Improv: #17: scorch, party, lazy, pool
Keywords: summer heat, improv fic
Disclaimers: None of them are mine.
Summary: "See the way those leaves have their backs turned to the sky? Sure sign of rain."
The sun beat mercilessly down upon Smallville, scorching the already dry earth, turning green plants brown and already brown plants to mulch. The heat was so strong, in fact, that it hung in air in visible, rippling waves. In the distance, a speeding silver blur cut through those waves before coming to a halt in the driveway in front of a yellow farmhouse. Across the barnyard, two figures in blue jeans and sweaty t-shirts looked up as the silhouette of a man cut through the dust kicked up by the sports car.
"Lex," Clark Kent said as he set down the bucket he was carrying over to the rusty old water pump in front of the barn. His father came to stand next to him, hovering silently and frowning. But he'd been frowning before Lex had shown up. The pump wasn't working, which meant that farm's water table was low. They needed rain.
"Clark," the wealthy young man said as he approached. He was wearing a strange ensemble of thin dress slacks, short-sleeved gray shirt and a baseball cap. The ball cap was there to keep sun off the man's head, and no doubt was generating added attention to the fact that he was bald. "Mr. Kent," Lex added politely.
"What brings *you* out in this heat?" the older Kent asked a little too gruffly. "I would thought you'd be spending the day soaking in the pool."
Lex grinned, waving away the protest that flew to Clark's lips. "Oh, come, Clark," he added. "It's not as if you weren't dying to ask the same question." Lex looked around at the dry-as-a-bone farmyard and out towards the fields. "This heat's really doing a number on your crops, isn't it?" he asked as casually as he could. Which was to say, not at all.
"You could say that," Jonathan answered. "What's it to you?"
The boy billionaire shrugged. "I just stopped by to see if I could be of some help. I've arranged for some water tankers from Metropolis tomorrow to help the farmers with irrigation. Just stopped to see if you'd like to be the first on the list."
"Dad, that's--" Clark started to say.
"Very generous of Lex, I know, son." The farmer walked a few feet away and came to stand under a drooping tree that need water as desperately as his fields did. He looked up, as if nothing was more interesting than the leaves above his head. "But we won't need Lex's charity, son. It's going to rain before he can get those tankers here."
"Not according to the National Weather Service," Lex interjected, approaching the tree with curiosity. "Unless you know something they don't, we're in for another three days of this same heat."
By this time, Clark had also joined his father by the tree and was gazing intently at the leaves. "Actually, Lex, Dad's right. Gonna rain. Soon, too."
"From a clear, blue sky?" Lex was incredulous. "There's not a cloud up there."
Jonathan Kent pointed towards the branches above their heads. "See the way those leaves have their backs turned to the sky? Sure sign of rain."
"Old wives' tales?"
Clark laughed at his friend. "The leaves are never wrong, Lex. You'll see."
Hours later, the silver sports car pulled back into the Kent driveway. Its driver was frowning, angry because he'd wasted a day he could have spent being lazy on trying to extend a friendly hand to his neighbors. Like the Kents, all the farmers in the area insisted they wouldn't be needing his water. It would rain, they all said. In the meantime, the heat was increasing steadily. As if to encourage them, the sky had even managed to cloud over in the last half hour, blown in by a warm wind that, sadly, offered no refreshment.
The National Weather Service still claimed heat, heat, and more heat. Not rain.
Lex snorted, killing the engine and cutting off the latest radio weather report. No sooner did he do this, however, and the heavens above him opened up pouring cool water down upon him.
In front of him, the front door of the house flew open. Husband and wife came running outside without raincoats or umbrellas, pausing on the porch when they saw him before tumbling chaotically down the steps. The farmers hugged each other joyfully and grasped hands, spinning in circles in front of their house like giddy children.
Behind Lex, the barn doors burst open with the whooping sound of happy teenagers. Clark, Chloe and Pete spilled outside, jumping and dancing. Clark also noticed him, waving wildly before being tackled by Pete, slipping in the mud.
Lex sat in his convertible--oblivious to the fact that the top was down and he was getting drenched--watching the impromptu party before him. Tomorrow, he'd likely need to get the upholstery replaced, but right now, nothing was more important to him than the scenes before him. He was no longer angry--his annoyance at being proven wrong by an old wives' tale disappearing along with the heat. As if moved by the spirit of the moment, he laughed, pulled off the ball cap he'd worn all day and threw it into air.
The rains had come, just as the leaves
had predicted. They'd come, bringing hope, life, and celebration