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Sober Chapter 17

I'm awed and flattered by the response this story is getting. I really appreciate you all sticking with me! Here's another chapter. Enjoy! And 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 17

I can’t believe she did that. Minutes after Dinah walked out, he was still unable to register what had occurred. He had been furious and she had somehow turned the whole conversation around. Granted she had some good points but he didn’t ever imagine that it would end with her suggesting they take a break!

What was even stranger was that she actually wanted him to talk to Clark. Her accusations that he was still in love with the brunette was something that Ollie didn’t predict. How can she say I still love Clark?

Then again, wasn’t it what you yourself were realizing before you found that DVD? That was before though … before he found out who Clark really was.

Who is he? A man who wanted to save his lover from heartbreak, a man who sacrificed his own happiness to ensue yours?

Still the way he went about it was … irrelevant. He made a few mistakes. So what? It wasn’t the smartest way but his heart was always in the right place. You know it’s true too. And wasn’t he right? Didn’t you move on?

Only because he was forced to. But the fact that you were able to says enough. You were ready to marry Dinah … hell, you still are.

Was he? He didn’t fight as hard as he could’ve when she decided on their break. Then again, a part of him was still upset at her. Oliver sighed as he remembered the harsh words he had thrown out recently. Some were deserved and others were a bit uncalled for.

His anger blinded him and he was a little ashamed that he lost control like he had. Taking a seat on the bed, he glanced at the DVD, picking it up gingerly. What would he have done if he hadn’t found that DVD?

Ollie had admitted, at least to himself, that he was falling in love with Clark again. Would he have done something about those feelings? No … I’m not a cheater, I would’ve ignored them. Then again, would that have been fair to Dinah?

She had called him on his feelings and he had vehemently denied them. But she was right … and he had been lying.

Standing up once more, he made his way to the closet, getting out his pajamas. It was late and all he wanted to do was sleep. His gaze accidentally landed in a box at the back of his closet. Unable to resist, he reached out, pulling it out. Carrying it the bed, he opened it and sighed at its contents. At the back of your closet … what an appropriate location.

Because that box was full of memorabilia … of Clark and his relationship. On top of the pile was a tiny velvet box that contained a ring he bought years ago. Snapping open the box, he sighed at the ring, which he hadn’t looked at since Clark’s departure.

His fingers traced over the smooth metal and he saw the familiar engraving. Clark, you’re my everything. Love you always- Ollie

It was supposed to be a reminder of the song, the song that he couldn’t even bear to listen to anymore. Every time Michael Bublé’s familiar voice came through the radio, Ollie switched the station or just turned it off, that horrible song bringing back memories of the fateful night, where everything finally fell apart.

The sad part was that Ollie hadn’t even though twice about the engraving … he knew what he wanted it to say. Unlike Dinah’s ring, Clark’s had been a breeze. That should’ve given you the first hint, Queen.

But he didn’t connect the dots. Eyeing the box, he searched through the other items, finding pictures, gifts that Clark had given him and even the Green Arrow doll. Looking at the pictures of Clark and him smiling and laughing together, he allowed himself to reflect on better times.

Oliver was surprised that it was so easy to think of Clark, the memories rushing back as if they had happened a few days ago rather than a few years. He could recall Clark’s every word, every smile, every moment the two of them shared together.

With Clark, everything had been so real … he had never once doubted them or whether it was forever. He had always known.

He loved Dinah and he had thought he had been sure he was ready for marriage but he had never felt the same confidence he had when he was with Clark.

She has given you a choice, Ollie … if you want out, now’s the time to decide that. He didn’t want out … no, he was still angry at Clark. But does that change the fact that you love him? Anger wears with time … your love for him apparently does not.

But he didn’t trust Clark! Trust would’ve been in question if he really had cheated … then you could have had your doubts but now? What’s not to trust?

Well, there was that plan. A plan that did not have malicious intent. Give it up, Oliver … you want him now and you’ll always want him.

