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The Return of Lex Luthor 49/?

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-Nine

Julia was up before anyone else and had been for her morning run when she entered the kitchen to find Alfred making eggs.

“’Morning Alfred. It’s going to be a beautiful day.”

“Good morning Miss Julia. You seem very chipper this morning.”

“The sun will do that for you.” She picked up the pot of coffee and poured herself a cup.

“You’re in training. You’re not supposed to be drinking coffee.” Julia quickly dodged Bruce as he tried to grab the cup from her.

“One isn’t going to do me any harm. And what got you out of the wrong side of bed this morning?”

“Nothing.”

Julia raised an eyebrow at Alfred and sat down to eat, thankful that it wasn’t oatmeal today.

But her good mood was quickly deflated by a phone call right after breakfast. Lex.

“You filed for divorce?” he asked.

“Did you expect me not to?”

“I expected you to come home,” he told her.

“Well, you don’t always get what you want,” she returned.

“Julia, I told you, it’s all lies. It’s Tess Mercer. She’s unhinged.”

Julia sighed. “She’s not the one who’s unhinged. Have you ever talked to anyone about your OCD?”

“What?”

“I think the line is ‘get thee to a shrink’.”

“Actually the line is ‘get thee to a nunnery’ and it’s from Hamlet. And nunnery was supposedly an Elizabethan slang term for a brothel.” Before he could say any more, she cut him off.

“Don’t lecture me. I hate it when you do that. Besides, I was trying to make a point.”

“Meaning?”

“You need help, Lex. Psychological help. And don’t call here again or I will file a restraining order.”

“I’m not giving you a divorce, Julia.”

“Then we’ll just have to fight it out in court, won’t we?”

She dearly wanted to slam the receiver down, but since it was a cordless phone and all she had to do was push a button, it completely lost its effectiveness. Still, she had a certain satisfaction in having the last word.

But when she put the phone down she noticed her hand was shaking. Damn him, she thought. It was hard enough trying to get over him. He had to make matters worse by trying to call her.

She went looking for Bruce, who was working out in the gym. Doing press-ups. Bare-chested. She swallowed. As if she didn’t have enough to deal with where Lex was concerned. Now she had to deal with her attraction to Bruce as well? It just wasn’t fair. And she was still feeling very confused.

Bruce was standing, looking at her.

“Everything all right?”

“Yeah. But now I just want to punch something.”

Bruce smirked. “Well, I have the perfect thing.”

She followed him through the gym to the corner of the huge room where a huge red leather bag was suspended by a chain from a sturdy hook in the ceiling. He then picked up some fingerless workout gloves, putting them on her hands.

She watched as he went behind the bag, holding it.

“Now hit it,” he said.

Julia tried to hit it with a regular punch. It didn’t even move.

“You call that a punch? Hit it. Put your body into it.”

She tried again, her fist making a weak splat against the leather surface.

“Come on, hit it,” he instructed. “It’s not going to hit back. It’s not going to cry like a baby. Now hit it! Channel all that anger and show me you can be tough.”

Julia gathered her strength, letting all her anger and confusion go way down deep, then hit the bag hard. If Bruce hadn’t been bracing himself, he would have gone flying.

“Good,” he said.

He began teaching her punching techniques, getting her to learn how to put power behind her fist, then taught her kicks.

After an hour, they took a break.

“Bruce, about last night, I ...”

“You don’t have to explain,” he said. “I understand.”

He’d lain awake for a couple of hours thinking about what she had said. Part of him was jealous that she still had feelings for Lex. Even after everything the man had done to her. But he’d realised that it had been less than a month since she’d left him and they had been together three years.

But, as hard as he was, he had to admit that what she’d said had hurt a little. He had his reasons for choosing to be alone. But hearing the words from her made him wonder.

