Alexander Joseph Luthor Jr. looked exactly the way his father had at his age. Alex had a shock of red hair that refused to be tamed, but he had his daddy's startling green eyes. At five years old, he had an incredible thirst for knowledge. His father made sure he had access to any information his little heart desired. Alex had learned to read much faster than most children - a trait most likely passed on by his father.
It was hard, Alex thought, living in two different houses.
Daddy lived on the north side of Metropolis in a nice house in a nice neighbourhood. When Alex lived with Daddy, it was just the two of them. Daddy would spend the day in his office and make dinner for them in the evening. Then they would watch movies or play games until bedtime. Daddy read to Alex every single night until he fell asleep.
Every other week, Alex would live with Father on the south side of Metropolis. Living with Father was much different than living with Daddy.
Father lived in a penthouse above LexCorp with Cook, Nanny Alyson and Father's present head of security, Mercy. Nanny Alyson kept an eye on Alex while Father was at work. Dinner was always on the table when Father got home. He and Alex would sit at the polished mahogany table while Alex practised his best manners.
Father was very studious about good manners. Daddy however, was more worried about Alex eating all the vegetables on his plate.
More than once, Alex had asked his Daddy and his Father why they didn't all live together. Father's response was always, "Because we don't, Alex, and we never will." Daddy, on the other hand, would just change the subject. Alex figured he would have the best chance of getting to the truth by asking Father. Daddy was more stubborn and Father taught Alex to expect nothing less than the truth.
Lex looked up from his laptop at his five-year-old son. He rubbed his tired eyes and shut the computer. "Hey Alex. I didn't mean to work so late, I just got sidetracked."
"It's okay." Alex sat down in the large chair in front of Lex's desk, the size making him look even smaller. "Father, why don't I have a mommy?"
Lex nearly spit out his mouthful of water, but managed to control himself. "You don't have a mommy because you have me and your Daddy."
"So I came from Daddy's belly?"
Lex groaned inwardly. More often than not, his son was too perceptive for his own good. "Something like that."
Alex was satisfied with the answer for about two minutes.
"Do you love Daddy?"
Lex ran a hand over the back of his head, wondering when the interrogation was going to end. "Yes. I loved your Daddy very much. That's why we had you."
"Then why doesn't Daddy live with us?"
Lex grit his teeth. The answer that came out of his mouth was the last one he wanted to give his son, but it was time. "I think you should ask your Daddy that question, Alex."
The following week, when Daddy was tucking Alex in to bed, he did.
"Daddy, why don't we live with Father?"
Clark's eyebrows shot up. For lack of a better answer, he said, "Ask your Father."
"He told me to ask you," was Alex's automatic response. He was not easily denied.
"Alex, I really wanted to wait until you were older to have this discussion."
"I'm five, Daddy," the little redhead told him, sitting up straighter in his Batman sheets. At Father's house, the sheets were Warrior Angel. "I think I can handle the truth."
Clark couldn't help but chuckle at his son's fierce determination. "Okay," he started, pulling up Alex's desk chair to sit down. Alex giggled as his Daddy squeezed his large frame onto the tiny blue chair.
"A long time ago, before you were born, your father and I were . . . Friends . . ."
"Oh," I groaned, "Lex, I'm going to-" Before I could finish my sentence, I spilled myself into Lex's closed fist. Grinning into the back of my neck, Lex redoubled his efforts and came hard and hot inside my body. I collapsed onto the bed, Lex's weight comfortable and sure at my back.
Much relentless begging, pleading, and blowjobs convinced me to transfer to MetU in my second semester of college. The next fall, Lex convinced me to move in with him in the penthouse. I was only nineteen, but we had been seeing each other for three years and by now, our relationship was no secret. We had been best friends since I was fifteen and everything just seemed right.
Until I got pregnant, that is.
We had no idea it could even happen until we thought I had developed some kind of tumour in my stomach. I was throwing up every morning and the smell of food made me nauseous. Lex called Toby in to check me out. When he did a sonogram on me - and it actually worked - Lex and I were equally shocked. I wasn't dying at the tender age of twenty. I was just having a baby.
Lex was great through the entire pregnancy. I took off the second semester in school, because I was so big, I couldn't hide it anymore. Then when Alex was born - my whole life changed. It wasn't just Lex and me anymore. It was no Lex, Alex and me.
At first, we seemed like the perfect happy family. My parents adored the baby and they were even tolerant of Lex. I was perfectly content to stay at home with Alex while Lex was at work. I loved being a father. Nevertheless, when Alex was six months old, Lex started badgering me about going back to school.
I had taken nearly a year off by now and he felt it was time. I put him off for another two months. By the time the New Year rolled around, Lex was adamant that I go back to school. He wouldn't let up, so I left.
I didn't come back for three weeks and even then it was only to pick Alex up. Lex was petrified I wouldn't bring the baby back, even though he wouldn't say it. I took Alex home a week later and we kept the visitations just like that.
Things were never the same between Lex and me. I eventually went back to school, when Alex was two. I never spoke to Lex about it, but we didn't say much of anything to each other at that point, anyway.
". . . That's why you live in two houses." Of course, the version Clark gave Alex was much more edited.
Alex nodded, digesting the information. "Can we have dinner with Father?"
Clark smoothed the ginger hair away from his son's forehead. "Honestly, Alex, I doubt he'll want to, but we can ask."
Lex agreed readily, much to Clark's surprise and chagrin. Friday night found the three of them at one of Lex's favourite restaurants in Metropolis. Clark and Lex were careful to seat Alex between them at the intimate table in the corner.
"Daddy. Father." Alex looked at each of them meaningfully.
Lex raised his eyebrows. "Yes, Alex?"
