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Sober Chapter 7

I was going to wait to post this chapter but I couldn't resist. So here's a new chapter earlier than I expected. Enjoy! :)

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 7

Diana slightly looked surprised but took his hand. “Diana Prince, and the pleasure is all mine.”

Removing his hand, he beamed. The room was silent with his revelation.

“Clark Kent,” she mused aloud. “Like the Daily Planet reporter . . . Lois Lane’s new partner?”

“That would be me,” he confirmed.

“I thought you covered the Superman story,” the Atom wanted to know.

“I did,” Clark said slowly. “But I wasn’t there, at least not as Clark Kent. Jimmy was behind the camera and Lois demanded the questions but if you look at the pictures, I’m nowhere nearby.”

“Who cares?” The Flash said suddenly, “My amigo is back!” And true to his name, he sped to Clark’s side and gave him a big hug.

Laughing, Clark returned the embrace. “It’s good to see you Bart,” he said.

“Amigo, we’re glad to have you aboard,” Bart said but with a grin he added, “I have to say though. I did not see the tights coming.”

“Trust me, it wasn’t in my initial plan either,” Clark laughed.

“I take it the two of you know each other,” Bruce interrupted.

“You got that one right,” Bart said proudly. “This one is my amigo. I knew him years ago.”

“Bart and I met when I was in high school,” Clark explained.

“In fact, he’s pretty well acquainted with a few of us,” Bart said.

“And apparently has decided to stop flying solo, eh Kent?” a voice added. Turning toward the sound, Clark smiled as he met Victor Stone’s amused expression.

“I suppose you can say that,” Clark agreed. “Hi Victor.”

“Do I get a ‘hi’ too?” AC joined in. “It’s certainly been a while, Clark.”

“Hey AC,” he greeted the blonde. “Happy?” AC chuckled.

Bruce was amazed. “How did you all meet?”

“Well,” Bart started, without waiting for anyone else. “Back when I was a trouble making kid, my amigo here was the first one to push me in the right direction.”

“Clark saved my life,” Victor said, “From Lex Luthor.”

“Saved my life too,” AC chipped in.

“Wow, so even before you donned the costume, you were doing a lot of saving,” Bruce noted.

Clark blushed. “It wasn’t a big deal.”

“Dude, my amigo saved me TWICE,” Bart added, not wanting to be left out and outshine everyone.

“I think,” Bruce stated, “You’re going to fit in just fine.”

“That is very true,” a new voice came in. Clark spun and met the dark eyes of J’onn J’onzz.

“J’onn,” he said happily.

“Kal-El,” the other man said, “How are you?”

“As well as can be expected,” Clark said.

“You two know each other too?” Bruce said, stunned at the turn of events.

“Actually, J’onn saved my life,” Clark confessed, not taking his eyes off the Martian. “3 times.”

“Interesting,” Bruce murmured. Clark turned back to the other man.

“J’onn and my biological father knew each other,” Clark told the group. “My home planet, Krypton, was destroyed but J’onn has been watching over me on behalf of my father.”

“Your parents would be proud,” J’onn said sincerely. “Of who you have become.”

Clark smiled and walked toward the other man. Engaging him in a quick hug, he smiled, “Thank you, I appreciate that . . . and all you’ve done for me over the years.”

“You don’t need to thank me,” J’onn said sincerely.

“So J’onn,” Diana interjected, “You were always the calmest about Superman’s arrival. Did you know who he was from the start?”

J’onn nodded. “I did.”

“I suppose you recognized the House of El crest,” Clark said.

J’onn smiled. “You are correct, Kal-El.”

“Wait, why does he call you Kal-El?” Bart asked.

“Kal-El is my birth name,” Clark said. “The name my biological parents gave me. My costume is a traditional Kryptonian outfit. They symbol is not, like Lois believed, a ‘S’ but the crest of my family. If anyone would recognize it, it’d be J’onn.”

“So, does that mean calling you Superman is out of the question?” AC teased.

Clark laughed, shaking his head. He was purposely not looking to a particular part of the table, where he knew intense brown eyes were focused on him.

