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Fic: All the Difference, part 10

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Elements of Lex's characterization here are inspired by the "Lex Luthor: Man of Steel" comic. Thanks again to gnine for the beta. Meanwhile, back with the other Lex...

Smallville: All the Difference, 10/? {4,094 words}
NC-17, Clark/Lex, futurefic, AU (in a manner of speaking)
Lex Luthor wakes up in his own bed in his own penthouse, infinitely far from all he knows. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor wakes up in his own bed in his own penthouse, just as far from home...



All the Difference (10/?)



"So what do you have for me, Dr. Matsumoto?"

Lex had waited until the afternoon, when post-lunch laziness slowed everyone's production and no one was likely to call on business and notice his absence from the office. Though that caution might have proved unnecessary.

Superman was, Lex had to admit, taking this remarkably well. Only the alien would have the strength of will or stupidity, after last night's revelation, to go back to work the next day as if nothing was wrong, blithely trusting the stranger in his lover's place.

They had talked for hours the night before, mostly Superman asking questions Lex avoided answering, except for those questions he had no answers to at all. Shortly before dawn they had gone to bed, together. Nothing especially awkward about maintaining that illusion; there was more than enough space in the bed for them to lie apart. Lex hadn't intended to fall asleep, but a couple hours later he had been roused from a restless doze by Superman's touch, fingers brushing his brow as he murmured, "Goodbye, I'll see you tonight."

Lex might have laughed at the parody of domestic bliss. He couldn't believe that Superman would abandon him so readily, but throughout the day he kept an eye out for a red cape watching from afar, and saw nothing. The proximity alerts gave no warnings. When he called the Daily Planet, Clark Kent answered, with Lois Lane's voice audible in the background.

Maybe Superman was trusting him.

Maybe Lex wasn't the crazy one here.

At two o'clock, with Mercy dismissed on yet another useless fact-checking expedition, Lex dared take the elevator down to the basement. The innermost lab was lead-shielded and completely sound-blocked, due to the nature of the sensitive equipment within. Matsumoto met him there, eager to show off his new toys.

The flash stun grenade was no bigger than a pill bottle and of a deliberately similar shape; the laser was even smaller, not much thicker than a pencil, indistinguishable from a standard laser pointer. "You could get either through airport security, no problem," Matsumoto declared. "Just high-density porcelains and glass, no metal. The grenade is set off like this--" and he made to twist the lid of the fake bottle.

Lex stopped him with a hand over the bottle. "No need to show me, Doctor. This is the only prototype, yes?"

"Oh. Uh. Yeah. No--the second, the first one's already gone. Tested it. Worked great. It's only the red spectrums you wanted, no sound, but bright enough to stun for a couple minutes and blind for a good half hour, even if your eyes are closed, if you're close enough. Uh, make sure you're not looking straight at it, there could be permanent damage to the optic--"

"I'm aware," Lex said, keeping his patience with effort. One would think he hadn't designed the grenade, from Matsumoto's urgent precautions. He already had the contact lenses fitted to block the appropriate spectrums. The bands were narrow enough not to significantly impede his vision, but they might tone down the assaulting hue of the superhero's cape, at least.

The little doctor jumped. "Uh, yeah, of course, sorry, Mr. Luthor. Uh, anyway, the laser works, too. It's fully charged now. That's, uh, about forty seconds at full power. It can burn through three centimeters of steel in half that. Though, uh, watch it, it gets too hot to handle after about fifteen. If you gave me a couple more days, I could get the coolant system working--"

"That's all right," Lex said, turning the laser around in his hand. It was heavy for its size, solid, but still under a hundred grams. The switch depressed in the side, triggered with a fingernail, changed it from a harmless pointer to a lethal drill.

Fifteen seconds should be enough; would have to be enough, even if Superman were already stunned and blinded by the grenade. His eyes would already be weakened; the laser's red light would pierce what bullets could not penetrate, would burn and boil.

Lex would only have one chance. He would have to be absolutely sure. Absolutely sure of the necessity; it risked too much otherwise. He had alibis planned already, naturally, but if he couldn't convince Batman, or the rest of the League, of his innocence, before he was ready...

He slipped the laser into his slacks pocket, the grenade already tucked away in his jacket. "And what about the other project, Doctor?"

