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Warren the Millionaire, Lex of the Trio

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This story is No. 3 in the series "Cleveland's Own: Mailer Daemon". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Lex Luthor wakes up in the late sixth season of a TV show he likes, but he's in the body of Warren Mears. Covers 'Seeing Red' and the Smallville Season 5 Finale Arc (Fade/Oracle/Vessel)

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Smallville > Other BtVS/AtS Characters(Current Donor)ShieldageFR15820,5580145,12120 Jun 0610 Jul 06Yes

Chapter 8: Flipped

BtVs and the Buffyverse characters belong to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy, Smallville and it's denizens are product of DC Comics and the WB.

Spoilers for several seasons of Buffy/Angel/Smallville, takes place in Late Season 6 as well as Smallville's Season 5 Finale Episode:Vessel, so expect heavy spoilers on the end of the season.

The lyrics quoted both up here and way, way down below are not mine; 'Kryptonite' © Three Doors Down

Hey, I respect Lionel and I like Clark, sorry if my handling of them doesn't exactly reflect my feelings.

Yup, Final Chapter, it's been a good ride :)



Warren was amazed at the strength he was exerting, he could even hold this struggling woman down one-handed. Braniac must have given him that shot while he had been knocked out; it was enhancing him in this regard and who knew what else the super-vaccine would allow him to do... Despite her muffled protests, it was child's play for him to cover her nose with his other hand until she passed out. He checked her pulse, then pulled on his clothes hurriedly, singing the chorus to a song by Three Doors Down...

If I go crazy,
Then will you still call me Superman?
If I'm alive and well,
Will you be there, holding my hand?
I'll keep you by my side
With my superhuman might,
Kryptonite.

... as he flipped the unconscious Lana to his shoulder and carried her out of the room.



-Lana-

Lana Lang came to with a massive headache, worse than any hangover she had ever experienced, and found that she had been stripped, gagged, and tied upright at an angle to some sort of exercise equipment.

She was in for a bigger shock when she moved her head slightly and saw that some of the heavy metal bars that made up the machine had been forcefully bent to form some of the restraints... Make that an equal to lesser shock... Another bar across her forehead prevented her simply bashing her head into any attacker.

There was another sound, as of metal straining, and the clothed body of Lex Luthor walked into her field of view, twisting another metal bar into a pretzel.

"Oh, this power I'm exhibiting? It's a gift from Milton Fine, who no doubt plans to betray me. Yes, it's a trifle odd, but, make no mistake..." 'Lex' said, tossing the bar to clang heavily in a corner. "This hasn't changed my personality. I've been wanting to do this to you for a long time."

'Lex' kneeled before her and began to run his tongue over her calf, just above the restraint he had placed there. Despite her protests, he began to work his way upward and not once - not once, during this - did he put a hand on her.

After what felt like an eternity of this exploration, but probably less than a minute, he placed one hand against the side of the machine and raised himself above Lana, leaving her staring directly into his blue eyes and the dark soul within. As his free hand started to undo his pants, she let loose one final, muffled, pitiful cry- and Clark was there, pulling 'Lex' off of her.

'Lex' elbowed Clark in the gut, working his way free of his grip and allowing him to spin around to face his rescuer. A furious fist fight ensued... When the fight neared the wall, a punch from 'Lex' went through the wood a sizable distance and Clark was absorbing those blows like they were almost nothing... When 'Lex' retrieved his hand, she was able to see deep cuts scored in his flesh.

As the battle continued, those wounds had healed to nothing within a few seconds, but they had been there and she had seen them. She realized that an intense enough injury that actually killed him before he had a chance to regenerate might-

Clark was definitely the stronger of the two and was surely going to win-

The windows blew open and the birds outside were practically screaming and 'Lex' clutched his head in a gesture of immense pain, just before giving Clark a kick with much more strength then he had shown in the past seconds and -unexpectedly- he ran out the door.

The hero decided to rescue the girl first, as 'Lex' had shown no signs of super-speed. They both were silent as he easily snapped the metal bonds. Her eyes said the question for her as she started to undo the gag with her newly freed hands.

"Oh, Magic ring," he stated, grinning, tapping the cheap silver ring that he'd bought the night before, with some Kryptonian symbols freshly etched into its surface. Before she could say anything he exited out the doorway, on the search for 'Lex'. She saw Clark looking to the left, only to be hit on the head from behind, with a sizable chunk of Kryptonite.

Milton Fine dropped the crystal he had pilfered from Lex's stash and used as a weapon, before turning towards the screaming Lana.

