Title: The Place Where I Belong
Word Count: 13,435
Timeline: This story takes place in canon one year after the 10x21 ‘Finale’
Main Banner By: Andi, thanks so much for inspiring this story with your awesome wallpaper!
Chapter Artwork: A special thank you to Franica
Summary: Seven years after Darksied is defeated, Oliver and Chloe’s six year old son asks his Mother a very important question.
Star City, California
‘Love Changes Everything’
Chloe sat at her desk in her home office, blue tooth in her ear as she finished up guiding Bart through his patrol. She pressed a few buttons, her fingers flying over the keyboard as she glanced at the city’s grid. She tapped the button on her blue tooth and grinned as the last blinking dot on the screen signaling a robbery in progress disappeared. “Alright Impulse, looks like you’re all clear,” She said lightly.
Bart’s voice came through the com in her ear and she could hear the smugness in his tone when he spoke. “Oh yeah, looks like I’m done with patrol early, time to get my party on.”
Chloe rolled her eyes good naturedly as she tapped at the computer desk. “Yeah, yeah, is everything clear around you?”
“Affirmative,” He said while Chloe glanced over the grid one more time. She could see his red dot bouncing from place to place on the screen and she grinned. “Alright, Tower logging off, have a good night Impulse.” She waited for Bart to say his goodbyes and his com to log off before she discontented hers.
She was in the process of switching Watchtower’s mode to mobile when the sound of bare feet hitting the wood floor sounded in front of her. She glanced up signing lightly. It looked like her six-year-old son was out of bed…again. She swore he was just like his Father. A little troublemaker she thought affectionately. Chloe leaned back in her seat and called out. “Zachary Robert Queen, why are you out of bed?”
The sound of a short giggle hit her ears and she couldn’t keep the smile from her face. She finished with the computer and signed off before pushing her seat back and making her way out of her office and down the hallway. She was just turning around the corner in the hallway towards Zach’s bedroom when a miniature arrow came flying through the air bumping into her stomach before bouncing off and falling to the floor near her feet.
Chloe pursed her lips and glanced down before crossing her arms over her chest and arching an eyebrow. Zach poked his head out of the doorway and gave his Mother a sheepish smile. “Opps, sorry Mommy,” he said while coming out of the room, bow in hand. Chloe bent down and picked up the arrow before holding her hand out for the bow.
He sighed, but stepped forward and handed it to her as his shoulders slouched. She took it and shook her head. “Are you supposed to be shooting arrows in the house?” She asked giving him a stern look and he frowned.
“No?” He asked while giving her a pitiful puppy dog look that she was sure he’d also gotten from his Father. Chloe shook her head and pointed towards his bedroom. “You’re most certainly not and you’re supposed to be in bed mister, start marching.” She could hear him let out a dramatic sigh as he spun around and headed back to his room. Chloe followed behind him putting his bow and arrow in the small quiver on his chair as he climbed into bed.
She glanced over as he pulled the covers up yet again like he had when she’d read him his story earlier and she was struck by how tiny he looked in the large bed. She walked over to him and sat on the edge of the bed not bothering to get under the covers like before, but instead resting above them as she gave him a sideways look.
“You know it’s past your bedtime kiddo, I thought you were going to sleep when I left before,” She said as she leaned back against the headboard letting her body relax. It had been a long day and though she wasn’t actually mad at Zach, they did like to try and keep him following the few rules they actually had in the house.
The little boy looked up at his Mother and shrugged. “I wasn’t sleepy. The story about Superman didn’t make me sleepy. I wanted to play with the new arrows Dad got me.” He told her while lifting a hand to cover his yawn. His eyes were starting to feel heavy though and he shifted so he was lying on his side.
Chloe smiled slightly before covering her own mouth a yawn escaping, the events of the day finally catching up with her. “Mmm and who exactly were you trying to shoot? Surely not me.” She said lightly and he let out a small giggle before moving his tiny arm out to hug Chloe to him.
“No, I was pretendin’ to shoot Mathew.” He told her quietly while moving his head off the pillow and to her leg. Chloe frowned and brushed her hand through his blonde hair.
“Mathew, from school? I thought he was your friend,” She said with a frown her eyes falling on her son’s head as he squirmed beside her before letting out a long breath.
“He was, but not no more.” He told her while rubbing his eyes.
Chloe arched an eyebrow at her son’s petulant tone. “Any more, and why not?” She asked softly once again running her hand through his hair.
“He said I was an accident.” He told her quietly before hiding his face and Chloe frowned, confusion settling on her features at her son’s words.
