The Great Airport Mystery (with apologies to Franklin W. Dixon)

By LastScorpion

The Hardy Boys Mysteries belong to Franklin W. Dixon and Grosset & Dunlap. "Smallville" and its characters belong to DC Comics, the WB, Millar & Gough, and Tollin & Robbins. (I think.) This story goes AU (ha!) around the middle of "Smallville" season two. None of it belongs to me; I'm just fooling around. Please don't sue.

Many thanks to Pfeffa for the quick beta-read and the information about planes. All remaining errors are mine alone.

Chapter I

Trouble at LexCorp

Bald, boyish billionaire Lex Luthor slammed down his telephone in disgust. "Well, sh-shoot," he fumed, looking up at his tall, dark-haired best friend, Clark, who had just come into the office.

"What's wrong, Lex?" Clark asked.

"I've just found out that the firm of private detectives from Metropolis that I normally employ in my business has been hired away from me. They're working for LuthorCorp now."

"That's too bad."

"To make matters worse, we've been having a serious problem with missing electronic parts." Lex got up from his desk chair and started stalking around the room in an agitated manner. "As you know, I've been modernizing Plant Number Three. Some of the machinery we were using for pollution control was practically antique. I don't know how Dad got away with it for so long, unless it's because he was bribing the local authorities. That won't do for me."

Clark sprawled comfortably on the office's leather sofa and made approving noises. He knew that Lex always wanted to prove he wasn't like his father, the hirsute and immoral multi-billionaire, Lionel Luthor.

"In the course of the modernization, some valuable electronic components have been ordered from overseas. They were shipped to Gotham, and then they were supposed to be flown from Gotham International Airport to Smallville Municipal. They were picked up, but they never arrived. Mr. Hakes at the air transport company doesn't seem to know what's going on. I need someone to get to the bottom of it, but I don't have any private detectives anymore!" Lex was furious. "This can't be a coincidence! I know my father will stop at nothing to destroy my business, and make me come back to LuthorCorp!"

"Calm down, Lex. Maybe we can track this stuff by ourselves."

Lex took a deep breath and sat down on the couch next to Clark. "Do you really think so?"

"Sure." Clark put a reassuring hand on the older boy's shoulder. "Pete and I figured out the mystery when Sheriff Ethan shot your dad, and Chloe's an information-gathering whiz, what with her computer skills and the fact that she's dated guys in every records-keeping department in the county. I'm sure they'll be glad to help."

Lex snorted derisively and laid his head down on the back of the couch. "Right. Pete Ross hates me, and Chloe only puts up with me because her dad works for LexCorp."

"Chloe likes you just fine, and Pete hates your dad, not you. He's getting used to you, I think. Besides," Clark added slyly, "he'll have to stay on your good side if he wants to make time with your business partner."

"Pete and Lana?" Lex wondered.

"Pete and Lana," Clark confirmed. Lex had provided the financial backing for young Lana Lang, former Homecoming Queen at Smallville High School, to open a local coffee shop, the Talon.

"Hmm."

"Well, I gotta get home if I'm gonna finish my chores in time to get to Lana's costume party tonight. Are you going?"

"She's my business partner. I can't get out of it."

Clark laughed. "See you later, then, Lex!"