Disclaimer: Don't own, really want.
Author's Note: This story was written for and is dedicated to Chlollie as a very, very, very, very late Birthday present. Sorry it took so long, I hope you like it.
Oliver's heart was pounding so hard he thought it was going to jump out of his chest. When the hospital wing he'd set up in the research department at the new JL Towers called and said Chloe was there he thought his heart did stop. However when the nurse went on to explain that she was screaming and making a scene, the pain in his chest lessened slightly but not by much. If Chloe was making a scene somewhere it was a big deal.
"This never would have happened if Dr. Emil were here." Chloe screamed.
"Yes thank you. Well, we'll get this whole thing sorted out when Mr. Queen gets here." An unfamiliar voice said in a very annoyed tone.
"Yes we most certainly will." Chloe snapped.
"Get what sorted out?" Oliver asked opening the doors and seeing a standoff between Chloe and Dr. Stevens, who was filling in while Dr. Emil was on vacation.
"Mr. Queen." Dr. Stevens turned relieved. "I have run every test that I feel comfortable running on a perfectly healthy girl and still she complains."
"Because I'm not a perfectly healthy girl." Chloe said.
"You signed off on her chart yesterday yourself." Dr. Stevens pointed out to Oliver who nodded.
That was the deal that he made with Chloe after he found out about her healing abilities. She'd healed a near death AC after a job that went horribly wrong and died herself. Initially he suggested that she never ever again be allowed to use her powers. She responded as he figured she would, by sticking her tongue out at him. After hours of arguing they came to the agreement that she could use her powers at her own discretion as long as Oliver's Doctor's checked her out afterword and her personally signed off on her health before she was allowed to leave the hospital wing. Normally it went off without a hitch, but apparently something had gone wrong this time.
"You healed the girl that we rescued from the 33.1 lab." Oliver said.
"Megan." Chloe nodded thinking about the poor girl they'd found in one of Lex's labs, half alive, barely breathing, experimented on within an inch of her life.
"And I checked all your vitals, ran all the tests that Dr. Emil set up and everything came back fine." Dr. Stevens pointed out.
"Ok, then why did I get rushed to Star City General last night?"
"What?" Oliver turned to her and frowned. "What are you talking about?"
"It doesn't make any sense." Dr. Stevens said. "You're perfectly healthy."
"People with asthma aren't perfectly healthy." Chloe snapped at him.
"That's not true, I know many people who are perfectly healthy and happen to have asthma." Dr. Stevens told her.
"Except Chloe doesn't have asthma." Oliver shook his head.
"I'm sorry?" Dr. Stevens said confused.
"That's what I've been trying to tell him for the past hour." Chloe threw her hands in the air.
"You don't have asthma?" Dr. Stevens said.
"When I came into the hospital three days ago, I had massive internal bleeding, multiple broken bones, head trauma and I died, but no asthma." Chloe told him. "Didn't you read my file?"
"I skimmed it." Dr. Stevens said sheepishly.
"He didn't read my file." Chloe glared at Oliver.
"With all due respect Miss Sullivan you're file is larger than the phone book." Dr. Steven's pulled out a chart. "You're sure you didn't have asthma three days ago?"
"I'm pretty sure." Chloe told him.
"Can you do that?" Oliver asked. "Can you develop asthma like that out of the blue?"
"It's not unusual to develop asthma later in life. Generally it's around the age of thirty or after a pregnancy." Dr. Stevens raised his eyebrows and Chloe glared. "Right, so that's a no on the pregnancy. You've never had any severe allergies?"
"No allergies." Chloe said.
"When you were younger?" The Doctor asked.
"No, never." Chloe told him.
"Well this is curious." Dr. Stevens walked off muttering.
"Dr. Emil would have caught this yesterday you know." Chloe told Oliver annoyed.
"We can't begrudge the man a vacation Chloe." Oliver laughed and put an arm around her shoulders. "Tell me what happened."
"You let me out of here yesterday morning, I went home and showered. Spent some time at my office and then Tina wanted to try this new restaurant that was like on the tenth floor of this building and the elevator was broken. Around the third floor I was having trouble breathing, around the fifth floor I was doubled over in pain, at the sixth floor apparently I was passed out. At the hospital they said it was a severe asthma attack. They said that it would likely happen again, that it would likely happen a lot and they gave me this." Chloe pulled an inhaler out of her purse. "I've already had to use it twice today."
"This is serious." Oliver frowned at her. "Are you ok?"
"Besides the asthma? I'm fine." She assured him.
