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Sober Chapter 16

The newest chapter has arrived! I hope you all like this one! Let me know what you think! :)

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 16

Life went on as usual though. Clark tried to live his life as normally as possible … well as normal as he could get for walking around with a broken heart. He didn’t try to contact Oliver after the blonde had stormed out of his apartment and the older man kept his vow to never speak with Clark again.

He knew for fact Ollie was still in Metropolis. The team was scheduled to come back within a week and Clark figured Oliver didn’t want to go back to Star City to only have to return once more.

As for himself, he concentrated on getting through each day. He worked with Lois, got articles published, and saved people as Superman. His life was busy … lonely at times but busy.

Chloe had called once … the two of them couldn’t stay apart for so long. Besides, he owed her an explanation. He knew she would be worried. So the following weekend, they made plans to meet up for lunch.

The conversation that would follow was one Clark felt was too private so they agreed to meet at his apartment. He offered to cook and she was happy to take him up on the offer.

His best friend showed up on time and he greeted her with a quick hug and hello.

Lunch was already ready so they decided to just go to eating. While they were enjoying the food, they stuck to superficial topics but both were trying to find a subtle way to bring up the topic they were avoiding.

Chloe was the one who finally did it.

“We really screwed up, didn’t we?”

Clark sighed. “Yeah … it’s one big mess now.”

“I mean, I knew he would find out,” Chloe responded. “But I never knew how … plus, you didn’t tell me about that DVD.”

Clark had explained what had happened when he had spoken to her over the phone. It was brief and he hadn’t gone into detail but he did tell her about how Ollie discovered the truth.

“Honestly, Chlo, I forgot about the DVD myself,” he admitted. “I made it a moment of weakness … that day that Oliver walked in on me kissing you. Right before you showed up, I made it. And after the breakup, I sealed it in the elevator.”

“Wow,” Chloe said, shaking her head. “I mean … that’s amazing. And Dinah was the one who found it?”

“Looks like it,” Clark said, “She must’ve watched it and hid it from him. Unfortunately for her, he found it.”

“He must be feeling awful,” Chloe mused. “I mean, he was betrayed by me, by you and now Dinah too?”

“He was so angry, Chloe,” Clark said sadly.

“I know … he went to see me first,” Chloe told him. “I just … I feel awful, Clark.”

“I hate myself right now,” Clark admitted, vocalizing what he had been feeling over the past few days. “I screwed up his life, broke his heart and I even ruined your friendship!”

“Clark, I decided to join the plan,” Chloe said gently.

“Yeah, but I practically forced you into it,” Clark reminded her.

“Doesn’t matter,” Chloe said, with a shake of her head. “We were in this together … we both deserve the blame.” She sighed. “And I deserve his hatred.”

“He doesn’t hate you,” Clark corrected. “He hates me … I’m pretty sure he was jealous of you.”

“Jealous?” she echoed.

Clark told her the bitterness in which Oliver spoke of their friendship and she gasped when he was finished.

“You’re kidding,” she said. “I never would’ve thought …”

“Why would you have?” Clark interrupted. “’I mean, I didn’t even think about it. We lived together, you were always my rock … it was too natural. I was selfish … never did I think about how it could affect him.”

“He should’ve said something,” Chloe stated, frowning.

“What could he have said Chlo?” Clark asked. “He knew you were my best friend … he probably feared he would make it sound like he was making me choose.” He closed his eyes for a second. “And he may not have been confident enough that I’d pick him.”

“Now what?” Chloe asked.

“Now nothing,” Clark replied firmly. “He wants me to stay away from him … and I will. I refuse to cause him anymore pain.”

“You guys are still working together in the League though,” Chloe reminded him. “Will you be able to manage?”

“He said he’d be civil in the League,” Clark replied. “I’m hoping our interactions there are limited though.”

“Well, Bruce knows about your history,” Chloe offered. “He’ll probably make sure you don’t have too much time alone together, if any.”

Chloe had informed him that she’d told Bruce everything and for that, Clark had been relieved. That way, he wouldn’t have to explain his awkwardness with the blonde to anyone. AC, Victor and Bart were the only ones who knew about the relationship but they never mentioned it to anyone.

J’onn probably knew too but he hadn’t said anything to Clark so he didn’t know for sure.

Either way, he liked that there were enough people to play the middleman between Oliver and him.

“I’m sure it will be fine,” Clark said, forcing a smile. “Hopefully, Ollie’s relationship with Dinah is fixable.”

“You really love him, don’t you?” Chloe asked suddenly.

His gaze locked on hers and he knew he couldn’t lie to her.

