By Shakespeare's Girl

"He jests at scars that never felt a wound." -Romeo and Juliet

Martha didn't know where Clark was. Chloe didn't know either. Nor did Lana or Lois or Pete, or Perry White, who claimed to have seen Clark leave work early, but didn't know where he'd gone. And Lois had added that he'd looked ready to hurl all day. Slightly indelicate, Lex mused, but probably an apt description. Other than that, they were all useless.

Lex Luthor threw the phone against the wall in frustration. He shouldn't have yelled at Martha Kent. It wasn't her fault. He was just so worried about Clark. There had been no sign of him all day. He should never have yelled at Clark to get out of his life. He felt sick at the memory of Clark's face, so hurt, so young, suddenly, and so sure that Lex hated him. He'd never forget the brilliant green eyes that drained suddenly of the self confidence it had taken Lex months to build up and filled with agony.

Lex felt dizzy just thinking about it. If Clark had yelled those things at him, he'd never have had the dignity Clark had shown in smoothly walking out. Clark had even managed to continue his life for a while. If it had been Lex, life would have screamed to a halt. Lex was barely able to keep running LexCorp at the moment, he was so distracted by Clark, and apologizing.

Lex whirled around, angry with himself about Clark, Martha, the broken phone. How COULD you? You probably destroyed him! He-- Lex froze. He's looking at you. He's on the street watching you, and he think's you're still angry with him.

"Fuck!" Lex gasped, knowing somehow that his thoughts were true. He ran to the window, and looked down. He could just see someone staggering, then falling to the ground. Even at this distance he knew that shape. Clark!

Lex raced to the elevators, jamming the call button with his finger over and over, until finally the elevator arrived and he slammed the buttons inside, in a vain attempt to get down to the ground floor faster.

"Fuck," Lex repeated, bouncing on his toes as he waited for the doors to open. The sight of Clark's tiny form falling to the ground replayed over and over in his mind.

Finally the doors dinged open, and Lex flew out of the elevator and out the glass doors, across the street to the fallen form. A crowd was gathering around, and he shoved them aside. He looked down, and saw the very thing he feared most. Clark was sprawled on the sidewalk, and Lex felt a thrill of fear at the sight, at the thought that he was too late.

"Clark," he moaned, dropping to his knees beside the man. "Don't...Don't do this. Don't leave me."

Lex managed to roll the heavier man onto his back. Clark's mouth twitched, as if he were in agonizing pain. Lex leaned down and brushed his lips gently over Clark's cold, nearly white lips.

He watched the beautiful face carefully, wanting a sign--any sign--that Clark was still there.

"Please?" he begged. "Please, come back." He pulled Clark's upper body onto his lap, shifting to sit on the cement and cradle the broken man in his arms. "Come on, Clark," he urged, tears clouding his eyes. "I need to tell you so many things."

There was no response. Clark lay, barely breathing--although Lex wasn't sure Clark needed to breathe--his head cradled in the crook of Lex's arm.

Lex swallowed the fear that was growing in his mind. "Clark, please," he whispered into Clark's ear, "I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry. I love you. Don't leave me here, alone."

Lex felt slightly melodramatic as he fought back sobs. Clark couldn't die. He would return. He had to. He would. He'd wake up any second now...

But there was no sign of stirring. Nothing. Lex closed his eyes and forced himself to accept that he might never see the green eyes open again. Clark's gone, he thought.

Instantly, he felt the most hideous numbing sensation, the one he associated with scar tissue, tight and smooth and stretched too thin, and desensitized.

It was almost worse than the pain, this numbness. Lex knew that he was capable of anything in this state. He could feel compassion flooding out of his soul, to be replaced with malice, kindness overpowered by the need for power. This must never happen again, his brain whispered to him. You must never again fall in love, because if you love, you lose control. You must always keep control.

And as he fought against the numbness, Clark stirred in his arms. Lex gasped at the ache that claimed his heart. Please...

Clark's eyes fluttered open. Lex could tell the exact moment he became whole again, because it was the exact moment Clark saw him. "Lex..." There was no malice, or anger or vengeance in the tone. Only love, and need, and hopelessness.

"Yes, Clark."

"I thought you hated me."


"I--It hurts, Lex..."

"I know, Clark."

"Don't leave?"

"I won't, Clark. I'm here."

Clark smiled at him. Lex pulled Clark closer, leaning down to place a gentle kiss on warming lips. They would never be apart again.