SCORES AND SOLUTIONS
BOOK I: PART FOUR

It was Saturday and Clark and Whitney were lounging on a coach in the Kent living room. Lex was at the castle and was going to join them shortly. He had architects and engineers from all over the country to come up with an attack plan for his home. The guys did not want to go back to school on Monday. They had enjoyed their vacation way too much to ever want to do anything but be naked with each other. In fact Whit and Clark were tongue wrestling each other wearing nothing but cutoff shorts. They had picked up a tan while in Hawaii and Whit was determined to keep it. Their hands continued to caress and search for that perfect point of pleasure when they heard a voice clear from the doorway.

"Are we interrupting something?" asked Chloe. Five other friends from school looked at them and did not know how to react. Whit and Clark just shrugged it off and put their shirts back on. Lana and Pete wore expressions of amusement, while Mike, Keith, and Brian, all from the football team, expressions were a mix of desire, horror, and fear. Two of them were sporting major erections.

"Actually, if you have to ask then you are obviously not being satisfied. Whit and I love the fact that you didn't knock."

Lana cut Chloe off, "yes we did Clark, and we waited for five minutes and have been standing here for at least two. Nice to know that after two months you two still can't get enough of each other."

"Sorry, but school starts again on Monday and my parents went shopping and to catch a movie so we wanted to spend some quiet time together."

Whitney stood up, "So what can we do for you guys?"

"We wanted to see if Lex left our surprise here and our checks."

"Chloe from what I hear, you did more complaining than working and dad swears that some of you loafed instead of worked."

A chorus of "HEY!" met Clark's ears.

Whitney chuckled, "Lex is supposed to drop by shortly so we can watch a movie together."

Lana, Pete and Chloe all looked at each other and smiled. There was more going on than met the eye. Lana and Pete each made a mental note to apologize to Chloe and to let her go full out to find the truth.

"Okay, but what did he get us?"

"What did who get for whom?" asked Lex as he walked into the house.

"You for us."

"Oh, and nice to see you to Chloe. Actually here are the checks I owe everyone. Pete, please see to it that your whole crew gets paid." Lex then goes back to the car and comes in with three small boxes. "These are for you three. Thank you for arranging everything and covering while we...went all over the place. Oh, here is the $200 for the pizza party I promised you."

Chloe and Lana heard the tone, 'you are dismissed, I want to be alone with my boys.' Chloe decided to make things a little more difficult. "Hey Clark want come to the pizza party? We are having it at my house in two hours."

"I don't think so but thank you for asking...I already have plans." Lex and Whitney both had amused expressions from Chloe's offer and hid their smiles with Clark's response.

Lana had opened her box and was shocked, a gold bracelet and matching diamond earrings. Chloe got the same gift. Pete opened his and it contained a Cartier watch that was gold.

"Wow thanks Lex. Well we need to head out. See all of you later." The gang of six departed. For Clark's friends it was the beginning of a search for the truth. No doubt about how Whitney and Clark felt but Lex was a wild card and they wanted to know the truth.

"Remind me to see that Gabe Sullivan is transferred to Alaska and takes Chloe with him."

"Lex, that's mean and you no longer work for Luthor Corp. Besides, Chloe is my friend, I think she suspects something is going on between us."

Whitney laughed, "You think? She would investigate anything. She is a born reporter."

Lex smiled, "Lesson number one, keep the press close and watch them carefully. They will always provide you with information. Now what are we going to watch?"

Nathan Daniels was still on assignment. He was looking for an opening. He knew Damien had been reassigned but he was on station and would remain so until notified. Nathan was a mercenary, a former Navy SEAL and paramilitary operative. The end of the Cold War had left him with fewer choice assignments. The Luthor gig was a dream job. He was a walking chameleon. He also knew that a junkie had broken into that Dr. Hamilton's lab and Nathan was aware that this kid and his friends was responsible for a rash of robberies around Lowell County. Nathan was just waiting to drop a few hints in the right places and let them hit Lex. Then he could see about the proof Damien needed.

Monday

Lex pulled into the Kent Farms driveway and saw Jonathan. Lex was surprised to see a smile break on his face.

"I know you know that Clark is at school, so what brings you out on this fine Monday morning?"

"I need some advice and permission sir."

"Well come in and lets talk. Lunch will be served shortly so won't you join us?"

"Thank you and yes I will."

Lex followed Jonathan into the house and Martha greeted him with a hug. She wondered what he was doing here when he had been over for dinner the night before with his new 'family'.

Lex recalled last night's dinner with the Kents and Fordmans. He had been nervous until David Fordman told him about the first time we had dinner with Anne's parents. He had ended up wearing as much food as he managed to eat. That made Lex feels better.

"So Lex what did you need help with?"

"I formed a company that Clark and Whitney will each have 33% of and I will hold the remaining 34% but Clark can't make legal decisions so I need your permission."

"What is this company going to do?"

"It is going to be a holding company that I am transferring my off balance sheet assets and my Uncle's Real Estate partnerships. It is going to be the foundation of our House."

"How much is it going to be worth?"

"The total assets will be around $3.5 billion but the real worth will be in the revenues that this group will bring in. The Venture capital group last year had revenues in excess of $200 million. From the financial statements I've seen the Real Estate portfolio had revenues greater than that. The name of the company will be LFK International, Ltd. It stands for Luthor, Fordman, Kent. Whitney won't be eighteen until May so his parents have to sign any paperwork before then."

"Lex, why are you doing this?"

"I'm making a commitment. I'm in love and I need something...tangible, something real to show that I am serious. I want this to work and... I have no benchmarks to help. This is what I know." Lex had tears in his eyes. Martha and Jonathan were moved.

"Well son, don't try too hard. I have no doubts about your commitment to our son and I have no doubts about your love for Whitney either. It will work. All you have to do is trust in love. You really want to give them access to a billion dollars?"

"Sir... yes I would and I would count is a pittance for all they have done for me. We have a destiny together, I see it and I want it. They helped me become a person I like. It is amazing...I'm happy because they are always with me. So, all I have and all I will have they will have as well."

"Lex...put the breaks on son. There will have to be rules. Like they can't spend any money. They need limited access until age 21. Lex, I know that you have a year off from Luthor Corp, use it. The project to remodel the castle sounds like more work to me. Relax...read a book, get a new hobby. Grow...as a person. If you like yourself now, then expand it."

"Will you help me with the new company and with Whit's parents? I promise to find something fun to help me find some balance, okay?"

"Yes, you are full of surprises Lex. Martha?"

"Well, it is generous but what are your plans. I know David and Anne want Whitney to go to college and we want Clark to as well."

"Actually...I would like to keep Whitney here for a year and Clark to leave school when he does go off to college. I've arranged for him to take correspondent courses next year while he learns the business that we are building. I want Clark to be on the same field when it happens. I know you don't want him to stand out too much but he is so intelligent that it amazes me."

"We will have to think about that but I will not reject it out of hand. Now while we have you here, what are you going to do about Clark's birthday on Friday?"

"Nothing special. A birthday card...maybe a small gift."

"Well, we want to have small gathering here so could you pick him up and take him shopping or something until 7:00?"

"Sure, can I get him something nice?"

"Lex...you just told us that you are giving him a billion dollars...yes, but not a truck!"

"Okay, um...is lunch ready?"

"You better be glad that you are rich because Clark and Whitney eat a lot."

"You forget I spent a week with them...they are bottomless pits!"

Metropolis

"Yes, Congressman Davis. It is a pity that the Senator takes such a short view of the farming communities of his state."

"..."

"What good is being Chair of the Commerce Committee if he does nothing to benefit the people he elected. You know...economies have ways of...slumping during election cycles. No, nothing of the sort. It is hard to compete with European farmers when their governments subsidize everything they do."

"..."

"The Senate needs a new point of view, Congressman. It lacks leadership on Agricultural issues. An exploratory committee would be a wise move. His record is very vulnerable at this time. I'm sure fund-raising can be accomplished. Be careful. The deadline to file is in three weeks. Of course. The next time I'm in Washington...Yes...Good night Congressman."

'FOOL!' That should strike fear in hearts of some Senators. 'What is the use of having power if one does not exercise it from time to time.'

Tuesday

Lex was walking around. Tons, literally tons of materials were being delivered to begin the renovations. The engineers and architect wanted more time but Lex was adamant that the project had to be completed before July 1st. The excavation to have more space underground had already begun. He had contacted the same firm that renovated Wayne Manor. That had been a fun argument.

"Sir, it was a much easy project to rework Wayne Manor. Sir, it was built in the 1870's. This castle was, as best we can determine, was built around 1540. There is evidence that it took at least 70 years to complete. There must have been a change in architects because the style's change in the upper structures and the lower halls."

"Look, I am paying top dollar for this project. I want it done. You and the engineers are being paid to make magic happen.

