Banner By: Kyra_and_Co
Chapter Nine: Vindicated
‘The Longest Night’
“Is it dark, where you are? Can you count the stars where you are? Are you lost, where you are? Do you fear, where you are? Can we go too far to find, what is waiting here? We'll steal a car and crash in the ocean. You and I, caught in a fading light a little fall from grace, on the longest night.”
Chloe was in a gown laying back on the examination table fingers tapping against her stomach, legs resting in the stirrups as she sighed. Oliver was standing to the side playing with some of Emil’s medical instruments. He lifted something off the counter and turned around sending a grin Chloe’s way.
He had a doctor’s mask hanging around his neck, rubber gloves on his hands, and a speculum in his hand as he spoke. “Hello Miss Sullivan…I’ll be your doctor today, what seems to be the problem?” She glanced up at him a bit her lip to keep from laughing.
Her eyes strayed to the plastic piece of equipment in his hand and nodded towards it. “You do realize what that’s used for right?” He glanced at it and frowned shrugging. “I don’t know…but look if you push this here and then look at the shadow it makes on the wall it looks like a duck opening and closing its mouth…or maybe more like a crocodile.”
She smirked. “That’s all well and good, but since Emil needs to use that to open up certain parts you might not want to play with it.” Oliver paused and glanced from the plastic speculum in his hand to Chloe who pointed at her spread legs.
He made a face jerking it out of his hand. It sailed through the air and hit the floor between him and the door. She lifted herself slightly on her forearms, frown on her face as she sighed. “Ollie…” Before she could say anything else Emil walked in clipboard in hand.
“Sorry about the wait there was…” His voice trailed off as he saw Oliver standing to the side, rubber gloves on his hands, mask hanging around his neck and a speculum on the floor between them. His eyes drifted to Chloe, head leaning up slightly legs already in the stirrups as she shook her head.
He arched an eyebrow before glancing between them. “Starting the exam without me?” Chloe chuckled and Oliver shook his head quickly. “No, I was just…entertaining myself while you took care of that emergency.” Emil gave him an amused gaze before picking up the speculum and walking it over to the sink.
He turned to Chloe and gave her a smile as he held up the clipboard. “You can sit up Chloe, we won’t be doing an internal exam today, no need.” She moved her legs and sat up hanging them over the edge with a frown. “I thought you said we needed to do one?”
He nodded as he leaned against the counter near Oliver. “I thought we did, but I was just going over your chart and things are looking good. I’m satisfied with how your pregnancy is progressing. No reason to put any unnecessary strain on your body. The only thing to note is you’re slightly smaller than most women at this stage in your pregnancy.”
Worry crossed Oliver’s face and he cut off Emil’s words. “What does that mean? Is she not eating enough? Should she have gained more weight?” The dark haired man glanced at Oliver with a raised eyebrow. “Relax everything seems fine. I just wanted to put that out there so you know.” He turned his gaze on Chloe and spoke.
“Why don’t you get dressed and when you come back out we can do the sonogram and I can tell you the sex of the baby if you want to know. She bit her lip and glanced at Oliver. “Do we want to know?” Oliver pursed his lips.
“It might make getting clothes and things easier…we still need to do that…and it’s always good to be prepared…” She hopped off the table wobbling slightly as he reached out to steady her. She gave him a small smile. “You want to know…” He grinned. “Maybe…but if you don’t want to I can wait…and it’ll be a surprise…”
Emil watched their interaction closely and his brows furrowed, oh yes things were definitely going to get complicated. Chloe patted Oliver’s chest before grabbing her clothes from the chair. “No I think you’re right. I’ll be right out and then we’ll do it.”
He nodded and watched as she closed the door behind her before turning to Emil with a smile. “So things are looking good?” Emil nodded clearing his throat lightly. “Yes…things are going well. How’s everything else? Have things died down with the situation at work?”
Oliver made a face. “Sort of…it’s better than it was. Two days ago we received an email from our ‘mystery’ partner saying that he apologized for the antinomy of everything and would be revealing himself soon through the proper channels or some bullshit like that…but the message at least served to calm the board, me not so much.”