But what should he do about it?

To go or not to go? That is the question. Chloe Sullivan sighed as she attempted to make a decision. Bruce said that she shouldn’t interfere but she had already talked to Oliver. She hadn’t, however, spoken to Ollie since the blonde had stormed out. And she really needed to speak with him. If anything, she wanted to prove to him that she cared about him. Apologizing and begging for forgiveness was also high on her priority list.

Bruce had come home that night and told her what had occurred at the meeting. Her boyfriend had noticed the tension between Clark and Ollie and even Ollie and Dinah. For Ollie and Dinah, the tension was mostly coming from Oliver’s side, which confirmed Chloe’s suspicions that the older man hadn’t confronted Dinah with the DVD yet.

Yet being the key word because knowing Oliver, there was no way he would stay silent for long. She wondered what would happen when he finally did. Would their relationship survive? Her heart ached for Ollie and for Dinah, who had no idea what was coming.

Taking a deep breath, she contemplated her choices. She didn’t want to come across as nosy but she wanted to be able to show her support for Oliver.

I’m going to go see him tomorrow. Even if she was turned away, she was going to let Ollie see that she hadn’t been there because she pitied him. Chloe Sullivan wasn’t a quitter and when it came to the people she loved, she would fight with everything she was.

Sleep didn’t come easily, because thoughts were swirling in her head constantly on what she was going to do the following day. Somehow she managed to doze off.

Morning came too quickly for her liking and it took a few cups of coffee for her to actually be awake. She had a few errands to run first but they could be done in Metropolis too so that was where she headed. When she disclosed her plans to Bruce, he looked a bit skeptical but understood her need to check up on Oliver.

Pleased she had his support, she left. I hope Ollie hasn’t gone back to Star City. She should’ve checked and she only remembered half way there. But the meeting had gotten over late the previous night and logically, Dinah and Ollie would’ve retreated to Metropolis first.

Bruce was saying he had a meeting with Oliver in a few days. Silently congratulating herself for her good memory, she smiled, happy to have solid proof that Oliver was there.

Her errands went off smoothly. She was taking a break and getting herself a cup of coffee when she heard her name being called.

“Chloe!”

Spinning around at hearing the familiar voice, she almost let out a gasp.

“Dinah?”

The pretty brunette smiled and made her way toward her.

“Hey Chloe,” she said, “I thought I recognized you.”

“Hi,” she replied, “I was getting a cup of coffee … join me?”

“Sure,” Dinah said and the two made their way into the Starbucks. After getting their drinks, they found a table to sit at.

“How are you?” Chloe asked.

Dinah sighed, the light in her eyes disappearing for a second. “I’ve been better. And you? I was surprised to see you in Metropolis.”

“I actually had some errands to run,” Chloe explained. She paused. “And I was planning to stop by and check in on Ollie.”

“Is he still mad at you too?” Dinah asked.

Chloe frowned. “Excuse me?”

“The DVD incident,” Dinah continued. “Is he still mad at you for helping Clark out?”

“You know.”

It wasn’t a question but a statement.

“I hid that DVD, Chloe,” Dinah said sadly. “Last night, I found out he found it.”

“He confronted you then,” Chloe said, her heart sinking.

“Did he ever,” Dinah said, sighing. “We had an argument … he was mad at me for keeping that DVD from him and I, in turn, got angry at him for hiding his relationship with Clark from him.” She took a deep breath. “I mean, I know I was wrong, Chloe … but he should’ve told me, you know? Especially since Clark is … working with us.”

“You have a right to be upset,” Chloe agreed, smiling sympathetically. “But he probably just wanted to protect you.”

“Either way, he was furious,” Dinah told her.

“Are you guys going to be okay?” Chloe asked carefully. She saw the distress in Dinah’s eyes and she had a bad feeling.

“Actually, we’re on a break right now,” Dinah admitted.

