By my fault, Conclusion (probably)

by LaCasta

Proud Member of the Feedback Worshippers.
Thanks to everybody who wrote and said that it wasn't done, no matter what I thought--you all were right!

Title: By my fault, part 2
Author: LaCasta
Rating: R

Disclaimer: Not mine. Other peoples'.

Notes: So much for my thinking that this story was ended with the first part...I got emails asking for followups and finally a plot bunny hopped up and started chewing on my keyboard.

Driving to Metropolis was uncomfortable. Dad and I didn't know what to say to one another. I'd just asked him to be at the dump with a camera and tape whatever happened. I didn't say anything else, nothing about Lex or even what I still felt. It hurt too much and I wouldn't even know where to begin. Something like "I still can't forgive you but thanks for helping" sounded feeble, even in my head.

"Maybe we'd better ask Mom to stay with her friend until he's been arrested."

"Good thinking." Dad was as uncomfortable as I was. The two tapes were in a bag on my lap and I held them with one hand. I had to make sure that I didn't crush them, though. Maybe I should have run to Metropolis but I didn't want to leave Dad alone.

The only video-copying place that was open all night was in what I guess was the red light district. The guy at the counter had the sleaziest voice I'd ever heard. When I asked how long it would take and he said, "About forty minutes," it made the jokes some of the guys tell in the lockerroom sound clean. Dad had gone to call Mom and he looked disgusted when he came inside and looked around. It felt really gross when the guy looked at me and Dad and snickered.

I realized the women outside were hookers. Some of them were pretty but most of them just looked worn-out.

Time really crawled but finally the guy came out with six tapes and the original. He really smirked when Dad paid. "If it's good quality, I could sell it for you, distribute it privately, you know? Good money." Dad didn't say anything and we left.

I'd kind of thought the Inquisitor office would be sleazy, too, since it's a tabloid, but it was actually pretty classy. I'd remembered one of Chloe's rants about how what she called Fortean stories only got picked up by the tabloids since the mainstream papers were so hidebound, and if she ever had proof of anything she'd take it to a tabloid to make sure it got published, even though it was disgusting that the story would be tainted like that. She went on about tabloids and O.J. Simpson and a lot of other things that I didn't remember, but I remembered that much, that a tabloid would publish things other papers wouldn't, or would wait to publish.

At the front desk, we said that we had a story about the Lex Luthor kidnapping and documentation of who did it. The receptionist called somebody and after a few minutes, a man came out.

"Pleased to meet you. I'm Roger Nixon. You say you've got a good Luthor story?"

I explained to Mr. Nixon what we had, Lionel Luthor's confession, and we went back into his office so that he could watch it. After the tape had played, he sat still for a few minutes. "I'm thinking what the best thing to do with this is. If you give me an exclusive, I can give it front page until you call it quits.Without the exclusive, frankly, I'm not sure that my editor would let me run it at all."

"But I thought you ran everything!" I protested.

He chuckled. "Kid, lawsuits are just part of our operating expenses here. But if we're going to get sued by Lionel Luthor, that's out of the ordinary. If you give us the exclusive, we can afford it. If you don't, well...I don't wan't to pressure you, kid, this is an important story, but I'm not sure the networks or major papers will run it, either."

"How could he sue you?"

He laughed again, nervously. "His lawyers would find dozens of things. He'd claim that the tape was faked, or that you and your dad forced him into making a false confession, or he'd find one `allegedly' that didn't get into the story or one phrase that they'd be able to call libel. We'd probably win, but just fighting it would cost millions by the time he was through."

It kind of fit in with Chloe's extended rant. "D'you mind if I make a call?"

"Help yourself."

"I'll go outside if that's okay."

"Got it. There's a phone down there, to the left." It was in a narrow little room that was probably a closet once.


"Hi, Mr. Sullivan, this is Clark Kent. I'm sorry to call so early, but may I speak to Chloe?"

"I think she's still asleep, Clark, you know my little girl."

"I'm really sorry, but could you wake her up? It's urgent."

"Is everything all right, Clark?"

"Yeah, I just need to talk to her."

