Just

Time frame: Set after events in Finale but Tess lived. Chloe had regained her identity and stayed in Kansas.

Spoilers: General for entire series.

Disclaimer: Not. Mine. :(

The late morning sun hung low and sultry in the sky as Chloe Sullivan gingerly stepped through the entryway of the home, taking her from the rough welcome mat to the plush carpet. She gently tossed her light amount of luggage onto the oversized, cream-colored couch. She was just about to succumb to her desires and flop onto the lush cushions when her phone blared the soft chorus of Britney's new "Trip to Your Heart."

Chloe reached for her abandoned hobo bag that had been discarded with the rest of her heavy baggage and dug around the purse's compartments before she found her target. Her newly purchased Blackberry in its shimmery green cover stared up at her; the personalized ringtone alerted her to who was currently calling. She'd finally gotten to the point that caller ID had become a thing of the past like A-Track radios or car phones.

"Hi, Ollie," she said, pinching the smart phone between her shoulder and ear at an awkward angle while she searched her bag for the illustrious iTouch.

"Sidekick," Oliver responded lovingly. Even though she wasn't the true Watchtower anymore (Tess had somewhat replaced her on that post) and thus she wasn't technically his sidekick, the pet name had endured.

Oliver went on to complain that she had left him with the heavy lifting to which to joked that he was a hero after all, he should be able to handle it. Then there was their infamous flirty banter, all the while Chloe was attempting to access her iTouch's internet capabilities.

"There's no Wi-Fi," Chloe whined into the phone, fully aware that she sounded largely like a petulant child denied a toy. She had interrupted his rambling about how his Green Arrow gear was, in fact, a necessary commodity (should they be attacked by a Russian mercenary, that is), so it was no surprise that a moment transpired between her complaint and his reaction.

There was a faint chuckle on the line and Chloe knew that he could hear the pout in her voice. "I wondered how long it would take you to determine that."

The second half of his sentence reached her ears as an echo since the man himself had finally approached the doorway, bulky luggage in tow. There was the tell-tale percussion of a titanium-alloy arrow colliding with the metal doorframe as he maneuvered his way towards her.

"I told you we'd be cut off from society," he continued, snapping his phone closed (because a billionaire who's insured more than a third world country definitely needs to worry about overage charges on cell phones.)

Indeed, this sentiment was the truth, as unfortunate a reality as it may be. Ever since his little coming out party and her return home there'd been a serious lack of alone time between them; whether they were being hounded by the press, tailed by government agents, or stalked by Darkseid's psychotic minions with cruel intentions. Then there were the mega fans (as Chloe had been mentally calling them) that wanted autographs, pictures, and sometimes even clothing from the famed Green Arrow. These overly enthusiastic fans amassed to be worse than the other three put together.

This chain of events had led to their little excursion from society, though Chloe was reconsidering their original plan. She was beginning to feel more akin to a cast member from Survivor than a wife sneaking away for a trip with her husband. Deep inside, Chloe knew that the cut-off was imperative to a worry-free vacation. Otherwise, she'd be glued to her laptop and every other piece of modern technology she could get her hands on the entire time while Oliver simultaneously fielded Green Arrow calls, Queen Industries issues, and Justice League duties.

Due to this hindsight, she had originally raptly agreed with Oliver's idea for a departure from the chaos of their double lives. However, the task was much tougher in practice than as simply an abstract notion.

"But it's better for you – you got to bring your work with you," she said, gesturing to one overstuffed suitcase practically brimming with bows and arrows. "I was forced to leave my toys behind."

"As much as you love hacking into CIA-grade firewalls, Chlo, it is kinda illegal. Plus," he said, resting the remainder of luggage onto the already overloaded couch, "We have a special connection with these arrows. It was like our highly unconventional first date."

"Sure," she conceded, a trace of sauciness slipping into her tone. Oliver seemed to be more attached to his compound bow than most men were to their sports cars or trophy wives.

"Come on, I'll show you bedroom," he tempted, waggling his eyebrows with innuendo.

xxx

Five hours and one shower later the two of them emerged from the exorbitant master bedroom, completely unpacked and settled in. Chloe had surmised from her previous survey of the house (mansion, really) that it was exactly what she had been expecting. There was a modern-chic feel about the place as if it had been a page ripped out of an IKEA catalog but there was also a subtle green, masculine undertone to everything that undeniably screamed 'Oliver.'

This mansion of a house was about as far from a "cottage" as one could get without drop-kicking the entire building into downtown Metropolis. The house was regal and sprawling with a good four acres surrounding the place and a mile long driveway complete with front gate and state-of-the-art security system (she checked). That being said, this place held a special place in Oliver's heart. He had previously revealed to her that this vacation house was the last place he had travelled to with his parents before Lionel Luthor killed them. This touching sentiment erased any lingering doubts on their relationship. In response to his honesty she had shared her own family history about her mother and all the kryptonite-induced craziness that went along with it. They could probably write each other's backstories at this point – they knew each other that well.

The slam of a stainless steel refrigerator door withdrew her from her musings and transported her back to reality. She followed the noise down the stairs and into the regular-sized kitchen near the front end of the cottage.

