Banner By: Kyra_And_Co
Chapter Four: The Disappearance at The Ball
‘The Genius in the Plan’
Oliver paced back and forth jaw clenched as he waited for his and Lex’s security teams to finish their sweep of the hotel. Chloe winced as Oliver passed her line of vision again and she pulled the ice pack off her head, “Oliver please stop, you’re making me nauseous.”
He paused, worry covering his face as he moved over to her tilting her head to the side so he could see the small bump there. “This isn’t good, I’m calling Emil, I think you have a concussion…” he turned slightly toward Clark who was standing by Lois as he took out his phone.
“How are you feeling Lois? Does your head hurt too?” Lois groaned as she shifted, several bruises marring the skin of her arms. “Everything hurts. Those guys were seriously ripped. Any sign of them?”
Oliver opened his mouth to answer when the head of his team and Lex’s team appeared by the hallway. Lex was standing immediately glaring at them, “Well?” Bartlet glanced at his employer and hesitated briefly before speaking.
“There was no sign of your wife Mr. Luthor…I’m sorry, but we did find these…” He handed the slips of paper to Lex and as he read them over he slammed the glass of water he’d been holding into the wall, shards flying across the room causing several people to flinch.
Oliver swallowed hard before glancing towards Lois and Clark, “Look the events pretty much over…and I’m sure you want to get Lois looked at…why don’t you guys head out. We’ll handle things from here and I’ll let you know what’s going on later.”
Clark frowned hesitating slightly before nodding and helping Lois up. “Let us know if you need anything…are you taking Chloe home?” Oliver nodded before glancing at the blonde who was leaning against the pole, a hint of tears in her eyes. He lowered his voice as he moved closer to Clark, “I’m going to have Emil look at her first, but then yeah I’ll bring her home.”
“Okay…keep me in the loop.” Oliver watched Clark usher Lois out of the hotel before turning back and glancing at Bruce. “You should probably head out too…there really isn’t anything you can do.” Bruce had sent his date home a little over an hour ago when they cleared out the event.
They tried to keep the fuss down since the event had been in the process of ending anyway and managed to get most people out without being too suspicious. He moved over and shook Oliver’s hand as he eyed the other man, “You know…this is probably related to what happened at my ball…”
Oliver nodded as he glanced at Lex who was currently berating his security team and then towards an all too quiet Chloe. “I know.” Bruce nodded. “You know how to get in touch with me if you need anything.” Oliver gave him an appreciative look and nodded, “Thank you.”
When Bruce walked over to say his goodbyes to Lex, Oliver walked back towards Chloe and sat down beside her. To say he’d been terrified when he’d heard her scream would be an understatement. They had just come back from having their cigars and when they didn’t see the girls at the table, they’d gone out into the main hallway to try and find them.
They had just turned down the hallway when he heard Chloe’s shrill voice cry out and he Bruce and Lex barely glanced at each other as they sprinted down the small hallway catching sight of the back of a man with a ski mask right before he rounded the corner.
Oliver had half a mind to go after him, but when he remembered the terror that had sounded in Chloe’s voice he decided against it. They pushed the bathroom door open and found both Lois and Chloe unconscious on the floor.
Things after that moved quickly, they practically evacuated the hotel before sending their security teams to search the grounds. Once Chloe and Lois came to, they’d explained what happened to them and then to the police.
Oliver shook his head trying to rid the image of Chloe’s unconscious body on the ground. He hadn’t been that scared for another person’s safety in a long time and he tried not to overanalyze what that meant. He leaned over and brushed aside a piece of her hair.
She sniffled slightly and glanced up at him as she wiped her nose. “How you doin’ Sidekick?” She shrugged and looked down at the ice pack in her hands, her voice soft and slightly hoarse. “I should have realized something wasn’t right…and now…God…”
She glanced up at him, eyes glistening in the light, “They just took her. She’s my best friend Oliver and I just watched them take her…” Oliver frowned at the guilt he heard in her voice. He took her hand in his and spoke gently. “Chloe this isn’t your fault…you and Lois did what you could. Come on…I texted Emil he’s going to meet us at…work and then I’ll take you home.”
He helped her stand and she frowned. “I’m fine Oliver; I don’t need Emil to look at me.” Oliver’s brow furrowed, “Chloe I really think---” Lex cleared his throat cutting off Oliver’s words as he closed the distance between them. Chloe looked up at him quietly and he pursed his lips before speaking, the raw emotion in his voice making Oliver swallow hard.
