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Sober Chapter 5

The new chapter of my sequel has arrived. I hope you all like this one. Let me know! :)

Story: Sober
Pairing/Characters: Clark/Oliver, Oliver/Dinah, Chloe/Bruce
Rating: R
Disclaimer: don’t own anything
Warning: slash, mentions of m/m sex
Spoilers: none
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?
Previous Chapters: Here

Chapter 5

Clark was taking his lunch break when he was surprised by a phone call from Chloe.

“Clark,” she said eagerly, “What are you doing this weekend?”

“This weekend?” Clark echoed. “Not much . . . why?”

“Bruce and I were talking,” Chloe replied. “And he really wants to meet you . . . so I was hoping you could come over for dinner this weekend.”

“That sounds fun,” Clark said. “When?”

“We were thinking Saturday,” Chloe suggested, “Around 6?”

“I’ll be there,” Clark agreed.

“Great,” Chloe enthused. “Do you know how to get here?”

“I’m pretty sure Wayne Manor can’t be too hard to miss, Chlo,” he teased. “I’ll be fine, don’t worry.”

Chloe laughed. “All right, I have to get back to work but I’ll see you soon.”

“Great,” he said, “Bye Chloe.”

“Bye Clark,” she said and hung up.

The rest of the day went off normally, well, as normal for being a reporter and a superhero could get. Indeed, the worst part was hearing Lois brag about how Superman had saved her and flew her to her apartment.

By the end of the day, he had a headache listening to her. He was actually grateful for the times when he had to run off to save people, just because he had an excuse to get away from Lois.

Coming up with excuses from his random disappearances was difficult but he somehow managed to fool her. Most of the saves he made during his lunch break and he brought her back quotes from the victims, not to mention Superman himself, so Lois was usually appeased. Clark could tell that she was quite jealous of how he always got solid answers from Superman and he feared that one day she was going to insist on joining him for lunch.

Fortunately, that hadn’t happened yet.

Clark found it easy to fall in to a regular pattern, balancing work and his superhero duties.

His days were filled with crime fighting and investigative reporting, dealing with Lois and dealing with criminals. He never would’ve imagined his future to turn out this way but he was finding out it wasn’t so bad.

A bit lonely at times but he couldn’t complain. He had made that decision, chose his destiny over any possible chance of a love life. And he didn’t regret it.

The workweek went by quickly and Lois seemed to be starting to get used to the idea that he wasn’t going anywhere. She was still bossy but she wasn’t outright rude anymore. The quotes that he got her from Superman probably helped.

He hated using his alter ego to further his career but he needed to save people and he would get fired otherwise for all the times he disappeared suddenly. Besides, it wasn’t as if covering Superman was all he did. Lois was always dragging him into following leads, half of which got her into trouble, leading Superman to have to come and save her.

Sometimes, he wondered if she got herself into trouble just so Superman could save her. Then again, it was Lois. Even back in Smallville, she had constantly putting herself in danger for a story. It would make sense as she got to be a more dedicated reporter, she would get involved in more dangerous endeavors.

That didn’t make his work easy for him though. Crimes were happening left and right and Lois constant need to find trouble just added to the amount of people he had to look out for. But he wasn’t complaining.

He liked saving people, always had. His powers were given to him for a reason and he wanted to make use of them, to their fullest capacity.

The weekend arriving was a nice reprieve from his every day job. Of course, during that time, he focused more on being Superman but he didn’t have to make excuses to go save people.

This particular weekend, he would have dinner with Chloe and Bruce Wayne. He was really excited to meet the man who had captured his best friend’s heart. She sounded so eager for the two of them and he was excited too.

Clark knew he had to plan his Saturday carefully because he had to drive to Gotham City. Flying there would bring suspicion and even though Chloe knew about him, he didn’t think Bruce did. There was no way Chloe would betray his trust to anyone, not even to the man she loved.

His morning went by smoothly, though he had to rush off a few times to make some saves. It was a long drive to Gotham City so he started off early. He dressed nicely, in a gray shirt, black jacket and black slacks. Bringing a bottle of wine and a box of chocolates, he headed out. His mother had replaced the old truck but the car stayed in Smallville. So he used that as a mode of transportation.

Since he left at a good hour, the traffic was not too bad so he was able to make it to Gotham City fairly quickly. Finding the Wayne Manor was not a problem. Though he had seen pictures, he was awed at the beauty of the structure.

Unsure where to park, he parked in the driveway and hoped it wouldn’t be too presumptuous for him to do so.

