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28 November 2005 @ 11:49 pm
PCB!Lex (Part 6)  
Thanks to everyone who rushed to sympathise with my pain in the previous post. I'm still in an angsty place but have been distracted by having more PCB!Lex beta-ed.

Part 6: Copying will resume when unit has warmed up (beta'd by supacat)

That weekend, for the first time since moving to Metropolis, Clark wished for more emergencies. Being Superman helped put things in perspective. It made Clark Kent’s office dramas, even if they did involve Lex Luthor, seem like trivialities. But Metropolis let him down. Two muggings and a botched convenience store hold-up were all that Friday night offered.

This left Clark with way too much time to dwell on the week’s events. He rang Chloe as frequently as he thought polite to check on the progress she was making hacking into LexCorp’s intranet. They were hoping she’d discover not only the cover story Lex was using, but also evidence of Lex’s recent movements that might help in deciphering how he was creating the illusion of anonymity.

Chloe ended the fifth call saying, ‘Clark, relax! I will call you the minute I find anything. Just... go hang out with Lois, or something, ok?’

Clark stared at his phone dismally, and then decided to take Chloe’s advice.

Clark rang Lois’s doorbell at 11:15 am on Saturday morning. She took a long time to answer. Finally, the door tugged open a crack, and a tousled head and drooping eyelids appeared over the chain. Lois mumbled something that sounded like ‘I don’t believe it’ and sleepily unpinned the chain.

Clark followed her as she shuffled into the lounge room and flopped onto her sofa, propping her slippered feet on the coffee table. Clark had to step carefully around the empty pizza boxes and half-full mugs of coffee. He couldn’t find a clear spot on the table for the bulky weekend edition of the Daily Planet, so he handed it to Lois awkwardly.

‘I brought you a copy. I thought you’d want to see the feature.’

Lois stared back at him blankly. ‘I get it delivered.’

‘Yeah… I know.’ All Planet employees got free subscriptions. But he’d hoped she’d appreciate the gesture. ‘I brought croissants too!’ He dangled the bag awkwardly.

Lois’s eyelashes flickered. ‘I don’t suppose you thought to bring coffee?’

Clark’s arm sagged. ‘No... But I can make some?’

Lois waved an arm towards the kitchen and smothered a yawn with her other hand. ‘Plunger... in... dishwasher.’

Clark busied himself in the kitchen. When he returned, Lois had tuned the TV to a video hits channel and was ranting about the skimpy outfits of the teen female pop artists. Clark handed her a mug of coffee and let her take a sip before raising an eyebrow and saying ‘Haven’t I seen you in a costume like that?’

He had to use a little superspeed to duck the cushion. He didn’t escape splashing coffee over his jeans and he had to retire to the kitchen to clean himself up.

When he returned, Lois was cheerfully munching on croissants but before he could join her, Clark’s phone rang and he grabbed it from his jeans pocket.

‘Hello?’

It was Chloe. ‘Here’s something interesting. Apparently Lex met with senior execs on Thursday for an all-day strategy meeting.’

‘What?’

‘So either his senior staff, his PA and who knows who else are covering for him, or Lex has a doppelganger.’

‘But you saw…’ Clark looked uneasily across the room at Lois, who was watching him quizzically.

‘Yeah, I know. I could swear it was the real Lex I saw. But there’s definitely something odd here. Are you sure he was in the office all day?’

‘Pretty sure.’ Thursday had been the day he’d sabotaged the copier and Lex had renegotiated the contract.

‘But you didn’t see him all the time? I mean not 24/7?’

‘No, of course not.’ Clark blushed.

‘Ok, well, I’ll try and get to the bottom of this. And I’ll call you if I find out anything else.’

‘Ok, thanks.’

Clark hung up. Lois was still staring at him.

‘Who was that?’

‘Oh, just a friend. Pete.’ Geez, Lois was inquisitive. ‘Uh… I better head off now, Lois.’

‘Ok. You sure you don’t want to hang out here for a while?’

‘As appealing as that is…’ Clark cast another look around the cluttered apartment. ‘I think I’ll pass. The last time I came over, I seem to remember I ended up cleaning your kitchen floor.’

‘Oh yeah, it’s gone all grey again. Want to help me out with that?’

Clark glowered at her. ‘Goodbye, Lois.’

‘Later, Smallville!’ she replied breezily, swinging her legs up on to the sofa and settling herself into the cushions.

***

Chloe stopped answering Clark’s calls somewhere around 1 am Saturday night. Clark flew over Metropolis looking for people to save. He found a stray dog trapped in a drain and took it to the local lost dogs’ home. He regretted it when the volunteers there asked him to sponsor them. They seemed to think he’d be returning with more dogs. Their eyes were alight with enthusiasm as they started bringing out petitions for him to sign and asking if he’d take part in a TV campaign about desexing pets. He extricated himself with difficulty and vowed to leave the animal kingdom to fend for itself from now on.

