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The Return of Lex Luthor 32/?

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 Thirty-Two

Lex could see she was waking up. He had returned to the hospital as soon as the doctors would let him, sitting by her bedside, willing her to wake up. He was still angry. At Clark, at Reubens. At himself.

Julia gave a little sigh and turned her head toward him, blinking sleepily.

“Hi,” she said softly.

“Hey,” he whispered. He didn’t ask how she was feeling. She was still groggy. But he could see she was slowly remembering what had happened.

“Lex?”

He knew what she was asking. He didn’t want to tell her, knowing it would devastate her. He looked away, but that already gave her the answer she was seeking.

“Oh god,” she moaned. “No!”

“Sweetheart,” he said, turning back to her and clutching her hand. But she’d already begun to cry and all he could do was hold her hand until the storm passed. He had never liked crying but she was in pain and he knew she needed comfort from him right now. No matter how the situation really was, she believed he felt the same way she did.

It was a while before she quieted, drifting off to sleep again. Lex went out, instructing Hope to stand guard over his wife while he went to make some phone calls and take care of a few business matters.

Julia woke again an hour later, seeing she was alone. She felt numb, mostly. Her face felt puffy from crying, but she didn’t care. She’d lost the baby, and that had hurt more than anything.

“I’m sorry, but Mrs Luthor can’t be disturbed.”

“She’s our friend.”

Julia tried to sit up, but she was still groggy from the medication and the effort made her dizzy. She peered out, but couldn’t see much. She guessed her glasses were around somewhere, but couldn’t see, so she called out.

“Hope?”

The door, which had been left ajar, opened wider.

“Clark Kent and Lois Lane are here to see you. I thought you were still asleep.”

“Let them in. Please.”

“Mr Luthor won’t be ...”

“Lex isn’t here right now, Hope. And I want to see them.” Hope’s face was blurry, but Julia could see that she was thinking it over, torn between doing her duty to Lex, and obeying her. “Please Hope?” Julia said.

“Okay. But only for a few minutes.”

Clark and Lois came in, grabbing chairs and sitting down.

“How are you?” Clark said softly.

“Okay. I mean, I’m not feeling great, but ... actually I’m not feeling much of anything.”

“That’ll be the morphine,” Lois told her, and Julia nodded.

“I’m sorry,” Clark said softly. “I should have ...”

“No, Clark. It’s not your fault. When I saw what he was going to do, I had to stop him. I couldn’t let him hurt you. You’re my friend.”

Clark gently stroked her hand and she squeezed it. They sat in silence for a few moments.

“Lex told us about the baby,” Lois said.

Julia saw Clark give her a look but she frowned at him.

“Clark, it’s okay. I mean, I’m sad about it, but you can’t avoid talking about it for fear it will upset me.”

“Sorry,” he said.

They talked a little more. About trivial things. About work at the Planet. Lois began relating some funny incident that had happened at work and that had Julia laughing until she got a twinge in her back.

“Ooh, don’t make me laugh any more,” she said.

“I guess we better go,” Clark said. “You need your rest.”

Julia was tired, but reluctant for them to go. “Noo!”

“Sweetheart, he’s right. You need your rest.”

None of them had seen Lex appear at the door. Julia made a face, but knew they were both right. She was exhausted.

Clark and Lois stood up, doing their best to each give her a hug, despite the fact that she was almost flat on her back. They left, but not before Clark glanced at Lex.

“Take good care of her,” he said softly.

For once, Lex looked genuine as he nodded. “Don’t worry. I will,” he said.

Lex moved forward, helping Julia get comfortable. She winced when she moved the wrong way and he worried she might have done something to make things worse. But she didn’t complain, her eyes drooping sleepily. He kissed her forehead.

“I won’t be far away, “he promised. “And Hope will stay with you in case you need anything.” He hesitated, looking at her pale face. “I love you,” he said softly, trying to reassure her.

“Love you too,” she sighed, already half asleep.

Lex went out, quietly closing the door behind him and leaving instructions with Hope that Julia was not to be disturbed under any circumstances. The nurses were permitted in to do whatever they had to do to monitor her, but she was to get no visitors. Not until she had rested.

But two hours later, when he had returned from a meeting with police detective John Jones about Reubens, he found two visitors waiting outside.

