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12 April 2011 @ 01:15 pm
Gift of Fate Chapter 2 (3/?)  
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

Banner by geek_or_unique 

Author's Note: I mentioned this in a couple of comments on the last chapter, but I just wanted to clarify. I'm not portraying Jimmy as the villain. He's just confused about what happened between him and Chloe and couldn't quite get past that in the moment.
 
Chapter 2

Chloe left the Planet late that night. She often worked well into the night. If she was exhausted when she finally fell into bed, she was less likely to have nightmares or stay up thinking about Oliver. Wen she was exhausted, she actually slept through the night.

Her apartment was only a few blocks away. When her dad found out that she and Oliver were together, things had gotten ugly.

***

Chloe was curled up on the bed, her knees hugged to her chest, tears coursing down her cheeks. She'd been surfing the web when she came across the official statement from Queen Industries that Oliver had been declared dead. It was official. The search was over. No one was looking for him anymore. Even Bart and Clark had given up. They'd run everywhere they could, unsuccessfully. With lives of their own to live, they couldn't keep searching. Bart had promised that whenever he found himself in that area that he'd do a quick sweep on the off chance that he would find Oliver.

It was finally hitting her. He was gone.

As the thought crossed her mind, she sobbed harder, and clutched the comforter in her hands. Sobs convulsed her body.

"Chloe Anne Sullivan!"

She started slightly and turned toward the door as it burst ope, revealing a very pissed off Gabe Sullivan.

"What the hell were you thinking?" he demanded. "Dating Oliver Queen?" Are you crazy?"

"Dad," Chloe said weakly. She sat up on the bed, trying to get his attention, but he was too busy ranting.

"Do you know the reputation he has? He's a playboy, Chloe. Do you have any idea how dangerous it is to be associated with someone like him? He was using you!"

"No he wasn't," she whispered.

"I thought you were smarter than that Chloe!" her dad shouted, pacing the room in his anger. "The kid's slept with every girl he's ever come across and you really thought that dating him was a good idea? What the hell is wrong with you?"

Chloe finally found her voice. "I love him!"

Gabe stopped short, staring at his daughter as though he'd just spoken an alien language. "What?"

"I love him," Chloe said softly. But as she went on, her voice grew exponentially in volume. "Ollie's not the guy from the tabloids. That was just an act he was putting on to dull the pain. He was my friend before he was anything else. He has never been anything but kind to me. He's been there for me when you haven't."

"So this is my fault?" Gabe hissed. "Because I haven't been around enough you go decide to abandon common sense with the first good looking guy to cross your bath? Was this some cry for attention? Because Lois never did something that crazy!"

"Are you kidding me?" she demanded. "This isn't about you! Oliver offered to be my friend when most people wouldn't give me a second glance and it grew into something bigger than that. It happened fast, but it happened. And it was amazing."

"Of course it was," her father snapped. "He was seducing you!"

"That's not what he was doing!"

"That's all he does!"

Chloe stood with her hands on her hips, glaring at her father. "Then why didn't he break up with me after we were captured by my psycho stalker?"

For a moment, she thought her dad's eyes were going to but out of his head. "You were attacked?"

"In October," she said shortly. "Ollie and I were hanging out. And we were both taken because the guy thought that Oliver was a threat. Ollie got really beat up trying to
protect me, Dad. He was more concerned with my safety than his own. And when he got out of there, instead of telling me he wanted nothing to do with me, he asked me out. You have no idea what we felt for each other. You can't come in here just attacking me like that!"

"I find out that my daughter is involved with the poster child for sex, drugs, and alcohol, and I'm supposed to be okay with that?" Gabe screeched.

"You're supposed to trust my judgment!"

"You're seventeen! You don't have judgment!"

"I'm eighteen, since you apparently forgot. And you leave me alone the majority of the year with Lois as parental supervision!"

"Well I obviously misjudge you," he snapped. "Because I really thought you were mature enough to handle the responsibilities of living alo
ne."

