Banner By: Andrea
Chapter 3: How We Were
‘All That I Know’
Oliver slept fitfully, sweat marring his brow as his body shifted tossing and turning against the sheets that were haphazardly tossed across his writhing body. His breathing was labored, brows furrowed, the movement of his eyes beneath his closed lids frantic.
Darkness surrounded him, the cool air from the opened balcony door doing nothing to alleviate the heat pouring off his body as his mind opened, memories and feelings seeping in illuminating the shadows of his mind.
Clark stood in his barn smiling as he glanced between Oliver and Chloe before motioning to the blonde man in front of him. “Chloe…this is Oliver Queen.” He took her hand in his, a tingle shooting up his spine lightly as her bright smile beamed back at him, a knowing look on her face.
“Oh hi…I feel like I know you already…Lois talks about you all the time.”
He gazed at the warm eyed blonde in an attempt to gather his thoughts enough to say something when he remembered that Clark had asked for his satellite images for his friend who was a reporter. And as he continued their conversation he couldn’t help thinking she had the most beautiful green eyes he’d ever seen…
He frowned as he waited for the elevator to come to a stop. She slid the grate open and he frowned. “Where’s Clark?” She spoke calmly as she stood, bag over her shoulder jacket pulled tight around her body. “He went to rescue Bart…”
He gave her an incredulous look, not being able to believe that Clark had actually told some girl about Bart being taken. “He told you about Bart?” She gave him a cheeky smile and shrugged. “We trust each other, Clark tells me everything…” She smirked and pointed at him.
“Well almost everything…I did have to figure out about your green leather fetish on my lonesome…” His eyes widened and he opened his mouth, his heart hammering against his chest as the tiny woman in front of him moved forward but kept talking.
“Don’t worry I didn’t tell Lois, although you might want to consider--” He cut her off moving around his desk as he finally found his voice. “Hey let’s just stick to the main plot there Sidekick…so…what do ya got?”
She arched an eyebrow, “Hopefully a solid lead on Bart…where are Victor and AC?” He dropped his head as Victor and AC moved out from their hiding place and came into plane view. When he looked up he shook his head…how could one woman infiltrate their operation so easily?
Her cry for help had startled him and when he heard the sound of a struggle through his ear piece he had sprinted across the roof he was perched on. He catapulted into the air lading on the next roof as he spoke to her. “Where are you?”
Her breathing had gotten heavy and he heard the creak of metal as she spoke, “The roof…come on isn’t this when you’re supposed to swoop in and save me?” Despite the situation her words and brought a grin to his lips.
He could hear her talking to someone and when he finally made it to the rooftop, he eyed the scene wearily while his brain shouted at least she’s okay…He pulled back his bow and aimed at the woman in skin tight black leather.
“Finders keepers…” They looked up and he grinned. “I like the look…Italian?” The woman in black smirked. “Why, you thinking of trading in your tights?” He released the arrow and it sailed through the air pining her to the wall. He jumped down as she pulled her jacket off and came towards him.
He shot off three arrows as Chloe watched, the woman in black destroyed all three before pulling out a knife slicing a hole in Chloe’s bag and grabbing the disk. He watched as her hand flew out shoving her down as she bolted for the edge of the roof.
He didn’t waste any time getting to Chloe. His arms went around her, his heart in his throat at the thought of her being hurt…and the realization that he cared about the blonde snark queen was quickly pushed aside as they stood to see where their mystery assailant had gone…
A large staircase, empty hallway and Chloe standing at the top her body enclosed in some kind of grey jumpsuit as he lined up his shot the arrow embedding itself into Clark’s chest as she screamed…
Soft hands caressing his naked chest as his body filled with agony dreams of a long forgotten island filling his head. She took care of him, made sure he was safe, warmth comfort…as sickness took hold of him, willing him to die, but he found comfort in her arms and the recess of his mind…
As her eyes turned white her hand not even close to touching the crystal beneath her fingers…spinning, moving, fear filled him. Fear for what was happening, fear that she was hurting herself trying to save their friend and her cousin…fear that he could lose one of the only truly good friends he’d ever had…and so he reached out…his body slamming against the wall…a chill filling him not knowing what had happened to the woman he used to know.
