Summary: There's just one problem with Lionel's convincing the world that Lex is insane.
Warnings: Spoilers for Shattered and Asylum. Rated R. Violence.
The first threat came when Lex dared question some rather odd--not to mention illegal--activities going on at one of LuthorCorp's research facilities. Lionel merely raised an eyebrow and said, "You must be seeing things, son. It would be a shame if you ended up back in the hospital so soon after your return to work."
When he found a listening device at the mansion, his father put a hand on his shoulder and gave him an academy-award-winning look of concern. "I hope those paranoid delusions aren't coming back again."
After he discovered the lock to the blue room had been broken and all the Clark research he'd meant to destroy was gone, the expression on his father's face was smugly victorious. "Best not to go on about things like that, son. You wouldn't want people to think--" He smiled like a demon.
The first time the housekeeper caught him talking to someone who wasn't there she froze for a moment, a deer-like look on face, and then ran away before Lex could even ask for lemonade.
Lionel called later that night and told him sternly, "I won't have you playacting in front of the servants. It frightens them."
The next day, Lex tore up the Talon and accused Lana of trying to poison him.
He went to the Kents at three a.m. and stood in his pajamas in their front yard, screaming at the top of his lungs that they were the leaders of a secret society that was out to get him.
He walked up and down Main Street threatening parking meters as if they were business associates trying to swindle him in a deal.
He caused havoc at a town council meeting.
Ranted curses outside the Lutheran Church during Sunday services.
He saw things.
Forgot where he'd been.
When Lionel found him cradling a folded-up blanket in his arms, crooning a lullaby, his look of concern seemed quite genuine.
It wasn't until Lex threatened to blow up the mansion, though, that the servants finally bolted and Lionel descended in earnest.
"Son, son, try to calm down," he said, coming into the study where Lex was muttering about his nameless enemies with some invisible ally. "You're just overly excited. A nice quiet stay at the hospital will help clear your mind."
Lex stopped mid-pace, mid-rant, turned and smiled, ever so calmly. "Oh, I don't think so, Dad." He picked up a paperweight from the desk, heavy metal, jagged edges, a pretentious little trinket, but useful in moments like these.
Lionel took a step back. "Son! Think what you're doing."
Lex advanced. "Believe me. I've done nothing but think about it."
"You won't get away with this. You'll go to prison."
Lex tilted his head. "Don't you know, Dad? They don't send delusional psychotics to prison."
Lionel paled, realizing just how many witnesses there were who would swear on a Bible that Lex was off his rocker, a whole town full of them, including half a dozen elected officials and various members of the clergy.
"You'll go back to Belle Reve. Is that what you want?" Lionel blurted out, desperately.
"The average stay in a mental hospital for someone declared criminally insane is fourteen months. A bargain compared to a lifetime spent under your thumb."
There was more Lionel would have liked to say, no doubt, but Lex didn't give him the chance. The first blow was more than enough to do the job, but a crazy person didn't think of things like that. When Lex finished some time later, he sat down at his desk and imagined how things would be when he got out. He pictured Clark and forgiveness, but even if that didn't happen, at least they'd both be safe. At least, he'd finally be free.
He opened a spreadsheet on his computer and started to do some
work. He was sure one of the servants would have called the sheriff
by now. All he had to do was wait.