From This Day Forward
From This Day Forward
Lex looked into the mirror and gave his tie a final tug, then smoothed his jacket pockets down, nodding in satisfaction. He was all set for Clark's wedding. A flash of pain arced through him, but he quickly pushed it down. He was happy for Clark. One last glance into the mirror, and he pivoted on his heel.
He walked out of his room and down the hall of the mansion to the room that had unofficially become Clark's when they moved to Metropolis. "Clark?" Hearing no response, he pushed open the door and came to an abrupt stop. Clark was speeding around the room, just barely visible. "Clark? Clark!" Lex frowned when he still got no answer. He moved further into the room, thinking that Clark would see him -- hopefully before he ran Lex over.
Lex blinked and looked into Clark's face, just inches from his own. "Clark."
Clark stepped back and started searching the room again, this time at slower pace. "I can't stop now. I can't find the rings, the plane tickets, or my socks."
Lex laughed. "I have the rings and the plane tickets." He caught Clark's arm as he walked by and maneuvered him to the bed. "You gave them to me because you thought you'd lose them."
He gave Clark a gentle push, and as soon as his legs connected with the bed, he collapsed onto it. "Now, your socks are another thing all together." Clark made to get up, and Lex placed a hand on the broad chest. "Sit, I'll find them."
Clark flashed him one of his brilliant smiles. "Thanks."
Lex smiled back and took a good look around the room. It looked like tornado had hit it. As he walked over to Clark's dresser, he spotted the suitcase that Clark had packed for the honeymoon sitting in the closet. He picked it up and immediately set it back down again. He turned to Clark and asked, "Are you taking every piece of clothing you own?"
Clark shook his head. "I didn't know what to pack for Paris."
Lex shook his head in amusement. He dragged the case over to the bed and heaved it up beside Clark before popping it open. Clothes sprang forth, spilling out of the suitcase onto the bed and floor. "Well, I don't think you're going to need all of this." Lex picked up a flannel shirt and tossed it towards the closet. "You won't be needing that." He fished a pair of dress socks out and handed them to Clark.
As Clark slipped on his socks, Lex went back to the closet and pulled out Clark's tie and jacket. Automatically, Clark stood up and Lex began the process of tying the Windsor knot.
"You know, I still haven't learned to tie a tie?" Clark said.
Lex frowned. "You haven't?"
"No, you're always there when I need one tied."
Lex stopped mid-tuck, feeling that pain again. "I hadn't realized." He completed the tuck. "I could teach you," he said, straightening the tie. "Or you could just have Lois do it, I'm sure she knows how." He stepped back and nodded at his handiwork.
"You can teach me how when I get back." Clark smiled and eased on his jacket. "How do I look?"
Lex adjusted Clark's collar. He was gorgeous, as always. "You'll knock 'em dead."
Clark patted his pockets. "I'll settle for not embarrassing myself."
Lex grinned. "There's nothing to it." He headed for the door and opened it. "Just repeat what the minister tells you, say I do, and I'll take care of the rest."
Clark's brow furrowed. "Are you sure it's that easy?"
Lex nodded. "That easy."
Clark glanced back at his bed. "What about my suitcase?"
"I'll have Debbie repack it." Lex looked down at his watch. A quarter to one. "If we don't get going we'll be late."
Clark's eyes widened. He zipped over to Lex, and looked ready to race out of the room. "We can't be late."
"Clark, it's just downstairs."
"I know." Clark smiled hesitantly and wiped his palms on his pants. "It just has to be perfect."
Lex reached over and stilled Clark's hands, then looked him squarely in the eye. "Believe me, everything's perfect."
"You've seen it?"
"Yes, I was down there earlier to check on things."
"Good." Clark headed towards the main stairs.
Lex grabbed Clark's arm. "Not that way, we'll take the back stairs."
Lex smiled reassuringly. He couldn't remember ever seeing Clark this nervous, not even when Clark had told him that he was an alien. Maybe you were supposed to be nervous on your wedding day. He certainly hadn't been when he married Desiree, but then, she had been controlling him with pheromones. Still, he hadn't even felt nervous with Helen.
He pushed those thoughts aside as they entered the library. Automatically, he walked over to the small wet bar and poured Clark and himself each a shot of scotch. "Here, have a drink. It'll help settle your nerves." Lex sipped his drink.
Clark tossed the shot back and crossed over to the window. He pushed back the curtain and gazed out onto the pool. "It's perfect." He smiled at Lex. "It looks just like your wedding to Desiree, just less with the purple and pink."
Lex picked up the scotch bottle and crossed to the window. He looked out into the pool house. It was filled to the brim with streamers, flowers, and candles. Pete and Jimmy were slowly escorting the guests to their seats. "And more with the blue and the green."
"It's beautiful. Thank you."
"It was my pleasure, Clark." Lex poured Clark another shot, then continued sipping his own drink. The pool house did look reminiscent of his wedding to Desiree; he hadn't realized it before Clark pointed it out, but that might just be because he didn't think about Desiree. Except for today, it seemed.
"Lex, why haven't you remarried?"
Lex blinked and took a step back. "You've seen the women I've dated. Why do you think?"
"Lex..." Clark turned to Lex. "I would've thought with Marie..." He frowned and chose his words very carefully. "She lasted longer than all the others."
Lex eyebrow rose. "She did?"
"Yeah, almost a year."
"Oh." He frowned. He hadn't realized that Marie had lasted that long. That was the year Clark started at the Daily Planet, and Lex had needed the distraction, with Clark less available. And Marie had been very good at keeping his attention on her and away from Clark.
"So, what happened? I mean, one day she was there, and the next she wasn't. And you refused to talk about it."
Lex swirled the scotch in his glass, refusing to look at Clark. "In the end, she was just like the rest. She just hid it better."
"Oh." Clark looked uncomfortable. "Well, I'm sure there's somebody out there that likes you for you, and not your money."
Lex frowned. "You're the only one that I've met, and I don't think there's anybody else out there quite like you."
"Well, maybe not exactly like me." Clark grinned.
"I won't settle for less than exactly what I want." Lex snapped his mouth shut, too late. It wasn't exactly a declaration of love, but it came pretty damn close. He looked at Clark, but he didn't seem to have noticed, which pretty much summed up their relationship. He gave Clark the world on a platter, and Clark didn't notice.
Lex turned his attention back to the pool house. The minister had joined the assembled guests and was moving toward the front of the pool house. Lex nodded at the minister. "That's our cue."
Lex reached over and took Clark's glass and set it with his on the window ledge. "Ready?"
Clark pulled at his tie and nodded. "Ready as I'll ever be."
Lex smoothed the tie back in place. "Remember, just repeat after the minister. There's nothing to worry about."
"Right. Repeat after the minister. There's nothing to worry about," Clark repeated in a mantralike manner.
Lex smiled faintly. He led Clark out to the pool house, and out of his life.
What did he need distraction from?