Lex looks around wishes to God that the project goes well. He had three shifts working round the clock and he was WAY off on the price estimates. He was almost doubling the square footage of castle. He was moving the library into a new two-story room that would also hold his uncle's collection. He was bringing all the art from the townhouse to the castle. His uncle had a Picasso from his Blue period. He had a Czanne and a Degas. The painting that Lex wanted the most was the one he did not know his uncle had. Lex had seen it in Florence. It was not by a Master but the expression of the 'Ascension' was nothing short of glorious. It was the first time Lex had ever imagined that God existed. He saw and understood how people could believe. He was going to have it featured on the staircase landing. Lex was still trying to figure out how he was going to live here while all the mayhem was raging.

He wanted the new underground, detached garage built first so the cars could be moved. The garage would be built into the side of a hill and would be camouflaged. It would blend into the countryside. The new garage would house an in-house mechanics station and also keep a supply of gasoline on hand. The fire suppression system was also being put in place. He looked over the plans again and groaned. He was going to have to move out of the castle for at least three weeks. All of the moving trucks had already packed up most of the stuff. Some was going to his Dad's mansion in Metropolis, never to return, the others were going into storage.

Collins & Danforth was taking care of packing up and shipping the items he wanted from his Uncle's houses in Hong Kong and London. Both of those properties were already sold and still would not cover the costs here. He smiled remembering the conversation he had with Jonathan yesterday. 'Yes this is work but it is fun.'

Lex was also having the entrance to the estate moved. The new fences would yield to a massive granite wall. It would have two separate archs that would serve as an entrance and an exit. The wall between the archs would be illuminated and the new Coat of Arms would be displayed. The drive in would hide the castle until a final turn and then...WOW. The new garage would have a detached observation tower that would be part of the new gardens. The entry drive way would be a boulevard with a reflecting pool running down its center. On the outside of the roads sculptures and trees would play columns marking off the time. For Lex was giving up the idea of a castle in favor of a palace. He looked around and could not grasp that the plans in his hands would be made reality.

He looked at the redesigned Coat of Arms. It was based on the Summerset design. He was the last Luthor; in fact he was the last of two lines. The palace might hold three lasts. So the new design would reflect the three of them creating a new family, one destined for greatness. Lex had not talked about it but he wanted children and had no doubts that Whitney or Clark would make excellent parents. They would save him from his worst instincts. He could never be Lionel that was for sure. The House colors would be Imperial purple and Platinum. The shield would feature a tricorner design, three points radiating out from the center. Lex liked that design for swordplay. Three people back to back could defend each other very well. There were almost no blind spots. The shield would be flaked by a Gryphon and a Unicorn. Whitney's last name is derived from the English Fordham and Clark's from the ancient Duchy of Kent. Those would be represented and the top of the crest would have a Phoenix, symbolizing rebirth and renewal. All mythic creatures, alive in the imagination. The new House would be an inspiration and create a legend. Of this Lex had no doubts; he simply had to navigate the treacherous waters until that time arrived.

He had contacted Bruce about putting in a real server and all the satellite uplinks in the castle. That would allow the laptops to interface locally and further cut down on the power requirements for the wireless network. He could have the new laser arrays hidden in the roof, around the chimneys, making sure that a satellite connection was always available.

'So much I want to do...can I get it all done?'

Later

"Clark...How are things going?"

"Very well Dad thanks."

"Your Mom and I haven't seen much of you, not that we are complaining."

"Gee, thanks." Jon walks over and hugs his son.

"So, looking forward to your big birthday?"

"Sort of...yeah. It will make things less complicated but...there is nothing I want right now... you know?"

"Never stop dreaming or setting new goals for yourself son. You know Lex asked if we would consider letting you go to College two years early."

"What? How?"

"Son, it would mean you could stop hiding how quickly you can go through books and comprehend things. It...I promised to think about it. I wanted to let you know."

"Why would he ask you before saying anything to me?"

"Simple Clark, we are your parents and we still have some say in what you can and can not do. He wants Whitney to stay around for the next year and take courses online. I think he wants to stay as close as possible to the both of you. Clark...remember that Lex...well he hasn't had the best role models. If he tries too hard or does something you don't understand, keep that in mind."

"Okay, it is nice to see you. I really enjoy their company but I miss talking to you guys as well."

"Clark, we will always be here for you. Now lets go grab some dinner."

Wednesday afternoon

Lex looked at the packet that sat on his desk and really did not want to look at it again. The results from the DNA mapping were in for him and Whitney. He had use a private service that was confidential, used by many an upstanding family to determine paternity. Lex felt the approach of Clark and Whitney.

"Have you opened it yet?" Clark asked. He was very apprehensive about this.

"Yes, I was waiting for you two to get here. How was school?"

"Later, open the results." Clark walked over to the desk and picked up the file. Whitney grabbed the large folder ands opened it. Clark read the letter and dropped it. Lex picked it up.

Test subject 346428, results, ABNORMAL

Test subject 958567, results, ABNORMAL

Whitney pulled the large sheets out and Lex looked at them.

"Our DNA has been altered. Look, the exact same changes exist for both of us. The blood work came back with some unusual antibodies. I accessed the Human Genome Project to find out where our DNA was altered and what it affects. The base pairs do not appear in nature. The reimaged areas are ancient DNA junk. They do appear to effect instinctual behavior and this area influences metabolism. The one area that I was unable to understand is the actual virus that Clark carries in his semen."

Clark had walked to a window and he shoulders were quietly shaking. Lex and Whit both felt the pain before they noticed Clark. They walked over to him.

"Clark, my love, this virus is not one really. It is not 'attacking' our bodies but adapting them for something. In fact the strange thing is it appears to be dormant right now. The other strange thing is, my body and Whitney's seem to be adapting or assimilating at the same rate. My exposure to the radiation made my hair fall out and elevated my white cell count. Since then, my recovery rate from injury or illness has been well above the norm. This is very strange. "

Whitney looked at evidence in his hand and listened to Lex. He looked at Clark and then inside himself. He hugged Clark fiercely. "Clark, I don't think you are fully mature by a long shot. The changes to us will probably mirror the maturity of your own growth. As for the other issue Lex, I've lived in Smallville all my life. Perhaps the long term exposure but lack of direct intense exposure serves as the same result? Anyway back to you, Clark. I love you very much, period."

"How can you be so sure? I want to believe but..." Lex pulled all three of them into a hug.

"Clark, I believe in you and so does Whitney. It appears that you were 'engineered' to survive on Earth. I don't think you mean any harm or portent something sinister. The meteors that accompanied your arrival can probably kill you. If you were meant to do harm, why send the solution with the problem. So, I will believe that you are a sole survivor of a lost civilization. Your father showed us the tablet and your ship on Sunday, remember?"

"Yeah."

Whitney chimed in, "I agree Clark. The prima facia evidence suggests that you were sent away to save you from something. Remember we have been dreaming your dreams. Now some of them are a bit hazy but I think in time we will all be able to put together this puzzle. So, no tears, we don't hate or fear you. But we will need to monitor the changes to our bodies. Lex, security, who knows about this?"

"The company is going to be raided tonight. A virus will be inserted into their computer systems and all data on related research and us would be delivered to a Genetic Engineering firm in San Francisco. Any hard copies at the company will be destroyed. They never had our names but this is WAY to much information to be left anyplace."

"What about this lab in SF?"

"We own it."

"What?"

"I can't really discuss it but the firm is owned by Bruce and me. They have helped with the Genome project. We are going to put their database on line with the new computer systems that are going to be housed here. The castle is going to have a full medical facility and computers to support them. MRI, CT, X-ray...the whole set up."

"Why?"

"Because of you Clark...if something were to happen you can't go to a hospital. I need to talk to your father again. You know he called me son...twice on Monday."

"See, told you he liked you but I think he really likes Whitney...he always wanted an athlete for a son."

"Well he certainly got something special in you, Clark."

"Thanks Lex but he was a big jock on campus and I'm not." Whit hugged Clark and held his hand.

"No, you will cast a far larger shadow than I ever will. I am very glad your dad likes me...and Lex. Perhaps we are not too far off from being a real family someday."

"Guys...I love both of you and everything but if someone mentions kids, I'm out of here." Whitney and Lex attacked Clark at the same time.

"No, I was not going to mention kids for at least three more years. But I do want to build a life together. We have this year to make plans, enjoy life, and understand each other."

Whitney kissed Clark then Lex and had to leave for work. Clark hitched a ride home. He kissed Whitney before he got out and saw that his parents had seen it. Clark blushed and went to work on his chores.

