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12 April 2011 @ 03:00 pm
Gift of Fate Chapter 4 (5/?)  
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.

Previous ChaptersPrologue, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3

Banner by geek_or_unique 


Chapter 4

Silence filled the cabin until the plane was in the air and even then neither of them broke it. Chloe didn’t move from her position--knees drawn up to her chest, eyes staring out the window. Tension beat off her in waves.

The pilot had just given the okay to unbuckle their seat belts when Oliver decided he couldn’t stand it any longer.

“I’m a complete idiot, aren’t I?”

She made no indication that she’d heard him.

Oliver groaned and dropped his head into his hands. “Chloe, I am so sorry,” he murmured, his chest unbearably tight. “There’s nothing going on between me and Tess. I just helped free her from the maniacs who’d kidnapped her. And I should never have interrogated you about Jimmy. I just...” he faltered slightly. “I thought that everything was going to be okay and when I heard that the two of you had gone out I realized that I could lose you. It freaked me out.”

Chloe finally turned to look at him. “There’s nothing going on between me and Jimmy.”

“I believe you,” Oliver said fervently. “And I am so sorry that I doubted you. You are the most important thing in my life and I was just scared that I was going to lose you.”

“You’re not going to lose me,” she whispered. “Am I going to lose you?”

“No! God, no, Chloe. I don’t feel anything for Tess. She’s just a girl that I saved, like all the Smallvile High students that we saved from meteor freaks.”

“Meteor infected,” Chloe corrected automatically. “We met a few who are actually using their abilities to save people.”

He rolled his eyes, intensely relieved that she seemed to be up to joking. “I never pegged you for the type to be politically correct. But all right, meteor infected. I promise you, nothing happened between me and Tess.”

Chloe sighed and relaxed, leaning against Oliver’s shoulder. “I don’t want to lose you either, Ollie. And seeing the way she looked at you after dealing with you and Jimmy didn’t having me thinking clearly. I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay,” he assured her in a low voice as he wrapped his arms around her. “I understand. All that matters is that we’re on the same page now.”

“But we’re never going to be able to just pick up where we left off, are we?” she asked in a small voice.

Oliver’s grip on her tightened. “Apparently not. Two years is a long time. A lot has happened and we’re different people.”

“So what do we do?”

He shrugged. “Chloe, you were the only thing that kept me going on the island. I’m not about to give up on our relationship because things are complicated. But maybe we need to step back and get to know each other again and deal with what happened before we try for a relationship.”

“So basically we become friend who used to be more than friend and who know have the potential for more than friendship again?”

Chuckling, Oliver nodded. “Yeah. Is that all right with you?”

“If it means getting to spend time with you and having you in my life again, the definitely.”

“Do you still want to stay with me or does that cross the friendship line?” he asked hesitantly.

Chloe looked up, cocking a brow. “Who said I was staying with you in the first place?”

He felt his heart fall slightly. “I just assumed...I can get you a hotel room if that’s easier,” Oliver offered, trying not to let the disappointment he was feeling color his tone.

“I was just teasing,” Chloe said with a grin. “Of course I’ll stay with you. Friends do that and I’m here for moral support. It makes more sense for us to be in the same place.”

Immensely relieved, Oliver hugged her tightly. She smiled and wrapped one arm around his waist, moving closer to him. He pressed his cheek into her hair. Their behavior probably wasn’t strictly that of just friend, but neither of them could bring themselves to care. The knew where they stood with each other and that was all that mattered.

Chloe’s phone vibrated in her pocket. Sighing slightly, she sat up and pulled it out. She winced when she saw the name on the screen.

“Who is it?” Oliver asked curiously.

She grimaced. “Lois.”

“Do you think she saw the news report?” he asked warily. He didn’t like thinking about what Lois might do to him considering she probably blamed him for abandoning her cousin.

“Probably,” Chloe said, her grimace deepening. “This is going to be an interesting conversation.”

“why don’t you answer it on speaker phone?” he suggested. “That way you don’t have to deal with her alone.”

She shook her head. “No. I have to deal with her on my own.” She quickly answered the phone before the call could go to voicemail.

“Lois, why are you calling me at seven in the morning?” she asked, trying to sound as though the phone had woken her up.

“Have you read the Daily Planet this morning?” Lois asked abruptly, completely ignoring her cousin’s question. “Or have you gone in yet?”

