mistressace: (DS Hero by Skatergate)
[personal profile] mistressace

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3


Lex straightened his tie, then flicked the cuffs of his shirt into place with practiced ease.

His new bodyguards, fresh from Metropolis this morning, were waiting in the hallway. Lex didn't know them well -- they were part of the LuthorCorp division, rather than his own staff from Smallville. He'd checked on Rhodes and Sloane earlier, dropping by the hospital between meetings. Rhodes had made it through surgery but wouldn't be back for at least a month, and the bullet that hit Sloane had broken his leg.

They were both expected to make a complete recovery, which he appreciated. Rhodes had been with him a long time and Sloane was one hell of a pool shark. He always gave Lex a run for his money when they got a chance to rack up a few games.

Lex surveyed the hotel suite. Everything was in order: a mound of extra pillows, the covers turned down and a robe exactly the shade of Ben's eyes hung in the closet next to his own.

Waking up next to Ben at dawn had been an unexpected pleasure. It was an experience he intended to repeat.

The reservations were for seven. Factoring in travel time to the Consulate, ten minutes to pry Inspector Fraser away from his desk and fifteen minutes with Thibodeaux to nail down that last tax concession, it was time to leave.

Other than that one small point, his meetings today had gone well. He'd gotten everything else he'd asked for; Nichols and Thibodeaux had bent over backwards to make sure his demands were met. The only thing that would've made the experience most satisfactory was Fraser's presence, but Fraser had his own duties to attend to.

Gathering up his coat, Lex pulled his gloves on and strode out of the room.


When he heard the knock at his door, Fraser looked up from his desk.

"Come in."

Cooper opened his door, "You have a visitor, Inspector."

"Send them in."

He was off duty as of ten minutes ago, but his dinner date wasn't due for half an hour. All of his paperwork had been dealt with, his files put away, his computer already shut off -- Fraser certainly had time for any petitioner at his door.

Granted, he was dressed for an evening out, but his position as Inspector did not require the uniform as day-to-day wear. While Fraser still remained more comfortable in uniform than civilian clothes, he had taken great care with his attire this afternoon. There should be no room for criticism about his appearance.

The suit he'd bought upon his promotion had been delivered by the dry cleaners just this morning. His father's watch was on his wrist, the tie Ray Vecchio had sent for his last birthday tied in a perfect Half Windsor, and the tiny gold maple leaf cufflinks Francesco had given him for Christmas adorned his sleeves. The cufflinks might've been too much, but he wore them so rarely.

Rising to his feet, Fraser froze as he heard familiar footsteps in the hallway. As they drew closer, his heart sped up.

Sweeping past Cooper with a polite but distant smile, Lex held his hand out. "Inspector."

His sudden paralysis broken, Fraser met him halfway, "Mr. Luthor, It's good to see you again. I trust you are well."

"Very well. How are things in Canada?"

Fraser waited for Cooper to exit and close the door, before he replied, "Lonely."

"I know exactly what you mean." Releasing Fraser's hand, Lex reached up and pulled him in for a quick, fierce kiss. "God, I missed you."

"And I you."

"Are you hungry?"


"Then I'd better feed you." Lex kissed him again, open-mouthed and eager.

This was the honeymoon period -- that point when new partners were ravenous for one another. It wouldn't last. But Fraser was determined to enjoy it for as long as possible, preferably without interruption. When Lex finally let him come up for air, Fraser murmured, "I should lock the door."

"I like the way you think. Unfortunately, we have reservations and I try to never disappoint my friends at Ambria."

Stepping back, Lex leaned against his desk. Cocking his head to one side, he started at Fraser's toes, his eyes making a slow sweep upward until he finally reached Fraser's now very warm face. "I like the suit. Very nice."

"Thank you kindly. You look...."

