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Sober Chapter 20

We're reaching the end for the story. This is the second to last chapter! boltgirl426   was kind enough to once again help me through this chapter by adding a part too and for that, I'm very grateful to her. Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Story: Sober
Pairing/Characters: Clark/Oliver, Oliver/Dinah, Chloe/Bruce
Rating: R
Disclaimer: don’t own anything
Warning: slash, mentions of m/m sex
Spoilers: none
Summary: sequel to “Forever May Not Be Long Enough”. Three years after the story ended, Oliver and Clark meet up again. One of them is engaged and the other is trying to make his mark in the world. Now working together in the Justice League, what will happen?
Previous Chapters: Here

Chapter 20

“I’m still in love with you, Clark Kent … and I think I always will be.”

Clark’s heart was pounding, the words on constant repeat in his mind. All he could do was stare at Oliver dumbly.

A part of him couldn’t believe that Oliver had actually said what he said. This cannot be real ... in about a minute, I’m going to wakeup in my bed, all alone.

But a minute passed and he was still sitting there. He was tempted to pinch himself but decided against it.

Oliver worried in Clark’s silence. “Clark?” he said hesitatingly. “Are you still there?”

“I think so,” Clark managed to say, sounding dazed. He blinked a few times and turned to look at Oliver. “Did you just say what I think you said?”

“If you think I just said I loved you, yes I did just say that,” Oliver confirmed.

It was everything he wanted to hear and yet, it was said at such a disastrous time. Clark groaned, putting his head in his hands. He had just told Dinah that Oliver wanted nobody but her and Ollie, in turn, had to go and proclaim his love.

She knew, he quickly realized. That’s what she had been so reluctant to take Clark’s words as truth. The brunette probably had figured out that Ollie had feelings for him and that was why she had been so insistent that Clark go and talk to Oliver.

What a mess.

“You know, this is not exactly the reaction I expected,” Oliver remarked, trying to keep his tone casual but the underlying panic was evident.

“What do you want me to say, Oliver?” Clark asked in a low voice. “This was not how this was supposed to go. You’re not supposed to still be in love with me.”

“I can’t help the way I feel,” Oliver argued. “I had to say what’s in my heart … or in this case, who.”

“What about Dinah?” Clark questioned.

“Dinah?” Ollie echoed. “What about her?”

“She’s your fiancée!” Clark exclaimed, standing once more.

“We’re on a break,” Oliver replied. Clark could hear the anxiety creeping into his voice.

“But you two are still engaged,” Clark retorted. He started to pace, needing a way to work off the frustration. “This is not the way it was supposed to be. You are in love with her, the two of you are going to get married and live happily ever after … I shouldn’t have any place in your heart anymore. I’m your past and she’s your future.”

“You don’t really believe that,” Oliver said incredulously.

“I do … I have to,” Clark told him. “I mean … I just told her that …” His voice trailed off.

“You told her what?” Oliver demanded, eyes narrowing. “And when did you speak to Dinah anyway?”

“I spoke to her this afternoon,” Clark confessed, stopping in place. He averted his gaze, to avoid Oliver’s intense one.

“Chloe told me that you two were on a break,” he explained. “And I hated that I was coming in between you … so I went to talk to Dinah. To try and convince her that I was not a threat or anything.”

“What were you thinking?” Oliver asked. “I mean, Clark … you had no idea about the situation.”

“I knew that you were happy with Dinah,” Clark said in a small voice. “I just … wanted you to stay happy, that’s all.”

Oliver immediately softened at seeing the expression on Clark’s face. How can I resist this man? He couldn’t … he wasn’t strong enough. And he wasn’t sure he wanted to be.

“What did Dinah say?” Oliver asked curiously.

“She kept insisting that I talk to you,” Clark responded. “She said I didn’t know the whole story … I didn’t understand … I guess she was right, huh?”

“Yeah, she was,” Oliver said quietly.

“You love Dinah,” Clark said, phrasing it to be a statement, not a question.

