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 had a good idea where Oliver was but just in case, he honed in his hearing and easily located Ollie’s heartbeat. The pattern was familiar to him, even after all these years. He followed the sound and when he landed, he couldn’t help the small smile that emerged when he found that he was where he thought he would be.
This was the only location that made sense … the graveyard where Laura and Robert Queen were buried.
He deduced that Ollie must’ve felt alone, even with Chloe as his friend again. Dinah was not confident in his love for her and he was contemplating that Clark was having a fling with Lois. Feeling like there was nobody he could turn to, he went to the only people he knew loved him unconditionally.
Oh Ollie. His heart went out to the blonde, who was sitting by the gravestones of his parents, motionless.
Hearing a slight sniffle, Clark strode toward him, closing the distance in a few long steps. Crouching down, he rested a hand on Oliver’s back, stroking it gently. Oliver stiffened at the touch but just as quickly relaxed into his hand.
The blonde turned, and for the first time, Clark noticed his eyes were teary and red. Oliver had been crying, the tear stains on the golden skin giving more than enough evidence.
No words were spoken … they weren’t necessary. Clark wouldn’t have known what to say anyway. Instead, he just pulled Oliver into his arms and the blonde didn’t resist, melting into his embrace, his arms reaching out to wrap themselves around Clark’s back.
Clark, in turn, held Oliver close. They stayed that way for a few moments before Oliver pulled away, brown eyes meeting green.
“You shouldn’t be out here,” Clark said softly. “It’s late.”
“How did you know?” Oliver questioned. “That I was here?”
“Dinah called Chloe,” he explained. “Chloe called me. They’re both worried about you, Oliver. Dinah’s tried all your numbers and she couldn’t get a hold of you.”
“My cell phone is at home,” Oliver murmured. “So they sent you out on the search party? How did you have success when they failed?”
“I thought about it and I figured out where you would be,” Clark replied. He paused for a second. “And I listened for your heartbeat,” he added.
Oliver didn’t respond but there was a flicker of emotion in his eyes, which was gone just as quickly as it came.
Clark stood up, extending his hand to Oliver, who took the offered limb.
Helping him to his feet, Clark said, “I think we should get you back home.”
Oliver nodded in agreement.
“Did you drive here?” Clark questioned.
“I had my driver drop me here,” Oliver admitted. “That was hours ago … I wasn’t planning on staying this long.”
“I’ll take you home,” Clark told him. Before Oliver could protest, Clark pulled the older man into his arms. Making sure he was secure, he shot up into the air. Oliver’s head buried in the crook of his neck to shield himself from the wind and Clark had to fight hard to ignore the pleasure that was running through his veins at the close contact.
Soon, they were landing right outside Oliver’s house. This didn’t cause Oliver to ease his grip on Clark though.
“Ollie?” he asked gently. “Plan to let me go?”
Oliver looked startled, as if he didn’t realize he had been holding on in the first place.
He quickly regained his composure though and joked, “Here I was thinking you were going to carry me over the threshold. I’m feeling slightly gypped.”
Clark chuckled, though the words meant more to him than he allowed himself to show.
“Come on in,” Oliver said and Clark didn’t want to turn him down, not sure if the blonde should be left alone just yet, so he followed him inside the house.
The mansion was just as he remembered it. Clark walked behind Oliver, who stopped once they were in the one of the family rooms.
“Have a seat Clark,” Oliver said, “Can I get you anything?”
“I’m good,” Clark replied, sitting down on one of the couches.
Oliver, surprisingly, sat right next to him.
Clark was the one to break the silence.
“Are you okay?” he asked.
“I’m fine,” Oliver replied. “I’m sorry you had to come after me … I guess I wasn’t thinking when I decided to make my little disappearance.”
“It was no problem,” Clark assured him. “I didn’t mind … plus it was faster for me to get here than either Chloe or Dinah.”
“That and they had no idea where I was,” Oliver added.
“Yeah, that too,” Clark said.
