Dandelion Wine

by dossier

Notes & Warnings

It was a quiet morning, the town covered over with darkness and at ease in bed. Summer gathered in the weather, the wind had the proper touch, the breathing of the world was long and warm and slow. You had only to rise, lean from your window, and know that this indeed was the first real time of freedom and living, this was the first morning of summer...

Clark waited as the sun crept to the horizon, shining like a new copper penny that changed to lemon pie yellow as it rose higher to touch the fields of corn with the blazing torches of dawn.

He breathed in the cool air that caressed the plain gingham curtains at his side, and knew that today was the day. He didn't know what it was yet, but it was going to be bigger than the day that was birthing just outside his window.

It was a barefoot day he decided, as he pulled on his favorite cut-off shorts that hugged him like an old friend, the T-shirt it's gentle companion. Tomorrow would be soon enough for the first new tennis shoes of summer; those magical, coiled springs made of puffy marshmallows that let you run, jump over trees and rivers.

The first day of summer, a whole season of days to cross off the calendar, and to be lived to the fullest. The chores to be attended to were a nut to be cracked, and the sweet meat inside savored and tasted. Clark couldn't wait, jittery excitement of the unknown sending delicious jitters spinning through him. A waft of scent floated to him-blueberry waffles, made in celebration of this most auspicious day. He barreled down the stairs to find his mother humming a happy melody, the anxious morning sun grazing her cheek and hair with a gold-spun halo.

Clark greeted her with an excited kiss on the cheek, and her smile out shone the sun gleaming through the kitchen window. The fragrance of golden crispy waffles and dark, rich maple syrup mingled with the sharp bright smells of the farm borne on the wind that sang harmony with her through the open door.

He attacked the stack with the gusto and speed only he was capable of, afraid to wait, afraid to miss any of the impatient day.

"Clark, don't eat so fast, you'll choke." Her mild rebuke was teasing, they both knew the truth of the matter."

"Okay, Mom. Next time." He smiled a grin as wide as the Kansas plains and brilliant as a million miles of sun-drenched wheat. Clark slipped his bonds of confinement and escaped into the new day, his nerves burning with the feeling of being alive, like he'd never noticed before. He drew a deep breath and whirled through the farm in a flurry of hay, requirements of the day met post haste.

Freedom beckoned him. He raced through the fields, the destination unthinking but certain-there was only one person with whom he could share this elation, this discovery.

Heartbeat later, and the brick mausoleum that locked away the heart of his friend was before him, hunkering on the hill, waited to be scaled and broached, to release Lex to the thrill unfolding; to that really big thing waiting for them out there.

"Good morning, Clark. You're here early. What's on your mind?" Lex sat at his desk, cool as wild fox grapes hidden under the ancient, cool ferns.

"Have you looked outside?" Clark stood on the tile, atomic-clock-quivering, simmering and shivering with anticipation.

"The drapes are open, of course I've looked outside." Lex looked at Clark curiously, he was different today; something was simmering in his brawny farm boy.

"No, uhm, I mean really, looked outside, do you know what today is?" How could he find the words to make him see what was going to happen?

Lex glanced at the calendar on his desk. "June 1st?"

"No, it's the first day of summer, Lex." Clark stated it like it was the obvious and Lex was being purposely dense. Lex didn't understand the importance of the coming thing that was stalking him -them- waiting just around the corner. "Come on, let's go." He could only show Lex, infect him with the craving and need to be part of the world he'd awakened to this morning.


The corn was just tall enough to hide them from sight as they lay on their backs, the blue-glass sky hazy with the rising heat of the day. Clark was still pulsing with the electric feeling he'd been gifted with by the rising of the first dawn of the summer.

"Can you feel it, Lex? There, you can hear it."

They lay side by side in the furrows of soft warm dirt, thousands of worms crawling below making a racket like thunder on a summer night. There, the hum of the cicadas drowning the earthworms with their sad cry rising and falling in tune with the sun.

Lex looked over at Clark, a dreamy soft smile on his face, and Lex wanted know, to understand. He wanted to crawl into the mystery of the reverie of a small town boy.

He wanted to shed the iron shoes that held him bound to the earth, to fly under the stars that fell from the heavens at night. Escape the dread of a future clouded with the shadows of a billion trees that was coming to swallow him up.

Clark turned to see Lex looking at him with a sadness, same as when the Happiness Machine stopped turning, and you realized that the sunset would never end, and you'd never see Fitzgerald's Paris except in dusty books on shelves.

"It's being alive, Lex. Feeling everything, the fear of death covering you over with leaf mold a million years old. Knowing that life never gets any better than today, because tomorrow is just a dream away."

Lex looked at the molten gold-green eyes, and he saw.

The light from lightening bugs like a swarm of meteors too numerous to count drifting in the butter-soft night. Felt the rush of the wind as it went the way of the river, and heard the buzz of golden bees that danced round the lions-head dandelions that blazed in the lawn like tiny fireballs.

The thing that had been roaring in Clark's ears and humming along his nerves all day that stalked them with wild leopard strides pounced with claws and teeth.

This, the thing that was bigger than the day's dawn.

Clark saw it too, and he smiled at Lex, a lazy, even, knowing smile as he leaned over and kissed Lex, butterfly and dandelion-puff soft.

And everything, absolutely everything was there in the slate colored eyes that reflected the sky above.

Yes sir, it was going to be a fine season.



Fandom: Smallville

Category/Rated: Slash, like really mild pre-slash, T

Year/Length: 2002, ~1100 words

Pairing: Clark/Lex

Spoilers: None

Disclaimer: Not mine, no profit, only having fun.

Author's Notes: For Livia's Smallville Bradbury Title Challenge. My apologies to Ray Bradbury, a truly lovely man and a personal hero, who I've quoted in the first paragraph.

Beta: None

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