“Why?” Chloe asked evasively.

“Because I want to know the answers to the crossword puzzle,” Lois retorted sarcastically. “Why do you think, cuz?”

Chloe drew in a deep breath and Oliver, sensing the annoyance beginning to tug at her, took her hand reassuringly. “I have no idea,” she said calmly. “So why don’t you tell me, Lois?”

Lois sighed, causing the speaker to crackle loudly. “Oliver’s alive, Chloe,” she said flatly. “They found him in the middle of nowhere. He got to Star City late last night. It’s in the paper and it’s been all over the news this morning.”

“Oh,” Chloe said softly. “Yeah, I saw that.”

“Of course you did,” Lois sighed. “You always know the news before it happens. How’re you holding up, cuz?”

Chloe shrugged, despite the fact that Lois couldn’t see her. “I’m fine, Lo. Why wouldn’t I be?“

“Why wouldn’t you be?” Lois repeated incredulously. “Chlo, you were in love with him! You spent months believe that he was still out there, refusing to believe that he was dead. I know his disappearance was hard on you. Now he’s literally pulled a Lazarus and you expect me to believe that you’re not itching to go running into his arms?”

“Well I’m not,” Chloe said with a slight laugh.

“You’ve lost your mind. Any sane person would be hopping on a plane to Star City right now.”

Chloe laughed again. “Well I’m not. I’ve already done the whole tearful reunion thing.”

There was dead silence and Chloe grinned at the thought of the shocked look on her cousins face. It was a shame she wasn’t going to get to see it.

“Run that by me again,” Lois deadpanned.

“Ollie showed up at my apartment last night,” Chloe explained.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” Lois shrieked.

Chloe pulled the phone away from he ear, grimacing slightly before answering. “I was a little busy, Lo. It was the middle of the night when he showed up and we were both exhausted and right now we’re on our way to Star City, so I hadn’t quite gotten around to calling you.”

“Star City?” Lois repeated.

“Uh huh.” Chloe sighed, rapidly tiring of the conversation. “He’s got to give a press conference and he’s got to deal with getting his company back. He wanted a friendly face. Besides, I’ve decided to go to school here.”

“So this is a permanent thing?”

“Yep.”

“When did you decide that?”

“About two hours ago,” Chloe admitted.

“Aren’t you rushing into things?” Lois asked. “I mean, he has been gone for two years.”

“Maybe,” Chloe sighed. “But it’s either go with him to Star City or stay behind and attempt to figure things out long distance.”

“Are you and Oliver picking up where left off?” Lois asked curiously.

Chloe almost winced at the question. “We’re taking things slowly, Lois. A lot’s happened in the past two years and we have to come to terms with that. Eventually, we hope to get to where we were before all of this happened. But for the moment, we’re taking a step back.”

Her phone beeped as she finished, indicated an incoming call and she almost laughed in relief. She loved her cousin, but sometimes, Lois was a bit too much to handle. Olive stroked the back of her hand with his thumb.

“I have to go,” Chloe said quickly. “I have another call. I’ll talk to you later.”

“All right,” Lois grumbled. “Tell billionaire boy wonder that it’s about time he came back.”

Chloe rolled her eyes. “Bye, Lois.”

Ignoring her cousins continued grumbles. Chloe switched to her other call.

“Hello?”

“Where are you?” Clark asked worriedly. “I stopped by your apartment and you weren’t there.”

She groaned. “What were you doing at my apartment?”

“I have a problem I need some help researching and I wanted to catch you before you went into the Planet,” Clark said defensively. “Where are you? Is everything all right? It looks like you left in a hurry.”

Sighing heavily, Chloe leaned back against Oliver. “That might be because I did leave in a hurry, Clark.”

“Why?” he asked, sounding confused.

“Because Oliver and I are going to Star City.”

“Did you say Oliver?”

“Yeah. He turned up at my apartment last night. Can we move past that to why you were at my apartment? I’ve already had this conversation with Lois.”

Beside her, Oliver chuckled. He’d missed listening to her banter with their friends.

“You don’t think we should talk about the fact that Oliver just appeared out of nowhere?”

“No, Clark. I don’t.”

“Look, Chloe I know that you want to believe that he’s back, but what if it’s some kind of trap? It’s something Lex would do. You know how much he hates you for keeping my secret and for snooping around his business.”

