by Marag

For Terpsichore, with much love.


Summertime in Metropolis was sticky and hot and unpleasant. It stank of tar and exhaust and grease.

Lex hated the summer.

Sweat and frustration and anger, fuelled by more than the humidity, permeated everywhere from boardrooms to backrooms to rooms even Lex didn't admit being.

Metropolis wasn't home; it was a place to exist.

Summertime in Smallville was hot and sweet.

The sun bore down, oppressive but not unbearable. The humidity was intense, but the sounds of the grasshoppers made it seem as if there was a drought.

The smells were intense:

The sweet smell of honeysuckle

The smell of wet grass and dry soil and cattle, and corn.

Lex hadn't known that corn had a smell.

Everyone in Smallville had the smell of summer attached to them. No cloying smells of expensive perfumes; honest smells - sweat that should be offensive but wasn't.

The smell of mud from the banks of the swimming hole; another location Lex wondered if he should add to the list of places he'd never admit being.

He stood back, watching Clark help his dad. They were both sweat soaked, and grimy. They looked exhausted but oddly content.

He'd once tied a bowtie for Clark. He had been freshly showered, smelled subtly of soap and cologne.

Lex hadn't found it overly arousing - no more than he found everything about Clark.

It hadn't made him want to go to him and lick the sweat off his neck.

Not like now.

Lex wondered if he would ever be able to spend another summer in a city again.

Clark hoisted a fence post up onto his shoulder and Lex damn near came watching the muscles working.

He walked back to his car, never having let them know he was there.

Lex knew that sex had a smell of its own.

Autumn in Metropolis was cold and wet.

The smell of wet wool from damp business suits permeated everything.

The smell of grease was replaced with the smell of exhaust from the heat vents.

"Harvest Fresh Vegetables" that still managed to taste like they came out of a can.

The people looked and smelled - tired. It was if they were braced for something, but weren't really sure what.

Fall in Metropolis felt of hopelessness.

Fall in Smallville smelled of apples.

Of sharp sweet onions, of fresh cut hay, of peppers and corn and the hot sweet breath of beautiful boys.

The smell of flannel dried on a clothesline on a crisp October day.

The faintly foul odour of the inside of pumpkins - the taste of freshly roasted pumpkin seeds;

Even if he never did find a suitable wine to accompany them.

The smell of his own nervousness competing with the wonderful smell of Martha's family secret turkey dressing. Both scents were new, and both somehow exciting.

Fall was a time for the senses. The sound of the wind blowing the leaves off the trees.

The beauty of the sky. The eerie shadows of a Harvest Moon.

The strange, bleak glory of the land that had given up its bounty.

Autumn was the colour of Clark's eyes just before Lex kissed him for the first time.

Lex could learn to love the Autumn.

Winter in Metropolis was hard.

It was wet and messy and dirty. It smelled of oil, and spilled coffee, and oddly of roasted chestnuts...

No one every looked up. People hunched in fashionable, completely impractical clothes.

Winter smelled of wet feet in expensive leather shoes.

Winter in Smallville was harsh.

It was cold, and white and amazingly beautiful.

Clark's cheeks were red. He wore layers.

Layers that Lex wanted to peel.

Winter smelled like fresh air.

It smelled like fresh cut Christmas trees and hot fires and of chestnuts that might just be edible after all.

It smelled like what Lex fantasized home should smell like. When he allowed himself such dreams.

It smelled like the teak that had once been part of an antique bed and was now hand crafted into a perfect globe - just ready for Lex to conquer.

It tasted of the tears of gratitude that Lex would never let show as he accepted the gift, and the unspoken words that accompanied it.

It sounded of laughter; the unfamiliar sound of his own mixed with the family that opened their home to him.

It looked like the deep green of mistletoe. The red of Clark's lips. The colour of innocence that Lex cherished even as he craved to help Clark shed it.

Winter was watching the Rose Bowl parade on an ancient tiny television in an overcrowded farmhouse when he had the equivalent of a Jumbo-Tron in his den.

It was a building Snow-Guards to defend the Castle on a cold January night, just because they could.

It was learning the difference between snow tires and chains and why people in the city really didn't need SUV's.

It was a candy heart on Valentines day. A single lavender rose that told Lex so much more that the words that they were both still far too afraid to say out loud.

It was the feel of sharp teeth, and lips that should be chapped but weren't, dancing along his throat. It was the touch of warm hands and hot skin and the sound of ice pellets hitting the windows.

It was walking in the woods holding hands, the sound of the snow crunching underfoot.

Winter in Smallville was the sound of laughter.

It felt a lot like freedom.

Spring in Metropolis smelled of hope.

Clothing was shed. People looked up and some even smiled.

The air still stank of wet city, but the winter trolls gave way to spring fairies.

Spring in Smallville smelled of work.

Planting and planning and rebirth.

The sound of robins returning, of calves suckling, of farmers planting and praying for a good year.

Of Spring formals, and graduations and futures unknown.

The sound of goodbyes; of tears both sad and joyful.

The mingled breath of lovers finally daring to look ahead.

The sight of Clark finally shedding layers and Lex deciding he missed them.

The look in Jonathan's eyes and the knowledge that he still had a lot of work to do to hold the trust of the father of the man he loved.

The feel of Martha's arms as she hugged him and gained a promise far more effectively that any threat ever could.

Lex decided he loved the Spring.

Summer in the Arctic was the most amazing thing Lex had ever seen.

But it wasn't the most beautiful.

The most beautiful thing Lex ever saw was the love in Clark's eyes as Lex pressed into his body for the first time one bright summer day and finally said aloud the words he'd held inside for years.

Summer in Metropolis smelled of asphalt.

Summer in Smallville smelled of love.

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