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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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dvd commentary: sleep while i drive (2/2) (SV)
children of dune - leto 1
seperis

After their third night, Clark's beginning to fall into a comfort level that's entirely new.

Clark fixes his eyes back on the road and doesn't think of the strange little shiver he gets every time he looks at that. Every time he thinks of morning, waking up with his jeans still undone and tangled around Lex like he was never going to let go, and at the time, it had seemed like a good plan. Still does, if he's honest. Mouthing Lex's spine and hearing the stuttered beat of Lex's heart beneath his palm and grinning. Lex, warm and sleepy and touchable, kissing him slow and hot under thin blankets and sheets, then getting up to take a shower, and Clark rolling into the warm space left by his body, breathing in his scent, content to listen to the quiet sounds of Lex in the bathroom.

He could--get used to that. Maybe he already has.


Sex tends to make people either horrifyingly awkward or more comfortable with each other, depending on the level of security involved. Clark feels relatively secure, and their conversation reflects that, discussing Lex's adolescence and then following Lex through the grocery store. If I was feeling more pretentious than I am, I'd say the sex is symbolic for their moving into a deeper relationship, or maybe some really strange metaphor about falling in love, but I won't. I'll just think it, because that's pretty much what I was doing.

I'm a huge fan of sex in stories, though, and this one let me indulge a lot of my personal tastes as well as simply being able to tell a love story. To these characters, in this venue, sex has meaning. It's not about getting off or getting a quick fuck--they take a deliberate risk in changing the friendship between them into something else, and they take it as slowly as the timeframe allows them to. There was some deliberate mirroring on how intimate they were in bed with how intimate and comfortable they were in the scenes between.

The grocery store's newspaper header that Clark didn't quite get a chance to read, however, starts accelerating things for Lex, though Clark's not completely aware of that. Their next night's in a hotel, and Clark and Lex jumps the pace a little. In most of the story, Lex is deliberately working to keep Clark at his comfort level--nothing too unusual, nothing he probably wouldn't do or hadn't done with his family or friends, leaving out the sex. The hotel, however, is the next step--moving Clark completely out of his element and into Lex's. It's not exactly a test, more like testing the waters, letting Clark glimpse what his life is like--or more than that, what Clark's life might be like.

And Clark figures that out, at least a little, in how Lex treats him, how much Lex is letting him see of himself. Clark can push then--push harder than he ever would have dared before, from the semi-awkward dinner conversation to the walk in the park, where he and Lex fall into acting like people in a relationship so smoothly that even Clark feels surprised.

Leaving the hotel so suddenly isn't as much a surprise as Clark thinks it should be--he's been feeling the difference since they came here, how much Lex is showing him, from the moment that Lex saw the newspaper in the grocery store.

Lex isn't--anything like uncomfortable, standing beside the bed with casual patience, like there's all the time in the world for Clark to move, but the thrumming energy is back, almost vibrating in the quiet air, and Clark thinks that maybe, just maybe, they're coming to that time for questions. All questions. Any questions.

"Let me get dressed," he answers, sliding his feet onto the cool floor, finding the bag on the foot of the bed. Jeans, t-shirt, and he can feel Lex's gaze on him as he ties his shoes, familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. As he picks up the bag, Lex's hand closes over his wrist, less confining than--wondering? Maybe.

"You're not asking." It's not even a question. Clark breathes in, cool air from the expensive air conditioning chilling his lungs if not his thoughts, but the look on Lex's face is enough.

The phone in the room rings, startling them both, but Clark doesn't look at it. "Can I drive?" The smirk almost feels real when it curves his mouth.

There's a second where Clark thinks Lex didn't understand him--a single, sharp blink, and Lex turns for the door, but then he's being pulled along, shift of fingers into his tightly, hard enough to hurt if he were human, but he's not, so he only squeezes back. Lex, who kisses him in the elevator, quick and soft and light, laced with cognac from the bar in their room, and Clark closes his eyes.

