By Mrs. Luthor <firstname.lastname@example.org> Prelude
Summary: Clark is transported to a parallel universe in which the baby who rocketed from Krypton grew up to be … Lex Luthor.
This story just kept on bugging me until I finally said, "FINE!!! I'll write you! Leave me alone for awhile!!!" I've never taken any drugs or anything so I wasn't high when I wrote it, but you might have trouble believing that…
"It occurred to me, Martha, that if I'd had parents like you, I might not be the way I am today. Thank god I didn't." Martha Kent repeated Lex Luthor's words to her son.
"He's probably right, mom. I mean, what if he'd been YOUR kid and I grew up like him! We might be switched!!! Except the world wouldn't be a pretty place if Lex Luthor had superpowers…"
"Well, I wouldn't worry about it, honey…It's not like you and Lex would EVER be switched!"
"Well, I guess I agree with Lex for the first time in my life…Thank god!"
As Clark Kent entered REM sleep a figure materialized before him. Weird. He closed his eyes and opened them again.
"Michael Jordan?" Clark asked, confused.
"Really? Cool. I like looking like celebs." said Jordan.
"HUH?" Clark asked, "Don't you always look like yourself?"
"Yeah, I always look like myself, just not always like Jordan. You know he's in pretty good shape! Man, I was Roseanne once…YIKES!!!" Clark lost him.
"You body hop?" he grasped.
"Nope, image hop. It's kinda cool. I look like whoever your brain makes me. My voice thanks you eternally for not thinking about Fran Drescher. Phew!!! One can only survive that ONCE!!!"
"Wait a sec. Back up. You 'image' hop in people's brain's?"
"'Wait a sec, back up. People ALWAYS say that to me!!!"
"Wonder why…"Clark thought.
Michael looked up. "I HEARD that!!!"
Clark's eyes widened. "You can read my thoughts?"
"Well, DUH! How do you think I got this job? Dream Santas aren't exactly what you'd call a, 'You want fries with that.' type of profession."
"Dream Santas? WHAT?? Start at the beginning please. If you don't I'll probably wake up soon."
"No, actually this dream just has that illusion. You won't wake up now unless you really want to…you aren't scared of bad dreams…are you, Superman?"
"How did you…never mind. Please explain this to me."
"Dream Santa's give you gifts while you sleep, hence the name. Rather childish, but the name stuck."
"You're giving me a gift? What is it?"
"Greedy, aren't we, Man of Steel? Your gift is knowledge, at least until you wake up…"
"Knowledge of what…may I ask?"
"What the world would be like if YOU and LEX switched places. Well, not physically, just mentally. Basically, you grew up orphaned with the name Lex Luthor, and he grew up with the Kents, a nice sheltered life in Smallville."
"So, I'll have a dream about him with my body and MY powers?" Clark asked.
"Oh, no, Mr. Kent. You're going to a place where it happened."
"You're taking me to an alternate place?" Clark grasped.
"Please, Clark, PARALLEL, it's much more P.C., both Earths are on equal terms, you know…"
Clark rolled his eyes.
"Whoa, we're at the Planet, well, at least…kinda the Planet." Clark looked around. There was an air about the place that seemed different than that of HIS Planet.
"Yep, well, I'll be leaving you now. Have fun."
"WHAT???" he asked as Jimmy walked right through him. "What am I supposed to do? Find an empty house and wail???"
"Oh, yeah," said the Jordan wanna-be. "Almost forgot." he snapped his fingers.
SMASH! Clark collided with the beautiful woman he would know in any dimension. Papers flew everywhere.
"Lois! Excuse me, I wasn't looking where I was going." They both leaned down and began gathering papers.
"I guess not…I didn't even SEE you, I…wait, have we met? You seem familiar."
"Oh, no, we haven't met but I've definitely heard of you."
"Oh, I see." Lois stood and Clark handed her the papers she dropped. "Thanks. Nice to meet you Mr…?"
"Lois! Did you get the stats on the LexLab's employee's suicide?…Oh, sorry…" Clark turned to find himself face to face with Lex Luthor. He swallowed hard. Lois hurried to make introductions.
