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The Return of Lex Luthor 94/95


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/n2: I know this might seem a bit sudden, but it just felt like the right chapter to end it on. But don't go away too soon. There is an epilogue, which is just meant to tie up a few loose ends.

It all started here 

Go back a step

 

Chapter Ninety-Four

As Lex drove down the gravel driveway toward the old yellow farmhouse, he had an odd sense of déjà vu. It wasn’t as if he hadn't driven down that driveway a hundred times before, but it was the first time in years he’d been down this way and been welcome.

He glanced at his daughter sitting quietly in the seat beside him. She’d just had her tenth birthday and, of course, he’d spoiled her. As was his entitlement. He was glad, in a way, that he’d been given this opportunity. And that he’d had lessons from the best parent anyone could wish for.

He pulled up in front of the house. A boy aged about ten or eleven came out. He had a huge smile on his face.

“Hi Lex,” he called out enthusiastically.

Lex got out, waving a hand in greeting. Lena got out the other side and ran up the steps to the porch. She smiled shyly at her brother.

“Hi Connor.”

Connor took her hand. “I can’t wait for you to see the cows and the chickens. And guess what? Dad got me a puppy. He says he looks just like Shelby did.” Connor looked sad for a moment. “Shelby got real sick and Gramma said they had to put him to sleep.”

Lex nodded as he joined the two children. “Shelby wasn’t well for a long time, Beetle. It was better for him.”

“So Shelby’s not going to wake up?”

“No, Beetle,” he said, crouching down to hug his daughter. “But it looks like Connor’s really wanting to show you the puppy. Why don’t you two go and have fun?”

“Okay Daddy,” she said, grinning. Connor whooped with joy and pulled Lena away, down the porch steps and out to the barn.

“You’re good with her,” Martha said, coming out of the house.

“I had a good teacher,” he smiled.

He’d called Martha a few times in the first few weeks Lena had come to live with him. And Martha had been more than helpful.

“So how’s Connor doing?” Lex asked.

“Clark doesn’t give you a full play by play?” Martha smiled as she led the way back inside.

“He does, but I’d still like to hear it from you. It looks like he’s grown.”

“He has. He looks so much like Clark did when Clark was that age.”

“It looks like he’s aging normally. The doctors did a good job.”

Martha nodded. “Thank you, by the way, for the generous stipend. You didn’t have to.”

Lex had provided funds for Connor’s care, knowing how expensive it was to feed and clothe a growing boy. Since Martha didn’t have her senate pay to rely on anymore.

“Martha, I’m the one responsible for him existing at all. I owed you that much for being willing to take him on. I knew when Clark and I first discussed it that there’d be no one better to raise him.”

“Well, thank you for that, but I think you may be selling yourself short. Maybe you did start the process, but Connor wouldn’t be here if you hadn’t got him the help he needed.” She poured out some cool lemonade. It was just coming in to summer and was warmer than normal for early summer.

Lex just shrugged and took the glass she offered.

“Have you heard from Julia?” Martha asked.

“Yeah. She says Bruce is pushing himself too hard, as usual, and Damian’s thriving. The doctors say he’s doing better than they thought he would, considering how premature he was.”

“Has she said whether she’s coming back?”

Lex shook his head. “She did say something about giving it another go with Bruce. He really seems to have opened up to her.”

“Is that wise? I’d hate for Julia to have her heart broken all over again.”

“Me too,” he said, sipping the lemonade. “But Julia’s a strong woman and she’s not about to let Bruce take advantage of her.” He sighed. “To be honest, there were moments when I hoped she’d come back to me, but I know she doesn’t feel that way about me. Not the way she feels about Bruce.” He put his glass down. “He asked her to marry him.”

“Really? So what happened?”

“She turned him down.”

Lex had been relieved she had turned him down. Not because of any faint hope he might have had of something between him and his ex-wife, but for her sake. Julia had been through enough pain and getting into a marriage that looked to be doomed from the start was going to cause her more pain.

