A fundraiser party was happening at the LuthorCorp. Martha, the main reason Lionel was giving this party, was taking a deep breath, trying to contain her nervousness. The fact she was wearing a very expensive necklace wasn’t helping, either.
Lionel approached her with a glass of water. “Here you are, my lady.”
“Thank you,” Martha took the glass of water. She was tapping the necklace uncomfortably. “It's beautiful, but I feel self-conscious even borrowing it.” She took a sip of her glass.
“It shouldn't stay hidden in the LuthorCorp safe.” He continued after she looked at him, an expression of uncertainty on her face. “It needs to be worn for the very first time on the neck of a beautiful woman. It's perfect, Martha.”
She shook her head, blushing at his compliment.
Lionel smiled at her. “But now it's time to meet the moneybags of Metropolis. You'll need them to fund your bid for the United States Senate.”
Martha smiled back. They walked together to talk to some guests.
A few meters from there, Lois and Oliver arrived at the party. She was wearing a silk black dress with a generous v-neck and a pearl necklace. Her hair was tied back in a bun, wispy bangs on the front. Oliver was wearing a simple and elegant suit.
“Okay, now, remember, this a party,” Oliver said, taking off her scarf and handing it to a waiter.
“I know. I know. Stay away from religion, politics, and bad dye jobs,” she smirked.
As they entered the room, someone called him. “Ollie! We haven't seen you in such a long time.”
They approached the older man. “Hello,” Oliver greeted.
“Hi, Oliver,” a woman in her mid-thirties who was next to the older man said, her tone seductive and her eyes practically eating him alive.
“Uh, Mr. Westcott and his wife, Candice. I'd like to introduce you to Lois Lane.”
“Hey,” Lois smiled and extended her hand with the palm facing downward.
Mr. Westcott grasped it and bowed to kiss her knuckles. “Simon Westcott. It's my pleasure.”
“Likewise.” Lois exchanged smiles with Oliver and then turned her attention back to the older man. “So, I wanted to tell you that I thought you were so eloquent at the Congressional indictment hearings.”
The smile fell from the man’s face. Oliver pouted.
“Sorry about your oil tanker. I'd hate to be a pelican in that harbor, huh?” She completed, a little nervous.
At Mr. Westcott shocked look, Oliver spoke. “Well, we're gonna go.” He then then lowered his voice. “That’s our cue, so…” Oliver walked Lois to a corner of the room. “I guess I forgot to add public humiliation to the list of cocktail-party don'ts.”
Lois sighed, chuckling lightheartedly.
Oliver placed both hands on her arms. “I'm gonna go get us a drink, okay?” He then whispered the next part. “You just wait here, and don't talk to anybody, okay?” He gave her tight-lipped smile, receiving one back.
Lois sighed as she watched him leave. She reached into her purse, pulled out her cellphone to check new messages. The most recent one was from Clark.
“How’s the party?” He asked.
“Five minutes in and I’m already bored,” she replied.
Lois put the cellphone back in her purse as she heard a glass ding sound. It was Lionel. “I'd like to thank you all for coming tonight. I hope you're having a splendid time and that you've had a chance to reconnect with some old friends. Right now, though, I'd like to introduce you to someone who I hope will be a new friend, a valuable new friend, someone I'm sure you'll be glad to have on your side. Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce to you our Kansas State Senator and your future United States Senator, Martha Kent.”
The guess applauded. “Whoo-hoo!” Lois cheered.
Martha smiled. “Thank you very much –“
Her speech was interrupted when an arrow hit the interrupter, making the lights go out. A green hooded guy arrived and approached Martha, pulling the necklace out of her neck. He ran out of the room.
“Hey!” Lois ran after the mysterious man.
When the man in a green hood looked up for an escape, a hand grabbed his arm. “Give me the necklace,” Lois said, determined.
