Song Of The Executioner
by HYPERFocused

Whiskey buzzes inside you like a July day you'll never see again. Slams you like glass into the water. Shock to your system. You shouldn't survive this. Down down down, you don't know how you found yourself on the banks of this river. Except not a river, this time. Only pale sand beneath you, and no full lips above.

Nothing like real rescue when your usual savior is dead to you. Shivers 'til the water runs off your body, and it dries, sprawled in an inelegant heap. Jonathan's compass has changed from irony to necessity.

You wonder where Clark is now. Wish you were back in Smallville with him, skin sticky, pressed together in heat and need. Sea salt scrapes you raw and red. Clark's flesh gleamed golden and perfect, no matter how hard you'd thought you'd scratched it. Sunlight pounds on your scalp, and sweat burns sliding into your eyes. Clark's eyes burned with passion for you. He thought you didn't know.

The change in temperature in such a short time reminds you of Helen. Mercurial. You wonder how you could ever have thought choosing her was safer. Clark has always been the star you revolved around. You are hopelessly out of orbit now.

Struggling to your knees you drag branches and build a makeshift shelter; draping your torn silk shirt and linen suit over it all, to block out the elements. Rip out the lining so your blistered skin doesn't have to lie on the bone shard sand. Fingers bleeding from the rough wood, but you know the necessity for quick action. You don't want to die tonight, but there's not much reason to convince yourself to live. There are no desert island discs to listen to, just the song of betrayal.

Once the business of almost drowning is past, and you're out of immediate danger (washed up like flotsam on some uncharted shore), you have nothing but time to think. There is nothing to amuse you but your memories, and they leave you as scarred on the inside as you know you'll be on the outside.

You waste little time on Helen. She has betrayed you nearly to the death, and you've already added her to the long list of women who have done you wrong. Victoria. Desiree. Clearly, you are not meant to be married. Sometimes you think your life is just like one of the ubiquitous country songs you hear coming out of Jonathan's radio when you drive to pick up Clark.

This is a journey you don't think you'll ever make again, even if you do manage to find your way back to civilization. Smallville seems as far away as the moon. The mansion is part of your past life. Your father may have brought the ancestral home (and there's some question as to whether that's really your ancestry) to Smallville stone by stone. You'll be lucky if the shelter you constructed from branches, seaweed and part of your suit lasts through the rainy season. A sickly humored part of you wonders what your exclusive, tony tailor would think to see his work used in such a manner.

You wonder if Helen and your father are laughing somewhere, and how quickly she removed her rings. You picture her elegant surgeon's hands touching him, and his satisfied winner's smile.

They will have the last laugh, but it was you who gave Clark the punch line.

You pulled the old standby out from the mothballs. "No matter how hard I try to deny it, I'm still my father's son." He just looked at you pityingly. You both know you are so much more than that now. Lionel will not be your excuse for sending Clark away.

"You can't have us both," Helen had said. You agreed, knowing he would fight for you, and you would have let him win. But you forgot he was seventeen, and wasn't nearly ready to go against an enemy like Helen. He just acquiesced, pretended to be happy for you. You couldn't look him in the eye. You couldn't beg him to stay, to understand the choices you had to make. You aren't even sure why you made them.

Pain and exhaustion drag you from your memories, and shove you into dreamless sleep. When you rise to consciousness again, you tell yourself to tread carefully.


Clark runs faster than he ever has before. He is an errant child, and a Godling on the rise. He calls the powers of destruction to him. Nothing to do but rip apart his own past, his only chance for answers. He doesn't know if it will save this world. His world. He can't listen to either father's voice.

The explosion rips away his moorings. The crater that surrounds him has turned his home into a gaping wound. Clark rises from it dazed and exhausted. The shockwaves are deafening. For the first time since this nightmare began, it is deathly quiet in his head.

He is not there to rescue the truck, or its contents. He arrives at the hospital too late. His mother is broken and bleeding on the inside. His father is all but destroyed.

Jonathan's words leave Clark gasping. He's never felt anything like it. Winter words he can feel, like his inhuman nature. Nothing to do but get away, before he kills someone else.

He pictures Jor El's "I told you so." He can trace its symbols with his finger, like Lex would follow a priceless illuminated text. Words chiseled in his head; carved in alien marble.

He wants to kiss his mother good-bye. Tell her he's sorry, he's always loved her. Everything is his fault. He's a monster, Godzilla in human form.

Clark wonders if the AI did it on purpose somehow. An eye for an eye, a life for a life force. None of them wanted to think too much about how that baby got there. They didn't question miracles. He was an unwilling God, and he taketh away.

He did not want to stand up for Lex. Smile as he watched that woman take him by the arm and lead him away. He had no love for Helen, could see distrust and avarice emanating from her as clearly as he could sense the greenish glow from the meteors. He wondered how Lex didn't sense it as well. She did not love him. Lex would always be the guy who puked on her shoes, Clark thought.

Jor El's voice in his head plays with his urges, twisting them like a demented Jiminy Cricket in a bootleg Disney film. Jonathan's platitudes pull at his memory. There is little of his own conscience left. Neither wishing nor stars will hold off his intended future forever.

He slips on the ring, an impetus to forget, to lose himself. Sparks between his legs as he rides away. Sunglasses mask the brightness in his eyes. He could run faster on his own, but he wants the power between his thighs. Makes him think of Lex, and sports cars. Something else he forces himself to forget. Best friend. Best man. Clark offers Lana a ride, hoping her self-interest will make him forget his own. She just looks at him in what he assumes is shock. She makes it hard to tell.

He doesn't have time to try and change her mind. He swings a leg over the bike and gets on his way. The road ahead is long. He will save nobody, not even himself.


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