“You and I were friends once…I know that ship has long since passed…and that’s fine. I’ll admit I haven’t been the kindest person to you in recent years…and I’ve done things that you find questionable.” Lex licked his lips before continuing.
“But I love my wife…if it’s one thing we can agree on it’s that. I know you have a…league of resources…resources that I don’t have access to. And I need your help…I’m offering a temporary truce between us. Lana is your best friend…help me find her…please.”
He leaned in towards Chloe slightly and Oliver tensed a hand pressed against her back lightly as Lex spoke in a whispered voice. “I know Clark would go above and beyond to help you find her if you asked him to. Please Chloe…I’ve never begged anyone for anything in my life…”
He moved back and his voice choked up slightly, the pain on his face clear, “But…it’s Lana…there was a time when you and I made a good team…” Oliver watched as Lex held out his hand to Chloe and his heart beat sped up at the thought of working with Lex, something in the pit of his stomach telling him this wasn’t right.
Chloe took in the honest pain on Lex’s face before glancing at his hand. She only hesitated for a second before she straighten up and took his hand shaking it, her voice low, but stern. “This doesn’t change anything, a temporary alliance does not mean past sins are forgiven…and it doesn’t mean I trust you. It just means the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
Relief filled Lex’s face and he nodded, “Dually noted…I know you’ve taken quite a beating…thank you for trying to help her. Come by the mansion tomorrow…I’ll have all the information from the investigation and the information from the prior two kidnappings.”
Chloe’s eyes widened slightly as he confirmed what she’d been afraid of. “So it is the same people?” He nodded and held up the notes. “My security team founds these…it’s the same people…” She pursed her lips and nodded shivering slightly.
Oliver shrugged out of his jacket before draping it over her shoulders and speaking, “It’s been a long night…Why don’t we plan to meet tomorrow around noon?”
Lex raised an eyebrow, “You’re helping?” Oliver shrugged. The truth was he didn’t want to leave Chloe alone with Lex, but he didn’t have to know that. “I can’t imagine what you’re going through right now and though it’s no secret that I’m not your biggest fan…Lana didn’t deserve this.”
Lex nodded, “Thank you.” He hesitated before his face softened slightly and for a minute Chloe thought she saw the old Lex, the one that had been her friend. “Despite our differences…I’m glad you’re okay Chloe…” She gave him a stiff nod before he inclined his head and made his way back over to his security team.
They watched as he got everyone together and they escorted him out of the building leaving behind Chloe, Oliver, and his security detail. Chloe’s shoulders slumped lightly and Oliver put a friendly arm around her pulling her to his side. “Come on, let’s get you back to Watchtower…Emil should be there by now.”
Chloe groaned as he led her towards the exit, “But Oliver, I feel fine.” He chuckled, “Humor me would you?”
She rolled her eyes as they made their way back to the limo and settled into the soft cushions. When the limo jerked to a start Chloe glanced out the window watching the scenery go by as an uneasy feeling settled in the pit of her stomach. She couldn’t help feeling like she’d just struck a deal with the devil…and soon he’d come to collect.
Chloe stood in front of the monitors at Watchtower as she pressed a few buttons linking up the video feed and watching as Carter, Courtney, and Bruce came online. It had been five days since Lana was kidnapped at the fundraiser and she and Oliver have been working with Lex for the past week coming up with a plan of action.
According to Lois’s information that she’d given Chloe to help with finding Lana, it looked like even though the police were involved they didn’t know the whole story. All of the victims who’d had their wives abducted including Lex had been instructed to give false ransom notes to the police and keep the real ones to themselves.
After all the research they’d gone through in the past few days it seemed as if the kidnappers were only targeting wealthy business owners with leading developments in technology who were married. And so a plan had been devised that Chloe was almost 100 percent positive would work as long as they had the team on board.
She cleared her throat and turned away from the monitors and towards the other members of the team sitting in various places around Watchtower. “Thanks for coming guys, we appreciate it.” Bart glanced up from his position on the couch and winked at her, “Anything for you gorgeous.”
Chloe gave him half a smile but it didn’t reach her eyes. Oliver tilted his head back catching sight of Victor, AC, and Dinah before turning towards J’onn who was leaning against the window. Chloe motioned towards one of the screens as she pressed a button and a whole bunch of information popped up.
“I’m sure by now you all know why we’re here. For the past two months, a group of people have been kidnapping the wives of several of Metropolis’s prominent business owners. Originally I didn’t think anything of it. I assumed they were just random acts…people trying to make a quick buck.”
