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The Luthor Family

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“Miss Luthor?”

Lena looked from the paperwork to the social worker, Ms Samuels, standing in front of her. She flicked through the papers again as her mind scrambled to catch up with the situation.

“Normally we would try to allow more time for you to adjust to this, but news of his parentage is out and we are somewhat concerned for his safety-”

“Where is he?” Lena asked cutting Ms Samuels off.

“Lionel is in the car downstairs if you are unwilling to take-”

“Of course I’ll to take him,” she said quickly. 

Ms Samuels blinked for a moment then nodded. Lena sighed rubbing her head, she needed to calm down. She took a deep breath looking back at the pile of papers in her hands.

“Sorry,” she said. “What do I need to do?”

Ms Samuels nodded seemingly understanding.

“I just need you to sign these papers saying you’re accepting responsibility as his legal guardian.”

Lena picked up a pen and scanned the papers Ms Samuels was holding out. She signed at the bottom and handed them back. 

“There’s just,” Ms Samuels hesitated. “You should know he’s a very… anxious child.”

Lena was quiet for a moment as she considered Ms Samuels. 

“Is there a particular reason for his anxiety.”

Ms Samuels seemed to think about it as she looked Lena over. 

“From what I understand his maternal grandmother was not a particularly loving woman and it’s left a mark. Beyond that we don’t have any details. What I can say is that Mrs Teschmacher left him at one of our offices with a bag and the parting words return the devil’s spawn to his family.” 

Lena felt her jaw clench as she considered it.

“So she abandoned him?”

“In a nutshell, yes.”

Lena took a deep steadying breath as a knock on the door interrupted them. Jess walked in and placed a small pile of folders on her desk. 

“I would like to meet my nephew now,” she said. 

Jess froze. Ms Samuels nodded. 

“Of course Ms Luthor, I’ll bring him up.”

“I’ll come down with you,” Lena said. 

Ms Samuels nodded and they left. Lena waved her hand and Jess immediately followed. Downstairs she noticed several people’s heads turn at her arrival before quickly looking away. She ignored them.

A dark car sat by the curb with a police officer standing next to it. The officer looked at Lena then Ms Samuels. She nodded and he opened the car door. Ms Samuels put her head in and removed a faded backpack and then assisted a small boy out. She bent down to speak to the boy at his level.

“Lionel this is Lena Luthor. She’s your Aunt and is going to take care of you from now on.”

A pair of bright blue eyes peeked out from under a mess of light brown curls as he stood in front of her wearing a worn blue t-shirt and green cargo shorts. Lena crouched down to be eye level with him.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered.

“For what?” she asked gently.

“Messing up your day.”

Lena smiled as gently as she could.

“You have done nothing wrong and have nothing to apologise for,” she said softly.

Lionel didn’t quite seem to believe her. 

“I’ll come to check on you in a month or two,” Ms Samuels said her tone gentle as she held Lionel’s hand. “She’s going to take very good care of you Lionel. I’m sure of it.”

She looked at Lena.

“If you have any questions or concerns I’ve left my details in the folder I gave you.”

“Thank you Ms Samuels.”

Ms Samuels nodded and rose nodding to the officer. Lena looked at Lionel again. He looked back hesitantly. She held out a hand.

“Shall we?” she asked. 

He nodded and held her hand. Lena started walking slowly back to L Corp as Ms Samuels and the officer left. Lionel kept close to her side. Several people looked up curiously as they noticed Leo at her side.

“Miss Luthor I think the press has noticed,” Jess warned.

Lena swore and winced as she looked at Lionel. She handed Jess the bag of his things.

“We need to move quickly. Can I carry you?” she asked looking at the boy.

He nodded. She picked him up as gently as she could and Jess moved to block the photographers view as the raced towards them several already taking pictures. Lena walked as fast as she could in her heels towards L Corp ignoring the questions being shouted at her. 

“Hide your face,” she instructed Lionel.

He did so burying his face in her shoulder as her security came running out creating a tunnel for them. Once inside the building they headed straight for the elevators. Lena turned to Jess. Jess was giving her a very concerned look. Lena looked at Lionel.

“It’s okay now Lionel you can look around again.”

He cautiously lifted his head.

“Sorry about that,” Lena said.

“Is okay,” Lionel mumbled.

They exited the elevator and went straight into her office Jess racing ahead to hold the door open for her. After a moment’s hesitation Lena put Lionel down on the couch and turned to Jess.

