Author's Note: This story is for Sandy because her feedback makes me happier then most other things in life, and for Aciel who convinced me one more chapter of this series just wasn't enough. Thanks for waiting for so long for it guys. Lex is 20, and Clark is 14. Written January 2006. (Revised September 2009)
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters, and I am not making any money from these stories.
Warning: Non consensual disciplinary spanking of an adult by a parental figure.



Friendship Chapter 8


Lex lay down on the comfortable bed and closed his eyes. He felt himself starting to relax, and even with his eyes closed he could tell when the lights started to dim. He heard the slow and steady voice coming out of the speakers telling him to relax even further. He did until all his muscles were at rest. He had done this seven times before, so it didn't take very long before he was almost asleep. But just as he was about to fall asleep, the calm and soothing voice told him to think back and remember something from his childhood. Then the voice was asking him questions, and Lex was answering.

The voice asked, "How old are you?"

Lex answered, "Six."

"What are you doing?"

"Looking at fish. Big fish."

"Who's with you?"

"Mom. She's telling me about the fish."

"Is your father there?"

Lex pouted, "No. He said he would come, but he had to work. He said he was sorry. He always has to work."

"Are you at the zoo?"

"No, we're at the Aquarium. The sharks are my favorite. Mom says we get to watch them get fed."

"Is anyone else with you?"

"The bodyguards, but they don't count."

"Are there other people around? Any other kids for you to play with or talk to?"

"Some people are here to see the fish too, but no one will talk to me. The bodyguards scare them away. Mom's here though, so I don't care. She's holding my hand and smiling. She's telling me what the different kinds of sharks are called," Lex said with a smile.

"Do you get to watch them eat?"

"Yeah. It's so cool. They're rolling all over each other to get a bite."

"What happens when they're done?"

"We get to see all the exhibits. We stay all day, and even have lunch there."

"What happens when you go home?"

"Mom and I have dinner alone. Dad's still working."

"Do you see your father before you go to bed?"

"He comes in to say good night once I'm in bed. He's still in his suit. He smiles at me and listens to me tell him about the sharks. He says maybe he'll get me a piranha to keep in my room, but mom's in the doorway and says no. They both give me a kiss, and say good night."

"Do you go to sleep?"

"Yes."

"Good. Now you are going to start feeling more alert…."

The voice kept talking and soon Lex was fully awake. The lights came up just slightly, and Lex sat up. He looked around the room and smiled at the mirror he knew was a two way. Lex waited a few seconds, and then he heard a knock on the door. It was his professor's assistant, who smiled, and started taking off the wires, which were attached to his head and chest with white tape. Once she was done, he put his shirt on, and stood up. When the professor came in, Lex smiled and said, "How'd I do?"

"You tell me. Was that a memory you already had, or was it something you had forgotten?" he asked.

Lex thought about that for a second. "I had a vague memory of it, but now it's much more sharp in my mind."

"Good. Let's go out and you can fill out the questionnaire about today."

As they were walking, Lex thought about the research study he was participating in. Professor Bennett had suggested Lex take intro to Psychology this year, because all the papers Lex wrote for History seemed to delve into the psyche of the person Lex was writing about. Lex had agreed, and had found it interesting for the first two terms of his sophomore year in college. Then in the third term, the professor had handed out a flyer asking for participants for research projects in the psychology department. Quite a few students wanted to do it for the little bit of extra money that was involved. Lex looked it over, and was about to throw the paper away when he heard the professor tell them they could earn extra credit for doing it too. Lex had done well in the class so far, but he thought it would be nice to bring his B up to an A. So he'd gone in, and submitted to testing.

When he'd found out that the particular test he was participating in was about improving memory, and memory recall, Lex had gotten much more interested. The first day had gone well, and he found he did remember some things about his childhood that he'd forgotten. After that day, he decided there were some specific things he'd like to remember. But even though he tried concentrating on those things when the testing started, by the time he was relaxed enough to almost fall asleep, his subconscious would take over, and remembered what it wanted to remember instead.

But now Lex was concerned. There was only one day left of testing, and so far he had only remembered happy things. He wanted to remember that night, even if it would be painful. So Lex had decided to try something else.

Once they'd gotten to the outer room Lex said, "Professor Brown?"

"Yes?"

"There's something specific I'm trying to remember."

"Oh really? What is it?"

"I'd rather not say… but I was wondering if… After this experiment is done, do you think you could work with me…. off the record until I do remember it? I could give you specific questions to ask me."

Professor Brown thought about it for a few seconds and said, "It would be interesting to see how far my methods would take someone in remembering, but it would be a shame to not document it."

Lex said, "I could pay you. I could pay you a lot."

Professor Brown glared at Lex and said, "I won't take your money. I might help you, just to help you, and to see if my methods work for you, but not for money."

Blushing bright red, Lex muttered, "Sorry."

"It's okay. Here, why don't you sit down and fill out the questionnaire. It sounded like a good memory you were able to experience again."

Lex cheered up and nodded. He tried not to think about the fact that Professor Bennett, and Professor Brown were friends. He could just see them talking together, and then later getting an intense lecture about bribes from Professor Bennett. Or worse, Professor Bennett calling Jonathan Kent. Lex swallowed hard, and tried to push those thoughts out of his head, as he sat down and filled out the paperwork. Once he was done, he got up and handed it to the assistant. She said, "See you next week."

He was done with classes for the day, and headed for his car. As he was walking he thought, 'Why do I do stuff like that? Why not just let the guy think about it for the week? Instead I have to burst in and try to fix everything with my money. Now he'll probably mention it to Professor Bennett just in passing, and Professor Bennett will want to talk to me about it. He'll probably use examples of people from history that tried bribery and failed. There's a lecture I don't want. But even that would be better then calling Pop.'

Lex cringed a little while he imagined what Jonathan Kent might have to say about bribery. Lex had gotten to his car, and opened the door. He didn't even try to delude himself by saying it didn't matter what Jonathan said because Lex was now twenty and in the last term of his sophomore year in college. Jonathan didn't seem to think age was much of a factor in his relationship with Lex. As Lex was driving home to his condo he remembered the one time Professor Bennett had called Jonathan. It had been four months ago in the beginning of winter term.

# # #

Lex was taking a higher level History class from Professor Bennett, and while it was harder then last year's basic history class, it was also more fun. Lex truly enjoyed Professor Bennett's teaching style, and would often stay after class to talk with him about a viewpoint or opinion on the lecture. Then three weeks into class, the Professor had assigned the first big paper. Lex had a good understanding of the class, and had kept caught up on the reading, so he wasn't terribly worried about writing the paper. It was assigned on a Monday and due the following Monday. Lex put off writing the paper until Friday night.

Friday afternoon during his last class, one of the girls in the class invited him to a party that night. Lex hadn't been to a party since the previous term, and thought it would be okay to go. He would do his paper on Saturday. At the party he spent most of his time with the girl who had invited him, and he drank quite a bit. Saturday morning he woke up in a strange bed next to the girl with a massive hang over. He couldn't even remember her name, and quietly snuck out of the bed and looked for his clothes. He found them. and got himself dressed in time to run for the bathroom and puke.

As he was lying on the bathroom floor of some frat house he didn't even recognize, he realized that not drinking very often made his hangovers worse when he over did it. About two hours later he was able to drag his ass out of the house without dry heaving any more. He got to his car and drove himself home. Once there he showered, drank a bunch of water, and took some Tylenol. He spent the afternoon napping.

He woke up around three in the afternoon and realized he still had to start on the paper. His head didn't hurt quite so much, and he went to find something bland to eat. Once he had eaten, he got out his books and tried to write. He soon realized he would need to go to the library. He decided to do it Sunday, since he didn't feel good anyway. He sat in front of the TV and watched bad shows that he wasn't even interested in for the rest of the night, only stopping to make himself some dinner. He knew he was procrastinating, and he knew he would hate himself for it tomorrow, but he just couldn't seem to force himself to work on the paper.

Sunday he got up early and decided to be serious about his paper. He headed to the library. Once he got there, he was beyond pissed when he read the notice saying they were closed for painting. Lex drove home in a bad mood and decided he would have to try the internet to get what he needed for the paper. Four hours later he looked at the clock and couldn't believe how much time had gone by. He had been to so many sites that they all blurred together, and he still hadn't found the information he needed. He took a break for lunch, and as soon as he sat down to eat - the power went off. He groaned and cursed his luck.

After calling the power company, he spent most of the afternoon trying to write a paper without the reference materials he needed. The power didn't come on until after one AM, at which time Lex was asleep at his desk. He woke with a start on Monday morning at seven AM. He looked at his clock and swore. He turned on his computer, and had just enough time to type in what he had written the night before. Then he printed it and got himself ready for the day. He cursed his luck again as he was headed to school, because his History class was first.

After class, when everyone else was turning in their papers, Lex stood back and waited. Once it was just him and Professor Bennett in the room, Lex said nervously, "I was hoping to have an extension."

Professor Bennett looked concerned and said, "Is everything okay Lex?"

Looking down, Lex said, "Yeah, everything's fine…. I… I just need some extra time."

