A Luthor Christmas

by MitchPell


I want to thank Adri for all the help! I couldn't do it without you! I had to through in all of the James. I reminds me so much of my family. My grandpa is named John, my dad is named John, and my brother is named John. Then I have an Uncle Mike and two cousins named Mike. LOL! Luckily everyone has nicknames! This is part of the Slash Advent Calendar Challenge situated at: http://www.kardasi.com/Advent. This is my first NC-17 story, so please rip it apart!


Title: A Luthor Christmas

Author: MitchPell

Rating: NC-17

Pairing: Lex/Clark

Disclaimer: I don't own anything that has to do with Smallville; it's characters, DC comics, or the WB. I'm just using their stuff for a little bit of non-profitable fun.

Authors Notes: I want to thank Adri for all the help! I couldn't do it without you! I had to through in all of the James. I reminds me so much of my family. My grandpa is named John, my dad is named John, and my brother is named John. Then I have an Uncle Mike and two cousins named Mike. LOL! Luckily everyone has nicknames! This is part of the Slash Advent Calendar Challenge situated at: http://www.kardasi.com/Advent. This is my first NC-17 story, so please rip it apart!

Summary: Most people assume that the Luthor Annual Christmas Party is a big company party. But what if it isn't?

Email: mitchpell@yahoo.com


A six-year-old Lex Luthor grudgingly followed his parents up the front steps of his Grandfather's country home. As long as he could remember, which wasn't very long, he had hated visiting his grandparents for Christmas. It wasn't because he didn't like his grandparents; in fact he was rather fond of them. Ok, so he was fond of his grandma. It was his other relatives that he hated. And they were all going to be crammed under one roof until late tomorrow morning.

With a loud sigh he pulled his black cap further down on his head then stuffed his hands deep inside his coat pockets. It was cold and Lex hated to be cold. He also hated snow and slush and... He let out a cry of surprise as a sheet of ice caused his legs to fly out from underneath him. His hands were jammed so deep in his pockets that he wasn't able to get them out in time to catch himself, and he ended up landing hard on his butt. He flopped himself down onto the ground and glared up at the black sky. He wasn't going to cry. He wasn't going to cry. No matter how bad his tailbone hurt, he wasn't going to cry.

He could hear the quick clip-clop of his mother's heels as she rushed over to him. "Lex are you all right?" She asked her voice laced with concern.

"If I say no, can we go back home?" He asked as he looked up at his mother who was crouching over him.

Lillian couldn't help but smile at the almost desperate look on her son's face. "I don't think you're hurt that bad." She told him.

"Lex! Get up off the ground before you get soak and wet!" Lionel bellowed from the top of the steps.

Lex quickly scrambled to his feet and brushed himself off. He took his mother's offered hand and carefully maneuvered around the ice. He then followed his parents into the house. As they entered to foyer, they were greeted by his grandparent's housekeeper, Margaret. "Good evening, Mr. Luthor, Mrs. Lillian." She said as she took their coats, scarves, and gloves. Lionel gave her a curt nod then proceeded on into the house.

"Hello, Margaret. How are you doing this evening?" Lillian asked.

"I'm fine thank you, Ma'am. How about yourself?"

"As well as can be expect." Lillian replied.

"That's good." Margaret said before bending down to look at Lex. "And how are you, young man?" She asked.

Lex scowled up at the plump woman, as he attempted to smooth down his flaming red hair. It had picked up an enormous amount of static electricity from his hat and was sticking up all over the place. "Fine." He spat at her.

Margaret reached down and pinched one of his freckled covered chubby cheeks. "You just get cuter and cuter." She cooed.

Annoyed, Lex hauled off and kicked the poor woman as hard as he could in the shin. She immediately released her hold on his cheek, and he took off into the house. He heard his mother call out after him, but he ignored her as he raced towards the main living room. He ran down the hall and paused in the doorway just long enough to see that his grandma wasn't there, before running off to the kitchen. He saw her sitting at the small kitchen table and jump up onto her lap.

"Now, Lex." Emma Luthor scolded. "What did I tell you about running in the house?"

Lex grinned up at her as he wheezed on her lap. "I know. I just. Had to. Get away. From Margaret. She was. Attacking my. Cheeks." He managed to squeeze out through his heaving breathing.

His grandma gave him a firm look, before smiling at him. "Well, I suppose you can make it up to me with a kiss."

Lex smiled as he wrapped his pudgy little arms around her in big hug then kissed her cheek. He then turned and settled in her lap. He leaned his head back onto her chest and sat there for a minute, concentrating on catching his breathe.

Emma frowned as she listened to her grandson's breathing. "Where's your inhaler?" She asked him.

Lex rolled his eyes as he started digging in his pants pockets. He hated using the stupid thing. Especially in front his relatives. It made him look weak. And he couldn't be weak, especially not in front of his grandfather. The old man was worse than his dad. But if it would make his grandma happy, he'd use it.

He took two puffs of the medicated air before shoving it back into his pant's pocket. "So, how've you've been, Grandma?" He asked as he titled his head up to look at her.

"Just fine, and how about yourself?"

"Pretty good. Well, I was feeling pretty good until I fell outside on a big sheet of ice! Seriously, Grandma, you should fire who ever is responsible for maintaining your sidewalk." He told her, his face set in an expression of complete seriousness.

"Should I now?" She asked, her eyes dancing with amusement.

"Yes, you should. Because it is obvious that they are incompetent." He replied.

Emma couldn't help but laugh. But she immediately sobered up at the glare she received from her grandson. "Well, I'll be sure to look into the matter, Lex." She told him in mock seriousness.

"Good." He then reached out to steal a piece of turkey from the platter setting on the kitchen table. Only to get his hand slapped away by his Aunt Melinda, who was in the kitchen helping Marie, his grandma's cook.

"You'll wait for dinner, young man." Melinda said sternly. "Or you'll get no dessert."

Lex rolled his eyes. He didn't see what was so wrong about stealing on piece of turkey. It wasn't like it would spoil his appetite. But he could wait. His Aunt Mel was a great chef, and there was no way he was missing out on whatever she had made for dessert.

His grandma set him down on his feet as she stood up. "Come on, let's go join the rest of the family in the living room."

The two walked through the large country home to the large sitting room. The room was beautifully decorated for the holiday season with a tall round soft-needled pine tree. There was a toy train running through a small town that was set up under the tree, and piles of elegantly wrapped presents. And above the fireplace there was a stocking for each of the grandkids.

A quick glance around showed that everyone was there. His mom and dad were sitting on one large couch across from his grandfather, Laurence. Also in the room were his Uncle James and his two kids James II and Lydia. His Aunt Megan and her husband Robert were there as well along with their son William.

His mother caught sight of him as soon as he stepped foot in the room. "There you are!" She called out. "I want you to go and apologize to Margaret."

Lex scoffed. "I'm not going to apologize to her. I didn't do anything wrong."

"You know exactly what you did wrong. And yes, you will go apologize." Lillian said sternly.

"No!"

"Alexander Joseph Luthor, you will go apologize to Margaret right now!"

"Fine!" Lex spat, before going off in search of the maid. He could here his cousin James laughing at him as he left the room. He really hated his cousin James. James was always bulling him around and calling him names. It was annoying and frustrating. He tried to retaliate. But James was two years older than him, so he was bigger and stronger. Plus he didn't have asthma, or allergies, or freckles, or stupid clown red hair. James was everything Lex wanted to be, but wasn't. Though there was one advantage that Lex did have over James. Lex was the heir to the family company, and James wasn't. But of course that alone came with it's own set of problems, mostly in the form of his grandfather and father, who were constantly on his case.

After a good five-minute search, he finally found Margaret in the dinning room. She was setting the large table that the family would be eating on in a few minutes. Determined, Lex marched right up to her and said, "I'm sorry I kicked you in the shin, but you shouldn't pinch my cheeks." He then turned and stormed back to the living room, where he threw himself on the couch beside his mother.

All of his huffing and puffing had caused his chest to tighten a little. He reached into his pocket, pulled out his inhaler and took one puff, before quickly putting it back.

Laurence looked up from his conversation with Lionel. He frowned as he watched his grandson and the future heir of LuthorCorp sucking on an inhaler. While still watching Lex he said to Lionel, "I thought he was supposed to grow out of that."

"I'm sure he will, Laurence. But it's not going to happen over night." Lillian replied in a slightly annoyed tone.

"Well, he'd better. The boys too weak." Laurence stated. "Not fit to take over the company."

"Well, I would hope not! He's only six!" Lillian replied hotly.

Laurence merely grunted in reply, before turning back to Lionel. "It's all in his mind. You need to be firmer, stop babying him so much."

"Believe me, father, I'm quiet firm with Lex." Lionel told him. That seemed to satisfy Laurence for the time being, and the two went back to discussing various deals and contracts Lionel was working.

Lex glanced over at his cousin James, who was making crying baby-faces at him. "Stop it, James!" He yelled.

"Make me, freckle face!" James shot back.

"Boys that's enough!" Emma scolded. "There will be no more fighting. For once I'd like to have a nice peaceful Christmas, without you two going at each other's throats."

The two boys both mumbled a 'sorry grandma,' before sticking their tongues out at each other. Margaret entered the room a few minutes later to announce that dinner was ready. The family shuffled out of the living room and into the dinning room, where Melinda was waiting.

They all took their respective places at the table. Laurence and Emma sat at the heads of the table. Lionel and Lillian sat on either side of Laurence. Lex sat beside his father, his Aunt Megan sat next to him followed by his cousin James and his Uncle James. William sat beside Lillian, followed by Robert, Lydia and Melinda. Lex was just glad he didn't have to sit beside his cousin James. William was much more tolerable as cousins go.

The dinner conversation took its usual turn. The well being of LuthorCorp and James's Corporate Law Firm were discussed, as well as that state of Melinda's restaurant. Megan shared what she could of some of the more outrageous cases she had preceded over, and Robert discussed some of the advances in neurological medicine. In short, the conversation was limited to that of their respective work places. Nothing of a personal matter was discussed.

Dinner passed rather quickly. And after which the adults moved back into the living room and the children were left to their own devices. And it was then that Lex's true torture began.

Lex, James, William, and Lydia all filed into one of the upstairs entertainment rooms. Lex gracelessly threw himself into an overstuffed leather chair and watched as his cousins sat on the couch. "Well, what are we going to do?" Lex asked.

"How about we play a board game?" James suggested.

Lex grunted. "We always play board games. Let's do something else."

"I'll play a board game." William piped up.

"Yeah, let's play Monopoly." Lydia suggested.

"Alright, Monopoly it is." James declared.

"I hate Monopoly." Lex grumbled.

"You just hated it because you always lose." James snickered.

"Only because you cheat, James." Lex retorted. "You think I don't notice you stealing money out of the bank?"

"Whatever, Lex. You're just a sore loser." James shot back.

"Fine. We'll play Monopoly, but only if I'm the banker."

"Fine. You'll still lose, freckle face."

"How much you want to bet I don't?"

"I bet you Grandma's Christmas present that I'll still win."

Lex hesitated for just a minute. Despite the fact that he was positive he could beat James, there was always a certain amount of chance in Monopoly. And his Grandma's present was a lot to gamble. She gave the best gifts. It always seemed that she put a lot of time and thought into them. They were personal, unlike a lot of the impersonal things he usually got. But he didn't want to seem like a coward, so he squared his shoulders and stuck out his hand. "Deal," he said.

James reached out and shook Lex's hand. "Alright, Golden Boy, let's do this."

A good hour later, Lex and James were still huddled over the Monopoly board. Lex was starting to panic. He was down to his last dollar, literally. He didn't understand how it could be possible. He owned most of the properties, and he had hotels on everything he owned, but James kept missing them. He always seemed to hit that one square that he owned amongst all of Lex's high priced lots. It was infuriating, and Lex swore that if he went to jail one more time he was going to throw something, preferably his shoe right at James's stupid fat head.

After a short little prayer to whoever might be listening, Lex rolled the dice. Double fives landed him on chance. He took a deep breath and looked at the card, House and Hotel repairs. Lex growled in frustration, it could not be possible. He had just paid for house repairs. How could he possibly have to pay for them again? He looked up at James's smug face. "You rigged it!" He yelled.

"No I didn't!"

"Yes, you did! I just paid for house repairs, how could I possibly have to pay for them again, unless you rigged it?" Lex shouted.

"How could I have rigged it? You were watching me the whole time, you must have paid with Community Chest."

"I don't know how you did it, but I know you did. I specifically remember paying with Chance!"

"Yeah, well what can I say, freckle face, you must not be getting enough oxygen to your brain."

Lex just snapped. He picked up his nearby shoe and chucked it as hard as he could at his cousin, and nailed him right in the forehead.

"Ow! You little shit!" James yelled and lounged himself across the game board. He successfully managed to tackle Lex to ground and punched right in the nose.

After recovering from his initial shock, Lex reached out and kneed James in the groin. James collapsed in heap on top of him, and Lex took the chance to squeeze out from underneath him. It didn't take James long to recover and he was soon on his feet. As soon as Lex saw James start to get up he took off down the hallway, with James hot on his heels.

He didn't make it very far before James caught up to him and shoved him up against the wall. "You little prick!" James shouted in his face. "I should kick the shit out of you!"

Lex could feel his chest tighten up from the exertion and slight panic. "James." He wheezed, in an attempt to draw his cousin's attention to the problem. "I can't..."

"Oh shut it, Lex! I'm not going to fall for that again." James snapped. "You can cry wolf all you want!"

Lex mentally cursed at himself. Stupid fables. He should have known better than to fake an asthma attack the last time James and him fought. Black dots started to play before his eyes, and he was afraid that he might pass out.

"James!" William called out from down the hall. "Let him go!"

"Why should I?" James shot back. "He hit me with his shoe!"

William ran up to them and looked at Lex. "I don't think he's faking it. I really don't think he can breath."

"Well it serves him right!"

"I told Lydia to get you're parents." William said, which caused James to immediately to release Lex, who dropped to the floor.

"You little tattle tale! I can't believe you did that."

"Well I'm glad he did!" Melinda called as she and Lillian rushed up the stairs.

"What is the matter with you two?" Lillian demanded as she knelt beside Lex, who was sucking on his inhaler.

"He started it!" James started. "He threw a shoe at me!"

"He. Was. Cheating." Lex wheezed.

"Oh whatever, freckle face!"

"Alright, that's enough!" Melinda scolded. "I want both of you to go to your rooms. You've both caused enough trouble for one night"

Lex shot James a finally scowl before his mother herded him off to his room. He stomped off down the hall and threw open the door to his bedroom. He marched over to the king size bed and threw himself down as drastically as possible.

"Alright, drama queen, what happened this time?" Lillian asked.

"James was cheating at Monopoly again!"

Lillian sighed and sat down on the bed. "Lex, has it ever occurred to you that James is just better at the game than you are?"

"He's not, Mom. He's just cheating some how. I don't know how, but he is. I'm going to find out."

"No you're not. You are going to stay here, in your room, until tomorrow morning. Then you're going to apologize to James for hitting him."

"What about him? He punched me in the face! I'm probably going to have a black eye!" Lex exclaimed.

"I'm sure Aunt Mel will make him apologize to you as well. But if not, at least you'll have the satisfaction of being the better man." She told him.

Lex snorted and folded his arms across his chest. "Yeah, right. Like that matters."

"It does," she said, "it matters to me." She then leaned down and kissed his forehead. "Goodnight sweetie. I'll see you tomorrow." With that she got up and left the room.

Lex looked over at his nightstand. The clock there told him it was only 8:30, too early to go to bed. He let his eyes drift from his clock to the snow globe that sat beside it. It was the gift his grandmother had given him last year. Lex reached over, picked up the globe, and shook it. He watched in fascination as the fake snow fell upon the three little figures. There was a beautiful woman with long red hair, a tall man with dark hair, and a little boy. It was his family and safe beneath the glass globe they were happy.

