If she just closed her eyes and ran, Lana wondered, would she get hit by a truck? Or would fate intervene and she'd end up somewhere she belonged?
Lana laughed at this. There wasn't anywhere she belonged. That was becoming perfectly clear. There wasn't anyone who would ever be completely truthful with her; no one who would let her into their lives and hold nothing back.
Although, she supposed, that was probably true of everyone. Everyone had secrets, right? This was normal...right?
Except, no. Not right. Pete had just told her that Clark was an alien. An alien. That was not normal at all. It was, in fact, the farthest thing from normal there possibly was. Lana closed her eyes. Listened to the clock ticking in the empty Torch office. She'd planned to meet Chloe here to help clean it out. Graduation had come and gone and things were finally moving on. People were letting go of Smallville. The way they should. The way everyone wanted to.
Lana wasn't letting go. No, she still had the Talon and figured she'd probably be in Smallville the rest of her life. But others were, and she was happy for them. Things were moving forward.
Pete wasn't supposed to tell her. She knew that. They were looking at the Wall of Weird. That's when it had all come out. When Pete finished talking, his eyes bugged out and she still remembers the huge whites, severely contrasting his dark skin. Whoops. Except he probably wasn't thinking whoops but more along the line of holy shit.
He'd said something so low in his throat, so desperate and raspy, that Lana hadn't quite heard. But she thought it was something like, "you aren't supposed to know." Then he'd turned and run.
Well, she knew. And she had to run too, because there wasn't anything else to do. So she turned. She closed her eyes, and ran.
Lex didn't seem surprised, but then, he never seemed surprised. He did look intrigued. And somewhat happy. This, Lana didn't even bother to ponder. She watched as he poured dark amber liquid into a crystal tumbler. He paused before replacing the plug in the decanter and quirked an eyebrow.
Lana nodded. She didn't trust herself to speak again, but knew that yes, a drink would be fucking fabulous right now. A really large one. Lex poured another, and walked toward her with both glasses in his hands. His mouth curled into a grin Lana could only define as amused as he sat next to her on the large sofa.
"So why tell me?" he asked, giving her a sideways glance as he sipped his drink.
Lana held hers in both hands, fingers curling around the glass. She stared down into the alcohol and tried to think of the honest answer to that question.
"I feel betrayed," she said after a long pause. Lex waited patiently in silences, she'd known that about him for a lot of years. Tonight, although everything felt completely different, wasn't. She wasn't going to elaborate, but knew it was a sort of non-answer. Still, from the corner of her eye she saw Lex's head incline in understanding.
"And you don't want to feel betrayed alone."
It was an accusation, although not completely from the tone of it. Lana looked at him then, bringing the glass up to her lips and allowing a small amount of the strong liquid to pass. She knew whatever this was: brandy, scotch, a myriad of other options, it was going to be strong. She felt it slither down her throat, leaving a slight burn in its wake.
Lex tilted his head and watched as she sipped, then let his lips twist naturally into a smirk. "It's okay, Lana," he said evenly. "I'm aware of that old adage, misery loves company."
"Don't you feel at least a little angry at him?" Lana asked, suddenly feeling desperate for a shimmer of emotion from Lex, an ounce of comeraderie. "He's been your best friend since you moved here and this..."
She let the sentence filter away, not really sure of what she was trying to say. Explaining how he should feel was probably not the quickest way to Lex's good graces. It confused her, how he could be so calm, so unaffected in so many situations. Like everything that happened to him was normal, even when it was clearly not. Betrayal by a close friend, a woman he takes as his wife, his father. All run of the mill snafu's in the life of Lex Luthor. Lana couldn't believe he was actually okay with his life that way.
"I'm not surprised," Lex finally offered, finishing off his drink and rising to pour another. He glanced at Lana's glass, still virtually as full as when he'd given it to her, and his quirked eyebrow encouraged her to take another, much larger sip. She winced at the burn only when his back was turned.
"I've known Clark was hiding something for a long time. And the more I found out, the more I realized there was to know. I've had my suspicions for years, Lana. I just never had any sound proof." He paused, watching her intently as he walked back to the sofa.
Lana wondered if her confession wasn't enough for him. She wondered if he'd need to see with his own eyes. She'd known Lex for long enough, and liked to think she knew him well enough, that he probably would. As if he could read her mind, and she didn't discount the possibility for a second, Lex sat and continued.
"I tried to take the high road. I laid off on my investigation for a long time. I wanted to truly believe in Clark's friendship. I wanted to believe that one day he'd tell me what I wanted to know, simply because he trusted me, and not because he had to or I caught him with something he couldn't explain."
Lex took another long drink. Lana thought she heard his voice quiver, and wondered if perhaps she was going to see some real emotion from Lex tonight. Something other than the stoic soldier who refused to let anyone in.