After taking a good look at Lex, he shook his head, and said, "I'm gonna need more of an excuse then that. Why don't you have a paper for me?"

He felt himself turning red, but did explain what had happened on Sunday. As Lex trailed off, Professor Bennett said, "Let me see the paper you have."

Lex dug it out of his bag and handed it over. "It sucks. If I could just have one more day I'll be able to turn in a much better one."

"Take a seat,"

Lex sat, while Professor Bennett read the paper. After what seemed like a very long time to Lex, the professor looked over at him and said, "Your paper is full of speculation with very few facts to back it up. You haven't referenced anything, and there are about twelve grammatical errors. I think it's a C paper, but because I know you, and I know what you can write if you put the time into it I'm giving you a D."

Knowing the professor was right about the paper only made things worse. Frowning, Lex said, "Look, I know it sucks. I told you what happened, so why can't you give me an extra day? I'll write a much better paper. You're my advisor, and I thought we were friends."

With a serious expression, Professor Bennett said, "You had all last week to write it Lex."

"Yeah, I know, but I didn't do it last week, because I figured I would have time to do it this weekend."

"Why didn't you work on it Saturday?"

Looking away, Lex said, "I felt sick."

Professor Bennett shook his head and said, "I'm sorry Lex, but I'm not going to give you special treatment just because we're friends. You had plenty of time to do the work, you just chose not to."

Lex got pissed. "So you can use the fact that you know me to give me a D instead of a C, but not to give me an extra day? Some fucking friend you turned out to be! Screw you and screw your class!"

Storming out of the room, Lex could hear Professor Bennett yelling, "I wouldn't be a very good friend to you if I let you get away with sloppy work habits!"

By the end of his next class, Lex had calmed down, and started to feel bad about what he had said. He had some time for lunch before his next class, and as he ate, he did some serious thinking about what he had said to the Professor. By the time his last class was done for the day, he regretted what he'd said, and went to apologize. Professor Bennett was in his office, and Lex knocked on the doorframe to alert him to his presence. When Professor Bennett looked up, Lex said, "I'm sorry. I was mad, but mostly mad at myself, and blew things out of proportion."

Professor Bennett nodded and said, "Apology accepted Lex. And I wanted to let you know that I spoke with Mr. Kent about…."

"WHAT?!" Lex cut him off with a yell.

He shrugged and said, "I'm sorry, but I took 'screw you and screw your class' to mean you weren't coming back to class. I called Jonathan Kent to let him know, and while I had him on the phone we talked about your paper too."

With his stomach twisting, Lex asked, "Why? Why would you do that to me?"

With confusion, he said, "Mr. Kent was very specific about when I should be calling him at the beginning of the school year, and you agreed. You sat here in my office with him, and nodded when he gave me a list of reasons to call him, and dropping out of the class was number one."

Lex sighed and said, "I wasn't going to quit, I just needed some time to calm down."

"Well I'll try to keep that in mind if something like this happens again. But the point is that Mr. Kent mostly agreed with me about the paper."

Lex muttered, "He would."

"But he got me to agree to let you have until Friday to do a new paper, and then I'll split the difference for the grade. So if you write me an A paper, I'll give you a B- for the assignment."

"Really?"

"Really. Look Lex, even if you don't do a second paper, it's not all that bad. I'll have some extra credit assignments later in the term, and if you keep up with the rest of the regular assignments, I'm sure you can still get a B in the class. Maybe even an A if you do great work. And even if you aren't exactly happy with that decision, I hope we can still be friends."

Lex nodded absently, too surprised at what Jonathan had done, and too concerned with what Jonathan was going to say, to think about much else. "Yeah that's fine. I'll see you tomorrow in class. I've got to go."

Lex walked away and drove immediately to his condo. As soon as he opened the door, he could see the message light blinking on his answering machine. He took a deep breath and pushed the button. Jonathan's voice came out saying, "Hi Lex, it's Pop. Call me when you get home please."

Lex felt his pulse go up. He didn't want to call at all, but at the same time he wanted it over with, and he wanted to tell his side of the story. He picked up and dialed the Kent farm, and as he hit the last number he realized his story would either have to involve lying, or telling Jonathan about getting wasted at the party. He was about to hang up when he heard Jonathan answer, "Kent residence."

"Hi Mr. Kent, it's me."

Jonathan could tell Lex was feeling guilty, because he had called him 'Mr. Kent' instead of his usual 'Pop'. Jonathan said, "Hi Lex. How are you?"

"Not so good."

"I heard. Professor Bennett called me. Why don't you tell me about it."

"It was just stupid of me. I put off writing the paper until the last minute, and then everything went wrong on the day I had set aside to write it. Then today in class I was angry about the whole thing, and said something rude that I didn't mean. I've already apologized to Professor Bennett."

"What exactly did you say to the Professor?"

"Didn't he tell you?"

"No. He just said you were yelling, and stormed off, indicating that you wouldn't be back to class, because he'd given you a D on your paper."

Lex thought for a second and said, "I never planned on quitting the class, and I've already told him that. I'd rather not repeat what I said. I already apologized, and I didn't mean it."

With sympathy, Jonathan said, "That bad huh?" Lex felt his face getting warm. Jonathan continued, "Did the Professor accept your apology?"

"Yes."

"Okay, then I'll let it go this time. But I hope you realize that I expect you to treat your professors with respect. Yelling and storming off isn't appropriate behavior for someone in college is it?"

Relieved he wasn't going to have to repeat it, Lex mumbled, "No Sir."

"I don't expect to have to go over this with you again, do I make myself clear?"

"Yes Sir."

"Good." Jonathan said. "Now, why did you put off writing your paper all week?"

"I thought I would have plenty of time over the weekend, and I knew I could get it done in a day."

"What happened to Saturday? The Professor said something about you being sick."

With a wince, Lex said, "Um…. Kind of?"

The line was silent for a few seconds, and then Jonathan said, "I'm gonna want a better answer then that son."

Figuring it had worked once, Lex said, "I'd rather not say."

"Too bad, tell me anyway." Jonathan said.

"No," Lex said with panic.

"That's not the way this family works Lex, and you know it. Tell me what happened. Don't be so worried."

Lex had been pacing around the room, but now sat down on the couch feeling defeated. He said, "I went to a party Friday and got really drunk. Then I felt sick all day Saturday." Then in a belligerent and defiant tone, Lex said, "So did you want me to fly home tonight so you can spank me, or did you want to wait for this weekend."

The line was silent for a few seconds, and Lex quickly regretted what he had said. After taking a minute to think it over, Jonathan asked, "Did you take anything besides alcohol?"

"No," Lex said quietly, all belligerence gone from his voice.

"Then I don't think I'll be spanking you for it at all. I think feeling sick all day Saturday was punishment enough. But if you give me even one more hint of attitude during the rest of this conversation, you can bet you won't be sitting comfortably on Friday night after you get home."

"I'm sorry," he said automatically. Lex was shocked, but also relieved by Jonathan's decision.

"But since you obviously didn't handle the party well, you're grounded from any and all parties for the next month."

Gritting his teeth, Lex forced himself not to say something that Jonathan could interpret as an 'attitude'. After a few seconds Jonathan said, "Did you hear me Lex?"

"Yes."

"Do you think you'll have the self discipline to stay away from a party you're invited to?"

"I think so."

"If it would help, we would love to see you here at home for the next four weekends."

"Okay. I'll consider it."

"So tell me what happened on Sunday," Jonathan said.

Lex went into detail and clearly showed his frustration with Sunday. At the end of the explanation Jonathan said, "Talk about bad luck. I'm sure it felt like the world was against you."

With a sigh, Lex realized that telling Jonathan about it had make him feel better. Especially since Jonathan sounded like he was sympathetic. He said, "Yeah it did feel like that."

"Did Professor Bennett tell you he's giving you a chance to hand in a new paper?"

"Yes, thanks for talking him into that. Did he tell you about his grading system?"

Jonathan said, "Um…. I'm not sure what you mean, so probably not."

"He told me it was a C paper, but he's giving me a D because he knows me, and knows I can write better. Does that seem fair to you?"

"No, it doesn't."

"That's part of why I was so angry."

"I can understand why that would make you angry, but you have to remember, that if you'd done the paper on time like you were supposed to, it wouldn't have been a problem in the first place. So while I'm sorry he's not grading you impartially, I still think he has the right to give you the grade he sees fit. After this term you can always choose a different advisor, and make sure not to take any classes he's teaching."

Slowly shaking his head, Lex said, "No.… I do like him, and when we're talking about things for the class…. He's a good teacher, and he's given me good advice. I'll stick with him even if I think he was wrong today. He's been right more often then he's been wrong, and no one is perfect…. Except maybe you."

Jonathan burst out laughing. Once he'd calmed down he said, "I'm sure Martha would love to give you an earful on that subject."

With a smile, Lex said, "My mistake, she's the perfect one."

"Well you'll get no arguments from me there."

Taking a deep breath Lex said, "I was really nervous to call you back."

"It's never easy to face up to things you've done when you know they were wrong. I'm proud of you for calling me and for being up front about it all."

Getting choked up at those words of praise, Lex said, "Thanks Pop."

