Story: Forever May Not Be Long Enough
Pairing/Characters: Collie, Chloe/Jimmy, mentions of past Clana, Lexana & Lollie
Disclaimer: don’t own anything
Warning: slash, mentions of m/m sex
Spoilers: season 7 (parts of it is true, others I made up)
Summary: After graduation, Clark knows he needs to go for his training and it causes him to make some tough choices.
Chloe was staring at him as if he was a lunatic.
“Clark,” she said, “That wasn’t exactly the realization I was expecting. I was hoping for more of an ‘I can’t break up with Ollie’ and ‘I have to go tell him the truth now’ type thing.”
“Chloe, you know that’s not an option,” Clark told her.
“How is that not an option?” Chloe demanded. She looked frustrated and Clark didn’t blame her. Chloe was their biggest supporter and she really cared about Oliver . . . of course she would be furious at him for talking about breaking his heart.
“Look, Chloe,” Clark started but Chloe was quick to cut him off.
“How is that not an option?” she repeated. “I mean, how hard is it going to Oliver and saying ‘hi, Ollie, look, my psycho biological father is making me go on this training and I need the info to stay alive so I have to leave in a month. But I love you and want to be with you and I know we can make it through this hurdle’.”
Clark smiled sadly. “You make it sound so easy.”
“That’s because,” Chloe countered, “it is easy. You’re the one who is overcomplicating matters.”
“But in the end, it will be simpler,” Clark argued. “I mean, even if we stayed together, I don’t know a thing about my training. Where it will take place, how long it will take or how it will go about . . . there’s a chance I might not be able to contact Ollie at all.”
“Clark,” Chloe said patiently, “You will find a way. I know you . . . and I believe in you. Even if you can’t see each other, it’s not like Oliver will be sitting around idly. He has a company to run, and a team that requires much of his time. Besides, if he is ever lonely for company, both your mom and I will take good care of him.”
“Things will be different when I return,” Clark protested. “Who knows what will happen in my training? And what if he meets someone when I’m gone? He should be free; it’s not fair that he would be tied down.”
“Haven’t you ever heard the phrase ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’?” Chloe asked. “I know him and I’ve seen the two of you together. Don’t you notice the way he looks at you? He loves you so much . . . I’ve never seen him look at anyone the way he looks at you.” She smiled warmly. “Clark, I think for him, you’re it. You’re the one for him.”
“But how will he know if he doesn’t explore?” Clark pleaded.
Chloe snorted. “Clark, this is Oliver Queen . . . I’m sure he’s been around the block a couple of times. He’s seen his options and he picked you. He doesn’t seem to regret it so stop putting words in his mouth.”
“You made good points,” Clark conceded. “But I made my decision . . .”
“I love you a lot Clark,” Chloe said, “But sometimes, I swear, you’re so stupid and stubborn . . .”
“I’m sorry you feel that way, Chlo,” Clark stated. “If I didn’t have to do this, I wouldn’t. But in the long run, it will be the best choice.”
“You’ve made up your mind,” Chloe sighed, “I can see that. But how on Earth are you going to get Oliver to break up with you?”
“I don’t know,” Clark admitted. “I won’t be able to break up with Oliver so I have to trick him into breaking up with me.”
“No offense Clark,” Chloe said, “But you’re not exactly the sneaking and plotting type . . . there’s no way you’ll pull the wool over Oliver’s eyes.”
“I have to, Chlo,” Clark insisted. “This is the only way.”
“Clark,” Chloe said. “Oliver really loves you . . . short of you cheating on him, there’s no way that he will break up with you.”
Clark’s eyes lit up at her last statement and Chloe’s stomach sank.
“Clark,” Chloe said slowly, “Please don’t tell me you’re going to do what I think you’re going to do . . .”
“You just gave me a great idea Chloe,” Clark declared.
Oh no, Chloe thought, this is not going to be good.
“Clark, please don’t say you’re going to cheat on Oliver,” Chloe replied, “I will have to kick your ass.”