Knocking at the door slowly, Clark couldn’t help but be a little nervous. He hoped he made a good impression. It was important, he wanted the man who meant so much to Chloe to like him. Jimmy and he had gotten off to a slow start and it had affected the other man’s relationship with Chloe.

Of course, Bruce Wayne was much more confident and mature than Jimmy had been then but he still felt it was important to establish a good rapport with the other man.

The door swung open and he was greeted with a meticulously dressed man. He knew for certain this was not Bruce Wayne.

“Hi,” Clark said slowly. “I’m Clark Kent . . . I am expected?”

“Please do come in,” the man said. Nodding, Clark stepped inside the spacious manor.

“I shall take you to Master Bruce and Mistress Chloe,” the man told him and Clark could just nod.

Following the man, he was led to a room, where Chloe and Bruce were sitting on a couch, chatting.

“Clark Kent has arrived,” the man announced him. Seeing him, they both stood, smiles on their faces.

“Clark,” Chloe said happily, greeting him with a hug. “I’m glad you made it.”

“Hey Chlo,” he said, “Thanks for having me.” He gestured to the wine and chocolates. “These are for you, well . . . both of you.”

She accepted them. “Thank you, Clark. That was very nice of you.”

Handing them to the man who announced him, she smiled warmly as he took them out of her hands.

“Thanks Alfred,” she said. So his name was Alfred. That was good to know.

“You’re very welcome,” he replied and left.

“Okay, now time for introductions,” Chloe said but Bruce was already making his way toward him.

“Bruce Wayne,” he said, sticking his hand out.

“Clark Kent,” Clark said, shaking the offered hand. “It’s very nice to meet you, Mr. Wayne.”

“Likewise,” Bruce said. “And please, call me Bruce. Have a seat.” Clark nodded and took a seat on one of the couches. Bruce and Chloe went back to their original seats.

“Chloe’s told me a lot about you,” Bruce commented.

Clark smiled. “All good, I hope?”

“Of course,” Bruce assured him, with a smile. “Tell me, how did the two of you meet?”

“We met,” Clark recalled, “When we were in eighth grade. Chloe and her dad had just moved to Smallville, due to her dad’s job. I was the one who was showing her around.” Clark let out a little laugh. “She was from Metropolis and used to the big city and she wasn’t too pleased about moving. All the farms were not her style. In fact, she thought I was Amish and was really disappointed when she found out I wasn’t.”

Bruce chuckled. “That sounds like her.”

“Hey,” Chloe protested. “You compare Metropolis to Smallville . . . it was a complete culture shock. Not even a Starbucks nearby . . . what was I supposed to think?”

Both Bruce and Clark laughed at her indignant expression.

“Chloe was telling me the two of you got acquainted when she interviewed you,” Clark said, growing serious.

“Truth be told, I have always been wary of reporters,” Bruce confessed. “But I had seen her articles and heard good things about her. When a good friend of mine, Oliver Queen, vouched for her, I agreed to an interview.” Clark’s heart clenched hearing Oliver’s name but he didn’t let anything show on his face.

Bruce continued, oblivious to his thoughts. “She was extremely professional and I took a chance and asked her out. And for some reason I still don’t understand but am extremely grateful for, she said yes.” He threw an affectionate look at Chloe and it warmed Clark’s heart to see that the older man was crazy about his best friend.

“That’s great,” Clark said sincerely. “And I suppose I owe you a thank you too. According to Chloe, you were the one who spotted my name in the paper and told her that I had returned.”

“I noticed the Daily Planet had a special evening edition,” Bruce explained, “And I picked it up out of sheer curiosity. When I saw your name on the front page article, I remembered Chloe telling me about you so I had to tell her.”

“I appreciate it,” Clark said. “Everything was hectic after I moved back to Metropolis that I hardly had a chance to breathe let alone contact people to inform them I had returned.”

“Yes, you disappeared for a few years,” Bruce noted.

“And trust me, I lectured him for it,” Chloe said in a teasing voice, obviously worried about where the conversation would lead.

“I was traveling,” Clark said lightly. “Unfortunately, several of the places I went didn’t allow for communication with the outside world. I wanted to find myself.” Wasn’t that the truth? With his training, he was looking to learn about who he really was and the man he was supposed to become.

“That’s understandable,” Bruce replied. “I did the same thing a little while ago.”

Chloe seemed relieved that the conversation was going off without a hitch and Clark was grateful that Bruce wasn’t inquiring too much about the three years he was away.