"Be sure to tell him I said 'thank you' for this opportunity to prepare Lex," Fine said, kicking the unconscious superhero. "Do you know that Clark was my original target and that this entire thing is his fault?

"Toodeloo, and nice body," the construct winked, just to disturb her, before zooming off at an immense rate of speed.

Before heading into the hallway to stare at Clark, a shaking Lana wrapped herself in the bathrobe that 'Lex' had - for some twisted reason - retrieved from his room and left hanging on the side of the exercise equipment, where it had been just touching her fingers...

The crystal had come to rest by Clark's leg and, as it bathed him in it's green radiance, she remembered what Lionel Luthor had said about using the crystals against aliens...

"Magic ring, my ass!" she yelled and began to vent all her pent up frustrations in an effort to kick her non-boyfriend, ex-lover, who had lied so many times to her, into the middle of next week. It was this sight that Lionel Luthor stumbled onto that morning when he ascended the stairs.

When she would not respond to his words, he pulled the girl a short distance away from Clark, only then noticing she wasn't wearing anything under the bathrobe. "What's wrong?" he asked.

"Your- Your son was going to rape me, he tied me up, he-" she trailed off, horror dawning on her face. Lionel stared into her eyes, his expression hardening, before he turned and forcibly kicked the prone man.

"No- Stop it! Not Clark, it was Lex who tried to- who- Why would you think Clark was your son? Oh-" she gasped, catching sight of the symbols on the piece of paper sticking out of Lionel's pocket. They matched the etchings on the ring and on so many artifacts the year before. "What the hell is happening around here?"



-L-

Lex Luthor and Jonathon Levinson traveled deeper into the maze, their exit route lit up behind them by a yellow squirt bottle of mustard and the bio-luminescent bacteria they'd mixed in with it. After several challenges that had used up most of their equipment they stumbled upon an obstacle even they had not prepared for.

On their side of the chamber there was a short step down to a huge stone tablet that brushed up against the walls to either side. There was a matching tablet on the other side, covered in the ancient Greek equivalent of whirring buzz-saw blades. The door across from them also had blades buzzing on its surface and, worse, it was grated.

The holder of the orb of invincibility could survive the blades, possibly even jam a few of them, but without super-strength it was useless to try to force the door.

Between the two tablets was a four foot gap, four feet deep, and their experiments with marbles and various heavier items proved that if anything touched the bottom of that small pit, the stone tablets would leap forward to close upon whatever it was and crush it into nothingness, before retracting. Not only that, but when the tablets were forward all the blades shrunk away and the grate raised into the ceiling. It took repeated tests to get that much information, it only took a split second to destroy the items they used and their eyes had trouble processing the input that quickly.

A short conversation ensued, during which they decided the key must be some nearly unbreakable item elsewhere in the maze that they had no clues to lead them to, nor time nor desire to look for. Sighing, Jonathon, arranged the invulnerability orb so it was not in danger of being crushed and lowered his short frame into the pit.

When the trap had snapped shut over his middle-to-lower thirds and stuck there, the blades retracted and the grate raised itself. Sighing morosely, Jonathon waved goodbye to Lex with a free hand. Lex shook his head, then shook the offered limb, smiling impishly. With a muttered 'thank you' the young millionaire safely crossed the room.

Lex slowly opened the door and -hearing a faint hiss- swung through with his eyes closed. Landing on his feet, he shuffled his equipment around so that, on opening his eyes, he could see the reflected image of what could only be one of Medusa's surviving sisters, sitting on a gold throne, next to a golden lever that was presumably the off-switch for the trap.

"Don't worry," Lex assured, carefully studying her reflection in his shield. "I have no intention of loosing yet another Pegasus on the world..."

"What do you want from me?" she asked in a voice that was both beautiful, for her voice was beautiful, and disturbing, for her snakes echoed her.

"Here, read this," Lex said, handing her the instruction sheet. A few sentences, down near the bottom, were written in Greek.



-C-

Clark revived to find himself very sore and being hovered over by Lionel and Lana. Lex's father helped him to his feet, incidentally moving him farther away from the green crystal.

"Something strange is going on with Lex, Clark, I've gathered that much already, but before you tell me exactly what has happened, I need you to read this for me. You know how long I've been channeling the spirit of your biological father, 'Joe the drifter'," Lionel told Clark as he handed him the paper with scribbled Kryptonian symbols; they both watched Lana's eyes widen in recognition of the name. "But these mystical symbols he leaves with me as warnings still," Lionel laughed. "Mean nothing to me."

