Title: The Artifact

Disclaimer: Not mine. No money made.

Pairing: Clex, Lexionel

Warning: AU, Incest, Slash

Spoilers: Sort of Lineage, but my own very, very AU take on it.

Summary: Clark tells Lex his secrets as a wedding gift before Lex marries Helen. True feelings are revealed, but Clark's blood is tested and shows that he's human and a Luthor. Then a mysterious artifact is found and Lionel is killed and Lex is suspected. Did Lex kill Lionel to protect Clark? Or was it the other way around?

The back-story will unfold in the next few chapters. This chapter takes place in the future of this story and the following chapters relate what came up to this point. I don't want to say too much, because that would ruin some of the surprises. Hopefully this will draw you in enough to warrant a read of the future chapters.


Lex Luthor sat in the Metropolis' Central Police Department's interrogation room number four. His arms were folded loosely across his chest, one leg rested over the other, while his blue-grey eyes stared straight ahead at seemingly nothing. He had been sitting like this for fifteen minutes: still and silent after he had requested his lawyer. As the son of Metropolis' richest and most powerful man and with his plenty of power, money and political pull in his own right, Lex wouldn't have been held for any other reason than the direst: suspicion of murder. Suspicion of murder of Lionel Luthor, his own father.

Detective Branish studied the cool, collected figure before him. Though Lex was only 22, he had the bearing and demeanor of someone much older. He had none of a youth's need to brag or throw his weight around. When Branish had accused Lex of the crime, the young man's only reactions were to blink at him and then give him a tight smile as he requested to call his attorneys. Lex seemed completely unconcerned. And Branish wondered why.

Was it because Lex believed his power and wealth would insulate him from any crimes he did commit? Protect him even from a charge of patricide? Or was it because he was innocent? But the innocent usually protested loudly when falsely accused. Lex hadn't done that. He hadn't seemed offended or even surprised to be accused of murder and that was strange in itself. Branish leant forward on the scarred tabletop in front of him, determined to get some answers.

"You haven't shown one ounce of emotion at your father's death, Mr. Luthor … or may I call you Lex?"

Lex's eyes didn't even flicker to him; it was like Branish simply wasn't there.

"Why is that? Did you hate him so much? What did he do to earn such … dismissal?"

Still nothing. Lex was so still that he resembled more a statue than a man. His alabaster skin emphasized that resemblance. However, the dark purple raw silk shirt and the black of the suit coat Lex wore reminded Branish of bruises. And a statue never bruised, but he believed Lex Luthor did.

"He hurt you, didn't he? Your father …"

There was just the barest movement of Lex's eyes, a quick snap to Branish then away.

"And no one stopped him, did they? He could do whatever he wanted and you … you could be screaming in the middle of a crowded street and no one would come help you. Isn't that right, Lex?" Branish kept his voice smooth and low. His eyes were the only things sharp about him and they catalogued every reaction the other man had to his words.

There was a tightening around Lex's expressive mouth and a pulsing of a vein at his right temple. The bare skull, hair prematurely gone, made Lex look almost vulnerable. No hair to hide his feelings behind.

"Is that why you killed--"

"Killed him? Please," Lex said suddenly, his voice rich with sarcasm. The statue was gone and there was a sense of tightly reined energy as Lex's body turned and he pinned Branish with an icy stare. "Come now, Detective, do you really think I'll confess under the weight of your amateur psychology? If you're even half as intelligent as you seem I'm sure you know that my father was the master of the mind-fuck so … this," Lex gestured between them with a sneer twisting his handsome face, "this is nothing to me."

"Did he fuck you in any other way?"

There was a hiss of breath that Branish didn't know what to make of at first. But then he realized that Lex was laughing. The young man covered his mouth with one hand as the chuckles died away.

"I'm sorry … just you saying it like that as if you could shock me into … oh, Detective, I suppose I gave you too much credit after all."

Branish smiled even as the one hand he held under the table clenched. "Well, compared to you I'm sure to be labeled a dummy. Not all of us can be geniuses."

Lex's mirth faded suddenly. "You don't have to be a genius to know that I had nothing to do with my father's death."

"Oh, well, enlighten me then."

"His neck was crushed, Detective. Pulverized. No human being could have done that." Lex splayed his slender white hands on the table as if to demonstrate how impossible it was for him to have anything to do with his father's death.

"Lex!" A sweet but masculine voice suddenly called as a dark-haired teen burst into the interrogation room.

The teen was closely after by two men in somber, well-cut suits who were obviously lawyers and Branish's Lieutenant who gave the Detective a warning look. He shouldn't have been speaking to Lex after the man had requested his attorneys. But he hadn't been able to resist.

For the first time since Branish had laid eyes on Lex Luthor, the young man finally showed true emotion. There was a softening somehow in Lex's whole stance. His eyes latched onto the teen's form as if there was nothing else in the world.

"Clark … you shouldn't be here."

"Are you kidding me?" Clark's voice rose at the end. His large hands hovered near Lex's shoulders. The boy's desire to grab Lex and pull him close was palpable, but instead the teen just placed them on Lex's shoulders and squeezed gently. "Wherever you go, I'm with you."

The statement reminded Branish of an Old Testament Bible verse that he couldn't quite remember. The sense of something more being conveyed by the two men was clear. Lex's blue-grey eyes became warm and a slight smile tugged at his lips.

"This is nothing to worry about, Clark. They have nothing on me and I would have been out of here in moments anyways." He pointed to the lawyers who were speaking softly but furiously to the Lieutenant, who could only nod and scowl.

"I wasn't going to let you face this alone, not for one second." A mulish expression crossed Clark's almost too pretty features and his bright green eyes narrowed.

Lex snorted softly. He reached up and touched the side of Clark's face, a feather-light brush of fingers, before he pulled that hand away. "Stubborn. Don't know who you inherited that from."

And then Branish knew who the teen was. "So this is the newest Luthor?"

Lex's shoulders tensed and the boy … Clark … gave Branish a sharp look from under dark bangs, clearly annoyed that Lex had been bothered rather than at the comment itself.

"This is my brother … yes," Lex said softly and there was a dangerous lilt to his voice as if daring Branish to say another word.

"He's only your half-brother, isn't he?"

"He's my brother, Detective. You may mince words, but I don't."

The protectiveness and possessiveness that leaked through Lex's voice was giving Branish ideas, explanations were fitting in place as to why Lex would snap now and go against his father after putting up with … mind-fucks … for years.

Lex suddenly stood, facing Clark and dismissing Branish. He put one hand lightly on the teen's lower back, guiding him towards the door.

"I'll be seeing you soon, Mr. Luthor. You and your brother," Branish said.

Lex froze, but didn't turn around. "I don't think so, Detective."

Branish stayed at the interrogation table for a long time after they had left. He ran a hand through his graying hair and exhaled sharply. He could smell the lies and mystery surrounding Lionel Luthor's life and death. It was the sweetest scent to him. He would find out what happened. Even though he knew it wasn't going to be good for his career. Even though from the stone-cold stare Lex had given him it might not even be good for his physical well-being. But Branish hadn't lived his life in safety. He liked walking the edge. And this was the sharpest edge he'd ever found.