What was I thinking?
That was the only thought running through Clark’s mind as he stared at the now frosted and decorated cake sitting on the counter in front of him, the piping bag still in his hand. To be fair, there wasn’t anything wrong with the aforementioned cake, which a triple layer chocolate caramel; layers of chocolate cake filled and covered with a chocolate caramel bourbon infused ganache, and it actually turned out looking pretty good. The ‘Happy Birthday, Oliver’ that he had just written in green royal icing looked legible, even if the first few letters in happy were a little off, due to his lack of practice with writing on cakes.
But the cake that he had so carefully made the previous night now seemed like too much. He had wanted to make Oliver’s birthday special, and idea to make a cake had come from an offhand comment that Oliver had made, but now he wondered if Oliver would like the cake, or what he would read into it.
It’s fine, he told himself. After all, making a cake for a someone’s birthday was definitely something a person could do for a friend, even if his actual feelings for Oliver had been anything but platonic for months. No way would Oliver be able to see into his heart from just this gesture. Glancing over at the kitchen island, he cringed as he saw the boxes sitting there. Then again, he didn’t just have that cake, did he?
After all, a cake could be explained away, but the fact that Clark had sped to New York just to get black and white cookies, or that he had flown to Switzerland to buy Oliver’s favorite brand of chocolate truffles could be seen as a little bit more than something someone would do for a friend. As was his plan to either offer Oliver a homemade meal or treat him to dinner, already having made reservations at a Mexican restaurant in Metropolis that had a private rooftop option, which had been available for him to take advantage of, allowing Oliver the privacy that he imagined the other man would prefer.
While he knew Lois had her own birthday tradition with Oliver and the rest of the League were planning a small party for him the following day, he couldn’t help but want to do something special for Oliver all on his own. And maybe the fact that it would be the two of them was a bit selfish, he realized, but he hadn’t been thinking of it that way at the time.
Sighing, Clark pushed the negative thoughts away. It would be fine. He’d just drop the cake off today, since it was Oliver’s actual birthday, even if it involved driving to Metropolis, because he wasn’t sure he wanted to be flying around with it. He would put the cookies and the chocolate in a gift bag, along with Oliver’s actual gift, which was composed of a silver ballpoint pen that had a arrowhead topper, which doubled as a cover for a USB, and a book that Oliver had mentioned a few days ago. Hopefully, Oliver would like it all, and maybe not open it in front of Clark so he could avoid the possible uncomfortable reaction.
Setting aside the piping bag, Clark took one last look at the cake, before going to retrieve a cake stand and a glass cover to place it in for the time being. It was fortunate he grew up in a household that involved his mother baking so often, because not only did the kitchen have everything he could need to bake and store food, he had been able to learn from her. Otherwise, he would have been much more lost and would have had to stick with something a lot simpler.
Once he had dealt with the cake, he made his way upstairs to get the wrapped presents, and returned with them and a gift bag. Slowly, he packed the box of cookies and chocolate inside with the gift, and set them aside on island once more.
Grabbing his cell phone, he got ready to call Oliver, to let him know he would be stopping by in a little bit. At least it was a Saturday, so he most likely wouldn’t be working, and while Clark usually tended to barge in with zero notice, it felt important to give Oliver a head’s up. After all, he wanted to make sure he would be home. In years past, Oliver had tended to be a bit unpredictable on his birthday.
Just as he was about to call, he heard a knock at the front door. Frowning, he headed toward the sound, silently wondering who it could be. I wasn’t expecting anyone. When Clark opened the door and it took all his self-control not to gape at the person standing behind it.
Dressed in a pair of jeans, a white t-shirt, and a green leather jacket stood the man who had just been occupying his thoughts. Oliver grinned at Clark, and despite his surprise, Clark automatically smiled back.
“Hey,” he managed, finding his words at last, moving aside slightly to make room. “This is a surprise. Come on in.”
“A good surprise, I hope,” Oliver joked as he stepped inside.
Closing the door behind, he turned to look at Oliver. “Of course,” he said, lightly. “Also, happy birthday!”
Oliver’s smile widened. “Thank you.”
“I was about to call you actually,” Clark admitted. “I thought you might be busy, which is why I was surprised to see you here.”
Shrugging, Oliver leaned against the couch in the living room. “I decided to take it easy this year. Gave myself the day off and took a long drive, and since I was heading in this direction, I figured I would just complete the trip and see what you were up to.”
“As you can tell,” Clark replied wryly, gesturing to their surroundings, “Not a lot of excitement going on around here.”
“Well, that is good news for me then,” Oliver remarked, looking pleased. “Because I can steal you away for lunch without feeling like I’m making you abandon any responsibilities.”
Clark ducked his head and grinned. “Steal away. I have to warn you that the dining options around here are pretty limited and more on the casual side.”