The accusation in her voice hurt more than it should have, but he couldn’t help it…he had thought they were the same…that she knew the real him and so he lashed out…hurt her in return bring up past events that he knew would upset her…so she could feel what he felt…but in the end he couldn’t stay mad at her…he’d never been able to…
When she’d called him after her birthday he’d been surprised, but happy. He had known it would only be a matter of time before she joined the team full-time…and he’d thought it might take more convincing, but when he walked into Isis and saw the look of determination on her face…he knew it was time.
He met her eyes when she handed him his comm and as he linked up to the system…gaze never leaving hers, smile on his face as she put in her ear piece…a funny feeling settled in his chest. She was right…this was where she belonged… ‘Watchtower is officially online…let’s get to work…”
Pain, anger, betrayal flashed through him…death, a funeral…feelings of helplessness and abandonment pulling at his very core. Clips of words, actions, images flew through him…and he could see it all as if he was reliving everything all over again.
Outside the café…“You saved my life Chloe, both the myth and the man…”
In the center of Watcher…”Is that my email? Chloe I’ll have you know that those messages between me and canary were purely platonic…” “Can we skip your virtual love life and actually focus on the job here?”
While cleaning out his wounds…”Ow…” she sighed, “I thought you said it didn’t hurt?” he pouted…”I lied…”
The arrow sailed through the air, room filled with warmth as he spoke. “Sometimes you gotta take your fun where you can get it…and sometimes its right in front of your face…you just have to want to see it…” His hands falling on hers guiding her…fingertips caressing soft skin, voices barely whispering. “How do I know when to let go?” “It’s all about your heart…just listen…right there between the beats…that’s when you let go…”
They stood outside the small bed and breakfast, facing each other a touch of vulnerability in her eyes as she spoke.
“I waited for years for him to see that, to see me…but even with his x-ray vision he never did. I think more than that I just wanted someone who would get me…and as good a friend as Clark is…he’s never gonna be that person. Which is fine really…I mean those wounds healed over a thousand super saves ago…now they’re just scars…”
They sat beside each other…his face softened by her insecurities…”Ah…the funny thing about scars…they’re always there…doesn’t mean they haven’t healed…”
Now that she was in his arms the anxiety that he’d been feeling the entire days was gone…and he knew…Chloe Sullivan was it for him… ”You scared the life out of me…” She gave him a warm smile, tone teasing. “You better be careful Ollie, I’m gonna start to think you’re falling for me…”
Fear filled him as he heard the noises slamming into the metal surrounding him…there was no time he knew he wasn’t going to make it out of there. He needed to tell her…had to let her know what he’d know for so long now… ”Chloe…I love you!” her breathing on the other end was shaky but he heard the words loud and clear..”I love you…” he closed his eyes as the metal was torn from above him…
His fist slammed into the man’s face as he spit blood from his mouth. “It wasn’t a kidnapping…it was a trade.” He hit him again, voice hard as he yelled. “A trade for what?” “For you!”
The paper he printed out shook in his hands as he read it to himself not believe the words…"Oliver... I never thought I'd have to tell you how I feel about us, because the smile on my lips when I looked at you... pretty much said it all. But now that you won't be seeing it anymore, I'll have to use words to tell you. I've never loved anyone the way I've loved you. And I never will again. You will always be my brightest star, my knight in shining leather, my hero."
Oliver thrashed in his sleep, his sweat soaked body jerking forward as he let out a heart wrenching sob, voice hoarse as he cried out, “CHLOE!” He gasped for air holding a hand to his chest as he sucked in deep breaths, tears brimming in his eyes threatening to fall.
The emotions he was feeling suffocated him as every memory he’d ever had of her washed over him. He dipped his head down. How could he forget her? How could he forget the woman who meant more to him than anything ever had before?
The door to his room burst open a wide eyed Courtney standing there as she stared at his shaking body. Her voice was hesitant when she spoke not sure what was wrong. “Oliver…what’s going on, are you okay?” He glanced up and she gasped lightly at the anguish she saw in his eyes.
He shook his head, his voice filled with emotion. “No…I know who she is…I know who Chloe Sullivan is…and I need your help Courtney…” The teenager watched him as he pushed himself out of bed on shaky legs and proceeded to get dressed. He turned to her eyebrow raised, “Can I count on you?”
