See This
by Te
December 2001

Disclaimers: No one here belongs to me, sadly. Or, you know, happily.

Spoilers: None. Pre-Smallville.

Summary: Lex goes looking for something that he’s not going to get.

Ratings Note/Warnings: NC-17. Guaranteed to disturb the vast majority
of the people who read this.

Author’s Note: One good birthday present deserves another, right?
This is for my Spike, because I nub her. Please don’t beat me, D.

Acknowledgments: To my Webrain, for putting up with Glacial!Te and
helping me make this story as good as I could.

Feedback lets me know exactly how many ways I’ll suffer in hell.


Lex was twelve years old when he finally tracked down where his father
had stored his mother's things.

She'd been dead for two years already, and really, he'd been much too
old for what he'd done, but...


Outer banks. North Carolina hot, too hot to be believed. He'd missed
Metropolis, but only for the familiarity. North Carolina was a pretty, earthy
state with tanned, deceptively slow-talking people. He'd been entirely out
of his element, scalp sunburned and peeling.

Shoulders aching under the straps of his backpack.

His summer nanny wasn't as diligent about reminding him to put on
sunblock as Else was back home, and he'd just wanted to see...

Too old for that, too.

Even though the first hour had been wonderful. Clear and dry and free
under a sun that had only felt *warm*.

Good to him.

Lex had fallen asleep against a dune and was lucky not to be even
more badly burned than he was.

His father had taken one look at him and canceled his plans to drag
him along to his usual run of meetings until Lex had sufficiently healed.

"Bad enough that you're..."

He hadn't needed to finish the sentence, and he didn't.

Lynn had the day off.

Lex had the house to himself, and it had been an accident, really. He'd
only intended to see if he could get something of that *warm* feeling
back. The dry blast of heat against his skin without, perhaps, the
necessary pain and humiliation.

The attic had given him that. Indirectly sunlit, dusty, crowded with crowds
of various styles of furniture that had gone missing from their homes
after... After.

Lex remembers shifting a dustcloth to find a portrait of his mother, and
the sudden realization that these must've been the pieces *she* had
picked. Remembers believing he'd come to understand something
fundamental about his father. Perhaps not so much a weakness as a...
sore spot.

He's not sure if he was old enough then to imbue the realization with all
the popular psychobabble about repression and grief management of
the day. He might have been.

In the end, he'd moved around the room for what must have been hours,
trying to put a memory to every stick of furniture, every piece of art.
Trying to figure out what quality it had had to attract his mother. The
portrait made him angry, because even though he'd *known* his father
would have only allowed it to be done by a first-rate artist, it just... wasn't

All the pieces of her right and none of the *feeling*.

His father had probably hired for technical skill rather than artistic bent.
It would suit him.

But there were other things. Trunks full of photo albums and far too
many pictures of himself with hair. That ridiculous little lord Fauntleroy look
that, at the time, he hadn’t been able to imagine why his parents had

A few of the usual school pictures of him without hair. Science fair awards,

"Learn how to lie, son."

Lex didn't find the trunks that held his mother's personal belongings for
quite a while. They must've been the first ones packed, and were all the
way at the end of the long attic. Under the small windows.

Clasps warm from a day only now pinkening towards sunset. The first
trunk had held, of all things, toys he remembered vaguely from his very
young childhood. Battered bears and lions and, oddly, a cow. A blanket
that looked hand-knitted. Inexpertly hand-knitted, with hopelessly
uneven stitches.

It didn't smell like anything at all, and Lex found himself wondering why
he thought it would.

The next one was, perhaps, the one he'd been looking for all along.
Packed with dresses and lacy things that his mother would've never
worn outside -- or not when anyone might have been watching.

One of his earliest memories was of crawling into his mother's lap at a
dinner party and being gently, but firmly, set back on his feet. Nudged
back toward his own chair. Later, of course, she had gathered him up
again almost as soon as everyone else had retired to the library. Gathered
him up and held him and petted his hair and made him promise not to
do that again.

He'd promised, of course, and he still remembers the way she'd smelled.
The way tendrils of her hair had tickled his cheek. The way she'd tickled
*him* before sending him up to bed with Else.

The dress she'd worn that night wouldn't be in this trunk.

This was for the light sundresses, the small, valueless cloth chokers she'd
liked to pick up from street vendors. Battered mules and creamy silk slips
that, when brought to his face, still smelled exactly like her.

Exactly how she'd smell on a dry, sunny day, just far enough away that
he wouldn't be able to touch her.

And he'd been too old for it, and he'd *known* he was too old for it, but,
in the end, he'd had to.

Silk so cool against his sunburn. His own cotton some scratchy torture that
he hadn't been able to stand for one more minute, peeling it off, all of it,
and replacing it with.

The slip.

Falling on him in all the wrong ways, but his mother's scent had been all
around him. Caressing him exactly like how he thought a hug from a nice
ghost would be. He hadn't cried.

Translucent scarf of some indeterminate floral pattern over his head. Not
even tied, just hanging. It wasn't as cool on his skin as the scarf, but it
made it... better, somehow. Better in a way that he'd already learned
not to think about too deeply.

A choker next, really just intricately braided twine with a blue stone of
some kind in the center. He remembered her wearing that one whenever
she barbecued, and there was still a smoky sense to it. Not much,
though. It had been years since she'd been well enough to drag them all
outside for steaks and burgers. He knotted it tight around his own throat,
tight enough that he could feel it every time he swallowed.

And then he went through the rest of the trunk, folding and unfolding and

Smelling them.

