Story: In Love … All Bets Are Off
Pairing/Characters: Clark/Oliver, Clark/Lex friendship
Disclaimer: don’t own anything
Warning: slash, mentions of m/m sex, jerk!Jason (sorry, I do like him but I needed a villain and he fit)
Spoilers: AU but slight season 1-early season 3 mentions
Summary: Clark’s dad dies when he’s in high school. Martha and Clark sell the farm and leave to live with Clark’s grandfather, Clark transferring to Excelsior. Excelsior … where Oliver Queen rules the school. Oliver takes a bet that he can get the new guy in his bed … but what happens when he ends up falling in love instead?
Previous Chapters: Here
“So are you a junior?” Lex asked, as they made their way to the dining hall for dinner. Clark nodded and Lex smiled. “So am I.”
“Cool,” Clark said enthusiastically. “How are the classes here?”
“They’re okay,” Lex said, shrugging. “I mean, I don’t find them too difficult …” He rolled his eyes. “I could probably graduate a year early if I wanted. Just take some tests and switch up my schedule to take harder classes now.”
“Are you going to?” Clark asked worriedly. He didn’t want to lose his new friend so soon.
“I was thinking about it,” Lex admitted and glanced at him. “But now … maybe not. Besides, I would rather not do senior-level work right now anyway.”
They exchanged smiles and they went to get their food. Clark found that it was actually better than he thought it would be … Smallville High’s cafeteria had nothing on the food that was here. Then again, that was probably where all the tuition money went to. This was definitely a whole new world for him … it would take some getting used to.
Finding an empty table with Lex, Clark was well aware that there were several pairs of eyes on him.
“What are they all looking at?” Clark asked, once they were seated.
“You,” Lex said immediately. Seeing Clark’s puzzled expression, he smirked, “They’re wondering why a guy like you is hanging out with someone like me.”
“A guy like me?” Clark repeated, “What is that supposed to mean?”
“Clark, face it,” Lex sighed, “You’re a good-looking guy.”
“Yeah, right,” Clark laughed.
Lex raised an eyebrow. “You don’t see it?” The look of genuine bewilderment on Clark’s face had him smiling. “You are …”
“Umm … thanks?” Clark didn’t exactly know how to respond to that. Sure, he liked his new friend but he was not attracted to him in that way.
Noticing the worry in Clark’s eyes, Lex quickly added, “I am just stating facts … don’t worry, I’m not going to jump you or anything. I don’t swing that way. But if you do, that’s okay with me,” he said hastily.
“I don’t,” Clark said, relieved to hear that Lex’s feelings were platonic. Besides, he didn’t like men that way. Right? A few incidents in the locker room had him wondering if he was as straight as he thought he was.
“Still on the fence, huh?” Lex asked, effectively bringing him back to reality.
“No … I’m not … I mean, I don’t,” Clark stammered.
“It’s okay,” Lex said. “There’s nothing wrong with being gay.” He paused. “Or bi, I suppose, in your case.”
“But I’m not,” Clark protested, but the argument was weak and they both knew it.
“Well, if you ever figure it out for sure, just know it’s okay,” Lex said. “You go to an all-boys school … trust me, nobody is going to judge you. You have no idea what goes on behind closed doors.”
Clark blushed bright red and Lex just laughed.
“Forgot you were from Smallville,” Lex noted. “Can I go out on a limb and say that you were you weren’t really encouraged to express these kind of thoughts there?” Clark nodded shyly.
“Explains why you’re so freaked out now,” Lex remarked. “If you ever want to talk though, you can … I won’t judge you.”
“Thanks Lex,” Clark said gratefully.
“You’re welcome, Clark,” Lex replied, “I can’t say I haven’t had any experience with men …”
“You’ve had experience?” Clark asked, surprised.
“Yeah,” Lex said casually. “Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt … it just wasn’t my thing. But if it’s yours, we won’t have any issues. And if you have any … questions, I suppose I could help you to the best of my knowledge. Though it’s not much, I warn you.”
Clark felt his face heating up. “Thanks … but I don’t know if I’m ready to take this thing head on … I’m still not really sure.”
“No worries,” Lex said. “It’s an open-ended offer.”
“I appreciate it,” Clark said honestly.
Then there was silence but it was not uncomfortable, the pair just eating and enjoying each other’s company.
Afterwards, Clark made sure to exchange phone number and their dorm locations with Lex.
“I guess I’ll see you tomorrow then,” Clark said. “Maybe we’ll have some classes together.”
“That’d be cool,” Lex replied. “If not, I suppose I’ll catch you sometime during the day.”
“Definitely,” Clark responded, “It was really great meeting you, Lex … thanks for spending the day with me.”