She straightened up and nodded. “You can count of me…I’ll do whatever I can to help…what is it exactly that we’re doing?” He gave her a strained smile as he tossed his shirt over his head and met her eyes. “We’re going to find Chloe…”
Tess pushed the double doors open, coffee in one hand and several papers in the other. She took a few steps into the room as she looked over her papers and when she glanced up her body halted, eyes widening in shock.
Her mouth dropped open as her eyes took in the destruction around her. Papers littered the ground, chairs were upturned, the drawers to her desk on the floor, files scattered everywhere. She could see a few pieces of broken equipment in the back of the room and when she took a hesitant step forward she heard the sound of someone frantically typing.
She put the coffee down quietly, dropping the papers she had in the other hand before moving towards the staircase. She sucked in a deep breath, heart pounding against her chest as she moved up the steps, the typing growing louder.
When she reached the top she gaped at the sight she found. Oliver was bent over one of the keyboards, clothes rumpled as he swore. “Come on damn it! I know you’re in there somewhere…” Tess swallowed heavily before speaking, her voice displaying a calm tone, though his disheveled appearance had her feelings anything but calm.
“Oliver…what are you doing?” He turned at the sound of her voice and his eyes went cold. She saw the change in his expression, tension filling his body and she reflexively took a step back. His voice was hard as he glared in her direction.
“You…what did you do?” She shook her head quickly at the tone in his voice as he walked towards her. Tess shifted away from the stairs and moved along the side near the other monitors. “I didn’t do anything…what are you talking about?”
He pointed to the computers. “Chloe…I can’t find Chloe Tess…don’t act like you don’t know who I’m talking about…I remember okay? I know who she is…what she did…I want to know why you’re all acting like she never existed…I want to know what’s going on and you’re going to tell me.”
She could feel her fight or flight reflexes kicking in as he spoke. Something was very wrong and Oliver did not look stable…he looked dangerous…and that scared her.
“Oliver…I need you to calm down and think rationally. I have no idea what you’re talking about. I have never met anyone named Chloe in my life…if you’d like I can use Watchtower’s database to search for her…”
Her suggestion only seemed to make him angry as he threw out a hand pushing one of the monitors off its stand with such force that it flew over the railing and crashed to the ground several feet below them. She winced, but kept her expressions neutral.
“No Tess, I don’t want you touching anything in Watchtower…because this place isn’t yours…it’s hers. I don’t know what you did to get everyone including her own cousin to forget who she is, but I swear to god when I find out…you’re going to pay.”
He leaned in closer to her, his hands on either side of her as he bent down slightly, “Do you hear me? If anything happened to Chloe…you’ll wish you never met me.” He pushed away from her and headed towards the stairs.
Tess licked her lips and moved to the railing glancing over as he shoved broken pieces of furniture out of his way. “Oliver! Something is wrong with you…please…please let me help…I’ve been with you since you first bought this place and put Watchtower together…I don’t know what is making you think otherwise…but whatever it is it’s a lie…the things you’re remembering there a lie…”
Oliver sneered. “No Tess, you’re a lie. When I find Chloe I’m bringing her back home…bringing you into this…listening to Clark and letting you be a part of Watchtower a part of the team…it was a mistake. One I plan to rectify the minute I find her.”
Tears filled her eyes when he turned his back on her and headed for the door. She called out to him again, “Ollie…don’t do this…please…you’re sick…” He spun around and the look on his face was colder than ice.
“Don’t you dare call me that…you haven’t earned the right…we’re done Tess…I’m shutting down Watchtower…effective immediately…when I come back here you better be gone because you’re no longer welcome here…”
He turned and slammed the double doors shut behind him. As soon as he was gone she grabbed her cell phone and sent out a 911 message to the rest of the team. They needed to figure out what the hell was going on with Oliver and the only way to do that was to contain him before he hurt himself or someone else.
Clark had been putting out a fire when he got Tess’s emergency meeting message. He walked down the narrow hall and pushed open the doors to Watchtower’s main room. Worry filled him at this first glance around the room.
