Summary: A few weeks after her ninth birthday, Lex's daughter loses a father—and gains a new name. The day after Requiem.
Loosely inspired by the following quote:
Chloe: "A piece of paper doesn't determine one's future."
Lex: "My birth certificate would beg to differ."
February 6, 2009
No, that's not right—not after what happened a few hours ago.
"Honey?" Mom called up the stairs. "Come down here, I need to talk to you for a minute."
Lilly came downstairs, red hair bouncing and innocent smile firmly in place.
"You know your…Uncle…Lex?" Mom asked, once they were sitting down.
"Yes, Mom," Lilly said, rolling her eyes. "He's the one we went to the funeral for when I was only three, and then we saw him again the next week. He's weird."
"Yes," agreed Mom. "And…well, I'm afraid it's…that is, Lex is…well, I think he's going to have the kind of funeral that sticks, this time."
"Oh." Eyes wide.
"And…there's something else."
"I know you've always called him Uncle…and that made sense, at the time…I mean, Lionel—not that I—well, Lilly honey, Lex is…was…he's your father."
"You never tell me anything about my father!" Lilly pouted. "Why now?" she asked suspiciously.
"You're a big girl now, and…"
"That's not why. Unc—Lex is gone, so you figure you can tell me the truth! How could he just leave like that, without even talking to me—"
"I don't know, honey. I don't think he meant to."
"Is there anything else?" Desperate attempt not to break down into a raging tantrum. Control, Lilly—control.
"Yes, actually—I understand if you'd rather not, but since we're going public, as it were…you can start using Lex's surname if you want. And someday you're going to be a very rich woman," Mom said, and then muttered, "No matter what Tess Mercer thinks she's going to do about it."
Lilly focused on the part she felt was most relevant. After all, she'd always planned to be rich. That was what happened when you became a famous artist, scientist, or spaceship pilot. She knew it.
"Mom, what's a surname?"
"That's your last name, sweetheart. You've always used mine, but you're entitled to Lex's now."
"What is it?"
No, that isn't right. Lilly, which looks fine on its own, is too cheerful for Luthor.
Lily is too much like the flower, and not enough like her given name, Lillian—after, Mom has always told her, Mom's godmother. This is also Lex's mother's name. It's only now that she realizes the two things may not be coincidence.
Lillian is fine, but a little formal. She's only nine, after all.
Lillie looks too busy—like it should have more than two syllables.
Lillia actually has more than two syllables, but Lillia-Luthor-Lillia-Luthor-Lillia-Luthor sounds like skipping, which seems somehow inappropriate.
Lilee is just weird. She tried it for the spelling.
Again, Lillee has too much repetition. It's like 'committee' only as a name. Awkward.
Lili is too short—it doesn't have the requisite spelling weight, next to Luthor.
It's almost right. She likes it, a lot—but it's missing something.
Lilli frowns—then she turns the dots over the 'i's in Lilli into diamonds, and the cross over the 't' in Luthor into a dagger, which is a special sword, she learned in history. Now it looks right.
She thinks maybe it's too fancy for everyday, but then she thinks of Lex—everything she can remember about this man who turns out to be her absentee father, hovering right under her nose in that tiny town Mom takes her to sometimes—and she knows, if her new signature is the fanciest, most over-the-top, expensive-looking thing about her, she is no Luthor.
She giggles, loving her new signature. Sometimes, of course, she can't be bothered with fancy writing—then she'll just put 'L' like that email she saw on Mom's desktop.
Mom knows Lilli can hack into anything electronic, but she likes to pretend she and Lilli are a normal family, so she uses passwords anyway. She punishes Lilli if she catches Lilli snooping.
But Lilli is very good at sneaking around.
It's silly to think Mom and Lilli are a normal family, anyway—Lilli doesn't have a dad.
Well—now it turns out she does. But she still doesn't, not really. Lex is gone, and she can't think of him as 'Dad,' anyway. He was always so…immaculate. It's hard to imagine him pushing her in a stroller when she was small, or helping her with her history homework.
Mom says he used to have red hair like Lilli's. Lilli wishes she could've seen that.
It would be nice to think they had something in common besides DNA.
February 6, 2009
A slow, confident smile.