Disclaimer: Smallville & DC Characters are not mine. They belong to CW, WB, DC etc. No copyright infringement intended. Just having some fun in their backyard and not getting any kind of remuneration whatsoever.
Summary: Oliver is struggling to keep control of Queen Industries and Chloe is at a crossroads in her life. Both find a much-needed ally in each other and their friendship grows. Lionel Luthor interrupts their progression with an agenda of his is own, leaving them to decide if they are going to live a lie.
Spoilers: Cannon until the end of Season 6, then I pick and chose what to include.
Rating: T (Mild Language and sexual situations implied)
AN: This story pays homage to a plot thread in the unfinished Chlollie fic A Matter of Trust by Jusperson which was last updated in October 2009 . I messaged the author but didn't get a response. A Beautiful Lie is its own story though, rather than an attempt at completing the existing fic and I hope that I do the characters justice in the situations that they find themselves.
AN: The fluffy ending is heavily hinted at in the prologue. Please remember that should you feel the need to throw virtual fruit at me as the story progresses
Special thanks to Hellzz-on-Earth for bouncing ideas around with me, and for pre-reading chapters. Any errors though are all mine.
Metropolis, 23rd October 2013
Oliver's feet stopped at the grave, hands in pockets, his eyes behind the sunglasses surveying the area for anyone that could potentially interrupt him because he wanted this exchange (if he could call it that) to be private.
He wasn't here to pay his respects to the dead, to reminisce with a loved one or even to mourn the loss of a good person. But he needed to say some things and it was provident that the person he needed to say them to was six- feet under, because there would have been no way that he would have delivered this dialogue when the person was alive. In fact the last direct words he'd spoken to them were, "Go to hell."
He crouched down next to the headstone and removed his sunglasses.
"It's no secret that I've hated you, I especially hated the way that you manipulated me and my family." He stopped for a moment before continuing. "I don't know that you really intended the outcome of our last visit to be anything less than my utter self-destruction, despite your words of encouragement to the contrary."
He paused, standing up and scuffing the gravestone with his foot. "Part of me would just love to just walk all over your grave after all the pain your actions caused me over the years. Not to mention the pains in the ass your children still are because they can't get over their daddy issues… so if it was your intention for me to self-destruct, I get the last laugh, because I didn't and I'm still here."
He looked down at the platinum band on his ring finger and immediately thought of the two blondes waiting for him at home. "Not that I forgive you for taking my parents from me in the first place. …. But if any part of you meant what you said that day, I'd concede the last laugh to you because you were right, and I do have people who are home for me and I wanted you know that."
Sure that he had said all that he needed to; he gave a brief nod towards the headstone. "So long Lionel." He turned around and headed back towards his car putting his sunglasses back on, his mind slipping back to the chain of events that started over five years ago.
Chapter 1 - Time's they are changin'
Come writers and critics, who prophesize with your pen. Keep your eyes wide, the chance won't come again. For the loser now, will be later to win. For the times they, they are a changin' – Bob Dylan
Star City, 30th June 2008
Chloe smoothed down the front of her grey skirt and looked at her photo ID again. C. Annie Sullivan, Queen Industries IT Security – JL International Division. Despite having being on the payroll for more than two years, she had never set foot in a Queen Industries building or needed the pass to access the executive offices until today. Had she known she would be using the ID, she would have had it updated. The photo made her look like she was a freshman in high school rather than a business professional walking the halls of a top Fortune 500 company.
Changing the photo was something she would do later, once they had gotten to the bottom to what was going on. Her morning had started without drama. She had arrived in Star City from Metropolis early enough to bring Oliver's favorite muffins from Kansas and have breakfast with him before he left for the Queen Industry offices. The muffins a small token of her appreciation for letting her stay in the comfort of his penthouse whilst she was in town.
