Thebes by lexcorp_hope
I honestly think the entire historical challenge was almost created for this story. When I'm competent, will do something more than be amazed, but right now, that's about what I've got. If you haven't read it, you should be doing so now. It's completely incomparable. latxcvi was right. This is Clark, this is Lex, and this is the spirit of it.
Cycles by zarah_5
I had to read it three times. And I still dont' think I have it all. And I'm still thinking about it.
Echo by schmevil
Three words. Piercings. Concert. Lex.
The Last Days by Lux.
The writer's notes mention English isn't her first language, and there are a few awkward phrasings, but other than that? Lovely. I liked the flow, I liked both Clark and Lex, and I liked how it all slipped together so effortlessly. *grin* I want to *keep* her.
Teh Summer of WiPs, listed out and annotated by the lovely, brilliant, all-knowing, all-wise mecurtin
Yes, I'm happy to see a single refernece point. How'd you tell?
I'm slightly beneath the mood weather, but serious application to enhancers should fix that. There's also triple chocolate cake waiting.
About fourteen or so months ago, I wrote this up whilst in an anti-Clark temper tantrum. In diary. I'm thinking about it again.
The kid is aloof.
Eck. My Clark issues. Serious, serious Clark issues, and the more I write CreepyLexFic, the more aware I am of all that damn potential symbology in the show. And how really, really SCARY that is.
I was editing CLF and thinking, and musing, and sort of doing nothing, then went to read blogs because that's what I do when miserably bored. And read and started thinking on what it is that attracts me to Lex to the point where I'm perfectly willing to justify him taking out Dominik for fun.
Lex is so human. Or--he's exploring humanity. Sort of.
This comes back to my long love of Trek, what with all the non-human characters exploring their humanity or what have you. Spock. Data. Seven (God help us all). These characters are most popular for a reason--they connect with us in their drive to discover themselves. Who they are, what they are. And in Smallville, you'd seriously think the alien superhero is the one who is exploring himself the most thoroughly, but it's not working out that way. I mean, on ANY level. Clark seems to know exactly who he is--Future Superhero, Great Destiny Holder, Boy With Hopeless Crush, Good Son, Friend to All Humanity. And whoo-hoo, you don't say? And they say creativity is dead in television. Look at that. And to think, he's going to be just like this, just in a godawful uniform, ten years from now.
He's not growing. I mean, he's NOT. I cannot see a discernable change in him on any level--when he rebels, he does it in tiny, insignificant ways and immediately goes back to status quo having Learned His Lesson (TM). He's--really, really, squeaky clean. Putting Phelan up against the wall is the first time I felt that shot of energy, of hope--of SOMETHING in him that's more than the sum of his parts. He's compassionate and he's so good it hurts to look at him, he's mature in a weird, sort of frightening way, but there's that temper, that flaw that we can touch. That we can connect with. And that moment, I loved Clark. I sat back and thought, thank you GOD. Yes. There it is. That's the part that Clark needs to fight, needs to accept, needs to deal with, needs to understand. The part that every human has, the weakness they have to deal with and learn to live with. He HAS one. And THAT is empathy, that's what creates it, and....
And like a fucking snowflake in Smallville continuity, that's gone before the next episode airs.
I have this really, really bad feeling that I'm never going to connect with Clark in ANY episode. I connect with him in fanfic--Te, Sarah T, Livia, Bas, Andy, Bethy, et al. They give me a Clark who is living life. They give me conflicted Clark and Clark being more than this--finished product. He's--as a character, we KNOW what he's going to be. HE'S JUST LIKE THAT NOW. He is Clark Kent, Superhero as of right now, and there will be no--growth, so much as him becoming more and more what he already is. It's--God, that's depressing. More good. More responsible. More aloof. More sure of his own innate goodness.
The scariest part of this? This is backing up my Lex/Lana bend. I don't like Lana--but I have to give credit, she's DOING things at least. She's changing. She's learning herself. She's actually actively trying and failing or trying and succeeding. She's being manipulative. I do not like her, but at least she's not static.
And all roads lead to Lex (you knew this, right?). Who is so damn human we ache for him. Knowing the future, knowing the history, knowing him as MR has portrayed him--we want him to succeed. We watch his conflicts, bite our lips when his dad tries out some vaguely Medici family philosophy on him. We want him happy, and he's living like no other character on this show, he's living for like, ten people. He's trying and failing, trying and succeeding, getting his ass kicked, looking for himself, for his father, for his life, for redemption, for meaning. He's growing and changing right in front of our eyes, and it's BEAUTIFUL. This is what a character is supposed to do, to be, this is what people live for when they read and write, and that this is happening on a show like SMALLVILLE....
