X. Back to Work
Not mine. Just borrowing these characters to satiate a nagging plot bunny idea in my noggin'. Author's Note:
Once again many thanks to everyone who's reading and enjoying this fic. Just to let you know, I'm sure by now you're pretty aware that I update almost weekly (weekends mostly), but for the month of November, I'll be joining NaNoWriMo so
updating this fic might not be done on a weekly basis. But I will
try to get some new chapters out for the month of November for you guys to read and enjoy. :) = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = X. Back to Work
CHLOE'S STINT AT THE HOSPITAL DIDN'T deter her from getting some of Isis Foundation's projects off the ground as soon as she was given a clear bill of health by the doctors who monitored the arsenic poisoning in her system. She was working on a first ever fundraising program for the small amount of people coming in to her office seeking help with their uniqueness.
She received visitors ranging from Clark to Bart. Lois made quite a few stops both at work and
at home at the Talon, making sure nobody was secretly trying to kill her cousin and whatnot. The only person who hasn't bothered to come check in on her was Oliver. Heck, not even a phone call or a note or a text message inquiring about her health was received in the week and a half since she was released from the hospital. Chloe was beginning to wonder if he blamed her for getting poisoned or he blamed himself.
Chloe was just about to close the office when she received an unexpected visit Friday afternoon. It was in the form of one Oliver Queen who strode in to the Isis office dressed down in washed out pair of jeans, a crisp white cotton tee tucked in topped with an open forest green polo shirt. He was dressed ever so casually that Chloe doubted he went to work today at all. Not that he needed to work since he was a born billionaire, but still he needed to make the usual appearances.
"Well," Chloe paused from clearing her desk, one hand resting on top of a manila folder while the other was planted on her slender hip. She gave Oliver quick head-to-foot appraisal, a smirk playing on her lips. "Look who the cat dragged in," she murmured.
Oliver had the decency to look bashful at the greeting. There was even a tinge of something pink that streaked his cheekbones.
"I take it you missed me?" he asked sheepishly.
Chloe cocked an eyebrow and let out an unlady-like snort. "Missed you? Now why
would I do that?"
It was Oliver's turn to cock an eyebrow. "And here I thought you'd be missing me 'coz we haven't seen each other since the day you regained consciousness at the hospital," he murmured.
"So the disappearing act was
"What?" Oliver's eyes widened in feigned innocence. "I didn't pull any disappearing act on you."
"Uh-hm," Chloe didn't sound convinced. She continued clearing her desk, slipping some folders into her bag. "What brings you to my office at this time of the day dressed so casually?"
"It's Friday," Oliver announced as if it should mean something important.
"Yeah, I know it's Friday," she agreed.
Chloe stopped and met his gaze, an eyebrow cocked. "So?" she micmicked.
Oliver cocked an eyebrow in response as well. Clearly she forgot what tonight was. "Lois picked the movie for this evening. Dinah and AC assigned themselves as cooks. And I
was tasked to pick you
up and personally escort you back to the Clock Tower."
"Oh c'mon Chloe, are you really going to make this tough on me, hm?"
"What are you talking about?"
, Chloe. The League's meeting at my place for some catch-up."
"Oh," Now everything started to make sense for Chloe. With everything going on it completely slipped her mind that this week was the League's bi-weekly get-together at Oliver's place. "That's tonight?"
"Don't tell me you forgot."
"I--I..." Chloe's voice trailed off and only managed to give him an apologetic smile. "It's been a crazy few days since our last get-together, you know?"
"Ah, so it's a good thing then that the guys tipped me off about picking you up, just to make sure that you
make an appearance tonight," he grinned.
Now it was Chloe's turn to blush. "Oh God, I can't believe I forgot about tonight. And to think that the guys almost always
visits me or at least checks in on me. And hey, even Lois became a permanent
fixture in my life once again!" she chuckled.
"What do you mean?" he frowned.
"Oh, ever since I got home from the hospital Lois made it her
sole mission to be my Florence Nightingale, although she lacks
the wonderful bedside manner Florence Nightingale has."
Oliver's expression changed quickly when he learned of Lois making herself an easy target by continually spending time with Chloe. He remembered the reports he received from the men he posted to watch over Chloe and Lois. When they mentioned Lois often visiting Chloe since her release from the hospital, he dismissed it as something of a once or twice a week type of thing.
