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Division Misconduct

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Sitting in his usual booth in the cafeteria with a few of the many Vermillion accompanying him taking up the remainder of the available seats, Clark quietly enjoys a simple plate of eggs and bacon as opposed to David, whom he is currently observing from across the room, as the telepath nurses what looks to be a stack of waffles drenched in butter and syrup topped off with a ridiculous amount of powdered sugar and strawberries to boot.

He's not here to have an official conversation with the man this time around, no, he's merely hungry, but seeing as David is already here he might as well keep an eye on the troubled mutant - just to see how he's holding up, of course - considering how tumultuous the past week and a half has been ever since he got back.

They've already had a few conversations prior; discussing what exactly he remembers during the year that he had been gone, and about the whereabouts of the ever elusive Shadow King, but David is barely giving him anything to work with which makes the man all the more suspect.

It's not like he wants to condemn the mutant, far from it actually, but after all of his supposed leads had led his team down multiple dead ends, along with a string of good, decent men dying as a result of his own indiscretion, Clark can't help but lose what little patience he has with David and he rightfully fears for the worst - being that David is sabotaging them on purpose and that they'd probably have a better chance at finding Farouk if David wasn't there to intervene and mislead them at every step of the way. 

But the thing that gets to Clark, the thing that makes it so hard to incriminate the wayward telepath whenever he's able to sit him down and get him to answer a few of his questions, is that there's a kind of perpetual innocence that's always present whenever he looks into David's eyes - which makes it all the more disconcerting when the mutant then proceeds to give him answers that feel more like dirty lies than anything as they painfully slip past the carefully guarded cage of his mouth. 

It's his job to observe every movement that his subjects make, to watch, to take note of their body language for any dead giveaway that might lead him down the right path, and so he obviously knows a liar when he sees one. But still, David makes it so damn hard for him sometimes. He wants to believe him, really, he does; it's not like he wants to be the bad guy here, but the signs are there and Clark must do what protocol demands of him at the end of the day, regardless of his own personal feelings on the matter. 

But at the same time, in contrast to that very same belief, they're not lies that David tells him. Not exactly. No, as he said, he knows a liar when he sees one, and yet it's almost a rarity when David does happen to give off any of those conventional tell-tale signs that tell him otherwise, if even, at all. Especially when the ex-mental patient just so happens to repeatedly contradict himself in a single sitting, because, on occasions such as these, the matter of the fact is that his testimonies still somehow end up being true and honest in spite of the constant disparities littered in between.

He tends to hide things, David. Adept at keeping secrets and bottling information so far within the recesses of his own mind that any inkling of what he may or may not know disappears by the time he's able to sit him down for another one of their talks. He's tricky, and he can't say that he can blame the mutant given his record, but still, lives are on the line, and David is not making things any easier on him.

But as of right now, he officially can only label David as a nuisance, an infuriatingly handsome one at that, Clark hates to admit, but a nuisance nonetheless, and by god, whenever he has the audacity to open that pretty little mouth of his to tirelessly spew all sorts of derivative bullshit at him, sometimes - fuck, sometimes all he wants to do is shove David down onto his knees, just to see how he likes being at someone else's mercy for a change, and unceremoniously stuff the entirety of his cock down that long pale throat of his if that would keep the younger man from causing him any more trouble, even if it's just for a few minutes, just so he can have some peace of mind. But - no, he needs to cast that particularly dangerous train of thought away this very instant. He shouldn't even be thinking of David in that way, he shouldn't even be thinking of David at all let alone fantasizing about the mutant giving him a goddamn blowjob when he has a perfectly good husband - who he hasn't talked to in weeks.

Granted, things have been rather strained between the two of them recently due to work, stress, and a general lack of honest to god communication, but there was absolutely no excuse for him to be thinking about other men at a time like this, no excuse whatsoever, and he can't help but feel disgusted with himself for having thought otherwise, even if it was just for a brief moment. He has Daniel, and David - David has his beloved sister whom he's currently grieving the loss over, and this was all just horribly insensitive, and - fuck, it just wasn't even right to begin with.

Sinking back into the booth, Clark silently reprimands himself for his own wayward thoughts. It had only been a day since David's - thought to have been dead - friend, Lenny, had made her unexpected return, coming back to the land of the living in a body that clearly was not her own as she had made it her own personal mission to step foot into Division 3 headquarters with the sole purpose of seeing the telepath for herself. Her arrival, although strategic, clearly hadn't been arranged through some convoluted conspiracy brought on by David and the Shadow King being in cahoots like he had previously thought seeing as the mutant had expressed genuine shock when they had escorted her in that morning with plenty of guards to spare - so, either David is truly a really great actor and he should really give him some props for such an enthralling performance, or the man is undeniably innocent in regards to his affiliation with Farouk. Or maybe, it could even be a little bit of both. But who even knows at this point? He wouldn't put it past David if the man wanted to play both sides given his current status as Division 3's golden boy. It would understandably be a hard title to keep, and if the mutant made just one grand momentous fuckup, he could wind up damaging a year's worth of goodwill between the Divisions and the very mutants who had assimilated into the organization in the first place. So, if David wanted to get his information from a fast, and, more or less, knowledgeable source, then so be it, he'd understand - to a certain extent, that is.

But he'd still turn him in. There's no mistaking that. He wasn't above being a snitch, and if David betrayed them then it would prove that he was right about the mutant all along.  

But with all that being said, however, there was no way of knowing how David was going to react once they got her talking, nor could they prepare for the utter anguish that ensued once David had put two and two together, ultimately revealing that the body that Lenny now inhabited didn't belong to some unlucky schmuck that just so happened to stumble upon Farouk's path of destruction by accident - it belonged to David's sister, Amy, molded and shaped, no doubt painfully, to accommodate her form as he was forced to relive his sister's final waking moments; the memory, itself, having been buried deep within her and Lenny's fractured subconscious for David to ultimately find and unwrap like the final present underneath the christmas tree.

While they were at least able to get somewhere thanks to Lenny's interference in the investigation, it wasn't worth the cost of adding two more victims to the long list that had suffered at the hands of the Shadow King, nor was it worth it to witness David then breakdown in the darkness of the interrogation room, yelling and screaming in futile denial as tears ran profusely down his cheeks. They had sworn to protect Ms. Haller and her husband after her brother had disappeared the year prior; the couple was supposed to be shielded from either side's activities, allowed to live relatively normal lives with the added provision of guards to keep them safe. But in the end, it was all for not, and now - now there was nothing that neither he nor Division 3 could do to compensate David for such a tragic loss, and for that, he couldn't help but feel like complete and utter shit for not being able to prevent such an unnecessary tragedy in the first place. 

Digging the heels of his palms ever so slightly into the hollows of his eyes, Clark curses at himself and groans before taking the moment to appreciate his cup of coffee and the blessed warmth that it provides as he lets the caffeinated liquid linger inside his mouth, savoring the rich bitter taste, before he proceeds to swallow and allows the drink to burn and cascade down the length of his throat as penance.

Clark then glances at the object of his suspicions over the rim of his mug, so that he can further study the mutant from afar whilst giving him the space that he so clearly needs, only to see that David, strangely enough, is looking straight at him, eyes wide in shock, and oh shit - he heard him. That nosy son of a bitch actually heard him.

Of all the minds that the telepath could have read in the entire room, David decided that his was ripe for the picking and now here they are, forced into a spur of the moment staring contest that neither party particularly wants to be a part of over a sea of unassuming agents simply going about their day, unaware of what had just occurred between their happily married superior and their resident mutant messiah.

Wanting to save what little pride he has left, Clark hurriedly takes one last swig of his coffee, downing it before hastily stumbling out of his booth and exiting the cafeteria altogether. 

'This is bad,' Clark anxiously thinks to himself as he attempts to keep his composure, trying but failing to hold back the flush of embarrassment that has no doubt begun to resonate warmly on his cheeks, 'really bad.'

It's one thing to occasionally think about his colleagues in the safety of his own mind from time to time, but it's another when one of them just so happens to have the ability to easily breach that oh so sacred barrier of thought; and even though he hadn't tried to contact the all-powerful mutant to confess his rather odd deep-seated attraction to him on purpose and that David most certainly shouldn't have been mentally snooping about in the first place, David now knows what he truly thinks about him, and his behavior towards the other man thus far leading up to the present can now be suddenly seen under a very different, and, dare he say, very unprofessional, light, if he's not careful.

But unbeknownst to Clark as he's rather engrossed by the many other official terms that run fleetingly through his head pertaining to his current predicament, the Vermillion that had accompanied him to breakfast closely follow behind, having not been dismissed, and it's only when he rounds the corner does he notice their presence and promptly shoos them away, leaving himself to hide in his rarely used office in shame.

-

The day that David Haller had come into his life, you could say that Clark had become a little more than obsessed with the omega-level mutant. Revenge can surely make a man crazy, and after leaving him at the makeshift compound with almost half his body burnt to a crisp, it's a wonder he hasn't snapped and became the Krueger-esque supervillain that he was so destined to be.

And - to be perfectly honest, it's really silly to think that he had once foolishly promised himself from the day that he had begun working for the Divisions that he would never allow himself to get into a life or death type of situation of any kind for Buster's sake, so that he would never have to deal with the emotional turmoil that he had faced as a child growing up that came with spending numerous hours of the day in a hospital for all the wrong reasons.

But obviously, in the end, he had failed miserably. He had underestimated his subject, his opponent in the equation, and the aftermath of the inciting incident had certainly taken its toll on him as he restlessly wasted precious time lying about in bed in an agonizingly immobilized condition as a result of such a grave error. Approximately six weeks in the hospital, along with what had felt like an eternity spent recovering at home can do things to a person; change them, twist and contort them in more ways than one, and all it took was listening to the empty static that flowed freely within his home's halls and frequently watching updated versions of his late mother's favorite soaps on a day-to-day basis before he let his mind drift to escape the boredom and mundanity that had then plagued his bed-ridden state of life. 

