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Sober Chapter 18

Another update has arrived! I hope you all like this chapter too. 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 18

Okay, calm down … it’s not what you think. This is Lois, remember? She came up with the headline “Kidnapped by the Green Arrow”.

But even seeing those words filled him with rage and jealousy. The idea of Clark and Lois together … is impossible. Lois likes Superman and Clark is way too moralistic to ever do anything about that.

However, Clark did grant her an interview. Well, he probably just wanted to let people know that he really is harmless. Give information to the public so they accept him.

He wanted to believe it, he really did but the headline was glaring up at him and he was having a hard time remaining rational.

So even though he didn’t want to, he read the article. It seemed innocent enough. From what Ollie got, the interview took place at night and went on until early morning, hence the title. It gave him slight relief but not much.

Especially when Lois was practically gushing about Superman. It made him wonder if only talking had taken place. Don’t go overboard … you may have suspicions about Lois but remember Clark. He’d never do that.

Lois could be quite persistent though. Focus on Clark. You didn’t used to call him Boy Scout for nothing.

That was true but what if there was flirting? What if, even if Clark didn’t do anything, he was seeing Lois in a new light? Then he might go and try to charm her as Clark too. His heart ached at the thought of Clark and Lois together like that.

Don’t lose your cool, not when you don’t have all the facts. Yes, he didn’t … he should talk to Clark about that. But he didn’t want to come across accusatory. They’d start off with a rational conversation and then, he would bring up the Lois interview.

Right now, he was suffocating and needed some air. Leaving the penthouse, he took a walk. If he knew what would come of it, he never would’ve left.

Everyone was talking about that article and he couldn’t help but overhear the conversations taking place.

Two girls were chatting about Superman being taken.

“He’s so gorgeous,” one of them sighed, “It just figures that he would be taken.”

He’s not taken, Ollie wanted to growl. And if anyone is going to take him, it’s gonna be me.

Before he was deemed a psychopath, he quickly kept walking. But his suffering wasn’t meant to end.

“I don’t care what they say,” he heard a man smirking. “Those two are definitely getting it on … notice how he’s always there to save her and she’s always the one with the quotes.”

Clark gets quotes too … are you saying Superman is sleeping with him as well? After all, they didn’t know Clark Kent and Superman weren’t two different people.

Oliver had to refrain from attacking the spectators and began to head back to his penthouse.

“Superman and Lois Lane has a ring to it,” a cheerful voice drifted to his ears.

No, it doesn’t. But he had to admit that it did. It kind of sounded … nice. No, it doesn’t. Clark Kent and Lois Lane? Yeah right.

Frustrated, he went back to his penthouse. When he got there, he had to stop himself from tearing the paper into shreds. Or just breaking something in general.

Lois did not make a good couple with Clark … they were not cute nor did their names sound good together.

“Don’t worry about it, Clark. If I lived under the same roof as such a beautiful woman, I would’ve masked my feelings in sarcasm too.”

His words … said so long ago but he had said them. No way, no way could I have been predicting this.

At the time, he had been convinced that Clark had some feelings for Lois but Lois and Clark had vehemently denied the statement. And he had watched them … they were just friends. He had nothing to worry about.

Then why are you so freaked out? Well, Lois’s obvious crush on Superman did make him nervous. But if it was one-sided, why should you bother? It’s obvious that you’re afraid it isn’t one sided.

What if it wasn’t one sided? Superman was always there to save Lois. Lois was infatuated with Superman. Clark and Lois were working together, side by side … they were partners in the Planet. They were good friends … what if they decided one day that they could be something more than that? Friendship was always the first step to love, right? Hell, that’s how he and Clark began!

Clark had once upon a time joked to him how Jimmy had tried to set him up with Lois. This was before they had gotten together and even then, he had been really jealous. Lois and Clark … does not sound as good as Clark and Oliver.

Oliver groaned, trying not to let the flurry of thoughts consume him. It was hard though. He had never felt as lonely and scared as he did when he read that article.

Chloe was his friend but they were just friends. She had Bruce. Dinah wanted them to take a break to explore his feelings for Clark and Clark may have something going on with Lois!

Now what was he going to do?

Clark Kent was having a normal morning. He had made it back to his apartment around 2 am after the interview with Lois. After getting some sleep, he woke up and liked that he didn’t have anything serious to do that day. Well there was patrol but other than that, he was free.

