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12 April 2011 @ 02:46 pm
Gift of Fate Chapter 3 (4/?)  
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,

Banner by geek_or_unique 


Author's Note: So I should have moved everything back over to LJ. Hopefully, it won't screw up again.

Chapter 3

The harsh sound of an alarm pierced the early morning quiet. Groaning, Chloe cracked on eye open. It was still dark. Not even the smallest bit of sunlight had slipped through the gaps in the curtains, which meant it was way too early for her alarm to be going off.

With another groan, Chloe pulled the blankets over her head, trying to recapture the dream she’d been having. Oliver had come back. That was new. Usually they were just together in some random setting, often the beach where they’d had their first date. In the dreams, she never knew who’d he gotten back or where he’d been and often, he’d been forced to leave her again. But this time, he’d appeared in the door of her apartment, he convinced her that he was really there, and they’d shared a fiery kiss. That was new too.

It was been so real, that she could still practically feel his Oliver’s arms wrapped securely around her, his chest pressed to her back. She could even feel his breath on her neck.

The insistent beeping pulled Chloe more fully into wakefulness. She surrendered reluctantly, knowing that if she didn’t get up soon and didn’t put her memories of Oliver safely in a corner of her mind, that she’d regret it later.

Pushing the blankets off her face, she rolled over and slapped at the alarm clock. But her hand met warm, firm skin instead of the cool plastic she’d been expecting. Chloe’s eyes flew open. She should have been looking at the neon display of the clock, but instead her view was blocked by the sleeping man laying beside her.

He blinked blearily and frowned at her slightly. “What was that for?” he mumbled.

Unable to actually speak, she just stared at him. He picked up a phone from the bedside table and silenced the alarm, then turned back to her, his eyes alight with concern.

Chloe threw her arms around his neck, hugging him tightly. “You’re really here. It wasn’t a dream,” she managed to whisper.

Oliver’s chest tightened. He shifted slightly, pushing himself up so that he was sitting against the headboard and Chloe was leaning against him. His arms encircled her tightly as he cradled her against him. “I’ve been told I’m pretty dreamy,” he joked weakly, trying to lighten the mood.

She laughed once, almost hysterically. “Two years and your ego is still safely in tact,”

“As is your snark.”

“You say that like it’s a bad thing.”

“Not really.” He brushed her hair out of her face tenderly. “I missed it.”

Her face softened. “I just missed you.”

“I’m here now and I’m not going to leave,” he promised.

She arched an eyebrow, a trace of amusement in her eyes. “I thought you had to get back to Star City?”

“I do,” he chuckled. “But I won’t disappear off the face of the earth this time.”

“You sure?” she teased.

Oliver winced. “As sure as I can be. But it’s not as if I can control the environment or the actions of others.”

“Too soon for jokes?” Chloe asked, looking up at him sheepishly.

“Just a little,” he said softly.

“So how soon do you need to leave?” she asked.

Oliver grabbed his phone off the bedside table and checked the time. “I have to be there in about an hour. It’s a three hour flight and I have prep for the press conference at noon, so they want me there early to hammer out some of the details.”

“And what time is it now?”

“Five o’clock.”

She groaned. “That is ridiculously early. And it’ll take you fifteen minutes to get to the airport from here.”

“I wish I didn’t have to go so soon,” Oliver said, caressing her cheek softly.

“You have to,” Chloe whispered. “I know that. You have to get your life back and that means spending a lot of time ironing out the details of everything. It can’t be easy to legally come back from the dead.”

“I wish you could come with me,” he said. “I’m going to spend the next few weeks being given the third degree by everyone. It would be nice to have someone in my corner. Which just means that I’ll calling you at least every night.”

Chloe bit her lip and sat up, avoiding eye contact. “What if I went with you?” she asked softly. “I don’t have anything keeping me here. Lois is off gallivanting for the summer and then she’ll be at school. Clark can be anywhere in a matter of seconds and don’t really talk to my dad anymore.”

Not sure that he’d heard her correctly, Oliver raised an eyebrow. “What about the Planet? That’s your dream job. Unless you’re planning on just staying for the weekend you’ll lose that job.”

“Well, I was planning on going back to school,” she said slowly. “And I got a full scholarship to SCU. They have great journalism program. I just didn’t have a reason to go that far from home. But I do now.”

