Him that gives, him that takes
by Te
January 19, 2009

Disclaimers: No one and nothing here is mine.

Spoilers: Vague and AU-ized mentions of older storylines.

Summary: The definition of Mercy.

Ratings Note/Warnings: Sexual content which does and does not dovetail with the content some readers may find disturbing.

Author's Note: A missing scene for the *first* ending of "A way so familiar," and it will not make sense without the other. You should probably also read "This and that of you," too.

Acknowledgments: Much love to Jack and Mildred for audiencing and encouragement.


Not that he believes in such things... but.

On the occasion of the third month after they had met, Lex gives Mercy five thousand dollars and a ride to the Army-Navy surplus store. The Neanderthal behind the counter positively delights in making comments about the two of them to the other customers, but Lex only smiles and waits.

After Mercy has paid for her purchases -- saving the vast majority of the money for, she says, a store with a wider selection -- she proceeds to beat the remaining customers to the ground using only her fists, knees, and *one* elbow.

The Neanderthal gibbers and protests, but is utterly silent when Mercy slices off his beard, and Lex knows that there will be no calls for help.

Later, he brings her to a hotel and convinces her -- it takes very little -- to hold her newest knife between her teeth while he fucks her. She has the tightness of pure muscular skill, and the silence of a woman who has not yet been moved.

He knows what will move her, just as he knows her real name -- but he uses neither. There are their plans -- his plans -- to be considered.


She is, on several shallow levels, exactly what Lex wants.

She's quite tall, and long of limb rather than strictly proportional. Her hair is a rich, true auburn of the sort... well, if she ever even thinks about dyeing it, they're *going* to have a problem.

She dresses well -- which is to say to *his* specifications. In truth, she cares little about her appearance, so long as she's allowed to remain neat and clean. It was that freshness which had caught his eye at the club, that plain and simple *fact* of her...

She is, of course, extraordinarily fit, providing an excellent sparring partner for those times when Lex misses...

When Lex is feeling the need for a spar. She has already taught him much which he doesn't think he'll feel the need to share with anyone else.

She is poorly educated, but more than intelligent enough to avoid exposing this failing by speaking too much or laughing too loudly. She is observant, ruthless, and.

She is hungry.


There's a routine for this, which she has learned with all the perfection he could ever ask. As soon as they walk into the LuthorCorp tower, she drapes herself over him, giggling as if she'd had a little too much to drink or smoke. In the elevator, she pushes her fingers between the buttons of Lex's shirt -- or down the back of Lex's pants -- and leans in to whisper in his ear.

(What she says changes intriguingly from incident to incident. Today, she's telling him the best way to disable a large man with only a dull kitchen knife at one's disposal. Her voice is crisp and calm, save when she chooses to giggle once more.)

Once in the penthouse, he kisses her gently and slowly, savoring the lipstick he's purchased for her and the soft, impractical fall of her hair. She moans for him. He moans for her.

They make their way -- slowly, again -- to Lex's bedroom, where he makes a point of fucking her with the most tender care he can bring to bear, staring into the flat and menacing hazel of her eyes and allowing himself only *enough* that he can come inside her.

The noises she makes are soft and sweet, punctuated with blown kisses and the occasional very, very sharp smile which he touches with his fingertips.

"Not here," he mouths --

And she closes her eyes and arches, crying out as though he's giving her everything she wants, as though he couldn't *possibly* be any better for her.

They do this whether or not the penthouse is empty, because there is absolutely no percentage in sloppiness.

There is no room for failure.

When they're done, he washes her body like the work of art it is, and allows her to treat him the same way. She giggles, and reminds him to laugh, now and again, with the neat raise of an eyebrow.

Sometimes, she reminds him so much of --

But he doesn't think about that, and they eat dinner together. Lionel is never anything but careful and correct, and the lizard behind his eyes waits.

Mercy -- though he calls her by her given name at these times -- moves between simpers and quiet awe at being allowed to break bread with the great man, and answers all of Lionel's questions honestly. This is the rule, and she never breaks it -- and it is the thing which seems to throw her most.

When they are next alone together -- truly alone -- he will promise, once more, that all the answers she gives will *become* lies, that what she thinks of as her life and her name will be less relevant than the smoke from a stubbed cigarette. And then he'll -- carefully -- drop her to her knees and fuck her face, winding her hair around and around his hand and pulling hard --

Harder --

When she whimpers around his cock -- not before -- he'll take her throat and simply stay there until the menace in her eyes hazes and fades --

Until her face loses its flush and her lips pale --

Until she *shakes*, and thus tells him to fuck her again, fuck her harder, *more* --

After is the frustrating time for them both, when what he wants and what she needs is unavailable to him because he can't risk leaving marks.

Still, there is no one to say that her ass isn't *supposed* to be at least a little used, and there are the toys he'd selected with her in mind.

The toys that made her shiver and tense in the store.

The toys that make her scream -- without ever leaving a mark on her pale, smooth skin.


