"Filial Embrace"

Ever since the time of antiquity, people have believed that it was the natural order of the universe for son to rise up against his father and wrest control of all he surveyed. Like Zeus killing Cronus and becoming king of all the Gods. In modern terms, this is nothing more than a mere metaphor for the cycle of life--youth turning into adulthood and adults withering to death. Children take over their parents' homes and possessions without a struggle. A bloodless revolution.

Lex Luthor stood in the waiting room to his father's office in Metropolis, very much the model of this same cycle. Twenty-eight--soon to be twenty-nine-- years old and dressed in the finest designer clothing money could buy, he had slowly built his small company into one of LuthorCorp's biggest rivals. He exuded a confidence that not many had seen in someone waiting for a hearing with Lionel Luthor.

Zeus come home to rip his brethren from his father's stomach.

"He'll see you now, Mr. Luthor." the receptionist told him evenly as an automatic door opened. The lord and master was revealed behind it, sitting behind his desk with a team of assistants by his side.

In the past, the younger Luthor might have corrected her, giving her his first name as if it were all he needed to identify him, not to mention separate himself from his father's image. This time, however, he merely gave her a slight smile and strode psast her desk and into his father's inner sanctum.

Lionel stood slowly to greet his son, hand clasping the edge of his marble-topped desk to steady his ascent. "Alexander!" he exclaimed, beaming the way he always did when important people were around. This name rankled Lex worse than 'Mr. Luthor' and they both knew it. A challenge, that was what this was--a ploy to see how Lex would react.

Lionel stepped out from behind the desk, using his ever-present cane to guide him around the corner of it witout harming himself, as if it were even possible that he hadn't memorized or perfected the movement by now. Motioning for his aides to leave them alone, he spread his arms wide.

An invitation to a familial moment, but another challenge. Be the prodigal son, Lex, it whispered, giving Lionel's voice to unspoken words. Make it look good for our audience.

"Father!" Lex responded formally, moving closer to the man who had reared him. He could play this game--their game--very well.

The automatic doors swished shut behind them just as he stepped into the embrace, ensuring that no one saw what was coming next. There was a glimmer, just inside his left jacket cuff, and then Lex was hugging his father tighter than he had ever done before. Lionel's mouth opened in a wide, silent 'o', and Lex continued to hug him, smiling when the sightless man finally slumped into his arms.

Lex smiled absently, fingering the thin-bladed dagger in his hand before put it back in its place on the wall. His mother had always hated this room, of all the rooms in the old castle. She used to think there was too much violence in the Luthor history and was adamant that they shouldn't glorify it.

"Are you listening to me, Alexander?" His father admonished, cutting through Lex's thoughts with a voice harsher than usual because he suspected Lex of ignoring him.

"Yes, Dad." The reply was said through tightly clenched teeth.

Sometimes, Lex agreed with his mother. Sometimes, however, he thought about how convenient the contents of this room could be to him and how easily he might indulge in his little fantasy. Then, he could be Zeus and rule Olympus in his own way.