Author’s Note: This is a fanfic for the show ‘Superman & Lois’. Direct spoilers for season 1 episodes 3 and 5, with some lines coming straight from the show. Written for Camryn who told me I should check out the show.
Disclaimer: I don’t own any of these characters and I’m not making any money from this story.
Warning: Non-consensual spanking of minors by a parent. I don’t advocate this in real life, only in fiction.


An Old Approach


Jordan was tired of being a punching bag. The stupid jocks from the stupid football team in the stupid town they’d moved to had pushed him one too many times, and he wasn’t going to take it anymore. Even his twin brother couldn’t seem to make his fellow team mates leave Jordan alone. But now that Jordan’s powers had emerged he was stronger than all of them, and it was time to stand up for himself whether his parents approved or not. 

That’s what he kept telling himself as he suited up to try out for the team. But if his parents simply didn’t find out, that would be even better. Wasn’t that what his father had been doing for the past fourteen years? Making dumb excuses for being absent half the time, and hoping that his children wouldn’t figure out that he was Superman?

“Like father, like son,” Jordan muttered to himself before going out onto the field.

He’d only planned to be there long enough to knock the dumb jocks on their asses. But then something amazing happened. The coach took note of what he was doing for the first time in a long time, and one of Jordan’s teachers seemed to enjoy having him around and encouraged him to keep up the good work instead of telling him how he should be doing better. Then after the next couple of practices, the same guys who’d been picking on him actually seemed to like him and showed him some respect. Those were novel experiences, and Jordan quickly realized that he didn’t want either one to end.

Then his dad had to go and ruin everything by showing up at the school during practice.

Clark didn’t say anything. He didn’t have to. He just stood on the sidelines with his arms crossed, and Jordan knew he was screwed.

Jordan locked eyes with Jonathan, and he could tell that his brother had noticed their father as well, because Jonathan looked just as nervous as Jordan felt.

During the rest of the practice Jordan was distracted, but he got through it. As he showered off and got dressed, he became more and more angry. Why did his dad have to ruin the one good thing that had happened to him in a long time?

By the time he was ready to go, Jonathan was already waiting for him by the locker room door.

“What are you going to tell him?” Jonathan asked.

Jordan shrugged dejectedly. “I don’t know.”

The two walked out to the school parking lot together, and saw their father standing beside his truck. Clark nodded his head towards the passenger side, and both boys got in without a word, with Jonathan taking the middle seat.

Clark got behind the wheel and started the drive home.

“Dad, I-”

“No,” Clark said. “We’re not talking about this without your mom. She’s at home waiting.”

Jordan grimaced, and noticed his brother doing the same. While their father had been putting in long hours saving the world during their younger years, their mother had done most of the actual parenting. She was generally the disciplinarian while their father was more of the fun parent. And Jordan knew without a doubt that his mother didn’t condone lying or keeping secrets. Her entire job as a journalist was uncovering the truth, and she certainly expected her boys to be honest with her. He could already hear the lecture, and knew he’d be grounded for at least a week.

When they got to the farm, both boys followed their father into the house.

Jordan kept his head down expecting his mother to start in on him, but instead of yelling, he heard hushed voices. He glanced up and saw his parents on the other side of the large kitchen talking too quietly for him to hear.

Jordan and Jonathan shared a confused look. Jonathan sighed and went to sit at the kitchen table, but Jordan stood his ground.

After a moment, Lois went to lean against the wall while Clark moved to stand a few feet away from Jordan.

The teen glanced from his mom to his dad a couple of times.

Crossing his arms, Clark said sternly, “How could you possibly think it was okay to join the football team?”

Jordan’s emotions were always close to the surface, and having his parents change their rolls made him uneasy. If his mother was confronting him, he’d find it difficult to do more than apologize. But his father was a different story.

“You didn’t say it wasn’t,” Jordan said with a shrug.

“No,” Clark said. “Don’t do that.”

“What?” Jordan feigned innocence.

“I see what you’re doing.”

“As long as you don’t mention it, it’s not a lie, right?” Jordan didn’t even try to hide the belligerence in his voice.

His mother spoke up. “Your father apologized for that.”

“Your powers are not something to be taken lightly, Jordan.” Clark said earnestly.

“Yeah, well I barely even have any, remember? That’s what grand-pappy told us at Elsa’s ice castle.” Jordan’s emotions were starting to bubble over, and his hands gestured wildly as if they had a mind of their own.

“That’s not funny,” Lois said.

Keeping a level voice, Clark said, “He was only comparing your powers to mine.”

“No, he said my powers suck.” Jordan could hear his voice going up, but he was too far gone to calm down now. “Don’t act like he didn’t.”

“I admit, taking you to see him this early was a mistake.” Clark said, and opened his mouth to say more but was cut off.

“Mistake?!” Jordan was all out shouting now. “You know what? Everything you do is a mistake! You get fired. You bring us here. You know, I just wish you’d go back to not being around anymore.” He could feel tears starting to form, and was only barely able to hold them back.

His father took the two steps that separated them and said with forced calm. “Go upstairs. Right now.”

“Yeah,” Jordan muttered before rushing out of the kitchen and up the stairs. He got to his room, closed the door a bit more forcefully than necessary, and flopped down on his bed in misery.

# # #

Clark just stood there looking at the spot where his son had been, and wondered how they’d grown so far apart that Jordan thought it was acceptable to speak to him like that.

