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20 August 2008 @ 11:37 pm
Someone to Save You, ch. 6  
Title: Someone to Save You
Fandom: Smallville
Pairing: Chloe/Oliver
Rating: Overall, NC-17. This chapter: PG-13.
Spoilers: Post Arctic. Includes minor season 8 spoilers.
Summary: Lex is back from the dead. Oliver is bound and determined to stop him from exposing Clark. But who is the Green Arrow really protecting? And how far will he go? Set post season 7. Chloe/Oliver, with hints of Clark/Lois.
Author's note: I'm back. Stupid Olympics interfere with writing. But I can't tear myself away. So this chapter's extra long to compensate! Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I promise to return them in more or less the same condition. Happy?

Chapter Six

Chloe was trying not to panic. As calmly as she could, she gathered up the laptop and tucked it under her arm. She looked at Oliver, a question in her worried eyes. He held up a hand and switched on his comm.

“How much time?” he asked Victor.

“Elevator’s shut down, so they have to come up the stairs. Maybe two minutes? Three at the most,” Victor replied.

“Copy that, Cyborg.”

“Oliver, what –"

Oliver waved her off. “I got this. Do me a favor? Watch the door.”

Chloe didn’t know what good that would do. Where was Clark when you needed him? “But Oliver –“

Oliver felt the panic rise in his chest, but he gave no outward sign. If it was just him in danger – well, that was routine – but this was Chloe. He needed to focus. He looked at Chloe with cold, dispassionate eyes. “The door, now.”

The dangerous quality told Chloe not to argue. She hurried over to the door and listened intently for the sounds of the approaching security detail. She contemplated calling Clark - then realized that her phone was in her bag, which was still in the limo. Damn. She watched as Oliver knelt, removed his gloves, stuffed them in his pocket and pulled up his right pant leg. With his back to her and the darkness, it was difficult to see what he was reaching for. It wasn’t until he stood and turned into moonlight that she saw was it was: a small crossbow. Oliver walked over to the floor to ceiling wall of glass at the back of the office. He stood behind Tess’ huge desk chair and took careful aim. A second later Chloe heard the arrow shatter the glass as it left the crossbow.

The next thing she heard was the fire door open in the hallway. Her eyes flew wide in terror. Instinctively she backed away from the door. Her knuckles were white from where she clutched the laptop for dear life. As she heard the detail gather on the other side of the door, Oliver called, “Time to go.”

Chloe turned abruptly to see Oliver beckoning her. She dashed across the room as quickly and quietly as she could, silently cursing both her dress and stilettos as she ran. Miraculously she reached Oliver without mishap.

“Hold on,” Oliver commanded.

Chloe wrapped her arms around Oliver’s waist, effectively trapping the laptop between her arm and his chest. Oliver wrapped his left arm around her to stead her as they stepped toward the hole in the glass wall. Oliver reached his free arm up to grasp the now-collapsed crossbow. Chloe stole a look back at the door. She saw the door begin to crack open and then the ground fell out from under her. She yelped in surprise as she tightened her hold on Oliver. The air whipped around her head as she and Oliver zipped along the line that stretched across the chasm between Luthorcorp and…Chloe forced herself to look at their destination. They were hurdling toward the spinning globe of the Planet.

As the globe got bigger, Chloe squeezed her eyes shut and intensified her near death grip on Oliver. Incredibly, she heard Oliver chuckle as she buried her head in his shoulder. The next thing Chloe knew they were slowing down and gently came to a stop. She shivered slightly as Oliver set them on the solid foundation of the Daily Planet roof. He didn’t release her though.

“You can look now,” Oliver informed her with a hint of amusement.

Chloe glared up at him as she raised her head. “There are elevators, you know.”

“Yeah, but they’re not as flashy.”

Chloe cocked an eyebrow at him. That’s when Oliver realized he was still holding her despite them being safely on the ground. Oops. He abruptly let go and turned to disengage the anchor left in Tess’ office. In doing so, he forced Chloe to let go too, causing her to nearly drop the precious laptop. Chloe caught it just before it hit the ground.

As Oliver got his crossbow squared away, Chloe looked back at where they had come from. The floor they zipped from was at least five stores higher than the roof of the Planet. It had been terrifying, but she knew that Oliver wouldn’t have let her fall. A dark, indistinct shape drew her attention to the broken window. Then she saw a red beam pointed in their general direction. Chloe didn’t have time to think. She threw herself at Oliver’s back knocking him painfully to the ground. A second later they heard a loud thunk as a bullet struck the brick wall behind where Chloe had been standing.

“What was that?” Oliver hissed.

“It came from Tess’ office. They know we’re here,” Chloe replied, fear making her voice shake.

