Brotherly Love




Chapter 4

Seven years later...

Sixteen-year-old Clark Queen sat at his desk in his dorm room at Excelsior Academy.  Resting on the desk was the brunet's laptop, which was opened and turned on, with MS Word running.  He was supposed to be writing an essay for his AP English class, but, all too often what one should be doing and what they do are two very different things.  No matter how hard he tried, Clark just could not concentrate.

Among the things on the brunet's mind was his recent discovery of two new abilities, x-ray vision and heat vision, as well as the cause for his discovering them in the first place.  It had started out like any other normal day at Excelsior.  He'd woken up before Geoffrey as usual, since his roommate liked sleeping in, often to the point that he only made it to the first class of the day with less than five seconds to spare, and gone into the bathroom to take care of business.

Exiting the bathroom, Clark put on his school uniform and sat down on his bed.  Spring break was in two months and Clark was planning on going to Switzerland with Oliver, Jason, Andrew, Geoffrey, and Alden for a week of skiing and snowboarding.  The brunet really wasn't sure when his eyes drifted over towards Geoffrey's sleeping form or when he started concentrating more on his roommate then on his thoughts of Switzerland.  All he knew was that he was suddenly staring intently at the body-shaped lump on Geoffrey's bed, the covers pulled up over his head, as usual, in order to block out the sunlight and sleep longer.

And that's when it happened.  One minute, Clark was just staring at the lump on Geoffrey's bed.  The next, he could see his friend's naked body curled up under the covers.  As if that wasn't enough to deal with, Clark could feel himself getting turned on.  As his erection grew, the sight of Geoffrey's naked body disappeared from view and Clark felt a curious sensation in his eyes – before suddenly flames shot out of them.  Luckily, Clark had managed to turn his gaze away from Geoffrey's bed in time that the flames did not start his roommate's bed on fire – with him in it.  Instead the flames hit the clock radio on Geoffrey's nightstand, which he habitually kept turned on, playing soft music while he slept.

Almost immediately, the sprinklers in the ceiling turned on, and Geoffrey shot up, still half asleep not really understanding what was happening around him and shouted, "Damn it, Clark, you could have just shaken me – you didn't have to dump water on me."

Hurrying to get off his bed, Clark went over to Geoffrey's bed and grabbed his hand as he said, "I didn't Geoffrey – it's the fire sprinklers, there's a fire, we have to get out of here."

Getting out of bed, Geoffrey, who was wearing a t-shirt and his normal black silk pajama bottoms, followed Clark out into the hallway, both of them soaking wet, as several of their classmates came out into the hallway to see what was going on, since the fire alarm was going off.  A moment later, one of the dorm security guards came rushing up the stairs and shouted, "Fire, everyone out of the building now."

Three hours later, after the administration and fire department had traced the source of the fire to Clark and Geoffrey's room they launched an investigation into the cause of the fire.  Meanwhile, Clark Kent and Geoffrey Walsh found themselves sitting in Headmaster Reynolds' office.

"Would either of you care to explain what happened?"  Reynolds asked.  "You were both in the room when the fire broke out, after all."

"I was asleep," Geoffrey said.  "I have no idea what happened – when the sprinklers went off my first thought was that Clark had dumped water on me to wake me up."

"Mr. Queen?  Do you have anything to say?"

Clark shook his head and said, "Honestly, sir, I have no idea.  One minute I was getting my books ready for my first class and the next I smelled smoke and the sprinklers were going off."

He certainly wasn't about to admit that he'd started the fire by shooting fire from his eyes when he had gotten turned on looking at the sleeping Geoffrey's naked body – when his friend was both under a blanket and clothed at the time.

"Are you sure?"  Reynolds asked a stern look on his face.  "It certainly wouldn't be the first time over the years that students your age decided to smoke in their dorm rooms and then tried to lie their way out of it when a fire broke out in an attempt to prevent getting expelled."

"I've never smoked once, Headmaster," Geoffrey said.  "I swear.  My mom died of lung cancer that she developed from her father's second hand smoke – I have no intention of ever smoking myself."

"Mr. Queen?"  Reynolds asked.

"I admit, I've tried it once or twice," Clark answered, "but I swear I wasn't smoking.  I guarantee you won't find any cigarettes in the room."

At that moment, the Chief of the Metropolis Fire Department came into the office, with the charred remains of Geoffrey's clock radio.  "Headmaster, it looks like this radio is to blame for the fire.  The cord is badly frayed – this was an accident just waiting to happen."

"Thank you, Chief," Reynolds said.  "Hopefully, something like this won't happen again."