“Get those papers to my lawyers directly and tell them I want a meeting as soon as possible to discuss this. Push back my next meeting until tomorrow. Tell security not to let anyone up here without my express permission. When my mother calls tell her I will call her tonight about the situation. Ask Ms Arias if she’s able to receive a call later tonight and…” she looked over to see Lionel sitting on the couch silent and still. “Get me the contact details for a few good child psychologists.”

Jess nodded quickly writing everything down in her personal shorthand. 

“And your lunch with Ms Danvers?” Jess asked.

Lena froze. She’d completely forgotten about that. It wasn’t their first lunch since Lex’s second death, but she knew her relationship with Kara was still fragile. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. 

“I’ll contact her myself,” Lena said.

Jess nodded and left. Lena turned to Lionel. He was still sitting where she’d left him watching her silently. She took a deep breath trying to process everything. Well in a way she had processed the facts. He was Lionel Alexander Luthor, her nephew. The DNA test and birth certificate were quite conclusive on that front, but the emotional processing… that was taking longer. She really wanted a drink but knew that was probably a bad idea. For many reasons. 

“I’m just going to make a call and then we can… talk, okay?” she said.

He nodded. Lena unlocked her phone and called Kara. 

“Hey Lena, I was just picking up lunch. Do you still want a salad or can I persuade you to have something with actual flavor?” Kara asked.

Lena couldn’t help her smile at hearing Kara’s voice.

“Uh, I think we need to reschedule,” she said.

“Sure. Is something wrong?” Kara asked sounding instantly concerned.

“Uh,” she looked at Lionel and saw him watching her. “I just met my nephew, and well…”

It hit her then. Lionel was her nephew. Lex and Eve’s son. And with that came every possible implication of her current situation. She was his guardian now. He was her responsibility. Her whole world seemed to be shifting as she looked at the silent boy sitting on her couch.

“Lena?” Kara sounded worried.

“I’m… I’m going to be looking after him from now on.”

There was a long moment of silence on the other end of the phone. Lena took a deep breath turning away so Lionel wouldn’t see her whisper the next bit.

“Kara I don’t know how to look after a child. What am I going to do?”

“I’ll bring lunch and we’ll work it out,” Kara said suddenly sounding very confident.

“What?” Lena asked confused. 

“I’ll get him a sandwich too. Ask him what he likes?” Kara said.

“Uh,” Lena turned to Lionel. “Have you had lunch?” she asked.

Lionel shook his head.

“What do you like on sandwiches?” she asked.

Lionel shrunk a little saying nothing. It took every bit of control Lena had not to change her expression as she watched him shrink. 

“Kara uh-”

“I’ll get him a selection so he can try different ones. I’ll be there soon,” Kara said. There was a pause. “It’s going to be okay Lena.”

Lena nodded and hung up. She turned back to Lionel.

“A friend of mine is going to bring us lunch. She’s very nice.”

Lionel nodded. Lena unsure what to do came and stood next to him. Lionel looked up at her.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “I know this is all very scary and new and… I promise it’s going to be okay. I-”

She laughed and sank down onto the couch beside him.

“I don’t know… anything about looking after a child but we’ll work this out. If you don’t want to stay with me that’s okay too. I’ll make sure you have a nice family who will look after you. I promise.”

Lena sighed rubbing her face as she tried not to think about how everything had changed in such a short time. It hadn’t even been ten minutes.

“I want to stay with you,” Lionel whispered.

She looked at him. He looked scared again.

“Okay, then you’re staying with me.”

She looked around again.

“I’m just going to tell Jess Kara’s bringing us lunch.”

He nodded as she got up and opened her office door. Jess looked up immediately.

“Kara’s bringing Lionel and I lunch, please make sure security knows to let her up.”

Jess nodded and Lena looked back at Lionel. 

“So, uh… what do you like to watch?” she asked.

Lionel was quiet. She tried a different tactic.

“Do you like cartoons?” she asked.

Lionel’s face lit up and Lena knew she’d guessed right.

Kara arrived ten minutes later with a bag full of sandwiches to see Lena and Lionel sitting on the couch watching cartoons on Lena’s tablet.

“Hi,” Kara said gently.

Lionel immediately hid behind Lena who smiled at Kara. She noticed Lionel’s shyness.

“It’s okay Lionel this is my best friend Kara. She’s got lunch for us,” Lena said. 

Lionel peeked out at Kara and she gave him a bright smile. He returned it cautiously. She came forwards slowly and placed the bag of food on the table taking things out one by one. She handed Lena her salad and then removed a half dozen sandwiches.

