Title: Toothpick (Nourishment: Second Helpings Epilogue)
Author: Janet F. Caires-Lesgold
Feedback to: jfc@freeshell.org
Archive: Mailing list archives only--others please ask permission!
Category: Vignette, drama, Lex POV
Spoilers: None ever anymore
Rating: T (Teens and up only due to suggestions of m/m sexual behavior)
Pairing: Clark/Lex established relationship
Summary: The rift is complete

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: All parts of "The Nourishment Series" and "Second Helpings", which precede this story, can be found elsewhere on this archive - Enjoy!

AUTHOR'S NOTES, the last: This is it. No, really. Begging will get you nowhere. This is how it ends. Thank you for reading, and for hanging in there all these years. It's been a helluva ride.

DEDICATION: For Tiff, of course. I couldn't have done it without you!

COPYRIGHT: (C) Janet F. Caires-Lesgold, July 27, 2006, 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.



Clark is gone.

The last time I saw him was as I left my late father's side in his private office in the city. My brother, Lucas, had been allied with the old man when he escaped from prison, so luckily knew where his hideout was located. It was such a shame that a former associate had taken revenge on him and shot him four times after having been let in to that secret place. I can think of few men who deserved such horrible treatment.

Clark certainly wasn't strong enough to do such a thing. He chickened out when he had the opportunity to save our beloved Chloe from the madman who threatened my family, and she plunged to her death from LuthorCorp Tower. I am concerned that someone is still out there and posing a danger to me, but I have no reason to believe that this criminal could be Clark.

He and I had spoken a few days before, but at that time we'd had a disagreement. Perhaps I was holding a grudge when I ran into him that last day, but for whatever reason, we did not speak. I gave him a week or two to cool off, then stopped by his home to mend a few fences.

Little did I know that, when I arrived, his mother, who had previously treated me with kindness, would refuse to answer my questions. She succinctly told me that Clark had gone away and had left me no message. When I tried to get more information, she hinted that I speak to his father, with whom I have had some miscommunication in the past, but who was at work when I called. Something in her tone suggested that I would be better off leaving without seeing the man, so I left unsatisfied.

Clark Kent is a striking young man who meant a lot to me at one time. He and I spent a few years as close friends, despite our class differences, and I do regret losing touch with him. But there was so much he kept from me during our time together that I wonder if I really knew him at all.

He always disagreed with me about how to handle my dad, and now that he's no longer with us, maybe it's best that I am undistracted in my work to determine how best to use his fortune, both for profit and to finance scientific research. The last thing I need is any emotional entanglement to ruin a perfectly good career.

There are too many ghosts in the rural estate, so I believe I'll be closing that down, possibly donating it to be made into a children's home or for some other charitable use. My ties to the area are too unimportant for me to maintain it as a residence anymore. It would be much better for me to stay in here the city so I am not so physically removed from my work.

This city is also filled with beautiful people, dozens of whom I'm sure will provide adequate diversion for me, should I need it. No forgotten dalliance should connect me to the ugliness of that bucolic township. I don't have time for things like that--I have a legacy to create.

Clark is gone, and I can't say that I care a bit. In fact, I'd be surprised if I ever saw him again...



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