By Shakespeare's Girl

The wings felt uncomfortable, awkward, wrong, as if they were a permanent part of his anatomy.

He shuddered at the feel, unsure exactly why he felt so uncomfortable with the wings, something that he could take off if he wanted to, when his other powers seemed completely natural.

It was the symbolism of the wings that was getting to him, he realized.

They were so public, something you couldn't hide. If he ever sprouted wings for real he wasn't sure he could actually handle it. It was too much, too hard to write off as unimportant, too hard to conceal with lies.

If he ever manifested his alien heritage in any physical way he knew he'd have to run--far and fast--until he was someplace where no one could ever find him.

Suddenly the wings were itching, trying to attach to his skin, trying to turn him into the freak he already was inside. He began to gasp and shudder, his hands trying to reach behind him to pull the wings off.

He felt the tears streaming down his face, knew he was making a scene, but couldn't stop himself, couldn't see for the tears and the soul crushing fear.

He thought he was going to explode, and he couldn't' stop sobbing.

A gentle hand was on his arm, helping him out of the wings, and Clark could breathe again, but he couldn't stop crying.

He was falling, clinging desperately to the arms that had freed him from the terrible wings. The arms followed him down, hands soothing and caressing, comforting.

The arms surrounded him, and a soft, gentle, quiet voice was soothing him, assuring him that the arms he clung to would never leave, that he didn't ever have to wear the wings again, that they would find something else, that it was completely okay.

Clark clung to the embrace, his face buried in the silky soft skin of his comforter's neck, his tears dripping onto the pale skin, even as the fear passed and the sobbing ended.

He lifted his head, unsure exactly who had come to comfort him, but was somehow not surprised when he looked into silver-blue eyes. Clark smiled.

Together, they stood, and Clark clutched Lex's hand as they walked away from the white angel wings that lay, broken, on the floor.