There really weren't words adequate for the sight of Lex in evening attire. Fraser could only break it down to its components of fine wool and silk, the gray and white and hints of purple in his tie sealing the marriage between suit and shirt. Diamond studs, each one easily as large as Ms. Nichols' earrings from the night before, accented his cuffs.

"... marvelous."

"Thanks. Are you ready?"

"Allow me to get my coat."


On their way to the door, Thibodeaux stepped out of his office. "Ah, Mr. Luthor, might I have a moment of your time? We just heard back from Ottawa."

Lex shot Fraser an apologetic smile, "Sorry, Ben. Duty calls."

"By all means. I'll wait here." Fraser moved further down the hallway so as not to eavesdrop.

Nodding to departing members of the Consulate staff, he took up a position next to the front door and clasped his hands behind his back. His ribs were much better, the ache nearly gone and after his shower this morning, he'd noted that the bruising was less than he'd anticipated.

The Consulate door opened; Fraser turned toward it and was nearly bowled over by Ray. "Fraser! Jeez, I'm sorry. I didn't know you'd be standing there."

"Hello, Ray. What brings you to Canada this evening?"

"Canada, right. Like I'm going to forget." Ray tapped his fingers against his thigh. "Why am I here? Well, you weren't answering your phone, but I was in the neighborhood so I thought I'd give it a shot.

"I just came by to thank you for the tip you called in about. I should give you hell about being up at three, but knowing you it was because you were on your way out of bed, rather than into it. Can't break the habit, can you buddy?"

"Well, Ray, as they say: Early to bed, early to rise...."

"Makes you Canadian. Look, Elaine's following up on the family angle and thanks to Fenimore, we found the car this morning. It was parked in the long-term lot at O'Hare so the shooter's probably long gone, but we got some good prints. Forensics should have an ID for us sometime tonight."

"That sounds encouraging. You'll keep me posted?" Fraser patted his jacket. Ah, he had remembered his cell phone. He turned it on and held it up to show Ray.

"Yeah, as soon as we can, you'll know." Ray turned toward the door, then swung back to really look at him. Reaching out, Ray ran his thumb along the edge of Fraser's lapel. "This is nice. You look good, really good."

His nose twitched. Ray leaned in, taking a deep breath. "Wait. You're wearing cologne. You've got a date tonight. Wow, that's a first for this century."

Fraser stepped back, biting down on a particularly sarcastic response. Ray didn't even seem to notice. He just grinned and opened the door. "Okay, I better let you get at 'er. Don't forget about lunch on Friday."

"Of course. Shall I meet you at the station?"

Before Ray could reply, Lex appeared in the foyer at Fraser's elbow.

"I'm finished here, Ben. Shall we?"

Ray stopped in the doorway, quite possibly frozen in shock. His mouth dropped open, looking from Fraser to Lex and then back again.

"Lieutenant Kowalski, wasn't it?" Lex said, reaching out to shake Ray's unresponsive hand. "It's good to see you again. I wish we had time to talk about the incident last night, but we're running late. Would tomorrow work for you? Say ten o'clock?"

"Uh, yeah, ten would be fine. Frase?" Ray looked lost and for once Fraser was disinclined to help him find his way.

"Call me if you find anything more, Ray. And give my regards to Blanche." Fraser smiled, then brushed past Ray, following Lex down the steps.

"Blanche?" Lex asked, his long coat swirling around his legs.

He'd just been unconscionably rude to his best friend. And it felt better than he'd ever thought possible. Refusing to look back over his shoulder, Fraser said. "I'll explain in the car."

"Oh, this should be good."


"Okay, first Stella, then Blanche? That man is a glutton for punishment." Several miles down the road and Lex was still laughing, leaning back against the seat and holding his ribs.

For Fraser's part, guilt at having treated Ray in such a cavalier fashion started stinging the moment they'd pulled away from the curb. His rude behavior was a cause of great concern -- the last time he acted like this had been with Victoria. Perhaps this is what indulging his baser needs led to.

