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Thread: Episode 9 - "Uncertainty" (PG)

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    Episode 9 - "Uncertainty" (PG)

    Title: Uncertainty
    Written by: Imp

    Notes, Disclaimers, etc. in Episode 1

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    Metropolis State Penitentiary

    It was a rare moment in his life that Lionel Luthor allowed himself to indulge in regrets, doubts, and the occasional what if. But time in prison, with little to do beyond thinking had given him more unwilling moments for self-reflection. Like many who have taken the time to participate in in-depth internal rumination, Lionel could say with a great deal of certainty he now held a much clearer picture of where he wanted the remainder of his life to lead. Unlike most, he could also say the inner musing did not leave him a changed man; merely a more focused one.

    Regrets and doubts still held no part in his life, and as he took his first steps outside the prison walls confining him for the last several months Lionel Luthor made a vow that it would stay that way. Pausing for a moment to enjoy his first deep breath of air outside the Metropolis State Penitentiary’s granite walls, he marveled at the fact that the air, though polluted as it was in most major cities, smelled sweet. Freedom, he supposed, made it all seem more vibrant. Resuming his trek he closed the distance between himself and the waiting limousine.

    The driver waited patiently until the elder Luthor reached the vehicle and with a small smile, settled himself inside.

    Once the door had been closed, Lionel tossed the envelope containing the few possessions he had been forced to relinquish upon his incarceration to one side and acknowledged the brunette sitting across from him.

    A petite brown-eyed beauty, Dr. Debbie Carlton had more going for her than looks. She was a highly intelligent, well-respected geneticist. But more importantly, she was almost as ruthless as he was. She possessed a single-minded determination that reminded him of his dear departed wife and one lovely lady from a nearby small town. It was an intoxicating combination. Still, their relationship hadn’t gone beyond some occasional flirting. They enjoyed a comfortable working partnership, each benefiting from her current research. That’s not to say Lionel hadn’t idly thought about it. But in truth his tastes ran more towards red heads these days. And hers, as she had so bluntly informed him upon their first meeting, ran more towards the scholarly archeologist.

    “How are you feeling today?”

    Lionel stared at the woman who was privy to more of his medical history than his own regular doctor. Though loath to reveal weakness to anyone Lionel was also aware that to hide something from the woman who was hopefully close to a cure for his illness would be detrimental for him. Lionel was not a man to do anything that would in fact jeopardize him or his health.

    “Better now that I’m not confined in there.” Carlton raised and eyebrow but said nothing.

    “Our friend asked me to remind you to hold up your end of the deal. Consider yourself reminded.”

    Lionel would have ordinarily been angered by such an edict but his ally had been able to help secure his release, succeeded where Lionel had failed. “I am many things as you and our friend well know, and being a man of my word is one of them.”

    The driver’s voice broke into their conversation. “Where to sir, madam?”

    That was certainly a good question, Lionel thought. Where did he want to go first?

    “You should go home and get some rest. Now is not the time to over work yourself. I may be close to the cure but I’m not there yet.”

    There was a thread of concern that in anyone else Lionel may have considered false. But Lionel knew she cared. If for no other reason than that he was her link to a potential medical breakthrough.

    “I’ve gotten plenty of rest these last few months. I feel the need to paint the town.” Glancing at the clock inset on the console near the opposite door, Lionel allowed a wicked smirk to play upon his mouth. With a hint of glee Lionel informed the driver, “LuthorCorp.”

    The raised eyebrow of the woman across from him only added to his amusement. He was fully aware of the fact that his eldest son had no idea of his release. It was a specific request in the agreement with his reluctant partner in crime. Though proud of the way Lex had handled himself through this whole mess, and even more proud of the fact that his eldest had managed to out maneuver him and come out victorious, Lionel felt it was time to show his son that his triumph was only over one battle. The war had not yet been won.

    Lionel sat back in his seat, the smirk still present. Running a hand over his head he idly debated whether to re-grow his hair while at the same time picturing the look on Lex’s face when he saw him.

    Today was going to be a good day.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    LuthorCorp

    Life had begun to go more smoothly for Lex Luthor as of late. At least so far as business was concerned. The transition period was pretty much at an end and Lex had established himself as a competent CEO. The addition of Jason Teague to his staff had also added to his stress relief. His personal life wasn’t going to badly either, with the occasional date here and there. Not to mention the rebuilding of his friendship with Clark and the building of his friendship with Chloe.

    Yes Lex could say his life, while not great, was certainly on its way there. Which was why in retrospect he should have realized something was going to happen.

    “Did you increase LuthorCorp holdings while I was away?”

    To say Lex was surprised to hear his father’s voice in his office would have been like saying World War I was a minor skirmish. Either statement was most certainly an understatement of epic proportions. Only years of Luthor training allowed him to quickly mask the astonishment of his sire’s appearance.

    “Father. I wasn’t aware the gates of hell had opened.”

    Lionel watched to shock of his arrival pass quickly on his son’s face. Quicker than it would have before his sojourn in prison. It was just one more bit of evidence that Lex was slowly becoming the Luthor he was always meant to become. Lionel had to keep him on his toes to make sure he got there.

    “Really son, if you aren’t careful I might think you weren’t happy to see me.”

    “Tell me father whom did you have to bribe or blackmail to secure your release?”

    Lionel smirked at his son. “Now Lex, what makes you think I did any of that?”

    To anyone else it would have seemed a simple, if sarcastic statement. However Lex had enough practice dealing with his father to catch the slight emphasis of the I in his statement. Immediately Lex began to run through his father’s list of known allies that might have the connections needed to secure his father’s liberty. Unfortunately, none of them had the power necessary to do so which lead Lex to only one conclusion…there was a new player in the game.

    The Cheshire smirk gracing his father’s visage did nothing to reassure him. “Is it really so hard to believe that I could have gotten out for good behavior?”

    “Father the only things you’ve ever been good at are making money and being evil. So yes you could say I find it difficult to believe you were released on good behavior.”

    “A man achieves his dream, acquires riches beyond most men's imagination and he is labeled evil. “

    “Most men don't murder their parents to achieve those dreams.”

    Lionel stared at his offspring for a long moment. Silently he took in the young man who would one day dethrone him permanently. The preeminence his son had acquired in the last few months was evident in the way Lex held himself. The controlled expression, the deceptively relaxed frame beneath his almost trademark dark suit, the air of superiority that surrounded him all indicated to Lionel that his son was becoming a true ruler worthy of the name Luthor.