There's a garage--he'd sort of suspected as much, vast and underground, but Lex seems to know what they're looking for, and it's not the Aston. Sleek red Porsche, gleaming like new in the fluorescent garage lights, hood down and Lex pushes a button on the keychain before tossing the keys to Clark.

"West," Lex says as he slides over the door, bag in the backseat, and Clark decides that the over the door thing could work. He hears Lex's laugh as he manages to get into the seat with minimal fuss, noting that it was already set for his height, and gives a glance to Lex before turning the key.

"What's west?" Clark asks, and Lex grins--the smudges are gone as if they were never there, and Clark's feeling the current of energy like Lex's skin is feeding it to him when he kisses him. Bright, sweet, perfect in the hot, stuffy darkness and this, Clark thinks, could be freedom.

Dark blue eyes and a smile like the morning that's still hours away, and Clark catches his breath.

"Have you ever seen the ocean?"


Clark keeps his unspoken promise and doesn't ask the question of why.

Everything just hits fast forward from here. Clark knows their grace is running out.

*****

And finally, we're coming to the end, where everything kind of coming together. Clark's aware of Lex's tension and keeps everything light--he knows Lex will tell soon, it's just a matter of time. Everything's coming to an end, and knowing that, aware that in a matter of days, maybe hours, this will all be over, makes Clark consider what he's going to tell his family.

He's kept up the rule of isolation that Lex seems to want--even encourages it, because it's as much for his freedom as Lex's. Only leaving a message early on to let them know he's okay, he's shut out all contact with home and Smallville, aware they can't do this any other way.

But like the questions that he's going to have answered soon, he knows it's time to call home, too.

It's been five days, it's Wednesday morning, and it would probably, maybe, be a good idea to at least call his parents, leave a message to tell them he's okay. A little late now, he thinks, watching gold and pink splash the road as the sun rises behind him. Dad's up, and Clark knows he's not up to hearing his dad's voice with that unique combination of fear and outright fury. Chloe's probably worried sick, Pete, too, and Lana--friends, family, and this isn't the first time he's looked for the guilt that should be edging into his mind. Just a little for disappointing so many people, worrying them, frightening them, and God, school--he's not even going to *think* about that right now.

But--no guilt. There's this car and Lex and miles and miles of perfect highway during the hottest day in May *ever* and it's--good.


A call to Chloe is his compromise with himself, to let her know he's okay, and her warnings about Lionel Luthor in Smallville set off alarms. It's a choice that only takes a second, but he doesn't ask, moving the conversation beyond that.

Early the next morning, Clark thinks it's time.

Clark mulls this for a few long seconds, absently stroking. The oven-like heat's diminishing from his consciousness with every touch, and he doesn't know how he can possibly ever think about moving. Think about anything, really, but Chloe's words are in his head, and Lionel....

Lionel Luthor is in Smallville, and there's no good reason for Lex's father to be slumming the farm territories. None at all.

"Lex, why's your dad in Smallville?" It slips out and Clark stiffens with no clear idea how it happened.

The tension's so brief it might as well have never existed at all--flash of muscles going stone, weight, then Lex pushes himself up on one arm, glancing at the window with a narrow-eyed look that seems almost as if--he's looking for something. When Lex looks back, there's nothing to read. "Do you want answers now?"

Yes. Maybe.

"Do I need to ask?"


And Lex tells him.

*****

I kept Lex's motives throughout the story a mystery, though most people were getting really close to the reason early on--in fact, most knew before I did. See, 'cause *I* didn't know for sure. I had some theories, and I had some ideas I'd run by other people, but until Clark asked, I didn't know. It really could have gone any way.

