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19 May 2011 @ 10:01 pm
Gift of Fate Chapter 12 (13/?)  
Summary: Oliver has been missing for two years, ever since his boat went down in a sudden storm. Chloe is still grieving for him. What will it take for her to move on and live her life again? What happened to Oliver? Will he ever come back? And who's behind the mysterious disappearances in Star City?

Rating: PG-13 for the most part, however there are sections that are NC-17 (my first attempt, for the record) for sexual content. This fic contains violence and language. Chapters containing sexual content will be preceded by a warning.

Spoilers: The entire series, basically. The basic setting is season six with a twist, but anything is fair game if it works for this fic.

Warning: Again, this is AU and is a continuation of my fic Twist of Fate, which you really need to read first or this isn't going to make any sense. There will sexual content and violence.

Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters, I'm just playing around with them.

Betajessicaj703 Thanks for all the help!

Previous ChaptersPrologue, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11

Banner by geek_or_unique 


Author’s Note: This picks up exactly where the last chapter ended, literally like three seconds after. Also, this is the longest chapter to date. I hope it’s worth it.
And thank you for all of the wonderful reviews on the last chapter.

Chapter 12

Oliver woke slowly. He felt groggy, as though he was struggling to wake from the deepest sleep of his life. Every muscle in his body was stiff. Groaning, he sat up and pressed a hand to his forehead. The last thing he remembered was Chloe bending over him, her face etched with concern. Before that, all he remembered was being stuck in the middle of a gang war and trying to drag the man with the glowing ring away from the gunfire after they’d become the targets. But he couldn’t remember what had happened in between or why Chloe had been so worried.

A quiet noise alerted him to the fact that he wasn’t alone. Immediately, his eyes snapped open. Standing in the doorway, staring at him cautiously with slightly narrowed eyes, was a young man with a lithe runner’s frame. He was dressed in a red hoodie and jeans and had an unconscious Chloe clutched his his arms. Her head lolled against his shoulder. There was something almost protective about the way he was holding her.

“Who the hell are you?” Oliver demanded angrily, rising from the bed. He was fully aware of the fact that he was half dressed in his Green Arrow gear, but his weapons weren’t going to do him any good with Chloe directly between them. She might get hurt. Frustrated, confused, and slightly freaked out, he drew himself up to his full height and attempted to look menacing. He glowered at the young man and took a few steps forward, his hands balled into fists in an attempt to keep his temper under control. “How the hell did you get in my house and what the hell are you doing with her?”

“Relax man,” the kid said, tightening his grip on Chloe, pulling her protectively into his chest. “I’m just gonna lay ‘licious down in the living room and then I’ll explain.”

“The hell I am,” Oliver snapped, advancing on him. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he processed the pet name the kid had used for Chloe and he didn’t like the sound of it. “I’m not leaving her with you.”

Rolling his eyes, the young man spun on his heel, disappearing in a red blur and returning before Oliver could even blink. He crossed his arms and smirked, a small hint of humor in his eyes. “I’m a friend, dude.”

“You’re the kid with super-speed,” Oliver realized, the anger quickly draining from his body to be replaced by confusion. “Chloe told me about you.”

“She did?” The kid positively lit up. “Awesome.”

“What’s your name?” Oliver demanded, beginning to feel impatient. He still couldn’t remember what had happened in the alley or how he’d gotten back to the penthouse. All he knew was the somehow, in the process, Chloe had been knocked unconscious. He wanted to make sure that she was okay and he wanted to know what had happened to her, in that order.

“Bart Allen,” the young man said easily, a cocky grin on his face. He seemed completely unaware of the tension rolling off the half dressed man in front of him. “What about you? Or do you just go by Green Arrow?”

Oliver hesitated slightly, but decided to trust Bart. Chloe obviously did. He offered the kid his hand. “Oliver Queen.”

“How do you know ‘licious?” Bart asked curiously.

“Long story,” Oliver said, his impatience growing by the second. “What happened to Chloe?”

A troubled expression crossed the speedster’s face and he began pacing the room. “I have no idea man. She called me when you got shot and I--”

“Shit!” Oliver hissed. He clutched his stomach, as the memories flooded back. He remembered getting shot and waking up in his room, Chloe bent over him. He could remember the pain stabbing through him every time he breathed. He could remember blacking out again under the overwhelming pain. He could remember thinking that he was going to die before getting a chance to tell Chloe that he still loved her, despite the time they’d spent apart.

But when he looked down, his fingers sliding over his abdomen, he saw that his skin was unmarked. There was plenty of dried blood caked on his skin, but there were no bandages, no bloody hole, not even a scar where he knew the bullet had hit him. It was as if it had never happened, as if he’d never been shot.

Bart was eyeing him carefully. “Are you okay, man?”

“I was shot,” Oliver murmured. “I should be unconscious. Hell, I should probably be dead. What happened?”

“I wish I knew,” Bart admitted. He collapsed on the edge of the bed, carefully avoiding the bloody sheets that he eyed with a grimace, and ran a hand through his brown hair. “Chloe sent me into the other room to keep an eye on the other guy while she was in here taking care of you. Next thing I know, she’s shouting for me. I got here as fast as I could, which is pretty fast. Her hands were glowing and she was practically unconscious, but she muttered something about thinking that she had some kind of healing meteor power, right before she blacked out. I’ve never seen anything like that, dude. And I’ve seen a lot of metas.”

