The Crazy Wife
Getting used to having an office was still a strange experience. Similar to having the strange PA that Alfred had stuck him with, only that was something he was still trying to get rid of. The office he would keep, even if it did look freakishly like Bruce’s office at Wayne Tower.
He sat at his desk, the monitor of his computer turned off as he focused on Lex sitting across from him. It was easier to meet those gray-blue eyes when they were talking about business.
“You got the construction delays taken care of?”
“Yes,” said the man, folding his hands in front of him. “Though I think the company was... curious about some of the proposed modifications.”
Jason tried to hold in a smile and wasn’t successful. “It was the stripper poles, right?”
“Actually, I believe they were more concerned about the things like lead plating, the false walls…”
The building was mostly operational, but it would be a pain if Jason had to hire another crew to come in and finish up, especially after they had cleared the backgrounds for the current workers. It would set him behind.
“So the excuse that we're a security company isn't sticking?”
Lex rolled his shoulders like he was getting ready for a fight. “For the moment they're more interested in the money than an explanation. Others will not be.”
Jason nodded slowly. “The money may be a little late. I'm still waiting to hear back on the New York deal.”
“Problem?” the older man wondered.
“Kind of,” Jason admitted, feeling embarrassed. “Just not used to the business side of things yet. I'm more used to kicking lots of ass.”
Lex smirked faintly, making Jason throw him a quick smile.
“M’not asking you for more money. You do enough around here.”
“How nice of you to notice,” Lex teased, not unkindly.
Jason rolled his eyes dramatically. “It’s hard not to.”
“Mm.” Lex turned slightly serious. It was hard not to notice the shift—aside from his own skills of studying people, Lex seemed to relax only a little around him and the children. As if the man had way too much on his shoulders and trusted so few with his real self. “And the Bludhaven deal?”
Jason felt his face growing warm. The thing that Bruce had needed his help with involved getting hold of Dick for something, and Jason had not been entirely graceful about that. He threw a tantrum, as Lex put it, and he was man enough to admit, if only to himself, that it was true.
Lex didn’t have the greatest relationship with his siblings either. Jerk. A hot jerk, but still a jerk.
“It's going along better,” he admitted grudgingly.
Lex smirked. His eyes were gleaming and Jason just wanted to kiss that smirk off his face. “Shall I cancel the bulk ordered ear plugs?”
So much for business talk making it easier to look at the man. “I do not scream that loud. You want loud, I can always call Black Canary.”
“Who said I was talking about you? Your brother can be quite shrill when he wants.”
Jason sighed. “Just don't say that around him.”
“Of course not.”
Smug bastard. Jason rubbed his forehead. “Dick suggested that I talk to Edward Nigma. He's just gotten out of Arkham, released again, and has apparently retired from the villain business.”
“Yeah. He’s part of the old Rogue’s gallery, but so was Selina, once upon a time. I’ll give him an invite. Riddler could be a tough opponent because of his cleverness, but he never committed murder. The only person he's ever tried to kill was Bruce, and well, who hasn’t?”
“He is very annoying.”
It took Jason a few minutes to realize Lex was actually referring to Edward, not Bruce. “If he keeps telling stupid riddles, we'll shoot him. Besides, think how pissed Bruce will be.”
“True. Reason enough to do it, I suppose.”
”See? You like my plans.”
“When they don’t blow up in your face, sure.”
Jason rolled his eyes and had a return quip on the end of his tongue, when his oh-so-wonderful PA knocked on the doorframe. “What now?” he demanded, hating to be distracted from Lex.
Anthea looked distinctly sour, her face pinched in annoyance. “Mr. Luthor’s wife is here to see him.”
Jason glanced at Lex, but the man was clearly surprised.
“In Gotham?” The billionaire stood, frowning at the woman.
“She's in the nursery and quite insistent about seeing you.”
In the nursery, where the kids were. Jason and Lex exchanged a weighted glance, and the younger man knew that his business partner was thinking the same thing. Lex’s wife wanted to use the children for leverage in some confrontation, but what for?
“Then I suppose I should,” Lex muttered unhappily.
Anthea nodded and sharply whirled away.
“I’ll come with you,” Jason told Lex, wheeling after him and thinking. It wasn’t like Anthea to let her emotions show. Something about this had pissed her off though, and as they drew closer to the nursery, she became even more noticeably distressed.
“What’s wrong with you?” Jason demanded softly.
Anthea pressed her lips together in annoyance before she answered. “Mrs. Luthor bribed some of the construction team to sneak her into the building and she refuses to leave the nursery or the children.”
