By Cathy McCaskill <>

Rated: PG

Submitted: September 2006

Summary: Sibling rivalry between Lois and Clark's sons produces tension in the family.


Chapter 1

The description of them as brothers was the appropriate identifier. The source of the sperm which fertilized both eggs was the same. The passion which instigated the copulations was equally as intense, although an argument could be made that being the first to ignite such love equaled a greater achievement. Protectiveness, concern, and the desires for their sons to thrive were the same for both young men.

The mothers were different, but their devotion to the family was unparalleled. Neither mother had known want in terms of survival. Both had known the emotional need for Clark Kent. He was considered a keeper because of his intellect, integrity, and outstanding physical presence in Lois Lane's world. In Princess Mariah's world, he was found wanting. Credit was tallied for his intellect, and demerits issued because of his lack of social status. His Caucasian race only gained him distrust in a world used to centuries of noble Nigerian rule clashing with European oppressors, and the civil unrest of the previous decade only intensified the distrust.

The two brothers sat in the cramped hospital room waiting for news as to whether their dad would live or die. This situation was unanticipated by anyone in the Kent clan. Prince Paul Kent Roho, Esquire, was the youngest lawyer in Dartmouth College's Ivy League history. Presently, he served as the Chief Legal Counsel for the Daily Planet. Dr. Jon Kent was the youngest Navy Seal in military history. He was currently on leave from Bethesda Hospital. Three years separated their births. Paul was the elder of the two, and at six foot five he easily towered over his younger brother and dad. Mutual respect for the other's professional acumen was undeniable. They felt affection for each other out of a sense of family obligation, but love was not in the equation. Each begrudged the other their father's attention. Paul envied Jon's time with his dad from the moment of conception. Jon envied Paul's daily contact with his dad at work.

The massive beige door opened, causing everyone in the room full of lanky legs, loud babies, and lightly veiled anxiety to gaze at the person entering. Dr. Bernard Klein wore his sense of hopelessness on his face like a novice gambler clutching only low cards as his skilled opponent spreads a royal flush.

"Let's go into the hall…we can have some privacy there," sighed the frustrated doctor as he held the door ajar. Bernard Klein snapped off his latex gloves and sealed them in a lead-lined envelope.

Bernard mumbled, "Kryptonite is obviously the culprit. Where is it? It's almost as if it's in the room with him. We've scanned every inch of his room and every other room in the place…even the air ducts and the toilet. The Kryptonite detector worksevery single time. The read outs only point to Kryptonite being somewhere near him. I don't know what to tell you. Tell your mother, Lois, that there's been no appreciable change. We have to just keep praying."

"Thanks, Dr. Klein. We all thank you," said Paul with his best smile. Jon knew that it was just an effort to appease their parents' friend. Jon eased his dad's medical file from under the doctor's arm. The irregular heartbeat disturbed him as did his dad's reports of intense abdominal pain. The other results were meaningless to him without baseline data.

"I'd like to examine him, Dr. Klein," stated Paul, accustomed to his orders being followed.

Bernard was empathic. "The Kryptonite readings are too high for either of you, and I don't need another patient or patients. That's why Lois isn't here with him during this first trimester of her pregnancy. Neither of you can visit him nor go any closer to him than this room. I will let him know that you were here." Bernard retrieved the medical file and left them in the corridor.

"Listen, do you hear the echo of the judge's gavel dismissing court?" laughed Paul.

"I hear the bark of the commander-in-chief dismissing the new recruits," laughed Jon.

"I'll go because I'm the oldest," smiled Paul broadly.

"Save the megawatt smile for someone who cares. I'll go since I'm the doctor," smirked Jon.

"We only need to find the location of the Kryptonite. Bernie will treat him. Besides…"

Whoosh. Only the vapor-like reflection of Paul's tailored black suit was left in his wake.

"That's your one and only, big bro'," smiled Jon as he returned to his child-size wobbly, plastic seat.


Chapter 2

"What's taking so long?" questioned the thoughts. Jon stepped over the feet of the sleeping man. He hurried down the hospital corridor deciding that walking was more prudent than flying.

"Drop some Pralines and Cream ice cream off to your mom. Thanks, little bro," came his brothers thoughts. Whoosh.

Clark Kent' hospital room: "Before the interrogation and the cross examination begin, I thank the Lord that dad is resting comfortably and obviously no Kryptonite is in the room. Mom, however, was in full, grand, inquisitor mode. I had to repeat Dr. Klein's diagnosis verbatim, report on my wedding plans, on Paul's health as well as my own, cite intelligence on any royal sightings, and report on dad's prognosis before I was curtly dismissed for the second time in so many hours." He noticed the rapid heartbeats of both men.

