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The Return of Lex Luthor 27/?

Author: Phoenixnz
Title: 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 Twenty-Seven

The ringing of the phone disturbed Lex from a deep sleep. Yawning, he rolled over. Julia mumbled something in her sleep but didn’t wake. He glanced at her before grabbing the phone and looking at the caller display. It was a text.

Lex got out of bed, putting on a robe, and went to the study where he pressed a switch underneath the desk. A panel shot out, revealing electronic equipment. Putting the phone down in a small oblong cavity, he connected it to the unit and waited. A few moments later the phone rang again, this time with a different ring tone. Lex flipped a switch.

“Just what the fuck is so important that you had to disturb me at five in the morning?”

“Sorry boss. Junior got into some trouble last night. He’s downtown.”

Downtown meaning in jail.

“Then he can damn well stay there. I warned him not to mess with Superman. No matter what that fucking boy scout has done in the past, no one touches Superman except me. Is that clear?”

Lex shook his head. He had a spy in Reubens camp and he’d known that the man was trying to get a foothold in Metropolis. After years of working as Falconi’s lieutenant in Gotham, then Moroni’s, the man had got delusions of grandeur. He thought he was better than the man who gave him his genes. Lex knew Morgan Edge. Edge had had power and he had wielded it well. Reubens was just a pretender to the throne.

Lex had known about the plan to blackmail Superman. But he had done nothing to stop it short of telling his man inside to talk Reubens out of it. If what he’d been told was true, Batman had run interference, saving Superman’s ass. Lex smirked. Clark never did know when to quit.

He rang off, having ordered his man to make sure Reubens learned his lesson. He would be bailed out when Lex was good and ready for him to be bailed out.

“Honey?”

Lex turned. Julia was standing in the doorway, blinking sleepily. Fortunately, Lex had just put away all the equipment. It wouldn’t do for her to find the scrambler. She would ask too many questions.

“Who was that at this time of the morning?”

“No one sweetheart,” he said, going to her and kissing her on the forehead. “Just business I had to attend to.”

“Lex, it’s five am,” she protested.

“I know baby. But you know business doesn’t stop just because you need to sleep. Not when it’s still being conducted on the other side of the world.” He tried a disarming smile and she seemed to buy it.

“Go back to bed,” he said. “I’m going to take a shower and get ready for work.”

“At five am?” She sighed. “No. Since I’m awake, I might as well cook you a decent breakfast.”

“I can survive with just coffee,” he told her.

“No,” she said firmly. “You can’t start a sixteen hour day without a good breakfast.”

“You know best, of course.” She was always trying to feed him. Not that he minded. He liked being looked after.

As he showered, he thought about his marriage. He’d already had three unsuccessful marriages behind him when he’d met Julia. Well, two of them had only married him for his money. And Lana ... He thought he had loved her, and that she had loved him. At least, that was what he had convinced himself.

Julia, on the other hand, had never cared about his money. And he did like her. Even if he didn’t love her. The whole time she had been nursing him back to health, he had given subtle hints about his money and how much power he had. Just little tests, to see what she would do. But Julia would just get on with the job and never ask any questions about it.

At first, he had been a little suspicious of Julia. Someone that nice, that good, who just helped him and asked for nothing in return, just seemed too good to be true. Lionel had taught him to never be ruled by his emotions and he had dispassionately examined the situation. He’d kept on testing her, asking her what she would do if she had all that money.

“I used to dream about winning the lottery,” Julia smiled as she rubbed cream on his skin to help with the healing. “And I used to think I’d buy a house, buy my parents a house, nice car. I’ve heard so many stories where people would win a lot of money and would blow it just like that.”

“But not you?”

“Honestly, I really don’t know what I’d do if I won a lot of money.”

“What if you didn’t win it? What if you somehow managed to acquire that kind of money?”

“Well, since the only person I know that has the kind of money you’re talking about is you, I really don’t see how it would happen.”

“What if I gave you the money?”

She shrugged. “It’s your money. Do with it what you wish. But don’t waste it on me.”

He’d slowly seduced her. Using his injuries as a way to gain sympathy from her. He knew that there were often stories about patients falling for their nurses. But very little was said about it being the opposite.

