Lex's Creepy Stalker Room

Disclaimer: I do not own Smallville.

Lex might have known that things had been going too well. He had finally managed to piece together the sequence of events that had led him to his unfortunate stay in Belle Reve (even if the memories still largely eluded him), Chloe had a damning recording of his father that left no room for doubt, his father was in jail, and Clark had unexpectedly volunteered to testify in order to keep him there.

Clark being willing to do something as public as testifying in a high-profile trial was actually the most surprising part of it all. Still, Lex supposed that that was explained by the content of Clark's confession. He had stood by, however unwilling, and watched while Lex's father attempted to kill him. Not that he actually blamed Clark or anything but he had wondered about the guilt he had sometimes thought he'd seen on Clark's face since coming home and now he had at least one Clark Kent mystery solved.

Unfortunately, his attempts to unravel another might very well ruin everything.

He just knew that – somehow – this was all his father's fault.

Clark was standing in the middle of his secret room and looking like he wasn't sure how to react. Lex knew better than to hope for understanding and all things considered this was better than some of the outcomes.

There was no point in wondering how Clark even know to come here or how he had gotten in because that was just one of those special Clark things he wasn't allowed to wonder about.

Clark hadn't seemed to notice Lex yet – or he didn't deign to acknowledge his presence – so Lex took it upon himself to break the silence.

"Before you jump to conclusions, Clark-"

But it was a little late for that, wasn't it?

"You told me you stopped investigating me," Clark interrupted flatly. Well, that cut right to the heart of the issue. And to be fair he had stopped investigating. Several times, actually. Somehow, though, he always came back to searching for Clark's secrets.

"I did," Lex said simply.

Clark was the picture of skepticism. "You did? Then what is this?"

"I can understand how you can think all this is about you. But, in fact, it's about me," Lex revealed.

Clark snorted.

"It is!" Lex insisted.

"Lex, you have a giant picture of me in here," Clark said, nodding to the picture in question. "And I don't even remember having it taken."

"You remember every single picture you've ever had taken then?" Lex challenged, jumping at the chance to talk this out instead of watching helplessly as Clark stormed off. This was bad now, yes, but it was nothing compared to how bad it would be once Clark consulted with his parents.

"No, but I think my failure to look at the camera makes that pretty clear," Clark responded.

"Or it could mean that you were told to look natural or there was a photographer going around at a school event," Lex countered.

Clark gave a theatrical sigh. "Even if there's nothing weird or stalker-ish about the picture being taken at all then the fact that you blew it up and put it in your creepy stalker room makes it both weird and stalker-ish!" he declared.

"Oh, it is not a creepy stalker room!" Lex objected.

"The giant picture of me says otherwise," Clark said stubbornly.

"Having a picture of a friend is not stalker-ish," Lex argued.

"It is when it's that size and hidden away in a secret room," Clark disagreed.

"Like you wouldn't have one of Lana if you could?" Lex asked rhetorically. "And while we're on the subject of stalking, what do you call staring at her with your telescope all the time?"

"That's different," Clark said primly. "I'm in love with her."

"So was Greg Arkin," Lex muttered.

"I never tried to kill her!" Clark exclaimed.

"Neither did Van McNulty," Lex told him.

"Was he in love with her?" Clark asked, frowning. "I don't remember that."

"Most of the people who abduct Lana are," Lex reasoned.

His confusion cleared up, Clark glared at him. "Even if what I did were stalking – which it's not and I stopped a long time ago besides-"

"Because she moved," Lex pointed out helpfully.

"Either way," Clark said loudly, "the only way that I could believe that this isn't about investigating me is if you're in love with me and this is your shrine."

Lex rolled his eyes. "I'm not a teenage girl, Clark."

"Well Lana and Chloe are and they wouldn't build a shrine so don't stereotype," Clark instructed.

"I wouldn't build a shrine if I were in love with you, Clark," Lex assured him.

Clark froze. "Wait…Are you saying that you are in love with me?"

"I didn't say that, no," Lex answered.

"But you didn't say that you weren't, either," Clark protested.

"Have you broken the news to Pete that you're not in love with him?" Lex asked politely, arching an eyebrow.

