09/18/11

This chapter barely made it up today due to internet problems at work. It's SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO LONG! I've been working on this between all the little stuff for other days, I hope you enjoy it.

Chapter 51

Tweek and Brainy said good bye to Penton before heading back towards the lab, reach carrying a side of the box.

"Your arms getting tired?" Tweek asked when they were about half way back.

Brainy shook his head, "No, but I can stop if you need a break."

At that Tweek raised an eyebrow, which gave off the appearance of being trimmed with weed wacker missing a few blades, as to say 'do I look old to you' before puffing out his chest and saying, "Actually I was going to offer to carry it for a while. I'm stronger than I look, you know."

Following his example, Brainy raised a hairless eyebrow and smile, "As am I."

With both eyebrows arched now, Tweek smiled back, "Oh really?"

"Yes," Brainy replied, feeling challenged now, "And I could get even stronger if I wanted."

"Even stronger; you mean like instantly?" Tweek didn't seem to believe him, "How would that work?"

"I'd grow into my bigger form," Brainy explained.

Clearly not enough of an explanation, Tweek blinked at him, "Ya lost me. What?"

With a smirk Brainy grew into his bigger robotic form, taking the box with him as he grew upward.

"Like this."

"Okay, you win," Tweek said meekly before falling back to sit on the ground. "And I think I just had a small heart attackā€¦"

As quickly as Brainy's gears would allow, he shrunk back to his normal form so quickly that the flower fell off the top of the box and he nearly dropped it, tilting to the side but barely, and awakwardly keeping his balance.

"I'm so sorry!"

Tweek laughed, "I wasn't serious, Brainy, It was just a surprise. A freaking awsome surprise!" He leaped to his feet, talking quickly. "You are officially the coolest, most amazing boy I know." He spotted the flower. "Oh hey, you dropped the Soldier's Stem." He stooped down and picked it up before grinning at him. "Hows about, since your the big tough guy here, I carry the flower and you carry the heavy box?"

All Brainy could do was stare at him before remembering to breath. During those breathless momenta all Brainy could do was recall all the times he had been called a monster since coming to this dimension. He never would have forgiven himself if his battle mode had scared someone into a heart attack. Rumor had it when J'onn Jones first came to Earth, his true alien form, had scared an old scientist into a heart attack and the scientist died.

"You had scared me for a moment there..." With some hesitance he grew back to his bigger form and started to walk back towards the lab again while carrying the box.

"Sorry," Tweek apologized with a chuckle. "But that's a pretty cool ability." Suddenly he frowned. "It doesn't hurt when you do that, does it?"

"No, but you're the first person to respond positively to it," commented Brainy, suddenly realized that Kal-El had ever commented on it. The first time he was in battle mode around Kal-El the other boy had been unconscious from Dickhead's laser blast. The second, and only other time Brainy could recall being in battle mode around Kal-El, was during that trail right after the alignment. Kal-El had been too busy trying to keep Brainy from hurting the Enforcers that were attacking him and Brainy himself had been too crazy to fully recall KalEl's expression then.

Even with all the times Kal-El called him cute Brainy doubted the Kryptonian included his battle mode in that declaration.

"Waddya mean?" asked Tweek, brining Brainy back to reality.

Regretting brining it al, Brainy half shrugged and mumbled, "Let's just say the term 'monster' came up a lot."

Tweek didn't say anything at first but when he did his tone was low with a certain edge to it, "By whom exactly?"

It took Brainy only a moment for him to recall someone that Tweek couldn't hunt down and maim. Or whatever it was the crazygenius thought could be an appropiate punishment; maybe tickle torture?

"The former chairman is already dead."

Tweek cursed but then smiled up at him, "Well, I'm hoping you're not honestly listening to that crackpot. You're about as much a monster as I am."

Unsure of what to say, Brainy looks at all the flowers in the field around them. Funny how he had never noticed nature much before; so wrapped up I technology he didn't appreciate what the world gave all so naturally and unselfishly. It was a shame that not much of New Metropolis was wide, open and green like this.

