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The Return of Lex Luthor 88/?

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 

It all started here 

Go back a step


 

Chapter Eighty-Eight

Julia was lounging on the sofa in the penthouse, her feet up on the ottoman. Lex grinned at the way she was relaxing as he came back in.

“Your juice, madam,” he said, handing her the glass of juice. She grinned back up at him.

“Thanks Lex. I tell you, I can’t wait until the sprog’s born. I swear I can barely see my feet. Are my ankles swollen? It feels like they’re swollen.”

“They’re normal,” Lex told her, glancing appreciatively at her ankles. She still took her morning run, although it was becoming more a quick waddle than a run. She was almost eight months’ pregnant and blooming. “And sprog?”

“Sorry,” she said sheepishly. “I forget sometimes that we weren’t born in the same country.”

“I guess it’s one of those expressions you Kiwis like to use from time to time.”

“Ex-Kiwi,” Julia pointed out. “Since I’m now officially an American citizen.”

“Thanks to Bruce,” Lex muttered. The subject of Bruce was still a sore point between them. Julia hadn’t spoken to Bruce in two months, despite the truce he’d declared with the other man. He knew Bruce was making efforts to woo Julia back to him, but Julia had been hurt too much and it was a battle.

“So, how’s Lena doing?”

“She’s better. I think she’s finally begun to adjust to having me around.”

“And how have you been with it?”

“Being a parent isn’t as easy as I thought,” he admitted.

Julia sipped her juice and looked pointedly at him. “You’re just now figuring that out? My god, where have you been?”

“Well, since I’ve only ever had two examples of parenting – one good and one bad, I didn’t have much to go on.”

“Okay, bad parenting equals Lionel, but the good?”

“Martha and Jonathan.”

“They’re hardly great examples, Lex. They did their best with Clark, but you have to remember that they were raising an alien child. Which is a huge challenge in itself. And they made mistakes.”

“Yes, but they loved Clark, and Clark loved them. Which is another reason why I agreed Connor should go and live with Martha. She has more experience at this.”

“But Martha isn’t as young as she was when Clark was little.”

“No, but she’ll be firm with him. And Connor needs that.”

Julia looked thoughtful. “I’m still not happy about the situation, but I realise now Clark had a point. He couldn’t just let the boy die, not if there was something he could do to help.”

Connor had recovered fairly quickly from the illness which had nearly killed him, thanks to Emil Hamilton’s efforts. But he still had difficulty adjusting to life outside the lab, and they were forced to take it one step at a time. Martha was still in Washington and would be for another month. But Clark was spending as much time as possible with the boy, taking him out, showing him what he’d missed out on.

Lex sighed. He had come very close to losing his friendship with Julia over the Connor situation and he knew he’d acted wrongly, but she had accepted that he had been a different person then.

In the last few months since the battle against Darkseid, Lex had been helping the Justice League a lot more. His scientists had worked to find out more about the Zoners and Clark had managed to find a couple of them. From what they had managed to learn, at least two more were still out there, and his people were tracking them down. Along with the League.

Lex did wonder sometimes how things had slowly started to turn around for him. It wasn’t just his feelings for Julia. It was almost as if he’d begun to have a new purpose in life. Becoming a parent had been a big part of that. He wanted his daughter to be proud to be a Luthor. And he was determined to give her all the love he’d missed out on growing up.

Speaking of whom, he thought as footsteps were heard in the corridor. He really should think about buying a house somewhere. Or perhaps moving with Lena to Smallville. The country air might do her good.

His daughter came running in, launching herself at him.

“Dad!”

“Hey beetlebug,” he said. He’d taken to calling her that just to be funny. And it was a sign of affection that he’d never had. Even his mother had never given him any kind of a nickname.

“Daddy!” she groaned as he ruffled her red hair. She looked around at Julia, who smiled at her.

“Hey Lena.”

Lena let herself down from her father’s arms and jumped up on the sofa, ignoring the warning from her father. Her small hand lay on Julia’s stomach.

“Damian’s kicking,” she said. “He wants to play.”

