Clark sighed softly.

“When I was a teenager, I was in love with you, Lex, but not anymore.”

He was nearly thirty years old and he was saying the words he never thought he’d say, ever. Before him he saw another man crumble, though Lex showed nothing outwardly. Lex never showed his feelings; his face was a blank mask – non-penetrateable. Yet Clark could read the grey eyes easily and they told him just how much Clark’s words had hurt him.

With a curt nod and several quick steps backing away Lex was gone from the room, from his life again.

Clark sighed and sat down heavily on the stool by the kitchen bar. He shouldn’t have said those words to Lex. He should have learned by now that lying would never do him any good – he’d been doing it all his life, for all different reasons and it had never brought him anything but pain.

Clark Kent had been in love with Lex Luthor when he was a teenager. There was only one problem - the problem of why he was nearing his thirtieth birthday and still hadn’t anyone special to share his life with. Why he after traveling the whole world for years still never felt like there was a special place to call ‘home’. The problem was, of course, that even after a decade had passed Clark was still in love with Lex, no matter what he tried to say or do to prove otherwise.

Sighing again, Clark rubbed at his eyes.

Lex Luthor returned to the suite he’d taken for the night. It was spacious and beautiful, just like everything else that surrounded Lex, but the man didn’t notice any of the splendor. Unbuttoning his tailored shirt, he sank down on the huge king-sized bed, standing in the middle of the room. The covers were a soft white. Lex had ordered the hotel to use these special linens, because they were what reminded him of Clark the most – they were beautiful, soft to the touch— innocent. Lex had planned on taking Clark here tonight, if things had gone according to plan.

They had not.

Instead the bed was empty. Lex turned, curling up in fetal position.

A Luthor didn’t cry – a Luthor didn’t show any emotion at all – but there was no one to see now, was there? Lex let out an anguished howl and hit the mattress with a fist. He wanted it to hurt like he was hurting inside, but the soft linens caught him and he barely felt it. There were no tears – Lex had been schooled for too long in the Luthor way of doing things for that – so instead, Lex vented his anger by slamming his fist into the headboard.

The crack that followed filled his brain with pain, yet it felt so good. He felt blood start trickling down from his broken knuckles and all he could think of was to do it again.

When Clark found him, the sheets were no longer white.

“God, what have you done, Lex?” The horrified cry echoed through Clark’s brain and he barely registered that he was the one who’d uttered the words. He was already by Lex’s side, kneeling beside him.

“You are not here.” Lex looked up at him, his eyes suspicious and hazy from pain.

“Yes, yes, I’m here,” said Clark, needing to assure the other man and maybe himself too. “What did you do?”

“I needed— to feel pain,” Lex said simply, as though it was a natural answer to Clark’s question. He didn’t seem to be completely aware of with whom he was talking. “The— other kind of pain.”

With shaking hands, Clark reached out and took Lex’s in his. Lex hissed when Clark touched his bloody knuckles and Clark winced. He x-rayed the bones and sighed.

“Broken. Let me see your face.”

Lex’s face bore the marks of violence, but it seemed that the only one Lex had been in a fight with was himself. Clark saw the broken shards of the vase lying on the floor and knew where Lex had gotten the multiple cuts from.

“When you thrash a room, you’re definitely thorough,” Clark said, a hint of a smile passing over his lips.

As though suddenly sobering from the pain induced stupor he’d been in, Lex pulled away. “You— you—” he said, but the usually so well-spoken – at least he was in Clark’s memory – man didn’t continue. After a very long moment, he said, “Why are you here?”

Clark hesitated. He knew exactly why he was there, in the beautiful but thrashed hotel room next to the man who’d done the destroying, but knowing it and admitting it out loud were two very different things. He’d been hurt once already; going through it was not something he wanted to do.

But was playing it safe and spending the rest of his life alone— was that worth it? To continue to live without a place to call home and someone to call his? And how much of a risk was it really when Lex had already admitted his love for him— and injured himself to the extent he had, because Clark had said no?

“Because I love you,” Clark said and when he said it he knew he’d made the right decision.

“But you— you said you didn’t,” Lex said, a mere shadow of his usual cocky self. “In the apartment. You said you didn’t anymore.”

Clark reached out and touched Lex’s cheek gently. “I lied.”

Then he leaned forward and kissed Lex softly, careful so that he wouldn’t further aggravate the split lip Lex had somehow ended up with.

And he was home.

The end.

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