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A Journey to the Center of the World, Part 2: From Point A to Point B

Reply to Dane

Sent to the RoswellSlash mailing list January 4, 2003

TITLE: From Point A to Point B (Part 2 of Journey to the Center of the World)†
AUTHOR: Dane †
FANDOM: Roswell/ Smallville†
ARCHIVE: Roswell Slash, Smallville Slash†
PAIRING: Max/ Kyle, Clark/ Lex†
RATING: PG †
SUMMARY: Our heroes converge in another strange place.†
NOTES: I've been a fan of Roswell like forever but only gotten around to writing a story for it when I started watching Smallville. It seems fitting somehow that this story combines both my favorite shows. Hope you guys like this.
DISCLAIMER: Roswell belongs to Mertz and Katims. Smallville belongs to Tollin/Robbins and Millar/Gough Inc. †
FEEDBACK: As welcome as hot chocolate on a cold winter's day. blue_gray_sky@hotmail.com



        The PA system then suddenly announced the arrival of the bus carrying his cousin and Clark stood up, anticipating. From between the many rows of buses came out Max, looking very tired and weary. He wore a vintage leather jacket and carried two duffel bags for the long month that he was staying in Kansas. Swinging his head like a slow pendulum, Max searched for the people who he was supposed to stay with.†

        "Max Evans," said a voice form over Max's shoulder. He turned and saw a boy, not that much younger than him, approached. He was a little taller than Michael was but had wavy hair and green eyes that reminded him of his sister's. †

        "Yeah," he answered back, placing his heavy bags on the concrete floor. In his few short years as a teenager, suspicion has been a way of life.†

        "Clark Kent," he reached out his large hands and shook with him. Upon contact, a vision flashed in Max's head. He could not understand the images that were being shown to him. He saw two adults and a baby staring at a ship in the middle of a cornfield. He saw a bald young man in a Porsche running over Clark and falling over the side of a bridge. He saw the pain that Clark felt whenever the green rock appears. And many more. After a few seconds, Max let go of the hand like it was grounded.†

        Clark frowned at the sudden action. "Anything wrong?" he asked and grabbed one of the bags. †

        Max shook his head to get rid of the images. "Nothing. I'm just really tired. Haven't had a good night sleep in a while."†

        Smiling with sympathy, Clark ushered Max to the old Ford truck and got him settled for the long drive back to Smallville. Clark checked his watch and saw that it was close to 10 P.M. He grimaced slightly, thinking that they would be home before midnight. †

        "I hope you don't mind the radio. I usually need it to stay focused on the road. Why don't you get some sleep? It's going to be a long drive." Max just nodded and pretended to sleep. The radio of the truck softly played a soothing but slightly depressing tune.†

*†*†*†

        As dawn broke, Kyle roused himself from his slumber and did his ritual push-ups on the dusty floor of the loft. He stood up, stretched a bit to rid himself of the kinks of sleep, and breathed in the new day.†

        Even from where he stood, he could smell the meal that Mrs. Kent was cooking over her reliable stove. The wafting odor of bacon and sausage appealed to his stomach, despite his vow of being a vegetarian. Deciding to give in to his nose, he left the barn and entered the house to take a shower in the first floor bathroom. He greeted Martha, who was pouring some pancake batter into a skillet, and closed the door behind him for his morning shower. †

        One thing though was there wasn't any hot water until later, so the cold water helped in waking his senses. Besides, he was used to getting cold showers in the morning ever since the time Tess (The Bitch!) moved in with him and his dad. Suddenly, anger flared in his mind and he squeezed the soap in his hand like it was a sponge. Getting angry meant thinking of the other things that made him mad, and that also meant thinking about Roswell. Using the water as a focus, he concentrated his mind until he calmed down enough to clear all traces of his rage, hopefully down the drain with the water. Thinking that he had been in the shower long enough, he quickly finished his morning rituals and left the bathroom.†

        After dressing for a long day's worth of work, Kyle joined the Kent family at their dinner table. He noted an extra placed and Martha said that her nephew was upstairs, still asleep from his long journey. Kyle asked no more as he dug into his share of blueberry pancakes. †