“What do you mean? Did you have an accident at school?” She asked worried, wide awake now at the thought of something happening to her son at school and no one bothering to call her or Oliver. She moved him away from her body so she could see his face and spoke. “Zachary…” She said a warning in her tone.
The little boy huffed and plopped back on his pillow as he spoke. “He said that you and Dad didn’t plan me…that I was an accident.” He told her and Chloe’s body immediately tensed. What kind of child would say something so cruel to another child and where in the world would a six-year-old even get something like that? A surge of anger filled her and she glanced down and caught her son watching her.
Chloe’s face softened slightly. “Why would Mathew say something like that baby?” She asked trying to get to the bottom of things as she shifted on the bed so she was on her side facing him. Zach shrugged. “He said his Mom and Dad told him.”
Chloe’s jaw clenched. She hated Mathew’s parents since the day she had met them and this just cemented her original analysis of them as people. They sucked. This had been one of the main reasons Oliver hadn’t wanted to send Zack to a public school, but she had pushed and pushed for it saying that she had gone to public school and she was doing just fine for herself. Her husband had tried to explain that it was different, that their son was different because of who he was, but she hadn’t wanted to hear it.
Oliver was right though. The other Mother’s at his school weren’t exactly nice to her and though none of them had ever been mean to Zach, there had been times he was ‘accidentally’ excluded. People didn’t like having the child of Green Arrow in their schools. The kids thought it was the coolest thing ever, but the adults felt like it put their kids in danger, which in and of itself was just unfair. Her son deserved to have a normal school experience just like everyone else despite who his Father was.
Chloe let out a small sigh, her thoughts bringing back the headache she had earlier in the day. It looked like they’d be sending him to private school come first grade after all, maybe that was just best. She’d had to talk to Oliver about it when he got home. She shook her head when she realized her son was speaking. “What did you say sweetie?” She asked lightly.
He shifted on the bed, his green eyes wide as he addressed his Mother. “Is Mathew right? Was I an accident or was I planned? What’s that mean anyways?” His soft voice asked her. Chloe’s chest tightened at his words. No kid should ever have to ask their parent that question, especially not because other parents were idiots and didn’t know how to keep their biased judgmental mouths shut and away from their children. The truth was though, Zach had not been planned, but Chloe has never thought of him as an accident, not even on her worst days.
She paused trying to figure out how to approach this topic with her overly curious son knowing that he’d never let it go until she gave him an answer. She pursed her lips and met his wide eyed gaze as she ran her fingers through his hair. “It means…it’s when Mommies and Daddies want to make their family bigger and they decide to have a baby.” She told him while watching his expression.
She reached out and tapped him on the nose. “You my little Green Arrow in training were a happy surprise.” She told him with a warm smile.
His eyes brightened slightly as he repeated her words in a soft voice. “A happy surprise?” He asked while shifting against the bed and moving his head around the pillow to get more comfortable while glancing at his Mother.
Chloe nodded with a wide grin as she moved so she was lying on her side, elbow propped against the bed, hand in her hair. She ran her other hand over his cheek, her expression warm. “You bet…The best surprise I’ve ever I’ve ever had and boy has Mommy had a lot of surprises kiddo,” She teased as she poked at his side lightly. Zach squirmed away from her and giggled making Chloe smile. They laid there quietly for a few minutes, Chloe eyes falling shut briefly. Zach reached out touching his Mother’s face making her eyes flutter open and she arched an eyebrow at him in question.
He pulled his blanket up to his chin and stared at her. “How did I surprise you Mommy? Did I surprise Dad too?” He asked.
Chloe chuckled lightly and nodded. “Oh, you definitely surprised your Father,” She said lightly, grinning as she thought back to Oliver’s reaction when she had finally told him she was pregnant. It was definitely a shocking moment. Her son tugging on the sleeve of her sweater brought her out of her thoughts and she glanced down at him. “Hmm?”
He quickly put his hands back under the covers snuggling up to his pillow and giving her a small smile. “Tell me. Tell me how I surprised you and Dad.” He said brightly, excitement shinning in his eyes. Chloe opened her mouth, but before she could say anything another voice traveled through the room from the doorway.
“Surprised us how?” Oliver was leaning up against the doorframe grin on his face. Zach shot up in bed and grinned getting ready to get up and run to his Father. “Dad!”