Smallville Tavern

Nathan dropped a hint to the dismissed cleaning girl that Lex owed her more for all her hard work. He got her pretty drunk at a bar and saw her boyfriend come in. He slipped out the back but left a new miniature bug so could listen. It worked like a charm. Somehow this washed up jock club used the extract that Dr. Hamilton had uncovered and combined it with a base for tattoo ink. Their little reign of terror was amusing if twisted. Now Nathan just had to see where events lead him.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Roger could not believe that Lex sent him here to retrieve some evidence that he needed concealed. It was not illegal information but what he was about to do was. He had all the information he needed to penetrate the security systems of the clinic. He had the layout of the clinic. Still, he had no idea what information could be so vital in such a small clinic. Roger entered the building and used the PDA he had been given and overrode the pass codes. The door unlocked and he walked in. He found the file numbers and pulled them and placed them in his backpack. He found the server room and the access terminal. He uploaded the files he was told to....and waited. The screen signaled all clear and his PDA unexpectedly chirped. He looked at it and it said 'all clear'. He packed up and looked around. He went to the sample room and understood what this place was finally. He went looking for the matching samples for the files. He looked at found two half full vials. He quickly finished and left. His orders were to drive to Detroit and stay there for two days. The information was to be sent to a San Francisco Bay Area location. The PDA would be returned once he was back in Metropolis.

Thursday; Santiago, Chile

Damien was furious. Lionel sent him to this God forsaken area because Lex was free. Lionel had not been very sure when the exile would end but Damien did remember hearing, "When Lex gets over it." SON OF A BITCH! He was paying the price of failure. Damien had never failed at anything and now he was here. He noticed a packet waiting for him. There was a note inside.

Damien,

Use this time wisely and many secrets of the past will be revealed. I have arranged a meeting for you in Lima, Peru. Here is an address that contains a file that cannot be downloaded or printed. You must commit as much of it to memory as possible. You want to rise to the top of Luthor Corp, here is your chance. Lex knows nothing about any of these things. How do you think we picked up Nathan? I'll get you back as soon as I can. It may be a year but by then you may run your own country. Look at all the possibilities and do not fail me.

L

Damien spent the next few hours in amazement. Several disjointed items made perfect sense now. Luthor Corp was the nation's third largest chemical manufacturing company and one of the world's leading explosives manufacturers. Luthor Corp had a river of dirty money flowing outside the United States. Since the Great Depression, Luthor Corp had been providing weapons for Third World countries in off balance sheet transactions. Now they provided the same materials to governments and rebels. All of this money was funneled through the Cayman Islands, Switzerland, and other nations where a blind eye is turned. All this through third and fourth level companies. It was all extremely complex but hid the worst of all the transactions.

Now Luthor Corp was providing a range of services, for top dollar to the Narco-Lords. They did not transport the finished goods but provided the weapons to keep the governments at bay. Damien could not believe the wealth of information that had been placed in his hands. Luthor Corp would routinely use the offshore accounts as balance sheet transactions to maintain exchange rate parity. It was a lie. The company (Lionel) would take a huge bonus and move the money back offshore in his own name. Lex had no idea all this was occurring. Except for dealing with the Drug-Lords, none of it was against any standing US law. None of the weapons sold to these regimes was on the restricted list nor were the countries. It would be horrible publicity but Luthor Corp had billions of dollars stashed around the world. No wonder Lionel had to take Harry Hardwick out. If some of this came to light he was going to jail. Pity nothing linked Lex to this ordeal. Damien panicked. Lionel was setting him up so if he failed then he would take the fall. Damien now had a great incentive to succeed. But what did Lionel want him to accomplish? He had that meeting next week and maybe that would provide the first clue.

Friday

Lex picked up Clark after school. Clark was finally sixteen, officially at least, which meant that he was no longer jailbait. Clark got into the BMW convertible and off they headed to a mall on the outskirts of Metropolis.

"So what do you want for your birthday?"

"I have everything I've ever wanted Lex. I'm happy, getting laid regularly, I'm in love twice over, and I'm not hiding anything from you or Whit. Why isn't he here?"

"He wanted us to spend some time together."

"Liar."

"Fine, I can't tell you."

"If you are referring to the surprise party that my mother is throwing then too late, I know already."

"What...how...we were so careful!"

"So there is a surprise party, cool."

"Clark, you are a dead man. I am telling your mother. And I'm telling Jonathan and Whitney. Jerk!"

"If I act surprised then will you please not tell...please..."

"You had better do the best acting job I have ever seen or you are toast."

"Lex...I'm sorry, what do you want to get me?"

"Clark...whatever you want. I can't believe I walked right into that."

"Yeah, that was good."

At ten after seven, Clark and Lex pulled up to the Kent Farm. Clark noticed that only his Dad's truck parked out front. He got nervous.

"Lex...where is everybody?" Lex ignored him and took him inside.

"SURPRISE!" Clark was surprised so many people were here but he had made some more friends over the last two months. He kissed his Mom and had fun.

Nathan had been watching the little gang as they continued to hit various points around the county. His patience was almost at its end. He did not know how the ink worked and he was not going to move openly against Lex. That would be a disaster and was an unacceptable risk. He had broken into their warehouse and had planted another bug. It looked like they were planning to hit Lex this weekend. He hoped so, if not then he would have to take a more direct approach and that did not fit the profile of this assignment at all.

Saturday

Whitney woke up wrapped up with Lex and Clark. The dream sequence had been intense and he had no doubts that they would know a complete history of Clark's origins in time. The party had been fun and Lex bought Clark a Playstaion 2. Jonathan and Martha had laughed. It was such a teenage gift but it went over perfectly. Whitney wanted to know when he was going to find time to play it. All his spare time was spent with Lex or himself. Whitney stretched and felt a twinge. Clark had fucked him into the mattress last night while Lex literally sat on his face. Whitney's ass had not felt this sore since the first weekend he spent with Clark. He knew he was a sticky mess and probably reeked but he knew if he smelled bad so did the other two.

"God my ass hurts." Whitney got of bed and stretched. He walked into the bathroom, looked into the mirror and cringed. He had a huge bruise around his left nipple. He had dried semen on his stomach and noticed that he had bite mark on his inner thigh. 'Ugh.' At least now that he was keeping his hair short it was not a problem. He was not going to wait for the others to get up and decided to hop in the shower.

Lex heard Whitney and sympathized with him. Clark had jack hammered him for over an hour and a half last night. Clark had come at least four times but never stopped. He was surprised Whit could walk this morning. He made the decision that champagne was not going to be served again. He got out of bed and knew the room needed to be aired out, badly! He could smell himself and Clark. They had sex for hours before Whitney told Clark to get off because he could no longer feel his legs. Lex saw Whit walking into the shower and saw a huge bruise on the back of his thigh. 'Oh God.' He followed Whit into the shower.

"You look like shit."

"Good morning to you too. I feel horrid. My ass hurts."

"Duh, Clark fucked you forever last night."

"He touches me today and I'll hurt him. What go into him?"

"He was hyper...we need to watch his caffeine and sugar intake. I had no idea champagne would make him so..."

"Horny?"

"In one! I'll give you rub down. You have several bruises. Your parents see this and they'll kill me."

"Well, my Mom hasn't given me a bath in years so we're safe. By the way come here." Whitney kissed Lex and they proceeded to wash each other. They were still drained from the night before so they just kissed.

Clark was watching them from the bedroom. He felt exhausted. He was never drinking Red Bull and vodka again. He knew he needed to apologize to Whitney. He did a quick scan and at least there was no damage done. He was out of control last night. He was going to kill Chloe, she said try it...you'll like it. He got out of bed and walked into the bathroom. Lex and Whit were finishing.

"Good morning, Whitney...I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you." Clark would not even look at Whitney.

Whitney walked over and kissed Clark. "Whew...Clark shower and brush your teeth. I'll live but it will be awhile before you get anywhere near my ass."

Lex laughed and kissed Clark and pushed him into the shower, "You stink...come down to breakfast when you are done."

They spent the day together. They played RISK, which Whitney won going away. Lex and Clark both insisted that he cheated but...they knew an ass kicking when they got one. The rains began late in the afternoon and continued through the night. They cuddled and snuggled and lost themselves in the simple pleasure of being together. They went to bed and had a round of love making that in no way resembled the frenetic pace of the previous night. Whitney did give it up to Clark but was not as sore as he was in the morning. Clark had been very gentle with Whit while Lex and Whit sucked each other. They had all taken up yoga to increase flexibility and it was paying off handsomely. It was the perfect night to end a perfect day.

Nathan finally heard what he wanted; they were going to hit Lex's house on Sunday evening. They even knew where the vault was, perfect. That should yield results.

Sunday

Lex got up the next morning and noticed that the bruises Whit sported had faded significantly. They were no longer fresh but looked almost a week old. Lex filed this information in the back of his mind.

Lex had dinner with Whitney and his family while Clark helped Chloe out with a school assignment. Lex had enjoyed himself and liked Whitney's brother. He had just taken the Bar Exam and would know the results in a few weeks. Lex looked at family photos and noticed that Whit was the only natural blonde of the bunch. All of his older brothers had light brown hair and all had hazel eyes, where Whit's were a deep beautiful blue. Both of his parents had light brown hair as well.

"He looks just like his Uncle Charlie," David said. "Charlie played ball with Jonathan...they were friends until Charlie died in a motorcycle accident. Whitney has the same reckless personality, except Whit is a lot smarter." David left Lex to look at the album.

When Lex returned home he noticed mud prints in the private study and some lead directly to the vault. Lex knew he had been robbed without a second thought. Lex picked up his phone to call Roger but remembered he had been delayed in Detroit and would not be back until tomorrow.