It's kind of a sucky way to write--it makes foreshadowing kind of amusing, since you have no idea what exactly you can do to foreshadow something that you don't yet know about. But I wanted to keep Clark's POV as pure as possible, make everything that he learned a complete surprise, but also be able to add up the bits he's seen so far to work into the whole. More than that--I wanted to be along for this one. Like I said, it's a romance, but it's one where both characters choose to do it blind, and I wanted to be as blind as they were through it. Clark wouldn't feel any stirrings of foreboding most of the time, and knowing what was going to happen would have probably got my dramatic tendencies awakened in a big way, and the story isn't about that.

"LexCorp stock went through the roof eight days ago," Lex says slowly, as if he's measuring the words out in precise increments, as if every one of them is important. A flickering gaze down, then Lex tosses the paper to the center of the bed, and Clark slowly sits up, reaching to unfold it. One look at Lex and his hands still.

"Tell me."

"It's in there." Pulling up a knee, Lex simply watches, head tilted. Like there's nothing more important going on than kid's gossip, but they *aren't* kids, not anymore, not after this. And Lex, just maybe, has never been a kid at all. Taking a breath, Clark flips the page and the headlines tell him everything.

"Lex." A sucked-in breath, let out in shock. Like exhilaration. And like pain. "You--." LuthorCorp and LexCorp and the war Lex so rarely discussed, and here--it is.

Over. All of it.


Lex knew from the beginning that once this went through, everything would change. His public profile, his home, his life, is going to be turned upside down. He's not just Lionel's heir anymore, but the once and future CEO of LuthorCorp, and he's got his father right where he's wanted him since he was old enough to know how to want it. It's a life's goal, the reason he sometimes thought he even existed anymore.

It's not that just circumstances would change--that he himself would change. Clark's got it right in the essentials--Lex walked out on the moment of his greatest triumph, the moment that he's been working for his entire life.

"You don't want LuthorCorp," Clark says flatly, but that can't be true. He knows that's wrong instinctively, and staring at Lex as he folds the paper neatly back together and throws it off the bed, he has no idea what to say. What to even *think*.

"Oh, I want LuthorCorp." Lex is smoothing the blanket of a single wrinkle that somehow appeared on its surface. When he looks up, the blue eyes are dark and filled with something that Clark doesn't know quite how to define. Hunger like something insatiable. A decade, God, over a decade of want, the kind that never burns out. "I can taste it. I can see it. I can feel it all under my hands and see my name on the top of the Fortune 500 and Wall Street will whore itself to me like a crack addict for a fix. You have no idea, Clark." There's a little pause, almost indiscernible from the normal lull of conversation. "And I don't want you to."

It takes a long second to sink in, and Clark's mouth goes dry, and he likes shock, loves it because it keeps the pain at bay, held somewhere distant. His hands close over the comforter without even thinking and he hears the tear of material between his fingers, through comforter and sheet, no way on earth to hide that. Lex's eyes fix briefly before flickering back up, one eyebrow raised with mute query and quiet amusement.

"I have one more secret." Lex drops the words between them with careless ease, and slides onto his back, arms folding neatly behind his head. "I'll trade you for it."


Lex left Metropolis and the meeting without a backward glance. Not just on the decision itself, but the man who wanted it so badly. He went to Smallville, because that's where everything started for him, good and bad. He went to Clark, because Clark's the first and only who doesn't really give a good damn about the CEO of LexCorp, just about Lex. And he wanted to be just Lex for just a little while longer. The man who can be friends with a teenage kid and do good things without motive, the person that can have someone like Clark in his life. He's not sure the man who runs LuthorCorp, the one who will enjoy taking it and cutting it into pieces, the one that wants to destroy his father so badly he can taste it, is someone that can have those things, or even should.

"Come with me."

There's a second before big storms, on those impossibly hot days with no wind, when everything goes still. Dust falls back to earth, every tree lifts from it's half-bend of heat, and the world waits for the first drop of rain to fall. It's the fresh smell of ozone that's sharp and the second of realization that something is about to happen. Is happening.

Like...this.


It's change again, for both of them.