“I’m not going to cheat on Ollie,” Clark said, looking horrified.
“Good,” Chloe said, relieved.
“I’m going to make him think I’m cheating on him,” Clark corrected her.
“Please tell me you’re joking,” Chloe said hopefully.
Clark shook his head. “No, I’m serious.”
“My best friend is an idiot,” Chloe said, shaking her head.
“Chloe!” Clark exclaimed. But his best friend was furious.
“Do you expect me to support this?” Chloe yelled. “How can I just stand here and watch you destroy the best relationship of your life? Hurting not only yourself but also the man you love? Breaking up with him would’ve hurt him greatly but do you have any idea what this will do to him?”
“Of course I do, Chlo,” Clark shot back, “I know, because it’s killing me just thinking of it. Just thinking of letting Ollie believe that I’m anything but faithful to him, just imagining his face when he believes that I’m cheating . . . I don’t know what I’m going to do when that moment comes.” He choked, tears shimmering in his eyes.
“Then why are you doing this?” Chloe wanted to know, her anger dying when she noticed the pain Clark was in.
“The last time I got convinced to go to Jor-El, I came back as Kal-El,” Clark remembered. “I was bent on fulfilling my destiny. If it wasn’t for my mom, I would’ve stayed that way.” He met Chloe’s gaze. “I don’t really trust Jor-El, despite the fact he’s stopped threatening my loved ones to get to me. We have a history and I plan to be wary of this training, no matter how much I need it. I’m going to go and give it my all but don’t think for a second that I trust him.”
“So what does this have to do with Oliver?” Chloe questioned.
“It has everything to do with Oliver,” Clark explained. “I don’t know the person I’m going to come back after my training . . . I’m frightened of what it will do to me. I can’t make a promise to Oliver to return when I don’t even know that myself.”
“But you’ll be okay,” Chloe said fearfully, “I mean, Jor-El wouldn’t kill his only son!”
“Who knows what he will do?” Clark said. “It’s just best that we part ways now, before I hurt him even more later.”
He bit his lip and looked pleadingly at Chloe. “I need you, Chlo. I know you don’t support this or agree with what I’m doing . . . but I just have to. Please, please help me.”
I can’t believe he’s doing this. Chloe saw how desperate he was. She hated this plan, hated what Clark was doing. But it was Clark. And she loved him too much to deny him anything.
“Okay,” she agreed. “I’ll help you . . . I don’t like it but I will.” Clark smiled gratefully, but the pain in his eyes was evident.
I’m so sorry, Oliver, she said silently.
“All right then,” Chloe said finally, “We have to form a plan . . . if we are going to do this, we’ll have to do it right.”
“Thanks Chloe,” Clark said. What would I do without her? He didn’t want to find out.
“I’m always here for you Clark,” Chloe replied, “You can always come to me.”
“I know, and I appreciate it,” Clark said honestly.
“We have a lot of work to do,” Chloe said firmly. “Shall we begin?”
Clark nodded. “Yeah, we can.” He took a deep breath. “Let’s do this.”
Where are you? Oliver glanced, for what felt like the millionth time, at his clock. Clark had left hours ago and his sudden departure was still on Ollie’s mind. It was almost as if he was running away. He didn’t even get a goodbye kiss.
Oliver made a quick decision and dialed Clark’s cell phone. And waited. One ring, two rings, three rings . . . Clark had never taken this long to pick up. Four rings, five rings . . . it was going to the answering machine. Oliver hung up.
Clark always picked up his cell phone. Something was wrong . . . he could just sense it. More than a little concerned, he dialed the number to Clark’s apartment. And waited. But the call ended up going to the machine again.
“3rd time’s the charm,” Oliver muttered. Clark was probably still with Chloe and he knew the blonde had to have her cell phone with her.
Silently congratulating himself on his good memory, he quickly dialed Chloe’s cell number. She picked up within two rings.
“Sullivan,” Chloe answered.