"Kent, this is Mr…?" she looked at Clark expectantly. Kent??? She called HIM Kent???
"Uhh…Klein…" he resisted the temptation to say 'Calvin', "Eric Klein."
"Mr. Klein, this is my partner, Clark Kent. Kent, this is Mr. Klein."
"Pleased to meet you, Klein."
"KENT! Phone call on line three! Take it at your desk!" Jimmy shouted.
"Lois, could you put those stats on my desk? Catch you later, Klein."
Clark didn't think THIS Lane and Kent team were romantically involved. They talked to each other like a couple FBI agents Clark knew.
"So, Mr. Klein, what are you doing here today?" Lois started walking toward her desk. Clark followed her.
"Well, I was actually thinking about getting a job."
Lois looked up. "As a reporter?" she asked, looking him over again.
"Yeah, I've had some experience and I was thinking of asking Mr. White if he has any openings."
"Perry? He retired last year. Have you been abroad or something?"
"Retired? Why is that?"
She shrugged, uncomfortable. "Yes, the new editor is Mr. Smith-Jones, he also runs the Metropolis Star."
"That cuts down competition!" he sensed she wanted to get to work. Lois always did… "Well, I'll go visit Mr. Smith-Jones."
"See you later, Mr. Klein." She started writing right when he turned his back.
Clark walked over to Mr. Smith-Jones' office and knocked on the door.
"Excuse me, Mr. Smith-Jones?" he asked, leaning through the door.
"Yes, what do you want?" a balding bespeckled man asked Clark sharply.
Clark sat down in a chair in front of the man's desk.
"Oh, I'm uhhh…doing a story about Ms. Lane and I was wondering if you could sorta tell her that you are assigning me to her temporarily?"
"What paper are you writing for, Mr…"
"Klein, Eric Klein. Oh, it's a …Russian paper…Rusinskiousnagiv Flacousnicogis." Clark smiled confidently while thinking, YOU MORON, that's NOT even RUSSIAN!!!
"Ahh, yes of course, I've heard of it, I think. An old friend of mine works there, I believe. The editor, actually." Ah-hah! A show off with no brain.
"Oh, you KNOW Matt Collins? Funny he never mentioned you…" Clark succeeded in concealing his grin.
"Yes, funny indeed…" he obviously didn't want to follow up on the direction the conversation was going. Who could blame him?
"Well, anything for the employee of an old friend. You'll find that Mrs. Luthor is a bit high strung, but she is an excellent writer. I doubt you'll find any dirt on her, if that's what you're looking for."
"Wait," said Clark, shocked. "Did you say…Mrs…Luthor???" he swallowed hard.
"Don't you guys hear anything over there in Russia? Lois Lane married Lex Luthor last year. It's about time, they'd been living together the last two years before that." He mumbled the last sentence, but due to super hearing, Clark picked up on what he said. Clark tried to smile, but found that he couldn't. Lois Lane Luthor???
"I…well…yeah, I'm kinda out of touch, I guess." Just then they heard something sounding similar to a thunderclap. He left Mr. Smith-Jones' office.
Clark's mouth dropped when he walked out of the room to see himSELF making out with Lois. It didn't seem to be a two-way kiss though. Lois seemed tired and unresponsive. The Lois Clark knew was never too tired for tonsil hockey.
"Let's go, my dear. We have a ball to attend in Australia."
"Lex! I told you I have to work, there's about to be a MAJOR break in my story!!! I can sense it!" 'Lex' was decked out in a *very* expensive tux, but aside from that, he looked almost exactly like Clark did. Except the glasses. 'Lex' wore no glasses, and from the way he was looking at Lois, Clark had the feeling glasses might have gotten in his way. Scum, Clark thought. He looked away in disgust as they argued. Only one other person in the building noticed. Apparently this was a common display between the Luthors. Clark was shaken, however, by the expression on 'Clark's' face. The mixture of pain and fury when 'Lex' grabbed Lois roughly and flew her off reminded him of his own similar feelings only two years before.
