Banner By: Kyra_and_Co
Chapter Three: Fix You
“I see nothing in your eyes, and the more I see the less I like. So sacrifice yourself, and let me have what's left. You take the breath right out of me, you left a hole where my heart should be
You've gotta fight just to make it through, Cause I will be the death of you.” –Breaking Benjamin
Chloe stood in the middle of the room, clipboard in hand as she glanced around at the men working around her. It had been two weeks since she agreed to Oliver’s plan of reestablishing Watchtower and she was currently overlooking some of the renovations.
She’d never admit it out loud, but having something to focus on other than what happened to Jimmy and the baby, had actually done her a world of good. She’d been spending four to five hours a day at the tower, instructing the decorators on color schemes and schematics.
She and Oliver had drawn up a preliminary floor plan with the contractor and of course he’d gone overboard with the money getting the top of the line products for everything even if it was as stupid as a shower curtain. She was beginning to think that maybe another one of his extracurricular activities was spending money, with the way he wasted it.
Whenever he left though she’d always change what she felt he was going overboard on, which she was sure would make him slightly angry when he finally figured it out. Chloe watched as they cleaned the circular window and placed a small oval rug over the blood stain that wouldn’t seem to come out of the floor.
She swallowed heavily and turned away her stomach turning slightly as she placed a hand over her slightly rounded abdomen and rubbed soothing circles over it. She was a little over 11-weeks pregnant and had an appointment with Emil at the end of next week to check in on the baby and how her anemia was doing.
Aside from getting tired earlier than normal, she was actually feeling pretty good, despite the bouts of morning sickness during the day, which Oliver had been true to his word about. If he was home when she got sick, then he was by her side, rubbing her back, holding her hair, telling her everything was going to be fine.
Dare she say she was actually starting to get used to his presence, though he was almost always overbearing. Making sure she took her supplements and ate healthy food. He’d even gone out of his way to sign her up for prenatal yoga, which Chloe absolutely refused to go to.
It was silly and normally husbands and wives went together to share the experience or some crap like that and she really didn’t need to surround herself with something she didn’t have. Her thoughts were interrupted by one of the painters. “Miss Sullivan?”
She turned and smiled at him. “Yeah Joe?” He walked over towards her and placed a can of paint on the desk. “I just wanted to run the color by you, let you see it and make sure this is exactly what you wanted.”
She grinned as she put her clipboard down and rubbed her hands together. “Let’s see it then.”
He chuckled at the young woman’s excitement and popped the can open before lifting the lid and pulling it off. Chloe’s eyes sparkled as she glanced at the purple like color. “Ohh Legacy was a good choice…I like it.” Before the man could say anything there was a bustling noise near the door as Oliver made his way inside the room.
She caught his eye and waved. He nodded at her before making a beeline for her direction. He gave her a small smile. “Hey…” he glanced at the painter and inclined his head. “Joe…how are you?” He smiled. “Can’t complain…just showing the little lady the color for the bedroom upstairs.” Oliver nodded and glanced down at the paint a frown on his face.
“I thought you picked out Scallion?” She shrugged. “I changed my mind it was too green.” Oliver turned the paint can around his brows furrowing. “And this isn’t the organic paint we talked about…what happened to everything we picked out Chloe?”
She rolled her eyes and pointed. “This was cheaper and it was just as good.” He pursed his lips, body tensing and he covered the paint and gave Joe a tight smile. “Can you give us a minute?” He glanced between them and nodded before moving towards the other workers and shouting out some orders.
Oliver turned to face Chloe pinching the bridge of his nose. He was stressed, tired, and keeping up appearances for her sake was starting to grate on his nerves. He was slowly spiraling into a sea of guilt and he wasn’t sure how to stop it.
He’d been spending more time with her, doing everything he could to make her comfortable…but seeing how hard things were on her only seemed to make the situation worse for him. Lately though she seemed to be keeping herself occupied which was good and bad at the same time.
