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18 May 2009 @ 10:05 pm
"Lean on Me" (Doomsday Revisited- Companion piece to "Mirror"): Chlex one-shot PG-13  
A/N: This is the third piece in a series of brief one-shots inspired by a string of events in the current season that I was dissatisfied with. It´s my humble attempt to reintroduce our favourite billionaire in a worthy fashion.

In my books there´s only one Jimmy Olsen and the Power-Requiem arc never existed.

Before starting to read this one, I strongly recommend you read my two other ficlets, From Afar and Mirror; it´ll take you under ten minutes and will help you better understand how they´ve arrived at this point.

SUMMARY: When there´s only one person left for you to lean on.

SPOILERS: Doomsday

AUTHOR: Lexie

RATING: PG-13

PAIRING: Chlex

 

“LEAN ON ME”

She had been wrong, so terribly wrong, believing her sacrifice could mean something, that it could make a difference. She hadn’t miscalculated so grossly since her naïve teenage years when she let herself be lured by the devil at a moment of weakness. She had believed herself to have outgrown that phase, to be more mature and worldly enough to be able to handle whatever was thrown her way and do it all alone without having to lean on anyone like she had to all those years ago. She was strong, relentless, a force to be reckoned with. She had made Him and his dark projects tremble with the power of her inquisitive mind and her ruthless pen. She had driven Him to the edge and had sacrificed her dream at His altar and, yet, she never felt closer to Him than now.

She lowered her gaze and fidgeted with the negatives in her frozen hands, feeling the pricking of tears in her eyes as Jimmy smiled at the camera in each frame, his arms holding her tightly from behind. Jimmy. She had tried, really tried to give him at least a fraction of what he had her. However, it hadn´t taken her long to realise what a huge mistake she´d made in marrying him. She´d have never been able to make him happy no matter how hard she tried, not when she was still hanging onto Clark like a crutch because he was the only thing she got left from her past- a past in which her daddy was still alive, a past in which she still dreamt of following in the footsteps of Nelly Blythe, a time when... He was someone she could talk to, even discuss with, without thinking about His secret agendas or strategising ways to humiliate Him and bring Him down.

Placing the strips of negatives on top of Jimmy´s casket she felt the teardrops starting to roll down her cheeks. She had thought she could slay the dragon all on her own, save a soul and protect the man whose destiny was to shelter them all. Instead, her arrogant over-confidence had done nothing but unleash chaos and destruction. There had been no soul to save and several lives to doom. Just like Him she had taken a few morally-questionable decisions in the belief she was doing it for the greater good. Now she wondered how He did it, how He picked up the pieces and kept going. Had He ever felt the way she did now? She knew the old Lex would, that he cared what others thought of him, that for all his cool aloofness it hurt him to be misjudged by others. Would she ever be able to pretend like a Luthor she didn´t care that she was now alone? Even during his last days, He had done a good job at pretending not to give a damn, but she knew better; she´d tried to see him as a soulless, unfeeling monster and yet- being on the same side of the street now- she realised how much it must have hurt to find himself an outcast in a steel tower. Now she was an outcast, too, and had her own tower- courtesy of the young boy they were putting to rest- her vantage point overlooking Metropolis, a mirror to Lex´s office on the top floor of LuthorCorp Plaza.

`The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, ´she could hear Jonathan Kent catechising as she took a few steps back to resume her place between Dinah and Bart and raised her gaze to meet Oliver´s eyes, which were hidden behind a pair of dark shades. They were standing across from each other like wild cats ready to pounce on each others´ jugular. She could feel the bitter accusation in the way his eyes fixed on her and looked down on her with that hypocritical holier-than-thou attitude of his. Chloe experienced an inordinate rage start to boil inside of her as she remembered the way he had confronted her and tried to guilt-trip her at Isis when she knew he´d had no qualms about shooting an arrow at Lex´s heart from behind. It didn´t matter it´d been a dummy; it was the principle that mattered. Who the hell did he think he was to cast the first stone? She took a deep breath and tilted her chin up, refusing to let him win the contest of stares as the minister´s eulogy came to an end and the ones in attendance paid their last respects.

