The Truth Be Told
DISCLAIMER: Green Arrow™, Green Lantern™ and all other characters appearing in this story are copyright © 2001 by DC Comics Inc., a Time-Warner company. The characters are used here without permission for non-profit entertainment purposes only. Use of these characters without the express permission of the copyright holder could be construed as violation of that copyright. The fact that the copyright holder does not exert their rights under the law should not be assumed to be an endorsement of this story. This story is not endorsed or condoned by DC Comics Inc. or Time-Warner. This original work of fiction is copyright © 2001 by C.W. Blaine. The author understands that since they have already violated a copyright, others may also violate their rights. Therefore, the author simply requests that those wishing to archive or post this story to their websites please inform the author beforehand. This story may not, however, be published for profit without the express permission of the author.
By C.W. Blaine (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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AUTHOR'S NOTE: This story takes place immediately after the events of Zero Hour, a five issue limited series produced by DC Comics in 1994 in which Hal Jordan, as the super-villain Parallax, attempted to reshape the universe to fit his idea of perfection. Those who have not read this series are strongly urged to do so, not so much to understand this story, but to provide a chance to increase their knowledge of the DC Universe.
This story contains themes that some may find offensive. This story deals with feelings and thoughts relating to alternate lifestyles and may be offensive to some readers. The author is taking this opportunity to warn you here, before the actual story starts. If you are easily offended, the author requests that you do not read any farther. The author is not responsible if you take offense.
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I killed my best friend. I shot him in the heart and broke my own at the same time. Does that make me a hero, or an even bigger coward than I was before?
My name is Oliver Queen, but I usually go by another name…Green Arrow. I'm a super-hero by profession, because every other job I've had I have managed to screw up one way or another. I like being a hero, though, and not just because I'm so adrenaline junkie or that I get a kick out of smacking around the bad guys (though I have to admit that it is fun!). I like it because when I'm behind the mask of Green Arrow, I become another person entirely. Some people think that Oliver Queen and Green Arrow are the same person, and if you compared our DNA, that would be true. Psychologically, I think the experts would disagree.
You see, Oliver Queen is spineless…never standing up to anything, especially when there is pressure. Green Arrow, though, he's different. Green Arrow will kill when necessary…even if it means killing his best friend. Oliver Queen has regrets over it; Green Arrow does not.
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My father was a hard man, a shrewd man, and a man of his time. He built the Queen Fund up from the success his father had made it and presented it to me on my 27th birthday, with the expectation that I would increase it's worth and pass it down to my son. The Queen men were expected to do so, going all the way back to my namesake, Sir Olivier Queen, an Irish knight in the court of Edward II. From the lands granted to him came the fortune of my family and the men of the Queen line were notorious for their womanizing, which created several heirs to the family wealth. Over the years, however, discretion became the best-kept secret passed down, as mistresses were simply bought off and bastard children swept under the rugs, in order to prevent the division of power.
It was expected of me to marry early in life; to ensure that a male heir was waiting should anything happen to me. I suppose I was a disappointment to my father, even though he never came right out and said it. I think he suspected early on that I was "different", that maybe I wasn't exactly his idea of what a strong, Queen man was.
The truth be told, I wasn't sure what I was for a long time.
Oh, I tried to push any and all thoughts that were "foreign" out of my head, tried to forget and disembody myself from my feelings. I participated in sports, went yachting in the summer and had affairs with numerous girls during my formative years. I even took my nanny as a mistress, going through the motions. Still, my father would always look at me with a suspicious eye, especially when I was in the company of my classmates…and all of my classmates were male, of course.
I guess I didn't even realize what was going on at the time…I didn't see myself staring blankly at a bare chest, didn't even begin to understand that I really wasn't interested in sexual conquests like so many of my friends were. The idea of sleeping with al of those women didn't make me feel like a man at all, because it was hollow. I was just acting, trying to fit in and make my father proud. Why? I don't know…I didn't particularly like my father, but I understand that males always seek the approval of their fathers regardless.
After my father died, I thought I would be free to explore the possibilities that life offered.
I was so damn wrong.
