|The Christmas Gift|
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Sequel to The Christmas Wish. Clark and Oliver have been together for nearly a year now. Oliver has given Clark everything he's always wanted and then some. Now Clark wants to give Oliver something truly spectacular for Christmas, but what do you get for a multi-billionaire who seems to have everything? Jor-El just may have an idea...
Nearly one year. That's how long it had now been since Clark Kent had stood alone in the loft of the Kent Farm, in his underwear, and made a wish. A wish that he would find someone to love forever and never be alone again. When he'd made the wish, he'd thought it was just a silly fantasy and that it wouldn't come true. Only a few short hours later, however, he learned that perhaps wishes made upon a star at Christmas time weren't a silly fantasy, after all.
His friend, Oliver Queen, had shown up out of the blue at the farm. To this day, Oliver really couldn't explain even to himself why he'd decided to visit that day. He'd just been overcome with an overwhelming feeling that it was where he should be, so he went. He certainly doesn't regret it, because that feeling was responsible for his getting together with Clark and the fulfillment of Clark's Christmas wish.
They woke up around noon on Christmas Day, lying on the couch, wrapped up in each other's arms and a blanket they were sure had not been there the night before when they fell asleep. They kissed before getting up, so happy to be together that all they could do was laugh when the skin of their stomachs peeled apart from the dried come that had pooled between them following their first time together as more than friends.
Wrapping themselves in the blanket, Clark supersped into the house, the blond in his arms, where they took a long, hot shower together. Afterwards, they got dressed, with Oliver borrowing some of Clark's clothes, since his were lying in a pile on the floor of the loft and neither felt like going out to retrieve them.
Going downstairs, the first thing they smelled was food cooking and Clark's whole face lit up as he entered the kitchen and exclaimed, "Mom!"
"Merry Christmas, Clark," Martha said with a smile, as she turned off the heat under the pan of scrambled eggs she was making. She was the one who had tucked Clark and Oliver in with the blanket, after she'd gotten home in the early morning hours. "And Merry Christmas, to you too, Oliver."
"Merry Christmas, Mrs. Kent," Oliver said with a smile.
"Now, now, none of that," Martha said as she fixed the blond with a serious look. "You're standing there wearing my son's clothes. I also know perfectly well what you boys got up to last night, seeing as how you were both stark naked when I tucked you in early this morning. So you'll call me Martha or Mom from now on. Is that clear?"
Both Clark and Oliver blushed redder than the matching red t-shirts they were wearing and nodded their heads.
After a moment, Clark found his voice and asked, "So, you're not mad?"
Martha gave her son a look that clearly said, ‘What am I going to do with you, you silly boy,' before she said, "No, Clark, I am not mad. It's about time you and Oliver finally got together."
"What do you mean about time?" Oliver asked.
"Call it mother's intuition," Martha said. "I just knew from the first time I saw you two together that you were destined to be together." Then affixing Clark with a serious look, she said, "And Clark, you had better not let go of this young man, ever, or I will never bake you another pie as long as I live."
Clark's eyes got almost as big as saucers at the threat of no more of his mom's pie ever again, before he grinned and wrapped his arms around Oliver and said, "Yes, ma'am."
"Clark, just so we're clear," Oliver said, a grin on his face, "your Mom's threat of no more pie isn't the only reason you're with me, is it?"
"No, Ollie, it isn't," Clark said, as he tightened his hold on the blond and kissed him on the cheek. "I'm with you because I really like you. Mom's threat of no more pie just means that if you think for even a second that you're ever getting rid of me, you are sadly mistaken."
Oliver nodded. "Okay, just making sure. I really like you too, Clark, and super powers or not, you're never getting rid of me."
Martha just shook her head, an amused smile on her face, as she set two plates on the kitchen island and said, "If you boys are quite finished, why don't you eat your breakfasts before they get cold."
"Yes, ma'am," Clark and Oliver said in unison, as they sat down and dug into one of Martha Kent's fabulous home-cooked breakfasts.
Ten days. That's how many days were left until Christmas and how many days were left before Clark and Oliver's one-year anniversary. Over the past several months, the blond had given him everything he wanted and more. And now, while Oliver would say it was unnecessary because just being with Clark was all the gift he needed, the brunet wanted to give something extra special to his blond boyfriend. The only problem was figuring out what exactly to give him, because as a billionaire several times over, Oliver pretty much already had everything a man could possibly want and then some.
He was just about to brave the crowds at the mall to try and find the perfect gift when he got the summons from his father. Sighing and figuring that his shopping would have to wait, he supersped home to the farm, grabbed the key, and went the Kawatche Caves, headed for the Arctic.
"Hello my son," Jor-El's booming voice said, as Clark entered the Fortress of Solitude.
"Hello father," Clark said. "You summoned me?"
"Yes, Kal-El," Jor-El said. "I know you've been trying to figure out what to get for your mate for the upcoming holiday and I think I have an idea for a gift that will make him happier than any gift he's ever gotten before."
"Well that would be great," Clark said. "What's your idea?"
"As you know, son, I've often shown an omniscience where you are concerned," Jor-El stated and Clark nodded. He was pretty much used to it by now, but he still sometimes found it to be rather freaky, because in the back of his mind, he couldn't help but wonder if his father's omniscience meant that Jor-El knew every time he had sex with Oliver. The thought of his father watching them doing it, well, Clark didn't like to think about that.
Jor-El, picking up on the worry in his son's mind, said, "No, Kal-El, I do not watch you having sex with Oliver. Some things are meant to be private between mates and that is one of them."
"Thank heavens," Clark muttered.
"Anyway, as I was saying," Jor-El said, "you know that I'm omniscient where you're concerned. What you don't know is that Lara and I knew that your soul mate was on Earth, which was why we sent you here, but we didn't know who it was. In the time you've been with Oliver Queen, I've begun to have flashes of omniscience where he's concerned, which means that he is your soul mate."
"Well, I do love him with all my heart," Clark said. "So, you're omniscient where he's concerned now?"
"Yes," Jor-El answered. "When I created the artificial intelligence version of myself as a guide for you, I programmed it so that I would gain omniscience into your soul mate's life so that I would be able to better protect and guide not only you, but your mate as well."
"So what's this great idea for a gift for Oliver?"
"Kal-El, in gaining omniscience to Oliver's life," Jor-El said, "I've learned that the one thing he yearns for most is for a family. As you know, he believes himself to be an orphan."
"Yeah, Ollie is an or…" Clark said, but then stopped as his mind processed exactly what it was that Jor-El had just said. "What do you mean he believes himself to be an orphan? Oliver is an orphan – his parents have been dead for nineteen years."
"I realize that is what you both think," Jor-El said. "However, it isn't true."
"What?" Clark asked. "Jor-El, what are you talking about? Robert and Laura Queen died on October 14, 1989 when the jet they were on crashed, after it was sabotaged by Lionel Luthor. Oliver was later stranded on the same island the jet crashed on and found their bodies among the wreckage."
"No, Kal-El," Jor-El said. "The bodies that Oliver found were not of Robert and Laura Queen. They were of the pilot and flight attendant. They both survived the crash, but their clothes were badly damaged and so, they changed into the only undamaged clothes they could find – clothes contained in Robert and Laura's luggage. However, while they did survive the crash, they both suffered internal injuries, which killed them two days later."
"But they were also wearing Oliver's parents' wedding rings," Clark said. "Oliver told me he took the rings off of their fingers and to this day he wears them on a chain around his neck."
"Kal-El," Jor-El said, "Robert and Laura Queen had flown in that jet hundreds of times and never had any problems, so they didn't expect any problems that day either. The jet was equipped with a bedroom in the back and as they were still a few hours away from their destination, they decided to take a nap. Laura always liked to look her best, however, so both her and Robert had gotten into the habit of removing their wedding rings and soaking them in ring cleaner whenever they were sleeping. Anyway, when they woke and realized what was happening, they managed to parachute out, not grabbing their rings in their haste to get off the plane. The pilot and flight attendant had been dating and knowing that they were dying, they exchanged vows, using Robert and Laura's rings, which they had found among the wreckage."
"I don't understand," Clark said. "Are you saying that Robert and Laura Queen did not die all those years ago? If they didn't die, then where have they been?"
"They landed in the ocean near another uninhabited island in the South Pacific," Jor-El explained. "This island is about five miles away from where the jet finally made landfall. So, yes, my son, Oliver's parents are still alive, they've just been stranded on an island that is far enough off any shipping lanes that they've never been found."
"So, Robert and Laura Queen are alive," Clark said. "So, when you said that I could give Oliver a gift that he'd appreciate more than any other gift he'd ever gotten, you meant that I could give him his parents back?"
"Precisely, my son," Jor-El said, as a small storm of snowflakes appeared and coalesced together to form a map of the South Pacific and Jor-El continued, "This is where they are, Kal-El. As you can see, the nearest shipping lane is seven miles from their location. They did try for a few weeks to attract attention with smoke signals, but not wanting to burn down every tree on the island to feed the fire, they eventually stopped."
"Can I have a copy of this map and the coordinates?" Clark asked.
"Of course, Kal-El," Jor-El said, as the map glowed bright for a moment, quickly being replaced by a paper map, with the coordinates of the island written on the map.
Grabbing the map, Clark said, "Thank you, Jor-El. You're the best."