"You took a heck of a gamble, Paul," fumed Dr. Klein. "You could just as easily still be on the floor unconscious next to him."

"But then you wouldn't have discovered that the Kryptonite was strapped to his gunnery. A power nap during the day is very refreshing," laughed Paul, looking at Jon for assistance.

"So that's why you're so dapper. And I thought that it was the expensive clothing. You mean you didn't leave me in the middle of a sentence to catch a sale at Armani's?" Jon smirked.

"I just didn't have the time for cross examination, little brother," winked Paul. "Even though I'm not board certified, I can see that traces of liquid Kryptonite are on the lining of his esophagus. There are probably twenty to twenty-five ounces, more or less, in his stomach. Do you concur, Dr. Kent?"

"Well, yea. Notice the red pigments of …Hell," Jon sneered.

"Yea, I know what you mean. If we examine too long, we run the risk of burning a hole in his stomach," sighed Paul.

"You're both incredible. You're walking X-ray machines and microscopes," proclaimed Bernard in amazement.

"If we can get him to regurgitate a few times, it could remedy the situation," theorized Dr. Klein, "but, that's unlikely since he's unconscious."

Paul flipped open his cell phone. "Would you guys excuse me for a second?"

Dr. Klein decided to visit his home away from home while Jon waited in the corridor outside of his dad's lead-lined hospital room door. Within a few minutes, Jon could hear the faint sound of his mother pleading over the cell phone's speaker. His dad's responses were muffled at first. Slowly his voice became stronger, more like his Superman personae. A few moments later, he heard Paul cajoling his dad to try again. Jon listened to the unmistakable sound of gagging followed by liquid splattering on to tile. The litany was repeated until Jon heard the familiar 'Whoosh.'

"All done?" laughed Jon. He pushed opened the hospital door to discover Paul wearing blue jeans shorts which came just below his knees with a sky blue v neck cashmere sweater trimmed in white. His massive shoulders and exposed biceps made him look more like a model rather than the traditional image of a corporate attorney.

"Feeling better?" smiled Jon. His super abilities told him that only faint traces of the green menace remained in his dad's stomach.

"Lots," grinned Clark. He was antsy to discover the who, why, and how of his situation. His grin grew broader at the thought of the three of them tackling the dilemma together. He figured that a few minutes of the sun recharging their super abilities in his backyard would do the trick. Maybe Paul would finally agree to tell his younger brother about his sacrifice and Jet super hero personae. A small part of him continued to pray for the three of them forming a triad against crime, if only temporarily. Maybe his mom could create a disguise for Jon.

"What'd you say to taking your dad home? I miss my wife," thought Clark.

"Klein has to authorize it," reminded Jon. "I'll have him paged."

"Sweet," chuckled Paul, pushing open the drapes to Clark's window.

Clark could feel the rays being absorbed by his cells as they converted the rays to energy with rapid fire precision. Clark and his two sons sat, absorbing the sun for twenty minutes. Dr. Klein had not answered the page.

"Let's try dividing and conquering. I'll check Star Labs, and you the cabin by the lake."

"I'll check their favorite restaurant," piped in Clark.

"No," insisted both men simultaneously.

"Give it another hour," suggested Jon calmly.

"Fifteen minutes tops," retorted Clark.

Whoosh. Whoosh.


Chapter 3

It was as if Bernard Klein and the patient in room 13731 had been liquefied. Two puddles of thick, red liquid were all that remained outside of Bernard's Star Lab's office. Klein's clipboard held one sheet of paper which read 'Patient in 13731 — progress slow.' The clipboard and the pair of broken spectacles were all that remained to the human eye. Under super magnification, Clark and his sons saw traces of Kryptonite and red pigment. Jon and Paul knew that the liquid was the same substance they had seen in Clark's stomach.

"Look, Dad, you've only just gotten over your ailment. Why don't you sit this one out and let your sons carry the ball? We both know that you want us to be… Letting us work together could be a catalyst," offered Jon pragmatically.

"I suppose you'll amen that," replied Clark, looking over at his distracted older son, Paul.

"If we look at this as the crime scene it is… What do Klein and the patient have in common? We need to learn as much as possible about the patient and why there are no records of the man or woman," replied Paul oblivious to the words of both men.

