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The Return of Lex Luthor 91/?

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 Ninety-One

Clark dressed quickly. Lois had woken up, having heard Kara’s voice, and was making coffee in the kitchen, having grabbed his shirt and put it on. The two women were now talking quietly.

“Are you sure you can trust Zod?” Lois said. “He did have plans to take over the world.”

“Kal-El will understand once he sees Zod.” She turned and looked at her cousin as he came into the room. “We should go.”

Clark nodded. He kissed his wife goodbye and took off with Kara. She flew to the warehouse district of Metropolis. It was an area he recognised as where the Kandorians had been working out of.

“Why here?”

“I guess you could say I had a hunch,” Kara told him. “We tracked Zod’s movements when he got out of the Phantom Zone. He landed somewhere in the Antipodes and made his way back here. I think he’s been here about a week.”

“Wait. Why couldn’t he have just come back here when he landed?” Clark asked. “Why did it take him three months?”

“You’ll understand when you see him. But I must warn you, Kal-El. He is not the Zod you remember.”

“That Zod tried to kill me. I remember that. And he tried to kill Lois.”

“Things are different now. Trust me on that.”

Kara landed beside a derelict building and entered through the window.

“Zod? It’s me, Kara.”

Clark frowned. Why was she warning him? He heard movement in the shadows. Zod staggered out. He looked strange. Pale, shaking, perspiring heavily.

“You should not have returned, Kara Zor-El,” he wheezed.

“I brought someone.”

Zod turned fevered eyes toward Clark. “Kal-El,” he sneered, or tried to, but it came out as a cough. “I should have known.”

“What’s wrong with him?” Clark asked his cousin.

“I’m dying,” Zod said. “Enjoy gloating while you can.” He turned away, walking back into the shadows.

Clark frowned at Kara. “What does he mean, he’s dying?”

“It’s some kind of virus he contracted while in the Zone,” she said. “It’s deadly to Kryptonians.”

“Should we be here?”

“It’s airborne, I think.”

“Well, why didn’t you contract it when you were in the Zone? Or me, for that matter?”

“I think it has something to do with the amount of time in the Zone. I was only there for a few months whereas you were only there for a day.”

“I got sick once,” Clark remembered. It had been after Dark Thursday. But then, of course, he’d been made more vulnerable by the fact that he’d been burning the candle at both ends trying to fix things in the city.

“I think this is different. I think the virus needs time to, uh, I’m not sure what the Earth word is for it. Plus I think it was somehow restricted to a certain part of the Zone.”

“You said something about a son as well?”

Kara nodded. “Come on. I’ll show you.”

She led the way through to where Zod had disappeared. Zod was laying on the floor, on an old mattress. He looked as if he barely had the energy to sit up, let alone do anything else. Clark spared him a glance, but he was more interested in the old cabinet in the corner with an open drawer. It was draped with soft material.

There was a child sleeping in the drawer. He looked to be no more than eighteen months old. He was just as pale as Zod.

“The boy’s sick as well?” Clark asked.

Kara nodded.

“We need to help them Kara. We can’t just let Zod die, no matter what he’s done.”

“It’s too late to develop a conscience, Kal-El. It was you, after all, who sent me to the Phantom Zone.”

“I had no idea there was something like this there,” Clark said defensively.

Zod gave a kind of snort, but said nothing. Clark looked at his cousin.

“They can’t stay here,” he said. “We need to get them medical attention.”

Zod scoffed. “And what do you think your primitive doctors can do?” he spat.

“You’d be surprised,” Clark told him.

Leaving Kara to watch over them, he sped to Metropolis General. Emil was working a late shift that night and he was the only one who could help.

But Emil wasn’t thrilled by the prospect.

“Look, Oliver pays me to look after all you Leaguers, especially those with, uh, certain abilities, but I can’t just drop everything to be at your beck and call, Clark. I do have rounds.”

“Emil, there is no one else to help. Please!”

Emil sighed, giving in. “All right, fine. What am I expecting to see?”

“It’s Zod.”

The man raised an eyebrow behind his glasses. “Zod? That Kandorian megalomaniac who threatened to take over the world and enslave the human race? That Zod?”

“Yes, that Zod. He’s no threat now, trust me. He’s dying Emil. Kara says it’s some kind of virus that was in the Phantom Zone.”

“It’s a trick. It has to be.”

“I’ve seen him, Emil. It’s no trick.”

