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Destiny be Strange Yet Sublime

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Arthur visited the village again. This Inuit village on the remote coast of the Bering Sea was a place only handful of people in the world knew existed. Usually forgotten except for the rare crabbing ships that would be forced to dock there during storms. The people of the village didn’t ask any questions, when he came up from the sea last year during a bitter winter, bringing the sea’s bounty with him. This was a place where they still believed in the old gods. They quietly thanked him but did not make a big fuss about it. Instinctively, the people figured to give the strange god a wide berth and to let him be till he went back to the sea. This time he drank dry the only bar for the next 50 miles, nobody bothered him. And that’s just how Arthur Curry wanted it. And maybe that why he came back here today.

On this particular day, the pair of humpback whales that have been his companions had wandered off several hundred miles away from that remote coast. They were part of a bigger pod of humpbacks that had 20 whales, yet somehow, they always seem to find him when they were in this part of the world and had taken to following him. Sometimes it was tempting to think of them as pets. He never had a pet. He asked his Dad once for a dog and his dad told him they moved around too much to be dragging a pet around, a pet would just slow them down. Better to be able to just get up and leave at a moment’s notice. Besides, his Dad had said the two of them was enough, they didn’t need “a stinking dog.”

Arthur thought wryly, he might think the whales follow him but in reality, he knew that these majestic beings had chosen him to be a part of their own pod… Child… the mother called him… Brother… the calf said. Half of him was of the sea, yet his family, no his mother’s family hated his very existence so much that that her husband the King of Atlantis banished her. Banished the Queen into The Trench — Vulko called it a dark, desperate place inhabited by monstrous creatures. Banished to her death for having him. Maybe the whales found some sort of strange kinship with him, for in the end they were all just wanderers. The large mammals were driven by biology and instinct. He was just driven by the urge not to stay too long in one place, to do what he could, take what he needed and just move on. He left nothing behind but empty bottles of liquor and people who were either in awe of him or terrified of him. He came home to see his Dad whenever he could, but he could never stay long in that town by the ocean before the restless hunger struck again. His dad said it was the stirring of the sea within him, for he has never found peace with that part of him. That may be true Arthur thought, he loved the ocean and it’s creatures with his entire being but as for its people, the Atlanteans, he couldn’t care less.

After a while he had taken to naming the whales; Thing One and Thing Two. Thing One was the mom and Thing Two was the calf. Mischievous and curious creatures of Dr. Seuss. A story told by his dad from his pile of favorite books along that pile was a well-thumbed copy of Jules Verne’s Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea — he knew his Mom had something to do with that.

This time they had gone away, far away, as they were prone to do when he stayed in a land too long. Suddenly a group of seagulls circled above him, their flight pattern and squawks alerted him that something was very wrong.

A nearby radio outside one of a fishing shack was broadcasting; “Mayday, Mayday! This is the Bright Aurora calling all ships in the vicinity. We’ve had an explosion, and the platform is on fire. Numerous survivors are in the water!”

The Bright Aurora was an offshore rig only a few nautical miles away from where Arthur was. He closed his eyes and used his gifts to see what the seagulls saw. There was an explosion on an oil platform on the Bering Sea. Fire was now eating through the entire structure. He knew nearby ships would reach the site first to assist with the evacuation. Quickly he jumped off a cliff and sent a message through the water. Let the ships do what they can. Help those who can’t help themselves. And be careful! He knew Thing One and Two were close to the disaster.

Arthur sped through the water faster than any torpedo. The waters were frigid, easily several degrees below zero at this time of the year. Arthur quickly caught sight of the drilling platform engulfed in flames. Quickly he circled the perimeter, fishing several survivors out of the water before he tossed them into hastily deployed lifeboats. Most of them were weak, their sensorium clouded by hypothermia and injury. They didn’t even notice that they were just rescued out of the freezing sea by a shirtless man that swam very fast. After he surfaced again, he heard a loud roar. It was the massive oil derrick. The gigantic structure was toppling into the ocean. Impossibly, he thought he saw a man holding up the collapsing derrick. Another explosion tore through whatever remained of the oil platform. Because of the smoke and the fire he lost sight of the entire thing. A rescue helicopter just managed to pull away moments from being engulfed by the shockwave of the explosion. He dove deeper, so he could swim faster without fighting the surface turbulence, already convinced that what he saw earlier was a result of all the chaos with the fire and explosion. He heard an urgent message sent through the water by Thing One and Two.

A man on fire, came the message. He saved all those people in that oil rig. The oil rig burned and burned. But he didn’t leave, they said. He fell into the water. A man on fire, like the bad things from under. The bad things from under, a chill went through Arthur’s spine, what exactly happened here? Was it Atlanteans? The Trench? Quickly he turned to their direction. The surface dwellers called him an angel… What is an angel, Orin…... Orin, his Atlantean name, the name given to him by his long dead mother.

A fiery angel. What is an angel, Orin?

The water carried the cacophony of sounds and the whales’ vocalizations. Arthur despite his gifts struggled to understand. He knew what they were saying as certain as his own breathing. The language of water, with the ebb and flow of its currents, carried even a more baffling story. Nothing made sense. A man helped the oil rig workers, so they could escape into the chopper. A man held up the collapsing derrick on his shoulders. This particular oil derrick in the Bering Sea was easily between 300 to 500 meters of solid metal and steel. Even Atlanteans weren’t that strong unless they used some Atlantean tech, Arthur thought, but he knew Atlantean will never even think of helping the surface world. The whales sent more messages through the water how this man was consumed by the flames as he fell into the water crushed by tonnage of the collapsing derrick.

Yet the whales tell him…. he did not burn.

The whales had found him, like oversized, curious puppies as they swam around him. Arthur sent a warning through the waves as he shot through the water, afraid that the curious mammals will find harm. Once Thing Two swum too close along the Sydney Harbour ferry route, she still bore the scar of the propeller of the ferry boat she collided with.

The surrounding sea was scattered with the flotsam and jetsam of fossil fuel, and pieces of the submerged derrick as other burning wreckage floated around him like fiery spectral islands. The Coast Guard was already nearby with their fleet of fire boats and rescue ships. He did another survey of the area to make sure there were no other survivors or any Atlanteans just in case.

Several miles away from the main wreckage in the deep, he finally found the whales nudging the body of the man. He was fully expecting a lifeless body covered with burns, despite what the whales had told him, but he wasn’t. There was no sign of any injury on him. The only thing that showed that he went through something horrific burned up fabric that used to be his pants that barely covered him. The whales, Arthur noted, were more intrigued than usual.

Not dead… the in- between… They tell him.

From what Arthur could tell, his heartbeat slow and steady. The man seemed to be asleep, his face tranquil, not frozen in the death mask of those who die of drowning. Maybe he was dreaming, Arthur thought. Dreaming or not, he was not moving, not waking. And the strangest thing was, the body was warm. Arthur could feel the unrelenting currents gathering again. In a matter of minutes the wind will bring more than 40- foot waves and they were very far from land. Arthur couldn't care less what kind of human he was, he needed to get out of the water, especially if there was a chance he was still alive. The winter sea around here was not to be messed with, for it was the most brutal and merciless.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When he fell into the water Clark didn’t fight it. He let the forward momentum of the crashing derrick just push him into the frigid sea. Fire and heat engulfed him. The shock wave of the last explosion from the fire pushed him deeper into the water. The dark cold tingled against his skin. Finally, he floated on his back, letting the current pull his body. The dark depths cradled him. Soon the water’s rhythmic movements were accompanied by the soothing whale songs reverberating under the waves. It invited dreams and memories. The first time his enhanced vision kicked in. The first time he could suddenly hear everything. The first time his Mom taught him how to narrow his senses by thinking he was in an island, to focus on her voice.

Several weeks ago, he had taken a job at a fishing boat that sailed off one of the Aleutian ports. He knew they were heading North, and that was all that mattered, for he was drawn to go North. The strange pull to the North was difficult to resist, deep inside him he was convinced it had something to do with who he was. He knew he was different even as a small child until one day when he was 10 his Father told him why—an alien sent to Earth as a baby. Every day, he felt stronger, faster. Every day his parents taught him to hide what he could do, hide who he was. His Father sacrificed himself, because of that belief.

But for now, he could lay here in the cold and the dark forever, down here the waves muffled the world out there and he didn’t have to work as hard to not see everything, to not hear everything, to not feel everything. He could shut himself off without even trying. He could rest.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Arthur lifted him up easily despite the man’s bulk. He was all solid muscles and very firm flesh and even firmer ass — Arthur attempted to shake himself out of those thoughts. He was supposed to be rescuing not checking him out. He found himself out on a deserted beach. By this time hypothermia should have long set in, but his temperature remained warm as if the man himself was generating heat. For the first time, he could closely look at the man he rescued. Definitely not an Atlantean and not a regular human either. Maybe there was some truth to what the whales told him. Perhaps like him he wasn’t just of this world. The people on the oil rig called him an angel. He survived the fire, the freezing water. What was he?

“Thanks, you can put me down now.”

The man spoke to him, voice deep and gentle. His eyes were clear, sea-blue eyes with a speck of brown on the left. Arthur wondered how long ago he had woken up and stared at him. Those eyes were like an entire sea with a small island, right there looking up at him, Arthur thought before he let go with no warning. The man landed gracefully on his feet. He glanced at himself before looking at Arthur again, brows knitted in concern. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.”

Arthur got over his initial surprise. He inhaled, then exhaled slowly. “Who… What… Where did you come from?”

“Kansas.” He gave a crooked smile at Arthur’s confusion.

“Kansas. With the land and the corn.” The tone in Arthur’s voice showed his disbelief.

“Yup. That Kansas.”

“You’re far away from home, Kansas. Now, I haven’t been there, but I’m sure people there are not resistant to hypothermia or fire or are incredibly strong.” Arthur gave him a meaningful look. He was still suspicious, though relieved he wasn’t Atlantean,he still didn’t know what he was. The only other people he knew with abilities were the Amazons—he was definitely not Amazon. Yet something about this man’s manner; his quiet confidence and how he helped those people, drew him. Plus, it didn’t hurt that he wasn’t bad to look at.

“Pot, kettle, black. You’re strong and you swim really fast. And I don’t think tattoos are considered swimwear.” Kansas looked intently at him, more like looked through him.

“I guess we both have our stories. I’m Arthur Curry.” He offered a hand. Another thing he rarely did.

“I reckon so,” He shook his hand.. “Joe,” he answered after a slight hesitation.

“Sure, no-last-name Joe,” Arthur said, disbelief in his voice again, this time at the name he gave. Kansas gave a “take it or leave it” shrug before he returned Arthur’s handshake. Arthur had many questions running around inside his head. He wondered how forthcoming Kansas… Joe… whoever the hell he was, with answers.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

They clambered up the rocky cliff above the beach line and espied a lone weathered log cabin. Clark scanned the cabin and saw it was empty. Fortunately, clothes hung on a line outside the log cabin and a pair of muddy boots rested on the stoop. It was a good thing Clark thought he’d rather not walk around naked, even though it was with another almost naked guy.

“All right, I feel bad,” he said as he put the shirt and sweater over him. He grimaced, the clothes smelled of fish and it still had some fish scales stuck to it. Well, it was a fisherman’s cabin and beggars can’t be choosers. He could clean it with some water and his heat vision but for now he’d rather suffer the smell than display his powers in front of a stranger even if he was different like him and very — hot. I’ve never seen tattoos like that.

“It’s ok. People in these parts leave stuff in cabins like these in case people need it. The harsh weather around here makes people hospitable like that,” Arthur said.

“I’ll come back here and replace it,” he grabbed the pants and looked at Arthur, “Umm.… can you turn around.”

Arthur smirked, “What’s the difference? You’re practically naked right now. I saw everything.”

Clark ducked his head. He could feel the heat rise up his cheeks and knew he was practically beet red at that very moment. “Please….”

Arthur was relentless, “You should be proud,” he gave him a wink.

If it was possible, Clark felt hotter, so hot he could burn through his clothes. He had met this man all of ten minutes, but he couldn’t help the heat that travelled along his neck intensify with that smirk.

“All right, fine, sorry. Here, you could stare at my ass,” Arthur turned, still smirking. He couldn’t help it, seeing Kansas blush was incredibly hot.

“Here,” Clark said when he was done. He threw another chunky, equally smelly sweater at Arthur.

Arthur caught it easily with one hand, then held it gingerly like a small rabid animal about to bite him. “No, thank you,” he said before he threw it back to Clark.

“I don’t need it. I’m going back to the water to deal with all the dead people floating around.”

Kansas looked alarmed. His body suddenly tensed, and he looked like he was about to bolt to the water. Arthur immediately placed a hand on his shoulder. “Hey, I’m kidding,” Kansas frowned at him. “Okay, okay, that was a terrible joke… look… I pulled out everyone before I got to you. The Coast Guard they’re there now.” Kansas gave him a long unreadable look then stepped away from him. Arthur reluctantly let his hand drop to his side.

