It's Not Over
Note: I don't own Smallville in any way, shape, or form. It's just a sandbox I like playing in. And there's the fact that I'm violently devastated by the loss of Chollie…
You can close your eyes to the things that you do not want to see, but you cannot close your heart to the things you do not want to feel.
. . .
I'm giving it all for you
I'll do what I can for you
- Kristofer Åström; All In
. . .
He wants to cry when he sees her face and she's smiling like she's been told the very best joke.
It's been two years, four months, and seventeen days since Chloe disappeared from his life. She looks as beautiful as she did the last time he saw her, before it all ended, and they took her away from him.
Oliver's loved her for every second that she's been gone. No Danish underwear models, no witty grad students, no innocent small town girls with pretty faces. It's been his constant mantra every single morning.
I will find you.
Her hair is a soft shade of brown, and it's longer than he ever saw it before. It goes just past her shoulders, grazing her shoulder blades. Her eyes are blue, and she has a scar that runs through her eyebrow. It's hardly there and he'd think it was cute if it didn't fill him with a murderous rage that someone hurt her, and marked her body.
She lives on the outskirts of London and works for an antiques firm. It surprised him when he discovered what she was doing, but she was too smart to think he wouldn't check every newspaper the world over for someone who even vaguely matched her description.
Which he had.
Chloe Sullivan is Emily Carrington, and no one doubts her, no one suspects her of the least crimes, or even imagines that she is anything more or less than born British citizen, Oxford graduate, and a respected partner of a venerable antiquary.
She lived alone, and took the train into the city for work. Every morning she stopped at the same corner coffee shop for a latte with three extra shots of espresso. Each time he watched as the barrista scribbled his number on the side of her cup, and with a sort of satisfaction he watched as she threw her cup into the garbage, noting the scribble with a slight smile and a shake of her head.
It's not over for you either, is it, sidekick?
. . .
She lingered at the door, looking as if she was deciding between locking the door and making a dash for it.
"You can run." Oliver told her, "So help me, I'll just chase you down again."
Chloe pushed the door shut, turning her back to him and locking it.
"How did you find me?" She kept her distance, and Oliver allowed it for the moment.
He crossed his arms against his chest, and stayed where he's been sitting, at her kitchen table.
"You should be in Metropolis." Chloe said.
That was almost too much for him to take.
"Oh, really," Oliver looked at her, studying her for any hint of…longing. He just wanted something, some proof that all this time he'd loved her that his only thoughts had been of her; that she still loved him too. Something more than a recycled paper cup. "I-I am so relieved that you know where I'm supposed to be, because I have spent the last two years, four months, and fourteen days doing nothing but trying to find the woman who told me she loved me."
Oliver crossed the room; giving up on the 'distance' he'd agreed to give her. There had been over two years of distance, if he gave her one more second he'd lose himself all together.
"There were days…"Oliver didn't let her escape him. He pressed his palms into the wall on either side of her shoulders and looked at her, really looked at her. "There were days that I thought that you were dead, and I didn't care what was left, or what fate I had. There were days that I wanted to die because you were gone and I didn't know if I was ever going to see you again."
Oliver brushed her bangs to the side of her face and kissed her forehead. "I have missed you so much, Chloe. You can't even imagine the hell that it's been for me since I lost you."
"Seventeen days." Chloe said suddenly, her eyes mirroring the same mellow melancholy that he'd seen in the mirror the last three days. "It's seventeen."
Oliver looked at her in confusion, and saw her bright eyes shining.
"You said," Chloe reiterated his words back to him, "That it's been two years, four months, and fourteen days. You lost a few days along the way, Ollie."
He shook his head, looking at her intently, wondering if she could feel the love that every fiber of his body was screaming.
"I've been here for three days, watching you." Oliver explained. "On Wednesday you were walking to the train with another woman and you laughed."
He could see the way her eyebrows furrowed the way they would when she wanted to get angry and couldn't work up to it.
"Aren't you going to get angry with me?" Oliver asked, "You're taking this much more calmly than I expected, to be honest, considering that fact that I've been stalking you, more or less…"
"I wanted to throw that vase at you when I walked in the door and saw you sitting at my table." Chloe wiped away stray tears that escaped her eyes. "I always said if you ever found me, I'd never forgive you-or myself."
