The Beat of a Wing

Summary: A single moment's decision, an indulgence of curiosity, changes everything for Clark and opens a world of possibilities he could only dream about.

Pairing: TBD, likely slash.

A/N(ramblings) : Ironically I haven't seen a single episode of SG1 or SGA. I have read a lot of fanfiction crossed with the SG world to the point that I've become arrogant enough to think that I can write a cross with it. Though I later realized, despite all I've read, I don't really even know the layout or appearance of the SG1 or SGA worlds! So I'm going to try to find and start a few episodes before I get too far in this story, not sure if it will happen or not though. Also (not sure if this is still on the 'ironic' lvl or if we've moved to the 'why are you even trying to write this fic' lvl.) but I've not seen any Smallville past season 4(?) so obviously won't be following along there. This story takes place the summer before Clark leaves for college, I think Jonathan Kent is supposed to be dead by then but is not as of yet in this. Also though Clark and Lex are not as close friends they aren't enemies, they've just drifted away as Lex has focused more on LexCorp. As for the main pairing with Clark, I'm undecided as of yet. 55% chance there won't be one anytime soon, possibly at all (which is unusually high for me) 40% chance it will be slash, 5% chance it will be het, .000001% chance it will Clark/Lana. Me? Hate Lana? Idk why you would think that. Obviously this is AR/AU but feel free to leave any questions in reviews for things I haven't straightened out yet or that ur uncertain about and as always feel free to point out spelling/grammar errors or general illogical things. I don't have a beta because then things would post even slower or not at all, so any errors are mine.

Enjoy!

The Beat of a Wing

Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it. -Buddha

Clark let the duffle bag drop into the back of the truck with a satisfying thump. He made a show of the strain a 'human' would feel in dealing with the weight, despite his ears not picking up anyone besides his family for two miles. In less than three months he would be going off to college at Metropolis University. He was excited, of course. What teenager wasn't a bit excited to get away from the parents and experience everything that college had to offer? Except he had to deal with something that other college kids didn't; pretending to be human. For his entire life he had always had home to come back to where he could relax. Where he didn't have to worry quite so much about restraining and hiding himself. Which was why, even somewhere he was safe, he was practicing at being normal.

Clark was excited, but couldn't help but feel a bit spiteful as well. Sometimes he wished that he didn't have to hide and pretend to be normal, just because he was worried someone would try to exploit him or take him away from his parents and lock him in a lab to be experimented on. Unfortunately that level of freedom didn't seem to be in the cards for his future. Instead he played the normal farm boy and packed up the truck for his long camping trip with Pete. After the stress he had put his parents through, what with his exploits in Metropolis, and all the other alien drama he managed to stir up, he felt it only fair to give them a break for once. So instead of a wild summer trip, last hurrah before college, he and Pete were driving over to Colorado for three weeks of backpacking/camping. His father was ecstatic about this plan for 4 reasons.

1) It was the type of trip he could relate to and understand, not some wild clubbing adventure in a big city.

2) Very low cost, aka – sensible

3) A trip into the wilderness with just Pete gave very low risk to someone finding his son's secrete

4) (Which was the shinning gold one in his dads mind) There was zero Luther involvement in the planning, creating and execution of this trip.

Not that Clark wouldn't have enjoyed having his friend along, but Clark couldn't see Lex Luther camping/backpacking for three weeks. Not to mention the man couldn't leave his budding company alone without supervision for two days let alone almost a month. Lastly, out in the wilderness with just Pete would give Clark some last moments of relaxation from hiding his abilities that wouldn't have been possible with Lex along.

"For the love of God Clark, please be on your way."

Clark's sudden laugh rang out in the empty and silent driveway. A quick glance to the left and focusing of his eyes zoomed in on Pete Ross, two miles away, and in his own bedroom, practically grinding his teeth together as Mrs. Ross fluttered through his packed bags.

"Did you say something hun?"

"No mom, but seriously, leave it! I have everything I need and Clark's going to be here in like two seconds. At lease he better be." Pete grumbled

"I don't know. You should pack more underwear…"

"Mom!"

The slam of a screen door snapped Clark's attention away from the Ross house to his own parents coming down the steps, a large cooler in his father's hands.