"So go make arrangements to fly home this weekend because we miss you, and then get started on your new and improved paper."

"Okay. I'll talk to you later."

# # #

By the time Lex got home to his condo, he'd decided there was nothing to do about his bribery attempt now. He would just have to wait and see if anyone got on his case about it. Over the next week, Lex didn't hear anything about it, and decided to count himself lucky.

The next week in testing, he remembered another happy memory, and again when it was over, he asked Professor Brown if he had thought about testing him. Professor Brown said, "I did, and I'll be happy to do the test, but I have to be able to document the findings. I'll protect your name, and no one will know it's you."

Lex really wanted to know, so he said, "Okay, as long as you can promise me my name will be nowhere on the paper if you write one."

"Deal. When do you want to do it?"

"As soon as possible.."

"I'm free Saturday."

"This Saturday, meaning tomorrow?"

"Yes."

"Okay. What time."

"Does nine in the morning work for you?"

Lex nodded and said, "Thanks for agreeing to help me."

That night Lex went home and spent the night writing out some questions that he thought would help him get to that point of memory. The next morning Professor Brown sat down with Lex and said, "So what day or event do you want to remember?"

"The night my brother died."

Startled, Professor Brown asked, "How old were you?"

"Twelve."

"Do you have any memories of that night?"

"Yes, but they're spotty. And the part I really want to remember is missing." Lex handed over some papers filled with questions. "These questions should help."

Professor Brown took a few minutes to look over the questions. After reading the last one he said, "Your mind may have helped you forget this for a reason Lex. You may not be able to remember it, and if you do remember it, it might be damaging to you."

"I still want to try." Lex said with confidence.

With uncertainty, the professor said, "I don't know."

"Trust me, not knowing, is just as damaging."

The professor slowly nodded. "I suppose it's worth a try. Let's get started."

Twenty minutes later Lex was almost asleep, when he heard Professor Brown's voice. It said, "Think back to when you were twelve."

After a few seconds the voice said, "What are you doing?"

"I'm in my new school. I hate it here. Everyone hates me, and I don't get to go home at the end of the day. My roommate keeps calling me cue ball, and when I told him who my father was he just laughed."

"Why are you at the school?"

"Because I'm bad."

"What makes you think you are bad?"

"Dad says I am."

"Why does he say that?"

"Because I killed Julian."

"Do you remember killing him?"

Lex paused and his face showed some confusion. "No."

"Think back to the day your brother died. Did you go to bed at the regular time?"

"Yes. Mom was tired again, so I made sure I went to bed on time to help her."

"Did you stay in bed all night?"

"No."

"Why not?"

"I heard Julian crying."

"Why did that make you get up?"

"He just kept crying. Usually it only lasts a few minutes, but this time it kept going. So I got up to see what was wrong."

"What happened?"

Frowning in concentration, he tried to remember. The frown melted away as his memories of that night came rushing back. "As soon as I got my bathrobe on, his crying sounded like it was further away. It sounded…. Wrong. When I got to the hallway I couldn't hear him anymore, so I ran. When I got to the nursery, I saw Mom standing over the crib, so I thought she was taking care of him. The room was dark, and I could just make out her shape. I stood and waited for her for a few minutes, so she could finish comforting Julian before I said good night. But it seemed to be taking a long time, so I walked up to her, so she could see that I was there. But when I got close to the crib I…"

Feeling sick, but understanding why Lex needed to remember, Professor Brown waited a few seconds and then said, "What did you see?"

"Mom was holding a pillow over Julian's face. I asked her what she was doing. She turned to me and smiled. She lifted the pillow and handed it to me. She looked down at Julian and said, 'He's quiet now. He's finally at peace.' She kissed the top of my head, patted my face, and said, 'Don't look so sad Lex dear. Julian's happy now. Finally happy.' Then she walked away. I got close to the crib and looked at Julian. He was the wrong color… even in the dark, he was the wrong color. His eyes and mouth were open. He looked afraid but he wasn't moving or making any nose. I was so scared. I didn't know what to do. I just stood there…."

"Then Dad came in and said, 'What did you do'. He looked at the baby and picked him up. Julian's head flopped. Dad made a noise and then put the baby back down. He turned and looked at me. It was a look I didn't know. He yelled 'What did you do!' and hit me. I must have passed out. I don't know for how long. When I woke up… I couldn't remember what had happened. But Dad told me what I had done, and then sent me away to that school."

Trying to keep his voice calm and level, even though it was difficult, Professor Brown said, "You are feeling more awake now."

Lex opened his eyes and quickly sat up. He just sat there in shock for a few seconds, and then started frantically pulling off the sticky tape that kept the wires attached to him. Once they were off, he grabbed his shirt and headed for the door. Professor Brown opened the door before Lex could get to it, and asked with concern, "How are you feeling Lex?"

Pulling his shirt over his head, Lex said, "I'm fine. I need to go."

"I think maybe you should sit down for a few minutes, and let this information sink in before you go anywhere."

Looking Professor Brown in the eyes, Lex said, "My mother murdered my baby brother, and my father blamed me for it. I got it. Now I need to go."

Professor Brown shook his head uncertainly, but Lex shoved past him. On the way to his car, Lex muttered to himself, "How could you?! I don't understand. Julian was so small and helpless. All you had to do was let the nanny take care of him. How could you do it?!!"

Lex stopped in his tracks and thought, "I could have stopped her. I just stood there while she killed him. If I had just let her know I was there, Julian might be alive."

Lex looked around, he realized he was headed the wrong way for his car. He turned around, headed the opposite way, and thought, 'Pop was right! I didn't kill him! Dad fucking assumed I had done it. I wonder what he'll say when I tell him?'

Getting in his car, he sat and stared at the steering wheel. The fresh memory Julian alone and dead in the crib assaulted him, and he broke down and cried. He wasn't sure how long he sat there. Every time he thought he had it under control, the sobs would start up again. But eventually he was able to stop and operate his car. He went home to his condo, and quickly packed an overnight bag. The need to confront his father had overwhelmed him. The thought of telling Lionel that his hate had been misplaced all these years, kept circling in his head.

He made arrangements for a flight to Metropolis, and for his Porsche to be at the airport waiting for him. Before he left his condo he thought about calling the Kents. There was no doubt in his mind that they would make him feel better, but he also knew they would want him to calm down before seeing his father. Lex didn't want to wait.

Once he was on the plane, he had another thought. 'What if Dad doesn't believe me? What if he laughs at me? What if he thinks this is a sad attempt on my part not to take responsibility for something I did?' That thought sent Lex over the edge. His hate for his father skyrocketed, and he decided he was going to need a gun.

Lex didn't calm down during the three hour flight, if anything he got angrier. He got off the plane, found his car, and drove to a club he used to frequent. He asked for Ken, and soon the man was sitting at his table.

Ken said, "Long time no see Richie Rich. I've got some good stuff today."

"I'm not looking for coke today. I need a gun."

Stanking up, Ken put his hands up. "Woah! Slow down kid. I don't do guns."

"Yeah, but I bet you know who does."

Ken started to shake his head, but Lex said, "I've been a good customer for many years."

"Two years ago maybe. Not anymore."

"All I need is a name and location. Name your price."

After thinking about it, Ken said, "Five hundred cash."

Lex pulled out the cash, and handed it over. Ken wrote down a name and address. Lex took it, and drove to the address. Fifteen minutes after he had arrived, he owned an untraceable gun and a box of ammunition.

When he got to the car, Lex loaded it and put it in the glove box. He drove straight to Luthorcorp, parked, and put the gun in the waistband of his pants. He covered it up with his suit jacket, and got out. As he walked through the front doors, the metal detectors went off. A security guard confront him. "Hello sir, I'm going to have to ask you…."

Lex yelled, "You're fired if you say one more word!"

The security guard was about to pull his weapon, when another guard came up and said, "I'm so sorry Mr. Luthor. Please go right ahead."

Seeing Joe at the front desk, Lex went to him and said, "Tell him I'm coming up, and unless he wants a scene he'd better be alone."

Understanding, Joe nodded and picked up the phone. Lex took the elevator up, and when he got to the outer office, he yelled at the secretary, "Don't let anyone in!"

Walking into the office, Lex slammed the door behind him. After making sure there was no one else in the room, he locked the door too. Lionel said, "To what do I owe this unexpected surprise son?"

Pacing around the room, Lex couldn't make eye contact. He said, "I've been participating in a study at school. It helps people to remember their past."

"Oh?"

Lex looked at Lionel and said, "I didn't kill Julian Dad."

With a long suffering sigh, Lionel said, "I'm sure that's what you want to believe Lex, but…"

Whipping out the gun from the back of his pants, Lex chambered the first bullet, and then aimed it at Lionel's heart. Lionel immediately put up his hands in surrender and said, "What has gotten into you Lex? Just calm down…"

With an ironic laugh, Lex said, "What's gotten into me? The truth Dad! That's what has gotten into me. You selfish uncaring bastard!"

"Why don't you tell me what this is all about," Lionel said with a forced calm that he didn't feel.

