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darkfic: Promises to Keep

Okay, I take back what I said about Lex in "Promise." This is what's really going on. Major props to jakrar for inspiring us to peer deeper into the mechanism, and to gnine for hashing out more of the details.

This is a fanfic and episode meta in one. I could have written yet another essay, but this was more fun and only took a couple hours to dash off. The characterization might make more sense if you're aware of our current interpretation of Lex.

Smallville: Promises to Keep {2,063 words}
PG-13. Warnings for meteorfreak!Lana and mastermind!Lex. Well, less warnings for the latter, more reassurances. He's been sorely lacking of late in the show proper. Also massive spoilers for "Promise." The dialogue and action are all from the episode's script; the words in between are mine.

( Lex Luthor is used to desperation. )


( 62 comments — Leave a comment )
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Mar. 17th, 2007 11:06 am (UTC)
How much to I want this to be true (with Lex later realizing that Clark is pining for him, and then once Clark becomes Superman he an Lex team up to fight other alien invaders - once Lex gets over the psychological damage of realizing that the exact alien enemy he thought he was fighting wasn't really the one he necessarily needed to be fighting. Then like in the JL cartoon Lex Luthor saves the planet. *pant, pant.ahem..cough..cough*). Because my Lex is a man who owes his choices - even if it's killing someone, which he does for a better reason then Lana Lang. Besides my Lex is no longer afraid of Lionel and would never be nuts in love with Lana, like every other man who was ever her boyfriend in/on Smallville. I just sincerely doubt that TPTB would ever make Lana a meteor mutant with MustLoveMe powers, because honestly that, would be cool!
Mar. 17th, 2007 12:27 pm (UTC)
I'm actually wondering if Lex has figured out Clark isn't an evil invader himself, but just doesn't have faith he can save the world, whatever his powers. Though if he does believe Clark is an invader, it does explain why he has yet to make a serious effort to catch him for 33.1; he doesn't want to risk showing his hand to Clark's fellow aliens.

I honestly intended to write this without Lana having powers, because then it couldn't be as easily jossed by later eps. It works to an extent anyway, if Lex is counting on having Lana under his control to control Clark-the-invader. But I couldn't get out of my head the idea of Lex having drugged himself to face her on the altar...and Lana-as-love-mutant makes so much sense. Like, this is why Lex is always sending her away overseas and such without him, he needs the distance to think clearly...and it also justifies Clark being such an asshat, if he's under the influence so much of the time...
(no subject) - attaccabottoni - Mar. 19th, 2007 10:12 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 17th, 2007 12:28 pm (UTC)
Not only an explanation for Lex's determination to have and keep Lana, but also Clark's inability to let her go.

Now I need happy CLex. *whimper*
Mar. 17th, 2007 12:34 pm (UTC)
Meteorfreak!Lana pleases me because it absolves both the boys from their worst moments...

I have a little happy!Clex (or pre-Clex, rather) that I'll be putting up soon, plus a Conner-fic with a side order of Clex that is almost finished...(the ironic thing here is that I really, genuinely adore happy endings and cuteness and fluff. I don't save darkfic because it makes me sad to read it. But writing it...I don't know what's wrong with my brain, that it keeps churning it out...I blame Lex for being so smexy when he's angsting. ^^;;;)
(no subject) - jakrar - Mar. 18th, 2007 01:53 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 17th, 2007 01:38 pm (UTC)
I just now watched "Promise" and because it was a horribly depressing episode if taken at face-value (everyone except Lionel was just pathetic!) I went online find something less depressing. I watched the ep with your interpretation in mind - the only thing that didn't work was when Lex offered LuthorCorp to Lionel, unless you take that as a gamble where Lex was reasonably sure that Lionel wouldn't immediately take the offer - and knowing Lionel he most likely wouldn't. He likes to have leverage far too much.

Of course darkfic doesn't help against show-caused bad mood, but I still prefer this version because it makes *sense* and convinces - on the show Lex has neither seemed happy nor in love this whole season and least of all in this ep.

A sacrifice, unknowing, unaware; but a sacrifice as courageous and noble as any soldier fighting for her people, her nation, her world.
Fantastic. Lex's views and morals in this are so warped that he's scary, even while being tragic. I don't often find Lex scary.
Mar. 17th, 2007 02:26 pm (UTC)
I was torn between being depressed by "Promise" and being pissed off, because yeah, everyone but Lionel comes out pathetic and miserable and it was just not a fun time. For we the viewers, either. This was definitely therapy. I'm almost grateful SV has so many plotholes, because you can slip something like this in between the cracks and it actually works - it's not that I think it's what the writers are going for (though I really, really wonder if someone on the staff is onboard with mutant!Lana) but...they can't prove it wrong, unless they bring in a telepath or somesuch! (and Lex offering LuthorCorp was totally a gamble; if Lionel had accepted Lex would have worked around it. Might have even been easier, getting out of the spotlight. Or else he's got LexCorp in the wings, waiting for the chance to strike...he's gotta change over sometime...)

