Banner By: Kyra_and_Co
Chapter Eight: Something Good Coming
“Hope dangles on a string, like slow spinning redemption. I am Vindicated, I am selfish, I am wrong, I am right, I swear I'm right, I swear I knew it all along, and I am flawed , but I am cleaning up so well.” –Dashboard Confessionals
Oliver glanced out the window of his yellow sports car as he pulled into the circular driveway with a frown. He was tired, cranky and it had taken him a half hour longer to get to Smallville than usual. He parked his car in front of the Luthor mansion and killed the engine sitting there for a minute as he stared at the large stone building in front of him.
It had been one week since Chloe started looking into those warehouses purchased by Luthor Corp and so far everything seemed legit. Everything except for the third warehouse that didn’t technically exist. Chloe had hacked into every database possible, but no matter what information she got from where, the location of the third warehouse was just an empty lot.
There was nothing there, which meant either something was being built on the land or the address was falsified, either way it was time for Oliver to get some answers. He pushed the door open while pocketing his keys and shutting it behind him.
As he made his way towards the stairs he frowned slightly. Normally someone from Tess’s security team would have intercepted him by now and yet there he was making his way up the stairs to the main door, no one attempting to stop him. That didn’t bode well.
Oliver pursed his lips and knocked on the door before ringing the large bell on the side. He waited several minutes but there was no answer. A bad feeling settled in the pit of his stomach. He and Tess were no longer close, hell she’d made it perfectly clear that he meant nothing to her anymore, but regardless the thought that she might be in trouble worried him slightly.
He reached out and pushed the door gently and was surprised when it popped open easily. He swallowed hard as he finished pushing it open and making his way over the threshold eyes taking in every inch of the hallway. Well this wasn’t good.
He continued down the hallway and hesitantly called out not wanting to alert an intruder should there be one, but wanting to know if he was going to get socked in the jaw for trespassing if Tess was around. “Hello…”
He took a left and continued down the hallway towards the study. “Anyone here? Tess…” Oliver reached the double doors and pushed them open stepping through in one motion before freezing taking in the room. Chairs were upturned, the glass table broken. Several paintings had been knocked off the wall and there was a laptop smashed at the front of the desk.
He took a deep breath and walked forward bending down here and there to see if he could see anything that would help him make sense of what happened. When he got to her laptop he bent down and moved it aside to see if there was anything that was salvageable.
That was when he noticed the blood. It started on the carpet beneath her desk chair and splattered periodically along the rug until the side door of the study before ending. There had definitely been a struggle of some kind that much was clear.
Oliver stood and ran a hand over his face. Whatever was going on he had a feeling it had something to do with whoever his new ‘partner’ was. He reached into his back pocket and pulled out his cell phone pressing his speed dial and placing the phone between his shoulder and ear while lifting the tattered laptop off the ground and making a face.
A couple of seconds later Chloe’s voice floated over the phone. “You’re never going to believe what I just did.” Oliver let half a smile grace his features at her proud tone as he spoke while putting the remains of the laptop on the desk in front of him.
“As much as I’d love to hear what it is Sidekick we’ve got a bit of a problem here.” She frowned as her hands paused above the keyboard, brows furrowing. “What’s wrong?” She listened as he let out a heavy sigh. “Tess is gone.” Chloe frowned not entirely sure what that meant.
“Gone?” He nodded even though she couldn’t see him. “Yeah…someone took her or if I had to guess I’d say more than one someone…at least two or three people were here. That mansion is all but abandoned. No security, nothing…which is obviously why no one’s seen her lately and why she hasn’t returned any of my calls.”
Chloe pursed her lips as she stared at the screen in front of her trying to figure out what it was she heard in his tone. Her voice was soft when she spoke. “Are you alright?” Her question startled him and he blinked before answering her voice neutral. “Yeah…except for the fact that Tess sold her shares in the company…I mean it just doesn’t make any sense…unless someone forced her to sell them…”
Chloe arched an eyebrow as she glanced towards the computer screen and opened up a new window. “You think your mysterious buyer forced Tess to sell her shares and then kidnapped her?” Oliver shrugged as he tucked the broken laptop under his arm before giving the room one more once over and heading for the door.
“I don’t know, but I’m starting to think that’s one possible theory…I mean if you could see what I’m seeing right now you’d know what I’m talking about…I just wish there was some way we could have seen what happened you know?” He made his way out of the study and back down the hallway as Chloe spoke a smirk in her voice.
“Maybe we can.” He frowned as he dug his keys out of his pocket, turned right and walked straight out the front door of the mansion closing it gently behind him. “How?” Chloe continued typing at the computer as she brought up the security system in the mansion.
