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.
So close, too close. How could he have screwed up that badly? He had faced another criminal from the Phantom Zone but this time, he almost died. Then again, when had he actually been able to take down the Zoner by himself?
The first time, with the forest ranger, if Chloe hadn’t figured out that electricity kills the plant, he would’ve died. The second time, he had defeated Baern with Raya’s crystal. And now, he had been saved by some mysterious stranger.
Someone who was more powerful than him, who had abilities he could only imagine in his wildest dreams. The worst part was that he had no idea who it was. The last thing he saw was this man’s eyes glow red and he watched him disappear in a red flash.
“So, what, your cell phone doesn't get reception in Seattle?” Chloe’s familiar voice brought him back to reality.
He glanced at her. “I was preoccupied.”
“That's fine, but you were up against an alien from another planet,” Chloe told him. “I was worried.”
“Sorry,” he said, not sounding the least bit apologetic.
“So, the crystal was a success?” Chloe asked.
Clark sighed. “No, it wasn’t.”
“Then did the Zoner just decide to pack up and leave the solar system?” Chloe wanted to know.
“Someone else killed him,” Clark informed her, not meeting her gaze. “Someone who can do things I could only dream of.”
“Whoa,” Chloe exclaimed. “So, this someone . . . he's on our side, right?”
“I'm not sure,” Clark replied.
Clark, it's me,” Chloe said, clearly fed up with his distant attitude. “Your most trusted friend and secret keeper. How about a few details?”
“Believe it or not, there are some things you don't need to know,” Clark said.
“Look, I understand that you feel like all these psychopathic space invaders are your fault, but you can't keep it all inside,” Chloe insisted. “You feel the need to carry the world on your shoulders, and that's noble. But there are other people out there who want to help you fight the good fight, and you need to let them in. Because sometimes even heroes need to be saved.”
She looked at him and seeing that he wasn’t responding, she shook her head, disappointed. She turned to leave and Clark didn’t stop her. He stood up and walked across the loft, and stopped when he stepped on something.
He looked down and was shocked to see an Oreo cookie there, much like the one he had seen lying on the docks. He did a quick check around but there was nobody there. This was not a good sign.
“Oh,” Chloe’s voice drifted from the bottom of the steps, “Hello Mr. Queen.” Oliver? What was he doing here?
“Hello, Chloe,” Oliver said. “How are you doing?”
“Not bad,” he heard her reply. “But I should get going. Good night.”
“Good night,” Oliver said.
He heard Oliver coming up the steps and tried to remain calm and collected. The way his heart already began to race at the sound of his voice proved he was failing.
“Hey Clark,” Oliver greeted him but Clark didn’t turn around. “I’m not coming at a bad time am I?”
Clark turned around and gave him a small smile. He was but Clark couldn’t bring himself to make him leave.
“No, you’re fine,” Clark said.
“Okay, good,” Oliver replied, grinning.
Clark took a seat on the couch. “Have a seat, Oliver.”
“Thanks,” Oliver said and sat down right next to him.
“We didn’t get to talk . . . after what happened,” Oliver said slowly. Which was true. After Clark’s little speech at the penthouse, they hadn’t seen each other.
Lois monopolized him at the dinner and the two of them left together. Not to mention Clark didn’t go through much trouble to try and reach him afterwards. With the zoner . . . and that was just an excuse. Truth was that he was a little embarrassed at how open he had been with Oliver.
He was also highly uncomfortable around the other man, what, with his feelings coming back and all.
“I wanted to talk,” Oliver said, “At dinner but it didn’t seem to be the right time.”
“You had to make up with Lois,” Clark said, “I don’t blame you. I wasn’t expecting you to seek me out or anything.”
Oliver bit his lip. “So I saw Chloe, leaving. She looked upset.”
“Yeah,” Clark said, feeling regretful at how he treated her. “We had . . . you can, say we had a slight disagreement.”
“Doesn’t happen much does it?” Oliver asked gently.