Given the complete lack of action on the streets of Metropolis, it was not surprising that Clark found himself flying past the LexCorp tower. His heart skipped a beat when he saw a light on in the penthouse. Lex was home. Staying in shadow was difficult, but Clark was getting better at estimating human visibility. With the light on inside, Lex would be able to see very few features of the dark sky outside his window. Clark approached from below, keeping close to the tower so as to avoid getting caught in the light from adjacent buildings. Cautiously he flew higher until he could just see in through the floor-to-ceiling windows.

Unexpectedly, the curtains were drawn back. Lex treasured his privacy as much as he enjoyed his skyline views, but tonight Clark could see straight into the large open-plan living space. Lex was seated in front of the fireplace. He was reading from an old book, but appeared distracted, because he kept glancing away to stare across the room or at the fire and to raise and lower the scotch glass in his left hand.

Clark hovered, watching Lex. After a few minutes, Lex put down his book and moved to the window. Clark drew back against the building. On an angle, he could just make out Lex staring out on Metropolis with a look that melted Clark’s heart. Clark tried to identify the emotions shaping Lex’s features as he watched the city beneath him: regret, emptiness and sorrow were part of them, he was sure. It was shocking to see Lex so unguarded, and Clark’s heart pounded fast beneath his suit.

He didn’t want to move, but eventually Lex pulled the curtains closed, and, after drifting around for a moment or two, Clark turned for home.

***

On Sunday Clark’s phone rang in the middle of a rescue.

‘Clark! I’ve had a breakthrough!’

‘Uh, I’m a bit busy right now,’ Clark said as he tucked the phone to his ear and held it in place with his shoulder, cradling the old lady in his other arm and ducking to avoid a power line.

On the other end of the phone, he heard Chloe sigh. ‘Clark? Clark, are you flying? I’ve told you before not to answer your cell phone...’

‘Watch out, young man!’ the old lady cried as the phone dropped away from Clark’s ear and he dived rapidly after it. This was followed by an ear-piercing shriek.

A metre from the pavement, Clark caught the phone and the old lady went into cardiac arrest. Clark delivered her to ER and stayed long enough to see she was alright and then rang Chloe back.

‘Spare the lecture, ok? What have you got?’

‘A theory. I don’t want to discuss it yet: I’ve got to check a few things out first, but I think Lex has been conducting experiments in one of the old LuthorCorp warehouses.’

‘Oh no! Not the one he was researching cloning in?’ Clark had spent a month fending off super-powered pigeons.

‘No, another one. You nuked that one. Don’t you remember?’

‘Oh, yeah.’ Clark recalled the explosion created by his fire. It had lit up the sky like fireworks and he’d had to evacuate a few passers-by. Chloe had given him grief about it, telling him he needed to be more careful.

‘So listen, I’m going to do some investigating this week. But I don’t think you should come.’

‘But Chloe, my powers...’

‘No. Clark, I think Lex might have someone watching you in case you get close to the secret. And trust me, I can do this alone. No powers needed.’

‘Ok, but...’

‘If I need back-up, I’ll call you.’

‘You better.’

‘You just keep acting normal, ok? Let Lex think you’re still confused.’

‘That shouldn’t be too hard,’ muttered Clark.

‘Keep a track of Lex’s movements within the office as much as possible but mostly, just... don’t give him opportunities to fuck with you, ok?’

Clark winced at the swearing. He’d never got used to it, although Chloe had dropped into the habit as comfortably as she had taken to other aspects of life in Metropolis.

‘Clark?’

‘Yeah, ok. I got it.’

‘Plan?’

‘Plan! Thanks, partner.’

Clark heard Chloe laugh as he hung up.

***
(I promise - I swear! - I will get them back to the photocopier and on to more, ahem, action soon. *g*)
 
 
Current Mood: hopefulhopeful
 
 
 
Becky: futuresadface on November 28th, 2005 01:20 pm (UTC)
Double the Lex! Double the fun! *thinks porny thoughts*

A metre from the pavement, Clark caught the phone and the old lady went into cardiac arrest. Clark delivered her to ER and stayed long enough to see she was alright and then rang Chloe back.

hahahahahahahaha. *dies*

Love you Boppy! PCB!Lex! YAY!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!bop_radar on November 28th, 2005 10:49 pm (UTC)
'sank you! *bows*
Glad you liked that bit! It was my personal giggle favourite!

However, I'm missing the office environment... I need to get back to the copier!
nehellania on November 28th, 2005 02:14 pm (UTC)
YAY! Another part and so soon! I'm so happy! Go you! And it was funny! The part where Clark drops the cell - LOL!