His more permanent houseguests Victor Stone, Bart Allan and Arthur Curry usually referred to as AC, were still fast asleep when he had headed out. Without immediate company she had booted up her laptop and started to contemplate what she wanted to write. She had found lately that writing had been a therapeutic way to deal with some of her inner feelings, concerns and frustrations in the absence of Clark Kent and Lois Lane the two people she had previously felt she could really talk to.
Clark, her alien best friend was currently torn between trying to be the son his birth father Jor-El wanted him to be, the son Jonathan Kent raised him to be and finally being completely with his first love Lana Lang, having no secrets between them. Add in that she suspected she still held lingering feelings for him, despite telling herself otherwise for years now and she was trying to give everyone space to work things out for themselves.
She'd recently found out that Lois, her beautiful resourceful cousin had started a relationship with Grant Gabriel, the managing editor of the Daily Planet before she had secured a staff position at the paper, her only qualification a handful of articles for a small tabloid paper called the Inquisitor. She on the other hand was still a lowly paid intern despite having several front page by-lines to her name and recently graduating with a double degree.
Grant had further poured salt over her wound by implying that she had lost her mojo for investigating and that having Lois in the bullpen would bring back her former spark. She loved her cousin but couldn't help but feel the employment situation was unfair.
When she was the editor of her high school paper she'd had a clear idea of where and who she was supposed to be after graduation. While she had surpassed even her wildest imagination in finding out the truth about aliens and hero's, her thriving career in journalism had yet to come to fruition. In large part due to her need to protect the people closest to her and their secrets, rather than cash in on what she knew. But given she felt a little like she was stuck in the mud with her tires spinning causing her to rock back and forth but not actually move, she was seriously evaluating what she needed to do or where she needed to be in order to be able to move.
A 'Breaking News – Oliver Queen' banner scrolling across the bottom of her computer screen interrupted her current musings. She double clicked on the link expecting something like 'Oliver Queen Star City's favorite son is being credited for the donation to open a new hospital wing.' As she began to read her fists started clenching and her eyebrows knitted together, the article announcing nothing so philanthropic.
Has well-known womanizer and Queen Industries CEO, Oliver Queen lost his way? It's reported that Star Cities favorite son was involved in a bar fight early this morning at 1:00 am at the Infinity club last night causing $30,000.00 worth of property damages and several sexual harassment complaints from patrons.
The young CEO has been under enormous pressure of late by Star City Officials to make sure no jobs would be lost in Star City given the economic climate. The rumored business partnership with Japan's Sato Corporation would have gone some way easing that pressure, however given the President of the Sato Corporation's well known view on CEO's previous brush with bad behavior we can't help but speculate that Oliver Queen is in for more than one type of headache.
Before she had even thought about what she was doing she had started running several searches to gather more details about the allegations. While she couldn't personally vouch for Oliver's whereabouts at 1:00 am, they had run a mission the night before until 11:00 pm. So while it was possible he went out for a drink afterwards, she had arrived at 6:30 am to find him pouring over a proposal making it unlikely. But she also knew that his company meant a lot to him and having a destruction of property charge or sexual harassment complaints made against him wasn't in the plan, ever.
She couldn't help the spine tingling feeling that there was something bigger going on in the background and not an hour later she had a list of several people that she wanted to talk to further, staring with the club manager. Oliver was someone she respected and would be forever grateful to for arranging the best care money could buy for her mother. Not to mention for trusting her with his alter ego's secret and providing her with a much-needed second job, which meant she wasn't a starving graduate while she was still an intern.
Sending him a quick email offering her support, she left the penthouse with goal for the day, restore Oliver's reputation and maybe she'd get a story she could use while she was at it. Lost her mojo for investigating – never.
Oliver had been ready to close the deal with the Sato Corporation on arriving in the office, not answer questions about the Infinity club, which was the first he had heard about it. He hadn't been the drunken lout groping women at bars, or the guy in a bar brawl causing thousands of dollars in damage in years and not since he had become CEO.