Almost unwittingly Brainy thought of Clark out in the country, in the corn fields of Smallville Kansas. Bright and warm; open and calming, just like a sunny day.

Then Brainy thought of Kal-El; out in a Ringlets field, sweaty and muddy and smiling with that same bright warmth that filled Brainy to the core. He thought of his laugh, his energy, the way he and Zel-Kar would fight as if they couldn't stand each other but filled with a love only siblings shared. He was more like the calm you clinged to before the hurricane, though you often got more hurricane then calm, while Clark was the calm breeze over a carefully plotted field.

Why did his thoughts always return to such things?

Tweek's scream brought Brainy back to reality again. At first Brainy thought Tweek did it on purpose to get his attention but then he saw that Tweek waswaving one arm around while clutching the plant with the other.

"Spider!" Tweek yellwed almost like a chant. "Get it off me!" He pleaded. "Get it off, get it off, get it off!"

It only took Brainy a moment to track down the spider. He bent down and held out his hand in the spider's path so the spider woul crawl onto it. Once having it in hand, laid his hand on the ground and didn't straighten until he spider crawled off. He then turned back to Tweek.

"Are you alright?"

Not answering Tweek glared at spider before bringing his foot down dangerously close to it, making it run off faster. "That's right, tell your friends you eight legged jerk! I won't miss next time!" He breathed heavily a moment before turning to Brainy like nothing happened. "Now I'm good."

"I take it that you're afraid of spiders," Brainy stated.

"I fear nothing!" Tweek declared but then frowned and looked off to the side. "I'm just... wary of them."

Figuring it was best not to comment, or laugh even good naturedly, Brainy just nodded and they started back towards the house again. When they got closer, they saw Kal-El waiting for them on the door step.

The fuzzy image of Kal-El's expression when he tried to call Brainy back from fighting the Enforcers ccame back to Brainy's mind. Though he knew it was impossible forKal-El to have not seen him by now, he had no desire to give Kal-El a close up look and shrunk back to normal size, much more camly then before but still with a certain hast to it. He stretched out his arms a little to keep the box balanced in his arms but it was hopefully unnoticeable.

"Kal-El, what are you doing here?"

Looking up at them, Kal-El's face look hollowed and a little pale, his eyes half lidded.

"Hiding," He said gravely. "Ringlets recruiters and Enforcer recruiters have been following me around all day. They were even waiting outside the doors and windows during my science tests so I couldn't concentrate." He groaned, "I don't think I'll be joining Tweek and Dad in the realm of science any time soon."

"I'm sure you did fine," Teek claped his back. "And if you didn't, well, there's always retirement. Sports and law enforcement careers only last so long. You'll need something to do in your golden years but really, it's about whatever you want to do." He used his iris scanner to open the door and lead them in. "Come on in, I hope you haven't been waiting long. We just went for a little walk to pick up a delivery and had a small botany lesson on the way."

When Tweek held up the Soldier's Stem, Kal-El brightened.

"Hey, my Mom has one of those that she had perserved in glass. She said my second father gave it to me shortly after I was born." He paused and turned to Tweek. "Which would be you so you already know that."

Tweek chuckled with a tint of sadness behind it, "That was during the scare when Jor started plans for the rocket to send you off to Earth in. I was scared what might happen to you so I gave you one as kind of protection charm." He quickly turned to Brainy and spoke fast. "You can put the box down near the work table. We can set it up later." He started to walk off, making the flower dance in his hands. "I'll find a something to put this in."

Before Brainy could walk towards the work table, Kal-El put his hand on Brainy's shoulder.

"How come you alays try to hide your mechanical parts form me?"

Brainy opened his mouth and wordlessly closed it before pulling away to put down the box.

"Hey, this is one lucky plant," Tweek announced cheerfully as he returned with the solider's loosely placed into an old clay pot. "I actually had a pot left from when I tried to keep some houseplants." His expression became utterly serious. "FYI, they don't like explosions." He then smiled and wiggled the pot a little. "Could use some more dirt though."

