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.
Once the first tear fell, others followed shortly after. Within moments, he was standing there with tears streaming down his face. And was it suddenly a lot colder in the room? Did the temperature drop? Why else would he be shivering? He tried to stop himself but he succeeded for a couple of seconds, at best, before it started again.
Somehow, he made it back to his bedroom. He didn’t know exactly how he got there but when he looked around, he found he was on his own bed. Sleep wouldn’t come easy that night. Not when all he could focus on was Oliver, not when all he could picture when he closed his eyes was Oliver walking away.
The goodbye had sounded so final. And he had really thought Oliver was The One.
“Look sometimes you got to tuck your feelings away until it's the right time,” Lois advised him, after he found Lana kissing Lex. “Like stuffing dollars into a piggy bank for a bike you can't quite afford.”
“Except, I can't quite imagine there is anyone else out there,” Clark replied.
“Well, you never know, Clark,” Lois told him. “Maybe when you finally crack open that piggy bank you'll find that all this time you haven't been saving for a bike, you've really been saving for a Harley.”
He could remember that conversation with Lois, at a point when he had been so convinced that Lana was going to be the only woman he loved. It seemed that Lois had been right. One of the reasons it had never worked with Lana must’ve been because his heart was waiting for someone else.
Apparently, everyone has seen that but him. Even his mom had suggested Lana might not be the one and that was the real reason he hadn’t told her.
Could it have been possible that even though he had pushed Oliver from his mind, his heart always knew? Was that why he couldn’t ever give himself fully to anyone else? Because deep inside, he knew that he already belonged to a certain blonde billionaire?
Not that it was of any use now . . . Oliver was gone. He had no intention to work things out. Didn’t want to work things out . . . . he stifled a yawn. It had been a long day. Maybe sleep would come after all.
He closed his eyes and drifted off, wanting to escape from the harsh reality of his life. His dreams didn’t cooperate with him that night though. Oliver starred in them, as always, but all he could see was Oliver with other people. Every time he tried to get close to Oliver, it was as if he was hitting a magnetic force field. He could only watch helplessly as Oliver flirted with other people.
A second dream was about Oliver getting married. A woman in white was walking down the aisle and Oliver looked gorgeous in his black tux. He couldn’t se her face and it was as if nobody could see him. He screamed, he objected and tried desperately to gain Oliver’s attention but he was invisible to everyone.
Throughout the night, he tossed and turned, waking up a few times, praying that when he went to sleep again, he would have better dreams. His wishes weren’t granted. Never had he been so grateful when morning arrived.
He needed to distract himself so he tried to keep busy. His chores were taking longer nowadays, his paranoia causing him to do them the normal way. But he needed to waste time. He just had to get his mind off Oliver.
Focus, Clark, focus. He had a life before Oliver and would have a life after him. He still had Zoners to hunt down. There were several super powered alien criminals on the planet and they all had one goal in mind: to kill him. It was high time he went back to searching for them. If he let them find him, who knew how powerful they would get in the meantime? And he couldn’t give them time to find each other. It was hard enough taking them on one-on-one. If there was a group, he probably wouldn’t last.
He made a mental note to pay a visit to the Fortress. Perhaps Jor-El would be able to help him track down the Zoners, now that the Fortress was restored. At least he would have a list of Zoners and know what to expect. That way he’d be able to tell the difference between a Zoner and someone like that monster he encountered in Seattle.
His planning was interrupted when Chloe called him. She wanted to check on how he was doing and he filled her in on what happened with Oliver.
“Oh Clark,” she said, “I can’t believe he knows!”
“I certainly didn’t see it coming,” Clark replied. “Then again, I should’ve. I have been accidentally dropping hints for a while now. It was only a matter a time before he figured it out.”
“Was it all accidental Clark?” Chloe questioned.
“What do you mean?” he asked.
“I mean, maybe a part of you wanted Oliver to figure out,” Chloe said slowly.
“Why would I want him to know about this?” Clark asked.
“I know you, Clark,” Chloe said, “And I know that you wouldn’t want Oliver falling in love with you because of how he felt for Kal but can’t you honestly deny that you hoped it would be enough to get his attention?”
“I wouldn’t do that,” Clark replied but his heart wasn’t in it.
“Okay, Clark, I’m not trying to put words into your mouth,” Chloe said, “I know you’ve been through a lot. So just take it easy okay?”
“I can’t,” Clark said, “I’ve wasted so much time already. I have to go find the Zoners again . . . it’s time just accept the fact that Oliver is out of my life and get back to work.”
He heard Chloe sigh but she didn’t argue with him. “Okay, Clark, do what you have to but please be careful.”