But the press line in front of the building had been keen to get in his face about an incident last night and if he thought it would affect his opportunity to pick up women in the future. Thank goodness he had his sunglasses still on otherwise he was sure he could have made the line wilt under the intensity of his disapproving gaze.
'No,' he didn't think any incident would affect his opportunity to date in the future. He was Oliver Queen and he was careful to pick women who were happy to appear with him but not be with him – at least not for any length of time. Having an alter ego and three other superhero's living with you just wasn't conducive to a relationship any longer than a couple of hours.
The press had also asked about what the board would do, if he thought his partnership deal was in jeopardy, anything really to get a response out of him. He hadn't missed the press lines at all over the last couple of months and was determined to get to the bottom of the recent interest once the business deal was closed.
After a string of 'no comments,' he finally made his way into his office only to be confronted by the head of his legal team, Jack Ellis and his Chief Operations Officer, Richard Emerson. Both were graying men in their mid 50's who had been with the company since his Dad had been CEO. They were a bit too business for Oliver's taste, but he respected them.
"Gentleman." He nodded curtly in their direction.
"Oliver," Jack acknowledged letting the thud of a folder hitting the desk echo in the office.
Emerson's hands were pointed in his direction his tone unforgiving. "Do you have any idea of the reputational damage you did last night? The press is all over this."
Oliver placed both hands on his desk and leaned forward. "I am aware the press is all over something, but I am not entirely sure what it has to do with me. I can assure you gentleman that I was not out on the town last night. Now I believe we have a deal to close."
A low growl came from Emerson's throat. "There is no deal to close. Sato have withdrawn their proposal."
"You knew Mr Sato's reluctance to begin talks in the beginning was based on your previously publicized youthful indiscretions and his concern over his companies image. What did you think was going to happen Oliver when charges have being filed against you? Sato is running from any association with Queen Industries quicker than you can ask why."
Oliver sat in his chair abruptly, the gravity of the situation now sinking in. The problem was that gathering enough evidence to clear his name was going to take time and the damage, it appeared was already wide spread.
"How could you be so selfish, you knew this deal was important to shore up our position and save jobs."
"I reiterate I was not on the town last night and I'd appreciate holding off on the judgment of my personal life Richard. We'll just have to get the boards support to go for the Wayne Industries pitch, which was our plan in the event that Sato didn't sign. Which they obviously won't."
"The Chair has called for an emergency meeting at ten to discuss and I'm sure you can talk to them then, but given we've just lost this deal I wouldn't expect them to be very amiable to any of your suggestions. "
Richards measure of the boards mood would be on the money, but he wasn't about to be walked over, especially since there seemed to have been some colossal mistake. "Any thoughts Jack?"
"You may want to focus on damage control." Tapping on the folder, "These are the statements from last night and the charges. You have a court date to answer them in three weeks."
He got up from his desk and placed his hands on his hips. "This is ridiculous!"
"This is what it is at the moment Oliver, unless you have a reliable alibi for 1:00 am this morning."
Not immediately no. Because he had used the secret entrance into the Penthouse the buildings security feeds wouldn't be of any use because they didn't show him coming in at all and with his private feeds couldn't very well explain the green suit. He could feel the beginnings of a very large headache coming on.
When he didn't answer, Jacked continued. "Read over the material, and you might want to talk to PR about a statement regarding the Sato deal."
Both men left the office quietly, leaving a seething Oliver. The deal with Sato had been in the bag. He hurled a glass sitting on his desk against the cabinet and watched it shatter, the momentary pleasure in the action of destruction short lived. Damn it, another mess to clean.
He heard a ping on his computer letting him know that he had received an email from one of the team. If a bald evil megalomaniac had launched a plan to take over the world at this minute he would be beyond pissed.
However on checking the sender he noticed it was from Chloe. Her arrival in the morning had been the one bright spot in the day so far.
