Without noticing

by Illuferret

These characters are so not mine it's not even funny. It's probably pathetic. So, all standard disclaimers apply, and I'm still pretty pathetic for doing this. This is for fun. Really.

Without noticing

Lex was simply Lex. Lionel had to remember that when he was dealing with his son. And he was a Luthor. But that didn't mean he was indestructible. And god, hospital corridors all looked the same. Endless white under hypnotizing lights, dirty green lining the walls, floors that were too used, too trodden, too cheap to ever look clean.

No one would look at him as he walked on. And he could not see them, not really. Sitting hunched on plastic chairs, nursing cups of stale coffee that smelt like decay, sometimes reading magazines, the face of a Hollywood star smiling at him. He'd slept with her. And not even that mattered.

The doctors also dared not look at him. This one was pretty, dark brown hair pulled back in a ponytail, some locks escaping and framing her face, pretty blue eyes. Not staring at him. Staring down, like the floor held all the answers to the questions that Lionel dared not ask. Some other day, he might sleep with her. Just not now.

Impatient, he opened the door to the room where they had his son. Lex, Lex, Lex. What would he do with him? How on earth was he supposed to stand back and let his own son ruin his life? It was not just the matter of a Luthor showing weakness; it was about potential. And Lex had it, damn him.

Damn it. He really hated it when Lex was in a hospital. It was as if Lex defied him and went into trouble so that he could make Lionel weak, capitulate, come visit him, check up on him, admit that they were only human.

Lionel stopped in his tracks and didn't raise his eyes. He knew that if he looked, he'd have to admit his own frailty, Lex's failure, their destiny. He knew that if he looked up, he'd see Lex mocking him and his designs. Lex, lying so pale and lost in that white bed, never...

Lionel opened his eyes and immediately checked his clock. Four-thirty seven. He blinked, remembering his dream with an unwanted clarity. Dream; what a gentle word for a nightmare. A nightmare that started at Lex's fifteenth birthday and hadn't abandoned him since. Same subject, different details. And only one way of getting it out of his mind.

He got out of bed, wearing his robe on his way out of his room. The question was always the same: what could he do with Lex? Too bright, too emotional, too unstable. He'd be a great man someday, Lionel felt it. If only he didn't kill himself first. And what was he supposed to do? Stand back and let it happen? Let him waste all he was in drugs and alcohol and violence?

He opened the door of his son's room. The curtains were half-drawn and the lights from outside guided him. Lex was sleeping on his stomach, looking small in the king-size bed, surrounded by large pillows and under a thick cover. His left shoulder was exposed; his left hand wrapped around one end of the duvet. Child-like.

Lionel approached quietly and covered Lex, caressing him briefly. Then he sat at a chair facing the bed and watched him. What would Lionel do with him? At sixteen he was making drugs, at seventeen he was overdosing on them and at nineteen he'd killed a man. And yet, if Lex died, it would still be a waste.

Such a waste.

Lionel didn't realize when he'd fallen asleep. When he woke up, Lex was absent and he was covered with his son's duvet, neatly tucked around his shoulders. It smelt like Lex.

The end

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