Some deep animal feeling of rightness that she could still be here.
Surrounding him.

Strange little case all the way at the bottom, smooth against his fingertips.
It hadn't been exposed enough to gather any dust. Lex opened it and
found. Makeup. Unevenly used. His mother had been partial to the
brighter colors, while the darker ones might as well have been new.

Only a few of the color blocks were cracked with age. He didn't bother
with any of them.

He realized the lipstick was going to be different almost immediately.
Remembered the easy way his father had swung him up in his arms
and pointed him at his mother for a kiss. They would be dressed in
formal clothes, too neat and perfect for hugs.

Held at arm's length by one and kissed by the other, and he remembered
the taste of her lipstick like a laugh.

Her laugh at having to redo her makeup, and Lex had never understood
the difference between the perfect he saw when looking at his mother
and the perfect that needed to be applied with care.

He'd learned not to ask for those kisses on the nights out so much as
make himself available for them.

They'd probably known what he was doing.

And it was only when he noticed that the smells around him had shifted
that he realized that he'd smeared lipstick over his own mouth. Inexpert
and thick, he must have drawn it on again and again...

"Lex, where the hell have you --"

Spun around and there was his father, staring at him on his knees, far
closer than he would've believed.

He could smell him, cologne high in the air, blending with the dim, dim
scent of his mother but not overpowering and Lex wondered if he'd have
to spend the rest of his life like this.

So conscious of scent that it was like, it was like.

Like he wasn't there at all.

Looked up at his father and the expression on his face was so...

Not so much unreadable as... overfull. Rage and confusion and disgust



"Take. Take all of that off and put it away. Now." Stared at him as
though he could punch through the back of Lex's head with his gaze. As
if doing just that was both the last thing he wanted to do and the most
necessary task in the world.

And Lex didn't know what to do about that. "I just. I only wanted --"

Father reaching for him with a hand that *shook* and Lex backed away
and his father steadied at once.

Rested his hand on Lex's shoulder and crouched in front of him. Unsubtle
reminder of how much he hadn't grown yet. Looked at him and Lex knew
he was supposed to believe that he was in control again.

Lex remembered that face from his mother's funeral, though.

Scent of her fading, faded under the assault of his father's presence.
The *fact* of him.

Not overly tall so much as viscerally present. Lex thought he could feel
the man unconscious, dead.

Focused on him, touching him, and very much not in control.

Lex didn't wait for him to try to say anything. "I'll put it all away, Dad. I
was only. Trying to remember."

His father blinked. Squeezed his shoulder and seemed to notice for the
first time that they were touching.

They hadn't touched much since his mother died.

"This won't happen again."

It wasn't a question, and Lex didn't answer.

He woke up early enough the next day to see movers taking the contents
of the attic... elsewhere. They weren't being very careful.


That was the first time, and he didn't do it again until almost three years
later, when he was definitely too old for it, and also maybe too young.

It didn't matter.

The reasons were, of course, entirely different. Or different enough. To
this day, Lex isn't entirely sure about that.

But... there was the matter of growing up, and the fact that it had finally
started to happen sometime after that first summer.

The first month back at school the usual endless parade of half-jokes
about how he couldn't even get some color after a whole summer in the
south. The too-hard slaps on the back, the hideous uniforms and
faux-rep ties. School.

An awkward year. He'd grown, and he'd spent far too much time in the
showers late at night, and his marks had slipped.

Infinitesimally, but enough to catch his father's attention.

Enough for a visit, and the chance to watch the old money kids look
down their noses at his father. Conflict there, of course, and it had
been hard to... what?

Listen to the man?

Take him seriously?

It wasn't as though he took his *classmates* seriously. Far too many of
them were showing all the signs of WASPish quasi-inbreeding. Washed
out blonds with washed-out sensibilities. Lex knew he was smarter than all
of them, and knew that that wouldn't start to matter for a long time.

It had probably just been frustration. Hormones.

Something like that.

For the first time in his life, he'd found himself quite seriously talking back
to his father, and it was like being alive for the first time.

Even knowing full well that he wasn't making much sense. That he was,
most probably, repeating the same teenager's script every parent since
Adam had had to deal with.

He'd managed to avoid the bit about not asking to be born. It was a near
thing. The point, he'd said, was that his GPA wouldn't even *reflect* the
change, especially since Lionel himself had taught him more history than
the school could. The point, he'd meant, was that Lionel was supposed
to be there for more than just his fuck-ups.

His father had become Lionel that day, if only in his head. Not for good
and all, but there was... a change. A confidence in himself, built on little
more than wounded pride, that Lex and Lionel were the next closest
thing to equals.

That they *would* be equals someday, and Lex had demanded, silently
and not, that this be acknowledged.

He could very well be over-analyzing his thirteenth year.

Still, a revelation was a revelation, and he'd spent the rest of that year
looking for ways around the rules. Small ways, at first, but it got him
noticed by the boys who had always been far too aloof for... anything.

Lex was still small enough to get through a lot of the smaller spaces of
the dorms. Small enough and... interested enough. Not desperate. Never
desperate. Lex learned the comfort that can only come from a friendship
of mutual need. Daily transactions of mostly intangibles that, nonetheless,
made the difference between a good school year and what had been, up
to that point, a *real* school year.

The world ran on such things.

The voice in his head sounded like his father.

It let him practice how best to parry it.

Holiday dramatics the likes of which Lex had wanted to believe had never
been seen before in all of their many homes. Sometimes it pushed Lionel
away when he was Behaving Badly -- there was a formality to it in Lex's
mind that required capital letters -- other times it made the man practically
*sit* on him.

