Pairing/Characters: Clark/Oliver, 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?
Previous Chapters: Here
Clark knew that he would have to face Oliver again soon enough … they were the same League together. But he hoped that he would have a little time to recoup. Unfortunately for him, the fates were not that kind.
Barely five days after he walked out of Oliver’s penthouse, Bruce contacted him, claiming that they had to have a League meeting.
Great, thanks a lot world. Not only do I have to be in a room with Oliver but Dinah too? This was going to be ridiculously painful, not to mention awkward, but he knew that he didn’t have a choice.
The meeting was set in two days and those were the shortest forty eight hours he had ever experienced in his life. Between his double life as “Superman” and being Clark Kent, it didn’t leave him much time in the first place. And of course, as he wanted time to slow down, it would speed up.
Before he knew it, he was walking into the Hall and transporting to the headquarters. Upon reaching, he was almost relieved to find that he was one of the first there, save Bruce.
Batman gave him a small nod in acknowledgment and Clark nodded back.
“Good evening Kal,” Bruce greeted him.
“Hello … Batman?” Clark was unsure of what to call him while in the meetings.
“You can call me Batman,” Bruce offered, chuckling, obviously noticing his confusion. “Bruce works just as well though.”
“Okay, Bruce then,” Clark said, smiling slightly. “If you don’t mind?”
“I wouldn’t have said it if I don’t mean it, Kal,” Bruce told him.
Clark grinned. Batman may be scary as hell but he was relieved to find that the man beneath the mask was a lot more approachable.
“How have you been?” Clark asked casually.
“Not bad,” Bruce said, amusement in his tone. “And yourself?” Clearly, Batman was not used to making meaningless chitchat before meetings. Oh well. He didn’t really like silence and when he was nervous, he talked.
“I’m okay,” Clark responded. If you count on wanting to run out of here before the man I love shows up with his fiancée.
Luckily for them, members began to arrive before they were forced to make conversation too long. Unsurprisingly, Dinah and Oliver arrived together and he avoided looking at both of them as they entered.
Once everyone was seated, Bruce began the meeting and it wasn’t long before he got to the real reason he called the meeting.
“A lab has come up on our radar,” he announced, “I’ve managed to do some research and track it back to Luthor.”
Clark listened patiently as Bruce went on to explain the logistics and showed them a layout of the aforementioned lab.
He then was told that they would be infiltrating said lab that night and gave the group a list of people who would be going. Clark found that he was on that list and so was Oliver. Dinah was not. Clark couldn’t sworn he saw an emotion pass through Dinah’s eyes when she found out but it was gone before he could try to place it and he really didn’t want to be caught staring at her. People may get the wrong ideas.
But he didn’t have much time to ponder Dinah’s expressions … he didn’t want to get caught not paying attention to Bruce. Bruce may be nice but the Batman angry was not someone Clark was willing to face.
They began to make plans on the entrances they would take and how to get past certain guards. The hours flew by and Clark, as Superman, was sneaking into the lab, his teammates spread across different entrances.
Taking out the guards was too easy and disabling the security cameras was even easier. Lex … your security still sucks.
Of course, according to Bruce, this was a very well hidden laboratory and he had to go through a lot of layers to find out that the original owner was Lex and even then, he wasn’t 100% positive. Bruce may have not stated the last part aloud but Clark understood the underlying message.
Using his x-ray vision, he scanned the area, moving from one room to the next, getting more frustrated as he found nothing of great use. When he was exiting one room, he was looking around and bumped into a solid figure.
“I’m so sorry,” he began to apologize but froze when he saw who it was.
Or in this case, the Green Arrow, who seemed to be just as shocked to see him.
“Superman,” Oliver said, his voice masked by his distorter.
“Green Arrow,” Clark said, still not quite used to calling him by his alter ego’s name.
“Did you find anything?” Oliver asked.
“Nothing incriminating,” Clark confessed. “And you?”
“Same,” Oliver responded. Clark began to walk, not wanting to remain idle and Oliver fell into step with him.
There was a silence, as both men looked around, not wanting to meet the other one’s gaze. Clark went into a room and he was taken aback when Oliver was at his heels.