Clark looked mortified. "Well…no. But I didn't have to!"

"And yet I should? It's not wise to take tabloids as the gospel truth, Clark," Lex said calmly.

"I didn't get that from a tabloid!" Clark cried out. "You're the one who said-"

"Actually, Clark," Lex cut in, "I believe that you said that."

Clark thought back. "Well, either way you could at least deny it now!"

"I really couldn't," Lex said apologetically.

"Because it's true?" Clark inquired.

"Because you're a minor," Lex corrected. "I don't see why you care anyway. You completely ignore the fact that Chloe is in love with you."

"She is not in love with me," Clark scoffed.

"One aborted Daily Planet column says otherwise," Lex argued.

"I don't have a problem with people being in love with me, friends or not," Clark announced. "I mean, it's a bit awkward sometimes but…we're getting off-topic. What does me being a minor have to do with anything? There's nothing illegal about telling a minor that you don't love them."

"This is Kansas and we're both me so I don't want to take my chances," Lex replied.

"I'm going to ask you again the minute I turn eighteen," Clark vowed.

"Oh? Will you be sticking around then?" Lex asked, idly glancing around the room.

Clark started as if he had managed to somehow forget all about the matter at hand. "I…haven't decided yet," he said finally. "You still haven't explained how all of this is supposed to be about you."

"Well, I was in that car crash-" Lex began.

"For the last time, I don't care what your computer simulation said," Clark growled. "I was the one not being run over in this situation so I think I would know."

"It's not often that the pedestrian claims that the car accident didn't happen," Lex said mildly.

"Shouldn't that tell you something?" Clark asked pointedly.

"I'm not saying you don't know," Lex said placatingly.

Clark frowned. "Then what-"

"I just think you're lying," Lex said bluntly.

"Lex! How can you accuse me of that?" Clark demanded indignantly.

"The other day you admitted that you've been lying to me about not knowing why my father had me locked away for weeks now," Lex pointed out.

That threw Clark for a moment. "That was for a good cause!"

Huh. Lex had almost expected him to deny that it had happened.

"I didn't say that you lied without it being for a good cause, just that you lied," Lex pointed out.

"Well you lied about investigating me," Clark accused.

"I didn't, actually," Lex corrected him.

Clark threw his hands up. "How can you possibly claim that when we're standing in the middle of your creepy stalker room?"

"Are you ever going to stop calling it that?" Lex asked, annoyed.

"No."

"I can claim it quite easily, in fact, but that wasn't what I meant," Lex explained. "I did stop investigating you and then I started this investigation a few months later."

"You know, Lex, when I asked you to stop investigating me and you agreed, the implication was that you wouldn't start up again five minutes later."

"Five months," Lex insisted. "And inferences are subjective. But that is all beside the point because I wasn't investigating you anyway."

Clark evidently didn't feel the need to dignify that with a response.

"It's true. I'm investigating myself," Lex repeated.

"Why would you need to investigate yourself Lex?" Clark wondered.

"Because this is Smallville and even if it weren't I've recently suffered seven weeks' worth of memory loss," Lex replied. "There's so much of my own life I can't explain. I've survived countless brushes with death and it all started with this car crash."

"Really?" Clark asked skeptically. "You never nearly died doing something stupid in Metropolis?"

"At least then I understood why I almost died and usually exactly what went wrong," Lex replied. "I'm not investigating everything weird in Smallville – who has the time – just the things that have to do with me."

Clark pointed to the picture of himself again. "Are you calling me a weird thing in Smallville?"

Lex hesitated.

"Lex!"

"I wouldn't put it quite that way, no," Lex said hastily. "You are my best friend after all."

"That is still under review," Clark informed him crisply. Trust Clark to be all melodramatic about everything.

"Can I help it that you've been the one to save my life virtually every time I've had a near death experienced?" Lex inquired.

"Oh, so you'd rather I just let you die, is that it?" Clark demanded.

"No, of course not," Lex said soothingly. "It's just that because of your involvement in all of the strange things that have happened to me it is very difficult to investigate myself without investigating you as well."

"So basically you're making excuses and investigating me under the pretence of investigating yourself," Clark concluded.

"I wouldn't say that," Lex prevaricated.