    Throughout their exchange Lex had remained seated behind his desk ordinarily a position of dominance. But in a duel of Luthors, dominance was relative. “As engaging as this has been son I have places to be. As well as…old friends to visit.”

    Lex said nothing as his father exited his office still trying to figure out how a man who shouldn’t have been eligible for parole for several decades, if ever, had been released from prison after a few short months. And why hadn’t he been notified? Lionel Luthor was a danger to his son, as evidenced by the fact that he’d tried to kill him. Surely the FBI would have at least called to warn him that his father was now free to move about the country and anywhere else he liked? Did they not realize that Lionel Luthor’s freedom only gave the man more influence?

    Lex took a calming breath. Reminding himself his father no longer had any control over him but what he was willing to relinquish, he reached for the phone to call the FBI. A few minutes later he let loose a string of curses. The idiots at the Bureau weren’t even aware that Lionel was out of prison. Which of course would explain why they hadn’t notified either himself, Chloe or Clark.

    Chloe and Clark.

    Cursing again, Lex quickly reached for his cell phone and dialed the number for Chloe’s cell. Getting the voice mail he quickly left a message then hung up try Clark. Remembering Clark didn’t carry a cell, and making a note to give him one even if his parents protested, he tried the number for Smallville high he still had saved from when Mrs. Kent was in the hospital.

    “Smallville High.” A rather bored voice answered the phone.

    “I need to speak with one of your students. Either Clark Kent or Chloe Sullivan. It’s an emergency,” Lex informed what he assumed was a woman.

    “Is this a family emergency,” the bored voice on the other line questioned.

    “No. I...”

    The woman on the other end cut him off. “I’m sorry sir, if it’s not about family then I can’t help you.”

    Lex refrained from cursing the woman. “This is Lex Luthor, I need to speak with either Chloe Sullivan or Clark Kent. Now.”

    There was a slight pause on the other end and Lex could swear he heard the woman gulp. Still when she answered all he got was, “I’m sorry Mr. Luthor, but school policy says, unless you are family or it is a family emergency, then I am unable to pull a student out of class. Have a good day sir.”

    The woman hung up before Lex could say anything back. Snapping his phone shut he stood checked his pockets for his keys and grabbed his coat on the way out of his office. His father’s last words rung in his head, and Lex couldn’t help thinking the “old friends” he was going to visit all resided in Smallville.

    “Mr. Luthor?”

    Lex didn’t stop at the question from his secretary, yelling an ‘I’ll be gone for the rest of the day’ over his shoulder before exiting his office. Walking briskly to the elevator, he briefly debated taking the stairs before the ding of the device changed his mind. The ride down to the first floor took mere seconds, but his impatience to get moving made it feel like hours. Finally the doors opened and Lex walked quickly out, somehow maintaining a calm exterior.

    He made it to his car and jumped in, peeling out of the parking lot barely taking note of the people who might be in his way. Cursing the fact that the company helicopter was currently in for routine maintenance, he raced down the streets of Metropolis making his way to the freeway. Flying down the highway, he debated between stopping at the Talon or the Torch first and hoped either way he could reach the two teenagers before they got a nasty surprise.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    Smallville

    Clark Kent waited impatiently for time to pass. He still had another 20 minutes until Lana was able to take her break. Then again, he had been waiting all afternoon for this. They had made the date just before she took off after lunch. Since she took part in work-study, she was able to leave early on some days to go to work and they had made plans for their first official lunch date before then. He sat nearly bouncing in his seat, yet trying not to show his excitement.

    Things between them had been going rather well since that first awkward attempt in his barn. They’d managed to find time to spend together between school, work, chores, and friends. A movie, dinner, studying, and now coffee. He was hoping to work up the nerve to ask her over to his house for dinner with his folks. True she had done so before, but this would be in the capacity of his girlfriend and not just his friend. Then maybe he could work up the nerve for prom. But one thing at a time.

    Checking his watch for the umpteenth time he looked up to see Lana gazing at him and he gave her an embarrassed smile. He relaxed a little when she returned the smile before turning around and heading into the back.

    The screeching of tires caught his attention and his enhanced hearing picked up the sound of a car door slamming just moments before Lex walked in the door. He appeared unruffled yet Clark could see the tension in his body. Lex scanned the room as if looking for someone in particular rather than just making idle note of his surroundings. Becoming immediately concerned about what would have the normally unflappable man so disturbed, Clark rose from his seat just as Lex reached him.

    “Clark. Where’s Chloe?”

    The directness of the question shot his internal alarm straight to red alert. The question itself didn’t bother him in the slightest. It was the lack of greeting and the undertones of panic in Lex’s voice that set him on edge. He laid a hand on the older man’s arm in an attempt to calm him down.

    “Lex what’s wrong? Did something happen to Chloe’s dad? Or her mom?” Clark was hoping it wasn’t the latter. Not that he wanted anything bad to happen to Mr. Sullivan, but Chloe had only recently rediscovered her mother and he didn’t think she could handle losing her once more. Then again Chloe Sullivan was a survivor.

    “No time Clark, where is she? Never mind. I can guess.”

    Turning quickly on his heel Lex walked out the door as swiftly as he’d entered. Clark stood for a moment uncertain of what to do. Realizing his friend would not be so anxious to find Chloe if there wasn’t a real danger to her he followed the young billionaire out the door. Sending a silent prayer that Lana would forgive him for bailing on their date, he reached the car just as Lex was about to get in. He gripped his friend’s arm and forced him to stop.

    Lex paused in motion to shoot his friend a look. “Tell me what’s going on Lex. Why are you so frantic to get to Chloe?”

    True, to the casual observer the younger Luthor didn’t appear to be in the least bit frazzled, but Clark knew him well enough to pick up on the subtle signs.

    “I promised her I would keep her safe, Clark. It’s going to be difficult to enough without knowing what he is up to. I would like to give her at least a heads up.”

    Clark stared at his friend uncertain of what he was talking bout. “Protect her? Protect her from who?”

    “My father.”

    Clark was sufficiently stunned enough to loosen the grip he had on the other man’s arm. Snapping back hastily when he realized Lex was closing his door he moved to the other side of the expensive vehicle to get in. His friend must have been anticipating his actions as the passenger door was unlocked and Clark had barely shut the door behind him as Lex peeled out of the parking lot.

    “Lex, your father is in prison. What can he do to Chloe now?”

    Lex’s next words did nothing to calm the dread that was beginning to sweep through him. “My father was released this morning.”