“Okay Lionel we have a lot of things here you can choose from.”

Lionel looked a little overwhelmed but Kara just smiled at him.

“Do you like cheese?” she asked. 

He nodded quickly and Kara picked up three of the sandwiches placing them in front of him.

“This one is a chicken and cheese; this one is roast beef, salad, and cheese; and this one is ham cheese and tomato.”

Lionel cautiously pointed at the ham, cheese and tomato. Kara handed it to him with a smile. 

“It’s okay if you don’t like it, you don’t have to eat it,” Kara said.

His smile in return was bigger as he bit into the sandwich. Kara looked at Lena.

“Thank you,” Lena said.

They both knew it was about more than the food.

“Anytime,” Kara said. 

Lena smiled at her best friend and started on her salad.

“So what’s the plan?” Kara asked picking up one of the other sandwiches and biting into it.

“Well first I need to meet with my lawyers to make sure everything is solid and I am his legal guardian. I wouldn’t put it past Lex to list Mother in a secret will somewhere. In fact I’m surprised she wasn’t the one to get him.”

“He probably thought if he was gone she’d be in jail,” Kara said. 

Lena nodded. She had a point. 

“So once you’re sure your mother isn’t going to come and try to take him from you then what?”

“I want to get him to a psychologist. Mrs Teschmacher reportedly wasn’t pleasant with her farewell so I want him to have someone to help work through that. Then I guess find a good preschool, beg Sam to move to National City so I can step back a little to look after him. And in between all that I’ll need to get him… stuff.”

Kara nodded.

“If you want I can get Kelly to help narrow down the psychologist list. It’s not her usual area but I’m sure she knows someone.”

“Thanks that would be great if you could.”

Lena looked at Lionel and he looked back. She gave him a small smile and he returned it.

“Is that bag all you have?”

Lionel frowned for a moment thinking then nodded.

“We’ll go shopping later, get you some extra clothes and toys and things.”

Kara looked at her and Lena felt… scared. She really had no idea what to do. She looked at Lionel again as her phone rang. Lena sighed looking at the caller ID. She answered it.

“I’ll call you later Mother.”

“Is he Lex’s?” Lillian demanded.

“Yes and I’m taking him in. We’ll talk more later,” Lena said firmly. “Goodbye mother.”

She hung up and looked at Kara. She didn’t know what to say.

“Just like that?” Kara asked giving her a very soft look.

“He’s my nephew. Lex may have been a-” She glanced at Lionel who had somehow finished his sandwich already. “Bad person. But you and I both know that doesn’t mean anything when it comes to his child.”

Kara nodded and smiled at her. 

“Especially if he’s going to have you as his parent,” Kara said reaching out to squeeze her hand.

Lena nodded squeezing back. Kara smiled at Lionel and offered him the chicken and cheese sandwich. He cautiously accepted it.

“You’re going to be alright. Lena may seem a little weird-”

“Thanks Kara.”

“But she’s the best person I know. She’ll take very good care of you, always,” Kara said.

Lionel nodded and looked at Lena. Lena cautiously placed a hand on Lionel’s shoulder and he leaned into the contact a little.

“Is it okay if I look in your bag to see what we need to get you?” she asked. 

He nodded and Kara handed the bag over. Lena quickly looked through. A couple of worn t-shirts, a pair of shorts, some socks and underwear, a hat, and a small green race car. Lena met Kara’s eyes and she nodded.

“I think we’re going to need to go shopping,” she said.

“I’m going to give Kelly a call,” Kara said. Lena nodded.

 

It was a little after three thirty when Lena sat at her desk watching nervously as Kelly talked quietly with Lionel. He was sitting on the couch playing on a tablet Lena had downloaded a few games onto for him. Lena meanwhile was knocking out all the work she couldn’t put off as she tried to keep an eye on her new ward. Kelly gave Lionel a smile and left him to his game coming over to talk with her. Lena got up moving to the balcony to talk out of Lionel’s earshot.

“Okay so there’s good and bad news,” Kelly said quietly. “Like I said earlier this isn’t my field and I highly encourage you to get a specialist for him.”

Lena nodded already fearing the worst.

“So he has quite a few signs of some emotional neglect and anxiety. He’s probably going to need at least some therapy to help him get over it.”

Lena took a deep breath letting it out slowly. Her lawyers were going to be getting a very long email.

“But good news, he’s four and so I think with some therapy and a stable life with his new Aunt he’ll get over it quite well. He already seems to be responding well to you and from what Kara said her as well.”

She gave Lena an encouraging smile.