Eyes blazing, presence presenting itself all over whatever house it was
this month. Booming voice and icily controlled gestures and the quieter
Lex's rebellions were, the louder Lionel responded.

He was old enough to know that, for all his whining to 'friends' about his
overbearing father, some part of him had wanted it to be just that way.

*Just* that way.

And 'quiet' was, perhaps, a matter of definition. Degree.

Sometime toward the end of high school, Lex had defined quiet as
'anything that doesn't demand the attention of the administration.' Which
worked for him, as that meant 'anything that doesn't take place on
school grounds.'

It wasn't as though he had all that much interest in his school mates. Most
of them were older, bigger, physically stronger, true. But most of them
had all the insight of a box of rocks.

Bruce was different, of course. But then, Bruce was just about as different
as anyone he'd ever met. Lex had been fifteen, Bruce sixteen. Both of
them too young to be seniors, but Bruce was a natural athlete in about a
million different ways.

He looked the part, right up until anyone tried to speak with him. Lex had
gone about getting to know him as part of a larger, vaguely Byzantine
scheme he no longer remembers. Something about Lionel's disdain for his
lack of parents to influence through the boy. Something more to do with
the way Bruce never looked at him the same way twice.

Amusement at Lex in economics, wordless rage when Lex found him alone
on the dorm roof one night, equally wordless gratitude the very next night
when Lex found him in the exact same place.

Squatting like a particularly well-built and indifferently handsome gargoyle.

Bruce had offered to try to piss in a perfect arc.

Lex spent some time considering homosexuality.

When Bruce invited Lex to spend the holidays with him in Gotham, he'd
been absolutely sure he wasn't the only one considering things, but...

Bruce was different.

Lex hadn't known teenaged boys *could* be impotent.

And there had also been the creep factor of having formal dinners
*every* night, approximately nine hundred feet away from each other,
at either end of the table. Which still wasn't as bad as the creep factor
of *Alfred*. Ghostly elder gentleman of the grand tradition of English
queers, he would've bet, but...


His legal guardian was also his *butler*?

The nights were best. Alfred disappeared wherever he disappeared to in
the cavernously grim Wayne mansion, they didn't have to have a table
between them, and Bruce... relaxed. Especially once Lex figured out that
he only turned lights on to make him comfortable, preferring to wander
around in the gloom.

There was something... helplessly thrilling about it. Undeclared games of
hide and seek where Lex would wander and wander through endless
hallways, finally finding some secluded corner to tuck himself into, thinking
himself safe, waiting for footsteps, for Bruce to call out 'where are you?'

He'd never decided whether the best part was being shamelessly
immature, or the fact that Bruce always found him effortlessly.


Inevitably, his safe place would be disturbed by a breath, a slide, and
Bruce would resolve himself as part of the gloom. Pressed to Lex's side.
Quiet and quiet until Lex swallowed his heart again.

He never bothered asking how Bruce did it.

It was enough to just sit there, wherever there was. Wait and listen for
a chance to do *something*.

Lex was always achingly hard when Bruce pulled his superhero act, despite
the very real possibility that the man had pairs of night vision goggles
stashed in every room. Very Silence of the Lambs.

Way too believable with Bruce.

"So, are you practicing to be the best stalker you can be, or what?"

"You never know what kinds of skills will be useful, Lex."

And that had made things... easier. An argument to start with, a leg to
stand on. Or maybe it was just the darkness. Knowing his skin had to
be the brightest thing in Bruce's vision. Bruce knowing full well that Lex
himself couldn't see *shit*.

Jokes about beta carotene intake. Not very funny ones, but, in the end,
Lex managed to get himself fucked.

By one of Bruce's gardeners.

Bruce himself never managed to get further than some clumsy, heated
make-out sessions in whatever room Lex ended up in after one of the
late night stalks. Hot, hungry hands on his sides, his legs, his ass, even
his cock.

Lex's own hands, however, weren't allowed anywhere near Bruce's skin.

An incomplete triumph, nowhere near enough to keep Lex out of the
damned coatroom at the yearly Luthor Christmas bash. Bruce found him
there easily enough. He knew it was Bruce because he shut the lights off
and *then* came inside. He made it as difficult as he could -- not in the
sense of hiding, there really wasn't anywhere *to* hide, just in terms of
being difficult -- stretching out spread-eagle under a collection of
dusty-smelling furs.

The ones from the invitees on the way *down* the social/monetary

The ones in the back, of course.

Bruce had surprised him by not even tripping over him. Surprised him and
pissed him the fuck off, really, and so he'd tried to get his own back as
soon as Bruce was down and on top of him.

Pressed down against him and smelling of that year's cologne, whatever
came between Drakkar and CK One.

Lex arched up and *took* a kiss, getting a hand tangled in Bruce’s short
hair and *holding* him there, slipping his hand down and under Bruce’s
jacket, quickly under his shirt where he had just enough time to feel an
odd sort of... *belt* before Bruce had him pinned.

Both hands where one would do and Lex couldn’t see a damned thing, but
after a while he could *feel* Bruce’s stare.

Pinned down and held and Bruce was hard against him. Incredibly hard,
by the feel.

And absolutely still.

For several minutes.



“We could blow this place, head back to your estate...”

“Your father wouldn’t like that.”

“Do you care?”

“Not in the sense that it would be bother me morally, but I’m beginning
to wonder what sort of image I present to the world.”

“That of a complete and total basket case.”

“Are you sure?”

“Very much so.”