“But you did,” Oliver remarked. “They couldn’t figure it out between the two of them but it took you, what, five seconds?”
“It just made sense,” Clark said, blushing lightly.
“Or you just know me,” Oliver corrected.
“Perhaps,” Clark said, shrugging. “It may just have been a lucky guess.” Oliver was silent and Clark’s heart was pounding with the blonde so close. He needed to get away.
Standing up, he said, “If you’re good, then I’ll just take off. I’ll see you at the next League meeting.”
He was making a move toward the exit when Oliver’s voice stopped him in his place.
“How is that you know me so well?”
Clark turned, confused. “What do you mean?”
Ollie stood up and walked toward him. “I mean, that after three years, you can still read me like a book,” Oliver clarified. “After three years, you still know where I’d be and what I’m doing. How?”
"I … I don’t know,” Clark stammered.
“Three years and it’s like nothing has changed,” Oliver commented.
“A lot has changed,” Clark argued. “You know that better than anyone.”
“The fact that you know me better than anyone still rings true,” Oliver told him.
Clark didn’t quite know how to respond to that one.
He didn’t have to. It seemed Oliver wasn’t quite done.
The distance between them gone, Oliver now stood in front of him, their faces mere inches apart.
“Just tell me one thing,” Oliver said. “Are you and Lois together?”
“No,” Clark responded immediately. “The headline was exaggerated. I don’t have feelings for her like that.”
Oliver nodded slowly, as if taking in the information. “Good,” he said finally.
Though Clark should’ve seen it coming, he was completely caught off guard when Oliver leaned forward to capture his lips, engaging him in their first kiss in over three years.
Instinctively, Clark responded to the kiss, his hands moving of their own accord to rest at Oliver’s waist. Part of him couldn’t believe this was happening and he wondered if it was just a dream. If this is a dream, I never want to wake up.
Wasn’t that the truth.
Arms winding around the brunette’s neck, Oliver moaned, losing himself in the feeling of Clark. ‘Gods how he’d missed this feeling,’ he thought. It was a feeling of completion that he had missed most and sadly, it was a feeling that he did not have with his fiancée.
A blinding flash suddenly sprung the pair apart, quickly followed by a resounding roll of thunder. As if in an instant, the heavens opened up and the rain began to pelt down onto the ground outside. Gaze shifting from the outdoors to inside, Oliver frowned seeing Clark a few feet away near the entertainment center.
“Clark I …”
“Oliver maybe …”
They both looked down at the floor as they each attempted to speak at the same time.
“Go ahead,” Oliver urged. Nodding, Clark opened his mouth to speak, but was stopped as a cell phone began to ring. Realizing that it was not his, the brunette sat down in one of the arm chairs with a nod. ‘Great timing,’ Oliver thought with a frustrated sigh as he turned to find his cell phone.
“Hello?” he asked as the thunder and lightning got heavier outside.
“Ollie, thank god. Are you okay?” came Dinah’s frantic voice.
“Yeah, I’m okay. I’m sorry for worrying you,” he told her.
“Where are you?” she asked.
“I’m in Star City,” he replied, practically seeing her frown on the other end of the line. A sharp crack of thunder caused the line to become static and he frowned.
“It’s storming pretty badly here, I’ll call you when it’s over,” he said before the call was quickly lost. Holding the phone away, Oliver frowned.
“Lost coverage,” he said before chucking the phone onto another couch. Despite the fact that the power still remained in the mansion, the pair sat opposite one another in the darkness. Brown eyes met green and Clark frowned.
He knew he should have pulled away sooner, but god help him he didn’t want to. Having Oliver in his embrace after three years, it had felt like the most glorious slice of heaven.
“Are we going to talk about this?” Oliver asked quietly, surprising Clark with the softness of his voice. Opening his mouth to respond, the brunette was quickly stopped as a blinding strike of lighting hit the house, somehow sparking the stereo to come alive.
Looking over at the radio in surprise, Oliver stood, his hand reaching out to turn it off. As the song began and the lyrics flowed out, the blonde found himself suddenly unable to turn it off.
