Broken Body, Broken Mind
by HYPERFocused

You can't say you didn't feel it when the car collapsed around you. It was such a familiar sound and sight. And you can't say Lex's words were wrong. You aren't human. It's not exactly painful, but neither is it pleasure. There's a fear there. Something unnatural. Something forbidden. But even worse to see metal bent around Lex's bloody form. So you protect him the only way you know how, and then you protect yourself. He won't remember. You let them take him as you ran to save yourself.

Your body is smarter than your mind, but as always, your sense of self preservation is faster. You sped out of that scene like your parents always taught you. "Don't let anyone find out your difference, Clark. Different is dead. Different is you in captivity." Who's the captive now, Clark? Shouldn't it be you?"

Just like always you found yourself at the Smallville Medical Clinic. The receptionist knew you by name. She just pointed the way towards your usual room. You're glad it's not your mother, this time.

Funny you should think of your mother now, Clark. Lex doesn't have a mother anymore. He doesn't have a father, either. Does he have you? You should be with him now. You've become an expert on running out on the people you claim to love. You really do have a lot to talk about. He thinks he killed his baby brother, and you really did kill yours. Not that you know if it was a boy or a girl. Nobody told you. You weren't there for your parents then, and you aren't there for Lex now.

You sat next to Lana's bed, watching the rhythmic line of the machinery as it showed the peaks and valleys of her lifelines. It was a language you didn't begin to understand, and it made you uncomfortable. Lana herself often had that effect on you, making you feel guilty when you weren't even sure you'd done anything specific to deserve it.

Yes, but you deserve every bit of the guilt you feel about Lex. He needs you more than anyone else. He doesn't have anyone but you. And look how you betray him. Coward.

You felt responsible for the state she was in now. She'd only recently regained consciousness, and her leg was really quite grotesquely broken. You didn't need your X-ray vision to see that. Of course your vision didn't exactly help the view. You had to admit to a little more squeamishness when it came to your friends and family being hurt.

Lex is just as broken as she is. You just can't see the fractures in his mind the way you can tell Lana's bones are snapped. Doesn't matter though. No matter how many times you try to convince yourself it's all Lionel's fault, some of that pain is on your head. Betrayer.

It was guilt that brought you here, listening to Lana finally admitting the truth. "You were right, Clark. You really are dangerous to be around." You wondered if that meant she'd give up on them. You'd told her months ago there was no future for them. You didn't mention all the reasons why, but it should have been obvious. Your feelings for Lex weren't your biggest secret.

They're a bigger secret than you think, if you're still here by Lana's bedside instead of doing everything possible to help the one you love. She doesn't need you like he does. No one is drugging her to make her doubt her own mind. No one is killing her spirit bit by bit. Lana's body is already starting to knit back together. How do you think Lex's mind will ever begin to heal if you're not there to ease it.? Avoider.

You poured Lana another cup of water. A little bit of crushed ice, just like she liked it. You pushed the button for the nurse to bring her some pain pills and hand lotion. She was whimpering in her sleep, and you knew how she hated it when her skin wasn't baby soft.

You can't even think about Lex's skin now, can you? Remember how it used to feel under your hands? No one cares for it in Bel Reve. You've heard about those places. Terrors like something from an old movie, but completely real. Lex nearly drowning in the big metal bath. Never knowing if the voices and visions are real. Even the one person he thought he could trust ran from him. The drugs he gets don't help, they only make him less himself. They poison him slowly.

Chloe appeared at the door and asked to be let in. They only allow one visitor at a time in Intensive Care, so you pulled your things together and got ready to go. Out in the hall Chloe showed you the pale pink bed jacket she brought for Lana. Silky soft and the satin ribbons make it easy to remove. When Lana is up for more company she can wear it and look almost like her old self.

You wonder how Lex looks now. You can imagine the roughness of the straitjacket, the plastic feel of the polyester shirt and slacks. Not quite pajamas, and not quite clothes. Lex can't even have a drawstring closure in case he uses it to harm himself. If he does, he'll have your name on his lips. He always has, but you used to enjoy it.

You sent Chloe off to the soda machines for Cokes for you both. She knew it was just so you could have a few last minutes alone with Lana. There were things you needed to say before you left. "I'm sorry. I wish it hadn't gone this way. I feel responsible. I hope you get better, soon." Lana waved you away with a smile and an impervious hand. She didn't know that you were just practicing the words.

You made your escape, and went home to plan Lex's


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