Three types, choose your poison.
Self-Gutting With a Dull Knife: An Introduction
(I) Forget by Elizabeth - the stuff of nightmares. First season, dark, dark, dark, and weirdly dispassionate voice that makes it more horrifying than anything more dramatic could have managed. Warning for Lex/Lionel. Trust me, it's not even the incest that I'm warning for in this one.
And Dark Our Celebration Was by hth_the_first - this one I rarely re-read, like, ever. It's stylish, but what gets to me is the dull despair beneath it. As in, this is not fixed, not fixable, will never be fixed, and it can only get worse. I appreciate it much more now that I'm no longer in the fandom, but it's still depressing. And very, very beautiful.
Chrysalis by destina - it still breaks my heart. It's Destina, which means stylish and utterly entrancing rhythm and flow, but it's also so--it's that idea, that this could have changed, could have gone a different way, right here. And it doesn't. And it hurts.
Immortality by Grail - how to gut a fandom in under twenty thousand words. I--really cannot talk about this one. It still hurts. And I remember the night I read it (there was a storm, we lost electricity, I was alone in the dark going I MUST HAVE READ THAT WRONG). I still can't really re-read it. Not without wanting to cry.
Ordinary Day by Elizabeth - futurefic. Still creeps me out so much in all the asides. Very, very--sharp feeling while reading, like licking a razor (yes, I know, eww) and feeling the blood before you realize you're cut. It's--wow.
The Russett Taint by Kirsten Sea - hard rentboy AU, utterly uncompromisingly bleak from a hardened Clark and painful Lana. It's beautiful and haunting and utterly painful. And it's a Clark I can see easily.
The Same River by isagel - PonFarr Clark, in a way that's bitter and hopeless and angry and needy. I always--I always re-read it thinking, maybe it wont' go that way this time, and it always does, and it's beautiful and painful at the same time.
Sunburn by penelope_z - futurefic. It's--hard to describe, and half the battle is figuring it out. When you do, that's when you start having nightmares. Beautiful style, subtle and creeping darkness beneath, and it hits like a mace when it hits.
Thirsty Earth by Maude M - this one is just--I really don't know. It's a slippery-slope, a feeling of inevitability, how a secret between two people can break them apart more thoroughly than anything else. I never read this without hurting for them both, and *understanding* them both, and knowing there was no other way this could go.
Waiting for Yes by astolat - I love this story unashamedly and completely. I love the style, the language--Jesus, I can get lost in the wording, the slow build of horror and destiny and despair. It's--I really don't have words. It's just amazing and slams hard for something so short.
Gutting With a Rusty Spoon: So It Takes Longer
Mercy by Koi - I need to do a long rec on this one someday. It's part of a family of fic that seemed to come out the spring/summer/fall of 2002. We were in the dark, apocalyptic, pain portion of our fannish development, and Koi's fic took canon, fanon, and perception and totally took them to the blender.
Past Grief by thete1 - again, long rec here. I don't think any fic in SV other than the next one listed as elicted as much commentary and critique as Past Grief. I could be wrong.
Ruat Caelum by rivkat - I have a long rec for it here. This is one of my favorites for re-reading. It's just that damn good.
Breathing Amber by harriet_spy - Smallville of the far future. There's a lot about this one that I could say, but this is what I'll start with: I love the subtle wrongness. I love the itching feeling of creepiness that builds even though there doesn't seem to be a reason. I love the fact I can remind myself with this one by saying "Cornfield", and if you get the Twilight Zone reference, well, yes. Not quite like that. But something close. It's haunting, and it's very, very right.
Everything's Eventual by Lint - long rec is here. This one continues to regularly show up in my thoughts. It's a good story and a great concept and more than that, it's beautiful Chloe.
Many Waters by liviapenn - Lex post-Desiree. What I like about this is the beatiful description of Lex's grief and betrayal after it all. IT may have been her power, but to Lex, it was also very, very real, and the story pulls no punches on that. Also, random note, set me off to write Standing in the Common Spaces in a very indirct way.
A Good Year for the Corn by girlinthetrilby - Jonathan fic, so *practical* and simple and dark and gah. It's wonderfully bare in what Jonathan can and will do to protect his family.
Into the Woods by rivkat - a haunting fairy tale of Lana and the men in her life. I really don't have words. I just flinch.
And that was a trip down memory lane. I'm going to go cry now for a bit.