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One year later...
To say that Robert and Laura Queen had not been extremely keen on the idea of sending Clark and Oliver off to Excelsior Academy would be the understatement of the century. Part of it was, of course, because they loved the boys like crazy and didn't want to be away from them. Their other worry though was that someone would find out about Clark's abilities and that would lead to questions that they didn't want to answer. In fact, Laura had once commented to Genevieve Teague that she'd only considered sending Clark and Oliver to boarding school once in a blue moon and that she'd basically decided not to.
However, Robert and Laura also realized that they really didn't have as much time to spend with the boys as they would have liked. Robert was often very busy at Queen Industries, working late several nights a week. Laura was also busy running the Queen Foundation and she and Robert often had to attend various charity balls which Clark and Oliver were too young to attend. So, while they weren't very keen on sending them away, they also realized that pretty much the only time they spent with them was on the weekends anyway – and them being at Excelsior wouldn't change that, as parents were allowed to come and visit their children on the weekends.
They, of course, wanted their sons to have a good education and Robert knew from firsthand experience, as he was an alumnus, that Excelsior Academy would give them that. Most of Clark and Oliver's friends – the boys anyway – had been enrolled at Excelsior as well, so, even though it meant moving to Metropolis, Kansas, they both wanted to go so that they could be with their friends. So, it was with heavy hearts that Robert and Laura packed their sons up on the 31st of August 1989 and flew with them to Metropolis to get them settled at Excelsior. Laura Queen had not missed the irony of her past statement to Genevieve Teague about sending Clark and Oliver to boarding school - as the night of the 31st would be August's second full moon, which many people referred to as a blue moon.
Having attended private school all their lives, Clark and Oliver had no problems having to wear a school uniform, although Excelsior's uniform was certainly more upscale then what they were used to. In Star City, the school uniform they had to wear consisted of white polo shirts trimmed in black and khaki slacks. So, wearing the black dress pants, white shirts, ties, and black jackets with the Excelsior logo stitched on it was different, but, growing up wealthy, Clark and Oliver were used to dressing up and didn't mind doing it as much as most other nine-year-old boys.
Despite their sons now attending boarding school, it's not like Robert and Laura never saw them, because they visited every weekend. It was on their usual weekend visit on Saturday, October 7, 1989 that Robert and Laura decided to break the news to their sons.
"Boys," Robert said, as the four of them walked through one of the parks in Metropolis, eating ice cream cones, "your mother and I will not be able to make it for a visit next weekend and will probably miss the following Saturday, as well, but we'll try to be here on Sunday."
"Why?" Clark asked as he wiped a small amount of chocolate ice cream off his chin with a napkin.
"We've decided to go on a second honeymoon," Laura said.
"Honeymoon?" Oliver asked, as he licked his own chocolate cone. "Isn't that the trip that newly married couples take? Didn't you and mom already take one?"
"Yes, Ollie, it is and we did," Robert answered. "However, some couples choose to take a second honeymoon and your mother and I have decided that we need one. So, we're going to Tahiti for a week. We're flying out next Saturday – October 14th, and returning on the 21st."
"So, we'll try to come on the 22nd for a visit," Laura said, "and tell you all about our trip. If we enjoy it, then perhaps we'll take you with us next time - perhaps over your spring break from Excelsior next year."
"I wish we could go now," Clark said as he bit into his cone.
Laura smiled, after finishing her strawberry cone, and said, "I know, Clark, but honeymoons are for married couples. Besides, you and Ollie have school, so, we can't take you with us."
"I know," Clark said a bit dejectedly. "Well, have fun and bring lots of pictures."
"And presents, don't forget presents," Oliver added.
Robert and Laura laughed and the rest of the weekend was spent laughing and having more fun then was normal on their weekend visits, as Robert and Laura wanted to make up for the following weekend when they wouldn't be with their sons. If only the Queen family realized that this would be the last weekend they'd spend together, before tragedy.
Monday, October 16, 1989 began like any other day for Clark and Oliver at Excelsior. Waking up at seven a.m., they got dressed and headed downstairs to the main dining room for breakfast. They quickly met up with their small group of friends and began scanning the dining room for a table. Clark and Oliver's best friends were four in number, consisting of Clark's roommate Geoffrey Walsh, Oliver's roommate Alden Kensington, childhood friend Jason Teague, and Jason's roommate Andrew Sterling. The six of them were the undisputed masters of their year, as the six of them represented over half the money and power belonging to the students their age currently enrolled at Excelsior.