“You forgot to say ‘please.’” He tried to free himself, in vain. “What –“
“Please,” a smirk appeared on Lois’s face. “Let the Big Bad Wolf better see you.” She then lowered his hood. Realization downed on her even before she started to take his sunglasses off. “Oliver!” She said shocked.
Oliver froze. He then gulped. “Lois, I can explain.”
Her face changed from utterly shocked to angry. “You –“
Voices could be heard, the security was looking for him. “Lois, I can’t talk right now. Take my limousine and meet me at my apartment. I’ll explain everything.”
His eyes were pleading. “Lois, please!”
She finally released him, still trying to recover from the revelation. Oliver used a grappling arrow to reach the roof and managed to escape. Lois watched him disappear from her sight.
Lois was pacing back and forth, waiting for Oliver to show up. “Hey,” his voice was low, a hint of embarrassment in it. He had changed back to the suit he was wearing at the fundraiser.
She looked at him, angry. “Why did you that to Mrs. K? What the hell is that costume?”
Oliver stood there, quiet, trying to think ways to explain his story to her.
Lois was growing impatient. “I’m waiting.”
He took a deep breath. “Look, Lois, that necklace… Lionel bought that off a notorious Bosnian warlord, used it to launder LuthorCorp money.”
Lois crossed her arms. “So what? You steal from the rich to give to the poor like some kind of modern-day Robin Hood?”
Oliver chuckled shyly. “Something like that. I return stolen artifacts to its museums and give other valuable stolen objects to charities.” He approached her. “Look, I just wanna do good.”
She raised an eyebrow at him. “And what good is it where you attacks Mrs. K? I know Lionel is rotten to the core, but she has nothing to do with his dirty business.”
“Lionel kept that necklace locked in the LuthorCorp safe, it was my chance. I’m sorry I had to involve Martha in it.”
Lois sighed. “Next time, don’t do that.” She took a step back and turned her back to him. “Or I’ll have to take you down.” Her lips curved in a teasing smile.
“How about you share your secret first?”
Lois’s eyes opened widely, her heart started to beat faster. “What are you talking about?” She turned to face him, trying to sound and look as confused as possible.
“The way my shirt burst into flames last week, your strong grip tonight. Do you really think I wouldn’t note it?” His stare was intense, demanding.
“I think you’re paranoiac,” she smirked at him. Inside she was afraid. Did she screwed up her and Clark’s secret in such a short time?
“I got curious about how my shirt burnt like that, then I started to investigate. Tell me, Lois, how is that possible a plane fall from the sky, all of its parachutes unused, and both passengers survive with only a scratch on their heads. And then there’s Lionel Luthor covering the accident from the authorities.”
Lois gulped. “We pray a lot,” she gave him a fake smile, grabbed her purse and turned to leave. “Now, if you excuse me, I gotta go.”
Oliver grabbed her arm, stopping her. “I’m not your enemy. You keep my secret, I keep yours.” He gave her a small smile.
Lois glared at him. She couldn’t decipher if it was a threat or his way of saying she could trust him.
A man cleared his throat. “Mr. Queen, you have a visit,” Oliver’s assistant said.
Oliver nodded and looked at the newcomer. “What can I do for you, Mr…?”
“Milo.” The man extended his hand, which Oliver shook. “I own the Safetex, the security firm contracted by LuthorCorp. I came here to talk to Ms. Lane.”
“Mr. Luthor told me you ran after the thief. Can you describe him to me?”
Oliver gulped and looked at her, afraid of what Lois was going to say. She gave him a warm smile and went to sit on the couch, crossing her legs. “I’m sorry, I couldn’t I.D. the guy. He didn’t exactly stick around to chat.”
Oliver released the breath he was holding.
“Well, if you remember anything, here’s my number,” The man took a card out of his suit jacket, offering it to her, disappointment written all over his face.
Lois took it. “I will.”
The man turned to leave, saying good night to both of them.
“Thank you,” Oliver spoke after the man left.
Lois nodded, giving him a reassuring smile.