“Uh, I’m with you guys,” Jonathan said distracting Clark from his thoughts. “I don’t know what he was thinking.”

Clark wasn’t going to dignify that with anything other than the words, “You, too.” He nodded his head towards the stairs, and Jonathan quietly stood and left the room. Thank goodness one of his sons apparently knew he’d done something wrong, and didn’t want to plead his case.

Lois walked up to him and put a supportive hand on his shoulder. “How are you holding up?”

“Not great,” he replied, putting a hand over hers.

She nodded. “Being the disciplinarian is always tough. Once you’ve had a chance to calm down, you need to finish the job. Tell him he’s grounded for a week, and that he has to quit the team.”

“I need some fresh air,” Clark mumbled before grabbing his jacket and walking out the kitchen door. On auto-pilot he started doing some of the chores around the farm while replaying his conversation with Jordan.

He had no idea how to break through to his troubled son. He’d thought they’d found new common ground with Jordan’s powers emerging, but apparently that was now a new source of contention between them. But the thing that kept replaying in Clark’s head was ‘I just wish you’d go back to not being around anymore.’

A few minutes later, Lois came out to stand beside him, and he paused in his work.

“Want to talk about it?” she asked with sympathy.

“He said he didn’t want me around.”

She shook her head. “He didn’t mean that.”

“You sure?”

“He’s fourteen. He was lashing out. I’m not saying that makes it acceptable, but we can’t take everything he says at face value.” She rubbed his arm in comfort.  

“Then how am I supposed to know what he needs?” Clark asked.

“By finding out the reason behind Jordan’s anger and addressing that.”

Clark nodded. He was pretty sure that he was the reason behind Jordan’s anger.

Lois said, “I’ve got a lead on the story I’m working on. Are you good to handle this by yourself if I go check it out?”

Smiling he said, “You handled the boys by yourself seventy percent of the time over the past fourteen years. I’d say it’s my turn whether I’m good at it or not.”

“You’ll get there with practice,” she replied confidently before leaving.

Clark sighed. He had to wonder how his own father would have reacted if Clark had been as disrespectful to him as Joran had just been. It was difficult to imagine because his parents had been strict about respect from a very early age, and Clark naturally tended to be a rule follower. But there were a couple of instances when he’d stepped out of line.

He clearly remembered a specific instance when he was five. His mother had said it was bedtime, and then took his toy away when he continued to play instead of going to bed. He’d yelled “give that back”, and his father had responded by putting him over his lap and swatting his backside several times. It hadn’t hurt, but it hadn’t felt good either, and it had shocked Clark into silence.

Then his father put him back on his feet, pointed a finger at him and said very sternly, “You never speak to your mother that way, young man. Apologize right now and get to bed.”

Clark had burst into tears at the sight of his disappointed father, and apologized repeatedly while his mom carried him to bed.

As far Clark could remember, he’d never had that kind of outburst again. And the few times he’d broken the rules as a teen, he’d been very apologetic once he was caught, and his father had grounded him. But Clark suspected that his father would have had the same response to blatant disrespect, no matter his age or level of abilities.

That gave him pause. Lois had given both of their boys a couple of spankings when they were much younger. He’d had to comfort her after the fact and reassure her that she’d done the right thing.

Clark looked up at the old farmhouse saw the light in Jordan’s bedroom window flickering between blue and white as the boy played video games. Maybe an old approach to a new problem would be just the thing to break through to his son. Or at least establish Clark as an equal authority figure, deserving of the same respect they showed their mother.

He pulled out his phone and called his wife to get her opinion before talking to Jordan.

# # #

Jordan focused on the screen as his fingers worked the controller of his game, and tried to concentrate on winning the battle instead of his messed up emotions. But even with the highly distracting game in front of him, his brain still kept supplying him with all the reasons he wanted to stay on the football team and how much he resented his father for telling him he couldn’t. 

There was a knock on his door and then his father walked in without waiting for a response, shutting the door behind him.

Jordan’s jaw clenched and he refused to look up from his game.

“Turn it off. We need to talk.”

Gripping the controller tightly, Jordan continued to play. “Why? You want me to quit the team. What else is there to say?” He saw his father coming closer out of the corner of his eye and sighed. Why couldn’t his dad just leave him alone?

Without warning, his dad’s hand clamped around his upper arm and hauled him to his feet.

Startled, Jordan dropped the controller. A stinging smack landed on his backside.

“Hey!” he complained, automatically trying to pull away from the hand that held him without success.

Another smack landed.


And another.


“I have had it with your disrespect, Jordan.” Clark said firmly and slapped his backside again.

“Ow!” The shock of what was happening made his eyes burn with unshed tears.

Clark made eye contact and added, “You can disagree with me, as long as you to do it respectfully. That means no yelling.” He focused back on the seat of Jordan’s jeans and swatted him again.


“No sarcastic remarks.”


“And no hurtful accusations.”

“Dad, stop! You can’t just come in here and hit me!”

His father made eye contact again. “You are sadly mistaken if you think I can’t spank you when you’re out of line.” Clark put a foot on the chair Jordan had been using, and tipped Jordan over his thigh. Another sharp swat proved Clark’s point.

“Ow!” his toes barely touched the floor, making Jordan feel extremely vulnerable.

There was a tentative knock on the door and Jonathan’s voice said, “Uh… everything okay in there?”