Scanning the dining room, Clark grinned and nudged Oliver, pointing his head toward a largely unoccupied table with space for seven people. The six of them walked over and set their trays down, as Clark pulled one of the two occupants already at the table to his feet and said, "Time to vacate, baldie."
"I was here first, Clark," Lex Luthor said.
"That's Mr. Queen to you," Clark said. "And I don't really care – you're finished."
"No I'm not," Lex protested, motioning towards his half-eaten breakfast, which consisted of toast, scrambled eggs, a few strips of bacon, and a banana.
"Yes you are," Jason Teague said as he grabbed the hat off Lex's head, dumped his eggs into it, along with his bacon, and then put it back on Lex's bald head, while Geoffrey placed Lex's toast, which was covered in butter and strawberry jam, in the pocket of his Excelsior jacket. Grabbing the banana, Oliver peeled it and claimed it for himself – disposing of the peel by placing it on top of Lex's hat.
Several other kids at nearby tables were laughing at this point as Lex fumed. "Come on, Lucas," he said to his eight-year-old half-brother, who normally would have been too young to attend Excelsior, as fourth grade was the lowest grade taught by the junior school, but was smart enough to be skipped ahead, so he was in the same grade as Lex, Oliver, and the others despite being a year younger.
"Luke can stay," Alden said. "It's just bald freaks that aren't welcome."
Since Lucas made no move to get up from the table, Lex stalked off, swearing to get back at the Queens and their friends. He'd also have to get back at Lucas for just sitting there and not doing anything. Of course, to be honest, Lex wasn't all that surprised, because he and Lucas had never been very close. After all, Lucas wouldn't exist if it wasn't for the fact that their damn father had been cheating on Lex's mother.
Later that day, Clark and Oliver were in math class taking a pop quiz the teacher had sprung on them, when the phone rang. Answering it, the teacher said to whoever was on the line that he was giving his class a quiz and that now wasn't the best time for any of his students to leave, but that apparently made no difference to the person on the other end. Sighing, the teacher hung up the phone and said, "Clark and Oliver Queen – the Headmaster wants you to report to his office immediately. You can finish your quizzes tomorrow."
Looking at each other briefly, Clark and Oliver shrugged and stood up, as they collected their belongings and headed out of the classroom, after their teacher handed them a hall pass.
"You think Lex tattled about this morning?" Oliver asked.
"Nah – Luthor doesn't have the guts," Clark answered.
"So, what do you think it's about?"
"No idea, Ollie," Clark replied truthfully. He honestly didn't have any idea. Despite the fact that both he and Oliver had established themselves as bullies – almost exclusively to Lex – they'd never been called into the headmaster's office before. Of course, they'd only been at Excelsior for about a month and a half, so the headmaster probably had more important things to deal with than a pair of nine-year-olds who enjoyed tormenting their bald classmate.
Arriving at the Headmaster's office, Clark knocked on the door, and the two of them waited for a moment before a voice from inside called, "Enter!"
Turning the knob, Oliver went first, followed by Clark. The office was paneled in rich mahogany, with a matching floor, covered by a large round throw rug depicting Excelsior's seal. Headmaster Terrence Reynolds sat behind a large mahogany desk in the center of the room. He was a rather imposing looking black man with a stern look on his face. Clark and Oliver had never met him before now, which was probably part of the reason why they couldn't help but feel rather intimidated by the man. That and they were slightly worried about the reason they had been so abruptly called into the Headmaster's office, as members of the junior school rarely saw the Headmaster, as he was too busy running the school to attend to the younger students – that was usually the Deputy Headmaster's job.
"Oliver and Clark Queen, I presume?" the man asked as Oliver and Clark nodded.
Almost immediately the stern look on the Headmaster's face softened as he motioned for them to sit down in the pair of leather wingback chairs in front of his desk. Once Clark and Oliver were seated, Mr. Reynolds remained quiet and just looked at the two young boys sitting in front of him for a moment. He most definitely would not enjoy this.
"I've never had this kind of meeting with a student before and I honestly hope I never have to again."
"What do you mean, Mr. Reynolds?" Oliver asked.
"I got a call today from one of your guardians on record," Mr. Reynolds said. "A Mrs. Moira Sullivan?"
"Yes, she's our cook," Clark said. "Her husband is the butler."
Gabe and Moira Sullivan agreed to move to Metropolis when Oliver and Clark were enrolled at Excelsior Academy, as school policy required that all students have a local guardian on record that could be called in case of an emergency. Robert and Laura both had commitments in Star City that prevented them from moving to Metropolis, so Gabe and Moira agreed to move with their daughter, Chloe, and serve as Clark and Oliver's in loco parentis guardians.