"You know, Megan has asthma." Dr. Stevens said from across the room.
Oliver and Chloe looked at each other for a second. "Could you do that?" Oliver asked her.
"I don't…I don't know." Chloe shook her head. "It's never happened before."
"Have you ever healed anyone that had a pre existing condition?" Oliver asked her and Chloe shook her head. "Maybe we should go talk to Megan."
"Yeah." Chloe nodded.
JL Towers was as much Chloe's baby as it was Oliver's, maybe even more so. It was conceptualized two years before over Irish Coffees in an afterhours session at the Talon. One of Chloe's clients from the Isis Foundation, a girl that she'd been working with for a while committed suicide. Everyone had tried to cheer up Chloe, assuring her that it wasn't her fault the girl couldn't handle her powers, her life. She'd gone through Lois, Clark, Bart, AC, and Victor with little effect when finally Oliver showed up, dragged her from her apartment down to the Talon, slammed a bottle of scotch on the table and two glasses and just sat down next to her.
They didn't even talk for the first hour and a half. Just sat in companionable silence, Oliver letting Chloe be the one to break the ice. She finally did telling Oliver that for all everyone's claims that there was nothing Chloe could have done she knew better. She knew that Emily's home life was miserable. She knew that her mother treated her like dirt, believing to her core that her powers were the work of the devil, that Emily was by association evil and going to rot in hell.
Chloe had allowed her to stay on really bad days in the back room of the Isis Foundation but it wasn't enough. She thought if she'd just had been able to find someplace more permanent for Emily to stay, someplace she could be free to be herself, get away from her mother it wouldn't have ended like that. Oliver asked Chloe what kind of place and Chloe rambled for two hours on her perfect Meta Safe House.
She talked of sympathetic medical professionals because of the amount of people who are scared to go to the doctor for colds or even the hospital for more severe problems because of their altered DNA and blood . She talked of places where they could live together, helping each other becoming a firm believer in the benefits of group therapy after a year running the Isis Foundation. She talked about a private place where the more unfortunate meteor affected, the ones whose powers seemed to manifest in some physical way prevent them from blending in with society could go and live a normal life.
"Basically, something like the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning." Chloe had told him after the scotch had been put away and the coffee brewed.
"Is that in Europe?" Oliver frowned and Chloe laughed for the first time in what felt like years.
"No, it's from comics. X-men." She told him. "Nevermind. Forget about it."
But Oliver hadn't forgotten about it. A week later a package came in the mail. There was a rough draft of the future JL Tower with all the amenities that Chloe had listed the night before and some he'd even come up with on his own. Oliver had even done his homework on the Xavier school and Chloe smiled looking at the floor plans which included a marble inlay on the lobby floor that said, "Mutatis mutandis" which was the Xavier School's motto and Latin for, "with those things having been changed which need to be changed", that Chloe felt was rather fitting.
She still saw it as more of a pipe dream, a prospectus that Oliver had put together just to make her feel better but when he called, asked her to quit her job to be Watchtower full time, move to Star City and oversee the building and set up of the Tower it actually took her less time than she thought to agree to it. Especially after he told her she would have complete control over content, whatever she wanted, he wanted her to have, no expenses spared. Thus JL Towers was born.
Final construction was finished six months later and the doors were opened but still it never ceased to amaze Chloe. The bottom floors were like any normal office building. All the guys had their own spaces. There was a research facility and the R&D labs that developed and created their equipment and all of Oliver's arrows. The fifth floor was all for Chloe, it had her monitoring system set up just the way she wanted it so she could play Watchtower when she led the boys on their missions. Her office and storage facility was up there where she did all her research and housed all the information that was taken from the labs themselves.
On the top floors were anything and everything a person could want for. There was a hospital, apartments that some of the guys took advantage of and that Oliver had been trying to get Chloe to move into for a while now, a movie theater, grocery store, a school even. Oliver wanted to make sure that the people who were saved from Lex's labs had every opportunity at their fingertips to get back into a normal life, he wanted them to know that they could stay as long as they liked, as long as they needed before they were ready to rejoin the real world, before they were sure that Lex wouldn't look for them or find them again.
Chloe thought that the greatest thing about the building was that it was completely self contained. That was something she was adamant about from the start. Chloe felt that by forcing the Meta's to treat the place as if it were just like the real world, they'd be better equipped to go out and make their own life when they were ready. Depending upon the severity of their injuries, physical or mental, a person was given a week to get settled and then a job was assigned to them based on interests or skill. If you wanted to live in JL Towers, you had to work in JL Towers. You could be a clerk at the grocery store, run reels at the theater, cook in the kitchens, whatever you wanted. They even had a few of the Meta's working as lab assistants in R&D.
