When Lex arrived to his penthouse on Tuesday evening his first impulse was to call security and berate them for letting the sullen and belligerent looking teen sitting out on his balcony sneak past them. His second impulse was to call security and tell them to get their asses up here now, because the kid has Superman’s crest on his shirt and the question of how he got in was suddenly less important than the question of what he was going to do next. The third impulse, and the one that Lex settled on, was to stand there in shock, because that was Conner perched out on the railing of the balcony.
Lex was struck with the sudden desire to run out there and yank Conner down before yelling at him for pulling such a dangerous stunt. The desire itself was somewhat disconcerting, not to mention Lex doubted it would go over well if he did follow through on it. Instead, Lex causally crossed over to the entrance to the balcony, catching Conner’s attention when he opened the door.
“Clark said you got your memory back,” Conner said, sounding almost accusing.
Lex, not particularly wanting to lie to his clone? son? self? ignored the implied question, saying instead, “You shouldn’t be sitting there.” And, miracle of miracles, Conner slid down. “Is there something I can do for you?” Lex asked.
Conner crossed his arms and didn’t say anything. Lex very much doubted Conner wanted anything in particular; if Lex were to find out he was a clone (which he technically was, but he was trying very hard not to remember that part of his phone conversation with Clark) then he would want to meet the original him too. And since Conner was Lex in a way…
“How did you get up here?” questioned Lex when it became apparent that Conner wasn’t going to say anything. The crest on his shirt had Lex originally assuming that Conner was an alien or meta-human lackey of Superman’s and he had gotten up using his powers, but clearly that was not the case.
“I jumped,” Conner replied, defensive. “But I should be able to learn to fly any day now, as long as…” Conner trailed off, having apparently sensed Lex’s confusion. Lex could only hope this was because, as his clone, Conner was extremely sensitive to Lex’s facial expressions, and not because Lex was just that easy to read.
“Clark said you knew who I was,” Conner said, confused and possibly a bit hurt.
“You’re my clone,” replied Lex, and Conner gave him a look like that should explain why Conner thought he was going to be able to fly sometime soon. And maybe it would if Conner had waited until after Friday, when Lex had had a chance to finish going through his files and talk to Clark. Still, Lex wasn’t particularly worried until Conner’s expression morphed into one of dawning comprehension.
“How did you and Clark first meet?” Conner shot at him, and fuck, this kid was onto him.
“Car accident,” Lex responded automatically. “I drove my car off the side of a bridge in Smallville and Clark jumped in and pulled me out. Why do you ask?” His smooth attempt to regain control of the conversation was to no avail though, if the glint of triumph in Conner’s eyes was anything to go by.
“And how did you thank him for saving your life?” Lex froze and Conner’s glint of triumph became a full-fledged expression of glee. “You don’t actually remember anything do you? That’s-“
Lex was not holding his breath waiting for Conner’s response.
“-awesome! Clark has been so freaked out because he thinks you know, but you’re still completely in the dark! How did you trick him?”
Well, that hadn’t been the reaction Lex was expecting. The boy who only minutes ago had been angry and withdrawn was now alive with excitement and looking at Lex like he was… cool.
“I didn’t trick him,” Lex said in answer to Conner’s question. “He made an assumption and I just didn’t bother to correct him.”
“You must have done something,” Conner insisted.
“All I’m going to say on the matter is if Clark didn’t want someone to replace his wardrobe, then he really should dress better.”
“You stole his clothes? That’s epic!” Conner said in awe. “Wait, does that mean it’s your fault Clark took my jeans? Those were my favorite pair and Clark still hasn’t given them back.”
“My apologies,” Lex said. “Let me see if I can’t sort that out for you.” Lex pulled out his cell and hit the speed-dial.
“What can I do for you, Mr. Luthor?”
“Charity, I need you to send someone to Clark Kent’s apartment and get a pair of jeans. If Mr. Kent is home, then they should ask him for Conner’s jeans. If he isn’t, then they should go in and take them; they’ll be a couple sizes smaller than the others.”
“Right away, Mr. Luthor.”
Lex hung up the phone to find Conner staring at him wide-eyed. “Did you just tell someone to sneak into Clark’s apartment and steal my jeans?”
Belatedly, Lex realized giving his people permission to break into Conner’s adoptive brother’s apartment might not be the best way to endear his clone-son to him. “Yes,” Lex answered confidently, deciding it was best to see what he started through.
Conner looked at him for a minute longer before saying “You know, you’re kind of crazy. But in a good way.” Lex didn’t understand how “crazy” could be considered a compliment, but then he probably didn’t understand teenage boys either.