"So apparently the staff ate any remnants of actual food that we had in here, leaving us with Ramen noodles, peanut butter, and two kinds of juice." Oliver held up each of the offending items respectively before placing them all onto the marble countertops in the kitchen. A package of the cheap spaghetti, a jar of smooth Jif, and a couple of knock-off juices perched pathetically on the edge when he was finished.

"Looks delicious," Chloe commented facetiously. "We could have peanut butter Ramen with a," she paused for a minute, trying to decipher the flavors of juice set before her, "lime and mango cocktail."

Chloe continued to study the four items in front of her hoping in vain to discover some obscure recipe that included these foods. Growing up with a culinary-challenged Lois Lane as a cousin didn't exactly help matters when it came to preparing food. She was so wholly engrossed in her thoughts that she didn't notice Oliver clambering around in the top most level of the cabinets, apparently searching for something in particular. A triumphant sound was emitted from him as he closed the last pantry and hopped back down.

Suddenly, a bottle of exquisite vodka appeared, sandwiched between the Jif and the jug of mango juice.

"Guess they didn't find my secret hiding place," Oliver said, smirking at his own ingenuity.

"Yeah, you keep on stroking that ego, Queen," Chloe told him, "One day it might not fit under the hood of your Green Arrow vest."

"You're Queen now too," he retorted, "Let's see if we can inflate your ego so it can rival my own."

During their banter, Chloe retrieved a few glasses from the cabinet and planted them on the counter. She moved the larger of the glasses closer to her and proceeded to mix a tantalizing concoction of limeade, mango juice, and the imported vodka together until it swirled to a sickeningly sweet color. She dispersed the liquid into the two smaller glasses before passing one to Oliver and clinking her glass against his own.

"This is such as chick drink," he stated, but downed a quarter of it nonetheless, licking his lips afterward.

"If you're good, we can do body shots later," Chloe suggested seductively, shimmying her hips up and down for emphasis.

"Oh I'll be very good – like Boy Scout good."

xxx

A couple of drinks (and body shots) later they lounged on the couch, Chloe nuzzled up against Oliver's shirt clad chest, a thin blanket draped haphazardly over their entwined legs. A muted episode of So You Think You Can Dance played on the television. The two lovers were content to bask in each other's presence as the effects of the alcohol left their systems. Luckily, they'd had the foresight to consume some of the noodles to absorb the liquor in their bodies and stay them from inebriation. They'd only drank enough to reach a mild tipsiness but even that was slowly deserting them.

Thank God neither of them had reach the drunk-dialing stage, though Chloe had been a little wordier than necessary with her text to Clark informing him of their safe arrival. With their lives recently, everyone had gotten a little paranoid at the prospect of being away from each other an extended amount of time.

Mr. and Mrs. Queen felt the last bits of fuzziness trickle out of them as they reviewed their plans for tomorrow, namely jumping back into that Range Rover and driving till they found a grocery store. They may have wanted privacy and personal space but not to the extent that they were forced to live off of Jif and crappy noodles for two weeks. In a way actually, a casual trip to the grocery store would be nice for them. It would provide a sense of normalcy that most couples get the pleasure of experiencing on a regular basis but it was as of yet a luxury that had been denied to them due to their hectic lives.

"I'm thinking steak," Chloe announced. "Like a porterhouse maybe."

"I knew there was a reason I married you," Oliver replied, smiling, "I could never be with a woman that only orders the salad."

"And here I thought the marriage was a result of that magically-charmed champagne Zatanna sent us," Chloe teased.

"I love you," Oliver stated, shifting the light conversation to one with more raw emotion.

"I will love you, forever," Chloe responded, utterly meaning it. She flipped her blond bob so that it fell only on her left side and adjusted position to straddle his lap. She hungrily kissed his mouth, tugging on his lips with her teeth.

"Uh uh uh," he chided, gradually rising from his position and placing Chloe softly on the carpet. "Not yet," he whispered huskily into her ear and shivers of anticipation rolled down her body.

"Let's take a walk. I want to show you something," he informed her.

"Okay, be mysterious," she said, heading toward the central hall where the staircase would lead to the upstairs bedrooms.

"Where are you going?" He called after her, observing her retreating form down the hallway.

"I'm gonna go put on pants," she called back, already up the stairs and about to turn the corner that would present her next to the bedroom.

She was halted from her quest by Oliver's baritone voice. "No one's around to see you anyway."

Chloe popped her head around the wall and replied smoothly with a grin, "It's a girl thing."

Oliver seemed to accept her demented logic as she heard his footsteps leading away from her, most likely towards the back patio. A few minutes later she had successfully wiggled into booty shorts and bounded back down the stairs, glancing around for signs of her husband. She spotted his spiky blond head strolling out of the back yard and onto the old-fashioned pier. She jogged a little to catch up with him then trailed a few feet behind him. He reached the edge of the pier and beckoned her closer, the weakened-with-age wood planks creaking under his movements.

Chloe was approaching the end when he flat out collapsed, his entire body crumbling over and colliding with the unrelenting wood surface. His eyes had rolled back, flashing a ghostly white before his eyelids fluttered down. Suddenly he was looking a lot paler than he had a few seconds before.

"Oliver!"