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The Return of Lex Luthor 17/?

The Return of Lex Luthor

Genre: Drama
Characters: Clark, Lois, Lex, OC, Perry White, Justice League
Pairings: Clois, Lex/OC
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 Seventeen

Julia finished dishing out dessert and took the bowls into the living room where Lex was stretched out on the sofa. She handed him his bowl and sat between his thighs, cuddling close.

“Souffle?” Lex said, looking at the dessert.

“Mm, made it in class the other day. It’s a bitch to make but so yummy.”

Lex tried a spoonful and made appreciative noises. Julia’s mouth quirked in a satisfied smile, but she said nothing, looking at the television.

“What are you watching?”

“Casablanca.”

“Bo-oring.”

“You don’t like Casablanca?”

“I’ve seen it a couple of times. It’s okay in small doses.”

“It’s a classic.”

“Yawn, she said.”

“You want to watch something else?”

Julia shrugged. “I don’t know.”

“I could always dig out some of my old discs.”

“Oh please god no. Especially if it’s Star Trek or something. My brother used to be hooked on that stuff.”

“Well, you realise that a lot of stuff that they came up with in the original show is around today. Like flip top cellphones.”

“Yawn.”

Lex didn’t answer but finished his soufflé and waited while she finished hers, then took the dishes and leaned over to put them down on the coffee table next to him.

“You’re in an odd mood tonight,” he observed.

“Am I?” What, just because she didn’t feel like watching a movie she’d already seen, and okay, it might be a classic but she wasn’t a Bogart fan. And as much as Lex liked telling stories of historical significance, she would rather watch paint dry sometimes. There was a time and place for history lectures, and relaxing on a quiet night at home wasn’t one of them.

Besides, there was a reason why she was in a funny mood. They had been trying for a baby for over a month and today had made it clear it wasn’t going to happen just yet. She knew she was being impatient, but ever since Lex had returned to Luthorcorp, it was almost as if he lived and breathed work. Even today, a Sunday, he had spent a few hours at the office, despite his promise to her that he would not work twenty-four seven and Sundays were meant to be off limits.

She knew that people shouldn’t have children to improve a relationship. And really, there wasn’t anything major wrong with their relationship that she could see. He just got absorbed in work. But she did hope that having a baby might make him spend more time at home.

Julia could feel Lex making moves as if he was trying to get her aroused. She shook him off.

“Sweetheart, what is it?” he asked.

“Nothing.”

“You’re acting strange. Have I done something? Look, if it’s about work today, I’m sorry. It was just this presentation we needed to get finished before the board meeting tomorrow. I didn’t mean to take so long.”

He was nuzzling her neck and normally that would make her weaken. But she pulled away, moving to the other side of the sofa, out of his arms. He looked confused.

“What?”

“I’m not in the mood,” she said.

“Julia ... “ He moved over, reaching for her.

“No, Lex. I can’t.”

He looked at her thoughtfully, then his eyes widened slightly in comprehension.

“Oh!”

Lex had assured her they still could have sex. But she didn’t like to. The thought of it just grossed her out.

“Come here, silly,” he said.

Lex pulled her into his arms and stroked her lovingly. Julia closed her eyes and leaned against him.

“Poor baby,” he said, softly stroking her hair. “Does your tummy hurt?” He knew she always had a bad time of it the first two days and those were the days when he took care of things.

“A little. It’s not so bad.”

“I’m sorry,” he said.

“I’m the one who’s sorry. I should ... I mean we are trying to have a baby.”

“Sweetheart, you don’t have to be sorry because you’re not pregnant. It’s not going to happen immediately, even I knew that.”

“But I wanted to ...”

He shushed her, telling her to relax and close her eyes. She breathed deep, feeling him gently rub her belly. She didn’t know why, but it always seemed to make her feel better. Just having him close, taking care of her.

They stayed silent for a long while, as the movie played softly in the background. Then Lex sighed.

“I need to talk to you about something.”

She looked up at him.

“What is it?”

“I have to go to Smallville for a few days to oversee some things at the plant.”

“When?”

“After the board meeting tomorrow. I’ll be there for about a week. I mean, I could have stayed here, and commuted, but it just makes more sense to stay at the mansion.”

“Well, why don’t I come with you,” she suggested. “I haven’t been to the mansion yet.”

“You sure? I mean, Smallville ... it’s a little out of the way.”

“I think I can cope for a week,” she said dryly.

