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The Return of Lex Luthor 86/?

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-Six

“Clark, I promise I’ll get my people to work on those satellite images. How’s Lois and the baby?”

Julia stood in the doorway, listening, watching as Lex paced the room, the communicator visibile in his ear as he talked.

“That’s great, Clark. Take as much time as you need. I’ll get a report to you as soon as we have something.”

He looked up and smiled briefly at Julia, gesturing for her to come in. He quickly said goodbye and took off the communicator.

“Hi,” he said. “Just discussing the fallout from the Phantom Zone. Clark said there’s a possibility some zoners might have escaped.”

Julia nodded. “Yeah, we were talking about that the other night. Lex, I actually came here on a personal matter.”

He gestured to a chair, noticing she looked a little tired. She had about four months to go and it was obvious the pregnancy was wearing her out a little.

“What is it?” he asked.

She sighed. This was going to be a difficult conversation.

“Lex, you know I care about you right?”

He sat on the corner of the desk and smiled down at her. “Of course.”

“And you care about me.”

“You know how I feel.”

She nodded. “It’s just ... I’ve been noticing some things and ... Lex, you’ve ... god, how do I put this? I feel that you’ve been trying to manipulate me to get a rise out of Bruce. I mean, despite the fact that Bruce and I aren’t together anymore, you’re still trying to make him jealous and, yes, it’s working, but it’s ... it needs to stop Lex. I value your friendship, but I can’t ... I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but I can’t return your feelings for me. I’m sorry. I know it’s hard for you. You can’t help the way you feel. But it’s making Bruce crazy and now he’s saying all sorts of crap.”

“Like what?” Lex was immediately concerned.

“Like he wants to fight me for custody over the baby. You know how much I want this baby, Lex, and if he takes him away from me ...”

“I’m sorry,” Lex said, seeing her troubled expression. “I never meant to hurt you. To be honest, I was angry at Bruce for taking you away from me, but the truth is, if I had been a better man, you might have stayed, and I ... I suppose part of me just didn’t want to see that.”

“Do you understand? Please say you understand, Lex.”

“I do. I realise now I’ve put you in a difficult situation.”

Julia got up and hugged him. “Thank you. Your friendship really does mean a lot to me.”

She turned and walked out, then paused in the doorway and gave him such a huge smile that it broke his heart. He would never love anyone the way he loved her, but she was right. He had been trying to manipulate things, still under the illusion that if he changed enough, she might come back to him. He knew now for sure that would never happen.

Sitting back down at his desk, he stared into space for a while. Then he leaned forward and opened his laptop, tapping a few keys. It wasn’t long before an image appeared on the screen.

“You win,” he said. “But if you want her back, you’re going to have to work damn hard for it, because she’s not in a forgiving mood.”

“What changed your mind?” Bruce said.

“She did.” He glared at Bruce’s image. “But I swear to God, Bruce, if you hurt her again, I’ll kill you. And that’s not a threat. That’s a promise.”

Bruce’s dark eyes glared at him from the screen. But he said nothing for a while. Lex was tempted to ask him questions about the Batman, but it wasn’t a secure line and he didn’t want to risk it.

“Oh, by the by,” Bruce said. “I ran into an old friend of yours. Old girlfriend, actually. Victoria Hardwick.”

Lex frowned. Victoria? What was up with that?

“Where did you dig her up from?”

“She was at a fundraiser. For cancer.”

“I’m sure she was,” Lex snorted. “Victoria would never do anything for charity.”

“You misunderstand, Lex. The fundraiser was for cancer victims. She was one of them.”

Lex felt nauseous. He might have used Victoria for his own ends over ten years ago, but he would never have wished this on her.

“She looked like shit, Lex,” Bruce told him. “I did a little digging after I saw her. She’s dying. And there’s something else. She has a daughter. Lena. The girl’s about nine or ten, from what I’ve gathered.”

But that would mean ... could it be that Lex had a daughter? Or worse still, the girl was Lionel’s?

“Where is Victoria now?”

Bruce turned from the screen for a moment to work on another screen. He turned back after a few moments.

“She’s in Metropolis. She’s a patient at Metropolis Hope Foundation Hospice.”

Lex didn’t hesitate. He thanked Bruce for the information and informed his assistant he was going out and not to call him unless it was life or death.

Luthorcorp gave to a number of charities in the course of the year and the hospice was one of them. When he gave his name to the front desk, the nurse stared at him in surprise.

