An Evening In Metropolis

Jonathon Kent got into his truck and started the engine. He was in Metropolis for a meeting with a federal representative from the department of agriculture. Many of the farmers that he had built relationships with from his part of the state were also in attendance. They were all discussing much needed federal aid and some of the federal programs which might benefit their individual farms.

Jonathon did not often get to see this particular group of people who he considered to be his friends. Just as he did, they often worked twelve to fourteen hour days- seven days a week. So it only seemed natural that at the conclusion of their business meeting they would all get together for a drink and a much overdo visit.

The evening had been both a pleasure and a success and as always talking with his contemporaries made Jonathon realize that he was on the right track. As was his usual Jonathon had two beers and then a cup of coffee before he got behind the wheel of his vehicle. He began to drive through Metropolis and realized that he was very close to the college campus that Lex was attending.

He shook his head thinking about Lex Luthor and the new bond that they had formed. In all honesty he was extremely fond of the troubled youth. Lex had spent last summer on the farm staying with the Kent family. The whole arrangement had come about when Lex had struck Clark with his car and the car, Lex and Clark had ended up in the river. They had told Lex that he had saved them all but in truth it had been Clark.

So Martha had come up with the idea that Lex should spend the summer with them as a sort of repayment for his bad choices. Jonathon loved his beautiful wife with every fiber of his being but occasionally he just shook his head in regards to her decisions. But as it turned out this decision was actually a pretty good one.

He knew that the mother in Martha simply wanted to nurture the lost boy that Lex was. And truth be told he also often found himself thinking of Lex as his son. So he guessed that Martha must have known what she was doing after all. Although there had been some rocky times getting the youth to adjust to rules and consequences the summer had actually gone very well.

He had found that he needed to punish Lex on two occasions during the time he had stayed at the farm. And both times he had spanked the teen. While he never enjoyed administering this form of discipline to either Clark or Lex he knew for a fact that it worked. It was an effective way to deliver unpleasant consequences for both boys.

Unfortunately he knew better than anyone just how well it worked, as his own father was a firm believer in the old proverb of spare the rod and spoil the child. And due to his own stubborn nature he often tested the waters with his father. And although Lex might seem a little old by some standards for this type of punishment Jonathon knew that the teen needed and wanted someone to set and enforce limits for him.

It was easy for Jonathon to see that the boy was testing him on a regular basis. Clark would also test his father from time to time but he knew without any doubt that there would be consequences for bad behavior. This was a whole new concept to Lex. It amazed the farmer to think about how little love or limits Lex had been given. He was for
all intents and purposes on his own. And Jonathon knew that this was one of the reasons that Lex had taken so well to life on the farm and in a family.

He had watched with no small amount of amusement at the way Lex loved Martha. Jonathon doubted that in his whole life anyone had cared for the boy the way his wife did. He knew that when Lex's mother was alive that she had given the boy love and attention but she had been gone for a very long time. Lex had blossomed and opened up to Martha and she had received as much love as she had given.

It was surprising to him that Clark showed no jealousy or hurt feelings about Lex and Martha's relationship. But the same was true of his relationship with Lex. It was almost as if the teen has filled a large hole that had been in their family that they had not realized had existed. And after Lex had gone away to college he still continued to come home to the farm and spend the weekends often. He and Martha and Clark often went to visit the boy and Clark was even going to go for little sibling's weekend. Lex never seemed uncomfortable with their odd arrangement. And Jonathon and Martha suddenly couldn't imagine life without their newly "adopted son".

While this all sounded perfect Jonathon knew that Lex still continued to break the rules just to see what he could get away with. When he had decided that they would take Lex under their wing he knew the responsibility that he was taking on, and he knew he owed the boy no less than he owed his own son. Lex hadn't asked to become a member of the family but still he had become just that. And Jonathon took his responsibility to this young man very seriously.

He continued to drive through the streets close to the college on his way to the main highway, which would take him back home to Smallville, and to the farmhouse which was his life. He had told Martha that he would be spending the night in the city but he wanted to go home. As was always the way he didn't want to spend even one night away from his beautiful Martha and their son.

The streets were lined with bars that looked to him like they were places that the college crowd would hang out in. Each place seemed more trendy and hip than the one before. He wondered with a chuckle if Lex were out and about tonight, and reasoned that he needed to make friends and be social as it was part of the college experience.