“I will,” he promised. When he hung up, he was more conflicted than ever.
Chloe’s words haunted him all day. Is that what he had been doing? Purposely dropping hints so Oliver would find out? He didn’t want to believe it.
Besides, he had work to do . . . he had to get his life back on track. Somehow, he managed to convince himself of that and pushed the thoughts out of his head.
The next couple of days were busy, as he was devoted to finding the Zoners. But he was met with little success. He constantly analyzed the satellite images he had gotten from Oliver and even went to the Fortress to see what he could find out. Though he had gotten an idea of the types of zoners that were out there, he hadn’t been able to uncover their identities or their locations. Jor-El wasn’t much of a help either.
So he had no other option than to search the world for Zoners and there was no way to get there but to fly. The first time, it had been extremely hard, his fear of heights hitting him at full force, as he stood on top of building.
He thought about Oliver and how the other man had believed in his abilities so much that he had even offered to help him. Memories of all the times they spent together, both in Metropolis and in Smallville, popped into his head. Images of Oliver relaxed him and before he knew it, he was in the air.
Once he was up there, he found it felt incredible. It was such a great feeling, to be up in the air, and look down on everything below him. He was no longer frightened. He practiced staying close by at first but as he grew more confident, he also got bolder with the heights and the distances.
Now that he could finally fly, he knew it would be a major asset in tracking the Zoners. He decided to start with the nearby countries and that was how he found himself in South America.
He was surprised when his phone rang in the middle of his search.
“Kent,” he answered.
“Clark, it’s Chloe,” his best friend replied. “What are you up to?”
“I’m Zoner hunting,” he told her.
“Where are you?” she asked.
“South America,” he replied.
“Wow,” Chloe said, amazement in her voice. “Any luck?”
“Nothing so far,” he admitted.
“Clark, I know hunting down Zoners is your top priority,” Chloe said seriously. “But if you haven't found anything in South America, we still have a situation back here in Kansas we need to deal with.”
“What’s going on?” he questioned.
She filled him on the case that she was working on and her upcoming meeting with a Dr. Casselli.
“Is he there yet?” he asked.
“No, he’ll be here in fifteen minutes,” she informed him.
“Okay, I’m coming back,” he said. Zoners were important but his best friend always came first.
“Great, I’ll see you in a few,” Chloe said and hung up.
Immediately, he took to the skies and he was amazed at how easy it had become already.
When he arrived in the Planet, he was shocked to see Chloe with a gun in her hand, looking shaken and a man on the ground.
“Chloe?” he asked, “You okay?”
“Yeah, just in the nick of time, as always,” she said, with a grateful smile. Clearly she thought he saved her.
“It wasn’t me,” he informed her, “He was already down when I got here.”
Chloe’s expression turned confused at this revelation. “What? Well, if it wasn't you, then who . . .”
She trailed off and he glanced around the room. His eyes fell on a red form in the office, just as it took off. Clark followed and trailed him in and out of the streets of Metropolis. He stopped at a basketball court and surveyed the situation. Now where did that guy go off to?
He heard a whistle and saw the red form in the distance. Using a quick bout of a super speed, he made it across the court, through the players. However, the guy was gone again.
Turning around, he was surprised to find himself face to face with the guy he was looking for. What he didn’t expect was to see the familiar face of none other than Bart Allen, someone he hadn’t seen in a while.
“Still too slow, stretch,” Bart teased.
Clark couldn’t hold back a smile. “Bart.”
Unfortunately, their reunion was short and Bart left quickly, not allowing Clark to ask him any questions about his whereabouts or what he was doing there.
He filled Chloe in the next morning in his loft and though he wanted to tell her the truth, he had to lie about this one, pretending he had no idea who her savior was.
“He got away from you?” Chloe asked disbelievingly. “I thought you were the fastest man alive.”
Bart was indeed a lot faster than him but he couldn’t let her know that. Instead, he continued with his lie.
“Whoever he was, he saved your life, which is more than I can say,” he replied, silently grateful that Bart had shown up when he had. If he hadn’t, he could’ve lost his best friend.
“Oh, come on, Clark,” Chloe said. “It wasn't your fault. Even with all your powers, you can't be everywhere at once.”
“I have to be,” Clark insisted. “I'm the only one who can round up the prisoners from the Phantom Zone and stop Lex from experimenting on people with abilities. What did you find out from Casselli about 33.1?”
“Nothing, and I'm not going to,” Chloe responded. “Casselli was in and out of prison before the ink could dry on his fingerprints.”
“How’d he get out so fast?” Clark questioned.
“I don’t know,” Chloe said, “But a Luthorcorp lawyer paid Casselli a visit before his release.”
