Title: "Only a Man..."
Rating/Classification: PG-13, angst, CLex, slash, angst, futurefic, language.
Disclaimer: DC comics, the WB, etc
Summary: My first fic in this fandom. Just a look into the future...
"I can't stand to fly
I'm not that naive
I'm just out to find
the better part of me ."
--John Ondrasik, "Superman."
There was a boy. Once. Your fingers clench in remembrance as you trace the smudged ink of the by-line beneath your fingers. Soft, wetted, 'fuck me' lips against yours...hands scrabbling in the dark for something to hold onto, something to stroke and feel.
There was a boy.
Inside the man you sometimes see and miss on the crowded streets...framed under the giant Daily Planet sphere...across a ballroom on Lois Lane's arm.
There was a boy...inside you.
You stand above the city, staring down at the mass of twinkling lights. Office buildings. Cars. Metropolis at midnight is a thousand times brighter and busier than home.
Vast and large and full.
"I didn't realize you moonlighted as a security guard, Superman."
The voice is caustic and familiar and rushes over your skin like the wind you're impervious to. But that is where the resemblance ends...because you were never impervious to Lex. You turn, slowly, on the balcony, cape fluttering around you like the edges of a flag. "There are a lot of things you don't realize, Luthor," you assure, as you lift off into the sky without a backward glance at the shining obsidian monolith of the LexCorp--not LuthorCorp now- building.
The man who showed you what friendship was, what loyalty was, has not really changed. Still retains that alien grace and charm, the poise in the five thousand dollar suits, and the intense eyes that never waver from their target.
But he's lost his vision. He's blinded by time and ambition and greed.
Sometimes, you want to grab the stylishly wide lapels and shake. Ask "Don't you SEE me, Lex? It's ME. It's Clark. I'm right here."
But you don't. You won't. You can't.
You don't have the power to restore Lex's sight.
Or to fly you both back home where you belong.
Where you belong together.
Somehow, you convinced him that lying on his back in a hayfield was a good idea. You tugged at his arm with one-fourth of your strength and urged, "Come on...they say you can see Jupiter clearly tonight."
He looked vaguely appalled at the idea of messing up his Hugo Boss suit and, as he conceded and changed into some seventy dollar jeans and a turtleneck, told you "I see enough heavenly bodies during the day."
You laughed. Blushed. Then stopped blushing. Because you weren't sure he meant you. He could mean Victoria. Or Chloe. Or Lana. Or the maid. Wait...this was Lex...maybe he meant Whitney? Or the gardener?
But, later, as you both sprawled, comfortably, on the hill at the edge of the farm, those questions were a moot point. Because he turned to you, on the grass, and gazed at you for what must've been ten minutes. At you, not Jupiter. Without blinking. You began to squirm under the intensity of his inspection and he, simply, reached out and brushed your cheek with his
knuckles...as if he was wiping away a smudge or a piece of straw...but he wasn't.
"I value our friendship, Kent," he said, so softly you had to strain to hear it.
"Me, too," you replied automatically, startled by how serious he sounded. "I think we'll be friends for a long time," you added, equally level.
A small smile. Almost a smirk. "Don't be so sure."
And then he kissed you.
You watch him soar into the clouds...a blur of blue and red and what must be the altitude pricking at your eyes. You even stare for a few minutes extra before you turn and walk back into the penthouse.
He thinks you don't know.
That you see this beautiful dark-haired, blue-eyed, being in ludicrous tights with an itch to save the world and know him only by one name.
He always was so terribly naive.
You've always known.
You knew before he did. You tasted it.
You knew that he would go from saving you to trying to save everyone no matter what the cost...even if the cost was happiness and love and trust. And his innocence. His ethics and your lack of them ...it does not surprise you that they function in very much the same fashion.
So much time has passed...and he's grown up...found what he thinks is some noble Calling that supercedes any selfish human desire...avarice, lust, ambition. Everything you taught him has been forgotten...just like you've forgotten everything he taught you. Hope, love, compassion.
But old habits die hard. He IS your security guard. He still watches over you. Still tries to save you...although you're long past redemption now.
His adoring public calls him "Superman." And you speak the name with derision, tasting bile. To you, he'll always be "Clark".
And, to you, he'll forever be lost.
There was a man. Once. You crumple up a black and white press photo, trying not to absorb the sensation of the arrogant face collapsing among the crinkles...trying not to recall how many times you kissed it...when and how you spread yourself underneath the lean, lazy aristocrat's body and took and took.
There was a man.
Inside the cold stranger you sometimes catch in the Business section or the society pages...inside the enemy you have faced in the blue-black darkness of night who doesn't recognize you just because you're wearing a cape...
There was a man...inside you.
February 27, 2002.