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The Return of Lex Luthor 3/?

Author: Phoenixnz
Title: The Return of Lex Luthor
Genre: Drama

Characters: Clark, Lois, Lex, OC, Perry White, Justice Leage
Pairings: Clois, Lex/OC
Warning: Spoiler, season seven
Rating: Mostly PG but some chapters R
Disclaimer: The characters of Smallville and the DC comic universe belong to the producers, writers etc. The original character is mine but is not, I repeat, not a real person, although they are drawn from real life for the sake of realism. Any resemblance to anyone, living or dead, is coincidence.

a/n: Another flashback - and yes I have borrowed dialogue from the episode in question. You'll understand why.

Summary: Lex Luthor returns with a few surprises. And he seems to be a changed man. Can Clark trust him? Should he?

It all started here

Go back a step


Chapter Three

Clark was still curious about the woman Lex had married. Why had he married her? He’d already checked. The marriage was legal. They’d married in Gretna Green, a village in Scotland famous for its ‘runaway weddings’. Clark supposed that they’d done it to avoid publicity. There had certainly been no wedding announcement. No notice of engagement. Lex had been suspiciously quiet about the whole matter.

While still pondering the wisdom of renewing a friendship with Lex again, Clark decided there was no harm in exploring this, just to see if he could find out what Lex was up to. He figured if Lex was going to try to manipulate the situation to find out just what Clark was capable of, as Superman, then he was going to use that same situation to see if he could dig up any dirt.

The only problem was Julia. Clark was sure she had no idea what Lex really was. He didn’t want to get her in the middle of all of this, but he had no choice. The woman needed protection. Because when whatever Lex was planning went down, she was the one who was going to end up seriously hurt.

It worried Clark, and Lois, that they couldn’t find anything on Julia. Lois had suggested that maybe the reason there was nothing to find on Julia was that she was exactly what she appeared to be. A nice, if somewhat naive young woman who fell for the wrong guy. Because they could both see that she wasn’t anything like the women Lex had been with before. She was warm and friendly and an open book. Rather too much of an open book. She was too honest, Lois had said.

Clark had coffee with Julia a couple of mornings a week. Julia was obviously used to being more active. Being the wife of a very rich man wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. She often found herself cleaning the apartment, even when it was already sparkling clean, just for something to do. She wasn’t much for shopping, she laughed, which made Lex look at her rather oddly. Didn’t all women like to shop?

“Well, when you’ve grown up poor, the only shopping you ever really do is out of necessity, you know?” she explained.

Julia’s father had gambled. A lot. Her mother worked, while her father stayed home in her teenage years, and her father had always been looking for that pot of gold. When he won the lottery he would buy a big house, he’d always said. He’d always wanted them to have a place of their own, rather than renting government-funded housing. But he was hypocritical too, Julia had told Clark.

“I mean, here he is, spending the housekeeping money on his gambling, and he’s telling me not to go out with friends and save my pocket money.”

“Did you ever think he was being protective? Maybe he didn’t want you to go through the same things he did?” Clark suggested. He was having lunch with both of them at the penthouse one Saturday. He hadn’t asked Julia about her childhood, but the subject had come up anyway. Lex was silent for most of it, letting Julia talk. But occasionally he reached over the table and squeezed her hand.

“There’s being protective and then there’s being over-protective. My father didn’t treat me like his daughter. He treated me like a possession. I tell you, Clark, when you have kids, don’t you dare ever treat them like my father treated me. Or else I will come down so hard on you ...”

Clark grinned at that. It wasn’t something he had to worry about. Hell, he wasn’t even sure he would be capable of having children, especially with a human woman. With Lois. He still wanted that. Wanted the relationship with Lois, but after everything ...

“I guess it’s one of the things we have in common,” Lex spoke up. “We both had dysfunctional families and fathers with their own fucked up ideas of raising children.” Julia gave him a look but said nothing.

“So, what led you to Nepal?” Clark asked.