Her voice knocked him from his thoughts as she crossed her arms over her chest. “What was that all about?” He pointed to the paint on the desk. “There was a reason we ordered the more expensive paint Chloe…it’s because it’s organic and the fumes aren’t harmful for you or the baby. If you insist on overseeing the renovations and being in here for hours on end then the right materials needs to be used.”
He shook his head. “I don’t know why you always have to second guess me…” She glared at him, her tone hinting at her anger. “Fine whatever…god I was just trying to save you some money I don’t know what your problem is lately…but you’ve been on edge for the last few days…if you’re pissed off about something else don’t take it out on me.”
He clenched his jaw willing his mouth to keep from bursting open with a smartass retort. It wouldn’t do either one of them any good so he ignored her comment and spoke. “Have you had lunch?” Chloe rolled her eyes and stepped away from him. “I don’t need you keeping track of what I eat. I’m a big girl…”
He took a deep breath and lifted his arm placing the plastic bag on the desk. Chloe glanced over to it not realizing he had been carrying something. He motioned to it as he spoke. “I’ll take that as a no. Whatever…here I brought you lunch…you don’t want to eat it then don’t. I need to get back to the office. Don’t stay here too long if they are painting…and I’m heading out on patrol right after work…”
Chloe studied his movements and shrugged. “Fine…” He nodded. “Great.” He didn’t bother to say goodbye as he walked across the room and out the double doors. As she watched him go she couldn’t help but wonder what was going on with him lately and why he was picking random fights with her.
She shook herself out of her thoughts. It didn’t matter why he was acting that way…it wasn’t any of her business…then again if that was the case why couldn’t she seem to get the haunted look on his face out of her mind?
Oliver ran across the black top and leapt over the building air rushing around him as he landed on his feet and continued to move across the roof top glancing over the side at the darkened Metropolis streets. He’d been on Patrol for a little over an hour and so far he’d stopped three muggings, one robbery and one attempted rape.
And yet he was still on edge looking for a good fight. Ever since he’d had that talk with Chloe in the bathroom, Oliver had been feeling more uncertain than usual. It was as if absolving Chloe of her part in Jimmy’s death out loud made it that much more his fault and it wasn’t like there was anyone for him to talk to about it.
He’d been spending so much of his time pushing the guilt to the back of his head, diving back into his business and taking on the responsibility of looking after Chloe, being strong…that his defenses were starting to wear down and the burden of guilt was finally starting to catch up with him.
He let out a sigh as he jumped down to the next building Chloe’s voice coming over the com in his ear breaking into his thought process. “Tower to Arrow, what’s your status.” He lifted his hand pressing the button as Chloe shifted on the couch. She was using her laptop to guide him through his patrol and he’d been on radio silence for the last twenty minutes.
“I’m fine…I think I’m gonna do one more sweep…” She frowned slightly glancing around the maps on her computer and the green dot that moved in leaps. “You’ve already done two sweeps…it’s after eight I think you should call it a night…the streets are looking quiet again.”
He pursed his lips, body tensing at her statement. He didn’t want to go home yet…he still needed to blow off more steam, but maybe patrolling wasn’t exactly what he needed. He stood at the edge of the roof glancing down as he spoke. “Maybe you’re right…I guess I’ll pack it in.”
She leaned back against the couch, hand going to her stomach as it growled. She bit her lip wondering if he was still angry from early. She figured since things had been at least marginally more comfortable with them lately she’d make some kind of peace offering so there wasn’t any more fighting when he finally came home.
She cleared her throat and spoke softly. “I was going to make spaghetti for dinner…if you’re hungry I mean.” His distorted voice floated through the com as he spoke. “That’s fine…I’ll be back in a little bit. Arrow out.” He disconnected his com and she watched as his green dot disappeared.
She pushed herself up from her seated position, closed the laptop down and headed into the kitchen to make some dinner. Twenty-five minutes later she had two plates out filled with pasta. She sat there glancing at the clock every so often wondering where Oliver was.
