When I Am King You Will Be First Against The Wall
by zahra

1. All alone in the traffic/ All sense of the game is long gone

A few weeks after Lex was first sent to Smallville, he read an article on-line about a town in Nevada, Lida Junction, whose only permanent inhabitants lived in a brothel. The article didn't have anything to do with the residents of the town or the brothel, but the idea of a town where the only inhabitants were hookers peaked Lex's interest. That night he dreamt that instead of being banished to Smallville his father sent him to Lida Junction, and instead of meeting Clark Kent in a car accident, Lex met him at the brothel.

That was one of Lex's more sedate dreams involving Clark.

It doesn't always seem like it, but Lex has been dreaming about Clark Kent for years now. In the last few months, however, his dreams have taken a turn for the disturbing. Although Lex senses that 'disturbing' hasn't actually been the right word for some time.

"Unfortunately fortuitous" seems more accurate now.

When Lex first met Clark all he could dream about was what Clark looked like underneath the cheap shirts and abrasive denim. Over time his dreams morphed into more involved scenarios where not only did Lex get to strip Clark of his shabby sartorial choices, but also of the threadbare fabric that never really covered Clark's lies. For a very long time all Lex has wanted from Clark is the truth, but in the last few months, in keeping with his return from Belle Reve, Lex has had dreams of Clark as a god, as a dictator, as an unstoppable force that only Lex can control.

Lex has dreamt of Clark in chains, at his feet, and controlled by green collars and high-pitched frequencies that only dogs can hear. Lex has dreamt of himself in Clark's place, too, complete with loincloths and dust-smeared cheeks.

There was a time when doing what Clark wanted was Lex's paramount concern. There was a time when Lex would've given everything he had to live in his dreams. Times have changed -- but between then and now, Lex has dreamed impossible dreams of boys flying and men who rule the world alone. He has dreamt of Clark as his Vice-President, as First Man, as his lover, and for a very short time as the one person who could inspire him when everyone else was gone. After all, all the greats did it on their own: Alexander, Genghis Khan, Napoleon, Caesar. And yet, even those who were alone, were not completely alone.

Alexander had Hephaestion; Napoleon had Josephine. Lex was always certain he would have Clark in his life in some monumental capacity. His best friend. His only friend.

The only person he would ever need to make him great.

In Lex's dreams, now, the person by his side is his only enemy. Brutus to his Caesar, Darius to his Alexander. Friends no more. Only enemies. Each one believing they're doing the right thing. Each one sure the other is wrong.

Now, all of Lex's happier dreams seem like childish fancies that should have been locked away in his box of St. George. Perhaps by giving Clark that box, instead of making his hopes and fears safe, Lex actually let them loose.

Clearly it's too late for them now.

Clearly it's too late for any dreams at all.

The real loss here is that, when it came down to it, Lex had always hoped that Clark would see things his way. The observation, the obsession, the tests, the pushing even when Lex knew he should step back. Even when he felt at his most unworthy, Lex always thought that Clark would understand that he was only doing this for them.

All Lex has ever wanted was for Clark to find him worthy of his love.

He's fairly sure that that will never happen now, but once upon a time he had great dreams for their future, and it's only a honk from an impatient driver behind him that pulls Lex out of his reverie and back into reality.

The drive from the courthouse back to Smallville has never seemed longer than it does tonight.


2. We don't have to be lovers/ We don't have to be friends for no one

The second time Lex took Clark to Metropolis was for Chinese at the Lucky Dragon and to see Kurosawa's Rashomon at the local art house theatre. Clark had never seen a Kurosawa film before, plus his idea of Chinese cuisine was egg rolls and chow mein that looked suspiciously like overcooked fettuccini.

Lex had been tempted to make a truly Japanese evening of it and take Clark for sushi. However, when Lex called ahead to book the tea house, Mrs Tanaka had informed him that Shiro had come down with a bad case of indigestion; and Lex refused to let anyone else touch his sea urchin, so he had altered his plans accordingly.

When Lex had gone to pick up Clark at the farm, both Mr and Mrs Kent had greeted him at the door, and if Clark had been a girl, Lex doubts they could have been more protective.

Lex didn't actually see the shotgun but he would bet his last Ferrari that it was there, just behind the door.

So Lex kept his eyes in his head and his hands to himself, even though Clark had actually gone to the trouble of not wearing his boots or anything red or blue. And when Clark's eyes had done the tea saucer thing at Lex's latest automotive acquisition, Lex had waited until they were off the Kents property before opening up the throttle and showing Clark would it could really do.

Making Clark happy was one of Lex's greatest dreams.