She pressed the button again and a copy of all three ransom notes filled the screen, “But then I saw the ransom notes…the real ones, not the ones that were handed over to the police. In all three cases the kidnappers asked for something business related. My guess is that they are collecting a bunch of items to build something.”
Bruce spoke through the feed, brows furrowed as he spoke, “Do we know what they are trying to build?” Chloe glanced over her shoulder at the monitor and shook her head. “No…that’s just it. All the things they are asking for don’t actually go together…what I mean is each thing works on its own…can you see the notes on your end?”
He nodded and typed a few things on his end before bringing the images up on his computer, “Yes, do you want me to run them through Wayne Industries software, to analyze what each thing does and see how they might fit together?”
Chloe nodded, “If you could do that Bruce I’d really appreciate it.” He smiled, “Not a problem Tower.” She turned back toward the team, “Anyway since we don’t know what’s being built, who’s doing it or why we’ve put together a plan to draw out the kidnappers.”
Carter arched an eyebrow as he crossed his arms over his chest, voice gruff, “We who?” She looked over at the computer screen as she swallowed hard. “Oliver, Lex and I. I mean Lex doesn’t know the finer details of the plan of course he just knows the basic idea.”
Bart shifted on the couch and arched an eyebrow, “Well mamacita we’re all waiting…” Chloe scrunched her nose before glancing around the room her eyes landing on Dinah, “Well…technically it only involves two team members directly, but we’d need everyone’s help playing interference.”
Dinah looked around her before she gazed at Chloe, voice hesitant. “Why are you staring at me?” Chloe grinned. “Because…you’re about to become Mrs. Dinah Queen.” Several heads whipped around to face Dinah and A.C. frowned, a hint of hurt in his voice as he spoke. “What? Since when? I thought things with you and Oliver never went further than flirting…”
Oliver cleared his throat and everyone looked over at him as he spoke. “They didn’t…this isn’t a real marriage guys…it’s an undercover mission. Chloe thought that since the kidnappers were after wealthy business owners with companies that focus on advancing technology that Queen Industries would be a perfect target for the people doing this.”
Chloe butt in, moving forward slightly as she finished Oliver’s sentence. “The only problem is Oliver isn’t married so technically he doesn’t fit their profile, but obviously they are casing out their targets before they strike and if we can convince them he’s married…”
“Then they’ll come after me and whoever I’m married to. The difference is we’ll be ready for them. That’s where you guys come in.”
Victor arched an eyebrow as he gazed between their two leaders, “How is that?” The smile returned to Chloe’s face as she pressed yet another button showing everal floor plans and strategies written out for everyone to see. “There would be twenty-four hour surveillance with a rotating schedule of course. The marriage would be announced in the Daily Planet and the key is to make you guys seem as in love as possible.”
Dinah’s mouth dropped open as Oliver motioned to the screen, “Victor we would need you to fake a marriage license for us and put it in the system in case anyone goes that far too look. Bart once we start getting some suspects we’ll need you to do recon for us.”
Bart nodded as Chloe glanced between Victor and J’onn, “We need both of you on the surveillance schedule and J’onn I’ve been meaning to ask you, how far do your powers extend? Once this mission is complete, would you be able to wipe Oliver’s marriage from people’s minds?”
The older man’s brows furrowed. “I’m unsure…I could try.” Oliver smiled, “We’d appreciate it…if not well it’s not like divorce is uncommon.” Chloe spun around so she was once again facing the video feeds. “Bruce we need you to throw another fundraiser. That’s something all the kidnappings have in common as well. All three occurred during fundraisers of some kind.”
Oliver glanced at Courtney and Carter, “Big bird we’ll need you on surveillance also…you too Star Girl.” Courtney nodded, “That’s cool.” Chloe met Oliver’s eyes and grinned. She was glad the team seemed to be getting on board without too much of a fuss.
Oliver pulled a small box out of his pocket and before returning Chloe’s smile, “Remember guys our objective is to draw them out and take them down. We want to get these wives back. One of them has already been gone for over a month, but proof of life has been confirmed.”
Chloe opened her mouth to add on to what Oliver said when Dinah cut her off as she stood arms crossing over her chest. “This is never gonna work.” Oliver frowned as he turned to face her “It’s a good plan Dinah.” She rolled her eyes and shook her head.
“Not the plan…that seems pretty well put together, but no one is ever going to believe you and I got married. You’re Oliver Queen…we’ve never really been seen together. People would probably find it more suspicious than anything if you randomly show up with a wife you’ve never been seen with before…that screams set-up.”
