Fic title: Bridges I Have Burned
Author name: kayladie
Genre: slash
Pairing and/or characters: Clark/Lex
Word count: ~34,000 (yes, it turned into a monster!)
Warnings: violence, sex, slight Lana bashing, mention of mpreg (though it doesn't happen in the story)
Summary: Clark finds himself in a dangerous place when things go wrong with some meteor mutants who are trying to blackmail him. Now he's trapped somewhere between life and death, unable to communicate with anyone...except Lex Luthor, who's the one responsible for putting him in this situation.
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters and I am making no money from this work.
Author Notes: The title of this story is inspired by a song by Linkin Park, "Burning in the Skies" from the CD A Thousand Suns. The fic is partially inspired by the movie The Invisible. This was written for the smallville big bang challenge on LJ.

Part One

This was a scene straight out of one of his nightmares. One of Clark's biggest fears, immediately after the one about suffering through an alien autopsy, was being unable to help his family and friends when they were in trouble. He and Lana had just stopped by the farm to pick up some nails, and somehow, they'd stumbled into a hostage situation. Then, to make matters worse, his parents had come by looking for them, and now most of the people he loved were being held to the whims of a madman.

There'd been a few times over the past couple of months that Clark had really missed his powers, and now was definitely one of them. He felt so incredibly helpless that he wanted to scream, but that certainly wasn't going to do them any good. He listened in disbelief as the leader, Lee, told Clark what he wanted him to do. They wanted him to break into the LuthorCorp plant's Level 3, and steal some sort of meteor rock serum. It was something that would have been no big deal for Clark several weeks ago, but now? Yeah, a bit of a problem, seeing as he was completely human and powerless.

There were four of them, and they were more blatant about using their powers than any other meteor freaks Clark had ever encountered. Most of the ones he'd fought in the past had been secretive and sneaky about their abilities, but these four were more than willing to flaunt what they could do. Lee was the obvious leader, and he had the ability to drain electrical energy from objects and then control it. Those weird twins, and Clark hadn't even heard anyone call them by name – it was just 'the twins' – could form a seemingly impermeable barrier around themselves and anyone else nearby. The last guy's name was Davey, and he had the power of teleportation.

When they'd suddenly popped into the loft where he and Lana had been fooling around, it had been a shock. Seeing the way they abruptly appeared had brought back fleeting memories of Alicia. And then he hadn't been able to think about that as they were throwing him around the room like a ragdoll.

Now he was sitting on the living room floor of his newly rebuilt house, his hands tied behind his back with a plastic zip tie, staring up as these thugs pushed around his family and his girlfriend.

"You don't seem like such a big bad guy to me, Kent. Some of the others in Belle Reve must have been exaggerating about you. Or they were just idiots. I'm leaning towards a bit of both," Lee sneered.

"Look, I can't do what you're asking me to do-"

"Well, you'd better figure something out pretty quick, tough guy, or your pretty little girlfriend is gonna be the one who has to deal with the consequences."

"Don't even think about touching her!" Clark shouted.

"We're in charge here! We will do whatever we want!" Lee yelled back, getting right in Clark's face.

"If you're so tough, why don't you just go get this serum yourselves?" Jonathan butted in.

"It's one of the advantages of being the bad guys. Getting someone else to do your dirty work for you," Lee said. "Davey!"

"Yeah, boss?"

"You ready?"

"Absolutely, boss," Davey said with a grin.

"All right then. You two," Lee said as he gestured at the twins, "Keep the barrier up at all times. We should be back in just a few minutes."

"We will," the twins said at the same time.

Lee reached out and hauled Clark to his feet. It was awkward as he hadn't bothered to untie Clark's hands. Davey came up and laid a hand on each of their arms. With a sharp pop, they disappeared from the Kent farmhouse and reappeared in Reilly Field, across from the fertilizer plant.

Clark stumbled a bit, almost falling, as his center of gravity was off. He glared at Lee, really wishing he still had his heat vision at the moment.

"All right, there's the plant. Do your thing, super boy," Lee said with a smirk.

"I can't do any kind of super things," Clark said from between clenched teeth. "I'm just a regular guy."

"Do you think I'm stupid? You think I'm an idiot, is that it?" Lee shouted. "All those guys at Belle Reve, they all say you're the one who put them in there, and all of them say you're really strong, and you're really fast. So you'd better quit messin' me around and do what I need you to do!"

