by soo

Special thanks to elyn.

Clark hesitated in front of Lex's office door. He scanned the room, relieved to see that Lex was alone. Lionel Luthor always unnerved him, and it was weird to see his mom working for him. He pushed the door open. "Hey, Lex."

Lex pushed his laptop away and smiled. "I was beginning to think you were just going to lurk outside my door."

Clark flushed and plopped down on the couch. "Sorry about that. I...."

"Didn't want to run into my father?" Lex stood and moved to the mini-fridge. "It's perfectly understandable. I often feel the same way." He pulled out two bottles of water and walked over to hand one to Clark. "So, how are you, Clark?"

Clark took a sip of his water. "It's Lana." He set the bottle down on the coffee table and stood, looking around restlessly. He finally stalked over to the pool table and grabbed a cue, as if he needed to be doing something. "She likes Byron." Clark frowned and squeezed the cue tightly.

Lex centered the rack of balls, and then picked up his own cue. "Byron has a lot going for him," he said, lining up his shot.

Clark frowned again. Byron had a lot going for him? It seemed like the exact opposite to him. He watched as Lex took a second shot and missed. "He does?"

Lex set the pool cue down and leaned against the table. "He's intelligent, not bad looking, and he can quote poetry. Plus, he has the added bonus of a tragic air. Some girls find that attractive."

Clark sighed. He couldn't compete, especially with Lana pushing for honesty that he just couldn't give.

Lex smiled. "Of course, some people prefer mysterious heroes."

Clark smiled uncertainly. "I don't think I can compete."

"With an attitude like that you can't." Lex walked over to the bookcase, scanning the shelves until he pulled a book out and handed it to Clark.

Clark looked down skeptically at the book of sonnets. "Do you think these would really help?"

"It never hurts to have some poetry in your arsenal."

Clark shook his head. "Arsenal? You make it sound like a war."

Lex eyebrow rose. "It is. You're trying to win Lana's heart."

Clark hesitated. He wanted Lana to like him, but he didn't think of it as a war. He wanted it to come naturally, like his friendship with Lex. "I guess."

"Just give it a try. Who knows, you might like them."

He flipped the pages of the book haphazardly. "Right." He stopped at a random sonnet and read it. It didn't make any sense. He snapped the book shut and set it on the edge of the pool table.

Lex shrugged. "So, are you going to play or not?"

Clark grinned and picked up his pool cue. "Yeah, move over so I can trounce your ass."

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