Banner By: Kyra_and_Co
Chapter Thirteen: Come Home
‘Baby I Need You’
“Maybe I need you, here in this world on fire. Everything moving, everyone always tired. Thinking of futures, everything falls away. Everything changes, nothing has changed today, maybe I need you.”
Chloe leaned against her desk, hand placed gently on her abdomen as she watched the team bustling around Watchtower. Their plan was going into motion in less than an hour and everyone was suiting up and going over plans. Chloe had been watching Lex for hours and she was pretty satisfied that he had no clue they were on to him.
They would have Oliver and Tess back by tonight and Lex would be on his way to jail. She was sick of him messing with the people she cared about. A warm hand on her arm knocked her from her thoughts. She blinked and glanced up as Emil sat down next to her.
He held out a bottle of water to her and she took it gratefully. “Thanks.” He nodded and looked in the direction she’d been watching for some time. “You look better than you did when I left earlier.” She nodded and sent him a small smile that didn’t quite reach her eyes as she rubbed her stomach.
“I’m feeling a lot better than I was earlier…” Her voice trailed off and Emil pursed his lips, speaking softly. “But…” She let out a light sigh before addressing him. “I’m scared…Lex has always been so unpredictable…what if he knows we’re coming…what if I missed something?”
He shook his head, attempting to calm her fears. “Chloe you’ve mapped out everything better than I thought was possible. The whole team is ready to run into the lion’s den for you…for Oliver. It’s going to be okay…” He tilted his head slightly, eyeing her. “What’s really bothering you?”
Chloe met Emil’s eyes and bit her lip. She should have known he’d see through her excuse. Sure she was worried, but that wasn’t the cause of her current state of contemplation. She let out a short breath as she spoke. “I think she knows something’s wrong…the baby. It’s almost like she can sense Oliver isn’t here. She has been a lot more active today than she ever has…”
He shrugged. “Children, even at this young age can be quite in tune with you…she might be able to sense you’re upset and therefore she’s upset.” She nodded eyes watering slightly as she licked her lip, voice soft. “I don’t know when this thing with Oliver became more than what it was…I don’t know what we are to each other anymore…”
Emil swallowed heavily as he spoke. “What’s stopping you from defining what you mean to each other?” She paused, brows furrowing. “I…I’m not sure.” She glanced up and Emil gave her a knowing look. “I think you know exactly what the problem is…and my advice…get it off your chest before the team brings him home.”
Chloe studied the man in front of her and swallowed hard. Could she do that? The real question was, did she have the courage to do it? To finally put the past behind her and embrace the future. When she didn’t say anything, Emil continued speaking.
“If I had to take a guess I’d say his feelings are the same as yours, but he’s been waiting for some kind of sign that you’re ready for what he’s willing to offer you. You’re going to have to be the one to make the first move here Chloe…it’s okay to want to be happy…everyone deserves happiness. Even if they found it while they weren’t looking.”
She gave him a warm smile and turned her body slightly, pulling him into a tight hug as she whispered by his ear. “Thank you.” He patted her back lightly as Bart sped over to them followed closely by Hal who cleared his throat, making Emil and Chloe pull away from each other as he spoke.
“It looks like everyone is still getting ready…we’re about forty minutes away from being ready to go…should we go over the plan one more time?” Bart waggled his eyebrows and she grinned as she moved away from the desk.
“Actually, I have something I need to take care of quickly before I link up to guide you guys out, but Victor can go over the plan with you guys one more time…I won’t be long.” Bart frowned slightly as Chloe grabbed her keys and jacket.
“Hey Gorgeous, you sure you should be going out there alone right now? Would Bossman think that’s a good idea?” Chloe made a face. “He’d tell you arguing with a pregnant woman will only get you in trouble.” Bart nodded, “Got it,” and sped towards Dinah and AC.
Emil watched as Chloe made her way towards the elevator, disappearing behind the doors. He pulled in a deep breath and hoped that this time around things worked out for everyone. Complicated didn’t always have to be a bad thing.