“Casual is fine with me,” Oliver assured him. “But I figured we could go out of town anyway. There were a couple of interesting looking places that I saw not too far from here on my drive over. Unless you don’t have the time-?”
“No, I’m all your’s,” Clark promised, the words coming out before he could think twice and tried his best not to react afterwards.
An unidentified emotion flicked through Ollie’s expression before he switched back to an easy smile. “Lucky me then. Ready to head out?”
Clark nodded immediately. “Yeah, let me just grab my keys and wallet. Be back in a few.”
“Take your time,” Oliver called out as he headed to the steps and made his way into his room. Pocketing his wallet, he paused for a moment, wondering if he should take the opportunity to give Oliver his gift and cake now or wait. Wait, he decided. After lunch would be the perfect time and he could try to figure out between now and then how to give it to him while not being a complete disaster.
He went downstairs again and frowned as he found the living room empty. Where did Oliver go? Dread filled his stomach as he glanced toward the kitchen. If Oliver went in there then, there was no way he would miss what Clark didn’t even think to conceal.
Taking a deep breath, he took the few steps to enter the kitchen and found Oliver exactly where he hoped he wouldn’t be. Oliver was stiff as a board, glass cup in one hand, back to Clark, staring at the counter, and while Oliver was blocking his view of what he was looking at, he was definitely staring at the spot where Clark had left the cake.
Not wanting to startle him, Clark cleared his throat, the noise causing Ollie to spin around, eyes wide and looking more vulnerable than Clark had seen him in a long time. The look broke Clark’s heart and he wanted more than anything to pull the other man into his arms.
Instead, he offered a small smile and said, “I was wondering where you disappeared to.”
Oliver blinked a few times and then an uncharacteristic blush formed on his cheeks. It was a cute look. “I went to get some water,” he explained, gesturing to the glass in his hand. “Figured it would be okay, and that caught my eye. I didn’t come in here intending to snoop.”
Clark shook his head. “No, I didn’t mean to accuse you of anything. Not like I went out of my way to hide it, and well, it is for you anyway. You were going to get it at some point.”
“You made me a cake,” Oliver said, tone bewildered, and wasn’t it interesting seeing an Oliver Queen not completely on his game.
“Yeah,” Clark confirmed, running a hand through his hair.
“Why?” Oliver wanted to know.
“I thought it might be nice, because the other day, you said,” Clark began to explain, but he was cut off quickly.
“Because I said I’ve never had a homemade cake,” Oliver finished, brown eyes staring intently at him. Clark could only nod in response. “It looks great,” Ollie added, “Who knew you had these sort of secret talents?”
“Well, you should try it first before you give me compliments,” Clark warned, only half joking. Closing the gap between them, he passed Oliver and lifted the stand the cake was sitting on. “I was planning to drop this off at your place and that changed to giving it to you after lunch, but I guess now that you’ve seen it, there’s no point in waiting.”
Oliver’s lips curved into a smile. “I’m pretty good at it, if you want to hold on till later.”
“Nah,” Clark disagreed. “Happy Birthday again, Oliver. I’ll, uh, I’ll find a better box for you to take it home in.”
Setting the glass down, and accepting the cake, Oliver chuckled. “Thank you. This means, well, it means a lot. Can I cut it now? Because to be honest, I can wait, but I really don’t want to.”
“No, you can cut it whenever you want,” Clark assured him. “I know you and Lois have plans later so I thought you could do it then …”
“I’d rather cut it with you now though,” Oliver told him, so sincere that Clark had to take a moment before he could speak again.
“Okay,” Clark replied, beaming. “You can set the cake on the table. I will get a knife and some candles.”
“Are you going to sing for me, boyscout?” Oliver teased, doing as Clark instructed.
“I could, but you may not be able to unhear it,” Clark joked, drawing a laugh out of Oliver.
“Fair enough,” Oliver said, as he removed the cover from the cake. Meanwhile, Clark found some candles, matches, plates, forks, and a knife. He took one green candle and one white one and put them on in the center of the cake, and striking a match, he lit them both. Putting the matchstick out, he stepped back and threw it in the trash, before returning to Ollie’s side.
“So proud to be turning two,” Oliver joked.
“We don’t have enough candles for your actual age,” Clark pointed out playfully. “I’ll be more prepared next year.”
“Hurtful, Clark, that’s just hurtful,” Oliver pouted.
“I’m sure you can handle it,” Clark retorted, handing him the knife. Nudging him lightly, he added, “Make a wish. I don’t think wax will go as well with the cake flavors.”
Oliver sighed dramatically and then watched him for a moment, biting his lower lip, and then he turned back to the cake and blew out the candles. Clark clapped and Ollie laughed, picking up the knife to cut two slices, setting them on plates and handing one to Clark.
