|What: A Father-Son talk.|
Lex waited in the office. All of the white tiles, walls, glass, black book cases and everything else the large modern office had. His green eyes looked over a screen and he sighed. Dressed in a black suit with a white button up shirt, matching vest and tie Lex waited for his son to show. By now all of the Lexcorp employees left since it was seven at night.
Leo would have gotten a text to come down to the office. They had some things to discuss. What would happen was going to be big, but it had to be done right. Waiting for Leo Lex went up to the bar he set up he poured an old scotch into a spirit glass then took a sip. The familiar burn greeted him and the alcohol may have been needed for this conversation.
Leo is a fan of black and white too, but he likes to throw in some bright colors otherwise it is just a little 'boring'. He stayed up late last night hanging out with Lunair and some of the time with Deadpool of all people. He still wants to throw Deadpool up into space. But he is going to aim to not bring that up right now.
Leo barely made it in time for classes, and wouldn't if it wasn't for his super speed. Ah well, he didn't get caught. The text message after classes vaguely surprises him, but he shrugs and heads to the office at a normal pace, not expecting anything life-threatening this time.
When Leo finally arrives at the office, later than Lex would have expected - but hey, it gave him time for some liquor fortification - a secretary staying late buzzes Lex to let him know that his son has arrived. Leo doesn't bother knocking as he opens the office door and heads inside, closing it behind him. "Father," he says in polite greeting.
"Son. Sit." Lex sighs and tries to shrug off the business mode, "Do you want some pizza? I can have it delivered." Lex presumes Leo, like he himself does, often looses track of time and is prone to inadvertantly skipping meals. Running a business is easier than fatherhood, but Lex is going to be a good father because it's what Leo deserves.
"How was school?" Lex inquires before sitting down at his desk and he looks to Leo. "How are things in the woman department?" Leo is a flirt and Dad knows it. However, he has been spending a lot of time with various girls. So it is easy to presume that he has to be casually dating one of them.
Lex must be really serious about this 'new dad thing'. Leo shakes his head, "Not unless you haven't already ate. You have ate, right?" One of those moments Leo shows concern openly. It may be an odd thing to show concern over, but Leo is protective of his father. He moves to have a seat in front of the desk, almost (note almost) propping his feet on the desk, but catches himself, and reaches out to drag another chair near him to proper his feet onto. Hanging out with people his own age more often has made him more 'casual' in his actions. He has adapted.
"It's going," as Leo doesn't seem nearly as interested in school as he perviously was in the last conversation. Leo is still a flirt, but he does certainly concertrate the bulk of his attentions on one woman: Fern. "And it's definitely going," sounding a bit more hopeful and a bit more awkward at the latter questions. Hey, he ALMOST made it to second base, ALMOST! During a midnight flight over NYC with Fern. Strange how one day Fern arrived, but never left, and she wasn't there the next morning. Yep, it was out the window. Leo didn't think twice about it, though the doorman was vaguely concerned. Fern is very sweet to even the 'help staff'.
"Ummm, may have made a new friend," which is staying a lot in reality, since the only person other than Fern that Leo has gotten attached to really has been Bart. "She's a little crazy though. Malleable, but crazy. Right now, Deadpool has his claws in her though, but damn, would she be useful to have around." And actually, Leo starts to sound excited. "She can summon guns from thin air and then dismiss them! I'd love to study her powers, I think she has to be doing it sub-consciously at the molecular level, right? Otherwise a pocket dimension maybe, but wouldn't they have to be there to begin with then? But she can even make firework launchers! And taco launchers." A pause, and he works to wipe the smile of his face as he coughs into his hand, "I wouldn't suggest trying to use the taco launcher." The tacos would half-way insert themselves into Deadpool's sinus cavities.
"She's acting as a mercenary right now, Scarlet Arsenal. But she's actually a really sweet and nice girl. Doesn't quite register the 'wrongness' of murder, but she's actually a very nice and polite individual. I think you would find her strange, but interesting and pleasent to be around actually."
