Pairing: Jason Teague/Clark Kent
Disclaimer: Don't Own
Summary: All roads lead to this burnt shell.
Written for my Slash Requested Table. Prompt #2
: Requested by charlie_jae
, which entitled: Clark/Jason - Smallville- All roads lead to this burnt shell.
A/N: Can be read as a sequel to Tease
...or as a standalone.
The apartment was dark, silent, the only sound the soft sighs that would escape his lips ever so often. Hazel eyes once more surveyed what had become his home, a place he'd loved and found sanctuary in, and yet in a moment of carelessness it'd all been taken away from him. And not just his new home...but the job he adored...the respect of the people in the community he'd finally found he fit in...and his good name in his field of choice. No one would hire a coach who'd been caught in a compromising situation with a student, especially not if that student had been a male one. Even if that student had been willing and eighteen years old, it didn't change the fact that Jason was the adult and should have said no, should have resisted temptation, should have been the responsible adult.
Sighing once more, Jason sat down, staring at the picture in his hands.
It was of him and his team. They were all in Crows red, grinning proudly at the camera after one of their many victories. His own face was open in its pride. Clark's was bright and happy, resting his elbow on Jason's shoulder in what was a casual gesture, and yet so familiar.
The frame shook in Jason's hands as he gripped it so tightly he heard the plastic beginning to break.
If only he could go back to before that time when Clark and he had crossed the barrier of Coach and Student.
If only they'd never...
He put the picture frame face down into the closest moving box before turning away.
There was no use dwelling on the 'what ifs' and 'if onlys'.
Things had happened the way they had, Clark and he had shared the relationship they had, and he'd always known deep down inside of him that all roads with Clark would lead to this burnt shell. He'd known they couldn't keep it hidden for long, especially not in a place as tiny as Smallville. They'd been found out very quickly, though thankfully Clark's friend Chloe had promised to keep their secret, and had proved a good friend to Clark by covering up for them as much as she could. Even when Lana found out a little later when she'd accidentally walked in on them, she'd promised to keep the secret, and had formed an alliance with Chloe to help keep the boys' relationship a secret.
Jason had been shocked at the two girls. Everyone had known of Chloe's feeling for Clark, and Jason had noticed Lana's feelings for him, but the two girls had pushed those feelings aside and were probably the reason why he and Clark had been able to stay together undiscovered as long as they did. But it couldn't last, Jason had known this, and when he and Clark were discovered and exposed to the faculty, Jason had known it was the beginning of the end.
Clark fought it, declared his love, promised that no one could change what they had together. He fought the frazzled school board, fought his distraught parents, fought the unkind comments from school mates, fought the looks and whispers of the community. Clark was one of those pure hearted, brightly-lit souls that only saw the good in people despite how black and deformed they were deep down inside, and Jason couldn't stand the fact that this would change him, would let him see that there were just some people who didn't have an ounce of light in them. This would crack at Clark's endearing innocence and naivety, at his core-belief that with love and understanding and patience everything would be alright.
Jason, on the other hand, was hardened and cynical, having lived his life in a family and society where you had to be cautious and always on the alert, where everyone around you had an agenda...especially your parents. In that sense Jason was the opposite of Clark, finding it hard to find the goodness in people, to see the rainbow at the end of the tunnel...or was that the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? He wasn't sure. All he knew was that he wasn't blinded as Clark was, and he knew that things would only get worse for them if he remained. He could take it, he could, but he didn't want Clark to have to go through this.
When Jason left, Clark would be angry, then sad, then he'd move on.
Jason had been the only guy Clark had ever liked...for years the boys had been in love with Lana...everyone had known that. It was why they all whispered that Jason had come and corrupted the pure boy. They never would have guessed that it was in fact that pure, innocent boy who'd approached Jason first, and opened the young coach's eyes to the fact that he had feelings for him. They would never suspect that despite being the older of the relationship, that Jason wasn't exactly the dominant one in the relationship. They didn't know that Jason had tried ending the relationship time and time again, knowing that this would happen and Clark would be the most to suffer. They didn't know that Clark had been the one who refused to even listen to Jason's reasonings, refused to end things, using his knowledge of Jason's body to win each and every argument.
They didn't know that.
For the whole of Smallville, Jason Teague had come to their town and set his malicious, perverted, lecherous and dirty sights on the pure, innocent, and easily fooled Clark.
For them Clark was the victim of emotional and physical manipulations, a victim of the cunningness of a sexual predator.
And that was exactly what Jason wanted them to believe.
This way, when he left, after a while things would calm down for Clark.
He'd be looked on as the victim, the one to be pitied and not hated.
Jason would forever be the evil one, the one they hated and whispered against.
And he could live with that.
He'd prepared himself for this from the first moment he'd accepted his feeling for the young man, realized that he couldn't keep away from him.
