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Sober Chapter 21

The final chapter is here! Thanks to everyone who has supported me through this fic. Your feedback was always very encouraging. And thanks to my lovely beta and friend, boltgirl426, who is really the reason the story got done. She put up with my whining and kept encouraging me even when I didn't believe in myself. So thanks!

Also thanks to kashmir_heroin, who made a playlist out of the two stories! Thanks so much for making me feel even more special!

I hope you all enjoy this final chapter! 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 21

When Clark returned to Metropolis, he didn’t really know what to do with himself. It was still early in the day and he was feeling restless. He couldn’t go to work because if he showed up, he would be caught in his lie.

Though he already felt bad about lying in the first place and knew he would be doing some serious overtime to ease his guilt but running out on Oliver that morning had not been a possibility. Well, before Dinah showed up anyway.

Then he was more than happy to flee.

Part of him was tempted to use his superhearing to listen in on their conversation but the moralistic side, which was lot stronger, stopped him from giving in to the temptation. Pacing around his apartment, he wracked his brain, deciding what to do.

Did Ollie and he really have a chance? Was it possible that after all that had happened, he could really have a future with the blonde? The idea filled him with a combination of nervousness and excitement. However, Ollie was still in love with Dinah … though he may love Clark more, he was in love with his fiancée.

If Oliver and Dinah broke up though, did Clark really want to push him into another relationship? That wouldn’t be fair … to either one of them.

Clark groaned, taking a seat on the couch. All these thoughts were running through his mind and it was driving him crazy.

All he could think of was the repercussions of Oliver and he getting back together. Oliver really seemed to want them to have another chance. But did he think of their future? Clark knew where he wanted it to go … he wanted to marry the older man, had wanted to for a long time. If they got together again, it would be forever for him.

Would it be forever for Ollie? Or was his plan just to try again? He said he loved Clark, was in love with Clark but did he still love him in that way? The way that once upon a time had him wanting marriage?

Unconsciously, he got up and moved to his bedroom, and pulled out that ring that he had been looking at. Both of them … they were so beautiful and intricate and there was only person he knew they’d fit.

Would Oliver accept them? Just take it one step at a time. First he actually has to split up with Dinah and that hasn’t happened yet.

That would happen, right? Fear trickled down Clark’s spine, as he thought of Oliver changing his mind. What if he decided that getting back into a relationship with Clark was too complicated and he didn’t want to risk his heart again? What if he realized that he did want to marry Dinah or he just didn’t want to hurt her?

He had so many questions and the fact that Oliver was all the way in Star City, too far away to answer them, was driving him crazy.

The brunette didn’t get time to ponder those thoughts though, as a nearby scream for help gained his attention. It seems that Superman is needed.

Switching to his suit, he was out in and in the air within seconds.

Oliver would have to wait.

Right now, he had a world to save.

Almost immediately after Dinah left, Oliver was on a plane back to Metropolis. He needed to see Clark, needed to figure out what was going with the two of them. Though he was still in shock, he knew that he wanted to finish their conversation from this afternoon.

He took the ridiculously long plane trip to ponder on what he was going to say to Clark. If he was honest, he didn’t know if he was quite ready for another relationship. But he was certain that he loved Clark more than anything … and he couldn’t let the opportunity to be with him again slip through is fingers.

Since he didn’t sleep very well the night before, it wasn’t long before he drifted off, sleeping through most of the journey. He only awoke once his pilot announced that they were landing in Metropolis. His nerves were in a jumble, still not completely sure what he was going to say to the brunette.

Don’t over think it … just go to him and speak from your heart. He supposed at this point, he didn’t really have a choice in the matter.

His first stop was the Clock Tower so he could get freshened up. Afterwards, he stepped into his car and drove to Clark’s apartment. The drive was too short for his own liking but then again, a part of him wanted to stall.

Everything was happening so fast and Oliver didn’t know if he could keep up.

As he parked in the guest parking in Clark’s apartment building, he realized that there was no turning back now.

Walking to Clark’s apartment, Oliver took a deep breath and raised a hand, preparing to knock.

However, what he didn’t know was that Clark was not there. Clark Kent was stopping what seemed to be a never-ending stream of trouble as Superman.

