Rainbow

by jessica



Disclaimer: not much of this belongs to them anymore.

Notes: written for Hope's Seven Less One challenge. Thanks to Pearl-O, who catches my slothful mistakes, and to those who squee every time I write Nicky.

Feedback: is my not-so-guilty pleasure.

Summary: Roy G. Biv's got nothing on Nicky.

*

Lex stands at the bottom of the stairs and wonders how many times he will do this in his life.

"Nicholas, get down here. We're already late."

"I don't have anything pink," is the response yelled back. Nicky bounces down the stairs and lands at Lex's feet.

"What are you wearing?"

The rainbow-coloured Nicky looks down at himself, then back up at Lex.

"Well, my shirt's red and my jeans are blue. I've got one purple sock and the other one's green. My underwear is orange and I can wear my yellow raincoat." He points out each article of clothing as he names them, even pulling the orange briefs up for Lex to see. "But I don't have anything pink."

"Here you go." Nicky twists back to watch Clark coming down the stairs with a tie in his hand. It's striped pink and purple and it's definitely not Clark's. "Help your son," Clark says and hands Lex the tie as he passes.

"You're condoning this?" asks Lex, incredulously, but Clark's already ignoring him.

Nicky stands on the bottom stair and presents his neck. It's dirty and Lex laughs. In a rare quiet moment, Nicky stands still, chin down, watching Lex tie a perfect Windsor knot.

"I'll teach you when you're older, kid," Lex whispers confidentially when Nicky looks up with wide eyes.

Clark comes back with Nicky's raincoat and helps him into the sleeves. "He's never done this before, Lex," Clark says. "Let him have some fun."

Nicky checks himself over. Lex can hear him singing the song under his breath: "Red and yellow and pink and green, purple and orange and blue, i can sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow too."

"Do you know the scientific inaccuracies in that song, Nicky?"

Clark gives him a look.

*

He'd been in the parade only once before in his life.

June weather was hot, but not sweltering, and with another year of school behind him, Lex had decided it was time for a vacation. Somewhere he could get laid and with the least amount of trouble.

Lionel had a whole list of things that Luthors were, so Lex was in the Castro to celebrate. He smirked and kissed the guy who had him up against a car, knowing this was exactly what his father didn't mean by Luthor pride.

The car wasn't his. Lex was almost sure it didn't belong to the guy on top of him either. They probably should have found another place to do this. The parade was loud, a new song thumping its bass with each new float that passed. The guy was saying something against the skin on Lex's neck that he was chewing raw, and Lex could still hear him.

"You like that, baby? Do you like that, baby?"

Lex was ready to kill him for the 'baby' thing, but no matter how many wrong things the guy was doing with his mouth, his hips were doing all the right ones and Lex was ready to come. He did, and regretted immediately the wet stickiness in his pants. Even worse was the look on the guy's face.

"So, I'm staying at the YMCA," he said as they rearranged their clothes. "Maybe we could..." He trailed off, waiting for Lex.

A float passed by with a dozen men in loincloths dancing in a construction paper jungle. Lex wondered if they even knew why they were there, wondered if they had anything more than their bodies to be proud of.

"How about you give me your number?" Lex said, but didn't offer a pen.

"Well, like I said, I'm staying at the Y."

"It's a small town," Lex told him, clapping a hand on the guy's shoulder, a friendly gesture that also got him out of the way. The brunette holding up one end of the Gay Youth Association sign was looking in Lex's direction. "Maybe we'll run into each other again."

They didn't, of course. And Lex didn't even make it to the end of the parade route when the brunette, the president of the Gay Youth Association, tried to recruit him. Lex got off at the corner with a blonde in ripped jeans.

Lex didn't get the pride thing, but he could fake it with the best of them. Especially if it meant getting laid.

*

Martha had announced that this was the year, and Clark had agreed. Now Nicky's in costume and Lex can't back out.

Nicky walks with Clark, holding his hand and waving the other, looking less a rainbow than the neglected child of uncoordinated parents. Martha holds her sign high, like she isn't the only member of the Smallville P-FLAG charter. Lex walks a few steps behind them with Jonathan, who grumbles, but with a smile.

Nicky is a hit. One of the Dykes on Bikes offers him a ride, and when he gets off at the end of the route, Channel 54 is waiting with a camera to catch the best costumes.

"I'm a rainbow!" he tells them, his arms held wide to show off every colour. Lex spots him just as he's pulling the underwear up to prove he hasn't missed a colour.

"What's your name, son?" the reporter asks.

"Nicky Luthor," he says, giggling when Lex picks him up from behind.

Startled, the reporter gathers himself, signaling to the cameraman to keep rolling and thrusts the microphone forward. "Mr. Luthor, marching with your son? Is there a LexCorp float this year?"

"Nothing official this year." Nicky's raincoat squeaks loudly when he wraps his arms around Lex's neck and Lex tries to get a better grip. He can see Clark watching, laughing at Lex for getting caught, and taking his time to rescue him.

"Mr. Luthor, I wonder if you could tell us what pride means to you?"

This will be the soundbite. Lex saw the Mayor and Metropolis' one openly gay councilwoman, but Superman's sitting this one out, so Lex Luthor will probably be the biggest celebrity. His face is hot, and probably red, despite Clark's constant sunscreen applications. He's tired and Nicky's heavy in his arms, his head resting on Lex's shoulder, humming to himself.

"It's about letting your son leave the house looking like this. Because you know he only did it because he loves you so much."

The reporter holds out his hand and they shake, Lex carefully shifting Nicky on his hip. He turns away from the camera as Clark catches up to them, laying a hand on Nicky's back.

"So, you guys are going to be on TV?" Nicky nods and Clark leans in to kiss his cheek. "How about we take the jacket off now? You must be roasting."

It's a precarious operation, but Clark gets the jacket off around Nicky's hold on Lex. They pull his pink tie loose and Lex smoothes Nicky's hair back to brush a kiss on his forehead.

"You want me to take him?" Clark asks.

"He's got a pretty good hold on me," says Lex, watching the crowd, aware of the eyes on his multi-coloured son. "I don't want to let go of him."



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