Author's Note: This story takes place in an Alternate Universe of Smallville where Clark and Lex meet much earlier in life. Clark is 12, and Lex is 18. Written - April 30, 2004 (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 a pre-teen by a parent. Non consensual disciplinary spanking of an adult by a parental figure.

Friendship Chapter 3

One Sunday morning, after Lex had been on the farm for two weeks, Jonathan asked both boys if they wanted to go fishing. Clark loved fishing, and was excited about it. Lex had never been, but was willing to go. Half an hour later they were sitting by the side of a lake, and Jonathan was showing Lex how to cast his line. Lex practiced for a while, and eventually left his line in. Soon the three of them were sitting around talking about the farm. Jonathan said, "I can't believe how fast the fence has gone up. With the three of us working we'll be done by the middle of next week. I think once that's done we'll start on the barn roof."

"Are you just repairing, or putting a new roof on?" Lex asked.

"It's past time for a whole new roof, but I can't afford it. We'll just be repairing. That should take about a week to finish."

"You know Mr. Kent, I would be happy to pay for a new roof for you," Lex offered.

"That's really nice of you Lex, but I can't accept your money."

"Why not?" Lex asked.

Clark broke in with, "Yeah, why not?"

"I'm sorry Lex, it is a nice offer, but I can't accept. I have to do things myself, it's just who I am. I have to make the farm work independently. I can't use money from others to get it working. Some people say it's a downfall of mine. Maybe it's stubborn pride like Martha says, or maybe it's smart of me, but either way, I'm not going to be beholding to anyone."

Lex nodded, even though he didn't actually understand Jonathan's point of view.

By the time lunch was over, Clark had caught a fish that was big enough to keep. Lex had caught one that was too small, which they'd put back. Clark was getting bored, and said, "Hey Lex, you wanna take a walk by the lake with me?"


There was a long trail that went all the way around the lake. Jonathan said, "You guys have fun, but be sure you're back in an hour."

They started walking, and Clark said, "I can't believe you've never been fishing before. What do you think?"

"It's okay. It seems like a nice excuse to just sit around outside."

"Dad and I go at least once a month in the spring and summer." Clark saw something moving out of the corner of his eye. He stopped and said, "Look."

They both saw a tiny snake trying to get under some bushes. Clark ran and caught it before it could get too far away.

"Jeez Clark don't pick it up! It could be poisonous."

Clark lifted it up for Lex to see and said, "No this is just a racer. At least that's what dad calls them. We see them all the time. Wanna hold it?"

His face showed disgust as he said, "No thanks. I'll pass."

Clark shrugged and started walking again while holding the snake. He said, "Don't you think it's kind of funny sometimes how we get along?"

"What do you mean?" Lex asked.

"It seems like all the things that seem normal to me are new to you, and vice versa. Like you've never been fishing, and it looks to me like you've never caught a snake. Those are like every day things for me. And things that you used to do every day are things that I've never done. It's just weird."

"I guess I never thought about it like that, and we do have things in common. We both like cars and sports, and for now we're both working with your dad. We're both out of school for the summer, and going back in a month and a half."

"Yeah, but you'll be going to college, and your school was an expensive private school. I like cars, but you own more than one. I like sports, but you've been to lots of professional games, and I've only been to school games. It's just different," Clark explained.

After considering this Lex said, "You're right. But you know what?"


"I like you anyway. If someone had asked me a few weeks ago if I would be friends with a twelve-year-old boy, I would have laughed. But here I am, and I'm glad to call you my friend."

"Thanks Lex."

"What for? I'm just telling you the truth."

Clark held up the snake and said, "You sure you don't wanna hold him?"

"I'm positive," Lex said.

Clark went over to the side of the trail and put the snake down. It immediately got itself under the nearest bush. They started walking again and Clark said, "I'm really glad you're staying with us, and I'm glad you're my friend too."

Lex still had a warm smile on his face, when they made it back to Jonathan, who had caught two more fish.

# # #

The next week passed as quickly as the one before, and soon Lex had been staying with the Kents for three weeks. He really thought about it one night, and decided that in the past three weeks, he'd had more happy moments than in the previous three months. He came to the conclusion that it was a mixture of the physical work, the Kents, and the fact that his father wasn't there.
On Saturday morning Jonathan told Lex and Clark that he and Martha were going to go into town that day to sell some food to the market, and to pick up some supplies. He left them with enough chores to keep them busy most of the day. Before they left Jonathan pulled Lex aside and said, "I'm trusting you and Clark to be good while I'm gone, and to still be here when I get back."

"I know," Lex said sincerely.

Clark and Lex got started on the chores, and talked while they were working. Lex was telling Clark about the colleges he had applied to, and the fact that any of them would take him once they saw his name because of the donations they could get from his father. Clark said, "It's kind of cool that you can go anywhere you want."

Lex sighed and said, "Not really. I mean, yeah, good for me that I can pick and choose, but they want my father's money not me."

"You say that a lot."

"What do I say?"

"That people want your dad's money more than they want to be around you."

"I don't remember saying that before," Lex said with frown.

"You said it at least four other times, when you were talking about some of your friends at school, and your teachers."

Lex shrugged and said, "Well, it's true."

"It sucks that you never know if someone really likes you for who you are, or if they like you for your money. There's a problem I'll never have," Clark said.

"You're lucky," Lex said with a smile.

Clark frowned. "No, I don't think that's true. It's good to know that my friends like me for me, but it really sucks to be poor. I have to watch my friends get things that I know I'll never be able to have. I mean, most of the time it doesn't bother me, but once in a while I get mad about it. Like this summer Pete got to go to Disneyland. Most of the kids in school get to go cool places for vacation. The only kind of vacation my family gets are camping trips, and that's only once a year, because we have to get someone to watch the farm and take care of the animals."

"I didn't know being poor bugged you."

"Not always, just sometimes. But then on the other side of things, my parents are always around when I need them. If I wanted my dad to do something at two in the afternoon on a Tuesday, he would be able to, and I know from talking to my friends that their parents can't."

Lex nodded, and Clark changed the subject. "So what are you going to college to be?"

"I haven't decided. I'm mostly going just so that I don't have to work. My dad wants me to work with him, but that sounds like a nightmare to me. I'll see how many years I can get away with taking a few classes and partying most of the time."

Clark was quite for a few minutes, and then said, "That doesn't sound very smart to me."

Taking offense Lex said, "Well I didn't ask you."

Getting upset himself, Clark said, "I'm sure you don't want to take advice from a kid, but if I were you, I would decide quick what I wanted to do in life, and be serious about college. I mean you're getting a free ride, so make the best of it. Then you can get a job on your own when school is over, and you can tell your dad to take a hike."

Lex sighed, "I would love to be independent, and tell my father to go screw himself, but I know myself too well. I could live without the money for a while, but not forever. I would eventually go back to him. I know it's weak, but it's who I am."

"It would be hard to give it up," Clark sympathized.

Martha and Jonathan conducted their business as quickly as possible, because they didn't want to leave the boys alone for too long. Jonathan was especially pleased to see both Lex and Clark still home, and still working when he got home. Later that night Jonathan took Lex aside and said, "I just wanted to tell you that I was proud of you today."