“I’d prefer Kal or Kal-El,” Clark replied with a grin.

“Kal,” Bruce said. “I hate to interrupt the reunion but I think I can call this meeting to a close. Then you can mingle with everyone.”

Clark nodded. “Okay.”

“Does anyone have any business?” Bruce asked and when the group remained silent. “Then this meeting is officially over. Now you are free to mingle.”

“Batman,” J’onn said quickly. “Am I the only one who knew that Superman was really Clark Kent?”

Batman smirked. “No, you weren’t.”

Clark laughed. “Oh yeah, and I’ve been thoroughly interrogated, trust me. He has all my Smallville history.”

“Did you know who he was when we had the last meeting?” The Green Lantern asked.

“Yes, I did,” Bruce admitted. “But it wasn’t my place to tell. I wanted Kal to be the one to reveal himself. Kal did figure out who I was though.”

The group accepted that answer and then, since the meeting was closed, everyone became informal. He got to meet all the members and they were all willing to introduce themselves and disclose their identities.

Everyone was friendly but there was two people he was dreading talking to. But he knew avoiding them was impossible and it wasn’t long until he was face-to-face with both of them.

Dinah was obviously unaware of his prior relationship with Oliver because she was the one who approached him, Oliver at her side.

“Hi,” she said, “I wanted to welcome you to the League. My name is Dinah Lance.”

“Thank you,” he said kindly. “It’s nice to meet you.”

She looked over at Oliver, “And I suppose the two of you already know each other.”

“Yes,” Clark said. “We do.” He was positive she didn’t know about their relationship now because he doubted the reception he got from her would’ve been as friendly if she did.

Meeting the eyes of the man he loved, he allowed a small smile to appear on his face. “Oliver.”

“Clark,” Oliver said politely. “I’m sure you’ve heard this enough times already but welcome to the League.”

There was a noticeable stiffness to his tone that only Clark seemed to pick up on and it made his heart ache. He really hoped that the amount of time they had to spend working together would be limited because he didn’t know if he would be able to handle it.

“Thank you,” Clark responded, managing to remain outwardly calm. “It’s nice to be here.”

“So,” Dinah asked, oblivious to the tension between the two men, “What made you decide to join the fight against crime now?”

“I was gone for several years,” Clark said. “I need to find myself . . . and honestly, when I returned, it just felt right . . . it was time.”

Before they could ask any more questions, more people came to talk to him, distracting him. Saying a quick goodbye to Oliver and Dinah, he was dragged off into other conversations.

J’onn was one of those people. He was actually happy to find himself in a private conversation with the older man.

“How are you, Kal-El?” J’onn questioned.

“I’m good,” Clark replied.

“And your training went well?” J’onn asked, with a smile, lowering his voice.

Clark couldn’t hold back a chuckle. “I should’ve known you would guess where I was . . . it was great. I learned a lot.”

“It couldn’t have been an easy decision to leave,” J’onn said. “But I’m glad you decided to go through with it . . . that information was vital to your survival.”

“That’s why I went,” Clark told him. “I knew I have been putting it off for too long and when Jor-El said it was time, I just couldn’t hide anymore.”

“I knew you had left for your training, but I never expected it would take this long,” J’onn told him. “Three years is a long time, Kal-El.”

“It did take a while,” Clark sighed. “And I can’t give a reasonable explanation to why it took so long. But I don’t regret going for a second.”

“I suppose that is all that matters,” J’onn said thoughtfully. “Only a select few knew the real reason for your absence, right?”

“My mom and Chloe,” Clark admitted. “And of course, you too. Nobody else.”

“And you’d prefer to keep it that way,” J’onn stated, “Even now? I heard you telling Black Canary that you were traveling and finding yourself. It isn’t stretching the truth much though.”

“I will let people know,” Clark said. “But later . . . it doesn’t seem to be vital information.” Besides, it would open a whole can of worms. If Oliver knew exactly where he was for the past 3 years, more questions may arise. And he didn’t want to answer any of them.

Chances were that Oliver wouldn’t care but even when they met in the café, he asked where Clark had been. Oliver probably did not care about him, it was just his curiosity and need for knowledge taking over. Either way, he didn’t want to get into unnecessary explanations.