“My father died. Cancer. I spent the next few years wondering what I was going to do with my life and not realising that I was finally free from him. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my Dad. But he just held on too tight and I couldn’t breathe. It took me years to figure out that I could finally be my own person. That he wasn’t there to criticise me, or judge me.”

Clark nodded.

“My parents were protective too, in their own way,” he said.

He couldn’t explain why. He didn’t know how much Lex had told Julia about him. She hadn’t mentioned Superman in ‘intimate’ terms, as if she knew the truth. She had spoken about the day she had been mugged and how Superman had saved her. And not once had it implied that she knew he was Superman.

“Anyway, I joined this social group and one of the guys there worked for a charity. They were looking for people to help out in third-world countries. So I saved up and went.”

“And then you met Lex.”

“And then I met Lex.”

Clark offered to clean up after lunch and Julia went out on the terrace to relax in the sun. It was a beautiful summer’s day and Lex told Clark she loved sitting out there, taking in the breeze. She didn’t have a problem with heights.

Lex stood up to help Clark with the dishes. Clark gave him an odd look.

“She claims it’s good for me,” Lex told him with a chuckle. “She might actually be right.”

Clark figured it was time to broach the subject.

“Does she know? About me, I mean.”

“No. I figured it was best to keep that from her. For now.” Lex looked thoughtful. “I spent a lot of time while I was recovering thinking about why you never told me the truth. I understand now. Your parents were trying to protect you. And you were trying to protect others.”

“I had to. People tended to get hurt if they knew.”

“Like Pete? I figured he knew your secret. I remember the feds beating him up for it.”

Clark sighed. “There were times over the years we were friends that I wanted to tell you. It’s just, after what happened to Pete, I knew I couldn’t.”

“It’s okay, Clark. I admit, I was angry. For a long time, but Julia has helped me get over that. She’s an amazing woman.”

Clark remembered how angry Lex had been. He remembered the day Lex had finally confronted him. The day his friend, turned enemy, had tried to kill him.

Jimmy had told him that Lex was doing some investigations in the Arctic. Clark had just learned that Brainiac had been posing as his cousin, Kara, to manipulate the people around him. It had all been an effort to control him, to make Clark do what he wanted, which was destroy the planet and make it habitable for Kryptonians.

Clark now realised, after everything that had happened with Zod, that the orb which was meant to control him, contained genetic material of more than a hundred Kandorians, who, with the powers given to them by the yellow sun, would have taken over the planet. That was why Brainiac had told Lex the truth, feeding his paranoia about aliens. Lex had been so sure that an invasion was planned. How right he had been!

Clark had sped as fast as he could to the Arctic fortress to find Lex standing there with the orb in his hand. As Clark stood there, Lex became aware of his presence and he looked around, his expression unreadable.

“I must admit, Clark, this is a big step up from the barn.”

The barn, which had been dubbed by Jonathan as his Fortress of Solitude, had quickly taken second place to this remnant of his homeworld. Not that Clark could really remember. He had been just a baby when his parents had put him in that spaceship.

Clark could see the anger boiling beneath the surface and he knew he must act quickly to defuse the situation. He stepped down, approaching Lex, hands raised as if in submission.

“It’s not what you think, Lex. You don’t understand.”

As Clark neared the bald man, the orb glowed, activating. Lex looked at him as if he thought he had it all figured out. Clark was well aware of Lex’s issues with aliens. After all, he’d been taken over by Zod. His memory of that possession might be buried deep within his subconscious, but his paranoia had grown from that horrible experience. Clark had felt sympathy for the man, but he couldn’t condone his actions since then.

The two of them circled each other, like wild animals, sizing each other up, one preparing for an attack, while the other looking for a defence. Clark was forced to keep a respectful distance from the glowing orb, unsure of what it could do.

“For the first time, I think I do. You see, you live among us as a mild-mannered farm boy. But secretly, you’re a strange visitor from another planet, plotting our demise.”

