Chapter Twelve: The Twist in The Story
‘The Heart of The Matter’
Chloe raised the flute of champagne to her lips, the bubbly liquid cascading down her throat as she gazed onto the dance floor at her cousin and Clark wrapped in each other’s arms. She set the glass down, eyes warm, smile gracing her lips.
It had been one month since Oliver, Carter and Hal had made their way into Tower Prep to rescue Mia and Ian, and things since then had been chaotic to say the least. When Carter had brought Oliver back to Watchtower Chloe had, had Emil waiting.
He did what he could, but Oliver eventually had to be brought to the hospital and wound up spending a week there recovering from Lex’s attack, meanwhile Lex came to, only to find himself in police custody with a mountain of incriminating evidence that for once he couldn’t talk his way out of.
He and Trotter were arrested, the VRA was dismantled and Flag and his team had once again disappeared into the wind. Chloe still wasn’t exactly sure how she felt about that, but for now there wasn’t anything they could do, so she would leave it alone.
As far as Lex, he was currently spending his time in the Metropolis County Jail until his trial at the end of the month. He wouldn’t be walking away from the charges against him any time soon Gabe had made sure of that.
While the team had been getting ready to rescue Mia and Ian, Gabe and Carter made their way over to the Luthor mansion and the teenager had used his Hypersuasion ability to convince Lana to give him any and all documents and videos she had that were incriminating and boy had she done that.
On top of all the stuff Oliver had been having the team collect over the past year, and the anonymous tips about what was going on at Tower Prep Lex was facing over twenty years of jail time and for once the team was feeling vindicated. He wouldn’t beat these charges, not unless the city wanted to look bad. All the connections in the world couldn’t help Lex now.
Plus all the teenagers that had been kidnapped and even the ones who had come willingly were returned back to their parents when the school was shut down and just in time for Lois and Clark’s wedding. A warm hand on her arm drew her from her thoughts and she looked away from the dance floor and at the man next to her with a bright smile.
“Hmm?” Oliver grinned lifting her hand and brushing a kiss against it. “Penny for your thoughts?” She shrugged leaning forward and straightening his tie even though it was really crooked. “Just thinking about everything…how far we’ve all come…what we’ve been through…things like that.”
He nodded his face sobering slightly as he tried to make out the expression on her face. “And what’s the verdict?” Green eyes met brown and her face softened. “We’ve been through a lot of shit,” He chuckled lightly before she continued talking, “But I wouldn’t change one second about it because even though some of it was horrible…I always had you by my side…and that made it worth it for me.”
He squeezed her hand and nodded. “Me too Sidekick…” He cleared his throat and motioned to the dance floor. “Man look at Clark…he looks deliriously happy….he obviously hasn’t realized that he’s stuck with Lois forever yet…” Chloe slapped his arm lightly and he laughed affection in his eyes as he glanced back at her.
“What? It’s true…” Chloe rolled her eyes. “Behave would you? You know you adore Lois.” Oliver snorted, but humor danced in his eyes as he spoke casually. “Are you kidding? I’m still having nightmares that one day we’re going to be related.”
Chloe shook her head as she spoke, not quite catching onto his words right away. “Oliver you and Lois aren’t….” Her voice trailed off and she turned to him a questioning look on her face. “Did you just…” But she didn’t finish her sentence because he shook his head before speaking.
“No…when I propose, trust me you’ll know. Just…throwing it out there keeping you informed of the path we’re traveling so when I eventually do ask you, you don’t look at me like I have six heads and start babbling about us never talking about marriage.”
Chloe’s heart warmed as she leaned over and pressed a soft kiss to his cheek, face glowing, grin wider than he’d seen it in a long time as she turned her eyes back on the dancing couple on the floor, laughing at each other as she spoke. “Well thank you, but that wouldn’t happen…I’m well aware of the road we’ve been traveling…and I’d happily go to the end of it with you...just for the record.”
If Oliver hadn’t already been filled with an abnormal amount of love for the tiny blonde next to him the words she just spoke would have sky rocketed him to the moon and beyond. Knowing that Chloe wanted to spend the rest of her life with him, made him feel almost invincible…almost.
His sore side was a very unpleasant reminder of just how invincible he wasn’t. He didn’t remember much of the first few days after his fight with Lex. He was in and out of consciousness and on so many different meds for the pain. Apparently he’d been lucky.
Emil said the way Lex shoved the arrow into his torso…the end result should have been a lot worse, but apparently something had been watching over him. Hell maybe the universe was finally trying to set things right, karma and all that, who knew. Whatever it was he was glad.
Lex was finally behind bars, Chloe was by his side, the VRA was no longer a threat to their team and Mia was safe. Even with all the media on Lex, Lana and their son he couldn’t complain. Things were finally starting to calm down and he couldn’t be happier.