“Lex,” Bruce said calmly. “I heard about what happened and came to see how your wife was doing, but your bodyguard here wouldn’t let me in.”

“Julia’s resting,” Lex told him. “She was badly hurt yesterday.”

“Seems she’s had quite an ordeal. Do they have the man responsible?”

Lex frowned for a moment. Bruce was looking at him almost as if he knew something. But that was ridiculous. Bruce had been in Gotham.

Bruce’s companion was staring at him. Lex looked at her. Bruce followed his gaze.

“This is an associate of mine, Vicki Vale. Actually, she’s a photo-journalist. She had to come to Metropolis on business and decided to accompany me.”

Lex looked the woman over. She was pretty -  dark blonde with brown eyes, a pert nose and pale skin. Not his type, since he preferred brunettes but still ... there was something about her.

“Pleased to meet you, Mr Luthor,” the woman said with a distinct New England accent. “I’ve heard a lot about you.”

“All good I hope,” Lex quipped, with more humour than he felt. The woman’s eyes glittered but she chuckled.

Lex noticed Miss Vale was holding a bouquet of flowers. “For your wife,” she told him.

He nodded. “Of course. Please excuse me. I’ll see if she’s awake and up to visitors.”

You do that, Vicki (she had to keep thinking of herself as Vicki) thought as she watched him go in. She glanced at Bruce, who nodded. She’d passed the first test. But how would Clark and Lois react if they saw her?

She was glad she had taken voice lessons, learning to round her vowels more and speak in a more cultured accent. She knew that if she’d spoken in her normal voice and accent, it would have been easier for those she’d loved to recognise her.

It hurt that she’d had to do this. It hurt that she had had to pretend to her best friend, and her cousin, that she was dead. But Bruce had told her it was necessary. Clark’s battle with Zod was one he had to face alone. He also had to come to the decision to become Superman on his own. Vicki had doubted that, but she could understand where Bruce was coming from.

She knew, also, that if Lex had known she was still alive, he would have searched the ends of the Earth for her. He would have done everything he could to find her, because she alone knew the secrets of those final days. The days before Clark and Zod had finally gone head to head. And why it had ended up being a battle between them and them alone. And it had everything to do with Lex.

She was sure Julia knew something too. But whether Julia realised it or not, she had no idea. As Bruce had said, Julia needed to come to the realisation on her own. But it wouldn’t hurt to give her a nudge in the right direction.

Lex came back out.

“She’s awake,” he said. “But Bruce, you do anything to upset my wife, I swear to God I will kill you myself.”

“I’ve no doubt,” Bruce told him. He looked at Vicki and they both went into the room.

“Bruce?” Julia said. “This is a surprise.” She shifted in the bed, trying to sit up, but Lex put a light hand on her shoulder to keep her from moving too much.

“I hope we’re not disturbing you,” he said.

“No, not at all,” she assured him. “It’s nice to see a friendly face.”

She ignored Lex’s snigger at that, knowing his opinion of Bruce.

“We, that is, my associate Vicki and I, were in town on business and we wanted to drop by and see how you were doing.”

“I guess it’s front page news, even in Gotham.”

“We saw it in the Daily Planet,” Vicki told her with a smile. “That’s why it’s called the Daily Planet.”

It was a weak attempt at a joke but Julia chuckled anyway. She saw the flowers, although not too clearly, since she still didn’t have her glasses. Lex had assured her that he was getting them sorted – they’d been broken in the fall and he’d had to organise for her prescription to be refilled. It would take another day, since they had to be specially ordered.

“Thank you for the flowers. They’re lovely.”

“You’re welcome,” Bruce said, a trifle gruffly.

They talked over trivial things, never really discussing what had happened. Julia was grateful for that. Occasionally, she would feel a twinge of pain in her back, causing Lex to fuss over her, but it was nothing too serious.

Bruce and Vicki left after a few minutes, taking hints from the looks Lex was giving them. Julia sighed. She had been happy to have the company.

It was the same for the next few days. Lex hovered like a mother hen and it was driving her crazy. If she had visitors, he would only allow them a few minutes each time, telling them she needed her rest. By the third day of being bedridden, Julia was sick and tired of resting and eager to get out and about.

