Title: Surprise, Surprise.
Author: Lucy Mars
Disclaimer: Bah! They're not mine!
Chapter #1: Pixie.
The room was buzzing with energy that only the young could possess, and life that only the young could afford to waste. Bodies swayed, liquor flowed, and music blared life into the trendy club.
Lex had long ago given up the club scene, but three years in Smallville could make you desire things you never really appreciated. People being on the top of the list. Smallville and its homey citizens could only provide you with so much entertainment and excitement. Well, there was always the random psychopath of the week, but that didn't count. No. Smallville had flannel, cows and corn, but not real people, at least not the people that Lex knew how to deal with. After all this time, there were days when he was still thrown by Clark's farm boy innocence and Martha's maternal addiction. Lex wasn't sure if he'd ever really be comfortable with the locals. The majority of them sure as hell weren't comfortable with him.
But Metropolis…oh, it was chalk full of the greedy, shallow and rich social climbing youth that Lex had grown up with. This crowd, oh this crowd, he knew how to use to his full advantage.
Sitting back in his VIP booth, with old friends and old enemies, Lex couldn't help but smirk. He caused just the stir he knew he would when he stepped out of his car and greeted the bouncer with a knowing smile.
Lex was bored, and when bored, trouble couldn't be far behind. This weekend was about stepping back into the world he had left behind when he had been exiled into Smallville. This weekend was about having some well deserved fun, before returning to the heartland and his booming plant.
The bouncer had been around the block long enough to know that Lex Luthor didn't like to be kept waiting, and that he was usually good for business. Usually. Lex Luthor's face, even after three years out of the club scene, wasn't one that you could easily forget. His power, the way he wore it, was something that everyone could see and his money was like a never-ending tunnel. It just kept going and going.
The bouncer wasn't the only one who recognized him. The crowd did too. Word was flying around Metropolis faster than anyone had anticipated. People eager to meet the infamous Lex Luthor flocked to the club with a fervor that had the city spinning. Oh yeah, Lex was going to have fun tonight. Being good, under the influence of Clark and Lana, was fine and all…but sometimes, just sometimes Lex itched for something more. Something a little more satisfying than saving the town and bringing down his father, and tonight was all about that something more.
The music blasted through the club, and heat came at you from every direction. Bodies pounded out the beats on the dance floor and flowed with the lights that swung from every direction. It was almost mesmerizing. Almost. Lex was too worn and sage by the club scene and what it offered to be spellbound by the dizzying lights and sounds. The memories of the blurred nights and hazy morning-afters were still too fresh in his mind.
Slowly sipping his drink and pretending to listen to the conversation that the people at his booth were having about the newest places and the newest drugs, Lex watched the people. The shinning and not so shinning youth of Metropolis was out in full swing tonight, and they weren't stopping yet. No, Lex knew these kids. Even three years out of the game he could spot the suburban kids a mile away. They were all the same. They dressed right, but they tried to hard. They didn't possess the fine art of nonchalant that the regulars did. Their eyes lit up too bright and too fast at everything. Lex knew that they would party hearty for as long as they could before something real and gritty scared them back into the not so gritty world of soccer moms and after school specials.
"Fresh meat." Louis snickered, his English accent making him sound more satanic than he really was, "How long do you think it'll be before they run home to mommy?"
Turning to look at Louis, a friend from his old wild days, Lex replied dryly, "I don't think they're in any condition to run." Watching the kids stumble into each other on the dance floor and laugh, Lex was sure that tomorrow morning they wouldn't remember what they did tonight or know why they were out more money than they cared to admit.
"Now that," Louis said in a low appreciate moan, "is what I call a seasoned vet."
"Who?" Lex asked, intrigued that someone had managed to catch Louis's attention.
"On the dance floor," Louis grinned watching her body sway like a leaf fluttering on a branch, "with the blonde hair."
"That helps." Lex said sarcastically as he scanned the blondes littered all over the dance floor.
Brushing off wandering hands, Louis snapped at the clingy girls that seemed to have migrated to their booth. If Lex didn't like to be touched, than Louis avoided it all costs. Unless he initiated it of course. It was a power thing. All little rich boys had a thing. "Do you see Brad?"
"Yes." It wasn't that hard to spot a 6'3 man built like a truck.
"To his left," Louis smirked, his eyes almost shinning with amusement, "The pixie doused with the glitter."
Squinting against the strobe lights, Lex suddenly saw what Louis did. This woman was a regular all right. She was a hardcore clubber here for the music. You could tell by the way she danced and the way she carried herself. She wasn't sober, but she wasn't too far gone that she'd lost the taste of the music. His eyes traveling up her leather-clad legs, Lex smirked as leather gave way to skin. Lots of it. Her back was bare and there for the world to see was a black light tattoo etched over her tailbone. "She a regular around here?" Lex asked, his eyes almost willing her to turn around so that he could get a look at her face.