"I did tell you!! I didn't kill my brother! You saw me there and assumed I did it! How could you just assume that?! Did you hate me before you thought I killed him?!"

"Lex, be reasonable. We both know it wasn't SIDS, and if you didn't kill him, then who did?"

"MOM!!"

After thinking that over, Lionel said, "Why would your mother do that?"

"I don't know. But I do know that she was unhappy."

Looking into the distance, Lionel said, "She was depressed, and taking medications for it."

Obviously agitated, Lex paced around the room, not paying attention to the loaded gun in his hand. He said, "I saw her. She smothered him. When she saw I had come into the room, she told me that Julian was happy now and handed me the pillow."

After a few seconds to think about that, Lionel could see the truth in that story. Turning to Lex, he asked with sorrow, "Why didn't you tell me son?"

Lex gestured wildly with the gun and screamed, "Why did you assume I had killed him in the first place!!!"

Lionel knew the reason, but couldn't tell his son. It was because Lionel had killed his own parents, and he'd assumed the desire to kill people who were in your way was in his blood. He'd assumed that Lex wanted his parent's attention all to himself. Lionel shook his head, and asked again, "Why didn't you tell me?"

"I was in shock, and then you hit me so hard I passed out. Maybe if I hadn't hit my head on the floor, I would have been able to remember what had happened, and then I could have told you. But in all honesty I probably wouldn't have."

"Why?"

Lex hissed, "You would have had Mom murdered for what she did. You couldn't kill me. I was the only living heir. But you would have killed her, and I loved her."

Lionel started walking towards Lex, and said with regret, "It could have been so different between us Lex. If I had just known."

Before Lionel could reach him, Lex put the gun up again and pointed it at Lionel's head. Lex said with quiet hatred, "I don't think it could have Dad. You would have found a reason to hate me, or to set me against Julian if he had lived. I…. I think you're evil Dad. And I don't want to ever see you again."

"Lex I…."

Lex turned and ran, barely pausing to unlock the door. He ignored the elevator, and took the stairs. He ran though the lobby, without even realizing he was still holding the gun, but security didn't try to stop him. Getting to the car, he fumbled with the lock. Once he got in, he tossed the gun on the passenger seat, and locked himself in.

A few seconds later, he looked at the gun. He unloaded it, and put it back in the glove compartment. Starting the car, he tried to decide where to go. He wanted to talk to the Kents, but he wasn't sure if he was ready to see them. Getting out his cell phone, he dialed their number. He was almost confused when got the answering machine instead of a person. He said, "Mr. Kent, it's Lex. I need to talk to you. I need to talk to you now. Where are you? I… I'm in Metropolis, and…. Something happened. I'll come home later tonight…. I have to do something first."

Lex hung up, and drove towards the outskirts of Metropolis. Twenty minutes later he was at the cemetery. He parked and got out. He hadn't been to see his mom since High School, and he had only been twice ever. But he had no problems finding her. He looked at the headstone and wiped off the debris that had accumulated over the years. He squatted down and looked at the inscription. It said, 'Loving wife and mother.' Turning to the left, he saw Julian's headstone as well.

Shaking his head, he sat down in the wet grass, wrecking his thousand-dollar suit. He wasn't sure if it started as a laugh or a cry, but soon he was crying again. He asked, "Why Mom?"

Getting no answer, he said, "Your own baby. He was so tiny and helpless. I will never understand this Mom. I can never forgive you. How can I possibly be a good person when my father is flat out evil, and my mother murdered her own baby? Am I just deceiving the Kents and myself with my good act? I don't know where to go from here. Should I become the immoral bastard my father wants me to be? The man I know I could be if the circumstances were right. Or should I keep playing house with the Kents, only to have them disappointed in me years down the road, when I turn into the monster my genetics want me to be?"

Taking one more look at his mother's headstone, Lex stood and said, "I won't come see you again. Enjoy Hell."

Turning to his baby brother's headstone, Lex traced Julian's name in the stone with his finger. He said, "I'm sorry. Sorry I didn't protect you better. Sorry that I didn't get to know you. Sorry for missing out on what we could have been to each other."

Unable to stay there any longer, Lex walked away, and somehow found his way back to his car. He looked at his cell phone, and found that no one had called. Looking out the window, he tried to decide what to do. He knew the right answer was 'go home and see the Kents' but at the same time, he just wanted to forget. His watch said it was almost five PM. He could be home in two hours. Knowing that was the best choice, Lex started the car, and headed towards Smallville. But as he passed through the city, he saw a bar that he used to frequent. He pulled in and said to himself, "This is a bad idea."

But getting drunk sounded too appealing. He doubted Jonathan would get angry about it, considering what he'd been through, especially if he made sure to take a cab to a hotel later. He could go home tomorrow morning, after a night of forgetting. He went in and found the manager. He said, "Deirdre, it's good to see you again."

Deirdre said, "Lex? Lex Luthor? I haven't seen you in ages. How are you?"

Lex lied, "I'm great. In fact I'm celebrating tonight."

Deirdre smiled and gave him a coy, "You often are."

Handing her the keys to his Porsche, and one thousand dollars, Lex said, "If I pass out get me a cab to the Plaza, and make sure I get a room. Also, please make arrangements to have my car driven there."

"Of course. Would you like me to send over one of the girls tonight?"

Losing his smile, Lex said, "No. No girls tonight."

"Did you want Jeff to come by your table?"

"No. No hard stuff. Just scotch for me tonight. Give me the bottle, and a glass with ice."

Deirdre smiled and said, "You got it. Did you want your regular table?"

"Sure."

Soon Lex was drinking and forgetting.

# # #

On the Kent farm, Clark came in from doing the chores, and saw that there was a message on the machine. He listened and said, "That can't be good."

He looked at the time and called his parent's hotel room in Metropolis. Martha answered, and Clark said, "Hi Mom, is Dad there?"

"Sure… Is everything okay Honey? Did something happen? Do we need to come home?"

"Jeez Mom, I'm fourteen. I can handle things for one night on my own, stop worrying. The farm is fine, but Lex isn't. He called and left a message for Dad, and I think he should hear it."

"Okay, hold on."

Jonathan got on and said, "What's wrong son?"

"I'm gonna play a message for you that Lex left about an hour ago."

Once Jonathan had heard it, he said, "Okay Clark, good job calling and letting me know. I'm going to call his cell phone and see where he is."

"He must be really upset if he didn't remember this was the weekend you guys were staying at the Plaza again. I mean he's the one who arranged it. But I guess it was a few months ago."

"I'll call you back as soon as I know anything. Stay by the phone, and let me know if he calls again."

"Okay Dad."

Jonathan quickly informed Martha of the situation and called Lex's cell phone. No one answered, so he left a message. "Lex it's Pop, we're here in Metropolis too. Our phone number here in the room is 555-1843. Call us back as soon as you get this message. Whatever happened, we'll help you as best we can son. We love you. Bye."

He hung up and looked at Martha. She said, "I guess that means dinner out is cancelled."

"I'm afraid so."

Looking at the clock, which read five-fifteen, she said, "Let's just get room service and wait for his call."

Once the food arrived, Jonathan ate quickly, wondering why Lex wasn't calling back. He tried calling Lex two more times, with no results. Half an hour later, he turned to Martha and said, "I can't just sit here. It's probably useless, but I'm going to drive around the city and look for his car."

She understood his need to do something, and said, "Okay, just call back here every half hour in case he shows up or calls."

He nodded and walked out the door.

# # #

Wanting to forget quickly, Lex had quickly downed the first two drinks in record time. But as soon as the alcohol hit his stomach, he could feel the effects, because he hadn't eaten anything since early that morning. Now he was taking it slow, enjoying his third drink while feeling better. Taking comfort in being able to see his bottle of scotch sitting beside him on the table. The music was insanely upbeat, and the people that were there seemed fairly happy. Lex was smiling when Jeff came up to his table. Remembering him well, Lex said, "Hi Jeff, how's business?"

"Booming. But still not as good as it was when you used to come in. Can I get you anything tonight?"

"No thanks. I'm done with that."

Jeff smirked, "If I had a dollar for every time I've heard that… Oh wait, that's right I do. I have serious doubts that you're done. Just come to the bathroom with me for a few minutes. I have some excellent weed. Trust me, you'll enjoy it."

"Sorry Man. No more hard stuff for me. Just alcohol."

Jeff laughed. "Marijuana isn't hard stuff dude. My grandma does it. Just come to the bathroom with me, and I'll give you the first one for free."

Thinking that over for a few seconds, Lex said, "Okay, I'll come try it, but even if it's the best stuff ever, I'm not going to buy any."

Not believing that for a second, Jeff said, "Awesome."

They headed to the bathroom, and Jeff pulled out a joint. He lit up and took a drag before handing it to Lex. Lex had to admit it was pretty powerful stuff. Jeff said, "So can I interest you in some more?"

Lex giggled and said, "No way man. It's good, but trust me it's not worth it."

"I never thought I'd see the day you'd turn down drugs Lex. What happened?"

"Life I guess."

Jeff handed Lex the joint and said, "On the house for all your years of keeping me in business. I've got to go find some paying clients."

