Silver Courage

by myownspecialself

feedback always welcome.

November 2002

Acknowledgments: A shout-out to Maygra's Catch a Falling Star for inspiring Jonathan's version of how Clark arrived on Earth.

This ficlet is dedicated to my betas: Reetchick, beta par excellence and Smallville slasher in her own right, for the encouragement and suggestions for improving the prose. Philtre, for always doing it just right and helping in so many, many ways to bring the muses into line. And GothPhyle, for knowing what works best and for just understanding.

Finally, a hug to all the writers out there who taught me the meaning of the word "woobie."

Moon, moon, rise in the sky to be a reminder of comfort and the hour when I was brave. ~Elizabeth Smart

Clark has never told anyone, but he enjoys a full moon more than just about anything else. Even more than his mom's pie, if you will.

Mind you, this fondness of things lunar doesn't come about because he's some kind of vampire or a person of the lycanthropic persuasion. No, sir. And it doesn't really mean anything that Chloe and Pete sometimes call him "Fangs" because of his prominent canines. None of this creatures-of-the night stuff for him, thank you very much. In spite of all that has happened in Smallville since the meteors fell, Clark doesn't believe in that sort of thing.

And yet, as part of the puzzle that is Clark Jerome Kent, deep down he believes the full moon has, well, powers. He refuses to think of them as spells or charms, because the full moon is not some kind of witch. No. She's a deity with powers. Powers that reveal truths. Not secrets-of-the-cosmos truths, but those unique truths of a sixteen-year-old's puzzling existence, those answers that he can't find elsewhere. Answers that can't be found even at the endless fount of paternal platitudes he knows and loves as Jonathan Kent.

Pete is Clark's best friend as much for the secrets they share about each other as by virtue of the special relationship they've had since kindergarten. It doesn't hurt, either, that there's such a strong bond between their families. But in spite of all this, Clark hasn't told Pete that the full moon is his other best friend. Pete sleeps and dreams of girls, blissfully unaware that the silver disk that dwells in the dark heavens is a rival for his best friend's attention. What Pete doesn't know won't hurt Clark.

It's a good thing Pete hasn't found out, because Clark certainly doesn't need to have anyone know that His-Friend-The-Full-Moon has a name: Selene. Clark has done some reading on the subject of Greek mythology and the moon. He rejected the traditional Diana and Cynthia because they remind him of classmates-- granted, likable and friendly ones-- but the thing is, he has never known any female who is like his full moon. So Selene it is.

She's Clark's nocturnal best friend because she's such a good listener. While Clark sits in his loft window for their monthly conversations, Selene remains attentive, her face open and placid, and she just listens. As she travels slowly through the night, shedding soft light on the sleeping earth below, she takes care to never interrupt Clark's ruminations. When he no longer feels like speaking aloud-- which is often-- she obligingly lets him to switch to telepathy.

Like a shrewd and practiced therapist, she lets Clark do all the talking, she lets him bounce his ideas off of her, and, during his long pauses between soliloquies, she seems to ask the right questions-- silently, of course-- to help him draw his own conclusions. And if Clark concentrates hard enough, Selene sometimes even becomes his oracle, revealing a path for him to follow to find his answer.

Full-Moon Selene lets Clark see things that get lost in the glare of the sun when it illuminates the Kansas landscape. Things like those shadows of ideas that Clark has about Lex. Shadow-ideas that make Clark blush by day, but which, in the moonlight, grow in substance and take shape when Selene makes her monthly appearance to illuminate Clark's inner world with a palette of silver tones tempered in black, white, and blue. Only then do the shadows acquire the stature of a fervent wish. A heartfelt desire. A young man's hopeful dream.

Clark appreciates Selene's presence during the times when he could really use a bit of moral support. After a day of teen-age trials and tribulations-- ranging from the trivial homework annoyances all the way to heart-dropping, inexorable conclusions about his destiny-- he merely looks up and there she is, waiting patiently for him to ask his next question. To make his next decision. His next move.

Yes, it's his next move that Selene, balancing roundly in a cool autumn sky, awaits tonight as Clark arrives at Lex's castle. With the same steadfast companionship that Pete offers him during the day, Selene has accompanied Clark in his walk from the farmhouse, along night-cloaked roads to the gate of Lex's mansion, and finally up the long driveway.

On Lex's doorstep, Clark reaches a finger towards the doorbell. Silently he asks Selene to help keep his voice steady. His vocabulary unfailing. To help him be Lex-like. So that when he's face to face with Lex he can say what he really needs to say about who-- no, what-- he really is. About everything he feels for Lex.

He tries not to think how his parents will react when they find out. He feels a flush of gratitude when Selene points out that it is not Clark's parents but Clark who is in love with Lex Luthor. It is Clark who chooses to reveal his secrets. The issue here is no longer the consequences to be suffered by a self-indulgent adolescent rebel who, say, filched his dad's credit card and ran to Discount Eddie's to max it out. Instead, it's all about the uncertainty a young man feels knowing that he can never go back once he takes that step forward. A step that will change his life, perhaps not in a good way. Perhaps for better. Clark nods to himself nervously. He rings the doorbell.

When Clark enters the study, Lex's smile lets him know how glad Lex is that his best friend dropped by. The smile lingers, finally dissolving into an expression of genuine curiosity. Catching the appraising gaze, Clark realizes that Lex is wondering why the usual plaid shirt and denim jeans have been discarded for a black turtleneck and khaki pants.

He smiles back bravely at Lex and then looks through the large window for a glimpse of Selene. She hovers, roundly serene, and radiates encouragement. Just as a best friend should.

Clark's eyes return to the face of a wary and watchful Lex. He takes a breath and starts at the beginning.

When he was seven, Clark asked his parents where children come from. More precisely, he wanted to know where he came from. Laughing, his dad swept Clark up in his arms and told him the story of a little boy from way beyond the moon. Not just any little boy, but a woobie, which is what little boys from way beyond are called. That is, little boys who have no family and like to ride shooting stars just before bedtime.

One evening, the woobie hopped off his shooting star and caught a moonbeam all the way down to Earth to visit a lonely young farmer and his pretty wife. The story always ends happily with the woobie deciding to live with the couple. Overjoyed by their good fortune-- for they always wanted a little boy-- they take the woobie in and name him--

"--Clark. Your mom's family name. I think that's what you told me one time." Lex brushes his lips across Clark's.

Grinning, Clark falls silent. He drinks in the sight of Lex by moonlight. Lex up close. Lex resting in his loose embrace as they stand on the balcony that overlooks the main garden. He catches a glimmer, sparked by Selene-light, in those blue-grey eyes and wonders how much progress Lex has made in fully comprehending that it's not just a farmboy but an alien farmboy who holds him in his arms.

A second kiss, insistent and prolonged, tells Clark that Lex is probably as in love with him as he is with Lex. As a concession to the trivial matter of taking in oxygen, he pulls away reluctantly from Lex's lips and waits for the question he knows won't be long in coming.

"Clark, what made you decide to tell me all this tonight? Either a confession of love or a confession of... alien-ness... would have been quite a risk in itself." Lex's fingers skim along his jawline. "But both? That takes a lot of courage."

Clark looks skyward as Lex nuzzles the hollow at the base of his throat. He flashes Selene a smile of quiet triumph and it seems to him that she glows a little brighter in return.

"I took the advice of... of an esteemed confidante." He pulls Lex closer. "Just like you, I have friends in high places."


Written for Serrico's (Elizabeth) Smart Fic Challenge

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