TITLE: Perpetual Night

RATING: NC-17 (for adult themes and explicit sexual content)

DISCLAIMER: I own nothing (dammit).

SPOILERS: Up to Fanatic, S5

SUMMARY: A different take on what happened during, and after the events of Commencement.

PAIRINGS: Lex and Lana;

NOTES: You should know also, that I've done away with the whole ship arc. Blah, we're just going to pretend that it never existed for this piece. So there's no ship, Brainiac, aliens or Zod. The meteor shower is just that, and isn't written as anything other than a natural disaster.

Feedback is very welcome, because it keeps me wanting to write more!!

Chapter One: Blood in the Water

He watched her plunge the stone into Genevieve's chest and then throw her head back in orgasmic pleasure. The defeated woman's eyes fluttered closed as her life blood pooled out of her body and spread around her in a hideous crimson wave. Lana's body shook, and she looked down at the dead woman beneath her and gasped. Her hands were covered in blood, and noticing this, she leaned back and scuttled away from the corpse in a strange sort of panic. She looked up and noticed Lex standing in her doorway. "I...," she tried to start, but her words dissolved into tears, and she held her hands away from her as if they were evil. Lex pulled himself out of his stunned silence, and rushed over to her, picking her up and away from the widening arc of blood on the floor. "I don't know what happened," Lana managed to squeak out, her eyes wide with fright.

"It's okay Lana," Lex assured her, as he pulled her up to stand. "I'm taking you home with me, and we'll figure this out, okay?" She nodded slowly, and walked woodenly towards the door. Lex wrapped an arm around her to lead her out, and Lana suddenly jerked away from him to retrieve the stone from Genevieve's chest. She put it in her purse calmly, and continued to the door with Lex. They went out the back way.

In the car, both were silent. Lana kept her hands clasped tightly together, and stared out the window at nothing. It worried him that she was being so quiet, and Lex began to suspect that she was in a state of shock. It took an incredible amount of control to drive the speed limit on the way to the mansion.

When they arrived, Lex pulled up to his own personal entrance, so that they wouldn't have to pass many people on the way to his bedroom. He got out of the car and walked around to Lana's side, where she hadn't moved an inch. He opened the door, and touched her shoulder slowly. "Lana?" She turned her head and looked at him as if she were unsure of who he was.

"Oh," she said simply, and looked around herself to be reminded of her current location. Car. Door open. Time to get out.

Lex led her carefully, and as quickly as he dared to his bedroom, locking the door behind them. He flicked the bathroom light on, and pulled her to the sink, finally getting a good look at her. Her hands were a mess, there was blood on her clothes, some in her hair, and worst of all, her eyes were completely blank. Definitely shock.

"We have to wash the blood off of you," he told her, though she gave no sign that she understood him at all. He put the hot water on full blast, removed her rings, and then, nervously, he took her shirt off. Setting his mind to the task at hand, was only made more difficult now that he had to look at her black lace covered breasts. She didn't seem to notice. With a quick sigh, he took both of her hands in his, and began scrubbing them in the sink. The water flashed red, and swirled down the drain. Once convinced that they were clean enough, he used a toothbrush to get all of the blood out from under her nails.

At some point during this job, Lana had become more lucid, and as he worked on her right hand, she reached up with her left and touched the burns on his chest. "What happened?" she asked. Lex turned to look at her, and was reassured to see concern in her eyes. "It's nothing," he said, finishing up with her nails. He tossed the toothbrush in the trash and turned the shower on.

"I have some things that I need to take care of," he told her. "You need to take a shower to make sure there's no blood left, and leave your clothes on the floor. We'll burn them later." She nodded, looking frightened, and he squeezed her arm lightly to comfort her. "I'll be back soon."

Lex called his security people to meet him at Lana's apartment, and then quickly dressed, all the while trying not to think about the fact that Lana was currently naked in his shower.

Halfway back to the Talon, he received word from security that Genevieve's body was gone and that Lionel was waiting for him. Instant fury invaded Lex, and he slammed his foot down on the accelerator. His father was making a grave mistake if he intended to harm Lana in any way.

"All your life, you've had a tendency to let the damsel lead you straight into the mouth of the dragon," Lionel said smugly. "Your feelings for Miss Lang, don't let them cripple your common sense son." Lex fought to keep the rage he felt under control as his father threatened to turn Lana in to the police in exchange for her stone. The door clicked closed as Lionel left, and Lex's mind began turning over rapidly, trying to decide what to do next. There was no way he would give his father Lana's stone. Certainly not since it was now a murder weapon.