Smiling, Lex watched Jeff leave, and then looked at joint in his hand. He took another hit, and as he was exhaling, he heard the bathroom door open. There in front of him was Jonathan Kent.

At first Jonathan smiled, happy and relieved to have found Lex. But the smile quickly turned to a frown, when he saw what Lex was holding.

Looking down at his own hand to see what Jonathan was frowning at, Lex said the first thing that came to his mind; "I can get a prescription for this."

Lex hoped it didn't sound as desperate to Jonathan, as it had to his own ears. With a look that said he was clearly not amused, Jonathan said, "I doubt it, and the point is that you don't have one."

He stubbed it out on the sink, and tossed it in the trash. With a hint of defiance, he said, "I'll have a prescription for it tomorrow."

Taking the five steps that separated them, Jonathan grabbed Lex's upper arm and turned him to the side. After giving him four hard swats, he turned him back around and said, "You will do nothing of the kind."

He'd been expecting the swats, and was able himself from yelling out in pain, but it took effort. His eyes start to tear up, so he ducked his head and said, "Yeah… Okay…. Sorry."

"I got your message. What happened?"

Lex blurted out, "I didn't kill Julian."

Jonathan had never believed that Lex had killed his brother. Lex was the only one in the Kent family who was unsure. With a nod of understanding, Jonathan asked, "What finally convinced you?"

Sounded haunted, Lex said, "I remembered who did. It was my mother. She put the pillow over his face and murdered him, and my father blamed me for it all these years."

Feeling sick, Jonathan pulled Lex into a hug. He didn't say anything, he just held Lex close.

A few seconds later the bathroom door opened, and a guy said, "Why don't you fags take it outside before I make you."

Letting go of Lex, Jonathan glared at the guy. "He's my son, Jackass. You got a problem with that?"

The guy walked to the urinal and said, "Whatever dude, just stay out of my way."

Jonathan said to Lex, "Let's go. We can't talk here anyway."

Once they were out of the bathroom, Jonathan asked, "Do you need to pay your tab?"

"No but I have a bottle of scotch on…. Never mind."

"You bought a whole bottle just for yourself?"

"Yeah."

Jonathan understood, but said, "You'll have to give whatever is left back."

"I figured."

"How many did you have?"

"Three."

Jonathan frowned and asked, "And what were you planning to do with your car? Because I know you weren't planning on driving it after you'd been drinking."

"I already gave my car keys to the manager. She'll arrange to have my car sent back to the Plaza. I should tell her to keep the rest of my scotch, and that I'm leaving… I assume I'm going with you."

"That's right."

Lex was about to go find Deirdre, but then turned back to Jonathan and asked, "Wait. How did you get to Metropolis so fast?"

"Don't you remember? Martha and I are staying at the Plaza this weekend. You gave us the vouchers for our anniversary."

Putting his head in his hands, he said, "I can't believe how stupid I am. If I had remembered, I could have gone to see you. I would have gone to you instead of coming here."

Patting the boy's back, Jonathan said, "Let's talk back at the hotel. Come on."

Lex took care of the things he needed to do, and got his overnight bag from his car. Jonathan used the bar's phone to let Martha know he'd found Lex, and was bringing him back to the hotel with him. Then he asked Martha to call Clark so that he wouldn't worry either. Soon Lex found himself in Jonathan's truck. As he was driving, Jonathan asked, "Why didn't you answer your cell phone?"

Lex had given up trying to live without a cell phone, even if he did think his father could use it to track him. He searched his pockets and found that he had three new messages. "I must not have heard it ring over the noise of the club."

Lex listened to the messages, and found they were all from Jonathan. Then he said, "I wish I had remembered that you guys were gonna be here."

"Me too."

It was a short drive back to the Plaza, and soon they arrived at the Kent's room. Martha had waiting for them, and as soon as she saw Lex, she got up and pulled him into a hug. He held her tight while Jonathan shut the door and said, "Okay. Let's hear the whole story Lex. "

They all sat on the couch, with Lex in the middle. Lex sighed and put his elbows on his knees. He said, "I was earning extra credit for my psychology class by participating in studies. Then it turned out that the study I was signed up for was about memory recall. It worked pretty well, but as the days went on I kept thinking about the night Julian was killed and how I couldn't remember. So once the class was over I asked the professor to help me over the weekend. He agreed, and this morning we did the routine again. But this time I gave him specific questions to help me remember that night…."

Martha had kept her arm around Lex's shoulders the whole time he had been talking. Now she gave his shoulder a squeeze. Lex told them what he had remembered from that night in detail. When he was done, he looked over to Martha, who was crying. Then he looked at Jonathan, who was clenching his jaw and looking like he wanted to kick someone's ass. Martha wiped at her face with her hands, and went to get a tissue. She came back, sat down, and took Lex's hand in hers. She said, "What did you do next Honey?"

"Drove home, booked a flight, and came to Metropolis."

Jonathan said, "What have you done from the time your flight got in until now? And why didn't you call us from home?"

Lex paused and said, "You've told me before that if I've done something that I know is….wrong,…., and I don't tell you about it, that it counts as a lie?"

"Yes."

Lex hesitated again and said, "Well maybe we could make an exception for extenuating circumstances?"

Jonathan didn't need to think about that one. "No."

Lex looked down and said, "Then maybe you should just put me down for one lie, because I'm pretty sure you'll be more upset about the truth, then you would be about me lying."

Putting his arm around Lex's shoulders, Jonathan said, "That's not the way it works son. You know that you can tell us anything, and we will still love you. And I think I should point out something important to you."

Lex looked over waiting. Jonathan said, "A year ago if you had done something that you knew I wouldn't approve of, you would be worried that I would walk out of your life. Now you're just worried that I'm going to spank you. I think that's a big step forward in our relationship."

With a sad expression Lex said, "I guess you're right, but that still doesn't make me want to tell you."

Smiling slightly, Jonathan said, "But I want you to be the kind of man who faces up to his mistakes, no matter what the consequences because it's the right thing to do."

Trying not to whine, and failing, Lex said, "You say you want me to be a man, but you're gonna spank me when I tell you. Shouldn't you say you want me to be a good kid? I don't know why you can't seem to see that I'm an adult."

"I know you're an adult. I know you have huge responsibilities, and I know your family made you grow up faster then you should have. But emotionally I think you're closer to Clark's age."

Lex was indignant; "I am not!"

Martha interrupted, "Enough stalling Lex. Tell us the truth. All of it please."

Standing up to pace, Lex said, "I confronted my father. Then he did exactly what I knew he was going to do. He didn't believe me. He thought I was making it up, so I…. I pulled a gun on him."

Martha gasped. With a calm he didn't feel, Jonathan asked, "Did you shoot him?"

"No."

Martha breathed out, "Thank God."

Jonathan said, "Did you shoot the gun at all?"

"No."

Still calm, Jonathan asked, "How did you get the gun?"

Turning red, Lex said, "I know someone. He got it for me today."

Jonathan leaned forward, put his elbows on his knees, and linked his hands together. He said, "Where is the gun now?"

Lex looked out the window and realized this wasn't a good answer either. "In my car."

Shaking his head, Jonathan said, "What happened with your father?"

"He eventually believed me. He said some garbage about how things could have been different between us, and I told him he was evil and that I never wanted to see him again."

"Then what?"

"I ran to my car, unloaded the gun, put it in the glove box, and called you. Then I went to the graveyard to visit my mom and Julian. Then went to the club."

Martha asked, "How did going to the graveyard make you feel?"

Lex stuck his hands in his pockets and said quietly, "I don't know. Crappy I guess. I told my mom that I can't understand her or forgive her for what she did. And I told Julian I was sorry I didn't save him."

"Why didn't you head for home after that, instead of going to the club?" Martha asked.

"I wanted to forget, and I knew alcohol would let me. I know it's 'wrong' – Lex put his hands up and made quote marks in the air when he said wrong – but I needed it."

With a glare, Jonathan said, "What about the pot? Did you need that too?"

Martha gave Lex a look of disapointment that he had trouble facing. He looked to the ground and said, "I didn't buy it. My old supplier wanted to sell me some, but I said no. So he talked me into trying a free sample. I'd already told him I wasn't going to buy any."

Jonathan asked, "Is that it? Did you tell us everything?"

"I think so."

"You come sit on the couch, and stay put while Martha and I talk about this."

"Okay."

Lex sat, while Jonathan and Martha headed to the front door. Jonathan said, "I'll be back in a few minutes."

Lex said sarcastically, "I'll be looking forward to it."

Once the door was shut behind them, Jonathan whispered, "What do you think Sweetheart?"

"His mother was obviously mentally unstable. It's gonna take him a while to accept all this, and it has to be a huge relief for him to know that he didn't do it. He's been getting more independent lately. Instead of calling us every day it's maybe twice a week. I think he's going to need us to give him more support for a while."

Jonathan nodded. "I agree. I was thinking maybe I would call Professor Bennett and have him send Lex his assignments for the next week so he could stay with us. Maybe a week at home will help him."

"I think that's a wonderful idea."

"He'll need some comfort over this next week, because I'm going to have to spank him twice."