"'Sacrifice the Vessel'," Clark read aloud, deciding he needed all the help he could get.

"Milton Fine said -after he mentioned this was all your fault, Clark- he was going to 'prepare' Lex, so that strength he's showing probably means he's the vessel," Lana stated, quivering in rage. "If you don't have the courage to kill him, I will."

Before Lionel could reply to this, Clark had decided that it was worth the risk of showing another one of his powers to Lana and had zoomed off at super-speed. Sure enough, Lex's car was parked a short distance away in Mayer's field, but he was nowhere to be found. What had been left burned into the ground was a symbol based around a capital Z, the emblem of Zod.

The ship must have summoned 'Lex', causing the wind and scaring the animals, then abducted him and left its calling card. Of course, what was more urgent to Clark was identifying the woman in red that was standing by the side of the symbol. That red car parked next to Lex's was presumably hers.

"My name is now Donna Milton," the brunette said, turning to face Clark, unsurprised about his running speed. "I was once a great power in this dimension, but I erased my own memory and purposefully lost my original name for reasons I haven't yet begun to fathom. No matter. I had foreseen a time of great terror and darkness and made steps to prevent it by stealing the soul of a man from another plane of existence. A man who already had blood on his hands and would not be greatly missed.

"For three days now this murderer has been walking around in the body of the man you know, while the man you knew walks another path. The murderer's soul will form the two-who-will-be-one with the essence of the powerful alien, instead of your strong-willed friend, your rival-in-love. When it happens this time through, all will be reversed, the soul and memories of the man you know will be returned to his body and the joined souls of your two newest enemies will be imprisoned beyond thought.

"This will only happen if you kill, with your father's gift, the spirit of the ship, the silver-blooded being, which will release the entity from his current pris-"

She was interrupted by Clark's leap forward to grab her by the throat and lift her off the ground.

"Shut up, Fine," he snarled. "I'm tired of your games and your imitations, but... You're right about one thing. It's about time I paid a visit to 'Dear Old Dad'.

He zoomed off and left the woman, ex-Grecian ancient witch, now a minor sorceress, lying on the ground, breathing heavily as strength returned to her limbs.



-J-

"What do you have in the bag?" Jonathon asked.

"What do you think?" Lex asked, showing how the snakes were pressed against the leather.

After a very long time they managed to make their way back to the entrance...

.. To find Andrew playing cards with the minotaur.

"What, I like cows."

"You like beef," Jonathon counters, his voice honestly warm and his tone surprisingly gentle for the words. "Cows scare the living crap out of you, now come on."



-C-

Arriving in the underground tunnels of the Kawatche Caves, Clark activated the portal to a place well above the Artic Circle and then walked through it, to appear in Jor-El's Fortress of Solitude. Clark, not having the mindset to fly at this age, had to make use of his father's shortcut.

This was his first visit here since Jonathon Kent's death and he had been dreading this moment. It came and went.

Jor-El's image, powered by his memories, explained that Zod's soul had been trapped in the Phantom Zone, body destroyed, for crimes that eventually led to the destruction of Krypton. Milton Fine was the lifeblood of the alien ship that had abducted Lex; a brain interactive construct that would stop at nothing until Zod was released.

A crystal seemingly like it's neighbors detached itself then and floated over to Clark's waiting hand. It was a dagger inscribed with Kryptonian runes, that Jor-El explained, must be used to slay the human vessel Zod would need to inhabit in order to conquer the Earth.

Examining the blade of the weapon, Clark asked: "What would happen if I stabbed the dagger into the construct's humanoid body instead of the living vessel?"

"You must not do that!" the crystal palace exploded (as in: the voice of the crystal palace shouted angrily). "The ship would absorb and channel the energy, releasing Zod from the Phantom Zone immediately!"

"Thank you, Jor-El," Clark nodded. "I hear and understand your words. Now, please, send me home."

A flash of light later, Krypton's last hope was standing back in the American cave, turning the crystal dagger over and over in his hands. It was a deadly gift that he now realized Fine would try to receive.

Now... If he was planning to ambush himself, where would he go? Oh, yes. His loft.

Clark took off for his home at super-speed stopping only when the power was leached from him as he passed through the open doors of his barn.... every regular green meteor rock that could be retrieved from the Luthor manor had been taken from the Luthor manor- and they were all there, piled on the floor of his barn....



-Lana-

"My lady," Lionel laughed, as he drove her in one of his cars from one place to another. "I am in no position to confirm or deny anything Clark has told you. Whatever he has said, I'm sure he meant it with the best intentions at heart."