“Go back to your room, Jonathan,” Clark said firmly.

“Are you sure you don’t need me to call Mom or something?” Jonathan asked.

“Mom already knows.” Clark answered, looking towards the closed bedroom door. “Go back to your room, unless you’d like to be next.”

Jordan wasn’t sure what was worse. The fact that his mother apparently gave the go ahead for his father to spank him like he was six again, or the fact that his brother knew about it. Then his dad started talking again, and he decided the worst part was that it might not be over.

“Think really carefully about how you want the next few minutes of your life to go, Jordan. You can apologize and this will be over in a couple of seconds. Or you can continue to yell at me and this will have just started. What’s it going to be?”

“I’m sorry.” He didn’t mean it, but he sure as hell didn’t want option number two, because the pain seemed to double with each new smack.

Clark nodded. “Good choice.”

His dad’s hand smacked his butt again and again, making Jordan whine and squirm. “Dad, please. I said I was sorry.”

His plea seemed to fall on deaf ears, because two much harder smacks landed on his backside. His toes came off the floor as he kicked and yelped. The tears that had been building spilled over.  

Clark eased him onto his feet and finally let go of Jordan’s upper arm.

Both of Jordan’s hands flew back to cover the burning skin under his jeans.

Before Jordan could back away, Clark’s hands were on his shoulders, holding him in place.

He hung his head so he wouldn’t have to see his dad’s face, and tried to contain his tears, but they just kept coming.

After a couple of seconds, Clark sighed and pulled Jordan into a hug. He rubbed his back and said gently, “I know a lot of life changing events have happened over the past couple of weeks, but that’s not an excuse to lash out at the people who love you. And I know you’re angry with me for being gone so often when you were younger. But I’m here now, and I’m going to try to make up for lost time.”

Jordan tentatively took his hands away from his rear end, and hugged his father back, needing reassurance more than anything else in this particular moment, even if his anger was still under the surface. The tears kept leaking out of his eyes, but they were slowing down.

Clark squeezed him tighter for just a moment. “Your mother and I decided not to tell you boys that I was Superman in an effort to protect you, and we still think we made the right decision up to a point. Our only mistake was not telling you about a year ago. But you not telling us about football wasn’t about protecting us or doing the right thing for your family, it was about getting away with doing something you knew you weren’t supposed to do.”

Jordan’s eyes blurred with new tears, and his breath hitched. Not only because he was ashamed that he’d hidden things from his parents on purpose, but also because all the recent good feelings of hope and accomplishment that he’d experienced while playing football were now gone. Familiar self-loathing took center stage, and the negative self-talk that constantly ran in the back of his head came to the forefront. Why had he ever entertained the notion that he could be part of a team? Why had he let himself believe that having powers was a good thing instead of another hindrance like his anxiety? And why the hell had he let his peers and teachers welcome him with open arms when he knew it couldn’t last?

“I’m sorry,” he muttered into his father’s chest, truly meaning it this time. He was sorry he’d lied. He was sorry he’d joined the team. But mostly he was just sorry that his entire existence consisted of one screw-up after another.

“I know,” Clark said soothingly, “And I accept your apology. We’re going to start with a clean slate, okay?”

Jordan nodded even though there was no such thing as a clean slate for him. His mistakes would always be written in bold inside his head, and there was no erasing them. But having his father’s arms around him helped him not to buckle under the weight of those mistakes.

“You’re grounded for a week for hiding things from us. That means coming straight home after school, and no hanging out with your friends this weekend. And tomorrow morning you need to tell the coach that you’re quitting the team. Is that clear?”

Jordan nodded again. He’d probably need that week to shove all his emotions back down where they belonged so he could walk through life without having a meltdown every five minutes.

“I need you to say it,” his father added.

“I’ll quit the team, and I’m grounded for a week.” Jordan’s voice was barely above a whisper, but saying it out loud helped him accept that it was over.

“Thank you.” Clark patted him on the back, and let him out of the hug. He put his hands on Jordan’s shoulders, and the two made eye contact. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah,” he lied. He wasn’t okay, but that was his status quo.

Clark patted his shoulder, and said, “I’m going to go talk to your brother.”

Slightly worried for his brother, Jordan said, “You’re not going to… uh… he’s not next, right? He told me I shouldn’t join the team. It’s not his fault.”

Clark squeezed Jordan’s shoulder gently. “Do your mother and I blame you for it when Jonathan does something wrong?”

“I guess not.”

“And just so we’re clear, the spanking was for your attitude. The grounding is for joining the team and hiding it from us.” 

Jordan nodded. He didn’t like it, but he did understand what his father was saying.

“Alright. I’ll come say goodnight when it’s bedtime.”

His father left, shutting the door behind him, and Jordan put both hands back to assess the damage now that the sharp pain had died down into an unpleasant burn.

# # #

Jonathan paced his floor, wanting to intervene on his brother’s behalf, but also wanting to do everything in his power to make sure he wasn’t next. He hadn’t even known his parents still considered spanking an option, and he wanted no part of it. It hadn’t happened since they were six or seven, and as far as he could remember his father had never done it. The humiliation of getting it at fourteen would be horrible, and if Jordan’s reaction was any indication, those last two smacks had been really harsh. At least now it seemed to be over, and he couldn’t hear Jordan crying anymore. Just some quiet talking.