“Anyway, what I really meant was I like how you’ve been staring at me…” He turned to Kansas fully with a smug grin on his face, he didn’t want Kansas to miss anything and maybe he could distract him from that idiotic joke two seconds ago.

Kansas shook his head and gave him a shy smile before he ducked his head again, seemingly enraptured by the disgustingly muddy boots he was wearing. It was startlingly different in Arthur’s opinion how Kansas behaved like that, in his experience people who looked like Kansas who couldn’t even do the things he could do acted like they were God’s gift to humanity. Kansas clearly wasn’t like that and shy was such a good look on him. It truly wasn’t fair in Arthur’s opinion. He decided to give the man a break, also priorities.

“So where are you going now?” Yep, priorities. He couldn’t just let him go, right?

“I can’t go back to the fishing ship I worked at. Too many questions. I need to go North. Find a job, something.”

“North? Why North?”

A guarded look shuttered over Joe’s face. Arthur noticed his hand come up to his chest where earlier he had seen an odd shaped pendant hanging. Since he wasn’t a stranger to earth shaking secrets himself, he didn’t push it. “Okay, go up this highway, about 10 miles east there’s a place called ‘Bearcat.’ It’s rough, but they’re always looking for help. You could start there. A lot of truckers that pass through here end up there, so… you know,” Arthur shrugged a shoulder.

“Thanks. Also, I would really appreciate it if you don’t mention this to anyone.”

Arthur quickly curbed the impulse to respond with something flippant and very flirty. But there was a pleading look in Kansas’ unearthly blue eyes. He looked truly worried. Could he blame him, really? He just met him, and Kansas probably spent his entire life hiding who he is. Moving from one place to another, trying to be invisible.

“I would never. You have my word on that.” Arthur offered his hand once again to him, and they shook on it. Usually he wasn’t into making deals or giving a rat’s ass what people thought of what he said, yet right now it was important for him that thus guy believed him.

After the handshake Arthur could see him relax a little, Arthur felt very aware of the fact that that made him feel good too. Damn.

“Will I see you again, Arthur?”

Arthur wasn’t really planning on sticking around. This part of the country had a little too many people for his taste. “Don’t worry Kansas, I’ll find you.” Plans change.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

One week of back-breaking work. Back breaking to most people, anyway. Bussing tables, cleaning up floors, washing dishes, and anything else, his boss Weaver wanted. It was just his luck, Weaver fired a busboy and the other kitchen guy had quit. Clark was essentially doing the work of two, sometimes three people. He kept his head down and didn’t complain, Weaver wasn’t entirely merciless aside from a paycheck, Weaver gave him the small room in the back to stay in. Arthur wasn’t lying when he said the Bearcat was busy. A regular traffic of truckers, miners and fishermen passed through. It was one of those middle of nowhere places where you can have a decent cheeseburger at the bar then freeze to death in the parking lot because you were passed out drunk with your truck window open.

In between drunken jokes and raucous laughter, the customers talked about places they’ve been and places they were heading to, Clark filed them away in his head hoping for a clue to whatever it was that drew him here. He wasn’t keen on staying here too long; he planned to give it two weeks to see if something pans out before moving on. He sighed deeply. He was on his knees scraping dried vomit off the floor and it was still 6 o’clock at night. Clark wasn’t surprised, with the Bearcat the only halfway decent bar and grill for the next 100 miles customers trooped in at all hours to eat and of course drink. Weaver had pointedly told him that since there hardly any customers he might as keep himself busy, not that he wasn’t busy. At least, it wasn’t fresh puke like earlier. It wouldn’t be so bad if he could use his abilities, but he didn’t want to risk it, since stories of the miraculous rescue at the Bright Aurora was circulating like wildfire in the area. Not for the first time that day, he idly wondered if Arthur would come by.

He still wasn’t sure what to think of him, Clark told himself. He wouldn’t mind seeing him again. Obviously, he needed to get a handle on the guy, since he was another being with abilities like him, just to compare notes or something. Something. He chided himself for thinking that, he shouldn’t think that —

Thick, black biker boots stopped right by his hand, “Heyyy, Joe!” A deep voice greeted him.

Clark gave himself a moment before looking up, the sound of his voice this close made something hot fizzle down Clark’s spine. Images of Arthur’s bare skin and tattoos flashed before him once again along with the suggestive way those deep green eyes roamed over him. The sunlight from the window behind him haloed the sheer bulk of Arthur with the shaggy hair, leather pants and sheepskin jacket. He squinted at him, which he really didn’t need to do; it was one of those almost involuntary human responses he had to learn, drilled into him by his dad, so he won’t look too weird. The first one was blinking, after Clark almost got into a fight at first grade because he had a “creepy ass stare.”

“Look at you with the apron and everything, Jesus fucking Christ,” Arthur said, he came in on a lark to check if the kid was serious about working in this rat- hole. He really was and cleaning vomit too!

“Hey, outside later,” Clark whispered as he stood up, he tilted his head to where his boss, Weaver was standing behind the bar. He knew without looking, Weaver was already glaring at him. Weaver didn’t like his bus boys standing around talking, only the bartender got to do that, he would yell. Arthur caught on and tilted his beer at him and mouthed — “later.”

Arthur gave him his phone number and told him to text him whenever. Clark texted him at midnight telling him he had to close up shop and won’t probably be done till 2am. Arthur texted back a short “no worries” and nothing else. Two am came and Clark was almost done locking up. The text tone of his phone beeped.

“Hey, you still up for that drink?” Arthur texted.

This surprised Clark. He almost said no, but his curiosity got the better of him. Ten minutes later Arthur came around in a battered pickup truck. Later they got on the deck of one of the boats that was being serviced on the deserted pier. A six-pack and two bottles of cheap whisky in between them, some left-over chicken wings, burgers and fries from Clark’s work. “A friend lets me use it when I’m in these parts,” was Arthur’s blithe answer when Clark asked about the boat.

At first, Arthur didn’t really want to come to the Bearcat, he promised himself he’d forget about the hot-not-so-human stranger, one meeting was enough. Kansas was complicated, he didn’t do too well with complicated things. But he ignored his own advice and went, anyway. At first, he didn’t see him when he scoped out the bar; he was about to leave after he got his beer, when he noticed someone down on his knees cleaning the floor, behind a table. And for fuck’s sake, there he was. Before he could stop himself, he had walked up to him. The next thing he knew those gorgeous eyes were looking up at him, again.

It was a pleasant night; the sky was clear with the stars and the full moon, even with the bone chilling temperatures of November. Further away in the deeper waters, One and Two were feeding and playing. They were still very curious about Clark. At one point they came close to the pier and Arthur had to practically shoo them away.

“So, they really follow you around?” Clark nodded towards the horizon.

“Yeah, I guess they like me. They’ve kinda adopted me.”

That is very cool.”

They began trading stories of their unique childhood and the parents they’ve lost. Things they haven’t really spoken about to anyone for a long time. They’ve been loners for most of their lives, very wary of other people, yet it was impossible to deny that they had enough in common and how easily they fell into talking with each other.

Even with the explanation of how he came to the planet, Arthur still had a hard time wrapping his head around the fact that Kansas was an alien. “Why is it hard to believe?” Clark grinned, tickled by the thought that he was actually kidding with someone other than his Mom about this. “Because I’m not gray or green or ten feet tall with gigantic brain eating tentacles. I mean you probably get this a lot too— you're from Atlantis, no visible fins, gills… wait … can you talk to fish?” Clark asked wonderingly.

“Checking me out, huh?” Arthur waggled his eyebrows at him.

“I can’t believe you,” Kansas said, giving him one of those shy smiles again. That earned another chuckle from Arthur. A long time ago when he was a boy he was bullied by kids who teased him about “talking to fish.” Even most grown-ups were idiots, well what can you do, but he knew, Kansas was clearly just asking.

“Fish don’t really talk.” Arthur explained after another healthy swig of whisky. “They have very primitive brain functions. Certain aquatic mammals like whales and dolphins have intelligence and perception we can’t even begin to understand and as far as I know they think of humans as small annoying helpless creatures, that have overrun the planet. Cephalopods, like octopuses and squids are very intelligent although I would recommend to just stay away from them. Especially the big ones, they’re very moody.”

“Got it, stay away from cephalopods.”

“Unless I’m around. I’ll protect you,” Arthur said.

Clark began to grin. “Of course, I would never expect anything less from you.”

They shared a convivial smile then became silent for a while, lost in their own thoughts. Arthur finished one bottle of whisky while Clark steadily worked on his second beer. “Tell me, when I found you in the water, were you hurt or something? Cause you were really out of it, you weren’t trying to kill yourself, right?” Arthur asked.

“No, it wasn't like that. I just fell, that’s all, and it’s hard to hurt me.” Clark wasn’t quite ready to tell him that as far as he knew nothing can hurt him, yet. “And I can do things… that nobody else can do. My senses are a little different and sometimes it’s hard to just shut off things. When I fell into the water… the song of the whales, the waves, being deep in the ocean like that gave me a peace I haven’t had for a long time. I think I just drifted off and started dreaming.”

“Well, I’m sorry I interrupted your nap.”

“Honestly? I’m glad you were around, you know to help.”

“Me too,” Arthur said easily, he couldn’t believe that even if he just knew Kansas for a couple of days, he had already broken down enormous chunks of his internal defenses. “How long are you going to stay around at the Bearcat?” Suddenly, in his already complicated life, this was something he needed to know.

“I’m giving myself two weeks, but I’m not really sure. What about you? Are you just going to hang around, fishing strangers out of the water?”

“Nah, I’m not like you. They called you an angel you know that?” Arthur teased, although he himself was very aware of the wild stories about the “Aqua Man” up and down several remote fishing villages in the Aleutians all the way up to the Barents Sea.

Clark winced inwardly. Being thought of as a divine being always embarrassed him. People he’s helped always swung between extremes, they either thought of him as a freak or some angel or saint, depending on where he was. With the idea of divinity always came the idea of infallibility, which is even worse, “You help people, too,” he said quietly.

Arthur took a big swallow from the second bottle of whisky that made even Clark cringe, “Yeah… sure,” he said gruffly.

“You helped me,” Clark said, with an intensity that surprised even him.

Arthur smiled, self-conscious at the heat that suddenly bloomed in his chest and it wasn’t from the whisky. He studied the bottle in his hand for a second or two, then decided. “You know, you don’t have to sleep at the back of that hovel, you could stay here.”

Clark glanced at him. “What about your friend?” He gestured towards the boat.

“Don’t worry, he’ll be cool about it.” Arthur gave Clark one of his winks before downing another gulp of alcohol.

“I don’t know — I don’t want to impose and all. Being around and checking up on me… you’ve done enough. Really, it’s not that bad, it’s warm and I have a bed and a bathroom, I don’t need much… I don’t think that’s a good idea — umm—I’m sorry…”

“Hey, I wouldn’t offer if it wasn’t okay. No strings attached, I’m just here to help for what you did for those people, that’s all — really, no strings attached.” Arthur repeated that last statement for good measure. Kansas was so skittish.

Kansas ran a hand through his hair, clearly debating about something in his head before he finally met his eyes. “No strings attached… okay, thanks… sorry I didn’t mean to be weird about it…” He gave Arthur a sheepish smile.

Thankfully, a comfortable silence once again came between them as they continued drinking. Kansas leaned against the metal post of the deck railing, face turned to the horizon in profile, eyes half closed. Arthur looked at him from the corner of his eye, he did not want to be caught staring, but it was very difficult not to stare. Kansas’ pale skin was luminously lit by the waning moonlight like an impossibly perfect piece of art. Like those Greek sculptures he would find in ruins along the Mediterranean. Wonderfully made, yet their eyes always gazed out in the distance with this sadness and longing. Maybe he could do something to make him less sad. Arthur was very surprised that this thought even crossed his mind, he found part of him did not seem to care anymore.

“So, let me ask you, you clearly don’t want any attention. But those people saw you, they know what you did, they know what you can do. They will look for you. So why did you do it?”

Kansas contemplated his question as he stared at the beer bottle he swirled slowly in his hand. He spoke softly and carefully, “You know, in that crab boat I worked at — this old sailor, Edie told me a story about this fishing village in the middle of nowhere. It’s a small tribe, he said, less than 400 people. The last of their kind. One winter it was very brutal and long- people were dying, the village would have been wiped out. One day a man came from the sea brought them fish to eat, he came every morning without fail until the weather calmed down and the people could start fishing for themselves again. Nobody believed Edie, old sailors always have these wild stories they say.” He turned and looked at Arthur squarely in the eye, “Arthur, I’m glad that you’re not just a wild story. You and I, we can do things that nobody else can. We can help. And maybe make things just a little better out there.”

Arthur sighed, “Jesus fucking Christ, Kansas, you’re going to make me all weepy and shit,” he said, amused, yet he can’t keep the pride that welled in his chest with what Kansas said.