“What?” Chloe gasped.

“It was my idea,” Dinah went on.

“It was your idea?” Chloe echoed. “I mean … why would you do that?”

“Because Ollie is still in love with Clark,” Dinah responded.

Chloe’s eyes narrowed. “Where did you get that idea from? Did someone tell you?”

“Nobody has to tell me, Chloe,” Dinah replied. “It’s pretty damn clear. Three years after their breakup and Clark still has a hold on him. He freaked out at seeing that DVD … you should’ve seen his reaction to finding out that Clark was back.”

“Dinah,” Chloe said gently. “That doesn’t’ mean he still loves him. Clark hurt him a lot … the breakup devastated him and then on top of it, Clark disappeared off the face of the planet. It is shock … something he thought he had buried is coming back. This is all old pain coming out, nothing else.”

“No,” Dinah said firmly, shaking her head. “This is not old. By no means is this old pain. You don’t have to see them when they’re in the same room together.” She lowered her voice. “You didn’t see Ollie’s reaction to when Clark almost died. He wasn’t calm until we found out that Clark would live.”

Chloe could hardly believe the words that were coming out of Dinah’s mouth. Oliver is still in love with Clark? This all seems so surreal. What was even more shocking was that Dinah knew about all this.

“So what’s going to happen now?” Chloe asked curiously. “You two are over? Dinah … are you sure you know what you’re doing? You love Ollie and Ollie loves you too.”

“I love Oliver,” Dinah said honestly. “And he does love me. Call it selfish, Chloe, but I want to be the only one in his heart. Right now, I can’t be sure that I am. Clark has a bigger place in Ollie’s heart than either of them want to admit. We’re taking a break so Ollie can figure that out.”

“That sounds reasonable,” Chloe conceded. “Do you know what he’s going to do?”

“Oliver has always been stubborn,” Dinah replied, a note of affection in her voice. “But I told him that he has to go talk to Clark. Talk, not yell and scream … those two need to define their relationship once and for all. Before I commit myself to this man, I have to know.”

“What if you don’t get the answer you want?” Chloe asked slowly.

“Then at least I’ll have an answer,” Dinah said, without missing a beat.

“You’re a strong woman, Dinah Lance,” Chloe complimented.

Dinah chuckled. “I try.”

“For what it’s worth, I hope everything works out,” Chloe offered.

She supported Clark and while the brunette was her best friend, it was Dinah who taught Ollie to love again. And for that alone, she didn’t want to see the other woman hurt. Not to mention that Dinah too had become a close friend over the years and she didn’t like to see the people she cared for in pain.

It’s a hard place where I stand. It really was but she was now not going to interfere or choose sides. If anyone wanted comfort, that would be one thing but that was it. No getting involved … that only came back to hurt her in the end.

“On that one, we’ll have to wait and see,” Dinah said, with a warm smile.

With that, the subject was dropped and they chatted about superficial topics for a little bit. Shortly after, they parted ways, Dinah claiming she had some things to do.

Chloe, on the other hand, was more determined than ever to visit Ollie. That’s why her next stop was the Clock Tower. She only hoped Ollie would be receptive.

Stepping into the elevator, she was nervous but she tried to be strong. Upon feeling the elevator stop, she watched as the screen shot up and she slowly opened the gate.

Entering the main room, she was surprised to find it empty.

Taking a few steps forward, she looked around cautiously.

“This is a surprise.”

The voice made her jump and she turned toward it, seeing Oliver coming down the back staircase, bow and arrow in hand.

She eyed them warily.

“Jesus Chloe,” Oliver said, rolling his eyes, “I am not going to shoot you.” He placed his bow and arrow on a nearby table and she couldn’t help the smile that came up with his words.

“I couldn’t be too sure,” she joked weakly. “I’m not exactly sure if that was your way of saying that I am not really welcome.”

He raised his eyebrows. “I don’t have plans to go down for battery charges just for that.”