That night --

That *first* night, she had caught his eye with her purity, with her air of being above all the petty games -- and some of the ones which weren't petty, at all.

She'd recognized him immediately -- a Metropolis girl through and through -- but had offered neither immediate submission nor respect, not even when he'd led her to one of the private rooms.

Not even when he'd paddled her, and clamped her nipples.

What had caught *her* attention was when he'd carefully brought her to orgasm, freed her, and then turned to leave. She'd asked him -- sneering impressively -- if he was impotent.

He'd informed her that it was none of her business, but that he preferred saving that sort of thing for partners -- as opposed to slaves. There'd been something of a reflexive challenge in his voice, and he'd known by the way her eyes widened that she was the type to require the pleasure of her masters, that she was feeling... intriguingly incomplete.

It had been enough, that night, for him to casually order her to follow him out for a late dinner.

It had been enough to make him watch her, to truly see the way she moved and all the potential in her. Her jeans were worn, her knuckles scarred, her body muscular in the flashes of his memory, in the tightness of her clothes that still never quite reached fetish levels.

She'd eaten like a wolf -- until he corrected her form and posture.

And so he'd been entertaining thoughts of inviting her back to a hotel room as they walked through the Metropolis night, thoughts of using her more thoroughly, and he'd been utterly unprepared for the muggers.

But she hadn't been.

She was vicious before him, snarling silently as she pulled a knife and hamstrung one before giving the other a far broader smile. And when they were down and whimpering, she had calmly taken their money and their knives to go with the large portions of their pride.

And Lex had known, right then, that she was the one.


He never tells Lionel that he's in love -- that would be far, far too obvious. Most of the time when he makes small and creditably innocent comments about Mercy, all Lex has to do to call up reasonable emotional reactions is to imagine all the ways he plans to destroy the man.

Still, there are other times, and that's when he lets himself think about the young man currently traveling the world with his benighted cousin, just as if he truly were as useless as all the others at Exeter.

He lets himself think about long nights and hotel rooms, about wet, perfect heat around his cock and the sound of his name being screamed in a tenor --

Mercy hasn't screamed his name, yet.

They both know she will.


He'd made a point of learning everything there was to know about her -- a task requiring research and bribes, as he knew that he couldn't risk using his father's resources.

The alternately abusive and absent father issue was obvious, as was the ineffectual mother issue. The fact that both of those paragons had gone out of their way to adopt her -- at age seven -- from one of the worst group homes in the city hadn't been obvious, but one never knows what ideas a human mind will come up with given time on its own.

From her fellow orphans -- and they really might as well have been inmates -- he learned that she was always quiet, keeping to herself to the point where she'd been bullied and abused in other ways. By the time she'd been adopted, she'd been fully formed, really. Ready to *become*.

She'd been all but supporting himself in full by the time she was fifteen, and had used what little extra money she could glean on dojos. She hadn't learned to read effectively until she was ten, but enjoys it well enough, now, and always studies the local newspapers for information.

She'd been *looking* for a master since she was sixteen, and had found the weak, the perverse, and the pointlessly sadistic.

She had broken them all, in time.

When he'd ordered her to tell him her life story, she'd dropped to her knees and given him everything in detail, and it's so good, so *honest* --

He whipped her for it, using a studded cat that left her back, ass, thighs, and breasts red and welted, that left her crying and shaking, begging with come drying on her thighs and her hair wild and tangled.

When he'd fucked her, he'd explained what her life would be like from then on, and she'd told him yes, every time *yes* --



There are times when this plan -- and everything it entails -- frightens him, but not when he goes to visit the various board members. Not *all* of them to be sure -- some of them are Lionel's creatures and have been for so long that they've utterly forgotten how to be men.

Just -- some of them. The ones Lionel hadn't gotten to, yet. The ones with ideas he can promise to implement when his time has come, and the ones who are there simply because they have the money for it, because they'd had the money Lionel needed when Lex's mother's life insurance money hadn't been enough. He knows they aren't *his* creatures by a long road, but they'll certainly remember him.

There *will* be some measure of chaos when all is said and done, but all he'd had to do was send Mercy to blow a paralegal in Lionel's attorney's office in order to get a good, long look at the will which says exactly what it should.

Lex is a good son.

Lionel has every reason to believe he'll live for a good, long time.

No, that's not what frightens him. It's *Mercy*, really, and... it's a curious sort of fear.

He's owned her since practically the very first night, body and intriguingly crushed soul, and... he's never truly owned anyone, before. He'd known that it was something he wanted, something he'd enjoy, but he'd never expected it to mean quite so much.

Every time he writes to Tom -- who has turned out to be a faithful and interesting correspondent, for all that he's not where he *belongs* --

Every time he writes to Tom, he thinks about mentioning her, about the way she always comes hardest when he's choking her with his cock, the way her walk changes just *slightly* after Lex has told her that she's beautiful, the way she makes him feel exactly like he could do anything in *practical* ways.

It's just that there's so little about her that Tom would approve of, beyond the fact that she makes Lex smile, and that means...

Well, they both have secrets, and they always will.

