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people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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somewhere explanation
children of dune - leto 1
Okay, so maybe after two years, I owe an explanation for what happened there.

Somewhere 'verse and somewhere snippetes.

The Autumn People, because believe it or not, they're really related.

Almost to the End of the World

A Handful of Dust

Three Impossible Things

Sleep While I Drive

The Wasteland


The Naming of Names

Somewhere snippet, the one with the adultery, Smallville, 4/25/2005.

I honestly, honestly did not see anyone reacting to this one like they did. Honestly. I mean, I still would have written and posted it? But I probably would have been braced better. It'd been a long time since I wrote the original fic, and it was--you know. Just a way to pass the time one night.

To be honest, though, in retrospect, it was coming from the original story and I hinted at it heavily in Gladly, though I never actually meant to write, hey, Lex cheats! I just meant to imply that life = hard for Clark. Also, gave him incipient alcoholism--I got a surprising amount of feedback about that. Did not see that coming. And then I was sitting around thinking, hmm, what haven't I done? In a while? And it seemed to fit.

Okay, but there is a backstory for this.

A lot of my fic is AU of each other in Smallville--I'd started building a universe in the first season with A Handful of Dust and I never got over it. Three Impossible Things is AU for A Handful of Dust, both are AU for Sleep While I Drive, and all three are AU for The Wasteland. Keep in mind all four of those were written on top of each other in the same four month period, so you see where this is going. They share similar concepts--3IT Clark is sort of the younger version of Dust Clark, and Wasteland Lex bears a lot of resemblance to the burned-out Dust Lex. Someone ended up writing a timeline combining Dust, 3IT, and two other fic into this really surreal and strange universe that's not altogether inaccurate. It's Smallville season one, how much I was in love with it, and everything I loved and hated about it.

Then my second universe.

Somewhere I Have Never Travelled is AU for The Autumn People and also AU for Almost to the End of the World, and--see, this connection only probably works for me. But it's how I think of them. The Pete/Lana/Lex/Chloe/Clark/Lois universe of those three stories together. They're all variations on a theme. Most of my futurefic work off two very specific universes, split as above.

Then in 2005, they all recombine in Landscape to each other, where I picked up everything I'd written and hit frappe to see what came out of it, most notably picking up a future for The Naming of Names in the second universe.

So to my mind, of course it would be Chloe--of course it would. It could never be anyone else. There was no one else that embodied the past Lex had walked away from. In Somewhere, she's his most ruthless enemy, the one that never forgives and never forgets. She's his memory. She's cousin of his ex-fiancee and semi-ex of his husband, she was Pete's mistress and their most implacable historian in both Somewhere and Almost at the End of the World. She was there for his youth and his triumphs and all of his crimes. In Autumn, she's his downfall, the reason he lost Lois and Clark, his comfort, his memory of more that he could have been. In Dust, she's his symbol and his touchstone. Lois is Clark's mythology in Superman, but Chloe is Lex's in Smallville. It was so inevitable to me that it was almost anti-climactic to write it.

So the entire thing began in another interview, with Chloe never bending, never breaking, never forgetting, Lex's living, breathing reminder of all the ways he's failed. She knows him the way that even Clark didn't, because she never loved him. She sees him and what he is and what he was and to her, what he'll always be. And he's this man who is president and a husband and tired of walking the straight and narrow and she tells him that what he's become is just a veneer over the reality. And a part of him thinks it'd be so much easier if it was true.

So he finds Lex Luthor with her, the bitter twenty-something and the man who scared a world, Superman's enemy, finds what he was and what a part of him never stopped wanting to be. And it's like all the years peeled away and she made him remember and forget, too. And in a way he was happy, because for a few minutes, he wasn't a husband or a president or a hero, but just a fucked up man who still hated the world a little for everything he'd had to give up. He was free.

And it was like he was two differnet *people*, and then Lois walks into that room and suddenly he's Clark's husband and everything that goes with it, and when the two men met--Lex Luthor from before, President Luthor from after--well. It went badly.

So it never occurred to me it wouldn't happen. It had to. It had to because it always had. Lana's always been the victim of what she is and can't get beyond, she's the future they wanted for themselves and got and found less than what they wanted. Chloe's the past that will follow them forever. Every. Damn. Time.

