Fire and Water- 1/1 PG-13

by Clannadlvr

Thanks to Aimee for the beta and, of course, I'd love feedback!

Title: Fire and Water

Author: Clannadlvr (

Rating: PG-13 (for subject matter)

Spoilers: Definitely up to "Crush," but lets say anything in SV so far just to be safe.

Summary: Futurefic, short story, POV's of Lex and Chloe as they separately assess death. So...definitely angst.

Archival: Sure, just please let me know where...

Disclaimer: I don't own anything related to Smallville, DC comics, etc...this is just for entertainment purposes, so please don't sue!

A/N: Well, those of you in the US know that the WB station is showing season 1 episodes of SV on Sunday nights. I had missed quite a bit of the first season, so this was my first opportunity to see the episode "Crush." I was really struck by the visual that was Lillian's grave, with the stone angel that stands watch. In this eppy, we see Lex confronting the idea of losing another mother figure in his life- he lets it affect him and truly shows that he's capable of love. But what would be his reaction toward death a few years down the line, after everything that has been done to him and all he's lost?

Fire and Water.

Elements of life, one in each hand. The power to ignite and the power to extinguish separated by an expanse of chiseled granite.

The angel stands quietly as she has for these long years, twelve changes of fall to winter. She balances her two hands, one a flame, the other a cold spring, keeping them in perfect harmony, neither one allowed to greet the other. Water doesn't quench fire, fire doesn't burn water to nothingness. Life kept in equilibrium.

Except that Lex knows better.

He knows that the accepted interpretation of the marble edifice is one of eternal life. Fire breathing and water flowing, a sign the death is never an end.

Except that Lex knows better.

He sees the metaphor for what it really is. The angel and headstone are of the same unfeeling rock, chipped away till they approach a facsimile of life. The flame is kept alive by butane, pushed through pipes that snake through her limbs, hollow bones. The water arrives by a similar route, purified so the residue won't stain her frozen arms.

Just like the angel, the headstone isn't a testament to life, or even death.

It's the absence of life.

Some would say that coming to the mausoleum, this shrine to a woman so often wronged by the snake she chose, is a way for him to reconnect with her. This "loving wife and mother" taken too soon. This is a place where a son should feel her presence, where he should feel the love she felt for him. A place for joyful memories and wistful longings.

Except that Lex knows better.

This place is as empty as the man who stands before it.

The man who stands before the memorial is a loving son, paying his respects to a mother who left him too early. When he is in front of her grave, his heart is filled with longing, every fiber seeking to find its way into the ground to hold the woman who created him one last time. With his modest suit, stony expression, and fistful of flowers, he is the embodiment of turbulent emotions and never ending grief.

Except that Chloe knows better.

When he places the bouquet in the glass vase that rests against granite, his thoughts are filled with his mother and the memories they shared. His heart clenches and his mind turns back to happier days when he heard her laugh and she made him smile. He is wistfulness and love.

Except that Chloe knows better.

She knows this just as she knows that when he gazes into her eyes and tells her that he loves her, it's only half true. When he grabs her hand and pulls her toward him, devastating her mouth with a kiss, he believes he loves her. He thinks their clandestine meetings, stolen moments away from the eyes of their fathers, bring him joy. The butterflies in his stomach tell him that what he assumes to be is true.

And when he turns to her during their nights they stay together, she feels that love he thinks he knows. His passion when he holds her, caresses her, enters her, is so strong that she gets caught up in the moment. For a short time she can live in that dream and it's made real. He loves her with every fiber of his being, nothing hollow.

Except that Chloe knows better.

She watches from afar as his eyes glide across the tribute to the woman in the ground. He's assessing the coldness of the memorial, the lies it tells, the promises it doesn't keep. She knows he's scoffing life eternal. And throughout his survey, he sees the manufactured stone as a useless gesture. She sees all of this as clear as day.

A layman would think he sees his mother's death and the tragedy of it all. Anyone who knows him and his history would think so.

Except that Chloe knows better.

The angel holds two cups, one filled with fire, the other water. But they are not two sides of one coin. They are not elements of nature balanced against each other, signifying eternal life. Instead they are merely set dressings for the monument's true purpose.

A tribute to empty vessels.

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