Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Chapter 16: Revelations 2

When Lex returned that evening, after leaving to arrange for Clark’s indefinite rehabilitation, Chloe and Lana had just finished their visits—finally leaving the Kents enough time to discuss Jor-El’s warning. By the time Lex reached the door, Jonathon had broken the news about their earlier discussion.

Although it had happened far less frequently of late, walking in on Clark and his parents discussing him was not unusual for Lex—so he was hardly surprised to hear his name mentioned. What did catch him unaware, though, stopping him at the door when he would have normally walked straight in was Clark’s harsh pain-filled voice as he rasped, “And, you believed him?”

The word “him” practically dripped with bitterness and loathing and stung Lex with the implication that Clark seemed to feel this way despite his earlier desire for Lex to stay. Hurt and confused, Lex dropped his hand from the door release and turned to retreat when Clark continued, “so, you told Lex!”

The tone in Clark’s voice, when he said Lex’s name again stopped his friend mid-stride. Lex puzzled over the tone for several seconds: Clark had said his name with a soft, almost melancholy note as if already certain that Jonathon’s admission had ended their friendship. The earlier bitterness was completely absent from this new tone, and Lex was immediately certain that he was not the “him” that Clark had referred to with such deep loathing.

Drawn back to the door by this revelation, Lex carefully sidestepped the observation window and leaned against the doorframe—listening intently as Jonathon interrupted.

“Clark, he,” Jonathon’s tone held the same bitter note that Lex heard in Clark’s reference. Who is it? Dad, maybe… I’ve tried to keep his attention directed elsewhere, but…Lex thought to himself before Jonathon’s bitter tone caught his attention again.

“may have warped hopes for your future… but …” Lex could hear the inner turmoil in Jonathon’s voice as he finished, “he is…”

Clark cut Jonathon off, almost yelling as he did, shocking Lex with the strangled quality of his voice as he cried out almost desperately, “Don’t say that… Ever! He’s not my...! He’s… You are!”

Shaking his head in amazement, Lex tried to figure out some other meaning than Clark’s words implied, but he could think of nothing. Damn, I’ve missed a lot, he thought to himself before returning his attention to the room. As he listened raptly, Jonathon confirmed his suspicions—continuing as though he Clark had never interrupted, “your father...and he does care.”

Clark’s voice shook violently as he struggled to respond, “He doesn’t… care. He’s not… capable of it… he’s only a … a … nightmare… that I… can’t wake up from, but I… won’t do what he says… I won’t… I won’t be… what he says.”

Clark didn’t finish, but Lex recognized the grim tone behind his words. It might as well have been a death knell for all of its foreboding. Taking the chance to glance through the observation window, Lex watched the scene with curiosity.

While Clark and his parents had become utterly still, there remained an underlying air of turmoil as if an ancient battle scene was suddenly captured on canvas. The moment stretched fragilely – almost expectantly, as if waiting for Clark to do something to break the silence. Clark finally complied, his voice hoarse with emotion as he asked in a rough whisper, “Did you tell Lex about him?”

Jonathon shook his head wearily as he answered, clearly as drained by the conversation, as Clark was, “No… only about the meteor effects.”

Clark nodded, but rolled to his side, turning away from his parents. After several moments, Jonathon stepped over and gripped his shoulder.

“Son, Lex understood better than you think.” Jonathon said gently trying to impart some hope.

“Like Pete did?” Clark asked bitterly.

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