After ten more minutes of waiting she decided to try his phone, see if maybe something had happened. She reached over the counter lifted the phone and called him. She frowned when it went immediately to voicemail. Her chest tightened slightly, a hint of fear coiling low in her stomach. Could something have happened to him?
Chloe shook her head taking a deep breath and pursing her lips. Maybe he just decided to do another round of patrolling anyway…it wasn’t like he needed to check in with her. He was his own person and if he felt like staying out it wasn’t any of her business.
With that in mind she grabbed her fork and started eating her spaghetti all the while trying to push the thoughts of worry to the back of her mind. Oliver was a big boy, he didn’t need her worrying about him…as a matter of fact she was pretty sure he didn’t need her at all.
Chloe was startled awake by a loud bang coming from the hallway. She frowned sitting up bleary eyed as she rubbed them and dropped her feet to the ground. She blinked several time before standing slowly and moving towards the door. She pulled it open and heard the sound of laughter before there was another bang and Oliver’s short ‘Ow’.
Chloe stepped out of the guest room and walked down the hall to see what in the world he was doing. When she passed the kitchen she caught sight of the time and groaned. It was after two in the morning what the hell was he doing.
When she finally made it to the living room she groped for the light before flicking the switch on and the sight that greeted her made her eyes widen. Oliver had a leggy blonde pinned against the wall one hand cupping her breast the other groping under her short dress.
The blonde opened her eyes and caught sight of Chloe giving Oliver a slight giggle shoving him lightly as she nodded her head in the other woman’s direction. “You didn’t tell me this was gonna be a threesome baby…” Oliver arched an eyebrow finally realizing the light had been turned on.
He glanced over his shoulder eyebrow raised as he took in the petite blonde who had snorted at the other woman’s comment and he waved Chloe off, voice slightly slurred. “Oh no…ignore her three ways aren’t really Chloe’s thing…” Chloe swallowed hard and shook her head.
“You’ve been drinking…” Oliver rolled his eyes and turned toward her. “So what if I have? Is it any of your business? Can’t you see I’m busy? Go back to bed…or hell watch for all I care.” He leaned in his lips closing around the woman’s neck as his head spun.
He could hear her moaning his hand sliding back up the woman’s thigh as Chloe’s angry voice broke through his haze. “I thought something had happened to you…and what happened to all that garbage about not wasting second chances…I thought you were done with the boozing.”
He pulled away from the woman in front of him Chloe’s voice grating on his nerves as he slammed a hand into the wall causing whatever her name was to let out a startled gasp. He glared at Chloe as he spoke, his tone cold. “As you can see I’m fine…or I would be if you went the hell to bed and let me get some ass…Jesus…”
The girl near him licked her lips lightly as she noticed the tension in the room building. She stumbled slightly towards the elevator and mumbled something about leaving. Oliver turned his head but the door was already slightly shut behind her.
He threw his hands up in the air and turned back to Chloe. “Now look what you did…” He shook his head and then squinted his eyes as he took a few lopsided steps towards Chloe pointing to her outfit. “Is that my shirt?” She tensed as he got closer and then self consciously wrapped her arms around her body.
“There wasn’t anything else for me to wear…I was doing laundry…” Her voice trailed off and he snorted. “Give it back.” She gaped at him slightly. “What? I’m wearing it…you can have it back tomorrow.” He smirked his eyes traveling the length of her body as he leered at her before taking a step closer his body towering over hers.
Chloe gripped the wall tightly her muscles coiling slightly as her body filled with tension. His voice lowered slightly as he spoke. “Or you could take it off now…after all you did make my date leave….maybe you can take her place…I’ve never fucked a pregnant girl…something I could add to my list of conquests…”
Chloe’s stomach sank at his words and she took a step back glaring at him as she tried to keep the tears at bay, her voice slightly shaky as she spoke. “I’m going to let that go…because you’re drunk and I know you don’t mean what you’re saying right now…”
He let out a bitter chuckle. “Trust me I know exactly what I’m saying, but don’t let it get to your head or anything…you’re a half naked female in my house. I’m horny and your convenient.” A single tear slipped down her cheek and she tried to compose herself, but it was hard. They had finally fallen into a semi-comfortable routine the past two weeks and she was actually starting to get used to him and then he pulls a stunk like this.