"Because you stayed here and did what I told you to do while I was gone. I think a couple of weeks ago you would have taken the opportunity to run off. I'm glad you want to stay." Jonathan patted Lex on the shoulder and walked away.

With a slow nod, Lex realized he hadn't even considered leaving, and had to agree that a couple of weeks ago he would have.

Everyone was happy when the weekend was over, and Lionel hadn't called.

# # #

The next week Jonathan, Lex and Clark worked long and hard on digging up a hole, and putting in a new septic tank. They were all ready for a break when the weekend came around again. It had been a hot week, and the weekend was even hotter. Martha suggested that they all go to the lake for swimming on Sunday.

When they first got to the lake, everyone went swimming, but soon Martha and Jonathan got out, and sat on the bank watching the boys. Lex and Clark roughhoused until Lex was worn out, and Clark was pretending to be. After that, they got out a couple of small inflatable rafts that they had brought. The boys were floating around in the lake relaxing when Lex said, "Sometimes on the farm, I really miss air conditioning, especially this week since it's been so hot, but this is good too."

Clark smiled and said, "At your house, you could be in the warm pool in the air conditioned house, but I would rather be here."

"If I were home right now, I'd probably be playing the same game I'd played like a million times on my X-box. You know, at first when your dad told me I had to send it home I didn't want to, but now I'm glad it's not here."

"Well I'm not," Clark mumbled.

Sitting up on his raft with his lower legs dangling in the water on either side, Lex asked, "What was that about anyway? I mean you were pretty upset that night when your dad wouldn't let us keep it. And your mom said something about bad choices."

Clark blushed and stammered, "I… Well….. I…"

Laughing Lex said, "Come on Clark, it can't be that bad."

"Yes it can."

He could tell Clark was really upset, and stopped laughing. "Sorry Clark. You don't have to tell me if you don't want to, I just haven't seen you that angry since."

Looking at the bank where his parents were sitting, Clark decided they were out of hearing range. He said, "I really wanted a Nintendo, but we don't have the money for one, so I stole one."

Stunned, Lex said, "Really? I mean, I've stole lots of things, but I can't see you doing it."

Clark's head whipped around to face Lex. "What do you mean you've stole lots of things?"

"I've done lots of things that I'm not proud of," Lex shrugged. "A lot of them I did just to piss off my dad, and some of them I did to impress other people, and still others I did because I was drunk or high or both. When I was younger I took things like candy, comic books, videos, and games, but I've stolen cars, bikes, alcohol, and drugs before. I even tried to steal a gun."

Clark didn't know what to say, and stared at Lex for a few seconds, trying to understand. Lex felt his cheeks getting red from the scrutiny. Clark said quietly, "But you have money."

Lex couldn't look Clark in the eye anymore. "Yeah, I do."

"I don't understand. Why didn't you just buy those things?"

Shaking his head, Lex said, "Because that wouldn't have been as much fun. It wouldn't have been a challenge."

"It's amazing you haven't been caught."

With a rueful laugh, Lex said, "I've been caught lots of times."

"Now I really don't understand."

"I know it isn't right, and it isn't fair, but my dad has paid off many different people, many different times, to keep me out of trouble."

"If your dad knows that you're stealing things, why doesn't he stop you?" Clark asked.

Lex took a minute to think that over, and said, "My dad thinks of my stealing things as an annoyance. He doesn't think it's morally wrong the way your folks do. He's more annoyed about the money he has to spend to get me out of trouble, then he is about me stealing things. In fact, if I was able to take something without getting caught, he would probably be proud of me."

Clark shook his head, and said sincerely, "I'm sorry for you Lex."

"I don't need your fucking pity," Lex said as shame washed over him.

"Sorry." Clark said in a small voice.

Feeling bad for snapping, Lex said, "No, I'm sorry. My father always brings out the worst in me."

After a few minutes of silence, Lex chuckled. "So you really took a Nintendo?"

"I can see why you'd think it's laughable. But it's not to me. It's the worst thing I've ever done."

"I think we need to get you out more," Lex teased.

"I felt so bad about it, I confessed before I even got to use it."

"Was your dad mad?"

"What do you think?"

"Okay, dumb question."

"He wasn't as mad as I thought he'd be," Clark said. "Probably because I was blubbering the whole time I was trying to confess. I guess you think that's pathetic."

Lex shook his head. "Your dad is pretty intimidating. I'd have a hard time confessing something to him too."

"He made me take it back, and said I couldn't have any kind of game system for the rest of the summer. I was really mad at myself, not him, when he wouldn't let us keep the X-box."

"When summer's over, and I'm back home, you can come over to my place for a day and play with the X-box."

Clark smiled. "Thanks Lex. That's really cool of you."

"I hope that we can still keep in touch and do things together sometimes even when I'm in school."

"Definitely," Clark said with a grin.

# # #

The next week on a Wednesday when they were all eating lunch, Martha said, "Hey Lex, I just realized you've been here with us for a month."

Lex looked at his watch for the date and said, "I guess you're right. I never thought I'd make it more than a week."

"You've served almost half your sentence," Jonathan joked.

Seeing Lex's confusion, Jonathan smiled and said, "You did say this was a way for your dad to put you in prison without the press finding out."

Lex laughed. "You're right I did." Losing the smile, Lex looked at his plate when he admitted, "You know, I really am glad to be here."

Martha patted his hand and said, "We're glad you're here too."

Jonathan nodded in agreement, and Clark said, "Very glad."

Friday night when they were in bed, Martha said to Jonathan, "Let's do something just the two of us this weekend."

"Like what?"

"I've been thinking about spending the night in Metropolis."

Jonathan groaned, and Martha continued, "We wouldn't have to stay anywhere fancy, but I thought maybe we could go out to a nice dinner. I've been keeping the money from selling my flowers separate, and we should have enough. Please Jonathan, it will be fun."

Jonathan thought, 'Fun for you,' but said, "What about Clark and Lex?"

"They were fine when we left them last time, and the fact that Lex is here to help Clark if there are any problems is part of why I feel okay about going."

Jonathan couldn't think of any other good reasons not to agree. "All right."

Martha kissed him. "Thanks. You'll see. It won't be as bad as you think."

Jonathan was about to say something about wasting money, but Martha kept kissing him, and he soon decided she was right.

# # #

Saturday morning at breakfast Jonathan said, "Martha and I have decided to spend the night in Metropolis this weekend."

Lex nodded absently as he ate. Clark stopped eating and stared at his dad. He said, "Really?"

Martha answered, "Yes. We'll be leaving here as soon as we pack a few things, and we'll be back Sunday afternoon."

Clark smiled. "That's great."

Keeping his eyes glued to the sports section of the paper, Lex said casually, "I'll call The Palace and have Carl book you a room."

"What?" Jonathan asked

Looking up Lex said, "Carl is the manager there. He owes me. I'll get you a room for free."

Martha smiled, but Jonathan frowned. "I don't think so Lex."