"Nah," Louis said leaning back into the plush leather, "She's a drifter. I see her around from time to time, but never enough."
Studying Louis's skillfully blank face, Lex almost smiled. "You almost sound like…"
"Like what?" Louis demanded.
"Like you like her."
"I don't like anyone." Louis reminded Lex.
"Right." Lex said skeptically eyeing Louis.
"I don't." Louis repeated.
"Of course." Lex smirked, turning his attention back out to the dance floor as the song died down and their pixie worked her way off of the dance floor.
His own eyes following their pixie, Louis drowned his drink. "I appreciate her though. She is a fine specimen among women."
Lex made it a point not to disagree with Louis when he was right. "What's her name?"
"I don't know." Louis shrugged carelessly.
Surprised, Lex raised an intrigued eyebrow. "I thought you knew everything."
"I know just what I want to know."
"And you don't want to know her name?"
"I don't need to know her name." Louis corrected.
"You're not at all curious?" Hell, he was curious and he hadn't even seen her face yet.
"I don't like disappointment." Louis explained, "I like to watch her, and the moment I try and have a conversation with her, I'll never be able to look at her without disdain ever again."
Laughing, Lex cast a quick look at the not so bright ladies that were draped over the other little rich boys at their booth. "You never know, she just may surprise you."
"I dislike surprises." Louis replied flatly, his eyes never leaving their glittering pixie, "Especially when I'm on the receiving end."
"Sometimes surprises can be fun." Lex said absently as he watched their pixie flirt with the bartender and order her drink.
Giving Lex a sideways glance, Louis pointed out what he noticed the moment Lex sat down next to him, "You've changed."
"You've changed, Lex Luthor."
"No I haven't." Lex denied.
"Admit it or not, you've changed." Before Lex could protest his observation, Louis pointed out to the bar as their pixie finally turned around. "This is the best part of my bloody night."
"What do you think?" Louis asked, his eyes racking over her body.
Getting up and surprising the entire booth, Lex looked down at Louis seriously. "I think you need to stop looking at her like that."
"What the hell?" Louis demanded, as Lex stalked over to the bar and the crowd parted like obedient followers for him.
His eyes locked on his target, Lex found himself staring down at her in no time. "What the hell are you doing here?"
Looking up when the vaguely familiar voice cut through her muddled senses, Chloe felt her jaw drop open in surprise. Well he was the last person she expected to bump into tonight…well, ever really. "Hey Lex."
'Hey Lex?' Lex frowned, as Chloe smiled up at him like nothing was wrong with this picture. "What the hell are you doing here?"
Smiling wryly, Chloe raised her glass to point out at the crowded dance floor, "I was thinking of taking up knitting," she replied sarcastically, "Do you think I've come to the right place?"
Watching her sway with the music and laugh with a carefree ease that screamed drunk, Lex instinctively took the glass that she was holding.
"Thirsty?" Chloe asked as Lex took a small sip of her drink, "If you ask real nice, I'm sure that Paul can hook you up with something."
His frown becoming a scowl as the familiar liquid assaulted his disbelieving senses, Lex couldn't believe it. He'd fallen into a parallel universe of some kind. A place where he was the prude and Chloe was the wild child. Tonight he wasn't the one stirring up the trouble. Chloe was.
"Oh please," Chloe laughed, snapping Lex out of his inner monologue and taking her drink back, "You are the last person on this planet allowed to look at me like that."
"Like what?" Lex asked, knowing full well what Chloe was talking about.
"Like that!" Chloe exclaimed pointing at Lex's disapproving frown. It wasn't the snappiest of responses, she knew, but what did Lex expect from a woman who was tired, tipsy and surprised? Woo, the floor just moved. What the hell?
"Are you drunk?" Lex demanded, taking a hold of Chloe's glittering arm and steadying her.
"Are you?" Chloe asked bringing her face right up to Lex's.
Sighing, Lex took Chloe's drink and set in on the bar. She was drunk. "You're drunk."
"It's not that bad, is it?" Chloe laughed, "I can still walk, talk and most importantly, dance."
"You're in no condition to do any of the above." Lex argued.
"I'm fine," Chloe smiled, showing Lex a small spark of the girl he used to know in Smallville, before the soiled lights of the club washed her away. "You, Alexander, need to loosen up. What happened to the wild child who once ruled and conquered the nightlife that Metropolis offered?"
"He grew up," Lex answered. Moving to Smallville probably didn't hurt either.
