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
What am I supposed to do? Chloe did not have an answer and she hated it. By the time she reached Clark, Oliver was already there … she heard the blonde’s voice. Right now, there was a confrontation occurring.
She couldn’t stop Ollie from leaving, couldn’t make him understand … but then again what was there to understand? Both Clark and she had betrayed him in the worst way possible.
Tears streaming down her face, she clutched a pillow. She felt so lost, so confused and too caught up in her own world, she didn’t even hear the approaching footsteps.
Bruce’s concerned voice had her looking up, watery green eyes locking with worried midnight blue.
He quickly moved to take the seat next to her. Cupping her face in his hands, he searched her expression.
“What’s wrong?” he asked.
“Oh Bruce,” she sniffed, burying her head in his shoulder, “I screwed up … big time.”
“Just tell me what happened,” he said.
Taking a deep breath, she told him everything. This was affecting two members of his League and he needed to know the truth.
So she explained how Oliver and Clark were together, explained how Clark realized he had to go on his training and the fake cheating plot in which she had participated.
When she was done, she was almost afraid to look him in the eye.
“That actually clears a lot of things up,” Bruce murmured. “It explains why the two of them are so odd around each other. I had suspicions that that was the case but I wasn’t positive.”
“Yeah, well that’s it,” Chloe said, her voice shaky. “Now Oliver is over at Clark’s place and I have no idea what to do.”
“That one is obvious,” Bruce interrupted, “Do nothing.”
Chloe raised her eyebrows, shocked. “What?”
“Chloe, I think in this case, it’s best you just stay out of it,” Bruce advised.
“But it’s Clark!” she protested.
“Clark’s an adult, Chloe,” Bruce reminded her. “And if you remember, it was your involvement that got everyone into this mess.” He sighed. “I don’t mean to sound callous and I really understand that you were trying to protect your best friend. But Clark needs to learn to stand on his own and not lean on you all the time. Sometimes, it seems you’re acting more like his mother than his best friend and last time I checked, he already has a fine mother.”
She blushed. “I know … I get a little crazy when it comes to him.”
“As I said, it is understandable,” Bruce replied gently. “You’re one of the few people who knew his secret and when his mother left, I think you felt the instinctive need to protect him. However, you have to cut the apron strings, Chloe. Clark’s a big boy now and he has to handle the consequences of his actions. Your best bet is just to stand by and let Clark and Oliver deal with this one.”
“You’re right,” Chloe said, a small smile gracing her pretty features, “I guess I’ll just have to take a back seat on this one.”
“I know it’s not in your nature,” Bruce remarked, “But it’s best this way.”
“Thanks,” she said softly, “For knocking some sense into me.”
Bruce chuckled. “You do the same thing for me all the time.”
“I love you,” she said, leaning in to meet his lips for a kiss.
“I love you too,” he replied and was always surprised at how easy it was to say that to her. Then again, with Chloe, everything was easier.
Capturing his willing lips, Chloe lost herself in the embrace of her boyfriend.
But in the back of her mind, she was silently praying that everything was okay with Clark and Oliver.
She would’ve been sorely disappointed.
“Ollie, I was just trying to do what was best,” Clark tried to say.
“Your concept of what’s best amazes me,” Oliver snapped, “Breaking my heart was for the best? I’m an adult, Clark … I was an adult back then too! In fact, if I remember correctly, I’m about six years older than you. So the whole self-sacrificing, martyr routine you seem to be so fond of? Not necessary!”
“Oliver, I don’t know what to say to you,” Clark replied.
“How about the goddamn truth?” Oliver asked.
“I told you,” Clark started but was quickly cut off.
“You told me that you didn’t want me waiting,” Oliver interjected, “But I should’ve been able to make that choice. If I wanted to wait for you, I should’ve been given that chance. That was not your call … you can’t decide on what my heart wants. If I wanted to wait years, I should have had that right!”
“What if it wasn’t a matter of when I was returning but if?” Clark asked quietly. This stopped Oliver’s rant.
“Excuse me?” Oliver said, eyes wide.
“I didn’t know what my training entailed,” Clark confessed. “I mean … for all I know, it could’ve been dangerous. Nothing to do with my Kryptonian heritage has ever been really safe … I didn’t know whether I was coming back.”
“Are you saying you thought you were going to die?” Oliver demanded.
What the hell was he thinking? Oliver couldn’t believe the words that were coming out of his former lover’s mouth.
Clark looked remorseful. Yeah, he regrets it all right … regrets that he was CAUGHT!
Oliver knew he was being particularly nasty in his thoughts but he didn’t care. He deserved to be angry … Chloe and Clark had decided to conspire together to make choices for him. His entire life, he had been independent and here comes these two who think they can run it and decide on what’s best? It was ridiculous!