Emil studied the tension in Oliver’s shoulders and spoke quietly. “What do you think is going on?” Oliver shrugged and turned to Emil as he rested his hands against the counter. “Honestly? I have no clue…Someone kidnapped Tess and made her sell her shares of the company…the same people who kidnapped her stabbed me…but they don’t really look like the business type, which means there’s a guy behind the scenes calling the shots.”
He gave the man in front of him a self deprecating smirk as he took a breath and continued speaking. “The only problem is Tess and I have managed to rack up a list of enemies that would impress most people…so it’s difficult to know where to start looking.”
Emil rested his arms across his chest. “Have you been looking into the men at all?” Oliver motioned towards the bathroom door, voice lowering slightly. “For the past week Chloe has been running these guys through every system known to man…and that fact that she can’t find them is making her slightly cranky. I think she’s got two more things she hasn’t tried yet and then we’re officially tapped out.”
He pursed his lips together before shooting a quick glanced at the bathroom door. “I sent out an email to the team…I haven’t told Chloe yet. We talked about maybe getting in touch with them and at first I thought it would be a good idea to wait…but I’m honestly worried about what’s going on and I think we can use the extra hands.”
Emil nodded. “It might be good to have them back in town should the need arise…” Oliver opened his mouth the say something when the bathroom door was pushed open and Chloe came out. He turned smiling in her direction. She wore a black velour sweat suit with a long white tank top. She tossed the jacket on the chair and moved back towards the table.
Emil moved the stirrups to the side as Oliver helped her back up. Chloe laid back and pulled the tank top back as Emil got the gel and equipment ready. She tilted her head towards Oliver and he grinned while addressing her. “You excited?”
She smiled and ran a hand down his arm. “Yes…and a little nervous.” Oliver gave her a small smile and took her hand in his giving it a light squeeze. “Nothing to be nervous about…” He shifted so Emil could bring the screen over.
He squirted some gel on Chloe’s stomach and she wiggled slightly at the coldness as he placed the instrument on Chloe’s stomach and moved it a around for a few minutes before speaking. “Also a few things to keep in mind…you can start talking to the baby…at this point in your pregnancy she can hear what’s going on outside the womb…so it’s good to get her used to the voices of the people she’ll be around when she’s born.”
Oliver nodded. “We do that sometimes I think she…” His voice trailed off and Chloe’s eyes teared up a hand flying to her mouth as she glanced at Oliver who looked startled as his eyes moved over to Emil. “She?” The dark haired man nodded at the two blondes in front of him.
“Yes…Chloe you’re having a little girl.” A small noise left her throat as a couple of tears spilled down her cheeks and Oliver frowned moving closer to her and using the pad of his thumb to brush away some of the tears as he spoke. “What’s wrong?”
She shook her head, voice barely a whisper as she spoke. “Nothing…I just a little girl Ollie…there’s gonna be a little girl running around Watchtower…” He grinned and nodded holding her arm lightly as he spoke. “I’m gonna need to lock up the weapons room better at the penthouse too…maybe turn the guest room into a playroom…”
Chloe gave him a startled look her face softening. “You’d do that? Change around your penthouse for her?” Oliver gave Chloe a warm smile. “Well obviously…once the baby comes things need to be child friendly…that way you’re not always stuck at Watchtower…”
Emil captured two pictures on the screen without having to be asked and grabbed a paper towel to wipe the gel off her stomach. She sent him a look of thanks as Oliver continued to talk. His face lit up a hint of excitement in his voice. “I can get her, her own bow…think we can put a mini target in Watchtower?”
Chloe chuckled as she pulled her shirt down and sat up. “I think she’s a little young for us to be thinking about archery lessons.” Olive grunted as he helped Chloe down. “It’s never too early to think about archery…and how do you feel about piano lessons…”
Chloe made an ‘o’ face and then patted his arm excitedly. “And ballet…every little girl needs to take ballet.” He nodded as he handed her the jacket to her sweat suit while speaking. “At some point she’ll most likely ask for a pony…you know I know a guy--” Chloe cut him off voice stern. “You will not buy her a pony…she’ll get a stuffed one just like every other little girl her age.”
Oliver smirked nudging her slightly. She arched an eyebrow and he leaned towards her. “I’ll buy you one too…” Chloe grinned. “You’re horrible.” Emil cleared his throat and they glanced at him in question. He smiled. “Congratulations Chloe…just make sure you keep taking your medicine and remember not too much stress and if you have any questions call me.”
