When Clark was a child, he would forget all his woes in his mother's embrace. He grew, life got less simple, and her arms weren't enough. Mid-teens his life flipped inside out: he was an alien, gay, a Superhero, in love with a Luthor. Now his barn hideaway wasn't sufficient either.
His life became an unscripted play, scary, exciting, unpredictable. Some days it ran fluently, others it veered off into roaring pandemonium.
Love and lovemaking, moments of forgetfulness, justice, normality, honest advice: so many and such varied needs, but gradually he found the places and people to fill each need.
Clark thought it was called emperor sized - it was certainly large, comfortable and always welcoming. Nightly it invited him to sleep, or dream or make love.
He sank into the softest sheets, Lex's full weight pressing down, strong hips grinding against each other. His cock leaked pre-come, slicking the skin between them, sticky. Hands roamed over him, while he clutched Lex like a votary with a precious relic, air heavy with lust and love and he was coming, now, now, and the dark room was blindingly bright, and he was sightless.
They fell asleep, as ever, bound together, one.
It was an old wooden desk, ink stained from the days when ink was a journalist's main tool. But to Clark, it was more, so much more.
Sitting here, surrounded by the chatter of colleagues, phones buzzing, coffee scent wafting across from Lois' desk, he could immerse himself in humanity - his own humanity.
He had friends here, friends who treated him like he was smart or goofy, someone to confide in or even someone to help. Friends who sat on the edge of the desk, interfering with his writing, while he pretended to shoo them away.
Just a regular guy.
The Luthor Gallery
The gallery was spacious, airy and cool, a man-made beauty that Clark found strangely satisfying. Paintings displayed on stark icy walls, no distractions.
This month's exhibition was Weidenbach, dark landscapes with tiny details to peer into. He could stand motionless for hours, just exploring one painting. A surprise to him and a thrill for Lex.
Sometimes the art hurt, even when he didn't understand it. It would punch him in the stomach and scream at him, and he liked that. It made him feel, a clamor of vivid emotions he didn't get anywhere else.
Beauty hand in hand with passion.
It puzzled Lois, his insistence on covering obscure court cases a junior could handle. Why, she would ask, bemused, when he could investigate something important?
These were important to him though. He went to the courthouse to find the justice Superman couldn't enforce. He could only catch the wife beaters or muggers of old ladies. He needed to sit in the echoing old building and hear the words 'guilty'. And when they weren't said, he needed to know who to look out for, who to protect, to ensure that justice had a second chance.
Justice made him feel less helpless.
Pie and advice aka The Kent Kitchen
He strode into the kitchen and sniffed appreciatively at the cinnamon-laden scent in the room.
"Don't touch the cookies, they're for the Fall Bazaar," was his mother's greeting.
He wandered up behind her, resting his cheek on her shoulder for a moment.
"What about the pie?" he asked hopefully.
Seated at the scrubbed wooden table, a mouthful of hot pie, it was as though time had slipped back. Now he just had to find the words to ask his mother for advice.
"So, Clark, what did you need to talk about?"
Yes, he could always trust his mother to understand.
Water so clear here, he could see deep into the ocean. His irksome uniform shed, he felt the warm water embrace his tanned skin. He dived down, fluently, letting the water change from glorious blue to inky black around him, fascinated by weird creatures and the lung-clenching pressure.
Then a surge upward, high out of the water, droplets sparkling in the sunlight, a graceful curve back down. He spotted dolphins at the zenith of his jump, and glided through the water towards them. Old playmates, they jumped and somersaulted along with him.
Far from the shipping lanes, Clark could play.
The Fortress of Solitude
Flying over the desolate Arctic waste was going home in the strangest sense. By simple association, he imagined Krypton looked, felt, smelt like this. Close his eyes, and he was home, the rest of the planet the visiting alien humans.
So many questions: who was he, why he was here, how, when, what? Other people could find answers in their local library; he had to fly to an AI in the remotest part of the earth.
Time here recharged him. Each visit, a little more curiosity satisfied, one more piece of his life slotted into place. Becoming the last Kryptonian.
Peace. No thoughts, no demands.
The cruel cold soothed him.
Sometimes he needed to fly this far, to be alone to this degree. For a while he could forget the pain of failure, the weight of a chaotic world depending on him.
Clark floated above a sea of ancient basalt, the Mare Tranquillitatis, unfocussed eyes in a weary face. No air to breathe, only faint starlight to see by, a distant blue-green globe to tether him.
He would never leave, not his home nor his family nor the people who needed him, but it helped to know that he could.
End of patrol. Pause at the open window, any window that lead to Lex. A look, lingering, longing, while Clark exhaled the evening's pain.
He sank into Lex's fragile, strong body, burrowed deep, surrounded, safe. Lex wrapped his soul around him, loving Clark, protecting Superman, unconditionally. Here Clark took refuge from the knowledge of what he could not alter.
On ordinary days too, Lex was there for him, sexy voice a phone call away, a cool, slender hand to clasp, or even tossing a sarcastic greeting from behind his desk.
Lex, rare and exotic, was home for a lone alien.
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