“I do,” Oliver agreed. “But I love you too,” he added.

“Great, so you love us both,” Clark muttered. In a louder voice, he said, “Nothing good can come of this Oliver.”

“Please don’t even suggest you want to forget this conversation,” Oliver told him.

Clark’s shoulders slumped. “You know me too well.”

“I do,” Oliver said, a hint of smugness in his tone. “Which is why I can stop your stupidity before you even try starting it.”

“You’re not being fair to Dinah,” Clark said desperately.

“How about being fair to us?” Oliver shot back.

“There is no us!” Clark told him, throwing his hands in the air. “That’s exactly the point.”

“There could be an us,” Oliver offered. “We’re in love with each other.”

“But what about Dinah?” Clark asked.

Dinah was the one to suggest this break,” Oliver countered. “She was the one who repeatedly said that I’m still in love with you and she was the one who first suggested talking to you. If you tell me she couldn’t have thought of this result as a possibility, you’re absolutely mad.”

“I am sure she thought about it,” Clark said slowly, “But it’s one thing to consider it and it’s another for it to actually happen.”

“If she didn’t want it to risk it happening, then she shouldn’t have tested it out in the first place,” Oliver said firmly.

“Why am I the one defending your fiancée?” Clark asked, eyebrows furrowing.

“Don’t ask me,” Oliver said, shrugging. “I mean, I think I’m being perfectly logical. We’re on a break, Dinah practically pushed me to talk to you and well … now we’ve found out we’re in love with each other.”

“You love her though,” Clark said.

Oliver stood up and in a few steps, was standing right in front of him.

“I do, but I think I love you more,” Oliver said softly. He reached out a hand to caress Clark’s cheek. “You’re the one I need … my Clark.”

“I’m not yours,” he protested weakly, refraining from moaning at Oliver’s soft touch.

“You’re mine,” Oliver said possessively. “You’ve been mine since your 21st birthday, when I kissed you in your bedroom.” The blonde leaned forward, brushing his lips against Clark’s before pulling back. “And I’m yours.”

Reluctantly pulling away, Clark turned and moved toward the doors leading outside. He looked out into the rain and then softly said, “I'll always be yours.”

Oliver moved toward him but stopped and shook his head. “Then why are you fighting this Clark?” he asked.

Finally, Clark turned from the window and sighed. “Because I'm trying to do what's right.”

"You don't always have to do the right thing Clark," Oliver told him. “Even high-moraled superheroes slip occasionally,” he added.

Clark closed the distance between them, lifting a hand to caress the blonde's cheek. “Maybe they do,” he replied.

“Give us a chance Clark ... we deserve that much after everything ... don't we?” Oliver asked. Frowning Clark looked down at the ground.

”Maybe ... maybe we should sleep on this ... it's late and you've had a long day,” Clark stated. “We'll talk in the morning,” he suggested, lifting his head.

Oliver gave Clark a long look before finally nodding

“But we’re going to talk in the morning,” he said firmly.

“We’ll talk in the morning,” Clark promised.

“Then we should go to bed,” Oliver said and Clark nodded.

They walked up the stairs in silence and Ollie pointed Clark to one of the guest bedrooms, saying that there were pajamas in the drawers. It was difficult to do so because Ollie wanted nothing more than to ask Clark to share his bed but somehow he resisted.

Clark just gave him a small smile and disappeared into the bedroom. Oliver made his way into his own room, slipping into his pajamas, before sliding into the bed. It was difficult falling asleep, especially with the constant reminder that Clark was in another bedroom, so close yet so far.

But it had been a long day so finally, he managed to drift off.

Unfortunately, Clark was not as lucky. He was up for hours, just staring at the ceiling. He was tired but sleeping in a strange bed, especially when he really wanted to be in Ollie’s arms, was hard.

Oliver still wanted him … he wanted to give them another chance. But Clark was having doubts. How could he just go back to Oliver? How could Oliver just come back to him? What about poor Dinah? She let him go … she made that choice … even Ollie said so. Yet, could Clark and Ollie really start over? With all their history?

