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Airdate: February 11, 2003
Written by: Brian Peterson & Kelly Souders
Directed by: Greg Beeman
Transcript by: Shannen


Open on a shot of a young Asian waitress. She smiles as she descends a flight of stairs, carrying a tray. She greets another Asian man holding a machine gun on the steps as she passes him.

The camera pans over to show the scene is set in an underground casino, complete with various card games and roulette wheels. We focus in on one table, where a woman deals cards for the players of a poker game. It's apparently a high stakes poker game, judging by the pile of money in the center of the table.

The camera focuses in on one young man, Lucas Luthor, who appears in his late teens/early twenties. He has an air of cocky arrogance about him as he surveys the other players at the table, including one serious looking Asian man whom appears to be the leader of the other men at the table.

As the camera focuses in on a large, ornate statue of a golden lion directly behind the table, we see a hint of movement behind one of the lion's eyes. A security camera has been placed inside, and it records the action at the table. We cut to a young Asian man in another room, sitting behind a monitor that has been split into 4 screens. The security camera zooms in, giving the man a perfect shot of the players' cards.

Back at the poker table, the leader of the other men at the table tosses down a bet.

Man: (In Chinese) I see you and raise you two thousand.

Lucas just smirks as the man tosses a large wad of bills toward the center of the table.

In the other room, the man watching the security cameras focuses in on the leader's cards. He grabs a cell phone and presses several buttons.

Out at the poker table, Lucas reaches down to remove his money from his pocket. As he does so, he glances at the pager which is clipped to his belt...which contains the message from the man at the cameras, letting Lucas know what his opponents cards are. Lucas peels several bills off from his stack of cash, tossing them toward the center of the table

Lucas: (In Chinese) I see your two thousand...and raise you....fifteen hundred.

The leader just looks at the money suspiciously. The man on the steps with the machine gun hears a beeping noise, and looks around suspiciously. He draws his gun and begins to climb the steps.

The door to the room where the cameras are is flung open, and the man from the steps walks into the room. The young man operating the security camera jumps up in fear.

Meanwhile, at the poker table, several other men throw large bets into the pot as Lucas looks on.

Back in the room with the security camera, the man operating the cameras puts his hands up and begins speaking rapidly and fearfully in Chinese as the other man grabs him by the throat.

Down at the poker table, the leader lays down his cards. He has a pair of aces. Lucas lays his cards down. He has three of a kind and wins the hand.

Back in the upstairs room, the young man struggles with the man with the gun.

Down at the poker table, the leader picks up a shrimp with a pair of chopsticks, bringing it to his lips as he stares Lucas down.

Man: (In English) Very lucky tonight.

Lucas simply stares back, then reaches over and collects his winnings.

The man with the gun comes down the steps, pushing the young man in front of him. He shouts to the leader in Chinese, and shoves the young man toward the table. Lucas pockets his money as everyone looks toward the disturbance. The man with the gun grabs the young man by the hair.

Man: (In Chinese) Who are you working with?

The young man looks around fearfully, and then stares at Lucas as everyone turn to look over at Lucas. Lucas simply sits there, not losing his cool. The young woman who was dealing the cards reaches down and pulls a gun from a secret compartment under the table, and aims it at Lucas.

Lucas: (To the young man) Sorry, Dirk.

Lucas stands suddenly and turns the table over, taking advantage of the distraction to flee the gaming floor. One of the bouncers tries to stop him, but Lucas punches him. The dealer fires her gun toward where Lucas is running and the man with the machine gun fires after him as well, but Lucas escapes in the chaos. He darts down into a hallway, and the man with the machine gun chases him. Lucas grabs a passerby and uses him as a shield as the machine gun opens fire, killing the passerby.

Lucas escapes out into the fire escape outside, where a downpour of rain is falling. As two of the henchmen chase him, he climbs over the fire escape and jumps to the ground. He runs over to a motorcycle parked in the alley and takes off, causing several pedestrians to leap out of the way to avoid being run over.

The two henchmen take their way down the fire escape and chase on foot after Lucas. They fire their guns at Lucas, and he loses control of the motorcycle, crashing into a pile of trash.

As Lucas struggles to get back on his feet, we hear the squealing of tires as a nearby car comes to a stop. We see someone from the car rushing toward Lucas in the pouring rain. As the camera pans up, we see it is Lex.

Lex: (Shouting as he helps Lucas up) Come on!

Lex helps Lucas up, and the two men rush back toward Lex's limo.

Lucas: Who the hell are you?

Lex yanks open the door to the limo, and turns back to Lucas.

Lex: Lucas...I'm your brother.

Lucas looks on in shock. Behind them, we hear the shouts as the henchmen approach. Lex climbs into the limo.

Lex: Come on!

With a quick glance back at his pursuers, Lucas climbs into the limo and it takes off just as the henchmen arrive.

[Opening Credits]

Cut to a shot outside the Talon, the next morning. Inside, Lana is removing the chairs from the tables and getting set up for the day. From behind her, Clark enters the Talon.

Clark: (Looking around) Wow, sure is peaceful in here this early in the morning.

Lana: (Surprised) I've never took you to be a coffee junkie, but I have the first pot brewing if you want to wait a sec.

Lana heads toward the counter to get Clark some coffee.

Lana: Anything else I can get you?

Clark pulls the Talon's Help Wanted sign from behind his back.

Clark: Just a job.

Lana: (Stunned)

Clark: (Hopefully) Well, if I'm gonna work, why not do it where all of my friends are hanging out?

Lana: (Hesitantly) Don't... Take this the wrong way, but you don't have the best track record when it comes to keeping appointments.

Clark's face falls as he looks at her.

Lana: (Helpfully) But talk to Hank...I hear they're hiring over at the hardware store.

Clark: (Dryly) Ouch.

Lana: (Guiltily) Oh, guess that was kind of harsh.

Clark glances around, and sees the rose he gave Lana in the previous episode in the trashcan, and looks crestfallen. Lana sees what he is looking at and gives him a look of sympathy.

Lana: (False brightness) I can put you in the running with the other applicants.

Clark just nods, and Lana hands him an application.

Cut to a shot of Lionel Luthor's office. Lionel is talking on his cellular phone's headset.

Lionel: (angrily) No.. No... No... It's a very important vote tomorrow. I'm not moving the date to accommodate Dopkins's fetish for antique clocks. I want him back from Prague now, Steven. Do you understand me?

Lionel abruptly disconnects the call as the doors to his office are flung open. Lex strides inside, with Lucas following behind him.

Lex: Hello, Dad.

Lionel: Lex. To what do I owe the pleasure of this unexpected visit?

Lex: (Dryly) I thought you might be interested in meeting your youngest heir. Lucas, this is your father.

Lucas steps out from behind Lex and walks toward Lionel.

