A/N: I thought this would be an overused title, but apparently it hasn't been used in Smallville-land yet. Instead of deciding on the direction of my other stories, I started this. No worries though, nothing is going on hiatus... yet.
I'm going to try to stay in one point of view, even though I think I write Chloe better than Oliver.
This picks up five years after the events of season 9. Sorry I'm not planning on filling-in-the-blanks other than one flashback in this chapter (italics). However, let me know if my math is off, I tried to make sure the time line is consistent, but mistakes happen. Enjoy... Sera.
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended. I own nothing. Everything belongs to their respective owners. The title is inspired by the song by The Fray.
Chapter 1: Promises, Broken and Kept
It was a beautiful day in Star City. I stood at the window and looked at the place that had become my home once again. Part of me wondered why I ever left this city, but that only surfaced bad memories.
I shook them off and headed to my desk to get some work done. I had been working to build Queen Industries into something my parents would be proud of. While the company wasn't completely revived, I believed we were on the right track and the company would become stronger than ever. Apparently, all it needed was my undivided attention.
These days, my photo didn't appear on the society pages or the tabloids. Instead, I was the face of the business section, as Queen Industries continued it rise from the ashes. It was a boring, busy life, but one I needed after my life in Metropolis. I missed the gang and delivering vigilante justice, but I couldn't live that life anymore. However, I kept up my workout habits and my archery practice, which came in handy for the rare criminal encounter.
Next thing I knew, the buzzer sounded. I walked over and pressed the button. "Hello?"
"Oliver? So it is true... you actually work for a living now?"
I couldn't believe my ears. "Lois?"
"You were expecting someone else? Doesn't matter, let me up."
You clearly haven't changed, have you? I pressed the button to let her up. I hadn't seen in a year. She stopped by once to get me to come back to Metropolis and to tell me everyone missed me, but I refused. There was one particular someone who didn't miss me, and I couldn't face that person again, not after what happened between us.
There was a knock on the door, but I before I could reach the door, Lois already had the door open.
"Wow! Your place looks so... grown up."
I raised an eyebrow at her. "Thank you?"
She smiled at me. "I've read every article on Queen Industries since you moved and Clark fills me in on your chats. You've really turned your life around."
Ironically, it was Clark that he had stayed in touch with since the move two years ago. Lois wanted to talk about what-ifs, and the league made me miss the nights I spent alongside them. Clark listened, and understood when to back off. "Want a drink?"
"Yeah, water was five dollars on the plane, how silly is that?"
"Had I known you wanted to visit, I would have sent the jet."
"That would have ruined the element of surprise. There's no fun in that."
"So what brings you here to Star City?"
"Do I really need a reason to visit my billionaire ex-boyfriend with exemplary archery skills?"
"So where do you hide the green leather and archery gear in this place?"
"It's not here."
"What? You left Green Arrow behind in Metropolis?"
I shrugged. "I've put all of my energy into Queen Industries. I left my gear at the clock tower."
Raising her eyebrows, she said, "So you hung up your tights?" Her toned changed before her next sentence. "The team misses you, you know."
"Lois, please, don't start up this again. I'm not exactly retired; they call me when they need me... or whenever she's not involved."
"You two still aren't speaking? It's been two years."
That was a conversation I definitely didn't want to start, but I suppose it was my fault. "Why are you here Lois?"
"Right." She moved to take a glove off her left hand. I knew that Clark was going to pop the question, but I wanted her to think I was surprised. "I'm getting married, can you believe it?"
I smiled. "I knew deep down, below the hard, savvy reporter shell, there is a sappy, romantic girl."
She smacked my arm. "Hey!"
I laughed. "Well, you wanted him to need you, so congrats!"
"When's the big day?"
"Three months? I didn't think you would be so eager."
She blushed for a moment. "Well, we don't have to book for availability at the farm, and it's a small ceremony."
"Really? How many?"
"Just family and the league, which includes you, by the way."
I grimaced at her. "I'm not sure that was a great idea."
"Come on, Clark wants you to his best man. He doesn't have a lot of guy friends in his life that he trusts to deliver a speech about us."
"I know, he mentioned that a while back. Although I think he can find someone better than your ex, don't you?"
"Wait, you knew?"
I shrugged. "He stopped by two week ago, wanting advice on how to propose, but I told him not to worry. With your family, the secret is to not be a blonde billionaire with good intentions. Good intentions are always useful, but he hasn't dyed his hair and come into money recently?"