After a few moments of silence there was a knock on his door, and Jonathan instinctually covered his butt by sitting on the edge of his bed. “Come in.”

His father walked in and shut the door behind him.

Jonathan’s eyes darted to his father’s hands, the door, the floor, and then made eye contact. “What’s going on, Dad?”

Clark sighed. “Your mother and I expect a certain level of respect from you boys. Jordan’s outburst in the kitchen was unacceptable, and when I tried to talk to him about it he gave me more attitude.”

Jonathan frowned. “So you spanked him? Don’t you think we’re a little too old for that?”

“It’s not so much about your age; it’s about the level of maturity you display. If you act like a mature fourteen-year-old, I’ll treat you like one. If you act like a small child, I’ll treat you like one.”

Jonathan shook his head. “That’s messed up logic, Dad.”

“I don’t expect you to be happy about it. I’m just giving you fair warning.”

Focusing on the ground between his feet, Jonathan nodded. “Okay, consider me warned.”

“Hey, look at me.” Once they had eye contact, Clark said, “You should have told us about Jordan joining the football team the day it happened.”

Several sarcastic remarks when through Jonathan’s head, but unlike his brother, he usually had the emotional stability to keep them to himself. Instead, he said, “Sometimes I feel like I’m Jordan’s only friend. I didn’t want to alienate him.”

Clark nodded, and moved to sit on the bed next to Jonathan. He wrapped an arm around Jonathan’s shoulders. “I can understand that, and I’m really glad that the two of you are close, but when things cross into dangerous territory where someone could get hurt, I need to you come to me. Okay?”


Clark squeezed his shoulder and said, “Alright then, you’re forgiven.”


Clark stood. “I’m going to go finish up outside.”

“Okay.” Jonathan watched his father leave, and waited until he heard the front door open and close before he got up to check on his brother. He knocked softly on the bedroom door and said, “Jordan?”


He opened the door, and was shocked to see his twin playing a video game.

“Are you okay?”

“I’m fine.”

“You’re fine?” Jonathan asked incredulously. “Dad spanked you. You’re not fine. Hell, I’m not even fine and it didn’t happen to me.”

Jordan tore his eyes away from his screen long enough to glare at Jonathan. “I’m fine.”

Jonathan could tell that his brother was far from ‘fine’, but also that he clearly didn’t want to talk about it. And the spanking must not have been too awful, because Jordan was sitting to play the game.

“Okay.” Jonathan held his hands up. “You’re fine.”

Jordan focused back on the monitor.

Treading carefully, Jonathan said, “Well, now that Dad found out, you can go back to hanging out with Sarah. That’s good, right?”

“I guess.”

“You hated football, anyway, so who cares that you have to quit. Now you don’t have to pretend to like it anymore.”


Jonathan frowned. His brother’s one word answers were a sure sign of an impending bout of depression or worse, an explosion of emotions. Jordan’s phone buzzed, and Jonathan noticed it was one of the guys on the team texting him about the game, and Jordan’s phone was resting on a book about football strategies.

Feeling worse and worse for his brother, Jonathan said, “Okay then. I’m here if you want to talk.”


Jonathan went to his room, thinking about how much football meant to him, and how much better life was when he was part of a team. It didn’t seem fair that his brother couldn’t have that, too. And yeah, he was a little bit jealous that his brother’s powers made him a better player than him, but not jealous enough that he wanted to see his twin miserable. Especially after seeing how happy Jordan had been over the past week.

When he heard his dad come back into the house, he went downstairs to have a mature and respectful conversation with the man in the hopes of changing his mind.

He found Clark in the kitchen and decided it would be best to start out with an apology of sorts. “You were right. I should have said something. That’s my bad. I know I’m not a perfect person.”

“Trust me, we all make mistakes.” Clark answered with a smile.

“Yeah, but what if Jordan joining the team wasn’t a mistake?”

“Jonathan,” Clark said tiredly.

“Trust me, this feels really weird saying, but I think Jordan needs football. I mean he’s been a really messed up kid for a really long time, and I don’t know, what if joining the team is a good thing.”

“I appreciate you sticking up for your brother, but-”

“No, it’s not even like that. You should have seen him out there making friends. He was happy for the first time in… in forever.”

“Jonathan, there’s nothing I want more than for you guys to be happy. But you guys have to be careful, and him using his strength like this, it could raise suspicion.”

“Yeah, but he doesn’t have super strength like you. That’s what Jor-El DeBarge said, right?” Humor wasn’t considered disrespectful, right? Jonathan hoped not after the fact.

Clark shook his head. “Just because his strength isn’t like mine, doesn’t mean it’s not elevated.”

“Okay, so maybe that puts him on the same level as the other kids.”

His father raised one eyebrow.

“Okay, maybe he’s a little stronger, but maybe that evens the playing field for a kid his size.”

“You don’t know that.”

“Neither do you.” Jonathan said sincerely.

That gave his father pause.

“Look, I know that having powers is a total game changer. But what’s the point of having something special if you’re not actually allowed to be special.” Jonathan grabbed a soda out of the fridge and said, “Just think about it, and talk to Mom, okay?”

“Alright, I will.”

# # #

The next morning, Jordan could barely drag himself out of bed. He hadn’t slept well, and frankly he had zero desire to go to school knowing that he had to quit the team and field all kinds of questions that he wouldn’t be able to answer honestly.