Mercy never asks about the letters he sends her to mail, and her only request in anything like that direction has been that Lex give her a chance to prove and improve herself should he ever feel tempted to replace her, which is the sort of initiative of which he can only approve.

She *needs* him, and is neither ashamed nor resentful of this fact. She would, he knows, be perfectly satisfied to continue just like this, requiring nothing of him but what he chooses to give. As such, some of Lex's desires for the outcome of this plan revolve only around her, around the possibility of giving her power over the various employees and the ability to move through Metropolis knowing that she can have anything she wants, solely because she belongs to Lex.

She'll have that.

And Lex will be... satisfied.


He taught her to dress.

He taught her to speak -- but not as well as he'll teach her when all is said and done.

He taught her to move, to eat, and to laugh.

He taught her everything he could think of until she *became* Mercy in truth, and then began thinking of a last name for her.

In return, she learned from him -- for him -- and redecorated her small apartment to Lex's specifications. It's not that she'll live there for much longer, but it was good practice. Eventually, she will have another apartment in the tower, and while no one will ever see it but him, care in such things is important.

Additionally, she finalized the cutting of all ties to her family, as well as to the few acquaintances she'd picked up, here and there.

The day she asked him if he would like her to kill them all, he'd yanked some of her hair out by the roots and barely restrained himself from caning her over the desk she'd purchased -- and refinished -- for him with some of her leftover 'anniversary' money.

He'd promised her the pain, instead, and informed her that the murders would not be necessary -- at this time.

She'd told him 'yes, Lex,' and gazed up at him so sweetly, so perfectly, so *avidly* --



It takes so long for Lionel to fuck her that Lex had started to wonder if it would happen at *all*. Still, there had finally come a day when he had Mercy in the penthouse, and there had finally been an errand for him to run. One *designed* to take at least three hours.

When he returns, she's freshly showered in his bedroom as he'd instructed her, and the light in her eyes tells him everything he needed to know. Just -- everything.

He fucks her again -- ever so slowly and gently --

"He gave me wine," she says, smiling and arching for the man he's pretending to be.

"Oh, yes?"

"It was very good -- at least I think it was --"

"More," he says, and pinches her nipple hard enough to make her hiss --

"Lex, I -- he told me I was beautiful -- no. Lovely. That I reminded him of his wife --"

He gives it to her just a little harder, bracing himself on one hand and urging her with the other --

She cries out for their audience and smiles before whispering, "I pretended I was tipsy after three glasses, and told him that his eyes reminded me of yours."

"Not the best move, I'd think?"

"Oh, I don't know," she says, and clenches around him, smiling precisely like a cat with cream. "He told me that you were far too much *like* your mother, that you were very... tender-hearted."

Lex doesn't snort. "And?"

"I told him how sweet you were, how gentle with me. He came up behind me and began to rub my shoulders."

Bastard, bastard, *bastard* -- "*More*."

"Oh, Lex! Oh!"

"Good, good girl..."

"I told him that that felt good, but that I usually liked a firmer touch --"

"No one *ever* would've guessed," he says, taking pleasure in being both honest and snide, in watching her blush, just *so* --

"I -- he said that sometimes a woman needs to understand that her man *is* a man, that he's strong enough to *take* what he needs --"

"And what did you do to make yourself blush, Mercy? What did you *think*?"

"I -- mm. Oh, *please* Lex! Don't stop, please don't *stop* --"

"*More*," and he pinches her nipple again, slaps her face -- lightly --

And the clench makes him take her faster, makes him make it *almost* hard enough to please her --

She moans and he slaps her again, using one sound to cover the other --

"I pressed my legs together and thought -- thought of the anal toy. The *plug* --"

"You'll have it. *Where* did he take you?"

"Nn -- ah -- *ah*! Over the desk. He just -- he touched me *almost* the way you touch me when it's right, when --"

"He used you like a whore."

She smiles. "Just enough to be interesting... to a very boring woman," she says, and starts to clench rhythmically, lifting her arms above her head and bracing them on the headboard. "Then he sent me to get cleaned up. And told me that if I played my cards right I could have him again."

Oh, Lionel. "Did he make you come?"

"Sucked my -- mm. My clit --"

"Oh, *really*. Would you like that?"

"*No*," she says, shaking her head, "please, no, Lex --"

"Why should I listen to you?"

Mercy sucks in a breath and shudders all over, *almost* reaching to touch him -- "I've -- I've been good, Lex, you don't have to -- I've been *good* --"

"You fucked my *father*."

For a moment she looks honestly afraid, obviously scared that Lex has been playing a double game... no, he can't let that continue.

There *must* be a measure of trust. "You did exactly what you were supposed to," he says, and gives it to her as hard as he can --


"You *were* good -- and you'll be good for me again. And again --"

"Always! Oh -- Oh, *God*," she says, and squeezes her eyes shut because this *is* what she needs -- perhaps a little too much of it for this place, but Lionel is satisfied, and undoubtedly looking over the work Lex has brought him.