Julia was amazed at the house when they walked in to the mansion the next afternoon.

“Oh my god, this isn’t a mansion, this is a freaking castle!”

Lex laughed at her. “Well, it is big,” he said. He turned as one of the security people greeted them, and introduced her, telling the man to make sure Julia had everything she needed. He turned back to his wife. “I have to go to the plant for an hour or two. Will you be all right here on your own?”

Julia raised an eyebrow at him. “On my own? Yeah, right, except for the cook, the housekeeper, the security guards.”

“Cute, babe.”

She saw him off with a kiss then set to exploring the mansion. She was stunned by the splendour of the place. Many of the rooms were almost as big as the simple home she had grown up in and she couldn’t get over the size.

Heading upstairs, she checked out the master bedroom. Her case had already been put away. She felt a little weird about having someone else go through her things, but Lex had already tried to explain about the staff, so she decided to let it pass.

Wandering back downstairs, she found the study and the little staircase to the library on the mezzanine floor. She remembered that a woman who had been acting as CEO in Lex’s absence had lived here. She wondered if some of the books belonged to her. Tess Mercer. Lex had told her many times that he had never authorised for Tess to be put in charge when he was gone and he had suggested that Tess had been the reason why he had chosen not to return to Metropolis for a long time.

As she glanced through the books, she pulled one out. Julius Caesar. Yet another snorefest, she thought. She had never really liked Shakespeare that much. She had read a few of his plays and that particular play was one she had never really got into. But she was bored and exploring the castle had lost its appeal.

Something stuck out from the book as she pulled it from the shelf. It looked like a note. Julia opened the book and happened to glance at the page. It was the scene where Brutus betrayed Caesar. She frowned as she unfolded the note and began to read.

To Whomever Reads This,

Know that I had the best intentions where Clark/Kal-El was concerned. Whatever Checkmate planned, I know now that Lex’s obsession with aliens was about little else but Clark’s origins and his abilities. I did what I did for the sake of humanity. I really did believe I was doing the right thing. But I know now that I was wrong. I betrayed a friend and I can never take that back.

I have every reason to believe that Lex is still alive and he is still intent on destroying Clark. Lex is dangerous and should not be under-estimated. Lex always had a saying: ‘Keep your friends close and keep your enemies closer’. Sun Tzu said ‘Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster’.

And Lex, if you’re reading this, I will see you in hell you bastard!

It was signed at the bottom with a simple T.

What the hell? Julia thought. Clark was ... Clark was Kal-El? No, this was impossible. And who had signed the note? Who had betrayed him? What the hell was Checkmate? Could the aliens the author was talking about be the Kandorians? And why was the writer suggesting that Lex was trying to destroy Clark? They were friends, weren’t they?

She looked again at the note. It had to have been Tess Mercer who signed the note. There was no one else that she knew of with that initial. And the book itself was telling. The story of Marcus Brutus, Caesar’s friend, who conspired against him and killed him. Was Tess trying to say something by using that particular page in that particular play?

She heard Lex returning and quickly folded the note, putting it in the pocket of her jeans, then put the book back and went downstairs to greet her husband. But as he hugged her, she stared at nothing, wondering.

Next day, Lex had gone to work at the plant and Julia took the BMW he’d bought her out for a drive. She needed to think and she found driving a good distraction. She felt a little nervous about being in the mansion with all the staff around. She’d got used to it just being her and Lex, with no one else around, and she found it a little disconcerting to have staff seeing to her every need.

Driving in to town, she saw the coffee shop that Lex had told her about. The Talon was still open after all this time, all these years, although it was starting to look a little dilapidated. Lex had apparently ensured that the shop was taken care of, as it was the only coffee shop in town. The Beanery had apparently been long shut down due to some health code violations.

She went in to buy a coffee, ignoring the stares from the few people in the cafe. She realised they must have heard she and Lex were in town as she caught a few whispers about her being the latest ‘trophy wife’. She smirked inwardly at that.

As she turned to leave, she bumped into what she thought was a brick wall. Until she looked up and realised it was Clark. She smiled at him.

“Hey. I didn’t know you were here!”

Clark grinned. “I had a couple of days off and I had some stuff to take care of at the farm. You and Lex here for a while?”

She nodded. “Lex had some things to take care of at the plant and I decided to tag along for the week.” She remembered the letter. “Hey, there’s something I need to talk to you about.”

“Well, why don’t you come with me to the farm? I have the truck out front.”

