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The Return of Lex Luthor 42/?

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 Forty-Two

After dinner, Bruce took Clark aside.

“There’s something we need to discuss. Come down to the Batcave with me.”

Clark snickered. “The Batcave?”

Bruce just glared. “This is not a joking matter. Follow me.”

Julia had mentioned how serious Bruce could be. She was right. Clark followed him to the library where he played a couple of bars on the piano. A column of the shelf slid smoothly aside, revealing a tunnel. Clark followed him down to the elevator  - or a cage really, rather like those used in mine shafts.

“Wow,” Clark said, when the cage made it to the bottom. “This is under Wayne Manor?”

“I take it you’re impressed.”

“Impressed isn’t the word.” He looked up, narrowing his eyes. His super-hearing had picked up tiny squeaks, and the minute sounds of what he could only discern as claws on rock. There were literally hundreds of bats nesting in the dark areas of the cave.

“So, what did you need to talk to me about?” Clark asked, suppressing a shudder. Even though he knew the bats couldn’t hurt him, there was something still so unpleasant about them.

Bruce booted up the computer. Within a few seconds, the main screen appeared and he opened up a file. There was a picture of a man on the screen. A man with a hook nose, grey face and what appeared to be deformed teeth. They almost looked like canine teeth.

“Who’s that?”

“His real name is Oswald Cobblepot. In various circles, they call him the Penguin.”

“What does he have to do with me?”

“After the debacle with Reubens I started doing a little more investigating. Vicki has been assisting me with that as well. I began wondering what Reubens would want with a diamond like the Brinkman.” Bruce clicked the mouse and brought up what looked like blueprints.

“What the hell is that?” Clark asked.

“A weapon. A laser, to be precise. And it has a unique power source.”

Clark scanned the schematics, then gasped. “My god,” he said. “Kryptonite.”

“They are still working on the prototype,” Bruce said. “The question is where. My investigations have failed to turn up the location.”

“So how did you know about this? Do you have spies everywhere?”

“A police informant, from inside the Penguin’s gang. At least he was. Two days ago he turned up in the river. Murdered. At least, that’s what Commissioner Gordon’s people told him. He disappeared before he could give us the location.”

“Which means the Penguin knows you’re onto him.”

“I’d like you to patrol with me. We need to find this weapon. If it has Kryptonite ...”

“Then it can kill me,” Clark finished. “Lex has to be behind this.”

Bruce nodded. “I’m sure of it. I’ll give you time to let Lois know what’s happening. We leave in an hour.”

Clark returned upstairs and sought out Lois. She and Oliver were talking quietly in the corner of the drawing room.

“Everything okay?” she asked.

Clark shook his head. “Bruce and I are going out on patrol in an hour.”

“Why? I thought Bruce worked alone?” Oliver said in a low voice.

“It seems one of the local gangs is working on a weapon with Kryptonite as its power source. This concerns me, so he thought we should try and find it together.”

“I could suit up as well,” Oliver offered.

“I’m sure Bruce would have asked you if he wanted you there,” Clark said.

“Yeah, I bet,” Oliver said dryly. “You know we don’t get along.”

They talked a little more about the possibility that Lex might have something to do with building the prototype. Lois wanted to confront Lex, but Clark told her that might not be such a good idea. In typical fashion, Lois decided they would start talking to a few of their contacts. Corelli, for one.

They had gone back to Corelli’s headquarters after Julia’s kidnapping, but Corelli had gone to ground. The last few weeks they had spent trying to locate the mob boss, going back to the club where they’d been picked up, but none of the men there wanted anything to do with it. Lois and Clark had had the feeling that something else had gone down. It wasn’t that they condoned what Corelli did, but after what had happened with Julia, they felt sure that Corelli could provide them with more information and maybe even some proof that Lex had definitely been behind the whole set-up.

As for Reubens, Bruce had informed Clark that the man was now in protective custody. But he wasn’t talking.

They needed those contacts more than ever. Especially if Lex was behind this new threat. And working with criminal factions in Gotham. Lois felt it was too much of a coincidence that they were using Kryptonite as its power source.

They continued to argue back and forth about the merits of talking to those contacts, with Oliver also adding his two cents’ worth. But Lois was adamant, and Clark knew very well he couldn’t do anything to stop her. She would do what she had to do to get the job done and he knew that.