'Shit!'

Lex went and found some gloves and opened the vault and found that the information disk was missing. "This is not good."

"What's not good?"

"Clark...I've been robbed."

"What? Did you call the police?"

"No...not yet. I don't what this out yet. I'll contact the security firm and let them handle it. I don't want it advertised that a CASTLE can be robbed."

"But...How?"

"Look at the prints Clark. They walked through the walls because the last time the pass sequence was keyed was three days ago. Trust me...no one could break the encryption on the key stroke registry."

"That makes no sense, how can people walk through walls?"

"This is Smallville Clark, I would imagine anything is possible. By the way...why is the lake still frozen?"

"Lex...a little focus please? Do you have security cameras?"

"Yes...good thinking."

After reviewing the tapes the only distinguishing feature was the glowing green tattoos that could be seen. Other than that and the walking through walls, there was nothing of consequence. The external feeds had been disabled with all the reconstruction.

After Clark left and Lex was trying to calm down, he remembered to see if All the files his mother had left him were still safe. He looked in his personal safe and the contents appeared unharmed. He pulled the whole thing out and took it upstairs with him. He had only looked at the surface and had ignored most of it. There were directions to yet another stash of information in Metropolis. He would get to that later. He looked over some of it. The were lists of numbered accounts and other memos, none of which made any sense. He did not have time to worry about this now. A piece of vital information had been stolen and he needed it recovered

Monday; Lima, Peru

Damien was really beginning to hate South America. He walked into the office building for his meeting with a Hector Delgado. He was related to the ex-President.

"Mr. Parker, why don't you sit down...we have much to discuss."

"Mr. Delgado...why am I here?"

"Simple...we need to discuss the settlement terms for the current shipment to the Shining Path Rebels."

"What?"

"I was informed that you are not stupid but I will make this simple. Democracy does not work. The people need a strong government but they need a villain, so the Shining Path must have a string of victories to frighten the aristocracy and the military commanders. That is where you and your 'resources' are needed."

"What kind of supplies are you looking at?"

Smallville

Nathan broke into the loft that the gang was using. He knew Lex would not call the police. He got to the computer but he heard a car pull up. He had no time to search this dump...to much contraband. He planted two more bugs to gather as much information as possible.

Chloe could not understand why that guy was still here. Her instincts got the better of her and she followed him. He was breaking into some grungy old dump. That made even more suspicious. What was he doing? Lex had been back a week and this guy had been the last one to inquire about his whereabouts. She took a digital picture. She slipped away. This guy now warranted closer inspection. She would tell Clark, if she ever got the chance. He was so busy since he became involved with Whitney. In fact, Chloe didn't like to go to the farm any more because for the most part Whit was over and they either had sex or were about to. She hated to interrupt something; she knew she hated it when her and Lana were getting busy. She would see if she could get to Clark at school. That is if he and Whitney didn't sneak off to make out in his truck at lunch. She had no idea how they were doing so well in school when all they did was have sex. It was annoying.

Tuesday

Jeff and Whitney are in the store and are fighting over who is going to do what. Jeff then sees Wade Mahaney and cringes.

"Yo, Jeff, never thought I would see you in this dump of a town again."

"Wade...I'm home while I wait for the results of the Bar Exam."

"Wanna catch up on old times? Hang out share a few beers?"

"No thanks Wade...I've work to do then I'm heading to Metropolis tomorrow for a job interview."

"You turning into a faggot like that pansy brother of yours...heard you went out to school in Queer land. Bet you fit right in in San Francisco."

"Some things never change Wade...you will always be a loser. Now did you need anything?"

Whitney had heard most of the exchange and saw the green tattoos that he and his friend had.

"Hey...where did you get the tats?"

"Not that it is any of your business, but we do them at our place. It is a special ink. Why see something you like faggot. Your boyfriend not giving you any? I used to think you were cool until I found out you're a cocksucker. Too bad you were a hell of a ball player."

"No thanks, he's more of a man than you'll ever be...Hey, Clark what brings you here." Whitney walks over to Clark, who had walked into the store, and can sense Wade's eyes following so he decides to put on a small show. He grabs one of Clark's hands and places the other on his shoulder and gives Clark a quick hug.

"Nice to see you too Whit. Keep it up and I'll have to take you in the back for a rest."

"It is good to see you, see that guy with the green tattoos over there. He was just hassling me about be a fag. I told him you're more of a man than he'll ever be."

"Green tattoos. Whitney, the guys that broke into Lex's had green tattoos. Oh, by the way, unless his dick grows significantly when he gets hard...you aren't missing much. In fact it would be easy to miss."

"CLARK...I am in a committed relationship thank you...how is the investigation coming in that?"

"Lex won't talk about it, that concerns me."

"Clark...we should investigate, maybe he needs our help. You see what you can find out and I'll meet up with you after work."

"Cool...it's a date."

Lex was looking over other design types for the power systems for the castle. He looked at his email and dropped the drink in his hand. A Reuter's line item.

Clinic in Toronto destroyed in fire, police suspect arson. The clinic specialized in genetic research and had helped with the Human Genome Project.

Lex did not even bother to read the rest of the story. He knew that this was the same lab he sent Nixon to. He could not contact Nixon because they were in a communications blackout until he returned to Smallville. This was an ominous development. He would have to wait for Roger to return.

Thursday

Nathan went back to the loft. He found the computer and did a quick file search. The file he wanted was corrupted but he downloaded what he could. Maybe the information could be reconstructed. He did not know but this was what he had been contracted to do. If the information was viable or not did not matter to him.

Metropolis

Lionel looked at a report and found a note from Damien.

'Read the file, off to find adventure.'

Lionel was pleased. These operations required a delicate hand and Lex had forced the move. Damien was perfect for this assignment and could make Luthor Corp a great deal of money. Lex had no idea what events he had set in motion. Damien's exile would end up as anything but and it would also lead to Lionel's cash flow solution. This area had not had any real supervision for over a decade. It was time to get those profits flowing again.

Friday

Clark looked down and shuffled his feet. He was looking forward to this weekend he and Whitney had to execute their plan. He was still amazed that his parents were letting him skip school today. Whitney was playing hooky was well. He could not wait to spring this on Lex.

"Ready Clark?"

"Yeah Whit, lets go. We have a long drive ahead of us."

They were in Whitney's truck heading to the castle.

Clark and Whitney were due to come over soon. Lex had no idea they had planned. He looked up and saw the truck pull into the driveway, navigating the obstacles that had become his lawn. It made his heart leap. They had been together for over two months. It amazed Lex. They had had only one fight and he did not have the heart to ever fight again. It nearly killed all of them.

"Hey Lex, sorry buddy but you have to change before we go."

"Change what?"

Whitney walked up behind Lex and looked at Clark. Clark gave him the all-clear signal. Whit pulled Lex's sweater up and Clark unbuttoned his slacks. Within in moments was clad only in boxers.

"What are you doing?"

"Well, it is a surprise where we are going and you need to look the part. Put these on." Clark handed Lex and pair of blue jeans and a T-shirt. Whit walked up with a Princeton sweatshirt and a pair of Timberland hiking boots.

"I'm not wearing ...THAT."

"Lex, you have insisted that we upgrade our wardrobes, so we insist for this trip, you dress the way we want you to. Oh, you need to wear a hat as well. We what this to be low profile."

"I DO NOT WEAR HATS!"

"Oh yes you will or I will have Clark hold you down and beg for mercy. Please Lex, trust us. We would never hurt you."

"Look, my father made me wear all kinds of things for over a year after I lost my hair. It was not until my Mom's chemotherapy caused her hair to begin to fall out that he stopped. So..." Lex notices the hangdog expressions gracing the teenagers' faces. "Fine, but you both will owe be big time...I AM NOT WEARING A SHARKS CAP!"

"Fine, wear my A & F cap." Lex put it on, he could not believe he had just been stripped and redressed on the front lawn. He went inside and into the downstairs bathroom to look in the mirror. He was amazed...he actually looked his age. He looked colligate. He went back outside and climbed into the back seat of the truck.

Clark relaxed as the truck rolled towards their intended destination. He remembers the one fight that they had. It had been a lesson about their bond and forced them to work together. It had happened Wednesday night.

"Lex, why didn't you tell us that they were blackmailing you?"

"Clark it is none of your business."

"Lex if you are involved then it is my business!"

"Clark, Lex calm down."

"No Whitney, Lex...what the ...what were you thinking? Are YOUR secrets so important to risk your life."

"Damn it Clark, I can't have you coming to my rescue all the time. I'm not a fucking damsel in distress."

"What are you hiding!"

"Nothing, it would be a disaster if my father found out that I had been planning to build a science project with his money. The funds have already been moved but the evidence they had shows that I started it in the first place. I CAN NOT ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN."

"Is it so bad to let us know?"

"Shit like this is not supposed to happen. I'm supposed to take care of my self."

The link that they shared had amplified their anger and had drawn Whitney into the mix as well.

