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20 July 2009 @ 11:01 pm
The Top of the World (PG-13/15): Post-Doomsday Lex/Chlex one-shot  

SUMMARY: Post-Doomsday one-shot. Lex returns to Metropolis incognito intent on coming face-to-face with his dreams once again.


RATING: PG-13/15



The Top of the World”

He arrived in The Big Apricot from Montana less than an hour ago travelling incognito on a chartered flight that left him at an old abandoned airfield outside Metropolis. The world believes him to be dead and he´d prefer to keep it that way, at least, until he´s done what he´s been thinking of doing for the last nine months.

It feels as if an eternity has gone by since he came out of a coma and his Calvary began- three months on a respirator and nine of tortuous physiotherapy to be able to stand on his own feet again. An almost imperceptible limp and the fainting scar of the tracheotomy are the only physical evidence of his latest encounter with death.

For the first time in a year he´s sat behind the wheel of a car. He relished the experience of being in control once again as he changed gears and the expensive German piece of engineering- this time without vanity plates- took him to the city that has both attracted and repulsed him.

He knows that coming back to Metropolis is a dangerous gamble, that he´s walked its road to perdition twice in his life and that on both occasions he almost perished- dying of an overdose of ecstasy and methamphetamines isn´t really that different from dying as a result of the intoxicating effects of unbridled power.

He shuts the driver´s door of his brand-new silver BMW and then locks it with the remote as he strides to the old art-deco building he bought almost six years ago. He can still remember the day he took a diversion to avoid the heavy city traffic and pulled up stunned by the haunting beauty of the building. It took him just a call to find out who owned the property and a climb to the top floor to decide it had to be his.

He takes a key which has been on his key ring for years; a symbol of what could have been if he´d made other choices. He opens the back door of the empty building and steps inside with a hammering heart. For years he´d stayed away from the property until past dreams started haunting him the morning Kara Kent saved him from his water coffin and he found his way to the architectural jewel once again.

The first weeks after his acquittal he came every evening before heading back to Smallville. It seemed to be the only place where he could find refuge, where he didn´t feel lost, where the uncharted future that lay ahead of him didn´t seem so daunting. This was the one place in which he still felt he had control over the world around him.

That reawaken romance lasted until he was lied to again and he realised he´d once again fooled himself, that no matter how much he welcomed a second chance, neither the judgemental world nor the cankering worm lurking in him were ready to embrace a born-again Alexander Luthor- the boy who had once been the apple of Lillian´s eyes.

The key had dangled from his key ring unused for four months when he felt the sudden urge to start visiting the place again after being brought back from the brink of death by some miracle. By the time the cameras he had once had installed in the flat above The Talon provided him with a name for that miracle, he was too far gone into his obsession to uncover the truth behind Veritas and understand why his father had chosen to sacrifice his own son. However, the chance to repay his saviour for risking her own life to spare his would present itself in the form of Olsen an hour before Lex took the flight that he believed would provide him with the answers he´d spent his life searching for.

He slides open the door of the old wrought-iron lift and steps out into the corridor of the top floor. He pushes aside the plastic that hangs from the scaffolding in front of the entrance door and walks into the spacious lounge dominated by the breathtaking stained-glass window which made him fall in love with the attic. He walks further into the room and comes to a sudden stop when a large dark-purplish stain on the floor makes its appearance. Oxidised blood; the blood of the young man Lex saw her marry from afar through the lens of a camera while he was still strapped to an orthopaedic bed and hooked on a respirator.

Lex looks at the dried blood which once coursed through the veins of the young photographer, who was not only granted the gift of Chloe´s virginity but also her hand in marriage, and wishes he could take back every scathing remark he´s spat at her after that summer- the summer he let himself dream a Luthor could get to know a life full of love and promise; the summer he bought this building for the woman he hoped he could once marry.

Given the chance, he´d trade every hurtful word for a confession- the one he decided she´d never hear the day Genevieve Teague set his father free; the one Lex believed would have put Chloe in Lionel´s crossfire again.

He´s cultivated her animosity and submitted her to probing procedures in a twisted attempt to protect her. His decision to nip their love in the bud cost him- them- dearly. However, he´s succeeded in his plan; she´s alive and, despite everything that has happened between them after that summer, she chose to save him when he got shot in Detroit.