Just as he was thinking about Lex he suddenly saw the silver Porsche with the personalized plates that Lex drove parked on the street. Thinking that the car he had was really no ride for a kid in his first year of college he just shook his head. Even though Lionel Luthor had no time or love to give to his son the boy certainly never lacked for material possessions.

Knowing a bit about youth, he knew that there was no way that a kid who had just turned eighteen as Lex had should have an expensive and fast car like the one he was driving. He smiled as he thought that if Martha were here she would remind him of the motorcycle that his father had been so against his having. And being a father himself now he suddenly understood Hiram's point of view.

The smile was wiped quickly off his face as he saw Lex emerge from one of the bars with a group of guys. He could tell with one look that Lex was drunk and not just a little
drunk either. Jonathon quickly pulled his truck into an available parking space and prayed that Lex wasn't going to be stupid enough to climb behind the wheel of his powerful vehicle. But as he looked in his rearview mirror he saw Lex do just that.

Jonathon swung open the door of his truck and jogged back to where Lex was parked glad to see that at least he was alone. He heard the roar of the engine as the teen started the car, but before he could pull out Jonathon was standing at his driver's side window. He tapped on the glass and Lex looked up at him with unfocused eyes and when he realized that it was Jonathon he merely said, "Oh fuck."

While he didn't appreciate the language he certainly agreed with the sentiment. Jonathon pulled open the drivers door and Lex practically fell out of the car. The farmer took the teen by the arm and pulled him to a standing position and took the keys out of his hand and shut the door. Walking a few steps with a good hold on Lex he used the key to lock the doors. It took all of the tenacity that he had to resist giving the boy a good swat on the behind. But knowing that some of Lex's friends were probably still around he didn't want to embarrass the kid.

Lex allowed himself to be escorted to and put into the truck without saying a word. Jonathon was pretty sure that even in his inebriated condition Lex had a good idea of just how much trouble he was in. The ride to Smallville was uneventful with Lex sleeping most of the way. He asked Jonathon twice to stop the car so that he could be sick, and after the second time the farmer stopped at a fast food restaurant to get the boy a bottle of water and a cup of coffee.

Lex struggled to get some of the water down but Jonathon kept insisting that he at least try to drink. They stopped at a rest area just outside of Smallville and Jonathon got several aspirin out of the vending machine and made Lex take them. He also followed the boy into the bathroom and helped him wash his face. When they finally got back into the car Lex was able to take small sips of the coffee. He was becoming more and more sober with each passing mile.

Jonathon had not really discussed the situation with the boy but he knew that as the alcohol wore off Lex was beginning to realize just how bad this was. They were almost home when the teen turned to Jonathon and said, "I guess I really screwed up this time."

As he didn't disagree the farmer simply replied, "Yeah I guess you did. And later today when you feel better we will discuss all this at great length."

He heard the boy sigh, and then he put his head back on the headrest and fell back to sleep. Soon Jonathon pulled into the farm and parked his truck. Then he got out and helped Lex to get out and walk up the back steps. He unlocked and threw open the kitchen door and was surprised to find himself face to face with Martha. "Jonathon what are you doing home and why is Lex with you?"

Before he could answer either question his wife walked over to where they stood and soon had another question. "Is he drunk Jon?"

"Oh yeah he's drunk all right, although he's sobered up considerably since we left Metropolis."

Lex sent a weak smile in her direction and said "Hi, Mom."

Martha looked at her husband with tear filled eyes, as Lex had never called her Mom before. Jonathon just shook his head thinking it was gonna take a lot more than that to get this kid off the hook.

Martha got a hold of the other side of Lex as she and the farmer managed to get him up to his room and into bed. Jonathon left the room and Martha pulled the covers over Lex and left the waste basket at the side of the bed just in case he needed to be sick again. She was surprised when Lex grabbed her arm.

"It's okay that I called you Mom isn't it Mom?" he asked. "It's just that I wanna be your son too, just like Clark."

Despite the fact that she knew Jonathon was probably going to kill the boy in the morning her heart just melted. And she also realized that Lex probably wouldn't have made that confession without the alcohol. She sat down on the side of the bed next to him and rubbed his shoulders. "You are my son now Lex, just like Clark and I love you very much and I love it that you called me Mom. Now go to sleep please, we can discuss all this in the morning."

Lex smiled at her "I am in soooo much trouble with Pop."

Again Martha couldn't resist a chuckle at Lex's wise words and the fact that he had just called Jonathon "Pop."

