By Dandello <email@example.com>
Summary: For once, Ellen Lane is there for her daughter on her wedding day.
Copyright Sep 22, 2007
Country of first publication, United States of America.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
A girl's wedding day was supposed to be the happiest day of her life. So why was her daughter staring into the full-length mirror trying to cover up the fact that she was miserable? The groom, Lex Luthor, was the third wealthiest man in the world, handsome, debonair. He was a world-renowned philanthropist and the medical and technological advances his companies had made had benefited millions. In short, he was Prince Charming in a bespoke suit.
Instead, Ellen Lane sat and watched as her eldest daughter alternated between over practiced smiles and stifled sobs.
Granted, the wedding seemed more than a little rushed. There hadn't even been time for Lois's father to come home from his medical mission in Kenya and Ellen wasn't sure if Lucy had even gotten word of her sister's wedding.
Lois and Lex had only gotten engaged a month before, not long after the Daily Planet was bombed and forced to shut down. Lex had stepped in and given Lois a job at LNN. He had wined and dined her then asked her to marry him. Lois should have been happy. Any other woman on the planet would have been.
Her own wedding had been a happy day, despite what happened later. Dr. Samuel Lane had been charming and intelligent, an up and coming surgeon and researcher. Ellen wasn't sure when it had all fallen apart, but she had been a happy bride, at least. And her friends hand family had been there for her.
Lois wasn't to have as much luck, it seemed.
There was a tentative knock on the door to the ornate side-room they'd had been given as a dressing room. A man's voice called out: "Five minutes, Miss… Mrs. Luthor."
Lois managed to collect herself, dabbing at her eyes with tissues. She took a deep breath and fluffed up her veil once again.
"Mrs. Lex Luthor," Lois intoned, still staring at her reflection. "Lois Lane Luthor… Lois Luthor Lane… Lois Lane… Kent?" Lois shook her head as if to clear it. *Kent? That was the name of Lois's ex-partner from the Daily Planet. Was he the reason Lois was crying on her wedding day?* Ellen stood and stepped over to her daughter to stand behind her.
"Lois… Lane," Lois said to the mirror finally. Finally she focused on the other reflection in the mirror. "Mom, what am I going to do?"
"Honey, if you're not sure…" Ellen said, trying to give her daughter some solace. Misery was written all over her. Lois ran her hands down the front of the ornate wedding dress Lex had given her. Sam Lane could never have afforded a dress like that. After that cyborg fighter debacle six months before, Sam had lost all his research funding. His stint at Lexlabs hadn't gone well: Sam was too stubbornly independent to toe the corporate line. Now he was giving immunizations and delivering babies in a tent clinic in Kenya.
"It's too late," Lois told her softly, watching the reflections.
"No, it's not," Ellen told her. "Do what your heart tells you to do." That was the best advice she could give — a Hallmark card platitude. If Lois had known what her heart was trying to tell her, she wouldn't be trying to hide her tears.
Lois pulled the tulle of her veil forward to cover her face, and with a sigh of resignation, she opened the door.
Ellen left Lois in the entry hall just outside the ballroom where the wedding was to be held. She didn't know why Lex hadn't chosen to have the wedding held in the cathedral. With a large enough donation, she was sure Cardinal Riley would have made it available, but then again Lex seemed to be in a hurry to get the wedding over and done with. They hadn't even bothered to post the banns. But then, Ellen seriously doubted Lex Luthor was a practicing Roman Catholic and Lois hadn't attended mass since junior high. Having the archbishop perform the ceremony was merely a conspicuous display of power. And Ellen had never much liked people who flaunted themselves that way.
That had been one of Sam's tricks, one of the many things that had gotten between them.
Ellen settled into her assigned seat. All the chairs in the ballroom were filled, but Ellen didn't recognize anyone there. Even Sam's brother, Mike, had sent his regrets. Ellen's sister Esther couldn't make it either. She was on her honeymoon in Acapulco. None of her friends were there, none of Lois's, but then the press had been specifically un-invited. Ellen even wondered, just a little, if the invitations to Lois's friends had even been sent out.
Lex came out to stand before the lectern. He looked composed, smiling benignly as Cardinal Riley stepped out to stand at the lectern. Hidden speakers began to play the Wedding March. Lois began walking down the red carpeted aisle between the chairs, sedate and solemn as a queen walking to her coronation. The doors closed behind her.
But Ellen saw her daughter's eyes flickering over the guests, looking for friends and family who weren't there. She saw the flicker of disappointment cross her daughter's face, so faint and fleeting that only a mother would have seen it.
"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today in the sight of God, and in the presence of these witnesses, to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony," Riley began. The ceremonial words droned on.
"… till death do you part?"
