“Don’t you have another like hideout somewhere?” Jason asked his guest as he pulled off his hood. “Not that I’m complaining about the rent.” He glanced at the duffle bag his guest had popped up with. “I mean pretty sure it pays off this place for more than a few years.”
“Well.” Kon-El glanced up from where he had been standing in the kitchen slowly cooking. “You never know what’s going to happen so it’s smart to pay things off and ahead you know?” He lifted the lid off a white pot and glared at the contents. “Damn it’s seriously slow.”
“And rice cooks how fast in the Luthor mansion again?” Jason questioned as he stripped off his jacket. “But it smells good in here. Since when could you cook?”
“After I moved in with Lex.” Kon-El tossed at him as he opened Jason’s oven and sighed. “Lex’s big on skills and survival. Especially survival. But he tried to butter me up saying that women love a good provider and guys have to eat.” He rolled his eyes before he sighed. “But I know it’s because he’s worried I won’t be able to feed myself if something happens.”
“Something like what happened with his second wife?” Jason hopped up on his kitchen counter and drummed a beat on his knees. “Or was it the third? How many wives did your Dad have anyway?”
“Too many.” Kon-El snorted as he moved to a bowl on Jason’s other counter. “And it is part of because of that. He doesn’t talk about what happened on that island much but because he remembers I know he worries. He keeps wondering how I’ll be able to support myself so…” Kon-El sighed. “Online school, tutors. Lessons, money. He can’t help himself.”
“But he dotes on you.” Jason pointed out. “He’s you know. Not the best person on the planet, dude has issues but he loves you.” No one could doubt that ever. The way that Lex Luthor looked at his son made Jason envious. Lex Luthor would do anything for his son.
Jason had seen the man bite back his pride. Witnessed the man back down, work with Batman and Superman just because Kon-El was in danger. Kon-El had made Lex Luthor approach the league and offer his help for Kon-El’s sake no strings attached. The man loved his son and would do anything for him.
“Yeah.” Kon-El said softly. “You know that. I know that.” He sighed as he tipped the bowl over to reveal dough that had risen pretty nicely. Bread? Jason was looking forward to this. “But everyone else? Please.” Kon-El snorted. “If it’s not Superman it is Watchtower. Or Green Arrow. Or someone from the league.” He snorted. “You know what’s funny?” He hissed. “Batman’s never told me anything about Lex. Just told me to be honest with him. Yet the rest can’t keep off my back.”
“Listen.” Jason wanted to be supportive but he had to be honest too. “Bats might have his own agenda when it comes to you. Just saying.”
“I know that Jason.” Kon-El sighed. “Selina told me that I’m some sort of treat to dangle in front of Lex. I don’t care. He’s on my side when everyone else.” He closed his eyes tightly. “Isn’t. And I’m tired of it.”
“Uh…” Jason couldn’t remember which girl had been Kon’s girlfriend lately. He had been switching back and forth according to Tim. And Tim had been pissed and hurt over one the girls that hadn’t worked out but Jason had been in Milan at the time so he was uncertain to what exactly had gone down. “Your girl dumped you?”
“You know since we are both freaks.” Kon-El said softly as he kneaded the dough. “I thought she would be more understanding but the more I talk to Lex. The more she treats me like some sort of freak.” He glanced up at Jason. “She said… ‘I can’t believe you would pick Lex Luthor over Superman why can’t you just listen to Superman?’ that’s what she said. To me.”
“Kon.” Jason winced as he watched Kon-El turn away. “I’m sorry. Were you fighting before? Fights can get nasty like that sometimes.”
“Out of nowhere.” Kon-El took pans from Jason’s cupboard and began to wash them. “It was out of nowhere Jason. She just thought I should toss aside family for a half assed mentor-“ He swallowed. “Every single time.” He whispered. “Something happens to Lois he’s gone. That’s it. Fuck Kon-El who cares? The girlfriend he can barely trust is in danger.” Kon scoffed. “I’m supposed to trust my heart and mental state to that guy. I’d break in a month.”
“You’re not lying.” Jason winced as he thought about it. He knew Superman sort of. He knew that Dick liked him and that Superman had doted on the guy but Superman had his faults. Bruce had talked about it often. Superman was not all bad, but he was not all good either. His relationship with Kon-El was just a part of it. “But have you talked to him about Lois or…” He met Kon-El’s eyes as he began to grease the pans. “No?”
“Lex doesn’t put women before me.” Kon-El closed his eyes. “Why couldn’t Lex be the one to teach me about my powers? It would be less stress.”
“But he can’t.” Jason pointed out. “And where was Tim with all of this going on? Aren’t you two usually like…” He trailed off as he twisted his fingers together. “No metas in Gotham sure but Bats would make an exception for you. Just to keep an eye on you.”
“Or stick another tracker in me.” Kon-El laughed softly. “I couldn’t go to Tim.” He closed his eyes and sighed as he began to shift the dough into the pans. “I didn’t want to give her anything else to complain about. So I had to go outside the normal circle.” He chuckled.
“Wait.” Jason had heard a few things, suspected a few and seen a bit more. “Is this about… you and…” Pick one. He was not too sure but he remembered that Halloween party. Kon-El had been single, wasted off his ass from something that Kori had dumped in the wine. And he had remembered a second where Kon had been looking at his friend in a whole different way. Then the moment had been gone and Jason had decided to mind his damn business. “Look.” Jason muttered. “Did you two ever…”
“Just as a joke.” Kon-El shook his head. “I never… they are my best friends Jason. I would never put that at risk. Besides, I’m not the best person to be in a relationship. They have my job to deal with and I’m the son of Lex Luthor.” He muttered. “And Dad’s in campaign mode because he wants to be President. I can’t just date anybody and I can’t risk losing friends.”
“True.” Jason watched Kon-El place the pans into the oven. “So you aren’t going to start sleeping around again right?” Because that had disturbed the hell out of him the last time. Women and men old enough to be Kon’s damn parent. If they had been around Jason’s age, he would have minded but not so much. But when they were touching into Bruce’s age territory? Jason had to make midnight visits with his best silenced guns.
“God no.” Kon-El muttered. “I just want to relax.” He moved to the pot again and peered inside. “Hide out. Catch up with you for a bit until I have to go back.” He gave Jason a glance then and the look in his eyes let Jason know the kid had not given up the fight yet. “Besides, we’re almost the same size. It’s going to be a blast pretending to be you and making robbers piss themselves.”
How were the league and Superman letting a kid like this go to waste again? Jason had no clue what was up with them. He was tempted to piss Tim off and recruit Kon-El for the Outsiders. Roy would love that for certain. Hell, after Kon-El went back whenever that was. He might bring it up with him. “You’re a riot as usual.” Jason laughed softly as he watched Kon-El. “A damn riot.”