Disclaimer: Supernatural and Smallville are not mine.

Summary: When Sam meets an eighteen-year-old Lex Luthor at Stanford, safety and normalcy become a dream.


It felt like the first day after parent-teacher conferences – the few times his dad was forced to show up by nosy counselors or guilted into it by Pastor Jim. Sam hated those times. Nobody seemed to understand that he did not want his dad to come. He didn't. Whenever his dad came, he would be inevitably followed by -.

The name "Sam Winchester" and "is that him?" drifted to his ears.

Yeah, he would be followed by whispers and pointing.

There was always pointing, 'cause John Winchester had a presence. It wasn't a stare-in-awe-presence but a run-while-you-still-can presence. After he came by, people would look to Sam, pointing at the Winchester that wasn't likely to bite their finger off if they got too close.

Sam could still hear the whispers carried over from old schools; "Is that him? Did you hear what his dad did? That is so freaky. He's a total freak. His brother's an asshole. His dad's a psycho. Don't know where his mom is; probably took off. My dad said…My mom said…I heard…" As usual, his dad and Dean were above it all. It didn't matter if they didn't pay enough attention to hear it. However, Sam heard it. Always.

And – damn it – his dad came again and made him feel like a twelve-year-old who wanted to scream at everyone to just. Shut. UP. The great John Winchester came and made him -.

Sam kept a hold on the strap of his backpack but kicked out hard enough to send it swinging fast. Inevitably, it swung back toward him, the books nailing him hard in the leg.

There was someone pointing, the guy in the dorm two doors over.

"Can I help you?" Sam asked. The guy stiffened. Just because something wasn't likely to bite didn't mean it wouldn't.

LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

When the guy shrugged and backed away slowly, Lex sighed. Sam was having a tantrum to rival Victoria's when her father's servants dumped her stash.

He had foregone breaking into Lex's room and instead was already bunched into a corner of the lecture hall. He had then began to swing his leg into the wall with so much force that Lex could swear there was a dent when he left.

The violence had continued from there. It went from throwing pencils and slamming doors to almost decapitating a statue with his backpack.

"Are you okay?" Lex asked.

Sam didn't stop glaring at the retreating boy but he answered, "I'm fine." His jaw was set and he still had a death grip on the strap of his backpack.

"Are you sure?" Lex asked, continuing to walk again.

Sam followed. "I think I'd know if I had a problem."

"Of course you would."

"What does that mean?"

Lex glanced at Sam. He'd been careful to keep any extra meaning out of his voice so Sam must have been looking to fight someone. One wrong word, and Lex had a feeling he might as well volunteer. "It means that you usually have good control of your emotions and it's reasonable to assume that your control would be applied as much now as ever."

Sam stared at him a moment before snorting. "That was a very proper way of explaining it Lex," he said, and, just like that, he deflated.

Lex frowned, because when Sam deflated, it seemed like a literal deflation. His shoulders hunched, his head went down, and everything about him appeared to get a lot smaller.

At the moment, he was a walking pile of clothing and hair.

"I know an intern at Cadmus Labs. He's going to get a hold of the files on Helen Marshall, see why they relocated the body," Lex offered.

That was apparently the wrong thing to say. Sam swiped his hand on his jeans, wiping off something invisible. Then, somehow, he got smaller.

Lex tried again. "I'm not sure how to look into United Weaponry if we don't know where to start. I believe Alec Schneider is in Spain at the moment. I know Ryan Schneider but he doesn't like me all that much."

"Caleb's gonna' talk to him," Sam interrupted.

Lex didn't know who Caleb was but, judging from Sam's tone, he could make Ryan say the right things. "We still don't know where to find Eric Maples."

Sam interrupted again. "Eric Maples is dead. He was beaten to death. He wasn't part of this. He was -," Sam paused, "He was in the business."

"What business?"

Eyes came up between the clothing and hair. They shifted back down again. "He was part of my dad's business. My dad, my brother, and Caleb are all in the same business. They – uh – they're kind of like investigators or hunters…maybe."

Lex cocked an eyebrow. Bounty hunters…maybe.

Sam continued, "He went there to look into what happened. Caleb, my brother, and my dad are there now to look into what happened to him."

"That's why your dad finally left?"

The pile of clothing and hair got bigger until it developed back into Sam, jaw clenching and all. "Yeah, thank god Caleb called him away."

"Did you want to see him?"

"For what? So he can give his orders and we could shout at each other all day long?" Sam began his kicking his backpack again. He developed a low and authoritative voice. "Look what you did, Sam? Do you even know what you did? You put me and your brother in deep shit 'cause you can't keep your head down." Sam sped up. Sam's voice was slowly returning to normal but he kept talking, like he was addressing himself. "Always pulling crap like this and we have to deal with it. First, you take off, throwing a fucking tantrum." He was practically jogging across the grounds. "Then, you go out hunting like a stupid-ass and pull Jim and Caleb all the way out there to save your sorry ass. Now, you can't make it without pulling some other shit. God damn it, Sam! What the fuck is wrong with you?"

He went silent, breathing a little too even. He entered his building at a slower pace and led the way to his dorm. Mickey was in there with a girl. Her hair was dyed black and her long and lethal-looking fingernails were going through Sam's drawer.

Sam brought a hand up to pinch the bride of his nose. "Mickey," he said, warningly.

The girl spun, caught in the act. She gave Sam a cursory glance and dismissed him. Luckily, for her safety, Mickey stepped in; "I'm sorry. I told her you probably don't have one but she want to look because we need one and we kind of want one and -."

"What do you want Mickey?"

Mickey blushed. "Well, um…"

The girl rolled her eyes at him. "Condom," she said, flatly.

Sam moved toward the girl and, for a moment, Lex thought he might physically remove her from the room. Instead, he bent down, reached beneath the bed, dragged out a duffle, and pulled a condom from out of a side pocket. He tossed it at the girl. "Go to your room," he ordered.

She huffed. "Whatever." She left with long fingernails waving dismissively in the air. Mickey trailed after her.

Sam took a seat on his bed, elbows on knees. "I'll check the Daily Planet news. They might have a hint on what Intergang's into now."

Lex nodded, waiting.

A full minute later, Sam finally looked up. "He doesn't get to make me feel guilty," he said, one hand squeezing another fist. "He doesn't have the right."

If there was one thing Lex knows, they didn't need the right to make you feel like a fuck up. Just the power.


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