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Smutrecs fest day 3

Ciaan's "Babel." (Clark/Lex)
This is a first-time story, and for me it really captures the erotic heart of first-time stories in Smallville: the mutual revelations of secrets between Lex and Clark. This revelation scene has been done so many ways in stories, but this is, I think, my favorite, because it is all done without words. Clark has been zapped by the cave and lost the ability to speak English; Lex is the only one who can help him. Their groping toward communication in this story is a lovely metaphor for their whole relationship in the show, but unlike the show this has a happy (and very smutty) ending.

Here's a bit of the (non-porny) part, to give you more of a sense of the story:

Lex's eyes were searching his face. "You wrote some of these symbols before this happened. You already had some knowledge of the language. Why? How? Why were you unconscious in here earlier? Did you get part of this download then? This is important. If you want me to help you it will be much easier if I understand what's going on. Did the caves affect you previously?"

Clark didn't respond. He couldn't say no. He couldn't lie when he couldn't even talk. It was too precarious. But he just couldn't say yes.

"Do you want me to help you?"

That was a really good question. Did he want Lex to know the truth? He wasn't sure. It was very scary. Did he want Lex to help him? Yes. He didn't want to deal with this alone. And he knew that Lex was one of the few people who could figure this out, who could solve the puzzle. Lex hadn't freaked out. He was calm and reassuring and he had a lot of good ideas, when he wasn't laughing at Clark. He made it seem like this was no big deal, really, just a minor problem to deal with. Just another day in the life. Except... The way Lex looked right now. Like if Clark said no, I don't want you to help me... No, I don't trust you, I don't like you, I don't think you're good enough and I don't think you can do it and I don't want you to do it, just go away...

He couldn't say that. This time, when he nodded, it felt a lot more important. "I want you to help me."

Lex smiled, a bright, open smile. "Good. And I will help.

The mystery Smallville rec today is B'Lane's "Daddy Longlegs," which is Lionel/Whitney.

I have to confess, I have a deep and abiding love for Lionel--I like him in stories where he's being evil, but I also like stories in which he is a more complex character. It always surprised me that there weren't *more* stories exploring Lionel's character in this fandom--usually fangirls love to rehabilitate the hot villainous character, but I guess Lex got to be that person in SV instead of Lionel. (Personally, JG is actually more my physical type than any of the other actors on SV--I think he is wickedly hot-- so I was always surprised that there wasn't a large contingent of Lionel fans trying to redeem him. I mean, it would be good for Lex, too--he wouldn't end up so villainous if his dad wasn't!)

I wouldn't say this is a redemption story--Lionel in this is still a ruthless businessman, though not a sociopath--but it does follow that classic romance pattern in which an emotionally distant man slowly realizes he is falling for someone, much against his will. (For some reason that always really pings for me).

The story is set after Whitney has graduated from college. Whitney has been attracted to Lionel for years. Lionel thinks Whitney will be a pleasant diversion, but it turns out his attraction is stronger than he anticipated. I love how the sex in this story mirrors the struggle between the two of them, as Whitney pushes for a real acknowledgement of their relationship, and Lionel needs to always be in control. I also like the way the relationship is given realistic obstacles (the need for secrecy since Whitney is a football star; Lex's resentment that his father *is* capable of love, if it's directed at someone else).

Today's blast from the past rec is Kathryn Ramage, Covert Agenda . (Deep Space 9, Garak/Bashir).

I have to confess, this is only rated R, not NC-17. I'm sure I read pornier Garak/Bashir stories during the run of DS9 (and this was really the only pairing I ever read fic for), but this is the one that stood out in my mind. I was actually shocked on rereading last weekend to realize that the majority of the sex in this was implied, not explicit, because I remember it as being unbelievably steamy. Perhaps that's because it is full of erotically charged intrigue and seduction. Garak and Bashir are both operating under false pretenses; each is trying to get information out of the other under the guise of friendship (Bashir) or outright seduction (Garak). Each is struggling with his loyalties, his duties, and his attraction to the other--and as I said above, I find that internal struggle between self-control, self-interest and emotional attraction very compelling. Here's a little snippet:

Only yesterday, he'd believed that all his plans for Bashir had been ruined. His initial advance had been too forceful. It was sometimes difficult to assess the correct sexual protocols for other species; a cursory study of Terran romantic literature had led him to believe that this human would respond favorably to an aggressive approach--which was also in keeping with Cardassian courtship rituals and the most natural way for him to proceed. But Bashir had surprised him. One simple kiss had sent the little doctor into an incoherent flutter. In spite of his efforts to repair the damage, Garak had been certain he'd frightened Bashir off. And then, the human had surprised him once again. Bashir had sought him out.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 3rd, 2006 02:13 pm (UTC)
i've read a few stories where lionel is given a more complex heart than usual, and they're rewarding. because i came into the fandom last year already crushing madly on rosenbaum, lex is the emotional focus of the whole thing for me. lionel is, from this p.o.v., just a miserable person, a terrible human being. it's nice to see him shown as more nuanced than that. i'll read this one today, thanks!

oh, parenthetically, i've also read a few stories in which whitney is likewise given more complexity, even sometimes a bit of sweetness, and i like those. i'm such a girl.
Feb. 3rd, 2006 02:57 pm (UTC)
It's funny, because I hated Whitney at the beginning of the series, but they did such a good job of developing his character that by the time the producers killed him off I was really mad that they did. I know I'm recommedning at least one more story where Whitney is the focus, later this month.

And you are certainly not alone in focusing on Lex--though kho just posted a really great explanation of her Lionel love here, and she talks about the fact that even though Lex is her favorite character, Lionel is *so* good at his magnificent bastardy that she loves him even when he's mindfucking Lex. That's pretty much my position, too.
Feb. 3rd, 2006 03:12 pm (UTC)
oh yeah, whitney was a royal jerk at first. it's a shame they bumped him off, really, after bringing more out of him.

i've read some of kho's stories and found them entertaining and readable, so i'll definitely read that post. glover's for sure a fabulous actor -- he is so visibly having fun acting the hell out of lionel. and he has his moments, when you can see that in his own twisted way he loves lex. fathers and sons, yikes!
Feb. 6th, 2006 09:09 pm (UTC)
You're so sweet. Heeee.

I really enjoy Lionel as a character just because he is so evil and complex. I mean, Lex is totally my favorite, and so I hate Lionel for all the stuff he's done to hurt Lex. But Lionel is always exciting. I love seeing him onscreen and reading him in fic, doing his nasty thing. Some people lose the complexity and make him flat-out evil in a way he really isn't, and that's not as much fun. Other people try to redeem him and lose his complexity by making him good, and that just sucks. I thought it was really stupid when he was good for a while in S4, because he was boring then. I think he's most fun as a heavily layered magnificent bastard.

Feb. 6th, 2006 10:17 pm (UTC)
I think he's most fun as a heavily layered magnificent bastard.. Oh yes, I agree. Though I think they actually could have done something interesting when Lionel was good in S4 if they just had plotted it out well--like having him encounter people he hurt in the past, for example. But he's really just a supporting character, and considering that season 4 did a bad job developing even the main cast, I guess I'm not surprised they didn't do well by supporting characters.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


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