The Last Kryptonite On Earth
Author's disclaimer and notes: I don't own them, I just dream of doing so. Feedback is better than Martha's pies. Corrections to my language are welcome (I'm Swedish). Ask if you want me to archive it anywhere. You may link to this story if you want or to my main page. 1308 words. Written in January 2008.
I've read something similar, but I can't remember the title, sorry ... It's been on my mind since season one and now it just demanded to be written. Smallville isn't my main fandom, but it was fun to write anyway.
WARNING: dark story, death
Betaed by Heather Sparrows (Thank you!), Maf (Thank you!) and Kadorienne (Thank you!).
Hand in hand, Clark and Lex stand in front of the great machine. As a nod to destiny they have decided to do what they are about to do at a hidden Level Three of one of Lexcorp's crap factories. It had been at such a hidden Level Three they first fell in love, even if neither had admitted to their feelings for a long time afterwards. Between them and the machine is a small, lead-lined box, containing a fist-sized lump of the green rock known as Kryptonite.
Clark and Lex have been lovers for many years now. They've had their ups and their downs, but since that fateful day in the fertilizer plant the love binding them together has only grown and prospered.
"Are you sure you want to do this?" Clark asks softly. He squeezes Lex's hand with not even a fraction of the strength in his sun-powered body, just enough for Lex to feel the pressure. "We've talked about it - what if something happens, what if I one day go insane and have to be stopped?"
Lex shrugs. "If you go insane, we might as well do it together. I'm not killing you and I'm not letting Bruce do it either." It might be that Lex, all things considered, does not have an all that stringent sense of Right and Wrong. His Right stands beside him - all else is measured against the approval in its green eyes. "Are you sure, though? It's such a small piece. We could still keep it. For fun nights."
They have already kept that particular piece for over 24 years. For fun nights.
"No. Better get it all over with. Once and for all. No more plots to kill Superman. No more meteor mutants transforming. No more gifts imperfectly granted. Life will be a whole lot more peaceful afterwards."
They have already destroyed every scrap of red kryptonite, every ounce of yellow and all there was of any other shades as well. Sometimes it had taken them years to figure out how to disintegrate a specific hue. The common green had turned out to be very easy - one of the first ones they cracked. Fun nights had been ... fun, though. So they kept that one, little piece for last. The day before, however, they destroyed the last shard of red. Nothing else remains of Clark's home world but what lies before them.
This time it is Lex who squeezes Clark's hand - hard, since he never has to worry about hurting his alien spouse - except, of course, on fun nights. Then he lets go, so he can take the box, open it, lift the green stone quickly and put it into the incinerator. He throws Clark a worried glance, but his husband looks just fine. Of course, they know exactly how close or how far away he can be to this particular piece of Kryptonite before it starts to bother him seriously.
Lex presses the machine's first button. With a faint whirr it closes up seamlessly. There really is no need for a second button. They could just as well have had just the one, for closing up as well as for initiating the disposal. At the same time Lex has always been a bit of a showman. One button is for him, to make sure the rock, no matter how insignificant, is enclosed by the leaden insides of the apparatus. The second is for Clark, to symbolise that it must always, in the end, be his decision and his alone. So Lex steps back, waiting for just that decision to be reached.
Clark steps forward to give Lex a quick, almost teasing kiss. Then he presses his button. Again, there is a faint whirr before the machine starts churning. The men enfold one another in an embrace and kiss to the decidedly unromantic sounds of sprays, hisses and crackles. Finally, the end comes with a click and a pop. The machine slowly opens again. On the flat surface where previously had rested a small, green fragment, is now only a silvery, glittering heap of dust. Pretty, but completely harmless to human beings and aliens alike.
Lex sighs, not so much in happiness as in certain knowledge that the gargantuan task he and Clark appointed themselves is over and done with. They have destroyed all Kryptonite. Each and every single speck has been rendered harmless. The last bit of Kryptonite on Earth is no more. As he stands there, feeling a nice sense of fulfilment, his arms and head begin to ... tickle. Strange, that. He reaches up to run a hand over his scalp. It feels ... prickly.
"Lex ..." Clark says slowly, sounding puzzled. "I feel ... odd."
Lex turns towards him, worried now. Clark never feels odd - not unless affected by Kryptonite. Clark is invincible - now more so than ever, because there is no Kryptonite left in existence.
"What is it?" he asks. Such a stupid question, but he needs more information.
"It's, I ... Lex, my ... Look, my ..."
Clark holds up one of his hands - large hands, well suited for such a big man's body. Only the hand appears to be ... less than before. It takes Lex a fraction of a second to realise why. The hand isn't quite solid. It's still there - the colour still a healthy, dark hue of pink, bordering on bronze, only ... he can see through it. Not completely, but the skeleton within forms a clear shape through the skin. They both stare at the raised appendix, horrified. Lex reaches up, needing to feel that what he sees is merely some illusion - possibly an exceptionally late reaction to the drugs he used so freely in his youth. As he does, he notices how the back of his own hand seems flushed. His searching fingers slip inside Clark's skin and touch the hard bones within.
With a yell - not of pain, more of fright - Clark jumps back from the touch. Lex follows, hands reaching out without touching. He screams his lover's name. His lover screams back, but his normally powerful, steady voice is weakened. The sound seems to be pulling away, as if he moves in the opposite direction, even if he still stands there. Whatever is happening is spreading, oh so quickly. His eyes remain the same, magnetic shade of pure green - but beyond them is the shadow of his cranium - and Lex sees blinding, bright teeth clear through lush lips ...
There is nothing that can be done. No time to research. Nothing to retrieve to get them out of trouble. No last minute rescue. When Lex runs a hand, again, over his head, purely as a nervous gesture brought on by the terror, the prickles felt before have formed a stubble of hair. Hair carrot red that he so hard wished to get rid of, that day so many years ago, when as a young boy he ran into a Kansas corn field. When he lowers his hand, its back has a faint layer of orange as well. Lex screams once more, before his breath is stolen away by an asthma attack so severe as if all asthma attacks he should have had since that fateful day had just lain in wait, joining up, biding time ...
Before his eyes - what Lex can see through the haze caused by lack of oxygen - the shape before him, of the man he loves, turns continuously more transparent. Until nothing at all is left of Superman. Of Clark Kent. Of the little boy that childless Martha Kent - with glowing, now non-existent meteor rocks all around her - wished for, so very, very hard.
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