Oliver paused, he guessed he really couldn’t fault her logic, and they really couldn’t afford to be outed as liars. That would open a whole new can of worms. He pursed his lips as he crossed his arms over his chest and studied the tall blonde. “What do you suggest?”
Before she could say anything Chloe cut in, “Guys…there are no suggestions…this is the plan besides Dinah is the only woman on the team. No offense against Casanova, but there’s no way I’m sending a teenager Undercover, sorry Court.”
She could hear Courtney’s chuckle over the monitors before she spoke and winked at Oliver. “Not that I wouldn’t love a little lip action from Arrow, but I think he’s a little old for me.” The room broke out into laughter as Oliver frowned. “I’m not old…well too old for you, but not old in general…”
He glared the team, “Besides we’d like to try and keep this as legal as possible…going to jail for statutory rape really doesn’t sit well with me.” Chloe smirked as she glanced at the team and gestured around the room, “See? So Dinah is the only option.”
The room grew silent as Bart and Victor exchanged a look with A.C and J’onn. Dinah grinned, arms crossing over her chest as she leaned back against the wall, voice full of humor. “Well I’m not our only option.” Chloe frowned as she looked around the room at the amused expressions being sent her way.
“Why is everyone looking at me like that?” She heard the deep timber of Bruce’s laugh and she turned eyebrow raised as mirth danced in his eyes while he spoke. “You know…I think I read an article earlier in the week about you and Oliver in one of the tabloids…”
Courtney grinned, “Oh I read one last month! There was this whole will they won’t they section…it was intense.” Bart winced his voice pulling Chloe’s gaze to him. “I caught that one too…it was annoying…but had a photo of Chloe lingerie shopping so I wasn’t so mad after that…”
His voice trailed off and Chloe flushed scarlet her eyes flying to Oliver who was wincing. He saw the shock on her face followed by the embarrassment and than anger, “Pictures of me? In tabloids?” Oliver bit his lips and chuckled nervously.
“I was going to tell you…”
“When? After I saw them?”
He tilted his head to the side, “Actually yeah…but since you never did I thought why bring something up that was only going to upset you for no reason because obviously the answer to the question is they won’t…” He arched an inquisitive eyebrow, voice hesitant before he continued, “…they won’t right?”
She glared at him as the team snickered, “No, they absolutely won’t.” He nodded as he scratched the back of his head, “Right…of course we won’t…because you know…we’re friends. And you didn’t by those…things for me.”
Chloe was once again flushing as she glanced around at the amused faces of their team members. She let out a flustered noise and threw her hands in the air. “This is ridiculous…all of you realize Oliver and I are just friends…nothing more. Tell them.”
Oliver pointed to himself before clearing his throat and glancing around the room at their friends as he swallowed hard. He was suddenly feeling like every move he made was being watched. “Of course we’re only friends Sidekick…I don’t think anyone was suggesting otherwise…isn’t that right guys?”
He glanced around the room sending a pointed look to everyone. They knew Chloe almost as well as he did, and getting her frantically angry wouldn’t be good for any of them. Dinah rolled her eyes at how they both denied their obvious attraction to each other.
When she had first noticed it she’d been upset, but then she realized with the life they led it made perfect sense. Oliver and Chloe just fit with each other. They brought out the best in each other…the same way A.C. brought out the best in her.
She spoke in a calm voice as she addressed Oliver and Chloe, “No I wasn’t suggesting that you’re anything more than friends, but I was trying to state the obvious. The two of you have grown close over the years. You’ve been photographed together before…your relationship to each other has been questioned in the media…it wouldn’t be unheard of if you ran off with a woman you’ve known for years and got married. Chloe’s just the more logical choice for this mission.”
Chloe opened and closed her mouth her heartbeat picking up speed in her chest and she swallowed hard to moisten her throat. “No…I mean I can’t…I…Watchtower…I’m running the mission…who would run the mission?”
Victor moved forward and spoke, “I can run the mission, but if this is the territory we’re heading in then like you said this can’t be done half ass. Once the announcement comes out in the daily planet you’ll need to move into the penthouse. We’ll wire everything up for surveillance. The apartment, elevators, cars…just to keep track. And I’ll replace the GPS in your cell phone with a better model that I’ve been messing with. If this works then you’re the one they’ll be coming after.”
Oliver’s internal panic meter suddenly when from zero to one hundred in less than a few seconds as he shifted finally seeing a flaw in the plan he had been loving so far. “Wait…I’m not sure I like the idea of Chloe being the target…”
Dinah snorted, “But you’re okay with me being the target?” Oliver rolled his eyes, “You are used to being out in the field…you’re in danger all the time…it’s different.”