With a sigh, Lex replaced the globe then jumped off the bed and went over to the bookshelf. His eyes scanned over the various children's books, looking for something to do to pass the time. Deciding on some good old Dr. Seuss. He picked several volumes off the shelves and carried them back over the to bed. It was a few hours later that he fell asleep on the open pages of "Green Eggs and Ham."

Lex slowly regained consciousness. A quick glance at the clock beside his bed told him that it was two am. With a groan sat up and rubbed the sleep out of his eyes. After stifling a yawn he slide off the bed. He took a minute to change into his pajamas then shuffled down the hall to the bathroom. After using the bathroom, he pattered down the stairs and into the kitchen to sneak a late night snack.

Despite the darkness he easily maneuvered through the large country house. When he reached the kitchen he flipped on the overhead light and headed towards the fridge. He scanned the fridge for a minute, but was unable to find anything he wanted. So he went over to the kitchen table and pulled a chair over to the fridge. He climbed up onto the chair and stood on his tippee-toes so he could look in the freezer. He his eyes widened and he licked his lips when he spotted the huge tub of vanilla ice cream. He reached into the cold freezer, but his little arms were an inch too short.

He jumped on the chair he was standing on and made a grabbed for the tub. After several attempts, he had only managed to push the tub further back into the freezer. He was about to make one last try when a voice called out to him.

"Are you trying to fall and back your leg, Lex?" Emma asked from her perch in the doorway. She had been watching him for the past two or three minutes.

"Haha, Grandma. I'm trying to reach the ice cream."

Emma laughed. She then walked over and removed the tub from the freezer. She then picked him up and placed him on the floor. "Put the chair back and I'll get us some dishes." She told him.

Lex quickly put the chair back by the table. "Can we have chocolate syrup too?" He asked eagerly.

"I suppose." She responded, fanning annoyance.

Lex removed the chocolate syrup from the fridge then sat down at the kitchen table and watched his grandma scoop the ice cream. She then sat the two bowls in front of him, so he could add the topping. Lex popped the cap off the container and turned it over. Then with extreme concentration drew two smiley faces on the evenly scooped ice cream.

"So," Emma asked. "What are you doing up so late?"

Lex shrugged his shoulders. "I don't know. I just woke up and wanted something to eat."

The two sat in comfortable silence for a minute before Lex looked up at her and asked, "Grandma, do you think I'll be a good businessman?"

Emma pursed her lips. "I think you can be a very good businessman, Lex."

Lex frowned and looked down at his half eaten ice cream. "What if I don't want to be a businessman? What if I want to do something else?"

His grandma sighed and leaned forward in her chair. "Well, Lex, sometimes we have to do things that we don't want to. But, your father is counting on you to carry on with the family business. I know it might seem like a big responsibility, but he needs you Lex. Just like Grandpa needed him. And don't worry, you'll still have plenty of time to do other things."

"But why me? Why not James?" Lex asked her, his eyes showing his need to understand.

"Well, because you're your dad's oldest child. Just like you dad was grandpa's oldest child. And like you'll inherit LuthorCorp, James will inherit your Uncle James's law firm. It's just the way things are." She watched as he stifled a yawn then reached over and took his tiny hand and smiled. "Come on, let's get you back to bed."

Lex followed his grandma back up to his room. He climbed back onto his bed and crawled under the covers. He watched as his grandma picked up some of the books that had haphazardly fallen on the floor and stacked them neatly. She then tucked the covers up under his chin and gave him a kiss on the cheek. "Good night, Lex."

"Good night, Grandma." He watched her cross the room, shut off the light, and close the door. Once again alone in his room, Lex drifted off to a peaceful slumber.

The next morning the whole family gathered once again in the dining room for a large breakfast. Then they all filtered into the living room for a quick gift exchange. At his mother's request Lex did apologize to James for hitting him, even though the gesture wasn't reciprocated. He later heard James tell his Aunt Mel that he had apologized. However, his anger was quickly forgotten in replace of the huge stack of gifts in front of him.

He received a couple shirts and a few pairs of slacks, as well as a rubrics cube and his first book by Nietzsche from his parents. His aunts and uncles also gave him a few books and a couple of toys. From his grandfather he received his first Armani suit. And from his grandmother he got the keys to a snazzy go-cart, which he grudgingly gave to his cousin James. He might have felt that he was cheated, but he wasn't going to go back on his word.

But it was ok; he didn't have anyplace to ride the go-cart in the city anyway. And he didn't come out to farm that often. So, he wasn't that upset about it, but he was. Therefore, it was with a heavy heart that Lex Luthor kissed his grandma goodbye, before walking down the front steps of her house and climbing into the car.


Reluctantly, a nine-year-old Lex Luthor followed his parents up the front steps of his Grandfather's country home. He really didn't want to be there this year. So much had changed over the past two and a half months. And he was afraid of the reaction he would receive from his family. Sure, they had been informed of the accident, but they hadn't seen him yet. He didn't know if he would be able to take all the starring. And he knew there would be a lot of it. Hell, he even caught himself starring every time he came across a mirror.

He stopped at the bottom of the steps and gave a quick glance back at car, wishing he could just jump in and drive off. He caught the sight of his mother's hand reaching out to him, and flinched away.

Lillian quickly drew her hand back from her son, not wanting to upset him anymore. "Lex," she said tentatively, "it'll be alright." She felt her heart sink when he looked at her pleadingly, wanting be believe her. She gave him a little half smile. "Come on."

"Oh for Christ's sake." Lionel muttered from the top of the steps. "It's practically been three months already, Lex. It's high time you stopped feeling sorry for yourself. Now let's go inside before we freeze to death." He then took Lillian's hand and led them into the foyer, where they were greeted by Margaret.

"Good evening, Mr. Luthor, Mrs. Lillian." Margaret said as she collected Lionel and Lillian's coats and scarves. Lionel gave his usual curt nod before heading off to the living room.

"Hello, Margaret. How are you doing this evening?" Lillian asked.

"I'm fine, Ma'am. And how about yourself?"

Lillian gave her a small smile. "We've been better, but I think we'll pull through." She told her.

Margaret then turned to Lex who was standing just inside the doorway, still bundled up in his winter apparel. "Lex," she greeted. "Can I take your coat for you?" Lex shrugged off his coat and unwrapped his scarf. He raised his hand and, after a moment's hesitation, slowly slid his black hat off to reveal his now baldhead. He then quickly handed his stuff to Margaret and walked off down the hall.

He made his way strait into the kitchen, where he knew he would find his grandmother, his Aunt Mel, and Marie. He walked into the large room and without saying a word sat down at the table and buried his head in his hands.

Emma Luthor frowned at the sight of her grandson. He looked...well he looked different. A lot thinner, that much was certain. He also seemed paler. And then of course there was the obvious baldness. He didn't look terrible, she decided, different but not terrible. "What's this, Lex? Don't you know by now how to properly greet your grandmother?" She mock scolded.

Lex lifted his head and looked at her. "Sorry, Grandma." He said while giving her a small smile.

Emma sighed. "Well, I suppose you can make it up to me with a kiss." Lex got up and gave a quick hug and a peck on the cheek, allowing only a minimal amount of contact. He then sat back down and starred at his hands. "So how've you been?" He asked her.

"Oh, I can't complain too much. My knee's being giving me a bit of trouble, but other than that I'm doing well." She replied. "How about yourself?"

Lex shrugged his shoulders. "I've been alright. It took a while to get over the radiation sickness. But I feel better now." He said while absently picking at his fingernails.

"Well, that's good to hear. What about school? Are you all caught back up?" She asked.

"Yeah," Lex snorted. "Dad wouldn't stop hounding me until I had finished all the assignments my instructors had sent home."

"And what about any exams you missed, and mid-terms?" She asked.

"My instructors are letting me take the exams I missed after break." Lex told her. He then reached out and snatched a piece of turkey off the platter setting on the kitchen table.

"Alexander, how many times do I have to tell you not to do that?" His Aunt Mel scolded from across the room.

Lex rolled his eyes. "It's one small piece of turkey, Aunt Mel! Why do you care so much about one fucking piece of turkey? It's not like's it's going to spoil my appetite, or that anyone is going to care! No one is going to miss one fucking piece of turkey!" The room suddenly became extremely quiet. And Lex could feel three sets of eyes boring into him. Embarrassed, he slouched down in his chair. "Sorry," he muttered.

Emma exchanged a look with Melinda, before reaching out to grasp Lex's hand. She watched as her grandson quickly slid his hands in his lap in order to avoid the contact. "It's alright, honey. Like you said, no one is going to miss a little piece of turkey."

The room was once again filled with silence. Melinda and Maria returned to their work, while Emma watched Lex fidget in his chair. "Well," she stated. "I think it's about time we left the chefs to their work and joined the rest of the family in the sitting room. Come along, Lex."

With a sigh, Lex lifted himself out of his chair and followed his grandmother into the living room. The room was joyously decorated, as it was every year. And everyone was seated in his or her usual spots, talking amiably. No one seemed to notice them entering the room, so Lex ducked his head and went to sit beside his mother and father.

As soon as he sat down, his grandfather turned from his conversation with his father and looked critically at him. "And here I thought you were exaggerating when you said the boy was completely bald." Laurence stated.

At that statement, all eyes in the room turned towards Lex. Feeling extremely self-conscience, Lex ran a hand over his smooth head.

"No," Lionel said. "Unfortunately, I wasn't exaggerating in the slightest."

Having never taken his eyes off Lex, Laurence asked, "Well, is it permanent or temporary?"

"At first the doctors told us that it was probably only temporary." Lillian said. "But, they also expected it to start growing back almost a month ago. So, now they're not sure."

Laurence scoffed. "So, it's permanent then."

"Well, I can't say that I'm confident in the capabilities of these so called doctors." Lionel told him. "So, I'm going to..."

"No." Lillian interjected. "We've discussed this already, Lionel. No more doctors, no more specialists. It's time we all accepted what's happened and move on. I think it will be the best for all of us." She said, before glancing over at Lex, who was gave her a small smile of thanks.

"Well, I can't say that I agree with that." Laurence said. "However, I suppose it isn't my decision to make."

"No, it isn't." Lillian told him. "And I think we've discussed the topic enough for the evening." She said pointedly.

"Of course." Laurence said, before turning back to his conversation with Lionel.

Lex silently thanked god for mothers, because he really didn't know what he would do without his. She was irreplaceable, in every conceivable way. He knew that she looked at him a little differently now. And at first that fact had devastated him. But he soon learned that this new look wasn't one of disgust or loathing like his father. That it wasn't lacking in love. It was just different. And given his new appearance and his improved health, this new way in which his mother saw him was understandable.

Though no longer the center of attention, Lex still felt as if he was being looked at. And he had a pretty good idea who was starring. Lex glared across the room at his cousin James, who was starring pointedly at him while repeatedly running a hand through his hair. Lex could feel his cheeks redden with anger. And he was just about to flip his cousin off when Margaret entered to announce that dinner was ready.

Dinner passed without event. The meal was accompanied by its usual business conversation. And shortly after the adults headed back to the sitting room, Lex, James, William, and Lydia made their way to the upstairs entertainment room. Once inside, Lex threw himself into the over stuffed leather chair. He watched as William and Lydia piled onto the couch, and James left the room with the promise of a quick return.

Lex sighed and sunk further into his chair. He contemplated just going off to his room and burying himself in a book. But habit had brought him here, and he knew that if he left now his cousins would make a fuss.

Speaking of cousins, Lex noticed how William and Lydia's eyes hadn't left him since they had entered the room. "Would you guys please stop starring at me?" He said in a voice that was both pleading and annoyed at the same time.

William at least had the good grace to look embarrassed. He turned his head to look at the blank TV and muttered a "sorry."

Lydia however, just kept starring. "Can I touch it?" She asked.

Lex scoffed. "No, you can't touch it."

"Why not?" She asked.

"Because." Lex said.

"Because why?" Lydia countered.

"Because, it's my head and I said so. That's why."

"Fine! Jerk." Lydia said, before going into a full-fledged pout.

It was then that James returned with a box underneath his harm. "Alright," he said. "Let's go."

"What's that?" Lex asked.

James grinned and showed Lex the cover of the Monopoly box.

"Where did you get that?" Lex demanded. "I though our moms threw it out after what happened last Christmas!"

"They did." James told him. "But that night I went and dug it out of the trash."

Lydia looked appalled. "You went rooting around in the garbage for a board game?"

"Yeah, so?" James asked.

"I can not believe you are my brother." She said. "I mean that's just gross."

James rolled his eyes at her then turned back to Lex. "Well, are we going to play or not?"

"You know I hate that game." Lex told him.

"Oh, shut up, Lex." William said. "You say that every year and every year you still play. So let's just get started already and get it over with."

James grinned and clapped William on the shoulder. "I couldn't have said it better myself, William. Let's play."

With a sigh Lex extracted himself from his chair and sat on the floor where the four of them usually played. He slipped his shoes off and handed them to Lydia, who shoved them under the couch. Ever since the shoe incident three years ago, he was no longer allowed to have them within reach. He then began to make himself comfortable while formulating his game plan. He was sure he was going to win this year. He just had that feeling.

Two hours later, Lex found himself beyond frustrated. In fact, he was so far past it he wanted to pull his hair out, and he went to do just that. He ran both hands along his head in the familiar motion, only his fingers found nothing to grab onto. Embarrassed by his error, Lex ducked his head to hide his pink cheeks. It was then that her heard his cousin James laughing at him.

"Man, your whole head just turned beet red!" James said through his laughter.

Lex's blush quickly turned from one of embarrassment to one of anger. He lifted his head and sent his cousin a look that could kill. "You better knock it the fuck off, James." Lex warned. James, however, was too busy laughing to take heed.

William noticed that Lex looked like he was about to pummel James to the ground. So he tentatively reached out and touched Lex's shoulder. He hated to see his two cousins fight all the time. And he wanted to distract Lex from James's taunting, to try to convince him that James wasn't worth the effort.

Lex was too busy seething at James to notice William reaching out for him and avoid the contact. The slight touch startled him so much that he literally jumped. "Don't touch me!" He shouted, before getting up and quickly leaving the room, shutting the doors behind him.

Lex closed his eyes and leaned back against the closed doors of the entertainment room. He took a few deep breaths, willing back the tears that threatened to fall. He wasn't going to cry. It was just a little bit of teasing. James did it all the time, and he never reacted this way before. But it was different now. He didn't know why, but for some reason it was. It was the same jest, James playing off his insecurities like he had always done in the past.

The only difference now was that these were new insecurities. He could handle being the slightly overweight, redheaded asthmatic that was sick all the time. But he hadn't yet become accustomed to being the skinny baldheaded boy who was sure to be looked at like a freak. That is if his family's reaction was any indication how the rest of the world would see him. Well, he couldn't very well say his whole family. After all, his mother didn't look at him like that. William and his grandma seemed to at least be making an effort. But his father and grandfather weren't, and neither were James or Lydia. He wasn't sure about his aunts and uncles, because they practically avoided looking at him all together. Still, they were his family. They were supposed to love him no matter what. So if they couldn't accept him then how could anyone else?

Lex could here William and James arguing on the other side of the door. He figured that he should be grateful that William was defending him. But the fact that his younger cousin was fighting his battles only served to make Lex feel that much less of himself. With a sigh he wiped the small bit of moisture from his eyes then pushed off the set of double doors and headed down the hall to his bedroom. He just wanted to be alone, to escape from reality for a little while.

Lex slipped into his bedroom and shut the door behind him. He glanced at the clock on the wall. It was only nine, too early to go bed. He walked over to his dresser and pealed off his dress shirt and slacks and exchanged them for a pair of sweat pants and a t-shirt. He then padded over to his bookshelf and retrieved The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, from the shelf. He had started reading the series while he was stuck at home and he had called to ask his grandma to buy him a copy for her house. He preferred to have a copy of every book he owned at every house he stayed in. That way he always had access to them, plus it prevented them from getting damaged during travel. He sat down on his bed, crawling under the blankets, and sat back against his pillows before bring his knees up to his chest. It took him a while to find his place, but he did eventually. And soon he was lost in the mystical world created by J.R.R Tolkein.