“Sometimes, I have that effect on people.” Clark said with that shy smile again.

Suddenly, Arthur felt out of his depth and said the first thing that came to his mind. “So, Kansas, I know this completely flies against everything I just said. You could just say no.” He felt his usual cocksure stupid shit would not work on Kansas. He felt uncharacteristically nervous, “---- so like I said, you could just say no, and I’ll go away, but I thought I should ask—”

Kansas’ brows furrowed, and he looked so concerned, “What is it? Is everything okay?”

Arthur knew without a doubt this would be his only chance, Kansas could disappear tomorrow, this strange, freakishly hot man who just wants to help — “Yes, it’s just that — I really want to kiss you… can I please…. I wouldn’t ask if I didn’t think you liked me… liked men--- I like you…Shit!”

He blinked at him. A brow raised in amusement. There was a faint glow on Kansas’ cheeks. Arthur could see his Adam’s apple go up, then down. However, Kansas was awfully quiet and seemed awfully confused. This was a big mistake. Maybe it was all in my head. Maybe —

“Yes. I like you too, Arthur.”

Arthur heard him but needed further clarification, “I can kiss you?”

“Yeah… I mean… yes.” Kansas had turned to him, his eyes intent yet inviting. Arthur moved closer, slowly, so that there was no doubt of his intentions and if Kansas changed his mind, then he could just go. But Kansas didn’t move away. He tilted his head, meeting Arthur’s, and they kissed. God, Arthur thought, his lips were so soft and warm even in the biting cold air. It was a kiss that Arthur always imagined kissing someone under a soft moonlight. Gentle, exploring, unhurried. Kansas leaned further towards him, hands on his shoulders. Arthur’s hands slipped lower on Kansas’ waist, touching the smooth, bare skin under his untucked shirt.

Arthur felt him pull back slowly, Kansas’ hands on his chest — he wouldn’t have minded if they kissed longer, he thought they were going to kiss longer, but this was okay too he knows that sometimes he is too much for most people. All Arthur wanted to do at that moment was to continue kissing and feel up Kansas’ amazing body but that wasn’t happening, Arthur was now going to list heroic self-control as part of his powers. He noticed the way the other man slowly bit his lower lip where Arthur had gently nibbled it. Kansas probably wasn’t aware how sexy that little gesture was. Fuck. He needs to stop that.

Kansas sighed before he looked up, and much to Arthur’s dismay no further kissing was happening instead Kansas was just studying him with those eyes.

What? “Ummm… are you okay? Did I do something wrong?” Arthur felt his heart beat a little harder. Did I forget to brush my teeth? Wait…

“Too much tongue? You’re just so hot—sorry—”

The other man chuckled. “No, the tongue was…. fine.” Kansas said softly, finally, after an interminable moment. “It’s just that… it’s Clark Kent. My real name… I just want you to know.” His eyes darted to one side, suddenly he looked panicked like he was regretting something.

“Okay, Clark Kent, nice to meet you, Clark… and–” Arthur added hurriedly, “--- thank you for that, you didn’t have to tell me. You won’t be sorry.”

He was surprised that Arthur picked up on his anxiety with the revelation. Clark really wanted to trust Arthur. Something in his gut told him he could trust him. He can’t deny they connected because of who they were. Yet he couldn’t help but think that maybe he was clutching at Arthur like he was the lone lifeboat in this sea of utter loneliness. Clark was always so careful, this has never happened before, he put his Mom and those in Smallville at risk, he will never be able to forgive himself if he was wrong about Arthur.

“Let me tell you something. My dad still lives in Maine. In that same lighthouse where he found my Mom. We hid for a while, moved around a lot… moved further inland while I was growing up, but he never gave up that light house. Eventually, he went back there, I didn’t want him to. I was afraid that Atlanteans could still come after him. But he said it was the last place he was truly happy.”

Clark nodded slowly. He understood what Arthur was trying to say in not so many words. They all have people they love and care for. People who took the great risks because they love someone like them. 

Arthur reached out and enclosed his hand over Clark’s. “Can I see you again?” Arthur said, uncertain this time, a sliver of hope in his voice.

Clark stared at their joined hands. Arthur tried to figure out what he was thinking, he was instantly worried, maybe Clark was going to take it all back and just disappear.

“I’d like that.” Clark whispered.

Arthur smiled, then suddenly felt lost again. There was a brief and awkward silence broken by Clark, “I need to get some sleep before my next shift,” he said as he gently untangled his hand from Arthur’s.

“Yes, what was I thinking? I’ll text you,” Arthur stood up quickly, relieved, as if stretching to his full height will just smooth away all the worry and the tension from earlier. Clark did the same. Then they both gathered the bottles and trash and placed it in separate bags. Arthur reached into his pocket, “Here, for the boat.” He said as he handed Clark a set of keys.

“Thanks.”

“No worries. If you have to go, just leave it inside the port side toolbox.” Arthur said although he didn’t want Kansas… Clark to just leave with no warning.

“Sure,” Clark answered. He was about to say something else when Arthur took off his jacket dropped it on the deck followed by his shirt. The sight of Arthur stole his breath. Arthur was simply stunning. It was early dawn and the warm tints of gold was just over the horizon. The soft glow of the early morning light reflected off his smooth brown skin and highlighted the tattoos over his lean muscles. The tattoos rippled like obsidian liquid in this light, over his thick chest, his biceps and over the flat planes of his stomach till they disappeared down into the ridges of his hips. Arthur looked up at Clark. He had just finished removing his boots.

Arthur smiled, “Take a picture it’ll last longer —”

“I’m sorry — I didn’t mean —”

“Hey, I really, really wouldn’t mind if you took a picture.” Arthur winked.

That wink. Again. “Maybe one day I’ll tell you about the different kinds of visions I have,” Clark teased lightly.

“What? Wait? What do you mean?”

Clark chuckled. “Your whales are calling for you. Bye, Arthur.”

Arthur had a ‘what the fuck’ look on his face still hung up on the last thing Clark said."Heyyy — you can’t just say those things to a guy and leave it like… that — ”

“Well, I just did. I have to get some sleep before my next shift. And clearly you have somewhere else to go.”

Arthur pouted."No, I don’t.”

“Yes, you do," Clark said as he picked up the trash, the empty bottles, along with Arthur’s shirt, jacket and boots easily like this was something that happened between them every day.

“You don't have to do that, just leave them here on the deck.” Arthur was embarrassed and moved to take the stuff off Clark’s hands. Clark stepped back out of his reach.

“I don't think thats such a good idea. Temperature's dropping fast, all of this would freeze... Bye, Arthur.” Clark said once again, before he turned on his heels and started walking towards the cabin.

“Can I at least get another kiss?” Arthur called after him.

“You’re impossible,” Clark muttered, then louder, “No.”

“I’ll text you.”

“I know.” Clark said, smiling to himself, not looking back at Arthur. Maybe he didn’t trust himself to just look back at Arthur. He listened for the sound of the water behind him. He stopped and saw the turbulent wake under the surface as Arthur shot through the water, reaching the deepest end in no time. The whales happily joined him and greeted him with a cacophony of clicks and whistles. As he watched Arthur move through the water, Clark Joseph Kent could not believe himself, here he was in the middle of nowhere doing the very thing he shouldn’t be doing and he was afraid he was powerless to stop it.

 

TBC

Chapter Text

The next day Clark was busy hauling trash out to the dumpster at the back of Bearcat when his phone vibrated. It was Arthur. 

 

You need help moving your stuff to the boat?

 

Clark smiled. If stuff you mean my one and only duffel bag. I’m good. Thanks.

 

Cool. So, how’s your day? Weaver being an ass?

 

Not bad. When is Weaver not an ass.

 

But of course, he spoke too soon. There was a convoy from the Army Corps of Engineers that came around noon, all very hungry and very thirsty. It was nonstop for about 2 hours of serving and bussing tables.  When they were all gone, Clark had barely hauled all the trash to the dumpster then it was time to get ready for the trucker dinner crowd. The Bearcat was right next to a truck stop, so this was a given. Then there were the times he had to run out suddenly since it was a particularly icy day. His hearing had picked up 5 near accidents on 5 different highways thus stopping what could have easily been 20 multi vehicle crashes. His text alert had vibrated several times. There were the usual messages from his Mom. He quickly responded to his Mom, so she won’t worry with a promise to call her soon. A message from Arthur with the last one asking if he knew when he would end his shift for the day. Clark responded with a shrug emoji. Arthur in return sent him a video of a dog wrestling with a water hose, Clark wasn’t sure what he meant with that if anything, but it sure was a funny video. And maybe it made the day a little less miserable in Clark’s opinion.

 When Clark finally walked up to the boat around oh dark thirty, it was just a relief to take a nice hot shower and eat a hot dinner that didn’t come from the bar. It didn’t also hurt that the houseboat was not only well heated, it had everything inside it had the comforts of a small apartment, more than he ever had at Weaver’s place. Clark had been in far worse conditions when out in the road. It would take a lot for him to feel truly uncomfortable, yet he wasn’t really against creature comforts after living rough for a while. He just finished putting away the  dishes when the phone pinged.

 How’s the boat? Figured you’d be there already. Arthur texted.

 Well, everything’s great. Thanks. I’m going to bed now.

 Clark could picture Arthur smirking already. Wish I was there. When are you off?

 Monday.Clark texted back. As soon as he pressed sent, his phone rang. One guess who that would be. Clark couldn’t help his smile.

 “Good. I should be back from the Australia then. If you don’t have plans, we could ummm… hang out?” Arthur said quietly over the line.

 Clark settled on the comfortable bed before answering. He could hear movement on Arthur’s side, water gently lapping on rocks. Arthur running his fingers through his hair before he answered. “Tell me about the island you’re on, it’s small right?” Clark asked.

 “One of the Whitsunday Islands. Yup, this one’s one of the smallest, basically just a piece of rock jutting out of the ocean. Wait… how did you know I was on an island.”

 “I wasn’t sure. This will sound weird but I’m practicing my hearing… the sound of the air around you… how the water hits the rocks…” Clark didn’t mean to be vague but if he was hard pressed to explain it a lot of it had to do with his eidetic memory, how his mind processed and catalogued what he heard, felt and saw, so he was secretly happy he was right.

 “That’s cool. But, remember water’s my territory,” Arthur said in mock affront, then he shifted to a nasally voice using one of the tackiest, plummy British accents Clark had ever heard “The islands have the whitest sand, like strewn diamonds, the most gorgeous sunsets in this side of the world. You can explore this paradise, personally escorted by yours truly,” he added dramatically.

 Clark rolled his eyes and laughed. “And you have a phone?” He knew that he was really sidestepping Arthur’s flirty comment? Offer?

 “Yup. I have my ways.” Arthur chuckled softly. “So, just say the word, I’ll pick you up.”

 “I can’t I’m sorry.” Clark said regrettably. To be out there in Australia with Arthur was very tempting. 

“Oh, good!” Arthur breathed out immediately in mock relief. “I was worried you might actually take me up on that offer, then I have to really come there and get you.”

“Wow, you’re just… I don’t even know what you are.” 

“Look I get it. You have shit to do. Unless you’re just playing hard to get.”

“Does this really work? You’re very subtle.” Clark said, another smile tugging at his lips.

“Well, you tell me. I’ll cook, and I’ll bring you somewhere not too far from your precious North.”

“I’ll see you in three days, Arthur.” Clark said. They talked for a couple more minutes. Clark listened to what Arthur had been doing since he left the Bering Sea. There were pirates in the Indian Ocean, he said. There was that opportunistic algae problem in the Great Barrier Reef, made worse by global warming, that he had been dealing with.

 “Need help?” Clark asked.

“You do miss me…”

 Clark couldn’t help another grin as he said bye to Arthur.

 That week, in between flirty one-liners and come-ons were late night phone calls where they would just talk. It was mostly Arthur doing the talking which Clark didn’t mind, in a short span of time they had settled into a comfortable rhythm in their conversations.  Arthur had also gotten into the habit of just texting him at random times during the day even just sending him silly, stupid things that would make him laugh. Arthur didn’t seem to mind that Clark sometimes could not text him back, which Clark appreciated. Even with all the travelling he did, Clark wasn’t a big texter, his Mom preferred talking to him. The only other person who would text him was Pete. They would text each other now and then so he’d get updates about Smallville. Pete Ross was far from being the bully in that bus, a thousand years ago. He was now a teacher in the local middle school; he had promised Clark he’ll keep an eye out for Martha. 

 The only problem with Arthur texting is that Clark began to look forward to those texts, and that he liked texting Arthur. And not only that the late night conversations had started becoming a pleasant way to unwind after a long hard day. Clark had known Arthur for a week, yet Arthur had suddenly become a part of his day. He honestly did not quite know what to do with that realization. Also he was very aware that he was looking forward to seeing Arthur again.

 Try to guess where I am? Arthur texted at one point.

 You’re near water.

