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15 September 2008 @ 11:35 pm
Someone to Save You, ch. 7  
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: Sorry about the long wait. School's a drag. But I've got another extra long chapter for you. Help stave off post-Eagles-loss depression: COMMENT!
Disclaimer: If I owned Smallville, Oliver would be around all the time and Clark would be flying already! Deal with it.

 

Chapter Seven

Oliver reclined in his seat as soon as the plane reached cruising altitude. He closed his eyes and tried to relax. It had been an exhausting few days. The paper pushing bureaucrat from the SEC had given him and his staff fits. A mountain of paperwork, several conference calls and a couple of empty threats later they’d gotten the crisis defused. Apparently the SEC had been fed a series of false documents designed to make Queen Industries look like the next Enron. When Oliver asked – politely, but with barely concealed anger – who had tipped off the investigation, the only answer he’d gotten was “the government was not in the habit of exposing whistleblowers.” So Oliver was left with another mystery. He just hoped that Chloe was having better luck with hers.

Chloe. The thought of her kept him on a relatively even keel over the last few days. If he hadn’t had her and their mission to distract him from government bureaucrats he was sure he’d have done something foolish. Oliver smiled to himself. Speaking of something foolish…

The cool night air whipped across his face. It stung his eyes and he again cursed his lack of helmet. Somehow he managed to keep his eyes on the road, which was oddly deserted. They hadn’t passed another vehicle for a half an hour or more. Normally Oliver would have complained about the long stretch of corn encased road between Metropolis and Smallville. This trip was different. This time he had Chloe pressed up against his back and gripping his waist tightly. Definitely not an unpleasant feeling. Shortly after they had cleared Metropolis he heard Chloe sigh and lay her head on his shoulder. It was as if she was placing her trust in him to get them home safely. He liked that feeling.

About an hour after they left Metropolis, Oliver slowed the motorcycle. He wove carefully through the streets of Smallville. He was surprised when Chloe followed his lead when he leaned into each corner; he thought she’d fallen asleep. He was pleased and a tad scared as she tightened her grip and squeezed his hips through each corner. It felt like she belonged there. Finally they reached the Talon. Oliver brought the bike to a stop and shut off the engine. Neither of them moved enjoying the silence and closeness. Reluctantly Oliver spoke.

“See? I can drive like a human being.”

Chloe laughed softly. The sound rumbled through Oliver’s chest. “Remind me to get you a gold star,” she teased.

Oliver touched her hands; they were cold. “Come on, let’s get you upstairs.”

Chloe disentangled herself and swung off the bike awkwardly. Much to Oliver’s chagrin she untied her dress and let the fabric fall to the ground covering her bare legs. Oliver pretended not to notice as he swung off and replaced the kickstand. He retrieved the laptop from under the seat and followed Chloe as she climbed the stairs to her apartment. As he watched her empty hands swing at her sides a problem occurred to him.

“Do you have a key?” he asked.

They were halfway down the hall when Chloe turned. She grinned. “Just think of that now, hero? Don’t worry, I’m always prepared.”

Oliver cocked and eyebrow suspiciously. She laughed again and headed for her door. She reached for the plant next to the door and pushed it several inches to the side. She bent to retrieve what Oliver assumed was a spare key. With it she unlocked her door and crossed the threshold. When she turned to face him she looked weary but happy. Oliver was nearly overwhelmed by the desire to follow her inside but that, of course, was impossible. He had a plane to catch.

Chloe eyed him expectantly. “Are you gonna give me the laptop? Unless you want to take a crack at it yourself.”

Oliver snapped out of his reverie, embarrassed. “Here, take it before I do something to it.” He handed it to her. “Call when you find something. We need whatever you can manage to dig up.”

“If it’s there, I’ll find it.”

He still couldn’t look her in the eye. “Good. I’ll let you know when I’m on my way back.”

“Night, Oliver.”

“Night, Chloe.” With that he turned and started back down the hall. He got about five steps when he turned and went back. Just in time he reached out and stopped the door from closing completely. Chloe hesitantly pulled the door open again. She looked surprised to see Oliver.