From the moment he’d woken in that primitive cabin in Nepal, he had been determined to find his way back to Metropolis. To stop Clark. He knew Clark would have survived. The man seemed to have been born under a lucky star. That was, if they believed in that sort of thing where Clark was from.

It’s funny, Lex thought. All those excuses Clark used to make up. Just lucky, adrenaline. Clark was an idiot to think that he’d never cottoned on. But he’d been under the mistaken belief that Clark had been affected by the meteors. When he’d learned the truth, he had been angry. He’d wanted to kill Clark. His ‘friend’ had betrayed him. His ‘brother’ had turned on him.

Now he was the lucky one, he thought. To have survived that avalanche. Even if he had come out of it with such horrific injuries. He’d woken in that environment to a world of pain. But then he’d seen Julia, and she had provided the key to his salvation. And she hadn’t even known it. She’d trusted him, felt sympathy for him. And because of that, he was able to tell her anything and she would believe it.

He’d persuaded her to contact Regan and get him to Nepal. What he hadn’t realised was that Tess Mercer, the woman he’d chosen to take over in the event of his incarceration, or worse, had already tried interrogating Regan to find out his location. That bitch, he thought. He’d set it up after Lana had faked her death, trying to pin the blame for it on him. Tess had been injured in an accident and he’d saved her life by getting her immediate medical attention. He’d also had the micro-camera planted in her optic nerve, giving him access to her at all times. Lex liked controlling the women in his life.

Now Julia, he thought was a different matter entirely. Yes, he could control her. He was subtle though. Mostly. Once he’d realised that Julia had fallen for his seduction, he began to put his plan to return to Metropolis in place. Julia was his way back. His method of convincing the people of Metropolis that he was as altruistic as he’d always tried to appear. Or rather, one person. He didn’t care about the rest.

He’d known, with how he’d been treated in Smallville, that convincing people of his motives, would be difficult. Julia would be his cover. Not only that, she would be the perfect wife and equally perfect mother. He knew she wanted kids. But before they’d met, she’d given up hope of ever having that. She didn’t consider herself to be anyone special. Lex didn’t disabuse her of that notion. And it allowed him to make her depend on him for everything. In fact, the more she depended on him, the better it was.

He turned off the shower and left the bathroom, dressing in a dark grey silk shirt and black trousers. He had some other business to take care of before he started Luthorcorp business for the day.

As he moved around the apartment, he could smell breakfast. He had to admit, getting her those cooking lessons had been the best idea he’d ever had. She was a superb cook. As he entered the kitchen, he saw that she’d made him Eggs Benedict.

“This looks great, sweetheart,” he said as he sat down.

He didn’t mind using the endearment. He couldn’t picture himself calling her ‘darling’ or honey. And she didn’t seem to mind it too much either. Usually. Right now she was scowling.

“What’s wrong?” he said, fighting the urge to roll his eyes.

“Nothing!”

Yeah, right! “Julia.”

She sighed. “Five o’clock in the morning Lex. You spend more time at that damned office than you do at home. How the hell are we supposed to have a baby if you’re never here?”

“Sweetheart ...”

“Don’t. You’re the one who wanted us to have a baby. Well, there’s no way I’m going to raise a child on my own Lex.”

“I promise I will be home more. It’s just this project we’re working on right now.”

“There’s always a project, Lex. That’s the trouble.”

Lex pulled her into his lap as she tried to walk past him.

“You’re right. I’m sorry.”

She sighed again. “Lex, you’re wearing yourself out. You’re working until ten at night, then you’re up at six and back at work by seven. It’s not good for you to work that much.”

He had to admit, he did like the way she worried about him. He had only ever loved two women in his life, and had that love returned. Maybe he didn’t feel the same way about her that she did about him, but he liked it. He liked that she had no agenda where he was concerned, other than taking care of him. As every good wife should be.

And she had always brought out the protective instinct in him. She’d been sheltered most of her life. A lot like Clark, he supposed. That was one of the reasons why he’d brought her back to Metropolis. Why he encouraged the friendship so much. Because she and Clark were a lot alike in their experiences. They both felt they were different – outsiders. They both had had over-protective parents.