“So does this mean I can stay?” Chloe asked.

“You can stay,” he confirmed. “Have a seat, Chloe.”

“Thanks,” she replied, taking a seat on the couch. He sat down next to her.

“So what can I do for you?” he asked, his voice surprisingly nice.

“I ran into Dinah,” she said, getting to the point.

His smile faded. “So I suppose she told you …?”

“About the break?” she finished. “Yes, she did.” She met his gaze.

“I think we need to talk.”

Here we go again. Clark, in his Superman uniform, had to refrain from sighing as he stopped an attempted robbery. Criminals just didn’t take a break, did they? Making sure that the victim was okay and the thief in police custody, Clark took off again.

The people loved Superman and the police were grateful for his help but he still could sense some doubt. Nobody knew anything about him and he realized that even though he could save them a million times, there would be some skepticism.

He didn’t get a chance to think it through because before he could, he heard another cry for help. This time, it was from someone he knew too well.

After saving Lois once more, he returned her to her apartment.

“Ms Lane,” he said seriously. “We need to discuss your need to get yourself in constant trouble.”

“At least you’re always there to save me,” Lois said, smiling flirtatiously. She had become bolder, with the more times he had saved her. And unfortunately for him, that averaged to at least once a week.

Landing her on the rooftop of her apartment, he moved to leave when her voice stopped him.

“Superman,” she said, “Have you considered my interview offer?” He turned, solid blue eyes meeting hazel.

“It would be good for you,” she added. “People are curious about you … everyone wants to read about the newest superhero. I think this would improve your reputation and ease their worries if you gave me an interview.”

He was amused at her persistent behavior.

“Okay,” he agreed, knowing her words were true. “I will grant you an interview, Ms Lane.”

Her eyes widened eagerly. “Great,” she said enthusiastically.

“When would be convenient for you?” he asked.

“Tonight is good for me,” Lois said.

“Don’t you need time to prepare?” Clark questioned.

“I’ve been ready for weeks,” she said, with a grin. “I knew it was only a matter of time before I wore you down.”

He couldn’t help the chuckle that escaped his lips; Lois was an amusing character.

“I can come by later tonight,” Clark offered. “I have to do patrol first …”

“I don’t sleep early,” Lois said hurriedly.

“Then I’ll be here tonight,” Clark promised. “Good day, Ms Lane.” Giving her a curt nod, he took off, rocketing into the sky once more.

Silently, he wondered if he had made the right decision.

Tonight would be interesting, that was for sure.

“So what do you want to talk about?” Oliver questioned.

“First of all,” Chloe began, “I want to apologize.”

“Chloe,” Oliver interrupted but Chloe didn’t let him continue.

“No, Ollie,” Chloe said, “I need a chance to explain. I never meant to hurt you, not even back then. But Clark’s my best friend and I couldn’t say ‘no’ to him. I knew it was wrong but he needed me and I couldn’t say no …” She sighed. “I hated what happened and I was never pretending to be your friend. Even when Clark and you were dating, I considered you to be a friend and these past few years, I’ve come to consider you one of my best friends and …”

“Chloe!” Ollie exclaimed, “I know.” She was silenced, staring at him inquisitively. He grinned. “I was angry that day and I said a lot of things I didn’t mean.”

“But you had a right to be angry,” she said weakly.

“Yeah, but I should’ve thought it through,” Oliver said, shaking his head. “Some of the stuff I said was downright immature … like saying that Clark and you were laughing behind my back? I know you better than that.”

“You don’t hate me then?” Chloe asked hopefully.

“No, Chloe, I definitely don’t hate you,” he assured her. “I’m sorry for making you think I did.”

“No need to apologize,” she said happily, giving him a quick hug. “I’m glad we’re still friends.”

“Me too, Chloe,” Oliver said, returning the hug.

Pulling away, she smiled but her expression turned serious suddenly. “Are you okay?”

