A/N: I'm using the song "Bother" by Stone Sour.

Disclaimer: I don't own SV or "Bother."

Summary: Future-fic. Lex Luthor hasn't been in Smallville for a long time, and now, before he sells the mansion, he needs to go through some old belongings stored in the house. How will Lex compare what he was and what he has become?


Here he was. Back at the huge stone castle he had once called home. Lex pulled up to the gates that blocked the driveway to the castle. Ivy covered them, hiding the rust the once shiny iron had become. Lex sat in his expensive car for a moment before tentatively walking up to the dark gates. Above the line of trees, Lex could see it, the colossus that he had inhabited for over ten years. The turrets loomed over the trees menacingly, belying the warmth he had once found within their rooms. Lex shivered as a cold breeze passed him, knocking a few dead leaves from the large trees surrounding him. Lex took a deep breath and pushed open the gates.

Inside the gates, the gravel driveway was completely covered with fallen leaves. They cushioned Lex's feet as he walked toward the doorway of the mansion. As Lex approached the door, he studied every inch of the castle in an attempt to quash the unbidden memories surfacing inside his mind.

Wish I was too dead to cry
My self-affliction fades

Lex walked slowly through the front doors of the mansion and carefully closed them behind him. The thick dust on the floor hushed the click of his expensive shoes and the thick walls prohibited any outside noises. This created a dense silence akin to that of a cemetery. Lex walked further into the house, noticing the white sheets that covered the furniture around him. To his right was a large square object concealed beneath a sheet. Lex walked over to it and pulled the sheet off letting it gather silently at his feet. A large portrait of Lionel Luthor now faced the billionaire. Lionel Luther's eyes were dark and cold as the arctic, completely lifeless and without luster. Lex cringed and backed away from the portrait.

Stones to throw at my creator
Masochists to which I cater

Lex quickly made his way farther into the castle. He peered inside doorways, breathing in the dusty emptiness of each room. He saw ghostly images of what had once been. He saw the dining room bustling with catering preparing for a dinner party, he saw the maids quietly tidying each room, and he saw his father waiting for him in the library. Ironic, how full the house was and how empty it seemed.

Lex continued down the hall until he reached a room he knew very well. Lex smirked as he entered his study. The pool table was still there, covered with a dusty sheet, ignored for…how long had it been since he'd seen this room? He couldn't remember. Lex smirked as he pulled the sheet off a black leather couch. He sat and examined the room. Many things had happened here. Many amazing things, and, Lex cringed slightly, many things he would rather forget. Lex shook his head slightly to remove the more unpleasant images from his mind. As he did this, something caught his eye.

You don't need to bother;
I don't need to be
I'll keep slipping farther
But once I hold on,
I won't let go 'til it bleeds

Lex's desk had something on it. Lex frowned; he remembered taking everything that he had on his desk with him when he left. Lex walked over to his desk. He had no idea what the forgotten item was as a sheet was covering both the desk and the object. Carefully, Lex pulled the sheet off his former desk. An old picture frame clattered to the floor. Lex leaned over and picked it up. Four faces stared back at him.

Lex recognized himself, in the back, smirking slightly. Lana Lang was standing next to him, flashing her famous doe-eyed smile. Clark stood next to her, smiling widely with all of his farm-boy charm. And in front was Chloe, obviously holding the camera while still trying to be in the picture herself. Chloe had her arm thrown around his shoulder, smiling her mega-watt smile. Lex remembered that day. Chloe had her arm around him to keep him from running before the picture was taken. The picture had been taken during Lana, Clark, and Chloe's junior year of high school, when they still considered him a friend. A friend…

Wish I was too dead to care
If indeed I cared at all

Lex dropped the picture quickly, letting the glass break as it hit the floor. He then swiftly walked out of his old study closing the door behind him.

Never had a voice to protest
So you fed me shit to digest

Lex continued his tour of the mansion, though a little more quickly this time. He traversed the corridors without looking in all of the rooms, though he stopped when he found another room he remembered all too well.

Lex stepped into the room where he had held his research on Clark. The memories came flooding back. Lex looked around the now empty room seeing the ghosts of photographs and artifacts, evidence of his once overpowering obsession with the mystery that was Clark Kent. Lex closed his eyes tightly to block out the memories that assaulted him. With his eyes still closed, Lex backed slowly out of the room.

I wish I had a reason;
My flaws are open season
For this, I gave up trying
One good turn deserves my dying

Lex Luthor quickly found his way to the nearest staircase. Lex's old life was downstairs. He would go to his old room upstairs. His room never changed. It was the place where he would sleep and sometimes share his bed with nameless and faceless women who he would forget the next day.

Lex slowly opened his door to his old bedroom. Crimson sheets lay atop a large four-post cherrywood bed. A large dresser stood on the opposite wall next to the closed door that led to the bathroom. Another door concealed the large walk-in closet. Lex opened this door expecting to see an empty, dark closet once filled with his favorite lavender silk shirts. To Lex's surprise, he saw an old cardboard box toward the back. Lex grabbed the box and sat down on his old bed.

You don't need to bother;
I don't need to be
I'll keep slipping farther
But once I hold on,
I won't let go 'til it bleeds

Lex carefully lifted the lid off the box and gazed down upon its contents. Pictures and photographs sat inside covered by a thin layer of dust. Lex pulled out the picture that sat on top. It was a picture of him when he was very young. He was smiling widely revealing the gap where he had lost one of his front teeth. His curly red hair sat wildly on top of his head desperately calling for a comb. That was before the accident. The accident he had barely survived. What if he had died? Would his mother still be alive? Would Julian? Would the world be any different?

Wish I'd died instead of lived
A zombie hides my face
Shell forgotten
With it's memories
Diaries left
With cryptic entries

Lex set the picture of himself to the side. Beneath it was a few photographs of Clark, Lana, and Chloe. Lex quickly brushed those away letting them fall down the sides to the bottom of the box. Beneath those he found a picture of her. It was in a beautiful frame with golden ivy twisting intricately around the picture, the picture of her, his mother. She smiled broadly and laughter danced in her eyes. What was she laughing at? Of course, she was laughing at him, at his shortcomings. He was a daemon while she was an angel. He had fallen; he had fallen so far into the abyss and she was not there to pull him back out. He was beyond saving.

You don't need to bother;
I don't need to be
I'll keep slipping farther
But once I hold on

Lex Luthor silently walked through the corridors and out the front door, barely disturbing the dust in his wake. He had entered and left the house like a wraith, no trace of him left behind. Lex walked back down the gravel driveway ignoring the crunching of leaves and scurry of animals in the trees that surrounded him. Lex unlocked the door to his expensive car and climbed inside. He pulled out of the driveway and sped down the rode completely disregarding the speed limit. The mansion disappeared beyond the horizon.

Back in the castle, the broken picture in Lex's study still lay on the floor, and in Lex's bedroom, the box of photographs still sat on his bed and continued to collect dust.

I'll never live down my deceit