He left his room to go to the bathroom and heard his father clear his throat behind him.

“Is creepy lurking one of your superpowers now?” he muttered, and then belatedly realized that was the opposite of respectful. He winced and added, “Sorry. Reflex.”

Clark smiled and put a hand around Jordan’s shoulders. “Come on. I want to show you something.”

Glad his father didn’t seem to be angry, he followed him down to the living room.

Clark opened a trunk full of baseball stuff. “When I was in ninth grade I wanted to try out for the team. I begged my dad again and again to let me try out, but he always said no.”

“Do you regret not playing?” Jordan asked.

“Yeah. It’s been over twenty years and I still think about it. Which is why I want you to be very honest with me. Is playing football something that you really want?”

Jordan could tell his dad was seriously asking him, so he told the truth. “To be honest, at first I wasn’t sure. But these past few weeks have kind of been incredible. So yeah. I really do.”

“And you’re sure you can keep your powers under control.”

“Yes. I don’t know how to explain it, it’s just a feeling. I guess you’d know.”

Clark smiled. “Yeah, I think I do.”

Feeling hope rising in his chest, Jordan asked, “Does this mean I can play?”

“Yes, it does.”


“Yes, and I’m going to talk to the coach about helping out as an assistant coach, so I’ll be there if something goes wrong.”

Jordan threw his arms around Clark and hugged him tight. After his disastrous night, he never would have imagined that today could be anything but awful. “Thanks, Dad.”

Clark hugged him back. “You should thank your brother. He’s the one who pleaded your case.”

“He did?” Jordan was a little surprised, since he’d gotten the distinct impression that Jonathan didn’t appreciate him being on the team.


Jordan jerked a thumb towards the stairs, “I’ve got to get ready for school.”

“You’re still grounded for hiding things from us. Straight home after practice. Got it?”

“Yeah, I got it.” That put a bit of a damper on the good news, but he could deal with a week.

“Go on then.” Clark waived towards the stairs.

Jordan took them two at a time, but before he went to the bathroom to get ready, he knocked on Jonathan’s door.

Jonathan opened it, already dressed and ready to go. “Yeah?”

Jordan gave him a quick but tight hug. “Thanks.”


He let go. “Dad says I can stay on the team.”

Jonathan gave him a grin. “That’s great.”

“Thanks for sticking up for me.” Jordan gave his brother a friendly punch on the shoulder and turned to get ready for school.

“Anytime.” Jonathan said after him.

# # #

Three weeks later

Jonathan’s day had started out pretty great. His father had been dorking out about some stupid town event called the Harvest Fest, but Jonathan didn’t mind because it was kind of fun to tease his father about it. And he was even looking forward to going because his girlfriend, Eliza, was coming to visit from Metropolis after more than two months apart. Then the day got even better when their friend Sarah actually asked Jordan to take her to the Harvest Fest. His brother had never been on a date before, and Jonathan knew he’d been pining after Sarah since they got to Smallville. It seemed like being on the football team had done wonders for Jordan, and Jonathan was happy for his twin, even if it meant he sat on the sidelines more often. 

Then his day was shattered when Eliza called and broke up with him between classes. It felt like someone had punched him in the chest, and he couldn’t get enough air in his lungs. He walked through the rest of his day in a haze of misery, barely talking to his teachers or classmates.

The last good thing in his life was now gone. He’d been clinging to his relationship with Eliza like a lifeline to his former identity. He was the popular kid, the football star, the good son, and the steady boyfriend in a long term relationship with the girl he loved. Now he was none of those things.

Near the end of the school day his friend Brian from Metropolis called him to commiserate about Eliza dumping him, and to tell him how much the football team sucked this year without him. Then Brian had told him that his older brother was getting an apartment with an extra bedroom, and suggested Jonathan move back home. That had snapped Jonathan out of his haze, and gave him a smidge of hope. What if he could get his old life back?

He’d have to bring it up to his father at just the right moment, because his mother would never go for it unless his father was already on board.

Then when he and Jordan got home from school, his stupid brother blurted out the fact that he’d been dumped. And to make matters worse, his mother seemed to be on Eliza’s side, making excuses for why his girlfriend might not want a long distance relationship. Jonathan barely kept it together long enough to get to his room where he could wallow in his misery alone.

That night when he came downstairs, he heard his father congratulating Jordan on getting a date for the Harvest Fest, and that was the last straw.

“I don’t want to hear anything else about this stupid Harvest Fest…”

“Jon,” Clark said in warning.

Jonathan continued as if he hadn’t heard. “…farming, or community, or basically anything else about this backwards ass town.”

“Hey.” His dad took a breath and said gently, “I am sorry about Eliza.”

“It’s not about that, Dad. I want to move back. I lost all my friends. I’m probably never going to play football again. And you just expect me to drop my life for everyone else’s?”

“Look, I know. I know a lot has changed, but I promise you it’s all going to work out.”

“You don’t know that!”

“I get it. There was a time in my life when I felt just like you.”

“Yeah, I’m sure. Was that when you were uh… lifting an oil tanker, or flying laps around Saturn.”


“No, Dad. I’m not like you, and I’m not like superboy over there, okay? And this town? It’s my Kryptonite. I hate it!” He paused, took a deep breath and lowered his voice to remain calm. He knew he should wait for a better time to bring up moving, but he couldn’t keep it in any longer.