The Chief nodded, before exiting the office.  After a few moments of silence, Reynolds sighed and said, "Since the radio in question was school-issued, I can't really get upset with either of you about this.  You can both go – let's just hope nothing like this ever happens again."

Clark and Geoffrey nodded their heads in agreement, before they stood and exited the office.

"So, let me get this straight," Oliver said from his place on his bed.  "One minute you're thinking about our trip and the next you're seeing Geoffrey naked and then shooting fire out of your eyes and starting the radio on fire?"

"I know, it sounds totally nuts," Clark said from his place lying down on Alden's bed.

Once he'd left the Headmaster's office, Clark headed up to Oliver's dorm room, desperate to talk to someone, and, of course, Oliver was one of the few people he could talk to.

"Well, it is quite strange, yes," Oliver admitted.  "Though considering how fast you can run and the fact that you could probably bench press the limousine, I really don't know where the line between strange and normal is with you."

"Gee, thanks, bro."

Getting up from his bed, Oliver walked over to Alden's bed and sat down on the edge of it.  "Well, Clark, what do you want me to say?  You have to admit, you are strange.  It isn't exactly normal for a five-year-old to be able lift a full-size grand piano over their head."

Clark sighed.  Oliver was right, of course, but the brunet wasn't about to admit it.  "What is wrong with me?"

Before Oliver could answer that, there was a knock on the door.  Getting up and opening it, Oliver found Gabe and Moira Sullivan standing there.  Ushering them into the room and closing the door, Moira immediately asked, "Clark, are you okay?  When your Headmaster called and said there was a fire in your dorm room, we were obviously concerned."

Before Clark could respond, Oliver quickly relayed some of what Clark had told him – however, he glossed over some of the details, mainly explaining that Clark had x-ray vision and heat vision.  He told them about Clark setting Geoffrey's radio on fire, but omitted anything that might be embarrassing to Clark – such as seeing Geoffrey naked and getting turned on by the sight or that the heat vision appeared to be connected to his libido.

"Yeah, I'm fine," Clark said, once Oliver had finished speaking.  "Well, except for my being a freak."

"You are not a freak, Clark," Gabe said.

"Oh really?"  Clark asked, as he sat up.  "Oliver explained my newest abilities to you.  How many people do you know who can x-ray people with their eyes and shoot fire out of them?"

Moira and Gabe exchanged a look that Oliver almost immediately picked up on.  "You two know something, don't you?"

Gabe sighed and said, "Yes, we do.  Clark, your parents, God rest their souls, made Moira and I promise that if anything ever happened to them and they weren't around to tell you themselves, that we would tell you and Oliver the truth when you turned eighteen, but considering that you seem to have developed new abilities, I think they wouldn't mind us telling you early."

"Tell us what?"  Oliver asked.

"The truth about Clark's origins," Moira answered.  "This is going to sound totally crazy, but, Clark, you were not born on Earth."

Looking at Moira as if she'd just grown an additional head, Clark said, "You're right, it does sound crazy – beyond crazy, actually.  I don't pay you to lie to me, so, tell me the truth damn it, or you can find yourself another job!"

Technically, Clark and Oliver didn't pay either one of them.  Robert and Laura Queen's combined estate paid all the Queen family employees, and, while it was true that it had been willed to Clark and Oliver in equal shares, neither of them could touch the majority of the money or make major decisions, such as dismissing the help, until they turned twenty-one.  However, both Gabe and Moira knew this really wasn't the time to talk about such things.

"She's not lying to you, Clark," Gabe said.  "I know it sounds impossible, but, you really are an alien from another planet."

After a long silence, Clark said, "Let's just say for a moment that I believe you, and trust me when I say that's very much in doubt, if I'm not from Earth, where am I from?"

"We don't know that," Gabe answered.  "All I can really tell you is that in 1983 there was a meteor shower in a small farming town called Smallville, which is about a three hour drive from here.  The six of us – that is your parents, Chloe, Oliver, Moira and I – were in Metropolis, because Mr. Queen had a business meeting.  It was a very last minute meeting and he had planned to spend the whole day with the family, but a major buyout deal was in jeopardy and he had no choice.  Afterwards, it was decided to go on a drive in the country and have a picnic, it was on the way back to Metropolis that the meteor shower hit."

"I think I remember Mom and Dad talking about that once," Oliver said.  "I think I was about seven and I heard them mention meteors, but, I had a piano lesson and I had to get to the music room before Mrs. McCready came looking for me."