He ventured from city to city and even left the country for a short period of time. When he finally thought he was finished, he heard a familiar voice that made him groan.

But he knew his duty so he went and rescued Lois yet again.

Dropping her off at her apartment rooftop he said slowly, “Ms. Lane, I think we need to talk.”

Superman hadn’t seen Lois since the article released and he had to make it clear that he had nothing but platonic feelings for her. Especially since he had been hearing what people had been saying about the two of them. The rumors and speculations made him want to clear things up even more.

“Yes Superman?” Lois asked, oblivious to his thoughts. “Is this about the article?”

“It is,” he confirmed seriously. “First of all, I want to say how much I appreciate you portraying me in such a nice light. The interview was very professional and I really admire your professionalism.”

“Thank you,” she replied. “But I was just stating the truth.”

He took a deep breath. “I have to admit … the headline concerns me.”

“It was just a headline,” she was quick to say, “This kind of thing sells papers.”

“I get that,” he told her. “The rumors however …”

“People like to speculate,” Lois said, shrugging. “Let them.”

“As long as they are only speculating,” Clark told her. “I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea. You’re a wonderful woman, Ms Lane but my feelings for you are nothing but platonic.”

Her face fell a little but he had to credit her for the speed at which she recomposed herself.

“I understand that,” she responded. “And I’m sure the gossip will end soon enough too.” She laughed. “I’m a reporter, Superman … the headline had nothing to do with any feelings I have for you. It was a purely professional interest.”

“That’s good to hear,” he said seriously. “Have a good night, Ms Lane.”

“You too,” she replied and with that, he flew away, relieved that the conversation had gone off without a hitch.

Time to go home. And then he had some decisions to make on a certain blonde.

What he didn’t know was that he had a surprise waiting for him there.

Ollie was surprised when nobody answered the door. Twisting the doorknob, he was further shocked to find it open.

Entering the apartment, he closed the door behind him and looked around. As far as he could tell, it was empty.

“Clark,” he murmured, “Hasn’t anyone ever told you not to leave the door unlocked?”

Making sure to lock the door, he searched the apartment, seeing if there was any trace of the younger man.

Ollie quickly came to the assumption that Clark had been there, his scent lingering in the apartment, and must’ve had to leave on a Superman related emergency.

He’ll certainly be surprised when he comes home to find me here. Hopefully he would think it a good surprise.

Clark’s bedroom had been the last place he checked to see if the brunette was there and it was, of course, empty. He knew he should leave and this was an invasion of privacy but he couldn’t help walking around.

It was a decent size room, modestly decorated, with a large bed in the center. What caught his eye was the tiny box on the bed. Though he knew he shouldn’t snoop, he couldn’t help it. His curiosity was piqued. There was a drawer that had been left half-open, probably when Clark sped out, so he knew that was where it came from.

Taking a seat on the bed, he snapped open the box and gasped. Nestling in silk was two rings that took his breath away. He picked up one of them, a white gold ring encrusted with white diamonds. In the center was what looked like a circular red stone, surrounded by more tiny white diamonds.

Examining it, he caught the engraving and his heart stopped.

O & C- Our love will last forever and a day

He had no doubts to who the initials stood for and he was choked up at the gesture. Where did Clark get this ring?

Giving in to the temptation, he slipped the ring onto his ring finger of his right hand. It fit perfectly. Oliver grinned foolishly, letting himself imagine for a brief second that he was engaged to Clark.

“You know,” a voice said from behind him, “I never thought you were all for breaking and entering.”

Oliver spun around, seeing Clark standing at the doorway, still in his Superman uniform.

“Well, you shouldn’t leave your door unlocked if you don’t want people wandering in,” Oliver retorted.

Clark chuckled. “True.” His eyes drifted to the ring that was still resting on Oliver’s finger and the smile fell from his face.

Seeing where Clark’s gaze went, Oliver blushed. He quickly took off the ring.

“I’m sorry,” he said, averting his gaze, embarrassed. “I shouldn’t have snooped … I was looking for you and I got curious …”

“It’s okay,” Clark interrupted softly.

Though he was reluctant, he slipped off the ring and returned it to the box, handing it to Clark. He accepted the box and put it back in a safe case, locking both away.