“And you’d really be willing to leave everything right now to come with me?”

“Obviously I’d have to come back at some point to get the rest of my stuff, but yeah. I’m willing to up and leave everything right now to come with you.”

Grinning broadly, Oliver wrapped her in his arms, pulling her tightly against him. “Have I mentioned that you’re absolutely wonderful?”

“Not lately,” she chuckled.

“How long will it take you to pack?”

She rolled her eyes. “Five minutes. I just need to throw some clothes in a duffle bag to get me through the next few days. Then I’ll catch a ride back to pick up the rest.”

“You want some help?”

“You just want an excuse to go through my underwear drawer, don’t you?”

“All this time, and you still know me so well.”

Laughing, Chloe extricated herself from the blankets. “Can you get my duffle bag from the top of the closet?”

Oliver rose and grabbed her bag, depositing it on the bed. She rifled through the dresser, pulling out clothes and handing them to him. He took them from her and placed them carefully in the bag. When it was full, he zipped it up and slung it over his shoulder.

“Do you have a car that you don’t want to leave here?” he asked.

Chloe shook her head. “There’s no point in having one when everything’s in walking distance. Whenever I leave Metropolis, I just call Clark. Do you have a car or do I need to call a cab.”

“I have a car,” he admitted, almost sheepishly. “It was less conspicuous that taking a cab.” He wrapped an arm around Chloe’s waist and pulled her out the door.

“Just out of curiosity, what are you going to tell the Planet?” he asked, as they walked out of her apartment.

Chloe paused long enough to grab her purse and laptop bag, before closing the door behind her. “I was thinking that I could tell them the truth. That my billionaire boyfriend came back from the dead and that I’ve decided to go to school in Star City.”

“You want to go public?” he asked incredulously.

She shrugged. “Why not? Don’t you think we’ve hidden long enough?”

Oliver pressed a kiss to her temple. “Yeah. I guess you’re right.”

“I’m always right, don’t you know that?”

Laughing, he pushed open the door and held it open for her. “My car’s around the corner. Do you want to walk or do you want me to bring it ar--”

“Chloe!”

Stiffening, Chloe turned to see Jimmy hurrying toward them. “Oh, what the hell is he doing here?” she muttered.

“Who is he?” Oliver whispered, ducking his head so that he wouldn’t be recognized.

“He’s a photographer from the Planet,” she explained.

“And how does he know where you live?”

“We get paired together a lot,” she hissed. “He’s been here to work to on a couple of articles. It’s nothing. I swear. Just let me get rid of him.”

Oliver nodded and kissed her temple. “Be quick. We don’t want to be late.”

Smiling gently, Chloe turned and walked toward Jimmy, who was standing about ten feet away, his mouth hanging open.

“What are you doing here this early?”

He glared at her. “I couldn’t sleep. I went for a walk and saw that your lights were on.”

“So what do you want?”

“Is that why you’re not ready to go out with me?” he asked, gesturing at Oliver. “You’re with someone else? What happened to needing time? To not being ready because you’re boyfriend went missing a few years ago? I mean seriously, why couldn’t you tell me the truth?”

“I did tell you the truth,” she snapped. “I did need time.”

“It’s been twelve hours!”

“And a lot has changed in that time.”

“I’m sure,” he muttered.

Chloe rolled her eyes, resisting the urge to scream. “You know this really isn’t any of your business,” she snapped. “I told you that I didn’t want to go out with you and that’s the end of the story.”

“You know, I was coming here to apologize. But I don’t think you deserve one. I actually felt bad for pushing you. I got home and realized I’d been a complete jackass. I spent the entire night figuring out what I was going to say to you, what I was going to do to apologize, to make sure that I hadn’t ruined everything.” He shook his head in disappointment. “Why didn’t you just tell me there was someone else?”

“Because there wasn’t anyone else until last night,” she hissed through gritted teeth. “Until about one o’clock this morning, my boyfriend was still missing. Then he showed up at my doorstep. I wasn’t ready to go out and I don’t even know if I’m ready to do this with him again, but he’s the person I’m willing to risk it on.”

Jimmy sighed and rubbed his temples. “I’m being a jerk again, aren’t I?”

“You think?” she bit out.

“I’m sorry,” he said softly. “I just...I really thought we had something and I didn’t want my idiocy to screw everything up. The last thing I expected when I came over here was to see you with someone else.”