Oliver felt like an iron band had closed around his heart. “A meteor power.”

Bart nodded. “Yeah man. I can’t say I’m surprised. Considering the number of times she’s ended up around the stuff helping Stretch out. I mean, the amount of meteor rock she’s been exposed to is crazy. But usually it takes something freaky to actually activate the power. Like a lightening bolt or a near death experience and as far as I know, she hasn’t had any of those recently. I could be wrong though. Last time I checked, ‘licious has a near death experience every other week--”

“Is she all right?” Oliver asked worriedly, cutting off Bart’s ramble.

The speedster winced slightly. “I don’t know,” he admitted. “Her pulse was kinda weak when I picked her up. I’d have taken her to the hospital, but she said not to. ”

The iron band tightened in Oliver’s chest. He took a deep breath to calm himself. “Go make sure the other guy’s all right. If he wakes up tell him that Green Arrow brought him here because he got hurt and don’t let him leave the room. I don’t know if I can trust him with my identity. I’m going to check on Chloe.”

A gust of air hit Oliver in the face and the kid was gone in a flash of red. Rubbing his temples, Oliver walked across the hall and grabbed the spare vest out of his secret room, pulling it on as he walked toward the living room. He trusted Bart because Chloe obviously trusted him. But Oliver wasn’t so sure about the other guy and like he’d told Bart, he wasn’t going to take unnecessary chances with his identity.

Chloe was lying on the couch. Her usually pale skin was ashen, completely bleached of color by the moonlight streaming in through the open balcony doors. She always kept them open when he was patrolling, unless the weather dictated otherwise. She said it was just in case something happened. He’d always laughed at her, until a few weeks ago when he’d missed the landing. If the glass doors had been shut, he’d have gone right through them. Chloe had given him that smug smile, made a snarky comment about his lack of grace, and left him sitting on the floor while she went to bed. He’d stared after her, utterly entranced.

Oliver knelt on the floor near her head. She looked like she was sleeping. Her expression was relaxed, free of both the concentration he often saw when she was working and the hint of worry he always saw when he donned his Green Arrow gear, despite how much she tried to hide it. He knew her face, her emotions, too well for her to fully succeed. Now, she looked completely at peace. A tiny smile pulled at his lips and he tenderly brushed her hair back from her face.

He instantly recoiled. Her skin was cold to the touch, almost lifeless. His heart hammered in his chest as he realized that her pallor wasn’t just because of the moonlight gently caressing her. Panicking, he felt for a pulse. There wasn’t one.

Time stopped. His heart stopped beating, constricting painfully in his chest and it became nearly impossible to breath. Tears course unbidden down his cheeks. Hesitantly, he reached out and cupped her cheek, running his fingers through her hair. There was no response. Not even the slightest twitch. Oliver’s hands began to shake. He pulled her off the couch and into his lap, cradling her tightly as he pressed his face into her hair.

For so long he’d wanted to hold her like that, as more than a friend. They’d put up so many barriers, all for the sake of saving their relationship, but he’d honestly missed holding her and feeling her small, soft body pressed against him. It was such a simple, innocent gesture, but it was one he hadn’t really shared with anyone else. Before her, he’d never been one for cuddling outside of sleeping with someone. Sure, he’d wrap an arm around their waist in public, even sit inappropriately close, their bodies pressed together. But simply hugging someone without any expectations beyond comfort and friendship was something he’d never done until Chloe. It was something he’d truly missed doing.

Chloe was the only person he’d ever met who could be with him and have absolutely no expectations beyond just hanging out when they were together, no matter what their relationship status had been. Now that he could finally hold her in his arms again without any repercussions on their relationship, she was dead. He was alive and she wasn’t. Somehow she’d discovered a superpower that had given her the ability to bring him back from the brink of death, but in the process it had killed her.

His arms tightened around her convulsively. It wasn’t fair. None of the meteor powers she’d told him about or he’d seen himself had that kind of side-effect. Why did Chloe, of all the people in the world, have to have the the one ability that could only be used once, the ability that would trade her life for his? She hadn’t even known about it, that much Oliver was sure of. She would have told him, or at the very least told Bart something before she passed out...before she died.

He’d had nightmares about what might have happened to her while he was stuck on the island and unable to protect her. Sometimes she was hurt by meteor freaks and other times he dreamed that she had simply found someone else to share her life with. But he’d always believed that she’d still be in the world. With Clark there to protect her, it had seemed unlikely that she’d ever be in too much danger, despite the fact that she seemed to attract it. He’d even hoped that somehow she’d still be in his life if he ever got off the island whether or not she had moved on.

This was a future Oliver had never anticipated. He’d always thought that he’d be the one to die first, that the island would kill him before anything ever happened to Chloe. On the rare occasions that he’d had similar nightmares since his return, it was always about a bad guy who’d gotten the drop on him or was just plain lucky. There had always been a small voice in the back of his mind that said that being the Green Arrow would kill him one day, but it was a risk he had taken knowing that he was defending Chloe as much as anyone else.

