A/N Again, THANK YOU! For the reviews. This should be the last chapter. I'm reposting this in the "right" (easier to read) format.

Chapter 5

Lex hardly noticed the perfect June weather as he sped toward Metropolis. He knew he was going to fast, even by his standards, but today he didn't care. He kept hearing the phone call repeating in his head like a broken record.

*You'd better come. She won't last long. She's waiting for you, holding on until you can get here.*

The Doctor hadn't said more, but Lex knew what that "holding on" must be costing Pamela in terms of pain and effort. He'd seen it with his mother. Since the phone call his stomach felt like he had just gone through a long drop on a roller coaster, but this ride never seemed to stop. The sinking feeling went on and on. He finally slowed when he saw the Cancer Treatment Center that was his destination.

As Lex hurried into Pamela's room he met her pain-filled eyes. "I came as soon as I could." He couldn't force himself to ask how she was; the answer was all-to- obvious.

"Thank you."

"I . . . I'm going to miss you."

She said nothing, just weakly stretched her arms toward him. He quickly stepped forward and gave her a gentle hug, receiving one from her as well, then carefully eased her back to a more comfortable position.

"I don't have long. I feel it. Feel my body shutting down."

"Are you in pain? At this point the medicine. . ."

"Can't do much for me," interrupted Pamela. "I'm ready to go. I just. . . had to tell you two things. I need you to promise me that you will always remember them."

"I promise," agreed Lex, looking directly into her eyes, so she could see the truth of his promise. One he had every intention of keeping, at the time; unaware of what the future held in store, forgetting where the road paved with good intentions leads.

Satisfied, Pam continued, "One, that you were loved, by your mother and by me. Two, that you are a good man, your mothers son."

Out of habit Lex faught back the tears that came to his eyes. He gave Pamela a slight smile; not his usual smirk, but a true, if sad, smile. Pam was glad to see it. It gave her hope for Lex's future. She then closed her eyes and let go of the pain.

The last thing she heard was a quiet "I love you, Aunt Pam."

As the monitor flat lined Lex was again reminded why he thought that sound was one of the worst. It was the sound of death. He gently kissed her hand then moved out of the way as a nurse and Doctor came in. The sound was mercifully silenced as the nurse shut off the equipment.

"Doctor, you know the arrangements?"

"Yes, Mr. Luthor. I'm . . . sorry for your loss."

Lex forced his tone to stay even and calm. "Thank you. I'll leave you to your work."

He spun on his heel and left before the doctor could see the tears forming in his eyes. Moments later, he angrily wiped a few that had escaped away before starting his car. Once away from the Center he floored the gas. He didn't even, consciously, chose a destination, just began to drive. It was almost half an hour before he realized he'd instinctively headed back to Smallville, not Metropolis. No matter how fast he went he couldn't escape the fact that Pam had died. Had he remembered how, he would have wept. He sped past the Mansion, not even considering turning in there. He finally slowed and pulled to a stop in front of the Kent farm.

In the barn Jonathon heard the unmistakable sound of a sports car motor, the kind of car only one man in Smallville drove. Since he'd been about to go in for lunch anyway he left what he was doing and went out to greet Lex.

He was surprised at what he saw. Lex calm, in control fa├žade was in place, but his eyes. . . they were dark with agony. "What's wrong, Lex?"

"Uh, is Clark here? I was hoping to speak with him."

Jonathon wisely decided not to press the issue, but to wait for Clark. "Not at the moment. But he should be here soon for lunch. Why don't you come in." The last sentence came out not as a question, but an order, the kind a father might give a son.

Lex silently followed Jonathon into the house. Martha didn't turn around when she heard the door opening. "I was about to call you. Your nose must have told you lunch . . . " her voice trailed off as she finally turned and saw Lex.

"Mrs. Kent. Sorry to disturb lunch. I can . . . "

Martha interrupted him, "Stay right here and help eat it. I fixed plenty."

Lex tried to smile, but found he couldn't. "Thank you."

Martha looked him in the eye and almost gasped. She had the thought that his eyes looked bruised from the pain in them. "Lex, sit down. Would you like something to drink?"

"Nothing. I'm fine."

Martha and Jonathon exchanged a look, knowing that the young man is anything but fine. "Would you like to talk?"

"I was meaning to talk to Clark."

"Then you're in luck," announced Clark as he walked through the door. "What's up?"

"Let's eat first," suggested Martha, wanting to give Lex time to pull himself together before talking about something obviously painful.

"I'm actually not real hungry."

"You still need to eat. Please, Lex."

Lex forced away the memory of Pam telling him the same thing after his mom's death. Knowing how stubborn any one of the Kent's, much less all three, could be, he nodded and sat back down at the table. Lex knew Martha was an excellent cook and wished he was in a mood to enjoy one of her home cooked meals. Of course, this was something he would never admit to anyone else. After a quiet lunch Lex and Clark went to the loft.

"Is it Pamela? Is she worse?" Clark asked once they were comfortably seated.

Lex took a deep, calming breathe before answering. "She's. . . gone."

Clark noticed Lex couldn't bring himself to say she was dead. He felt the tears well up in his own eyes. He enjoyed his visits with Pam and found her to be smart and funny. He'd also learned that she was a good person and loved Lex very much.