Then he got the morning’s paper and all hell broke loose.

Clark choked on his coffee the minute he saw the headline. What the hell was Lois thinking?

He knew what Lois was thinking … a headline like this sold newspapers and that’s what she wanted. But this … oh God, this is so bad.

It really was. He didn’t even want to know the rumors that were ignited by this one headline alone. Reading the full expose, he found that it was done quite well but he knew that a lot of people may not read the whole article.

Plus the way she’s going off about Superman … It was enough to make him cringe. The article was very positive and shone his alter ego in a good light. Then again, Lois’s articles about Superman had always made him look like a hero.

The newest headline was going to drive suspicion into everyone’s mind. They were going to wonder why Lois always got the quotes and how she had scored the first interview with the otherwise mysterious new hero.

This would not be good.

His cell phone ringing snapped him out of his thoughts. He found it nearby and snapped it open, placing it by his ear.

“Kent,” Clark said.

“Clark, it’s Chloe,” came his best friend’s voice at the other end.

“Hey Chlo,” Clark said, having no doubts on what the phone call was about.

“So I saw the Planet this morning,” she remarked.

“I figured that’s why you were calling,” Clark said wryly. “I just saw it. The headline is bogus, just so you know.”

“I had no doubts,” Chloe replied, but he could hear the relief in her tone. “I can’t believe she actually added that headline,” she added after a moment.

“I can,” Clark replied instantly. “This is Lois … she’s the same woman who coined the “Kidnapped by the Green Arrow” headline all those years ago, even when he actually saved her.”

“Good point,” Chloe conceded. “But the interview went okay?”

“Yeah, the interview actually went well,” Clark told her. “She was actually professional … I mean, she was flirty at moments but overall, I thought I managed to give the impression that I was there for business only. I did not see this coming.”

“Look Clark, it’s just a headline,” Chloe offered. “Maybe it won’t do any damage?”

“Yeah right,” Clark snorted. “Chloe, people love gossip. Everyone is going to speculate how Lois is always the ones getting quotes and how she snagged the first interview.”

“Well it’s not like anyone else is really trying,” Chloe noted. “I mean … come on. You’ve given quotes to other reporters, haven’t you?”

“That’s not the point,” Clark argued. “There’s going to be rumors circulating either way … Superman and Lois Lane’s hot love affair.”

“At least “Superman and Lois Lane” has a ring to it,” Chloe joked.

“Chloe!” Clark exclaimed.

“What?” Chloe said, not sounding the least bit apologetic. “It does.”

“Thanks for your support,” he said sarcastically.

“Oh Clark, I’m always on your side,” Chloe told him. “It’s just … there’s nothing you can do now. Stressing will not help the situation. Sure, there will be jokes and rumors and whatnot but with time, it will go away.”

“I guess you’re right,” he said doubtfully. He groaned. “Something tells me that I am going to get a lot of jokes from the League too.” Bart would not miss an opportunity to make a few jokes at his expense nor would the others who knew him as the “Boy Scout”. Victor and AC would have a blast with this one.

Don’t forget Oliver. Oliver. He had completely forgotten about Oliver.

“Clark?” Chloe said, worrying in his silence. “Is everything okay?”

“Do you think Oliver has seen this headline?” he asked.

He heard a sharp intake of breath. Clearly, Chloe had forgotten about Oliver too.

“Most probably,” Chloe replied. “I mean he is here and this headline is next to impossible to ignore.”

“It’s not like he’ll care anyway,” Clark said, the words hurting even as he said them.

“I’m not exactly sure about that one, Clark,” Chloe said worriedly. “I mean, with the whole Dinah …” She trailed off, as if realizing she was divulging too much.

“The whole Dinah what?” Clark asked.

“Dinah and Ollie are on a break,” Chloe confessed.

“What?” It was a good thing he was already sitting. Otherwise, he would have fallen over.

He had not seen that one coming at all. Why would they be on a break?

“It was her idea,” Chloe explained before he could question further. “After your meeting, Oliver confronted Dinah about the DVD … they got into an argument and she suggested they take a break.”

“I can’t believe it,” Clark said softly. “Why would she do that?”

“Well, he may have been upset about the DVD,” Chloe told him, “But she was pretty angry about Ollie hiding your past relationship from her.”

“What a mess,” he murmured. In a slightly louder voice, he asked, “What’s going to happen now? Have you talked to him? How did you find this out?”

