Banner By: Kyra_and_Co
Chapter Twelve: Falling In
“There’s someone I’ve been missing, I think that they could be, the better half of me. They’re in the wrong place trying to make it right, but I’m tired of justifying, so I say you’ll come home, cause I’ve been waiting for you, for so long.” –One Republic
Emil pushed through the doors of Watchtower, a young man in tow and paused briefly at the activity brimming in the large space. Monitors were beeping, programs were running all while the main monitor in the room attempted to initiate a video conference with Star City.
He pursed his lips as the young man paused by his side and he glanced around for Chloe. He had received both her messages, the second more frantic than the first, and he came baring help. She’d been hysterical in her messages and he wasn’t sure what he was going to find now that he was there, but as she walked out of the back room, a hard expression coloring her features, it certainly wasn’t the square set of her back and determination in her stride.
She must have been so focused that she missed their presence because she veered directly to the computer, putting down whatever she’d been carrying and checking on the video feeds with a frustrated sigh. He cleared his throat and her head whipped around.
She frowned slightly, crossing her arms over her chest as she gave the man by his side a once over. “Good you’re here…who’s your friend?” Emil glanced to the dark haired man next to him and pointed. “Chloe, this is Hal Jordan…a friend of Oliver’s.”
Hal stood with his hands in pockets as they sized each other up. He saw her tilt her head slightly before arching her eyebrow in his direction. “You’re the guy from the night Oliver was hurt.” A hint of surprise colored his face seeing as how he wasn’t suited up, he wasn’t sure how she could tell.
“Guilty…so now that I’m here, I’ll need certain things so that I can go get Oliver…I gather we think Lex is behind this.” Chloe’s gaze hardened as she spoke. “Hal, was it? I appreciate you coming all this way and trust me…I won’t turn down help, but there’s only one leader of this team and he’s the only person I take direction from…when he’s AWOL I’m in charge.”
Hal’s jaw clenched and he glanced at Emil, who said nothing, before he turned his gaze back on the tiny blonde. “Is that so?” She nodded. “Yes…so you can both fall in line or you can get the hell out of my way.” She turned back towards the computers, fighting the urge to break down again.
She needed to be strong…it was the only way she was going to get Oliver back…if he was even still alive….her heart clenched at the thought. Hal motioned towards the blonde, irritation on his face and Emil just shrugged. He had explained to Hal before bringing him out here that if he tried to take over the show Chloe would have none of it.
Hal sighed and pursed his lips before speaking. “Alright Blondie…I’ll play your game…what is it that you want us to do?” She turned, studying him for a second before grabbing a pen and writing on a thin scrap of paper. She moved forward and handed it to him.
“You can fly, right? If I remember correctly from that night awhile back…I need you to go to this address…” She sucked in a deep breath attempting to keep her voice steady. “I need you to looks for bodies…” He frowned, taking the paper from her hand. “Bodies?”
She nodded. “The facility blew while Oliver was attempting to extract Tess…” Hal’s eyes widened and Emil blew out a heavy breath before speaking. “Chloe…was Oliver inside the building when it went up?” She turned away from Hal, eyes meeting Emil’s. Her voice snapped at him.
“Does it matter?” Hal glared at the blonde in front of him, voice angry. “Yeah it matters…if my best friend is in a bunch of goddamned pieces you think I want to be the one to find them?” Emil winced and Chloe flinched at his words a hand flying to her stomach.
Her eyes hardened and she glared at the tall man in front of her. In a lot of ways his build and stature reminded her of Oliver. She quickly dispelled the thought and spoke, voice hard, but it was clear she was upset. “If Oliver was dead I’d know…I’d feel it…it takes more than an explosion to keep my guy down…now go make yourself useful and confirm the fact that there are no bodies.”
He stood there for a second before he grunted, turning around and making his way out the door, slamming it none too gently behind him. She let out a long breath, reaching out a hand and leaning on the console to steady her body. Emil frowned, taking in the bags under her eyes and weary expression as he spoke.