She nodded. “Thanks Emil…we really appreciate it.” He nodded. “Any time guys…you two have a good day.” They nodded as Oliver moved to the door and held it open for Chloe as they continued to go back and forth about what the baby should and shouldn’t have.
Emil sighed as he watched them go wondering if they realized what they were doing or if they were both completely oblivious to the complications in their close friendship and what it would eventually mean once the baby was born.
Oliver had taken Chloe out to lunch after their appointment and they were just now making their way out of the small café. They walked outside and a cool breeze blew by them. He glanced down the street before turning toward her. “I’m gonna run and grab the car you wait here.”
She rolled her eyes. “Ollie walking a few blocks isn’t going to cause unnecessary stress. Exercise is healthy.” He made a face and placed a hand on her stomach glaring slightly at Chloe in playful way as he spoke. “Tell me Rebecca why does your Mother always have to argue with me?”
Chloe scrunched her nose and Oliver shook his head. “Yeah I didn’t really like that one either.” She chuckled and sighed waving him off. “Oh fine go…we’ll wait right here, but hurry I want to stop at Watchtower and check in on the scan for Lois…”
He nodded and gave her a small salute before taking off down the street at a quick pace. He disappeared around the corner and she smiled shaking her head slightly. While they were at lunch he told her he sent out an email to the team a few days ago.
She was slightly peeved that he hadn’t told her, but she understood that he didn’t want to get her hopes up if no one responded, which as much as she hated to admit it was a likely possibility. The sound of a phone ringing knocked her from her thoughts and she fished into her pockets only to find that it wasn’t her phone.
She frowned glancing around but not seeing anyone outside the small café with her. She heard the phone going off again and she turned towards the small ally near the side of the café taking a few steps towards it. The sound of the phone grew louder and Chloe walked toward the front of the ally and glanced around.
She heard the phone and moved towards a pile of garbage bags kicking stuff out of the way until she saw the phone on the ground. Curiosity got the best of her and she carefully bent down and picked it up. It stopped abruptly and she shrugged figuring someone must have lost it.
Maybe the café had a lost a found. She turned around and slammed into a hard chest. Chloe let out a small ‘oomph’ and started talking as she glanced up. “Sorry about that I…oh my god…” The burly man with the Panther tattoo from Tess’s video feed was standing directly in front of her grin on his face.
Panic shot through her as she took a step back and he moved forward. She was terrified, but not for her…for her baby. She’d seen what he did to Oliver and Tess and somehow she didn’t think her odds would be any better. She swallowed heavily, voice strong as she spoke.
“I know who you are…” He smirked. “I know who you are too Chloe Sullivan…my boss says you’re a real pain in the ass…” She gave him a look and shifted again attempting to buy time. “Oh so you do have some kind of backer…we thought you might you seem a little too stupid to pull off hijacking half a company on your own thing…”
He glared at the blonde in front of him fists clenching. “I heard you were a smart ass…just because he wants you alive doesn’t mean I won’t hurt you…” Fear slammed through her at his words. She didn’t know who ‘he’ was, but she had a feeling this wasn’t going to turn out well for her.
She sucked in a quick breath, brought back her hand in one quick movement and tossed the phone directly at his head. He yelled out and she ran around him, one hand on her stomach, heart beat slamming against her chest as she made her way to the opening of the ally towards the main street.
Right as she opened her mouth about to scream for Oliver she was grabbed from behind and slammed against the brick wall. She felt the brick stab into her back and she winced, the man’s angry face glaring down on her. She tried pulling at his hands that were gripping her but it was no use.
“Please…” He leaned in towards her, his stale breath causing her to cringe as he spoke. “Beg all you want…you’re lucky I don’t kill you…” She bit her lip and before he could say anything she let out a loud scream, as loud as she could with the breath she had taken.
There was a sharp stinging sensation on her face as her head jerked to the side his fist colliding with her face. He lifted her off the ground and tossed her towards a garbage can. Chloe tried to shift away so the impact wasn’t on her stomach. She got on her hands and knees tears on her face as she tried to move away. This couldn’t be happening…
Oliver had just pulled the car up to the café and gotten out to look for Chloe when he heard her scream. His head jerked towards the ally as blind panic shot through him. He took off running and got to the mouth of the ally right as Chloe’s body flew through the air.
