For: researchminion, who I hope is not hugely annoyed by this.
Fandom: Smallville, in a sick bad wrong kind of way.
Summary: Some people think Smallville would be better off if the only characters in it were Chloe and Lex. All of Smallville's not-so-great and not-so-good are gathered together to witness a wedding. Can anyone hear Nancy Sinatra?
It was a red convertible, the witnesses would have said. They would surely have noticed the car, if they’d have been there to see it stopping outside the little wooden chapel in the middle of the maize fields on that hot afternoon. They would have noticed the people in the car, for sure, and they’d at least have thought there was something unusual about the way that they looked at each other before they entered the chapel.
And then, if they’d have noticed all that, there was no way in hell that they’d have missed what happened next. No way at all.
But no-one saw any of it. Not a soul.
*** *** ***
Consider a gas station. The franchise has passed from father to son since the first automobiles rolled through Smallville, and the pumps are so incredibly retro-cool that it’s a wonder some Mr Big hasn’t offered the guy behind the counter a crisp handful of notes for them, in order that he can take them away and use them on film sets, or in some terrible kitsch décor scheme.
The gas station sells gas, sodas, liquor, tobacco and pornography. The pornography isn’t hardcore, not in Kansas, but through the window, an extremely expensive looking man in an extremely expensive car with an extremely expensive matt silver paint-job is watching a blonde examine the selection of tits on the shelves.
A red convertible draws up next to the silver car. At the wheel is a tall girl with her hair pinned back in a lazy kind of bun. Loose tendrils snake down the back of her neck and around her jaw. She’s been driving fast. She gets out, brushes her clothes flat, and stretches out her arms. It might be that she hasn’t noticed the expensive guy, or it might be that she’s been watching him ever since he was a reflected flash of light on the horizon and she just wants to put him on the back foot. When she decides it’s time to talk, she says one word, punctuating it with a nod of the head.
“I take it you’re with us,” Lex said, taking off his shades and extending a hand for her to shake. “Do we get a name?”
The woman smiled. “Call me Jenn,” she said. “That’s as much of a name as you get while I’m working.” She brushed an imaginary fleck of dust off her car – under the fierce Kansas sun its red paintwork looked obscenely bright. Every piece of chrome trim would be as hot as a branding iron and for a moment she was somewhere else. Snapping back, she took a good look at Lex.
“Who else are we expecting?” she said, eyeing his sharply tailored trousers, purple shirt open one button too many with black tie pulled loose and tell-tale signs of holster straps hidden under his clothes. He’s used to this game, she thought. Wonder if he’s just jobbing on this one or if this is something personal. “Rockstar...” she murmured, pleased at his appearance.
“A girl I know with a score to settle,” he said. He indicated the blonde in the gas station, who was now at the counter settling her bill. “Her name’s Chloe. She’s from around here, but I guess you could say that the city has changed her.” Lex lay a finger the side of his nose and sniffed, communicating that the sweet, well-coiffed blonde was a deranged coke fiend, and that the fact she was emerging from the gas station with a brown paper grocery sack full of super-cheap gin, potato chips and the finest porn that Smallville could offer was at least partly to do with this.
Lex smiled at Jenn, as if Chloe was his precocious but over-confident kid. “I hope there’s some water in there.”
Chloe looked up from her purchases, her eyes ever so slightly unfocused and wild. There was nothing this girl wouldn’t do, Jenn could see it written in her easy stance, wide mouth and most especially in the butt of the gun which peeked out from inside her light jacket.
Chloe opened the water bottle and took three large gulps from it, the sunlight catching blindingly in the bubbles. Trickles of it escaped her mouth, running down her neck and dripping from her chin. Jenn watched her intently, as Chloe upended the bottle to empty it, letting most of the water run down her front and causing her shirt to stick close. The silent heat of midday made Jenn’s head heavy and her thoughts slow and dull. Moments passed without her permission.
Then Lex was at her ear, whispering, “Are you wondering what she’s like to touch?”