"I think what I'll miss most is being Alexander," Lex mused aloud.

That had Clark curious, he'd always thought Lex hated that name. "Why, I thought. . ."

"That I hated being called Alexander?"

Clark answered with a nod. Sensing Lex was in the rare mood to talk about his past he didn't want to disrupt that.

"For a very long time I did. Alexander was the hurt, lonely and scared little boy who'd lost, almost at once, the only two people who had ever truly loved and accepted him; one to death, one to believed betrayal. My father is the one who called me Lex, and after mom died and Pamela left I wanted to become Lex. Lex, was strong, Lex didn't let emotions get to him, Lex was Lionel's son. My father saw the vulnerable state I was in and took full advantage of turning me into Lex, and burying Alexander along with my mother. "

"I think I understand."

"That's why what I'll miss most about her is being Alexander. She never, and I mean never, treated me as Lex Luthor, heir to Lionel Luthor and Luthor Corps. She thought of me and treated me as Alexander, son of her friend Lillian. I'll admit there are times I love being Lex Luthor. The power and the "extra's". But I hate the yes men. I'm my father's son enough to love a challenge, and few people are willing to challenge a Luthor. Maybe one day I'll find someone who will be a true challenge for me. But, Pam, well, she challenged me to be better and she didn't lie to me and wouldn't let me lie to myself.

I always have to worry what it is people want from me. Is the woman in my arms there because she wants me or so she can tell her friends she was with *the*Lex Luthor and maybe get her photo in the paper. You're the first person in years who I know is my friend for the sake of friendship, not what I can do for them. Pam was that way. She was never about what she could get from my mom, or me. If I had been so hurt and so young I'd have seen that and not believed my father's lies. I don't know if I'll ever forgive myself for that, and the lost years it cost us. I had to talk her into letting me help with her treatment."

"Lex, you were a kid, you aren't to blame for believing your father. At that age you didn't know better. I know they say "you're your own worst critic" but you tend to take that to extremes. Give yourself a break, huh?"

"Now you sound like her. But that's good. Like I loved that she didn't treat me as anything but a son of a friend I like that you treat me as a friend. Like her, you don't lie to and make it hard for me to lie to myself. I . . .value that. Thank you."

Clark looked down to hide the guilt in his eyes. He hated lying to Lex, but, now more than ever felt it was necessary. He hoped Lex would read it as embarrassment at the compliment. He did.

"Thanks, Lex. I just wish there was something I could do to help . . . You know that if there is anything all you have to do is ask."

"Yes, Clark, I do know that. It's amazing, and different, to have a friend who wants to do something for me, not get something from me. Sorry if I'm still not used to that. But, there is something you can do."

"Name it." Knowing how hard it is for Lex to ask for help he vowed to himself that whatever Lex asked he would do. He felt he owed it to Lex for all the lies he'd told him.

Lex took a deep breath and looked his young friend in the eyes before answering. "Don't leave me. Everyone else I've ever allowed myself to get close to has left me. Julian, Mom, and now Pam. I don't think I could stand to lose you to. So, just, promise you won't leave me."

Clark feels relief rush through him. Knowing his "invulnerability" this seems like an easy enough thing to promise his grieving friend. "I'm not going anywhere Lex. I promise I will always be here if you need a friend, a . . .brother."

"That's all I need."

Before he can say more the moment was disrupted by the ringing of his phone. Lex reluctantly answered it after checking his caller ID.

"Dad. This is a surprise. To what occasion to I owe this call?" The sarcasm in his voice was so obvious that Clark couldn't keep the grin off his face.

"Yes, I was there. Yes, I am fine. The arrangements are taken care of with my own funds. Thanks for the call but I'm in the middle of a . . .high level meeting. I'll have to call you back. Thanks for checking on me."

Lex cut off the call and pocketed the phone.

Clark raised his eyebrows. "High level meeting?"

"Well, by Metropolis standards I guess the second floor loft isn't high level, but here in Smallville."

The two friends chuckled and headed towards the stairs. "Thank you, Clark. It. . .felt good to laugh."

"Don't start feeling guilty about that, Lex. I may not have known Pam that well, but I do know she wouldn't that. She'd want you to laugh and be happy, to live."

"You're right. I'll . . .try."

"Do you want to stay awhile?"

"No. I do have an actual business meeting later and need to call and make sure the arrangements I made for Pamela have been done right."

"Is there going to be a funeral?"

"No. Pamela had no real family or close friends left. I've had them build a monument similar to, but at her request, smaller than my mothers; it's in her home town near her family graves."

Clark said nothing. Not surprised at the news considering what he knew of Pam, and Lex. "I saw a big piece of my Mom's pie left. I'm sure she'd let you take it for later. And, you'd be doing dad and I a favor 'cause then she'll have to make a whole new one and we won't have to fight over the last piece."

Lex shook his head slightly at Clark's obvious, but well intended, manipulation. "Well, I certainly wouldn't want you and your dad fighting, so I'll take the last piece, your mom is a talented cook."

A grinning Clark led Lex into the house.

The End

Black Rose: Thank you. I did have fun coming up with stuff from Lex past.

Pineapple: Thanks for the honest opinion. I'l keep it in mind when I write more for Lex, in this story or another.

Tigerlily2035: Thank you for the kind words. I'm glad you like the story.