Title: Holding On (1/?).
Author/Pseudonym: AtieJen
Email: atiejen at yahoo . com
Pairing: Clark/Lex
Rating: R
Series: No
Archive: Anyone who wants it, but please let me know.
Summary: In the aftermath of a personal crisis, Clark can only turn to and get help from one person, Lex. CLex Slash; MPreg
Disclaimer: All characters and the universe of Smallville don't belong to me; I'm just borrowing them for a while. Will return them as soon as they are washed, wrung out and dried.
Notes: Please, this is my first ever Smallville fic, so forgive the mistakes and bear with me.
Beta: A million and one thanks to Titti for all her beta help. Thanks also to Michelle for allowing me bounce ideas off her, and Mary Ellen for her advice.


Holding On.

By AtieJen

It had been exactly three months. Three months from the most traumatising event of his life. Ironically, the most exhilarating moment of Clark's life occurred only a few days before that tragic night.

Clark could recount to the last millisecond everything that had happened since the Scarecrow incident. If he were honest, he could recount everything from the day he saved his first life, literally, and also had his own life saved.

Thinking on this, he knew that it was exactly three months since the Scarecrow incident. Three months and a few days since he saved his first life, literally, and also, had his own life saved. In all the time that he had been using his powers, albeit sporadically and without conscious knowledge, Lex was the only person besides his parents that had ever saved him. Unfortunately, Lex didn't know the extent of the trauma that he saved him from and he would never learn it, if Clark had anything to do with it.

At the tender age of fifteen, there were more than a few disturbing events that had happened in his life, even though he didn't remember most of them. Clark knew that everything about his life before the Kent's was shrouded in mystery, hidden in the depths of his memory. But in all honesty, that lack of knowledge was bliss. It also meant that the scariest thing that happened to him was being hanged on a cross. At times, he was tempted to add being hit at 60mph, but he stopped counting that as distressing and scary, because it introduced him to the third most important person in his life, Lex.

The only other scary thing in his life was of course the pain he went through whenever he came in contact with the meteor rocks, but this was an almost constant occurrence while living in Smallville. Almost as constant as witnessing the effects of the rocks on the residents, so he quietly bore the weight of righting the wrongs he felt he caused. His parents of course tried to disabuse him of the responsibility of the effects of the rocks, but what else could he do? His father was the same man that taught him to take responsibility for his actions in the first place and then told him that he came down with the destructive meteor rocks, how could he not feel responsible?

Also, he couldn't stop helping people as it gave him a sense of being and fulfilment. Of course, there were times when he could happily turn his back on certain situations, but - there was always a but, wasn't there - that went against everything he had been taught and everything he felt so he really couldn't.

On this day of ruminations, three months after being strung up, Clark returned from school lagging more than usual. He'd noticed that in the past month, while his strength and other gifts were still at their peak, he felt slightly weak. It was hard to describe, so he kept it to himself. It was different from the weakness caused by the rocks; he just felt generally weedy and did his best to cover it up.

Clark didn't think that he was really deceiving his parents about the state of his health, but knowing them as he did, he knew they felt that he would come to them at his own time if he needed them. He was certain he would do that. There was so much about himself that he didn't understand and he didn't think anyone else understood either, but he had to go through it alone first. This was the way he'd always handled it.

Of course this meant lying more than usual and lying to the two people that didn't deserve it, his parents, but he didn't see an alternative. The smile on his face, he felt would crack someday, but he hoped that he was on his own when it did.

He got home, and went straight to bed. Another new habit he had apparently picked up was sleepiness. He felt sleepy at the oddest times and couldn't explain it. Of course his speed came in handy, he could get away from any embarrassing situations easily but it was slowly becoming overwhelming. Clark couldn't explain it, but he let it, go like he did with many of the things that happened around him. As with the other new things, he knew that with time, he would find an explanation.

Maybe it was a result of his ponderings or it was just a bad day, but he ended up with a nightmare. The kind he really didn't need because while some nightmares were worst-case scenarios, this was just a recollection of the events that transpired three months previously.

Dream

Clark was on his way back from school and he knew that there was something wrong. He didn't quantify it, he just had a feeling at the back of his neck that something was going to go wrong and sure enough, something did; Whitney and his 'friends' caught him. They tied him up and found him guilty for crimes against their star Quarterback. Literal translation; he'd been trying to steal Lana. In his opinion, this was grossly unfair because, while he would concede that he liked Lana and would love to go out with her, he wouldn't take her away from Whitney.

She'd told him that Whitney was her boyfriend and he was satisfied with that, at least, enough to be her friend, for now. If at some time in the future, she and Whitney broke up, then he would have his chance to ask her out, but until then, he was satisfied to wait. It also didn't help that whenever he got close to her, her necklace weakened him, making him appear more awkward and clumsy than he usually did especially with his recent growth spurt.