Lex tested Bruce’s grip on his wrists, merely to have something to do.
Bruce didn’t even bother to tighten it. Not that it would’ve been necessary,
but, well. Male pride had its place. “Bruce. At your estate, we could use
some of your horse tack for purposes for which it was not intended.”



“You would. Do that?”

Lex thought about doing something, anything to deflect the serious
question in Bruce’s voice, but everything he thought of felt too... glib.
“Yeah. I would.”

“Oh. I. I think I would hurt you.” And Bruce was gone as quickly as that,
leaving Lex cold and hard and extremely frustrated.

He would, of course, have to wait at least a *few* minutes before leaving
the coatroom after Bruce.

He honestly didn’t feel like it.

There was just... way too much there. Bruce had a way of making him
feel his age in the most ridiculous ways. Less of a “damn, I can’t wait
to be legal,” than a “damn, I’m not sure I want to be old enough to
 understand what the fuck’s wrong there.”

Lex sat up in the dark and waited things out. When he was calm, when
he’d figured out exactly how he could look like something *other* than
the billionaire’s freakish and petulant son, he’d go back out there.

He would.

Lex woke up at the feel of a strong hand wrapped much too tightly
around his forearm. He was being dragged somewhere and that just
wasn’t done. Set his heels and yanked back at the same time, shot a
leg out when whoever it was stumbled.

And looked down and realized it was only Darius, his father’s houseman.

Staring up at him with a rueful humor. “All right, Lex, next time I’ll wake
you up *before* I start dragging you somewhere.”

“Um. Thanks. Why are you dragging...?”

“Your father is... agitated by your absence. I figured it would be better if
I presented you as quickly as possible, rather than making him search
for you...?”

Lex scrubbed a hand over his scalp and took a breath. “Christ, what
*is* it?”

“I’m not *quite* sure, Lex, but I think he might be...”

“What?” Looked down to find Darius basically scrutinizing him. Measuring
him as coldly as any look Lex had ever seen, which shouldn’t be
possible from a man flat on his back. Lex made a note. “Tell me.”

“Well, if I was an imaginative man -- which your father pays me very
well not to be -- I would suggest the possibility -- only possibility, mind
you -- that your father is. Grieving.”

Lex snorted, but subsided at the look in the man’s eyes.

“You Luthors don’t really talk about... her, much.”

“No. We don’t. Look, thanks Darius. I’ll go placate the old man, your
Christmas bonus will be safe, and everything will be... normal.” Reached
out a hand to help him up, which Darius eyed somewhat snarkily for a
moment before taking it.

“As you say, Lex. You’ll find him at the main table, casting a pall over
the entire dining room.”

“Jesus, Darius, don’t make me laugh *now* --”

“My apologies, I’m sure.”


Lex made his way into the dining hall, somewhere in the middle of the
late dinner that was apparently traditional for some branch of the
Luthors, somewhere.

His seat at his father’s left was conspicuously empty, and he took it.


Smiled at his father and did not, did *not* smirk at the way Lionel’s eyes
narrowed at his expression. “I’m sorry, Father, I was just... taking the
air.” Reached out and squeezed his hand, and thought he was probably
laying it on way, way too thick, but...

Lionel looked stunned.

And, for one nearly hallucinatory moment, grateful.

To him.

Lex looked away and drank his wine much too fast.

Ate his cooling meal and tasted... nothing. His father’s hand was heavy
on his shoulder, his father’s smile expansive, his father’s presence

Bruce was long gone, but Lex wasn’t cold anymore.

It was, he thinks, the best time he ever had with his father, including
the whole time his mother was alive. They never actually talked to each
other so much as expanding on each other’s presence for the
entertainment and/or the intellectual benefit of the rest of the guests.
He knew that Lionel was a little drunk.

Perhaps more than a little.

At the time, Lex had been helplessly be-Christmased. The only way he
could think of to describe the crushing weight of sentimentality. Yes,
of course, Lionel had been grieving, brooding, but look how much
better he felt with Lex there!

It would all work out.

It all made sense.

It was hard to express some things, but now, now it would be okay.

It would.

They both drank far too much.

The party lasted for hours, and Lex loosened his tie and went with it. His
vision fuzzed on the edges, turning the lights to torches and the
parasitical guests and well-wishers into something very like family. This
was... belonging.

And Lionel was always there, presenting *him* to the crowd. His genius
son, the best hope for Luthorcorp, phrases that would’ve been flowery
coming from anyone *but* Lionel Luthor. Lex wondered what it would’ve
been like to see his father on stage, inhaling the scenery and
mesmerizing everyone...

Of course, at that point, everyone hung on his father’s words anyway --
the Catholic Church had nothing on capitalism in terms of the price of
influence -- but... it meant more. It *all* meant more, and when the
guests were finally gone, Lionel’s hand was still on his shoulder.

Lex took a look at his surprisingly full glass and grinned, easily. “Merry
Christmas, Dad.” Twisted enough to toast him properly.

Lionel studied him for long moments that made Lex try to remember
the last time he’d said anything like that to his father without being
snide, without doing everything in his power to make sure the man
knew he didn’t mean it.

Found himself blushing.

But Lionel finally just nodded, and they clinked glasses on it.

Merry, merry.

It left a sour taste in his mouth, which he could’ve just blamed on the
wine. The pleasant fuzz had turned to dizziness, the hall’s furnishings
shifting alternately too fast and too slow. The floor heaving uncomfortably
beneath his feet.

He went upstairs, leaving his father to discuss cleanup with the
exhausted staff.

Considered the shower and rejected it. The night felt... unfinished.