"You're welcome, my son," Jor-El said, as Clark sped out of the Fortress.
An hour later, Clark stood in the kitchen of the Kent Farm, with his mom, A.C. and Bart, having just filled them in on what Jor-El had told him.
"Robin Hood's parents are still alive?" Bart asked, clearly shocked.
"According to Jor-El, yes," Clark said. "He's omniscient where I'm concerned and he says that since we started dating he's become omniscient about Oliver as well, so, I'm willing to believe him."
"Wow," A.C. said. "If this is true, Jor-El wasn't kidding when he said that you could give Ollie the best gift ever. Having his parents back would be like a dream come true for him."
"You're going to go rescue them aren't you, Clark?" Martha asked.
"How can I not?" Clark asked. "I mean, they're Ollie's parents. He loves them and he misses them so much. I'm certainly not going to just leave them on the island they've been stranded on for almost two decades."
Martha nodded. "I know, Clark, I know. I'm proud of you."
"Thanks, Mom," Clark said. "So, A.C., Bart, feel like helping me? They're on an island so I can't run there. I'd charter a boat, but I'd like this to be a surprise for Ollie and there's no way I could charter a boat and disappear for days without making him worry."
"No worries, mi amigo," Bart said. "Between Fishboy's swimming and my being able to run over water, we can have you to that island, pick up Robin Hood's parents, and be back here by sunset. Right Fishstick?"
Ignoring the younger man's nicknames for him, which he was used to by now since several of the other members of the Justice League insisted on calling him those names, A.C. said, "Yeah, Clark. It's not a problem at all."
"Thanks guys, I knew I could count on you," Clark said. "Shall we go?"
Before Martha could even so much as blink, she was alone in her kitchen. If she wasn't already used to it, she probably would have screamed or fainted or something. Instead, she just shook her head and began to prepare dinner, glad that she'd bought enough to feed a small country when she was at the market earlier, because now she'd have two more mouths to feed, along with Bart's abnormally large appetite.
About twenty minutes after leaving the Kent Farm, Clark, A.C., and Bart stood on a secluded and deserted beach in Southern California. It wouldn't have taken nearly that long, except that they'd stopped at a sporting goods store in Colorado and bought a large inflatable raft and a length of rope. Inflating the raft, they tied one end of the rope to the raft and then A.C. tied the other end around his waist, thus allowing him to pull the raft. The plan was for Clark to ride in the raft to the island and then the Queens could ride back with Clark.
Clark grinned, as he pushed the raft out into the water, "You're certainly a unique looking outboard motor, A.C."
"Thanks, Clark, I think," A.C. said, as he removed his orange shirt and tossed it into the raft. Standing knee deep in the waves, A.C. asked, "We ready to go?"
"Yeah, let's go," Bart said, as he turned his head and grinned over his shoulder, saying, "See you there," before he took off running.
A few seconds later, A.C., Clark and the raft sped out into the ocean after Bart.
Unsurprisingly, given the speeds that both Bart and A.C. are capable of, the three men arrived at the coordinates given to them by Jor-El in about twenty seconds. Arriving on the beach, A.C. said, "So, where are they?"
Concentrating on the dense foliage that began about twenty yards from their current position on the beach, Clark used his x-ray vision to look deeper into the trees. "There's a group of makeshift huts in that direction," Clark said, as he pointed with his hand.
"Well, let's go," Bart said.
"A.C. you stay with the raft," Clark said, holding tightly onto Bart's arm to make sure the younger man didn't supersped off alone. "Make sure it doesn't go anywhere."
A.C. nodded. "Okay, Clark. I'd tell you to be careful, but it seems kind of silly. So, keep Impulse out of trouble, okay?"
"Who? Me?" Bart asked, as A.C. and Clark just shared a knowing grin, before Clark and Bart set off towards the trees, at a normal pace.
"I know you probably want to run," Clark said, as he kept a firm hold on the younger man's arm.
"Nah," Bart said, as they entered the forest. "I'm not stupid, you know. There's way too many trees here that I'd have to dodge."
"Not to mention roots to trip over," Clark said, as he righted the young man, who had almost tripped on a root.
"Yeah, those too," Bart said.
Falling into a companionable silence, the two men walked through the dense trees for another twenty minutes before they could see the clearing that Clark had seen the huts in. Approaching the clearing, they could see that there were a total of five huts. Three smaller ones were arranged in a half circle on one side of the clearing, with a large fire pit in the center. The fourth hut, which was the largest, was across from the pit, and the smallest, was set quite a distance away from the others. Judging by it's size and distance from the others, Clark figured it was probably an outhouse.
As they stopped on the edge of the clearing and took a moment to get the lay of it, the door on one of the smaller huts opened and a girl emerged. She was wearing a dress made out of what Clark assumed was cloth from a parachute.
"She looks like a teenager," Clark whispered to Bart.
Bart nodded. "Yeah, no way is that Robin Hood's mom," he said, as he cocked his head and looked at her for a few moments, "though there is a bit of a resemblance to him."
Clark nodded at that, as it was true. The girl had long blond hair that was a shade very similar to Oliver's. The two young men watched for a moment as she knelt in front of the fire pit and began rubbing a stick between her hands, obviously trying to start a fire in the pit.
"Well, we can't stand around here all day," Bart whispered and Clark nodded. He hated to startle the girl, whoever she was, but that was probably inevitable.
Walking out into the clearing, the movement immediately caught the girl's attention and she looked up from her task, Clark and Bart stopped about ten feet away from the girl. After a minute of silence, Clark, not knowing if this girl spoke or understood English, asked, "Can you understand me?"
"Yes," the girl answered.
"Okay," Bart said. "We're looking for a Robert and Laura Queen."
The girl nodded, as she stood up, and then asked, "So, you're here to rescue us?"
"Us?" Clark asked.
"Yes, my brother and me," the girl said. "Robert and Laura Queen are our parents."
Both Clark and Bart's mouths dropped open at that and they looked at each other. "Jor-El certainly never mentioned this," Clark said, at the same time that Bart said, "Robin Hood has siblings?"
Shaking her head in confusion, the girl asked, "Robin Hood? Jor-El?" Before Clark or Bart could comment, however, the girl cocked her head to one side and asked, "Jor-El? Is that any relation to Kal-El?"
If Clark didn't know that Robert and Laura Queen had been members of the Veritas Society, he would have been shocked that this girl who claimed to be their daughter knew his birth name. Instead, he said, "Yes. Jor-El is my father. I'm Kal-El."
Eyes narrowing, the girl said, "Prove it."
At first Clark wasn't sure how to prove it, before a thought came to him and he said, "Okay, stand back from the fire pit."
The girl took a few steps back, before Clark turned his gaze on the fire pit and used his heat vision to start a fire in it. Looking back at the girl, he said, "As I said, my name is Kal-El, I believe your parents would also call me the Traveler. Although, I actually go by Clark Kent."
"And who are you?" the girl asked, looking at Bart. "Are you also from Krypton?"
Bart grinned. "No, I'm human. My name is Bart Allan – I'm a friend of Clark's. We're both friends of your brother."
The girl looked confused for a moment, before realization dawned on her and she asked, "You mean Oliver?"
"Yes," Bart answered. "Oliver Jonas Queen – he's who I meant when I said Robin Hood. It's a nickname that some of his friends call him."
Pulling his wallet out of the pocket of his jeans, Clark opened it and pulled out a pair of snap shots. One of them was of him and Oliver, and the other one was a picture of him with Oliver, Victor, Bart, A.C., Dinah, Bruce, Dick, and Chloe.
Putting his wallet back in his pocket, Clark walked a bit closer and asked, "See?" as he held up the pictures.
Looking at the picture of Clark with Oliver, the girl asked, "That's my brother? Oliver?"
"Yeah, that's him," Clark said. "The other picture is us with a few friends. You've met Bart. The one wearing green and orange is Arthur Curry, but we call him A.C. He's here, too, but he's on the beach with the raft." Pointing to the others in turn, Clark said, "And this is Victor Stone, Dinah Lance, Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, and Chloe Sullivan."
The girl nodded and looked at the group picture for a moment, before her eyes went back to the picture of just Clark and Oliver, which gave a closer view of his face than the other picture, as there weren't as many people in it. "He looks happy. You both do."
"We were very happy when that was taken," Clark said. "We still are, although Oliver is going to be overjoyed when he meets you. He misses his parents terribly."
"If he misses them so much why hasn't he looked for them?" the girl asked.
"Because he thinks they're dead," Bart answered, as he came closer. "He was only nine years old when their jet crashed and while a search was conducted at the time, it's obvious it wasn't thorough enough."
Clark shook his head and said, "No, it was thorough, but from what Oliver told me he later found out the jet was over twenty miles off course. The search was only conducted in a ten mile radius of where the jet was when it disappeared from radar."
"How does he know how far off course it was?" the girl asked. "I'm Elizabeth by the way, but you can call me Liz."
"Well, Liz," Clark said, "after he graduated from Excelsior Academy, Oliver decided to take a gap year before going to college. He went sailing on the Queen yacht, but it was hijacked by pirates and his crew was killed. He only just managed to escape with his life, getting marooned on a deserted island himself for almost three years. The island he ended up on is about five miles from here and is where the wreckage of your parent's jet is."