Looking over at Lex, Fraser fought the urge to smile, as the man's quite genuine amusement was infectious. Instead he said, "Pot, meet kettle"

That caught Lex's attention.

He shifted in the seat, turning to face Fraser directly. "How so?"

Well, the barn door was wide open. He might as well let the horses out. Besides, his study of Lex's file from cover to cover had raised too many questions for him to let it go any longer. "Lex? Lex Luthor?"

"Oh, that."

"So you are aware of it."

Lex waved his hand in the air between them, "Of course. I am American, male, and have access to an obscene amount of disposable income. The majority of my early adolescence was spent reading comic books. Although, I always preferred Warrior Angel -- for obvious reasons."

Fraser had a passing familiarity with the name, although he'd only seen one issue and that was because Willie had been reading it while tending to Diefenbaker. The homoerotic undertones inherent in the relationship between the bald hero and his former best friend had been quite intriguing.

"If you don't mind my asking, why do you go by Lex? There are other diminutives. Why not Alex, or Alec, or forgive me for this, Sandy?"

Lex glanced at his reflection in the driver's partition, smoothing the front of his jacket with one hand. "Do I look like a Sandy to you?"

For a moment, Fraser though he might be seriously offended by the suggestion, but finally the left corner of Lex's mouth quirked upward. "Alex was my preference but Dad had his own agenda. At that point in my life, I was more concerned with being able to actually draw a deep breath than in wasting it to argue with him."

"Ah, I take it you suffered from childhood asthma?"

"Yes. It cleared up when I was nine -- along with a few other things...." Lex ran his hand over the top of his head, his smile growing sharper. "I think it was a fair trade, don't you?"

Touching his tongue to his lower lip, Fraser said honestly, "I think it makes you look quite distinctive."

"Thank you, Ben." Acknowledging the compliment with a quick kiss, Lex leaned back into the seat again. "By the time I was old enough to seriously rebel, I'd already learned to choose my battles wisely. The name just wasn't worth it. Besides, alliteration runs in the family: Lachlan Luthor, Lionel Luthor, my half-brother Lucas... if my younger brother had survived, I'm sure Dad would've called him Lian."

"Your father has a lot to answer for."

"Yes, he does. Starting with my exile to Smallville," When Fraser opened his mouth, Lex shook his head, laughing ruefully. "I'm aware of the irony in that too, Ben. However, I intend to conquer the world, not destroy it -- so don't worry."


Dinner had been delightful, the company even more so.

Once he'd gotten over his surge of jealousy at seeing Ray Kowalski sniffing Ben, and the rage that followed when he realized Ray had no idea how much it affected Ben, Lex was able to relax and enjoy himself. After all, Ray's loss was his gain.

Ray had no idea Ben could look like this. Perfect hair mussed and mouth bruised from kisses, moon-pale body sprawled across the bed with knees spread wide. He'd never feel the tight clasp of being inside, the lock of Ben's thighs around his waist, the sharp sting of Ben's teeth sinking into his shoulder.

He'd never taste the salt tang of sweat, the sweet-bitter slick of semen coating his tongue, the copper tinge of blood licked from Ben's lower lip. He'd never hear the sound Ben made when coming, the words whispered against his mouth, the susurration of skin on skin as they rocked together.

Ray may have been able to breathe him in, but Ray would never know him. And in that, Lex was content -- content enough to drop easily into sleep afterward with Ben's arms and body still wrapped around him.


Fraser woke, instantly on alert. There was someone in the room. Someone other than Lex, who was sleeping peacefully beside him.

Lying very still, Fraser waited and watched. He kept his breathing even, and was rewarded by a movement to his left. One figure, male -- crouching less than a foot from the bed.

When the shadow lengthened, rising above them, Fraser was ready. He kicked, his right heel clearing the sheets and catching the man in the solar plexus. The intruder gasped, bending over and dropping something on the bed as he fell to the floor. Fraser followed him down, landing square in the middle of his chest, further knocking the breath out of him. A struggle ensued, Fraser countering punches with ones of his own, using both fists freely.

