Summary: Lex learns about trust and love from an unlikely source.
This is it—the tales been told! I had a lot of fun with the era, and the people. It was fun researching the songs, *hard* to get a middle ground in the dialog—not so modern that it was jarring, and not so period that it sounded weird. I made some trade-offs so it wouldn’t be too odd—I hope that didn’t destroy the flavor. I liked taking this ride with the boys, I hope you guys liked it too. I always have a great time with these guys—that's why they are my main OTP. I have love for a lot of pairings, and I love a lot of fandoms, but with the Clex I've really felt at home. I love taking our boys, twisting them a bit and dropping them into new worlds. Lucky me, lots of folks have liked that idea too. You guys, thanks a bazillion for hopping on the ride with me! You know I love you, right?
danceswithgary, you were wonderful and gangs of help, and if I had some patience you would have made this tale even better, and would have spared me some of the incredible boo-boos that I made along the way…oy, , I had no idea how many. *hangs head and blushes*
rosy5000, thanks so much for being the best audience ever! I really loved posting your private story! Without you, I would have been too terrified to post—doing it for you helped me get over my post-a-phobia! ;) You're the best.
Thanks too for the lovely comments, I appreciate each and every one of them. It's a good feeling to have someone comment, believe me!
Okay, way too much blabbing! Story coming up—-pass out the s'mores and pull up a blanket.
Some noise in the distance disturbed the best nap ever in the history of naps, enough that he was beginning to wake and he really didn’t want to. It was too perfect out under the trees. He felt so lazy, so heavy and warm…summer breeze wafted over him, tickled his cheek…the grass under his cheek tickled him, and the breeze brought a faint scent of fried chicken and biscuits…he could hear his mom singing, the sound of her voice drifting across the yard. He could hear his dad coming up the driveway, the chug-chug of the tractor's engine, Dad whistling something…something. No one ever knew what the tune was supposed to be--he was so terrible at it. Clark laughed a little and rolled to his side and reluctantly opened his eyes. The sky was blue as sapphires and went up a million miles, the sun was so bright. He could see Dad on the fancy new green tractor, and Hannah beside it, pedaling her bike madly to keep up with Dad. Monkey was racing along side her, barking and barking, and Clark jerked upright, staggered to his feet—something was wrong or going to be wrong—he waved his hand and meant to yell "Watch out!" but it came out so faint and weak and the dog ran into her and screeched, Hanna let out a breathy scream and yanked away from Monkey, her tires wobbled, she yanked at the handle bars again and overbalanced. Clark tried to run to them but it was like swimming though cold molasses. She went into the side of the tractor and under and the sound of crumbling, tearing metal and screaming stunned him, he was falling, and falling—
Falling in the dark, tumbling…when he opened his eyes he was in hell—fire burned all around him in the black, the air was thick with greasy smoke and the smell of blood, echoed with screams....
Rain whipped the smoking metal, churned earth and blood together into mud that clung to Clark, pulled at him. He wrenched open the twisted metal coffins the cars had become...Clark worked mindlessly; blood all over him and none of it his. He pulled his friends out of the twisted coffin of metal; he freed passengers--strangers, his friends—pulled out bodies. He moved like a Kansas tornado, pulling metal apart like wet cardboard. Voices called out to him, begging for help. Screaming for help, for the Angel to save them—except for one, the important voice, the one he searched for.
"Where's Alex, where is he?" He called out for Alex over and over--whoever wasn't out cold or stuck inside their own minds covered their ears, rammed fingers in to block out such awful grief.
The night began to lift, and the rain dwindled down to a clinging mist. Humidity rose with the sun, the fires were dying and fire engines and police cars and ambulances from nearby counties filled the road and crowded around the tracks.
Police fanned out and questioned everyone they could, and everyone said the same thing—they had no fucking idea what happened, they'd helped each other out, no idea why the train was in pieces, it was luck, it was the fates, it was God…Walt pushed off the reporters that came out of the dark like roaches. He had an arm around a soaking wet and shivering Chloe, hadn't been able to let her move from under his touch since Clark had suddenly appeared out of the night, and put her in his arms…Pete was on the other side of him, the rain making the blood on his face thin and it covered his features like a veil…angels, luck, yeah…sure.
Off to one side, in a relatively quiet spot, he could make out a tall dark shape—a guy was standing in the shadows holding someone in his arms as easily as if he held a kitten. Walt took a deep breath and forced himself to let Chloe loose. He walked shakily over to Clark—to the Angel. The man he held was too still, too still…
The eyes that lifted to his shifted orange and red, like the fires dying around them, and for a moment Walt was scared to death—of *Clark*. "Fuck, C.C., is…is…he's gotta be alive--" Walt swallowed, afraid to back up and afraid to come any closer. Clark looked wild and fierce, not one bit like the gentle, corn fed country boy Walt knew—this Clark had torn metal to shreds, done things that were impossible to believe—
"Yes. Yes…" and tears broke and rolled furious over his cheeks paler than the moon-white forehead he pressed his mouth against.
Walt sighed, and felt muscles unlocking with the relief of knowing Alex was alive. He was damn fucking grateful that his friend lived because he loved him that much and because Walt knew he'd looked into Clark's eyes and for a brief moment nothing human or sane had been in them. Every fucking body there was lucky that Alex breathed tonight.
The kid jerked his head up.
"Run. Most of them haven't seen you. They know it's the Angel saved them, they don't have to know it's you." Walt jerked his head in the direction they'd come. "We left you guys in Metropolis, far as anyone knows. Our guys—they'll remember what I tell them to." He put his hand on Clark's soaking wet, scorched jacket. "You meet us when you want. If you want."