The kicker was, the voice had been right after all. Being the Green Arrow had killed him. And in doing so it had killed Chloe. She had somehow managed to trade her life for his. In the end, it wasn’t some psycho who’d hurt her. It was him. He had killed her.

Numbly, Oliver stood and carried Chloe into her bedroom. He almost walked into his own room -- there was just something right about the idea of laying her in his bed -- but then he remembered that the sheets were still covered in his blood. The thought of seeing it, of laying her on the clean side of the bed, nearly turned his stomach. Swallowing slowly, he walked into her room instead and placed her gently on the bed. He went into the bathroom down the hall and wet a rag. Returning to the bedroom, he sat gingerly on the edge of the bed and washed his blood off of from her hands. Her shirt was stained too, but he couldn’t bring himself to go looking through her drawers to get her another one. So he pulled the sheet over her and tucked her. He could almost pretend she was sleeping if it weren’t for the alarming pallor of her skin and her absolute lack of movement.

Unwilling to leave her, he grabbed a chair out of the corner and dragged it across the room. He sat as close to the bed as he could and took Chloe’s cold, lifeless hand in his.

“Hey man,” Bart said, walking into the room. “How’s Chlo...” he trailed off when he caught sight of her. The blood drained from his face and his eyes became suspiciously bright. Without another word, he sped out of the room.

***

Oliver wasn’t sure how long he sat there, holding her cold hand in his. Bart poked his head in again after a while and stayed a little longer, just staring at Chloe, before once again speeding out of the room. The sun rose and hours passed, but Oliver didn’t move. Tears continued to run down his cheeks until he had no tears left. Even then, he sat there, refusing to leave her, the only coherent thought in his mind that he had killed the woman he loved.

Her alarm went off at seven, as it always did during the week. Generally, he’d already been up for a while and he almost always heard the high pitched beeping from the room where he did his work outs. Chloe would come stumbling out of her room, her eyes still clouded with sleep, and go straight for the kitchen and the coffee he made sure to start for her. They always sat down and had breakfast, or what passed as breakfast for them, together.

Tearing his eyes away from her pale face for the first time in hours, he shut the alarm off. Catching sight of the bloody rag he’d used to clean her hands lying on the floor where he’d dropped it, Oliver stood and picked it up, tossing the grisly reminder in the corner, out of sight.

He returned to his chair and sat down. He took her hand again, threading their fingers together. Her skin felt warmer. Only marginally so, but it was enough for him to notice the difference. He stroked the back of her hand with his thumb.

Without warning, her eyes flew open and she sat bolt upright gasping for breath. Her hand clutched his with an almost astonishing strength while the fingers of her other hand balled up the sheets. Oliver started so violently that he fell off his chair, hitting the floor with a loud thud. The noise made no impression on her. Chloe gazed around sightlessly, her chest heaving as she fought to catch her breath. Her breathing slowly became move even as the color returned to her skin. Picking himself up slowly, Oliver sat on the edge of the bed.

“Chloe?” he whispered.

Her eyes gradually focused on him. A beat passed and she threw her arms around his neck.

“Oh thank god,” she whispered against his neck. “I thought I lost you.”

Feeling her warm body pressed against his, Oliver felt the band that had been crushing his heart begin loosen. Before he could return the embrace, she pulled back, examining him closely. “What happened? Are you all right?”

Tentatively, he touched her cheek, almost expecting his hand to pass right through her even though he’d felt her arms around him. But her skin was warm and firm beneath his fingers. “You’re alive?” he whispered.

“Shouldn’t I be?” she asked, frowning in confusion.

“You were dead,” Oliver murmured.

“I was?”

He nodded, sliding his fingers into her hair, desperate for the tactile proof that she was alive. “Do you have any idea what happened?”

She shook her head. “Are you sure I was actually dead and not just unconscious?”

“You were definitely dead,” he said grimly. “Chloe, what happened?” he asked again.

“I have no idea,” she admitted. Her forehead creased and her eyes lost their focus as she concentrated. “I thought you were dying. You’d just lost consciousness, so I was trying to wake you up again. Then my hands started glowing and I realized that somehow I was healing you. It had to be a meteor power. That’s the only explanation. How long was I...” she stumbled over the word and met his eyes again, “...dead?”

“Hours,” he said softly. “I wasn’t really paying attention. What set this off? Bart said there had to be some kind of catalyst.”

“Bart’s still here?” she asked incredulously. “I’d have thought he’d be gone by now. He’s not the type to stay in one place. But he’s right. It takes more than just being exposed to meteor rock.  I have no idea what triggered this, but it had to have been something. I just don’t know. What happened after I passed out?” Her voice was almost timid.

His fingers tightened in her hair and he pulled her closer, pressing their foreheads together. “You didn’t just pass out. You were dead. For hours you laid on this bed with no pulse and you weren’t breathing. Your skin was cold and you were literally turning blue. You were dead, Chloe. Don’t trivialize that.”

Finally realizing just how panicked he’d been, Chloe moved closer to him. His eyes were red-rimmed and she might have thought that it was because he hadn’t been sleeping. Then she saw the tear-stains on his face. Her heart nearly broke. Oliver had always seemed so unshakeable. After everything that had happened to him, he’d still been an amazingly strong person. She’d been the one to break him. Biting back tears at the revelation, she wrapped her arms around his neck again. “I’m sorry,” she whispered. “It’s still hard for me to realize that I was actually dead. I didn’t mean to scare you.”

