Banner by: Juliete
Chapter Two: Learn You Inside Out
‘The Sky is Falling’
"Life is a dance, from one stage to the next."- Anonymous
Oliver adjusted the night vision on his glasses as he glanced at the Metropolis Municipal building from a rooftop across the street. He pressed the scope on his glasses the entire building holding a green tint as he tried to pinpoint where to zip line in from so he’d be as close to his destination as possible.
It had been slightly over two weeks since the day Chloe had given him the intel linking Raymond Sacks to over a dozen different payoffs for letting criminals walk with just a slap on the wrist. Green Arrow had hand delivered the information to the police the next night and two days later Sacks was suspended without pay as a internal investigation against him was opened.
At this point not only wasn’t he allowed near the municipal building, but he was banned from the court room, and was facing criminal charges. Oliver had heard through the grapevine that Sacks might have a friend in the DA’s office who was trying to help him get his job back and even though he was pretty sure that wasn’t likely he had to check it out anyway.
The com in his ear crackled to life and Chloe’s voice came through the speaker. “Tower to Arrow, what are you waiting for?” He grinned as he lifted his hand to his ear and pushed the button before speaking. “Someone’s impatient tonight, got a hot date that I don’t know about Sidekick?”
Chloe grinned as she moved towards the main console typing in a few codes and bringing up the security feed in the municipal building as she teased him lightly. “Maybe I do…” Oliver frowned as he lifted his bow and aimed it at the roof of the building across from him.
He didn’t want to focus on why the thought of Chloe possibly having a date made his chest tighten unpleasantly. He ignored it as he fired the arrow. Chloe could hear the sound of it being released as he spoke. “Just as long as you know any guys that come calling for you will need to be pre-approved by me and possibly the rest of the league.”
Chloe let out a snort as the sound of wind gushed through her ear from Oliver’s end of the com. He landed on the black top with a thud, the sound of his boots crunching on the ground hitting her ears as she spoke. “You think you’re cute, don’t you? There’s no way in hell I’d introduce my date to you…you’d scare him off in seconds.”
He grinned. Damn right he would. No random guy off the streets was good enough for Chloe. She needed a certain type a guy…someone who was smart, but not stuffy. Someone who would take her out and lavish her with attention, but not too over the top because she didn’t like that.
Someone who wasn’t afraid of her assertive and domineering side, but still realized that even though she was strong, independent and always looked like she had everything under control, every once in a while she still needed a rock of her own to lean on.
Chloe needed someone like…“Oliver.” He blinked. Had he just thought she needed someone like him? “Oliver…” He shook his head and realized it wasn’t his inner voice saying his name, but Chloe’s. “Sorry, what?” She frowned and paused in her typing concern coloring her voice. “Are you alright?”
He chuckled lightly and nodded even though she couldn’t see it. “Yeah, I’m fine sorry about that.” Her previous words just registered in his head and he his brows creased. Did she say she wasn’t introducing her date to him implying that she wasn’t joking about having one?
He cleared his throat and he moved forward towards the skylight while attaching his bow to his back and pulling out the smaller one and a few more things and he moved about getting ready to pry open the glass as he spoke casually. “So…do you really have a date tonight? Cause you know…I could have asked Victor to fill in for you…it wouldn’t have been a big deal.”
Chloe arched an eyebrow at the strange tone of his voice as she looped the security video on a feed so Oliver wouldn’t be caught by the cameras. “You’re all set, the video feeds are on a loop…and no, I mean I was just kidding about the date thing…I barely talk to guys outside the team Oliver…you know that…plus, well…things have been so busy…”
Her voice trailed off as Oliver bent at the knees and pried one side of the skylight open. He hooked part of the zip line up to the edge as he pursed his lips and got ready to head down into the building. “Does that bother you?” He shifted over the ledge and Chloe’s voice sounding in his ear made him stop.
“Give it a minute there’s a security guard almost directly below you making his rounds. Just hold off until I say go.” She swallowed heavily and bit her bottom lip before speaking, voice surprisingly quiet and slightly intimate in his ear. “No, it doesn’t bother me…I mean I’m not really looking…” A hint of a smile crossed her face. “With you and the team I think I have enough males in my life to manage at the moment.”
She watched as the security guard made his way out of the room and she pushed a button. “You’re good to go.” Oliver grinned at her words and then tugged on the wire to make sure it was sturdy, before he shot an arrow quickly into the room and seconds later he was gliding down.