Chloe dealt with the day to day operations of the building, she was all at once the apartment super, den mother, therapist, guidance councilor and friend to all the Meta residents. At the same time she oversaw the R&D departments, Medical Departments, and she was acting boss to the guys when Oliver wasn't around. It was a lot more than she'd signed on for but she wouldn't have it any other way. Oliver stepped in from time to time, taking a hands on approach to the facility just as he did with all his other business ventures. The residents knew him by name, the staff knew that Chloe was the boss, but whatever Oliver says goes and that caused problems at some times but never anything too huge.
Chloe and Oliver headed up to one of the residential floors and found Megan in a common area with a few other rescued Meta's. "Hey Mr. Q." Jordan, a guy who had the unfortunate ability of super scent, walked over and did a very complicated hand gesture with Oliver. "What's going on?" Jordan sniffed. "Besides the egg salad you had for lunch."
"What did I tell you about that Jordan?" Oliver smiled at him.
"That it's creepy to tell people what they had to eat." Jordan nodded. "Hard habit to break. Luthor had me name every scent anytime I smelled it."
"I know." Oliver frowned at him. Jordan had only been in the 33.1 lab for a few months before Oliver and his crew got him out. He was probably ok to rejoin the rest of the world but he'd been a foster kid before he was taken and he had no urge to get back into the system so he was staying to get his GED while Chloe and Oliver tried to get him into college.
"And Chloe my girl." Jordan spun her around in a hug. "You always smell so good, like vanilla and apples." He set her down confused. "And now with an undertone of a sour medicinal smell." He backed away slowly.
Chloe let out a groan, obviously he was getting a whiff of her inhaler. "Hey Holly." She waved at the girl in the corner hiding her face with her hair. Holly raised a sleeve covered hand and waved meekly. She'd been in her 33.1 for five years and she was most definitely not ready to re-enter society. Holly had been at JL Towers since it was opened, having been moved from another safe house. They rescued her four years ago and she still wasn't ready to even let them in on her power much less what happened to her in the lab. All Chloe knew was that she liked to garden, so they built her a green house on the roof, and that she liked to read so Chloe put her in charge of filling up the library. She was slowly coming out of her shell but it would probably take a while. "Guys can we talk to Megan alone for a second?"
"Sure." Jordan held out a hand to Holly who took it slowly and allowed him to lead her away. Jordan was good for Holly as outgoing as he was, he was slowly bringing the shy girl out of her shell.
"Hey." Megan sat down on the couch. "Chloe right?" Chloe nodded. "I've been talking to some of the people here. I know what you did for me."
"Oh, this is always awkward." Chloe sat down.
"Why didn't you say anything yesterday when you came in here to talk to me?" Megan asked. "You saved my life."
Chloe had done her normal tour and introduction with Megan the day before, showing her around, giving her options as far as what kinds of job she wanted and laying down the rules. She pointedly neglected to mention that Chloe had died saving Megan's life because that always proved awkward. She hadn't counted on someone else, probably Jordan, ratting her out.
"It's all part of the package here at JL Towers." Chloe smiled and tried to get off the subject as quickly as possible. "Do you have asthma?"
"Since birth." Megan nodded then paused. "Come to think of it now I haven't used my inhaler once since I got here."
"And you used to use your inhaler a lot?" Oliver asked.
"Sometimes three times a day." Megan nodded and frowned. "What's going on?"
"I think…I took your asthma when I healed your other wounds." Chloe told her.
"You mean you cured my asthma too?" Megan smiled at her. "That's awesome."
"Not so much." Chloe said. "See when I cure someone, I take their injuries and heal myself, usually it's just wounds, but this time was different."
"Will you cure the asthma too?" Megan asked her.
"I don't know." Chloe said. "This whole thing didn't exactly come with an instructional booklet to begin with. I guess I just gotta play it by ear." Chloe sighed. "So is there anything I should know? About your asthma? Is there anything in particular that triggers it?"
"Well, dust, pollen, mold." Megan told her.
"Ok." Chloe nodded.
"Cigarette smoke, scented candles, perfume, air freshener." Megan continued.
"Wow, this is getting better and better." Chloe turned to Oliver.
"If I laugh or cry for a long time, strenuous exercise, aspirin." Megan said.
"That all?" Chloe frowned.
"And wine, probably other alcohol, I just never drank that much to be on the safe side." Megan laughed at the look on Chloe's face. "You want me to write this down?"