“Correction, they know someone’s here. They don’t know that it’s two of their party guests.”

Chloe rolled her eyes. “Thanks for making the distinction. I feel so much better now. Can we just get out of here? Before they send Larry, Moe and Curly after us?”

“We will as soon as you get off me,” Oliver shot back.

Cheeks flaming, Chloe jumped away from him. She groaned when she hit the hard ledge behind her. Oliver’s face grew serious as he looked for the elevator in relation to where they’d fallen. The direct path put them in their shooter’s line of sight. Oliver wished he could look to see if the shooter was still there, but knew he couldn’t risk it. He was about to call Victor when he realized his comm was no longer in his ear. He groped blindly but couldn’t find it. Oliver groaned. That’s just great. OK, Plan B.

He turned to Chloe. “We’ll have to go the long way. I think we’ll be OK if we keep hidden behind the ledge.”

Chloe nodded. Silently, she picked up the laptop and followed Oliver at a crouch along the low wall. All the crouching made her stiletto clad feet ache, but Chloe knew better than to say anything. The sooner they got to the elevator the safer they would be. At last, Oliver reached the shadowed elevator doors and pressed the down button. After an agonizing minute the doors opened and he quickly ushered Chloe inside. Both sighed in relief. They were finally out of the woods.

As the doors closed behind them Oliver’s phone rang shrilly. “Now what?” Oliver muttered as he fished it out of his pocket. Chloe watched as Oliver practically shouted into the phone. As the conversation went on at a breakneck pace, Chloe could feel the anger coming off Oliver in waves. Whatever was going on was very, very bad. That combined with the stress of their mission was making her extremely nervous. She jumped when Oliver suddenly snapped the phone closed in disgust and pushed the lobby button several times angrily, despite the fact that it was already lit.

“It’s a proven fact that pushing the elevator button more than once actually makes the elevator go slower,” she teased lightly.

Oliver managed a weak smile. “Sorry. That was my CFO. There’s a problem back in Star City. I’ve got to get back there before the SEC gobbles up half of Queen Industries.”

“The SEC?” Chloe asked, surprised.

Oliver shrugged. “Something about reporting irregularities and our government contracts. Dan didn’t fully understand it himself.” Oliver sighed. “We so don’t need this right now. I need to be here.

“Oliver, if you have to go, then go. We’ll hold down the fort. It’s going to take some time for me to crack this thing anyway,” Chloe reassured him, patting the edge of the laptop.

“I just hate to leave you with Lex on the loose like this.”

“Ollie, don’t be silly. Clark’s around. I’ll be fine. What were you planning on doing anyway? Keep me locked up in your penthouse?”

Oliver flashed her a grin. “If that’s what it takes.”

“Oliver –" Chloe started to protest, but the elevator dinged. As they headed into the lobby, Chloe was surprised when Oliver headed back toward the shipping and receiving entrance, rather than the front doors. What’s back here? Chloe wondered.

They found her answer behind one of the nearby dumpsters. Oliver disappeared for a second and reappeared wheeling his motorcycle out from behind the dumpster. Chloe eyed him skeptically. “Um, Oliver, you do realize that this is a dress, right? One that I spent a month’s pay on. There’s no way I’m riding that.”

Oliver looked at her appraisingly with a sardonic smile. “Maybe it’s escaped your keen notice, but I don’t think you have to worry about wearing that dress again.”

Chloe looked down at her gown. Oliver was right. Her lovely teal gown was smudged with dirt and ripped in several places, most notably her hip. It must have happened when I pushed Ollie down. Damn. She looked warily up at Oliver. “Fine. Just try not to get us killed. I’ve seen the way you drive.”

“Your wish is my command.” Oliver held his hand out. “Give me the laptop.” Chloe handed it over and waited for him to stow it in the compartment under the seat. That task completed Oliver swung his right leg over the side and mounted the bike. He turned and patted the seat behind him invitingly.

Chloe grimaced but walked the few steps to the bike anyway. Carefully she hitched up her dress as high as she could and still maintain her modesty. She gathered the material together and tied it off. With more of her skin exposed, she suddenly noticed how chilly it had gotten since they arrived at the ball several hours earlier. She refused to look at Oliver as she placed her left foot behind his and placed her hands on his shoulders to hoist herself onto the bike. She shivered slightly when her bare skin came in contact with the cool seat.

“You alright back there?”

“Fine.”

“You’re not cold?”

“No,” Chloe said stubbornly.

Oliver immediately began shrugging off his jacket. “Here, take this.”

“I just told you I was fine.”

“You won’t be once we start moving, Sidekick. Take the jacket. Please.”

Chloe took the jacket from him and slipped it on. She was instantly warmer. “I’m ready.”

