Cast Of Characters
Summary: Post Exodus; what they feel.
Rated: PG 13
Disclaimer: Not mine, or we would have almost-naked Castaway Lex; CLex implied Spoilers: Exodus
Sunny oblivion, partly clouded by suspicion and tragedy; turning to lots of wetness later.
No one had a crystal ball; Lana didn't know she was going to be dumped by the side of the Kent driveway; Chloe didn't know she was in over her head; Martha didn't know she would be losing two children in one day; Pete didn't know what the heck was going on; Jonathan didn't know what he was saying; Clark didn't know what he would do next and Lex didn't know his hours were numbered.
Lana Lang coughed prettily (which was the only way she knew how), and waved a hand in front of her teary face to dispel the dust kicked up by the motorcycle roaring down the driveway. Away from her. Always away from her. Everyone always left her in the dust; smushed parents; Nell; Whitney; now Clark. This was the most surprising, especially after the years he had apparently spent pining after her, and now that he actually had her, off he went.
Her mind reeling over the events of the past twenty-four hours, she wiped the salty tears from her face with the back of a dainty hand and started walking. Whatever was going on here, it was a jumbled mess. Huge crater where the Kent storm cellar used to be; poor Martha Kent having a miscarriage, when no one even knew she was expecting; Clark all freaked out and blaming himself for everything, when Lana didn't even know what 'everything' he could possibly be talking about. Not Lex's wedding; that had finally happened, a little late, but it happened. Lana wondered vaguely, behind the sympathy she was drumming up for herself, why Clark had decided to skip his supposed best friend's wedding and blow up his own farm instead. Her own abandonment didn't really surprise her, as this kind of thing seemed to happen on a somewhat regular basis. Clark's abandoning Lex on this so-important day, however, threw her, didn't make any sense.
After all, he could have waited till after the short reception to blow up the farm.
Oh, well. She'd just go back to the Sullivan's, she supposed. She was sure she would be able to get a sympathetic pat on the shoulder from Chloe.
There would be no sympathy forthcoming from Chloe Sullivan. Bad enough that Clark had chosen Lana over her, but she had a sneaking suspicion that if Lex Luthor so much as crooked a finger at him, Clark would have gladly taken Helen's place on the island trip. Hard to come in third, behind a whiner and a bald millionaire.
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, was what Chloe was thinking. She abandoned her usual eclectic wardrobe and opted for something a bit more mature and, hopefully, sinister. Because that's about how she was feeling. Chloe knew she was running on pain and resentment, but if she could pretend to work with Lionel Luthor, she might be able to find out some of these secrets Clark Kent seemed to be hiding. She wondered vaguely if the main reason for Lionel's investigation was a direct reflection of the (very) close relationship his son had with Clark. She could always pretend she was investigating Clark, and say nothing was turning up. Or she could come up with little inconsequential trivialities, like bread crumbs for Luthor, Sr.
Chloe was good at pretending, after all. She had honed that particular ability with Clark.
Chloe was in way over her head.
The Die is Cast
Martha's breath hitched painfully, the leftover remnants of all the sobbing keeping her from sleeping. The doctors had told her to rest, but that wasn't happening anytime soon. She was alone with her thoughts, overwhelming sorrow, too heavy to bear, weighing on her. Her new child was gone forever, and she wanted desperately to see her living child, hold him in her arms and assure herself that he, at least, remained in her life. She tried to understand what Jonathan had told her, aching loss crying out to comprehend how this could have happened. Bitter irony not lost on her; another explosion, another truck overturned, a child lost instead of found this time.
Jonathan had been reluctant to abandon her, but she had insisted he go out and find Clark, bring him to her, no matter what. She knew what Jonathan had said to his son, knew she would have silenced him, even in her own sorrow, if she had been there. Martha knew her son, she had raised him, after all, and his father needlessly pointing out the consequences of his actions would do nothing to alleviate his guilt. Mishandled, this tragedy would tear her small family apart.