A quick peek revealed two pies sitting inside, amongst some other nourishment, causing his excited grin to grow even more. Clark had tried to convince his mom that they should take four or five pies and he would personally insure that they didn't have time to go bad. Unfortunately that idea was vetoed to allow space for some of the other food groups.

"All set?" Jonathan Kent asked as he handed over the cooler to let his son snuggle it in next to the large backpack.

"Yes that should be everything." He said before pulling his dad into a tight hug. He would miss his parents for these few weeks but knew he didn't need to worry. This was a slower time for the farm, and most of all, he knew they wanted him to enjoy this experience.

He pulled away to look at his mom who was eying the luggage hesitantly.

"Are you sure you packed enough underwear?"

Clark let out a roaring laughter and grabbed his mom into a giant bear hug. "I love you too mom." He said into her hair allowing his arms to tighten just a fraction more. Placing a kiss on her cheek he stepped back and for a moment his excitement about leaving was replaced by a stabbing pain of homesickness, and he hadn't even managed to leave yet. He knew any of his friends would mock him for such a level of attachment but his parents were more than just parents to him. He was continuously in awe of the sacrifices' and acceptance they continued to give to him and he could never repay that. "I Love you both. I'll be safe, and back before you know it." He told them, suddenly having to force the smile and excitement so he didn't worry them.

He watched them holding each other as they waved him off from the rearview mirror, his own arm waving until he had to turn out of their view. He drove mechanically towards Pete's house, the fake joy falling from his face. "Yeah, I'm a total momma's boy." He admitted to the empty car with resignation but no shame.

Within minutes of having Pete in the car his morose mood was wiped away. It was impossible not to be excited about the trip ever since Pete came sprinting out of the house, arms raised and filled with luggage hoping not to catch them on anything as he made his desperate dash to freedom. He only gave Clark the stink eye for the first five minutes of the trip for refusing to peel away and escape the lecture from Mrs. Ross about 'being safe' and 'calling every other day' and 'Are you sure you have everything?.' Clark just laughed after they drove off, and then laughed some more at Pete's easily heard mumbles about 'traitorous friends' and 'getting even.' After the five minutes of silent treatment that Pete was sure Clark was properly punished and repentant from, he launched into the plans for locations to hit before they started their long treck into the wilderness because 'this isn't a proper summer vacation if there are no opportunities to meet some girls!'

For the first four days they stuck closer to town. They got temporary fishing licenses and allowed Pete to get his fill of girls. It wasn't that Clark didn't enjoy hanging out with them as well, but it was difficult to even feign interest when he felt so alien from them, and not even in the 'I'm an alien' sense of way. Perhaps it was just that they were looking for something that he couldn't even consider a possibility given certain 'aspects' of his life.

Clark put on a big smile and gave no indication he was uncomfortable. This was Pete's vacation too and he definitely didn't want to spoil it for his friend. Clark would never have believed that Pete had had enough of girls, but after hiking five days deep into the wilderness his friend surprised him by taking a deep breath, closing his eyes and seeming to just fall in sync with the nature around them. Clark hadn't even realized that he had stopped to stare in amazement at his childhood friend until ten minutes had gone by and Pete turned to him questioningly.

"What?"

"I just… I'm glad you're enjoying this." Clark told him giving one of his blinding smiles that never failed to get one in return.

"Don't get me wrong, love the ladies, but there's something about this that's just… you know?"

"Yeah." Clark agreed as they continued on, neither feeling the need for words the rest of the afternoon.

"We are never telling Chloe about this." Pete grumbled unhappily, glaring at Clark who had the audacity to let his smirk grow wider.

"Clark!"

Clark laughed, tightened his grip on his friend who was in his arms in a position eerily reminiscent to that of a bride, and then leapt into the air.

Clark hadn't mastered the finer aspects of flying but he could leap very well. Such a talent came in handy when faced with a long ago washed out bridge that their old travel guide led them to. Something that with anyone else would mean turning back or traveling along the river looking for an alternate crossing, but instead resulted in all their luggage being thrown across Clark's back and his friend in a very amusing position in his arms.