Both Clark and Oliver would agree that Mrs. McCready, the housekeeper at the Queen mansion in Star City for several years before Oliver was even born, was a rigid taskmaster and very strict.  She didn't accept any nonsense.  She'd mellowed out a little on Clark and Oliver following Robert's and Laura's deaths, owing to the fact that she didn't want to really piss off the two people who would eventually be able to decide if she would keep her job or not, but, she was still a strict, no nonsense type of woman.  She just deferred to Clark and Oliver more now and didn't use as sharp of a tongue with them as she had while their parents had been alive – allowing them to get away with more in the hopes that it would insure her job security when the boys turned twenty-one, which was the same year that Mrs. McCready would be turning 63, thus making the prospect of getting another job harder, as most families didn't want to hire a housekeeper that would be retiring in two years.

"Your ship crash landed in a corn field during the meteor shower," Gabe continued.  "We had stopped to avoid hitting a meteor that had landed in the middle of the road.  Mr. and Mrs. Queen got out, trying to figure out what was going on and that's when they found you, Clark – you were standing on the roadside, completely naked."

Oliver grinned at that and even though Clark wasn't sure he really believed any of what Gabe was saying, he still blushed.

"Mrs. Queen picked you up, dressed you in the spare clothes she always carried around for Oliver, and then followed Mr. Queen out into the corn field, which is where they found your ship," Moira said.  "They talked and decided that they would raise you as their own.  They wanted more children, but, Mrs. Queen was unable to conceive again, so, you were sort of an answer to their prayers.  They also didn't want to turn you over to the authorities, because they figured you would have grown up in a government laboratory somewhere getting poked and prodded and figured that no child, alien or not, deserved to grow up that way."

"I helped Mr. Queen carry your ship to my truck," Gabe said.  "While the two of you, your parents, Moira, and Chloe flew back to Star City on the jet, I drove my truck back, because while small, your ship was too big to fit in the jet's baggage compartment and we didn't want to risk any airport officials seeing it and asking uncomfortable questions."

"1983?"  Oliver asked.  "Isn't that when Lex's mother died?"

"Yes," Moira answered.  "She died in the meteor shower, protecting Lex, which is when he lost all of his hair."

"Lex actually had hair?"  Oliver asked, shocked.

"Yes, Oliver, he did," Gabe said.  "He had a full head of thick red hair, like his mother.  It just never grew back after the meteor shower."

Clark, who had remained silent for awhile as he processed everything, now asked, "You said you took my ship back to Star City?  Where is it?  The attic?"

"No, it's in Mr. Queen's panic room," Gabe answered.

"His what?"  Oliver asked, not knowing that his father even had such a room.

"It's a secret room off his private study," Gabe answered.  "It was built to withstand a nuclear blast – totally secured and soundproof.  The door is behind a secret passage in the bookcase."

"How do you open the passage?"  Clark asked.

"As you may know," Gabe answered, "There is a signed, first edition copy of Tolstoy's 'War and Peace' in Mr. Queen's study safe.  Well, there is a fake version of that book on the bookshelf – it's the tenth book from the left on the eighth shelf of the fourth bookcase to the right of the desk.  Simply grab the top spine of the book and tip it outwards – the panel will open to reveal the door to the panic room."

"Don't even think about going without me, Clark," Oliver said, after he quickly grabbed Clark's wrist to prevent him from super-speeding away.  "I want to see this."

Clark nodded, before both he and Oliver stood up.  Wrapping his arms around Oliver, the two Queen heirs disappeared from the room in a gust of wind – leaving behind their butler and cook without a word or second thought.

After a moment of silence, Gabe pulled out his cell phone and dialed a phone number.

"Swann residence," a female voice said after three rings.

"I need to speak with Dr. Swann, please," Gabe said.

"Who shall I say is calling?" the maid said, as she prepared to take the phone into her employer's study and put it on speaker.

"Gabriel Sullivan," Gabe answered.

A moment later, the voice of Dr. Virgil Swann came over the phone and asked, "Gabriel Sullivan?  I don't believe I recognize your name."

"I'm the butler for the Queen family, Dr. Swann," Gabe said.  "My wife Moira and I have also served as Oliver and Clark's guardians, since their parents' deaths."

"Ah, okay, to what do I owe this call?"

"Forgive me, Dr. Swann, but are you alone?"  Gabe asked.  "I know that I'm on speaker phone and Mr. and Mrs. Queen told me to make sure that you were alone before I told you the reason for this call."

"Yes, I'm alone," Virgil said, after he had dismissed the maid.  "Now, does this have anything to do with Clark, by any chance?"