Chloe parked the Range Rover at the side of the curb, hands clenching around the steering wheel as she glanced across the grass at the small cement pathway. She knew she didn’t have much time so she took a deep breath and pushed the car door open.
It took her a couple of minutes to maneuver herself out of the truck and when she finally did, her hand shut the door behind her before she made her way down the familiar path. She hadn’t been there since the funeral and the closer she got to Jimmy’s tombstone, the tighter her chest became.
It was the last one in the row and when she stopped in front of it, at first she wasn’t exactly sure what to say, but she knew she needed to say something. Chloe held one hand to her stomach and used the other to gesture while speaking.
“Hey Jim…I know it’s been a while since I’ve been here…sorry about that.” She let out a long breath, shoulders deflating slightly. “I’m not really sure where to start so I guess this is as good a place as any…I’m sorry.” She motioned to the grave and the air around it.
“I’m so sorry that this happened to you and I’m sorry for my part in this. You were a great guy, Jimmy…and though I loved you…I was never in love with you the way I should have been…the way you deserved and for that…I’m truly sorry.”
Water pooled in her eyes as she paused before continuing. “I shouldn’t have lied…and I should have taken the time to get to know you better…but I didn’t and that was my fault. I wish I could take back involving you in my crazy life…I never wanted you to get hurt.”
A tear slipped down her cheek and she sniffled lightly as she gave the tombstone a teary eyed smile and motioned to her stomach. “I bet you’re wondering what’s going on here…out of everything that happened, Jim…you left me with an amazing gift…you gave me a daughter and for that I’ll always love you.”
She pursed her lips taking another deep breath and lowering her voice slightly. “Oliver’s been taking care of us…you remember Oliver don’t you? He’s the one who’s been looking after my Mom in Star City…and who had you flown out there when you were hurt at the wedding…and helped you get a job afterwards…”
Her voice trailed off, realizing that no matter how good or bad things were Oliver had always been there. She let out a light sob, her hand automatically coming up to cover her mouth as she stood there for several seconds calming herself down.
“He’s been there for me…for us this whole time…” She hesitated before continuing. “I know it hasn’t been that long since you’ve been gone…but I think…no I know…I’m in love with him…I love Oliver. I’m not exactly sure when it happened…but I was never able to admit it before today because I felt guilty…I mean what kind of horrible person falls for someone new already?”
She wiped under her eyes. “It’s barely been six months…but no one has ever taken the time to get to know me like him…and there aren’t any lies between us…there haven’t been in a while. I needed to come here and tell you…I don’t know if you can hear me…or if you’d even care if you could.”
She licked her lips to moisten them. “I need to let go Jimmy…I need to leave the guilt and the darkness behind me so I can move on…and be happy.” She reached forward, placing her hand on the cold stone, speaking softly.
“Thank you…thank you for loving me…for giving me a baby that I will love and cherish for the rest of my life…and thank you for giving me a family. If it wasn’t for you…Oliver and I might have never found each other…I’ll always hold a place in my heart for you…no matter where you are…I’ll always be your bright eyes.”
She stepped back, tears streaming down her cheeks as she said one last goodbye before turning slowly and heading back down the small pathway towards the truck. She got to the car, pulled the door open and slid carefully inside. She took a deep breath and let it out slowly.
She started the car and as she looked up, glancing out the window she felt lighter than she had in months. The storm that had been raging inside her since Jimmy’s death was finally silent. A smile pulled at her lips, the clenching around her heart loosening as she pulled away from the curb and headed back to Watchtower…it was time to get her man back.
Oliver grimaced as another fist was slammed into his stomach. They’d been at this for thirty minutes and he was pretty sure if they didn’t stop soon he was going to vomit up whatever he’d eaten before he left to go rescue Tess. Tommy pulled his hand back again when a voice boomed through the room. “Enough…toss him back in the other room.”
