May 21, 2010

The Empty Glass

Banner By: Andrea
Title: The Empty Glass
Rating: PG-13
Author: Sxymami0909
Fandom: Smallville
Pairing: Tess-Centric Oliver/Chloe implied
Word Count: 975
Song: Tag to ‘Hostage’ Tess’s reaction to Maxwell’s mind games and the Red Queens speech.



“You know as much as I hate you for it, you were always the one…I love you…”

The study was barely lit as she sat at her desk, glass of scotch in hand. Tess closed her eyes jaw ticking as the words echoed through her head for the hundredth time that evening. She placed the glass against the side of her head letting the cool from the ice seep into her skin as her eyes opened slowly taking in the emptiness around her.

How long had she waited for Oliver to say those words to her? For him to forgive her for her many transgressions and come back to her? Facing the truth hurt more than she cared to admit. He would never come back to her, and the loneliness, the void he’d left within her was starting to fester and grow.

All the years she spent hardening herself, her body, steeling her emotions to the outside world and he had the power to break down every defense inside of her with a few words. Oliver Queen was her weakness. There was a time when she was his too, but those days are over.

When he looked at her now the only emotions in his eyes were anger, disappointment or hurt. No more secretive smiles, twinkling eyes or longing gazes. Tess brought the glass to her lips taking a long sip and she relished in the cold liquid that slid down her throat leaving a burn in its wake.

Tess leaned back in her chair and sighed. She’d made it through another day, she was alive. She should be relieved, had it not been for Maxwell’s slip, she would have never figured out she was trapped in his mind games.

Oliver’s false speech had saved her, metaphorically speaking and yet relief was that last thing she felt. His words, however fake they were only served to cement the fact that he was no longer hers; that his love lay with another. A woman she had considered below her in both intelligence and skill.

That was until she dug deeper and got to know the woman behind the mask. She wanted to hate Chloe Sullivan, but she couldn’t. Though their lives were quite different, Chloe had been through as much as she had. For someone who despised the very ground Tess walked on, they were a lot alike.

The difference she supposed was motive. She’d never thought of herself as someone out to destroy the world. Tess hadn’t started out so cold and calculating. The world and its many trials pushed her to the person she’d become.

Survival of the fittest. It didn’t mean she didn’t want to help the world, it just meant that her methods of getting to the endgame weren’t as pure as they once were. Maybe that was her fault for not being stronger, she wasn’t sure.

Not too long ago when she stood across from Chloe in Oliver’s office she had said she didn’t know what her heroes saw in her…and she hadn’t been lying. But after she broke into Watchtower she understood. Tess had thought Chloe weak, inconsequential, but she was wrong.

There was a reason Oliver chose her. A reason why he softened around her, why her approval and opinion meant so much to him. She was the kind of woman you could tell all your secrets to and she’d guard them to her last breath without ever once contemplating using them against you unless you threatened the few people she held close to her heart.

Tess had many secrets and she knew just as many as she had, but she used her knowledge to get where she needed to be no matter the cost to the individual person. Chloe might have lost her faith in people just like Tess, but she’d protect those very same people with her life.

Her relationship with Clark was proof of that. Tess had been through all of Lex’s files. Clark and Chloe had once been inseparable where now they could barely stand in the same room without awkwardness filling the space between them.

And yet Chloe would die for Clark to protect him and his secret because no matter where their friendship was she believed in him and what he stood for. Tess wasn’t sure she had that kind of loyalty in her anymore. She used to, but she was young and na├»ve then.

She saw how the world worked now, how it cut you down until there was nothing left unless you fought back. That’s what she’d spent all these years doing, losing the one thing that meant most to her during the process and the only person she could blame was herself.

Tess’s eyes dropped to the glass in her hand and she peered into the amber liquid as the Red Queen’s words played through her head once more.

“You say you’re saving the planet, but you really only care about yourself. You figured out Maxwell’s charade because you knew in your heart that Oliver’s declaration of love was a lie. You can’t comprehend what it means to truly protect someone you love.”

The bitter taste of the alcohol reflected the bitterness inside her. The Red Queen had been right. When had she gotten so lost? When did the individual people in the world, the civilians stop mattering to her? When did sacrificing those around her for the betterment of her purposes become her way?

She had once been a woman that Oliver Queen could love and now that person who he held so close to his heart no longer existed. Tess let out a harsh laugh that echoed through the room. Her life was truly like the glass of scotch she drank. Poignant and bitter, full of potential and yet once emptied of its content, alone, used and unwanted.

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for writing this! I've been wanting to write a fic focusing on Tess myself (plus Chlollie). Not the same plot though...but I have been curious about Tess' point of view. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Truly powerful. I loved how you got inside her head. I've wanted to read a piece on Tess, what she things of Oliver and Chloe for a long time. I think you did her justice. I think you captured her motives and her assessments perfectly. Fantastic. Thank you so much for writing this. I've actually also wanted to read something on how long Tess has been watching them. Studying Chloe. She's been watching her for a long time, but mostly to find out more about Clark. Also what and if she still has a meteor ability. I think that's how she noticed Chloe's connection to Oliver. Which lead to the intrigue of why... :D Which lead to her comments in Sacrifice.

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  3. Nice Tess fic! She's always been a character I loved to hate, but this past season, she really changed in my eyes, becoming this really conflicted and extremely compelling woman and you hit on this with your story.

    I also like how this is such a good bridge between Hostage and Salvation. Something that shows what would have compelled Tess to head to the Fortress and take on Zod. It's too bad that the writers only have so much time per episode, cause little scenes like this would be really welcome on my screen.

    Really well done. Thanks for sharing it.

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  4. Calie15-

    Thanks so much for reading! I really enjoyed writing this. I don't really know much of Tess's history since by the time she came on I had already stopped watching the show, but from what I've gathered this season since Absolute Justice well this is what came to me so I'm glad you liked it.

    Kimmy-

    Wow, thanks love! I really appreciate your kind words since I wasn't sure at all about this. I always freak out slightly when writing characters that aren't really familiar to me because I don't want to write them out of character or wrong LOL. So it means a lot that you enjoyed this. I have a couple more Tess pieces I plan to write. She's actually in the 'Unexpected Series' :-)

    Novadelphine-

    Thank you so much for the nice comment. As I said above I was hoping the emotion would come through in the fic because I don't know much of Tess's background. Only what I've seen this season so it was nice to get such a good response from this. Thanks again! :-)

    -Corina

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Feedback is always appreciated! :)