Clark accepted it, but didn’t take a bite though, and just kept looking at Oliver as he picked up a fork and delved in. He remained nervous as Oliver chewed and only relaxed when a grin blossomed onto Oliver’s face.
“Wow, Clark,” Oliver remarked. “This is amazing.”
“It is?” Clark asked hopefully.
“Yeah, the cake is soft and what is in this filling?” Oliver wanted to know.
“It’s a chocolate caramel ganache and it has a bit of bourbon in it,” Clark explained.
“You can taste that,” Oliver agreed. “Really, it is delicious. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome,” Clark responded. “I’m glad you like it.” He took a bite of his own slice and realized that yes, it was good. Oliver wasn’t one to exaggerate and his compliments felt genuine, but it was still a big relief.
Glancing over at the bag on the island, he set aside his plate and moved to get it. So far, it had gone well, and he might just see how far his luck took him. Handing it to Oliver, he said, “When you’re done, I have something else for you.”
Oliver was almost finished with his slice of cake, and his eyes darted from Clark to the bag and back. “Clark, you didn’t have to get me anything.”
“It’s your birthday, I wanted to,” Clark insisted. He waited until Oliver finished his cake, and then he took the bag from him.
Immediately, Oliver set the bag down and delved into it, finding and pulling the card out first. The cover had a picture of a field, with an arrow mid air heading toward a target. Inside, the text said “Happy Birthday. May your wishes hit the mark!” Seeing Oliver chuckle, it seemed as if he got a kick out of it.
Clark watched as Oliver moved on to the present, butterflies in his stomach as he waited anxiously. The chocolate box came out first, as Clark was afraid it would. Oliver studied the label on the box, recognition filling his eyes immediately, as his eyes met Clark’s. He tried to smile encouragingly and fortunately for him, Oliver didn’t comment for the moment, choosing to instead continue to unpack the bag. The cookie box was opened and he saw Oliver swallow hard upon seeing the contents. It was admittedly hard to be patient, as Oliver unwrapped the present very carefully, but when Oliver’s eyes filled with wonder upon seeing the book and then the pen, Clark knew that he had gotten it right.
Oliver was quiet as he looked at Clark, and then closed the gap between them, arms wrapping around him in a hug. Clark couldn’t do anything but hug him back, enjoying the warm embrace. When Oliver pulled away, he immediately missed his touch.
“Thank you,” Oliver said, his voice heavy and serious. “You’re, well, you’re amazing to do all of this, just for me.”
“It wasn’t that much,” Clark tried to protest, but he wasn’t allowed to continue.
“Clark, you went to Switzerland to get chocolates,” Oliver interrupted. “You stood in line for who knows how long for those cookies, and you remembered the book …” He shook his head. “The cake alone was already the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me, and add in all of this … you honestly have me at a loss for words.”
“Now that is a true miracle,” Clark teased, lips curving into a smile, trying not to reveal how much Oliver’s reactions impacted him.
“You are a miracle, so it is not that surprising,” was the response he got, taking his breath away completely. “How did I get so lucky to have you in my life?”
It was easier when Oliver teased him. His sincere proclamations of admiration were almost too much for Clark to deal with.
“If I remember correctly, you stole my mom’s necklace,” Clark said, attempting to lighten the mood. If Ollie kept going like this, Clark wouldn’t be able to stop himself from kissing him. Oliver was standing close, too close, and Clark wasn’t sure whether he wanted to create some distance or close it completely.
“Best thing I’ve ever stolen,” Oliver declared, eyes twinkling with mirth and something else that Clark couldn’t recognize, but it reminded him of the look Oliver gave him earlier, when Clark declared himself to be Ollie’s.
“Pretty sure you stole me once too,” Clark remembered out loud, thinking back to when Oliver had rescued him from the Russian prison camp. “So I’m not sure if I should be insulted or not.”
“No, now that was a legitimate business deal,” Oliver pointed out. “I bought caviar and I convinced them to throw you in.”
“So I’m just a bonus gift that you get when you spend a certain amount?” Clark retorted, hiding a grin. “I don’t know how to feel about that.”
“More like a priceless artifact they didn’t know they had,” Oliver replied, a smirk forming on his lips as a blush stained Clark’s cheeks. “So I guess I did steal you in a way.”
“You need to stop being so nice to me,” Clark protested. “I’ll think that you’re losing your touch, or that there is something in that cake that wasn’t meant to be there.”
“Is that so bad?” Oliver asked, tilting his head and taking a step forward, closing the already small gap between them, his eyes drifting and lingering on Clark’s mouth. “I can be nice.”
“Not if you’re going to push me to do something we might regret.” The confession escaped Clark’s lips before he could think twice.
“And what makes you think I will regret it?” Oliver wanted to know, the remaining space between them gone.
“Oliver,” he started, but couldn’t continue, words escaping him upon feeling the heat of Oliver’s body so close to his, the smell of his cologne driving him to distraction.