There could only be a few reasons she would want to bribe their way passed security, and Jason didn’t like any of them. “After we speak to her, find out who they were and have them escorted off the premises without pay.”
His PA’s smirk was sharp. “Yes, sir.”
Mercy met up with them on the way, already chewing out the security through her earpiece as she checked her ammo. Lex would forever be grateful for the woman’s steadfastness. He didn’t blame her for the security breach. They had known the risk of hiring civilian workers, but having LexCorp employees work on one particular building would have raised too many questions. At the very least, it would have attracted Batman’s and Green Arrow’s attention, and they didn’t need that.
Lex moved to the head of the group as they walked into the nursery. He tensed at the sight of his wife sitting there. “Laura, what’s the problem?”
The nursery was nearly completed. It was a large structure, built with the idea that Jason’s teammates might have many more children and they needed the room. (He complained about how his life was becoming one big daycare center, but Lex knew the truth. He saw how much Jason adored Julian and Lena, how protective he was of Conner.) It was a good thought, and the amusements were indeed enjoyable, but Lena was already asking when the cotton candy machine would be working.
The current Mrs. Luthor sat as demurely as one could on the edge of a bouncy castle. The tabloids loved to speculate for how much longer the current would be applied, as Lex’s history had not always been stellar. Even Lex himself doubted it would be for very much longer. He gave up on actual romance years ago, on hope that a relationship could ever work for him, by the time he met Laura. Laura was just good business. He wanted more children and she was willing.
Perhaps that was unfair, but Lex did what he could to make the woman happy. He gave her money, a successful career, and plenty of time to herself.
But whether or not he neglected her wasn’t the issue at the moment, because she was there without permission, and she had Julian in her lap.
“Hello, Lex,” she said, eyes hard.
“Put down the child,” Jason growled, “and get out of my building.”
Laura twitched but gave the redheaded man no other notice. “When I agreed to marry you, Lex, I swore I'd be the last. What happened to us, Lex?”
Lex sighed. “It might help if I knew what you were talking about, Laura.”
“Don’t play games with me, Lex,” she spat.
Lena suddenly appeared from around the bouncy castle—good lord, she’d been hiding from her step-mother—and ran straight for Jason, which warmed Lex’s heart enormously. “Jase-papa, the lady is bein’ weird.”
Laura’s voice was sharp and she glared hard at the girl. “I am your step-mother, young lady, and you will show me some respect!”
The teen looked furious as Lena cowered against his useless legs. “Yell at her again, lady, and I'll cut out your fucking tongue.”
Laura turned pleading eyes to Lex. “Are you going to let him speak to me like that?”
He only returned the look as coldly as he could, his own fury coiling inside him. “I don't approve of my children being yelled at, Laura. Mind yourself.”
“I know what’s going on here. You can’t hide it from me!”
Lex held in another sigh. “Enlighten me, because I haven't the foggiest.”
“You’re cheating on me!”
Nearby, passing Lena gently off to Anthea, Jason laughed incredulously. “When would he have the time? Lady, he spends all of his time either in his office or here!”
“Did you think I was stupid?” she demanded, still ignoring Jason.
Lex stepped toward her, slow and cautious, as if approaching a frightened horse. “Laura, I haven't been cheating on you. You're making a scene. We'll talk about this at home.”
“No! I will not be patronized!”
“I'm not patronizing you. Nothing's going on between Jason and I.”
“Say what?” Jason squeaked from somewhere behind him and Lex had to hold in a blush.
Whatever his feelings for Jason, which seemed to grow every day, he was technically not lying to Laura. There was nothing going on between them, not physically or even otherwise. Nothing more than an occasional heated glance, or just simple moments they shared with the children where it felt like Jason was what he had always searched for. Or moments when their harmless banter would turn into flirting, and they would never stop until something interrupted them. Or how suddenly all his plans for the future were starting to involve the fiery redhead.
But it was nothing more than that; than a beautiful, angry teen giving Lex his heart, his hope back. Nothing but a dream.
Lex stopped abruptly as Laura pulled a pistol out of her pocket. It was small and brand new—a gun pointed at him bought with his own money.
“Don’t lie to me!”
“Fuck, Lex,” Jason muttered warningly, but Lex motioned everyone behind him to stay back.
Laura’s hand was shaking; she had never handled a gun before in her life. He could talk her down if they didn’t let her get too nervous. She had his son in her lap, he had to be careful.
“Laura, nothing is going on, it’s just your imagination.”
“It’s not!” Her hand’s shaking increased.
“Calm down, Laura. Everything is alright. Just put down the gun and we’ll go home, together.”