        As always, breakfast was a pleasure at the Kent household. Martha, a tremendously talented cook who is able to prepare even the most complex French dishes, downplayed her talents when the men complimented her. Jonathan was like Kyle's father in many respects, but more liberal with the advice and platitudes. Their son Clark, only a few years younger than him, took immediately to Kyle's presence. He reminded him of Alex in many levels. God bless his soul and damn Tess to hell for killing him. Regretfully, he thought of the ridiculous ways that Alex tried to impress Isabel, like that strip tease that he did for her birthday that she didn't even see. He thought of how young he was and that infuriated him that he died like so. †

        Excusing himself from the table, he rushed outside and grabbed a thick branch from the woodpile. He went back to the barn and started to beat the stuffing out of a bag of fertilizer. He struck at the bag until the sack burst from the abuse. Breathing heavy from the exercise, he let go of the stick and sunk to the floor.†

        "Are you okay?"†

        Kyle turned toward the threshold of the barn and saw Clark with concern shining from his green eyes. He gave him a tired, but easy smile and replied, "Yeah! I just needed to work on some issues."†

        "Anything you want to talk about?" Clark shuffled his feet, hoping to help. †

        Laughing a little, Kyle slapped Clark's shoulder and pushed him out of the barn. "Maybe later. I'm too worked up to talk about it. It's too discouraging. Now, what's your dad got in store for us measly help."†

        Relief was noted in Clark's laugh. "Well, he wants us to mend the fencing in the outer part of the property, and then we got to help him fix the truck before we head out for deliveries." They walked slowly back to the house. "Say, maybe after all the chores are done, do you want to go to town with me and grab some coffee at the Talon. Maybe if Lex is there, I'll introduce you to him."†

        Kyle seriously considered it. He was curious as to who this mysterious billionaire was and why he was boyfriends with a farmboy six years younger than him. "Okay, if only we finished early." So he could get in some time to meditate, he added to himself as a silent afterthought. "And maybe you could also introduce me to some of the local chicks. The Kyle Man needs some lovin'!" †

        Clark laughed aloud and lightly pushed him as Jonathan came out of the house to join the two of them for the day's load of work.†

*†*†*†

        Jerking up, suddenly aware of his unfamiliar surroundings, Max searched around the room. The place wasn't like the white room that Pierce imprisoned him in, so Max relaxed and allowed his breathing to slow down. He checked his watch on the bedside and realized that it was near 11 A.M. With a painful groan, he rose up from the queen-size guest bed and decided to take a shower.†

        After a brief and necessary scrub and wash, Max wiped off the excess water and faced his reflection on the fogged up mirror. With one swipe of the moisture on the glass, his image stared back at him. He looked tired. The bags under his eyes were black and heavy. The face looked pale and sickly. No doubt, weeks of nightmares and sleep deprivation were key factors into the equations. Just looking at his face made him want to head to the nearest bar and order a drink, but after that one time where he gotten drunk with Kyle, Max knew it was not worth the three day hangover. With a wry _expression on his face, he started preparing to meet the day.†

        "So, you're finally awake. I was wondering when you were going to wake up," said his Aunt Martha as she peeled potatoes beside the kitchen sink. Her reassuring smile place him at ease with †

        Dressed in white shirt and gray cotton sweatpants, Max sat down on the table and wondered where everyone else was. "Sorry about that. Actually, that's one of the reasons why I'm here. I'm in dire need of a vacation before I start college in the fall. I've had a rough few years." Max said the last part softly.†

        She stopped her chore and sat down beside her nephew. "Must be tough. Comes with being a teenager, though I don't remember being this angst-y when I was a girl." Martha gently rubbed Max's arm. "If you need somebody to talk to, just look to me, Jonathan, or Clark. Trust us that whatever you've experience we can take. Smallville is a strange town in itself."†

        A chuckle rose from Max's throat. "You know what's weird? So is Roswell."†

        Martha joined his laughter. "Well, I don't think I'll impose any chores on you until you feel like it or at least the week is over, whichever comes first, so you are free to do whatever you want." She stood to get some drinks from the fridge. She got some flavored Ty-Nalt water and offered some to her nephew. Max declined.†

