I Let You Down
Disclaimers: Nobody belongs to me. I'm just borrowing them. I'll give them back good as new and just a little bit happier. The title, as usual, belongs to Dave Matthews; it's a lyric from the song "Let You Down" off of "Crash," because Clark is a puppy for your love.
mean to Clark. Thanks to Caro and Ilexa for their initial screening and handholding. Thanks and kisses to Stone Princess and Autumnyte for the quick beta.
Feedback: It's as fun as a dancing monkey and as treasured as a heartfelt apology.
I have no lid upon my head
But if I did
You could look inside and see
what's on my mind,
Oh it's you
"Lex?" Clark hesitated at the entrance to the office, unsure of his welcome. He felt sick with nervous energy.
Lex looked up from his computer, his expression stoic. "Is there something I can do for you?"
"Yeah, I just wanted to..." Clark broke off, distracted by the large cage standing in the corner of the office. "There's a monkey in your office."
"I'm well aware of that fact, Clark," Lex said. "So if that's what you're here to tell me--"
"No," Clark cut him off. "I wanted to..." Clark looked away again, unable to focus on what he had come to say. "Why is there a monkey in your office?"
Lex sighed, leaning back in his chair. "It's a long story. What do you want?"
And, yeah, Lex had every right to sound as irritated as he did, but Clark still winced at the question. "I wanted to apologize for--"
"Don't." Lex's voice was cold. "I already told Professor Walden that you were to be allowed access to the caves. So as you can see, an apology is unnecessary."
Clark frowned. "You think I'd apologize just to get what I want?"
"Why are you here?" Lex asked again as he leaned forward, bracing his elbows on his desk, his hands clasped together.
Clark sat down in the chair across from the desk, mimicking Lex's pose. "I was in the process of telling you when you cut me off."
Lex shook his head slowly. "No, see, I don't think that's true. Because people don't usually apologize to someone who's stabbed them in the back. You apologize to your friends. And I don't think we've been friends for awhile. Do you?"
God, that hurt. "I thought we were, Lex."
"Did you really? I admit I've never really had friends, they're not a luxury I've ever been able to afford, so I may not know how friendships are supposed to work. But you don't trust me, Clark. What kind of friendship is that?"
"You haven't exactly been open with me either." Clark pointed out, aching at Lex's desolate tone.
"So can't we just..." Clark absently ran a hand through his hair. "Start over or something?"
Lex closed his eyes. "It's not that easy. Throwing some dirt over a faulty foundation won't make the building any more stable."
Clark studied the man across from him for a moment, trying to decide what to do. His parents would kill him if...but he couldn't just not do anything. He couldn't just sit here and let his friendship with Lex disappear, not when there was something he could do about it. But there had been so much hurt, so many lies and barbs exchanged. He just hoped it wasn't too late. "Then I guess we'll have to tear the old building down and rebuild from the ground up, with total honesty." Clark reached across the table, extending his hand for Lex to shake. "Hi, I'm Clark Kent."
"Clark." Lex's voice cracked. His expression was painful to observe, a mix of fear and hope and despair. "You can't just--"
"You hit me that day on the bridge." Clark held Lex's gaze, willing him to understand. It was like the world's highest stakes game of 'truth or dare'. When he had told Pete...he shied away from the memory. Telling Lex was a huge risk, but not telling Lex was a bigger one. Their friendship was at stake.
"Clark, you don't have to--"
"Don't I? Do you have a better solution?" Clark asked, allowing the frustration in his voice to show through. "Are you willing to give up on us? Say the word. We can keep our secrets and go our separate ways if you want." Clark prayed that wasn't what Lex wanted.
Lex shook his head slowly and took a deep breath. "I was paying Hamilton to study the effects of the meteors. He included the Nicodemus flower in his studies without my knowledge."
"The meteor rocks make me sick, weak," Clark answered immediately.
"I was embezzling money from LuthorCorp. That was what was on the stolen disk that you destroyed," Lex shot back.
