Summary: Clark ends up attending a certain school for the 'gifted'. Smallville/X-Men: Evolution x-over.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters I use.
Author's Note: This started off an idea I had as I was watching the Smallville season 3 Episode Phoenix where the Kents are about to lose the farm until Lex steps in. Well what if Lex didn't step in. What if at this moment a different bald man showed up with an intriguing offer to the Kents about the private school he runs in Bayville. Set in season 2 of X-Men: Evolution because I wanted the New Mutants to be there. I'm not sure about the title. If anyone can think of something better I'm open to suggestions.
Clark stands at the entrance to the farm leaning against the post. He takes in the 'Kent Farm' sign hanging above his head and wonders how much longer it will be there because his parents, while continuing to fight it, are facing the very real prospect of losing the farm and as much as they have told him not to blame himself he can't do anything but that very thing.
After all how much of it is his fault. Where was he over the summer when his parents were trying to not only cope with the financial problems they were facing but also dealing with the fact his mother lost her baby. Another thing that was his fault. He was so desperate to be rid of Jor-El that he didn't think of the consequences of his actions when he tried to destroy his ship. The ship exploded, which by the way really hurt and for Clark real pain is a rare and unusual occurence, his parent's truck was caught in the explosion and his mother miscarried and the worse part of all is that it achieved nothing. Jor-El is still around and capable of making his life hell at any moment.
Of course that brings him back to where was he over the summer when he should have been here. The answer is simple. He drugged himself up on red kryptonite, ran away to Metropolis and spent 3 months stealing and robbing banks and causing general chaos and destruction. That was his not very mature way of dealing emotionally with what he had done because red kryptonite, red meteor rocks, pieces of his home planet, when it comes in contact with his skin causes Clark to lose his inhibitions and allow out his inner id. It makes him feel good, powerful and he used it to suppress the guilt and pain he felt at what he had caused.
In other words it basically turns him into a jerk as Chloe had told him in her usual blunt but weirdly reassuring manner. Although she didn't know why he was acting the way he was because Clark hadn't told her of his unique origin. He was too afraid of how she would react. That she would look at him like a monster if she learned he wasn't as human as she. That and he was afraid she would end up writing a story about him. He had had nightmares about that one. Although a part of him thinks, hopes, that Chloe wouldn't do that. That she would understand the consequences of what would follow his outing.
Clark lets out a sigh. Chloe. That was another thing he needed to repair. Their friendship. He only hoped he could. He supposes he can add Pete to that list as well. At least he and Lex seemed alright. Although Clark hadn't seen a lot of Lex since he came back from the dead after Lex's wife tried to murder him on their honeymoon. Lex was trying to patch things up with his father Lionel or something like that. Clark didn't see the point really. As far as he was concerned Lionel was irredeemable. Not to mention dangerous as he was obsessed with the discovering the secrets of the Kawatche caves and consequently Clark's secret as well. He always had to be really careful around Lionel in hiding what he was and what he could do. Sometimes Clark wishes there was some place where he he didn't have to hide himself away so much and people who understood what it was like to have a burden like he does. His parents, as much as he loves them, can never completely understand what it is like.
Clark's thought soon turn back to the summer past and he lets out a sigh. What a mess he has made of everything and if it wasn't for his father making some sort of deal with Jor-El to get super powers Clark would still be running amuck under his alias of Kal. His father came to get him and they ended up fighting and Clark won. He beat up his father. He almost winces at the memory. The only tiniest bright point there was that when it came to it he couldn't kill his father. He destroyed the red kryptonite ring he was wearing rather than do that.
His thoughts are interrupted by the sound of a horse approaching. Clark turns his head and his mouth goes dry at the sight of the rider. Lana. Oh god he had not been looking forward to this conversation because Clark had loved Lana forever but she had come to Metropolis over the summer and had seen his dark side and frankly her reaction to it had been one of disgust. Clark hadn't talked to her since he got back because frankly he didn't know what to say. Sorry seemed so inadequate but there was no way he could tell her the truth either so where did that leave them? She stops in front of him. "Hey Lana."