Julia watched with a grin as her skin bulged slightly under the little girl’s hand. It was as if the baby inside her was indeed seeking out a playmate.

“He’s too little to play,” Julia laughed.

Lena grinned at her. Julia hugged the little girl to her and jabbed her lightly in the ribs until Lena giggled.

It hadn’t been easy for them the first two months. Lena had seen her as some kind of interloper, claiming her father’s affection. It had taken a little while before both Julia and Lex had been able to convince the little girl that she wasn’t going to lose her father, just when she’d found him, and that Julia wasn’t monopolising his time.

Julia had slowly brought the little girl round, taking her shopping and spending ‘girly’ time with her, generally doing things that Lex wouldn’t or couldn’t do. And Lena had eventually opened up to her, telling her stories about her mother and sharing secrets that she would never tell her father.

“So, how come you’re here?” Lena asked.

“Oh, your Dad just needed some paperwork,” she said.

They hadn’t told Lena about their previous relationship, not wanting to confuse the little girl, who seemed content with the friendship. They also hadn’t told her about the work with the Justice League.

Lex watched as Julia frowned, digging around in her pocket, moving with difficulty as she searched for the mystery item. He realised what it was when she brought out the communicator.

“Yes?” she asked. He watched as her expression changed from one of interest to concern. “What? Dick, slow down. How?”

Lex glanced at his daughter, who was listening in to the conversation with interest. But he judged from Julia’s pale face that this was not something his daughter should hear.

“Beetle, why don’t you go do your homework, okay?”

“But Daddy ...”

“Honey, please.”

“Okay,” she sighed, pouting a little. She got off the sofa and grabbed her schoolbag from where she’d dumped it on the floor and went to her bedroom.

Julia looked shocked as she switched off the communicator.

“What is it?” Lex asked.

“There’s ... there’s been, uh, an accident. Bruce ... and oh, god, Alfred.” Her hands were trembling. “Alfred’s dead. I – I have to go.”

She struggled to get to her feet, but the sofa was too low and the baby bump was not helping. Lex put his hands out and she grasped them, letting him help her to her feet.

“Go where?” he asked.

“Gotham. Dick’s in a state. I don’t have to be an empath to know how he’s feeling. I need to go take care of him ... them.”

She looked around for her bag, still shaking.

“Sweetie, you’re in shock. I don’t think ...”

“Lex, please don’t. Okay?”

“I’m not trying to stop you from going to Gotham, Jules. But think about this. You’re nearly eight months pregnant. Do you really think you should be flying in this state?”

“I don’t have a choice, Lex. They need me.”

“Okay. But use my driver,” he said, picking up the phone. “He’ll take you to the airport. You can use the Luthorcorp jet. I’d go with you, but ...”

Julia turned and smiled at him. “You have Lena to think about.”

He nodded and spoke into the phone. “Have my jet ready for takeoff in thirty minutes.” He paused, listening. “Gotham. Julia will meet you at the hangar.” Another pause. “No, it’s just her. This is an emergency. And make sure you take good care of her. She’s eight months pregnant.”

He hung up the phone and took her hand. “Go. Bob will meet you downstairs. Do you want me to call Clark?”

Julia nodded. She leaned forward and kissed him on the cheek.

“Thank you Lex.”

“Just go take care of things. And be careful. I don’t want anything happening to you.”

***

Clark was just changing his daughter’s diaper when the phone rang.

“I’ll get it,” Lois yelled from the kitchen. She was attempting to cook dinner. Connor was going to spend the night with them and she wanted the boy to eat well.

Clark smiled fondly down at his daughter. She had grown so much in three months and had already started developing her own little personality. She was making little gurgles, wriggling her little body as he put powder on her backside, trying to wriggle away from him.

“Where are you going?” he asked in a soft voice, his tone teasing.

Mara blew a little raspberry and he chuckled.

“You’re as naughty as your Mom,” he said, grabbing her before she could wriggle out of reach and started putting the diaper on her.

He looked up at the sound of Lois’ footsteps with a smile, ready to tease her about their daughter. But the smile dropped when he saw her expression.