“Oliver? What are you doing? Don’t you have a plane to catch?” She looked down at her arm, which was still covered by Oliver’s jacket. A look of realization crossed her face. “Do you want you jacket back?”

Oliver stared at her intently. “No, you keep it. Looks better on you anyway.”

“Then what?”

Slowly he reached out and cupped her cheek. When she didn’t pull away his heart surged with hope. She looked at him with wide eyes and he smiled. He lowered his head and brushed her lips with his. It felt like an electric shock when through him as their lips met for the briefest of seconds. He longed for more but he didn’t want to scare her. So he pulled away and smiled.

“I’ll see you in a few days,” he reminded her. She looked slightly dazed. He thought he detected the slightest of smiles as he turned and walked away.

Oliver smiled to himself, remembering their kiss. He wasn’t sure why he did it, at least not at the time. But the more he thought about it the more obvious it became.  He was falling in love with her. He had been for months. It explained everything: their fights, his unwillingness to appear weak in front of her, and most especially, his reaction when she showed up in that dress. He knew he shouldn’t. There were a million different ways that a relationship could go wrong. But his heart apparently didn’t care. He only hoped that she felt the same way. I guess I’ll find out soon enough, he thought. Oliver looked down at his watch. His delivery should have arrived by now. He stared at the satellite phone for a full two minutes before picking it up and dialing Chloe’s number. It rang five times before she answered.

“Hey, Chloe, it’s me,” he said, trying to keep his voice as normal sounding as possible, despite his racing heart.

“Hi, Oliver.” She paused awkwardly. “How’d everything go with the Feds?”

“Peachy. Turns out the claim was bogus. All is again right with the world.”

“Someone set you up?”

“Yeah, but I’ll deal with that later. You find all of Lex’s dirty laundry?”

Again Chloe paused. “I did. I had to get through several layers of encryption, but I got it. Oliver, this thing is huge. It makes Mt. Everest look like an anthill.”

He caught the edge in her voice. “Hey, hey, don’t worry. We can handle it.”

Chloe sighed. “I know. It’s just been a crazy couple of days. Don’t mind me.”

That got Oliver’s attention. “What happened?”

“It’s nothing, Oliver, really.”

“It doesn’t sound like nothing. Spill it.”

Chloe sighed again. “Jimmy was here. It didn’t go well.”

Oliver could tell that there was more to it, but he didn’t press her. She didn’t need the added stress. So he hid his irritation with the nosy photographer and said, “Anything else?”

Chloe surprised him by laughing. “Clark stopped by to check on me.”

“And?”

“Let’s put it this way: you very nearly got a visit from a very irate Man of Steel.”

Oliver grinned, remembering the last time Clark had lectured him about Chloe’s safety. “I suppose I have you to thank for that.”

“Sorry. I may have accidently let the fact that we got shot at slip. But then I saved you.”

“Thanks, but I’m sure I could have taken him.”

Oliver could practically hear her grin through the phone. “Undoubtedly.”

There was another awkward pause. Oliver sucked in a breath and asked, “So did my package arrive?”

“Yes.” She paused. “You really shouldn’t have, Oliver.”

“I beg to differ. You ruined your dress saving me. The least I could do is replace it.”

He’d seen it while he was taking a walk in downtown Star City. He’d needed to clear his head after listening to bureaucratic double talk all morning. As he was walking he’d spotted his favorite shade of emerald green out of the corner of his eye. When he stopped he saw a stunning strapless emerald green gown. Remembering what happened to Chloe’s dress, he’d bought it on impulse. It wasn’t until later that he’d realized the implications if his gift.

“Do you like it?” he asked nervously.

“It’s gorgeous, Ollie, really. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.” The pilot’s voice came over the intercom indicating that they’d be landing momentarily. “Listen, Chloe, we’re landing in a few minutes. Why don’t you bring whatever you’ve got over to the penthouse and we’ll go over it when I get there.”

“OK. I’ll see you soon.”

“Count on it.”