He shifted so he was closer to Chloe and tossed an arm around her as a chuckling Mia and Ian made their way over to the table while Oliver spoke quietly against her ear. “Good to know.” He glanced up at the two teenagers and smiled.
Mia paused in front of him, her body tucked under Ian’s arm, hair curly and slightly strewn from when the younger man had been twirling her around the dance floor. Oliver could see the contentment in her face, happiness emanated from her like a beacon.
“Hey guys…Ian and I were wondering if we could talk to you for a minute.” She watched them exchange a look before Oliver motioned to the table. They came around, sat beside each other, and when neither of them said anything for a couple of minutes Chloe arched an eyebrow and spoke. “Well?”
Mia laughed nervously and exchanged a glanced with Ian. “Right…Um…Ian and I…we--” Before she could finish her sentence Oliver cut in, voice strained. “Oh my god you’re pregnant aren’t you? …It’s okay…I mean it’s not okay, but we’re here…and we’re not mad…well maybe disappointed….god pregnant…you’re only eighteen…”
He stopped his tirade when Mia and Ian started laughing. He frowned and glanced between them and his girlfriend who seemed amused by his outburst. “Why are you laughing? This isn’t funny…” Mia bit her lip, humor on her face as she spoke. “I’m not pregnant Oliver…but thanks for that vote of confidence…”
He gave them a sheepish look and hooked a finger in his collar. “Right…of course you’re not…I knew that.” She nodded. “Sure…anyway onto what I was actually trying to say before I was rudely interrupted by you being a drama queen,” She glared playfully at Oliver before continuing, “Ian and I have been talking a lot and as much as we love you guys and the team…we were thinking maybe we’d take some time off…go to college, explore a little…and then come back and re-join the team once we graduate.”
Oliver felt pride swell in his chest at the young woman in front of him and he took Chloe’s hand under the table and squeezed it, his voice light. “I think that’s a great idea. Do you know where you want to go?”
Ian grinned, his arm tightening around Mia slightly. “We were thinking UCSC.” Oliver nodded and spoke. “Well if that’s where you two are planning to go, you know the Penthouse in Star City isn’t far from campus…so I hope you’ll be staying there keeping an eye on the place for me…”
Mia gave him a warm smile and reached across the table placing her hand over Oliver’s. “We’re just going back to California…but I’m always only a phone call away…” He nodded and spoke with a smile. “And you’ll be home for holidays?”
She nodded. “Absolutely.” Oliver inclined his head as he spoke. “Good…well then like I said, I think it’s a great idea.” Mia glanced at Chloe who had been quiet and the older woman grinned. “I think it’s an amazing idea too…the team will always be here, but you only get to be young once…”
Mia smiled. “Thanks Chloe.” Another song started and Ian motioned towards the dance floor. “Any chance I can persuade you to come back out on the dance floor with me?” Her face softened as she glanced at the man next to her and tilted her head to the side.
“Always.” He grinned and stood holding out his hand for her. She took it and shot a small smile towards Oliver and Chloe before letting Ian pull her out onto the dance floor. Chloe slid an hand up his arm as he watched them on the dance floor, his eyes shooting to his girlfriend as she spoke.
“He really makes her happy.” Oliver nodded. “It’s the happiest I’ve seen her since I met her…you know…you really make me happy too.” He gave her a sideways glance and Chloe smirked. “I bet.” He ran a hand down her leg to the hem of her maid of honor dress and tapped her knee.
“You know what else would make me really happy?” She tilted her head to the side pretending to be busy as she watched their friends get up and start dancing to the YMCA. “Hmm…” He leaned in his warm breath hitting her ear as he spoke quietly. “Some slutty wedding sex…”
Chloe smirked and turned her head towards him as he waggled his eyebrows. She bit her lip and rolled her eyes, but stood brushing off her dress as she caught his eyes. “Meet me in the bathroom in ten…”
He watched her walk away greeting their friends when they saw her walking by pretending like she wasn’t on her way to wait for him in the bathroom. He grinned. He had the best damn girlfriend in the world
Clark spun Lois away from him, before pulling her back, hands once again at her waist as she laughed. “I can’t believe the wedding actually went off without a hitch…literally. I was seriously expecting the world to at least attempt to come to an end.”
Clark chuckled, “I for one am thankful it didn’t try…after everything going on the past month we could use a little piece and quiet. Speaking of which, have I mentioned how incredibly amazing your expose on Lex was? Dare I say it might even win you one of those Pulitzer’s you’re so fond of.”
Lois grinned. “Don’t jinx it Kent, or husband or not I’ll have to hurt you.” Clark smiled, “Okay Kent…I won’t.” Lois frowned before speaking. “As much as I love you Smallville, you realize I won’t actually be using ‘Lois Kent’ on my bylines right?”
