Disclaimer: DC Comics/WB Entertainment owns these characters. No profit is being made from this story. This is strictly for my own amusement.
A/N: This one shot was written as a BD gift for Paradisekendra, a Tollie enthusiast! As usual, I'm late, but here you go. Ok, as a setup, this story takes place a few months after my earlier story, Do You Believe in Fate?. You do not have to read that, but if you've seen the episodes Kent and Luthor, you will understand this story. Remember, all scenes that place on Earth-2. I hope you enjoy it. Please read and review. Thank you!:D
A private jet somewhere over the South Pacific:
Tess Luthor sat inside her private jet, paper in hand, and read the headline … SUPERMAN SAVES THE PLANET FROM IMMINENT DISASTER, by Lois Lane-Luthor. Just reading the headline and who wrote this article, made her see red. They were actually married. She could not believe it. It was if she were in some sort of mixed-up reality that made no sense to her at all.
Only a few short months ago, she and Clark were lovers, friends and confidants. Now, all of that was gone. After selling the company to Wayne Enterprises, she and Clark and gone their separate ways. She reluctantly admitted that they could have remained friends, but even that was impossible, especially after she had tried to drug him with red-K and Lois had stopped him from strangling her. She actually owed Lois a thank you. If not for her, she would not be alive.
About an hour later, the pilot announced their arrival into Tahiti. Tess buckled her seatbelt and prepared to land at the one place that had given her peace and serenity. Of course, thoughts of Oliver and their long-ago affair flashed inside her mind. Refusing to go there, she pushed those regretful thoughts from her mind, she exited the plane. Taking a deep breath and closing her eyes, she breathed in the air of this tropical paradise. No place on Earth had that scent; she was convinced of this.
Everything she owned was contained in various pieces of luggage. She had made the decision to create a new life there in Tahiti and that meant leaving behind memories of what could have been. Having made arrangements to have the jet either broken down for parts or sold, she continued on her way to her new home.
She would not be returning to Metropolis. There was nothing there for her, not anymore. Because of the sale and Clark's generosity, she was a wealthy woman. She did not have to work another day in her life, but that was not her. She had a degree in marine biology and she would use that and her background in business to obtain a job. She now had the time to work with animals, sea creatures to be exact.
Feeling a different moment of hope, she exited the plane and headed into town. Her realtor had already found a place for her. It was on the beach, of course, with magnificent views of the sea. Standing on the veranda and looking out at the glorious blue-green waters, peace and fulfillment filled her soul. She felt truly free, and slipping out of her shoes, she ran down the beach, her hair flying out behind her, and she skipped and kicked the water like a child enjoying the sea for the first time.
Someone was watching her with admiration in his eyes and an idea he hadn't felt in months poured inside his heart. She wasn't a stranger to him. He knew her; he knew her very well. He decided to follow her but not too close.
Tess was thoroughly enjoying herself, but then she realized she had gone a mile down the coast. She turned and headed back, kicking the water and feeling the warmth of the sand between her toes, just taking her time as she went. Then she looked up and there he was standing before her. "Oliver?"
"Hello, Tess." He quirked a smile and Tess was just angry. "You're alive? I cannot believe this." She was totally stunned. Then she hauled off and smacked him as hard as she could.
He staggered back and rubbed his chin. "What was that for?"
She gasped, shocked he would ask that. "Are you kidding me? Everyone thinks you're dead."
"I had no choice. I did some things, Tess, bad things, and I could not come out from under it. This was the only way."
Regaining a bit of control, she stared at him for a moment, but instead of saying anything, she walked past him. "Stay away from me, Oliver. I never saw you. Just leave it at that."
He followed her. "You don't mean that."
She closed her eyes and walked faster, but then she was running. This cannot be happening. She could see her house up ahead, almost there, but then, he caught her. She struggled to get away from him.
"Stop it, Tess! What are you running away from? Is it Superman or yourself?"