Fortunately, things were not as bad as the doctors had originally feared. She had got off very lucky indeed, ending up with bruising. Very bad bruising, but still only bruising. With a little physical therapy, she would be up and about in no time.

Lex had called her mother and older brother to tell them what had happened. She was on the phone to her brother when he returned from one of his business meetings.

“No, you shut up,” she was telling her brother.

“You shut up,” he said.

“Grow up!” She rolled her eyes.

“Make me!”

With a sigh, she looked at Lex, who was frowning.

“Ignore us. We’re always like this.”

“Speak for yourself brat,” her brother’s disjointed voice said on the phone.

“Who are you calling a brat? Dork!”

Lex was choking back laughter. She rolled her eyes again and grinned at him. “Now this? This is what you’d have had to put up with if you’d grown up with a sibling.”

“I think I would have loved it,” Lex said, grinning. She turned back to the phone.

“I gotta go now bro.”

“Take care sis. And tell that husband of yours to bring you home some time, ‘k? We miss you.”

“Yeah, right! You miss me like a hole in the head!”

“That too!”

She hung up and smiled at Lex. “Do you miss it? Not having a sibling?”

“Well, I guess you could say Clark more than made up for it. He really did feel like a little brother to me.”

Julia nodded. She yawned.

“Tired?” he asked.

“No, I’m bored. When can I get out of here.”

“Well, that’s what I was coming to tell you. The doc says I can take you home tomorrow. But only if you promise to be good and rest.”

Julia poked her tongue out and blew a raspberry at him.

“Well, that’s mature,” he said.

“Fine!” she said with a long-suffering sigh. “I’ll be a good girl and take my medicine and lie on that stupid couch and do nothing but stare at the idiot box.”

“That’s my girl,” he said, kissing her forehead.

Of course, Lex insisted on using a wheelchair to take her home, even though she was perfectly capable of walking. And he made sure she was bundled up in a rug, with plenty of pillows, safely installed on the sofa with enough DVDs to keep her entertained for weeks.

But as soon as he was out the door and gone back to work, she was throwing off the rug and nearly screaming in frustration. She was just about to get up and go make herself some comfort food when the door opened and Lois and Clark came in.

“Hey,” Clark said. “Lex told us you were home.”

Julia’s face took on an almost guilty flush at having been caught doing exactly what she’d promised Lex not to do.

“He told you to keep an eye on me, didn’t he?”

“Guilty,” Lois chuckled. “Going somewhere?”

“Well, I was planning on throwing myself off the balcony ...” she grumbled.

“Drama queen,” Clark said fondly.

She turned and stared at him. “Did you just call me a drama queen?”

“Yep.”

“I hate you Clark Kent.”

“Yeah right.”

In the end, Clark picked out a DVD and they sat and watched it together. Lois organised snacks and kept up a running commentary on the movie until both Julia and Clark glared at her, then threw pillows at her to make her shut up. She just laughed at both of them for getting so involved in the movie.

As the credits rolled, Lois glanced at Clark, who quickly scanned the room. He nodded briefly and Lois turned up the volume on the tv. Julia frowned at her.

“Jules, honey, there’s something we need to talk to you about.”

“It’s about Lex,” Clark said softly.

“What about him?”

“Jules, there’s no easy way to say this. Lex isn’t who you think he is.”

“What do you mean?” she said.

Lois leaned forward, pressing a reassuring hand on her thigh.

“Lex was behind your kidnapping. I mean, we don’t think he meant for you to be involved in it, but ...”

Julia’s heart was pounding, along with her head. What were they saying? How could Lex be involved? Why would he do that? Lex wouldn’t do that.

“Lex wouldn’t do that,” she said out loud.

“Honey, I know you don’t want to believe that, but it’s the truth. Lex is not a good man.”

“No, he’s changed. He’s different now.”

“Jules ...”

“No, Clark. I can’t believe you’re saying this. I thought you were friends.”

“We’re not friends, Jules. Lex doesn’t want to be my friend. He just wants my secrets.”

“No, you’re misreading the whole thing. You ... no, no.”

“Jules ...” Lois began.

“No, I don’t believe you. He’s taken care of me this week, he’s been there for me. He wouldn’t ... he couldn’t ...”

