For those of you who have missed this two hours of shirtless Leto? I'm so very sorry. Because he writhes. Just lays on a couch and does nothing but--writhe. Without a shirt.
Yep. I'm in the repeat myself zone.
God, I need screencaps.
Yep. Those two have a totally innocent and completely platoni relationship. Eat your heart out Simon and River!
Okay, that's TWO GIPs in a twenty four hour period. So.
Well. *thinks* Beth and I are still pounding away at this story by inches. Continuity with Li'l Lex and Li'l Clark number one, found here. Set about four years later.
On the Night He Was Left Alone
Lex has been gone for *hours*.
It was too dark again in his room, and Mom and Dad were out at a dinner party. Lex wasn't supposed to leave, but--well. He had. And *how* does he get out of the house anyway? Clark would swear he would have heard him sneak downstairs, but no. One second, studying in his room--the next, all gone when Clark stumbles in.
He and Dad fought about Excelsior again. It should have been kind of obvious that Lex would leave after that, but Clark had forgotten.
Lex's room is big--huge cases of books that Lex tells him not to touch until he's older, big dark furniture that Clark can barely climb on. It's Dad's taste, Clark doesn't need to be told that, but it's still kind of scary at night.
Curling up in the blankets, Clark stares hard at the clock, carefully telling the time. Three. Lex might not come home until six and--and Clark stifles an unhappy sound and curls up tighter. Dad says that his nurse is supposed to send him straight back to bed. Too old or something, but Clark hadn't paid much attention, even if nurse had. Nurse, who reports things to Dad, not Mom, and Clark really doesn't like that her all that much.
May be time to make this one go away, too. Clark would like to ask Lex about it, but that's sort of hard, 'cause Lex isn't *here*.
It's getting worse every time Lex comes home--Clark's not sure anymore if it's better when Lex is here or not. Dad and Lex fight *all the time*, and Mom can't make them stop, no matter what she does. He knows it upsets her, though she never says anything. Okay, never mind--even with the fighting, it's better when Lex is here. He lets Clark do fun things that Dad and his nurse never do, and he doesn't tell Dad about the bad nights. Doesn't ask about them either, which makes Clark glad, 'cause his nurse always does. What on earth is so scary about the dark, Clark, you're a big boy, Clark, you're almost eight now, Clark, stop being a baby, Clark, until he wonders how she'd look buried in the wall.
And that would be Bad. At least, that's what Mom says. Lex commented that she'd look very good buried in a wall. He's beginning to agree with Lex.
Reaching up, Clark pulls the extra pillow against his chest and closes his eyes. So Lex isn't here. That's okay. He likes Lex's room. Sometimes, when Lex is at school, Clark comes in and sleeps here anyway. Lex gave him a key and told him not to touch the comic books unless he's Very Very Careful, and Lex leaves him cool stuff like candy in his drawers, at least until the help comes in and cleans out the room.
There's nothing scary here. Lex leaves his clothes on the floor and Clark can see his special watch on the nightstand, the one his mother gave him. He even told Clark the story about Napoleon and his mother, but Clark hadn't really understood.
"You will when you're older," Lex had said, ruffling his hair.
Opening his eyes, Clark stares at the clock. Two minutes. Okay. A little while longer, then he'll be a big boy and go to his own bed. Because Dad will be so mad if Clark's not in his room in the morning when nurse tells him and she *always* tells, and okay, she's got to go already. Darn--dammit. Like Lex says.
Clark mouths the word silently. Mom would wash out his mouth with soap if she heard. And he doesn't entirely trust she can't, even wherever she is (Senator Kelley's birthday party?). And she said before she left that if he was good, she'd bring him cake back, and there's really not much Clark wouldn't do for cake.
Shifting again, Clark wonders when they're getting home.
The squeal of brakes makes Clark sit up straight. No, not the limo. That sounds sort of like--like--
Pushing the blankets off, Clark lowers himself down the side of the mattress, hissing a little at the cold floor beneath his feet, before running to the big window that faces the yard. It's Dad's BMW, and oh man, Dad is going to be *so* mad that Lex took one of his cars without permission.
Okay, Dad's going to be mad about the entire leaving thing anyway, so Clark guesses Lex probably doesn't really care that he's breaking even more rules.
The car's left carelessly in the driveway, and Clark watches Lex get out, leaning into the glossy side. From here, he looks--kind of odd. Straining to see, Clark leans into the cut glass, trying to get a clearer view, but then Lex is moving toward the door, and Clark backs up, trying to decide what to do.