“With all my heart,” he said passionately. “That’s just something that will never change, Chlo.”

Grasping his hand with her own, she squeezed gently.

“This is not what I wanted for you, Clark,” she said, her eyes filled with regret.

“But this is what I brought upon myself,” Clark responded. “Don’t worry about me, Chlo … you have your own life and you don’t need to concentrate on my problems anymore.”

“You’ll always be a part of my life, Clark Kent,” Chloe declared. “Don’t you ever doubt that.”

“I don’t,” he assured her. “It’s just … sometimes, I feel like I’ve gotten too dependent on you. You’ll always be my best friend and I love you but there are some patterns it’s best not falling back into.”

She let out a small chuckle. “Bruce was telling me something similar … he said that I had to stop mothering you. I never thought of it that way.”

“Neither of us did,” Clark said, “You let me lean on you and I did. I shouldn’t have done it when I had a boyfriend who wanted more than anything to be my shoulder. But it’s too late for those regrets. We know better now, which is all that matters.”

“You’re right,” Chloe said, with a smile. “Best friends?”

“Forever,” he promised, a grin spreading across his face.

Not for the first time, Clark was feeling lucky to have Chloe in his life. He’d have her on his side but this time though, he would make it on his own.

Clark Kent could stand on his two feet and no matter how much he wished that he had Ollie too, he knew that it was too late for them. And he’d learn to live his life alone.

At the very least, he could try.

However, while standing on his two feet was easy, keeping Oliver Queen out of his thoughts proved to be a difficult endeavor.

Every free minute he had, the blonde somehow filtered his way into his mind … all he could see was Ollie’s betrayed expression and the pain on his face as he declared himself second best. Just the memory of the defeat in those brown eyes filled Clark with guilt.

The worst part was that when he finally did manage to push thoughts of Ollie away, Bruce chose to call the Justice League together for another meeting. It seemed that the team was back and they had to discuss how everything went.

Not having a choice, Clark agreed, promising to be there while internally dreading the day.

Walking into the conference room was difficult but Clark managed to remain calm on the outside. The group that left was there by the time he arrived, along with Batman, but no sign of Oliver. Dinah was staring at him with a mysterious look on her face and Clark had to avoid reacting. He knew why she was always watching him closely … she knew of his past relationship with Oliver and she was judging how much of a threat he was to her.

Don’t worry Dinah … I’m not a threat at all. However, you on your own may have screwed up the relationship.

Yet it was not like he could fault her for her reactions. If their positions were reversed and he found out one day that the person he was going to marry had a past relationship with the newest League member, he may be unsure of what to do as well.

Too bad Ollie wouldn’t see it that way.

Speak of the devil. Clark shifted his gaze as Oliver walked in, decked out in his Green Arrow gear. Besides, if he didn’t look away, he would’ve been unable to hide his jealousy at what took place next.

Dinah ran into Ollie’s arms the minute she saw him and pulled him into a long, passionate kiss. Clark was cringing on the inside, as his eyes darted trying to look anywhere else but the newly reunited couple. His eyes accidentally locked with Batman and he almost winced when he saw a flash of sympathy resting in the older man’s blue depths.

He didn’t want sympathy nor did he want pity … what he wanted was to get the hell out of there but that was within the realm of possibilities.

His hearing picked up on them exchanging words and even though Ollie was trying to be nice, Clark could hear the edge to his voice as he spoke. Obviously, Dinah had no idea that Ollie had found the DVD.

Clark definitely didn’t want to be around when that revelation took place.

Fortunately, the meeting started within minutes and Clark didn’t have any more chances to ponder the situation.

The meeting was successful and Clark was pleased to hear from the members that their mission had gone off well.

Clark left as soon as the meeting was over. He didn’t want to stick around and nobody questioned his quick departure.

Upon reaching his apartment, he sank on the couch. What was I thinking?

One meeting and he was already going crazy. It had just been the first meeting since their fight. And he wasn’t able to take it. How was he going to act in the future, when they had to be in closer contact with one another?

This was not going to be easy. Clark groaned, putting his head in his hands.

Life sucked.

Something is wrong. Dinah could feel it the second she kissed Oliver. He kissed her back but when they were speaking, there was an emotion in his voice that she couldn’t quite place. Ollie was being slightly distant and she didn’t understand why.

Not to mention that the tension between Clark and him was at an all new high.

If it was bad before, it was really strong since she had returned. She watched Clark carefully and she could see the anxiety radiating off the brunette in waves. And he had been too happy to leave right after the meeting was over.

As for Ollie, he refused to look at the brunette the entire time. What happened while I was gone?