To: Oliver Queen
From: Chloe Sullivan
Subject: This Mornings News
Read the news. Thought you might find the gif amusing. I smell a story and it's not the one in print so I'll get back to you when I can.
The gif was from Robin Hood Men in Tights with the caption "I Robin Hood lost…let me see that script."*
A small smile crossed his lips in amusement as he watched the gif and he was a little touched at the rest of her message. Chloe was here on a break and had planned to see her mother today. He had never expected or asked her to ever get involved in his day job or any part of his life that wasn't related to the little superhero club she ran ops for.
That she was using some of her personal time to see if she could help him, Oliver Queen, well it was a kindness that he hadn't been shown a lot in his adult life without some kind of remuneration expectation attached to it. However he knew she would say that this little detour in activities was nothing in comparison to what he had done for her.
He knew if there was anything to be uncovered, he couldn't have anyone better in his corner than Chloe. She had earned his admiration the day she stood up in court and testified at Lionel Luthor's trial for the murder of his parents. He hadn't even met her then.
Lionel had been a one-time acquaintance of his partners and one that he hadn't remembered to fondly… or trusted in any degree. Fast forward a few years after the trial and work had taken him to Metropolis, which had led them to crossing paths because of Lionel's son Lex.
Her research skills, quest for justice and ability to stay focused were some of the reasons why he had offered her an ongoing role with JL International – the division he had set up to Fund his activities as the hero Green Arrow. And she had become one of the few people he trusted with parts of the real Oliver Queen.
Experience had been a harsh teacher when it came to putting his trust in people. Too many had tried and succeeded in taking advantage of him when he was younger, seeing him as nothing more than someone to be walked over, shoved aside or sold out to the highest bidder. He had worked hard to manage the constant doubt in his self-worth and the aggressive behavior that the fear of being taken advantage of had triggered in his youth. So while he believed in the goodness of mankind, he also knew a lot of people weren't who they said they were on face value. A survival expert, he had perfected several facades of his own.
Working with the team however had gone some way to easing a few of his trust issues and the constant sense of solitariness he had felt since the principle had called him into his office when he was eight to tell him that his parents weren't coming home because their plane had crashed.
Feeling more optimistic about his day now that Chloe was investigating for team Oliver, he turned his thoughts towards what he could do in the meantime to salvage his reputation.
Chloe gave a small smile to Oliver's Executive Assistant, a former community college economics teacher who had lost his job when they had closed down the college he had been teaching at. She didn't know how he had shown up on Oliver's radar and now was not the time to ask. Again she wished that her first visit to Oliver's offices were under more pleasant circumstances.
Her investigations had taken a surprising turn. After being thrown out of the club by two burley men for asking the club manager questions, she'd had to call in reinforcements. With Bart's help she'd gotten a copy of the club footage that was being held as evidence. To say she and their resident speedster were surprised by what she saw was an understatement and had led to a lot of new questions which she had been working through when she had gotten a call from Victor to visit the Queen Industries offices.
He had being doing his own investigations on behalf of Ollie and he had found a security breach from Oliver's personal computer at the office that he couldn't patch remotely. But he'd been of the verge of some other findings as well which Chloe had concurred was important. While she wasn't quite the Cyborg that Victor was when it came to computers, she wasn't second rate either and they needed to find out what information had been hacked into so they could do damage control.
"Hi Lewis, Ms Sullivan to upgrade Mr Queen's IT security software."
"I must say that's a new one," he said raising his eyebrows and chuckling a little "You reporter types are persistent aren't you, the last one tried to offer a stress reliving massage."
Immediately catching on to his implication she waved her employee pass at him. "Yes well, I'm not your average nosey journalist and I would like to do the IT job I've been hired to do…please."
Lewis took her pass and scanned it looking appropriately apologetic when the pass cleared. "I'm sorry Ms Sullivan, you have no idea how many reporters have tried to get access to Mr Queen today." Actually she could. Before she could comment further the door to Oliver's office opened and the man himself emerged. Had it really only been six hours since she had seen him? He was looking a little worse for wear.