“Whatever damage Mrs Teschmacher has done to him I think you’ll have no trouble reversing. However there are a few things I think might be issues for a while.”

Lena braced herself.

“Firstly I think he might get very clingy soon so be aware you might have a small shadow for some time as you become his primary support person. Especially as he learns he can get emotional support from you.”

Lena nodded. She had half suspected that already. 

“He also seems to find his name awkward. I suggested Leo to him and he liked that, especially after I told him the connection to lions.”

“Okay so I call him Leo from now on?” she asked.

“Give it a try, he seems to like it. Also I think maybe a trip to a good family GP just to track his growth because he looks a little small. That could be a number of reasons but he seems to love food as much as Kara does, and well… you know how Kara is about food.”

Lena nodded making a note in her phone. She’d have a full workup done by her private doctors.

“I also think you might need to get him a magical teddy bear that helps with bad dreams because Lena I think you’re going to be having a few sleepless nights. Especially as he gets more attached.”

Lena nodded.

“Get him that today. Okay last point and this is the one that concerns me most considering your life. He’s terrified of Supergirl.”

Lena took a deep breath and leaned against the railing.

“That’s going to be a problem,” she said.

“Considering how often she’s the last line of defense between you and a painful death, yes. Leo needs to trust her absolutely. He needs to call her if anything happens to you or him.”

Lena nodded. Everything felt ten times harder all of a sudden and she didn’t quite know what to do about it.

“Okay, yes.” 

She rubbed her face. She was having trouble feeling like she was really there. At times she was fully aware of everything around her and at other times it was like it was all happening in a dream. 

“Are you okay Lena?” Kelly asked.

Lena nodded pulling herself together.

“I will be it’s just… a lot. Once he goes to bed tonight I’ll have a glass of something and process it all.”

Kelly placed a hand on her arm. 

“Well if you need a friend to talk to. I’m here.”

“Thank you.”

“Now I recommend you go sit with your nephew for a few minutes before you take him shopping with a large security team because word is already out that Lex Luthor had a son and some people are very interested in him.”

Lena sighed. She really didn’t need additional security problems, enough people tried to kill her as it was. Now she’d need to make contingencies for threats against Lionel- Leo. Threats against Leo.

Her phone rang again. Andrea. She gave Kelly a nod and answered it.

“You better not be calling for an exclusive,” Lena said with a sigh.

Kelly smiled at her and went to say goodbye to Leo.

“No I’m calling as a friend to find out if it’s true, did Lena Luthor suddenly become a mother?”

“Aunt, but same thing I suppose, and yes.”

Andrea laughed.

“Wow. What a turn.”

“Is there a reason you called?” she asked. 

“Yes.”

Lena waited. Andrea made an irritated noise.

“To check how you are, again as a friend.”

Lena sighed.

“I’ll let you know when I finally get it together,” she said.

“Well then. Have fun playing house and call me when you’re ready for a night out or someone to organise his birthday party. Ooh can I be the fun aunt?”

“Bye Andrea,” she said sighing.

Leo was watching her. She gave him another smile. She really hoped it was reassuring and not scary.

“Do you feel up to going shopping?” she asked. “We can get you some more toys and clothes.”

He nodded and she held out her hand. Leo got up quickly and took it. Lena sent an alert to her security. A team was quickly made as she headed down. She saw the press pack outside the doors and turned to Nick, her head of security. He gave her an apologetic look, no other way through. She turned to Leo and crouched down to talk to him.

“Is it okay if I pick you up while we go to the car?” she asked. 

He nodded and she lifted him into her arms. Nick gave her a nod and motioned to his team.

“Okay Leo hide your face again it’s going to be very loud and very bright for a little bit but I’ll keep you safe.”

Leo nodded. She sighed and put on her glasses before walking directly towards the cameras. There was a lot of shouting and she felt Leo hold her tighter as she let her security form a bubble around them pushing the cameras back as she made her way to the car. She put Leo in first then got in herself as he scrambled across the leather seats. 

Her security got in a cars behind her as her driver took off. 

“Seatbelt,” she reminded Leo.

He scrambled to do it up as Lena clipped her own in place. He fumbled and she reached over helping him. 

“What do you think our chances of losing the press are?” she asked glancing at her driver Bo.

“Slim Miss Luthor,” he said. 

Lena looked over at Leo. 

“So there’s probably going to be a lot of lights for a while and I’m sorry about that. But we need to get you some things.”

“You don’t have to if you don’t want to,” Leo mumbled.