Lucas: Mr. Luthor.

Lionel reaches out and runs his hands over Lucas's shoulders.

Lionel: (Whispering) Lucas...

Lionel pulls Lucas into a tight embrace.

Lionel: (Emotionally) Lucas....son...

Lex looks on, unimpressed by Lionel's show of emotion.

Lucas: (Jokingly) At least, uh, biologically speaking, right?

Lionel smiles tightly, and Lucas crosses over to a display of weaponry in Lionel's office.

Lucas: I see we, uh, both share a passion for Asian weaponry.

Lucas removes a sword from the display and examines it.

Lucas: Huh. By the placement of the dragon, it was to be worn on the right hip. A rare left-handed sword.

Lucas unsheathes the sword.

Lucas: But it's a fake.

Lucas puts the sword back onto the display.

Lionel: (Chuckling) That's a very keen observation.

Lex: (Dryly) Especially from someone you told me was dead. Imagine my surprise to learn that Lucas was alive and well, living in Edge City. Come on, Dad. You knew he was alive.

Lionel begins to pour himself a glass of water from a pitcher. As he does so, Lucas looks on curiously, noting the way Lionel is holding the glass.

Lionel: Lucas. Tell my secretary to take you down to the executive dining room. We'll join you shortly. My, uh, chef will fix you anything your heart desires.

Lucas nods and starts to walk out of the office.

Lucas: (Dryly) Don't, uh...don't talk about me behind my back.

Lucas heads out of the office. Once he is gone, Lex, sitting on the couch opposite Lionel's desk, speaks.

Lex: (Matter of factly) So the prodigal son returns.

Lionel: But, uh, unlike his envious brother in the gospel, it looks like you have welcomed Lucas with open arms. What do you expect to get out of it, Lex?

Lex: Just a new brother.

Lionel: (Sitting at his desk) One who's just turned 18, if I remember it correctly, and is now entitled to claim his inheritance.

Lex: (Sarcastically) It was generous of you to set up your living trust so any heirs would automatically get 10% of your LuthorCorp shares.

Lionel: (Amused) It's the vital 10% you need to vote me out of power. (Laughing, very amused) Ha ha ha ha! Is that why half my board has suddenly found a myriad of excuses for not taking my calls? Oh my word, you're staging a coup.

Lex says nothing, just smiles slightly to himself.

Lionel: (Seriously) Careful, Lex. There are parables of many kinds to be found in the good book.

With that, Lionel turns from Lex, effectively dismissing him, and summons his secretary.

Lionel: Selma, get me my next call please.

Lex simply stares at Lionel coldly.

Cut to a shot of Clark, shooting a basketball in the Kent barnyard. The ball swishes through the net, and Pete catches it underneath.

Pete: (Tossing the ball back to Clark) Working at the Talon--could you be any more obvious?

Clark: (Dribbling the ball) What happened to the Pete Ross rule of proximity? If you wanna get in the game, you've gotta get on the court.

Clark shoots the ball again, making another basket.

Pete: (Retrieving the ball) Clark, Lana would be your boss. She's going to take out all of her pent up frustrations of all the times you've ever let her down. You're not going to be in the game. You're going to be in the locker room cleaning the toilets.

Pete chuckles and shoots the ball, making a basket of his own.

Clark: (Catching the ball) I'm probably not going to get the job anyway.

As Clark speaks, we hear the sound of a high performance car engine coming up the drive. Seconds later, Lex's silver convertible pulls up, and Lex and Lucas climb out of the car.

Lex: (Getting out of the car) Guys, I want you to meet somebody. This is Lucas, my brother.

Clark looks at Lucas with an expression of mistrust on his face.

Lucas: (Approaching the two boys) What's up guys?

Lex looks at Clark, carefully studying his reaction.

Pete: (Friendly) Hey Lucas, you want to shoot some hoops?

Lucas: Yeah, sure.

Pete grabs the ball from Clark. He and Lucas head toward the basket, tossing the ball back and forth.

Pete: Ah-haa... Here ya go!

Pete and Lucas begin playing basketball, leaving Clark and Lex alone. Lex starts walking back to his car.

Lex: (Amused) I didn't mean to drop a bombshell on you.

Clark: (Confused) I thought he was supposed to be, well...uh, dead.

Lex: (Leaning against his car) Ah, just buried by my father. I've been looking for him for several months.

Clark: (Glancing over at Lucas) Why didn't you say something?

Lex: Well, because I wasn't sure what I was going to find.

Lex's cell phone begins to ring, and he pulls it from his pocket, glancing at the caller ID.

Lex: I've got to straighten something out with the bank. (Calls over to Lucas) Lucas, we have to get going.

Clark: (To Lucas) He, uh, you can hang out here if you want.

Lex looks at Clark in surprise.

Clark: (To Lex) Give me a chance to get to know him a little bit.

Lucas: Uh, yeah, sure. Absolutely.

Lex: (Shrugs) I'll be back in an hour.

Lex gets back into his car and drives off. Clark joins Pete and Lucas in their basketball game.

Clark: Here ya go, Pete.

Clark jogs toward the basket, as Pete tosses the ball up and Clark tips it in the basket. Pete catches the ball as it drops through the net and tosses it to Lucas.

Lucas: (Shooting the ball) So, uh, you and Lex seem close.

Pete: What, are you kidding? They're like brothers.

Clark looks uncomfortable as Lucas smiles. Pete glances between the two boys, and clears his throat as he realizes he's said too much, and concentrates on shooting the ball as Clark changes the subject.

Clark: So, Lucas... Where did you grow up?

Lucas: (Catching the ball and tossing it to Pete) All over.

Pete: (Dribbling the ball) Must be kind of weird not knowing your mom or your dad.

Lucas: No, not really. Parents always try to make you little versions of them selves. When you grow up without those constraints, you're allowed to become your own person.

Clark: (Shrugging) It's an interesting theory. I don't think I buy it, though.

Lucas: (Catching the ball as Pete tosses it to him) All right. Let's, uh, let's take you and Lex, for example. (Shoots the basketball) If he were raised by your parents and you were raised by Lionel, you wouldn't grow up to be different people?

Clark: Well, I...

Lucas: (Amused) Trust me, you'd be rich and miserable, and he'd be wearing flannel. But if you were left totally alone, abandoned by your parents, how do you think you'd turn out?

Clark: (Annoyed) I'm not sure.

Lucas: (Matter of factly) It's when you find out what you're really made of. (Walking towards Clark) Are we going to stand around and chit-chat all day, or are we going to play some ball? (Challengingly) Clark, let's see what you got.

Clark takes the ball and walks toward what would be the top of the key on a basketball court.

Clark: (Determined) Check it up.