“I need to say this,” she was saying. “I’m sorry if I sounded a little harsh. I know what you must be thinking. That I need to get over Lex. And I will. Given time. It just ... it still hurts, you know? Look, growing up, my ideas about love came from books.” She was blushing when he looked at her, her cheeks reddening. “My mother used to read these romance novels and some of them could get quite ... uh, explicit. I mean, god knows, they would never be that explicit. We’re still talking a PG or a 15+ rating. So my only real examples of love were those, or the Disney version. And it’s not real. I know that now.”

“What about your parents? Didn’t they ...”

She shrugged. “Honestly? Sometimes I wonder. I asked my mother once if she loved my Dad. This was after he died, of course. And she said that sometimes she wished she’d never married him.”

“All couples go through that.”

“Not like this. I mean, I knew my Dad had issues. But do you know, he accused my mother of cheating on him when she found out she was pregnant with me. But there was no way that would have happened. She just isn’t that kind of person. There were things he told me that my mother said if she’d known, she would have left him a long time ago.”

“Pretty harsh.”

“He wasn’t the most stable of people, really. He just never acknowledged that he had a problem.”

“Yet he drove you to attempt suicide.”

She sighed, heaving her shoulders. “Yeah, but that’s in the past. I’m better now. Or I will be.” She lifted her bottle of water to her lips and sipped. “Anyway, I guess what I’m trying to say is, my feelings for Lex are based on what I thought I knew about love. So I’ve got nothing to compare it to. And I guess I’m beginning to question whether my feelings for him are as real as those stories I used to read. Does that make any sense?”

Bruce nodded.

“You need time,” he said. “I can give you that.”

“Good. Thanks, I needed that.” She put down the bottle. “Should we get back to work?”

“Actually, I wanted to talk to you about something else. From what I understand, you completed your law degree but you never did the post-graduate study necessary to practice.”

“I got about halfway through honours,” she said. “And I did have an offer from a couple of law firms, but I was more interested in human rights. That’s why I took sociology. So I could understand the political and social ramifications.”

“What would you think about completing your post-graduate studies and taking the bar exam here?”

“Wouldn’t I have to take some under graduate courses in law here? I mean, don’t you have to know about the American Constitution? Besides my qualifications don’t exactly stand up here.”

“I can get you a tutor. You can study here at the manor and I’m sure we can organise it so your credits from your own university count toward credits at another university. I’ve seen your transcripts. You would have made a brilliant lawyer.”

“Why is it so important to you?”

Bruce looked thoughtful. “Have you ever heard of a government organisation called Checkmate?”

She shook her head. Bruce went on to explain.

“Checkmate was formed partly as a kneejerk reaction to what they believed was the precursor to an alien invasion. It appears that word of some of the projects Lex was undertaking reached government ears and they thought there was enough of an issue to form the organisation. They tried to recruit Clark, and Oliver, not knowing who he was, or that Lex’s own projects were in answer to the threat he saw Clark to be. And when I say recruit, I mean they kidnapped Oliver.”

“Thus violating his human rights.”

“Exactly.”

“But what about Clark? Since he’s an alien, there isn’t a precedent for this.”

“Which is where you come in. There are rumblings in Washington about Superman and what he can do. People tend to fear what they don’t understand and I have a suspicion it won’t be too long before they’ll be requiring Superman to appear before a senate hearing to answer some pertinent questions. He’ll need someone on his side who understands the law.”

“Which is where I come in. I have to admit, the idea does sound appealing. I mean, if there are others like Clark, with abilities, then they’ll need some sort of legal protection.” She studied him. “How do you know so much about all this?”

“When you’re stinking rich, you get automatic membership to exclusive clubs. Besides,” he said with a grin. “I know people in high places.”

“Don’t you mean low places,” she smirked. “I mean, we are talking about politicians here. Hardly high brow.”

Bruce looked at her, then began to laugh. After a second she joined him.

***

“Wow, Lois. You look amazing!”

She was just putting on her earrings, standing at the counter. Clark whistled as he looked her over. She was wearing a dark red dress that hugged her curves but didn’t show too much cleavage. Clark had gone to his own apartment to change his clothes, putting on something that suited the occasion. He had put on a dark blue blazer and grey pants with a white shirt.