Lana silently fumed at his words and, in her already fragile emotional state, withdrew her taser and shocked him into unconsciousness the next deserted stop-sign they came to. She shifted the car into park, opened the trunk, pulled out a blanket and, after pulling the older man into a dry ditch by the side of the road, covered him with the cloth.

She sighed, felt around in Lionel's pockets for his cell phone, then called the number under 'Emergency: Limo'. When someone answered she simply stated the name of the intersection, then dropped the phone, still active, onto the blanket.

Back at the car, she located and assembled the gun and ammo hidden with in it. Lex had once shown her on a tour of the garage.

By the time she had driven away, Lionel was already reviving. He groggily picked up the phone and talked with his driver. Shortly, he was picked up safely.

Lana was nowhere in sight.



-C-

"Sorry about the crystals, Clark," 'Lex' laughed as stepped out from the shadows of the Kent's barn. "But while Braniac, you know him as Mr. Fine, has increased my strength and resistance since this morning, I don't yet have the skill to beat you in a fair fight."

Clark held the dagger behind his back as he approached the 'vessel'. "Lex, this isn't you, you don't want to be doing this!"

"You have no idea what goes on in his head, do you Clark?" Milton Fine suddenly chortled from his post above them, just outside Clark's loft. "Apparently he's always been something of a team player and the evil plans he is designing with the illustrious Zod's tech-"

"You do realize that, if you do this, Lex," Clark shouted, ignoring the construct's taunt. "That if you become an evil, power-hungry world leader, you will be betraying everything your mother prophesied about your bright and peaceful future."

"Screw her! I have the power, I have the might and I can do whatever I want," Warren yelled, gloating.

At those words Clark hurled the dagger, straight and true, not at the body he knew would soon be the vessel of Zod- like his father had asked him to- but into the breast of the immensely pleased Milton Fine... Because one of the papers that Clark had not returned along with the case had been the true Lex's attempt to put his near death experience on paper, complete with his dead mother's warning that his path would lead him straight to ruling the world and then destroying it.

.... And Warren smacked Clark, who had already been weakened by the mere presence of kryptonite in the room, with such force that the farm boy was sent flying backward into the mass of the crystals.

.... And a red light, its source an immense distance away, struck the dagger in Milton Fine's chest, dissipating the construct, before bathing Lex's body with its brilliance. In that instant, Zod's essence was pulled from the Phantom Zone to merge with Warren's soul and memories...



-X-

Xander had spent most of the day, and the preceding night, worrying not only about 'his' girls, but also about the geeks that he had somewhat identified with, not to mention the strange soul that traveled with them. His mood had lightened considerably when the three had returned from what had started out as a nice jaunt through the sewers, but which had shortly descended into weirdness.

Jonathon had spilled the beans on Bruce Wayne the night before so they had just enough time to heat up the popcorn, flip on the TV, have a few more truly odd conversations and make it through an episode of 'Batman:The Animated Series', before a portal opened and Willow and Tara tumbled into the living room, happy, healthy and giggling like schoolgirls. Which they were of course, but older than the term usually means. They brushed themselves off and began to happily discuss their adventure.

"Man, you guys were cutting it awful close," Xander said, laughing, just before confetti began to shower down throughout the room.



-Lana-

Lana saw the bright light that suddenly engulfed the barn of the Kent home. She had been headed there anyway, but she stepped on the gas...



-W/Z-

"Ka-El!" Warren/Zod laughed as he approached the figure, crumpled in the midst of the kryptonite. "You have your father's eyes. I... I've been tricked haven't I? YEEAARGH!"

His head flung back and white light surrounded him. Clark, as the only witness, could see Warren and Zod's twin souls, or at least a representation of them made semi-visible by the light, as they were wrenched from Lex's body, to replaced by Lex's natural soul.

From the inside, the transference felt only like an unpleasant swirling motion and he/they opened his eyes and saw the Summers home. Before Warren/Zod had a chance to blink, let alone attack, Willow had dusted Warren's body with her handful of the powder that she and Tara had quested for.

Finding himself paralyzed, he/they had no choice but to watch, along with the rest of the room, an intangible, graphical and above all truthful presentation of what he/they had been doing for the past two days and what his true intentions are.

They had used the same dust on Lex scant seconds before. The truth that had been revealed then had kept the Scoobies from wiping Lex's memory.

As the spell cleared and the paralyzing force wore off, everybody in the room bowed low before the might of Warren/Zod and even Buffy, who he/they recognized as a being called the Slayer, averted her eyes and made an offering of what was in the open leather bag...