“Well a few years back when Lex was still alive and he and Lana were together she told me he had an internal security system with video in every room. It’s more than possible that Tess kept those security camera’s exactly where they were and if that’s the case all I need to do is hack into the system, bypass a few codes and then we’ll be able to access the logged video feeds from the system.”
Oliver paused outside his car a slightly stupefied look on his face before he chuckled lightly and pulled open the door as he spoke. “Have I mentioned how incredibly awesome your crazy ass hacking skills are?” Chloe grinned on the other end of the line as she heard his car start. “Ask a matter of a fact you haven’t.” He plopped the laptop next to him in the passenger seat and put the car into gear.
“Well better late than never. I’m about to be on my way back to Metropolis. When you get the footage why don’t you meet me at the penthouse…I’ll pick up dinner on the way back. What does mini Chloe feel like eating tonight?”
Chloe rolled her eyes as she glanced down at her stomach before placing a hand over it lightly. Oliver had gone back to his apartment three days before and this week marked her eighteenth week in her pregnancy. They had originally planned to find out the sex of the baby this week but things had been so hectic that they decided to move the appointment to next week.
“Hmm how about Mexican? Oh and maybe something sweet?” He smiled as he pulled out of the circular driveway and onto the road that would take him to the main highway. He put the phone in its holder and pressed the speaker button as he sped up. “Define sweet…are we talking chocolate…or ice cream…possibly pie?”
Chloe’s eyes widened as she hit a firewall and typed in a code to bypass it as she spoke. “Pie sounds delicious.” He chuckled as he took the exit for the highway. “Okay…if you get to my place before me you know how to get in.” She nodded. “That I do. I’ll see you in a bit, don’t drive too fast.”
He smirked as his foot pressed harder on the petal. “Never…talk to you later.” He disconnected the call a smile on his face as his gaze shifted briefly to the computer next to him. Hopefully whatever information Chloe couldn’t get from the video feeds she’d be able to get from Tess’s personal computer. He groaned slightly as he glanced at several cars in front of him. It was going to be a long trip home.
Two hours, one cup of coffee and seventeen firewalls later Chloe was finally in the mansions security system. She opened several files and then several more in search of the video logs. It took her ten minutes before she had a list of dates in front of her.
She grinned. “Gotcha.” She rummaged around her desk for an empty USB drive and when she found it she pushed it into the machine and copied all the videos from the day before Tess went missing until last week. When the process had completed she ejected the drive and logged off the computers.
It took her ten more minutes to pack her laptop and grab her keys and jacket. She was just walking out the door when her cell phone rang. She pulled the doors shut behind her locking them as she pushed the call button and answered the phone.
“Hello.” Oliver was carrying a bag of take out into the kitchen when he spoke. “Where are you?” Chloe pushed the button for the elevator and waited. “I’m just leaving Watchtower now. It took longer than expected. I’ll be there soon though.”
Oliver frowned. He wasn’t crazy about Chloe making her way across town alone at night, but if he told her that she’s only get cranky so he sighed and bit his tongue before speaking. “Okay, be careful and I’ll see you soon.” She said good bye before ending the call and pocketing her cell phone.
The elevator chirped and she made her way inside pressing the lobby button. She glanced in her bag as making sure she had everything including the location of all four of their team members. Chloe had finally managed to narrow down and pinpoint where both AC and Victor were located.
Now came the hard part, did she reach out to them or leave them be. Hopefully Oliver would have the answer. The elevator came to a halt the doors sliding open and she gripped her keys and made her way into the lobby and out of the building.
She was walking down the walkway and onto the sidewalk heading towards her car when a chill went down her spin and the hairs on the back of her neck stood on end. She paused for a second glancing around the darkened street, but didn’t see anything.
Chloe swallowed hard, quickened her pace and moved over to her car unlocking it and getting in. She took a deep breath and started the car shaking her head slightly at how silly she was being. For a second there it had actually felt like someone was watching her.
She smiled to herself at her overactive imagination as she shifted the car into gear and pulled away from the curb not noticing the shadow moving out from behind the building as she sped off towards the penthouse.
Oliver was just emptying the food from the bag when he heard the elevator chime. He called out as he pulled out two plates and forks. “Hey.” Chloe dropped her coat on the hanger and walked down the hall and into the kitchen dropping her bag onto the island. “Hey…oh god that smells good.”
He gave her a scrutinizing once over and arched an eyebrow. “Did you eat lunch?” Chloe moved and lifted herself up slowly onto the stool as Oliver put a plate in front of her. She nodded. “I did.” He paused dipping his head near her and frowning. “Were you drinking coffee?”
Chloe shifted in her seat and made a face. “I had one cup…one.” He sighed as pushed one of the containers near her before placing his hand over her stomach and giving it a little hello rub. She gave him a small smile and tilted her head to the side as she spoke.