It had started out innocently enough, so to speak. After having spent the first two weeks of his recovery with both his beloved husband and son glued to his sides at all times, they eventually had to send Buster back to his prestigious boarding school, and Daniel, although reluctant, had went back to work as usual, taking on more assignments than he could possibly handle, which Clark had envied him for, at a time - but he never voiced it out loud, oh no, he couldn't bear to do such a thing; to burden the love of his life more than he had had already. Not after hearing how the poor man had cried himself to sleep every night spent during his impromptu coma, no, now that would have been needlessly cruel, and Daniel didn't deserve to hear such things after all that he's endured.

And so, alone, Clark had laid silently in their bed and dutifully kept his mouth shut, mulling over his past mistakes instead like anyone in his position would do and allowed his anger to simply fester, internalizing every utterance of pity that came his way like the rational thinking man that he was as he patiently waited for the day when he would be able to confront David for all the grief that he had caused to his family, as well as the countless other families of those whose bodies had to be buried in order for the mutant menace to escape their facility in the first place. But as the days wore on, and he was able to move more freely without having someone to keep a constant eye on him, he was only reminded of everything else that he had lost after his near brush with death.

It was then, when he had inevitably made the switch from his wheelchair to his walker when he had first noticed it. How he'd become sick at catching so much as a glimpse of his reflection in the mirror, taking in the sight of the red and swollen flesh that forever marred the right half of his face, wrinkly, raw, and none too pretty to look at and he'd find himself gagging out of complete and utter disbelief. 'That's not me,' he'd lament, scrutinizing every horrid detail meticulously to no end, 'It couldn't be.'

And yet... 

It was. 

He had never really been one to be vain when it came down to his looks. He had merely accepted what he had been saddled with and simply took care of the rest in the hope that it would be enough, and it had. He found Daniel, and together they adopted and raised a precious baby boy into the talented little middle schooler he is today. But during that brief yet oh so critical time in his life that revolved solely around his recovery, Clark had entered a cycle of denial that rarely knew acceptance as he got used to his new appearance and realized, for the first time in his life, that he had seriously taken himself for granted. With his new looks now in vast contrast with the old, he was more than overwhelmed with a sense of stifling anxiety and disgust each and every time he gazed upon his extensive array of burns, so much so, that whenever he'd go to the bathroom to do his usual routine in front of the mirror something deep within Clark would snap, fueling him with an irrepressible rage as he would then hunch over, gripping either side of the bathroom sink to quell some unnameable emotion that would well up in the base of his throat as he was reminded of how differently the people in his life treated him. Thinking how fragile he must look, how weak and feeble, as if he was going to shatter at any goddamn moment like a porcelain fucking doll - and he'd end up breaking the damn thing out of spite, letting the shards fall as they may as they scattered across the checkered linoleum in his rage. 

It became a hobby of sorts, something he did when he knew for certain that there was no one else in the house to stop him as he consecutively broke mirror after mirror, time and time again, and subsequently replaced them - which, admittedly, it was quite easy to do considering Daniel was gone so often, and by the time he had fully recovered their shared bathroom had gone through a total of four mirrors with his husband none the wiser.

Needless to say, no one looked at him the same way, that's for sure. While he was a hero of sorts to some of his peers, and a failure to others, the same could not be said when he would venture outside of his private bubble to mingle with supposedly polite, everyday society. The dichotomy of it all would vanish then, and every time he went out of his way to either attend Buster's student art exhibitions, or do menial chores such as simply going out of his way to buy his own damn groceries, people would have the natural proclivity to stare. Out of pity, out of curiosity, or out of disgust, it didn't matter - they were all the same to him as far as he was concerned, consistently judging him for both the unsightly burns that decorated his face as well as the debilitating limp that forced him to walk a bit funny out of his own discomfort as they forced him to revisit that fateful day at the compound when he had laid on the ground defenseless, his skin sticking to the pavement, practically melting as fleshy strands dripped and solidified over the right half of his lips and nose, making it damn near impossible to breathe through all the commotion as fire and smoke pervaded the surrounding area in the ensuing chaos.

It wasn't a particularly pleasant experience to be reminded of, and that, along with having to tolerate the scrutiny of the public over the very features that he had absolutely no control over, only made going out a humiliating and daunting chore. But now that he looks back on it, their opinions of him - the opinions of the very people that he had sought to protect - meant absolutely nothing to him when it really came down to it, for he was, first and foremost, his own worst critic, and no joker with a death wish could take that title away from him no matter how hard they tried.

But the thing is, maybe he would've gotten along much better if Daniel had at least been the one that still looked at him the same way - but he didn't. Because even though the man had given him constant reassurances about both his appearance and his position from the very beginning, it's still there; the hesitation, the reluctance to touch the very parts of him that are now indelibly scarred. It's something that he notices especially when they're in bed making love, during their most intimate of moments, when Daniel would usually reach a hand up to carress his cheek only for him to then pause, letting his hand hover like a ghost before he would finally let his fingers trail along his skin as if he hadn't even stopped to begin with.

His husband, bless his heart, was good at hiding his distaste, but knowing Daniel like he would the back of his hand, Clark couldn't help but notice these little gestures regardless and that's what kills him. It isn't that he's shallow - he could never peg Daniel as being such considering he was probably one of the most open-minded, caring people he's ever met. It's more of the fact of what his scars represent, and that maybe it's mere guilt that eats away at his poor husband whenever he looks at him, feeling responsible for having recommended him to old man Brubaker for the job in the first place. But at this point in their marriage, perhaps he'll never know, and maybe - maybe that's for the best.

And so, yes, whenever he had found himself alone in bed, high on painkillers and lathered head to toe in expensive burn cream, Clark would allow his thoughts to drift off in search of some kind of mindless relief that wasn't so concentrated in the very difficulties that he now faced on a daily basis.

At first, as harmless as they had been, his fantasies had began with him merely getting off to actors and celebrities that he just so happened to fancy as they appeared on either the TV or on the pages of some magazine that Daniel would occasionally leave behind for him to keep him occupied. But soon enough they evolved into something more when his thoughts began straying further and further and his thirst for both senseless pleasure and revenge intermingled until he found himself thinking about David, of all people - the man who had ruined him.

It had been enough that Clark had already thought about the mutant during most hours of the day, envisioning hypothetical scenarios with the man where he turned out on top, but for him to invade his fantasies while he shamelessly jerked off was another thing entirely, and he hated himself for how hard he got thinking about just how good the telepath had looked all those weeks ago, strapped to that lifeguard's chair with half his body practically submerged in the water below. 

David's hair had been wet then, causing the color of his dirty blonde locks to appear as dark as can be as they brought out the ice cold blue of his eyes, shining bright in contrast as water dripped and trailed down the defined planes of his cheeks as well as the delicate curve of his lips - lips, which had looked like someone had painted them on with the utmost care as they stood out, a warm pink against the pale of his skin - and all that Clark could think about was all the things that he could've done had he had the ability to have been completely and utterly alone with the mutant in the first place. No cameras, no muscle, just him, the room, and his distressingly attractive subject sitting right across from him in the makeshift interrogation room where they had first met.

Obviously the first time he had thought about David in that way he was so sure that that would be the last, carelessly thinking that he'd do one and be done and take the horrendous memory of that infamous jerk-off session to the grave. But the thing about David was that there were so many sides to the man that it was so hard not to succumb to temptation with all the extra time that he had on his hands as he continued to dream about the various ways that he could have him - from fucking the one version of David that had looked so wide-eyed and vulnerable at times from behind as he gasped and moaned, clawing at the polished red surface of the interrogation table with his blunt nails while he cried out for sweet, sweet relief - to being subjected to the rather confident, unstoppable version of David as the mutant used that immense untapped power that had been so long buried deep inside of him on well, himself - which, now that he mentions it, would add its own treasure trove of fodder to the mix as Clark would soon find out as he had allowed his imagination to go absolutely buckwild at all the possibilities that his mind was able to conjure up.

The fetishization of mutants and their abilities wasn't exactly an uncommon practice in his circles, and yet he had thought that he would have been the last one who would ever think of them in such a light. Or maybe, perhaps, it was just David that had made him like this, and it was all the more reason for him to despise the guy even more than he had had already.

Suffice to say, time would eventually see him upgrade from his walker to his cane as well as bring him to the long awaited confrontation that Clark had so hoped for as he came face to face with the very object of these shameful fantasies of his, head on, for it had been his number one priority since he had woken up from his coma to personally lead the attack on Summerland to apprehend David himself. But instead of allowing himself to be distracted by the obvious like a teenager would do with a silly, little, insignificant crush, Clark persevered, ignoring every hapless thought that came his way, as he stood his ground on enemy lines. This infatuation with David had merely been a means for distraction, and nothing more. Besides, he had a job to do, and with both Division 3 and Daniel watching on the sidelines, there was nothing in the world that could steer him away from accomplishing his most sacred mission of bringing David to justice, once and for all.

Or - that's what he had originally thought before all of David's issues had subsequently began crawling out of the woodwork, out into the open for all to see, as David himself, clearly unwell, had then fallen unconscious in his chair, his head cradled by the elder Loudermilk as the entire room began to panic.

While his interest in David had begun with mere professional curiosity, only to devolve into a complicated mix of resentment and unwanted desire, there was still a part of Clark that genuinely cared for the younger man's well being, and it had shown once Syd had let the cat out of the bag that David had a separate entity living inside his head that had been feeding off of him like a parasite for the last thirty years. Which meant, that there was another mutant that was to blame for all of David's pain and suffering - something that was genuinely evil with powers that may equal to, or perhaps even surpass, David's own, and that alone posed a greater threat than the unconscious man that fought tirelessly to contain this ancient monstrosity in his head as best as he could with what little strength he had left to utilize for the greater good.

But the real kicker, the one he'll never admit to having had an effect on him for as long as he lives, was what Syd had said next to him on that fateful day when she had attempted to convince him to switch sides right off the bat:


"Maybe i'm wrong, but I think you like David. I think you feel something for him."

If only she had known how deep that particular 'something' ran.