"We can discuss it all in the morning now go to sleep, young man. I mean it Alexander." She saw Lex immediately close his eyes when she used his full name and smiled yet again. Within a few short minutes she could hear his soft snores and she went into her bedroom where her husband was waiting.

Martha sat down on the bed and listened while Jonathon explained how he had ended up with a very drunk Lex in the truck. He was not surprised when Martha leapt to her feet when he told her that the teen had been trying to drive in that condition. "What in the hell was that boy thinking? He could have been killed or killed someone else."

Knowing that his wife had the true temper of a redhead he just nodded. "Or both" he added.

She paced the length of the room and said "Bad decision Lex, very bad, bad decision" to herself. Turning to Jonathon she asked "What are you going to do now Jon?"

Her husband knew that part of her didn't really want to know the answer to the question. "Well it seems as if the first time I tanned his butt for driving under the influence didn't leave much of an impression, so I guess we'll just try it again. Only this time I won't be so easy on him."

He saw the tears come to her eyes and he knew that she was going to try to plead his case like she always did when Clark got himself into trouble. "That sounds like a good idea."

Jonathon turned in amazement to look at his wife to see if she were serious, and much to his surprise she seemed to be just that. "I love that boy Jonathon just the way I love Clark and I won't stand by while he manages to kill himself or go to jail for killing someone else. You do what ever you need to do to make him understand."

"I thought for sure that you would try to talk me out of this, just like you do with Clark."

Martha's eyes filled with tears again and Jonathon took her hand and pulled her into a hug. She hugged her husband back and responded to his statement. "Clark so far hasn't done anything which would put his life in jeopardy, but if he ever does I will say the same thing to you then. I always hate it when you punish either of these boys, but I know that we can't just let Lex off the hook. There is far too much at stake here."

Jonathon simply nodded at what his wife had said knowing that it was the truth. He rested his hands on her shoulders for a moment before helping her remove her robe. Much like he had done when Clark was little he held the covers out so that Martha could climb into bed. He then got into bed himself and pulled his wife close.

"Go to sleep sweetheart it's almost morning already, and tomorrow is going to be a hard day." And they both fell into a troubled sleep with thoughts of Lex on their minds.

Morning arrived all too quickly and both she and Jonathon got up and got dressed. As always Jonathon went out to start the chores and she went to the kitchen. Soon Clark was up as well and after helping his dad with some of the things that needed to be done every morning he came back in for breakfast with his mother.

"Mom, Dad said that Lex is here. When did he get here and where is his car? Do I still have to go fishing today with Pete; can't I just stay home with Lex please Mom?"

Martha didn't know which question to answer first. "He came home late last night with your dad and his car is still in Metropolis. Although your dad asked someone from the mansion go and get it. And yes you still need to go fishing with Pete and Mr. Ross. They would both be disappointed if you didn't go."

"That really isn't the reason you want me to go is it Mom?"

Confused Martha asked, "What do you mean Clark?"

"The real reason is cause Lex is in trouble with Dad."

Not wanting to tell Clark too much she asked "What makes you think that son?"

"Because I walked by his room and it smells like alcohol and Dad said that he and Lex needed to have a serious talk today. And I know just what that means."

"I guess you could say that Lex is in some trouble with your dad and me for making some poor choices and drinking. But that isn't anything that you should worry about; your dad is perfectly capable of handling this situation."

Clark looked forlorn for a moment "It isn't exactly Dad that I'm worried about."

Martha smiled at her son's concern for Lex. "Anything that is going to happen today in the way of punishment Lex deserves Clark. I want you to remember that son."

Clark though about what his mother had just said and she went back to doing the dishes hoping that the conversation was over. "Mom, do I have to go? Lex is here, I could go fishing any time. What if he needs me?"

Martha handed him his jacket and said "Yes Clark you have to go. Both you and Pete have really been looking forward to this fishing trip. You can check on Lex tonight when you get home."

Clark gave her the puppy dog look that usually worked but she just shook her head no.
Thankfully Jonathon, Mr. Ross and Pete came through the door at that moment and before he had anymore time to think about it her son was kissed and on his way to the lake. Jonathon looked as tired as he felt. He grabbed a second cup of coffee and she teased him about being too old to stay up all night. He responded by chasing her around the kitchen table and planting a rather large kiss on her lips on his way out the door.