“Mr. Queen,” Oliver’s assistant spoke, announcing a new visitor.
“My mom told me you were here,” Clark said.
“Smallville, it's almost midnight,” Lois said, surprised.
“Clark,” Oliver greeted him.
“Oliver.” Clark then looked at Lois again. “I came here to get that necklace back. Last thing I want is for my mom to be indebted to Lionel Luthor.”
Oliver spoke. “Yeah, well, I mean, she should've thought of that before she accepted his help with her fundraising -”
“Oliver!” Lois shouted, both her and Clark glared at him.
“My point is, don’t feel bad about Lionel Luthor, he isn’t the first and definitely won’t be last rich man hit by that guy.”
Clark frowned. “What, are you saying that Lionel Luthor's not the only victim?”
“Over a dozen of Metropolis' who's whos have been hit recently.”
“Good, then there's some leads.”
“Not if all the victims were as uncooperative as Lionel Luthor.” Oliver knitted his eyebrows. “You find it interesting that he never called the police?”
Clark pondered his remark. “I’ll check it by myself.” He turned his attention back to Lois. “C’mon, I’ll drive you home.”
“No need. My driver will take her there later.”
Clark ignored Oliver. “Lois.” With a nod of his head, he signaled to Lois to leave with him.
Both of them looked at her waiting for an answer, which made her feel uncomfortable. “Okay, if you boys are done marking your territory, which, surprisingly, it’s me, I actually have to leave. I have work to do tomorrow.” Lois grabbed her purse and scarf and looked at a disappointed Oliver with a shy smile. “Good night.”
“We’ll finish our talk tomorrow,” he said.
Clark followed Lois as she leave, glancing at Oliver one last time, receiving one back.
“I could have super run to my apartment, you know?” Lois said. She was on the passenger seat of Clark’s truck, while he was driving.
“You can, but you won’t. Nothing of using your powers in excess or getting caught.” Lois gulped at the last one. “So, did you find out who the thief was?”
Lois raised an eyebrow at him. “Why would I know?”
“My mom told me you ran after him. There’s no way you’d let him escape without at least seeing his face.”
“Well, since that guy isn’t in jail right now, what do you think?” Lois forced a smile.
He looked suspiciously at her. “Why do I have this feeling you’re hiding something from me?”
“Drop it, Smallville,” Lois raised her voice, avoiding to look at him.
Clark sighed. “Fine. I’ll find out by myself.”
The rest of the drive was quiet, with Clark shooting glances at Lois and her mind elsewhere after tonight’s revelation.
The next day, Lois was sitting on the couch in her apartment, watching “Dr. Phil” on TV. Someone knocked on the door. Lois got up to answer it.
“Hi,” Oliver grinned at her. He was holding a small bouquet of roses. “For you.”
“Oh, Oliver, you sho –“ She stopped, thinking better. “They’re beautiful. Thanks. Come in.”
He entered the apartment as she closed the door. She went to the kitchen to grab a vase. “I know I should’ve called first, but I thought that it would be nice if I surprise you with flowers. I really wanted to talk to you,” he was rambling.
Lois put the flowers on a vase and placed it on the countertop.
Oliver looked at the TV and frowned. “Are you watching ‘Dr. Phil?’”
Lois chuckled and nodded. “There’s so many things going on my life right now, hearing a professional’s opinion is comforting. I’m waiting for the superpowers episode.”
“Your powers are recent?” He asked, surprised.
“Yeah. I’m still dealing with them.”
“If you need, I can help you.”
“Thanks, but I already have that covered,” Lois gave him a half-smile. She then cleared her throat. “Tell me about your story. How, why.”
“Have you heard about what happened to me years ago?”
“If I remember correctly, you were stranded on an island for two years after your yatch shipwrecked. Is that right?”
“Uh-huh. There I learned archery. When I got back I decided I couldn’t be that playboy anymore, I needed to step up and be a better person, help others.”
Lois frowned. “In tights?”