“I know,” he whispered, tugging her closer still and wrapping his arms around her. “I never wanted to see you like that.” He pulled away to eye her carefully. “Are you sure you’re all right?”

She nodded emphatically. “I’m perfectly fine. Waking up was a little weird,” she admitted, knowing that if he suspected she was keeping anything back that he’d just keep asking her about it. He deserved to know everything she knew, however little that was. “It was like being born, I guess. I felt like everything hit me at once and it was kind of disorienting. But it passed. Now I’m just a little thirsty.” She offered him a small smile that he didn’t return. “Are you all right?” Chloe asked gently.

“Still a little freaked,” he admitted with a hesitant smile. “You were dead, Chloe, and now you’re not. Meteor freaks and psychotic bad guys have nothing on that. I want a doctor to look at you. I know someone who deals with meta humans. I’ve been meaning to introduce you. I just...” his voice faltered. “I need to know that you’re okay.”

“No complaints here,” Chloe chuckled. She buried her face against his chest, her arms locking around his neck. “I’m so glad you’re alive. I thought I was going to lose you, Ollie.”

He squeezed her tightly. “Me too. You really scared me, sidekick.”

“Sorry.”

“Not your fault.”

“I’m still sorry. I know how it felt when I thought you were dying. The last thing I wanted was for you to have to feel that. I honestly had no idea what was going to happen.”

“I know,” he assured her. “Despite everything, I’m glad you did. Being dead would have sucked.”

Chloe laughed slightly and the smile he’d been trying for graced her lips. “Definitely. Just, don’t do it again any time soon.”

“That won’t be a problem. There’s no way I’m going to risk having you die to save me again.”

She sighed and rolled her eyes. “Which doesn’t mean that something won’t happen and if it does, I’m not going to just sit by and do nothing.”

Unbidden, the image of her cold, lifeless body rose to the forefront of Oliver’s mind and his entire body tensed. That wasn’t something he ever wanted to see again. He opened his mouth to argue, then thought better of it when he saw the look in her eyes. Taking a deep breath, he forced himself to consider her words.

What she said was truer than he liked to admit. His work as the Green Arrow was dangerous and he risked his own life every time he put on the leather uniform. It was inevitable that he was going to get hurt and that sometimes he would be hurt badly. Chloe was simply saying that when that happened, she was going to do whatever she could to help him. As much as he wanted to argue, Oliver knew that if he were in her shoes, he would do the same thing, and he really had no right to ask her not to use her abilities.

“I still want a doctor to check you out,” he said firmly. “And if this power has any permanent side-effects, then we’ll talk again.”

Sensing that she had won the argument and recognizing the logic of his words, Chloe nodded. “Deal.”

He relaxed. “In the mean time, I’m just glad that you’re all right.”

“Same here,” she said softly, hugging him tightly again.

A slight tap on the door broke the moment and they pulled apart reluctantly. Oliver glanced over his shoulder to see Bart standing in the doorway, refusing to actually look into the room. He was fidgeting  and his eyes looked slightly red, as though he’d been crying. It was the first time Chloe had seen him without his trademark grin plastered across his face.

Oliver opened his mouth to speak, but Chloe placed a finger over his mouth and shot him a mischievous look before leaning over his shoulder. “Everything all right, Bart?”

At the sound of her voice, the speedster spun around. His eyes widened when he saw Chloe sitting up, awake and alive. His mouth fell open and in a move so fast that Oliver didn’t see it, Bart zipped into the room and pulled Chloe into a hug.

“You’re all right!” he yelled in jubilation, twirling her around.

“Yes, I’m all right. Put me down!” she giggled.

He obliged, but he didn’t let her go. “Damn it, ‘licious. You scared me. What was that? Some kind of freaky meteor power?”

“Apparently,” she shrugged. “When I know more, so will you.”

“Well whatever it was, it was weird,” Bart said decisively. “Next time give me a little more warning, huh?”

She laughed. “I think we all could have used some more warning.”

“That’s for sure,” Oliver grumbled.

Chloe shot him a look and disentangled herself from Bart’s arms. “How’s our guest?” she asked.

“Oh!” he said as though he’d just remembered. “I think he’s waking up. That’s why I came in here. I thought I’d tell Jolly Green before jetting.” He blushed slightly. “I kinda needed to get away from...” he stumbled slightly over his words before going on. “I need to get back home and there are some tacos calling my name down in Mexico,” he added, unwilling to actually admit how much Chloe’s apparent death had scared him. But that didn’t keep her from understanding his meaning.

She rolled her eyes and glared at him good-naturedly. “Always thinking of your stomach,” she teased. “Thanks for the help with everything. I owe you one, Bart.”

He grinned broadly, as if she’d just made his day. “Anything for you, ‘licious. See you around, or look me up if you’re ever down in Mexico.”

With one last eyebrow waggle, he disappeared. Chloe giggled and sat down on the bed beside Oliver, practically in his lap. He immediately wrapped an arm around her waist.

“You weren’t kidding when you said he had a thing for you,” he chuckled. “You hung the moon for that kid.”

“Don’t tell me you’re jealous,” she teased.