"Yeah," Bart said, taking over the explanation. "Oliver found a pair of bodies in the wreckage and since they were wearing his parents' wedding rings, he obviously assumed they were his parents' bodies. So, Oliver figured they died in the crash nineteen years ago."
The girl nodded. "So, Oliver thinks Mom and Dad are dead, so, I suppose he doesn't even know that me and Jonathan exist."
"Jonathan?" Clark asked.
"My older brother," Liz said. "He's eighteen. I'm sixteen."
"Ah," Clark said. "My adoptive dad's name was Jonathan Kent. He died a few years ago though."
"My condolences," Liz asked. "So, how old are you two?"
"I'm twenty-two," Clark answered.
"Nineteen," Bart said. "Where is your brother and parents?"
"Mom went down to the spring to get water," Liz replied. "Dad and Jon went fishing. They should be back soon."
As if on cue, at that moment, an older woman appeared. She was unmistakably an older version of Oliver's mother, who both Clark and Bart had seen several times in the picture that Oliver kept on his desk. She had a tree branch spread over her shoulders to form a yoke, which had a large makeshift bucket, presumably full of water, hanging on each side. She was wearing the dress that Clark assumed she was wearing the day of the crash, although it was patched with the same type of cloth that Liz's dress was made out of in several places.
"Mom, somebody came to rescue us," Liz said. "This is Bart Allan and Clark Kent – Oliver's friend and boyfriend, respectively."
Clark's eyes went wide with confusion, as he hadn't told Liz that he was Oliver's boyfriend. Finding his voice, "How did you know that?"
"That you're Oliver's boyfriend?" Liz asked and Clark nodded, causing the younger girl to grin. "It's pretty easy to figure that out, Clark, considering that Oliver's hand is visible in the back pocket of your pants in the picture you showed me. I could write off your arm around his shoulder as a friendly gesture, but his hand in your pants? Not so much."
Looking at the picture, Clark nodded and blushed slightly. He'd completely forgotten where Oliver's hand was in the picture.
Coming closer and setting the buckets of water down, Laura asked, "How is Oliver? Is he okay?"
"He's fine, Mrs. Queen," Bart said with a smile. "Though I imagine he'll be about a hundred times better when he finds out that you and his Dad are still alive – not to mention that he's got a brother and sister."
"How did you find us?" Laura asked.
"Well, Mrs. Queen," Clark said. "As your daughter figured out, I'm Oliver's boyfriend, we've been together for almost a year now, but I'm also the subject of the Veritas Society."
"You're the Traveler?" Laura asked, clearly a bit shocked.
"Yeah," Clark said. "I'm Kal-El of Krypton – although I go by Clark Kent now. My ship crashed in a cornfield in Smallville, Kansas during a meteor shower that hit two days after your plane crashed. I was found and adopted by Jonathan and Martha Kent. They raised me as their son and didn't tell me about my true origins until I was fourteen, despite my various abilities."
"He started that fire with his eyes," Liz said, as she pointed to the fire burning in the fire pit.
"Heat vision is one of my abilities," Clark said. "I also have x-ray vision, invulnerability, and super speed, strength, stamina, dexterity, breath, and hearing. The only Kryptonian ability I've yet to master is flight, although I've done some floating and I can jump really high."
Bart grinned. "Clark may have super speed, but I can run faster than him."
Clark nodded, "Yeah, that's true, Bart is faster than I am. I can run from Metropolis to Brazil in about ten seconds, whereas it takes Bart about half that. Of course, that's probably because he can run fast enough to run over water, whereas I can't."
Bart just grinned and shook his head. "Excuses, excuses. You know the only reason he can't fly is because he's afraid of heights, which makes no sense, if you ask me. He could fall off the peak of Mt. Everest and survive unharmed."
"How did you know about Veritas?" Laura asked.
"I met Dr. Swann a couple of times before he died," Clark answered.
"Virgil is dead?" Laura asked.
"Yes, sadly, he is," Clark said. "Lionel Luthor poisoned him. He also paid someone to tamper with your jet, which is why it crashed."
"I always thought Lionel was ruthless," a male voice said, "but I never pinned him as a murderer."
Turning, two men were visible. One was clearly Robert Queen, as he looked like the man in the picture on Oliver's desk, just older. The other was almost a dead ringer for Oliver, only a bit shorter, younger, and he had his father's darker hair, unlike Oliver and Liz who had obviously taken after their mother. Robert was holding a stick with several freshly-caught fish hanging from it, whereas the boy, who was obviously Jonathan Queen, was carrying a large woven basket full of what looked like coconuts, bananas, and papayas.
"Robert, this is Clark Kent and Bart Allan," Laura said. "They're both friends of Oliver's, although it seems that Clark is also the Traveler and our son's boyfriend."
Placing the stick holding the fish in a holder on the side of one of the huts, Robert walked over and held out his hand to Clark, "A pleasure to meet you, Mr. Kent."
Taking the hand with a smile, Clark said, "It's a pleasure to meet you, too, sir."
"What about the other members of Veritas?" Jonathan, who had heard all about the Traveler and the Society growing up in the form of bedtime stories, which he and Liz were eventually told were true.
"Sadly, they're all dead," Clark said. "As I said, Lionel poisoned Dr. Swann and tried to kill you two with the jet crash. Lionel was later killed by his son, Lex, who pushed him out of the window of the penthouse office at LuthorCorp Plaza in Metropolis. I'm sure you already knew that Thomas and Martha Wayne were dead, since they died in 1986."
"Yes, we knew about them," Laura confirmed. "That was truly a tragedy, they were such good people. What about Bridgette Crosby and the Teagues?"
"Jason Teague killed Bridgette, on his mother's orders," Clark said. "Their plan was to frame Lex for her murder, but it didn't quite work out that way, as Lex had the body moved and secretly buried before the cops could find it. Genevieve was later killed by Lana Lang, who was being possessed at the time by the spirit of one of her ancestors, the Countess Margarite Isobel Thoreaux, who was burned as a witch in 1604, after being accused by one of Genevieve's ancestors, the Duchess Gertrude."
Noticing the looks on their faces, Bart said, "Yeah, I know it sounds crazy, but it's true. I mean, if super-powered aliens are real, what's a little witch?"
"True," Robert said, before he asked, "and Edward Teague?"
"Killed by Brainiac," Clark answered. "Which is short for the Brain InterActive Construct, a Kryptonian artificial intelligence and super-computer created by my father, Jor-El, and Dax-Ur to aid in the war against General Zod, who in turn corrupted Brainiac and used it to help destroy Krypton. Although it was actually my uncle, Zor-El, who destroyed the planet, which is what led to my being sent here to Earth by my parents so that I at least would live.
"Jor-El died when Krypton was destroyed," Clark continued. "However, his memories and consciousness still exist as an artificial intelligence and he told me earlier this morning that another reason for my being sent here to Earth was because he and my mother, Lara-El, knew that my soul mate was on Earth."
"Your soul mate?" Liz asked.
"Yeah," Clark said as he grinned. "Apparently, Oliver is my soul mate – the one person in the entire universe who I'm destined to be with. I didn't know that though until this morning. Jor-El has omniscience where I'm concerned, that is, he knows everything there is to know that involves me in any way. He told me this morning that since Oliver and I began dating almost a year ago, he's started having flashes of omniscience where Oliver is concerned, which is how he knew that you two didn't die in the crash and he told me where to find you. He didn't mention Jonathan and Liz though."
"Can we go now?" Laura asked, as she looked up from the two pictures. "I've waited nineteen years to see Oliver again."
"Is there anything you want to take with you?" Bart asked.
"From this place?" Liz asked. "Are you serious? It's been sufficient while we were stuck here, but, we're rich back home aren't we? I mean, I assume I won't have to make due with clothes made from a parachute?"
Bart smiled. "No, you definitely won't have to do that, Liz. Oliver's net worth is about 37.3 billion dollars. He had more then that, but he signed over 10 billion to Clark a couple months ago, over his objections, and then of course there's Conner's trust, which is another 10 billion."
"Conner?" Robert asked, deciding to ask about the unfamiliar name, rather than express his shock at his son's net worth, which was more than double what Robert had been worth at the time of the crash.
Slapping his hand on his forehead, Clark pulled out his wallet and flipped through it again. He'd grabbed the first picture he could find of him and Oliver, completely forgetting about another picture that he had in his wallet. Finding it, he pulled it out and said, "This is Oliver and me, with Conner Jonas Queen – Ollie's fourteen-year-old son."
"I'm a grandmother?" Laura asked as she took the picture and looked at it. After a moment she looked up and asked, "Wait a minute. Conner is fourteen?"
"Yeah, he is," Bart said.
"But, that would mean that Oliver was only fourteen when he was born," Laura said.
Clark grimaced slightly. Maybe it hadn't been a mistake that he'd originally forgotten to mention Conner. Maybe he was subconsciously trying to delay the revelation that Oliver had lost his virginity as young as he did. "Um, yes, he was only fourteen. Without any parents around, Oliver was something of a wild teenager and a bit of a bully. He regrets it now, but at the time, it was part of his defense mechanism."
"Defense mechanism?" Jon asked.
