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The Return of Lex Luthor 73 (Part One)

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: This chapter kind of got away from me, so I'm posting it in two parts.

It all started here 

Go back a step

Chapter Seventy-Three (Part One)


Lex looked up at the globe above him. It had been a long time since he’d been into the Daily Planet. Bruce had bought it from under him, but he had been too preoccupied to stop it. It didn’t matter now, but as he stepped through the doors of the lobby he felt like an intruder.

The guard at the desk glared at him.


“Clark Kent and Lois Lane?”

“Whaddya want ‘em for?” he said, glaring almost disdainfully at Lex.

Clearly the guy had never gone to college. He looked like one of those uneducated types who dropped out of school because they hated it and didn’t care for those with college degrees.

“It’s personal.”


“Lex Luthor. I’m an ... old friend.”

“Yeah, that’s what they all say.” But he picked up the phone and dialled a number. “Yeah. Some guy named Luthor here to see you.” The man looked up as he put the phone down. Lex wondered why all the security measures. This was obviously a new thing that Bruce had implemented.

Lex paced the lobby as the guard smirked at him. He didn’t have to wait long. Clark came out of the lift, looking at him, eyes wide in surprise behind the ugly horn-rimmed glasses.

“Clark, is there somewhere we can talk? Privately?”

Clark looked at him suspiciously. Lex held his hands up as if to say he wasn’t packing anything.

“Fine,” Clark said shortly. “My office will have to do.”

Lex followed him into the lift and noticed Clark pressed the button for the fourth floor. Lex shifted uncomfortably, not liking the vibe. He tried to start a conversation that would at least break the ice.

“You and Lois have an office on the fourth floor? That’s great.”

“Uh-huh. What do you want Lex?”

“Can this wait until we get to your office?” He sent Clark a meaningful look. Clark nodded in understanding.

As Lex tried to keep up with Clark’s longer strides down the corridor, he reflected briefly on the last time he and Clark had met. Which had been at Julia’s apartment. Both Clark and Lois had been there to give Julia a housewarming gift. He and Clark had ended up glaring daggers at each other, until Julia had stepped in.

Clark was waiting for him at the door of the office. He waved him inside impatiently, then closed the door. Lex looked at Lois, who was sitting at her desk, watching him warily.

“So?” Clark said, glaring at him from the door.

“Look, I know we’re not exactly friends anymore, but I didn’t know where else to go. It’s Julia. She’s in trouble.”

“Well, with you around, I’m not surprised,” Lois fairly snarled. Lex chose to ignore that. He sat down without being invited.

“I’m worried about her,” he said. “She asked me not to say anything to the two of you, but the fact is, I’m running out of options.”

“What’s going on, Lex?” Clark had stopped glaring and was now looking concerned.

“Look, you know Julia and I have been talking since New Year’s. Well, the truth is, I’ve been talking and Julia’s been listening. She’s a good listener. And no, I’m not the reason she and Bruce broke up. Whatever you might think,” he added with a pointed look at Lois. “I admit I wasn’t exactly thrilled to hear that she and Bruce were together, but I want her to be happy, and she was happy with Bruce. Until he refused to commit. But that’s neither here nor there.” He sighed. “A few weeks ago she came to me. She said I was probably the only one who could help. And the truth is, I’d noticed a few things.”

Clark was looking at him, even more curious now.

“She’s been getting a lot of headaches, and she’s since discovered that her empathic ability is growing. Instead of just being able to read one person’s emotions, she can now read a roomful of people. And it’s overwhelming.”

“What about Bruce? If her power’s growing, she’d be able to read him. Yet she said she couldn’t.”

“Maybe because she didn’t want you to worry. She admitted to me that she could read Bruce and it was that that broke them up, finally.”


“Because she knew he loved her but he would never admit it. She sensed that he saw it as a weakness.”

“He sounds a lot like Lionel,” Clark commented.

Lex nodded. “But Julia’s been reminding me that it’s the other way round. Love makes us stronger. It’s the thing that makes us human.”

“Julia’s a smart lady,” Clark nodded.

“What does this have to do with you?” Lois asked.

“Well, you know I’ve been studying the effects of the meteors.”

“I think obsessed would be the word,” Lois returned.

“Fine. Yes, obsessed then. But I probably know more about them through the various testing I’ve done than anyone else. Including you, Clark. I understand, of course, why you would be reluctant. But that’s irrelevant.”

“So that’s the project you two were working on?”

“She didn’t think you’d understand. She was hoping that if we couldn’t find a cure we’d at least be able to stop the power from growing.”

“But you can’t.”

“Julia doesn’t know that yet. She doesn’t know I’m here. Clark, I don’t know what else to do. We’ve tried every test we can think of. Experimental drugs. Nothing’s worked. This is my fault. I know that. But I’m afraid that if we can’t stop it, it won’t just get worse, Julia will become psychotic. Or worse still, it will kill her.”

“Why me?”

“Because I’m hoping you might have an answer. At your ... at the crystal fortress.”

“You think Jor-El might be able to offer a solution?”