He laughed as he pulled her closer to him. “Trust me…I wouldn’t expect you to…” Her smile was back as she wrapped her arms around his neck and tilted her head to the side. “So Mr. Kent since you know me so well what am I thinking right now?”
Clark smirked. “Well Mrs. Kent…you’re thinking I can’t wait for my husband to fly us to a tropical island so we can start our honey moon already.” Lois laughed and nodded, “Huh…look at that you really do know me.” She gripped his neck and pulled him down her lips capturing his in a soft kiss as several eyes around the room softened at their display of affection.
Bart leaned against the bar his eyes straying away from the dance floor and to his companion. The blonde grinned at him as he pushed himself away from the counter and slipped an arm around her waist guiding her towards the tables.
“Have I mentioned I’m glad you decided to be my date today?” She gave him a thoughtful look and tapped her chin. “Hmm I don’t think so.” He smiled. “Well I am…and I’m glad we had a chance to finally work everything out…”
He led her out onto the dance floor and caught the glare Carter was sending their way making him gulp slightly. Courtney glanced behind them as his body tensed while he slowly put his arms around her and rolled her eyes before looking back at Bart.
“Ignore him…you know that Carter likes you…he’s just a little over protective that’s all.” Bart gave her a look and snorted. “He’s worse than Oliver…thankfully I’m not deterred easily.” She grinned. “Thankfully…so you know how I did the whole college visit thing a while back?”
He nodded and they moved slowly in tune with the music. “Well I was thinking Met. U has a great program…” Bart grinned. “Does that mean you’re staying local?” She nodded. “It does…” There was a look of hesitance on her face and he cupped her cheek, voice soft as he spoke.
“I’m glad…not that I wouldn’t speed around the globe every chance I got to be with you.” Her face softened and she leaned forward pressing her lips against his in a chaste kiss. “That means the world to me.” He gave her a cheeky smile and winked. “You mean the world to me hot stuff.”
She blushed slightly and shook her head before leaning it against his shoulder and enjoying the moment. Carter stood several feet away, a glass of scotch in his hand as he watched the teenagers. Oliver was just making his way past the older man to meet Chloe when he saw the frown on his face.
He turned in the direction the other man was looking and caught sight of Courtney and Bart. He paused by Carter’s side and spoke quietly. “He’s a good guy…he’ll treat her right.” Carter spared him a glance before his eyes were back on the dance floor and he grunted.
“I know…I can’t help it though…I see how happy he makes her and I’m glad…I won’t be around forever so it’s nice to know she’ll have someone when I’m gone, but at the same time it’s almost like…” His voice trailed off and Oliver spoke.
“Like you’re being replaced?” Carter met Oliver’s eyes and the younger man smiled as he motioned over towards Mia and Ian on the other end of the dance floor messing around as he gripped her hips and tickled her causing her laughter to float through the room.
“I get it…you’ve got someone who looks up to you…admires you, who you need to protect and be there for and then one day…the admiration in their eyes…it’s on someone else. I’m so happy for Mia…but I can’t help but feel like she doesn’t need me anymore now that she has him.”
Carter nodded. “Exactly…Courtney and I might not be family, but she’s the closest thing I have left…so knowing there’s someone else she goes to first…it’s almost like saying goodbye to a child.” Oliver patted Carter on the back.
“Well, it might not mean much, but you’ll always have Chloe and I…plus the team…” Carter gave Oliver a smirk, “Mmm speaking of your better half aren’t you supposed to be meeting her somewhere?” Oliver’s eyes widened slightly as he coughed and fixed his tie.
“I haven’t got the slightest idea what you’re talking about.” Carter nodded. “Mmhm.” Oliver motioned towards the hallway leading inside the building. “I should go…” Carter held up his glass and nodded. “Go…tell Chloe I said hello.”
He smiled. “I will.” He made his way quickly through the crowd saying hello to a few of the people he knew before making his way up the steps. He turned and glanced down at his friends and their smiling faces as the music streamed through the open courtyard.
Warmth filled his chest as he watched the happiness on their faces. Oliver knew there would always be someone trying to destroy the world or their team, but in this moment, right here and now, all that mattered was they were safe, happy, together and with the people they loved; and he couldn’t ask for anything more perfect than that.
“Ollie…what are you doing?” He turned and glanced at Chloe’s confused expression. He chuckled. “Sorry Sidekick…I’m here now though.” She nodded and walked over to him glancing down into the courtyard at their friends. “What were you looking at?”
He smiled at her. “The end of an era…” Her eyes went back to the people before them and she watched as they laughed and joked with each other, her heart warming. To Chloe it seemed like Oliver was right. It looked like an ending, but she knew better…this was only the beginning.