Lena, like all of National City, likely the world, watched as Supergirl and Superman took down yet another Cadmus lab. There were four cyborgs and the humans seemed to have guns that at least affected the hero’s. Her knuckles were white as she and the rest of her employees gathered round the large screen on her floor. Jess had a hand covering her mouth as she stood behind her shoulder.
She stared in awe as the Super’s took down the cyborgs. The two were working in seamless harmony as equals. Pride in how her friend was demonstrating her capabilities welled in her. Though the sensation was almost sickening when mixed with terror. But it was clear they were winning. And then the Super’s disappeared from view into the bunker.
The news showed the black unmarked military organization, DEO Lena thought to herself, arrived and began to take down the still standing human Cadmus agents. It was efficient and hardly as nail biting as the earlier Super fight. The news commentators began to discuss and hypothesize over why the Super’s hadn’t come out of the building yet. It took fifteen agonizing minutes before Supergirl flew out of the building.
Lena frowned, she wasn’t wearing her cape. Instead she had something wrapped up in it that she was carrying. Superman was hot on her heels and they looked like they were arguing. She felt her eyes widen as the camera got a good angle on Kara’s face. Kara was livid, furious didn’t even begin to touch on the sheer fury that she was directing towards her cousin.
The commentators seemed as confused and concerned at what was clearly a fight between the planet’s strongest protectors. They’d never been seen as anything less than giddy when in each other’s presences. It was disconcerting; this type of rage from a Super was unprecedented. And then the thing wrapped in Kara’s cape and in her arms moved. Lena watched on the tv as a chubby little hand reached out moving the cape enough for a tousled little head of black hair. Oh god, Lena felt ill. What had Cadmus been doing to a child?
She was so caught up in horror at what her family had become she almost missed the moment where Supergirl slapped Superman across the face. Lena stared her mouth parted in shock as Kara tucked the child’s head under her chin before shooting off into the sky. Lena felt her phone vibrate in her pocket. Reaching down she ignored the tv still playing the scene of a gobsmacked Superman and the continued action by the DEO agents. Instead she looked down at her cell phone and felt the breath in her throat catch.
There on the screen was a text from Kara. ‘Come to the downtown hospital, bring your best lawyer.’
Something was very wrong. What the connection was between the fight she’d just seen, the child and apparently the need for her presence at a public hospital she didn’t know. Either way she knew if Kara asked it of her then it was needed. “Jess call Ms.Lance and tell her to meet me in my car in five minutes. And have Anthony bring round the car. And Jess, come along, I may need you.”
Lena marched through the crowd of paparazzi around the entrance of the hospital. It taken nearly an hour to get there. The roads had been blocked with a nightmare combination of rush hour, and emergency vehicles. She called Kara as she elbowed her way in through the doors. The call was picked up on the second ring. “Which floor am I going to?”
“Third, pediatrics unit.” Kara said shortly. The usual kindness or warmth complete gone from her voice.
Something was incredibly wrong, though now she knew it was about the child. “Should I be looking for a sweater or some blue?”
“I’m in the suit.” Kara hung up without even so much as a ‘see you soon’.
Lena was frankly alarmed by how off Kara was acting. She marched into the elevator Jess, and Ms.Lance hot on her heels. It took a great deal not to reveal to her employees how worried she was. But she managed, at least enough neither of them dared say anything. She felt like her skin was itching by the time the elevator dinged open and she could march straight for the glaringly out of place superhero.
As she approached she catalogued how Kara was standing in that loose but deadly manner. Well then, there was still a physical threat then. She noted the hospital security standing at the entrance to the wing. Surprisingly they let them into the pediatrics hallway. Kara’s head snapped to them as soon as the door opened. “Lena.” She slipped her cell phone out of sight as she turned more.
“What’s going on Supergirl?” She said as she closed the distance to the still tense hero who was rooted in front of a patient room. Also burning with curiosity about who she’d just been talking to on the phone.
“I…” Kara swallowed and seemed cloak herself in her mantle before continuing. The anger still present in her voice. “Cadmus grew a child. He’s healthy from what the doctor can tell so far but...Lena he’s half Lex.”