Tommy’s head jerked around to see Lex walking in and he frowned at the bald man. Oliver chuckled as he spit out a glob of blood before speaking. “Yeah Tommy…better do what your boss says…you know how those leashes work…”
His voice trailed off as a fist met his face. Lex gave them a bored look as he spoke. “I said enough…” Tommy grumbled as he unchained Oliver and let his body drop to the ground before hoisting him up and dragging him back to the room he was originally in.
Tess was out of the chair and pacing the length of the room when the door was wrenched open and Oliver was tossed inside, his body hitting the ground with a thud. She arched an eyebrow at Tommy and he smirked before closing and locking the door.
She moved quickly over to Oliver when she heard him groan and helped him shift until he was sitting up and leaning against the wall. “You okay?” Oliver let out a few coughs and nodded, a hint of sarcasm in his voice. “Oh yeah…right as rain.” She ran a thumb over the cut on his forehead and he jerked away from her, pushing her hands away.
“Could you not…just leave it I’m fine.” She glared at him and let his head drop back until it hit the wall as she moved away from him. “Fine…I was trying to be nice…I figured since we’re both locked up in this shit hole we could at least call a cease fire for the time being…apparently I was wrong.”
She pushed herself against the opposite wall and he let out a long breath before breaking the silence in the room. “Look I’m sorry okay? I’m getting antsy…I just want to get the hell out of here and get home already…it’s been a long few days.” She snorted. “And you think I don’t? God, I probably smell disgusting…and look at me…this is just plain ridiculous.”
Oliver grinned chuckling lightly. “You know I saw the video feed where they kidnapped you…I have to say I was slightly impressed by the fact that it took them five whole minutes to get knock you out…looks like all that self defense paid off.”
She smirked. “If it had I wouldn’t be here…though I did get a few good shots in…” Her voice trailed off and Oliver closed his eyes, attempting to make the pounding in his head stop as he spoke. “Don’t worry…you’ll have a chance to brush up on your technique soon enough.”
She pursed her lips and leaned her head back. “I hope you’re right…” He lolled his head to the side in her direction even though his eyes were still closed. “I’m always right…haven’t you learned that by now?” Her lip twitched at the corner. “Cute, Queen…” He nodded. “It’s true I am…”
Silence surrounded them, but this time it was more comfortable than not. Oliver let out a short breath, wincing slightly. He knew Chloe would come for them, that she’d find a way to get them out…he just hoped that whatever she had planned, she put it into motion soon.
Chloe sat at the computer, com linked up to the system as she glanced at the dots on the schematics map in front of her. “Alright Impulse, you ready?” Bart tapped his com, the device in his hand. “Ready as I’ll ever be, Mamacita.”
She smiled and made sure all coms were linked up to hers so they could all hear her. “Remember this is not one of those quiet missions where we’re looking to fly in under the radar. The more noise the better.” Chloe glanced at the blue prints as she typed in a few commands.
There were two main entrances for the facility that led above ground, one in the front and one in the back leading into the river that ran along the edge of the city. She could see AC in position near the underwater exit in case they tried to leave as they were storming the front.
The facility was three floors which shouldn’t have surprised her. From what she could tell, the most security in the building was centered on the back half of floor two and if she had to take a guess, that’s where Oliver and Tess were being held.
“Is everyone in position?” She got affirmative confirmations from everyone as she spoke quickly. “Okay Bart…go now.” He moved quickly across the grass and when Chloe told him to stop, he froze for less than a second before activating the device and speeding off to take cover.
Red numbers blinked and started counting down from two minutes as she addressed Victor next. “Cyborg are you near the electrical pole?” Victor moved a few feet toward the edge of the property as he nodded even though she couldn’t see him. “Yes, I’ve located the power box and I’m about to cut the power…when I do that it will knock out the electricity for a three block radius.”