When she didn’t say anything he slipped a hand down to her hip and whispered, “What do you say…you gonna let me take you for a spin…see if you can handle a real man…” She pushed away from him in disgust her hand slamming against his chest. “Get off of me…” He glared at her and then shrugged. “Whatever…I’m going to bed then.”
He moved passed her, Chloe’s eyes following him until he slammed his bedroom door shut. She winced and her body sagged against the wall slightly. Angry Oliver she could deal with, overbearing, annoying and controlling Oliver she could deal with, but drunk Oliver she could not.
He was an entirely different person when he was drunk a person that she didn’t like very much at all. She pushed herself away from the wall and made her way back towards the guest room crawling into bed and pulling her knees as far up to her chest as she could.
This was it, the final straw…she couldn’t do this anymore. It was time for Chloe to cut her loses and go her own way. Tomorrow she’d tell Oliver their arrangement was done whether he liked it or not…
Oliver groaned as he shifted in bed his hand automatically going up to his head. He could feel the throbbing in his skull and he pried his eyes open only to close them immediately at the bright light streaming into the room from his window.
What the hell had happened last night? He slowly pushed himself into a sitting positions and grunted as he rubbed his temples. He blinked several times adjusting to the light and that’s when he noticed a glass of water and two Tylenol on his dresser.
He frowned but lifted them to his mouth, tossed them back and took a large gulp of water. He ran a hand over his face and glanced at the clock. It was already eleven thirty so he guessed he’d most likely not be going into the office today.
He sighed, got up and headed towards the bathroom. Fifteen minutes later his teeth were brushed, he’d thrown a shirt over his head and the throbbing was finally starting to soften. He pushed open his bedroom door and made his way down the hallway towards the kitchen.
Oliver rubbed the back of his head as he pulled a water bottle out of the fridge and headed towards the living room. When he stepped into the room he froze and frowned. Chloe was sitting on the couch a bag packed next to her. “Chloe…what are you doing?”
She took a deep breath and spoke, voice steady. “I appreciate everything you’ve done for me Oliver…but this was a bad idea…I can’t keep doing this with you. I should have never come here…even after everything you said about second chances and what not I can see that you still blame me for what happened…and after last night…well I just don’t think it’s a good idea anymore…”
She could feel emotion bubbling up in her chest and she struggled to suppress it as she stood lifting the suitcase in her hand as he stared at her his mouth hanging open slightly as she continued talking. “Maybe it’s time we both cut out loses while we still can.”
Oliver stood there racking his brain trying to figure out what the hell had happened last night when suddenly the memories of his drunken words crashed into him and his chest constricted. He had been callus…and cruel. After pushing aside thoughts of her blaming him....and his own self loathing for so long he’d finally gone out on a binge letting his pain get the better of him.
And then if that hadn’t been bad enough he had come home and taken it out on her…again. For the past two weeks he had seen the changes in himself…the emptiness filling the whole in his heart and the more he looked at himself in the mirror the more he had hated who he was becoming.
He swallowed heavily not sure what to say to make it right and when he didn’t say anything she started to walk toward the elevator and he panicked. He could feel the darkness slipping in as his only chance to fix things walked away. He needed to come clean…tell her what’s been going on. It was the only way to get her to stay.
He sucked in a deep breath and right before she stepped onto the elevator he called out to her. “Wait! Chloe please…just…just hear me out.” She turned and shook her head. “Oliver it doesn’t matter…you and I…we just can’t seem to coexist together. It’s for the best if I go.”