“And I don't know
This could break my heart or save me ...”
Looking over at Clark, Oliver frowned, ducking his head once again. Reaching for the dial once more, he was still unable to turn it off as the melody continued.
Until you let go completely
So here I go with all my thoughts I've been saving
So here I go with all my fears weighing on me …”
Watching the blonde stand at the stereo, Clark couldn’t help but wish that he could once again take him into his arms. Oliver stood stark still, listening to the song filter through the room and judging by the speed of the blonde’s heart rate, it was affecting him.
“Three months and I'm still sober
Picked all my weeds but kept the flowers
But I know it's never really over …”
‘Could this song stab him in the heart a bit more?’ Oliver thought, unable to stop his gaze from shifting over to Clark. The brunette continued to sit on the couch, seemingly lost in his own thoughts, but as the song continued, Clark’s emerald eyes looked up and met his own and Oliver realized something very important … he was most certainly in love with the man across from him.
“And I don't know
I could crash and burn but maybe
At the end of this road I might catch a glimpse of me
So I won't worry about my timing, I want to get it right
No comparing, second guessing, no not this time …”
No second guessing … he knew how much he loved Oliver and seeing the spark flicker in the blonde’s brown orbs, Clark suddenly realized that his ex might not be as over him as he thought.
“Three months and I'm still breathing
Been a long road since those hands I left my tears in but I know
It's never really over, no …”
“Clark,” Ollie said softly, taking a few steps toward the brunette. There was so much that Oliver wanted to say, but only three words he could think of to sum it all up.
Three months and I'm still standing here
Three months and I'm getting better yeah
Three months and I still am
Three months and it's still harder now
Three months I've been living here without you now
Three months yeah, three months
Three months and I'm still breathing
Three months and I still remember it
Three months and I wake up
Three months and I'm still sober
Picked all my weeds but kept the flowers …”
As the song came to an end, Clark stood, coming to face the blonde. There was so much that needed to be said and he didn’t know where to begin. His heart screamed within his chest to say the three words he’d been waiting to say for three years, but his mouth just couldn’t utter them.
“We should talk,” Clark muttered instead, surprising Oliver, who quickly closed his mouth. Eyes meeting one another, the blonde finally nodded and motioned to the couch. Sitting across from one another, Oliver took a calming breath, opening his mouth to speak.
“I love you,” Clark murmured, unable to stop the words from spilling from his lips. Oliver looked at him in shock, not completely certain he’d heard Clark correctly.
“What?” Oliver asked. Frowning, Clark shook his head.
“I’m sorry, I had no right to say that,” the brunette apologized.
“Stop Clark,” Oliver told him, surprising the man across from him. Sighing, Ollie ran a hand through his hair before leaning forward, elbows bracing against his knees.
“We need to be honest with one another, starting right now Clark,” he said softly. Looking the blonde square in the eyes and nodded.
After he said the words, an awkward silence fell over the pair. Oliver was the one to break it.
“So apparently we’d rather not say anything at all than tell the truth?” Oliver tried to joke, but it was weak. The underlying heartbreak at the idea was evident in his tone.
“I really don’t know what to tell you, Ollie,” Clark admitted.
“Clark,” Oliver started but Clark was quick to cut him off.
“I mean, I wasn’t expecting you to kiss me,” Clark continued. “You told me to stay away from you … and I was going to. Because Dinah and Chloe were worried, I came to check on you … I never thought you’d kiss me. How could you do that? Why would you do that?” He swallowed hard.
Oliver opened his mouth to speak but he wasn’t given a chance.
“You yell at me and storm out,” Clark said, now too caught up in his own headspace to even register anything else. “Then you kiss me … what am I supposed to think? Why would you mess with my mind like that? I know I hurt you Ollie but do you really hate me that much?” His emerald eyes shimmered with tears and the sight was all it took to undo Oliver.
