Disclaimer: I own nothing.
AN: Okay so here's the last chapter of 'Watchtower,' I realize how late it has been, I know I promised to post if weeks ago but the words for this version was not coming to me. But I figured that I have apologized before and now it just seems like an empty gesture. So for those who waited for the Chlark ending, here it is.
I originally wanted to write a note to thank each and everyone who read and reviewed this fic. But as I was going through the reviews I found out that it would take me awhile before I could accomplish the task. So I settled on generally thanking everyone: THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO READ AND REVIEWED THIS FIC! If it hadn't been for all your constant support and ecouragement I probably wouldn't have seen this through to the bitter end, or I may never have reached this point. I hope I didn't disappoint a lot of you with the way the story went. And I am grateful for all the feedback that you guys sent me. I feel a little sad that this fic finally reached the conclusion, but I guess the bright side is that I could always write more Chloe-centered fics. I guess this is it then. Thanks again to everyone for sticking with this story.
And now the Chloe/Clark ending...
Chloe punched in the familiar numbers. She waited with bated breath for the voice she hadn't heard in the last four days.
"Chloe." The utter desperation of the voice made her heart bleed.
"Clark." She said his name tentatively.
"Are you okay? Is there something wrong?" Clark cut her off with his concern.
"I'm okay Clark. I…I just need to talk to you." She replied quietly.
"You do?" The hopeful note in his voice made her smile weakly.
"Yeah, can you-"
A gust of wind almost knocked her off her feet but luckily the source of it managed to hold onto her. She smiled at him wryly. Her best friend. Her super best friend. Their relationship was changed irrevocably by his confession.
She continued to stare at him. He looked tired, defeated. She didn't want to be the one responsible for the way his shoulders drooped but acknowledged the fact that she was.
"Chloe." The way he said her name, it was so reminiscent of a plea.
"Clark." She said simply.
"Are you okay?" He asked the same question he asked over the phone. And suddenly his hands were all over her, checking to see if there were any broken bones, he even went so far as to x-ray her.
"Hey Clark, you don't need to start copping a feel. I'm okay. I just need to talk to you. And stop with the x-ray vision." Chloe grabbed his hands and smiled slightly.
"You do?" His inquiry was filled with such hope that Chloe felt her heart break.
She nodded and took his hand in hers. "Let's take a walk."
Clark was willing to follow her blindly to hell if she asked. He looked at their intertwined hands and couldn't help but feel the utter rightness of it all. This was meant to be. Chloe and Clark, together. He inhaled deeply and wished that life could be simple. That he could end up with Chloe and not suffer the guilt of yanking her away from a man he considered as his friend.
The night air did a lot to calm her nerves. She could feel the tight grip of Clark's hand. Gentle yet firm. Just like the man beside her. They walked side by side, a normal occurrence through their years of friendship. They were friends, partners, and confidants. Their relationship meant the world to her. The very thought of losing their friendship, losing him, was enough to incapacitate her completely.
Her gaze landed on their joined hands. They always showed their affection for each other through prolonged hugs and kisses on the cheek. But the sight of their intertwined fingers, nothing felt more intimate than the feeling of his palm against hers, his thumb traced circles on the back of her hand unconsciously.
She sighed heavily. They were about to cross a line that would either bind them forever or break them entirely. And it made her heart race with fear.
"Chloe." Clark stopped walking and forced her to face him. He could hear her heart beating furiously. "Your heart, it's scaring me." He raised a hand to tenderly touch her cheek.
"I'm scared." Chloe murmured quietly.
"Of what?" Clark looked at her pleadingly. He held his breath as he waited for her to say that she was afraid of him, that she was afraid that he was just going to hurt her.
"Of this. Of us." Chloe held up their hands and clutched them to her chest uneasily. "Don't you understand? This changes everything."