So his alternate self, sorta, was in love with Lois. Body and soul he thought to himself, but grimaced. That was bad, Kent… He walked over to 'Clark'.
"Does he always treat her like that?" he asked. 'Clark' looked up, shocked.
"What? Like crap? Pretty much." he said sourly.
"Why doesn't she leave him?" 'Clark' laughed shortly.
"Leave the Man of Steel? Certain death. She's scared to death of him, didn't you notice, Klein?" The last comment shocked Clark, Lois was scared of something?
"So does he control all the crime in the city or something?"
"Nice guess, you should go on Wheel of Fortune. Yep, that's pretty much it. He controls EVERYTHING! Most people think he's just a great guy, flying around, rescuing people when he feels like it. What most people don't know is that he runs Intergang." Clark looked up at that one.
"LEX runs Intergang? Why did Lois marry him?"
"Luthor can have any woman he wants in this world. So happens, he wants Lois." Clark's teeth clenched so hard it almost hurt.
"She loves him?" he asked.
"HA! Funny. She was attracted for awhile, but she's a smart woman. She figured it out. She's the one who connected him to all the crime in town. She hates him, but she's scared to death of him."
"Has that hit the news yet?" Clark sensed that would make a great story.
"We haven't proved it yet, but we will. Today, possibly."
"Why did you tell me all this?" Clark asked.
"Have you ever had a sense about something that this was just the RIGHT thing to do?" 'Clark' asked.
Clark smiled, "More times than I care to remember." The phone rang on Lois's desk. 'Clark' dashed over to answer it.
"Clark Kent." he said. That is really unnerving, Clark thought to himself. "I'm her partner, yes…THAT'S GREAT!…Yeah, right on it…Sure, whatever you arranged with Lois. Bye." 'Clark's' eyes were bright with excitement when he looked up. "Gotcha, Luthor." he muttered under his breath.
"Clark?" Clark asked. This is getting REALLY unnerving!!!
"Yeah? I'm in a hurry."
"Can I come along?" Clark started walking toward the elevator with 'Clark' not giving him a chance to answer.
"Don't slow me down." 'Clark' warned.
"Don't worry." Clark said with a grin.
"Has anyone ever told you you look a lot like Lex Luthor?" Clark got an odd look on his face.
"Nope, I'd have to say you're the first."
"This is the Luthor Penthouse." 'Clark' told Clark, who already knew due to the fact both Luthor's had the same taste despite their physical difference.
"Nice place, does he do his own laundry?" Clark asked.
"Oh, yeah, his favorite past time. Nope, sorry pal, he prefers to rule the world. For some reason he likes it better." 'Clark' shrugged innocently.
"So what are we doing here?" Clark asked.
"There is paperwork in Luthor's bedroom that proves his leadership of Intergang."
"Wow, how'd you find out about that?" Clark asked, genuinely shocked.
"Mrs. Luthor is an excellent reporter, Mr. Klein." 'Clark' seemed sad, as though a reporter was all she'd ever be to him. Clark knew exactly what it was like to feel that way.
"So how do you plan to get into their bedroom." 'Clark' winced at 'their' and swallowed hard.
"Not a problem. All you have to do is walk up there." 'Clark' grinned slightly and held out a key for Clark to see. "compliments of Mrs. Luthor."
"That'll work." 'Clark' opened the door quickly and slid through, pulling Clark along with him. "Where too now?"
"SHHH!!!" 'Clark' shouted at a whisper. "Follow me!"
"Wasn't that a little overboard?" Clark asked when they were FINALLY in Lex's bedroom closet searching files.
"What was overboard?"
"There's nothing abnormal about sliding across the kitchen floor on your stomach?"
"Come on! Nigel has good ears!"
"Don't you think the heavy winter gloves were pushing it?"
"NO! You can make the linoleum squeak if you are pulling yourself with your hands!"
"Why couldn't we just, I don't know, take our SHOES off and WALK???" Clark asked incredulously.
"That would be a little hard to explain if we were caught! I mean, walking around carrying our shoes?" 'Clark' was caught up in the absurdity of Clark's suggestion.