Within seconds, Oliver was on his knees in front of Clark, his hand reaching out to wipe away a stray tear that had spilled over.
“No, Clark, never,” he said vehemently. “I can’t hate you … I … I don’t know how.”
“Oliver,” Clark said earnestly. “I can stay away from you … I don’t want to cause you any more pain. But you’re going to have to stay away too.”
“I can’t,” Oliver said sadly. “I tried … I just need to be near you.”
“Then what do you want me to do?” Clark asked. “You said that you were going to have a good life without me … I’m trying the best I can Oliver but I’m not a saint.”
Oliver shifted, moving to sit next to Clark on the couch.
“I’m sorry about what I said,” Oliver told him. “I was angry … and I didn’t mean half of it.”
“You had a right to be angry,” Clark pointed out.
“But I didn’t have the right to be cruel,” Oliver countered. “And I was … I was callous and some of those accusations were beneath me.”
“I deserved them,” Clark said, his voice barely a whisper, but Ollie managed to pick it up.
“You didn’t,” he said firmly. “I mean, I know I had a right to be angry … but some of the stuff I said to you was just not right. I didn’t give you a chance to explain, didn’t give you a chance to talk … not really. I used you as a punching bag and you’ll never know how sorry I am.”
“I’m sorry too,” Clark replied. “I handled … everything badly. I should’ve just told you the truth in the beginning.”
“Then why didn’t you?” Oliver questioned.
“Back then, I was scared,” Clark confessed. “And I knew you Ollie … tell me if I had given you the choice to walk away, you would’ve.”
“I wouldn’t,” Oliver agreed. “If you had given me a choice, I never could’ve left.”
“That’s why I went to my plan,” Clark explained.
“Why would it have been so bad if I waited?” Oliver asked. “I mean, I know about what could’ve gone wrong … but at the very least you could’ve filled me in on the facts.”
“Ollie, you were talking marriage,” Clark reminded him. “You said that it was best for a relationship to go forward, not back. How could I tell you after that that I was putting ours on hold while I went off for god knows how long?”
“I only started persisting again on the marriage thing because of you,” Oliver said honestly.
“Because of me?” Clark repeated, “Wait, why because of me?”
“Do you remember your grad party?” Oliver asked, with a wry smile. Clark nodded. “I saw you disappear with Chloe and I knew you had lied to me that morning so I was curious. I followed you and I overheard you say that you wanted to marry me.”
“Oh man,” Clark groaned. He glanced at Oliver. “Something tells me that is all you heard.”
“It is,” Oliver confirmed. “I left right after you said that.”
“Figures,” Clark sighed. “So you thought I wanted marriage.”
“I did and I thought that was also why you were acting strangely,” Oliver responded. “Since we hadn’t talked about the marriage topic since the bill was passed and I remembered you saying you were nervous about proposing, I thought you could use some encouragement.”
“Ollie, if you had stuck around, you would’ve heard how afraid I was that you would remember that conversation,” Clark said, with a shake of his head. “I was freaked out thinking that you would want to push marriage, now that I had graduated.”
“And I confirmed your fears that night,” Oliver concluded.
“So I thought it was best for us to part ways,” Clark said.
“What a mess,” Oliver murmured.
“All this miscommunication,” Clark remarked.
“If only we had talked then,” Oliver said regretfully.
“No use mourning the past,” Clark told him. “I mean, there’s several things that could be done differently but just because we wish we had done it differently doesn’t change what has happened.”
“I guess we should be happy we’re talking now?” Oliver suggested.
“Better late than never,” Clark agreed. He hesitated for a second before he brought up the next topic. “Ollie … about Chloe.”
“Clark,” Oliver interjected, “That was definitely one of the things where I just went off … I didn’t mean it.”
“No, you meant it,” Clark argued. “I could tell … and you had a right to feel upset. I never thought about how my going to Chloe all the time could affect you.”
“It’s silly,” Oliver said softly.
“Not at all,” Clark assured him. Taking a deep breath, he added, “Truth be told, Oliver, going to Chloe for everything is the only thing I knew how to do.”