"Would you two stop acting like second graders and get a grip."

"Shut up Whitney, this is between the overgrown boy scout and me! Anyway what the hell were you thinking...trying to be the hero?"

"I was thinking that you were in trouble and Clark can barely stand in the same room as those guys because of the meteor solution in the ink. We had a beat on this yesterday."

"I didn't ask for either of you to help. No you could of both been killed or exposed...GOD DAMMIT! When I tell you I'll handle it...I'LL HANDLE IT!"

"Fuck you Lex!" Clark took off. Whitney glared at Lex

"What is your problem Luthor? " Whitney was angry. Lex's dismissive tone hit him just right.

"Whitney, look...this is my life and I will lead it how I wish. I do not need to be coddled 24-7 and I do not need you and Clark thinking you are the fucking Calvary." Lex turned and left to go to his bedroom. Whitney stood there simmering before leaving to his house. The argument was minor compared to the consequences.

That night as each of the three went to sleep, the anger and hurt that had channeled down their link returned magnified tenfold.

Clark looked up and saw a devasted landscape. He saw War Walkers that had been built by Ares Machines. He knew that Lex had started a civil war. Clark's heart broke. The image shifted to Lex sitting in a board meeting while an older Lionel announced that he was leaving his company to a worthy heir, Damien Parker. The images shifted and he saw Whitney older, drunk on the streets and lost. The image falls away and sees Whitney in a jail cell getting the crap beaten out of him.

Lex's dream hurt. He saw Clark chained and mutilated. He could hear his father's voice echoing..."See Lex, I would have you in the end." He could see the blood and pain marks on Clark's face. His once proud manhood, gone. "You will watch Lex as we perform the autopsy of it while it is breathing. It is only way to correctly gage the mechanics of ...its body." The scene shifted and He saw Whitney as the head of Luthor Corp and looked and he was a beggar on the streets. He was missing teeth and he saw track marks on his arms. He cried in horror.

Whitney's dream saw Lex out of control and Clark bent on ruling the world. He wanted to scream. He saw Lex as despondent and depressed. He saw Clark as an experiment, writhing in agony. He saw Lionel kidnap Clark and Lex. He saw torture and despair. The image all of them saw was a war on Clark's homeworld and the destruction that it caused. They could hear the echoes of voices in despair and feel the last ragged breaths of the dying. This vision of horror was ripped from that planet and Imposed on Earth and they all saw people they knew die in agony.

All of them witnessed and felt pain and agony. They could not escape from the unending cycle of violence and loss. For each of them felt the pain of the others in the dreams. The pain hurt deeply until finally in the dead of night each was able to wake at last. The scene played out the same in each of their beds. They rolled over and cried, unable to feel the link that was now like an arm. They feared sleep to return to the horror and feared that the precious closeness they had was lost. Finally each drifted off to sleep, thankfully devoid of any dreams.

It was convergence, Clark headed over to the castle and saw Whit pulling up at the same time. They half expected the codes to be changed but they weren't. Lex was walking down the stairs and saw them walk inside. Not a single word was exchanged but they met in a big group hug at the bottom of the staircase. The link was not gone but was far stronger and more intense. They learned that any emotion flowed, positive or negative, down the link. The hug was lasting, dispelling all the grief and agony of the overnight hours.

"Clark, Whit...I'm sorry. I was an ass and I was scared. You are right, there are no secrets between us. I didn't want you to be disappointed in me. This whole event was basically my fault. I was funding research into the meteor rocks, to find out if they were good for anything. One of the byproducts was stolen and used in that ink. I'm sorry Clark, that was before I knew about you. Also, I wanted a Particle Accelerator to further my research. Only Dad had the money for something like that. Guys...I promise to let know what is going on."

"Anything else?"

"No, but I am going to keep that research going. Maybe we can find an immunity for you." Clark sighed and nodded his head in agreement.

"Lex, all I want," sees Whitney give him a look, "we want is for you to talk to us. Last night I hurt deep inside and then I was alone. I realized we haven't been alone since Hawaii. We are part of each other and last night hurt...terribly. The nightmares..."

All three of them shudder at the thought. The hug becomes support and finally they let go. Lex wants to be next to them all day but knows they have to go to school. "Please come by this afternoon, please."

"Lex, I have to work and Clark has chores. Our parents are rather insistent that we keep our lives as normal as possible. Trust me I would love to spend every minute with you and Studly here but they want us to wait until summer to really allow us to 'openly' be together." Whit pulled both of them close. "I want to shout at the top of my lungs that I am in love with both of you. I can be patient. Dad is thinking of selling the store..."

"What, when," Clark asks. Lex's eyebrows arch is his response.

"Well, none of the others will want it and ...well Dad figured that I wouldn't want it either. He's ready to retire even though he is only 54. Anyway, Lex we have to go. I promise that we will come by...even if for a moment, okay?"

Clark also recalls the conversation he had when he got home from school yesterday. His parents wanted to know if he was in fact crying last night when he went to sleep.

"Yeah...I was. We had a fight last night. It hurt...somehow I imagined that we would never fight and everything would be perfect."

"Clark...even the best relationships have difficult moments. It is just how it is."

"But the link..."

"Son, even with that link you are going to have to WORK at this. Don't assume things because you are tied to them. Use it as a tool not as the foundation. Did you still want to do that thing tomorrow?"

"More than ever...please?"

"Okay...is everything alright between you three?"

"Yeah, none of us got any sleep. We made up this morning. We adopted a new rule, we will not go to sleep angry with one another...the consequences are too...severe."

"What happened?"

"Mom...I had the worst nightmares ever and I could not wake up. It happened to all of us."

"Okay sweetie, have fun this weekend and enjoy. Maybe Lex will pick up an appreciation."

"Maybe, but it will be nice to show him a few things."

Clark turned his head...Whitney was asking him something.

"Whit...I'm sorry...what did you say?"

"I asked if you are hungry? I'm starving and Lex said he could have some coffee. Where were you?"

"Thinking about the last few days." Lex groaned from the back seat. "It was not bad...just thinking that our bond could be very deep...I love you guys, okay." He felt Lex hug him from over the seat and Whit squeezed one of his hands. "Yeah I'm hungry."

"You two will break me with your eating habits."

"You are not paying for a thing this weekend Lex. This is on Clark and me."

"Wow, okay...I'll ask later. So you mentioned food."

"Yeah there is a diner I know of that is another 30 miles or so but I wanted to know if we were going to stop or wait another hour or so."

"Whitney...can I...ask "

"Spit it out Clark...go ahead and ask."

"Why do so many of your old buddies and like that Wade guy treat you so badly. I mean I don't get near the abuse you do." Lex was listening intently. This was the first he had heard in a long time that Whitney was still getting verbally abused. He too was curious, he had no insight into American High School culture.

"Clark, I broke the code. The jock code that basically says that you have to be a man and most of the guys don't think that I'm much of a man anymore. It is okay to have a close 'buddy' as long as the illusion of being straight is kept. Well it is a fact that I have a boyfriend. I was the captain of the team and the All-State Quarterback. They all think I betrayed them personally. It is like because I'm gay then they can be too. That make any sense?"

"Are you okay...I mean Jeff told me Wade was brutal."

"Clark, I am not going to listen to anyone because they have no clue how great I feel. I mean if I got outed and I was alone then it would be REAL ugly. But I happen to be in a real relationship. You know I'm kind of glad we had that fight the other night."

"WHY!" exclaimed Clark and Lex.

"Because it is real. My folks love each other and have been together forever and they argue and yell all the time. Mind you I don't want that pattern but it took me out of the clouds and put me back on solid ground."

"Okay but can I ask for the umpteenth time...where are we going?"

"Oh, we are taking you to Chicago to see a Cubs game at Wrigley Field."

"I don't like baseball."

"Have you ever been to a baseball game?"

"You're kidding right? Lionel take me to a baseball game...no I've never been."

"Well you are in for a treat. How can you hope to lead when you have nothing in common with those whom you would lead?"

"Okay, I'll see, at least it will be us together."

"Besides have you seen the players...I mean yummy!" Lex and Whit stared at Clark after that comment. "What? Its not like I want anything else."

"Lex...have you noticed that..."

"Whiney, spit it out."

"Me, personally, I can't jack off thinking about anyone but you two okay. I tried my old fantasies with Chris Klein but they don't work. Only you two work."

"Actually, I did try also to see if the link did something and it has. We are sexually bound too each other as well."

"Clark, that means no baseball players for you. It also means no cheating."

"Like I would ever want to cheat. Everything I want is right here. Well it looks like we will make Chicago by 6:00"

"Guys next time, can't we just fly?"

"Lex, half the fun of this is to have a road trip. Besides we could not afford the airfare for all three of us and knowing you it would have to be First Class."

"We have a great deal to talk about when we get back."

Smallville High

Chloe and Lana were amazed that Clark and Whitney were not in school. They had been trying to get confirmation that there was a threesome going on but the boys weren't talking. Lex was very busy with the castle being remodeled and Lana had a plan to save the Talon from the bulldozer. Chloe was supportive and said she should talk to Clark about getting Lex to do something with the old place. Pete walked up.