Lana dismounts from her horse. Truth be told she had come this way on purpose in the hope of seeing Clark. They needed to talk. Before the summer, before he ran off, she had thought that something was developing between them and she wanted, no she needed to know, about how he acted when she found him in Metropolis and if there was any possibility of them putting that behind them and picking up where they left off before this all began. "Hey Clark. So any chance your parents will be getting a second chance?" she asks in relation to the farm and it is a good topic to start a conversation with she thinks.
"Still fighting," he answers with less than total belief.
"I hope they do and I hope you stay," she says softly because if the Kents lost the farm Lana had heard from Chloe that would end up moving to stay with Mrs Kent's father in Coast City, California.
"I hope so too," Clark admits softly.
Lana moves a little closer to Clark. "If you do stay then I was thinking that maybe we could put all that stuff that happened in Metropolis behind us and maybe try again."
"Lana," Clark begins to say but she cuts him off.
"Clark, I know there are things about you that you try to shield me from, but you don't have to protect me anymore." She takes his hand in her own. "Whatever it is, I can handle it." She whispers the next bit. "I really want to know you."
Clark pulls his hand away. A part of him so badly wants to tell her but another part fears she will look at him in disgust if she knew just like she did in Metropolis. He tries to explain it to her. "Look, um, Lana . . . The way you looked at me in Metropolis, you were, uh, you were disgusted."
"No, I was confused," she corrects him. "You can't blame me for that."
"I don't blame you," Clark assures her. "But I can't stand for you to ever look at me that way again."
"You weren't yourself," she argues.
"Yes, I was," Clark reluctantly admits in an honest appraisal of who and what he was in Metropolis. "Lana, I chose to let that part of me out," he explains, "and it's always gonna be there. Trust me, you don't want to know me the way you think you do."
"Clark, that's my decision to make," she tells him.
Clark wishes it was but in truth it isn't. He has to decide right here, right now whether to tell her the truth or end it and save her heartache down the road. He makes his choice. "Lana, I'm sorry. I wanted this so much. All last year I tried so hard to be the right guy for you." Pause. "But I'm not. This'll never work."
Lana looks away, hurt swirling through her heart. She blinks against the tears in her eyes and nods her head, then walks away from Clark and gets back on her horse. She looks down at Clark. "Clark, you never had to try."
Lana turns the horse around and rides away slowly. Clark lowers his eyes as he considers Lana's statement. She says that without knowing him, the real him, whoever that is because who is the real Clark. The one standing here or the one who rampaged through Metropolis. Until Clark resolves that dilemma maybe he should avoid relationships full stop. It would certainly hurt less that what he is feeling right now. He remains where he is for a long time thinking on that as Lana continues away from him down the dirt road in the direction of the setting sun. What he didn't tell her was that along with letting that dark part of him out he also enjoyed it. He liked using his abilities without the fear he normally has about exposing himself. He had never given much thought to it before but with his power he can do almost anything he wants or at least he thinks he can but since he has never had a place to really tests his limits in truth he doesn't actually know. Maybe, he thinks to himself, maybe it is time to stop rejecting what he is so much and time to figure out who he really is and what he can really do.
A few days later in the office of the Torch.
"Bigfoot?" Clark asks Chloe sceptically. He had apologised profusely to her for being a jerk and she seemed inclined to forgive him to the point she had dragged him into her latest investigation. At this moment she is showing him one of those oh so clichéd blurry photographs that some tourist had taken in the woods around Smallville.
Chloe snorts. "Well obviously not the real thing Clark." Although with this being Smallville, the home to all things weird, Chloe couldn't rule it out completely but more likely it was another meteor freak of some kind.
Clark lets out a sigh. Every time he did this, helped Chloe, he risked exposing himself yet he felt responsible for all those transformed by the meteors and making sure they didn't hurt anyone. "So what do we do?"
