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Title: Devastation

Author: chelle

Author's email:

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Fandom: Smallville

Category: Slash

Pairing: Clark/Lex

Archive: Ask first

Rating: PG

The newsroom was oddly quiet when Clark entered, tired from a night of trying to save flood victims in Bangladesh. He glanced around, everyone was staring at Perry White's office door, even those who were pretending to work. Getting a cup of coffee, he stepped close to Jimmy and asked, "What are we staring at?"

"Lex Luthor's in there."

Clark's chest tightened, but he forced himself to shrug. "Guess yesterday's article must've gotten to him." The Daily Planet had run an expose documenting, yet again, Lexcorp's, and by extension its CEO's, callous disregard for human life. Lois had written the article. Clark had been too angry. Lexcorp was knowingly dumping carcinogens in one of Metropolis' poorest neighborhoods. Cancer rates were already skyrocketing, even though the plant was only seven years old.

It was possible Lex didn't know, but Clark doubted it. And even if he didn't know, he was still responsible for the actions of his subordinates. Setting things in motion and then denying responsibility when they spun out of control was one of Lex's specialties, always had been.

The door opened and there he was, Lex Luthor, all cool elegance, flanked by his Amazonian bodyguards. Some part of Clark wanted to step between the women, to grab Lex and muss that elegance, to make Lex human again. To make Lex his again.

Lex stopped in front of him, his eyes going down the length of Clark's body and then slowly back up. "Hello, Clark." Lex's voice was warm, almost inviting, and Clark could remember a time when just the sound of it had been enough to make him shiver.

"Lex." His own voice was cool, controlled. He'd learned how to conceal his emotions; he hadn't had a choice.

"Decided not to join your partner in her latest anti-Luthor screed, I see."

"As much of a blow as it is to your ego, there are other news stories in the world."

"Like flooding in Bangladesh." A smile accompanied the words, but it wasn't nice or elegant.

Clark didn't answer and Lex moved away. Lex was half way to the elevators when the need to reach Lex, his Lex, overwhelmed Clark. "You thought I could save you."

Everyone in the newsroom froze, even those who'd been pretending to work. Lex pivoted slowly on his heel, until he was facing Clark, with twenty feet and a couple of desks between them.

"But the only person who could save you, was you."

"What makes you think I wanted to be saved?"

"I knew you."

Lex didn't answer right away, and the entire room seemed to be one collectively held breath. "Yes, you did, but I didn't know you, did I, Clark?" The now familiar edge was back in Lex's voice. "Funny how the Kent definition of morality never seemed to include honesty." Lex turned and resumed his journey toward the elevators.

Clark darted after him, his hands closing on Lex's shoulders. Hope and Mercy reached for him, but Lex gestured and they stepped back. Clark dropped his hands and Lex turned around. They were face to face, closer than they'd been in years.

"Is it enough?" Clark knew Lex would know what he meant. Lex had power now, more than his namesake could've dreamt of. He was ruthless, and yet men and women willingly followed him. He was everything Lionel had wanted him to be.

"No." Lex reached up, and brushed Clark's lower lip with his thumb.

Clark's heart began to race. Maybe…

"But then neither were you."

There was no hiding his devastation, and Clark turned away. He heard the elevator open, but he didn't turn around, didn't see Lex's mask fall away in the instant before the doors slid shut.

Numbly, Clark made his way to his desk and sat. Ignoring the pity and curiosity radiating from his co-workers, he opened his word processor. After all, he'd learned about control from a master.