100,000 Fireflies
by Pun

Notes: Thank you so very much to jacynrebekah, nerodi, and rhiannonhero for beta'ing and hand holding. Remaining mistakes are my own. And thank you to Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields for the title.

The first time Clark shared Lex's bed he discovered that his boyfriend made tiny, almost inaudible squeaking sounds in his sleep. Roughly every thirty seconds, Lex would flinch or shudder as he emitted the small noise. It was as if Lex was being hit repeatedly in his dream. Or, more to the point, as if Clark was. He found it almost physically painful to watch but was reluctant to wake Lex.

Though they'd been together several months, it had taken this long for Clark to finagle a sleep over. Clark had been warned not to be disappointed. That Lex did not sleep well with another person in the bed, and could not sleep at all with someone else touching him.

Clark was able to observe Lex's evident discomfort for approximately three minutes before his instinct took over and he hastily gathered Lex up in a crushing embrace. Lex gave out a not so small yelp, and Clark was on the other side of the bed by the time Lex's eyes flew open. Clark had obviously misjudged his strength and knocked the wind out of his sleeping companion. Lex was breathing hard and visibly angry.

"Clark! What the hell do you think you're doing?"

"I'm sorry," Clark moaned.

"You scared the shit out of me."

"I know, I know. I'm really sorry." The last thing Clark had wanted to do was agitate Lex further. He felt like a big, dumb oaf.

"I'm not a rag doll."

"I know! Maybe I should just leave. I'm ruining your sleep."

Lex's expression softened visibly and immediately. "No, Clark, don't go. I didn't mean to be so harsh. You startled me was all."

The gentler tone reassured Clark a bit. He slid closer to Lex on the bed. He reached out to trace one smooth, pale cheek with his fingertips. "I'm sorry," Clark repeated again. "It's just . . . Were you dreaming, Lex?"

"I—" something flickered in Lex's eyes, "I don't remember." Clark's hand continued it's exploration of his lover's face. Palm caressing the side while his thumb stroked repeatedly over the prominent cheekbone. Rationally, Clark knew Lex was hairless, but the pure sensual pleasure of running his hands along the smooth skin was a continual surprise.

"It looked like you were having a nightmare. That's why I woke you." Clark said gently, pleased to see Lex wasn't pulling away as he often did from Clark's casual, affectionate caresses. Clark slid closer, his thumb continued stroking the skin beneath it as he slid his hand around, centering his palm over the small bump on the back of Lex's head.

"I don't know," Lex responded. There was an odd element of pleading in his voice.

Clark leaned in and gave Lex, a slow, sweet kiss, tongues gently caressing, trying to pour all of the comfort he had wanted to give with his rough embrace into this gentle kiss.

The kiss lasted until Clark began to feel breathless. He heard the noise again. It was like a tiny, high-pitched grunt as Lex's body swayed forward to press against Clark's own. Clark broke the kiss and planted a small peck on Lex's brows, his eyelids, his nose, his chin. He moved his head to the side to kiss the crinkle of Lex's ear and whispered, "It's ok, you can tell me."

"No, I can't." Lex whispered back. "Please don't make me."

Clark was shocked that Lex could sound so young and vulnerable. Suddenly very tired, he sighed and lay back down on the bed, surprised when Lex settled against his chest. Wrapping his arms around his lover, Clark waited for the stirring that would mean Lex wanted to separate and curl up on his own for sleep. Instead, Lex snuggled deeper into the embrace, his breathing slowed, and his face became so relaxed and sweet that Clark was certain he was asleep.

"Clark?" Lex's sleepy inquiry startled Clark.


"You did the right thing."

A wave of emotion washed over Clark. He placed a small kiss against Lex's temple.

"Thank you," he said, hoping Lex would let him be there to wake him from his nightmares for a long time to come.


compliments or criticisms welcome, feedback to pun at popullus.net