Bone

Dona Nobis Pacem

Title: Dona Nobis Pacem

Author: Bone

Author's E-mail: thisisbone@aol.com

Author's URL: http://www.mrks.org/~bone/

Fandom: Smallville

Pairing: Clark/Lex

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Written for Mystery Holiday Schmoop Week at Undermistletoe.

Notes: I have to thank SVMadelyn, for encouraging me to participate in the challenge, Thamiris, for (unbeknownst to her) sparking the idea, and Maygra and JaC for beta reading.

Author's note: "Dona nobis pacem" translates to "Give us peace."

Hans Christian Andersen was one sick motherfucker.

Lex based the conclusion on two, no, make that three bottles of wine, and he acknowledged that it might not hold up under scrutiny in the cold light of day. But daylight seemed days away just then, in the dark night, dark room, dark mother-fucking castle. The fire was probably supposed to be cheery, but mostly it made eerie shadows on the walls and only warmed the front of him.

Merry fucking Christmas.

His father, the supposedly remade man, had decided to spend his Christmas Eve serving turkey and banana pudding to the homeless at a shelter just blocks from where he'd made barbeque out of his parents, lo, those many winters ago. When Lex had ventured the suggestion that he come to the castle for Christmas, Lionel had patted his arm (Patted. His. Arm.) and said, "You're not homeless, Lex," as if that explained fucking anything.

So he'd made his own Christmas. He'd had a decorator bring in a tree (ten feet tall, with white lights and acres of gold ornaments—it looked like C-3PO). He'd told the cook to make a turkey, with stuffing, and gravy, and the red jelly stuff that nobody ever ate but you had to have. And wine. Chilean red. Lots of it.

He'd had dinner at his desk by the light of a symmetrically perfect tree.

He put Frank Sinatra on the CD player and dimmed the lights so the tree could cast its cold gold glow, then went to find something to read. Something holidayesque.

As a young child, his mother had read fairy tales to him by the brothers Grimm. Grim, indeed, though somehow all those eaten children and evicted pigs didn't seem so awful in her voice. After the meteor shower, his father had sat by his bed for hours and read him histories, mythologies, biographies—Alexander and Icarus, Zeus and Genghis Khan. They blurred for Lex, what was real and what wasn't, and sometimes, his father, too, seemed to veer between man and beast. He couldn't listen to fairy tales anymore, wouldn't listen to the sound of his mother's voice at bedtime. Her voice wasn't big enough, her stories not bold enough for a boy who'd been smacked by a star.

So when he found the copy of Andersen's fairy tales on a shelf in the library, the stories were completely new to him.

If his mother's sweet voice or his father's growl had ever recited for him the tale of the paper dancer dying in the stove, the tin soldier's melted heart standing guard, he'd have remembered it. He finished that one with one hand pressed to his chest and a mysterious lump in his throat.

He found a few that didn't appear, on the surface, designed to send bipolar patients into downward spirals, but most of them threatened to rip a hole in his chest and spread his steaming guts on the parquet floor in front of him, and finally, the Little Match-Girl sent him out into the snowy night.

No one would ever stand outside his fortress and gaze longingly into his office, with its half-warming fire, its single occupant eating a solitary dinner prepared by a woman whose name he couldn't remember by the light of a tree he'd paid someone to decorate.

No one would want to be that lonely.

He took the new Hummer, the silver one, thinking it would be good on snow, but it felt awkward under his admittedly unsteady hands and didn't give him any sense of the road, or the ditch he ended up in. He hadn't gotten as far as deciding on a destination, but since it was Christmas, and there was such a thing as inevitability, he wasn't surprised to find himself near the Kent Farm.

So that's how he ended up standing in the snow, looking in a frosted window at the picture Jonathan and Martha Kent made as they strung ropes of popcorn and cranberries on a tree they'd probably grown from a tiny seedling in their backyard. A discordant combination of colored blinking lights offset haphazardly placed ornaments, most of them apparently made by Clark in art class. In kindergarten.

The sight brought tears to his eyes.