“I should be thanking you,” Lex told him. “But I had fun … good night, Clark.”
“Night Lex,” Clark replied and with that, they parted ways.
Upon reaching his room, he had a light feeling in his heart … despite the early confrontation, the day had gone off well. And tomorrow, on his first day, he wouldn’t be completely alone.
His first course of action was placing a phone call to his mom, who immediately asked all about his day.
“I’m okay mom,” he promised, “I made a friend today.”
“Oh really?” Martha asked, pleased. “Who?”
“His name is Lex,” Clark said.
“As in Luthor?” Martha asked. He could practically hear her frowning.
“Mom, it’s not like that … he’s a really nice guy,” Clark insisted.
“Well, I trust your judgment, honey,” Martha said warmly. “Next time I visit, I would love to meet him.”
“I’ll introduce you,” Clark said happily, relieved that he didn’t have to put up with an argument. “So how are you?”
They fell into easy conversation and Clark was regretful when they had to say goodbye. But he had class the following morning and didn’t want to be up too late.
He did a quick check of his e-mail before going to bed and was surprised to find a message from his counselors. Scanning the e-mail, he found out that his “guide” would be there the following morning, around 7 am. Inwardly thanking the fact he grew up on a farm and was used to the waking up with the sun, he kept reading.
Finding a name, he smiled.
“Oliver Queen,” he read.
The name was foreign to him but he was looking forward to meeting him. Clark hoped he’d be nice.
With that thought in mind, he shut off his computer, set his alarm and went to bed. Tomorrow was going to be a long day.
Falling asleep that night was easier than before but waking up was still a pain. When his alarm went off, he wanted to break it. Somehow, he managed to get up, leaving his clock intact.
Showering and slipping into his uniform, he scowled at the image staring back at him in the mirror.
But he didn’t get any time to complain because at 6:55, there was a knock at the door. Wow, he’s early.
Gathering his things, Clark went to the door and swung it open, ready to greet the person on the other side with a smile.
But when he saw the figure, his smile died. The 6’3” blond was only all too familiar … it was the leader of the little group that was picking on Lex.
“Good morning,” the blonde, who was apparently Oliver Queen, said cheerfully. Seeing Clark’s shocked expression, he smirked, “Lost your voice there?”
“You’re Oliver Queen?” was all that Clark could say.
“Yes, and you’re Clark Kent,” Oliver stated, “Now that we know who each other is, shall we go?”
Clark had no choice but to agree. Nodding, he made his way out, falling in step with Oliver.
“I can’t believe you’re my tour guide,” Clark said.
“Ironies of life, huh?” Oliver joked. “But really, I’m student class president … I like to be involved with campus. So I volunteered to help the new guy get settled in.”
“You don’t seem to share the same feelings about the current student body,” Clark retorted, keeping his voice low, as to not attract attention. “Because yesterday, you seemed completely happy with isolating a fellow student and making him look pathetic in front of everyone.”
“Clark, I know we got off to a rocky start,” Oliver began but Clark was quick to cut him off.
“We didn’t get off to any start,” Clark corrected, “You’re a jerk … I don’t have any doubts about that.”
“You’re rather quick to judge me, aren’t you?” Oliver asked, bemused, “You hardly know me.”
“From what I’ve seen, I don’t like you,” Clark stated. “How can you have any decency when you go around tormenting those who are smaller, younger and weaker than you? It’s wrong.”
“Clark, in any society there is a social hierarchy,” Oliver explained, not the least bit perturbed, “To maintain a position at the top of the ladder, you must have money, looks, or power … depending on the situation. Here at Excelsior, everyone has money … so to get respect, you need to gain power. ‘Survival of the fittest’ … Darwin said it best.”
“That’s disgusting,” Clark exclaimed.
“That’s life,” Oliver countered.
“This is not a war zone,” Clark argued, “Students shouldn’t have to feel scared in their own school.”
“It happens though,” Oliver said, shrugging, as they exited the dorms. “You’re from Smallville High … they’re big on football, right? Tell me that the jocks and cheerleaders didn’t have all the control and attention while the ones deemed as nerds, for not playing sports, sat on the sidelines, ignored.”
Apparently, Oliver had done his research. Clark didn’t respond but Oliver clearly took his silence for affirmation.
“This kind of stuff occurs everywhere … you just got to go with the flow and make the right choices … the choices that will lead you to the top,” Oliver continued. “Nobody is going to hold your hand … this is a cold, cruel world, Clark and you have to learn to fend for yourself. Your nice guy attitude? It’ll get you walked all over.”
“So I should be like you?” Clark asked incredulously.
