We Perish Each Alone by the Lady Arianrod
Disclaimer: Some rich people own Smallville and the amazing characters that are portrayed by Michael Rosenbaum and John Glover.
a/n: First smallville fic. Based on Lex's insecurity that has roots in Lionel's behavior.
"My child arrived just the other day
He came to the world in the usual way
But there were planes to catch and bills to pay
He learned to walk while I was away
And he was talkin' 'fore I knew it, and as he grew
He'd say "I'm gonna be like you, Dad
You know I'm gonna be like you"
-"Cat's in the Cradle", Harry Chapin.
We cannot change the way that we were born. Whether you're a firm believer in fate or simply a traveler in the sea of time, you will undoubtedly acknowledge this fact.
Lex Luthor resented it.
He had tried his hardest to struggle his way through childhood as an awkward, asthma-prone boy, but Fate decided to frown upon his endeavors. Lex was cursed with an aggressor that shared his blood: his father. Lionel Luthor was a strange man. He always had been, even since the days of Lex's earliest days on Earth. He didn't hate his son or even dislike him. Rather, he was a man of business and power and wealth. Nothing was too expensive for Lionel Luthor. He made sure that Lex went to the finest schools and wore the finest clothes. Boarding schools and Armani were just a part of Lex's daily life.
Now, Lex could have been a perfectly happy boy with all that money. Not all rich people live boring, vapid lives of incredible ease. Lex did indeed enjoy many of the things that money could buy, but he was always a bit empty. The only thing he longed for at that time (and even in the current day) was acceptance. Lex didn't enjoy the idea of having to prove himself to his father, but he attempted to do so with all of his might. Far from being a whiny, lazy child, Lex often tried to clear his mind of all pointless and immature thoughts… He had to become business-minded… Exactly like his father.
Lionel Luthor noticed his son's attempts to impress him. He responded with a few awkward embraces and a continual deluge of innumerable toys, articles of clothing, and lavish luxuries that would cost many of us a year's paycheck.
Lex was particularly heartbroken when his father did this. He was doing all that he could to live up to the Luthor name, but his father barely seemed interested. Instead of complimenting his son on his fine business skills, Lionel chose to focus on his own life and success. Lex was only an heir to him. He was doing everything that an heir should do, Lionel noted with a transitory smile before leaving Lex alone yet again.
Lionel came to Smallville for one reason alone: business. Lex followed obediently, eyes always searching for a way to please his cold, saturnine father. He soon outgrew this phase as he entered into his teenage years. Lex ignored the continual whispers that begged for attention and acceptance, silencing them with the staccato tempo of modern music. After he could drive, Lex's life became fast, flashy, and dazzling, bright as the silver sheen of his Porsche convertibles and Mercedes-Benz Roadsters.
He drove and danced and partied like any teenager. Lex's social life blossomed in Metropolis as he entered his late teens. Lex grew farther apart from his father, destroying any residual obedient practices that he had followed as a child. The young billionaire's life was no longer empty; he found many new distractions that shimmered in the forms of beautiful women, priceless cars, and imported wine. Nothing mattered but the moment.
As he glossed over the spidery cracks of his life with music and color, Lex discovered the lovely pleasures of being rich and being alive. He could do anything.
Until Lionel opened that plant in Smallville. There was something so rewarding, so fulfilling about being the CEO of his father's business…. So Lex parted from his old ways, leaving the clubs and wine and his father behind in the lights of the city. He could start his own life, make his own money in that boring, quiet hick town…
Lex didn't see the trap that he was walking into. He didn't recognize that his mind was simply making up excuses for his behavior again. He was simply hungering to be welcomed by that loathsome man that was his father, his own flesh and blood…
Of course, he would have denied all claims of insecurity and emptiness as he hid out in his family's ancestral mansion on the corner of a farming community. He would be the anchor of the town, a hero in his own lifetime….
And he was in control of his destiny.
Unfortunately, having been raised by Lionel Luthor, Lex was still susceptible to the old bouts of weakness and doubt. Nothing that he did would ever be good enough…
His father didn't love him.
And now, Lex stands alone, facing a world that he cannot travel through to this day. He will never be able to be truly happy with who he is or what he does. Lex is doomed, in a sense, sent by fate to the household of an apathetic billionaire.
One can't help but wonder…..
What would happen if Lionel had said those simple words to his son?
It's far too late for such sentimentality. Lex is falling into shadow, becoming more cautious and suspicious as time passes. He will eventually alienate all people from his inner circle, for it is difficult to love other people if you don't love yourself.