“I ran into Dinah yesterday,” Chloe replied. “I was on my way to see Oliver but I had some errands to run. I bumped into her and she told me about it. Then I went to see him.”

“Was he still angry with you?” Clark asked.

“No,” Chloe said. “We actually … we actually made up.”

“That’s great Chloe,” Clark said. He hated that Oliver blamed her for this whole mess and finding out that he hadn’t ruined their friendship made him happy.

“I was really relieved,” Chloe said. He could practically hear her smiling.

“So he confirmed the story?” Clark wanted to know.

“He did,” Chloe replied.

“How’s he doing?” Clark asked, concerned for the blonde.

“I think he was a little stunned,” Chloe said. “I don’t think he saw the break coming, despite the fact that they were fighting.”

“I can’t believe she’d do that to him!” Clark said, angry on Oliver’s behalf.

“Clark, look at it from her point of view,” Chloe said gently. “I mean, you find out the newest member of the League is your fiancé’s ex-boyfriend and you find that out from some DVD?”

“I know, I know,” Clark interjected. “I’ve tried to see this from her view before. It does suck … I hate that I’ve come between them like this.”

“It’s not your fault, Clark,” Chloe told him.

“It is,” Clark argued. “I mean, she obviously knows that I’m still in love wit him, which makes her uncomfortable. To see that Ollie is getting so upset over the DVD … it may make her think he still have feelings for me and he doesn’t.”

“Clark,” Chloe said warily.

“No, Chloe, I know that he doesn’t love me anymore and it’s fine,” Clark insisted. “But she needs to know that too … she needs to hear that there is no one in Oliver’s heart but her.”

“Do you know that?” Chloe asked.

“I’m positive,” Clark replied. Saying the words aloud was painful but he had to accept the truth … Oliver didn’t love him and he never would again.

“I just have to find a way to make her as confident as I am,” Clark added.

“What are you going to do, Clark?” Chloe asked suspiciously.

“Not sure,” Clark replied. “But I have to do something. I’m done messing up his life Chloe. He deserves happiness and if he wants that happiness to be with Dinah, then I’ll find a way for them to get their happy ending.”

“Don’t you think that if Oliver really wanted this, he would’ve fought harder?” Chloe asked.

“He was obviously distressed by her decision,” Clark told her. “He’s in shock.”

“Are you sure you want to get in the middle of this?” Chloe asked. “I mean, maybe it’s best to let them work this out on their own. Meddling into other people’s affairs have never produced good results, Clark. Look at me … I’m a prime example of that.”

“This is different,” Clark replied stubbornly. “I’m a factor … at least Dinah believes I’m a factor. I have to show her that I’m not.”

“I just don’t want you to do anything you’ll later regret,” Chloe said, resigned. She knew that when Clark was set in his ways, there was no use in arguing with him. But with Ollie still in love with Clark, she didn’t know what to do.

Best stay out of it, Sullivan. She had to let Clark go sometime and now was a good start.

“Don’t worry, Chloe,” Clark said, unaware of her thoughts. “Everything will be fine.”

“If you say so,” Chloe said but he could hear the doubt in her tone.

“I do say so,” Clark said confidently. “I’ll talk to you later, okay?”

“Sounds good,” Chloe agreed. “Bye Clark.”

“Bye Chloe,” Clark replied and hung up.

What to do next? Clark still couldn’t believe that Ollie and Dinah were on a break. And you’re trying to put them back together? Are you crazy Kent? This is your opportunity.

No, that would be wrong. He’d never take advantage of this situation. Oliver was happy with Dinah and he made it perfectly clear the other day that he didn’t want anything to do with Clark.

Oliver had even declared that he was going to be happy … and now that happiness was gone. Clark had inadvertently caused doom to Oliver and Dinah’s relationship and he couldn’t bear those thoughts.

But what was he doing to do to fix things?

Just as quickly as the question popped up, an answer came to him.

He didn’t want to do it … he was nervous about that particular plan.

However, he knew that he had no choice.

Hopefully he wouldn’t screw it all up.

Did I do the right thing? Dinah Lance was pondering that question as she sat in the penthouse that afternoon. It was empty, Oliver having left a few hours prior.

She had talked to him briefly but it had been weird, the tension high and neither of them knowing quite what to say.

