TITLE:  Je souhaite

AUTHOR:  Mei

RATING:  G

DISCLAIMER:  None of the characters belong to me.

SUMMARY:  Wishes.

This was written in response to Livia Penn's Smallville X-Title Challenge.  My very first fanfic, so feedback is welcome.

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I granted my first wish when I was three years old.

Martha Kent tells me that with her wish and a wave of my magic wand, she got everything she needed to make her life complete.  Around the same time death came from the skies and left a gaping hole in my family, Clark joined the Kents and made theirs complete.  Her wish gave her what doctors and prayers never could.  However, I know her joy is not unmitigated.  While Martha is probably the happiest person I know, I can see that underneath it all lies a lot of worry.  It's as if she fears losing everything she holds dear.

Such is the nature of wishes granted.  The realization of your dreams, the attainment of your deepest desires.  Oftentimes, it just ends up biting you in the ass, to be blunt about it.  Usually, it's the wisher who pays the price.  In my case, the granting of wishes takes a toll as well.  Yes, I've found that fulfilling others'  needs is the one of the surest foundations of love.  It provides me with the security I know I crave.  At the same time, it eats away at me bit by bit.

Take Nell and Whitney.  Those are the two people who love me the most, I think.  I've made sure of it.  My beautiful aunt, who showers me with gifts and praises my accomplishments to the winds.  My gift to her has been motherhood and honorary sainthood, all without risk to her waistline or her heart.  And Whitney.  He gets a girlfriend who is beautiful, accomplished and sweet.  Sweet, but just sexy enough in private to provide an escape from his troubles.  He's the envy of all his peers.  The cost to me is that these people who love me never truly know me.  I live in constant fear of disappointing them.

Clark.  I like him.  I see him looking at me and wanting ... something.  I think that's the key.  All the wanting.  He takes my image and makes it the answer to all the questions that seem to plague him.  I'm stuck with the task of constantly disappointing him.  I realize that to give him what he needs, he must never obtain what he thinks he wants.

Chloe.  My gift to her is herself.  I serve as her negative.  Dark to her blonde.  Vanilla to her ersatz quirkiness.  Because she won't compete on my playing field, my role as the "perfect" ex-cheerleader spurs her to become even more individual and doggedly herself.  What she doesn't know is that I envy her.  She couldn't know that.  It wouldn't work otherwise.

And Lex.  He's definitely a man who has everything.  I wouldn't have thought that I had anything he would ever want or need.  No, it's not what you think.  To him, I'm best served as a gift to another.  I don't think he actually wants to complete the transaction, though.  It's enough for him to get credit for his good intentions.  So I play the role of the oblivious pawn in his game.

So what do I wish for myself?  Some would wish for the chance to sit with a cup of coffee and watch the world go by.  Oh, I have that.  I have that in spades.  One of the few things I ever fought for was the Talon.  This living memorial to my parents that also provides me with the lovely bonus of being able to look across the street at the site of their deaths.  Ironic, isn't it.  Like I said, a wish granted often comes back to bite you in the ass.

Oh, I know what I'd wish for.  I'd wish that love didn't bind so tightly.  That it didn't require so much.  I want to love and still be free.  Be me.

I think that someone else has to wish that for me, though.  I'm still waiting.