“Clark, you can’t be serious.”

“I want it to be him as much as you do, but we need to consider the possibility that Lex is up to something again,” Clark said rationally.

“Well you can stop worrying,” Chloe snapped. “It’s really Oliver.”

Beside her, Oliver raised an eyebrow. “He doesn’t think I’m real?”

“It’s complicated,” she whispered. “I’ll explain in a minute.”

“Who are you talking to?” Clark asked curiously.

She rolled her eyes. “I’m talking to Oliver. Who else would I be talking to?” Chloe pursed her lips in exasperation. “Look, e-mail me the information you have on your problem and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. But it might not be until later tonight. So if it’s urgent, do the research yourself.”

“That’s okay,” he sighed. “It wasn’t that urgent.”

“And yet you still came by my apartment at an ungodly hour.”

She could picture him wincing. “Sorry.”

“I’m just teasing, Clark. I’ll talk to you later.”

“Bye, Chlo. Call me if you need me to come to Star City.”

“I will,” she said tiredly, hanging up the phone.

Groaning, Chloe tossed her phone into her purse and dropped her head back against the seat.

“That bad?” Oliver asked gently.

“Not really,” Chloe admitted. “They actually didn’t give me the third degree that much. But they’re both going to have a ton of questions. This was just the beginning.”

“I’m sorry that I’m making you’re life complicated,” he apologized softly.

“My life was complicated already. You’re return hadn’t added to that. It’s actually helped simplify for some things.” She looked up at him almost shyly. “So stop apologizing already. The questions are probably better than the sympathetic stares.”

Oliver looked away from her. “I just feel like I’ve ruined your life on some level.”

Without warning, she slapped his arm, hard enough to make her hand sting. Flinching, Oliver jerked away and glared at her. “What the hell was that for?”

“For being an idiot,” she snapped, meeting his glare with an equally icy stare of her own. “You didn’t ruin my life. Oliver, I’ve never been happier than when I was with you, even when we were being attacked my meteor infected psychos. I missed you while you were gone. Hell, I more than missed you. But that didn’t ruin my life. And now that you’re back, and yes things are complicated, but life is complicated. Stop  blaming yourself for everything that had gone wrong . Stop anticipating the worst. That’s what got us in this mess.”

“What mess? We’re not in a mess.”

“You mean the mess where you jumped to conclusions about what happened with Jimmy and I jumped to conclusions about Tess?” she snapped, her temper rising. “We’re both expecting everything to fall apart because that’s all that ever happened in our lives. But if we keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, we’ll just end up where were when the plane took off.”

Oliver sighed, running a hand through his hair, and looked away. “You’re right. But I can’t help waiting for the other shoe to drop. I keep expecting to either wake up and find myself back on the island I spent the last two years stranded on or for everything to fall apart because that what happens my life.”

“I’m familiar with the phenomena,” Chloe said ruefully. She placed a hand on his arm, trying to get him to look at her. “My life’s been the same way. I get why you feel the way you do. But I’m asking you to realize that if you keep expecting the worst, that’s what you’re going to get.”

“It’s not that simple. I wish it was. But it’s not.” He finally met her gaze and the expression of pain and confusion in his eyes nearly broke her heart.

“It is that simple,” she said softly. “It’s hard, but it’s simple. And I’m just as guilty of it as you. So we’ll work at it together.”

“I don’t know if I can do it, Chloe.”

“That’s why we do it together. It’s not easy to let go of the past. But we have to do it.”

Oliver sighed and closed his eyes. “Chloe, I spent a lot of time on that island, thinking that I’d never see you again, see any of our friends again. I don’t think that over coming all the nightmares I had of never seeing you again are going to be easy to overcome. Every time I think one of those nightmares is going to come true...” His voice cracked and he trailed off.

“I know, Ollie. I really do. I had those nightmares too. But they were just nightmares. You think it doesn’t freak me out when I think you’re leaving? Last night when I thought you were going to leave, my heart almost literally stopped because I thought you were leaving for good again. When I woke up this morning, I thought it had all been a dream.” She slid her hand down his arm, squeezing his hand. “But those nightmares are only nightmares. They only have power as long as we give them power.”

He finally relaxed into her and opened his eyes. “Taking the power away from them isn’t going to be easy. And it’s not going to be a short process.”