“Not looking too bad yourself there, Smallville.”

“Are we ready for this?”

“Maybe we should have taken your mom up on her offer. I think we could have used back-up.”

“Is the general really that bad?”

“C’mon, Clark, you’ve met him.”

“Yeah.” And they had really hit it off the first time they’d met. Not!

When they entered the restaurant, the general was waiting, looking splendid in his military uniform, his medals pinned to his jacket. He had gone all out to be intimidating. Lois swallowed audibly. Clark looked at her and kissed her just below her temple.

“It’ll be okay,” he said, squeezing her hand gently. “Remember, I love you. And nothing he can say will ever make me forget that.”

She smiled shakily. “Thanks. I needed that.”

Sam Lane stood erect and stiff as they approached the table, his bearing showing his military training.

“Lois. And Clark, isn’t it?”

“Yes sir,” Clark said, reaching out to shake the man’s hand. He felt Sam trying to crush his hand, so he tightened his grip just a little more. The general frowned, then smirked.

“Firm handshake. I like that. Shows character.”

Lois heaved a sigh of relief. They all sat down.

“How about a drink? Clark, what’s your poison?”

“Sir?”

“What do you drink? Me, I like a good sour mash whiskey now and again.”

“Uh, no, sir, not for me. I think I’ll just stick to wine.”

Whatever points he’d made with the handshake, he’d just lost with the drink, from the look on Sam’s face. Oh boy, he thought. This is going to be a fun night. He ordered a glass of white wine and Lois did the same.

“So I hear you two have become quite the writing team. Never did like reporters much.”

“Daddy ...” Lois began.

“Now, Lo, I know what you’re going to say. But I’ve got a few things to say myself. Like I said, I never did like reporters much, but it’s what you’ve chosen to do with your life and for once you actually seem to be sticking to something. I mean, god knows, you dropped out of college, you never completed all your credits in high school, and if it wasn’t for that jumped up Luthor, you never would have got into Met U. Now I ain’t complaining, even though it cost me a bundle. Because I always knew when you set your mind to something you would get it done. You get that from me. So what I’m saying is, I respect that. Now, if only your sister would show the same gumption.” He sighed and paused long enough to take his drink from the waitress and sip it. “Of course, now I think would be a good time for you to think about settling down.”

“That’s what we’re here to tell you, Daddy,” Lois said, looking at Clark. He nodded. It was as good a time as any. “Clark and I are getting married.”

Sam Lane regarded them silently, his eagle eyes roving over them.

“Married?” he said finally. Then he stood slightly, leaning over the table and slapping Clark on the shoulder. “Well, it’s about time. Hell, I knew the moment you two laid eyes on each other. You were always at each other’s throats. A sure sign if ever I saw one.”

Clark and Lois looked at each other, then back at the older man. This was not the reaction they’d been expecting.

“I’m sorry, what?”

Sam grinned. He looked at Clark. “I’ll let you in on a little secret Kent. Your old man and I had a little bet going about how long it would take for you two to get your act together. Looks like I lost. I bet him it would only take a couple of years. Guess he knew you better than I thought he did.”

Clark blinked at his future father-in-law. He and Jonathan had a bet?

“Aw, don’t look so shocked, son. Hell, Lois’ mother and I were exactly the same. Met in high school. The first couple of years it was like she couldn’t stand me. Took me five years to convince her I wasn’t one card short of a full deck.”

“I didn’t know that,” Lois said.

“Well, Lo, I guess it’s because you were so young when your mother died. I admit, I wasn’t the best father. It wasn’t easy for me, raising you two girls on my own. All I knew how to do was command my troops.”

“And you treated us like we were just another couple of officers under your command.”

“Aw honey, don’t be like that. I’m trying to apologise here. The thing is, after your Mom died, I just didn’t know what the hell I was doing. And soldiering was the only thing I knew how to do.”