"Let go of me!" She shouted in his face.
He let her go. "It's true, isn't it. I can read Tess. As far away as this place is, I know what happened in Metropolis … Lois and Clark getting married, the sale of the company, all of it."
"What do you want from me? Aren't you happy, Oliver?" He didn't reply. "Well, I'm not. I have demons inside of me. I can go up and down this beach until the end of my days, but it won't change what I did to him." She paused. "I'll never get over him. I know that now. I just have to move on, but I have no idea how to do that." She watched him closely. He was staring out at the sea with a look she couldn't identify. "You feel the same, don't you? The things you did to Lois, lying to her, deceiving her and now letting her think you're dead? How do you live with yourself?"
"If I try really, really hard, I may even go two days without thinking about what I did, what I lost, but time won't heal these wounds."
They stood beside each other, but staring out at the sea, both believing that time was their enemy. The only way to go on was to receive the past, all the mistakes they had made, and try to do things differently from now on.
Maybe time wasn't the answer. He turned to her. "Tess …?"
"What is it?" She hadn't moved an inch afraid to look at him for fear her hopeful expression would be obvious to him.
"Why do you think we both ended up here at the same time, and on this same beach? What do you think it means?"
She shook her head. "I don't know." She turned to him. "What do you think it means?" She could not help how encouraging her voice sounded to her own ears.
Heart pounding, he stared at her. "I have no idea." He reached for her hand and she did not turn away. "Walk with me?"
Both breathing a little easier, they walked up to her house, each not saying anything, each afraid they would speak the wrong thing. Letting go of her hand, he watched as she climbed the walkway and stood on the veranda.
"Will I see you tomorrow, same time same place?" Oliver asked.
She had to smile. "Same time, same place."
A week later, while having dinner at her place:
It was their first dinner alone and not at a restaurant. Normally, they would eat at a secluded place. Their faces have not appeared in the newspapers for a while now, and they felt it would probably be alright if they went out to dinner. But this night would be different.
Oliver was so happy to rebuild their relationship. He wanted that more than anything. Thinking back to when he had married Lois, Tess was at the wedding, and standing there committing his heart and soul to one woman, while his true identity was standing in front of someone else. At that moment, he felt that his life was over and there was nothing left for him except more lies and deceit.
"What are you thinking?" Tess asked when he was so quiet.
"About you and I and how things got so messed up between us. First me marrying Lois and you tied to a man who neither cared for you nor needed you."
She looked down at her food. "I know you're right. You and I were always at different points that never seemed to satisfy … until now." She glanced at him after that last part.
He reached across the table, his hand open for her. She took it.
"We can't let this opportunity go by, Tess. We are not fools, but we would be if we let this slip away."
"I know that, Oliver, but so much has happened and …" She hesitated.
He stood up and came over to her. "No buts, Tess." He took her hand again then she stood up. "You want me, and I want you. I don't think we can deny the past and how we feel." His eyes roamed over her face. "It hurts to look at you."
Eyes watering at those words, she pulled her to him holding him close. They stood that way for several long moments, each needing this so badly, it felt like torture. They were the same, each afraid to take this chance, but also sad that they may mess this up too. You only have so many chances.
She pulled away, each with a small smile. "Well?"
"Well, what?" He asked smiling.
"Do you want to stay tonight?" She asked and waited.
"You're joking right?" He picked her up and took her to bed. He leaned over her and then he kissed her over and over again. She returned his kisses with equal intensity. As his kisses rained down her throat, she whispered, "I don't have to go into work until tomorrow afternoon."
He pulled away. "Well, considering I'm a beach bum, I like that idea."
He returned to her throat. She closed her eyes enjoying his kisses. "Speaking of which, are you going to get a job? It's been months since you died."
"I don't know, Tess. I had to change my name and …" He replied between kisses.
She pulled his head up. "Really, what's your new name?"
He lowered his eyes. "You won't like it."
"What is it?"