After a few minutes, she picked up the phone. "Hey, Clark, what is it?"

"Chloe, I found out who really...hurt Lex and I'm at the Inquisitor now and he says-"

"Clark! You found out, and you didn't tell me? You're taking it to the frigging tabloids and didn't say a word about it?"

"Chloe, I didn't want-"

"Hell, you've been ignoring me for a week but that was okay, I figured that Lex needed you there, but I never thought you'd be such a jerk!"

"Please, I'm sorry, but liste-"

"You've always taken me for granted, haven't you? Oh, yeah, Chloe will be around when I want her, but she's not a pretty princess so I don't have to think about her."

"Please, I'm sorry, I've been the biggest jerk in the world, but please, can I just ask you about this? You're the one person I know who knows about this kind of thing."

"I'm a weird kind of person who likes her flattery not mixed up with insults." She sighed. "But go ahead, what is it that you actually bothered to call me for?"

"You've got to keep this secret until they break the news, but it was Lionel Luthor who was behind it."

"Oh, my god," she said in a tiny voice I'd never heard from her before. "Why?"

"To...make him into a hero, to make him settle down, it's really sick."

"I'll say."

"Anyway, I got a tape of him saying he did it and I remembered what you said about tabloids, so I came to the Inquisitor first. He says that he can't run it without an exclusive, that the lawsuits would cost too much. I don't want it to run just in the tabloid, though."

Chloe sounded very business-like. "The other papers will pick it up from there, of course, it's too big a story not to. They'll just run it, at first, as commentary. The police will give press conferences and so on, and so will LuthorCorp, probably, and if he denies it, so will that bastard. If they're giving you a good deal for the exclusive, go for it."

"They're not paying me! Chloe, what kind of a person do you think I am?"

"Somebody who left me out of this completely until you needed to pick my brain, for starters."

"Chloe, look, I am really sorry, I didn't want to see you get hurt."

"We always watched one another's backs, we could have again." She didn't even sound angry any more, just tired. I had no idea that not telling her would hurt her feelings so badly. Or to be honest with myself, I didn't think of her at all, really. "But to get back to your reason for calling, I'd think it's safe to give him the exclusive, though you might want to put a time limit on it."

"Okay. Thanks, Chloe, and I'm really sorry."

"See you later, Clark." She still sounded tired.

I went back and said, "Would you take the exclusive for a month?"

"I don't know, kid, my editor isn't here. How about I call you when she comes in? I can give you an answer one way or another then."

"Can't we just wait?"

"She won't be in until late this afternoon, she's flying in from LA."

I decided I didn't want to wait that long. I was pretty sure that Lionel Luthor wouldn't try to do anything more to Lex but I couldn't be positive. At any rate, I wanted to tell him myself what had really happened and that everything would be all right.

"Okay, here's my number."

He didn't look very happy when I took the tape but shrugged. "Keeping temptation out of my way, eh, kid? Seriously, though, it might be safer with me, you know. It's the only evidence there is and Luthor doesn't like leaving damaging evidence around, or damaging witnesses."

"I can take care of myself."

"I bet lots of people have said that."

"Trust me."

"Suit yourself. I'll call you back this afternoon."

When Dad and I drove back, we still didn't have much to say to one another. When we got home, the phone was ringing. It was Lex.

"Clark? I've just heard you have some interesting material. Come over now and bring it with you." His voice was level and very quiet.

"Lex? Are you okay? Is your, is he threatening you?"

"Just come now, Clark."

I ran over with one of the copies of the tapes. If Lex were being threatened, I'd say it was the only one. When I got there, everything seemed pretty much the way it was yesterday. The guard showed me into a room where Lex was sitting in his chair.

He looked at me and his face didn't move a single muscle. "Put the tape in, please."

"Lex, are you sure you really want to see it?"


I stood next to him, ready to do whatever he needed. He closed his eyes for a second when his father said "I love him" but otherwise his face still didn't move until the end. "That's what you took to the Inquisitor," he said, carefully.

"How did you know?"

"Certainly not from you." I couldn't believe it when he looked at me and smiled faintly. It was the same way that I'd seen him smile around his father.