He rushed inside seeing Bart, Dinah, Lois, AC, and Victor already there. A frown settled on his face as he addressed Tess. “What happened?” She turned a look of relief on her face. “Oliver…happened…I have no clue what’s wrong with him, but he’s convinced I did something to someone named Chloe…”
Clark who had been watching Victor try and fix one of the computers turned at the sound of the familiar name. “Did you say Chloe?” Tess arched an eyebrow at him. “I did…do you know that name Clark?” He shook his head before making his way over to Lois and sitting down.
“No, I mean yeah, but only because Oliver brought it up. I stopped by his office a couple of days ago to go over some stuff with him about the wedding and he asked me if I knew anyone named Chloe.” Clark’s brows furrowed in thought.
“Come to think of it…he was acting a bit strange…I wanted to know if he’d be okay with Dinah being Lois’s maid of honor, “ he glanced briefly in her direction before continuing, “because I know things didn’t exactly end great with you two a few months back…and it was like he didn’t even know what I was talking about. He seemed completely confused as to why things would be weird between you two.”
Dinah pursed her lips and shrugged. “Maybe he was just being Oliver…and avoiding things he didn’t feel like talking about…that seems to be his way.” Her tone held a slight bitterness to it that the team tried not to hear out of respect for her.
Lois who had been quiet up until that point cleared her throat, concern filling her voice. “What does this mean though? What’s wrong with him? And how do we fix it?” Tess let out a heavy sigh.
“I don’t know. I didn’t find anything out of the ordinary with the crystal. I checked and rechecked, but nothing. We need to find Oliver and bring him in by any means necessary so that Emil and I can figure out what’s wrong with him.”
Clark nodded, “I think you’re right…he isn’t going to come willingly unless he thinks we’re on his side.” Tess nodded and Bart winced. “Is that really necessary? I mean maybe one of us can reason with bossman…” AC nodded. “Yeah dudes…I’m with Bart.”
Tess shook her head, “You guys didn’t see him…I did try to reason with him…it’s almost like he’s had a complete psychotic break…I mean for god sake he tore apart Watchtower! A place he built…and he told me he’s shutting it down effective immediately…this isn’t Oliver guys…the things he’s remembering aren’t real…and we need to come to terms with the fact that right now Oliver might be dangerous.”
The team glanced around at each other, solemn looks on their faces as they turned back towards Tess. Clark crossed his arms over his chest and nodded, voice quiet. “Okay…What do you need us to do…”
Oliver had just hung up with Courtney when his phone rang. He had sent her to Smallville to check out the Talon to see if maybe there was any hint of where Chloe was there. He glanced at the number and frowned. He answered it lifting the phone to his ear as he typed in Chloe’s name to yet another database on the computer in his office.
“Hello?” Emil stood glaring at the security guard as he spoke quickly. “Oliver it’s Emil…I’m downstairs and security won’t let me up. I need to talk to you, it’s important.” Oliver’s jaw clenched as his eyes scanned the data in front of him.
“I don’t have time right now Emil…I’m sorry, I’ll talk to you later.” Before he could hang up Emil’s frantic voice came over the line. “It’s about Chloe, Oliver…I think I know what’s going on…let me up…now.” He froze and sucked in a deep breath.
“Okay…tell him I said to let you up…” There was relief in his voice when he spoke. “Thank you.” He heard the buzz before hanging up the phone and pushing away from his desk. He walked over to the shelves in his office, opening a small box that he’d been tossing things related to Chloe into since he got in the office a little over an hour ago, when he heard the door open.
“Hey, okay so I’ve got a ton of stuff here that has to do with her…tell me what you know and maybe between the two of us we’ll be able to piece it together one step at a time.” Oliver’s back was facing Emil as he rummaged through the box.
He swallowed hard and lifted the syringe from his pocket as he moved forward towards Oliver, voice calm. “I think it has something to do with the crystal from Carter’s funeral.” He saw Oliver nod and when he was right behind him he jabbed the needle into his arm gently.
Oliver felt the prick against his skin and he turned taking note of the needle in Emil’s hands. He opened his mouth a look of furry on his face tempered with the pain of betrayal. Emil shook his head eyes sad, “I’m sorry Oliver…”
Oliver moved forward and stumbled slightly the room around him spinning as he became light headed. “How could you…I trusted you…” He staggered falling to his knees, the room darkening in front of him as his body fell to the ground, blackness enveloping him.