They were working together, fighting together and it was best to keep the relationship as professional as possible. Forget the past and concentrate on who they were today. He was Clark Kent, reporter for the Daily Planet and Superman. And Oliver was very taken, engaged to the beautiful and friendly Dinah Lance. Their relationship was one of the past.

And Clark knew that it would be best to let the memories remain where they belonged . . . in the past.

Focusing on his conversation with J’onn, he pushed thoughts of Oliver away.

Not realizing that across the room, brown eyes were watching his every move. I’m such an idiot, how did I not see this coming?

Oliver was disgusted with himself. Superman ran around without a mask and after having been with Clark for two years, and knowing him for three, he should’ve recognized him.

Bruce had uncovered his identity and he barely knew the man, outside of the stories he heard from Chloe. Clark had been Oliver’s lover . . . Oliver had known everything about him. He should’ve connected the dots, been the first to see the similarities between Superman and Clark.

But he hadn’t. Superman turning out to be his ex-lover had been as much a shock to him as the rest of the team. The minute that Superman’s eyes changed from blue to green, he knew. Because he could recognize those eyes anywhere.

3 months or 3 years, those eyes were unmistakable, unique, just like the person they belonged to. He should’ve known . . . Superman had all of Clark’s abilities, showed up to Metropolis around the same time Clark returned.

And now they were working together. Most of the team was thrilled to see him and he knew that he would just have to keep his distance.

At least he wasn’t purposely running away from me before. Oliver assumed Clark had left suddenly the other day because he had to go save lives. Superman had been seen shortly after Clark left Ollie at the café. He didn’t know why but he took comfort in the fact Clark ran off for his duty, an actual purpose, than just because he didn’t want to face Oliver.

The real question was how was he supposed to face Clark? How could he work beside him the man that had broken his heart?

It’s for the greater good, Queen, and really, you don’t have a choice. Yes, the greater good. They were fighting for a common goal and Oliver would just have to suck it up.

But did Clark have to go around wearing that? His costume was made of some spandex like material and it clung to his body like second skin. And what a body it was. It was so much harder walking around knowing what was exactly under the suit. Not that it left much to the imagination in the first place.

Bad Oliver, what is wrong with you? You’re over him, remember? And Dinah wouldn’t appreciate you checking out another man, the man she doesn’t even know is your ex.

Immediately, his eyes scanned out his fiancée, who was chatting happily with Diana. Seeing she was preoccupied, he went back to watching Clark, who was speaking with J’onn J’onzz. The man knew a lot about his ex and Oliver didn’t realize that they knew each other but Clark greeted him like an old friend. He saved Clark’s life . . . 3 times? Why did I never hear this name?

More things Clark was hiding from him. He should be used to be it by now but it only brought back old pain.

One thing was for certain, he wasn’t going to let Clark affect him any longer. And he would let the brunette know that too. They were fighting for the world’s safety but that would be it.

Not wanting to seem suspicious, he quickly started talking to Hal, engaging the other man in a conversation before people noticed how closely he was watching Superman.

Completely unaware that a pair of green eyes were constantly looking his way the entire time.

Clark was actually relieved when everyone started to leave the meeting. And after the initial meeting with Dinah and Oliver, he hadn’t really talked to the two of them. For that, he was grateful. The duo left together and it tugged at Clark’s heartstrings to see how in love they were. They didn’t have to even say anything, just from the way they looked at each other, he knew.

He was also pleased. From the few minutes he had spoken to Dinah and listening to her speak with others when they were in a group, he knew she was a nice woman. She obviously loved Oliver a lot and he was happy that Oliver had found someone, someone who could love him like he deserved.

Because all he wanted was Oliver’s happiness and if Dinah would be the one to make him happy, then he wished for a long and happy marriage for both of them.

As members trickled out, Clark stayed behind, as he had some questions about the League dynamics. Bruce was sticking around too, and Clark figured that he realized Clark had questions. Once they were all gone, Bruce nodded at him.

“That went well,” he said.

“Better than I expected,” Clark confessed.

