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The Return of Lex Luthor 7/?


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

Characters: Clark, Lois, Lex, OC, Perry White, Justice League
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.

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 Seven

Clark had been taught when invited into a man’s home, especially for a meal, to never go empty-handed. So he stopped in at a local store for a bouquet of flowers.

“Wouldn’t a bottle of wine be better?”

“Julia doesn’t drink wine,” Clark told Lois, who just sighed and shrugged. “Besides, Lex used to have a whole cellar full. I couldn’t afford the type of wine he drinks. Not on my salary.”

“Oh. Yeah.” She sighed again. “If you’re not comfortable with this whole thing, why are we going?”

“Because Julia asked us. Lex might have issued the invitation, but it was Julia’s idea.”

“That doesn’t answer my question. I mean, this isn’t you trying to be all protective or something is it, Smallville, because, you know, you should leave the heroics to Superman.”

“I’m just trying to be a good friend to her. It can’t have been easy for her, coming to a different country.”

“Not to mention being married to Lex.”

“Lois!”

They walked into the lobby of the building and were immediately let in to the elevator by the guard. Clark glanced at Lois, hoping she was going to keep quiet about their feelings about Lex. Or his marriage.

She glared at him. “I know what you’re thinking, Smallville. I can hear that brain ticking over from here.”

“Well, don’t say anything we might live to regret, okay Lois?”

“Fine. But you owe me. Big time.”

She kept her cool, even when she was greeted with an ebullient hug from Julia.

“Oh, you came. I’m so glad to see you.”

Lois just looked daggers at Clark over the shorter woman’s shoulder. She saw Lex standing in the doorway watching with a smirk on his face. Julia laughed when Clark gave her the flowers.

“Thank you, they’re lovely.” But even Lois had to laugh when she immediately turned to Lex. “How come you never buy me flowers?”

Lex just glared at Clark. “Thanks for showing me up,” he said. But he smiled to show he meant nothing by it.

“Don’t mention it,” Clark grinned.

And really, it did almost seem as if the two men were friends again. But why did Lois feel a shiver up her spine as she watched the pair chatting. Julia led the way inside, grabbing a vase from the kitchen and filling it with water.

“Dinner will be in about half an hour,” she said. “Why don’t you and Clark go entertain yourselves while Lois and I talk in the kitchen,” she told Lex.

Lex took the hint, leading the way to the den where the pool table was waiting. Julia smiled.

“Whew, glad those two are out of the way.” She plopped down on a stool by the counter and invited Lois to sit on the next one. “So, how are you?”

“I’m okay.”

“Liar.”

“Okay, so I’m not okay. Don’t make a big deal out of it.”

Julia grabbed the jug of chilled orange juice on the counter and poured some into two glasses. She glanced up at Lois.

“Lois ... look, I know we’re not exactly friends. You don’t trust me. Or Lex. That’s fine, you know? I never expected us to be instant friends. But you’re a big part of Clark’s life and Clark and I are friends. At least, I hope we are. So I want to get to know you. Is that a bad thing?”

Lois shook her head. “I guess not.”

“So what’s going on between you two?”

“Nothing.”

Julia laughed. “You know, for a reporter, you’re not exactly a font of information are you?”

Lois sighed. She didn’t want to talk about this with the wife of Lex Luthor. Julia was right. She didn’t trust her. But she was dying to talk to someone! Chloe was gone. Chloe. Her cousin, best friend rolled into one. Those last few months, before Chloe’s death, their friendship had deteriorated to the point where neither one of them could confide in the other. And that had hurt. She so wanted to talk to her cousin about Clark. About what was going on. But Chloe just hadn’t been there.

Julia was watching her. Lois knew she could see the inner struggle.

“Lois, don’t think of me as Lex’s wife. Think of me as someone who will listen, who won’t judge. Forget about all the other stuff. It doesn’t matter. It’s not important.”

Lois bit her lip. Right. Stop thinking about her as Julia Luthor. She could do that. But would she tell Lex?

“You don’t have to worry, Lois. Anything you tell me in confidence I won’t tell Lex. That’s a promise.”

She desperately wanted to talk. She really did. And maybe Julia couldn’t give advice. But she could listen. And Lois really needed to get this off her chest. And maybe Clark was right about her. That Julia was a good person.

Julia smiled gently. “If it helps, I’ll tell you something Clark doesn’t even know. Before Lex there was only one other guy. And we didn’t do much.” She laughed. “I guess I’m pretty hopeless huh.”

“Not hopeless,” Lois said, shaking her head. She sipped from the glass of juice. “It’s just ... I mean before Clark there was Ollie, and Grant, and that was weird enough. But Clark was ... I mean, he ... I wished I’d waited you know? Because that night with him was the best I’d ever ...”

“Only one night?”

“Well, after that Chloe died and he just seemed to ...”

“What?”

“Not ... be ... there, anymore.”

“Lois, I’m sorry. What happened?”

