The Stars from Home

by Celli Lane

Story note: Written before "Rosetta."
Author's Notes at the end.

Clark wasn't in bed.

Lex trailed his hand over the covers one more time, then sighed and reached for his pants.

Clark was in the large living room of the penthouse, in front of the floor-to-ceiling windows, staring skyward.

"Clark," Lex said quietly as he joined him.

Clark put an arm around him, but didn't look over. "Did I wake you up? I was trying to be quiet."

"You're fine. What are you looking at?"

"Nothing, really. Just...up."

Lex looked up. "You know, I didn't realize how rarely I look up in Metropolis. Even from here. I'm usually looking down at the streets and the people." He smiled slightly. "The only time I look up is when you're coming to save me."

Clark smiled too, but it didn't last long. "Yeah, me too. I'm always looking for people in trouble."

"What's wrong, Clark?"

Clark shrugged; Lex took advantage of the motion to burrow closer to his body heat. "I was dreaming about the stars. I thought if I came here and looked at them, I'd feel better. But I forgot how few stars you can see here at night. It was different in the dream."

"What did you dream about?"

"I dreamed about the first time I looked up at night, after my vision changed. It's the most amazing thing. You can see so many things that aren't really there, or are usually only there to the theoretical scientists. Even my telescope never showed me what the sky is really like. It's not black, you know." Clark's hand was running aimlessly, comfortingly, along Lex's side. "Well, you would know, better than anyone. It has colors, and the stars's like God's own fireworks up there."

"It sounds..." Sad, when you say it, Lex thought. "Incredible."

"That very first night, after I saw the stars the first time, I dreamt that my vision was a gift from my birth parents, and that they'd drawn a map home in the sky."

Unreasoning panic sparked in the back of Lex's mind. He could barely control his breathing. If Clark knew he was upset, he'd stop talking. "Home?"

"I always dream the map, and then I have to come back here and look up, just to make sure it's not really there."

"I don't understand. You don't want a map?"

"It's not that I don't want...well..." Clark leaned forward until his forehead met the window glass and looked down into the city streets. "I want to know where it is. I want to look into the sky and see it. I want to know what life was like on Krypton, what living there instead of here would be like, what kind of people Jor-El and Lara were." It spilled out in a rush. "But then I want to come back here and be Clark Kent again, the boy from Smallville, the reporter from Metropolis. Even if he has to be Superman half the time."

There was a very long silence, and Lex found himself with both arms wrapped around Clark's body.

"I can't help but feel that I'm betraying them, though. My planet is gone, and my parents died saving me. Do I have a right to be happy without them? A right to call this my home? I don't want to see a map, Lex. I never have."

"Clark. Look at me." Lex waited until Clark met his eyes. "Yes. Yes, you do have that right. I don't care where you came from. You're here now. You're bound to Earth. Which is exactly what your parents wanted. This guilt bullshit has to stop."

Clark actually laughed. "Only you would tell me to get over losing an entire planet."

"Or gaining one."


Lex framed Clark's face with his hands. "I'm never going to be sorry you came here. Planets exploding and meteor mutants and Superman and all. And my only regret for the people of Krypton is that they never knew you. Losing an entire world can't possibly be a bigger loss than that."

Clark kissed him. "Thank you, Lex."

"Anytime. Now, come back to bed."

"All right."

"Maybe sometime soon we can visit Smallville, and you can look at the stars from home again."

"I'd like that."

They both looked up one last time before turning away.

--the end--

Inspired directly by a line in RivkaT's "Switch: A Comedy of Terrors" and by Lowen & Navarro's song "Stranger than Dreams."

Special thanks to Bex for the beta and the denialcorp/lj folks for the encouragement.

If you enjoyed this story, please send feedback to Celli Lane

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