Title: 5 Ways Lex Observed Chloe, and 1 Way She Observed Him
Character/Pairing: Chloe, Lex
Rating: Mild R
Summary: The mysterious complexities of human nature held more of a pull for Lex Luthor than anything else.
Disclaimer: I don't own Smallville.
Author's Notes: Thanks to JennyLD for the beta.
The mysterious complexities of human nature held more of a pull for Lex Luthor than anything else. More than the sweeping brush strokes of a painting or the statuesque grace of a piece of art shaped from copper or marble. More than the haunting strains of a composed symphony, or the depths of the most heart-filled poetry about love or war.
He was drawn to it more than any female body.
In his work, he studied it daily. At night, he mapped it out in his labs, hidden behind concrete walls and wires and electronics. The meteor-freaks of Smallville and the world at large held him in their thrall.
Why did they do the things they did? What compelled them?
Observing his fellow humans often left him with more questions than answers, but not this time.
Circling around his desk, he stared unwaveringly at the screen on the wall, watching Chloe Sullivan slip by his guards, leaving with a flash drive full of the petty little things he'd tempted her with.
It was in her nature to seek out the truth, to find answers, same as him, but her form of curiosity took a different avenue than his. No less valid, but certainly more easily manipulated. Letting her get away with what she thought was valuable was in Lex's nature because he wanted to see what she would do with the information.
Information about her.
Watching Chloe flip the flash drive over and over in her hands on the table in front of her, Lex sat back, tilting his laptop screen for a better viewing angle.
She flipped it again, and he didn't have to wonder what was driving her actions. She was scared and nervous, worried about what she was becoming. It was partly his fault; he'd only allowed her enough information to tease her, to whet her appetite for more.
To make her fear what was happening to her and what her abilities might lead her to do in the future.
Closing his laptop, he watched her toss money onto the table and slip the flash drive into her pocket. Leaving the restaurant at a safe pace behind her, he did what he did best.
He observed her.
She slipped into the darkness of the night, swallowed up by shadows and a crowd of people waiting to get into a club he used to frequent. Chloe went right past it, barely noticing the scantily clad females and the sharply dressed males lining the sidewalk. All her attention seemed to be on the path ahead.
Then she began to run.
He took a minute to return to his car and head along the street she'd disappeared down. He didn't spot her at first, but then he saw her and drew in a sharp breath.
It amazed him, the things humans did. The things Chloe Sullivan did. Putting herself out there in full danger just to stop a mugger. And somehow, she had.
Was her power beginning to manifest?
Watching through the windshield, Lex flipped open his cell phone and dialed 911. It wouldn't do to lose his subject just as she was coming into her own.
Chloe was clever; he'd give her that. She'd quickly made her way around all of his firewalls, sending his computer experts into a panic. There was a barrage of tech-speak shouted back and forth as they tried to keep up with the one woman in Metropolis they had reason to fear because she could quite easily, with the stroke of a key or two, get them fired.
But she was clueless about the power she held in her fingers beyond her own ends and means. Information; it's what she craved and what he didn't want to her have, not all at once.
He had a need to continue to taunt her, to drag things out as long as he could. It was bone deep and saturated his blood. Letting her have everything she wanted would be unsatisfying for him. He liked observing her. Liked tailing her and studying her responses to every roadblock he put in her way.
Stephens pushed his chair across to the far bank of computers. "She's bypassing the security measures in--"
"Not in my lifetime, she's not," Lester called triumphantly, rapidly tapping on the keyboard before smacking a button with finality.
For a few tense seconds, they all sat and waited.
Then all the screens went black and Lester violently shoved himself back in his chair, rolling a few inches. "Son of a bitch, she's good."
Smirking proudly at Chloe's skills, Lex straightened his tie and headed out of the room. "You're both fired."
It was times like these when Lex enjoyed his obsession with human nature more than anything.
Chloe was broken.
It wasn't the first time, nor would it be the last.
Right now, she was on the floor, curled up and crying, and he had the urge to ask her why she put herself out there if it hurt this much. He'd stopped doing so years ago.
The pain he suspected she felt mirrored something in him.
She hadn't been to LuthorCorp in weeks and he'd... missed her. Her apartment didn't feel intimate enough for him. The hallways and rooms in it were alien. He'd only dared to slip in and walk around them once. They weren't alien to the man who'd thrown her across the living room and slammed her against the wall though.
Just another meteor-freak who'd followed her home after her late night activities. Like the ones she'd somehow managed to stop, this one was bent on death and destruction as well.
Lex's men were already there, breaking down the door, and it was interesting to note that the man who'd hurt Chloe thought he was indestructible. So many did. But his strength and speed were no match for the meteor-rock infused tazers and he dropped like a boulder to the floor.
Lex fisted his hands by his sides when he fell too near Chloe.
He'd thought it impossible, but he was beginning to feel things for his favorite subject. That hadn't happened in years. Not since--
Well, she was dead and gone now, years passed, and they'd all moved on.
Sitting across from Chloe was a new experience.
He was used to the flatness of a screen between them, monitors and distorted sound.
Fighting crime agreed with her, there was a glow that the monitors couldn't capture, a sheen that gave her the look of a woman in love... happy. That fabled look that poets and songsters tried desperately to capture in verse, but rarely ever did.
Chloe was the embodiment of it.
"Those were your men," she told him, sliding the flash drive across the surface of the table. "You've been having me followed. What I want to know is, how long. Before or after I broke into LuthorCorp and found this?"
"Before," he conceded, playing his fingers over the object she'd spent so much time handling.
It was like she'd given him a part of her, a piece of her being. She'd held it, scoured its contents for hours and hours, even slept with it on the nightstand beside her.
"You've been breaking into my company, Chloe." Lifting the corner of his lips in a small smile, he took her in, seeing the beautiful woman she'd become, thanks, in part, to him.
She smirked, sitting back with a proud shrug. "Had to get your attention somehow."
"And now that you have it?"
The feel and taste of her body was so close he could already savor it, knew it was just a matter of time before he really did. She'd be writhing underneath him before the week was out. Screaming his name as he fucked her so hard that he learn the secrets of her soul.
"Well, now, that's the question," she murmured, biting her lip.
Her eyes were bright and shining; tempting him.
Chloe was curious. It was in her nature and she often found herself studying people as they passed, watching a couple as they talked intimately, or fought quietly in the corner of a restaurant.
She was drawn to people.
To the nature of humans and aliens alike.
In her work as Watchtower, she was able to study it daily. At night, she felt like she had a lab of her own, set up to study the reasoning and explanations for everything she'd ever wondered about.
Staring down at Lex as he slept, she studied the tilt of his lips as he drew in a breath and half turned toward her. Readjusting her head on her hand, she shifted her elbow and leaned closer, observing him.
Why did he do the things he did? What compelled him?
It was in his nature to seek out the truth, to find answers, same as her, but his form of curiosity took a different avenue than hers. No less valid, but certainly more easily manipulated. Letting him think he had the upper hand was in her nature because she wanted to see what he was like when no one else was around.
And, so, nearly every night now, since she'd discovered her new meteor power, she'd turned herself invisible--clothes and all--slipped into whatever room he happened to be in, and watched him.
Soon enough, she'd reveal herself to him. She knew he wanted her. Knew he fantasized about her. Knew he'd jacked off to images of her, taken in her apartment while he fantasized about taking her. There were images of her naked, stripping down for his pleasure, for his eyes. Videos of her masturbating to thoughts of him, thoughts of fucking him and learning his secrets.
For some time now, the observed had been watching the observer.