It´s the belief that the warm feelings she once had for him have survived in her in some form what has prompted him to come to this attic- the top of the world- this evening. And he knows she´ll come today just as she has every evening since last month.

She doesn´t know it was him to hand this attic over to Olsen when he learnt through one of his minions that the young man was searching for the perfect wedding present. Lex can´t remember being so sincere in years as he was the day he told Jimmy he truly admired him and his integrity. And it was that admiration- a lot like the one he used to have for Clark- that led the billionaire to make sure the boy could afford the attic having a trusted employee offer the photographer a low price and a generous instalment plan.

Even before Olsen came to him for help Lex had decided to have Chloe transferred to a facility in Montana- away from the NSA´s clutches. Unbeknownst to her, they ended up living under the same roof for three months until a resurrected Kent and his gang of terrorist-friends in costumes took her away from him. The possessive streak in Lex almost had him strike back to claim her, but then he remembered the promise he´d made to himself. If his dream couldn´t come true, he´d at least secure her happiness. But fate had other plans in store for them both.

The distant sound of the lift being opened on the ground floor sets him in motion again. He lets his eyes roam the room full of scaffolding, paint pots and building tools. There´s only one place to go now; he heads towards the exquisite spiral staircase and climbs up to the second level.

Sunlight is filtering through the stained-glass window when she enters through the glass-panelled double door; and he can picture both of them in a different room in the distant past as she stops in front of the multi-coloured window and the sun streaming in illuminates her in much the same way it did in his study when she came to the Mansion to put her life and Gabe´s in his hands.

Now she seems to be carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders, standing surveying the city from her watchtower. And he looks at her from his vantage point, wondering if this is the only communion they´ll ever be allowed. And then she turns around and raises her eyes brimmed with tears to where he is.

And he hates the feeling that´s choking him for this is nothing like the dream he once had for them. He locks his eyes with hers and wishes that October Kansas morning had never happened, that they hadn´t willingly or unwittingly sacrificed so much because of it. He tightens the hold on the iron railing until his knuckles turn white.

Tainted and broken; maybe this is the way it was supposed to be.


Current Mood: melancholymelancholy
Jengreenlady2 on July 22nd, 2009 06:28 am (UTC)
Poor Lex.

I think he always blames himself when things go wrong -- but then other people blame Lex, too. No one helps him bear the burden or share the blame. They turn all the blame on him. :-(((
lillianschild: secretlillianschild on July 22nd, 2009 07:03 pm (UTC)
He´s a tortured soul, our poor Lex.

Thank you for reading this fic that was screaming to be written after seeing this very special property in the Season Finale. I just had to come up with some other explanation because of the way it looks and how it was introduced.Who can possibly believe Jimmy had not only such taste but the money to buy Chloe this Watchtower?!

I´m somewhat mad at my muse because the only stories she´s letting me write are short angsty and sad pieces. What´s more, she´s constantly nagging me to start new long fics and doesn´t do a thing to help me finish the ones I´m dying to complete.

Well, at least I´ve got one consolation; you like what I´m posting.
eternal_moonieeternal_moonie on October 2nd, 2009 08:39 am (UTC)
So totally LOVE it!!!!
lillianschild: smilelillianschild on October 2nd, 2009 01:42 pm (UTC)
Glad you liked it. Thanks for taking the time to read it and review it. ;)
BabyDee: AM by Amethystianbabydee1 on October 2nd, 2009 12:52 pm (UTC)
Aw, this was haunting. Well done.

Oh, and bless you for coming up with a plausible explanation for how Henry James Olsen, unpeployed drug addict, could have ever afforded & acquired that prize piece of real estate!
lillianschild: headachelillianschild on October 2nd, 2009 01:48 pm (UTC)
Thank you. This explanation sprung to my mind the very minute I saw the Watchtower for the first time. It´s too classy and expensive to be Jimmy´s style- and above all, well beyond his means. This is yet another big hole in SV´s story arcs.
ctbn60: SV_Chloe_lexctbn60 on October 2nd, 2009 06:18 pm (UTC)
Lovely heartbreaking story. I do love chloe and Lex together! I hope to read more of your stories~! You captured his inner voice so well. Nicely done.
lillianschild: wobblylillianschild on October 2nd, 2009 10:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the compliment.*blushes* I´m glad you appreciated.;)
purple_moon123: Chlexpurple_moon123 on October 3rd, 2009 04:59 am (UTC)
Still love this insight into Lex.