He rolled his eyes. “Definitely not. He is absolutely no competition.”

“Green doesn’t always look good on you, just so you know.”

“Are you kidding. Green looks great on me.”

She gave him an impish smile. “Maybe it does when it’s leather, but not when it’s a little monster. Anyway, we should go see about that other guy. When he wakes up in a strange place he’s going to be worried about his identity. He’ll be on edge and probably freaking out. Speaking of which,” her eyes sparkled, “you might want to hang back. You’re a little scary with that distorter and the glasses.”

“Yeah, but I’m a fellow hero,” he retorted, immensely relieved that she was not only alive, but teasing him as she always did. “We’re on the same side.”

“But he doesn’t know that,” she pointed out. “We’ll go together, just to be sure. Come on, Robin Hood. Let’s go.”

As she stood to leave the room, Oliver had a moment of clarity. He realized something that he should have known all along. He didn’t need to prove anything to her. Somehow, in the process of trying to get his relationship with Chloe back, he’d completely forgotten the reason they’d agreed to take a step back. It hadn’t been because they were unsure of their feelings for each other. They had both needed to come to terms with the ways they’d changed during the two years they’d been apart. But the only person he needed to prove something to was himself. It was no wonder she was holding back. Chloe could read him better than anyone, and whether she realized it or not, she must have known that he wasn’t quite ready. He wouldn’t have been surprised to find that she had known he was ready and was just waiting for him to see it too. It had certainly taken him long enough.

His life was dangerous. He’d accepted the risks when he decided to go up against the crime and corruption plaguing the city. From the first time he put on the green leather of his uniform, he’d known exactly what it might cost him in the long run. The one thing he hadn’t considered was that he couldn’t afford to put anything off until later. Oliver felt like an idiot for not realizing it sooner, especially with all the loved ones he had lost. He of all people should have had known just how easy it was to run out of time. Yet, somehow, that hadn’t sunk in until he almost lost Chloe.

The guy he’d been before he met Chloe wouldn’t have hesitated to tell her how he felt. Ironically, she was the reason he’d actually started giving thought to what he said and did and the lasting effects it could have on a relationship. It was time to stop thinking so much. He’d gone from one extreme to the other, from following  his impulses and chasing his desires to relying on logic and analysis. In the process, he’d fooled himself into thinking that he’d found balance. He’d never even realized that he was over-thinking anything, thought now it was clear that was exactly what he was doing. The only impulsive, desire-driven move Oliver had made with her was the decision to start a relationship in the first place. It was time to stop thinking so much and just go with it.

Barely a moment had passed while those thoughts swirled around Oliver’s head. Chloe was still in mid-step, barely a foot away from him. Throwing caution to the winds, he grabbed her hand and spun her around, pulling her back into his lap. She let out a soft gasp of surprise, but he quickly silenced her, crushing her lips beneath his.

Caught completely off-guard, she stiffened for only the briefest moment before readily responding to the kiss. Her hand tangled in his hair and she shifted on his lap, pushing herself closer to him, pressing their chests together. Oliver wrapped an arm about her waist, pulling her still tighter against him. Never once did their lips stop moving together.

When oxygen became a necessity, Chloe broke the kiss. She leaned her forehead against his, panting heavily.

“What do you say?” Oliver asked softly, his breathing as ragged as hers. “Do you think we’re finally ready?”

She chuckled and pressed another quick kiss to his lips. “You know you totally just ruined my plans? I was all set to sweep you off your feet tomorrow.”

“Really?” He ran his fingers through her hair. “Well, I’m glad this worked out, because I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to be the one making the romantic gestures.”

“Sexist,” Chloe admonished softly, slapping his chest in gentle admonishment.

He shook his head. “Just old-fashioned when it comes to certain things.”

Another quiet laugh escaped her lips and she leaned against him. “We should have done this sooner.”

“Sorry it took me so long,” he whispered, still feeling like an idiot.

“It wasn’t just you. I was afraid of losing you again,” she admitted. “I’d rather have you in my life as a friend than not at all. If that was all you wanted, or all we could be after everything, I was willing to settle for it, even if my feelings for you were more than just friendship.”

“Funny,” Oliver said softly. “I was thinking the exact same thing.”

Grinning broadly, Chloe slipped off his lap. “Which is why we go so well together. And why we’ll eventually drive each other crazy. What do you say we save the rest of this conversation for later and go check on our guest before he panics and does something we’ll all regret?”

Shaking his head and laughing softly, he slid an arm around her waist, unwilling to let her more than a few inches away from him. She grinned up at him and pulled his hood up, gently running her fingers through his hair as she did. He pressed a kiss to her forehead then slid his glasses on.   She pulled away, but hooked her fingers through his, and pulled him out of the room. He took no offense since they were gong to check on the other hero. He knew she was just trying to keep things businesslike while succumbing to the seemingly mutual need to be close to one another. Together, they walked into guest bedroom where Bart had deposited the stranger.

“Any idea what his powers are?” she asked under her breath.

He shrugged. “No clue. Just that they have something to do with the ring he’s wearing. It looked like it could emit some kind of energy field or something.”

“That’s about it in a nutshell,” the man groaned. He sat up slowly and glanced around warily. “Where the hell am I?”