Clark raised his eyebrows. He was trying to apologise? Sam just grinned.

“Guess the old man’s gone a bit soft. Truth is, I’ve been meaning to say this for a long time, Lo. I was never there for you, as a father, and I know it’s a little late but I’d hope you can forgive me.”

Lois’ eyes were brimming with tears.

“Daddy, there’s nothing to forgive. You kept us fed, clothed. Okay, maybe we were never the Waltons, but ...”

“Sir, I hope you don’t mind my saying this,” and Clark quickly looked at Lois for her approval, “but you did something right. Lois is an exceptionally bright, beautiful, passionate woman. Not to mention tough. She has more courage than anyone I know. And part of that is because of you.”

Lois looked at him and smiled shakily. He squeezed her hand as it lay on the table.

“Thank you, son.”

As they ate, they talked about the wedding plans. Sam wondered where they would be getting married.

“You know, I could arrange for the base chapel to ...”

“No,” Lois said, almost too vehemently. “I mean, we haven’t really decided on where, yet. I’m not sure I want to get married in a church.”

“Your mother and I married in a church.”

“But Daddy, it’s not your wedding,” she pointed out.

Sam opened his mouth to argue, but his expression suggested he’d thought better of it.

“We could always have it at the farm,” Clark suggested.

“That’s where Chloe and Jimmy ...” Lois said. Clark sighed.

“Yeah, you’re right.” That was a disaster, Clark thought. “Never mind.”

“Anyway, we only just decided on a date, Daddy,” Lois said.

“Oh, really? What date did you choose?”

Lois looked at Clark and took a deep breath, then turned back to her father.

“The twenty-fifth of September.”

Clark felt a lump in his throat. The twenty-fifth of September would be a very special date for them. That was the date Lois had returned to him. The date he’d found his heart again. It was perfect.

As they prepared for bed that night, Clark held her in his arms.

“Lois, it doesn’t matter to me where we get married. I just want you to know that where ever it happens, what’s more important is that we’re together.”

“I wasn’t sure about the date. I thought ...”

“The date is perfect,” he said. “I almost lost you, and that was the day you came back to me.”

“I love you Clark.”

“I love you too.”




Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
ctbn60
Jun. 12th, 2010 01:53 am (UTC)
Nice!!I like bruce pointing julia in the right direction i think law will be good for her. and lois and clark and the general are so cute!!! You did good on this chapter honey.
phoenixnz
Jun. 12th, 2010 03:22 am (UTC)
I had thoughts about Sam losing his temper but I didn't want him to be a complete putz so I had him apologise to Lois - and Clark's right. The general must have got something right for Lois to turn out the way she did.
Hee, I got this idea for a new segue in the plot from watching Iron Man 2. And that's where Julia's law degree comes in handy. But sorry, you'll have to wait a wee while.
eternal_moonie
Jun. 13th, 2010 03:45 pm (UTC)
Very nice chapter honey!!
phoenixnz
Jun. 13th, 2010 05:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks hon, glad you like it.
jlvsclrk
Jun. 17th, 2010 11:12 pm (UTC)
Great chapter! I enjoyed seeing Bruce encourage Julia to find some place for herself in the world, and agree that Clark is going to need a good lawyer's help in the years to come.

And on the Clois front, that was so sweet! September 25th - the date that she came back from the future in Saviour - that's just perfect for their wedding. And I was surprised by how supportive Sam was but it's nice to change up his image. I was moved by his apology, and Clark's statement in response. Lovely.
phoenixnz
Jun. 18th, 2010 03:27 am (UTC)
Julia needed that kind of encouragement and she needed direction in her life. I also had an idea for a little segue from the plot and Julia plays a central part in that.

The September 25th thing just came to me and I realised it was a special day for them.

I know Sam Lane is a bit of a putz in the comics, and he doesn't like Superman, but I wanted him to at least try and make up for being a bad father. Good thing he doesn't know Clark is Superman though.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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