A brief pause them, "Ummm..., I put some dents in things and Deadpool is kind of pissed at me, but hey...she might e-mail later for follow-up. She can even do ice bullets, like Mr. Freeze. Seriously cool." A pause, "Umm, I mean, very efficent." Alright, so Leo's a big fan of her powers.
"Who is the girl," Leo getting involved in the mercenary circles bothers Lex. The powers intrigue him though so he's not willing to count her out just yet. Now he knows what it's like when a parent prefers their child to have one partner over the other. Fern is a far better partner than this mercenary is sounding.
He looks to his son, "How have the disguises come along? I wanted you here today to talk about that. And tell me more about this Deadpool thing. Who is he? What does he do?" The guy sounds like he's someone with a cheesy name but he has to know who his son runs with. The hunger question is ignored because there's too many things on Lex's mind. He's too nervous to eat at the moment.
A snort, "Don't really want to talk about it," in referenses to the disguises thing. He also hasn't even really told Lex what he was doing or what he was up to, he just went out and did it. This is the only hint he has given Lex about what he has been up to lately. "And don't know who she is, still researching it. Deadpool found her and changed her codename from Retribution to Scarlet Arsenal and gave her some armor. So you might find more info over her old code-name. She goes by Lunair out of uniform though, not sure on surname yet. She drives, so likely has a license and is nineteen years old. She likes laces. She wears lots of lace. Very cute." More than a little crazy. You don't try to have sex with crazy. Leo is not Slade Wilson or Roy Harper thank you very much.
"Even I've heard of Deadpool," but Leo researches on mercs, superheroes, and supervillains. It's his 'thing'. "He's one crazy ass merc, heavy on the -CRAZY-. He owns a teleporter and has one hell of a regeneration ability. And when he's bored, he likes to try and hunt down Batman to try and pick fights with him, just for bragging rights. But he firmly states he is -not- a villain. I think he forgets he is a merc and is supposed to only do jobs for money, and not crazy self-entertainment."
A pause. "I wouldn't worry about it too much. If he causes problems, I'll just toss him up in space until he promises to behave. Theroically, I suppose he would survive it." Another pause. "Maybe."
Hey, Leo thinks about this stuff, including potential threats to his dad.
Smiling at the space comment Lex nods. He turns to his son, "I would be okay with you revealing what you can do to the world. I've been thinking on it. Figuring out what it would do, how to counter it all. People will go after you because of who -and- what you are. You will need to show some restraint," and even bringing up the premise calls for another drink. Putting the glass to his lips Lex sighs at the burn welcoming the comfort the scotch brings.
He looks to Leo, "You will have to do the way I say it. We can do it quickly even. Why hide what you are? Who you are? Besides you're looking better and better than many of the other heroes with everything you do. But doing this will put pressure on you because what you do reflects upon me," everything is being laid out on the table for Leo to absorb. His eyes eyes go back to Leo, "An identity, a moniker would give you more freedom. You will not be questioned when you hang out with mercenaries. Your reputation would be your own to mold and shape how -you- deem fit. If you want a moniker then we will make you a costume exactly how you want it," and there is the offer laid out on the table. Lex would do anything for his son including help Leo be the hero he wishes to be. Hopefully his son would ask for a costume that doesn't have red or blue underwear on the outside.
"It's not like I willingly hung out with Deadpool. It was only to try and get Lunair in my camp. I want her." At his side as a heroic standpoint, not as a significate other a.k.a. girlfriend. There isn't anything romanatic in Leo's comment. "She just needs a moral compass is all," and Leo apparently thinks he can be that. Scary.
"And got a moniker, got a stupid disguise. If no one knows who I am, a red hoodie is just fine. It isn't a big deal. After all, can't afford to have clear photos taken of me, hoodie prevents that. It gets the job done efficently." Leo doesn't sound happy about it, but it doesn't sound like something he really wants to talk about right now since he isn't happy about it.
"A costume would make you stand out more. Create and develop a symbol of your own. To make your own name," Lex says playing off of his son's pride. Besides if he has control over a mask it would do better than a hoodie.