"I can't believe Clark and Whitney got out of school again."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean that Clark and Whit are having a long weekend with parental blessing. I think they went to get Lex."

"Pete, how do you know all this?"

"I stopped by the farm on the way over and Lex called last night to arrange for farm coverage duty again. He didn't call you?"

"We're not cut out for retail. SO that is interesting. Wow. Pete good work. So do you two believe me know?"

"Chloe for the last time we are sorry we doubted you. You are always right and are all knowing. Do not look so self satisfied. Pete knew where they were and you did not."

"Whatever, help me prepare an ambush. Lying no good jerks. On another matter, remember that guy who was looking for Lex?"

"Yeah, why?"

"He was still in town a few nights ago and I saw him breaking into the hangout for that robbery gang. That is too much of a coincidence for me. I wanted to talk to Clark but..."

"Trust us we know. I wish I was in love like that."

"Pete?"

"Would you two stop lying to me. I know you two are dating. It is obvious and it makes me feel like shit. Look, I'm okay with it. I want to know why I'm the straight kid hanging out with all the 'alternative lifestyle' crowd."

"How...how long have you known?"

"Lana...its cool. I think a lot of people suspect that dumping Whitney was a set up."

"Oh GOD!"

"Lana calm down!"

"How can I? The whole ...breathe...breathe...breathe...does the whole school know?"

"No, I said suspect. Look, Clark and Whitney are poster boys for Boys in Love and you and Nancy Drew are TIGHT! The whole thing looks odd but people cut you and Chloe slack. You are close but don't give any indication that you're 'dating'. Those two though, after walking in on them that Saturday, no doubts. The whole team knows that Whit is gay. In all honesty, I'm worried he could end up being 'scarecrowed.'"

"Pete, are you okay...only Whitney, Lex, and Clark know that we are...together."

"I told you, its cool. Lets worry about the strange dude and making sure Whitney doesn't get hurt by some overzealous jocks bent on making a rep for themselves."

Metropolis

Lionel was looking over a list of candidates to take over as COO. Damien and before that Dominic had filled the roles adequately but without the gravitas he wanted for the position. He did notice a Fleet Financial executive that had gone to Princeton with Lex. He had a Harvard MBA. He already had a reputation as a ruthless operator and a tough negotiator. 'Nicholas Brady, well...handsome, tall, and charismatic. Interesting.' The bargain he struck with Lex applied to him, not his employees. The only problem was getting Lex to approve Mr. Brady as COO for final approval by the Board of Directors. He hating having to ASK his son for anything. If Damien was able to get things moving then he could cure his cash flow problem. That would mean he could move aggressively against Lex. Perhaps Nicholas shared Lex's sexual proclivities. If so, then maybe he could seduce away one of his pets and lead Lex down the path of heartbreak. As long as all roads lead to his continued domination, then all was well.

He looked at the headlines and saw that Congressman Benjamin Davis was going to run against the incumbent Senator from Nebraska, the current Chair of the Commerce Committee. One more politician in his pocket. All things were looking up.

"Liz, get Lex on the phone for me, I need to discuss a matter before the Board meeting in two weeks."

"Yes sir."

Diner

Whitney pulls into the parking lot of a roadside diner. There are two other cars in the lot. The boys walk inside and see the place is deserted. The sign says seat yourself. They wonder over to a booth in the far corner. It is very private and very cozy.

"I'm really hungry."

"You are always hungry, Clark."

"I can't help it that I'm a growing boy."

"By the looks of it you are growing in more places than one." Clark dropped his hands to cover his crotch and blushed.

"Can't help that either, you two make me crazy."

"You are so disagreeable Lex."

"I am not, I never say no to you two."

"Yes you do."

"What was that Whitney?"

"You just you never tell us no and I beg to differ."

"Really, prove it."

"Ready Clark?"

"Yup."

"Okay, remember in San Fran, that art gallery?"

"Yes."

"I wanted that piece and you said no."

"Whit, it was 8' by 6' painting and it was bright and would clash with everything in any home."

"And then there was that sculpture in the gallery right next too it."

"Where were you going to put a 6' frog in a top hat? Do not even mention the Dolphins on Sea foam, those were 9' tall."

"And the candy store?"

"Clark, what are you going to do with an entire candy store located in San Francisco?"

"Hey, I'd go visit."

"See Lex, you have told us no, several times in fact." Lex's mouth is hanging open and is at a loss for words. Clark gets out of the booth and moves to sit next to Lex.

"We told you so."

"That should not count, I had valid reasons not to get those things."

"Yeah, you're old."

"Okay Whitney, the next time Clark decides to wrestle with you don't come crying to me when he won't let you get up."

"HE CHEATS!"

"Of course he does...if you had his advantages wouldn't you?"

"Guys, I don't cheat and back to the real issue that having a billionaire boyfriend has not gotten us a whole lot."

"You both have a brand new wardrobe."

"Where is the fun in that?"

"Fine, you both love me for my money...I see. Well if that is the case then you both are not putting out near often enough."

The waitress walks up and finally takes their order.

Metropolis

Lionel was not amused. Lex was not in town and no longer had a personal assistant. 'A helpful hint is not criticism. He needs someone to coordinate his schedule and to keep him organized.' Lionel began making a list of acceptable candidates and then stopped himself. He would only make the suggestion, not provide a list.

London

Dominic could not believe that he was free from Hell. Now he was the Luthor Corp executive in charge of the Hardwick transition. He had many ideas for the future. He knew that there were some strategic gains to be made with the purchase of Hardwick. The ability to synergize the weapons manufacturing with the new alloys Hardwick was developing. Dominic could envision the contracts over the next decade. The European Union had plans to develop the Rapid Reaction force and the North Atlantic Council wanted to standardize the munitions the NATO armies used. If Dominic could position the European division of Luthor Corp's Ares Machines then the rewards and profits could be astounding. He was already preparing to meet the British Minister of Defense and to meet with the Deputy Secretary General of the North Atlantic Council. All that after he had imposed the Luthor philosophy on the European employees. This was his only chance to return to the fold and become the President of the company. If he failed then he knew the chances of him resurfacing were microscopic.

Chicago

The sun was beginning its final dissent when they checked into the hotel. Lex was curious how this was being paid for but was not going to say anything. He looked at the skyline and Lake Michigan in the background. 'Okay, traveling and seeing the world through their eyes has MANY advantages. Maybe we will give into temptation, rest on out laurels and forget about destiny, greatness, and establishing a Golden Age.' Lex could feel how excited the two teens were about the home opening weekend for the Cubs. It was contagious. Whit and Clark had given him a quick tutorial that had done little to impress him. What had impressed him was what a bitch the game could be. The best winning percentages in history were not THAT impressive. You could play a near flawless game and lose. You could suck shit and end up winning. Apparently fate liked the baseball diamond and was a fickle mistress. He could accept that. He was looking forward to his first game now. He was not sure about THEIR plans to go see as many games as possible but if it meant spending more time with them then he was all for it.

Smallville

Roger had finally returned from Detroit. It had been harrowing and he needed to talk to Lex. The clinic had been torched. Someone had followed him, not only that but he had information that Lionel was planning big things but had no idea what they involved. He needed to hide out and recover. The safe house in Detroit had been ransacked two days after the break in. He had been forced underground. He hoped Lex was paying attention because failure to make contact was supposed to set certain things in motion. Things were bad but none of the information he had was compromised. Lex had made a move on his old man and now Roger feared the reprisal. He actually liked Lex and was concerned. Roger knew he was muckraker and a tabloid journalist but working for Lex offered excitement. He knew Lex was going places and knew the Kent boy was far more than he seemed. Lionel Luthor was a know quantity, Lex had depths unknown. That was the real reason to support the younger Luthor. Lionel had reached his peak, he could only get wealthier and more powerful but was in the end a businessman. Lex, was a very young, very rich man and was brilliant. The sky was the limit. Roger looked around the Castle and found a guest room. He would hide here until Lex got back. He hoped that things had not fallen apart.

Chicago

The weather for the afternoon game was windy with a noticeable chill in the air. The guys were dressed warmly. Lex could not believe that he was wearing faded blue jeans again. No one noticed him at all and he felt free in a strange way. They had checked out of the hotel and left the luggage with the Conceriege to pick up after the game. They had upper deck seats along the third baseline. Lex was sandwiched between Clark and Whitney. The game did not move quickly and Clark and Whitney kept arguing about which team was going to the World Series. Clark wanted the Cardinals to win but Whit insisted that the Yankees would pull it off, much to the nation's dismay. He missed the nuances of the game and watched as Whitney kept score and Clark kept eating. The boy was a human disposal. He had nachos before the game, two hot dogs around the second inning and now in the forth inning was eating a Bar-B-Que beef sandwich.

"Clark, do you have a tapeworm?"

"I don't think so, why?"

"Because that is the third time you've eaten since we got here. Whitney has only had two hot dogs and I had a hamburger, which I might add, you finished for me."