“Success and opportunities come not at what you know,” Oliver said calmly, as if he hadn’t said anything, “But with who you know.”
“Hard work always pays off,” Clark argued.
“Now that is just delusional,” Oliver replied. “You’re quite naïve, Clark Kent.”
What was it about the way Oliver said his name? It just sent shivers up and down his spine … he didn’t like this guy already. But there was something about him that caught his eye.
“And you are cynical,” Clark shot back.
“So I am,” Oliver agreed. “But it comes with experience. Clark, you could be somebody … you just gotta get into the right crowds.” He paused for a moment and went on. “I’ll tell you one thing though … Lex Luthor? He will not be your ticket to climbing these social ladders. You want to get adjusted? Ditch him … the sooner, the better. He’ll only hold you back.”
This did nothing to change Clark’s opinion of him … in fact, he grew even more infuriated at Oliver’s words.
“Lex is my friend,” Clark said hotly. “And I am not going to ditch him because you think he’s not good enough. Your opinion doesn’t matter to me and I’d rather be an outcast forever for staying true to who I am rather than be fake and join your little hoeity toity exclusive group.”
This had Oliver stopping in his tracks. Chocolate brown eyes met green and Oliver looked at him curiously.
“You’re one of a kind.” It was a statement, not a question and Clark felt himself blushing under Oliver’s intense gaze.
Lex had said that same thing.
“I don’t know about that,” Clark said, suddenly flustered.
“You have a sense of innocence … it’s appealing,” Oliver murmured. What did he mean by that? But the blonde didn’t give Clark a chance to ponder his comment.
“Now come on … I don’t want to waste time and this school is pretty big,” Oliver said.
“That’s an understatement,” Clark commented.
Oliver chuckled and Clark found it was a nice sound.
“You’ll get used to it,” Oliver said, shooting him a smile … it was a genuine smile, not that smirk that annoyed him to no end, and it took Clark’s breath away. His smile lit up his entire face, causing his eyes to sparkle, drawing Clark’s attention. It made Clark wonder why he didn’t do it more often.
Oliver’s expression changed to one of amusement at Clark’s silence. “You plan to stare at me or are we going to get a move on?” Then that smirk was back. “Not that I blame you … I know I’m quite nice to look at.”
“Hardly,” Clark said, regaining control of the English language at last, “Let’s get this over with.”
“Whatever you say,” Oliver said lightly. “Come along then.”
Oliver turned out to be a great tour guide and showed him great places on campus, including ones that were great for privacy if one wanted to study … or do other things.
The suggestive tone of his voice had Clark blushing again. Oliver had no qualms or restraints … he talked about anything and everything quite freely.
Clark found that when he wasn’t picking on people, he was quite funny. The blonde had a sense of humor and had made Clark laugh with his stories throughout their walk.
Classes began at 8 am so they didn’t have much time to explore and Oliver told him that he wanted to get into the dining halls to get some food around 7:40.
As the clock hit 7:30, Oliver stopped in front of a structure, juts as beautiful as the rest.
“This,” Oliver said, “Is the library. Really helpful place if you want to pass your classes.”
Clark laughed. “It seems nice.”
“It’s even better on the inside,” Oliver stated.
“You spend time at the library?” Clark teased.
“Hey, I’ll have you know I have a very high GPA,” Oliver said smugly. “And even though I am naturally intelligent, I do have to do some extra work sometimes.”
“Is there any end to your ego?” Clark asked, a smile tugging at the corners of his lips.
Oliver pressed his lips together, as if seriously considering the question. “No … no, I don’t think so.”
His answer had Clark laughing again.
“Really though, Clark,” Oliver added, “Even if you like to read, there are some great books in the library …”
“I do like to read,” Clark admitted.
“I do too,” Oliver said, giving him a small smile. At Clark’s obvious surprise, he shook his head. “Guess you pegged me completely wrong, huh?”
“I guess I did,” Clark said, meeting his eyes.
There was definitely a lot about Oliver that he hadn’t imagined. An image of Lex filtered into his mind, stirring a twinge of guilt in his heart, but it was pushed away just as quickly.
He had nothing to feel bad about … it’s not like he planned on being friends with this guy … he was just being polite to someone who had taken time of their schedule to show him around.
Yeah, that was it.
But seeing Oliver smile, butterflies fluttered in his stomach.
No, Clark … this guy is a jerk … don’t fall into his trap. He didn’t plan to … after this little session, he had no intentions of talking to him again.
He had made his choice when he formed a friendship with Lex and was going to stick to it. Clark had no regrets about not friending Oliver Queen.
Then why wasn’t he completely convinced?