The comment about wanting to be the moral compass to Lunair concerns him. Sometimes morality doesn't have a place in progressing things forward. So he hopes Leo isn't developing too much of a conscious. The other concerning though is about Lunair. How messed up is she if a Luthor, of all people, is teaching her how to have a conscious. "What is your Moniker son?"
"What's the point? If the goal is to just do some good, it shouldn't matter," Leo states. "If it's to take a stand for something, that's something different. But I haven't decided if I wanted to quit school yet, so that will have to wait." Apparently, Leo has his own passions and feelings about what is worth taking a stand for.
Leo then shrugs, "Match. Cause I can be a match for anyone and anything." Confidence too in his codename choice and why.
"I'm proud of you," Lex says and means it. Sure Leo is going against the grain of his own wishes, but he's finding his own place too. In Lex's business mind the man that desires control is the one that wishes Leo to have a full costume, but the father in Lex is the one happy to see Leo make his own niche. Father Lex would always beat out Corporate Lex unless Leo is trying to usurp the company. That woould make things very different. For now Fatherly Lex is the one beaming with pride.
Leo crosses his arms loosely over his chest. He's silent for right now, thoughtful. He has been acting overly independent as of late, but it isn't like he is wholly unsupportive either. But Lex can likely tell that Leo is internally debating if he should broach a topic with his father or not. One that is likely the reason he is so moody, or if he wants to solve it on his own. Ah, if only Lex was a telepath!
"Speak," Lex says quietly. He may not be a telepath but years in business have given Lex the skill of reading people. Knowing when they have something to say, when they want to yell and screams, when they want to crawl away, when someone is bluffing an offer, etc. Lex is surprisingly versed at knowing people. Leo is still a person despite who and what he is. Also, his son hasn't had the time to develop a proper pokerface yet.
Pokerface, Leo has not. He can really nail people with solid arguments, sarcasm, and even mockery. He had Deadpool ready to explode, and he's crazy! But pokerface he has not. Leo finally shrugs at Lex's order, "What do you even really want to achieve with your project anyway? Why bother having people registered? The program for it is a sham anyway. It has no real regulations, self-policing, or even investigation protcols if there was a rumored abuse of power or even murder done by a superhero. It's just a bandaid on a highly controversal issue to give the people an illusion that the government is doing something about it."
"Is this because it's hard to find heroes that are registered?" Lex sits back listening to his son. There are some valid points. "To discredit the other heroes. The faux dogooders of the world, son. They do some good but they hold so much back from the people. I want this team to be transparent. I want people to trust it becauase I saw New York when it was invaded by Krptonians. Superman knew of these people yet told no one of them. We were left defenseless because of his silence. If he were registered the country could have been better prepared," he pauses looking to his son weighing out the option of telling him the rest. "I built the armors and Iron Patriot because of that situation. Because I watched in horror as a Kryptonian general named Zod invaded the planet. Now let me ask you something son," Lex rises out of his chair and starts to walk around. "If an American citizen knew of someone that is a potential threat, with the means to invade our country, but said nothing what would they be branded as? Depends on the case but traitor is often the title that goes with these people. Yet Superman is free, untried for crimes he clearly committed."
Stepping back to look at Leo, "The government knows who is behind the Iron Patriot. So I wanted the team I'm sponsoring for him to have the same level of transparency. Because I learned on that day no matter the hero, no matter the team, if they are not registered then they hold secrets. And these secrts have the power to doom everyone," and his words come with a certain gravity to show this is what he believes. On that day Lex believes many of the heroes betrayed humanity. Not all, as he is about to point out, "And there were some heroes there fighting, giving it there all. Spider-Man for example took a goring by one of them, that Purple Arrow girl was also there fighting. They have secrets when it comes to identity but they took the fight against someone else's treason. The Iron Patriot will not stand for those things son. Nor will his team..."
"They aren't transparent, it's merely an effort to pull wool over others eyes. Wearing a mask, hiding one's identity, there is no difference beyond a little registration card. I could dress up as Batman, register under codename only, and suddenly he's registered and legit."