It had been two hours since the board had appointed Richard Emerson as Acting Executive CEO and reduced his role as CEO to next to nothing until further notice. While he had anticipated that move would be discussed, he hadn't been anticipating the unanimous decision of the board. Despite his well-prepared counter proposals without sufficient evidence he hadn't been the man involved he had found himself the lone man fighting against the tide. Several of his normally supportive board members including his business mentor Sam Graham weren't able to look him in the eye, acute disappointment in him written in their faces.
"Ms Sullivan…I was hoping you'd be here a little earlier," he said as he ushered her quickly into his office closing the door behind him. He went to open his mouth but Chloe raised her finger to her lips, pulling out a small device and pushing a button her hand resting reassuringly in his arm.
"It's the scrambler Victor has been working on," she said responding to his unasked question and moving to his PC. "And you don't look so great, which for you is really saying something. Have you had anything to eat since breakfast?"
"Being a little pre-occupied today," he mumbled.
She opened her handbag and pulled out a New York wrapped deli ham and cheese sandwich and gave it to him. "I had Bart get this for you, I wasn't sure if you'd eaten."
Unwrapping the sandwich and taking a bite he realized how hungry he really was. "Thanks sidekick, so how's your day been. I'm hoping you're here with the fancy gadgets because you found out some things," he said trying to keep his voice neutral and not betray the flurry of emotions that he was going through.
She looked up at him. "My day was more exciting than I first had planned and yes I'm here to help but maybe we can wait for the full debrief I've just got to" her eyes darted back to the computer screen… "oh no you don't!" He watched as her fingers were flying furiously over the keyboard.
"You've been hacked amongst other things, " she said by way of explanation. "Run and hide you second-rate hacker…. What? Already? Damn. You're fast. Okay. Now you just made me angry."
Oliver watched as her face reflected a look of sheer determination and she bit into the left corner of her bottom lip totally engrossed in what she was doing. He'd never really had an opportunity to watch her work, because usually he was miles away on site. Right now she was a ray of sunshine he desperately needed.
He'd been hacked. That raised a lot of questions, who, why and for how long, were the first three that came to mind and did it have anything to do today's events?
A few moments latter he heard her triumphant, "Gotcha! Watch your system crash and burn, there is no where you can hide from us!" she looked up eyes gleaming full of self-satisfaction. Looking at Oliver's face however her smiled dropped.
"Sorry, ignore me and my inappropriate sense of enthusiasm at this moment. You've had a bad day," she said apologetically. "What else has happened other than a media circus?"
"We lost the opportunity to pursue a partnership so the board effectively suspended me from acting as CEO of Queen Industries," he said, his tone indicating he was still coming to terms with that outcome.
Chloe couldn't help but let out a small gasp of surprise. "I didn't know that they could do that, I'm so sorry. Had we known that was going to be a possibility we would have tried to get back to you sooner."
"This mess had nothing to do with you or the team. You couldn't have known this is what was going to happen this morning. But I just…. every single member of the board voted that to leave me in charge would be detrimental to the future of the company. I don't get how after everything I have done to protect the interests of this company, they could think I would do something to sabotage it. They wouldn't even give me 24 hours to put together my defense."
Ouch, it must have been some meeting. She'd never heard him sound so... defeated. Sensing that maybe some information now would help him in whatever internal battle was going on in his head right she offered some her findings. She bought up some photos on her phone and tossed it to him.
"I only have bits and pieces, probably more questions than answers. I tried to interview the club manager at the Infinity Club. The only thing I got out of him before I was escorted off the property was him swearing that it was Oliver Queen at the club two days ago."
His replied somewhat exasperatedly, "It wasn't me, I promise."