    Clark felt as though he had been sucker punched by someone wearing brass knuckles laced with Kryptonite. Regaining at least partial ability to speak he managed to utter a rather inarticulate, “What?”

    Lex could understand the young man’s shock. He had felt something similar earlier. Hell, he was still reeling from it if he were honest. Foolishly he had begun to allow himself to believe that the only place he would ever see his father again was within those prison walls.

    “It would seem that my father had a few contacts I was unaware of. Those contacts were able to secure his release from prison.”

    The young man next to him seemed to fully regain his ability to form coherent sentences as he questioned, “Why weren’t we told? You and Chloe especially should have been notified of his impending release.”

    That had been one of the questions he had attempted to get the answers to while on his way to Smallville. Unfortunately those answers did nothing to soothe his taut nerves. “It appears as though everything was done very recently, very quickly, and very secretively. The excuse I was given was that the parties involved wished to keep everything low key as to avoid the media circus that marked my father’s trial.”

    “But that doesn’t explain why the FBI didn’t inform any of us.”

    Lex gritted his teeth, forcing out the next statement. “They were supposed to. But the necessary paperwork seems to have fallen through the cracks.”

    “Fallen through the cracks? Lionel Luthor gets out of prison and the paperwork falls through the cracks?”

    The incredulity in Clark’s voice matched what he had felt the moment he was informed of the situation. He had received a call from the Feds while on the road informing him that his father had received a full pardon and his release was scheduled for the day. When he coldly enlightened the messenger of awful tidings to the fact that his message was delivered too late, the caller had politely informed him that there had been a small snafu and the paperwork had only just made it to their desks.

    As Lex made the turn into the Smallville High parking lot he hoped he would be able to reach the young woman whose friendship was slowly coming to mean more and more to him in time enough to fully prepare her for a meeting with the devil.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~


    Chloe hated not being able to have her cell phone on during school hours. Sure having phones go off in the middle of class would be disruptive, especially given the myriad of ring tones currently available for said cell phones. And yes she was prepared to admit that if the average teenager was allowed to use a phone during class that very little learning and a great deal of gossiping would be going on.

    Still Chloe was not a typical teenager. She had no desire to call or text message someone who was two classrooms down and discuss what so and so was wearing. No, Chloe’s complaint stemmed from the fact she always felt that by not being able to answer her phone she was missing out on a potentially big story. True, the likely hood of her getting a lead on a Pulitzer Prize winning story while sitting in the middle of English class was in fact slim, the reporter in her nonetheless balked at the idea.

    Which was why, like many of her peers and her teachers she was certain, she kept her phone on silent mode.

    Feeling grateful when the final bell rang she gathered her books anxious to get out of class. She cursed under her breath when the teacher asked her to remain behind. Ignoring the curious I wonder what she did looks coming from her classmates she waited patiently for the room to empty.

    Several minutes later, slightly dazed, she made her way to her locker and stuffed the information her teacher had given her inside. Her teacher had suggested Chloe consider entering an essay she had written for class into a contest to earn scholarship money for college. Flattered and slightly stunned at her teacher’s confident words about her writing, she made a mental note to investigate the contest more thoroughly later that night.

    Remembering her cell phone thoughts of earlier, she took her phone out of her pocket and quickly dialed the voice mail. Lex had called twice which concerned her. They typically called each other two maybe three times a week so to call twice in a day was a bit unusual. Making her way to the Torch office she listened to her messages.

    Chloe its Lex. Give me a call when you get this. It’s important.

    Her heart rate kicked up a notch at the slight hint of something off in his tone. She tried to imagine what could possibly be so important that he would call her at school. Her first thought was that it was her father but she immediately ruled that out as she was certain Lex would have had the school pull her out of class to inform her of the situation. That was what had happened with Clark when his mother collapsed at the Talon.

    Using the same logic to rule out the possibility that whatever was important had something to do with her mother, she moved on to the next message. She crossed the threshold of the office as Lex’s voice came on the line.

    Chloe, I…there’s something you need to know. There is no easy way to say this. I wish I could do this in person.

    Chloe crossed the space to her desk and reached down to boot up her computer. There was a bit of a pause on in the message and in that moment a cold sense of dread consumed her. Feeling as though she was being watched, Chloe raised her head and turned it slightly. Immediately her eyes locked with a pair of wicked hazel ones just as Lex’s voice rang in her ear…

    "My father is out of prison."

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    Lionel’s gaze never wavered as he fixed his eyes upon the lovely face of his former protégé. To her credit she didn’t buckle under the weight of his stare. Lesser men had cowered by now, but not Chloe Sullivan. That inner strength was one of the reasons he had sought her out over a year ago. Her assistance in his conviction had proven his instincts in regards to her correct. She was intelligent, witty with just the right touch of snark to keep him on his toes. The connection to Clark Kent had only sweetened the overall package. It was just too bad she showed loyalty to his son and not to him.

    “Ms. Sullivan.”

    “Mr. Luthor.”

    Lionel didn’t miss the fear in her eyes nor the way she quickly covered it up. A flash of pride shot through him before he squelched it. Whatever tender feelings he might have held for the young woman before him did not matter at the moment.

    “How have you been Ms. Sullivan?”

    “Why are you here Mr. Luthor?”

    Lionel almost smiled at that. No questions about his release just about his motives. Idly he wondered how long it would take her to discover he had been pardoned.

    “I was feeling nostalgic and thought I would drop in on my former protégé.”

    Chloe couldn’t help scoffing at this statement. “I wasn’t aware you were capable of feeling…nostalgia.”

    “Now really Ms. Sullivan despite rumors to the contrary I am perfectly capable of feeling. I have experienced love, anger, joy, hatred, trust, and betrayal.”

    There was no mistaking the last was directed at her. Chloe shivered at the lightly veiled inference and the menace in his tone. To anyone else it would have seemed smooth; casual even, but to Chloe, it was a clear reminder that he had not and would not forget her role in his imprisonment. Curiosity fought with fear for supremacy and she was left struggling to stop the questions from pouring forth from her lips. At the top of the list: who would have had the power to get the murdering bastard out of a life sentence?

    “At a loss for words, Ms. Sullivan. That would be a first.”

    Gritting her teeth, pushing down the unease and fear that threatened to crawl up her spine, she stiffened in her chair.

    “I haven’t lost my words Mr. Luthor. I’m choosing not to share them with you.” She paused, gathering herself and her courage. “I don’t know what game you’re playing now but I refuse to be a part of it. Feel free to leave before I call the sheriff.”

