chelle

Smallville

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One Of These Days

chelle

Title: One Of These Days

Author: chelle

Author's email: chelle@chelle.slashcity.org

Author's URL: http://chelle.slashcity.org/

Fandom: Smallville

Category: Slash

Pairing: Clark/Lex

Archive: Ask first

Rating: R

Beta: I made the SO beta this one. Anything you don't like, blame him.

Spoilers: 2.20 "Witness"

Summary: The future of Dr. Helen Bryce.

Helen watched her sleeping lover—no, fiancÚ. She smiled to herself. She was going to be Mrs. Alexander J. Luthor, or rather Dr. Helen Bryce, wife of Lex Luthor. It still seemed a little unreal, probably because it had happened so fast. Forty-eight hours ago she'd have said there was no way she was ready for this, no way they were ready. But then Lex had said that he'd held back, hadn't killed Paul, because of her. Not Clark, her.

She'd been telling herself from the beginning that Clark was Lex's friend, nothing more. But she had never really forgotten the way they had smiled at each other that day in the hospital, their pleasure in one another's company obvious, the way Clark had teased Lex. That had surprised her. From what she had known about Lex Luthor no one teased him, no one dared.

Except Clark Kent.

Clark Kent, to whom Lex had built a shrine, one Clark knew nothing about.

It wasn't really a shrine. It was a lab, of sorts, or maybe a library, a collection of data. Lex had a drive to know things. She understood that. She was a scientist herself. If Lex's interest went a little over the top, well, he was Lex Luthor. If she'd been saved the way Lex had, she might have become a little obsessive, too. Especially if you considered Lex's need to understand and control, and his seemingly endless trust issues.

It wasn't a shrine. It was a symbol of Lex's issues. The issues she was helping him work through. Not Clark, her.

She was the one he trusted. The one he shared his bed with. The one he had asked to share his life.

Closing her eyes, Helen remembered the way Lex had made love to her. His hands moving over her, so gentle. His mouth, tender and knowing. His voice, God, his voice, saying her name, telling her she was beautiful. He made her feel worshipped.

If only he'd let her worship him in return, but he never did. She could touch him, caress him, for only so long before Lex turned the tables, made it about her again. Helen knew she should find his devotion to her pleasure flattering.

She wondered if he'd let Clark touch him.

Near the end, when he was close to coming, Lex always closed his eyes. Always.

Helen moved her hand between her legs and slid two fingers inside. Lifting them to her mouth, she sucked them clean, tasting herself, tasting Lex, tasting them, together.

They were together, and Clark was the outsider, in more ways than one. Sometimes she thought about telling Lex the truth. She knew he suspected, and maybe knowing the truth would end the obsession.

Lex hated Clark's lies. He'd confront Clark. They'd argue. It would be over.

Or maybe the only thing keeping them apart would be gone.

Alone in the dark, Helen could admit the truth, at least to herself. It wasn't her ethics which kept her from telling Lex what she knew. It was her fear.

***

It was eight years before Lex got the confirmation he'd wanted.

He came striding into the dining room and dropped the morning paper onto the table in front of her. "Did you know?"

Helen glanced at the headline, 'Superman: I'm an Alien.' She looked back up at her husband. "Yes." She was prepared to offer a defense; she'd had the speech memorized for years.

Lex merely nodded and began adding sugar to his coffee.

Leaning back in her chair, Helen watched as Lex read the entire article, probably for the second or third time. His and Clark's friendship had ended years ago, broken and bent under the weight of too many lies and too little trust. Lex hadn't talked about it, but his obsession with all things Kent had begun to wane.

Until Superman had begun flying over Metropolis and Clark Kent had teamed up with Lois Lane.

Lex was rich and powerful. There were always rumors, would always be rumors, about deals made under the table, secret labs, and disappearing rivals. Helen was fairly confident that they were just rumors. Lex wasn't exactly scrupulous, but there were some lines even he wouldn't cross, for her.

That didn't stop Kent and Lane, the Daily Planet's dynamic duo, from reporting them. To their credit, they reported them as rumors, and never mentioned that Dr. Helen Bryce was one of their sources. Not that Clark knew.

She hadn't planned it. They'd been at a reception for State Senator Shaw. Kent and Lane had been there as well. Clark and Lex hadn't spoken, but they'd watched one another all night, each looking away when he thought he might be caught. To anyone else it might have been comic or tragic. To Helen, it was neither.

Their eyes had met just once. No one else in the room had appeared to notice. Helen had stared in surprise as Lex's mask had fallen away. Lex never let his mask slip in public. He barely let it slip in private. But the mask had been gone, and Lex's emotions had been there for anyone to see: longing, betrayal, affection. It had been affection. Helen refused to consider that it might have been anything else.

She'd called Lois Lane the next day.

The baby kicked and Helen reached for Lex's hand. He looked up, and she pressed the hand to her abdomen. A smile lit up his face when the baby moved.

Helen smiled back. Their daughter would be a bond not even Clark Kent could break.

***

Holding back the curtain, Helen watched them go. It was a familiar sight. She watched Lex cajole Melanie into the car every morning. Lex took her to school before going to the Capitol to work. Helen had won the battle over her name, only to have Lex promptly start calling her Lani.

Melanie dashed away from her father and came back with a bright red leaf which Lex examined with a seriousness he'd once reserved for Lexcorp's quarterly reports, back before he'd 'put his manhood in a blind trust' as Lex called it.

Helen hadn't gotten the reference, and hadn't really paid attention to his explanation, something about the first President Bush, and Doonesbury, and elected officials not being directly involved in running a business. Lex adored Doonesbury. She had come downstairs one morning to find him smiling in a way she hadn't known he could smile. "I made it," he'd said, holding out the paper. He was in Doonesbury, and the fact that he was represented by a vanity license plate had only increased his excitement.

Smiling at the memory, Helen watched her daughter watch Lex. Adoration was shining in her face, and Helen was tempted to close the curtain, to look away, but she didn't. She had accepted a long time ago that Lex would always be the preferred parent. She didn't really blame Melanie. Even at seven, Melanie knew the smile her father gave her was special, something he rarely shared. She undoubtedly believed it was just for her, but then she'd never seen him smile at Clark Kent.

Clark Kent, who had re-entered their lives five years ago in a swirl of red and blue. He'd saved Lex from an assassination attempt, and Helen had turned on CNN just in time to see her husband rising into the air, in Clark Kent's arms. Lex hadn't come home until the next morning.

It had been three weeks before he'd touched her again. When he had, she'd discovered that all of the time and effort she'd put in to teaching Lex to make love with her instead of to her had been for nothing.

Except this time it hadn't felt like worship; it had felt like duty.

There were rumors. The junior Senator from Kansas seemed to get an awful lot of attention from Superman. Helen and Lois did their best to squelch them, for different reasons.

Lex finished strapping Melanie into the backseat and climbed into the car. Helen waited until it was out of sight before pulling her cell phone from her pocket.

"It's me. I want to see you."

"When?"

"Six." There was no need to say where. They always met at the same place.

"I'll bring dinner."

"See you then."

The phone made a pleasing, decisive click when Helen closed it. One of these days, she'd leave, but not today. Today she'd go to the hospital, anticipation getting her through it, and then she'd lose herself in her lover for a few hours. She should probably be grateful to Lex for teaching her everything there was to know about worshipping a woman. Except what Helen shared with Lois wasn't worship. It was passion. Passion born of denial and the need to escape, but passion nonetheless.

One of these days it wouldn't be enough of an escape, but then one of these days she'd be gone.