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Saturday 0455 hrs
Clark looked towards Whitney half sitting, half lying next to him in the truck. Sometime during the journey, Whitney had returned to sanity and realized who it was that had rescued him. Again. He smiled sadly. Then he noticed the road they were on was going straight to the Smallville hospital and started. He didn’t wanna go to the hospital and let it be known to his mother what happened. He didn’t want anybody to know what happened period. Its bad enough that... that Clark knows.
“Whit you’re badly hurt. We need a doctor to..”
“No hospital. Please.” Whitney was visibly panicking now. His face had contorted with a fear Clark had never before seen on his handsome face. He tried once more.
“Okay okay. No hospital.” Clark wasn’t happy but he turned around just as well. He’d take care of Whitney himself and carry him kicking and screaming to the hospital if need be. But right now he saw that forcing him would only be making things worse. He headed for his loft hoping mom and dad wont be up yet. If he was reading Whitney right, he didn’t want anyone and least of all his mother to know what happened to him this night. Hell, Clark himself wasn’t too sure what had happened. He’d been severely tortured he could see that. He’d seen the knife cuts and cigarette burns. Had he been raped?
//Oh Whit… I’m so sorry… God I’m so sorry. I should have warned you at the diner. I knew that group was trouble and I didn’t tell you. I should have been there for you. I should have heard you sooner. I should have….. oh Whit….//
Damnit, he could run faster with Whitney in his arms than this stupid truck.
The sky was red by the time Clark reached his place with Whitney. He stopped the engine before entering the farm and rolled in quietly the rest of the way. Near the loft he got out swiftly and came over to the passenger side. Whitney had passed out a few minutes ago giving Clark the scare of his life and now he was wondering if he should head for the hospital since Whitney wouldn’t get to know.. he decided he didn’t wanna betray his friend’s trust like that. At least not for now.
He gently tugged the unconscious form with blanket and everything into his arms and pulled him closer to his broad chest. He placed his lips lightly on Whitney’s hair and walked up to his loft. He was hoping he had not woken up his parents. Too late.
Martha was a light sleeper. She heard the truck despite Clark's efforts and got up to see who it could be at….damn its five already. She went to the window and that’s when she saw her son getting out of the Fordman truck. //Clark? Where is he coming from at this hour?//
And then she saw him go over to and pull out a body wrapped in a blanket from the passenger seat, grabbed her robe and rushed out towards the loft.
By the time she reached the top of the stairs, Clark had put Whitney in his bed and got out the telephone diary and was hunting for the family physician number in it, whom he could remember only as Uncle Thomas. Clark had not needed a doctor for more than once in his entire life. He was lost and feeling very very useless to Whitney just when Martha walked in.
She took one look at the figure on the bed and without giving away a single emotion, said “Dr Moore is out of town for the weekend. And if you’re not taking him to the hospital, you might wanna start with stopping the bleeding fast as possible.”
Clark had been staring at her anticipating an outburst. Now he rushed and within a nanosecond there was ice and water and cotton and bandages and iodine and an assortment of medication on the table beside the bed. Martha sat on the bed by Whitney’s side and took her first good look at the boy. Her eyes rimmed with tears as she remembered the beautiful little boy who would always greet her brightly every time she went to Fordman’s. He had never once *not* greeted her since he learnt to speak. She put her hand on his forehead and whispered softly,
“Its alright Whitney. You’re safe now.”
She had pulled the blanket half away when Clark said “Mom..”
Martha looked up. “Before you do that…” he began.
“Its okay. He needs help right away.” He nodded and looked down. Ashamed?
She removed the blanket and looked at Whitney with such sad eyes , absolutely relieved to think his own mother was not seeing this. She checked him if he was bleeding. Amazingly, it was nothing serious, no major blood vessel was nipped. She put ice in the bowl of water Clark had got her and wet a wad of cotton with it. This she then used to clean the knife wounds one by one. Had Whitney been conscious, it would have hurt indeed.
“He might still need stitches.”
“Uhh so what do we do?”
“He doesn’t wanna go to the hospital?”
Clark shook his head.
“Use your vision Clark, see if there are internal injuries, broken bones.”
