|Happy Birthday lapetite_kiki! Clex fic: Autumn Leaves
||[Nov. 17th, 2012|10:01 pm]
Title: Autumn Leaves
Summary: Clark and Lex take a day off. Inspired by lapetite_kiki's artwork & written for her birthday!
Lex isn't answering his phone or replying to texts so Clark flies to LexCorp and hovers outside the window.
All he can see of Lex is his back, hunched over his desk. There are three nervous minions standing by the door, awaiting orders. Clark recognizes the signs; this is not a good day.
He blurs into sweater and jeans and walks through the front door. The security guard at the front desk looks worried but the guards know better than to turn Clark away. Clark's freedom of entry is rule #1 at LexCorp. Turning him away used to be a firing offense until Clark put a stop to that.
Lex doesn't look up when he walks in but says:
"Clark, this is a bad time…"
"Yes, I see," says Clark, but plants himself in front of Lex's desk, prepared to wait as long as it takes.
It's five minutes before Lex gives in and waves his minions out of the room.
When they're alone, Clark says:
"I know you’re busy-"
"You've been busy too."
And there's the gist of it. Superman has been in Gotham with Batman for a week and Lex, though he will never admit it, is jealous. And Clark, though he will never admit it, rather likes when Lex is jealous.
"Come on," Clark says. "Let's hit the road for a bit. Take a break."
"I can't go anywhere. Do you know how many deals are hanging in the balance right now? World-changing deals?
"Both the world and LexCorp can manage without you for a day but I can't. I've missed you."
Lex shakes his head but the tense line of his mouth has relaxed.
"Come on," says Clark.
Lex sighs, and feigning resignation, walks over to Clark, waiting to be scooped up.
"Oh, did you think we're flying?" says Clark. "It's my day off too. You're driving."
Lex gives him a Look but also puts a hand on Clark's back to propel him to the door. Clark grins. A hand on the back means "we will be having sex later." All is right with the world again.
It's late afternoon by the time they reach Smallville; the sun burnishes the leaves and the roof of the barn. Lex steps out of the car and stretches, then looks at Clark expectantly.
"Let's get you some work clothes," says Clark. "You can borrow a pair of my jeans and a sweater."
Lex raises an eyebrow.
"Didn't I tell you?" says Clark. "We've got a yard full of leaves to rake."
Clark has always liked seeing Lex in his clothes. Years ago, Lex borrowed his best blue shirt; Clark slept with that shirt for a week, until his mother found it and washed it. His sweater and jeans are too big on Lex but Lex rolls up the sleeves and belts the jeans.
"This is the definition of a meaningless task," says Lex, surveying the lawn. "You could use your powers to clear this lawn in thirty seconds; I could use my money to have it cleared by someone else."
"Sometimes it's nice to drive the back roads, not the highway," says Clark. "It's not always about doing things quickly."
Lex rakes the leaves into perfect, spherical piles and Clark follows along behind him with the wheelbarrow. They work in silence at first, then Clark starts telling Lex about his week in Gotham.
"I don't know how Batman deals with it, trying to predict what the Joker will do; it's like staring into the void."
"Still, you stopped him," says Lex, depositing an armload of leaves in the barrow.
"But there's no true victory over a madman," says Lex. "Even if you win, they've left their scars on you all the same."
Clark wonders if Lex is still talking about the Joker.
After a few minutes Lex says:
"There's a catharsis in this sort of work. You can't clean up the entire world but you can fix one lawn."
As Lex speaks, a leaf drifts down and lands on his shoulder.
"But there's always one that gets away," says Clark, reaching for the leaf, and Lex.
They kiss, and Clark might want more, running his hands over Lex, but Lex pulls away, trying to fix a stern expression on his face:
"We have a job to finish."
That night, they lie in Clark's old bedroom, under a Martha-stitched quilt. Lex, tired out from hours of raking and lots of sex, sprawls across Clark, his cheek against Clark's shoulder. Clark strokes him, his hand running from Lex's shoulder to thigh. Clark closes his eyes. He has a sudden flashback to the Joker's face but pushes it away by listening to the music of the stars, then narrowing his hearing until the only sound he can hear is Lex's heartbeat.
On the bedside table is the leaf he plucked from Lex's shoulder, as a reminder. Because too often the big bad days get seared into memory, and the small, perfect days, are forgotten.
"Go to sleep," orders Lex, bossy even when only half-awake. Clark smiles, pulls Lex close, and obeys.