"Friends Indeed" is the eighth chapter of The Last Son, Book Two: Reckonings. During an assigned interview, Clark Kent is reacquainted with his childhood friend, Lex Luthor. While Professor Xavier has to mend Juggernaut's stasis cell, the institute students decide to throw a party. Unknown to them, Rogue's friend "Risty", a disguised Mystique, infiltrate the Mansion.
The X-Men, New Mutants, and their instructors observes Superman testing out his powers in the Danger Room. Following Superman's training, Professor Xavier summons his faculty and students to his office. The Professor announce everyone that he, Wolverine and Storm are summoned by General Nick Fury to oversee Juggernaut to mend his stasis cell for a few days and leaving Scott and Jean in charge of their absence.
After everyone is dismissed, Clark runs into the kitchen and finds Gambit, who then curiously ask him about his relationship with Alison Blaire. Clark question him why his childhood friend would be interested in him, in which Remy replies that he have been noticing him and Alison had been flirting with each other for the past week. Furthermore, he points out that Alison had been giving ogling stares at Clark, and Alison had given him her cellphone number ever since they reunited. This revelation put Clark to rethink that he really like Alison more than just a friend.
As Gambit left, Alison walks in and gives her thanks to Clark for sticking up for her when Ray was staring at her. Clark obliges and consider her a deserving member of their team. He then realizes about his feelings for Alison and is about to ask her, but Alison is interrupted by a call from Bridget and is rescheduled for a CD recording today. She then ask Clark what he is trying to say, but he nervously decide to wait it until she finish her recording. Clark then hears a distress call in India and changes into Superman. As he flies away, he wonders lambently for being afraid to ask Alison out.
At Bayville High, Kurt, Kitty and Evan are introduce to Rogue's friend Risty. While they are becoming acquainted to Risty, the Institute students are given an idea from Risty to have a party at the Institute. Rogue protest that Scott and Jean wouldn't even allow it, but Lance walks into their conversation and knows a way to keep the couple occupied. That afternoon, Scott is approach by Kurt and is inform that Jean wants to meet him on the west side of town that overlooks Bayville.
Meanwhile, J. Jonah Jameson summons Peter and Clark to his office. Jameson reports that he have a phone-call from the New York LexCorp Headquarters and scolds Clark for not telling that he is friends with businessman Lex Luthor, much to Peter's surprise. Clark admits that he was friends with Lex in their childhood but haven't been in touch with him since then. To Clark and Peter's surprise, Jameson tells them that Lex had called him to purposely get together with Clark while having a personal interview with the Bugle. Lex have major influence throughout the city and already acknowledge Clark's work.
Clark and Peter head out to LexCorp HQ for the interview. While on the way, Clark tells Peter about his relationship with Lex as he wonders why his old friend suddenly wanted to see him. The two arrive at LexCorp and finally meets Lex in his top floor office. Lex, at first, is furious at Clark for his five years disappearance, but is actually joking and happily reacquaint with him while displaying a carefree attitude. Lex regales his story with Clark that he have been friends with him in Smallville ever since he was saved from drowning by Clark at the age of five. The businessmen and the reporters begin their interview for an hour. After finishing the interview, Clark hears another distress call and discreetly becomes Superman. Just as he flies above the city, as Siryn observes him from afar and waiting the opportunity to enact her revised plan to win Superman's favor.
Professor Xavier arrives at the S.H.I.E.L.D. detention facility that houses his half-brother and meets with Fury. The General have personally wanted to discuss with the Professor - only between them - as this is not only about Juggernaut: he reveals that this is the third time Juggernaut's cell had been breached and believes that someone wanted him to escape. Fury can only conclude that someone wanted Xavier dead, as the last time Juggernaut escaped was because of Mystique, and believes that whoever have against Xavier hired her to break Juggernaut loose. Fury believes otherwise that Mystique's employer(s) have a grudge against mutants and fear that they are working inside S.H.I.E.L.D., as there are some operatives who are "concern" over keeping mutants' existence secret. So far, Fury have been adding an extra security that would track Juggernaut whenever he would escape and catching the culprit who released him, but also putting Xavier's life in danger regardless; in which Fury sees that there is no other choice.
Superman flies back to New York and hears a emergency police bulletin; someone had hijacked a shipment of arms tha was heading into the harbor. The police had been trying to intercept it, but to no avail. Seeing Spider-Man responding to the situation, Superman tags along and arrives at the harbor, where a ship is hijacked by several armed men led by the Shocker. Spider-Man takes out the henchmen while Superman confronts Shocker. The super-criminal fires a massive shockwave from his gauntlets at Superman, but only for the Man of Steel to be unfazed by the blast. Dumbfounded, Shocker runs for a high-powered laser rifle but Superman rush beside him and ripped his gauntlets off before blowing him and causing him to land out cold.
