I'm a wreck, I'm obsessed, I'm insane.
Isn't that what you want me to say?

-- Liz Phair

Um, fuck?

My mind races through possible responses to the given situation and all it can come up with out of legions of sparkly double bonus vocab words is fuckity fuck fuck tra la la. I'm finding it pretty damn difficult to concentrate, much less reason out how I reached this point exactly: exhausted, filthy, hopelessly lost, backed into some hedge maze, thickety thing with little branches poking into my arms, becoming intimately acquainted with Lex Luthor's tonsils.

Somewhere, something smells like pine or eucalyptus. I can hear the creek. I find it hysterical that I should focus on anything like that at a time like this. Kind of like the night Chad came over and misunderstood motives led to things getting a little out of hand and he had me bent over backwards in this really weird way, tugging at the hem of my shirt, and all I could say was "Hmm, I should really clean under the radiator." Total mood killer. Not that I meant it like that. Maybe only a little. Chad's a really sweet goth boy with fantastic taste in makeup, but...

Back to the present, right? It's so hysterical that I laugh into Lex's lips, and isn't that just like a tongue twister? His tongue seems adequately twisted if you ask me. Then he's pushing away and I'm still pretty much laughing like an idiot. Only my taped up ribs hurt and so it turns into this kind of laugh-wince thing, which I'm sure looks fairly odd.

He steps back to a more comfortable distance and arches an eyebrow in that snooty way he has sometimes. "Not the reaction I'm accustomed to."

I give some serious thought to punching him for good measure. He's bigger than me (sad fact is, most people are), but I'm probably one of the few people in Smallville who knows just how many people have managed to take him down in the past few years. Not a fighter that Lex. Not at all. I bite the inside of my lip, wondering briefly about the first part of that old saying.

There's something strained in his posture and I realize that he's bracing himself, expecting to be hit, maybe. Preparing for every contingency at least, so I finally decide not to give him the satisfaction.

"This isn't what I meant when I said, 'exclusive interview', Mr. Luthor."


I shake my head. "You haven't earned it."

"What was it you said before? 'I'd say the situation demands it'?"

I look him square in the eye and we stare each other down for a bit. "I wouldn't say it would at all, actually."

* * *