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I'm Half-Doomed and You're Semi-Sweet

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The thing about Clark Kent is this: it is impossible to hate him.

Lex Luthor knew this well. Because Clark is a terrible liar, and keeps secrets at the worst possible times, and doesn’t always understand how his actions affect the world around him. Doesn’t understand how his lies make Lex angry and half-insane. Doesn’t understand why Metropolis now seems to fall to pieces when he’s gone for more than a night.

But Clark has the best intentions. Always. He was built without an ounce of malice or guile in his too strong frame. He is ernest, and kind to a fault. He will shoulder any weight or guilt you can hand over to him without a second thought.

He is everything Lex fears. Proof that life beyond the earth exists - and could terrifyingly over take humanity with ease. And Lex could never be scared of Clark - Clark is too scared of himself to ever even come close to physically hurting a human being, but he is scared of the implications. The next alien to crash land might to stronger than Clark. Might be angrier or more dangerous than Clark. Might be more willing to end humanity than Clark. This is what Lex fears.

But he could never hate Clark himself.

There is a reason Kara befriends Lex Luthor - her cousin’s sometimes mortal enemy. Even before she begins to even tolerate the Danvers. The reason is this: he is perhaps the only person on Earth that knows what it's like to hate Kal-El with every fiber of their being, and yet, not hate him at all. Love him in fact. The fact that Lex calls him by a different name is not as significant as when anyone else uses his earth-given name.

Because Kal-El - or Clark, whatever you call him - is many things. He is a terrible but persistent liar. He is too convinced of his own convictions, of his own morals, of his own opinions. He is stubborn, and the more he should convince he is wrong, the more he digs his heels in. He is oblivious when he is hurting people, or when people are able to see right through him. He cannot admit when he needs help, too determined to shoulder the weight of a planet not his own all alone. He will not admit his heritage, of the pang of hollowness it gives him no matter how desperately his last remaining blood in the universe needs him to.

These are all reasons to hate him. Lex says his faults comes from the fact that Clark is too convinced that he is only human: and all human have faults. And most, if not all, are convinced they are the exception.

And she can tell Kal-El resents her. Resents that she came late. Resents that she showed up at all. She offers a connection to the home he never knew he wanted to know about, opened a wound he never knew had scarred over, and he hates her for it. Even if he does not recognize it as hate. The same way he claims he’s worried for Lex, or afraid for his rising insanity, the same way he resents him for figuring out his secret. He gets the two feeling confused.

She wants him to admit it - admit he resents her, hates her, doesn’t want her around him, or taking his spotlight or heroism from him. It would be easier to hate him if he admitted he hated her back.

Because it's impossible to hate him as he is.

Because Kal-El cares. About everyone, and everything. Takes everything as a personal hit, straight through the heart. He worries about her - how she’ll adjust to earth, how she’ll feel and fit in amidst humans, how she’ll deal with her trauma, how she’ll remember their people, how she’ll use her powers, how she’ll become her own person.

He sends her away because he cannot be the best for her, all of twenty-five and too human for her comfort. She will try to make him more, search for her connection to her people that he does not have - not in the way she wants him to. He cannot heal her - and he knows this. Is so gentle and kind when he tells her he’s taking her to Midvale, that she wants to scream. He treats her like every victim he has ever saved. Sincere, heartfelt concern, efforts to mitigate the trauma, to find the best way for them to recover. As if she is nothing special. As if they aren’t the last of their people, in the entire universe. She doesn’t want to be treated like every other victim, like a human child. She wants her cousin - but he doesn’t want her. And he covers up the truth with justice and the american way. What do humans say? Two out of three ain’t bad.

But she cannot hate him. Because he has grown into exactly the kind of man their family would have wanted him to grow into. And she cannot hate him, because he is her last connection to Krypton left alive.