Hush, little baby.

by Aelita


Spoilers for Shattered.


Hush, little baby, don't say a word...

Lex likes to listen to rain. The soft tap tap tap of drops against the glass is comforting and relaxing. When it rains, he likes to press his hand against the cool glass, and just listen.

He loves going for aimless drives. The rain is louder when he's in a car, mixed with consistent swoosh of the windshield wipers and splashes of the tires hitting puddles. The soothing harmony of the sounds helps him think. Sometimes, it even brings out the sentimental fool in him, and he wastes that time dreaming of the future and, rarely, of the past.

When he's in the castle, he doesn't start the fire in the fireplace despite the moist coldness saturating the air. Burning wood makes its own little sounds, a little louder but not as predictable, and he likes to listen to it without rain. Enjoys the different timbre of it, the fluctuations of flames reaching for more oxygen to burn and harsher crackling of the wood.

He likes to punctuate them with musical ting of crystal tapping crystal. He always has the best crystal in his bar because it makes the most liquid, lightest sound. Not the quietest, but the lightest, the one that makes the air vibrate with a special note. Few people can appreciate the difference and he feels privileged to be one of them.

A lot of sounds have a distinct beauty to them, but he learned early that some had equal ugliness.

He thinks it's been years since he's heard anything worth hearing.

He rocks softly and wonders if it's raining outside.

Mama's gonna buy you a mockin'bird...

Lex had lied to Lana.

He had lied to a lot of people in his life, including Clark, and rarely felt guilty for doing so. Lies were necessity. Protective shields and means to an end. When he stops to think about it, Clark was one of the very few who made him feel guilty, despite Lex knowing that Clark was lying to him too.

That's done and over. Lex will never feel guilty about lying to Clark again, and he doesn't want to think about it now. Thinking about Clark hurts, and when Lex hurts he likes to throw things and hear them shatter. He doesn't have things to throw and even if he did, he really doesn't need to give the bastards another sign of his instability.

He thinks about the time he had lied to Lana instead. Pretty, self-absorbed, little Lana with horrifyingly pink wardrobe and surprisingly gentle hands.

He had told her that the sound of the ocean helped him relax.

A blatant lie that went right over her head. Nothing helped him relax.

But since he came back from the island, the resonance of waves crushing against the shore was the only sound that kept the silence away.

Lex hates silence. It makes him think of death and sickness and abandonment.

Lex hates silence because it's never really silent.

If that mockin'bird don't sing...

Lex never cared for silence but there was a time when he didn't hate it.

Quiet was something expected and obvious while he read or studied, and he never gave a second thought to it.

Until his mother got sick, and the quiet turned heavy and oppressive.

So heavy that not even noise could break it. Music, steps, talking, screaming. The louder they got, the more they served to emphasize just how intensely quiet it was.

And the angrier they made Lex.

Especially Lionel, with his booming voice and no effort to lower it. Lionel came home and everyone in the household knew it, no matter what the time was.

He always woke Julian.

Mama's gonna buy you a diamond ring...

When babies cry, they do so loudly, with heart-wrenching abandonment that even a twelve-year-old responds to. It's a subconscious demand for attention and they don't stop until they get it. It's one of the rare sounds that is beautiful and ugly at the same time, and the contradiction always made Lex's head hurt.

It also made him want to make it stop.

If that diamond ring turns brass...

The room has padded, white walls that don't let any noise in. They also don't let anything out, keeping everything inside.

Lex's silence is never silent because it's filled with voices and sound of baby crying.

He doesn't know how to make it stop.

Sometimes lullabies help, but he's been humming for what feels like forever and it's not working.

When Lex was younger, he used to dig himself under his blankets and a pillow because it was quieter there. A good kind of quiet too, calming in its separation from reality. Under blankets was a different world, filled with comic books, cookies and flashlights. World where his mother wasn't sick and he was a superhero, not a bald freak. Lex used to loved that quiet because he controlled it and because it was his little secret.

Secret that he had shared only once, with Julian, right before his father had come home, because he hadn't wanted Lionel to wake Julian up.

He doesn't have blankets or comic books here, and he can't hide from Julian crying. It upsets him that they won't let him do anything to make the baby stop crying, and that they won't do anything themselves. Lex tried to ask the nurse to keep the baby quiet once, and they gave him a sedative instead. He felt groggy and sick afterwards, and it only made Julian cry louder. So he never mentioned it again.

Instead, he sings louder and wishes for rain.

Mama's gonna buy you a looking glass...



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