    Lionel felt a burst of pride at her bravado. He could see her paleness, sense she was fighting her fear but she still had the courage to confront him. It was such a shame she’d picked the wrong Luthor to get behind. Although, she could prove a valuable asset to Lex when he truly came into his Luthor destiny. As long as her loyalty to Lex remained unfaltering.

    “I’m curious Ms. Sullivan. What makes you think that this game you seem to think I’ve started would be any different from the one we’ve played before?” He watched as she considered his words, smiling to himself as he could tell they did not make her feel better. Good, he needed her on edge and uncertain around him, just like Lex would be.

    “Old or new doesn’t matter. Leave Lex, and myself out if it.” She was positive Lionel had something up his sleeve, she just couldn’t be sure what. But she would find out. He’d terrified her once, made her family, friends and his own son miserable but if it was in her power he would never be allowed to do that again.

    “Good to know you haven’t lost your spirit, Chloe.” Lionel stressed her name as he smiled enigmatically once more before turning to leave. He stopped as Lex and Clark suddenly burst into the room, blocking his exit. He wondered a moment at the worry he glimpsed in Lex’s eyes as his son shot a glance from him to Chloe. Perhaps the little blonde had indeed managed a small crack in his son’s aloof shell. New possibilities suddenly opened in his mind as he stored the knowledge away for later contemplation.

    “Chloe!” Clark had to contain himself from hitting Lionel. He’d had a bad moment at realizing Lex’s father had gotten to her first. But despite being paler than usual, he could see Chloe seemed to be doing just fine. Still, it didn’t stop him from placing an arm around her shoulder and whispering “are you okay?” in a low voice near her ear.

    Chloe nodded, unconsciously leaning against Clark, thankful for her friend’s support. Her legs were shaking slightly as she suddenly realized how frightened she’d truly been. Now that Lex and Clark were here, she felt strangely weak, yet energized. She shivered at the chill in Lex’s eyes, realizing once again that when he wanted to, Lex Luthor could be just as ruthless as his father.

    “I suggest you leave now, Father.” Lex’s voice was filled with steel, his expression composed and hard. “We wouldn’t want anyone to think you were threatening Ms. Sullivan.”

    Lionel was amused to hear his son refer to the blonde in such formal tones. It added another interesting facet to the situation.

    “Really, Lex. Ms. Sullivan and I were merely discussing feelings and playing games.” Lionel paused fro a moment taking in the expressions of those responsible for his time behind bars. “As charming as this little scene is, I really must go. I have other matters to attend to. I assume my usual room can be prepared at the mansion?”

    Lex blinked once before regaining his controlled expression. “We can discuss this further at the mansion.”

    Lionel nodded. “I’ll be waiting for you, son.” Turning he smiled at Clark and Chloe, his voice smug. “Ms. Sullivan, Mr. Kent, until we meet again.” With that, he strolled casually from the room.

    The three left remained silent for a few moments.

    “What the HELL is going on, Lex?” Chloe finally let a little of her fear and frustration seep into her voice, pulling away from Clark to stand on her own.

    “I don’t know, Chloe.” Lex ran a hand over his head in frustration. “He showed up in my office today, out of the blue. Apparently, as I told Clark,” he nodded to the farm boy, “someone got him released and the paperwork that would have notified you and me just happened to be delayed.”

    “Right.” Chloe sank back into her chair, her body suddenly exhausted.

    “Chloe,” Lex took a step closer, his eyes grim and determined. “I won’t let him hurt you, or any of my friends,” he turned to include Clark in his statement.

    “I don’t like it, Lex.” Clark knew his voice was harder than normal but he couldn’t forget the way Chloe had wilted against him for a moment. Lionel had given her a shock and most likely a scare, although she would never admit it. It only made him admire his friend even more. It also made him wary of what might happen now that it seemed Lionel was back in the picture.

    “I’m going to find out what’s going on. I suspect however,” Lex looked at Chloe, hoping she would hear the message in his words, “that he won’t make a move for a few weeks. He’ll need time to settle back in and try to regain the power he has lost.”

    Chloe bit her lip, sensing Lex was talking about Lionel’s battle with cancer. Despite her earlier fear, she had noticed Lionel looked slightly paler than usual. Not that a few months in prison would not do that to a man, but with his sickness, she knew he couldn’t be in top physical form.

    She wondered why that did not ease her worry.

    “Clark, you’ll stay with her?” Lex knew he needed to go with his father, figure out what was going on before anyone got hurt. But seeing Chloe, ashen despite her defiance, Clark watching her protectively a spark of something shot through him. He wanted to stay and protect her, make sure she was all right. It wasn’t an emotion he was comfortable with but one he’d come to expect when dealing with Chloe. Especially since they’d started forming a friendship.

    “We’ll be fine. Just keep an eye on your father.” Clark knew his message came across loud and clear. If anything happened to Chloe, his friend would not only be blaming Lionel.

    “Chloe, I’ll call you later.” With a long look at her, he turned and strode from the room.

    Chloe watched him go, something inside her aching at the expression she’d seen in his eyes before he’d left. He was just as surprised as she was, and not a little disturbed. Once more she cursed Lionel Luthor for doing what he was to his son and those who dared to befriend him.

    “Chloe?”

    She turned to Clark with a bitter smile. “He’s not going to get away with anything this time. We’re not going to let him.” Turning to her computer she immediately began clicking away.

    “What are you doing?” Clark looked concerned as he pulled up a chair and settled in next to her.

    “Finding out just what the hell went wrong.”

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    Keep your friends close and you enemies closer.

    At least that was the rationale Lex had used when trying to explain to Clark and Chloe why he was allowing his father, the man who had tried to kill him, to stay at the mansion. The conversation, which had taken place less than an hour ago, had not gone well. Then again little had in the twenty-four hours since his father’s liberation from prison.

    In a turn of events that Lex could only chalk up to the lingering shock of his father’s sudden appearance, Lex had ended up agreeing to let Lionel and his private doctor stay at the mansion.

    Wearily he made his way to his study and crossed the distance to the mini bar. Grabbing a bottle of water, desperately desiring something stronger but unwilling to risk it, he gulped down about half of it before setting it aside. He closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose allowing his head to drop forward for a moment. His mind flashed back to the conversation of the previous day.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    Yesterday

    The break neck speed he habitually drove at allowed him to reach the mansion before his father. Lex took advantage of the brief calm before the storm to marshal his defenses and control the chaotic flood of emotions swirling within him.