Lex flips them until she's riding him and then *pinches* her clit, forcing a pull every time she rises up, and *slam* every time she comes down again --

"Oh, *please*," and it's right, it *is* right, because they're so close now. So --

Very --


"*Come*," he says, keeping his voice to a whisper through force of will alone --

She goes rigid and does it, clenching and shaking, tossing her beautiful hair --

Mercy, he thinks, and lets himself fantasize about taking her from behind, about fucking her tight, tight ass --

About caning her until she weeps for him, about hanging her upside down and shaving her --

Making her shave herself --

He comes with a grunt, spilling into the condom and letting his mind drift on the fantasy of making a child with this woman --

It's not very much of a drift. It could *never* be that way, because *his* child needs to have two parents, not a parent and a woman who'll do everything and anything the *real* parent says. He'll save his barebacking for Mercy's mouth and ass.

She already knows that if she wants someone else, all she has to do is walk away from what she has. Lex smiles and strokes her hips while she pants and stares down at him. At times like this, she's nearly a blank, high on her own endorphins and waiting for orders.

"When he takes you again... beg for it. And then cry when it's over because you feel so very, very guilty."

"Yes, Lex."

He pats her ass and tugs her off of him. It's time for dinner.


In the beginning, when he was still curious, he'd had reasonably discreet private investigators search out her adoptive parents to learn as much about them as possible, thinking that there *had* to be more to them than just the usual petty human tragedies to produce something as marvelous as Mercy.

He'd been disappointed, time and again, by their incredible banality, and so he had sought out her birth parents.

There, again, he'd found only perfectly average people leading perfectly average lives, without even a whiff of *kink* for God's sake.

And when Mercy had brought him the files and pictures, she'd done so with the smuggest possible look on her face. And when he'd asked her what it was about --

"You won't find anything I didn't tell you. Nothing I could've known, anyway. I've been... good."

And that...

He hadn't asked if any of her other men had ever showed an interest in her past -- he'd known that, even if they had, it had only been shallow.

He hadn't asked and he hadn't spoken, because there was a beauty to Mercy like this, a satisfaction that even the sex had never brought her, the joy of a job -- however small -- well done.

He'd turned the chair enough that she could nestle herself beneath the desk and suck him off, allowing her the right to do it just as she'd pleased -- which was slow and viciously satisfying -- and had let himself go with it, giving himself a bracelet of her hair and... relaxing.


"He *comforted* me," she says, eyes bright with a laughter Lex can't help but share, as he shares his parfait.

"And how, precisely, did that work?" And he pushes the spoon between her soft, generous lips.

"Mm," and she narrows her eyes in a pleasure that is, of course, partly for the delectation of the watchful eyes in this restaurant. "He put his arm around me and cradled my head against his chest --"

"Hairy enough for you...?"

She makes a face, adorably -- and her eyes flash with *true* distaste. "It kept tickling my *eyes*, Lex."

Lex snorts and eats a spoonful of the parfait. "Do go on."

"He told me that I couldn't expect to be entirely satisfied by someone who didn't understand my needs, that the benefits of youth could be outweighed by the benefits of *experience*..." She smiles and opens her mouth for the next spoonful, and, once she's savored it -- "I kept crying."

"You should be careful with that..."

"Yes, Lex. I made sure that I was doing it quietly. Discreetly? I don't think that's the word I mean."

"'Decorously,' perhaps?"

"Yes, that!" And she smiles her gratitude. "He wiped my tears away. And then he *licked* them away..."

And yes, she knows him *exactly* well enough to leave *him* time to make a face.

And then she hums. "And then he made me get on my hands and knees so he could fuck me again. Since he'd made a point of letting me know that he knew about my... my history --"

"It's all right, Mercy. Go on."

It's clear that she responds more to the name he'd given her than to either the words or the tone, but some things are necessary. She nods. "I called him 'Daddy.' Just before I pretended to come."

Lex does *not* spray her with parfait --

"He made an *interesting* noise and... I'm pretty sure he came like he was *dying*," she says, and smiles wider. "When is it going to be, Lex? When do I --"

Lex raises a hand. "You'll know."

She dips her head. "Yes, Lex. Can I -- may I have more parfait? I'll run it off as soon as you tell me."

If you lick it off my cock -- no, not here. "Of course," he says, and passes her the cup. "Next time, be sure to gaze into his eyes as much as possible. This will be dangerous for you, but I know you'll be able to handle it."

"Yes, Lex. I -- may I practice?"

Lex inclines his head, and Mercy --

The look she gives him is as soppy and *yearnful* as anyone might wish, but -- hm.

"Save that for after the sex. Tone it down."

She nods and does so, replacing it with something solemn and deep --

"Still no. You looked like you had hidden depths for a moment, and that won't do, at all."

Another nod and she closes her eyes, and Lex watches them track behind the lids, knowing that she'll get it, that she'll be right with just a little more -- guidance.