“I don’t really have anything for you to wear or play with so we do kind of need to go shopping today but I promise we’ll make it as easy as possible for you.”

Lena reached out to give him a reassuring pat then stopped herself. She didn’t know what to do. Should she give him space or a lot of affection? Was it best to guide him or follow his lead? Before she could continue that anxious spiral her phone buzzed and she saw a message from Kara.

How are you going?

She looked at Leo sitting in his seat and staring silently out the window. 

I am in over my head. But we’ll get there. I’m taking him shopping and Kelly told me I need to get him a magical bear that chases away nightmares.

Do you need help?

Lena thought about it. It would be so easy to just get Kara to come and help her. Kara knew about kids. She was sweet and bright and friendly and Leo would love her. But she knew it wouldn’t be fair. She decided to be honest. They’d both decided on an honesty policy after everything. 

I don’t think it's right for me to ask that of you.

Her phone rang almost immediately.

“Kara I-”

“Lena you can ask for help,” Kara said firmly.

“If I keep asking you now how am I going to do it later without you?” Lena asked.

Kara sighed sounding exasperated.

“Okay so firstly it’s day one and like hour four, you need help. And secondly who said you’d ever have to do it without me huh?” Kara asked.

Lena didn’t really know what to say to that.

“How about this. You take him clothes shopping now, just for a few of the basics. I’ll just finish this article and come join you, once we’ve got him the basics we do toys. After things die down a bit you can buy him more clothes the usual way. Which I’m assuming is a personal shopper of some kind.”

Lena scoffed. She was perfectly capable of buying her own clothes. Then she looked over at the silent Leo.

“Okay,” she said giving in. “Leo, do you mind if Kara comes shopping with us?” she asked.

He quickly shook his head. Lena breathed a small sigh of relief. 

“We’ll see you when you get here,” Lena said.

They arrived at the department store and her security poured out of the other cars as she exited and offered her hand to Leo. He stayed very close to her as they walked in. People turned watching them. Phones appeared in people’s hands all pointed at them. Lena knew a dozen very large and beefy security personnel wasn’t exactly subtle but she didn’t have time for subtle. Subtle had been blown up the moment the whole world suddenly found out Lex Luthor had a son.

They entered the first store and she watched the staff panic a little. She sighed removing her sunglasses and motioning to a sales woman.

“I have maybe ten minutes before a lot of cameras try to follow me, so please help me make this as painless as possible,” she said.

The sales woman nodded and looked at Leo.

“Hi there,” she said brightly. 

Leo shifted a little closer to Lena. 

“He needs clothes, of all types. Probably two or more of everything.”

The sales woman nodded as a manager arrived.

“Miss Luthor how lovely to have you in our store today,” he said quickly.

“Thank you. I intend to spend a lot of money very quickly. If you could accommodate us I would be most appreciative,” she said. 

He nodded.

“Whatever you need,” he said smiling. 

“His sizes,” Lena said. 

 

Kara had no trouble finding them. The large number of photographers held back by Lena’s security was like a giant neon sign even to the most oblivious. Lena’s security recognised her immediately letting her through. Kara ducked into the store and found Lena on the phone next to Leo watching as he was fitted for a pair of red sneakers.

“Hello again,” she said grinning at the boy. 

Leo gave her a small smile. Lena gave her a bigger one. Kara sat on his other side. 

“Today is very busy for you isn’t it,” Kara said looking at Leo. 

He nodded.

“Do you like the shoes?” she asked.

He nodded again. Lena ended her call.

“Sorry about that,” she said turning to Leo.

“Is okay,” he mumbled. 

The saleswoman smiled at him.

“You’re a very lucky young man,” she said sitting back. “Okay how do those feel?”

Leo shrugged. Kara looked at Lena. Lena got up and held her hand out to Leo.

“Shall we try them out?” she asked.

He nodded and she walked him up and down the limited space asking if they pinched anywhere. He shook his head so she gave the sales woman a nod.

“Do you want to put on your old shoes or wear these ones?” Lena asked.

Leo thought about it for a minute. Lena waited. Eventually he pointed at his new shoes. Lena smiled at him and he smiled back. She turned to the sales woman.

“If you could-”

The saleswoman quickly packed his old runners into the box and gave her a nod. Lena went to pay and Kara followed talking to Leo. 

“Okay but important question, do you think you can run fast in them?”

Leo looked at the shoes thinking about it.

“I don’t know,” he said. 

Kara pretended to think for a moment.

“Why don’t we find out,” she said holding out her hand. 