Putting the paper down, Lex said, "Look Mr. Kent, I know that you don't like taking money from other people, but this won't involve any money. Believe me when I say Carl has been well paid by my father many times, and he knows me. He won't think twice about this. You can have a nice room in the most expensive hotel in Metropolis for free with no strings attached."

Jonathan was still frowning, and started to say something else, but Lex cut him off with, "Please let me do this for you. Both you and Mrs. Kent have fed me, and let me stay here for free all month, so this will be a way for me to say thanks."

Putting a hand over his, Martha said, "You don't owe us anything for that Lex. You know that we want you to be here."

"I know that, but I still want to show you how much I appreciate it."

"Are you sure there won't be any problems with this?" Jonathan asked.

Lex smiled, "I'm sure."

Jonathan turned Martha, who was smiling and nodding. He shrugged, "Okay."

Lex made a call. "May I please speak with Carl. It's Lex Luthor."

Once Carl got on the line, Lex said, "Hi Carl. How have you been."

"Very well Mr. Luthor, and yourself?"

"Good. Listen, do you remember the favor that you owe me?"

Sounding nervous, Carl said, "Yes Mr. Luthor."

"I want you to book your best available room for tonight for a Mr. and Mrs. Kent. They will only be staying one night, but I would like you to make it as pleasant as possible for them free of charge. Then we'll be even."

Carl said with relief, "That will be no problem at all Mr. Luthor. They will receive excellent service."

"Be sure they do." Lex hung up, and turned to the Kents, "It's all arranged."

Jonathan was frowning again, and said, "Why did he owe you a favor Lex."

With an evil grin, Lex leaned in close to Jonathan and whispered, "About a year ago, I was staying at the hotel with my dad. I was practicing my lock picking skills on one of the hotel's conference room doors, and I found Carl in a compromising situation with the Mayor's wife."

Jonathan didn't approve. "Blackmailing people is wrong Lex."

Lex sighed, "I know, but Carl was expecting much worse, and it's just the way his world works. He knows me too well to believe that I would just let it go. Trust me when I say that you would not approve of any of the other things I've thought of asking him for."

"I don't like it, but I know Martha is really looking forward to it, so I'll go along with it this time," Jonathan said, while maintaining his frown.

Once their things were packed and loaded into the truck, Jonathan turned to Lex and Clark. "You boys know what needs to be done on the farm, so I expect to find that you've kept up with things while we're gone. I don't want either one of you going anywhere while we're gone, and I don't want anyone coming over here either. I expect to find both of you safe at home with the house still standing when we get back on Sunday. Are we clear?"

"Yes sir," Clark answered.

"Yeah, we're clear," Lex agreed.

Martha gave Clark a hug and said, "Be good sweetie. See you tomorrow."

She gave Lex a hug and said, "Thanks for this Lex. See you tomorrow too."

By the early afternoon Lex and Clark were done with everything that needed to get done on the farm, until the evening. They were starting to play a game of cards when the phone rang. Clark answered, "Hello."

"Hello, this is Lionel Luthor. May I speak to Lex please."

"Sure. Hold on."

Clark handed the phone to Lex. "It's your dad."

With a grim expression, Lex answered, "Hi dad."

"Hello son, how are you?"

"Good. What do you want?"

"I just wanted to talk to you. You've been there a month."

"I have."

"You know Lex, I'd like to hear about it. Why don't you come out to the mansion today for dinner."

Lex considered it. He'd always had mixed feelings about his dad. He often hated his father, but at the same time he still wanted love and acceptance from him. "Why do you really want to see me?" he asked.

"Just to talk and see how you are. We haven't talked for over a month son, and I want to see you."

He knew it could be a trick. Every time he gave his father a chance to be nice, things went wrong. But he couldn't stop himself from wanting his father's affection. "Can I bring my friend Clark?"

"Of course. I would like to meet your friend."

"Okay then. We'll be there about four."


Clark had been listening, and at the last two statements had started to shake his head. As soon as Lex hung up Clark asked, "What's going on?"

"My father want's us to have dinner with him."

"But Dad told us not to go anywhere."

Lex pleaded, "Please come with me Clark. I could really use a friend tonight."

Clark didn't know where to start with his objections, and was silent for a few seconds while he gathered his thoughts. "Neither one of us can go, because Dad told us not to leave, and we don't have a way to get there anyway."

"Your dad will understand why I have to go, and we can take the bike."

Shaking his head Clark yelled, "No way! Dad would kill us. He will not understand why you disobeyed him, and he will not be okay with you using the bike."

"Jeez Clark lighten up,"

With an angry glare Clark said, "If you're so sure Dad will be okay with it, then why don't you call him at the hotel and ask him if you can go?"

Pissed, because he knew Clark was right, and that Jonathan probably wouldn't approve, Lex said, "I'm eighteen. I don't need your father's permission to do anything."

"Well I do, and I'm not gonna let you get me into trouble!" Clark yelled.

Lex yelled back, "Fine! Don't come with me. Some friend you turned out to be. Will you at least keep quiet about it?"

Clark felt like crying, and stammered, "But….but….I can't just not tell him!"

"Oh yes you can. Just keep your fucking mouth shut!" Lex saw Clark's face crumble as he started to cry, and watched as Clark turned and ran up the stairs to his room.

Lex stood there looking at the stairs, and felt worse than he could remember feeling in a really long time. He made a loud noise of frustration and walked out the front door slamming it behind him. He stood on the porch glaring at the cows in the field. He thought about calling Jonathan and asking him about seeing his dad, but he knew that if the answer was no, he would still go to see his father. After five minutes of thinking and deciding what to do, he went back into the house and grabbed the keys to the motorcycle. He put on his jacket and went to get the bike. He uncovered it, and rolled it out of the shed. Soon he was riding home.

Up in his room, Clark was trying to stop crying. He couldn't believe that Lex had been so mean to him. He really looked up to Lex, and was proud to have someone so much older than him consider him a friend. He wanted Lex to still be his friend, but he didn't want to lie to his dad. He wasn't good at it, and had never been able to pull it off. But the thought of Lex not liking him was even worse. He made up his mind to keep the secret as he heard the motorcycle start up in the yard. He went downstairs and tried to figure out what to do with himself for the next few hours.

While Lex was riding he was thinking to himself, 'I can't believe I said that to Clark. I made the poor kid cry for Christ sake. I hope he doesn't hate me now. Maybe I shouldn't have asked him to lie. But then maybe he shouldn't have such a problem with it. It isn't like he's lying about something he did. I wonder if dad really just wants to see me.'

After half an hour of berating himself for making Clark cry, and wondering about his father, Lex arrived at the mansion. Lionel came to the entranceway to greet him. He said, "Hello Lex. Where's Clark?"

"He decided not to come."

"And you're early. It's only two o'clock."

"Is that a problem?" Lex asked defensively

"No. No. It's a pleasant surprise. Why don't you come with me to my study, and we can sit and talk."

Lex nodded and followed his dad into the study. Once they were both sitting on the couch, Lionel called to one of his servants, "Bring me a gin and tonic. Anything for you Lex?"

Lex hadn't had a drink for a long time. He thought about it and said, "Same."

Lionel nodded to the servant and said, "So Lex, tell me what you've been doing."