Emil was just as shocked as Clark was when he saw Zod. The Kandorian had lost a lot of weight in the three months since he’d been effectively ejected from the Phantom Zone. Since time had no meaning in the Zone itself, it had no bearing also on each of the inhabitants’ physical stature.

He brought in a team to take Zod to an isolated ward in Metropolis General. Zod protested, telling them to just let him die, but Clark was adamant. If there was something he could do to save his fellow Kryptonian, he would. Even if it meant Zod would have to spend the rest of his life in prison.

Lois and the rest of the Justice League were less than understanding when they learned what had happened.

“Clark, are you forgetting that this is the man who tried to kill me?”

“I’m not forgetting anything, Lois,” Clark told her. “But I can’t just let him die. Not if I can do something about it.”

“Kal-El is right,” Kara said.

“Of course, you would side with your cousin,” Oliver told her sharply. The blonde just glared at him.

Only one person wasn’t at the meeting. The one person who usually played peacemaker, or the voice of reason. But Julia was barely on her feet, and she had more than enough to worry about with both her ex-lover and her son not out of the woods yet.

Tess stepped in before the argument between Kara and Oliver could escalate.

“Oliver, we both know I have more reason to hate Zod than anyone. He did ‘kill me’ and if it hadn’t been for Granny Goodness, I wouldn’t be alive now to tell the tale. But Clark’s right. If we let Zod die without doing all we can to help him, then we might just as well be called his executioners. And are you going to let a child die too because of his father’s crimes?”

“I don’t understand,” Diana said. “Can you please explain this child’s existence?”

Kara nodded. “I can. When I found Zod and the child they were starving. I helped him find a place to rest. He told me that the child was his and another inmate’s of the Zone.”

“I thought you couldn’t age in the Zone?” Clark asked. “When I met Raya, she still looked as if she was in her twenties.”

“It is different for children,” J’onzz told him.

“Tell us more about this virus, Emil,” Kara said, looking at the doctor.

“You are correct, Kara. It is an airborne virus. Which is why we have Zod completely isolated. Its make-up is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. And here’s the kicker. Zod created it. Remember Doomsday? Davis Bloome? Apparently Zod – the one who was first banished to the Phantom Zone, created Doomsday as well, using genetic markers from about a hundred different species on Krypton. At least, that’s what I could glean from my research. I recognise the same method in this virus.”

“Hoist by his own petard?” Tess said.

“Precisely,” Emil nodded. “Now, from what I can gather, Zod – our Zod, was in the Phantom Zone long enough for the virus to enter his system and take hold. But it didn’t fully activate until he was out of the Zone and on Earth. Like any virus, it needed the right sort of environment to grow and replicate. If the Phantom Zone hadn’t been destroyed, Zod would have never known any different.”

“Of course,” Clark said. “The Phantom Zone is a barren wasteland. Nothing grows there.”

“So how do we stop the virus from killing him? I mean, he had powers before he was banished to the Zone,” Oliver said.

“But this virus weakens those cells which absorb the radiation from the sun, which gives Kryptonians their powers. Weakens them and slowly destroys them.” Emil sighed. “I’ve done everything I can for Zod, but I’m afraid ...”


“Zod is dying and there’s nothing we can do to stop it.”

“What about using my blood?” Clark asked. “It saved him once before.”

Emil shook his head. “The virus is unique in that it attacks those very cells first. Giving him your blood will only delay the inevitable. I’m sorry Clark. But there’s nothing we can do.”

“How long does he have?”

“Days. Less than a week.”

“What about the little boy?”

“Because he was born in the Phantom Zone, and his mother wasn’t Kryptonian, his body is fighting it. It’s building up an immunity.”

“Who was his mother?” Clark asked.

“Remember Maxima?” Emil grinned, having heard the story of the queen from Almerac who had come to Earth determined to take Clark as his mate.

“Don’t remind me,” Clark groaned. “What about her?”

“Well, one of her fellow, uh, Almeracians? was trapped in the Zone after committing crimes against her people. At least, that’s how Zod tells it. Her name was Ursa. She was killed shortly after the boy was born by one of the other phantoms.”

“Does the boy have a name?” Diana asked. “We cannot keep calling him ‘child’ or ‘the boy’.”

“Yes. His name is Lor-Zod,” Kara said. “Zod told me that much.”

“Yeah, that name’s going to go down well in the school playground,” Oliver smirked. “That’s if he lives that long.”

“Ollie,” Clark sighed, even knowing his friend might have a point. The boy might be fighting the virus, but given how strong it was, there was still a chance that the virus might win yet.