“Frankly, Mr Luthor, we expected you weeks ago.”

“I’m afraid I’ve had other things on my mind. Which room is she in?”

“Room 205,” the nurse said. “Wait here and I’ll call down to the room to see if she’s up to visitors.”

A few minutes later he was on his way down the corridor to Victoria’s room. She was laying in the bed, tubes in her arms. She looked skeletally thin and white as the sheet covering her. She turned her head slowly to look at him.

“Knew you’d come,” she said slowly. “As soon as I saw Bruce Wayne, I knew he’d tell you.”

“Victoria, I ...”

“I deserve it,” she said.

“No, you don’t,” he told her. “No one deserves this. If I’d known earlier I ...”

“There’s nothing you could have done, Lex. It would have taken a miracle and I knew it from the first diagnosis. Lex, there’s something you need to know.”

“Bruce told me about Lena.”

“Figures he would have me investigated,” Victoria said, appearing as she were struggling to breathe. “Lena’s your daughter, Lex. I’m sorry I kept her from you.”

“How can you ...”

Victoria looked at a framed photo on the side table. Lex walked over and picked it up. The girl was as Bruce had said. Aged about nine or ten, with red hair and freckles. She looked a lot like his mother.

“She’s beautiful,” Lex said.

“I want her to live with you,” Victoria said. “She’s your daughter. Your flesh and blood.”

“Where is she now?”

“Staying with ... with a friend.” Victoria squirmed in the bed, her expression one full of pain as she tried to get comfortable. And clearly the morphine was wearing off as she struggled to talk. “I didn’t .... want her ... to see me ... like this.”

She reached a bony hand to the side table, indicating the drawer. Lex opened it and took out a business card. Her attorney.

“He has everything?” Lex asked, trying to save her from talking. “All the paperwork.”

“Yes,” she whispered.

Lex didn’t know what compelled him to stay, but he sat by her bedside all that night, just talking to her, giving her comfort when she needed it. In the early hours of the morning, Victoria slipped away peacefully.

Lex called Julia the next day and asked for her legal expertise. When she came into his office and learned what he needed she frowned.

“Lex, I’m not a child custody lawyer.”

“No, but you know the law. I want to make sure it’s all above board.”

“Where’s the girl now?” Julia said.

“Victoria’s friend is bringing her.” He looked grieved. “How am I supposed to tell her her mother died last night?”

“She’s ten years old, Lex. I think she would have known her mother was dying.”

Lex’s intercom buzzed and his assistant announced a Sarah Crawford and Lena Hardwick.

“Send them in.”

Lex steeled himself as the doors opened and the little girl walked in. He could see she was clearly in pain. Obviously the hospice had already given the bad news. The girl looked him over.

“Are you my Dad?” she asked.

“I think so,” Lex said. “At least, that’s what your mother told me.”

“Oh. So I have to come live with you now?”

“If that’s what you want. Lena, I don’t want to make you do something you don’t want to do. If you want to stay with Sarah, or whomever ...”

Lena shrugged. Lex glanced at Julia with a frown. Julia shook her head.

“She’s still processing this,” Julia told him quietly. “Her mother just died. Give her time.”

Lena turned and looked at her. “Who are you?”

“I’m a friend of your Dad’s,” she said.

“Oh. So you don’t live with him?”

“No, Lena, I don’t.”

Lena shrugged again. Lex sighed. This was going to be a difficult period of adjustment. For both of them.

He discovered to his chagrin that truer words were never spoken a few days later. He’d been by Lena’s side at the funeral, when Victoria had been buried at the family crypt in London. Next to her father, who had died five years earlier.

Victoria’s attorney had anticipated every question Lex might ask, handing him papers which proved that Lena was indeed his daughter. But one look at the girl and he knew without a doubt whose daughter she was.

But Lena, in the space of a week, had gone from an indifferent child to a child who was grieving. Angry at her mother for leaving her and angry at Lex for being absent from her life for the past ten years. Lex tried to tell her that he would have been there if only her mother had told him, but Lena yelled and screamed at him.

“Don’t say such mean things about Mommy. She’s not here anymore.”

While that was true, he didn’t want to shatter the girl’s illusions that her mother wasn’t as perfect as Lena had painted her to be. From what he’d heard from Victoria’s ‘friend’, Sarah, Victoria hadn’t always been there for her daughter. The first two years of her daughter’s life, Victoria had continued to party like the heiress she was, even though Lionel and Lex together had practically bankrupted Sir Harry.