Rich he might be, but money hadn't bought what lay before him.

You're nostalgic, Lana had said a while back. Well, yes. Nostalgic for days when his father looked at him with suspicion and Clark Kent didn't. The world had turned upside down, and he resisted the urge to tilt his head back to the heavens, looking for evidence that once again, the sky would come crashing down.

"Lex?"

He spun toward Clark's voice, and the stars and the snowy ground swung around him like a monochromatic kaleidoscope. Strong hands grabbed both his arms, righting him until the sky fell back in its place, and the snow settled again beneath his feet.

"Lex?"

He looked at Clark. It had to be twenty degrees, but Clark wore his accustomed flannel shirt, no coat. No hat. No gloves on hands so warm Lex could feel their heat through the sleeves of his coat. Did Clark even feel the cold? The red in his cheeks said yes. The warmth of his hands said no.

"What are you doing here?" Clark asked.

"I need some of those," Lex said, pointing through the window.

Clark craned his neck, looking past him into the house.

"Parents?" he asked.

"Very funny," Lex said, shaking off Clark's hands. "I need cranberry strings. Strands. What are they called?"

"Garlands?" Clark said, turning Lex and leading him up the steps. "I think you need coffee. Did you walk? You're freezing."

Clark looked at his head, and it felt warmer immediately. God, he really had had too much wine.

"No, I drove. I've decided I don't like the Hummer. You want it?"

Clark looked over his shoulder, then back at Lex, a little line of worry bringing his brows together. "Um, Lex? I don't see the Hummer." Lex waved vaguely. "It's back that way. Or it might be that way. You can have it if you want. It might need a tow."

Clark nodded. "Thanks, I'll ask my dad."

Lex stopped, grabbed one of Clark's flannel sleeves. "You're mocking me."

"No, I'm humoring you. That's totally different," Clark said.

"I thought you were mad at me," Lex said.

Clark sighed and sat down on the porch steps. Lex dropped less gracefully beside him.

"I'm not mad, Lex. I'm disappointed," Clark said, poking at a hole in the knee of his jeans.

"Oh, my God, you sound just like your father," Lex said, earning a startled look from Clark.

"If I disappoint you so, why humor me?" Lex asked, sitting on his hands to keep them off the unraveling denim.

"It's Christmas?" Clark asked. "You're slammed? You just wrecked a Humvee?"

Lex thought about it for a minute. "You're cutting me some slack."

Clark nodded.

They sat in silence for a few minutes, and if Lex edged imperceptibly closer to Clark, it was just because he was so very cold and Clark so very warm.

"I can accept that," Lex finally said, though it sounded more like "Ikinaccesstha." No more Chilean wine. At least not until New Year's Eve.

Clark rubbed his hands together, then blew on them. "So. You came out in the snow on Christmas Eve because you need cranberry garlands?" he asked.

Lex thought about dropping the whole sack of beans÷wait÷dropping the beans? Spilling the beans? What did you do with beans? Anyway, he thought about beaning Clark with the whole ugly story—his father choosing the unwashed masses over his markedly cleaner, if perhaps less grateful son, the dysfunctional fire, the eerily perfect tree, and yes, the children's fairy tales that drove him from his home at midnight in the throes of a potential breakdown. Or at least in the grip of some excellent Chilean red and a Humvee with a mind of its own.

In the end, though, he opted for a version of the truth: "My tree sucks."

Clark looked at him. "I heard it was great." He motioned with his hands. "Big and sparkly."

Big and sparkly. Just like Lex liked 'em.

"It's missing something," Lex said.

"Cranberry garlands. Of course," Clark said. "What made you think we'd have any?"

Did he have to be on his feet to think on them? Guess he'd find out. "Organic fruit, right? I figured if anyone would have them, it would be the Kents."

"Because we have a cranberry bog out by the back forty," Clark said slowly.

"Smallville, Clark. Anything is possible."

"You're so full of shit," Clark said with a grin. "Come on. Have some coffee, maybe a little pie, and we'll fix you up with all the cranberry garlands you want."

