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by astolat

LexCorp security was as good as it came, but fortunately nobody was paying a lot of attention to this facility, not anymore. The projects here now were small-time, mostly agricultural engineering, research into sustainable crops. Tim wasn't interested in any of those. All he wanted was down in the closed-off lower levels, way down in the old subterranean labs. Once he'd gotten past the mechanical security, and slipped down the elevator shaft, he didn't need to worry about guards.

It was weirdly quiet, this far underground, with nothing living anywhere near. The ventilation system breathed softly overhead, and electronic equipment clicked and hummed as he walked by. He'd programmed a video into the security system, so he didn't bother hiding from the cameras. He just walked down the hall, checking one dusty room after another, until he found the lab with the samples in it.

Lex Luthor, March 14, 2006, quadriceps femoris
Lex Luthor, March 14, 2006, flexor digitorum longus
Lex Luthor, March 14, 2006, gracilis

Superman, March 19, 2006, iliopsoas
Superman, March 19, 2006, sartorius
Superman, March 19, 2006, extensor retinacula

It went on from there: hundreds of vials, all preserved in the clear-front refrigerator. Tim opened the nitrogen-cooled case he'd brought and started loading them in, one after another.

"You might have some trouble extracting the DNA from the Kryptonian samples."

He jerked and looked around. Lex was standing in the lab doorway.

It'd been six months since Tim had seen him, at the funeral. Clark had come over to talk to Tim after. Lex hadn't, though. He hadn't said a word to anyone, and nobody had said anything to him. He'd stood through the service and the burial, and then he'd walked back to his limo and driven away. Mercy had been at his right shoulder the whole time, running interference.

"I know how close you were," Clark had said, his voice hoarse. "If you ever want to talk—I'd like that."

Tim didn't remember what he'd said back. Enough then and in the last six months, anyway, to keep Clark from looking more worried. Enough to get Bruce off his back.

"I was going to add trace amounts of kryptonite to the buffer," he said after a moment.

Lex shook his head. "It causes too much damage. You need to put the kryptonite into the ice used for incubation instead. The indirect exposure is enough."

Tim looked down at the samples in his case, and closed the lid. He double-checked it was secure before he stood up. "If you—why haven't you been working on it already?"

Lex raised an eyebrow. "I've been waiting for you."

= End =

Written for Melanie C.!

All feedback much appreciated!
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