"Let's start with the obvious; there is no thirteenth floor in the hospital, and room 731 does exist but it's being remodeled." Jon took out paper from the desk and started to chart out the clues.

"The stuff on the floor looks like my vomit," blurted out Clark. Both his sons were surprised that their dad knew that. "I saw it on the floor, remember? You may have cleaned it up at super speed, but I watched at the same speed. The red pigments are from alcohol. I will never be able to thank you enough for risking your life. The Lord knows I'm thankful," said Clark solemnly.

"What significance are the numbers 7, 3 and 1?" Jon questioned. He told himself that he had abruptly changed the subject because he wanted to lighten the moment and stay focused.

"Could they be a combination, a birth date, or maybe an address?" Clark suggested.

"Give me a break. That's your birthdate, Dad," smirked Jon, "Is this another elaborate scheme to lobby for my wedding being on your birthday?"

"Not a bad idea. As soon as we find Bernie, I'll share it with him," said Clark. "Bernie's car is still in the parking lot. It hasn't been moved since yesterday. Apparently Maria becomes even more of a workaholic when she's anxious. She's continuing her work at Star Labs to keep her mind off things."

"You said that alcohol was in both the fluid in your stomach and on the floor outside of Klein's office?" asked Jon of Clark.

"Only in mine but, not in…" replied Clark.

"So far everything points to you. The only person who may be able to add anything to this picture is Klein's wife. I think we need to question her," said Paul quickly.

"Let's meet at Star Labs in two hours," sighed Clark. He needed to emotionally recharge with his wife.


Chapter 4

"Thank the Lord you're better. I know that you three Musketeers will find Bernie before too long. Come cuddle with me for awhile," insisted Lois, turning back the beige throw covering her legs as she sat on their suede couch.

"Cuddling is all you're after, Mrs. Kent? It's been ten days since we've read anything together," seductively whispered Clark nudging his hip next to hers.

"That's because our grown son is on the phone in the basement whispering words of love to his honey," smiled Lois smoothing the throw snuggly across her husband's upper thighs.

"We better zoom to one of the islands because I am not making any promises about self control if you keep tucking me in like that," growled Clark tracing his index finger along the unbuttoned neck line of her blouse.

"Necking is the best we can do for now, flyboy," whispered Lois kissing her husband. Clark responded hungrily.

"See you at Star Labs. Thanks for giving me a reminder of what I need to do," said Jon telegraphing his thoughts to Clark. Whoosh.

"Alone at last. Necking is nice, but after abstaining for ten days…"

Buzz. Buzz.

Clark cursed and stormed to the front door. His X-ray vision left a small hole, complete with scorch marks, in the door. There, standing splattered with Kryptonian-rich blood, was Dr. Bernard Klein.


Chapter 5

"Eureka is so cliche, but it fits. I've finally reached a milestone. Well, this isn't just my first milestone…it's more of our baby step, but once we conquer this exploding in the presence of Kryptonite reaction, then …"

"Bernie, come in and tell me all about it. Begin with why you're covered in Kryptonian blood," stated Clark, interrupting the doctor's ramblings.

"Superman, this is your blood. We have finally come as close as humanly possible to synthetic Superman hemoglobin. I no longer need to subject you to the trial and error of my attempts to find a kryptonite antidote. We just have to figure out why it explodes in the presence of Kryptonite. I am too blessed to be stressed. Ain't life grand?" smiled Bernie.

"You mean you slipped another trial batch in the wine you gave me?" questioned Clark.

"You said that you didn't want to know when I conducted the next trial. In fact, you insisted that it was the only way to keep the results pure," retorted Dr. Klein, thumbing through his notes and inadvertently leaving his bloodstained fingerprints on each page. Clark smiled and motioned Bernie to the first floor guest bathroom.

"Feel free to use the shower. I'll bring some clothes and a pair of my shoes. I appreciate all of your efforts. Thank you for working so hard to find an antidote. The Lord knows we all appreciate it," smiled Clark.

"That means a lot to Maria and me. After all, that's our little godchild in the oven," nodded Bernard, walking into the bathroom.

"That was nice of you, honey," said Lois from the top steps. She tied the belt of her robe and sauntered down the remaining steps into her husband's waiting arms. "I love you for moments like that." Lois walked slowly back up the steps.

"We're back to plan A. Dinner with our future in-laws is at 7 o'clock sharp," yelled Clark up the steps.