"What's wrong?" Chloe's face became serious when she saw the change in Oliver's expression.
"Nothing," Oliver didn't want to worry Chloe anymore than she probably already was. "So, ready?"
"Not until you tell me what just happened," she demanded.
"Nothing happened," he insisted.
happened. You had that look on your face," she commented. "It was worry. Now you better tell me or neither one of us will leave this office on time and get to your
place before they serve dessert," she threatened.
Chloe was still reeling from the information Oliver gave her before they left her office. Seems like while she was busy taking care of Isis Foundation and her growing clientele, the rest of the League -- as well as some of Oliver's personal P.I.'s -- were busy digging up as much dirt as they can about Simone, LuthorCorp and Tess Mercer.
"She's willing to go through certain lengths to ensure she snares you, doesn't she?" Chloe muttered seated beside Oliver's slick silver sports car as they zipped through early evening traffic to get to his place on time. "I mean, she had a back-up plan to use in case poisoning me to death didn't work."
"Simone wants to gain access to my
personal life and LuthorCorp's itching to find out as much as they want to find out about my personal life as well," Oliver said while his eyes remained on the road ahead.
"Do we know why
they wanted that so badly?" she questioned.
"I still don't know. But I got my people as well as the League checking in on it. Clark's spearheading this for now as I don't want this research to be traced down to me or to you for that matter," he explained.
Chloe cocked an eyebrow and studied her companion's profile. "Clark
is leading the search?"
"Uh-hm," he nodded.
"We're talking about Clark Kent here, right? I mean, Smallville, Kansas' Clark Kent? Lois' partner? Boy Scout?"
"Uh-hm," he nodded still. "Now don't be surprised that Boy Scout finally agreed to take some responsibilities. He needs to learn how to become a leader and have people answer to him for a change."
Oliver cocked an eyebrow and stole a quick glance her way before returning his attention back on the road ahead. "You sound surprised."
"Yeah. I mean, I know Clark's changed somehow since he started working at the Daily Planet, but for him to accept
being the leader? That's just not Clark. He's too...well, too nice and sometimes indecisive when it comes to making hasty last-minute decisions."
"Then let this be his crash-course into becoming a leader," Oliver grinned.
"So I take it that Lois is still kept in the dark about what's going on?" Chloe decided to change topics to calm her nerves before she reached his place. After all she just found out, she needed to steer her mind off the possibilities that they could come under attack right now as they drove towards his place.
"Yep, she's still in the dark. It's kinda hard to explain to Lois that aside from me being the Green Arrow, the rest of the League are a group of specially gifted people. And I think Clark would have a conniption if Lois finds out he's an alien."
"Don't you mean Lois will have a conniption once she finds out that Clark's been holding out a lot
on her? Not to mention when she finds out that you and I are in the know about Clark's heritage and all that."
Oliver merely shrugged. "True, but I think Clark would have a fit too if Lois finds out about him."
"And why is that?"
A mischievous grin suddenly appeared on Oliver's face as he slowed down to make a turn to the underground parking to his building. Chloe waited for him until after he entered the parkade before prodding him to tell her what it was he was thinking.
"You're killing me here, Oliver," she muttered in frustration.
Oliver shifted the gear to PARK and killed off the engine before turning to face his companion. "I think Clark and Lois have something brewing between them. And you know how Clark is when it comes to letting the current apple of his eyes find out he is different from everybody else."
Chloe was too stunned to say anything. Oliver sounded so sure of what he just told her and Chloe had no way of refuting his claim. She did notice the change in Lois and Clark's relationship, but since she had been busy running Isis Foundation, she and Lois barely had time to have any girl-talk.
"I think my cousin and I needs a girls a night out," she announced after a while.
Oliver's reply was a chuckle before slipping out the driver's seat and rounded the car to open the door for her. He offered her his arm and together they walked to his private elevators that leads to the Clock Tower suite. Inwardly Oliver was patting his back and congratulating himself on steering Chloe's mind off Simone and LuthorCorp. He knew the petite blond would be more interested in finding out what's been developing between her cousin and best friend without her having an inkling about it.