As usual for Saturday mornings Martha began her baking and alternated between that and worrying about Lex and what Jonathon had in mind for Lex. She was so deep in thought that she didn't hear him come up behind her.

"Mom?" he asked.

She turned and found herself looking into very tired and bloodshot eyes. "Lex, what are you doing up already? I thought that you would sleep for a while longer- after last night and all."

When she said this he dropped his gaze, as if he were unable to meet her eyes. "I couldn't sleep anymore I feel so…"

Martha stepped in closer to the teen and felt his forehead. "Are you feeling sick again honey?"

For some reason this love and concern caused Lex's eyes to fill with tears again. "No ma'am."

"Then what is it Lex?"

"I feel so ashamed. After the way you have treated me this is how I repay you. I'll just leave if you want me to." Again the teen lowered his eyes to the floor and when he brought his head back up again he was surprised to see that Martha looked angry.

She took his hand and guided him over to the table where she sat them both down and turned her chair so that they were facing one another. "Now you listen to me Alexander, I am very unhappy that you decided to get drunk and then drive."

Lex looked like he might cry at her words. "But, nothing and hear me out son- nothing would ever make me want you to go away. You are now a part of this family and that is never going to change."

She lifted the trembling chin up and asked "Understood?"

Lex was too overcome with emotion to speak and simply nodded.

"But what will change are the choices that you make. Now later Jonathon is going to come up to your room and have a talk with you about last night and no matter what punishment he decides you deserve I want you to take it to heart."

She gave the sad teen another small hug and stood up and walked to the counter where she began to make dry toast and tea for Lex. Soon she took both to the table where he was sitting and placed them down in front of him.

He looked at her with eyes still filled with tears. "I can't."

He was surprised to see her push the plate and cup closer to him. "Oh but you can, and you will. Your body needs it Lex if you ever intend to feel better."

Lex's gaze fell again on the snack and he sadly shook his head and looked up at Martha. She crossed her arms over her chest and said with deadly determination "You are either going to eat this toast and drink this tea by your own hand or I am going to feed it to you. But make no mistake one way or the other you're going to get some nourishment."

She breathed a sigh of relief when the teen picked up the toast and took a tentative bite. Martha placed her hands on his shoulders and said in an encouraging voice "Good boy Lex."

After he had eaten all that he could she handed him two aspirins tablets and a glass of water, which she was happy to see him take without complaint. She then instructed him to get clean clothes out of his dresser in his room and go take a shower. While he did that she stripped the linens off of his bed and replaced them with clean ones. Finally she aired out his room a little so that it didn't smell like alcohol anymore.

Lex came out of the bathroom and found Martha sitting on his freshly made bed. "Come over here Lex and climb back into this bed for a little nap."

Lex shook his head no and said "I have to find Pop and talk to him about last night."

The teen turned to put on his shoes and was again surprised to hear Martha speaking to him in a firm voice. "Alexander you get your behind over here and into this bed right now. "

Martha was pleased to see Lex obey her command and crawl back into bed. She pulled the covers over him and tucked him in. "There will be plenty of time to talk to Jonathon about what happened last night after you have had some rest. And if I were in your shoes I don't think I would be too anxious to have that conversation."

She gave Lex a kiss on the forehead and walked softly out of his room shutting the door as she went.

Thinking intently about how fond she had become of Lex she went back down the stairs into the kitchen and began baking again. This time she put the ingredients together for his favorite cookie and in no time had them in the oven. Jonathon came in for lunch and they spent a few minutes together just talking although neither one brought up the subject of Lex. Both were firm in their resolve that he needed to be punished even though Martha especially was going to have a difficult time with it.

All too soon Jonathon went back out side to his chores and Martha cleaned the kitchen and returned to her baking. It was just after one o'clock when she heard Lex's tread on the stair and turned to see him walking into the kitchen. He was completely dressed including shoes and she knew that this meant that he was going to go outside to find and face up to Jonathon. And while she knew that he needed to face the music her motherly instincts wanted to protect him. The fact that he looked just terrible wasn't helping.

"Why don't you have some lunch Lex?" she asked.

He came to where she was standing and wrapped her in a hug. "I have to go and get this over with. You know I made some terrible decisions last night and now I need to go and talk to him about it."

Martha knew that there wouldn't be a whole lot of talking involved, just Lex accepting and receiving his punishment. And as well as she knew her husband she knew that it would be a whole lot of punishment too. But she accepted the fact that he did indeed deserve it, but somehow that didn't seem to make it any easier.