“Listen, Dad, Brian Kelso’s older brother has a place, okay. He just graduated from Met U. There’s a spare bedroom, and it’s just outside of downtown. I was thinking maybe I could just stay with them.”

“Are you…” Clark shook his head. “No. No, you are not going to stay with the Kelso’s.”

Jonathan lost the calm he’d been trying to maintain. “You know what? Maybe I’ll just do it anyways then! Because that’s what Jordan did with football, and you let him get away with it.” Jonathan walked past his father and muttered. “Whatever.”

He was stopped mid step when his father’s hand clamped down on his upper arm. Two rapid smacks landed on his butt.

“Ah!” He stared at his dad in shock.

“I warned you not to be disrespectful anymore.” Clark glanced at Jordan and added, “Both of you.”

Getting smacked was humiliating enough, knowing he had an audience made it worse.

Clark looked back at Jonathan and added, “Telling me you’re going to do something after I’ve just said no, isn’t okay.”  

He immediately apologized, hoping his father would let him go. “You’re right. I’m sorry. That was out of line. It won’t happen again.”

His father scrutinized him.

“I’m just upset about Eliza,” Jonathan added.

“Alright.” Clark let go of his arm, and patted his shoulder. “I understand and I’m sorry you’re going through some heartache.”

“Can I still go to the Harvest Fest?”

Clark nodded. “Of course. Hopefully it will cheer you up.”

Jonathan nodded, and walked towards his brother. “Come on Jordan. Let’s go.”

They boys walked out of the house in silence, and Jonathan got out his phone to order them a ride into town. He saw a text from one of the guys on the team inviting him to ‘have some real fun’ at the Harvest Fest. Back in Metropolis when he’d been one of the most popular kids in school, he’d always felt either pity or distain for his friends who got drunk or high. And he’d certainly never considered doing it himself. But for the first time he understood the appeal, and impulsively replied. Hell yeah. Be there soon.

By the time they’d walked down the long driveway to the edge of the property, Jonathan had ordered their ride, and started to rethink his decision.

Jordan spoke up. “You can hang out with me and Sarah tonight if you want.”

That was the worst idea ever. “No thanks, I’m meeting up with some of the guys from the team.”

“Okay.” Jordan looked back at the house for a second before lowering his voice to a whisper. “Do you think we should talk to Mom about… that?” He waved an arm towards the house. “Maybe she’d make him stop.”

Jonathan shook his head. “You know they’ll stick together, even if one of them doesn’t fully agree.”

Jordan sighed dejectedly and nodded. “Yeah, I guess. It just… really sucks.”

“It really does.” Jonathan agreed.

Half an hour later when they arrived at the Harvest Fest, Jonathan ran into his friends from the team right away, and before he could even say hello, they were handing him a flask.

“Are you sure that’s a good idea?” Jordan asked, looking worried.

Jonathan rolled his eyes. “Thanks for looking out, Mom,” he said sarcastically before taking a drink.

Jordan shook his head. “Fine. You do you, party boy. See how that goes.”

Jonathan spent the next half-hour sipping off the flask every once in a while when they handed it to him. He started to notice a warm feeling in his chest about ten minutes in. At twenty minutes in every dumb thing his friends said made him laugh. At thirty minutes in he felt like he was on a roller coaster every time he closed his eyes. And that’s when he stumbled across Jordan and Sarah.

Jonathan turned to his friends and stage whispered that Jordan was on his very first date. His friends thought that was just as funny as he did.

Sarah apparently didn’t think so, because she got up and marched towards him with a serious glare on her face.

Putting on what he hoped was a charming smile, he said, “We were just joking.”

Jordan said, “He’s having a rough day.”

Jonathan wasn’t sure he liked Jordan sticking up for him. That was backwards.

And Jordan’s comment only seemed to make Sarah angrier. “Oh, you’re having a rough day?” she yelled. “You have no idea what real problems are like for people who don’t come from a picture perfect family like you. You all can just get drunk and act like total idiots and act like there’s never any consequences.”

“We were just… we were just kidding.” Jonathan said, not liking the look on her face and the way it made his happy buzz go away. “I’m sorry.”

“Save it. Have fun.” Sarah stormed off.

Jordan started to walk after her, but Jonathan put his hands on Jordan’s shoulders. He couldn’t let his brother go without making sure he understood.

“Jordan, look I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to ruin it for you, man. I’m sorry. You believe me right?”

Jordan sighed. “Yeah, it’s all right. Let’s just get you some water.”

Jonathan looked back to see his friends, but they had stepped back and were whispering to each other. Suddenly the residual happy feelings he’d had were gone, and left in their place were worry and regret.

“Come on.” Jordan said, pulling on Jonathan’s arm.

“Yeah,” Jonathan agreed, and stumbled along beside his twin.

# # #

Clark walked through the Harvest Fest booths with a nostalgic smile on his face. It was nice to see that some things didn’t change. He found his wife in the crowd and greeted her with a grin. “What do you think?” he gestured to the row of booths.

“It’s great,” she answered

Her tone was slightly placating, but he didn’t mind because her smile was genuine.

“Did you talk to Jonathan this afternoon?” Lois asked.


“How’s he holding up?”

“Not great.” Clark shook his head. “He said he wanted to move back to Metropolis.”

“He said that?” She frowned.

“Yep. Then when I said no, he said maybe he’d just do it anyway because that’s what Jordan did with football.”