“They’re not tights,” Oliver denied, annoyed.
“They looked like tights from where I was standing,” Lois smirked.
“They’re not tights.”
Lois chuckled. “Okay, Tightman.”
Oliver sighed. He then cleared his throat. “What about your story?”
She averted his eyes. “I can’t, I’m sorry. Not because I don’t want to, it’s… It’s complicated.”
Oliver nodded. “It’s okay. Whenever you’re ready to share.” He approached her, which made her look at him again. “You… Do you accept to have dinner with me tomorrow night?”
“You don’t need to answer right now, okay? Just think about and then give me a call.”
Lois pondered it and then nodded. “Okay.”
Oliver smiled. “Well, I gotta go. Bye, Lois.”
After confirming that Lionel haven’t call the police with the man himself, Clark followed a tip from him. The man in the hood would attack the last name left on the Safetex’s clients list.
As expected, the vigilant broke into the client’s mansion to steal a Egyptian necklace. After redirecting the laser alarm with an arrow so he could approach the necklace without ringing the alarm, he grabbed the object. He didn’t count on Clark being there, though. “Who are you?”
“Sorry, I have no official name yet.” Oliver’s voice was disguised by a voice changer in his sunglasses.
“Well… you won’t need it anymore.”
“I think you're taking the whole neighborhood-watch thing a bit too seriously.” Oliver started to walk through Clark.
Clark stopped him with a hand against his chest. Oliver glared at him and raised a hand to punch Clark in the face, but was stopped again. Clark then threw him across the room, tripping the security alarms.
“That was fun,” Oliver said, getting up. “Is there anyone who hasn’t a big secret?” He started to approach Clark. “I hate to break it to you, tough guy, but you're on the wrong side.”
“I'm not sure the police would agree.”
“Look around you, Beav,” Oliver tapped his hand against the side of his leg, frustrated. “The days of the good guy running the show are over.” He then shot an electric mini arrow at him, which Clark caught.
Clark decided it was time to know who the man behind the hood was and then used his x-ray vision. His eyes opened widely. “Oliver!”
Oliver gulped, taken aback by Clark shouting his name. “What –“ However, with a security guard approaching them, he had to think fast. He shot another arrow, this time hitting the guard and knocking him out.
Clark went to check on the guard, but when he turned to face Oliver again, he was gone.
There was a knock on the door of apartment above the talon. Lois was on the couch watching TV. “Come in.”
Clark entered the apartment. “Hey.”
She smiled at him. “Hi.”
Clark approached her, frowning at what she was seeing. “Watching ‘Dr. Phil?’”
She nodded, not taking her eyes off the TV. “Marathon.”
Clark took a deep breath. “Why didn’t you tell me Oliver was the vigilant?”
Lois’s eyes bugged out. She looked at him. “What?”
“I saw him, Lois. And now your hesitation yesterday makes sense.” He was looking at her with a look of disapproval.
Lois got up and glared at him. “He asked me to keep a secret and that’s what I did. Simple as that.”
“The guy’s a criminal, Lois. He even attacked my mother.”
“He has reason to do it, Smallville. And he said he was sorry about what he did to Mrs. K.”
“You can’t close your eyes just because you likes him.”
When Lois was about to reply, someone knocked on the door. Lois glared at Clark one last time before answering the door. “Oliver,” she said.
“Lois. Clark, he –“ Oliver stopped as he entered the apartment and saw Clark snorting at him. They glared at each other.
Lois looked at them, concerned. “Should I go get the collar or…” She joked, trying to ease the tension.
“Give back everything you stole!” Clark said to Oliver.
“Do you even realize that those objects don’t belong to them to begin with? That everything was bought off the black market?”
Lois sat on a chair, sighing.
“I don’t doubt that the people you stole from are corrupts, but steal isn’t the right answer. And your methods put people at risk.”
“Because isn’t yours? For me the end justifies the means.”
