Worth
by zahra


Email: frans_angel@hotmail.com
Feedback: good, bad, want to send me kryptonite?
Spoiler: Cool AKA the worst eppy yet
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Lex watches Clark ask Lana out.
Dedication: This one is for Paul for bringing me into the slashville fold and for Lar for being, well, Lar.
Note#1: I'm kinda worried about stepping outside of the Joss compound but everybody's gotta leave home sometime.
Lar's Lex Improv: peer, knees, flash

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It’s not quite the way he planned it, but he’s adaptable.

Two Radiohead tickets purchased through a broker at $250 each. One of two concerts they’re playing in the US. Two pieces of paper amounting to 13 cents each production-wise with 78 cents worth of ink printed on them. Worthless.

But. If they get him that much closer to his prize then they’re worth more than the Kandinsky in the second floor guest toilet. After all, Lex isn’t stupid.

He sees the way he looks at her. The way his eyes illuminate at her voice and his cheeks flush with uncontrolled teenage hormones.

If he was a lesser man he would be jealous. But he’s not. Lex isn’t that insecure. He knows better.

If he has to use Lana to get to Clark so be it. He knows what Clark’s worth. How invaluable he is - can be. Will be.

All he needs is someone to show him the way. Guide him over the rough spots. Someone who’s been there, done that, and created the whole set of fuck-you-and-your-conformity-shit rules. Someone like Lex.

Being a teenager is tough enough, heaven forbid you don’t fit the cookie cutter mold. Lex knows how hard it is to be different. The mass of insecurity it brings. And Clark is different too – whether or not he wants to admit it now, or work up to it, is up to him. All good things to those who wait.

And Lex can sympathize. Empathize. Make it all better. He was like that once too.

The doubts. Worries and fear. The burden that being ‘special’ straps to your back and weighs you down with The quiet suspicions of not being quite good enough. Handsome enough. Smart enough. Of not being worthy.

A worth not measured or influenced by the number of zeros in those Swiss bank accounts he’s not supposed to know about.

Insecurity is the plague of humanity. The doyen of peer pressure. That split second of hesitation before lighting the cigarette. Taking the first drink, first hit, first injection. It’s the proverbial fork in the road. Lex knows all about this.

Even those who display the most confident façade have fallen victim at one time or another. Have collapsed to their knees at this altar for the despairing. If only for a brief second.

Everyone falls. Even the Luthors.

Insecurity thy name is Lionel Luthor, wary and tentative of taking his son out in public. Despairing of the stares and whispers into gossiping ears. Sullying the family name despite all the power. All the money in the world unable to explain, rectify, the freakishness of his heir.

A ten-year-old boy as hairless as a rare feline. A son whose big present on his eighteenth birthday is the closing of his juvenile record. A father unsure of what will befall the legacy entrusted to his only son.

Lex.

A son like no other. Powerful and brilliant. Cruel and deceitful. Beautiful and cold. Once upon a time: young, innocent and trusting. Just the way that Clark is now.

Nine years old with flaming red hair that screamed out his innate difference. Nine years old and lost in a cornfield. Row upon row of unripe green stalks not meant to be navigated by three feet six inches of noveau riche Luthor.

Flashes of insecurity. Uncertainty. Of hopelessness. Not knowing the way out. Caught in a study of agriculture. Of a lesson in legacy. Never too young to learn the family business.

And look at him now. Look at how well he’s learned the business. Ruthlessness. The art of manipulation. Insecurity burned away like baby fat.

Alexander Joseph Luthor. The first. Sure of himself and his standing. Of his worth. Of Clark’s worth. Far more than a new truck. If only Lex can get a hold on it. On him.

This one is different. He screams so much normalcy that he must be a freak of nature. There must be something he’s hiding. Putting the ‘fun’ back in dysfunction.

His quirk may not be as visible as a bald head, but it’s definitely there. This one won’t be as easy as the rest and that makes him all the more precious. Lex Luthor can have anyone but can he have THIS one? The only one worth all the effort.

All that potential buried beneath a mound of teenage angst and insecurity. All Lex has to do is unearth it. Save him. Make him over. Make him better, stronger. Make him his.

Pry him free of the dusty, oil-soaked vice grip of farming. Of Smallville and small thinking.

Bit by bit. One gift at a time. For every gift he returns there’s bound to be one he accepts. The one that is never even offered up for the approbation of Ma and Pa Kent. Radiohead tickets today. His bed tomorrow?

Time is on Lex’s side. Whatever is pulling them together isn’t going anywhere and so he can wait. Because Clark Kent is like no other boy he’s ever met and Lex isn’t going to give him up without a fight. Clark’s worth more than that.

-finis-