It was with that particular exchange, and the events that followed suit as the group desperately tried to separate the two all-powerful mutants from one another, that had gotten him to begrudgingly shift his perspective on the matter when it came down to the subject of David - especially after the man was freed from, whom they now all know, was Amahl Farouk, the Shadow King, and his clutches as he had then bared witness to the literal relief that had washed over the mutant's face like a wave as clarity and a sense of self had been restored to him after having been gone for so long. It was admittedly breathtaking, in its own way, and for the first time he had seen David as a person, not unlike any man he knew, but a person nonetheless as he was no longer just another mutant threat in his eyes, and from that realization alone as he had watched David and Syd, as well as the rest of the group recoup from the aftermath, that he was actually looking forward to the alliance that would no doubt form between the Divisions and Summerland as they would work arm in arm in search of their common enemy.

But then, David had vanished out of thin air; and while his disappearance had still led to the two groups merging respectively, there was still a profound absence that could be felt whenever members from either side would ask about what had caused the two opposing forces to team up in the first place. 

As the coming days turned to weeks, and weeks had turned into months, Clark had worked closely with the Summerland crew, making it his responsibility to make sure that they all transitioned well into the way that the Divisions handled business, and he had even garnered a good rapport with the telepath's girlfriend, Sydney Barrett - or Syd, as he was able to call her once their relationship had shifted for the better - as a result. It was a slow process, all in all, but eventually he had won her trust and she had gradually opened up to him, coming to him whenever she needed to talk to someone that didn't immediately discourage her fervent belief that her boyfriend was alive and well; outright refusing to believe that David would just up and abandon her the way he did and that he would return to her someday as she quietly grieved his absence. But when she would occasionally lose faith, which would happen near the end of each and every month accordingly, it would always prompt Clark to talk her down from that level of thinking and assure her that they were doing their best to locate the missing mutant, even if he had his own doubts on the matter.

It was at times like these when the sharpness of Syd's features would soften, her face rid of its usual cold snark as the room would merely light up with her smile. She'd then relay some kind of anecdote about the good times she had with her boyfriend, or, god forbid, if she was in a particularly sentimental mood, she'd go completely off topic and talk about a particularly happy memory from her childhood, untainted by the use of her ever-present mutation that had seemed more like a curse to her than the very gift that Ms. Bird would usually rave on about.

She was so much like David in that capacity, a chameleon in her own right, and so he could see why they had been together in the first place. It was from their conversations that he had gotten a better understanding about mutants, how complex they are, how truly human they could be when given the chance, and his tolerance for them as a whole had increased considerably thanks to their late night drinking sessions after work. 

You could say that she had warmed up to him, which she most likely has given how open she had become in his company, but he doubts that she'll ever admit to doing so out loud. Which is fine, because he shares that sentiment all too well.

Concurrently, however, as time continued to flow progressively with each passing day and his friendship with Syd had blossomed, he had thought that this strange obsession with David would either end here or there, that he would have kicked the habit eventually and let it wither out and die like it deserved as the man remained missing for months on end. But it only stayed dormant, just waiting to be ignited once more - and then, cut to about a year later, and David makes his miraculous return in a random nightclub surrounded by the infected.

Time had changed all of them in some way, shape, or form, but David had remained fairly the same.

And now - now he tries to at least be a bit more accommodating when it comes to David, so that he can understand him; as he did with Barrett. But the difference between the two is that he's had a year to break down a few of the many barriers that Syd had put up to protect herself, as opposed to David, whom he's only truly had the pleasure of knowing personally for a couple days at most. So while Syd can see him as an ally, among other things, David can really only see him for what he was, and what he is as of right now, and he supposes that that's fair. He doubts that his sorry attempts at being amiable have swayed the man anyways, considering his opportunities at being able to do so have only been few and far between. But he's been doing good so far, Clark thinks; he's kept himself in check, and, most importantly, he's kept his distance, watching David from afar as opposed to directly confronting him about the current matter at hand as he allowed the man to properly mourn in peace.

Now if only he hadn't gone ahead and screwed things up.

-

Having successfully avoided David for the remainder of the day much to his relief, Clark busies himself with filing reports and inquiries as opposed to providing interviews that would most likely have him travel from one side of the building to the next as he's able to distract himself from the inevitable for the time being.

That is, until the clock strikes exactly two o'clock in the morning and he isn't able to get any rest as a result of what had happened earlier, forcing the agent to venture off to the cafeteria in the vain hope of retrieving a nice warm glass of milk to calm his nerves only to, lo and behold, find David still sitting at the damn bar as if he hadn't even left to begin with, making quick work of a slice of cherry pie.

The mutant immediately groans when he sees him approaching, noisily dropping his fork against his plate as he proceeds to cross his arms with an impudent scowl. "It's always lunch or dinner when you decide to do this," David remarks bitterly with a sullen sneer, "You can't just take my midnight snack away from me like this, it's unfair, and you know it."

It's clearly an attempt at treating things like they're normal, but when Clark observes him, he notices just how tired the mutant looks and how it annoyingly does nothing to deter from the man's good looks whatsoever; he's exhausted, jittery, practically vibrating in his seat like he hasn't even had an inkling of sleep and it shows as there's an edge to the way that he moves and the fact that there are deep shadows that are cast underneath his tortured eyes, red-rimmed and glossy, and if he could just see the man's legs from underneath the counter, there's no doubt in his mind that at least one of them is probably bouncing erratically at this very moment - but he digresses.

There's no point in trying to sugarcoat things for the mutant, no point at all, because if David was anything like him, than him treating the man any differently would either do one of two things - piss him off, or make him retreat even further into himself, and seeing that he wasn't about to let either happen just to save himself the trouble of it all, Clark decides that playing along is his best option.

"First of all," Clark points out, "it's already past midnight. And secondly, what is it exactly that I decide to do?"

David squints, arching his neck before childishly letting out a puff of air, "Bother me."

Rolling his eyes, Clark makes his way over to where David is perched and peruses the multitude of dishes that float along their designated track, absentmindedly taking note that the facility is probably wasting alot of food, money, and energy for not closing the area down at a specific time like they should before he responds to David's rather brash claim with his own brand of pent up annoyance at the mutant, "Oh, well excuse me, some people actually have jobs that they need to do, unlike others who simply get their kicks off of freeloading in exchange for completely useless information."

David huffs, pinching the bridge of his nose in exasperation, "You interrogate, that's your job, and I know i'm not making it any easier, but could you at least cut me some slack? I can barely do anything without someone breathing down my neck, and it's driving me-"

"Insane?" Clark quips, which causes David to glare at him, momentarily holding his hands up as he then clenches them into fists; and, for a second, the agent worries that he may have struck a raw nerve as he cautiously eyes the utensil in the mutant's hand, wondering if the man is really about to drive his fork into his other cheek only for David to then scrape the blunt tips against their corresponding dish instead, toying with the remnants of his pie's cherry filling that still decorated his plate in an abstract splat.

"...I am trying here, Clark, I really am, but you're always giving me shit, and i'm just trying to understand why."

Clark exhales deeply, bending down slightly so that both he and David meet eye to eye, "Maybe if you hadn't dropped off the face of the planet the way you did, I would be more than willing to listen to you - but you have been gone for a year, David, a whole solid year, and we, or to be more frank - I, personally can't trust your word on anything for that matter."

David looks at him then, really looks at him, and he realizes that he may have made a horrible mistake because the man is visibly hurt - his eyes glimmer, shiny and wet; the mutant gracing him with his signature wide-eyed gaze of innocence that's guaranteed to make anyone who looks at them feel guilty in an instant, and Clark can't lie - it gets to him.

"Look," Clark sighs exhaustively, running agitated fingers through his still slicked-back hair as he averts David's direct line of sight, "I'm not here to antagonize you, or anything...I just - I haven't been able to get any sleep and I was hoping that I could get myself a little something to help ease the process a bit-" he stops mid-sentence, noticing the number of plates neatly stacked on either side of David and the realization of it makes him want to slap himself in the face as he quickly adds, "...much like what you're doing right now. But be rest assured, i'll be out of your hair real soon."

Turning around, Clark makes his grand escape to the beverage counter, pouring himself a glass of milk from the mini fridge before placing it in the microwave. He doesn't recall the appliance being so damn noisy, but then again, people are usually in the room when he uses it, and since David and himself are the only ones occupying the cafeteria at the moment, he supposes he shouldn't be at all surprised when the device drones on and on before coming to a complete stop with a rather shrill beep.

With his back turned, Clark can practically feel David's eyes on him, boring holes into the blades of his shoulders, and it's a good thing that the mutant wasn't blessed with laser vision or else he'd really be in trouble. He tries to ignore it as best he can, hating how incredibly small and insignificant David makes him feel as he turns back around and salutes the telepath with his cup, briskly bidding the younger man goodnight before he attempts to leave the room to seek refuge in the safety of his bed only to be stopped in the nick of time by David when the mutant abruptly calls out to him, "Hey, wait!"

He leans back, tilting his head towards David's direction once more, "Yes, David?"

"...You can join me if you'd like," the mutant faintly offers, "I swear, I won't bite."

Clark furrows his brow, the lines of his forehead crinkling slightly, as he gives the man a polite smile despite how perplexed he may be by David's sudden change of heart, "That's mighty thoughtful of you, really, but i'm afraid i'm going to have to-"

"Please," David interjects in earnest, holding up a random plate without even checking to see its contents first, "We can even share...whatever this is!"

Amused at the mutant's bout of eagerness, Clark mulls over as to whether or not he should take David up on what looks to be a very delicious looking piece of cake, debating with himself considering there was still the elephant in the room that needed to be addressed. But seeing how amiable David was being at the moment, he thinks that the mutant might not be as opposed to him as he had previously thought, and decides that he'll throw caution to the wind and bring up the rather embarrassing subject in order to give the poor guy his much-needed apology.

Making his way back over to where David sits, Clark settles himself on the stool across from him as the telepath cuts the slice of cake in his hands in half, sliding his piece onto his pie tainted plate before handing Clark his share over the bar's floating stream.

"Uh...thanks," Clark manages to say as he picks up a fork from the pre-made counter setting and tears into the very piece that he has been given. He almost wishes he had ice cream to eat alongside it but he ultimately decides against it seeing as David might see it in a negative light after their last conversation with the frozen treat's involvement had left the man far too riled up to deal with properly.