"Uh, the modified phase-spectrum defense cannon?" Matsumoto mumbled. "That's coming, I mean, like I said, until it's mounted it can't be calibrated right--uh, and you haven't told me what you need it calibrated for, organic things, or ships, or aliens, or what. Don't you need an international permit anyway, for something with an upper atmosphere range?"

"Don't concern yourself with that, Doctor," Lex told him. "I'm making the appropriate arrangements now."

"Uh, yeah, of course, Mr. Luthor," Matsumoto said, bobbing his head with a grin that was disturbingly...trusting.

As trusting as Superman. When Lex took the elevator back up to his office, twenty minutes had passed. There were no calls from Clark Kent. No sign that anyone had noticed he had been gone, or cared.

In his private bathroom off the office he put on the contacts, studied his reflection. They were hardly noticeable, and the mass of the stun grenade was concealed under the lines of his jacket. Even if Superman x-rayed him, it wouldn't be identifiable. Just a security device, he could say, a prototype from the labs based on something he had in his own world. He was more comfortable having it on his person. What would Superman have to worry about? It wasn't lead-shielded; there was no kryptonite in it. Superman rarely worried about any other dangers.

That was if Superman bothered to x-ray him; if this trusting calm were only an act. If he were genuine--genuinely crazy--then he might not even examine Lex.

Though Superman appeared in his office at six o'clock exactly, less than sixty seconds after his shift at the Planet ended, still in his suit and tie. So he might not be so calm about this after all.

"Sorry," was the first thing out of Superman's mouth. "After calling in sick for two days I couldn't afford to miss another, and you seem to be handling LexCorp well enough. But I didn't mean to just abandon you like that."

He didn't x-ray Lex, or didn't ask any questions if he did. Lex casually slid his hand into his pocket as they took the elevator back to the penthouse together. He curled his fingers around the cool ceramic of the laser and answered the hero cordially, "No, not at all. I'm managing well enough," smiling back at Superman's friendly smile.

Insane smile.

They had dinner together. The small-talk over linguini in marinara sauce was about football scores. "You mean the Sharks lost the championship last year, in your world?"

"They didn't make it to the Superbowl," Lex replied.

"But you do still own the team, right?"

"Yes," Lex said, wondering if it was possible to slip into another parallel dimension after one had already fallen into one. Or else this was all a ploy. Get his guard down. Drive him farther into madness.

"And you didn't buy them their victory?"

"Never--you mean I waste money on fixing games here?" Lex asked sharply. He had never been a sports fan, but he had an innate appreciation of competition, and fixing wins for idle profit was little more than opportunistic parasitism. "How will a loser learn anything, without the drive for victory to spur them?"

"No, you don't. Sorry, just messing with you." Superman was staring at him. "You can sound just like him. My Lex."

"I'm not yours," Lex spat, disgruntled enough not to take advantage of that opening.

"No. You're not."

Lex was mad. A touch of dementia brought on by sleep deprivation and cross-universe confusion. He definitely wasn't feeling pity for the alien, however human and lonely he appeared at that moment.

When Superman asked, "So do you think my Lex is in your world?" he didn't know what to say.

The possibility had occurred to Lex. The laws of conservation worked between dimensions as well as within universes; while he made no assumptions on the material nature of the mind or spirit, it stood to reason that with his consciousness here, the consciousness of the Lex native to this universe had to be somewhere.

The thought of Superman's lover parading around in his body, dabbling in his LexCorp and making eyes at his nemesis, was unpleasant at best. Nightmarish at worst. What if he grew lonely and took it up with Mercy again? Or got bored and started making charitable foundations, or designing video games, or whatever it was he did with his company here?

It had been less than a week. How much damage could he do?

He was Lex Luthor. Wiser not to answer that question. Or ask it at all.

He needed to find Carrefour and get back to his proper place. If she were somehow responsible for this, then she sure as hell better be able to undo it.

"I don't know where--your Lex is." They were sitting on the couch in the study, facing the turned-off television, scotch glasses in hand. Lex would have just as soon gone back to his office after dinner, contacted Bruce Wayne to see if he had made progress tracking down Carrefour. But Superman seemed under the impression that Lex wanted to talk as much as he did. And he must stay close to the hero. Observing; waiting. Patience was the only chance he had. The laser in his pocket poked against his thigh, pressed at an angle by the couch cushions. "But yes," Lex said, "he might be in my world."