"So you see, Clark, I've finally found out your secret." The smile was playing around his lips, flickering on and off like a shaky fluorescent light.

"My secret?" Dad had been so careful not to let anything of my abilities show on the tape. "I don't know what you mean, Lex."

He shifted in the chair. "Clark, Clark, Clark. That you wanted something from me after all. That your father controls you just as much as mine used to control me. That when it came to a choice between my future and taking your revenge on my family, you didn't hesitate for a second." His smile widened. "Your father must be very proud of you."

"Lex, I...this doesn't make any sense, I was doing it for you! To make sure he wouldn't hurt you any more!"

He laughed. "He had limits on how much damage he'd do. You, on the other hand..." he shook his head, still laughing. "You don't expect me to believe that you thought it would leave me untouched, do you? Let's see, you would have handed LuthorCorp to Piper, he'd have sued my father for every penny of personal property and won, hands can't imagine that I own anything significant in my own name, do you?"

"Lex, it's about more than money...I didn't think about money, even!"

"Ah, yes, more than're quite right, Clark, it's about more than money. Imagine the life I'd have led, walking...well, wheeling myself around, everybody whose eyes I meet knowing exactly what happened. Just in the hospital, I heard about the dirty jokes...let me share one with you, Clark. Here's a riddle for you. `What did Lex Luthor play on the football team?' `Started as a tight end, finished as a wide receiver.' Isn't that droll, Clark?" His eyes were fixed on me and I felt as trapped as if he were physically holding me down. No, more trapped.

"Lex, please, stop it!"

"Don't worry. I have stopped it. You're not leaving here with the tape."

"Lex, that's fine, if you don't want me to, I won't, but I didn't mean to, I didn't think that it would..."

"You thought it would destroy my father. You were right, it would have. That was all you wanted, you and your father. I don't care whether you didn't think about what it would do to me or if I was just...collateral damage." He seemed to be tasting the words as he picked each one. He laughed again. "You don't know how...refreshing it is to know that you're no different from all the rest. You want what you want and don't count the cost. You were that close to changing my whole view of the world." He shook his head. "A shame, that. You nearly had me fooled." He sounded so conversational, as though he were talking about bad weather, a nuisance but nothing serious to him.

"Lex..." I was nearly crying. I couldn't believe what was happening.

"Clark, why so upset? If anything, I'm grateful. You've shown me that all my original assumptions were right. You've also given me something I can use against my father, for once." He smiled broadly. "Maybe this time, you'll accept the truck? Or would you prefer cash?"

I think I'd have been able to take it if I'd thought that inside he was as cold and calm as his voice and eyes were. But I knew that when he was hurt and frightened, he'd asked for me, and he now thought that I'd betrayed our friendship. Besides, he didn't have anybody but me in the world. I couldn't imagine what that would be like, except for the glimpse I'd gotten in Cassandra's vision.

I couldn't speak, but I tried to make my eyes say it when I looked at him, and I reached out to touch the shoulder that wasn't broken. I must have moved too quickly because with his clumsy, bandaged hands, he tried to hit a control on the chair as he jerked away, and somehow nearly overbalanced. I grabbed for it to keep him from falling and he threw his arm up as if he were trying to protect his face and head. He moved absolutely instinctively and stopped the gesture halfway through, but we'd both seen it and knew what it meant. He'd expected me to hit him.

I knelt next to the chair, not ashamed of the tears running down my face. "Lex, please, it's Clark. I'd never hurt you, never meant to hurt you."

"Leave me alone, Clark," he whispered.

"No, Lex, I can't, I won't."

"Don't make me call for help." His voice was back to that cold tone, like a needle-fine whip. "Spare us both that particular indignity, at least."

I didn't know whether to refuse, to keep trying to explain, or to give in and hope that he'd listen to me later. Every decision I'd made so far had been so incredibly disastrous that I knew whatever I'd do, I'd get it wrong. The door opened as I was hesitating and a nurse came in.

"Is everything all right?" she asked, sounding frightened.

"Quite all right. Clark was just leaving."

I made myself get up. "I'll be back whenever you need me, Lex. I promise."