He threw his jacket in the corner, rifled through the assignments he’d
given himself for the break. He had, of course, already done all the
reading actually assigned. They were letting him set his own academic
schedule, which seemed only rational as far as he was concerned.
There was nothing to interest him there, though. Words crawling over
the page like insects.

An itch under his skin.


Something like flash photography to find himself in the hallway in front of
his father’s rooms. The Luthor’s Gotham estate was smaller than the
one in Metropolis, but it was still. Cavernous. It had long been one of
Lex’s personal projects to get over the feeling of *smallness* that always
hit him in their houses, but he’d had only marginal success so far.

It was snowing outside. He knew this without having any windows in
view -- the quiet was just that particular quality that snowy nights had.
There’d maybe be a ring around the moon. Lex caught himself hugging
himself and stopped.

It had been a *good* night, and he only wanted.

He only wanted to make sure it ended that way.

Alcohol sludge of his brain shying away here and diving toward there. Under
it all, his instincts were telling him *something* about his relationship with
his father.

Hadn’t he learned to listen?

Lex knocked twice, hard.


Knocked again, a little harder, and the door swung open before he’d
brought his fist back down.

“Darius, I swear to you that if you’re not here to tell me our stock is
falling faster than -- Lex.”


Lionel stared at him like. A problem he hadn’t yet figured out how to solve.
Lex took a breath and tried to stand up straighter without moving. He
wasn’t going to fuck this up, whatever it was. “Is... what is it, Lex?”

“I... wanted to talk to you about something.”

Lionel blinked, stared at him a little harder for a moment before gesturing
him inside.

Lex lost it a little when he realized that he hadn’t actually been in this room
since before his mother had died. The decor was completely different, all
dark wood and stark artwork. Bed like a curtained fortress in the next
room. He settled himself on the couch and watched his father pretending
not to wrack his brain to figure out why Lex was here before he had to

Were they this fucked?

“Don’t worry, Dad. You’re not about to get any respectfully concerned
phone calls from school.” Tried a smile.

Lionel froze, nodded. They were both off their games.

Lionel poured himself a smallish drink and settled on the chair across from
Lex. His eyes were faintly bloodshot, but his movements were as precise
as ever.

And Lex found himself at a loss for how to start this... whatever it was.
He had the basic goal of having a valuable, comfortable conversation
with his father. He had the somewhat squirm-inducing goal of making
that conversation the foundation of something like a *relationship* with
his father. But. Right, start somewhere. “I’ll be staying here until it’s time
to go back to school.”

“Darius told me you’d moved in... I thought you’d planned to spend
the holidays with the Wayne boy?”

Gritted his teeth a little at his father’s tone, but. Peace. “I’m beginning to
think you’re right about his relative... usefulness.”

Lionel only nodded. From anyone else it would be a lecture on listening
to one’s wise elders.

“He’s... strange, Dad.”


“Well... it’s actually kind of what I wanted to talk about. He... I don’t think
he ever got over his parents’ death.” Tried to search Lionel’s eyes
without looking like he was doing it.

Lionel frowned a little. “I’ve told you before, Lex. Some people never
learn how to handle strong emotion. His guardian should’ve worked harder
when the boy was a child. Now... he *ought* to be old enough to handle
it himself. I’ve told you all this... why do you want to talk about it now?”

“I... I’ve been thinking about Mom.”

Slow nod. “She was a wonderful woman, Lex. She’d be proud to see
how you... how we’ve moved on.”

“Would she?”

“What do you mean?”

And Lex blinked a little at the slow burn just under the surface of his
father’s words. “I mean... we’ve never really talked about it. Her death.
We just... went on with our lives, but even that. I. Dad, haven’t you
noticed that we haven’t had a conversation about *anything* since she

“I think you’ve had a little too much to drink, Lex.”

“So did you, it doesn’t matter --”


Stopped him like that particular tone always did. Lionel was glaring across
the small distance at him. Waiting for him to. Shape up.

And fuck, but he couldn’t *take* this, not now, not tonight. “Dad, c’mon,
listen to me, we don’t have to be like this!”

“And what is it, precisely, that you think we’re... like?”

“Like two strangers who happen to share blood. Christ, Dad, would it kill
you to talk to me about something other than my grades and my duty
and my fucking future?”

“Language like that is the tool of the ignorant --”

Couldn‘t just sit there anymore. “*Fuck* you, Dad, *listen* to me!”

Lionel scrambled to his feet and stared down at him. He’d grown enough
that his father didn’t tower over him anymore, but the effect... the
effect was the same, dammit.

Lex refused to let himself step back, staring up at Lionel and waiting for
whatever comment the man would come up with to cut him dead.

But Lionel only stared.

And Lex had to look away, knowing he'd failed, knowing his father would
find a way to make him pay for this, whether he admitted to himself that
that was what he was doing or not.

And then he saw the ring on the end table. Just a simple gold band and
Lex knew, he *knew* it was his mother's.

Snatched it up, jerked backwards before his father could catch him.

"You were really going to do it, weren't you?"

"Give me the ring, Lex."

"You were really going to stand there and make me feel -- fucking *lecture*
me on how a real man deals with grief and all the time you've been sitting
in here fucking *brooding* over her wedding ring!"

And Lionel was obviously angry and just as obviously something else
Lex couldn’t quite figure out. Everything tied up with the brood he was in
earlier in the evening. Looking at Lex like something. Other. "Give. Me. The.

“Dad, *Christ*, would you just *talk* to me?"

“What do you want, Lex? What are you here for?” Lionel wound like a
spring and Lex stopped. Swallowed back the first five things that came
to mind.