“You’re taking on too much…running yourself ragged. Oliver wouldn’t want you doing this Chloe…have you eaten at all since he fell off the grid? Have you sat down or taken a break?” She straightened her body and moved back over to the main frame while speaking.
“I’m not porcelain…I won’t break and guess what Oliver isn’t here right now…instead of judging me, help me. I don’t need you to tell me I’m being crazy or taking on too much.” She turned, voice breaking slightly as her eyes began tearing up. “I need you to step up and help me find Oliver…because I can’t do this without him…I need him. So if you want me to relax, help me bring him home…”
Emil stared at the woman in front of him, breaking down and yet still willing to fight, not giving up and it hurt his heart to see her broken again, but this time it was different. The look in her eyes told him she wouldn’t let this go until Oliver was back home with her.
The darkness that she had fallen into when Jimmy had died was not the same as this…he knew Oliver and Chloe getting close would cause complications. He was pretty sure it was safe to say that they were just now realizing what had been clear to him for so long.
He swallowed heavily and nodded. “Alright…what do you need me to do?” She sniffled slightly, wiping her eyes as she breathed in deep to calm her emotions down so she could speak. She turned back towards the computer and typed in a few things, bringing up several video feeds.
“I’ve been hacking into video cameras all over the city…following Lex. Right now he’s in a meeting with the Luthor Corp. and Queen Industries’ board members. His limo is parked outside the building.” She picked the small device she had carried out of the back with her.
“I need you to take this and plant it somewhere on his limo while he’s in the meeting so I can track his movements. Can you do that?” Emil moved forward, taking the device from her hand and nodding. “I’ll get on it now. What’s going on at the meeting?” Chloe let out a loud breath, voice slightly bitter. “What else…he’s trying to get the board to let him buy Oliver’s shares of the company…”
Emil frowned. “Doesn’t Oliver have to willingly sell them to him?” She nodded. “Yes, but he’s petitioning them to void that clause because it was his company originally and he never sold it, Tess did…it’s complicated and I don’t fully understand it…but you know Lex…he always has a plan.”
Emil nodded and motioned to the screen. “How do you know all this?” She glanced at him, a ghost of a smile on her lips. “I’ve got a source inside…one of Oliver’s board members is the sweetest man ever. He’s been with Queen Industries since Oliver’s Father ran it…he’s keeping me up to date…he’s not a Luthor fan either…”
Emil smiled and shook his head. “Let it never be said that you aren’t the most resourceful woman I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.” Chloe grinned and waved him off. “Go…the meeting won’t last much longer.” He nodded, telling her he’d be back soon before heading out the door. Chloe sighed and turned away from the computers to head towards the kitchen and grab some tea when the monitor blinked and the mechanical voice sounded.
“Incoming video conference from Lance, Dinah.” Chloe froze before quickly moving to the screen and accepting the communication. The screen blinked and suddenly all four windows on the screen were filled with familiar faces. She swallowed hard and gave them a hesitant smile.
“Hey guys…” Dinah nodded and AC shifted on his seat, smiling and broke the silence. “Hey Chloe…sorry it took us so long to get back to your call…We had a little issue down by the docks…” She nodded. “Of course…everything go okay?” He opened his mouth when Bart cut him off.
“Everything was copasetic Mamacita, but it would have been nice to have a little support…” He grinned and Chloe’s heart soared at the familiar nickname. Victor slapped him slightly. “Cut it out…and what am I? Chop liver?” Chloe grinned at the easy teasing between them as her eyes shifted to Dinah.
“How are you Dinah?” The blonde tilted her head and gave Chloe a small smile. “I’m doing alright…how about you?” The light left her eyes as she swallowed hard. “At the moment…I could be better. About the emails Oliver sent out…”
Victor frowned as he cut her off. “How’d you know Oliver sent us emails?” Chloe frowned. “…Um he told me?” Bart’s eyes widened. “He’s there…in Metropolis?” Chloe gave them all a look of confusion. “Of course…where did you think he was?” Bart shrugged. “I dunno Dinah and I spent awhile looking for him before coming back to Star City…”
Chloe’s eyes widened, things starting to make more sense. “That’s why you were bouncing around the globe so fast for a few weeks…you were looking for Oliver when he never met up with you in Star City.” He nodded and Chloe’s brows furrowed. “If that’s the case why didn’t you or Dinah answer back to his email?”
