“Lex!” Clark yelled, “Don’t leave me here, Lex!” Overcome with immense pain, he was surprised that his vocal chords were even working. However, his calls for help seemed to fall on deaf ears. The man who was once his best friend just kept walking away. Oh God, was Lex going to leave him here, to die?
And was he really going to die? All those times he had barely escaped death . . . would today be the day he lost the battle? Clark’s throat was closing up and he desperately needed to get away from all the kryptonite. What a way to die . . . in a dark cave, alone.
Alone . . . he would die and would never get to say goodbye to anyone. His mom, Lois, Chloe . . . Oliver. And where did that name come from? Clark sighed and closed his eyes, remembering the chocolate brown eyes, the chiseled chin, the spiky blonde hair, that goddamn smirk . . .all the elements that made up the gorgeous Oliver Queen.
Every time Clark had thought he finally pushed all thoughts of Oliver away, they came back at full force when he least expected it and each time, it was getting harder to forget. Clark wasn’t sure if he wanted to forget anymore. He remembered too clearly the last time he saw Oliver, what he was wearing, his last words. “This isn’t the end Clark,” Oliver had assured him when he expressed disappointment at not being able to go with them. “This is just the beginning.”
It would be the end, OF HIM, if he didn’t find a way out soon. Why hadn’t he told Oliver how he felt about him? He was so concerned about how everyone would react that he pushed aside his feelings and now he may never get to tell Ollie the truth- that he was madly in love with him. That he loved how his eyes would darken when he was angry, that adorable smirk he used when he was being smug, how he always tried to cover up his fear with anger and tried to be so strong.
Strong . . . Oliver was one of the strongest people that Clark had met. If Oliver was here, he would be working his hardest to get himself out. Clark was suddenly filled with new resolve. What would Oliver think if he saw him, giving up like this?
Clark began pushing off the smaller rocks. He knew the clock was ticking down and he didn’t have much time but if he was going to die, he would sure as hell put up a fight. Each rock was heavier than the last but Clark gathered up all his strength and kept pushing.
One down . . . the largest one. If he got this off, he’d be free. Don’t give up, Clark, do it for me, a voice in his head, that sounded a lot like Oliver, was saying. Taking a deep breath, he concentrated on pushing the rock off.
Suddenly, the rock flew off him. Clark looked up, in shock to see Lex standing there to see with a pole in his hand. Clark’s mind went blank. Lex had come back. Lex had come back and saved his life. Seeing Clark’s expression, Lex raised an eyebrow.
“Did you really think I was going to let you die alone down here Clark?” he questioned. Yes, was the first word that popped in Clark’s mind. He didn’t say it aloud but he might as well have. Lex observed his unchanging expression and the disbelief in his eyes and pursed his lips together.
“I guess you never knew me at all,” Lex finished, his expression stoic. But those blue-gray eyes said everything that Lex didn’t. Lex didn’t say anything else; he just helped Clark to his feet and they were off.
Overwhelmed with conflicting emotions, Clark refrained from saying anything. There wasn’t much time left before the bombs exploded; they needed to get out of there NOW. Finally they found the ladder and started to make their way up.
When Lex slipped, Clark had to stop himself from panicking and quickly grabbed his hand. Memories ran through his mind, as he flashbacked to the last time that he had kept Lex from falling- that horrible class trip, Level 3 and Earl. He didn’t give up then and he wasn’t going to give up now, even if their relationship had changed.
Clark pulled and Lex found his balance again. They quickly climbed the remaining stairs and started to push the top off. Both barely managed to roll out and get out of the way, as the bombs went off and exploded.
Getting to his feet, Clark couldn’t believe his luck. He was alive. Once again, he had tricked death. And Lex had saved him. His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of cars heading toward them. He looked up at the row of ambulances and police cars coming their way.
There was a black car and a person was getting out. Lana. Their eyes met and she was heading his way. She stopped right in front of him. Words were left unspoken but the worry in her eyes was clear. Briefly she touched his cheek and as quickly as she had come, she was gone. Heading toward Lex, her husband. Surprisingly, Clark didn’t feel any loss. Seeing Lana, all he felt was nostalgia and a memory of better times. But he knew he was over her. Yes, a part of him would always care about her; she was his first love after all. However, that once dizzy crazy feeling he used to get when he was around her was long gone.
