Disclaimer: I don't own anybody. This is the 21st century, people! Nobody owns anybody! Get over it. J

Important Note: I finally realized what all of my Smallville stories are. They are a saga. All of them are these nice little stories that tie into each other, and they all happen within a few hours or days of each other. The reason this story is so pointless is because it's part of the saga! Get it? See? That's so cool. Anyway, I write a new story every time the viewpoint/plot changes significantly. If anybody's interested, this is technically the fourth story in The Saga. This is the chronological order: Just Friends, As Close As You'll Ever Get, Too Close, and now Hypothetically. I'm so proud of myself. I already have a story arc planned, right up through about two or three more stories. Happiness!

Not So Important Note: I love "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You" and I want to let everyone know that Conspiracy Theory was the best movie ever and you all have to watch it.

Amber. Swirling, golden liquid bubbled in his glass as he held it up to the light. Idly he wondered where he'd formed that habit. Probably his father. Strange how you could pick up mannerisms from people you didn't even like. He brought the small glass to his lips and sucked in as much of the ambrosia as he could. The night was cold and lonely. The disgusting, dusty mansion he called home was so silent that it made him want to scream, and the drink he had now finished was the only thing keeping him company. Wincing from the strength of the bourbon, he put down the glass. It clinked as it hit the mahogany table. What was the point of having your own mansion if you couldn't put down shotglasses with no coasters?

The walls were closing in on him. A few deep breaths put them back where they belonged. He looked out the window. Dark, dark, and cows. Cows and corn and tractors. That was all he could see every time he looked outside. Sometimes it depressed him, sometimes it made him feel at peace. It depended on his mood. Tonight he liked the darkness. He wondered if the mansion would feel like home if he turned off all the lights. He would sit in the silence and the blackness and the only sound would be his breathing.

"You sound suicidal," he told himself. He shook his head to clear the depressing images in his head. Stubbornly he turned on his computer and checked to see if the scientists from the city had analyzed the meteor rock sample he had sent them. They hadn't. He sighed and scrubbed his bare head. Every day he came infinitesimally closer to discovering what it was about Clark that made Lex's survival such a mystery. He had long since decided that it was Clark that was the variable in this case. Clark was the only thing that didn't make sense. And last night Clark had proved that he was indeed holding something back.

"Let it go, Lex. Please." Those had been his exact words. There was something in the high schooler's eyes that told Lex that he was weary of keeping secrets. But what secrets? What was there? His hand tightened into a fist. It was going to haunt him until he knew. And Clark wanted to tell him. He had seen that in his face, the hungry, longing desire to open his mouth and let everything pour out. He wondered if Clark knew how clearly his emotions showed on his face. Maybe it had been that night. Clark had been upset, he had seen that. "What are you running from?" he had asked himself. What, indeed. Lex shook his head irritably. So many mysteries centered around one boy. He headed back to his desk to refill his glass.

Perhaps Clark had been upset about Lana. Lex lounged in his chair, eyes tracing lines on the ceiling, with nothing better to do than speculate about others' lives. Clark was often upset about Lana. It was quite easy when she had a boyfriend who constantly kissed her and hugged her. Unconsciously Lex made a disgusted noise. Whitney was the epitome of a small-town hero. The whole damn place was so tight that the town declared a holiday when the high school won a football game. Hence Whitney's rise to fame. In Metropolis that boy would be swallowed in seconds, overshadowed by some suit-wearing nineteen-year-old with a cell phone. It was lucky for the jock he had been born in Smallville.

Lex himself didn't see what was so wonderful about Miss Lana Lang. Sure, she was beautiful, but so were so many others. She was almost sickeningly nice and had unusual gravity for someone her age. A strange combination that called for a pedestal in a place like Smallville. Small town, he thought again. It seemed like everyone was in love with Lana. Clark had just been caught in the whirlpool. The way he looked at her... it was heartbreaking. The boy felt so much like Lex's younger brother. If Lex had ever had a sibling, maybe his life would have been easier. Living with his father had been a nightmare that he couldn't wake up from, because that was his waking reality. Nightmares were a relief when they came.

His father had never cared about him. He cared about money and power. It was a sick addiction that controlled his life, but the worst part of it was that his father controlled the addiction. He knew exactly what he was doing when he placed his son lower on his priority list than the need to corner the fertilizer market in small-town America. Lex's hand tightened around the little glass. Well, he didn't need his father. He gained nothing by sitting in the dark feeling sorry for himself. He would rise to the top and crush his father's legacy all on his own. He would smash it to bits, grind up the pieces, and build a new legacy from the ashes. His father would die penniless and alone, wishing he had paid more attention to the son that he couldn't love.

With another shotglass his mind wandered back to Lana. She was saccharine and stereotypical, it was true, but there was something… he didn't know. He remembered with an uncomfortable shiver last week, when he had tried to talk to her about Clark and she had responded by almost kissing him. By playing a trick on him. It was juvenile, while at the same time it was frightening. It had been such a wild departure from his impression of her character that he had seriously wondered for a moment if she was on something. But she had been completely serious. And his reaction had haunted him ever since. Perhaps that was the catch with Lana. Her ability to make anyone love her, just for a moment, and then walk away trailing heartstrings.

Not that Lex loved her. He didn't, not even close. He wasn't even sure he liked her that much. Lex had been with so many girls, so many that it seemed ridiculous to him that she would stand out over all the others, especially as they had never been together. And never will be, he told himself firmly. He nodded. Then he shook his head and put a hand to his head. The town was getting to him. In Metropolis he would have never given her a second glance, let alone try to analyze his feelings about her. He had no feelings about her. It was just this cramped, tiny village squatting like a toad in the middle of nowhere. In a place like this, you grabbed the entertainment you could get, even if you were deluding yourself in order to get some. And he was deluding himself.

"Now I know how Clark feels," he whispered. Except that Clark had surrendered to the Midwestern charms of the homecoming queen and was completely lost to her. And she didn't even notice it. That was why he was helping him, pushing Lana in Clark's direction. She had told him, that strange night, that he couldn't make her love Clark, but he could, and he would. It was only a matter of time. Clark Kent would get what he wanted if it was the last thing Lex ever did.

His glass clinked on the table. He felt very removed, as if his mansion was floating underneath him and slowly tipping to the left. Then Lex fell on the floor and he realized that he had downed the entire bottle of bourbon. He got up. Looking at his chair on the floor, he began to giggle. Then he was chuckling, laughing hysterically, bent over and trembling. Still laughing, he half-fell and ended up sitting and sprawled against the wall. His laughter faded away. His throat felt tight. Blinking away tears, he whispered thickly, "You're a sorry sight." He took a breath. "An estranged billionaire's son, drinking himself to sleep in an abandoned mansion." He wanted to laugh again, but he was already crying and it would have confused him too much. His wet eyes closed as if weighted down and he fell abruptly, almost violently asleep.