“Apology accepted,” Chloe said stiffly. “But let’s get something straight, right now. I’m not your girlfriend. You have no right to come charging in, blasting me with questions because you think you have some right to me.”

He blushed and shifted his feet in embarrassment. “Have I mentioned the part where I’m sorry? I honestly have no idea where my brain went.”

“Just remember it the next time, okay?” She arched her eyebrow and her eyes sparkled a little bit with humor.

“I will,” he assured her. He shoved his hands in his pockets and looked down at his shoes. “If whatever this is doesn’t work between you two, do I still have a chance with you?”

Oh for the love of god, he’s got a one track mind. “I don’t know. I’m kind of hoping that this does work and I’ll never have to find out what I’d do if it doesn’t.”

“Oh,” he said softly.

“I’m sorry,” Chloe sighed. “But you’ll have to find someone else. I’m not the girl for you. Go home, Jimmy. I’ll see you later.”

Without waiting for him to reply, she turned on her heel and hurried over to where Oliver stood, holding open the door of his car, which he’d apparently pulled around while she was talking to Jimmy. His face was unreadable, but she grinned at him and slid into the passenger seat. Oliver closed the door behind her and walked around to the driver’s seat. Without a word, he put the car in drive and pulled away from the curb.

Chloe reached over and laid a hand on his arm. “Are you okay?”

“Fine,” he said, flashing her a quick smile. She wasn’t convinced.

“Ollie,” she said softly, shifting in her seat so that she was more or less facing him. “Please don’t hide from me.”

His jaw flexed slightly. “That guy seemed like more than a friend.”

Chloe groaned. “How much of that conversation did you hear?”

“Enough,” Oliver said softly, his voice barely audible over the sound of the engine. “Why didn’t you tell me that you went out with someone? I told you that I didn’t want to make your life complicated, that I didn’t expect things to be the way they were when I left. All you had to do as tell me that you were dating someone else. Why didn’t you?”

“Because I went on one date with him at least four months ago,” Chloe whispered. “I don’t care about him. He’s a nice guy and everything, but he’s not you. I was just trying to stop feeling so empty and so lonely.”

There was a slight pause. “Did it work?”

She shook her head, tears glistening in her eyes. “No. It made it worse because all I could do was compare Jimmy to you and it reminded me of all the reasons I fell for you in the first place.”

Oliver didn’t answer, but his hands tightened on the steering wheel. With an almost inaudible sigh, Chloe turned so that she was looking out the window. She should have known that Jimmy showing up would throw things off kilter. Why hadn’t she just told him to leave her alone? Why hadn’t she clearly said that she wasn’t interested? Hell, why hadn’t she said that Oliver was her boyfriend? In an attempt not to put labels on things before it was time, she’d basically told Oliver that she wasn’t sure of her feelings for him and that there was someone else in the picture.

Why are relationships so damn complicated? she thought miserably.

They remained silent until Oliver pulled into the parking lot at the private airstrip where the Queen Industries jet was waiting for them. He turned off the ignition, but didn’t get out of the car. Sighing, Chloe opened her door and began to climb out. His quiet voice stopped her.

“Why didn’t you just tell him that you and I are dating? I thought you wanted to go public.”

“I do,” she said softly. “I was just trying to get rid of him and if I’d told him that you and are together, let alone who you are, I’d have been stuck there answering a bunch of questions. That and telling him that I need space seems to get me more time. I told him last night to leave me alone and he was back the next morning.”

“Do you have feelings for him?”

Eyes blazing, she rounded on him. “Not if I forced myself.”

Stiffly, she climbed out of the car and stomped around to the trunk grabbing her duffle bag and laptop case. She flung them over her shoulder and stormed across the tarmac to the waiting plane. Feeling a little insecure, she could understand. Actually questioning her feelings just ticker her off.

The pilot, who was standing at the door, looked at quizzically when she brushed past him, but said nothing. Still furious, Chloe stormed to the very back of the plane and sat down, pulling her laptop out and hiding behind the screen. She clicked open her web browser and the Daily Planet home page popped up. The page was dominated by an immense picture of Oliver beneath the headline Queen Industries CEO Found Alive.

Curious, Chloe clicked the link and a video file appeared.