“Some place safe,” Chloe said softly. “Green Arrow found you under attack when he was out on patrol. He brought you here after you got knocked out.”

“You were about to be taken out by some kind of supercharged metahuman,” Oliver added, his voice deep and distorted once more. “And if I hadn’t gotten you, the gangsters would have. That was one hell of fight you were in the middle of.”

“Thanks for the help,” The man said, grimacing slightly as he stood up. “I’m the Green Lantern, by the way. I take it you’re the Green Arrow.”

Oliver stretched out a hand. “Nice to meet a fellow hero.”

“Who’s the chick?”

Wincing internally at the term chick, Oliver started to respond, but said chick cut him off.

“I’m the brains of the operation,” Chloe said smoothly.

“Hey!” Oliver objected. “I’m not just the brawn.”

She patted his arm. “Yeah, you pretty much are.”

“Who’s idea was all of this?” he demanded, gesturing at the leather of his costume.

“But who made it all work out?”

“Hey, I had to come up with the designs.”

“Which you showed to me so that I could make sure they’d work.”

“You were as lost as I was.”

“That would be why I told you to find someone who actually knew what they were doing,” she said as if it was the most obvious thing on the planet.

“So how can you take credit for anything?” he challenged.

“I’m the one that talked you out of the more ridiculous designs and, while you might have come up with many of the ideas and worked out most of the complications, I’m the one that keeps you alive when you’re out patrolling.”

Green Lantern interrupted with a chuckle. “You two together or something?”

“Definitely together,” Chloe answered with a broad smile. Now that it was obvious that the other hero was relaxed, she seemed comfortable telling the truth. She easily slipped her arm around Oliver’s waist and leaned into him. “He’d be lost without me,” she teased. “I’m here to make sure he doesn’t do something stupid.”

“I’m not just the brawn,” Oliver reiterated.

“You just keep telling yourself that,” Chloe smirked, patting his arm again.

He rolled his eyes, despite the fact that the gesture couldn’t be seen from behind his glasses, and turned his attention back to the other hero. “What were you doing down there, anyway? That’s one of the biggest crime hotspots in the city, even without the gang war. And I don’t think I’ve seen you around before.”

Green Lantern shrugged. “I was in town so I thought I’d take down some of the local criminals and I got in a little over my head. As I’m sure you noticed.”

“Yeah, we noticed,” Chloe said dryly. “How’d you get your powers?”

He smirked. “I was recruited into an intergalactic police force called the Green Lantern Corp, hence my code name, by a dying alien. Basically, I patrol this side of the galaxy when I can get away from work. What about you two? What powers to you have?”

“I don’t have any,” Oliver said. “We’re not so sure about her.”

Chloe elbowed him in the ribs. “I can apparently heal people. But it’s a recent development, so mostly I just handle the tech angle.”

“Are you good with tech?” Green Lantern asked curiously.

Oliver laughed and looked down at Chloe admiringly. “She’s the best.”

She shrugged nonchalantly. “I spent a lot of time in high school hacking into anything and everything in my pursuit of truth and it comes in handy as a reporter. I’ve only met one person who can out hack me and he’s half computer.”

“You’re a reporter?” The incredulity in the other man’s voice was clear. He seemed surprised that  the confidante and partner of Green Arrow was a reporter.

A Cheshire-cat smile smile spread across Chloe’s lips. “Growing up in a place like Smallville, Kansas with a friend like the Blur, you learn to keep secrets and tell the difference between the truth that the world needs to know and the truth that needs to stay secret for the world’s benefit. I’m privy to at least five superhero secret identities and none of them have been outed in anyway. Not by me at least.”

He raised his hands in surrender. “I didn’t mean to offend you. But you can’t blame me for being skeptical of a reporter involved in a secret society of superheroes.”

“I don’t,” she assured him. “But I’m a sidekick first and foremost and a reporter second.”

Green Lantern nodded, obviously satisfied with her explanation. “Then would you mind playing sidekick for me just this once? I could really use some help tracking this guy, Dr. Fitzgerald, down. It’s the main reason I’m in Star City. I think he’s linked to some disappearances across the country, but definitely in the one town up north. The only problem is, I can’t find him. He completely disappeared once he got here. My contacts have completely dried up and I don’t have time to check out every Dr. Fitzgerald in Star City, let alone the surrounding cities.”

“So you want me to see if I can track him down using my hacking skills,” Chloe guessed.

“That’s about it.” He grinned almost self-deprecatingly. “Give me a piece of complex machinery or ask me to navigate, and I’m good. But ask me to work a computer beyond turning it on and getting on Google, and I’m completely useless.”

Oliver chuckled. Chloe elbowed him the ribs and glared at him. “Hacking is definitely harder than it looks. Once you know how to do it, it’s relatively easy though. Give me the information you have on this guy and I should be able to find him if he’s in the city. I’ll even be able to tell you if he’s been active recently and if I really try hard, I can tell you if he’s been working in other cities.”

Grinning broadly, Green Lantern produced a flash drive from somewhere and handed it to her. “Everything I know is on there.”

“How can we contact you once she’s found something?” Oliver asked.

“Tell you what,” the other hero shrugged. “Meet me on top of the Register Sunday night at midnight. Whether you have anything or not, we’ll touch base. I may have to head out relatively soon, but I won’t know until later. If I do need to head out, I’ll come up with a way for us to get in contact.”