An hour later, he was startled out of his reading by a knock at the door. "Come in." He called out.

Lillian quietly entered her only son's room then walked over and sat down on the bed. "Hey, how you doing?" She asked him.

He placed a finger between the pages of his book to keep his place then shrugged his shoulders. "I'm fine." He answered quietly.

"You sure?" She asked.

"Yeah, mom, I'm fine." He replied.

"Ok." Lillian gave him small smile then slowly reached out and took the book out of his hand, being careful not to lose his place. "Looks like you're almost finished with this one. You're going to have the whole series read pretty soon." She said.

Lex shrugged his shoulders. "It's a good story."

"Lex," she started then hesitated a minute, "you know you can talk to me about what's bothering you right?"

"Mom, I'm fine. I swear." Lex told her, hoping she would just drop it.

"I'm just worried about you, Sweetheart. You've closed yourself off so much that it scares me."

"I haven't closed myself off." He denied.

"Honey, you spend most of your time either in your room reading or doing school work. You won't let anyone touch you. Just tell me what's wrong." Lillian practically pleaded.

"Mom, I've been doing school work because I missed almost two whole months of class. I needed to catch up. And I let people touch me; I'm just growing up. I'm not six anymore. I'm sorry if I don't want to be all touchy feely." Lex said in an annoyed tone. "Besides isn't that what dad says, that I'm too clingy?"

Lillian sighed. "Lex, you're father has good intentions...for the most part. But he isn't always right, especially in this case. You're only nine-years old, human contact is a very good and even healthy thing." She told him.

Lex made a show of rolling his eyes. He took his book back and set it on his nightstand. "I know, Mom." He replied dryly.

"Alright, Sweetheart." She knew he was lying, but she couldn't force anything out of him. She could only hope that he would come to her when he was ready. "But you have to understand, I'm a mother. It's my job to worry."

Lex gave her his best fake smile. "I know, Mom. And don't worry, I'll be fine." He noticed his slight slip there at the end, but luckily she didn't call him on it. He watched as she leaned forward and forced himself not to flinch away.

Lillian reached out and caressed his pale cheeks with her hands, before pulling him close and kissing his smooth forehead. "I love you, Lex. Don't you ever forget that."

Lex let himself melt into her embrace. He wrapped his thin hairless arms around her and buried his head in the crook of her neck. "I know, Mom. I love you too." He whispered. He allowed her to hold him close for a while, wanting to stay there in her arms forever, where he felt safe. But he knew he couldn't. After letting out a big sigh, he pulled back.

She kissed him one more time then stood up. "Goodnight, Lex."

"Night, Mom." Lex replied then watched as she left the room and closed the door behind her. He borrowed further under the blankets then shut off his bedside lamp. He closed his eyes, hoping to get some sleep.

Lex bolted up in his bed, gasping for air. He drew his knees up to his chest and wrapped his arms around them before dropping his head to his knees. He just sat there taking deep breaths, letting the tension ease from his body. He'd had another nightmare. It was always the same. He'd be in the cornfield when a large tremor would ripple threw the ground. He'd turn around and see the huge smoke cloud hurtling towards him and he would run. He would run and run as fast as he could, but it always felt as if he were going so slow. And the cornstalks would grab at his arms and legs, holding him, not letting him escape. And he could hear the cloud coming and the boy on the cross laughing at him. Then it would hit him, crushing him, suffocating him. He'd try to scream, but his voice was always stolen by the crushing force of the cloud. And he could feel it, ripping him apart, tearing out his hair, changing him. Then he would wake up, breathless.

Lex wiped the thin sheen of sweat off his head then tossed his covers off. He glanced over at the clock. It was 1:30 in the morning. He was tired, but he didn't want to have another nightmare. So he crawled out of bed and headed downstairs to the kitchen. He flipped on the light before heading over the refrigerator. After searching the fridge for a minute he spotted a jar of Marie's homemade applesauce. He pulled out the jar then moved to get a bowl out of the cupboards.

"You know, Lex, if you ate more during dinner these late night snacks wouldn't be necessary." Emma Luthor said as she entered the room.

Startled, Lex turned and smiled at her. "Trust me, Grandma, I really don't want to be up right now. But I don't much have a choice. Do you want some applesauce?" He asked her.

"I suppose." She said, before sitting at the table. Lex soon joined her with two bowls full of the crushed fruit. "So, what are you doing up this late?" She asked.

Lex shrugged his shoulders. He waited a minute then answered her quietly. "Nightmares."

"You're going to have to speak up, Lex. I'm old, I can't hear too well anymore." She told him.

Lex sighed and rubbed a hand over his head. "I have nightmares." He said rather loudly.

"I see." Emma said.

The two sat in silence for a minute eating, before Lex looked up at her. "It's not just my head you know. My whole body is hairless. Dad even had to have a plastic surgeon implant eyebrows and eyelashes to help protect my eyes."

"No, I didn't know that." Emma replied.

"Grandma?"

"Yes, dear?"

"Do I look like a freak?"

Emma Luthor looked hard at her grandson. "No, Alexander. You do not look like a freak."

"Are you sure?" He asked as he ran a hand over his smooth head.

"Yes. But I will tell you one thing, Lex. You'd better stop making your mother worry so much." She watched as Lex rolled his eyes and sighed. "Don't you roll your eyes at me young man. You're mother is so worried about you she's making herself sick. She says that all you do is read and study. She says you won't let anyone touch you, that you don't eat, or sleep, and that you won't tell her what's wrong."

"Nothing's wrong." Lex told her. He then looked back down at his almost empty bowl, to avoid his grandma's stern look. After a few minutes, her gaze didn't let up and he sighed. "It's just that, I'm afraid of how people are going to look at me. I don't want to be a freak, and that's what I feel like. And I don't like people touching me because I don't like how it feels. Everything feels different."

"I suppose these nightmares are keeping you up at night?" Emma asked and Lex nodded his head in agreement. "Well, if I were you, Lex, I wouldn't worry about what anyone else thinks. People are going to form their opinions, no matter what you do. So, the best thing for you to do is ignore them. Besides, anyone worth knowing isn't going to base his or her opinion of you on your appearance."

"Yeah, but that's the thing, Grandma. There isn't anyone left to judge me for me." Lex said.

"What do you mean?"

"I mean I was a bully in school. I would make fun of and tease people, constantly, me and a small group of friends of mine. But, I'm afraid that once they see me, like this that they're going to turn on me. And I'm going to be alone." He told her.

Emma sighed. "Well, Lex, we all have to deal with the consequences of our actions. If you chose to torment those kids then you can't expect them not to seek retribution. And as for those so-called friends of yours, well, it doesn't sound as if they are people you should be associating with in the first place."

Lex frowned and fiddled with his spoon. "I suppose you have a point. But it still doesn't make it any easier." He muttered.

"No one said it was going to be easy, most things worth achieving or overcoming rarely are."

"I know."

"Good. Now, lets get you back to bed." Emma said.

Lex smiled at her. "I'm nine-years old, Grandma. I don't need you to tuck me in." Lex told her wirily.

"I know," she told him. "But I'm old, and you're going to indulge in your old grandma."

"Ok." Lex said, unable to wipe the grin off his face.

Lex followed her back up the stairs to his room and climbed into bed. Emma pulled the blankets up tight around him. "Try to get some sleep, Lex. The nightmares won't last forever." With that she kissed on the cheek then left the room, shutting the door behind her.

Lex watched his grandma leave the room. He reached over to shut off the lamp on his nightstand when his eye caught site of his snow globe. He picked up the small toy, inverted it then placed it back in its place. He watched the white flakes fall over the little model of his family, allowing the calmness of the globe to lure him to what he hoped would be a peaceful sleep.

The next morning flew by. After breakfast the family gathered in the living room to exchange gifts. Lex received the same things he did every year, suits, cloths, books, and a few toys. His grandma gave him a box full of all different kinds of hats. Some of them were new, and a few had belonged to his grandfather. She had told him that since he was now bald he'd need to keep his head covered more in the colder weather.

But probably the best gift that he received was one of emotional well-being. And for that he had to thank his mother and his grandmother. Therefore, it was in a slightly better piece of mind that Lex Luthor kissed his grandma goodbye, before walking down the front steps of her house and climbing into the car.


A thirteen-year-old Lex Luthor quietly followed his father up the front steps of his Grandfather's country home. He wasn't sure whether or not he wanted to be there or not. In some ways, it would be nice to be around other people. He didn't know if he could stand to be alone with his father for another minute. But then, it was Christmas, and his mother wasn't there. And she never would be again.

He stopped at the bottom of the steps and took a minute to compose himself, pushing back the tears that were building up behind his eyes. He took a deep shaky breath, watching his breath in the cold December air. He looked up at his father who was impatiently, yet silently, waiting for him at the top of the steps. Lex wondered if this was as hard on his father as it was on him. His father had been uncharacteristically understanding for the first few weeks after his mother's death. Then what seemed like overnight, the understanding stopped, and his father became his usual overbearing, self-absorbed self. But tonight, he seemed a little softer. And for that, Lex was grateful.

"Lex," Lionel called from the top of the steps. "You might not get sick anymore, but I do. And I don't want to catch a cold while waiting for you in this frigid weather."

Lex starred at his father for a minute. It just now occurred to him that his father always waited for him at the door. It was practically tradition for Lex to stop outside the house and reflect about something, anything really. He didn't know why he did it, but he did. It was a habit, and one he didn't see any reason to break. But for some reason, he just now noticed that his father would wait until he was done before entering the house. Lex didn't know his reason for waiting. It probably had something to do with appearing as a family. But tonight, he was going to pretend that it was because his father cared. After all, it couldn't hurt to pretend for just this once.

"Lex!" His father called a little more hotly.

"Sorry," Lex said as he continued to climb the steps then followed his father into the house.

They were met at the door by Margaret, as usual. "Good evening, Mr. Luthor." She said as she took his coat and scarf. And as usual, Lionel gave her a curt nod and then proceeded on into the house.

Lex let out a sigh as he removed his hat, gloves, coat, and scarf. "Hello, Margaret." He said as he handed his stuff to her. He didn't feel particularly chatty, but his mother had always been nice to the woman. And since she was gone, Lex figured he should at least make an attempt.

Margaret smiled down at him. "Hello, Lex. How are you doing?"

Lex tried to give her a small smile. "I'm," he paused for a minute as if searching for the correct answer, "fine." He finally told her. He just stood there for a minute as if contemplating his answer then snapped out of his trance. "You?" He asked.

"I'm fine, thank you." She replied.

"That's good." He said absently. "Well I'm going to..." He gestured down the hall.

"Of course." Margaret replied.

Lex gave her a small nod then made his way down the hall towards the kitchen. He entered the somewhat large room and found, as he expected, his grandma, his Aunt Mel, and Marie. He walked up to where his grandma was sitting at the kitchen table and wrapped his thin arms around. "Hi, Grandma." He said before placing a small kiss on her cheek.

"Why, Lex," Emma said, "I'm surprised that I didn't have to guilt you into my kiss and hug this year."

Lex smiled at her then sat down at the table. "I guess I just decided to save myself the trouble of trying to get out of it this time." He lied. Truth-be-told he had just wanted that small amount of human contact that had been missing since his mother's death. It was weak of him, he knew. But at the moment, he didn't care. What his father didn't know couldn't hurt him. "So, how have you been, Grandma?" He asked.

"Oh, I'm doing well." She told him. "I had a cold earlier this month, but I was able to get over it. So I can't complain." She looked at him for a minute then asked, "And how about yourself?"

"I'm fine." He replied with a shrug of his shoulders.

Emma knew her grandson was lying, but decided she wouldn't call him on it. She figured he wouldn't want to talk with Melinda and Marie in the room. The room was uncomfortably silent for a while with no one really knowing what to say. "Well," she finally said, "how about you and I join the rest of the family in the sitting room, Lex?"

"Alright," he replied. He rose out of his chair and went to leave the room, but not before stealing a piece of turkey off the platter.

"I caught that, Alexander!" His Aunt Mel scolded.

Lex didn't reply, however, he just merely continued down the hall behind his grandmother. The living room looked as it did every year. The same looking tree, the same train set running through the same small, the same stockings hung on the same mantelpiece, the same people sitting in the same places. Everything was the same, except for the vacant seat beside his father. Lex ran a hand over his smooth head then crossed the room and sat beside his father.

Neither his father nor his grandfather acknowledged his presence, but that didn't bother him. It was almost better that way. The two never had anything pleasant to say about him anyway. Lex took the time to look over his family members. His Uncle James and his Aunt Meg appeared to be in a deep conversation. James and Lydia were sitting with their father looking bored. While William was avidly listening to whatever his Uncle Robert was telling him. Lex watched William and his Uncle Robert talking. He wished that he and his father had as amiable relationship as William appeared to have with Uncle Robert. But he knew that would never happen, so there was no use wishing.

He then directed his attention back to James and Lydia. The two were sitting as far away from each other as possible. Lex knew that they didn't get along with each other half the time. And he idly wondered if he and Julian would have gotten along. Sure there would have been eleven years between them, which was a lot compared to the three years separating Lydia and James. But despite the difference in age, Lex thinks they would have been close.

He looked over to the mantelpiece at the four red stockings hanging there. There had been five one year, and he had to wonder what his grandmother had done with Julian's. It was probably stuck in a box somewhere up in the attic, with all the long forgotten stockings of his father and his aunts and uncles, put into storage after they were deemed to old for such childish things. He wondered when his stocking would be added to that box. He was almost willing to bet money that it would be soon, too soon. Before he was ready to give up his childlike inclinations and act like a responsible young adult.

But then, with his mother gone he had probably already taken that step. There was no one left to baby him. His mother was dead and Pam had left. Lex scoffed. His father certainly wasn't going to allow him to indulge in any of his previously childish habits. He was being forced to grow up, and he wasn't ready.

Lex was startled out of his thoughts when Margaret entered the room and informed them that dinner was ready. He followed the rest of the family as they all filed out of the living room and into the dining room. He sat down at his usual seat and looked over at the vacant chair across from his father. As he looked at that open chair, he could only hope that diner would pass quickly.

To his relief it did, and he soon found himself trailing his three cousins up the stairs of the large house. But instead of heading off to the entertainment room, as usual, Lex turned toward his bedroom. However, this change in plan didn't go unnoticed by James.

"Hey, Beets!" He called down the hall. "Where do you think you're going?" He asked.

Lex turned to face his cousins. "To my room." He replied.

James scoffed. "No you're not." He stated.

Lex glared at him. "Excuse me?"

"We always play Monopoly after dinner, Lex. You just can't go and break tradition!" James exclaimed.

"Yeah, well, maybe it's time some of the traditions changed." Lex replied before turning to go back to his room.

James snorted and rolled his eyes. "You know what, Lex." He spat. "She died fucking months ago. Get over it already."

Lex whirled around and looked at his cousin, his face a mixture of pure hatred and extreme anguish. "Don't you dare!" He yelled. "You have no idea what it's like! None of you! Your mother's are all downstairs sipping imported wine and discussing the boring details of their fucking mundane lives! But mines not! And she never will be again, because she's dead! And you have no idea what that's like! So don't you stand there and tell me to get over it!" With that he turned back around and stormed off to his room.

Lex slammed his door shut once he had entered his room. He flung himself on his large bed, and starred at the snow globe setting on his nightstand. Without thinking, grabbed the globe and threw it against his bedroom door. It hit the hard wood and shattered. Shards of glass fell to the floor in a shower of water and white flakes, accompanied by the heavy base of the globe.