So. Yeah. That's pretty much the idea behind it.

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Thank you! This was really interesting to me, because I found your SV writings some time after you wrote them, and would never have guessed that all these stories were somewhat contemporaneous (and oh how insanely prolific - and inspired - you must have been!). Because I'm one of those people who re-reads fics, I'll probaly take another look at them again with your timeline in mind.

I feel like I'm going to have to add this commentary to the snippet. It still breaks my heart that after everything, after all the struggles, it ends up this way.

They were all written in the same twelve months in two fairly distinct groups--the first four all season-oneish, the second group very season twoish, and how I looked at the character and the future has changed.

And honestly, outside a few people who were aroudn when I was at diaryland, I doubt teh relation that anyone would actually notice. *g* I my head though, there's a clear line of who goes to what where.

These are still among my very favourite fics of all time. And while I was as heartbroken as everyone else about what happened, I think it was written extraordinarily well, so realistically and in a manner so true to the characters, that I believed it wholeheartedly. And I'm still hoping there will be more. Lots more.

I, too, would love to see another story in the Somewhere-verse. I would like something where everything is made all better! :)

It's very interesting to see you describe Lex's motivation for having sex with Chloe, because I had no clue what it could possibly be. I did have a thought about Chloe's motivation, though (besides the whole Lex is The Sexy thing). I thought she had sex with Lex because she hated him so much she wanted to completely fuck up his life.

Um. Sorry, no. Still hate you. And not in that good way I hate you sometimes because you throw me into binge reading fic in fandoms where I SO WASN"T GOING. And not that way where I hate you for being evil and stuff. No, this is the hate of the bitterly disappointed. Just sayin. I'm gonna need more John/Dean sexin to make up for this.

Also? You *promised* me that I was just imagining that and it didn't realy happen. Grrr. You go write porn. now. And throw in some Lizzy!John, too, because ... just because, damnit.

I am sorry, so sorry... but I have to agree with justabi - I don't want to hate, but this story makes me hate. Besides YOU PROMISED TO FIX IT!!

Just today Somewhere.. and Gladly... were rec'ed, and I thought yay - I love them and woo everyone should read them, but then I thought no, that way leads only to pain. There is evil out there in that universe that just shouldn't be (and that I still believe didn't didn't happen - lalalala, I can't hear you). The Somewhere'verse will make you cry (want to kill Chloe and smack Lex upside the head)!

I can see what you are saying about Chloe's relationship to Lex, but I could never reconcile the idea that Lex would throw away all the work that he and Clark did/do every day to make their relationship work on Chloe. Because she might have known him, but she doesn't know him and never took the chance to see and at least accept the man that Clark does. I still hold that she was/is just jealous that Clark became human, gave up Superman for Lex - Clark never wanted her that way and it still stings, so much that she was willing to sabotage Clark's happiness. Granted this doesn't explain how Lex could throw away his grown-up future for the Ghost of Christmas Past, because really what does Chloe have to offer but a sad glimpse of things that should never have been anyway.

More to the point, I know you promised, PROMISED, to fix it, but I honestly don't know that you can. What possible reason could Lex give to sway Clark back to his side? Clark is hurt so deeply by the betrayal, not just Lex's but Chloe's (and I would argue even more by Chloe's since she was never behind Clark in his decision to be with Lex, and thus would have no reason other then spite to have sex with Lex) that Clark is half way to dating Lois which would kill Lex and cause Lex to blow up the world. There is no middle ground and Clark is broken.

I am sad.


*sigh* As much as I hate - HATE - it is nice to read your reasoning ... and still want to kill Chloe. All is right with the world... and world that will only be made better when you FIX IT.

i actually treat the SIHNT: adultery snippet as an AU in SIHVT'verse, because i get too sad otherwise. that's my way of dealing with it:) i read a lot of different types of SV fanfic, but this one *hurts*, and i can't really deal. compartmentalization is good for my mental well-being and sanity:)

you were the one that dragged me into the clex (through xmen), even though i didn't like the show at first. i'm kinda sad that i wasn't around in SV fandom when you were at your most active, cause i consider you to be one of the best writers here:)

i miss you.

yep. but two years later, it doesn't hurt that much anymore.
one gets used to anything, including adultery.