And the fact was, Lex felt sympathy for the little girl. She had lost everything and her world was shattered. The last thing he thought he should do was shatter that one last piece.

Julia tried to help, but since she had been reading baby books in her spare time, they weren’t exactly helpful when dealing with a ten year old who was grieving over the death of a parent. And while Julia had lost her own parent, she’d been considerably older than Lena and could deal with it better.

Lex had hired a nanny to take care of Lena during the day when she wasn’t at school. He’d been loath to take the girl out of the public school she’d been attending. At least, not until the end of the school year. But the nanny reported that Lena was refusing to do her homework, or even do the little chores he’d asked of her, like keeping her room neat.

He arrived home at the penthouse two weeks after Victoria’s death to find Lena in the bedroom tearing her room apart. She’d ripped open the feather pillows and the quilt and was having a tantrum of gargantuan proportions.

“Lena, what is this?”

“What does it look like?” she glared at him.

Lex went to pull her up but she squirmed away from him.

“I hate this place, and I hate you. I wish my Mom was here.”

Lex winced. He knew she was acting out of grief and hurt, but it still hurt that she hated him. She barely even knew him. He had no idea what to do. All the parenting books he’d read suggested she was going through a tough time right now. Everything in her world had changed and he was just the physical representation of all that change.

A flash of blue caught his eye and he stared as Superman landed on the terrace. He opened the sliding door.

“Superman. This is an unexpected visit.”

“I heard Lena screaming.”

Clark had been shocked at his old friend having fatherhood suddenly thrust upon him. He had, of course, expressed sympathy at Victoria’s passing, but his expression when Lex had told him clearly showed he hadn’t liked Victoria very much.

Lex stared at his old friend now, his face trying to convey his confusion. Clark nodded. Cape swirling around the ankles of his red laced boots, he strode through the living room of the penthouse and into the bedroom Lex had given his daughter.

“Superman!” Lena shrieked. She was clearly in awe. Lex fought a grin at the thought. Lena came running out and staring at her father in surprise and, yes, awe. “You know Superman?”

“Superman’s my friend,” Lex told her.

“Wow! Cool!”

Superman came out. “Lena, I couldn’t help hearing what you said to your Dad. You don’t really hate him, do you?”

Lena sighed and shrugged. “No, I guess not.”

“I know it hasn’t been easy for you, or your Dad. But you need to give him a break. He’s trying too.”

Lena looked at her father, biting her lip, her expression reminiscent of one Lex used to make at his mother when he was fighting against his own need to be a child and to ‘be a man’ as his father had wanted.

“I’m sorry,” she said, her blue eyes shimmering with tears. “I just miss Mom.”

Lex got on the floor beside her and pulled her gently into his arms. “I know you do,” he said soothingly. Lena flung her little arms around his neck and began to cry. “I tell you what. Why don’t we go shopping tomorrow, just the two of us, and we can get you a new comforter and anything else you want for your bedroom, okay?”

Lex had had the nanny buy the things for his daughter, but he realised that maybe that was not what Lena wanted.

Lena lifted her head and looked at him. “Really? I can pick what I want?”

“Anything,” he promised. “But you have to make sure your room is clean first. I’ll come and join you in a minute.

Lena skipped happily enough to her room. Lex stood up and looked at Superman.

“Thanks,” he said.

“Anytime,” Clark grinned.


Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
eternal_moonie
Nov. 5th, 2010 11:25 am (UTC)
OMG! Lena and Victoria! They made the chapter that much greater! So glad you're carrying on with this series honey!
phoenixnz
Nov. 5th, 2010 06:24 pm (UTC)
Would I forget my fans and not update my epic wonder? :) I'd always planned for Lex to become a father unexpectedly, and I thought Victoria would be perfect as the mother.
ctbn60
Nov. 5th, 2010 07:28 pm (UTC)
Wow that was unexpected. Im glad lex is a dad im glad Clark put aside his feelings to help. I don't like what happened between lex and Bruce. Lex telling him you win. Julia would not be happy ot find out she was a prize. Besides she does not belong with Bruce. Great chapter honey.
phoenixnz
Nov. 5th, 2010 08:22 pm (UTC)
I plan to have Julia and Bruce come to a detente, of sorts. But it will take a tragedy for them both to realise the truth. As for Lex, he's going to have a tough time with Lena but it will work out. Help will come from an unexpected quarter.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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