"If your world still exists," Superman said. At Lex's sharp look, he explained, "Isn't it possible that you aren't from a parallel universe, but from an altered timeline? If someone went back in time and changed a past event, this might be a whole new history."

It was a reasonable postulation. "If that were the case, why would I remember the original past?"

"No idea. Maybe because you were the one who changed it? Or who was going to change it--you weren't working on a time machine, were you?"

"Not specifically, no. And I had no reason to change history anyway."

"Really?" Superman looked genuinely surprised and relieved, as he turned on the couch towards Lex, bringing up one leg to sit cross-wise. "So your world's not so terrible, after all."

Lex glared forward at the blank television screen. Didn't shift to the other end of the couch, though Superman's arm draped across the back was almost brushing his shoulder. "Why would it be?"

"No, sorry." Superman shook his head. "It's just, Lex--my Lex. The past few months--maybe half a year now, he's been having these nightmares. He wouldn't tell me about most of them, said it didn't matter. But what he did describe sounded like your history. Timeline. Whatever. As if he were dreaming your past, somehow."

"So?"

"So...it didn't sound like an especially happy time, from what he told me. That we never got together--that instead we started to fight, more than the usual arguments. I became Superman and you made LexCorp, but we weren't working together, we didn't help each other. We weren't even friends anymore."

"A lot happened, here and in my history. I don't know if his dreams actually matched my experience," Lex temporized. He got up, went to the liquor cabinet and refreshed his drink. A fine Glenmorangie single malt, absolutely wasted on the alien; he seemed to have requested a glass only to have something to hold.

Behind him he heard ice clinking liquidly as Superman rolled his glass between his fingers. "Lex," he asked, "are we enemies, in your world?"

He had crept around this minefield so carefully the night before. Now the shell had blown up in his face anyway. But this time he wasn't so helpless. Out of Superman's line of sight, Lex slipped his hand inside his jacket, closed his fingers over the grenade as he answered, "We disagree, on certain matters. We have...antagonized one another, from time to time."

Superman's voice was soft. Deceptively young, and Lex had to remind himself that this seeming man had the power to kill him in a millisecond. Faster than he could trigger the grenade, and he might be too far away now for it to be effective anyway. "Am I ever your friend?"

"I thought Clark Kent was my friend, once," Lex answered carefully.

"But you don't now."

"I know better now." It had been almost fifteen years and still he could hear the bitterness in his voice. That scar had never really healed, and picking at it now, it was still infected and bleeding.

Even with his back turned he could feel the alien's eyes on him, those green, too perfectly human, too-perfect eyes. His rumpled reporter's suit was accumulating more wrinkles, sitting curled up on the couch like that. Out of his superhero costume he faked humanity so well, almost convincingly. Too beautiful to be real, but it had fooled Lex once, almost. It almost could fool him now, but he took a breath and a long, burning swallow of scotch. Made himself walk back to the couch, sit back down next to the almost-man. "We were both on different paths, from the beginning. Too different to ever really see eye-to-eye."

"We never totally see eye-to-eye, Lex," Superman said. "That's our strength, together. You look up, I look down; you look left, I look right. Together we can see everything, with no blind spots."

Lex's glass was in his left hand, beside Superman; the grenade was in his right, hidden in his folded fist at his side. He could feel the contact lenses when he blinked. Couldn't meet the alien's eyes, risk the hero noticing them. "That's not how it worked out for us," he said. "You lost what respect you once might have had for me, and I..."

"No," Superman contradicted. "I wouldn't have lost that. Whatever happened, I'd still respect you. You're enough like my Lex that I can see that. I'll always respect your will, your strength."

"You don't know what I've done." He wouldn't have been so honest, except he knew how the honesty would sting. How it could shake that revolting, willfully blind idealism. Superman's hypocrisy had always nauseated him. "And what I've tried to do--that's even worse. You--Superman, my Superman, has had to stop me from succeeding enough times."

"I'd still respect you, even if I didn't agree with what you were doing," Superman replied. "What you try to do--you've always had such incredible vision, such amazing ambitions, and you try so hard to reach them. Even if you make mistakes getting there."

Respect. Trust. Superman's gaze never so much as fell to Lex's fist at his side, stayed on Lex's face instead. Insufferable. "You never respected me," Lex snapped. "You never trusted me--you trusted the entire world with your secret before me, Kal-El, last son of Krypton."

