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smallville fic: This Mortal Coil

So, yeah. Smallville fanfic. This isn't a new thing for me; I've been OTPing the Clex for a good five years. I just haven't written any for a while. See, I have this love/hate relationship with the series. That is, I love the premise, and I love the Lex, and his daddy, and the pretty, pretty boys, and the HoYay, and the TWoP recaps, and--I don't really watch the show, because mostly I can't stand it. All that high school drama, like, gag me with a spoon. But. The fandom. Is worth it in spades. The fic is fantastic, the music videos are gorgeous, and, oh, the Clex. Clark Kent and Lex Luthor are made for each other and I will shout it from the rooftops and go down with this ship and no one will ever, ever convince me differently.

But the initial passion had cooled, as it does in true love, and it wouldn't be interfering with my busy fanning schedule, except last month gnine was whining for something to read, so I threw the Identical series at her as it has been one of my all-time favorite fanfics since forever, and thus she saw the light in all its brazen bald glory. And dragged me back down into it. And tied me up and forced me to write fic. Or at least prodded me to consider doing so should inspiration strike, and the super-powered bunnies were annoyingly quick to oblige. Thus, we have this. Which is a one-shot, but not a one-time thing, I'm afraid to say.

Clex, Futurefic, angst, drama. PG-ish.
It was, when I initially conceived it, a comedy. Somehow, in the actual execution? Not so much.

Read it on AO3


( 81 comments — Leave a comment )
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(Deleted comment)
Jan. 11th, 2007 04:44 am (UTC)
When there is Clex, there is always hope ^_^

You're welcome, glad you enjoyed it!
Jan. 10th, 2007 09:00 pm (UTC)
This is wonderful. I've been drifting away from the series lately but this was just what I needed.

Jan. 11th, 2007 04:44 am (UTC)
Hee, so happy to oblige! ^^
Jan. 10th, 2007 09:02 pm (UTC)
I really loved the tension in the beginning of this. I've read stories before where Clark had to choose between saving endangered people and saving someone he loved, but somehow this one conveyed the impossibility of that choice on a much more visceral level, possibly because I was actually convinced Martha was going to die, and also because the small details you give about the Indian villagers make their lives (and therefore the danger they are experiencing) seem more real.

I also love the fact that it is Lex's constant battle against Superman that ends up saving Martha, and I love the way he justifies it to himself here: she's one of the most important. The only one who calls you by name, even when you're in that get-up. Maybe she's all that holds you here. Who can let you make believe you're really human. Once she's gone, what's Clark Kent but your mask? Just something you put on to fool people. Give you a break between saving the world, and otherwise there's only the alien left. And when the alien finally comes to need no more time off--what's left to preserve us weak mortals from his power? When will we have a chance to be human, to hate and fear and make mistakes, with Superman's shadow always over us?"

And the ending was perfect.
Jan. 11th, 2007 04:50 am (UTC)
Ah, that was the biggest obstacle writing this story, coming up with a situation to reasonably delay Superman (it's hard to put the brakes on near-omnipotence!) so I'm very glad that part was successful.

And happy you like the ending. I wasn't sure where it was going until it got there, and then...it was over!
Jan. 10th, 2007 09:04 pm (UTC)
I love the premise, and I love the Lex, and his daddy, and the pretty, pretty boys, and the HoYay, and the TWoP recaps, and--I don't really watch the show, because mostly I can't stand it.

*snort* It always makes me laugh when you share my brain ... again.

Actually, with me it's more that I've always loved the Superman/Lex Luthor dynamic going all the way back to early childhood. I just have never really liked canon. Ever. Which really makes me wonder where my love for the relationship comes from. There is one writer in the comics who has ever been able to do Superman and Lex the way I imagine them ... well, sort of close ... and that's Eliot Maggin. He also wrote a couple of tie-in books that I liked. But generally speaking canon doesn't do anything for me, and just the whole idea of Superman doesn't do anything for me, because he's too powerful -- he's like DBZ's Goku times ten. But Superman and Lex is very "yay".

So anyway, because of this and because they cast Lex so stunningly hot, I really wanted to love Smallville. I tried! So hard! And I just couldn't STAND it. The angst and the melodrama and the fluttery-eyed teenagers and just the utter STUPID was too much for me. I haven't watched it in years, except for an occasional episode here and there. Found some awesome music videos, though. I wish the show was as good as the vidding. And now you tell me there's great fic! AAAUUUGH! I haven't read yours yet ... after reading your intro I just had to skim down and write this. I'm sure I'll be back when I've read it. :)
Jan. 11th, 2007 04:39 am (UTC)
OMG, YOU! GET OUT OF MY BRAIN! I adore Maggin. I'm not a big comic book fan but his tie-ins and a few of his comics are online and I just read & loved 'em. For all his wacky comic-book-style writing, his ideas are something else, and I love his Lex. I've been meaning to post about that.