His boots hit the ground almost silently and he disconnected the cord and shifted towards the wall blending in with the dark corners as he moved towards the hallway while speaking. “That’s good…I mean not good, but I’m glad you’re not unhappy is what I mean…”
Chloe smiled. Over the past few weeks she’d gotten to know Oliver a lot better and there were a few things that stood out about him. One, he definitely wasn’t you’re typical playboy billionaire. That might be how they depicted him in newspapers and trashy tabloids, but it was a bunch of bull. He was kind, thoughtful, and he genuinely had a good heart.
Earlier in the week he’d taken her out to an art exhibit during his lunch break. Then a few days later she hadn’t been feeling a hundred percent so when he came to Watchtower on his way to work that morning he’d brought her Theraflu and cough drops.
He told her to take care of herself and if she needed to leave Watchtower to just call Victor to come in for her and go hang out at his apartment until he got home because he didn’t want her driving two hours to Smallville while sick.
She hadn’t had to take him up on his offer, but it was a nice gesture either way. He was also very protective of the people he trusted and cared about. Oliver was one of those people who if you called, he’d always be there unless the world was literally being destroyed and he had absolutely no means to get to you. Even then knowing him he’d find a way.
Knowing that on top of everything else he did on a daily basis that he also cared about her well being and happiness…well it was really quite heartwarming. She grinned while pressing a few more buttons to track down the exact location of the office.
“I knew what you meant…and thanks Ollie…it means a lot. Take a left now and go straight down the hallway. At the end you’re going to make another left and then go down the stairs to the next level. His office should be the third door on the right hand side.”
Oliver glanced both ways before darting across the hallway lifting his crossbow at the ready just in case as he stayed close to the wall and headed in the direction Chloe told him to go. “Well we’re friends…I was actually wondering when I get out of here…if maybe you wanted to come back to the penthouse with me.”
He let his sentence trail off as he turned left and moved down the stairs. Chloe kept typing as she watched the green dot on the screen move as Oliver got closer to Sacks’s office. “Sure…we can order in…watch a movie.” Oliver smiled as he found the stairs and made his way down them quietly so far everything going according to plan.
“I was actually thinking maybe I’d make you some of my famous Chili…that is if you don’t mind something hot.” Chloe arched an eyebrow at his suggestive tone and she chuckled as he turned the wrong way. “Wrong way Ollie…yup that’s right…and as a matter of fact I love hot things.”
He smirked as he leaned towards the middle of the hallway and when he didn’t see anyone, he walked over to the third door on the right. He tried the knob but it was locked. He moved his hands towards his belt getting something to pick the lock with as he spoke and even with the voice distorter she could detect the hint of humor there.
“Well then you must really love me.” Chloe scoffed as she rolled her eyes and before glancing over at the secondary screen. “You seriously need to check the ego at the door Romeo ‘cause this girl isn’t buying it…and you might want to move a little faster with that lock. There’s a security guard heading your way. ETA less than five minutes.”
Oliver swore under his breath as he moved faster his hands twisted and maneuvering until a click sounded. He pushed open the office door and stepped inside, quickly shutting it and moving away further into the room, not taking notice that the light in the room was already on.
He saw feet pause by the door before passing by and he let out a short breath. “Piece of cake…and I’ll have you know my ego is just the right size…now point me in the right direction, what am I looking for?” Chloe’s brows furrowed as she looked through some of Sacks’s personal emails.
“Look for any papers with the name Lindsey Turner on it…log on to the computer and check the email too.” Oliver smirked at her demanding tone. “Yes, ma’am.” He moved towards the desk and started rifling around, opening drawers and looking through things. A minute or so later he shifted and reached for the mouse, pausing, his body freezing in place when he noticed the computer was already on. A shiver ran up his spine and he swallowed hard. Something wasn’t right.
He stood up straight and glanced around the room carefully. That was when he noticed the jacket on the coat rack and the glass of water near the edge of the desk. His voice was low as he swore. Chloe frowned. “What’s going on Oliver?” He shifted back keeping his voice as low as he could. “Someone’s here.”
Chloe frowned hands frantically moving across the keyboard. That wasn’t possible she had checked the entire building several times. The system hadn’t detected any motion in the building and there were no dots currently in Oliver’s vicinity. “Ollie I don’t see anything on my end…maybe the office was just…” She paused when a dot suddenly appeared towards Oliver’s left.
She sucked in a breath. “Oliver get out of there now…there should be a window behind you…you’re gonna have to make a jump for it.” He turned and he could sense the minute the door opened. He looked up and standing in the doorway to the bathroom was Sack’s.
