Title: Requiscat in Pace
Spoilers: Shimmer, Crush, Tempest (AKA No Warning) Rating: G
Email: This is my first Smallville fic. Please let me know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org
Summary: Lionel thinks at Lilly's funeral service. These characters are owned by Miller Gough and WB. No profit is intended from their use. If I owned them, I'd be busy finding out if Clark had super stamina too. My thanks to Rosenho for her encouragement and to the generous Jennifus for her wonderful beta. :) Author's notes at the end.
Requiscat In Pace
May 10th, 1993, Metropolis
". . . Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: For thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies . . . ."
Lionel ignored the drone of the reverend, just as he did the overpowering scent of the lilies. It was all rubbish anyway. Dead was dead. The only kingdoms were the ones on earth. The ones he ruled, and the ones he would rule in the future. But Lilly had wanted this service. She had planned it all out to the smallest detail so he wouldn't have to deal with it. Even at the end she hadn't stopped caring, hadn't stopped putting others' needs first.
He had never loved anyone like he loved Lilly. He had never met anyone like her before, and he would never meet anyone like her again - in this world or some nonexistent paradise. Lionel gave to charity. They were good tax deductions and even better PR. But he didn't enjoy it. Not like Lilly. Her favorite part about having money seemed to be giving it away. She had made The Luther Charity Foundation into one of the premier benevolent organizations in the world.
She loved musicals and old movies, her favorite being "It's a Wonderful Life." The one she was always quoting to him though was "Hello Dolly." "Money, pardon the expression, is like manure. It's not worth a thing unless it's spread around encouraging young things to grow," complete with a wicked Streisand impersonation. Money was nothing like manure. Well, all right . . . in the fertilizer business, yes. Not the way she meant it, though. But anything with "Barbara" in it was the best as far as she was concerned. He'd showered her with more jewels than the Queen of England, but her favorite present he'd ever given her was the private concert with Streisand he'd arranged for her birthday.
Her laughter. He had been trying to decide what was the first thing he had noticed about her. It was important to know now for some reason. She seemed to live outside her skin. He hadn't known a person could feel so much. Her laughter was audible champagne and her tears scalded worse than any betrayal. She made him feel alive.
He didn't know how he had found the strength to watch her die. Watching her suffer was the hardest thing he'd ever done. He had never been so grateful to have work as an outlet, an escape from her endless pain and his helplessness to stop it. It had been torment seeing her like that. A part of him hated her for putting him through it.
He had already decided he would never marry again, never let himself love again. He couldn't risk having to go through this again. Nothing was worth this. No, that wasn't true, he thought, glancing at his son sitting stiffly beside him. Lex was worth it. He was the only reason that made this pain worthwhile. He was clutching the watch Lionel had had made for Lilly to give him. She was too sick at that point to truly understand the significance of it, but he'd made sure Lex did.
Lex's eyes were still a bit swollen, but the compresses had helped, and the discreet application of make-up had covered the redness. Discretion was the key in all things. A few tears were fine. They showed respect. Assured the public of your nobility. But not the uncontrolled sobbing that Lex had indulged in. He had had to discipline Lex several times before he finally stopped. A bad trait Lex had picked up from his mother, but Lionel was sure he had ended the habit in time. Showing emotion was a liability a Luthor couldn't afford.
He shifted slightly as Leontyne Price began Ave Maria. The turnout was good, as expected - business leaders, a few well known figures in the arts for cachet, even a couple of former heads of state. Lillian's plans for the service had been too simple of course. The grave site would need to be made larger as well. Maybe a statue of some sort. Not your everyday angel. Something different, unique, as befitting a Luthor.
He glanced again at the next generation of Luthors sitting beside him. A part of him also hated Lex for being so easily influenced by his mother. It was fine for Lilly to act like she did. She had him to protect her. But one day Lionel wouldn't be around to protect Lex. He had to be able to make it on his own.
He hated Lex for being so weak that he left Lionel with no options. He hated Lex more than he hated Lilly, but he blamed Lilly more. She was the adult, the parent. She should have been able to force herself to act differently in order to help their child prepare for his place in the world. It wasn't as if Lionel had wanted to make the choice he made. He had put it off for years, hoping one of them would change. But Lex just became more and more like her no matter what he did to prevent it. In the end the most difficult part hadn't been the decision to finally do it, he had no choice there, but the decision as to how.
His first thought had been an accident of some sort. Something quick and painless. He certainly didn't want Lilly to suffer. But since he was doing this all for Lex, then he needed to make sure it was worth it, that Lilly's death wouldn't be wasted in any way. It had been far easier than he would have thought to introduce the modified cells into her body - a routine flu shot. The slow, hard death made more of impact on Lex. He would never let anyone get under his skin enough to influence him again. The risk of pain was too great. Pamela's leaving had only reinforced that. Lionel had loved Lilly more than anything in the world, but a good parent always puts his child first. He knew she would have understood that.
Author's Notes: The verse excerpt at the beginning of the story is from
the 23rd Psalm.
The movie quote is from the 1969 movie Hello Dolly
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