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ficlet: i have many regrets (but saving you isn't one)- clark & lex

Title: i have many regrets (but saving you isn't one)
Fandom: Smallville
Pairing/Character(s): Clark, Lex
Rating: G
Disclaimer: all characters belong to CW/DC Comics
Word Count: 494
Spoilers/Warnings: none/none
Summary: 15 years later, and they're back where they began.
Author's Notes: For my theechochorus table, prompt: anniversary; also this ignores fake!Lex in the finale. I am pretending the real one never actually died.

Clark stood on the bridge, leaning against the railing that had long been fixed and never broken since, staring out into the distance, but seeing nothing. He wanted to believe that he didn’t know what he was doing there, but that would be a lie.

He wanted to remember, needed to remember what had happened here fifteen years ago. How his life had changed, how he had changed. And maybe even the person who had changed it. Which is why he needed to do it alone, because no one else in his life could or would understand.

Now that he was there, he found himself at a loss for thoughts, feeling so detached to the teenager he was, and yet in some ways, just the same.

A roar of an engine snapped him out of his thoughts, seeing the glint of a silver car out of the corner of his eye. He didn’t move, didn’t turn his head, as the car stopped and the driver’s door opened.

“You know,” a familiar voice that he rarely heard in person said, “Some people celebrate anniversaries with dinner and flowers, maybe some dancing. Much nicer than brooding on a bridge.”

“Those people have anniversaries that they want to celebrate,” Clark countered, tone steady and even.

Lex only shrugged, moving to stand by Clark’s side. “And isn’t you saving my life worth celebrating?”

“What are you doing here, Lex?” Clark asked, suddenly feeling weary and tired, and much older than he was.

“The same thing you are, Clark,” Lex replied.

“Revisiting old haunts?” Clark offered, chuckling, but there was no humor in it. “At least you didn’t almost hit me this time.”

“Are we still going with ‘almost’ in that story?” Lex scoffed. Clark finally turned to him, their eyes meeting.

“Does it matter?” Clark challenged.

There was a long pause, and Lex finally shrugged. “I suppose not.”

They both turned back toward the water, silence falling between them. It felt weird to be around Lex again, but somehow it also felt completely normal. Clark couldn’t dwell on that part. Who knows when Lex would up and leave, and once that happened, they would go back to pretending.

Pretending that they were strangers when he was Clark, and continuing to be enemies when he was Superman. How much did Lex know? How much didn’t he know? Clark couldn’t bring himself to ask.

“Do you ever regret it?” Lex asked, breaking the silence. “Saving me that day?” It was an odd show of vulnerability that he hadn’t seen from the other man in years.

“No,” Clark replied honestly. “Do you wish that you hadn’t hit me?” A slip, but he didn’t care. “That you never came to Smallville?”

Lex let out a laugh. “As crazy as it sounds, no.”

“Yeah,” Clark sighed, letting out a deep breath. “There it is then.”

“There it is,” Lex echoed. Quiet once more, and then a soft, “Happy Anniversary, Clark.”

“Happy, Anniversary, Lex.”
Tags: category: gen, challenge: theechochorus, fandom: smallville, fanfiction, friendship: clark-lex
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