Lois sighed. “I guess I need to start from the beginning. See, I met Clark right before his senior year of high school. I was trying to find the Kent farm and I got lost. There was this big bolt of lightning and ...”

K-E-N-T. Kent! It’s a farm!” Lois was so going to get a crick in her neck the way she was holding the cellphone to her ear while trying to get directions from the operator and driving at the same time. It was stormy – one of those thunderstorms that always seemed to hit Kansas in late summer. “Do they even have addresses?” She picked up the travelling mug full of coffee and sipped. “Uh, uh, uh.” She put down the mug and held the phone, trying to keep her eye on the road at the same time. “Look, the last super-genius I had on the line told me to turn right on Route 31. Now I’m totally lost.” The guy on the other end asked her what she could see. “Oh, about a billion stalks of corn.”

Suddenly forked lightning hit, shorting out the signal on her cellphone. Lois felt the shock of static as the phone died. She looked at it. The screen was blank. Shutting the flip top, she sighed.

“That’s just great,” she said, putting it down beside her. Reaching up to the sun visor, she took the cigarette from the top, then looked at her reflection in the mirror. “Okay, if you smoke this, you’re going to spend the rest of the night hating yourself.”  Turning to her bag on the seat beside her, Lois began digging in the handbag for a pack of Nicorette gum. Another bolt of lightning hit the road in front of her. With a scream she swerved into the field, losing control of the car and plunging through the cornfield until the car shuddered to a halt, the engine stalling.

Sighing, she stared out at the dark sky, and the clouds rolling ominously. A huge bolt of forked lightning streaked through the sky and hit the ground near her, almost blinding her. The area lit up and she stared in shock as light seemed to explode around her. At least a dozen small fires had started in the flattened area, and right in the middle was a man. Naked.

“Naked?”

“If I could say one thing about that experience, it was weird. But Smallville has always been a little, uh, different,” Lois said.

“Hmm, Clark kind of described it as you always treating him like a geek.”

“I never said I didn’t like geeks,” Lois chuckled.

“Sounds like a match made in heaven,” Julia laughed. She sobered. “So what happened between you two?”

Lois looked as if she was going to tell the whole story, but then the timer went off and Julia got off the stool to check on dinner.

“Looks like dinner’s ready,” she said.

Lois nodded. “Guess we should go get the boys.”

***

It almost seemed like old times. Playing pool together in Lex’s home. Only this was the penthouse, not the mansion in Smallville. And Clark was still wary. Lex was acting as if nothing had changed between them from the last time they had been friends. Yet he was trying too hard and that got Clark’s hackles up. Every instinct cried out in him that this was wrong. That this whole scenario smelled of some scheme Lex was cooking up. But Clark just couldn’t see what it was.

Then there was Julia. What possible reason could Lex have for marrying her, apart from the fact that she had nursed him back to health. Julia was a sweet, good-hearted person. On the surface at least. But there were things Clark knew about Julia that he couldn’t tell Lois. He couldn’t even tell Julia that he knew. But Batman had been pretty thorough in his investigation. Oh, none of the things were necessarily bad. He supposed it depended on perspective. But Clark wondered if that had something to do with why Lex had married her.

He sighed and tried to focus on the conversation. Lex was waiting for him to shoot and Clark bent down, lining up the cue ball with his target. He missed.

“You wouldn’t be letting me win, would you? I mean, with your powers ...”

“It takes more than visual acuity to be able to win at pool, Lex,” Clark told him.

“So what are you saying, exactly?”

Clark knew Lex was trying to dig in the same way he’d always done. Trying to manipulate the conversation in order to find out more about Clark’s abilities. Trouble was, he just didn’t really have any proof of it. Just that odd feeling.

“It’s called talent, Lex.” Clark grinned, but it felt false.

Lex leaned on the table, examining the positions of the balls, sizing up his chances. He glanced toward the kitchen.

“I wonder what they’re talking about in there,” he said. “You can hear them, right? I think I read in the article you have super-hearing. You know I used to wonder why you would get that odd look sometimes.” He looked at Clark, his eyes wily. “So what are they saying?”

Clark was not going there. “It’s a private conversation, Lex.”

“Come on – you just know they’re talking about us.”

Lex tried to look cajoling, tried for the same puppy dog look that Clark had used to win his friend over from time to time.

“Forget it.”

“Are you seriously telling me you’ve never been tempted?” Lex said, seeming to be curious in spite of himself.

“Okay, once,” Clark told him.

“What was it?”

“Girls’ locker room.”

Lex nodded knowingly. “Lana. Figures. What happened to her?”

“Last I heard she was in Europe. We send messages through Facebook from time to time.”

And just like that it felt almost as if the years and the issues that had separated them no longer existed. But at the back of his mind, Clark couldn’t help but think about Lex’s misdeeds. Lana, 33.1. Even if Lex had explained everything - or at least tried - by saying that all he was doing was trying to help humanity. The wrong way.