Chloe's face lit up with that toothy grin of hers. "Great! I knew you would help."
"Of course Chloe. Someone has to keep you from getting killed."
"Hey!" she protests. "That has almost never happened." Clark simply stares at her until she breaks. "Ok maybe it has a couple of times," she concedes. "But remember Clark Kent that you are on thin ice so you don't get to criticise me right now," she reminds him which of course is something considering he could be on no ice after he broke her heart. Well more accurately he ripped it out of her chest and stomped up and down on it with his size 15 feet by choosing Lana over her and not having the guts to tell her to her face. No she had to find out by catching him and Lana locking lips in the barn. Not that she is bitter or anything.
Clark bows his head and his shoulders' droop. Great she just has to make him feel bad again doesn't she.
"Clark," Chloe says softly at his stance. "Don't go all broody on me now."
Clark lets out a sigh. "Why not? You're right. I have no right to criticise you. Not after everything I did."
Chloe suppresses a groan. She wasn't meaning to make him feel bad was she? Well maybe she was a little. The big doofus did break her heart however unintentionally so it was. Then on top of that there is the ongoing saga of him and Lana's latest teen angst after their break-up with her once again caught in the middle. Maybe she should just let it go for now. "So why don't we get out there and look for clues."
Clark's head pops back up. "Look for clues? What are we, the Mystery Inc gang?"
Chloe breaks out into a cheeky grin while she gets to her feet. She threads her arm around Clark's. "Come on Clark. We have another mystery on our hands." She drags him out the office while she quips "If you're hungry I have some Scooby snacks in my car."
Clark bursts out into a laugh. He can't help it. Chloe can always make him laugh.
A little later they reach the rough spot in the woods where the tourist saw 'bigfoot'.
Chloe claps her hands together loudly. "So lets split up and look for clues."
Clark looks at her knowing she is joking. No way in hell is he letting her out of his sight.
Chloe shrugs. "Sorry. Just trying to lighten the mood."
Clark smiles slightly. "I guess I should enjoy it while I can huh?"
"Still no luck in getting an extension on the loan for the farm?" she queries.
Clark shakes his head. "No."
Chloe feels really bad about that. Sure she is a little mad at Clark but she doesn't want to see him or his parents leave because they lost the farm. It seems so wrong for that to happen to people like Mr and Mrs Kent. "Chloe," Clark says her name catching her attention. She moves to where he is standing. "What?" she asks him.
Clark points down at the ground and the very large footprint on the ground.
"Whoa. Definitely not a giant raccoon then." Chloe bends down to get a closer look at it and notices Clark does the same.
"Looks pretty human to me Chlo," Clark comments.
"Never judge a book by its cover Clark," she says back.
"Oh what are you an expert tracker now?"
"No need for sarcasm Clark but since you ask I have many skills that may or may not include reading tracks."
"Uh huh. You did a google search on the subject before we left didn't you?"
"Maybe but I think for someone who has lived on a farm his whole life you are missing the pretty darn obvious."
Chloe points at 5 small indentations in front of the footprint. "See those?"
"Claw marks," she states confidently as she reaches into her bag and gets her phone out. "Whoever or whatever walked through here has claws on their feet," she tells Clark as she takes a snap with the camera in her phone.
Clark looks at them more intently and yeah that could be one way of interpreting the marks or it may be nothing and Chloe is simply twisting what she sees to fit the theory she has already made her mind up on.
Chloe stands up straight. "So what we should do is go back to the Torch and compare these to the 'legitimate'," and she uses the term loosely, "Bigfoot prints I conveniently looked up yesterday."
Chloe shrugs and gives Clark that toothy smile of hers once more causing him to smile and shake his head at her. Chloe loops her arms around his. "Come on big guy. The cause of truth and justice awaits us." Clark then allows Chloe to drag him off. Both of them unaware of the figure up in the branches watching them leave.
