Banner By: Andrea
Title: The Ground Beneath My Feet
Fictable Prompt: #043 Punctual for Mystic_ri96
Word Count: 1,578
Summary: Chloe always used to be on time.
Chloe rushed into the restaurant her hair slightly disheveled as she resituated her dress while stopping near the hostess. She smiled. “I’m meeting my husband,” She said lightly, “The reservation is under Oliver Queen.” She ran a hand over her dress as she saw the hostess’s eyes widen.
“Of course Mrs. Queen, right this way, he’s already here.” She told the blonde with a smile before motioning for the other woman to follow her into the restaurant.
Chloe sighed and followed the hostess. “Of course he is,” She mumbled. She had been running late and Oliver had text her twice asking if she needed him to just come home and they’d do dinner another night, but she had text him back saying no that she’d be there soon. Of course that was a half hour ago.
The hostess paused and Chloe glanced up and smiled at her husband. His face brightened considerably when he saw her. He got up from his seat, nodded his thanks to the hostess and pulled out Chloe’s chair for her. “Hey, Sidekick you made it.” He said while pushing the chair in and returning to his seat.
Chloe nodded as she placed her purse on the table. “Finally,” She said a hint of exasperation in her voice as she glanced up at Oliver, her face softening. “I’m so sorry it took me so long to get here.” She said quietly.
Oliver reached out and squeezed her hand lightly his brows furrowing. “Chloe its fine, you don’t need to keep apologizing. I could have just come home if you were having trouble getting Ethan to go down. We didn’t have to go out to dinner.” He told her softly not sure why she seemed so upset, but wanting to show her that he wasn’t upset.
Chloe frowned as she looked at Oliver. “I didn’t want you to come home I wanted us to be able to have a nice dinner out alone is that too much to ask?” She said more sharply than she intended as she pulled her hand back and lifted the glass of water on the table to her lips taking a quick sip. Her chest was tight and she wasn’t exactly sure why she was getting so emotional.
Oliver pursed his lips hurt that she had pulled away from him. His jaw clenched and he was about to ask her what the hell her problem was when he caught sight of the tears in her eyes and his anger suddenly evaporated. He glanced around the restaurant making sure they didn’t have an audience before he leaned in and took her hand again, brushing his thumb over it. “Chloe what’s going on? What’s wrong?” He asked softly.
Chloe swallowed hard and closed her eyes for a second taking a deep breath and letting it out before open them and meeting his gaze. “I’m sorry,” She whispered, “Today was a really long day and you were away on business most of last week, I just,” She paused.
“Do you know that normally I am one of the most punctual people out there when I have plans?” She asked with an arched eyebrow. “Typically I’m the one waiting, for Lois, for you, for Clark.” She said before shaking her head.
“Now I can never get anywhere on time.” She explained softly. “Ethan gets fussy and I need to stop, my editor yells about something I need to go back and fix it, Tess doesn’t know how to hack into something I need to stop and help,” She said trying to fight the emotions welling in her chest. “I don’t like to complain because I love our life but it’s been really hard lately.” She said as she focused her gaze on the water.
“You leave for work when I’m taking care of Ethan in the morning, and then we’re both at work and when we finally get home there’s dinner and then Ethan needs some attention and then there’s patrol and by the time you get back I’m either sleeping or finishing up work for the paper. Our hours are so conflicting and I just feel like we don’t see each other anymore.” She said quickly her voice low, but there was a slight hint of anxiety in it.
“I just wanted one night, one night for us to go out and spend some time together because I miss you so much,” She said doing her best not to let the tears in her eyes fall. The last thing she needed was some crazy rumor getting picked up by the tabloids. “And we couldn’t even have that because I was a half hour late.” She said quickly wiping her face before any tears could fall.
Oliver stared at her shocked as guilt filled his chest. He prided himself on being observant and he had no idea his wife was feeling so neglected and upset. He glanced around, caught sight of their waitress, and called her over. She came readily and he ordered a bottle of champagne and two specials before letting her know they’d be right back and to just bring everything when it was done.
Chloe frowned as she watched Oliver get up and hold out his hand to her. She took it without hesitation and let him pull her out of the seat and tug her through the room towards the hallway in the back that led to the bathroom. Chloe opened her mouth, but before she could say anything he tugged her inside the women’s bathroom and locked the door behind them, checking each stall quickly to make sure they were alone. “Ollie what are you doing?” She asked as she sniffled lightly.
He moved back over to her and gripped her chin tilting her head up. “Why didn’t you say anything to me?” He asked her softly, his heart aching at the look on her face. He cupped her cheek when she didn’t look at him right away. “Chloe, talk to me.” He said quietly.
She sighed and reached out gripping his waist lightly. “Because I thought it would go away,” She said as she met his eyes. “And I didn’t want to burden you,” Chloe paused, “You do so much Ollie and between work and patrolling and me and Ethan you do the best you can to split your time between your family and everything else. I know how hard that is, I have the same issue and I didn’t want to make you feel like you weren’t doing a good job.” She explained.
Oliver didn’t know what to say. He should have realized something was off. He reached up gripping her cheeks in his hands as he held her gaze. “Chloe you’re my wife, you are the most important thing to me and you’re hurting. I need to know these things. I’m sorry that you’ve been feeling like this and I’m sorry I haven’t been there, but I promise I will be from now on Chloe.” He stroked her cheek lightly as he spoke.
Chloe let out a shaky breath as she gripped his body tighter and shifted closer to him. “I’m sorry; I just, I feel like the ground beneath my feet is shifting. Things are changing and it’s hard juggling everything” She told him quietly. “I’m feeling overwhelmed and I just really wanted tonight to be okay. I wanted us to just be able to take a minute and spend some time together and it just got all messed up,” She said as a tear slipped from her eye.
Oliver nodded and pulled Chloe into his chest wrapping his arms around her and holding her close. He felt her arms move around him tightly and bury her head in his chest. He ran his hands up and down her back as he whispered small words of comfort into her ear.
It took Chloe a couple of minutes to calm down and when she did she hugged him closer. “I’m sorry for being so ridiculous about this I just can’t help feeling so…Helpless.” She explained before pulling back enough to see his face.
Oliver cupped her cheek and shook his head. “Don’t be sorry Chloe. I’m here.” He said before smiling lightly at her. “Now, dry your eyes because we’re going to go out there, have a nice dinner, and after that you and I are going to spend the entire night together just us.” He told her softly.
“I’ll have Bart and Victor run patrol and we’ll let Ethan sleep in his nursery tonight.” He said while leaning down and pressing a kiss below her ear. “How does that sound?” He asked her before pulling back and meeting her eyes waiting for her response.
Chloe smiled, her eyes glossy as she nodded her chest warming. “I’d really love that.” She said softly before leaning up and pressing a light kiss to his lips. “Thank you,” She said quietly as she placing a kiss against his jaw.
Oliver nodded rubbing his hand down her back. “Any time, Sidekick.” He brushed a thumb under her eye. “I love you, Chloe.” He said hoping she could see how much he meant it.
Chloe’s expression softened as she tightened her grip on him. “I love you too, Hero. Come on,” She said unlocking the bathroom door and tugging on his hand as she pulled his back into the main part of the restaurant so they could enjoy their dinner.