Bart shrugged. “I never got one…I’m not exactly the check your email type, Chloelicious…and since the team is sort of…well not a team, I didn’t have my phone on me…” She glanced at Dinah eyebrow raised. “What about you? Ollie said he only heard back from Victor and AC…” She frowned, “I never got one and Victor and AC failed to mention that Oliver contacted them.” She glared at the men beside her and Victor frowned. “Don’t blame us…you didn’t exactly bring up Oliver either and it’s not like his email said he was in Metropolis.”
AC cleared his throat and cut them off as he addressed Chloe sincerity in his voice. “Had we known Oliver was in Metropolis we would have contacted you sooner…we thought since you two…were sort of on the outs he had left…” Chloe nodded pursing her lips.
“It’s a long story…but Oliver and I are okay…we worked things out and decided to give the team another try…we even put together a base of operations for you guys…and I want to tell you more about it, but right now I have a specific purpose for getting in touch with you…”
They nodded and she took a deep breath before taking a step back so they could see her…all of her. There was a slight gasp and a few ‘oh shits’ at they got sight of her enlarged stomach. Dinah was the first to break the silence. “Are you…” her sentence trailed off and Chloe nodded.
“Yes…I’m pregnant…which is part of the reason I can’t do this on my own…I’m sure you’ve all heard about Lex’s miraculous return…” They nodded and she spoke quickly. “I don’t have time to explain all the details, but Lex is out for revenge…against Oliver.”
She placed a hand on her stomach as she continued speaking. “Lex hired two men from Belle Reeve; both of them are meteor infected. They kidnapped Tess…stabbed Oliver and almost kidnapped me as well…last night we found out where Lex was keeping Tess, though at the time we didn’t know it was Lex…and Oliver went in to get her…”
Her breath caught in her throat as four pairs of eyes watched her. She moistened her lips and continued, attempting to keep her voice steady, but it was still slightly shaky. “I walked him through the mission…but it was a trap. The building exploded about twenty minutes into the mission…”
Their mouths dropped open but before any of them could say anything, Chloe powered on. “Oliver isn’t dead…he can’t be. I have someone out in the field confirming it now…but what that means is that Lex now has both Tess and Oliver…and I really need your help getting him back.”
She paused, taking in their expressions before Dinah’s voice broke the silence. “It’s been a long time since we all worked together…and it didn’t go so well the last time around…”
Her voice trailed off and Chloe nodded, her eyes burning slightly as she studied all the faces on the screen before her, voice quiet. “I know. I messed up guys…I made bad choices and so many mistakes…and I know Oliver messed up too and led the team astray…I get that you’re all worried that this is history repeating itself…but it’s not.”
When no one interrupted her, she kept speaking, a hint of pleading in her voice. “We all made our own set of mistakes…what happened was horrible and unfortunate…so many people were hurt in the aftermath of our decisions…but it wasn’t your fault…it wasn’t my fault or Oliver’s fault…we all did what we thought needed to be done…the problem was we went about things the wrong way.”
She took a step closer to the monitors. “Instead of fighting like a team, we took the cowards’ way out and went against each other…lying and hiding things. Instead of fighting for justice, we fought for revenge and our own selfish reasons. This time around it will be different…we’re all different from the people we were months ago…”
She couldn’t help the tear that slipped down her cheek and she quickly brushed it away. “But right now…I need you…Oliver needs you. Lex has him and I can’t get him back on my own. We might not be a team right now, but Oliver has risked his life at least once for all of you.”
She swallowed heavily and closed her eyes for a second, an ache settling in her chest. “If this is about me…if you’re uncomfortable because of what I’ve done in the past…I've learned from my mistakes...pushing people away, trying to take everything on by myself no matter how well meaning, will only turn this into another disaster..”