"Pity," Chloe pouted turning to away from Lex and motioning for Paul, her favorite bartender, "Paul, another."
"Sure thing," Paul grinned, looking at Chloe in ways that made Lex want to punch his lights out.
God, Clark would be proud to see the fucking knight in shinning armor that Lex was being.
"Does your father know that you're here?" Lex asked throwing a more than sufficient bill onto the bar and dragging Chloe away before she could have another drink.
Looking up at Lex in surprise, Chloe didn't even try to break out of his grip. "Does yours?"
"Chloe," Lex sighed trying to work through the crowd.
"Lex," Chloe mimicked stopping abruptly.
Feeling her stop, Lex spun around in surprise. "What are you doing?"
"I was about to ask you the same thing."
"I'm taking you home," Lex explained, looking at Chloe like she'd grown a third eye.
Laughing, Chloe put her hands on her hips and shook her head. "I'm not kind of girl, Lex." Chloe teased.
"Home, to your home." Lex frowned, catching glimpses out of the corner of his eye, of men looking at Chloe, "You shouldn't be here."
Rolling her eyes, Chloe crossed her arms angrily. "I'm a big girl, Lex. I can take care of myself."
"That's what I'm afraid of." Lex muttered.
"What?" Chloe yelled, straining to hear Lex over the music.
"Nothing," Lex answered trying to pull Chloe along with him to the exit, "Chloe, let me take you home."
"Lex." Chloe snapped, her eyes burning with anger, "Stop."
"What?" Lex demanded.
"Stop." Chloe repeated, glaring at Lex with a fury surprised him. She'd changed.
"I'm just trying…"
"To do the right thing," Chloe said with a small quirk of her lips, "I know. Smallville has rubbed off on you."
"Metropolis on you." Lex observed.
Looking down at her not-very-Smallville-Chloe outfit, Chloe nodded in agreement. "It has."
"You've changed." Lex frowned.
"Is that a bad thing?" Chloe asked brushing her hair out of her face. It was the only piece of the old Chloe that Lex could recognize. Everything else about her seemed to have changed. She screamed city girl now.
Gesturing at the club and not so stellar neighborhood they were in, Lex replied, "You're here, aren't you?"
"As are you." Chloe smirked, "Don't point fingers, Lex. It's not nice."
"I'm not nice." Lex shot back.
"Neither am I." Chloe grinned.
Since when? "Since when?"
Smiling wickedly, Chloe ignored the rude whistles her outfit elicited. "Since I realized you can't survive in this town by being nice."
Glaring at the people around them, Lex effectively shut them up with the Luthor glare. "Are you going to let me take you home?"
"Nope." Chloe smiled, "I'm here to have fun, Lex. You should try it sometime."
"It's not safe for you to be here alone."
"I haven't gotten into trouble yet," Chloe grinned, grabbing Lex's arm to keep from falling over as people bumped into her.
"That really makes me feel better." Lex said sardonically.
Laughing, Chloe pulled herself upright. "Clark really has rubbed off on you. Before you know it, I'm going to open the paper and find you headlining as, 'Lex Luthor, Good Samaritan.'"
"I wouldn't hold your breath, pixie."
Looking up at the man standing behind Lex, Chloe asked Lex in a mock whispered, "A friend of yours?"
"I don't have friends," Louis grinned.
Raising an amused eyebrow, Chloe smirked at Louis. "I see."
Ignoring Lex's frown, Louis smiled at their pixie. "Do you now?"
"I do. You," Chloe said pointing an unsteady finger at Louis, "are part of Lex's little club."
"And what club is that?" Louis asked smiling derisively at Chloe.
"Little rich boys with complexes." Chloe answered, giving Lex a small smile.
Laughing, Louis patted Lex on the shoulder. "You're right, Lex."
"I'm right about many things, Louis. What exactly are you referring too?" Lex asked, never taking his eyes off of Chloe.
"She has managed to surprise me." Louis replied stepping forward and offering Chloe his arm, "Would you care to join us, pixie?"
Intrigued by the dashing English man, and amused by the way Lex clenched his jaw, Chloe happily took Louis's arm. "I'd love too."
"Excellent," Louis grinned, "Now this night won't be a total waste."
Following Louis, Chloe turned to Lex who was right beside her. "Did he just call me 'Pixie'?"
"Yes," Lex sighed. This was going to be an interesting night all right.
"Where did you find this one?" Louis asked, watching Chloe as she led the conversation from clubs, drugs and dj's to politics, people and issues, "She's bloody interesting."
"A friend of a friend's." Lex smiled. Chloe could still commander her debating skills when halfway drunk. Why was he not surprised?