He met her eyes and took a step forward. “You don’t understand though…you’ve got it all wrong. The reason we can’t get along is because this is my fault…I get that…and I get that no matter what I do I’ll never be able to bring him back, but I’m trying…I’m doing everything I can to make it right Chloe…you need to believe me…”
The desperation in his voice made her frown as she put her bag down and arched a questioning eyebrow in his direction. “What’s your fault Oliver?” He swallowed hard, his voice barely a whisper as he voiced the one thing he never wanted to admit out loud. “Jimmy’s death…I know that’s why you can’t stand to look at me…and why you’re always arguing with me…and why you didn’t want to accept my help.”
He took a step closer his eyes burning slightly as he continued speaking. “I never meant for it to go down that way…Jimmy didn’t deserve that…and I’m so sorry…” Chloe opened and closed her mouth realization dawning in her eyes. “You feel guilty…is that…is that why you wanted to help me Oliver?”
He didn’t say anything just took a step back and plopped down onto the soft cushion of the chair putting his head into his hands. She hesitated for a second before moving forward and sitting on the ottoman in front of him, voice soft. “It wasn’t your fault.”
He lifted his head slightly as she placed a uncertain hand on his knee. When he didn’t pull away or interrupt her she went on. “I’ve never blamed you…like you I was hurting that night of the funeral and I lashed out because I was feeling guilty. But I don’t blame you…”
She shrugged and looked down letting out a short sigh before meeting his eyes. “We all made bad choices, but we made them because we thought they were right. You do a lot of good in the world…and Davis would have killed me if you didn’t intervene…I didn’t realize that at the time, but I do now. You need to let this anger and guilt go…or you’re going to become the guy from last night on a permanent basis and I can’t say I’m too fond of him.”
He winced and placed his hand over hers as he tilted his head and spoke. “I’m so sorry about the things I said last night. These past few weeks I’ve been trying too hard to be perfect and keep everything together and ignore everything I was feeling that it just all sort of boiled over. Seeing what you’re going through…knowing you’re doing it alone because of me…”
He trailed off and she shook her head, voice stern. “Oliver…it’s not because of you…and I think you seem to be forgetting something.” He glanced up at her. “What’s that?” She gave him a tight smile her words soft. “I haven’t been doing anything alone…I’ve had you. You were so busy observing things I suppose that you didn’t realize I haven’t been alone in all this and even though we mostly fight…you’re still there…”
He studied her and let out a light chuckle lifting his hand to scratch the back of his neck. “I didn’t actually think of it that way…I mean I did but…I don’t know…this whole thing is a mess…we’re a mess.” Chloe nodded. “That’s one thing I can agree with you on.”
Silence settled around the room and after a minute or two she cleared her throat and stood slowly. “Well…I guess I should be going.” She turned around again and walked back over to her bag, something inside of her breaking all over again as she walked away from him.
It sounded ridiculous, but her chest actually hurt when she thought about going back to the dark place she’d been in right after the funeral. An irrational fear that, that’s exactly where she would end up if she got in that elevator and yet she couldn’t bring herself to turn around and make the first move.
She took a deep breath and right as she lifted her bag Oliver’s voice broke through the silence. “Don’t leave…I messed up…but I want to help you. Give me one more chance Chloe and I promise I won’t let you down…”
She turned around to face him and bit her bottom lip as he took a step closer to her and continued speaking. “We can start from scratch get to know each other…from this point on we can just be two people with clean slates helping each other out. You and me…we’re all that’s left…one more chance…”
She stood there debating what to do, but the truth was she’d already made her decision. She was tired of being alone. When everyone had left her Oliver had stayed and even though she knew now he had his own reasons for that, she couldn’t fault him because she had her own reasons for sticking around too.
They were each being selfish in their own way, using each other to fix pieces of themselves that were broken beyond repair, fighting to not let their inner darkness get the better of them. She stared at the hopeful look on his face as swallowed heavily.
Oliver needed a purpose and she needed a reason to keep on fighting, it was a simple as that. She took a step towards him, held out her bag and he reached out taking it, their eyes locking as she spoke. “One more chance…”