"If I'm in need of your particular type of friendship, I'll know where to find you." The nurse looked back and forth at us but didn't say anything, and I left.

I ran back home and saw Mom's car there. She and Dad were in the kitchen and she looked so drawn and unhappy and tense, and Dad looked even worse. I went over to her and she hugged me, then looked at me sadly and asked, "What did Lex say?"

"How did you know?"

She smiled at me and brushed my hair from my forehead. "I'm your mother, honey, I know just about everything."

I told her how angry and unhappy Lex was, and how I'd just screwed everything up even when I tried to help and take care of him.

"Mom, the only other thing I could have possibly done to make it worse was to tell him that I'm in love with him and-" I closed my mouth a second too late.

I had to know. They'd never said anything bad about people who are gay, but that didn't mean anything much. "Do you, do you mind?" Then I asked what was really on my mind. "Do you still love me?"

They were both right there, all but crushing me. "Clark, how could you think for a second that we wouldn't love you?" Dad asked. It felt so good to be there, with them loving me, that I couldn't really be angry at Dad for screwing up, not when I'd made so many mistakes myself. Or I guess I could be angry, still, but I couldn't stay angry for long.

"I'm sorry, Dad, I just...I don't get anything right anymore! Now Lex is worse off and his father is getting away with it and it's all gone wrong!"

"Clark. Listen to me, son. You've made mistakes here and so have I. But Lex got it wrong, too. You realized that you messed up, and he, well, he might see that it was thoughtless but not meant to hurt him."

"You'll have to be patient with him, honey."

I guess you really grow up when you realize that Mom and Dad can't fix it and don't have anything magic to say that will solve it.

I went back to the castle that night and watched him, just to make sure he was okay. Or it was more that I hated the thought of his being so lonely and alone and thought that maybe somehow by watching him it would feel as though I were there. Which would be the last thing he wanted.

Sometimes I could see his skeleton, sometimes I could see as though I were watching normally. He was in bed with a book propped up in front of him, but he wasn't reading. He kept moving a tiny bit as though he were restless or trying to get more comfortable, sometimes throwing his head back. He reached and fumbled for something and I wanted so much to be there, to get whatever it was for him. Somebody came in and it looked like whoever it was gave him a pill and held water for him. Their jaws moved as though they were talking and then the person left. I was able to see that it was one of the nurses, just as she closed the door behind her.

Lex looked so dwarfed in that big room, like a doll that somebody had dropped on the bed. I realized how much of his, well, I guess you'd call it presence, came from the way that he stood and moved. He didn't look that much older than me, or even Pete.

Another figure came into the room. It was his father.

I tried to think how I could get closer without letting either of them see me. I knew that I'd be able to get in if I had to, but I couldn't hear anything and the way I was seeing it kept flickering. His father drew up a chair and adjusted his coat as he sat down. Lex was looking at him fixedly. His father said something and Lex looked away, then turned his head back, smiling. He shook his head and his father looked away this time, then took something from his pocket and showed it to Lex. It looked like some kind of document, not just a paper. Watching was like trying to see those 3-D pictures, I had to try to relax and concentrate at the same time, and just when I thought I got it, it slipped again. Lex said something else, and went on for a while. His father grimaced, and then nodded and said something back. He took the piece of paper and put it back in his pocket, then walked to the door. Before he left, he turned around and said something, and Lex answered. His father walked back to the bed, turned on a lamp, and when he went out, turned off the overhead light.

Lex went back to looking at the book and even turned a page, but wasn't really reading. He wasn't as restless, though, and after a while, looked like he really had fallen asleep.

I went up to the castle to see if maybe Lex would talk to me again. At the main gate, Richard, the security guy, stopped me from going in like I usually do, and shook his head. "Sorry, Clark, but...well, the thing is, Mr. Luthor said that...he told me to tell you you get one warning not to come, then if you do come again, you'll be charged with trespassing. I'm really sorry, Clark."

"Which Mr. Luthor?"

"Lionel Luthor." At least it wasn't Lex.