"Let's see, over the past month I've helped Mr. Kent and Clark put up a fence around one of their fields. That job took two and a half weeks. Then we fixed the barn roof, and put in a septic tank. Next week we're going to be working on the hay."

Lionel said, "You've always been of average build, but I can see that the physical labor has helped you to build up some muscle. You look good."

Amazed that his father had actually complimented him, he didn't know what to say. "Umm….Thanks."

"Tell me about the Kents."

"Mr. Kent is pretty serious about everything, but he's patient when he's teaching me how to do something. Mrs. Kent is nice. She's shown me some new recipes. And Clark is a normal kid….and my friend."

"I see, and how well do you fit in with them?" Lionel asked.

Lex didn't like that question. "What do you mean?"

"Don't play dumb Lex."

Clenching his jaw, Lex looked away as he said, "I don't fit in, but then you already know that, so why bring it up?"

"Explain how you don't fit in," Lional said patiently.

"Mr. Kent has high moral standards, and I don't."

"Ah, I see. You know what I think?"

Lex shook his head and looked at his dad. Lionel said, "I think that only a fool would have high moral standards in this day and age. By sticking to his out dated moral code, Mr. Kent is making sure his family will never prosper or succeed in life. To get ahead in life, you have to be willing to do things that society may think of as wrong."

Lex frowned, but before he could comment, their drinks came, and Lex gulped his down. Lionel watched his son closely, and prodded. "How don't you fit in with Mrs. Kent and Clark?"

"I fit in pretty well with Mrs. Kent. She hasn't always lived in Smallville, and she understands more of what I'm like, but she's also too trusting. She would be easy to lie to," Lex admitted.

"But because she trusts you, you wouldn't lie to her."

"How do you know that?"

"Because she reminds you of your mother."

Lex jumped up and walked over to the side table and poured some whisky into his empty glass. He sipped it and said, "Fuck you."

Lionel shrugged and said, "Okay, we won't talk about that. What about Clark? How do the two of you not fit?"

With an agitated and angry laugh Lex said, "He's a lot younger than me, and the worst thing he's ever done is pitifully small compared to my record."

Lionel nodded. "Thanks for being honest with me Lex. Now, why are you still staying there? What makes you keep trying to fit in?"

Lex took another drink and lied, "I don't know."

"Oh come now Lex, of course you do."

"Then why don't you tell me," Lex said before downing the rest of his drink.

"You keep trying to fit in, because you're trying to live out some ridiculous fantasy about a family. You're trying to belong to them, because you miss your mother, and we haven't been close for a long time."

Lex poured himself some more whisky and turned to glare at his father. "So what if I am? They're a good family, and they like me."

Lionel stood up and walked to Lex. He grabbed his upper arm in a vice like grip and said, "They are not your family, I am. Like it or not we are bound together by blood. You can go play house with the Kents for the rest of the summer, but don't ever forget that it's just a game. They can never really love you, because they don't know who you really are." With obvious contempt, Lionel said, "Your weakness disgusts me. Get out."

Lional let him go with a shove. Lex stumbled back a few steps and rubbed his arm where he was sure to have a bruise. He shook his head no and turned to run out, dropping his glass as he went. He ran all the way to the bike and started it. He took off as fast as he could and almost fell off when it lurched forward. By the time he was a block away he had to pull over, because he couldn't see through his tears. He got off the bike and sat on the side of the road crying. He kept up a mantra of, 'Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you.' in his head. It was sometimes directed at his father, and other times directed at himself.

Clark was playing solitaire, and wondering what he was going to tell his dad when he got home, when the phone rang. He picked it up with a, "Hello."

Jonathan was on the other end. "Hi son, how's it going? Everything okay there?"

Clark felt his heartbeat increase. "Yeah, we're fine. How are you guys?"

"We're great. The hotel is beautiful, and your mom is having a really good time."

Clark smiled despite his nerves and said, "I'm really glad you guys did this. You should go out just the two of you more often."

"Well I don't think we'll be going out like this again. This room is about three hundred bucks a night. I mostly called to tell Lex thanks, because we'd never be able to afford this."

"Um… Well, Lex is in the bathroom," Clark lied.

"Okay. Just tell him we said thanks again, and I'll talk to you tomorrow."

"Okay. Bye."

Clark hung up and felt his stomach lurch at the thought of having to lie to his dad again when he got home.

Lex had been sitting and crying for fifteen minutes. He finally shook his head and said out loud to himself, "Shut the fuck up you looser." He stood up and realized he could feel a buzz from his drinks. He dusted himself off, wiped his face. and said, "Sitting here crying like a girl. Weak! I'm letting my father win. I should have never gone to see him. Fucking stupid! Just shut up Lex. Get on the fucking bike, and forget about him. Think about Jenny. She was a good distraction."

Lex got on the bike and started it up. He got back on the road and headed towards the Kent farm while thinking about the prostitute. He thought about turning the bike around and heading for Metropolis, but decided not to. Mostly because he knew Clark was probably still feeling bad about what had happened, and he to make it up to him.

By the time Lex rode up to the Kent farm he was more in control of his emotions. He'd put a lot of effort into shutting himself down, and he'd almost succeeded in making himself not care. He rolled the bike into the shed and went to find Clark. Clark had heard him drive up, and was on the porch waiting for him. They both said, "I'm sorry."

Clark smiled while Lex looked surprised. Lex asked, "What are you sorry for?"

"I'm sorry I was such a baby. I won't tell my dad that you left."

Lex almost started to cry again. He pushed the feelings down and said, "You're too nice to me Clark. I'm not worth it."

"Yes you are," Clark said with certainty.

Lex shook his head. "I'm so sorry that I yelled at you Clark. You didn't deserve it, and I'm an ass."

Clark took the two steps that separated them and gave Lex a fierce hug around the middle. He let go and said, "It's okay Lex. I know your dad makes you mad."

Lex had been taken off guard by the hug and didn't react quick enough to hug back. He said, "No it's not okay, and I'll try to make it up to you. You don't have to lie to your dad for me. If he's mad, well then I'll just have to deal with it."

"Too late."

"What do you mean too late?"

"Dad called while you were gone. I told him everything was okay, and when he asked to talk to you, I said you were in the bathroom."

Looking down at the porch Lex said quietly, "Thank you for being such a good friend to me."

Feeling like he'd made the right decision, Clark asked, "Why are you back so soon?"

"I can't talk about it yet. I need to do something to wear myself out so I can stop thinking about it."

"Like what?" Clark asked with surprise.

Lex had to think about it for a few seconds. "I think I'm gonna go dig a hole. I'll just dig until I'm tired, and then I'll make myself keep going until I fill it up again."

With confusion Clark said, "That seems like a big waste of time. You sure you don't want to talk about it?"

Patting Clark on the shoulder Lex said, "I know it doesn't make sense to you, but I know it will help me, and I just can't talk about it."

"Did you want company?" Clark asked hopefully.

"No. I'll come help you tonight when it's time to milk the cows and feed the animals."


