Keywords: Challenge, darkfic
Disclaimers: All traditional Smallville characters belong to... well, not me, that's for sure.
Summary: Lex has a disturbing dream about his brother
Author's Notes: This is for the Stephen King Title Challenge at http://www.livejournal.com/talkread.bml?journal=slodwick&itemid=33206#cutid1 The opening quote is from the Holy Bible, and if the dialogue in the opening scene looks familiar, it's form the episode, as transcribed on http://ljconstantine.com/smallville/
Lex's dream set apart inside ::
Thanks to LaCasta for the beta, and to Medie and Julie for cheering me up after I wrote it.
"Cain Rose Up"
~ Cain said to Abel his brother,
"Let us go out to the field." And when they were in the field, Cain
rose up against his brother Abel, and killed him. (Genesis 4:8) ~
"Don't you ever wish you had a sibling?" Clark asked. They'd been talking about the stray boy Mrs. Kent had taken after hitting him with her car. He and Clark seemed to have formed some sort of fraternal bond.
It made Lex wish things had been different for him. "I have one, Clark," he told his young friend.
"Really? I didn't know."
"When I was eleven, my mother got pregnant again. It was a total surprise. I'd never seen my father happier. The day Julian was born was the only time I felt like I was part of a real family." Clark asked what had happened, sounding genuinely interested. "The morning of his baptism, my mother went to his nursery, found him in his crib. He had stopped breathing. My mother was never the same after that and my father got even more distant. I think he saw Julian as his second chance. A chance for him to have a son he could truly love."
"I'm sorry," Clark told him awkwardly.
"It's in the past, Clark."
:: The young boy rolled out of bed, having been awakened for the third time that night by the wailing sounds coming from the nursery. He slipped his feet into the slippers by his bedside and padded silently down the hall. Pushing the door open tentatively, he peeked inside and saw his mother, disheveled, holding the child in her arms. A bottle of breast milk--which she had expressed earlier in the evening--was in one hand as she sang to the child in an attempt to hush him.
He watched silently for a while, listening to the song and remember when it was his and she used it to sooth him into sleep. The new baby didn't seem aware of how generous he was being to give it--and her--up to him. He just kept crying.
The boy did not like the crying, nor did he like how exhausted his mother seemed. Didn't the new baby know how important it was for her to sleep? Did he know their mother was special--the most special thing in the world? Did he realize what he was doing to her?
There were others--servants or nannies--who could have been doing this, as the boy's father was constantly pointing out. Mom had rejected this option, though. She wanted to do it herself--claiming it was one of the truest forms of joy a mother could experience. The boy had to agree with his father. These late nights were not good for her at all. But Mom insisted, and the nanny they'd hired was only there during the day.
Covering a scowl, the boy slipped into the nursery. "Mom?" he whispered. "Why don't you go back to sleep?"
"Oh, honey... I need to feed your brother so he can sleep," his mother said in hushed tones.
"I can do it," he offered, giving her a shy, tentative smile. "Please, Mom... you look so sleepy."
She conceded and stood, letting the boy slip into the rocker and then handed the crying bundle to him. She left after watching to see if he could get the baby to take the bottle.
After what seemed like hours of feeding and rocking, the baby finally fell asleep. The boy set the empty bottle on the floor and carefully lay his brother down in the crib.
He stood there a while longer, quietly watching the still form. Then he turned, reaching for the pillow on back of the rocker. Placing it over the tiny body, he gently held it in place, silently humming the stolen lullaby.
After another eternity, he placed the pillow back on the rocker and went back to his room. ::
Lex awoke with a start, shooting straight upright in his huge bed, a cry of anguish on his lips. No! His mind was screaming as his heart thudded in his ears. He was drenched in sweat and tears flowed down his face. Tears... he'd been crying in his sleep. But it wasn't real... it *couldn't* be real. It had to be a dream, he told himself, trying to still his wildly beating heart.
"I didn't kill Julian," he
told the darkness that filled the room around him. "I did *not* kill
my brother." The darkness, however, did not seem convinced.