by Jayne Leitch
Spoilers: teeny for 'Rush'.
Disclaimer: have you seen my last bank statement? Believe me, I'm not trying anything, here. Title is courtesy Gilbert and Sullivan. Other stuff's not mine either.
Notes: Thanks to Meret for the beta and Celli for the Blind Beta. Hee.
For Robert S., CanFic TA and SV fan: now your name is associated with another work on the pastoral. Not that you'll ever know about this one, but still.
LITTLE MAID OF ARCADEE by Jayne Leitch
"When I awoke I saw sheep
Smallville is pretty and bright and friendly and wholesome and smells like fresh vegetables and apple pie even in winter, if you hit the right kitchens at the right times of day.
Smallville grows its boys into hearty specimens of almost-manhood, sends them out to play football or do healthy chores on the family farm to develop their bodies.
Smallville makes its girls into a dazzling array of beauty queens, with bright smiles and silky hair and effortless grace when they move.
Smallville is paradise, if you don't look closely.
Chloe's from Metropolis. She makes it her business to look closely, because she knows that apples can go rotten and boys don't always use their muscles to toss bales of hay and girls can be bitchy, vicious, and vacant, even while smiling warmly with perfect, white teeth.
All the better to eat you with, my dear, and in Smallville, that could be literally. That's another reason Chloe likes to keep closer tabs on her idyllic little town than first impressions would seem to merit, and what she's seen--
--The girls with teeth. The boys with muscle. The green from the ground that does so much to so many, but never any good. But everything has a bucolic aftertaste, the Kansas Arcady asserting itself, and even that fits because Chloe's done her English homework and knows that pastoral perfection can't exist without its contrast of misery and pain.
Like Lana. Smallville's favourite daughter, Little Orphan Lana comes complete with tragedy, loss, and shiny-smooth hair that Chloe surreptitiously watches being brushed every morning. Lana pines for a strapping young farmer's son, and he pines for her, and if the Kents had sheep on their farm it would be like they were actually living in a Renaissance poem.
Chloe used to think those poems were boring, until she realized she wasn't looking close enough. The frolicking shepherd and his dainty nymph are only the surface of the pastoral painting, after all, and in the detail...
In the detail is the way Lana looks at her late at night as they lie chatting on her bed, the way she not-so-accidentally brushes Chloe's arm or leg or breast when she changes position. And the dreamy, adrenaline-soaked half-memories Chloe dredges up sometimes when she's not entirely asleep, of Clark's hands under her shirt, heavy on her skin while he kisses her with deep strokes of his tongue and grinds against her, hard in his jeans.
According to English class, Arcadia isn't supposed to exist. But it does; Chloe knows it does when the world seems devoted to the love story of Lana and Clark, but sends Chloe to bed wet and wakes her up panting.
Chloe's been looking closely, and she knows.
'til stanza three."
Quotes from Steve McCaffery's 'Pastoral 1', in which there are only two stanzas.
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