Additionally, she noticed that he was acting strangely. Then she saw the morning’s headline and found out why. His reaction proved further that she was right in taking this break though. Ollie disturbed by Clark going near Lois, even as Superman, gave testament to the fact that the brunette still affected him.

Dinah didn’t point this out nor did she even bring up the topic upon seeing the headline. Not that she would’ve gotten the chance if she wanted to. Oliver left quickly and she hadn’t seen him since.

Now, she was alone … alone with her thoughts and she wished she could escape them. The penthouse felt so lonely and big without Oliver around. The silence drove her mad. She wondered where Oliver was and what he was doing. Maybe he went to go see Clark.

Her heart sank at the idea, even though she had been the one to tell him to go see Clark in the first place.

Be strong, Dinah … you can do it. She could but she really didn’t want to. It was hard. Having fallen in love with Oliver Queen a long time, she didn’t know whether or not she was ready to let go just yet. What she wanted was to marry him and spend the rest of her life with him.

However, she had to be selfish too. Her whole heart was with Oliver and she didn’t have all of his, she just couldn’t do it. She wouldn’t settle and she wouldn’t be the person he settled with.

If there was one thing she was sure of, it was that she deserved better than that. They both did. And if that meant losing him to Clark, then so be it.

Hearing the elevator, she smiled. Oliver must be back.

But when the screen shot up and the gate opened, it wasn’t Oliver that was standing behind it.

No, it was none other than Clark Kent.

“Hello Clark,” she said politely.

“Hi Dinah,” he replied, seeming slightly nervous.

“If you’re here to see Oliver, he’s not in,” Dinah told him.

She watched Clark bit his lip and swallow hard.

“I’m actually not here to see Oliver,” he admitted. “I’m here to talk to you.”

Her shock was evident. Clark didn’t blame her. The two of them had never really spoken alone. But he felt that this was the only solution.

“Okay,” she said, after a moment, “Please … have a seat.”

He nodded and sat down on a couch, making sure that it was not right next to her.

“What did you want to talk about?” she questioned.

“I was on the phone with Chloe this morning,” Clark said, not knowing exactly how to start.

“Did she tell you about …?” Dinah’s voice trailed off but he understood the question.

“About Ollie and you taking a break?” Clark finished. “Yeah, she did.”

“I don’t understand why you’d want to talk to me,” Dinah asked, frowning. “I’d think you would be looking for Oliver.”

“Why would I look for Oliver?” Clark asked but seeing the look in her eyes, the truth dawned on him. “Dinah, I’m not here to try to get Ollie back. That’s not my plan at all. In fact, I am here to get you to change your mind on the break.”

What? Dinah couldn’t believe the words that were coming out of Clark’s mouth. One look into his eyes and she saw that he meant everything he was saying. His expression was so earnest and she knew that there was no way he was lying.

“Why would you do that?” she managed to ask.

“Because you make him happy,” he said promptly. “The two of you love each other and I’m done getting in the way of your relationship.”

“Clark,” she sighed. “It’s not just you.”

“I know it’s not just me,” Clark agreed. “But can you really look me in the eye and say I’m not a factor? I know you’re probably worried about Ollie not being able to trust you after the whole DVD incident.”

“Is mind reading one of your abilities?” Dinah asked curiously. He hardly knew her and yet he could read her like a book. It was a little scary.

“Hardly,” Clark laughed. “I’m terrible at reading people but I think I’m getting better with practice. This was more logical thinking. Look, Dinah, he’s mad but he’ll get over it. He was just feeling betrayed.”

“I know I was wrong to hide that DVD,” she said shamefully.

“But it wasn’t completely your fault,” Clark interrupted. “I mean, it was a reflex action. You didn’t know what to do … it’s understandable. If anyone knows about doing stupid things in the heat of the moment, it’s me.”

She chuckled but quickly grew somber. “Yeah, I just hate that I hurt him.”

“You’re hurting him more by calling this break,” Clark said pointedly.

“Clark. Oliver has to sort out some stuff,” Dinah explained. “I’m doing him a favor.”

“Are you?” Clark questioned.

“Clark,” she said patiently, “I know you think you’re doing what’s best but you don’t know all the facts.” Like the fact that my fiancé may be in love with you.

“What don’t I know?” Clark asked. “I mean, it all seems pretty cut and dry to me. Oliver loves, you love Oliver … the two of you are great together. What am I missing?”