Lex didn't take a week to make a decision, that was done the second he walked out the door--he took a week to live with it, to decide on what terms he could live with it. To realize how much he's changed, that the moment came and he froze. It wasn't just Clark, but everything Clark represents to him, the person Lex is and the person he wants to be.

It was about the journey for both of them, in a way, though Lex's is a little less metaphorical than I made Clark's.

"It's interesting about decisions," Lex answers meditatively, flicking sand up in the air, and Clark squeezes his eyes shut briefly to avoid getting it in his eyes. "They're usually made very fast. The time between making it and accepting it is the variable. The time it takes to rationalize it to yourself." When Clark opens his eyes, Lex is watching the water again, and Clark can see the ocean reflected in the dark blue. "Five minutes, five hours, or five days, it doesn't matter."

Clark breathes out a sigh. Five minutes, five days to find out more than either of them knew in years. Go figure. "So what's your reason?"

Lex grins, bright and brilliant, blocking out the brightness of the sun, the glare of the light off the ocean. The doubtless ten thousand reasons this shouldn't be so damn easy.
"I'll build my own empire," Lex answers softly, and Clark draws his knees up, leaning into Lex with a deep breath of salty air, shutting his eyes. A gentle hand brushes the hair off his forehead. "What's yours?"

Clark grins blindly into the sky, settling more comfortably into the sand. "I don't need one."


*****

A lot of people didn't quite care for the ending, which is understandable. I think part of it is that I wrote it over such a long period of time, it didn't make sense in context, as it might have if read all at once. Then again, maybe it wouldn't have. I'm not sure anymore.

Unlike Lex, who was finding himself in isolation in the desert, er, sort of, Clark came to this moment in a completely different way. Like Lex, the actual decision was made the second Clark got in Lex's car. No subtext behind running, no reason at all except it was Lex. That was his only motivation from the very start.

Hmm. Yeah, in retrospect, I can see why it wasn't liked all that much.

*****

The Cows and Other Loose Ends

Okay, yes, Clark left the cows. I worried about the cows only after someone mentioned that Clark had left them, feedless and abandoned, and man, that like, just ate at me during the writing of the ending. I left the *cows*, and they aren't even mutant cows who could, like, fly for water and food and whatever else is involved in the care and maintenance of cows. And chickens. I completely forgot there could be chickens. And other farmy things.

To comfort myself, I have a theory. It makes no sense, but hell, I slept better knowing I hadn't committed virtual cow abuse and neglect.

Clark left on a Friday afternoon, right after school. The Kents came home Saturday night after Pete came by the house, and he fed the cows and chickens with a brand new knowledge of farm procedure. Canon does this to characters all the time. Lionel shows up in Smallville on Saturday night and the Kents put two and two together and figure their son wasn't kidnapped by evil scientists, aliens, or Jor-El, but instead, went with Lex, which begs the question of what they thought was worse. Then Clark called Sunday night after going to the Fair with Lex and left a message.

Another question I got from someone was why Lex and Clark ran out of that hotel so fast, and I never did get around to explaining that. Lex took two days there, and no matter how wonderfully discreet a place might be, Lex is very much a public figure now, in the newspapers everywhere. He was seen, and he was seen with Clark, and Lex knew they'd been discovered. The phone call that Clark didn't answer before they left was the manager telling him that reporters were arriving any minute, and Lex wasn't quite ready.

I think that about covers it. Any questions, comments, amused laughter? Feel free. It's been over a year and a half since I wrote this, so I could be getting a lot of things very, very wrong.


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I'm so happy! *hugs* I know it was hard, hard, hard for you to write this. It's perfect, and flows beautifully. Don't worry about the format, it works just fine. *dances*

*hugs* That's a relief. Thanks for the encouragement, hon.

Wow. Thank you for this. I particularly liked what you said about them leaving Smallville to see who they were without it. It's a fantastic love story, and one of my all-time favorites. :)

*blushes* It makes me nostalgic as hell. God, I remember how much I loved them.

