This story is also available at this location on The Archive of Our Own, where all my current stories and comments can be found. I am no longer updating this site.

Clark Kent is an alien. Lex Luthor is a monster.

Clark Kent is an alien, and Lex Luthor is a monster.

And Lana Lang -

Is she a footnote? Is she a fulcrum?

Clark was too gentle in his love-making, and Lex too hard in his fucking. She needs the third, the just right, the baby bear -

No, sorry, wrong story.

Try again.

"Go where you like in the castle, but there is one door you must never open," Lex says as he hands her the keys.

Lana won't. She knows that's not her fairytale. She's not destined to hang like a discarded coat from a stone wall.

"Let down your hair," Clark says, but the only witch Lana knows is in Metropolis, gone like everyone goes, and she only went to the top of the tower to watch the sunset with Clark. She's not trapped there.

Clark sees that she is a princess, and Lex sees that she is a woman, and no one sees that she is both, atop a glass hill up which no knight can ride.

Not quite right.

Rewind.

"Apple?" Clark offers. Lana takes small, neat bites. The forbidden fruit won't catch in her throat, won't send her into a coma. It's unnecessary, since she already feels like she's in a transparent coffin. Break glass in case of emergency — but no one ever does.

"You don't need to do that; we have servants for that," Lex says, and takes the ripped shirt and the sewing kit away from her. But Lana has already been pricked, already bled. No forest of brambles has risen around her and her eyes are wide open.

Coffee beans aren't magic beans, and she didn't have to trade any possessions to get the Talon. (What Lex took later, he took without payment and she gave without bargaining.) She's certainly no giant-killer, nor does she desire to bring anything else crashing down from the sky.

No, the story's not here.

Maybe in the next book of fairies. Green? Red? Blue? We have all kinds.

"I don't love you," Lex says. But that doesn't break her heart. She accepts his rules: she will be faithful and he will be mostly discreet. Lana never lived under the sea and she still has her voice, little good that it does her.

She still has her ears, and she knows that the townsfolk can't understand why she'd move from the White Prince to the Black. They blame sophistication and money, and ultimately they blame her for being tempted. But it's all mixed up. Clark's the one with the apples, and Lex would never crawl on his belly. Clark's the one who grows green scales when the hard little messengers from Heaven are nearby.

"My father says I'm the rightful ruler of these lands," Clark says. That's a new one – new worlds, new legends. Lana has no bloodline to match, to join in peace two tribes that would otherwise make war.

Clark, she knows, was not confessing to her. But she was in the room and he wasn't, she was in Clark's bed and he -

Never mind. This is a story for children.

It's not the pea underneath a hundred featherbeds that keeps her from sleeping, that bruises her so cruelly, that makes Clark apologize and Lex smile. Her kiss doesn't free the beast in the castle from enchantment. The beast doesn't even feel it, which is only to be expected — true love is a necessary ingredient and there could never have been love even if she hadn't seen him hunting, feeding.

Move along. Nothing to see here.

Lana's story is written somewhere.

But not in Smallville. Lex and Clark will go elsewhere, but they'll never really leave, and that's all right. Lana will fill chests with gold and steal away while they rage across the skies like gods. Let them have their epic. Let Chloe be their bard.

Lana doesn't have a story to tell.

She's going to be one, and when ever after comes -

The book will close and nothing bad will ever happen to her again.

"The End"

Remixed by Savage Midnight as Into the Woods (The Heroine Addict Remix).

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