Banner By: AndreaTitle: I’m Yours
Word Count: 3545
Prompt: Christmas Eve
Sequel To: You Were Right
Oliver rubbed his hands together, pulling his winter coat tighter around his body as he made his way through the light sheen of snow covering the ground of the thin pathway to the back entrance of Watchtower. More than two years in Metropolis and he still wasn’t used to the winter weather. He glared down at his pocket as his cell phone beeped again.
It was Christmas Eve and when Tess had sent him a message saying he needed to get to Watchtower immediately, his first reaction had been to ignore her and finish the bottle of scotch that he’d been pouring down his throat since noon.
But her messages had been insistent and so he’d gotten off his ass, thrown on a coat and scarf before getting his driver to drop him off five blocks from the building Watchtower was housed in. These days he needed to be careful.
Ever since he’d outted himself as Green Arrow, people had taken to following him places, which was why he hadn’t been to Watchtower in over three months. Or at least that was part of it…if he was honest with himself he knew that it was more than that though.
Ever since he’d taken Clark’s advice and let Tess onto their team it had been increasingly difficult to watch the other woman take over Chloe’s domain. When he finally decided to take Chloe’s words from her letter to heart…be there for the team and put Watchtower back together he hadn’t thought it would change so much.
But Tess had moved things in, switched Chloe’s layout around, and made the place her own, which had only served to twist the knife that was already lodged in his gut, making Oliver feel the weight of Chloe’s loss more than he had before.
He typed in his access code, which had also changed, and made his way into the building. When he got to the elevator he paused swallowing hard before stepping into the metal box, doors sliding shut as he pressed the button for the top floor.
The holographic screens popped up, performing a series of scans before prompting him for a pass code. He typed in his new code and ‘Access Granted’ flashed across the screen before the elevator jerked to a start.
Oliver’s eyes stayed on the numbers and with each floor that passed, his chest grew tighter, his throat closing up slightly as an overwhelming feeling of claustrophobia came over him. It was like the closer he got to his destination the more suffocated he felt.
The doors chimed, sliding open and Oliver took a deep breath as he walked out into the hallway towards the double doors. His feet stopped, hands outstretched holding the handles of the door, but not pushing it open. It had taken him a little over five months to get his act together…rebuild Watchtower and attempt to lead the team again.
After all his searching, when he found out Chloe had faked her own death…his heart had broken knowing that she was out there somewhere, protecting them from afar, instead of being there with him. And for a while that had made him angry.
For three months he went through his days cursing her name, yelling and throwing insults at Clark or anyone else that defended her actions. He had wanted to hate her for not including him, for leaving him a two page letter about how much she loved him and yet not coming back so they could handle the newest threat as a team instead of from different fronts.
But the anger passed. He was still slightly peeved, but the intensity of it had vanished, leaving a void inside of him that he didn’t think would ever go away. He closed his eyes as he leaned forward slightly resting against the doors.
This would be his first Christmas without Chloe…technically it would have been their first Christmas as a couple, but either way you looked at it, he’d be alone. His heart clenched at the thought of her out there all alone, no friends no family to share it with. Even after he found out that she had a plan and she was hiding out somewhere…he didn’t stop looking, but every time he thought he’d made progress…he hit another road block.
Chloe was a ghost…he knew if she didn’t want to be found, then he’d never be able to find her and the thought made his stomach sink. He let out a heavy breath preparing himself for all the changes that could have occurred over the last three months that he hadn’t been to Watchtower, before giving the doors a heavy shove and making his way inside the warm room.
He had barely taken ten steps, when he froze, eyes widening, boding tensing as his eyes took in the room around him. Aside from the garland, wreaths, and a fairly large Christmas tree decorated in the corner by the round stained glass window, Watchtower looked exactly as it had when he and Chloe first redid everything together.
He sucked in a harsh breath, eyes watering as he clenched his jaw, fists balling at his sides. Was this some kind of sick joke? Tess had finally decided to put things back to normal once he was no longer going to Watchtower on a regular basis? Anger burned inside of him as he called out, voice sharp.