"You want him to know that you're fascinated and, perhaps, somewhat frightened. He's a powerful man, and he makes you feel the way no one else ever has. You know that he could destroy you in an instant --"

And when she opens her eyes it's there, it's --

It's not very far, at all, from the look he's imagined being in the eyes of his future wife, or at least a lover.

It's -- *interesting* that she never looks at him that way, but... but.

"Perfect," he says, and watches her smile at him, watches the deep, dark thing behind her eyes rise enough for him to see it before it settles again. "Eat your parfait."

She does.

Lex watches.


Lex firmly believes that there are far too many guns on the street -- legal and otherwise -- but he has to admit that it was a very pleasant surprise when his order had caused Mercy to return with *two* untraceable guns as well as enough ammunition to remove every inconvenient person Lex could *think* of.

The other surprise had involved a trip out to the country where Mercy had proved that she knew exactly how to *use* those guns by perforating -- with ease and skill -- the contents of a case of soda.

To Lex's untrained eye, it seemed that *she* wasn't as practiced as she could be, but he really couldn't risk getting her lessons. Not until *after* the job was done. It had to be enough to watch her taking out the various cans and bottles, to accustom himself to the sound he strongly suspects will haunt his dreams, and to guide her to relax, to stay calm and focused.

After, she'd been so wet that it had been difficult not to bury his face in her sex and take her *that* way, but -- she *had* been a good girl. He'd bent her over the fence right there in the field and told her that he'd leave her there if she didn't come when he told her --

"*Please* --"

He'd slapped her lips and told her that she was too easy, that she wasn't *discerning* enough to be good for him --

"I'll do better, Lex, I'll *be* better --"

He'd slapped her over and over, knowing that Lionel wouldn't pay enough attention to see swelling there --

"Oh -- *oh* --"

He'd told her *not* to come, and she'd shaken for him, shouted loud enough to startle the horses in the next field --

"Please, Lex! Please, I'll do anything, you know I'll do *anything* --"

He'd told her he *did* know, and that she'd do *everything* --

And then he'd watched her shake and push up on her toes, watched her clench her fists on the fence rail and pondered the best ways to remove blowback...

And realized that she'd know better than *anyone* in his life with a thrill that had gone *straight* to his cock.

Her ass, then, and Mercy *gave* him all the control he needed to stop slapping, to *free* himself from his pants and slip into her pussy for long enough to get slick. She was a *good* girl, and had kept herself from clenching until he could bring himself to pull out again --

To shove *in* with neither pause nor preparation until she was screaming and *beating* at the rail. And there was a particular satisfaction to the stillness of her hips, to the knowledge that he was taking her too hard and fast for her to give it back --

"Lex --"

A plea in her voice, cracked and desperate --

"*Please* --"

Soon, he'd promised.

Soon -- everything.


In the end, it doesn't take long, at all. He walks into the penthouse with a briefcase full of contracts and gets treated to the sight of Lionel on the couch -- bouncing Mercy on his cock.

It's not difficult to make his face fall, to make his face *crumple*, though he'd had to spend a good long while *convincing* himself that it would be right to think of Tom for this, to imagine Lionel's long fingers digging into hips with no give, to imagine sharp angles instead of smooth curves -- yes, now he feels sick.

Feels --

Lionel stops Mercy by the simple expedient of grabbing her hips and pulling her down onto him. "There's more work for you on my desk, Lex. Get to it."

Not just yet. "Dad. I. You --"

"Lex. Get control of yourself and get. To. Work."

Lionel. Yes. Lex makes a point of straightening his spine first and blinking rapidly --

He thinks of his mother caressing his scalp -- no.

He thinks of his father, his *father* presenting him with his first chemistry set, his first microscope, his first copy of The Prince --

Tom -- *no* --

What's done... is almost done.

He walks into Lionel's office and makes a point of leaving the door open, curious about the noises Mercy makes for Lionel --

Squeaks and whimpers for the most part. Nothing like the noises she makes for him, save for the general tone of them, the pitch...

When he leaves the apartment, she's on her knees between his legs, sucking herself off Lionel's cock.

When he comes back, there's no sign of either of them, and Evan informs him -- with just a *hint* of sympathy -- that Lionel had decided to take Mercy on an impromptu weekend jaunt. He'd even decided to do the driving, himself.

Lex thanks Evan and sets himself to waiting.

It takes a day for the kidnapping to hit the news, a distraught Mercy just visible in a crowd of police officers. He'd left it up to her to hire the muscle, and apparently they'd done their job -- she has the beginnings of an *impressive* black eye.

It won't be long before the police are finished with her -- they've already announced their intention to visit Lex -- and then --

And *then*.

The next few days are chaotic, at best, and Lex makes a point of eating sparingly and keeping himself awake for most of those seventy-two hours. He presents the image of a grieving but professional son, and asks about half of the right questions. Not too many.

He explains that no one really ever knew when Lionel planned to travel, that his relationship with Mercy was a casual one -- vetting her for the ability to be Lex's assistant. And he explains to Elle and Evan that they have exactly one chance to keep their jobs, and that's to keep Lionel's name clear of Mercy's. They take it the way they should -- a cautious son protecting his father's reputation -- and that will last precisely as long as it takes for there to have been a *reasonable* period of time before he disposes of both of their traitorous asses.

