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Never Able (To Catch the Past)

Title: Never Able (To Catch the Past)
Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Smallville
Character/Pairing: CLex (Clark/Lex)
Rating: PG/K+
Challenge/Prompt: gameofcards Writing Pass It On: Bruce Springsteen's The River (If you join, tell them Kat Lee of Team Clubs sent YOU!)
Warning(s): None
Word Count: 1,036
Date Written: 23 April 2017
Summary:
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to DC Comics, not the author, and are used without permission.




He shouldn't be here. There are a million other things he should be doing, a million more important things demanding his attention back at the office and other places. There are a million other people on whom he should be paying attention, plotting on how to end them and what they're doing to this world, but there's only one man to whom all his thoughts keep turning.

He wonders fleetingly how many times he's made this drive. Back when Clark saved him the first time, he thought he'd slow down. He should have slowed down, but he didn't. He couldn't. There were always too many Demons nipping at his heels, from the press to his father and every naive idiot who wanted to make a name for themselves by bringing Lex Luthor down.

He never slowed down except when he thought Clark might want to catch him, and even then, at least half of those times, he wasted by still refusing to slow. He knew even then that Clark deserved better than he. The boy who had saved his life, saved his heart, and kept trying to save his soul deserved better than Lex could ever give him. He could give him everything money could buy, but that was never enough for some one like Clark. He deserved more.

He deserved more than Lex could give him, more than this sleepy, little town could give him too. Yet, down every road in Smallville, there's a memory of a time when Clark tried to save him, when he tried to reach him, when he tried to convince Lex to let him love him -- But Lex never dared. He knew what would happen if he let Clark love him. He'd never had anything as good as that wonderful, handsome young man. He'd never known a love or person as sweet and genuine.

He would have corrupted him. He would have destroyed him just as he tainted everything good he ever touched. Lana had never deserved Clark either, which was why he'd had to take her away from him. Nobody could ever deserve a man like Clark Kent, a hero like Clark. The whole world pays tribute now to a man called Superman, and although their hero reminds Lex of a handsome boy, especially when he smiles, he knew long ago he knows it isn't the same man.

Perhaps he thinks he is. He may have his name, may even have his body, but the boy who first saved Lex and who Lex fell so deeply in love with that for a long time and sometimes even to this day, he could think of nothing and no one else, was a far better man already at that tender age than Superman will ever be. But he never quite made it out of this town.

Lex never dared to tell him how he felt about him, but his beloved, cherished Clark was corrupted any way. The world ate at him even in this small town. It destroyed him piece by piece until there was nothing left of that sweet naivety he once possessed when he left. The world changed him completely, and yet, driving through this small town now, there isn't a street that doesn't hold a memory for him.

There's the spot on the street corner where Clark kissed him in public for the first time. There's the cafe where Lex almost asked Clark to marry him. There's the sweet where Clark saved his life from that raving maniac, and another spot where he saved him, and another spot where he saved him --

And yet he could never save him. Tears are streaming down Lex's face as he pulls to a stop in front of the old Kent farm. He stares at the barn for a long time, remembering how they used to roll in the hay, remembering how Clark loved him, remembering, too, how he never dared completely give himself over to the boy he loved.

He flicks on the radio and listens to the news reporting the JLA's latest epic battle. The good guys have won again. Superman lives yet again, but his Clark -- his sweet, wonderful, beloved Clark is gone. Lex stares at the barn until he can see nothing more but the tears in his eyes, and then, finally, he restarts his engine, turns around, and heads back to the city that will never be his home. He's as homeless as the man sitting just outside his corporation today upon whom he finally took pity and tossed a hundred dollar bill into his empty cup, and he's as empty as that cup was before his hundred touched it.

He gave that homeless person a new life today, as his Clark would have wanted him to do, but nothing will ever give him a new life. He speeds back to Metropolis at speeds he knows he shouldn't be driving, hoping against hope that he miss a turn or go over the edge of a bridge. But there's no one now to save him. There's no one now to stop him, no one to fill him as he filled that man's cup and as once Clark filled a heart Lex thought would always be empty.

There's no one to fill him now, no one to love him, no one Lex has to turn away, and yet, in his mind, he can still see that boy he loved so much, that boy he still loves. Tears rush down his face as he rushes over the pavement. He can never catch the past for the past is gone. Clark Kent is gone. Only Superman remains, and Superman could never love a villain, which is what Lex is after all this time, no matter what his beloved Clark tried to make him. He tried to save Clark from him, but in so doing, he lost him. He lost him and lost himself, and now forever he'll rush onward, never able to catch the past, never able to see his beloved Clark again, never able to turn him away one last time, never able to whisper what he should have yelled all those years ago, "I love you"!

The End

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