“Why don’t I follow you in my car?” she said.

“Lex let you drive? I thought they drove on the other side of the road where you come from?”

“Cute, Kent,” she said with a glare and a laugh.

She followed him out to the farm and parked the car in the driveway, getting out to enjoy the view of the little yellow farmhouse.

“Oh, Clark, this is beautiful. I can see why you miss this place.”

Clark nodded. He’d admitted to her that he still wished he lived in Smallville, rather than the poky little apartment that was all he could afford in the city.

“Of course, it’s nothing like the mansion,” he said.

Julia frowned. “That monstrosity? Do you see why I prefer the penthouse?”

“I thought you only lived there for the view.”

She glared at him. “Har de har har, Kent. Get inside and make some coffee . or something. I’m thirsty.”

“Yes ma’am.”

Grinning, Clark turned, going up the steps to open the screen door, and waved her through. Julia was immediately at home. She loved the warmth of the little house.

“Clark, you ...”

Julia turned and looked at the woman with greying red hair.

“Oh, I didn’t know we had visitors,” she said.

“Mom, this is Julia. Lex’s wife. Julia,” he said, looking at her. “This is my mom. Martha Kent.”

“Hello, Mrs Kent. Clark has told me a lot about you.” She held out her hand to shake the older woman’s. Martha looked a little wary, but she shook to be polite.

“Mom had a few days off from her senate duties and she decided to come here.”

“You must miss the farm,” Julia said. “I know I would too if I had this to come home to.”

Martha nodded, her eyes appraising. Julia could see that Martha didn’t completely trust her. Was that because of Lex?

“I hear you live in Metropolis,” Martha said, as if to be polite.

Julia nodded, watching as Clark poured some fresh coffee and moved the cream and sugar along the counter as she sat down on the barstool.

“Lex wanted us to live in the mansion in Smallville, but I thought it was too pretentious. It’s not like we need the space,” she said casually.

Martha nodded again. Julia got the impression that Martha was going to be a tough nut to crack. She was the kind of woman who didn’t suffer fools gladly. Julia picked up the little pitcher of cream and poured some in her coffee, then took a couple of heaped spoonfuls of sugar and stirred her coffee. Martha raised an eyebrow and Julia grinned wryly.

“Sorry. I have a sweet tooth,” she said.

“You’re not the only one,” Martha remarked. “I think I was forever baking in this house when Clark was a child. I would pull cookies out of the oven and turn around and they would be gone.”

“Sounds like the Clark I know,” Julia agreed.

“I’m right here,” Clark said, in a mock wounded tone. He leaned on the counter. “So, what was it you wanted to talk to me about?”

“Uh, it can wait,” she said, with a hasty glance at Martha.

Clark frowned. “You sure? I mean it seemed important in the Talon.”

Julia bit her lip. It didn’t make sense not to say anything in front of Martha. After all, she was his mother. Clark would have very few, if any, secrets from his mother. She took a deep breath. She decided she should just blurt it out and get it over with.

“Clark, there’s something I need to know. Are you Superman?”


Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
ctbn60
Apr. 17th, 2010 02:36 pm (UTC)
Wow talk about a show stopper of an ending!!!

I like the fact that Tess left the note behind. (You come up with the bestest stuff!!!) This is all taking wonderful turns. I like Julia and I am glad she is smart. I still feel bad lex is using her. Bad lex!!!

Nuther wonderful chapter honey!
phoenixnz
Apr. 17th, 2010 07:56 pm (UTC)
Yep, Tess' final act of defiance in a way, basically thumbing her nose at everyone. Julia is beginning to learn that not all is as it seems.
eternal_moonie
Apr. 17th, 2010 04:27 pm (UTC)
AWESOME new chapter!!!

LOVED the ending!!!
phoenixnz
Apr. 17th, 2010 07:56 pm (UTC)
Hee, bit of a cliffie. Try and wriggle your way out of this one, Clark.
jlvsclrk
Apr. 17th, 2010 09:41 pm (UTC)
I lloved Julia's reactions to the mansion and Smallville in general. And oh my, what was Tess thinking, leaving that note like that? Who knows who would find it? Loved the PS to Lex though!
phoenixnz
Apr. 18th, 2010 01:26 am (UTC)
As I said above, I see this as Tess' final act of defiance, as if she's saying 'to hell with the lot of you'. I think she might have planned for Clark to find it somehow.
Weren't those reactions delightful?
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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