Pete quickly retook his manly position of standing with two feet on the ground, grumbling and muttering as he stole his equipment back, from the still widely smirking so-called-friend, before stalking off along their path once more.

"I am not a damsel in distress!" Clark heard shouted back, causing him to lose it entirely and fall into peals of laughter.

"Clark"

"Pete."

"Claarrrk"

"Peeete. The answer is still no."

"But the answer should be yes!"

"And yet oddly enough, it's still no." Clark replied glaring slightly at his friend who was rocking back and forth on his heels with all holy mischief in his eyes.

"What would Chloe say if she heard of us passing up an opportunity like this?"

"How could we even explain how we came across anything if I do us my abilities? Not saying that I am!" Clark added hastily at seeing the growing light in his supposed friend's eyes.

"We'll just be elusive and mysterious about it; girls pull that shit all the time."

"Pete, I'm not getting arrested for spying on the US military?"

"Arrested? What the…? You think they're going to see two hikers over a mile away and say 'hey, I think those two teenagers are spying on and seeing into the depths of our top secret military base with their naked eye! I bet they can even hear us talking!'"

Clark glared at Pete. Pete smirked at Clark.

"I hate you."

"Muwahahaha." Was Pete's only response, rubbing his hands together to complete his channeling of an evil mad scientist, knowing he had won.

Turning away Clark focused his eyes on the cement structure he had caught sight of, buried in the trees.

"Soooo, what do you see?"

"Jesus, there's like 10 armed guards just at the entrance!"

"What? Really? Man, I wish I could see. Lived in Smallville my whole life, why can't I get a cool mutation?"

"Because then you would turn into a psycho killer like the majority of meteor mutants we've come across." Clark replied blithely, a small smirk at the corner of his mouth while the rest of his attention remained focused on the base.

"I would hit you, except that would only hurt me. Now tell me what's inside! Give me all the juicy government secrets!" Pete said, bouncing on his feet in excitement once more.

"Ok, well there's… whoa." Falling silent as his eyes travelled down.

"What? You can't say 'whoa' and then nothing man!"

"Just the majority of the base is way underground…"

"Hiding something! I knew it! What? What? What?"

"Pete… did you get into the candy stash again?"

Silence.

Clark rolled his eyes and then focused once more.

"Ok, offices, bunks, ummm work out room. Wow, huge armory. Some labs and… what is that? Hold on, let me listen for a sec."

Pete dutifully backed off and remained silent, letting his friend concentrate. Ten minutes later he called out to him softly but got no response. Twenty minutes later he went to nudge at his friend and jerked back in surprise when Clark didn't give at all like he normally would; it was like trying to push a rock. After that Pete left Clark alone, wandered around in circles for a bit, tossed a rock a few times, raided the sweet stash, 'served Clark right for ignoring him', and was enjoying the fascinating read in their travel guide of identifying nearby animals by tracks and scat alone when Clark let out a simple 'huh' and sat back in a near state of shock.

"Clark?" Pete called, scrambling over to his friend and shaking him slightly when he still stared off into nothing. "Clark?"

"Pete. They have a gate."

Pete waited, but it seemed like that was all he was going to get.

"Umm, Clark…"

"They have a gate Pete, and it's… a Gate."

"Oh! Well a gate, you know, is… umm… Ok I got nothing. What the hell are you talking about?" Pete shouted causing Clark to finally focus back on reality.

"Pete!" Clark exclaimed almost in surprise, making Pete roll his eyes in exasperation. "The US Military has a Gate…"

"I know!"

"… that takes you to other planets!"

"Guh huh what?"

A/N: There you go, first chap. Let me know what you think. As I was writing this I realized it's kinda giving off Clark/Pete vibes which wasn't my intention and that will not be the pairing in any way. The two of them are just good friends who have that easy flow going from being friends for so long. Also definitely gonna have to watch at least the first few eps of SGA. I am also going to try and move this story along, but that usually never works as intended, but we'll see. As for chapter length, I'm trying to start making chapters in my stories longer but in general usually end up 5-8 pages in word single spaced

If you're reading my other fic, I am so sorry it will be updated… eventually. I have just one more new fic idea that is fighting its way out and then I'll tackle it. I promise. Honestly. Don't hurt me! :(

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