After Spider-Man subdudue the thugs, he discreetly leaves the ship to the police. However, a long, metal appendage snaked out, grabbed him, and pulled him down in mid-swing, slamming him against the ground and causing him to pass out.
That night, the Institute students makes their preparation for the party with Jean and Scott tricked into meeting each other outside of town. The first guest is Risty, who request Rogue in using the facilities. As the party guests arrives, Risty discreetly infiltrate into the Institute's sublevels and is revealed to be Mystique. She goes to the control room of the Danger Room and begins copying Xavier's database that consists the profiles of the students. Mystique also finds Superman's profile and tempt to learn his true identity, but only to find the data to be encrypted in Kryptoninan characters and making it impossible for her to understand it. Which leaves the shape-shifter to instead copy the mutants' profiles. Suddenly, the New Mutants have walk in the Danger Room for training after being banned from attending the party due to their antics. Mystique maliciously begins activating the Danger Room.
Scott meets Jean at their supposed meeting. However, Jean cries in outburst that she believes Scott came to break up with her. Scott is surprised at this and is able calm her with a gentle kiss, stating that he never intend in breaking their relationship and admits his love to her. As they savor the moment, they then soon realize that they were setup. Suspicious, Jean tries calling the Institute but realize Kitty had "borrowed" her cellphone. Scott attempt to start his car but finding its battery is sorted out. The couple then decide to walk and hitchhike back to the Institute.
Clark returns to the Daily Bugle and finish his report. When finishing the day, he notice that Peter hadn't come back to the Bugle. He search his whereabouts from Jameson, who believes that he went back home. Clark calls May Parker, but learns from her that Peter hadn't came home. Concerned, Clark prepares to leave but receives a call from Lex, who wants to meet him at LexCorp.
He arrives at LexCorp by taxi and meet Lex, who then tells to a surprised Clark that he knows he is Superman. He knows about the Bayville soccer match that was gatecrashed by the Brotherhood months ago and compiled its fragmented television data that was broadcast at the game from his satellites and computers to discovered about mutants and Superman; in which Lex is already aware that Clark is using an Image-inducer to cover his identity. Furthermore, Lex had knew beforehand about his friend's powers that he also witnessed alongside Alison in saving a family in Smallville. Lex, however, honors Clark's secret and only wanted to tell him that the Kingpin along with Tombstone had hired Doctor Octopus and Hammerhead to capture Spider-Man and placed him at a warehouse on the south side. Clark proceed to come to Spider-Man's rescue.
Spider-Man regains conscious to find himself bounded and interrogated by the Kingpin and his enforcers. They wanted any valuable secrets regarding Superman. The Wall-Crawler refuse to answer, in which Kingpin's enforcers prepares to beat him. Fortunately, Superman arrives on time. Hammerhead attacks Superman first by shooting his Tommy Gun on him, but doesn't penetrate him. He then attempts to ram him, but only for Superman to dodge away and sending Hammerhead crashing into pile of rubble. Octopus and Tombstone simultaneously attack. Superman makes little effort in combating the two. Tombstone quickly recovers from his injuries and makes another rush at Superman, but only to be hit by a blast of flame sent by Siryn. Much to Superman's surprise, Siryn intends on helping him. Reluctantly, Superman allows Siryn's aid and together they free Spider-Man and subduing Octopus and Tombstone. With the goons dispatched, Superman demands Kingpin to surrender. However, the Kingpin had planned for this and had carefully placed a high-powered explosive in the warehouse that is powerful enough to destroy the entire block; forcing the heroes with Siryn to find the explosive and allowing the Kingpin and his thugs to escape.
After disabling the explosive, Superman and Spider-Man focus their attention on Siryn for her uncharacteristic approach in heroics to which she claims she wants to "make a fresh start". Siryn makes her leave after advising Superman to rejecting Dazzler. Superman then hears a urgent sound from the Institute, and immediately flies over.
Jean and Scott finally return to the Institute to find the party going out of hand. Although they are stern for what their friends did, they are, however, grateful for arranging their relationship. Superman soon arrives, and quickly informs them there is something wrong in the Danger Room. They run toward the emergency entrance, which Superman pried it open. After bypassing several compromised defense turrets and drones programmed to attack them, they find the X-Men and some of the New Mutants outside of the Danger Room with Shadowcat getting the remaining New Mutants out of the room. Superman assign Scott in shutting down the simulation while he saves the last students, Jubilee and Multiple. After the simulation is shut down, Scott informs the others about the sabotage and their missing profiles. Superman already knows who took them.