"Ben? What the hell...."

The bedside lamp clicked on, flooding the room with light. Fraser blinked, landing one last solid punch to the jaw, then holding fast to his quarry as Lex rolled off the bed. Lex had a gun in his left hand, a Beretta 92/98 FS limited edition with pearl-handled grip, and it was pointed directly between the eyes of the man on the floor. "Don't move."

"You are under arrest," Fraser said, flipping the man over and pressing a knee into the small of his back.

He grabbed each wrist in turn, pulling them high and together between the shoulder blades. "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to be speak to an attorney, and to have an attorney present during any questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided for you at government expense. Do you understand these rights as I have explained them?"

When the man didn't answer, Fraser repeated. "Do you understand these rights as I have explained them?"

"I don't think he can breathe, Ben."

"Ah, of course." Lifting his knee slightly, Fraser shifted his weight until the labored breathing eased. "There are handcuffs in my coat, if you would be so kind."

"All right," Lex replied, keeping the gun trained on the prone figure as he crossed the room to the pile of Fraser's clothes.

"Do you understand these rights?"

The man beneath him nodding, still panting for breath."Yeah, I do."

"Good. They will be repeated when the officers of the Chicago Police Department arrive." Fraser took the handcuffs from Lex, clicking the first cuff in place.

Their assailant squirmed, peering over his shoulder at Fraser. "Wait. Aren't you a cop?"

"Royal Canadian Mounted Police. I have no true jurisdiction here." He secured the other wrist, tightening the cuffs until he was certain of their grip. "Although, as it appears your intent was to commit bodily harm to a Canadian citizen, as well as an American, there could be some cause for argument on that point."

"Does he always talk like this?"

Lex set the gun down on the nightstand, "Not always. Roll him over, Ben."

Fraser complied, shifting back onto his heels as he stared down at one of Lex's replacement bodyguards. To be honest, he was unsure of the man's name. Although Lex had sketched an off-handed introduction during the salad course, he'd neglected to identify them specifically. This was the blond one of the pair - broad-shouldered and beefy, with a slight tendency toward fat that a rumpled suit no longer hid.

Behind him, Lex snarled and snatched the gun back up, kneeling to press it into the man's forehead. He clicked the safety off.

"You probably shouldn't have touched that," Fraser said calmly, his hands resting on his bare thighs. He was poised, ready to spring at Lex, but doing so probably wouldn't save the man's life. "It is evidence."

"It's mine and yes, before you ask, I've got a permit for it." Looking at Fraser, Lex hesitated. Eventually he flicked the safety back on, set the gun down on the floor and pushed it out of immediate reach. "There's a knife on the bed."

"Of course. Quieter... Especially if your other bodyguard is still alive. Which one is this?"

"I'm Grant." The man pushed himself up onto his elbows, "Houston went for coffee -- he's not in on it."

"He is out of a job," Lex countered, rising to his feet. Fraser watched as Lex walked to the closet, opened it and removed two robes, then returned to the bedside. Handing him the blue one, Lex shrugged into the burgundy, pulling it closed with a quick jerk and tying the belt. "Who's behind this?"

Now made aware of his unclothed state, Fraser donned the other robe. He'd read the man his rights and received the appropriate response. If Mr. Grant chose to answer the question, that was his business.

"Who do you think, sonny boy?"

Lex looked up at the ceiling, took a deep breath and said, "Thanks, Dad."

"Got it in one. Pretty smart for a fag." As Fraser's hands clenched into fists at the insult, Grant levered himself up into a sitting position. "Then again, if you were really smart, you'd let me go."

Taking a seat on the bed, Lex looked down at him. "And why would I do that?"