Lex had it so wrong. How could a young man, who had grown up human, sent here as a baby, be part of any plan. He remembered the message from his birth father and his own fears about conquering the planet. But deep down, he knew it wasn’t in him. No matter what his birth father might or might not have said.

“That’s not what I’m doing at all.”

“It’s a brilliant disguise, Clark. You don’t even need a mask.”

Coming from Lex, who had always been a big fan of Warrior Angel, that was almost a compliment. But Clark ignored that. He had to try to make Lex see sense.

“I’m not your enemy, Lex. I’ve never done anything to hurt you.”

Lex shook his head.

“You didn’t trust me. With everything you had, with everything you could do, did you ever think about what we could have accomplished together? I would have helped you become a hero.”

‘I plan on being great all by myself’. Hadn’t Lex once said that to someone, Clark thought. Why would someone with such a high ambition as Lex, be willing to help someone like Clark become a hero. Clark had always known about Lex’s political ambitions. His high ideals.

“When have you ever thought of anyone but yourself?” Clark accused.

“Right now, I’m doing this for the world. I have to protect the human race.”

“This is my life!” Clark tried. “You have no right to control it.”

Whatever Clark may be, he cared about the human race. Until he was fourteen, he thought he was human. Why couldn’t Lex see that he felt no connection at all with his own people? He wasn’t an invader, or a conqueror. Lex had it wrong. He was basing his assumptions on his own experiences. He thought Clark hadn’t told him the truth because he wanted to conquer the world by himself!

Lex had a messiah complex. He thought by destroying Clark he could save the world. Didn’t he understand that by hurting Clark, he was hurting the world’s chances of fighting against invasion? Clark was no fool. He knew that Brainiac wasn’t the only threat out there. Hell, there were enough of those on Earth. And Lex Luthor was a prime example of those potential threats.

“It’s my birthright!” Lex answered, raising his voice. “After all my sacrifices, after all the pain, I finally understand. I was being prepared for a greater destiny. Everything led me to this moment.”

Yep, there it was. The messiah complex. What did Lex think this was? The Second Coming?

Clark made one more desperate attempt to get through to Lex’s inner brain. The one that was more rational than what showed on the surface.

“And we’re both here. We’re in that moment,” he said, raising his own voice to match Lex’s. And what happens next is your choice. But no one is controlling you, Lex. No one is forcing you to do this.”

Clark knew it was his last hope. That he could somehow appeal to the Lex of the past. The one who still wanted to be good. The one who had wanted to be his friend.

But it was clearly too late.

“Who am I to turn my back on my fellow man? Especially after you turned your back on me.”

And there was the crux of the matter, Clark thought. Lex blamed him. He remembered years ago Lex saying that he had a dark side he couldn’t control, but Clark’s friendship helped keep it at bay. Maybe friendship did help, but at the end of the day, the choices Lex had made were his. He had no right to blame Clark for those bad choices. Clark might have influenced him, but Lex was the one who ultimately made the decision.

Clark winced as Lex continued. “I’m sorry, Clark.” Lex turned away and walked back to the bank of crystals containing the control console. “You hold the future of the entire planet in your hands. I’m here to take it back.”

Clark moved forward, preparing to stop him.


“You’ll never threaten the entire world again ... Kal-El.”

“Lex, don’t!”

Why had he hesitated? What was he so afraid of about that orb that made him pause, too late to stop Lex from using it? He’d let his fear control him and as Lex connected the orb to the crystals, Clark knew it was too late. The orb glowed, sending out a pulse of light so bright it lit the entire complex in an eerie purple glow. And wasn’t it ironic that those were Lex’s colours. Luthorcorp’s colours. As if it really had been his destiny all along. But Clark scoffed at destiny. Usually.