Clark tosses the ball to Lucas, who tosses it back to Clark. Lucas moves in position to guard Clark as he moves toward the basket. Clark shoots from where he is standing, and the ball clangs off the rim. Lucas catches the rebound and stares cockily at Clark as he moves to go on the offensive, purposely bumping into Clark as he and Clark switch positions on the court. Clark just rolls his eyes, and Pete looks on worriedly from the sidelines as the competitive tension fills the air.

Pete: (Quietly to Clark) Be cool, man.

Clark nods and gets in position to guard Lucas. With a quick spin move, Lucas moves easily around Clark and lays the ball into the basket. Lucas tosses the ball to Clark as he passes him, and Clark just looks toward Pete with a "Who does this guy think he is?" grin on his face. Pete looks impressed at Lucas's moves.

Lucas prepares again to go on the offensive. He gets past Clark and shoots the ball, but Clark makes an almost impossibly high leap, blocking the shot against the backboard and grabbing the ball. He dribbles the ball away, giving Lucas a cocky look of his own as he passes him. Lucas just stares at him with an expression of disbelief.

Clark goes on the offensive, and glares at Lucas. He quickly moves past Lucas and heads for the basket, leaping high into the air as he jumps several feet to the basket, dunking the ball with a windsailing slam-dunk. Clark grins at Pete and gives Lucas a look of triumph.

Pete looks concerned as he realizes Clark's competitive nature is causing him to become careless with his powers, and steps in between the two boys.

Pete: (Attempting to joke) Hey, rocket man, we don't want anybody to get hurt.

Clark: (Nodding) All right.

Clark begins dribbling the ball, as Lucas gets in position to guard him. Clark makes a move toward the basket, and Lucas goes to block him. As he does, he swings his arm in a possible attempt to steal the ball, and ends up bumping roughly into Clark.

Lucas: Aah!

Lucas grimaces and doubles over in pain from the contact, clutching his shoulder. Clark stops, and Pete looks concerned. Lucas stands and swings his arm back and forth, making sure it's okay as he stares at Clark.

Lucas: Sorry, man. No hard feelings right? It's just a game.

Clark: (Uneasily) Right.

Lucas: (Chuckling) Felt like you had a steel plate in there or something.

Clark just gives a small uneasy smile.

Lucas: Any chance I could get a ride back to the mansion?

Pete: Yeah, I'll give you a lift.

Lucas just gives a disbelieving chuckle towards Clark, who watches as the two boys walk off.

Cut to a shot of Chloe entering the Talon.

Chloe: (Friendly) Hello, Lana.

We see Lana sitting on the stairway in the Talon, stacks of papers in her hands.

Lana: (Friendly) Hey, uh, almond mocha with extra whip?

Chloe: (Taking off her coat) Yeah, and can you add an extra jolt of caffeine please? I'm in my post-lunch, pre-deadline coma.

Lana: (Laughing) Uh-huh

Chloe: (Chuckling) Thank you.

Lana heads toward a waitress while Chloe sits on the steps and looks at the papers Lana has left behind.

Lana: (To waitress) Katrina, could you get me an almond latte please, with extra whip? Thank you.

Lana comes back to the steps and sits next to Chloe.

Chloe: (Examining the papers) Clark Kent applied for part time?

Lana: Yeah.

Chloe: (Flipping over Clark's application) And he didn't put me as a reference? What's up with that?

Lana: It doesn't matter. I'm not going to hire him anyway.

Chloe: (Surprised) Why not?

Lana: Well, you work with him at the Torch. Isn't it strange, supervising your friend?

Chloe: (Grinning widely) Are you kidding? Bossing around Clark is the highlight of my day!

Lana laughs.

Chloe: Besides, he always comes through, even if it is in his own special Clark time.

Lana: Yeah, that's kind of what I'm worried about.

Chloe considers Lana's words for a moment.

Chloe: (Seriously) Lana, you and I both know that Clark can do this job. What's the real reason you don't want him here?

Lana: I.....

Lana opens and closes her mouth several times, then trails off, at a loss for words.

Chloe: (Knowingly) Yeah, that's what I thought.

Lana just shrugs and gives Chloe a small, embarrassed smile, knowing she's busted.

Cut to a shot of Lex throwing open the doors to his study. He strides into the room, heading for his desk.

Lex: (Angrily) I just spent the last two hours at the bank.

As Lex heads toward his desk, we see Lionel is sitting behind it, using his cell phone's headset to make calls.

Lex: (Annoyed) Any idea why my accounts would be frozen?

Lionel: (Dryly) You know Lex, I'm tired of your constant attempts at mutiny.

Lex: Yeah, well, you didn't leave me too many options. It was either that or the plank.

Lionel:(Amused) It wasn't wise of you, son, to wager all your assets as collateral against LexCorp when you took out your loan. You see, now that your company is a LuthorCorp property, everything you own belongs to me. I want you out of the mansion.

Lex swallows hard and stares at Lionel in disbelief.

Lex: (Leaning in over the desk and lowering his voice) Come on, Dad. Isn't this a little futile? Lucas and I will be back home after we vote you out.

Lex turns to leave, and sees Lucas in the doorway.

Lucas: Don't be so sure about that, Lex.

Lex stares at Lucas, stunned.

Lionel: Lucas and I had a very interesting father and son chat. Long overdue.

Lucas enters the study, walking over to Lionel. Lex just stares at them, in disbelief.

Lionel: It may be hard for you to imagine, Lex, but some sons don't ever question their allegiance to family.

Lex gives a dry laugh as he looks at Lucas, standing proudly behind Lionel.

Lex: You are being incredibly naive if you think you can trust him.

Lucas: (Flatly) Something you pick up at the tables, Lex. You size up your options. You never know when you might have to change your strategy mid-hand.

Lex just shakes his head.

Lionel: (Amused) Well, Lex, looks like you loose.

Lex just stares coldly at his father and brother.

Cut to a shot of Clark coming down the steps inside the Kent house. He's heading toward the living room when he hears a knock at the door. He calls out to Martha and Jonathan, who are sitting in the living room, Martha reading the paper and Jonathan reading a book.

Clark: I'll get it.

Clark heads to the door and opens it. Lex is standing on the porch.

Clark: (Surprised) Hey, Lex.

Lex: (Seriously) Clark, I'm sorry to bother you.

In the living room, Jonathan and Martha look up as they hear Lex's voice.

Clark: (Concerned) No problem. Is everything all right?

Lex: (Matter of factly) No, it's not.

Martha and Jonathan come out of the living room and approach the door.

Martha: (Concerned) Lex, what is it?

Lex: (Taking a deep breath) According to my father, I'm uh, no longer a Luthor. He's left me with nothing, not even a place to live. So, I, uh, was wondering....

Lex glances at Jonathan as he speaks.