"Never mind, just forget it." Clark shook his head, amazed. He x-rayed the second to last box. Nothing…nothing…bingo.
"Hey Le…uh…Clark? Why don't I start down here."
"Sure, go ahead." 'Clark' had the disadvantage in this situation. The lack of x-ray vision was a real hindrance.
"These them?" Clark handed the incriminating papers to 'Clark'.
"Yeah!" he said, eyes widening. "Great! Let's get out of here!" He walked toward the closet door when Clark grabbed his arm.
"Wait, I hear something." They both dived back into the closet underneath and behind Lois's many dresses.
"You looked lovely this evening, my dear. I was proud you were mine." Clark heard what sounded like his own voice. But he couldn't really imagine himself calling Lois, "mine" in the same way this, attractive, yet prime evil Lex was doing. He waited for her to bite his head off at the sexist comment.
"Thanks, Lex, you looked very handsome yourself in that tux. Don't you have to return it or something." Clark was floored. She TOOK it??? She didn't SAY anything? Why didn't…oh…wait…she's trying to get rid of him… He grinned to himself. That's Lois…
"No, no, my dear, of course not. I own it, the whole shop, actually."
"Oh, well, I do have to finish my story…so I'll just go into the other room and type it up."
"No need, dearest, I had Bill finish up on your story himself. He'll print it in your name, of course." There she blows…thought both Clarks listening on.
"WHAT??? YOU HAD BILL WRITE MY STORY!!!"
"Yes, so that we could have more time together, my dear."
"THE PLANET AND MY WORK IS MY LIFE!!!"
"And it shouldn't be!"
"AND WHAT WOULD YOU SUGGEST? I've spent my entire life getting to where I am today and now you're saying that I have to just let some loony editor finish my stories just so he can kiss your butt and keep his job because he knows you're the reason Perry resigned just because you want to spend more time in bed? I don't think so buddy. I'm working on a big story and BILL just won't cut it!!!" The Clarks grinned to themselves. That's Lois…
"Your life, as you put it has been spent getting to the top. You are the best journalist in the world. Bask in it. We can rule the world. Together. The smartest, most beautiful woman in the world on the arm of Superman." Clark wanted to gag.
"You make me sick. Superman is what you could be, but who are you, really? The Lex Luthor I see is corrupt. You could do so much for others with what you have, but you just want it for yourself!" her voice got louder as she gained momentum, only to be interrupted by a hard slap across her face.
"No, my dear, I want it for you too. Are you so blind that you cannot see the possibilities? We could RULE the world!!! You could have anything you wanted!"
"I want my husband to be a decent person."
"I want my wife to appreciate me."
"I appreciate who and what you are. Lex, I'm leaving you. I can't stay with the most evil man on the planet's surface."
"Ahhh…and what about the planet?"
"Planet? The Daily Planet???" she sounded panicked.
"No, of course not, planet Earth." Clark's teeth clenched as he listened, but he had no idea what to do. He started thinking.
"You…wouldn't…" Lois's voice was suddenly hoarse.
"Wouldn't I? Leave me and every man, woman, and child in the world will regret it. Stay, and they're safe." his voice was sinister and Clark had never felt so much hatred for anyone.
Lois said nothing. A first, probably.
"THANK you?" she asked.
"For preventing you from making a serious mistake."
"Well, then, THANK you, most GENEROUS HIGHNESS!!!"
"I have a better way for you to thank me." Lex said confidently, leering slightly at her.
"No…" she said softly, turning around.
Lex pulled her back roughly and tossed her onto the bed.
"Hey Clark!" the Michael Jordan image shifter lounged in front of him. "Ready to wake up yet?"
"Wake up? NO! Give me 10 minutes!"
"Do you know how many dunks I could do in 10 minutes?"
"Don't want to know!!! Just leave me alone!!!"
Lex lifted his head up from kissing a struggling Lois. "What was that?" he asked. Lois looked around in confusion. Lex scanned his closet. His face darkened deeply as he turned his anger on Lois. "Kent? Why is he here? Spying on me? Get out here Kent!" Lex squeezed his Lois's arms, hard. She cried out in pain.
