Pairing/Characters: Collie, Oliver/Dinah, Chloe/Bruce
Disclaimer: don’t own anything
Warning: slash, mentions of m/m sex
Summary: sequel to “Forever May Not Be Long Enough”. Three years after the story ended, Oliver and Clark meet up again. One of them is engaged and the other is trying to make his mark in the world. Now working together in the Justice League, what will happen?
To live in a world and be apart of it were two different concepts. Living someplace was easy but actually being apart of it was not. Connecting with the fellow man or woman, knowing that the ground was as much yours as it was anyone else’s . . . that was a feeling like no other. A feeling not many thought of. But it was one that he pondered all the time.
It was easy to take all this for granted. The blue skies, the green grass, the bright yellow sun . . . but he could never do that. Not when with every breath he took and every step he made, he was reminded that this world was not his own.
Forever a foreigner, he was to witness the Earth and know that it was not his, that no matter how long he lived there . . . no matter how long he would live there. His planet, Krypton, had long been destroyed.
However, as long as he lived on the planet, he would protect it. Krypton may be his place of birth but Earth was the only home he knew and would fight to see it didn’t meet the same end as Krypton. Through his training, he had learned that it was his destiny. The human race, Jor-El claimed, was doomed to destroy itself if they continued on their current path. They needed someone to balance them out, to stop the evils within the society that was taking over.
That someone would be him. It was a huge responsibility and he knew there would be people to assist him, others that have put on a costume before him. He would not be alone but he knew that his responsibility was different that the rest. They were doing this out of their own free will and this was the path that he was meant to walk.
His life would indeed be a long, lonely one but to ignore his destiny was not even within the realm of possibilities. There was a reason that he went on his training and that was because he desired to learn more about his abilities, about his heritage. Needed and wanted to be completely knowledgeable on what he could do before he took up the streets to fight crime.
It was time to test what he had learned. Hovering above the Earth, he smiled softly, knowing that billions of people rested there, all unknowing that he was above them, watching them. And soon, he would be among them, protecting their right to live a peaceful life.
Disguised as a regular person, he would venture out in a costume whenever someone needed help. Two separate identities within one person. Clark Kent would forever be who he was but Kal-El, or whatever superhero name he would be given, would be the embodiment of what he could do.
He was already prepared with a costume. One that was based off a traditional Kryptonian outfit, decorated with the crest that represented the House of El. It was made of bright red and blue so he knew he would stand out. There was no mask but he refused to hide behind one. His entire life had been spent in hiding, protecting who he was from everyone, except the select few.
That would cease when he returned. A pair of glasses would shield him from being connected to his alter ego and a dorky persona, which would not be to difficult for him to emulate, would prevent anybody from guessing that the same man who saved their lives was the one who tripped over his own feet on a regular basis.
Sacrifices would have to be made for him to keep up his dual life. There were people waiting for him to return home but other than them, he could not freely interact with others. Even with the ones who knew about his secret, he would have to have limited contact. Should someone with a vengeance against him figure out, and he expected to have enemies in his intended line of work, his loved ones would be the first targeted.
His heritage had already hurt too many in his youth and he refused to risk the lives of the ones he cared most about for his own selfish purposes. A life of solitude would be difficult to adjust to, especially since he had been blessed in such a loving family growing up but he would adapt.
It isn’t as if I haven’t made sacrifices already. Images of a beautiful blonde with soulful chocolate brown eyes filtered into his mind but were pushed away just as quickly. He had made that decision to let him go and he would forever live with the consequences.
There wasn’t time to ponder whatever choices he had previously made. The past was done and dealt with. Only the future remained, waiting to be molded.
This had been a long a coming. Three years and finally, he was ready to face the world.
It’s time, Kal-El. Yes, it was. One last glance at the Earth from afar and he flew in its direction, quickly breaking through the Earth’s atmosphere. He knew where he was going but he was careful, to avoid planes or any watchful eyes. A time would come, a time that was soon approaching, when he would reveal himself but that would be in costume. Now, he still couldn’t afford to be seen by the regular person.
Upon arriving at his destination, he looked around, a smile gracing his features. Smallville was just how he remembered it. The clear skies, the large open fields . . . he grinned when his hearing tuned in to the sounds of cows mooing.
Three years and at long last, he was home.
Clark looked around the ice castle. The Arctic was just as he remembered it to be but then again, he had only been there a few weeks prior.
His heart was aching for Oliver. He needed to see Oliver and he missed the blonde so much.
“Kal-El,” Jor-El’s loud voice echoed through the large space. “You have arrived.”