Jason's eyes closed and he sighed, bringing his hand to his hurting heart.
Suddenly the door flung open and shut loudly, wind causing the newspapers he was using for cushioning around the more fragile of his belongings to go flying. "I can't believe Lex would really do this!"
Jason opened his eyes, silent as he watched his young lover pacing the room in fury.
Early into their relationship he'd realized that there was something different about Clark Kent...his strength alone had been inhuman...and then his boyfriend had confessed everything to him and Jason had had to laugh softly because he'd realized that Clark wasn't just his first boyfriend, but his first alien partner as well. He hadn't been too shocked at the existence of alien intelligence, he knew of the Veritas Society, knew of their interest in The Traveller, and it'd worried him. He could see how they might be interested in Clark, might think he was this Traveller. And maybe, just maybe he was.
Whichever it was, Jason knew from the moment he found out about Clark's secret, that he didn't just have to protect his boyfriend from the prejudice of the small town people should they find out he was in a homosexual relationship with his coach...but that he'd have to protect his boyfriend from his parents ever finding out about his less than terrestrial heritage. He wasn't exactly sure what the Veritas Society wanted to do with The Traveller once he arrived, and he wasn't going to risk trying to ask questions because it would only incite curiosity from his parents, especially his mother. And that was the last thing he wanted.
"I just came from the Luthor Mansion and I'm so angry!" Clark continued pacing the room, angry blush creeping up his neck, fists clenched tightly. "He refuses to admit that he's done wrong! He says he did what he did to 'protect' me! I can't believe him!"
Jason looked away, a muscle jumping in his cheek, clenching his hands into fists as well.
He'd always known what Clark couldn't see.
He'd seen the way Alexander Luthor looked at Clark because it was the way he himself looked at the boy...who couldn't seem to realize that the bald heir had feelings for him that were less than brotherly.
The moment Lex had walked in on Jason and Clark, Jason had known it was over, and that Lex would do the most he could to make Jason suffer for this.
Luthors were vindictive little worms...and sore losers.
So even though Clark had assured him that he'd gotten Lex to promise he wouldn't tell anyone, Jason had already begun the arrangement for his departure. It hadn't been premature, as the next day the principal had called Jason into his office and the nightmare had begun.
"He looked me in the eyes and promised me! Promised!" Clark snarled, obviously hurt at this. "I thought I could trust him! I thought-I-." He sighed and looked away, shoulders slumped.
Jason wanted to reach out and wrap his arms around the younger male, but he kept his clenched fists at his side and averted his gaze, gathering courage. He needed to do it now, needed to end this, needed to free Clark...to make him want to be free.
This was the best thing for the boy.
He'd always known this.
And now, it was time.
Pushing aside his own feelings, his own wants and desires, Jason channeled his mother as he sneered and shook his head, going back to packing. "What did you expect? Luthors never keep their word."
Clark's head hung lower.
Jason's hands itched with their desire to reach out for the younger male, and he closed his eyes tightly before turning away from Clark, unable to look at the boy. Clark was so hurt now by Lex's betrayal, and Jason knew that by the time he left the apartment tonight he'd be even more hurt and betrayed...and it killed the sandy-blonde...but it was what had to be done.
"I just-wait." Clark stopped in mid-sentence, silence falling on them, before he spoke once more, voice unsure. "Why...why are you packing?"
This was it.
Jason continued packing. "Because I'm leaving."
"What?" Clark whispered. "You-you can't be-you can't be serious!"
"Oh. Really?" Jason snorted, shaking his head. "You think I'm packing everything because I'm bored now that I don't have a job? That I don't have anything better to do? Huh?"
Clark flinched. "No...I...I don't..." He cleared his throat before going towards Jason, eyes pleading. "I know it's hard, but everyone will change their minds, okay? We just have to be patient, and everyone will realize that-."
"Clark." Jason sighed, finally looking up at him. "No one's going to change their opinion of us, and I'm never getting my job back. The only way I will ever be able to get another job coaching would be if I pulled strings and had my parents erase this whole scandal, and you know that I will never ask for their help, so I can never be a coach again."
"But, but you love coaching." Clark whispered. "And you're good at it. Any school would be lucky to have you."
"What school is going to want a sex-offender working for them?" Jason snapped, letting the frustration building up in him manifest. "And a homosexual one at that?" He scoffed in self-disgust. "The parents would be worried that instead of running the drills with their sons I'd be drilling their sons."
"You're not a sex-offender!" Clark snapped, face twisting with his anger. "I'm legal! I'm eighteen!"
"You're still in high school, Clark. It's still wrong."
Hurt flashed in those surprised blue eyes, before Clark looked away. "It's not wrong." Those narrowed eyes rose to meet his defiantly. "We are not wrong!"