Lois seemed to be looking behind them. She shushed them and smiled brightly.

“Jules.”

“Hey guys. What’s up?”

“Um, nothing.”

“Yeah right,” Julia said dryly. “I know when you three are whispering there’s something going on.”

Clark wondered if she knew that Bruce was Batman. He took a guess that she didn’t, and decided to put his own spin on what had happened.

“Uh, I got a call from Batman. He has something he wants my help with.”

Julia nodded. “Oh. So why the conspiracy?”

“It’s not a conspiracy,” Lois told her.

“You just didn’t want to say anything in case I start asking too many questions, is that it Lo?”

Lois grinned. “You know me too well.”

Clark glanced at his watch. “I better go suit up and meet Batman.” He leaned over and kissed Lois deeply.

“Be careful,” she said.

“I will.”

Batman met him at the entrance to the cave where his Batmobile was kept.

“So this is what Lois was talking about,” Clark said. It looked like an all-terrain assault vehicle, but highly advanced. Of course the military would be interested in something like this, Clark thought.

Bruce said nothing. He just nodded and got in. They had arranged to meet near one of the Penguin’s known hideouts in The Narrows. Clark flew out of the cave, then up into the air, watching from above as the Batmobile traversed the rocky terrain before moving up onto the highway heading toward Gotham.

Clark flew slowly, keeping a close watch on the vehicle. He noticed that other vehicles on the highway gave it a wide berth. Batman drove it quickly and efficiently then left it parked in a secluded area near the hideout.

Someone was waiting for them on the roof of the building. Clark landed, glaring at the man suspiciously. He was in his late forties, with a large bushy moustache over his upper lip. He was wearing clear-rimmed glasses.

The man smiled and stepped forward.

“You must be Superman,” he said, holding out his hand. “I’m Commissioner Gordon.”

Clark, still wary, put out his hand and shook the other man’s, still watching for any signs of a trick. Batman chose that moment to appear on the roof.

“Commissioner. What brings you here?”

“I rather hoped to dissuade you from pursuing this angle with the Penguin, my friend.”

“I can do many things, Gordon, but this ...”

“I understand. My men have been combing the streets trying to locate this weapon our informant told me about, but we have had no luck I’m afraid.”

“We might have better luck,” Batman said, his voice deep and gravelly. There was a slight difference in inflection between Bruce and Batman. Clark thought that was why people didn’t realise they were one and the same. He wondered if Bruce was using a voice modulator, like Oliver did.

“Yes, of course,” Gordon said, knowing just how intimidating Batman could be. More than three years ago, Batman had suggested Gordon release information advising the public that he had been responsible for the death of District Attorney Harvey Dent, rather than that Dent, in a psychotic rage, had kidnapped Gordon’s family and tried to exact his own brand of personal vengeance.

The public of Gotham had been suitably terrified of Batman, even though they really had nothing to fear. Gordon had been forced to work in secret with the caped crusader, feeding him information when appropriate, knowing that favour would be returned.

Gordon nodded and left the roof. Batman and Superman were left alone. They scanned the streets below. Spotting some activity – an armed robbery in progress, Batman swooped down. Superman followed.

There were half a dozen armed men. The two superheroes made short work of the men, who turned on them, firing automatic weapons. But Batman’s armour and Superman’s invulnerability rendered the weapons useless. Each of the men tried hand-to-hand combat but quickly realised they were out of their league.

It became just as quickly obvious that the pair were wasting their time with the would-be robbers. As Batman held one of them up against the wall and began interrogating him about Penguin, the terrified man lost control of his bladder. Batman dropped him, hearing police sirens, and walked away.

Superman followed, unsure of his new colleague’s tactics. But there was something about a masked vigilante that brought out the craziness in would-be criminals and it wasn’t long before someone was crazy enough to attempt a fight with Batman.

Several times in those first few hours, Superman wondered at Batman’s sanity as he continued to comb the streets of The Narrows. Many of the men they came across clearly knew nothing. But just after midnight, they hit pay dirt.

“Where is the Penguin?” Batman asked for about the tenth time that night, holding the crook up by the collar.

The man glared at him defiantly.

“I don’t have to tell you nothing,” he rasped, out of breath as Batman kept a tight grip on him.