Very funny. Anyway, I’m close -- came Arthur’s reply punctuated with a wink emoji.

 It was another day in the Bearcat, Weaver was busy showing the new waitress around, some relative who agreed to help for the season, probably why Weaver was in a pretty good mood lately. Weaver had also hired another kid to be a waiter/busboy/kitchen hand. The kid was a hard worker; he was now living in the backroom that was vacated by Clark.  Around 3pm, Weaver finally noticed that Clark didn’t even take lunch yet. “Joe, take a break.” Wow, Weaver must be really in a good mood. Clark said a quick thanks as he made his hasty escape, before Weaver had a chance to change his mind. He grabbed his beanie and anorak. Clark decided to take a walk by the shoreline, away from the noise of the Weaver’s heavy metal music and the constant traffic and chaos of the truck stop.  He ducked into a deserted alley making sure no one could see him use his speed. He headed towards the same beach that he came out of after the oil rig accident. It felt so long ago, even though only two weeks had just passed. He extended his sight a couple hundred miles more and noticed that different clean-up crews and barges trying to get the rig operational again. He almost did not notice someone else was standing next to him.

 “This is sweet, you came back to the place where we first met.”

 “Hey Arthur! I thought you weren’t coming back till tomorrow?” Clark turned, and Arthur hugged him, and he hugged back somewhat awkwardly. Arthur was expecting something perhaps a little more sociable, a kiss kinda sociable. Kansas still so shy.

 Arthur half shrugged. “Well, I wanted to be here, sooner to keep an eye on that little operation just to make sure they clean up their mess quickly and properly... how you’ve been?”

 “Not bad, nothing changed much since we texted this morning,” Clark lightly teased.

 Arthur chuckled. “Here I brought you something from Maine.” Arthur handed Clark a brown paper bag.

 “You shouldn’t have, thanks. I thought you said you were in Australia.” Clark said. Although he was puzzled, it was the size of a takeaway bag and it still felt warm all the way from Maine and it smelled slightly of… fish?

 Arthur must have sensed the question in his head. “I had to see my dad. Anyway they have this travel box that keeps it warm, and sorry about the fish smell. One carried it for me.”

 “What? How… do whales carry things? Arthur… was this inside her?”

 “They’re great burgers.” Arthur replied, sidestepping the question.

“Burgers…” Clark said with a flash of confusion on his face.

 “Man, not just any burgers, lobster burgers. It’s great with a stout, which I also have.”

 “Lobster burgers and... beer?”

 The look of confusion morphed into deep thought, but to Arthur it was almost like he was studying the bag way too intensely. Jesus, this sucked, Arthur knew he should have asked his dad for advice. But the burgers were really good and Maine-ish, and Clark liked food. And the beer — big, bold and hearty like Maine itself. They were really great together. Like they could be great together, preferably with fewer clothes. Wasn’t that the thing people did, when they like someone, bring them stuff from wherever they travelled? Clark was still holding the bag, and a frown replaced the confused look. He tilted his head his expression distracted. Arthur had an awful feeling that he would lose any chance of future sex with hot alien guy because he gave him beer and lobster burgers.

 “I’m sorry—” Arthur started to say.

 Clark’s head jerked back and up, “Do you hear that?”  Arthur had a feeling this wasn’t about the burgers anymore. “Screams… from the highway…”

 Before Arthur could even think of an answer, Clark was gone. Arthur had a sense of being slammed by a gale force wind and Clark was just gone. The bright yellow anorak that Clark was wearing was now a rapidly disappearing yellow dot as he rushed down the shoreline. Arthur whistled, a seagull briefly circled above him then shot up, angled in the direction to where Clark sped away. Something’s going on. He needed eyes up there, so he can track Clark. He swam faster, but a seagull’s eyesight was far superior with long distances out here. Arthur lost no time and shucked off his shirt and jacket, then dove into the water. It didn’t take long; the scouting seagull had spotted Clark. Arthur was there in no time, his whales following him closely.

 It was the bridge. The McKenzie Bridge spanned the wide channel between the eastern mainland side with the city’s more remote communities to the west of Yellowknife. Arthur could not believe the sight that greeted him. A large chunk of the bridge’s guardrail had been blown off, leaving a gaping maw of gnarled singed metal about twenty feet across. The source of the damage was now in the waters of the channel. The tractor trailer was carrying something that blew out of its cargo hold. It was an oxygen tank company, Arthur had figured from the name on the side of the trailer. Its driver and passenger could have easily drowned into the deep and below freezing water if it wasn’t for Clark. Clark had pulled out the driver and passenger of the truck and they were already sitting on dry land covered in mylar blankets. One of them was already on his phone, no doubt calling emergency services. 

 There was a screech of breaks above them followed by more screams. A Greyhound bus had skidded trying to avoid the burning debris on the road. The 18-ton bus full of passengers was now hanging precariously over the damaged bridge. A hundred-foot drop to the water below. From the bank of the channel, Clark gave Arthur a look.

 “Go, I got this.” Arthur yelled, and Clark went. Arthur wasn’t really sure what he’s “got” now, but he was confident he can deal with it. 

 The bus tilted more to towards the water. Eighteen tons of metal groaned under the strain of its front end as it hung midair. There were more screams. 

 Something snapped. A steel girder from the bridge, the gnarled piece of metal that was keeping the bus on the bridge, fell. The bus lurched towards the water. And it started to fall.

 Arthur braced himself, considered all the possible options he had to save as much people as he possibly can. Not quite sure how---

 Fuck.

 Then, impossibly, the bus was not falling anymore. Its fatal descent was halted, as if it was held up by an invisible thread, it began to right itself. Then slowly, carefully pushed back to the safety of the roadway by seemingly by large invisible hands. There was no doubt in Arthur’s mind it was Clark. How the hell was he doing this? He wasn’t pulling the bus from the back, that would cause too much strain, the front end was too heavy since most of the bus had slid off the bridge. And then he saw it, a figure in a yellow anorak. Clark was floating. Under the bus. Moving the bus with his bare hands, easing it back to safety, midair.

 Arthur could only imagine the sighs of relief inside the bus. These people have no idea…

 A squeal of breaks followed by an explosive sound interrupted Arthur’s thoughts. Clark was still holding onto the bus. A van had smashed through the weakened section of guardrail, its momentum carried it over the warped metal. It was in a freefall dive into the water.

 Arthur shot out of the water. I have to fucking catch the damn thing. I need some help. He saw the large shape of Two, all of 40 tons, the bigger of the whales, beneath him. 

 And there he had the van!  On the way down, he broke through the water feet first. The van tilted dangerously as Arthur held it up above him. He adjusted his grip until he the got the van settled on Two’s back as he surfaced. Arthur knew if he even stopped to think about the physics of his actions it would give him a headache for days. Maybe a lot of it was dumb luck. Well, whatever it was, it worked. He caught the van. He caught a van with four passengers. Two caught him and the van. Simple. No sweat. 

 After he settled the van on Two’s back. He checked on the passengers. They were fine. Maybe a little wide eyed and terrified with his trident sticking out through the hood. He might have improvised. He used his trident to catch the van. Maybe spear is a better word. The trident went clean through the engine, but everyone was nice and dry, and all in one piece. Thank you very much.

 “Kansas, I know you can hear me,” he muttered under his breath. “Finish whatever you’re doing. Let’s get the hell out of here. I’m not doing this all day.” As an answer to his “request,” he heard the cheers of the people from the bus.  The bus was safe. People were waving at him from the bridge. Traffic was controlled, and no one was falling off the bridge anymore.

 Shortly thereafter, a rescue helicopter arrived on scene ready to airlift both the van and the people off Two. He could see the news camera guy, hanging off the rescue chopper aimed at him and the whale. This is going to be interesting, he thought wryly. His scouting seagull circled above him and relayed a message: There’s no sign of Clark.

 In the corner of his eye, he saw something yellow floating on the water. Quickly, he swam after it, fearing the worst. But it was only Clark’s anorak. He must’ve abandoned it, Arthur thought.

 Arthur swam back to the beach where he had last seen Clark. The takeaway bag with the burgers was gone. He was worried, he knew he shouldn’t be worried—the man was fireproof and apparently could fly. He put his shirt on and his coat. Somehow, he had the sense to drop it by the rocks away from the waters’ edge. He sat next to a large outcrop of rocks and thought about all that chaos on the bridge and what he and Clark had just done. Sighing, he decided he was done thinking for now. He felt a sudden breeze hit him.

 “Sorry for that,” Clark said as he closed the distance between them. “… and sorry I had to leave, I didn’t want Weaver to think I took an extended lunch.” Arthur noticed he had on a different shirt and jacket. An unexpected pang hit Arthur’s chest at how Clark was always so careful about keeping his secret. 

 “Is everything okay?”

“Yeah, yeah, it’s good it’s kinda dead at the bar right now, it will be for hours what with the traffic being rerouted because of the damaged bridge. I didn’t want to just leave and not thank you for the stuff you brought from Maine.”

 Arthur perked up, “Did you get to try them?”

 “I didn’t get a chance yet. I’m sure they’re great. And you know what I can’t believe you speared that van, and the thing with the whales.” Clark flashed him a shy smile that made his eyes shine.

 Oh, wow, he dug the burgers! Arthur thought, then said, “Catching vehicles in midair is not my gig. We worked well together.” Arthur felt something release inside him, he was just so relieved, relieved that he didn’t fuck up saving those people, didn’t fuck up with the burgers (well the jury was still out with that) but Clark’s here so… “I’ve never done that before with anybody. And you were awesome,” Fuck, get a hold of yourself…  “I can’t believe you could do that ---“ 

 Arthur didn't  get any further, because Clark's too blue eyes were now focused on him. Clark leaned up to him then took Arthur's face in his hands, pulled him down and kissed him.

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 3

 

 

Clark came to talk to Arthur,he just wanted to thank him for the burgers and thank him for helping with the rescue. It might also be the right time to actually say goodbye to Arthur. In Clark’s head it went something like this: hey this was fun but he was going to leave soon which should be cool since Arthur led the same nomadic lifestyle that he did, right? No worries, see you at the next disaster or whenever. And then Clark saw Arthur, the large bulk of him sitting there, the intense expression on his face as he gazed at the sea, then the smile that lit up the very being of him. Arthur being Arthur, just talking, apologizing, then something inside Clark cracked. He reached out and kissed Arthur. 

 

When their lips met, Arthur felt the wind around them pick up as icy rain fell once again, but for Arthur his awareness narrowed down to the warmth of Clark’s lips against his and Clark’s hand curled around his shoulder. How Clark’s solid body felt so good pressed against his. Clark’s hands sliding up against his back. A breath shuddered out of Arthur, sensations swamping over him. He wanted nothing more than to just drown in them, to just let go, hoping that this is also what Clark wanted since he made the first move. But even so, Arthur pulled back abruptly and slowly relaxed his grasp on Clark’s side. “I’m sorry,” he said breathlessly. “Not that I’m complaining Kansas. But…uhh... is everything okay?”

  

Clark’s dazed eyes blinked at him. “Yeah, I… uhh… didn’t want you to think I just bailed on you… thanks for the burgers and all your help. I know it wasn’t really your thing,” he said softly.

 

Anything could be my thing as far as you 're concerned, Arthur wanted to say but decided that would make him too schmoopy and he’ll be officially sick of himself. Instead he said, “You’re welcome but something tells me you would’ve been perfectly fine without me.”

 

“I don’t know about that, but thanks for the vote of confidence.”

 

Arthur stepped away and let his hands travel slowly from Clark’s biceps down to his hands before he held both of them, “So, I promised you dinner.” 

 

“Dinner.” Clark repeated. He looked down to where Arthur’s hands held his. A part of him became very aware of how expectant Arthur looked, and how a small niggling part of him was off balanced by his intense response to this man. “Dinner… sure. When?”

 

“How’s tonight?” 

 

Clark looked down again at both their hands; Arthur knew he was thinking and tried not to wonder if he was thinking of saying no. “Tonight works,” Clark said eventually. 

 

Arthur gave Clark the coordinates to his light house like it was the most normal thing to do, giving your date, the latitude and longitude of where you’re going to meet because you can’t simply Uber over because it was in the middle of the great Bering Sea. Clark didn’t even have to write them down, Arthur noted because he had said so casually “I have a good memory,” of course, he did.

 

“It’s tall and white, with a red roof. Don’t be late.” Arthur added for good measure.

 

“Really, a red roof?” Clark teased. Arthur leaned over for a quick goodbye kiss. At least Arthur suspected it was just going to be a quick goodbye kiss. He wasn’t really sure what happened after that, but somehow, every inch of him was pressed against Clark again, pinning Clark on one of the large gray boulders, jutting out from the sea cliff. Clark was clutching and grasping him, his firm body arching against Arthur and Arthur was kissing him down his neck, then sucking and biting so hard at the soft skin just behind his collarbone and someone’s hand was tugging someone’s pants and Clark was panting, “Oh God- ” 

 

And then ---

 

--- Arthur pushed away from him, staggered to the edge of the water, light- headed, heart thumping hard and fast against his rib cage. He huffed and shucked his shirt and jacket, then threw it to the sand savagely, as if it personally offended him. “Sorry, almost couldn’t stop--,” his voice was husky. “See you at eight o’clock, k?”