She couldn’t help the broken sound of her voice as she continued. “Guys…I need you to be the heroes we know you are…I can't lose someone else I care about...we need Oliver...I can’t do this without him.” She gave them a teary eyed smile as she rubbed her stomach to calm the movement coming from it. “The world needs heroes to believe in again...and god knows so do I…so what do you say?”
She gave them a hopeful look and Dinah glanced towards AC, Victor and Bart, her eyes slightly misty before nodding towards them and getting nods back. She turned so she was facing Chloe voice soft. “Chloe…you’re right we all made mistakes…but you’re wrong about one thing. Bart and I…we never blamed you for what happened…”
Her voice trailed off and Bart nodded, face sad as he spoke. “We felt guilty…like we let you down…and Oliver and the team…that’s why we took off, Mamacita…not because of you…and yeah you’re right, Oliver has always been there for us…but so have you.”
AC nodded as he cut Bart off. “You ran me through a lot of my solo missions…and got me out of a ton of tough spots…” Victor spoke next. “Same here…I know I wouldn’t have half as many awesome upgrades if you didn’t constantly tell Oliver about the new equipment that he can’t always keep track of…”
Her eyes were teary as Dinah spoke again. “And you offered me your friendship…even after everything that happened the first time we met…so for the record, though we’re glad the air is clear and that we’ve all seemed to learn from our mistakes…all you had to do was send up a smoke signal…and we would have come no questions asked…cause when the chips are down…no matter what, we’re always there when it counts…”
Chloe let out a half laugh, half sob of relief as she smiled and nodded while sniffling slightly. “Thanks guys…so...” she sent a grin their way, “how quick can you make it to Metropolis?” Four grins appeared on screen as the last piece of her puzzle fell into place, the guilt she’d been carrying about destroying the team falling from her shoulders at their words. This time things would work out…they would find Lex and get Oliver back…there were no other options.
Oliver groaned, his head lolling to the side as he grunted and opened his eyes slowly, blinking several times to clear his vision. He sat up, realizing he was on a chair, his hands bound to the back with zip ties and his legs tied to each metal leg of the chair.
“Well, it’s about time you woke up…Jesus Oliver…what the hell was that?” He shook his head and frowned and he glanced in front of him noticing Tess in a similar position as him. His glasses were gone and his hood thrown back.
He swallowed several times to moisten his throat before speaking. “How’d you know it was me?” She made a face and rolled her eyes, giving him a look that clearly stated that was a stupid question. “Lex told me…after he told me you were the one who tried to kill him…why…why would you tempt fate Oliver?”
He glared at the redhead in front of him. “Tempt fate? Lex is a bastard Tess…you and I both know that…I was trying to protect the people I care about…” even as he said it, he knew it was a lie…he’d done it for revenge and it had left him with a sick feeling of guilt ever since.
She shook her head, disappointment on her face. “Since when do you take lives Oliver? Aren’t you supposed to be the good guy? Who are you to play god with someone’s life?” He growled in her direction as he spoke. “And who the hell are you to be judging me? I haven’t forgotten all the bullshit you pulled Tess…what’s your angle here, huh?”
She frowned. “My angle? Really? Am I not sitting in a chair opposite you? I’ve been here for weeks…Lex was angry that I merged Luthor Corp. with Queen Industries…now that he’s back, he wants his company back…and he’s particularly interested in killing you…I wonder why.”
Oliver lost his temper and shouted at her. “His Father killed my parents! Okay…he experimented on hundreds of innocent people…hurt the people I care about more than once…his thugs stabbed me…attacked Chloe, almost made her lose the baby and…”
His voice trailed off realizing what he had just said when Tess’s eyes went wide. Her voice was barely a whisper when she spoke. “Chloe’s pregnant…is…with your baby?” Oliver hesitated as he opened his mouth, but before he could answer the question there was a beep by the door and it was pulled open.
Lex walked in, grin on his face as he glanced between them, shutting the door behind him. “Oh, well isn’t this sweet…two lovers getting reacquainted.” His eyes moved from Tess to Oliver, his gaze hardening as he sent a cruel smile his way. “Hello Oliver…miss me?”