    His respite didn’t last long as the Luthor patriarch made his way into the study where many of their past showdowns had taken place. Lex watched as his father crossed over to the couch and sat. Lex couldn’t help but note that the usual self-assured air was slightly diminished. Taking in the wan features of the eldest Luthor he assumed it had something to do with his illness. Lex shoved down the concern for the man before him.

    “Let’s just skip the pleasantries and go straight to what is it you want.”

    A smirk not unlike the one he’d used on many occasions played over his father’s face. “Son, what I want is to die peacefully in my own bed.”

    Lex ignored the twisting of his gut. “You can stay at the penthouse in Metropolis. Besides, there are better trained specialists there to help you through…this.”

    “I don’t need a specialist son. I already have one.” There was a pause as Lionel seemed to struggle for words something Lex had never seen. Instantly he was on alert. “My time left on this earth is short and I would like to pass it comfortably in my home, not some sterile abode used more for overnight stays than anything else.”

    The twisting in Lex’s gut seemed to spread to encompass the region that housed his heart. With more difficultly he shoved the feeling aside and tried to look at the situation logically. There was no denying that even though he was dying Lionel Luthor was still a force to be reckoned with. Actually the fact that he was about to meet his maker only made him more dangerous. As he had once told Chloe, dying men have nothing to lose. And Lex, after years of dealing with Lionel and his mysterious ways, was convinced his father was up to something. He just needed to figure out what.

    “Fine, you can stay. I’ll have the servants make up a room in the West wing for you.”

    “Two. I would like to bring my personal physician to stay so she is always nearby if I need her.”

    It was an order thinly disguised as a request and Lex found himself agreeing simply to avoid further discussion and get his father out of the room. He had a few calls of his own to make and he needed some privacy.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    Present

    The sound of a feminine voice distracted him from his thoughts and he quickly straightened.

    A moment later Dr. Cassandra Jackson walked into his den. There was a kindness in the older woman’s eyes that made Lex feel as though he could trust her. Yet she worked for his father. That alone was reason enough not to let his guard slip.

    “What can I do for you Dr. Jackson?”

    The woman before him stared at him for a moment and Lex wondered what was going through her head. He had done a background check on her as soon as his father had informed him of her name. The check had come back with nothing out of the ordinary, a fact that made him cautious. He knew full well that when Lionel Luthor was involved, there was always something to hide.

    “I have a dietary guideline I would like to see about implementing for your father.” Her voice was even and soft.

    Lex nodded. “Just leave it on my desk and I will speak to the cook about it.”

    The woman nodded then seemed to hesitate as if wanting to say something else. “Is there anything else you need?” He turned to face her noting she looked slightly nervous.

    “I am aware that you and your father are not close, and this may seem out of place, but I brought you some information regarding your father’s illness.”

    Lex said nothing as she laid the information on his desk. In truth he hadn’t researched the disease ravaging his father’s body. Doing so would have been to admit that a man as powerful as Lionel Luthor could indeed be felled, and despite everything, Lex was not quite ready to accept that.

    “Those pamphlets can answer most of the questions you might have. If the answers aren’t there then please don’t hesitate to come ask me. I find it helps all parties involved if everyone is fully aware of what is happening. There is also something else you should be aware of,” Lex watched as she took a breath and slowly exhaled before continuing. “This disease is hereditary. That doesn’t mean that you will get it but the chance is there. There are tests that can be done to detect this early so that preventative measures can be taken and I suggest that once you have familiarized yourself with the information I’ve given you, you consider getting tested.”

    Lex managed to utter a thank you to the woman before she left. Slowly he reached for the information. Reading through it many thoughts assailed him at once. Getting sick wasn’t something he’d had had to worry about for a very long time yet he couldn’t help wondering if maybe this might be something his enhanced immune system couldn’t fight off.

    The practical side to his nature kicked in and reminded him not to jump to conclusions. This information was given to him by someone who worked for his father. The conspiracy theorist in him couldn’t help wondering if this was some elaborate scheme by his father to knock him off of his game. Deciding he needed some unbiased research conducted, he turned towards his computer and dashed off an email.

    He shoved all concerns aside since there was little more he could do at this moment but wait. Scanning through the emails in his inbox his eyes was caught by one of the messages. Or rather by the sender of the message. Cursing, he grabbed his cell and dialed the necessary number.

    Waiting impatiently for the phone to be answered, Lex kicked himself mentally for not making this call sooner. As the voice on the other line picked up he got straight to the point.

    “I thought you should know Lionel’s out of prison.”

    Following the incredulous “WHAT!” Lex launched into an explanation of the events of the last day.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    Clark Kent was growing frustrated with the stubborn young lady he was currently dating. She had hung up on him last night before he could explain why he’d bailed on their date. Then she’d avoided him for the better part of the morning, giving him the cold shoulder when she had been forced to serve him, keeping busy with customers the rest of the time. He knew she’d been avoiding his mother as well, although he realized his mom would stay out of things, letting Clark deal with the situation as he saw fit.

    Clark had been waiting for the right opportunity to corner her. Seeing his chance when she headed up to her apartment for a quick break, he quickly followed. He made it to the door just as she was about to close it behind her. He stuck his hand out to keep it from closing.

    She turned in surprise but her expression quickly turned angry. “Go away Clark. I really don’t want to deal with you right now.”

    Clark sighed. “Lana I...”

    Lana cut him off, “I don’t want to hear your excuses Clark. You left me without an explanation, no note, nothing. And then you don’t call until late at night? Nothing you can say can make what you did ok. Now leave.”

    Clark didn’t know whether to sigh, feel guilty, or roll his eyes. He settled for blurting out, “Lionel Luthor is out of prison.”

    Taking advantage of her momentary stupor, he stepped inside her apartment and shut the door behind him.

    Lana blinked at him uncertain if she had heard him correctly. “Did you just say Lionel Luthor is out of prison?”

    Clark nodded. “Lex came in to the Talon yesterday when you went into the back. He was looking for Chloe and seemed desperate to find her. When he wouldn’t tell me right away why he was looking for her, I followed him outside to try and figure out what was going on and he told me his father was out. We rushed over to the Torch to tell Chloe and found Lionel already there. I’m sorry I didn’t come find you to tell you, but we had to leave immediately.”

    Guilt and shame flooded through her as she listened to Clark’s explanation. She should have known that Clark of all people would not have left her if it hadn’t been an emergency. His last sentence, however, penetrated the guilty fog surrounding her. “Oh my god, is Chloe ok?”