-Elsewhere-

From her perch on her throne, the headless gorgon reached up, unclasped the brass collar and her head reappeared on her shoulders.



-T-

As soon as Buffy reported that the Gorgon's borrowed head had disappeared from her grip, their ring was unclasped and stored safely away at the bottom of a chest. Dawn circled around the statue and asked if it could be revived accidentally.

"No," Tara assured. "Not unless someone kills the Gorgon in exactly the right way, a specific and nearly impossible way, or there is a complete cessation of all magic in the general area. The normal drill."

"Still," Dawn pondered, turning away from the uninteresting stone. "I wonder if we'll ever know how Lex is doing back home?"

Andrew did his own survey of the statuary that had once been the leader of Trio, assorted emotions fluttering across his face, before he turned around and walked off, humming the 'Angel' theme song.



-L-

Lex opened his eyes when the swirling sensation had stopped to find that he was thankfully in his own body, instead of somewhere else in the multiverse. Clark was there, lying on the ground of his barn with Kryptonite rocks scattered around him, a pleased expression on the would-be-superhero's face despite the pain the crystals had to be causing him- What had Warren been up to?

As Clark opened his mouth to explain, they both heard a sound and turned to find a pale and shaking and absolutely determined Lana just as she raised her gun and aimed. She had just walked in and misread the situation as what she had expected to see...

It seemed to Lex that Clark's 'no' came in slow-motion and that he could see every detail of Lana's fingers as she pulled the trigger, the exact spin of the bullets headed towards him. In fact, he could see all these things. Leave it to Warren to find the best enhancers on both worlds. He felt like he could easily dodge the bullets, or even pluck them out of the air, but he had to know, so he dropped his hands to his sides and made an immense effort of willpower to stay where he was.

The bullets, one by one, hit his chest, flattened, and bounced off.

By the time time had returned to normal, Clark was finally standing outside the circle of Kryptonite and Lana was charging forward to beat Lex somewhat ineffectually over the head and arms with the empty revolver. After two seconds of this he snared her wrist and gently, but firmly, disarmed her, before pulling her close to him.

She struggled in disgust and hatred at first, not realizing the change in him, so he whispered to her: "Please, believe me when I say this. That night when I arrived in Smallville, got off the plane and fell into your arms, was the last time you saw me. It was the last time I saw you. Since then, someone else has been inside my body and whatever has happened, I'm here now to help you work through it. I love you."

Lana stiffened at his soft words and turned her head to read Clark's face.

Clark nodded and started to explain but his words were lost in the soft sentence that Lex, her Lex, spoke into her ear: "You know, I was only gone for three days, but actually I got a little homesick. . . the cows . . . the corn fields . . . the wide open spaces . . ."

She gazed deeply into his eyes, her expression and her heart softening, before she buried her head in his shoulder and began to cry. He held her, in his warm, strong arms and for the first time, in a long time, she felt safe.

After her tears had dried and a few more whispered words were spoken, Lex, his arm still around Lana, turned to regard the farm boy he now recognized as the last scion of a dying world.

"So," Lex asked, without a trace of irony. "Where do we go from here?"



Cue music, roll end credits, put away the chairs and turn off the lights. We are out of here.

*CLICK*

Kryptonite
Three Doors Down

I took a walk around the world
To ease my troubled mind.
I left my body laying somewhere
In the sands of time.
I watched the world float to
The dark side of the moon,
I feel there is nothing I can do.

I watched the world float to
The dark side of the moon.
After all, I knew it had to be
Something to do with you.
I really don't mind what happens
Now and then,
As long as you'll be my friend
At the end.

If I go crazy,
Then will you still call me Superman?
If I'm alive and well,
Will you be there, holding my hand?
I'll keep you by my side
With my superhuman might,
Kryptonite.

You called me strong, you called me weak,
But still your secrets I will keep.
You took for granted all the times
I never let you down.
You stumbled in and bumped your head,
If not for me, then you would be dead.
I picked you up,
And put you back on solid ground.

If I go crazy,
Then will you still call me Superman?
If I'm alive and well,
Will you be there, holding my hand?
I'll keep you by my side
With my superhuman might,
Kryptonite.

If I go crazy,
Then will you still call me Superman?
If I'm alive and well,
Will you be there, holding my hand?
I'll keep you by my side
With my superhuman might,
Kryptonite.

The End

You have reached the end of "Warren the Millionaire, Lex of the Trio". This story is complete.

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