Season 6, following my story "Wherever You Will Go"
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
Read Chapter 1 here.
Clark doubled over, nausea and pain overwhelming him, as it always did when he was exposed to kryptonite. He'd been exposed to massive amounts of kryptonite as Zod's prisoner, but rather than making him inured to the agony, it seemed to have actually increased his susceptibility to the substance.
He guessed that was a mental issue, a psychological vulnerability caused by the terrible torture he'd suffered through, rather than a physical problem. Regardless, just the sight of kryptonite was enough to drop him to his knees nowadays. And a hint of the stabbing pain he associated with the substance sent him into a panic.
And this was more than just a hint. He hurt, and the excruciating pain made him want to cry with fear and rage.
Even so, he couldn't just give up, because Chloe was in danger of being captured-- and they both knew her capture meant the death penalty. He struggled fruitlessly to get to his feet and stagger back, to get just a few inches of space between himself and the glowing green rock he could see held in one of the soldier's hands.
But no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't seem to stand up.
Fortunately, Chloe wasn't affected by the kryptonite, despite the physical changes she'd gone through since they bonded. Furthermore, she was a quick thinker. It was one of the almost endless list of things he loved about her.
As the soldiers approached, she suddenly leapt to her feet and upended the table. It knocked into the two of them, sending them stumbling backward. Many of Lex's soldiers had been made artificially invulnerable, but apparently these were normal, ordinary humans, because they went over like bowling pins.
Just far enough.
The fiery pain of kryptonite exposure receded. Clark bounced to his feet, caught Chloe up in his arms, and took off.
By the time the soldiers had struggled to their feet, the two wanted criminals were a hundred miles away.
"I got a confirmed sighting of Zod today," Lex remarked idly as he studied his chessboard.
Despite his offhand tone, he expected a reaction from across the table, and he got it. Mercy-- formerly known as Lana Lang-- stiffened.
"Was she with Clark?"
Lex nodded. He was a little annoyed that her thoughts went instantly to her former boyfriend, rather than to the woman who'd ostensibly been her best friend. But he expected it, really. As Lana Lang, she'd been obsessed with Clark for a long time, and now that she knew what he really was, and what he was really capable of, her obsession had only grown stronger.
Just as Lex's had.
Concealing his irritation, Lex moved a bishop. He was living in the penthouse atop the LuthorCorp building. Despite the damage that had been done to the building during Zod's invasion, this was the tallest building in Metropolis, and he liked looking out over the city that he now ruled. Most of the rest of the city was dark, but the penthouse glowed with golden light.
Rank had its privileges, after all.
Mercy only hesitated a moment before moving a knight to protect her king. She couldn't stand against him in chess, of course. He was able to conquer her readily, every time-- and he expected to be able to conquer her emotionally just as easily.
The two of them had begun engaging in a cautious mating dance back before Zod, when things were still normal, when he was merely Lex Luthor, billionaire. And now that he was "President Lex," Mercy was practically panting to have sex with him. Mercy had always been drawn to power.
Which, he thought, explained her long-standing fascination with Clark.
"My soldiers came close to capturing them," he said, idly moving a pawn. At least the move appeared to be idle, but like everything else he did, it was part of a greater plan. "Unfortunately, they didn't give Zod quite enough credit."
Mercy picked up a rook and caressed it with her fingers, in what Lex suspected was intended as a seductive motion. "Lois is worried that Zod was telling the truth," she said at last, placing the rook back on the board, on a new square.
"Hope. Call her Hope."
"Fine." She shrugged a black-clad shoulder. "Hope is worried that Zod is truly gone, and that your soldiers are trying to capture her cousin. She's afraid you'll kill Zod without a proper trial. Without making any effort to figure out if she's still Zod, or if she's just Chloe Sullivan."
"What do you think?"
Mercy shook her head, her long, dark hair cascading over her shoulders. She pulled it back during the day, in order to carry out her duties as his bodyguard more efficiently, but in the evenings, she let her hair down for him.
"We all saw what Zod did to the world," she said at last. "We all know how dangerous she is. What I think... is that we can't be too careful."
Lex looked at her with new interest. He'd known Lana Lang for years, and she'd always struck him as a soft, vulnerable, fragile girl. He'd wanted to have sex with her for a long time, but more because she was beautiful than because he felt any sort of real connection between them.
But listening to her advocate killing her former best friend, just to be safe, he realized she'd finally grown out of her vulnerability and sweetness. The recent upheaval in the world had matured her, hardened her. Despite the name she'd chosen for herself, she could be merciless when she needed to be. And now there was a core of ice deep inside her, just as there was inside him.
She was the perfect woman for him, after all.
He moved his queen. "Checkmate," he said.
She smiled at him across the board, and he recognized that she didn't mind being conquered. In fact, she reveled in it. He stood up and held out his hand.
"Come to my bed, Mercy," he said, very softly.
She hesitated only a moment.
And then she smiled, placed her hand into his, and let him lead her to bed.
Read Chapter 3 here.