*waits patiently for next installment*
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex purple evilbop_radar on November 28th, 2005 10:50 pm (UTC)
Tee hee! Don't ring and fly... I just don't see Clark ever leaving his cell phone behind, Superman or no Superman!
roxymissroseroxymissrose on November 28th, 2005 02:29 pm (UTC)
I really shouldn't laugh about the old lady but--HAHAAAA!! that bit was hysterical, and poor clumsy Clark--it's a wonder he didn't destroy the city saving it from Lex!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clark man of steelbop_radar on November 28th, 2005 10:52 pm (UTC)
I know! I was a bit cruel to the old lady... but clumsy self-centred Clark is so amusing!
(He may yet destroy the city!)
Blueblue_meridian on November 28th, 2005 08:51 pm (UTC)
See, I'm picturing the Harry Potter Hermione trick of turning back time to be in the same place at the same time. ;) More damnit!!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex mischiefbop_radar on November 28th, 2005 10:54 pm (UTC)
Ah ha! The speculation begins! *is amused that everyone assumes clones*
Personally I think Lex would leap at the chance to play Hermione's trick. *pictures Lex running to Hogwarts and ripping gadget out of Herm's hands*
Blueblue_meridian on November 29th, 2005 03:47 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, I can too! Plus, clones assumes Lex would cede control to someone else. Would Lex really trust another individual that thinks just like him in that situation with that much power??
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!bop_radar on November 30th, 2005 01:55 am (UTC)
Oh yes, I agree. Not giving anything away, but if it IS clones, Lex would have to have some type of serious mind-control/behaviour-control thing going on. Because we know deep down he fears himself and he's such a control freak.
Enderenderwiggin24 on November 28th, 2005 08:59 pm (UTC)
I am so excited!! clony Lexes!!!!
yayyyyyyyyy, every girl should get her own clone!lex!!
all there for our personal ... recreational uses......
But I dont think, clark would appreciate that...hmmmm

yes, more action would be..nice! *g*
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex hotbop_radar on November 28th, 2005 11:06 pm (UTC)
It would be nice to have our own ones, yes! But Clark is *very* possessive. I can picture him swooping around the world collecting up all the Lexes... Hee!

I am sure Lex will increase the intensity of his flirting in Week 2!
complicatcomplicat on November 28th, 2005 09:37 pm (UTC)
Ooh, Lex clones! Can I have one?
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clex strollingbop_radar on November 28th, 2005 11:06 pm (UTC)
You may! *gifts you one*
Cris: Clark Kentduskwillow on November 28th, 2005 10:20 pm (UTC)
Ummm, more than one Lex...beautiful possibilities. *wg*

And I loved the cell phone part! LMAO!!
Only Clark...
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clex be with mebop_radar on November 28th, 2005 11:09 pm (UTC)
Yes, only Clark! Only our hopelessly self-centred, clumsy twenty-first-century Clark!

Glad you liked, hon!
Nora Norwichnorwich36 on November 28th, 2005 11:17 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I hope it is clones, but I love the mystery! And Clark sending that poor lady into cardiac arrest is hilarious! Hee Hee!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: What subtext?bop_radar on November 29th, 2005 08:21 am (UTC)
*g* Yay that you like!
Talitha: vval big dorky alientalitha78 on November 29th, 2005 02:31 am (UTC)
On the other end of the phone, he heard Chloe sigh. ‘Clark? Clark, are you flying? I’ve told you before not to answer your cell phone...’

Hahaha! Don't answer the phone while you're flying, Clark, ya big goober. :D
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clex minebop_radar on November 29th, 2005 08:22 am (UTC)
Totally! *bg*
Feliz: Chloe best sidekickfeliz581 on November 29th, 2005 03:05 pm (UTC)
Hmm, 2 Lexes perhaps. Well it stands to reason that Clark won't need both of them when all is said and done. I would be MORE than willing to help him out with that. Just my way of giving back. ;D

Such a cute part! And I love your Lois!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex mischiefbop_radar on November 30th, 2005 01:57 am (UTC)
Thank you! Cute icon: yes, Chloe is the best sidekick ever! And I love Lois. She's so much fun to write.

But I'm afraid there might be a waiting list for any left over Lexes! *g*
Kate: LexYummymskatej on November 29th, 2005 10:50 pm (UTC)
OMG I cannot WAIT to find out what happens. This is so exciting! What is Lex up to? I'm on the edge of my seat! *loves PCB Lex*
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex humourbop_radar on November 30th, 2005 02:01 am (UTC)
Hee! He's so sneaky...
HeroHunter.  I, Storyteller.: clexxmastreeherohunter on December 1st, 2005 07:12 am (UTC)
Eee, she promised "ahem action!"