*sighs dreamily*

I was less worried about the cows than I was about the fact that Clark would be grounded until he was 35 for abandoning the cows. {g} The Kent cows, from what little we've seen, are put out to pasture. In the weather you described, assuming that they have large drinking troughs or pond, they'd be just fine on their own for a few days.

Thank you for the explanation about leaving the hotel, I'd always had a niggling doubt that maybe Lex was ashamed of Clark. I'm glad to have a better idea of what was going on in his mind.

Grounded forever, yeah. Poor baby. I sometimes wondered how his parents reacted when he got back. Thrilled he was home safe? Angry? Really, really worried?

Ahh, glad I cleared up the hotel thing, too. He just wasn't quite ready for Clark to know yet.

Cool - you did it - thank you.

A lot of people didn't quite care for the ending, which is understandable. I think part of it is that I wrote it over such a long period of time, it didn't make sense in context, as it might have if read all at once.

Uh yeah - since I just read this, like a week or two ago, it flowed. I could connect the underlying Lex struggle together and it was a very nice ending/resolution.

As far as the cows: grew up on a farm and the cows have not only a pond, (because they always have a pond, even if you don't see it, there is one) and grass. A weekend without feed won't really be a hardship and is certainly not cruel. Since the Kents raise beef cattle and don't milk, they can manage a day or two without constant attention. A broken fence with no one to mend it would be a much bigger concern, but hell - Clark isn't the first teenage farmboy to not really think about things like that. The only time I worried about the cows was when I realized there was no one at the farm and there could be a fence issue. BUT - Jonathan is the type of man whose neighbors would notice this type of thing and would take care of it - especially since he would do the same. And wow, I have just told you way more than you probably ever wanted to know about cows.

Whee! I didn't murder the cows!

This was a Point of Worry for awhile, you know.

And I'm absolutely ecstatic the ending worked for you. I've been wondering if the long stretch between parts made a difference in interpretation of how the ending was seen.

*hugs* I shall treasure this cow knowledge forever and ever.

"I'll build my own empire," Lex answers softly, and Clark draws his knees up, leaning into Lex with a deep breath of salty air, shutting his eyes. A gentle hand brushes the hair off his forehead. "What's yours?"

Clark grins blindly into the sky, settling more comfortably into the sand. "I don't need one."


*****

A lot of people didn't quite care for the ending, which is understandable. I think part of it is that I wrote it over such a long period of time, it didn't make sense in context, as it might have if read all at once.

I always read this that Clark didn't need an empire. He only needed Lex.

Just out of curiosity, where do you think the boys ended up after this story?

Hmm. Actually, buggery started something about that, though I have no idea if that idea has been backburnered or not. I tend to think about a week of really bad parent/child relations, followed by long discussions, ending in tentative resolution.

Or, more fun, Clark and Lex just move into the beach house and send everyone wedding invitations and airplane tickets.

*g* Either/or.

I love this story. No matter how far from the fandom I wander, I will always love this story, and it perfectly represents everything I loved in the show. It's a What If perfectly encapsulated, a What If that would have changed the shape of all of the DCverse if they'd ever even conceived of it. *G*

And I, for one, loved the ending. It completely worked for me. That was Clark telling Lex that Lex's faith in him was confirmed. Clark didn't care about the CEO of LexCorp or the heir of LuthorCorp. He did't run away from his own life, he ran toward a new one. And he didn't it because it was Lex, and he asked. Clark didn't need any more reason than that.

*really, really blushing*

Thank you, honey.

He did't run away from his own life, he ran toward a new one.