"I would," Clark said flatly. "Why can't you just be honest with me, Lex?"

Lex couldn't believe that Clark had the gall to say that to him considering the very first words Clark had ever said to him were lies and his track record had hardly improved. If Clark hadn't been such good company and so fascinating in a town full of boring people who hated him, the lies would have come between them a long time ago.

"Fine," Lex said, making a split-second decision. "Clark, I've come to the conclusion that you're a meteor mutant."

"No, I'm not," Clark said automatically.

Lex rolled his eyes. "Maybe I'm not honest with you more often because of all of your blatant and frankly insulting lies."

"But I'm really not!" Clark protested.

"No, of course not," Lex said sarcastically. "What is it then? Wizard? Elf? Alien?"

Clark started at that last one.

Wow. Just…of all the ways Lex thought he'd learn Clark's secret, a sarcastic quip was among the last. Clark was an alien. He didn't look like an alien but he was a terrible liar and his reaction made it clear that, if nothing else, he believed himself to be an alien. It would certainly explain why he was so different than the meteor mutants since he wasn't actually one of them.

Lex peered closely at him. "You're an alien? I must say, the universe doesn't seem to have as much diversity as I would have thought."

"I've…got to go," Clark said, staring desperately at the door.

"I won't tell anyone, if that's what you're wondering," Lex promised him. "And I'll get rid of the room. I probably would have anyway since you and my father know all about it. I'd like to know more but I think that can wait until you stop looking like the world is ending."

"I'm not an alien," Clark said unconvincingly.

"That denial's a little late, Clark," Lex informed him. "You really should have just claimed to be a meteor mutant if you really didn't want me to know. I'm fairly certain I'm one myself and I can usually trust you not to go crazy on me."

"Usually?" Clark asked, narrowing his eyes.

"Remember that time you wanted to run away to Metropolis with me?" Lex reminded him. "Or that time you ran away all summer?"

"I wasn't violent," Clark insisted.

"Glad to hear it," Lex said. "So…you're an alien."

Clark winced. "Can you maybe stop saying that?"

"Can you maybe admit that I'm right?" Lex shot back.

"Isn't not denying it enough?" Clark asked.

"You already denied it," Lex pointed out.

"Well…isn't not continuing to deny it enough then?" Clark asked pleadingly.

"For now," Lex agreed.

"It…really doesn't bother you?" Clark asked uncertainly.

"Not unless you're here to conquer the world," Lex replied.

Clark smiled wryly. "I think that's more your thing than mine."

"See, that's why it would bother me. I can't stand the competition," Lex deadpanned. "Are you okay, Clark?"

"I don't know," Clark admitted. "Maybe. I'm more okay than when I came in here."

"For what it's worth I'm sorry and it won't happen again," Lex promised.

"You know now so it doesn't need to happen again," Clark pointed out.

"Well I would have said the same thing if I didn't know," Lex told him.

"And you would have tried to keep it, too," Clark said distantly. "This time you should be able to keep that promise."

Lex shrugged. "We all have our flaws, Clark."

"You won't try to keep investigating me to, I don't know, figure out my limits or whatever, will you?" Clark asked with some trepidation.

"If I have any questions, I'll just ask," Lex assured him. "And I'll hold off on that anyway so you have some time to come around to the idea."

"That sounds like a good idea," Clark said, relieved.

"So…are we okay?" This time it was Lex's turn to be nervous although he liked to think it didn't show.

Clark considered the question. "We will be."

Lex nodded, accepting that. It was probably better than he deserved. He couldn't help but think the fact that he had suddenly and accidentally learned Clark's secret was behind much of his sudden willingness to forgive but he was alright with that.

Clark smiled suddenly. "You know, I really should thank your dad."

Lex frowned. "My dad? What for?"

"He's the one who told me to come in here and gave me the key," Clark replied.

That figured.

"If he hadn't then who knows what might have happened with me not telling you anything and you continuing to investigate me," Clark said thoughtfully.

Lex briefly debated arguing the point but ultimately decided that it wasn't worth it.

"I am a little surprised that we managed to work through this, though. Or at least, mostly," Clark continued to muse.

"Well, naturally," Lex said. "Stuff of legends, remember?"

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