So instead of watching, lonely in the snow, Lex opened the door and went in, had some coffee and ate a piece of apple pie with ice cream. He also accepted the gifts of a hug from Martha and eye contact from Jonathan, and best of all, a ride home from Clark.

Clark kept a steadying hand on his back as he walked up the castle steps, and offered the reach of his long arm to add some desperately needed color and disorder to Lex's perfect tree.

Color and disorder—yes, that pretty well summed up Clark Kent's contribution to his life.

On a night less wine-soaked and magical, he might have been surprised when Clark pushed him down on the couch like he owned the place, when he gently tugged off Lex's wet shoes and socks and took both of his cold bare feet in one big hand, his palm molding to Lex's arches in ways his thousand-dollar dress shoes only dreamed of.

On a night reserved for miracles, Lex let himself believe when he felt the fine tremble in Clark's hand, let the shiver travel through his feet on nerves that then raced straight to his cock.

If animals could speak and shepherds see angels on this night of nights, it seemed right and good that Clark lean over, bring his smiling mouth to Lex's, take it as if it, too, belonged to him. Clark's mouth was hot, shockingly so, and wet, his tongue bold in ways that belied his upbringing.

Lex made a sound—it might have been a whimper. It made Clark lift his head, his hand leaving Lex's feet to flounder untended on the couch while both big hands cupped Lex's face.

"We shouldn't do this now," Clark said, his voice rough. "You're not yourself."

"Honestly, Clark, can you think of any better time?" Lex asked, sliding his hands under Clark's faded flannel shirt, finding hot silky skin beneath.

Clark tilted Lex's chin up, made him meet his eyes. Sweet baby Jesus, he was beautiful.

"I just don't want Ů"

Lex grabbed handfuls of smooth skin and yanked Clark back down, kissing him soundly.

"I do want," he said, nipping first at Clark's bottom lip, then dipping inside to slide along his slick sharp teeth. From there, he moved to Clark's neck, pushing Clark's hands off his face so he could reach him better. "You're cutting me slack, remember?"

Clark made a sound of his own, something guttural and hot, and gasped, "But it's crazy. There's so much we still÷we can't÷"

A licked stripe down the tendon in Clark's neck turned out to be a great way to shut him up. "We can, Clark," Lex murmured against his skin. "Our whole society's based on something crazy that happened one night a couple millennia ago. I say we roll with it."

Clark dropped down on him, his weight abrupt and welcome. He felt so good that it took Lex a minute to realize that Clark had effectively stopped him from doing much of anything, including breathing. He wrapped his arms around Clark's back and held on tight. He could feel Clark's heart beating fast against his ribs, a fierce and constant thump, and it made him smile.

Definitely a night for miracles.

He smoothed his hand down Clark's back, felt the little shudder that wracked him in its wake. "It's all right, Clark."

Clark relaxed, and Lex felt his hand skating over his scalp, like he was afraid to touch him there.

Lex took as deep a breath as he could, filling his lungs with evergreen and apple. "I'll be here tomorrow. All day. See how you feel then."

Clark lifted off him, but Lex still felt the imprint of him from head to toe.

"Today's tomorrow," Clark said, glancing at the clock on the mantel. "I'll save myself the trip."

Lex looked at him, puzzled. Clark reached behind the sofa cushions and pulled out the alpaca afghan Lex had gotten on a whim because he liked how it felt. Clark spread the blanket over him, tucking it snugly under his feet. Lex blamed the renewed ache in his chest and throat on standing too long in the snow.

Then Clark settled in a chair opposite him, his cheeks rosy in the fireglow, his bright eyes catching light from the tree. Amazing how different the room felt now that Clark was here with him; how warm it had become, how÷rich.

"I didn't need cranberries," Lex said, sleep edging in the space Clark left.

Clark looked down, then up at him again. "I know."

Lex closed his eyes.

"Merry Christmas, Lex," Clark said softly.

"Dona nobis pacem," Lex answered.

He could have died then, happily, as long as Clark Kent stood guard over his melted heart.

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