 

Clark was still leaning against the boulder, head back, one hand holding it for support, like if he had nothing to hold on to, he’ll just rush at Arthur like the storm tide to the shore. He looked at him sideways as he felt a flush climb up his face. He had to swallow before he could speak. “It’s okay… I’m fine…. and yeah, 8 is perfect, it’ll give me time to umm… settle things… at the bar.”

 

“That’s in three hours,” Arthur reminded him. 

 

“I know,” Clark said, a smile tugged at the corners of his mouth. “I know…I’m looking forward to it.”

 

Arthur watched Clark, smiling that smile that looked equal parts pleased and shy, ridiculously hot with his curls impossibly wrecked by wind and water. Clark’s head was thrown back, the pale, bare skin of his neck slick with rivulets of rain, Arthur just wanted to do things to that neck with his mouth. There was an extraordinary effort on his part not to launch himself at Clark and just drag him into the ocean like a deranged sea crab. There was nothing else that Arthur wanted right now but just hold him against his body while he swam and kiss him endlessly deep within the ocean’s cool depths. For all the things that Clark probably hid from Arthur, Arthur was sure of one thing, Clark wanted him too. He was about to dive, then he turned to Clark again.

 

“Don’t get lost. If something happens, call me!”

 

“I will, I promise” He waved at him and chuckled. And Arthur knew even without looking back that Clark’s eyes followed him until he swam deeper into the sea. 

