Sunday, November 07, 2004

Chapter 7: Treatment

Dr. Mead met Jonathon and Martha as they ran through the doorway.

“Ms. Kent, Mr. Kent, Clark is fine. It appears to have been an anxiety attack. But, Mr. Luthor was wise to bring your son in despite that; the symptoms are very close and could have as easily indicated a heart attack. If you would… ” She smiled warmly inviting them into her office “I’d like to speak with you for a few moments before we go in to see him. Miss Lang and Mr. Luthor are keeping him company for the moment.”

“Of course,” Jonathon answered, trying to appear calm as years of worries spun through his mind. Have they found Clark out, he wondered. Were there blood tests? Xrays? Anything other evidence of his origins? Everything that they worried about felt as if it were becoming manifest in such a short span of time.

“Mr. Kent?”

“Jonathon?” Martha nudged him sharply to draw his attention back to the present.

“I’m sorry. I know that you’re worried about Clark. But we’ll go to see him in just a few moments? I would simply like to get some questions out of the way first.” The Doctor smiled encouragingly.

“Shoot.”

“Okay, have you noticed whether Clark has been sleeping well lately? Or eating well?”

The Kents looked at each other in utter confusion, not expecting this line of questioning by any means.

“I really don’t know;” Jonathon answered, “He’s been coming home on time, but if he’s stayed up to study… or look at the stars… I don’t know. He hasn’t been sleeping in though.”

“And, eating?”

“Well, I really don’t know, sometimes he eats dinner at home other times with his friends… I really haven’t paid attention. Why?”

“Clark appears to be exhausted and dehydrated. In addition to the anxiety attacks, I’m fairly certain he hasn’t been eating or sleeping enough and wondered how long this may have been going on.”

“Dr. Mead, we’ve tried to give Clark his space lately.” Jonathon answered, figuring that the summer’s town gossip of Clark running away to Metropolis had probably made it to the Doctor. “... and tried to let him settle back into as normal a routine as possible.”

Dr. Mead nodded sadly, “that’s certainly understandable, Mr. Kent. However, this may be a health issue that we need to address in the future, and you should be aware that Clark needs to get as much rest as possible and back onto a normal diet quickly. Normally, I would have the nutritionist suggest something, but…” the doctor shrugged, suggesting she did not consider it a necessity yet, “Let’s go see Clark.”

As soon as they turned down the hallway, Jonathon spotted Clark’s room. More precisely, he spotted Lex leaning against the wall outside Clark’s door, one foot propped up behind his knee, in an almost classic western-gun-fighter pose – clearly anticipating their arrival with some nervousness. Waiting for an attack, Lex? Jonathon wondered.

Well not without reason, he admitted to himself. He almost felt a twinge of guilty regret for his distrustful attitude toward Lex over the past three years. Knowing that he had largely and unfairly condemned Lex for his lineage and for the natural curiosity that to be expected after Clark saved Lex’s life only served to increase Jonathon’s ambivalence about his earlier suspicion and hostility toward Lex. But, never quite able to forget that Lex’s father was Lionel Luthor, Jonathon assuaged his guilt. If Lionel had discovered their adopted son’s secret, Clark would have never known a moment’s peace.

He understood and sympathized with Lex on a number of levels, but it had taken almost three years for him to fully accept Lex as a separate entity form his father… to accept Lex’s friendship with his son… and to accept the threat Lex’s continuing struggle for independence from his father meant for his son. Despite what he knew were Lex’s best intentions (to shield Clark from his father’s interest), Lex’s own fascination and friendship with Clark made him an almost irresistible target for Lionel.

Regardless of this threat, Jonathon couldn’t really fault Lex for his curiosity about Clark. Had their places been reversed… had Jonathon been the young angry man behind the wheel of a performance sports car racing away from his father’s banishment of him – from the sophistications of Metropolis to the boonies of Smallville-- who in a moment of ire and distraction nearly came to tragic consequences when one of the tire's blew and sent the car careening ... running head long into Clark and over the side of a bridge... Jonathon knew that he would have been just as stubbornly insistent on discovering the truth that Clark and the Kents fought to hide. They had lied to Lex saying that he had narrowly missed Clark who then dove in after the Lex and the car to pull him out after the impact ripped the roof from the car.

But, if Jonathon were Lex, who was and had the resources to discover that the roof could not have been torn off from the car - to discover that Clark and his family were lying even though the alternate possibilities were impossible… Jonathon knew in his heart that he would have continued his hunt for the truth. He couldn’t fault Lex for the insatiable curiosity or for his insistence on discovering the truth… even though it could spell doom for Clark if his secrets were discovered.

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11:28 PM  

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