Story: Never Say Goodbye
Pairing/Characters: Collie, Lollie, Chlimmy, Lexana, mentions of past Clana
Disclaimer: don’t own anything
Warning: slash, mentions of m/m sex
Spoilers: season 6, starts at 6x04, Arrow
Summary: That night at the penthouse was not the first time Clark met Oliver Queen. He has met him before but he just doesn’t remember where or when. But as the memories return, Clark finds out that his fateful summer in Metropolis is not as long gone as he thought it was.
When Clark heard what happened at the Excelsior reunion, from Chloe who got the story from Lois, he was worried . . . about Oliver. He privately wondered why he cared so much, especially since it had been three years since their little tryst occurred.
He couldn’t bring himself to go check on the other man. The two of them weren’t friends, and he just didn’t want go see him, not knowing how to react around him anymore.
Unfortunately, their separation was not meant to be. When having dinner with Chloe and his mother, he found out that a village was destroyed in India. He had to know whether more criminals had escaped from the Phantom Zone at the same time he did. However, the only way to see that would be to find more craters, like the one he had made upon arriving on Earth.
Chloe commented that their best bet was satellite images and wasn’t it just ironic that Queen Industries had the only working satellite on Dark Thursday? Clark agreed to go see Oliver, claiming that the other man owed him a favor. He wasn’t sure if that was true but neither his mother nor Chloe questioned him on it.
Upon arriving at Oliver’s place, he was greeted with the sight of Oliver with a bow. His eyes were closed so he didn’t see Clark and when an arrow came flying, Clark caught it with ease. This got Oliver’s attention.
“Clark,” he said, only a little surprised. “I was wondering if my security system would keep someone like you out.”
“Looks like you need an upgrade,” Clark told him, making his way down the short set of stairs to where Oliver stood.
“Or you need to learn how to knock,” Oliver retorted. Then he smiled. “It's okay. You know what? You can keep that arrow. I've got a new one.”
Clark watched silently as Oliver picked up an arrow from a silver case. “I was thinking about developing a boxing-glove arrow,” Oliver explained, “and then I thought, "come up with something a little fancier.”
The arrow hit its target and everything suddenly went silent. “Contained electromagnetic pulse,” Oliver told him, “knocks out everything electrical within an 8-foot radius -- cameras, laser systems, pacemakers.” Noticing Clark’s expression, he added, “The last one was a joke Clark.”
He raised an eyebrow. “I’m laughing on the inside.”
“Maybe we'll get lucky one day, and it'll bubble to the surface,” Oliver joked. “To what do I owe the pleasure?”
“I need to talk to you about Queen Industries, their satellite grid,” Clark said.
“What about it?” Oliver asked.
Thinking up a quick lie, Clark said, “My friend Chloe, she's doing a story on the global effects of Dark Thursday. She needs satellite images from that day, but none of them were working.”
“Except mine,” Oliver said, with a knowing smile. And apparently, falling for the lie.
“How’d you manage that?” Clark asked, curious.
“Trade secret,” Oliver replied, with a small smile.
Fair enough, Clark thought. Oliver didn’t know much about him and he shouldn’t expect the entire truth from Oliver either.
“I’ll tell you what,” Oliver started, “I’ll give your friend Chloe the access codes to the grid archive if you do one small thing for me.”
“What would that be?” Clark asked, slightly wary.
“Help me figure out,” Oliver said, “how Lex caused the accidental death of two of my friends.”
Now Clark was surprised. “You think Lex killed them?”
“I've known Lex a lot longer than you, Clark,” Oliver said, his voice mysterious, “I've seen who he really is.”
Now what did he mean by that? Oliver had gone to school with Lex, that much Clark knew. He realized that Lex was a bit rebellious back then but Clark honestly thought that all his nasty deeds were more recent. But he didn’t ask . . . mostly because he didn’t to know, hating to be reminded of the man his former best friend was slowly becoming.
