Monday, December 27, 2004

Chapter 17- Gossamer Leads

Outside the door, Lex silently pushed away from the wall –deciding that he had a great deal to think about before he faced Clark again. Clearly, Clark had confided in Pete, whose trust apparently hadn’t been returned. If Lex didn’t handle this carefully, he could ruin everything… and Clark would never reveal his secrets.

As he walked away, Lex had a momentary image of himself balancing on the fragile sprays of a spider web, trying to search through gossamer leads for the hidden connections. The web of mysteries radiating from Clark had just become more complex than Lex had anticipated. Not only did Clark know who his parents were, as Lex had begun to suspect, but at least one parent was alive and trying to convince Clark to become something and someone Clark clearly did not want to be.

Lex had begun to suspect that Clark knew his parent’s identities just a year before when Rachel Dunlevy took Lex hostage attempting to force Lionel to admit to their illegitimate son, Lucas. According to both Chloe and Dunlevy’s research, Lucas was the first and only other adoptee of the Metropolis United Charities—the adoption agency founded by Lionel Luthor that shut down immediately after processing Clark’s adoption. Lex could admit to himself that, at that time, he had deeply wished for some bizarre twist of his father’s humor to have separated Clark from him as a child, which the kindness of fate thwarted by reuniting them when Clark saved his life. Clark's ready denial of any possible kinship with Lex initially hurt Lex's feelings, but he justified it as Clark’s denial of Lionel: a luxury that Lex could well understand and envy.

After the fact, a five thousand dollar gift to the right lab tech had produced enough of ‘Clark’s’ DNA sample for Lex’s lab to determine that it matched the DNA of a sample of Pete’s blood taken in a charity blood- drive earlier that year. It was a point, though, Lex hadn’t pushed presuming that Clark reasonably feared discovery of a blood tie to Lionel Luthor, despite his growing friendship with Lex.

Lex still quietly harbored some hope of that tie even after he discovered Lucas’s whereabouts. With Lionel’s rapacious appetites, there was certainly no guarantee that Lex had only one illegitimate brother.

But today’s revelation introduced a completely new question. Lionel still wasn’t ruled out; particularly, where “warped hopes” for his children’s futures were concerned. But recently, Lex had been keeping a close watch on Lionel’s interaction with Clark and even discussed him with Clark after Lionel, just weeks ago, used Lex as bait to trap Clark in Dr. Garner’s memory inducement tank…killing several of the scientists and nearly killing Clark. But, even after that, while Clark was livid with Lex for putting him in that position, he hadn’t referred to Lionel with anywhere near the depth of bitterness that Clark used this morning… as if such a trap was simply what was to be expected of Lionel: a fact separated from the truth only by its understatement.

Setting Lionel aside for the moment, Lex started to consider new suspects. But, no one he could think of fit or made sense. As Lex continued walking, he searched his memory trying to dredge up every conversation and memory he had of Clark. Before he realized it, Lex found himself at the Talon. Whether he had been lead to the Talon out of habit or out of instinct, Lex realized that he had probably arrived at the best source of information he could find about Clark Kent. Glancing in the window, he quickly spotted Chloe and Lana sitting miserably at a corner table- discussing Clark’s recent disappearance.

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