Story: Ease My Pain
Disclaimer: don’t own anything
Summary: For Oliver Queen, the rain brought back bad memories. Until one special person makes it all better.
The table is here.
It had been raining that night. That horrible, terrible night that Oliver couldn’t get out of his mind, despite his heartiest attempts . . . that night that had changed his life forever.
October 14, 1989 . . . the last day he had seen his parents alive. The memory still brought tears to his eyes. He was nine years old and a complete brat . . . he loved his parents dearly but he hated how they were always jetting off without him.
He loved that they had so much money . . . he grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth but at times, he just wanted his mom and dad to be there. All he wanted was to be more like the families on the television . . . the ones that had dinner together and spent their weekends just spending time with one another.
But his parents were Robert and Laura Queen . . . they were one of the richest families in the world and both his parents were always busy. No matter how much they cared about him, they just weren’t around very often.
That fateful night, when he found out that they were going on yet another trip without him, Oliver had lashed out. Frustrated, hurt and disappointed at being left behind, he had said that he wished he had other parents.
“Be careful what you wish for, Ollie.”
His mother’s words . . . and they were right on the money. More than anything, he wished he could go back to that night. What he would do to just take back his childish words and hug his mom and dad, tell them he loved them one last time.
Memories flashed through his mind . . . and suddenly, he was nine again, watching his parents drive away. The rain fell in sheets, streaming down the window, matching the tears that flowed down his face.
It was October . . . California didn’t get rain that early but that night, it had poured. Even the weather forecasters hadn’t predicted it . . . it should’ve been an ominous warning.
But he was nine . . . what did he know about revenge and assassination? Other than what he saw in the action movies . . . nothing. But never did he think his own life would become like one of those films. It had though.
He could still remember someone coming and talking to him, breaking the news as gently as possible.
Ollie . . . your parents . . . we’ve lost sight of their plane. I’m so sorry, Ollie . . . they don’t think that they’re alive.
Even if he searched his memory thoroughly, he couldn’t remember the speaker. All he could focus on was that his parents were gone for good. And he was alone.
Alone . . . he had been alone since that day and was still alone. Over the years, he had managed to build a wall around himself. Nobody even saw it coming . . . he developed a reputation as a charmer and he could get under anyone’s skin easily.
The same couldn’t be said for them. Everyone he worked with, the women he dated , the media . . . they all saw the Oliver Queen he wanted them to see. The carefree guy, the flirty, romantic playboy, the suave businessman . . . each person thought they knew him better than the last.
But nobody really knew him. The real Oliver Queen was locked up deep within him, hidden inside since the announcement that his parents wouldn’t be returning to him after all.
It was easy to hide in his shell . . . nobody really ever bothered to get to know him anyway. They were all satisfied with the image he portrayed. His parents were both good-looking and nobody was surprised when he grew up to be a “handsome young man”.
He used his looks to his advantage and climbed the social ladder. If he couldn’t control his own life, he sure as hell would have control other aspects, such as what people thought of him. Quickly, he gained respect, he gained admiration . . . but it wasn’t enough.
Oliver knew that his friends were not real friends, knew that the minute his popularity was gone, they would be too. So he made the most of the situation while he still could. It was only fair . . . the world had denied him his parents. Why shouldn’t everyone else worship at his feet to compensate?
Self-pity at its worst and looking back, he was disgusted with his own behavior. He picked on those who were weaker than him because he didn’t want people around him to see the weakness within himself. That inside the cool, confident Oliver Queen was just the nine-year old boy who missed his parents and wanted to be loved.
His bitterness only grew at seeing the friendship between Duncan Allenmeyer and Lex Luthor . . . the bond that they had had nothing to do with money or fame or status. Lex was bald, an outcast, and rich while Duncan was dirt poor and had an optimism that Ollie didn’t find in his usual crowd.
They spent time with one another just because they wanted to . . . they liked each other just because of their personalities. And Oliver was jealous. What did Lex Luthor have that he didn’t? Why couldn’t he find that special bond? Didn’t anyone want to get to know him?
The envy turned to rage and he made those two his main targets to bully. Then one day, the joke died . . . Duncan died.
He saw Duncan’s parents grieve over the boy and in that moment, everything changed. Because he knew what they felt like . . . he knew what it was like to lose someone and know that nothing or nobody could ever bring them back.
Duncan was just a happy go lucky kid and now . . . he was dead. Taken far before his time and while he hadn’t been driving the car that took his life, it didn’t mean that he wasn’t any less responsible than that driver.
And at the age of seventeen, Oliver Queen changed his outlook on life. Until graduation, people could see the change in him and he was still as beloved as ever but for him, it didn’t matter as much. He just wanted to get out of Excelsior, get out and not look back.
After high school, he took a year off and deferred his admission to Princeton. He set sail for a trip around the world but what was to come was something he did not expect.