His eye widened when he caught sight of the leather clad vigilante in his office. He moved his hand behind his back yanking out a gun, pointing it directly at Oliver. “You…what the hell are you doing here? I know it was you and your little superhero friends that stole that information from me…you think you’ve won? That I’m gonna go to jail? Think again…You have no idea who you’re dealing with.”
Oliver shifted back and smirked as he shrugged even while his heart rate sped up. He should have been paying more attention to the mission. But it was too late for that now. “Oh is that so? I’m terrified…really I am…you realize you’re not even supposed to be here right? If they find you in this office you’re career is over anyway…so maybe I should just call the police.”
Chloe heard the emphasis on the word and she hacked into the metropolis PD and put in a call to dispatch as she spoke quickly. “Arrow stop antagonizing him and get out of there…now.” He could hear the hint of worry in her voice and he edged his way towards the window as Sacks followed him with the gun.
“Please the police in this town are just as corrupt as I am…you think they’ll hold me…this city isn’t nearly as good as you’d like to think it is.” He cocked the gun eyes cold as he stared at Oliver. “I’m done talking…it’s time for me to be rid of you once and for all.”
Oliver ducked as a gunshot was fired. He lifted his crossbow stood and shot it at Sacks effectively throwing the man back a few feet as he took off towards the window right as Sacks leaned up, aimed and fired off another shot. Chloe’s heart slammed into her chest as she started frantically typing on the keys, alarms blaring in the ear of the com as glass shattered and Oliver let out a startled cry.
“OLIVER!” She could hear his heavy breathy and the sound of his boots against the ground as he moved and grunted. There was a loud noise and a bang before he let out a hiss of pain. She was trying to follow him on the com, but seconds after a third gunshot was fired his green dot disappeared off the screen and Chloe’s heart flew into her throat, as her eyes glistened with tears, chest tightening as she gripped the desk.
“Ollie…Ollie can you hear me? OLIVER….” A steel grip clenched around her heart as fear gripped her entire body. This was her fault she should have made sure things were clear…she should have used heat signatures instead of the motion detectors.
She tried to suck in a deep breath but the lump in her throat wouldn’t let her as she bent over slightly. Oh god…what if Oliver was…she couldn’t even bring herself to say it as a small cry left her throat. No…he had to be okay…she’d never forgive herself if he wasn’t.
Chloe paced the length of the floor; frown on her face as she glared at the computer screen, voice tense. “I don’t know Bart…tell me what you see?” Bart shifted around looking at the glass as he sped around the building and then paused before moving in sight of the police cars.
“Broken glass, a bullet hole…tons of police, they escorted Sacks off the premises a little while ago…” he hesitated before continuing, “and some blood…” Bart wasn’t sure what was going on between Oliver and Chloe, but it hadn’t gone unnoticed by the team that they’d been spending more time together lately.
He had stopped by Oliver’s a few nights ago to drop off some papers only to find the two of them on his couch laughing, blanket wrapped around both of them as they ate popcorn and watched a movie. So when the mission went wrong and she’d called him in to try and find Oliver saying he couldn’t be far, he wasn’t surprised to hear the panic in her voice.
Chloe’s throat went dry at Bart’s words and she swallowed heavily trying to keep her voice sturdy. “Was there a lot?” Bart shook his head even though she couldn’t see it. “No, not much…from the looks of it he couldn’t have been hit too bad…”
She nodded and opened her mouth to say something when there was a slight clamoring noise by the double doors and Oliver walked in pulling off his glasses tossing them and his crossbow on the desk. He glanced up smirking slightly, but the humor didn’t reach his eyes. “Miss me Sidekick?”
Chloe’s eyes widened as she ran across the room practically catapulting her body at him. He wrapped his arms around her and winced. He could feel her grip tighten on his as she spoke. “You scared me half to death Oliver! What happened, why did you fall off grid, are you hurt, let me look at you.”
She pulled back slightly as his hands ran up and down her back soothingly. He took in her slightly panicked state and he felt horrible for causing her to worry. He cupped her cheek and tilted her head up so there eyes met. “Chloe calm down…I’m alright. I’m sorry I worried you…” He glanced down at her body briefly noticing her top was green and a sudden wave of thankfulness filled him.
For a split second there he actually thought his luck had finally run out and the first thing that had crossed his mind was Chloe. How if he died in that office on the other end of town…he’d never see her again. He’d never get to watch old movies with her, or flirt shamelessly.
He’d never get to watch her give him those sly little grins she was fond of…or pick the tomatoes off his plate. He’d never get a chance to feel what it was like to kiss her…Oliver swallowed hard and gave her a hesitant smile, voice soft. “Have I ever told you how amazing you look in green?”