For *Mercy* to do it.

And oh, when she comes back to him...

When she comes back, she's obviously worn from her ordeal with the Keystone police force, and her hands smell like the bleach she'd used to remove the blowback.

When she comes back, she strips down in the -- empty, for the night -- penthouse, and exposes a blouse spattered with blood, and pulls the skirt that *also* goes with the suit -- she's wearing pants -- out of her suitcase. She exchanges the pants for the skirt --

And he can see it, exactly as it must have been. Lionel on his feet, grateful for the rescue --

"He cursed me for taking so long, Lex."


"He held out his hands for me to free them," she says, and shows her own hands -- unevenly.

He raises an eyebrow --

"He'd been cuffed with his hands behind his back, as I'd ordered, but had dislocated one of his shoulders to get them in front of himself.

Dad. He -- "But he hadn't been able to free himself?"

"The door of the meat locker locked from the *outside*," she says, smiling and touching herself, dragging her hands over dried blood and silk, pressing her thighs together and bending her knees just a little. Touching herself --

"Good girl. More."

"I could smell urine -- and see where he'd pissed in one of the corners. I was mad at him for making me have to clean more, so I hit him. I broke his cheekbones and two of his ribs. Maybe three."

*Dad* -- no. "Keep going," he says, and watches her cup her own breasts, watches her lick her lips and close her eyes...

"You didn't order me to do any more, so I didn't. I told him, though. That it was you all along. That he'd *underestimated* you."

He's hard. He's -- hard and sick and scared and *hard*. "What. Did he have to say to that."

"Nasty things. Foremost was that I was a stupid cunt. That I didn't recognize power when I saw it, that *he* could give me more than you ever could," she says, and gives him the look that means pleading, that means a desperation that's close kin to murderous rage. "Let me be naked for you, Lex?"

"Not yet," he says, and closes the distance between them, gripping her jaw and turning her face from side to side, careful to be *incautious* with her black eye --

She moans and *bucks* at the air --

"What did you tell him?"

"That I believed in the future. That I believed in *LexCorp*. I -- Lex, please, oh, please I need you --"

"Yes. Yes, you do. What were his last words?"

"'He'll never.' I decided not to let him finish. I shot him twice, wrapped him in a tarp, dumped him in the trunk of the rental, dumped him in the river -- not *too* many weights, like you said -- and then went back to clean. Lex, did I --"

"The gun."

"In pieces all over Keystone. Lex, please -- ooh --"

That -- was for the feel of Lex's fingers digging in against the bruising around her eye. Or perhaps for the feel of his other hand on her breast. He can feel the dried blood against his palm and fingers. He can see the way it must have exploded from the first wound, and the second --

Lionel's face --

His father's face --

"What will you do with the clothes," and he can't make that into a question, can't --

"There's a public incinerator in Suicide Slum, but sometimes the cops --"

"The *police*."

"Yes, Lex," she says, and tries to nod against the grip he has on her face. "Sometimes the police watch the people using it. I. I was just going to cut them into pieces, mix them with food garbage, and stash them in Dumpsters all over the city. If that's all right?"

"Perfect. You -- good girl," and he backs off enough to rip the blouse open --

She hands him a knife, and he cuts her out of the rest of her clothes -- save for her stockings and shoes -- not bothering to be careful of nicks and scratches.

Not bothering to be careful, at all, because now --

"Oh, Lex, is it time? Is it finally --"

"*Yes*," he says, and backhands her -- *very* careful to only hit the bruise she already has, because the fact is that she *will* be in some measure of the public eye until all of this starts to blow over. Well past the funeral, at any rate.

But she'll be wearing *clothes*.

"Bedroom. Now," he says, and she -- crawls.

*Quickly*, but it's still a crawl --

"*Don't* damage the stockings," and he follows her, letting himself be shallow enough to enjoy the way her ass moves when she lifts one knee and the other, to enjoy the way her breasts swing, the way her lips stick out a bit, swollen and wet --

She stops once she's fully in the bedroom, head down and hair hiding her face... that won't do. Lex searches for something --

The hair ribbon had belonged to his mother. He'd chosen it because Lionel had only allowed him to keep *one* thing, and it had smelled like her hair for... not long enough. He apologizes to one ghost and snarls at the other as he ties her hair back, her lovely hair...

And then he strokes the even lines of her back. She's... shaking. Trembling.

"Look up."

Her eyes are already glassy. Beautiful.

He grabs her ponytail and hauls her toward the bed, leaving her bent over it. "I'll be very angry if you scream before I tell you to do so," he says, pulling hard enough that she has to hurt herself to nod.

And then he lets go and leaves her there to retrieve... the belt he's wearing. Yes.