I could not possibly have thought of anything that covered Clark this well. *hugs hard*

I just wanted to second what she said above - no matter how far from Smallville I've gotten and will get in the future, I'll always love this story. It remains my favorite of yours and one of a handful I'll take with me forever, alongside Iolokus and Te's Damascenes series, to name a couple. I had a policy of not reading WIPs long before I came across this story as such, but I either didn't know it was a WIP or didn't care because I read the first sentence and it was all over from there. I still remember being absolutely entranced by every word and never, ever wanting the world to catch them (or, for that matter, demand I put the story down and do something else.) A year and a half later and I still can't muster all that much coherence about it other than the completely unabashed way I've cherished it. I've recced it more than once across fandoms, and I think it works even for those not familiar with SV canon because, as you said, that's the whole idea - who and what are they outside of Smallville?

Anyhow, just wanted to say all that. It's a wonderful story and I enjoyed reading the accompanying commentary very much as well. Any fandom would be lucky to have you, but I think you did something singularly wonderful for all the strife-ridden, made-to-swallow-canon kids who wander(ed) through this one.

*happy sigh* I still like the ending. Mind you, I did read this all in one piece. That was the stage where I was getting sick to death of epic WiPs (no offence meant) and went through a while of just skipping them and reading when the final fic was finished.

I did the same for Common Spaces, and there's also another fic did it for (and hence, have the slight nagging feeling that there's a big Jenn AU fic I haven't read, because I stopped following Wips for awhile).

Okay, getting the rambling back on track...

The thing I loved about this was that it felt like an escape from start to finish, and really, it was all about just taking that first step. Things were basically easy, and hopeful, even while they were strange and new. And it all came down to havign the courage to just go with the flow, to just follow your instinct and let it happen. It's just... really romantic.

Heh. Me and my Endless Writingness.

The thing I loved about this was that it felt like an escape from start to finish, and really, it was all about just taking that first step. Things were basically easy, and hopeful, even while they were strange and new. And it all came down to havign the courage to just go with the flow, to just follow your instinct and let it happen. It's just... really romantic.

*blissed* Yep. A big, fat, happy, angstless romance. So marshmellow fluffy it still makes me giggly.

*happy sigh*

I think I read this about a couple of months after it came out. It was the third story of yours that I'd read and it was before I figured out to go to your website. (At that point I was just bouncing from recs pages and e-mailing myself promising links so that I could sneak in some reading in between classes.) So very new to SV I was I didn't have the slightest clue who anyone was at *all*, so it took me time to figure out which authors I really enjoyed on a wholly regular basis. The ending threw me for about two seconds after I read it. I had kind of a what the heck sensation happening (I now attribute that to hey, what, it's *over*? disappointment) and then I reread the last page or so and it felt completely right to me. It made me just breathlessly happy and I was full of love for everything Clex related for some good time after that.

More than that--I wanted to be along for this one. Like I said, it's a romance, but it's one where both characters choose to do it blind, and I wanted to be as blind as they were through it.

For me, that's the most fascinating part about this commentary. It's so hard for me to comprehend being able to write a story and not understand why everyone's doing absolutely everything and where each thread is supposed to go, or indeed if it's meant to go anywhere at all. That's incredible that you can do it so effectively in a story like this, and reading how you describe it makes me understand exactly what you mean and appreciate this story even more than I did previously.

For me, that's the most fascinating part about this commentary. It's so hard for me to comprehend being able to write a story and not understand why everyone's doing absolutely everything and where each thread is supposed to go, or indeed if it's meant to go anywhere at all. That's incredible that you can do it so effectively in a story like this, and reading how you describe it makes me understand exactly what you mean and appreciate this story even more than I did previously.

When I wrote double pov, I could afford to look to the future and see what everyoen was doing, but most of the time, my inner drama queen woke up and got all excited about Foreshadowing! Future Evil! *grins*

Thanks for the comments, chica!

Mmm, this is one of my favorite SV stories by you (although it's really hard to pick). Enjoyed the commentary a great deal. Thanks for taking the time to do it. :)

I look forward to reading this commentary as soon as my present screaming deadline is past. But meanwhile, there's an LJ rumor that this is your birthday. Happy Birthday! May it be full of treats and showings of love.