Sabretooth waits until he hears the two kids car drive off before he jumps down from his vantage point to the ground. He lets out an annoyed growl. Usually he would just put the frighteners on the two but Magneto had instructed him not to attract unnecessary attention. That tourist that snapped him was attention enough as it was. Besides there was something off about that boy's scent that did not cause Sabretooth concern exactly. It was just, well, weird.
He soon heads deeper into the woods. It had been a few weeks since Asteroid M and he had returned to his normal state after Magneto 'enhanced' him. Without regular exposure to Magneto's Mutant Enhancer the effects turned out to be only temporary. Frankly he was glad. He doesn't even know why he agreed to it in the first place. Hasn't he been experimented upon enough already in his life. Weapon X had done so as well. Not as extensively as they had done to Wolverine.
He growls at the thought of Logan. Even if Logan couldn't remember what had transpired between them over the decades Sabretooth could and it wasn't pleasant. One of these days one of them will kill the other. It was a prophesy some Seer had spoke and for some reason or other he couldn't fathom Sabretooth believed it.
He wonders how much longer he will have to wait. Magneto had not given him any time scale or the reason for being in this hicks' town of a place in the middle of Kansas. Not that you ever question why Magneto does anything. You just do what he tells you.
Clark gets home after school that day to find his parents sitting at the kitchen table with solemn expressions on their faces.
"Clark. Sit down," his father asks him.
Clark does so. "I'm not going to like this am I?"
Martha and Jonathan look at each other, the sadness all too evident. Jonathan addresses his son. "The bank is pulling the plug. We are going to lose the farm."
Clark's heart sinks weighed down by his guilt. "It's my fault," he says in whisper laden with guilt.
"Clark honey. No," Martha tells him not wanting Clark to blame himself. He carries so much guilt on his shoulders as it is.
"No mom. It is."
Martha gives her husband a look asking for him to say something. "Clark son. It is not your fault. The business," he pauses. What he was about to admit is not easy for Jonathan Kent to admit as it is an admission of his own personal failure. "The business was in trouble anyway. Nothing you have done would have changed that."
Clark's gaze drifts to the table. "So what do we do now?" he asks.
"The bank has given us a few days to pack up and leave," Martha explains. "Then we will go and live with your grandfather."
"It won't be the same though will it. It won't be home," Clark says expressing his fears.
"Son," Jonathan begins to say. "It is not the place you live that makes somewhere a home. It is the people you live with."
"So you're really leaving?" Pete asks Clark the next day as they play basketball. It was Saturday so no school.
"Yeah," Clark replies. Pete had come to see them and Clark's parents had allowed him to take a break from packing to spend time with Pete. Not that it takes Clark long to pack. He can do it in a few minutes but his mother was not letting him near anything fragile, valuable or was a family heirloom.
Pete throws the ball which bounces off the hoop and Clark catches it. "Damn," Pete mutters at missing the basket. "Well I'll miss you Clark."
"I'll miss you too Pete. Though could you do me a favour?"
Pete grins. "Let me guess. Keep an eye on Chloe."
"Um yeah. How did you know that?"
"Well despite your never ending love affair with Lana Lang I know you are not indifferent to the intrepid Miss Sullivan."
For most people that might seem insensitive but Pete had a way of being honest that you could appreciate and yes despite his feelings for Lana it wasn't as if Clark did not care for Chloe. Hell he asked her to the Spring Formal because he did have feelings for her. Clark throws the ball and scores a basket. Pete moves over and picks the ball up. "She is convinced that there is a Bigfoot like creature prowling the woods of Smallville," Clark tells his friend.
Pete chuckles. "Yes I know Clark. In case you forgot I am her friend too and you know how she can never shut up about one of her investigations."
"Hey!" Chloe protests as she makes her way out of the house having overheard Pete's last remark. This was one more reason Clark was not using his super speed to pack. Chloe had volunteered to help not that she did any actual labour. She had put her talents to use in a supervisory capacity or in other words she was bossing him around as per usual. Not that Clark was really complaining that he was getting to spend what little time he had left in Smallville with his friends.
