Writer: Kat Lee
Based on: Sacrifice
by Artist: ctbn60
Word Count: 1,210
Rating/Warnings: PG-13/T - Future AU
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to DC Comics, not the author, and are used without permission.
His footsteps echo as he walks through his mansion, feeling again the enormous size of the place in which he lives. He really should downsize, he thinks again, but his mansion stands out in stark contrast to the rest of the homes in this little town. It serves well as a reminder that Lex has everything of which post of the others who pass through here can only dream, but tonight, he's been reminded that they, too, have things of which only he can dream.
He sighs deeply as he turns out the lights he left on throughout the mansion, each a signal for his husband to come home. They don't have to suffer through such inanity. Common men, despite their country songs, do not leave all the lights on in a house to let their lover know they're ready for them to come home. Common men also don't have lovers who are too busy saving the world to celebrate their own five-year anniversary.
He knew this was bound to happen, Lex reasons with himself. He knew Clark was different and better than the people he saves from the very first moment they met, when Clark saved him. He knew, too, when he began to fall in love with him that Clark's heroic acts are every bit as much a part of him as the alien DNA that gives him his gifts. He's always been aware that Clark will never stop saving people and he'll always be forced to play second fiddle to the world if he's to have the affections of the man he loves.
It's a fact he's always known, but it's still a fact which he continues to allow to upset him. Clark's missed many of their dates in the past because he was off saving the world. He almost missed their wedding. Still, he's never entirely missed any of their wedding anniversaries until tonight. There's one more hour, Lex thinks, before sunrise, but the fourteenth is long gone. Their anniversary is over, and he didn't get so much as a single kiss from the man he loves.
Suddenly, something breezes pass him. It's so swift that Lex would have missed it if he hadn't been accustomed to such things. He perhaps still would not have noticed it if every picture in the long hallway hadn't been turned to awkward angles. "Clark?" he calls out but is answered only by the resounding silence of their home.
It wasn't his husband. It was just some weird breeze and his own wishful thinking. Lex sighs as he turns out another light and continues on his lonely trek to bed. At least he'll be able to sleep today if he's able to sleep at all. He actually held his word and took a week of vacation to ensure he'd be with his husband today -- or, rather, now, yesterday.
Clark doesn't intend to lie to him, Lex knows. He doesn't intend to break his word. A part of Lex argues that he shouldn't give his word at all if he can't keep it, but he knows why he does it. Every time they fight about his heroic endeavors keeping him away too long, Clark promises that it won't happen again or, at least, as frequently simply because he wants to make Lex happy.
He does want to make him happy, Lex knows, but he can't stop being who and what he is. He can't stop saving the world even though they don't deserve it. They don't deserve him, but then, neither does Lex. He can't imagine any one who could ever be good enough to deserve a man as heroic, sweet, gentle, and loving as his husband. He certainly doesn't make the list.
Wasn't it just last week that Superman stopped him from taking a life? It doesn't matter how many lives that terrorist had taken. Clark certainly will never see things that way. He'll never understand that taking one life probably would have saved thousands of others. He made sure the man's behind bars, but Lex knows how things in this world works. It will be only a matter of time, only a matter of crisp, green bills and slick palms, before the terrorist is out again. And Superman will stop him again and return him to prison once more only for the cycle to start again and again and again.
It never ends, but Clark doesn't see that. He sees only that he's saving lives, including a life that his husband would have gladly snuffed out. Lex gives a defeated sigh and switches off what he thinks is the last light -- only to spot a glow behind him. He turns back the way he's come and frowns. There's enough light from the security lanterns outside for him to make his way easily back to their bedroom. He didn't leave the light on.
At least, he didn't think he did, but it's on now. He shrugs. It doesn't really matter. He trudges back down the hall and stops in the open doorway of their bedroom. The light isn't on. There's a fire roaring gently in their hearth now instead, and there are lit candles and red roses on every available space except their bed. A smile is slowly curving its way up Lex's face as he surveys the red petals sprinkled over their bed and hears the familiar, barely audible sound of feet touching down behind him.
Beaming, he whirls around to meet his husband but stops in surprise for Clark's kneeling down before him. "I'm sorry," he says, his hands lifting, palm up, toward him. "I wanted to be on time. I just -- It just -- " He fumbles for an explanation.
Lex's smile twists. It's no longer completely joyous, but he is still happy. How can he not be with Clark here with him at last? "The world got in the way," he speaks softly for him, and Clark nods. "Again."
True sorrow shimmers in Clark's baby blues, and Lex melts. He can't stay angry at him. He never can, and it's not like he's out chasing a deadline or some skirt. He's saving a world that doesn't, and will never, deserve it just as he chooses to still love him after all this time together though knowing he'll never change his ways or ever deserve him any more than the world he saves does. "Forgive me?" he pleads.
Lex springs forward before Clark can let the tears he sees shimmering in his eyes begin to fall. "Of course," he breathes, wrapping his arms around him. "You know I can't stay mad at you, Clark. I love you! Happy Anniversary!"
"I love you, too!" Clark gushes and swiftly flies them backwards to their bed, making short work of their clothes as he does so. Lex feels the soft touch of the roses and their mattress beneath his back, but he barely registers how swiftly Clark has undressed him. He's far too busy staring into those beautiful eyes he loves so much and feeling his heart soar because his husband is back with him at last, safe, sound, and still in love with and forgiving of him. Clark covers him with kisses, and Lex's heart soars.