“Hope you don’t mind company,” Oliver said, when he looked at him quizzically.
“Not at all,” Clark said, with a small smile, “Two heads are better than one, right?” The Green Arrow chuckled and nodded.
They both started searching through the room, digging through the files that they found. But Clark didn’t say anything to Oliver.
A wry laugh from Oliver had Clark looking up.
“We screwed this truce up already, huh?” Oliver remarked.
“I don’t really think this is the time,” Clark noted quietly.
“Yeah, but when will be the time?” Oliver wanted to know. “The minute we get out of here, you’re going to go at great lengths to avoid me … other than the meetings, I won’t see you. And the meetings … well … there’s Dinah.”
“Who doesn’t know,” Clark concluded.
“It just never came up.” Oliver explained. He sighed, “Before it hurt too much to talk about … and when you came back unexpectedly, I didn’t really know how to tell her.”
“She won’t hear it from me,” Clark promised, “If that’s what you were wondering.”
The glasses covered Oliver’s eyes so he couldn’t decipher his emotions for the life of him. It was definitely frustrating on Clark’s part.
“I wasn’t thinking that,” Oliver was quick to assure him. “But I appreciate it anyway.”
“So what are you trying to accomplish?” Clark asked.
“I just … I hate that things have to be weird again,” Oliver said slowly. “I mean … we’re going to be working together and I do want to make things professional.”
“Maybe we can just forget that day,” Clark suggested, “Just move on with our lives. What has happened happened and there’s nothing that either of us can say or do to change that. So let’s leave the past in the past. No need to bring it up again.”
Clark watched as Oliver’s lips formed a thin line but the blonde agreed.
“Yeah … that works. We can just move on.”
“Great,” Clark said, sounding outwardly satisfied, though inwardly he was cringing. It was what he wanted but at the same time, it felt so wrong.
They went back to their work. Switching back to x-ray vision, he was surprised to see a room behind the wall, despite the fact that there was no door. Finally … a lead.
“I think I found something,” he told Oliver, approaching the wall. Oliver quickly hurried to his side, both approaching the wall.
They should’ve looked down though because when they were within an inch of the wall, the floor broke and Clark felt himself falling. He was too stunned to do anything and within seconds, hit the ground, Ollie landing next to him.
It was a trap door. Damn … why didn’t he see that coming? He had never felt so stupid. Turning to Oliver, he saw the other man wincing.
“You okay?” he asked.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” Oliver muttered, having switched off the distorter.
Clark shifted and barely suppressed the groan as a shot of pain ran up and down his back. Reaching behind him, he was stunned when his hand was stained with blood when he pulled it back. I know this feeling. He did … kryptonite. His eyes darted to his surroundings and to his horror, he found the rocks all around, faintly glowing.
And apparently, he had hit one when he had fallen and he could just feel it lodged into his back. The pain was overwhelming.
“Are you okay?” Oliver asked, standing up, not noticing the expression on Clark’s face.
I can’t believe we’re stuck here. The landing had hurt a little but it wasn’t too bad. Standing up, he brushed himself off.
“Clark?” he tried, hearing silence. He only got a groan in response.
“You comfortable down there?” he asked, not looking at the younger man.
“I can’t get up,” came the whisper.
“What?” This immediately had Oliver turning to look at Clark, whose face was distorted in pain.
In an instant, Oliver was by his side, taking his hand and his stomach lurched at seeing blood there. Clark’s blood … he’s bleeding.
But that meant Clark was injured … and if Clark was injured, that only meant one thing. Eyes shifting to scan the place, a wave of panic came over him as he realized that they were surrounded by kryptonite.
“Kryptonite,” he breathed.
“It’s … it’s in my back,” Clark managed to say. Carefully, Oliver picked him up, helping the brunette to his feet. He saw the kryptonite lodged in Clark’s back. It had gone through the uniform and it looked like it had gotten pretty deep.
“Clark, I’m going to try to get it out, okay?” he said gently, “This is going to hurt …”
Clark didn’t say anything, a weak nod was all he got in response. Holding Clark up, Oliver used a free hand to pull at the kryptonite.