He takes a bite, relishing in the tart mixture of lemons and raspberries as he contemplates what exactly he's going to say before he takes a sip from his glass, needing some sort of liquid courage, no matter how ineffective it may be, and starts to talk after clearing his throat. "So-"

But before he can continue to say what he has to say, David, rather unexpectedly, beats him to the punch - but it isn't for what he thinks it's going to be. "Wait a minute, hold that thought," the telepath tells him, apologizing with only an acknowledgment made in the slight tilt of his head. "Do you mind if we move to a booth? My back's been killing me." 

"...No," Clark replies slowly with a rather quizzical look in his eye, wondering how in the hell he got into such a surreal situation with the mutant in the first place, "Not at all."

"Good," David says, clapping his hands together with an almost mischievous grin, "Now hold your plate up."

"What?"

"Hold your plate."

Confused still, Clark does as he's told, and as soon as the slice of cake is in his hands they're suddenly at a booth sitting across from one another; in 'their spot,' as he had put it not too long ago. David smirks, all too proud of his little trick, but Clark merely shakes his head, muttering, "Could've walked," instead of the usual fanfare that comes with being subjected to an act of mutation of any kind.

"Now where's the fun in that?" David snickers, pressing his back against the cushion of the booth with a contented sigh of relief. "Besides, I could use the practice."

"Ahem," Clark utters, clearly unamused, "My cane?"

"Oh right!" David snaps his fingers, obviously meaning to use either teleportation or perhaps even telekinesis to retrieve the item at hand, but when that fails to occur, the mutant huffs, and gets up to retrieve it himself.

Setting the cane beside Clark's seat for safekeeping, David returns to his side of the table and takes a bite from his plate before he gestures for Clark to continue speaking. "So, as your were saying?"

"Yeah...so, about this morning," Clark starts off, garnering David's full attention in an instant, "I'm sorry you had to hear all that. I didn't think you were actually going to be listening in on my inner thoughts like that, but I suppose beggars can't be choosers, am I right?" When that gets him nothing from the mutant, Clark lets out a short-lived laugh, the sound dying as it bounces off his tongue and becomes a distressed puff of air before he swiftly continues on with the rest of his apology, "...anyhow, it was very unprofessional of me and I promise it will never happen again."

David's cheeks turn slightly pink as Clark goes off on his little tangent, but nevertheless he gives him an awkward squirm of a smile in return, much to the agent's relief. "No worries," David utters sheepishly, anxiously rubbing the back of his neck, "I get it more often not. Actually - I should be the one apologizing! I shouldn't have even been eavesdropping in the first place, but I heard my name, and well, you know, I just - I just - I guess what i'm trying to say is that i'm a bit rusty and my control on my telepathy still needs a bit more work."

Taken almost aback by David's display of humility, Clark can't help but grin at the fact that he's actually getting along with David. This is good, Clark thinks. More than good. Maybe the man will be more cooperative in the future if things keep going on like this, but he shouldn't push his luck. 

"Well, all is forgiven then," Clark chuckles, biting into another piece of his dessert, "I'm just really glad we finally got that out of the way."

David nods in agreement, and in the absence of words they go on to eat in comforting silence. But then, after a brief moment of quiet solidarity, for whatever reason, the telepath's expression, for lack of a better word, shifts. It's small, but knowing David the way that he does, he notices it right away; the way David's eyes lower and become more sharp, losing the soft gentleness that they had once possessed. It's different, more calculated in its approach, if Clark can even call it that. He's definitely missing something here. David had been acting so nice and kind to him all of a sudden and Clark had foolishly given him the benefit of the doubt, but now, now his behavior is far too suspicious for his liking, and he doesn't know what to think as he moves to finish his drink, wanting to avoid whatever this worrying detour has in store for him.

But alas, it isn't enough as David quickly makes his move. Cocking his head to the side, the mutant lets his gaze wash over Clark, raising his brows as he takes a moment to bite his lip in thought before glancing up at the agent through his lashes.

"I'd let you do it to me, you know," David murmurs softly, "If that's what you really want that is."

There's no flair in the way that he proposes it as the mutant says it so matter-of-factly that Clark, at first, doesn't truly get the gist of what he exactly means as he then responds with an amused, though still slightly perturbed, chuckle, "Do what?"

David gives him a look then, gazing at him in a way that a man in a perfectly good relationship clearly shouldn't as he draws attention to his mouth once more and teasingly runs the tip of his tongue slowly along the seam of his cherry stained lips - an action, which Clark tries so desperately to avoid gawking at, but ultimately fails at doing so as his mouth involuntarily drops slightly on its own accord and his skin begins to heat up from the sudden display of reckless flirtation. David's body language isn't subtle in the slightest, and he knows it, as he has made his intentions all too clear without having to say a single word; but it still isn't enough to prepare him for what comes next when the mutant takes this moment to strike, using his powers of telepathy to slip inside his preoccupied mind to properly engage with it, and causes him to choke on his drink when he repeats what he had not-so-privately mused earlier that day in a low, beguiling whisper, "Stuff your cock down my throat."

Oh fuck. 

Immediately flustered and aroused by the mutant's words warmly reverberating from inside his head, Clark haphazardly coughs, frantically wiping his mouth with the back of his hand as he stares incredulously back at David and balks, "David, that's not funny."

"I'm not trying to be funny," David scoffs defensively, "I want to make a deal, just between the two of us. I'll let you do me, but in exchange you have to give me a day off from you constantly being on my back."

Clark sits up in his seat, adam's apple bobbing nervously as he attempts to swallow. "But that was today," Clark reiterates fretfully, "You literally had the whole day to yourself, you-"

But before he can finish his sentence, David cuts him off by wagging a finger in front of his face, stopping Clark in his tracks, "Nuh-uh, I didn't know you were going to chicken out today, so today obviously doesn't count."

Clark's cheeks are positively flushed at this point, burning a particular shade of red as he can feel the sides of his face become slightly damp from the beads of sweat that gather at his temples, all while his throat - practically as dry as a desert - suffers in contrast. But what bothers him the most, what causes him the most discomfort, is the fact that his pants have already become somewhat taut and rigid despite his best wishes, blood having run south at the very opportunity that David has presented to him. And so, he crosses his legs as best he can in the vain hope that the problem will go away on its own. But even doing simply that causes a pang of need to run up his spine from just the friction alone and It's imperative that he refuse such an enticing offer; he has to. 

"No, you don't," David says aloud, prompting Clark to gasp as the mutant taps at his own temple with a smirk, "I can read your mind, remember? Or did you forget already?"

"David, this isn't like you," Clark tries to reason, anxiously pulling at the collar of his shirt, "You know that we can't do this. You have Syd, and I have-"

"You don't have to mention him, I know. And as for Syd, i'm doing this for her. We haven't particularly been seeing eye to eye lately, and I just want to have a whole day dedicated to her, and only her, without having to deal with all this Shadow King business for a change. "

Clark, having been a little more than a bit overwhelmed with the situation that he has found himself in, lets out a sigh of relief then, wiping the line of sweat trailing down the plane of his cheek, "If that's all you wanted then you should have just said so! There's absolutely no need for you to go to such lengths, i'd be more than willing to back off if that's what you want."

There's a pause, and it looks like David is actually considering his words; more so when he observes the flicker of acknowledgement in his eyes and the way his mouth is set into a line of deliberation. But seeing just how wet his lashes are and how much paler his skin is than usual, Clark comes to the conclusion that something, for whatever reason, is holding David back from abandoning this ridiculous proposal of his, and at that moment Clark realizes that - David doesn't really mean any of it.

The thing about Syd, that is. It's an absolute lie.

They've been getting along well enough lately, David and Syd, the two acting like a couple of newlyweds on their honeymoon whenever an opportunity makes itself known, and so the excuse that David gives him is weak more than anything as evidenced by the two love birds constantly staring off into space for another one of their sessions - in public, no less.

Maybe David doesn't realize yet how well he gets along with Syd because whenever she's given the chance, she'll speak her mind about anything and everything and that includes defending her boyfriend on multiple occasions during their little talks, despite how flawed her judgement may be. She was blinded by love, and so was David for that matter, and the two of them fed off each other in an admittedly unhealthy fashion. But who was he to judge?

He, who couldn't just leave the room when he had the chance.

He, who was actually entertaining the idea of having an affair with another man - with a mutant, no less.

He, who could've, and should've, left well enough alone.

And yet, here they are.

Whether he wants to admit it or not, Clark's doing an awful job at actually using the word 'no' when it comes to David's proposal, and the man is taking full advantage of that slip-up in favor of getting exactly what he wants. 

So no, this wasn't about David salvaging his relationship with his girlfriend, because the two of them are just peachy fucking keen as far as he's concerned. No, this isn't about them at all; this is about Amy somehow, this is about his sister, but before he can contemplate any further, David unfortunately resumes toying with him, distracting him from putting the final pieces together for the time being as he mercilessly continues to flirt with him.

"But what about you?" David asks coyly with a tilt of his head, widening his eyes as if to keep with that same tired innocent facade of his.

"What - What about me?"

David licks his lips again, planting both of his hands on the table as he leans in real close, breath almost touching the corner of his mouth as he then uses his telepathy to relay yet another message to him.

"You look like you could really use an excuse to get off right about now," he whispers, warm and intimate, while trailing his hand slowly up the agent's arm before placing it firmly on his shoulder, "Everyone can see just how pent up you are. So much so, that it must hurt to have such a huge stick up your ass, and all i'm saying is that i'd be more than willing to give you exactly what you want."

Clark harshly pants, biting hard into his lip to deter from temptation as he can feel himself throb and twitch as a result of David's continued antics. It's humiliating, and pathetic, and yet here he is, a man so easily possessed by his own dick. The mutant hasn't even touched him properly and yet he already fears he might just come right then and there if he isn't too careful - and maybe, maybe that's exactly what he needs to do. It would be embarrassing as hell, and he's positive that David would never let him live it down, but it would be so much better then succumbing to the alternative because the way David looks at him right now is dangerous.