At the moment though, he couldn't explain any of these to the bullies holding him, especially since said necklace was hanging on his neck.

"So, Kent, what have you got to say for yourself?" The one called Brent asked him, and breathing heavily, he tried to answer.

"I've told you, Lana is just my friend."

"Yes, which is why we saw you trying to steal a kiss from her," Kevin put in.

"I wasn't trying to steal anything, She just gave me a peck."

"What are you trying to say, Kent? Are you so confused as to think that Lana actually likes you? She wouldn't give you the time of day, and I know that because she told me. If she told me that, why would she give you a peck?"

"It's true," he gasped out. All their statements were finished with punches to any part of his body they could reach and Whitney had just put a fist into his stomach.

"Are you saying that my girlfriend is a liar?"

"I don't know, Whitney, all I know is that she gave me a peck?

"What?" Slap, "Liar." Smack "She doesn't like you." Punch "She pities you and now you think she is a ho like you."

"What? Whitney, what are you talking about?"

"So, you think you can go round the school and tell everyone that you made out with my girlfriend?"

"What? No. Lana is my friend, I wouldn't do that to her." How wished he was at his full strength, and then maybe he could do something about the two goons holding him for their friend to pummel.

"Friend." Smack and a harsh laugh, "You have no friends, Kent. Or didn't you know that. The two freaks at the paper don't count and what do you think? They know their place; they are not whores like you."

Taking as deep a breath as he could, Clark tried to answer Whitney's accusation. "I. Am. Not. A. "And received a punch to his face and stomach for his effort. This was too much for him and his captors as he fell to his knees.

"You're not, heh. Can you prove it?" He couldn't answer their questions anymore and kept silent, concentrating on breathing.

"I thought not." It was silent for a while as they took off what was remaining of his clothes and left him in his boxers.

"Do you have the rope?" Whitney asked one of his cronies.

"Yea, it's in the truck." One of them answered.

"Kevin, go and get it." As he felt the air displacement indicating that the other boy had left, Clark heard Whitney give an instruction to the remaining boy. "Brent, you hold him. I want to show him what happens when he messes with me."

He heard Brent ask with a quivering voice, "What are you going to do, Whit?"

"What am I going to do? He is a whore, Brent, and there is only one-way to treat whores. Hold him."

With that, Clark felt Whitney's hands at the waist of his boxer shorts.

"What are you doing, Whitney?" Clark breathed out, he could barely talk and his words coincided with Brent's "You think this is a good idea man?"

"Nobody messes with what's mine, Brent, especially not this good for nothing. See the way he is on his knees, I tell you, he wants it and I'm going to give it to him."

The only thing that was on Clark's mind at the time was that the only reason he was on his knees was due to the meteor rock on his neck and the multiple punches to his stomach. He tried to think of anything that he could stay to stop this from happening but nothing came to mind. All his pleas fell on deaf ears and all he heard from around him were echoes of laughter and hate. The only thing he felt was pain and more pain and his only form of expression was a scream at the intrusion of Whitney's penis.

This wasn't happening to him. This didn't happen to people in Smallville. "No," "Stop." No, not him. "Stop."

There were no answers, and no one to help. He barely felt it when the quarterback finished with a loud groan, pulling out of him and spitting on him. The only words that poured out of Whitney were words of hate and cruelty. From then on, everything else felt like a dream, from the pulling up of his shorts, to Kevin's return. In his weakened state, it was easy for them to pull him up and tie him to the cross, spraying the letter S – for scarecrow.

"You don't mess with me, Kent. Ever. You're just a useless whore, Kent, not my Lana and we both know that. If you mess with her again, you'll pay the price and the whole school will know it." With this pronouncement, Whitney spat at his face and left with his friends.

Clark hung there and wondered how this could have happened. No, it didn't happen. Lana's boyfriend hadn't just raped him. The S on his chest wasn't the scarlet letter, even though it felt like it. And he wasn't a whore, no matter what Whitney said.

He couldn't really tell how long he hung there trying to convince himself that these things were the truth. It had to be the truth, because if it was otherwise, then he wasn't safe anymore. How could he face the rest of them? How could he look at Lana again? Regardless of the convincing that he tried to do, he couldn't stop hearing the cruel laughter from Whitney as he pushed into him and he couldn't help remembering how Whitney said that he wanted it because he was on his knees begging for it.

Just as Clark was about to give up on receiving any help before morning, he saw a bright shiny head and he heard someone call his name in question. Lex, the man he helped a few days earlier. His first feeling was one of thankfulness that there was someone there, and the thought that followed immediately, was shame. Shame that anyone would see him this way, and especially that Lex would see him this way. Given the choice, he wasn't sure he would have wanted anybody to see him, but why did it have to be Lex? He, Clark was the one that helped people, not the other way round.