Chloe stared at her father. He had no idea what she went through on a daily basis. He had no idea that she dealt with meteor infected crazy people. Or that her best friend was an alien and that being around him included a lot of complications. He didn't know that she dealt with the gossip that came with dating Oliver Queen."

"I'm really disappointed in you, Chloe," her dad hissed.

Lois chose that moment to enter the room. Judging from the angry look on her cousin's face, Chloe knew that she'd heard most of the conversation. Lois grabbed her uncle's arm and towed him out of the room. Chloe could hear them shouting for hours. At least one of them still cared about her feelings.

Chloe collapsed on the bed, weeping brokenly.


***

Not long after that confrontation she packed her bags and walked out of the house. She couldn’t stand the looks her father gave her whenever Oliver’s name came up or whenever they were in the same room. The Kents had taken her in, under the explanation that since Lois was away for college and Gabe was still traveling for work, that they didn’t want Chloe to have to be alone. Her dad had begrudgingly accepted. After all, the Kents should be able to keep her out of trouble.

The moment she’d graduated high school, Chloe had moved to Metropolis, away from her father’s influence. His monthly visits to the Kent Farm to check up on her had been strained at best and volatile at worst. The apartment she found was in a decent part of town, not far from the Planet. Crime wasn’t too high, and Clark was always on the streets. In the year she’d been living in the city, she’d only had to call him for help when she was intentionally flirting with danger to get her story.

She reached her apartment without incident and stumbled into her bedroom, quickly changing into her pajama before collapsing onto the bed.

Her head had barely hit the pillow when there was a knock on her front door. Groaning, Chloe rolled over and pulled the pillow over her face. It was almost one o’clock in the morning. If it was Lois, she would have called first and would already be shouting to be let in and if it was Clark he’d have just come in through the balcony. Whoever it was could come back in the morning.

Another series of sharp, insistent taps echoed through the tiny apartment. She pulled the pillow tighter over her ears, hoping to block out the sound. There was yet more knocking. Cursing angrily under her breath, Chloe climbed out of bed, and reached toward the dresser where she usually kept her purse and her taser. But her hand met thin air.

“Damn it,” she hissed. Her purse with her taser inside it was laying on the chair in the entryway. One would think that after surviving all those close calls in Smallville that she’d have learned to keep a weapon on her person at all times. But she hadn’t, apparently.

Cursing again, Chloe slipped out into the living room, trying to remain as silent as possible. She was half way across the room when her mysterious visitor knocked again.

“Go away!” she shouted. “It’s the middle of the night! I’m not letting you in!”

There was no answer, just another urgent knock on the door. Chloe groaned and seized her taser, banging on the door herself. “I’m serious!” she snapped. “Go the hell away or I swear to god I will taze you!”

Still no answer. But there was also no accompanying knock. Chloe stood on her toes to look out the peephole, trying to catch a glimpse of her seemingly mute visitor. But there were not lights in the hall and all she could make out was a vague shape, a shadow really, moving slowly outside her door. For a moment, it looked like the visitor as going to leave, but then they turned back and tapped gently on the door.

Chloe sighed. Whoever it was, they certainly weren’t acting like someone who wanted to kill her. If they’d wanted to do her harm, they’d have knocked down the door already or threatened her in someway, not just stood outside the door, trying to communicate with her via some half-assed attempt at morse code.

“All right,” she shouted, relenting slightly. “But you have to tell me who you are. I’ve had way too many close calls during the course of my life to just let you in on blind faith. You’ve got to give me something to go off of here.”

There was no answer.”

“Look, that’s my only condition. If you don’t answer me, I’m not opening the door.”

He still didn’t answer. But there was a soft thump, as though who ever it was had dropped their head onto the door in exasperation. Chloe sighed.

“All right, look,” she called through the door. “If you come back in the morning we can talk. But I’m not letting you into my apartment in the middle of the night unless you tell me who you are. That’s all I’m asking you for.”