Leo took it with a cautious look at Lena. She nodded.

“It’s okay, you can trust Kara. She’ll keep you safe,” Lena said.

They exited the store Lena following behind handing off the bag to one of her security. 

“Whenever you get new shoes you need to see how fast you are in them it’s the rules,” Kara explained.

Lena smiled watching the two of them. Kara pretended to take a runners pose with Leo then they were off running. She saw her security tense but she waved them off. Nothing would touch Leo with Kara there. The camera flashes begun as soon as Leo became visible. Kara pretended to trail behind him blocking their view until he slowed then she scooped him up spinning him around.

Lena felt something inside her chest seize. Everything seemed to be in slow motion as she looked at Kara. Kara was smiling as she spun around the flash of cameras illuminating her as Lena watched her holding Leo bringing out the biggest smile on his face she’d seen yet. Kara had never looked more perfect than she did in that moment.

Kara looked up smiling at her and Lena found herself smiling back as their eyes met. Kara looked away nodding at Leo who was saying something. Lena seized the feelings coursing through her and started shoving them back into the box they’d come from. 

“Are you watching Lena?” Kara called.

Lena nodded quickly focusing her attention on the pair.

“I’m watching,” she promised. 

Kara put Leo down whispering something to him as he adopted a runners pose. Then he was racing towards her. She smiled and held out her hands immediately lifting him into her arms as he crashed into her.

“Did you see how fast I ran?” he asked excitedly.

She nodded.

“Yes, you were very fast,” she said smiling at him. 

He beamed at her and she started to think they might be okay. Then the camera flashes started again. She quickly held him closer shielding Leo’s eyes as he scrunched up his face.

Kara appeared at her side blocking Leo from the cameras. Lena looked at her and smiled. Kara grinned back. 

“Now for the fun stuff, toys,” Kara said.

They kept walking her security surrounding them once more. Lena put Leo down again taking one of his hands. Kara took the other and Lena gave her a small smile. Lena found herself struggling to put that smile in a box as they kept walking Leo between the two of them.

 

The day wore Leo out. Lena helped him into his new pajamas at eight and tucked him into her spare bed with his new stuffed red lion, Rao. She knew exactly where that name had come from. She had wondered briefly if it counted as blasphemy but Kara had laughed when she asked so she supposed not. Kara had given the lion a special blessing in Kryptonian to make him magic. 

Now it was time for bed despite his obvious exhaustion Leo seemed scared to sleep. She picked up one of the stack of new books she’d bought him.

“Did you want a bedtime story?” she asked.

Leo nodded and she sat on the bed next to him opening the book as he snuggled into her side. He was asleep before she finished the third page. She finished reading it aloud anyway. 

Putting the book aside she carefully got up so as not to wake him. She tucked the blankets higher around him. It was strange to have this small child trust her so completely. It was terrifying. No one had ever trusted her like that. Now she had to make sure she never gave him a reason not to. 

She turned out the bedside light and closed the door partway. Lena took a deep breath turning she made her way to the lounge room and the glass of scotch she’d desperately needed all day.

Once she was settled on the couch and halfway through her scotch she took out her phone again and made the call she had been putting off.

“Mother,” she said.

“Lena. You took your time calling me.”

“I had certain logistics I needed to handle first,” Lena said.

She sipped her scotch grateful for the calming affect it was having on her anxiety.

“I saw. The photos are adorable. I would doubt his parentage if he didn’t look alarmingly like Lex at the same age.”

“I had noticed,” Lena muttered. 

The Luthor manor had been full of pictures of Lex growing up. Leo looked just like every picture of Lex at the same age, except his eyes. 

“You sound disappointed,” Lillian said. “If you don’t want to take him-”

“Mother I am not handing him over to you.”

“But you’ll hand him to Supergirl.”

Lena sighed heavily. She had. It really wasn’t right to do that to Kara. She’d take care of him herself from then on. No more getting Kara’s help. No matter how badly she wanted to. She drained the rest of her glass and contemplated a second one. She decided against it. Best not now she had a child to look after.

“She won’t hurt him,” Lena said.

“And you think I would?” Lillian asked.

“Maybe not deliberately. But then again look how Lex and I turned out.”

Lillian sighed and Lena smiled at the hit.

“I am, shockingly, capable of learning from my mistakes. And I don’t really think all of Lex’s madness can be put at my feet.”

“Just his xenophobia and ego,” Lena said.

Lillian sighed again and Lena really wanted that second glass of scotch.

“Can I see him?” Lillian asked.