Thank you for this explanation. I actually read the Somewhere universe only a few weeks ago and was suitably crushed and haunted by that snippet. I suppose I see your point about the inevitability of Lex's actions and the inevitability of choosing Chloe but what is Chloe's motivation? I would appreciate hearing why you feel she developed into this path where she sleeps with both Pete and Lex despite their being married to people that are supposed to be her friends. And also, is it just Clark's self-imposed blindness that makes it come as such a surprise to him? I know you said you hinted at the outcome in Gladly but in truth when I read the snippet I was completely stuck on the fact that despite all the issues and unhappiness that seemed to be gravitating around Clark and Lex, the one thing that was stressed over and over in the Somewhere universe was that the one thing that Clark didn't have to worry about from Lex was infidelity. Was I just joining Clark in his delusion? And also did you ever write a followup to the adultery snippet? And in case I forgot to mention, despite the heart-wrenching aspects of the universe I think your writing is amazing so thanks for sharing it with us.


That analysis was so beautiful. You talk about mythology and symbols and what people represent and my english major heart goes *Thump*

See, other people say they were devastated by the snippet, but after I read it I took a fast day and walked around town in the rain. And, yes, that had to do with other stuff too, but The Wasteland was the first Clex I ever read (and the first slash. It was terribly, terribly strange for a 14-year-old to read about WB guys kissing - I couldn't actually gather the courage to finish it for a year), so I kind of imprinted on your characterizations/style/etc. So, when I read that, it didn't only feel like Somewhere-verse Clark/Lex were done, but like every Clark and Lex everywhere, in every fic in the entire fandom, had just had their hearts completely stomped on and ripped to bits. Because, to me, your Clark and Lex were fanon (and also this fic was further in the future than most), so if they couldn't make it work, then obviously none of their AU selves could, either.

...Teen girls really shouldn't get into fandom, methinks.

But see, what made it even worse was how Clark had willingly thrown away his life and his family, and didn't even have the balls to get them back or even to kick Lex out of bed, and (much more importantly) that Lex was happy, which double-negated everything. I mean, the universe assassination was just about as thorough as you could make it. It was impressive.

And then - no explanation.

Over the past year or so I mostly stopped caring. Taking Lit gave me a new perspective - I never understood before that being happy can be equated with the freedom of hitting absolute bottom.

I still think Clark needs to grow a pair. In my head, he still supports Lex (both publicly and privately, because he loves him), but gets his life back, too. He buys a farm, fixes things with Jonathan/Martha, starts writing again (under a different name), and STOPS SLEEPING IN THE BED LEX FUCKED CHLOE IN. Also, Lois publishes a series of really nasty articles detailing all the secrets she kept shut about all those times she visited Clark at home, and Lex's approval rating cuts in half (until Clark makes her stop).

Yeah, well, I can dream.

(Sorry if this was stalkery/obsessive, but they were my first slash. It's a very emotional thing when that goes sour.)

