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The Return of Lex Luthor 71/?

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?

a/n: Banner by the lovely and extremely talented [info]ctbn60 

a/n: An introspective Lex in this chapter. Is there hope for redemption?

It all started here 

Go back a step


 

Chapter Seventy-One

Lex knew the moment she walked in to the New Year’s Eve party at the Metropolis hotel ballroom. Julia was confident, sure, head held high. And as Lex watched, every man’s eyes turned to look at this incredibly beautiful woman. She was wearing a strapless midnight blue number that hugged her curves and showed her body to perfection. He continued to watch as she smiled at a waiter and took a glass of champagne, then proceeded to circulate the room. And every man she spoke to looked as if he had died and gone to heaven at the privilege of being noticed by this gorgeous woman.

She had learned. She had taken whatever Bruce had taught her and made herself into something that every man desired. Beautiful, intelligent, funny. Even her laugh was infectious.

God, what had he done? He had taken the caterpillar but lost the butterfly. She had blossomed under Bruce’s tutelage and Bruce had reaped the benefits. Lex observed the way Bruce swept into the room, placing a hand on her back. She smiled up at him and it seemed like they shared a secret, an intimacy that Lex had never had with her.

He downed his champagne like liquid courage and began to make his way through the crowd of admirers. Julia was like a queen with her court, keeping the men enthralled.

“And then he said, ‘we don’t serve rope here. You’re a rope aren’t you?’ So the rope looks at him and says I’m a frayed knot’.”

The group laughed and Julia was laughing with them, her laugh tinkling, adding a sparkle to her sapphire eyes.

“What’s the joke?” Lex asked, feeling like an outcast in a schoolyard trying to get a date from the prettiest girl in school.

Julia turned and smiled at him, but the smile didn’t quite reach her eyes.

“Lex, I thought I saw you here.”

He was hard to miss. He knew then it was a deliberate snub on her part. He deserved that. Bruce bent and whispered something in her ear and she turned and kissed him on the cheek before he turned away.

“Lex,” he said as he walked away.

The silence was awkward. For once in his life, Lex was at a loss what to say to her. And Julia’s demeanour was cool as she looked at him expectantly.

“You look ... great,” he said.

“Thank you,” she said graciously and he realised she had learned to take compliments well. Another of her admirers called for her attention and she muttered an ‘excuse me’ and walked away, leaving him silently cursing.

It was torture. Having to watch the woman he’d lost. But it was his own fault. He knew that. He’d remembered a song from back in the eighties. Sting, he thought.

If you love someone, set them free

He’d set her free, hoping she would come back to him. But she’d moved on. To Bruce. Even if things weren’t as rosy as he believed between them. His spies in Wayne Enterprises had suggested that while Julia and Bruce still had a passionate relationship, they argued more often than not. He knew why. Bruce had trouble with commitment. And Julia deserved better than that. Even if it wasn’t him.

As he continued to observe her quietly, he saw her break out into a huge grin and she strode across the room to put her arms around Clark Kent. Clark and Lois were here. He hadn’t heard anything since that disaster of a senate committee. Julia had been responsible for that. She had won them over with a well-reasoned argument which Lex couldn’t fault.

Yes, he’d been mad for a little while over her email. But then he’d laughed at the sheer audacity. She’d made it fairly clear she knew what he was up to. She knew him so well.

“Lost your touch Lex?” Bruce’s voice in his ear made him jump. The man had a way of sneaking up on people which was disconcerting.

“I’ll thank you to stay out of my business,” Lex snapped.

“She isn’t yours anymore. You lost her.”

“She’s not yours either,” Lex retorted, knowing from Bruce’s expression that it was somehow true. Then Bruce quickly covered up.

“Ah, but I know better than to try to keep her in a gilded cage. Look at her. Look at how she glows. Have you ever seen anything more beautiful?”

Lex shook his head. No. He was dizzy with want. He had never felt this way before. Never felt this urgent need creeping up his spine, never felt arousal so intense it was almost painful. Not with her before. Not even with Lana, the woman he’d thought he’d loved above all others.

Someone had invited Julia to dance and he was forced to watch in open-mouthed admiration as she danced with grace and with passion. The dance was a waltz but she put something extra into it so that every man there wanted to fill her dance card.

He wanted her to dance with him. Even if he couldn’t have her, he could at least have this. As the band struck up another number, Lex made his decision.

Diamond life, lover boy.
We move in space with minimum waste and maximum joy.
City lights and business nights.
When you require streetcar desire for higher heights.


