"You look like a man in need of a hug."
The teasing words of Rebecca Lee brought Lex Luthor's gaze away from the window and to her sympathetic face. "I was thinking a good stiff drink."
"And no doubt a restorative bullet to the
lord and master's forehead," The young
redhead countered smoothly, moving to
join him at the window.
"My father told me."
Lex raised one eyebrow. "News of this
"Mom called him." Becky explained.
He grinned at that. "Never cross Mary
"The lady's a tiger and quite unafraid
of your father." She agreed before
resting a hand on his arm. "How are
Though she and Clark were both adopted,
the look in her eyes was so similar
to her cousin's that he briefly
entertained the thought that they
were blood siblings. As quickly as
the thought came, however, he
dismissed it. Beyond the expressions,
there was little similarity between
Clark Kent and Rebecca Lee. Where he
was tall, she was short, where he
had dark hair, hers was ever
growing redder, he fair, she
freckled...if there was a case
for actual genetic relation, he
couldn't see it.
"How do you think I am?" He asked,
harsher than he'd intended.
She took no offense, just smiled
sadly and slipped an arm around
him; resting her head against him.
"He's a bastard." She decided
finally, her words vehement. "I don't
care what case he makes for this.
It's beyond wrong."
Lex chuckled. "Such language Rebecca,
what would your mother think?"
She snickered. "Not much. Mom's
been calling him much worse
believe me." Her gaze lifted to his
and once again he had to remind
himself of the age difference.
Nothing could happen between them -
not yet - no matter how much they both
wanted it. Jonathan Kent was already
convinced of his bad influence, Lex
could only imagine how much worse the
reaction would be if he were to discover his only niece had been seduced by
Lionel Luthor's son. "You could call
Knowing who she was talking about, he
shook his head. "Not yet. Calling him
is a last resort."
"But you should." She insisted. "There
aren't that many people you can turn to that aren't under your father's control. Of them, there are even less with
enough money, influence, and power
to be of any help. He's pretty much it."
"I know." Lex replied, absently
touching her hair and looking out
the window, wondering for the hundredth time if somehow, Rebecca was his
mother's doing. If bringing Clark and
his cousin into his life had been an
attempt from beyond the grave to keep
her husband's influence from completely consuming her son. "I can't do it yet. If I do, and my father finds out, he'll take steps to cut off any help that could be offered. I can't take the chance of risking it."
"What about me?" She questioned
thoughtfully. "I talk to him at least
once a week, just to make sure he's ok, and I could slip in a little complaint about what's going on here." A
mischievous glint entered her eyes.
"After all, I'm a teenager. We're
always ranting to someone about
He chuckled. "Very devious of you,
"I have my moments." Becky demurred
with a waved hand. Her face sobered and she touched his face. "I'm worried
about you Lex. About how all this is
"I'm fine." He replied simply,
"No you aren't." She shook her head,
frowning at him. "You aren't fooling
me, Lex. I can see it in your face."
"Don't you have a dance to get ready
for?" He asked irritably, moving away
from the window, trying to put distance between them.
Rebecca wasn't having any of it as she
turned and followed. "I'm not going.
Besides, you're more important than
some silly old dance."
The insistent comment warmed him but
he showed no sign of it. "You should go."
She wrinkled her nose. "And do what?
Stand in the corner, holding a drink and trying not to look pathetic? I hated
dances in Gotham, I hated the few I went to in Metropolis and I hate them here." She shrugged. "Never was much of a
party girl. Now, are you going to talk to me or not?"
"Don't, Lex." Rebecca's voice turned
plaintive and he stopped, refusing to
look at her. He knew what expression he would find on her face and he wasn't
about to look at it.
"Shut everyone out." She reached out,
fingertips brushing his sleeve. "That's what Lionel wants, you to have no one
else to turn to but him. If you've no
one else in your life then it'll be all that much easier to bend you to whatever shape son he wants."
"I'm not Gumby, Rebecca." He turned,
despite himself, and strained to keep his expression stoic in the face of her
obvious worry. "I have no intention of doing what he wants."
"No, you don't. But it's more complex
than that. It's like a spider web, Lex. The harder you fight the more ensnared you become. He's a master at this, putting you in an untenable situation and then sitting back to watch you thrash around, trying to get free and becoming more and more his son with every step."
She was right. He knew it but what could
he do? He couldn't stand by and watch
his father destroy the plant and the lives of so many of the town. Fighting back
was his only option and by whatever means necessary his only choice.
"I have to try." Lex told her honestly,
briefly letting her see the turmoil he
was in. "I can't just sit back and let him win, Rebecca. I have to try."
She blinked away tears and moved forward,
hugging him tightly. "Then we'll try."
Came her murmur against his chest.
"Whatever happens, we will try."
Lex somewhat awkwardly wrapped his
arms around her, holding her close
as well. "Yeah," he agreed quietly,
resting his chin on her hair. "We'll
With that he fell silent and enjoyed
the first honest-to-God hug he'd had in years. `Thanks Mom.'
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