Clark stared back at him and slowly some of the wildness left his eyes, color was coming back to his cheeks…he nodded finally. "All right. All right." He lifted Alex close to him, and closed his eyes and shuddered when Alex moaned and pushed up under Clark's chin.
"Good bye Clark—go." Walt took a step back, waiting for Clark to run. Clark swallowed, seemed hesitant…he closed his eyes and muttered something, flexed his knees and--jumped. "…C.C.?"
Walt watched the streak rise straight up, straight up and angle away. He just fucking watched his singer fly off into the night sky with his clarinetist. "No. No nonono. Just—fucking hell no." But it had happened, right in front of him. His shy little off the cob singer was the Angel and the Angel could do…anything. Including stealing Alex away. "Nope," Walt shook his head. "Ain't gonna worry about it, or think about it, or…anything."
He made his way back to Chloe and Pete, had the guys that were okay pass around the word—Alex and Cee had quit the band in Metropolis and no one knew where they'd gone.
No one spoke about Alex and Clark, no one ever would again.
A world war took center stage, and big bands slowly died, music changed, the whole world changed, and America gained a hero, a super man, dedicated to truth, justice and the American way. And *this* is where the story begins.
It's been a while, I know, but we've been so busy lately—as you've probably seen in the papers, or the newsreels. I want you to know that your brother did not come up with that stupid name and the less we ask about the goofy costume the better—blame it on a couple of guys who claim to be my friends. I've told you about Bruce before? Put Alex and Bruce together and it's just trouble. They think they have a sense of humor. It's so sad that they're mistaken. At least I don't look as strange as Bruce, and I'll explain that when I see you.
I'm terribly sorry I couldn't say anything to you at your graduation—I could only drop in for a moment, but I saw you. I hope you liked the ring and the journal. I'm going to come home for a real visit someday soon, I promise I will. Now that the war is over, I can do more than write you, and I really miss you all so much.
I want you to know I'm happy, I think I'm happier than I've ever been. My friend and I have gone through a lot together but it's made us stronger, closer, and more of a team than ever. Alex is so smart, and so quick, and strong enough to help me do what I do. Just for goodness sakes, don’t call him a sidekick! (smile).
It's kind of weird the way nothing turned out the way I thought it would. I admit I miss the band, all the guys and Mr. Walt, but what I'm doing now is more important than what I want to do. It's what I have to do and my friend understands that better than anyone else could.
Right now, we're working for the Metropolis Inquisitor. It's not all that great. It's his dad's newspaper, and that's another story. And just in case you think newspaper work is glamorous, just picture me sitting through ward meetings and chasing after paddywagons, only it's even more boring than it sounds. It's perfect in one way, I don’t have to explain sudden disappearances, and I'm best friends with the editor. Remind me to explain nepotism to you. Anyway, I don’t think we're going to be here that long, the Daily Planet is hiring and I'm trying to convince my friend that moving on is a good deal. He's kind of too loyal sometimes, but I'll talk about that later, too.
Anyway, I love you, and as soon as I can, I'll come to see you and mom and dad—
She let the letter droop and sighed, her face towards the yellow farmhouse. Monkey flopped at her feet, and let loose a long suffering 'whuff'.
"I told you it was hot out, you didn’t have to come," she scolded. It was hot, so hot that where her fingers touched the paper, ink ran. She moved her fingers to the edges so she wouldn't erase her brother's words. "Superman…" She laughed to herself. He was right—it was a goofy name, too darn big for the guy she remembered--a tongue-tied, awfully shy but awfully sweet boy....
Well, she thought, that was a long time ago, and now her brother was someone else all together. Some one pretty swell, really.
Monkey broke into her thoughts, he lurched upright from his sprawl against the mailbox post and his tail beat the ground, throwing dust into the air. She turned to look behind her and a tall form loped towards her, waving enthusiastically. She waved back." Donald!"
Her boyfriend called out, "Hey good lookin'! What's cookin'?"
She waved the letter in the air. "I got a letter from my brother," she said, smiling. She tilted her chin up and let Donald peck her cheek and slide his arm around her shoulders. They walked on to the house and she folded the pages and tucked them in the pocket of her jumper.
"So, a missive from the mysterious, amazing, older brother. He coming home finally?" He looked at her and slowed her to a stop. "What's wrong, baby doll? He's okay, isn’t he?"
"My brother's in love. He's not really saying it, but I can read between the lines." She smiled. "He's finally found whatever it was he was looking for. I'm just kind of sad I wasn't there for any of it."
"Aw, sugar—I bet he feels the same about you. Look at you, all grown up and ready for college and dating a great guy…"He stopped when Hannah laughed. "Yes, and modest too. I bet your brother wishes he'd been here to see all that too."
"You're right. Besides, we'll be seeing each other soon, I feel it."
"There you go. And I'll bet too, that you'll love his girl just as much as he does."
"His girl?" She laughed a little. "I guess. I guess I will." She linked his arm through his and they walked to the house, singing a new song that was her favorite now….
* Kiss me once, then kiss me twice
Then kiss me once again
It's been a long, long time
Haven't felt like this, my dear
Since I can't remember when
It's been a long, long time
You'll never know how many dreams
I've dreamed about you
Or just how empty they all seemed without you
So kiss me once, then kiss me twice
Then kiss me once again
It's been a long, long time….
IT'S BEEN A LONG, LONG TIME
words by Sammy Cahn, music by Jule Styne