His crew turned mutinous and with his limited archery skills, he managed to escape but was stuck in a shark infested ocean. He didn’t know what happened . . . twenty days of his life was still missing but he did know he turned up unconscious on a deserted island.
Where a tribe took care of him and nursed him back to health. On that island, he learned to fend for himself for the first time in his entire life.
One day, he was hunting when he tripped. And what he tripped on nearly caused his heart to stop. The dead bodies of his parents, the wreckage of their plane . . . apparently, the fates had conspired and he was on the same island where his parents lost their lives.
Oliver never got closure with their deaths because there were no bodies. Two empty coffins were buried and Oliver never once visited the grave since the day of the funeral. Now, there were bodies . . . even in death, his parents were clinging to each other and the remembrance of how much they loved him and one another brought tears to his eyes.
And he was filled with a new determination . . . he was going to get his parents bodies back home . . . they deserved that much. Their last resting place could not be on some island in the middle of nowhere . . . it should be in their city, the one that they helped build. But at the time, he had no idea how to get back.
Fortunately for him, his yacht came around again and with the help of his new island friends, he overcame the crew and won his boat back. He took his parents bodies and returned home, where they were given a proper funeral and finally, his parents were put to rest.
That had been over nine years ago and Oliver should’ve gotten closure . . . thought he had gotten closure. Thought he could move on with his life.
But eighteen years after his parents death, he was still not allowing anyone to get close to him . . . was still afraid that if he opened his heart, he would get it broken.
Would he ever heal? Oliver sighed and looked out the window.
It was raining that day . . . today was the eighteenth anniversary of his parents’ death and it was raining again.
Ever since his parents died, it hadn’t rained in October but once again, the rain was pouring in buckets. But that didn’t stop him from venturing outside the house. It was safer to stay inside but he couldn’t not visit his parents’ grave.
Despite the protests of his staff, he drove out into the night, drove until he saw the familiar area. Stepping out of the car, he realized he forgot an umbrella and wasn’t really bothered by that fact. He was quickly drenched but that didn’t stop him. Holding a bouquet of roses, he kept walking until he found what he was looking for.
Only then did he stop, crouching in front of his parents’ graves.
“Hi mom,” he whispered, “Hi dad . . . I’m here. It’s been eighteen years since you two died . . . and I miss you both so much.” He usually told them about his life and prayed that somewhere, they were listening. “Queen Industries is doing great . . . I’m keeping the company alive. I’m doing it for you two . . . I want to make you proud.” He sniffed. “I know you’ve probably seen but I’m the Green Arrow . . . I save people. Or at least I try to.”
He laughed weakly. “I spent most of my time with my team . . . I told you about them? Bart, AC, Victor . . . they’re all good guys. I think you’d like them. No girlfriend though . . . I know, last time I mentioned Lois but I couldn’t tell her about me . . . what I do at night. We broke up a while ago and there hasn’t been someone since.”
Pausing for a moment, he traced the engraved names on the tombstones. “You’d worry about me, Mom . . . but don’t. This life of loneliness is one that I’ve gotten used to . . . I guess I’m just destined to be alone.” The tears that the were threatening to spill over did and his heart ached. Saying the words aloud made it seem so much more real and it was more painful than he thought it’d be.
“Why did you have to leave me?” Oliver asked, wishing that for once, someone would answer him. “Why did you have to leave me alone?” He choked a sob. “I’m so alone . . .”
“You’re not alone,” a strong voice came from behind him. A voice that he only knew too well. His heart pounded as he stood up slowly and turned around. To meet the concerned green eyes of Clark Kent.
“Clark,” he croaked. “What . . . how . . .?” His imagination was going wild because there was no way that Clark was there to see him.
Clark, who had gotten dangerously close to him over the past few months . . . who had broken through his barriers like no one else ever had. The one person Oliver ever saw as a threat to breaking through the wall he had so carefully built.
But he couldn’t be there . . . his heart was so lonely that it was creating images of what he wanted to see.
No, Clark was in Smallville, safe in his farm, not even thinking of him.
The image in front of him looked so real though . . . Clark was standing there in his traditional jeans, blue shirt and red jacket, soaked to the bone. Oliver was tempted to reach out and just . . . touch . . . because maybe . . . maybe it wasn’t a dream.
“Oliver,” the image of Clark said softly. “I know what today is . . . what it means to you . . . that it’s the anniversary of your parents’ death and I wanted to see how you were. I figured I’d find you here.”
“But why?” Oliver asked, his voice hoarse. “Why are you here?”
Only then did he notice that Clark was carrying flowers too, the most beautiful roses he had ever seen.
Clark slowly made his way to Oliver and placed the roses on the graves. He brushed against him and Oliver realized that Clark was really there . . . he was real. This was not some hopeful delusion . . . and maybe, maybe he wasn’t alone after all.