Lex sat there on his bed for a minute, starring as the pool of water and glass ran across the floor of his bedroom. He slowly lowered himself to the floor and walked over to the chaos before him. He carefully reached out and picked up the base of the snow globe. The small figure of his mother had been completely busted off, and the upper half of his father's was missing as well. Lex sat down on the ground, just out of reach of the puddle of water and the sea of glass, rotating the broken globe in his hands. He then placed the heavy base down beside him and began to search for the missing pieces of his mother and father. He found the upper half of his father first, which he carefully picked up and placed within the pieces of glass still branching up from the broken base. Then he found the figure of his mother. But when he reached up to pick her up, he flinched back as a shard of glass pierced his finger.

Lex watched the small droplets of blood well up then trickle down his slim finger. Fascinated, he picked up one of the larger pieces of glass and deepened the cut. And a thought occurred to him, as he watched the blood stream down his hand and puddle on the floor. It would be so easy. All it would take would be two swift cuts. No one would know. They wouldn't come looking for him until morning, and by that time it would be hours too late. He eyed the sharp glass in his hand as he slowly turned over his left hand and exposed his wrist. But as he looked down, prepared to make the cut, he saw the face of Napoleon starring up at him. Appalled by what he had almost done, Lex dropped the piece of glass, hurriedly pushed himself off the floor, and backed up to his bed. He let himself fall onto the soft mattress, and sat there, starring at disarray across the room.

Lex gasped as he felt himself fall off his bed, hitting the ground with a yelp of surprise and a loud thud. He groaned as he rolled over and looked up at his ceiling. He didn't remember falling asleep, but he figured it must have been shortly after he broke the snow globe. He pushed himself into a sitting position then rubbed his hands across his face and head. He glanced up at the clock on his nightstand, which read 2:00 am. Stifling a yawn, he stood up and surveyed the mess. It hadn't changed much since he had last looked at it, but it did appear that the floor had soaked up some of the water. Lex just hoped that it didn't damage the floor or the ceiling beneath him, or his grandfather would be pissed.

He quickly snuck out of his room, carefully dodging the pieces of glass, and made his way down the bathroom. He grabbed a couple of towels then made his way back to the room. Before soaking up the water, Lex picked up the figure of his mother, placed it within the broken globe then placed the globe back on his nightstand. He then mopped up the water and glass with the towels. When he was finished he shook out the towels over his garbage can then tossed the towels in the hamper. That finished, he quickly changed into his pajamas then headed downstairs to the kitchen.

Lex flipped on the light in the kitchen and headed over to the refrigerator. He wasn't the least bit hunger, but he didn't want to just sit there at the table either. He spotted a bowl of grapes setting towards the back and pulled them out. He then sat down at the table and just kind of starred at the bowl of fruit.

"I didn't realize fruit was so fascinating." Emma Luthor remarked as she entered the kitchen and sat across from her grandson at the table.

Lex shrugged his shoulders. "I was just thinking." He told her.

Emma nodded her head. There really wasn't any need to ask what about, she was pretty sure that she already knew. She reached over and snapped off a small bunch of grapes and ate then silently, waiting for Lex to tell her whatever was on his mind. And after a few minutes he did.

"James told me I should be over it by now." Lex told her. "And I thought I was, moving on I mean, especially after school started. But...around Thanksgiving, I started getting really depressed." Lex let out a small humorless laugh. "We didn't even really celebrate Thanksgiving. But I just couldn't stop thinking about her. And I haven't been able to stop since."

Emma frowned. "Have you spoken to your father?" She asked.

Lex scoffed. "No. I can't talk to him. He doesn't listen to me. And besides, I don't think he would understand anyway."

"Alexander! Now, I know you father isn't the warmest of individuals, but he did love your mother. Therefore, he is feeling the same lose that you are." Emma informed him.

"Yeah, well, unlike my father I can't replace my mother by inviting a million different women into my bed." Lex shot back.

Emma sighed as she looked at her grandson. "No, I suppose not. I'm sorry, Lex, didn't realize he was doing that." She knew that her thirty-one year old son had every right to sleep with whomever he pleased. But she didn't much like the idea of him parading a million different woman of in front of her thirteen-year-old grandson.

"It's alright, Grandma. After all, he should be allowed to move on with his life shouldn't he?" Lex asked.

"Of course he should, Lex. But so should you." Emma replied, giving him a small smile.

"Well, I'm going to go back to bed." Lex told her after a moment of silence.

"Alright." Emma said. Sensing that Lex still needed to get something off his chest, she followed him up the stairs to his room.

"Grandma, what are you doing?" Lex asked as he started up the stairs.

"I'm coming with you." She told him.

Knowing that he wouldn't be able to convince her otherwise, Lex merely sighed and shook his head. "Whatever." He mumbled, before continuing towards his room. Once there he made his way over to his bed and lay down.

Emma followed Lex into his room and sat down on her edge of his bed. She glanced over at the nightstand and noticed the broken snow globe. "What happened to your snow globe?" She asked him.

"I broke it after a fight with James." He told her. He reached out and picked up the figure of his mother and just looked at it for a minute. He could feel the tears welling up behind his eyes and he took a deep breath. "You know, I never got to say goodbye." He whispered. "I kept looking and looking for a cure, something, anything to allow her to hang on just a little bit longer." He paused around the hitch in his breathing. "But, there was nothing, no miracle cure or operation, and she died. And I wasn't there." At that moment, the tears that he had been holding back since last May started to fall. Lex clutched his pillow tight to his chest. "I didn't get to say goodbye," he repeated. "I didn't get to tell her I loved her one last time. And now I never will."

Emma pulled her grandson into a hug and held on to him as his body shook with his broken sobs. Lex buried his face into the crock of her neck, and let the tears fall. "And it wasn't just mom, but Julian and Pam too. They all just left me. Why did they leave me?" He choked out.

"It's alright, Lex," Emma said as she rubbed circles on his back. "Just let it all out."

So he did. He just held on to his grandmother and let all his grief flow out of him along with his tears. He wasn't sure how long he cried. And he didn't really care, because when the sobs finally stopped he felt better. The loss was still there, but it felt as if a great weight had been lifted off his chest. He finally pulled back from the comfort of his grandmother's arms and wiped his running nose and eyes on his shirtsleeve. He took a few deep, calming breaths then gave his grandma a small smile.

"Do you feel a little better now?" She asked him.

"Yeah, a little." He replied, as he looked down at the red-haired figurine still in his hands. "Does it ever go away?" He asked. "The pain, I mean?"

Emma shook her head. "No, it doesn't. It will fade." She told him. "But it will never be completely gone."

Lex nodded his head in understanding. "I didn't think so." He whispered.

They sat in silence for a minute then Emma said, "How about you try and get some sleep, now?"

Lex rolled his eyes then buried himself underneath his blankets. He reached over and placed the figure on the broken globe base, before turning back to his grandma.

"Do you want me to have the globe fixed?" She asked him.

Lex looked back over at the globe and the jagged glass edges sticking up out of the base. He took in the whole yet detached figure of his mother and the mangled figure of his father. He thought about the events that led to the marred state of the globe and what had almost occurred afterwards. He then turned back to his grandma and shook his head. "No," he told her. "I want to keep it as it is."

Emma frowned. "Alright, if that's what you want." She squeezed his hand then rose off the bed. "Sleep well, Lex."

"Good night, Grandma." He replied. He watched her walk towards the door then called out, "Grandma."

"Yes, Lex?"

"Thank you."

"You're welcome." And with that she left the room, and closed the door behind her.

The following morning flew by as it always did. Lex was surprised when James actually apologized to him. But he quickly recovered from his shock and graciously accepted the gesture. After breakfast, the family held the usual gift exchange. He received the usual clothes and books on history, world domination, and the likes from most of his family. But his grandmother, however, gave him a book of collective poems, something his mother would have owned. He ran his hand over the hardbound book then gave her an appreciative smile.

As Lex bundled up to face the cold December weather, he reflected on what his grandmother had told him. He knew things would never be the same without his mother, but that didn't mean that he had to be miserable. Therefore, it was with newly found hope that Lex Luthor kissed his grandma goodbye, before walking down the front steps of her house, and climbing into the car.


A furious sixteen-year-old Lex Luthor stormed up the front steps of his Grandfather's country home. He couldn't believe he had been that foolish. He should have known better than to invite Jason up to the penthouse, but he had thought his father had gone out for the night. Plus he had never expected Jason to kiss him. Lex felt a smile creep over his face at the memory.

They had just been sitting there on the leather couch in the living room, talking amiably about nothing of importance, when Jason had just leaned over and kissed him. Lex had been so stunned that he had just sat there. And Jason, fearing that his lack of response had meant that he had made a terrible mistake quickly withdrew. As soon as Lex had snapped out of his trance, he had hastily halted Jason's frantic apologizes by shoving his tongue down his throat. Following the kissing was the light petting, which was then proceeded by the heaving groping.

Then before he knew what was happening, Lex found himself pressed deep into the couch. The last thing he wanted was for this to stop, but when he had felt Jason's hands start to undo the button on his slacks, he froze. Jason had backed off a little at the sudden tension that had invaded Lex's body. "I've never done this before." Lex had told him. And it was the truth. Sure Lex had been with plenty of girls in the past two years. But he had never even entertained the fact that he was interested in men, at least not until he had meant Jason.

When Lex first recognized his attraction to his friend he had been horrified. He had thought it was just one more thing to add to list of everything else that was wrong with him. It was another reason he was a freak of nature. So he had suppressed his feelings and attempted to hide beneath the cloak of friendship. But apparently, Jason had seen the truth. And when it became apparent that Jason wanted to do more than just make out, Lex had been extremely nervous and even a little scared.

But Jason had just smiled reassuringly down at him. "Don't worry." He had whispered in his ear before he began sucking on his earlobe. "I'll guide you through it."

"Lex!" Lionel yelled, interrupting Lex's thoughts just as he had interrupted his actions the night before. "I'm not finished speaking with you!"

Lex turned and snorted at his father. "Well, I'm through listening. So go preach to someone else." He then continued to walk up the steps, however his progress was hindered when his father grabbed his arm and spun him around.

"Don't you turn your back on me, boy!" Lionel spat. "Now you will listen, and you will do as I say, do you here?" When Lex didn't respond Lionel shook him rather roughly. "I said do you hear me!" He shouted.

"Yes!" Lex snapped, then continued more quietly. "I hear you." He kept his gaze firmly planted on the ground, unable to look his father in the eye.

"Good." Lionel said, stopping his shaking, but refusing to release his grip on his son's arm. "Now, there will not be a repeat of last night. Am I understood?"

Lex scoffed then brought his eyes up to meet his father's. "Yes."

Lionel nodded his head then let Lex go. "I'm glad to see that you've decided to see the side reason."

Lex let out a humorless laugh, as he watched his father start up the steps. "Yeah, you can be damn sure me and Jason will go to his house next time." He called out, immediately regretting opening his big mouth as he watched his father once again close the distance between them.

"You are not to have any type of relations with that boy, ever again! And if I so much as here rumors of you being with another member of the same sex, I will turn your little world into a living hell!" Lionel spat.

"Well, that will be quite the feat, considering that it already is!" Lex shot back.

Lionel chuckled. "Oh, yes. How could I have forgotten? Please forgive me, Son, for failing to remembering how cruel life has been to you." He mocked before his eyes darkened and his expression set in an icy glare. "Trust me, Lex. You have never even come close to experiencing the type of suffering I'm talking about."

Lex watched as his father went to walk away again. "Your threats don't scare me, Dad." He stated. He waited for Lionel to turn back around then continued. "You're not going to do anything to me. I'm too valuable to you." Lex chuckled at his father's almost shocked expression. "Come on, Dad. Did you really think that I'd believe for one minute that you'd actually harm your one and only heir?" He walked confidently up to his father. "You need me, Dad. I have no reason to fear you." With that Lex quickly walked past his stunned father and into the house.

Lex didn't stop walking until he was safely inside, and the door was shut behind him. He tore his coat off and shoved them towards Margaret then hurried down the hall to the kitchen. Once he had reached his destination he dropped himself into a chair and let out a sigh of relief. He could not believe the extent to which he had just mouthed off to his father. The thought was both frightening and invigorating all at the same time.

Emma Luthor gasped when she saw her grandson's face. "Lex! What happened?" However, her concern quickly turned accusatory. "Did you get into another fight at school?" She demanded.

Lex rolled his eyes. "No, Grandma." He considered telling her that he had actually had a fight with his father. But then again, he didn't think it would be wise to inform her that the reason the right side of his face was now a rather colorful collage of blues, blacks, purples, and yellows, was because his father had a rather violent reaction to finding his sixteen-year-old son engaging in sexual activities with another man. "I...it wasn't at school. I went to a club last night and things got a little out of control." He lied.

"Alexander Luthor!" Emma exclaimed. "Those clubs are going to be the death of you!"

Lex just chuckled. "They're really not that bad, Grandma." He told her.

Emma huffed. "Barely clothed underage children dancing inappropriately while hopped up on who knows what kind of drugs and drinking themselves into oblivion is not that bad, Lex." She paused for a minute before continuing. "And if that is a little out of control," she said while gesturing at his bruised face. "I'd hate to see what would happen if things got really out of hand."

"Don't worry, Grandma," he assured her, "I'll be careful."

"You'd better." She said sternly. "Now, come over here and give me my hug and kiss."

Lex smiled at her then got up out of his chair to comply to her demands. He had just pulled back from her when his father stormed into the room.

"Alexander!" Lionel bellowed. "How dare you walk away from me? We aren't done talking until I say so!"

"Yeah, we'll you seemed to be out of things to say, so I just assumed you were done." Lex shot back.

"So, confident in yourself aren't you, Lex. You might think you're irreplaceable, but if you continue to push me you'll see just how wrong that assumption is."

Lex cocked an eyebrow at him. "What are you going to do, Dad? Start pulling the illegitimate children out of the woodwork? I can just imagine how well that will go over with the media."

"I happen to believe that an illegitimate child of mine would be less of a disgrace than you, Lex." Lionel watched with satisfaction as Lex flinched ever so slightly. He knew how to play off his son's weaknesses. He was well aware of the fact that despite his dislike for his father, Lex wanted nothing more than to please him. "But, you have a point about the press, son. Though, I'm inclined to believe that the media will take the news of my illegitimate children slightly better than your classmates will about the fact that the school freak is also a homosexual."

"Lionel!" Emma exclaimed. She was shocked at the way her son was speaking to her grandson.

"Stay out of this, Mother." Lionel told her. "This is between Lex and I. I realize he tried to come in here and hide behind you, but he's no longer a child. He has to face the consequences of his actions." He stated. "And it's high time he learned that some things are simply unacceptable!" He practically shouted directly in Lex's face.

"Why?" Lex asked quietly, so quietly in fact that his father almost didn't hear him. "Why do you care about this? You could care less about anything else I do, so why this? Why choose something I have no control over?"

"No, control over it? Don't even try to tell me that you have no control over this, Lex!" He yelled. "What is it? Huh? Not man enough for the woman? Is that it? Couldn't they accept the fact that your legs are smoother than theirs? Because that I could believe! Not this...this lack of control over who you are and who you aren't attracted to."

Lex didn't say anything. He just kept his gaze fixed on the hard wooden floor and tried to keep from flinching at the cut his father's words.

Lionel laughed at Lex's lack of response. "What's the matter, Lex? What happened to the confidence and the cocky attitude?" He asked. "Or does that only come after you've taken it up the ass?" When Lex still didn't look at him, Lionel grabbed hold of his chin and whipped his face up. "Look at you." He sneered, his fingers digging into the already bruised flesh. "Your mother would be appalled."

Lex jerked himself free of his father's grasp. He looked at his father in disbelief, through glazed eyes. He then allowed his gaze to shift to the doorway where the rest of his family were standing, gawking at the scene before them. Mortified and ashamed, Lex quickly pushed past them and headed towards the front door. Barely stopping to grab his coat, the last thing he heard was James's "What? Beets is a fucking fairy, now?" before he hurried out the door and into the cold night air.