"I do," Lex said. He smiled at Lois, but Ellen considered him critically. There was something unnerving, even predatory, in how he was looking at his bride.
"And do you, Lois, take this man to be your wedded husband from this day forward, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do you part?"
"I…" Lois paused and looked around at the guests. It was as if the entire room was holding its breath.
"Lois." Lex was speaking softly, prodding Lois to answer.
"I… can't," Lois said.
Lex's jaw dropped in astonishment. Then his eyes narrowed in anger.
At that moment the rear doors to the ballroom crashed open. The drama in the front of the room was temporarily forgotten as everyone turned to look. Three disheveled looking men burst into the room. Ellen recognized the older man: Lois's former boss, Perry White.
Lois's face lit up when she caught sight of them. "Oh, Lex. They came. They…" Her voice faltered when she caught sight of the half dozen police officers just behind her friends.
"Stop the wedding!" White yelled. "Lois, you can't marry this man!"
"What? Is there an echo in here?" Lois complained a bit petulantly "I just said that."
Lex was furious and Ellen was suddenly afraid for her daughter. Lex was the third wealthiest man in the world. He wasn't someone to be trifled with. "What is the meaning of this?" Lex yelled.
"The meaning, Luthor, is that you're through," White announced. His expression was triumphant. "We have all the evidence against you we need,"
"Evidence? Evidence of what?" Lois demanded. She stepped toward White and her friends.
One of the plainclothes officers stepped forward, looking at Lex. "I have a warrant here charging you with arson and other crimes too numerous to mention."
"You must be out of your minds. All of you," Lex fumed.
"You have the right to remain silent. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney…" the officer intoned.
"Will you stop that? I can afford a thousand attorneys." Lex was nearly screaming in outrage. "I'll have your head… badge for this. Someone get the Governor on the phone! Wait, make it the President, make it…"
Then Lex's eyes widened and his mouth fell open. For a moment, Ellen was afraid he was going to faint as he stared at something at the back of the room. She turned to see what he was staring at and saw a tall elegant black woman in a high fashion suit standing between two detectives. The handcuffs did nothing for her ensemble. The woman smiled sweetly and shrugged.
"Et tu, Mrs. Cox?" Lex asked the woman. The audience was quiet enough that he could be heard easily. He turned to Lois and Ellen saw her worried look. "Sorry, Lois. I'll have to take a rain check. I'm afraid something's come up."
The next few moments were a blur. Later, Ellen would recall Lex breaking free of the police and disappearing through a side door. Lois walked over to White.
"Lois, I know things didn't turn out exactly as planned, but…" the older man was saying.
"Why? Doesn't every woman dream of a wedding like this?" Lois asked. There was a touch of hysteria in her voice. She burst into tears and Ellen moved to put her arms around her confused and weeping child.
Ellen allowed White to lead her and Lois out of the ballroom and into the nearest elevator. The two young men who had accompanied White followed closely behind them. Ellen wondered briefly if either of them was Kent then recognized that Lois would have greeted her partner far differently than she had greeted them.
"I've always been such a good judge of character," Lois managed to say as the elevator doors opened onto the main lobby of the building.
"He fooled us all," White said.
"Not me," the younger man stated. Youthful bravado, Ellen decided. He was only a boy.
"I never trusted him," the other young man said. More bravado. *Dear God, were Sam and I ever that young and full of ourselves?*
Lois had started crying again and White looked nervous, almost like how Sam used to look when Lois or Lucy needed a father's comfort and he realized he didn't know how. "Lois, don't blame yourself," White said after a moment.
Ellen watched her daughter study the older man's face. After a long moment: "Where's Clark?"
"Right here," a man said. The police officers watching the front entrance to the building let him pass. He was a little older than the other two young men, closer to Lois's age and dressed in a suit instead of jeans. His eyes were on Lois, worry and exhaustion written broad across his face. He held out his arms to her and she moved into his embrace. *Do what your heart tells you to do.*
One of the police radios squawked "He's in the penthouse!"
Ellen looked up, following Lois and Clark's gaze upward, to the penthouse that looked down on the city.
"Lex?" Lois asked, disbelief coloring her voice.
A tiny speck seemed to separate itself from the building, growing larger as it fell. It resolved itself into a body.
"I can't…" Ellen heard Clark say. She turned her eyes from the falling man. White and the two younger men were watching Lex's fall. Lois wasn't watching the dramatic end of her ex-fiancÚ. Her face was buried in her partner's chest. His eyes were closed as he held her close, as if trying to protect her from what was happening around them.
*Take good care of my daughter, Clark Kent. She turned Lex Luthor down for you.*
A/N: House of Luthor was written by Dan Levine & Deborah Joy Levine.