“He didn’t!”

“He did.” Clark could tell from his wife’s heartrate that she was getting worked up. “And then he apologized as soon as I swatted him for it.”

“You swatted Jon?”

He nodded. “Twice.”

With a concerned frown she said, “I don’t know if that’s-”

“Here he comes,” Clark warned when he saw the twins coming towards them. His eyebrows furrowed and his eyes narrowed as he focused on his boys. He didn’t want to believe it, but his senses didn’t lie. “And he’s been drinking.”

“What!?” As soon as the boys were close enough Lois confronted Jonathan with an angry scowl. “You’ve been drinking?”

Jonathan’s eyes darted to his father with worry before focusing back on his mom. “What?”

“Your dad can smell it, I can smell it, the whole town can smell it,” Lois ranted.

“It’s not that big a deal.” Jordan said, clearly trying to defuse the situation.

“Excuse me?” Clark couldn’t believe Jordan had just said that. He scanned Jonathan’s vital signs, and took a look at the amount of liquid in his stomach. Thankfully the boy was just tipsy and not full on drunk. There was no danger of alcohol poisoning and there were no bottles of alcohol on either of his children. “You boys need to go home. Right now.”

The teens looked at their father with worry.

Lois nodded in agreement. “Both of you call a ride share, and go straight home.”

Jonathan immediately answered, “Yes, Ma’am.”

Jordan scowled and said, “We were going anyway.”

Clark just glared at them both thinking they could both use a trip over his knee, Jonathan for the drinking, and Jordan for the continued disrespect.

“Go faster!” Lois demanded, shooing them away.

Once the boys were out of sight, Lois said, “I cannot believe Jon got drunk! I was just about to plead his case and talk you out of anymore spanking.”

“And now?” Clark asked, hoping it wasn’t going to be an argument. If his wife was truly against it, he’d follow her lead. She had more than earned the right to be the final decision maker when it came to the boys after being their primary caregiver for so long.

“If you don’t, I will.”

He nodded, glad to have her approval, and wrapped his arm around her waist. He looked around at the Harvest Fest, and said, “Should we try to salvage a little bit of the evening? Go to some of the booths and give Jon a little time to sober up?”

Lois thought about it for a few seconds before nodding. “We can try.”

Half an hour later, Clark could tell his wife wasn’t really having that much fun, and unfortunately neither was he. “Ready to go home and deal with our miscreants?”

“Yes,” she answered with relief.

“You want me to take the lead on punishment again when we get home?”

“I think you should. The boys need to know you’re fully on board with parenting, and that’s going to take time.”

“Yeah, I agree.” He certainly wasn’t looking forward to confronting the boys, but it needed to happen.

Fifteen minutes later when Clark walked into the house with Lois, he looked through the walls and saw Jordan in the kitchen eating chips, and Jonathan upstairs in the shower.

He went into the kitchen to confront Jordan with Lois trailing behind him. As soon as he appeared in the doorway, Jordan froze with a chip halfway to his mouth. He put it back in the bag, and set it on the counter.

“You guys are home early,” he said softly, brushing his fingers off on his shirt, and glancing nervously between his parents.

Clark crossed his arms. “It was a little difficult to enjoy the Harvest Fest after seeing our son drunk.”

“Yeah.” The teen nodded and looked at the floor.

“Did you know Jonathan was planning to drink at the festival?”

Jordan immediately shook his head and made eye contact. “No.”

“You arrived together. Did you see him start to drink?”

Jordan’s cheeks turned pink and he looked away. “Maybe?”

Clark sighed. “I’m going to tell you the same thing I told Jonathan a couple of weeks ago. I don’t expect you guys to snitch on each other over every little thing. But if Jonathan is doing something dangerous, then you need to tell us.”

“Having a couple of drinks to blow off steam isn’t dangerous,” Jordan said. Clark glared at his son, and Jordan added, “It’s stupid. Really, really stupid. And it doesn’t solve your problems. But it’s not dangerous.”

“Yes it is,” Lois interjected. “Especially when you’re fourteen. Not just because it impairs your judgement, but also because it can do physical damage if you drink too much.”

“Exactly,” Clark agreed. “So if you see your brother doing it again, we expect you to tell us. Is that understood?”

Jordan glared at the floor. “Yes.”

“Good. Now come here.” Clark pointed to the spot in front of him.

Jordan’s eyes darted to his, and the teen’s heartrate went up. “Uh… Why?”

“What did you say to your mother when she told you to go home?”

Blushing, Jordan shook his head and stammered, “I… I don’t… I didn’t… I mean I…”

“What did I tell you about disrespect?”

“I didn’t mean it.”

Taking pity on Jordan, Clark walked over to him. Jordan backed up a step and held his hands up in front of him.

“Dad, please, I…”

Clark grabbed his arm, turned him to the side, and gave him two solid slaps on the butt.


“Apologize to your mom.” Clark demanded while keeping ahold of Jordan’s arm.

Jordan immediately complied. “I’m sorry. Really.”

“Apology accepted,” Lois said.

Clark let go of Jordan’s arm and gave his shoulder a gentle squeeze. “Thank you. Now stay down here with your mom while I go talk to your brother.”

Lois moved to wrap her arm around Jordan’s shoulders while Clark walked towards the stairs.

He could hear Jonathan still in the shower, and went to go wait in Jonathan’s bedroom. He sat on the edge of the bed, and took a deep breath for the confrontation to come.