She glanced at the time left until the device detonated. “Good.” Victor went about working on the cables as Chloe spoke to Dinah. “Canary remember when the blast goes off it’s going to leave a hole right above the left side of the top floor of the facility where the elevator shaft is.”
She pressed her com and spoke. “I’m on it Tower…no worries.” Seconds later Victor’s voice came through the feed. “Done.” Bart crouched down as he spoke. “Twenty-three more seconds.” Chloe held her breath as the seconds ticked by. She watched as the thermal scanner picked up the explosion, the blast sounding in her ears and then suddenly everything was moving fast.
As soon as the smoke cleared Dinah ran up to the hole, took a deep breath and used the vibrations from her cry to moved the dirt out of the way until she saw a structure that would take her into the building. Chloe could see the red dots scattering below and she grinned. That’s right Lex…he could run, but he couldn’t hide.
The minute the lights went out, he knew. Tess turned in the direction she’d last seen Oliver as he stood slowly and called out to her. “This is it…you ready?” She stood up as the building around them shook, the aftershocks of an explosion making a light sheen of dust fall off the ceiling.
Tess frowned. “You sure your people know what they’re doing or are they trying to bury us six feet under?” Oliver snorted as he pulled the hood on his uniform up. “My team knows what they’re doing…now focus…we’ll be out of here within the next twenty minutes.”
Hal followed Dinah down into the elevator shaft and he glanced at the metal door briefly before turning to her, eyebrow raised as the commotion behind the door got louder. “You ready?” She nodded and spoke. “Let’s do this.” They counted to three and kicked open the elevator door together and the minute they were out, four large guards cocked their guns, pointing them at them.
Hal held out his hand, the ring creating a force field around him and Dinah as several shots was fired, ricocheting off the barrier as Dinah let lose another cry, sending them all flying back several feet. When they were knocked to the ground, Hal dropped the force field as he and Dinah engaged them in hand to hand combat until each one was unconscious on the floor.
He bent down, grabbing one of the guns and tossing it to Dinah before speaking into his com. “Where to Tower?” Chloe pressed a few buttons before answering him. “Head down the hall towards your right. You need to get to the staircase so you can go down a level.”
He nodded and motioned for Dinah to follow him. As they headed down the stairs, Chloe called out to Bart. “Impulse you’re up again…you’re looking for Tommy…you’re the only one who can avoid being hit with the electrical currents he shoots all over the place….be careful.”
“You got it Tower…” He sped down into the facility, passing both Dinah and Hal on the stairs as he took off in the direction Chloe had told him to go. When Dinah and Hal hit the last step and pushed through the door, Chloe spoke. “You’re about to have company, two on the left. One of you distract them while the other goes for Arrow and Tess.”
Dinah tossed Hal the gun and he arched an eyebrow. She smirked. “I’ll distract, you hurry…go find Arrow.” Hal nodded and took off down the other end of the hallway as Dinah smirked. “Come on boys…it’s time to have a little fun…”
AC had just climbed out of the water and onto the little area between the door and the water when it burst open and a couple of people came running out. The first guy caught sight of him and was just about to raise his weapon when AC slammed his fist into the guy’s face.
He knocked the gun out of his hands, lifted it off the floor and used it to slap the guy in the face, knocking him to the ground. He pressed him com as he grunted, breathing heavy as he spoke. “I could use a little backup here, Tower.”
She glanced at the screen and pursed her lips as she saw several more red dots heading in AC’s direction. She typed in a few codes, unlocking some of the doors in the facility, not sure which ones were opening as she tried to find the right codes. She spoke quickly to Victor as Bart finally found Tommy.
“Cyborg proceed to the back of the facility, Aquaman needs assistance.” He shifted and ran across the field. “I’m on it.” She swallowed hard as she squinted, looking to see Hal’s progress. He’d made it to the corridor and she spoke to him quietly. “They should be in the last room on the right.”
