intense. You focused so sharply on everything now that all the details came into focus.

Clark was at the center of it, as always. He was alive and vital, even more so now, and you never could protect yourself from that.

You wanted Clark to understand the principles of DNA grafting better, but he really wasn't interested in finding out all the details. He loved his own work more, and you couldn't fault him for that. He didn't love science like you did.

The scalpel you used was in a safe in Cadmus in a lead-lined box. You imagined it glowing inside.

Sometimes, you didn't know your own strength. You didn't mean to hit that woman once. It was a crowded street and you were impatient and you jerked your elbows out to have some space. Everyone looked as she hit the wall of the building, as she slid down to her knees unconscious with a smear of red trailing her on the slate gray wall.


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