My reason, my cause the instigator of my obsession.

Lol! Thought I'd hit you w/ something wholly expressive of the importance of this fic in my CLex obsession.

I haven't read the commentary itself, I just kinda stumbled on to your Lj and this entry caught my eye. I kept re-checking the date to make sure it was recent b/c I know this story almost for verbatim and thought, no way could this be a new post. *g*

I'm pretty certain yours was the very first CLex fic I ever read, and this one, in all honesty, might have been that first one. But despite its place in the order of my reading, it is the fic of my heart. THE CLex fic, THE fic of all time, that's taken up permanent residence in a corner of this CLex addicted being. Said addiction began w/ this and at the end of it all, might just finish with it as well.

I've always put off writing you an email b/c I've never been able to find the words ... how do you express, adequately enough, the magnificence of work done by an individual whose left you speechless and quite frankly wrecked.

You suck me in, w/ every word, every sentence, every paragraph, the more I read, the more I want to read and when the end comes I don't want it to. I want to go on, want to see what's next, b/c chum, no one does it better. As good maybe, in their own unique way, but no one could possibly top your handle on these two.

One of the things I appreciate most is you give Clark his due, more often than not. He's not an air head, an incompetent overly hormonal teen who's completely blind to the world. You keep his innocence while making clear this makes him neither stupid nor inept. This is the Clark of my mind, and the imperfections you do include reflect on the man he will become. B/c what are we but all flawed beings. :o)

Getting back to this piece ...

In my honest opinion, even if you tried, it couldn't be any better. How does one improve upon perfection when perfection itself is an inadequate term for this piece. *G* Yes, I would have loved more verbal declarations of love passed b/w the two, but when you get down to it, you don't need it. B/c b/w Clark and Lex there's never a need. Everything, from a look to a touch, to even the simplest of greetings conveys it. You've conveyed that flawlessly. Often it's not what they say but what they don't say that seems to carry more weight, again something that's evident in this fic and quite valid considering the secrets and lies that their lives have forced upon their relationship. And despite all of Clark's mental commentary, both of them are men of very few words, the quiet understated way in which you ended the story that was to start the rest of their lives did them more justice than anything else possibly could have.

Argh. I feel like this is completely inadequate in explaining how "right" the end was. Lex has Clark, he knew it from the moment Clark got in the car. He knew they had a future together, declared it shortly after their initial meeting. After walking out of LexCorp he'd pretty much already had his plans for the future planned out, it was, like he says, just accepting it. Accepting a future that he would build, a destiny of his own making and a Hephaestion for his Alexander. For Clark, like the others have said. He did not ask. Nor cared to for the longest time. He simply got in.Them against the world. All he'd ever need. Hence why, Clark grins blindly into the sky, settling more comfortably into the sand. "I don't need one." covered more than any Shakespearean stanza or sonnet could have.

So a job well done to a fic that started my addiction, that feeds it when I've run out of other new 'fuel', and a touchstone to come back to, to remember the possibilities and what could be. It keeps me hopeful and helps w/ the denial, but more than that, it reminds me of why I love these two and why I always will. No matter what happens on our screens, this will always remain w/ me.

So from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Take care; keep safe, healthy, and happy!

Hugs,
noelle:o)

I kept Lex's motives throughout the story a mystery, though most people were getting really close to the reason early on--in fact, most knew before I did. See, 'cause *I* didn't know for sure. I had some theories, and I had some ideas I'd run by other people, but until Clark asked, I didn't know. It really could have gone any way.

That's really cool to know. I write most of my stories the same way.

Thanks for doing this. I really enjoyed reading it.

If you're ever inclined to do this again, I would beyond thrilled to hear about "Handful of Dust." The whole time I was reading that, I kept wondering what was going through your mind when you wrote it. That story absolutely captivated me.

PS. Happy belated birthday!

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