“No,” Clark said morosely, “I hate it when we fight.”
“You two are close,” Oliver observed. “Does she know . . .?”
“What I can do?” Clark finished. “She knows everything.”
“So she’s your confidante or something?” Oliver quizzed.
“Yeah,” Clark said, “She’s the best . . .” Guilt hit him, as he realized how much he leaned on her and yet how badly he treated her so many times. She was always there for him and if it wasn’t for her, he’d probably be dead. If anyone had treated him the way he treated her, he didn’t know if he would still be around.
Oh god, I screwed up, Clark thought, groaning inwardly. He had to make this up to her. Because he couldn’t bear to lose her.
“Clark?” Oliver’s voice interrupted his thoughts. “You okay?”
“Yeah,” Clark said, “I guess I realized a few things just now.”
“This have to do with your argument?” Oliver asked. Brown eyes met green. “I heard you guys talking when I came in. It seemed pretty intense.” Seeing Clark glance over at him, Oliver flushed lightly. “I wasn’t spying, if that’s what you think.”
“I don’t think that,” Clark assured him. “Umm . . . how much did you hear?”
“Only the last part,” Oliver said, “Something about you carrying the world on your shoulders and there are other people to help you fight. And what she said about heroes needing help too.” He grinned. “Smart woman . . . you should listen to her.”
Clark laughed. “She’s very smart.”
Oliver turned serious. “Clark . . . I came here for a reason.”
“What’s that?” Clark said.
“I wanted to tell you,” Oliver started, “How much what you said meant to me. About what I do meaning something . . . I really appreciated it.”
“I meant every word,” Clark replied.
“I know, that’s what made it even better,” Oliver said, with a smile. “And that’s why I want to apologize.”
“Apologize?” Clark echoed. “What would you have to apologize for?”
“What I said to you,” Oliver replied, “When you first came to see me. All that stuff, about you not doing anything with your powers, kicking you out . . . I was a real jerk.”
“Oliver,” Clark said, “You weren’t yourself! There’s no need to apologize.”
“But I want to,” Oliver insisted. “I feel horrible. And even though I was a jerk, you still stopped me from making the biggest mistake of my life.”
“I was worried about you,” Clark said honestly.
“I know, thank you,” Oliver said. “And I am sorry.”
“I wasn’t upset,” Clark said, “But if it helps, you’re forgiven.”
“It does help,” Oliver said. He paused for a moment. “Clark, I want to tell you something . . . a story.”
“Go ahead,” Clark said. “What about?”
“Do you want to know why I became the Green Arrow?” Oliver asked, “What influenced me to do so?”
“You saw the crime on the streets and wanted to help?” Clark suggested.
“Nope,” Oliver said, “I mean, I saw the problem. But there was more to it than that.”
“What was the reason?” Clark asked.
“A person,” Oliver said, his eyes glazing over. “Not just any person . . . a very special person. He opened my eyes.”
“Really?” Clark managed.
“His name . . . his name was Kal,” Oliver said softly, smiling. “He was amazing.”
“How did you meet?” Clark asked, even though he knew the whole story.
“We met at a club, three years ago,” Oliver responded, already deep in memory, “I saw him protect a female bartender from the unwelcome advances of a drunk man. Then he saved my life the same night. The next night, I saw him save a kid from getting hit by a car. I asked him why he did what he did and he told me.”
“What did he say?” Clark asked.
“He said that the crime wave in Metropolis was crazy,” Oliver recalled, “And that he didn’t have a solution but we should all do our parts, do whatever we can to help humanity. So I decided to do something too. He inspired me.”
He had inspired Oliver to become the Green Arrow? Clark was shocked . . . he had no idea that his words had meant so much. He remembered that conversation, a conversation that had ended with him running off. But neither of them had ever brought it up again, especially after that lunch where Clark made it clear that he wasn’t interested in serious talk.
But he had influenced Oliver, he had changed Oliver. The idea thrilled him a little, that his words could have so much effect on one person’s life.