# # #

Jonathan stayed in the shower until the water ran cold berating himself for being such an idiot. Why the hell had he thought it was a good idea to get drunk at the Harvest Fest when he knew his parents were going to be there? Now he was in a world of trouble, he’d ruined his brother’s first date, and on top of all that, he still felt just as miserable about Eliza dumping him.

He dried off and got dressed in the sweat pants and tee shirt that he used as pajamas. Maybe if he was really lucky, he’d be able to fall asleep before his parents got home. If he could push off the inevitable discussion about his drinking, his parents might be a little more forgiving. He could handle the lecture and the grounding that were sure to happen, but with his father’s new propensity for swatting, putting things off seemed like the best plan.

He stepped into his room and stopped short when he saw his father sitting on the bed. Hopes dashed, his stomach churned and he swallowed hard. “Hey Dad.”

“Shut the door and come here.” Clark said, patting the spot next to him.

With those horrible instructions, Jonathan knew his fate was sealed and reluctantly complied. He sat a bit further away than his father had indicated; staying just out of reach. “I know I screwed up, and I’m really sorry.”

His father nodded. “You did screw up, and I’m glad to hear you’re taking this seriously. Where did you get the alcohol?”

“One of the guys on the team,” he answered softly.

“What in the world made you think it was okay to drink?”

Jonathan shook his head. “I didn’t. I knew it wasn’t okay. I just… didn’t care. I wanted to forget about Eliza and be happy again, even if it was temporary.”

Clark sighed. “Do you remember what I told you when you said you boys were too old to get spanked?”

Blushing Jonathan muttered, “That it was about our level of maturity not our physical age.” Perking up Jonathan added, “But adults drink when they have problems all the time.”

Clark nodded. “You’re right, a lot of adults do turn to alcohol when they have problems. But I certainly wouldn’t call that mature behavior, and I’m going to make it very clear that it’s not the kind of behavior I’m going to tolerate from you.”  

Jonathan shook his head, but his dad simply scooted closer to him, grasped his upper arm, and pulled him across his lap.

“Shit.” The curse word slipped out before Jonathan could stop it. He’d assumed he was in for some painful swats, but he hadn’t realized his dad was going to add this to his humiliation.

“That better be the last curse word I hear unless you’d like this to last even longer than it has to.”

“No! Sorry! No more cursing.” He tried not to squirm with shame.

“Drinking at your age is completely unacceptable, Jonathan.” Clark punctuated that point with two hard smacks to the seat of Jonathan’s sweat pants.


“It’s illegal.” Two more swats landed.


“It’s dangerous.”

“Ow! Dad!”

“And it’s not a good way to solve your problems.”

“I know. I’m… Ow! Sorry! Ow!”

Apparently the lecture was over, because his father’s hand slapped his backside again and again. One smack after another layering pain on top of pain.

“Dad, please! Ow! I’m sorry! I won’t… Ow… do it again!”

“You’d better not.”

Two harder swats made Jonathan yelp and gasp. Then his father’s hands were pulling him upright. His stinging butt hit the mattress, and his father pulled him into a warm hug. Jonathan’s eyes burned and his chest felt tight. He couldn’t stop the tears that started to fall as he grasped his dad’s shirt in a death grip and hid his face on the soft flannel.

“Okay,” Clark said while rubbing Jonathan’s back. “All done.”

“I’m sorry,” he said through his tears.

“Apology accepted and you’re forgiven. As soon as you calm down, you need to go apologize to Mom, and then we can all put this behind us.”

“Am I grounded?”

“Considering the extenuating circumstances, and the fact that you readily admitted your mistakes, I think we can consider the spanking enough punishment.”

“Really?” Jonathan pulled his head back and wiped the tears off his face to look his dad in the eye.

Clark nodded. “But if there’s a next time-”

“There won’t be. I promise.”

“Okay then.” Clark patted his shoulder and stood up.

Jonathan followed suit, and couldn’t stop himself from trying to rub some of the sting out of his butt.

“Go splash some water on your face, and then come downstairs to apologize to your mom.”

Nodding, Jonathan went to the bathroom and did as he was told. When he went downstairs he saw his whole family waiting for him in the living room.

Jordan was looking at him with sympathy, while his mother appeared expectant.

Feeling his face growing warm, Jonathan said, “I guess Harvest Fest was kind of a bust because of me.” Making eye contact with his mom he said sincerely, “I’m really sorry. It was a terrible idea to drink, and it will never happen again.”

Lois walked over and pulled him into a hug. “Thank you for the apology.”

Jonathan closed his eyes for a moment, soaking up the love and forgiveness, and felt almost normal for the first time since Eliza had called him.

“Alright guys, bedtime,” Clark said.

Jordan went first, and Jonathan trailed him. At the top of the stairs Jonathan heard his mother speak and paused.

“Did you ground him for a week?”

“I figured the spanking was enough punishment.”

“You did?” His mother didn’t sound pleased about that.

“I seem to remember someone buying the boys ice cream after spanking them,” his father teased.

“They were five,” she protested with a chuckle. “But I get it. Being the disciplinarian sucks.”

“It really does.”

Shocked to hear the same exact sentiment about spanking that he and Jordan had shared earlier in the day, Jonathan continued to his room and made a promise to himself that he’d never give his father cause to do it again.


The End

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