"Oliver, that's not funny."
"My track record speaks for itself, doesn't it?"
"She's been a mess since you've left."
"What do you think I've been? Heartbreak can work both ways, Lois."
"You could try talking to her."
"No, all that would do is stir up bad memories. She doesn't deserve that."
"If my memory serves me correctly, you didn't give up on me that easily."
"No, but I learned something from us."
"How to be a coward?"
"How to take a hint. It was never going to happen Lois. It took that moment for me to realize it. She was never going to say yes."
"You can't even say her name, can you? Oliver? Chloe loved you, she still does."
We stared at each other for a couple moments and tried to soak in everything we said.
"Give my best to Clark. You both deserve happiness."
"Please come Oliver, for our sake. You two deserve happiness too."
"Stop playing the matchmaker, Lois. I'm going to give her what she wants, even if it kills me."
Her phone rang. "I'm not leaving until you agree to come, so don't think this conversation is over."
She picked up her phone and talked for a couple of moments. Meanwhile, I stared out the window into the Star City skyline. I remember that day like it was yesterday, and it killed me to leave her, but it was the only thing I could do.
Lois walked towards me. "Sorry, that was Clark. I told him you needed more convincing."
"Lois, it's not going to happen."
"Chloe wants you to come."
"No she doesn't."
"That's what I thought when Clark told me, so I called her."
I turned from the window and looked at her. "And?"
She gritted her teeth for a moment. "I'm not going to say that she was thrilled about the idea, but she wants you to be there, for the team's sake and ours."
"I'll think about it."
She nodded. "Okay." She walked to the door and left.
I walked over to my desk and opened the top drawer. Inside, buried under stacks of paper was a picture of us during happier times. I couldn't bring myself to throw it out; it was the last thing I had of hers. I missed her smile, the way she could light up my darkest hour with a single grin. Together, I thought we were unstoppable, but apparently, we were our own weakness. My eyes moved to look at the last thing I tried to give her. You think I would have learned from the McDougal Inn not to give her presents.
"We can't do this."
I closed the box and stood up. "Why not?"
"It's unprofessional... the team..."
"So what we have been doing for three years was wrong? Come on, the team doesn't mind, they had bets going."
I know I didn't help my chances by proposing in Watchtower, where Jimmy died. However, this place was important to us too, but she still couldn't let him go. The pass code to Watchtower was still the date of Jimmy's death, and she visited his tombstone every three months. Don't get me wrong, Jimmy was a great guy, I was just hoping that four years after his death, I had given her a good enough reason to move on.
"I'm sorry." She said that, but I could tell she was holding back tears.
I put the box in my pocket and stepped towards her. "Okay, you're not ready. I'm willing to wait, so just forget it."
The tears starting falling and I hesitated coming any closer. "Ollie... what if I'm never ready?"
"You know my track record with men? They end up being psychos and they try to kill me. The good ones die on my behalf. I can't let that happen again."
"Have you seen my track record? No feelings, just continuous usage for my money and connections. Apparently, the good ones see me for me, but apparently don't want me. Or maybe that's just the way your family is."
She was taken aback by the last comment. I knew it was a low blow, but I was tired of her excuses. I couldn't stay in a relationship that didn't go anywhere, we would have to face this moment eventually. I gained my composure and started walking towards the door.
As a final attempt to get me to stay, she pleaded, "I'm sorry."
At the doorframe, I turned my head slightly and said, "So am I," and walked out, never looking back to see her face. I loved her, but I couldn't take this anymore. I was done.
A three-year relationship and seven years of friendship disappears on the first sign of commitment. I should have seen it coming; I never should have gotten involved with Chloe Sullivan. But I had, and I had fallen hard. I thought I had gotten to her too, but apparently her past still haunted her. She would never relax and let herself love again. I couldn't hurt her anymore, so I had to go.
However, she wanted me to come to the wedding. I wanted to see everyone again, and maybe now that the wounds have healed, we can overlook the scars of our relationship. Lois and I were able to get past our differences, and Clark and I have never been on better terms. She'll be different, I know that, but Lois was right about one thing. I was being a coward. Lois and Clark's wedding gave me the best chance to set things right.
I picked up my phone and dialled my pilot.
"Good morning, Mr. Queen. How may I be of assistance?"
"How soon can you take off for Metropolis?"