Lois looked as if she wanted to argue, but Clark shook his head. It was clear she wasn’t going to believe them and they didn’t want to hurt her anymore than she already had been.

They left, leaving her quietly crying on the sofa, having decided not to pursue it. At least, not this way.

***

Clark was making dinner and Lois was setting the table when Bruce barged in.

“What the fuck were you thinking?”

“What?” Clark looked up at him.

“I just learned you told Julia about Lex.”

Lois came in and glared at Bruce.

“And how do you know that? Do you have a spy in the Luthor household?”

“Something like that,” Bruce ground out.

“You’ve been bugging them?” Clark was incredulous.

“How the hell else did you think I was getting inside information? I heard your entire conversation with her.”

“Hey, now wait a minute,” Lois said. “We were just trying to help her. And how did you hear that?”

“Did you really think by turning up the tv you could drown it out? Amateurs!”

Clark sighed. How had he not known before that Batman was Bruce Wayne. Only someone with seemingly limitless resources could possibly supply the sophisticated toys he had.

“She didn’t tell him, did she?”

Bruce glared at him. “So now you think about that? You know, I’m not surprised you were born on another planet. Because only an alien would be that stupid!”

“Hey!” Lois said, but he just turned his icy cold glare on her.

“You’re lucky that she cares enough about you that she won’t say anything to Lex. She hasn’t voiced her suspicions so far. And he doesn’t know that she knows the truth about you.”

“I did kind of sense that. But what suspicions? What are you talking about?”

“What suspicions? The ones I’ve been planting in that pretty little head of hers.”

“You?”

“Did you think I was just sitting around waiting for the truth to dawn on her? I’ve been planting the seeds of doubt ever since I met her. Why the hell did you think I told you not to tell her the truth?”

Clark had forgotten about that. Bruce had told them to let Julia come to the truth on her own.

“I just thought that after what happened, she needed to get out of there. Before he got her killed.”

“I agree. But telling her the truth straight out is the wrong way to go about it. She would never believe you.”

Lois nodded. “So you plant the seeds and watch them grow. Let her discover the truth on her own. That way, she’ll believe what she sees with her own eyes, rather than think it’s a misunderstanding.”

“You’re a lot smarter than you look, Ms Lane.”

Clark bit back a retort at the backhanded compliment. Why did Bruce always have to bait Lois?

“So, what now?” he asked.

“We wait. Lex is arrogant enough that he will slip up somewhere. Then let her come to us.”

“Unless she gets killed in the meantime,” Lois said darkly.




Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
eternal_moonie
May. 12th, 2010 09:26 am (UTC)
What an INCREDIBLE chapter!!
phoenixnz
May. 12th, 2010 10:02 am (UTC)
Thanks hon, it's going to get stickier from here.
ctbn60
May. 12th, 2010 03:43 pm (UTC)
Why do I have the feeling that lex isn't going to be happy with anyone once the truth comes out and if julia leaves he is going to flip and take it out not only on her but everyone else around him. I worry lois will be a prime target for revenge! Great chapter.
phoenixnz
May. 12th, 2010 05:49 pm (UTC)
You worry too much, LOL. The truth will come out eventually, but not in the way you expect.
ctbn60
May. 12th, 2010 06:11 pm (UTC)
You are right I do.

If you find a way to redeem Lex I will squish you and hug you forever!!! lol ;-)
phoenixnz
May. 12th, 2010 06:33 pm (UTC)
Now there's a thought, hmm have you been reading my mind? Considering I've been working on a scene that explores just that idea.
ctbn60
May. 12th, 2010 06:54 pm (UTC)
*SQUEALS IN DELIGHT*

Okay sometimes you can be tricky. I'll be good and wait to see what happens.

LOL
jlvsclrk
May. 12th, 2010 10:18 pm (UTC)
I love all the interactions between the characters. I get the feeling Lex wants to feel more for Julia, but that part of him is just too closed off. And I get such a kick out of Chl... I mean Vicki. Musn't forgetten that!
phoenixnz
May. 13th, 2010 02:22 am (UTC)
The banter is always my favourite part. And you're right. Lex does want to feel more, but part of him won't let him.
And yes, you mustn't forget that Chloe is now Vicki. LOL
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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