Lex: (Hesitant, but hopeful) If, uh....I could stay with you for a while?

Jonathan and Martha look surprised by Lex's request, and Clark looks at them pleadingly. Jonathan stares at Lex, the slightest bit of sympathy on his face, and Lex gives him a small, embarrassed smile.

Cut to a shot of Jonathan, looking out the kitchen window the next morning. He stares out across the barnyard, watching as Lex pushes a wheelbarrow across the barnyard and into the barn. Jonathan gives a small smile at the sight.

Martha: (Entering the kitchen) You're up early... Even for you.

Jonathan: (Turning from the window) Ah, I couldn't sleep.

Martha: (Getting a cup of coffee) Would that have anything to do with our new houseguest?

Jonathan: (Drinking coffee) Hmm. Can you blame me?

Martha: (Sympathetically) We can't turn our backs on Lex now.

Jonathan: (Distrustfully) Oh, believe me, I have no intention of turning my back on Lex.

Clark: (Coming down the stairs) Morning.

Martha: Good morning.

Clark: Anyone seen Lex?

Jonathan: Yeah, he's out in the barn.

Clark just looks at Jonathan, an expression of surprise and disbelief on his face.

Jonathan: Well, he got up at the crack of dawn, and insisted on doing some chores to earn his keep while he's here.

Clark: (Knowingly) Oh, you've got him mucking out the stalls already, huh?

Jonathan: (Laughing) Ha ha. Yes.

Clark: You're enjoying this, aren't you?

Jonathan: Yeah. Hey, son.... All kidding aside, I don't want you to forget that he did investigate you for a year. And remember what's in the storm cellar.

Clark: Dad, I trust Lex.

Jonathan: (Insistant) Clark, I don't want him left alone on this farm.

Clark looks at Jonathan, a bit upset, then heads out toward the barn.

Cut to a shot inside the barn. Lex grunts a little, a sheen of sweat on his forehead as he uses a pitchfork to toss dirty straw into the wheelbarrow. Clark enters the barn.

Clark: (Amused) Well, I was going to give you some tips, but it looks like you have everything under control.

Lex grunts again as he pitches another pile of straw into the wheelbarrow.

Lex: (Continuing to work) My family had a ranch in Montana. I used to go there in the summers with my mom.

Clark: (Sitting on a nearby bale of straw) Sounds like fun.

Lex pauses, wiping his hand across his face as he turns toward Clark.

Lex: We would work right alongside the ranch hands. Everyone did their fair share. It was the only time I felt, uh, normal.

Lex goes back to work, pitching more straw into the wheelbarrow.

Clark: (Interested) Did you ever go back?

Lex tosses the last forkful of straw into the wheelbarrow and hangs up the pitchfork as he speaks.

Lex: After my mother died, my father sold the property. I guess you could say he was never a, uh, man of the people.

Lex heads over to the other side of the barn and picks up a bale of straw.

Clark: (Getting up) Let me give you a hand with that.

Lex: (Carrying the straw to the stall) Thanks Clark, but I'd like to prove to your father once and for all that some Luthors pull their own weight.

Lex tosses the bale down inside the stall, and gives Clark a happy and proud smile. Clark smiles in return.

Cut to a shot of a violent video game being played. As the camera pulls back, we see Lucas sprawled across a new couch in Lex's study, playing the game on a brand new big flat screen TV. Lionel enters the office.

Lionel: Lucas? We've got to talk.

Lionel bumps into the TV as he crosses the office. Lucas just continues to play his game.

Lucas: (Annoyed) Sure Dad, what's up?

Lionel: (Waving a sheaf of papers) What's "up" is that you have yet to sign over your shares to me as we'd agreed. Please, turn that off.

Lucas ignores his father and continues to play the game.

Lionel: (More demanding) Lucas, please turn that off. Now!

Annoyed, Lucas shuts off the game.

Lucas: Let's see....what's wrong with this picture? Hmm. I trick Lex, I play along with your little game, and you offer me, what, 10 million dollars to walk away?

Lionel: (Chuckling) I'd say it's a little more lucrative than your card scams.

Lucas: (Getting up and walking toward Lex's desk) Hmm. Well, Dad, the deal sounded really good at the time but that is until I realized what a Luthor goes for these days.

Lucas picks up a file folder from a pile of them on the desk.

Lucas: (Continuing) You see, I went through the LuthorCorp financials, and it turns out I'm worth five times what you're offering me, and that only takes into account what you report to Uncle Sam.

Lionel: (Chuckling) Don't be getting delusions of grandeur, my boy.

Lucas: Tell me something, Dad.

Lionel: What?

Lucas: Why didn't you try and find me before I was 12?

Lionel: (Pauses) Because you're mother lied to me. She told me you died as a baby.

Lucas: But I'm still not worth your time.

Lionel: I took care of you the best way I knew how, Lucas.

Lucas walks over to the pool table, selecting a stick from the wall.

Lucas: Huh. At arm's length, with a checkbook.

Lucas lines up a shot and begins to play pool.

Lionel: (Walking to the table) There were scenarios....

Lucas just sighs in annoyance and lays the pool stick on the table.

Lionel: (Continuing) Lucas, now it's your turn to live up to our agreement.

Lionel lays the papers on the pool table, and holds out a pen to Lucas.

Lionel: Please. Just sign. Please, son.

Lucas looks at Lionel for a moment, then nods his head.

Lucas: (Quietly) Okay. Okay, Dad.

Lucas reaches down and begins to sign the papers. As he pulls his hand back, we see he has written, "Bite Me" in capital letters under the space for the signature of the seller. The pleased look falls from Lionel's face, replaced with a look of intense anger.

Lucas: You might want to, uh, have your lawyers look over that.

Lionel: (Attempting to regain his composure) No, I trust that everything is in order.

With that, Lionel turns and begins to walk from the room. Lucas reaches down and picks up the 8 ball from the pool table.

Lucas: Dad.

Lionel: (Turning around) Lucas?

Lucas hurls the pool ball directly at Lionel's head.

Lionel: (Ducking out of the way) AAHHH!

The ball crashes through the window behind Lex's desk.

Lionel: (Standing upright) What the hell are you doing! You could have killed me!

Lucas comes around from behind the pool table and stands directly in front of Lionel.

Lucas: We both know you saw that ball coming.

Lionel: (Angrily) You're way out of line, son.

Lucas: (Matter of factly) When a blind man pours a drink, he holds his finger on the inside of the rim so he can feel when the glass is full. You didn't do that.

Lucas reaches out and removes Lionel's sunglasses.

Lucas: (Continuing) And just now, you couldn't hide your reaction to my lack of signature.

Lionel moves his eyes and stares directly at Lucas.

Lionel: What do you want, Lucas?

Lucas: (Confidently) Lex is the past. I am the future.

