Catatonic

by kHo


Spoilers all over the place for the season 5 opener.


Fandom: Smallville
Title: Catatonic
Character: Lex (peripheral others)
Rated: PG-13
Notes: Spoilers all over the place for the season 5 premiere

Chloe was there. Chloe, who was so young, and pretty. Chloe who was so much smarter than even she knew. And she'd trusted him once. She'd trusted him with her life. And that's changed somehow, and he's never really understood why, but that doesn't matter now. Because Chloe was there, and now she wasn't.

So he's standing up and calling for her, and instead of concern, instead of fear, he feels restlessness. That light, that bright, white, hot light that had engulfed Clark, he didn't know what it was. Didn't know what it did. And it could have killed Clark, and it could have killed Chloe, and he's sure he should care. But he doesn't.

He stands up, and there's no one there, and he's calling for her, but there's nothing in his voice but suspicion. Doubt. Exasperation. None of the fear for her well being he'd felt the summer before when he'd been her life line. None of the concern that she could be hurt, or bleeding, or even dead.

All he felt was aggravation, and that should bother him.

It doesn't.

*

There's two people in front of him, except they're not people at all. They're fast, and strong as hell, and that key had just flown out of his hand and into hers.

They're asking about Kal-El, and his fingers are digging into Lex's neck, and it hurts, and he should be terrified. This hand wrapped around his throat could snap it in two seconds flat if he-- it-- wanted to.

This thing, this being in front of him, could kill him in a split second, and he should be terrified of that.

Mostly he's just curious. Curious, and a little put out that he's bleeding.

He's not scared, though, and that should bother him.

It doesn't.

*

This house. This house that always represented what he'd thought a home should be. Where Jonathon and Martha and Clark lived. The Kent home. Their livelihood. The place where they laid their heads and dreamed of their futures.

Broken, obliterated, completely demolished. In ruins. Devastation. The house is dead, and Lex almost laughs.

He should be sad, he knows he should, but he's not, and that should bother him.

It doesn't.

*

Lana is bleeding, her beautiful face covered in black tarry dried blood. Her eyes wide and terrified. Walking on what might be a broken leg, hurting every step of the way, but too terrified to stay in one place.

He catches up to her and he stops her, tries to calm her down. Thinks for a second he might be feeling something because his voice sounds a little panicked too. Thinks maybe he's in shock, like Lana is, but that passes.

She talks about people following them, and he thinks about almost having been strangled. He's not sure why he doesn't mention that to her, why he implies she's losing her mind. He knows she's not.

She falls headfirst into the concrete, and he hadn't been expecting that. He should be picking her up, taking her to a hospital, worried about a possible concussion.

All he's thinking about is that spaceship in the field, and that should bother him.

It doesn't.

*

His father's eyes are wild, he looks catatonic even as he stands. He speaks slowly, and about things Lex doesn't understand. Lex leaves Lana upstairs on the couch and watches Lionel use his keys to scratch patterns obsessively into the floor.

He's never seen him like this before, and it vaguely passes through his mind that the man before him might look like Lionel Luthor, might have his hair, and his body, and even his voice, but it's not him.

His father is a stranger before his very own eyes, and that should bother him.

It doesn't.

*

Clark was always so beautiful, and he's even more beautiful angry. Lex doesn't know why he's angry with him right now, but it's nothing new. Clark has a habit of being angry at Lex when he doesn't know what he's done. That used to bother him. Used to kill him, even.

He doesn't remember to pretend he cares that Martha is in the hospital. Kind of waves it off and it's only after that he realizes he should have been concerned. He should have cared that Martha had a concussion. But that's not why he's here.

It's not hard to act like he's concerned for Chloe. He remembers what it felt like when he actually was. He tells Clark that Chloe disappeared. He doesn't know she's safe until Clark tells him, and silently he thinks that was a tactical error on Clark's part. To not be worried about Chloe.

Kind of like it was a tactical error on his part to not pretend to care that Martha's lying in the emergency room. Oh well. Even now.

He asks Clark, in the most sincere voice he can manage while laughing on the inside, to just be honest with him. Clark lies again, and just like always, Lex sees through it. He thinks he should be disturbed that this time it doesn't hurt.

Clark still doesn't trust him, never has, and that should bother him.

It doesn't.

*

He flies to the Yukon as fast as he can get a pilot. He walks up on a sleeping Chloe and has a flashback to when she was in one of his safe houses and he'd almost wanted to kiss her. This time he doesn't, but maybe he will later. Just to see what she'd do.

She calls out Clark's name when she feels his presence and when she sees him her eyes fly wide. She doesn't even bother to hide the fact that she's terrified.

He has no idea how she got to the Yukon, or why, or what it has to do with Clark, but he's going to find out. He's going to find out and he doesn't care if those eyes that had once trusted him fill with tears or not.

He doesn't check her out, he doesn't speak to her doctors, he doesn't find out what's wrong with her or why she's in a hospital. He yanks her by her arm and drags her down the hallway to his car. He thinks she banged her head when he tossed her in but he's not sure.

She asks him, repeatedly, what's wrong with him. "You're not acting like yourself Lex, you're scaring me," she says, and yes. That's very true. He's not acting like himself at all. He's aware of that.

He doesn't even glance at her when her teeth start chattering, and that should bother him.

It doesn't.

*

It's not until he gets a call from his head of security that Lionel is still scratching etchings into his floor that his father's change came when the element glowed and threw him to the ground. He remembers reaching into his coat pocket and feeling like he was being electrocuted. He remembers being thrown against the wall behind him and then black nothingness.

He'd been terrified when he'd seen what looked like Lionel having a heart attack, but afterwards he'd felt nothing at all. Afterwards he hadn't even thought to ask his guards to take his father to the hospital, hadn't even cared that his father wasn't moving.

And yes. Now he's sure. That element did something to him. That element, the electrical current that had gone through him when he'd gripped it in his hand, had affected him in some way. That element has made his father catatonic, and maybe it had made parts of him catatonic too.

Because that element made it impossible for him to feel anything.

That should bother him.

It doesn't.

Nothing does.



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