Title: Breaking Atlas
Pairings/Characters: Clark/Oliver, Clark/Lois (mention), Oliver/Chloe (mention), Clark/Lana (mention), Zod
Word Count: ~3850
Warnings: slash, non-con, torture, violence, language. General dark themes.
Spoilers: 10x19, Dominion; 10x21, Finale
Summary: The plan to escape the Phantom Zone doesn't go quite as Clark expected.
A/N: I honestly have no idea from which dark and twisty corner of my mind this escaped. Lines in the last scene shamelessly cribbed from the finale episode.
"The great Kal-El." Zod circled him like a shark, eyes bright with hatred and madness. "The last son of Krypton. Your father could have chosen any of a thousand brilliant minds, a thousand unparalleled geniuses, to save from the cataclysm. Instead, he chose you." Zod's left hand caressed an unmarked bit of his chest as his right snapped the whip and carved another bleeding line down Clark's thigh. Clark tried not to flinch, tried to repress the natural urge to cry out, but it was getting harder to do. He restrained himself to a grunt of shock, and the chains binding him rattled as he jolted.
Zod seemed pleased at even that small sound. It was the first he'd gotten since ordering Clark stripped and suspended on chains hours ago. He'd been at this for hours, pulling blood and pain from Clark's body while he taunted him with inadequacies perceived and real. Clark had been sure he could handle it, but the reality of it, without his bullet-proof skin or his rapid healing, was proving more difficult to bear than he could even imagine.
Clark avoided Zod's feverish gaze, staring at the far wall. He knew it was likely only a matter of time before Zod started hitting on nerves that would break him. His father, Lois, Kara. Chloe. Zod continued to circle him, cutting and slashing with the whip, and Clark jerked in his chains and hissed through clenched teeth more than he endured stoically.
"You are mortal here, Kal-El," Zod purred in his ear, pressed against his bleeding back. "You are a plaything. A pretty toy to be used and discarded at whim. Without your vaunted powers, what are you? Hm?" Zod's gloved hand curled around his rib cage and twisted his nipple, so suddenly and viciously Clark cried out. Zod's satisfied chuckle oozed across his ears. "You're weak," he spat, and pushed away from him. "Pathetic."
Oliver stood, an unmoving shadow, in the back of the room. Without his enhanced vision, Clark couldn't see his face. Had he convinced Zod to trust him? Had he played the part of the dissatisfied sidekick, the jealous powerless human, well enough? Clark couldn't afford to wonder, but he did anyway. Oliver hadn't been himself of late, not since Clark told him he and Lois were thinking about moving in together. He'd gotten distant and cool, and then he'd gone back to Star City for three weeks. He trusted Oliver, but a tiny, dark part of him wondered if he really should.
In his musings, he lost track of Zod. Without his oily voice and cracking whip, Clark allowed himself to be distracted. The slither of chains being released was his only warning before the tension left his binds and he collapsed to the floor. Agony exploded in his arms and shoulders as circulation rushed into his blood-starved arms, pins and needles on a scale of such violence and intensity Clark screamed with it.
"I think you've gotten too used to hanging from the ceiling, Kal-El," Zod said casually, when his scream died into whimpers and pants. Clark looked up from the floor through the haze of pain to see the warlord standing over him, stone-faced Oliver at his side. "I think a change of scenery is in order." He nodded at Oliver, who bent and picked up the end of the chains still locked around Clark's wrists.
He struggled to focus. They had a plan. Doubts aside, Oliver was playing his part. Clark had to play his. "Ollie..." he croaked, forcing himself to his hands and knees. His arms trembled, threatened to collapse, and his hands slipped in the blood pooled beneath him, but he managed to keep his tenuous balance. "What are you doing?"
"What I should have done a long time ago." The sheer bitterness and hate in Oliver's voice would have frightened Clark, if he wasn't sure it was feigned. He hoped. Oliver crouched in front of him, fisted a hand in his hair and yanked his head back so hard Clark had momentary trouble breathing. "Lord Zod is right," he hissed, but the look in his eyes didn't match his angry tone. His eyes were worried. His eyes asked, how far do you want to take this? "Without your powers, you're nothing."
Clark nodded as slightly as he could, trying to say as far as you need to take it. Oliver released his hair, and his head rocked forward so fast he banged his forehead on his manacles. He coughed harshly, then fell forward as the chain was abruptly yanked, pulling his elbows out from under him. Oliver grabbed under his chin, pinching tightly. "And don't call me Ollie." Before Clark could reply, Oliver's other hand lashed out in a fist, cracking across his face. Pain exploded across Clark's eyes, and the whole world went black.
When he came to, he was somewhere else, bent over a bench with his arms restrained again, this time to a ring in the floor instead of the ceiling. His face felt swollen and hot, and when he licked his lips to wet them, he tasted dried blood and crusted snot. Ollie broke my nose. It was a surreal thought. He'd been all but invulnerable since he could remember; he would have laughed at the absurdity if he could have.