An hour later he pulled up outside his building. Chloe’s car was already outside. Oliver swallowed. Then he laughed at his own nervousness. What did he have to be nervous about? It was only Chloe. Not like he’s never gone over League stuff with her before. But you weren’t in love with her before, he reminded himself. Oliver shook his head. He was being silly. The mission came first. He just needed to remember that and let everything else take care of itself.

Oliver climbed out of the car and headed for the elevator, taking it up to his penthouse. As he expected, he found Chloe on his couch with the hard won laptop in her lap and piles of paper surrounding her. She looked up as he entered a nervous smile on her lips. Oliver grinned back at her. Maybe this would go better than he thought. He noticed the cup of coffee as he stepped out of the elevator.

“This you idea of making yourself at home?” he asked, gesturing at her cup.

“When you but a lady a dress that’s worth more than her car, I’d say some things are just assumed.”

Oliver felt his face grow warm. Did the dress really cost that much? He honestly hadn’t noticed. Not that he wouldn’t spend that much and more on her but…he looked at her intending to apologize when he noticed her silent laughter. She was teasing him.

“Good one, Sidekick. Got anymore?”

Her green eyes, so much like the dress in question, twinkled with mirth. “Not right now, but give me time.” She scooted over to give him a place to sit. He sat as close as he could without being presumptuous. Both of them were trying to be as casual as possible.

Chloe sat the laptop on the table in front of her. She closed the file she had been looking at and began opening the multitude of files she’s found on Project Hephaestus. Oliver was staggered by all the information. Chloe had been right; Lex was pulling out all the stops to gain control of Clark. Once Oliver had the basics, they spent the next several hours combing through the files looking for a lead as to where Lex was keeping his science project.

 

Two cups of coffee and some take out Thai later, Chloe found it.

“There you are,” she said in relief. She was beginning to think Lex’s entire plan was a figment of her overactive imagination. But, at last, the pieces had fallen into place.

“There who is?” Oliver asked as he laid his own stack of papers on the table and rubbed his tired eyes.

“I found Lex’s lab.”

“Really? Where?”

“Just outside Cimarron, Kansas. It appears to be an abandoned 33.1 site.”

Oliver immediately sat up and rifled through his own mountain of paper. He found what he was looking for and whooped. Chloe jumped. “That sneaky son of a bitch! We examined that site a year ago. I was sure it was clean!”

Chloe smirked. “Well, nobody’s perfect, Queen.”

Oliver looked offended. “Speak for yourself, Sullivan.” His face grew serious. “So how did Lex keep his secret lab a secret?”

“Everything’s underground. The surface facility was 33.1 site, but according to these records it was abandoned. However, nine months ago Lex had the caves underneath excavated and all the pertinent equipment placed underground. Anyone that examined the site would find an abandoned warehouse, completely unaware of the lab underneath.”

“Well, I’ve got to hand it to Lex. Subterfuge was always his strength.” Oliver scooted closer to Chloe. “OK, we know where the nut is. Let’s figure out how to crack it.”

Chloe barely heard him. It was the closest they’d been since the kiss. Chloe felt warmth radiating from Oliver making her slightly lightheaded. She needed some space. Now. She abruptly stood and grabbed her nearly full coffee cup.

“Hold that thought,” she said in a rush, not looking at him. “Just let me get some more coffee.” Chloe practically ran for the kitchen leaving a very confused Oliver in her wake.

Once in the kitchen she laid her cup on the counter and sighed heavily. She closed her eyes and leaned against the fridge. Being that close to Oliver shouldn’t have affected her that way. She managed to push the kiss to the back of her mind the last few days. It was nothing. They’d been shot at, for christ’s sakes. Lord knows she’d done some crazy things in life and death situations before. Then the dress had arrived. The rational part of her brain believed Oliver when he explained why he’d given her such an expensive gift. But there was this tiny voice that insisted that there was more to it.

