Butoh, Dance of Darkness by mobiusklein. I have no idea what the crossover is, but frankly, not sure I care. The creep factor here is enormous, and the twist completely unexpected. AU indeed. And chilling as hell. Run, don't walk.
Ceremony of Innocence by rivkat Rivka does things with ubercomplex Lexes that always surprise me and always work. As a post-Visitor story, it clarifies everything we think we know about Lex and tells us things we may not. Clark's very Clark, but Lex is painfully Lex, with every dichotomy and every obsession. Read it.
Room 29 by gila. Clark wanders off. Lex goes after. I never, ever get tired of these stories. *G*
First Times by spyhop Oh HELL yes. Clark's first times, one and two. Here be het, but deal, because seriously good and hot story of Clexness as well here. Loved it.
Macellum by Sylvia. Mmm. Hard AU. Brothersfic. Luthor powergames. And I dearly love it. Run with it.
Genesis by harriet_spy Whoa doggies. Science and obsession and Helen. And fits so flawlessly into canon that, wow, doesn't THIS explain a few things about Helex.
Into the Woods by rivkat Oddly, there's no way I can begin to explain WHAT about this one haunted me. But like any good fairy tale before Disney, it leaves the creep and forgets the happy ending.
Futura by lexcorp_hope Mmm. Elseworldy goodness. To get it, just read it, but mmmm. Hope manages the hardest thing--keeping two characters AS the characters while changing every other damn thing. Very good.
Recs Redux. In other words, my way of reminding myself to update my recs on my page more than once ever blue-colored moon or so. And because I love these stories and think they should be read regularly. Every day, even.
Yes, I'm still gripey, but I'm PRODUCTIVELY gripey!
Recs Redux: The Angst Collection
Short, long, series, mostly Clex. The stuff where pain is artistic and you wonder when you're going to wake up. Most are going to be pre-second season, a couple aren't. My personal way to unleash my inner angstwhore and be happy while doing it. Not for the new reader, not for the new Clexer, and really, really not for the ones who like the happy.
Past Grief by thete1 I've written novels on this one. I still think it's classic reading for anyone interested in the SV fandom, to see where a ton of our fanon came from, not to mention well, sheer, unending, creepy darkness and pain. Fascinatingly layered reading, with Clark as possibly one of the most interesting unreliable narrators--it's the reading between the lines that's going to get you every time.
Mercy by koimistress Recced this, drooled, etc. Yep. Excellence in fanfic like this is rare and should be treasured. I've reviewed, recced, and whimpered about it so many times I don't think anything else needs to be said on the subject, but. I will anyway. Mercy's a superlative example of taking canon apart by inches and exploring the inherent possibilities of Smallville in a more real-world view (er, that sounds odd). Clark's an alien, Lex doesn't trust, and this can't end well. Except somehow, it can.
Immortality by Grail Again, recced this one out every way to Sunday. I don't LIKE it, but Immortality isn't a story you sit down to read and adore. It's one you plow through and hope you come out on the other side okay, and everything changes in between. It's painful and unhappy and cruel and vicious and hurts in every way and it's one of the best stories I've ever read.
Chrysalis by destina I like subtlety and I like how the dark side doesn't happen with lightning and thunder, but with these tiny, inevitable steps toward the wrong side, and how Lex changes as it happens in those same tiny, inevitable ways. And most of all, I like that Destina showed far, far more than she told and let the reader not know until it was impossible to deny. All the drama here is in the subtext.
Honestly, what makes it incredible is that Lex DOES change during the story, even if he can't see it, can just only sense it. Everything shifts and we don't know it's really happening until this sudden realization of whoa. And fuck.
Undone by lexcorp_hope Another of the ones where the rift and crossing over happen so inevitably that you don't know it's happening until it has. Hope's touch is careful when necessary, blunt where we need it. Slick and painful, her background in the Homicide fandom makes this work, and her ability to achieve atmosphere makes the story move beyond tragic and into masterpiece. Beautiful and painful.
