This is a Lie

by Athena

This is for The Cure Song Title Challenge. Thank you Elizabeth for your beta.

This is a Lie
(For Emily)

I bring two pills bottles to my father's room.

Helen agreed with me that Dad could benefit from tranquilizers. My father has his own room in the castle and refuses to stay at a hotel when he visits Smallville. He appreciates having my servants cater to him. A man who bugs his own son's house and steals his businesses lets that same son's servants wait on him. Carefully, I open the pill bottles and place two pills near the blue bottle of Tynant water.

"You're the one that needs medication." Dad puts the pills back in the bottles and closes them. Thank you, Dad, for your fingerprints. Now I can overdose today, tomorrow, six months from now or never. Dad trusts me too much. He has no idea what his son is capable of.

"Dad, Helen and I feel you can use something for stress," I explain. "When Helen wrote the prescriptions, she said you would never take them. She told me if I could get you to take them she would have new respect for me then added something about worshipping me as a god."

"Drugs are for weak minded fools," states my father.

"Dad, alcohol is a drug and you have no problem drinking brandy to calm your nerves." I look at my father in his silk pajamas and his long mane of hair. His hair is an insult to me; most businessmen keep their hair short. "Taking a few tranquilizers doesn't make you a druggie."

"I have never solved my problems with drugs."

"Helen is a doctor. She isn't a street corner pusher." Not wanting to smudge my father's prints, I carefully put the medication back in the pharmacy bag and shake my head. "I am very sorry you feel that way. They'll be in the medicine cabinet if you change your mind. Dad, you need help."

I put the pharmacy bag in the medicine cabinet where Helen and the staff can see it. Clark is wrong about criminal masterminds because sometimes the best mask is the concerned eyes of a worried son.

Two months pass since when I had my father touch the pill bottles. I see Emily in the hospital. And because no child should be left in my father's care, I follow my father's limo to the lab where Emily is now housed. It isn't as nice as the Dinsmore House, but the room where Emily is kept looks exactly like her room in her old house. My father is keeping her in a glass cage; a gilded cage is still a cage. I know all about cages, gilded and otherwise, but *this isn't truth, this isn't right, this isn't love, this is a lie.*

Peter Dinsmore, a middle-age man with a receding forehead, is staring at his child at play. My father is in the lab somewhere, and because I don't want him overhearing, I tug on Mr. Dinsmore's shoulder then whisper. "Mr. Dinsmore, can we talk privately?"

"Mr. Luthor, I have nothing to say to you." The man moves away from me.

Glad that the two-way mirror is lit on the other side, I watch my father enter the child's room. I can see him, but he can't see me. My father says to Emily, " I brought Bunny-Buns?"

He gives the bunny to Emily to pet then feed a carrot. He shows the child how to hold the rabbit gently. My father can almost sound loving, but I know his words are as false as that room. A box with an observing area in a laboratory is not a child's bedroom, no matter how pretty the furniture. Lionel's words are empty and without soul.

He can remember the name of a rabbit, but he can't remember Helen's name, especially since he bought me Battle of Troy toy soldiers when I was around Emily's age. We had talked about Helen's face launching a thousand ships. My father's memory is very selective. I forget nothing and remember every betrayal. Father will not hurt Emily like he hurt Lucas and me.

After leaving the laboratory, I go home to the castle and mix the pills into my father's brandy. Helen had warned me that those pills are dangerous with alcohol. I hope I put enough in his brandy to kill him because I wouldn't want him in a coma like Karen Ann Quinlan. When he enters the library, I offer him a drink. Doesn't he notice I'm not drinking? I'm doing this to save Emily. She is a human being, no matter what her origin. She doesn't belong in a cage. She belongs with her father, a man who loves her enough to bring her back from the dead.

After a second drink, my father looks tired. He yawns then starts a third.

"Dad, I'll help you to your room." I put an arm around his shoulder like I did to lead him when he was blind.

"Thanks, Son." He says as I walk him to his room. I play the dutiful son by helping the sleepy man into his pajamas. His eyes close as I tuck him into bed. I dump the tainted brandy down the drain then wash the decanter. *I've never understood how each of us decides. I've never been sure: the part we play, the way we are, how each of us denies any other way in the world. Each of us must choose.* After I put on driving gloves, I take the pills from the medicine cabinet and put them on the nightstand with my father's brandy glass. Dad chose, too.

I put my gloves back in my drawer. In the morning, one of the staff will find him. I just saved Emily and Martha's unborn child from my father. He will harm no one else. I go to the office to catch up on my work. Dad, the games are over and I play for keeps.

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