        Suddenly wanting to get out explore, Max asked, "Where can you go in this town? Are we far from said town?"†

        "No, the town proper isn't very far. Just fifteen minutes, if you don't mind walking." Max didn't really care. "Well, there's the Beanery and the Talon, if you want to find some place to grab some coffee and meet people your age. They're still building that youth club for kids but I think they'll be open a week before you have to leave." Martha stopped her chore for a moment and then smiled at her nephew's direction. "Tell you what? Clark and one of our farmhands, Kyle, are planning to go to the Talon later after their chores to meet up with some friends. They won't be here for lunch since they are in the outer part of the property. Jonathan is bringing them lunch later. Why don't you leave early so you can explore the town and maybe meet them there afterwards? I'm sure Clark would like to introduce you to his friends there later."†

        Max wasn't interested in meeting new people. He honestly didn't relish the idea that they would eventually pass from his life like a rest stop and go away. He didn't want to fuel his nightmares. But still, he wanted to get to know Clark. After last night, he wanted try to coax something out of his cousin. Those images didn't make any sense and they made him tired faster than healing someone. He knew that he should steer clear of anything without consulting Michael and Isabel first, but they weren't around. Maybe this would be a good.†

        "Okay, sounds like a good idea."†

*†*†*†

        Lex drove well above the speed limit getting back to Smallville. He was now officially 50 million dollars richer, thanks to a very good investment in a newly open company that sold microchips with limited A.I. features, and thoroughly smug because his father didn't see this coming despite his best investors. It felt good that even Lionel could be outsmarted. Take that, you decrepit old bastard!†

        A mile or so from town, Lex resolved to celebrate his victory by buying a round of coffee for the entire crowd at the Talon. With the panache that people were accustomed in seeing in Lex, he managed to park vertically his silver Porsche with one 360 degree turn. The pedestrians who saw this clapped their hands at the display of showmanship. †

        He entered the Talon and was immediately greeted by the locals. Lex took this as a sign that the meteor rocks have infected the whole town finally, but Clark swore that the people have accepted him as one of their own when he helped in funding the relief program after the tornado. Lex snorted when Clark told him that. The day the people fully accepted him would be the day that Lionel would be groveling at his feet. He longed for that day to happen. As he sat down on his usual place, Lana Lang, part-time manager of the Talon, approached him to chat up some small talk.†

        "Hey Lex!" she greeted perkily. "How was Metropolis?"†

        "Hot and humid. I'm just happy that my office there has air-conditioning."†

        She laughed and pulled out her trusty pen and pad. "Your usual, Lex?"†

        "Sure, and maybe some of Martha Kent's special pies, if you have them."†

        "Will do." She gracefully left his company to fill out his order. As she was taking out some pie from the freezer, Lex noticed a young man, right about Whitney's age, staring out at the windows with melancholy radiating from his eyes. His presence was unusual because he was the only one that was alone in the Coffee Shop. When Lana came back with his order, Lex decided to ask her about him.†

        "Hey Lana, who is that guy over by the window? The dark-haired guy in a gray shirt?"†

        Lana looked towards where Lex pointed and bit her lower lip in thought. "I don't know honestly, but I think that may be the cousin that Clark's been talking about that's gonna visit his family. Why? You interested?"†

        Lex ignored her comment. Most of the people that are close to Clark knew about his relationship with the 16 year old. Most were good-natured about it since most saw it coming. "Well, it's nothing really. I'm just curious because I know most everyone in this town by sight." Lana took that as an answer and went to serve another set of customers. Thirty minutes later, Clark and another person that Lex wasn't familiar with stepped inside. Clark saw him and wove his way to their usual table with the stranger. They sat down and introductions were made.†

        "Lex, this is Kyle. He's one of our farmhands whose passing through only until the end of the month. Kyle, this is my boyfriend Lex." They shook hands. Lex swelled with pride as Clark said that last part with blushing awkwardness.†

        "Nice to meet you. I was wondering just who the guy that swept Clark off his feet was. By the way, cool skinhead! Do you shave it everyday, or do you wax?" Kyle said all this much to the mortification of Clark and amusement of Lex.†