It´d been a year since he last set foot in that place. He´d never thought he´d come back to it; not in his lifetime, at least. He knew he´d never attend Clark´s funeral for the simple reason the guy was invincible. Not only had Lex seen his former best friend alive and kicking observing the proceedings at a distance, he knew about the recent developments and the role he´d played in defeating the humanly unstoppable Beast. There was only one person left in this world Lex cared about and he was sure she´d outlive him. She might no longer be the idealist green-eyed high school reporter he´d fallen in love with when she was barely seventeen, but she hadn´t collected as many enemies willing to commit murder as he had. No, Lex was sure he´d be the one to go first.

Leaning heavily on the handcrafted walking stick as he clenched his jaws against the searing pain that shot up his spine, he saw the small crowd break up and start to leave the burial ground to get in their cars. Only two figures stayed behind separated by the wooden coffin that guarded the remains of the young photographer he´d once envied so much. Chloe was with her back to him and, still, he could make out her proud stance, imagine the setting of her stubborn jaw and the way her emerald orbs must be piercing the shaded eyes of his second and oldest enemy- Oliver Queen. Luthor relished the thought of the blond billionaire squirming under that gaze- a gaze full of hatred that she had aimed at Lex on many occasions and that used to provoke in him emotions that had nothing to do with animosity.

A couple of minutes went by before the man who had taken control of LuthorCorp during his absence turned around and left. Lex had seen him lock eyes with Clark before the farm boy made his exit. The young tycoon cursed Jonathan Kent´s adoptive son for leaving her there all by herself while they started to lower the coffin. Couldn´t he see she had sold her soul to spare his? What kind of a friend was he that he let her face the anguish of guilt alone? Who was he to blame her and make her feel an outcast for having lied and kept secrets to protect him when he himself was the biggest liar of them all?

Once Oliver´s figure disappeared in the distance, her shoulders started to shake and the tears she had kept in check began to fall down her cheeks as her petite frame was seized by racking sobs. She hugged herself in an attempt to stop the shivering and preserve the warmth that was slowly slipping away. She closed her eyes and bit her lower lip until she could taste a little blood, telling herself she was no longer that girl who believed in last minute miracles- her knight in shining armour wasn´t coming this time.

He witnessed the moment her restraint emotions overcame her and, a couple of metres away from her, he hastened his steps, dropping his walking stick and breaking into a sudden run in time to catch her fragile frame as she fainted. She had shed a few pounds since the last time he saw her in the flesh and yet, her light-weight felt like a ton of lead to Lex, who was supposed to be moving around in a wheelchair until his limbs were strong enough to support him for longer periods of time. Even though his doctor had tried to talk him into being sensible that morning, he had refused adamantly; his first meeting with Chloe wouldn´t be tied to a chair or numbed by any opiates. He could feel the Italian custom-made trousers getting damp with the dew that covered the grass under them and the excruciating pain that shot up the leg on which most of Chloe´s weight rested. However, having her in his arms when he had had to make do with watching her from a far for a year was more than worth it. His heart rate quickened when he saw her eyelids flutter and a stab of pain pierced him on hearing the name that came through her lips. `Clark?´ Even now she was expecting her knight in shining armour to set aside his righteous upbringing and be by her side the way she had always been by his.

Lex could remember two occasions on which a hurt Chloe had woken up to find him and not her best friend next to her; only this time he was sure she wouldn´t react the way she had then. He had been certain of it when he decided to come back and he knew it the moment he read confusion, disbelief, and then realisation and something that looked a lot like relief in her eyes. A veil of tears suddenly misted her emerald orbs as she met his steel blue-grey eyes and her lips started to tremble.

“I lied... I lied to him, Lex,” she sobbed, clutching at his Armani overcoat.” I told him I... loved him. I didn´t want to... hurt him. I shouldn´t have treated... him the way I did,” she hiccupped.” I killed him, Lex. All this... all this death... is my fault. “

“Chloe,” he interrupted her, brushing a few damp hairs off her face.

“I´m... pregnant,” she confessed, her voice cracking.

Pregnant. Lex felt a tightening in his chest as a myriad of questions popped into his head. He had controlled most of her movements thanks to the cameras at The Talon and the Isis Foundation, but she could have had rendez-vous with Bloome elsewhere.

“Jimmy... he´ll never know... about our baby.”

