Brotherly Love




Chapter 8

The next few days felt like a whirlwind of activity for Clark and Oliver. Adrian had wasted no time calling in a team of forensic accountants to do a complete audit of QI. He also quickly got in touch with Charles Bradley, who had been Robert and Laura’s attorney and was also the head of QI’s legal department. Like Adrian, Charles had also had his suspicions about the state of the company’s finances and despite their deaths, he was still resolutely loyal to Robert and Laura Queen. So, on Adrian’s urging, he wasted no time in petitioning the courts for an injunction to freeze all of the company’s assets beyond what was absolutely necessary for day-to-day operations while the forensic accountants did their work.

Of course, without proof that they’d done anything wrong, getting injunctions barring Bernard Hampton or Ethan Walsh from leaving the country was much harder to do. This led to Clark and Oliver having a long talk with Geoffrey, who then proceeded to set foot in the main house of the Walsh Estate for the first time since his mother died and he’d moved to the pool house. He still remembered the layout of the main house, however, including the location of the secret passages that he’d enjoyed exploring as a child.

It was while hiding in the passage that connected to his father’s study that Geoffrey got very lucky in that he managed to spy on a meeting between his father, Bernard Hampton, and Edward Teague. Pulling out the camcorder that his maternal aunt had given him for Christmas, Geoffrey then proceeded to tape the conversation, in which Ethan was trying, and failing, to calm down a panicked Bernard and Edward, who were both convinced that it was only a matter of time before their involvement in the whole scheme came to light. Ethan tried to tell them not to worry, as they’d covered their tracks too well to be discovered, but the other two were panicked enough that they didn’t believe that.

After Geoffrey gave them the tape, Clark and Oliver turned it over to the authorities in California, since QI was headquartered there. Not long after that, the FBI stepped in, due to the fact that QI was an international company and thus went far beyond just California’s jurisdiction. Bernard, Ethan, and Edward soon found themselves in federal custody, as the assets of both Queen Industries and WalshComm, in addition to the private holdings of Bernard Hampton, Ethan Walsh, and Edward Teague, were all frozen. Unfortunately, since the vast majority of Clark’s and Oliver’s personal assets were all connected in some way to Queen Industries or WalshComm, their assets were also frozen pending the end of the investigation.

Clark and Oliver had intended to stay at Excelsior Academy through at least the end of the school year, since the freezing of their assets hadn’t affected their ability to pay their tuition for the current year since it had already been paid months earlier. However, by the last week of April, Clark and Oliver had little choice in regards to leaving early. The reason for this was because of the media frenzy caused by the federal investigation into Queen Industries and the stress that was putting on Excelsior’s security staff. After the third incident of reporters forcing their way onto the campus, Clark and Oliver found their enrollment terminated as the Board of Regents figured the best way to deal with the situation was to remove the cause of the problem.

Of course, Clark and Oliver were not the only ones who got their enrollment terminated, as both Jason Teague and Geoffrey Walsh, who the press had also been trying to get interviews with on school grounds, soon found themselves kicked out as well.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m not really mad about not having to go to school,” Jason said, “but what are we supposed to do now?”

“I’m sorry this happened,” Clark said. “If Ollie and I had…”

Shaking his head, Geoffrey said, “Don’t finish that sentence, Clark. I’m sure Jason will agree with me when I say that this isn’t your fault. Neither of us would have expected you to just stand by and do nothing while your family’s company was being robbed of billions of dollars.”

Jason nodded. “Yeah what Geoff said. I hate that I’m not with Drew right now, but then on the bright side, I talked to him last night and his grandmother has agreed to pull him out of Excelsior and let him attend whatever school he wants to. Which means as soon as I figure out where I’m going, he won’t be far behind.”

“I really don’t know what we’re supposed to do about school,” Oliver said. “I mean, just look out the window! The damn press is camped outside the building hoping to get interviews with Clark and me. So we certainly can’t go to a school here in Metropolis, as it would be the same problem there as it was at Excelsior.”

Chloe nodded. “Indeed, I can attest to that. You’re not the only ones without a school to attend, since Mom and Dad were forced to pull me out of Metropolis High, since it didn’t take the press long to start coming after me, since they figured that if they couldn’t get to you, they’d go after the daughter of your legal guardians.”