"Yes, sir," Gabe responded.  "Mr. and Mrs. Queen left my wife and I with orders to tell Clark and Oliver the truth about Clark's origins once they turned eighteen if something happened to them before that point, but, since Clark has recently developed two new abilities, we decided to tell them earlier then planned.  They've gone to Star City to see the proof of what we told them at the mansion – Mr. and Mrs. Queen told us to call you once they'd been told."

"Two new abilities?"  Virgil asked.

"I assume you're familiar with his others?"  Gabe asked in response.

"Robert and Laura told me of his speed and strength, yes," Virgil said.

"Well, another one we've known about for quite some time is that his skin is impervious," Gabe said.  "They tried to take him for standard vaccinations once and the needle broke.  It seems nothing can pierce his skin.  He's also never been sick a day in his life."

"Interesting," Virgil said.  "You mentioned two new abilities?"

"Yes, it seems that he also has x-ray vision and heat vision."

"X-ray vision is self-explanatory," Virgil said.  "Heat vision?"

"Well, Moira and I haven't seen it," Gabe answered, "but apparently he can shoot fire out of his eyes – he just developed both of these powers today it seems.  The Headmaster of Excelsior called us because there was a fire in Clark's dorm room – apparently he accidentally set his roommate's clock radio on fire."

"Nobody was hurt, I hope?"

"No, nobody was hurt," Gabe answered.  "And it seems that the school-issued radio had a badly frayed cord, so the fire was ruled an accident.  A very lucky coincidence, as it saved Clark and his roommate from expulsion."

"Very lucky indeed," Virgil said.  "Anyway, thank you for calling me, Mr. Sullivan.  I must go now, but I'll be in touch soon."

"All right, goodbye, Dr. Swann," Gabe said, before closing his cell phone and returning it to his pocket.  Giving Moira a quick kiss on the lips, the two of them left Oliver's dorm room and headed back to their small apartment on the outskirts of Metropolis' Suicide Slums.  Not the best place to live, but, apartment prices in the nicer parts of Metropolis were too high for them to afford anything else and since Excelsior was a boarding school, Clark and Oliver never lived with them while in Metropolis.

Arriving in their father's private study in the Queen mansion, Clark let go of Oliver.  The blond's hair looked extremely windswept, whereas Clark's hair looked perfectly fine, as if he'd just combed it.  Of course, then again, that was probably because much like his skin, Clark's hair was also invulnerable – Oliver still remembered the day when Robert had taken both of them for their first haircut.

Robert ended up calling his lawyer and having a confidentiality agreement drawn up for the barber to sign, swearing under penalty of lawsuit that he would never tell anyone that three pairs of scissors and an electric hair clipper had all broken when he tried to use them to cut Clark's hair.  In addition, Robert gave the barber a substantial monetary endowment, to help ensure that he kept his mouth shut, as if the threat of a lawsuit by the richest and most powerful man in the city wasn't enough.  Before leaving, Robert also took the broken scissors and clipper, so, even if the barber did decide to say something, nobody would believe him, as he'd no longer have any proof.

Walking over to the bookcase that Gabe had indicated, Clark quickly scanned the titles and tipped the copy of 'War and Peace' out of the bookcase.  Seconds later, the bookcase swung open to reveal a heavy metal door that looked like that of a safe.  Much to Clark and Oliver's mutual irritation, however, the door was locked, because it not only looked like a safe door – it actually was.

"Damn it," Clark said.  "Sullivan didn't mention that the door was a safe."

"No, he didn't," Oliver said, as he walked over to the desk and pulled the chair out.  Putting his foot under the desk, Oliver stomped on the small button in the floor – the call button for the servants.

A moment later, Andrew Forrester walked into the room.  Following Gabe and Moira's move to Metropolis, Robert promoted Andrew from chauffeur to butler and hired a new chauffeur.  A new cook wasn't hired, because Andrew and Mrs. McCready agreed to split the cooking duties between them.

"Master Clark, Master Oliver - aren't you supposed to be in school?"  Andrew asked, as he lifted an eyebrow.

"We had a free period, Andrew," Oliver said.

"Ah, so you decided to travel over a thousand miles and drop in?  How nice," Andrew said with a grin, his tone mildly sarcastic.  He was perhaps the only servant on the Queen payroll who could get away with talking to Clark and Oliver in that tone, because both boys liked him quite a bit.  "I see you've found your father's panic room."

"In a nutshell, I developed two new abilities today," Clark said.  "Sullivan and his wife told us that I'm supposedly from another planet and that the proof was in father's panic room."

