Disclaimer: I don't own Lex, Lionel, Lillian, or anyone else in Smallville, so don't sue me, please. The song "Scarborough Fair" is an old traditional English song. Betaing and additional help thanks to ferd and AnnaBtG.

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme




Are you going to Scarborough fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Remember me to one who lives there
She once was a true love of mine




Parsley


He stands and watches her; the face is still and pale. He knows it is over and she is gone, but he fears to say goodbye; that somehow if he does, she'll leave him completely. Time seems to trickle like the grains of sand that represent it, and she trickles away with it.

He blinks, solitary wetness escaping in a trail down his cheek, and his father glares sternly at him. When the ceremony ends and the crowds disperse, he flees to her garden. He can see her yet, in the corner of his eye, bending over the plants tenderly. When he looks directly at her, the image vanishes in the far-too-sunny morning. His throat locks up, tears cascade, and he throws himself down by the parsley, her favorite. Choked sobs fade to quiet breathing, and he is wrapped in the scent of the delicate plants, so like her.


Sage


He stands with head bowed in shame; failure clings to his frame. The lecture continues for several minutes more, and he is dismissed. He closes his eyes in an attempt to absorb the extra moisture, and travels a hallway to escape notice.

Her room is still the same; finely carved furniture rests beside the empty bed. Small jeweled cases dot the chests of drawers, little sparkles of color in the emptiness. An ornate music box rests on the bedside table, forever silenced in a room devoid of laughter.

He slips into her bathroom; the delicately etched bottles of hair treatments shimmer in the sun that streams in from the window. They are as she left them, waiting for a use that will not come. He knows his father well; they will be gone within a day. He hides a bottle within his shirt and slinks off to his room.

He looks about furtively; he hears nothing, and pulls a floor board out of position. He opens the bottle's cap and sniffs the sharp smell of sage, then places it gently into place along with other treasures: a lock of his long-lost hair, handmade crafts, and a favorite picture of her.

That night, when he cannot sleep, he rubs a drop of it on his hand and curls it close to his face.


Rosemary


He bends his head over the book, but the pages seem empty, cold and white, and they remind him of her skin. He gazes into midair, his fingers stroking their smoothness, and he is suddenly by her bedside. He gently brushes his hand along her thin one, pooling liquid growing under his eyelids as he sees the paleness of her complexion.

He leans over and wraps one skinny arm around her shoulder, pressing his face into her neck. He breathes in the familiar rosemary, fresh from her bath, and memorizes it. But somehow her skin is so chilly . . . and he blinks his eyes open at the teacher demanding an answer. His lashes flutter furiously to hide the evidence, and he stares dumbly ahead. His throat is paralyzed with memory.

When the counselor talks, he politely hears, but he listens instead to the slow dull thumping of his heartbeat, face carefully schooled into a neutral expression. The man speaks of opening up and talking about things, and he wonders if anyone has exploded from saying too little. The rosemary still fills his nostrils, heavy and thick, and he breathes slowly.


Thyme


He sits quietly, as the man drones on in assembly, speaking of America and traditions and family. He observes the man's oddly-shaped eyebrows as they twitch, and he slouches deeper into his chair.

He is greeted outside by the chauffeur, who motions indifferently for him to enter. The ride is long and quiet, but he can find nothing to say, the words stuffed compactly into far corners of his brain. He clenches his fists tightly, and a roiling wave sweeps across his stomach.

At home, a sharp smell wafts down the hallway, and he inhales sharply, breathing in the strong scent. He follows it to its source, and finds the cook chopping fresh herbs for turkey dressing. His eyes see her again, determined to make the traditional meal herself, handing him a piece of thyme to smell as she chops. He shakes his head and sees the cook once more, who spots him and waves him away. He wanders down a familiar corridor, scurrying away at the sound of quick footsteps.

Dinner is taut, with little conversation. Out of the dozen or so chairs, two are filled. His father asks of his studies, and he responds carefully, a rock lodged below his ribs. He stares at the turkey, its roast-brown sides swelled high with bread crumbs and herbs. He slices a portion, soft filling tumbling onto the platter, and slowly chews a bite. It chokes in his throat and he forces himself to swallow.

And Lex thinks that someday, something will cut him and all the stuffing will fall out.


Are you going to Scarborough fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Remember me to one who lives there
She once was a true love of mine



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