“What do you mean?” he asked, tilting his head.

“With the Dinah thing,” Chloe said hesitatingly.

“I don’t know,” Oliver admitted, “I mean … I’m confused.”

“Dinah says that you’re still in love with Clark,” Chloe said, watching him carefully.

“She told me that too,” Oliver replied.

“Is it true?” Chloe questioned.

Oliver averted his gaze. “Chloe …”

“It is,” she realized. “You’re still in love with Clark.”

Hiding the truth from Chloe Sullivan was pointless so Oliver decided to just be upfront.

“I am,” he said. “I mean, I knew I was falling for him again before I saw the DVD. After that, it got complicated.”

“But you still love him,” Chloe concluded. “Dinah’s not imagining things.”

“I do love him,” Oliver said, hanging his head in embarrassment. “I shouldn’t … but I do.”

“There’s nothing wrong with it, Ollie,” Chloe said, “I mean … you can’t help how you feel.”

“I’m engaged, though,” Oliver protested. “This is wrong.”

“It’d be wrong if you did something about it,” Chloe corrected. “So tell me … are you going to do something about it?”

“Dinah thinks I should talk to him,” Oliver stated, leaving her question unanswered.

“That may actually be a good idea,” Chloe responded. “You guys have some issues to get out … maybe once and for all, you can everything sorted out.”

“I don’t know if I want to go talk to him,” Oliver admitted softly.

“Oliver, you have to do what’s best for you,” Chloe said firmly. “Follow your heart … it won’t lead you astray.”

“I guess you’re right,” Oliver said. Brown eyes met hazel and Oliver let out a small smile.

Her advice was sound and it made a lot of sense.

In theory, following his heart seemed like a great idea.

Too bad he had no idea what his heart wanted.

Close to eleven o’ clock, Clark made his way to see Lois. As suspected, she was waiting for him. They were very discreet and he was worried she’d recognize him when they were close together. But fortunately, as they took a seat in her apartment, she did not put the pieces together.

“Whenever you’re ready, Ms Lane,” he said, after declining her offer for a drink.

“Call me Lois,” she said.

“I would prefer we keep things professional,” he said seriously and she nodded.

“Good idea,” she said, smiling. “Let’s get started.”

She asked him about everything and when he revealed that he was an alien, she had been shocked. But she took it in stride and he was impressed with the way she regained her composure.

He was careful with what he revealed and didn’t mention the fact that he couldn’t see through lead or his meteor rock weakness.

As Lois asked him another question about his powers, Clark was slightly relieved.

This wasn’t going to be so bad after all.

“Okay, Chloe, glad to know you reached safe,” Oliver said into the phone.

Chloe had left a little while ago but he made her promise to call the minute she got back, knowing that Bruce would be on patrol when she got back.

They had a good talk but Oliver was still a little wary of approaching Clark. Especially seeing how their last conversation had ended. Come on, be the mature one.

He knew that neither of them would be able to really move forward if they didn’t have that rational conversation.

Dinah came home while he was pondering and they were a little awkward with one another. A brief “how was your day” and they went their separate ways. Ollie felt bad at hurting her but he didn’t know how to behave with her either.

When he went to bed that night, thoughts of Clark and their situation were still swirling through his mind.

The next morning, when he awoke, though, he was filled with determination. He was going to talk to Clark … he had to. There was no way he was going to dwell on this any further. In his mind, there was no doubt that he was still in love with Clark.

While he wasn’t ready to confess his feelings, he did have to talk to Clark. And couldn’t help but hope that the younger man still retained some of his feelings for him.

Getting dressed, he went and got breakfast. Finding the morning’s edition of the Planet, he looked at the front page.

And couldn’t breathe.

Because on the front page, splashed in big bold words was an article by Lois Lane that read, “I Spent the Night with Superman”.

Chapter 18
Tags: category: slash, collie, fandom: smallville, fanfic, ship: clark/oliver, story: sober
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