She blinked and shook her head as her hand went up to his cheek, the other moving up his arm as her face softened. “Ollie…now’s not the time for jokes.” She heard him hiss in pain as her hand came in contact with something sticky on his arm. Her eyes widened as she shifted back and set her jaw, automatically going back into Watchtower mode.
“Alright Arrow, strip…I need to take a look at that wound.” She walked back towards the computers not noticing his startled look at her words. Chloe glanced at the computer and cleared her throat. “Hey Bart, sorry…Ollie just made it back to Watchtower…it looks like you were right. Thanks for responding so quick to my SOS.”
Bart grinned and shook his head a knowing look crossing his face as he sped out of the alley near the municipal building. “Any time Tower, Impulse over and out.” The link disconnected as Chloe ran to grab the first aid kit while Oliver moved towards her desk and propped himself up on it.
He did as she asked unzipping his vest and wincing as he pulled it off and tossed it aside. Next was the black tank top and then the arm bands as he sat there in his leather pants and waited. Chloe pulled open the box open looking through its contents as she walked back over to him.
“Okay, we should be good to go here.” Her voice trailed off as she glanced up and caught sight of his naked torso. Dear god, she didn’t remember him being so…defined. Had his arms actually gotten bigger? She paused slightly and Oliver arched an eyebrow at her concern crossing his face. “You okay?” She shook herself out of her thoughts and her face flushed just slightly.
“Uh, yeah…sorry.” She closed the distance between them and commanded herself to focus on the task at hand. She pulled out something to clean his wound with while stepping between his legs and leaning towards his arm. It looked like it was just a graze, but still she didn’t want to take any chances.
He bit into his lower lip as she started cleaning it and Chloe felt his body tense. Her voice was barely a whisper when she spoke. “You okay?” He grunted and gave her a short nod as his hand reached out and gripped her hip as he closed his eyes slightly.
The touch of his hand against her body sent a shockwave through her and she frowned at her reaction. What was wrong with her? It wasn’t like Oliver never touched her before. Why did everything suddenly feel ten times more intense?
A voice in the back of her head shouted at her. Because you almost lost him tonight. She took a deep breath as she continued to focus on getting all the dry and fresh blood off of him. If she was being honest there was a moment, where she’d thought she’d never see him again.
That she’d never get to hear his silly movie impersonations, or watch him pout when he didn’t get his way. The thought that she’d never hear him call her ‘Sidekick’, or bring her coffee in the morning on his way to work just because, alone had hurt.
The fear that she’d never get to see if there was anything more between them other then friendship, because in the last hour…Chloe had seriously been wondering if that was the case. Because the relief that filled her chest when he walked through the door was more intense than almost anything she’d felt lately.
She had quite literally been bursting with happiness when he wound his arms around her and held her against him. It had only been an hour that he was off the grid and yet it had been the longest hour of her life. She cleared her throat and nodded. “Yeah…I’m good.”
Oliver studied her movements as she took out the bandages and started wrapping them around his arm. He knew she could feel his eyes on her, but she purposefully ignored him and it made him frown. He clenched his hand slightly finally taking note of the curve of her flesh under his fingers.
His eyes dropped slowly as his thumb started rubbing small circles against her skin. His brows furrowed and he was feeling slightly lightheaded and he wondered if maybe he lost more blood then he’d initially thought. Chloe sucked in a deep breath as his hand started to move against her hip.
An electric current, a spark ran through her body causing a wave of desire to shoot through her. She pressed her palm against his arm securing the bandage as she finally looked up at him. His eyes were slightly darker than normal as he gazed down at her.
She was afraid to speak…afraid words would break the moment and so when her voice came out it was soft and slightly winded. “All done…” He nodded as his other hand came up and brushed some hair away from her face. “Thanks.”
She swallowed hard and nodded eyes never leaving his as one of her hands reached forward pressing against his chest. She felt his stomach muscles coil as he let out a loud breath, his hand tightening on her hip. “Chloe…” She arched an eyebrow her heart slamming into her chest as his hand cupped her cheek while he sent her a questioning look.
Oliver wasn’t sure what was going through his head, but all he could think about was the woman in front of him and how incredibly alluring her lips looked as she parted them slightly a hint of confusion on her face. He shifted pulling her towards him more as he leaned down hesitating when he saw her eyes widen.
Chloe clutched him harder when she saw him lean down her breath catching in her throat as anticipation filled her. Oliver couldn’t quite read the expression on her face, but the fact that she hadn’t pulled away from said more than any words could.