Lena weighed her options. Both in regards to more scotch and her mother.

“I’ll think about it,” she said finally.

“Alright. I’ll call again soon.”

“Goodbye mother.”

Lena hung up and sighed. She carefully put her glass down and called Sam. She answered on the second ring.

“I was this close to calling you,” Sam said quickly.

Lena let herself fall back onto the couch.

“I am in way over my head Sam,” she said.

“Welcome to parenthood. That feeling never goes away.”

“Great,” Lena muttered.

Sam laughed and Lena sighed.

“So you’ve just become a parent. How are you feeling about it?” Sam asked gently.

“Terrified and tired.”

“Sounds about right. What’s he like?”

“Anxious. The only person capable of bringing out normal child… behavior in him so far is Kara. It’s like she has some kid specific powers. He’s quiet with me and is scared of everyone else or completely unresponsive. He barely says more than a handful of words and doesn’t like making decisions.”

“You might want to think about getting him a psychologist.”

“Already on it. I just… Sam I just…” She blew out a breath. “How did no one know. Not even my mother.”

“Well your brother always did enjoy being the only one in the know and I imagine Eve wasn’t exactly keen on people finding out.”

Lena sighed and rubbed her face. Now came the hard part.

“Sam, I hate to ask but-”

“Term ends in three weeks. I’ll talk to Ruby about it tomorrow then make plans and move to National City over the holidays.”

“Thank you,” Lena whispered.

“Considering all the allowances you made for me with Ruby I consider this a pretty small sacrifice to help you with your new kid.”

Lena sighed and felt the sudden urge to cry.

“I was not prepared for this Sam,” she whispered.

“None of us really are. It’s not going to be easy and from what you’ve said you’re in for a harder time than most. It’s a learning curve and you’re going to be racing to figure it out but the best advice I have is build your support network now. Kara’s an excellent choice by the way.”

“I can’t ask her to do that Sam. For a lot of reasons.”

“You might want to tell Kara that because I don’t think she agrees.”

“What do you mean?” Lena asked sitting up.

“The photos of you three today. You look like a perfect little queer family. Kara doesn’t seem to care who his father is she’s throwing herself into being there for you both. Hang on I’m just going to check on Ruby, she keeps sneaking her phone under the covers.”

Lena got up finding a tablet to check the stories that had been reported on them. She flicked through the pictures. She saved a few, they were surprisingly cute. Though she was going to have to do more to keep Leo from cameras from now on. She didn’t want him to be easily recognised. Sam returned with a sigh.

“Based on those photos I think Kara might be determined to be a part of his life in the way you’ve always wanted her in yours,” Sam continued.

“I don’t know what you mean,” Lena muttered.

“Oh please, don’t think I missed the picture of your face when she was holding him. Do you wanna talk about the secret feelings you’re harboring for your best friend?”

“I’m harboring no secret feelings,” she said.

Sam laughed.

“Uh huh, sure you’re not. You do remember I know you and I can recognise that longing look you do whenever you look at her.”

“Goodnight Sam, I’ll call you tomorrow about your move.”

Sam chuckled.

“Goodnight Lena.”

Lena hung up and went to her home office she needed to get some work done before bed. 

 

Lena woke at three am having gone to bed two hours ago after checking on Leo one last time through the door. She couldn’t work out what had woken her at first. Everything seemed quiet and no alarms were blinking at her. Then she heard it. A muffled sob. She was up in an instant terrified he’d hurt himself. She made her way down the hall listening carefully for anything else. She heard a sniff and another small sob. Opening the door and saw him curled up with his lion.

“Hey Leo, are you okay?” she asked.

He nodded quickly rubbing his face on the pillow.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered.

Lena walked into the room and turned on the bedside lamp. Leo blinked at the sudden light.

“Did you have a bad dream?” she asked crouching next to the bed.

He nodded. 

“Was it about your grandma?” 

He shook his head.

“Monsters under the bed?”

“Supergirl,” he whispered.

Lena reached out brushing his hair out of his eyes.

“What did Supergirl do?” she asked.

“She took me away for being bad,” he whispered.

Lena moved closer wrapping her arms around Leo in a careful hug.

“I promise, Supergirl will never take you away from me. She will never hurt you.”

“What if I’m bad?” he whispered.

“Even then.”

Leo tucked his head into her shoulder and she felt a wave of tiredness hit her. Her habit of existing on five hours and less of sleep was catching up with her.

“Are you still scared?” she asked.

Leo hesitated then nodded.

“You can stay with me tonight. I promise nothing can hurt you in my room, not even an evil Supergirl.”