“I already did in the truck. He seems ok on the inside..” But Clark looked once again just to be sure.
“Okay then let me give it a try. I was a Red Cross volunteer remember?” She smiled reassuringly. Martha had never seen her son so distraught. Clark nodded.
Martha went in the main house to sterilize needles and thread to sew up Whitney’s wounds and told Clark to clean the rest of him. She didn’t find any anesthetic and prayed and prayed the boy wont wake up before she was done.
Clark gently sponged the wounded body from head to toe all the while speaking to Whitney just like he’d heard his mother doing, as if Whitney could hear him.
“Whit don’t be afraid. Its okay. I’m sorry if I am hurting you. I’ll make the pain go away. I’m gonna make it all go away I promise you. Just don’t die on me okay?”
He washed away the red “S” from his chest now mingled with the red of Whitney’s blood. He stroked his short hair with one hand and tried hard not to let the tears fall. He was confused at the gamut of feelings running through his mind but mostly he shuddered to think what would have happened had he not gotten there on time.
//Not soon enough. Fuck you Kent. Not soon enough//
He turned to the burn on the right shoulder and cleaned that too. Then he covered it with the burn medication he found realizing what it meant.
//That guy also had a similar tattoo on his arm. So he was one of Wade Mahaney’s men come to avenge his partners and blaming Whitney for everything that happened?//
//Fuck. But then what about that group at the Zinc? If they had anything to do with this.. they’re gonna pay.//
Clark remembered the moment when he had first realized it was Whitney tied naked to the scarecrow post and shivers ran down his unbreakable spine. He covered the wounds that did not seem too deep with antiseptic and bandages, all the while speaking gently to Whitney. Was hard to tell who he was assuring, Whitney or himself.
“You’re fine kid. You’re gonna be just fine.”
The swollen eyes, the cut lips, the bleeding ear.. Clark saw it all and tended to all. He lightly touched the bruised lips and once again anger rose up in him when he remembered what he had seen as he was approaching the scarecrow. The bastard was pushing his dirty tongue into Whit’s mouth. His Whit’s mouth. The sudden surge of protectiveness (or was it possessiveness?) surprised Clark himself.
And then he remembered the scream that had followed and the assailant’s bloody mouth. Couldn’t help but chuckle to think what Whit must have done.
//That’s my boy// He laughed a little sadly.
And then he remembered how he had actually assumed it was Whitney who was…. shit.
//Clark you are one huge asshole. Shit. Shit. You bastard. You complete asshole! //
Clark cursed more and got up and began pacing. Realised he was accomplishing nothing, sat back and resumed the gentle sponging.
Then it occurred to him. “How come I heard you Whit?”
Clark had not learnt to control his hearing prowess yet. He could strain and hear stuff from miles away if he wanted to but most of the times he tried, he’d just get a lot of collective noise. And it kind-of came and went by itself.
“So how come I heard you? You weren’t even calling to me. You were…” .. calling to yourself? That still didn’t make sense. Maybe that psycho was making him do it. He would just have to ask Whit when he got up.. and felt like talking about it.
Clark took Whitney’s hand in both his and brought it to his lips. He kept his lips pressed there and his eyes closed and his head lowered as if in prayer, asking for forgiveness from his God. Enough was enough. He was done hurting him. He was done letting others hurt him. From now on, he was gonna take care of Whitney no matter what. He would keep him safe from anyone who meant to harm him or take him away from him.
He would protect what was his.
Having made this silent resolution, he suddenly felt free. Free from the constant denial and the hiding. You can hide from the world, but how do you hide from yourself? How do you live like that? Clark Kent was not gonna run from Clark Kent anymore. And Clark Kent was never, never ever letting go of the love of his life. Whitney Fordman. Whether he likes it or not.
So what if Whitney isn’t gay. So what if Clark didn't think he himself was gay until yesterday damnit! So what if Whitney may never reciprocate his feelings. Especially after this incident, no way. But see none of that mattered anymore. Gay, straight, too fast, too slow... requited or otherwise... see all that was beside the point.
//And the point is… I love him. And I wont ever stop.//
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