Title: The First Sense
Summary: Lex smells . . . really well.
Disclaimer: Don't own em. Not making a dime.
A/N: So, I was eating an orange yesterday and this story popped into my head. I had to write it, there was no stopping my fingers! As to my other fic, "Should the Teacher . . ." I'll be updating that shortly. I promise! BTW, in case I hadn't mentioned this: feedback is GREATLY appreciated.
Very few people knew it, but Alexander J. Luthor had on highly developed sense of smell. Yet another physical aberration caused by the meteor shower.
In his own scientific experiments, Lex Luthor had determined his olfactory abilities to be approximately 40 times what was considered normal. Because of this, most of his memories were connected with a particular scent.
Lex Luthor remembers the first time he smelled an orange. Sure, he'd eaten them before, peeled them, had watched others do so, but he had never Really Smelled an orange until he got to Smallville.
He was in his office at the fertilizer plant, when suddenly the edges of something faintly tangy and sweet entered the room. The scent grew stronger, and Lex went on a mission to locate the origin. He'd been hungry at the time, and the mouthwatering aroma was enough to send him over the edge.
So when his nose led him to his plant manager Gabe Sullivan's office, Lex was prepared to do anything to get a section - or even a whole orange of his own. Unfortunately, he was ill-prepared to find Gabe's teenage daughter sitting behind her father's desk.
Popping the Last Piece in her mouth.
"Chloe?" Lex was more than a little disappointed.
"Hey, Lex," she said. Looking up from her psychology book. "Orange?"
Lo and behold, she had a whole box of the bright little orbs by her side.
"The Howard's gave Clark's parents like six of these, so I offered to take one home. Mr. Kent isn't too fond of oranges."
Lex made a mental note to drop by and see the Kents that evening.
"Thank you," he took one from the crate and watched, semi-mesmerized, as Chloe began to lick the juice from her fingers.
"So." Cough. "What brings you here?"
"Dad's car is in the shop - I'm picking him up." Quick smile. "Hey, I've been reading about Maslow's Triangle, Lex. If you don't mind my asking, at what point do you think you'll reach self-actualization?"
"When I rule the world." Half-serious.
"Never gonna happen." Another blinding smile.
"Why do you say that?" Curious.
"Good always triumphs over evil." Very serious.
"You're saying you think I'm evil."
"Marginally." Pause. "But who knows, maybe you can be saved."
The first time Lex Luthor Really Smelled an orange was also the first time he had his socks knocked off. Chloe Sullivan surprised him, which is more than can be said for any other woman in his life.
And when he thinks about the time he took her to the premiere of the latest Clooney flick, the heavy scent of red, red roses threatens to overwhelm him.
The air was so thick in the limousine Lex thought he might be breathing not air, but the perfume of the flowers. However, when he brushed his lips against hers, the roses were replaced by jasmine and honeysuckle, and Lex quietly wondered if he was dying in a very pungent garden.
Then her mouth opened and all scents fled in the rush of taste. Champagne, and something sweeter. Pulling back for air, he chuckled at the half-closed green-shadowed eyelids (painted to match her dress) and asked:
"You once said you thought I was 'marginally evil.' Do you still hold that opinion?"
"Hmm," her lips twitched.
"Well," her eyes opened slowly. "I think you are marginally less evil than you were at the time."
"Marginally," and here came one of her brighter than the sun grins. "Anyone who can kiss like that has to have a little devil in them."
When Lex Luthor thinks about roses, he also thinks about Chloe, panting beneath him in the back of that limousine. Roses are like the teenage passion that caught them that night, and Lex wonders if it was because Chloe made him feel younger (read: closer to his real age) or if maybe, just maybe, it was because he loved her So Much that he had to show her How Much - even if it wasn't in the most romantic of places.
But most often now, Lex Luthor catches a whiff of baby powder in the air; it reminds him of graduation day.
She grew up and over Smallville. But then again, Lex always suspected Chloe was too big and too grand for the town.
But not for him, oh no, never for him. Wasn't he Lex Luthor, son of Lillian and Lionel, president and CEO of LexCorp, leader of the free world-hopeful? Wasn't he the greatest thing to happen to Smallville? What *couldn't* Chloe do with him behind her? What couldn't he do with her behind him . . .
He was wrong.
He smelled the baby powder before she even walked into the study. It was hot, and while everyone else was sticky and sweaty, Chloe doused her flame in perfumed cornstarch. She was always so cool.
The Kiss Goodbye tasted like flour, and Lex discovered she had some powder on her lips. He leaned in to kiss it away, laughter in his eyes. But he didn't know then that he'd already gotten his last kiss from Chloe Sullivan.
"Lex," she bit her lip, and he wanted to tell her to stop - that saying the words would only make it real, only make it worse.
"Chlo . . ." he drifted off, no longer knowing what he'd planned to say - and he realized she didn't care, because she kept talking as though he hadn't said a word, even though he had. He'd said the most important word in his life for the last three years. Her name.
Lex stopped listening after she said the words "can't," and "long-distance . . ."
He kept breathing though, and the smell of baby powder lingered in his nostrils for days.
So sat Lex Luthor of 20 years later. He thought about all the smells that connected him to Chloe, soft and warm. And when he stepped out of his office, only to find his secretary peeling an orange as she worked through her lunch break, he told her, very unreasonably, to throw it out.
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