Especially since one of them had been the man he loved. Who apparently ran off and could’ve died.
“What were you thinking?” Oliver asked, voicing his thoughts. “I mean, what if you had died? How would we have known? Did you just expect Chloe to figure it out and then tell me that you were dead?”
“I said it was a possibility,” Clark told him, “And it wasn’t even the worst option.”
“What could be worse than your death?” Oliver questioned.
“I could’ve come back as Kal-El,” Clark said wryly.
“Kal-El?” Oliver echoed. “But isn’t that you? Isn’t that your Kryptonian name?”
“It is,” Clark confirmed. He leaned back. “Oliver, I haven’t had very good experiences with the AI … last time, he injured my father to get me to go on my training. I was gone for months and I came back, my Kryptonian side completely taken over. All traces of Clark Kent was gone … I didn’t even recognize my own mother. I just knew that I was Kal-El of Krypton and I was bent upon fulfilling my so called destiny.”
“That’s crazy,” Oliver breathed, trying to register all the information being given to him.
“It was,” Clark noted. “If my mom hadn’t found the black kryptonite, I think I would’ve stayed that way. Oliver, the idea that I could come back and not know you at all scared me. If you waited all these years and I came back like that … it was just best we parted ways.”
“Why didn’t you just tell me all of this?” Oliver asked again. “I mean, just give me all the facts! I’m a smart guy, Clark …” He shook his head. “Or why didn’t you just break up with me? Instead of putting me through that hell …”
“I was a coward,” Clark replied sadly. “I know I was … I didn’t have the guts to break up with you. So I tricked you into breaking up with me.”
“So you and Chloe came up with this crazy scheme to get me to dump you,” Oliver stated. “A fake cheating plot, Clark … really?” It sounded very soap opera-ish.
“I’m not exactly very good at being devious,” Clark said, “And you loved me so much … there was no way to get you to dump me. You wouldn’t do it unless I did something dramatic … like cheating.”
“You used all the knowledge you had of me,” Oliver marveled, “You timed my reactions because you knew me that well … and used it to hurt me. And it worked.”
“For the most part, it did,” Clark said. “I didn’t expect your attempts to win me back though …”
“Which was why you seemed so surprised after the whole Black Rose incident when I didn’t blow up at you,” Oliver realized.
“Yeah, Lois was supposed to tell you what she saw and there was going to be this big confrontation where were broke up,” Clark confessed. “It didn’t quite work that way though.”
“If you had come home right after I spoke to Chloe, that’s probably what would’ve happened,” Oliver said, “But with time, I cooled down and started making my own plans.”
Clark shook his head in amazement. “I was thinking exactly the opposite way. I thought if I waited a few hours, then you would be angrier.”
“Guess you didn’t know me as well as you thought,” Oliver commented.
Clark didn’t respond.
“I guess I don’t even have to ask why you ran away from me that night,” Oliver went on.
“You took me by surprise,” Clark told him. “I mean … I never thought you’d do that. You were so romantic and sweet and here I was, planning on ways to break your heart. It just … I felt sick with myself, I couldn’t stand there, pretending everything was okay when it wasn’t. So I ran …”
“It’s what you do best,” Oliver interrupted, his tone bitter. “And let me guess … you went to see Chloe?”
“I did,” Clark said.
“Of course you did,” Oliver said, the anger building, “It’s where you always go. Chloe- your best friend, your confidante, the only person you ever trusted, right? No matter how much I tried, I could never come close to Chloe Sullivan in your eyes. Every fear, every joy … it was always her who you wanted to tell.”
“I loved you,” Clark said desperately.
“Yet it was never enough,” Oliver said coldly. “It wasn’t enough for you to talk to me every time you had a problem. I wanted to be your everything Clark … we talked about getting married, a lifelong commitment. What would you have done if we had gotten married? Was that what it would have taken for me to be at the top of your list?”
“That’s not true,” Clark started but wasn’t given the chance to speak.
“It is true!” Oliver shouted, “I know your list of priorities … and I have never been at the top. First was your mom, then was Chloe and then maybe I fell at the third spot.”
Oliver’s heart ached as the old pain came rushing back. He choked, tears prickling at the back of his eyes at the mere thought of their failed relationship.
“You were my world, Clark,” Oliver said, repeating the words he had said to him years ago after finding Clark kissing “Julia”. “I gave you all of me … you were always first to me … in my heart, in my mind, in my life. I would’ve done anything and everything for you. Every time I was happy, I wanted it to be you I shared that with and when I was sad, I wanted to you to be the one to comfort me. And you … you plotted, schemed and never trusted me enough. You didn’t have faith in our love, you didn’t have faith in me …”
Clark looked horrified at the words that were coming out of Ollie’s mouth but it didn’t make him stop.