Lex was very calm, calm enough that Fraser took the opportunity to pick up the gun, unload it and slip the clip into a pocket. He then retrieved a notebook from his jacket as he listened to the ongoing conversation. Given Mr. Grant's apparent willingness to speak, taking notes would be a wise move at this juncture.

"Let me go, and I won't talk. Think of what the papers are going to do when they get wind of what you've been up to here in Chicago." Jerking his head in Fraser's direction, Grant shot Lex a crafty smile. "They're going to love this."

"Blackmail? How original," Lex drawled, leaning indolently to one side. "You're not convincing me. Do you have anything else to offer?"

"Oh, I know you can probably buy your way out of this...."

"You have no idea what I'm capable of, Mr. Grant."

Speaking over the top of Lex's subtle warning, Grant shuffled up onto his knees, "But pretty boy here doesn't have Daddy's money to fall back on. Even if I can't touch you, he's ruined." He turned his head to look at Fraser. "Gay cops don't last long once the word gets out."

"That's where you're mistaken," Fraser interjected. "You forget I'm not an American. Unlike your country, Canada prides itself on staying out of its citizens' bedrooms. Therefore...." He picked up the bedside phone and began to dial."... my choice of partners poses a threat to neither my life, nor my livelihood. So, as Mr. Luthor has already pointed out, I suggest you offer an alternative argument."

Grant stared at him.

"Ah, I see. Fair enough." Fraser entered the last number and waited. "Leftenant Kowalski, please."

There were several clicks and then, "Kowalski."

"Good evening, Ray."

"Frase? Hey, I was just about to call you." There were some muffled sounds in the background, followed by Ray saying, "We got a hit on the fingerprints from the car. Some guy named Grant and get this, he's been out to see Luthor Senior three times this month. We're looking for him now."

"There's no need, Ray. I already have him in custody." Fraser cast a glance at Grant who was still staring at him in shock. Lex was in the far corner, silently sorting through their clothes and pulling on a pair of pants. That was a matter he would have to see to as well, once this call was concluded.

"Way to go. You okay? Anybody hurt?"

"Not that I'm aware of, although I will check on Mr. Luthor's other bodyguard. Please congratulate Elaine on her fine detective work and if you wouldn't mind, send a squad car to the Intercontinental Hotel?"

"Sure, buddy. What room?"

"The Presidential Suite."

Ray whistled appreciatively, "Nice digs. I'll get a couple of units out there right away. And Frase?"

"Yes, Ray?"

"Be careful."

"Mr. Grant is secured, I assure you."

Clearing his throat, Ray said, "That's, uh... that's not who I meant."

Ah. "Understood."


Within the hour, Mr. Grant was led away by two uniformed officers of the 27th after his rights were explained once more. Both Fraser and Lex's statements had been taken by the detectives who'd trooped in behind the patrolmen.

The missing Mr. Houston had returned to his post in the middle of the hubbub, bearing two large containers of coffee and a bag of pastries. As Grant had promised, Houston was uninjured.

And as Lex had promised, he was also unemployed. When the man tried to explain his actions, Lex stalked into the bedroom, slamming the door behind him.

Declining the offer of a ride back to the Consulate proffered by Detective Rawls, Fraser waited until the suite was empty before following Lex into his retreat. He considered knocking, but given Lex's exhibition of cold fury prior to walking out, Fraser decided to leave courtesy behind.

Easing the door open, Fraser stepped into the room.

Lex was standing by the window with one hand pressed flat against the glass and a cell phone in the other as he said, "Griff, you're a hard man to find. I need to call in that favor."

When Lex didn't acknowledge his presence, Fraser leaned against the wall by the door. From his body language and the fact he continued staring out at the Chicago skyline, it was possible Lex believed himself to be alone.

"Name your price."

Yes, Lex did believe he was alone. Or at least he did until some minor movement on Fraser's part caught his attention. Lex glanced over his shoulder, looking directly at Fraser, before returning to the sea of lights beyond the barrier of glass. "I'll have to call you back."

