A/N: This begins just as the episode "Shattered" ends. Thanks to Alecsgirl for the input that my new story needed some "background". This provides that background so I'm including it as a prologue. It's posted separately as "Through the looking glass" (any of you who've read it can skip to chapter one, but I've replied to your reviews of "looking glass" at the bottom of this post) but since it's so short I decided to include it here instead of making the new / continued story a sequel. Hope I haven't confused everyone.


After watching Lionel get into the Limo then waiting until it left Chloe got out her car and entered the hospital where Lex was. She met her contact and slipped into the white lab coat he handed her then headed for Lex's room. For a few moments she simply stood looking in through the one way glass. She could almost hear his voice in her mind.

*I'll protect you.*

But now Lex couldn't protect her. She now needed to protect him. The thought that fate, or whatever you wanted to call it, had a seriously warped sense of humor crossed her mind. She had feared she would end up in the position Lex was currently in. Drugged and labeled crazy to keep her quiet, and ensure no one would believe her. She'd never imagined that Lex could end up that way. Not with his very disciplined intellect and unbelievable strength of will. She shuddered to think of how powerful the drugs they'd used to break him would have to have been.

He looked up and "met" her eyes. She knew he couldn't see her, and his gaze was unfocused. They were not the eyes of Lex Luthor. They did not hold the sharp intelligence his eyes did, or the intensity. Her heart ached to see the powerful, extremely self-possessed man she was used to reduced to this. She still believed his story, and knew that Clark did as well. But both would have to act as if they thought Lex was crazy, and didn't believe his story. She was sure that by the time they let him leave the hospital Lex himself would believe he'd been crazy, hallucinating. If he was allowed to remember any of it at all, which she seriously doubted.

For his own protection she would never tell him the truth of the last days and what he'd learned. Not until she had the proof he would need to bring down Lionel. And since she was sure any proof was now destroyed, that would be never. It felt like an almost physical pain to see Lex strong body trapped by the straight jacket, just as his mind was trapped by the drugs. She took the time to notice his other injuries. They didn't really concern her all that much. She knew they would heal, probably before he even remembered them. No her real worry was for his mind, and is she was honest, his heart, not his physical injuries.

Chloe hated feeling helpless, and that was how she felt, helpless. There was nothing she could do for Lex. No way to undo the damage done to his mind. No way to get him away from this place. The only small thing she could do to help Lex was to do nothing. She knew most would expect her to write an article about how Lex Luthor had gone insane. It was an article she would never write. Her heart refused to do that to Lex. Her journalistic ethics rebelled against writing a story full of lies. He hadn't *gone* insane, he'd been *driven* insane. It was a small, but important, distinction. The devil is in the details, she thought. In her opinion Lionel Luthor was the devil, and he was definitely in the details of what had happened to Lex.

She was sickened by the thought that she worked for a man who drugged his own son, and drove him to this point. All to hide his own crimes. She hated having to act like she barely knew the man when they "met" at the Kent farm. She knew him, knew him all to well. Knew what he was capable of. But she did, grudgingly, admit that he loved Lex, despite what he'd done to him. She was sure that Lex would simply have been killed by Morgan Edge otherwise. At least this way there was hope that Lex would recover and be able to go on with his life. Pick up the pieces. She vowed silently to herself that she would be there to help him do it. To help him recover and get his life back. Chloe figured she would explain it to Lionel by saying she was keeping an eye on Lex for him.

Hearing people approaching Chloe looked though the glass one last time then slipped away.