Chloe makes her way over to the two boys. "I do not, as some nameless people insinuate," she gives Pete a glare, "spend all my time talking."
"Uh huh. Sure Chlo," Clark says insincerely.
"Yeah what he said," Pete says in the same tone.
Chloe narrows her eyes in that frightening way only she can do. The look that makes even Clark nervous that she will find some way to hurt him. In fact it seems her eyebrow is even doing that twitchy thing it only does when she is really steamed. Clark and Pete await their fate nervously. After what seems like an eternity Chloe throws her hands up. "Boys!" she shouts exasperated before stomping off into the barn.
Pete and Clark look at each other worried. "Are was as dead as I think we are?" Pete asks.
"You are. I'm leaving remember."
"You do know that distance is no obstacle to Chloe's wrath Clark right?"
Clark's shoulders sag. "Guess we should start writing our wills," he suggests.
"I suppose so," Pete says in agreement. "But it can wait until I beat you at basketball first."
Clark actually snorts. "Good Luck there Pete. I'm ahead."
"Tactics Clark. It's all tactics. I'm just lulling you into a false sense of security."
"Of course you are Pete," Clark says with all the sarcasm he can muster. He smirks "Give it your best shot."
Pete starts bouncing the ball while he tries to figure out some way past Clark. Looking out from the house are Martha and Jonathan. Martha gives a sad sigh. "Do you think he'll be alright?" she asks in relation to Clark.
"I am sure he will be Martha."
"It is just...it is so hard for him to make friends Jonathan. He is so afraid to let anyone in because of his secret."
"I know," he tells his wife softly.
"I just wish that there was somewhere where he could be himself," she tells her husband. "Somewhere he doesn't have to hide away. With people who would accept him for who he is."
Jonathan lets out a sigh. He agrees with everything she is saying. He wishes it hadn't come to this but the bank won't extend anymore credit. He is out of options. They have lost the farm as much as that pains him to admit. He has lost the farm that has been in his family for generations and it is not the only burden he is carrying. When Jor-El gave him the power to get Clark back Jonathan made a deal. One he knows Jor-El will demand he honour sooner or later and even though they will be hundreds of miles away living with a man who he can barely stand, namely Martha's father, he doubts that will mean anything to whatever it is that claims to be Clark's biological father.
Later that day after Chloe and Pete have gone home Clark is taping up one of the final boxes with a heavy heart. They have packed almost everything into the truck for the trip to California tomorrow. Tomorrow. When he says his goodbyes to Chloe and Pete and Lana as well he supposes. He should say bye to Lana despite all the awkwardness that will cause. His heart is still aching after the decision he made to end their relationship but it was for the best. It is just better if Lana is away from all his secrets and all the pain of knowing what he is can bring.
Clark picks up the box and carries it outside to place on the truck. As he is placing it down he spots a black van approaching the house. Ok that's new. He wonders who it is coming here of all places. He better get his parents.
By the time he has done so the black van has parked outside of the house and getting out of the drivers side is a rather short, scary looking man with wild black hair and blue eyes and has an almost feral stance. Next out is a boy who looks about Clark's age and height as well, maybe a little shorter, with brown hair and wearing these dark red sunglasses. Following him out of the van is a girl with vibrant red hair and green eyes. Meanwhile the feral looking man has slid the side door of the van open and is helping a bald man in a wheelchair out.
Once the wheelchair has been lowered to the ground the man pushes the control stick forward and moves towards Clark and his parents.
"Mr and Mrs Kent?" the bald man inquires.
Martha and Jonathan tense up slightly always uneasy when someone they don't know seems to know who they are. "Yes," Jonathan answers warily.
The bald man smiles reassuring and warmly. "My name is Charles Xavier and I have a proposition for you."
Author's Note: So there you go. First chapter. Tell me what you think and if it is worth continuing.