He put his hands on her waist and pulled her away from her latest admirer, knowing she couldn’t very well refuse him. Julia had always been brought up to be courteous, and she still had that within her. Despite the fact that she was more assertive these days.

The dance was a mix of a tango with jazz. Julia played the part of the spurned lover while Lex was the lover trying to win her back. She danced around him, away from him and he caught her hand, refusing to let her go.

No place for beginners or sensitive hearts
When sentiment is left to chance.
No place to be ending but somewhere to start.


He pulled her into him in a spin that would have had her dizzy. He could feel the heat between them as she slid her body down his, then he pulled her up against him before spinning in time to the music.

No need to ask.
He's a smooth operator,
smooth operator,
smooth operator,
smooth operator.

After the song was over, Julia tried to pull away, but he looked pleadingly at her. With a sigh of resignation, Julia accompanied him to the small lounge off the hotel ballroom.

“Why?”

“It was the only way I could get you to talk to me,” he said. “You’ve been snubbing me all night.” She opened her mouth to say something and he lifted his hand. “I know. I deserved that. I wanted to say that I’m sorry. For everything that happened.”

“Lex, you manipulated me and you used me. How am I supposed to feel about that?”

“You’re right. I am sorry.”

“It’s not me you should be apologising to. You’ve done some pretty devious things in your time, but what you pulled with Amanda Waller ... quite frankly, I’m disgusted that you would try to pull something like that.”

“I have to admit I admire what you did. You’re certainly formidable,” he said with a smile.

“I’ve learned that to take on a Luthor you have to be tough,” she said with an answering smile.

He loved that. Hell, he loved everything about her. She had taken the worst of what had happened and used it to better herself. She was so much stronger than him. If only, he thought, I had been that strong.

Julia was wincing.

“Are you all right?”

“Just a headache,” she said, shaking it off. “It sometimes happens when I’m reading strong emotions.”

“I’m sorry,” he said, knowing it was his fault. Not just the fact that she was an empath, but that his emotions about her were that strong.

One of the hosts was making an announcement and Julia canted her head to listen.

“It’s almost midnight,” she said. “I should go and find Bruce.”

“How are things with you and Bruce?”

Julia sighed. Lex knew his spies were right. Things were breaking down between the two of them.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “I know you love him.”

Julia grimaced. “Sometimes love isn’t enough,” she said. “I should go.”

He didn’t to let her go. As she stood to leave, he grasped her wrist gently.

“For what it’s worth, I still love you,” he said.

“I know you do,” she said softly, her eyes kinder than they had been all night. “But it’s like I said, Lex, love isn’t enough.”

He let her go, watching sadly as she walked away into the ballroom to find Bruce for the countdown to New Year’s. Leaving him alone once again.

”... thing about depression. You get your rest.”

How did he become this pathetic? Lex thought as he sipped from a tumbler of scotch, watching When Harry Met Sally on the big screen television in his penthouse apartment. The movie had been Julia’s. One of the many things she had left behind in her flight from his life.

He glanced at the clock on the mantelpiece over the fake fireplace. Three am. He’d returned from the New Year’s party only for insomnia to strike. He didn’t sleep much these days. He’d slept better with her beside him.

Was he depressed? He supposed he was. He was certainly a lot more introspective these days. Losing the fight against Superman had made him start thinking where he was going wrong. And it was no good blaming others for it. He was beginning to think it was him. That he was wrong. Not everyone else. And maybe that was Julia’s influence as well.

With a sigh, Lex turned off the movie and got up, going to look out the bay window at the city below. He used to think of himself as ruler of all he surveyed. ‘I’m the King of the World’. He remembered when he was seventeen, taking some girl he’d long forgotten to the movies to see Titanic. He’d felt like DiCaprio in that moment, standing on the bow, with Kate Winslet in his arms. Of course, his girlfriend of that moment had loved the movie. She’d cried. But the sex that night had been amazing.

He’d come home one night, when Julia was still here, to find her crying over the same movie.

“Well, it’s sad, but it’s romantic,” she’d said when he’d asked her why. “I mean, in her heart, he never left her. He never died.”

“They’re just kids, though. What would they know about love?”

“It’s the early twentieth century, Lex. People that age tended to think differently.”

He put his arm around her, hugging her and she felt so warm in his embrace.

“Do you think if we’d met when we were that age that we’d be here now?”

She shrugged. “I don’t know. I mean, maybe things would have turned out differently. You might not have noticed me.”

Of course he would have noticed her. Wouldn’t he?