Jenn curled a derisive lip at Lex. There was no time for psychosexual games while a hit was ripe and waiting. Maybe later, she thought, maybe later I will find out just what this fucked up pair do for, or more probably, to each other.
“You’re thinking about it, aren’t you?” Lex continued, insistent and quiet in her ear, “But you’ll never have her. She’s my property and I get really quite protective of my things. She’s the reason why we’re doing what we’re doing today. Ask her.”
Oblivious to the conversation not three metres away from her, Chloe tossed the water bottle aside. Jenn did as Lex asked, incredibly aware of him and his aura of easy power.
“Why’re we here, Chloe?”
“Well, Miss Snooty, Miss Tall, Miss ‘I’ve-seen-dumpsters-with-more-brains-th
Jenn nodded once, not entirely sympathetically. “And?”
“Well, that’s all you need to know. It’s like how sometimes you get fucked around so much that you’re fucking sick. And then you hire a vicious, deadly, sarcastic assassin, and then you blow this stupid fucking Hicksville freak-faced backwater and everyone in it to kingdom fucking come.” The venom in her eyes made our anonymous assassin take a step back. In her years with the bureau she’d dispatched hundreds of gang bosses, big time drug dealers, small time crooks, cheating husbands and witnesses who’d seen too much. The last thing she expected on this job was to be freaked out by this weird little coke casualty with her hip-swinging walk and vast reserves of inner fury.
Lex - still very close to Jenn’s ear - said, “She’s got such a filthy mouth. Sometimes it’s almost worth letting her stop sucking my cock.”
Jenn felt an involuntary shiver across her shoulder blades. She could see two endings to this job – one of them involved her, the girl, the guy, a motel room and not leaving for 36 hours and the other involved a long drive back to Metropolis with a headache and blood spatters under her ragged fingernails. She decided to press for the first option.
“So, Lex. How about you? What’s in this one for you?”
He smiled disarmingly. “I’m an ubervillain. This is what I’m all about. Violent death. And sex. And power. And purple clothing. How does that sound to you?”
“Peachy with a side of fucking keen,” she said.
Blood. Bone fragments. Fabric scraps. Blood, dark and rich and soaking into the floorboards. Blood and silence and the smell of cordite. Blood and footsteps out the door.
Blood and the sound of the car speeding out of town.
“The Assyrian came down like a wolf from the fold and his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold," Lex murmured to himself, sending the ammo clip of his semi automatic home with a satisfying click. Between the three of them, they had enough cold black metal armaments to lay a hell of a lot of people low. “Let’s go.”
They stepped into the chapel, where the dark haired bride and groom stood in front of a priest, hands joined, in the presence of all who they loved and whatever they had as a god.
But the couple, alight with love and life and smug heroic happiness, were also in the presence of their enemies.
In the red convertible, they left the scene of the death of Smallville. It had all been arranged and all that was needed was a trigger. While Jenn drove at unwise speed down the empty, poker-straight road through the maize fields, Chloe clambered all over the seats, all legs and arms wrapping round whatever they found. The liquor was disappearing down her dark red throat – while she grew louder, Lex grew quieter, his shades hiding his eyes and projecting quiet calm. Clouds had appeared on the horizon – there was going to be one hell of a storm.
Chloe withdrew a fat Cuban cigar from the depths of her grocery haul. She put the cigar to her mouth, lit it and took a deep draw. Something in Jenn snapped a little, watching the girl straddling the seats with her hair flying out behind her.
“You ready?” Lex yelled into the roar of road noise and the rising wind.
Chloe whooped an affirmative, most of it lost to the sound of speed.
Jenn brought the car to a screeching halt, spinning it half a turn, so the travellers faced back the way they’d come.
Lex took out his cellphone and dialled. Miles away, the town blossomed into dark red and black flame. The noise of the explosion reached them two seconds later. He smiled with satisfaction. For all the evil plans he’d ever formulated, his favourites were always the ones which incorporated large, cinematic explosions.
“How’s that, ladies? A satisfactory conclusion to our sordid little afternoon?”
Jenn rested her hands on top of the steering wheel and tilted her head back into the seat. “Fuck yeah.”