Lex spent the next hour out in the field digging a hole. As he worked he thought about his father. By the time the hour was up, Lex was breathing hard and sweat was pouring off of him. If he hadn't been working on the farm for the past month his hands would have been full of blisters, but they were pretty well callused now. Clark came out and brought him a glass of water. Lex smiled and said thanks as he handed back the empty glass. Clark asked, "Aren't you going to be too tired to put all the dirt back?"

"Yeah, but I'm gonna do it anyway."

Clark frowned as he walked back to the house, and Lex started digging again. After another half an hour Lex was too tired to go on. He sat down on the side of the hole and rested. Soon Clark came out and said, "It's about time to get the animals fed."

Lex nodded and followed Clark. Two hours later when all the chores on the farm were done they went into the house and Lex asked, "What do you want for dinner?"

"Peanut butter and Jelly?"

Lex laughed. "You can have anything you want, and that's your choice?"

"With potato chips, milk, and cookies," Clark said with a smile.

Shaking his head, Lex made the sandwich for Clark, and made himself a steak and a salad. When they were eating Lex said, "Some wine would be nice with this."

"Dad doesn't drink much. Too expensive."

After a silent pause, Clark asked, "You wanna talk about it yet?"

Lex pushed his half-eaten steak away and said, "No. I'm going back out."

Lex went back to his hole and looked at it. His dad's words 'your weakness disgusts me' kept going through his head. He picked up the shovel and started to fill the hole back in. His muscles protested at first, but it got better as he got into the rhythm of it. Once he had been doing it for half an hour he was pretty sore. When he had been digging the hole, he had been angry, which made him push himself instead of working at a steady pace. The anger was now dulling, and he was tiring. His father's voice saying 'weakness' was all that kept him going until the hole was filled. He stood looking at the disturbed ground for a long time. Clark eventually came out and stood next to him. Lex said quietly, "I hate my father."


"Because he makes me hate myself."

"What happened today?" Clark's question was full of concern.

"I don't want to burden you with it Clark. I'm better now. Let's just let it go."

Clark didn't think that was the best idea, but he nodded his head in acceptance anyway. He followed Lex as he put the shovel away and went to the house. He could see Lex's arm shake with effort to hold a glass of water while he drank. He wished his father was there, and thought maybe lying hadn't been the best choice.

Lex went to take a shower, and stayed in until the hot water ran out. He thought about taking a couple of Tylenol, and then he thought about taking the whole bottle of Tylenol. He shook his head and said to himself, "That would be weak."

Coming out of the bathroom, he saw Clark and said, "I'm going to bed. If you get up before me, wake me up so I can help you with the animals."

Clark nodded and went to watch some TV until he was tired. He felt bad that Lex felt bad, but he didn't know what else to do to help him.

# # #

The next morning Clark woke Lex up at six. Lex hurt all over, but he got up anyway and helped Clark with the morning chores. Lex made them pancakes for breakfast, and found that his appetite was back. They spent the rest of the morning weeding the small family garden, and talking sports. Jonathan and Martha arrived home just in time for lunch. Lex was in the process of making sandwiches when he saw them drive up. He said, "Hey Clark, why don't you go ask if your folks want some lunch too."

Clark ran out and hugged his parents as he said, "Lex is making lunch, are you hungry?"

Martha said, "Sure."

Soon they were all eating, and Martha was telling them about the hotel. Lex was happy to hear that they had been treated well, and that they did have a good time. When Martha was done, Jonathan said, "So how were things here?"

Looking down at his plate, Clark said, "Fine."

Jonathan frowned. "Are you sure?"

Lex jumped in, "We had a little argument that was my fault, but we've made up."

"What about?" Jonathan pressed.

"I'd rather not say if that's alright." Clark said.

Jonathan's eyebrows went up. He looked at Martha who shrugged. He said, "I guess that's okay if you're both okay now." Jonathan pointedly looked at Lex who nodded.

When they were done eating lunch Clark asked Lex to play a game of basketball with him, but Lex was too tired. Lex went to take a hot shower instead. Martha started unpacking, Clark went to practice shots at the hoop, and Jonathan went to have a look around to make sure the animals were okay, and that everything was in the same condition he'd left it.

As soon as Jonathan went into the shed, he had a pretty good idea what the argument had been about. He walked to the bike and looked it over for damage. He didn't notice any, but did note that the gas was almost out. He looked across the yard and called out, "Clark."

Clark looked over and saw his dad motioning for him to come to the shed. Clark ran over and said, "Yeah dad?"

Jonathan pointed to the uncovered motorcycle and said, "Care to explain?"

Trying to come up with a quick lie, Clark said, "We were just looking at it, and we must have forgotten to cover it back up."

With disappointment Jonathan said; "It's low on gas."

"Oh," Clark said while his face turned red.

Jonathan crossed his arms and said, "I can't believe you just lied to me Clark."

"I'm sorry," Clark whispered while his mind raced.

"What happened?"

Clark shook his head no, looked up at his father, and said, "I'm sorry, but…I…I can't say."

Jonathan glared at his son and said, "Go to your room right now."

Clark found it very hard not to run at super speed to get to his room. He sat on his bed and waited nervously. He thought, 'Crap! I should have known I couldn't get away with it. Dad was really mad. He's gonna spank me for sure, and Lex is right down the hall in the bathroom. Getting spanked is bad enough without knowing that someone will hear! He's gonna hear me yelling, and then he'll know that I'm a wuss. I hope Dad doesn't kick him out when he finds out what Lex did. If he does, I hope Lex will still be my friend. Maybe Dad won't spank me. No, I know he will. Damn I shouldn't have lied.'

Jonathan counted to ten in his head and took a couple of deep breaths before he went to the house. He found Martha coming down the stairs. Seeing his face she asked, "What's wrong?"

"Where's Lex."

"Taking a shower. What happened?"

Jonathan got out the small box that held the meteor rock from the kitchen cupboard as he said, "Clark just lied right to my face. One or both of them took the motorcycle somewhere, and Clark won't tell me about it."

Martha gasped, "Clark wouldn't take the bike."

"Well one of them did, and he obviously knows what happened."

Martha shook her head as Jonathan started up the stairs. She followed him and said, "Don't you want to get Lex's side of the story before you punish Clark?"

He stopped and turned to his wife. "I'm spanking Clark for lying to me. I'll talk to Lex when he's done in the shower, and then we'll see if either one of them deserves more. If you don't want to hear, you should go outside now."

Martha wanted to go outside, but instead she stationed herself at the bathroom door. When Jonathan gave her a questioning look she said, "In case he hears you and wants to make a run for it or barge in on you."

He smiled and whispered, "I love you." Turning, he walked down the hall to Clark's room. He knocked on the door and went in without waiting for an answer.

Clark had been chewing at the inside of his lip thinking. He heard the knock, and then saw his dad holding the hated box.

Jonathan shut the door, put the box on the night stand, and sat down next to Clark. He put an arm around his son's shoulders and said, "You lied to me. You know it's wrong. Do you have any excuse? Anything you want to tell me?"

He kept his face down and some tears spilled out of his eyes as he said, "I lied when you called too. Things weren't fine, and Lex wasn't in the bathroom."