Reached out for his father, resting one hand on his arm. Tense and
hard beneath the jacket. “I just want... we can be *better* than this.”

Lionel looked at the hand Lex had on his arm for a long moment, and
when he finally looked back at Lex his face was wrong. Twisted with
rage and something very much like pain.  “There is a time and a
place for almost everything. But not. For. This.”

"What are you --?"

“Do you even know what you’re asking for, boy?”

“Dad, I --”

“I can’t believe I thought you were better than this, Lex. Did you
search the attic of this house, too?”

“I don’t understand --”

“I did my level best to forget I ever saw you like... *that*. Dressed up
in your mother’s clothes like some... like some...”

Lex yanked his hand back and twisted away. "Oh, *fuck* you, Dad!"
Threw the ring across the room. "Why don't you just go jerk off over
the memories?" And suddenly he was being held. Fists tight around his
upper arms and just this side of *shaking* him. “Dad, *don’t* --”

“You can’t stop pushing, can you?” Lionel’s laugh is just as wrong as
everything else. “I should be proud. My son. My son...”

“You loved her, damn you! We loved her and she’s dead and --”

“She’s never coming back. Don’t you *get* that? Can’t it get through
your thick skull? She’s dead and gone and no amount of... of this
endless maudlin *dreck* will bring her back.”

“And none of this fucking *denial* is going to stop her from being

Lionel squeezed hard enough to hurt but Lex would not, would *not* let
it show. Put his chin up in the way he knew his father hated. Waited.

“I don’t know what you think you’ll get by... *provoking* me, Lex,
but --”

“You. I’ll get *you*.”

And everything stopped dead. Lex couldn’t hear anything but the muted
roar of the fire. Their breathing. Lionel’s much too hard and his own not
much better and Lex didn’t know what would happen.

He didn’t know.

“You want me.”

When Lionel said it, it sounded. Wrong. But. “I. Yes.”

Lionel shuddered then. Searched Lex’s face and must have found
something alien, something terrible and harsh, something that would
explain --

Kissed before he could think to breathe, hands tightening even more
around his upper arms and Lionel was almost *lifting* him. Taste of
scotch and beard scraping his cheeks and his father’s oh God his
father’s *tongue* in his mouth. Eyes wide open and boring into his


It went on and on, Lionel breathing through his nose and Lex didn’t
want to do the same, didn’t want to acknowledge it, didn’t want to
close his burning eyes for even a second. Had to do it anyway, and
as soon as he did, Lionel shifted his hold until he was *crushing* Lex
against him. Tearing at the back of his shirt and oh God, oh fuck, one
hand on Lex’s ass pulling him in.

Lionel was hard.

Half-grinding against Lex’s belly and still kissing. Fucking his mouth with
his tongue and Lex couldn’t open his eyes again. God, anything not to
see this.

Kiss broken with an awful wet sound. “Don’t tell me you’re a virgin.”

Lex bit off a noise and squeezed his eyes shut tighter.

“I won’t believe you.”

The hand on his ass was moving. Squeezing, pressing. Thumb insinuating
itself along the back seam.

“Was it Wayne?”

Lex shook his head, tried to pull away, tried to think of some way to fight
back that wouldn’t involve actually striking his father because he couldn’t.

He couldn’t do that.

Wound up struggling more for the sake of struggling than anything else,
and Lex knew exactly what that looked like. What it felt like. His father’s
cock rubbing and rubbing against him and Lionel just. Holding on.

Almost the way it should have been, right?

Warm and held and Lionel wouldn’t let go. Not now.

Almost right.

And when he stilled, when he forced himself to relax, Lionel... gentled.
Cupped his ass instead of squeezing. Stroked the back of Lex’s neck
with his thumb. Small circles that made him gasp. Made him press his
face against his father’s jacket and try to breathe.


Lionel smelled like cologne. Some brand he’d never use himself. Something
that smacked of an age the man probably couldn’t wait to achieve, if
only for the increased level of respect. Fear. Whatever would do, but.

When Lex wrapped his arms around his father’s waist, Lionel clutched
him tighter. Pure, blind response, maybe for both of them.

“Tell me who it was, Lex.”

“I. Didn’t know his name.”

“Did he fuck you?”

Nodded silently against him.

“I won’t ask if you took precautions.” A parody of Lionel’s usually stiffly
condescending tone. Rough and low. Impossible not to respond to.

“I did.”

The thumb pressed a little harder against the back of his neck before
pushing down under his collar. Stroked there, slow and thoughtful.

Lionel let him go, but when he tried to move away Lex couldn’t help but
cling. Lionel made a sound low in his throat, brushed a hand over Lex’s

Pried Lex’s arms loose.

Pushed him back and looked at him with a sort of manic steadiness. Lex
had no idea what his face looked like.

“Take your clothes off.”

Lex didn’t know he was biting his lip until Lionel touched him there,
smoothed his lips apart. Pressed his thumb against Lex’s teeth. Lex
closed his eyes and. Licked.

Shuddered and sweated and sucked, clawing at the buttons to his shirt
and not thinking, not thinking.

Salt-warm skin in his mouth and a perfectly manicured nail scraping lightly
at his tongue. Flesh, only flesh, and his belt came out of the loops in a
practiced motion. He threw it on the floor.

Toed off his shoes and let his pants puddle around his ankles.

Still sucking.

His hands felt clumsy, stupid at his sides with nothing to do. It might
have seemed logical to reach out for his father again. Take his hand in
both of his and suck every finger. Lick at the brief webbing and move

He didn’t open his eyes until he knew he wouldn’t see anything but the
floor. His ridiculously still-socked feet.

