The Last Ones Standing
Title: THE LAST ONES STANDING (1/1)
Spoilers: Pilot, major Hourglass spoilers Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: Not mine. Just borrowing the characters so I can put them through a whole lot of angst. Summary: (Future AU) Their passion changed the world. Now they have to deal with the consequences.
Author's Note: Hello, I'm new to this list. I come bearing gifts, and if you don't like it, you can hide it in the closet till Christmas and give it to someone you don't like so you don't have to brave the XMas rush at the mall to get them something. Feedback at email@example.com
The cemetery was so dead and quiet; Lex could hear the digging before he came across Clark. Clark had used his cape as a shroud for someone, and was lowering the body into the freshly dug grave. He started to shovel dirt at a brisk human speed. Clark must be fatigued. There were dark smudges under his eyes, his clothes were rent and torn. His shoulders were slumped, and his hands trembled. Even superheroes needed to rest.
"Where's the kryptonite, Mr. President?" Clark's voice was hollow. He didn't look up from his task.
"Where's the righteous indignation, Superman?" Lex was pleased to note that he sounded smug and cavalier. His gloved hands fisted in his suit pockets.
Lex sighed. "Clark."
The other man froze, and looked up. Their eyes met. Lex was taken back to a more innocent time, when his hands were relatively clean and his intentions relatively good. He remembered his attempts at stripping Clark of his secrets and his clothes. While that was happening, Clark had stripped Lex from his walls and his jaded outlook on life. Clark had made him believe in human nature and the ability to change.
He would never forgive him for that. Lex had been vulnerable, and Clark had hurt him. The memory of Clark's condemnation still hurt, the wound as bloody today as yesterday. Lex had fled to Metropolis to lick his wounds, but there was no escaping from HIM. Lex had been consumed with hatred, and bitterness. Those days, he would have gladly danced on his former lover's grave.
He was glad that he hadn't managed to fulfill that goal. He didn't want to be the last one on earth.
"Lex," Clark said. "Why are you here?" And Lex knew that he felt the same way.
"I wanted to ask you if you remembered the old lady who claimed she could see into the future. Do you think she could have predicted all of this?" Lex said.
Clark stared at him in mild disbelief. He bent his head, and started shoveling dirt. "I think she did. She predicted this." Clark's hand swept out, encompassing the freshly dug mass graves. "In my future, I was surrounded by graves." He glanced up at the sky. "Though she didn't get the weather right. It's not raining." The corner of his mouth tipped up in a fatigued smile. "But what is this about?"
"I used to think that we made our own futures. Now...I'm not sure. This whole thing smacks of inevitability." Lex stared off into the distance. The sky was the color of dried blood.
"You want to believe that if you had a choice in the matter, you could have prevented it," Clark said. He'd always understood him well. It was what made him so good at foiling Lex's plans. It was a two way street. Lex always knew Clark's weaknesses and just where to push and how far to go.
Silence expanded between them. Lex watched Clark fill the grave, and use half a gravestone to mark Lois' grave. Clark moved a few feet away, and started to dig another hole.
"You don't have to dig everyone a grave. The planet's already a graveyard," Lex said. He thought about his journey from the underground bunker to Smallville. He got to drive as fast as he wanted, on shattered highways and over the rubble and once through a field of dead sunflowers.
"Yes, I know." He continued digging.
"What will you do, after you've finished?"
"Get off this planet, and search the galaxy for a time machine. Or find some kryptonite. There should be plenty lying around here."
"That's not like you."
"I've never poisoned a whole planet full of radiation before." Clark looked at him. "It's also not like you to be without a witticism."
"I never thought it would go that far," Lex said. For the first time in a long while, he felt remorse. "But what's done is done. All that's left is to tie up loose ends. Punish the culprits."
"You want me to kill you?" Clark sounded horrified.
Lex smirked. His voice was cool and taunting. "What's the matter? Even with your superpowers, you could never take me. This is the only way you could take me down. You know you want to, if only to avenge--"
Clark hurled the shovel into the atmosphere. It made a shrieking noise through the air. "How about you, and those pathetic death traps with the backdoor out? You weren't even trying! Hell, you'd stage these elaborate floorshows, come in and gloat, and even leave the area unguarded! A little kryptonite in my coffee would have done it, and been a lot easier."
"This is different. I've never destroyed a world before. Isn't that enough?"
Clark's shoulders slumped. "No, it's not. If I focused more on the threat, than on one upping you..."
"...If I hadn't wanted to show you up," Lex shrugged, "things would have been different."
"Clark, it would be a mercy. A tooth fell out yesterday. Even with the filters and bottled oxygen, I'm having trouble breathing. I hacked up a lung on the way over. If I had hair, it would be falling out."
"I can't..." He ducked his head, a lapse into old habits. "I can't regret knowing you. Despite everything."
"It would be poetic. You fished me out of the river, and gave me new life. Why not be my savior again?" Lex grinned, and hoped that Clark would know what he couldn't say.
Clark looked deeply pained, as if he were coated in kryptonite. And Lex knew he had him. "Close your eyes," he said at last.
Lex drank in the clean, sculpted cheekbones, the unruly black hair, the full mouth, the startling blue of his eyes. He wanted his last image to be of the other half of his soul. Savior. Friend. Lover. Co-conspirator. Betrayer, betrayed. Enemy. Nemesis. Savior.
Lex closed his eyes. Clark's hands were gritty with their mutual folly. They cupped Lex's jaw, and the base of his neck. His fingers were slack, unsure of the task at hand. A small eternity passed, as Lex waited for the end. Clark's fingers tightened; he had found his resolve. It came as a shock, jolting Lex so badly he felt he was falling or flying.
Clark's lips on his.
Thank you for participating in the exorcism of those Hourglass visions. They would not go away, until I wrote this. I wanted to write something happy or mushy for my first post here.
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