"You're cooking. I think it would be dreadful form to subject them to my concoctions during the first dinner, especially since our son hasn't revealed their secret identity," laughed Lois at her statement and at the fact that she was screaming when her husband could hear her if she was on another continent.


Chapter 6

Dr. Jon Kent was more apprehensive than he was minutes before he told his fiance about his abilities and famous dad. He levitated as he paced to save the tiled floor from destruction. Within five minutes he had prepared, tasted, and dumped the meal into the garbage disposal and then cooked the entire Italian dinner again. He had adamantly insisted that he cook. Moments later, he tempered his outburst with apologies and profuse appreciation for his parents' willingness to host the intimate dinner party. His grandparents could not attend because of Martha's art exhibit in Venice, Italy.


Chapter 7

Lois could hear the sound of loud laughter. The voices sounded familiar. "Hey, Kent, how many sons do you have, anyway? enquired Harmon Rabb between fits of laughter which caused all six feet five of him to shake.

"Two brothers marrying two sisters. What are the odds?" chimed in Sarah.

"In our case, nearly infinitesimal, but overall, thirteen percent, give or take," mumbled Jon, beginning to relax once his right arm was around his Honey's slender waist.

"Why didn't you tell us? What was the point of all this cloak and dagger crap?" questioned Lois, clearly annoyed.

Clark rubbed her back, attempting to sooth her. Harm, Sarah, and their adopted daughter, Honey, went into the den, attempting to give the family space.

"I really don't know…I just needed this…wedding to be ours alone. It's all well and good that my brother is in your life, but, that doesn't mean I want him in my mine."

Jon could see the utter disappointment in his dad's eyes. He had seen comrades die in battle, but somehow this moment scarred him more deeply.

Instinctively, he searched his dad's thought-seeking solace. The depth of the pain was electric. "No longer!" For the first time in his life, Jon was alienated from his father's thoughts.

"Dad,I…try to understand. Mom, tell him…" pleaded Jon.

"You're entitled as am I. No further explanation is required," stated Clark coldly.

"But, honey… He doesn't know…" cried Lois.

Clark shook his head, making it clear that further discussion was futile. He offered her a weak smile instead and then, incredibly, Clark put on the mask of the consummate host, replete with a tray of warm hors d' oeuvres courtesy of his heat vision. He pushed open the door carrying the tray and put on a broad smile.

"Kids," smirked Harm, glancing up from Clark's impressive collection of jazz compact discs.

"At the risk of correcting an attorney, they are men. They have enough common sense and integrity to make decisions," returned Clark.

"It's living with the consequence that's the kicker," said Harm, inserting the prized CD into the player. The sultry stylings of Eartha Kitt purred around the room, lulling Sarah Rabb back to the night that Harm kissed her hungrily in the garden. She relished how her life had changed. Twenty years had passed as quickly as a stanza in the refrain. Her love for her husband was as fresh as the sense of connection which seized them the first time they shook hands.

Sarah's thoughts turned to their three daughters. Darlyn and Honey were their adopted daughters. Both were beautiful blessings wrapped in caramel-colored skin. Harmony's birth was like going from one glorious event to the next. Now they were about to be blessed with yet another wonderful son-in-law. She prayed that both Jon and his dad would reconcile quickly. She knew from personal experience that prolonged estrangement could be lethal to a relationship.

"Isn't that right, honey?" Harm asked, his eyes full of mischief.

"I doubt it, judging from the twinkle in your eyes, but to be honest I wasn't listening to either of you," laughed Sarah.

"I thought you lived for every syllable I utter. I'm crushed," grinned Harm, spiraling onto the couch, leaving his long legs to hang over the edge.

"We have a wedding to help pay for. We can't afford to buy the Kent's a new couch," joked Sarah, pulling her husband from his reclining position.

"It's comfy and all but, man, what did you do, forge that sofa out of steel? It never even budged," asked Harm in amazement.

"Superman made its frame out of titanium since two boys would be playing on it," joked Paul, joining the other three. His bride, Darlyn, was close behind him.

"Dinner is served. Now that I've instilled fear into you all…the groom cooked the meal," teased Lois.

"Praise the Lord that Jon inherited dad's culinary skills…not that his mom isn't talented in …other…endeavors," mumbled Paul.

"You're drowning, and that takes a lot of water, but you're drowning none the less," responded his wife.

Harmon was the first to arrive at the exquisitely set dinning room table. He moved the small place card with Clark's name next to Lois so that Clark would no longer be sitting directly across the table from Jon. He prayed that a little distance would help reduce some of the awkwardness which ensnared them like mooring lines.

