by Pablo

TITLE: Shift
DISTRIBUTION: List archives OK, anyone else just ask. CLASSIFICATION: Whitney, Clark/Whitney
SPOILERS: Vague spoilers up until Visage. SUMMARY: It's never too late to learn
FEEDBACK: Has got to be a good thing.
DISCLAIMER: If only, Gough and Millar, The WB and DC comics own all. DEDICATION: Thanks to Ice for the beta and Hope for posting screencaps from Visage and lending me SV-inspiration. NOTES: This could be considered a continuation of an earlier Whitney fic that I've written, "Love Like Sleep." Which can be found at Think if this as a goodbye.

The air is humid. So much so, in fact that Whitney can feel himself sweat, each drop escaping from his skin. Under his shirt is slick and the thin cotton clings to his chest. Creates a film that presses against him that only makes Whitney feel even worse. Makes the air feel hotter and more oppressive.

Like there's no escape.

Whitney hadn't exactly known what to expect when he was shipped out, but this part of the world had come as even more of a shock than he was prepared for. He doesn't think it could be any more different if he'd been shipped to the far side of the moon. The here and now isn't what's important to him however. All Whitney focuses on is what the result will be, what he'll become. The sort of person that lives through this and has to be better for it.

Whitney focuses on that because if he doesn't, he's not sure he'll cope.

So much has changed since he left Smallville. Left the shadow of his father's death and the cloud that his relationship with Lana had become. Too many questions and not enough answers. Whitney doesn't even want to be able to question things, so having to keep his mind alert and his body occupied seems like the perfect solution.

Of course finding out the wrong answers is the one thing he wasn't prepared for at all.

For Whitney, Smallville still is and always will be inexplicably linked to one person. And it's not his father, or his mother. It's not even Lana. Once again Clark is the wrong answer and now Whitney has to wonder if it's not the question that was wrong in the first place?

Wrong seems to be a word he comes across so very often now. His father's death was wrong; the way he treated Lana was wrong. So many wrongs can never make a right.

Whitney starts to wonder if it's not him. If he's not the one who is wrong? How he acts, the way Clark makes him feel. The things he dreams about doing to Clark when he sleeps at night. Holding him, touching him. Not leaving Smallville for him.

It's too much of a coincidence to be anything else.

Randall passes the water ration to him without really paying attention and Whitney takes it in his hand with the same lack of regard. They all behave that way, like they're half asleep, not really focused on anything except getting the job done.

Whitney moves the container up to his mouth and takes a long pull on the tepid water. It's stale and tastes faintly metallic and does nothing to quench his thirst. He drinks again, more to ward off dehydration than anything else.

Whitney doesn't speak about home with any of the other guys in his unit.

Whitney isn't sure if he has changed, if he's a different person now. Better or worse than he was. Spending time fighting for his country, taking another human life. None of it has really changed the way he feels.

Whitney had hoped that finding himself would have been a whole lot easier. Except it's not like he's misplaced something and he only has to track it down. Things are a little harder to find when you've never really had them in the first place.

Whitney's almost starting to think that instead of trying to fix what's wrong he needs to roll with it. He may not have found himself but that doesn't mean he hasn't found any answers at all.

the end

If you enjoyed this story, please send feedback to Pablo

Also, why not join Level Three, the Smallville all-fic list?


Level Three Records Room