I never really cared much for either of them, before Smallville - Superman, as you said, too overpowered, bo-ring (I'm sort of changing my mind on that, as near-omnipotence does have interesting effects on a more-or-less human psyche, when properly considered...) Smallville - my introduction to the show was TWoP recaps, and the fic, so I knew what to expect going in, and yet still. The stupid, it burns us, preciousss. The most frustrating thing is that there are good elements - the Kent family stuff is sweet (I am a sucker for family smarm, especially adopted child things. And if you are, too, you have to read the Identical series RIGHT NOW. Really.) And I swear, if it were the "Luthor & Son" show I would watch it obsessively. Lionel Luthor is teh awesome. And obviously, I love that take on Lex, the tragedy of him. (and the sexiness of him. Oh man. Talk about charisma. Though I gotta confess - I know Tom Welling is too pretty for a lot of folks, but I can take it. He's a 25 year old playing a 15 year old, with all the consummate acting skills of my electric toothbrush, but man. Pretty. And then Jensen Ackles is in one season, too...)

Anyway, between all that, and my long-term affair with the villain/hero dynamic of which Superman/Lex is the archetype, and the awesomness of fandom (the fic is seriously fabulous. And the vids - have you seen "A Clexian Love Story"? It's like nothing I've seen before...) it's sort of inevitable that it's come to this point...
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Jan. 10th, 2007 10:00 pm (UTC)
Oh my goodness, that's gorgeous! I really loved it.
Jan. 11th, 2007 04:53 am (UTC)
Thank you, glad you enjoyed it!
Jan. 10th, 2007 10:28 pm (UTC)
Oh, my, that was perfect!
Jan. 11th, 2007 04:54 am (UTC)
*blush* thanks!
Jan. 10th, 2007 11:12 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed this a lot with Superman's escalating concern and his inability to abandon the many for an important one.
Jan. 11th, 2007 04:56 am (UTC)
Thank you - good of the many and good of the one is always a fascinating tension, and when you're the self-appointed savior of the world, it's that much harder...
Jan. 10th, 2007 11:36 pm (UTC)
Ah! That was so great!
Wonderfully done!
Jan. 11th, 2007 04:58 am (UTC)
Thank you, so glad you liked it!
Jan. 10th, 2007 11:59 pm (UTC)
Oh GAH this was lovely! And I just started watching the first few seasons of Smallville this winter, so perfect timing for the sudden onset of Clex love X3 This was achy and sad and beautiful T_T
Jan. 11th, 2007 04:57 am (UTC)
Hee, excellent timing! So glad to assist you on this dark path ^_^
Jan. 11th, 2007 12:19 am (UTC)
Superman holding the weight of the bridge and all the people while his mother might be dying alone--terrible, and just what he'd have to do. This was a very moving story, I really enjoyed reading it..
Jan. 11th, 2007 05:00 am (UTC)
Thank you! Sometimes I think the hero gig might be harder, the more power you have..."with great power comes great"--whoops, wrong hero! But still...!
Jan. 11th, 2007 01:03 am (UTC)
Okay, now I've read it, and I loved it! Like I said above, I've always loved the Superman/Lex Luthor dynamic, even without relating it to Smallville, and you capture it so beautifully here -- the subtle dance of love and hate. Superman's a difficult character to humanize -- at least I've always found him so, because he's just so darned *powerful* and also such a ... well, a paragon, I guess. But you've done it gorgeously here, putting him in that terrible, "what could a human being do?" sort of situation, where the *right* thing (the only thing he can really do and still be Superman) is not necessarily the *human* thing. And Lex rescuing his mom, to keep him from becoming entirely the alien ... that's neat. Your characterization of Lex is, again, beautiful -- the subtle interplay between the villain he is, and the better person he might almost be. Lovely!
Jan. 11th, 2007 05:05 am (UTC)
Eee, so happy you like it! ...I gotta confess, my favorite Smallville fics are the happy fluffy future fics, but the hero/villain love/hate dynamic is just too fascinating not to explore. And all the better if you found it convincing beyond the bounds of Smallville. One thing SV does do well is convince me of the humanity of Clark (currently the show is making him too human for my tastes, but that's another rant...) And the tragedy of Lex is that he could be so much more, if he weren't so human that he needs to cling to his hatred to survive...
Jan. 11th, 2007 01:23 am (UTC)
Oh Lex - always fights so hard not to be a hero and not to let his true love for Lex shine through.

Poor Clark.

I have hope for both of them.
Jan. 11th, 2007 05:06 am (UTC)
"...and then they lived happily ever after." In my mind, this is how it goes eventually. I'm hopeless like that ^_^
Jan. 11th, 2007 02:12 am (UTC)
Painful to read, but I like it anyway. Poor Clark.
Jan. 11th, 2007 05:07 am (UTC)
Thank you - I actually prefer happy-fic to angst myself, but this wanted to be written, and I'm so glad you liked it!
Jan. 11th, 2007 04:15 am (UTC)
I loved Lex's analysis that Clark needs his mother(/family/friends) to keep him 'human'. And that Clark pointed out that Lex could do it too... Just the bit of hope I need right now!
Jan. 11th, 2007 05:11 am (UTC)
From what I've seen of the comics, Lex Luthor's greatest fear is of the alien, dominating humanity, so it seems reasonable he'd preserve what preserves Clark's humanity. And yeah - where there's love, there's hope. And there'll always be love there!
Glad you liked it! ^^
Jan. 11th, 2007 04:19 am (UTC)
Thank you for writing SV again. This is lovely.

I appreciate the pacing of the India scene. I might have been tempted to rush that. Wonderful tension there.
Jan. 11th, 2007 05:15 am (UTC)
Thank you, I'm glad you liked it! And oh, good...I was worried the first scene was too long, happy to know it worked for you ^^
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