Everything has been cleared now … the future is limitless for the two of you. He wanted nothing more to believe that, to just go back to Ollie and hope that there was a happily ever after in store for them.

Don’t think about this now … the two of you are going to talk in the morning. Just wait until then. He supposed that was true. He wasn’t going to get any answers in his current state. So he finally closed his eyes and let sleep overtake him.

Morning came too soon and Clark had a hard time getting out of bed. He had gotten up once when he realized that Kansas was hours ahead and he had to make sure Perry didn’t think he was ditching work. Feigning sick over the phone, he was relieved that his boss bought the lie and excused him for the day.

He had fallen back asleep for a few hours but when the clock struck 9, he was up again. After he dragged himself up, he went to the shower and freshen up. To his surprise, though it really shouldn’t have been, the bathroom was stocked with all the brands he usually used.

When he got out, he found clothes lying on the bed. Oh Ollie.

Quickly getting dressed, he made his way downstairs, where Oliver was already waiting, breakfast on the table, reading the paper.

“Good morning,” he greeted him, gaining his attention.

“Good morning,” Oliver replied, with a smile. “Have a seat … breakfast just got here.”

“Thanks,” Clark said, sitting down at the table. Helping himself to the pancakes, he poured himself a glass of juice and glanced at Oliver.

“Sleep well?” Oliver questioned.

“Yeah,” Clark told him. “You seemed to be really prepared.” He tried to write the last one off a joke. “Thanks.”

“You’re welcome,” Oliver said, taking a sip of his coffee. “It was more of a last minute thing but I guess I should thank the stars for my good memory, huh?”

“I guess so,” Clark agreed with a grin of his own.

Even as he said the words aloud, Oliver knew that it was more than just a good memory. Even if he had a poor memory, he still would’ve remembered. He never forgot anything that had to with Clark.

He had walked in to check in on the younger man early that morning and to see him sleeping peacefully had brought a smile on his face. Knowing he would need to freshen up when he awoke, he quickly got the necessities for that to be possible.

Now, watching him, eating breakfast, fitting into his home so perfectly, Oliver ached to reach out and touch him. Needed to hold him close and be able to call him his own.

The longing he felt for the brunette was overwhelming and it was shocking, even to him. But they were going to talk … they had talked so much already and now, today, it would all be settled.

Ollie was hoping that it would go the way he wanted it to.

Clark finished his breakfast fairly quickly. He had seen Ollie staring at him throughout the course of their meal and the look in his eyes sent shivers up and down his spine. It was crazy what the man could do to him with just a look.

They moved to the living room so they could talk more comfortably but neither of them knew quite what to say.

“So we definitely need to talk,” Oliver started, breaking the silence.

“About you and me?” Clark asked.

“About us,” Oliver told him. “You said we would talk in the morning …”

“Yeah I know,” Clark replied. “I just wish I knew what to say.”

“Clark, the truth is simple,” Oliver proclaimed. “I love you and you love me. Now we just have to see if there is a possibility that we have a future together.”

“Is it possible we’re just clinging to the past?” Clark wondered aloud. “I mean, our relationship never got an actual ending …”

“No way,” Oliver interjected. “I know what my heart is feeling and there is no way I’m holding on to the past. I look at you and all I see is my future.”

Clark sighed. “What makes us think that we can do it right this time around?”

“I don’t know,” Oliver said, swallowing hard. “It won’t be easy … you’re just getting settled to having a double life, I’m still with Dinah … hell, this could possibly be the worst timing ever.”

“Then why bother?” Clark questioned.

“Because I think we’re worth it,” Oliver said confidently. “We’ve learned from our past mistakes … we could make it work.”

“And if we don’t?” Clark asked. “We have so much more to lose.”

“Shouldn’t we try before giving it up?” Ollie countered.