"Okay." I decided that if we could talk when his father wasn't around, it would be easier. If he'd talk to me, that is. I went around to the side and jumped over the wall at a spot where there weren't any security guards. It still made me sick to think about the way that his father was faking a threat from outside.

There was a car I didn't recognize at first and then remembered that it was Ivy Wheaton's. *That'll make Lionel Luthor happy.* Then I thought that she seemed to be pretty nice, and maybe if I asked her she'd even try to talk to him about it, so I went back onto the road to wait for her.

When I saw her coming, I waved her down and she pulled to a stop. She didn't look very nice, her lips were in a thin line and she was scowling, but when she saw it was me, she rolled down the window.

"Hi, Chuck, is it?"


She didn't say anything and I blurted out, "How's Lex?" She looked at me again, her lips thinning, then she sighed.

"So you're the best friend and you're stopping cars to ask?"

"Yeah, it''s a long story, just, how is he?"

"He looks better and he doesn't seem to be in as much pain." She sounded as though she were trying to think of other ways to put it while she was talking and I got scared.

"Please, can I just talk to you for a minute?"

She made a face then unlocked the passenger door. "I, I really screwed up with Lex, I did some really stupid things and now he doesn't want to talk to me or anything like that."

"Clark, maybe it's better off that way. That is one messed up pair of men."

"Lex isn't his father!" Is that all that anybody sees in Lex, his father?

"Maybe not. But he's one, okay, maybe I'm just mad at him myself right now."

"What happened?"

"Okay, I come by, like I promised, and that old bastard comes to the door himself to let me in, and keeps telling me how glad Lex will be that I came, blah blah blah, he's been hoping I would, more blah, and keeps smirking. So we go to Lex's room, and boy does he look weird when we go in. The old goat says that he's sure we've got a lot to chat about and he'll leave us alone so we can catch up, and I'm feeling so nervous that the window is looking pretty damn good as an escape route. Lex doesn't say word one until the old guy goes, and then he gives me this smile that looks a hell of a lot better on a snake than on a person and says, `I'm sure my father appreciates your coming.' I'm pretty boiling then so I just say, `And you don't?' He has this `I'm too polite to say what I'm thinking' look on his face so I tell him, `You're the one who asked me to come back, but I've really got better things to do.' I pull out my cell and call Tricia, right in front of him, and say that I'll be back home sooner than I'd said I would. Tricia says she loves me and so I say that I love her too, and when I hang up, Lex asks `Precisely who is Tricia?' I say that it's none of his business but since he's being nosy, Tricia is my life partner. Then he just starts laughing and laughing and laughing and I tell him that I would have expected something a bit more sophisticated and walk out. The old goat was waiting outside, I don't know what his problem is, and when I say that I'm leaving he starts yammering about how I should stay, even tries the old pity ploy, all about how Lex needs somebody there with him, blah blah, even says that with all his money, he can give Lex just about everything, but he can't give the right kind of companionship to a son who wakes up confused and in pain in the middle of the night and asks for his mother, and so on, every stinking line there is. When I say that he needs professional help and that I'm going, he actually stands in front of me and says that he truly hopes that I won't. I ask if he's threatening me and he laughs and says no, he's just being a protective father and he hopes he didn't offend me. I say that his son did a fine job of that and go out, and he actually shouts after me to come back. Clark, that guy is crazy and his son isn't much better."

"You're a lesbian?" I asked her, feeling that this is just way too weird for me.

"Not you, too?" She rolled her eyes. "Yes, lesbian, and if that's a problem with you, it's your problem, not mine."

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to sound rude." I couldn't quite think of a way to say what I was thinking, then realize that it would be stupid to say what I was thinking, so I blurted out, "What did your parents say?"

She looked at me sideways and then said, "They weren't happy about it but for my sake, if you know what I mean. It didn't change their feelings about me. Tricia's parents, on the other hand, they threw her out. She was living in a shelter when we met." For the first time, she smiled at me. "One piece of advice. Before you tell your parents, make sure there's somebody you can stay with."


"Clark, nobody sounds that nervous about how somebody's parents take their kid's outing unless they're wondering about it themselves."

"My parents already know."

"Cool with it?"