Jon led them in saying grace. Honey, his fiance, served Gazpacho soup as the first course. Clark stirred more soup than he ate. Lois and Paul noticed. Lois searched Paul's eyes, prayerful for assistance.

"Knock. Knock," said Paul, looking back at Lois.

"Who's there?" responded Lois.


"Cosgo who?"

"Wrong, cows go moo," laughed Paul.

"Ouch," said Harm. Everyone else only groaned.

Clark mouthed "Thank you" to Paul and Lois.

Jon's sense of alienation deepened.

He brought in the main course of calamari and shrimp lasagna. He served a separate casserole of organic Portobello mushroom lasagna to Harm. Paul applauded his brother's expertise and the others clapped in agreement.

Details of the wedding and everyone's role in it were given. The Olsen's youngest daughter, Lucille, and the Rabb's toddler, Harmony, were appointed flower girls. Darlyn was given the pleasure of being her sister's matron of honor. Jimmy was asked to stand in for Jon's best friend, Keith, who had broken his ankle in a fall on a wet floor. Jon swallowed, looking at his dad, and asked his brother to take photographs. Paul happily agreed. He whispered to his wife that he wanted to purchase a top-of-the-line professional digital camera for the occasion. Clark avoided Jon's gaze by looking at the kitchen door. Honey brought in a four layer carrot cake, Clark's favorite. Applause filled the dinning room.

"The first slice is for you, Dad," said Jon, extending a peace offering.

"Thanks, but it should go to the guy forking over the big bucks," laughed Clark. Only Jon and Lois noticed that Clark did not accept the token.

"Ouch again. Stop joking around. I know you two are going to pay for almost everything, but I totally insist on paying for the dress," said Harm, looking at his daughter, Honey, and Jon for agreement.

"Come on, tell me that's the plan," said Harmon earnestly.

Clark, Lois and Paul smiled at each other.

"Gottcha," laughed Honey.

Jon saw the friendly exchange dart among the three. He wanted to wipe that smile off Paul's mocha colored face. "Kids, just wait until you have your own," smiled Sarah.

Everyone meandered into the living room. Lois pulled Clark out onto the deck in their backyard. Lois inhaled the cool summer night air.

"Before you give me a pep talk, I'm absolutely fine with Jon's decision. It's like I told Harm. Jon is old enough to make his own decisions. I'm fine with it, really," whispered Clark.

"I just came out here to smooch, flyboy," whispered Lois, kissing him on the neck and then passionately on the mouth. Seeing the arousal glow in his eyes, Lois knew that she had found her moment.

"Tell Jon that Paul almost died when the Kryptonite antidote exploded when it splattered on the Kryptonite strapped to the gurney. He thinks that it was only you vomiting, not both you and Paul. Jon needs to know that Paul was trying to save your life and keep him from danger. Paul didn't faint. He was in cardiac arrest, and if Bernie hadn't resuscitated him, we'd be planning a funeral, not a wedding. He may not be mine, but I love him like a son," sighed Lois, as determined as ever.

"I've told you a hundred times, it's not my story to tell. Paul doesn't want anyone to know, and I'll be damned if I betray that trust so that he can be in some sophomoric guy's wedding. The discussion is over, earth woman," Clark raised his voice.

"Well, who the hell are you? Do you think I'm some …flunky in your egotistical little army? Think again, Lord Kal. Maybe Bernie can find some corner for you to sleep in…in his garbage bin or somewhere because you won't be depositing any seed in this earth tonight! Your abstinence is now on day twelve and counting. Now, the freaking discussion is over, you… Kryptonian male," screamed Lois, slamming the door leading from the deck.

Noticing her reflection in the door's window, she rubbed the smeared lipstick from her mouth and smoothed down her tousled hair. She plastered on her best faux smile and sauntered into the living room. She was unaware that both Paul and Jon had heard the entire argument. They agreed to keep the information between them just as they would the fact that Dr. Maria Klein had hidden the Kryptonite on the gurney as part of testing the Kryptonite detector.

"We'll see you guys tomorrow," said Paul, pulling Sarah Rabbs' shawl from the hall closet. He casually offered it to Harm.

Harm watched his son-in-law's right eye quiver ever so slightly. "It's been an interesting evening, as it always seems to be at the Kent homestead," Harm mused. He wrapped the soft shawl around Sarah embracing her warmly. He winked at Paul. "Call me," he mouthed to Paul.

Paul winked in agreement.

