Sunset



Lex Luthor tightened the knot on his deep purple tie and buttoned the top button of his black single-breasted suit coat. The lavender shade of his shirt matched the decorative handkerchief tucked in the breast pocket of his coat. He adjusted the cuffs of his sleeves and surveyed himself in the mirror. Age spots marred his bald head and wrinkles cut canyons in his face. The sparse white hairs of his eyebrows stood out over his slightly sunken eyes. The rounded stoop of his shoulders made him think he'd shrunk again.

"This is as good as it gets," he said to his reflection and shut off the light as he left the walk-in closet. Affixing his watch to his wrist, he checked the time. His date was due to arrive at any moment.

Date, he mused with a faint smile. At his age, he hadn't expected to be dating again. He'd retired over a decade ago to a small, lightly populated Pacific island with no extradition laws, getting out of the game while his mind was still sharp. He'd planned on spending his twilight years puttering around his expansive villa, reading the books he'd never had time for, savoring the many vintages of wine in his cellar, and exploring online anything that caught his interest. Escorts would be flown in for a weekend when he felt the need.

Meeting someone on the beach, emerging naked from the water looking like a god of the sea, hadn't fit into his plans. Having that someone be Clark Kent hadn't been even in the realm of possibilities. Clark and his despised alter ego, Superman, had died at the hands of Doomsday while Lex had still been President, more than thirty years prior.

"I recovered," Clark had said, sitting in the sand beside Lex, his damp hair curling around his ears. "It just took a while."

He looked the same as when they'd first met, young and fit, with a beautiful smile. Only his eyes showed a maturity that revealed his true age and reflected a tiredness that even death hadn't cured. He'd come to Lex's island seeking peace and companionship with someone who would understand. The world had gotten along fine without Superman and Lex already knew what it felt like to have him dead. "I wouldn't mind trying friendship again," Lex had said.

"It's not friendship that I'm asking for," Clark had replied, and took Lex's hand.

That had been four weeks ago, and as the doorbell rang, Lex checked his appearance again in the hall mirror. The smile he now wore knocked away the years and graced him with a shine of contentment. Tonight, he was going to ask Clark to move in with him. It had taken nearly a lifetime, but like the wine in his cellar, things between them had finally aged to perfection and he wanted to savor it for the rest of his days.

"Ready?" Clark said, standing in the doorway in a tailored suit with a blue shirt and tie.

Lex slipped his hand into Clark's with another smile. "As I'll ever be," he said.

They walked off into the setting sun, together.



End


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