He should probably go back to his room. Lex has been--gripey since he got home, and he may not like Clark in here, even if he does have persimm--permimm--*permission*, and second, last time Lex went out alone, he came back acting really, really weird. He kept saying stuff about colors even though the room had been totally dark and laughed at nothing in particular and then got really, really sick.
Dad and Mom had *both* been mad about that.
Okay, so--make the bed first. Clark pauses, trying to remember if the bed was made. Maybe? No? Clark frowns, rubbing at the back of his neck. Okay, so. If he just goes to his room, Lex won't notice anyway, so he just needs to get his key--
Where's his key?
Groping at his pajamas, which have only one little pocket, Clark looks around in panic. It's got to be here. It's got to be. Okay, maybe beside the bed, no, or did he kick it under the bed, or he left it in the sheets and oh man, this isn't fair. Climbing back up, Clark runs superfast, desperate hands over the sheets and winces as the fine material tears straight down into the mattress.
Ooh. Oh. Oh darn--dammit! He's not supposed to do that to stuff!
Clark's head turns just as the door opens, and he watches with a sense of doom as Lex walks in, whistling something softly, blue eyes coming up and fixing on the bed instantly. It's like he always knows where Clark is, and Clark can't quite figure that out yet.
"Clark?" Lex pauses, looking behind him, then shutting the door. "Martha and Dad still out?"
Numbly, Clark nods, feeling himself begin to shake and unable to help it. Lex is emptying his pockets on his dresser, so right now, he's not mad. Great. He wasn't going to be mad that Clark was in here, but he's going to be when he sees what Clark did to his bed.
"You know, I can get you a night light," Lex says over his shoulder. "We can hide it from Dad so you--" Turning around, Lex is undoing his sleeves, and freezes when he looks at him. "Clark? What's wrong?"
Lex can see it on his *face*. Swallowing hard, Clark wipes a hand across his eyes. Big boys don't cry, don't get scared of the dark, don't need to crawl into their brothers' beds at night because they gets scared, and they shouldn't, shouldn't *ever* mess up their things. Lex had said he had to be careful with things in here, and Clark had, except this time he hadn't, and--
"Shh." Instantly, Lex is sitting beside him, pulling him off the mattress and into his lap. "What happened? Did Madeleine do something?"
Madeleine? Oh, his nurse. Clark shakes his head quickly, though maybe he could blame her--no. That's wrong. Mom would definitely say that was wrong, and Clark fights when Lex gets a hand under his chin, trying to make him lift his head.
"You know, you can break my fingers if you keep that up." Lex seems amused, but that--Clark looks up quickly, almost knocking into Lex's chin. Lex grins down at him, but the smile fades instantly. "What happened? She bitch at you again?"
Clark shakes his head, opening his mouth, but the words won't come out. Licking his lips, Clark tries to think of--something. Anything. Lex smells vaguely of smoke and something sharp and bitter. Alcohol? Maybe. Biting his lip, Clark just leans into him when Lex presses him, shutting his eyes. He won't cry. He won't cry. He's too old for that.
"You want to tell me what's wrong?" He can feel Lex shifting on the mattress, and there's a moment of panic, because oh no, Lex is putting his hand down-- "Hmm. That's new."
Keeping his face buried in warm cotton, Clark doesn't so much as breathe.
"Any reason for misdemeanor assault on my bed, Clark?"
Lex is never, never going to let him come in here again. He's done something *so* bad and he knows better and why wasn't he more careful?
"Clark." Big hands settle on his shoulders. "Clark. Look at me. Now."
That voice. Clark knows he's shaking but he can't help it. Slowly, he lifts his head, staring up at the blue eyes, waiting for the moment Lex starts telling him how he can't--
"I'll fix it," Lex says. "Don't worry so much."
Clark blinks. "I--but--"
Clark nods mutely.
"And don't tell me, that bitch gave you the 'you're a big boy now' speech again." Wow, it's like Lex was there. "Mmm. I'll take care of this. Hold on and I'll get an extra blanket." Depositing him on the bed, Lex disappears, whistling again. Clark cranes his neck to watch Lex in the closet. Something--different about him tonight, but Clark can't tell for sure what it is. After a few seconds and something falling, Lex comes out with one of his old bedspreads and urges Clark onto the floor, pulling the comforter up. The rips in sheet and mattress are completely hidden now. Rearranging the pillows, Lex tilts his head in thought. "Jump up."
Clark takes hold of the mattress, but he can't quite make himself do it. "Maybe--maybe I should--go back to bed. My bed, I mean."