"Yeah, mostly. Kinda like yours, I guess."


"You know, I don't think Lex meant to be rude to you, I think it was, well, things there got so weird that...I think it seemed, well, ironic." I finally found the right word. She shrugged and I went on, "Could you do me a big favor?"

"If I can."

"Could you visit him again or write or call and ask him please, if he'll just let me see him for two minutes?"

She looked like she was thinking it over and then said, "No." She held up her hand before I opened my mouth and went on, "The reason is that if you're his friend, you've got to work things out with him yourself. If there's something wrong between you and him, it's between you and him. Sometimes you can have some stranger swoop in and fix everything and come out again, cheering of multitudes and so on. But when it comes to things between people, a perfect stranger is usually best at making things a hell of a lot worse."

"But he won't talk to me," I muttered.

"Write a letter or, oh, I don't know, picket him or something. But I'm not going to do some kind of deus ex machina messenger thingie."

I get out of the car and shut the door, then felt bad and opened it again. "Sorry, but..."

She shook her head and said, "I mean it, Clark, you've got to work this out between you."

*God, for somebody who talks a lot when she gets started, she isn't much help.* I shut the door and she drove away. But I realized she was right, I'd have to convince Lex myself.

I watched until I saw Lex's father get into a limousine and then watched for it to disappear. It was easy to get back into the grounds and into the castle, though it wouldn't have been without my abilities. I wondered if Lex found the security as bitterly laughable as I did or if he even felt a bit safer with it around.

I hesitated outside his bedroom door, wondering if maybe I should leave him alone after all, if I'd make things worse if I went in. Then I remembered everything he'd said, before, about how our friendship would be the stuff of legends, the way that he kept trying to give me and my friends gifts, not trying to buy affection, just...wanting to give and a bit awkward, giving too much. I opened the door and went in.

"How did you get in?" he asked, angrily, his eyes wide.

I stayed at the doorway. "Please, Lex, just two minutes. I promise I won't come close to you, I just...I have to show you, to explain something. It's not about what I did, it's...about who I am. About what I am."

I had the strangest feeling then. It was as though something else were guiding me, advising me what to say and what to do, how to move, even. It was almost like being invaded inside, with, I don't know what to call it. Maybe wisdom. Maybe love.

He nodded, curtly, saying, "Two minutes."

Keeping my distance from his chair, I moved across the room and lifted, then balanced with one finger, a heavy oak wardrobe, then spun it about. His jaw dropped and he leaned forward to watch. I moved to a table where there were candles and matches, and lit one of the candles, then held the flame to my cheek. It felt as though I were almost dancing to an inner music as I moved about the room. It felt almost like I were stripping for him. In a way, I was, I was showing him everything I'd ever hidden from him.

He was leaning forward still more as I looked inside a file cabinet and told him what was inside. I took the poker from the fireplace set and tied it into an elaborate shape, like a flower, and stepped forward, holding it in my extended hand. He raised his eyes to mine and nodded, and I came to him to put it on the table at his side, where he touched it with a bandaged finger, then watched me again. Last, I drew one of the Moroccan daggers that hung on the opposite wall and in one move, slashed it through my left sleeve, drawing it down my arm but of course leaving no mark.

Carefully, I stepped towards him again, holding the dagger by the blade so the hilt was towards him, watching his face for the silent permission to end. I put it on the table and put my hand there as well.

"Yes, Lex. Go ahead. Do it."

His grasp was awkward around the handle and he adjusted it several times, then raised his eyes to mine again. I smiled at him and he poked at my skin with the tip, then, as I told him, "No, Lex, with all your strength," slammed it into my hand. The blade shattered and I caught the pieces, using my speed, and showed them to him, in the palm of my hand.

"Why are you showing me this, Clark?" he asked.

"So that you can do whatever you like. You can experiment on me, give me to the government to experiment on, give me to your father, even, and I won't say a word of complaint. I'm entirely yours, Lex. All yours. Every secret, every part of me. Yours."

"What are you?" His voice was a whisper.

"I don't really know. I came in the meteor shower, in a ship."

"The shower." He looked away.