A streak of black and blue zoomed passed, almost too fast for him to see, but definitely faster than any of them could react. Suddenly, the children were gone, and Lex relaxed.
Conner. He must have been hiding, watching the situation carefully and waiting for an opening to grab his siblings and get them upstairs to safety. There was an emergency protocol they had run the metahuman teen through rigorously. Jason had insisted on it, not Lex. (Possibly some leftover from Batman’s influence.) Conner was to take his brother and sister to their apartment, to the master bedroom, which would seal into a panic room. His first priority in a disaster was always Lena and Julian.
Laura stared at her empty lap until she registered that her son had been stolen. Then her pretty features contorted into an expression of utter rage. With a surprisingly steadier hand, she whirled on Jason. “You!”
“Mercy, get Lex,” Jason said, his shoulders tense.
Mercy began to usher him out of the room and Lex tried to argue, fight her off, but she tugged him out of the room with embarrassing ease.
He heard Laura yell some more, and then the shooting started.
“You may have taken my husband,” the crazy lady was seething, “but you’ll take my son over my dead body!”
“We can arrange that,” Jason snapped as he threw himself out of his wheelchair.
His landing was graceless, made no easier by the padded floor, and it jolted his spine. He prayed it wouldn’t cause more damage as he rolled behind a couch—ignore the pain, ignore it, fuck, just keep going—for cover as the crazy bitch opened fire.
A professional would have had him before he left the damn chair. Lucky for him, she wasn’t.
Jason winced as glass shattered from her wild shots, and there was a distinct pop as the bouncy castle died heroically.
Maybe not quite that lucky, Jason decided, already doing a mental tally of what the repairs would cost.
“Bitch! This room cost a lot of money!”
He couldn’t borrow money from Lex forever. If he went back to Bruce for an allowance, he’d never hear the end of it.
As the pain in his back started to recede—not going numb, but lessening, needed to get looked at when this was over—he pulled out his gun to shoot back at her.
Then he heard Anthea’s voice and paused, afraid that he would hit her too. His vision was only so good lying behind the couch.
Jason peeked out from behind the couch and saw Anthea, having snuck up behind Laura without her heels on, stab the other woman in the shoulder of her gun hand. Laura shrieked in pain and dropped the gun, which his PA swiftly kicked away before tying the other woman’s hands behind her back. Laura was crying, equal amounts hysteria and pain, but Anthea had no pity.
Jason rolled onto his back, wincing at the twinge in his back. “Shit fuck ow. Anthea, if you insisted on working here, stab the bitch quicker.”
“Sorry, sir,” Anthea said as she also zip tied Laura’s ankles and attached to the leg of an activity table.
Jason remembered sitting there just the day before, watching Lena and Julian try out the new play-doh. He continued to curse, though in anger now.
He’d deal with the repairs. It’d be fine. Thank all the fucking gods in the universe that Conner had super speed and all three of the kids had been safe. Thank fuck Lian and Mia hadn’t even been around at all.
He was still cursing himself something fierce as Anthea, despite his protests, helped him back into his wheelchair. His back felt marginally better just getting off the floor though, so he contented himself with only grumbling a little more at her. He went to find where Mercy had taken Lex.
He could hear Lex arguing with his trusted bodyguard some ways down the hall. The billionaire didn’t notice them coming.
“Sir,” Mercy was saying, “the situation is in hand.”
“Jason is still in there with her!” Lex cried.
So much could be inferred from the tone the man used. Jason tried not to blush at this vocalized sign of his esteem.
“Actually, I’m right here,” he said.
Lex whirled around quickly, eyes roaming over Jason’s figure, checking for signs of injury. Jason couldn’t contain the heat rushing to his face this time.
“Are you alright?”
“Of course I'm alright!” Jason snapped, flustered. “Except my back hurts like a bitch.”
Still feeling pissed, his reply was terse and direct. “She shot at me and missed pathetically. Before I could return fire, the woman I did not hire stabbed her, tied her up, and is currently hauling her out.” A quick glance behind him proved that Anthea was already out of sight with their crazed assailant.
He rubbed at the ache in his lower back. “I need my meds.”
“I’ll get them,” Lex offered quickly, suddenly sounding young, like Conner.
Jason shook his head. “No. I want to go upstairs, make sure the kids are okay.” The babies had to be so scared right now.
He pushed himself toward the elevator, Lex hovering worriedly nearby as Mercy took off to deal with this sudden hole in their security, no doubt. Jason glanced at Lex and, still irritable, he demanded, “Was it really her imagination?”
Hesitation crossed Lex’s features plainly and Jason stopped, softening.