    “Yeah she was more shaken than anything. Lex escorted Lionel out of the school and I stayed behind to make sure she was ok.”

    Lana flushed with embarrassment. “I’m sorry Clark. I should have given you a chance to explain yourself. I guess, well, old habits and such…” She stopped as she read the understanding in his expression. “Can you forgive me?”

    Clark nodded and Lana sighed in relief. “Thank you.”

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    Lucas wasn’t sure what he was feeling as he approached the mansion. Apprehension, surprise, anger, uncertainty, perhaps a mixture of all four. This would be the first time since Lionel had tried to kill him that he had seen his father. It had taken him two days to arrange his schedule to come to Smallville. He wasn’t even really sure why he had. It wasn’t as though he and Lionel had ever been close, and the elder Luthor had proved that Lex was the favored son when last they met.

    Still he felt compelled to see him. Odd the compunction had never struck in the months his father resided in prison. Maybe it was the revelation from Lex that their father was dying that pulled him to Smallville. He didn’t know. All he was certain of was that he was here and he was going to see Lionel.

    Taking a deep breath he opened the door to the mansion and walked in. Not seeing anyone lurking around he headed towards the one place he was most likely to find Lex. Sure enough, there he sat.

    “Lucas.” Lex looked up as he felt his brother’s gaze from the doorway.

    Lucas nodded by way of greeting. Wanting to get it over with as soon as possible he asked. “Where is he?”

    “He’s up in his room. Before you see him Lucas I think we need to talk.”

    He didn’t like his brother’s tone. It was far too serious. Still, he settled himself on the couch and waited. He didn’t have to wait long.

    “I know you have an idea of what Lionel is capable of. But I still want to warn you to be careful. He’s a master of mind games. I don’t know what he’s after yet and I don’t know if he’ll try anything with you but still be cautious. He could very well decide to try and play us against each other like he did last time.”

    “Lex, I fell for it once, I won’t make that mistake again.”

    Lex seemed ready to argue with him but changed his mind. Sometimes it was best to let things happen as they would. He could only hope Lucas was ready.

    After getting the directions to Lionel’s room, Lucas left the study. His steps slowed as neared. The door was open a little and Lucas could see Lionel’s reflection in the mirror that faced the bed. He stopped in his tracks as he took note of Lionel’s emaciated form. His father was sitting on the edge of the bed his shoulders slumped forward. Lucas could see in the mirror that Lionel’s eyes were closed tightly as if he was in pain and his complexion was tinged yellow. The site of his father so weak, almost defeated, disturbed him in a way that he couldn’t explain. Lionel was a Luthor. Hell he was THE Luthor and yet he appeared so… frail.

    Shaking off the discomfort he knocked on the door, watching as Lionel straightened and before his eyes, became Lionel Luthor once again.

    “Come in.”

    Lucas entered and a flash of what he could only assume was surprise crossed his father’s face. “Lucas. To what do I owe this honor?”

    “I came to see if the rumors of your release were true. It would seem the gossip mills were correct for a change.”

    “I’m glad you’re here son.” Son. Once upon a time he would have given anything to be called “son” by this man. Hell, he had turned on Lex just to earn their father’s affection. Not that that had worked out too well.

    “Mm. Well now that I’ve seen for myself that the tales of your freedom weren’t exaggerated, I’ll be going.”

    He turned to do so but Lionel’s voice stopped him. “You know prison gives you time to think, and time to regret.”

    Lucas could feel his heart begin to pound.

    “I regret my actions when last we met. I also regret not taking the opportunity to get to know you better and make you a part of the family like you should have been to begin with.”

    The pounding of his heart grew louder and Lucas turned back to his sire. “I don’t know if Lex told you, but I’m dying. I don’t have much longer to live and I would like to use that time to fix my past mistakes. If you’ll give me the chance that is.”

    Lucas was uncertain whether to believe the sincerity in his voice. He remembered Lex’s warning and yet he couldn’t stifle the hope that flared. He had longed for a family all his life and it seemed he might finally get it. Lex had seemed to warm to him in the recent months, ever since that freakish storm had trapped them together, and now, it seemed his father was offering an olive branch as well.

    Torn and unsure all he decided brevity would be best. “I’ll think about it,” he offered before turning around and walking out. He didn’t look back as he made his way out of the room.

    If he had he might have caught the smirk on his father’s face.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    Chloe grimaced as she sipped her now cold coffee. She’d been staring at her laptop screen for the better part of two hours, finding dead end after dead end on who might have had the influence to free Lionel.

    “You look pretty serious for a beautiful afternoon.”

    She jolted at the smooth voice, turning to see Jason smiling hesitantly at her. An answering smile appeared on her features. She realized once again that he had a very nice smile.

    “Jason, hi. What brings you out and about today?”

    “Actually, I stopped in for a piece of Mrs. Kent’s apple pie,” he looked uncertain for a moment, but then continued. “I noticed you sitting here and wondered if you’d like some company.”

    Chloe felt a light blush stain her cheeks. She wasn’t used to anyone other than Clark, perhaps Lex seeking her out simply for company. Realizing he was still standing there and she hadn’t answered him, she managed another grin.

    “Have a seat. It’d be nice to talk to someone other than my computer screen.”

    Jason smiled, feeling a little lighter as he settled into the booth across from her. He wasn’t sure what had moved him to approach, but seeing her sitting there, the sunlight highlighting the darker streaks in her blonde hair, he’d suddenly felt the need to talk to her. He’d decided not to fight it and now was glad he hadn’t.

    Chloe was surprised to find it rather easy to talk to Jason, the topics remaining light and relaxed, spanning everything from music, to politics and to her surprise a mutual fascination with classic films.

    “I can’t believe you haven’t seen The Postman Always Rings Twice. It’s classic film noire. Dark film. Dark passions. Murder. Lust. You’ve got it all in a film that was pretty racy for its time.”

    Jason smiled at her enthusiasm. “It sounds intriguing. Maybe,” he paused, unsure of what he was going to ask, feeling the words leave him before he was quite sure, “we could rent it sometime and watch it. Together.”

    Chloe hoped she didn’t look as stunned as she felt. Had he really just asked her out?

    Sensing her confusion, Jason quickly tried to clarify. “No pressure, or anything, just two friends,” he hesitated on the word, smiling bashfully, “watching a movie and enjoying each other’s company. Unless,” he fidgeted in his seat, feeling Chloe’s gaze on him.