"Francis ... King," he finally replied.
She could not believe it then she started to laugh. "Francis ... King? Really?" She laughed some more.
"You find that funny?" Her laughter was compelling then he couldn't keep it in. He started to laugh. They both had tears in their eyes. After a few minutes, both chuckling and smiling, they lay face to face.
"Oh, Oliver, I cannot remember the last time I laughed like that." She sobered suddenly. She touched his cheek. "Thank you."
"You're very welcome. Now where were we?" He smiled then leaned over and kissed her deeply. She raised her arms around his shoulders and pulled him closer. His kisses became more intense and soon they were both naked and clutching each other close as if it wasn't really happening, but a dream where they would wake up and return to the pain and uncertainty of their past lives, but this was not a dream.
"Oh, Oliver," she whispered between pants and moans. His kisses were all over her body, down her arms, over her chest, down her thighs and ultimately, between her legs.
"You taste like the sea, so warm, sweet and so soft," he whispered in her ear. Tess was so turned on she could barely catch her breath. His fingers touched her there and she rose up, her bosom fair to bursting with feelings. His fingers slipped inside her heat while his tongue and lips worked their magic on her breasts. Her chest rose up asking for more, and he happily obliged.
"Oh, yes," she panted. His mouth returned to hers as their kisses became even more serious, and she moaned into his mouth. Oliver shifted on top of her without breaking their kiss and then he was inside her, and they both gasped when he filled her. He cupped the back of her head holding her there as he took her lips in one serious kiss after another. She followed him stroke for stroke both needing this closeness like never before.
Tess rocked against him, felt her body tense and the contractions beginning from within. She was moaning, shivering in his arms as she came around him. Seconds later, his climax rushed to meet him. He collapsed on top of her, his breath coming in short gasps. After a moment, he rolled to his back taking her with him. He pulled her close to his side, kissed her temple, and stroked her hair and arms.
Then regret filled her soul. She couldn't help it then she burst into tears.
He leaned up on his elbow to see her face. "Tess, what is it, what's wrong?" She was still. "Tell me, please."
Taking a deep breath to compose herself, she whispered, "We don't deserve this, Oliver, we just don't." She wiped her eyes with back of her hand.
Oliver did not believe that and then he was angry. He took her hand firming inside his own. "Don't ever think that, Tess. Everyone deserves forgiveness. Neither of us is perfect. Yes, we both made mistakes, but we deserve this. Everyone deserves some measure of happiness." He paused as she watched him. She didn't believe him. He decided to tell her the truth, the one fact that may convince her that everything that happened before did not matter. This was their time.
"I miss you in my life Tess. I've known that for a long time … a long time." Oliver knew she would know exactly what he meant.
She gasped as she stared at him, then she shook her head. "Oliver, what are you saying?"
"I'm saying that in spite of everything that happened between you and me, I want us to be together. God knows I should have told you long before this."
"Why didn't you tell me? Everything … everything could have been so different." She touched his cheek.
"I know, but we can't change the past. No more looking back, Tess. Only look forward. We won't survive if we don't do that." He smoothed her hair away from her face. "We can make this work." He paused. "I want this more than anything else in this world." He paused again as he stared into her eyes. "Well?" He smiled when he saw her reaction to those words.
"Yes, Oliver, I want that too." She smiled.
He pulled her closer, foreheads touching. "One more thing, if you ever call me Francis, it's over, got it?"
She chuckled. "Got it!"
He kissed her deeply, then she kissed him back.
Song Inspiration: Reckless Love, Alicia Keys.
A/N: After the first story ended, I wanted this for Tess. Ms. Paradise convinced me to write it. Thank you, hon. I hope you enjoyed this. Yes, Tess did some bad things, but love can convince you to do things you regret. As far as Earth-2 is concerned, I cannot tell you how much I loathed what they did to them in both universes. *growls at DC/WB* I hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading. Reviews are love, everyone! :D