The Brightest Angel

By Shakespeare's Girl

He was so beautiful, Clark mused, staring at the muted television. It was amazing how truly stunning Lex Luthor was.

Clark sucked in a harsh breath as the camera zoomed in on Lex's face. Clark had to press a palm to his mouth to keep in the involuntary scream of lust, need, and pain. The beauty and perfection of Lex's face was too much. Clark closed his eyes, trying to block the mental image of Lex from his mind.

You could have stayed with him. You could have been happy. You know you could.

His dark side was shouting at him again. Leaving Lex was the most painful thing Clark had ever done. Now all he did was sit alone in his second rate apartment and watch Lex give speeches and attend social functions on the TV.

You could be there, standing beside him. You don't have to be siting here in this dump. You could be right behind him, waiting for him to finish so you can spend more time together.

Clark shook himself. Lex isn't ethical. He never is. He tries, but he always manages to twist it so that he winds up benefiting more than anyone else. He's a good man, but he's too ambitious. You can't be associated with that. He's lying and cheating and stealing and destroying. And while it may be for the right reasons, you can't endorse his methods. You need to be his foil, and if that means being good while watching Lex turn more and more to evil...

Clark couldn't bear the thought. He didn't want to lose Lex to the dark side. He gave a half hearted snort at how sci-fi that sounded, and wondered whether Lex would have laughed if he could have heard it.

Clark's eyes returned to the screen and studied Lex's eyes. The normal confidence radiated from them, the blue grey of his irises sparkling in the lights. But something looked false. Something wasn't right. He looked hollow, and confused, Clark realized, as if he'd just gotten some terrible news and couldn't quite shake it enough to get on with things. Despite his trademark cocky grin, Lex looked lost.

Lex misses you, Clark's mind whispered, and he couldn't tell if it was the dark or the light half. He misses you as much as you miss him. But he knows how to deal with it. He won't come begging back to you. He probably doesn't even know where you are.

No, that can't be true. I told him where I was. He knows. He cares. He'll come here and find me, if he misses me that much, we'll work something out...

Clark suddenly realized that someone was banging on his door. He leapt up, searching furiously for his eyeglasses, then he froze. It could only be Lex. Clark straightened, and forgetting the glasses, he moved slowly to the door. He could have x-rayed the door, and known for sure, but somehow he didn't want to.

Carefully, he opened the door.

"Lex," he breathed. Memories that he'd tried to ignore flooded back, and he could only wait while flashes of events danced before him. Lex the day they'd met, Lex shooting pool, Lex swimming, Lex in the shower, Lex kissing him, Lex as he came, buried deep inside Clark's body. "Lex..."

"I can't do it, Clark," Lex said, without preamble. "I tried. Really I did. I tried so hard to forget you. But damn it, I can't. I thought I didn't need anyone, but God help me, I need you. I need you like I need air. Don't send me away again."

Clark knew he should say no. He should shut the door, or throw Lex out. Lex was bad, Lex was corrupt. But he couldn't speak at all. His chest felt tight, and he couldn't breathe. All he could do was stand there like an idiot, and try to blink away the tears he felt welling in his eyes.

They stared at each other, Lex's request hanging in the air. Clark bit his lip, not realizing the pressure he was exerting until he heard the snap of his teeth connecting. He blinked, not sure what had happened while his body tried to fix the hole with his teeth still in it. He tasted blood and released his lip, and Lex watched as the gash disappeared. Clark licked his lips, the blood taste filling his mouth.

"I can't." Clark said, finally, his voice breaking, tears flowing down his face. "I can't do it."

Lex's face froze, his fingers clutching the door frame. His entire body paled, as if his blood suddenly was sucked out of him.

"I can't yell at you," Clark continued. "I can't push you away. I can barely force myself to think. I should hate you. You go against all my principles. But I want you to stay. Because it hurts more to be without you than it will when I fall from grace because of you."

"You plan on falling from grace?" Lex asked, his voice as tight as his body looked.

"I'll be found out. Eventually. Superman and Lex Luthor, friends? A couple?" Clark sighed. "Someone will find out. And when they do, I'll fall. It's only a matter of when."

Lex shook his head. "Clark, I don't know what to tell you."

Clark shrugged. "I don't mind. I'd rather be with you and hated than without you and publicly adored."

"Clark, I'm not here for Superman." Clark looked shocked and slightly hurt. Lex shook his head and explained. "I'm here for the fifteen year old farm boy who pulled me out of my sinking car after I hit him and knocked him off the bridge. I'm here for the man I fell in love with. I don't care about Superman. I need you, Clark Kent." Lex smiled gently as he took Clark's hand, and added, "Besides, 'Angels are bright still, though the brightest fell'."

Lex squeezed Clark's hand, and Clark pulled him inside. "When it comes to you, I'll gladly be marked as fallen."

The quote is from Shakespeare, I want to say MacBeth, but I could be wrong.

The point of this fic was to explore how Clark's/Superman's mind works. Ever since I saw the episode "Red" where he says it's like there's two people living inside him at the end, this idea has been nagging at me that now, at every turn, Clark has to force his dark side to relenquish control. And then I started wondering what exactly he had to give up because of that, because suddenly he's almost turned into a complete split personality, and if he gives in to one he denies the other. I don't know if that's what I actually conveyed, but I think that tonally there's something that seems slightly off kilter about this fic, and I like it for that reason, if nothing else. Anyway, I just wanted to explain what I was trying to do with this.