Clark wanted to comment on that, but he refrained. They could work through their issues later. Right now, he just wanted to get everything out in the open. "I could have stopped Earl, but I didn't. I risked your life to protect my secrets."
"I had no idea about Level Three and I was telling the truth about Club Zero. I didn't kill Jude Royce," Lex paused. "But I did hire Nixon to investigate your family. I called him off when I saw you injured." Lex gave a questioning look at that, but continued talking. "He came to me later saying he had information about your family, even after I told him...but that's not why I killed him, Clark. For all I knew, he had already told your father everything."
Clark nodded. "The green meteor rocks make me sick, but the red ones...change me. I become more..." He shrugged. "...Uninhibited. Mean."
Lex looked away. "Sometimes I wish," he paused, his voice quiet when he spoke again. "I wish I hadn't saved my father."
"I wanted to kill Phelan. I almost did," Clark admitted.
Lex gave him a rueful smile, but it quickly faded. "I went to see Cassandra, to find out about you. When she wouldn't tell me anything I decided to see what I could find out about my future. Whatever she saw killed her."
"I didn't really think you tried to kill your dad. I just wanted to get a straight answer out of you." Clark looked down at his hands. "I just chose to do it in a really bad way."
Lex looked away. "That octagon, the paperweight? It was found out in Reilly field. I was having the field surveyed because the crop duster said he saw a spaceship the day of the meteor shower. The octagon was tested and it's made out of an unknown substance. I think Nixon stole it the day of the storm."
"He did." Lex's head snapped up at that. "It was, the octagon belonged to my ship. The one that the crop duster saw that day. Nixon found it in our cellar. That's why my dad went after him."
Lex was looking directly at him now, his gaze somewhat unnerving. "I was responsible for the hostage situation at LuthorCorp. I ordered a team to bug my dad's office, but I swear that I didn't know my dad and your mom were going to be there. When I found out...I tried to negotiate with them, not only to get our parents out, but to get access to whatever my dad had in his safe."
"He had the octagon as well as a file on me and bars of the meteor rocks," Clark replied.
"I swear, I didn't tell him anything, Clark. I wouldn't..."
"I believe you," Clark told him. He tilted his head, regarding Lex for a moment. "Is that all? The worst of it?"
"I guess that's a matter of perspective," Lex said slowly. "I would consider almost getting your mom killed the worst of it, but." He bowed his head, bringing it to rest on his clasped hands. It looked like he was praying. After a moment he looked back up. "I think I'm in love with you."
And there it was, the one thing that made everything else worth it. "I think I'm in love with you too," Clark whispered.
Lex looked like he couldn't decide whether to laugh or cry. "You can't really be...after all that?"
Clark just nodded, smiling. The bombs had been dropped and they had both survived.
"You don't understand," Lex said a little desperately. "If I can do all of that to someone I love, Clark. You can't trust me, you shouldn't have trusted me."
"But I did." Clark stood up and walked around the desk, kneeling down in front of Lex. "And I do. Because we've started over now. No more lies, right?"
It was Lex's turn to nod.
"I think it's time we put the past behind us, it doesn't matter anymore. If you want to know something, ask me."
"I might make more mistakes," Lex whispered.
"Just so long as you're honest about them, I'll forgive you." Clark laced his fingers through Lex's. "I may still be a jerk sometimes."
Lex brushed Clark's bangs away from his forehead with his free hand. "As long as you tell me why later, I'll let it slide."
Clark smiled. "So, are we okay?"
"Yeah, we're more than okay." Lex laughed.
"Good," Clark whispered before capturing Lex's lips in a desperate kiss. Lex's mouth was hot, possessive, his fingers tightened in Clark's hair. Clark moaned, twisting, trying to get closer to Lex.
They broke apart, staring at each other. A slow, lazy smile spread across Lex's face. Clark could feel his answering grin forming. "I just have one more question for you, Lex."
Lex quirked an eyebrow. "What's that?"
"Seriously, what's up with the monkey?"
(French accent) "'I mock you with my monkey pants.'" -Oz from BtVS