The storm whirls on. Nothing changes.

Days wear on into weeks wear on into months. Still the little boy battered by the tempest from the moment he emerged from his ship and the already wind scored man won't exchange glances. Those in the eye of the storm try to heal them, but to attempt to assemble a broken heart before the fragments have even hit the ground only scatters the pieces further. To mend theirs prematurely would be to scramble the pieces, to tamper and to destroy two hearts shattered but still, despite it all, pure.

Somewhere beyond an icy barricade of grief, Clark's heartbeat pulses, loud and heavy and oh so regretful. And Conner has learned. Kept out by that barricade himself, he has cloned it, pushing his longing behind a wall of pain and abandonment and neglect.

Their hearts beat in tandem, even as gazes fail to penetrate the two impermeable walls and both look away at the same time, eyes still inevitably drawn to each other, to the pounding heartbeat they know to exist.

And in the end it is almost nothing.

Of course it almost nothing. How could it ever be anything else? The smallest grain of sand, after all, is the only one able to fit in the hairline cracks in their walls. Nothing else would do. Everything begins somewhere.

They are forced together once again by those who seek to mend their hearts too early, before the glass has even settled on the ground. They try even as the razor sharp shards, still falling, cut their hands with long gashes.

But perhaps they are good to do so, for though they disturb the fragments still more, they are brought closer.

It is merely another darting glance, stolen between snatches of laughter neither of them truly feels.

And neither the battered boy nor the wind scored man look away.

Somewhere, a small, cold breeze peters out, and without it, a single drop of water falls from an icy blockade.

Spring is beginning.

The only reason this was so terribly delayed was that I felt like I had to watch new episodes, because I know they develop the canonical relationship more, but that's hard for me so I was procrastinating and finally I gave up and wrote this without watching any episodes since roughly the middle of season one, since it's AU anyways. I'm sorry.

I was considering continuing, but I like it as is. Maybe an epilogue at some point, if I get a lot of people asking for it.