    “Unless?” Chloe asked, her heart doing a strange little beat as he took a deep breath and looked directly at her.

    “Unless you might want it to be something … more?”

    Chloe felt as if her breath had been stolen. There was a look in his eyes that both flattered and frightened her. Confused, she tried to sort things out in her head. She knew it had been a few months since he’d broken up with Lana, months in which he’d seemed happy working for Lex, friendly with all of them, but never lingering too long in their presence. Which made her even more confused.

    “Jason,” she had to phrase it carefully. “I’m flattered, really, and I can’t say I don’t find your offer, intriguing,” she blushed under his stare. He really was cute, and he was actually interested … in something. But despite the tug near her heart, something was holding her back.

    “But?” His voice was soft, his eyes betraying nothing.

    She sighed. “Can we start with the friends thing? See where it goes from there?” She watched as something like relief flashed in his eyes.

    “I’d like that.” Jason grinned as he watched her blush. He hadn’t found himself so at ease with anyone, even Lana, in a long time. And while he was finding himself captivated by her sparkling eyes, if she wanted to start as friends, he wasn’t going to complain.

    “So, maybe this weekend? Lex doesn’t have any publicity events and I seem to have a Saturday night free.”

    Chloe smiled, feeling butterflies in her chest. She sensed he would stand by the “friends” thought, but couldn’t help wondering what it might feel like to explore something more with him.

    She supposed she had plenty of time to figure it out.

    “Perfect. The theater in Granville just happens to be showing classic movies every Saturday afternoon so maybe we could catch a matinee. Give me a call Friday when you’re sure Lex won’t be monopolizing your weekend.” She grinned as he laughed. Scribbling her phone number on a napkin, she smiled as he pocketed it. Something told her things were about to get interesting and she found herself suddenly looking forward to it.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    Lex knocked on the Sullivan’s door waiting impatiently for someone to answer. Finally after what felt like eternity Gabe opened the door.

    “Lex. Is something wrong at the plant?”

    Lex shook his head. “No. I’m actually here to see your daughter.”

    “Oh.” The one word carried a lot of emotion behind it. “She’s in her room. That way, last door on the right. Knock before you enter and leave the door open when you do.”

    Lex was a bit surprised that Gabe didn’t insist on getting Chloe for him. True he had no romantic designs towards the younger Sullivan, a fact Gabe was well aware of, he still had trouble getting past the fact a father as protective as Gabe would allow a male into his daughter’s room unsupervised. Even with the door open. Thanking the man before him, he turned and headed in the indicated direction.

    Knocking on the door he waited for the “come in” before opening the door. Remembering Gabe’s instructions he left the door open as he made his way into the room. He gave a cursory glance around the room. Somehow he expected it to be more girly with shades of pink and other various pastels, stuffed animals and boy band posters. He should have realized Chloe’s room would be different. The room was cozy yet at the same time functional. She had a desk situated on one wall and her bed almost directly across from it. There were stuffed animals but not many, and the room was decorated in rich earth tones. All in all he liked it.

    “Lex, you’re early.”

    He turned toward his friend. He had emailed Chloe about researching his father’s illness for him. He knew of few people who could get the thorough research he wanted done faster than the hopeful young journalist. And even fewer of those people he trusted. They had agreed to meet at her house to lessen the likelihood of being interrupted or overheard. His father’s medical condition was still known only to a handful of people and he wanted to keep it that way.

    “Your father let me in.” He hesitated for a moment before asking, “Is there something wrong?”

    An undecipherable look crossed her face before she asked, “Why do you ask?”

    Lex wasn’t really sure how to explain it but did the best he could. “When I told him I was here to see you he just pointed me in your direction. I know how protective Gabe is of you which was why I have a hard time believing he lets any male, friend or not, into your room unsupervised.”

    Lex could see the slight slumping of her shoulders. With a deep sigh she said, “He’s mad at me. I filled him in on the situation with…my mom and well let’s just say he wasn’t very happy with me. He’s said as little as possible to me. I know I should have told him sooner, and I know he has every right to be mad at me, but it still hurts.”

    Lex wasn’t certain how to respond to that so he did nothing. Silence reigned for long moments before Chloe straightened, taking a deep breath. She needed to focus on the situation at hand. Motioning for him to have a seat on her bed, she retrieved a file and brought it to him. He scanned the contents briefly before looking at her.

    “Everything that Dr. Jackson told you about the disease is true. There is also some information that she didn’t tell you in there, but nothing that would make you suspicious of her. Your risk of developing this disease does increase if someone in your family has it. And there are tests that can help catch the disease in the early stages and indicate your risk level for developing it.”

    Lex soaked the information in. Being confronted with his father’s mortality daily now that the man was living with him again had begun to force him to question his own. Scanning the file he made a mental note to arrange testing for himself. Unlike Lionel, Lex didn’t have an heir to leave everything to. And he planned on being around for a long, long time.

    Lex was about to question Chloe further when her phone rang. A small smile played on her lips as she answered and Lex busied himself with reading more of the file trying not to listen in on her conversation.

    “Hi.” A pause as the other person spoke. “Really, they are? Yeah sure that sounds great.”
    Another pause. “Ok then. Tomorrow at noon. I’ll see you then Jason.”

    Lex’s head shot up hearing Teague’s name. “You and Jason are getting together tomorrow?” He asked as soon as she hung up.

    “We’re going to go see a movie in Granville tomorrow.”

    That simply wouldn’t do. Jason wasn’t some random high school kid. He was a much more experienced man. Plus Lex did not know nearly enough about Jason to approve of this situation. “Do you think that’s wise?”

    Chloe gave him a puzzled look. “What’s wrong with going to a movie with Jason?”

    “Well he is several years older than you.”

    “So are you. That doesn’t stop us from seeing each other.”

    “I don’t have the expectation of more. Can you say the same for Jason?”

    “What if I want him to want more? Isn’t that my choice to make?”

    Lex sighed. “I’m just trying to look out for you.”

    And he was. He felt protective of her. He’d made a promise to keep her safe and he was going to honor that. Not just from his father either.

    “I appreciate your…concern but I am perfectly capable of making my own decisions.”

    “If I recall correctly you made the decision to get involved with my father.” Instantly Lex knew it was the wrong thing to say. He went to apologize but the anger in her eyes told him it wouldn’t be well received.