Since she was a vital part in explaining what had happened, she didn’t get a chance to think it through too much. But the minute the meeting was adjourned, Dinah’s thoughts wandered back to the situation.

She left with Oliver and the two of them took Ollie’s private jet back to Metropolis.

“Were you good while I was gone?” she teased on the plane ride.

“Aren’t I always?” he quipped, but even with his playful tone, she could sense that something was off with her fiancé.

But she didn’t bring it up and tried to ignore the sickening feeling that was bubbling in her stomach.

They reached the penthouse and Dinah was too happy to be back. The mission had gone off well but she was tired.

“I’ll cook dinner,” Oliver told her. “You go and rest.”

“You’re a prince,” she declared, kissing him quickly. Making her way to their shared bedroom, she indulged in a long relaxing shower.

Stepping out, she felt a lot better. Getting dressed, her eyes fell on the drawer, the drawer that held the biggest secret she ever kept. Unable to resist, she opened it and pushed the socks aside, looking for the familiar case.

To her shock, it wasn’t there. She frowned, digging deeper but the DVD was not there.

“Looking for something?”

Dinah spun around, startled, and met Ollie’s gaze. The blonde was standing by the doorway, one arm resting against the frame and the other one hidden behind his back.

“No,” she lied, “Nothing important.”

“Are you sure?” Oliver asked, eyeing her.

“Positive,” she confirmed, nodding, hoping her expression wasn’t revealing her panic.

“You seemed like it was important,” Oliver noted. He paused and the hand that was behind his back came forward. She gasped.

“Perhaps you were looking for this?” he asked, throwing the DVD on the bed.

Oh God.

This explained everything. Ollie had found the DVD and from his reaction, she assumed he had watched it too. She was in trouble.

“Oliver,” she started but was quickly cut off.

“Don’t even, Dinah,” he said, his tone cold and a sneer marring his handsome features. “Do you want to explain how you got your hands on this?”

“I found it,” she stammered, her heart pounding.

“In the elevator?” he questioned. How did he …? But she was able to come up with the answer on her own. Clark must’ve told him … Ollie probably had already confronted the brunette about the contents.

That’s why things were so weird between them.

“Yeah,” she admitted, realizing that Ollie was expecting an answer. “One day the elevator just stopped on me again. I was going to call you but my cell phone didn’t have reception. I was looking at it and I saw a bump in the panel. That was the day that I had gotten Ray’s gift and so the tools were in my bag. I opened it and found the DVD there.”

“I assumed you watched it,” Oliver remarked.

“I was curious,” Dinah replied. “I mean, it looked like it had been placed there and I knew you didn’t have the power to move aside solid steel. So I watched it.”

“And you didn’t tell me?” Oliver demanded, “The DVD had nothing to do with you! You had no right to keep it from me.”

“You mean the same way that you kept your past relationship with Clark from me?” Dinah retorted.

“Excuse me?” Oliver said, visibly stunned, his eyes narrowing.

“How do you think it felt Oliver?” Dinah questioned defensively. “How do you think it felt to find that your fiancé was once involved with your newest teammate? And it wasn’t even a brief fling … you were in a serious, committed, thinking-of-marriage type relationship!”

“That is not the point,” Oliver argued.

“It is completely the point,” Dinah shot back. “You’re talking about honestly and you were lying to me the entire time!”

“What Clark and I had was in the past,” Oliver snapped. “That relationship has nothing to with ours. The DVD, on the other hand, has everything to do with me and nothing to do with you.”

“Your ex-boyfriend being in the League with us affects me completely,” Dinah told him. “I mean, it’s one thing for you not to tell me before but the minute we started having constant interaction with him, you should’ve let me know!”

“Because that wouldn’t have been awkward conversation at all!” Oliver exclaimed. “What did you want me to say Dinah? Oh yeah, you know Superman? He’s my ex-boyfriend and we dated for two years!”

“Not like that obviously,” she countered. “But we should’ve talked about it! I had to find out from Clark in some DVD that my fiancé had a past relationship. This wasn’t any relationship Ollie … this was the one that left you so devastated. I saw your reaction to my announcing Clark’s byline that day … he still affects you!”

“He does not affect me,” Oliver protested.

“Then why on Earth were you so shocked when you heard his name?” Dinah asked. “I mean, you didn’t even see him … just his name got a reaction out of you!”

“Obviously, if you found out that someone you haven’t heard from in three years is back, wouldn’t you be surprised?” Oliver asked.

“Not like that,” Dinah responded. “Also, ever since Clark joined the League, you’ve been acting strangely. Everyone can see the vibes between the two of you. And let me guess … the minute you saw the DVD, you ran to him,” she added dryly.