“I’ll let you get changed,” Oliver said hastily, before Clark could say anything and exited the room, shutting the door behind him.

Stupid, stupid, stupid. Oliver wanted to smack his head against a wall. He could only imagine what Clark was thinking of him now. How pathetic must he have looked?

It wasn’t very long before Clark emerged, dressed in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt.

“Sorry to keep you waiting,” he apologized.

“It’s fine,” Oliver told him.

“Can I get you anything?” he offered.

“I’m good,” Oliver assured him. He bit his lip. “Clark … about the ring … I’m really sorry.”

“It isn’t your fault,” Clark said, sitting on another couch. “I left it out … I was in a rush to leave or I would’ve put it back.”

“I still shouldn’t have snooped,” Oliver protested.

“Ollie, I’m not angry,” Clark said calmly.

“If you say so,” Oliver said doubtfully.

Clark grinned. “I do say so.” He paused for a moment. “So how are you?”

“Not too bad,” Oliver replied. “It sounds like you were pretty busy though.”

“Yeah, there was a lot going on,” Clark told him. “The good thing was that I did get to catch up to Lois.”

“Oh yeah?” Oliver felt a twinge of jealousy hearing her name, despite knowing that there were no feelings on Clark’s side.

“I made it clear to her that I don’t have feelings for her,” Clark said.

“How’d she take that?” Oliver asked curiously, though he was doing cartwheels internally.

“She took it well,” Clark said, sounding relieved at the idea.

“That’s good,” Oliver stated. “That way, things won’t get awkward later and you won’t be accused for leading her on.”

“Yeah, my thoughts exactly,” Clark said, smiling.

A silence fell over the pair, neither knowing how to bring up the topic that was on both of their minds.

“Ollie, I’m sorry I ran out this morning,” Clark said suddenly.

“Clark,” Oliver began but the brunette wasn’t quite finished.

“I just heard Dinah,” Clark said, “And I knew that I couldn’t be there. If she saw me there, it would’ve made the whole situation a lot weirder.”

“You’re right,” Oliver said, getting a word in. “I was shocked but I don’t blame you for leaving … it would’ve been awkward for sure.”

“So you’re not upset?” Clark asked hopefully.

“Not at all,” Oliver said. The blonde longed to move and sit next to Clark, so he could reach out and touch him, have some sort of physical interaction. But he managed to stay put.

“Besides,” Oliver added, “Dinah and I did have to talk too and there was no better time than that moment.”

“Did you guys talk?” Clark questioned, anxiety evident in his tone.

“We did,” Oliver confirmed.

“How did it go?” Clark asked, eyes wide.

“Dinah and I have broken up,” Oliver informed him.

Oh. My. God. Clark was stunned at the revelation. He had wondered if that may happen but he couldn’t believe that it actually had.

“What?” he managed to say.

“I told her that we kissed,” Oliver said calmly. “That I kissed you and I didn’t regret it. We figured it was best to part ways.”

“I can’t believe you guys split,” Clark murmured.

“What did you think was going to happen?” Oliver asked, his brown eyes dancing with amusement. “Clark, I declared my love for you … I couldn’t just stay with her after that.”

“I didn’t know what was going to happen,” Clark confessed. “I mean, I won’t deny I thought about it as a possibility but I didn’t never suspected that you two would actually split up … and so soon. Everything is happening so fast.”

“I feel the same way on that one,” Oliver agreed. “On the everything happening too fast that is,” he clarified.

“What now?” Clark wondered aloud.

“I am not sure,” Oliver told him.

“How are you doing?” Clark asked, suddenly realizing that the blonde was probably still reeling from the shock of his failed engagement.

“A mixture of things really,” Oliver said slowly. “My emotions are a mess.”

“I don’t blame you,” Clark replied gently. “You’re still in love with her, aren’t you?”

“I am,” Oliver said. “Does that make me a horrible person?”

“Not at all,” Clark replied immediately. He shifted so he was now sitting next to Oliver, unable to take the distance anymore.

“You loved her,” Clark said firmly. “There is nothing wrong with having lingering feelings for a woman you were just recently planning to marry. In fact, it’d be crazy if you were okay with this.”