“Clark,” Oliver murmured, and Clark’s heart stuttered, unable to move, as Oliver leaned forward, brushing his lips against Clark’s own. Pulling back after only a brief moment, before Clark could even get used to the taste of Oliver’s lips, Oliver stared at Clark, expression serious. “You could never be a regret to me.”
That was enough for Clark to lose what was left of his self control, as he surged forward and captured Oliver’s lips once more, hands moving to the other man’s back, pressing him flush against his own body. Oliver responded immediately, hands gripping the back of Clark’s head and his fingers entwining in his dark locks, deepening the kiss.
Oliver tasted better than Clark could’ve ever imagined, and his body felt so good underneath Clark’s fingertips, making Clark want more. Making Clark want to have all of Oliver, to keep touching him and tasting him and take everything that he was willing to give. All he wanted was Oliver. And now he had him.
“I hope I have made myself clear,” Oliver spoke against Clark’s lips, having parted reluctantly, but not yet completely separating.
“Wouldn’t mind a bit more convincing if you’re willing,” Clark suggested, causing Oliver to smile.
“I was born willing,” Oliver proclaimed, and before Clark could respond, kissed him again. Not that he was complaining. The exact opposite really.
Clark lost himself in Oliver’s embrace, the two of them not able to stop smiling and laughing between kisses, and the gradual shift from the kitchen to his bedroom was done without even the exchange of words.
And having Oliver in his bed was more than he could’ve ever dreamed; being able to freely touch and explore while the two of them learned each other’s bodies was everything, time quickly lost to their exploration and the long awaited release of their desires. Clark never wanted to stop, couldn’t ever picture getting tired of having this, of having Oliver.
Only much later did they leave the bed, because it turned out that the cake had not been an appropriate substitute for lunch, and they soon realized they needed actual food. So the two headed to the kitchen to make a meal of omelets, toast, fruit, and snagging even more cake to take back to bed. They were both half naked, Oliver partially in Clark’s lap, back pressed against Clark’s chest, as they shared their meals. Clark wrapped his arms around Ollie’s torso and couldn’t resist placing kisses against Oliver’s neck and shoulder, using his tongue to taste the bare skin, eliciting a moan.
“You are incorrigible,” Oliver told him, as he peeled an orange, turning slightly and bringing a slice up to Clark’s lips. Clark opened his mouth and bit down on the slice, juice falling on his lips, as he chewed and swallowed. Oliver leaned close to lick the remaining juice off his lips, causing Clark to take a sharp breath inwards.
“And I’m incorrigible?” he countered, leaning forward to share a kiss.
“Are you complaining?” Oliver asked, once they separated.
“Never, are you?” Clark questioned.
“Nope, I wish I had only known sooner,” Oliver told him, nudging him lightly. “You’ve been holding out on me, boy scout.”
“Well, it’s a good thing that your drive took you over here then,” Clark said, leaning against the headboard, and was surprised to see Oliver blush, raising an eyebrow in an unasked question.
“I actually was coming here all along,” Oliver confessed, after a brief pause. He let out a chuckle. “Honestly, Clark, I woke up this morning, and after deciding to not do anything, I thought about what I wanted the most on my birthday. And that was to see you. So I did.”
Clark softened, overwhelmed with Oliver’s honesty, and what could he even say to that? So he pulled him into another lingering kiss, foreheads resting against each other.
“That’s even better,” Clark replied finally. “Because you’re always welcome here, and with me, wherever I am.”
“Wherever you are is where I want to be,” Oliver said. Grinning, he added, “And the less you’re wearing, the better. Preferably nothing at all.”
“I’m sure that can be arranged, but maybe not at Watchtower,” Clark joked.
“Yeah,” Oliver agreed, laughing. “I don’t like to share.”
“To the surprise of absolutely no one,” Clark retorted. “Speaking of sharing, what time do you have to meet Lois?”
“Not for a couple of hours,” Oliver answered. “I have plenty of time, even if I have to drive back.”
“And I fly you there?” Clark suggested.
“Even more time,” was Oliver’s immediate response. “Are you offering?”
“If I get to have you stay longer, yes,” Clark replied. “Are you accepting?”
“If it means I can have more time with you, obviously,” Oliver said. Abandoning the food to the side table, he used one hand to push at Clark’s chest, and Clark allowed him to press him against the bed, as the other man eased his way on top of him. “And I know just how to use it.”
“I’m all ears,” Clark said, but that was all he could get out before Oliver kissed him again.
“Definitely the best thing I’ve ever stolen,” Oliver proclaimed, after pulling back briefly, and then silenced Clark with his lips once more. And Clark didn’t have a problem with that, more than happy to lose himself in Oliver’s arms all over again.
It may have been Oliver’s birthday, but Clark felt he had gotten the best present of all.