Before he could say anything, his hearing picked up the doorbell ringing. The door was opened and when Clark heard the too-familiar voice, his heart stopped.

Standing up, his eyes wide, he put distance between them. Oliver looked confused at the shift.

What’s going on with Clark? Then he saw his butler arrive.

“Ms Lance,” he announced and his fiancée walked into the room.

“Dinah,” Oliver said, standing up. “This is a surprise.”

“Ollie,” she said, “I wanted to talk to you.”

“Actually,” he said, “I’m in the middle of …” He turned to point Clark out but there was no one where Clark was standing.

Clark was gone.

In fact, he was in the air, on his way back to Metropolis. He had heard Dinah’s voice and he just had to get out. It was childish and immature to run but he just couldn’t let her see him standing there. There was no doubt the conclusions she would draw and considering that he had spoken to her a day prior, he really didn’t want to seem like a completely ass.

Not that he really cared what she thought of him but it would’ve just been awkward. He couldn’t put Ollie in that situation. Clark and Ollie had talked already … feelings were declared and though the conversation was by no means over, they had gotten somewhere.

Dinah had made the decision about the break for the both of them and now they had to talk. So Clark was going to give him space, give them space to do just that.

Sure, he was nervous … being with Dinah may get Ollie to change his mind. But if Dinah could be strong enough to let Oliver pick, then so could he.

He just prayed that his heart wouldn’t end up in pieces at the end of this.

Clark left. Ollie was still stunned. He must’ve heard Dinah come in. That was obviously the reason he had acted so strangely all of a sudden.

“Oliver?” Dinah’s voice brought him back to reality. “You were in the middle of what?”

He looked back at her. “Nothing,” he said, shaking his head. “I was in the middle of doing nothing.”

She looked skeptical but accepted the answer.

“Have a seat,” he said. Once they were both seated, he gave her a small smile.

“What’s up?” he questioned.

“Oliver, I was worried about you,” she admitted. “I mean, you just disappeared yesterday … I tried calling you and you never picked up.”

“I went out and forgot my cell phone here,” Oliver explained. “I’m sorry to have worried you.”

“Chloe told me she called Clark,” Dinah told him.

“He was the one who found me,” Oliver informed her.

Dinah’s face fell a little at the revelation but she quickly regained her composure.

“That’s good,” she said. “I’m just glad you’re okay.”

“I’m fine,” he assured her.

“Oliver, I think we need to talk,” she said suddenly.

“You’re right,” he agreed.

“First of all I should apologize for hiding that DVD from you,” Dinah began. “I’m sorry, Ollie … you came back right after I watched it and I panicked.”

“It’s not your fault,” Ollie sighed. “I mean, it must’ve been a shock. You hid it from me but you were right … I hid a lot from you too. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about my relationship with Clark … the minute he returned, I should’ve told you.”

“We were both in the wrong,” Dinah concluded.

“Yeah, we were,” Oliver replied.

“You understood why I felt the need for a break then, right?” Dinah asked worriedly. “You reacted so strongly that I figured we needed space.”

“You were right to take the break,” Oliver told her.

“I also had to know the truth Oliver,” Dinah added. “If we’re getting married, I want to be the only one in your heart. Since I didn’t know that for sure and I believed you didn’t know that for sure either, I had to give us some separation to figure it out.”

“Which is completely rational,” Oliver noted. She had been right too … she wasn’t the only person in his heart.

“I want to know where we stand though,” Dinah asked calmly.

“Clark and I kissed yesterday,” Oliver blurted out, before he could stop himself.

Dinah’s face drained of color. “Excuse me?”

Ollie took a deep breath. He hadn’t meant it bring it up like that but there was no point in regretting it now. The truth was out.

“Clark and I kissed yesterday,” he repeated.

“You did?” she said.

“We did,” he confirmed. “He found me at my parents’ grave and brought me home. We were just talking ... and I kissed him.”

“You kissed him,” Dinah echoed.

“I’m sorry Dinah,” Oliver said softly.