It whistles through the air impressively before landing with a crack on her ass --

She gasps --

He does it again, and the sound she makes is low, strangled --

Again and she's silent, she *shakes* --

She'd killed his father. She'd --

She'd *beaten* him, then shot him --

His blood --

All over her *clothes*, and now her back and ass are red, welted, now she's sobbing, quick and soft --

She'd *murdered* --

Lex winds the belt around his hand and takes deep, calming breaths, cooling himself down and looking himself *over*, internally -- yes, he's in something of a panic. It's highly sexualized -- he's easily as hard as he's *ever* been -- but it's a panic, just the same. Mercy...

There's blood welling in small droplets at various places on her back and ass, and it feels necessary to stroke it into streaks, especially when she moans and shifts, when she *keeps* herself from begging for more --

Good girl. *His* good girl. Following orders, taking the initiative...

His father --

It's all over now.

It -- has only just begun.

"Please," she says, and her voice is low, *thick* with emotion... she's never killed before. This -- this was her first, and while that has as much to do with luck as it does with design...

"Does it hurt inside, Mercy?"

"Yes, Lex. Yes, I -- I don't know --"

"You need your outside to *match*."

"Oh, Lex, *please* --"

Lex nods and pinches her lips, one at a time --

She bucks -- "Oh -- I'm sorry, I didn't mean --"

"You're too needy, Mercy. You should learn to control yourself," Lex says, and unwinds the belt again.

"I can! I'll try --"

"Not today," Lex says, and begins to whip her again, lighter and faster than before. He *flogs* her with the belt while she cries and tries to get away from it, sobs and moves back *into* it --

She presses her forehead against the duvet and shivers for every strike, gasping and obviously deep in her own mind, in the space she finds to take this, *be* this --

His. "Scream."

And she gives it to him, once for every strike, or perhaps for the sound of his grunts. He could *tire* himself this way. He won't -- he *needs* her to be ambulatory after this -- but oh, there's a temptation to this. This is every moment when Lionel was too much for him, every second when Lex didn't take his own back, physically or otherwise.

He could have.

He *could* have. He's stronger now, taller and more skilled than Lionel ever... was. He could have *pushed*, taken, *had*, and maybe Lionel would've respected him more for it. *Given* him more of that thing they hadn't had since Lex's mother was alive, that thing that was gone before Lex had ever figured out a name for it.

Or, perhaps, Lionel would've rewritten his will and sent Lex packing to make a life for himself somewhere out of Lionel's sight, with nothing but the meager remnants of his mother's life insurance held in trust against his reaching majority to start him on his way. No, there'd been too much to risk, the potential rewards too *great* --

No, and Mercy screams like an animal, heedless and *hurt*. Her thighs are wet from an orgasm -- it could've been two or even *three* -- and --

"Are you ready for me?"

"Y-yes, Lex. Yes, Lex!"

He could do it like this. Perhaps she'd even prefer it if he did. But. "On your back," he says, and she does it without a word -- or even a sound -- of complaint.

And then *writhes*.

And -- it's egregiously stupid, but he'd honestly forgotten what it would be *like* for her to turn over, even with the sight of her raw and red -- "You don't have to be... entirely silent."

"Gih --" And the rest is a moan, long and pained as she tries to keep herself from moving *too* much. Her legs are spread, her feet planted -- and periodically pointed as the duvet...

It must feel as though it's scouring her. Her nipples are hard, dark points and her face is twisted into something like a snarl --

And when he fucks her, she'll scream for every thrust, even if they're only *just* hard enough to move her a little. It will *be* good for her this way, even if he'd wanted some other way entirely, wanted to *give* -- no, he can't. Not for this. It's not what she needs and, ultimately, it demands too much of this perfectly workable relationship. Lex nods to himself.

"Further back onto the bed. *Slide*."

"*Ah* -- Lex, oh --" She does it, biting her lip and shaking when the top of her head touches the pillows. Even in this, she's perfect, as she knows he'll fuck her hard enough that it would be dangerous for her to move up any further than that.

He wants --

He wonders if there's something else he should do. Something else he *could* do. All of their *exciting* toys are in her apartment, and while that won't last, it does limit what he can do right now. And -- he wants to be inside her, wants to *feel* a true killer, to take that for himself --


"Yes. Yes, Lex."

"Spread *wider*," he says, and strips down, watching her cunt flex and shine in the light from the lamp, *wanting* --

But she's not that kind of girl, whether or *not* he's that kind of guy. The condom goes on easily, and a part of him is only marveling at the fact that his hands aren't shaking, not even when he grips her hips and hauls her a few inches closer --

Not when she shouts and shudders --

Not when she grips the duvet and tosses her head --

Not when he guides himself in just slowly enough to give himself a second or two to grow accustomed to her heat, to the way the condom banks it, protects him --

Perhaps, right now, he needs all the protection he can get. "Beg."

"Please! Please fuck me, Lex, please hurt me, please don't stop -- oh, I can feel you --"

"Will you miss him?" And he's expecting shock, disbelief, perhaps an attractive moue to pull her bruise out of true --

"Only. Only the light he puts in your eyes. Like... I don't know, some kind of animal," she says, and her own eyes are pleading, full --

Lex leans in and licks the dampness on her cheeks, tasting salt, potential -- "A lizard, perhaps?"