    “I think you should leave now.” Lex nearly winced as he saw the tears she was holding back. He nodded, turned and left making a mental note to seek her out later and smooth things over.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    Three days later

    Debbie Carlton strode purposefully into Lionel’s room. The last week had been a trying one for her. Dealing with her stubborn as a mule patient/test subject, trying to remember to answer to the name Dr. Jackson, and getting the necessary tests run with out Lex Luthor finding out had put a lot of strain on her. She was grateful that she had had years of working on deadlines to produce results and dealing with stuffed shirt bureaucrats or she might have cracked under the pressure.

    Still it had all been worth it.

    Lionel looked up at the woman striding in to his room. Casually he folded his paper setting in on the table next to his chair, giving none of the anxiousness he was feeling away. As if he had all the time in the world he studied the woman before him noting the gleam in her eye.

    With a bored but mildly curious tone he asked, “Well?”

    Carlton handed him a piece of paper. “My initial theory about your son’s blood was both correct and incorrect. Thanks to the sample I was able to acquire from the lab where he was having the genetic test performed, I was able to perform the final and conclusive tests
    I needed. Your son’s blood does hold the cure for your disease.”

    Lionel felt elation run through him then hit a brick wall at Carlton’s next words. “However, we can not synthesize the necessary amount of platelets and enzymes to sufficiently wipe out the disease. It’s progressed to far. The only way to effectively cure you is to have enough of the original source of the platelets introduced into your body. The only way to do that is with a transfusion.”

    Lionel sat in silence for a long while barely taking note of Dr. Carlton leaving. A transfusion. A procedure that would require his son’s full cooperation. The same son who was no longer as easy to manipulate or influence as he had been even a year ago. Still he knew that some part of his son craved his affection in spite of everything. That was the part that Lionel was going to have to play on if he had any hope of securing his son’s cooperation. But if that failed, well he would make sure to have a plan B.

    Sighing, he closed his eyes and rested his head against the back of his chair. For a moment he allowed him self to feel regret for the relationship or lack there of with his son. He recalled with clarity and pain Lex’s revelation about his deceased wife’s role in the death of their youngest son. For so long he had blamed Lex and because of that their relationship had fallen to the depths it was now at. He meant what he told Lex. If only he had known the truth things would have been different. And if things were different, then Lionel might feel he could ask his son to save his life.

    But things weren’t different, and Lionel Luthor was a survivor. He would get what he needed from his son, and then he would continue to make Lex into the man he needed to be to one day rule the Luthor Empire.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    Lex was extremely grateful the LuthorCorp helicopter was once again fully functional. It made the commute between Smallville and Metropolis easier and faster. Which meant he was able to spend more time trying to figure out what is father was up to and less time on the road.

    Heading towards his office he was unsurprised to find his father waiting for him there. He said nothing as he made his way over to his desk. Idly he couldn’t help wondering why it was he lived in a house so large when he ever only used two rooms. His study and his bedroom. Shrugging the thought off, he tossed his jacket over one end of the couch and headed for the mini bar. Despite the many times when he could have used it, he had remained true to his personal rule of not partaking of alcohol while his father was in residence. He wasn’t certain how much longer he could hold to that rule. Grabbing a bottle of water, he turned to his father but remained silent. After a long silent laden moment Lionel was the first to break.

    “Long day at work, Son?”

    “Just another typical day of increasing profits, holdings and employee loyalty.” Lex nearly smirked at the flash of irritation in his father’s eyes. He knew Lionel was looking for something more. Something that showed Lex wasn’t up to handling the job of running LuthorCorp. But he was. The facts spoke for themselves.

    “And you, Father. How was your day?”

    For the typical family their conversation would be considered congenial. For the Luthors it was strategic movement. Start meaningless conversation, give meaningless answers, try and read between the lines for anything you can exploit. Yes, virtually ever conversation held between father and son was about one up-manship.

    “Informative.”

    Lex raised an eyebrow at this cryptic statement. He wasn’t left to wonder on it long as his father elaborated.

    “Dr. Jackson has passed on information about some of the new treatments that are coming out for my…condition.”

    “How many of them are FDA approved?” Lex was truly curious. He remembered the experiments his father had been involved with last year.

    “Some. Most are in testing stages. Some are nothing more than theories that show promise.”

    Lex nodded. He would have asked more but didn’t want his father to know he was genuinely interested. He didn’t want to be interested at all yet couldn’t deny he was curious. The two sat in silence for several long minutes until Lionel decided it was time for him to leave.

    Lex stood and headed towards the couch fully intending on watching TV. The purple folder on the coffee table caught his eye. Not remembering having left anything out, he picked up the object and flipped through it.

    Immediately he realized the folder contained the information that Dr. Jackson must have given to his father. Knowing Lionel Luthor did nothing without forethought, he wondered if his father had meant for him to find the folder. Debating for a moment he flipped through the pages. The word transfusion caught his eye. Reading further he was struck with the simplicity of it all. Why hadn’t he considered the possibility that his blood might help his father?

    Maybe because some part of him did not want his father to live his conscious whispered. And Lex was forced to acknowledge the truth of the statement. While a part of him continued to long for the love and support a father was supposed to provide his child, another part longed to have the misery of never being good enough for his father come to and end.

    Would his father even accept the offer of his blood? Lex didn’t doubt the answer was yes. In fact, the more he thought about it the more he realized that this had most likely been his father’s plan from the beginning.

    Which meant the real question was whether or not he wanted to make that offer.

    Did he truly wish to help the man who had tried to kill him? The man who had made his life hell for longer than he cared to remember?

    Yet the man in question was his father. The same man who had given him the special box on his 12th birthday. The very one who had been willing to shoot his other son to keep him safe.

    Lex sighed uncertain and unlikely to come up with any answers tonight. He would have to research the treatment further, as well as sort out his own mixed emotions before coming to a decision.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    Once ensconced safely in his room, Lionel flipped open his cell phone and dialed. The person on the other end picked up before the second ring had finished. Without preamble Lionel spoke.

    “Initiate Control.”

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
    End of Episode 9

  2. #2
    An Accused Heretic Senior Member Kit Merlot's Avatar
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    Re: Episode 9 - "Uncertainty" (PG)

    This was just wonderful!

    I like seeing how over-protective Lex is with Chloe, and good for him for keeping an eye out on Lionel--you know he has some horrible scheme up his sleeve.

    And I like seeing the Chloe/Jason relationship deepen, and Lex's worry about Jason wanting something more is just wonderful. For just a second I was afraid that Lana was going to be mentioned as a reason for Chloe not to get involved with Jason, but thankfully it was not.
    KATHY

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