Then again, maybe he was selling Bruce short. For Bruce to open up at all was something of a miracle, and he couldn’t begrudge Julia if it was making her happy. She seemed to enjoy taking care of Bruce, or rather bossing him around, and from what he’d heard from Dick, Bruce was enjoying it as well. Julia had always been the kind of person who loved taking care of others.

“You’re right,” Martha was saying. “Julia is a strong woman. And if anyone can handle Bruce, she can. From what Clark tells me, she’s ‘handling’ him very well.”

“She always could be bossy,” Lex agreed. “But in a good way.”

“Sounds a lot like Lois. No wonder those two get on so well,” Martha chuckled.

“Who sounds a lot like me, Mom?”

Lex looked around at Lois, who had come in carrying Mara, who was now six months old. She looked grizzly. Her little face was screwed up in misery.

“What’s wrong with Mara?” Lex asked.

“She’s teething,” Lois told him. “Usually she just sucks on her Dad’s finger, but he’s outside with Connor and the puppy.”

Lex could hear the laughter outside, from Connor’s high, childish laugh, and Lena’s giggles to Clark’s deep laugh. It was nice to hear his daughter so happy. And Connor. The two children had been through a lot in their short lives.

“So, you were saying?” Lois said as she settled Mara in the high chair Martha had carried from the kitchen. Lois had pulled out a teething ring and Mara was chewing on it. She still looked grizzly, but seemed to be happier.

“We were talking about Julia,” Martha said.

“She is so not like me,” Lois immediately said.

“You’re both bossy,” Lex pointed out.

“I am not bossy,” Lois protested. She turned to her mother-in-law. “Mom, am I bossy?”

Martha chuckled. “Well, honey, you know, the first thing Clark ever told me about you was how bossy you were.”

“Ooh, I am so going to get him for that,” Lois growled.

Lex just hid a grin behind his glass of juice. Lois turned on him.

“And what are you grinning at, Luthor?”

“Who? Me?” he said innocently.

Lois just continued to growl. The screen door opened and Clark came in with the two children. He bent to kiss his wife and she pulled away. Clark frowned.

“What?”

“You think I’m bossy?”

“Uh, honey,” he began.

“I knew it. You think I’m bossy.”

“You’ve always been bossy,” he told her. “From the moment we met, actually. But that’s okay. I like you bossy.”

“That won’t get you off the hook, Smallville.” She watched as he bent to kiss their daughter. “And wash your hands before you do anything else. You’ve been playing with the dog.” She looked at the two children. “That goes for you two as well.”

Clark gave a long-suffering sigh. “Yes dear.” He grinned at the two children. “Come on kids. She-who-must-be-obeyed has laid down the law.” He led them upstairs, the puppy, which did look a lot like Shelby, gambolling along after them. Lois sneezed and Mara stared at her mother, startled. Then she started giggling.

The giggle was infectious, it seemed. Martha began chuckling, as did Lex. Lois continued to glare at both of them, then started laughing as well.

Clark came down a few minutes later, after making sure the two children had washed their hands properly. Martha gave them each cookies to eat and sent them outside to play. He listened to the sounds of happy voices. He’d had doubts that he’d made the right decision in not letting Connor live with him and Lois. But hearing the boy’s laughter, he knew it had been the right decision after all. Connor was adjusting well.

“You did the right thing, you know,” Lex said, coming to join him on the porch swing.

“So did you,” Clark told him. “Letting him live here with Mom.”

“I always admired your Mom. The way she raised you. Jonathan was always ready with a platitude, but your mom always supported you. Even when your Dad didn’t trust me, she always made me feel welcome.”

“It’s almost like we’ve come full circle, isn’t it?” Clark said.

Lex smiled sardonically. “Yeah, who’d have thought we’d go from best friends to enemies to friends again?”

“I was never your enemy, Lex,” Clark said quietly. “Maybe I didn’t like or understand some of the choices you made, or the things you did, but I never hated you. And you’ve really turned things around.”