Jonathon was in the back of the barn working on repairing the tractor, which he often sarcastically thought of as his hobby. This was the fourth time in two weeks that he had to repair the very necessary machinery. He saw Lex walking towards where he was standing and he knew from the look on his face that he wanted to talk about last night. The farmer had already made up his mind about what was going to happen now and he wasn't going to be talked out of it. He had hoped that the boy would at least rest until this evening before it needed to be done, but here he was.

"Hey Lex, how are you feeling? My guess would be terrible, based on how bad you look."

Lex gave Jonathon a very wan smile and said "I guess that's what happens when you try to drink an entire bottle of scotch by yourself."

Jonathon once again was amazed at the amount of either courage or stupidity this young man possessed. "I'm glad that you are finding the humor in this situation son. Frankly I'm thinking that it really is anything but funny. And when we're finished here I'm thinking that you might not think it's anything to laugh about either."

The farmer could see that his speech had a sobering effect on the teen. Lex looked down at his feet and mumbled "I'm sorry. I know that what I did was wrong and dangerous and really stupid. I have no excuse and I know that there is no acceptable excuse any way. It just seemed like a good idea at the time."

Jonathon would have liked nothing better at this point than to just walk over and throttle the boy. He took a few deep breaths trying to give himself a moment to calm down. When he finally spoke his voice was low and steady. "Are you sure you want to do this now Lex? I can see that you still don't feel well, alcohol will do that. We can just wait until after supper and maybe by then you won't be so under the weather."

Jonathon was surprised and a little angry to see Lex shake his head no. "If you think I'm gonna go any easier on your behind because you look so bad your wrong. Now just do as I say and go back to bed for a few hours."

Jonathon saw Lex pale at the mention of his punishment but much to his surprise the teen again shook his head no. "I just can't lie up there anymore and dread this. I need to get it over with- no matter how bad it's going to be."

The farmer could see that the plea was heartfelt and having been on the receiving end of punishment before he understood the boys point well enough. "Then let's go back up to your room."

"Mom is still in the kitchen- could we just 'talk' here. She has worried enough about me today I don't want her to worry anymore."

Jonathon considered this and realized that Lex knew that the sound of his punishment would upset Martha, and he was right. "Let's go up to the loft then Lex."

He noticed that Lex walked up the stairs as if he were going to the gallows and any other time he might be amused by this, but not today. There was also no spring in his own step as he climbed the stairs.

He sat down on the old couch that was in the loft and looked up at Lex standing and nervously waiting. "We really don't need to talk about this son, do we? You already know that drinking and driving is both stupid and dangerous. You could be in jail right now or the hospital. And the thing that terrifies me the most is that you could be in the morgue. So if you're expecting me to just let this go as if it were a small mistake that's just not gonna happen."

Jonathon continued to look up into Lex's eyes and could see the tears threatening to spill. "I realize that your father would just try to buy your way out of this, but Martha and I need to be sure that you learn this lesson. We love you Lex and it would kill all of us if anything happened to you. So I'm going to make damn sure that you will not be repeating this stupid stunt ever again."

Having said that Jonathon stood up and took off his belt thinking of just how much he didn't want to do this. Sitting back down Jonathon reached over and took Lex's arm and pulled him closer to the couch and said, "Pants down Alexander."

Lex's eyes widened and he shook his head no. "Either you do it son or I will, either way they are coming down."

The farmer noticed that while the teen obeyed him tears were already streaking down his face. Lex unsnapped his slacks with trembling fingers and pushed them to the floor. Jonathon took Lex's arm and pulled him over his lap and then pulled down the boxers that Lex had on and they soon joined his slacks around his ankles.

After adjusting his position a bit Jonathon got a tight hold on Lex's waist, as he knew that after the first swat Lex would be trying everything in his power to get up. He then brought the belt down hard on the exposed bottom before him and much to his surprise Lex didn't make a sound. Jonathon gave the boy two more swats and still he remained silent. The farmer knew that he was being hard enough with the teen because he could actually see a mark each place that he had used the belt.

Jonathon knew that if this had been Clark he already would have been crying and begging his father to stop. He could see that Lex was struggling to keep quiet and he thought that perhaps if he talked to him he could break his concentration. Because he knew that if he wanted this punishment to be effective he needed Lex to accept it totally.
And more than anything he knew that Lex must get the message this time because his very life was on the line.