"Yes, your ship," Andrew said.  "It's in there, all right.  I helped Mr. Queen and Gabe carry it into the house."

"So, do you happen to know the combination to the door?"  Oliver asked.  "Sullivan told us how to open the bookcase, but he failed to mention a combination being required."

"It's an eight digit number – your parents' greatest treasure," Andrew said.  At that point, Andrew turned and it was clear he planned on leaving the room.

"Andrew, wait!"  Oliver said.  "Why don't you just tell us the combination?"

"Because I think it's better if you figure it out on your own, Master Oliver," Andrew said.  "Good day to your both."

"Remind me why we keep him around?"  Clark asked, after Andrew had left the room.

"Because we technically don't have the ability to fire him until we're twenty-one?"  Oliver asked in response.

"Well, yes, there is that," Clark responded.  "So, Mom and Dad's greatest treasure – what do you suppose that is?"

"I don't know," Oliver answered.  "There's probably over twenty million dollars worth of antique treasures in this house – I don't know which one could possibly be the greatest."

"Well, we just need to figure out what they thought of as their greatest treasure then," Clark said.

An hour later, Clark and Oliver still hadn't figured out the correct combination and Clark was about ready to put his strength to use and rip the door out of the wall, when Andrew came back into the room.

"You boys still haven't figured it out?"

"We've tried everything we can think of," Clark answered.

"Well, what was the last combination you tried?"  Andrew asked.

"6, 1, 2, 5, 1, 8, 7, 5," Oliver answered.

"And where pray tell did you come up with that?"  Andrew asked.

"It's the numbers associated with the letters in Faberge," Clark answered.

Andrew sighed.  "You think your parents' collection of Faberge eggs are their greatest treasure?"

"Well, it's definitely one of the most expensive collections in the house," Oliver reasoned.

"Master Clark, Master Oliver, with all due respect, the two of you are idiots," Andrew said.  "Your parents' greatest treasure is not a material possession – it's the two of you!"

"What?"  Clark asked.

"The combination is 0, 1, 2, 9, 0, 4, 2, 6," Andrew answered.  "As in January 29th and April 26th, which I'm sure I needn't tell you are your birthdays."

After a moment of silence, Andrew shook his head and said, "Honestly, boys – to think one of your parents' possessions were their greatest treasure.  They both would have gladly given up the money, the mansions, and all the other material things if it meant protecting the two of you.  You two were and always will be Robert and Laura Queen's greatest treasure."

With that Andrew sighed again and left the room.  Clark quickly typed the code in on the small numeric keypad on the door and finally the code was accepted, as the door swung open.  Clark and Oliver walked into the room and almost immediately they saw the ship sitting in the corner of the room, partially covered by a canvas tarp.

"So, it's really true," Clark whispered.  "I'm an alien."

"Would seem so," Oliver said.

After a moment, Oliver realized that Clark had started to cry.  "Hey, Clark, what's wrong?"

"I'm an alien, Oliver," Clark said.

"Yeah, so?"

"As if I wasn't enough of a freak," Clark answered.  "Now I find out I'm not even from this planet.  I'm going to spend the rest of my life alone."

"Clark Joseph Queen, stop crying and pull yourself together," Oliver said as he pulled his brother into a hug.  "You are not going to spend your life alone.  Okay, yes, you're an alien.  So fucking what?  You'll never be alone, because you'll always have me.  Alien or not, you're still my brother and my only family and I love you – so, I'm sorry, Clark, but you're stuck with me whether you like it or not."

Clark sniffed and rested his head on Oliver's shoulder, "Thanks Ollie."

"No problem, Clark," Oliver said, as he patted him on the back.  "Now stop crying, before you ruin my jacket with your tears."

Clark lifted his head and grinned, as he wiped his hand across his face to dry his tears.  Looking at the ship for a moment longer, Clark said, "Well, I guess we should get back – we're already going to be late for Chemistry."

The Queen heirs left the panic room, and after closing the door and bookcase, Clark once again wrapped his arms around his brother, before the two of them disappeared in a gust of wind.

Four days later...

"Wait, why are Warrior Angel and Black Diamond fighting?" asked 16-year-old Duncan Allenmeyer.  "I mean, they're friends.  It doesn't make any sense."

"Didn't you read issue 126?" asked 16-year-old Lex Luthor.

"No.  I didn't have any money that week.  Why?  What happened?"