"We still have a lot to plan for the wedding, so I'm catching a ride home with the gang. See you at home, lover," said Darlyn to her husband. She kissed him on the nose. The sound of the lock clicking in place left Lois, Paul, and Jon in uncomfortable silence.

"Mom, why didn't you tell me? I'm not some sophomoric little chump like dad says that I am," said Jon defensively. "Paul, you could have told me, but then you wouldn't have been the consummate superhero. You're Dad's royally perfect son, taller, more handsome, permanently tanned to perfection, and the brightest of the bright — son of Lord Kal El and Queen Mariah. At least I had the decency to not show for your wedding. I knew you didn't want me there," stammered Jon, airing his hostility and tears of anger for the first time.

"I never thought that you were sophomoric until this very moment. Tell your dad I've gone to bed and not to bother the garbage man tonight. Call me when you've come to your senses, Jon. Good night. Do what you can for your brother," said Lois to Paul.

Paul couldn't believe the words of the man. What did he know of racial slurs or the moronic taunts of jealous little boys who thought that only they were entitled, or men suffering from Napoleonic complexes? Even his own people called him Paul, the privileged prince, until he gave up his right to the throne. His heart had been ripped to shreds because he thought his love would not accept a man who would leave his responsibility out of fear that someone might discover that his father was not the king, but a poor farm boy from Kansas. Most of the royal court thought their young queen's unworthy first husband was aiding the Europeans in their quest to regain power.

Paul could not believe the ingratitude of Jon Kent. He had been highly favored to have had the honor of being the son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane. There was no duplicity, no whispers, and no question of a hidden agenda. Paul knew better but he refused to restrain himself. He took out his check book and scrawled a twenty thousand dollar check.

"Buy yourself a good photographer, my white brother." He blew open the large picture window in the den, lifting his fist to fly away.

A strong gust of wind closed the window and locked it. Paul smirked.

"I need you both to sit down. That's not a suggestion," stated Clark, barely containing his anger.

"Yes sir," said both men, sitting on the couch. Neither appreciated his condescending tone, but both knew better than to give any indication of that fact. He was their father, and his right to their honor was sacrosanct.

"I prayed for children since I was little more than a child myself. There's something about being an only child that affected me that way. Not to mention being the last son of Krypton. Fasting and praying were my chief objectives for months as a teen. I just wanted there to be someone else out there like me. When I fell in love with your mother, Paul, I knew that loneliness wasn't my destiny. You've heard the stories from us dozens of times, but Jon needed to hear it. When Bernie told me that I had no chances of fathering a child with a woman from earth, I was devastated. But again, the Lord had other plans, and here I stand, the father of two remarkable sons, with another on the way. The bottom line is that the two of you are brothers and you need to move from merely fulfilling family expectations to something deeper. As Lois told me about an hour ago, this freaking discussion is over."

With that, Clark spun into his Superman personae, raised his clench fist, gathered a bouquet of flowers from the garden, and flew to the ledge of their bedroom window.

"We must have the words, Dismiss at Will, stamped on our foreheads because this is our third or fourth time today," sighed Paul, struggling with the idea of simply apologizing.

"Guess so," said Paul, struggling with the idea of simply apologizing.

"Look, I had no idea that you saved my life and our dad's. I didn't even want you in my wedding. I'm ashamed…what can I say?" said Jon, tucking the folded check into Paul's breast pocket.

"Keep the money as a wedding gift from Darlyn and me," smiled Paul, placing the check on the table with the menus for the wedding.

"You know, I always hated your smile. It looks so much like dad's. In the spirit of true confessions…I envy your time with him. You're at his side as a colleague day in and day out. He confides in you and values your opinion."

"Back to you…you've always had him since the day you were conceived. What an incredible blessing for you," sighed Paul.

"I guess the green-eyed monster got the better of both of us," smirked Jon.

"I've already given the tuxedo guy your measurements. I got them from Darlyn. I'd be honored if you'd be my best man. Even a sophomoric, jealous, short, white guy deserves a break. Give a brother a break," smiled Jon.

"Give a brother a break? What kind of a racist, asinine, and freaking insult is that?" fumed Paul.

Jon stepped back nervously. He felt his brother's temperature rise dramatically. He watched Paul's hands clinch into tight fists and his breathing become labored.

"That's two, little brother," laughed Paul, holding his sides during the fits of laughter.

Jon and Paul heard their dad and mom laughing from upstairs. They were brothers, shirred by the same sperm, and love was now the only thing that mattered in the equation.