Lena Luthor closed her eyes and massaged her temples as she sat in her father's former office, now hers. It had been a rough day signing all the necessary documents to puts her father in the institution she had designed called The Citadel. She and the doctors had a plan. It might actually work.
"I heard about what you did."
She put her hands down and looked at her father's nemesis, standing in front of the desk. "I didn't do it for you. I did it because I was tired of having to clean up his messes, spinning things to the press every month and having to work twelve hour days either wearing a hazmat suit or discussing legal strategies to keep him out of jail. A friend of mine told me that she finally had to put her father in a nursing home because he would keep wandering off and clogged the toilet by using dollar bills as toilet paper. It's sad but I envy her."
Superman made a face. "I know that he's hard to deal with but . . ."
She snorted. "That's an understatement. You in particular must be relieved that I took care of your most pressing problem."
"How can you talk about him like that?"
"YOU of all people ask me that? What are you doing here? I know that you're not here to express compassion or sympathy for my situation. You're just here to find out if I plan to continue the family tradition of being a pain in the League's rear."
Lena narrowed her eyes. "No. My father wanted to be a hero. My ambitions are by no means that grand. I'm going to protect what's mine however and I'm not going to roll over and play dead for you and your friends."
"My friends and I have no plans to ask you to do so!" he snapped.
"Uh . . . huh. How about we agree that as long as I don't try to get in the way of your boys' club organizing the world to your liking, you leave my little slice of the world alone . . ."
Superman's shoulders sagged. "Lena . . ."
"Don't you mean Luthor?"
"I think it's something I don't want to continue. I want an end to it."
She paused at the obvious weariness in his voice. She looked up at him up and down, thinking about the way her dad used to describe him, someone with the false beauty of glamor or the cold perfection of a god. "You remind me of princes of the fairy tales my father used to tell me at bedtime. In fairy tales, the good people are handsome and the evil people are . . . not quite so handsome. I wonder if things would be different if my dad looked like you."
"It's not that simple."
"They are in fairy tales. His favorite fairy tale was a story about a wastrel who went to a small Kansas town, died and was reborn with a mission to protect the world from an otherworldly menace. He thought that one day he would be Arthur, Beowulf, Rama with maybe a touch of the Ugly Duckling. However . . ."
"However . . ." He was strangely affected by this woman who had red hair like his mother but had Lex's face talking to him about this secret side of the man who had defined so much of his life.
"One day, I realized that there was no legend, myth or epic struggle of good and evil . . . just business, just war."
"Did you put him in there because you thought he lied to you? Because he disappointed you?"
"I put him in there because he believed so strongly that you and he were connected in this myth he was creating. He talked about it, built life his around it, dreamed about it, tried to make me believe in it . . . All the rituals . . . the games . . . the elaborate rules. Now they're going to be new rules. The treatment program I've developed is going to cure my father of that. My father thought he was saving the world, I'm going to save my father. I'm freeing us both." She stood up and pulled a gun from under her jacket, pointing it at him. "This gun has Kryptonite bullets. Now get the hell off MY property and never come back."
"You know it's not going to be that easy to change things," he said before he disappeared.
"I know," she said.
Also, why not join
Level Three, the Smallville all-fic list?