"The only thing that can hurt me is the rocks from the shower. Around those, I'm weakened, don't even have normal human strength. That's yours, too, that knowledge."


"I love you and I belong to you. I'm in love with you." I crouched in front of him. "That's my last secret. That I'm in love with you."

His eyes closed but not before I saw, for the first time, the tears shining in them. Whatever strange feeling had almost possessed me started to fade and all I could think of was to get him a tissue, which I did. I put it into his hand and after a startled look, he wiped the tiny trace of moisture away.

"Is this guilt? Some kind of attempt to make me feel better, or pay me back?" He looked down at himself. "You can hardly want to love--this." His voice and face were both twisted with bitterness.

"You're my Lex and I love you. If you'd lose a beauty contest to the Hunchback of Notre Dame, I'd love you."

He made a tiny, inarticulate little sound and reached for me. Carefully, I lifted him from the chair and carried him over to the leather couch where I sat down, holding him in my arms. He turned slightly so that he could rest his head against my chest and I wondered, laughing to myself, if my heart sounded as loud to him as it did to me. It must not have because with a contented murmur, he nestled closer and eventually fell asleep.

I got another email from Pete the Love Machine this morning and started writing back.

"Hey, Pete, it'll be great to see you again. Chloe already said that she gets all the jokes about studs, by the way.

> Clark, no problems with me that you're bi--just means all the more ladies for me if you're > dating a man!
> Tonu and I decided that we're going to stay an item but if either of us wants to get serious with > somebody else, no blame, stay friends. > Okay, to be honest, it freaked me out that you and Lex are a couple and I was worried > for a bit that you were getting too much into the whole Florence Nightingale role. > But it sounds like you've got something real going. Just don't make out in front of me > for a while, okay?

Heh! You'd have to go pay-per-view for that!"

*I can't wait until we get to make out. Well, I'm scared, too, I know it won't be easy for him. I think that's part of why he's insisting that we wait, not just the age and not going public for a long time. But the kissing is better than I even imagined kissing would be. It's like his mouth and mine are finally where they're meant to be.*

"> And for God's sake, don't write poetry about him.

If I feel a sudden urge, I'll write it about you instead. And read it out loud in English.

> I'm glad you told me and I promise that I'll keep it secret until you two want to go public.

I'm glad I could tell you."

*Maybe I can even tell you other things, later, about my abilities. I'd love to be able to and now maybe I think somebody I can.*

> And yeah, like you said, Lionel Luthor is the one who screwed over my dad. I hope he > hates being retired!
> I can't imagine Lionel Luthor falling in love with you, I guess that's where the difference > finally hit me.

It's going to be different now that Lionel Luthor is out of the scene completely."

*Lex was almost scary when his father came in and found us. No, he was scary. Unless his father agreed to give up LuthorCorp and leave the country, Lex would take the tape public. Then he said that if a Kent so much as stubs a toe, he's going to make sure that Lionel wasn't involved, and if he was, the tape goes public. His father shouted, argued, everything, but Lex just repeated that those are the terms, and that he'll go public with every detail of what happened, not just release the tape. When Lionel finally agreed and left, Lex said that if I hadn't been there, he couldn't have done it. He was shaking for a while but nothing that more holding didn't take care of. He said I'm going to turn him into a cuddling addict.*

> A lot of people are still saying Piper had something to do with it and that the Luthors > decided to let the FBI take him out with all the other things they found rather than > spend any energy on it. Pretty much everybody is glad he's out of finance, he made > Lionel Luthor and his father look like philanthropists. > I know hypnosis isn't all that "You're in my power" crap but I still think they should > have gotten Lex to do a Miss Piggy imitation or something while he was under.

Filing that right under "images I didn't need but now can't get out of my head."

I was a bit scared that Lex would slip and tell what really happened but he did it perfectly. Said that he felt there were missing details and finally somebody from the FBI hypnotized him. He pretended to be remembering things they said, when they thought he was unconscious, about how this would bring down Piper, too, and about the diamonds. But no Miss Piggy. Piper was so mixed up in organized crime that they found plenty, anyway.

> See you in a week, geek!

Yeah, Love Machine!


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