Eeee, you thought him scary? Yay! The Lex in my head is pretty tragically frightening, he's got so much potential and drive for greatness that any morality or humanity in him can be drowned, especially when there's no one left in his life to draw it out...(I just wish the Lex in my head showed up on my TV screen more often ^^;)
Mar. 17th, 2007 03:11 pm (UTC)
I totally re-watched those parts of the episode with this in mind and they suddenly made so much more sense. Except we can't use this theory for every stupid Lex moments so far, Static did not happened.
Mar. 17th, 2007 03:26 pm (UTC)
gnine is now insisting that "Static" makes perfect sense if you accept meteormutant!Lana - Lex was off his Lana-resisting drugs the whole time he was in the other frequency ^^ (we also justify it by saying that Lex was thinking the guy was possibly listening the whole time, or set it up such that Lana would hear him eventually...)
(no subject) - lukita - Mar. 17th, 2007 03:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - xparrot - Mar. 17th, 2007 05:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lukita - Mar. 18th, 2007 06:20 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - xparrot - Mar. 18th, 2007 07:15 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lukita - Mar. 18th, 2007 07:45 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 17th, 2007 04:20 pm (UTC)
Good stuff, beautifully dark and very clever. Fits perfectly as a prequel to the previous work. I like it!
Mar. 17th, 2007 05:58 pm (UTC)
Hey, it does work as a prequel, doesn't it. Cool! I wasn't really thinking that far ahead...oh, Lex. Poor loveless creature.
Mar. 17th, 2007 07:43 pm (UTC)
Just found this, and wow, does it work beautifully in melding your theory and an otherwise-terrible episode! I love Lex having come up with Lana-resisting drugs to protect himself and his ability to think clearly, yet still being slightly affected at the wedding because the effect is heightened along with Lana's emotions. Love Lex playing his father while letting Lionel think he's the one pulling all the strings. Love Lex remembering Clark's blood in "Mortal" and seeing it as a lie. Love him viewing his bride as a heroine, albeit not for the reasons she might think, and seeing Lionel and the crooked doctor as too small to even look up and see the storm clouds overhead (such a great image).

One tiny thing I did notice:

Lines will be crossed, but Lex doesn't have to rush across them. This is a race, no one knows that better than him, the invisible clock counting down above all their heads. But he's nowhere near the finish line and he'll need to save something for the final stretch.

It should be 'no one knows that better than he' (because it's short for 'no one knows that better than he knows that').

Brilliant, brilliant story! *squees wildly*
Mar. 18th, 2007 07:21 am (UTC)
So glad it worked for you! Especially since it is partly your fault I came up with it at all. ^_^ This Lex freaks me a little, but I love him, so wrapped up in the big picture that he's lost all track of people as anything more than pawns...

(the "he/him" issue is one of those tricky grammar points where standard usage is changing, and in the name of progress I'm inclined to side with what sounds natural more than what is grammatically correct...viva la ongoing linguistic revolution!)
(no subject) - jakrar - Mar. 18th, 2007 02:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: He/Him - stitcher2ficcer - Mar. 19th, 2007 02:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 17th, 2007 09:02 pm (UTC)
Oh! That was great!
Mar. 18th, 2007 07:21 am (UTC)
Mar. 17th, 2007 10:00 pm (UTC)

And later he and Clark can have hot angry sex.
Mar. 18th, 2007 07:21 am (UTC)
(no subject) - enderwiggin24 - Mar. 18th, 2007 02:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 18th, 2007 07:22 am (UTC)
Yes, yes, and yes! I don't mind Lex being a villain - not at all - I just mind when he's a pathetic villain. I would totally try writing for SV, except they'd make me write Lana, and then my head would explode...

And yep, I totally agree there's a lot of sublimation going on with Lana, on both the boys' parts. Heh.
Mar. 17th, 2007 11:14 pm (UTC)
very very interesting indeed, and well done! loved it. :)
Mar. 18th, 2007 07:23 am (UTC)
Thank you!
Mar. 17th, 2007 11:21 pm (UTC)
I am in love w/ this take on the story.

I ♥ your brain so much.

I followed a link from somewhere and ended up @ this story. Friending you for future brilliance. *g*
Mar. 18th, 2007 07:24 am (UTC)
Eee, glad you liked it! (my brain worries me myself, but... XD) and welcome to the flist! It's pretty much all Lex, all the time around here, nowadays...
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 18th, 2007 07:26 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you! That's the best compliment This was totally therapy for me, glad to know it helped someone else, too XD
(While I wasn't really intending it, it was pointed out that "As Moths" works quite well as a sequel...)
Mar. 18th, 2007 02:54 am (UTC)
Awesome way to make Lex a very suave, very not-pathetic villain. I loved your last story too. It's an interesting idea.
Mar. 18th, 2007 07:28 am (UTC)
Thank you! Yes, I love villain!Lex - as long as he's a cool villain!
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 18th, 2007 07:35 am (UTC)
OMG YES!!! LOIS!! YAY!!! (um, sorry, I just thought I was the only SV fan in the world who actually likes Lois. These days she's my favorite character after Lex and (maybe) Clark. I have this terrible idea for a rewrite of 5th season wherein Lois sees the ship instead of Lana, and starts hanging out with Lex investigating it. Only then villain!Lex would never happen because Lois wouldn't give him time to be evil since she'd always be dragging him out for pizza, and finally would lock him & Clark in a room together until they worked out their differences.)

Totally agree that SV writers should be watching out for the real Lex Luthor. He's totally gonna pwn them for character assasination.
Mar. 18th, 2007 05:17 pm (UTC)
This is genius. It makes everything so much better!
Mar. 18th, 2007 07:25 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad to be of ep-therapy service XD
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