"For a long time," Clark explained, "Oliver didn't let anyone get too close to him. He had one-night-stands starting when he was fourteen, but he never allowed himself to stay with anyone long enough to develop feelings for them." Looking at Robert and Laura, Clark said, "He didn't want anyone to see that under his tough and cool exterior he was still the scared and lonely nine-year-old who missed his parents like crazy and was afraid that if he allowed himself to love anyone, they'd die and leave him all alone, like he thought you two did."
"Oh my poor baby," Laura said, as tears came to her eyes and Robert pulled her into a hug, looking a bit misty eyed himself.
Jon wrapped an arm around Liz and held her, as he said, "I can't imagine what that must have been like for him. It doesn't seem fair that I've had twice as much time with our parents than Oliver did."
"Well, you have the rest of your lives to make up for it," Bart said. "So, let's get going. A.C. is waiting for us on the beach."
Nobody else said a word, although Clark did grab the basket of fruit and the fish, because it seemed wrong to let the stuff rot on the island. Getting back to the beach, they found A.C. floating on his back near the raft. He was both pleased and shocked to meet the Queen family. He'd prepared himself for meeting Oliver's parents, but a younger brother and sister, too? He definitely hadn't been expecting that.
Once everyone other than Bart was in the raft, Clark said, "I suggest you all hold on tight, because we'll be going very fast."
A.C. nodded and said, "We're over 3,000 miles from Southern California, but it still took us only twenty seconds to get here from there."
"Are you sure you can pull this raft with all of us in it?" Laura asked, noting that A.C. was tied to the raft and assumed, correctly, that he'd be pulling it.
"Yes, Mrs. Queen," A.C. said with a smile. "I can swim extremely fast and when I'm in the water, I also have strength that rivals Clark's."
"And Clark is very strong," Bart said with a grin. "He once threw a three thousand pound farm tractor over his head, where it landed several miles away, or so I'm told."
"Is that true, Clark?" Jon asked, clearly amazed and perhaps even a little scared.
"Yes," Clark answered. "That was not normal though. My powers are generated by Earth's yellow sun and at the time that incident happened, the sun was going through a period of increased solar flares, which alternately made my powers not work at all or work way too well."
"We ready to go?" A.C. asked.
"Looks like it," Bart said. "Last one to Cali is a rotten egg," he added, before he ran off across the ocean, disappearing in the blink of an eye.
"Cheeky little bastard," A.C. said, as he dove into the water and swam after Bart at top speed, pulling the raft with Clark and the Queens in it after him.
Arriving back in Southern California, with A.C. and the raft arriving about one second before Bart, much to his chagrin, it was decided to go to the Queen Mansion in Star City so that the Queens could get cleaned up. Oliver and Conner were in Metropolis at the penthouse, so the Queens would also need some better clothes, because none of them were wearing suitable attire for going to a place where there was snow on the ground. While Clark took them to the mansion, A.C. and Bart headed for the mall to buy clothes for Jon and Liz, as well as some new clothes for Robert and Laura. The two elder Queens already had clothes in the mansion, of course, as Oliver had left their rooms exactly as they left them and thus never emptied their closets, but their clothes would be almost twenty years out of style by now.
As Oliver's boyfriend, Clark knew the staff schedule at the manor, so he knew that there wouldn't be any staff in the house that day. Most of the staff didn't come in at all unless Oliver was actually in residence and the small handful that did come in while he wasn't all had the day off. Still, it never hurt to make sure, so using his x-ray vision, Clark quickly scanned every room in the house and smiled upon seeing that the manor was indeed empty. There were, of course, two rooms in the manor that Clark couldn't see into with his x-ray vision, but he wasn't worried, because the only staff member who knew of the existence of those rooms was in Metropolis.
"This is the house?" Liz asked, after a sharp intake of breath. Her parents had always told her it was big, but having been born and raised on a deserted island, she was understandably having a hard time believing her eyes.
"Yeah, it is," Robert said. "Though it looks bigger than I remember it."
"It is," Clark said. "Bigger, that is. Oliver had two new wings added, after he found an architect and building firm who could perfectly match the additions to the existing structure."
"And he lived here all alone?" Jon asked. "Why would he need all that extra space?"
"He likes to entertain and needed extra bedrooms," Clark said. "Plus, he had a new master suite built because he outgrew his childhood bedroom but couldn't bring himself to use your parents' bedroom, Jon. Anyway, let's go inside."
Pulling the keys from his pocket, Clark unlocked the front door and paused to enter the alarm code. Once the alarm was turned off, Clark stood aside so that the four Queens could enter the house and while Robert and Laura looked around with looks of joy at being home again, Jon and Liz were looking around in total awe, because they'd never seen anything like the mansion before.
The entry hall doubled as a large reception hall and easily had enough space for over a hundred people to mingle and dance. The floor by the front doors was black and white marble, before it dropped down about two steps, where it changed to a dark wood in a herringbone pattern. Three large windows graced the exterior wall, with the middle one being the tallest of the three and featuring a stained glass version of the Queen family coat of arms in the center. A massive stone fireplace, with a hearth that was easily large enough for a grown man to stand up in, graced the far wall of the room and had a large portrait of Robert and Laura hanging above it.
Directly in front of the door, a large wooden staircase led upstairs, with a large stained glass window on the landing which Oliver had told Clark was an authentic Tiffany worth over $100,000.
Looking around the room, Laura said, "It looks almost exactly as I remember it."
"Wait until you see your bedroom," Clark said. "Oliver left it exactly the way you left it. Andrew cleans it once a week, but other than that, it's remained empty ever since you disappeared."
"Well, I for one want to get cleaned up," Robert said. "I haven't had a proper shower in almost twenty years."
"Forget the shower," Laura said. "I'm going to go soak in a hot tub. I can't even begin to tell you how much I've missed the whirlpool tub in our bedroom."
"That does sound nice," Robert admitted. "Mind if I join you, dear?"
"I'd be offended if you didn't," Laura said.
Clark smiled. "You two go ahead. I'll show Jon and Liz to two of the guest rooms for now so that they can get cleaned up. Bart and A.C. should be back with your new wardrobes in an hour or so."
"Was it safe sending two guys to go clothes shopping?" Laura asked. "I have no doubt they could do an adequate job for Robert and Jon, but..."
"Don't worry, Mrs. Queen," Clark said. "Bart was going to run to Metropolis and grab our friend Chloe. She'll make sure that you and Liz have everything you need and that it's the latest fashion."
Laura nodded and smiled, before she said, "You're dating my son, Clark, so call me Laura - or Mom, if you're comfortable with that."
"So, you're okay with Oliver and I being together?" Clark asked.
It was Robert who answered. "I'll admit, I was a bit thrown for a loop when I found out that Oliver was dating a man, but I know I speak for Laura when I say that all we ever wanted was for him to be happy. We don't care that he's gay and dating you, Clark, as long as he's happy."
"Well, he's definitely happy," Clark said. "We both are, although, Oliver isn't gay. Neither am I, actually - we're both bisexual."
"So you like both genders then?" Jon asked. His parents had tried to teach him and his sister as much as they could, but, that was hard without things like textbooks, paper, pencils, or other school supplies. Jon's and Liz's education was thus limited to the basics and what Robert and Laura could remember from their school days. Thus there were plenty of subjects that they only had a vague understanding of. One of those being sexuality. Neither one of them could say with any certainly what their preferences actually were, because other than each other and their parents, there was nobody around to date, so, they never really developed preferences.
"Yes, Jon," Clark answered. "Both Oliver and I have had relationships with women in the past, but, we're together now and he's made me happier than I've ever been."
"So are you and Oliver going to get married?" Liz asked.
"We haven't discussed it," Clark responded. "Although, it would probably only be a commitment ceremony, because same-sex marriage is illegal in most of the country. Only six of the fifty states and the District of Columbia have legalized them. There's also three other states which will recognize same-sex marriages performed by another state, but don't perform them."
"Which states?" Robert asked, genuinely curious.
"They're legal in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont, and California," Clark replied. "New York, Rhode Island and Maryland recognize out-of-state marriages. Oliver was involved quite a bit in the campaign to get it legalized in California and he's now working on a campaign in Kansas. We primarily live in Metropolis since I'm an investigative reporter for the Daily Planet."
"Well, it's a respectable paper, at least," Robert said. He had always been a bit leery about reporters in general, as he'd had more than a few unpleasant encounters with them in the past.
"Yes, it is," Clark agreed. "Well, it wasn't perhaps while Lex Luthor owned it, but Bruce Wayne owns it now and he's a much better boss than Lex ever was. He's also a good friend of Oliver's and mine, so, that makes things even better."
"Well, if Bruce is anything like his parents," Laura said, "then that's likely enough to be true. Anyway, Robert, let's head upstairs and have that bath. I want to get to Metropolis to see Oliver and Conner."
"As do I dear," Robert said, as he wrapped an arm around Laura. The pair of them turned and ascended the staircase and even in their current old and patched attire, Clark couldn't help but think that they looked right going up that staircase together.
Smiling at Liz and Jon, Clark said, "Well, follow me and I'll show you to a pair of the guest rooms. Eventually, you can pick rooms of your own, of course, but for the moment I'm sure you'd both like to get cleaned up and go see your brother and nephew."
"It's strange to think that I have a nephew," Jon said, as he and Liz followed Clark up the stairs. "I knew that I had a brother, but I never thought of Oliver as having kids."