 

 ~~~~~~

 

Twelve hours before Arthur came back to Yellowknife, he made a slight detour of a mere 5 to 7 thousand miles just to go to Maine. Maine, of course, was where his dad lived. And he had promised he was going to see him; it has been at least 3 months since he had been home. His dad looked great, but the handrails on their dock looked shaky as shit and needed to be replaced. After a quick trip to the hardware store, they replaced not only the handrails but also the pilings. It was the perfect time for that project, since it had been an unseasonably warm week at that part of the coast. But it was still very hard work, that could’ve taken 2 or 3 people an entire day. Arthur alone could’ve done it quicker, but his dad in not so many words insisted on helping. Arthur didn’t mind it, it was something for both of them to do together, for Tom Curry was a proud man. The entire house would probably fall apart first, and he would never ask Arthur to help him. His dad had been teasing him, he had his own life now and would be always be too busy to see his old man. It was hard to think of Tom Curry as being old, aside from a few gray- hairs and deeper laugh lines, he still had that same twinkle in his eye, and kept busy running the lighthouse the same way he did when Arthur was a tiny kid that barely reached his knees. Also, his dad could still out-drink his son like no one’s business, which was awesome in Arthur’s mind since the absolute best thing to do after hours of long hard work outdoors was just hang out with some ice-cold beer. But Arthur knew despite how he lit up when he saw his son, there was a sadness to Tom Curry. A sadness that made him come to the water’s edge, where he would curse under his breath at the sea that gave and took away his everything.

 

On his journey back to Yellowknife, Arthur caught two lobsters in the cold waters off Maine’s northern coast, where the bigger and more delicious lobsters could be found. He needs to be prepared, just in case the dinner with Kansas did happen. He is just being a good host; he told himself. Sure, there were lobsters in the waters off Canada and Alaska, but in Arthur’s opinion they were not as tasty as their Maine cousins. Usually traveling under the icy waters back to the opposite coast while making sure his lobsters weren’t too stressed out was really no sweat. He was The Aquaman for God’s sake.

 

However, this time was not one of his usual coast to coast trips. He caught wind of an attempted hijacking of a Typhon-class, Russian nuclear-powered submarine. These pirates, Arthur thought miserably, you get rid of one group but somehow there were still other groups out there that slithered out of dark places. Typhon class subs were quiet, fast-moving behemoths that carried at least 20 ballistic missiles and ten nuclear warheads. The type of subs that very bad and very rich men wanted in their backyards in case they want to hold governments hostage or start wars. Pirates that targeted them tend to be especially bold, well connected and particularly ruthless. They weren’t just some random pirates out to score weapons, goods and money, most of them were well-trained mercenaries with some black ops military background with serious firepower. The whole thing wasn’t supposed to be complicated. Stop pirates, rescue the crew, pirates go to jail or whoever was still left kicking around after he has put a stop to their evil plans then everybody goes home and have a good drink (except the pirates of course) It became complicated when one pirate decided he could take him down with a grenade launcher. It became even more complicated when he tried to use the grenade launcher on him again, but on that second time he missed Arthur wildly and blew a giant hole into the sub’s hull. 

 

The shrapnel from the grenade blew out the torpedos’ harness. Torpedos fell off its rack on the sub’s wall and one of them crushed a pirate against the wall. The breach in the sub’s hull started to peel open, and water poured in faster. Arthur was already climbing up the ladder to the main cabin. 

 

“David!” the older man yelled, as he pushed against the heavy torpedo uselessly.

 

“Dad! No! No! We’re getting out of here!” The son pushed against the missile, trying to dislodge his father. He looked up at Arthur with mad desperation. “Wait! Help me, he’s trapped! You can’t leave him like this!”

 

Arthur had paused, then looked down at them, “You kill innocent people, you ask the sea for mercy!”

 

The chamber was rapidly flooding with sea water. Arthur climbed up the ladder, leaving father and son behind him with their anguished screams. Arthur knew if he hadn’t caught up to them at that time, they will continue their ruthlessness. Their victims deserved justice, these pirates needed to pay blood for blood, Vulko had taught him as much. The sea had passed its judgment, as was its right. Arthur briefly wondered, as he towed the rescued sailors’ lifeboats to safety, how Kansas would deal with bad guys if he ever came across them, because he seemed so nice. Arthur had very little qualms when it came to fighting, Vulko had trained him how to handle a trident and tried to teach him some sort of Atlantean jujitsu, but he was much more a brawler at heart. Funny enough, he had originally planned to stay in Australia for another week. If he had done that, he wouldn’t have come across them. Luckily the whole thing with the pirates didn’t take too long since his whale, Two was stuck baby-sitting his lobsters he wasn’t thrilled with him. 

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

Within minutes after seeing Clark, Arthur arrived at his lighthouse off the coast of Alaska. The light house was on its own, isolated island facing the Bering Sea. The red roof that Clark laughed at was a welcome sight, a bright splash of color against the gray clouds. This place he called home for now was one of the smaller and more remote Alaskan islands, so remote that it was poorly documented and generally unknown. It occupied a two-sentence blurb in the Coast Guard data banks, that it was a private property, with the lighthouse and its grounds funded and managed by a tiny ocean conservancy group under the aegis of Greenpeace. An Arthur Thomas was the name listed as its custodian. Nobody bothered him as long as he kept the light house running and paid all the government fees. Some will call it a lonely existence, but he was never truly comfortable landlocked. Here was a home as close as he can get to live near the open sea. 

 

The lower level of the lighthouse was home to his saltwater aquarium. Currently they were occupied by the lobsters, they were doing okay and seemed content to just chill on the bottom of the tank. For tonight, he had decided to just stick the classics, simple yet hearty meals, just like his dad taught him. You could never go wrong with a good surf and turf. Tonight they will start off with lobster bites, then the pride and joy of the Curry household: grilled T bone steak which have been soaked in a marinate with secret ingredients and since they were legit Mainers — lobster that rivaled the state’s best recipes.

 

Arthur remembered his dad’s story when he first witnessed his mom eat an entire lobster raw. He almost lost it. Sure, on the morning after they met, she had snacked on a goldfish or two. His mother had thought that the best thing to eat with hot soup was fresh goldfish from his small aquarium. For her meals, Atlanna would pick through whatever she just caught like she was eating in the finest sushi restaurant and her meal wasn’t just swimming around two seconds ago. But to witness her just easily tear through the lobster’s carapace with her teeth and eat everything was a unique experience altogether. His dad gained an entirely new level of respect at the Atlantean digestive system. His father tried his best to keep it cool because he didn’t want to upset his mother. By the time his mom was pregnant with him, he was now used to other extremely fresh food items that would randomly appear during their meals. But he admitted he got a little rattled when she bit off the head of a still squirming eel because she had a CRAVING for eels. He just made sure to move his plate a little farther away from hers because he really didn’t want her breakfast eating his breakfast, or his hand for that matter. Arthur was always fond of the way his father’s face would light up when he talked about his Mom, she was still his world even after all this time.

 

Arthur’s phone pinged an incoming text, it was Clark telling him he was 30 minutes out and not to worry about drinks and dessert. The T-Bone steaks had been sitting in a marinade prepared from his dad’s recipe. It’ll go on the grill as soon as Clark would get here. He already had dinner rolls baking nicely in the oven. Caesar salad in the fridge. The water in the large pot had reached boiling point. Arthur dunked the freshly prepped lobsters into the pot, then adjusted the heat. He did a quick drink inventory and decided he needed to put more beer in the fridge; you know, just in case.

 

After that he rooted around to gather some ingredients for the lobster sauce, “Sneaking around now, aren’t, we?” He sighed as he closed the fridge door.

 

“I never sneak around. You were very busy. Now, if I remember from the last time, your lobster sauce needs more garlic.” Vulko, the royal adviser and Arthur’s mentor, leaned against the door.

 

“I’m sure you’re not here to criticize my cooking.”

 

“When you were very young, you asked me why Atlanteans eat fish when in fact they were against fishing by the surface world.” Vulko answered in a non sequitur. “That’s when I taught you, we only take what we need from the sea and we are also its stewards. Not like the surface world that only takes, their greed and hunger, never satisfied. Although one thing I have to give credit, the surface world for is the most excellent garlic and butter sauce.”

 

Arthur gave a non- committal hum as an answer as he started moving ingredients to the kitchen table. 

 

“I see we’re expecting guests. ”

 

“Why are you here, Vulko?” Arthur asked calmly. His mentor was usually more direct, the fact that he wasn’t didn’t sit too well with Arthur. Vulko had developed a habit of visiting him unannounced for training and lecturing him about his place in the world. He was glad Clark wasn’t around yet, and he would very much want Vulko to leave so he could concentrate on getting ready for dinner. 

 

“Alright.” Vulko said. For the first time in a very long time, Arthur noticed the royal advisor didn’t seem to be his usual calm and collected self. He sniffed at the marinating steak, stabbed it with his finger before bringing it to his mouth tasting it, “I see you’ve met someone.”

 

Arthur clamped the surge of anger inside him, he busied himself with rummaging through his kitchen for utensils before answering Vulko. He turned and pointed the tongs he was holding at him. “You’ve been spying on me.”

 

Vulko’s eyebrow merely arched, unperturbed by the threat of a grilling utensil. “Spying would mean actual stealth in observation, something which was not required of me. Your feats at the bridge were there for everyone to see. And that public display by the ocean ---”

 

“Please, don’t finish that sentence. You know that this is none of your business.” Arthur interrupted, then he turned and busied himself with cooking the lobster sauce. The thought that Vulko saw him making out with Clark made the skin on Arthur’s ears flush hotter than the stove. And to think he and Clark almost lost control of themselves. He swore that if his food was ruined, it will all be Vulko’s fault.

 

“I know what he did for those surface dwellers on the oil rig. He is not like the rest of them.” There was a measured but disapproving tone in the royal adviser’s voice.

 

“So, he’s strong. I’m strong. He has abilities like me, like the others.”

 

“True, but this man we know nothing of him and his strange abilities. You are Queen Atlanna’s son you have a place in this world, a destiny.” Vulko paused, he watched his charge closely before speaking again. “He could be a threat, Arthur.”

 

Arthur turned sharply at him. “I’m sorry, dramatic, much, aren’t we? He is not a threat. And we are not having another discussion about my place in this world. You trained me, and I will always be grateful for that. I have been doing my thing up here, go me. You’ve been doing all your royal stuff down there. Go you. Seriously, just go.”

 

“Indeed, you have been doing your ‘thing’ up here. And very well, I might add, I am very proud. Your Mother would have been very proud. But you are Atlantis’ heir and protector. Just as you protect this home, never forget your other home.”

 

“This, here, is my only home, Vulko. I can protect the sea from here. Atlantis doesn’t want a half-breed, Atlantis killed my mother for simply having me. Look, we go through this over and over. You tell me the same thing. I tell you the same thing.” 

 

“Arthur, I still grieve for the Queen. She loved Atlantis, most of all she loved you so much. She wanted you to be the bridge between the surface world and Atlantis. I simply don’t want you to forget that. I would be remiss of my promise to watch over you if I don’t advice you to be careful. There are things in this world that you know very little of, even as you think you have no need of me.”

 

“I am her bastard son, Vulko. I am not her heir. I will never be king; I don’t want to be king. My relationship with him is nobody’s business, especially Atlantis. And he is not a threat to your world or any world.” He turned to him fully, “I will always need you, old man, never forget that.”

 

“Stubborn like your Mother.” Vulko's stern expression softened slightly. “Arthur, I understand more than you give me credit for, I understand that new love can—,” he cleared his throat loudly, “--be somewhat, shall we say… overwhelming.”

 

“New love? No, it’s not—”

 

“—you have been rootless, barely in one place, now you’ve stayed here for a week—“

 

“—- I did not stay here for a week, I left...then came... back.” Shit, great job explaining yourself there.

 

Vulko sighed deeply, “All I’m saying is that because of what he is, it will just complicate things further. You don’t need that.” Vulko countered. 

 

“Vulko, please. Just leave him alone, he has nothing to do with Atlantis. He has nothing to do with what I think my place in this world is, which is to have little to do with Atlantis as much as possible.” He gave himself a moment before continuing, trying to think through what to say next. Vulko made a good point he always did, he was a long lived Atlantean court adviser for crying out loud, he could not even imagine the day to day mental gymnastics just to deal with Orm, Atlantis’ other kingdoms and him. “For the first time in a long time, I want to spend time with someone, get to know them, you know stuff like that,” he huffed, he turned off the stove then began taking out plates from the shelf, anything to keep him busy since this was already awkward as fuck.

 

“I see,” Vulko placated. “Perhaps I can meet this person, since you are intent on courting him. And I can figure out his intentions. Judging, from what you are doing, you are preparing for what they call a date. I will wait for him.” And to Arthur’s horror, Vulko proceeded to settle himself on the couch. 

 

“Courting? No. No, no, no. NO courting, NO meeting. Please, Vulko. Can you just go, please?”

 

Vulko sighed, the sigh of the long suffering, after a very long minute of studying Arthur, stood up. “I trust I did not raise a fool. Please remember I only wish for your happiness and your safety.”

 

“Jesus, will you just chill.” Arthur placed a hand on Vulko’s shoulder then squeezed it, hoping to allay the fears of his mentor, “Like I said, you taught me well I can take care of myself.”

 

“I might have failed in that regard.”

 

“Very funny, old man.”

 

Vulko placed a hand on his chest in response. “Till next time, Arthur. Be well.” 

 

“Be well, Vulko.”

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Sweet Emotion by Aerosmith was playing through his speakers when Arthur’s text alert chimed. Ahh, nothing like the classics, Arthur thought.

 

I’m here. 

 

Arthur walked over to the gallery deck and looked down. Clark waved up at him by the stairs. “What are you waiting for? Come on up!” He hollered at him.

 

After traversing the winding stone steps, Clark met Arthur at the front door. He came in and they exchanged a very chaste kiss. Clark stood there, shuffling his feet as they regarded each other, an air of uncertainty and awkwardness in between them. Just for the record, Arthur had no problems just resuming what they were doing at the beach. Dinner be damned. He felt they shouldn’t go back to pre-groping status when they actually actively groped each other already. But then again, he didn’t want to scare off Clark and have him running to Papua New Guinea if he slammed him against the wall and just have his way with him.

 

“I made pie… aside from the beer, which I bought… umm… so you live here, huh?” He smiled, a little too nervously, in Arthur’s opinion.

 

 I guess no making out… yet. “Yeah, this is me for now! Thanks you didn’t have to!” Arthur said, but he was actually secretly glad that Clark did. It was nice. Clark was a nice guy. Arthur couldn’t help but think it was a very sweet gesture, so sweet it was giving him a toothache. Clark gave him one of his shy shrugs in response.

 

“I baked this from scratch no powers or anything. It’s not like my Mom’s but I hope you’ll like it.” He held up a pie.

 

“I’m sure I’ll love it. Hope you brought your appetite. Cause one thing we Curry men can do is cook a mean steak and since I grew up in Maine, my seafood ain’t chopped liver either.” He closed the heavy metal door behind them. “Welcome to my lighthouse. Although nowadays with GPS and more sophisticated navigation systems, nobody depends on lighthouses alone. This one here is fully automated, complete with a solar powered lamp. It has a single stationary light, timed to flash at regular intervals. Fortunately, a rare lizard lives here and so I can list it as a nature reserve, lawfully keeping everyone else away. And as long as I don’t ask the government for money and continue to keep the lights running, nobody cares.”

 

“Wow, what a place to live!”

 

“Thanks! Though technically I don’t really live anywhere. But yeah this is home for now, I found it 3 years ago, bought it and fixed it up.” Arthur observed Clark, he looked impressed, but he felt Kansas was just too polite to ask why or even how the hell did he buy an entire lighthouse, if it was him he’d just ask outright. He had several of these scattered all over the world. While Arthur’s dad made sure he got an education, Vulko made sure he had a proper place to live, well in this case several proper places to live. Arthur had at first refused any financial help from him. No matter how you deny it, you are royalty, this is your birthright, even if you choose to live like a nomad, Vulko had told him. Don’t think of it as coming from Atlantis, think of it as coming from the sea, you are still its child. What came from the sea were rare gold coins from 16th century sunken Spanish galleons discreetly sold to rare coin dealers in different parts of the world.

 