Rationality won out again when Oliver arrived hours ago. He’d neither done nor said anything to indicate he held any deeper feelings than those of a friend and coworker. So it had been easy to slip back into their friendly familiarity. Until he touched her. Suddenly the brief euphoria she’d felt in her doorway washed over her and she freaked. How pathetic was she? It wasn’t even skin to skin contact. They were very much among the clothed. So why was she hiding in Oliver’s kitchen fetching non-existent coffee? That tiny voice was getting louder but Chloe willed it silent. She wasn’t going to do this. She was Chloe Sullivan, Daily Planet reporter. She was Watchtower. She didn’t cower. Chloe opened her eyes and righted herself. Ignoring her now cold coffee, she squared her shoulders and went back.

Oliver was still sitting on the couch. He had the laptop in his lap; his brown eyes were staring at the screen intently. The sight brought her up short. He gave no indication that she was there. All of his attention was focused on the screen. For a second Chloe was offended. Was she that forgettable? She was only gone a few minutes. Then she saw the look on Oliver’s face. It had gone from curious to disbelief to anger in about three seconds. A fury that Chloe had never seen disfigured his handsome face. Oliver let out a fierce growl and abruptly tossed the computer aside. In the next instant he was on his feet and pushing past Chloe, knocking her to the ground. It was as if he didn’t even know she was there. She looked up in confusion and saw him making a beeline for his hidden Green Arrow gear. Sensing trouble, Chloe stood and went to check the laptop. Her eyes widened in horror as she read the screen. In a file labeled “Veritas” she read: October 2, 1989: My plans are beginning to take shape. I received confirmation of Robert and Laura’s crash. Young Oliver is still safely at boarding school. Cut check to airplane mechanic. I dislike such unpleasantness, but I must do everything I can to protect the Traveler. Even at the expense of sacrificing friends.

Oh god. Chloe had known about Lionel’s involvement in Oliver’s parents’ death, but she’d never seen any proof. But there it was in Lionel’s own hand. She heard a crash behind her. Oliver! In a second she was up and running for his Green Arrow stash.

There Oliver was calmly pulling the string on his compound bow testing its readiness. He didn’t look angry now, merely deathly calm. His brown eyes, usually so full of life, looked dead. It was the most frightening thing Chloe had ever seen.

She took a cautious step toward him. “Oliver…”

He didn’t look at her. He simply put a handful of arrows into his quiver. He didn’t even bother with his suit.

“Oliver…”

“You knew, right? You knew that Lionel was responsible.” His voice was as dead as his eyes.

Chloe cast her eyes to the floor, ashamed. “Yes, I knew.”

“And you were planning on telling me when?”

Chloe looked anywhere but those cold, dead eyes. “It didn’t seem important…”

Oliver laughed mirthlessly. “Didn’t seem important? Yeah, how could the truth behind my parents’ deaths possibly be important?”

“Oliver, I know this is upsetting. I know you’re angry and you have every right to be. But…”

“But apparently I’m not worthy of the truth, unlike Saint Clark. Stand aside.”

Chloe winced at the charge. Then she looked defiantly up at Oliver. “No.”

“Chloe, I mean it. Stand aside.”

“I’m not going to let you do something you’ll regret. You can’t avenge your parents, Oliver, even if you wanted to. Lionel’s dead.”

Oliver’s eyes flashed with a near mad glow. “But Lex isn’t.”

Chloe grabbed Oliver firmly by the arm. “I’m not going to stand by and let you destroy yourself. You’re a good man, Oliver. The heartache in your life would have crippled a lesser man. But you’ve accomplished so much, saved so many. Do you really want to throw that away? What would your parents think?”

For a long minute, Chloe thought she hadn’t reached him. But then Oliver looked down at her hand, his eyes brimming with tears. His bow crashed heavily to the floor as his hand covered hers. A sob escaped his throat as Chloe pulled him into her arms. He leaned heavily on her as loud sobs wracked his frame. Standing became too much and the two of them sank awkwardly to the floor. Chloe rocked him gently offering what little comfort she could. How long they remained there she didn’t know or care. Time no longer had any meaning. Slowly Oliver’s sobs subsided and the apartment grew quiet. Chloe’s legs ached horribly but she was reluctant to move them. Her pain paled in comparison to Oliver’s.