At the Lucky Dragon, Lex talked to the proprietor in Cantonese and ordered enough dishes to satisfy even Clark's notorious appetite. Between the egg drop soup and the crispy duck, Lex taught Clark how to hold his chopsticks, albeit with some fumbling, and Clark taught Lex that falling in love didn't have to be the most painful experience ever.

At the very least it didn't have to end with attempted homicide.

Lex can even remember the exact moment that he realized he was hopelessly gone: it was before Clark had crushed his second pair of chopsticks into splinters and after he'd spilled most of his miso onto the black veneered table between them.

Clark was attempting to hoover up a large plate of Lo Mein using only one chopstick, and Lex had shifted in his chair because his pants were getting a bit tight in the crotch area as they always tended to when he was alone with Clark.

Clark had looked up at him through those girlishly long eyelashes, and Lex's stomach turned over as though he'd eaten a bad scallop. For several seconds Lex thought that he might actually be ill, and it was only when Clark sat up and his knee brushed against Lex's underneath the table that Lex realized he was suffering from something far more acute than food poisoning.

The realization curtailed the detailed history lesson he had been giving Clark about Achilles and Patroclus, and Lex had wound up losing his appetite for his lemon chicken.

When Clark's knee brushed against his again, Lex almost dropped his chopsticks; and by the time Lex realized that Clark was actually flirting with him, he felt vaguely certain he was never going to eat again. Of course, in his dreams people never tended to bother with such mundane details anyway.

At the movie theatre, Lex spent the entire time stealing glances at the way Clark's profile was illuminated by the movie screen and subtly brushing their hands together in the large tub of popcorn between them.

If he hadn't already seen Rashomon twenty-three times, he wouldn't have had any idea what was going on in the movie, and when Clark kissed him on the cheek at the end of the evening, Lex was too stunned to do anything more than say good night.

In most of his dreams, he had always made the first move.


3. Back down to the glorious #1/ My prints all over the smoking gun

Lex can't remember the first time he realized that he and Clark weren't going to be together forever. He's fairly certain it's not a realization that hit him all of a sudden like it did when he realized he was in love. Actually, he would wager a lot of money that he's been fighting the truth in his dreams just as long as he's been fighting the reality of what's to come.

Correction: of what's finally here.

Lex isn't big on self-delusion, but maybe he's been hedging his bets for a little too long. He's seen this ending for a long period of time, not just when he was in Belle Reve wondering what it would take for someone to come and save him from whatever the hell was going on.

Lex had a lot of time to think about Clark when he was locked away; it's not as though he lost all his memories when his father fried his brain. He has cut-glass memories of Clark kissing him behind the front door of the castle and dragging him ice-skating after the first snow of the year. He remembers the warm burn in his stomach every time Clark referred to him as his best friend in a regular conversation.

But Lex also remembers what it was like every time Clark assumed the worst before he'd even asked Lex for the truth.

Lex remembers being found guilty long before he was ever tried.

And he knows that he never lied to Clark, which is not something Clark could ever say without looking over his shoulder at the Kurosawa prop on the far wall.

The relationship between he and Clark was strained long before his dad decided Lex could do without several thousand of his brain cells anymore, and there are a lot of dreams that Lex has been trying hard to hold onto, but they've been slipping from his grasp a little more everyday.

For a lot longer than he's been willing to admit, every lie between he and Clark has been weighing down Lex's dreams, like grams on a scale or baggage in the trunk.

By the time that Clark told him he was in Belle Reve, watching, doing nothing to save him, Lex just didn't even have it in him to get that angry anymore. He'd practically dislocated his entire body trying to hold onto something that he just couldn't support alone anymore anyway.

His dreams had been weighing him down so much recently; he'd known it was almost time to let them go. At the end of the day, one truth wasn't going to make up for the imbalance on the rest of the scale. One rope wasn't gong to fix what was already broken between them.

Lex knows that at some point the lies just weighed too much in his hands.

He knows for a fact that the lies came between them more successfully than any one person ever did, because every time Clark ran off to rescue Lana, Lex never considered her to be a serious threat to what they shared.

But perhaps underestimating is what sealed their fate all along. Perhaps Lex's dreams of warning simply weren't able to encompass the magnitude of what would eventually come to pass.

In all his dreams, Lex never thought it would end like this. He never thought the hard push of Clark brushing past him would make him let go of all the dreams he had, and as he pulls through the front gate and gets out of the car, he thinks things can't possibly get much worse than this.

He's already given up his dreams, and he doubts that any drink has ever been made that balance out everything he's had to let go.


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