“What if every person decides who should and shouldn’t be stolen. What if someone someday decides that you, Oliver Queen, is a corrupt and starts to steal from you?”
“I have nothing to hide.”
“Are you sure there’s no asterisk in your past?”
Oliver angered. “How about you stop accusing me and start to be more proactive!”
Lois got up and took a deep breath. “Okay, this is too far. Clark, Oliver did the right thing. His way may not be the best one to do it, but his intentions are what matters. If the price is a few tears of the likes of Lionel Luthor, I don’t see the problem.” She then looked at Oliver and pointed at him. “Now, you, don’t you doubt of Smallville ever again. The person you want to become, he has been it his whole life.”
Clark was amused at Lois defending him, while Oliver gasped.
“Can’t we just get along? Don’t we want justice and peace?” Lois finished, furrowing.
Clark nodded. “I suppose so. Truce?” Oliver asked as he extended his hand.
“Only if you return what you’ve stolen from Lionel.”
Oliver raised his voice. “Are you k –“ Lois shot him a look. “It was illegal.”
“I’ll take care of that.”
“What about the other objects you stole?”
“I’ll return them to their right places. The Met, the Tate, and the Louvre.”
Clark nodded. “Good.”
Lois cleared her throat. “Well, if you two excuse me, I have an encounter with Dr. Phil.” She then headed to the couch.
Oliver chuckled and looked at Clark. “I think that’s our cue to leave.”
“I’ll stay, actually. I have something to talk to Lois.”
Oliver nodded. “Good night, Lois.”
“Good night,” Lois replied, not taking her eyes off the TV.
Oliver then left the apartment.
After a couple of minutes, Lois realized Clark was still in her apartment, standing a couple of meters away from her, his mind elsewhere. “Either you sit or you leave.”
He was startled out of his thoughts by her voice. “Oh. Yeah, okay.” He went to sat on the couch.”
“What is it in your out of this world mind?”
“I’m thinking about what I’m going to do with Lionel’s necklace. I can’t just give it to him knowing where it’s from.”
“Well, if you’re accepting advices, I’d say you should test Lionel.”
Clark looked puzzled. “What do you mean?”
“If he really has changed, I think you should tell him to donate it to charity. Righting a wrong.”
He pondered her suggestion, then smiled. “That’s actually a great idea. Thanks.”
“Anytime,” she smiled back. “Now, shh.”
“Why are you so addicted to it?”
“I don’t know. I can’t decide if it’s because I want to see some normalcy or to prove I’m not the only weird thing happening in the world right now.”
Clark laughed. “How about I keep you company?”
“Only if you shut up,” she gave him a tight-lipped smile.
He leaned in and whispered. “I’ll make popcorn.” He then got up and went to kitchen.
“I love you!”
Two days later, Lois and Oliver were having a cup of coffee at the Talon.
“I can’t believe you’re the one who came up with the ‘Green Arrow’ name,” Oliver said, dropping the Daily Planet newspaper with an article about the new hero on its front page. “I really liked it.”
Lois smiled proudly. “I told my cousin the name I came up with, which she loved, and the details of what happened, leaving certain things out, of course.”
“I really appreciate it.” He took a sip of his coffee. “Do you know what Clark did with the necklace?”
“He gave it to Lionel, requesting him to donate it to charity.”
“Of course he did. Lionel does anything to be in Clark and, especially, Mrs. K’s good graces.”
“You don’t buy his redemption, do you?”
“Not at all. But it’s like Clark says, it’s better him on our side than against us.”
Oliver nodded. He stared at his cup, taking deep breaths, until he looked at her again. “Have you… Have you thought about us?”
Lois gulped, nodding shyly. “I… Uh, have. I accept to go out with you again. With one condition.”
“We start as friends. Get to know each other better, don’t rush into anything.”
“Oh,” Oliver was surprised. “I… Okay. Taking things slow is good. Don’t they say the best romances begin with friendship?” He smiled shyly at her.
She smiled back and nodded. “Absolutely.”