"I did," Liz said. "Though, I was picturing little kids, not one who is only two years younger than me. I think I'm going to have to tell Conner not to call me Aunt Liz because that'd just be strange."
"True," Jon said.
"Just think how I feel," Clark said with a grin. "We may not have had an official ceremony, but Ollie and I are, for all intents and purposes, married, which means that I'm twenty-two-years-old with a teenage stepson."
Liz and Jon grinned and laughed. Being an aunt and uncle to a teenager when they still were teenagers themselves certainly seemed odd, but they could also definitely see where Clark was coming from about being a stepfather to a teenager at his age. He might not be a teenager anymore, but they could still understand how Clark might feel just a little odd about it.
An hour later, all four Queens were cleaned up and dressed in the brand new clothes that Chloe, A.C., and Bart bought for them. To say Chloe was shocked when she found out that Oliver's parents were still alive and that he had a younger brother and sister would be an understatement. However, she was also very happy for Oliver, because she knew that family was important to him and how much he still missed his parents, so, getting them back would certainly be the best gift he could ever get. Once they were all bundled up in winter attire, which Jon and Liz found odd to say the least considering that they'd only ever known life on a tropical island, they headed for Metropolis.
Arriving at the Clock Tower, Robert looked momentarily confused and asked, "Is Oliver at work at the moment?"
"No," Clark answered. "He's not working, why?"
"Well, why are we at the Metropolis offices of Queen Industries?" Robert asked.
"Oh, well, Oliver and I have a penthouse at the top of the tower," Clark asked. "The main living area is two floors above Oliver's office, up where the clock face is. Come to think of it, Oliver told me it was just storage space in your day. He had it converted into living space in 2000, shortly after Lionel Luthor bought the Metropolis Alexandria Hotel and he didn't want to stay there anymore and make money for Lionel."
"Ah, okay," Robert said, nodding his head. "Makes sense. Laura and I did maintain a suite at the Alexandria, but, I think we would have surrendered it too once Lionel bought the hotel."
"Agreed," Laura said. "Even if I didn't know what I now know about Lionel, I still wouldn't have wanted to stay in a hotel he owned."
Heading into the building, Clark flashed a smile at the receptionist in the lobby, who smiled back, as he headed over to the elevator. Going up to the floor where Oliver's office was, the group got out of the elevator, as Clark explained, "This elevator doesn't go up to the penthouse. We have to use the private one in Oliver's office to go the rest of the way."
Approaching the door to Oliver's office, Clark heard voices inside and listening for a second, realized that it was Oliver, Conner, and Andrew, who for some reason were in Oliver's office instead of being upstairs in the penthouse. Motioning for Robert, Laura, Jon, and Liz to remain in the outer office for a moment and to remain quiet, Clark opened the door and headed into Oliver's office.
"Hey sexy," Clark said with a grin, as Oliver looked up from his desk and smiled. Oliver stood up and rounded the desk, before pulling Clark into a passionate kiss.
After about a minute, Conner groaned and said, "Yo, kid in the room."
Breaking their kiss, Clark and Oliver grinned at Conner, as Clark said, "Con, you've seen Ollie and I kiss before." And then grinning, he added, "I'm starting to think you're just jealous because you don't have anyone to do it with."
"Whoa, Clark, slow down," Oliver said. "Con is too young to be dating. Maybe in twenty years."
"Twenty years?" Conner asked, his tone incredulous. "Come on, Dad, you cannot possibly expect me to wait until I'm older than you are now to start dating!"
Shaking his head, Oliver grinned and said, "Okay, okay, ten years, but only if you're good."
"Sorry, Dad, but I'm not waiting ten years to start dating," Conner said with a defiant look on his face as he shook his head and crossed his arms over his chest. "I'm not going to miss my prom and all the other school dances just because you don't want me to date until I'm in my twenties. I'm not a little boy anymore, Dad, so stop treating me like one."
"You'll always be my innocent little boy, Conner," Oliver said. "No matter how old you get."
"Yeah, well, your innocent little boy isn't so innocent, you know," Conner said.
"What?" Clark asked. "Con, are you saying what I think you're saying?"
"Well that depends, Clark," Conner answered, a mischievous grin on his face. "If you think that I'm saying I'm not a virgin, then you'd be correct."
"WHAT!!??" Oliver asked, loud enough that half of Metropolis probably heard him. "Conner Jonas Queen, what do you mean you aren't a virgin anymore?"
"Sorry, Dad, I lost it a month ago," Conner replied and noticing the look on his father's face, he added, "Don't worry we were safe - besides it's not like there's any chance in hell that Roy is going to get pregnant."
"Roy?" Clark asked. "As in your best friend at school, Roy Harper? The one whose on scholarship to Excelsior? That Roy?"
Conner nodded. "Yes, Clark, that Roy. We've been a couple now for almost as long as you and Dad."
"I'm going to kill him!" Oliver exclaimed.
"Now Dad, that would be very unfair, not to mention uncool," Conner said as he stood up. "I'm the one who made the first move to take our relationship past best friends, so, if you're going to kill someone, it should be me, not Roy."
Shaking his head, Oliver said, "I am not hearing this, I am so not hearing this!"
'Well, Oliver, I can only imagine what your parents must be thinking,' Clark thought, as he was sure they could hear every word from where they were in the outer office.
After a moment, Oliver said, "Conner, you're grounded."
"What?" Conner asked. "Why?"
"You know why," Oliver answered.
Sighing, Conner said, "Fine, Dad - how long?"
"Six months," Oliver said.
"What? Six months! That is so not fair!" Conner exclaimed.
"Unless you want to make it a year, I suggest you don't say another word," Oliver warned.
Conner opened his mouth to retort, but quickly closed it, knowing that his father was serious about upping his grounding to a year if he said anything else. Instead he settled for a mutinous look that clearly conveyed his displeasure without saying anything.
Shaking his head, Oliver said, "Don't look at me like that, young man. You brought this on yourself. Now, go upstairs, finish your homework and clean your room. Andrew will be up in a few minutes to take away your computer, game console, and everything else fun."
"But I need my computer for my homework!" Conner exclaimed.
"You can use mine for that," Oliver said, "with me, Clark, or Andrew watching you to ensure you aren't playing games."
"Yes, sir," Conner said, as he walked over to the private elevator that led up to the penthouse and hit the call button. A moment later it arrived and Conner headed upstairs.
Once Conner was gone, Clark looked at Oliver and asked, "Ollie, don't you think you were just a little hard on him?"
"Perhaps," Oliver said, before he sighed. "I suppose I really don't have much right to come down on him for losing his virginity at fourteen when he's the result of my doing it."
"Don't get me wrong," Clark said, "I can certainly understand why you're angry. I would be too in your shoes. But, I also remember what it was like to be Conner's age."
"Yeah, that's true," Oliver said. "I wouldn't mind forgetting some of what I did at his age. Anyway, Clark, where have you been? I haven't seen you all day and you know how cranky I get when I don't have my Clark fix."
Andrew couldn't help but grin at that, as he spoke up for the first time since Clark had entered the room. "Master Oliver, with all due respect, cranky isn't the word you're looking for."
"Oh really, Andrew?" Oliver asked, as he cocked an eyebrow at his friend and valet, who had raised him since his parents died. "And what pray tell is the word then?"
"I believe you meant whiny, sir," Andrew said, without even the hint of a smile to suggest that he was joking. Of course, in a way he wasn't. In the past year, Clark and Oliver had gotten so close that if Oliver went for too long without Clark, he did whine about it. Not that Andrew could particularly blame him, because if he had someone like Clark in his life, he'd probably whine about not spending time with him, too. Alas, Andrew took his job too seriously to have much of a personal life and as such didn't have anyone special.
"I do not get whiny!" Oliver exclaimed, his tone rather indignant.
Clark just grinned and said, "Actually, Ollie, yes, you do. I've tuned in to you with my super hearing enough times to know that Andrew isn't kidding - you do get whiny when I'm not around."
Shaking his head, Oliver asked, "What is this? Pick on the blond day?"
"Yes," Clark and Andrew said in perfect unison, before they broke out laughing.
Oliver shook his head and said in a dry tone, "Ha ha, very funny. Forgive me for not laughing. Now, Clark, I don't think you answered my question."
Getting a hold of himself, Clark said, "Well, Ollie, if you must know, I was out getting you an early Christmas gift."
"Really?" Oliver asked. "Well, I must say I'm intrigued."
"Your gift is in the outer office," Clark said, as he walked over to the door and prepared to open it. "As I said, it's an early gift, so you get to have it now - I think you're going to love it."
"Well, don't keep me in suspense then," Oliver said with a grin.
Opening the door, Clark motioned for the four Queens in the outer office to come in. Elizabeth and Jonathan came in first, as Oliver tilted his head in utter confusion. Clark had got him two teenagers as a gift? In his confusion, he didn't even notice that the girl bared a striking resemblance to his late mother or that the boy looked like his younger, dark-haired twin. Any confusion that Oliver felt, however, melted away and was quickly replaced with feelings of rage and betrayal when an older couple walked into the room.
"Clark, if this is a joke, it isn't funny," Oliver said, his tone deadly serious.
"What?" Clark asked, because that had been absolutely the last reaction he had expected.