He doesn't know what to do anymore; his resolve is crumbling at a rapid pace, and David's lips are so close to his own that he can almost taste them. But before he can even try to breach the gap between them, to give into his frustrating desire for the other man and surrender, David quickly pulls away and swiftly takes his seat as a pair of Vermilion walk past the cafeteria's windows, eyeing them both from the outside looking in.

Their intervention thankfully allows Clark to catch his breath, and it immediately comes to both of their attentions that neither of them are safe when it comes to the eyes and ears that circumvent the entire building. It's a wake-up call, a blessing in disguise, and he hopes that this would deter David from pursuing the matter any further. But...it doesn't.

"Hey," David starts back up again with another self-satisfied smirk, letting his fingers wander aimlessly across the marble green table top, "It's okay that you have a hard-on for me, I don't mind. Actually, I think it makes alot of sense, all things considered." The mutant closes in on him again, and it's a wonder Clark hadn't started heading for the hills the moment David had been caught off guard, but now they're back to where they had started and David knows that he has him wrapped around his finger whether he likes it or not. "But you know what?"

"What?" Clark replies breathlessly, out loud, despite the fact that David could easily search his mind to find that all too encouraging echo telling him to continue this relentless act of foreplay. But logic and reason have long since left the building and all that remains of Clark is the hopeless husk of the man that he once was.

David grins then, and it seems that that is the final determining factor when it comes to how this debate will end as he goes on to say, "I've been told I look especially good on my knees."

In a flash, Clark can see it as clear as day, the mental image that David has given him in all its glory, and in the end that's what does Clark in. Maybe it's the lack of sleep that makes him more susceptible to David's influence, or maybe he's just tired of fighting it, but in that moment, when David leans in and finally presses his lips softly against his own, Clark commits to it and kisses back much to his better judgement, reaching a hand up to grasp at David's slightly stubbled cheek to pull him in even closer - only for him to then realize what he is doing as he quickly yanks his hand away and backs himself as far as he is able to into the cushion of the booth, away from the sticky sweetness of cherries and raspberries that now reside on his guilty tongue.

"Something wrong?" David asks, as charming as ever. Clearly he's found his reaction amusing if the way the corner of his mouth has turned up is of any indication, but Clark isn't playing along this time around. David clearly isn't in his right mind, and neither is he for that matter, but given the situation, David is far more worse than he is at the moment, and he needs to get to the bottom of this fast lest they do something that they'll both regret in time.

Looking for ways to save himself from a potential scandal, Clark momentarily thinks that he should feign interest. Play along long enough for them to somehow reach Ptonomy's room and ask the man to render David to sleep instead. But - no, what good would that do? It'd just make things worse between him and David, and he doesn't want that. He doesn't need that on his already weary conscious, nor does he need to amplify David's trust issues even more than Farouk and the rest of the world have done already. 

And so, Clark ultimately decides to treat this like an intervention instead. Interrogating the poor man would get him nowhere, but if he were to pry the mutant with kind words and sympathy, he might just be able to help David find another way to reach catharsis - that doesn't involve getting in his pants.

Uncrossing his legs, the agent briefly grips the handle of his cane to center himself as he takes in a deep breath, ignoring the way David looks at him, smug, as if he had just won out against Clark's ongoing struggle to stay completely and utterly faithful to his husband - but he isn't ready to give up just yet.

"David," Clark begins gently, clasping his fingers loosely onto the surface of the table, "What is this really about?"

The mutant blinks, pausing as the unusual, almost sultry tone of his voice is then replaced with his usual neurotic resonance, and it is sweet relief to Clark's ears. "...Wh-What do you mean?"

It's obvious that that wasn't the answer that the mutant had been expecting, and just by hearing that stutter alone, Clark can already tell that David's commitment to this act of his is quickly tearing apart at the seams as he can hear how his voice involuntarily drops and falters, and when the mutant attempts to give him a reassuring smile despite it all, it's strained and uneasy. The mask is rapidly slipping and now all he needs to do is push David as smoothly as possible while his guard was still down.

"This, David," Clark reiterates, gesturing to the room as a whole for emphasis, "Why are you doing this? This isn't like you."

"How would you know?" David retorts bitterly, "You don't even know m-"

But before David can finish his sentence, Clark interjects, cutting him off as he then leans in and points a finger directly at him, stating with the utmost certainty, "I know you love Syd," which immediately causes David to clam up with affirming guilt.

He's got him where he wants him, and although he takes no pleasure in seeing David begin to visibly shake, it's a sign that he's on the right track and so he presses on, speaking briskly as to rip the metaphorical bandage off as painlessly as possible. "I may not know you as much as i'd like, and maybe I never will, but I know one thing for certain, and that's that you love Sydney Barrett with all your heart and that you'd never hurt her on purpose." He stops then for a moment, taking in a another deep breath before he continues and allows the tone of his voice to become softer and more compassionate than it had been before, "So i'm going to ask you again, David. What is this all about?"

As predicted, he tries to fight it at first, David - opening and closing his mouth multiple times in an attempt to weasel himself out of the question at hand, but he isn't able to come up with a good enough excuse and after a few seconds David realizes that he can no longer hide what he's been feeling deep down inside as his face gradually crumples up like a dejected balled up piece of paper and the look that David ultimately ends up giving him is downright devastating to say the least. All confidence gone in an instant, as it's replaced with the sobering fact that there has been a loss, and the room feels cold because of it.

David is haunted, and he has every right to be, and so Clark understandably gives him all the time he needs to answer the question as he simply observes the telepath shift his watery gaze from him to the nearby wall, staring blankly at nothing in particular as he struggles to speak on trembling lips.

It takes him a few moments to gain enough composure to form the words necessary, but when David's finally able to do so they come out in a quiet murmur as the man folds his arms and tightly presses them against his heaving chest in an attempt to bring himself immediate comfort from the sheer agony that merely talking about his own torment inflicts. "...I-I want it to go away."

"What is it, David? What do you want to go away?" Clark asks, encouraging him with a placating wave of his hand.

"The pain," David croaks, "I want it gone." 

Another minute passes before David gains the courage to speak again, but when he does, a bitter, ironic smile twists the mutant's mouth, shaky and full of unease, with no joy whatsoever to be had as he then lets loose a hoarse chuckle to further compliment his own despair.

"...Y'know, I - I can still hear her screams," the mutant confesses afterwards with a faint sigh, "Amy's, that is. My brain just keeps playing them on repeat, over and over again, and they just won't...stop. I've tried to distract myself from it. I've tried eating, i've tried sleeping, but they don't seem to work. I can't even shut my eyes without seeing her face in pain, in need, and yet I - I can't help her. She's already gone, and it's all my fault."

"David, it's not your-" But before he can continue any further, David instantly raises a hand and silently gestures for him to stop. He's having a hard time speaking as is, practically on the brink of having another breakdown, and so Clark relents and waits for David to continue venting on his own terms.

The mutant takes a deep breath then, sighing loudly as he props his elbows on the table and uses both his hands to rake through the chaotic mess that is his hair before they ultimately rest on the back of his neck for good measure. It is out of well worn anguish and distress that he does this, and after another moment David steels himself long enough to admit to denying an age old craving that has recently resurfaced, tormenting him from the very second he had learned of his sister's passing in the most violent way possible.

"And...I - I can't go back to using," David stammers, voice cracking at the very mention of that all too lethal word, "I can never go back to them. I've been clean for seven years, seven - wait...no, it's been eight now, hasn't it?" He makes a miserable snort at that, laughing at his own sense of time slipping, but it's over before he knows it as David continues, swallowing the gravel in his throat instead, "And Amy wouldn't want me relapsing on her behalf. Not after everything i've - we've been through." He then purses his lips and turns his head, looking up at him for some kind of understanding, any kind at all, as an unerring sense of hope worryingly settles into his gaze. "So, what i'm saying is...this is pretty much my last resort. I just need something to occupy my mind for a bit. Is that so bad? "

Clark exhales, his concern, he assumes, being all too visible at this point as David shakes his head and folds his face in his hands, averting his gaze away from the pity that he's practically been throwing at him in droves. It's not like he had meant to show it in the first place. He had tried to keep it neutral at first, to keep it as professional as he could given the circumstances, but he's no therapist, and with the time now bordering on three in the morning, he barely has it in him anymore to control his expressions, let alone his own feelings on the situation, especially at a time like this.

But - taking what David has said so far into consideration, Clark can safely say that the man truly is in a pickle. He's desperate, vulnerable, practically begging him to temporarily ease the pain that is no doubt engulfing him as they speak in the only way he knows how. But what he's asking for crosses every line in the book, both on a professional basis and a personal basis, and as much as he wants to give in, he can't say yes to him. He just can't.

And so, he defers the best he can - to stall the inevitable as David shifts restlessly in his seat, awaiting his answer.

"What about Syd?" Clark offers instead, "I'm sure she would be more than willing to help you out with-"

"No!" David exclaims in horror, causing Clark to stop mid-sentence as the room immediately becomes tense with the sudden shift of the other man's tone. Although his ears burn from the sudden shout, Clark finds it in himself to continue being patient for the time being and allows David to talk and hopefully explain himself as the mutant eventually resumes speaking once more, this time with a quiet apology in tow. "Sorry, but no, I - I can't do that. My head's too fucked up right now, and if I were to let her in - if anything were to happen to her, if she were to get hurt somehow, I would never forgive myself. It has to be you. "

A tear trails down the plane of David's cheek then, right on cue, and Clark, once again, feels his resolve begin to slip just by the very sight of it. In the end, David truly does care for Syd, he genuinely loves her in his own way, and he can feel himself soften from baring witness to the exact reason why Syd has remained so loyal and devoted to the man in the first place. But no, Clark has to remind himself yet again, he has to stay strong. He can't go through with this. He has to keep fighting this as best he can for Daniel, and for Syd, no matter what tricks David may have up his sleeve. But the problem now was that there were no tricks to be had, and this was David, as real, and as raw as the man gets and an overwhelming urge to comfort him surfaces no matter how much he tries to will it down in favor of his own sanity. 

"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said anything but, if I may..." 