His stiffening cock.

“Get on the bed, Lex.” Nearly hoarse.

He nodded and went.

Sat on the sheet and rested his hand on the folded back comforter. Lex
thought he might come to hate that word.

Pulled his socks off and couldn’t for the life of him figure out what to do
with them. It seemed... too much somehow to just drop them on the

And then his father was there, plucking them out of his hand and placing
them on top of the chest of drawers. That was better. Maybe because
the decision was out of his hands. One decision, at least.

Lionel wasn’t touching him, but Lex wasn’t leaving.

Wasn’t putting his clothes back on and *running*... somewhere.

He could always go back to Bruce’s. Hide in the dark and pretend he
wasn’t being watched. Bruce would undoubtedly be grateful.

It wasn’t as warm here, away from the fire. Lex shivered, and Lionel’s
hand was there. Under his chin, tilting his head up. And then just
stroking his face. Warm hands making him aware of how naked he

How smooth.

Like a woman.

Shuddered again when Lionel stopped touching him. Watched his
father’s face while he shrugged off his jacket. Unbuttoned vest and shirt
and let those drop to the floor. His father’s body was unsculpted but
lean. Less hair than he would have expected on his chest, sprinkled with
grey. Was it wrong to be this unfamiliar with his father’s body?

It made it easier.

But surely most children never saw their father’s... never felt it pressed
hot and close against their skin and Lex swallowed. Forced himself to
watch as Lionel undid his belt. Pushed down trousers and boxers together,
bending to peel off his own socks.

The quick glimpse of his father’s jutting cock, dark with blood, made him
gasp. Recoil a little. He was still trying to puzzle out why it would be that,
more than anything else, when Lionel stood again.

Possessive hand on the back of his head and there it was. Hard.

For him.

Lex licked his lips. Whined a little when he realized what he was doing.
Closed his eyes again and let himself be. Guided.

Didn’t open his mouth fast enough and the head of his father’s cock
bumped and brushed over his lips, his cheek. Gasped aloud and reached
blindly for his father’s hips, grasped them and pulled back almost
immediately. Too hot. Too much skin. Something.

Cock pushing at his mouth for entry and Lex opened for it in something
like self-defense. Anything to keep him from making more noise.

He hadn’t even done this for Bruce.

Taste of him blessedly unfamiliar. Heavy and salt, faintly gamy. Thick in
his nose, thicker than any scent should be. Overwhelming everything
else. Though at least that made sense. Some small, hysterical part of
Lex laughing at this.

Needing it when Lionel started caressing his face. This heat he could
stand. This heat he pushed into, taking in more of his father’s cock.

“Suck it, Lex.”

No other voice but his father’s, for all the changes. All the wrong here.
No escape and Lex was increasingly aware of his own arousal. Sucked
hard and tried to pretend he knew what he was doing, finally having to
hold onto his father’s hips just to get something like balance.

Lean, hard body in front of him. His father. His *father* holding his
head and tracing his hollowed cheeks and.

“That’s good, that’s. Ah --”

Lex couldn’t hold in his moan and it made Lionel thrust. Push at his
mouth, open him wider and this was starting to hurt a little. He wondered
if he was supposed to make his father come this way.

He wondered if he could.

Rush of feeling like power, like fire down his body. Pooling in his cock
and making him want something to touch him. His father to touch him.

Pulled off and managed, with effort, not to touch his mouth. Lionel did it
for him, wondering look in his eyes. Spit-shiny cock a magnet to Lex’s
eyes. They were going to do this. They were already doing it.

Took a breath and pushed the covers back a little further. Scooted back
on the bed and laid down.

Lionel didn’t make him wait, crawling down and over him. Straddling his
hips and staring down. King of all he surveyed.

Lex had to struggle again, but Lionel was there. Grabbed his wrists and
held them down against the bed. Pinned twice in one night. He was going
to have to pay more attention in phys. ed. Bucked up and moaned
aloud at the slide of cock to cock.

Contact like nothing else and Lionel’s thumbs digging into his palms.
Stigmata of a different crime.

“I’m going to fuck you, Lex.”

“Dad, *please* --”

Lionel dragged his wrists together so he could hold them with one iron
hand. The other one went over his mouth, a little over his nose. Lex bit
and bucked again and again, falling into a rhythm faster than he ever
wanted to admit to. It just felt. So good.

Licked his father’s palm and let his eyes fall closed.

Good to be helpless like this. Good on more levels than he would’ve
believed. He knew Lionel would have to move eventually, but God, just
here, just right now... Held.

So warm.

His father moved his hand away from his mouth after a while. Twisted
his nipples. Back and forth, harder and harder until Lex cried out.

Wanted his mouth there.

Didn’t want to beg for it. Or even ask. Admission, acknowledgment,
responsibility, and Lionel was bending down to kiss him again.

Acceptance if only so he could suck that tongue, coax it, make his
father want to use it elsewhere. Yes, please, yes.

Hands free and Lex buried them in his father’s hair without hesitation.
Pulled him down closer. If he had to admit to this, then... let the
beard-burn he’d have tomorrow make *Lionel* admit it.

Mouth on his throat and Lex didn’t try to hold in the moans anymore.

“Beautiful boy..”

“Oh Jesus --”


Hand on his cock and stroking, awkward then expert as any man would
be. It made Lex writhe. The feel of it, gentle in the way only fast, hard
strokes could be for him at this point. So good and his hands fluttered
over Lionel’s back, up to his shoulders and clutching hard before moving
away. Couldn’t hold and wanted to so *badly*.