“Especially since you have past experience with about half of the team already,” Bruce responded.

“That helped,” Clark agreed. “I had no idea about any of the members so it was all a surprise to me.”

“Yes, you did look surprised,” Bruce said. “I’m assuming the reason you stuck around was because you had questions?” Clark nodded. “First let me go over a few policies with you. I think this will answer most of your questions and if you have any more, we can talk then.”

“Works for me,” Clark said.

“Have a seat,” Bruce said, gesturing to the table. Sitting down, he waited as Bruce took the chair next to him. And listened patiently as Bruce went over the rules of the League and how the meetings were set up.

What he found was that Bruce was right. Most of his questions were answered within his explanation. Bruce presented him with a communicator, claiming that how he would keep in touch with everyone else. Afterwards, Bruce allowed him to ask questions and gave him information on whatever he wanted to know.

By the time he made it home, it was later than he expected but all of his doubts were gone and he was really glad he accepted the invitation. Finally, he had a place where he belonged. Even if he had to deal with seeing Oliver on a regular basis, he knew it was well worth it.

He was barely home when he had to go out again, back on patrol for the night. It was past two in the morning before he got the chance to sleep.

Clark had no plans to get up the following morning but the alarm that he didn’t know was set went off, waking him out of a deep sleep. And much to his distaste, he couldn’t go back to sleep so he just decided to get out of bed.

His day moved fairly slowly. The call from Chloe after lunch was expected. He knew she would find out he was in the League from Bruce.

“So Mr. Justice League member,” she teased, “I heard you bonded with the team quite nicely.”

“Yeah, I mean, it was great,” Clark said, laughing. “I knew a lot of them.”

“So my boyfriend admitted to knowing who you were before the dinner,” Chloe said slowly.

“Yeah, he told me,” Clark responded. “I assume he got a lecture for that one?”

“You bet,” Chloe said, clearly pleased with herself.

“Oh, Chlo, it wasn’t so bad,” Clark said, “And I did figure out who he was too.”

“A sign of a true reporter,” Chloe stated proudly. “So how are you?”

“I’m good,” Clark said, “Should I not be?”

“Well,” Chloe said, “I assume you met all the League members?”

“Ahh,” Clark said, realizing where her thoughts were headed, “Yeah, I did . . . and it was not so bad. I mean, we didn’t really get a chance to interact.”

“But you met her too?” Chloe questioned.

“If by her you mean Dinah, yes I did,” Clark told her. “She’s nice, Chloe . . . they make a good couple.”

“And you’re okay with this?” Chloe persisted. “Will you be fine working with them?”

“I have to,” Clark said. “I’ll be okay, don’t worry about me.”

“I can’t help it,” Chloe said gently. “It’s what I do . . . you’re my best friend, Clark.”

“And I love you for it,” Clark said. “But I’m an adult, Chloe . . . I have to deal with the consequences of my decisions.”

He could practically hear her frown. “I just want you to be happy,” Chloe said finally.

“I am happy,” Clark assured her.

Hearing a knock at the door, he covered the phone and yelled, “Come on in, it’s open!” Who could be coming over? He certainly wasn’t expecting anyone.

The doorknob twisted and when it opened, Clark was stunned to see who was on the other side.

“Clark?” Chloe’s voice came from the phone.

Returning his attention to the phone, he said, “Chloe, I think I’m going to have to call you back.”

“That’s fine,” Chloe said, “Is everything okay?”

“Yeah, I’ll just call you later,” Clark promised.

“Okay, talk to you later then,” Chloe said, sounding a little puzzled.

“Bye Chlo,” he said and hung up. Staring at the man in his doorway, he bit his lip.

“Oliver,” he said.

“Clark,” Oliver replied, “I hope I’m not coming at a bad time.”

“No, not at all,” Clark said quickly, “Come on in.”

Oliver stepped inside, shutting the door behind him.

“What’s up?” Clark said, unsure what to say.

“We need to talk,” Oliver said firmly.

A conversation was long overdue but he knew that it was not going to be an easy one. But he couldn’t run anymore . . . it was time to face his past.

Chapter 8

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