Clark sat with Lois, watching as Oliver struggled to get out of the white jacket he’d been wrapped him to keep him from striking not only them but himself. He had woken up less than a half hour ago and he’d already broken the glass table in the room and knocked several things off his shelves.
Lois felt his eyes on her and she swallowed hard as she turned to face him. His glared burnt through her and when he spoke she could hear the accusation in his voice and it made her heart clench. “You should be ashamed of yourself Lois…I thought it was bad that I didn’t remember her, but you…you’re her flesh and blood…her family. How could you forget her?”
Tears pooled in her eyes and Clark frowned at Oliver. “Cut it out…you’re sick Oliver…there is no one named Chloe…Lois doesn’t have any cousins…and the only friend I grew up with was Pete…up until a few days ago you knew that.”
Oliver let out a bitter chuckle as he stood and eyed the exit to his office before walking on unsteady feet towards his desk and glancing out the large plate glass windows behind it. His voice was quiet, but hard and held an edge of anger to it.
“I’m not crazy…I know that’s what you’re thinking…that’s why you have me in this…ridiculous jacket…but I’m telling you…that crystal did something…it took away your memories…or…put me in a different reality…something…because I know she’s out there. I know she exists. I can feel it…I know…”
His voice trailed off as more images filled his mind, his eyes sliding shut a tear falling down his cheek as he relished the memories inside his head. A gruff voice snapped him out of his thoughts making him turn away from the window eyes wide.
“So what…now you sit around and cry about things? I’ve been gone less than a week green jeans and already your pansy ass needs saving…” Oliver’s mouth opened and closed as he stared at a smirking Carter. His voice held a hint of awe as he spoke to the older man.
Carter shrugged, “Not easily…but it seemed like you needed a hand…” Oliver took a step forward his eyes red-rimmed, a slightly delirious look in his eyes. “She’s real…I know she’s real…”
Carter nodded, “She is real. Everything is real…” Oliver smiled as fear crept onto Lois’s face her hand gripping Clark’s arm as she watched Oliver staring at nothing and talking. Her voice was shaky as she whispered to Clark. “What is he doing? Who’s he talking to?”
Clark swallowed heavily an expression of pain filling his face as he saw how broken their friend was. He looked completely gone and he had no idea how to fix it. Oliver turned his head and glanced at them before looking back at Carter with a frown.
“Can’t they see you?” Carter pursed his lips and shook his head. “No…only you can…” Oliver licked his lips and blinked several time as he glanced between Lois, Clark and Carter. Carter who was supposed to be dead…and if that was the case then how was he seeing him?
Oliver shook his head as he took a few steps away from Carter and towards the window, his voice broken, eyes burning. “Oh god…maybe I am losing my mind…you’re dead…you can’t be here…what if everything I’ve been seeing is fake…a figment of my imagination…what if they’re right?”
His heartbeat quickened as he motioned towards Lois and Clark with his shoulder while Carter shook his head, voice stern. “Don’t do that…don’t second guess yourself. Memory strengthens as you lay burdens upon it, and becomes trustworthy as you trust it…I know it sounds crazy…but trust what you feel Oliver…trust your heart…what is it telling you?”
Oliver swallowed hard as he paused taking a minute to take everything in. Letting all the things he’d learned in the past few days wash over him. And when he looked back up at Carter, eyes watering there was a hint of a smile on his lips. “It’s telling me I know what I feel…and I don’t belong here.”
Carter smirked and inclined his head as Oliver glanced over his shoulder at Clark and Lois a strangely peaceful look on his face as he met their eyes. “You’re wrong…both of you…I know where I belong…”
And before either one of them could say another word Oliver ran towards the plate glass window, spinning his body at the last minute so his back crashed through the glass, shards flying everywhere as his body sailed downward through the air.
“NO OLIVER!!!!” But Lois’s cry went on deaf ears as Oliver’s body plummeted to the ground. The hint of a smile curling at his lips, eyes sliding shut as wind rushed against his face, the image of blonde hair and green eyes the last thought he was consciously aware of.
Chapter 5: I've Had Enough