AN: The end scene in "Fracture" is one of my top "Clark is such a dick" moments, and since I was watching the episode today to do some research for a different fic anyway, I thought I try my hand at a quick rewrite of that scene. One where Clark and Lex still have a adversarial relationship, but Clark's idea of inspiring someone to be a better person does not consist of making a bunch of mean, if not wholly undeserved, remarks, followed by some extremely condescending comments about how "there's still good in you," and then storming off in a huff when the evil-doer doesn't immediately repent and see the light.

"It's like a reflex; I see you and start defending myself."

Clark bit back his immediate cutting reply about guilty consciences. This Lex, the guy who could find Clark's amnesiac cousin in Detroit – and Clark didn't want to think about how Lex had found Kara there, since neither Detroit nor diners topped, or even made, the list of places that Lex was liable to hang out – and not pick up the phone and call Clark, might deserve it, but the little Alexander inside him didn't, and that's who Clark wanted to talk to anyway. Clark had made him a promise after all. "Actually I'm here to thank you."

"Thank me?" Lex echoed, looking almost stunned that Clark would do something like that. Well, maybe if Lex would do things he deserved to be thanked for…

"Yeah, thank you," Clark said. "I mean, I'm not exactly happy that you didn't call me when you found Kara-"

"I did call, twice," interrupted Lex. "Lana hung up on me before I could get a word out."

Clark stared at Lex in disbelief. How could he, when Clark had come to thank him, look Clark in the eyes and lie like that?

"Lana went to go stay with Chloe a week ago," Clark told him. Lex's face flashed triumph at the apparent fracture in Clark and Lana's relationship, and frustration at being caught out lying, but he didn't say anything. After waiting in vain for a few moments for an apology, Clark sighed and continued. "Look I didn't come here to pick a fight."

"Wouldn't that be a nice change," said Lex, managing to sound snide despite perfectly even and polite tone. Clark leveled a look at him, but otherwise ignored the comment.

"The point is, no matter how you went about it, Kara says you were really nice to her and offered to get doctors to help with her amnesia, and then, when she got kidnapped, you put yourself in danger and even got shot trying to save her, so I just wanted to say thank you very much for doing that for her."

Lex blinked. "You're welcome, Clark." Lex's voice was almost hollow-sounding when he began, but gained confidence as he continued talking. "It's not a problem. I've told you before, I'd do anything for a friend."

"Yeah, you have," Clark acknowledged. Then he steeled himself for next part. "Kara wanted to thank you too, so I'm supposed to ask if you want to come over for dinner tomorrow." In that moment Clark felt a deep sense of empathy for Jonathan Kent, though he imagined he had it a bit worse than his father ever did. After all, Clark had to deal with both the shadow of little Alexander and Kara, the latter of whom Clark suspected not only liked Lex, but liked him.

Clark really hoped Kara got her memory back soon; at least then he could be sure that she could take care of herself without having to worry about any extra vulnerability that might come with being an amnesiac.

"I don't know," Lex was saying. "I've got-"

"Lex," Clark said, "it's just one meal; it won't kill you, and it would mean a lot to Kara if you came. She even dug out Mom's apple pie recipe to make for you as a thank you."

There was a pause, as Lex appeared to seriously consider the invitation rather than just dismissing it out of hand. Finally his lips curled up and he said, "Well, I can hardly say no to one of Martha Kent's pies, can I?"

"You really can't," Clark agreed. And it had been so long since Clark had seen one of Lex's genuine smiles, and directed right at him no less, that Clark couldn't help but to grin in response.

Okay. So maybe Clark could do this after all.