“Tess…where the hell are you?”
He spun around and when he still didn’t see her and she didn’t answer him he sneered. “Is this your idea of a joke? Cause I gotta tell ya…it’s not funny. Why did you call me here? I swear if you don’t come out here right now--”
“Tess isn’t here.”
An icy chill ran up Oliver’s spine, the color draining from his face as he slowly turned towards the spiral staircase a mixture of pain and hope swirling in his brown eyes as his heart pounded against his chest. His breath hitched, catching in his throat as he gazed at the woman before him.
Her blonde curls were longer than he remembered. They glistened in the artificial lights decorating the tower; greens, reds, and whites bouncing off her body. She was in a simple black pair of pants and a fitted green turtle neck, but he’d never seen her look more beautiful.
She hesitated before taking a step down, but when she saw him shift back she paused her heart tightening in her chest at the cautious look he sent her way. He opened and closed his mouth twice, before words were finally able to make their way out, his voice soft but full of pain and longing.
“Are you really here?”
Chloe swallowed hard, her voice barely a whisper, knuckles white as her fingers gripped the railing. “Yes…” She had been waiting for the right moment to make her way back to him…even though in her letter she had told him their story was done, it was always her intention to come home.
But she needed him to think she wasn’t coming back in order for him to do what had to be done. Oliver had a great destiny and at the time, the only way for him to achieve it was for her to stay gone long enough for him to take that leap of faith that changed the face of the world forever.
That’s the tricky thing about seeing the future though, every decision you make changes the outcome. And so when Chloe had seen Green Arrow coming out into the spotlight, making the world aware of heroes and everything they do…showing the world that there are people out there that they can count on…she had not seen Oliver reveling that he was in fact Green Arrow.
When Dr. Fates helmet had showed her the future, Chloe had seen Darksied, she had known that they would all need to come together to fight him and by leaving Oliver, she was preparing them…protecting them from afar.
It had been a little over a year since she left him and in that time Oliver had paved the way for men and women across the world to reveal their heroic identities. They had learned from Oliver’s mistakes and kept their everyday personas underwraps though.
Within a few months of Oliver’s public announcement Superman made himself known to the world, followed by The Flash, The Green Lantern, The Martian Manhunter, The Black Canary, and dozens of others. Oliver had single handedly inspired a generation of superheroes to come forward and the world had embraced them wholeheartedly.
It was exactly what she had seen happening in the future…it was what needed to happen in order for them to all join forces and work together to stop Darksied. By giving the people symbols of hope…heroes, the darkness wasn’t able to invade and corrupt them to their core because they knew there was true goodness out there…true hope and in the end that spark of hope was what had saved the world…
It was enough to inspire people not to give in, to keep on fighting…only then would they be able to defeat the darkness and save the world from being taken over by Daksied and his minions.
And now that the future she had seen had finally come to pass and was a reality…it was time to come home to the people she loved and take her place by Oliver’s side…if he still wanted her. She shifted on the stairs his eyes boring into her, making her slightly nervous.
Sixteen months had been too long for them to be apart and now that she was in the same room with Oliver standing less than fifty feet from him…it was hard for her to keep her distance. He looked the same and yet so different all at once.
He looked less carefree…more tired…weary and she knew a lot of that was her fault. Chloe took a deep breath and opened her mouth, but before she could speak, his voice echoed through the quiet room, an edge of hardness to it.
“You had no right…no right to take off without an explanation…you have no idea how furious I am with you.”
Chloe pursed her lips, not able to help the water that pooled in her eyes as she nodded. Oliver took a step forward studying the woman in front of him…taking in every inch of her. Sixteen months had been too long…seeing her again made his heart ache.