Either Lex didn't recognise the expression on his face or he chose not to acknowledge it because he treated him like anyone else would, without demeaning him and denigrating the circumstances. Clark got the necklace off his neck and felt his strength returning but that didn't erase the feeling of weakness that it had caused. When asked, he gave Lex some cock and bull story about the scarecrow tradition of Smallville and didn't tell him anything about the extras he received from Whitney and his friends. Whether Lex believed him or not, Clark didn't stay around to find out. He thanked the other man and returned to his home to try and forget.

He would never forget of course, but for a short while, he could stand in the shower, wash it all off and pretend for a time that nothing had happened and that nothing had changed. But something did happen and everything had changed. As he stood there in the shower, he realised in the nothingness of his mind and thoughts, that all he had was nothingness. No life, no sound, no smell, no flavour, no sensation but numbness, nothing but him in the middle of nothing, with himself and his fears as only companion. And Clark knew that if he allowed himself, he would lose all he had, and all he was, to the emptiness. So he left the shower determined to forget or the closest he could get to it. He would change to accommodate it, but not change enough to let it take over his life.

End Dream

Clark woke up from his dream and ran straight for the toilet, throwing up what little he'd had at lunch. Why was he remembering? He'd done a good job of putting it very far behind him that he could almost tell himself that it didn't happen. He hadn't told anyone because he didn't believe it happened.

After that day, he kept a subtle distance from Lana and everyone else, not that they really noticed. There was an ever-present smirk on Whitney's face when they next met but he shrugged it off, albeit not very successfully because he caught the speculative look on Lex's face when he saw Clark's slight blanch at the sight of Whitney.

Clark's other friends thought that he was keeping away because of Lana and Whitney's relationship and he let them think that. It was better that they thought that jealousy was the cause, and not some form of fear.

db-qp

Two months later, Clark had gotten over most of the fear he felt on seeing Whitney. The feelings settled into some kind of unpleasantness and Lana, not knowing the whole story asked him to forgive Whitney, which he did.

It wasn't an easy thing to do, because Whitney made his smugness quite obvious, but in the end, Clark forgave his tormentor. He didn't do this solely for Lana's sake, but also for himself, because he knew that if he let himself hate Whitney, he would need to keep justifying his hate. And if he remembered daily, he would let out his rage at the weakness he'd felt while hanging on the cross; and in his anger, he'd use his strength against Whitney, doing something he would regret. So he refused to fear Whitney and give the quarterback that power over him.

He also refused to like or hate Whitney. Not wanting to acknowledge any form of relationship between them. His only strength during that time, albeit unknowingly was Lex. The other man might have suspected something, but he gave him his space to come and go. They didn't really know one another, but ever since they'd saved each other, he felt that there was a bond between them.

His parents didn't understand his friendship with Lex, nobody did. Everyone hated Lionel Luthor and sometimes, Clark thought that Lex did too, but people really didn't see Lex, they saw Luthor. He had the advantage over the others, in that, while he hadn't known whom he was saving that day, he'd seen the terror in Lex's eyes when he thought he was going to kill Clark and that made him jumped in to help the older man without a second thought.

For that split second in time when their eyes met, Clark knew that he didn't like that look of horror in Lex's eyes and it was a look he never wanted to see in Lex's eyes again. It was climatic for him to feel Lex breathe after thinking him dead, and it was a great relief to see the wonder in Lex's eyes at his being alive. For Clark, that was a much better look for Lex, but it was one he didn't think he would see again. That look though gave him the incentive to befriend the man he saved. Lex looked different and was different from everyone Clark had ever met.

They'd only known each other for a very short while comparatively, but Clark knew that he could say without a doubt that Lex was one of his best friends, and would remain so for a long time to come. When Lex saved him, he did for Clark something that no one else had ever done. Clark was always the one saving, and though he'd been ashamed and embarrassed at the time, it had been good to be the one being saved. He didn't have a truck for Lex, but he let the billionaire know through his friendship that he was very grateful for what the other man had done for him on that cross.

Clark knew that it was for the sake of their budding friendship that he'd been able to press on, in spite of the pain from Earl, and pull Lex to safety while he'd been hanging on the ledge in the factory. And he liked to tell himself that it was the bond between them that made Lex take the otherwise uncharacteristic - for him at least - step of entering the factory when he was being held hostage. He reasoned that if he didn't save Lex, who else would, and if Lex didn't save him, then no one else would. As far as he knew, they weren't keeping score with each other; they just helped each other and saved each other.

In the aftermath of his attack, Clark picked up the habit of going to the Torch office to spend some time with his two closest friends, laughing and helping them work on the paper, but he never told them the extent of what he had been through. If they saw the sadness in his eyes, they probably attributed it to his crush on Lana, hopeless according to them. Sometimes, if he allowed himself, he envied them their innocence, for he'd lost his in a field on homecoming night.

End Chapter 1

Posted 18th August 2004