So close to everything.

“Dad, I’m going to... gonna come --”

“That’s the idea...” More of a growl than anything else and Lex bit his lip,
tried to hold on.

Keep the feel of it and *force* his father to keep doing this. “Fuck, do it,
make me come --”

Faster and harder and Lionel was almost glaring at him. Demanding again,
only it was both of them this time and Lex fucked his father’s fist.
Snapping his hips up and up and clawing at Lionel’s shoulders and holding
his look until he couldn’t anymore.

Pushed his face into the pillow and came hard, grunting and spasming.

Body awake and aware in the most terrifying way possible and Lionel
wasn’t waiting.

Spread Lex’s legs and shoved in a come-slick finger. Lex’s breath caught
on a whimper and he bit his lip again. He could taste blood and his father
was being ruthless with him. It fit so well Lex had to laugh.

Didn’t have to see Lionel’s face to know the man was starting to think,
really *think* again.

Couldn’t have that.

Lex pushed his father off and flipped over onto his belly. Got up on all
fours and didn’t have to fake a shiver at the sound Lionel made. Hands
on his ass, spreading him again. Finger back in to the second knuckle
and the burn was good. Necessary.

No quarter asked, none given.

Oh, Father...

Come and spit slicking him not enough and Lionel didn’t waste too much
more time on preparing him. Drove in hard, to the hilt. Rocked Lex and
the bed and Lex didn’t try holding in his scream.

Lionel dragged him upright, his own weight pushing his father’s cock
even deeper. Hand over his mouth again and Lex bit it this time.

Bit harder when Lionel didn’t bother to move and started to struggle.

Lionel’s other arm wrapped tight around his arms and chest and there
was no place to move. Nowhere to go.

“I will not have you waking up the servants.”

Kept fighting even though he knew it was useless. It made it better, so
much fucking better. And then his father started to move. Short,
sharp thrusts that made Lex’s eyes water, stretched and worked him
into a new shape.

The angle was incredible and Lex slammed his head back against his
father’s shoulder again and again, moaned against Lionel’s palm when
he bit at his throat and did it harder.

“Move your hips, boy --”

Breathless note in his father’s voice and Lex followed orders. Lifted up
on his knees and pushed back down, screwed himself back down and
did it again.


Lionel shifted his arm enough to let Lex catch a breath, then started
scraping and pulling at Lex’s nipples. Still pressed close, fucking him hard
and the scrape of Lionel’s beard against his scalp is just another part of

The sudden, inescapable knowledge that he would never be able to fuck
another man with a beard without thinking of this.

Blushing at the sounds he was making, muffled pathetically by his father’s
hand and Lex was getting hard again. Senseless urge to hide it from
Lionel. Ridiculous even if he was able. Knew the moment the man saw it,
by the growl in his ear. Triumphant and primal, masculine in a way he
wondered if he’d ever be.

Strange relief when Lionel pushes them back down. Just enough time to
catch himself on his forearms before Lionel started driving in again. Every
stroke perfect and perfectly vicious. No way to escape this in his mind,
no way to think about anything but exactly what was happening to him.

What his father was doing.

No recovery from this.

No going back.

Lex didn’t think he’d ever felt so free.

Almost laughing while he braced himself up enough to get a hand around
his cock. While his father fucked him and fucked him, yanking his hips
back against him when Lex didn’t move fast enough. Rage. It all came
down to rage, and whether or not it was Lex’s fault, he was the one
who was here.

Right here, for the taking.

Lionel came before he could finish. Pulled out roughly and flipped Lex over
onto his back.

The few shreds of distance he’d managed to retain just *withered*
under that look. Lionel, his *father* watching him jack himself,
watching him need it and he wouldn’t close his eyes, he wouldn’t he --

“Oh Christ --”



Lex watched his father from under his lashes. Waited.


Lionel wiped off his cock with a corner of the sheet, distaste the
only thing showing on his face. The expression didn’t change
when he was done and looking at Lex and the taste in Lex’s
mouth was.


Fuck. This.

He tried on his best smirk.  “Messy, isn’t it? But then, you’re
not the one with an ass full of your father’s come.”

Watched his father freeze for a gratifying moment that didn’t last.

“I think you know the way back to your room, Lex.”

It stung. “What, no cuddle?”

Lionel snorted. “Even you’re not *that* sick.”

“You really have no idea why I came here tonight, do you?” And
he couldn’t keep the wonder out of his voice.

“Don’t I?”

Lex shook his head and sat up, wincing a little before he could school
his features. “Goodnight, Father.”


Gathered his clothes from the sitting room and walked out, heedless of
whoever might have been in the halls.


Lex woke up in his own bed, reeking of sex and his father. He would have
to make sure to get the sheets changed today. He didn’t even consider
going back to Bruce’s, though he was sure of his welcome there.

He didn’t want to give his father the satisfaction.

He took a long shower and considered, very seriously for a moment,
wearing a shirt with a collar low enough to show the more... convenient
marks his father had left, but he wasn’t sure he was up to the looks
on the servants’ faces.

He’d been stupid last night, and he didn’t need anyone else’s opinion of
that but his own.

No one would understand. Lex laughed humorlessly at the thought and
tried to get himself back on track.

It was a natural, human impulse to seek both closure and connection.
There weren’t very many flaws in his reasoning about that, except, of
course, for the fact that it was *another* natural, human impulse to
deny both.

He was too old to make mistakes like that.

He wouldn’t again.