Lex did have one regret about learning the truth about Clark the way he did. He’d wanted Clark to tell him himself. Maybe, he thought, I would have been a better man if Clark had told me the truth. Maybe we still would have been friends.

He stroked Julia’s thigh as if to comfort her.

“Listen, this weekend, why don’t we go away somewhere? Just the two of us.”

“You mean it?” she asked, her eyes shining with unshed tears.

“Yes.”

She hugged him. “Oh Lex. I think that would be a wonderful idea.”

Feeling he’d placated her, and warded off any potential disasters, Lex left for the office.

He entered his office, the lights automatically switching on as he keyed in the code on the electronic keypad. He switched on the coffee maker as he went past, then sat down at his desk.

He would have to do damage control. Clark, he was sure, would think he was behind the whole mess with Reubens. He had never told Reubens to blackmail Clark. That was something the idiot had done on his own initiative. It didn’t mean that he hadn’t known about Clark’s activities that summer in Metropolis. He had never bought Clark’s story about living on the streets for three months.

At first, Lex had been more concerned with his own mental health issues, after having spent that hellish three months on the island, to worry about Clark’s escapades. But he’d begun reading articles about mysterious robberies where no one ever saw anything, or a man shot with over a hundred rounds from police and still lived to tell the tale. The police had recovered the money stolen, but had refused to say any more. Lex had given Clark a lot of concessions that year, but he had been more determined than ever to get to the truth. He’d lied to Clark the day his ‘friend’ had found the secret room in the mansion. It was all about Clark. It had always been about Clark. Maybe it hadn’t started that way. Maybe Lex had been curious as to why he had all these brushes with death and came out virtually unscathed. But Clark had always been the connection.

He knew what some would say. Clark had saved his life many times and he should be grateful. But Clark had continued to lie to him, even when the truth had been obvious. It was Clark’s fault their friendship had failed. All Lex had been trying to do was stop an alien invasion. He hadn’t realised that those aliens were already at the back door.

Lex picked up the phone, making sure the scrambler was working. He always used a scrambler in his communications with Corelli, or Reubens. They didn’t know who he was, and that was how he wanted it to stay. For the time being.

“Corelli, I’m sending an attorney to deal with our little problem. Now, once that’s sorted, here’s what I want you to do ...”

Once he’d finished giving instructions, Lex rang off, returning every piece of equipment to its customary place.

He pulled up files on his laptop, but he was distracted this morning. The problem that had come up overnight could have ruined everything. He’d known when the Kandorians had failed that the only hope he had of getting what he wanted, was through Clark. It was as Sun Tzu had said:  All war is deception. He’d also suggested strategy without tactics was the slowest path to victory.

He remembered a conversation long ago with Dominic Sanatori. His father’s would-be successor if Lex had refused to follow Lionel. Of course, that had just been another of his father’s manipulations – a way to get loyalty from an employee who otherwise hated his guts.

“Do you know what my father gave me for my tenth birthday? A copy of The Will to Power. ‘Behold the super man. Man is something to be overcome.’ Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, Nietzsche. They were the voices that nurtured me after my mother died. My father made every question a quiz, every choice a test. Second best was for losers, compassion for losers, trust no one. Those were the lessons I grew up with.”

Dominic’s sardonic response would have been amusing, had the situation been different. But Lex was not amused. When it came to getting what he wanted from Clark, he’d turned to those teachings.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend. That was one lesson he’d learned well. But Lex hadn’t thought much of Major Zod. Especially after he’d been possessed by the alien’s spirit. Zod had come to him, offering a trade, shortly after the alien’s arrival on Earth. They’d been in Cyprus then. Lex had only told Julia he was getting treatment. What he hadn’t told her was that he’d planned to use the Prometheus suit. He’d been so pissed when Lana had stolen it instead.

He’d had to get revenge on Lana. And it helped his mood that he could hurt Clark in the bargain. He knew Clark still had feelings for his ex-wife. And the plans for the suit included the ability to absorb Kryptonite. Knowing it made Clark ill – although not knowing exactly how ill, Lex had hoped to use the meteor rock as protection against Clark. But it had turned out to be the perfect revenge.