“Yes,” he said, trying to keep his voice steady. “I am here for my training.”
“I see that,” Jor-El said. “You have left your chosen mate to come here.”
“You know about that?” Clark questioned but then felt stupid for asking. Of course, Jor-El knew. Somehow, he seemed to know everything about his life.
“I don’t know if parting the way you did was your best course of action, my son,” Jor-El advised.
“Wait a second,” Clark interrupted. “You’ve never had any use for humans and now you are saying I was wrong to end my relationship with Oliver? Who by the way, is a male?”
“You have gotten too used to the human prejudices,” Jor-El told him. “Krypton was the most advanced civilization in the galaxy and that is not only because of our technology. Our social customs are much ahead that of the humans. Mating did not have to be between strictly men and women. Your relationship to Oliver Queen would’ve been highly accepted.”
For not the first time, Clark wondered what would’ve happened if his planet had not been destroyed. But then again, he never would have met Oliver and that would just be a tragedy. Even if he had to leave him in the end, he would never forget nor would he regret all the wonderful moments they had together.
“Kal-El,” Jor-El continued, oblivious to his thoughts. “If I thought lowly of the humans, I never would’ve sent you to grow up among them. In completing your destiny, your humanity and your connections to the Earth will be your greatest strength. As will your love.”
“What?” Clark couldn’t believe that that his biological father was actually saying these things.
“Why do you think that I sent you to Earth, Kal-El?” his father questioned.
“Because Krypton was one the verge of destruction,” Clark answered. “And you wanted me to live, to carry on the Kryptonian legacy.”
“That is part of the reason,” Jor-El confessed. “But not the only one.”
“There’s more?” Clark asked, curiosity evident in his tone.
“Kal-El, there are evils within every society, no matter how advanced or civilized,” Jor-El explained. “No matter how much I fought to protect the future of Krypton, these evils took over, eventually leading to its doom.”
“But what does that have to do with me?” Clark asked.
“The same problems that existed in Krypton exist on Earth as well,” Jor-El informed him. “Humans are innately good but if left to their own ways, they will surely destroy themselves. I sent you, my only son, to stop this from happening.”
“I thought my destiny was to rule?” Clark said, finally saying aloud his worst fear.
“Your destiny,” Jor-El said, “Is to protect. Protect the Earth from suffering the same fate as Krypton.” There was a pause. “And as long as you have love, you will feel a connection to the people that you are there to protect. Just because you are protecting them does not mean that you must alienate yourself from them, Kal-El.”
“I did not end my relationship with Oliver just because I want to alienate myself,” Clark said, “I did it because I do not want him to wait for me.”
“So you made that decision for the both of you,” Jor-El concluded. If his biological father’s voice came with a face, he was certain it would be frowning, He could hear the disapproval in his tone. Clark didn’t say anything.
“I see that you have made up your mind,” Jor-El concluded. “That’s fine, Kal-El. But the break up is plaguing your mind . . . I can tell. For your training to go off well, you must have a clear mind.”
Clark swallowed hard. “Okay.” Closing his eyes, he imagined his mother, Chloe, Lois . . . and Oliver.
Oliver after their first kiss.
Oliver, after the first time they said “I love you”.
Oliver’s sweet hesitation the first time they made love, fearful that he was rushing Clark, despite Clark’s reassurances that he wanted it.
Oliver’s happiness when Clark told him he wanted to marry him.
His heart raced as memories kept coming. But the next ones were a lot worse.
Oliver, after their fight and he walked out.
Oliver’s hope when he set up their romantic evening.
Oliver’s betrayed expression when he caught “Julia” and him kissing.
Oliver’s pain when Clark said he wanted his independence and began spurting out lies about feeling trapped.
Oliver’s strong determination when he told Clark to get out and never come back.
Oliver the last time he last saw him, just a few hours prior, sadly glancing at an engagement ring that would never be used.
Oliver. . . . Oliver . . . Oliver.
The sheer agony of the memories rushing through his mind threatened to take over and he willed himself not to cry. Taking a few calming breaths, he regained control and forced all the memories to the back of his mind.
Opening his eyes, he found that he was a lot more relaxed.
“You’re ready,” Jor-El said.
He found that Jor-El was correct . . . he was ready. And it was time to begin.
Clark’s eyes snapped open and shifted to look at his alarm clock. It was still early but there was no way he was going back to sleep.
Ever since he returned, he had been having dreams of his training. Not that he couldn’t remember every second of the past three years. His training had been good to him and he never imagined that he would learn so much.
Despite what Jor-El told him, he could not bring himself to listen. He would always have some kind of connection with the people but he could not afford to get into any sort of relationship. It would be too risky.