"He never did," Lex said, glancing quickly in Lana's direction. "I thought he'd take off, move to Metropolis or somewhere and I'd have my reason to finally give into what I've wanted to do for a long time."
"What's that?" Lana asked, unsure if she really wanted to know the answer. She finished off her drink quickly, trying desperately not to choke as it settled like fire in her gullet. Lex leaned closer, and Lana felt her entire body tense. She gripped the edge of the sofa with one hand, kept her fingers tight around the glass in her other. She wondered, if Lex kissed her, would she kiss him back?
Lex didn't kiss her. His eyes flashed and he said, "I'd continue my investigation."
Satin sheets puddled beneath her, and Lana could feel each intricate fold of the soft material against her bare skin. She felt draped in it, even where it wasn't touching her. It was impossible, Lana thought, to not feel comfortable when you were entangled naked in satin sheets.
She blinked up at the form hovering above her, bit down softly on her bottom lip and waited for him to move. He didn't, not for a second that seemed like a full minute. His eyes raked over her and she shivered, legs parting a little further, fingers curling into the sheets at either side of her. Waiting. Anticipation that might possibly kill her.
Finally, Lex shifted. Not where she wanted him to, but he moved, and she whimpered, trying to move with him.
"Are you sure?" he asked, voice low and guttural and strained, and she wondered just what the hell he was going to do if she said 'no'.
She nodded. Brought her hands up to either side of his face and guided him downward. "Please," she whispered, her lips touching his.
They kissed as he entered her, tongues gentle and deep, matching his strokes with eerie precision. She felt him sink each time, the weight of him pressing her further and further into the satin beneath her. When their mouths parted, he groaned, pushing into her even harder.
It was surreal, and Lana thought that it really shouldn't be. Not now. There were plenty of moments for reality to have given way to the kind that's not. When she kissed him for the first time, more timidly than she'd ever kissed anyone until he gripped the back of her head and 'timid' skirted quickly out of the equation. When she'd felt her back hit the edge of the desk, painfully, and had to force herself not to wince, not to cry out in pain because he might stop kissing and touching her in places she'd given up hope of ever being kissed and touched in again. When he'd led the way to his bedroom, because someone could walk in if they remained in the study, and she'd followed him, no trouble putting one foot in front of the other to get there. When he'd undressed her, piece by agonizing piece, taking time in between to map each part of her body with his fingers, then his lips, then his tongue.
All valid points at which her brain could have kicked into overdrive, and asked her just what she thought she was doing. This was Lex Luthor, and he was now buried deep inside of her, sweat creating a fine sheen on the smooth expanse of his skin, and 'surreal' was just beginning to push its way to the forefront of her mind.
The whys hadn't been discussed, although Lana figured they rarely were, at least not until after the fact. And she wanted this, God...more than anything, and the whys weren't really going to matter, even afterwards, because this is the way it was happening. Now. She cried out softly as his head dipped low, and he stroked his tongue across one breast, then the other. She groaned, loudly and in a way she'd never heard come out of her own mouth when he stopped and pulled out of her. He turned over and she followed, straddling him to replace the friction they'd lost. She mourned it, the few precious seconds he'd left her body.
His hands fell to her hips, and he guided her over him, and she didn't even miss the pool of satin she'd been lying in.
His eyes never left hers in this new position, it was as if he wanted to memorize the moment, the way she looked on top of him, maybe the way she looked totally naked and uninhibited in his bedroom. She didn't know, exactly, but understood the instinct. Something inside of her wanted to make sure she never forgot this exact moment, not how it felt or how it looked or even how it sounded and smelled. It would be important, she thought, later on. Important for the rest of her life.
He filled her so completely she thought she might die. And when one of his hands dipped between her legs, just above where they were joined, she knew she would, in some way, die. His fingers matched the strokes of him and her legs turned to rubber. She threw her head back without meaning to, but felt her hair cascade down her back and thought, idly, that maybe she looked like the women in the movies looked when they had sex. Impassioned and wild and sexy.
It came out of her mouth without her realization. Lana couldn't stop thinking but wanted to, so badly. Her body had let go, why couldn't her mind? He grunted her name in return, and pinched her lightly with his thumb and forefinger and she felt herself start to come.
Never knew herself to be a screamer, but she did this time, God and Lex and probably a few curse words thrown in there for good measure. She was convinced Lex would have laughed, enjoyed it if he wasn't so busy pushing into her so desperately, fingers holding so tightly onto her hips she knew she'd have bruises in the morning.
He groaned and she felt him spill into her; felt every part of her body humming and was convinced that there was some kind of electric charge running straight through her and into him, connecting them in a way that made her head spin. She fell forward when he stopped moving, when his fingers released the pressure on her skin and stroked lightly over the tender spots. Her head fell naturally into the crook between his shoulder and neck, and she felt her skin mold to his; sweat and heat melding them together. And Lana didn't care if they never came apart.