Lex slipped his coat on as he made his way down the front steps, down the steps, across the lawn, and onto the paved drive. He didn't know where he was going. All he knew was that he had to clear his head. And he couldn't do that in that house. As he walked down the driveway, he pulled his hat and gloves out of his pockets and put them on. Soon, he was past the gate and well on his way down the road.

As he walked he let his mind drifted back to last night's events. It had been unlike anything he had ever experienced before. The feel of Jason's solid muscles beneath his fingers and Jason's strong hand wrapped around his sex were completely different from anything he had felt. He's not sure how far they would have gone. He didn't know whether they would have kept it limited to hand jobs, or if it would have escalated into more, because the next thing Lex knew Jason was being ripped off of him by his father.

It had taken him a minute to react to the abrupt interruption. But as soon as he did, his pants were back up and he was trying to stop his father's assault on Jason. Lionel was shoving Jason, accusing him of taking advantage of his sixteen-year-old son. Lex had tried to get his father to stop, to get him to calm down. But Lionel wouldn't listen.

"Stay out of it, Lex!" He had demanded. And when Lex didn't, Lionel had lightly pushed him out of the way. However, in his rage, the light push was actually a violent shove that sent Lex flying across the room.

He had stumbled, trying to keep his feet under him, but he failed. And on his way to the floor the side of his face had caught the edge of the coffee table. The sickening sound of flesh hitting solid sharp oak drew the attention of both Lionel and Jason. And in an instant, Jason was by his side, trying to assess the extent of the damage.

Lex was seeing stars and tasting blood, and all he could hear was Jason's demands to let him see. But Lex couldn't. All he could do is lie there and clutch his face as he rocked himself back and forth. It hurt, god it hurt worse than anything he had ever experienced before. He then felt a pair of strong arms pull him close, into someone's lap. The arms just held him for a while, and then one of them slowly pried his hands from his face. If the gasp that followed was any indication, Lex figured it must have looked just as bad as it felt. He didn't bruise easy, but the pallor of his skin made even the smallest of contusions appear quite vivid.

Eventually, Lex risked a glance at his father. Lionel was just standing there with what could only be described as a thoroughly guilty expression plastered across his face. And Lex watched as the guilt turned to understanding, and understanding turned to pure fury. "Get out!" Lionel had demanded.

"No!" Jason shot back.

"This is my house!" Lionel yelled. "And I want you out!"

Lex could see that Jason was about to protest even further, so he squeezed his hand in order to gain his attention. "Just go, Jason." He told him. Jason had looked at him uncertainly for a minute. "Go," Lex repeated. "I'll be alright."

"Ok," Jason replied. He then planted a quick kiss on Lex's bare scalp before getting to his feet and heading out the door.

Once Jason had left, the room was filled with a silence that was only disturbed by the ticking of the grandfather clock in the corner of the room. Lex sat there, on the floor, waiting for his father to start laying it on him. But he never did. And at the continued silence, Lex turned to his father. "Wow, I've rendered the great Lionel Luthor speechless." He said. When his father still didn't say anything, Lex raised an eyebrow at him and asked, "Are you really that surprised you have a gay son, Dad?"

Those words seemed to snap Lionel out of his revere. "Get up, Lex." He demanded.

Not wanting to infuriate his father anymore than he already had, Lex slowly began to make his way to his feet. His progress was hindered, however, by the pounding in his head and the dizziness that mere thought of movement seemed to invoke. This obviously didn't sit well with his father, because the next thing he knew Lionel had grabbed him by the arm and pulled him to his feet as if he were a rag doll.

Lex swayed, only remaining upright by the firm gripped his father had on his arm. He could barely make out what his father was ranting about, as his vision started to fade in and out.

"Of all the stunts you've pulled to get my attention, Lex, this one is by far the worst." He heard Lionel spat.

Lex looked at his father. "Dad," he said. "Not everything has to do with you." And that is the last thing he remembered, before waking up in his bed the next morning with a splitting headache.

Amazingly enough, his father didn't bring up the subject throughout the entire day. In fact it wasn't until after Jason had called him on the way to his grandparent's that the matter came up at all. But as with all storms, once the proceeding calm had ended, it surged in with an unmerciful fury.

Lex shivered and pulled his coat tighter around him as he continued to walk down the dark abandoned road. He didn't know if he'd ever be able to go back to that house. He was just so confused. He was being accused of being something that he wasn't even sure he was. What if it had just been a fluke? What if he had just reacted to Jason because he was an extremely horny sixteen-year-old boy, who had just been kissed by his closest friend?

He just wished he had some guidance, some one to tell him that what he was feeling was normal. He felt as if his life was one of the many fancy sports cars he couldn't wait to own that had suddenly hit a patch of black ice and was now spinning at of control at a hundred miles an hour. And being as he just got his driver's licenses, he had no idea how to prevent himself from crashing. His father was no help, because all he wanted to do was force Lex out of the driver's seat and take the wheel himself. So, Lex was stuck teaching himself. Which only proved to make things harder and take longer to overcome.

But he had to admit that, while it may be difficult, it also made him stronger. It made him self-sufficient, less dependent on others. Was he was bi-sexual? He didn't know. All he knew was that until his father had shown up, he had been having a great time.

With that in mind, Lex dug his cell phone out of his pants pocket and dialed the familiar number. After the forth ring, he had considered hanging up, but stopped when the line was picked up. "Hey, Lex," a male voice said.

"Hey, Jason." He paused for a minute then asked, "I'm not interrupting anything am I?"

"No, no!" Jason assured him. "Well, just dinner, nothing too important. What's up?"

"I just wanted to apologize for the abrupt ending of your previous call. As soon as my father found out who it was all hell broke lose." Lex told him.

"Don't worry about it. I figured something like that happened. You alright?" He asked.

Lex sniffed, the cold air causing his nose to run a little. "Yeah, I'm fine."

"You sure? You sound a little funny." Jason said, concern evident in his voice.

"No, it's just this cold air making my nose run." Lex explained.

"Oh, I see. You running away from home?" He teased. "Because if so, let me know, and I'll join you."

Lex laughed. "As tempting as that sounds, I don't think we'd get very far before they found us." He told him. "No, I was just taking a walk, clearing my head."

"Both figuratively and literally it seems."

"Yeah, I guess so."

"How's your face?" Jason asked.

"Sore." Lex admitted. "And quite colorful."

"I can imagine." Lex heard voices in the background, before Jason spoke again. "Hey, I hate to run, but my mom's starting to nag. You have stop over once you get back from Hell, though. I still have to give you your Christmas gift."

"You didn't have to get my anything, you know." Lex told him, as he stopped to lean against the rail of a bridge the road had opened up to.

Jason snorted. "Yeah, right. Then I'd have to watch you mope around all day. No thank you."

"Gee, thanks. You sentimentality just warms my heart." He said, his voice laced with sarcasm.

"Well, I do try." Jason said through a slight chuckle. "Well, hey, I got to go. So I'll see you soon?"

"Definitely. Bye."

"Ok, see yah."

Lex felt a smile creep over his face as he put his cell phone back in his pocket. He let out a sigh and watched the steam of his breath vanish into the cold night air. He turned around and looked down at the small stream below him. He just stood there for a while watching the cold water rush over the rocks of its bed. That small phone call had helped a lot. He still didn't know if he was gay, or bi, or whatever. But he did know that he didn't have any qualms about taking his friendship with Jason to the next level. And if his father didn't like that well then fuck his father. He never liked anything Lex did anyway. Lex would handle this, just like he handled every other curve that life had to throw at him. And so far, he had managed to come out on top. As the water of the stream flowed around the barriers of the rocks, he'd surpass the barriers in his own life.

Contented, Lex glanced down at his watch. It was already eight o'clock, which meant that he'd be out there for little over two hours. He'd been gone longer than he thought. Everyone else was probably sitting in the living room right now, or in the entertainment room. But, he wasn't ready to go back yet. So he just kept walking, taking in the peacefulness of nature. The ground was covered with a think layer of powdery snow, as where the few scattered trees. The light of the moon reflected off the white ground, and the stars shown brightly in the dark sky. It was quiet, beautiful, tranquil.

The shrill of his cell phone broke through the pleasant calm. Lex pulled it out of his pocket and looked at the caller ID. It was the house. He quickly hit ignore then simply shut the phone off. He didn't want talk to them. He just wanted to be alone.

Lex wasn't sure how much farther he had walked. But when he saw the first glimmer of lights from a nearby farmhouse, he knew it had been far, probably too far. With a sigh, he took one last look around him and started heading back to the house.

It was a little past midnight by the time he finally entered the warmth of the foyer. He shrugged off his snow-dampened coat, hat, scarf, and gloves and hung them in the hall closet. He then slipped his shoes off and began to make his way towards his bedroom. However, he stopped when he saw the light on in the kitchen. He stuck his head into the room and saw his grandmother sitting at the table, nursing a cup of coffee. "Grandma?" He asked. "What are you still doing up?"

Emma Luthor whipped her head around at the sound of Lex's voice. She jumped at of her chair and pulled him into a hug. "God, Alexander, you scared the life out of me." She just held him for a minute before backing up and glaring at him. "Where have you been? I've been worried sick."

"I just went for a walk." He told her.

"You've been gone for more than six hours!" She exclaimed.

"It was a very long walk." He said smugly. Emma just continued to glare at him. "What?" He asked. "I needed to think, alright, and I couldn't do that...not here. Not with him."

His grandma gave him a slightly sympathetic look then grabbed a hold of his hand and pulled him into the kitchen. "Goodness, you're hands are like ice!" She exclaimed. "Didn't you have the sense to put any gloves on?"

"Yes, Grandma," he replied. "But like you said, I was gone for six hours."

Emma shook her head. "Sit." She ordered, before going to start a fresh pot of coffee. "I swear, Alexander, one would think you were six instead of sixteen." After getting the coffee going, she turned back to him. "Are you hungry? Do you want me to heat you up something?" She asked.

"I'm fine." He told her.

"Nonsense. I know you, Lex. You probably haven't eaten all day." With that she started rooting around in the refrigerator.

"You really don't have to do that, Grandma." He said.

"You know, I called that cell phone of yours close to twenty times. And I kept getting that infernal voice mail."

"That's because I shut it off."

Emma stopped scooping peas onto the plate she was making. "Now why would you do that?" She demanded.

Lex shrugged his shoulders. "I didn't want to talk to anyone. I like I said, I needed to think."

"Unbelievable." Emma muttered. Nothing more was said until she had slapped the plate of microwave heated leftovers and a cup of coffee in front of him. "Now, eat." She told him.

Lex chuckled a little. "Yes, ma'am."

"Don't you laugh at me, Alexander. There is nothing even remotely funning about tonight!" Emma scolded. "I have been here sitting fearing the worst for most of the night. I was just about to call the police and report you missing."

Lex looked down at the plate of food in front him. "I'm sorry." He said. "I didn't think you would worry."

"Wouldn't worry? How could I not worry? You simply disappeared." She demanded.

Lex shrugged his shoulders. "Dad never does." He lifted his bruised face and looked at her. "Sometimes I think that it would take weeks before would even notice I was gone."

Emma's expression softened. "What did you need to think about?" She asked, gently.

"A lot of things." He told her. "But mostly last night."

She nodded her head. "Your father told us what happened."

Lex sighed and rolled his eyes. "Great! I can just imagine what he told you." He scoffed.

"Well, you didn't stick around long enough for us to hear your side." She stated.

"How was I supposed to stay?" He asked. "He humiliated me in front of the entire family!" He exclaimed. "And I saw. I saw the looks on their faces. You can't tell me they would have been anymore understanding than my father was."

"Actually, I could, Lex. We had quite the discussion all through-out dinner on the topic of homosexuality." She informed him. "And despite what you might think, not everyone is as closed minded as your father."

"Oh, God. That's just what I need, my family sitting around discussing my sex life." He muttered before dropping his head into his folded arms. Having forgotten his bruise he jerked his head back up at the pain that coursed through his face. "Fuck!" He cursed.

Emma reached across the table and gently turned his head to get a better look at him. "Are you going to tell me how this really happened?" She asked.

He sighed. "Coffee table." He told her. "I fell and smacked it off the corner of the coffee table."

"How'd you fall?"

Lex rolled his eyes. "It was an accident alright. He doesn't beat me."

Emma narrowed her eyes. "I never said he did."

"No, but I could tell that is where you were going with this."

She sighed. "I just worry about you, Lex." She said.

"Well, don't alright. I can take care of myself." He then shoved his chair back and got up. "I'm going to bed." He told her before kissing her cheek and heading towards the door.

"Lex." She called, causing him to stop in the doorway. "Give them a chance. You can't expect them to change over night."

"Thanks for the dinner." He replied, before leaving the room and heading up to his bedroom.

Once in his room, Lex pealed of his clothes and slipped on a pair of flannel pajama pants and a t-shirt. He pulled back the covers on his bed and climbed in. Before shutting off his bedside light, he looked at his broken snow globe and the figure of his mother that it held within it. He slipped his watch off and set it beside the globe, before turning off the light and drifting off to sleep.

The next morning, the family sat through an awkward breakfast. No one brought up the subject of Lex's sexuality or his sudden disappearance last night. And that fact both relieved and upset him. He was relieved, because he really didn't want to discuss it. But the lack of acknowledgement of last night's happenings made him feel as if they didn't care. He had risked a few glances at his father, but the man seemed to refuse to look at or speak to him. Even James was unusually quite.

The tension seemed to ease a little once they had moved into the living room. The exchanging of gifts the main focus of everyone's attention. Lex got his usual gifts. In fact he could probably guess just who exactly was going to give him what, which sort of took the fun out of Christmas. But the one person, whom he never knew what they were going to give him, was his grandmother. And that year, she handed him a small box that contained the keys to a brand new silver-blue Porsche. To put it mildly, Lex had been ecstatic.

For the first time in a long time, Lex was uncertain about what the days after Christmas were going to bring. His father and he hadn't resolved anything. But at least his grandmother had bought him a few hours more time, before that final confrontation, as well as a means to escape if things got too serious. Therefore, it was with a bit of reluctance that Lex Luthor kissed his grandma goodbye, before walking down the front steps of her house, and climbing into his car.


A twenty-two-year-old Lex Luthor bounded up the steps of his Grandfather's country home. He was in an exceedingly good mood. Which was rare considering where he was headed. But then, it probably had more to do with where he had just come from. He had just come from Clark's house, or more accurately Clark's barn, where the two had exchange gifts.

Clark had given him a t-shirt that proudly stated: "God made a few perfect heads, the rest he gave hair," and a baseball cap that said: "This is not a cap, it is a solar panel cover for a sex machine." Lex had considered wearing them both to the party tonight, but had decided against at the last minute. He didn't think that anyone in his soon to be present company would appreciate it.

Lex had given Clark the go-cart that his grandmother had given him for Christmas when he was six. Well, technically it was his cousin James's go-cart, but Lex didn't think James would even notice it was gone. It had just been setting out there in the garage, covered up with a tarp for years. So, Lex had dug it out. Then after some minor modifications, he had given it to Clark.

Ok, so that was a bit of an understatement. The modifications were anything but minor. Lex had his mechanic give it an engine that would allow the little car to go up to fifty miles per hour. Then he had the frame extended, so that Clark's tall form would be able to fit somewhat comfortably. He had also had better seatbelts installed, along with a radio, which was complete with a CD/cassette player.

It was awesome. It was better than awesome. And during the trial run, Lex had fallen in love with it. So much in fact, that he had had issues with giving it up. Guilt, however, soon got the best of him and he had reluctantly given it to his best friend. Though not before having a passenger seat put in. But then the look on Clark's face, especially after Lex had explained where it had come from, had made the sacrifice well worth it.

Lex grinned at the memory as he entered the foyer and was greeted by Margaret.

"Hello, Margaret." Lex greeted, as he handed her his coat. "How are you doing this evening?"

"I'm fine, thank you." Margaret replied. "I must say you're in a pleasant mood."

Lex chuckled. "Don't look so surprised. Contrary to popular belief, I'm not always despondent." He told her, before heading down the hallway towards the kitchen.