“Chloe, it’s Oliver,” Oliver said.
“Oh hi, Oliver,” Chloe replied cheerfully. “What’s up?”
“I was actually hoping to speak with Clark,” Oliver said. “I wanted to know when he would be returning.”
There was a pause. “Oliver,” Chloe said slowly, “Clark’s not with me.”
Oliver froze. “Excuse me?”
“I said he’s not with me,” Chloe said again. “I thought he was with you.”
“No, he is not with me,” Oliver responded icily. “If he was, I wouldn’t be calling you to try and find him, now would I?”
“No need to be rude about it,” Chloe shot back, sounding offended. “I’m not the one who doesn’t know where my boyfriend is.”
Oliver sighed. “You’re right and I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to snap at you. I’m just worried about Clark. I tried calling his cell phone and I called the apartment . . . I just don’t like the feeling of not knowing where he is.”
Chloe’s tone softened. “Look, Oliver, I’m sure he’s fine. Clark’s a big boy; he can take care of himself.”
“I guess . . .” Oliver said doubtfully.
“Look, I’ll keep an ear out,” Chloe offered. “If I hear from him, I will tell him that you’re looking for him or I’ll just give you the lowdown.”
“Thanks Chloe,” Oliver said gratefully.
“You’re welcome,” Chloe responded. “Don’t fret too much, okay?”
“I’ll try not to,” Oliver said.
“Take care, Oliver,” Chloe said.
“You too,” Oliver told her and after exchanging a quick goodbye, he hung up.
Even after promising Chloe he wouldn’t worry, Oliver couldn’t help himself. It seemed as though Clark and he were dealing with a rocky patch in their relationship and Clark randomly disappearing did not help the situation.
It’s fine, he told himself, all couples experience problems. They had gone two years without any major issues . . . something was bound to come up. It was inevitable . .. . everything was just too perfect.
Oliver was confident that they would deal with it. They were not the first couple to deal with problems and they certainly wouldn’t be the last. In fact, they would probably have more down the road. No relationship was perfect, it required work and sacrifice. As corny as it sounded, Oliver truly believed love conquered all. As long as they loved one another, they would make it.
However, as another hour passed and there was still no sign of Clark, Oliver began to stress again. He debated calling Chloe but he knew it would be pointless. If she had heard anything, she would call him. All he could do was wait . . . and that was going to be the most difficult part.
He tried to push his worries aside by different distraction techniques. First, he did some work for Queen Industries but there was only so much he could do. Then, he attempted to see what the league plans were, sending quick e-mails to Bart, AC and Victor to check up on them.
Yet, he never managed to stay busy for long periods of time. Eventually, he gave up and headed to his desk, which was conveniently situated near the elevator. That way, when Clark came in, he’d know immediately.
It was another forty-five minutes before his boyfriend finally decided to make an appearance. By that time, Oliver was more than a little annoyed. Clark had gone out for lunch but had been MIA for most of the day. And he didn’t even have the courtesy to give Oliver a call about his plans.
Oliver was tempted to give Bart a call and have him scourge the city to find Clark but resisted. His hand was on the phone when the familiar noise of the elevator drew his attention. The door opened and Clark walked in, smiling, and obviously oblivious to Oliver’s worries.
Clark saw him sitting there and seemed taken aback. “Oh, hi, Ollie.” Hi Ollie? That was all he was going to get? How about a ‘sorry I disappeared and didn’t even bother to pick up my phone’ or a ‘I didn’t mean to keep you worrying all day’.
“Hello, Clark,” he said, trying to remain calm and keep his emotions in check. He didn’t want to start an argument by making accusations. No, he would get the truth out of Clark in his own way.
“Were you . . . were you waiting for me?” Clark asked.
“You’ve been gone for hours,” Oliver pointed out.
“I went for lunch with Chloe,” Clark replied, frowning.
“Yes, lunch,” Oliver said, emphasizing the word, “It’s almost dinnertime now.”