"Where was he?" Jonathan asked.

"I promised not to tell."

With a nod of acceptance Jonathan said, "Okay then. Stand up."

Clark stood, and watched his father open the lead box. The little meteor rock glowed, and he groaned feeling the effects. He was pulled across his father's lap, and felt the first swat come down on the seat of his pants. Not used to feeling any pain, the swat was immediate, and overwhelming for him. "Owww!" he yelled, and squirmed to get away, only to feel his father's grip tighten around his waist. When more swats followed, he kicked his legs and yelled out apologies.

When Jonathan saw Clark reaching a hand back to cover his butt, he caught it and held it out of the way. After he'd given the boy ten swats, he paused, and said, "You don't lie to me Clark. Do you understand me."

"Yeeeees. I'm soooorrryy," Clark said through tears.

Jonathan gave him six more swats, and stopped. He let go of Clark's hand and rubbed his back for a few seconds. He leaned over to the nightstand, and closed the little box, knowing it would get rid of the physical affects of the spanking, but not the emotional ones. "Okay we're done."

Standing up, Clark continued to cry, even though the pain was gone.

Jonathan pulled him down to sit on his lap, and wrapped his arms around him. He said, "It's okay son. I forgive you for the lies. Do you want to tell me what happened now?"

Clark shook his head no, so Jonathan said, "Okay. I want you to stay here in your room while I go to talk with Lex. I'll send your mom in to see you okay?"

The boy nodded. He was much too embarrassed to face Lex right now, and was happy to stay in his room.

# # #

Lex had enjoyed the heat of the shower on his sore shoulder muscles, but didn't stay in too long, because he knew Martha was going to do laundry. As he started to dry himself off, he heard a loud smack and a yell. His eye's got wide, and he paused in his drying. Then when he heard more smacks and yells he dropped the towel and yanked on his pants as quick as he could over his wet legs. He couldn't believe what he was hearing. It sounded like someone was beating the crap out of Clark. He yanked open the bathroom door and almost knocked Martha over before he could stop his forward momentum. Martha thought Lex looked panicked. Lex said, "Can't you hear Clark? We have to help him!"

Martha took Lex's hand in hers and said, "No Lex. We're going to wait right here until Jonathan is done."

Not understanding, Lex said, "But…" The sounds stopped and Lex said with anger, "What could Clark have possibly done that was so bad? He's just a kid!"

"Clark lied to Jonathan," she said calmly.

He paled as he heard the sounds of the spanking start up again, and groaned, "My fault. Fuck, it's my fault."

Martha squeezed his hand, and said, "Clark makes his own choices."

He was about to pull away from her to make Jonathan stop, when the sounds stopped anyway. Martha let go of Lex's hand and said, "It's done. Why don't you finish getting dressed. Jonathan will want to talk to you in a minute."

Glaring at Martha, and hating her in that moment, Lex demanded, "How can you let him do that to Clark?"

"I agree with Jonathan's approach to raising our son. Clark's good boy, and this is part of what makes him who he is."

Shaking his head, Lex was too angry to respond.

Martha saw a big bruise on Lex's upper arm, and said, "What happened to your arm?"

Lex glared at her again. "Nothing."

Martha poked Lex in the chest, and said, "You better worry about your own behind. Get dressed."

Turning bright red at that, Lex stepped back and shut the bathroom door. He looked at himself in the mirror and muttered, "What the hell are you gonna do now Lex?"

In the hallway Jonathan asked Martha, "Can you sit with Clark while I talk to Lex?"

She nodded and said, "Lex thinks you were killing Clark. And he has a large bruise on his upper arm that looks kind of like a hand print."

Lex took his pants off again, and dried the wet spots on his legs that hadn't been soaked up by his pants. Then he got himself fully dressed, and looked into the sink, as if it would have the answers to all his questions. He was interrupted by a knock on the door. He didn't answer, but the door opened anyway to reveal Jonathan. Lex turned and snarled at him, "How the fuck could you do that to Clark?!"

Jonathan had been expecting that. He kept his voice calm as he answered, "Clark is fine Lex. I promise he's not really hurt."

"Not really hurt! It sure sounded like he was hurt!" Lex scoffed.

"Clark is pretty vocal when he gets spanked, but believe me when I say he's fine," Jonathan reassured him.

The anger Lex had felt towards Jonathan, quickly turned into self hatred. "It was my fault that he lied to you. You should have taken the time to find out what really happened."

Jonathan raised an eyebrow, and said, "I did give him time, but he wouldn't tell me what happened. He said he promised you he wouldn't."

Putting his head in his hands, Lex almost started crying. "Fuck. I'm sorry Clark."

"Lex have I ever lied to you?" Jonathan asked.

After thinking about it, Lex shook his head no. "Clark is fine. I spanked him for lying to me, and it has nothing to do with you."

Lex started to protest, but Jonathan held up a hand and said, "Even if you're very persuasive, Clark knows the difference between right and wrong, and he has to learn to make the right choice even when he doesn't really want to."

Finding this difficult to accept, Lex shook his head again.

"Let's go talk in your room." Once there, Jonathan closed the door behind them, and ordered, "Sit down." After Lex sat, Jonathan said, "I found the bike uncovered, so I asked Clark about it. He said you guys were just looking at it, but I knew he was lying because the gas was low, and it wasn't when I left. When I called him on it, he wouldn't say what had really happened. So now I'm asking you to tell me what happened."

Lex felt tired, sore, and very guilty. In that moment he decided to tell Jonathan everything. "Things were fine until my father called. He said he wanted to have me come over for dinner. He sounded like he really wanted to see me, and I…I had to go. I asked Clark to go with me but he said no. He told me I shouldn't go, and that he wouldn't lie to you about it. I… I yelled at him. I told him to keep his fucking mouth shut, and it made him cry…."

Silent for a few seconds, Lex waited to hear some anger from Jonathan, but instead heard, "Go on."

"I took the bike and saw my dad. He was his usual charming self, and then I came back here. I apologized to Clark and told him he didn't have to lie, but he said it was too late, because he already had. I told you it was my fault. You shouldn't have hit him." Lex glared at Jonathan again.

Ignoring the glare, Jonathan asked, "What did your dad say when you saw him."


Jonathan crossed his arms and glared down at Lex. "You just heard me spanking Clark for lying to me. Do you really think I'm going to let you get away with it? Show me your arm."

Glaring at the floor, Lex shook his head no.

"Lex look at me." Once he had eye contact, Jonathan said gently, "Your father hurt you. Talk to me about it, so I can help you."

"You just hurt Clark! How do you think it's different?" Lex yelled.

"Because I love Clark, and he's secure in that love even when he's done something wrong," Jonathan explained.

Lex couldn't keep eye contact, and felt his eyes start to water.

"Let me see what Lionel did to you," Jonathan said softly.

Lex pulled up his sleeve.

Jonathan saw the bruise and said, "Tell me about the whole visit in detail, and don't leave anything out."