First thing, he ordered his security to do a sweep of the room to be sure that his father's team hadn't missed anything (though he was sure they hadn't) and set about collecting some of Lana's things. He pulled a suitcase out of her closet, and packed in personal items and things for her to wear, getting a kinky satisfaction from rummaging through her underwear drawer. Clark Kent, eat your heart out.

The real treasure of the room however, was in her bedside table- her journal. Unable to resist, Lex flipped it open and began reading, moving through the entire book in less than half an hour. Much of it was venting about this or that, her true thoughts about her friends, her reluctance to have sex with Jason and quite a bit about Lex himself. He cringed at the (true) harsh comments of his character and gleaned hope from the obvious curiosity she had for him. Lana was definitely angry with him, but between the lines she gave away hints of the tender feelings she harbored.

". . . that he would do such a thing to me is unbearable. Lex was the only one who didn't treat me like a child, and now here he is, acting as though I'm not as strong or as smart as he always said I was."

"I'm not surprised that neither Lex or Jason told me about China, but it still hurts. Jason is my boyfriend, we're supposed to trust each other, and Lex used to say that I could tell him anything. It's unfortunate that that doesn't go both ways."

"I don't know how to feel about Lex, or Alexander, or whoever, saying that he wants me. I guess deep down, I always suspected that Lex really only wanted me for sex. Everyone told me that no man like Lex would buy the Talon for me if he didn't want to get something out of it. I guess I just thought that if I ignored that, then I wouldn't have to deal with it."

"Lex stopped by to say that he was sorry about Evan's death and promised to use the research to help other children. It's just like him to make me so angry, and then do something that is so good that I feel completely confused as to what my problem was with him in the first place."

"Sometimes I think he's the only one who understands what it feels like to be alone."

Lex decided against bringing the book because he didn't want Lana to realize that he'd read it, and instead tucked it back into the drawer. He finished packing and returned to the mansion.

When he reached his bedroom, the sight of Lana sitting on his bed nearly gave him a coronary. Her hair was still wet, and she was dressed in one of his robes, her hands clenched tightly in her lap. "I brought some of your things so that you . . ." He stopped mid-sentence as he neared, and grimaced when he could see her hands better. She'd scrubbed them nearly raw. Lex sat down next to her, and picked her chin up to look into her eyes.

Tears made rivers down her cheeks as she held his gaze. "What did you do?" he asked softly. Her body shivered as her emotions finally took hold of her, and giant sobs racked her body. He held her close and let her cry into his shoulder. "I'm sorry," she kept saying, and he soothed her as best he could.

"You did nothing wrong Lana." She tried to object, but he hushed her. "You did what anyone in your situation would do. She would have killed you otherwise."

"I don't want to go to jail," she whimpered.

"You won't," he assured her, and leaned back slightly to look at her. "Now you have to trust me. We've had our differences in the past, but you know that I would never let anything happen to you." He brushed her tears away. "I'm going to take care of this, I promise."

She looked into his eyes searchingly.

"I promise," he repeated.

With Lana settled into a guest room near his, Lex finally started to relax, and took stock of the day. Jason and Genevieve were both dead, and Lana was finally staying in his house. His father needed to be dealt with, but other than that, things actually looked pretty good. He would have to be very careful if he wanted to keep a positive spin on the situation with Lana. Surely, the possibility of incarceration would keep her under control.

So many variables to consider though, and his head ached. The warm shower was comforting, but the burns on his chest were painful, and he switched the water regrettably to cold. Even that couldn't erase the memory of half naked Lana though, and by the time he was climbing into bed, it's all he could think about.

An hour ticked by painfully slow, and Lex began to suspect that sleep would never come. His brain simply wasn't willing to shut off yet, despite the glass of brandy that he'd downed. He'd given Lana a few sips of it as well, and chuckled slightly when she gasped at its burn. He tried to picture her now, asleep in her bed, and wanted so very much to check on her.

He had watched her sleeping once. A year ago, she'd come by to talk to him about the Talon, and had fallen asleep on one of his couches while waiting for him to emerge from a business meeting. She looked like an angel, lying there in the firelight and he'd brushed her hair away from her face lightly. She'd awakened then, embarrassed and sleepy, and he thought there was nothing more beautiful.

The sound of his door clicking open tore Lex away from his memories. Just before he shouted at whoever was entering without knocking, he realized that it was Lana and kept quiet. She closed the door behind her, and crept slowly to the bed, stopping for a moment, unsure of what to do. He didn't make a move, and stayed silent, pretending to be sleeping. Finally, she took an uneasy breath, and pulled the covers back on her side, climbing in carefully so as not to wake him. She curled up in a ball and settled in to sleep.

Well, thought Lex. That was unexpected.