So, I just read through the whole Somewhere universe for the first time, and wow. That whole last snippet thing? Really shocking and painful. I'd spare myself the pain, if I could, but I can't *un*know it.
It did, however, correspond with a lot of my earlier thoughts as I read through. Not that Lex would cheat, because I didn't actually think he would. But that there was something profoundly wrong with the fulfillment of Clark's wish in the first place, as he and Lex could not be truly equal in power ever again, and also that the compromises he made were deeply compromising in ways that would bite him on the ass in the real world.
See, to me, Lex is and was in love with Clark as a whole, not merely the human-seeming aspect. So the power he sees in Superman is as profoundly attractive as the heroism, the naivete, the beauty, and all the rest. I could see him being immensely thrilled and turned on by a human Clark, by the pure possibility of ownership in a way he could never own Superman. But after awhile, there would be a gap between the man he loved and hated equally and this fellow human who could never truly overpower him again. Just as Clark, I think, would hate Lex for still being so powerful, and not *wanting* to give it all up the way Clark did.
Gah, lots of blather. So, I had these thoughts going on in the background as I read, but I was totally immersed in this wonderfully detailed au, and more than willing to suspend my disbelief for the lovely romance and intriguing plot and rich characterization. If I had the thought that Clark *is* his alien qualities as much as all the rest, and he was throwing aside part of himself, I easily ignored it. You captivated me with your splendid, absorbing prose.
But then you dragged out full character consequences, and whoa. Traumatizing. But the up side is this; next time I read a powerful romantic story by a reliably skilled author, if it ends happily, I will be far more joyful and content than I would if they all satisfied the romantic in me.
Meanwhile, I will have a long, detailed fantasy about Clark dumping Lex and going out on walkabout to see the world as a normal man on his own. He needs to be independent for a bit; he's been involved ever since he became human. And then once he's a bit more tough and grounded Bruce can sweep him off his feet and declare his undying affection (and no *way* would Bruce ever cheat, nosir.) And then Lex can HATEHATEHATE Bruce OMGSOMUCH and there can be plots which Clark and Lois foil while Lana goes to join a Bohemian art colony in Amsterdam and Pete finally convinces Chloe to marry him (which is a fitting punishment for both of them, really, especially as there'll undoubtedly be some happiness on the way.)
Possibly, Clark can start reverting back to Superman, because that's what would happen in any of the canon universes, of course. All wishes have time limits, right? Then he and Lex can be enemies again, and all is restored to its natural order. After Clark and Bruce break up over the unreconcilable problem of being Superman and Batman, with tears and fondness and lasting irritation, Bruce will definitely pine. Then Lex will find a way to die again, and Clark will stop him, and.
It all begins again.

In summation: I adore your stories, including the ones that bite hard. This one was really freaking painful, and it's probably for the best, though I need a lot of chocolate ice cream right now or I'm going to cry.

This is the perfect sequel to all these fics! I adore reading them, of course, probably because the cheating husbands seem so inevitable after the first two brilliant stories, but stungunbilly's headcanon here for how it could all work out afterward is beautiful!

Like ohshiny said above:
"i actually treat the SIHNT: adultery snippet as an AU in SIHVT'verse"

but anyway, thanx for explaining (you realy took your sweet time :P )

and ALSO, that snippet - SO needs a warning.
Pleasr tell the weak of heart (and those who want to keep their AU sweet & clean) to look away.
Yes, there are still ppl who read it now for the first time :D

Oh God, Jenn. For years I adore and still do, Somewhere. I read Somewhere, Gladly, and Still Life as they came out but I had moved on to other fandoms. So, today I had a hunger to read Somewhere again and realized I no longer had it on my hard drive. I go to your website and discover more stories.

I was blown away with Lex having an affair with Chloe of all people because I knew Chloe hated Lex something terrible. So, I am sitting here with the blues because I lost my happy Lex and Clark fix, even with all their troubles (life is not perfect) and Clark's tendency to whine, like moving to DC, Sight Unseen and Breathe Dust had put me in a sad mood.

I really appreciate your sharing on how you'd developed your stories and on why Lex had an affair with Chloe. The ending to Breathe Dust was left unresolved. The post here provided good enough closure with some understanding on Lex's unfaithfulness to Clark.

Honestly, when I read in the story Lex hadn't touched a woman in over a decade, my first thought was, couldn't he seduce one of those assistants skulking around in the white house. But, yeah, using Chloe was perfect for exemplifying the other side of Lex's characterization.

I've been re-reading my bookmarked SV stories and I remembered that you wanted to write more in the Somewhere universe. So, I went to check and found this entry.

Honestly, as much as I understand your explanation, I wish you had never written the subsequent stories. Or better said, I wish I never found them. Because for me, Sight Unseen completely ruins Somewhere, the first fic, and I can never read it again without a bad aftertaste in my mouth. Basically, everything that was accomplished in Somewhere was undermined by what came afterwards and despite the fact that I used to love Somewhere like crazy, I can't enjoy it anymore knowing where it's headed and it's making me terribly sad.

It's too bad that you never fixed it like you planned to, that we were left with a bleak future where Clark divorces Lex, bitter, depressed and betrayed, where Lex bears no similarity to the amazing character you built in Somewhere, where Lois isn't caustically funny anymore, just caustic and angry. It's quite depressing and sad.

Edited at 2010-06-06 01:55 pm (UTC)

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