It never ceased to amaze Lana how different the castle looked during the day. Sunlight filtered through amazingly intricate stained glass panels, splashing the hallways and rooms in a myriad of colors. During the day, the place was magical. At night, it seemed haunted.
She sipped her coffee from the delicate cup made from fine bone china and wondered when her hands might stop shaking. And if coffee was really the thing to be drinking when she was trying desperately to calm down. She sat at a large table off the kitchen, and the staff bustled around her, mostly ignoring her presence.
Lana appreciated that. It was strange, being in Lex Luthor's kitchen at 6:30 in the morning, wearing the same clothes she'd arrived in the night before. It was strange, feeling a slight throbbing between her legs, knowing Lex had put it there. It was strange, not knowing what to do or say, and dreading the moment Lex would appear. Still, she hadn't left. Something was stopping her and she was sure it was more than just the irrational fear of venturing out into Smallville now that she knew everything.
Now that she'd slept with Lex Luthor.
Now that the two most important people in her life had completely flipped her world on it's back, exposing her vulnerable belly.
There were so many things to regret about what had happened starting 12 hours ago. Her hands shook and her head spun and her mind ran in circles, but somehow she couldn't regret any of it. She didn't regret spilling Clark's secret to Lex, and she didn't regret making love to him either.
Complete out of body experience, yes. Regrets? No.
Only she had no idea how Lex felt about it, and if he'd be surprised to find her in his kitchen, drinking coffee out of what she considered probably wasn't even his good china.
There wasn't more time to contemplate. Lex walked in and smiled at her, as if he wasn't surprised at all. He accepted a cup of coffee from a woman he called Rita and gestured to Lana to follow him.
She blinked as he retreated, then nearly spilled her coffee as she jumped up to follow him. She hoped it was her imagination, but as she pushed through the double doors that Lex had disappeared behind, she was sure every person in the room stopped what they were doing and stared at her.
Lex was more than halfway down the hallway when she finally caught up. They were back to where they'd started; Lex occupying the leader role in the relationship, no matter how many times he told her to stand up for herself and command more respect in everyday life. Lana wasn't even sure he did it on purpose, he was just that way and their relationship was set, it had been for a very long time.
He stopped at a door and Lana stopped next to him, surreptitiously trying to read his expression when as usual, he had none. She wanted to ask him about last night, about what this meant or didn't mean, about whether he regretted it and what he expected to happen now. But you didn't just ask Lex Luthor those kinds of questions. They seemed too invasive, too personal, no matter what she'd done in his bed only hours earlier.
Pulling a ring of keys from his pocket, Lex glanced at her before he unlocked the door and pushed it open. Lana wondered what he could possibly want to show her now, today, versus any other day she'd ever been over at the castle. This day was different in that she'd seen him naked, and felt him inside of her and screamed out his name. She did not know what a room with a locked door had to do with any of that.
But when she walked in, it came clear. Computer screens cast an ethereal blue glow about the room. Data was projected onto walls, and various foreign objects were locked in display cases. Clark's face -- a blown up version of his driver's license picture -- stared at her from across the room. His vital statistics scrolled across a large screen next to it.
If there was breath in her body, it escaped her. Lana's legs began to shake. She felt the coffee cup slip from her hand, and didn't even flinch when it shattered at her feet. If Lex was surprised, he didn't show it. In fact, Lana only felt him move closer, slipping an arm about her shoulders as if he was afraid she would fall if he didn't hold her up.
Which was very likely true.
The room wasn't silent. There was humming, low and constant and coming from every machine in the room. Lana heard it deep in her brain, growing louder and louder with each gathered fact about Clark Kent that her eyes flickered over.
The accident on the bridge. Lex had a computer generated model that showed his Porsche hitting Clark head-on. Clark falling into the water, only to swim deeper and pull Lex out of the sinking car. Clark had told her, and Lex, and the police, that he'd watched Lex slam into the guard rail and dove in to pull Lex out. Everyone called Clark a hero. And he was. Only he'd been hit by a car going 60 miles an hour first.
This, Lana thought, was surreal. Not swimming naked in satin sheets or hearing Lex pant her name. No, that was downright normal compared to this.
Lex's arm tighetened around her shoulders before releasing. His hand wandered down her back. "Are you okay?" he asked.
His voice sounded eerie in the room. Something human that shouldn't be in the midst of all this technology. The computers continued to hum. Clark continued to stare down at them from the wall.
It was a question, because Lana didn't know what the right answer was. She wasn't going to fall down and cut herself on the ridiculously expensive coffee cup she'd just broken, if that's what he meant. But okay, in the theoretical sense of the word? No, she might not ever be theoretically okay again.
"How long have you been doing this?"
Her voice didn't sound like hers. At least, not to her ears. But Lex only rubbed her back again. As if it was a perfectly logical question. As if collecting information on someone you call your best friend was a perfectly logical thing to do.