He screamed as he charged the man recognizing him almost immediately. “You son of a bitch I’m gonna fucking kill you!” He jumped onto the man’s back pounding his fist into the side of his neck. He would have kept hitting him if he didn’t notice Chloe’s unconscious body a few feet away.
His stomach fell as he slammed his fist into the guy one more time knocking them both down before crawling over to the blonde in front of him. He shook her lightly his hands going to her shoulders and then her face. “Chloe…Chloe wake up…”
He felt something slam against his back and he grunted kicking out his leg and clipping the guy in the shin. He stood leading him away from Chloe as they fought back and forth for several minutes until he slammed a fist into Oliver’s face knocking him into a garbage can.
Oliver hit the ground and to the side of the garbage he saw a long shard of glass. He reached forward his hand curling around on it as the guy lifted him up. He pulled his fist back, but before it could connect with Oliver’s face, he shoved the shard of glass into the man’s stomach.
His face looked shocked as he dropped Oliver and stumbled back slightly into the wall on the other side. Oliver moved quickly not sure how long he’d be down. He went to Chloe’s side and lifted her in his arms grunted slightly at the added weight before doing his best to run out of the ally.
People gasped as he ran towards his car shouting at someone near him to open the door for him. The guy standing outside the café greeting people pulled the passenger door open and Oliver immediately sat Chloe in the passenger seat.
He closed the door and ran around to the driver’s side, shoving the keys in the ignition and shifting the car into gear. It wasn’t until he’d pulled away from the curb and started speeding in the direction of the hospital they had just come from that he noticed his hand felt wet. He glanced down and saw blood covering his hand.
He sucked in a large breath his head glancing at Chloe briefly as he swallowed heavily and reached over shifting her legs slightly and sure enough there was blood on the bottom of his seat…it was coming from her and the only thought that ran through his mind as he ran every red light that got in his way was oh god please let them be okay…
Oliver sat in the waiting room, head bent down, blood on his hands and shirt. His chest was tight, eyes red-rimmed as he sat away from everyone else, a feeling of helplessness surrounding him. When he’d gotten to the hospital thirty minutes ago he had burst through the doors Chloe in his arms shouting for Emil.
They’d taken her and when he tried to follow they wouldn’t let him. He threw a fit about being Oliver Queen and donating thousands to the hospital and they still wouldn’t let him into the surgery wing of the ER. Emil had come to him and told him to get himself looked at, that he’d take care of Chloe.
That was close to forty minutes ago and Oliver was losing his mind. After they patched him up they sent him to the waiting room where the police had been waiting for him. He had to give them a statement, but he left out the part where he knew the guy obviously or that would bring up a whole other set of questions he couldn’t answer.
Not long after the police had left the reporters and paparazzi vultures had decided on the hospital. They were still out there…every once and a while he’d catch a glimpse of a flash from the glass windows surrounding the waiting room, but he didn’t care.
The only thing he cared about was the woman behind the double doors and the baby. He’d never forgive himself if anything happened to them…he didn’t know what he’d do if anything happened to the baby. He shook his head.
He promised her he would protect them…he promised he would be there…that he wouldn’t let her down. But here they were again…the thought of losing either one of them brought tears to his eyes…it made him want to go out there, find that son of a bitch and stab him until he bled out…it made him feel like he couldn’t breathe.
Chloe had become such a big part of his life in the last few months that he honestly didn’t know what he’d do without her. A warm hand on his shoulder startled him making his head jerk up. Emil held up a hand trying to calm his tense body.
Oliver stood quickly, worry in his eyes, voice hoarse as he spoke. “How are they?” He motioned for Oliver to follow him and he did without question as the older man spoke. “Chloe’s doing fine. We were able to stop the bleeding and she’s stable. She’s being brought up to a private room now.”
He nodded throat constricting. “Is…how is the baby?” Emil pursed his lips. “The next twenty-four hours are critical…we need to wait until everything’s settled and tomorrow when we look for the heart beat we’ll know if the baby made it…”
He could see the pain etched into Oliver’s face and he reached out a hand to the younger mans shoulder. “I’m sorry there’s just no way to tell right now, her body has literally been through so much. If she wasn’t pregnant I might be sending her home right now…but with the baby…there was just so much strain on the fetus.”
