Katherine Grace

by Meret

Many thanks to Jayne Leitch for her wonderful beta.

Title: Katherine Grace
Author: Meret
Rating: PG
Category: Drama, AU
Spoilers: Rogue, Shimmer, Leech, Stray
Disclaimer: These characters are owned by Gough/Millar and The WB. No profit is intended.
Web Site: http://www.geocities.com/meretsv/ Feedback: meret118@netscape.net
Summary: Lex offers the Kents an opportunity. Many thanks to Jayne Leitch for providing the inspiration for this story, and for her terrific beta. :)

**Important Note: For the purposes of this story, the events in Season 2 never happened.

Katherine Grace
by Meret

"Hello, Clark. Am I interrupting?" Lex asked, the steps creaking a bit as he entered the loft.

"Lex, hey! If by interrupting you mean saving my sanity by keeping me from reading about socialism, then the answer is yes." He threw the textbook to one side in disgust.

"I'm surprised the school teaches you about something as evil as socialism. Does the school board know about this?"

Clark laughed. "When did you get back into town? Did you have a nice visit with your friend?"

Resting against the railing, Lex noticed that the air smelled replete with the scents of the harvest even up here. "Last night, and it was fine. I wanted to ask you a question."

"Sure. What's up?" He slouched on the couch, stretching out his long legs.

"I'd like your opinion on something. You enjoyed playing big brother to Ryan while he was here, didn't you?"

"Yeah, he was a good kid." Clark smiled fondly, remembering his short time with Ryan.

"What if your parents had decided to adopt him? Would you still have enjoyed having him around then?"

"Is Ryan okay? Has something happened to his aunt?" Clark's voice rose worriedly.

"No. I'm sure they're both fine. Sit back down. I was just using him as an example," Lex said in reassurance.

Puzzled, Clark sat down, furrows forming between his brows. "An example of what?"

"Of how you would feel about having a sibling after all this time. You've been an only child all your life. Would you really enjoy having to suddenly share all the attention?"

"I wouldn't mind. I think it would be fun to have a little brother or sister."

"Really think about it," Lex insisted seriously, hands braced against the wooden railing as he leaned forward. "What if your mother became pregnant? Would you still be glad then?"

Clark bent his head in thought. Cows could be heard lowing faintly in the distance as considered his answer. He finally shrugged, a little uncomfortable. "Lex, as far as I know, the only thing I would feel would be happiness." Distractedly picking at the corner of a notebook, he said, "Maybe that would change if it really happened, but I don't think so. I wouldn't like being woken up in the middle of the night by the sound of crying, and I definitely wouldn't like changing diapers, but otherwise, it would be great." He looked up at Lex. "I know my parents love me, and nothing will ever change that. They have enough love to go around."

Lex nodded in approval, as if Clark had just answered a particularly difficult question on the SAT correctly.

"Now you answer a question for me." He asked hesitantly, "Um, do you know something I don't know?"

"I know of lot of things you don't know," Lex said in amusement, "but no, as far as I know your mother is not pregnant."

"Oh." Another idea occurred to him. "Is . . . is your father," he paused awkwardly, "is he seeing someone?"

That surprised a burst of laughter out of Lex. "No, if he were having another child, you would have found out at the same time I did - when CNN reported it after he took out a full-page ad in *The Wall Street Journal*."

"So this was just . . . curiosity?"

"Not exactly. Are your parents busy? I have something I'd like to discuss with all of you."

"You want to give us a baby?!" Jonathan asked again, still seemingly in shock.

Lex kept his impatience firmly in check, and went over it again. "No, I'm offering to let you adopt a baby. As I said, a friend of mine recently found out his ex-girlfriend gave birth to their child. I've been helping him gain full custody of the baby."

"Are you sure the mother doesn't want the little girl?" Martha repeated, the idea incomprehensible to her.

"The only reason she didn't terminate the pregnancy was to extort money from the father. She knew he'd never want her to raise any child, let alone his," Lex said bitterly, emotion leaking into his voice for the first time. "She's a selfish bitch who's only interested in her own welfare." He stopped himself, taking a long drink from the cider Martha had placed in front of him on the kitchen table. The comment hung in the air as afternoon sunlight filled the honey-colored room, giving everything a golden glow.

Concerned, Clark said, "What's to stop her from changing her mind later, Lex?" You hear about stuff like that in the news all the time. Or if she's that bad, maybe she'll just do it to try to get more money from the guy."

"He's had seven of the top lawyers in the country go over the papers, and I had my own double-check them. There is no way she can break the deal. Plus, he's promised to make public certain details of her life she would prefer to keep secret if she does. She won't be a problem."

"What about the father? Why doesn't he keep her?" asked Jonathan, the doubt clear on his face. "If he's going to all this trouble, it sounds like he cares about the baby."

"He does. He loves her. That's why he's giving her up to a good home," said Lex. One corner of his mouth tilted up wryly. "He's not the most stable individual I've ever met, but he is self-aware enough to know he's not a fit parent." Gazing out the window, he watched the brightly colored autumn leaves float to the ground. "He's doing what's best for the child. He asked me if I knew of a loving family, and I immediately thought of the Kents."

"Lex," said Martha. Lex turned from the window to look at her. "Jonathan and I are very flattered," she glanced at her husband, "but there are people that could help him learn to--"

"It's not just him, Mrs. Kent," interrupted Lex. "His family," he paused briefly, "his family is well known, and that has caused more than one person to attempt physical violence against them. That's why he wants the adoption to remain anonymous. This will be a much safer environment for a child to grow up in."