"Leave her alone, Luthor!" 'Clark' said harshly.
"She's my wife, Kent. What is she to you?" Lex tossed Lois aside roughly and got up from the bed. He looked impressive. He had taken off his shirt and his powerful muscles were flexed.
"She's your wife, not your slave! You're lucky to have her, treat her like it!" 'Clark' was writhing in fury. Lex laughed.
"You want her too, don't you? I don't think so, Kent. She's mine."
"You make me sick, Luthor." he said in disgust. "Ow!" he cried out, grabbing his arm.
"Laser vision, want some more?"
"Go ahead, exert yourself!" 'Clark' dared.
"No!" Lois cried, hurling herself at Lex. Lex flung her aside easily, sending her sailing across the room. That brought Clark out of the closet, where Lex hadn't bothered to continue x-raying.
"Leave them alone Luthor!" he ordered his alternate 'self'. This could seriously cause an identity crisis…
"And who are you?"
"Don't worry about it, it's a confusing story."
"Uh…huh." said Lex. "Does it matter?"
"Well, kinda…" Clark rushed forward at superspeed and punched Luthor in the jaw, catching him off guard. As Luthor literally flew out the window Clark picked up Lois and 'Clark' and flew them out of the room.
"Where are we?" Lois asked, looking around.
"Smallville." 'Clark' said, surprised. "Why'd we come here, Klein…or Luthor…which is it?"
"Well, actually it's Kent, I'm from an alternate dimension, but ANYWAY. There's only one way I can think of to stop Luthor. Stop his powers."
"Well, uh…Kent…that so weird to say…how do you suggest 'stopping' his powers?" 'Clark' asked skeptically.
"I've only got five minutes, so shut up and listen." Lois and 'Clark' motioned for him to continue.
"All right, you need to find a scientist or something to help you out, but I'm sure there's one out there somewhere that'll want to get rid of Luthor…"
"We're going to kill him?" Lois interrupted, "I wouldn't feel right about killing him, even if he is an awful person in control of the world, I still wouldn't get a Warm feeling for killing my husband and I…"
"Lois, there's nothing I like more than listening to you babble, but time is ticking, so could you save it?"
"I…uh..yeah…" she muttered sheepishly. 'Clark' grinned.
"All you have to do is make a red kryptonite laser and shoot him with it. If you are standing directly behind him, it'll transfer the powers to you."
"WHAT? I don't want the powers, can't someone else get them, I mean how could that possibly help the situation…" Lois looked up at the Clarks, "Oh…sorry…"
"So, how do you make it?" 'Clark' asked.
"Well, you need to…"
"Hey, Clark, 20 seconds!" M.J El Wannabe commented somewhere from the Astral Field.
"OK," Clark continued, grabbing a piece of paper and drawing a picture at super speed.
"Just make that, later!"
"Wait…how do we…" Everything faded to black and Clark found himself facing…Roseanne?
"I'm gonna kill you for this, kid!" Roseanne's image spewed.
"So what's going to happen to them?" he asked.
"I'm not telling!" Roseanne gloated. "Bye-bye flyboy!"
Clark woke up with a start. What a weird dream. The phone rang and he fumbled around to answer it.
"Clark, I had this really weird dream, I was afraid I'd forget it…"
"Really, I had a really weird dream too…" said Clark.
"So, anyway, I was hugging you, well kinda you and not me, but me, know what I mean?"
"You have no idea…" Clark muttered.
"What was that? Oh, well, anyway, I was hugging you and then Lex shot us with a red beam, kinda like the one Lucille Newtrich had, you know, and then I was flying and making out with Lex and stuff…Clark?"
"YES! That's great!" Clark said enthusiastically.
"What?" Lois asked, confused.
"Never mind, go on." He said.
"Well, that it, pretty much. What about your dream?"
"You'd never believe it…"
"It was a dream, Clark. Oh, yeah, did your dream have Kevin Sorbo in it? You know, that guy in Hercules?" she asked.