Lex stood at the balustrade on the patio, overlooking the tented back yard, shirt-buttons open at the collar and tie in his pocket. Flowers wilted and streamers sagged above empty tables and chairs. The cleaners swept stray programs, wedding favors, and lost items off the dance floor. The deejay packed his equipment and the bartender boxed half-empty bottles. The last of the guests had left, Clark had flown off to help the Justice League with some emergency, and PJ’s plane would be taxing down the runway, taking her and her husband on their honeymoon and embarking their new life together.
Lex looked at his son, as Sam joined him on the patio. “I thought you’d gone home.”
“I figured I’d see if you needed help.” Sam leaned his forearms on the balustrade. His wedding tuxedo was still neat; his short red hair artfully gelled by PJ’s hairstylist. “I was thinking of going to the lab, anyway.”
“It’s not like someone’s waiting for me at home,” Sam said frankly.
Lex studied Sam. He didn’t see his elder child much anymore. Sam was thirty-two, an adult, and his own person. He didn’t share his private life with his parents.
Lex wasn’t sure how to ask if Sam was okay. Clark was the nurturing one. Lex helped with the work-type things and in protecting his children. What Lex did know he’d gleaned from PJ, and that was that Sam would spend twenty-four/seven in his lab if he didn’t have his sister bothering him all the time.
“Do you think I’ll ever have this?” Sam spoke quietly, looking out into the decorated backyard.
Lex heard two layers to Sam’s inquiry. He mimicked Sam’s pose and answered the deeper question. “If PJ can find someone to put up with her, anyone can.”
“I think she beat Mark until he gave in.”
“She’ll hogtie someone for you, if you’d want.”
“I’m not that desperate.” Sam pushed off the balustrade. “You sure you don’t need me?”
“No. Everything’s covered,” Lex said.
“Then, I’m taking off,” Sam said. “Tell Dad I said goodnight.”
“I will.” Lex turned to watch Sam walk towards the house. “Sam?”
Sam stopped and looked back.
“You tell me when, and I’ll make it happen,” Lex said, motioning to the wedding cleanup behind him.
Sam gave him a smile that was pure Clark. “What makes you think I’ll be the bride?”