Lionel gives Lucas a small, impressed smile.

Cut to a shot of Clark entering the Talon. He walks toward the counter, where Lana is putting several coffee drinks on a tray.

Clark: Lana. I got your message. What's up?

Lana: Oh, I just wanted to let you know that I filled that position.

Lana begins to head for a table, and Clark follows.

Clark: (Disappointed) Great. You didn't have to consult me about it.

Lana: (Smiling as she sets down a drink on a table) Uh, yeah I did. Congratulations, Clark. You got the job.

Clark: (Surprised) Really? What made you change your mind?

Lana: (Heading to another table with Clark in tow) A glowing recommendation from the editor of the Torch. So the job's yours if you still want it.

Clark: Of course. Are you sure about this?

Lana: (Honestly) No. But I remember Lex believed in me when I wanted to start this place. We all need someone to take a chance on us. So, when can you start?

Lucas: (Approaching) Don't you think you should check with the boss first?

Lana just looks from Lucas to Clark, confused.

Clark: (Uncomfortably) Lana, this is Lucas. Lex's brother.

Lana: (Surprised) Uh, Lex never mentioned he had a brother.

Lucas: Well, I wasn't exactly on his Christmas card list. (Looking around at the décor) Uh, I like the whole Egyptian/Assyrian vibe. It's clear you've put a lot of time and effort into this place.

Lana: (Uncomfortably) Uh, yeah, yeah, so did Lex.

Lucas: (Cockily) Well, Lex is, uh, he's not exactly in the picture anymore.

Clark: (Hint of anger) Lionel threw Lex out of the mansion.

Lucas: (False concern) How's he doing down on the farm, Clark?

Clark: (Confidently) He's doing great. He's a survivor.

Lucas: Well, I hope that he can survive on nothing, because anything that was his is now mine, including this place.

Lana: You should know that Lex wasn't my boss. He was my partner.

Lucas: Oh, even better.

Lucas heads behind the counter to look around. Clark watches him angrily, as Lana looks at Clark in confusion and disbelief.

Cut to a shot of Smallville High. Students mingle outside as the bell rings. Cut to a shot of Chloe in the Torch office, opening a file cabinet. Clark enters.

Clark: Ahem.

Clark smiles and holds up a large to-go cup of coffee and a paper bag as Chloe turns around.

Chloe: (Smiling happily) Hey. I didn't know the Talon delivered.

Clark: (Holding the coffee and bag out to Chloe) I decided to make an exception.

Chloe takes the items, sipping at the coffee as she heads across the office.

Chloe: I assume you got the job, then.

Clark: Apparently, the editor of the Torch put me over the top.

Chloe: (Setting her coffee down and tearing off a piece of whatever was in the bag) So how does it feel to be a minimum wage earner?

Clark: Great. (Concerned) But there seems to be some personnel changes over at the Talon.

Chloe: (Picking up her coffee and heading toward her desk) Are you talking about Lucas Luthor?

Clark: Yeah, how'd you know?

Chloe: (Chuckling) Are you kidding? The prodigal Luthor son returns, and to top it all off, the new heir has taken over the castle. I mean, that's the story that could land you a byline on the front page of the Daily Planet.

Clark: I just--I don't trust Lucas. I think he's hiding something.

Chloe sits at her desk, putting her feet up.

Chloe: Come on Clark, cut the guy a break. He's had a really tough life. He bounced from foster home to foster home. I mean, he never got adopted.

Clark: Well, when you were looking at his past, you didn't find anything weird at all.

Chloe hits a couple of keys on her computer.

Chloe: Um, just the source.

Chloe leans back and pulls a piece of paper out of the printer behind Clark, handing the paper to Clark. Clark studies the paper.

Cut to a shot of the paper--an adoption query from Metropolis United Charities.

Lex: Metropolis United Charities.

We pull back and see Lex, in Clark's loft, holding the paper.

Clark: (Sitting nearby) Chloe said Lucas's file didn't even exist two weeks ago. Suddenly, there it is.

Lex: Like somebody wanted him to be found. Of course, the detectives I hired failed to mention where they got their information

Clark: Do you think your father knew about Lucas all along?

Lex: Do you even have to ask? Lucas was in on this from the beginning.

Lex starts to walk angrily from the loft.

Clark: If your father was hiding Lucas why would he suddenly let you find him?

Lex pauses on the steps and turns around.

Lex: Because ever since he took LexCorp, he knows I've been looking for an opportunity to get back at him. He co-opted Lucas before I could. (Turning and continuing down the steps) While I've been playing checkers, my father's been playing chess.

Clark watches as Lex strides determinedly from the barn.

Cut to a shot inside Lex's study. Loud music plays as Lucas, shirtless, does pull-ups on a new piece of exercise equipment he's purchased. The doors to the study open and Lex strides in.

Lex looks around at the expensive new additions--the TV, two large speakers, and a myriad of exercise equipment such as weights and a treadmill.

Lex: Wow. Hey, I love what you've done with the place. Is this newest scam, huh--corporate titan in training?

Lucas stops exercising as Lex tosses him a towel.

Lucas: Unlike you, Lex, I don't live in my father's shadow. My training's over. What can I do for you.

Lex stares at Lucas, then shrugs.

Lex: (Amused) Feeling pretty good about yourself right now, aren't you?

Lex crosses the room and sits behind his desk.

Lex: (Continuing) I got to admit, you and my father played me brilliantly. Just out of idle curiosity, when did he contact you?

Lucas: Three weeks ago. He told me who he was, said you were looking for me. Wanted to use me for some corporate raid.

Lex just nods. Lucas leans in over the desk.

Lucas: Let's face it Lex. I'm the son he wants.

Lex just looks at Lucas knowingly.

Lex: Careful Lucas. You're showing your hand. Come on. What is it you're really after, huh? His affection?

Lucas smiles in amusement and Lex smiles in kind.

Lex: (Continuing coldly) You really believe if you stick around, he's going to love you? Trust me. You don't know him at all.

Lucas: (Unconcerned) Get out, Lex. You lost.

Lex just studies Lucas for a moment, then quirks his eyebrow and shrugs. He gets up from behind the desk and begins heading toward the door.

Lex: I found you because he wanted me to. High school kids can track you down.

Lucas: You mean your friend Clark Kent?

Lex: (Turning around, amused) I bet a lot of people are out looking for you. Like your friends from Edge City.

Lucas: (Sarcastically) Oh, wow, Lex, is that a threat?

Lex: (Matter of factly) You know, Lucas, the Luthor gene pool is a shark tank, and our father's just chummed the waters.

Lucas just looks at Lex, confidently

Lex: (Dryly) Good luck.

With that, Lex turns and leaves. Once he is gone, Lucas's expression goes from confidant to angry.

