The Field Where I Died

By joan the english chick

Disclaimer: The characters and locations of "Smallville" are property of their owners, not mine, and are used without permission. No copyright infringement is intended. This story is property of the author, and may not be reproduced, retransmitted, or posted anywhere without my expressed permission.
Warnings/Ratings: This story is rated PG-13 for language.
Spoilers: None really.
Note: This is posted in response to a challenge by Livia. The challenge was to write a "Smallville" story whose title is the title of an "X-Files" episode. For details, go here.

There were no video cameras, no news crews. The demolition of just another bit of farmland didn't really interest anyone. The bulldozer crew stood in a small clump off to one side, sharing a cigarette and muttering to each other, no doubt about the vicissitudes of the wealthy.

Lex wouldn't mind a cigarette himself, but he'd given them up a long time ago. He stood with his hands in his pockets, gazing at the tract of land, curiously barren and brown here in the midst of the multi-million-dollar houses all around. Their brilliant green expensively landscaped lawns, artfully curving blacktop driveways, and glittering blue pools made a mockery of this one lone acre, a square of dusty ancient cornstalks and splintering wooden fence and wildly thriving weeds. Lex saw it as a metaphor and knew it was probably really fucking profound, but he had already hardened his heart against this plot of land, and it was to his mind far too late to turn back now.

A sudden whooshing noise above made Lex understand the phrase "his heart was in his throat," and made the bulldozer drivers exclaim in surprise, pointing and gesturing. Lex didn't budge; centered himself on his feet, drew composure around himself with ease, felt his steely blank expression harden even further as Superman alit gracefully beside him.

"Afternoon, Lex," said Superman coolly. Lex still didn't look at him.

"I hoped you wouldn't show up, Clark."

"Did you?" The ridiculous cape fluttered in the breeze as Superman settled into a sort of parade rest beside Lex. "You've made such a ritual of this, your totem object or something. Kept it for so many years, untouched. It's..."

"It's what? Lex was suddenly angry, turning to glare at the placid profile of his former friend. "Sweet? Touching?"

"No." Superman looked surprised, meeting his gaze openly. "I was going to say, unhealthy. I've long since forgotten about it, and it happened to *me*. Yet *you* can't let it go."

Lex bit the inside of his cheek, willing his temper to cool. Never mind; it didn't matter. Clark wasn't the one who had met his eventual death on this spot. Hell, Clark didn't even *know* what had happened to him, to them, here.

"Well. I'm letting it go now, as you can see," he said at last, pleased with how even his tone remained. "Within a few days there'll be no trace of that field, that post, any of it. Riley Field will be gone, for good."

"And it *will* be for the good, Lex. I really believe that," Superman said, oozing sincerity. Lex breathed slowly through his nose, hating him. "I mean, I know we haven't...." He trailed off, shifting a little, and Lex took no small amount of nasty pleasure in his discomfort.

"Right." Dismissing Superman from his notice with a supercilious lift of his chin, he turned away, signaling to the crew foreman. "Gentlemen."

The men hauled themselves up into their seats and started their engines. As the machines rumbled to life, Superman's lips moved, but Lex couldn't make out any of the words. He shrugged and walked off, getting out of the crew's way, heading back over to his waiting limousine.

Superman intercepted him as he was standing in the open doorway of the car, watching the demolition begin. "Lex, it really was just a meaningless piece of land." His expression, as always, was completely fucking earnest. Lex hated him more than ever.

"Some day, Clark," he said bitterly, spitting his friend's name out at this stranger. "Some day I'll die, and it'll be because of you. And it all started right over there, all those years ago." He squinted into the noonday sun, glaring at the forlorn patch of land as the bulldozers crawled over it like huge yellow maggots. "What happened there ... will be the death of me. You'll be the death of me. And yeah, you're right. It's meaningless."

And he got into his limousine and rode away.

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joan the english chick
Last updated 21 April 2002