At first, she thought that there was no reply and she was about to turn and walk away when she realized that who ever was outside was speaking softly, in a cracked murmur that barely made it through the door.

“Speak up,” she prompted. “I can’t hear you.”

There was the slightest increase in volume, but she still couldn’t make out the muttering. Her visitor must have realized that because there was another soft thump and the door vibrated slightly. Chloe pressed her ear to the cold, smooth wood, and strained to hear. She could just make out the words, “I can’t. I can’t.”

Her heart melted slightly, but her self-preservation instinct remained strong. “If you can’t talk to me, then I’m not letting you in tonight. I’m sorry.”

And she really was. It was obvious that it was no fault of her visitor that he couldn’t answer her questions. But she just couldn’t bring herself trust some anonymous stranger after all the weird things that had happened to her over the years.

“I’ll make you a deal,” she said. “Come by in the morning around eight and we can talk. I leave for work just before nine so we’ll have plenty of time to talk, okay?”

Dropping her taser back into her bag, she turned to head back to her room. She paused and looked back at the door, feeling horrible that she was probably leaving someone who needed help standing outside her door. But she had too many freaks coming after her to trust that easily.

An agonized voice, rough and broken, barely even human, pierced the silence. “Chloe, please let me in!”

She stopped short, gasping quietly. That voice, gravelly and distorted though it was, was hauntingly familiar. The hairs on the back of her neck stood on end and she felt a chill slide down her spine.

“Please!” the person pleaded, the volume almost gone from his voice, as though shouting had taken every ounce of volume he had.

It was that pleading that finally broke Chloe’s resolve. Her natural tendency to help anyone and everyone she came across kicked in. Spinning on her heal, she stomped back toward the door.

“All right,” she shouted. “But I’m warning you, if this is some kind of trick, I swear to god I will taze you. And if you think I’m kidding, I will taze you in the balls!”

Flipping on the living room light so that she could see, Chloe yanked open the door, clutching the taser in her hand.

The taser fell to the ground, slipping from her limp fingers and narrowly missing her foot. The electrical charge crackled as it hit the ground, but she remained stock still, completely unmoving, sure that the sight before her was some figment of her imagination, that she was still dreaming and had never gotten out of bed, or that she’d finally lost her mind.

Frowning slightly, trying to determine if what she was seeing was real or if she’d finally lost it, Chloe whispered, “Oliver?”

She was almost sure that she was seeing him, framed in her doorway. But the man she was seeing wasn’t the same man she’d said goodbye to two years before or the man who had starred in her dreams every night since that day. His skin, usually lightly tanned, was deep brown and was weather beaten and worn. He looked like he’d lost twenty pounds, causing the muscles on his arms to stand out. His hair was slightly longer and looked ragged, as though it had been cut with a knife to keep it out of his face. There were dark circles under his eyes and his face was drawn in exhaustion.

Despite his haggard appearance, it looked like Oliver had recently had a shower and gotten cleaned up. He was freshly shaven and his hair was clean. He was dressed in a white short-sleeve t-shirt and khaki pants. His gaze was sharp and alert and he was staring at Chloe intently.

“No. No, it’s impossible,” she murmured, backing away a few steps, trembling slightly, and toying anxiously with hem of her shirt. “You can’t be here. I’m still dreaming. This isn’t real. It can’t be real.”

Oliver looked stricken. His mouth fell open slightly. For the first time since she had opened the door, he moved, stepping toward her, into the apartment and closing the door behind him. “Chloe,” he whispered, his voice weak and broken, as though from long disuse. “It’s me. I’m really here”

Tears rolled down her cheeks as she shook her head vehemently, her entire body trembling almost violently. “No,” she sobbed. “It’s another dream. When I wake up you’ll be gone again and I’ll be alone. I can’t lose you again.”

His face softened as realized what was wrong. “Oh, Chloe,” he whispered. “I’m right here. I’m real. You’re not dreaming and you’re not crazy. You’re awake and I’m right here.”