Thinking back, Lex wondered if she was right. He’d been too selfish, too arrogant, too blind to the world around him. Too full of bitterness for the father who ignored him. It was another lifetime ago.

Meeting Clark had changed everything. He knew he should have died in that river. If Clark had been anyone but who he was, Lex knew he would have died. Was he wrong about Clark? He just didn’t know anymore.

Before he could change his mind, Lex dialled a number. One he’d memorised. A sleepy voice answered.

“’lo?”

“It’s me.”

“Lex, it’s three o’clock in the morning.”

“I know,” he apologised. “It’s just ... I couldn’t sleep.”

It sounded as if Julia was getting up out of bed and putting on a robe. He heard her say something to Bruce and then walk out of the bedroom.

“Lex, why are you calling me?”

“I just ... I wanted to talk.”

“We already talked,” she said.

“I’m sorry. I know it’s late ... or early, or whatever. I just ... why did you leave me?” he blurted.

“You know why,” she told him.

“Tell me.”

“Because I found out who you were. Who you really were.”

“I could change,” he suggested.

“It wouldn’t be enough. Lex, you committed murder and you’ve done some horrible things to people. All the experiments on the meteor infected. What you did to me. If I’d stayed it would be like I was condoning all those things. And I can’t do that in all good conscience. And there’s Bruce. I love him, Lex. I’m in love with him.”

So he really had lost her, for good.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “For everything I did to you. I had no right ...”

“No, you didn’t. But at least you’re taking responsibility for it now. Lex, why are you being so maudlin? Where is this coming from?”

“I don’t know,” he said honestly. Probably the first time he’d really been honest with anyone, including himself. “I just ... feel different about things. About you, me, even Clark.”

“Lex, maybe you need to see someone. A professional.”

A shrink? Oh hell no, he was not going there. Not after what had happened with Claire Foster. Not after he’d gone through horrific electro-shock therapy. And he still didn’t remember what had led up to those five weeks, even though Clark had eventually told him everything. Or almost everything. He sensed there was still more to the story.

“That was your father’s doing,” Julia reminded him, and he was startled to realise he’d voiced those thoughts aloud. “Lex, your father was a blind, arrogant fool and an evil man. In every sense of the word. I’m not saying what you did to him was right, but after all the years of abuse I can say that I understand why you hated him enough to do it.”

Of course she could understand him. Maybe their experiences were different in terms of how their fathers had treated them, but it was still abuse.

“Lex,” Julia continued, “I really do think it would help if you saw someone. A counsellor. It doesn’t have to be a registered psychiatrist. I know someone who could help. Lois actually told me about her. Will you at least think about it?”

He would. For her. Julia told him to get some sleep and she would call him from Gotham in a few days to see how he was doing. That was one of the things he loved about her. No matter how much bad blood there was between them, she still cared enough to help him.

He tried to sleep, but it still eluded him. He found himself turning on the radio in the bedroom, listening in to an easy-listening station. For a while he lay there, listening to old songs. But he finally fell asleep with the melancholy words of one song in the background.

I can think of younger days, when living for my life
Was everything a man could want to do
I could never see tomorrow
No one said a word about the sorrow
And how can you mend a broken heart
How can you stop the rain from falling down
How can you stop the sun from shining
What makes the world go round
And how can you mend this broken man
How can a loser ever win
Please help me mend my broken heart
And let me live again



Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
eternal_moonie
Aug. 13th, 2010 10:35 pm (UTC)
Really love how you wrapped a songfic into the current storyline honey.

I myself have been thinking about writing not one but two songfics. One is from Rihanna and the other is from Ne-Yo... but if I will finish them before I go on vacation to France for two weeks? Who knows.

All in all, another AWESOME new chapter honey!!!
phoenixnz
Aug. 13th, 2010 10:50 pm (UTC)
The song just spoke to me about Lex's feelings. You can tell he's never really been in love before and he doesn't know what to do about it. Maybe there's hope for him.

Go for it, hon. Don't forget to post them in the comm when you've finished.
ctbn60
Aug. 14th, 2010 12:21 am (UTC)
Poor Lex!! You know you could always write an oc named Carol who takes care of Lex in his dark time...ROF

Actually I loved this chapter because of the relationship that you have here. You don't have them at odds. they are both acting like responsible adults and it's wonderful.

Loving it honey!
phoenixnz
Aug. 14th, 2010 12:59 am (UTC)
I didn't want Lex to be a total monster and Julia still cares about him. She can't hate him. It's just not in her nature.
I posted Apocalypse yesterday too. Jane has some fun with Jor-E.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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