"I'll go get some more," Brainy quickly volunterred before rushing back outside. He went to the side of the path and started to change his hand into the tool he used earlier but stopped and looked back towards the door. It was closed seeing as no one had followed him outside; both a relief and a disappointment.

It was ridiculous, Brainy knew, but he couldn't get the word "monster" out of his head. He looked down at his hand and thought of all the times Kal-El called him cute then remembered the terrified shrieks of the campers at the sanctuary and Penton's miniature freak out from that very day.

Without using a tool, Brainydug into the dirt, his hands already tough enough for this task. He rid the clump of grass and checked it for insects, or rather spiders, before walking back inside to find Tweek and Kal-El discussing something.

As Brainy approached Kal-El took the clay pot from Tweek and set it down on a table between them. He helped break up the dirt clump and place it around the plant.

Distracted by the task at hand, Brainy absently scratched his face, getting some dirt on his cheek.

Kal-El chuckled, "Trying to plant yourself, Brainy?"

Brainy blushed as Kal-El gently rubbed the dirt off with his thumb, the blush increasing him Kal-El kissed him.

"Ah, young love," Tweek remarked with a sigh laughing when the boys turned to him with a shared blush.

"Lunch, who wants lunch?" Kal-El asked quickly.

As if on que Tweek stomach growled.

"Ah, lunch sounds good. You still got yours, right, 'cause I ain't sharing."

" Yeah, I got mine, barely," Kal-El laughed. "Zel-Kar tried to steal it from me when I was running from the Ringlets recruiters on the way to school."

"Better watch your food tonight then. You did get a call from your mother about that, right?" Tweek asked.

"I know I got a call at school but I was never able to call her back because of all the people cashing me," said Kal-El, "Why?"

"Well, she's basically planning a huge party tonight since your testing will be done and I," Tweek grinned deviously and turned to Brainy. "Should I tell him?"

"Sure," Brainy smiled.

"Tell me what?" Kal-El asked.

"I'm moving," Tweek grinned. "I've been allowed back in the city."

"That's great! Where?" asked Kal-El.

"It's a very nice house, I think, one house away from you guys," said Tweek.
"And it also means I'll get to come over whenever I like. Without Brainy having to chaperone me."

"Just don't barge into my room," said Kal-El and then added, with ultmost seriousness, "I might be naked."

As Brainy looked like he could die from blushing Tweek bursted out laughing.

"Still trying to become a nudist?"

"When the time is right," Kal-El smirked.

"If anyone needs me, I'll be blushing to death," Brainy moved to put the newly potted flower on a window cill until he remembered that there wasn't any.

"Why? You've already seen me half naked," Kal-El said off handedly. "Twice!"

"And me too, for that matter," commented Tweek. "Also twice."

"Thank goodness it was the top halfs," Brainy grumbled, setting the plant on the table with the least amount of stuff on it.

After Tweek and Kal-El chuckled together at Brainy's expression, Tweek suggested they ate outside since it was so nice out. They find an old blanket and lay it out under a tree before opening up the lunches Laura packed them.

As soon was Tweek opened his lunch, he blushed, "...she put in a happy face cupcake."

Ignoring Kal-El's laugh, Brainy opened his lunch as well.

"She put one in mine too..."

"I guess we have matching lunches," Kal-El pulled out cupcake and held it out, it's frosting face facing Brainy. When he spoke again he had made his voice higher. "Brainy's happy face cupcake I love you! Kiss me!"

Though Brainy rolled his eyes he took out his cupcake and held it up the cupcake's face facing Kal-El's cupcakes face. There was no harm in playing along in Kal-El's farce but he was not going to give his food a voice.

With a grin Kal-El moved his cupcake in front of Brainy's and acted like he was going to press the faces together only to keep them barely separated while making high pitched kissing noises.

"Didn't your mothers ever teach you not to play with your food?" Tweek sounded more humored them annoyed.

"She tried," Kal-El smiled.

"I don't really remember my mother," stated Brainy.

Tweek's eyes went wide, "Oh, sorry Brainy, I didn't mean to-"

To stop him, Brainy raised his hand that wasn't holding the cupcake.