“I couldn’t give her my entire heart,” Oliver said softly. “We both knew it … and it was best for us to part ways.”

“That makes sense,” Clark noted.

“I do love Dinah,” Oliver said, brown eyes boring into him. “But I can’t change the fact that I love you more. She deserves someone who will be with her completely … and I can’t be that man.”

Clark nodded, not sure what to say.

“It’s good that you were honest with one another,” Clark said finally.

“I’ve found that when it comes to feelings, hiding is not really the best idea,” Oliver remarked, smiling weakly.

“Yeah, we’ve all seen how that turned out,” Clark agreed. “For both of us.”

“Well everyone makes mistakes, Clark,” Oliver commented. “At least we’re learning.”

“I suppose you’re right,” Clark agreed.

More silence.

Oliver was the one to break it this time. “I think we should finish the conversation we were having.”

“About us?” Clark questioned.

“There are still things that need to be said,” Oliver told him. “We were interrupted before …”

“You’re right,” Clark replied.

“You were having doubts about us,” Oliver said. “Do you still feel that way? Now that Dinah’s out of the picture?”

“Honestly, Ollie, I’m worried,” Clark said. “Even though you’ve broken up with Dinah, she’s still in your heart.”

“I’m in love with you,” Oliver declared.

“But you are still in love with her too,” Clark reminded him.

Oliver lowered his eyes at this and nodded.

“Oliver, I am not upset … your feelings are reasonable,” Clark said. “But honestly … do you want to jump into another relationship?”

“Truth be told Clark, I have the same worries,” Oliver told him, lifting his gaze once more to meet Clark’s. “I don’t know if I’m ready. My fiancée and I just split. But all I know is that I love you and I couldn’t let this chance slip away.”

“I love you too, Oliver,” Clark said, reaching out and taking one of the blonde’s hands in his own. Squeezing it gently, he continued, “I’ve held on to those feelings for three years … they aren’t going anywhere.”

“I may need time,” Oliver said cautiously. “If you don’t want to wait for me, I’ll understand.”

Clark leaned forward and captured Oliver’s lips with his own. Keeping it short and sweet but making sure he got his feelings across, Clark pulled back.

“Whenever you’re ready,” Clark said. “I’ll be here … you saw that ring, Oliver and I know you saw the engraving too. You know where my intentions lie … but I don’t think we’re anywhere close to ready for that. We have stuff to work out, with each other and with our own lives. But I’m willing to spend the time it takes us to get us back to where we once were.”

“So we’re starting over?” Oliver asked hopefully.

“I think we should be friends,” Clark said truthfully, “For now … while you figure out your feelings for Dinah and me. Real friends … not that fake truce we had going for the League.”

“I can do friendship,” Oliver agreed, a heart stopping smile spreading across his face.

“Me too,” Clark said, with a warm smile.

They shared a look and Clark felt his heart flutter.

“So,” Oliver said, “As friends, would you care to join me to get a bite to eat? Perhaps now?”

“I’d like that,” Clark replied. Standing up, he grabbed his coat and left the apartment with Oliver, this time remembering to lock the door.

His heart felt a lot lighter though. No, they weren’t together yet but they were getting there.

This was a new beginning for the both of them and this time, Clark had a feeling they would get it right.

2 months later

It had taken some getting used to but both men managed to make a solid friendship work. They didn’t keep it completely platonic, not missing out the chances to flirt and there were always the subtle touches that allowed the other one to know that the feelings were still there.

While Clark did wish at times that they were in an actual relationship, he liked the pace in which they were going.

Ollie and Dinah’s broken engagement had made headlines but nobody had been able to get the real reason. Dinah wasn’t opening her mouth and Oliver definitely wasn’t. They both just said to anyone who asked that they were “heading in different directions” but “still remained good friends”.

The last part was definitely true. Things had been weird in the League for the first few weeks but they had managed to move past it.

As for Oliver and Clark, they were spending a lot more time together. At least when they could. A dinner here, a movie there. Ollie was still in Star City most of the time but they did talk on the phone every day.

They talked about everything and anything and Clark felt great having Oliver back in his life. The older man had suddenly become the center of his life and though Oliver once said snidely that he’d never be at the top of his list, that was exactly where he was.