“Nice woodwork.” Clark said as he ran his hands on the curving staircase that led up to the second level of the lighthouse.

 

“Yeah, I’m all about the woodwork.” He smiled mischievously. “Dinner will be right here. Mi casa es su casa and all that fancy shit.” Arthur opened the heavy glass and metal door with a flourish that made Clark smile again. The heavy ornate doors opened into what once served as the service room of the lighthouse, now outfitted as a living area. A narrow wrought iron staircase curved in the middle of the room. Above them was the Lantern Room, with all the lighting equipment. The outdoor metal deck that was part of the support structure wrapped around the entire lighthouse. The sun was just setting, the changing northern skies above them shimmered, and on the horizon long arcs of bluish green light painted themselves on the sky. Smaller arcs of pink and dark red on its edges added to their otherworldly beauty. 

 

“If I lived here, I’ll probably never leave.” Clark said wistfully as he stared at the horizon.

 

Arthur came up from behind, he felt a wave of sadness from Clark, once again he wished he could make it all better for him. “Wellll…. “ Arthur drawled, a mischievous twinkle in his eyes, “Then don’t go home.” He was teasing, or was he?

 

Clark gave him an incredulous look for a moment, then smiled that shy smile of his again. “Do I smell bacon?”

 

“Lobster bites with bacon. Like my dad always say ‘everything is better with bacon,’ and the steaks are grilling. Arthur lead Clark to the kitchen table. He stifled a sigh. Kansas’ shyness was such a turn on, but he knew he should be a gentleman and behave for now.

 

They ate quietly for a while as they dug into the steak and lobster. The conversation bounced around easily, starting with a movie that Arthur had playing for dinner (47 Ronin- Keanu Reeves), the food (This lobster is from Maine!?!) childhood (bullies suck) sports (Clark talked about how he wasn’t allowed to play as soon as his abilities became more apparent but played baseball with his Dad to learn muscle control, Arthur revealed how he found most sports boring since he basically beat everyone and did not really care much about hiding his abilities) They both agreed they had very stubborn fathers who would rather do things on their own than ask their sons for help.

 

Arthur was very pleased at the enthusiasm that Kansas had as he demolished his steak and lobster. Kansas had relaxed considerably. When his fingers were covered in garlic sauce he licked them, then stuck his thumb into his mouth then popped it out, it made Arthur’s dick twitch and stand at attention. There was no guile, just Kansas enjoying the food and his company.  It was a good thing; he liked the fact that Kansas can turn him on just like that. Ever since Arthur realized his own raw sex appeal at a young age, he barely had to do anything, sex was easy to get, most of his partners men and women alike were all very willing and eager he didn’t have to do much or really care to do anything at all. Kansas was a different vibe altogether.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

“You can fly and bake!” Arthur exclaimed after he took the first bite of the blueberry pie when it was finally time for dessert. 

 

“You can thank my mom for the baking. I mean I try, it’s not like my Mom’s but I’m glad you like it. As for the flying, I don’t know if you could call it that. I was on the beach, then I saw the truck falling and ran and I was thinking ‘I have to get up there’… then I was up there.” He stopped and looked at Arthur like he could not believe what he was telling him. “I was up there,” he repeated softly, more to himself in wonder and disbelief. “Arthur, I couldn’t even think how it happened. All I knew was that I had to keep that bus from falling into the water. If I messed up… it would’ve been…”

 

“You didn’t mess up.” Arthur asserted.

 

“Um, not gonna lie, still trying to figure out that stuff.” Of course, it wasn’t the first time it happened. The first time he thought he was a goner when he slid off the grain silo’s roof. He was 10, and he loved laying down on the roof just watching the clouds go by. It was dinnertime and he could hear his Mom calling for him. As he climbed down, his right foot landed wrong and the next thing he knew, he was falling off the ladder. Clark closed his eyes in panic, fully expecting to just slam into the ground, hard. He wasn’t sure how long he fell, but nothing happened, nothing except he felt Hank lick his face. He opened his eyes and he was about two feet above the ground, just… floating. What the fuck, kid? Hank, their dog seemed to say. He reached out to touch the ground, testing it, testing the reality around him. He was just floating there. Clark tried to stand up but instead of actually reaching the ground, he found himself drifting further and further up. It was terrifying, seeing the ground going far, farther away from him. He panicked and screamed at the top of his lungs, Mom!!! Hank began barking like crazy. When his mom ran out, he was already at least six feet above the ground. Martha, on an impulse, grabbed him by the ankle and tried to pull him down. Clark! Hold on! She cried. But Clark felt like his stomach had caved in itself when all that happened was he didn’t stop, but continued floating higher and higher. Clark realized in horror his mom was barely holding onto his ankle, he twisted his body to reach down and grab her but the momentum of his movement made them spin and the next thing he knew… his mom was falling!

 

As soon as his mom hit the ground, there was a grinding, crunching sound. Then she screamed. Clark had never heard his mom scream like that before, a pained wail that scared him so much. The next thing he knew, he had hit the ground right next to her. Clark crawled closer to her, her face was drained of color, her arm bent in the most unnatural way and a shaft of bone stuck out through torn bleeding skin. “Mom, what can I do?” He cried. His mom struggled to get up. Clark remembered his overwhelming fear, rooted on the spot, too afraid to even touch his mom, because he could see how much pain she was in. It was all his fault. He remembered the relief he felt when his dad was suddenly there, holding her, helping her. That was the first time he had heard the sound of breaking bones. His mom wasn’t mad, his dad wasn’t mad, even with what happened they were still so worried about him.  That made Clark feel worse --- he hurt his Mom, he made his dad worry, he wanted to just run, run away from everyone and everything but he was even too scared to even do that. Her arm was in a cast for weeks, it made Clark ill just thinking about it. It was one of the first lessons he learned about his abilities, people got hurt if he screwed up.

 

People got hurt if he screwed up. His dad knew that even then, didn’t trust him with what he could do. Didn’t trust the world. But he trusted his dad so much, he let him die. Clark couldn’t save him because his dad didn’t want him to. Today at the bridge, Clark was just relieved it all worked out, nobody had to die. What would his dad think—

 

Kansas…. Kansas.

 

“CLARK!”

 

“Sorry.”

 

“Hey, everything okay?” Concern clouded Arthur’s ruggedly handsome face. “Lost you there for a minute, where’d you go, buddy?”

 

“I think I was about to tell you, you should have seen me trying to get down from the bridge.” Clark felt bad about lying but he wasn’t about to be a killjoy either after all the trouble Arthur went through to make dinner. “I somehow found myself under the bridge, and I just straight out fell into the ocean, it was embarrassing. I didn’t mean to bail on you. I couldn’t stick around after that, there were too many people. I didn’t want to risk anyone ID-ing me. I didn’t even get a chance to thank you, I’m sorry.”

 

“That’s why your raincoat was in the water.” Arthur frowned. “You could have yelled or something, I was worried.”

 

Clark felt something warm curl in his chest at Arthur’s words. “I’m really sorry.” A stab of guilt hit him, another apology, he felt even more guilty because he had a feeling there would be more apologies to come in the future.

 

Arthur took a long drink at that. He sat in some sort of contemplative silence for a minute digesting what Clark had said before, he suddenly perked up, a naughty glint in his eyes. “Hey what if your body suddenly splits apart and something comes out large with wings like you know, Mothra?”

 

“Very funny, Arthur. I remember having bad dreams about that.”

 

 “Jesus, I’m such an asshole, sorry.”

 

“Don’t worry about it. You know kids and over active imaginations…” Clark brushed it off, he knew Arthur was just kidding around. Clark’s hand strayed towards his chest, briefly touching the spot where a pendant hung under his shirt, in a chain around his neck. Arthur had seen it when he first saw him on that beach. It was small, rectangular, black and spiky, with some kind of sigil. 

 

“You know if you wanna talk… I know a thing or two about growing up different.” Arthur said gently as he watched Clark. 

 

“Thanks, to be honest it feels weird talking to someone else about this.” My dad died to protect my secret, he wanted to say. What if it was a mistake to trust Arthur. This is crazy, I should just go home.

 

But Clark didn’t really want to leave.

 

 They fell into silence, with Clark studying the beer label like it held all the secrets in the world. Arthur had an impression that perhaps once again he regretted telling Arthur as much. Suddenly, Vulko’s words earlier came unbidden. He might be stubborn but he trusted Vulko without question, he understood his doubts and how Clark with all the abilities he had seen could be a threat if he decided to BE one. He even let himself wonder what would happen if he ever had to fight Clark? Complications? No kidding. Vulko would rather have him hook up with some unsuspecting human, because he knew that would be fleeting it was just for him as what Vulko had said — “to borrow an earth phrase — sow your wild oats” or any Atlantean, for that would show that he had some “interest” in his mother’s people after all even if it was only “to sow his wild oats.”

 

When dinner was done, they cleared the dishes together. There was a subtle change in the energy between them. Earlier they were just talking, exchanging stories easily, like old friends catching up. Now they stood on opposite sides of the small kitchen, a sudden yet charged silence between them. 

 

“Thanks for dinner.” Clark finally said, his voice soft. 

 

“You’re welcome.” There’s was a look in Arthur’s eyes, expectant yet encouraging. His voice had a rougher timber that made Clark’s breath quicken. Silently, Arthur took Clark’s hand and slowly led him to the couch. The volume of whatever movie they were half watching during dinner earlier has been turned down, the voices just a murmur in the background. With a gesture, he invited Clark to sit in the couch. Arthur’s gaze was heavy and dark. Not taking his eyes away from Clark as he sat close to the cushioned arm of the couch. The swooping is his stomach intensified as he watched Clark settle himself on the couch. There was an excitement combined with the anxiety that he won’t fuck this up.

 

Clark was well aware that he wasn’t exactly your average sized guy. That’s why powers or not, he had no trouble getting jobs with the crab boats. Yet Arthur seemed so large as he stood over him, watching him, intense and quiet, all big and masculine. Clark felt his limbs tremble at the thought of Arthur’s bulk on top of him.

 

“Are you nervous?” Arthur murmured, voice low and intimate.

 

“No, we’ve kissed before.” Even as he said that, Clark felt a thrill travel along his spine, down to his belly.  

 

Arthur’s lips twisted into a teasing, salacious grin. “I’m hoping we could do more than kiss.”

 

There was no doubt, Clark wanted to do more than kiss but he also wanted to be honest with Arthur, he could feel the heat on his face as he spoke, “Just to let you know I’m not really very… you know… whatever expectations you might have cause I can do certain things… just don’t have them… please?”

 

“Have you had sex with men before?” Arthur asked quietly.

 

“When I was growing up, there was my friend Pete, in the barn. We would fool around, but never really went too far. A couple of times in college, didn’t really do much I was afraid didn’t really want to hurt anyone. Then later after college I just travelled a lot… I mean I’d do stuff to take the edge off… then there’s the internet…” His face was hot as his fingers twisted the edge of his shirt.

 

Arthur sat down next to him. Pete in the barn. Yikes! Arthur made an effort to scrub the mental image that suddenly sprang in his head that of some snot-nosed, freckled face-farm boy touching Clark. Fuck. “We could start kissing. Just relax and let’s have a good time. And don’t worry, I don’t break easy.” When Clark didn’t answer, he took that as an affirmative. “You can put your hands on me,” Arthur encouraged. 

 

Clark lifted his eyes at Arthur and placed his hands on the sides of this torso. Clark felt Arthur’s sudden intake of breath as his hands touched his skin, it gratified a part of him to know that Arthur (beautiful, more experienced Arthur judging from the stories of his wanderings) is into this as he is. Slowly, he leaned forward.

 

Arthur tipped his mouth to Clark’s. Taking his lips gently yet with intent. No hesitation but without hurry. Clark’s body shifted next to him, pulling away slightly as he lowered himself on the couch. Arthur was entirely too pleased to oblige. He moved to kneel in between Clark’s thighs. Then slowly, Arthur lowered his full length on top of Clark, still kissing, until they were flushed against each other. Luckily the couch was wide enough, still Clark dangled one leg to the side to accommodate him. His thighs against his sent tingles running through his body. 

 

Clark’s eyes closed and his head tilted back. A sigh escaped from him as he felt a slight tremble course through as he accepted Arthur’s weight. Arthur gave it a minute until he felt Clark relax. He trailed long, slow kisses along Clark’s throat, along the pale, smooth skin that haunted him earlier on the beach, licking a sweet path way up to his ear. “You feel so good,” he mumbled at that tiny spot below his earlobe. Arthur grazed his neck with his teeth, nibbling and sucking that delicious flesh all the way to his clavicle. Clark groaned, his body becoming restless, Arthur realized that Clark’s hips have started to move, rocking slowly against Arthur. The very hard ridges of both their erection was evident between them and Arthur pressed his own harder. “Fuck,” he moaned out, and he fell upon that amazing mouth once again.

 

They were grinding against each other, and Arthur knew if he wasn’t going to get some skin soon, he was going to go crazy. 

 

“Clark.” His eyes opened when Arthur rasped his name. Clark saw the wildness in Arthur’s eyes, wildness drenched in arousal—his own hunger reflected into their hazel green depths. Clark’s body was like a live wire shuddering beneath him, he could see the eagerness in his wide eyes, his mouth open in invitation. 


“Clark, this—,” Arthur pulled at his shirt. “Off.”

 

“Yeah.” The ragged sound of Clark’s voice sent shivers down Arthur’s spine. Arthur held still for a minute, although he knew from what he’d seen of Clark, the man could easily shove him to the next continent if he wanted to, he watched Clark’s face for any sign of reluctance. Sliding one hand beneath his shirt, Arthur dragged it off him then dropped it to the floor, before coming back down to dip his fingertips beneath the waistband of Clark’s jeans. It was now or never. But really, NOW. Arthur looked up, checking in on Clark. He stared at Arthur, skin flushed. “Yes,” he breathed without hesitation. Arthur couldn’t help but smile at him, he tugged off his own shirt before leaning in for another kiss, but as soon as his skin met Clark’s, things sped up. Hands clutching and raking, bodies demanding more contact, more friction. Arthur began pulling his jeans and boxers at the same time as Clark lifted his hips to help Arthur along, he tossed them aside before coming up onto his knees drinking the sight of Clark’s naked body. 

 

“God, fucking hell. You’re AMAZING!

 

Clark suddenly felt self-conscious at the weight of Arthur’s stare. How he was naked and Arthur still had his clothes on. He knew he wanted this; he wanted Arthur, and he knew Arthur wanted him, too.

 

“You really do have everything and more…” A teasing smirk played on Arthur’s lips.

 

“What?” Clark said with a quiet laugh. He already had an idea what Arthur was trying to say.

 

“I mean I… to be honest, I wondered if you would have all the equipment.” It was true when Clark told him he was an alien, a LOT of ideas cropped in his head. Some of them Arthur will never admit out loud were weirder than others, especially the possibility that not all of Clark was human even though his junk felt very human shaped underneath those jeans. But he prepared himself for that just in case. But hey, thank God he was!

 

“Not exactly the conversation I imagined at this moment… so what would you have done, if I didn’t have all the… equipment.” Clark asked in mock seriousness. 

 

Arthur grinned, “I’m sure we could figure something out.” A slight frown appeared suddenly on Arthur’s face, to Clark’s surprise he stood up and moved away from him and then dragged the quilts, pillows and blankets that have been folded neatly at the end of the couch and arranged them on the thick rug in front of the wood stove, that provided the heat for the living area. When he was satisfied, he stood in front of Clark and, with a wide smile, stripped off the rest of his clothes. Arthur kept his eyes on Clark as he stretched out on top of the quilts with easy, unselfconscious grace. “Sorry, I’m sure you’ve noticed I don’t have a bed. I hope this works for you?” 

 

Clark chuckled, Arthur was something else, he just went went about everything in his own ballsy way, a man of contradictions Clark felt suddenly too boring next to him. The look Arthur gave him as he waited for Clark on the carpet slowly banished those thoughts away. “Seems cozy,” Clark said casually, but really another wave of shyness began to wash over him because Arthur, naked, was simply beautiful. Arthur’s body was broad with sculpted, lean yet powerful muscles, perfect for swimming. The stubborn wisps of his long wavy hair brushed his strong stubbled jaw. And those hazel eyes; intense hazel eyes with those ridiculously thick and long lashes. Those eyes were focused on him right now. The light from the flames of the wood stove reflecting on them made him both stunning and dangerously feral. And the tattoos. They were magnificent on Arthur’s tanned skin. The way the dark ink moved as his solid muscles bunched and flexed. Arthur’s long, thick, hard cock bobbed against his belly, not so patiently waiting for more action. All of Arthur at that moment was both mesmerizing and overwhelming for Clark. Arthur must have sensed it, he gave Clark a cocky, inviting smile as he raised himself up, and stretched out a hand to Clark. “Care to join me?”

 