It literally takes my breath. This is GOOD stuff.
He's a kid who loves fast cars, a plant manager who is doing brilliantly at his job, a son who feels unloved by his father, a man whose learned ruthlessness as a reflex and an instinct, that lying is a necessity, not an option, a guy who, when you get the loyalty, you get it with his entire soul--and just a boy who wants to be trusted and cared about and liked for his own sake.
And it's symptomatic of his luck, lousy damn Luthor luck, that he connects with the one person completely incapable of connecting back with him. With someone who is unable to bridge the space between them that makes true friendship work, unable to give as much as he gets. It's--just horrifying, that there's this suspicion that the most damage done to Lex won't be by his dad or his life--the big damage is being done by Clark. He's trying to buy Clark, and Clark is letting him think that THIS is the way to go. Here, take my mom's box, take my tickets, take my limo, take my connections, here's power, here's the Talon for your crush, here's a football team for her boyfriend, here's whatever the fuck you want, Clark, take whatever you want whenever you want, just be my friend, please.
Oh God that hurt to write.
And Clark is LETTING him.
Wow, I have officially worked myself into a temper tantrum.
And on Clark's side....
Don't ask questions, don't ask too much of me, keep your distance, we'll be friends but only when I say so, you can give me things but don't expect anything in return, live with the lies and deal with me on my terms, close your eyes when I do weird things, take it when I kick you, or you know what? Forget it. And if you do all this? I'll be nice to you most of the time. The past will only matter when it's yours. I reserve the right to keep my moral high ground no matter how dishonest I am. And I'll only talk about you behind your back when you can't hear.
You think I'm being brutal? Look at the history. I can do this for days.
Don't get me started on what Pete and Chloe have to deal with. Because then I just want to sit Chloe down and tell her, YOU CAN DO BETTER.
Am I being fair? Not completely. Clark really is a good, sweet, compassionate, kind, generous boy. He has wonderful, good qualities. But with the sole exception of Lana, they're all blurred by that--aloofness. That slightly above the earth mentality. That--distance.
And Lex? He's ruthless; he emotionally unstable at times and acts out of that instead of reason; when he's cornered, he's absolutely merciless; he has a cold streak that comes out at the worst of times. There's not much compassion in his make-up, a real lack of empathy, and a scary ability to make right or wrong a public relations thing, not a personal moral code. Despite all those things above, he's also deeply loyal, kind, generous, and he's not malicious. At all. He has a--frighteningly idealistic mindset, coupled with ambition and intelligence and absolute confidence in himself. He has a strong desire to actually DO the right thing. And this is part of his NATURE, not his upbringing. And he's utterly incapable in every way of not giving everything he has and is. Completely.
That's a combination that's pretty much bound to go really fucking wrong. And coupled with Clark--Clark and his pathological inability to connect, Lex with his almost desperate need to do just that...
I don't even know how to describe how scary this is. And the difference between them is more than in the means to the end. Phelan would have died if he'd pulled something like that on Lex. And stripping away the moral issue thing, put Clark and Lex on equal footing, if someone Lex loved was threatened, there is NOTHING Lex would not do for them, up to and including murder. Clark--didn't. Won't ever. Not for anyone.
Let me point out, take a vote, which one do you want to have on your side when you're falsely accused of murder?
I'm being unfair again. I just--can't get why we're supposed to be fascinated by the Clark and Lana drama, when both of them have no intention of changing the status quo. I can't quite get the idea that seeing Clark be Superman as a kid is going to be revelatory in any way. Lex is revelatory--talk about reinterpreting everything you thought you KNEW about him....
I've been trying to figure out how much I still agree with. There were three entries on the subject, but this one I like best, because I was thinking only to myself about what was annoying me with the show and with Clark. I'm never going to love him, but I have learned to like him, despite the fact he broke last year's record and I spent over three eps, despite my better sense, imagining him neatly dissected. Or messily. Dull scalpels, even.
Come on. Did anyone get through that murder accusation without wanting to just drop kick him into the next week? But on the other hand...eh. I need to think on it more before I try writing him again.
Mulling. I should do an entry on this soon to keep up where I am in my head now. Besides, Exodus has my compassion up and running. Poor, poor woobie. *g*