“Really?” he whispered. 

“I’ll put on the red sun lamps, she’s powerless under them. So even if she did come in she wouldn’t be able to take you. I promise.”

Lena picked Leo up and carried him and his lion back to her room. He didn’t say anything as she settled him into the bed and climbed back in herself. She left the door open and the hall light on for him. Finally turning to the panel beside her bed she turned on the set of four overhead red sun lights. She disliked having a light on while she slept but she would take that over Leo being scared again. He looked at the lights for a few moments.

“They stop her?” he asked.

“Yes, they take away her powers,” Lena said.

She tucked the blanket around Leo and lay down again. The moment her head was back on the pillow she was falling asleep again. Leo shifted a little closer.

“Can I really stay with you?” he asked.

“Forever if you want,” Lena promised already half asleep.

“Thank you,” he whispered. “I promise I’ll be good.”

Lena was too tired to think about his promise. She’d deal with it tomorrow, when she’d had sleep.

 

Kara sighed in exasperation slamming the fridge door a little too hard as she turned to glare at her sister. 

“Don’t you think you’re making a mistake trying to become involved here?” Alex asked holding up the tablet.

The tabloids had gone crazy with the few clear pictures they had from their shopping trip. The picture Alex was holding had the two of them looking down at Leo as he held their hands. Someone had added a pink heart around the three of them and a large headline underneath: The New Luthors! Lena Luthor’s new family.

“No,” Kara said firmly. “Lena’s my best friend and she just became a mother and I’m going to support her however I can.”

Kara mindful of the possible damage she just did to her fridge carefully removed the lid of the ice cream tub. 

“Okay first she just became an Aunt and second-”

“Alex trust me, she just became a mother, the title is irrelevant.”

Alex conceded the point.

“Fine but it’s to Lex and Eve’s kid. You know family nemesis’ numbers one and two.”

“So? Lena was his sister.”

Alex blew out a breath clearly frustrated with her. Kara glared at her.

“Alex he’s four.”

“I know. I know. I just… Kara have you considered that you probably shouldn’t get close to this kid. You are kinda the reason his parents are… gone,” Alex finished awkwardly.

Kara stabbed the spoon into the ice cream and it went all the way in. She sighed digging it out.

“You mean the same parents who ditched him with a woman who called him the spawn of the devil and had zero contact with him?” Kara asked.

Alex had the decency to look apologetic.

“Alex I know you’re trying to protect me but, you don’t need to not in this. Lena needs help and I want to help her. I want to be there for my best friend and-”

“So this has nothing to do with your feelings for Lena?”

“What feelings?”

Alex scoffed.

“The unresolved romantic tension you’ve been trying to hide ever since crisis. Remember William?”

Kara sighed, that had not gone well. Their three month relationship had kinda imploded and she refused to blame it on her relationship with Lena like William did.

“I still think he was wrong-”

“Yeah we’re not going there again,” Alex said quickly. 

Kara fidgeted. Her breakup with William had been particularly embarrassing for her as William had done it in front of Nia stating some things about her relationship with Lena that she’d found… a bit personal. 

It’s not like anyone else needed to know how she’d put off sex just to talk with Lena, or how she’d rescheduled their dates twice because something happened to Lena and she wanted to go check on her, or that one time she accidentally said the wrong name. She had been bored and thinking about her plans for the next day and lunch with Lena had seemed much more interesting at that moment so really it was his fault for being mediocre in bed. Though she supposed mediocre was a bit harsh considering it probably wasn’t his fault she wasn’t that into the same things. Or rather he wasn’t into the same things. She’d gently suggested something once and he immediately promised he would never do anything like that to her. It didn’t have the affect he thought.

Nia thankfully had found it all very entertaining and nicknamed William several less than flattering things behind his back. Kara found all of them remarkably appropriate but once Alex had heard one it had been a bit awkward. 

“Look I’m just…” Alex sighed heavily. “I just don’t want you to get all invested playing happy families with Lena on your weekends and then end up heartbroken when she finds someone else. Okay?”

Kara sighed.

“I’m not playing happy families Alex, and I just-” Alex gave her best big sister glare. “I’ll be careful okay.”

Alex gave her a hug. 

“You might be the girl of steel but emotionally you’re the girl of marshmallow,” Alex said with a sigh.

Kara giggled.

“I’d probably eat myself if I was a marshmallow,” she said.

Alex rolled her eyes.

“You’re ridiculous.”

Kara hugged her back.

“But you love me!”