"You heard me, Clark," Oliver said. "Damn it! How could you do this to me? I thought you loved me and then you go and pull a stunt like this? I don't even want to look at you, Clark, so, take your so-called gift and get the hell out of my sight!"
Before anyone could say anything, Oliver was across the room and into the elevator that led upstairs to the penthouse.
Confused, Clark looked at Andrew, who looked just as angry as Oliver had, and asked, "What just happened?"
"Honestly, Clark how could you do this?" Andrew asked. "I thought you loved Master Oliver."
"I do!" Clark exclaimed. "I love with him all my heart!"
"Well, you certainly have a strange way of showing it," Andrew said.
"Giving Oliver his parents back is a strange way of showing I love him?" Clark asked.
"It is when his parents are dead," Andrew said. "Honestly, Clark, do you have any idea how many imposters Oliver and I have dealt with over the years? People who looked enough like Robert and Laura Queen that they claimed to be them? Of course, all they ever wanted was the money."
"We're not imposters, Andrew," Robert said.
"Yes, well, you'll forgive me if I don't believe you," Andrew said.
"Andrew, if we were imposters," Laura said, "would I know your little secret?"
"And what secret is that, Madam?" Andrew asked, still not believing that this was really Robert and Laura Queen.
"The reason you're so fiercely loyal to the Queen family," Laura said. "It's because, technically, you are one."
"Andrew is a Queen?" Clark asked, totally confused, as he looked between Laura and Andrew.
"Yes, Clark," Robert said. "My great-great-grandfather, Michael Queen, is also Andrew's great-great-grandfather. Michael had an affair with one of the maids and had an illegitimate son. It was kept very quiet and even though it wouldn't have the same stigma attached to it now as it would have back in the 1800's, we've continued to keep quiet about it. Andrew is directly descended from Michael's illegitimate son and that's why he's always been so loyal to my family, because it's also his family."
"Unless Andrew told him, I doubt even Oliver knows about it," Laura said. "I know Robert and I had not told him yet when we supposedly died. We had decided to wait until Oliver was older to tell him, to ensure that he wouldn't accidentally blurt it out to someone in his youthful ignorance."
"Not that Oliver was ignorant by any means," Robert said. "On the contrary, he was a very smart child, but, we decided it was better to be safe than sorry. My family has kept Michael's indiscretion quiet for over a hundred and fifty years, so, we saw no reason to risk it coming out now."
"Wait, if Andrew is a Queen, then why does he work for the family?"
"Because I choose to, Clark," Andrew answered. "When my great-grandfather, Kellan, was born it would have been a huge scandal for Michael to acknowledge him as his son. So, he took his mother's surname, Forrester, and when he got older, he worked for the Queen family, just as his mother had. So, I'm the fifth generation of my family to work for the Queens and as such, I would be loyal to them even if they weren't family. As for Oliver, I never did tell him, so he couldn't possibly have told Clark, so, I know he didn't tell you that. Considering how well protected that secret has been over the years, I can't imagine how you know that."
"It's quite easy, Andrew," Laura said. "I'm the real Laura Queen and this really is Robert. We didn't die in the plane crash - we parachuted out before the plane went down. We've been stranded on a deserted island all these years, were we had two more children," as she motioned to each in turn, "Jonathan and Elizabeth Queen."
As if noticing the two teenagers for the first time, Andrew sucked in a deep breath as he looked at them. With the exception of having his father's darker hair, Jonathan looked almost identical to Oliver - if Andrew didn't know better, he'd think he was Oliver's twin brother. As for Elizabeth, she too resembled Oliver, but her features were much softer and more feminine. She would definitely be a great beauty when she got older, much like her mother.
"Andrew, I know it's hard to believe," Clark said. "I didn't want to believe it myself when Jor-El told me, but they really are Robert and Laura. They've consented to take a DNA test to prove that, although we'll need a sample from Ollie, which judging by his reaction, he won't be willing to give."
Andrew nodded. "He's been burned too many times, Clark. He was essentially a billionaire at nine. Sadly, more people than I can count on both hands have tried to impersonate his parents over the years in order to get their hands on the Queen money. They never expected to be found out. They were all sure that Oliver would just be so happy to have his parents back that he wouldn't check them out and he'd just accept them immediately with open arms. That might have worked with the first couple that tried it, but once they turned out to be frauds, Oliver was a lot more careful."
"If the first couple failed, why would anyone else be stupid enough to try?" Clark asked. "I mean surely the belief that Robert and Laura Queen were alive and well would have made the papers. So, then the world would have found out about them being imposters wouldn't they?"
"Not necessarily, Clark," Robert said. "My family founded the Star City Tribune and I don't know about now, but before the plane crash, there was never a single scrap of information printed about my family in any publication that wasn't first reported by the Tribune. Our wills clearly stipulated that the Tribune, which we fully owned, had to clear all stories about our family with Oliver, or our Executor if Oliver was underage."
"As you might have guessed," Andrew said, "I was the Executor of Mr. and Mrs. Queens' wills and the Tribune quietly buried the news of the alleged return of Robert and Laura Queen on my order. From the moment they showed up at the mansion, there was just something about them that didn't seem right and I had a strong feeling that they weren't who they claimed to be. I was hoping they were for Oliver's sake, but it turned out that I was right in the end."
"How long ago was this first attempt at impersonating us?" Laura asked.
"It happened about three months after the crash," Andrew answered. "They figured that Oliver would still be in mourning and would be so thrilled to have his parents back that he wouldn't recognize the differences. They had the physical resemblances to pull off being Robert and Laura Queen, but that's all they had. I knew something was off the moment that the man claiming to be Robert told me that he planned to take early retirement from Queen Industries."
"Early retirement?" Robert asked. "I was only 32 back then and I certainly wouldn't have retired. I loved running Queen Industries. While Oliver was my first child, I always thought of QI as my baby, seeing as I founded the company and built it into the success it was."
Andrew nodded. "Yes, well, as far the woman who claimed to be Laura, she was more interested in shopping and spending money like it was going out of style. The very first shopping trip she took, she spent over a million dollars just on clothes, another half a million on jewelry, and she ordered a custom Aston Martin convertible."
"I hope you got all the money back for these purchases," Laura said. "I would never spend that much money in one shopping trip."
"We did manage to return the jewelry," Andrew said. "The clothes couldn't be returned because the stores refused to take them back after they'd been worn, so we donated them to charity and Oliver decided to keep the car. He wasn't old enough to drive, of course, but he liked it and decided to make it one of the first additions to his car collection."
"So, Oliver takes after his old man, huh?" Robert asked with a grin. "I've always had a weakness for fine automobiles."
"Oh yes, he definitely takes after you, sir," Andrew said with a grin of his own. "Actually, he's surpassed you now. Whereas you owned about twenty cars, Oliver now owns over fifty of them and that's not counting yours, all of which he did keep."
Shaking her head, although she was grinning, Laura said, "Men and their cars. I swear I will never understand it. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before Jon here starts collecting them, too."
"Uh, I think I might want to learn how to drive first," Jonathan said.
"I second that," Elizabeth said with a smile.
"So, Andrew, can I take your calling my husband sir and agreeing that Oliver takes after him that you believe we're really who we say we are?" Laura asked, as she raised an eyebrow, in much the same fashion that Oliver often did. It was actually from Laura that he'd picked up that particular habit.
Andrew caught the look and said, "Between your knowledge of my family history and that look on your face right now, I'll definitely say that you are the most convincing of all the people who have claimed to be Robert and Laura. It's also pretty obvious to anyone with eyes that Jonathan here is related to Oliver seeing as he looks like Oliver's younger, darker-haired identical twin. That doesn't mean that I don't want to know for sure, though. You'll still have to do a DNA test, as that's the only way you're ever going to convince Oliver."
"Well, then, it's past time to get that test done," Clark said. He wasn't going to allow Oliver to continue to be mad at him for any longer than necessary - not when he was giving him the best gift imaginable. He understood his boyfriend's anger after hearing about all of the imposters. Oliver had never told him that anyone had tried to impersonate Robert and Laura, otherwise he would have handled this first meeting differently. Of course, Clark could understand that Oliver might not like talking about it, as those times were surely painful.
"I couldn't agree more, Clark," Chloe said, as she walked in with Bart, A.C., and the physician that Oliver hired for the Justice League. "That's why we picked up Dr. Sanders here."
"I've got everything I need to perform a DNA test," Nick Sanders said with a smile.
"DNA test? For what?" Conner asked as he exited the elevator and then looking at the occupants of the room, he said, "Whoa. Andrew, please tell me we don't have another pair of imposters trying to say they're my grandparents."
"I don't think they're imposters, Master Conner," Andrew said. "They knew something about me that nobody outside of the Queen family knows - and something that I never told you or your father about, so Robert and Laura Queen would have been among the few who knew."
Remaining silent for a few moments, obviously thinking, Conner said, "Okay, well, if Andrew believes, I'm willing to give them a chance." And then pointing at Jonathan and Elizabeth, asked, "Who are they?"
"Your Uncle Jon," Jonathan said with a grin, as Elizabeth added, "and your Aunt Liz."
"Uncle Jon? Aunt Liz?" Conner asked, obviously confused.