Defending Lex, she said, "But there were extenuating circumstances. His emotions were on overload. I think once would be more than enough."

"I'm sorry, but I don't agree. It's going to be once for the gun, and once for the marijuana."

"I agree it needs to happen for the gun, but if you think you should spank him a second time for a few puffs of marijuana, I think you're wrong."

He sighed, "I told him that all illegal drugs were completely off limits with no exceptions, and that I would spank him if he did them. I think in the long run Lex will be better off knowing that I'm going to follow through with what I say."

After thinking about it for a few seconds, she said, "I can see why you need to make a point with him, but I don't like it. You should make it more of a token spanking then a real one.

"Okay Martha. You win. I'll go easy on him this time."

She gave him a quick kiss on the cheek, and said, "He shouldn't be alone tonight. He'll have to sleep on the couch in our room."

Jonathan agreed, but said, "I'm sorry this is getting in the way of our anniversary trip."

"Nonsense. We both know that the kids come first."

"I love you."

"I love you too." After a pause, Jonathan said, "I should go in there and deal with the marijuana now."

"Okay. I'll go down to the lobby for a while, and look in the gift shop."

Jonathan watched while Martha got into the elevator. Going back to his door, Jonathan knocked once before walking in. Obviously nervous, Lex stood up as soon as Jonathan came in. Jonathan said, "Martha says you're spending the night in our room."

Lex shook his head, but before he could protest, Jonathan said, "If you've got issues with that, you'll need to talk to her about it."

"Where is Mom?"

"She went to the gift shop so we could take care of things."

Lex glared and said, "Take care of things? Nice euphemism."

"Sit your butt down on the couch and listen up."

Once Lex was sitting, Jonathan said, "Tomorrow morning you're coming home with us."

Lex had expected that, but then Jonathan said, "And next week, you're going to spend all week at home."

"But what about school?"

"I'll call Professor Bennett and make arrangements for you to get your homework sent home. Martha and I agree that after what you've found out you need a week at home with us."

On the one hand, Lex thought that going home sounded like the best option, but on the other hand, he didn't like the way Jonathan seemed to think he could just take over his life. He said, "There's no need for that. I'll be fine at school. I don't want to miss out on all those lectures."

"I wasn't asking you if you wanted to. You're coming home for a week," Jonathan said with finality.

Lex yelled, "We set up a deal for school, but this is going to far! I'm twenty! You can't make me stay at home with you if I don't want to."

Crossing his arms, Jonathan said, "Our 'deal for school' has noting to do with this Lex. This is about your mental well being, and like it or not I consider you my son now, so you will do as I say, until I think you're mature enough to make your own choices."

Pissed off, Lex yelled, "So you're still gonna be spanking me when I'm thirty?!"

Staying calm, Jonathan said, "I hope not, but if that's what I think you need, then yes I will. I picture our relationship being much different then, but who knows. I'd like to still be there to give you advice, and to share the happy things in your life with you when you're thirty, but I hope by then things have settled down for you, and you won't need me to spank you anymore. Being your parent is a life long job for me. It doesn't end when you are in college. It doesn't end when you get a job. It doesn't even end when you are fully capable of making all your own decisions, and don't need any direction. It's forever."

Deep down, Lex knew that was the relationship he wanted and needed from the man in front of him, but in this moment, he found the words frustrating. "What if I say no, and refuse to go home with you?"

"Then the ride home will be uncomfortable for you."

Lex grumbled, "Like it's not gonna be anyway."

"When we get home tomorrow I'm going to be spanking you for the gun. I know your father is not a good man, but buying a gun to confront him with was completely unacceptable. With your emotions running on high, you might have shot him, and then you'd be in prison."

Jonathan put his hand up, and extended one finger for each of the next points he made. "You got an illegal gun. You waved it around in public. You confronted your father with it when you were very upset. You left your gun in your car, and probably left your fingerprints all over it. And then you told someone else to drive your car back to the hotel! What if they find the gun, steal it, and use gloves to commit a crime? How would you prove it wasn't you if you didn't have an alibi?"

Lex hadn't thought that far ahead, and as Jonathan was talking Lex got more and more embarrassed about what he'd done. Not necessarily because he thought it was wrong, but because he had let his emotions control his actions without using his brain first. Lex shook his head and said, "I don't know."

"We need to get rid of it tomorrow before we go home."

Lex nodded, and Jonathan asked, "Do you think the guy you bought it from would take it back?"

"Probably."

"As soon as we're done here, we'll get the gun and bring it up here so we can clean off your fingerprints before we take it back."

"Okay."

Jonathan sighed and said, "But tonight we're going to be dealing with the drugs."

Lex rolled his eyes. "You say 'drugs' like it was heroin or something. It was maybe one third of a joint."

Choosing his next words carefully, Jonathan said, "I'm against all drug use, but I could probably overlook some experimenting in college. But that isn't what you're doing. You aren't even taking it for fun. You're taking it to get rid of your emotional pain. But that is beside the point, because we've already talked about it, and I told you not to do it. And I know you remember our last talk about it, because the fist words you said to me were, 'I can get a prescription.' I'm disappointed in the decisions you made today Lex. You should have called us before going to confront your father. You never should have bought a gun. And you should have come home instead of going to that club."

Having been on emotional overload all day, Lex couldn't stop the tears that rolled down his face, when he heard Jonathan say he was disappointed. He impatiently wiped the tears away, only to feel more coming. Jonathan sat down next to the boy and pulled him into a hug. Lex broke down into sobs, while Jonathan held him and rubbed his back. "I love you Lex, and Martha and I are going to help you deal with all the emotions this memory has brought up."

Deciding that Lex would be crying again soon enough, he let him go and said, "Okay Lex, it's time. Stand up and undo your pants please."

Lex shook his head, but Jonathan said, "Yes," knowing that having his pants down would help show Lex he was serious about this, even if the spanking wasn't a particularly bad one.

Standing, Lex undid his pants while crying. Jonathan pulled him over his lap, and pulled down the boxers to mid thigh. Jonathan started spanking, but didn't put much force behind the blows. He hit the same spot three times in a row before moving to the next spot, to build the pain without actually doing much damage. Lex quietly cried though the fist part of it. He started to squirm as the swats kept coming. Jonathan stopped at thirty swats, but since he hadn't been hitting very hard, Lex's butt was only a light pink. Jonathan said, "No more drugs Lex. Every single time I find out you've taken some, I will put you over my knee. Are we perfectly clear on this?"

Nodding rapidly, Lex said, "Yes sir."

Patting his back, Jonathan said, "Okay, you can get up."

Lex quickly got up and fixed his clothes. He found it somehow easier to stop crying now. Jonathan pulled him down to sit with him on the couch, and while Lex found sitting uncomfortable, it wasn't really painful the way it usually was after a spanking. Jonathan hugged him and waited until all the tears and sniffles were gone.

Jonathan let go and said, "We'll wait for Martha to get back, and then I'll go get the gun."

"I can get it."

"No. You're going to stay here."

"But I was the one…"

Jonathan interrupted, "I've made my decision."

"How could I live with it if you got put in jail for trying to clean up my mess?!" Lex yelled.

Yanking Lex back over his lap, Jonathan gave him four full force swats. Lex yelled through them, and felt himself tear up from the pain this time. Keeping the boy in place, he said, "I'm not going to be lenient with you this next week. You will obey me without question. Nothing is going to happen to me, but even if it did, better me then you. Are you done arguing about this, or would you like me to continue spanking you until you are?"

"I'm done!"

Jonathan let him up a second time, and said, "Why don't you go wash your face. It will make you feel better."

He headed into the bathroom, while rubbing his butt. He washed his face, but couldn't look at himself in the mirror. When he came back out, Jonathan said, "Come sit next to me until Martha gets back."

Lex sat down a few feet away from the man, but Jonathan moved over and put his arm around him. He said, "Why don't you tell me what happened when you got to your father's office."

For the next half an hour Lex talked. He started off with what had happened in his father's office, and that led to other stories about his father. Other times his father hadn't trusted him when he was telling the truth. Lex was just finishing the fourth story when Martha came in. She smiled at the two men on the couch and said, "How are the two of you doing?"

Looking down at his hands, Lex said, "Okay I guess."

Jonathan said, "Okay kiddo, call the front desk and see if your car is here yet. If it is, tell them to give me the keys."

Lex pleaded, "Please let me do it Pop."

"No. Make the call."

With a sigh, Lex went to the phone. The car was there, and he asked the front desk to give the key to Jonathan. Once Lex hung up, Jonathan said, "I'll be right back."

Once he was gone, Martha went to Lex and gave him a hug. She said, "Are you feeling better?"

Lex shrugged, "I'm not sure…. Mostly I'm tired. Tired and hungry…. Really hungry."

"Then let's order some room service."

Jonathan was back before the room service had arrived, and put the gun and box of ammunition on the coffee table. He got some towels from the bathroom and handed one to Lex. "We'll need to clean all the bullets for fingerprints too."

After checking the gun to make sure it wasn't loaded, Lex started wiping it down. Jonathan started on the bullets. Once everything was clean, they wrapped it up in a towel, and put it on the bathroom counter.