“Lex,” Clark realized. Of course, the other man had something to do with this. He would do anything to keep 33.1 under wraps.
“Casselli could be stashed halfway around the world by now,” Chloe said.
“I’ll get in touch with Lionel,” Clark said, “Maybe he’ll tell us something.” He didn’t exactly trust Lionel but the other man had been helpful so far and it wasn’t as if he had any other option.
“I'll keep sifting through my Luthorcorp intel,” Chloe told him. Clearly she knew how doubtful he was in the elder Luthor. “Maybe we'll get lucky, and I'll come up with a few bread crumbs.”
They didn’t get to finish their conversation as Bart chose that moment to appear in the barn.
Seeing Chloe, he grinned. “Hey, gorgeous. What’s up? You miss me?”
Chloe looked puzzled and Clark could tell she didn’t remember Bart.
“I'm Bart Allen,” Bart said. “We had a moment in the Talon last time I was here.”
“Two years ago, before you had a boyfriend,” Clark added, sending Bart a warning glance.
“Oh! Right!” Chloe exclaimed. “Wow. It's good to see you again, Bart.”
“The pleasure's all mine, senorita,” Bart replied, kissing her hand. Chloe looked mildly amused and Clark rolled his eyes.
“I’ll see you around,” Chloe said, addressing him. He nodded and watched her leave.
Bart was watching her go too. “Muy caliente,” Bart said appreciatively.
“Knock it off,” Clark said, “What’s with the Spanish?”
“Well, I just grabbed lunch down in Mexico, man,” Bart said excitedly. “They got this burrito down there . . . el intestine-o buster. You got to take a run down there with me to try one.”
But Clark didn’t buy it. “What are you doing here, Bart?”
“I'm hanging out with my amigo, man,” Bart replied. “What's it look like?”
“That's what I'm trying to find out,” Clark said pointedly. “Last time you blew through town, you stole my dad's wallet then swiped a priceless artifact from Lex. You nearly got yourself killed.”
“Yeah. Yeah, those were the days, huh?” Bart said, with a smile. Seeing Clark not looking amused, he continued. “Yeah, all right. Look, man, I already told you, things are different now, okay? I mean, back then, I needed a super-kick in the butt, and you laid it on me, and ever since then, there's been no more stealing for this gringo, I swear.”
“Am I really supposed to just buy that?” Clark questioned.
“Well, I could squirt out some tears if that'll help,” Bart offered.
“No, but the truth might,” Clark said. “What were you doing at the Daily Planet?”
“I saw Chloe-licious had a byline a while back,” Bart explained. “And I was in town on business, figured I ought to check it out.”
“What kind of business?” Clark prodded. He hated asking so many questions but he had to know. His history with Bart didn’t leave much room for trust.
“I'm a courier,” Bart said. “I pick things up. I drop them off. Lickety-split. Don't have a fit.”
Clark looked skeptical and Bart sighed, giving up. “All right look, man, whatever. You don't trust me, that's fine. Okay, I'll be gone before you can even blink.”
He turned to go but Clark was in front of him in a flash. Bart seemed genuine and wanted to spend time with him. Clark didn’t have the heart to see him go just yet.
“I don't know,” Clark said. “I can still blink pretty fast. Mexico, huh? Want to go get that burrito?”
He knew he made the right decision when Bart grinned at him. “Excelente.”
It turned out that the burrito was exactly what he needed. He found himself actually laughing and having a good time with Bart. The younger man was always amusing, cracking jokes left and right and for once, Clark just let himself relax. Since Bart was so careless, Clark made sure to keep an eye out, because the last thing he wanted to do was have to explain how he was suddenly in Mexico. Lex had a good memory and if he saw Bart again, there would be trouble. If he saw Bart with Clark, there would be even more trouble.
But overall, the lunch was extremely pleasant and Clark was almost regretful to see Bart go. The other man had to get back to work and Clark knew that he had to go see Lionel.
He had been trying to contact Lionel several times but it seemed the other man was dodging him. Fortunately, he was around when he met him but nothing could’ve prepared him for what he was going to hear when he walked into the room.
Not only did Lionel deny having anything to do with 33.1 and Casselli, he accused Clark of breaking into one of the Luthorcorp plants. In Mexico.
The minute he said Mexico, Clark’s heart sank and his stomach filled with dread. But when he saw the security photo, all his doubts were confirmed.
He assured Lionel it wasn’t him and managed to avoid the question on who it actually was. He had to get out of there.
Because just one look at that red flash on the photo and everything made sense.
Oh Bart, he thought sadly, What have you gotten yourself into now?