He then gave Lex a particularly hard swat and said, "Are you listening Lex?"

Lex replied with a "yes sir" but he fought hard to get it out.

Jonathon gave the boy yet another swat and asked, "Are you ever going to drink and drive again son?"

And again Lex struggled to answer but he finally responded with a heartfelt, "No sir."

But still Jonathon continued to lay the belt on and Lex continued to resist and would not cry. With what Jonathon had intended to be the last swat he told Lex "Martha and I love you but we refuse to sit by and do nothing while you self-destruct."

With this pronouncement he gave Lex a very hard swat and put the belt down on the couch. Lex remained in the bent over position while Jonathon rubbed his back and pulled his boxers back up. Jonathon knew that even if he hadn't reacted in the usual way that Lex had had enough punishment with the belt.

As he was rubbing comforting circles on the teen's back he said "We love you and consider you to be our son, just like Clark is."

He heard Lex make a strangled noise but couldn't tell what he had said. He pulled Lex to his feet and asked him what he had said. Lex had tears streaking down his face and his breath was hitching like he had just run a marathon. "I don't deserve your love or to be your son."

Of all the things that he might have said this shocked Jonathon the most. "Why would you say that Lex?"

"Because it's true. I'm worthless, and I always will be just like my father. No matter how much time or love you invest in me I will always be just the loser that I am. Loving me is just a waste of your time. Even my own father doesn't love me."

Jonathon found that he was almost overcome with anger. For a moment he said nothing to the teen so obviously in pain standing before him. And as he waited he counted to ten in his head as he so didn't want to loose his temper and handle this in the wrong way. And then he knew exactly what he needed to do. In one quick move he had the teen back over his knee again. And apparently this time Lex was not going to just lie there and take more punishment.

"Let me up! You already did this once and it didn't change a damn thing."

Jonathon actually chuckled at this response. "It wasn't supposed to change anything Lex that spanking was given because you got drunk and tried to drive your car last night. And that rotten choice had nothing to do with your father although that was definitely a good try."

Lex began to struggle in earnest and Jonathon imagined that his sore butt, which had been so recently visited with the belt, must be hurting like hell about now. "And this spanking my friend is because you are so wrong about not deserving our love. If Clark were in a position where he felt that he didn't deserve to be loved I would show him that he did. And that is what is about to happen to you – if we didn't love you we would not care if you drove drunk or not. You are not a loser and I won't let you say that you are."

With that he laid a blistering smack with his hand onto Lex's already sore behind. Lex responded with a loud yell and resumed trying to get off of Jonathon's lap. "We love you Lex and you are worthy of that love."

Lex shook his head no, and earned himself four more hard swats to which he reacted to with another loud cry but continued to shake his head no. "You are nothing like your father."

Jonathon delivered this message with four more hard swats and hoped that soon Lex would just give in. And as if he knew what Jonathon was thinking the teen dropped his head and began to sob. "We love you Lex and want to help you make the right decisions."

Jonathon then gave Lex six more swats alternating from side to side. By the time he was finished the teen was crying and begging Jonathon to stop, which finally the farmer gladly did. In one quick movement he had flipped Lex over and was holding him on his lap. He began rubbing the boy's back and saying over and over "We love you Lex."

Lex continued to cry and Jonathon was not surprised to find that he could actually feel the heat coming off of Lex's behind onto his legs. He wished that he hadn't needed to be so hard with the boy and he was sure that Lex wished that as well. He just held onto Lex while he cried. Every so often Jonathon would whisper into Lex's ear "We love you and you are a part of this family."

Finally after what seemed like an awfully long time Lex's tears began to slow down and he put his head onto Jonathon's shoulder clearly exhausted from all he had been through. Jonathon let the boy rest for a little while longer and told him "We still need to talk about something."

Lex lifted his head and studied Jonathon's face with red and weary eyes. "But the spanking part is over right?'

Jonathon chuckled at the question and replied "Yes, the spanking part is finished."

Lex let out a sigh of relief. "What else did we need to talk about then?"

Jonathon gave Lex a long and steady look and said "We need to talk about your car, and how you won't be driving it for the next month as part of your punishment."

Lex looked at Jonathon as if he had lost his mind. "You can't do that!"

"Oh yes I can and I have. The car will be delivered here today, and tomorrow you can drive back to school and that's all. You are to park it in your parking space and not touch it again until I come and visit you in a month. And I will check the odometer to make sure that it hasn't been driven."

