Shades

by Medie


A story spawned from the debate over Lillian's hair color in Memoria. Many thanks to clannadlvr for the beta and the title.


When she married Lionel, she was young, idealistic, terribly in love and foolishly naive. She had yet to see, to truly know, the seemingly endless capability for darkness that lay at the core of her husband's soul. Life was a fairytale and she the princess. A princess rescued from the ivory tower that was her parents' Metropolis home and whisked away to a castle all her own to begin her happily ever after.

Happily ever after didn't last all that long as she learned only too soon.

It would be a brief few years before the truth sank in. The sickening realization that, like the women of Lionel's beloved ancient Rome, she had little purpose in his life beyond that of giving him an heir. A son to carry on the empire he was determinedly building. Even worse than that initial horrifying moment of understanding was the knowledge that it had come too late. Lillian had already given her husband Alexander...

She could only watch helplessly as he ruthlessly tried to carve her precious little boy's soul into something that resembled his own. Each harsh recrimination and scathing comment impacted her heart with all the searing pain she saw in her child's eyes. What destroyed her son destroyed her as well. Each impact echoed in her own heart. There was little that she could do to protect him but, Lillian did what she could.

She declared war on her husband. The opening volley of which was entirely too easy to decide upon. Lionel had always adored her hair. Red hair, he claimed, had been a sign of noble birth in the Roman Empire. He was almost proprietary about hers. When they were in bed, sitting in the study, walking through their home...he couldn't keep his hands off of it. When she was a child, Lillian would sit for hours if someone would play with her hair. But, thanks to her husband, she now loathed it. Despised it.

Thus, it was a simple choice, a simple act of defiance, but it was hers nonetheless. She owned it fiercely. The day she found out she was carrying a second child, she made an appointment at a salon and had it colored. Pure black.

Lionel was, as expected, infuriated but his wife... Lillian was free.

In the months that followed, the defiance in her spirit rose and, after Julian's birth, culminated in her demand for a divorce. She would never allow her children to be pitted against each other in a struggle for their father's favor. She would not allow it. She wouldn't. But, as strong as her resolve was, Lillian had underestimated her husband's obsessed drive. Only seeing it when it was too late. Faced with his wife trying to pull the integral pieces of his long held dream from his grasp, Lionel made it abundantly clear she would not succeed and, Lillian watched him crush the rebellion she'd begun.

She'd quietly acquiesced to his machinations on the surface but Lillian was no one's fool. Not anymore. She had learned from her husband and, in the end, it was Lionel who underestimated her. She was not a trophy fit only to give him sons and hang on his arm. She was a woman, a mother, and she would not let him destroy her sons. No matter what the cost, he would not be allowed to destroy her children.

Julian, her precious baby boy, was the easiest to save. A few short moments and he was forever beyond his father's reach, never knowing what he'd escaped. It was odd, how the most horrendous of actions became the sole course she could take. She would never be able to hide the boy from him...if there was breath in his tiny body, Julian would never be safe...never. That left her with no choice...he had to be safe. And, with one brief action...he was. Her grief seemed a small price for the safety of her child's innocence.

But Alexander...

He was different. His determination to protect her touched something deep within her. Lillian saw in him the same defiance that had rose in her and as her health began to fail her, dissipating like smoke, she poured what was left of her own into her eldest son. With everything she had, mind, soul and pure, pure vengeance, she prepared her little boy.

When she died, Lillian died with a smile on her lips and a song in her heart. Lionel would not have her children, he would not have her...

The war was won, Lionel's dream was in shambles, the victory was hers.

Taken to her grave.



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