A/N: This story is labeled as humor, and I think that's accurate (it's satire), but the first few lines are going to be dark, since they're direct quotes from Lexmas.
A departure from my usual fare, but incredibly fun to write. Hope it's fun to read!
Lex felt tears rolling down his cheeks as Lana's eyes fell closed, and his chest shook with sobs.
A cool hand on his shoulder. He turned around to find his mother standing behind him in the hospital room.
"What did you do to her? Why didn't you stop this? I thought you were showing me a better life!"
"I was, Lex. I am."
He stood. "A life where my wife dies? A life full of pain?"
"No, Lex. A life full of love."
"Love? Everyone I have ever loved has died. First Julian, then you, and now Lana is dead and I couldn't do anything to stop it!"
His mother merely stared at him.
Lex took a moment to consider what he'd just said. It wasn't quite true, of course. In this future, he had lots of friends and family members who cared about him. But his point still stood, and the more he thought about it, the less this whole vision made sense. "Uh, Mom, are you going to disappear on me now? Or can we . . . recap a little?"
Lillian looked down at her wrist, but there was no watch. She glanced around the little hospital room—Lex followed her eyes, and traced them to a clock on the wall. "Actually, I thought you'd be waking up in the real world by now. Maybe we have a few minutes. Hold on."
The hospital room around them faded away to white, and they were standing . . . nowhere. All of their surroundings were just white.
"Here. Now we can talk."
Lex glanced all around himself, but there was nothing of interest. White as far as the eye could see. "What is this place? Is this heaven?"
"Oh, never mind that."
"Never—" Lex cut himself off. Normally, he would have insisted on knowing more, considering he was speaking with someone from beyond the dead, but right now, he had more important ground to cover. "So, how bad is the rest of this possible future?"
His mother's brow furrowed. "What do you mean?"
"I mean . . . based on everything you've said, I'm guessing you brought me here to try to, I don't know, stop me from being evil or something."
"Yes, by showing you a life where you are loved, I had hoped to—"
"Yeah, yeah, I get it. But, like . . . you could have shown me my wedding day. You could have shown me the day Alex was born, or—or, if I remarry and end up happy again, you could have shown me that life."
"Lex, you're missing the point."
"No, I think you are. Either this is actually the best Christmas of the terrible 'life full of love' you're showing me, which means the rest of it is unimaginably awful, or you just showed me the darkest moment of this future to try to convince me to pursue it."
Her eyes became desperate. "Lex, you have to drop out of the race for state senate."
" . . . About that. See, the message of what you just showed me literally boils down to something like 'Love without power is doomed to tragedy.' So why would I drop out now?"
"To have a better life!"
He raised an eyebrow. "Did you even think this through?"
"This life is still far better than the one you will have if you choose to seek power over love!"
"Then why didn't you show me that life, so I could try to avoid it?"
His mother blinked a few times.
He paced a little, which probably shouldn't have been possible, seeing as there wasn't exactly a floor in this very boring quasi-heaven. "What if I keep running for state senate, and I don't disown my inheritance, but I try to make nice with the Kents? Then I can still marry Lana, but when she gets sick in childbirth, I'll have the money and power to save her."
"Lex, you can't—"
"No, I guess you're right, that won't work, I can't make nice with the Kents. Clark's already made up his mind about me, and Jonathan, don't even get me started—" He stopped pacing abruptly. "Wait. How is this future even possible?"
She sighed. "What do you mean, Lex?"
"I mean, this is seven years from now, right? And Alex is what, five? That means he's supposed to be born about two years from now. So, I have to sleep with Lana in a year."
"Okay . . ."
"So I've got one year to win Clark's trust back, to the point where if I jump in bed with Lana, he doesn't write me off for all of eternity."
"Well, when you decide to put your friends over power, Clark will see—"
"No, no, it can't be that simple. Clark already thinks I did a bunch of things I didn't even do. Hell, I don't have time to do ninety percent of the things he thinks I do. Do I convince him I'm innocent, or do I apologize?"
"Um . . ."
"I guess I must convince him I'm innocent. He wouldn't trust me again in a year if I apologized. Do you have any idea how long a Kent can hold a grudge?"
She sighed. "How long?"
"Generations. Jonathan Kent is still angry with me for something Dad did when I was nine." Another thought hit him. "Wait, Jonathan said he was proud of me, in this future. How did I convince him to like me?"
"You choose to follow your heart instead of your ambitions. You become a better man, and choose a better life."
"Oh, please. In the first two years I knew the Kents, I saved Jonathan's life twice, I saved Clark's life three times, and I saved the town from economic disaster more times than I can count. I was friendly and polite, I was honest, I gave them gifts. Jonathan couldn't see past my last name."
"You earned his respect, for a little while."
Lex scoffed. "When they lost the farm, I bought it back for them, and I asked if they'd consider me part of the family. You know how long Jonathan was nice to me after that?"
She shook her head slowly.
"Two weeks. So tell me. What exactly do I do in this terrible future to convince Jonathan Kent that I'm a good guy?"
"You renounce your inheritance."
"Really? That's all he has against me? My money?"
"It's not your money, it's your connection with your father."
Lex wrinkled his nose. "Nah. Can't be that. I spent a year trying to get Dad locked up, and that didn't help." He was getting nowhere with this line of reasoning, so he decided to change the subject. "While we're talking about things that will never happen, why did I name my kid Alexander?"
"I—that's your name."
"Exactly. I don't even like myself. Why would I name a son after myself?"
"W-what were you planning to name your son?"
"Maybe Julian? No, that would probably just make me sad. I don't know, I hadn't really thought about having kids, but after two decades of listening to Dad go off about Alexander the Great, I can't imagine foisting the name off on my own son."
"Hm." She looked away.
"Hm? What, you don't have an explanation for why I did it?" He took a step closer to her. "Do you even know the future?"
"I just showed it to you!"
"Lana's death was the only believable part of the whole thing."
She frowned. "The only thing that matters is whether you heed the lesson."
"The one about power being the most important thing in life?"
"Lex." She gave him a disappointed look.
He threw up his hands. "What was the lesson?"
"Follow your heart. Not your ambitions."
"How about both?"
He rolled his eyes. "Sure I can. I'm going to go after Lana, and I'll keep trying to make nice with the Kents, and I won't do anything illegal trying to knock Jonathan out of the race. But I'm not giving up on politics. And I'm not giving up the money. Apparently I'm going to need it."
"Lex, you can't try to have everything. Your destiny—"
"You know, this was surprisingly helpful. I shouldn't try to choose between making good use of my resources, and doing what's right. I should do both. Jonathan might never like me, but I bet Lana still will. Maybe Clark, too, someday."
"No, Lex, you—"
"Good talk, Mom. If you're even my mom." He was here because of having been shot, after all. For all he knew, this was some kind of horrible drug trip.
The world around him faded to black, and Lex opened his eyes to find himself in a hospital bed. He sat up, breathing hard.
Ugh. That was his father.
"I'm here. You're in Metropolis, Lex, at the Davis Clinic. You've been shot, but you're gonna be alright."
"Right. Okay." His breathing slowed, and he settled back into his pillow, glancing down at his IV. "Hey, can you have them turn down the morphine? A lot?"
"Turn it down?"
Lex nodded. "Please."