Rating - G
Disclaimer - Not mine, I couldn't afford the motor and household insurance bills. I promise I'll scrub them down and give them back to DC comics, the WB and anyone else who does own a slice of them when I'm done with them.
Summary - Lex wants to fill the gaps in his memory.
Author's notes - For the Free Verse Challenge. My lines were:
It was taken some time ago.
At first it seems to be
print: blurred lines and grey flecks
blended with the paper;
This Is A Photograph Of Me by Margaret Atwood
Lex sat at his desk and stared at the things spread out in front of him. Seven weeks of his life - that's what the doctors had told him he was missing from his memory, but how could he know if they were telling him the truth? After all, it wasn't as if he could actually remember. Lex's lips twisted in a parody of a smile and he reached for his glass of orange juice, taking a slow sip. Somehow, he'd lost the taste for Scotch since his stay in Belle Reve.
The sound of a throat being carefully cleared drew Lex's attention away from the items on his desk and he looked up. Clark was hovering in the doorway, an uncertain expression on his face.
"Hey, Lex," he said, coming further into the room.
"Clark," Lex acknowledged as he set his glass down again. His smile softened into something that felt almost genuine. "It's good to see you. What can I do for you?"
"What?" Clark's brow creased into a frown. "Nothing, I just came to see how you were doing. You know..." He trailed off, looking uncomfortable.
"It's all right, Clark, you can talk about it." Lex sat back in his chair, studying his visitor.
Clark had come to see him several times since his return to the mansion and Lex had the definite feeling that there was something he wanted to talk about, but couldn't quite work himself up to it. Lex found himself wondering if it had anything to do with those missing weeks. He'd tried to broach the subject a few times, but Clark had been positively skittish and given nothing away. Lex had resisted pushing too hard, because Clark always seemed subdued and
somewhat guilty looking after his questioning.
Right now, Clark was standing in front of his desk and staring at the mix of photographs and newspaper clippings spread across it.
"What are you looking at?" he asked, gesturing towards the papers.
Lex gave a rueful smile. "I was just testing to see if the rest of my memories really are intact," he admitted.
Startled green eyes met his.
"I thought the doctors said..." Clark stopped for a second before changing tack and asking, "Are they?"
Lex let his fingers drift across the shiny surface of the photos. "Forgive me if I'm a little wary of anything the doctors tell me just at the moment, Clark. Though, in this case, they do seem to be correct. It's only recent events I can't remember. All this -" Lex's fingertips tapped against one of the banner headlines. "I can recall perfectly."
"I'm sorry," Clark said softly and again Lex noticed the look of guilt that crossed his face.
Lex shrugged his shoulders. "It's not your fault, Clark."
At his words, Clark flinched as if he'd been struck, but as Lex continued to watch him he visibly made himself relax.
More convinced than ever that there was something important Clark wasn't telling him, Lex promised himself that he would pursue it, but not now. Clark was already clearly spooked and Lex was sure that if he asked anything more the boy would suddenly have chores to do at home and be gone.
Relenting, Lex made himself smile again. "Did you ever wonder what I looked like when I had hair? See, I found some old photos."
Clark's expression showed how relieved he was by the change of subject and he moved around the desk eagerly to look at the pictures Lex pointed out. Lex watched him covertly, wishing he knew what Clark was holding back and why he seemed to feel that he was in some way to blame for Lex's current condition.
A soft exclamation distracted him and his gaze dropped from Clark's face to his hands. He'd picked up one or two of the older, slightly grainy prints and was studying them closely.
"Wow, your hair really was red, wasn't it?" Clark marvelled, eyes wide.
Lex couldn't help the laughter that bubbled up inside him at Clark's comment. Clark really did have a way of making him feel better. Reaching a decision, Lex set aside his need to find out what Clark was keeping from him - for the time being. For now, while he slowly reclaimed his life, what mattered was having Clark's friendship. It was important to him and that was all Lex needed to know.