Disclaimer: Characters depicted in this work of fiction do not belong to me but to their respective owners.
All pictures used for this fan art do not belong to me. No profit is being made.
The words are mine.
A/N: AtS post Shells, Smallville post Requiem.
Fred was gone. Gone and dead and she left him alone in this terrible world when she had been the only thing that made it make sense.
The dark alley was lit only by one dirty lamp coming from above a back door of a restaurant. He was sober enough to remember that he had once taken Fred here for dinner and they had laughed into each other’s eyes and held hands under the table and she had told him she wished their children would have his eyes. Blue like a summer sky. He was inebriated enough for this recollection not to bring him to his knees. He leaned on the dumpster to remain upright. And walked on.
He didn’t know where he was going. He didn’t know why he was going anywhere at all. But if he stopped… Should he stop? Would it be easier to lie down and die?
She was dead. She was dead and there was a demon wearing her face. No, that wasn’t exactly it. It wasn’t really Fred’s face, and yet it was. The thought made him sick, his knees buckled and the palms of his hands burned as they scraped pavement preventing him from landing on his face. His vision swam, he tried to count but he didn’t know the numbers and there were only two words in his head.
He waited until his vision cleared, he stood up. He kept walking.
He didn’t really see the people moving out of his way on the street.
He saw only her face. Fred. And then in the place of that face, beloved above all others, the distortion, the abomination that would never let him forget of the love he was robbed of.
The neon sign blinded him for a moment, but he could make out the name of a bar and his hand found the doorknob.
Lana tried very hard to be rational about it. She had made a choice. There was no going back. It was foolish to have believed in a perfect world. After all, she had chosen to change herself because the world wasn’t perfect and needed help to be better. She should have remembered her lessons. Achievement requires sacrifice. Greater the achievement, greater the sacrifice.
Coming to LA seemed a reasonable idea. A turbulent city in need of some heroes. She had agreed it would be a good idea. Here, far from Clark, she will learn and get used to living the rest of her life without him. Even thinking that felt like a stab in the gut. She blinked her tears away and concentrated on the sound her heels made against the pavement. She needed to be distracted from this infantine self-pity and this pit of sorrow that threatened to swallow her every time she thought of Clark.
There were supposed to grow old together. The thought crept up on her so suddenly it made her breath hitch.
She had finally found her way back to him. Finally they were on even ground, united in every aspect of their lives. Thinking about it over and over only served to remind her again of the old adage about achievement and sacrifice and she would swallow angry tears and keep counting the clicks of her heels on the pavement. If Carter were here he would tell her the world was about balance and then let her make her own conclusions. But he wasn’t here and she wasn’t in the mood for being rational.
She paused on a street corner, not entirely certain where she was going. A neon sign caught her eye. She didn’t know why she picked this bar from the dozens of others on the street and it didn’t matter.
He tipped the short glass back, eyes squinting as the alcohol burned his throat and for a moment clouded his vision. It didn’t last long. Without waiting for the burning sensation to pass he signalled the bartender for another.
“Maybe you should slow down a little.”
The words came from a petite brunette with languid eyes was nursing a glass of her own.
He wasn’t in the mood for clever repartee, wasn’t in a mood for barroom chatter. He wasn’t in the mood for anything. The only thing he wanted was to forget that the world existed.
She threw him a sad half smile.
He had a scornful reply ready to drop from his lips when she surprised him by getting up and sitting next to him. She signalled a waiter over with a waive of a dainty hand.
“Bottle of Jack Daniel’s and two glasses.” The bartender hastened to fetch their order. “If you insist on drowning your sorrows I insist on joining you.”
He levelled a weary gaze at her and extended his hand.
She took his hand.
The bartender poured the amber liquid into their glasses and made himself scarce.
Wesley watched the yellow lights of the bar setting the whiskey aglow. It reminded him of Fred’s eyes when sunlight caught in them, making them glow like amber. He squeezed his eyes shut to push reality as far away as possible and swallowed the contents of his glass in two quick, burning gulps.
“Care to share what we’re drinking to?”
She had a soft voice and in that instant he immediately missed Fred’s voice, quiet and musical most times and then ringing with crystalline laughter. He reached for the bottle and sloshed more liquid into his glass.
“To things that can never be.”
She chuckled bitterly. Tears threatened to spill from her eyes, but she clenched her fists, digging nails into her palms. She met Wesley’s eyes.
It was like looking in the mirror. Her dark green eyes fluttered shut for an instant and when she looked at him again there was the weight of recognition in her gaze. She lifted her glass and they saluted each other and both tipped their glasses back.
It was she who coughed a little and she who poured the next round.
“To the ones we can never be with.”
He let out a bark of wild laughter and choked on it a little. A few glasses later he levelled a bleary glare her way. But he wasn’t really looking at her, but to that place where life was as it should have been.
“We were going to grow old together. Fred and I. She said we would.” He licked his lips, ran a shaking hand through his hair. “And I believed her.” He chuckled and the hollow sound of his sarcastic mirth twisted his features and shook his entire body with rage.
“What’s your sad tale?”
She ignored the acrid bitterness of his question. Twirled her glass on the bar, watching the liquid dancing inside.
“Same old story. Boy. Girl. Someone’s destiny. Someone else’s choices. Unforeseen complications.” She took a sip. “Nothing is as it should be.” She threw him a look. “You?”
He stared at their reflection in the mirror. An unshaven man with empty eyes and a dark haired slip of a girl with tears barely concealed.
His voice was flat and eerily quiet. She watched his Adam’s apple quiver as he swallowed back a heated reply.
Instead he simply said: “Same old story.”
Lana raised her glass to his and when he finally looked back at her, all she could offer this man, all she had to soothe her own pain were empty words and a glass of whiskey.
The sweet smell of a great sorrow lies over the land
Plumes of smoke rise and merge into the leaden sky:
A man lies and dreams of green fields and rivers,
But awakes to a morning with no reason for waking
He's haunted by the memory of a lost paradise
And there's dust in my eyes, that blinds my sight
And silence that speaks so much louder that words,
Of promises broken
- Pink Floyd “Sorrow”