"That's funny…" Oliver gathered her up in his arms and held her tightly to his chest just to prove to himself that the moment really had come. "Not funny, ha-ha, but ironic because I swore to myself, if I didn't find you, I'd never forgive myself."
He heard the sadness in her voice, even as her arms wrapped around his shoulders the same they used to. It was like no time had passed at all.
It was like she was saying goodbye.
"Don't do that, Chloe. Don't say my name like this can't happen" Oliver had spent nearly two and a half years thinking of every possible scenario. "I'm still in love with you. I've been in love with you for too long…don't say goodbye."
He'd been in love with Chloe ever since she proved to him he could love someone more than he loved Lois Lane.
"Please…" Chloe detached herself from him. "Oliver…"
Unwillingly, Oliver took one step back to give her a little space. The last thing he wanted was to give her space; he'd had over two years of space.
This wasn't how he'd pictured it. Not by a long shot had he foreseen it like this. He'd done a lot of thinking, especially on his flight from Metropolis to London thinking about her, and how it would feel, and how she'd react…
He never saw her with tears in her eyes pushing him away.
"It's dangerous for you to be here, you never should have come."
. . .
It had gotten easier. She thought it would be impossible for things to get easier, for the hurt to lessen, and for the ache to go away.
But it did, little by little.
She missed them all so much in the beginning. Lois, Clark, the entire league; and her life.
Oliver though, Oliver was the one person that she missed so much that even now she couldn't pretend that she hadn't. She missed him every day.
Chloe Sullivan didn't dislike being Emily Carrington. It wasn't a bad life, but no matter what she did, she was reminded all the time that it wasn't her life. She read the Daily Planet every morning, and it didn't do anything to make it easier. Lois' articles were consistently front pagers, or at least in the first three pages everyday. Clark had even won an award for an article on a day care bomber and the Blur saving the day.
It had made her laugh, she was sure it just killed Clark to accept an award for writing about his own heroic exploit.
It didn't stop at the newspapers though; she did everything she could to look in on them. It was unfair and one sided, but…
She had to know.
It was unfair of her to keep following them all, and to fade out of their lives but it had to be done. She'd wanted to save Oliver and to keep him safe and she'd succeeded. The first thing she did every morning was to peruse the Planet for mentions of Oliver Queen or the Green Arrow. He hadn't been letting her down…
He was saving the world. Sometimes, he even did it with Clark. Chloe wondered when it was that they'd put aside their differences so well that they worked together like they had on numerous occasions, but considering what she was saying to Oliver, it didn't seem fair to ask.
"The best thing for you." Chloe told him, told the love of her life, the man she loved enough to forfeit her own life for. "The best thing would be to get back on your jet and go home to Metropolis before this gets out of hand."
"That's not going to happen." Oliver shook his head, "No. You think I've spent two years scouring the world over, and then some…to find you and walk away? This isn't just a drive by to tell you I found you, and I'm happy you're alive…"
Oliver backed up, circling around the table and held up the latest copy of the Planet, and snapped it between his hands. Last he'd checked, the Daily Planet was not the paper of choice in Britain.
"It must have been nice for you to know that everyone you care about is okay, Chloe. The rest of us have-I have…I've spent this time with nothing but a shred of hope that you were okay. Do you know what it's like?"
"Oliver," The corners of Chloe's lips twitched into what was nearly a soft, gently smile. An, 'I'm sorry.'
She didn't move closer to him though for the fear she wouldn't have the self-control to hold back.
"Because it's the most horrible feeling you can imagine." Oliver assured her, "It was miserable, and lonely, and I was living with this horrible consciousness every day that if you weren't alive and…"
Oliver exhaled, dropping the paper to the table.
"Then it was my fault. If you weren't okay and happily living your life out there under a nom de plume in some corner of the world, it was because of me."
"It wasn't your fault." Chloe told him, feeling guilty as she looked into those soft, sweet brown eyes. She loved him so much; she'd never wanted to hurt him; but to protect him, to protect all their secrets she had to do this. "I made a choice, and I thought about it…and they needed you a lot more than they needed me. You're their leader."