He bid Oliver farewell, promising to look for leads and clues. The less time they spent together, the better. Besides, he had a case to solve and he wasn’t sure how accurate Oliver was in Lex’s involvement in the murder. Oliver never had liked Lex.
The third time they met, Clark was having lunch, at a small café. Out of nowhere, he heard the last person he wanted to see. Who took the seat across from him, his own food in hand.
“You keep pulling those disappearing acts and I might think you don’t like me,” Oliver said.
“Clearly you don’t take a hint,” Clark muttered. “Are you sure you’re not stalking me?”
“Come now, Green Eyes,” Oliver said, taking a bite of his own sandwich, “I thought we were having a pleasant conversation. I turned around for one second and you’re gone. Can’t blame a man for being curious.”
“Yes, I can,” Clark said, “If it’s none of your business, I can.”
“Why’d you leave?” Oliver asked, realizing the subtle approach didn’t work.
“I left because I didn’t come here for this,” Clark answered. “I came here to relax, to party, to be free. I assume you did the same thing. No need to be discussing serious matters.”
“What are you running from, Kal?” Oliver asked quietly.
Clark almost choked on his sandwich. “Running? What makes you think I’m running?”
“You say that you came here to be free,” Oliver said. “To be free of what?”
Clark looked at him, his expression guarded. “I’d rather not say.”
“So you admit you’re running,” Oliver questioned.
“I don’t admit to anything,” Clark replied, his tone steady, though his heart was racing. “And I’d appreciate it if you kept your nose out of my business.”
“Fine,” Oliver relented. “So, do you read the news? Heard that Lex Luthor died.”
“So I heard,” Clark said, “What’s it to you?”
“Just thought it was interesting,” Oliver shrugged. “Went to boarding school together.”
“Is that so?” Clark said. “Were you friends?”
Oliver snorted. “Hardly. Couldn’t stand the bastard.”
Clark had to force himself to remain calm. He couldn’t admit to knowing Lex, much less being his best friend. That would give Oliver clues to his identity and he might find out who he really was.
“In fact,” Oliver continued, oblivious to his thoughts, “it’s almost a relief he’s dead. That he died before he could become his father.”
“He may not have,” Clark said mildly, “He seems to be doing good in . . . wherever he is located at now.” Naming towns would be too specific.
“Smalltown or something like that,” Oliver said, dismissively. “Yeah, I read up on him too. But it was only a matter of time, before the darkness took over.”
Clark didn’t say anything, just focused on his food. “I guess this not a very happy conversation,” Oliver muttered. In a louder voice, he added, “So you plan to go clubbing tonight?”
“Maybe,” Clark said nonchalantly, secretly relieved at the topic change.
“Maybe I will run into you again,” Oliver suggested.
“Maybe you will, maybe you won’t,” Clark replied. He finished his lunch and stood up. “See you later blondie.”
“I’m planning on heading to Starlight,” Oliver said quickly, “Heard it’s a good one. Might want to think about checking it out.”
“We’ll see,” Clark told him.
“So maybe I’ll see you there?” Oliver asked, giving him a smirk.
“Maybe,” Clark responded. “Depends how lucky you are.” Without another word, Clark threw away his trash and walked out.
As he headed around town that day, he pondered Oliver’s words. Starlight . . . maybe Oliver would see him that night after all.
Clark wondered if Oliver had known that when he dropped the club name, Clark would be there. Oliver was a lot more perceptive than he looked. He had, after all, been right about Lex. He wasn’t sure if that was just Oliver’s cynical attitude toward Lex or if he had actually known.
He assumed the former but then again, you could never be too sure. It was true, though that the man Lex was now was a far cry from the one Clark mourned over that summer in Metropolis.
That’s why a part of him warned him not to go to the hospital after he found out that Lana was, once again, residing there. Yet, he couldn’t resist- he just had to check if she was all right. He quickly regretted making that decision.
Lex made it clear that he was not welcome and went as far as to slam the door in his face when he insisted on seeing Lana. Even worse, Lois was around to witness his humiliation.