Clark remained silent, choosing instead to keep his full attention on his water goblet.
"Talk!" Alex said, motioning between his parents with his hands.
"How are you, Clark?" Lex asked his voice devoid of emotion.
"I'm fine, Lex, and yourself?"
Clark gave Alex a pointed stare. "Are you happy now?"
The redhead sighed dramatically. "Father still loves you," he said in a singsong voice.
"What?" Clark and Lex exclaimed at the same time, looking first at their son and then at each other. Clark shifted uncomfortably under Lex's blue eyes.
"That's not what I said," Lex ground out though clenched teeth.
"What did you say then?" Clark asked, tilting his head to the side.
Lex leaned back in his chair, rubbing the bump on the back of his head. "Alex asked me if I loved you. I told him that, yes, at one time I did."
Clark eyes flicked down to the table and back up at Lex. He chewed his lip nervously, making himself look fifteen instead of twenty-five. "Do you?"
"Do I?" Lex looked at Clark expectantly, waiting for him to finish his sentence.
"Do you still love me?" Clark asked quietly. The both seemed to have forgotten their son.
"I do, Clark," Lex said after a long silence. "I never stopped loving you."
Before Clark could respond, their food arrived. The server left at the dismissive wave of Lex's hand. Alex dove into his plate excitedly. Clark and Lex, however, only picked at the expensive dinner.
"I'm not very hungry," Clark said finally, pushing his full plate away.
"Neither am I," Lex agreed.
"Eat up, Alex," Clark said. "We need to get going."
"Aw, Daddy," Alex whined, "do we have to go already?"
"Alex." Clark's tone was no nonsense. The little boy pouted and stabbed at the remains of his dinner angrily.
"If you want, we could all go back to the penthouse and watch a movie. It's still early," Lex offered.
"No, we really can't," Clark started, but was interrupted by his son.
"Can we Daddy? Please? Father said he got a copy of `Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'! It's not even out yet! Please, Daddy?"
Clark raised an eyebrow at the bald man. "Are you bribing my son?"
"Nope," Lex answered matter-of-factly. "I'm spoiling our son."
Once again, Clark's only child pulled at his heartstrings and he begrudgingly allowed Lex to take them back to the penthouse in a limo. Alex fell asleep halfway through the movie with his head in Clark's lap and his feet in Lex's. It had been Alex's idea that they all sit on the couch, of course.
Clark picked the little redhead up, cradling the boy against his chest. "Thanks for having us over, Lex. I know Alex really enjoyed it."
"You know Clark," Lex took a step forward. "It's late, we're both tired. Alex is asleep," he paused, brushing the hair away from his son's face affectionately. "Why don't you two just stay here? Alex can sleep in his bed and you can stay in the guest room."
"I don't know, Lex," Clark said uncomfortably, shifting Alex in his arms.
"I promise I'll keep my hands to myself," Lex answered sardonically.
After a long pause, Clark said, "Okay." He followed Lex into Alex's room, where he gently tucked him in. Lex stood in the doorway and watched as Clark kissed his son's forehead and smoothed the blankets out before crossing the room and turning out the light.
Lex pulled the door shut and drew his eyes up the length of Clark's body. "I miss you." Clark looked down and away, avoiding Lex's eyes. "You don't have to pretend, Clark. I can see it in your eyes. I see the way you look at me when you think I'm not looking."
"All right," Clark said with more force than he meant. "I still love you. However, that doesn't change anything between us. I'm not going to allow you to control my life again. Alex is doing fine-" Clark's speech was interrupted when Lex cupped Clark's face in his hands and kissed him soundly on the mouth.
"I don't want to control your life. I just want you and Alex here with me. We belong together - as a family, Clark."
The brunette stepped backwards, away from Lex's hands. "I just don't know if I can do it again. It was hard enough giving you up once."
"But I forced you to make that choice," Lex said, sadly. "For what it's worth, I'm sorry. Good night, Clark." He turned away, unable to face the hurt in his beloved's eyes any longer.
The next morning, Clark trudged into the dining room looking tired and wearing rumpled clothes from the night before. He looked like he hadn't slept the entire night. Taking a seat next to Alex, he ruffled the ginger mane in greeting.
"Good morning, Daddy," Alex said, brightly.
"Morning Alex." He glanced up at the bald man sitting across from them. "Lex," he said with a nod.
"Good morning, Clark," Lex said, as cooly and composed as he sounded at dinner. "Coffee?" he offered.
"Please," Clark said, gratefully accepting the steaming cup. He took a sip and sighed softly at the taste. "Alex, how would you like to move in to the penthouse?" Clark asked, before taking a deep swallow of coffee.
"Really?" Alex asked, excitedly. Lex carefully hid his expression behind the morning paper, appearing uninterested in the conversation. "But what about you Daddy? I don't want to stop living with you," his son added nervously.
"If it's all right with your father, I thought we would both move in," Clark said, daring a glance at Lex. The bald man lowered his paper just enough to show an eyebrow arched over his cobalt eyes.
"Please, Father?" Alex was so excited for an answer, he jumped out of his chair and ran to his father, manners be damned. "Can we move in?"
Lex folded his paper carefully and set it on the table. He pulled Alex onto his lap and face Clark. "Are you sure you want to do this again?"
"I might be mad at you, but that doesn't mean I'm letting you go again." Clark said.
"Then yes," Lex said, a broad grin splitting across his face. "I would love for you both to move in."
Later that night, Clark and Lex read Alex a bedtime story together before kissing him goodnight and shutting out the light. The two men retired to Lex's - their - bedroom together. The balance was returned to the Luthor penthouse as the pieces of Lex's broken family sewed themselves back together.