For the first time he felt relief wash over him on hearing the name of the man for whom she had worn a wedding gown. Olsen. He might have been jealous of the young photographer and considered him beneath her as a match; however, there was no doubt in Lex´s mind that Jimmy had loved her and that he had been an honourable young man.

“Chloe,” he murmured, cupping the young woman´s face in both hands.” Look at me. I know I´ll have to work hard for you to learn to trust me again. But I promise you... you aren´t alone. I´ll never leave you alone,” he told her passionately.

Chloe looked into his penetrating blue-grey eyes and saw determination there, and a glimmer of... hope that she wanted to let herself be wrapped with.

“Chloe?” he said, breaking up the spell.

“I don´t know if I should trust you,” she responded, scrambling to her feet and placing a protective hand on her womb.

“I understand,” he told her with a tight smile as he made an effort to get himself up from the ground without the aid of his walking stick.

Chloe observed the beads of perspiration that had broken out on his skin and noticed his pale complexion was turning ashen.

“Lex?”

“Could you help me, Chloe? I need someone to lean on.”

Chloe looked at him and saw her pain and loneliness reflected in him. His words sounded a lot more than a momentary request. He was asking for her help, trusting her by showing himself openly vulnerable, and an old memory came rushing back to her. `I want him to love me.´ The Chloe that he had hurt with his scathing remarks about her lack of a love life, the one he´d had kidnapped and probed at 33.1, would have gloated over seeing him on his knees at last; she´d have gone for his jugular and savoured the taste of revenge. However, this Chloe was no longer that girl and this broken man reminded her too much of the old Lex, the one she had trusted with her life once, the one who still believed he could slay the dragon and rise triumphant. He saw in him a mirror of her new self and realised he needed her just as much as she needed him to teach her how to survive this now that there was a little soul to be saved, or maybe three if God was willing to overlook their trespasses.

She knelt down and snaked an arm around his waist, letting him lean heavily on her as they both got to their feet. She gave one last look at Jimmy´s resting place and they started to walk in the opposite direction the others had left. It was worth a try for there was no one in Chloe and Lex´s lives who could understand them better than themselves.

THE END

 
 
Current Mood: hopefulhopeful
 
 
 
Jengreenlady2 on May 20th, 2009 05:35 am (UTC)
This is a great 'conclusion' to the story -- if it is a conclusion, and you won't be writing more. :-)))

I don't think *canon* Chloe would relent and reaffirm her relationship with Lex -- at least without a lot of changes in her psyche -- but in the context of this story, it works.
lillianschild: naughtylillianschild on May 20th, 2009 05:44 am (UTC)
This is a great 'conclusion' to the story -- if it is a conclusion, and you won't be writing more. :-)))

So far I´m thinking of this as the conclusion. I´m a sucker for happy endings and I think a ride into the sunset wouldn´t be suitable here- or, for the story to have a qualified happy ending I´d have to work pretty hard.LOL

I believe I´ll leave readers to decide themselves what kind of ending this might have.

I don't think *canon* Chloe would relent and reaffirm her relationship with Lex -- at least without a lot of changes in her psyche -- but in the context of this story, it works.

Well, considering the fact the show´s writers have changed her character so much in the past couple of seasons- but particularly in Season 8- I´d say this *new* Chloe is unpredictable so... who knows what she might do.

Thanks again for reading and reviewing, Jen.
ctbn60: SV_Chloe_lexctbn60 on September 25th, 2009 03:40 pm (UTC)
This was really very nice. I can so see Lex and Chloe together like this. Well done!
lillianschild: happy couplelillianschild on September 25th, 2009 04:30 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading and reviewing. I hope you liked the first two parts as much. ;)
DorothyL: BtVS Heroesrevdorothyl on February 6th, 2014 04:11 pm (UTC)
Beautiful! I choose to believe that there IS a happier-ever-after (and definitely a more fulfilling and mutually supportive and understanding ever after) for this nascent trio of Chloe, Lex, and Chloe's baby, beginning in the not-too-distant future after this story. :)
lillianschild: happy couplelillianschild on February 14th, 2014 03:10 pm (UTC)
Thanks for taking the time to leave your impressions on this series. I hope you'll enjoy the rest of my SV fiction just as much. ;)