Julia hadn’t known about that. She hadn’t known why he had been so angry. But none of it mattered. His only hope of making a full recovery, and then some, was gone. Until Zod had found him.

Lex had wheeled himself out to the garden of their little house in Cyprus. He hated the place. It reminded him just how much he’d fallen. But Julia seemed happy and while he hated being dependent on her, he knew it was only temporary. He just needed to find a way to work on a serum which would help him.

“I find it interesting, that of all places in the world, the great Lex Luthor would find himself here.”

Lex looked around at the man standing beside the low wall, an amused smirk on his face.

“Your, uh, girlfriend?”

“Julia ...”

“Let me in. I told her I had some business to discuss with you.”

“How did you find me?”

“Your Tess Mercer. It appears she knows you are still alive.”

“She isn’t my Tess,” Lex ground out. “Who the fuck are you?”

“I’m the man who can help you get back what you have always desired. I can help Lex Luthor return to power.”

“And why should I trust you? I don’t even know who you are!”

“My name is Zod.”

Lex sucked in a breath. It came out as a gasp.

“You’re one of those aliens.”

Zod didn’t seem surprised to hear that Lex knew who he was. But he remained silent.

“Planning an invasion?” Lex sneered.

“Perhaps. But with your help, we can make it easier on the people of your planet.”

“What do you want?”

“It will take more resources than we have access to.”

“So you want money?”

“In return, we can help you get back on your feet again. I understand that before your employee, Regan, died, he was working on a solution. I will tell you this. From what we managed to get from the files that Tess did not destroy, it would never have worked. We can, however, help you regain your strength. We have the knowledge, we just lack the resources.”

Lex had agreed to help the Kandorian. For one thing, Zod had promised him that he would destroy the Blur. First by destroying any loyalty the people of Metropolis had for him, and second, by killing him. Lex hadn’t been surprised to hear that Clark had won out. He’d known that if Zod and his followers won, he would have had to turn to Plan B. Which was make the planet toxic to them, using the meteor rock that seemed to be the only thing that could hurt them.

Lex had known it was a Faustian deal at best. Zod had helped restore him to full health, and in return, Lex had pretended to help the Kandorian in his own quest for power, all the while looking for a way to destroy the alien. Knowing what had gone before, what he’d done as Zod’s vessel, there was no way he was going to let Zod and his followers take the planet.

At least, in Zod, he knew exactly what the other man’s agenda was. He could trust that Zod would do anything to attain his goal. Even commit murder. Which was why when Chloe Sullivan had got too close, he’d ordered Zod to burn her. Chloe had been investigating RAO Corporation for months, trying to follow the money trail. Lex was careful, but he’d known that eventually she would follow the trail back to him.

Chloe’s death had had another advantage. It meant that Clark had one less protector. Lex wanted Clark isolated. No friends, no family – no one to help him when the battle, which was inevitable, came. It was just a matter of time.




Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
eternal_moonie
May. 5th, 2010 12:02 pm (UTC)
Totally LOVE this chapter! And the teaser too!
phoenixnz
May. 5th, 2010 04:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks hon. Yeah, it just seemed the perfect line to use as a teaser.
ctbn60
May. 5th, 2010 02:26 pm (UTC)
Shit you have made lex a real bastard here. Wow responsible for Chloe's death. Siding wit zod using Julia. Being the mastermind behind the mob. And of course it's all clarks fault in his twisted mind.

Brilliant chapter. I'm curious what will happen next since so many are on to him and Bruce is looking out for Julia.
phoenixnz
May. 5th, 2010 04:57 pm (UTC)
The problem Bruce and Clark will have is proving it. Lex has covered his tracks, so while they suspect, they still don't have incontrovertible proof. This chapter was more about revealing the truth about Lex's motives. And Julia is about to be in serious danger as she slowly starts to realise just what kind of man she married.
ctbn60
May. 5th, 2010 05:13 pm (UTC)
I think that's what I love about Lex he is like teflon. nothing sticks
phoenixnz
May. 6th, 2010 06:17 am (UTC)
I'm trying to picture Lex with things sliding off him. Yep, there it is. LOL.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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