“I spent months trying to find you…months…and I know you didn’t completely go off grid. I know when Dinah came to town four months ago you came with her. I know you’ve been corresponding with Tess and you were the one to find out how to remove the suicide squads marks from us not her…I also know that you were the one who cleaned up AC’s mess a little over three months ago…”
He shook his head as he glared in her direction, “You’re not nearly as slick as you think you are. You leave me all these clues to find you--”
She cut him off voice strained, “Not to find me Oliver…to know that I was alive and that I had a plan…I thought if anyone would trust me--”
His jaw clenched, fists balling at his sides, brown eyes never wavering from green as he let out a humorless chuckle.
“Trust you? That’s a rich statement coming from you.”
She winced at the acid in his voice. He saw the pain flash through her eyes at his words, but he needed to get this out. Over a year he’d been keeping this inside and he needed her to know how much she’d hurt him…how she destroyed him…or they’d never be able to get past it.
And more than anything Oliver wanted to get past it so they could finally start a life together, the right way…taking the world on side by side like it should have been all along.
“Tell me Chloe…why was it okay for everyone else to know you were okay and not me? Why was it okay to see them…work with them, but I had to be in the dark? I had to spend nights wondering where you were if you were okay and why you left me. What I had done that could possibly make you erase you’re entire existence. Please…enlighten me.”
She hesitated for a second before taking another step down and when he didn’t move back she took another, than another until she stepped off the last step. There were less than twenty feet between them now and a nervous fluttering started in the pit of her stomach. She swallowed heavily as he raised an eyebrow at her.
“I’m not getting any younger Chloe…”
“Sorry isn’t going to fix things.”
She glared at him, hands immediately going to her hips, voice clipped. “Well maybe if you’d shut up long enough for me to get a word out I could actually finish what I’m saying…think that’s possible?”
Oliver’s lip twitched at the corner and he had to keep the smirk from his face. Now that was the girlfriend he loved and had spent more than a year missing. He motioned for her to continue and she nodded, licking her lips to moisten them.
“Like I was saying…I’m sorry I left the way I did. I know the letter I wrote you seemed…very finite. But I swear to you Oliver it was always my intention to come back to you…please don’t interrupt me again. When I read that letter you wrote me…Ollie…”
Her voice faltered, eyes glistening as her hand went to her heart while she continued speaking. “You broke my heart…knowing that you had taken the time to sit down and consciously write a goodbye letter to me in case something happened to you…I know you understand how hard it was for me. And so I found you…and I did what I needed to do to bring you home.”
He gaped at her ignoring her earlier words about not cutting her off as his loud voice bounced off the walls. “Did what you had to do? Chloe you traded yourself into a bunch of torture artists to free me!”
“And I’d do it again damn it! Don’t you see? I would do anything for you Oliver…I’d rather die than see you hurt and that’s exactly what would have happened…I saw it…I saw everything and the sheer intensity of it all had me reeling…you might have been told I was dead and I’m sure that hurt…but do you have any idea what’s it’s like to watch the person you love die?”
He could feel the moisture in his own eyes now as tears streamed freely down Chloe’s face. “I saw them torture you in that chair until you were within an inch of your life…and then they tossed you off the docks…and the last thing you did before sinking under the cold water was call out my name…”
A small sob fell from her throat, “How can you be angry at me for preventing that?” Oliver pursed his lips together at the honest anguish on her face and he shook his head as his hands found his pockets to keep from pulling her body into his arms.
It took everything in him to keep his voice controlled as he spoke. “I’m not…I’m not angry because of that…I’m angry because the minute your plan worked you should have come back to me Chloe. You traded yourself for me…fine…they were keeping you from me, but the minute you were free. You should have come home. How could you think I’d be okay without you?”
She glanced down at the floor as another tear slipped down her cheek. “I didn’t…but I needed you to think I wasn’t coming back…I needed you to believe that this life was too much so that you would bring Green Arrow out in the open…the world needed to know that heroes existed or you would never have been able to defeat Darksied…the helmet showed me…and if I had stayed it would have never happened…”
She glanced up at him, and tried to lighten the mood, “Though it never showed me Oliver Queen coming out and admitting he was Green Arrow…that threw a little kink in the plan. Green Arrow was supposed to step forward…not Oliver Queen…but if you let me…I have a way to fix that.”