Watching Chloe with a shrewd eye, Louis ordered another drink. "If I had known that the pixie was this entertaining, I would have gotten to know her sooner."
"She's young," Lex pointed out.
"But not illegal." Louis rebuffed, "Anyways, she seems much older than she actually is. If you hadn't told me that she was only 18, I never would have guessed it."
"She's a kid."
Shooting Lex a dubious look, Louis shook his head. "No, she's not. That is all woman, Luthor. Don't look at the girl you knew two years ago. Look at the woman that's here now. That's no kid. A kid wouldn't command the attention that she does. A kid wouldn't make every man in this bloody booth want to jump her bones."
Frowning, Lex watched Chloe over the rim of his glass as he drank his whiskey. Louis was right. Chloe was a woman now, but that didn't mean he didn't still see the perky, intrepid reporter that he once knew in Smallville. That didn't mean he still didn't see her as Clark's friend, or his ex- plant manager's daughter. "I knew her father."
"That's never stopped you before." Louis said with a shrug of his shoulders, "Well if you don't want her, can I have her?"
"No." Lex answered too quickly.
"I thought you didn't want her."
"She's a friend of a friend's." Lex told Louis seriously, "And I owe this friend. He wouldn't appreciate me corrupting her."
Looking at Chloe, Louis tapped his glass against their table. "There isn't much left there that hasn't been corrupted already, Lex."
"Still," Lex frowned, watching Chloe laugh and flirt with the other men at their booth.
"Fine," Louis said putting up his hands, "if you want, I'll stay away. I still owe you for the guy, at the place, about the thing."
"Yeah," Louis nodded, "I'll tell them." Louis would make it incredibly clear that Chloe was hands off. It was a pity really. They could have had some fun.
"Come on," Lex said leading Chloe through the crowd and out of the club.
Following Lex, Chloe stumbled over something and fell into him. "Opps." Chloe laughed, looking up at his amused face, "My bad."
Smiling, Lex helped Chloe back onto her feet and wrapped his arm around her to help steady her. "You always this much fun when drunk?" Lex asked, not even noticing the flash go off in his face. Years of life in the spotlight made him immune to camera flashes, among other things.
Giving Lex a wanton smile, Chloe leaned into him and let him lead her. She didn't trust her own two feet at the moment. "Sometimes I'm even more fun."
Shaking his head, Lex waved goodbye to Louis and the rest of their group. "I'll take you home."
"But," Chloe protested as Lex led her to his car, "Billy was talking about this other place that…"
Opening his car door, Lex pointed in. "I think that you've had enough excitement for one night."
"Me or you, old man?" Chloe teased, falling into the passenger seat.
Rolling his eyes, Lex slid into the driver seat and helped Chloe with her seatbelt when her fumbling fingers gave her some trouble. "You. Most definitely you."
Laughing, Chloe sat back into the comfortable leather seats. She could get use to this. "I could get used to this."
"Get used to what?"
"This," Chloe said gesturing at the expensive car, "Riding home in comfort."
Frowning to himself, Lex navigated the deserted streets. "How do you usually get home?"
Smiling softly, Chloe leaned her tired head against the cool glass. "Are you sure you want to know?"
Tightening his grip on his steering wheel, Lex wasn't sure if he wanted to know.
Taking in Lex's profile as he silently drove his car down the dark streets, Chloe chuckled lightly.
"What?" Lex asked casting Chloe a quick look, "What's so funny?"
"This," Chloe replied, her voice laced with exhaustion, "Us. The role reversal we've got going on. Funny how time changes you."
"I don't find it that funny," Lex muttered to himself.
Watching the city lights play across his face, Chloe whispered softly, "You look happy."
Stopping at a red light, even though there wasn't another car within a five-mile radius, Lex looked over at Chloe and for the first time that night he really saw her. He saw past the glitter, the laughter and the buzz. Out of the mask of the strobe lights and the blanket of smoke of the club, Chloe looked sad. She didn't look like the Chloe he remembered from Smallville. "You don't."
"No," Chloe sighed turning away from Lex and looking out as Metropolis past by her a blur of black and grey, "I don't."
Driving quietly until they were out of the club district, Lex turned to Chloe. "Where do you live?" Receiving silence as an answer, Lex tapped Chloe's arm gently, but got no response. Swearing under his breath, Lex unbuckled his seat belt and leaned over Chloe. His fear of alcohol poisoning fell away to nothing when he realized that she was asleep. Letting out the breath that he was holding, Lex quickly draped his jacket over her sleeping form. Cupping her face gently, Lex frowned at the bags that he saw and sighed, "No, you don't look happy at all. What happened to the Chloe Sullivan I once knew?"