"Okay, so, you know how Black Diamond's father is this supervillain, right?"  Lex asked and Duncan nodded.  "Well, in 126, he busts out of jail and Warrior Angel has to take him down.  But there's this accident, and the guy dies.  And--"

Suddenly, the Warrior Angel comic book is ripped out of Duncan's hands as the all too familiar voice of Oliver Queen said, "Look who it is, boys - Weirdo Angel and his trusty sidekick, Grease Spot."

"Give it back, Ollie," Lex demanded, as he turned to face the normal group of people who tormented him and Duncan - Oliver and Clark Queen, Jason Teague, Alden Kensington, Geoffrey Walsh, Andrew Sterling, and, the most recent addition, who usually remained quiet, but hung out with them nonetheless, Lucas Luthor.

Shaking his head, Clark said, "How many times do I have to tell you before it sinks into that ugly, bald head of yours?  When addressing Oliver or me, it's Mr. Queen, little man."

"It's okay, Lex," Duncan said.  "I'll just get another one."

"Yeah, Duncan will just get another one," Alden said.  "Oh, oh, wait he can't."

"Oh, yeah, that's right," Geoffrey piped up.  "His mommy doesn't have any money."

"Yeah, that's why he's on scholarship," Andrew added, with a smirk on his face.

"Shut up, Andrew.  Shut up, Geoffrey.  Shut up, Alden," Lex said.  "Give it back – Mr. Queen."

"Sure," Oliver said, as he started to hand the comic back, but then stopped.  Holding it up and grabbing it in both hands, he said, "You know what?  Let's make this a two-parter."

"Don't!"  Lex exclaimed, but it was too late, as Oliver ripped the comic book right down the middle, as his brother and friends laughed, before Oliver threw the two pieces at Duncan's and Lex's feet.

Lex lunged at Oliver in anger, but was quickly pushed to the ground when Clark's arm shot out to protect his brother and Lex found himself falling on his ass, while his hat fell off his head.

Alden laughed and said, "Nice haircut, cue ball."

"Losers," Andrew said with a grin, as Lex got up and dusted himself off.

Geoffrey laughed and nodded.  "Yeah, come on.  These girls aren't even worth it."

As they were walking away, Lex caught what Lucas said which only made him angrier, since it was his own half-brother saying it.  "Girls, Geoffrey?  Come on, that's not fair, why insult the female gender by lumping those two in with them?"

Clapping Lucas on the back, Jason said, "Yeah, you're right, Luke.  Faggots is a better description for those losers."

"That's better," Lucas said, as he nodded his head in approval.  "Why do you think I didn't want to share a dorm with Lex?  I never got any sleep, because I was afraid the freak was gonna try and rape me in the middle of the night."

As their seven tormentors turned a corner and disappeared from sight, Lex said, "One day, I'm gonna get those guys.  And I swear, when I'm done with Lucas, he's going to wish that raping him was all I did – the little traitor."

One day later, two hours past curfew, Duncan and Lex were headed back to their dorm room after a late chess team practice.

"What are you going to do when you get out of here?"  Duncan asked.

"Don't know – college, I guess."

"Then what?"

"My dad wants me to learn how to run his business."

"Are you gonna do it?"

"Hell, no – I can't stand that old bastard.  What about you?  What are you gonna do?"

"I'm gonna help people, like Warrior Angel."

Lex grinned at his friend.  "You'd better hit the gym.  Spandex is tough to pull off."

"No, no, I don't mean like the cape and stuff.  I'm talking like a doctor or a lawyer or something."

"Lawyer?"  Lex asked, with an interested look on his face.

"Yeah," Duncan confirmed.  "Working pro bono for the poor."

"Don't let my dad hear you say that," Lex advised.

"Why?  What's your dad got against poor people?"

"Everything," Lex replied.  "He thinks 'poverty' is just another word for 'lazy.'"

"Well, what do you think?"

"I think it would drive my dad nuts if I got a job working with the poor," Lex said, as he grinned at Duncan and asked, "Got room for a partner?"

Duncan grinned back.  "Allenmeyer and Luthor?"

"Luthor and Allenmeyer."

"Deal.  Now all we gotta do is graduate in one piece."

"Shh!"  Lex said as he grabbed Duncan's arm and pulled him into a dark section of hallway.  Up ahead, they could see Oliver, Clark, and Jason sneaking out of one of the teacher's offices.  Alden, Geoffrey, Andrew and Lucas were all standing nearby, keeping watch.

In the quiet hallway, Alden could be heard saying, "Hurry up!"

"Did you get it?"  Lucas asked.

"I got it.  Let's go," Oliver answered.

