Author's Note: If you're re-reading this series, please please please, re-read chapters 3 and 5. A lot of the backstory has been changed. And note that chapters 8 and 9 have been meshed togeher.

If this is your first read, be warned this is my first SV fic and it probably shows. I've written/am in the process of writing two others, but all of this was done before that. That said, enjoy!

Bald Man and the Ice Princess

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Eight-Ball, meet Rainbow Brite

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Wednesday, Oct. 2

Lex Luthor's saunter was deliberate as he passed through the milieu of teenage bodies swarming from Smallville High. He had long ago learned the subtle trick of making one seem older than one is . . .long before he ever had honest need of it. But it served his purpose now. He was throwing off far too much casual sensuality and devil-may-care boredom for most of the student body to handle. They parted around him like fish around a rock. But oh how they stared.

Object of desire so close he turned down Sex and upped Friendly. Clark Kent had saved his life, after all. They were friends. It wasn't nice to distance your friends with below-the-belt age difference snubs. Especially when you don't have many, he reminded himself. He saved that for people Clark didn't like. Or who didn't like Clark. The list was fairly short. Lex threw in Annoying and Fairly Worthless Teenagers and the list filled out nicely.

It seemed Ms. Sullivan and Mr.. Ross were with him. And someone else. That was okay by Lex. Chloe was as interested in the meteor rocks as he was, exceptionally smart, witty, and pretty to boot. Pete . . .Pete was tolerable when around the right company: not alone with Lex. As for Someone Else -- unless he had gotten a rainbow dye job, grown five inches or so and gotten a spectacular tan, it seemed Lex could take himself off the New Guy list in town. There was a whole new family for the residents of Smallville to gawk at. A very bright family.

Clark spotted Lex and, disengaging himself from his friends, walked over. "Lex!"

"Clark, hey!" Lex could feel his answering smile warm him despite the nippy fall air.

"What're you doing at school?"

"I was driving by and thought I'd offer you guys -- and girls -- a lift. Smallville High have a new student body?"

Clark gave him that boyish smile. "Not exactly. She's Pete's cousin actually. C'mon, you should meet her. She's from Gotham."

Lex arched an eyebrow in response.

"Hey Pete, Chloe. Lex offered us all a ride home. Your cousin too, Pete."

Pete started to protest but was stopped by his cousin's look of surprise. She turned slowly to face Lex and Clark. "Lex? Lex Luthor? In Smallville?"

Lex's eyes narrowed. "The Ice Princess?"

Pete muscled his way between them. "Isis, you know him?"

"Yeah," Isis answered, "from when I was in Metropolis for a few years. Before I left Metro U."

"Why'd he call you The Ice Princess?" Chloe asked, feeling the trail of at least an interesting story turning up.

Isis snorted. "Back when I was all into the Metropolis club scene I used to wear Grandmother's and Great-grandmother's diamonds. Some of my own fake stuff too. Used to be dripping with it. I got the nickname Ice or The Ice Princess when I was feeling . . .a little less the courteous. Well, that's what people called me to my face at least."

"I see you've toned down on the jewels," Lex commented wryly.

"I'm not at war with my father anymore. Don't have anything to prove. To him at least. What about you LL? You still fighting with old LL senior?"

"You know what they say, the good fight never ends."

Isis' chuckle was the least bit disbelieving. "It wasn't always good, but it was definitely fun to watch. Are you still fun to watch, Lex?" And suddenly October was unseasonably warm. Lex knew that if he looked over at Clark the boy would be flushed. He wondered if Pete felt it too or if, because she was his cousin, he was immune. A quick glance at Chloe let him know she was out of the loop.

And Isis hadn't really done anything. A certain shifting of her hips, a slight turn of her head and the very air wanted to go up in flames. Lex hadn't known Isis very well, but he did know that "Ice" was quite the misnomer.

"Be that as it may--" Her smile was sunny and light; as friendly and playful as her multi-colored braids. "--you can take Clark and Clo here home, but Pete is going with me. Isn't that right, Pete?"

There was true affection in the cousins' eyes as they shared a playful smile. Pete wrapped his arm around Isis' back. "Yup. See you guys tomorrow." They walked off.

Chloe turned to Clark. "Did she just call me 'Clo'?"

"Uh huh."

"Hmm. I think I like it."