The Slant
by HYPERFocused

When you asked Lex what the battered plaid couch with the broken springs was doing in his private office at LexCorp, Mr. Luthor told you, "It's the one place in the world where I've been the happiest."

There was a rare smile on his face, as if he was thinking of something -- or someone -- dear to him. You never saw that expression when he talked about the company, how it's risen in the Fortune 100 ranks, how he single handedly improved Smallville's employment situation enough to make up for his father's failings.

"It's where Clark first kissed me," he told you. In a rare magnanimous mood, he gave you details when you asked for them. Of course you turned the tape recorder off, and just listened. None of this would go in the report. It was just for you, and you suspect, him.

"He tasted like Hershey's cocoa," Lex said, closing his eyes at the memory. "It was late fall, and Clark's mother had made us a snack." Lex looked at you sadly when he talks about Martha, newly widowed. Jonathan is gone now, none of Lex's money or influence could stop the flow of time or illness, nor could Clark's powers.

He told you what it felt like, those soft lips on his -- nothing like he'd expected, like he'd dreamt about for almost a year before it actually happened. You had the sudden urge for a starlight mint, and reached into your purse for the one you dropped in there from your lunch at Anthony's. Lex always figured he would be the one who made the first move. After all, he had the experience. Clark was new -- to everything.

Instead it was Clark who decided he and Lex have been waiting too long, and on a blustery November day, put down his cocoa, took Lex's mug from his hand, and leaned in to kiss him. Closed mouth at first, and then he got brave; warm tongue tracing Lex's lips until they had to open. A virgin, but neither shy nor blushing, there was strength even Lex didn't anticipate.

The couch was sturdy and supportive, despite the sprung spring. Clark insisted on sitting on that side; he always wanted Lex to be comfortable. It smelled just a little musty, like leather and straw, and other unnamable barn scents. Even after all these years -- the Kent farm, and Clark's first Fortress of Solitude was long since rebuilt -- you could still tell its origins. It was more pleasant than not, like autumn leaves turned loamy. You have your own memories of sitting with Clark on that couch. Sharing speculation on the latest meteor freak. Wishing his affections would go your way, not towards either of his Lamented Loves.

You're past that now. The jealousy is gone, as well as the ridiculous games you played with Lana. Neither one of you 'won' Clark. You just realized sooner that he wasn't a prize to be grabbed like the crane game at the county fair. Lana didn't get that. She grew up bitter, and you like to think you just grew up.

You saw how Lex and Clark were together. How they've always been meant to be. Some closed minded people would call it twisted. What could they have in common? The eager young journalist from an upstanding homespun family. The jaded business man whose family knew how to spin things to suit their needs. You just thought of how cotton, when well cultivated, could be as soft as silk, and silk could be as strong as cotton. You understood it took a great amount of effort to make their relationship work.

When the interview went on too long, the little white light at the top of Lex's phone began to blink. Lex's brow furrowed, as he mouthed "sorry" at you, then picked it up and listened a moment. You tried not to eavesdrop but your reporter's instincts couldn't help but kick in.

Lex's expression smoothed as he spoke into the mouthpiece, pausing as the voice on the other end replied. "Hey. Are you all right? Not much longer, I don't think. No, she's fine. Yes, I'll tell her. I'll do that too. Me too. Let's just stay in, if that's all right. It's been a long day. There's still Thai in the fridge Soon, I promise."

He hung up the phone, and you waited patiently for a sign he was ready to continue. Then he beckoned you closer, as if he was going to give you the tip to end all tips.

When he just kissed you on the cheek, and said "That was from Clark, he's sorry he missed you. He says to say hello to Wally," you know the interview's over. Lex is eager to get home to the man he loves; to the comfort that started on a cheap, scratchy sofa. It may not go with his designer furniture, and fast paced lifestyle, but no one would ever tell him it doesn't fit.


"So, how was the interview with Luthor," Wally asked, pulling you into a kiss as you walked through the door. Before you met him, you never knew wind had a taste, but now it's as familiar to you as the faintly artificial tang left on his skin from the space age polymers that make up his Flash suit.

"You really shouldn't say his name that way," you told him. "Like it's something rancid."

"Yeah, well. If it weren't for Clark our dealings with Lex would be a lot different. He'd be a megalomaniacal cretin just like his father was, if the farmboy wasn't keeping him in line." You never have understood Wally's distrust for Lex . Something about the man just rubs him the wrong way. "And don't forget, he's freaky looking," Wally adds.

You ignored his comment on Lex's looks. It wouldn't do to mention his own slight resemblance to the man. Similar features, but you see Wally through a filter of camaraderie, playfulness and love that Lex couldn't begin to touch.

"But he's not. He's a good guy, thanks to Clark. And Clark isn't such a boy anymore. Lex is lucky to have him, and he knows it. " You told Wally about the interview and smiled at the thought of a sentimental Lex, saving that battered sofa like a six foot souvenir. It's a story meant to be shared with the man you love, though you knew you wouldn't mention it in your article.

Your readers would learn about LexCorp's latest coup. About Lex's recent trip to the far east, and the rare lithographs he brought back to decorate the meeting rooms. They'd see Mr. Luthor in his sharply creased gray Armani suit, confidence emanating from the official photograph.

They wouldn't see the Lex you imagined, cross legged on the floor of his penthouse apartment; buttons undone and shirt rumpled, feeding leftover noodles to the man he loved.

Some things were meant to be private.


Silverlake: Authors / Mediums / Titles / Links / List / About / Updates / Silverlake Remix