Soon the food came, and Lex stuffed himself. Once he was done, Martha looked at the clock and said, "I'll go look in the closet for an extra pillow and some blankets."

Lex said, "I should just get a room for myself Mom. Then you and Pop can…."

Martha had gone to the closet, and as she pulled out a pillow, she interrupted him with, "Be a Dear and see if that couch folds out into a bed please."

"But…" He trailed off when he saw the look she was giving him. It clearly indicated that he shouldn't question her authority.

Roughly pulling up the cushions, Lex said, "No it doesn't."

Walking to the couch, she said, "Thank you. Go get ready for bed please."

With a low growl of frustration, Lex dug in his bag for his toothbrush and pajamas. By the time he got out of the bathroom, the couch had sheets and a blanket on it. Martha said, "Come lay down."

Lex couldn't take it anymore, and yelled, "I'm not even tired, I'm not gonna lay down!"

Jonathan walked towards him with a seriously displeased expression. Backing away with his hands up, Lex said, "Okay, okay! I'll lay down!" hoping this would appease the man, but it didn't. He found himself bent under Jonathan's arm receiving six more swats. He yelled, "I'm sorry! I'll stop!"

Letting him stand up straight, Jonathan pointed a finger in his face, and said, "I warned you I'm not putting up with any disagreements right now, and that includes arguing with your Mom."

Nodding vigorously, Lex couldn't stop himself from rubbing a sore spot. Jonathan said, "Now get in bed."

He quickly got in bed, and lay down on his side, with his rear pushed up against the back of the couch, out of harms way. Sitting down next to Lex, Martha reached over and started rubbing his back. Turning to Jonathan, she said, "Let's have some background noise. Why don't you see if you can get a quiet music channel on the TV?"

Once she heard some light classical music, she said, "And turn off all the lights except the one by our bed please."

Jonathan did, and then he went to the bathroom to get himself ready for bed. When he came back out, Martha was still sitting with Lex. Jonathan got his book out and sat on the bed to read.

Half an hour later, Lex looked up at Martha and whispered, "I wish you had been my mom."

Getting choked up, she leaned down and kissed his forehead. She whispered back, "I am your mom now."

As soon as she saw him yawn, she went and got ready for bed herself. Once she was in bed with Jonathan, he put his book down and turned off the light.

Everyone was woken up at two o'clock in the morning, when Lex sat up, and yelled, "NO!"

Martha was out of bed, and beside Lex, before he could remember where he was. She rubbed his shoulder and said, "Bad dream?"

He nodded and asked, "How could she do it Mom?"

She pulled him into a hug and said, "I don't know Sweetheart."

She felt him starting to shake, and a few minutes later he said, "A… and if my mom's a murderer…..and my dad's evil…then what does that make me?"

Letting him go, she held his face in her hands, and said, "That makes you my son. Not her son anymore. You're a survivor. You're a hard worker. You're funny. You're too smart for your own good. And you're a decent person who knows the difference between right and wrong."

"You're wrong about me," he whispered. Her expression changed from a loving smile, to an angry frown. Aiming for the general vicinity of Lex's hip, she gave him a swat over the blankets. They stared at each other for a few seconds, and then Lex said with shock and hurt, "You hit me!"

Martha pulled his face close to hers, and said, "You're a beautiful person Lex. Don't disagree with me when I tell you about it, or you'll get more then one smack."

He believed her, and whispered, "Okay."

Letting him go, she said, "Lay down now, let's see if you can go back to sleep."

He lay down, and she stayed next to him, with a hand on his back, until he fell asleep.

# # #

The next morning, after everyone had gotten ready for the day, Jonathan and Lex went to return the gun. The man who'd sold it to Lex was happy to take it back, once he'd made sure it was in good working order. Once they were on their way back to the hotel, Jonathan said, "Never again Lex."

"I know," he said quietly.

After picking up Martha, they headed home to Smallville. Martha rode with Lex in his Porsche, while Jonathan followed them in the truck. On the way home Lex and Martha talked comfortably most of the way. When they got close to home, Lex became distracted with thoughts of his looming punishment, and the conversation trailed off. Knowing there was nothing she could say to make it better, she looked out the window, and waited to get home.

Once they pulled into the driveway, Clark came running out of the house to greet them. He hugged his mom first, who said, "I see the farm is still standing."

"I told you I'd be fine, Mom."

She kissed his head and said, "I know Sweetie. Good job, I'm proud of you for taking care of things."

Clark hugged Lex too and said, "Good to see you. Are you flying back later today?"

Not wanting to blurt the whole story out, Lex said, "Um…not exactly. I'm staying home for a week."

As soon as he'd heard Lex's message yesterday, Clark had known something was wrong. "What happened?"

Not knowing what to say, Lex looked to Martha for help. She said, "Dad's going to be home any minute now, and he's going to want to talk to Lex alone. Why don't you get washed up, and I'll take you to lunch in town."

Staring at the ground, Lex blushed. Clark immediately understood, and said, "Oh…Sorry Lex."

After a short awkward pause, Martha said, "Go on in and get ready Clark."

Once Clark was in the house, she turned to Lex and said, "If you don't want me to tell Clark what happened I won't, but I know he's going to ask me why you're in trouble."

With a small sigh, he said, "Go ahead. If you don't tell him now, he'll just bug me until I tell him. This way I won't have to do it."

As they were talking, Jonathan's truck pulled up. Lex put his hands in his pockets, and looked at the gravel on the driveway. He gave an offhanded thought to how far he could get if he tried to run.

Jonathan got out and pulled the luggage out with him. Martha said, "I'm taking Clark out to lunch."

"Okay. We'll see you when you get back."

He gave her a quick kiss, and then turned to Lex. "Go put your bag in your room, and then meet me in the living room."

Lex felt his stomach churning. He hadn't gotten a full blown spanking for over a year, and he was pretty sure this was going to be a bad one. Getting his bag out of the car, he took it to his room on auto-pilot. Clark was coming out of the bathroom, as Lex was walking down the hallway, and they almost ran into each other. With concern for his brother, Clark whispered, "What happened Lex?"

Lex said with embarrassment, "I bought a gun and pulled it on my father while we were arguing."

"But….why?"

Lex just shook his head. "Mom will tell you. You should go. It's bad enough to be in trouble again after all this time, without a witness."

Understanding, Clark said, "I'm glad you're gonna be here for a week anyway."

With a weak smile Lex said, "Thanks little brother."

Clark smiled back and went down stairs. Walking into his room, Lex put his bag on the floor. He sat on his bed, not wanting to go face Jonathan, until he heard the truck pull out and drive away. He thought about staying in his room, but Jonathan had made it clear, that any and all disobedience in the next week, was going to get him swatted. He took a deep breath, and forced himself to get up and walk down stairs. Half way down, he saw Jonathan standing in the living room waiting, and stopped. Jonathan said, "Come here and sit down on the couch."

Forcing himself to continue down the stiars, Lex did as he was asked. Jonathan said, "Buying that gun was illegal, but beyond that it was wrong, and not well thought out."

Lex nodded in agreement. He'd known it was wrong before he did it. That just hadn't stopped him.

Jonathan continued, "Buying it was bad enough, but then you carried it in public, took it to an emotional confrontation, and left it unprotected in your car! Guns are serious business Lex. If you're going to have one, you need to be responsible about it." Finished with the lecture, he walked over to the couch, unbuckling his belt on the way. He took it off, and put it down beside him once he sat. "Stand up, and take your pants down."

Lex's heart was pounding, and he couldn't stop looking at the belt, as he stood up. Reluctantly, he undid the button and zipper on his pants.

After pulling Lex across his lap for the second time in two days, Jonathan pushed the boxers down. He was relieved to see no coloring leftover from yesterday's spanking, and started to bring his hand down hard and fast.

Lex jumped at the first smack, and then tried to lay still and quiet, knowing he deserved it. But the pain was getting worse by the second, and his body started twitching with every swat. Then when Jonathan hit the same spot twice, Lex made a noise of pain. A few seconds after that, Lex was grunting and yelping with each swat.

Once Jonathan heard those involuntary noises of pain coming from his son, he paused long enought to pick up his belt, and said, "You will not buy another illegal gun ever."

When Lex felt the belt make connect with his already sore butt, he yelled, "Ow! Shit! Ow! Mr. Kent…" and reflexively put his hand back to cover his butt.

Jonathan pulled Lex's hand out of the way, and slapped the belt down again.

"Pop, please! It really hurts!" Lex couldn't believe he'd forgotten how painful this was. The tears started, as the belt came down two more times. "I won't do it again! I swear! Owww! Please stop!" There was no pause in between the next two swats, and Lex kicked his legs involuntaily. "Ahhhh!"

Pausing for a second, Jonathan said, "You will not take a gun into a public place."

He brought the belt down and Lex yelled, "Okay! I won't!"

"You will not take a weapon with you, when you go to see your father."

The belt came down with precision, and Lex yelled loudly, "Owww!"

"You will not leave a gun unprotected in your car."

The belt thwacked him again. "I'm sorry! Pop, I'm really sorry, please stop!"

