Clark/Chloe, Clark/Lois (Chlark wins in the end), Oliver/Lois
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
Read Chapter 2 here.
Read the story from the beginning here.
He'd made a quick phone call, then zoomed off to the Talon. He'd arrived here ten minutes ago. But now he stood outside, paralyzed with fear.
He studied the building, the lower floor of which was a coffee shop. A Christmas tree glistened in the window, and blinking lights outlined all the windows. A light dusting of snow fell gently through the air, beginning to accumulate here and there.
It looked merry and bright, just like the old song said. But he didn't feel merry. He felt scared to death.
It was strange, because it hadn't been hard to ask Lois out. He remembered thinking it felt easy.
But now he was beginning to realize it had been easy because she hadn't meant that much to him, romantically speaking.
Chloe, on the other hand... well, he knew she'd loved Jimmy, and that it was really too soon to be approaching her, and that she'd never really felt that way about him...
Excuses, he told himself grimly. Grow a pair, get in there, and tell her how you feel.
He thought about the future Lois had seen. Himself, broken and despairing, taking cold comfort in another woman's arms, all because he'd lost Chloe.
Maybe there was another reason, but he didn't think so. He could all too easily imagine himself heading down a long, dark road without her to keep him in the light. He'd thought he'd lost her three times, and every single time he'd felt something wither and die inside him.
He couldn't live through losing her again. He just couldn't.
He couldn't live without her.
He squared his shoulders, and strode into the building.
There had been a time when he'd just blown into her apartment, but somehow that had changed. Conscious of a new barrier between them, he'd begun knocking. He knocked now, and waited.
When she opened the door, soft Christmas music poured out into the hall. "White Christmas," he thought it was. By Bing Crosby, or one of those old guys. He remembered the snow slowly drifting down outside, and smiled to himself.
"Hey," she said, leaning a shoulder on the doorjamb and conspicuously failing to invite him in. "Lois said she was sending over a gift. I guess you're her messenger, huh?"
He looked down at her tousled blonde hair. Affection and regret gripped him. Affection, because he'd always been fond of her-- hell, on some level he knew he'd always loved her-- and regret, because he didn't quite know how they'd gotten to this point, a point where he was no longer welcome to blast right into her apartment. A point where she didn't even invite him in.
How did this happen? How did things get so screwed up between us?
"No," he said at last. "I'm not the messenger. I'm the gift."
It sucked to be alone this close to Christmas.
Lois sighed, and downed the last of her peppermint schnapps. There was a nice comfortble warmth in the pit of her stomach, thanks to the alcohol, but her chest was still ice cold.
She hated being alone. She'd always hated being alone.
It occurred to her that maybe she'd been using Clark as much as he'd been using her, that he'd simply been a way to keep the loneliness at bay. Not that she hadn't liked him, because she had. She really had. Clark was a terrific guy. But he wasn't... well...
She sighed, and looked at the empty glass, wondering if she should order more peppermint schnapps. Or maybe something a little stronger.
She looked up from the glass, and saw a tall, lean blond man walking toward her. Her heart turned over.
Strange. She'd thought her heart was dead. But at the sight of him, suddenly she knew it had just been in hibernation.
And as he got closer, it woke up fully, and began doing the cha-cha in her chest.
"Ollie," she said, very softly.
"Hey." He dropped down in the chair opposite her. "Clark called me and told me to meet you here."
"He did?" She blinked. "Why?"
"I don't know." He shrugged. "I guess he thought we needed to talk."
"Yes," she said, and smiled a little. "I think we do."
Read Chapter 4 here.