Hal nodded as he made his way down the hall. He took a deep breath and slammed his foot into the door causing it to burst open. He moved into the doorway and caught sight of a slightly bloody Oliver and a redhead. He grinned. “Arrow…good to see you.”
Oliver grinned. “Always a pleasure, Lantern.” Hal tossed him a pair of black glass with a new com link. “Let’s get the hell out of here.” He glanced at Tess, gave her a once over and grinned. “How do you feel about guns?” She took a few steps forward, holding out her hand.
“I like them.” He chuckled and pulled out the one Dinah had given him and gave it to her. “Let’s go…” Oliver put on his glasses and activated the new com. “Arrow online…Tower do you read me?” Chloe let out a sigh of relief. “Loud and clear Arrow…glad to have you back.”
He followed Hal and Tess out of the room. “Glad to be back…” He bumped into Hal and frowned as he glanced forward and glared. Standing in front of them was Lex, gun out anger on his face. “You’re not going anywhere.” Hal took a step forward, but Oliver stopped him.
“Get Tess out of here…he’s mine.” Hal frowned and glanced at his friend…”You sure?” He nodded. Hal grabbed onto Tess and she glared and let out a startled yelp as Hal tossed her over his shoulder, activating his ring as he flew past Lex, who shot several rounds at them to no avail.
He turned back towards Oliver right as the blonde’s fist slammed into his face. He stumbled slightly, losing his hold on the gun. When it fell, Oliver kicked it down the hallway as he went to hit Lex again. He blocked the hit and glared at Oliver. “You’re not getting out of here alive, Queen…I’ll tell the whole goddamn world your secret…”
Oliver shook his head. “You won’t have the chance. I’m done playing games with you Lex…you had me stabbed…you hurt my family and then you kidnapped me…the kid gloves are off…” Lex let out a loud chuckle as his fist slammed into Oliver face.
They tossed several punches and kicks back and forth, shifting gradually down the hallway. Lex caught sight of the gun and he dove for it as Oliver dove at him. They tumbled around on the floor, Oliver finally able to pin Lex beneath him.
He clenched his jaw and slammed his fist over and over again into his face and stomach before gripping the gun by Lex’s head and pushing himself back until he was standing, aiming the gun at Lex’s head. He shifted on the floor turning his head and spitting out blood before glancing up at Oliver and chuckling.
“Go ahead…do it. It’s not like you’ve never tried to kill me before…do it…” Oliver’s temper was getting the better of him, but he took several deep breaths. He wasn’t the same man that he was all those months ago when he’d thought he’d blown Lex up in that truck.
He had changed. The guilt that had eaten away at him for taking a life…even a life as horrible as Lex’s, was something that was finally gone because the man stood before him…and there was no way he was putting himself through that kind of hell this time around. Oliver had learned from his mistakes.
He smirked down at Lex. “You’d like that wouldn’t you…for me to pull the trigger? Well it’s not going to happen…you’re going to rot in jail and I’m going to make sure of it. No easy way out for you…never again.” Lex’s cold eyes met his as he spoke.
“I’ll come after everyone you love…If you don’t kill me your family will never be safe…I’ll always be there. You’ll need to live looking over your shoulder for the rest of your life…” Oliver’s hand waivered, his finger pulling back just slightly before he brought his arm back and wacked Lex across the face with the gun, knocking him out cold.
Oliver looked around for something to tie Lex up with and found zip ties in his pants pockets. He moved, binding his hands and rolling him onto his stomach as he plopped down on the ground a few feet away. He winced, pressed both buttons on his com so he could be heard by everyone.
“Lex is down…someone call it in…and Impulse…or Lantern…someone with some kind of speeding ability come get my ass off the ground…You guys did good…welcome back, team.” He smiled as he leaned his head against the wall and closed his eyes. Today was a good day.
Chloe was just closing out the facility blueprints and getting rid of all the paper work when the double doors opened and the team crowded inside. Bart was in the kitchen in seconds and she blinked twice and he was sitting on the couch with a pile of food around him.