"Yes, Conner," Laura said. "Your grandfather and I were marooned on an island all these years and we had two more children in that time span. Jonathan is 18 and Elizabeth is 16."
"And it feels extremely strange to call a person whose only four years younger than me my nephew," Jonathan said. "So, Conner, if it's all the same to you, I'd really appreciate it if you'd just call me Jon."
"Um, sure," Conner said. "So, what's this about a DNA test?"
"That's why Nick is here," Clark said, knowing Conner would know who he meant, as Dr. Sanders had treated Conner a couple of times, even though he wasn't a member of the Justice League. "We figure it's the only way we'll ever convince your father that they aren't imposters."
"How'd they even get here?" Conner asked.
"Jor-El told Clark about them," A.C. answered.
"And then Fishstick, Clark, and I went out to get them," Bart added.
"Fishstick?" Robert asked.
A.C. rolled his eyes and said, "This lot loves calling me various names like Fishstick and Fishboy because I have gills and can't go too long without access to water."
"He's basically a fish in a human body, hence Fishboy," Bart said with a grin, as A.C. hit him upside the head.
"Well, I'm ready to take samples," Nick said, as he finished getting out his supplies from the case he'd brought with him. "We'll need a sample from Mr. Queen for comparison."
"Could you run the test using a sample from Conner, Nick?" Clark asked.
Nick nodded. "Yes, I can. It won't be quite as comprehensive a match as it would be with his father, but if they're related, there would definitely be markers in common."
"That's what I was hoping for," Clark said. "I think it just needs to be a good enough match to convince Oliver that it's possible - maybe then he'll be willing to take a leap of faith. Or give his own sample for testing. I mean, I could run upstairs and steal his hairbrush in the blink of an eye, but I think that'd only make him angrier at me then he already is."
Nick nodded and then said, "Okay then. Let's get the samples. Just them?" Nick asked pointing at Robert and Laura, "or them as well?" as he indicated Jonathan and Elizabeth.
"Might as well test all of them," Clark said. "I want to provide as much proof to Oliver as I can."
Nick nodded and prepared to collect a sample from Elizabeth, as she was standing the closest to him.
"Um, this isn't going to hurt is it?" Elizabeth asked.
Nick smiled. "No, young lady, it won't. I'll just be swabbing the inside of your cheek. It might tickle slightly, but, it certainly won't hurt."
Elizabeth nodded, before opening her mouth. Once he'd swabbed her mouth, Nick deposited the swab in a bag which he marked 'Elizabeth', before moving on to Jonathan, followed by Robert, Laura, and finally Conner.
Packing up the samples and his supplies, Nick said, "Okay, well, I have everything I need. I'll take these to the lab and get the test started right away. You should have the results in about a week."
"Thanks Nick," Clark said.
"No problem, Clark," Nick said, before he left.
"Bart, can you help me get them back to Star City?" Clark asked, motioning towards the Queens. "There's no way that Ollie is going to let them use the guest rooms here and I'm not going to book rooms at the Alexandria and give money to the Luthors."
"Are we going to be able to stay at the mansion?" Jonathan asked. "I mean, if Oliver won't let us stay here in his penthouse, I'm sure he wouldn't want us staying in his mansion either."
Conner just grinned and said, "That won't be a problem, because unlike this penthouse which is actually owned by Queen Industries and thus owned by my Dad, since he owns all the stock, the mansion in Star City is jointly owned between Clark and my Dad. So, Clark has every right to invite you to stay and Dad can't really say anything about it."
"All right then," Laura said. "I hate the idea of leaving, but, I must say it will be nice to sleep in a real bed for once. Take my advice everyone - don't get stranded on a deserted island."
Everyone laughed and agreed, before Conner and Andrew headed upstairs to the penthouse, Chloe went back to the Planet, A.C. went for a swim, and Bart and Clark got the Queens back to Star City.
To say that Oliver was in a bad mood for the rest of the day would be the understatement of the century. Conner and Andrew felt like they were literally walking on egg shells, because it seemed the slightest misstep or silliest mistake would set the blond billionaire off. They could understand his anger. As he'd loved his parents with everything in him, so, it hurt to think that someone was impersonating them, especially since it wasn't the first time. What hurt more though was that it had been Clark - the man that Oliver had trusted with his heart - who brought these imposters into his life.
And that's what they were. Imposters. There wasn't even the smallest thread of doubt in Oliver's mind. Yes, they looked the most convincing of any of the past imposters, but they couldn't be the real Robert and Laura. They just couldn't be. The real Robert and Laura were dead and had been for almost two decades. Oliver found their remains when he was stranded on the island a few years ago and he found their wedding rings.
Pulling the silver chain out from under his shirt, Oliver held it up to his desk lamp and spent a long moment just looking at the platinum and diamond rings, which were engraved with Robert and Laura's initials and their wedding date, along with the words "Love Eternal". After looking at them silently for a few more minutes, Oliver clenched them in his fist as he rested his forehead on it. A moment later, tears ran down his cheeks as he quietly asked, "Why Clark? Why did you betray me like this? I trusted you and now this."
Conner watched his father from the second floor landing of the penthouse and sighed. He knew better than to go and talk to him. He was in enough trouble over having lost his virginity. If he tried to talk to his father about the people he was convinced were imposters he'd only get his head bitten off. Actually, Oliver was so angry and upset at the moment that Conner and Andrew both feared getting shot by one of his arrows, so, it was probably best they avoided him and let him work through this on his own - at least until the test results came back and Clark was around to restrain him long enough to make him listen.
After seeing Robert, Laura, Jonathan and Elizabeth safely back to Star City, Clark headed back to Kansas. He was seriously tempted to go to the penthouse and make Oliver listen to him, but he restrained himself. He hated the fact that Oliver was mad at him, but he knew that he had to give the blond time to cool down. He also couldn't stand to be too far away from him, however, so Clark headed for the farm.
"Clark, I'm surprised to see you," Martha said, as he came into the kitchen. Her mother's instincts immediately realized something was wrong, however, prompting her to ask, "Honey, what's wrong?"
Clark sighed, as he sat down on a stool at the kitchen island and said, "Oliver thinks I betrayed him."
"Well it turns out that several couples have tried to impersonate Robert and Laura over the years," Clark said. "So now Oliver doesn't believe that they're really his parents and he's furious with me for bringing them into his life."
"Oh Clark, I'm so sorry," Martha said as she hugged her son from behind before going over to the refrigerator and retrieving the apple pie she'd baked that afternoon. She couldn't help the small smile that came to her face when she saw her son's foul mood lessen even the tiniest bit once he'd seen the pie. She could tell he was still upset, of course, but not quite as much as he had been. "What are you going to do?" Martha asked as she cut Clark a generous slice.
"Well the doctor Ollie hired for the league is running a DNA test," Clark said before he paused to take a bite of the pie that his mother had put in front of him. "We figured Ollie wouldn't agree, so we didn't even try to get a sample from him. We managed to convince Conner though and he gave a sample. Won't be as good of a match as it would be with Oliver, but there should be markers in common according to the doctor."
Martha nodded. "So, you're hoping that'll be enough to convince Ollie?"
"Well, if not convince him that they're his parents, at least enough to convince him to give a sample of his own," Clark answered. "I could have run up to his room and stolen his hairbrush or something, but I figured he's mad enough at me right now. No need to make him angrier."
"True," Martha said, as she ran a comforting hand through her son's hair, as he silently ate his pie.
Over a week later and only two days before Christmas, Conner was sitting at the kitchen island of the penthouse sipping orange juice while Andrew stood at the stove frying bacon, scrambling eggs, and flipping blueberry pancakes. Conner had offered to help, but Andrew told him to just sit down and leave the cooking to him. Andrew enjoyed cooking, though he didn't get to do it very often, because when he was at the mansion in Star City, there was a full-time cook on staff who treated the kitchen as her personal domain. Not even Oliver was allowed to step foot in the kitchen and he owned the house.
With the exception of the sounds of cooking, all was silent in the room for several minutes. Just as Andrew had finished scooping a generous helping of scrambled eggs onto the plate in front of Conner, Oliver walked into the kitchen and the younger blond couldn't help but say, "Dad, you look like death warmed over."
Oliver might have said something, but instead all he could muster was something between a sneer and a frown, as he stumbled towards the coffee pot. It was perhaps one of his biggest flaws, but Oliver Queen really was not a morning person. It usually took at least three cups of coffee to get him looking even remotely human, but looking at him this morning, Conner couldn't help but think it would take twice that amount. It was obvious that he hadn't been getting much sleep lately. Conner knew that his father thought he had a legitimate reason for his insomnia, but the more he thought about it, the more the younger blond came to the conclusion that his father didn't.
The older Queen was on his fifth cup of coffee and still hadn't said a word, when the chime sounded, signaling that they had guests. Andrew left the room and a moment later, he returned with Nick Sanders, Bart, A.C., Victor, and Clark. Upon seeing the brunet, Oliver threw his coffee cup across the room where it would have shattered if Bart hadn't sped over and caught it, yelping when some of the hot coffee in it burned his hand.
"You have a lot of nerve showing your face here, Clark Kent," Oliver practically growled, as he stood up. "You are not welcome here."
