Author: Kat Lee
Character/Pairing: CLex (Clark/Lex)
Challenge/Prompt: gameofcards Cross Your Hearts Mini Bingo:
Quote Emily Bronte: "I have not broken your heart – you have broken it; and in breaking it, you have broken mine." (Wuthering Heights)
Warning(s): Future Fic
Word Count: 813
Date Written: 22 January 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to DC Comics, not the author, and are used without permission.
“It shouldn’t have to be this way,” Lex protests, his voice so soft and uncharacteristically meek that only Superman can hear him. “It doesn’t have to be this way!”
“Yes,” his former childhood friend replies just as sorrowfully, “it does, Lex. I’ve given you so many chances, but you never learn.”
“What if . . . ?” Lex’s words trail off, and he looks away, unable to bring himself to finish his sentence out loud.
“What if what? What if you gave me the world?” Clark’s eyes bore into his. He shouldn’t say the words he thinks. He knows this, but they come tumbling out any way. “I didn’t want the world, Lex,” he whispers. “For so many years, I only wanted you.”
Lex looks up at him in wordless shock. He doesn’t say a word as Superman closes the handcuffs he’s borrowed from the closest officers around his wrists. He doesn’t dare speak again until Clark hauls him to his feet and they’re painfully close. He could reach out and kiss him if he wanted, and he does want. He still wants him with all his heart, far more so than he ever wanted to conquer this world, but he’s a Luthor. People won’t listen to him, and he knows what’s best for the world.
“Being restrained by a dictator is never best for anybody,” Clark snaps as though he can read Lex’s mind.
“I didn’t want the world either, Clark,” Lex finally tells him, his voice a choked, emotional whisper. “I only wanted to help them, to save them from themselves -- “
“Yeah, you and at least half of the other criminals out there.”
That time, Lex’s protest came out a little too loud. Clark looks swiftly around them as he yanks him forward by the handcuffs. “Quiet,” he hisses through gritted teeth.
Lex falls silent, his head hanging, and he waits until they’re almost at the waiting policemen before whispering, “I only wanted you too, Clark, for the longest time.”
Clark’s head snaps up. He looks at him, his blue eyes wild as he tries to decipher what kind of a trick this new method is. “It’s not a trick,” Lex tells him. “It’s the truth. For the longest time, I only wanted you. I’ve only ever loved you.”
“No, Lex,” Clark argues, forcing himself to be hard, forcing his tears down, “you only ever loved yourself.” He sees genuine hurt reflect in the beautiful, blue eyes into which he used to gaze almost like worshipping this man who he had once found so sexy and intelligent, so attractive. He’d given his heart to him when they were still just kids -- even though they’d thought they weren’t --, and Lex had broken it in a million pieces. Now, Clark reasons to himself, all he’s trying to do is break it again. “If you’d ever really loved me,” he says, reaching the police officers but knowing they’ll keep their secret for he knows them well and knows they’re together as much on duty as off, “all you had to do was tell me, but it’s too late now. You’ve destroyed everything.”
He didn’t destroy the world! Lex almost points that out. Clark had stopped him before he could, and he had never known until it was almost too late that his plans would do just that. He’d truly had the world’s best intentions at heart, just as he has truly loved Clark almost ever since that night he’d almost killed the mysterious, beautiful boy who’d appeared in his headlights. He hasn’t destroyed the world, but he might as well have. Any chance he might ever have had with Clark is utterly destroyed. He’ll never love him now or, if he does, he’ll never allow himself to act on that love. He hangs his head and lets Clark shove him into the officers’ waiting hands.
Superman nods at the cops, then walks away, his own head hung low. “I’ll see you in court, Luthor,” he calls back to Lex, his voice now strangled. With his back to the world, no one sees the tears that streak silently down the Man of Steel’s tired face. No one sees him cry or feels his heart break all over again. He’d saved the world again, but just as his father had once tried to tell him, and as Lex, too, had warned him when they were young, he could save the world but could not always save himself.
This truly was one of those times. He’d saved the world, but he’d lost his heart all over again. Lex’s foolishness, and perhaps his own youthful ignorance and determination not to be the first to reveal his feelings when they’d had the chance to act on them, had broken their hearts, but this time, Clark knows, his heart will never mend again. He takes to the sky, still crying in the darkness.