Lena felt a sharp breath escape her. “Lex had a son?”
Kara’s face twisted. “Yes. Or well by human standards no, Lex used genetic material from himself and Superman to grow a sentient weapon.” She looked sick at just saying the statement.
Oh..that..Lena didn’t even have the beginning stages of anything to handle this. What was the proper response to that?
Plowing on Kara ignored her lack of response. “But that doesn’t matter, he’s just a toddler. We’re not sure exactly what was planned for him but right now he’s just a healthy toddler who’s never done anything. But he wasn’t born. And humans have such archaic notions of humanity and he’s a hybrid. Lena they’re going to try and claim he isn’t a person and claim him for research.”
“Hence the public hospital to get him taken care of. No chance of the government trying to take him away from you with this much media attention.” Lena was relieved that she’d understood that much. And pushing aside personal feelings was a practice she had down to a fine art at this point. Logistics she could do. “What do you need my help with?”
Kara ran a hand through her hair. “He needs to be claimed as family by someone. You’re his closest blood relative other than Superman. And Kal…” Her lips curled back as fury radiated through her. She practically spat his name. “Kal wants to just hide him with a nice normal human family and worry about things later.”
She was saved from answering the amount of anger there by Laurel Lance, she mentally made a note to promote the woman. “You wish for my employer Ms.Luthor to make a claim of custody and use her connections to rush it before government actors can have him labeled as a thing instead of a person. If a court recognizes him as a child and awards custody, especially if someone as powerful as Ms.Luthor places him under her protection he’d be safe.”
“Yes.” Kara nodded sharply. “I would make a claim but with Kal uninterested and him being my cousin not to mention my night job…” She made an awkward stiff shrug. “No court would grant me custody, especially not if the government pressured them not to. Not to mention he’s safest being recognized for his human genetics. I’ve called Director Lane of the DEO and she’s on her way to Washington to delay any legal movements for the boy as long as possible.”
Laurel made a thoughtful noise. “Ms.Luthor is a certified foster parent even if a child has never been placed with her, which will help her case immensely. I believe you saved the life of judge Jefferson didn’t you? Could you get us a meeting with him today?”
“Yes.” Kara assured them. “I’ve already sent Alex to run his DNA against Lena’s and mine. With DEO technology and considering the rush we should have it in the next hour.”
“That makes things simpler.” Laurel pulled out a tablet and began to click away at it. “Would you speak in support of Ms.Luthor’s claim?”
“Of course!” Kara said passionately her entire presence softening. “If it wasn’t for the fact he’s family to both of us I would have already taken him and gone to a different universe where I have allies. He’d have been safe there and my highest priority is protecting him right now. But he’s not just my family, I couldn’t take that away. At least the choice.”
Lena had never been struck speechless when expected to speak. Because this was a choice wasn’t it. Everyone was waiting for her to make it. Laurel and Kara would make sure she gained custody of...her nephew if she wanted. Or if she didn’t she’d never see him again. Whether he would have a loving family wasn’t in question. Kara would love that boy in the way only she could love someone; completely unconditionally and without question. Could she take the boy in? He was Lex’s, he was family no matter how his existence had come about. “What’s his name?”
Kara smiled at her kindly and somewhat bashfully. “He didn’t have a name, just an experiment number. Though as Kal’s first born by Kryptonian tradition his name should be Kon-el.” There was a thrum of pride as she pronounced the name.
She was going to do this wasn’t she? Because even though she hadn’t seen him properly yet she’d wanted nothing so much in her entire life as family. “Well, I suppose we can end the ridiculous Luthor alliteration and give him a human name that refers to his Kryptonian name then.”
There was a blur and she was being hugged by Kara. “Thank you.”
“Of course, you better stick around to help when his powers come in.” She cringed at the thought of super strength temper tantrums.
Pulling back Kara laughed while wiping some tears that had leaked out. “Always, he is of house El. He carries our blood, to abandon him would be the greatest crime I could commit. And..” She smiled softly. “It’s not just Kal and I anymore. I’m not alone.”