He entered the room to find his Grandmother sitting at the table and Marie, his Aunt Mel, and his cousin Lydia working on dinner. After four years of college, Lydia finally decided she wanted to take over her mother's restaurant and had been working along side her mother ever since.

Lex walked up to his grandma and gave her her usual hug and kiss on the cheek. "Hello, Grandma."

Emma looked at her openly good-humored grandson. "Lex." She greeted. She watched as he sat down in the chair beside her. "You seem to be in an awfully good mood." She commented.

Lex frowned. "Is that so unbelievable?" He asked.

A unanimous "yes" was the response he received.

Lex snorted. "Well, you'll have to forgive me for failing to conforming to yet another Christmas tradition." He said.

Emma reached over and patted his hand. "That's alright, Lex. I happen to think that it was one tradition that needed to be broken." She said as she smiled at him.

"And besides." His Aunt Mel told him, as she placed the platter of turkey on the table. "We've come to expect it from you."

Lex raised an eyebrow at her. "Really?"

"Yes, really." She replied before going back to the counter.

"Well, I'd hate for things to get boring." He replied, receiving various responses from the women in the room.

"So, Lex, how's Clark?" Lydia asked, while trying to suppress what seemed a knowing smile.

Lex gave her a guarded looked before responding. "He's fine."

"That's good." She replied. "What's he doing for the holidays?"

"He's spending them with his family." He told her.

"Really?" She asked. "Even New Year's?"

"As far as I know." He said, as he regarded her for a moment. "Why the sudden interest in Clark?"

"Oh, just wondering." She told him, while still smiling.

Lex looked at her quizzically. He paused for a minute then asked, "Why do I get the feeling that I'm being teased?"

"I have no I idea." Lydia replied.

"Lydia, I'm well aware of what you're implying." Lex told her. "But you're mistaken. Do you understand?"

"Sure, Lex." Lydia said cheerfully.

Emma listened bemusedly to the conversation between her two grandchildren. She still couldn't believe how much they had all grown up. It was both pleasing and depressing at the same time. Shaking herself out of her reverie, she turned to Lex. "Your grandfather wants to speak with you." She told him. "So you'd better head back out to the living room."

Lex smirked. "Ah, yes." He said. "I imagined that he would have a few things to say to me."

"Yes, he does." Emma said. "And if I were you, I'd wouldn't keep him waiting much longer. He's already in a mood as it is."

He couldn't help but laugh. "Alright, I'll go talk to him." He said, stealing a piece of turkey off the platter that was setting on the table, which earned him a scolding from both his Aunt Mel and Lydia, before getting up and heading for the door.

Lex entered the living room and took an inventory of everyone present. Over the past couple of years their had been a couple additions to the family. Both James and William had gotten married. William and Francis, William's wife of a couple months, had met when Francis had torn her ACL while skiing. William had been her surgeon, and to thank him for his help, Francis, who was played the violin in the Metropolis Orchestra, she had given him tickets to one of her concerts. The two had met up after the show, and have been together ever since. It was quite the clichd story, in Lex's opinion.

Jackie, James's wife of almost three years, had met her husband when she was hired to redecorate his office. Their romance, unlike William and Francis's, hadn't been quiet the fairy tale, but it was just as strong. And the couple was now expecting their first child. In fact, if Jackie's size was any indication, it looked as if James Luthor III could be arriving at any minute.

Unfortunately, seeing his cousins with their spouses forced up the suppressed memories of Lex's own short marriage. He just couldn't imagine Desiree sitting beside him and his father, as they discussed the family business with his grandfather. She just didn't fit. And in many ways Lex was glad that it had ended almost as soon as it started.

Lex made his way across the room and sat down beside his now blind father and across from his grandfather. "Dad. Grandfather." He said as a greeting.

"Lex." His father said. "So glad you could finally make it."

Lex raised an eyebrow at him, even though he couldn't see it. "I wasn't aware of the fact that I was late." He replied.

"Mm. Your grandfather and I were just talking about your latest form of rebellion." Lionel told him.

Lex smirked at him. "Really?" He asked. "I'm flattered that LexCorp was even warranted a mention, let alone discussed."

Laurence snorted. "Just what is this nonsense, Lex?" He asked.

Lex looked at his grandfather. "This isn't nonsense, Grandfather. I fully intend to expand and build upon this company until it has reached what I deem its full potential."

"And what exactly do you consider its full potential, Lex?" Lionel asked.

Lex shrugged his shoulders. "The sky's the limit."

"Don't be ridiculous, Alexander." Laurence told him. "This LexCorp merely consists of a fertilizer plant. Where can you possibly take it?"

Lex raised an eyebrow at him. "If I recall correctly, Grandfather, LuthorCorp began as simply a fertilizer plant."

Laurence laughed. "You think you can take your company as far as I took LuthorCorp?"

"No." Lex replied. "I believe I can take it farther." He suppressed a grin, and merely raised an eyebrow at the glares he received from both his father and his grandfather. "What?" He asked. "You don't think I'm capable?"

"It's not a question of your capabilities as a businessman, Lex." Laurence said. "You've been preparing for the job since you were born. However, we didn't spend all those years grooming you for the family business so you could go out and start you own company."

"Oh." Lex replied. "So that's what this is about. You're afraid that there won't be anyone to leave LuthorCorp to. Well, let me put your concerns at ease." He told them. "I fully intend to fulfill my role in the family as the heir to LuthorCorp. I will take over the company after my father retires. Of course, that's if I haven't already acquired it by other means." He said, unable to keep the smirk off his face.

At that moment Margaret entered the room and announced that dinner was ready.

"We'll continue this conversation later, Alexander." Laurence told him as he got up to head to the dining room.

"Of course, Grandfather." Lex replied, before turning to help his dad.

Once everyone was seated at the table and served, Laurence turned to Lex. "So tell us, Alexander, how do you propose to move your company forward in a fertilizer world dominated by LuthorCorp?" He asked.

Lex smirked at his grandfather. "I don't plan to limit myself to fertilizer." He told him.

"Oh really." Laurence said. "What other areas are you considering delving into?"

"Now, Grandfather, you honestly don't expect me to sit here and divulge all of my plans to possible competition, do you?" He asked. "You've taught me better than that."

Laurence merely huffed in response, before the conversation was turned to other matters.

After dinner the entire family returned to the sitting room. That was another thing that had changed over the years. Around the time they were eighteen, Lex and his cousins were deemed to old to be sent to the upstairs entertainment room. And were therefore expected to join the rest of the family in the living room. It was at that time that Lex discovered that business was no the sole topic of discussion. It seemed that the after dinner nightcap was reserved for the discussion of everyone's personal lives. For Lex, it was a part of the evening that he'd prefer to skip.

The family entered the room and took their regular seats. When Jackie had joined the family she had rearranged the room. The new layout made it possible for the family to break off into their separate groups for the pre-dinner conversations. Yet, it also allowed them to speak together as a whole during the nightcap. The arrangement of the room gave off a sense of fondness, a sense of unity, something that tended to make Lex feel slightly trapped or even claustrophobic. Lex sat down on the couch beside his father, before promptly pouring himself a glass of brandy.

"Starting on the alcohol already, Lex?" Emma asked.

Lex just smirked at her, before turning to Jackie. "So, Jackie," he asked. "When can we be expecting James III?"

Jackie rolled her eyes. "Two weeks." She told him. "Though, I'll be damned if my son is going to be another James."

"Sweetheart," James said. "We've discussed this. I want the child to be named James. It is tradition."

"Exactly," Lex's Uncle James chimed in.

"Yes, well some traditions were meant to be broken." Jackie replied. "I'm not going to have a father-in-law, a husband, and a son named James."

"Here, here." Lex said as he held up his glass in a salute.

"Oh, be quiet, Alexander." Emma scolded.

"Yes, Alexander." Laurence said. "At least your cousin has found a suitable wife, and has taken the first steps in continuing the growth of this family. Which is more than you have done."

"Yeah, Beets." James said. "Tell us again how long you were married before you wife tried to kill you."

"Boys, that's enough!" Emma exclaimed.

"It's alright, Lex. Don't worry about Desiree." Lydia told him. "After all, we all know she wasn't the one you were meant to be with."

Lex sighed and rubbed his forehead. "Lydia, how many times do I have to tell you that you're mistaken, before you'll believe me?" He asked, his frustration and annoyance evident in his voice.

Lydia just smiled at him. "You can't convince me otherwise, Lex. So you might as well stop trying."

"Would one of you please inform the rest of us about what it is you're talking about?" Emma asked.

"It's nothing, Grandma." Lex assured her.

"Nothing?" She demanded. "You've been discussing this nothing since you arrived, Alexander. Now quit keeping the rest of us in the dark and tell us who this mystery person is."

"He's just a friend, Grandma." Lex told her. "Nothing else."

Laurence snorted. "I'd thought you'd put an end to these same-sex relations, Lex."

Lex pinched the bridge of his nose as he felt the beginnings of a headache. "No, Grandfather." Lex informed him. "I'd..."

He never got to finish the statement however because his father interrupted. "It's Clark Kent isn't it?" Lionel asked. "Won't Jonathan be thrilled." He snorted.

"Alright!" Lex said rather loudly. "I'm only going to say this once, so everyone listen. Grandfather, I'm bisexual. I have been for six years now. So, I suggest you deal with it. Lydia, despite whatever fantasies you have, Clark Kent is my friend, no more no less. Do you understand that?" He asked. "Good! Father, there is no aspect of Clark's and my friendship that Jonathan Kent isn't aware of. And before you even say anything, he isn't the reason I chose to stay in Smallville. Now, since we've thoroughly discussed my personal life I suggest we move on to someone else's."

"Lex..."

"William!" Lex said, efficiently cutting off Lydia. "Tell me, how was the honeymoon?"

After shifting the focus of the conversation off of himself, Lex was grateful that he was able to successfully keep it that way. He sat there, nursing his brandy, while listening to Francis and William babbling on about the private cruse they took and the two weeks they spent touring Europe, and Jackie complaining about the woes of pregnancy. It wasn't until around ten o'clock that family began to disperse.

As his grandmother and grandfather retired for the evening, Lex attention was drawn back to his cousin James.

"Well, cousins, I believe it is time we all headed upstairs." James said.

Lex groaned. "Aren't we a little old to be playing board games, James?" He asked.

James just laughed. "That excuse didn't work last year, Lex. Nor is it going to work this year. Now lets go." He said as he stood up, and offered out a hand to his pregnant wife.

Lex watched as James, Jackie, William, Francis, and Lydia filed out of the room and headed for the staircase.

"Let's go, Beets." James called from the hallway.

With a sigh, Lex threw back the rest of his brandy before excusing himself and heading up the stairs.

An hour later, Lex found himself in total shock. He couldn't believe it. He had won. In twenty-two years, he had never won. Yet, there James was, sitting in front of him declaring bankruptcy. He knew he had been ahead, and that James was in serious trouble. But, in Monopoly, the tables could easily turn back to the other person's favor. But they hadn't, and Lex had won. He'd won.

He looked down at James's ship sitting there on his Boardwalk and blinked. He grinned as it started to sink in. He'd won. It took all of his will power not to get up and do a little dance. But he was able to refrain himself, and settle for simply smirking across the board at James.

"Just...shut up, Beets." James said.

"I don't believe I said a word, James." Lex replied smugly.

"Yes, but I know you want to." James said, to which Lex just continued to smirk.

"Are you two finally finished?" Jackie asked from where she was reading on the couch.

"Yes, Sweetheart. We're finished." James replied. "You ready to go to bed?" He asked.

"Yes, James. I was ready half an hour ago." She said.

James looked at Lex. "The master has spoken." He said as he stood up. He walked over to the couch and helped Jackie up. "Goodnight, Lex." He called over his should as he and Jackie walked out the door.

Lex sighed as he looked around the empty room. William and Francis had run off as soon as William was out of the game. It was pretty obvious what the two newlyweds had planned. They were practically stripping each other before they had left the room. Lydia had also left a good ten minutes before the game was up. And now that James and Jackie were gone, Lex was alone. He made quick work of cleaning up the game and putting it away. It was kind of depressing that no one had been there to bask in his glory with him. He ran his hand once over the old worn box, and then left the room.

Lex slowly made his way back to his room. He shut the door behind him, before heading over to his bookshelves. He let his eyes scan over the various volumes. There were all there. He had never gotten rid of any of them, just added more shelves as they were filled. He closed his eyes and traced his fingers over the many books, until randomly selecting one, To Kill a Mockingbird. Lex smiled. For some reason, it seemed oddly appropriate.

He tossed the book on his bed, before quickly changing into a pair of flannel pajama pants and the t-shirt Clark had given him earlier today. He then settle into his bed, and began to read.

Lex woke with a start. He lay there for a minute, trying to gather his bearings. His eyes took in his broken snow globe sitting on his nightstand, causing him to sigh in relief. He didn't sleep well anymore. He had suffered through too much over the past year. What between Amanda's brother, Desiree, Rachael Dunleavy, his father, and a ton of others, Lex didn't feel safe.

With a groan, he lifted his head off the open page of his book then set it on his nightstand. It was two o'clock. Lex sighed as he threw the covers back and got out of bed. He wasn't going to be able to go back to sleep for a while. So, he left his room and headed downstairs to the kitchen.

Lex entered the large room and flicked on the lights. As always, he made his way over to the refrigerator even though he wasn't the slightest bit hungry. He scanned the contents of the frig before just deciding on some orange juice. It was tempting to go to the living room for more brandy or maybe even scotch, but he figured he'd had enough alcohol for the night. So he grabbed the pitcher of juice and then made his way over to the cupboard to get a glass.

"You might as well get me down a glass as well, Lex." Emma Luthor said as she sat down at the kitchen table.

Lex smiled as he pull two glasses out of the cupboard. He walked over to the table, sat down, and poured them each a glass of juice. They sat in comfortable silence for a while, simply being in each other's company.

"Your cousins seem happy." Emma finally commented.

Lex nodded before taking a slip from his glass. "Yes, they do."

"Even Lydia seems to have finally found her place in the world." Emma told him. She let out a little laugh. "It's about time." She said. "That girl was starting to worry me."

"Mm."

The two went back to sitting in silence again. But after a few minutes, Emma asked, "What about you, Lex? Are you happy?"

Lex smiled at her. "I'm more content than I have been in a long time." He honestly told her.

"But?" She prodded.

"But there's still something lacking." He said. "I have my own small, though be it, successful business, a close friend, and in some ways my father's respect. But there is still this void. And I'm not quite sure with what I need to fill it."

"That can only be for you to decide, Lex. No one else can tell you how to fill that void." Emma told him.

After a few minutes of silence, Lex asked, "If I were to choose a man as my life partner, do you think they could except that?"

"I believe we've discussed this when you were sixteen, Lex." She said. "Not everyone in this family is as closed-minded as you think."

"So you've told me." He replied. "But we both know that what people say and how they actually respond are two different things. Everyone in this family knows I'm bisexual. But they've never seen me with a man. And quite frankly I don't think some of them will be able to handle it."

"This is about Clark Kent isn't it?" Emma asked.

Lex sighed as he ran a hand over his smooth head. "Clark's my best friend, Grandma. He is one of the few people I'm comfortable enough around to be myself. He doesn't judge me by my name, but by my actions. And I won't do anything to jeopardize that." He told her. "But, sometimes I look at him and it's all I can do not to just grab a hold of him and kiss him senseless."

"Isn't Clark only sixteen?" Emma asked.

Lex frowned at her over the rim of his glass. "Yes, he is. And as far as I know he's straight." He said before pausing for a minute. "He's young. It's possible that he hasn't explored all the aspects of his sexuality. And in a few years, our age difference won't be considered deplorable."

Emma furrowed her brow. "You're placing a considerable amount on hold for this boy."

"I realize that, Grandma. But I have this feeling that this void is just part of the space reserved for Clark that he hasn't grown into yet."