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I thought my father had been hard to please, but I was in no way prepared for the world of business leaders. I suppose I should be thankful my father was so insistent that I carry on the "playboy" lifestyle, because once I took over the Queen Fund, I soon discovered a new world. In this new world, there were even more rules, even more social taboos. I was forced to become involved in a culture of older men using power over women as a way of marking their territory. I was expected to do the same thing, or else I would be an outcast and the Queen Fund would die.
I played the game for a while, but at the same time had to battle even more fiercely against the emotions that raged through me. I considered exploring these feelings somewhere far away, somewhere away from the culture of male machoism and that was when I took the cruise that changed my life.
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Getting stranded on Star Island definitely saved my life and my sanity. I was away from the culture that has forced me to suppress my very nature for so long and I was free to do whatever I wanted.
The truth be told, I never wanted to leave.
I knew I had to though, and with the new archery skills I had developed in order to survive, I had a new confidence in myself and my place in the universe. Coming back home to the United States, I was ready to let the world know!
Oliver Queen was gay.
But plans never work out that way, do they? I got back, reassumed control of the Queen Fund and found myself drawn back into the act, back into the façade that I was a womanizing CEO that only cared about how big a woman's breasts were and how large my bank account was. I didn't know what to do until the idea of the Green Arrow came upon me.
On Star Island, I had found peace and serenity through archery. I had become almost like another person, and I suppose I was. Green Arrow allowed me the opportunity to be all of the things I wanted to be. I could say what I wanted…do what I wanted. And that was exactly what I did.
Even behind the mask, some things never changed. In the super-hero world, I ran into the exact same male-dominance attitudes that I had found in the business world. Women were pushed into the corner to be used as window dressing or worse, as hyper-powered prostitutes. But, it wasn't all that bad I suppose. When the Justice League of America formed, I met the two people who would change my life forever.
Dinah Lance, the second Black Canary, was just 19 years old when the JL of A was formed, and she was the only female on the team. She was beautiful and smart, and recently divorced and it was apparent that she was at least looking. Green Arrow made himself available. Why? Looking back now, I suppose it was so I could establish myself at the top of the super-hero food chain. No super-powers, 100% pure human and I had the youngest super-chick as my main squeeze. Over the years, even as I cheated on Dinah as Oliver Queen, maintaining that false impression even after I had lost my money, I don't think I ever developed the feelings that men normally develop for women. I should have at least felt a little guilty, but I never did. Each affair was just another deadbolt lock on the closet door.
The League is also where Hal Jordan and I became best friends.
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Sometimes, I ask myself, who wouldn't be attracted to Hal Jordan? He was tall, muscular and handsome. He oozed charm and charisma, you could just feel power radiating from him when he entered the room. As the years went by, I found it harder and harder to keep my thoughts from drifting to him. How can I describe it when you are in awe and in love at the same time?
When we took our yearlong trip across America together, there had been this small hope that he had caught onto what I felt about him and that was why he had agreed to go along. Sure, it was a chance to see the real America, but it was also a chance to let our hair down and maybe even a chance for me to finally explore the feelings that had been tearing me apart for decades. But it wasn't to be, because Hal dragged that damn Guardian along and Dinah was following us everywhere we went.
The truth be told, I think she was beginning to suspect. I know Roy was.
Roy Harper had been my ward, and had also been Green Arrow's sidekick, Speedy. As the years had gone by and I lost my money (the truth was someone had found out about my "true" self and I decided to just let the money go), I think Roy finally began to understand that my reasons for taking him in had nothing to do with wanting to be a father so much as needing to be one. It had been an image thing when you got down to it, and only now, years later, do I realize what a selfish bastard I really was. I think that Roy may have even been afraid that I had adopted him for more sinister purposes and that's why he eventually turned to drugs.
Just goes to show that there is a real good reason why some people were not meant to have children. God, I shudder when I think that maybe, possibly, that I might have a child out there somewhere? Poor kid, stuck with a fag as father.
So, in the end, I never really go to tell Hal how I felt and maintained the womanizing Oliver Queen act. Hal would cover for me with Dinah, because that was what best friends did.
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Barry Allen's death changed Hal. It changed all of us.
While Hal had been my best friend, Barry, the second Flash, had been his. Barry died saving the universe from the Anti-Monitor and the man I had known before as Hal Jordan had become someone else. He didn't want to be a Green Lantern anymore, he didn't want to be responsible; he just wanted to wander and find himself. I thought I could help him…I wanted to help him.