"It's fine."

Putting down his cupcake, Kal-El pulled Brainy into a half hug and kissed his temple.

"My parents are your parents too, as long as you want them."

"Who wouldn't want them?" Tweek asked before he began to eat.

The question was asked off handedly but Brainy found it to be very true. They were everything someone would want in a parent. Both of them were kind, talented, loving and supportive of their children. It was almost a crime that they didn't have more of them, then again perhaps that's why they were so open to being parents to others, like himself and, in a way, to Tweek as well.

Still Brainy couldn't help but find it a little awkward. He couldn't remember his mother very well but he knew he loved Laura as one, having even called her as such a couple of times before. But he had never had a father and though he liked and respected Jor-El he felt awkward thinking of him as a father, perhaps because he knew how much the man hated his ancestor the original Brainiac. Then again, Jor-El himself said he knew Brainy was nothing like the original and accepted him ad, more importantly, his relationship with Kal-El. The only reason he could come up with for his awkwardness was that Jor-El had never openly invited Brainy to think of him as a father as Laura had done frequently in regard to her as a mother. And it didn't seem like something you could ask permission for.

The three of them sat and talked about Kal-El's parents. The conversation focused mostly about Laura being pregnant with Martha but still chasing reporters with a broom when the reporters had circled the house after Brainy had pulled that girl from the fire. They, or rather Tweek and Kal-El, theorized on how much more damage she could do now that she was no longer pregnant if the recruiters stalked Kal-El to their house.

"Laura will probably wan to know what kind of dishes you want to eat for tonight," Brainy commented when Tweek said Kal-El should probably call his mother. He frowned when Kal-El smirked. "Why does that look worry me?"

"I'm predicting something sweet," Tweek smiled.

Remembering the preparation for the naming of seconds ceremony Brainy and glared at Kal-El.

"Don't you dare!"

"Whatever do you mean Brainy?" Kal-El was horrible at feigning an innocent expression.

"I know what you're thinking, so don't."

"Don't what?" Kal-El batted his eyelashes.

"Don't you dare request green frosting!"

"Green frosting? Brainy, would I do that?"

"Yes! Yes you would!"

"What's the big deal if we have green frosting?" asked Tweek.

"It's because of what he does with green frosting," Brainy blushed.

"Allow me to demonstrate," Kal-El quickly dabbed cupcake frosting onto Brainy's cheek, pulling him close, cupping his face and licking his cheek before Brainy could get away.

For a moment Tweek stared at them.

"Ooo... Kinky."

Kal-El laughed as Brainy blushed and pushes him away to grab a napkin and wipe off his face.

"I wish, but I'm starting to think Brainy doesn't have a sex drive."

Brainy blushed so badly that it looked like his skin got darker at he stared at Kal-El in disbelieve.

"Eh, might just take the right motivation," Tweek commented as if this was normal conversation. "You could try getting wet- no wait, that only works between two Coluans, doesn't it? You wouldn't be able to smell junior."

Now Brainy stared at Tweek with his jaw dropped.

Not understanding Kal-El not to distrectly tried to smell himself.

"I smell? I did run a lot..."

"When I came out of the shower, Brainy explained to me how when Coluans get wet, their natural scent gets heightened and works kind of like a love drug. He couldn't smell me but said I'd probably smell like a coconut," Tweek chukled. And that's why Coluans only get wet around the one they want to," he noticed Brainys expression. "Brainy, are you okay?"

Unable to speak Brainy covered face in embarrassment.

"Well, I guess that explains why you always waited to shower until after I went to school or something," Kal-El smiled and kissed Brainy's hand since he can't get to his face. "Don't worry, I'm not going to try to jump you in the shower or anything."

Slowly Brainy peeked out from behind his hands.

"I promise," Kal-El's smile brightened.

Even more slowly, Brainy uncovered his face.

Kal-El kissed his cheek before turning to Tweek, "As you were saying about the right move?"

Blush returning Brainy coverd his face again.