"I know," she said as matter of fact as possible. "I never doubted that there was another explanation." His expression relaxed in relief that at least someone believed him. "So, Bart and I got the club's footage that is being held in evidence. The still shots are on the phone." Oliver looked at the first photo, and he had to do a double take. The resemblance was uncanny.
"He looks exactly like me. Wow, did not see that one coming." It was the first time he had seen any photographic evidence, Jack still going through the official channels. But it would explain why everyone was so quick to dismiss his arguments. They had what appeared to be hard evidence.
"Based on a probability model our No 1 suspect is a usually unemployed actor by the name of Nicholas Crane. AC has started shadowing him, and Victor is checking his bank records and emails to see if he's currently being hired for a job."
"So this whole mess is just a case of mistaken identity or someone wanting to have a night out on me?"
"At the very least. My hunch though is that something a little more nefarious is going on, especially since you've been hacked, not to mention the Boards decision to replace you. "
"Yeah you're right, more like someone wants to ruin me."
"Hopefully when we return to the penthouse the boys will have some more pieces of the puzzle for you." She put her hand on his to offer some reassurance. "What ever is going on, you have us to help. You don't have to go through it alone and don't give us any crap about it not being part of our job descriptions."
"Wouldn't dream of it. Aside from Lewis you guys are the only ones in my corner right now."
He felt his voice catch in the back of his throat. He wasn't used to this at all…. she'd bought him breakfast, had gone investigating without being asked…had bought him a snack and apparently had engaged the help of the team. He couldn't remember when the last time was that anyone had gone to so much trouble for him. It felt surreal.
Even though it seemed so inadequate to convey his gratitude he found his voice. "Thank-you."
She squeezed his hand. "You never have to thank me for helping you." Since he'd left Metropolis 18 months ago most of their interaction had been over the phone or via email. She hadn't actually spent a lot of time with Oliver in person, but he had become an important figure in her life and she knew she would protect him and his identity just as fiercely as she protected Clark.
A.C had been tailing one Nicholas Crane for the afternoon. The guy on first glance was a dead ringer for Ollie. But on closer examination A.C noticed a lot of things that separated the men. His skin color was a little different, his roots indicated his natural hair color was brown not blonde. His walk didn't have the same swagger and his shoulders were hunched ever so slightly. When he spoke his tone was higher and there was a hint of a different accent. This guy was also around 6", and looked like he was wearing lifts in his shoes to even get that height. And when he smiled, the teeth were all wrong. Still he could fool a security camera into thinking he was the real Oliver Queen.
So far though, A.C hadn't noticed anything he would call suspicious unless tacky pick up lines counted. He had slipped a bug into the guys phone just to make sure though and Vic would monitor communications. AC had learnt the hard way that the most unassuming could be the deadliest. Mission accomplished he headed back to the Penthouse; he hoped that they figured out who was trying to smear Ollie's name. Although the fish jokes got a bit much sometimes he owed his life to Ollie. He was a good man, trying to do better. There wasn't a lot that A.C wouldn't do for his friend.
Bart dropped the bags down on the kitchen counter without any grace. A.C, Victor and Chloe were otherwise busy and he felt like he should do something to cheer Oliver up. He often got told off because his suggestions were juvenile, but juvenile or not he had decided a fiesta at the Penthouse would be just the thing to lift spirits.
Smiling to himself and humming to his favorite tunes as he went zipping in and out to get the other things, decorating and putting the piñatas up. Yeah so what…at least Bossman could smash those without getting into trouble. Oliver had given him a purpose and let him be a part of his life. Bart didn't know if Oliver really knew how much it actually meant to him that he'd taken him off the streets and given him a chance to have a home with people who could understand him. He was like the big brother he'd never had and there wasn't a lot he wouldn't do for him.
Not half an hour later Victor emerged from the study and Bart looked at him apprehensively not sure what his reaction was going to be…Walking around the living room, his eyes looked like saucers when he spied the balcony area.