Clark went to him for all his problems and the vice versa was true. It wasn’t even forced … he’d just found that he rather talk to Oliver about things now. Like when he had helped the survivors of a plane crash, he saw a woman die in the arms of her distraught fiancé.

Witnessing it horrified him and after everyone was rounded up, he was filled with self-loathing, frustrated that he wasn’t able to save everyone, even with his powers. At that time, it was Oliver he went to … Oliver who held him as he cried and Oliver who comforted him and made him feel better.

Going to Oliver had been so natural. He hadn’t even thought about going to his mom or Chloe. He had just wanted to see Oliver and seeing the man distressed over his fiancée just had him feeling that he had to go see the one he loved. To see Oliver alive and safe filled Clark with joy and unexplainable happiness.

He thanked the Gods every day for letting Oliver Queen back into his life.

However, lately, he was longing for the blonde more than ever. When they spoke on the phone, he wished that Oliver was in his arms and the rare times they saw each other, Clark wanted nothing more than to hold him and kiss him.

It was hard being patient at these times but Clark was trying. He knew it was for the best. Ollie hadn’t say anything to make him believe he was completely over Dinah.

In fact, lately, he hadn’t mentioned anything about a change to their relationship at all. Clark sometimes wondered if the older man still loved him. I’ll wait for you forever Oliver but please, I hope that I’m not waiting around for nothing.

At times like that, he couldn’t help but think that Oliver had gotten over Dinah but had also gotten over him too. But he’d tell me that, wouldn’t he?

Making a mental note to bring it up to him when they met up next, as he felt it was not something he wanted to talk about over the phone, he went on with his life.

It turned out he didn’t have to bring it up at all.

One day, he walked into work to see Lois smirking at him. Only as he made it to his desk did he find out why. Resting there were two dozen multi-colored roses.

“Lois, where did these come from?” he questioned.

“They just got delivered for you,” Lois explained.

“For me?” he repeated. “Who are they from?”

“Who do I look like?” Lois asked, “Your secretary? There’s a card but I was good and didn’t snoop.”

“Thanks Lois,” he said gratefully, finding the card among the beautiful flowers easily.

Opening it eagerly, he smiled at he saw the familiar script.

Clark,

There’s only one person in my heart now. Hopefully, I still have a place in yours.

Oliver


It was simple and to the point. Clark couldn’t help the grin that spread across his face. Pocketing the card, he excused himself. Once he found a private place, he pulled out his cell phone and dialed the familiar number.

“Good morning,” he said when he heard the voice he only knew too well pick up.

“Good morning to you too,” Oliver replied.

“I got the roses,” he said shyly. “They’re beautiful … thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” Oliver responded. “I assume you read the card.”

“I did,” Clark confirmed.

“And?” Oliver prodded.

“You don’t have a place in my heart,” Clark said.

“Oh,” Oliver replied, his tone changing to one of sadness.

“You have my entire heart,” he finished. “It’s always been yours, Ollie … it always will be yours.”

He heard a sharp intake of breath.

“I love you,” Clark told him.

“I love you too,” Oliver replied, his voice now happy again.

Clark felt giddy and had to refrain from breaking out into a dance.

“Clark, I’ll be in Metropolis tomorrow,” Oliver said. “And I was wondering … would you like to go out on a date with me?”

“A date?” Clark repeated.

“That’s what I said,” Oliver replied, with a chuckle. “What do you say?”

“I’d love to,” Clark told him.

“Great,” Oliver said, “I’ll call you with the details then.”

“Wonderful,” Clark agreed. “Have a great day.”

“It already is a great day, Clark,” Oliver replied and he could practically hear the blonde’s smile. “I’ll see you soon though. Love you.”

“Love you too,” Clark replied, happy to get to say those words aloud. Hanging up, Clark stared at his phone in glee.

They were going to go out on a date. Oliver wanted to be with him.

Everything finally was how it should be.

At last, he was going to get his happily ever after with the man he loved. This time, he wouldn’t screw it up.

THE END (and for Ollie and Clark ... a new beginning :D)!!
Tags: category: slash, collie, fandom: smallville, fanfic, ship: clark/oliver, story: sober
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