He silently watched as Lana approached Lex and the two of them embraced. Lex shot him a look but Clark couldn’t care less. He was more worried about Lana’s wellbeing, as a friend of course, than anything else. It was clear that Lana really loved Lex and as long as she was happy, he would accept it.
But he missed Oliver like crazy. He was tired of being alone, of everyone else having someone except for him. Oliver was everything he wasn’t and he adored him for it. What he wouldn’t give just to see him again. Closing his eyes, he imagined Oliver showing up and saying his name, in that deep wonderful voice.
“Clark.” Clark smiled to himself. Just like that. “Clark!” This time, the voice was more frantic and Clark realized he wasn’t dreaming. He opened his eyes and found himself facing one very scared Oliver Queen.
“Oliver,” Clark said surprised.
“Yeah, well, I’m certainly not the Easter Bunny,” Oliver quipped, the traditional smirk gracing his features.
Clark knew he was grinning stupidly and couldn’t care less. “You’re here,” he stammered. “Why are you here?”
Oliver’s expression turned serious. “Clark, I was in Metropolis on business. I was coming here to surprise you and I called Chloe. She told me what happened.” He bit his lip and his voice cracked. “You almost died; I was so worried I wouldn’t get here in time.”
And Oliver sounded pained. Clark would do anything to take that pain out of his voice. He did the first thing he could think of; he hugged him. Oliver stiffened for an instant but after a few seconds, returned the embrace.
Clark was in heaven. Heaven was in Oliver Queen’s arms and he was the privileged one, getting to experience it. The familiar mix of Ralph Lauren cologne and citrus comforted him and he was at peace.
“Don’t worry,” he whispered in Oliver’s ear, “I’m fine. You can’t get rid of me that easily.” Clark felt Oliver relaxing and smiled.
Knowing Oliver, he realized that showing this kind of emotion was difficult for him. He always wanted to play the tough guy and when he was scared, he got angry, to avoid showing any weakness. In public, at least, he felt he had to keep up an image.
Then there was the Oliver he fell in love with, the soft, sweet caring man who watched a classmate die and vowed to change his life because of it. The one who risked his life on a daily basis to save others.
Clark could stay in the moment forever, but suddenly felt as if though they were being watched. Looking up, he saw Lex and Lana watching them, with shock written in their expressions. But he paid them no heed. Who cared what they thought anyway?
Finally, he forced himself to separate. Green eyes met brown ones. “Are you okay?” Clark questioned.
Oliver gave a hoarse laugh. “Am I okay? You’re the one who almost died and you’re asking if I’m okay?”
He was embarrassed about breaking down in front of Clark. Clark knew he needed to assure Oliver that it was okay, that he would never be judged as long as Clark was around.
“Don’t worry about it,” Clark told him. Oliver didn’t say anything but his eyes expressed relief that Clark didn’t think he was a weakling. He put his hand on Clark’s shoulder but unfortunately, he touched the bruise.
Clark winced unconsciously and Oliver pulled his hand back, as if he had been burned. “It’s not you,” Clark was quick to say.
“You’re injured.” It was a statement, not a question.
“It’s nothing,” Clark insisted. Oliver shot him a look. “Okay, I got hurt but it’s healing. It’s just taking a while.”
“What happened?” Oliver was serious again. Clark didn’t like serious Oliver. But he knew that before he got teasing Oliver back, he would have to explain.
“I’ll tell you,” Clark promised. “But not here. Can we go somewhere a little more private?”
“I have my car,” Oliver said. “We can go back to my place? But do you have to call anyone first? Your mom?”
“I’ll call her from the car,” Clark replied. They got ready to leave when out of nowhere, Lex and Lana popped up. Something in Clark told him that this was not going to be a good reunion.
“Hey Lex,” Clark said. “Lana. What’s up?”
“Clark,” Lex said. “Just wanted to see if you were all right.”
Oliver immediately got on the defensive. “He’s fine. No thanks to you.”
Clark’s gaze darted to Oliver in surprise, shocked at the blonde’s tone. Lex just raised an eyebrow, not the least bit perturbed.
“I’ll have you know that I saved his life.”
