"A Change in the Weather" [Rated G]
Clara smiled when she saw that Lex was already waiting for her at their usual meeting place. Her expression changed when she heard his gasps for air and knew that he was quietly crying. She ran up to him, took his hand and knelt in front of him. She looked up into his face and said, "Lex … Lex, what's wrong?"
Lex said, "It's my brother, Julian …."
Clara said, "You never told me that you have a brother."
Lex said, "I have two surviving brothers that I know about. Lucas is my half-brother. Julian is my younger brother. He is the closest thing to family that I have. I kind of raised him. Mom didn't want anything to do with him. I couldn't trust her around him due to her mental instability. Dad, on the other hand, didn't trust me being anywhere near Julian after by brother Henry died as a baby. He believed that Mom was harmless and that Henry's death was my fault. It was a constant struggle just to be part of Julian's life. But as Dad and Julian began fighting more and more, I tried to step in and take the brunt of Dad's wrath so Julian wouldn't have to."
Clara asked, "Did something happen? Is Julian okay?"
Lex said, “Dad disowned him long ago, so I make sure he is taken care of. I have people who keep tabs on Julian for me and let me know if he needs anything.” Lex handed Clara a copy of an e-mail. It described a massive avalanche at a resort in
Lex said, "I'm leaving for
Clara said, "Okay, of course …. Oh! I can't! How could I get there?"
Lex said, "By private jet."
Clara said, "I'm so sorry, but I can't!"
Lex said, "I could get my physician to give you some tranquilizers or something. I hate to ask, but I really need you this time!"
Clara said, "I would if I could. I'm sorry!" Lex put his head down and covered his face. After a minute, Clara said, "Come by the Farm in twenty minutes."
Lex said, "But your Father?"
Clara said, "Dad is out of town. Is there any problem about passport?"
Lex said, "No, I have connections."
Clara said, "Twenty minutes."
Lex pulled into the driveway of the
Martha said, "Clara can't do what you asked. She thought you needed someone right now. She thought a substitute mother might be acceptable. She wanted me to tell you how sorry she isn't she can come with you, but that she'll be there … in spirit. She also wanted me to tell you that she knows in her heart that everything is going to be just fine. And, I'm telling you Lex, when Clara is sure of something, don't doubt her!"
Lex said, "Mrs.
Martha said, "Yes. Yes you can, Dear."
Lex wiped a tear from his eye and said, "Is Clara going to see us off?"
Martha said, "Clara is upset and embarrassed that she couldn't help. She felt she let you down when you really need her. She felt that seeing her upset right now wouldn't help you, and that you had enough on your mind." Lex shifted the car into park and opened his car door. Martha grabbed his arm firmly. She said, "Lex, let's just go. Please." Lex sat frozen for a few seconds, then closed his door and shifted the car into reverse. Martha said, "I agree with Clara. I think everything is going to be JUST fine!”
Lex held tightly onto Martha's hand as the small jet made a pass over the ski resort. Lex jolted forward and said, "What the …!" Down below, there was a vast dark area free of snow in the middle of an area surrounded by white. Downhill from the site were massive sheets of ice. Lex picked up his phone with his free hand and said, “McCarthy, Mendez and Associates. Lex’s phone automatically dialed the number of the man that had e-mailed him the report on the avalanche. Lex didn’t have to say a word. Mr. McCarthy told him that Julian had been rescued and the name of local hospital where Julian was recovering from his injuries.
Martha said, "Thank God!"
Lex said, "I see where Clara got her excellent hearing from."
Martha said, "Clara did tell you she’s adopted, didn’t she? Besides I didn’t hear anything."
Lex asked, "Then why did you say ‘Thank God’?”
Martha said, "Because you relaxed your grip on my hand. Your grip is almost as strong as Clara's!"
Lex looked at her for a moment then said, "Oh, I'm sorry!" After a few seconds, a smile broke out on his face and he began to laugh.