Mr. Reynolds nodded. "There's really no easy way to say this. Your parents are missing and presumed dead."
After several moments of silence, Clark said, "No, there must be a mistake. Mom and Dad left two days ago for their second honeymoon in Tahiti."
"I'm afraid there's no mistake," a new voice, female, said. Turning around, Clark and Oliver saw Moira Sullivan standing in the doorway. Entering the room and closing the door behind her, she said, "The Queen jet disappeared from radar about a hundred miles from Tahiti. There was a very bad storm over the Pacific where it disappeared and I'm afraid the jet most likely crashed."
"Well, send out a search party!" Oliver exclaimed.
"A search was launched almost immediately," Moira said. "All that's been found thus far is the tail of the jet, which washed ashore on Tahiti. There was no sign of the rest of the plane or your parents."
"Well, they could still be alive then," Clark said. "They can't be dead! They can't be!"
Oliver was shaking his head in agreement, refusing to let go of hope. His parents couldn't be dead – he wouldn't believe it.
Looking back towards Headmaster Reynolds, Clark's eyes fell upon a small table behind his desk, where there was a newspaper visible. It was partially covered, but Clark could see the letters "QU" and correctly assumed it was about his parents. Standing and rounding the Headmaster's desk, Clark grabbed the paper, a copy of the day's Daily Planet, and began reading the article.
QUEEN INDUSTRIES CEO MISSING, PRESUMED DEAD
Reported by Pauline Kahn, Staff Reporter
The booming Star City-based Queen Industries confirmed earlier today that their Chief Executive Officer, Robert Jonas Queen, who is also the Founder and Majority Shareholder of the company, is missing and is presumed to be dead. Robert Queen departed Star City with his wife of twelve years, Laura Anne Walsh Queen, who serves as the Executive Director of the charitable Queen Foundation, two days ago aboard the Queen Industries corporate jet. Daniel McLaughlin, spokesperson for Queen Industries, has said that the couple was on their way to Tahiti for their second honeymoon when the jet was apparently caught in a storm a hundred miles off the coast of Tahiti and disappeared from radar.
A massive search was immediately organized, however, after two days of searching, the only thing found thus far is the tail of the Queen Industries jet, and there has been no sign of any other wreckage or the bodies of the crew and passengers. A representative of the United States Coast Guard has said that at this point, unless they managed to make it to land, the chances of them being found alive are basically non-existent.
Clark couldn't continue reading. Dropping the paper and making a beeline for the door, he left the room before Moira could stop him and super-sped away. After finding out that the only parents he'd ever known could be dead, the last thing on Clark's mind was keeping his abilities a secret, but, thankfully the hallway was deserted and nobody saw him running away.
Headmaster Reynolds gave Oliver permission to sleep in Clark's room for the next several nights, saying that Geoffrey could sleep with Alden in Oliver's room temporarily, as he felt that it was important the two boys be there for each other in this trying time. He also said that he would inform their teachers that they would not be in class for a few days and to let them make up their assignments. Despite the fact that he wanted to break down and cry his eyes out, Oliver thanked the Headmaster, before leaving the office, without a word to Moira.
A week later, any hope that Clark and Oliver Queen had been clinging to that their parents were still alive had disappeared and they'd come to face the inevitable conclusion that they were all the other had left. They had spent several hours locked away in Clark's room at Excelsior, crying their eyes out until they both ran out of tears.
Gabe and Moira Sullivan had tried to convince Clark and Oliver that a memorial service should be planned, but they wanted no part in it. Of course, who could really blame them? What nine-year-old would want to think about having to plan their parents' funeral anyway?
Clark and Oliver numbly sat through the reading of the wills, which left ten percent of the monetary assets to the Queen Foundation, with everything else being split equally between Clark and Oliver. Even with the money being held in trust until they reached the age of twenty-one, Clark and Oliver were now, hands down, the richest students at Excelsior, as most of their classmates, while coming from wealthy families, did not have extensive assets of their own.
However, with the deaths of their parents, their assets now belonged to Clark and Oliver, leaving them each with seven-and-a-half billion dollars in the bank, and that didn't include the numerous real estate properties and other holdings all over the world or the value of the Queen Industries stock that they each now owned in equal fifty percent shares. Tallying everything together, Clark and Oliver's combined net worth was estimated at nearly thirty-seven-and-a-half billion dollars – which they both agreed they'd give up in a heartbeat if it'd bring their parents back.
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