“Clark wouldn’t have even been in there if it weren’t for you,” Oliver snapped. “Let me guess- you got into one of your typical schemes and Clark had to come and bail you out. When are you going to start thinking of someone other than yourself Luthor?”
“Oliver!” Clark exclaimed, horrified. He had never seen Oliver act like this; usually, the man set the standards for calm and composed.
“It’s okay Clark,” Lex interjected. “It’s a free country; he can say what he likes. Not all of us can be mature, rational adults.” Lana wasn’t saying anything. Clark felt the sudden urge to run out of there.
“You’re calling yourself a calm, rational adult?” Oliver scoffed. “More than a spoiled, egotistical bastard who doesn’t care how many lives he jeopardizes as long as he gets what he wants! Clark shouldn’t have even tried to save you- a world without you in it would be a better world indeed.”
“Oliver, enough!” Clark yelled. “You guys are acting like children.” This caused Oliver to turn on him.
“Why are you defending him Clark?” he hissed. “Why are you always defending him? He’s not worth it! Because of him, you almost died and here you stand, still defending him!”
“I’m not always defending him,” Clark responded icily. “You are making a scene. You don’t know what happened today. I chose to go after him; nobody forced me. And when push came to shove, he saved my life. He didn’t have to but he did come back for me. So I’m not going to have you acting this way! So back off!”
Oliver looked as if he had been slapped. His expression quickly turned stony though his eyes remained full of anguish and hurt. “Fine,” he said, his voice cold as ice, “If that is how you feel, I will. I’m sorry my caring about you annoys you so much. Continue to defend him as much as you like; see if I care.” Gathering himself up, Oliver turned and walked off.
“Oh god,” Clark muttered. What had he done? That’s not what he wanted at all! He faced Lex and Lana. “I’ve got to go.”
“Clark!” he heard Lex call after him but he was already chasing after Oliver, who was walking quickly toward his car.
“Oliver, wait,” he shouted but this didn’t slow the other man down. In fact, it did the opposite. Oliver was walking even faster. Forcing himself not to use his super speed, he tried to quicken his pace.
Finally, he caught Oliver at his car. The orange Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 was a sight to behold but Clark wasn’t concentrating on the car. He was focusing on the beautiful blonde, whose feelings he had clearly hurt. Oliver wasn’t moving; he probably figured that Clark could outrun the car so there was no point in trying to get away. But that didn’t mean he was going to speak to him.
“Oliver,” Clark said, this time more gently. He took Oliver’s face in his hands and turned him so they were eye to eye. And the minute he saw his expression, Clark felt a ton of guilt settle in his stomach.
There was so much heartbreak in those eyes and Clark felt like the devil himself. “Ollie,” he tried again and then he realized he had no idea what to say. Clark didn’t even understand the reason for Oliver’s outburst. “What happened?”
Now Oliver looked annoyed. “You came after me to accuse me of stuff? Nice, Clark, real nice.” He shook his head. “I don’t know why I bother . . .” He fumbled with his pockets, as if he was looking for his keys. Clark put his hand on his arm, gaining his attention again.
“I didn’t mean to accuse you,” Clark said softly. “I just said the first thing that came to my mind. Ollie, I don’t know what to say! I don’t understand why you’re mad at me. You freaked me out back there. You’re one of the calmest people I’ve ever known and you’re the last one I ever expected to scream like that, at Lex of all people. I’m sorry I yelled but I didn’t want Lex to get the advantage, by making you lose your cool and it was the only way I knew how to stop you.”
Oliver remained stoic, despite his confession. Before Clark could blink, he had found his keys, walked to the passenger’s side of the car and opened the door. Noticing Clark’s confused expression, he sighed.
“What are you standing there for?” Oliver asked. “Get in.” Clark, still in shock, could do nothing but follow his commands.
Wordlessly, Oliver got to the driver’s seat and started the car. They were off, heading to what Clark presumed was Oliver’s penthouse.
No words were spoken and Clark was a little unnerved by the silence. Feeling the need to speak, he started the conversation. “I’m going to call my mom. Is that all right?” Not the best opener, but it was something.
“Fine with me.” Not much of a reply either. Then he was handed a phone. Before Clark could even ask, Oliver added, “I assume you don’t have yours- I doubt it survived your little escapade.” After a quick check, he realized he didn’t. Was Oliver psychic? He took the handed phone.