“I feel bad for the way I treated her,” Lex said softly. “And for what I did to you. Taking her away from you. I want you to know how sorry I am for that. I thought I ... I really did think I loved her.”

But Clark had lost Lana long before Lex had made her believe she was in love with him. Clark shook his head. “It doesn’t matter.”

“It does,” Lex insisted. “I was pretty messed up for a long time. You have no idea just how messed up. What happened in the Arctic – well I guess it changed a lot of things. Almost dying, being crippled for over a year ... it really brought things into perspective.”

“How did you ... I mean, what happened?”

Julia and Adam had been discussing what to do. The patient was stable, but he was still critically ill and there was no way his injuries could be treated. They just didn’t have the resources, or the right facilities. He awoke to hear them quietly talking about him. Licking dry lips he called to them in a hoarse voice.

“There is someone,” he began.

Julia went over to him, sitting beside him. “Shh. Don’t exert yourself.”

But he was insistent. “You’re right. You can’t help me here,” he said with an effort. “But there is someone I trust. You can call him, get him here. And only him. No one else.”

“What’s his name?” Julia asked.

“Regan. Regan Matthews. He works for me.”

“And what do you want me to tell him?”

“The truth.”

“I don’t even know your name,” she said.

“It’s Lex. Lex Luthor. Please. He’s the only one who can help me.”

She nodded. “Okay. It may take a couple of days for me to get a message to him. Just tell me how I can find him.”

But it took more than a couple of days. By the time she did manage to reach him, at least a week had gone by. When she informed Regan what had happened, he promised to come immediately.

Adam, meanwhile, had been making his own enquiries.

“I have a colleague. In England. If we could just get Lex there ...”

“He won’t go to a hospital,” Julia told him, after arguing with Lex about that same subject. “He seems afraid for some reason.”

“He can’t stay here,” Adam said. “You know that.”

“Well, maybe this Regan can help. Lex seems to trust him.”

Adam still looked worried. “Fine,” he said.

When Regan sent word that he had arrived at a settlement several kilometres away, Julia volunteered to go get him in the rickety truck one of the locals had managed to patch together. It was rusty and slow, but it was better than using a Yak, she thought with a grin.

She met Regan at the settlement. She didn’t fail to see the bruises on his face.

“I’m Julia Walker,” she said.

She explained the situation on the way to the mission. Regan looked sceptical until she told him that Lex had told her what to do. It wasn’t until he saw Lex that he seemed to relax a little.

Adam took Regan aside. “If you can somehow get him to England, I have a colleague who can help him.”

“What are his injuries?” Regan asked.

“Lex has spinal injuries. It’s not clear if he will walk again. The people who brought him here suspect broken vertebra. He’s suffering from severe pneumonia and several of his extremities have been frostbitten. Frankly, I’m surprised he’s still alive.”

“I’ll get him out,” Regan promised. “Get him the treatment he needs. Will you come with us?”

Adam shook his head. “I’m needed here. Julia can go with you. I’ve taught her basic nursing. He will need a full-time caregiver, at least through the treatment, especially if he refuses to go to a hospital. And he seems to respond well to her.”

“So Regan Matthews got you out?”

Lex nodded. “He got me the treatment I needed and on the road to recovery. I guess you could say I’m a living, breathing miracle, Clark.”

Clark nodded. “That’s great Lex.” But he was sceptical. He needed to investigate more, and he had a feeling Batman could help him with that.

He had to save his questions though, as Julia and Lois came in to tell them that dinner was ready. Clark watched as Lex put an arm around his wife and they walked in to the dining area together. He glanced at Lois, surprised to see her watching him with narrowed eyes. Shaking his head minutely at her, he followed the older couple out.


Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
eternal_moonie
Mar. 23rd, 2010 09:05 am (UTC)
AWESOME chapter!!! Love this Julia character!
phoenixnz
Mar. 23rd, 2010 05:03 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you like her. I wanted her to be likable.
ctbn60
Mar. 23rd, 2010 03:13 pm (UTC)
you can't leave it there!!! What did batman find out? What did his regan do??? More!!! You know you are driving me crazy with guessing...lol
phoenixnz
Mar. 23rd, 2010 05:05 pm (UTC)
Sorry, you'll just have to be a bit more patient. You'll see more of Batman soon, promise.
oliver95
May. 30th, 2010 11:53 am (UTC)
I'm loving this brilliant story a lot and will comment again when I get to the end of what you have written so far.
However, thirty-two years of full time teaching (forgive me) means I can't pass over "font" used instead of "fount" as in fountain.
You wrote "font of information" which doesn't make sense whereas "fount" as in continuous supply, does. I will accept being called a "nit-picking pedant" and hope you don't mind my correction.
phoenixnz
May. 30th, 2010 05:34 pm (UTC)
I'm just as pedantic - should have checked my thesaurus, but actually you can blame Joss Whedon for that little doozy.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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