He snorted and glared at the man in front of him. “Lex…and yeah like I miss that hole in my chest from the time you shot me.” Lex’s smirk widened. “You know Oliver…you’re a hard man to get in contact with…I figured you’d notice Tess was missing a little sooner than you did, but apparently your attention was on the young Miss Sullivan…”
He smirked. “How is our blonde intrepid reporter? Oh wait sorry…former reporter…she should be filling out now…right around twenty-four or twenty-five weeks along if I’m correct…Fatherhood…what a joyous thing…not that I ever took you for the fatherly type.”
Oliver’s jaw clenched and Tess watched their interactions with bated eyes as Oliver spoke. “Stay away from Chloe…your issues are with me…” Lex chuckled as he rested his arms over his chest and leaned against the wall. “I’ve had issues with Chloe for far longer than the two of you have been together…”
Oliver swallowed hard and shook his head. “We’re not together…so either way, leave her out of it…I’m the one who killed you…not her.” Lex smirked. “Ah, chivalry isn’t dead and that would be attempted to kill me because as you can see I’m very much alive.”
His smirk turned cold as he took a step in Oliver’s direction. “Do you know what it’s like being blown up Oliver? No?...it’s not pleasant…How does it feel knowing that I’m going to kill you, but before I do I’m going to kill her and your baby in front of you…how’s that for revenge?”
Tess swallowed hard at the fear that shot through Oliver’s face for a brief second before it was replaced by a blank expression as he let out a loud chuckle and shook his head. “Oh Lex…you know, maybe you need to get your very own Sidekick…sort of like how I have Chloe…if you did your research you’d know that Chloe isn’t having my baby…it’s Jimmy’s…”
Lex glared at the man in front of him. “You’re lying…you’d say or do anything to spare her…I’ve been watching you, Oliver…I’ve seen the way you look at her. She’s staying with you…you’ve been there from the beginning…I’ve seen it all. I’ve been in the background waiting for the perfect moment to strike.”
He tilted his head, “I’ve got to say you’re both off your game…I even tried to make it easy for you…I mean who wants Luthor Corp. as bad as me? Who has connections in Belle Reeve and the resources to transfer prisoners to any location of my choosing…for gods sake I bought two of the warehouses where you destroyed my 33.1 facilities…and still you had no idea…”
He shook his head. “I’m ashamed at you…even after the stabbing when I decided to go after Chloe instead of you…you still didn’t figure it out. I was going to bring her here…let her keep Tess company until I killed them both and then you…but I thought it might before more fun to destroy her, in turn destroying you…” He shrugged. “It seems more poetic to me, don’t you think?”
Oliver sent him a hard glare. “You’re a bastard…and if you think you’re going to get away with this you’ve got another thing coming.” Lex chuckled and nodded. “Right…because your team is going to save you?” He shook his head. “I might not know who they are, but I know that Green Arrow hasn’t had contact with his team in months…so no there’s no one coming for you…you’re all mine…both of you.”
He gave them once last glance before pulling the door open and moving out of the room, slamming it behind him. Tess swallowed hard as she looked at Oliver, voice low. “Well for what it’s worth…I appreciate you attempting to save me…thanks.” He gazed up at her and nodded, brows furrowed.
“We might not be on the best of terms, but I’d never leave you with a monster like Lex…” He shook his head. “You’re not a bad person Tess…you’ve just made a lot of bad choices recently…we all have…but there’s still time to change that…”
She raised an eyebrow, eyes glossy. “How? Look around you Oliver…I’m far from the type of person who gives up easily, but I like to at least try and be realistic.” He nodded and gave her a small smile. “Chloe will come through…I trust her…she’ll find a way to find us…we just need to hold on until she does.”
Chloe was working on the computer when Hal made his way through the doors. Chloe paused, giving him an expectant look. He shook his head. “No bodies.” She grinned. “Good…I just needed to make sure…I think I know where Lex is keeping Oliver.” Hal made his way quickly over to the computer console and frowned.