Lena squeezed Kara’s arm in understanding. Afterall what were they both, but desperately lonely creatures, who’d lost far too much? “Ms.Lance I expect the required paperwork drawn up as soon as possible. I don’t care how much of my legal team you have to relegate to this project you do so. Gag orders all around. No one finds out anything about this except what I want them to know. Understood?”
“Right away Ms.Luthor.” Laurel hurried out into the corridor while pulling out her phone.
Turning to Jess she considered the next step. “Jess, I need you to call a press conference for tonight after we’ve gotten a judge to sign off on this. The more public we make this the more out of reach he’ll be from any who would wish him harm.” Lena’s brow crinkled as she thought through all the possibilities. “Supergirl, who knows his biological make up?”
Kara crossed her arms and considered. “The DEO, which means General Lane will know by the end of the day if he doesn’t know already. Anyone with high enough clearance will know by the end of the week. Outside of that my team knows, I’ve already called them all onto the case. Detective Sawyer will be here to handle security with officers she trusts. I know she arrested you but you can trust her.”
“I get it, she was just doing her job.” Lena considered that. Kara was circling the wagons. Actually now that she thought about it, the only contacts she hadn’t mentioned were those in the media. “You called in Cat Grant didn’t you?”
Kara blushed. “Yes, she’ll be here by the end of the day tomorrow. For now James will keep your involvement as above board sounding as possible. Bruce Wayne, Diana Prince, Kate Kane, and Ray Palmer have all agreed to help prevent your stocks from dropping when the media finds out what’s going on.”
“You…” Lena pinched the bridge of her nose. She’d question how on earth Kara knew every not completely evil CEO in the top ten most wealthy bracket in the world another day. “We’ll talk about that later. For now do you think it’s feasible to conceal his kryptonian heritage from the public?”
She looked thoughtful. “Yes, I’ll make Kal accept it if I have to. Whatever you say I’ll stand behind you.”
“Alright.” Lena considered how she was going to play this. It was completely out of left field, but...it was family.
Kara’s head snapped round as a doctor exited the room she’d been guarding. Lena breathed out, this was it wasn’t it?
Lena sat in the uncomfortable hospital chair and felt...she wasn’t sure what she felt. Pushing past it she gazed at the sweet face of the sleeping toddler. His dark hair and strong jaw were all Superman. But in the shape of his eyes, the nose, even the curly, messy mop of hair all reminded her of the long ago Lex of her childhood. She’d never met Lex when he was this young, but the resemblance was striking nonetheless.
Reaching out she touched the back of his little hand. She almost expected for him to yank his hand back, but that was silly, he was asleep. Ever so carefully she curled her fingers round his tiny hand. How could anyone have ever hurt him? But he was safe, she and Kara would make sure he remained that way. She sat slowly watching his chest rise and fall beneath the hospital blankets and Supergirl’s cape. When the door opened she didn’t move, already knowing who it was.
“Update.” She said lowly but firmly.
Ms.Lance shuffled through the papers she was holding. “The temporary custody agreement was upheld by a second judge. Apparently Supergirl had saved his dog from getting hit by a car last year. Officially you’re Conner Luthor’s guardian till a formal hearing can be organized in a month's time. By that time we will have an ironclad case built. Next I have three suggested options for the press briefing that’s in half an hour. Mr.Foster would like to remind you that as far as PR goes this could go either way and to, and I quote, ‘For the love of all that is holy, fucking smile you are not a robot’.”
Lena smiled at the familiar words from her head of PR. She was not good at being personable. When it came to business associates she was capable of being charming, seductive even if need be. When the camera’s came on though being...personable was not in her skill set. Apparently charming and seductive played into the super villain imagery. And now what was needed was..maternal joy. Biting the inside of her cheek she considered her options. Kara was the only one who seemed to be able to make her come across as human. “Tell me Ms.Lance, which strategy would you take before the media?”
“Surprised but happy.” She said shortly.