Signed, Sealed, Delivered, You're Mine
Title: Signed, Sealed, Delivered – You’re Mine
Author: Jinni (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Disclaimer: All things Smallvlle belong to DC Comics, the WB, et al.
Distribution: The normal places.
Author’s Notes: I know! I’m supposed to be finishing up my other fics, not starting a new one. But this little rabid plot bunny latched onto me this morning, quite painfully, and wouldn’t let go. So, here it is.
Summary: A deal made in all joking, a contract signed just the same, and a man that’s willing to do anything for a shot at happiness.
The office was dark, only the waning sunlight of the descending sun illuminating anything – and even then just barely at all. It glinted off of the gold plated furnishings of his desk, winking before fading out to nothing. The door was closed and his solitude was perfect for this brief moment out of time.
Just as Lex would have it to be.
He leaned back in his chair, eyes half shut as he both tried to remember and sought not to. Tricky thing, memory, he thought bitterly. It could both remind you of your achievements and your greatest failures all in one fell swoop.
Just two weeks until his thirtieth birthday and what exactly did he have to show for it? A successful business? More money than he could spend in his lifetime? All of that and more. But not the one thing that he wanted.
Lex sighed, leaning back in his chair so that his legs were stretched out under the desk, crossed at the ankles. He resisted the urge to kick off his shoes and get comfortable. The office wasn’t a place for comfort, though he could remember a time when it had been just another room in the mansion. A place where he and his friends could laugh and talk, just as easily as any other.
Had it really been two years since the night all of that had change? Since he’d lost that last friend and become the man he saw every day in the mirror, the one that he hardly knew any more? He was becoming more and more like his father, no matter how much he tried to fight it or rallied against it.
And to what did he attribute his downward spiral? Not genetics or upbringing. Nor any thing he had done in the checkered past of his darker youthful days.
No, he had only himself to blame for this loneliness.
His fingertips rested lightly on the top of his desk, half obscuring faded writing on an old sheet of notebook paper. Filled with wording he remembered and handwriting he recognized all too well, it was a reminder of a happier time in his life.
A time before he’d messed up one of the best friendships he’d ever had…and a chance at love that was second to none.
He brushed his hand over the paper, smoothing out creases it didn’t have. How long had it been? Seven years, give or take, since the day they’d drawn this up. This…mockery of a contract.
Lex doubted she even remembered making it. For her it had been a joke…but for him, even then, it had been a promise that things might one day work out for the best.~*~Flashback~*~
Chloe snorted. “Married? Me? Sure…in between running after the next story or researching my latest piece.” She rolled her eyes, drumming her fingers on the arm of her chair. The empty coffee mug on the table attested to the fact that she’d had enough caffeine to keep her wired for at least an hour. Even more so, given that the mug had included two hearty shots of espresso. “Believe it or not, there are few men that would find a woman that’s hardly ever around that attractive of a wife.”
Lex raised his eyebrows. “Or perhaps that would be the most attractive of all wives. The kind that’s never there.”
“Ha ha, Luthor.”
He smirked. The Talon was closed for the night, but yet he was there anyway with Lana, Clark and Chloe, just having what passed for an ‘exciting’ Friday night in Smallville. They’d all be leaving soon, he realized. For one college or another they’d be ditching Smallville and he’d be stuck here, by himself. Clark would drop by every now and then. Lana… well, he somehow doubted she’d tag along for even half of those visits, even though her and Clark were supposedly now an ‘item’.
Chloe, on the other hand… now that was a friendship he expected to last. She’d proven to be an invaluable friend over the last year and despite their difference in ages, he’d found himself secretly thinking of her as a good friend…a best friend, even, though he wouldn’t admit to it openly if pressed.
“Well, you may join the club, so to speak, Miss Sullivan,” he intoned dryly. “I somehow doubt that I will find yet another Mrs. Luthor any time soon.”
Clark laughed. “And here I thought women were beating down your door, Lex.”
“Yeah,” Lana giggled softly. “No future exes lurking in dark corners?”
“Hardly.” Lex smiled slightly. “It appears I’m becoming too much of a bachelor, if that were possible. Too much of a challenge for most women.”
“Hardly,” Chloe mocked with a roll of her eyes. “You make it sound like such a travesty. Being single can be fun.”
“To an extent,” he shrugged. “However, living alone for the remainder of my days doesn’t seem all that it is cracked up to be.”
The blonde grinned, shaking her head. “You’re really something, Luthor. Okay, fine. I tell you what – if you’re still single when you’re thirty – I’ll marry you. Provided I haven’t roped some poor schmuck into keeping me stocked in coffee for the rest of my life by then.”
“Can I get that in writing?” he joked with a snort of amusement all his own.
”Yeah, sure, why not?”
He watched through half-lidded, amused eyes as she tore a sheet of lined paper from her notebook and rifled through her purse for a pen. The black ink spread deliciously over the smooth surface as she began to write.
“There you go…witness it Lana, Clark,” Chloe snickered, holding out her pen to her two friends as Lex gazed on with a smirk.
There could be worse things that marrying his best friend, after all; provided she wasn’t completely joking about the entire deal.
Joke or not, he’d made sure to pocket the ‘contract’ when it had been witnessed, her signature and his joining Lana’s and Clark’s. He’d folded it up with a low chuckle, shoving it into an inner pocket of his suit. From there it had gone into his safe.
And there it had stayed, relatively forgotten, until a week ago when he’d realized what was approaching.
He frowned down at the names. It would be too simple to just let the event slide and not call her on the contract she had willingly signed, albeit in jest. With two years of stony silence between them, it was probably for the best. He’d hurt her, after all, and she was yet to get to the stage where she had forgiven him enough to even be in the same room for very long.
If he could take back that one night – the night that had ruined everything – he would in a heartbeat. How close had he been then to making her his through genuine means instead of some slip of paper that was only likely to enrage her more than bring him closer to her heart?
When all was said and done, she’d been gone and he’d been alone in truth.
That wasn’t what he wanted for the rest of his life. She had his heart, whether or not she even realized it, and he wanted hers in return.
If that meant playing dirty to get her within his grasp again, so be it.
She’d appreciate it in the long run, after he’d wooed her sufficiently to ease the pain he’d caused however unwittingly, two years before. When the pain was gone he had to believe that she would enjoy being his wife.
Lex reached for his desk phone, pressing a number on the speed dial. Only two weeks until his thirtieth birthday.
There were plans to be made.
But first he needed a little assistance from his lawyers.
Something told him Chloe wasn’t going to just accept this peacefully.