“Thanks.” From memory, he dialed his mother’s cell phone and was surprised to see it already in Oliver’s phone. Not wanting more questions, he put the phone to his ear and let it ring.
“Hello, Martha Kent.” Clark had never been so happy to hear his mother’s voice.
“Mom,” he said softly.
“Clark!” his mother exclaimed, “Are you okay? I was so worried about you! Where are you? Did you find Lex?”
“Mom, I’m fine,” he assured her. “I’m fine. Yes, I found Lex and he’s fine now too.”
“Sweetheart,” she said, “Where are you? Is anyone there with you? Are you hurt? Which number are you calling from?”
“I’m calling from Oliver’s cell phone,” Clark explained. “He’s with me right now. Don’t worry, I’m not hurt.”
“Oliver’s there?” Martha sounded surprised.
“Yeah,” Clark said. “He was in Metropolis on business and came to check up on me when he found out what happened. How’s Lionel?”
“He’ll be okay,” Martha told him. “He was in surgery for a while but doctors said he will recover. Are you sure you’re okay?”
“Yeah, I’m good,” Clark said. He would’ve told his mom about the kryptonite in the caves and Lex saving him but he figured that was a more in-person story. The last thing he needed to do was worry her over the phone. “I’m glad Lionel will be fine.”
“Me too,” Martha said. “So I’ll let you go. If you need anything, call me okay?”
“I will Mom.” Clark promised.
“I love you sweetie,” his mom said. He felt bad; he went on these dangerous adventures all the times and he hardly ever thought about how scared his mom must get.
“I love you too Mom,” he replied. “Don’t worry; I’m not going anywhere.”
“I know, Clark,” Martha said, “I know.” But she didn’t sound convinced. They said their goodbyes and he hung up.
He placed the phone in the holder he saw. There was silence once again but this time Oliver was the one to break it.
“So your mom’s okay?” he asked.
“Yeah, she’s fine,” Clark told him. “She’s in the hospital, with Lionel.” Oliver nodded, but kept his gaze focused on the road.
Clark hated the silence. When there was silence, his mind took over and right now, there were too many thoughts spinning in his head. He had so many questions and no answers. Who was that woman who abducted Lex? There was no doubt Lex had done something; just because the other man had saved him, it didn’t change Clark’s suspicions of him and whatever he was doing. Lex was not innocent and he cringed inwardly thinking what nefarious plan he was up to now.
“Why Clark?” Oliver asked suddenly, breaking his silence.
“Why what?” Clark was puzzled.
“Why do you always protect him?” Oliver asked again, his voice barely a whisper. Meeting Clark’s surprised gaze briefly, he shrugged. “I was going to wait until we got back to my place but it’s been killing me. You were devastated when you thought he was dead and no matter what trouble he seems to get into, even if it is his fault, you’re there to save him. And I want to know why.”
How was he going to explain his relationship with Lex to Oliver? The Lex Clark knew and the one that Oliver remembered and was currently used to were two different people.
“It’s complicated,” Clark tried, attempting to push the conversation off.
“Then simplify it,” Oliver retorted. “I need to understand.”
“Why do you care?” Clark wondered aloud. Clark waited for a response . . . nothing. Conversation over. Clark didn’t know whether to feel relieved or disappointed. Part of him really wanted to know what Oliver would say.
Hope bloomed as he allowed his mind to process the intensity of Oliver’s questions. It had to be a good thing, didn’t it? Oliver’s curiosity had to mean he cared about Clark. Stop it Clark. Don’t go there. What was the use in deluding himself? Oliver would never love him like that. Hell, he was probably still in love with Lois!
Unexpectedly, Oliver slammed the breaks on and Clark had to hold onto his seat to prevent himself from flying forward. Somewhere along the way, Oliver had exited the highway and pulled over on a deserted road.
“Oliver, what the hell . . .” But Clark didn’t get to finish his question because Oliver turned and the passion in those brown eyes were enough to leave him speechless. And even if he wanted to say anything, he wouldn’t be able to.
Because suddenly, Oliver was kissing him and all thought flew out of his head. Their first kiss. It was a little awkward, with the limited amount of space in the car. But what he always dreamed of was now becoming a reality and Clark couldn’t bring himself to care about the circumstances. He responded fervently.