“You don’t have to explain, Clark,” Oliver protested.
“But I do,” Clark insisted. “I hurt you and I hate myself for it … you deserve the truth. You always have and now you’re going to get it.”
“Go ahead,” Oliver told him, his tone gentle.
“When I first found out that I was an alien, I wondered what was wrong with me,” Clark began, closing his eyes, letting the memories take over. “I mean, why would my parents have sent me away? Was I not … good enough?” He heard a sharp intake of breath and felt himself being pulled into Ollie’s arms.
He didn’t resist.
“I mean, I always knew I was different,” Clark continued, resting his head against Oliver’s chest. “My parents warned me not to tell anyone, lest the wrong person finds out and then I’d get taken away from them. But to find out I was an alien … and then later when I found out that my home planet was gone … it was a lot to handle.”
Feeling a gentle hand stroke his back, Clark felt encouraged to go on.
“Not many people in my life have stuck around,” Clark said. “The first person I told … he was my best friend Pete. He found my spaceship and I had to tell him. At first, he didn’t take it well but we managed to get over it. But someone found out he knew and he got hurt. Then he left … left the town because he couldn’t bear the burden. The first person I ever trusted couldn’t handle it.”
“Oh Clark,” Oliver murmured. His heart ached for the brunette in his arms. He had been so young and had already faced the pain of rejection. Hearing the lost tone in Clark’s voice, Oliver just wanted to hold him tight and never let him go.
Clark continued to recap the events of his life, from Alicia showing Chloe his powers to Chloe discovering he was an alien.
“Even my dad ended up dying,” Clark said, tears welling up in his eyes. “Chloe has been around so long … she was the only one who has really stayed … she’s protected my secret … protected me. Somewhere along the line, I just got attached to her. I learned to go to her for everything. Sometimes I knew that I took her for granted and there were other times where I was positive I didn’t deserve her but she never turned me away.”
And Oliver understood. If Clark had lost so many people, it was natural that he clung to the one that stuck around.
“I mean, even when I was sorting out my feelings for you, it was her I went to,” Clark said, oblivious to his thoughts. “She was so encouraging and when we were dating, she was right there so I just continued doing what I’ve always done. It’s the only thing I knew.”
Oliver placed a kiss to his forehead. “I understand now … I didn’t then. Back then, I was just hurt and bitter. I wanted to be your confidante.”
“You were my boyfriend,” Clark said. “It’s understandable.”
“Thank you for telling me all of this,” Oliver said, lifting the brunette’s chin up to meet his gaze. “It means a lot to me.”
“I did love you,” Clark said, unable to tear his eyes from the beautiful brown ones that were boring into his own.
“I know and I did love you,” Oliver replied. “I should’ve told you how I was feeling.”
“I guess as much as we believed we were good at communicating, we weren’t as good as we thought, huh?” Clark said, a small smile gracing his features.
“I guess not,” Oliver responded, chuckling.
“Three years later and everything is finally out in the open,” Clark mused.
“So where do we go from here?” Oliver wondered aloud.
“Not sure,” Clark answered.
“When you said you love me, did you mean it?” Oliver asked suddenly.
“Ollie,” Clark said warily, removing himself from Oliver’s embrace, carefully putting some distance between them.
“Please, Clark,” Oliver pleaded. “Just tell me the truth … did you mean it?”
“I did,” Clark replied, finding it impossible to lie. “I think I always will.” There was a silence on Oliver’s end and Clark felt his heart break once more, even though he knew that it was what he expected.
“We should get some sleep,” Clark suggested, standing up. “It’s late. I think I should go back to Metropolis … I have work in the morning …”
“I love you too,” Oliver blurted out, effectively silencing him.
“What?” This was enough to get Clark to sit down again.
Oliver was staring at him, a mixture of emotions all over his expression.
“I love you too,” Oliver repeated. He took a deep breath.
“I’m still in love with you, Clark Kent … and I think I always will be.”