"You mean I didn't tell you? Before I became Superman?"

"You never told me. Even after you told the world what you really were. You came to me as Clark Kent, junior reporter, the week after Lois Lane christened Superman, and you didn't admit it even then. Though you knew what I knew. What I'd known for years, what I'd told you I knew; I only asked you for the truth from your own mouth, and you didn't respect me enough to give me a shred of it. Not then; not ever."

"I didn't tell you..." Superman shook his head, incredulous.

"You didn't," Lex said, oddly insistent, even as he wondered how it could possibly matter to him that Superman believed him.

"No, I believe you," Superman said. "Maybe I wouldn't have, I can see that. When I remember how frightened I was of you finding out, those first few years--I didn't know what you'd do. And you were dangerous. You told me yourself you were dangerous, and I was just a kid who'd never met anyone like Lex Luthor--so, yeah. I can see how that might have been different. It's just..." The alien looked down, not at Lex's hidden fist but into his own glass, swirling it so the ice circled in the golden whiskey. "It's hard to imagine it. Being Superman, without you. You were there, helping me, every step of the way to becoming a superhero."

"Every step?"

Superman smiled slightly down at his drink. "Most of them. You--Lex--didn't speak to me for a week after I made the final decision on the costume. But the rest of it, the secret identity, the mission statement, arranging the meetings with government leaders, and lawyers to hammer out the legal issues. I don't know how I would have done it without you--him. Without him."

"You managed."

"I suppose so, but...it must have been hard." He finally looked up, into his eyes before Lex could avoid it. "Does he--do I--your Superman. Does he do a good job? Even if you don't always agree with him. Is he a successful hero?"

Lex knew he should lie. Spin a safe, reassuring fable of petty rivalries, of misunderstandings that cast neither of them as the villain. He needed an ally, the best he could have in this backward world. He had lied to Superman for years. It was easy to fool a hero; it would be easier still to fool this idealist watching him with such naive, besotted eyes.

But those eyes had seen straight through him last night. And the truth, the anger, came without thinking. "Superman is a menace. The most dangerous threat to humanity we've ever faced, all the more because no one realizes it. Even the military blockheads who know enough to fear your strength miss the point. So few people see the truth, what we lose, relying on an alien superhero instead of ourselves. The fatal flaw in letting you 'save' us instead of seeking to save ourselves. You could end us--maybe you already have; we might already be a dead people. But I'll fight you. Until the day you come to kill me, I'll fight you."

Superman was staring at him, pinned in place by Lex's rage, like all his unfathomable strength was not great enough for him to turn his head away. "You hate me," he said in a broken whisper. "You hate me that much."

He was in a rumpled brown suit without a tie, sitting with one leg under him, the scotch glass forgotten in his hand. His black hair was falling in his eyes and his face was like a boy's, that open, all naked unashamed hurt.

Some superhero. Lex felt the laser against his thigh and laughed. Even he could hear how ugly the sound was. "No," he said. "I don't hate you--I don't hate Clark Kent. Clark Kent doesn't matter. You've never been anything but your lies, a facade to make believe you're one of us. Maybe you even fool yourself sometimes, but I know what's real. I hate Superman; I hate the alien who's destroying us even as he claims to be our salvation. But you? You mean nothing to me at all."

"Lex," Superman said, so quietly it was impossible to hear rage, or rejection, or anything. Lex steeled himself and did not flinch away, even as the alien's big hand reached for him.

"If you kill me," Lex said, steady warning, turning over his last ace in the hole, as his fingers set around the grenade's trigger, "then you might well be killing your own lover. There's no telling how this transference happened, but this is his body, not mine. If he is somewhere out there, you risk stranding him without a physical form to return to."

"I'm not going to kill you! God, Lex." Superman's hand brushed his cheek, came to rest on his shoulder, as solid as an iron gauntlet. "I won't hurt you, I told you that already. I swear I won't. And not only because you're in my Lex's body--I'd never kill Lex Luthor. No matter how much he hated me. Even if I hated you, I don't think I ever could. I just want to help you now."

"You want to help me." Save me. Destroy me.

"I'm going to help you," Superman said, "to get my Lex back, and to get you back to where you belong. Whatever I can do for you. Can you believe me?" He didn't ask plaintively; it was a straightforward question.