“Sounds good,” Oliver agreed. “I’ll see you there.”

The two heroes shook hands, then Green Lantern turned to go. Oliver grabbed his shoulder, stopping him.

“No offense,” he said, his distorter turning his words into a growl. “But I need this place to stay secret.”

Green Lantern nodded. “No problem. But how am I supposed to get out of here?”

Oliver hadn’t thought of that. He glanced back at Chloe, hoping she had an answer. To his chagrin, her eyes were trained on her phone. A few seconds passed and she looked up, a twinkle in her eyes that usually meant she had a plan.

Before he had a chance to ask her what she was up to, a burst of air hit him in the face and Bart Allen materialized in the middle of the room. He grinned at Chloe and draped an arm over her shoulders.

“I knew you’d need me again, but if you’d told me it was gonna be this soon, I’d have just stuck around, ‘licious.”

She rolled her eyes. “I just need you to give Green Lantern a lift to wherever he wants to go in the city. For security purposes only.”

Said hero was eyeing Bart’s wiry frame with clear trepidation. “How did he get in here?”

“I ran,” Bart said with a smirk.

“You ran,” Lantern repeated flatly.

“He ran,” Chloe confirmed. “He’s been known to circle the globe, just for the fun of it, in under five minutes. His is one of the secret identities that I mentioned earlier.”

Green Lantern still looked a little suspicious of traveling via Bart express, but he nodded. “All right. I don’t need to go anywhere specific. As long as it’s somewhere downtown so I can get back to my hotel.”

“Works for me,” Bart said happily. Without any warning, he zipped across the room, grabbed Green Lantern around the waist, and ran out of the room with a trademark gust of wind.

There was a beat of silence, then Oliver switched off his distorter. “Whoever that guy is, he’s seriously going to regret traveling with Bart. If he’s fast than Clark, I’m not sure I could handle it.”

“Good thing you were unconscious then, huh?” Chloe teased, suppressing a yawn. Rubbing her forehead tiredly, she shuffled toward the kitchen. The events of the day were starting to get to her. Apparently dying and coming back to life was exhausting. Oliver followed close behind her.

“What are you doing?” he asked suspiciously when he saw her setting up the coffee pot.

She measured out the grounds and dumped them in the filter. “What’s it look like?”

His hand fell over hers, keeping her from turning on the faucet. “You should be getting some sleep, Chloe. You were dead for at least six hours, and before that you’d been up for almost twenty-four. You don’t need coffee.”

“I still have work today,” she said tiredly. “Believe me, Ollie, I wish I could just call in and spend the day sleeping, but my editor has been breathing down my neck. He’s keeping me on because my pieces are strong, despite the fact that I spend less time in the office than anyone else at my pay grade. I doubt he’ll think highly of me if I’m taking the day off for no reason.”

“Then tell him you’re sick,” Oliver said gently. His hands fell to her hips and he gently turned her so that she was facing him. “It’s not that far off considering what happened tonight. Besides,” he added, pressing a kiss to her neck. “I can think of other uses for our time than working on our first official day as a couple in over two years.”

She shuddered at the feel of his lips brushing against her skin. “That doesn’t sound very restful.”

“Maybe not,” he chuckled. “But I think it’s something we both need. God knows I wanted it for years. Resting will just come later.” He kissed her gently, just behind her ear, and she shivered, her head dropping to the side reflexively. “We have all weekend to sleep. But if you go to work, you’ll really be too tired for anything.”

Chloe had to admit that he made a compelling argument. Going into the Register didn’t sound the least bit appealing. Spending the day with Oliver was something she’d dreamt of for months. The feel of his lips on her neck was more than enough to make her decision.

Tearing herself away from him, she pulled her cell phone out of her pocket and dialed the Register. Oliver watched with narrowed eyes, taking in her rosy cheeks and slightly accelerated breathing.

When someone answered, she simply said, “Tell the editor that I’m sick and won’t be coming in today.”

Without waiting for an answer, she hung up and shoved her phone back in her pocket. Turning back to Oliver, she raised an eyebrow. “So what exactly did you have planned for today?”

Smirking almost wolfishly, he crossed the space between them in two strides, swept her into his arms, and hauled her against him. Chloe wrapped her legs around his waist automatically. His hand buried in her hair and his lips crashed down on hers in a bruising kiss full of two years worth of pent up passion, desire, and lust. Chloe trembled at his touch and kissed him back with just as much enthusiam.

For a long moment, they stood there, intertwined in each other. Finally Oliver pulled away, breathing heavily, and said. “I plan to do something I should have done a long time ago.”

Author’s Note: First, the AN at the beginning of the fic was becausejessicaj703 pointed out to me that it didn’t make sense that Bart was still in the room with Oliver and Chloe. The way I see it is that barely any time has passed, like literally seconds, and he didn’t want to speed Chloe out of the room because he wasn’t sure what was wrong with her. In the end, he does because he’s worried that Oliver will do something stupid. I hope that makes sense.