He shrugged, “Ah that’s right…you’re Chloe…you’ve got a plan for everything…”
She studied his features and took a deep breath, straightening herself slightly and glancing at him, voice coming out a lot steadier than she currently felt. “Look…I might have gone about things in a way you aren’t happy with…and I understand that. Honestly I do Oliver…but it worked.”
She motioned around them, “Look around you. The threat is gone and the world now has heroes they can look up to. I’m sorry I hurt you, but I can’t change the past…all I can do is tell you…” She swallowed twice to moisten her throat, her gaze never wavering from his.
“That I love you…I’m so in love with you and I came back here to be with you. It’s over now and from this point on all of my plans include you…we’ve wasted a lot of time and I know you’re going to say that’s my fault and fine I accept responsibility for my actions…but Ollie…we have the rest of forever and I don’t want to waste anymore time…if you still want me…I’m yours.”
He watched her standing there, for once putting her heart on the line for love…hoping he still felt the same way and knowing how Chloe felt about things like that it warmed his heart knowing that she’d take the risk even though it was clear at this point that she wasn’t sure what his feelings were anymore.
He pursed his lips, his features softening slightly, but not giving anything away. “I’m still angry with you…you really hurt me Chloe. Do you understand that?”
She nodded wiping a tear away quickly as she spoke, voice quiet. “Yes.” He nodded, his hands finally moving from his pocket. “Okay…than get over here and give me a hug because it’s been sixteen months since I’ve had you in my arms and…I missed you.”
As soon as the words left his mouth she’d covered the distance between them, propelling her body into his arms. Oliver caught her mid air, his arms wrapping tightly around her waist as hers gripped his neck while she buried her face between his shoulder and neck, breathing him in.
“God I missed you so much…”
His hands slid up and down her back memoriszing the feel, making sure he wasn’t dreaming, the smell of vanilla and lavender taking hold of his sense as his lips fell to her neck placing a brief kiss there that sent a shiver down her spine. The emotion in his voice could be heard clearly as he spoke.
“Me too…Jesus Chloe…I love you…I haven’t stopped loving you…” He placed her feet on the ground pulling back from her slightly as he gripped her face in the palm of his hands, thumbs caressing her cheeks as her hands came up to hold his wrists.
“I’ll always love you…”
She let out a light sob, a large smile forming on her face as he wiped the tears that spilled from the corner of her eyes. “Me too…always Ollie…there will never be anyone else.”
He nodded the first honest smirk he’d had in over a year breaking out onto his face. “It’s cause I’m so great in bed isn’t it? I’ve ruined you for all other men…”
Chloe snorted, but there was amusement in her eyes, “Please…we both know which one of us wears the pants in this relationship and I hate to tell you this Romeo…but it’s not you.”
He gave her a playful glare as he yanked her hard against him, one arm curling around her back resting on the curve of her ass, as his other hand came up and cupped her cheek. “I let you wear the pants…” His voice trailed off and before she could say anything his lips were on hers, devouring her as sixteen months of pent up tension culminated in one kiss.
Oliver kept her mouth on his until his chest burned from the lack of air, only then did he release her lips as he mated their foreheads together. She took a few deep breaths, voice soft when, humor dancing in her eyes as she spoke. “So what did you ask Santa for Christmas this year?”
He grinned before placing another chaste kiss on her lips, this one tame and loving, “I already got it…Merry Christmas Chloe…”
“Merry Christmas Ollie…”
She pulled him down mating their lips together again as warmth surrounded them. Oliver had finally found what he’d been missing…or rather she’d found him and this time he wasn’t letting her get away from him…even if that meant outfitting her with her very own GPS tracking device…Oliver tightened his arms around Chloe deepening their kiss. He knew he would never be happier than he was right now. This was by far the best Christmas he’d ever had.