“Actually, I went to see Chloe,” Oliver said angrily. “And then I went to see Clark when I couldn’t get answers from her. But that’s not a stretch … I have a right to know the truth.”

“It’s funny how the answers still mean so much to you,” Dinah remarked. Hearing silence, she continued, “Clark Kent still has a hold over you.”

“I love how you are in the wrong here and yet you are throwing accusations at me,” Oliver commented.

“I agree that I was wrong to hide the DVD,” Dinah admitted. “But you were in the wrong to keep the fact Clark and you had a relationship from me.”

“I don’t agree,” Oliver said stubbornly. “I couldn’t talk about the relationship.”

“Now, Ollie, why wouldn’t you be able to talk about it?” Dinah asked mockingly. “I know! Maybe because you are in love with him! After all these years, you still love Clark!”

“I love you,” Oliver told her, fury evident in his tone and expression. “I want to marry you … why can’t you get that through your thick head?”

“I’m thickheaded now?” Dinah asked, scowling.

“You must be absolutely dense to think I love Clark,” Oliver shot back. “I’m over Clark.”

She scoffed. “Hardly, Ollie … just face the truth already. You may like to convince yourself and everyone else that you’re over him but I can see the truth clear as day. You’ll never be over him.”

Oliver gritted his teeth. “You don’t know me at all then.”

“Or I know you better than you know yourself,” she corrected.

“I can’t believe you’re doubting my love for you,” Oliver said incredulously.

“I’m not,” she said, calming down slightly. “I have no doubts you do love me … you love me, you’re in love with me … but you are also in love with him.”

“I only love you,” Oliver said firmly.

She smirked. “Do you really believe that?”

“I know that,” Oliver stated. “It’s sad though that my fiancée, the woman I plan to spend the rest of my life with, doubts it.” He shook his head.

“Ollie, the fact that we’re getting married is exactly the reason we have to talk about this,” Dinah said, softening her voice. “Before we get commit ourselves to each other, I want to make sure that your heart belongs only to me. You need to talk with Clark and see where you stand.”

“I did talk to Clark,” Oliver said stiffly.

“Did you talk to him?” Dinah asked. “Or did you yell at him? If I know you and I do know you, you ended up screaming and walked out. That’s not talking Oliver …”

“I don’t need to talk to him to find out where we stand,” Oliver replied, “I know exactly where we stand.”

“Do you?” Dinah asked sadly. “Cause I’m not so sure. I think you used that day to let all your anger out. That’s not a rational conversation, Oliver and I think that’s what you need.”

“I don’t need anything to do with him,” Oliver replied icily. “Why do you keep pushing me toward Clark? Is this your way of saying you don’t want to marry me?”

Dinah sighed. “Ollie, if you had any idea how difficult this is for me, you wouldn’t ask those questions. I love you … the selfish part of me wants nothing more than for you to stay away from Clark forever. Ever since I saw that damn DVD, I’ve been watching him, watching the way he watches you, following his every move when we’re all in the same room together. I can’t keep doing that. I can’t keep wondering ‘what if’. I need some time to think this through and so do you.”

“Are you breaking up with me?” Oliver asked, anger now replaced with hurt.

“No, Ollie,” Dinah said immediately. “It’s just … you don’t trust me now, do you? After the DVD incident?”

Oliver opened his mouth but she saw the truth written all over his face.

“And I am not sure how I feel about you keeping what you did from me,” Dinah added. “Maybe … a little time apart will do us good.”

She moved to pack her things but a hand on her arm stopped her.

“Don’t go,” Oliver pleaded. “Just stay here … if you want space, I’ll give it to you.”

Throwing a bunch of her clothes in the bag, she turned and nodded.

“I’ll be in the guest room,” she said and before he could protest, she put a hand over his mouth.

“I want you to use the time, Ollie,” she insisted. “Really … I’ll be thinking too.”

Then without a backward glance, she grabbed the bag and left the room. She found one of the guest bedrooms, which was conveniently located far away from the master bedroom. Settling her things in the drawer, she couldn’t stop the aching of her own heart.

I hope you know what you did. She wasn’t sure; she had practically given Ollie a free pass. Dinah loved him with all her heart and she prayed that after thinking, he would come to her and say he loved her unconditionally and that Clark Kent no longer held a place in his heart.

However, a stronger part of her had a feeling that she had just made the biggest mistake of her life.

Chapter 17
Tags: category: slash, collie, fandom: smallville, fanfic, ship: clark/oliver, story: sober
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