Cut to a shot inside the Talon. Lana takes a tray from another waitress.

Waitress: There you go.

Lana: Thank you.

Lana heads out from behind the counter toward a table. Lucas comes in from the back entrance.

Lucas: (Demanding) Where's Clark?

Lana: (Flustered) Good question.

Clark rushes in.

Clark: (Apologetic) Lana, sorry I'm late.

Lana: (Handing Clark the tray) Yeah, don't worry about it. You can make it up by taking these lattes to table three.

Lana turns to head back to the counter, as Lucas glares at Clark.

Lucas: (To Lana as she passes) Huh. I want you to fire him.

Clark looks up from table three in surprise.

Clark: (Walking over to Lucas) Fire me? For what?

Lucas: (Angrily) You were half an hour late to work. What were you doing, helping Lex dig up more dirt about me?

Lana walks over and stands next to Clark

Lana: Lucas, I am not going to fire Clark.

Lucas: Okay. Then I'll fire you too.

Lana: Check our partnership agreement. You can't do that. Lex made sure of it.

Lucas just looks back and forth between Lana and Clark.

Lucas: (Angrily) Lex is history, and so is this place. You can count on it.

With that, Lucas turns and heads out the back door. Clark looks at Lana with concern, and hands her the tray, following Lucas out into the back alley.

Clark: Lucas wait, you can't do this!

Lucas: (Angry) Get it through your head, Clark! I'm a Luthor, I can do anything I want!

Lucas strides down the alley, and Clark calls after him.

Clark: (Desperately) If you want me to quit, I will! Just leave Lana alone!

Lucas: (Turning back to Clark) Too late.

Lucas continues down the alley. He hears the sound of a motorcycle revving its engine. He turns around, and sees a man on a motorcycle emerging from the shadows. Clark looks on in confusion, and a look of realization comes over Lucas's face as he realizes who it is.

A man on a motorcycle pulls up a small automatic gun and aims it at Lucas. The camera pulls back and we see it's Dirk, from Lucas's card scam at the club. Dirk lowers the faceguard on his motorcycle helmet, and Lucas begins to run away. Dirk takes off after him, and fires the gun.

As they pass Clark, the scene goes into slow motion bullet time. Clark sees the bullets are heading directly for Lucas. Using his superspeed, he rushes over and knocks Dirk off the bike and to the ground. He then speeds after the bullets. Clark passes on, using his hand to knock it to the ground, then does the same with the next one he passes. One bullet is almost at Lucas's shoulder. Clark leaps toward Lucas, putting his hand on Lucas's shoulder and blocking the bullet. The other bullets bounce harmlessly off Clark's back as he knocks Lucas to the ground. As they hit the ground, the scene goes back into real time. Sparks fly as the bullets Clark knocked away hit some metal, and Dirk crashes into the opposite wall.

Clark: (To Lucas) Are you Okay?

Lucas just nods, and Clark gets up, glancing over his shoulder at two smoking bullet holes on the back of his jacket. Dirk climbs back on his motorcycle, and zooms away as Clark and Lucas watch.

Cut to a shot of Lex's study. The study doors open and Lucas walks in. Lionel is sitting next to the fire.

Lucas: Dad.

Lionel: Lucas. I heard about last night. (Amused) Well, you wouldn't be a Luthor if somebody wasn't trying to kill you. Hahaha.

Lucas just smiles dryly.

Lionel: It didn't hurt that Clark Kent was there.

Lucas: I don't how he reacted so quickly.

Lionel: (Cleaning his glasses) Well, Clark is a very special young man. (Getting up) Did you recognize the shooter?

Lucas: His name is Dirk. I did some business with him back in Edge City.

Lionel: (Chuckling) Interesting euphemism.

Lucas: You don't, uh, sound too surprised Dad.

Lionel: (Laughing as he puts an arm around Lucas) Well, where do you think you are--Walton Mountain? Come on Lucas, think a minute. You walk in here, you take everything that belongs to Lex. You think he's just going to give up without a fight?

Lucas: You know, it's funny, because Lex said you wanted me out of the picture.

Lionel: Of course he did. (Putting a hand on Lucas's face) But you're my son.

Lucas chuckles dryly and steps away.

Lucas: (Sitting down) Why should I believe you, Dad? Hmm?

Lionel sits next to Lucas.

Lionel: Lucas, look--

Lucas: (Interrupting) You wanted me out of your life. You even tried to buy me off. Why the sudden change of heart?

Lionel: It was a test. You just stood up to me. You turned the tables, showed me your strength. That's what it takes to win. Lex doesn't have that. Why do you think he's afraid of you?

Lucas just stares at Lionel.

Lionel: (Continuing) You've thrown down the gauntlet, Lucas. Are you willing to go the distance? Lex obviously is.

Lucas just nods slightly in understanding.

Cut to a shot of Clark, clad in a green Talon apron, waiting on tables. Chloe enters and approaches him.

Chloe: Hey, Clark.

Clark: Chloe. What did you find out?

Chloe: So they caught Lucas's shooter outside Metropolis. His name is Dirk Lee. They tracked him down with the license plate number that you gave them.

Clark: (Setting down drinks at a table) Did he tell the police who tipped him off?

Clark moves to another table, and Chloe follows him.

Chloe: Not exactly. Somewhere between the booking and the holding cell, Dirk mysteriously keeled over and died.

Clark: (Serving customers) Someone didn't want him to talk.

Chloe: Yeah, someone who had enough power to kill him in the middle of a police station. Know of anyone that comes to mind?

Clark hands his tray to Chloe and starts removing his apron.

Clark: You've got to cover for me, okay?

Clark starts to leave, and Chloe chases after him, tray in hand.

Chloe: (Flustered) No. No, Clark. I drink coffee. I do not serve it! Clark!

Off to the side, Lana watches Clark leave with a mixture of anger and disappointment on her face.

Cut to a shot inside the Kent barn. Jonathan is working on a machine, carving what looks like a wooden table leg. From behind him, Lex approaches.

Lex: Mr. Kent.

Jonathan shuts off the machine and turns around.

Lex: (Setting down his bags) I just wanted to say thank you for everything you and your family have done for me.

Jonathan: (Indicating Lex's bags) You going somewhere, Lex?

Lex: Well, I need to talk to my brother, and you know what they say about fish and houseguests after three days.

Jonathan chuckles, then walks over to Lex. He pauses for a moment, then speaks.

Jonathan: (Sincerely) You're welcome back anytime.

Jonathan steps past Lex, and Lex moves around so that he and Jonathan are facing one another.

Lex: That's nice of you to say.

Jonathan: (Insistant) Look, I gave you every single crappy farm job I could think of. But you did 'em all. You didn't complain. Not once.

Lex just nods slightly.