"What about me then?" Oliver cornered her between the wall and the small table near the door. "Did you think about what I needed? I'm not half the hero without you, Chloe."
"You're a great hero, Ollie." Chloe smiled, "I read about it, every day. You're everything I imagined you'd become."
"Well, that's great." Oliver said, tilting her head up towards his face. "Tell me, when you donned Fate's helmet, did you see all this misery in the future? Did you see me alone? Because I'd really like to know what fate has in store for me if you're not part of mine."
Chloe was about to reply when she heard the soft knocking at her front door.
"Damn it…" she breathed.
"Are you expecting someone?" Oliver asked, glancing toward the door and preparing himself for anything, should something have chosen to descend, or even have followed him.
"This is a small town." Chloe whispered, ducking away from Oliver. "It's not that different from Smallville, people come and go."
The knocking came again, and a voice from outside called though. "Emily?"
"Go." Chloe gave him a push, "You'll have to hide out in my room for a little while."
"I'm not leaving you out here." Oliver said, shaking his head.
"Oliver." Chloe hissed, "It's just my neighbor. She can't see you, or it will blow everything. I can't exactly explain what Oliver Queen is doing in my house."
"Tell her you used to be in love with him." Oliver looked at her, walking backwards toward the bedroom on the east side of the house. "That's the truth, isn't it?"
I still am.
She wanted to run after him and explain, but the knocking reminded her that it wasn't a choice. Running after Oliver and telling him about how much she wanted to be with him, she couldn't even be considering that as an option. Maybe it would hurt him to let her go, but to have someone who was a liability for him-that would hurt him more in the long run.
That could get him killed.
Chloe glanced in the mirror, rubbing her fingers underneath her eyes. A little smeared, but she'd looked worse.
"Lily," Chloe smiled at her redheaded neighbor who took the train into the city with her every day, the neighbor who was the best friend she had in this life. "Another baking emergency?"
Lily shook her head, stepping into the doorway.
"I just wanted to check on you, love."
Chloe closed the door behind her.
"My niece told me that she saw a man walking between our houses." Lily explained. "You're okay, of course?"
Chloe could feel Lily's eyes on her back, studying her.
Damn it, Oliver.
"Fine." Chloe said, turning to Lily with a smile. "You've come to the wrong place if you're looking for a guy."
Lily laughed, "I just don't get it Em, a pretty, smart girl like you. Aren't there any worthy guys in London?"
Lily made her way to the table in the kitchen, calling back to Chloe. "I don't think the prince is even good enough for Emily Carrington."
"I don't think the guy for me is in Britain." Chloe said quietly.
Lily laughed, and Chloe watched her putting on water for tea. "Such a fickle girl…what now?"
Lily smiled teasingly, "Are you holding out for Superman?"
She laughed, gesturing to the day's paper.
"He's something, isn't he?"
"Yeah," Chloe laughed along with her. Superman Saves Plane From Crash Landing, the heading read, by Lois Lane. "He's something. But I prefer a guy who's a little more subtle."
"I think he's gorgeous." Lily rifled though the cabinet and pulled out cups and saucers. "Besides, who doesn't want a man like that? He seems pretty perfect."
He has his flaws, trust me.
"I don't think anyone's perfect." Chloe told her, "Even Superman."
Lily poured the water, dropping the paper on the center of the table.
"I think that Lois Lane would disagree with you, Em. The way she talks, these superheroes-Superman, Green Arrow, whatever…they're the second coming."
Chloe shrugged, pouring a healthy dose of sugar into her tea.
"I guess they're just trying to make a difference."
"Well, good for them." Lily said, "If the rest of the world could follow their examples, I think it would be a much better place out here."
"Me too." Chloe smiled at her, taking a sip of her tea. "I feel safer just knowing they're out there."
They needed to be out there, all of them were making the world a better place, and she wasn't going to let Oliver hold himself back because he loved her. She wasn't going to risk something terrible happening to him just because he loved her.
That was a risk she wasn't willing to take; his life meant too much to her for that.
. . .