He clicked the phone off and set it down on the table next to the window.

Fraser crossed the room, stopping a foot behind Lex. He watched Lex's reflection -- saw guilt in the eyes that gazed back at him, and a flash of regret, but underneath it all was a steely determination.

"Don't do this."

Lex shook his head, "I have no choice."

"You always have a choice," Fraser replied, laying his hand on Lex's arm. "The same choice we all share. You must let justice take its course."

"Justice?" Lex looked down at Fraser's hand, his mouth twisting into a brittle curve. "You forget, my friend, Justice has already had her say. My father was tried on her scales and found guilty."

Lex's fingers curled, his palm lifting away from the glass. "When they locked him up, I was there. I watched them lead him away while the poison he'd fed me still burned in my veins. He's in a maximum security prison and he can still reach me. Until he's in the ground, I'll never be safe."

There was a flash of white in the far corner of the room. "Even then you may not be."

"A threat from beyond the grave? Should I fear the shade of my father showing up at a board meeting to rattle his chains and denounce me before the assembled host?" Lex rapped on the window, "If there were such a thing as ghosts, I would already be haunted."

"There are more things in heaven and earth...."

"Than are dreamt of in your philosophy," Lex finished. "The mad Price of Denmark, of course he'd come up. That's your story, Ben, not mine. Murdered father, your future sacrificed to track down his killer only to find the culprit to be a beloved uncle -- or the closest thing you had to one. Tell me, were you plagued much by ghosts during your quest?"

As if on cue Diefenbaker trotted into view, barked silently, then disappeared. Fraser sighed impatiently, "No, they came afterward. Be that as it may, he is your father, Lex."

"He's not. I've seen what a father is and that monster doesn't even come close." Lex shook Fraser's hand off, shifting farther away. "Give it up, Ben, there's nothing here for you to save. It's too late. The die's been cast, the gauntlet thrown and I must...."

"You don't have to pick it up."

"I know no other way. I can't turn the other cheek. I'm not like you, Ben. You're a man of justice and I'm..." Lex's fist smashed against the window -- tempered, nigh-unbreakable, standard for this height. He hit it again; the glass shuddered in its frame. Fraser grabbed his wrist before Lex could a third time and Lex rounded on him, snarling, "I'm a man of war."

Determined to stay the course, Fraser held on, "And if you do this -- if you succeed, is the victory worth the price of your soul?"

"Who cares? Who cares enough to stop me?"

"I do."

Lex stared at Fraser, his eyes narrowing into slits. They stood there, neither giving an inch, neither of them willing to bend. This was where it would break. The honeymoon was over, its fragile accord destroyed by this impasse in philosophy. Fraser mourned its demise, but on this he would not yield.

It was not in his nature.

Lex swallowed, his throat working as he glanced down at the hand wrapped tightly around his wrist. Fraser let go, stepping back and straightening his spine. Turning on his heel, he marched across the room only to be stopped at the door by the sound of Lex's voice.

What was said was far too familiar.

"Come with me."

Fraser closed his eyes, his hand still wrapped around the doorknob. "Where?"

"To Metropolis."

"In what capacity?"

Lex was directly behind him, standing so close that the air was imbued with warmth. There was breath on his skin, stirring the fine hairs on his nape. "I won't insult you by offering you a job. Just... come with me."

So tempting. A transfer was possible -- Lex's plans for Canadian expansion might be enough to sway Ottawa into assigning an RCMP officer to ensure his safety.

An early retirement was also an option. Granted, he was a few months short of a full pension but his needs were simple.

However... he'd sworn an oath.

"I can't."

"I know," Lex said, laying a hand on his shoulder. "Will you at least stay the night?"

"On one condition."

"Name it -- it's yours."

"Call him back." Fraser turned to face Lex. "Set the gauntlet aside and never take it up again."

Lex took a deep breath, looking away, then back. "Done."


Part 5
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