“Batman, allow me,” Superman said quietly. He took the man, flying up to the roof of the tallest tower, silently holding the man by his ankle over the street forty storeys below.

“You can’t intimidate me,” the guy yelled.

“Really?” Superman said casually, before dropping the man, then flying down and letting him fall halfway before catching him. The man screamed in utter terror. The smell of urine was strong as he lost control of his bodily functions.

“Okay, okay,” he screamed as Superman lowered them safely to the ground. “I’ll tell you.”

He quickly gave a location a mile away from the bridge to The Narrows. Batman nodded, barely acknowledging Superman’s assistance, before returning to the Batmobile. Superman followed at a safe distance above.

They found a good spot near the location and perched, observing the comings and goings. There was clearly some kind of activity going on, Superman noted. He glanced at Batman. Were they going in?

Batman glanced back and nodded. He took a small metal object from his utility belt. Superman saw that it was what had been dubbed a batarang – shaped like a bat. He watched as Batman threw it. Then all hell let loose.

Penguin waddled out, his rotund body very like that of a penguin, with short legs below.

“Show yourself Batman,” he called, chirping. Superman wondered if that was what Penguin sounded like when he laughed.

Men came running out in all directions, armed with automatic rifles. Batman leapt into the fray, Superman following. But it became patently obvious that they were expected. Or at least, Superman was. The armed men were equipped with Kryptonite, somewhere on their bodies. They began shooting at the dark knight, who whirled around when Superman groaned and doubled over.

“Superman?”

It was a trap. It had to be. There were at least thirty men with automatic weapons and even Batman knew his armour wouldn’t stand up to that. Just as he turned to pull Superman away, he felt something bite into his leg. Dragging himself out of the firing line, he managed to get himself behind a building. Pulling the remote of the Batmobile, he pressed the button, opening it up.

Superman was on the ground a couple of metres away. Batman limped toward him, pulling him up, doing his best to keep out of sight of the armed men. As soon as they were out of range of the Kryptonite, Superman began to recover and he supported Batman the rest of the way to the Batmobile. Out of breath, they collapsed inside the vehicle. Batman activated it and sped away.

Back at the manor, Clark, now fully recovered, pulled Bruce out of the vehicle. He was bleeding profusely from a wound in his thigh.

“I should get you to a hospital.”

“No,” Bruce ground out. “Just need Alfred.”

Clark looked around. He couldn’t exactly strip Bruce’s kit off, and he had no idea how to contact Alfred upstairs. So he did what he could, pulling off the armour and the cowl, but leaving the pants. Supporting him, he got the billionaire up in the lift and up the stairs toward his room. But as he was headed down the corridor, Julia came out of her room.

“I heard a commotion,” she said. Then her eyes widened. “Clark, what? Bruce? What the hell?”

“Jules, he’s been hurt. I need to ...”

“It’s this way,” she said, walking quickly in her bathrobe down the corridor. She opened the door to Bruce’s bedroom. “Get him on the bed, then go and find Alfred and ask him to bring the first aid kit. Go, Clark.”

Bruce stared, a flush beginning in his cheeks, as Julia began to strip his pants off.

“Julia ...”

“Shush,” she said. “Let me see what the damage is first. And later, well ... we are soooo going to have to have a talk about you keeping the fact that you’re Batman from me.”

Bruce did not like that tone in her voice. It told him very clearly he was in deep trouble.




Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
ctbn60
May. 29th, 2010 03:25 pm (UTC)
you write action and adventure so well honey! I enjoyed this chapter and I really feel for Bruce. LOL he is sooo going to have to answer to Julia...hehe!!
phoenixnz
May. 29th, 2010 07:14 pm (UTC)
If Bruce thought he was in trouble with the Penguin, then he doesn't know Julia very well, does he?
eternal_moonie
May. 30th, 2010 11:32 am (UTC)
AWESOME NEW Chapter honey!!! You NEED to be a writer for the series along with me!!
phoenixnz
May. 30th, 2010 05:39 pm (UTC)
Ah, if only *sigh*
jlvsclrk
May. 31st, 2010 10:59 am (UTC)
Exciting stuff! Sorry I'm so late reading this but LJ has not been very co-operative as of late.
phoenixnz
May. 31st, 2010 05:58 pm (UTC)
Frustrating isn't it? I'm glad you liked the little bit of action. I hope to bring more of it in later in the story.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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