“What is all this?” Chloe grinned. “I hacked into the city’s grid and different camera all across the city. I had Emil place a tracker on Lex’s limo while he was in a meeting. So I’ve been bringing up the cameras along the route he’s taken and do you know what I found?”
His mouth was still slightly agape at the small woman next to him. He shook his head, clearing the glaze out of his eyes. “What?” She typed a few commands on the keyboard and a picture of a vacant lot popped up. “Lex thinks he’s clever, but guess what…I’m smarter.”
She reached forward using both her hands to touch the screen and enlarge the image moving it around. “When this all started Lex used Luthor Corp. to purchase three warehouses. Two of them checked out, but the third one was just a vacant lot. I found a paper trail saying there was a third one purchased but the location was different from the address on the paperwork.”
She paused, taking a breath before continuing. “So I looked into it and found the third warehouse, which is where you just were, was on the outskirts of Smallville. That’s where he was keeping Tess, but he wanted me to find that so he could capture Oliver…that was my fault. I should have realized it sooner…”
He opened his mouth but she waved him off. “So anyway, back to my point…the tracker on Lex’s car…I traced it and do you know where he’s been parked for the last forty minutes?” Hal grinned slightly at the gleam in her eyes. He couldn’t help it, she looked extremely proud of herself and entirely too excited.
“No, but I gather you’re going to tell me.” She nodded. “He’s been parked in that vacant lot!” Hal gave her a look and pursed his lips. “Okay…” She let out a sigh of frustration. “That’s obviously where they are.” Hal glanced at the picture and frowned. “But it’s a vacant lot…”
A slow smile slid onto Chloe’s face. “Yeah…that’s what I thought too at first. So I took some thermal scan of the grounds and look what I found.” She pressed a few more buttons and an image appeared on the screen and below the dirt the outlines of a structure could be seen. Hal’s eyes widened. “The facility is underground.”
She nodded. “It most certainly is…I’m running scans to get the blueprints but it’s going to take a little while.” He nodded and stared at the woman beside him for a minute before clearing his throat. “Look…I’m sorry about before…you just have to understand…Oliver’s my best friend. We haven’t spoken since everything that happened with the stabbing because we’ve both been busy…but well…feeling helpless isn’t my thing.”
She gave him a sideways glance and nodded. “Trust me…I get it, but we’re getting him back…I’ve let Lex get away with too much over the years…he won’t get away with this.” Hal gave her half a smile. “Oliver mentioned he was running this operation with a partner…described you as tiny and badass…” He chuckled slightly. “Guess he was right huh?”
Chloe grinned. “I guess so…” A buzzing on one of her monitors alerted her to people in the building. She frowned but when the access codes where entered and she watched as the elevator doors opened and they piled in. She grinned and glanced at Hal as he arched an eyebrow. “Tell me Mr. Jordan…how you at working with a team?”
He opened his mouth just as the double doors burst open, noise filling the room as Victor’s mouth dropped open. “Damn girl…look at this set up…” She grinned and Bart immediately sped to the kitchen and was standing in front of her gulping down a bottle of water.
When he finished he took her hand and kissed it. “Heya Chloelicious…looking hot as always…we missed you.” Her face softened. “I missed you guys too.” AC and Dinah brought up the rear as they glanced around impressed before heading towards Chloe and Hal. Dinah smirked at Chloe and nodded in Hal’s direction. “Hal…”
He scrunched his nose, giving her a grunt, “Bird queen…” Chloe raised an eyebrow. “You two know each other?” AC shook hands with Hal and grinned at Chloe. “He’s helped us out on one or two missions in the past that were pretty routine. It was the two times Victor played Watchtower because you couldn’t so we were one man down…Hal stepped in.”
She nodded. “Good…then you guys won’t have a problem working together.” They shook their heads and a bright grin broke out on Chloe’s face, her heart warming at seeing everyone together again. “Alright guys…then let’s get this show on the road…it’s time to bring our fearless leader home…”
Chapter Fourteen: Baby I Need You