"Go ahead."

Clark takes in a deep breath, sucking down the very last drop of milk that sits at the bottom of his glass, before he continues with the question that's been eating at him ever since David came onto him in the first place, "Why me? You're cute. Obviously, you know that. You could have anyone you wanted, all you'd have to do is ask. Hell, I'm sure the Loudermilks would drop everything in a heartbeat just to have a go at you. So...why me?" 

David stills then, guiltily shifting his gaze, before he returns to the conversation at hand with a rather reluctant admission in tow, "I've been aware of your...feelings towards me."

Clark's brows arch and furrow out of confusion. "Since breakfast, yes, I know-" 

"No," David dismisses, causing Clark's heart to twist slightly in his chest as realization sets in, and he immediately knows exactly what David is going to say before he even says it. He wants David to stop. To cut himself off. But David continues, and the anticipation practically kills him as the mutant goes on to say, "No you don't. I've known...since Summerland."

In that moment the words get caught in Clark's throat and he immediately wants to run as far away from the building as possible. "How - How do you mean?" He manages to choke out. 

David bites his lip, anxiously this time instead of for his benefit, and Clark knows straightaway that the mutant is having a hard time letting the words out which makes things all the more worse.

"...I was helping you up after the Farouk incident," David begins with a rather beleaguered sigh, "and I sorta read your mind. I didn't mean to, I swear! But you weren't exactly being quiet about it either, and - I'm sorry, Clark. I should have told you sooner, but I-"

Clark interrupts him then, embarrassed and ashamed, feeling like a complete and utter fool, as he then breaks completely out of his role of interrogator in a bout of raw human emotion that he is sadly unable to keep under his control, "What, so you're using this against me?! Is that it?"

"What?! No, goddammit! No," David replies out of frustration, offended that Clark would accuse him of doing such a thing, "I just - I really need to feel something, anything really, if it can provide a distraction for me because I am in a bad place right now and I don't know what might happen if I lose control, and I thought since you liked me like that, I just - I just thought that," David stops himself from going any further then and merely huffs out a breath, putting an immediate end to his desperate word babble in favor of coldly dismissing the conversation altogether, "- you know what, nevermind. This was a mistake. I'm sorry for troubling you in the first place."

David moves to sit up then, preparing to leave the cafeteria altogether no doubt, and although it's precisely the very thing that Clark had wanted ever since David's mood had changed for the worst - he can't let that happen. Not now. Not anymore. David may be coming to his senses but it's for all the wrong reasons and Clark will be damned if he lets the telepath walk out before he can do anything about it.

"Oh, come on, David," Clark says quickly, reaching out for the mutant's wrist to grab onto, "Can't we at least talk about this?"

"What more is there left to say?" David snaps, ears burning with the heated embarrassment of presumed rejection, as he rips his hand away from Clark's grasp, "You said no, end of story! We're done here."

Clark sputters at that, trying in vain to keep David where he is so that he can explain himself. "That's not what I said. I didn't even say anything!"

"Ha, actions speak louder than words," David hisses, glowering down at him from where he stands above him, as he continues to speak in a harsh whisper, "Isn't that what your superiors say when someone like me comes along? I'm just throwing it back at you."

Deeming the matter settled, David begins to step away from the booth, and with only a few feet standing between him and the door, Clark barely has any time to think things through as he attempts to analyze the current situation at hand.

If he were one of the many Vermillion he'd say outright that David Haller's threat level has been upgraded based solely on the man's current emotional state and that action should be taken to ensure the safety of those around them. Percentage points, and a much more articulated response aside, David is, from what he gathers from the information that has been displayed to him thus far, practically a ticking time bomb, just ready to go off, and if he were to let him go, who knows what would happen? He could end the world with a snap of his fingers if that would help him get over the death of his sister, and it would be his fault if that were to happen - it would be their blood on his hands. And all because he allowed an unstable omega-level mutant - with the potential to end all life as they know it - out of his sight when he clearly needed to be properly supervised; to be watched - so that he wouldn't be able to inflict harm to himself, or, god forbid, to any poor soul that crosses his path while he went about wallowing in his own grief. 

Truly, in that regard, he shouldn't be considered crazy for even thinking about agreeing to this, and yet, others would think otherwise, and in the back of his mind he blames David wholeheartedly for having his crazy rub off on him all the same - but he knows better than to say it out loud. David really was just too powerful for his own good and instead of deescalating the situation, Clark fears he's made it all the more worse, and he has to make a choice right then and there before the mutant leaves the room to the potential detriment of mankind. He has to end this ongoing internal struggle of his, once and for all, and forfeit his right to deny himself any longer.

He has to have sex with David Haller. 

Now, be it as it may, a part of Clark knows he's being extremely irrational here. He's overreacting, more or less, on purpose - explicitly allowing himself to fuel his own rampant paranoia as a way to justify the mutant having his wicked way with him. And yet, the rest of Clark is blinded from that very obvious fact, and logic ultimately loses out in favor of his own personal self-interest as a multitude of excuses instantaneously rush through his mind, attempting to give him an out from the scandal that a night with David would entail should word get out. Or, more specifically, should Daniel find out.

Later on, of course, he'll recognize the error in his ways, but now is unfortunately not that time, and he wholeheartedly believes as of this moment that he has no choice in the matter as he proceeds to pick and choose, running through each and every excuse thoroughly in his head in the vain hope that he'll be able to retain some modicum of pride when all is said and done.

Once his choice has been made, Clark straightens up in his seat, placing his cane on his lap, and ultimately seals his own fate when he stops David from taking a step out the door. 

"Wait a minute! Just - Just hold on, David!" Clark calls out, causing the mutant to freeze in place. He looks at him over his shoulder, the cold sheen of his eyes piercing into his still much conflicted soul, and Clark has to swallow the lump in his throat that that particular look causes before he's able to speak properly.

"...A-Alright," Clark utters trepidly, admitting defeat, "I'll do it. I'll...help you out."

David slowly turns back around and plants both his hands on the table once more. He can see how wary he is about the whole thing, unsure if the agent really wants to go through with it, but when Clark offers him his hand, David wordlessly accepts it and takes the opportunity to make use of his telepathy once more as he relays yet another message using his powers so as to not be listened in on by Fukuyama and his team for the time being. 

"What parts of the building do you think are beyond even Fukuyama's control?"

Clark swallows, eyes shifting from side to side in thought before he consciously returns David's gaze, knowing he'll definitely be listening to his thoughts this time around given the severity of his question, "...I'm not exactly sure, but I think the cameras in the bathrooms only cover the sinks as opposed to the stalls themselves. I'm pretty sure not even the Admiral would want to see what goes on in there."

He laughs despite himself, either out of nervousness or anxiety, he wouldn't be able to tell. But as David interlocks their fingers, a part of him realizes that this really is his last chance to back out. To pride himself in the self control that he had once worn like a badge of honor. But in the end he chooses to stay silent, and after a moment, they're suddenly in one of the aforementioned stalls, having teleported to the basement of the facility as Clark will find out soon enough. A part of him should feel offended that the mutant would take them to the handicapped stall of all places, but it truly is the stall with the most space, and it really doesn't matter now because David is backing him up against the divider, firmly grasping at the front of his shirt as he pulls him into a searing kiss. It's fast and messy, and Clark can practically feel the desperation in the way David's lips press against his own as the man's hands hastily grapple and tug at his clothes in a frenzy, unbuttoning his shirt with shaking hands until he can feel David's fingers descend upon his skin and it is absolute heaven.

It's shockingly intimate - the way David touches him. How his fingers practically savor the feeling of his skin, lingering, never faltering, as they travel along the length of his body in silent relief, and Clark recognizes two things in that moment - that one, David is moving fast on purpose to distract them from the guilt that would no doubt consume them both should they have the time to stop and think on their actions - and two, that whether they both like it or not, they've been starving for this kind of attention, to touch and be touched in return, and it's enough for Clark to stay in the moment, to surrender to this literal wet dream come true, and to forget the consequences for the time being as David makes good on his promise and gradually lowers himself onto his knees. He then promptly moves to unbuckle his belt, and soon enough, Clark's pants are being pulled down and David is unceremoniously sliding his cock out through the slit of his boxers.

The mutant proceeds to stop in his tracks then, however, staring directly at the damage that he's caused no doubt as he can feel David trace his fingers ever so gently over the leathery remnants of the scars that completely encapsulate the right half of his body. And in a moment of sobriety - Clark begins to feel anxious about himself.

Over the past year, he's gotten over most of the issues that plague him when it comes down to his appearance, but there's still that tiny little shred of doubt that kicks in every so often despite the constant reassurances he receives that tell him otherwise, and he feels it now more than ever as David practically examines him, scrutinizing him to no end - and with the way the telepath looks at him in this moment, as vulnerable as he is now, it makes him sweat, causing his heart to beat all the more faster as a multitude of distressing thoughts run briskly through his mind in an abhorrent fit of self-deprecating chaos.

He's having second thoughts. He doesn't like what he sees. First Daniel doesn't want him, and now David-

But before he can even finish that particular thought, Clark jolts, jumping at the feeling of a warm hand wrapping around the base of his flagging cock as David brings him back into the moment, leaning forward and giving the head a tender kiss. It's kind of sweet, the way he does it, almost reassuring in a way, but before he can even comment on it, David experimentally slides his hand up and down the tender flesh, wringing an honest to god moan out of him, before he finally reaches the main event and opens his mouth, attempting to slowly take Clark's cock into his mouth in one go.

David's clearly not looking for forgiveness, and Clark isn't in the mood to give it, but in that instant he realizes that David's clearly done this before. He's been out of practice, sure, but other than a few mishaps, gagging or otherwise, David knows exactly what he's doing. And then, through the haze of astonishment and rapture, the man's case file from the previous year resurfaces in his mind and a part of him can't help but feel a little guilty about how good this feels when he knows the mutant had merely been turning tricks in order to feed his devastating drug habit. He's really torn between enjoying it and comforting David properly, truly, he is, but by god, David's mouth is so warm and tight, and it's so much better than anything he's ever imagined as he has to fight the urge to come right before he's able to properly enjoy the way David's lips daintily stretch around his cock, and revel in the way that it disappears into that pretty little mouth of his with every bob of the mutant's head.