Only his mother knew that he had returned. He had not even talked to Chloe yet and he knew he was going to hear it from her for not contacting him immediately. But the past few days had been hectic, with him looking for an apartment and a job. Before he left, he had money saved up for his return and was prepared.
Finding an apartment was easier than he expected and today, he had a job interview . . . at The Daily Planet. He was excited at the prospect of writing for one of the most well known papers in the nation.
His training had taken him all over the world and given him the chance to submit a few articles for various papers in different countries. His being previously published definitely helped polish his resume. The fact that Perry White was still editor-in-chief and hadn’t forgotten him would also be very useful.
Rolling out of bed, he took his time getting dressed. Wearing a loose suit that would conceal his muscular frame, and donning a pair of glasses, he almost laughed when he looked at himself in the mirror.
His apartment was within walking distance of The Planet so after a quick breakfast, that’s what he did.
Clark ended up arriving early. Finding Perry’s office easily, he made his way through the bustling crowd to the closed office and knocked.
“Come in,” a deep voice came from within and Clark opened the door, entering the office. Perry White was sitting behind the desk and he looked exactly the same. The man had hardly aged since the last time they spoke. In fact, he looked a lot healthier. Clark supposed that the removal of the alcohol in his diet was the cause.
“Mr. White?” he said slowly. “We have an interview?”
“Kent?” Perry said incredulously. “Wow, you have changed. Come on in, come on in. Have a seat, kid.” Perry chuckled. “But then again, you’re hardly a kid anymore are you, Kent?”
Clark took the seat across from Perry.
Perry picked out a file and looked at his resume. “Very impressive resume you got here Kent. I’ve read your work and we at the Planet will be happy to have you apart of our staff.”
“Mr. White?” Clark asked, trying not to get too excited.
“First of all, if you’re going to work here, you have to call me Perry,” Perry instructed. “None of that ‘Mr. White’ crap. Second, this will be different than working freelance. Soon, you’ll understand the difference.” He paused. “I knew the first time I met you that there was something special about you, Kent.” Sticking out his hand, he said, “Welcome aboard.”
“Thank you, Mr. White . . . I mean, Perry,” Clark said happily, taking the offered hand.
“To get you used the ropes, I’m giving you a partner,” Perry told him. Clark nodded.
“LANE!” Perry bellowed. Lane? Oh no . . . it couldn’t be. He heard footsteps approaching and the door swung open.
Clark turned around and saw none other than Lois Lane standing behind him. Dressed immaculately in a black skirt, a silky white button top and a long jacket, she looked much different than the woman he lived with three years previous.
“Yes Chief?” Lois said.
“For the millionth time, stop calling me chief,” Perry commanded. “And remember the partner I was telling you about?”
“I don’t need a partner,” Lois argued. “I don’t know why you’re doing this to me.”
“It’ll be good for the both of you,” Perry said. “No arguments, Lane. Meet your partner.” Lois sighed and looked at him for the first time.
She gasped. “Clark?”
“Hi Lois,” Clark greeted her, smiling.
“You two know one another?” Perry questioned, surprised. They both nodded. “Well, that makes it even better! Lane, I want you to show Kent here the ropes. Teach him how things work around here.” Lois was about to protest but a glare shut her up immediately.
“Come along, Smallville,” Lois said. “We’re busy and I don’t much time to baby sit you.” Clark hid a laugh at her outrage but followed her out anyway. Shooting one last look at Perry, who nodded encouragingly, he hurried to catch up to Lois.
“Your desk is here,” Lois said, pointing to the one across from what was obviously hers. “So, Smallville, where have you been? Nobody has heard from you in years.”
“I’ve been traveling,” Clark told her. “It was hard to keep in touch.”
“Whatever Smallville,” Lois said. “It’s good to have you back. But just because I’m happy to see you doesn’t mean I’m going to go easy on you.”
“Okay, Lois,” he said.
She smiled, pleased. “And when on Earth did you get glasses? Your eyes were fine in Smallville and in college.”
“Oh yeah,” Clark said, having a lie ready. “When I was traveling, I started having issues with my eyes. Turned out my eyes have gradually been getting worse. Got glasses a little while ago.”
She accepted that answer. “Who knew? Anyway, we have work to do. So this is how it works.”
Clark listened patiently as she rambled on about procedures and how things would be.
Out of the corner of his eye, he looked around the newspaper room, where everyone was busily working.
This would be his life now.
Trying to focus on Lois’s instructions, he couldn’t hold back a smile.
This would be his life now. And it was not looking so bad.