Cramming his emotions down, Lex tried to keep himself detached when he told the story. "Dad said he wanted to see me, and visit. I believed him. When I got there he actually complemented me on looking good. More muscular than before. Then he asked what I'd been doing on the farm. I told him about the various projects we've done, but he didn't ask any questions about that. Then he asked me to point out how I don't fit in here. I told him, and then he asked me why I stay here when I don't fit in. I wouldn't answer, so he said he thought I was trying to live out my fantasy of a happy family life, and that I should always remember that he is my true family. He grabbed me and said, 'Your weakness disgusts me. Get out.' I drove the bike back. That's it."

Jonathan sat next to Lex and put a hand on his knee. "Tell me what you told him about how you don't fit in."

Lex looked him in the eye and said, "I told him you have a high moral code that I could never live up to, and that Mrs. Kent is gullible and easy to lie to, and that Clark is a goody goody who can't even imagine the horrible things I've done."

"What did you do when you got back?" Jonathan asked without blinking at what he'd been told.

Looking away Lex said, "I dug a hole until I was too tired to stand, and then I forced myself to fill it up again."

They sat in silence for a few seconds. Jonathan said, "Well, it could have been much worse. I think you did a pretty good job of coping with the things your father said to you."

"What?" Lex asked, staring at Jonathan like he was insane.

"You could have run off to Metropolis, you could have gone to town to drink yourself into a stupor."

"I had some drinks at the mansion," Lex admitted. Then after realizing what he had said, he stammered, "I mean….oh screw it."

With a smile, Jonathan said, "I think my moral code is catching up to you Lex. How much did you have?"

"Two and a half drinks. I could feel it a little when I drove home, but not much."

"Do you think it's safe to ride a motorcycle when you're even the least bit affected?"

Lex shrugged. "I know the answer you want is no, but I think I was safe to drive."

Jonathan stood up and said, "I'm proud of the fact that you came back here after the things your dad said, and that you knew what you needed to do to calm yourself down. Don't get me wrong, you still did plenty of things to get yourself spanked, but all in all I think you did pretty good with the hand you were dealt."

Lex felt his cheeks get warm and he squeaked out, "Spanked?"

"Let's count it up. Number one, I told you not to leave the farm while we were gone and you did. Number two, you drove after having alcohol again. Number three, you encouraged Clark to lie. And number four, you lied to me yourself."

Trying to deny it, Lex said, "But…"

"Stand up." Jonathan interrupted.

Lex stood, and Jonathan pulled him into a hug. "I like you Lex, and I consider you part of the family now. If I didn't care about you, I would just kick you out, but I want you to stay. I feel bad for you when I hear about the way your dad treats you, and I want you to see that there's another way." Jonathan let him go and said, "Undo your pants."

Shaking his head no, Lex stepped back. "My pants?"

"Your pants are coming down this time, because your behavior was worse." While Lex was still shaking his head no, Jonathan took a step forward and undid the pants for him. He grabbed Lex's elbow and pulled him to the bed. Jonathan sat down and had Lex over his lap before Lex decided to put up a real fight. He pulled Lex's pants and underwear down together.

Lex muttered, "Shit, this can't be happening again." He felt the first swat, and grunted. He thought about how Clark had sounded, and bit the inside of his cheek to keep from making noise. By the time Jonathan had smacked him ten times, Lex was starting to have trouble staying quiet.

Jonathan paused and said, "You don't leave the farm when I tell you not to," before giving him six more swats.

Lex could feel his body trying to move away from the swats, even when he told himself to stay still.

"You don't have other people lie for you," Jonathan said.

Lex started to say 'I'm sorry about Clark', but as he opened his mouth, Jonathan gave him another six swats, so what came out was more like "I'm s…oooowww."

Jonathan had to think about the next one for a second. He knew what he would say to Clark, but it didn't seem right for Lex. He said, "You don't lie to people who care about you."

The next six swats were too painful for Lex to worry about someone overhearing. He yelled, and tried to push himself off the man's lap, but found himself held tight.

Jonathan was more upset about the last misdeed, because they'd gone over it before. He thought about using his belt, but decided not to, since Lex had been up front and honest about it. He said, "Are you listening Lex?"


"I've already talked with you about drinking and driving. I'm disappointed that you decided to do it again, but I'm proud of you for telling me about it even though you knew I wouldn't approve. I don't expect to have to go over this again after we're done here. You don't drive after you've been drinking. Period."

Jonathan's hand came down again and again with loud 'Smacks', and Lex started yelling at the first swat. When he realized Jonathan wasn't stopping at six swats this time, Lex yelled, "I'm soorrry….Aaahh….Please stop!"

Jonathan kept spanking until he heard the boy crying, and then gave him four harder swats before stopping. He rubbed Lex's back while he cried. "Okay Lex, we're done." Jonathan helped him stand, and waited for him to fix his pants, before standing up next to him. He pulled Lex into another hug, and said, "You know you're wrong about not fitting in here Lex."

Lex was still crying, but shook his head no in the man's chest. Jonathan continued anyway, "I do have high moral standards, but I don't expect everyone to live the same way I do. I honestly understand why you don't agree with some of the things I believe in, and I don't think it makes you a bad person. Martha may seem gullible, but she's not as easy to fool as you seem to think. As for Clark, well it just isn't in his nature to go against what society says is right. But I know he doesn't look down on you for the things you've done."

Lex had almost had his crying under control when Jonathan added, "I'm sorry your dad hurt you."

Hearing that made him start crying loudly again. Jonathan held him and waited. After a while, in between sniffles, Lex said, "Dad thinks I'm weak."

"I've known you for just over a month, and the word weak has never come to my mind when thinking about you. In fact I think you had to be strong to survive your childhood."

Jonathan let go of Lex and smiled a little to let Lex know he was joking when he said, "Now if your dad had said stubborn, willful, or arrogant I might have agreed."

With a watery smile Lex said, "You should know about being stubborn."

"That I do. So your dad thinks wanting a happy family is a weakness?"

"He thinks that I'm weak for wanting to stay here." Lex confirmed.

"So caring about people is what makes you weak according to him?" Jonathan asked, trying to understand.

"No…. Maybe…. I don't know."

Jonathan put a hand on Lex's shoulder and looked into his eyes when he said, "I think caring about other people makes you stronger. My love for Martha and Clark helps me to get through any hardships that I face. If your dad thinks caring about us makes you weak, then he must be a very sad and lonely person."

Lex didn't respond, so Jonathan added, "You're a good person Lex, even if your father can't see it, we can."

"Thanks," Lex muttered, not actually believing what Jonathan had told him.

Patting the boy's back, Jonathan said, "Okay, let's get back on track for the day. I'm gonna go check on Clark and then I'm going to make some calls about renting the hay mower for tomorrow. You should go talk to Clark in a few minutes. I know you probably still feel guilty, but I think once you talk to him and see that he's fine you'll feel better."

Jonathan left, and Lex went to the window to look out across the field and collect his thoughts.

# # #

Clark was sitting on his bed when his mother came in to see him. He couldn't make eye contact. She went to sit next to him on the bed, and put an arm around his shoulders. She asked, "How are you doing sweetie?"

He shrugged, and Martha kissed his head. "Want to tell me why you lied?"

Clark shook his head no.

"Okay," Martha nodded in acceptance.