Feeling himself slide even deeper down into David's throat, Clark's eyes flutter shut, rolling into the back of his head in pure ecstasy as he lets out a low, satisfied groan. The feeling is too intense and as the mutant swallows around him, his throat practically constricts his cock, and Clark involuntarily thrusts his hips in response, accidentally choking David in the process.

He immediately asks him if he's alright, and apologizes while he does so, but in that moment, after hearing the sound that David makes as he struggles to relax his throat, the almost sadistic urge to hurt David again makes its way to the surface.

For making him like this, for making him feel like he needs this when he doesn't; but he doesn't have the stomach to actually go through with such a demand; not anymore. Even though his cock throbs at the very idea of being particularly rough with David, rage doesn't motivate him, nor does revenge at this point, and yet-

"Do it," David says suddenly, interrupting his train of thought yet again with his own, "Take your anger out on me."

He immediately shakes his head in protest. "David-"


"Do it."

"I don't want to-" 


"Hurt me." 

David looks up at him, again with those same pleading eyes that had begged him to go through with this arrangement in the first place, and all too quickly Clark finds it much too easy to become enraged again. He doesn't know if David is doing this just to prove a point, or if he was merely playing himself the fool, but when the mutant eggs him on, goading him to give him exactly what he deserves after all his trespasses against him, it only reminds Clark of how much he has to lose in this situation, and he willingly accepts the challenge.

After all, who was he kidding? He wasted a year of his life dealing with this inane obsession with David, and now here said mutant is, on his knees, practically begging to be punished, and who was he to deny him?

He wants to ruin him. Ruin David for disfiguring him, for making him feel helpless and weak all those months ago. But most of all he wants to ruin him for making him feel so damn good while he betrays the man he loves. 

He wants to destroy him, fucking obliterate him and desecrate the remains - but he'll settle for his mouth instead.

And so with all his anger, all his frustration, it all boils over as he grabs ahold of David's head and forces him down, making him take his cock in full as David closes his eyes in resignation, holding steady to Clark's hips as he merely takes what he is given.

The mutant gags, eyes brimming with tears, but that doesn't stop Clark as he uses David to the fullest, showing no mercy whatsoever as he fucks himself into David's willing throat over and over again until he can feel that all too familiar warm heat coil deep in the pit of his gut and he realizes he's already reached his breaking point.

He was going to come inside David's mouth, and David was going to swallow every last drop. 

It doesn't take him long, and it's embarrassing to say the least, but after a year of thinking about David nonstop, and hearing the ungodly sounds that the man makes around his cock sending him further and further into oblivion, all it takes is a few more thrusts and seeing David glance up at him with those pretty blue eyes of his for him to be sent over the edge. 

He takes a handful of David's hair then and sinks himself as deep as he can, ignoring the muffled yelp of protest that the telepath makes as he spills into that hot mouth of his. He can feel his cock twitch weakly as he forces David to swallow his come, but he's sure he wouldn't be able to get it up again even if he tried. So, after a moment or two, Clark relents, releasing his grip on David's hair as the man proceeds to sit back on his knees and cough. There's still so much he wants to do to the mutant, so much he has yet to bring out of the man, but he'd be pushing it as is, so Clark ignores that awfully greedy part of himself and shoves it back into the the dark recesses of his mind for safekeeping as he takes a glance down at David only for the man to glare up at him in return.

"What?" Clark jokes, after coming down from his high, "Not sweet enough for you?"

Really, if they were going to suffer from the awkward aftermath of sex together then he was going to have some fun with it. If not for David's sake, then for his own. But the mutant doesn't take too kindly to his banter, as instead of humoring him, he finds that the man is agitated and not as relieved as he had thought he would be.

"Did you really have to be so-"

"So..." Clark reiterates, hastily tucking himself back into his boxers.

"Rough," David spits out, throat hoarse as he rubs at it like that would somehow ease the ache.

Clark crosses his arms, leaning back against the divider in a huff, "You asked for it." 

Rolling his eyes, David opens his mouth to snap back at him, but then, he stops, and the realization of what they've done seems to hit him right then and there as he merely sits there in a daze. "You're right..." he says quietly, shaking his head, "I did."

Meaning to speak even further, David hesitates for a moment, looking up at him and then away before he's able to say what he needs to say next as the words end up falling loosely from his soiled tongue, "Look, I can wipe your mind...of all this. If that's what you want, I can-"

Clark stops listening as David's voice turns into a senseless ramble. He can't believe this. David's offering him the chance to be non-complicit. To get out of this impromptu affair unscathed and without the guilt that they will no doubt harbor as soon as they leave the stall, and it might just be the most generous thing David has ever done for him. But he has to decline. He had already made up his mind about it - about this. Despite all the excuses, the lies he had told himself when he had made his final decision, he wanted this; he wanted David, and now he's gotten what he wanted from the man, and like hell was he going to allow himself to forget it. It was the coward's way out, and he wasn't going to let himself be one any time soon just for this whole ordeal to undoubtedly be used as leverage against him on a later date. Besides, if he were to forget now, who knows how long this urge to have his way with the man would persist? It was better off this way. 

"No," Clark replies frankly with a sigh, "No, i'd rather not have you screwing around in my head if I can help it."

David huffs, shaking his head as he absentmindedly grabs ahold of Clark's pants from where they are pooled around his ankles and proceeds to pull them back up. 

Clark rolls his eyes at the gesture, knowing that David is holding something back and he is not about to have it. "David, what is it?" 

"You really hate me, don't you?" David says rhetorically, gazing up at Clark with a rather inquisitive look in his eyes as if he had just made the assumption - but he knows it's probably not the first time he's ever come to that conclusion. 

"No, that's not it-"

"There's no point in trying to deny it. I read your thoughts, and it really, really seems like you do. Even when i'm trying to do something nice for you, you won't let me do it."

Clark lets out a breath in exasperation, batting David's hands away as he fastens his own belt around his waist. It's only then that he notices that he's accidentally proved David right, and with a sigh, he says, "Look, I did for quite some time, nothing's going to change that. But i've moved past it. I don't hate you. Honestly, I don't really know how I feel about you. And maybe - maybe that's for the best."

Buttoning his shirt, Clark shifts his gaze from his fingers pushing buttons into their respective holes to David, as the other man dejectedly looks off to the side as he gives what he had said some thought. Needless to say, this new development does not bode well with him and Clark quickly comes to the the conclusion of why that is as he ever so gently nudges the apparent bulge between David's legs with the tip of his shoe and the response he garners is almost immediate as the mutant tenses up, shoulders stiffening, as he makes a weak, strangled sound at the sudden contact - he's still hard.

"You didn't-"

"I know."

There's a moment of silence between the two as Clark processes David's sudden refusal to get off, but then, after a moment of contemplation, the agent lets out another sigh as he decides what he has to do next - he's going to sit on the goddamn floor and he's going to get David off himself.

He knows he shouldn't, he knows his leg will kill him if he does, and that David shouldn't even be worth the trouble of it all, but he's already gone off the deep end and so he might as well dig himself a little deeper into the very hole that he has dug for himself. 

Fueled completely by his own sense of pettiness and a compulsion to get things over and done with, Clark moves to bend down, and immediately David seems to realize what he's about to do as he tells him repeatedly not to, for him not to strain himself, but Clark is a stubborn bastard, and despite causing himself a great deal of discomfort overall, he slowly but surely gets his ass to the tiles and manages to arrange himself into a comfortable position on the ground. If Clark got off, than there was no point in David not doing the same after all they've done to their respective partners. It was selfish, and unfair, and he was not about to have it. This was a team effort after all and he'd be damned if he'd let David get away scott-free.

Opening his arms as a silent way of saying that they have unfinished business, David hesitates once more before begrudgingly taking the gesture in stride and ultimately accepts it for what it is. He slowly shifts over to him on his knees, slithering into Clark's outstretched arms, and, upon noticing the look of fierce reluctance all too prevalent on the mutant's face, the agent immediately moves to pull him into a hug instead.

David is taken aback at first, having grown unused to what a real, physical hug feels like outside of the ones that he shares with Syd on the astral plane, but after a long grueling minute of resistance he relaxes and instantly becomes putty in Clark's hands.

That is, until he remembers why Clark's even doing this to begin with as he picks his head up off the agent's shoulder in an attempt to further sway him from doing what needs to be done. 

"Really, you don't have to-" David hastily begins to say, but before he can get any further, the mutant cuts himself off with an unmistakably needy whine once Clark reaches a hand down and simply cups him between his denim-clad thighs. 

He experimentally rubs, feeling David's groin through his jeans, and the man shakily lets out a gasp from the friction, involuntarily circling his hips in search of the relief he had, just a moment ago, attempted to deny himself of.

"Tell me you want this, David," Clark murmurs, slowing his ministrations on David's clothed erection to give him some levity, "And be honest about it because I really need to know." It's a request more than a demand, for if David were to say no right here, right now, he'd have no choice but to back off in an instant and that would be the end of that.

But he doesn't.

Instead, the mutant pushes himself forward, crowding Clark further against the divider, and when he gives him his answer, Clark can hear his voice crack from the desperation he expresses in droves. "I want this," David insists wholeheartedly, straddling his lap, "I really shouldn't, but I need it so, so much."

In other circumstances, Clark would find that turn of phrase all too arousing, but the difference between fantasy and reality is that you can't always get what you want, and in this case its not him that David wants, but the brief pleasure that he can derive from him, a commodity that both his mind and his body craves as an alternative to the agony that grief so eagerly inflicts.

And so, he gets to work. 

In his arms, David is more than easy to manipulate - physically, so to speak, and with the matter of consent out of the way, Clark proceeds to return the very favor that the telepath had done for him when they had first entered the stall by overstimulating David as best he can. It's to provide a much needed distraction after all, seeing as thoughts can so easily lead to doubt if one is not careful, and so Clark bombards him with the attention that he so craves by simply rubbing at David's back with one hand while unbuttoning his jeans with the other, whispering, "It's alright, David, It's going to be alright," soothingly into his ear.

