Title: Meant to Be
Author: Korey (dancinguniverse)
Summary: Set ten years in the future, Clark and lex realize this was how it was always going to be. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org
"I thought this was a business dinner?" Lex asks, raising his eyebrows at Clark over a plate of moules a la camarguaise.
Clark shrugs, embarrassed. "Come on, Lex. I know we parted on... strained terms, but we used to be friends. Why shouldn't we be now?"
Lex shakes his head in disbelief. "You're still pretending, aren't you?"
"About what?" Patented blank stare.
Lex's jaw twitches, but he just sips his wine.
Clark twirls some linguini with his fork. "So that's it? No answer?"
Lex smiles grimly. "You're a reporter, and my life isn't very private. What don't you know?"
Clark shrugs again. "How you are, who your friends are. You don't seem to have any close friends, and you haven't dated anyone seriously in a few years. What is that?"
Lex shakes his head. "Does the term personal life mean nothing to you?"
"Well? Do you even have one?"
Another jaw twitch. "Maybe not."
Clark sips his wine and waits, and Lex realizes that he has grown up, that this is different than how it used to be. Well, of course it is. Lex gives a small, hard smile. "There's no one, Clark, if that's what you're after. There's no love interest, no friends. Turns out my father was right all along about people. They just bring you down. If you let them get close. Keep them at a distance, and they can take you very high."
It's too old to hurt anymore, much. "I'm not sure that's what I hoped to give you."
"Don't flatter yourself. You were only one in a long line of people I told myself were different, people I could trust, who wouldn't exploit me, betray me, lie to me." He shrugs, smiling again, a cheerfully bitter look. "It's not paranoia when everyone really is against you."
"I was never against you, Lex."
"But you were never really with me, were you?" Clark looks away from Lex, fixes his eyes on the breadbasket instead. "It's better this way, Clark. You with Lois, me alone. It was always supposed to happen."
"It didn't have to be like this," and for a moment, it's ten years ago again.
"We made it happen anyway."
There's not much to say after that, and ten minutes later, Clark's cell phone goes off. He checks the caller ID, makes his excuses, and leaves.
Lex watches him go, finishes his glass, and leaves the restaurant. Clark's car is still outside, and when Lex boots up his laptop inside the limo, he finds that there's a situation with a subway car across town, that started about a half-hour ago. Superman is on the scene, though, so everything is going to turn out just fine. Everything Superman does always goes just the way it's supposed to.
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