They sat in silence for a few seconds, and then Clark had to ask, "Where's Lex? I mean did he….was he…."

Nodding, Martha answered the incomplete question, "He was in the bathroom, and when he heard what was happening, he wanted to rush in here and save you."

"Why?" Clark asked with surprise.

"Lex thought your dad was hurting you."

Clark wasn't sure what to make of that. After a few seconds he asked the dredded question, "Is Dad gonna kick Lex out?"

"No honey. What would make you think a thing like that?"

"Well he's gonna be mad that Lex…about what Lex did."

Martha squeezed Clark's shoulder and said, "Lex is part of the family. We're not going to kick him out. I don't know exactly what happened, but I'd bet that your dad is going to spank Lex too."

The look of surprise Clark gave her, almost made Martha laugh, but she kept it in. Clark whispered, "But he can't."

"Sorry Clark, but I think he can."

"He shouldn't."

"I think he should."

"But it's….."

Martha interrupted him. "Let's just wait and see what happens. Then when it's done, you can talk to Lex about it."

"Yeah, like Lex will stay after that. He'll go back home even if his dad is horrible."

"I think your wrong."

They sat in silence for a few minutes, and just as Clark was starting to relax, they heard the first smack. Clark thought it was a little surreal to hear someone else getting spanked. After the first pause Clark said, "Lex is really quiet compared to me."

"He's older, and more used to pain."

They sat in silence again until they heard the first 'ow' from Lex. Martha tensed up, hating to hear it. Clark's face got red again and he said quietly, "Is that what I sound like?"

Martha nodded.

"Shouldn't Dad be done now? Seems like it's a lot longer than mine."

"Well I don't know what happened, but my guess is that Lex was much naughtier then you were." Martha said.

He cringed at her choice of words, but had to admit that she was right. Both Martha and Clark were relieved when it was finally over, and sat together in silence for a few minutes. Eventually Clark said, "Do you think Lex is okay?"

"I'm sure he's fine."

"It sounded really bad, and it's not like he gets to feel better right away like me." Clark pointed out.

"I'm sure he's hurting, but it's temporary. He may not heal as quickly as you, but it won't last for more then a couple of days. Why don't you ask Lex how he feels later today."

There was a short knock on the door, and Jonathan came in. Martha patted Clark's shoulder and got up. She picked up the box with the meteor and said, "I'm going to go put this away, and start some laundry."

Jonathan nodded as Martha walked out. He said to Clark, "Hey kiddo how are you doing?"

"Okay. How's Lex?"

"He's not very happy, but he'll be okay. I told him to talk to you when he's ready. Don't try to talk to him until he comes to you okay?"


"I'm gonna go make some calls. You can do whatever you want, except bug Lex."

Twenty minutes later Martha had the laundry started, and had heard the whole story from Jonathan. She went to check on Lex, and found him standing at the window thinking. She knocked on the doorframe as she came in. After turning to see who it was, Lex looked away embarrassed. She walked to him, and pulled him into a hug. After letting him go, she pointed a finger at him and said, "I don't want to hear you talking about not fitting in here. When I first moved here with Jonathan I didn't think I fit in either, but I was wrong, and you are too."

He wasn't sure what to say to her, and before he could figure it out she said, "I'm sure Clark is anxious to talk to you. He's upset."

"Because I got him into trouble?" Lex guessed.

"No. Because he thinks you're going to leave."

He didn't believe her, but kept that to himself. She patted his shoulder before walking out, leaving him to his thoughts. Lex looked back out the window and realized that until Martha mentioned it, he hadn't even considered leaving. He'd been thinking about his mom, and wondering what she would have thought about him staying with the Kents. Lex absently rubbed his butt and thought about Clark. He was really not looking forward to talking to him. He thought for sure that Clark would hate him now. He whispered to himself, "No time like the present to lose a friend."

He walked to Clark's room, and knocked on the door. Clark said, "Come in."

Lex came in and shut the door behind him. Neither boy looked at the other. Lex asked, "Do you hate me now?"

"What? No. Why would I?" Clark looked in Lex's direction.

"Because it's my fault you got……in trouble."

Clark shook his head. "No it's not. Dad always says I'm responsible for my own actions, and he's right. I could have, and should have told you to screw off when you asked me to lie. I'm mad at myself for not doing what I knew was right, but I'm not mad at you."

Looking Clark in the eyes, Lex said, "You should be."

"Well, maybe a little, but I'm more worried about you."

"I guess you heard me as well as I heard you," Lex said.

"I'm never gonna piss off my dad again after hearing that. It was awful. I'm sorry he thought he had the right to do that to you. I mean you're like an adult."

Lex laughed, and said, "Maybe legally I'm an adult, but I sure don't feel like one right now. And your dad made it pretty clear to me the first week I was here, that he thought he did have the right to punish me. So I guess if I was going to leave, I would have called my dad and made that happen back then."

"So you're not gonna leave?" Clark asked hopefully.


"Really? I mean, that's great and I'm glad, but why not?"

Lex shrugged. "I don't want to."

"I'm sorry I don't lie very well. I really did try," Clark said.

Lex smiled mischievously. "Maybe we'll have to practice."

"No way!" Clark laughed.

"I think I feel better now that they know anyway. You're right, you should have told me to screw off when I asked you to lie. Next time I want to do something you think is wrong, you remind me of this, and don't listen to me."


Lex walked over and squatted down in front of Clark who was sitting on his bed. Lex said, "Hey Clark, I wanted to tell you that I'm sorry I asked you to lie, and I'm really sorry that you got spanked because you listened to me. If I had known that your dad was gonna do that, I would have kept you out of it."

"It's okay Lex. It's not the first time. There's no reason for you to apologize."

Lex shook his head. "You know what Clark? You're the best friend I've ever had. I'm sure I don't deserve it, but I'm really glad we're friends."

Clark smiled. "Me too."

Lex stood up and winced. "I don't think I'm up for a real game, but do you want to go practice free throw shots?"

"Yeah. That would be great."

The two boys headed outside to play.

The next two weeks went very well for everyone on the Kent farm. Lionel didn't call, and Lex didn't miss him. Lex and Clark both felt that their friendship was stronger now. Martha was determined to prove to Lex that he did belong there, and she made sure to hug him often, and to tell him stories of her past when she didn't live on the farm. Jonathan found that he was more and more protective of Lex the longer he stayed with them. He often felt like going to Lionel to give him a piece of his mind, but he doubted that it would do any good. He did make sure to praise Lex when he did a good job, and hugged him as often as he hugged Clark.

Lex for the most part was happy on the farm, and he wasn't looking forward to leaving. While trying to figure himself out one day he came up with the thought that there were two distinct sides of him. There was the Lex on the farm, and the Lex off the farm. He believed that he would revert back to his old ways about three days after leaving the farm whether he wanted to or not. He liked Lex on the farm. Lex on the farm was a nice guy, who didn't have to drink or be high to get through the day. He was friendly, hard working, and happy. He had a friend and a surrogate family. But he also knew that Lex off the farm was lying in wait to come out and take over again, and he dreaded it.

Chapter 4

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