Dinah made her way in next with AC beside her as they laughed, talking about something that happened on the mission as Hal, Victor and Tess brought up the rear. Chloe frowned and when she caught Tess’s eyes the redhead swallowed hard and nodded at her.
“Thanks for getting me out of there.” Chloe pursed her lips and shrugged. “No one deserves to be stuck with Lex for that long…not even you.” She held out a folder to the other woman and Tess frowned. “What’s this?” Chloe motioned for her to take it as she spoke. “They’re the papers for your shares of the company. I sent the video of you being kidnapped to the police and then I sent the paper trail that linked Lex to the two Belle Reeve ‘transfers’ to them as well…”
She paused and watched the other woman’s face closely as she spoke. “All the information in that folder should be able to prove that you didn’t willingly sign over your shares, that way you can get the company back.” Tess glanced between the folder and Chloe, confusion on her face.
“Why?” Chloe smirked. “I’d rather have the lesser of two evils in charge.” She nodded, a new found respect forming for the woman in front of her. “Thank you.” She nodded before glancing around as everyone went about their own conversations.
“Guys…” When no one answered her she spoke louder. “Hello…” Five heads swiveled in her direction, questioning looks on their faces. Her heart was beating fast and panic was settling in her as she glared around the room. “Where is Oliver?”
Before anyone could say anything, his voice broke through the room as he leaned against the doorframe hood down, glasses off. “Looking for me Sidekick?” A flash of relief filled her face as he pushed away from the door and met her in the middle of the room.
Her face softened as she reached up, brushing a thumb over the gash near his eye. He winced. “Ouch…” She cupped his cheek. “Aw, poor baby…someone needs to be patched up.” He nodded one of his hands falling to her back and rubbing it lightly before he shifted his hand both of them coming up and cupping her face.
“So, how’d it feel playing hero this time around?” She bit her lip, giving him a look as her hand went to his midsection. “Hmm let me think about that.” She slapped him lightly on the arm and he frowned. “Ouch…hello, I’m bloody and beaten here woman…why are you hitting me?”
She pointed at him, one hand still at his waist. “Next time you feel like getting kidnapped, don’t…you nearly gave me a heart attack…I was worried out of my mind…I thought…” Her voice cut off and he could see the tears in her eyes. Neither of them paid any attention to the group of people watching them as they continued to have their own conversation.
“Hey…I’m okay…everything’s fine…and you did a great job keeping everything together, not that I’m surprised. You, Chloe Sullivan, are the strongest woman I know.” She gave him half a smile as he tilted his head to the side and spoke softly. “How are my girls?”
She took a deep breath and let the tension out of her shoulders, voice barely a whisper as she spoke. “We’re better now that you’re home.” He nodded, reaching a palm out and caressing her stomach lightly. He stood there and she swallowed hard before gripping his neck, reaching up and capturing his lips with hers.
He groaned into the kiss and pulled her closer to him as he deepened it. They stayed like that for several minutes before air was becoming a necessity and when they pulled apart, he leaned down his forehead resting against hers. Chloe spoke, amusement in her voice.
“You know we’re going to have to talk about this…” He grinned as he placed another light kiss against her lips. “About what?” She arched an eyebrow at him. “This kissing thing…friends don’t kiss friends in Watchtower…” Oliver chuckled lightly his voice filled with humor, but his eyes serious as they met hers.
“Well maybe I don’t want to just be your friend…” Chloe grinned, dropping a kiss on his lips before speaking. “And maybe that’s exactly what I wanted to hear…” He paused, studying her face. “Really?” She could see the vulnerability that he let linger for a few seconds before it was gone.
She nodded. “Yeah…really.” His face broke out into a large grin. “Oh man, you have no idea what you just got yourself into.” She chuckled lightly as the team stared on at them in a state of awe and shock, but Chloe and Oliver were so wrapped up in each other that neither one noticed.
Chapter Fifteen: Alas We Aspire