Still shaking, Chloe continued moving away until her legs hit the arm of sofa. She was crying brokenly, sobs wracking her body. “No, no, no,” she murmured.

Oliver closed the distance between them, but Chloe shrank back, almost falling over onto the sofa. Heart clenching at the realization that she couldn’t be near him, he stopped short with a few inches still between them.

“No,” she murmured again, shaking her head.

Breathing shakily, praying that she wouldn’t reject him, Oliver reached out and cupped her cheek in his hand, gently brushing the tears away with the pad of his thumb. Chloe flinched slightly, then automatically leaned into him, closing her eyes.

“I’m really here,” he whispered, as loud as his disused voice would let him. “I’m not a dream and last time I checked, I don’t have Clark’s ability to run across the county in a split second, so I’m not going to disappear into thin air. And just in case you’re wondering, and being from Smallville it’s not as far fetched as it seems, I’m not a ghost either.”

Chloe shook her head, looking confused. “But how? It’s been two years.”

“Believe me,” he murmured, his voice cracking under the combined stress of speaking so long and the emotion he was feeling. “I know how long it’s been. I spent every minute thinking about you.”

“If you’re really back, then how come nobody knows?” she demanded, knocking the hand still pressed to her cheek aside. “You’re Oliver freaking Queen. You can’t just magically reappear out of the blue after two years and not have anyone know! There should have been a press release and some kind of media frenzy! And I would know if there had been seeing as I work at the Daily Planet! This is impossible!”

“No it isn’t,” Oliver whispered, moving closer and forcing her to look in his eyes. “Queen Industries suppressed the news for a few hours so that I could get here to see you. The first press release should have gone out about an hour ago. I wanted to tell you myself. I didn’t want you to find out over the media. That and,” he paused slightly, looking away with a sheepish expression on his face. “I just needed to see you.”

“How did you find me?” she challenged.

Oliver rolled his eyes. “You do realize that all I’d have to do to find you is pick up a phonebook right? But I was a little desperate so I asked QI to track you down while the doctor was looking at me. I was pretty desperate to see you.”

Chloe finally stopped shaking and the tears stopped falling down her cheeks. She looked into Oliver’s eyes, blinking away the few tears that still clouded her vision. He gently looked down at her and gently ran his fingers through her hair. Tentatively, she reached up and and touched his cheek, tracing the the lines of his cheek and jaw. Oliver closed his eyes, reveling in her touch.

“It’s you,” she whimpered. “It’s really you.”

Opening his eyes, Oliver looked down at her and pressed his forehead to hers. “Yeah. It’s me.”

Chloe slid her hand down his cheek to rest against her palm against his neck. Unable to stop himself, Oliver moved in closer, brushing his lips against hers.

Realizing what he’d been about to do, Oliver jerked backward, stumbling back several feet. “I’m sorry,” he mumbled

Chloe frowned. “For what?”

“For just assuming that everything between us was the same as was before,” he said wretchedly. “I know it’s been two years and that I was dead for all intents and purposes. I don’t expect you to have just put your life on hold while I was gone. I know I’m just making your life complicated. I’m sorry.” He backed away a few more steps. “I shouldn’t have come.”

“No, I’m glad you came. I missed you.”

Oliver’s face creased in pain. “I missed you too. But I know how long it’s been. A lot can change in two years. I don’t...I don’t expect things to be the way they were. I shouldn’t have come here expecting to just pick things up where we left off. I should go. I’ll give you a call as soon as things settle down after the media release.”

Chloe’s mouth fell open and slightly as she realized what he was saying. He was leaving and he thought that she didn’t feel anything for him anymore. She wasn’t sure if she was touched that even after two years he was still more concerned about her than anything else or hurt that he thought that she would give up on her feelings for him so easily. For a moment, the slightest bit of hurt that he would doubt her won out. Then she remembered that there had been a few times that she’d thought about going out with someone and she had gone out with Jimmy in an attempt to move on. And Oliver wasn’t blaming her for that. He was giving her an excuse to not feel the same way he did. He’d made it clear by his actions and by how desperately he’d tried to get into her apartment, that he still felt the way he had when he’d left two years before. It must have killed him to say that.