“That was Lex,” she said. “There’s been some kind of accident in Gotham. Bruce ... and Alfred. I don’t know much more except that Alfred’s dead. Julia was at Lex’s, dropping off some Justice League stuff when Dick called her. Lex told her to borrow the jet.”

Clark picked his daughter up and stared at his wife. “I wonder what happened.”

“Maybe we should go to Gotham and find out,” Lois said.

“We can’t. Connor’s coming over, remember? He’s having a hard enough time as it is. I don’t to break this if I can help it.”

“Yeah, you’re right. What about Ollie?”

“Star City.” Oliver and Dinah had moved there a few months ago.

“Damn! Who else can we send?”

“J’onn’s busy tracking down the Zoners. So is Kara. Diana’s on Themyscira.” Everyone in the League, it seemed, were busy doing League duties. Clark looked at his wife. “Look, we’ll just have to play it by ear. And Julia’s strong.”

“But she’s also eight months’ pregnant,” Lois pointed out. “She shouldn’t even be thinking of flying at this stage, let alone getting involved in anything stressful.”

“All we can do is wait, honey.”

***

Julia had tried not to panic. But all she could think about on the flight to Gotham was what had happened. Dick hadn’t gone into details but she knew Bruce’s condition was serious. She had told Lex it was an accident. What she hadn’t told him was that both Bruce and Alfred had been shot.

She continued to fidget in the plane, ignoring all the staff’s attempts to calm her. They knew only that it was an emergency, but nothing more than that.

Julia had called Dick from the plane as soon as the pilot announced they were circling Gotham airport. He’d promised to send a car for her, although she had no idea who would pick her up, since Alfred was the only ‘servant’ Bruce had had.

She was surprised to find it was Commissioner Gordon who personally came to pick her up when she emerged from the plane.

“Commissioner?”

“Mrs Luthor.”

“It’s back to Walker now,” she told him. “Lex and I have been divorced for fifteen months now. And it’s Julia.

“I apologise, Julia. I’m sorry to say that we are meeting again in such circumstances.”

“Can you tell me what happened?” she asked as they got into the car and he drove to the hospital.

“All I know is, one of Batman’s enemies is behind it. We are still trying to determine which one. Mr Wayne was on his way to a meeting at Wayne Enterprises when he was shot in the back. Mr Pennyworth got out of the car to try to help him and he was shot trying to protect Bruce.”

“My god,” she gasped. “How is Bruce?”

“We don’t know yet. He’s still in surgery.”

Julia shifted uncomfortably in the seat. Lex’s warnings about flying came back to her. She had been feeling slight twinges of pain, but hoped they were nothing but cramps, or false labour.

“Are you all right?” Jim Gordon asked.

“Not really. This is a huge shock. Bruce and I hadn’t been close for a while, but ...”

“You still have feelings for him,” Jim nodded.

Julia felt an odd twinge and realised it was coming from him. His wife had walked out on him, taking the children, saying he was too wrapped up in his work.

“I heard about your divorce,” she said quietly. “I’m sorry.”

“Price of being dedicated to the job I suppose,” he answered, just as quietly. He drove into the hospital parking lot. “Here we are.”

“Thank you, Commissioner,” she said, as she got out of the car to follow him inside the hospital.

“Bruce is a respected citizen and I am absolutely appalled at what has happened. And it’s Jim,” he said with a weak smile.

Julia nodded. “Thank you, Jim.”

He led the way along the corridor to the waiting room where Dick was waiting. Dick looked as if he had been crying. His face was blotchy and tear-streaked. Julia immediately hugged the seventeen year old.

“Dick ...”

“Jules, I ...”

“Shush,” she said, her arms still around him. “The commissioner told me.”

“But Alfred ...”

“I know, honey. I know. We all loved Alfred.”

As she continued to hold the distraught young man, one of Gordon’s officers came in, whispering in the police commissioner’s ear. Gordon looked startled.

“What is it?” Julia asked. Dick lifted his head and gazed at the two older men.

“There appears to be a rumour flying around in the criminal fraternity. The Joker is claiming responsibility for this. And he’s saying that he has killed Batman!”