Turned out she was investigating what was going on. She quickly filled him in on how two of Oliver’s friends had been killed and her theory that Lex had nearly been the third of their classmates to die. Her theory was that it had to do with someone named Duncan.
He tried to advise her to stay away from Oliver but she had already made up her mind- she was going to pursue the story.
Great, that’s exactly what he needed. Chloe got herself in enough trouble when she was on pursuit of a hot story and now Lois was joining her? There were only so many hours in a day! Maybe he could convince Oliver to keep an eye on his girlfriend.
Speaking of Oliver, Clark realized he had to go pay the other man a visit, clue him in on what happened. He was at the penthouse in minutes and let himself in. Oliver didn’t seem too surprised to see him and he told him what he found out.
“Is Lana going to be okay?” Oliver wanted to know.
“I think so,” Clark replied. He had only gotten a glimpse on her lying on the bed but he couldn’t focus on her right now. “Looks like you were wrong about Lex being the one behind the attacks.”
Oliver wasn’t convinced. “Unless he orchestrated this one to throw off suspicion.”
“If Lex was the only one hurt, then I'd probably think the same thing,” Clark said.
“He loves Lana too much to risk her life,” Oliver said slowly. Clark didn’t know how to reply to that.
“These attacks aren't random,” Clark said, changing the topic. Oliver’s expression turned upset and he turned around, his back facing Clark.
“Lois seems to think it may have something to do with a kid you went to school with back at Excelsior,” Clark continued, “Duncan?”
“It’s not Duncan,” Oliver said, after a pause.
“How can you be sure?” Clark asked.
Oliver turned around. “Because Lex and I killed him ten years ago.”
Clark listened in horror as Oliver told him about him and his friends stealing the exams, Lex and Duncan finding out, the fight and finally, how Duncan died. Over the course of the story, Oliver found his place near the window, clearly unable to look Clark in the eye while recapping the incident.
“Duncan suffered massive brain injuries,” Oliver finished.
Clark walked toward Oliver. “Is there anything else that you haven't told me?”
Oliver met his gaze. “Just the denouement -- Lionel Luthor sweeping in with the best doctors in the world to save Duncan.”
“Lionel?” Clark repeated.
“I thought it was an act of kindness,” Oliver said, walking past him. “Now that I'm older, I realize it was just an act. Lionel was trying to cover up what happened between Lex and Duncan, trying to cover up the stink off the Luthor name.” Oliver had made his way to the desk and leaned against it.
“How did he know about all this?” Clark asked.
“He got the whole story from Lex,” Oliver answered. Clark tilted his head and Oliver crossed his arms over his chest.
“Duncan was on scholarship,” Oliver informed him. “His parents couldn't afford a band-aid, let alone a team of neurosurgeons. So Lionel promised to take care of the whole thing.”
“As long as everyone kept quiet,” Clark concluded.
“Not that it mattered,” Oliver said, “Duncan died two days later.”
Seeing the guilt in the older man’s eyes, Clark said, “It was just an accident. It just happened.”
Oliver shook his head. “No. No, I told myself that same lie for years. The truth is all of us might as well have pushed him out in front of that car. Alden, Geoffrey, Lex, me -- we all killed Duncan Allenmeyer.”
Unsure on what to say, Clark tried to move back to their current problem. “What about his family? If they believe you killed him, one of them might be behind this.”
“I thought about that,” Oliver said, taking a seat. “But the only relative I could find was his mother.”
“Where is she?” Clark questioned.
“Grandville Cemetery,” Oliver announced, glancing at him. “She passed away a month ago.”
“There must be someone else, someone else you may have missed,” Clark insisted.
“I don't know,” Oliver said, standing up again. “The only one who had contact with Duncan's family was Lionel. I'm not exactly high on his buddy list -- not a good chance of him talking to me.”
Clark pressed his lips together. Oliver may not be able to get answers from Lionel but he might have a better shot. It was time to pay a visit to Luthorcorp and test his luck.