“But I’ll help you,” Chloe cut in. “If you help me.”

“I will,” he promised. “I guess I’m a little more screwed up than I thought.”

She shook her head. “Not screwed up. There’s nothing wrong with you.”

“You always see the best in me. I didn’t realize just how much you did for me until you weren’t there.”

“I could say the same,” she chuckled. “You always made me feel like I was noticeable. With everyone else, I tend to blend into the wood work. Not with you.”

“Can you promise me something?” he asked, his voice quiet and hesitant.

Sitting up slight, she nodded. “Yeah.”

“Promise me that no matter what happens the next few weeks, whether we become friends or something more, that you won’t hide from me. That you’ll be open and honest with me. I need to know what’s been happening, what is happening, in your life.”

Her eyes softened. “Of course, Ollie. But you have to make that same promise. Don’t keep me on the outside.”

“Never,” he whispered.

“Ditto.”

Sighing deeply, Oliver settled back in his chair. “You know, when I pictured finally seeing you again, I didn’t see all these deep conversation. I was hoping for more making out and laughing.”

Chloe laughed. “That’s was more of what I pictured to. Figures that’s not what we’d get.”

“Our lives are ridiculously complicated, aren’t they?”

“And you’re just now discovering this?”

“More like rediscovering.”

“Two years missing in the middle of the ocean didn’t remind of that constantly?”

He chuckled. “I suppose so.”

“How could you possibly forget?”

“Who says I did?”

“Very funny.”

Yawning, Chloe leaned back in her chair. Oliver stood and grabbed a blanket from a compartment above their heads, handing it to her. “Why don’t you get some sleep?” he suggested quietly. “We have a few hours and I know I got you up early this morning and I deprived you of coffee.”

Shooting him a glare, Chloe pulled the blanket to her chin and curled up on her side in the chair. “Don’t mention coffee when I can’t have any. That’s just cruel.”

“I’ll get you some as soon as we land,” he promised. “Now get some sleep.”

Her eyes drifted shut even as she struggled to keep them open. Sleepily, she took Oliver’s hand in hers. “You’ll be here when I wake up, right?”

“You know I will,” he whispered. “Just go to sleep. You’re going to need all of your energy when we get to Star City. It’s going to be a madhouse.”

“Can’t be worse than the crises I faced the past two years,” she muttered.

“You’re going to have to tell me about those crises later,” Oliver said flatly. “Do you have any idea how many nights I lost sleep wondering what kind of trouble you’d gotten yourself into?”

“The same number of nights I spent wondering what the hell happened to you?”she suggested.

He chuckled. “Go to sleep, Chlo. I’ll wake you up when we land.”

Chloe mumbled something incoherent. He laughed again, more quietly than before so as not to wake her. For several long moments, he gazed at her, watching her sleep. It was a sight he’d missed. When he was sure she was asleep, Oliver gently brushed his hand along her cheek, pushing her hair away from her face.

Part of him regretted their decision to step back and to be just friends for the time being. He still craved being closer to Chloe. Their kisses the night before left him wanting more. For months leading up to his disastrous trip, he’d been craving more and if he hadn’t been forced on that damn trip, he’d been seriously considering taking the next step in their relationship. By that point, sex had ceased to be meaningless. He knew that if he crossed that line with Chloe, it would bring them closer instead of separate them.

And Oliver had wanted that. He still wanted that. He wanted it more than he’d realized until he had Chloe in his arms again. But he wanted his relationship with her to last and he knew that if they crossed that invisible line carrying all the issues they had right then, their relationship would end. And he couldn’t bare the thought of that.

It would be hard and Oliver knew that. But if he learned anything while on the island, it was that everything worth having was difficult to maintain. And he wasn’t about to give up without a fight.

As Chloe drifted further into sleep, she was vaguely aware of Oliver’s hand caressing her cheek. Her body responded to his touch in ways that were strange, but not unwelcome. She craved him in a way that she never thought possible. Her last conscious thought was that she hoped that they’d be able to work through all the things that had happened, and all the things that had changed over the past two years.

Chapter 5
 
 
 
saurinasaurina on April 25th, 2011 09:02 pm (UTC)
Ohh they have to work through it *stomps* ha ha..
Clareluminare91 on April 27th, 2011 05:18 pm (UTC)
Believe me, that is the same way I felt when I wrote this chapter.