DISCLAIMER:  Nothing is mine.

He Is The Reason

By Louise

"Clark, what are you doing here?"  He barely registered her voice, his whole being was occupied with the prone form he could see through the glass.  Ever since Chloe had told him and he rushed here…

Lois was still talking, "…just wanted to see that it was real?  He's finally getting his comeuppance anyway.  Serves him right."

"No," Clark choked on the word, still not taking his eyes off the body on the bed.

"Clark, love, I know how you feel about death but you can't say he doesn't deserve it, that you wouldn't be glad if…"

"Would you be glad?"  He asked the question in a detached manner which belied his earlier emotion.

"Yes."

"Really?  I don't think you would welcome it if you knew.  If you knew that if he died, superman dies too."

"Clark?  You're not saying that…?"  Her eyes fell on the prone form lying on the bed, pale even against the brilliant white sheets.  "No that can't be right…what are you saying?"

"The moment Lex dies superman is gone too, Lois.  There is no point in it, in any of it if he dies."

"Talk to me Clark."

He turned to her, tears shining in his eyes and he began brokenly, "the first time we met he tried to kill me and I saved his life.  And it's been that way ever since.  Only…only now he won't let me save him anymore.  He was my best friend Lois, in so many ways my best friend.  I needed him, I…I think he needed me.  But then he stopped and all I needed was to believe I could get him back.  He stopped being 'Lex', love, so long ago now, yet it only seems like yesterday at times.  If he dies then its all over, I can't reach out and get Lex back, he will have died as 'Luthor'…and hope will have died."

"Clark…"

"All I ever wanted was to get him back, rescue him."

"You can't save some one from themselves, love."

"But it wasn't him.  He was…is good.  It's there.  What he's become isn't Lex, it's the Luthor taking over but it's not all he is."

"Clark, does he know that you…that you are…" she could barely believe it, le alone utter the thought out loud.

"He knows.  I see it in the way he looks at me.  The way he treated you…placing you in danger so I could save you…making you notice me.  That was Lex, my friend.  He knows who…what I am and he has never told, never abused that knowledge.  He could have taken me down in an instant if he wanted but he has kept my secret."

"Oh Clark, why didn't you tell me.  I am so sorry," she wrapped her arms around him, holding him tightly: questions arising from his revelations would be dealt with at another time; this moment was about love and trust not anger and suspicion.

They stood there wrapped around each other for a long time, Clarks eyes never leaving the figure on the bed.  Eventually Lois pulled back slightly and, reaching up to touch his face she spoke softly, "Clark love, I've got to go back to the Planet.  I'll tell them…something.  Will you be OK?"

"Yeah.  I'm sorry but I've got to…I can't…" he waived a hand towards Lex, unable to continue, choking up again.

"Yeah I know.  What will you do?"

"I'll stay here until he wakes up, until he is well.  Then we'll go back and live our lives and I'll continue to hope."

And he did.

Lex woke up.

He met Clark's gaze for the briefest of moments, heads bending slightly in acknowledgement.

And Clark left, back to the woman he loved, the job he loved and the other job he needed to do.

And hope remained.