Summary: Clark wonders how much distance he needs to see Lex as he really is.
Pairing: Clark Kent/Lex Luthor
Original story: Mosaic Fragments by noracharles
Pointillism (The Sunday in the Clark with Lex Remix)
When I picked out which essay to write for extra credit in English, I figured I'd go for something different for a change. Art's never been one of my favorite subjects, but I remembered spending some fun afternoons in the Metropolis Museum of Art with my mom when I was a kid, so I chose 'Describe a style of painting, then select a painter and explain why you like their work in that style' and went with pointillism.
You'd think I would have gone with something pretty and simple like impressionism and Monet except, when I told Mom what I was going to write about, she smiled and reminded me how much I liked seeing that painting by Georges Seurat, the huge one where everyone was walking around in a park by some lake. We'd gone to a traveling exhibition at the museum back when I was ten or eleven, and I spent a long time studying that painting, walking away and looking at it and then coming back closer step by step to watch the shapes separate into dots of color. She tipped her head and wrinkled her nose as she told me about how fascinated I'd been, and then smiled again when she pointed out that my eyes aren't entirely the same as most people's and it made sense that I might have been seeing things a little differently even then.
Still, I have to admit my mom's not the only reason I went with the art essay instead of an easy book report. Lex was a big part of my choice, too. Making me 'think outside the box' is the way he puts it when we're talking about things, and that's exactly what he does. I mean, when he came to Smallville, it was like the whole world suddenly opened up for me. Just walking through the castle with him, listening to what he has to say about history and art and politics, I can imagine myself actually leaving Smallville behind someday and seeing what's out there for me besides cows and cornfields.
Of course, after last night, I'm not sure how much longer those talks will keep happening. They aren't always fun. Sometimes I get the feeling he's collecting facts about me to build something he can use, although it's probably normal human curiosity about something different. Every now and then, though, it gets to be too much. I kind of lost my temper when he pushed me again about telling him the truth about what happened at school the other day and dumped another one of his stories about his father on me to make a point. It was like he changed into a different person, he shut right down when I pushed back and told him he had issues, not that I can really blame him. Even if he does have some problems with how he looks at certain information, I'm the last person who should be pointing fingers about letting the past ruin the present. I mean, talk about glass houses and stones.
The thing is, Lex can be so great to hang around with when he's not all bent out of shape about his father or poking around the latest Smallville weirdness. He's always ready to share what he's learned, wants to help me get what I want, and that's nice. I like that, having someone who doesn't make fun of me all the time, although sometimes it feels like he's waiting for me to figure out something. He's great, really. It's just that he's has these dark places that show through every now and then and they're a little scary.
Those dark spots, though, maybe they're like what I read about Seurat's painting style. Pointillism isn't just dots like the pixels in a picture on a television or computer screen. The colors of the dots aren't mixed; it's where they end up placed next to each other that creates the picture. If you get up too close, you lose what you're looking at because the single dot of color catches and holds your attention. In Lex's case, that dot is a piece of information about that he lets someone learn about him and, when anyone gets too close - not just me - it's too easy to focus on that one specific piece of Lex, not the whole man.
That's where the really interesting thing I learned about pointillism comes in. What I found, when I was looking it up in a couple of books in Lex's library, is that depending on which colors you choose to put next to each other, and the distance you're standing from them, your eyes see those colors sort of melted together as something else. It turns out that red plus yellow plus blue give you black, while red plus green plus blue equal white - not when they're mixed together, just when they're next to each other. You don't need to see the individual dots to understand what's on display.
Seurat used that optical illusion to create his paintings using nothing but dots of those basic colors, no mixing. He also believed that how he used lines and light would create certain feelings in the person looking at the painting. It wasn't just that brighter colors are happy; that's pretty simple for anyone to figure out. His philosophy was that the lines of the painting needed to lead the eye upwards for happiness and joy, while downward lines and dark hues were sad. Calmness ends up being a balance of light and dark colors and horizontal lines, which makes a lot of sense when you think about it.
Lex and I could definitely use a little of that calm the next time we get together.
If I take a few steps back, it's easy to see Lex wants to be a good man. So do I. Maybe if we worked at it together, stood next to each other instead of opposite, stopped trying to examine each bit of information by itself and accepted the whole person instead, we could balance each other better.
I think I'll stop by later and see if Lex can help me finish up the essay. He'll probably have some good points to add, and maybe I can add something positive to the portrait he's probably been painting of me.
He's worth a try.