He shifted uncomfortably and Carter smirked as he cleared his throat drawing everyone’s attention to him. “We all know why it’s different green bean…but we’re on the case. We aren’t going to let anything happen to Tower…she means a great deal to all of us.”
His voice trailed off and he caught the look the older man was giving him, but he looked away and sighed. “Okay…so basically the same plan just a different leading lady…I can work with that.”
Chloe watched as the team spoke, hashing out details and she stood there mouth hanging open. She blinked several times before shouting to get everyone’s attention. “Stop!” Everyone froze and turned to her, questioning looks on their faces.
She opened and closed her mouth before crossing her arms over her chest, “Is anyone even going to ask me if I’m okay with this plan? Because I don’t remember agreeing to play his arm candy.” Bruce couldn’t help the laugh that escaped his throat and when she glared up at the monitor he wiped the smile from his face.
Oliver frowned slightly, “Aww come on Sidekick…I promise to be the best fake husband ever…I’ll give you back rubs…and cook you dinner…possibly get you drunk…” His voice trailed off and she could see he was trying to break the tension between them and Chloe shook her head, voice turning quiet as she addressed only him even though the rest of the team was around them.
“Oliver…this isn’t a joke. Lana is out there…this needs to be done right I can’t…she’s my best friend…” He could see the emotions catching up to her and he stood closing the distance between them as he reached out and rubbed her arms.
“Chloe I promise you we’ll get her back. You and me…we’re a team remember? Who better to be my fake wife then the woman who knows everything about me…stalker.” She smirked and nudged his shoulder, “Drama king…” He shrugged.
“It happens…so what do you say?” He lifted the small box, a grin spreading across his face as he popped it open, a large diamond ring and setting staring back at her. “Wanna marry me?”
Chloe’s eye widened as she gazed at the breathtaking piece of jewelry in front of her. It looked like an older piece, something that had been specially made. Her voice was soft when she spoke a hint of awe in it and the team watched as she leaned in towards the box. “Wow…it’s gorgeous.”
Oliver’s face softened as he slipped the ring out of the box, before putting the box back in his pocket, his voice equally as low, completely forgetting the people around the room who were watching them. “Only the best for my Sidekick…” She rolled her eyes at him, but there was a smile on her face.
He cleared his throat and shrugged. “It was my Mother’s…I didn’t want to cause the tabloids to explode with the news before we were ready by going out a buying a new one…so I thought…if you don’t like it I can get a different one…” He frowned and Chloe shook her head quickly, hand touching his arm lightly. “I love it…I just…I don’t want to lose it…I know how much it must mean to you.”
He nodded with a smile before taking her hand and slipping the ring slowly on to her finger before meeting her eyes, “I trust you.”
Chloe swallowed hard and nodded before clearing her throat and taking a step back from Oliver. She didn’t know what had come over her. But lately she thought she’d been getting the strangest vibes from Oliver... but it was probably all in her head.
She glanced around the room and a light blush crept up her cheeks as she spoke, “Okay…so we’re doing this.” Oliver turned and stood next to Chloe taking her hand in his, an action that didn’t go unnoticed by the people around them, before addressing the members of their team.
“Let’s get the ball rolling. First things first Vic, work the marriage license, Bart since you’re the quickest person here you can inform Clark about the change in plans, because he most likely won’t be able to catch you…”
Bruce and Carter chuckled as Bart rolled his eyes and Oliver continued speaking, “Everyone else…Victor’s on point as Watchtower until further notice. Take your cues from him while Chloe and I go hash out the finer details of things…”
Chloe gave Oliver a questioning look as he led her towards the spiral staircase and called over his shoulder, “Meeting adjourned.”
The team watched as Chloe and Oliver disappeared upstairs, before turning to each other. Bruce smirked over the video feed towards Dinah. “That was easier than I thought it would be…” Dinah shrugged as she moved forward.
“They just needed a little push, hopefully by the time this mission is over we’ll have the wives back and our two fearless leaders will stop suffocating us all with their sexual tension.” Victor chuckled as he typed a few codes into the computers and grinned around the room.
“Mission Impossible a go.” He eyed his fellow teammates praying that Chloe and Oliver never found out about their little side mission. Even though it was for their own good and the better of the team, Victor didn’t think it was something they’d easily forgive…
Chapter Six: The Billionaire and His Wife