Track 13: I Will Remember You.
Remember the good times that we
I let them slip away from us when things got bad
How clearly I first saw you smilin' in the sun
Wanna feel your warmth upon me, I wanna be the one
It was a calm, sunny afternoon, such as they always seem to exist in Kansas. Lex took a deep breath, letting a smile come to his face. No matter how much time it had went by, whenever he came back to Smallville, a part of him still felt like coming home.
"Why are we here, grandfather?"
The several times judged and even sentenced to ten years of prison multibillionaire turned to look towards his young grandson, who was sitting as perfectly as possible while at the same time looking unbelievable bored and annoyed. Lex let a small smirk cross his face.
"You'll see soon enough."
Kent Farm hadn't changed much over the years. It had grown up, perhaps, but even so, the house looked pretty much the same and there was a telescope pointing towards the sky out of a window and there were laughs coming from the back of the yarn. Four children of several ages were trying to reach for a ball that a tall, still somewhat dark haired man kept out of reach while his grandson pushed his wheelchair.
"Some things never change." He called, feeling the smile stretching his face when the old farmer turned towards him, blinking in surprise. "Isn't it right, Clark?"
"Lex Luthor." The one man he could call both his most trusted friend and his most important enemy gave him the same smile he had when he had been nothing but a sixteen years old teenager, if only more wrinkles moving over his still tanned face. He refused to let himself feel envious of the health the farmer still had. That wasn't the moment for that. "What are you doing here?"
"Would you believe me if I said I was around the neighborhood?"
"No." Clark gave the ball to the smallest of the kids behind him, a boy that was probably around six years old. "Keep this for me, would you, Jon? You guys go to play over the yard, okay? Tell your mom and uncle Jess that we need some lemonade?"
The small boy nodded, taking the hand of one of the older girls, the other one running ahead while calling for who was probably her father.
"Grandpa…" Lex raised his eyebrow towards the young boy behind Clark. He was probably around the same age his grandson, tall and lanky with messy brown hair and the same blue eyes his grandfather had, obviously doubtful of obeying.
"It's okay Carl, you go to."
"Say, young man." Lex said suddenly, tilting his head towards the boy besides him who was looking with some kind of envious annoyance the cut-offs jeans and baggy shirt that Clark's grandson was wearing. "Perhaps you could show my grandson Leon a little around your farm? It's the very first time he is in Kansas, you know. I know for personal experience that there's no better way to find about it."
"Eh… I guess…" when the boy shrugged, Leon turned to look at him curious, a frown on his twelve years old face.
"Go on Leon. Carl, was it? Yes, Carl will show you around."
The frown quickly turned to the glare of every spoiled rich kid learned and used when they were being told to do something without a chance of saying no, but by the time he had turned, his face was full of blank politeness, following Carl towards the yarn. Both grandfathers stayed watching them for a while, hearing the farmer's grandson start questioning about football teams.
"Like a window direct to the past, aren't they?"
"I hope not." Clark said, the smile a little bit harder now that the kids weren't around. "What are you doing here?"
"Would saying that I was feeling nostalgic be better received than my 'around the neighborhood' answer?"
"Not really, no." Clark moved to pick up sweaters and caps left from the children while Lex let out a little sigh, saying in a quiet voice.
"… I heard about Lois. I'm sorry, Clark."
Clark sighed and Lex new that he missed his wife in the same way he still missed Lana, also dead. Her burial had been one of the few times in the last thirty years in which he and Clark had been friends again.
"Is that why you came here, Lex?" Clark asked, walking by his side. "We received your flowers and the basket. You didn't have to come."
"That's part of it, yes. I was in the hospital and the doctors didn't think it'd be convenient to let me out. Since then I changed doctors, of course." His attempt to a joke wasn't well received, but then again, he had been expecting it. Making his wheelchair start moving, he watched the Kent farm again. "I'm dying, Clark."
A falter on his step. "I'm… are you sure, Lex?"
"Sadly, yes." He said calmly. There was no point of breaking down at that. "Doctors are buying me as much time as they can so I can have all my business taken care of."
Lex didn't have to look up to know that Clark's eyes were full of sympathy. It didn't matter that they hadn't been formally friends for more than forty years now; Clark was still going to suffer when he died because of that time in which they had been. Lex was pretty much certain that Clark Kent was going to be the one person in the world who would truly miss him.
"I came because of that. I have something to ask you, Clark."
"Aren't you going to question me about Superman? Again?"
Lex smiled. "Not now, no. I believe I might have gotten my peace finally."
"Is that so?"
Lex chuckled… and then doubled coughing, moving to take the damn Oxygen mask and breath through it, Clark's hand warm and soothing over his back, more so than the sweater he was wearing.
"I'm alright." He answered before Clark had a chance to ask, heartbeat still heavy but he ignored it. That was what lung cancer made to you, after all. "I need your help, Clark."
Lex pointed towards Carl and Leon. Clark's grandson had somehow convinced his to play soccer and Lex smiled just a bit. He could count with one hand the number of times he had seen Leon acting like a kid his age, even more laughing like one.
"For Leon. After I die, there won't be anyone to take care of him. I want you to be his guardian."
"What?" Lex looked up, noticing Clark's surprise and he smiled. It was good, too good to know that there were some things that would never change, no matter what. "Why? I mean… I put you to jail. We've hated each other for years now."
Hatred. He was familiar with that feeling and yet he couldn't say that he had hated Clark. Envied, yes. But there was so, so much more than just hatred. Something deeper that bounded them together, something that, if not for the lies they both had said, might have been glorious.
"Let's call it… a chance, to rewrite history, shall we?" Lex said, making the wheelchair turn towards the barn.
"And if I say no?"
"I'll have to appoint someone else. My grandson will grow alone and he might repeat the same mistakes I did."
"Playing guilt, Lex?"
"No, just stating the facts." Lex said calmly, content on watching his grandson wrestling Clark's over the floor. "The truth is that you are the only person I could think that would truly care about Leon, if he was to be in your care."
"How can you be so sure?"
"Because that's who you are, Clark." Lex smiled again. It was easy to do, here in Kansas. Perhaps that had been the reason he hadn't come back in years. "I'll understand if you don't want to."
Silence, all but for the laughs of the children. Then, a sigh.
"I'll think about it." And that, for a Kent, was a yes but I've to talk myself into it.
"Of course. Leon!" both boys interrupted their game, Leon immediately standing up, dusting his already ruined suit and trying to straighten his tie and coat, Carl not bothering with it. "It's time to go. Thank you, Clark. Carl."
Once they were both in the limousine, he heard his grandson telling his email to Clark's and promises to go horse riding soon. Lex closed his eyes, allowing himself to rest for a while.
Rewriting history indeed.