Bruce was a nice man and he approved of him for Chloe. All his previous anxieties over meeting him had vanished.

The evening was starting off well. And he could only hope that it would continue this way for the rest of the night.

He is definitely not what I expected. Bruce had been prepared to face anything. But Clark Kent had managed to surprise him.

The man was just so open and though he had reasons to be skeptical about his answer for the 3 years he was missing, even then Bruce could tell he wasn’t stretching the truth very much.

Clark Kent was exactly what his girlfriend had described- honest, genuine and just a generally good-natured man.

Which frustrated Bruce to no end. There had to be some catch, something had to be wrong with him. And Bruce was determined to find it. He wasn’t so successful though. Questioning him was much more difficult since he didn’t want to tip off his girlfriend that he was interrogating her best friend. He suspected she wouldn’t be so pleased and an angry Chloe was not someone he wanted to face.

He was the goddamn Batman, with the ability to strike fear into criminals with just a glance but Chloe Sullivan angry was a scary sight, even to him.

But he needed answers now. It was no coincidence that he planned a dinner with Clark this evening and had a Justice League meeting planned for the following day. By then, he wanted to be equipped with answers about Superman.

Over dinner, the conversation was light, not straying far from the newspaper business and Bruce’s business. Bruce was trying to question him as subtly as possible and he believed it was working. Clark was very willing to answer whatever questions Bruce had, which pleased him immensely.

When they were having dessert and coffee, Bruce got an opportunity to ask more questions.

“What caused you to get into the journalism business?” he asked casually.

“Well, honestly, I always loved journalism,” Clark said, “And having a best friend like Chloe, and living in a place like Smallville . . . let’s say I got a lot of experience investigating strange events. Not to mention dealing with Chloe as an editor-in-chief helped me work with bossy people.” He grinned, to let them see he was joking.

“I wasn’t that bad,” Chloe protested.

“Chloe, tell that to someone who hasn’t seen you yell at your reporters,” Bruce said, smiling. She pouted.

“It helped though,” Clark stated. “I have a partner that is bossier than Chloe ever was.”

“Aahh, yes, Lois Lane,” Bruce said, a knowing look coming up on his features.

“I’m sure you’ve met her,” Clark said. “She definitely would’ve wanted to check out the man who is dating her cousin.”

“We have met,” Bruce responded. “It was interesting, to say the least.”

“Let me guess,” Clark said dryly. “The first thing she did was try to weasel an interview out of you?”

Bruce chuckled. “You seem to know your partner well.”

“Years of experience, trust me,” Clark joked. Bruce smiled. He didn’t know enough about this man, didn’t know about his abilities but something inside him said that the brunette could be trusted.

Clark left shortly after dessert. Bruce offered him a place in the manor for the night but Clark declined.

“I have some stuff to do early tomorrow,” Clark said. Bruce knew that ‘stuff’ probably included patrol that night but didn’t say anything.

“It was a pleasure meeting you,” Bruce said kindly.

“You too,” Clark responded. “Thank you for having me.”

He waited patiently as Chloe exchanged goodbyes with Clark.

“I’ll call you soon,” she promised.

“Okay,” Clark agreed. He gave them both a big smile. “Good night.”

“Drive back safely,” Chloe called as Clark made his way to a car. So he did drive here. At least the man was smart enough to cover his bases.

Once his car was out of sight, Chloe turned back and beamed at him.

Reentering the house, she gave him a quick kiss. “That went well.”

“Indeed it did,” Bruce agreed. “It was a pleasant evening.”

“Clark and you seemed to get along,” Chloe added.

“He’s a nice man,” Bruce said honestly, wrapping an arm around his girlfriend’s waist.

“That he is,” Chloe said, smiling. She leaned up and kissed him. “So are you though.”

“Nice huh?” Bruce repeated, with a wicked glint in his eyes. “I don’t know how I feel about that. Sounds kind of boring.”

She smiled seductively. “Want to prove me otherwise?”

“Ms Sullivan are you propositioning me?” he questioned, feigning shock.

“I believe I am,” she said, pulling him close. Covering his mouth with hers, she engaged him in a passionate kiss, which he quickly reciprocated.

And that ended all conversation about Clark Kent for the time being.

Bruce regretted having to leave that night to go for patrol but protecting Gotham City was important. He had worked so hard to get it up from where it was and he wasn’t going to quit now. Thankfully, he had a supportive girlfriend who understood his obligations.

Then again, she had been best friends with a man who had a hero complex for years so he supposed she was used to it.

