Electric (the Sparks Remix)
It's silent, like it only ever is with Clark. He isn't saying anything, isn't doing anything, and Lex is watching him, fixated as always. Clark's facing away, staring out the window; further away, Lex can't see outside. He sees darkness and a smoky reflection and he keeps his eye on the Clark in the glass. Lex is well acquainted with mirrors, but somehow he's always been more interested in these pictures. Inside and outside merging and separating; sometimes the enclosure of the indoors builds another room outside the window, sometimes the wilderness seeps in. They create a different view: a Clark who is in relief, with unreachable eyes. More shadows, and Lex wonders if this darkness might bring him closer to the truth.
The room isn't well lit, either, it's too big and too high and there's black lingering in the corners. He can just about hear the rain thudding on the roof above them, shivers a little but likes the insulation of the thick walls.
He keeps his eyes on Clark, and wonders if this boy knows what he does to him, if he feels the crackle in the air.
"When I was younger," Lex says into the ether, "I was afraid of thunderstorms." He watches the other as the words pull his head around, stares straight into his eyes. Clark can't take it; he hasn't yet learnt to hold that deep directness without letting all his mind escape through his eyes. He might never learn. Lex doesn't know what Clark's secrets are, but he knows he's not cut out for keeping them - he's too open, too trusting. Lex sips his coffee, which is too hot, and burns his tongue. It tingles, sparks with little points that itch.
"I always liked the storms. Mom and Dad used to have to bring me in from the yard." Yes, Lex smiles, he can imagine it. He thinks of Clark drenched in the yard, clothes clinging to his body and the rain running down his body, and he smiles more. Clark would like the storms, of course, a chance to taste the wild, a little hint of danger when you thought it was just bright flashes and loud noises. He wouldn't have known danger, or darkness, so it would have meant nothing to him. Lex barely knew the light, and couldn't see past the black interpretation.
"I would think about getting struck by lightning. Imagine all that electricity, energy coursing through you..." He leans forward and the static in the air gets louder. Of course, the best thing to do with your fears is to confront them. He doesn't tell Clark about the times he made himself stand outside with the thunder rolling through his brain and the lightning flashing around him, almost sick with fear but going inside energised and new. There's a good argument for drawing the electricity to you and dissipating the charged cloud in a burst of sparks. Clark's quiet voice comes, softer than usual in this room and in this storm.
"It - it'd hurt. Itch afterwards, like a bite you can't scratch." And the itches you can't scratch are the ones which prickle and spread like ants under your skin. Take you over. But still - just an itch.
"It's not something worth fearing."
"Is there anything you think is worth that?" Clark's looking to the right of Lex, and Lex sees the other waiting, watching him from the corner of his eyes. He's testing him; pushing his boundaries, invading his space, and Lex smiles. Clark should know better than to ask that, should know Lex better. He knows Clark can't expect an answer, and he isn't going to give him one.
"That's a good question, Clark." The silence returns to hang in the air. No need, really, to say anything, though Clark does, eventually:
"I'm full of them." It's the kind of answer that he could take up, but it's a nothing reply, and he prefers the uncalm of the quiet. The words that have already been said are scattered around in the atmosphere, each adding to the electricity. Clark's moved away, and the rain's falling harder; Lex is a little tense with residual fear.
The lightning strikes, and it's just a second of flash, imprinting on his retina. It illuminates everything too fast for Lex to see it, but he sees the crack in the sky and he sees the shine off the back of Clark's hair. He thinks of strobe lights, the meaningless split seconds of blind white revealing countless beautiful people (though surely not as beautiful as Clark) hazed by whatever intoxicants were running round Lex's bloodstream at the time. Like the lightning, the lights were so blinding that they made the darkness darker. Clark's shivering at the light, as if a tiny offshoot is sparking through his nerves.
"You okay, Clark?" he asks, sensing why the shiver is there, knowing it's a crackle from the heat in the atmosphere. He wonders though if this is what Clark feels, if he knows what the heat is. Wonders in that moment just how innocent Clark is, if he's manipulating everything, or nothing. Wonders who he is.
"Fine," Clark says, and gives a smile which doesn't touch deeper than the muscles round his mouth.
"So what do you want to do?"
"I don't care, Lex. Whatever. It doesn't really matter," and then Lex knows Clark's aware, that he's just waiting. The silence grows louder. Nothing, nothing moves, the air inside perfectly still against the commotion outside. The calm before. A haven of peace before the howl of a whirlwind. Perhaps time could slow down and stop at this point. Perhaps if nobody moves, nothing will happen. It's only in the future that there's screaming winds and lightning strikes and rumbling thunder.
Lex walks forward, into the storm. He stands close to Clark, hand on his arm for a second, so he can hear Clark's breath, suspended in the air. He breathes in and out in the same rhythm.
"It's quite a storm, Clark," he says, softly so the words wrap around them both like satin, bringing them together.
They say storms break, and Lex used to wonder why, thought it had something to do with what they broke. He knows all about the destruction storms can leave, but he also knows that they break because there's nowhere else for all that energy to go. Once the clouds have gathered heavy overhead, the rain has to fall.
As Clark turns slowly to face him, Lex glances out the window, and he sees them both in semi-corporeal shadow. A different, darker view; for a moment he's transported out into the wind and the rain, his mind frighteningly open to the elements. A lightning strike could kill you, but he's ventured far out into the wild before and he's always been drawn to danger. He knows what he's doing. Clark may not, but Lex doesn't care, he'll lead him into the storm because he wants him there.
Lex looks straight into Clark's eyes, his own unreadable, and the moment freezes as Clark moves his hand to Lex's jaw and the sparks begin to jump. All his senses in that small area of skin, nerve endings blazing. They're drawn together, inexorably, as positive to negative charges.
Clark's lips meet Lex's; outside, the sky splits, and the fire rains down.
This story is a remix of 'Electric' by the excellent Pearl-o. It was written for the Silverlake Remix, and you can read the original story here.
Back to other fic