"Seriously man, are those cacti, and you transformed the pool into a giant water feature, this is way cool." Victor's eyes dancing over the brightly colored arrangements of flowers throw rugs, fairy lights and paper lanterns. It was everything he'd imagine a fiesta in Mexico would look like.
"You did good Bart." Bart couldn't help but beam at the older man, feeling a little relieved that he wasn't being told off.
Chloe was the first to step into the Penthouse a couple of hours later and Bart noted with some satisfaction that he had rendered her speechless.
Oliver on the other hand looked like he was going to hit himself. "Did I miss someone's birthday?" Panic written on his face. "Sidekick, have you being running around on your birthday." He hadn't even gotten her anything. He was a the worlds worst friend, because then he realized he didn't even know when anyone's birthday was.
"No it's not my birthday." Now he was just confused, it didn't look like it was anyone else's birthday either. He watched as she gave Bart a bear hug.
"I'm glad you thought of doing this Bart."
Victor rolled his eyes, anymore positive reinforcement was going to give the kid an ego they were never going to be able to deflate. Chloe gave Bart a little nudge and nodded towards Oliver.
"Like it Bossman? Its for you…" Oliver blinked, he hadn't heard right. For him? He was half expecting a camera crew to yell, 'You've been punked.' Or for little green men to explain that he was now in the twilight zone.
"For me?" Nobody had ever thrown a spontaneous part for him ever.
"For you…do you like it?" Bart asked again.
Did he like it… he reviewed the room with a critical eye, the colors clashed in several places and it looked like Bart had robbed an IKEA store. The straw men with the sombreros were a bit of overkill, and a few flamenco dancers wouldn't have gone amiss… But whom was he kidding. He loved it, more so for the fact that someone had made an effort than anything else. He could feel his eyes getting misty and he looked at Bart's anxious face, aware that the he could totally kill everyone's mood with one word or action. Quickly getting his emotions under control he opened his mouth.
"I…thank you Bart… and is that a Piñata?" Moving towards the balcony actually excited, a grin genuinely on his face.
Five hours later when they had all eaten until they couldn't move and they had finally busted the Piñata with the help of a couple of explosive arrows, they were lounging around on the deck chairs admiring the moon casting it's reflection into the water feature.
"Thank you guys and one lady…for today." Oliver said quietly looking at them all. "I haven't had many good friends in my life, or at least people that I considered to be good friends to me. I've always had to wonder if people really liked who I was, or if they were after something else. This team, what we do…its important to me, and I couldn't do it half as well without you."
As he thought more about the pieces coming together, someone else was pulling some pretty damn big strings in the background. He would fight anything that threatened to destroy what he had built but at this point some kind of change to the status quo was inevitable and as much as he wanted to believe that they would come out on top, experience had taught him that wasn't always the case.
"I…..I just want you to know that no matter what happens you all mean a lot to me. Even though I'm not the greatest at showing it."
"Ollie man, obviously you are far more fragile than we ever thought. But without you, I doubt any of us boys would be as alive as we are. Bart would be starving, A.C in prison and I'd be 6ft under. I don't think you realize that we would do almost anything for you whatever name you go under, Oliver Queen, Ollie or Green Arrow, you're our big bro."
"I second that." Chloe giggled, she had been enjoying a couple of margaritas and was feeling a little light headed. "Not the big brother part, Clark might get upset…but the part where I would do almost anything for whichever of the pseudonyms your using at the time."
"A toast….to Ollie," A.C smiled.
"To Ollie…" came the chorus, no matter what happens they all added silently.
To be continued
AN 3: * you can view the robin hood icon at createblog avatars_icons/42398-robin-hood (no space before the dot) or a link is on my profile page.
AN 4: Banner for the story can be found on my Live Journal page ica013 .livejournal. com - (no space before the dot) or a link is on my profile page.
AN 5: Chapters 1-12 have had a polish since I first posted them in case you've noticed that this chapter looks a little different.