Tweek smirked, "I think that's more of a personal thing you two need to work out yourselves. I'm getting a little tired of playing love doctor."

"At this point, I'm just doing this to make him blush," Kal-El winked.

"You're so lucky I love you," Brainy grumbled still covering his face, uncovering it when Kal-El kissed Brainy's hand again.

With a chuckle Tweek finished eating and lied back with a sigh, "I forgot how nice it is to just come out and lay down. I've been cooped in there for what feels like forever."

"You weren't forbidden from leaving the house were you?" asked Brainy, remembering his days of similar treatment on Colu.

"No, but they, and by they I mean Dickhead, kept me so buried under work most of the time I rarely got the chance to go outside except when Penton couldn't drive up. Heck, some months I barely even slept," Tweek groaned in memory.

"But, how could he make you work so hard? Were they all projects they had to be done right away?" asked Brainy.

"Not officially," Tweek frowned, "and now that Pri-Nox mentioned it, I doubt even half of them were real city projects. But he put a lot of pressure on me to finish them by certain point in time. I always did, and early I might add, but then he'd have something else for me."

Brainy frowned, "Normally I'm against the Phantom Zone but I hope he gets sent there so the other prisoners can pound on him."

"That would just make me wish there was a way to watch!" Tweek grinned.

"Shouldn't there be a way to do that anyway; watch the prisoners I mean?" asked Kal-El. "That General Zod guy escaped, who knows what else could happen since people tend to throw them in and forget they're there"

"Yeah, we'd need to do something about that," Tweek agreed. "Out of sight may be out of mind, but that doesn't mean they give up. And that Zod bastard was particularly nasty and crafty. Glad he's gone."

"He died in the explosion?" asked Brainy.

"He better have!" Tweek sprung back up. "According to the report the whole building was leveled. No survivors. And Princess, er, Pri-Nox's report said that Duo," he sighed, eyes drifting downward, "Duo held the bastard down till she got us out."

"Duo," Kal-El questioned, "was he an Enforcer?"

Tweek shook his head, "No, he was a robot. Zod kidnapped me to make weapons and some of the first I built him were robotic drones I nicknamed silverfish. After Princess got me out of my cell we had to make our way back, but I found one of the old drones in the trash room. I fixed him up so he could help us; strange thing is he seemed to develop a personality after I fixed him."

"What was he like?" asked Ka-El.

"Inquisitive," Tweek started with a smile, "Serious about his 'work', which was helping us but very happy go lucky too. He used to hug me all the time, which was kind of difficult since he had twelve legs and weighed half a ton. He couldn't really talk, but he communicated well with body language and if I let myself think about it, I could swear I heard him say 'thank you' just before I lost consciousness at the end. I thought about trying to rebuild him afterwards, but it wouldn't be the same as him still being here."

"No, it could never be the same even if you made him identical to the last one," Kal-El agreed.

"It sounds like you were in there with Pri-Nox and Duo a long time. I thought it had been a very quick operation," said brainy but then thought about it and asked, "Do you still have Duo's parts? More specifically his head?"

Tweek blinked, "Uh, I think they said they recovered some parts of him from the wreckage but it was declared evidence and I wasn't allowed near it. You might be able to talk to Pri-Nox or one of the higher ups about it. Why?"

"Well, if you had the brain you might be able to recover the memories and personality of Duo and just give him a new body," said Brainy.

"You think so?" Tweek grinned. "I mean, he went through a huge explosion, I suppose it would be possible, if I could get a look and see what's left of him..." He nodded to himself. "I'll asd Pri-Nox about it next time I see her, I'm sure she would like to see Duo again too."

"I'm sure she'll be able to help, especially if Duo was that important to the both of you. How long were you guys in the building together before she got you out?" asked Kal-El.

"It's hard to say. It was only one story high but it went for stories under ground where I had been kept," Tweek began. "I think I was there for about a week maybe before they were able to find it and send people in. It took Princess about a day and a half to actually find me and then I think we spent two trying to get back to the surface. We were able to find a place to sleep for a while at some point so I might be wrong on the time. I know it was night when we finally faced Zod on the first floor."