“Are you sorry you kissed him?” Dinah questioned seriously.

“No,” Oliver said immediately. “I don’t regret that.”

“Then you shouldn’t apologize,” Dinah told him, pursing her lips together. “We were on a break … I told you to talk to him myself.” She laughed weakly. “I can’t say I expected you to end up kissing but it happened.” She peered into his expression. “Did you just kiss?”

“Yes and it was just one kiss,” Oliver was quick to say. “We didn’t have sex … I wouldn’t do that … he definitely wouldn’t do that.”

“Just yesterday, he came to see me and said I should rethink the break,” Dinah mused.

“It wasn’t his fault,” Oliver argued. “I kissed him and he has been bringing you up every other minute. He’s not all for this at all … but Dinah, we can’t help the way we feel.”

“So there are feelings involved,” Dinah said.

“You were right about me,” Oliver said, trying to phrase his words carefully.

“You’re still in love with him,” Dinah realized.

“I’m so sorry, Dinah,” Oliver apologized.

Dinah closed her eyes for a second and opened them, her blue orbs filled with sadness.

“I should’ve seen this coming,” she murmured. In a louder voice, she said, “And he loves you.”

“He does,” Oliver confirmed.

“I knew that … even when he came to see me,” Dinah confessed. “It was so obvious.”

That shouldn’t make Oliver feel good and he felt bad for being excited at Clark’s love for him being so clear that other people could see it but he was. Especially since that person was Dinah, whose heart he was in the process of breaking.

“I do love you, Dinah,” Oliver said honestly, “That wasn’t a lie.”

“But you’re in love with him more,” Dinah finished. He didn’t know how to respond to that … but it seems he didn’t have to. The truth was in his expression, clear as day.

Her expression changed instantly, the heartbreak evident in her features. He hated that he put that look there and couldn’t stop the aching of his own heart.

“There’s nothing left to say then,” Dinah said finally and in one swift move, she removed her engagement ring and handed it to him.

“Dinah,” Oliver said, taking the ring.

“I suppose it would be redundant to say it’s over?” Dinah offered, tears shimmering in her beautiful blue eyes.

Oliver felt tears prickle at the back of his own eyes and just gave a small nod, too overwhelmed to speak.

Dinah leaned forward and gave him a hug and he wrapped his arms around her, returning the embrace. It was short and they pulled away from it at the same time.

“Take care of yourself Oliver,” she said, standing up.

“You too Dinah,” Oliver responded, also rising to his feet. He paused and asked, “Are you going to be okay?”

“I’ll be fine,” she assured him, with a watery smile. “Not just yet … but soon enough.”

“I’m sorry I hurt you,” he said sincerely. “I did want to marry you … I never thought it would turn out this way.”

“Well the best things in life are unexpected, Oliver,” she reminded him. “I know you cared for me and I don’t hate you. Just give me some time though before I can stand being around you again.”

He gave her a shaky smile. “That I can do.”

“Bye Oliver,” she said, her tone holding a strong sense of finality.

“Bye Dinah,” he said, watching his now former fiancée walk out the door.

Looking at the ring resting in the palm of his hand, Oliver felt a wave of sadness pass through his body.

He had loved Dinah … and he couldn’t say that he wasn’t still in love with her. But when it came down to it, he couldn’t spend the rest of his life with her, not when he couldn’t give her his whole heart.

It wasn’t fair to either one of them and she deserved better than that.

She’d find someone better, Oliver decided. Or at least, he hoped she would. Dinah Lance was a wonderful woman and he knew that she would make some man very happy one day.

Unfortunately, that man wouldn’t be him.

Resting the ring on the table, he sank on the couch, still not completely comprehending what just happened. He was in a daze … the whole thing seemed almost like a dream.

The conversation had gone better than he could’ve ever hoped.

And now, for the first time in almost two years, Oliver Queen was single again.

Chapter 21
Tags: category: slash, collie, fandom: smallville, fanfic, ship: clark/oliver, story: sober
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