Before anyone else could say anything, the elevator doors opened, meaning that it had to be one of the few people that Clark and Oliver had trusted with the code to open the doors from the inside of the elevator. It was a grinning Noah Wilcox that stepped out and said, “Between my uncle and me, I think we’ve solved your problems.”

“Really?” Jason asked. “Well, don’t keep us in suspense.”

“My uncle talked to an old family friend of his,” Noah explained. “Named William Clark, he’s a lawyer here in Metropolis. He’s made arrangements for his daughter’s family to take Clark and Oliver in as their houseguests. Thus, you’ll be attending Smallville High School and in order to hide from the press, you’ve been enrolled not as Clark and Oliver Queen, but as Clark and Oliver Kent.”

“Kent?” Oliver asked.

Noah nodded. “William’s daughter is Mrs. Martha Kent, who lives on a farm with her husband, Jonathan, their adopted sons, Christian, Cody, and Derek, and Jonathan’s parents, Hiram and Jessica. I’m afraid it’s going to mean roughing it, as farm life will be far different from what you’re used to, but I doubt the press will think to look for you in Smallville.”

“What about the rest of us?” Chloe asked.

“Well, Uncle Adrian isn’t the only one with connections,” Noah answered. “My mother was best friends with a woman named Eleanor Potter in school. She now mostly goes by Nell, but she also lives in Smallville, coincidently on the next farm over from the Kent Farm. She owns a flower shop in town and breeds horses, while raising her late sister’s two children, Landon and Lana Lang. Nell has agreed to open her home to her long-lost niece and nephew, Chloe Lang and Geoffrey Potter.”

“Geoffrey Potter, huh?” Geoffrey asked. “Hmm, not sure that Potter is the surname I would have picked if I decided to change my name, but I’m not going to complain about not having my father’s name anymore.”

“Well, none of your names have been legally changed,” Noah said. “In fact, in order to further try to keep the press off your backs, we’re going to float the story that you’ve all gone off to some undisclosed location in Europe to attend a boarding school there. We hope that will keep anyone from looking for you stateside and thus realizing that you’re actually in a small farming town that’s only a three hour drive from here.”

“What about me?” Jason asked.

“My uncle and I haven’t made any arrangements for you, Jason,” Noah admitted. “Although I’m sure Veronica Sterling can make the necessary arrangements for you and Drew to live in Smallville under assumed names. She’s actually already helping us, in fact, as she’s agreed to provide the Kents and Nell Potter with a monthly stipend of $2,500 to lessen the financial burden that each family would incur by taking the four of you in.”

“I assume she expects to be paid back?” Clark asked.

Noah nodded. “Yes, once your assets are unfrozen, she does expect to get that money back, but until the investigation is over and that happens, she told me to tell you not to worry about it. So what do you think? Does this solve your problems?”

Oliver nodded. “I suppose it does.” Cocking his head to the side, he then asked, “Wait, Smallville? Isn’t that where Luthor Castle is? And doesn’t LuthorCorp own a fertilizer plant there?”

“Yes, it is and they do,” Noah said. “However, I wouldn’t worry too much about Lionel Luthor blowing your cover, because it won’t be long until he has problems of his own to deal with.”

“What kind of problems?” Clark asked.

“I’ll just leave that as a surprise for now,” Noah said in a cryptic tone.

The following Saturday, Clark and Oliver, now dressed in off-the-rack clothes that were far less expensive than the designer clothes they were used to, sighed as the car came to a stop in the driveway of the Kent Farm in Smallville, Kansas. Getting out of the car, Clark asked, “So, this is home now, huh?”

Oliver nodded. “I guess so.”

“Don’t look so sad, guys,” Noah said, as he got out of the driver’s door and walked around back to the trunk. “From what my uncle tells me the Kents are good people and while I’m not going to pretend that they can give you the lifestyle you’re accustomed to, they can at least provide you with a place to lay low until the current media circus dies down.”

“I guess,” Clark said as he came over and began helping Noah to unload his and Oliver’s luggage, which had been bought by Noah at a thrift store in Metropolis, along with most of the clothes that Clark and Oliver were now wearing. The only brand-new clothes that had been bought for either of them were underwear and socks, but even those were a much cheaper brand than they were used to. Clark and Oliver had both complained about that and asked why they couldn’t just keep wearing their designer underwear since it’d be under their clothes anyway and thus not visible.

