Clark’s pressed against the wall, holding his breath. He watches Lionel as he comes closer, watches him moving against the grey swells of the sky, barking orders into his cell phone. It’s an easy thing to reach out, to pull him into the alley – just pick him right off the street so fast no one notices. He covers Lionel’s mouth, doesn’t say a word.
They both know why Clark’s doing this. They both remember what Lex looked like, just after. The way Lex’s feet twitched, his whole body still arching up, tensed. How his head kept shaking back and forth – Clark remembers watching Lex’s chin jerking from side to side, as much as the restraints would allow. Lionel’s eyes widen, and Clark smiles.
Bones squeeze underneath Clark’s fingers, breaking, popping, snapping like cornstalks. The skin doesn’t stand up so well either; it tears, bleeding slippery and red over his hands. When he throws Lionel against the wall, the way Lionel’s body snaps outward with the shock of the impact makes Clark feel better, makes the hard smile cut wider across his face. Lionel’s head thuds back hard, teeth clacking shut loudly and when he looks up, his expression twists. He’s afraid.
Clark reaches down, lifts Lionel by the throat and tightens his hand, slowly, inexorably. Inch by inch until Lionel’s chuffing in air through his teeth, scrabbling at Clark’s grip and his eyes cloud over and Clark can feel him dying, slowly, and it’s so *easy* and…
Lionel walks out of his reach. Clark stays still, just like always. He lets out a slow breath, closing his eyes. The air bites at his clothes, and he steps out on to the street, watching as Lionel turns the corner, stride precise and sharp. Clark closes his empty hands, turns around, and goes home. His mother asks him how his day was, and he tells her the truth; he tells her it was just like every other day.