Lex frowned at Clark. “Jor-El?”

“My birth father. Well, an artificial intelligence downloaded with his memories.”

“Oh. Yes, I think so.”

Clark and Lois looked at each other. Lois shrugged in mute resignation. She realised they would have to trust that Lex wasn’t being his usual manipulative self. And given Julia’s ability, she knew there was no way that Lex could fool his ex-wife. It did seem that he genuinely did care for her.

Lex’s phone rang and he picked it up, talking quickly. He glanced up at them, then looked back down. The conversation was brief. He looked back up at Clark.

“That was Mercy.”


“One of my new, uh, bodyguards. I asked her to go check on Julia at her apartment. She said Julia wouldn’t come to the door so she used the spare key. We need to go. Something’s happened.”

Clark nodded. “We’ll meet you there,” he said.

Twenty minutes later, Lex met Mercy at the apartment. Mercy was a blonde amazon. Looking almost like an incarnation of Xena, she was tall and powerfully built. She was glaring at Clark from the doorway of Julia’s apartment.

“Mercy, it’s fine. Clark’s a friend.” He didn’t say anything but sent Clark a look. Together they entered the apartment, Lois and Mercy following behind.

Lex hadn’t failed to notice that Lois was pregnant. She wasn’t showing much yet, but enough. He knew Clark would have mentioned it if he’d wanted Lex to know. And Lois had been sitting the entire time they’d been in the office.

“Jules?” Clark called.

Lex followed him into the darkness of the bedroom. He couldn’t see anything. The drapes were closed tight. But Clark obviously did see her. He crouched on the floor. Then Lex saw her. She was a mess. Pale, unkempt, shaking so badly that he could almost hear it.

“Sweetheart, it’s me, it’s Clark.”

She made a small noise like a mewl. “It hurts, Clark,” she whispered.

“I know. We’re going to fix this, I promise.”

“Lex ...”

“I’m here.”

“Don’t ...” she said. And Lex tried hard to bury the emotions down deep, but she felt his concern and fear for her anyway and she moaned.

Clark lifted her into his arms. “I’m going to take her to the fortress. Maybe you’re right. Maybe there is something Jor-El can do. We have to try,” he said softly.

“What can I do?” Lex said. “I don’t want her to go through this alone.”

Clark looked at his wife, then back at Lex. Julia was lolling in his arms, looking as if she was going to pass out, she was so pale.

“I’ll come back for you as soon as I get her settled. But only you, Lex.”

Lex nodded. He watched Clark fly away and looked at Lois. She was looking worried herself.

“She’s in good hands,” Lex said, with more confidence than he felt. But something told him that in this, at least, he could trust Clark. He just knew his old friend would never let anything happen to Julia if he could help it.

Clark was back within half an hour to pick up Lex. The older man felt a little strange being flown by the man who had become his enemy. But he couldn’t help cracking a joke.

“You know, people might start to talk if they saw us like this.”

“Will you keep your head down,” Clark commented.

“Sorry,” he said. “Couldn’t help myself.”

Landing gently at the fortress, Clark led Lex to the chamber where Julia was stretched out, appearing almost as if she was asleep.

“She fell unconscious as soon as I took off. She’s been unconscious since.” Clark looked up. “Jor-El, what’s the situation?”

Lex was startled to hear the deep voice from the bowels of the fortress.

“Her brain patterns are not like a human’s,” Jor-El commented. “Her cerebral activity has increased exponentially.”

“In layman’s terms, Jor-El.”

“I understand what he meant, Clark,” Lex said, still awed by the experience of listening to the cultured tones of a man he presumed to be long dead.

“Well, I didn’t,” Clark pointed out.

“He means that even though Julia’s unconscious, her brain activity is still beyond that of normal function. Can you help her?” he asked hesitantly.

“You are Lex Luth-or. Enemy of Kal-El.”

“Right now, uh, Jor-El, the only thing I am is Julia’s concerned friend. Well, ex-husband, to be exact.”

“You care for this human?”

“Julia is more than a human. She ... she’s everything.”

“I do not understand. Human emotion is something Kryptonians learned to suppress many centuries ago.”

“No wonder you destroyed yourselves,” Lex said in a low voice. He looked up as Clark’s hand tightened on his shoulder. He was startled to see agreement in Clark’s expression. He was beginning to understand what Julia meant about emotion being a strength, rather than a weakness. It was passion that drove people. Not cold, heartless facts. And he realised now that that was why Julia couldn’t love him. She was a passionate woman. But she never felt that with him.

The truth about his marriage finally dawned on him. He’d tried to keep her locked away in that gilded cage that Bruce had alluded to. And he was reminded of the song that Julia had quoted to him long ago. White Bird. By trying to protect her, he had suffocated her. Stifled her passion. The same way her father had done to her. Julia might have left because she learned the truth about him, but it had been coming on for months. She’d seen real love, real passion, in Clark and Lois, and he, Lex, had ignored the signs. If he’d been more open, more passionate, she might have loved him enough to stay.

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