Noah had simply smiled and said, “You’re going to be going to a small town public high school now, guys. Unlike Excelsior, it’s not going to have a private changing room and shower for each student to use after gym class. Which means you’re going to have to get undressed in front of your classmates and use a communal shower. So, your underwear would be visible at that point and I highly doubt you’re going to find anyone wearing pure silk underwear that costs over a hundred and fifty dollars a pair.”

The only things that Clark and Oliver had been allowed to take from home were a few personal items like family pictures and some of the trophies they’d won for various activities over the years. It was decided to allow those simply because those were things one could conceivably expect to find in a teenager’s room no matter what their economic status was. They’d also been able to pick a few books to bring along, although Noah then went out and bought paperback copies of the titles they chose, rather than letting them pack the gilt-edged, leather-bound hardback copies that they had on their shelves at home. Beyond that, they were each allowed a Walkman and most of their CD collection, a few movies, and their PlayStation with a collection of games, as those were all things that wouldn’t look too out of place in an average teenager’s room.

Of course Clark and Oliver also both played the piano and the violin, since Laura had insisted that they both take lessons while she was still alive and they’d kept with it after she died out of respect for her, since they knew she liked it. They obviously couldn’t pack the piano, not only because it wouldn’t fit in Noah’s car but also because there’d be no room for it at the Kent Farm, but Clark and Oliver were allowed to pack a pair of violins. They were not, however, the Stradivarius models that they played at home, as those were deemed far too expensive and would blow their cover in an instant as nobody who lived in Smallville, with the exception of the Luthors, could dream of buying one let alone two Stradivarius violins.

Speaking of violins, it was just as Clark grabbed the two cases from Noah’s trunk that a noise was heard from the direction of the house. Looking over, Oliver spied a woman exiting the house and coming over. She had gray hair and was dressed in a plaid dress with a white apron over it. If Oliver had to guess, he’d say she was in her mid-to-late seventies.

“Hello, you must be Clark and Oliver,” the woman said. Nodding to Noah, she added, “And I’ll assume you’re Noah, as you remind me of your uncle a little bit.”

Oliver smiled, although it was slightly forced, as he held out his hand and said, “I’m Oliver and the brunet is Clark. You are?”

Taking Oliver’s hand, the woman said, “Jessica Kent. I’m sorry the rest of the family isn’t here to greet you, but the farmer’s market is running in town right now and my daughter-in-law and grandsons are running our stand there while my husband and son are visiting the feed store to stock up on various necessities.”

“That’s okay, we can meet them later, I guess,” Oliver said.

Jessica nodded. “Well, if you’ll just follow me, I’ll show you where you can put your things.”

Clark and Oliver both nodded as they each picked up a suitcase and a violin case, while Noah picked up two of the boxes they’d just unpacked from his trunk. Clark and Oliver, however, were both instantly confused when Jessica did not head for the house, but rather the barn.

“We’re not sleeping in the house?” Clark asked.

Jessica smiled and said, “I’m afraid not. It’s only a two-bedroom house. You’ll be sleeping in the barn loft, however, before you complain, it’s fully finished. When my son Jonathan and his wife adopted their children, they originally slept in Jonathan’s old room in the house, while Jonathan and Martha took over the master bedroom. Hiram and I then moved into the barn loft, which was converted into a pair of bedrooms with a shared bathroom. When the grandchildren were old enough, we switched rooms. Until recently Chris had his own room, but will now be sharing with Cody and Derek so that you two can share what was Chris’s room.”

“I hope Chris isn’t too put out by having to share a room with his brothers,” Oliver said. “Three people in one room sounds a bit cramped.”

Jessica nodded and said, “Yes, I suppose that usually would be the case, but its fine. Chris doesn’t mind sharing with Cody and Derek and as you’ll see when you meet them, Cody and Derek don’t have a choice but to share a room.”

Clark and Oliver weren’t sure what that was supposed to mean, but decided to just nod their heads, as Jessica led them into the barn and up a staircase that led to a landing with three doors, all of which were currently closed. Opening the door on the left, Jessica motioned towards it and said, “This will be your room. Now, I’m sure you can take it from here. I’d help but I have a pie in the oven that I really should check on. Once you’re all moved in, come over to the house and I’ll get you both something cool to drink.”