For Lex, it probably was.
In one moment, Lana felt as if she knew more about Lex than she ever had before. In the midst of the Blue Room, she'd figured him out.
Lana also knew this was incredibly nave, and that she'd never figure Lex out, but it made her feel a little more solid anyway. Lying to herself was nothing new. Why stop now?
"Since the accident," Lex answered, gesturing to the computer that was showing the model over and over again on a continuous loop. "I knew I hit Clark. I knew I did." His hand ventured up to her shoulder again, and he squeezed it a little. "Last night, you validated that."
Lana looked at him. It was the first time since entering the room, and it felt wrong. Like they should pretend the other wasn't there...like this was something they should never talk about outside these blue walls. But he looked back, gave that half-smile she was very used to seeing but never in this capacity.
"I thought you still needed proof," she said slowly.
Lex inclined his head. She did know him a little better, she realized. Not just from the room, but from everything that had happened the night before. Choosing him to tell Clark's secret to. Letting him take her into his bed. Feeling him connect with her, completely. Drinking coffee at 6:30 in the morning in his kitchen. Being let into the Blue Room.
"I'll get it," he said, as if he had no doubt. "But I trust you, Lana. Completely."
Lana digested this. It was scary, she realized. Because Lex trusted no one. Not even Clark. Not since the first day they'd met, and certainly not in the days following. Because Clark kept lying. And Lex kept disbelieving.
And Lex made the Blue Room. And every time Clark lied, a little more was added. And now it was covered with information, all based on Clark's untruths.
Lex hated Clark for it. Lana knew this. She knew when he took her to bed that part of it was a big 'fuck you' to Clark Kent. She knew when she went, willingly, that was what it was -- partly -- for her too. She knew there was no hope for her and Lex if their relationship was built on revenge.
But she knew there was something else. Lex trusted her, because she didn't lie to him. Never, not once, had she looked Lex in the face and told him something that wasn't true. It astounded her. It probably astounded Lex. Maybe he loved her for it.
The first time Lana saw Clark after Pete had told her about Clark's powers, it was in the Talon. It had been two weeks since she'd run to the castle and told Lex everything. Two weeks since she and Lex had slept together, and two weeks since Lex had showed her the Blue Room.
At Lex's prompting, Lana had put Sandy in charge of the Talon and taken a vacation. Lex took her to his beach house in Santa Monica. They didn't speak of the Blue Room, or Clark, or their relationship for that matter, but things were good there. It was there that she realized things between them were way more than a big 'fuck you' to Clark. It was there that comfort settled into Lana's bones about her place in Lex's life.
She'd just gotten finished reviewing the financial reports with Lex when Clark walked in. Lex's form immediately stiffened, but Lana knew that she only noticed because of how close he'd let her get to him while they were away. She never would have noticed before. Not with the wall Lex kept up. And she knew instinctively that Clark hadn't noticed either.
Still, Clark didn't look in the least bit relaxed to see them together. Or to see Lex at all. He nodded, and Lex didn't move a muscle. Lana shoved the papers back into their folder and cleared her throat.
She hadn't exactly thought of what she would say to Clark when she did see him again. She hadn't exactly thought about anything but Lex for the past fourteen days. So she said hello, and he said hello, and awkwardness persisted.
"Lana, can I talk to you alone?" Clark finally asked.
She was about to say yes, when Lex stepped forward. "No."
Lana saw the surprise flit through Clark's eyes. His mouth opened and closed like a fish on land and she could understand the incapacity for speech. She couldn't see Lex's face from where he stood, but she knew from experience that his eyes must be hard and glittering like diamonds. She knew the hurt puppy dog look that was crossing over Clark's face, and knew it wasn't going to work on Lex so she wondered why he even bothered to try.
Except that Clark's hurt puppy dog look was subconscious, she knew that too because she'd been seeing it since they were in the fourth grade and no matter how adorable it was, it got old real fast.
"I don't have anything to say, Clark," was what Lana said instead, and she turned her back on the both of them, walking into the office with the file of papers. She was just glad to be out of that situation, honestly unsure of how she felt about the whole thing and it was easier to take Lex's lead than to have to make her own decision.
Plus, she knew too much now. She knew about Lex's Blue Room and that was a confidence she didn't dare betray. She didn't want to know any more about Clark, and didn't want to know if Lex wanted to know any more about Clark. All she wanted to do was forget it all ever happened and privately mourn the loss of her friendship with the boy who lived on the farm up the road.
That boy was gone now, she knew that much. She admired Pete for being able to stay true to his friendship with Clark, and was glad Clark had someone solid like that to turn to. But she was never solid, and she never claimed to be, and Clark, whether he knew it or not, had just made her realize how much she could love Lex, if she just gave it half a chance.
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