Clark leaned his forehead against hers. "I know Chloe. But I couldn't stay quiet. I can't not tell you how I feel." He looked deep into her eyes hoping to convey his complete devotion to her.
Chloe closed her eyes. "It took you so long." She said softly.
"And I'm sorry. I'm sorry if I allowed my fear of losing you control my desire to be with you, because I want to be with you. So much…" Clark breathed out with such intensity. "My life…it would be beyond meaningless…" He closed his eyes as he contemplated the possibility of losing her. His heart might as well stop beating.
"Clark, don't say that." She took his hand and squeezed it with all her might. She had never seen Clark act and talk with such anguish. Not even when he used to talk about Lana. That was her one fear, that she was merely holding Lana's place. But the utter desperation in Clark's expression, she couldn't help but think that he meant every word. She couldn't help but want him to mean every word.
"It has to be said. I spent the better part of my life holding all my feelings for you back. I can't do it anymore. You need to know… without you I am nothing." Clark held her hand as tightly as he could without hurting her. "I'm in love with you Chloe Sullivan." He placed a gentle kiss on the back of her hand as he looked deep into her hazel eyes.
Chloe smiled at him tearfully. "I'm in love with you Clark Kent. I've always been and I don't think I was ever meant to stop." She told him truthfully as her tears fell.
Clark raised his free hand to wipe her tears away, he felt like his heart was finally free. He felt like a huge weight had been lifted off of his shoulders. He met her gaze and saw that she was waiting for his reply.
He allowed his hand to travel to her cheek. He touched her lips with his fingertips and finally gave into his own desire. He crushed his lips to hers and was infinitely grateful to feel her welcome his kiss. He poured his every emotion into the contact, his pain, his happiness but most of all his love for the woman in his arms.
Chloe was surprised when Clark moved to kiss her. But eventually she found herself responding eagerly. They have locked lips numerous times in various circumstances; they had kissed under the influence of meteor rocks and the threat of the end of the world. But this one kiss… was different from every other kisses that they had shared. This was a confirmation of their love for each other. This was a true love's kiss, as trite as that might sound.
Clark held her as long as he could. This kiss, this one kiss was beyond anything they had shared before. It felt like coming home, as though he finally found the missing piece in his life…a piece that he didn't even know was missing. This was it…she was the woman for him. He felt her pull away from him and he opened his eyes in confusion.
"Need air." She smiled at him lopsidedly as she took deep breaths.
He grinned at her wryly. He maintained the closeness between them. He never thought that answering her call would lead to this, he had hoped, but he tried to keep himself from hoping too much.
Chloe let her head fall against his chest. She felt comforted by the slightest touch from him. It was odd that after all this time she picked him, but at the same time she couldn't help but feel that it was a long time coming. She sighed in utter contentment. "I only see you." She murmured quietly.
Clark allowed his hand to run through her hair, he was having a sensory overload. The feeling of her lips against his, her body flushed against his body, her cheek against his chest, it all felt surreal to him but at the same time it was sheer perfection. He had to shake his head to fully hear what she was saying. "Huh?"
Chloe looked up at him and smiled slightly, his eyes looked glazed, for a second it felt like he was not actually there with her. "I could only see you." She repeated her earlier statement.
Clark's brows furrowed, she was not making any sense. He grabbed the hand that was resting on his chest and held it in his.
"In my future, I couldn't imagine anyone else with me but you." She lowered her eyes, suddenly shy.
Clark placed a chaste kiss on her lips, "What do you mean?"
"Trying to decide who I wanted to be with was…difficult. But what it all boiled down to was who did I see with me years from now. Who would be beside me through all the good and the bad? And I saw you Clark. I saw you with me as I took home the Pulitzer. I saw you with me when I once again ended up at some hospital. But most of all I just saw you." She played with his fingers as she continued to avoid his eyes.
Clark practically beamed at her words. "I see only you too Chloe. Whenever I imagined my future you are my one constant." He whispered as he kissed her again.