The engine roared as Oliver fired it up. “You’ll have to scoot closer,” Oliver half-yelled. Reluctantly, Chloe scooted up until her torso was flush with Oliver’s warm back and her legs hugged his hips. Instinctively, she wrapped her arms around his waist and prepared to hang on. Oliver smiled broadly as he raised the kickstand and drove off into the night…

 

There wasn’t much that frightened Tess Mercer. Just ask anyone who’d ever faced her in a boardroom. Her classmates at Northwestern called her the Ice Queen; the nickname bestowed due to the ice water that surely ran in her veins. However, as Tess walked into one of the larger Luthorcorp conference rooms, her hands trembled. She knew the next few minutes would be fraught with danger as she picked her way through her boss’ ever-scheming mind. She’d heard the stories. Luthorcorp employees disappearing mysteriously. Others given healthy severances and then never heard from again. She wasn’t sure which was worse. With a shaky hand she switched on the video stream and settled into one of the large leather chairs. Two minutes later Lex Luthor’s angry countenance appeared on the screen.

“I hope you have a good explanation for tonight’s events, Miss Mercer,” Lex said tersely.

“Mr. Luthor, it appears that my office was broken into during the Charity Ball.”

“You’re not telling me anything I don’t already know, Miss Mercer. Do you know who has broken into my office?”

Tess swallowed. “It appears to be work of the Green Arrow, sir.”

Green Arrow. Again. What do I have to do to get rid of that leather clad terrorist? Lex’s anger and frustration boiled over. “How did this happen? What do I pay you for? There are some very sensitive projects in motion, Miss Mercer. I will not tolerate incompetence.”

Tess tried to keep her voice even. “We don’t know how he broke in. The security system was hacked into expertly. Our people were not aware that anything was amiss until the safe alarm was triggered.”

“The secondary feed?”

“Also hacked, sir.”

“So we have nothing? No useable images?”

“I’m afraid not, sir. The hacker was very thorough. It’s unlikely we’ll ever discover his identity.”

“What was taken?”

Tess was dreading this question, fearful of Lex’s reaction. “Taken? Nothing, sir.”

Lex smiled ruefully. “Miss Mercer, you and I both know the Green Arrow did not break into my office for kicks. He was after something. Lying to me is a very unwise thing to do.”

“The laptop, sir,” she admitted.

Unbelievably, Lex grinned. “Well, it looks like you incompetence was a blessing in disguise!” Tess didn’t know what that meant, but was too relieved to care at the moment. Lex’s tone suddenly became stern. “I want the security breach fully investigated with a report on my desk in the next twenty four hours. Do not fail me again.”

Tess switched off the feed and marveled at her escape. She wasn’t sure how she escaped but knew not to push her luck. Whatever Lex had planned wasn’t upset by the night’s events and for that she was thankful.

 

Chloe spent much of Monday in front of the stolen laptop armed with coffee and a stash of blueberry muffins. She’d called in sick to the Planet mostly to avoid Clark. Oliver still insisted on keeping her best friend in the dark; Chloe disagreed but respected Oliver’s judgment. Even Chloe acknowledged Clark’s habit of going off half-cocked. Clark was definitely a charge first ask questions later type of hero, which was not always a good thing when there was a conspiracy of this caliber in motion.

Chloe was just beginning to realize how deep Lex’s scheme was. Once she finally got the password and cracked the encryption, she found file after file about Project Hephaestus. Mineralogists were working on ways to incapacitate Clark. The limited alien DNA that Luthorcorp still had was in top security storage on a remote island in the Pacific. Instead, hundreds of subjects from 33.1 were being used as guinea pigs. Chloe’s stomach recoiled at the thought.  Neurologists were trying to find a way to control Clark. They didn’t seem to be making much progress, but Chloe knew that Lex would simply find scientists who could.

Chloe was halfway through a report on the feasibility of destroying the Traveler when there was a knock at her door.

“Chloe, are you alright?” Clark asked as he entered.

Chloe shut the laptop. “I’m fine, Clark.”

“Lois said you were sick.”

“I am as far as the Daily Planet knows.”

“I take it this has something to do with your adventure with Oliver last night at the ball.”

“In a manner of speaking,” Chloe replied evasively.

Chloe wasn’t surprised that Clark had picked up on her less-than-legitimate reason for attending the ball. Despite the naïve farm boy exterior, Clark was quite perceptive. He connected the dots, sometimes better than she did. She thought about what happened with Oliver before he left for Star City. She hadn’t seen that coming. At all.

Clark sat down next to her. “What’s really going on, Chloe?”

Chloe swallowed, trying to think. How much should she tell him? Lex’s plan directly affected him, but she couldn’t risk him charging into the unknown. She had to protect him from himself, at least for now. “Oliver and I broke into Tess Mercer’s office last night.”

