Title: Toy Surprise in the Crackerjack Box (Nourishment: Second Helpings 6)
Author: Janet F. Caires-Lesgold
Feedback to: jfc@freeshell.org
Archive: Mailing list archives only--others please ask permission!
Category: Story, Chloe POV
Spoilers: Moving beyond season 3 as it should have been done
Rating: T (for teens and up)
Pairing: Clark/Lex established relationship
Summary: Evidence

DISCLAIMER: These characters do not belong to me. Smallville is the property of Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, Tollin-Robbins Productions, and Warner Bros. Television, and based upon characters originally created by Jerome Siegel and Joe Shuster. This story is just for the entertainment of my online friends and myself, not for any profit.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: "The Nourishment Series", which precedes this series, can be found elsewhere in this archive - Enjoy!

AUTHOR'S ADDENDUM: Is it my fault that they stopped making believable episodes of Smallville after "Covenant"? I've volunteered for the job of doing it myself. Let me know how I'm doing!

DEDICATION: For Tiff, who is sometimes full of surprises

COPYRIGHT: (C) Janet F. Caires-Lesgold, June 8, 2005, jfc@freeshell.org

Please don't redistribute or alter this story in any way without the express permission of the author. Thank you very much.



Lex lives in a museum. Okay, not really, but it might as well be one.

The mansion has been closed up all summer while he's been recuperating at the Kent farm, so it smells mustier than usual in here. Now that we're back from our forced sojourn in Grandville, my father and I needed a safe place to stay in town in time for school to start next week. Meanwhile, Lex needed somebody to come in and open the place up in time for his return the day after tomorrow. This works out for everybody.

He's going to be hiring new staff when he gets back, but it's pretty lonesome around here right now. See, my dad's been given a high-security job at the plant, which makes me pretty happy even if it does mean I'm here mostly by myself. I'm just getting a little bored at the moment.

It's my own damned fault. I know Lex has a wireless network in here somewhere, but I keep forgetting to ask him for the password. So, without web access, I have to find other ways of entertaining myself.

I've practiced my entire repertoire on the piano every day I've been here. Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" sounds really good in that big room. "Heart and Soul" doesn't suck, either.

I've also been working on my bank shot. It's not bad, if I do say so myself, considering I didn't even have a bank shot when I got here.

There's a stack of books I've pulled down that look interesting, especially for research purposes later. They're a little deep for summer reading, however. Perhaps I'll eventually get so bored I'll write a book...

Mrs. Kent and I spent Saturday doing inventory in the pantry and the fruit cellar, and we put together a produce order for Clark to put in the truck when he brings Lex home. We threw out everything that was spoiled or past its date and stocked the house with groceries, too, so I've got a box of cereal to munch on while I prowl around. Yes, I'm trying to be careful with the crumbs...

If I thought I had any talent at it, I'd probably take up sketching. There are so many cool paintings and sculptures in out-of-the-way corners (including something anatomically correct in the alcove where I once went out the window).

For the time being, before I go buy a pad and pastels, I've been going through these keys that my bodyguard left out for me. There were two rings, and since I wasn't sure which one he'd meant me to take, I grabbed them both. I know I was supposed to use them to pick out a bedroom that I particularly liked, but I'm finding a couple of rooms whose purpose I can't quite figure out. One or two have number pads instead of keylocks, so I know those are off-limits, since I don't know the codes.

But then there was this door... It looked perfectly ordinary, and opened when I turned the key. I guess I just wasn't expecting the stairs right inside it.

Yep--I tripped and couldn't get my footing, stumbling along the edges of the steps and face-planting at the bottom. Wonder where Lex's staff kept the broom and dustpan--I got cereal crumbs everywhere!

Right now, however, I am too terrified to worry much about them. Not for myself, mind you. You see, right above the spot where I landed is a huge photograph...

...of Clark.

This room is full of weird computer screens, and objects, and diagrams on glass. There are framed examples of long strings of symbols (or maybe writing) that I cannot decipher, and images that look like the paintings I've seen down in the Kawatche caves. In the middle is a big meteor rock displayed in a clear case, like it's some kind of rare valuable mineral specimen.

It's as if I've fallen into a big, high-tech Wall of Weird, but somehow it isn't... I'd think it was just stuff about Smallville, except for that big portrait.

Somehow I think it all has something to do with Clark. Suddenly, I don't have any appetite for cereal anymore.

What is the purpose of this room? Why does Lex have it? I mean, I know he and Clark are friends, or maybe something more. Is this stuff that Clark has asked Lex to hide for him? Or does Clark even know about this? What does it all mean?

I don't want to touch anything. Some of the screens are animated, and there are keyboards attached. Why does it feel like I'll learn more secrets than I really want to know if I start poking around further?

The reporter in me is sorely tempted to do just that--are some of these "exhibits" the very thing that Lionel Luthor had wanted me to investigate about Clark?

I have always cared too much about Clark to pry that deeply, even when he hurts me again and again. If I don't know these things about him, I can't spill them to anyone else who might try to hurt him. The irony of that statement is not lost on me...

I'm going to take my box of cereal and get the heck outta Dodge. And yet...

It's true--Lex lives in a museum containing many mysterious, amazing, and beautiful things. Is the most mysterious, amazing, and beautiful thing in Lex's museum Clark Kent himself?



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