Lex has always preferred multiple-choice questions. The opportunity for multiple answers. Multiple options to bend the proceedings to his will. Chances to take the truth and make it into something a little bit more palatable. A little bit more salubrious. Unfortunately, he doesn't feel that this is going to happen here. Happen this time. This situation doesn't really seem to fall under that heading of 'Things That Being a Luthor Can Fix'.
Caught between a gun and the fireplace, and he really doesn't have that many options. Get shot in the chest by the teenage boy wielding a .38 special or...get shot in the back by the teenage boy wielding a .38 special. Not a great selection to choose from, and sadly, not really an oversimplification of the matter, either. Just the ineluctable truth.
About as truthful, factual, as it gets, which means he really needs to take stock of the situation. Calm down, and figure out how the fuck to get out of this with all his body parts in tact and a minimum of bruising. One more head injury and he's going to install his own CAT scan machine in the basement.
Suffice to say that it really does look like he's heading for something bad tonight, but at least he can actually see this teenage assailant, and no big surprise that it would be someone trying to protect Clark from him. Lex understands more than most the sort of reckless behavior that Clark can inspire; however, it now begs the question of who's going to protect him from Clark's protectors?
Darts his eyes to Hamilton for a split second and it sure as hell isn't going to be him. Slate-gray eyes back to Pete, and Lex thanks some minor deity that looks can't kill. Shrivel-up-and-die death glares, and Pete's just a little too emotional. A little too volatile. Just ready to lose it all over Lex's office. Lex actually thinks that Pete's already started on that gold-brick road.
One shot to the vase still leaves five bullets for him, and Lex is pretty sure that Pete is angry enough to empty the rest of the chambers into his body. Vexed over a creamed corn factory that was sold off when Lex still had hair and he really fucking hates cleaning up his father's messes. Of all the things that Lex could get killed over, today, it's going to be corn. Corn and Clark.
Caught the flicker in Pete's eyes when he accused him of taking Clark away and Lex knows what this is really about. Notes the haphazard way Pete's waving the gun like the American flag; and wonders if he'll survive yet another encounter with someone his dad has fucked over. Someone else who holds him guilty by association.
Just has to figure out what he really wants. What Pete really is after. Knows it's more about Clark than the corn. That Pete wants Lex to relinquish his prize. Relinquish his raven-haired boy and it's not going to happen.
Not even an option, and maybe that's okay because Pete's seems angry enough to not be completely concentrating. Maybe Pete's too in touch with his emotions and not enough in touch with the situation, and maybe that shot to Hamilton just said otherwise. Oh well.
///You're nothing but a liar. Clark, can't see it but I can///
He's been found out. Big fucking deal. Actually, with that gun pointed at his head, it is sort of a big deal, and he really should be a bit more freaked out. A bit more concerned. A bit less into playing the hero. But Lex can't really help himself because it's all really funny. That this is the lie that's going to be his undoing. The whole meteor experiment isn't that big of a lie, isn't really anything...in the grand scheme of things. Categorizing the lies he's told in his lifetime, this one doesn't even rate in the top tier.
He lied about knowing someone. About a book. Big fucking deal, yet again.
Lex should probably take this all more seriously.
It's not as though he's killed someone, though, or committed some unpardonable sin. It's not as though he's investigating his best friend, or trying to keep said best friend/love interest away from the talon-like grasp of the most vapid and inane girl in town through all sorts of insidious plots. Like ruining the scholarship chances of a said inane girl's boyfriend, just so he can stay in town and keep her away from Clark.
Actually thinks that 'insidious' isn't quite the right word, perhaps 'brilliant' is better. Devious also sounds good. Deceptive. All these words certainly appropriate, fitting. Not that Lex would ever do anything like that.
Of course not.
Lex doesn't manipulate people; he's always done whatever he could to help. Help Clark. Help Whitney. Help them, help him... aid them with his flair for the right kind of honesty. That mix of truth and not quite.
These aren't lies. They're just slight omissions.
Lex doesn't lie. That much.
///I see you for who you really are///
Fragmentary seconds of movement between when he goes for the book and Hamilton goes for the poker; and Lex is just rolling with the punches. With the gunfire, and was that three shots Pete fired as Hamilton scurried out, or four? Three means Lex could still wind up on a slab tonight, but four means that he could still be alive in the morning.
Somewhere a part of Lex is impressed by Mr. Ross' initiative. That he has this in him. The ability to kill. Not bad for a beginner and he can't believe how fucked up he must be to be applauding Pete for this completely insane act. Lex could come undone tonight, all over the parquet floors, and his subconscious is too busy being shocked to give a damn. Appalled that someone else will be his proverbial undoing. Someone who isn't him. Someone who isn't Clark. Just someone who hates him.
After a breath of consideration, Lex thinks that maybe it's not that big of a surprise. Clark trusts Lex too much to find him out; it would have to be one of the Get Smart kids. Would have to be someone trying to protect Clark from Lex that would finally nail him to the wall.
Perhaps Pete is far too smart for someone his age. To be so young and so astute. He believes Lex's bad press; he believes the reputation bloated, tainted, by town gossips and bloodlines.
But then again, Lex supposes that everyone should have something to believe in. Even Lex believes in something. He believes that it's at around this time that Clark should come racing into the room because that's what Clark does. It's his thing. He's Smallville's guardian angel, so all Lex has to do is just hold off Pete until he arrives.
Looks down the barrel of the gun Pete's holding and wishes Clark would hurry the fuck up. Thinks that maybe if he tells Pete what he wants to hear: the lies, the truth, a suitable mix thereof, that it will be enough. It's always been enough before. Been enough for the press, been enough for his father. Been enough for Clark who lies to him, too.
Eyes Pete warily and can see the sweat pouring down that cherubic face. Lex knows that whatever he tells him doesn't have to be enough for the long run, just enough for right now. Covers his grin with a sigh of relief when Clark finally makes his grand entrance, and then Lex finally does what everyone always expects of him anyway.
Lex tells a lie.
Dedication: To Kassie. No one makes me work harder than you and I couldn't love you more for it.
Thought of the Day: The Devil uses truth to betray mankind, because he is expected to lie... and the truth sounds better, but will never be believed. - AICN
Notes: I like Sting. I wish I had thought up a title like this on my own.
Feedback: Less fattening than chocolate chip cookies
Improv #7: touch, feel, lose, over
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