Second, Thank you so much for sticking with me through all of this. I know I’ve mentioned this in some of my responses, but I really did not intend for it to take so long to get Oliver and Chloe back together. There was just so much to do before they could. I really felt that I had to tie up the loose ends of what had happened during the two years between fics and with what happened with Tess and Jimmy, and I felt that Oliver needed to become Green Arrow first. All of that took far more time to cover than I thought I would and I know that I was waiting with bated breath until the time when I could write them getting back together, so I can’t even begin to imagine what you guys were going through waiting for it to happen. So thank you for keeping with me. I hope it was worth the wait and that what happened in this chapter, and what will happen in the next will help make up for the delay in Chlollie togetherness.


Chapter 13
 
 
Current Mood: tiredtired
 
 
 
jessicaj703: Jane readingjessicaj703 on May 20th, 2011 03:35 am (UTC)
Loved it! I definitely think the AN at the beginning helped. :) Great job incorporating the continuity suggestions - I really think it reads a lot more fluidly. Love the banter between Chloe and Ollie when they're introducing themselves to GL. Nice work! Can't wait to see what happens next. :)
Clareluminare91 on May 20th, 2011 01:17 pm (UTC)
The banter was a ton of fun to write. Thanks for all the help!
liselle2010liselle2010 on May 20th, 2011 03:39 am (UTC)
I love that Green Lantern is there, that is just so much fun. But that ending with Chlollie...wowo!
Clareluminare91 on May 20th, 2011 01:19 pm (UTC)
I actually have a reason for bringing him, which will become clear in later chapters. But he is fun to write, though I will admit that I don't know much about him beyond what I've found on Wikipedia and in other fics.

Thanks for the review!!
chlollieloverchlollielover on May 20th, 2011 04:01 am (UTC)
Finally! They're together!!!!
Is Oliver going to know who Green Lantern is? I want so badly to see that scene! *.*

Oliver has sexy time planned for Chloe, I bet!

Awww, this was amazing *.*
Clareluminare91 on May 20th, 2011 01:30 pm (UTC)
yes! they're finally together. You have no idea how many times I've tried to write that scene and then threw it out because it didn't fit there. So I was ridiculously happy that I finally got to write it.

Oliver will definitely find out who GL is, just not quite yet. I'm looking forward to writing that scene.

Thanks for the review!!
Sera: Chlollie2serafina19 on May 20th, 2011 04:22 am (UTC)
*chuckle* Timing is one of my huge weaknesses (*cough* why do you *cough* think I decided to put dates on CG *cough*), so no sweat.

There's nothing like a couple near-death experiences to bring people together, is there? It makes sense though and I liked how it was handled.

Curious to see Green Lantern's involvement here, but all in all, great chapter.
Clareluminare91 on May 20th, 2011 01:34 pm (UTC)
LMAO. I know!!! I'm constantly going back and forth to figure out how much time's passed and I'm always forgetting that people aren't in my head and they need to know how much time's passed.

Near death experiences are vital to a good love story. I'm glad you liked how I did that. I just had to find a way to work in Chloe's power.

Green Lantern does have a role in this fic. He's not just there for no reason. I promise!

Thanks for the review!!
amazing_07amazing_07 on May 20th, 2011 05:05 am (UTC)
so good!! I am so happy that they are back together!!!
Clareluminare91 on May 20th, 2011 01:35 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad they're back together too!
saurinasaurina on May 20th, 2011 09:18 pm (UTC)
There's so much awesome in this chapter, that I don't know where to start. But Chlollie finally voicing their feelings towards each other good, Bart being the awesome dude we all know and love - good, Green Latern and Green Arrow having a little hero talk - good, Chloe and GA telling GL that they are a couple good (But I can't wait to see Hal's expression when he finally go visit Oliver and hopefully finds Chloe there too ha ha), and looong chapters goooood. Ohh and the cliffie - wicked!! You rock girl..;D
Clareluminare91 on May 21st, 2011 02:35 am (UTC)
Thank you so much!! I've had so much fun with this fic and it just keeps getting better. There were so many elements of this chapter that I just loved, so I'm glad you felt the same way.

And I swear, it seems like I'm addicted to cliffhangers, because it keeps turning out that that's just where the chapter needs to end.

I thought the next chapter was done, but now I'm going to have to rewrite it. But I'll try to get it done as soon as possible and get it up quickly.
kiradamourkiradamour on May 21st, 2011 12:12 am (UTC)
Thank you!! it was a hard day at work and reading your new chapter and having Chloe and Ollie get together was just what i needed. =)
Clareluminare91 on May 21st, 2011 02:36 am (UTC)
I'm so glad that I could brighten your day. Chlollie goodness is enough to make any day good. :)
sylph_on_firesylph_on_fire on May 23rd, 2011 01:01 pm (UTC)
I love the way you write--it's very fluid and flows well. I hardly realize when I am at the end of a chapter.
I do love the way you make the characters your own. Bart in his flirtatious nature, Ollie in his oh-so-dreamy Ollie-ness, and Chloe. And for not knowing much about Hal Jordan, you are doing an excellent job writing him.
Clareluminare91 on May 23rd, 2011 04:24 pm (UTC)
Thank you! That's really high praise. I'm so glad you like my writing. Most of my knowledge about Hal come from other Chlollie fics and what I've managed to find on Wikipedia, so I'm glad it seems like I know what I'm doing :)

BTW, I love your icon!