"This is it then?" She finally met his gaze. "You and me?"
"Together for always." He uttered with such certainty.
Oliver opened his eyes the moment he heard the ding of the elevator. He straightened in his chair and wondered who could possibly be at his doorstep. For the last few days he had been acting like the elusive billionaire. He found neither the desire nor the inclination to socialize with the Metropolis elite. He was nursing a broken heart. For some reason he couldn't get over the idea that he already lost the war…the battle for Chloe's heart.
His focus was on the elevator doors; his breath caught the moment that he saw the occupant.
"Chloe." He whispered almost reverently.
Chloe shifted uncomfortably at the intensity of his stare. "Oliver." She said quietly.
Oliver got up from his chair and marched over to where she was standing. She just stepped out of the elevator and was looking at him with such profound sadness. He knew then that she was there to break his heart.
"I guess this is it then." He muttered calmly.
Chloe crossed the distance between them and laid a hand on his arm. "Oliver-"
"Just say it Chloe. I believe they have a saying about band aids and such." Oliver took her hand in his and held it tightly.
"I…honestly don't know what to say." Chloe murmured as she stared at their joined hands.
"You're here to tell me that you picked Clark." He dropped her hand and walked towards the balcony.
"I picked Clark." She said in a small voice.
His shoulders stiffened as he heard what he expected her to say. He nodded. He stared at the view blindly and thought idly, 'So this is what a breaking heart feels like.'
Chloe walked over to where he was and placed her hands on the rail as she too stared at the view. She automatically looked down and wondered what Clark was thinking at that exact moment. She took a deep breath and faced Oliver. "I'm sorry." She whispered, so quietly that she was afraid that he wouldn't hear her.
"I know." He nodded again.
"I do love you." She declared with such feeling.
She did love him and it tore her heart out to have to tell him that she picked Clark. But he told her himself that he shouldn't allow other people to dictate how she lived her life. She was following her heart; maybe it was selfish of her. She wouldn't be able to give him all of her, and he deserved to be with someone who would love him so completely.
"Just not as much as you love him." He remarked impassively.
She shook her head. "What I feel for you and what I feel for him…they're two entirely different…I never meant to hurt you." She closed her eyes, in an attempt to hold back her tears.
"I know." Oliver said unemotionally.
"Oliver…" She looked at him pleadingly.
"I should have known." Oliver finally faced her. "You two depend on each other." 'Too much in fact.' He added to himself.
"He's my greatest friend. He and I…we never had a shot at actually being together. This…this is our chance. And I feel that I would regret it for the rest of my life if I don't even try and see what he and I could have." Chloe looked away as she finished speaking, unable to stand to see his reaction.
Oliver laughed humorlessly. "I guess this is it then."
"Oliver, I'm so sorry." She finally opened her eyes and saw the utter devastation on Oliver's expression. She lowered her gaze and shook her head in profound regret.
"Stop Chloe." Oliver tipped her chin up and gave her a weak smile. "Never apologize for loving someone."
"But I hurt you." She buried her face in her hands.
"But you didn't mean to." Oliver murmured as he enveloped her in a hug. "You are the most amazing woman I have ever met. You have a heart of gold Chloe. I would never think that you set out to hurt me." He pulled back and settled his hands on her shoulders as he tried to convince her that he meant his every word.
"Oliver…" She looked away from him.
Oliver shook his head. "Chloe look at me." He framed her face with both his hands and urged her to do as he asked.
She met his eyes tearfully and brought her hands up to hold his.
"I love you. But if I'm not the man who could make you completely… and perfectly… and incandescently happy then I wouldn't want to hold you back from experiencing a great love, even if it is not with me." Oliver took her hands in his and placed a kiss on each hand.
Chloe smiled sadly. "You are a catch Oliver Queen. You'll find someone wonderful, someone way better than me."
Oliver shook his head. "You're a tough act to follow Chloe Sullivan."