“You need to talk to Oliver,” she said firmly. “The two of you have issues that are yet to be sorted out.” He opened his mouth to protest but she was quick to cut him off.

“The last time you spoke doesn’t count,” she continued. “That wasn’t even a conversation, it was probably Oliver yelling at you and getting his anger out. Tell me that I’m not speaking the truth.”

Clark didn’t reply but his silence was answer enough.

“I’ve told him this and now I’m telling you,” Dinah said, “You need to talk … I know the two of you are stubborn idiots but if I am going to marry that man, I need to know where you stand with him.”

“I don’t stand anywhere with him,” Clark said softly, finally breaking his silence. He stood up. “Dinah, I know you may not believe this but he’s over me. I broke his heart years ago … you were the one who taught him how to love again, to live again. It’s you he loves … it’s you he trusts and it’s you he wants to spend the rest of his life with. Just remember that.”

He turned to leave but Dinah’s voice stopped him.

“You say he loves me and doesn’t love you,” she said, “But you never said anything about yourself.”

Clark forced a laugh. “Whether I love him or not is irrelevant. What I want is for him to get his happy ending … and he’ll only get it with you.”

“You love him that much,” Dinah said, dazed. “Enough to let him go?”

“If you love someone, their happiness is more important than your own,” Clark said, his back facing her. He spun suddenly. “Promise me you’ll take care of him.”

“I promise,” she said, unable to deny the man in front of her.

He nodded, green eyes full of gratitude. No wonder Ollie fell in love with him. Though Clark had made mistakes, he obviously had a good heart and when he loved, he loved with everything he was. She couldn’t help but feel awe for the brunette.

“Have a good day, Dinah,” he said, oblivious to her thoughts, making his way to the elevator.

“You too, Clark,” she replied.

She watched him leave and when she was certain he was gone, she let out a deep sigh.

Clark genuinely believed Ollie was over him and she was positive he wasn’t.

Ollie had never said anything about loving Clark … he had never confirmed her statements. But his denials were a bit suspicious.

Dinah rubbed a hand against her forehead. She was so confused. There was a right decision somewhere.

If she only had some idea of what that was.

No wonder he loves her. Clark sighed, as he entered his apartment. Dinah was a good woman. Oliver had chosen well.

What he didn’t understand was why she was so insistent on the two of them talking. Nothing would come out of it but she was blatantly that he didn’t know the whole story. Even Chloe had been acting off this morning. It’s like everyone knows something that I don’t. And it was enough to drive him crazy.

Either way, I’ve done my part. It’s up to them now. If Oliver wanted to come see him and talk, that would be fine but the blonde had made it clear that Clark should stay away. So that’s what he was going to do.

The rest of the day went by quickly … Superman was needed all over so Clark didn’t get a chance to analyze his conversation with Dinah further.

It was late by the time he managed to actually relax. He had taken a short break for dinner before he was called away again.

Exhausted, Clark took a quick shower and then was ready to go to bed. After a long day, he just wanted to go to sleep. As his eyes closed, the phone rang.

A part of Clark just wanted to ignore it. Whoever it was could wait but he decided it may be important.

So he picked it up.

“Kent,” he murmured, still half asleep.

“Clark.”

It was Chloe and she sounded frantic.

“Chloe?” he said, now fully awake. “What’s going on?”

“Dinah just called me,” she said, “Oliver never came home.”

“What? Why?” Clark couldn’t hide the panic from his tone.

“I’m not sure,” Chloe responded. “She’s called his cell phone, his home in Star City, his office … she can’t find him.”

“Oh God,” he said, “She must be freaked out.”

“She is,” Chloe confirmed. “I thought if anyone could find him, it’d be you.”

Clark thought long and hard. If Oliver were to disappear, where would he go?

Then it struck him.

“Chloe,” he said softly, “Tell Dinah that Ollie will be fine … I think I know where he is.”

“You do?” Chloe asked curiously.

“I do,” he told her. “I’ll talk to you later, okay? I have to go find him.”

“K,” Chloe replied. “Good luck.”

“Thanks,” he said and with a quick goodbye, he hung up.

There was only one place that Oliver could be. Clark had no doubts to where the blonde was hiding.

Getting dressed, he quickly left the apartment, rocketing into the air the minute he found a deserted area.

Star City, here I come.

Chapter 19
Tags: category: slash, collie, fandom: smallville, fanfic, ship: clark/oliver, story: sober
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