Outside, "Risty" walks out with a CD containing the Institute's data. As she is leaving, the CD suddenly burst into flames and is then confronted by Superman, who demands why she need it. When pressed, Mystique subtly stated that she needs the data to protect her child, but refuses to tell what she is protecting from. Superman swears that Kurt will be protected under his watch, but Mystique doubts it. He then decide to let her go on her accounts of protecting Kurt.
The next day, Xavier, Logan and Ororo returned to the Institute that is cleaned up from the previous night. Just then, a limousine pulls up and out step Lex, who wants to show them something. He plays a digital recording of the events of the X-Men and the Brotherhood's battle at the Bayville soccer game which he had mentioned this to Clark. Lex swears that no-one outside of the highest security-clearance at LexCorp has seen this and it will go no further. The X-Men are clearly shocked in which Lex assures them that he is not here to blackmail them and stated he want to be in the loop. Also, he acknowledge about Xavier's ability to wipe people's memories and was ensure in keeping good records. Lex rationalize that someday people will know about mutants; and when that happen, the X-Men needs allies, which Lex want to be their ally and not a potential enemy. Clark vouches for his old friend as he already knows about his secret identity and is able to keep his trust for years. The mutants are quite convinced by Lex's honesty, which Xavier accepts Lex's trust and alliance.
As Lex left for stockholder meeting, Alison returns to the Institute late afternoon and informed by Clark of what occurred during her absence. She resume what Clark had been asking her, in which Clark, finally, ask her out on a date; in which Alison happily accepts.
At LexCorp, Lex wondered about the X-Men and mutants generally in which that he remembered that there was something more. He types into his computer and access government files, and finding what he is looking for: the Sentinel Project.
Clark Kent: You picked today in that betting pool, didn't you?
Remy: Maybe, maybe not, but dat's not de important t'ing, mon ami. De important t'ing is dat y' ask her out. Trust Remy; he knows dese t'ings. If Remy jus' happens t' get some extra cash 'cause he helped y', dat's jus' a bonus, den!
Clark Kent: How did he know I was here?
J. Jonah Jameson: Kent, the guy's filthy stinkin' rich! He can look anybody up! Hell, he probably can look up Superman's real name and address!
Lex Luthor: So...you're back, Clark.
Clark Kent: It's...good to see you again, Lex.
Lex Luthor: Buster, you've got a lot of nerve, disappearing for five years and then just showing up in New York like nothing happened!
(Clark is stunned)
Lex Luthor: (starts laughing) Oh, man, Clark, the look on your face! Priceless!
Lex Luthor: Where did you go? You just dropped off the face of the planet, Clark!
Clark Kent: I had...things...to take care of.
Lex Luthor: Ah. Say no more.
Lex Luthor: Peter, my father was "Mr. Luthor." I'm Lex.
Clark Kent: Lex, I'm...so sorry about your dad.
Lex Luthor: Don't be. Leaving me majority stock was just about the only decent thing that old bastard did.
Clark Kent: Lex...you shouldn't say that about your dad...
Lex Luthor: Clark, only you would defend him. Believe me, if you knew Lionel Luthor as well as I and the rest of the Luthor clan did, you would dance on his grave!
Peter Parker: Old JJ will be mightily ticked if we screw this up. And it's generally not a good idea to tick off a guy with a personality to match his moustache...especially when he signs your paychecks.
Lex Luthor: Little Ali Blaire wasn't the only one watching you, that day, Clark. Not only that...I hear stories every now and then; strange occurrences...people being born with strange abilities...plus, recently, people like Spider-Man showing up. What am I supposed to think?
Spider-Man: That...is one nutty chick.
Superman: Tell me about it.
Spider-Man: But, man! How do you get such a hot chick so crazy about you? What's your secret?
Superman: I have no idea. But remember; she's Doom's daughter, which means that there's fundamentally something wrong upstairs.
Spider-Man: Wait...Doom? The fruit-loop running Latveria? She's his daughter?
Spider-Man: She just got a lot scarier.
Lex Luthor: You see, I keep very good records; if I find a note saying I went here, today, but I can't remember going, I'll just be back here, and I may be a little annoyed that someone played conga with my cerebral cortex. Sooner or later, people are going to know about you, that's just a fact; and when that happens, you're going to need friends. You want me as a friend, not a potential enemy.
Lex Luthor: Look, I know you guys stand for something good; something important. I know that because I know Clark; he's the most decent, pure-minded soul on the planet. If you guys were up to no good, he'd have blown the whistle on you long ago.
- First appearances of Lex Luthor, Shocker, Doctor Octopus, and Hammerhead.
- Superman's incredulous remark to fighting a giant robot in the near future would later ruefully come in the forms of the Sentinels and Brainic Mark VI in "Zero Hour".
- This story is an adaption of the X-Men: Evolution episode "Fun and Games".
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