It barely moved, no matter how hard he pulled and Clark only cried out at the pain. Hearing Clark in pain was too much for Ollie.
He reached for his communicator but when he tried to get ahold of the other members, he just got static.
Clark sounded so vulnerable, so young … this was not the hero that he was used to. He swallowed hard.
“I can’t reach the League,” he said, his voice barely a whisper.
“They’ll find us,” Clark said confidently, more confident that he really felt.
Clark honestly wanted to believe it but he didn’t know if it would be soon enough. The meteor rocks effects were taking its toll and he felt the darkness approaching.
Oliver could tell that Clark was slipping and just held on tighter.
“Hold on, Clark,” he said, stroking his hair. It shouldn’t feel this right to have the brunette in his arms. Don’t think about those things, Queen … Clark’s in danger.
No, Clark would be fine. He had to be. Oliver sat down, pulling the brunette into his arms, eyes searching the area for a possible escape route. All he saw were miles of tunnel and he couldn’t bear to leave Clark for even an instant to search out a possible exit.
“Help will come,” he said, trying to keep the anxiety from his tone. “Just hold on.” Clark didn’t say anything.
Please God … don’t do this to me. He refused to watch Clark die … he refused to let Clark die period.
All he could really do was hope that help arrived quickly.
Bruce Wayne, disguised in his Batman costume, looked at the members. They had found some vital information and potential leads and they were back at the designated meeting spot. A frown marred suddenly marred his features as he realized that not all the people he had come in were back.
“Where are Green Arrow and Superman?” he demanded.
“I don’t know,” The Flash replied, “Shouldn’t they be here by now?”
“They should,” Bruce agreed, “But why aren’t they?”
Immediately checking his communicator, he tried to contact Green Arrow and Superman. But found nothing but static.
“I can’t reach them.”
This was not good news and Bruce had a bad feeling about the whole situation. Contacting the headquarters, he found information that did not please him.
“At last check, Green Arrow and Superman were together,” Dinah informed him and he was a little surprised to hear a slight anger in her tone as she said those words.
He dismissed it as worry. After all this was her fiancé. Of course she’d be freaked out.
“And now what?” Batman asked impatiently.
“Now we can’t spot them on the radar,” the Black Canary answered, sounding worried.
“And I can’t reach them on the communicator,” Bruce said, mostly speaking to himself. “Where were they last placed?”
Dinah gave him the location and Bruce, along with the Flash, the Martian Manhunter and Wonder Woman made their way to the area.
Bruce was praying that they weren’t too late.
“You should go.”
“I’m sorry?” Oliver was confused at Clark’s sudden statement.
“There’s probably an exit around here somewhere,” Clark said, looking up, his eyes tired. “Go find it …”
Oliver was shocked as he got the underlying meaning of Clark’s words.
“I’m not leaving you,” he said vehemently. “I’m leaving with you or not at all.”
“Don’t be foolish Oliver,” Clark said, his tone surprisingly firm. “There’s no point in both of us dying here. Just go and save yourself, for God’s sake. If you’re out, you can tell the League where I am.”
“I don’t want to leave you,” Oliver said stubbornly.
“Ollie, the kryptonite … it hurts,” Clark said sadly. “I don’t know how much longer I’ll last.”
“You’re not going to die,” Oliver said urgently, unsure of whether he was convincing Clark or himself. “I won’t let you.”
“I don’t think you really have a choice,” Clark said, laughing weakly. “It seems that Luthor’s labs and me never get along, huh?”
Smiling slightly at the reference to their incident in the Ridge Facility all those years ago, Oliver just shook his head.
“Oliver,” Clark said, his voice pleading, “Go … really. I won’t hate you if you do.”
“I can’t go,” Oliver said. He didn’t think it was physically possible for him to leave. Something strong kept him here, with Clark. Clark’s statements were true … if he found a way to get out, he could get help. But he just wasn’t able to leave.
“You’ve always been stubborn,” Clark said, a note of affection in his voice.
“It’s part of my charm,” Oliver joked.
Clark smiled, despite the pain he was in. He turned away from Oliver, a series of coughs escaping his lips. Touching his mouth, he looked at his fingers. More blood.