Chloe leaned her forehead against his chest. "Oh Oliver."
"It's okay Chloe. It'll be okay." Oliver placed a gentle kiss on her forehead. "Clark's waiting for you." He hugged her one last time.
Chloe looked at him and then kissed Oliver's cheek before letting go of him.
'How long does it take to break someone's heart?' Clark wondered idly. He was looking up at the building that housed the man who also loved Chloe. His Chloe.
Chloe had unconsciously led them to Oliver's home as they continued with their walk. When he finally became aware of his surroundings she told him that she needed to talk to Oliver.
For a second he was afraid that Chloe had changed her mind. Perhaps it showed in his expression that she kissed him passionately before telling him to wait for her. That was when he finally realized that in choosing him, Chloe had to break Oliver's heart.
So there he was. At the bottom floor of the building, waiting for his love to break another man's heart. A man he actually thought of as his friend, despite the arguments that they have had, all of which centered on the amazing Chloe Sullivan.
He felt guilty. Oliver did not deserve to have his heartbroken because it took him so long to get his act together. But at the same time he could not feel any regret for telling Chloe how he truly felt. He loved her. She loved him. The realization was enough to make him breathless.
They were finally given the chance to be together. Finally, it was their turn. And he could feel that their love would bring him to such great heights. With her by his side he truly felt like a superman, that even if the very next day he lost all his powers he would still feel like the same person, because Chloe inspired him to be more than he ever thought he could be.
Clark inhaled deeply. Perhaps Oliver felt the same way. And once again Clark felt the guilt course through his entire being. He did not doubt that Oliver truly loved Chloe. He could see it in the other man's eyes. Oliver Queen was in love with her. But then again so was he. And in the end it all boiled down to who Chloe wanted to be with. And he would thank the Gods everyday of his life for being that man. He would make sure that he made her happy and that she knew without a shadow of a doubt that he loved her unequivocally.
Oliver would certainly have a tough time getting over Chloe. He knew he would be a complete disaster if she hadn't picked him. He couldn't help but wonder if they would be able to band together in order to save the world. He hoped that he could still be part of the league that Oliver seemed intent on forming. For better or worse Oliver made him realize that his powers were not just for the benefit of the people who were close to him. That he could and should expand his horizon and help everyone, regardless of who they were and what they meant to him.
His hearing picked up the sound of the descending elevator. He eyed the doors greedily and felt his heart beat faster at the sight of Chloe.
Chloe looked completely defeated. He felt a lump form in his throat as he imagined what she had just endured. What she just did in order to be with him. Without a word he crossed the distance between them and just wrapped his arms around her. She instinctively leaned into him. He just held her and hoped that he could provide the solace that she so desperately needed.
Clark was not under any illusions that the encounter between her and Oliver was painless. Chloe would feel the weight of her decision; she would feel all the emotions he was feeling but with more intensity. It was one of the many traits that made him love her all the more.
"Chloe." He murmured quietly as he pulled back to see her expression.
"He took it like a gentleman." Chloe said, sadness permeating her entire tone.
He gave her a sad smile and nodded. "I didn't expect him to react any other way. You really do love him don't you?"
Chloe nodded. "But I love you more. I will always love you more than anyone." She looked at him tearfully.
Clark placed a gentle kiss on her forehead. "I'll love you forever. Cherish you for always. As long as I'm living, you'll mean everything to me." He whispered to her quietly.
Chloe buried her face against his chest and smiled through her tears. "Likewise."
Clark let out a short laugh. "I love you Chloe Sullivan. Now let's go home."
Chloe pulled back, gave him a wide smile and nodded. "Take me home."
Clark steered them towards the alley and then proceeded to sweep Chloe off her feet. Chloe intuitively wrapped her arms around his neck. "I love you too." She murmured just before kissing him chastely.
Clark had a wide smile on his face as they sped off into the darkness of the night.
The End (again)