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(C): Clark Kent and Lex Luthor are not mine, and are, in fact, owned by their amazing creators that created them! I'm sure you guys are very aware of who they are, and I assure you that they are most certainly not me whatsoever! The amazing television series Smallville, and the Disney version of the Fox and the Hound is not mine either, my friends! Honestly, I don't own any of the characters, DC or Disney, in this story! They are not mine, they will *never* be mine, and I am not at all claiming ownership over them! In fact, all I am doing is simply using them for this very depressing brotherly story and nothing more! I own nothing whatsoever other than this story, and so-because of that, please do not think that these characters are mine, because they are not! No suing please, as I just use the beautiful Kent and Luthor boys for my really sad little ideas now and again! I'm just a humble artistic hobo, and that's all there is to it~!

"Tell it to me again." Clark whispers hoarsely through the pain, the blood, the burning sensation of Kryptonite buried deep into a not so invulnerable body, as Lex wages against his fear—that is slowly becoming reality—as he holds the boy softly against him; struggling to stop the flow of blood that is ebbing far too quickly from his body.

"What?" Lex blinks; barely registering Clark's words at first, as his eyes are fixated on the blood—oh God there's just so much of it—that seems to be pooling around the two of them.

Clark strains a smile up at Lex, eyes glistening with unshed tears as they lock onto his worried gaze

"...Tell me the story again, Lex...I want to hear more time..." He murmurs out in a shaky breath, his head falling against Lex's chest as he feels one of his arms wrap tightly against his shoulder, and he smiles. Knowing that, even now, his older friend still remains utterly obvious as to how to properly comfort him the way he wants.

"What...story—?" Lex stammers out in sheer confusion; his free hand taking Clark's in his grasp, intertwining their fingers together as firmly as he dares.

In response, he hears Clark's labored breath choke out a small laugh, and then whisper the title faintly—The Fox and the Hound, oh, he should have known, as it has always been a cherished childhood favorite—followed by what he could swear was Clark begging him—please, one last time, please Lex, it hurts so much—in a sad, broken voice that he never wants to hear him speak in ever again.

It takes ever bit of strength that Lex Luthor has tucked deeply within not to completely break down.

He nods his head fervently and instinctively pulls Clark closer, looking down at him and forcing himself to smile, to look happy, to put on a mask that doesn't want to shatter to pieces and show the weak and helpless man that lay beneath.

"All right, Clark..." He says through a thick voice before he manages to; somehow, begin the retelling of the story that he knows means so much.

A natural storyteller, Lex easily weaves the tale of a fox, and a hound—who were, by all rights, to be the greatest of enemies and yet, by some miracle, instead became the best of friends despite what fate had told them—as he listens with a sad smile to Clark's quiet reactions during certain parts that he intentionally describes to him in rich detail.

Strangely amused, despite it all, by the faint glimmer of Clark's boyish charm that still shines through the incredible amount of pain.

Lex reaches the middle of the story before he realizes that Clark gulps of breath are beginning to come further and further apart. He shuts his eyes and shakes his head, choosing to ignore it—no, not now, not yet, please—and instead, speaks in a much louder tone of voice, gaining the tiniest of responses from Clark as he begins to explain one of his favorite scenes.

"And then the fox and the hound, after their rough play, collapsed upon the grass beside the river and the trouble making fox looked up at his friend and happily went—"

"''re my very...very best friend..." Clark struggles painfully to say, cutting Lex off and muttering the next few lines of the story himself. "And...And the hound replied..."

Lex swallows thickly, forcing back every emotion that threatens to spill forth as he listens to Clark's weak voice. The same broken smile that he had gave his friend from before finds its way back over his lips as he lays his chin in the top of Clark's black hair and chokes out the next line.

His entire world beginning to fall apart around him—far too fast for him to stop, though he wants to make it stop—oh God, how he wants to make it stop.

"...And then the old hound replied: And you're mine too, Tod." Lex says as he pulls back and stares down at the tired gaze that greets him, a soft smile on Clark's face as blood continues to drip from his lips. "And then the fox said..."

He prompts, begging, in some way for him to keep talking—to keep fighting—to simply stay with him for as long as he is able to.

"...And we'll...we'll always be...friends... forever won't we...?" Clark answers through a pained breath, his eyes fixing on Lex's rapidly blurring face, as he gasps heavily with each word. "And...And then..."

He tries his hardest to continue, but it has become far too much of a hassle to try and speak through his tired lungs. Instead, his simply nods his head, silently allowing Lex to carry on in his place.

Tears begin to fill Lex's green eyes as reality begins to set in, coming to understand that these next words could very possibly be the final things he will ever say to his closest friend. Oh, how cruel irony always had a way of twisting the metaphorical knife deeper and deeper into an already bleeding wound.

Lex smiles genuinely; overlooking the pain that he feels and tightens his grip on Clark's trembling hand, doing his best to look strong—composed, confident, all the things that Clark has come to associate with him—one last time.

"And then the hound went, in the same joyful voice: Yeah, forever." He delivers in an emotional voice, completing the line for Clark, as he watches helplessly as the lights dim from his blue eyes.

Clark slumps forward onto Lex's chest again once he hears him finish, sighing faintly as he lets his darkening eyes close. Lex freezes anew where he sits on the ground at the sudden action, completely unaware of what else to do as he simply wraps both of his arms around Clark's shoulders; enveloping him in a careful embrace.

And then Lex hears the words fall from Clark's lips that manages to take whatever remains of his crumbling heart along with them.

"...And they...they lived...happily...ever after...didn't they, Lex..."

Lex goes to respond, to finally allow his feelings to come rushing out unheeded—begging, pleading completely un-Luthor like to hold on, to not leave him. Because he needs his friend, he needs him in his life, he's the only good thing that he has left, and he can't lose another brother. Please God don't make me go through this again, I can't do it, not again...

But before a single emotional word is uttered, he realizes that Clark is no longer breathing. No, no this can't be happening. It's a trick! It's some kind of trick. It has to be...

He slowly pulls Clark back and his eyes go wide in dismay as realizes that his greatest fear has undeniably come to pass. Glancing over Clark's pale face, his held back tears quickly fall down his cheeks, and he makes no effort to stop them.

Shakily Lex pulls Clark back towards him, holding him tightly and burying his head in the young Kent's hair, tears clouding his vision. He gently runs a hand over the back of Clark's head as he mutters brokenly to no one.

"Yeah, buddy...and then they lived happily ever after..."