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joanne_c in ship_manifesto

Victoria Hardwick/Desiree Atkins, Smallville

Title: Second Chances
Author: Joanne
Spoilers: S1 - Rogue, Shimmer, Hug, Leech. S2 - Heat.
Email: arwen@hotpop.com

These two aren't exactly the first pairing that comes to mind when thinking of Smallville ships. Maybe not even the hundredth. They didn't appear in the same season, let alone in any episodes or scenes together. Desiree was a one-shot appearance, and she did some things fans find unforgivable. Victoria isn't exactly the most popular character to appear on the show (to put it mildly), though I rather like her. The only tenuous connection they have is that they were both romantically involved with Lex Luthor.

So, why do I ship these two? I'm still not sure of all the reasons, but I'll try to outline the ones I *do* know.

Because, as far as I know, I'm the only shipper of these two, some of the characterisation details will be my impressions and thoughts, particularly things we have no canon on. Just to warn you ahead of time.

How the idea came into my head.

This part is easy. I was in a chat with edgecity and she was the one who said something like, "What about Victoria/Desiree?" And I started thinking, and realised, "hey, that's not as outlandish an idea as it seems. There have been weirder crossover pairings written, some even by me." I started thinking of reasons why, rather than why not.

The characters and reasons they could work together

I've always seen Victoria as a far less brilliant female version of Lex. That's what I personally think was the attraction between them, the meeting of like minds, and what drove them apart, ultimately, was that she wasn't *enough* like him to hold his interest. Well, that and the sleeping with his father.

I also see Lex, and by extension Victoria, as not concerned with the gender of their sexual partner, so much as whether they stimulate them out of bed. I'm sure neither of them is lacking for someone pretty on their arm, and they both probably got over that the first time they realised they couldn't talk to the pretty airheads out of bed. It also wouldn't surprise me if they'd shared partners, whether in an actual threesome situation or through casual partner-swapping in their circle of friends - I think their types would be very similar.

Desiree, to me as a writer, and from some clues in the canon, has been trapped as a sixteen-year-old girl since the day of the meteor shower. She knows what gets her what she wants - sex - and she's never had to use anything else. Her attitude is as much Want. Take. Have. as the other brunette character on a WB show who said those words. The exposure to kryptonite not only gave her pink breath, it stopped her maturing in every way but physically. Her responses, especially to Clark, feel like petty, high-school rivalry as much as fighting over Lex. And yet, she was as innocent a victim of kryptonite as Lex was. It wasn't her fault that was the day she'd chosen to have sex with her boyfriend, after all.

Of course, Desiree's homicidal tendencies, starting with arranging for her parents to be killed, up to her trying to have Lex killed, first by Clark, then by Jonathan, can't be overlooked. However, I'm prepared to accept that as the kryptonite affecting her, it's been said that kryptonite brings out emotions that are already there, and who hasn't thought of killing someone in a moment only to have the moment pass? The kryptonite didn't allow the moment to pass for Desiree. It could even be argued that she was suffering from what may be temporary insanity.

Needless to say, I do argue that, and the first and most important thing to do in writing a story about her, whether pairing her with Victoria or anyone else, is to get her some kind of therapy. Anything from a brief mention to writing out session. More on this below.

When writing her with Victoria, I tend to think that Desiree hasn't been with a woman before. Victoria's the one who initiates things, teaches her about being with someone that she can't just breathe on to influence - I've always felt that Desiree's breath didn't work on women, because she was with a man - or boy - at the time of her mutation. So the mutation developed to work on men, but not women.

How they might meet.

There are literally as many possibilities as there are plots. But there is one I favour.

I have no idea exactly where this concept comes from. I've seen mentions of it on my friends list, but I am not at all sure what the origin of the idea is. I would appreciate very much if anyone reading could possibly help me figure it out.

The concept is that Lex has helped, or tried to help, the people who he's offered help to in canon, a large percentage of which are meteor mutants. He has some kind of hidden facility, a house or a property of some kind, which they live in and he gets them help. For Desiree, it would be some kind of therapy, and eventual (at least in the story) cure. Lex *married* Desiree. He may never be able to love or trust her again, but there was whatever drew them together in the first place, and on his side, it wasn't greed. And I think he would understand the kryptonite affecting her and try to get her some help. It would, of course, have to be a female therapist.

As for Victoria, well, remember what I said about her being a less bright version of Lex? If her father threw her out, disowned her, after the debacle of trying to outwit the Luthors in the story arc in Season 1, she might possibly throw herself on Lex's mercy. And putting her in charge of the day to day running of the facility where the people he helps are living, well, that would give her something to do and keep her out of his way. I'm sure Lex would pay her more than enough to live in the style to which she's accustomed.

There are other ways, many I can think of.

Perhaps Lex might get Desiree help, then send her to England to recover. He sends her with Victoria's number, expecting them to do girly things like go shopping, and they end up finding each other far more interesting than just another shopping companion.

Or Victoria could commit a minor offence and have to do community service in a US prison, where Desiree happens to be incarcerated, although it's a lenient prison and she gets therapy there (perhaps a certain billionaire is paying costs?), eventually getting parole and leaving with Victoria.

I'm sure there are many others.

So, there it is

Not the most obvious ship, but I hope I've shown why it could be an interesting diversion, if nothing else.

Unfortunately, I don't have any fic recs or links as there is no fic for these two beyond a few ficlets of mine and I feel it's bad form to link to one's own work.

And of course, there is one more thing. The visual of these two together is very pretty.

Not that I'm that shallow, but hey...it's true.

Thank you for reading.


*strokes chin* Hmmm... very interesting. I wouldn't have entertained the two of them together :) Good job!
Good job, Joanne. They'd make a very dangerous duo. If I was Lex I'd skip town if I saw them coming. *g*

Thanks, sweetie. You did wonderfully with what you had. The Queen of the unconventional ships strikes again.
You so make this work, hon. It's scary. Good scary. *g*

blue by darkhavens

January 2018



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