Maybe it was the smooth weight of the grenade under his fingers, the reckless confidence of that single chance. Or maybe only exhaustion, or the scotch, or that warm pressure on his shoulder, had pushed Lex past the point of lies. "No. I can't."

Superman's other hand came up. Lex didn't breathe, as those big, warm hands cupped his cheeks, as Superman leaned in. So close, close enough; if he swung up his fist, triggered the grenade in his face, this instant--one twist of his fingers to blind those open, earnest green eyes, and then the laser, boring through--

The alien let go, leaned back. "Then I'll have to prove it to you," Superman said. "By succeeding." He set his full glass down on the coffee table, and slumped back into the couch cushions, wearily, almost human.

Lex put down his hand, relaxed his fist, loosely cradled around the grenade's ceramic curves. If he hadn't acted then, his only chance...but there would be others, with this impossible trust. He felt delirious with adrenaline, sweating and feverish, pulsing in waves, like the heat of the alien's hands were flowing over him. He wondered if his face were flushed. Raising his own glass, he finished off the scotch and stood to refill it.

"Lex." At Superman's voice, Lex froze. The hero's face seemed paler as he sat up, staring at Lex as he asked, "In your world--does Superman hate you this much? Are you enemies?"

There was little point in lying now. "Yes."

"How much? Are you fighting now? Does he hate you enough to hurt you, if he had a chance? Lex, if you are from a parallel universe, and my Lex is there now, would your Superman go after him?"

"I don't know," Lex said, to all of it. Then, for no reason, not for the sake of respect lost years ago, certainly nothing to do with the weird wan anxiety in the alien's face, he grudgingly added, "Most likely not. I haven't done anything in particular lately to give him reason. And I doubt your--lover will."

"I suppose I should trust any Lex Luthor to take care of himself," Superman said. "You're doing fine here." He said it calmly, but he didn't look relaxed. From the tension showing in his shoulders, it was a good thing he had put down the glass, else the crystal would have shattered in his clenched hands. His trust in his lover only went so far, apparently.

Lex's own calm was unfeigned. If his weak imitation were inhabiting his life, if he contrived to damage his body, deprived of a superhero's safety net--Lex would manage. Here or there, however this was resolved. Whether this were a dream he could awake from, or a universe he could escape from, or a wronged timeline he could restore. He tightened his hand around the grenade, feeling the muscles and tendons work, natural and real; feeling the ceramic's smoothly molded surface against his skin. He always managed.

He never regretted the price paid for the freedom he had bought with the kryptonite ring. Though his fingers now, unbidden, recalled the warmth of Superman's body, the swell of steel muscles under silken skin, that first morning here. He had forgotten how different real sensation could be, so much more than the crudely simulated neural stimulation from the prosthesis. He could play piano again, with this hand.

"Lex," Superman said, "do you really think he'll be all right, in your world?"

His counterpart might be a superhero's pathetic dependent, but he was still Lex Luthor. "He'll manage," Lex said.


tbc...

Comments

( 83 comments — Leave a comment )
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(Deleted comment)
xparrot
Jun. 7th, 2007 02:50 am (UTC)
Thank you! ^_^
danceswithgary
Jun. 6th, 2007 05:20 pm (UTC)
Now you have me afraid if good!Lex survives, he'll come back to a damaged or dead Superman. Eep! Really love this story!
xparrot
Jun. 7th, 2007 02:50 am (UTC)
Well... *evil laugh*

Thank you!
dogwoodblossom
Jun. 6th, 2007 05:30 pm (UTC)
This was goood installment. Evil Lex is so...really evil. That laser thing was really horrible and totally something he would do. And Clark's finally getting with the program! Oh man. Can't wait for more.
xparrot
Jun. 7th, 2007 02:53 am (UTC)
Hee! The tension in writing this story is making good!Lex not soft, and evil!Lex not...er, good...
More soon, and thanks! ^^
attaccabottoni
Jun. 6th, 2007 05:54 pm (UTC)
Oh man... each part gets increasingly nerve-wracking! Evil!Lex's thinking is scary enough, now he has weapons! *runs to the nearest bomb shelter*