"Bigger. *Better*," she says, and holds herself so *still*.

Sometimes it's difficult to believe that she's even two years older than he is. Sometimes it's difficult to believe that she's not much *younger*, because right now there's something in her voice that makes Lex wants to pull her onto his lap --

Lionel. No.

Lex begins to rock, and watches Mercy's eyes widen and narrow, watches her open her mouth for sounds she's not making *yet*, sounds she'll only make when Lex has *earned* them --

Or, perhaps, in her mind it's more a matter of her being *good* enough to make Lex drive the noises out of her.

"Perhaps a tyrannosaur?"

The gasp is a laugh. The clench is... something close to perfect. "Those. Um. Um. Little *arms* --"

"Mercy," he says, because she is, because she's everything the word means in his life, which means that she's nothing but what he chooses to give, chooses to make --

"*Yes*, Lex --"

"Now," he says, and there's a point beyond which the fuck is a little too hard to *only* be arousing. He *strives* for that point while she tries not to scream, while she squeezes her eyes shut and imagines the perfect lover, the perfect master --

She opens her eyes and they're full of *determination*, passionate and hungry only for more of what he can give her, offering everything Lex can take and more, always *more* --

As such, it's necessary to keep his expression as even as he can manage, to stare into her the way no other man has ever been able to do, to take the *hollow* of her and promise with his eyes always to fill it, always to *be* the man she'd seen from *nearly* the beginning -- "Say yes to me, Mercy."

"*Yes*, Lex, please, yes, it's only yes, it's --"

"Say please."

"*Lex* --"

There. *That* scream. "Say *please*," he says, bracing himself on one hand so he can pinch her nipple --

"*Please*, Lex, please yes, yes, I want --"

"You *need*."

"Need you, need you so much, Lex, I'll never -- I'll always --"

Harder, then, and there's not enough friction between the condom and her slickness, not enough for *either* of them -- save that she has the raw welted mess of her back to burn her, take her *higher* --

High enough to shout for him, to scream his name, over and over until it's only noise, until the weight of his arousal is the only thing keeping him going, the only thing that *can* keep him going when all he wants is to slow *down*, to give himself the right to have this without discomfort for *himself* --

And she comes around him, more obvious than she's *ever* been, screaming and clenching hard enough to make him *grunt* --

And then she's shaking hard enough to move him *and* the mattress, eyes wide and blind with it as Lex tries to keep his rhythm, tries to keep *going* -- no. He can take what he wants. It would be *better* for her if he took what he wanted and *only* what he wanted.

He pulls out and climbs up over her, waiting for the panting to calm *enough* before tearing off the condom and *driving* down into her mouth, into her lying, murdering *throat* --

And she's looking up at him again, looking for the orders *he'll* give her, the proof that she's still *needed* --

"You make," he says, licking his lips, "an excellent hole."

And she spasms beneath him, eyes rolling up --

"Oh, yes. *Come* for me again."

And the groan is deep in her chest, loud every time he pulls out of her throat, sweetly quiet every time he slips back in --

Tom --

Tom isn't *here*, and he won't -- he'll hate this, he'll fucking --

But he has to know that the plan wouldn't have *existed* if it weren't for him, that he's the *source* --

And oh, it would be so *sweet* to have him here like this, to punish him for ever making Lex *think* --

His father --

*Mercy*, and everything she is winnowed down to one sweet *hole*, and she's doing her best to suck him now --

And her best is very, very good. It's tempting to tell her to just lie back and take it, but he's too close for that now, too *ready* --

Oh, he's going to chain her upside down and drip candle wax on her lips. He's going to shove the plug she fears the most *right* up her ass and then lick her until she cries and screams. He's going to --

To --

He comes with a snarl, slamming into her mouth over and over until he's back in his body again, until he can pull out and let the last spurt hit her face, until he can *see* that and shudder, *seize* inside because she's *his* whore, his assassin --

And, now, his assistant.

Lex's laugh is a little fucking *cracked* to his own ears, but it's a relief to know that he still can, that he's still *capable* --

Lionel is dead, and the world hasn't ended.

"Get cleaned up," he says, moving out of his straddle. "Just your face and your pussy -- no soap for the latter."

"Yes, Lex," she says, and moves immediately.

Lex stretches in one of the ways Tom had taught him -- "You're going to get rid of those clothes, and then you're going to fetch the toys."

"Yes, Lex," and she pauses in the doorway leading to the bathroom.

He can feel it -- he turns to face her. "What is it?"

Her smile is brilliant, young and sharp and somehow fine, like silk or a spectacularly well-cut gemstone.

Breathtaking, really...

"Thank you," she says. "For... for everything."

Lex inclines his head. There's no need for more.

He watches her walk into the bathroom -- and fail to close the door because of an offhand order he'd given... months ago, now.

The real work begins tomorrow.

Tonight... he has what he needs.