Chloe sent a reprimanding look his way as she stopped their six year old from hopping out of bed. “Lay down young man…Dad will come to us.” She told him lightly as she helped him lie back down and get under the covers. Oliver’s face softened as he watched Chloe with their son. He had just gotten back from a quick patrol and was still partially suited up. He’d been in his arrow room pulling off his gear when he heard chuckling coming from his son’s bedroom. Surprised that the six year old wasn’t asleep yet, he tossed his vest aside and decided to investigate the scene.
The sight in front of him, made warmth pool in his chest. Seeing the two most important people in his life lying on the bed in front of him made his heart soar. Yeah, it sounded incredibly cheesy, even to his own ears, but he didn’t really care. He was happy…happier than he’d ever been and if that made him corny then so be it. He pushed away from the wall and headed towards the bed.
“Are you giving your Mom a hard time about bed kiddo?” He asked as he walked to the side of the bed that Chloe wasn’t on and sat down before shifting and resting his upper body against the headboard as he grinned down at his son. Zach giggled and shook his head as he turned in Oliver’s direction making Chloe smile warmly.
“No, Mommy was just tellin’ me how I was a happy surprise!” He said with enthusiasm before glancing down at his Dad’s pants, his grin growing bigger if that was possible. “Did you fight any bad guys tonight?” He asked excited for stories about his Dad fighting crime.
Oliver arched an eyebrow at Chloe at his son’s words and she let out a sigh and shrugged, before he glanced away and turned amused eyes on Zach. “I might have gotten a few bad guys and what’s this about a happy surprise?” He asked slightly confused.
Zach pointed towards his Mother and spoke. “Mommy’s gonna to tell me how she found out about me, right Mommy?” He asked as he turned his head in her direction and gave her a cheeky grin.
Chloe let out a soft chuckle and shook her head. “You Mr. are too cute for your own good, you know that?” He nodded and Oliver laughed, though he was slightly curious what brought this discussion up and so he cleared his throat and asked them. “And why is Mom doing that?”
Zach turned to Chloe and tugged on her sleeve again before pointing towards Oliver with a whispered ‘you tell him’. Oliver frowned at his son’s reluctance to tell him what was going on and his gaze shifted to Chloe, frown present on his face as he spoke. “What’s going on Sidekick,” He asked with a hint of worry in his voice.
Chloe ran a hand over her son’s head before catching her husband’s eye. “It seems that Mathew’s parents had some choice words for their son. They told him that our son was an accident, which then of course Mathew went and repeated.” She said softly trying to make light of the situation even though she was angry because Zach was lying right there in between them.
Oliver’s body tensed and anger filled his chest at the audacity of Mathew’s parents. It wasn’t surprising that there were people talking about him and his wife behind closed doors. It was something that happened all the time. But to discuss something so personal about them about their son in front of an impressionable child was just irresponsible parenting.
He did his best to keep his voice control as his eyes drifted towards their son. “I see,” He said taking in the shy expression on the six year olds face. He pushed down his anger and gave his son a small reassuring smile. “You know that’s not true, right buddy?” He asked lightly.
Zach nodded. “That’s what Mommy said…she’s telling me a story, how I’m the happy surprise.” He said with a grin and glanced back at his Mother, tiny eyebrow raised in an almost perfect imitation of her. Oliver chuckled lightly as he wrapped an arm around his son and glanced at Chloe also.
“Okay Mom, let’s hear it,” Oliver teased as he glanced at his wife with mischief filled eyes. He could still remember the day his wife told him she was pregnant and what a shock it had been. But they’d gotten through it like they got through everything else and he got a pretty amazing kid out of the deal.
Chloe rolled her eyes at her husband, but there was a smirk on her face as she glanced at Oliver and their son. Warmth filled her chest as she took in the identical smiles on their faces and how their blonde heads were both filled with slightly mused hair. Zach’s from rolling around in his bed and Oliver’s most likely from his hood.
She settled into the bed on her side and glanced at them ignoring the clock that said it was already after ten at night. It was a Friday so she could let him stay up a little later, besides this totally qualified as family time. “Well once upon a time there was a beautiful, smart, cunning computer hacker,” She paused at Oliver’s light chuckle at the description of herself and she arched an eyebrow at him.
He held up a hand and let out a light ‘sorry’ before motioning for her to continue. Chloe glanced back at Zach. “As I was saying…and she married the most pigheaded, stubborn, wonderful man in the world, who also happened to be a superhero,” She said in a whispered voice. Oliver watched as their son’s eyes brightened as he stared at Chloe, entranced by the story she was telling him and as he listened to her words he felt himself get lost in the moment with her thinking back to all those years ago.