"Man, this is too cool," Andrew said.

"Sweet, nobody saw us," Geoffrey said.

"Straight A's here we come," Jason added, as they all disappeared down the corridor.

"What are they doing?"  Duncan asked.  The expression on his face was one of total confusion.

"Stealing answers to the midterms," Lex responded.

"I'm just saying we should think about this," Lex said the next morning.

"What's there to think about?"  Duncan asked.  "We tell the Headmaster what we saw and then the Queens and those other jerks are out of here.  I know Lucas is your brother and all, Lex, but he sided with them – he deserves to be expelled just as much as they do."

"As much as I'd love to get my father's bastard son expelled, we have something on them now.  No way they're ever going to try anything again.  We could use this – force them to act like our friends, so that we could get some respect in this place."

"You don't pretend to be friends with someone, Lex," Duncan said, not noticing the very group they were talking about approaching from behind him.  "I'm gonna turn them in."

Giving Lex an angry look, Oliver said, "I thought you said you were gonna handle this."

Unable to believe his ears, Duncan looked at Lex and asked, "You told them?"

"This is our chance, Duncan," Lex insisted.  "We don't have to be on the outside anymore."

"I – I never felt that way," Duncan said.  "Not when you were my friend."

"Just listen to me," Lex said.

"Get out of my way," Duncan said as he moved to go to the administration building and report the seven cheating students.

"Hey," Clark said, stopping Duncan from going anywhere.  "Where do you think you're going?"

Grabbing Duncan's arm, Lex said, "Just keep your mouth shut and everything will be okay."

"Get off of me!"  Duncan exclaimed, as he pushed Lex aside.  Obviously angry, Lex rushed at Duncan, pushing him head first into a tree.

"Whoa!"  Oliver exclaimed, a bit shocked that Lex would harm Duncan.

"Get him, Lex!"  Alden said, not quite able to believe that he was cheering baldie on.

"Yeah, get him!"  Geoffrey said, as Duncan, stunned, fell to the ground, and Lex jumped on top of him and proceeded to punch Duncan's face with his fists, repeatedly.

"Get on him," Andrew said with a grin, as he watched.

"Don't you mean get in him?"  Lucas asked, and the others laughed.

"Which one you think is the bottom?"  Clark asked with a lopsided grin.

"Definitely Luthor," Jason answered.  "He's too much of a pansy to top anyone."

"Why do you have to be a loser?"  Lex screamed at Duncan as he kept punching the other boy in the face.  "Why can't you be like everyone else?"

While it may have been true that Oliver, Clark, and their friends had egged Lex on at first, they quickly changed their tunes when after several minutes, Lex was still punching Duncan in the face like a madman.  They were all smart enough to know that if Lex didn't stop it soon, he'd end up beating Duncan to death.

"Why do you have to be such a loser?"  Lex asked, continuing to pummel Duncan's face, which was now covered in bruises and had started to bleed in places.

"Lex!  Come on," Oliver said as he grabbed Lex under the arms and attempted to pull him off of Duncan.

"Lex, stop it!"  Alden yelled.

"You're gonna kill him, stop it, Lex!"  Jason exclaimed.

"Lex, come on, stop!"  Clark shouted as he helped Oliver get Lex off of Duncan.  Finally succeeding to pull the bald teenager off of the other boy, Duncan's jacket pocket with the Excelsior logo on it ripped off of his jacket and remained in Lex's hand as Clark and Oliver held him back to prevent him from going after Duncan again.

Looking at Lex with a scared look on his face, Geoffrey said, "Dude – psycho much?"

"There's something seriously wrong with you," Oliver said, as he continued to hold Lex back – his face mirroring that of Geoffrey and the others.

Duncan struggled to stand up as Lex took a deep breath and calmed down.  Clark and Oliver let go of Lex as Duncan began to stagger away.  A truly sorry look on his face, Lex tried to grab his friend's arm as he said, "Duncan--"

Pulling away from Lex, Duncan shouted, "Get away from me!  You want to be one of them so badly, Lex?  Is that it?  You can't stand being a loser like me?  Well, congratulations, buddy.  Now you're their friend.  And you can all go--"

Duncan never got a chance to finish what he was going to say, as he'd staggered through the school gates and out into the street – right into the path of an oncoming car.

"Duncan!"  Jason yelled as the car hit Duncan.

Oliver had seen the car coming and while he seriously wished that he didn't have to, he'd grabbed onto Clark's forearm to prevent him from super-speeding to Duncan's aid.  There were too many people around, the least of which being Lex, Jason, Lucas, Geoffrey, and Alden, who didn't know Clark's secret and Oliver knew that the risk of someone seeing Clark rescuing Duncan was too big to allow him to do it.

