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 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.