Jason didn't answer, reaching for a shirt to use as cushioning.
"We're not." Clark whispered.
Jason refused to look at him as he packed.
"Jason?" Clark's voice was soft, unsure.
The older male gazed inside of the box.
"You're not really going to leave." It was stated as a fact, yet still somehow managed to sound like a question.
"Yeah, I really am." Jason replied. "I'm leaving, and there's nothing you can say or do that will make me stay."
"Then I'll come with you."
He was so surprised he couldn't keep his eyes from widening as he gazed inside of the box. "What? No!"
"Why not?" Clark's voice broke, a bit of desperation beginning to seep into the tone. "I love you and you love me. If we can't be together here, if you're going to leave, then I want to be with you-I want to go with you."
"Impossible." Jason rejected the idea immediately.
There was no way that Clark's running away and leaving his family and friends wasn't going to end up backlashing on the young man. He had a core group of people who adored and took care of him, and there was no way that Jason was going to be party to Clark's losing that. Boyfriends came and went, but family and friends were forever. It'd also break Martha and Jonathan's hearts to lose their beloved son, and Jason wouldn't do that to them.
He'd hurt them enough, putting their son in the middle of this ugly scandal.
"It isn't." Clark denied, voice raising. "I'll leave with you. I want to leave with you!"
"You don't want to leave." Jason shook his head. "You love this place."
"I love you." Clark countered.
"It's not enough. Not anymore." Jason shrugged, unable to look at him and deliver these lines.
"Look at me and say that." Clark ordered stubbornly.
"Whether I look at you or not isn't going to change anything." The older male replied, determined. "Whether I look at you or not, I'm still leaving, and you're still staying. Whether I look at you or not, this ends now. It'd better for both of us this way."
"Look at me!" Clark snapped, reaching out and grabbing hold of Jason, yanking him around so that they were facing each other. "Look me in the eyes and tell me you don't love me. Look me dead in the eyes and convince me."
"That's kinda cliche, isn't it?" Jason whispered, finally raising his hazel eyes to meet those baby blues. "It only proves that you're still only a kid, and you need a lot more growing up before a relationship with you doesn't seem wrong."
Clark flinched, as if Jason had struck him physically.
Jason stared him deep in the eyes, refusing to back down, to flinch, to hesitate, to waver.
He had to do this for them both, he had to show what it meant to be an adult.
"You love me." Clark whispered.
"I'll never tell anyone your secret, I'll keep it to the day I die." Jason tightened his clenched fists. "I promised to protect your secret, your identity, and I meant it. Even if we're not together I'll never tell anyone."
"Stop it." Clark began to tremble, the hands he had on Jason's shoulders shaking with his repressed emotions.
"I'm sorry Clark, but this is goodbye." Jason whispered.
Clark's eyes flashed, reminding Jason of whenever Clark would use a little bit of red!k so as to channel Kal and his wild side when he wanted to spice things up a little. It was enough of a warning for Jason, and he was prepared for Clark to move them as fast as lightning and push him down on the sofa, sprawling over him, forcefully pinning him down as he kissed him brutally. Jason tried to struggle, tried to push the younger male off, but he knew that with Clark's superhuman strength it was impossible. Usually, Clark wouldn't use his powers against anyone, especially Jason, but now he didn't seem to care, using his strength to keep the sandy-blonde pinned helplessly under him.
Jason could taste Clark's pain in his kiss, and it tore him apart, but he was the adult, he had to be strong, had to think of what was best for Clark. And while this would hurt the younger male for a while, Jason knew in his heart that this was the best thing that he could do for him.
Suddenly Clark pulled away, glaring defiantly at him, only proving just how much more he needed to grow, to mature. "You won't leave."
And then, with a rush of air, he was gone.
Jason remained on his back for a couple of moments before sighing as he sat up, sad gaze on a full, taped up box.
Clark seemed so sure that Jason wouldn't leave, and while that warmed the sandy-blonde some it also made him sadder as he stood and returned to the packing.
He'd be done in under an hour and would be gone long before Clark's sulk ended and he came back to convince Jason not to leave.
Jason hurried himself, forced himself faster, refused to let himself drag on subconsciously with the hope of Clark coming back and convincing him to stay.
Jason needed to leave.
It was the right thing.
The right...the right...it was.
Jason snarled as he reached for the closest thing and swung it at the wall with a cry of agony as he collapsed onto the sofa, hand over his face, a silent tear making its way down his cheek.
"Goodbye." He whispered, voice choked.
For the first time he wished he really was the villain the others portrayed him to be. If he was he'd give into his selfish desires and accept Clark's wish to leave with him.
But Jason couldn't do that, not to Clark, nor to his parents.
And that was why he was going to leave tonight and never come back...never see Clark again.
Another silent tear made its way down his cheek.
Sometimes he hated being a good guy.