Roughly half-an-hour later, Clark and Oliver were all moved into their new bedroom. They hadn’t unpacked everything yet, but figured that could wait until later, as they were both getting thirsty and figured it was time to take Jessica up on her offer of cool drinks. Walking over to the house, Clark and Oliver briefly considered knocking on the door, but then decided that since they were going to be living here, they should make themselves at home. Besides the main door of the house had been left open, with just the screen door closed. Pulling it open, Clark and Oliver entered the house and found themselves in the kitchen.

“Hello boys,” Jessica said with a smile. “Noah left I take it?”

Oliver was busy looking around the house, more than a little surprised that the front door of the house led into the kitchen, as he’d never seen that before in any house he’d lived in or visited. Thus, it was Clark who nodded and answered, “Yes, ma’am. He had an appointment in Metropolis, so he had to leave if he was going to make it on time.”

Jessica nodded. “All right and there’s no need to call me ma’am. While you’re here, you’re posing as my husband’s grandnephews, so Aunt Jess would probably be the expected form of address. Now, I promised cool drinks, so what would you like? We’ve got milk, apple cider, or lemonade. Or tap water, if you prefer, as I can put it over ice for you.”

“Lemonade sounds good,” Clark said, as Oliver nodded his agreement.

A few moments later, Jessica was handing a glass of pink lemonade to both boys, who nodded gratefully. Oliver, however, quickly lost his grip on his glass as his eyes landed on some of the family pictures on a nearby ledge. Clark, thankfully, was quick enough to catch the glass before it could hit the floor and break, although some of its contents did still slosh out of the glass. Looking at the picture that Oliver was staring at, Jessica could understand why he might have been a little shocked, as she said, “That’s my grandsons, Cody and Derek.”

“They’re connected,” Oliver said, as he looked at the picture, which depicted a pair of twin boys, with dark blond hair, one wearing glasses and the other not. They looked like perfectly normal teenage boys, except for the fact that they only had one body between the two of them.

“Yes, they’re conjoined twins,” Jessica said. “Although they weren’t supposed to be.”

“What do you mean?” Clark asked.

“Cody and Derek are adopted, as is their elder brother, Christian,” Jessica said. “Their father died in the meteor shower that hit Smallville in 1983, at which point their mother was pregnant with Cody and Derek. Their mother died a few months later while giving birth to them. As for why I say they weren’t supposed to be conjoined, it’s because I’ve seen an ultrasound picture that their doctor assures me is them that was taken a month before the meteor shower.”

“Are you saying they weren’t conjoined in the ultrasound picture?” Oliver asked.

Jessica nodded. “That’s exactly what I’m saying. I’m sure that begs the question of how two babies with separate bodies according to the ultrasound could then be born a few months later with only a single two-headed body between them. I’m not a doctor, but then that doesn’t really matter since even their actual doctor was shocked and couldn’t explain how it happened. All I know that their biological parents’ house suffered a direct hit during the meteor shower and the theory is that the meteor rocks affected them in the womb and fused them together.”

“So these meteor rocks are radioactive or something?” Clark asked.

Jessica shrugged. “I’m not sure, but there were some rather strange reports of mutations following the meteor shower, such as a five-legged lamb and a two-headed calf. If it wasn’t for Cody and Derek, I probably would have dismissed those claims as tabloid trash, but the ultrasound picture suggests there might be something to it after all.”

“Meteor shower,” Clark said, looking thoughtful. “You know, come to think of it, Ollie weren’t we in Smallville the day of the meteor shower? That was shortly after Mom and Dad adopted me, wasn’t it?”

Obviously Clark knew that his adoption didn’t take place until after the meteor shower since that’s when Robert and Laura had found him in a cornfield, but he couldn’t exactly say that in front of Jessica Kent. Clark and Oliver had talked about it and decided not to reveal Clark’s alien origins to the Kents and to try and keep as many of his abilities as possible a secret. Preferably all of them, although they agreed that his strength might be revealed no matter how hard he tried to hide it if he ended up helping with any farm chores.