Clark had cared enough to come and check on him . . . and through the pain and the tears, he felt a light of hope with that thought
The brunette was staring at him intently, clearly oblivious to his thoughts.
“I’m here,” Clark said, “because I came to pay my respects . . . and I heard what you were saying. And I wanted to let you know that you’re not alone.”
Oliver swallowed hard but even with his newfound realizations, he couldn’t really believe Clark. Clark wouldn’t really stay . . . he’d leave . . . he’d leave like everyone else.
As if reading his mind, Clark shook his head. “I’m not going anywhere, Ollie . . . and you’re not alone. You don’t have to be alone. Just say the word.”
“You make it sound so easy,” Oliver noted. “It’s not, Clark.”
“It is,” Clark insisted. “Just say the word and you’ll never be alone again.”
“And who will make sure of that?” Oliver said, shaking his head. “Clark, give it up . . . I know you want to save everyone but it is possible some of us can’t be saved.”
“If anyone can be saved, it’s you, Ollie,” Clark persisted. “I know what you’re thinking . . . that you don’t have people who care about you. But there are so many people who love you and look up to you. Not because you’re the Green Arrow or because you’re Oliver Queen, big time CEO but because you’re Ollie . . . a good, kind, generous person. You have Bart, Victor and AC . . .”
“We work together,” Oliver interrupted. “That’s it.”
“But you can’t say you don’t care about them,” Clark argued. “And they care about you. You do have three people who are always by your side.”
Oliver shrugged. “Clark, we don’t need to have this talk now . . . in fact, I would prefer we didn’t. You should go” He turned away, so he wouldn’t have to face the younger man.
“It’s pouring,” Clark said softly. “You’ll get pneumonia if you stay out here any longer.”
“And yourself?” Oliver questioned, even though it was a silly question, in retrospect.
“I don’t get sick,” Clark reminded him. “We should take you somewhere warm.”
Oliver sighed. “You’re just not going to give in are you?”
“I won’t give in, and I won’t give up,” Clark said firmly. “Because Ollie . . . you don’t just have your team . . . you have me.”
Oliver froze and spun around again, brown eyes meeting green. “You?”
“Me,” Clark confirmed. “I’m here . . . I’ll always be here.”
“As a friend?” Oliver asked cautiously. “As a fellow crime fighter? As . . . more?”
“As anything you want me to be,” Clark said, closing the distance between them. Oliver was taken aback by the pure passion he saw in the younger man’s eyes. The look was so intense that he almost forgot to breathe.
“Clark,” he said, his voice barely a whisper. God, he wanted this . . . he wanted Clark in his life . . . he wanted Clark to be the one to break through his shell. He had never needed someone the way he needed Clark, never wanted someone the way he wanted Clark. And it scared him.
Scared him because if he let Clark in now and Clark someday left, he would be destroyed. His heart wouldn’t be able to take it.
“Just say the word, Ollie,” Clark said gently. “Just one word . . . and I’m yours.”
But he wasn’t thinking of the future . . . he was thinking of now and now, he needed Clark. Wanted to be wrapped in those strong arms, wanted Clark to hold him and tell him that everything was going to be okay.
The nine-year old boy inside was crying, was begging to be set free and Oliver, for once in his life, couldn’t deny him. So he listened to his heart, ignored his mind and spoke.
It wasn’t much and it was said so quietly that a normal person wouldn’t have been able to hear it but this was Clark. And Clark could hear him.
In one swift move, he was pulled into Clark’s embrace and Oliver clung to the brunette, not wanting to let go, for even an instant. He breathed in fresh apples, vanilla and something that was just purely Clark.
The tears were once again streaming down his face but Clark didn’t say anything . . . just held him tighter.
“I don’t want to be alone anymore,” Oliver finally found the courage to say.
“You won’t be,” Clark promised. “I’m not going anywhere.”
“That’s a pretty big promise to make,” Oliver commented.
“And I intend to keep it,” Clark told him. “I’m here for you, Oliver. In whatever way you need me, for however long you need me.” And Oliver believed him.
“What if I need you forever?” Oliver asked, his voice shaky.
“Then I’ll never leave,” Clark declared. Oliver smiled through his tears.
“Do you want to go home now?” Clark asked.
“I’d like to stay out here for a few more minutes, if you don’t mind,” Oliver responded and Clark just nodded, not letting him go. Oliver rested his head against Clark’s strong chest, content to just stay in his arms.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw his parents’ grave and he could’ve sworn he saw an image of a man and a woman smiling at him. He blinked and they were gone.
The corners of his mouth lifted into another smile. They may not be here physically but his parents were out there, watching over him and he had a feeling that they sent him Clark so their son wouldn’t be alone anymore.
It was raining that night . . . that night when Oliver finally opened his heart, finally found the companionship he longed for all his life.
Maybe the rain wasn’t so bad after all.