Lex sat impatiently in a chair by Julian's bed waiting for him to wake up. Finally he got up, paced the room and casually looked out the window. In the distance, he saw a red haired woman talking to a woman with long, dark hair. The women embraced, then the red haired woman kissed the dark-haired one on the cheek. He could've sworn that the one woman was Martha. She was dressed the same as Martha and looked to be the same size and build. But who would Martha have known in Switzerland? The other woman appeared to be dressed in lightweight clothing. She was wearing no coat despite the bitter cold. He watched her walk away and thought that the way she carried herself looked familiar. Lex decided that he was just under a lot of stress and tired from the flight. He decided that he was imagining things.
Lex heard a voice behind him say, "It couldn't be!" Then there was a laugh as Julian said, "That bald head couldn't belong to anyone other than the infamous Lex Luther!"
Lex's brightest smile broke out on his face. He slowly turned to see his own face with the identical smile looking back at him. Except for the bushy red hair, Julian was Lex's spitting image. Lex shouted, "Mini-me, you’re awake at last!"
Julian said, "It's a shame too. To wake up to your ugly face when I was having such a lovely dream! And stop calling me ’Mini-me!’ I'm a full two inches taller than you are."
Lex said, "The top three inches doesn't count -- it's all hair!"
Julian said, "Well, like they say, ‘All's HAIR in love and war.’”
Lex said, "I see that being buried under a hundred tons of snow and ice didn't improve your sense of humor. So tell me about this miracle. I've heard a few stories, but I want a hear yours."
Julian said, "Well, I was buried in snow. I was sleepy and thankful that I couldn't feel the pain in my legs anymore. The next thing I knew, I was lying on a grassy hillside. I was soaked to the skin, but very warm. I thought I had died, and I was surprised where I had ended up. I knew for sure that I had died because an angel was looking down at me. I got jolted back to reality when the pain came surging back into my legs. That angel moved faster than anyone I've ever seen move in my life. Before I knew it, my legs had been set and bound in splints. She put her hands on my knees and warmth radiated through my legs and up my body. And, all the pain … all the pain was gone. She paused for a couple seconds before leaving me. She ran her hand through my hair and laughed gently as she studied my face. I wondered if I had a booger in my nose or something. That woman was too beautiful to be real. If she had been a man, I'm sure I would've fallen madly in love that very moment. I’m not known for having hetero moments, but I had the strongest urge to reach up and kiss her. She just smiled at me and just disappeared into thin air. So I know she wasn’t human, that's for sure. She had to be an angel. You couldn't possibly imagine how an experience like that felt!"
Lex said, "Oh, I think I could."
Julian said, "The paramedics showed up shortly after she left. They didn't do much more than provide bus service. Almost everyone's injuries were bandaged up. Some, including me, had notes in plastic bags attached to them. The note on me described my bone fractures and other injuries in clinical detail. The notes were hand printed, but they looked typed! The information was slightly inaccurate because the doctors say that my injuries look like they've been healing for at least a week … which is strange because the avalanche just happened a day ago. People say that somehow the entire hillside got hit by some freak heat wave. The road to town had been impassable, and suddenly there was not a trace of snow or ice on the road at all. The road was as dry as it is on a sweltering summer day. Each side of the road was lined with a vertical wall of ice. By the way, have you checked in on Johnny? I heard he was a little worse off than me. I can't wait to see him once I get permission to wheel around the place."
Lex said, "Johnny is still sleeping, but he's been awake on and off. Both of you won't be in here very long at all."
Jillian said, "Are you going to stick around a few days?"
Lex said, "I'd like to, but I brought along a woman for moral support. I think I’ll need to get her home as soon as possible."
Julian asked, "For ‘moral support’ or for ‘immoral purposes’? You two could stay at my place. I'm sure Johnny wouldn't mind as long as you remember to put coasters under your beverages and wipe your feet at the door."
Lex said, "I don't think her husband would much appreciate me keeping her away overnight."
Julian said, "Oh no, Big Brother! I thought you'd found someone … not someone else's someone!”
Lex said, "It's not like that."
Julian said, "This woman isn't the one that you want to make it legal with, is it?"
Lex said, "In a sense, yes. Someday, I hope to make her my mother-in-law."