"Wow..." Brainy couldn't imagine being trapped like that, especially with little supplies and only a stranger and a robot to help you.

"Wow is right," nodded Kal-El. "How could you have spent that much time with her and have no idea it was Pri-Nox?"

She had her helmet on practically the entire time to stay in touch with the extraction team and use an electronic map she had," Tweek explained. "It got knocked off at the end but I didn't have a lot of time to take in her looks while I was trying to keep Zod's attention on me so he wouldn't try and kill her."

"Did you like her back then too or is it a recent development?" Kal-El smiled at the blush that spread across Tweek's face.

"I, I liked her then," Tweek admitted.

"Arer you going to let her know that you know that she's princess?" asked Kal-El.

"I'm not quite sure how to bring it up honestly," Tweek sighed. "It's not like we can just go for a walk and I can say 'Hey, you know what? This reminds me of the time you saved my ass from that psychotic, power hungry general that kidnapped me?. Remember? I rescued a robot from the trash, we ran for our life through fourteen floors full of guns and traps, almost died a couple of times; good times'."

"Why don't you just thank her?" asked Kal-El.

"How would that work?" asked Brainy.

"Well, if you think about it, Pri-Nox has done a lot for our family, including Tweek. He could thank her for all she's done and list a few things and mention saving his life from Zod," Kal-El explained.

Brainy rolled his eyes, "That's not obvious at all."

"Thanks," Kal-El grinned.

Tweek thinks about it and smiles.

"Yeah, that could work. Hopefully Jor's right and she is Princess though, cause otherwise I'm going to look really stupid if I do that. But the more I think about it the more I think she it's her."

The three of them clean up their little picnic and head back to the lab so Kal-El can call Laura. Once back Tweek went to shower and change while Kal-El used his holophone. Kal-El finished his call at the same time Tweek returned in some of his nicer clothes but his hair is still down and damp.

"Does this make me look fat?" Tweek actually twirled around.

"Tweek, you sound like such a girl!" Kal-El laughed.

Brainy elbowed him lightly to stop the laughter, "You look fine Tweek."

With a grin Tweek shook his head like a dog so it spikes out again before pulling on his head band.

"What'd your mother say?"

"That I should have called sooner and she'll beat up anyone who tries to bother me at home and that she wants Brainy to dress in his kryptonian clothing. Oh, and that we should hurry up and get our butts home before the table breaks with all the food that's on it," Kal-El listed in complete seriousness.

"Qish I owned a car," Tweek sighed. "Oh well, we'd better start on back if we want to get there in time."

"I wouldn't get in the car with you driving," staed Kal-El as he followed him out the door.

"When do people get their liscenses on Krypton?" asked Brainy.

"Around the time they graduate usually," answered Kl-El. "Since I'm done with my tests for school, I'll be taking the class to learn how to drive starting next week."

"Good for you!" Tweek gave him a highfive. "That doesn't help us now though, does it?"

"Nope," Kal-El chuckled, "but I should have a liscense in a week or two so if you're not moved yet I can help you move, maybe even commute your back and forth occasionally."

Tweek almost jumped onto Kal-El back with his eagerness to hug him.

"You are the best nephew ever!"

Managing not to fall over, Kal-El shrugged Tweek off.

"Well, at least someone thinks so. My uncle Zor-El never seemed to like me very much."

"Zor has a stick perpetually shoved up his ass," Tweek stated but then smiled. "He doesn't like me either, can you imagine?"

"I can't imagine why," Kal-El laughed. "Especially since you like him so much. At least Kara's nice. No idea how that happened what with her dad and his, as you nicely put it, stick shoved up his ass. I don't know if you know but Kara got married a few years ago and has a daughter named Carol."

"Seriously?" Tweek gapped at him, then sighed, making his voice sound like an old man's. "I remember when she was just a little ankle biter." He laughed, voice returning to normal. "But yeah, thank Krypton she didn't take after her father; in looks or personality."

Though Brainiac's collection of data on Krypton wasn't complete, Brainy did know what Zor-El looked like and his rotton personality.