Jonathan: (With admiration) You would have made one hell of a farmer.

Lex smiles, touched by Jonathan's words.

Lex:Thanks, Mr. Kent.

Lex holds out his hand and Jonathan shakes it.

Jonathan: Sure.

As the men shake hands, we hear a loud thud. Jonathan grunts in pain and falls to the ground. As he falls, we see Lucas standing behind him, aiming a gun at Lex.

Lex: (Slightly fearful and stunned) Lucas. What are you doing?

Lucas: (Matter of factly) Finishing what you started.

Lex looks at the gun fearfully as Lucas aims it at him.

Cut to a shot of Lionel relaxing on a couch in Lex's study. The doors open, and he sits up quickly, putting his hands in front of him as he pretends to be blind.

Lionel: Who is that?

Clark: It's Clark Kent.

Lionel:(Turning toward the sound of Clark's voice) Clark. Oh, Clark. I'm sorry. I meant to call and thank you for saving Lucas. Your, uh, rescues are becoming a bit of a Luthor family tradition.

Clark: I understand they caught the shooter in Metropolis.

Lionel: (Sipping some brandy) Yes, I heard that.

Clark: (Coming to stand in front of Lionel) So I can assume you've also heard that he died while in police custody?

Lionel: Oh. That's unfortunate. But, um, it happens.

Clark looks at Lionel, not believing him.

Clark: Just awfully convenient, isn't it? Kind of like how Lex was able to track down Lucas.

Lionel: (Chuckling) Ha.Ha. I think you've inherited your father's paranoia.

Clark: (Angry) We're not talking about my family, Mr. Luthor. We're talking about yours.

Lionel's cell phone begins to ring, and he reaches in his pocket for it.

Lionel: Good night, Clark.

Clark just stares at Lionel, who makes no move to answer the phone. He then heads toward the door. Lionel calls after him.

Lionel: Send my regards to your mother?

Clark walks from the room, pulling the door shut behind him.

Lionel: (Answering his phone) Yeah. What? Lucas, where are you? All right, all right. (Glances at his watch) I'll take the, uh, chopper. I'll be there in half an hour.

Cut to a shot of the hallway outside Lex's study. Clark stands in the hall, listening as Lionel's conversation drifts out into the hall.

Lionel: (Offscreen) My office. Don't do anything rash. You understand me?

Clark gets a look of realization on his face, and walks away.

Cut to a shot of Metropolis at night, being approached by Lionel's helicopter. Cut to a shot of Lionel throwing open the doors to his office and striding in.

Lionel: Lucas?

Lucas is sitting behind Lionel's desk, and spins his chair around to face him.

Lucas: Glad you could make it.

As Lionel approaches, we see Lex sitting in a chair across from the desk.

Lionel: What the hell are you doing?

Lex: Come on, Dad, this is exactly what you wanted.

As the camera pans down, we see Lex is in fact tied to the chair his arms and legs bound with black tape.

Lex: (Continuing) Pitted us against each other, and we played into your Cain and Abel fantasy just like you knew we would.

Lucas stands up behind his desk and aims a gun at Lex.

Lionel: (Concerned) Put the gun down, Lucas. Put it down.

Lucas walks over and puts the gun to the side of Lex's neck. A look of realization crosses Lex's face.

Lex: How do you know he's got a gun?

Lucas just looks at Lionel and shrugs. Lex looks up at Lionel expectantly. Lionel simply removes his glasses and looks at Lex.

Lex: (Extremely angry, struggling against his bonds) You twisted son of a bitch!

Lex begins fighting to get out of the chair, as Lucas continues to aim the gun at Lex.

Lionel: (Holding his hands out) Boys, calm down. Calm--

Lucas: (Interrupting) You're the one who told me I needed to finish what I started. Well, as long as Lex is around, I'll always have to fight for my place in this family.

Lionel: Lucas, you are not going to shoot your brother.

Lucas: You're right.

Lucas pulls a second gun from his waistband, walking over and putting it into Lionel's hand as he holds the other gun to Lionel's head.

Lucas: You are.

Lionel just looks straight ahead, stunned.

Lex just looks ahead as Lionel holds the gun.

Lionel: What do you expect to achieve, Lucas? Tell me.

Lex: Isn't it obvious, Dad? Once we're both out of the picture, young Lucas here inherits everything.

Lucas grabs Lionel's wrist, forcing him to aim the gun directly at Lex's head.

Lucas: (Threateningly) Pull the trigger.

Lionel hesitates, looking from Lucas to Lex.

Cut to a shot of the building's hallway. Clark comes around the corner, looking around. He uses his X-Ray vision and sees Lucas, Lionel, and Lex in the next room. His eyes widen with fear as he realizes what is happening. He glances around, trying to come up with a plan, and he begins to hear Lionel's and Lex's voice wafting through the hall.

Lionel: (Muffled) Think, Lucas, just think....

Lex: (Muffled) Lucas. Think this through. I'm not your enemy, Lucas.

Clark looks up and sees a large air vent which passes directly over the room.

Cut to a shot back in the office.

Lex: (Continuing) I'm not the one who deliberately kept you in the foster care system.

Lionel: (Annoyed) You're not helping things, Lex.

Lex: Did you ever wonder why you were never adopted... If you were in trouble how you always got bailed out at the last minute? Don't tell me you thought you were just lucky?

Lucas looks up at Lionel with a look of realization crossing his face as he realizes Lex is right.

Lex: (Continuing) We're a social experiment. One son gets everything, the other gets nothing.

Lionel: (Insistant) That's ludicrous. I would never do that.

Lex: Yeah you would. Just like you tipped off the shooter? (To Lucas) Your friend Dirk was on our father's payroll. Edge City was a setup.

Lucas: (Angrily, to Lex) Shut up. You wanted to use me too.

Lex: Yes, I did, and for that I am truly sorry. But trust me, trying to gain his love and respect is not worth it.

Lucas: (To Lionel) Is it true? Is that what you did to me?

Lionel reaches the hand not holding a gun out to Lucas.

Lionel: We've got a lot to talk about, son.

Lucas slaps Lionel's hand away, reaching out and grabbing Lionel's other arm, wrenching his arm around and forcing him to once again aim the gun at Lex.

Lucas: (Angrily) After you kill Lex. For once, I want the blood to be on your hands.

Cut to a shot of the air vent. Clark crawls through it as he listens to the sounds in the room below.

Lionel is forced to bring the gun inches from Lex's head. Lucas steps back, aiming his gun directly at Lionel.

Lucas: Time's up, Dad.

Lionel seems torn as he glances several times between Lucas and Lex, trying to buy some time.

Lionel: No... I can't do it.

Lucas: (Angrily) That's just too bad.

Lionel: Lucas, please, don't. I will not kill my son.