Oliver reached out and gently caressed her cheek. Before she could do anything, he dropped his hand and walked away. He’d known from the beginning that there was a chance that Chloe would have moved on with her life. Some part of him had hoped that she would, that she wouldn’t have spent the last two years pining over him. But another part of him had hoped that she’d still be there for him when he got back. All the preparing he’d done wasn’t enough to stop the shaft of ice that drove through his heart. It worse than he could have possibly imagined.

His thoughts were clear on his face and it made Chloe’s heart break. She finally had Oliver back and he thought she’d moved on.

“I promise to call you as soon as I can,” he said hoarsely before moving toward the door.

Gaping, Chloe watched frozenly as she walked across the house. Feeling returned to her legs and she sprinted across the apartment. She grabbed his arm, pulling him around just as he reached for the doorknob. Oliver frowned in confusion, but Chloe seized the back of his neck, pulling him down to her level and melding her lips to his.

Oliver stiffened for the briefest instant before succumbing to the fire that just the touch of her lips awakened in him. His entire body was vibrating with awareness of her presence. Two years away had made him hypersensitive to her. Her hand gently ran up his side, resting against his ribs. Her touch burned through his shirt. Oliver stepped into her, pressing his body to hers, desperate to feel the heat of her body. He wrapped an arm around her waist, hauling her up against him even tighter. Burying his free hand in her hair, he tilted her head back to gain access to her mouth. Chloe gently caressed his lips his her tongue. Oliver groaned involuntarily and parted his lips, welcoming her gladly. His hand fell to waist, where her shirt had ridden up and he caressed her skin lightly.

Desperate for breath, Chloe pulled away and he rested his forehead against hers

“Do you have any idea how long I have been waiting to do that?” she whispered, her words uneven as she panted. There were tears on her cheeks again.

Oliver smiled ruefully. “I know exactly how long you waited, because you weren’t the only one.” He gently wiped the tears away from her face again. “Please, stop crying,” he murmured.

“Sorry. I’m not usually such a mess, but my boyfriend came back from the dead and I haven’t been getting much sleep lately,” she teased weakly.

“I’ll let you get some sleep,” Oliver offered quietly. “I have to leave early tomorrow for a press conference, but I’ll call you.”

She clung to his shirt, shaking her head. “No. If you go now, I....” She couldn’t tell him that she’d wake up thinking he was dead and she wasn’t sure that she’d be all right if that happened.

He didn’t need her to finish. He could guess what she was thinking. Without preamble, Oliver scooped Chloe into his arms. She didn’t protest as he carried her into the bedroom. Everything that had happened since he’d walked in the door had left her exhausted. She couldn’t find the strength to protest.

Oliver laid her gently on the bed, pulling the blankets over her. She was already half asleep, lulled by the comfort of his arms.

“Don’t go,” she mumbled.

Smiling gently, he brushed her hair out of her face and lay down beside her. “I’m not going anywhere.”

Author’s Note: God, this was hard to write. Sorry for the delay. I literally wrote this in it’s entirety three times. My computer froze and I had to restart it, deleting the version I was literally minutes away from posting yesterday. Isn’t technology wonderful? Anyway, please, please, please review!!!

Chapter 3
 
 
 
saurinasaurina on April 25th, 2011 07:44 pm (UTC)
OMG OMG OMG amazing chapter!!!

I'm all teary eyed here, 'cause yaay he came back and what a reunion, you rock girl!!

Uhh and Gabe, what a jerk!
Clareluminare91 on April 27th, 2011 05:14 pm (UTC)
I literally wrote this three times, partly because my computer died on me. This was hard to write. The balance between angst and reunion was hard. I almost had them in bed together in a different way....but it just didn't fit. I swear, by the end of this fic, I'm going to be emotionally exhausted