“Early yesterday afternoon, an emergency signal was picked up by navy ship on maneuvers. The men who responded found a vessel used by well known drug-runners. But the drug-runners themselves were no where to be seen. In their place, rescuers found Oliver Queen, missing since his yacht went down in a storm two years ago, and Tess Mercer, a marine biology student kidnapped in Fiji one month ago. Details are few, but late last night the two arrived in Star City and were immediately taken to Star City general. No news has been heard since, but Mr. Queen is expected to give a press conference this afternoon.”

The voice over was accompanied by several short clips and images or Oliver and a tall statuesque red, head Chloe assumed was Tess Mercer. She was beautiful in a pale almost regal way. In every picture she was clinging to Oliver as though he was her lifeline. In the clip that showed the two of them being ushered into the hospital, he had his arm around her shoulders and had her pulled protectively into his side. For one second, Chloe caught a glimpse of Tess’s face as the other woman glanced at Oliver. Her eyes lit up with adoration when she looked at Oliver.

Chloe felt her heart clench. She should have realized that Oliver would look to someone else for comfort when he got off the island, simply because there was no way he could be sure of her feelings. But he had a lot of nerve getting angry because of what had happened with Jimmy.

Fighting back tears, she slammed the laptop close and shoved it back in her bag. Pulling her knees up to her chest, she gazed out the window.

“Why didn’t you just tell me about him?” Oliver asked.

Blinking the tears out of her eyes, Chloe turned to glare at him. She hadn’t even heard him come on board the plane. “Because we were together for all of twenty minutes before I passed out and when we woke up this morning, it didn’t exactly come up in conversation,” she snapped. “I told you what was important. That there was no one else, that my feelings hadn’t changed. Excuse me for not quite getting around to telling you the minute details of my life, especially when you haven’t told me everything that happened to you.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Oliver asked warily, ignoring the voice in the back of his head that was yelling at him to apologize. It was drowned out by his insecurities.

Unable to tell him what she had seen, Chloe grabbed her laptop and shoved it toward him. Raising an eyebrow, he sat down in the nearest seat and opened it. His eyes widened slightly when he saw the video. Confused, her hit the play button.

As the video played, Oliver felt an iron band constrict around his heart. It had never occurred to him what he and Tess looked like to the outside observer. He watched the clip of them walking into the hospital over and over. It looked like they were a couple who were seriously in love.

Shame coursed through him as he realized what a hypocrite he’d been. There was absolutely nothing going on between him and Tess, but she was the first person he’d come in contact with, excluding the drug-runners who’d tried to kill him on sight. She’d been scared out her mind after being kidnapped and held against her will. Oliver had only been trying to help comfort her and after spending so much time completely alone, being in the presence of another person had been something he desperately needed. But it definitely looked like something more than just two people taking comfort in each other’s presence and he knew that the tabloids would make them out to be in a relationship.

Oliver hadn’t even taken that into account when he’d assumed that Chloe had moved on and simply hadn’t told him because she was caught up in relieving the past. Hearing that she and the geeky guy who’d walked up to her had gone out had sent pain stabbing through his heart and he’d lost all ability to think rationally.

Forcing himself to remain calm, to betray none of the trepidation and panic coursing through him, he closed the laptop and set it aside. Chloe wasn’t looking at him. She was staring out the window, tears coursing silently down her cheeks.

The intercom crackled to life. “Please buckle you’re seat belts. We’ll be taking off momentarily.”

Oliver picked up the bag and carefully placed the laptop into it. Mechanically, Chloe pulled the seat belt across her lap. Sighing, he moved to sit beside her, but she ignored him.

Author's Note: At this point, I think I'm incapable of actually writing a happy moment without then screwing it up for the characters. Let me know what ya think!

Chapter 4
 
 
 
saurinasaurina on April 25th, 2011 08:12 pm (UTC)
No no no it can't go wrong before it's even started up again. Uhhh those two seriously need to talk things out, but its like there never's enough time, everything comes crashing down on them..

I seriously in love with this fic, it's awesome and I'm off to read the next part..:))
Clareluminare91 on April 27th, 2011 05:17 pm (UTC)
I felt so horrible writing this chapter. But it just didn't feel right for the two of them to get back together like nothing had happened when so much had. And part of what makes them such a great couple is that despite everything they've been through they're still together. So I had to put them through a little pain.