"Only if you want to." Lex's voice is very mild. "Though I doubt you'll sleep. What, did someone give you coffee or something before bedtime?" Sitting on the edge of the bed, Lex strips off his boots, giving them a thoughtful look before tossing them across the room. "What's wrong?"
What's *not*? "I--I wasn't careful." Clark hates that whiney sound in his voice, but he can't quite help it. "I’m sorry, I promised I'd be careful, but I--I was scared you'd be mad I was here and--"
Lex winces. "This is why I shouldn't come home high. Get in bed, Clark."
Lex's word is law. Swallowing hard, Clark climbs up onto the mattress, wondering if he'll feel the rips he made in the mattress, but it feels about the same as always. Lex covers him with the blanket, pulling one leg up on the bed, a thoughtful look on his face.
"One, you can come in here whenever you want." Reaching out, long fingers thread through his hair gently. "Two, accidents happen."
"Not--not if I were normal."
"You're extraordinary, and that's a good thing." Shifting his other leg onto the bed, Lex pulls them up to his chest, that thinking look on his face. "Accidents happen. Remember when I started the kitchen on fire last year?"
Clark tries not to grin but can't help it. "Yeah. Dad was *so* mad."
"Let's say Dad was even less amused by what I was trying to make." Clark wonders what Lex means, but he's already talking again. "Anyway. Everyone has accidents. It's not a big deal."
"Normal people--" Can't tear through sheets without even meaning to. Clark stares down at his hands, pale against the dark comforter. "I--it was--I was looking for my key and--it just happened. And I--I thought--"
"You think too much, little brother." More slow stroking, and Clark's vaguely surprised to realize he's getting sleepy. "Hold on, don't go to sleep. Let me change first."
Nodding, Clark makes his eyes go as wide as possible, and Lex laughs at him before going back to the closet. Clark tries to work out the difference again. Lex looks--older. Or something. It's hard--in the shiny black, it's like Lex isn't quite Lex tonight, and Clark can't quite work out what the difference is. But older? Yeah. Definitely.
Lex comes back out in his faded red pajama bottoms and a t-shirt. Still there, so no, not the clothes. Moving over, Clark watches Lex check the door, then lock it, before coming back over and settling beside him.
Instantly pulled close, which Clark likes, and he shuts his eyes, twisting his fingers in Lex's t-shirt.
"Now, there's nothing wrong with you." Lex's voice is low and very gentle. A soft ruffle of his hair. "And being normal, I can tell you, is highly overrated."
Clark shrugs a little.
"All right, put it this way. I'm not normal."
Instantly, Clark sits up. "Yes you are!"
Very solemn blue eyes meet his. "No, I'm not. Or didn't you notice the lack of hair?"
Clark blinks, trying to pull it together. "That's--you." What on earth does hair have to do with it?
"Mm. Exactly. And what you can do is you. A part of you."
That makes no sense. "But--"
"You do know normal kids aren't bald, right?"
Clark tries to work his mind around the problem. "I--but that's--" Different?
"You're probably a little young for this conversation. Take my word for it, not normal at all. Nor is being able to walk away from not a few--incidents." Lex grins. "Normal is boring. No one wants normal really. They just think they do because it's the path of least resistance. You don't want that, do you?"
Clark's not too sure about that. "Maybe?"
Lex snickers. "Yeah, okay, mea culpa. Just--extraordinary is good, Clark. We're going to change the world. Extraordinary people do that. Normal people don't do anything interesting really."
Well. Clark thinks about it. "I don't like being bored."
Lex laughs, rolling on his back to stare up at the ceiling with a strange smile on his face. "Exactly. And trust me, Clark, you'll never be boring, either. So stop worrying. This is nothing."
Clark swallows hard. "Could have been a--a person." Mom. You.
Lex rolls on his side, staring at Clark. "That's what you're worried about. Okay, more sense. It wasn't. It won't ever be."
"You don't know."
Lex grins. "Sure I do." Pulling him down, Lex settles Clark into the crook of his arm.
"Did you do anything interesting tonight?"
Lex laughs--okay, Lex is being weird, but not talking-about-colors-weird. "Yes, she was very interesting, Clark. And--" Lex laughs. "You're too young for this conversation. Get some sleep. Tomorrow, we'll go riding, just you and me, okay?" Long fingers filter through his hair again, and Clark shuts his eyes, relaxing into the soothing touches, the cheerful promise. "Everything is fine. I'm here and nothing is going to happen to you. So sleep."