She looked up hopefully as Jonathan entered the room, tears coming again as she saw he was alone, as she saw the look on his face.
Cast Your Eye
Pete looked around the trashed Torch office and sighed. He was going to have one heck of a time trying to pretend he didn't know anything about this, and eventually, Chloe would discover the missing class ring and turn her suspicious eye on the few people who knew about the stone switch. As for Clark, he had no idea in the world what the Kents would do when they found out Clark had flown the coop under the influence of Red Kryptonite. Lex probably wasn't too happy either, because if Pete had the timing right, Clark had left his 'best friend' standing at the altar, minus a best man. Abandoning all hope, Pete sighed again and started to clean up the mess.
Clark was all for abandoning the motorcycle on the side of the highway somewhere, and if he managed to gather any cash together, he intended to do just that. The machine simply wasn't fast enough. Damn, he could run faster than he was riding, but that wasn't nearly as cool. What he actually should have done was go to the wedding, stand at the altar next to his best friend, (this wedding thing was actually feeling like desertion to Clark, and he couldn't fathom the reason for that; surely, the new Luthor bride would allow some buddy time for Clark and Lex), and then cajole Lex into lending him a Porsche or something. Of course, if he had gone to the wedding, none of this would have happened; he wouldn't have the ring on; the farm wouldn't be blown up; his Mother wouldn't be in the hospital, childless once again; and he could have been dancing with Lana at the reception, although he really thought that, as Lex's best man, he would have stuck closely to the new groom for the day. A feeling of loss was gnawing at his insides, and he almost turned around. No use in that; Lex and Helen were off to the islands by now, and Clark found himself resenting the empty ache of abandonment crawling around inside him at the thought.
Leaving Lana in the dust had been satisfying somehow, titillating his red-stone-influenced psyche, the dull edge of grief and guilt hiding under his new race for freedom. This, too, would pass, for the hour was approaching when Clark was destined to walk into a convenience store to pay for gas, only to see Lex Luthor's presumably deceased face all over CNN.
Someone was going to be paying for this.
He really needed a drink, and wondered briefly if he could figure out the appropriate method of fermenting coconut juice.
He sat in the shade of some exotic trees, stripping the material from his too-expensive pants, turning them into shorts. It was so damnably hot here, he figured another couple hours of exposure to that sun and he'd have skin cancer in a day or two. Closed his eyes briefly against the memory of bursting into the cockpit and seeing all that water rushing toward him; turning to practically leap toward the back of the plane and then nothing. Blackness. Cold.
Remembered heat baking him like a dream, waking up from it with his face half buried in wet sand, cool ocean water lapping at his legs insistently. He'd had to discard his shirt yesterday, because when it dried the salt residue in it made him itch unbearably. What a sight this would be if a rescue ship came by, he thought wryly. Lex Luthor, mostly naked, starved, dehydrated and baked to a golden crisp. He had nothing but the compass Jonathan Kent had given him at the altar that day.
Lex was abandoned. Left with murderous intent by his new bride; conspired against by his own bastard of a father; deserted by the one person he thought would be incapable of the act.
Maybe everyone would pay. Helen would be getting more than a divorce, he would see to that. His father, well, that remained to be seen. There were ways and there were ways, and Lex's mind was filing all kinds of things away in a folder in his head marked 'Lionel.'
As for Clark, Lex's sense of betrayal was almost boundless. Skipping out on his rehearsal dinner; skipping the wedding altogether. Notwithstanding Lex's fascination with the boy's secrets, he was hurt, something he would never admit out loud.
He got up and brushed sand and bits of vegetation from himself, smirking at the amount of visible Luthor skin, trying to decide how many minutes he could spend out in the blazing sun today looking for food before he was fried. Maybe five or ten. He had seen a promising-looking patch of bushes a little distance away, and headed there.
Tonight, he'd figure out some way to start a signal fire on the beach. When he got back to Smallville, he'd stoke up some heat of a totally different variety.
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