"I don't know what else to say to get you to believe me! I can't do what you're asking me to do!" Clark yelled in frustration.

"LIAR!" Lee screamed, and backhanded Clark across the face.

Unable to protect himself, Clark fell to the ground, all the air leaving his body with a whoosh. Lee apparently wasn't satisfied with that, and began kicking Clark. Trying to roll away from the blows was only partially successful and Clark's attempts to shield his body only ended up leaving his head vulnerable.

Lee was still shouting that he was a liar when his boot finally made violent contact with Clark's temple. That was the last thing Clark remembered for a long time.

Davey gazed down at the boy's still, bloody form. He glanced over at Lee, who was panting with exertion, resting his hands on his knees as he tried to get his breath back.

"I think you killed him, Boss," Davey said.

"Shut up, you idiot, and let me think!"

"How are we supposed to get the serum now? Luthor's not just gonna hand it over to us."

"I said shut up, Davey. That means to stop talking!"

Davey shut up and bent down to take a closer look at Kent. There was blood trickling out of his nose and mouth, and there were boot prints all over his chest.

"Huh. He was telling the truth about not being super, I guess," Davey muttered.

"Are you sure he's dead?" Lee asked.

"He ain't breathing, Boss."

"Fuck!" Lee shouted and turned away. A few moments later, he turned back. "Okay, here's what we're gonna do. We gotta cut our losses on this one, and we'll figure a way to get the serum some other time. Maybe we can use this to blackmail Luthor. But right now, let's get rid of the body, get back and grab the twins, and get the hell out of town for a while."

"Right. What do you want me to do?"

"Are you deaf? I said get rid of the body!"


"For fuck's sake, Davey! You can teleport! Anywhere is fine! Just hurry the hell up!"

"All right, all right," Davey said, as he stood up to take a look around. He generally had to have some location in mind before he could do his thing. On the opposite end of the field they were in, was an old wooden water tower. Judging by its rundown condition, it didn't look as though it was in use anymore.

Deciding quickly, before Lee could get any angrier and turn his fury elsewhere with the kid dead, Davey reached down and grabbed hold of Kent's shoulder. With a pop, the two of them appeared inside the water tank. There was a bit of water still covering the bottom, and Davey grimaced at how slimy it was. Kent's body flopped onto the floor, and he gave a tiny groan.

Davey froze. Cautiously, he leaned over Kent and listened carefully. A long moment later, there was a small puff of air from Kent's lips.

"Well, hell. You may not be super, but I reckon you're tougher than you look," Davey murmured. "But this does kind of put me in a fix. Lee's about two shakes away from losing it completely. You obviously can't do what we need you to do, but if I tell him you're still alive, he'll sure as hell want to give it another try."

He leaned back on his heels, staring at Kent as he contemplated what to do. "I think you gotta stay dead, dude. You're probably more than halfway there as it is. For what it's worth, I'm sorry. Your girlfriend is really cute," he said with a smirk.

He snickered to himself as he stood up and popped back to Lee's side.

"What the hell took you so long?" Lee demanded.

"What, that was less than five minutes! Give me a break, man. You know I get tired when I do too much moving without taking some time to rest."

"Well, are you rested enough to get us back to the Kent farm?" Lee asked, his sarcasm thick.

"Yeah, yeah. Just hold on for a second. No appreciation, I swear."

With that, he popped them away from the field.

They appeared right into chaos.

There were police cars everywhere. Kent's father was talking to the sheriff and his mother had her arm wrapped around the pretty girlfriend. They saw immediately that the barrier was gone.

The reason for that was evident as one of the twins was on his knees, wailing in anguish over his brother, who had a huge bullet hole in his chest. Two cops were trying to wrangle his arms behind him to cuff him, but the surviving twin was putting up a vicious fight to cling to his brother.

Davey didn't think they'd been noticed yet, and was about to suggest popping back out, when Lee absolutely lost it. Davey knew he'd been right on the edge for most of the day. Personally, he thought all that electricity Lee liked to play with had scrambled his brains a bit. Lee had liked to think of the twins as his own personal weapon. To see that gone forever was obviously just enough to push him that last little bit needed.

Lee screamed in rage and pulled a gun out of the back of his pants. He rushed across the yard, shooting wildly as he went. He made it about four steps before the cops started firing back.