Done making his points, Jonathan gave him ten more swats in quick succession, turning his butt and upper thighs a dark and painful looking shade of red. Jonathan stopped, and put the belt down beside him on the couch. He let go of Lex's hand, rubbed his back, and waited for the crying to become less frantic. Once he thought Lex could hear him, he said in a soothing voice, "All done. It's gonna be okay. I forgive you, and I know Mom does too. We both love you and we know you aren't going to do it again."

Lex lay still for a few seconds, too exhausted to do much but cry. Lex's boxers and pants were twisted around his ankles, caught on his shoes. He could hear Jonathan murmuring words of love and encouragement to him, and soon he was able to push himself off Jonathan's lap. He fumbled to fixed his clothes quickly, and wiped at his face with both sleeves.

Jonathan pulled a resisting Lex back down to sit in his lap, being careful to avoid putting pressure on his butt. Pushing the boy's head down to rest on his shoulder, Jonathan wrapped both arms around Lex and held him securely.

At first, Lex was stiff with anger, but after a couple of minutes, relaxed into the embrace. And soon after that, he put his arms around Jonathan as well. They sat together, both getting comfort from the embrace, until Lex had his crying under control. Lex was the first to speak. "That hurt a lot more then I remembered."

Patting his back, Jonathan said, "I hope you remember it for a long time, so I don't have to do it again." Lex squirmed uncomfortably, so Jonathan helped him to stand. Once they were both up, Jonathan made Lex look at him, by putting a hand under his chin, and said, "I do forgive you Lex, but you're punishment isn't exactly over. For the rest of the day you are going to be writing me a paper. I want no less then five pages by the end of the night, and it probably should be more. You can use the computer for research. I want you to look up gun regulations in the state of Kansas. I want to know how what the maximum penalties are for owning an illegal gun, and for taking a gun out in public. I also want you to find out how to buy a gun legally in this state, and all the rules you have to follow if you do own one."

Jonathan was still holding his chin, but Lex looked down and to the side, ashamed that he had no idea what the gun regulations were for the state. He muttered, "Okay."

"Look at me." Once Jonathan had eye contact, he said, "I love you Lex. And I know you're going to be a great man someday. I'm proud of how far you've come since we first met, and even if you don't think so right now. the spanking you just got was my way of protecting you from pain and suffering later on in life."

Unable to respond without tears, Lex simply nodded to show he understood.

Jonathan continued after a pause. "Feel free to do your paper standing at the kitchen counter or kneeling in front of the computer, if you don't want to sit. I'll go get you some paper and a pen."

Lex went to the computer, and started doing research.

# # #

Lex was still working when Martha and Clark got home. Clark was given clear instructions not to bother Lex, which he reluctantly complied with. Lex took a break from his work when dinner was ready. He sat uncomfortably and ate quickly while everyone listened to Clark talk about school.

When Lex finished the paper, he handed it over to Jonathan. Jonathan said, "Go take a shower, and get ready for bed while I read it. I'll come up to talk to you about it when I'm done."

Lex looked at his watch, it was only nine o'clock. He thought about saying he wasn't tired, but in reality he was, and he doubted his pop was in the mood for arguments. Twenty minutes later, he was in pajamas, and standing by the window waiting.

When Jonathan came in a few minutes later, he said, "Get in bed."

Once the boy was in, Jonathan said, "You did a fine job on the paper. Do you understand why I was so upset about what you'd done?"

"Yes Sir," said Lex, while staring at the comforter.

Sitting on the bed next to Lex, Jonathan gave him a hug, and said, "Okay then, you're punishment is over, and I won't bring it up again."

Lex squeezed him back, and whispered, "Okay."

"Get some sleep. Tomorrow I'll call Professor Bennett, and you can spend the day doing chores and schoolwork." Letting go, Jonathan stood and said, "Martha and I will leave our bedroom door open tonight. If you have a bad dream you come wake one of us up, even if you don't think it was all that bad. This isn't a suggestion, it's an order. Do you understand me?"

"Yes Sir."

"Okay then, good night," Jonathan said as he turned off the light, and left the door open on his way out.

Lex lay down on his side, and thought about his day as he drifted off to sleep.

# # #

Over the next three days, Lex was extremely obedient, not wanting to risk any swats. And even if he didn't want to admit it, he was relieved that he didn't have to make any decisions for himself. He kept up with his schoolwork, and helped out at the farm. Midway through the week, he realized the thoughts of what had happened, didn't consume his every waking moment. He also realized that having someone there to listen to him when he did think about it, helped him to get past it.

Friday afternoon while Martha was doing the lunch dishes, and all three guys were out in the barn, she heard a knock on the door. She answered it, and saw a man she had grown to hate. Glaring, she said, "Mr. Luthor. What can I do for you."

"You must be Mrs. Kent, it's nice to meet you," said Lionel. When she remained silent, he said, "Is Lex here?"

"Yes."

There was an awkward pause, when neither of them moved. Lionel asked, "May I see him?"

"I suppose that depends. Did you want to hit him, blame him for something he hasn't done, or damage his self-esteem? Those are your specialties aren't they?"

Lionel stared at Martha for a few seconds, no one had spoken to him like that in years. He was pleased to note that she wasn't afraid of him like most people were, and said, "May I come in Mrs. Kent?"

"No."

Looking her up and down, Lionel found himself attracted to her. Not only was she beautiful, but she was a fighter. He said in all honesty, "I've done some soul searching over the past few days Mrs. Kent. And I've found myself lacking in regards to my relationship with my son. He….. I suppose he's told you about our most recent encounter?"

Martha nodded her head once, and Lionel continued, "I… I want a second chance. If I had only known that he was innocent….We could have been close. We were close before that. I will do whatever I can to repair our relationship."

She knew the man couldn't be trusted, but she also found herself believing him. She said, "It can't be repaired. A new relationship could be built, but you can never repair what you've done."

Looking away, he said, "I suppose that's correct." Turning back to her, he said, "Could you help me?"

Martha looked him in the eye, and said, "Why? So you can hurt him again? I don't think so Mr. Luthor. You can see him for five minutes with me and my husband present, and then you can get in your car and leave."

She pushed past him, closing the door behind her, and walked to the barn. When she got to the barn door, she turned to Lionel who had followed her, and said, "Stay there."

Martha went in alone, and saw all three of her guys cleaning out the stalls. Jonathan smiled at her, but it faltered when he saw the look on her face. "What's wrong."

She turned to Lex and said, "Lex Honey?"

"Yeah Mom?" he asked nervously.

"Your father is here to see you."

Jonathan snarled, "That son of a bitch can just get…."

Martha put a hand on his arm, halting his rant, even though she'd kept her eyes on Lex. She said, "You don't have to see him if you don't want to. And if you do want to, Pop and I will stay with you the whole time. He wants to see you for five minutes. It's your decision Lex. I'll make him leave if you don't want to see him."

"I'll see him," he said, while thinking about all the things his father could do to make the Kents suffer.

Turning to Jonathan, Martha said, "Time it." Then she put her arm around Lex's shoulders and they walked out together, with Jonathan and Clark following closely behind. Jonathan looked at his watch, and then glared at Lionel.

Lionel looked at Lex with new eyes. The boy had his arms crossed, hugging himself, and was wearing an expression of distrust that was so strong, it bordered on pain. For the first time, he understood why the Kents wanted to protect his son. "Hello Lex."

"What did you want Dad?" he asked quietly

"I wanted to tell you that I'm sorry."

"What?"

"I'm sorry. I've been wrong about a lot of things, and I understand why you hate me. But I have hope that someday you can hate me less, and maybe build some kind of new relationship with me."

After a laugh, Lex said, "Oh Dad, that was your best act ever. Really though, what did you want?"

"That was all. I'm gonna go now, but I hope to see you soon." Lionel turned and walked to his car.

Lex shook his head, not believing the man for a second. Once Lionel was driving away, Lex turned to Martha and said, "That's not good Mom. I don't know what he's up to, but it can't be good."

She pulled him into a hug, and said; "Only time will tell Sweetie."

That night, Lex couldn't stop wondering what new game his father was up to, and found he couldn't concentrate on his homework. He'd been trying to read the same page of his History book for half an hour. Martha was knitting in the chair next to him, and could tell he was too frustrated to study. "Put your books away for the night Lex."

He slammed his book closed. "How can I let him get to me like this? I just shouldn't care!"

She shook her head. "You may not want to care, but he's your father. You won't be able to stop caring. It's normal. And while I don't think it's a very good possibility, there is a possibility that your father meant what he said."

He immediately shook his head, and opened his mouth, but Martha beat him to it, and said, "I know it isn't likely, but it's something you should keep in mind. For now, why don't you sit back and watch some TV until it's time for bed. I doubt you'll be able to concentrate on anything else."

Even though Lex had a lot to think about, the weekend went well, and by Monday he was ready to go back to school. He'd enjoyed having a week at home, but now he was ready to have his independence back. On the airplane, he thought about his father, wondering what the man was up to, but decided summer would be soon enough to deal with whatever it was. For now, Lex just wanted to finish out his Sophomore year of college in one piece.


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