He dipped his head down the rest of the way and his lips grazed hers, just barely, testing the waters unsure of how she’d respond. The second his lips moved against hers Chloe felt something break inside of her and she moved the hand that was on his arm up and around his neck, pressing her lips firmer against his.
He groaned against her as he wrapped an arm around her waist pulling her flush against him completely forgetting the throbbing pain in his arm. He titled her head up as he deepened the kiss, tongue moving against hers as she moaned pressing herself against him.
He felt her breasts push up against his bare chest and he felt himself harden slightly as they pulled apart for air, both gasping lightly, eyes glazed over with lust. He held both her cheeks in his hands as he leaned in again capturing her lips with his, her hands grabbing at his midsection as she tried to pull him closer.
The next time they pulled apart Oliver had dropped his hands, one on her hip the other trailing up her ribs. He was right about to lean in again when there was a gust of wind and Clark appeared back towards them as he glanced at the monitors and called out to Chloe not realized she was behind him.
“Chloe!” His voice broke whatever spell had seemed to fall over the room causing Oliver’s eyes to widen at what had just happened and Chloe to take a step back hand going over her mouth. They stared at each other for a few seconds before Clark’s voice filled the room again.
She blinked and cleared her throat. “Clark stop yelling, I’m right here.” He turned quickly a frown on his face as he noticed Oliver sitting on the desk only half suited up. He nodded in the other man’s direction. “What happened?”
Oliver grunted and pushed himself off the desk as he grabbed his tank top and pulled it back over his head. “A little recon mission gone wrong…not a big deal.” Chloe nodded as she gave Clark a tight smile anxiety filling her at Oliver’s quick movements to get dressed.
She spoke lightly as she faced Clark. “Sacks shot Oliver…well it was just a graze but still.” Clark’s eyes widened and he turned to Oliver who was starting to head towards the back room and paused at the dark haired man’s words. “Are you alright?” Oliver pursed his lips. No he was far from alright.
He had just kissed Chloe Sullivan…a lot and most probably ruined the only existing real friendship he had with a woman. He turned, smirked and shrugged. “Nothing a good night’s sleep shouldn’t fix. I’m gonna go change.” He moved out of the room without another word and as Chloe watched him go her heart sank. Wonderful, she’d probably just ruined the closest friendship she had with one stupid kiss…well several stupid kisses.
She sighed and glanced back at Clark with an arched eyebrow. “Did you need something?” He nodded. “I was wondering if you knew where Lois was. She said she was going to be at the Daily Planet late tonight but when I stopped by to bring her a donut and some coffee she wasn’t there.”
Chloe closed up the first aid kit and walked back over to the shelf to put it away as she spoke. “Yeah, there was a break in the story she was working on and she met up with a source and last I heard she was making her way back to Smallville.”
Clark nodded and smiled. “Thanks Chloe.” He turned to leave and then paused eyebrow raised. “Are you heading back to Smallville tonight? Want me to save you the long trip and take you back?” She hesitated as Oliver walked out of the room fixing his shirt as he spoke up. “That sounds like a good idea Clark…it’s late…” he looked up at Chloe and continued speaking, “you probably shouldn’t drive all the way home.”
Chloe watched him before shaking her head. “No…its fine I can take care of myself…besides I’ve still got work to do here.” Oliver watched as she turned away from him and towards the computers his stomach clenching at the look she had given him.
Clark shrugged and said his goodbyes before leaving in a gust of wind. Oliver scratched the back of his neck as he spoke. “Uh…well if you’ve got stuff to do…I’m gonna head out…” Her chest tightened at his words, but she kept her eyes firmly locked on the screen.
If he was going to just ignore what happened she could do it too. “Sure…take care of the arm…I’ll see you later.” Oliver wasn’t fooled; he knew the distant tone in her voice the one that she used to give them all but had changed over the past few weeks. He wasn’t sure what to do and so he did nothing.
“Have a good night Chloe.” She still didn’t turn as she closed her eyes speaking more calmly then she felt. “Have a good night Oliver.” She listened to the sound of him leaving until she heard the elevator and that’s when she let a single tear fall from her cheek.
Had she really thought she had a chance with Oliver Queen? Her mind screamed yes and she frowned. She knew she wasn’t the only one that had felt something…he had kissed her back…so why did he leave? Why did he ignore what was obviously there between them?
Just when she had thought they’d moved to the next stage…everything had unraveled before her and instead of moving forward they had taken several steps back. Chloe didn’t know how she felt about Oliver, but she knew how she felt at that moment after watching him walk out that door. Something that since their friendship had blossomed she hadn’t felt in a long time…unhappy and alone.
Chapter Five: I Want You To Know