Leo un-props his feet and moves to stand, thumbs hooking into his front pockets for his fingers to hold loose as he heads toward a nearby window to stare out. "And yet Superman is registered via codename. The registration program is void and meaningless. A flawed system with no real purpose other than to blind the sheep to the truth."
Leo shakes his head, "You are attempting to use a flawed system to prove your point with flawed methods. It's not going to make nearly as much as an impact as you think Father. After all, did you know out of the fourteen members of the Justice League of America, that only three of them are unregistered in some form? The original Fantastic Four, along with She-Hulk are also registered."
There is a moment of silence as he lets that information sink in. "You are going to need to think bigger and larger if you really want to make a true impact, Father." Yes, Leo may not have a very good pokerface. But the young man also knows how to twist reasoning and gather evidence to support it, to make one hell of a sound argument for his case.
Lex goes to say something then Leo says a few things. A lot of valid points come out. One member of the Fantastic Four is unregistered. League members are registered and unregisted. The list goes on and silence comes from Lex. His green eyes glare toward his son. The anger resonates off of him.
"Tell Impulse. Tell others the registration is off," the words are low and hard. He's not angry about his son's defiance. No, far from in fact. If the situation were different Lex would be beaming with pride. No one has really ever bested Lex in an argument before. Leo Luthor just won an argument against his Dad. The only comfort Lex has is Leo's lineage. Still, loosing an arugment is something Lex -DOES NOT- like...
"Impulse?" Leo never asked Bart outright if he superheroed or what is name was, so he actually doesn't know. Though Leo then looks back and winces a bit, "If it helps any, I've been stressing and angry about this for about a month now." And it's Fern's influence that kept him even-keeled enough to even pull this off. "But I'm still not finished. I still have holes in 'obtaining' that larger impact. I know I'm smart and talented Father, I know I will make you proud. But...," and Leo's words trail off a bit. "I am still lacking some of the real world experiences I need. Holes in my education that no matter how much you prepared me can ever fulfill. I don't have the tools to figure out the pathway to obtaining what we both want, not alone," Leo explains.
He fidgets, shifting on his feet. "I need your help Father. And I have a suspicion, we are going to need Emma Frost on our side too." And part of that is because of revenge. Emma wouldn't play ball with Leo, and this is payback to teach Emma that Leo is not the child she feels she needs to take under wing and 'train' just like 'others she had before'. Leo is unique, his Father made sure of that. He isn't 'them'.
"We don't need just a statement Father, we need a revolution. One that will shake the very foundation of the superhero community and prove the world that the Luthors are -right-."
"This is why school is important," Lex responds to the holes. He looks to his son, "I need a list of potential names. Ones you think would be interested. Damn the approved team," he says low still sore that he was beaten. Looking about the room Lex returns to his spirit glass, walks over to the scotch and pours himself a double. The drink goes down quickly and he slams it against the table. "I'll change my criteria. We will beat the Avengers and the League at their own game." Ideas run through Lex's head until he settles on the best possibility.
A nod at that. Leo is still limited for his resouces, but still..., he will continue to reference anyone of interest to his Father. "Who do you currently have on your list?" Leo sounds a little unsure. His Father is still upset, and though Leo is happy he won the argument, he is not happy that his Father is upset still. "And any ideas so far on what to do about Miss Frost? She will likely be resistant, but she has the additional influence and sway with the younger generation that we will need to not only make an impact, but assure that change is actually acquired."
"No. Not yet but I have more options now," he says sounding a little relieved by the idea. Lex looks to Leo, "You need to impress her for the Inner Circle. She's not involved in Project Defender. Keep her out of Defender. This isn't their business beyond the results," Lex stares off as he is going through a long list of potential people. Now that the restrictions are lifted...there are so many choices now.
Damn, that didn't quite work out as planned. Leo falls thoughtful, a flash of annoyance across his face. But he then takes a deep breath and works to think through it rather than just get angry. He stares out the window again. How -does- he handle this?
