Categories > TV > Smallville


by giyenah 3 reviews

There are quieter kinds of legends

Category: Smallville - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Romance - Characters: Clark Kent, Lex Luthor - Published: 2005-08-09 - Updated: 2005-08-09 - 1018 words - Complete

Note: Written for Sldowick's Picture Worth a Thousand Words Challenge. With special love for chasethecat, philtre, and seishin


The people who believe that Smallville is frozen in time, never changing, are wrong. Lex sees the difference clearly enough, even at sixty miles per hour. There are more houses now, newer cars that match his speed instead of the produce-filled pickup trucks that used to hobble through the streets. The Talon, his high-risk venture of long ago, is now the social highlight of the town; he doesn't have privileged parking there anymore. Small changes, granted, but noticeable enough.

Though, as he glances to his side to see Clark, eyes closed and smiling, relaxed on the passenger seat, Lex decides it's fortunate that some things remain constant.

When he broke his exile from Smallville all those years ago, he thought he would never look back, believing that nothing of value could anchor him there anymore. Even the boy who once wished for him to stay had moved on to college, leaving words unsaid and things undone. Might as well, he thought then. Easier for him to sever the ties he had never meant to make in the first place. Yet sometimes, he had found himself returning, camouflaging wistful nostalgia with the lame excuse of business obligations.

The last time he returned, he had been alone. He planned it to be quick; a routine inspection of the plant and he would be out of Smallville before sundown. Instead, he drove back to Metropolis the next morning with three flavors of pie on his passenger seat and a gruff reminder to "Take it easy out there, Son," ringing in his ears.

Smallville was still good to him, even when Clark wasn't there.

He thought Metropolis could drown it out, make him ignore the fact that he once lived in Nowhere-ville, Kansas and liked it. LexCorp's rise helped keep him occupied, and for a few years, he pretended to forget. Until one day, he found out that Smallville's most glaring reminder had graduated from Metropolis University and was watching him with intense green eyes at every press conference, holding a tape recorder.

It unnerved him. Lex barely managed to stay composed at each public inquisition, aware of Clark's gaze on him. He dreaded the times when Clark stood up and announced "Kent, Daily Planet", because whatever question he would ask--whether about environmental hazards or labor malpractice, it was as if another question was being asked too. In the undercurrents of Clark's words, there was a harsher interrogation, demanding an answer from Lex every time. Why did you leave Smallville?

Lex had tried to keep his distance, used sheer will and Luthor pigheadedness, but it was a lost cause. Once Clark entered the periphery of his consciousness, it was impossible to stay away. And while Lex himself had never made contact, he found himself orbiting and hovering, like a puny planet around a massive sun.

Until Clark broke inertia with a kiss, and Lex realized through the heady confusion that he couldn't truly escape Smallville after all.

The kiss had deepened, and he realized the futility of trying to escape. Why fight the tide when had known for certain that he would be washed ashore, again and again? Why deny himself the one place in the world that had made him feel welcome, the one place the wind had always taken him? The unsaid words he had never heard from Clark started flowing, and the things he thought Clark had never done started playing in his mind. There had been other ties--unseen ones--that Lex had failed to cut off, ties that bound both of them together the moment Clark breathed life into his mouth.

He had felt the odd chill of the wind on his spine, and he knew once again that Smallville was beckoning him.

He had felt Clark's smile on his cheek when the kiss ended. He had been shaking, breath ragged, but he found himself smiling too. A hand, large and warm, rested on his shoulder before reaching up to caress his cheek. He had known what Clark would say even before he said it.

"Come home with me, Lex."

Today the sky is overcast, but it's warm enough to leave the top open. Lex switches gears as the car turns to a smaller, less traveled road, away from the frenzy of the town center. The air smells like spring, dandelions and wildflowers dotting the roadside.

They are getting closer to their destination. The familiar structure in the distance is a welcome change from the empty expanse of fields. A smile starts to form on Lex's lips, knowing without looking that Clark is awake. He savors the quiet. A moment of silence with Clark is worth more than an eternity of conversations.

He hears gravel crunch beneath the wheels as he slows. They enter the Kent driveway and even before they are out of the of the car, a smiling Martha Kent comes out of the house, looking like a radiant Earth Mother. Not far behind is Jonathan, holding a newspaper and smiling as he nods at him and Clark. A delicious smell is coming from the kitchen and he realizes how much he misses those apple pies.

Smallville contains a lot of good things, despite the unassuming name.

Some day--soon preferably--he will rise to greatness. He will awe the world and make them bow at his feet. That will be his Great Legend, one that history will record. But he knows there are quieter kinds of legends too. Like the one about the adopted son of Smallville, who drifts away and goes places but ultimately comes back to that one same spot. Back to that quaint, yellow house on Hickory Lane that shelters a woman whose apple pies could melt hearts, and a man whose principles are as rock hard as Gibraltar. This legend will never reach the historical archives, but it will find a place in his heart.

Lex smiles and takes a deep breath before walking toward the house. It smells of home.
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