“You did what? Why?”

“Oliver thought she had some vital information on the possible resurrection of 33.1.”

“Did she?”

Chloe’s eyes darted to the laptop. “I’m not sure. I have to crack the encryption first.”

Clark still looked incredulous. “I can’t believe Ollie would take that kind of risk. What if you were caught?”

“Clark, it’s fine. We only took a couple of shots.”

“What? What do you mean ‘shots’?”

Chloe got defensive. “Oliver accidently set off one of the alarms. We got over to the Planet’s roof when one of Luthorcorp’s goons took a wasted shot at us. We’re fine.”

Clark jumped up. “Where is Oliver? I’ve told him about putting you in danger…”

That’s when Chloe got angry. “Clark, stop! You have no right to go after Oliver. I chose to help him with this. Like it or not, I’m a part of Ollie’s team. Besides this kind of thing is what we do. Yes, there’s danger involved but it comes with the job.”

“But Oliver should know better…”

“Know better than what? I’m not some damsel in distress, Clark! I can take care of myself. You can’t always be there and I understand that.”

Still Clark wouldn’t let it go. “Chloe…”

Chloe laid a hand on his arm. “I would have called if we needed you. I promise. I trust you and I trust Oliver. Can you do the same?”

Clark’s face softened. “Yeah, I can do that. Just promise me you’ll let me know if you need me.”

“I will.” Promise easily kept. Chloe had a feeling they were going to need Clark before this was over.

Clark reached out to hug her when there was another knock on her door. “Chloe?” Jimmy’s voice was muffled through the door. “You in there?”

Chloe sighed. Jimmy was the last person she wanted to deal with right now. She looked at Clark. “Do you mind, Clark? I’ll get rid of Jimmy faster if you’re not here,” she whispered.

“Sure, Chloe. I’ll talk to you later.” Clark went to the window and took off for Metropolis.

Chloe opened the door. “What do you want, Jimmy?”

“Is he here?”

“Is who here?”

“That billionaire low life Oliver Queen.” Jimmy pushed past her into the apartment, scanning the room for signs of Oliver’s presence.

“Why would Oliver Queen be here? Not that it’s your business.”

“Oh come on, Chloe. I saw you with him last night.”

An image of Oliver standing in her doorway flashed in her head. Jimmy hadn’t seen that particular exchange, thankfully. He meant the ball. Chloe spun to face him hands on her hips. “It’s not longer your business who I see, Jimmy Olsen. You forfeited that right when you went to Lex Luthor.”

Jimmy looked hurt. “You still angry about that? I said I was sorry. I love you, Chloe. I still want to marry you.”

Chloe voice softened. “Jimmy, I’m not ready to accept your apology. Not yet. Maybe someday. But I can’t marry you. I can’t be with someone who’s betrayed me. I just can’t.”

Jimmy’s eyes brimmed with tears. Chloe hated to do this to him, but it needed to be done. He needed to understand. Jimmy looked at the floor and shuffled his feet. “So I guess that’s it then.”

“I guess it is.” Chloe wasn’t sure what else to say so she said nothing.

Jimmy pulled himself together and looked up. “I just want you to be happy, Chloe.”

“You too, Jimmy.”

Jimmy nodded and walked out the door. Chloe closed it behind him and headed back to the couch. She had work to do.

To be continued…

 
 
Current Location: patrolling with Oliver
Current Mood: okayokay
Current Music: Rascal Flatts
 
 
 
svgurl: chlollie thanksgivingsvgurl on August 21st, 2008 05:35 am (UTC)
I was so excited when I saw that this story had been updated. It's really wonderful and this chapter was great too.

Ollie and Chloe's escape was awesome. Chloe and Clark's conversation was my favorite part. I'm glad that he accepted that he can't control her.

Your characters are very mature and even the Chloe-Jimmy split was tasteful. It's good that they parted on nice terms.

I can't wait to see where you go next.

Fantastic job!
michellemtsu: Green Arrowmichellemtsu on August 21st, 2008 11:44 am (UTC)
Thanks! I really loved the Chloe/Clark convo too. Clark's got to realize that he's got more important things to deal with (like saving the world!), than protecting people who can handle things on their own. Plus it's not like Chloe is hero-less! ;)
leonhart_17: [smallville] green arrowleonhart_17 on August 22nd, 2008 12:50 pm (UTC)
This chapter was great! I love the interactions between all of them! I think it's cute that Clark is determined to protect Chloe but I'm glad he's trusting her to take care of herself...and let Oliver take care of her :)
michellemtsu: Oliver Queenmichellemtsu on August 22nd, 2008 01:46 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm so glad you enjoyed it!