“I was with Chloe,” Clark said, shrugging. “We lost track of time.”
“Is that so?” Oliver questioned, raising an eyebrow.
Clark seemed offended. “Yes, I don’t understand why you’re acting so suspicious.”
“That’s funny,” Oliver said. “Because I called Chloe. You parted ways more than two hours ago. So how about the truth. Where were you?”
“You called Chloe?” Clark echoed. “What is wrong with you?”
“What’s wrong with me?” Oliver repeated, anger creeping into his tone. “I’m not the one who ran out of here this afternoon without even giving the slightest hint to when he’ll be back. I’m not the one who doesn’t pick up his cell phone . . .”
“But you’re not my mother,” Clark hissed, “You’re my boyfriend and I don’t have to tell you everything.”
“Yes, but we’re practically living together now,” Oliver pointed out coldly. “The circumstances have changed.”
“I didn’t realize living together entailed informing each other about our whereabouts 24/7,” Clark retorted.
“Look, Clark,” Oliver responded, trying desperately to keep his cool. “I wouldn’t leave for hours at a stretch without at least giving you notice where I was or when I’d return. Forgive me if I expect the same courtesy from you.”
“You knew I was with Chloe,” Clark told him.
“I knew you were with Chloe for lunch,” Oliver corrected. “But you two separated and I had no idea where you were after that.”
His boyfriend scowled. “Just because you wish to tell me where you are all the time does not mean I feel the same way.”
Oliver’s jaw dropped. Whatever he had been expecting, it was not that. Clark’s words were like needles stabbing at his heart.
“I was worried about you,” Oliver said, unable to hide the hurt from his voice. Brown eyes met green and Oliver noticed guilt residing in those eyes he loved so much.
“I can take care of myself,” Clark said stiffly.
“I know that,” Oliver replied. “It’d just make things easier if you kept me updated. I love you, Clark . . . and if I seem overprotective, I’m sorry. I only do it because I love you so much and it drives me crazy to even think something might’ve happened to you.”
Clark’s eyes softened but his expression remained aloof. He looked like he was going to say something but changed his mind. Instead, he walked past Oliver, heading toward their bedroom.
“Clark,” Oliver said, the last of his patience dying. “What’s going on with you?”
Clark froze. “I don’t understand what you mean.”
“You’ve been acting strangely,” Oliver said. “These past few days . . . you’ve been pulling away from me, Clark. I can feel it.”
“You’re imaging things,” Clark said, his voice off.
“Clark, I talk about moving our relationship forward and you change the topic,” Oliver said. “You’ve been trying to provoke an argument several times . . . I’ve waited patiently for answers but no longer.”
“I don’t want to talk about this right now,” Clark said, continuing on his path toward the bedroom.
“You never want to talk,” Oliver said, finally exploding. “We can keep avoiding this . . . why do I feel like I am the only one fighting for this relationship?”
Clark spun around. “You’re paranoid and did you ever think it’s you? I don’t know when you became so clingy but I don’t like it.” Someone could’ve stabbed him in the heart and the pain wouldn’t have been any less than what he was experiencing at that moment.
Clark glared at him, waiting for a response bur Oliver couldn’t form words if his life depended on it.
“Well?” Clark demanded, “You wanted to talk and here I am, talking . . . and you say nothing.” He rolled his eyes. “You know what, I don’t want to deal with this right now.”
Oliver watched motionless as Clark walked toward the elevator.
“I’ll be back in a couple of hours,” Clark called out and disappeared before Oliver could say anything.
Did that really happen? That was not how he planned the conversation to go at all. How could Clark just say all that to him?
Clark was the only one who had the power to hurt him. With Clark, he had opened his heart for the first time, gave himself completely. And had gotten two years of perfect bliss. Sometimes he wondered if it was all a dream.
It seems reality is finally catching up to me after all. Clark had walked out and Oliver didn’t know when or even if he’d be back. The pain was unbearable.
And for the first time since his parents died, Oliver put his head in his hands and cried.