He nodded. “Is she awake?” Emil shook his head. “No…but go on, go up. I’ll let the staff know you’ll be staying with her tonight.” He gave him half a smile as he took the paper out of the other man’s hand and headed towards the elevator. “Thanks Emil.”
Oliver moved into the elevator, pushed the appropriate button and the doors slid shut behind him. He stood there staring at nothing and a minute or so later the elevator chimed and slid open. He made his way into the hallway and walked towards Chloe’s room.
He found it five minutes later, took a deep breath and headed inside. He paused at the sight of her in the bed hooked up to several monitors. He moved over to the edge of the bed, bent down and placed a kiss on her forehead. If he didn’t know any better he would say she looked perfectly fine.
She shifted a light groan leaving her lips as her eyes fluttered open slightly. “Ollie?” He sat in the chair beside her and took her hand. “I’m right here Sidekick…and I’m not going anywhere.” She nodded eyes once again closing as she squeezed his hand lightly falling back asleep almost immediately. He let out a long breath…it was going to be a long night.
Chloe half sat, half laid in the hospital bed as she waited anxiously for Emil to finish setting up the equipment. She’d woken up early this morning to find Oliver in a chair by her bedside. After waking him up she spent the next two hours trying to convince him this wasn’t his fault.
To which he spent the next hour telling her everything was going to be okay after she broke down in tears. He had said that any kid of hers could take a beating and be perfectly fine there was no doubt about it, but she had been able to see his worry.
Emil’s voice broke through her thoughts and she turned her head toward him. “Okay…keep the sheet around you because I’m going to lift the gown up. She nodded her body pulsing with fear as Oliver sat beside her his hand holding her tightly uncertainty flowing through him.
He watched Emil squirt the gel on her stomach and he could feel terror grip him, but he held it together. He needed to be strong for Chloe. He could already see her eyes welling with tears as she took deep breaths to try and calm herself down.
Emil pressed the instrument to her stomach moving it around and for the first two minutes the room was silent…not a sound coming through on anything. Emil’s face sobered and a sob left Chloe’s throat as Oliver shifted onto the side of the bed holding her body to his side.
Right when Emil was about to turn the machine off a loud swishing thump filled the room. He froze and Chloe lifted her head as Oliver let out a relieved breath. She laughed lightly. Emil smiled and spoke. “Looks like your little girl takes after you…quite the strong one…”
Chloe gripped Oliver as she smiled up at him while speaking to Emil. “Maura…” He arched an eyebrow and Oliver gave her a strange look as he grinned the news making him feel lighter than he had in days. “What?” She glanced between them. “The baby’s name…Maura.” She tilted her head towards Oliver, voice soft. “For our Mother’s...Maura.”
Oliver met her eyes his heart warming as happiness swelled in his chest. He brought her hand to his lips a placed a quick kiss here. “Do you know how amazing I think you are?” She gave him a silly smile before Emil addressed her and started telling her about how she needed to take it easy for a while and rest.
Oliver drowned out the sound as he watched the woman at his side. A woman he no longer knew how to get along without…a woman who meant more to him than he had realized…more to him than she actually should. He gulped slightly her small palm on his arm bringing him back to the conversation at hand.
“Ollie you okay?”
He shook his head. “What? Yeah sorry…what were you saying?” Emil pursed his lips. “I was giving Chloe a list of things to watch out for when going back home.” Oliver frowned and spoke quickly. “Just give them to me she’s gonna stay at the penthouse.”
Chloe arched an eyebrow at him. “I am?” He nodded. “With those guys on the loose…it’s just not safe I’d feel better if you were with me.” Chloe laughed lightly before speaking. “Hello no place is safer to be than Watchtower.” Oliver smirked. “Unless you’re living with your very own personal hero.” She rolled her eyes but didn’t say anything. She sighed. “Oh fine.” Oliver’s grin widened as he turned his attention to Emil and they continued to talk.
There was no reason to get indignant, Chloe knew after everything that had happened Oliver wasn’t going to let her out of his sight and if she was being honest with herself…she’d rather be at the penthouse with him anyway where she and Maura would be safe because if there was anyone she trusted with her life and the life of her unborn daughter it was Oliver…
Chapter Eleven: Heartbeats