But his confidence in good!Lex was endearing in his own way. And his constant perception of trust=insanity is such a running hysterical joke!
xparrot
Jun. 7th, 2007 02:55 am (UTC)
Of course Lex couldn't go let himself go undefended for long! And hee, are you implying trust and faith in people aren't the worst (best?) kind of madness? Evil!Lex finds that most irrational! ^_^
(no subject) - greenlady2 - Jun. 7th, 2007 05:56 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - xparrot - Jun. 7th, 2007 06:28 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greenlady2 - Jun. 7th, 2007 07:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - xparrot - Jun. 7th, 2007 07:38 am (UTC) - Expand
jakrar
Jun. 6th, 2007 07:44 pm (UTC)
Such an amazing look into this Lex's mind! He truly does believe that Superman is going to destroy the human race, one way or another, and he truly does believe that his own life is constantly hanging in the balance with Superman (even this Superman) around. *hugs poor, brave, paranoid Lex* If Clark can just keep from triggering Lex's self-protective instincts, they may both live through this. *crosses fingers and hopes hard for mutual survival* I love Clark being so worried that his own counterpart may harm his Lex in the other universe, and I love his shock at the idea of his harming this other Lex, for any reason, and his utter pain at the idea that this Lex and his counterpart truly do hate each other. I love this Lex denying (or trying to deny) all the little things that make him want to soften towards Clark. *whirls in rapture* I LOVE THIS STORY!!!
xparrot
Jun. 7th, 2007 03:01 am (UTC)
Yep, a lot of the Lex characterization here comes from "Lex Luthor: Man of Steel" (ack, I meant to note that! *goes back and edits post*) He honestly does believe Superman is a terrible threat to humanity. When Superman is really a terrible threat to his own person...well, he can keep telling himself that, and build weapons to convince himself, but he didn't actually use them...now how can you explain that, Lexy? ^^

And thank you - I'm so glad you enjoy it! ^__^
(Deleted comment)
xparrot
Jun. 7th, 2007 03:03 am (UTC)
Re: eeeee! The angst, the angst!
The truth hurts! And Lex wants to hurt...poor thing *pats evil!Lex* *carefully, else his grenade might go off*
bagheera_san
Jun. 6th, 2007 08:18 pm (UTC)
Aw. I felt all cheated that you didn't give us the conversation they had the night before, but this was awesome. I didn't expect evil!Lex to have honourable intentions and that soft core he reveals now - I love that the conversation forced him to admit that he doesn't actually think his Superman would kill him (unprovoked).

And it cracks me up how evil!Lex looks at good!Lex - disgusted and condescending, but still sort of... he's a Luthor, too. It reminds me of how Lionel looks at Lex, or how JLU!Lex might look at his SV counterpart.
xparrot
Jun. 7th, 2007 03:05 am (UTC)
A lot of evil!Lex's characterization was inspired by "Lex Luthor: Man of Steel". Though how much he's using those honorable intentions as an excuse to wreak chaos...

And Lex Luthor is way too egotistical to ever completely dismiss any Lex Luthor ;)
tasabian
Jun. 6th, 2007 09:45 pm (UTC)
Poor Clark! Every time he said "my Lex" my heart just clenched for him. And this:

"Superman was staring at him, pinned in place by Lex's rage, like all his unfathomable strength was not great enough for him to turn his head away. "You hate me," he said in a broken whisper. "You hate me that much."

is just heart-breaking.
xparrot
Jun. 7th, 2007 03:09 am (UTC)
Yes, Clark's not having an easy time of it now...the poor boys! we do so enjoy putting them through hell... ^_^
lastscorpion
Jun. 6th, 2007 10:33 pm (UTC)
This story is just so wonderful! I'm really enjoying it.
xparrot
Jun. 7th, 2007 03:10 am (UTC)
Thank you, I'm so glad you're still having fun with it! ^_^
aerynvala
Jun. 6th, 2007 11:04 pm (UTC)
*sniffles* Oh man...Poor Clark and his Lex. And 'bad' Lex is being such a dumbass. God I love this story :)
xparrot
Jun. 7th, 2007 03:10 am (UTC)
Heee, poor evil!Lex, he's terribly out of his depth and managing the best he can...
Thank you!
morganlilah
Jun. 6th, 2007 11:56 pm (UTC)
"Lex," Superman said, "do you really think he'll be all right, in your world?

Which was exactly my worry, oh, about one chapter ago! And you're keeping us in suspense. Evil!