Jonathon began to think that Lex hadn't processed what he had just said because the teen was just sitting there staring at him. "But you just punished me for last night- remember beating my ass until your arm was tired? Is that ringing any bells for you?"

Jonathon bit down on the inside of his cheek just to keep from smiling. "This is also part of your punishment Lex. You have no respect for that vehicle and I think a month without it might just change that. And I will know if you get another one out of your father's garage to use. If you do that son you will end up back over my knee again and it will be worse than today."

Lex stood up and rubbed his behind; giving Jonathon the Luthor look of disapproval and said under his breath "Worse? Is that some kind of fucking joke?"

Jonathon stood up next to Lex and shook his head slowly. "Be careful Lex if I hear one more curse word your language is going to be the next thing we address today on the seat of your pants."

The teen thought about the situation for a moment and then smiled. "I have to be able to drive- what if my father wants to see me what would I tell him?"

Jonathon was glad that he had already thought about this. "Hire a driver then, you will not be behind the wheel of that car other than the drive back to college- for an entire month. Understand me Alexander?"

Lex opened his mouth to swear again but one look at Jonathon and he decided that it just might not be such a good idea. "What am I supposed to tell people? 'My Daddy said I couldn't drive because I was a bad boy?'"

Jonathon was now close enough to touch Lex and in a very deep and intense way said "I don't care what you tell people, but you will not be driving that vehicle. You seem to have the idea that I'm asking you, which I'm not, I'm telling you. Do you understand me Lex?"

Lex refused to look up into Jonathon's eyes and the farmer grabbed his arm, turned him around and swatted his butt again hard. He saw Lex's eyes fill with tears and he nodded his head. "Does that mean you understand this part of your punishment?"

Lex resumed rubbing his once again throbbing behind and said in a sullen voice "I don't exactly have a choice do I?"

Jonathon gave the teen another hug and said, "No, you don't."

Lex pulled his slacks back up and continued to rub his behind as Jonathon put his belt back on. "And I thought that the whole spanking thing was horrible- not being able to drive is going to suck."

Jonathon smiled at him "Punishment isn't supposed to be fun Lex. If you enjoyed it I don't think it would be too effective. Come on let's go back into the house Martha is probably worried sick by now."

He put his arm across Lex's shoulders and was happy that the boy left it there. And together they walked back to the farm house and went into the kitchen.

As soon as he opened the door Martha turned to look at Lex and Jonathon could see that she had been crying. He looked at Lex who had suddenly dropped his head and was looking very much like a little boy who had been chastised, which he actually had. Martha didn't say a word but opened up her arms and Lex walked into them. Jonathon could tell that Lex was crying again and Martha was as well. Once again the farmer was amazed at the bond that these two had formed.

He knew that while Lex wanted his approval and love he was also aware that the person who mattered the most to Lex was Martha. She continued to hold on to the sobbing teen and whisper soft re-assurances in his ear to calm him. Jonathon could hear Lex tell her again and again that he was sorry and that he didn't mean to make her worry.
He also was pleased to hear him promise her that he would never drink and drive again.
And he smiled as he heard Lex say that he wasn't even allowed to drive his car for the next month as part of his punishment.

"That will give you some time to really think about what happened last night and also what happened today Lex."

Although Jonathon could tell that the boy wasn't happy about Martha's comment he shook his head in agreement. "Because I know that Jonathon wouldn't like to have to repeat this lesson but I'm willing to bet he would. In fact either one of us would do anything we needed to in order to keep you safe."

Jonathon let Martha and Lex have a few minutes together because clearly he needed to be comforted and she needed to comfort. And after all that Lex had been through in the last twenty four hours Jonathon knew just how worn out he was, both mentally and physically. And then there was the whole hang -over issue which the farmer knew he was also dealing with. Martha continued to hold onto Lex and rub his back.

Finally Lex stepped back from Martha's embrace and wiped his hand over his face to dry the tears that he had just shed. Jonathon was not surprised to note that the teen still was somewhat embarrassed to show emotion in front of them, and he was sure that it was due to the fact that Lex's father never allowed him to cry at all. Jonathon just shook his head at that thought because it was just so much bull.

While his own father never encouraged him to cry he realized that it was just a part of being a human being to feel and express sadness. He knew that before Martha, Lex kept all of his emotions bottled up and that must have been a huge burden for him to carry. But since the boy had come into their life Martha refused to allow him to do this. Jonathon swore that he could actually see the teen changing from month to month.