The truth be told, by this time I was completely in love with him.
I never got to, though, because Coast City happened.
Mongul destroyed Hal's hometown and it had driven my friend insane. The pressure of hiding his feelings…of towing the Guardian of the Universe's line for so many years had finally caused his mind to snap. He killed the entire Green Lantern Corps, and then he went after the entire universe. He decided that he would make sure Coast City would never be destroyed by reshaping the universe. My friend wanted to be God.
Deep down inside, I wondered if he knew how I felt. Was he going to reshape my universe too?
However, there is a difference between Green Arrow and Oliver Queen.
By the time this "Zero Hour" had occurred, Dinah and I were no longer an item. She had caught me in the arms of another woman. It destroyed her seeing me that way, but I had no choice. Dinah was still young and she wanted to get married. That definitely wasn't in my future. I suppose it would have been easier to just tell her the truth; Lord knows that Dinah could have been my biggest supporter, so long as I told her the truth. I couldn't do that, though. What if she told? Would my fellow heroes still trust me? Would they even want to work with me? What would happen to public perception of the Justice League if word leaked out that I was gay?
Sure, liberal thinkers such as myself see that as childish and stupid, but face it, the JLA is home of the conservative wing of the super-hero community: Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Batman and Hawkman just to name a couple. Sure, princess Diana might talk about women's rights and equality, but secretly, she sees women being completely in charge, armed with swords, as the only way to solve the world's problems!
Maybe if I had told Hal my true feelings, he would have felt like there was someone he could truly turn to in his time of need. Obviously, Carol Ferris had managed to damage their relationship to the point Hal couldn't go to her. Maybe he sensed that I was never fully truthful with him, in all of the years of our friendship, and that's what kept him from seeking me out.
Maybe I could have held him and told him everything was going to be okay. If home is where the heart is, then I can damn well guarantee that Hal Jordan had a mansion waiting for him with me.
Instead, at the critical moment as we "heroes" assembled against a madman, I let loose an arrow into the heart of the man I loved and killed him. Green Arrow had saved the universe. Oliver Queen paid the price.
Damn you, Hal.
The truth be told, I never even kissed another man. I've never had sex with another man. I never even held another man's hand except in a handshake.
But I'm still gay.
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The Earth was cooling quickly, the sun dying before the power of the Sun-Eater. Even Superman, the fabled Sir Lancelot of the super-hero round table was unable to stop the monstrosity from consuming the center of the solar system. Hal Jordan snorted, considering the irony of the situation he was in. Only months before, he had attempted to reconstruct reality itself, only to be stopped by, of all people, Oliver Queen, the hero known as Green Arrow. Now Oliver was dead, having given his life to stop an eco-terrorist.
The sun needed to be re-ignited, the Sun-eater needed to be stopped. The Justice League had a plan, he knew, but in the end, only his power, the power of a god, would be able to save the day. That suited him for now. He was finally able to begin repaying his debt to the universe for nearly destroying it.
He settled on the snowy ground before the headstone that marked the "grave" of Oliver Queen. The truth was that Oliver's body had never been found, despite the efforts of Superman himself. Hal Jordan, however, saw things differently than the man from Krypton and so long as one molecule or atom that had once been Oliver Queen was present, then he could do what needed to be done.
Hal Jordan looked at the grave and sighed. He wondered if Ollie ever knew his true feelings for him, how he wanted to approach him but had been afraid. The man absolutely went through women like they were snack cakes! Would his friend have been angry if he knew that in Hal Jordan's perfect universe, they would have been…together? Was it that suspicion that had led to Ollie putting the arrow in his chest, throwing off his concentration just long enough for that new Green Lantern to screw everything up?
Well, it didn't matter, now. Soon, he would be dead, but the Earth would live. But before he left, he had one parting gift.
He sensed the atom and found it, of all places, on Superman's costume. With it, he could search through the timeline and pick Ollie out and transfer him to the present, right at the moment the bomb had gone off and killed him. It would neatly explain why Superman had never found the body.
With a thought, it was done and Hal Jordan began to rise in the air. "Good-bye, Ollie, live well and happy," he said silently. Then, he turned his attention to the cooling sun.