Nothing unusual happened during patrol, other than the usual criminals running around. They just never learn. But it did please him to see that they were scared of him. The actual amount of work he had to do was limited.

The following day was the League meeting and he wished he had more information on Superman. But he knew the other members would’ve made their own observation as well.

He had to leave in the morning, as the League headquarters was located in Washington DC. They were located in a place called the Hall. There was a secret transporter, which took them to the real headquarters, located in space, approximately 23,000 miles above the Earth’s surface.

Bruce Wayne was in DC on “business”. Nobody knew where the League’s headquarters were and they had taken extreme security measures to make sure it never happened. Besides, in real life, the members’ lives were so different that nobody would even think about connecting them.

He wasn’t surprised to find that he was the first one there; he usually was there earlier than everyone else. It gave him the advantage and he enjoyed that particular feeling.

Members started trickling in slowly. The League, including himself, currently had eleven members.

Diana Prince, otherwise known as Wonder Woman, showed up after him and then they started coming in batches.

When everyone was situated, Bruce called the meeting to order, the group silencing at the sound of his voice.

“We have a lot to talk about today,” Bruce stated. “And some serious decisions to make so I’m going to need your cooperation for the next couple of hours.”

“I’m assuming that the emergence of Superman will be on that agenda?” Hal Jordan, whose alter ego was the Green Lantern, wanted to know.

“Yes, he will,” Bruce answered. “However, he will be the last topic we discuss . . . I feel that conversation may take a while and we have prior business we need to get out of the way first.”

The meeting went smoothly, as they discussed possible threats and areas that needed more attention. Finally, they got to the final topic. Superman.

“I’ve been observing him,” Bruce confessed. “And I am not sure what to think.” He refused to let the group know that he had discovered Superman’s identity. If the man was to be inducted, then he would tell them in his own. But Bruce didn’t feel right blurting out his secret.

“He doesn’t seem dangerous,” Victor Stone, or as the team knew him, Cyborg. “It looks like he is just rescuing people.”

“But,” Ray Palmer, AKA the Atom, countered, “We don’t know much about him and he seems to have extraordinary abilities.”

“And we don’t?” AC, or Aquaman, pointed out, “I think combined our powers will be greater than his alone.”

“Hold on a minute,” Bruce interrupted, “I am not saying that he is a threat . . . we don’t have to prepare for an attack.”

You’re not worried?” Oliver Queen finally chipped in. “That’s new, Bruce, I would think you’d be the most paranoid out of all of us.”

The Green Arrow seemed amused but then again, Oliver didn’t know how much time Bruce had spent researching. Didn’t know that he had met the other man and didn’t feel him to be a danger. Withholding this information may not be good but Bruce was not ready to share Superman’s identity.

“As I said,” Bruce repeated. “I’ve been observing him. So far he has only saved lives.”

“If you don’t think him to be a threat,” Dinah Lance questioned, “Why bring him up?”

Bruce didn’t say anything but people managed to pick up on his intentions.

“Unless,” J’onn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter, commented, “You want to see what we think of him and then perhaps, bring him into the League?”

At last, someone caught on. His silence was affirmation enough and this set off flurries within the group.

“Is this really a good idea?” Katar Hol asked. “I mean, if he is in the League, he’ll know who we all are.” The Hawkman was nervous; Bruce could see it in his eyes.

“But,” Diana voiced her opinion before Bruce could respond, “We’ll also know who he is. Right now, we know nothing about him. It is better to have him working with us than against us.”

The group nodded to the idea.

“We should take a vote,” Bruce declared. “All in favor of Superman being invited into the League, say aye. All opposed say nay.” Looking around, he asked, “All in favor?”

“Aye,” the group chorused.

“It’s unanimous then,” Bruce said. “We shall invite Superman into the League.”

“Who will do it then?” Diana asked.

“I will,” Bruce said firmly. “Metropolis, which he seems to have picked for a base, and Gotham are close together.”

“When will we meet him?” Dinah asked.

“Should he agree,” Bruce said, “I will contact you all for another meeting, which shall be his introduction into the League.”

The group agreed to the idea and shortly after, the meeting was called to a close.

Nobody suspected his ulterior motives for volunteering. He wanted to be the one to invite Superman to the League, wanted to be the first person to meet the other man.

He had already met Clark Kent and now, he would meet Superman.

Chapter 6
Tags: category: slash, collie, fandom: smallville, fanfic, ship: clark/oliver, story: sober
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