Zod stood against the wall beside the door, arms crossed and eyes hooded. Dark amusement flickered across his face, a self-satisfied smug grin flitted across his lips. "I was just going to kill you," he said conversationally. "Slowly and painfully, but kill you nonetheless. Now, though, I think it might be more amusing to keep you alive. Perhaps as a pet for Mr. Queen. He's proving very... creative."
Again, that seed of doubt wormed through Clark's gut, burrowing deep despite his best efforts to dismiss it. "You're wrong about Oliver," he said.
"I don't think I am. In fact, I intend to watch and laugh as Mr. Queen disabuses you of all those idiotic noble notions you have." Zod moved away from the wall, running a bare hand over Clark's bare back. The fingers skittering up his spine brought a shudder to Clark, and not entirely in an unpleasant way. "Maybe more than watch," Zod murmured. "You are a magnificent specimen. The very ideal of everything a Kryptonian should be."
A throat cleared, and Zod stilled. Oliver stood in the doorway, leaning against the side with his arms folded. There was a gleam of something undefinable in his eyes, a gleam of something dark and angry. "Respectfully, my lord... You promised him to me."
Zod tensed, and for a bad moment, Clark thought Oliver had signed his death warrant. No one spoke to General Zod like that and lived to tell of it. But then Zod relaxed and straightened. "Yes, I suppose I did at that. Very well." He stalked to the door, looking over his shoulder at Clark. "I prefer them already broken in."
Oliver bowed his head, and moved towards Clark as Zod moved away. As the two men passed each other, Zod lashed out like a striking snake, backhanding Oliver and sending him spinning to the floor. "Mind your tongue when you speak to me. I will not tolerate your insolence again."
And Zod was gone.
Clark waited another minute to be sure the warlord wasn't coming back. Oliver was still on his hands and knees on the floor, dazedly shaking his head. "Ollie?" Oliver's head snapped up, and Clark winced to see the livid bruise already spreading across the other man's cheek. Oliver stood, finished crossing the room, and slapped Clark hard.
"I told you not to call me Ollie," he snapped. "Only friends get that privilege, and I'm sorry to tell you, Clark, but you're not my friend." He crouched down in front of Clark, lifted his head again by the hair so they were looking into each other's eyes. The darkness in Oliver's hadn't gone away; it had only deepened, turning the soulful brown eyes ugly and bitter.
Oliver stood again, and circled around out of Clark's field of vision. His voice floated from somewhere over to the right. Clark turned his head, but couldn't see him. "Did you learn the myth of Atlas in school, Clark?" He didn't wait for a response, and his voice came from the left this time. "Carried the weight of the heavens on his shoulders as punishment for past crimes. I always wondered... how long did it take before carrying all that weight broke Atlas?"
He reappeared in Clark's vision. Clark swallowed at the look in Oliver's eyes. "If Atlas was a normal guy, just an average Joe like you and me..." He paused, smirked. "Sorry. Like me, anyway... He would have broken pretty quick, I figure."
He crouched again, hands dangling loosely from his knees. "Maybe it's a good thing we mere mortals aren't meant to hold such gigantic burdens," he said, and suddenly he looked so tired and lost Clark wanted to reach out and grasp his shoulder. The only thing that stopped him was the non-existent give of the chain. "It really doesn't take much to break us, Clark. Not much at all."
He was up and out of sight again, and Clark craned his neck, practically broke it, trying to see over his shoulder. But the angle of the bench and the hunch of his back didn't allow it. "When you broke up with Lana, you could have had anyone in the world, Clark. So why did you have to choose Lois?" There was real pain in his voice, and Clark closed his eyes.
"You said you didn't mind," he whispered, and was rewarded with another hard slap across his face. He yelped as the dull throb of his broken nose flared sharp and fresh. He blinked the tears out of his eyes, and spat blood and snot out of his mouth. With Zod out of the room, he'd been feeling much more secure, but that was before Oliver had gone off on this tangent. Was Oliver that truly bothered by Clark's relationship with Lois?
"Anyone in the world, Clark! Anyone! And you had to choose Lois, of all razor tongued harpies? The woman who spent the first five years you knew her flaying you alive on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis? Who praised your alter ego at the same time she tore you down to less than dirt? I mean, I know you took a lot of abuse from Lex, and Lana, and just about everyone else in your life... Maybe you were just too used to it to see..."
He squinted through the tears he couldn't quite clear from his eyes. "See what?" he wheezed.
"Me. Out of all the people in the world, Clark, why not me?"
Clark blinked. "What?"