“That’s really amazing,” Clark said, “Do you still keep in touch with this guy?”
All of a sudden, the smile was gone and Oliver grew serious. “No, I haven’t seen him since that week in Metropolis three years ago. I went there to party, to relax and I ended up falling in love.”
“In love?” Clark choked.
Oliver met his eyes and looked slightly panicked. “That doesn’t make you uncomfortable does it? That I’m bisexual?”
“No, of course not,” Clark said quickly. “I was just surprised . . . how come you don’t keep in touch?”
“Because I had to go,” Oliver said, “We had one incredible night together. And I had to leave for business. It was important, otherwise, I would’ve avoided it. I gave him my number, my e-mail address . . . but he never called. He never wrote.” Oliver looked sad. “I guess I didn’t mean as much to him.”
“I’m sorry Oliver,” Clark said. He had no idea he hurt the other man so much.
“It’s not your fault, Clark,” Oliver said. “It’s not like you broke my heart.” If you only knew, Clark thought.
Oliver pursed his lips together, oblivious to his thoughts. “After weeks of acting like a love sick puppy, I gave up hope. I blocked him out of my mind.” He sighed. “I can hardly recall his face . . . but sometimes, at night, I dream of him. But when I wake up, I don’t remember what I dreamed. I just have this feeling of happiness . . . of content and I know that it was him I dreamt of.”
“Wow,” Clark said softly. He had always wondered if Oliver ever thought of him and he did. But then again, he wasn’t thinking of him . . . he was thinking of Kal. And as far as Clark was concerned, they were two different people.
“Oh God,” Oliver said, shaking his head. “I didn’t mean to tell you all this . . . I just wanted you to know the reason I became the Green Arrow. Why I was so persistent in wanting you to use your powers on a more global scale. I didn’t mean to spill out that much.”
“It’s okay,” Clark said, “I am glad I got to know a little more about you. You can talk to me, you know. That’s what friends are for.”
“Are we friends Clark?” Oliver asked, his tone serious.
“I’d like to think so,” Clark replied. “What do you say?”
“I like that idea a lot,” Oliver said.
Clark grinned at him and Oliver smiled back. Then neither of them said anything, both enjoying the silence.
But a question nagged at Clark and he found he had to ask. “Do you ever regret it?” he asked cautiously. “What you did with Kal?”
“Not for one second,” Oliver answered. “I don’t regret meeting him . . . he changed my life. I wish I could just see him again.” Oliver looked wistful at this. “I wish he knew how much he affected me. Leaving him that day was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.”
And that wasn’t true for just Oliver either. Clark recalled how even as Kal, he hurt when Oliver had to walk out the door. Because he had fallen for the blonde, even back then and though he fiercely tried to resist, he found it to be a futile effort. It had been a wasted effort then and now.
“Anyway,” Oliver moved to get up. “I think we’ve had enough of this depressing conversation for tonight.”
“Oliver,” Clark said hurriedly, before he could take off. “If you ever need someone to talk to, I’ll always be here to listen.”
“Thanks,” Oliver said, with a half smile. “I appreciate the offer and I might just take you up on it sometime.”
“Good,” Clark said.
“But the same goes for you too,” Oliver said, “I know Chloe is your confidante or what not . . . but my door is always open.”
“That sounds really great,” Clark said. He stood up too.
“Good night, Clark,” Oliver said.
“Night Oliver,” Clark responded and watched as the blonde made his way down the steps and finally out of the barn.
When he heard the sound of the car disappearing in the distance, Clark sat back down and relaxed against the couch.
Some of the questions he always had just been answered. But the answers only made him feel worse. Part of Oliver still longed for Kal and all of Clark longed for Oliver. It was too bad that they could never be together.
The day that they separated stood out in his mind. Didn’t someone say “parting is such sweet sorrow”. Something like that anyway. Whoever did was just nuts. There was nothing sweet about parting and parting from Oliver had been even worse.