The pulse hit him full in the chest, sending his body into convulsions. He struggled against it. Then it exploded and he felt himself tossed to the ground, feeling weak, as weak as if he’d been hit by a blast of green Kryptonite. His stomach felt nauseous and he could barely move. His mind was filled with images, overloaded, and he couldn’t make sense of anything. He never even knew when Lex approached him, until he knelt down beside him and pulled him up, practically in his arms.

Lex’s eyes were wide as he stared at him.

“I loved you like a brother, Clark. But it has to end this way.”

For just a moment, the two of them stared at each other. Images of the past went through Clark’s mind.

‘Do you believe a man can fly?’

‘Our friendship will be the stuff of legends’.

Lex looked up and Clark barely had the presence of mind to realise that the fortress was falling down around them. For a moment, he thought he could see fear in Lex’s eyes. They were going to die here. Together.

“I’m sorry,” Lex whispered.

And then the world imploded and everything went black.

Lex’s voice brought him back to the present.

“I think if it hadn’t been for Julia, I might have gone on hating you for not telling me the truth. I did mean what I said, though. Back in the fortress. I loved you. You were the closest I ever had to a brother, you know?”

“I know, Lex,” Clark said quietly. Part of him wanted so much to believe that what Lex was saying was true. “What – what changed your mind?”

“It was something Julia said,” he answered. “We heard about the Kandorians, and what they were planning.” Clark looked at him, and Lex chuckled softly. “Well, I might have been in hiding, Clark, but I still managed to keep an eye on things. I know what Tess Mercer was doing with Zod. And the others. And I know what you did to stop them.” He put a hand on his shoulder and smiled at Clark. “It’s okay. You did it to protect the world. And I’m ... proud. I bet Jonathan would have been too.”

It was an odd remark. Lex was proud?

“Anyway, Julia told me that someone who would risk their life to protect the world couldn’t be bad. She admires you, you know.”

He finished loading the dishwasher and turned, going to his wife on the terrace. Clark stared after him, then sighed and went out to join them.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 5th, 2010 11:23 pm (UTC)
WOAH!!! Totally LOVE this chapter! He's proud!
Mar. 6th, 2010 12:17 am (UTC)
Hmm, I'd be worried if I were Clark though. Glad you liked the chapter.
Mar. 6th, 2010 12:18 am (UTC)
okay you are writing this so well I really want to believe lex is good and kind and changed but I am so waiting for the other shoe to drop as they say! I liked the revisit to the artic. One of the better scenes between the two of them I believe and you wrote it beautifully!
Mar. 6th, 2010 12:24 am (UTC)
I felt a revisit of the Arctic scene was necessary to mark the change in the Lex/Clark dynamic and I thought about all the things that would be going through Clark's mind at that point, hence the Clark p.o.v.
As for the rest, well, I'm pulling a Schulz.
Can I let you in on a little secret? Julia's experience with her Dad? That was me and my Dad.
Mar. 6th, 2010 12:29 am (UTC)

I'm sorry you had to go through that honey! It's hard when our parents do things like that. You turned it around and used it in the story and I hope in a way exercised the demon a bit.
Mar. 6th, 2010 01:02 am (UTC)
There's something almost cathartic in it, I think, and yes, in a way it did exorcise the demon. It's sort of why I started writing fan fic in the first place - so my characters could have experiences that were totally different from my own - or they at least get to resolve their issues in a far more satisfying way.
Mar. 6th, 2010 01:45 am (UTC)
Fascinating chapter. I loved seeing Clark's thoughts during that Arctic confrontation. Lex still has me baffled - is he truly reformed, just pretending or something completely different. And it was great to see more of Julia's backstory.
Mar. 6th, 2010 03:17 am (UTC)
Lex still has me baffled - is he truly reformed, just pretending or something completely different.

I'm pleading the fifth on that one. The truth will come out eventually, but I doubt you'll be surprised.

I thought, rather than explain all about Julia all at once, it should just come out gradually, and naturally. I should warn you though. Flashbacks are going to be random. They won't be chronological.

I'm glad you liked the chapter.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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