Lana lay in her fluffy cheerleader's bed, in her fluffy cheerleader's pajamas, and desperately, desperately wanted new décor. She hadn't been a cheerleader for some time now, and it was driving her crazy to be smacked in the face with CheerleaderWorld every time she walked into her room. Even so, she snuggled deeper into her covers, needing the comfort. Today had been an awful day. She had never wanted to be famous, but now she knew exactly why. The public scrutiny, the giant magnifying glass on every step you take – every boy you date. It was bad enough going to school with Whitney, having to see his hurt puppy-dog eyes reaching out from the brave face he put on. But going to Smallville High with Whitney, well… that was just unbearable. Everyone pointed as if she were the Bearded Lady at the circus, whispered as if she owed them something, had broken some silent promise she'd somehow made to be perfect or else.

But she wasn't perfect. God, they would never understand that, even though it was the simplest thing. People weren't perfect, they just weren't. And everyone just expected her to be. The only ones who had treated her like a normal human being today were Chloe, Pete and Clark.


Oh, God, Lex.

Lana squeezed her eyes shut and buried her face in her pillow. She didn't know what to think about Lex. She didn't know what to think about herself, kissing Clark and then – then Lex, and trying to put it all down to unhappiness – God. What was going to happen if she ever got divorced? Would she sleep with her lawyer? The mailman?

At least he didn't remember anything. That was good. She would never, ever be able to look at him again if he'd remembered her kissing him, telling him – God – that she would kiss him if she wanted to, taking off his shirt-

She couldn't think about this any more. It tightened her stomach with embarrassment in such a way that breathing was hard. It was just so humiliating to think that she could lose control like that. And he was a grown man. A legal adult.

"So stupid," she whispered painfully. "So, so stupid."

And yet.

He did kiss her back. He was drunk, true, she could taste the bourbon well enough on his tongue – God – but somehow it made her feel good, in a way she couldn't really describe. Whitney's kisses had never made her feel like that. Whitney's kisses felt dutiful and shallow, good in the way a dandelion is until all the seeds are gone.

And somehow, the fact that he had sought her out the next day, upset, helpless – that, too, made her feel good. And she felt so strange realizing that. It had given her no pleasure to tell him what he needed to hear, to let him going away breathing a sigh of relief. Lana opened her eyes when she realized that what she had really wanted was for him to kiss her again. And know what he was doing. Know full well that he was kissing a fifteen-year old girl, and still want to.

Then she wouldn't have to wonder what to tell him the next time he asked her whether or not they slept together.