*loves ahem-action!*


LOL!!
;D
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clex strollingbop_radar on December 1st, 2005 12:03 pm (UTC)
Hee! Festive boys!
*takes the hint*
*feels the pressure*
;)
kHo: smallville- woobie lexkho on December 14th, 2005 11:56 am (UTC)
I finally caught up to this and I've decided. I must find a way to manip Lex and a photocopier together. Not some weird Lexian photocopier thing, but , a dude by a photocopier and Lex's head pasted on top. It'll be hot. And if noth ing else, then just a plain photocopier with like "property of LexCorp" on it. LOL.

Okay, anyway, yes, I fucking love this story. You have the voices down, you've got Clark down fucking COLD, Chloe is awesome, and I LOVE that even if this is a crackfic idea (which it started out that way right?) it's based in so much reality and you're giving it so much DEPTH. I love Lex and his loneliness coming to the forefront probably most of all.

Anyway, I just love it, and I hope you continue more soon!
kHokho on December 15th, 2005 12:54 pm (UTC)
ok made a few


Image hosted by Photobucket.com


Image hosted by Photobucket.com


Image hosted by Photobucket.com


Image hosted by Photobucket.com


Image hosted by Photobucket.com


K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex mischiefbop_radar on December 15th, 2005 01:34 pm (UTC)
WOW!!!!!!!!
Omg, you don't know how excited I am by these! I absolutely adore icons (well you might have picked that up) and these are *personalised* about my crazy fic! *loves* *adores*
thank you sooooooo much!
kHo: smallville- lexkho on December 15th, 2005 10:54 pm (UTC)
I had to do it. I just wish I could find a proper pic to try and manip Lex's head onto like... a Kinko's dude body. LOL!!! Oh my God! Lex in a Kinko's shirt! HAAAAAAAAA!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex nodbop_radar on December 16th, 2005 05:58 am (UTC)
HEE! *g* Too funny!! I can't wait until I have my new bit done (maybe over weekend?) and can post it with an icon! I am trying to work out which one is favourite and I just don't know... Even without Kinko's shirts they're pretty funny!

OK. I must write more. *is frustrated by being at work* Come on weekend!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex pitchforkbop_radar on December 15th, 2005 01:46 pm (UTC)
Heee! Thank you so much for reading, hon. And I'm delighted you are enjoying this. I have been so frantic with work in the last week or so I haven't written much more but it is on its way.

Yes, this was (is) total crackfic! It was the crazy idea that stuck and took hold... And it's my first ever fic, so it's even stranger that it's grown like this. And I'm very flattered that you feel my characterisation is ok. And awww, yes, I love Lex in this fic. And Chloe and Clark and Lois are all really fun to write.

You have definitely inspired me to get back to this soon! *g* Thank you - the icons are a great pre-xmas present! *g*
kHo: smallville- lex2kho on December 15th, 2005 10:37 pm (UTC)
Okay, seriously, your characterization isn't just 'okay.' It's wonderful! I find it very very h ard to believe it's your first fic ever, but then agian, I don't. You're so analytical that it's not surprising to me you'd have the characters down so well. You have a lot of raw talent. My first ever fic was a piece of CRAP. I"m almost a little jealous that your first ever fic is this fucking GOOD, and engaging, and well characterized. LOL. Because you'll only improve with time, and then like, you're gonna totally leave the rest of us in the dust. Which is totally fine as long as I get to keep reading it!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex squeebop_radar on December 16th, 2005 05:55 am (UTC)
Oh you are making me BLUSH now! Thank you so much for the lovely supportive comments. I didn't actually think there would be much of a link between my ability to analyse/reflect on the show and transforming it into fanfic... SV has surprised me by prompting a desire to do both! The analysis is well within the range of my 'normal' behaviour. The fic is not! So it's a really interesting exercise for me. And I'm enjoying it a lot.
I'm very flattered you like it, especially as your own characterisation is so good and you write such a wide range of characters. I'm amazed at how much you write too! I am definitely still very slow. *g* But thanks so much for reading and commenting and icons and all!
*squee*!
dare2venture: SV Alien vs Predatordare2venture on May 17th, 2006 08:06 pm (UTC)
Just found this story
I just found this story and was going to read until I was caught up and then comment. However, I just had to tell you that Clark diving after his phone and the old woman going into cardiac arrest had me giggling like a loon! What a mental picture. Can't wait to read the rest of it:-)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clex bitter endbop_radar on May 20th, 2006 05:57 am (UTC)
Re: Just found this story
Thank you! *g* That's one of my personal favourite moments. I did wonder if it was just my own sick sense of humour, but it made my beta giggle, so it stuck! ;-)