Two nights after the Justice League meeting, Emil called Clark to come to the hospital. As soon as Clark arrived, Emil led him to the private room where Zod was isolated. He shook his head at Clark’s inquiring look.

Zod stared at him, eyes glazed. He was perspiring heavily, his face gaunt, his eyes huge.

“Kal-El,” he whispered hoarsely. “I must ...”

Clark approached him. An oxygen tent surrounded Zod’s bedside, keeping him from spreading the virus.

“Save your strength,” Clark told him.

“There’s much I need to say,” Zod said slowly. “My brother.”

“We are not brothers,” Clark said, trying not to make it sound too harsh.

“We are still Kryptonians,” Zod said.

“Little has changed between us. You still chose to take the path of darkness.”

“I wanted to recreate Krypton. It was my home. Our home.”

“Earth is my home. I was raised here. If you had just given it a chance, you would have loved it as I do.”

Zod’s expression changed, almost as if he was trying to sneer, but failed. Instead it came out as a grimace.

“How can you love these humans?” he said.

“Jor-El once told me something about the people on Earth. That they are a great people. They wish to be. They only lack the light to show them the way.”

“Jor-El was always full of pompous ideals,” Zod chuckled, only for it to come out as a hacking cough.

“Easy,” Clark said softly.

“Kal-El, promise me that whatever happens you will take care of my son. Raise him. Show him the Earth that you know. Don’t let him become ... what I became.”

Clark couldn’t deny him. Zod might have become his enemy, but he couldn’t just turn away from an innocent child.

“Yes, Zod, I will.”

Zod’s gaze held steady. “Thank you, Kal-El.”

Clark wanted to reach out, touch the other man’s hand, but he wasn’t sure if he was safe from the virus. It didn’t matter. Satisfied that his son would be taken care of, Zod lay back. And it was as if the life slowly bled out of him as Clark watched. He listened, hearing the heartbeat slow and finally stop. And Zod was gone.

He buried Zod in the same place he had buried the clone of his father over three years earlier. Under a tree near the farm. The two former friends, turned bitter enemies, would be reunited.

It was several weeks before the boy known as Lor-Zod would be fully recovered from the virus. His origins, however, brought them a new set of problems when the boy experienced sudden growth spurts, going from an eighteen month old to a five year old in the space of a month.

Clark had no idea how to handle this new situation. Part of him felt guilty for having Connor go to live with Martha on the farm, while he had promised Zod he would raise the boy. He’d been fairly clear with Lois on his reasons for not having Connor live with them. Connor needed an adult around him. He’d been so used to the lab, and being a subject, rather than a child, he had never known the love of a parent. With both Clark and Lois working full-time, neither one of them could be around to devote that much time to Connor.

It was Kara who provided the solution. She volunteered to raise Lor-Zod, newly named Chris Kent.

“Are you sure, Kara?” Lois asked. “He could be a handful.”

“Especially with the growth spurts,” Clark told her.

“I’m sure Emil can help me with that,” she smiled. She had recently begun to develop a tentative friendship with the doctor. Neither one of them were ready to take it to the next level, but there was potential. “Besides, who better to handle a Kryptonian boy, or half-Kryptonian boy, than a Kryptonian?”

Lois grinned at her blonde in-law.

“Better you than me, Kara. I’ve got my hands full with Smallville.”

“Hey!” he protested, then ducked as she aimed a punch at him.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 7th, 2010 09:38 am (UTC)
Absolutely LOVE this new chapter! Poor Zod!

Yay for voluntering to raise Chris Kent!
Dec. 7th, 2010 04:18 pm (UTC)
Yep, Kara gets to be a Mom :)
Dec. 7th, 2010 05:05 pm (UTC)
I wonder where her husband is? Or doesn't this take place after the events of Unforgotten?
Dec. 7th, 2010 05:24 pm (UTC)
Sorry sweetie, this is a whole different 'verse from Unforgotten.
Dec. 7th, 2010 05:29 pm (UTC)
Ah, I see.
Dec. 7th, 2010 05:51 pm (UTC)
Aw nice chapter hon Chris Kent cool but what does lex think of Connor living with Martha?
Dec. 7th, 2010 05:59 pm (UTC)
You'll learn that in a later chapter. The next couple of chapters will focus on Bruce's predicament for a bit. Just about to post the next chapter now.
Dec. 7th, 2010 06:02 pm (UTC)
As long as I get more I'm happy. Lol. I wanted to let you know I have very limited access during the day now and will probably respond at night. ((((hugs)))))
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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