Davey didn't know what happened then, because he did what he should have done when Lee had first talked to him about this crazy job.

He got the hell out of there.

Lex sat still as a statue behind his desk as he listened to Crawford give his report on the fiasco at the Kent farm.

"Once the barrier fell, the twins were quickly overcome by Mr. Kent. I believe that Lee overestimated their ability to hold the barrier for an extended period of time. The sheriff was called and arrived rather quickly. One of the twins completely lost it and picked up a shotgun belonging to the Kents. Once he was down, the other twin collapsed on top of him. When Tommy Lee and Davey Wilkins arrived back on the scene, Lee became enraged and charged the officers, firing his weapon. He was quickly taken down, and only managed to wound one of the sheriff officers. Wilkins popped back out before he could be taken into custody."

Lex stared at Crawford for so long that the man swallowed reflexively. Lex liked that he could still make people nervous with only the weight of his gaze. He knew that Crawford had left out one detail, and it was the one thing that Lex really wanted to know.

"And the location of Clark Kent?" he finally asked.

Crawford swallowed again. "Still unknown, sir."

Lex nodded. He steepled his fingers, touching the tips of his index fingers to his mouth as he spun his chair slowly towards the stained glass windows behind his desk. He gazed out through the reds and yellows as he tried to contain his riotous thoughts.

Where the hell are you, Clark? Had his former best friend suspected, then, that it was Lex behind the actions of the meteor mutants who'd attacked his home and family? Was he staying away to taunt Lex? Planning his own revenge, perhaps?

He turned back to Crawford. "Find out anything you can from the sheriff's office. Put people on finding Davey Wilkins immediately, as many as are necessary to find him. Get back to me as soon as you have news."

"Yes, sir," Crawford said, and turned to leave as quickly as he could.

Lex thought with quiet amusement that he seemed grateful to have gotten out with his head still on his shoulders. He spun around to stare out the window once more, realizing that Crawford thought he would be blamed for the failure of the mission, seeing as he'd been the one in charge of the details. Lex knew who really was at fault, though.

The blame could be shared equally…by himself and by Clark. He found himself having to tamp down anger at the young man. If Clark had only trusted Lex enough, then none of this subterfuge would have been necessary. Though he conceded now, when it was too late to do anything about it, that he might have gone too far in his obsession to know Clark Kent's secrets.

But the desire to understand, to know, everything there was to know about the fascinating man/child that was Clark Kent was overwhelming. Clark had an innocence about him that most eighteen year olds had lost long ago, but it was housed in the most incredible body that Lex had ever seen.

He shifted in his chair as his cock stirred to life, reminding him that his desire for Clark wasn't just to understand. It was like a physical need inside of him, the pure want he held for Clark. He remembered when he'd first met Clark, and how horrified he'd been at the lust boiling inside him when he realized that his rescuer was only fifteen years old.

So, Lex had done something very un-Lex-like and had tried to be patient, waiting until Clark would be old enough to respond to his desire. Lex had even tried to encourage him to pursue Lana, knowing that the pretty young girl would never be enough to satisfy Clark once he matured a little. He would let Clark get Lana out of his system, so to speak, because Lex had recognized the spark of interest in Clark's eyes when he looked at Lex. Clark might not have quite understood what he was feeling, but Lex knew that he would, in time.

He had tried to be Clark's friend, tried to be his confidant and protector, because surely Clark couldn't really think that his powers were a complete secret? Lex had opened up himself, tried to get Clark to see that he could trust Lex. But Clark retreated, becoming more silently stubborn about his secrets than ever before. Frustrated, Lex pushed harder. The more he pushed, though, the further away Clark drifted, until eventually the tenuous bond between them had snapped.

Lex could still recall the pang of hurt that had thrummed through his body when Clark had declared their friendship over. The hurt hadn't lasted long before it was overtaken by anger, and Lex was determined more than ever now to know everything there was to know about Clark Kent. Using the mutants from Belle Reve hadn't been his first plan, but it had been the most ambitious.

A faint wave of uneasiness crossed Lex's mind as he pondered how very wrong the operation had gone. Two of the mutants dead, one probably mentally damaged beyond repair, one on the run, and no sign of Clark. He dismissed the idea of Clark staying hidden to taunt him; Clark would never do that to his parents or Lana. No, something had gone terribly wrong, and Lex did not have a good feeling about it.

Not at all.