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Hundred Veils, A

by Nifra Idril

     Subject: SV A Hundred Veils (Clex, R)
     Date: Thursday, May 08, 2003 3:15 PM

     Title: A Hundred Veils
     Author: Nifra Idril
     Pairing: Clark/Lex
     Rating: R
     Spoilers: None
     Keywords: Angst

Disclaimer: Not mine. If they were there'd be naked wrestling every show.

Summary: Lex is tired of secrets and games but he doesn't know how to end them.

A/N: Thanks to all the lovely people who give me lovely feedback. I write back, really I do, just takes me a few days.

Also, Lyra, you rock my socks. Very extreme in your beta-ing, as always.

The title for this piece was taken from a poem by Rumi, called `To Take a Step Without Feet.'

A Hundred Veils

He likes the way brandy burns down his throat, sits hot in his stomach. Likes drinking outside, his toes pressing into the cool, calm dirt. Air smells good. Spicy, somehow, and he thinks that must have something to do with summer coming. Listens to wind sighing secrets through tree branches, and closes his eyes, holding the glass to his temple. It's slick and smooth against his skin, and Lex thinks that if he could just feel this, just live in this now forever, then maybe he'd be all right.

Can't, though, and he knows that. Knows this moment's going to pass and in an hour, maybe two, he won't even remember what it feels like when the swell of the breeze sweeps up his back and over his scalp, a caress.

He's going to have to go back inside. Going to have step back into his place in whatever game he's playing now and he doesn't want to... doesn't want to at all. He's learning to be repulsed by the prick tingle of adrenaline that rushes up his spine when he manages some kind of coup.

Just wants...this. Sun going down over a world of green that pushes delicate leaves upward into the sky, trails of purple and orange chasing each other over clouds and down, into the velvety gray of dusk and when it's full night, pin points of white light will shine in deep blue. Wonders what it would be like to drown in that kind of blue, swim in the night sky, or let the soft grass grow over him and forget. Everything.

Hates the way he can feel his peace starting to curl in on itself, and he can't relinquish the moment slowly. So Lex stands abruptly, and walks back inside the castle, each step deliberate and measured.

Sits at his desk, and holds a manila envelope in his hands. Inside are five photographs. High gloss, black and white, poor composition.

Beautiful model, though.

Clark, lifting things he shouldn't be able to lift. Clark, blurring across the frame, moving too fast to be caught by the snapping lens.

What's strange is that he realizes now it's not about finding out how, or even why. The secrets, they don't matter, not really, no matter how he's pushed for them. And maybe he'll change his mind in a few days but right now...he hates the pictures because they tell him everything he's thought he wanted to know.'s the trust that he wants. Clark's voice, telling Lex that he's...different. Clark's eyes, watching him as he takes in the secret, lighting up as Lex tells him it doesn't matter just doesn't. Really doesn't.

He already knew, could smell the lie a mile away even before he'd even known Clark, before he'd learned every mood, every shade of blue and green in those too-honest eyes.

Lex opens the envelope slowly and, one by one, feeds the photographs to the shredder. Watches as the thick paper falls in thin strips into the trash bin and he suddenly wishes that he'd ripped them up himself because he just wants to break something in half, feel destruction under his fingers. Wants to spoil something, because if he wasn't so hollowed out by the trust Clark won't give him, he'd be angry.

Pours himself another drink, and looks out the window, eyes trailing over the landscape. It's dark now and a thin veil of shadow spreads out across the fields and in through the windows of his office. Feels it on his skin like a chill.

In the morning maybe he'll remember to be interested in how Clark could have done those things. But now, he tosses the negatives into the fire, and watches as the fire licks at the film, devouring and he feels...very little.

The fire flickers out and he goes upstairs to bed. He can't sleep for hours.

Wakes up hard.

Need pounding through him, fizzing in his veins. Closes his eyes, leans back against his sheets, pictures Clark's face, the flex of Clark's shoulders, sees the strong, white teeth, the small half-grin, and the full one, too. Thinks about Clark's hands, long, blunt fingers. Imagines the calloused finger tips stroking his cock, and squeezes himself harder.

Hears Clark's voice. "I trust you, Lex."

Comes yelling Clark's name.

The day's a quick one, running by and through Lex until it's passed entirely and he's folding his father's latest taunting letter into an origami crane as he listens to Clark talk about something unimportant. His fingers crease the perfectly worded jabs and parries into graceful wings, a long, delicate neck.

Lex looks up and Clark is just watching him, green eyes gone dark and Lex knows that if he leaned over the desk and brought his lips to Clark's...His hand shakes a little, crumpling the paper he holds. Ruins the crane.

He won't touch the hunger he sees in Clark's face because he doesn't know if he'd be disappointed or not when he kissed Clark and wasn't pushed away.

Doesn't know what he'd do.

Because Clark...he's so good at taking. Taking Lex's quirks, Lex's moods, and turning them into something...tolerable. Something Clark can Maybe love.

Doesn't know if he wants to be loved, but more than that, doesn't know how to let anyone love him.

So he tosses Clark a bland smile, offers him something to eat, and lets him keep talking. Lets Clark's voice wrap around him like something warm, soft, and doesn't listen to all of the things Clark doesn't tell him. Won't tell him.

Lets himself believe the heat in Clark's smile. Lets himself hope that someday it'll be enough to press himself against the glass wall that stands between them, looking in at Clark, seeing him, really seeing him, and holding a hand against the cool, cool surface. Waiting to be invited in.

Lets himself believe that someday he will be. Lets himself believe that if he is, he'll be worthy of the invitation.

And when Clark's gone, he pours himself another drink, and presses his eyes shut and wishes. Wishes he could figure out how to change and wishes that being Lex was enough for Clark.

Wishes that being Lex was enough for Lex.

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