“Okay.” Clark’s eyes had roamed all over him in that shy, heated way only Clark could. Arthur was very pleased at the very unguarded and appreciative appraisal of Clark, he also found it very refreshing that he wasn’t trying to be cool about it.

 

Clark slowly took his outstretched hand and allowed himself to be pulled within Arthur’s hypnotic orbit, and the next thing he knew they were kissing again. Those kisses slowly burned away Clark’s doubts as need twisted inside him. As they rocked against each other skin to skin, he just wanted to push harder, be pushed harder, be held harder and feel… everything. And deep in his gut, he knew Arthur could do all those to him. Arthur slid down in between Clark’s legs and when he leaned in Clark could feel Arthur’s breath against his cock—

 

“Arthur—”

 

Arthur looked up at him with that smirk.

 

“Oh god, please,” Clark breathed, then Arthur took him into his mouth.

 

 All Clark could feel was the heat of Arthur’s mouth around him. All of his senses honed in and focused on the way Arthur held him deep in his mouth with his eyes closed, the delicious hot warmth enveloping his cock. And then he started moving, slowly sucking Clark with an even, deliberate rhythm, so much so he could feel every inch of the wet slide of Arthur’s mouth.

 

For someone with super sensitive senses, someone who can even feel the subtle way the air would shift hundreds of miles away from him, it was too much, too good for Clark. It felt like every molecule in his body was awake, feeling everything, and he knew after all this he will remember exactly how this felt. How Arthur looked right now with his eyes closed, how his cheeks would hollow out with each stroke of his tongue, how Arthur was utterly focused on him like he was the only thing in the world.  The wet, warm slick enveloping his cock. Arthur’s mouth was just sosogoodtightwarm.

 

Clark took Arthur’s head, his hands tangled in that long hair, then Arthur took him deeper, so deep Clark swore he was all the way down his throat. Adding more pressure, Arthur continued to suck his cock in ways Clark could never have imagined. Arthur didn’t let up, Clark let go of his hair to clutch at the sheets for a measure of control, he wanted to hold off coming as long as he could.  Arthur didn’t need to breathe like regular people. Arthur swims at depths of 20,000 feet or more the same way people drive to the grocery every day. Damn. Arthur was a fucking god at this, something that was made even more clear when Clark rolled forward. Arthur urged him on with more pressure.  It was a sight to watch Arthur swallow him down with his tempo increasing, something that didn’t even faze Arthur. He grabbed hold of Clark’s ass tighter and impossibly took more of Clark, Arthur’s nose already nuzzled up against the tight dark curls around the base of his cock.

 

Pleasure gripped Clark like storm waves pounding against the shore, and he can’t help just giving into it, drowning in it. And when Arthur slid a hand to cup Clark’s balls, he knew he was not going to last. 

 

“Arthur,” he warned.

 

In response, Arthur’s fingers massaged the sensitive sac. Arthur knew what was coming, and he wanted it. He wanted every last drop of cum to hit his tongue and slide down his throat. Only then he would know exactly how Kansas… Clark… tasted like. And he craved knowing this man, this man unlike any other, to know each and every part of his being, Arthur craved it like he craved no one before. It was crazy; it was scary. ALL of this made everything hot as hell. All his catch and release rules will be so fucked. Holding Clark’s thick, muscular leg with one hand, he gently squeezed the balls he was palming with the other. Arthur sucked harder and faster. He felt Clark push harder into his mouth, fucking his mouth, trying to hold back his release as Arthur sucked and squeezed. Until finally, at Clark’s last push, Arthur felt his entire being shudder as Clark let out the most satisfying shout Arthur had ever heard as he came in, a hot sticky torrent down his throat. Clark’s body heaved, his hands on the blankets. Arthur remained unfazed, held onto Clark as he shuddered through his release, pulse after pulse of pleasure, until he finally fell still.

 

Arthur sat up between Clark’s legs, he looked wild, his hair tousled, his eyes a dark storm as he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. Then without taking his eyes of Clark, Arthur spat on his hand then he wrapped that large hand around his own hard cock and started stroking. Clark watched him, mesmerized by the sheer masculine sexiness of it; he was more turned on that he could think was possible. Clark launched himself at Arthur and kissed him fiercely, while at the same time, rubbing Arthur’s leaking cock against his groin, it was wild, messy and filthy. But Clark found the taste of himself in Arthur’s mouth boiling hot— the raw intimacy of it inflamed him. This man did this to me. Clark moaned into his mouth as the pace of the friction between them picked up, Arthur’s erection rubbing against his bare skin. Their bodies straining, arching, racing towards each other. Arthur’s body vibrated against his until finally—

 

“Fuuuuck….” Arthur came in hard, hot spurts between them. They both collapsed back to the floor. A couple of minutes passed, they rested just breathing quietly, until Arthur got up to the bathroom. Clark followed him. They cleaned themselves in the small bathroom, which could barely accommodate a man of Arthur’s size much more both of them together. When Clark’s ass bumped against Arthur’s thigh, Arthur grabbed Clark from behind, his breath hot against Clark’s neck, the crack of his ass backed up against Arthur’s once again hardening cock.  

 

“Your body…” Arthur started but stopped as he began kissing and sucking Clark’s neck, his hands massaging the V of Clark’s hips. Clark backed into the press of Arthur’s hardness and started grinding against him.

 

“Tell me what you want?” Clark asked breathlessly as he wantonly rubbed Arthur’s cock, hot and hard between his ass cheeks. They tumbled out of the bathroom kissing, grinding, grabbing and finally giggling when they reached the quilts and fell back into its soft comfort. Arthur raised himself and looked down at Clark with a heated gaze. He sighed softly, with a finger Arthur flipped one of Clark’s stubborn curls off his forehead, when all it did was flip back he smiled and Clark thought he saw something else there, something different, something that he was too afraid to define.

 

“Tell me what you want,” Clark asked again, as Arthur’s questing finger traced his lips.

 

Arthur for the first time gave him an uncertain look, he removed his hand from Clark’s mouth. “Kansas… Clark…I… I want to be inside you…,” he said carefully.

 

Clark didn’t move for a minute. The glow from the wooden stove caught his eyes, for a moment Arthur thought he saw a flash of red against the brilliant blues. Clark turned his head away quickly at that precise moment, when looked back at Arthur again, unearthly blue eyes bore at him. Arthur took his silence as a refusal.

 

“I’m sorry man… I didn’t mean… if you want to stop, it’s cool.” Clark could see the deepening color on Arthur’s cheeks as he looked down. He sighed, “You want something to drink?” he asked while he grabbed his briefs on the floor.

 

“Yes.” Clark said.

 

“No problem.” Arthur tried his best to be casual about the whole thing, but he wanted to kick himself. What a fucking buzzkill, he thought, it was too soon to ask that of Clark. Quickly he started to stand, but Clark’s hand on his arm stopped him. “No, I meant yes I want you inside me .”

 

“Fuck, are you sure?” Warmth surged through Arthur. “I don’t want you to think you have to. We can do other things—”

 

Clark dragged him down and kissed him. “I want to do this with you, I want to feel all of you… everything,” he whispered against Arthur’s mouth. 

 

“Alright, don’t go anywhere.” Arthur gave him a kiss before he disappeared into the bathroom, the lights went on followed by sounds of rummaging around. He exited the bathroom and stood over Clark, the flames of the wood stove silhouetting his tall, powerful figure as he kneeled next to Clark. He set a couple of items on the floor next to them.

 

Clark was on his back, cradled by the soft, thick pile of quilts and blankets. While Arthur stood there, his eyes travelled up the entire length of Arthur’s body, coming to rest on the erection between his thighs; heavy, long and thick and as impressive as Arthur. Clark himself had become hard again, even as the feeling of self consciousness came back, while Arthur gave him a heated eyeful— it was all very confusing and exciting, he couldn’t help but tug a blanket to cover himself. 

 

Arthur leaned closer, his hand gentle yet firm on Clark’s, pulling away the blanket. “Don’t worry, just relax, okay?” Arthur said before he kissed him gently.

 

“Put your feet flat,” Arthur added while he guided Clark’s thighs.

 

Grabbing the lube next to him, he drizzled some into his fingers. “Ready?” Arthur asked. Clark nodded, not taking his eyes off Arthur’s face. Arthur’s fingers were cooler with the lube. Clark gasped at the first touch when he felt Arthurs’s fingers into his entrance. Arthur quickly leaned in between his legs to kiss him again. “Relax, I pictured it like this, since the first time we kissed. I want to make it good for you.”

 

He gasped as Arthur rimmed his fingers around his entrance.Clark hitched another breath when he shoved his finger further. It was a great feeling that Arthur was so considerate about prep, Clark didn’t need much of it, but still it was nice that Arthur, who has seen him do what he could do. Seen how he could be invulnerable was so gentle with him. Then, as slowly as he slid his fingers into him, he began massaging his walls. Then carefully, deliberately, he pumped them in and out. “Its working,” Clark gasped out.

 

There was a low, sexy laugh from Arthur before he lowered his head. He pressed his lips on Clark’s nipple, making Clark’s already erratic pulse race. He flicked and sucked at the sensitive dark nub, a long low groan bled out from Clark, his fingers still pumping in and out of Clark’s hole. “I want you wet and open for me,” Arthur whispered against his peaked nipple, then he dragged a wet tongue again.

 

“Arthur—” Clark moaned, his hole squeezing against Arthur’s fingers. 

 

“Your chest, your nipples… so good,” He murmured against the skin of Clark’s chest as he slowly kissed his way down Clark’s body. The drag of his wet tongue, his beard against his heated skin, was pushing Clark closer and closer to the edge. Arthur did not lose any rhythm as his fingers continued to fuck Clark. It felt crazy and unreal. Arthur took his time penetrating Clark, stretching, seeking that sweet spot inside him. Arthur sucked and nibbled at the tight V of his groin. Clark’s fingers dug into Arthur’s strong shoulders yet he couldn’t help the urgent sound that came out of him and he pushed, drawing Arthur’s fingers in deeper. 

 

Arthur’s heart was in his throat, anticipating his cock in that sweet, hot grip. “That’s it Kansas.”

 

“I’m ready, Arthur, please…please…”

 

“I don’t want to hurt you.”

 

“You can never hurt me.”

 

“Your body… fuck.” FUCK. Clark naked and trusting his powerful body beneath him. The way his muscles tensed and bunched as he arched against the floor, was just ridiculously hot.  Arthur slicked his rock hard cock, his balls aching, he was afraid he was going to come the moment his dick touched Clark’s hole. He was willing to risk it as long as he could be inside that hot little pucker. With a single push, his cock head was in the sweetest, tightest heat of his whole freaking life. His hips jerked, desperate for more, he knew he was going to lose every ounce of control he had ever possessed in his life. He just wanted to pound into Clark, into this gorgeous, literally out of this world man. But he knew Clark could take it, he doesn’t seem to mind, he was as far gone as he was. 

 

Arthur picked up the pace. Clark reached for him, Arthur growled afraid Clark’s touch will just make him come too quick, he pushed both of Clark’s hands and held them down on the floor next to Clark. 

 

Whatever Clark had before it was, it wasn’t like this, hadn’t sent pleasure clawing down his spine, burning through each and everyone of his nerves. Clark felt Arthur’s strength as he rode him. When he yanked his hands to keep him from touching him his eyes widened, Arthur pressing down on him was hot, he felt Arthur’s strength as he pounded into him, he actually felt how raw, how savage he was as he pinned his hands as he fucked him. Arthur’s primal strength, his wildness, was intoxicating. Clark knew he didn’t have to pretend with him when he pushed, Arthur pushed back harder. Hot animal sounds came from Arthur as he drove his enormous cock into him. Faster and harder, fucking him within an inch of his life.  He knew for sure he was going to feel this later. He lifted and pushed against Arthur’s hip. “Harder, harder!”

 

Harder. Harder. Fuck, thank the very fucking god that Kansas was practically begging for it. The animal lust in Arthur just wanted to release everything into Clark’s ass at that very second, but he wasn’t some inexperienced acne-faced teenager, he had control, he knew how to sate his lovers. Hell no. No fucking way this was happening yet. Arthur paused for a second, he let go then grabbed the back of one knee and pushed it towards Clark’s chest to give him an even much better angle.

 

Clark’s pupils were practically blown when he did that to him. Again Arthur saw a brief flash of fiery red in those irises, Arthur could not care less anymore at that point, he was fucking this gorgeous, hot ass… perfect fucking peaches, so round… so firm… so FUCKING GOOD. And this man was just taking everything Arthur was giving him.  At the final push Arthur felt his orgasm skate down his spine, he shouted his release and came long and hard inside this impossible, beautiful man. Under him Clark yelled, as Arthur’s pace went faster, he milked his dick, his own release erupting all over his hands and both their torsos. Clark trembled beneath him, Arthur enveloped him in a kiss. They kissed open mouthed, deep and hard, clutching the other through every quiver and gasp, their hot, sticky cum between them. But no one cared a shit.  After a long while, Arthur pulled out of Clark, his spent dick twitched when Clark gave a delicious moan under him. He quickly padded off to the bathroom. Clark heard the tap running. Arthur returned with a wet towel for Clark.

 

While Clark cleaned himself, Arthur detoured to the fridge and grabbed two bottles of beer, and popped them open. They sat on the floor just drinking for a few minutes, still naked just a blanket over their laps. “Are you okay?” Arthur gave him a shit-eating grin. “Was it good for you? Reviews, comments dare I say suggestions?”

 

Clark laughed. “I’ve never done that before. I mean not like that, like I said there’s the internet. This was definitely better than the internet, actually better than…” He gestured vaguely with an embarrassed eye roll.

 

“Wow… okay, I guess.” Arthur took a couple of swallows of beer, he can’t help feeling more pleased with himself, well the feeling was mutual. He smirked at Clark, “Did I work you too hard?”

 

“I might need an ice bath after that,” Clark said, chuckling. They had finished their beers by then. Arthur placed some more log inside the woodstove, then laid down on the floor, Clark settled next to him. He  wrapped an arm around Clark, Clark pressed closer to him. Outside the winds were whipping up another storm. The waves that crashed on the beach were bigger and stronger. The beam from the lighthouse cast a steady shaft of light across the ocean. It was nice. 

 

Arthur felt relieved he was the one holding Clark right now, he was aware it was weird for him to feel that way. But the thought of anyone else touching Clark like this, knowing now that he was really his first, filled Arthur with a fierce sense of possessiveness. No one else, no one but me. He thought how he never thought he could feel like this for anyone, especially now, terrified him. What would happen now?

 

“Don’t worry, I’m not going to ask you to marry me.” Clark said in the dark, lightly teasing.

 

“Who said I was worried?”

 

“Let’s just say it doesn’t take powers to know that you’re worried now.”

 

“Kansas, just shut up—”

 

“—Arthur, let’s not overthink it.”

 

Arthur suddenly felt worried about that thought. What does that even mean, not overthinking? Was he overthinking? Clark thought he was overthinking. More importantly, what was Clark thinking, in terms of future fucks? He cleared his throat casually, “Let’s just be clear you still want to see me, right?”

 

Clark snorted. “And I hope you still want to see me too.C’mon we’re missing out on cuddle time here. Unless you don’t want to—“

 

“Hell yeah! Do eels love to squeeze in tight spaces?” Arthur laughed quietly, this teasing and very relaxed side of Clark was something he could get used to. 

 

“I’ll take your word for it,” he tucked himself closer to Arthur’s body. Arthur’s laughter, was deep and soothing sound that rumbled against his chest, relaxing him further. This was new for him, to be held like this. It was kind of nice. He felt more comfortable than he would have thought, it felt amazing, he never felt he could want something like this and now it was scary to know it. Clark’s hand went to his chest, where he slowly thumbed the black pendant that hung on his neck. There was a reason he was drawn here at this part of the world and it’s probably why he shouldn’t want things like this, things like being with Arthur.  He sighed softly, Arthur’s solid presence gathering him closer to sink deeper into his warmth, his thoughts drifting farther away. He let his gaze follow the farthest point where the lighthouse’s light reached. There was no one out there in the stormy sea. It was just them, here on an island at the edge of the world. 

 

TBC

 

AUTHOR’S NOTE:

So sorry again for the long wait. AND WOW THIS GOT LOOONG. Anyway, at one point I thought of deleting this story, since I feel like my laptop is now WIP central. ZSJL happened and I was bummed out by the zero Aquasupes. But hey, I know you guys are out there, quietly sending kudos and probably waiting to get my ass going and finish this. Thanks to meekreporter, who have has been there for me with her quiet encouragement. This fic is now going to touch on canon DCEU stuff, probably not much, we will see.