The funeral was two days ago.
Clark was tired. He had done everything possible and still it wasn’t enough. The surgery had given Ryan a few more days but that’s all.
Clark was given permission to stay with Ryan till the end. In that time Clark never knew such helplessness. With all his gifts, with all his powers, there wasn’t a damn thing he could do.
He had the power to save life but not give life.
Ryan was the brother he never knew he wanted but was glad he had. He was the conscience that he never knew he lacked.
His parents helped him and Lex with the funeral arrangements. Lex tracked down Ryan’s aunt and flown her to the funeral. At first Clark was adamantly opposed to it. The woman didn’t give a damn about Ryan. Why should she be allowed to come to the funeral? Lex simply said Ryan wished it so.
Lex softened the blow by telling him that he had already gotten permission from the aunt to have Ryan buried in the Kent family plot. Ryan also asked that he be buried with his family. Clark pulled Lex into a hug so tight that Lex could only hold on.
In a rare moment the Kents and one Luthor stood side by side accepting condolences. Clark stood stoically as he watched Ryan’s casket lowered into the ground. As the priest said his last words both Lex and Clark approached and dropped red and white petals into the hole that would now house Ryan’s eternal rest.
If any would have asked they would have been told that the petals represented the tears and blood both Lex and Clark watched Ryan shed in the very last days. The entire town watched as Clark and Lex walked in step and approached the grave and dropped the petals. No wind blew and all sound seemed to stop as they paid homage to their fallen friend. Their one act seemed to hold more emotion than the entire funeral.
Clark’s body was trembling from holding in the wail that he had been successfully holding in from the moment they arrived at the graveyard. He was just about to break until he felt a hand on his back. He leaned into the touch and gained strength from it. When he reached his family’s side Lex withdrew his hand as Martha reached for her son and pulled him a deep hug. Martha showed her concern and thanks in her eyes when she met Lex’s gaze. Understanding flashed between them at that moment and slowly Martha and Jonathan walked their son to the limo where he could release his pain in private.
Two days Clark slept.
For two days Clark wept.
It took two days for Clark to be able to face the world.
Back at school Chloe and Lana hugged him and gave him his missed class work.
Pete offered to help anyway he could. Clark was grateful and said he just needed his friend to be a friend.
Clark was required to see the school counselor. After a family loss the school required a visit to make sure Clark was grieving in a healthy way.
After assuring the counselor that all though things were tough he had to get back to some semblance of his life. The counselor agreed and left it up to Clark to come in anytime he may need to talk.
Clark politely thanked him and got the hell out of there.
In the middle of a monologue being read aloud in English class Clark got up, walked out and never returned.
The English teacher called Pete up to the front as the bell rang.
“Pete I know that Clark is suffering but this is the only time I will allow his behavior. Please tell him that the next time you see him. I won’t report him … this time.”
Pete nodded and picked up Clark’s books and bag. Leaving Pete wondering what the hell got into Clark.
Staring out the window not really seeing anything Lex was startled when Clark strode into the room.
A quick glance at the clock confirmed that Clark was indeed cutting class.
Lex leaned back in his chair and gave Clark a through once over.
Clark looked tired.
His eyes were dull and listless.
His big frame hung low as if the weight of the world were on his shoulders.
Before he could ask Clark beat him to it.
“I came to say thank you and to apologize.” Clark’s voice was low and scratchy.
“Clark, you don’t need to thank me for anything. You don’t have to apologize for anything.” Lex softened his tone as he said the last sentence.
Lex wondered where this was coming from.
“Yes, I do have to apologize.”
A slight raise of Lex’s eyebrow and Clark continued.
Lex was concerned but figured this scene would play itself out.
Clark walked over to Lex and swiveled Lex’s chair away from the desk. He parted Lex’s thighs and knelt between them. Placing his face in Lex’s midsection and wrapping his arms around Lex’s waist.
“I never once said thank you.” Clark rubbed his face against Lex’s chest.
“For allowing Ryan in your home and everything you did for him and for me up until the very end.”
In class Clark realized that his treatment of Lex during this whole thing was deplorable.
Where he should have trusted he accused.
Where he should have listened he turned a deaf ear.
Where he saw pain he turned a blind eye.
To wrapped up in his own pain, fears, and secrets to think of anyone else.
Lex was his friend and in these last days he had forgotten that.
Ryan reminded Clark to be aware of the people around him.
He couldn’t read minds like Ryan could but he was capable of remembering that the things he did affected people.
Since Ryan’s death Clark was so wrapped up in his own pain that he had forgotten all those around him.
He made demands and expected things that he had no right to from Lex.
Suddenly he had to get to Lex he had to apologize and Lex had to forgive him because things wouldn’t be right if he didn’t.
So he waited kneeling before Lex Clark waited for his judgment.
Slowly Lex brought his arms around Clark.
Clark took it as a sign of acceptance if not forgiveness.
Clark was afraid to look into Lex’s eyes. He started to tremble slightly.
Lex’s arms tightened when he felt Clark’s body shake.
Lex lightly grasped Clark’s face and turned it to face his.
Hazel eyes bored into emerald orbs and Clark sighed slightly in relief.
The tension that had been strumming through him dissipated and finally the weight he had been carrying seemed to lift.
Then exhaustion set in.
Lex was slightly stunned when he saw Clark kneel before him. He had pictured this scene before but not in this context.
Lex could feel the tension flowing off of Clark.
He heard the words but what moved him were the emotions he read rolling off Clark.
The sorrow, the grief, and the guilt were being broadcasted as clear as day.
Clark was asking for forgiveness.
The words in the end were inconsequential.
Lex captured Clark’s gaze and gave Clark the absolution that he was seeking
Lex held Clark in a tight embrace until he felt Clark accept it.
Then Lex let Clark go and indicated that Clark should stand.
When Clark followed his instruction Lex stood and walked out of his office. Lex didn’t bother to turn around he knew Clark would follow.
Lex walked to his bedroom.
He opened the door, walked into the inner sanctum and turned down the top coverlet.
He took Clark by the hand and put him to bed.
Clark laid down and rested his head on the pillow.
Lex pulled up the coverlet and then closed the door.
Lex had a few calls to make.