"I think that you should go back up to bed for a few more hours Lex."

The teen shook his head no and said that he was fine in a small voice that sounded anything but. Jonathon was not happy at having his request denied. "For the second time today I am not asking Lex, I'm telling. I can see that your tired and still don't feel well and I'm willing to bet that your butt is smarting like heck right about now. Clark is off fishing with Pete for the afternoon so if you rest now you can visit with him after dinner. Bed, now Lex."

Lex looked towards Jonathon and swallowed hard. "Yes sir."

And with that he turned towards Martha and allowed her to hug him one last time and tiredly climbed the stairs to his room. It was Martha's turn to need a hug as she stepped into Jonathon's embrace. "Oh Jon that was so hard to see him like that."

"I know sweetheart but you know it had to be done."

She looked into Jonathon's face and smiled the smile that still made his heart skip a beat. "I think he is very fortunate to have you Jonathon."

He returned her smile "I was just thinking the same about you."

After a few more minutes of cuddling they each returned to their respective Saturday afternoon jobs. Before Martha knew it dinner time had almost arrived and she heard Lex's step on the stairs. "Hey sweetheart I'm glad you're up, it's almost time to eat."

Martha was glad to see that Lex looked much better than he had before his nap. "How are you feeling Lex?"

Lex smiled sheepishly and said "Like I might want to eat dinner standing up- for the next few days."

She noticed that he was fighting a smile when he said it. Before she could reply the door was flung open and Clark burst in. He gave his mother a quick hug and a "Hi Mom" and immediately went to Lex. "Hey Lex- are you okay? What did you do? Why are you here, and what happened with Dad?"

Martha gave Clark's shoulder a little squeeze and said in a warning tone, "Clark…"

Lex smiled at both Clark and Martha before trying to answer Clark's questions. "I'm fine- sort of, I came back last night with Pop because he found out I had been drinking and I'll leave the last question up to your imagination."

Clark looked at Lex in a very serious way "Big trouble?"

Lex couldn't resist a laugh when he looked at Clark's forlorn expression. "Yes really big trouble. But I was wrong to drink and try to drive, it was stupid and dangerous. Not only did Pop give me a good 'talking to', but I'm also grounded from driving my car. All in all, a really rotten day, but it could have ended with me killing someone last night so I guess I did deserve it."

Lex was surprised when Clark walked over and gave him a rather large hug. "I've gotten my fair share of 'talking to's' and they're awful. For one thing they really hurt and then Dad is all disappointed and sad and you feel so bad."

Lex nodded his head in agreement. "Yea they really suck all right."

Martha fought back a smile at the direction their conversation was taking. Just as she was about to send Clark out for Jonathon he came in from the barn. "Dinner ready yet?" he asked.

Martha nodded in reply and the farmer walked over to give his son a welcome home hug. After he was done with Clark he walked over to where Lex stood. He also was glad to see that Lex looked a little more rested and just generally better.

Jonathon wrapped Lex in a hug as Clark had done only moments before. "How are you feeling son- I hope a little better."

Lex was again surprised that after all he had done and his harsh punishment that the farmer clearly had forgiven him and was concerned. Once again he found himself fighting tears that threatened to spill. Because he was struggling with his emotions he didn't trust himself to speak and so he just nodded.

"Good, I'm really glad Lex. Now how about we all eat? We know that Clark is hungry, because Clark is always hungry."

The farmer kidded his son who just rolled his eyes at how uncool his dad really was. They all pulled their chairs out and Lex suppressed a laugh when he saw that Martha had put a pillow on the seat of his chair. But being a realist he turned a grateful look in her direction and gently sat down.

Immediately Clark began his long list of questions for Lex and for once Martha actually had to tell him to eat his meal. Lex sat (rather uncomfortably) and divided his time between answering Clark and making conversation with Mom and Pop. He was very aware of how much he felt that he belonged in this house with these people. And that was such a gift that he knew he would never it for granted.

Like Lex, Jonathon was watching and listening to his family enjoying their meal. He
wasn't sure how long Lex would allow them to be such a big part of his life, but he hoped it would be a very long time. He was also feeling grateful that this young man had come into their lives. He looked across at his lovely wife Martha and caught her eye. She smiled back at him and he knew that she too was feeling satisfied and contented with their little family.

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