"Oh my God," Geoffrey said as the seven of them, and several other Excelsior students, converged on the school gates, looking down at Duncan's body, lying motionless in the street.

Silently following Clark into his dorm room, Oliver loosened his tie.  It was six days later, and they'd just come from attending Duncan's funeral, as he'd died two days after getting hit by the car.  All their other friends had gone to the cafeteria.  Clark and Oliver weren't hungry though and decided to go up to Clark's room for a little peace and quiet.  Of course, no sooner than Oliver had closed the door, was he pushed up against it by Clark.

"Clark, what the hell?"  Oliver asked, as he felt his feet leaving the floor.

"Why did you do it, Oliver?"  Clark asked, obviously angry.

"Why did I do what?"

"Why did you stop me from saving Duncan?"  Clark asked.  "I could have saved him if you hadn't stopped me."

"Clark, there were too many people around," Oliver said.  "You would have revealed your secret to half the school!"

"So fucking what?"  Clark asked.  "At least Duncan would still be alive!"

"And I'd be all alone!"  Oliver exclaimed.

Loosening his grip on his brother, Clark asked, "What are you talking about, Ollie?"

"Clark, if people found out about your secret, how long do you think it would be before they found out the truth?"  Oliver said.  "I mean the whole truth?"

"What do you mean the whole truth?"  Clark asked, his head too clouded with anger and sadness over Duncan's death to think clearly.  True, he hadn't really been friends with Duncan, but, seeing one of his classmates, even one he didn't particularly get along with, get hit by a car before his very eyes was a very traumatic experience – especially when he knew that he had the ability to save him and didn't.

"What am I talking about?"  Oliver asked.  "Have you forgotten everything we've learned in the last few weeks?  You know, like the fact that you were born on Krypton rather than Earth, Kal-El?"

The day after their trip to Star City to see the ship was a Saturday and Clark and Oliver paid a visit to their parents' old friend, Dr. Virgil Swann, after he'd called Mr. Reynolds and with Moira Sullivan's permission, obtained day passes for Clark and Oliver to leave the campus and come to see him, where he filled the two boys in on everything he knew about Krypton and Clark's origins.

Clark let go of Oliver and turned away from him, but Oliver was not one to be so easily dismissed.  Grabbing the brunet's arm and making him turn around to face him, Oliver said, "Clark, if that came out, you'd be shipped off to some top secret lab somewhere.  I'd never see you again and I'm sorry, but I don't feel bad for stopping you from saving Duncan.  I wish he were still alive, but if it comes down to a choice between anyone and you, Clark, I will always choose you.  With Mom and Dad gone, you're all I have left!"

Oliver had started crying while he was speaking and Clark found any traces of anger departing at a speed that he was sure was faster than he could run.  Pulling the blond into a hug, Clark held on tightly and said, "I'm sorry, Ollie, I wasn't thinking.  I understand now why you stopped me – you were just trying to protect me."

Sniffing, Oliver pulled back slightly so he could look Clark in the eye as he said, "Don't kid yourself, space boy – my motives were totally selfish."

Of course, Oliver was grinning the entire time he said it, so Clark knew that he was only kidding.  "I love you, you, knucklehead."

"I love you, too, ironhead."

"Ironhead?"  Clark asked, as he raised an eyebrow.

"Well, your head is as hard as iron, isn't it?"  Oliver asked in response.

Both boys laughed and hugged each other for another minute or so, before separating and proceeding to change out of the formal clothes they'd worn to the funeral.

Prev To be continued . . .

A Note from Jayson:

Well, there you have it.  Chapter 4 of Brotherly Love – I hope you enjoyed it.  Comments?  Questions?  Comment/ask away – I love hearing from my readers.

Sorry for the wait on this chapter. I had a very bad case of writer's block and spent over a month looking at the same opening paragraph, totally unable to figure out where to go with the chapter. Finally, I changed gears and this was the result. I hope you enjoy it.

As some of you may have noticed, I used Justin Hartley's birthday as Oliver's and Tom Welling's birthday as Clark's in this chapter, because I needed birthdays and decided that those dates worked as well as anything else.  I know on the show, Clark celebrates his birthday in early May, but, this story is an AU, so, call it poetic license.  Also, the scenes dealing with Duncan technically happened in late October on the show, and this chapter is set about two months before spring break, so roughly February/March.  Oh well.