Oliver nodded, as he took a sip of his lemonade. “Yeah, we were actually. Dad was in Metropolis to finalize the purchase of Hunter Tech and afterwards, he and Mom decided to take us for a drive in the country and go on a picnic. We ended up in Smallville and I believe the meteor shower hit while we were on our way back to Metropolis. I don’t really remember much about it though, as I was only three at the time.”

“Be glad that you can’t remember it,” Jessica said, visibly shuddering as she said it. “I still have nightmares about it from time to time as it was hands down one of the scariest experiences of my life.”

Clark nodded. “Yeah, I can understand how large flaming rocks falling from the sky could be scary. Like Oliver, I don’t really remember it though.”

Everyone was quiet for a moment, before Oliver said, “Anyway, thank you for agreeing to take us in, Mrs. Ke…” Oliver stopped mid-word and then said, “Aunt Jess.”

“You’re welcome, Oliver,” Jessica said with a smile. “You and your brother needed help and we were happy to provide it. Even if we weren’t being paid, we probably would have agreed since Martha’s father has rarely asked us to do anything for him, even after he bailed us out of some financial problems a few years back that would have cost us the farm. I won’t lie and say that the money won’t be appreciated though, as it will certainly make things a little easier around here.”

At this point the screen door opened and two men walked in, one of them older and presumably Jessica’s husband, while the other was younger and from the resemblance, obviously their son. It was the older one who said, “Yes, it will make things easier, although I have to say that $2,500 a month is excessive for the care and upkeep of two teenage boys.”

Jonathan nodded. “Yeah, I’m sure Martha and I don’t spend that much in a month on our three combined, but then again Cody’s and Derek’s closeness does cut down on the bills, as their food and clothing bill is closer to that of only one teenage boy rather than two.”

Grabbing a spatula from the counter, Jessica swatted her husband’s hand to stop him from reaching for the apple pie she’d baked and said, “Hands off, that’s dessert.” And giving her husband and son a chastising look she added, “And where are your manners? You haven’t even introduced yourselves to our guests.”

The older man rubbed his hand where the spatula hit it for a moment, before he smiled and said, “I’m Hiram Kent.”

“And I’m Jonathan Kent.”

“It’s a pleasure to meet you both,” Oliver said. He still wasn’t sure about the whole idea of staying on a farm in the middle of nowhere, although he had to admit that from what he’d seen so far, the Kents did seem nice.

After Clark and Oliver had shaken hands with both men and introduced themselves, Clark asked, “So, have we worked out exactly how we’re supposedly related to each other? Since we’re going as Clark Kent and Oliver Kent while we’re here? Your wife said we were posing as your grandnephews.”

Hiram nodded. “That’s right. I actually do have a brother, Michael, who was stationed in France during the Second World War. While he was there he met a French girl, they got married and since his term of service was over anyway he chose not to return to the states after the war. We’ve pretty much lost contact in the years since. To be honest, I didn’t even know that he’d died until your friend Noah looked it up for me. Anyway, the story is that you’re his grandsons come to stay with us, since your parents died, which actually fits with the truth quite well since Michael’s son and his wife, who would have been about your own parents’ ages, died in the same car accident that killed Michael.”

“Uncle Michael’s wife—Aunt Bernadette—is still alive although she’s in a Parisian nursing home with full-blown Alzheimer’s disease,” Jonathan added. “So your backstory, should it come up, is that your parents and grandfather died in a car accident, leading to you coming here to live since your only living relative in France was your grandmother, who wasn’t capable of caring for you.”

Clark nodded. “Okay, I guess that works.” After a moment, he grinned and said, “I guess then it’s a good thing that Oliver and I are both fluent in French, as it would probably be a bit strange if we supposedly lived there all our lives before now but didn’t speak the language.”

Oui, ce serait bien étrange,” Oliver said with a grin. “Of course, neither of us has a French accent, but I suppose with an American grandfather, we could probably say that we’d learned both English and French from birth and attended an international school in Paris, where most of the students are from overseas and thus we never really developed accents. I doubt it will be useful here since he’s in Paris, but Clark and I actually are acquainted with Jack Davis.”

“And who’s Jack Davis?” Jonathan asked.