He didn’t want the world to burn. He didn’t want grand schemes, he didn’t want loads of cash. He wanted his dysfunctional family and friends. He wanted to keep working on being able to walk again. He wanted a comfortable apartment. He wanted a man and kids to belong to him, not to some crazy bitch.
“Push me inside, would you?” Jason prodded with a softer voice. “My back's killing me.”
Lex seemed grateful that he wasn’t going to push it, and Jason let him have that false security for the time being.
The children were waiting for them. Jason didn’t relax fully until he saw them and didn’t even scold Conner for not being in the bedroom—Mercy must have called up to alert the teen when the coast was clear.
Jason held a sniffling Julian in his arms, cuddling him close and pressing kisses into his soft tuft of red hair. So tiny and warm and so wonderful alive.
“It's okay, Julian,” he murmured. “You're safe.”
“I wanted to come back and help,” Conner muttered guiltily, holding his sister. “But you told me never to leave the babies if something like that happened.”
Lex ruffled his teenage son’s dark hair. “You did the right thing, son. Don’t worry.”
Conner smiled gratefully, and then Jason felt pretty grateful to the man as well when Lex went to get his pills. He swallowed down a couple with a glass of water.
“Thanks.” He eyed the man’s expression, watching as it began to close off.
Pamela had said the smug bastard was attracted to him. Maybe there was some truth in that after all.
“I think you owe me a kiss.”
Lex’s eyes widened, but that was his only reaction.
“Well, a crazy woman barges into my building, accusing me of things I haven't done but would like to do, threatening us and our babies, causing senseless property damage, so I'm totally owed a kiss. “
Conner and Lena both started to giggle, but Lex just continued to stare at him while trying not to show any reaction. Jason couldn’t look away from his eyes though, and so he saw the hesitation there as the other man’s emotions began to win over his self-control.
“Kiss me, Lex.”
Lex nodded and stepped closer. Jason curled his fingers around his silk tie and tugged him down gently. Still holding the baby, he kissed Lex for all he was worth, swallowing the bald man’s gasp of surprise.
It was just a kiss, but it as the best damn kiss ever. Lex gripped the sides of his wheelchair as he bent down to give as good as he was getting. Jason started to feel lightheaded and—holy fucking shit his penis started to respond. He had felt twitches occasionally since his accident, but he’d worried that was all he could feel down there until they managed to somehow get him walking again. Loss of sensation was only to be expected. This was way more than a casual twitch though, and so fucking good.
Jason moaned into Lex’s mouth, gripping his tie tighter, and distantly heard Lena as the girl began to cheer. He felt laughter bubbling up in his throat, joyful laughter, and Lex pulled away.
The other man looked as though he were in pain, but his was definitely blushing. “Good enough?”
“If I said it’d never be enough, would you freak out?” Jason asked slyly.
Lex flushed brighter. Jason was amused—he was the teenager after all.
“We’ll talk,” the man promised softly and Jason nodded in agreement.
“Later.” Jason then turned to the kids and distracted them with an offer to order out pizza, a suggestion greeted with much enthusiasm.
While Jason ordered their food on a local pizza place’s website, Lex took an opportunity to duck out onto the balcony and try to get himself under control.
He could normally contain his passions around the teen, but not now. Not after Laura had shot at him, and definitely not after the kiss.
Jason made him want so many things, things Lex had given up on a long time ago. He made him believe those things were possible again, an innocence that Clark and Lana had taken from him so utterly.
He gripped the metal bars of the balcony and glared out at the city, at the unfairness of it all. He almost hoped that the Joker would show up to annoy him for old time’s sake, just for the distraction.
He heard the balcony doors open and close quietly. “What’s wrong?” his eldest son asked.
Lex sighed softly. He could be honest with Conner, more than he could with most people. There was never a moment when he regretted taking the metahuman home, taking him away from Clark.
“I don't exactly have a great track record with people I've been in love with. They've all turned against me, sooner or later. Today is just another example.”
Conner came to stand close next to him, bumping their shoulders lightly, just enough to give his father a playful nudge. “You weren’t in love with Laura. Besides, Jase won’t do that. He doesn’t give a shit about your money. He likes you.”
“It doesn’t bother you that I’m attracted to someone just a little older than you?” Lex asked mildly. He would have felt all kinds of creeped out if, as a teenager, Lionel had started dating a teenaged boy.
Well. It wasn’t as though he hadn’t tried to get closer to Clark. Lex suppressed a shiver of revulsion.