With every word Oliver spoke, Clark winced and Conner thought it looked like Oliver had just slapped Clark in the face while wearing kryptonite gloves, because Clark was obviously losing his battle to fight back tears. Standing up, Conner walked over to Clark and wrapped his arms around his father's boyfriend and glared at his father, as he shouted, "Shut up, Dad!"
Oliver looked murderous and was about to reply when Victor stopped him. "Robin Hood, I suggest you not say anything else that you will regret."
"You don't know what he did," Oliver said, obviously angry.
Victor shook his head. "That's where you're wrong. Bart and A.C. filled me in and while I can understand that you're angry because of the imposters you've dealt with in the past, you have no right to attack Clark and say he's not welcome here. This is as much his home as it is yours."
Oliver shook his head and shouted, "No it isn't Victor! He gave up the right to call this place home when he betrayed me!"
Not able to stay silent any longer, Andrew came forward and said, "I don't think Clark betrayed you Master Oliver."
"What?" Oliver asked, clearly shocked as he looked over at the man who had raised him since his parents died. "Andrew, you know what he did."
"Aye, I know," Andrew said. "I talked with Robert and Laura..."
"Don't call them that!" Oliver shouted. "They are not Robert and Laura Queen! My parents are dead!"
Before Andrew could say anything further, Dr. Sanders spoke up and said, "Actually, Mr. Queen, they're not."
"What?" Oliver asked, as he turned his gaze on Nick Sanders.
"Your parents are not dead," Nick said as he held up a hand to forestall any further arguments as he pulled an envelope out of the pocket of his coat. "I ran a DNA test, comparing the DNA structures of the alleged Robert and Laura Queen with Conner."
"You did what?" Oliver practically shouted. "Who gave you permission to do that?"
"I did!" Conner shouted, matching his father's tone perfectly. "Now as I said before, Dad, shut up! And listen!"
"Conner Jonas Queen..." Oliver ground out, before Victor covered Oliver's mouth with his hand and said, "Since you won't do it on your own, I guess I'll just have to do it for you."
Oliver tried to get the hand off his mouth, but he was only a regular human - he may be strong, but certainly nowhere near the level of strength possessed by the cyborg who was now standing behind him with one arm wrapped around his waist to hold him still and the other hand firmly over his mouth.
"As I was saying," Nick said, "I ran a DNA test. The test is more involved, requiring much more testing than normal, especially the grandmother to grandson test, which would have been easier if Conner's mother was around to give a sample, but obviously she wasn't." Conner's mother, fourteen-year-old Sandra Hawke, had died giving birth to him, her body being unable to handle the stress of childbirth at such a young age. "Anyway, I had six crews of lab techs working overtime to run both tests - comparing Conner's DNA to the alleged Robert Queen and comparing it to the alleged Laura Queen. So, both tests were run six times each, in different labs across the country and all the results were the same. The man and woman who stood in your office almost a week ago, Mr. Queen, are your mother and father."
Victor removed his hand from Oliver's mouth, fully prepared to replace it if Oliver started screaming, but he didn't. He just stood there for several seconds, before he cleared his throat and spoke, sounding more like a scared nine-year-old boy than a man who was almost thirty, "But, how? My parents are dead." Pulling the chain from under the green t-shirt he'd worn to bed, he said, "These are their wedding rings. I took them off their corpses."
Clark shook his head and stepped forward. "Those are you parents' rings, Ollie, but those weren't your parents' bodies. You know how I've said that Jor-El is omniscient where I'm concerned?"
Oliver simply nodded.
"Well, since we've started dating, he's been getting flashes of omniscience where you're concerned, Ollie and he told me what really happened to your parents. When their plane went down, they'd been taking a nap and I'm sure you know that your mother and father had a tendency to remove their rings whenever they were asleep."
Oliver nodded, as he thought back to his childhood. "They always soaked the rings in ring cleaner when they were asleep. Mom always wanted to them to look perfect."
"Well, they woke up before the plane crashed," Clark said. "And they parachuted out, leaving their rings soaking in the bathroom in their haste to escape. The bodies you found belonged to the pilot and flight attendant. According to Jor-El they'd been dating for months. They'd both suffered severe internal injuries in the crash and they knew they were dying, so, before they did, they borrowed some of your parents' clothes and used their wedding rings to marry each other."
"And my parents?" Oliver asked.
"Landed safely on another uninhabited island," Clark explained. "Five miles away from where the jet crashed and seven miles from the nearest shipping lane. They tried for a couple of weeks to draw attention with signal fires, but eventually they gave up so as to not burn down every tree on the island. And that's where they've been, Ollie, ever since."
"Just the two of them, alone on an island?" Oliver asked. "For nearly twenty years?"
"At first, yes," Clark said. "After two years, however, they weren't alone anymore."
"Someone found them?" Oliver asked.
Clark shook his head and smiled, "No, Oliver, not in the way you're thinking. They would have come home to you in a heartbeat if that had happened. No the person who joined them on the island was Jonathan Robert Queen, your younger brother."
Oliver's eyes got larger at that and he stammered as he asked, "I... I have a... a... brother?"
Clark smiled. "Yes, Ollie. He's eighteen. You have a sister, too, Elizabeth Laura Queen. She's sixteen."
Oliver smiled for the first time in a week. "I have my family back."
"Hey!" Conner protested. "What am I chopped liver?"
Oliver just grinned as he pulled his son into a hug. After a moment, Conner pulled away slightly, looked at Clark, and asked, "Yo, Clark, what are you just standing there for? You're part of this family, too."
Clark looked to Oliver, who just smiled and removed one arm from around Conner and held it out to Clark, who smiled. Clark stepped forward and wrapped one arm around Oliver and the other around Conner, as Oliver kissed Clark on the lips. For his part, Conner just buried his face against his father's chest and stayed silent, biting back his usual retort of "Yo, kid in the room," that he used whenever Oliver and Clark kissed, because they were long overdue and Conner was just happy that they were back together.
Two days later, on Christmas morning, Oliver and Clark stood in the doorway of the living room of the mansion in Star City. Robert, Laura, Jonathan, Elizabeth, Conner, Martha, and Andrew were all in the room enjoying the various presents they'd received. Also present were Roy Harper and his parents.
Oliver had been more than a little shocked when he found out the truth about Andrew being his distant cousin. He'd tried to get the older man to quit and enjoy life as a Queen, instead of serving the family, but Andrew refused. He enjoyed serving the Queen family, even if technically, he was one. In the end, Oliver agreed, but insisted that Andrew accept an extra six weeks of paid vacation time every year and a raise. Andrew was now probably the highest paid housekeeper in the history of the world, but he knew better than to argue with Oliver Queen.
Arrangements had already been made for both Jonathan and Elizabeth to learn how to drive, as well as a collection of private tutors to begin the arduous task of teaching them everything they needed to know. Robert and Laura had done their best to educate them on the island, but there was still plenty the two of them needed to learn before they ever stood a chance of going to college. Both of them were turning out to be quick studies, however, and seemed to soak up new things as if they were sponges that had gone too long without water. Oliver was sure that it was only a matter of time before they were caught up and heading off to college.
As for Robert and Laura, it had been decided to wait until after the New Year to make the formal announcements, so as to give the family some private time. However, Oliver planned on stepping down from his position as Chairman of the Board of Queen Industries. He would remain Chief Executive Officer, but his father would be taking over the Chairmanship. The Executive Director of the Queen Foundation who had taken over upon Laura's presumed death would be retiring in April and Laura looked forward to once again taking the helm of the charitable arm of Queen Industries. First, however, she planned on spending lots and lots of time with Oliver, Clark, and Conner to try and make up for all the years she'd missed with them.
Conner was thrilled beyond words when Oliver ungrounded him and told him that Roy could come over for Christmas. Once the two of them were together, it hadn't taken Oliver long to see just how happy Roy made his son and Oliver couldn't find it within himself to deny his son that happiness. They did make a very cute couple and while Oliver still wasn't comfortable with the fact that his son had lost his virginity so young, he knew it would be hypocritical of him to come down on Conner for doing the same thing that he himself had done.
"This is the best Christmas I've had in years," Oliver said, as he rested his forehead against Clark's. "And it's all because of you, Clark."
Clark smiled. "You've made me happier than I've ever been, Ollie. I'm just glad that I was able to return the favor, somehow."
Oliver smiled and said, "I love you, Clark Joseph Kent, with all my heart."
"I love you, too, Oliver Jonas Queen," Clark said with a smile, "Now and forever."
A mischievous grin spread across Oliver's face as he pointed upward with one finger and Clark followed his gaze. They were standing under the mistletoe. Smiling, Clark leaned in and kissed the blond. The kiss lasted for what seemed like an eternity, but was in reality only a couple of seconds, before Conner exclaimed, "It's snowing!"
Breaking his kiss with Clark, Oliver was just about to tell Conner that it couldn't possibly be snowing because it had never snowed in Star City as far back as Oliver could remember, but then he caught sight of where Conner and Roy were standing, holding the curtains open and sure enough, the grass outside was covered in a dusting of white, as more flakes of white fell from the sky.
"You think Jor-El had something to do with this?" Oliver asked Clark.
Clark grinned. "Considering everything else he can do? Probably."
Oliver just smiled and said, "Merry Christmas, Clark."
"Merry Christmas, Ollie," Clark said, before they joined everyone else at the window, to watch the first snowfall that Star City had seen in over forty years.