Oliver’s tongue traced his bottom lip, as if asking for entrance. Clark granted it to him by opening his mouth just slightly. Their tongues battled and Clark wrapped his arms around Oliver, pulling him out of his seat and into his lap. He was freed from his seat belt and Oliver had clearly pushed the seat back all the way, since Clark was now lying flat on his back, with Oliver sprawled out on top of him.
Clark ran his hands through the blonde hair that he always imagined touching. Despite all the gel Oliver put in his hair to keep it spiky, his hair was surprisingly soft. Oliver reciprocated the move.
“God Clark,” he murmured, “What is your hair made of- silk?” But words failed him, at least when Oliver was tracing small kisses along his jaw. Missing his lips already, Clark led his mouth back to Oliver’s. Perfect. He didn’t know what was happening or what was going through Oliver’s mind. But for once, he wasn’t going to think of the future, of the consequences. He was going to enjoy the moment and whatever happened . . . well, it didn’t matter.
Just as abruptly as the kiss had started, it ended with the same note. Oliver pulled away but made no move to get off Clark. Not that he was complaining. Oliver’s breathing was off and his lips were swollen and Clark had never seen anything more beautiful. He met the older man’s eyes and was taken aback at the amount of emotion he saw there.
“Ollie?” Clark quizzed. Oliver just put one finger to his lips to silence him.
“You asked,” Oliver started, “why I cared about your and Lex’s relationship. This is your answer.” Observing Clark’s widened eyes, he continued. “Ever since I left, you’re all I could think about. The way you look, your laugh, the color of your eyes . . . Those phone calls were too few and not long enough.”
“What are you saying?” Clark whispered, trying not to get his hopes up.
“I’m saying that I’m in love with you,” Oliver declared, looking nervous. “I’ve never felt like this for anyone. It sounds corny but I woke up one day and realized the reason I couldn’t stop thinking about you was that somewhere along the line, I had fallen for you.” Oliver shifted his position and rested his head on Clark’s shoulder, not meeting his gaze.
Clark put an arm around him, and kissed his forehead. Clearly feeling encouraged to go on, Oliver said, “Yes I did have a little business in Metropolis but it could’ve been avoided. I came mostly to see you and to find out if there was the slightest chance you could have feelings for me too. When I called Chloe and she told me that you were in danger, I thought I may never see you again. And when I found out it was because of Lex, and seeing that smug look at his face later, I just lost it.”
Oh Oliver, Clark thought. He had no idea he could inspire such strong emotions. Apparently, as Clark was trying to find his way back to Oliver, he was doing the same thing.
Oblivious to his thoughts, Oliver kept on talking. “I know it sounds silly, but I was jealous of Lex, jealous of the bond that you had. Jealous that I didn’t know how far or deep your relationship went and how you really felt about him, how you felt about me. When you asked me that question, why did I care, I just didn’t know what to tell you. So I decided to show you. It’s crazy . . .”
“You’re right,” Clark interrupted, finally managing to find a place to get a word in. “It is crazy.” Noticing Oliver’s disappointed expression and Clark quickly felt him stiffen in his arms. Realizing how his words may have sounded, he shook his head.
“What I mean,” he corrected himself, “was that it’s crazy that you would think I have feelings for Lex. He and I were always just friends and I never wanted anything more than that. My feelings for him were always 100% platonic and they still are.” He let out a smile. “Besides, it is you that I’m in love with.” He paused, waiting for the right reaction.
He got it. Oliver pulled himself up and looked at him incredulously. “I love you,” Clark repeated. “Ollie, when I was in the caves, when I almost died, all I could think of was you. How I might never get to see you, never tell you how I feel. And that gave me encouragement; it gave me strength to push back, to keep fighting.”
“I’m glad you did,” Oliver said. “I can’t imagine life without you in it.”
“Ollie,” Clark asked hesitantly, “Does this mean . . .you and me . . . are we together?”
“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Oliver said, a smile breaking out. Clark just sighed, content. Lying in Oliver’s car, in the middle of god knows where, on what could’ve been one of the worst days of his entire life, Clark had found his soul mate. And he wouldn’t have it any other way.
A/N- Thanks for reading! Please review too! I love criticism- any ways to improve is always appreciated.