"People change, Lex. Situations change. Don't get me wrong. I'm not against the idea of enlarging our family, but if he loves his daughter, what's to stop him from claiming her a few years from now? I don't want to love a child only to lose her, and I would never put Martha through that," Jonathan said fiercely.

Lex looked him directly in the eye. "Mr. Kent, I would never do that to the child or your family." He shifted slightly in the hardback chair. "If I thought there was a chance he would ever change his mind, I would never have proposed it. He won't. Besides which, the papers are ironclad. I'll be happy to let you look at a copy, minus the names of the parties involved. He's also set up a trust fund for her college tuition." He overrode Jonathan's objections, raising his voice slightly. "He's giving up his daughter, Mr. Kent. Let him provide for her education."

Jonathan sighed in grudging agreement on that point and turned to Clark. "You've been pretty quiet, Son. This would affect you too. What's your opinion?"

"I think any kid would be lucky to have you and Mom for parents." He said earnestly.

"What I think your father means is would it bother you at all having a sister? You've always been the only one. Be honest, Sweetie."

Clark's eyes crinkled as he grinned. "That's what Lex asked me earlier. No, that wouldn't bother me. There's room enough for two kids in this family, in every way." His parents looked at him warmly, Jonathan squeezing Clark's shoulder as Martha clasped her son's hand.

Rockwell himself couldn't have painted a better moment, so Lex placed his trump card on the table. "He does have one condition. He wants her first two names to remain as he's chosen - Katherine Grace."

Martha scooped up the photos with the speed of a Hall of Fame short stop. "Katherine Grace Kent," she whispered, tracing the curve of the baby's face in the picture with her finger.

Lex smiled at Jonathan, knowing he'd won.

Shadows from the fire in the hearth shifted over the darkened war room, throwing stark emphasis across the planes and angles of Lex's face. He'd always accepted that parents love their children, of course. Most parents anyway, he thought. He'd known it intellectually. But he'd never truly understood it before. Never known how deep, how over-powering and all consuming that love could be.

The hit should be completed any time now. It would look like an accident, of course. He'd already made sure the police investigation would be cursory. Her physical resemblance to him was just too strong to take any chances. Lionel was the only living person who remembered what Lex had looked like before the meteors. It would have taken no time at all for him to figure it out. In a while, after she was settled in, he'd need to leave Smallville permanently before anyone else would notice the shared features.

Victoria might possibly realize what he had done to Lionel, Lex mused, but that would be all the more reason for her to keep her mouth shut if the millions he'd paid her weren't enough to keep her away. She was being watched. She could be dealt with later if necessary.

He sat back and sipped his cognac, the flickering light from the fire reflecting in the cut crystal glass. Lex had never believed in murder. He still didn't. He did believe in protection though - in protecting himself, protecting his family. After having had the DNA tests verified, he'd have gutted his father with his bare hands, stringing his entrails around the castle like Christmas lights, to protect his daughter.

If his mother were alive, things might be different. She would have restrained Lionel's plans for his grandchild, and helped Lex when he needed advice on raising her. Lillian Grace Luthor would have adored Lex's daughter, just as he did.

But his mother wasn't alive, and Lex would never take a chance on repeating his father's mistakes. Never take the chance on having his child feel about him the way he felt about Lionel. He sure as hell couldn't leave her with Victoria. He wouldn't trust her to raise a goldfish, let alone his daughter. A condom and a vasectomy, and she still became pregnant. A vasectomy was not supposed to heal itself, damn it!

He deliberately unclenched his jaw, breathing deeply. He knew the statistics on abuse. That was why he'd had the vasectomy as soon as he was old enough to do so without Lionel's permission. The vast majority of abused children grew up to abuse their own kids, no matter how hard they tried to change. He was too fucked up to take care of his own emotional well being, let alone a child's. Emotional abuse left its own scars.

This way he could still watch over her - from a distance. Martha and Jonathan would be her parents; he would never interfere with that. He would be near enough to protect her in case she ever needed it, however. He didn't give a shit what Jonathan Kent wanted. He'd plant gold nuggets on the farm if he had to to keep them solvent.

He had only let himself hold her once, unsure if he could go through with giving her up if he'd allowed himself any more than that. She'd reminded him of Julian. The same wispy red-gold hair, the same startlingly blue eyes. But so unbelievably small! Yes, he was bigger now, but surely his brother had never been that tiny. Her skin was so soft, he'd almost expected to leave fingerprints just touching her. She was pure, uncorrupted by the Luthor taint. She'd been warm in his arms, a breathing, cooing weight nestled against his heart. Her little hand had flexed trustingly against his cheek as he kissed her forehead.

He ignored the tears on his face now, just as he had when he told her goodbye. He loved Katherine more than he'd ever loved anything on earth. Loved her enough to be a good father to her in the only way he could. He slowly drank his cognac, staring into the flames, listening to the logs break.

The End

Author's Notes:
Katherine - (Greek) pure
Grace - (Latin) God's favor or mercy

This is actually a companion fic to my story Requiscat In Pace. You don't need to have read it to understand this fan fiction though, and I worried that mentioning it might spoil this story. If you'd like to read Requiscat In Pace, you can find it at

I have no idea what Lillian's middle name really was.

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