“Clark?” Oliver said frantically, his eyes widening at seeing the blood trailing down from Clark’s mouth.
“We have to move you,” Oliver said.
“There’s no point,” Clark said, “The kryptonite is in me … not much you can do, Oliver.”
The blackness was creeping into his vision and Clark just knew this was it.
“Ollie,” he said, “I know … I don’t have much time left.”
“Hush, Clark,” Oliver said, “Save your energy.”
“I have to tell you something,” Clark said. He forced a laugh, “Call it a deathbed confession.”
“You’re not going to die!” Oliver repeated, raising his voice.
Ignoring Oliver’s words, Clark continued. If he was going to die, then damn it, he was going to tell the truth.
“It’s about Julia,” Clark said.
Oliver froze. “Clark … really, this isn’t the time.”
“I have to say it,” Clark insisted, “There is no other time.” He took a deep breath, “Ollie … Julia … she’s-”
That was all he got out before he fell into an unconscious state.
“Clark?” Oliver said, shaking the younger man slightly. But he wasn’t responding.
“Oh God,” Oliver said. His mind was working quickly and he looked upwards.
Then it was like a light bulb went off. I’m such an idiot.
Grabbing a bow and arrow, he aimed for the entrance. Please let this work.
Firing an arrow with an extension cord, he almost cheered when he saw it go through the door they came in through and stuck to something.
Grabbing Clark, he let the rope take him upwards. They smashed through the trap door and landed safely on the floor.
Just as the League members came rushing through.
“Green Arrow,” Batman’s voice was the first to get his attention.
“Here,” he said desperately, gesturing to Clark, “Take him … he needs help.”
“What happened?” Batman asked.
“We fell through the trap door,” Oliver explained, “And the meteor rocks … they hurt Clark.”
“Meteor rocks hurt him?” Batman asked.
“Does it matter?” Oliver said, almost yelling, “The man’s unconscious and you want answers? Just heal him already! He could die … the rock has to get out of his system. And he needs sun … lots of it.”
“He’s right,” the Martian Manhunter noted, taking Superman his arms. “I’ll take care of him.” In a flash, he was gone.
“Don’t worry,” Diana said, noticing Oliver’s worry, “He’ll be okay.”
“I hope so,” Oliver said softly. Remembering their mission, he added, “There’s a room through that wall … that’s what we were trying to get to.”
Wonder Woman turned her attention to the wall behind her and with one punch, shattered it into pieces, revealing a hidden room.
“Green Arrow, you have injuries,” Batman pointed out. “I suggest you go to the League tower with Flash … Wonder Woman and I will check out the room.”
Normally he would’ve argued but he just gave them a nod. If he was in the Tower, he’d be closer to hearing about Clark’s progress. His body was slightly aching and he had ignored the pain before but it was coming back now.
So he left with Bart, the two of them retreating to the Hall and then back to the headquarters, where the rest of the team waited.
Dinah was in his arms as soon as he entered. He had to stop himself from wincing when she accidentally touched a bruise.
“I was so worried about you,” she said, her blue eyes full of concern.
“I’m fine,” he assured her.
“Where’s the rest of them?” Victor asked.
“Bruce and Diana are still in the lab,” Oliver told them. “They found a secret room, which Superman discovered. We would’ve looked into it but we fell into a trap door.”
“J’onn came in with Superman,” AC commented, “He wouldn’t let us go near him though.”
“Clark’s had an exposure to meteor rocks,” Oliver said, the worry returning. “He’s unconscious.”
“Will he be okay?” AC questioned.
Oliver’s eyebrows furrowed and his heart ached at the idea of something happening to his Clark. Wait … your Clark? He’s not yours, idiot … he hasn’t been in a long time.
Dismissing those thoughts, he focused on the moment.
“I think so,” he said, not seeing the way Dinah observing him carefully, her expression changing at catching something in his.
But he wasn’t focusing on Dinah. His entire mind was devoted to Clark … and he was wishing with all his heart that the brunette would make it through.
A part of him couldn’t help but wonder what Clark was about to say to him before he slipped into an unconscious state.
And he wondered if he’d ever find out.