Oliver too was shocked when tears filled his eyes, hating that he was expressing vulnerability but unable to control his feelings.
“I almost wish you had really cheated,” he said, his tone laced with anger and pain, standing up suddenly. “It was easier to think that you had just fallen for someone else than the fact that you didn’t have confidence in our love.” He laughed, a harsh laugh escaping his lips, through the tears.
“The worst part is that damn DVD,” he said, “The way you put it in the elevator … was that your last taunt? Leaving the truth so close yet so far away? I never knew you to be that malicious … I guess I didn’t know you as well as I thought either.”
“Dinah found it,” he mused aloud, “And even she hid it from me.” He ran his hands through his hair. “Is there anyone I can fucking trust? You and she would get along … you both proclaimed you love me yet you hid things from me. Some love.”
Oliver pinned Clark with a glare.
“Let’s get this straight,” he told him, “You and me? We’re done … any truce that previously existed you can consider over. I plan to stay as far away from you as possible … I don’t want to speak to you, even interact with you unless it has to do with League business.
“Have a good life, Clark,” he finished. “I know I will.”
Without a glance backwards, he walked out of the brunette’s apartment, striding determinedly toward his car. He maintained his cool, despite the redness of his eyes and the tear streaks on his face.
Until he got to the penthouse, where his knees began to buckle and he barely made it to the couch before he collapsed.
He should feel good about himself; he had told Clark off, gotten everything off his chest. With a few words, he had cut the brunette out of his life and had strongly walked out. This time, he had been the one to walk out, leaving Clark standing behind.
Then why did he feel so torn up inside? Why did the pain in Clark’s eyes make him want to drive back instead of pleased?
Why did he feel like when he walked out of Clark’s apartment, he had left his heart behind?
That went … well, really badly. But what did he expect? Clark knew that when Oliver found out the truth, he would not handle it well. Oliver had every right to be furious, angry … betrayed. Just imagining the unbelievable pain that rested in those brown orbs sent a burst of guilt through Clark’s veins.
I deserved everything he said to me. He really did … what he had done to Ollie was unforgivable.
What tore at him was how devastated Oliver had been and how he had truly thought Clark had never really loved him. I love you Ollie, I always did, and I always will.
Never once did he think of the repercussions of going to Chloe all the time for advice, for help … it was just natural to him. He didn’t once realize that it could fill Ollie with so much resentment and bitterness.
Well, duh … his lover confiding in someone else all the time has got to be painful … he probably felt like the third wheel in his own relationship. Clark groaned.
Why was he so stupid? Nothing you can do it about it now. That was true … Oliver had stated his intentions loud and clear. There was nothing left between them … any chance of a friendship died the second Ollie discovered the truth.
If that wasn’t bad enough, he had destroyed Chloe and Oliver’s friendship as well as potentially damaged his relationship with Dinah too.
Nice work, Kent … it wasn’t good enough that you had to go and break his heart all those years ago? He has finally moved on and is about to marry someone he loves and someone you managed to screw that up for him too.
Technically, it wasn’t his fault … Dinah was the one who hid the DVD from Ollie and it was partially Ollie’s fault for not being upfront with her in the first place.
Unfortunately, that recognition didn’t do anything to ease his guilt. Did nothing to erase to image of a pained Ollie from his mind.
He barely registered the tears that quickly filled his eyes and spilled over as he made his way to his bedroom. Part of his mind was reminding him that he needed to call Chloe back but he really didn’t want to. Besides, he had come to rely on Chloe too much on his life … she was his best friend but he needed to stand on his on two feet now. This was not something Chloe could help him with.
Walking to the dresser, he rummaged through until he found what he was looking for.
A safety box.
After entering the code, he snapped the box open, pulling out a tinier case. Lifting the cover off, he sighed sadly at its contents.
Rings … an engagement ring and a wedding band. Which was part of his training. According to Jor-El, or the hologram that contained the memories of Jor-El, every Kryptonian went on a journey to make their own wedding rings. Or at least the engagement ring was made … the wedding band was passed on from generation to generation. His biological father had known that Krypton would meet its end so he had stored the wedding ring of the House of El in the Fortress.
To make the engagement ring, Clark had traveled to several planets. The Kryptonian had a mate in mind when making the ring and Clark knew exactly who he was thinking of when he was composing his.
Upon returning, he had been given the wedding band.
Looking at the two rings, Clark was saddened. He knew it was a pipe dream to think that when he had come back, Oliver may still be single. But he had almost hoped that he was … that he could go and plead for forgiveness.
But it was too late now … this time, it was him who was staring at rings which would never be used.
Karma is cruel.
Indeed it was.