"What if you're wrong? What if Clark never returns these feelings?" She asked.

Lex just shrugged his shoulders. "Then I'll have to fill the void with something else." He then got up and kissed his grandmother's cheek. "Goodnight, Grandma." He said before leaving the room and heading up the stairs.

Lex reentered his bedroom and crawled back into bed. His grandmother was right. He was putting a lot on hold for Clark. But something told him it was the right thing to do. He just hoped this feeling wasn't wrong, because he feared what would fill that void if it wasn't Clark. Still slightly restless, Lex lay down and looked at his snow globe. He had put so much faith in what had been represented by those figures. And they had broken. But he knew that Clark was stronger than a family made of porcelain.

The next morning, breakfast went by rather quickly. And soon everyone had moved to the sitting room to exchange gifts. However, the calm merriment of the morning was interrupted when Jackie started feelings labor pains. Lex had never seen his cousin James that nervous nor his Uncle James that excited before. His Aunt Mel had simply burst into tears.

His Aunt Meg and Lydia where trying to keep Jackie calm, while his Uncle Robert had went to bring a car around. William and Francis had used the distraction to start making out on the couch. And if someone didn't stop them soon, there could be a Larkson baby on the way as well. Lionel and Laurence had moved to stand besides his uncle and cousin, giving what support the two cold men could. And Emma was yelling at everyone that it was probably only false labor. That left Lex, who was standing there in the corner of the room he had moved to, not knowing what to do. So he just watched.

It was over almost as soon as it had started. Jackie, James II, James I, Melinda, and Lydia were soon all piled into the car and on their way to Metropolis General. And the rest of the family was left to go back to the traditions of the holiday. Though, after all the excitement, the act of exchanging gifts seemed anticlimactic. Therefore, everyone merely rushed through the process.

Lex barely paid any attention to the gifts he received. Most of them consisted of either books or various pieces of art to put around the mansion and his office. But as always, the one gift he focused on was from his grandmother. She gave him a small finely finished wooden music box. It didn't have any markings on the outside. It was just a plain oak box that when opened play the song "A Beautiful Friendship," by Nat King Cole. There was a letter inside the box, however. It was just a short note from his grandmother that explained how his grandfather had given her the box. And how she felt he should pass it down to whomever he chose to spend the rest of his life with.

Lex knew who he wanted to give the box to. But only time would tell if that person would want to claim it. Until then he would keep it safe. Therefore, it was with hope for things to come that Lex Luthor kissed his grandma goodbye, before walking down the front steps of her house, and climbing into his car.


An extremely nervous twenty-five-year old Lex Luthor led a slightly amused Clark Kent up the front steps of his Grandfather's country home. Clark and he had been together for almost a year now. And this was their first Christmas as a couple. When they had started to make their holiday plans, Lex never thought that Clark would want to come with him to his Grandfather's. He figured he'd go alone and then meet up with Clark at his parents later on Christmas Day. But Clark had wanted to come. In fact, much to Lex's dismay, he had insisted.

It wasn't that Lex didn't want Clark to go with him. He just didn't think Clark would have a very pleasant evening. After all, pleasant and Luthors didn't mix very well. And he had tried to explain that to Clark. But Clark had pretty much just told him to shut up because he was going whether Lex liked it or not.

So around noon, they had piled into one of Lex's cars and headed for his Grandfather's. Lex had spent most of the four hour drive alternating between telling Clark about the family he had practically neglected to mention for the past four years and trying to convince him to change his mind about going. Of course, Clark had listened intently as Lex told him who was who among the Luthors and ignored his attempts to change his mind. Lex found it extremely frustrating that he could convince the business leaders of the world to submit to his demands. But he couldn't get his significant other to see that spending Christmas with the Luthors was a bad idea.

Lex stopped halfway up the stairs and turned towards Clark. "Are you sure you want to do this?" He asked. "Because if you don't you can take the car to Smallville and I'll get my grandmother's driver to bring me over tomorrow afternoon."

Clark rolled his eyes at him. "Lex, are you going in that door?" He asked while gesturing at the entranceway behind Lex.

"Yes." Lex replied.

"Then so am I."

"What is your problem, Clark?" Lex demanded. "Didn't you get the flyer on Luthors and how they're evil and should be avoided at all costs?"

"Yes, I did. But I threw it out with all the rest of the junk mail." Clark snapped before softening his tone. "Look, Lex," he said as he reached out and grasped Lex's hands. "Nothing bad is going to happen. You're family is going to love me."

Lex raised an eyebrow at that. "Really?" He asked.

Clark grinned at him and shrugged his shoulders. "Of course." He replied. "I figure if I can charm one Luthor I can charm them all."

Lex chuckled at that. "Well you have to remember, Clark, that in my family I'm the old one out." He told him. "They tend to disagree with most of my views."

Clark took a step closer, moving into Lex's personal space. He released one of Lex's hands and caressed his cheek. "Do you love me?" He asked softly.

Lex closed his eyes and leaned into the touch. "You know I do." He whispered.

"Then why does it matter what they think?" He asked as he moved forward to kiss him.

Lex placed his hand on Clark's chest to stop him. "They're my family, Clark."

Clark gently squeezed Lex's hand. "Which is why I want to meet them."

Lex sighed then leaned his forehead against Clark's chest. "Alright." He whispered. He stood there for a minute in Clark's embrace before lifting his head and smoothing out his shirt. "Let's do this."

Clark smiled at him. "Lead on." He said.

Lex retook Clark's hand and led him into the foyer where Margaret met them. "Hello, Margaret." He greeted as he slipped off his coat, gloves, scarf, and hat.

"Hello, Lex." Margaret replied. "How are you doing this evening?" She asked as she took his things.

"I'm fine, thank you." Lex answered. "Clark," he said as he looked at the younger man. "I'd like you to meet Margaret Belle, my grandmother's housekeeper. Margaret, this is Clark Kent."

"Nice to meet you." Clark said as he extended his hand.

"Nice to meet you as well, Clark." Margaret replied as she shook his hand. "May I take you coat?"

Clark blushed as he shrugged out of his jacket. "Sorry." He said.

Margaret just smiled at him. "No need to apologize."

Lex grinned at his lover. "Come on, Clark." He said as he grabbed a hold of Clark's hand and pulled him down the hallway towards the kitchen. Lex entered the large room, with Clark in tow, and found his grandmother, his Aunt Mel, Lydia, and Marie. He made his way over to his grandmother, releasing Clark's hand so he could give her her hug and kiss. "Hello, Grandma."

"Hello, Lex." She replied.

"Everyone." Lex called into the room. "I would like you all to meet Clark Kent." He said as he gently pulled Clark to stand beside him. "Clark this is my Grandmother, Emma Luthor; my Aunt Melinda; her daughter, Lydia; and my grandmother's cook, Marie."

"Nice to meet you all." Clark said.

"Likewise, Clark." Emma replied. "It's good to finally meet you."

"Yeah, Clark." Lydia chimed in. "Lex mentions you all the time. But he never really says anything. So it's nice to finally meet the man behind the mystery.

Lex rolled his eyes at his cousin, before gesturing for Clark to sit down. The two sat side by side across from Emma. "So, how've you been, Grandma?" Lex asked.

"Oh, I can't complain too much." Emma replied. "My knee's been acting up more and more. William had a look at it earlier this evening. He wants me to start wearing a brace."

"You should listen to him." Lex told her.

"I'm eighty years old, Lex. I'm just glad I can still walk." She said. "I'd don't expect to be pain free."

"Still," Lex replied. "If it'll ease the pain you should do it."

"I'll think about it." She said. "Now, what about yourself?" She asked. "How've you been?"

Lex glanced over at Clark and smiled. "I've been great."

Emma looked at Clark. "I get the feeling that you have a lot to do with that." She said.

Clark just blushed and ducked his head.

Lex smirked at his grandmother. "You say that like it's a bad thing."

"No, quite the contrary. I'm actually quite please." She replied.

Lex's smirk turned into a smile. "Thank you."

The three of them sat in campanile silence for a few minutes as Melinda, Lydia, and Marie bustled around the kitchen. "Well," Emma said eventually, "I suppose we should head on over to the living room."

Lex nodded his head then stood up. He grabbed a piece of turkey off the platter setting in the middle of the kitchen table. He split the piece in half and gave a piece of it to Clark.

"Don't go spreading you bad manners, Alexander." His Aunt Melinda scolded.

Lex just grinned at her before leading Clark out of the kitchen and down to the sitting room. As they entered the room, no one paid heed to them, which was typical. Therefore, Lex cleared his throat to gather everyone's attention. Once the room was quiet, Lex introduced them. "Everyone, I'd like you to meet Clark Kent. Clark, this is my grandfather, Laurence; my Uncle James; his son, James II; his wife, Jackie; their son, James III; my Aunt Megan; her husband, Robert Larkson; their son, William; his wife, Francis; and the newest addition to the family, their son, Walter. And of course you know my father." Everyone said a few hellos, and then Lex and Clark sat beside Lionel on the couch.

"Lex," Laurence said. "So glad you could make it."

"You always say that as if I'm late, Grandfather." Lex replied. "Which I'm not."

"No, but you are always the last to arrive." Lionel pointed out.

Lex merely shrugged his shoulders in response. "That may be true," He replied. "But I assure you it's unintentional."

"I find that hard to believe." Lionel commented.

"You're father and I were just discussing his inability to yet put an end to your little rebellion." Laurence told him.

Lex fought the urge to roll his eyes. "Grandfather, LexCorp is neither a form of rebellion nor little." Lex informed him. "We now have several branches through out the country. And as I'm sure you noticed, we even made the 'Fortune 500' list this year."

Laurence scoffed. "Yes, I noticed. I also noticed your position on the list." He said. "Three hundred twenty three isn't anything to brag about, Alexander."

"Especially with LuthorCorp ranked ninth." Lionel added.

Lex sighed. "It might not be the best ranking." He told them. "But it's a start."

"I was actually impressed." Clark said. "Considering that LexCorp was just a fertilizer plant in Smallville, I think Lex has done an excellent job over the past three years." He didn't like how Lionel and Laurence were speaking to his lover, so he decided to stick up for him.

"I suppose you would, Mr. Kent." Laurence replied rather coldly.

"I suggest that you stay out of matters that don't concern you, Clark." Lionel told him.

"If it concerns Lex then it concerns me." Clark shot back. "I'm..."

"It's alright, Clark." Lex said as he placed his hand on Clark's thigh. He smiled reassuringly at his lover. "Trust me."

Clark gave him a resigned look, and sunk back into the couch.

Lex turned back to his father and grandfather. "I would appreciate it if you wouldn't speak to Clark like that." He told them.

Laurence merely grunted in response.

"I mean it, Grandfather. He is very important to me."

"You'll have to forgive me, Alexander, if I don't particularly care about your little friend." He grandfather replied.

Lex glared at his grandfather. "Clark is more than just a friend, Grandfather. He is my significant other and you will treat him with the respect that he deserves as such."

Laurence looked slightly appalled "You brought one of your male lovers into my house?" He asked. "What you do behind closed doors is your business, Alexander. But his is unacceptable."

"Father," Lionel interjected. "Unless you want Lex to totally alienate himself from this family I suggest you learn to accept Clark. The two of them cannot be separated. Believe me I've tried."

At that moment Margaret entered the room and announced that dinner was ready.

Lex hung back a little as everyone filed into the dining room. Once they were out of hearing distance he turned to Clark. "I'm sorry, Clark, for the way my grandfather's treating you." He said.

Clark just smiled at him. "It's ok, Lex." His smile was quickly replaced with a frown. "It kind of gives me an idea of what you have to put up with with my father." He told him. "You're dad was the one that surprised me though. What was all that about?"

"I'm not sure." Lex replied. "I'm going to chalk it up to your mother's influence."

Clark gave him a quizzical look. "Lex, my mom stopped working for your dad when he permanently moved back to Metropolis, which was more than a year ago. Don't you think any influence my mom had would have worn off by now?"

Lex shrugged his shoulders. "Can you think of any other reason?" He asked.

"No."

"My point exactly." Lex said as they entered the dining room.

Soon everyone was seated at the table and served. Clark was a little awed at the whole thing. He didn't have any extended family except for this estranged grandfather. So he found it slightly amazing that the fourteen people sitting at that large table were all related to Lex. Yet, Lex never talked about them. And Clark didn't understand why.

As usual, diner passed quickly with the normal discussion of business. And afterwards James III was sent upstairs to entertain himself while everyone else moved back into the living room for a nightcap.

As soon as everyone was seated Emma said, "So, Clark, Lex failed to mention what you do."

"Oh, I'm studying journalism at Metropolis University." He replied.

At that everyone turned to stare at him. "A reporter, Beets?" His cousin James asked.

Lex smirked at him. "Come on, James." He replied. "That 's just what this family needs. After all, we already have businessmen, lawyers, doctors, and a judge. Having someone within the media circuit is perfect."

Emma scoffed at her grandson. "That better not be the reason you're with him, Alexander." She scolded.

Clark laughed. "It's not, Mrs. Luthor." He assured her. "It's kind of an inside joke."

She still cast a wary look at Lex, even though Clark's assurance seemed to placate her.

"So do you live in the dorms then?" Melinda asked.

Clark couldn't stop the blush that crept up his cheeks. "Well, I have a dorm room, but I pretty much live with Lex." He admitted.

Laurence snorted at that.

"Yes. Wasn't it awfully convenient that Lex moved back to the city a few weeks before you left for school?" Lionel asked.

Lex sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose. "I moved back to the city because it was becoming too difficult to run LexCorp from Smallville."

"You needed to move back months before you did." Lionel countered.

"I won't tolerate any fighting." Emma warned, successfully ending the bickering between her son and grandson.

A sharp cry from three-month old Walter cut off any response form either Lionel or Lex. "Sorry." Francis apologized as she rocked her young son.

Lex smiled at her. "No need to apologize."

"Speaking of children," James said. "Jackie and I are expecting another child."

The chorus of congratulations was followed by Laurence saying, "I suppose we should stop hoping for grandchildren from you, Alexander."

Clark resisted the urge to just sock Laurence in the face. He treated Lex almost worse than Lionel did. Though thinking better of resorting to physical violence, he said, "I wouldn't rule him out just yet, Mr. Luthor."

Laurence raised an eyebrow at Clark. "I find it very difficult to believe that two men can make a child."

"I would have to agree." Clark told him. "But there are other options, such as surrogate mothers and adoption."

"Adoption," Laurence scoffed. "Why would anyone want to raise another person's child?"

"Clark was adopted." Lex informed his grandfather and was rather pleased to watch the older man shift uncomfortably in his seat. "Besides," he continued. "I don't believe Clark or I are ready to discuss children."

The conversation was then shifted off of Clark and Lex. And around ten o'clock, Emma and Laurence retired for the evening.

James then stood up. "Well, I believe we all know what comes next." He said.

William rolled his eyes. "How could we forget?" He replied as he stood up.

"What's going on?" Clark asked.

"They play Monopoly every year." Francis told him.

Clark raised an amused eyebrow at Lex. "Monopoly?" He asked.

"It's not something I do by choice, Clark." Lex informed him.

"Don't let him lie to you, Clark." Lydia said. "He enjoys it just as much as James does."

Clark laughed as he watched Lex's cousins leave the room. "Aren't we going with them?" He asked.

"Let's go, Beets!" They heard James call from the hallway.

Lex knocked back the rest of the brandy he'd been drinking then got up. He excused them then he and Clark exited the living room, and headed up the stairs.

"Why does he call you Beets?" Clark asked.

Lex suppressed a groan. "It's a long story, Clark. Ask me later." He told him as they entered the upstairs entertainment room just as Jackie was leaving with a sleeping James III in her arms

Clark was a little surprised to see the board setup on the floor. But he quickly shrugged it off and sat down.

James gave him a funny look. "You're playing?" He asked.

"Well, I thought...I mean..."