“Softie.” Oliver rolled his eyes and motioned to her bag as he got out drinks. “Were you able to find anything good?” She shrugged and pulled open the Styrofoam container. “I haven’t watched any of them yet, but I copied all the footage from the day before the last day everyone saw her up until about a week ago.”
He nodded as he placed some juice in front of her before sitting down. “Sounds good.” They ate in silence for several minutes before Oliver spoke. “Oh, so earlier you said you had some good news?” She nodded her face lighting up slightly.
She swallowed the food that was in her mouth and then moved her hands towards her bag pulling out the folders and handing them to him. “I found them.” He raised an eyebrow as he took the folders from her and opened them one at a time. He glanced over the information and took a deep breath.
She had located all four of their estranged team members…now came the hard part. What did they do with the information? He looked back at her as she nibbled on her lower lip. “This is great Chloe…” She gave him a questioning look. “But?”
He sighed. “But nothing…I’m just trying to figure out if we should try to get in touch with them now or wait a bit.” She poked at her food bringing some more rice to her mouth and swallowing before speaking. “Wait for what?” He shrugged and gave her a small smile. “An excuse…I feel like it would be easier to get them to come back if we had a reason…”
She gave him a thoughtful look before nodding. “You’re probably right. We’ll work on it….for now at least we know where they are and that they’re okay.” He nodded. “Agreed…now finish your dinner.” Chloe snorted, but continued to eat.
Twenty minutes later they were finished with dinner and decided it would probably be more productive to take a slice of the pie Oliver had bought into the living room and eat it while going through the footage. Chloe got off her stool and set up the equipment in the living room so she could plug the USB drive into Oliver’s TV while he brought their stuff inside.
It took less than ten minutes to hook everything up and Oliver used the remote to fast forward through several of Tess’s phone calls and conversations with security while Chloe sat next to him on the couch and pulled a forkful of pie into her mouth.
She squinted at the screen as Oliver glanced down at his plate and lifted the corner of the dessert to his mouth. Her voice caught his attention making him look up. “Stop…I saw something.” He pressed rewind and let it go for a couple of second before pressing play.
They watched as Tess made her way quickly into the study practically running to her desk before bending over her computer. Chloe watched as the red head typed quickly and even though there was no sound she could see Tess saying something to the computer.
Her head whipped around as if she were expecting something or someone to be there. A frown formed on Chloe’s face as Tess reached for something, but before her hand could close over whatever it was, the glass window on the side of the room shattered.
Her head jerked up as she closed the computer and tried to move it but someone came at her with a knife. Oliver’s eyes widened jaw clenching, hand tightening on the remote as he recognized the skinny man on screen. “Holy shit…”
Chloe was startled by his words and she turned away from the TV to look at him, but his eyes were glued to the screen. He watched the ensuing fight and right when it looked like Tess had the upper hand the burly man with the Panther tattoo on his neck showed up.
There was almost five minutes of video where Tess struggled before she was finally knocked unconscious and dragged out of the mansion, but not before she’d practically destroyed her own laptop, leaving Oliver to believe that whatever was on it was important enough that she hadn’t wanted them to have it.
A light hand on his knee brought his attention away from the video and he turned to Chloe a worried expression on her face as she spoke. “What’s wrong?” He rewound the video until both men were back on the screen, paused it, and pointed. “Those are the guys who attacked me.”
Chloe’s eyes flew to the screen, gaze hardening. “You’re sure?” Oliver snorted lightly. “When someone stabs you it’s not a moment you tend to forget…that’s them…definitely.” She nodded, got up and walked over to the kitchen island where she’d put her laptop bag down earlier.
She brought it back over to the couch, powered it up, and waited. Oliver watched her as she typed quickly and logged onto the Queen Industries sever from her laptop. He arched an eyebrow in her direction. “Are you logging onto my private sever?”
She paused tilting her head slightly and glancing up at his slightly amused face. “Uh…yeah…am I not supposed to do that?” Oliver shook his head and couldn’t help the chuckle that escaped his throat. “Considering it’s a secured server that I pay a person obviously too much money to keep people out of, I’m going to go with no, you’re probably not supposed to be doing that…”
She pursed her lips. “Oh…sorry?” He waved her off. “I suppose if you can hack into it then it deserves to be used…what are you doing?” She nodded towards the TV. “I enabled a mobile mode for Watchtower so I can log in even when I’m not there. I want to run their faces through the police station database…see if we get any hits on who these guys are and why they took Tess and tried to kill you.”
Oliver leaned back on the couch slightly impressed by the tiny blonde in front of him. Sometimes he forgot that she’d been doing this hacking and finding information thing since before he met her. His voice broke through the silence in the room.