Sometime later Oliver raised his head and sniffed. Chloe was heartbroken to see the pain and grief that marred his features. His eyes were rimmed with red and looked unbearably sad. Oliver averted his gaze and shrugged apologetically.

“Sorry about that,” he whispered. “I don’t know what got into me.”

Chloe hugged him back to her chest. “You were upset. It’s OK.”

Oliver raised himself up intent on explaining. “No, it’s not. I wasn’t angry with you. It’s just that seeing…that after all this time…knowing why they’re gone…why does it still hurt this much?”

Chloe covered his hands with hers. “Oliver, what happened to you, to your parents, is one of the absolute worst things that can ever happen. The pain never really goes away; you simply get better at dealing with it. But what happened isn’t your fault. I’m sure that your parents are watching you and are extremely proud of the man you’ve become.”

Chloe saw tears threatened again, but Oliver managed to hold them back. He sighed.

“Come on, you must be exhausted. Let’s finish up later. You should get some sleep,” Chloe said as she started to rise. She stretched out the kinks and instantly felt better.

Oliver looked up at her with a slightly panicked look. He seemed to deliberate something with himself . Chloe was about to ask when he blurted, “Stay. Please. I don’t really want to be alone. Not tonight.”

The logical, rational part of her brain told her to go. She knew if she stayed things would be different between them. Things have already changed, that tiny voice told her. She couldn’t turn her back on him, not when he needed her the most. She smiled gently.

“Of course, I’ll stay.”

Oliver exhaled in relief. He climbed to his feet and surveyed the room. He shook his head, mostly to himself, and left, leaving the room as it was. Any clean up would have to wait. Chloe followed him out and went to clean up the papers and laptop while Oliver locked away his secret identity behind the opaque doors.

Oliver came up behind her and stopped her in mid lift, placing a hand on either arm. “That can wait until morning,” he said quietly.

Chloe laid the sheaf of papers down without argument. In truth, she was just as exhausted as he was. After the emotional turmoil of the last few hours, they both needed some sleep. The cleaning could wait. Instead, she turned and followed him toward his bedroom. She didn’t even consider the couch; she had a feeling that his invitation to stay did not include them sleeping in different rooms.

When they reached the bedroom, Chloe stood just inside the doorway. Oliver remained quiet while he rummaged through his dresser. A minute later he closed the drawer with a snap and tossed her an oversize plain emerald green t-shirt.

“Sorry I don’t have anything better for you but…”

“It’s alright, Oliver. I’m a big girl, I’ll manage,” she replied with a soft smile.

He half smiled at her. “Well, you know where the bathroom is. You go ahead and change.”

Chloe blushed slightly at the reference other overnight stay in Oliver’s bedroom. She hurried to the bathroom before the blush could get past her cheeks. Once there, she changed into Oliver’s oversize shirt. It hung down to her knees; it would do. As she folded her clothes, she caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror. She was a mess. Quickly, she washed she face, trying to make herself more presentable. Satisfied that she no longer resembled a raccoon, she emerged from bathroom into the now semi-dark room.

Oliver was already in the bed. He wore a loose fitting white t-shirt and green boxers. Chloe swallowed involuntarily. Shaking away the thought, she walked to the other side of the bed and climbed in. Oliver pulled up the duvet and turned out the remaining light, plunging the room into darkness.

“Good night, Chloe.”

“Good night, Oliver.”

Minutes, or maybe hours, went by. “Chloe?”

“Yeah?”

She heard Oliver swallow. “Um, this is going to sound stupid, but can I hold you?”

Chloe’s heart broke for him all over again. Without saying anything, she rolled toward him and laid her head on his chest. Oliver wrapped his arm securely around her shoulder and soon they were both in a deep sleep.

To be continued…


 
 
Current Mood: depresseddepressed
Current Music: Someone to Save You - One Republic
 
 
 
Genevieve: Chlollie smilesgen717 on September 16th, 2008 09:18 pm (UTC)
So glad to see an update! I've been hoping for one, but I know how real life has to interfere with writing. Hope to see more soon. :)
michellemtsu: Olliemichellemtsu on September 17th, 2008 12:01 pm (UTC)
I'm working on the next one!