“The teenage son of the current American ambassador to France,” Clark answered. “His father was appointed ambassador last summer, but before that he’d attended Excelsior with us.” As an afterthought, he added, “And Oliver said, ‘Yes, that would be strange.’

As Hiram tried reaching for the pie again when he thought his wife wasn’t looking, Jessica swatted his hand a second time, harder than before, and said, “All right all of you out! I need to start getting dinner ready.”

Meanwhile, next door on the Lang Farm, Chloe and Geoffrey were settling into their new home. When she’d agreed to take the two teenagers in, Nell made some changes and added a second bed to both Lana’s and Landon’s rooms. Thus when they arrived Chloe found out she’d be sharing with Lana while Geoffrey would be sharing with Landon.

Seventeen-year-old Landon Lang was currently in his bedroom with Geoffrey, as they got to know each other. While a second bed had been added to his room and a couple of drawers in the dresser were cleared out in order to give Geoffrey a place to put his clothes, Landon hadn’t cleaned up quite as much as he perhaps should have. Thus, Landon was embarrassed and forced to admit that he was gay—something which until now only Lana and Nell had known—when Geoffrey found a copy of Playgirl that had clearly seen quite a bit of use.

“My being gay isn’t going to be a problem, is it?” Landon asked.

Shaking his head, Geoffrey said, “Nah, its fine. As long as you don’t hit on me, we’ll be fine. Besides, my cousin Oliver who I until recently shared a dorm room with is bisexual, so I’m used to it.” After a moment, he shook his head and added, “Of course, I suppose I should stop thinking of him as my cousin now, since Geoffrey Potter and Oliver Kent are not supposed to be related.”

“That’s gotta be strange, taking on a whole new identity.”

“Yeah, but it helps that I’ve been allowed to keep my first name. I’m sure it’ll be a little strange at first writing my name, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it. Now, I’m supposed to be your aunt’s cousin, right?”

Landon nodded. “Yup, you’re Aunt Nell’s father’s younger brother’s son, so you’re her first cousin and Lana’s and my first cousin, once removed. Although it’d probably just be simpler to say you’re a cousin and be done with it.”

“True,” Geoffrey agreed. “So, Chloe is supposed to be your cousin too, right?”

“Yes, only on my father’s side of the family instead of Aunt Nell’s and my mother’s side.”

Geoffrey nodded, but otherwise didn’t say anything, prompting Landon to ask, “So, is there a reason that Chloe’s parents didn’t come here to Smallville?”

“In order to perpetuate the ruse that we’ve all gone off to school in Europe, her parents have supposedly moved there to be closer to their wards, Clark and Oliver. In truth, they’ve moved into Sterling Hall in New Orleans, where they’ll be temporarily working for Veronica Sterling. From there they’ll be doing everything they can to make sure the press doesn’t learn the truth about where any of us are.”

“She’s the one who’s paying my Aunt Nell for you and Chloe to stay here, right?”

“Yeah, she is,” Geoffrey said. “I’ve never met her, but from what I’ve heard from various sources, including my friend Drew—her grandson—she’s a very formidable woman who you don’t want to cross if you’d like to avoid both financial ruin and a bullet in your ass.”

“A bullet?”

“She’s apparently a crack shot,” Geoffrey answered. “According to Drew she has a private shooting range in her study that she practices in daily. Drew says she can call out different points on the target and hit them dead center every time. He also said that she’s threatened several people with her father’s old hunting rifle in order to put the fear of God into them. Obviously since she’s not in jail she’s never actually carried out any of those threats.”

“Wow,” Landon said. “She definitely sounds like an interesting woman… and one I can’t say that I’m all that eager to meet.”

“Well, as long as you haven’t pissed her off, you really don’t have anything to worry about.”

After a few minutes of silence, during which Geoffrey finished up putting the rest of his clothes away, he finally sat down on his new bed and asked, “So, what’s Smallville like?”

“It can be rather dull at times, honestly,” Landon answered. “Several of the students at the high school are chomping at the bit to leave and never come back, as they’re afraid that if they don’t they’ll be stuck here for the rest of their life. Lana’s boyfriend Whitney, for example, is hoping to get scouted for the Metropolis Sharks.”

“Whitney? Kind of a strange name for a boy if you ask me. I’ve always thought of that as a girl’s name, personally.”