“How long do you think it will take to find them?” She shrugged, eyes focused on the computer as she accessed Watchtower’s files, isolated the video feed they were watching and went about taking screen shot’s of the men’s faces. “It depends on if they have records and things like that. If we don’t find anything in the Metropolis PD database the next step is to run in through the facial recognition software until we find a match.
He nodded as he ate another bite of pie. Five minutes later Chloe shifted, covered her mouth and yawned before typing one more thing and then glancing at Oliver. “Okay I have it going through the files.” He arched an eyebrow. “What now?”
She placed the laptop on the table in front of them, leaned back, lifted her pie from the table and shrugged. “We wait…” He finished off his pie put his plate down and lifted his feet to the table before giving Chloe a sideways glance. “Movie?” She grinned as he shut off the video feed.
It was late and until they found out who those guys were and Chloe went back to Watchtower to try and salvage Tess’s computer there wasn’t really anything else they could do but wait to find a match on the guys who attacked him. So, they might as well relax while they could.
She gave him a small smile. “Why not? Something funny please…” He pressed the remote bringing up the On Demand menu. “You got it.” Five minutes later they settled on The Hangover and Oliver spent the first twenty minutes of the movie making Chloe laugh while comparing his more youthful antics to the one’s on TV.
He tilted his head eyes still on the screen as he addressed her. “I stole an animal once too…well more like borrowed…it was a baby monkey…I found it in the playboy mansion.” When he didn’t hear her comment on the fact that he’d been at the playboy mansion he glanced over to find her passed out against the cushions of the couch.
Oliver’s face softened as he gave her a once over, eyes landing on her stomach. He hesitantly reached forward lifting the hem of her shirt over her stomach and glancing at it before reaching out a hand and sweeping it across the smooth skin.
Chloe let out a short sigh and his hand froze. He was about the pull away when he felt a sharp kick against his hand. He glanced back down and grinned. “Hey there…you really shouldn’t kick Mommy while she’s trying to sleep…”
There was another kick and Oliver chuckled lightly as he leaned closer voice soft. “Apparently you’re already just like your Mother…she doesn’t like to listen to me either. By the way…I’m Oliver. I’m the one who’s been giving your Mom all those awesome desserts you crave…so I’m pretty sure when you come out we’ll get along…”
He paused swallowing hard before speaking again. “Listen…I know when you’re born it’s gonna be just you and your Mom…but I’m around to you know if you need anything…or if she needs anything. I’m always gonna be here…your Mom and I we kinda have this deal where we’re there for each other cause we’re friends…which inadvertently means you’re stuck with me by default…I hope that’s okay with you…”
He licked his lips and he was so intent on speaking to the small person inside her that he never noticed Chloe’s eyes fluttering open slightly at the sound of his soft voice as he continued speaking. “Can I tell you a secret? I haven’t actually told your Mom yet…but I’m sort of excited to meet you…you’ve been poking around in there for a while…and she already loves you so much…”
His thumb brushed lightly against her swollen stomach, his voice low as Chloe’s sleep addled eyes teared up slightly. “I’m gonna make sure you have a family who loves you…we’re gonna get the team back together and find your Aunt Lois…cause it’s important to your Mom even though she doesn’t say it…I know it is…”
Chloe reached up running a hand through his hair lightly causing him to look up from her stomach. Her voice was slightly hoarse as his eyes met hers. “Ollie…” He tilted his head pursing his lips at being caught having a private conversation with her stomach. He gave her a sheepish look before pulling her shirt back over her stomach.
“Sorry.” She smiled as she moved her hand. “It’s okay…” He gave her a cheeky grin. “Bed?” She chuckled and sat up slightly his hands automatically going to help her. She nodded. “Yeah…sorry I’m exhausted.” He shook his head as he stood and helped her do the same.
“Don’t apologize.” They started moving down the hall and he guided her to his bedroom. He pushed open the door and veered off towards the closet as she tossed her shoes aside. Oliver pulled off his shirt, his pants coming next before reaching into the back of his closet and pulling out an old t-shirt for Chloe.
He whistled drawing her attention to him and tossed it to her. She caught it and undid her pants before turning her back to Oliver and pulling off her shirt. She pulled his shirt on and let her pants fall to the floor. She stepped out of them and he was already by the bed pulling back the covers.
She lifted one knee up on the bed and crawled onto it. They spent a few minutes situating themselves before she settled on her side and Oliver settled on his back. Neither found it odd that it wasn’t weird to change in front of the other or that it had automatically been decided she’d spend the night in his bed, even though in the three years she’d known him she’d barely seen the inside of his room.
Oliver let his eyes fall shut, voice floating over the silent room. “Night Sidekick.” She snuggled into her pillow several feet between them as she mumbled in his direction. “Night Ollie,” Before falling into a peaceful sleep Oliver following quickly after.
Chapter Ten: The Longest Night