From above, we see Clark watching the action from behind the air vent. He glances around, trying to find a way to help. He focuses his heat vision and heats up Lucas's gun.

Lucas winces and gasps, dropping the gun as it burns his hand. Lionel sees his opening.

Lionel: (Furious) You psychotic little bastard!

Lionel brings his gun around and pistol whips Lucas, knocking him to the ground. Without hesitation, Lionel fires the gun twice directly at Lucas, and Lex flinches as the gun goes off. Lionel looks shocked as Lucas just looks up at him, panting, and a small trail of blood dripping from the corner of his mouth but otherwise unhurt.

Lucas: (Dryly) It must be in the genes.

Lex begins chuckling.

Lionel looks down at his gun.

Lionel: It's blanks.

Lucas sits up and pulls the clip from his gun.

Lucas: This one too.

Lex looks up at Lionel, laughing at the expression on his face. Lionel looks at Lex in confusion.

Lex: (Dryly amused) Checkmate.

Lucas gets up and begins to free Lex from the chair, ripping the tape off. Lionel just looks on, stunned. Lucas extends a hand to Lex, helping Lex from the chair.

Lex: (Walking from the room) Come on, Lucas.

Lucas and Lex walk out of the room, leaving Lionel standing there.

Lionel watches them go, but the sound of something dripping catches his attention. He glances at the ground and sees drops of melted metal hitting the floor. He glances up at the air vent. Clark is gone, but there is a small hole where Clark's heat vision melted the metal grate. Lionel looks around, considering this.

Cut to a shot of the Talon marquee at night. Lana stands at the door, holding the door for the last customers of the night.

Customers: (Leaving) Goodnight. Thank you.

Lana locks the door behind them and heads to lock the other set of doors. Before she can get there, Clark enters.

Clark: (Apologetic) Lana, I realize you're locking up, but I just need to explain--

Lana: (Interrupting) It's not necessary. I understand.

Clark: (Surprised) You're not mad.

Lana: (Matter of factly) Somehow, when you let people down, you make it really hard for them to be mad at you.

Lana moves to lock the doors.

Clark: Lana, I just--

Lana: (At the same time as Clark) Clark, it just isn't--

The two smile and chuckle uncomfortably.

Lana: So I guess that's it.

Clark: Yeah. Shortest career in the history of the coffee house business.

Lana: (Amused) Second shortest. Don't forget my one-day at the Beanery.

Lana moves past Clark and begins putting the chairs up on the tables.

Clark: (Hopefully) Hope this doesn't change things between us.

Lana: (Matter of factly) I don't see how things are ever going to change between us, Clark.

Clark smiles slightly, then his falls as he realizes the real meaning behind Lana's words. He stands silently for a moment, then turns and leaves as Lana goes back to putting chairs on the tables.

Cut to a shot of Luthor Mansion. Lex sits behind his desk, reading the paper. He glances up, and indicates something across the room.

Lex: That can stay.

Men: Uh, yes sir.

The camera pans over and we see two moving men removing Lucas's additions to the room. They move away from the big screen TV and instead pick up the leather couch Lucas had purchased. Lionel enters the office.

Lionel: Lex?

Lex simply stares curiously at Lionel. Lionel glances at the moving men.

Lionel: Glad to see that you're making yourself at home again, son.

Lex: (Indicating the newspaper) I read your fascination piece of fiction in the Daily Planet.

As Lex sets the newspaper on his desk, we see the headline on the front page: "Luthor Regains Sight".

Lionel: People love to read about triumph over adversity.

Lex: (Dryly) And your stock jumped five points.

Lionel: (Chuckling) Ha ha ha ha!

Lex: How long have you been able to see?

Lionel: (Shrugging) A few weeks.

Lex: (Nodding slightly) Playing the handicapped card is low, even for you.

Lionel glances around the room to make sure the movers aren't listening, and leans in toward Lex.

Lionel: (Conspiratorially) But, uh, I was able to see more clearly than ever. It's amazing what people try and get away with right in front of your eyes when they think you can't see.

Lex: (Dryly) I can only imagine.

Lionel just nods, then walks over to the fireplace.

Lionel: All right, Lex. How are we going to repair this...rift between us? Hmm?

Lionel sits in a chair next to the fire, and Lex studies him for a moment.

Lex: (Getting up from his desk and walking toward Lionel) You mean, how are you going to keep the whole Lucas affair quiet?

Lex sits down in a chair opposite his father, and the two men study each other for a moment.

Lionel: I was, uh, thinking of giving you LexCorp back. Majority stake, no strings attached.

Lex: Except for my silence.

Lionel: Well, I've always believed that family business should be kept within the family.

Lex: (Leaning forward in his chair) And Lucas is under my protection now.

The two men study each other for another moment. Finally, Lionel nods slightly in agreement, and Lex gets up from his chair. He starts to leave the room, but stops as Lionel calls after him.

Lionel: You remember the fable of the frog and the scorpion, Lex?

Lex: (Turning toward Lionel) Yeah, Dad. The, uh, frog helped the scorpion cross the river. The scorpion repaid his kindness by stinging the frog.

Lionel: "Why did you do it?" asked the dying frog asked him. And the scorpion replied, "Because it is my nature." Believe me Lex, your brother will never change. I've watched him over the years. The boy's a sociopath.

Lex: (Matter of factly) And I wonder which side of the family tree he got that from.

Lionel doesn't answer, looking into the fire.

Lex: (Leaving the room) Goodnight, Dad. I'll be sure to give Lucas your love.

Lionel just watches Lex leave the room.

Cut to a shot at night of Clark unloading bags of feed from the pickup truck. The whine of Lex's car engine signals his approach, and seconds later his car pulls up in front of the truck. Clark smiles and walks toward the front of the pickup truck.

Clark: My mom told me you were going to come back and get the rest of your stuff.

Lex: (Climbing out of the car and walking toward Clark) Surprisingly, my dad's had a change of heart.

Clark: I'm sorry that Lucas didn't turn out to be the brother you wanted.

Lex: Considering his father, I'm surprised he's still alive at all.

Clark: Where is Lucas now?

Lex: (Leaning against the pickup truck) Safe. But I'm going to have some work to do to regain his trust.

Clark: (Confidently) You will. You're not your father.

Lex: (Matter of factly) Sometimes, Clark, we're all held hostage by the will of our fathers. The only difference is, your dad is a good man. All my father does is push people away. (Pauses) Your dad opened his home to me, no questions asked.

Clark thinks about Lex's words, moving to lean against the truck next to Lex.

Clark: As long as I live, I don't think I'm ever going to understand your family.

Lex: Neither will I. Just remember, my father may try and rule the world, but yours will inherit the earth.

Lex and Clark give each other small smiles, then look out toward the Kent farmhouse.

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