“Thank you,” Lex replied.
“You’re welcome,” Conner said with a shrug. “Hey, so why did you let Clark think you had your memories back?”
Lex didn’t answer right away. His reasons for keeping up this ruse were personal, and Lex did not, as a rule, share personal things with other people. But then, Conner was his clone, and if you can’t be honest with yourself, then who can you be honest with?
“After I woke up for the first time,” Lex said, choosing his words carefully, “there were a lot of people who claimed to know me, hoping to get in good with the amnesiac billionaire. But it wasn’t until Clark barged into my office demanding his clothes back that I felt like someone actually did. I just didn’t want to lose that.”
Conner, who was veritably beaming at this point, threw himself at Lex. Lex tensed for a second before he realized he was being hugged.
“Don’t worry,” Conner told him after he had pulled back. “I’m going to help you out. I’m kind of an expert at this.”
Because that was so reassuring. “You’re an expert at memory loss?” Lex asked him.
“No, I think that’s you actually,” Conner told him, and really, any time people wanted to stop dropping cryptic comments about how supremely fucked up his life had been would be fine by Lex. “What I am an expert in is having people not trust you because of things you don’t even remember doing and even though you don’t want to be evil anymore.”
“People don’t trust you?” Lex said, because he really couldn’t think of a way to respond to that.
“Well, Martha is great, and Clark too obviously,” said Conner, tugging at his emblazoned t-shirt.
Holy crap, Clark was Superman. That… wasn’t actually shocking at all. In fact, Lex had a sneaking suspicion that his subconscious had just been waiting for the rest of him to catch up on that one.
“And I think Lois is more upset about that whole red Kryptonite incident than anything,” Conner blithely continued, unaware of Lex’s not-surprise. “But Chloe and Oliver don’t, and Tess tried to kill me once.”
Suddenly Lex found himself wishing Tess was still alive so he could murder that bitch himself… again… probably. The evidence had been damning at any rate.
“Tess tried to kill you?”
“Yeah, she apparently tried to inject cyanide into me, which is a really weird way to kill someone. Luckily, my skin was already impervious at that point, so it didn’t work.”
“Your skin is impervious?” Lex echoed. He really was more articulate than this usually.
“Oh I forgot,” Conner said sticking out his hand. Lex, thinking that they had gotten things backwards at some point, obligingly shook it. “My name is Conner Kent. I’m a clone you, or the pre-memory loss you, made by combining your DNA with Clark’s.”
Lex would like to say that he responded to that with a Luthorian, or at least what he thought was Luthorian, cool interest, or, possibly, with a scientist’s avid curiosity. Instead he blurted out, “Clark and I have a son together?”
Conner grinned. “Lois calls me your genetic love child.” And Lex hadn’t described it the same way as Lois Lane when he imagined the possibility of him having a half-alien son, he just hadn’t.
“If we have a son, does that mean Clark and I are together?” Lex asked. Not that he’d be too terribly upset about it if they were, aside from the fact that Clark really could have mentioned it ages ago.
“Wait, are you gay?” Conner exclaimed in disbelief, which was probably Lex’s answer right there. “Because I’m not gay. At least, I don’t think I am.”
“Bisexual,” Lex corrected. “And all that means is you’re more likely to be bi too; it’s not a guarantee.”
“Oh,” Conner said. “Well, unless Clark has been keeping a pretty major secret from me, the two of you were never gay together, and you actually sort of hate each other.”
Well, fuck. So Lex had no friends, had died, was reborn from dead clone parts, had lost his memory enough times to be considered an expert, and was a divorced parent without ever getting to have any of the good parts? Just how horrible was his life anyway?
“Clark probably doesn’t hate you that much,” Conner said earnestly, somewhat misunderstanding Lex’s less than pleased expression. “Plus we’re going to redeem you and I swear to God, Clark has like, a freaking hard-on for the redemption thing.”
And suddenly redemption was sounding a lot more appealing. “How are we going to tell him that I haven’t really regained my memories?” asked Lex, seeking, God help him, Conner’s expert opinion on the matter.
“We’re not going to tell him that,” Conner objected. “Did you not hear me when I said how awesome a prank this was? No, you’ll just say that the loss and subsequent regaining of your memories has made you see the error of your ways, and you want to be good now.”
Lex raised his eyebrows at him. “Well, that only less cheesy,” conceded Conner.
Good. Because Lex Luthor didn’t do cheesy.