Oliver was gone again, but this time, Clark felt a hand on the small of his back. He hissed and arched away from it, but the bench would only let him go so far. "After you and Lana broke up, I waited, Clark. I waited so goddamn long for you to wake up and realize that I'm here, that I'll treat you like you deserve. But the great goddamn Clark fucking Kent has to be a martyr. Has to choose someone who's more interested in ripping them apart than building them up."
Oliver might have just been acting for the sake of the audience, but there was too much rawness, too much pain, in his voice to convince Clark, who knew him so well. Had he been so blind that he hadn't seen this coming? So wrapped up in his own misery he'd completely missed his best friend's? He swallowed past the lump in his throat. "Ollie..."
This time the blow was savage, and Clark saw stars. "Don't call me Ollie!"
Somehow, Clark didn't think Oliver was playing even a little anymore.
Oliver reached out and ran a hand over Clark's spine. The skin was as smooth as he imagined, lying alone in his bed in the clock tower at night. Slick with sweat, streaked with filth, but soft and warm. Muscles flexed under his fingers as Clark arched away from the touch, hissing with disbelief.
He was light-headed, practically delirious, with all that golden expanse of skin bared for his eyes, his touch. He took his time, lost track of it completely, as he gave himself the freedom he'd so craved all these long months and just explored. His anger at Clark, and Clark's choices, shriveled and withered in the face of finally, finally, having the great Clark Kent all to himself.
He allowed himself the time to play, the luxury to learn the planes of Clark`s back. Dimly, he was aware of Clark`s discomfort, his whispered pleas for Oliver to stop, to think of Chloe, to think of Lois, but Oliver was far beyond caring. The darkness was riding him, a whisper hammering in his mind to take what he wanted and damn the consequences. Lust roared in his ears, roughened his voice. "Maybe you should see what you're missing before you go running back to Lois," he said.
With a jerk, he ripped the tattered remnants of Clark's jeans over his hips, letting the scraps pool around Clark's ankles. His fingers fumbled at the fastenings of his own pants, breath rasping in his throat. "Perfect," he groaned, eyes locked on the mounds of Clark's ass, as tanned and toned as the rest of him. His hand shook as he reached out to cup one cheek, kneading and caressing. "God, Clark."
He was so slick with his own pre-come he didn't even need spit as lubricant. "Want you," he rasped as he positioned himself behind Clark, rubbing the head of his cock through the crease of Clark's ass. He shuddered, fighting the urge to climax right then and there, revelling at the feeling of all that smooth skin against his cock. "So hot. So noble. Those pretty eyes just begging to be fucked. Should have done this years ago."
He reached down around Clark's hip, questing for the other man's cock. He expected to find it soft, flaccid, hiding from the assault, expecting to have to coax it to fullness. Instead, it was rock hard, and when he wrapped his hand around it, Clark moaned long and low.
"God Clark, do you want this?" The very thought sent arousal screaming through his veins. He pumped his hand, and Clark spasmed. Oliver's last slender thread of control broke, and with a snarl savage enough to do a primitive proud, he pistoned his hips and drove himself deep into Clark.
Dimly, he was aware of his free hand pawing for the chain release and, when he managed to hit it, pulling Clark's body flush against his, his forearm wrapped around Clark's throat. Dimly, he was aware of Clark's whimper-whine of "Ollieeee..." and his own answering growl. Dimly, he was aware of Clark crying out, Clark's cock jumping in his hand, Clark's muscles clamping down around him until it was so tight he could barely move.
His orgasm rose clawing and choking. Oliver fought it tooth and nail, wanting to hold on as long as possible. "You see, Clark?" he said, ragged and panting, into Clark's ear. Clark was taut as a bowstring, quivering on the edge of release, and Oliver knew it wouldn't take much to push him over. "You see? This is how...how it should always have been. Could Lana do this for you? Can Lois? Can anyone? Why... not... me?"
"I don't know!" Clark echoed his cry with another, deeper, one as Oliver jerked his hand twice more, and Clark spilled over his fingers, hot and fast. Oliver's vision went white, then black, as his orgasm escaped his control and slammed him broadside. He shouted until he was hoarse, then slid bonelessly to the floor as Clark likewise collapsed over the bench.
It took him a long few moments to relearn how to breathe, and in that time, the haze of lust slipped away. The darkness, satiated, slid back into the dim recesses of his mind, and suddenly, Oliver realized what he had done. Nausea churned his stomach and bile rose in his throat. Satisfaction disintegrated under the assault of self-loathing, and his hands shook for a completely different reason as he tucked himself back into his pants and redid the fastenings. He staggered to his feet, still weak-kneed, and stumbled towards the door.
"Ollie," he heard Clark whisper behind him, and he froze. He wanted to turn around, but was afraid of what he'd find in Clark's piercing blue gaze. Condemnation, disgust, or worse... acceptance. God, was he even human anymore? If he was so easily taken over, so easily seduced, by the darkness...
No. He wouldn't turn around.