        "Well," started Lex, who was smiling at the blatant and inane question. "I lost my hair when I was nine so it's more of a condition."†

        "Really! Well, it looks good on you. You don't see a lot of guys who are skinheads and look decent enough. You pull it off with style."†

        Lex started to really like the guy. Obviously, Kyle was a jock. It's the aura he emits but in a quieter sense, totally unlike Whitney who pissed Lex off when they first met. Their conversation went smoothly until Kyle's eyes fell on the dark-haired boy that Lex was looking at earlier. Suddenly, his eyes filled with fury and he pushed his chair away to get to the guy. Clark yelped when he saw where Kyle was heading and tried to get to him, but was too late.†

        "EVANS! Just what the hell are you doing here!?!" Kyle yelled as he stalked over. Max clearly didn't expect Kyle to be here so he just sat back in shock, instead of answering. "Did my dad send you, or are you here just to keep tabs on everyone in the conspiracy?!?" Everyone stopped what they were doing and watched as Kyle seethed on his outburst and Max sank deeper into the floor in embarrassment. †

        All the while Kyle huffed; Lex leaned in and whispered to Clark's ear. "Isn't that guy your cousin or something?"†

        Clark leaned back while watching the scene. "Yeah, how'd you figure that one out?"†

        "Lana told me when I asked her about him. Besides, he was the only one here that didn't have someone sitting with them and I know most of the locals by now. The crowd is pretty thick tonight so you probably didn't see him earlier." Clark just nodded, watching the melodrama before him. As quickly as it started, Kyle left the Talon, leaving Max degraded. Worried about Kyle, Clark and Lex followed him just in time to witness Kyle being bumped by a truck. Everyone who saw it gasped in horror as Kyle sailed a few feet in the air before landing in a heap on the road.†

        "Shit!" said Clark and Lex at the same time and rushed to Kyle's side. Luckily, Dr. Ross, Pete's Mom, was at the Talon and knelt down to examine the young man beside the two of them. Inside the Talon, Lana got on the phone and dialed 911. A small crowd gathered around them as Dr. Ross checked Kyle's body for injuries. The driver, hysterical with disbelief, kept on saying ĆI'm Sorry!' over and over. A few minutes later, an ambulance came and the EMT's placed Kyle on the gurney. Once settling Kyle inside the Van, they drove off to Lowell County Hospital. †

        All this time, Max stood apart from the crowd and saw the whole incident. Clark clapped an unsure hand on his cousin's shoulder and Max looked over at him.†

        "Kyle's going to be fine. Come on; let me get you home first. Lex said he'll watch Kyle and make sure he's fine. On the way, you can tell me just how you know him," said Clark. He guided Max to his truck and drove back slowly to the farm. "So, how do you know Kyle?"†

        Max broke his melancholic chain of thought and looked towards his cousin and then to the wide road ahead of them. "We're friends. Or at least, I thought we were. We hung out together in High School. After graduation, he disappeared and didn't tell anyone where he went. We all tried looking for him but he left hardly any trace. Even his dad, who is the former sheriff, tried finding him but only came as far as Seattle until his trail got cold. He's been missing for over a month now."†

        Clark's mouth turned into a grim _expression. "Well, from what Kyle told me over the week he's been here, he's on some sort of journey of discovery or something. He spent a few days in Salt Lake City before coming here to work. Tell me something. Is he really into that Buddhism stuff, or is he just pulling my leg?"†

        Max smiled slightly. "Yeah, he's into that shit! He's been like that since the start of junior year. Something major happened to all of us so each of us reacted differently. Kyle discovered Buddha while he was at Football camp. It's kinda funny since Kyle is the last person I expected to turn into a Buddhist."†

        "I'm kinda curious about your life in New Mexico. Kyle told me stuff, but I want to listen to you. So, tell about living in the Alien capital of the world," said Clark in a slight mocking tone, even though he had no room to talk. †

        They spent the rest of the ride talking about the desert and of the cheesiness of the UFO center. While following the ambulance, Lex thought that his round of coffee will have to wait.†

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