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Regret

by Marisol

[Story Headers]

Lex had spent his evening navigating potholes and barely paved roads. He turned on Kelson Street, slowing as he rounded the corner. He was blinded by someone else with their brights on.

This jog made him remember the old days at Metropolis U when he would jog before his AM classes. There were sidewalks, and he would jog in place waiting for the crossing sign to change, while he listened to bands like Everclear. The memories almost seemed fond at this moment.

His Discman was with him tonight, but he hadn't remembered to turn it on. Besides, the only rhythm he could notice was the blood pulsing in his ears. Of all the acts, productions, deceits and flat out lies he had pulled of his life, today beasted them all. The reserved calm he exuded was a thin veneer to the frantic, raging desperation he felt inside. Being accused of murdering several people had a way of doing that to a person. Lex was scared.

He had an eerie, almost hallucinatory memory of the paperwork that had been shoved in his face, his signature on every page. Being handcuffed was a perpetual memory. He had flashbacks of his father's telling sneer when Lex had visited his office earlier. How could he have been so cavalier? Now Lex knew.

The last few hours had infuriated him, and crippling blasts of memory would send him into cataplexy. He fell to the wet ground on all fours, breathing heavily and head held low. Behind closed eyes he could only see Clark demanding to be taken to the lab, then leaving when the FBI arrived. Sometimes he wondered what he and Clark had. Was that a friendship? Was it anything?

He opened his eyes to blurry images swirling in front of him. He felt like he may be going blind. Another set of brights allayed his fears.

He forced himself back up and kept jogging, this time heading back home.

He passed a residential section and saw a father and daughter sitting on the porch. The air carried the scent of barbecued meat, and the pair looked placid and happy. She leaned over and whispered something in her father's ear, and Lex could just make out him saying "I love you too," before embracing the girl. Lex was immune to such an idyllic scene, and the Kents were the closest he had ever come to witnessing one in real life. But this one tugged at him.

One summer, when Lex was 17, Lionel had walked into his room, only to be greeted by a skinny, pale heap of body in a pool of vomit. It wasn't a wholly inconceivable scenario - Lex had awoken and would awake in such a condition many times, for years to come. Accept that, on this occasion, it wasn't Lex lying there. It was Cheryl, his girlfriend. They had crept into his room in the wee hours of the morning after a night of partying. Lionel, long bored by Lex's antics, usually went to bed well before Lex got in, if he was in town at all. But, inexplicably, Lionel went to check on him, and had found her lying there. Lex hadn't known, but awoke to his father's crushing grip.

"Lex," he yelled "what have you done!" Lex took a hard breath and blinked several times before seeing the young girl his dad held in his arms. Lex was now firmly awake. "You disgust me," he added.

Lex immediately recoiled in the thought of the money, damage control and weeks of snide comments he would have to endure for this one. For a fleeting moment he even thought about Cheryl.

"She might be dead," Lionel said, looking down. He had a tenderness in his voice that bewildered Lex.

"No she isn't," Lex countered, "you're just saying that to guilt me," Lex yelled, to the extent his voice would allow him. "You act like you've never seen someone drunk before."

"You're insufferable," Lionel hissed, "look there" and he nodded towards the vomit on the floor. For the first time Lex realized the gravity of the situation. "Go call for the car - no, go call for the doctor." Lex raced to Dave, who made the call.

Lex and Cheryl had had so much fun together that night, and now it was a disaster. No matter the outcome, it would be their last. All that night, Lionel behaved with a compassion towards Cheryl that Lex hadn't witnessed in even the darkest moments of their tragic life. Lex was stunned by the display, but didn't see any signs of pretense. It made Lex even more horrified at his own carelessness. It endeared him to his father.

When the doctor finally said that Cheryl would be alright, Lex was so overwhelmed with emotion that his eyes welled up. He turned to his father, who was equally relieved, and, just above a whisper, said "I love you." As the words left his body, he shuddered. He hoped Lionel hadn't heard. But he had. Lionel faced him, and pierced him through with a bloody glare. Without a word, he left the room.

The words had never passed between them again. And they shouldn't have even then.

The story came back to him as he made his ragged way home.

Lex had regrets. Boy, did he.

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Fandom:  Smallville
Title:  Regret
Author:  Marisol   [email]   [website]
Details:  Standalone  |  PG  |  gen  |  4k  |  03/09/04
Characters:  Lionel, Lex
Pairings:  Lex/Other
Summary:  Lex has regrets. Post-Crisis. Written for svdodecals Fanfic Dodecal Challenge #20 "Regret" "A Smallville character
has regrets. Describe." Only thing is, this isn't a dodecal. Sorry, couldn't do it.
Notes:  Spoilers: Crisis
Disclaimer: Not mine. Not mine.
Feedback: I fiend for it.

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