He ignored Clark's second whispered entreaty and lurched out of the room.
"You've been avoiding me."
The glass of brandy slipped out of Oliver's fingers, and only Clark's superhuman speed prevented it from smashing on the floor. Clark set it gently on the table with the snifter and backed off a couple of paces. It had taken days to finally track Oliver to this cheap little roach motel, and the last thing Clark wanted to do was scare him off now. He scratched briefly at his side, a phantom itch where Oliver's blade had slid in. A few seconds back under the rays of the yellow sun had healed the injury as if it had never happened, but it, and other things, still weighed on his mind.
"I've been avoiding everyone," Oliver said shortly, reaching for his glass again. Clark caught his wrist before his fingers could touch it, and Oliver flinched as if Clark had smacked him.
"Oliver," he said gently, "we've been worried. Things haven't been the same since we left the Phantom Zone..."
"Don't." It was a harsh, ugly word, and Oliver jerked his hand free of Clark's grip. He staggered towards the room's one stained couch. "Just don't, Clark. I don't want to talk about it." Oliver collapsed on the couch with his head in his hands, but not before Clark saw the telltale signs of alcohol and sleep deprivation etched deep in the shadows under his eyes, the haggardness of his cheeks.
Clark followed, tucking his hands into the pockets of his jeans. "We should," he said. "We need to talk about it, Oliver. Letting it fester will just-"
"For fuck's sake, Clark!" Oliver exploded, raising his hands from his head and pinning Clark with what might have been a furious glare, if it wasn't so tired and full of self-hatred. "I don't want to talk about it! So why don't you take your self-righteous bullshit and don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out?"
Clark tried not to be hurt; he knew Oliver was just lashing out, trying to drive him away so he could wallow in his darkness and guilt. It still stung, but Clark had never taken the easy way out. He crouched down in front of Oliver. "Never. Oliver, this isn't you. Don't let it take you over."
Oliver laughed, a sad huff of air, and swatted away the hand Clark tried to lay on his knee. "You're too late. There's no saving me."
"That's not true," Clark persisted, catching Oliver's hand on the rebound and holding it in his. "You haven't always made the right choices..."
Oliver laughed again, this time a bark of disbelief. He made an attempt to reclaim his hand, but Clark didn't let him. "Haven't always made the right choices? Clark, I practically raped you! No, no practically about it. I did rape you. How can you look at me? How can you touchme?"
Clark sighed. It had been the hardest thing to deal with after their return. Coming to terms with Oliver's actions was difficult enough, but what had been most difficult was comprehending how much he'd wanted what happened. Oliver had been so forceful, so dominant, so uncontrolled it still sent shivers through Clark in the dead of night when he allowed himself to remember it. He knew he had invoked Chloe's name, and Lois', but it had been a weak attempt at denying he'd wanted Oliver to begin wtih. His halfhearted protests had fallen away quickly enough when Oliver was doing such delicious things to him. He could have fought, once Oliver had freed him from the chains, and have had a better than even chance of besting his friend. But he hadn't.
He bit his lip and repressed a shudder at the memory of Oliver pounding into him, knowing the other man would misread it as revulsion or disgust, and there was too much of that already in the room for Clark to want to add to it. Instead, he shrugged. "I wanted it to happen, Oliver."
Clark thought about trying to explain it so Oliver would understand, but it was such a tangled knot of rawness and newness within him, he didn't think he'd find the words to explain it in a way Oliver would understand. So instead, he closed the distance between them, tipped Oliver's face up to his with his knuckle, and gently kissed him.
Oliver stiffened, eyes flying wide in shock. Clark cupped the back of his head and, without removing his lips from Oliver's, whispered, "I believe in you, Oliver. You and I have to save the world together."
The tension bled out of Oliver's shoulders, and he slumped forward. If Clark hadn't had been there to steady him, he would have hit the floor. Light flared, and Darkseid's omega burned white-hot on Oliver's forehead. As Clark watched, it faded away to nothing. A black tear traced down Oliver's cheek, turning clear before it passed his nose.
Oliver opened his eyes, the dark shadows in them finally gone. He stared at Clark for a long moment, and Clark stared back before finally offering a warm smile, wiping the lone tear away with his thumb. That was Oliver's cue to dissolve into tears. "Oh God Clark, I'm so sorry!"
Clark cradled Oliver as he cried, cleansing himself of the pain and rage and guilt and fear. "Shh," he whispered, stroking Oliver's hair. "Everything's okay now."
"No," Oliver whispered into Clark's shoulder. "It's not."
They still had to deal with Lois, and Chloe. And Darkseid was still out there somewhere, lurking in the weaknesses of the human race. Jor-El was still silent, and Clark's destiny still unfulfilled. Oliver was right; it wasn't okay, not by a long shot. But as Clark held Oliver, he felt a rising hope that said it would be.