"Definately a good thing," Brainy agreed.

"Why?" asked Kal-El.

"Why what?" Brainy asked in return.

"Do you think she's pretty?" Kal-El asked seriously.

"What?" Brainy frowned.

"You asked who her husband was before, are you disappointed she's taken?" Kal-El tried to hold onto Brainy as they walked.

"No!" Brainy blushes and tried to push Kal-El off of him without dropping the soldier's stem.

"Then why isn't it a good thing?"

"Because in my dimension she helps out your counterpart as Supergirl."

"That makes no sense. If I'm Superman, why is she Supergirl? That's sexist!"

"She's Supergirl because she's younger then you."

"That makes less sense! She's my older cousin!"

"Yes, but in my world she was put in stasis until you rescued her as an adult when she was still a teen, thus making you older."

"How does that work?"

"I don't know. Many historical records have been lost-"

"Then how come you know so much about alter-me and supergirl and-"

With an eye roll Brainy quickly kissed Kal-El's cheek who instantly fell silent, blinked, then smiled happily.

Meanwhile Tweek was trying to figure out all the new information.

"Wait, if she was born before Kal, she'd still technically be older... Oh whatev, let's just get there so we can sit for a while and then stuff our faces."

When they get into town Kal-El turned to Tweek, smiling charmingly and spoke as if speaking to a child.

"Now when we cross the streets Uncle Tweek, you need to hold my hand so nobody gets hurt, okay?"

Not amused Tweek rolled his eyes.

"Oh, you are a riot, Kal. I used to hold your hand when we crossed the street so you wouldn't get hit by anything, you know."

"For some reason, that image strikes me as very cute," Brainy admitted though he couldn't pinpoint the reason why.

Tweek grinned, not noticing when they came to a cross walk.

"Yeah, except half the time I just found it easier to pick him up over my shoulder like sack and carry him across; him laughing the whole time."

"You mean like this?" asked Kal-El quickly grabbing Tweek, just as he was about to step into the street without looking and throwing him over shoulder before running across the street laughing like a deranged kidnapper.

It being impossible not to be embarrassed for them Brainy avoided people's stares and followed them across the street, catching up just as Kal-El returned a laughing Tweek back to his feet.

"Since it was usually you laughing like a maniac that was pretty damn close!"

They started walking together again, Kal-El looking contemplative about something.

"I still don't remember you at all from when I was younger. I remember next to nothing of when I was younger actually."

After a pause Tweek commented, "It happens. Maybe you really did just surpress your memories of me and others followed suit."

"Maybe," Kal-El sighed, "but my earliest memory was like when I was seven, or eight. You weren't locked away yet were you?"

"I was sent away a little before you turned six but you visited regularly for a while with your dad," Tweek's smile as sad. "Then you just sort of stopped coming with him after a while."

"Weird... I wonder," Kal-El glanced at Brainy but looked ahead without saying anything.

Any possible further conversation was suddenly stopped dead when someone from the street around them shouted, "By krypton! It's Brainiac Five!"

"Oh sprock," Brainy cursed.

"Hey, better you than me," Tweek laughed.

"Run?" asked Kal-El.

"Run," agreed Brainy. He'd rather fight the Fatal Five then face the swarm of fangirls that were approaching them.

Kal-El took the soldier's stem from Brainy and grabbed his hand before he started running. Brainy, in turn, quickly rached for Tweek's hand but ended up grabbing his wrist as they took off.

"Well, you're a popular guy. Good thing Kal has you or-" Tweek began but suddenly ran past them, surprisingly fast.

"What is he running from?" asked Brainy to which Kal-El shrugged. When they catche up Tweek is on the door step of the El house, doubled over and panting.

Kal-El threw open door and drags the two scientists inside befpre shutting the door behind them.

"So what lit your pants on fire?"

"One of those girls," Tweek gasped for air, "looked like my, my ex." He took a deep breath and straightened. "Old survival instincts kicked in I guess."

"Ex?" asked Kal-El.

"Don't ask; it's too horrible."