Lex laughed. "Relax, Clark. You're allowed to play. James is just a little surprised because for the past, what, twenty years, it's only been us four." He explained.

"Jackie and Francis don't play?" Clark asked.

William shrugged. "They don't want to."

"Oh, well. I don't want to intrude." Clark told them.

"Really, Clark, it isn't a problem." Lex assured him.

"Yeah," Lydia chimed in." Maybe if you play someone besides Jams will win for a change."

"Hey, I won once." Lex informed her as he sat down, slide off his shoes, and handed them to her.

"Once, Lex." Lydia said as she shoved his shoes under the couch. "Once in twenty years."

Clark watched the exchanged between his lover and his cousin with a curious expression on his face.

"Lex isn't allowed to be near his shoes." William told him.

"Why?" Clark asked.

"Because when he was six he threw one at me when he couldn't accept the fact that he had lost." James said.

Clark laughed and turned to Lex. "Really?" He asked.

"I was six, Clark." Lex said in his own defense. When Clark continued to laugh, Lex glared at him. "Can we just start?" He asked.

An hour later Lex and James were still hunched over the game board. Despite Clark's presence, it had still come down to those two. Lex knew he was about to lose, and he was preparing himself. He rolled the dice, moved his piece then picked up his chance card, which sent him to James's Marvin Gardens.

"That's it." He said, defeated. "I'm bankrupt."

James grinned at him. "Wow, Lex, what a graceful loss. I commend you."

Lex didn't bother to respond to him, but simply retrieved his shoes then stood up. He looked down at Clark who had fallen asleep on the couch then leaned down and kissed him awake.

"Mm." Clark moaned as he cracked open an eye. "You guys done?" He asked.

"Yeah." Lex replied. "Come on, we're going to go back to my room."

Clark stretched then got up off the couch. Lex took his hand and led him out of the room. "Goodnight, everyone." He called over his shoulder.

"Yeah, night." Clark called as well.

Lex led Clark down the hall and into his bedroom. He shut the door behind him and watched as Clark wondered around the room.

Clark walked slowly around the room. He let his eyes roam over Lex's many bookshelves. He chuckled and turned back to Lex who was still standing by the door. "Dr. Seuss, Lex?" He teased.

Lex pushed himself off the door and walked over to his lover. "I kept everything." He told him. "I just couldn't bring myself to throw anything out."

Clark laughed and gestured around the room. "All there are is books." He said.

Lex shrugged his shoulders. "I like to read." He replied.

Clark noticed a frame hanging beside the door. He walked over and read the incased note. "A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and sings it back to you when you forget the words." He read aloud. "Lex, I'll always remember your song. Love Jason." Clark looked at Lex. "Who's Jason?"

"He was one of my best friends." Lex told him. "He was also the first man I was ever with romantically." He paused for a minute. "I might have even loved him."

"What happened?" Clark asked.

"My father put an ocean between us." Lex replied. At Clark's puzzled look, he clarified. "My father couldn't except the fact that I was dating another man. So, when he couldn't stop me from seeing Jason, he sent me to boarding school in Europe. And when I came back, Jason was gone."

"I'm sorry."

"Don't be." Lex told him. He walked up to Clark and kissed him deeply. "Things seemed to have worked out alright."

Clark grinned at him. "Just alright?" He asked.

"Perfectly," Lex whispered. He grasped Clark's hands and pulled him over to his bed.

Clark gently eased Lex down onto the bed, blanketing the smaller man with his body. He buried his head in the crook of Lex's neck, kissing his nape. He made his way up from Lex's neck to his jaw and along his jaw to his lips, biting and kissing as he went. He ran his tongue over Lex's slightly swollen lips, asking for admittance.

Lex readily permitted Clark's tongue to enter his mouth, deepening their kiss. He allowed his lover's tongue to slide over his own as he began to pull Clark's sweater up and over his head.

They broke their kiss just long enough for Lex to remove Clark's shirt. And once the offensive garment was out of the way, Clark began to slowly undo the buttons of Lex's lavender shirt, while continuing to explore his mouth.

As the last button was undone, Clark sat back and pushed the shirt off of Lex's shoulders. He ran his hands over his lover's smooth skin, reveling in the feel. "You're beautiful." He whispered, looking into Lex's icy blue eyes, before lowering his head to rake his tongue along the smooth flesh.

Lex threaded his hands through Clark's silky raven hair as he felt him exploring his chest with his tongue and teeth. He gasped and bucked his hips as Clark nipped at his sensitive nipples.

One of Clark's strong hands immediately moved to his hip, holding him down, preventing the friction his bound cock desperately craved. Lex whimpered in need. With his free hand Clark undid Lex's slacks, freeing Lex's blood gorged cock. He then pulled the slacks and boxers down over his lover's legs then tossed them on the floor. He sat back and drank in the beautiful site before him.

Frustrated with arousal, Lex demanded, "Touch me, Clark."

Clark leaned forward and silenced Lex with a deep passionate kiss, devouring the smaller man's mouth. He made his way down Lex's body. Down his throat, over his erect nipples, and across his chest, until he buried his face in Lex's crotch, taking in his scent. His tongue snaked out and he trailed it up the dark vein from the base of Lex's cock to its head, eliciting a slight whimper from his lover.

"Fuck me, Clark." Lex moaned. "I want to feel you inside me."

Clark quickly shed his own pants, his swollen cock held tightly against his stomach. He retrieved a pack of lubrication from his pocket and squeezed a little onto his fingers. He leaned forward and captured Lex in a kiss as he slid one finger inside.

Lex gasped around Clark's mouth as one of his thick fingers entered his body, stretching him. His face was flushed with desire and his breathing was shallow as pleasure raked through his body. He bit his lip as he felt a second finger enter his body and pushed against the headboard, trying to further impale himself.

But Clark free hand was soon back on his hips, holding him down. "God, Clark, I need you in me." Lex moaned. "Please."

Clark slide a third finger inside of his lover then gently stroked his prostate, causing the smaller man to try and buck his hips.

"Please, Clark, so close." Lex moaned.

Clark withdrew his fingers and quickly slicked up his cock and positioned it over the Lex's hole. He then slowly started to slide in. He closed his eyes and moaned at the tightness surrounding him. He slid in about halfway and stopped. Lex was wiggling underneath him, trying to fuck himself.

"More." He whimpered.

Clark plunged deep inside of him, until the tight heat of his lover surrounded his entire cock. He heard Lex's gasp of pleasure, mixed with pain. He was still for a minute before he slowly started to move.

"Come, Clark, fuck me." Lex demanded. "Harder."

So Clark did. He quickened his pace, mercilessly pounded into his lover. The smell of sweat and sex filled the air along with the sound of flesh slapping flesh and the moans of pleasure from both men. Clark shifted his angle ever so slightly so he was hitting Lex's prostrate with almost ever stroke. He watched as he lover bit his lip, to stop his screams. Clark took his hand and wrapped it around Lex's weeping cock and stroked it. "Come for me, Lex." He whispered.

Clark watched as Lex's body stilled, and his eyes rolled back before he came, cum shooting onto his chest and stomach. The contracting of Lex's hole was enough to send Clark over the edge and he came, deep inside his over.

Exhausted, Clark lay on top of his lover, trying not to crush the smaller man with his weight. Lex lazily ran his hand through Clark's hair as they both laid there in post-orgasmic bliss.

"We should clean up." Lex finally murmured.

"Hm." Clark replied.

The two lay there for a few more minutes before getting up, sneaking down the hall, and taking a quick shower. They then returned to bed, Lex curled up on his side with Clark spooned around him.

Lex wasn't sure why he woke. It could have been that the warm chest pressed against his back and the strong arm wrapped around his waist had left. Or it could have been that they took all the blankets with them. Lex rolled over and looked at his lover who was cocooned in his thick comforter. He reached out and ran his fingers through Clark's silky hair. He wasn't worried about waking him the other man. Clark was a deep sleeper. And many nights Lex would just lay there and watch him sleep.

Since he had been with Clark, Lex had been sleeping better. He had never been much of a cuddler. But he found that a lot of things had changed since he'd been with the younger man. And for some reason sleep found its way to him easier and stayed longer with Clark pressed tightly against him.

He pressed a kiss to his lover's temple then slipped out of bed. According to the clock on his nightstand it was a little after two. He put on a pair of pajama pants and the t-shirt Clark had given him three years ago then left the room and headed downstairs to the kitchen.

As he entered the large room, Lex flipped on the lights. Then, as habit insisted, he went over to raid the refrigerator. He spotted the bottle of chocolate syrup and smiled. He pulled out the syrup then went to get the vanilla ice cream from the freezer.

Emma Luthor watched her grandson from the doorway. "You know the last time I caught you raiding the freezer you were six years old." She told him as she went to retrieve two bowls. "You were standing on a chair, jumping up an down, because you couldn't reach. I thought for sure you were going to fall and break you neck. But you didn't." She smiled up at him and took the tub of ice cream from his hands. "You've always been lucky in that department I guess. Always coming out just by the skin of your teeth."

Lex laughed as he watched her fill the two dishes. "I suppose your right in that regard."

Emma glared at him. "Of course I'm right." She stated as she set the two bowls on the kitchen table in front of Lex. Her expression softened as she watched him cover the ice cream with chocolate syrup. "You sat there across from me, eating your ice cream, and you asked if I thought you'd be a good businessman. You were so worried that you wouldn't be. Now, look at you. It seems all that worrying was for nothing."

Lex smirked at her. "Yes, but I don't think things turned out exactly how grandfather and dad planned." He said.

Emma shrugged. "Maybe not." She told him. "But that's their fault."

The two sat in comfortable silence for a few minutes until Lex spoke. "What do you think of Clark?" He asked.

"He seems like a fine young man." She said. "Though I don't like the fact that he's to be a reporter."

Lex chuckled. "Trust me, Grandma. Clark won't use me for a story." He told her.

"How can you be so sure?" She asked.

Lex shrugged his shoulders. "Because he's Clark."

Emma scoffed. "That's not an answer, Alexander."

He smirked at her. "I can't explain it, Grandma, I just know."

Emma huffed. "Does he fill your void?" She asked somewhat sarcastically.

Lex couldn't help stop the blush that crept over his cheeks. He wasn't usually shy about talking about anything remotely sexual. But if his grandmother knew just what void Clark was filling, he might just die of embarrassment right then and there.

Emma eyed her grandson's quizzically. Then her eyes widened as she caught the double meaning of her words. "That's not what I meant, Alexander!" She exclaimed.

Lex cleared his throat. "Sorry. And to answer you're question, yes, he does." He honestly replied.

Emma gave him a wiry look. "And will you allow him to remain there?"

"He is more than welcome to stay for as long as he wants." Lex told her. "I love him."

Emma smiled at him. "Good. I'm glad that you're finally happy." She said. "But I want you to be careful. You've been hurt emotionally too much already. And I'd hate to see Clark add at that."

"I'll be careful." Lex promised as he stood up.

"That's all I ask."

Lex smiled down at her then kissed her cheek. "Goodnight, Grandma."

"Goodnight, Lex."

With that Lex left the room and headed back upstairs. He entered his bedroom to find Clark awake, sitting up in bed holding his snow globe.

"Hey." Clark said. "Where'd you go?"

"Downstairs." Lex replied as he walked over to the bed and sat beside his lover.

Clark furrowed his brow in confusion. "Why?" He asked.

Lex shrugged his shoulders and took the broken globe out of Clark's hands. "To talk to my grandma."

"At a quarter till three in the morning?"

Lex smiled at him. "I do it every year." He said as he carefully pulled the figurine of his mother out of the broken globe.

After watching Lex study the figure for a minute, Clark asked, "Is that you're mom?"

"Yeah, how'd you know?"

Clark grinned. "I recognized your father and the boy looked like a picture of you I saw when you were young."

Lex put the figure of his mother back in the globe and turned it in his hands. "My grandmother gave this to me when I was five." He let out a hollow laugh. "She said it was a model for the perfect little family."

"What happened to it?" Clark asked.

"The Christmas after my mother died was pretty hard to me. I felt really alone. And I came in here and saw this snow globe. It was just setting there reminding me of what I'd lost. So I threw it against that door." He said as he gestured towards the entranceway to his room. "It shattered."

"Why didn't you ever get it fixed?" Clark asked.

Lex shrugged his shoulders. "I wanted to keep it as a reminder. And it just seemed more accurate this way."

Clark took the broken globe from his hands then pulled Lex up against him. He reached over and switched off the light on the nightstand, making sure too keep one hand securely wrapped around his lover.

Lex pillowed his head on Clark's chest. "So what did you think of the your first Christmas with the Luthors?" Lex asked.

Clark chuckled. "It was different." He replied.

"Do you think you could ever bring yourself to come back?"

"I'd come back every year, as long as I'm with you."

"I love you, Clark." Lex whispered.

Clark kissed Lex's smooth scalp and held him closer. "I love you too." With that the two closed their eyes and drifted off to sleep.

The next morning, breakfast went by quickly as usual. Clark couldn't believe the lack of food that was set on the table. He didn't complain, though. He merely ate what was given to him, and hoped it would hold him over until he and Lex got back to his parents. The hostility between Clark and Laurence seemed to have lessened, since the night before. Therefore there was no tension amongst the family as they moved to the living room to exchange gifts.

Clark received a few things from the family as well, which he had not been expecting. Lex got his usual gifts, from most of the family, so there were not surprises there. From his grandmother, Lex received a framed copy of the 'Fortune 500' list. Both LexCorp and LuthorCorp were highlighted, and at the bottom in his grandmother's scrawl was written, "The power will soon shift." Lex smiled knowingly up at her and whispered a 'thank you.'

Lex and Clark had discussed if they were going to exchange their gifts at the Kents or the Luthors and had decided on the Luthors. Lex slowly opened the small box from his lover and started wide-eyed at what he found inside. He lifted out the small octagonal disk and the small key made of the same alloy. "Clark is this what I think it is?" He asked.

Clark nodded his head.

"I don't understand. How can you give this too me?"

Clark smiled at him. "I had a copy made. And I wanted you to have the key to my life as well as the key to my heart." He told him.

"Thank you." Lex said, as he smiled at his lover. "Now, open yours."

Clark grinned as he quickly ripped the paper off his gift. Inside he found a small oak box. He opened it and the song "A Beautiful Friend" started to play. And inside the box was a small note. Clark pulled it out, unfolded it, and read it to himself. "Clark, this box was given to my grandmother by my grandfather when he knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. I don't expect you to answer right now, under the pressure of my family. But please think about it. Forever yours, Lex Luthor." Clark refolded the note and as he went to place it back in the box he spotted two solid gold rings. He bit his lip to stop the tears that were threatening to fall. He turned to his extremely nervous looking lover and smiled. "I don't have to think about it, Lex. My answer is yes."

Lex threw his arms around Clark and kissed deeply and passionately in front of his entire family. They received a few catcalls from Lydia and several grunts of disapproval, but they didn't care. They were too caught up in the moment. When they finally broke apart everyone in the room was looking at them expectantly. Clark's blush crept all the way up to his hairline as he closed the box and clutched it in his lap. While, Lex merely smirked at them.

"Well," Lydia demanded. "What was that all about?"

Lex looked over at Clark who looked thoroughly embarrassed. "Nothing." He said, perfectly deadpan.

"That was not nothing, Alexander!" Lydia exclaimed.

Emma patted her granddaughter's knee. "They'll tell you when their ready, Lydia." She said.

Later, as Lex was saying goodbye to the rest of the family, Emma pulled Clark aside. "If you hurt him, you'll have to deal with me. Do you understand?" She asked.

"Yes, Ma'am." Clark replied.

"Good." She said. "Now, welcome to the family."

Lex walked up to Clark and his grandmother and took a hold of Clark's hand. He wasn't sure what the future would hold for him. But for once, he wasn't worried. Therefore, it was in thorough contentment that Lex Luthor kissed his grandma goodbye, before walking down the front steps of her house, and climbing into his car.

The End



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