Poor Clark, now he's just as bewildered and floundering as goodLex.
xparrot
Jun. 7th, 2007 03:11 am (UTC)
Hee, yeah, sorry...that cliffhanger was too much fun to resolve this quickly! XD But more soon, and it'll be time to get back to the other side!
(Deleted comment)
xparrot
Jun. 7th, 2007 03:12 am (UTC)
Heeee, you noticed that, did you? I wonder how Lex would justify himself...I suspect he's trying not to think about it...
lexii314
Jun. 7th, 2007 02:20 am (UTC)
This is easily becoming one of the best stories I've ever read. I am anxiously awaiting the next chapter.
xparrot
Jun. 7th, 2007 03:13 am (UTC)
Next chapter soon - maybe a little longer wait as it's shaping up to be pretty long, but can't keep y'all hanging forever.
Thank you, so glad you're enjoying it!
stitcher2ficcer
Jun. 7th, 2007 02:50 am (UTC)
Wow! I am suitably impressed. I enjoyed the draft of this chapter when you sent it to me, but the rewrite and additions with Dr. Matsumoto and the weapons add SO MUCH to it! Really increases the tension in the conversation, as if the content of the conversation itself isn't tension-provoking enough, especially for poor Clark.

This just keeps getting better and better. I love your characterizations of both Lexes and of their respective Supermen. And with the realizations Evil Lex is coming to about a Superman who cares for him, I am becoming curiouser and curiouser about how his ongoing experiences with Good Lex's Superman and his Superman's experiences with Good Lex are going to affect their relationship when they get back together... assuming they DO get back together and they keep their memories of the exchange. But I have faith you will end this in a satisfying manner. How could you possibly deny Good Lex and his S.M. a happy--and sexy--reunion?! And if they get theirs, so too do Evil Lex and his S.M., right? Looking forward to more whenever you have the time and motivation to write it.

{{{BIG HUGS}}}
xparrot
Jun. 7th, 2007 03:16 am (UTC)
Thank you, so glad it works for you! I owe a lot of those additions to you, your reservations about the draft spurred me to consider what I wanted to be doing with it. I was neglecting evil!Lex's evil, and that's just no fun!

And I can't spoil everything, but there's not going to be any situational amnesia. Wiping the slate, where's the fun in that? Might as well wipe out the story! Well, except for the havok good!Lex is wreaking on the evil!LexCorp, that'll be hard to erase...

*hugs*
issen4
Jun. 7th, 2007 04:00 am (UTC)
Great chapter. I defy anyone to underestimate any Lex Luthor. Clark is amazing here.
xparrot
Jun. 7th, 2007 06:31 am (UTC)
Well, it's sadly easy to overestimate Smallville's Lex, I'm afraid to say, but...

Glad you enjoyed it! ^_^
greenlady2
Jun. 7th, 2007 05:32 am (UTC)
Ooooooh...
... this chapter just gave me chills. The Lex of this dimension is really disturbed. But then he would say that his counterpart is the disturbed one. And really, considering everything, who could blame him? We know Superman is a good guy, because he was written that way. But Lex doesn't know that. (It's the other habitues of Smallville who know these facts ahead of time, without proof.) He dose have some good points about depending on Supermen instead of trusting in your own strengths. So, I'd say he's disturbed, but not crazy, and not entirely wrong.

Still, he gives me chills. :-)))
xparrot
Jun. 7th, 2007 06:37 am (UTC)
Re: Ooooooh...
Hee, thank you! The thing is, I actually believe a lot of what Lex believes - a Superman would present a problem to the human race, to our advancement. We'd likely not take care of ourselves properly, when we can depend on superheroes to take care of us for us. That danger of superior beings is an idea explored in a lot of scifi, and in other Superman stories (LL: Man of Steel, and also some of Maggin's comics) and it fascinates me.

The trouble is that Lex is using this real concern to justify all manner of terrible things; rather than really addressing the problem, he's exploiting it to prove himself. And also using it as an excuse, since he's got a very personal grudge. But, yeah, even this evil!Lex, I'm somewhat sympathetic towards. And I think it makes him more disturbing, that you can understand him, to an extent...
Re: Ooooooh... - greenlady2 - Jun. 7th, 2007 07:36 am (UTC) - Expand
littlehollyleaf
Jun. 7th, 2007 11:24 am (UTC)
Oooh! I was just on the edge of my seat for this one. There was a little voice in my mind yelling 'no Lex, don't do it!' But he couldn't, so all was well :) What was with all the 'Clark Kent means nothing to me' stuff? Silly, lying man, you can't fool us! :p

You write both Lexes so well! Both of them completely beliveable, even though they're so different. I just love this story. Hurry back to the other Lex though, I'm still desperate to know if he's alive and well yet!
xparrot
Jun. 8th, 2007 04:44 am (UTC)
Aw, don't shatter Lex's illusions! They're all he has...

