by Wiccan Moonlight Faery
Lex stared at his father's sleeping form. He very badly wanted to hate the man at that moment, but it was impossible. He just couldn't. He felt bad for his father, and on some strange level, he felt responsible. He supposed that it had been his father's goal to create such emotional turmoil in him. Even in his frail, and now blind, state, he still had complex schemes to tear Lex's soul right out of his body. Lex sighed, leaning his head onto his hand. He didn't even know why he stayed in that hospital room. Maybe he was just hoping that Lionel would have some strange revelation in his sleep and decide to thank him for saving his life. Maybe even tell Lex that he was proud of him. And that he loved him. But deep down, Lex knew that that would never happen. He didn't even know if his father was capable of such things. But Lex also felt, somewhere deep down, that his father was right. Maybe he should have let Lionel die. Maybe he should have let himself die. After all, everything he did blew up in his face. Lex tried to break away from his father and it blew up in his face. He saved his father's life, and it blew up in his face. He just couldn't win. Maybe he should just stop altogether. Maybe it was better for everyone that way. And Lex still couldn't believe that he had actually saved people's lives. In fact, he had saved two lives in like one day. But he didn't feel happy or proud, as he should. He felt horrible. He felt like a disgrace. He didn't even know which lives to save and which ones not to. And was it possible that he would also eventually regret saving Jonathan Kent? Lex doubted it, but then again, nothing seemed to be going the way he expected it to. There was another thing on top of the many other things already weighing down on his conscience. He had killed a man. True, it was Roger Nixon and he had been trying to save his best friend's father, but still, Lex had taken a life. It was no secret that Lex was no picture of virtue; he broke the law on pretty much a regular basis. But murder was not in his nature. At least, he hadn't thought so. Lex looked back at his father, but the man had not moved an inch. He was still sleeping peacefully. Well, at least one of them could be peaceful, he thought, looking down at his hands, which were bundled in his lap. "Don't let him do this to you, Lex." Lex's head snapped up quickly, surprised. He hadn't known that anyone else was in the room. But there was a little boy of about ten standing next to his father's bed. He had dark brown hair and chocolate brown eyes. The boy seemed somewhat familiar, though Lex couldn't recall having ever seen him before. "Who are you?" Lex demanded. "How did you get in here?" The boy spoke again, acting as if he hadn't even heard Lex's question. "He's going to twist it and warp it to try to make you think that it's your fault. You can't let him do that, Lex," he said, not making eye contact at all. He just kept his eyes fixed on Lionel's still form. Lex looked at the boy, confused. He talked as if he knew exactly what Lex's father would try to do. He acted as if he knew Lionel well, and clearly understood his relationship with his son. "What makes you think that's what he's going to do?" Lex questioned, standing up. The boy finally looked up at Lex. His gaze was...unnerving in some way. And Lex was still left with the strange sensation that he knew the boy somehow. He felt it more on the inside than from seeing the boy's appearance. "Isn't that what he always does?" Lex looked into the boy's eyes. They made him feel as if the boy knew him. Understood him. And what he was saying was so clearly true. Still, it seemed ridiculous. No one actually understood Lex Luthor, not even Clark. And certainly not some mysterious ten-year-old. The boy's unexplainable knowledge also scared him a little. He felt a need to get the boy away, before he revealed any more truths about Lex. "I'm sorry, but you're not allowed to be in here," Lex said, pulling this statement from every polite fiber of his being. "I think it's time for you to leave." Lex moved a little closer, as if to usher the boy out of the room. "I would," the boy started, "but I'm worried about you, Lex. Worried about what he is going to do to you. He's already killing you inside emotionally and we both know it. What makes you think he'll stop there?" This was equally unnerving. This boy acted a lot smarter than his age implied. "You talk like you know me, but I have no idea who you are. Why should I even listen to anything you say?" "Because you know that what I'm saying is true. Because I do know you, Lex. And I know all the pain he puts you through. I can't stand to see you do this to yourself. Not again." "Do what to myself?" "Let him take something wonderful that you did, and turn it into something dark and ugly," the boy replied. "You saved his life. No matter what he wants you to believe, you did the right thing. Don't let him make you think differently. "Don't let him make the fact that you went through with the surgery a bad thing either. He said himself that he would have made the same choice. If anyone should be blamed for the outcome, it is him. If you did the same thing that he would have done, it is only because that is what he taught you. It was his fault only that he was even stuck in the tornado in the first place." "What makes you think you can understand me or my family?" Lex asked, taking a few steps closer to the boy. "Aren't brothers supposed to understand each other?" Lex's breath caught in his throat. He felt as if a ton of bricks had just collided with his chest. This was impossible. His brother had died years ago from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. This could not be Julian. Or was it? Now that he thought about it, Julian had had his father's coloring. And if he had lived, he would be about ten. And as impossible as the whole thing seemed, Lex felt compelled to believe it. He had seen stranger things in Smallville. "Julian?" Lex asked, his voice nearly a whisper. He reached his hand out to touch the cheek of the boy he now believed to be his brother. He expected to feel the touch of skin, but his hand grasped only air. The place that the little boy had stood only seconds before now was filled only with gossamer wisps of smoke, already beginning to fade away into the air. Julian was simply gone. But had he ever even been there in the first place? Lex wasn't sure. He was very close to believing that he had imagined the whole thing. His dead little brother had not just been standing it the room. It was completely impossible and Lex knew it. But as he moved to go sit back in his chair, his foot caught on something. There was a small scrap of paper on the floor next to Lex's feet. Slowly, he knelt down to pick it up. He unfolded the piece of paper, holding his breath as he did so. Written on the paper was a short message, clearly addressed to him.
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