“I have reason to,” Lex said simply. “I don’t want my daughter growing up to hate me the way I eventually hated Lionel. I regret what I did to him now. I sometimes wish I could go back in time and change that. Maybe he could have learned to love me.”

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned about changing time, Lex, it’s that there’s always consequences. You change one little thing and everything is different.” He sighed. “When my father died, I used to wonder what I could have done differently. There were two ways it could have gone.”

“What do you mean?”

“Do you remember the fight we had? After that guy held Lana and my parents hostage? The summer after the second meteor shower?”

Lex nodded. Of course he remembered. That had been the beginning of the end for their friendship. And it had been his fault entirely.

“I lost my powers that summer because I refused to go for my training. And then that friend of Chloe’s set off a missile and I got shot. I died, Lex.”

Lex frowned at him. “That's right. I remember now.” He'd obtained Clark's medical records, still curious about Clark's mysterious 'resurrection'.

Clark nodded. “Uh-huh. Jor-El brought me back, without my consent, and told me that a life would be exchanged for mine. It turned out the life, at first was Lana’s. I begged Jor-El to turn back the clock and he did. And my father died instead.”

“And you felt guilty,” Lex said.

“For a long time I did. But I realised that my father made his own choices. He decided to make a deal with Jor-El to bring me back from Metropolis the summer I ran away. And that deal weakened his heart. He also chose to fight Lionel the night he died. He was protecting me. To him, the sacrifice was worth it.”

“See, that’s why I envied you, Clark. Lionel would have never done that for me. But I would do that for Lena. That’s how much I love her.”

“And she loves you, Lex. You’re a good father. Never doubt that.”

“I’ll never be as good as you.”

“Oh, I don’t know. I’m betting I’ll make mistakes here and there.”

“But you’ll learn from them. That’s the key thing here.”

“So will you. No one expects us to be perfect parents, Lex. Just loving ones.”

As Clark observed Lex watching his daughter, he knew that Lex understood.

When Lex had first returned to Metropolis, with a wife in tow, and determined to renew their friendship, Clark had doubted his intentions. He’d known then that Lex hadn’t changed at all from the man who had tried to kill him in the Arctic.

But love was a funny thing. Maybe Lex’s change had begun because he’d fallen in love with someone who loved him back. Maybe it wasn’t a passionate love, or a lifetime love, but Julia had loved him. And probably always would. As a friend. But that wasn’t the love that Clark meant. Lex had learned to love himself, and to give love to others. Like his daughter.

He’d returned to being the kind of man Clark could admire. A lot of people looked up to Superman, but when Superman needed someone to look up to, he only needed to look as far as Lex Luthor. A man who had battled his own darkness, his own demons, and won.

“Hey Dad,” Connor called. “Come and play.”

Connor was holding a basketball. Clark’s old basketball, from when he’d hung out with friends like Pete, shooting hoops in the yard.

Clark grinned at Lex.

“Come on, Lex. Let’s give them a run for their money.”

“I’ve never played basketball,” Lex said.

Clark raised an eyebrow at him. “Never? Then it’s time you learned. C’mon Lex. Loser buys.”

“Buys what?” Lex said, practically leaping off the swing as Clark ran down the porch steps.

Martha watched from the farmhouse as the two men played and smiled. Her two boys, finally back together. She remembered something Lionel had told her that he’d learned from Jor-El long ago. Lois Lane might be the key to Clark’s humanity, but Lex would be the one to provide the balance Clark needed, and vice versa. Naman and Sageeth. Clark Kent and Lex Luthor. The stuff of legends indeed.


Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
eternal_moonie
Dec. 14th, 2010 09:57 am (UTC)
Absolutely LOVED this chapter honey!
phoenixnz
Dec. 14th, 2010 04:09 pm (UTC)
Thanks hon. The end of a very long road.
ctbn60
Dec. 14th, 2010 11:16 pm (UTC)
It was very nice to see them come full circle again. I really enjoyed this story honey and am sad to see it's over.
phoenixnz
Dec. 15th, 2010 05:40 am (UTC)
I know. It is sad it's over, but then again, it had to come.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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