Next part will be back with the other Lex, more I won't say. But I'm so glad you're enjoying it! ^^
morganichele
Jun. 7th, 2007 02:54 pm (UTC)
This is so good! I am loving this story! This chapter is fantastic. I love the way you're looking into Lex, and the way Clark is responding to him. Just wonderful. Thanks for sharing this. I'm looking forward to reading more. :-)
xparrot
Jun. 8th, 2007 04:46 am (UTC)
Thank you so much, & more to come soon!
katheli
Jun. 7th, 2007 04:41 pm (UTC)
So good!

I love this story. Please more of it soon!

I always had a weakness for Lex-centric stories...*sighs*
This is my favorit, though.^^
xparrot
Jun. 8th, 2007 04:46 am (UTC)
I'm very partial to Lex stories myself, as you probably have guessed! ^_^ So glad you're enjoying it, and more will come soon!
lukita
Jun. 7th, 2007 05:57 pm (UTC)
I saw this last night and was going 'no, I need sleep', not that reading it tonight meant I got any more sleep last night.

It had been less than a week. How much damage could he do?

He was Lex Luthor. Wiser not to answer that question. Or ask it at all.


Yeah... The other Lex is about to sink LexCorp and get shot at. Though given how much mayhem and chaos the other Lex have done, maybe we're wrong about calling him the "good" Lex. =D
xparrot
Jun. 8th, 2007 04:48 am (UTC)
Ahh, sleep or fic, the eternal conundrum! Most of my fic is written way past the time I ought to be asleep XD

"good" is always relative...most especially when dealing with Luthors! And there's no Lex born who "good at staying out of trouble" could apply to, so... ^_^
fiercynn
Jun. 7th, 2007 09:38 pm (UTC)
Oh gods, poor Clark. The most poignant part here is that this Clark doesn't understand the distinction Lex makes between Clark and Superman, because his Lex has never had that. But for the other Lex, it's all he has.

Yay! More!
xparrot
Jun. 8th, 2007 04:51 am (UTC)
Yes, exactly...it's hard for both Clark and Lex to understand this. Especially Clark; as far as he's concerned Lex is part of Superman...Clark might wear the tights, but Lex crafted the image, so...

And hee, yup, and even more soon-ish! ^_^
hangebokhan
Jun. 8th, 2007 12:08 am (UTC)
O_O wow~~~~~
xparrot
Jun. 8th, 2007 04:51 am (UTC)
Glad you're enjoying it! ^_^
leni_ba
Jun. 8th, 2007 02:08 am (UTC)
Wow... I love the details an how you're working with both versions of Lex; it drives the differences deeper to see how *alike* they are. I'm really curious about how this will end, and I hope there'll be more Bruce/Batman in it.
xparrot
Jun. 8th, 2007 04:53 am (UTC)
Glad you're enjoying it! Yay, yes, one of my big goals in this story is to make sure both Lexes are Lex, even if their circumstances are so different.

I won't spoil the ending, but I can assure you Bruce will be back, at least for a bit...
redradioflyer
Jun. 9th, 2007 07:45 pm (UTC)
I love how character-driven this whole fic is. This part especially. Lex is projecting his own experiences onto this other world's Clark, and this Clark? I just want to give him a hug.
Congratulations on a another really amazing chapter!
xparrot
Jun. 11th, 2007 05:04 am (UTC)
Aw, yes, poor Clark! I feel very much for him...
Thank you, glad you're enjoying it!
deeplyshallow1
Jun. 10th, 2007 10:02 am (UTC)
Oh awesome, I hadn't seen this in months, so what a nice surprise to have three chapters to read at once! I love how you're developing the plot, and your misplaced Lexs continue to be delicious.
xparrot
Jun. 11th, 2007 05:04 am (UTC)
Thank you! Glad you're enjoying it, and the Lexes ^_^
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