“Yeah, you’re not the only one,” Landon said. “Whit has gotten teased over his name a lot over the years, which I imagine was part of why he pursued football as vigorously as he did. That and he doesn’t want to be stuck working at his family’s department store forever.”

“Department store?” Geoffrey asked, as he suddenly flashed back to the game of I’ve Never that they’d played while in Switzerland and specifically what Lucas had said about his first kiss being in a Smallville department store.

Landon nodded. “Fordman’s, which is pretty much the largest store in town. Stocks a bit of everything from clothes and housewares to tools and sporting goods. Whitney’s parents own it and he works there part-time, but he doesn’t enjoy it.”

“Huh,” Geoffrey said. “Do they have a Christmas section around the holidays? And is Whitney a blond?”

“Yes to both questions. Why?”

“Well, according to my friend Luke, he had his first kiss under a sprig of mistletoe in the Christmas section of a Smallville department store. He said that this blond-haired guy who was nearby stocking shelves saw him standing under the mistletoe and just out of the blue leaned over and kissed him. They never said anything to each other and the guy hurried away after the kiss, but for some reason Luke got the impression that the guy’s family owned the place.”

Landon remained quiet for a moment, before he said, “Well, Fordman’s is the only department store in town. Although, I’ve known Whit since we were kids and he’s dating my sister, so I’m skeptical that he kissed your friend Luke.”

“He doesn’t have a brother does he?”

Shaking his head, Landon said, “No, he’s an only child so if your friend was right about who kissed him then it would have to have been Whitney.”

“Well, if he did kiss Luke, I don’t imagine he’s going to admit it,” Geoffrey said. “So do you have a picture of Whitney by any chance? I can email it to Luke and see what he says about it.”

“Yeah, hold on,” Landon said as he got off his bed and went over to the small bookcase next to his desk. After a moment he pulled down a book which turned out to be the previous year’s Smallville High yearbook. Flipping through the pages, he finally came to a stop on a color photo of Whitney and said, “This is him.”

Taking the book and looking at it for a moment, Geoffrey nodded and said, “Do you have a scanner?”

He would have used his phone, but he didn’t currently have it since it was believed that most teenagers in Smallville wouldn’t have cell phones and because Veronica, being in her 70’s, was a bit old-fashioned and didn’t believe that phones were meant for anything other than making phone calls and thus she refused to pay the bill for any phone that was capable of doing anything other than that.

“There’s one in my aunt’s office downstairs that we can use,” Landon revealed. “I suppose you want to send it now then?”

“No time like the present,” Geoffrey said. “I’m curious.”

“So am I now, honestly, and if there’s any chance that Whit is into guys then I want to know, preferably before he hurts my sister. I’ve never gotten any gay vibes from him, but then I’ve never really believed in the existence of gaydar.”

Prev To be continued . . .

A Note from Jayson:

And there you have Chapter Eight of ‘Brotherly Love’. Now, I realize that on the show Hiram and Jessica Kent are dead. However, I decided to change that in this story along with a few other things, such as adding in the character of Landon Lang. As for the meteor shower mutating Cody and Derek into conjoined twins, I figure anything is possible considering the various other things that happened due to kryptonite exposure. I mean, just look at Jonathan Taylor Thomas’s character who could grow a clone of himself out of his back. Compared to that a pair of unborn twins being fused together in the womb doesn’t seem all that hard to believe.

So what do you think about Clark and Oliver now living in Smallville and going to Smallville High? I know it’s not as glamorous as Excelsior Academy, but they had to reach Smallville eventually because at this point, Clark doesn’t even know about green kryptonite yet and so much of the show’s events revolved around Smallville that I pretty much had to get the characters there eventually.

Anyway, this is the final chapter of the current arc for this story. I’ll be moving on now to my Harry Potter story, ‘The Journey Begins’ and its companion fic, ‘Along the Journey’ for a combination of three chapters between the two fics and then onto my Mass Effect/Star Trek crossover ‘The Q Effect’. After that I’ll be starting the schedule over at #1, where the arcs for the various stories will vary between 3 and 5 chapters each. This story is #4 on the schedule.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? I love hearing from my readers, so feel free to contact me in a review, by email, my Yahoo group, or on Twitter @JVascardi.