"So, I'm hungry. Wait until its time for the peanuts, popcorn, and crackerjacks." Whitney looked up from the scorecard and started laughing.

"Let me guess, when the guy comes around you get one of everything, right?"

"Yup."

"Clark...you must have a tapeworm."

"Nope, I like to eat when I'm at a baseball game."

"I guess so. So what is going on now."

"Pitching change. The moron pitching for the Pirates walked the bases loaded with only one out. Now he is a right-hander and the batter up is a lefty, and hitting in the three hole so he's a good hitter. So they are going to the bullpen early in hopes of avoiding giving up the big inning."

"In English please?" Clark shoves the rest of his sandwich in his mouth and raises a finger while he swallows.

"The dude on the mound sucked so that team is bring out another dude who can actually get the ball over the plate. Whitney...you know better. You can't talk to him like that until the pennant races heat up in August."

"What pennant race?"

"Don't worry your pretty little head. We will keep you up to speed, that is a lesson for later in the summer."

"You know, my revenge for this is taking you to an opera."

"Whitney likes operas, he's well-rounded."

"Clark, your education into the world of culture has not even begun...that will be a great deal of fun. Maybe I should enlist Martha's aid?"

"Why do you always threaten me with my mother? That is cruel and unusual punishment."

"It keeps you in line!"

"Would you two stop bickering, the game started again."

CRACK!

"Okay and that was a Grand Slam."

Santiago

Damien looked at the information packet that had been sent to him by Nathan. The files were in terrible shape and he wondered if any information, useful information, could be recovered. He had seen some of the data and he was able to recognize a Luthor Corp invoice number. That gave him some hope that this could be the key to destroying Lex. It would take time but he was going to devote all the resources necessary to complete the job.

The meeting in Lima had gone very well. The arrangement was for a shipment of Ares explosives destined for Argentine mines to be stolen in the Port of Buenos Aires. The payment would be made in three installments. Also, a shipment of chemicals meant for defoliation efforts would be shipped inert. The chemicals could then be converted into another explosive similar to nitroglycerin. It could lead to some very unstable regimes in the coming years. The profit margins for the lost explosives were incredible and it would lead to some painful political consequences for a few governments. Damien did not care, as long as the money flowed, it did not matter. Besides, he liked the idea of playing arms dealer. He might not want to return to Luthor Corp headquarters after this stint, but he had bigger fish to fry and living in the sticks did not accomplish any of that. He took a puff off the cigar he was smoking and relaxed. As long as he made Lionel happy, it was all good.

Chicago

The Grand Slam had been a harbinger of a rout. The Pittsburgh bullpen had imploded and Whitney and Clark had to explain to Lex that not all games were this lopsided. Lex had been entertained by watching Clark eat. He did have peanuts, popcorn and crackerjacks. Lex could not understand that because crackerjacks had peanuts and popcorn in it. Clark had then proceeded to eat cotton candy and some frozen yogurt. Whitney warned Clark that he was walking home if he got sick in the truck. Clark just laughed and said he was ready for diner.

"Clark, I'm serious...NO ONE should be able to eat like you did today."

"I'm special incase you forgot." Whitney snorted and Lex started laughing.

"Okay and you accuse US of having big egos. Look lets get the truck and grab something to eat and follow the plan. We are stopping on the border and will be home in the early afternoon tomorrow."

"Nice plan, I take it that we can sleep in?"

"Yeah, its Sunday. It is the only day I get to sleep in anymore. Clark, you okay...you look a little green."

"No, I'm fine, just wondering what is for dinner. I'm famished."

"I am SO glad I'm a billionaire because you eat way too much."

Later...

The guys were on the road heading back when Lex looked at his PDA. There was a security breach at the castle. With all the disruptions and changes in the systems, he could not pinpoint what was wrong. He really wanted Nixon back from the assignment in Detroit. Whitney pulled into an all you can eat buffet place. Lex felt sorry for the owners because Clark could eat them out of business the way he was going at it today.

"Clark...please do not eat everything in site?

"I wasn't. I have better manners than that contrary to popular belief. I figure three servings and I'll be good until breakfast."

"Clark man, we love you but I think Lex is going to have to buy a grocery chain to keep you happy."

"I told you I'm a growing boy and I need my strength."

"Fine, lets eat."

Indeed Clark did not eat nearly as much as Lex thought he would and they left the buffet full and satisfied. They were on the road for another three hours before seeing the hotel. They pulled into the hotel they had made arrangements to stay at and went up to the room. They settled into one bed and relaxed and enjoyed the night together.

Smallville

Nathan finally received the word he had been waiting for. This assignment had been completed. However, he was to remain on station and place Lex under surveillance. He was free to go to Metropolis until Tuesday when he had to be back. He was authorized to bring all the resources the thought necessary to monitor Lex totally. All research and any connections Lex made were to be reported. All reports were to go to Damien. Any information concerning the meteor rocks was to be given the highest priority.

Sunday

Lex woke up feeling refreshed and invigorated. He got out of bed and saw that Whitney was already in the shower. He goes and brushes his teeth and watches as Whitney exits, looking beautiful all wet and dripping. Lex is surprised that Whit looks as fit as he does. By all rights some of his muscle definition should have faded because he knew he was not working out near as often. In fact his muscle tone looked better than it did when they first got together. Another sign of the changes being made to their bodies, it was worth looking into.

"Morning, what's going on in that genius mind of yours?"

"Admiring the lovely site before my eyes."

"Huh...shall we wake Clark?"

"By all means..."

Kent Household

Clark, Whitney and Lex were relaxing in the loft. The drive back had been mercifully quick and painless. Lex did not want to back to the mess he called home just yet. It was the middle of the afternoon and Lex had come clean.

"Okay...there is something you both need to know. Remember I told you that you would inherit everything if I died? Okay well I formed a new company called LFK International. Both of you own a third of it. Jonathan made me put some controls on it so neither of you can do much until you are twenty-one. However, you each get one of these." Lex handed both guys two cards. The first was a household card with a MasterCard logo on it. It featured the Coat of Arms he had designed and was Imperial Purple and Platinum. The other was Visa with the name LFK International in the same colors.

"The first one is an allowance card. I cleared it with your parents. The maximum purchase at any given moment is $500. The maximum amount you can spend in a month is $500. Your parents, Clark will review your expenses. Whitney, David and Anne will review until you are 18, which is in six weeks. The second card is a Purchasing Card for the company. As of right now, neither of you can do anything with that card. I gave it to you so you have some idea of what the future holds."

"Wait a minute, what do we own?" Whitney asked. Clark was dumbfounded.

"LFK is worth $3.5 billion. Jonathan and Martha are trustees for Clark. Tristan and Jeff will be your trustees."

"Why?" Clark had found his voice.

"Because, I had already done it by the time I talked to your father. I told you that we are going into this as equals and I meant it. You are my lovers and I want you both to know that you do not have to worry. We have an amazing bond and we have our futures to look forward to. I didn't want money to be an issue, okay?"

Whitney and Clark looked at each other and smiled at Lex. A deep serene peace emanated from them and they held each other until Lex had to go home. Whitney took Lex back to the Castle.

Lex was concerned but forgot to mention to Clark or Whitney that a security breach had occurred. He entered the house with some trepidation and began to look around. Soon he found Roger sitting on a bed looking haggard as Hell.

"Roger? What are you doing here?"

"Lex, thank God. Lex, your father is up to something. There is more going on than anyone knows. He is behind the sudden challenge to Sen. Madison of Nebraska."

"Roger, my father's forays into politics are merely distractions for him. What happened in Toronto?"

"Lex, all I know is that I must have been followed. If that is the case then you are under heavy surveillance."

"I made sure that no firm connected to Luthor Corp is working on this project. Are you okay, did you get hurt or anything."

"Excuse me but are you sure you are Lex Luthor? I must have the wrong castle, was that concern I heard in your voice?"

"Don't be an ass Roger. Yes I'm concerned because you do outstanding work. All right, I admit it, I like you. You are a snake with a viper's ambitions but you know that about yourself. I can respect that. I honestly think you have my best interests in mind...as long as they coincide with your best interests."

"Nice to know I loved."

"Look, I have something that is more important. You are no longer a shadow operative. In this box is some random evidence that was assembled against my father that is a decade old or older. There are numbered accounts and other tidbits of information. Do what you have to in order to find out what the puzzle is."

"Lex...no longer a shadow operative?"

"You still work for that rag of a paper but you are on my payroll. $500 a day plus expenses. Keep the PDA as a way to receive messages. Contact me by phone as usual. A word of warning, do not trust my father. We have a truce that I do not think will survive the year. The information you are following holds the answers for my next arrows.

Clark was working on homework when Chloe popped into the loft.

"Hey Clark, got a minute?"

"Sure Chloe, come on up."

"Did you have fun this weekend?"

"Yeah, Whit and I took Lex to a Cubs game in Chicago. It was great."

"Clark, be honest with me...are you seeing Lex?"