And - it works. Once his words start to fully resonate with David, the telepath begins to sob, releasing some of the pent up tension that he had previously held onto as a means to detach himself from this affair, and he promptly eases up as a result. The mutant slumps against him, burrowing his face into the crook of his shoulder, and soon enough David's arms are wrapping around him in search of even more comfort that the agent so readily provides.

Gently guiding David through the act, Clark quickly notices that David is more than eager to help him out in this state. When he asks him to lift his hips, David is more than happy to be of service as he proceeds to raise himself onto his haunches, allowing Clark to effectively tug his pants down to settle around his thighs. 

There's a kind of power to this, of being able to touch David in this way, to make him act the way he does. But it's not the kind of power that he wants, he realizes, and he takes no pleasure in the pitiful state that the mutant has devolved into thanks in part to the Shadow King and all the vile shit he has done to torture David from the past to the now grave present. It was a gross misuse of power and control, and it disturbs him how anyone could do something so vile to another human being, mutant or not. 

But no, this wasn't the time to think about that. He was here to do one thing, and one thing only: to distract David, and not have it be the other way around. 

Ridding himself of his intrusive thoughts, Clark focuses his attention back on David with a newfound purpose. With the man's jeans out of the way, Clark easily dips his hand into David's underwear and elicits a tortured groan from the telepath as he moves to take his cock out. It's long, and hard, and when he wraps his fingers around it Clark can't help but feel a small thrill from feeling it twitch in his hand. The sounds that David makes are intoxicating, and he has to force himself to remember that this isn't about him. This wasn't just another fantasy of his. This was for David's benefit, and David's benefit only, and he has to abide by that. He already had his fun, and now he has to hold up on his end, no matter how tempting it would be to prolong this even further and tease the man until he begged him to make him come. No, this was definitely not about that. 

With David finally in his grasp, Clark begins to stroke, sliding his palm slowly up and down almost leisurely so as to not rush things for David's sake. He almost gets worried when David suddenly stops making noises, but then he notices just how wet his shoulder has become and Clark can only assume that man is probably biting his lips to keep them at bay. He's trying not to make a spectacle of himself, attempting to stay quiet as he silently makes his tears known and cries into the agent's shirt instead. 

At this point, he doesn't attempt to kiss him again - it just doesn't seem appropriate now that David is coming to his senses, but in the end it doesn't matter because holding him is simply enough as the man progressively takes charge little by little until he's rocking into his fist, making soft little noises with every hurried thrust, and Clark merely becomes a passive party in this, only uttering a word of consolation or two when needed as he simply runs his fingers through the telepath's shaggy hair. 

By the time he feels hands claw into the back of his shirt, David is positively shaking, crying and gasping as he chases his own release, but it isn't enough. He becomes loud, at least, louder than he had been before, and when he desperately utters the word, "Please," it prompts Clark to take over as he readjusts his grip on David's cock and pumps him raw and ragged until David tightens his arms around him and he spills hot into Clark's fist with a muffled shout.  

For a while after, they just sit there, undisturbed, as Clark allows David to lie against him and take comfort in his company. The mutant continues to cry against his shoulder, but little by little the tears let up enough for him to simply enjoy the agent's warmth for what it is as he closes his eyes, and Clark can feel him settle down and curl into his chest. It's the most relaxed David has been since this whole ordeal began, and he feels almost proud that he was the one that was able to do this for the mutant as he tenderly slides a hand down the length of his back.

Sensing the inevitability of reality approaching, Clark debates as to whether he should speak up or have them merely sit in silence for the remainder of their time together. In the end, he votes for the former, only because this may be his only chance to say what he needs to say before they return to life as they know it. 

"You know I meant it when I said that I don't know how I feel about you," Clark murmurs into David's hair, "I really don't. But I suppose that's good. Because now we can start off on a clean slate - if you're willing that is."

It takes a second for David to process what he's saying, but when he does, he replies rather softly, "...I'd actually like that."

"Good," Clark murmurs with a relieved smile. 

A part of Clark still wants this to be a dream, however, a horrible yet oh so satisfying dream, but he knows it isn't. This was reality, his own reality, and with reality comes it's consequences and the fallout that will no doubt see the light of day one way or another. It was all just a matter of time before one of them would use this little tryst as blackmail, but for now, the animosity they had once shared is far removed from the premises, and Clark can rest easy in that regard at least. 

An eternity seems to pass before David regains his composure, but when he does, the slowness of time that had once encapsulated them in this liminal space speeds up as he hurriedly untangles himself from the comfort of Clark's embrace and proceeds to sit back on his knees once more. His brows are furrowed, and even in the darkness he can see the unmistakable look of regret on David's face as clear as day and its something that Clark truly wasn't prepared to see. 

"I'm - I'm sorry...I-I can't do this," David mutters, guilty and ashamed, stumbling through his words whilst fighting back the quiver in the back of his throat that threatens to make him break down all over again, "I - I've gotta go." 

"David-" 

But before Clark can even intervene, to convince the mutant to stay a little longer in their cube of neutrality, David stands, pulls his pants back up, and disappears in a flash, leaving Clark to his own devices.

Ruminating on the events leading up to now, Clark contemplates on whether things could have been different had he been in a better state of mind, and how the sex could've been prevented had he tried even harder to resist David's endless charms. But he figures, one way or another, something equally disastrous would have happened in its stead. David had been using him just as much as he had been using David, and he supposes that what's fair is fair.

They both got what they wanted, essentially speaking.

And yet, it does nothing to deter the sheer amount of cold emptiness that spreads in his gut once he registers that the mutant is truly gone and that he's left completely and utterly alone as a result. 

This will never happen again, that much he knows for sure. But still, Clark will have to deal with the consequences head on. As much as he would've liked to have taken David's offer on wiping his mind clear of the memory of tonight, he'd always know that something would be missing and he'd rather have the knowledge of what he's done then let David carry the burden all by himself. 

With time to spare, he continues to stare blankly at the spot where David had once sat, but soon enough the shock of the spectacle dies down, and detachment begins to settle in as Clark eventually picks himself off the ground and exits the stall, washing his hands before making the long and arduous journey back to his room - his own personal walk of shame.

It's quiet. And yet at the same time, it's not. Alerts resound in the background as per usual, as do the sounds of his fellow agents and the ever present brigade of child soldiers making their way around the building, but all he can truly focus on is himself and the empty buzzing that reverberates in the back of his head. He's practically on auto-pilot for most of the trip back, unaware of anyone or anything, and when he eventually reaches his room, Clark simply toes off his shoes and slips himself underneath the covers. It's only when he begins to feel comfortable enough to attempt to close his eyes does the spell seem to break.

In an instant, Clark is bombarded with his own wayward thoughts, forcing their way into his mind without giving him so much as an ounce of mercy, and the first thing that comes to mind when he is confronted by the ensuing onslaught is that he needs a drink. A real drink. Even the cheapest of the cheap will do, because the utter need to get some kind of alcohol in his system is overwhelming to say the least. For a moment he thinks that he should grab the bottle of whiskey he keeps in his cabinet and drink the night away, but in the end, what good would that even accomplish? Drinking wasn't the answer to his problems - at least, not with this one - and the buzz he would feel from just a few sips would only be temporary, and that isn't what he needs right now. He needs to find a solution, something that will help ease the immense disgust he feels for himself that has seeped into every fiber in his being.

And it's on that note that Clark begrudgingly has to accept that sleep is no longer an option.

And so, Clark does just that - he doesn't sleep. He can't, he isn't allowed; the guilt of what he's done haunts him, and rightly so, as David's scent lingers heavily on his clothes and all Clark wants to do is burn the fabric off his skin to rid himself of the shame that resides in each minuscule thread. 

He just wonders how he's going to break this to Daniel - because yes, he's going to tell him. There's no question about that. He has the right to know, and either way he'd rather be the one to tell him, as opposed to David doing the honors if ever he were ever in the mood to stab him in the back and use this night as a means to an end. After all, he was responsible for his own actions - he was a more than willing party in...whatever the hell had just happened between him and David, and although he could come up with so many ways to excuse himself from the situation and convince his beloved husband the hows and whys that lead to him getting a blowjob from David Haller in a bathroom stall at three o'clock in the morning, he just can't do it. He can't convince himself to go through with such a bold-faced lie like David probably could in regards to Syd, and with that very thought eating away at him in mind, when he turns his head on his pillow and notices the portrait of Daniel he keeps on his bedside table, smiling at him from behind the glass, he promptly reaches a hand out and places it on its front instead.

He isn't worthy of Daniel. He isn't worthy of Syd. And he doubts that David will be telling her about what they did anytime soon, if at all, for that matter. If he knows him, he knows David will just hide it from her, just like all the other secrets he keeps from them - and she'll be blissfully ignorant for the time being, and he'll have to stand by and listen to her prattle on about how great a guy her boyfriend is just to save face.

Unless...he told her, that is.

But the problem with that is that Clark doesn't know if he could have the strength to do such a thing. His heart couldn't take potentially losing another relationship, moreso if the fallout of this fling permanently ruined his with Daniel, and theirs - theirs was a good thing, it was great, and after building up a year's worth of trust with Syd, what would throwing away all that hard work do? He knows he's being completely selfish, but she definitely has the right to know as well, which makes it all the more hard for him to decide on David's behalf. There wasn't a clear grey zone that he could settle upon here. There was a right - a very hard right at that, and there was a wrong that he simply couldn't afford to linger upon. 

Suffice to say, there really was no easy way of saying this. No easy way at all. On one hand, what had happened had been a desperate cry for help from David, while on the other hand, if he were to tell, it would be the very wake-up call that Syd most definitely needed when it pertains to her relationship with the troubled telepath. But if he were to pick between David or Syd, he'd always pick Syd. There's no doubt about that. 

But with all those factors in mind, Clark, accepting his fate for what it is, continues to stew upon the two choices at hand as he watches the sun slowly begin it's ascent to the sky from behind his blinds and simply waits for morning to arrive so that he can make his next move accordingly.