Ruat Caelum by rivkat I loved this story and did an entry on it, so if I can find it, I'll link up. Suffice to say, this caught me in all the right ways--Lex is Lex, different and the same, ruthless and still somehow sympathetic, deeply flawed and not quite seeing it. Clark's painfully himself, but all grown up, and knows saving now doesn't mean you get to do it clean. Quick, single scene moments sketch out a future I'm not sure isn't perfectly possible in canon. And if you like your Clex to hurt, this is the place to be.
(I) Forget by Elizabeth. Utterly chilling. Sharp, quick prose that cuts, Lex first person POV, as rare as good Starbucks coffee and one of the few that couldn't be written any other way. Lex tells a story about love and lust and wanting. Tells us about Lionel, too. And even more about himself and the kind of damage Lionel can create and will never be healed. Lex doesn't even know he's broken. He doens't know how not to obsess. And damn it, reading it after Visitor? Makes it all brand new again.
Sleeper by thete1 It took me a while to get what Te was doing--I knew I liked it, knew instinctively she was saying something about how the lessons that sink in are the ones that are personal, but the way Clark teaches here--Jesus. Some people educate by example, by lecture, by abuse. Clark does it with the body count in a way that Lex can't ever, ever escape. One night at a time.
The Field Where I Died by girlinthetrilby This is the kind of story that makes you ache. Lana as much herself as anything I've ever seen--focused, unhappy, bitter, and self-centered to the point of blindness. Lex's pain is almost blinding. I won't ruin it, just read it. Clark's finally paying a debt he doesn't owe, and Lex makes sure the world pays for it.
Bitter Strands by girlinthetrilby First season, post-X-Ray. Lots of speculation about Club Zero, in the good old days when we were still living in the mystery of Lex and his motives, before Nixon became just plain crazy. Nixon goes to Lionel and finds out a few home truths about his new employer. And insanity would be comforting compared to what Lionel tells him. Beautiful.
And Dark Our Celebration Was by Hth. Futurefic. See, I didn't even know I'd LIKE this one, tone and setting and the entire feeling of hopelessness and darkness, and it just doesn't END. You know from the first word that this is going to go badly. You don't need to be told that it's going to hurt. And you see these characters coming from a mile away and can't do a damn thing to stop it.
More than that, this Clark--he fits. In futurefic, we try to age him and hope he'll gain some maturity and compassion, but the Clark here IS the Clark of the show--still young, still not quite getting it, still with that vague sense of entitlement that makes all our teeth ache, and what was annoying in the kid's there in the adult.
The Damascenes Series by Te
Unruhe, Glaube, and Erleuchtung.
The Trifecta of true angst--Te probably single-handedly changed the view on angst by taking on this one after Past Grief. What we all think about a man who lives his life trying to save others, knowing he cant' do it all, and how long he'll want to try. Burn-out is spectacular when a few home truths hit Clark in all teh wrong (right?) ways. And Lex is there to glue the pieces back together in a brand new shape.
And the sex here is phenomenally scary. Often enough, there's a feeling that while we all love the smut, it might not be necessary to the storyline. Ah, but not here, where it all has to be there, from teh first touch to the first fuck, hard and cold and merciless and dear God, hot.
Thirsty Earth by Maude M. I was so thrilled when Maude dropped this story into the group last year, and it hurt in the ways that I didn't expect and yet--did. Maude's got a fine, light touch with her characters in the future--Lex the Lex we know and yet we feel we just might not, Clark very Clark, and a love that can survive everything, even if the relationship can't. It's--again, the inevitiability that we see building from the first scene to the last. Like Chrysalis, the dark side's all about those steps that look like nothing until they culminate and become this. Use of flashbacks, future to past, and it's a story that just isn't read by enough people. Just be ready to hurt.
Waiting for Yes by shallot. No list is complete without this, post-Hourglassness in the loss of everyone, leaving Clark very alone with only one other person. Whether he likes it or not. Lex through Clark's eyes is terrifyingly cool, competent, and that obsession is there, running beneath the surface of everything else. Clark is--wow, never going to be free again. Dearest god.
Mmm. Misery. Mmm.