Julia and Dick looked at each other, then Julia looked back at the commissioner.

“Are you saying that the Joker is suggesting that Bruce, or Alfred, is the Batman? That’s ridiculous.”

“You know Batman’s true identity?” Gordon asked. “After all, you are his attorney.”

“No, I represent the Justice League. It doesn’t mean I know their true identities,” she lied. “But I will tell you this. Bruce Wayne is no more Batman than Dick here.”

Gordon nodded. “Forgive me. I had no idea the League guarded their identities so closely. Even from their associates.”

“It’s for their own security,” Julia told him.

Gordon made his excuses and left, going off to chase up on the lead. Julia turned to Dick.

“Hon, I know you’re not in a good frame of mind right now, but we need to do damage control. If word gets out about the Joker’s theory, then Bruce could be in considerably more danger. We need Batman more than ever.”

“I don’t know if I can ...”

“Dick, there’s no one else. I can’t ask Clark to do it. For one thing he’s taller than Bruce. And a little heavier. He’d never fit the armour.”

“Bruce would never forgive me if I ...”

“Dick, think about this. If Bruce makes it through the surgery, he’s going to be vulnerable. And if the criminals like Penguin and the Riddler, and oh my god, could their names be any lamer – if they thought for one second that Bruce is Batman, they’ll be all over this place like a bad rash. I know it’s a bad time, but we don’t have any other choice right now.”

“You’re right,” Dick said softly. “As soon as I know Bruce is out of surgery, I’ll hit the streets.”

They sat, waiting, for the next two hours. Julia began to field calls from the rest of the Justice League, but couldn’t say much.

She was shocked to see Vicki Vale come in after an hour.

“How is he?” Vicki asked.

Julia studied the woman. It was hard for her to believe that this was actually Chloe Sullivan. She looked so different from the photographs she had seen, but then again, Vicki had had extensive cosmetic surgery.

“We don’t know yet. He’s still in surgery.”

“The press is having a field day,” Vicki sighed. “There’s about a hundred of them outside the hospital.”

Gordon chose that moment to return. “The rumour isn’t a rumour anymore,” he said. “The Joker left a calling card. He’s claiming full credit for the shooting.” He glanced at Vicki. “Who are you?”

“Vicki Vale,” she said.

“The journalist?”

“I’m not here in that capacity,” Vicki said. “Bruce is a close friend. I’m just here to offer moral support.”

“Oh. I see.”

A man dressed in surgical gear came in. They all turned to look at him.

“I’m Doctor Reynolds. You’re all friends of Mr Wayne?” He looked pointedly at Julia, frowning at her distended belly.

“I’m his ex-partner,” she told him simply. “And Dick is his ward. That’s about as close to family as we’re going to get. How is he?”

“He’s in recovery, but he’s still critical. We were able to remove the bullet lodged in his spine, but it’s too soon to tell just how much damage has been done. It luckily didn’t sever the spinal cord, but at this stage that doesn’t matter very much.” He frowned again at Julia. “Ma’am are you ...”

Julia felt something trickle down her leg. She looked down, seeing what looked like water pooling at her feet. Water tinged with crimson.

“Oh, shit!”


Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
eternal_moonie
Nov. 26th, 2010 11:19 pm (UTC)
Love this 88th(!) Chapter honey!

Nice to know what Kara is up to.

OH NOES! JULIA!!! *fingernailbitingicon* What's going to happen next?!
phoenixnz
Nov. 26th, 2010 11:21 pm (UTC)
I think we both know what's about to happen next, LOL
ctbn60
Nov. 27th, 2010 01:07 am (UTC)
*blink*

You killed alfred. :( *sniffle*

A bullet to the spine is NOT good. I'm worried what you are going to do about that. Sooo little D is on the way. Cool. :) great chapter honey. 88 wow. and you are still going strong!!!
phoenixnz
Nov. 27th, 2010 01:21 am (UTC)
I know, it's hard to believe I've written that many chapters. I can't even remember when I started writing this but it feels like a long, long time ago.
Sorry, Alfred had to go for the rest of the story to take the direction I need it to go in.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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