"Chloe, I can't answer that and please do not push the issue. All I can say is everything is wonderful, okay?"

"Okay, Pete knows about me and Lana....anyway I came over for a reason. See this picture here?"

"Yeah, who is this guy?"

"I have no clue but he was asking about Lex while you guys were in Hawaii. I saw him breaking into the loft that gang of ex-jocks lived in. I was wondering if there is a connection?"

"I don't know, but I can find out." Clark grabs Chloe's hand and drags her down the stairs.

"Where are we going?"

"To Lex's, he needs to know this."

Clark and Chloe pull up right as Whitney was getting out of his truck.

"Whit, what brings you here?"

"I wanted to ask Lex something and you?"

"We'll explain inside." Clark pulls Whit close and kisses him. He is amazed at the rush of desire he feels anytime he sees either Lex or Whit.

"Guys...Clark? Issues, sneaky people, and other assorted regular happenings that is Smallville."

"Sorry..."

The three walk in while Lex was talking to Roger.

"Clark, Whit, Chloe...what ..."

Chloe cuts to the chase and shows Lex the photo.

"Lex, I've seen this guy asking about you around town before you got back from vacation. Now this picture I took here is him breaking into the loft those thieves used."

"Can I see that?" Roger looks at the picture and grimaces. "Lex, that is the guy Damien had come to town to handle that 'situation'. If he was involved in the robbery or helped set it up."

"Then Damien is after something to use against me. Roger, this changes nothing but it makes your mission far more urgent. I want to know this guys every move."

"He left Smallville or is hiding out. I haven't seen him in days and I've been looking."

"Chloe, this is very dangerous, please stay out of it."

"No way, this is a great story." She sees Lex's face and stops. "Would be a great story. Maybe I can help do some research from this end?"

"Lex, if Damien has something then we need to get moving on this yesterday."

"Okay, Chloe research only and keep me informed. Clark, Whitney anything to add?" Clark and Whitney look at each other.

"Okay you must be Roger, I'm Clark and this is Whit. I guess we know as much as you do at this point."

"Lex, I'm off. I'll keep in contact. You three, watch your backs. I have no idea if Damien or Lionel is calling the plays but either way this could get nasty."

Chloe looks around and sees that a silence has settled over the room.

"OKAY, I think I'll go. Clark, I take it Whitney can give you a ride home?"

"Yeah, thanks Chloe and tell Lana we said hi." Chloe leaves.

"Lex, I'm not sure what I walked in on but my father told me that he is selling the store to you?"

"Not really. He is selling it to the Smallville Community Development Company. Which happens to be owned by LFK. You told me he was thinking of selling and I didn't want another family business to be lost here. So ownership is now shared between us. Don't worry, you don't have to run it."

"Okay...what is going on?"

"I don't know but I need to find out. That was supposed to be a surprise Whit. I will not worry about things that are out of my control at the moment. I hate to ask this but..."

"You want us to break into that loft and see what we can find? What if the police took everything?"

"All I'm asking is that you take a look."

"I destroyed the disk."

"But they read it remember? They opened the file, I need you to see if their computer is still there and if so if you can pull a file dump and recover any information."

Whitney looks up, "lets go Clark, times wasting."

"Lex, you be careful. We will be back. I want to you to stay at the farm from now on."

"Clark, no way!"

"I do not like you here at the castle all alone. All the servants are gone and despite Bruce's assurances that these crews can be trusted you know your father could corrupt a saint."

"I'll think about it and you need to ask Jonathan before making an offer like that. Go!"

Clark and Whitney returned an hour and a half later. The computer was still there and they took it. The loft had no power so they went and found a place to examine it. Whit found the file in question. It was corrupted but he copied what he could and they returned the computer to the loft.

Whitney then ran the disk through his laptop. He managed to get a few files restored and he and Clark went back to the castle.

"Is this all you could get?"

"Yes, if he has the same software the laptop has then you are looking at what he has."

"No one has the same software we do, except Bruce. Okay, see this is the funds transfer here and those are the invoices there but the amounts and dates are gone. The invoice numbers are incomplete. Well, I know most of this so lets see how long it takes me to reconstruct all the data from the Luthor Corp mainframe." Lex notices that the boys are getting undressed and climbing into be.

"What are you two doing?"

"We decided that we are going to stay with you. We want to make sure you are safe at night."

"Your parents are going to kill me, you are only placing me in more danger."

"Nah, they like you. Come to bed, we have to go to school in the morning."

Metropolis

Lionel looked over the report and then threw it across the room. His son had covered his tracks too well. The clinic was destroyed and Lionel knew that idiot Roger Nixon had been seen there. Lex was not so smart. Lionel was very aware that Roger was his chief investigator. He would have moved against him before the Toronto affair except that Nathan had gone rogue. He could not contact Damien directly for the next few months. If Damien was running Nathan then Lionel had no way of knowing it. Nathan was too well trained to break the dossier and established protocols. 'I need a new operative for me.' He knew how to find one but he needed someone with special talents. Lex was one step ahead in the game and threatening to pull away. Placing Nicholas in charge of Operations should be a blow Lex's ego. Damien and Dominic were each attempting to return to his good graces. 'Competition brings out the best in people.' Lionel would have to give his son even more credit, not only was he covering his tracks but Lionel found out that Lex owned most of Cadmus Labs before Hardwick bought it. Lex had made money on that deal all the way around. His main concern was a possible Wayne-Luthor Alliance. That would be impossible to beat and would make is son far stronger than Lionel ever thought possible. He could no longer to take his son lightly. It made him proud but also made Lex a rival. Lionel would wait to see what the summer brought. He would wait for an opening and seize it.

Monday, Smallville

Lex woke up to all kinds of noise and saw Clark and Whitney scrambling to get ready for school. He looked at the clock.

"Aren't you late?"

"Yeah, school starts in ten minutes and we still have to go pick up Clark's books."

"Why don't you run home then to school?"

"Because the only clothes we have here are the really nice ones you bought, and that includes shoes. We can't wear what he had on last night and those shoes do not go with these clothes."

"Well, I guess you are both coming out of the fashion closet today." Whitney had on Black slacks, a long sleeved shirt, and deep gray sweater over it. Clark's ensemble was the same except Navy slacks and an emerald green sweater. He also had on his Armani glasses.

"Why those outfits and not some of the other stuff?"

"The other stuff have strategic rips or are so form fitting that NOTHING is left to the imagination. So its either the good stuff or the gay rent boy stuff. I don't need people checking Clark out anymore than they already do."

"Well see you later."

Lex got up and turned on his laptop. There was a message from Bruce.

Lex,

Watch Ares Machines for activity. Looks like an old pal is about to be COO of Luthor Corp. Lionel is trying to buy influence in the Senate. I took care of a problem you had with a paper trail. Be careful, it appears there are multiple elements that are now free agents inside and out of Luthor Corp. Each has his own agenda. Hope you enjoy the time off and say hello to the boys for me.

Bruce

Lex wondered down to the foyer and saw all kinds of activity going on around him. He noticed a package from Collins & Danforth. The note was quick.

'Sorry for the delay. Here are some of your Uncle's personal effects and his urn. A detailed summary of the town home's contents will follow in a week. The art work shall follow this note in a day or so. It is being shipped to the Kent household per your instructions. Gerald'

He took the box with him into the study. He saw some pictures and stopped. There was a photo of Jonathan Kent and Charlie Fordman, both in football uniforms. He saw several more of Charlie and then saw one of his Dad with Charlie. 'I had no idea that Dad knew Whitney's uncle.' Lex stopped for a moment and heard the phone ring. He went to answer it.

"Lex its Roger, a disturbing development. I just found out that Nathan Daniels was murdered last night in Metropolis. It looks like a hit. I'm on a plane to Switzerland in three hours. Be careful. Best I could find out there was a major fight. The police found several different blood types on the scene. This got even messier, watch your back and warn your boys. If they could take down Nathan then whoever pulled this can get anyone."

"SHIT!"

Echoes of the Past


Index Page | Love & Glory | Fordman Fiction | Other Realities
The Art Gallery | The Litney Universe

Contact Authors at

Site Design: B'Lane for Silver Moon Design

Disclaimer information: Don't own them, just have fun with them.
Each story may contain or does contain explicit NC-17 material. You have been warned.

 

Author's notes:

Special thanks to Shelly and Caroline for listening and encouragement.

I wrote it because I wanted to read it.


Cast - Photo Gallery

Click for Photo/Bio
Scores & Solutions
Stephen Hamiltion
Nathan Daniels
Battlements & Barricades
Tristan Fordman
Nick Brady
Damien Parker
Dominic Haynes (Senatori)
Gabriel Sullivan
Repercussions&Achievements
Lionel Luthor
Anne Fordman
David Fordman
Sebastian Fordman
Jeff Fordman
Bruce Wayne
Plans, Detours, Goals:
Chloe Sullivan
Lana Lang
Clark Kent
Whitney Fordman
Lex Luthor
Jonathan Kent
Martha Kent
Pete Ross
Victoria Hardwick