The Land of Summer's Twilight

Author: Ximeria
Feedback: Yes please
Fandom: Smallville
Pairing: Clark/Lex
Rating: PG
Spoilers: none
Summary: It is always darkest before the dawn.
Notes: Part of Ghini's Neil Gaiman Title Challenge

Lex leaned against the balustrade of the balcony, shivering as a cool breeze found its way under his thin shirt. He inhaled the rich smells of another Kansas evening. The day had been hot and as twilight was beginning to settle, he realized that it would bring him no closer to sleep.

As it was, he'd tried to analyse it, take it apart, but still, it evaded his most heartfelt tries. The reason. The reason why he couldn't sleep. There was definitely something there, like a... premonition, like he knew something important would happen. Soon. As sure as he knew that when twilight left, dusk would follow. The story of his life...

Lex poured the last of the whiskey down, telling himself to stop feeling sorry for himself. Well, it was a metaphor that could be applied to a lot in his life. His mother was the bright dawn, the long day, his father was twilight and dusk and Lex himself was the long dark night.

His whole life was the same... If his earliest childhood could be compared to at least a lightly cloudy day, his teenage years were darker, and his exile was the darkest, bleakest night.

Well, not quite true...

What was that saying? Every cloud had a silver lining? It was always darkest before the dawn? Which, in this case was true. He'd expected the night to continue, to get darker, after his father had exiled him to Smallville under the pretence of letting him run the crap factory.

'Lex old friend, you're getting maudlin.' He looked down into his empty glass. If he allowed it, his mind would come up with another perfect way of using the metaphor. His nights were still dark, so were twilight and dusk, whereas his days... his days had brightened considerably. The long night had ended abruptly with the dive off a bridge, with the gut-wrenching feeling of causing another life to end. But the darkness had receded, cowering at the feet of a knight in shining armour... Lex couldn't help the snicker. Well, if the shoe fits... Darkness had scattered, not fit to stand between two men and their destiny.

His hand rose to ghost over his naked scalp. As bright as that day had been, as much it had dimmed in the meantime and twilight was settling, its tendrils of darkness closing around him. Well, if he could keep it at twilight, keep dusk and night at bay...

He'd never have anything beyond what he had now. Friendship, beyond anything he'd ever known, worth more to him than anything else. But it wasn't unbreakable. He knew he could shatter it easily. With his words, his double entendres, his quick, 'innocent' touches. The day his saviour realized just what they were, all this ended and Lex was well aware of that the dam holding back the final, eternal night, would burst. And Lex just wasn't willing to risk that, no matter how much he wanted more.

A scraping noise to his left, pulled Lex out of his reverie. He watched with curiosity as a mess of black hair popped up, followed by twinkling hazel eyes and a wide, blinding grin.

"Clark?" Lex took another look into his empty glass, wondering just *how* much he'd had to drink.

"Sorry to barge in like this, but no one answered the door and the lights were on up here, so I kinda thought..." Clark trailed off, watching him with a light blushing. "I... I'm sorry, maybe I..."

Lex was more than aware of what was causing the sudden drop in Clark's confidence. But *no one* could blame Lex for staring like that. At Clark. Who was wearing a nice pair of jeans and a tight t-shirt. And bare feet. And Lex just couldn't stop staring at those feet. Finally tearing his eyes away, his gaze followed the impossibly long legs, eyes lingering where they shouldn't, slowly making their way up the flat planes of Clark's abdomen, noticing just *how* nicely the white t-shirt stretched across the chest...

Lex quickly dropped his eyes again, as his reached Clark's mouth, tongue nervously slipping out to wet his lips. Back to the feet...

"Clark?" Lex tried to keep his voice calm.


"What are you doing here?"

"I... I was out for a walk..."

"Clark?" Lex shook his head, trying to clear it.

"Yeah, Lex?" Something in the voice regained some of it's previous steel-like resolve.

"You aren't wearing any shoes..." God, if Clark ever knew what this did to him... Lex shut his eyes. He suddenly felt himself leaning a little forward, as his senses relayed directly to his instincts -- bypassing the brain -- that there was this large, warm, *safe* haven right in front of him.

"I... I guess I forgot to put shoes on..." The voice was deep and soothing, rumbling through the chest that Lex found himself leaning against. And really, he didn't give a damn...

"In a hurry?" This was a bad idea on *so* many levels. Still, Lex rubbed his face against the shoulder, a little higher -- skin, warm and a strangely familiar scent...

Dew... clear dew covering grass, soil, corn... and the wind, Clark's scent reminded him of the breeze that had made him shiver a moment ago -- or was that more than a moment ago? A lifetime? Not that Lex really cared as he felt Clark's hand slide up his arm, neck, to cup the back of his head.

"Lex?" Barely a whisper. An almost inaudible question, asking for permission. Lex pulled back a little, though ever part of his body was screaming, cursing him.

"I..." And for once Lex couldn't find the words. This close, looking into a pair of hazel eyes and trying to voice his concerns. 'Clark, this is such a bad idea on so many levels...' It just wouldn't get out. The words stuck in his throat.

"I know, Lex, it's ok." The hot breath tickled Lex's lips.

Lex felt like he'd gone to sleep and woken up in a dream world. A faraway land where an innocent farm boy enjoyed double entendres, climbed his balcony at the end of a hard day. Where afore mentioned farm boy would kiss him *just* like this, tasting of wind, summer and... twilight. Where Lex would kiss him back without a second thought.

"Clark," Lex tried to get out between pants as they finally parted. "Please tell me this is real." He closed his eyes and let the strong arms pull him closer, resting his head on a firm shoulder.

Clark didn't answer him at first, though as he nuzzled Lex's neck, he did chuckle low. Then finally as soft lips searched their way back to Lex's, the words came, barely audible. "If it isn't, I don't ever wanna leave." And that was all the answer Lex would get, at least in words.

The End