"I mentioned to you previously about having a codename, but not having a secret identity. The reason was for the impact. I have a costume design actually, I can forward it to you. It's influenced by Superman's for a specific purpose." There is a slight pause, before Leo continues. "I wanted to show the world how if Superman really hand their best interests at heart, what he would really do and how he would really act without the secrets and backstabbing the trust of the people."
Leo's arms are crossed loosely across his chest. "If I take this route," not wanting to seem like he is attempting to bully his father, "I will need to resign from the Academy of Tomorrow. Miss Frost will not approve. Which is vaguely amusing and insulting, considering there are others that fight at her school without a codename and secret identity, to just without a secret identity," though no names are really mentioned this time around. He will protect Hope's secret, as he suspected she recognized him. "Using others as an example though won't make my point in this situation, so if this is the route taken...," a pause, before he continues, "she either needs on-board to a certain degree of support, or I need to hand in a resignation and take my studies elsewhere."
Leo is still annoyingly at square one in figuring out how to deal with Emma. He knows too little and has no real leverage or trust built with her. "But, I suspect if I don't win, I won't gain her approval. I'll just be like all the other damn kids there. Someone she feels she has to take under wing and 'improve'," he says in a manner that reveals how insulted he is by the idea. "And I don't even necessarily need answers Father, I just need...guideance." Essentially, he wants what he wants, but he doesn't want to resign from the academy either. This likely better explains his iffy statement in response to school earlier.
"I say come up with a mask. Establish an identity, gain her trust, stay as long as you need to in the school then reveal yourself when the time is right. The reputation and trust comes to you then you'll do a thing the likes of Batman has not. You will prove to the world that heroes don't need secrets," Lex says firmly looking to his son. The idea of leaving the Academy before Leo has a degree bothers Lex. Looking down he tries to think of ideas and candidates, "She can give you guidance but you may have to play her game first." Sometimes that is how life works be it business, politics, education, hoops have to be jumped through.
"I'm not her toy Father. I gained her interest, but I'm not someone she can merely control, which is what she thinks now. I need to figure out the next step of the plan. Blunt force won't get the job done, but perhaps a controlled display...," and Leo shakes his head. "Then the hoodie will be fine for now. When I put on the uniform I plan to wear one day, it will be with a firm stance and pride."
"I understand," Lex says the costume. He looks about trying to think of what his son can do. "You may have to be her Toy but in some games of chess the pawn can rise. When the time is right transcend your role. You will need patience for this game. There will be times you want to yell and scream but keep playing as they expect. When the move presents itself you will know," Lex speaks from the years of experience he has playing the corporate game with various mergers and take overs. Sometimes you have to wait until the time is right.
A thoughtful nod comes from Leo. "I have my pride, but there are ways I can approach that," he admits. If she wants to try and 'mentor' him, she is going to need to prove she can. And he still isn't going to trust her with the truth of his powers or their full limitations and abilities. He trusts Fern much more. "I think I am developing a mode of warfare to start with her, but I will have to fine-tune it. Thank you." Leo takes impressing Emma and gaining her respect and approval as a potential equal very seriously. He may perfer to punch something, but he knows better than to do it often-times.
"You will need patience many times over son. Plot your moves wisely. Remember Stark Expo? I had to hold my hand for months yet I was the victor there. Your dillemma with Miss Frost is no different," Lex says to his son not chiding him, but showing a tangible example of the rewards of waiting. He looks to his son, "I think we should order that pizza. Rent a movie. How bout it?" Lex's stomach rumbled and the movie is an excuse just to enjoy a moment with his son. As Leo grows older Lex knows he will be busier. So Lex will savor the few moments that he can. Something Lionel never did with Lex.
"Patience is not my strongest point," Leo confesses. But thanks to Fern, he didn't do something that utterly blew up in his face. Ya, Lex should really thank that girl for soothing his son's temper. "Pizza actually does sound good about now, just no achivies or pineapple," he votes. "What type of movies do you like anyway?" He hasn't watched many of them, but he has been watching a few here and there, to get caught up on some cultural references. Leo seems to be in no rush to start his 'plans'. His Father wants to spend time with him, and he is going to grasp at it with both hands.