Conner gave him a mild look. “Dad, I only look like a teenager. Been out of the tube a considerably shorter time. So no, doesn’t bother me. Question is, why are you bothered? I know you’ve wanted Jase for awhile, I could smell it.”
Lex flushed; he couldn’t help it. That was not the kind of thing he wanted to know his child knew about. “It’s not that simple. I used to believe I was that lucky. But I'm not.”
“Luck is what you make it. It’ll work out, you’ll see. It can’t rain all the time.”
Lex couldn’t suppress a smile at the geekyness. Conner was most definitely his son. “We’ll see, I suppose.”
Shortly thereafter, they were drawn back inside, where Jason had started a movie for the kids—The Labyrinth—while they waited for pizza to arrive. Lex spent most of the shared meal trying not to stare too hard at Jason feeding Julian from a bottle. The young man held Julian in his arms as if the baby were the most precious thing to him.
Lex suspected he was not entirely successful, if the gleam in Jason’s eyes was anything to go by.
After they had eaten, Jason was alone with Lex in the kitchen as they washed up the few dirty dishes used during dinner. Conner had put on another movie for him and his sister, in order to help Lena tire out. Julian had fallen asleep in Jason’s arms earlier so he was back in the crib.
They had not spoken much to each other since the kiss, but Jason could feel the man’s attention focused on him for nearly as long. It was very intense all on its own, but added with the memory of the kiss, it made the teen feel pretty smug.
Hands still methodically drying dishes, he asked, “Yes?”
“The kiss?” Lex murmured, carefully passive.
Jason put the plate on the dish stand and reached for another. “What about it?”
“You said you were accused of something you hadn't done but wanted.”
“Yup, I did.” He kept his eyes on the plate. “That was probably a crappy thing to say after your wife tries to kill you, huh?”
“I'm used to it by now.”
Jason frowned and met his eyes finally, setting the plate with the others. “Doesn't fucking make it right. I would've killed her, Lex. I still feel like finding where she is and doing it now.”
“Because you wanted to be my mistress?” Lex asked mildly.
“No. Well, maybe.” Might as well be honest. “Not as a means to an end, Lex. I don't like it when people hurt family. Regardless whether its Bruce and my brothers or you and the kids, okay? Sue me for not being a complete bastard.”
Lex pulled his hands out of the sink, drying them on a rag. The man had shot at Superman with fucking death rays, but he liked to spend evenings with Jason Todd doing dishes. It was that freaking domestically again.
“You want to be Jase-papa for real?”
Jason blushed. “Gotta be honest. Never thought I was the kind of guy that'd want kids.”
There was some almost hidden insecurity in Lex’s eyes. “But?”
“Screw it. Maybe I’m only seventeen, but I want it. I want you and the kids. Living without my legs is fucking hard, but when you're all here, I have something else. My legs don't matter. Getting my spine fixed would be great, but that’s not why I keep you guys around. All that matters is taking care of the kids, seeing you almost every day, watching you collapse on my couch after a board meeting. Just, lots of things, and they mean everything to me.”
Jason cringed at revealing so much. The last of his badass points had to have committed ritualistic suicide by now.
“You can have the kids without me,” Lex pointed out slowly.
“Yeah. But I’d still want to talk you into exploring the ways of wheelchair sex with me, so, you know. Platonic is gonna suck to go back to after figuring out I can probably fuck now. Thanks for that, by the way.”
The man laughed while he turned red again. “Alright. You’re welcome, I guess.”
“What do you want, Lex?”
“Besides ruling the world?”
Jason grinned. He liked having this playful side of Lex. That was how it should be. “Aside form that, yeah.”
Lex sighed and leaned against the marble counter. “I like you, Jason.”
“Way to make me feel I’m in a John Hughes movie, Lex.”
“Shut up, Jason.” Lex smirked, trying not to laugh.
“So, you like me, but?”
“I would hate for my children to lose you and this place because of what might happen between us.”
Softening, Jason reached for one of Lex’s hands. The contact felt so right. “I'm not asking you to give me forever, Lex. I mean, that’d be cool too, but I’ve never been in a serious relationship with anybody. Ever. Just the one night stands I could sneak in while I still lived with Bruce. And you haven't even taken me on a date, the occasional takeout doesn’t fucking count. Let's just... take it one day at a time? See what happens?”
Lex nodded slowly, still hesitant. “Alright. It isn’t that I don’t want to, Jason. That’s not why I’m hesitant.”
“I gotcha. Besides, you’re still married and I have my maidenly honor to consider.”
Lex laughed hard. “Shut up, Jason.”
Jason laughed with him. It felt good.
~ End of this part. Thanks for reading! ~