"Really there's just one thing I want to know right now, this is very important ok." Megan nodded at the serious look on Chloe's face. "What about caffeine? Can I still have coffee because I really need to be able to have coffee."
Megan made a face and Chloe groaned. "Just use it in moderation."
"In moderation." Chloe pouted. "She said to use it in moderation."
"I know." Oliver smiled at her.
"I don't think I know how to use coffee in moderation." Chloe mumbled on. "I mean who would want to use coffee in moderation."
"Chloe, you need to just take a deep breath." Oliver pulled her into a hug and then his phone rang. He walked away to take it and Megan raised an eyebrow at Chloe.
"Are you and Mr. Queen…you know…together?" Megan asked.
"Oliver and me?" Chloe said surprised. "Why would you think that?"
"You two just seem very close." Megan smiled at her.
"We're just good friends. I mean we're…we spend a lot of time together…we work together and we sort of built this place together. " Chloe thought for a second. "He's like my best friends and I just…" Her breath was coming in short shallow bursts. "Of course I like him…" She started wheezing and fumbled in her pocket for her inhaler.
"Deep breath." Megan encouraged her as she used the inhaler. "I know that feeling." Megan said to her laughing.
"You ok?" Oliver walked over hanging up the phone in mid sentence as Chloe used the inhaler a second time to calm her breathing. Oliver rubbed circles in her back as her breathing evened out and Chloe had to move away as it was having the opposite effect on her. Megan gave her a cheeky smile and Chloe glared.
"I'm fine." Chloe insisted.
"Thanks Megan." Oliver said leading Chloe out of the room. "We'll have Dr. Stevens run a few tests."
"You mean Stupid Stevens?" Chloe asked.
"Chloe, don't be petty." Oliver reminded her. "He's one of the top geneticists in his field, his research on Meta's is second only to Dr. Emil's." Chloe still glared at him.
"That's all fine and dandy but the man can't be bothered to read my medical file before treating me." Chloe pointed out.
"Fine. I'll call Dr. Emil back from his vacation." Oliver assured her. "But you're going to owe him."
"I buy him a vacation home if he can fix me." Chloe said and Oliver kissed the top of her head.
"Let's go, I'll buy you some decaf." Oliver pulled her to the doors.
Two days later Chloe was sitting on the examination table a smile on her face as Oliver stood in the corner. "What are you so happy about?"
"Dr. Emil is back and he's going to fix me." Chloe said.
"Don't get your hopes up." Dr. Emil walked in the room reading Chloe's file. "And by the way I was sunning on the beach in the Caribbean when you called me so I'm just as likely to let you suffer." He joked with her.
"What do you mean?" Chloe asked him. "Don't get my hopes up?"
"I'm good but I can't work miracles. I can't cure asthma Chloe." Dr. Emil said. "No one can."
"Except I don't have asthma." Chloe reminded him. "I have Megan's asthma. So I can cure it right?"
"I'm not so sure about that." Dr. Emil put the file down.
"Ok, but I cured Megan's broken bones and Megan's internal bleeding and Megan's concussion." Chloe pointed out.
"Yes but given enough time and the proper medical care, Megan could have cured all of that too." Dr. Emil told her. "Megan could not have ever cured her asthma, so I'm not sure if you can either." Chloe groaned and fell back onto the exam table drooping one arm over her eyes. "I didn't say it was impossible." Dr. Emil smiled at her theatrics.
"You think I could heal this?" Chloe asked him hopefully.
"I think you're an enigma Chloe Sullivan." Dr. Emil said. "I think that you can do whatever you want to do, whether I tell you it's physically impossible or not." He lifted her arms and stared down at her. "But I need you to tell me the truth."
"Ok." Chloe sat back up. "I don't really eat my vegetables, sorry." Dr. Emil crossed his arms over his chest. "What?" Chloe looked confused.
"There was something different about this time." He told her. "I've looked at your test results your hormone levels were higher than normal, your white blood cells were off the charts."
"Aren't they always off the charts after I heal someone?" Chloe asked.
"Yes, there's generally what I call a safe range where your levels are after a healing, but this time they were even higher than usual, in fact all your test results were off this time. Dr. Stevens didn't catch it because he's not familiar with your case. So what happened?"
Chloe stuttered for a bit and then turned to Oliver who was glaring at her with his arms over his chest. "Chloe, was this time different?"
"Yeah." Chloe finally admitted. "I didn't try to heal her."
"What?" Oliver sat down.
"I know the protocol." Chloe said. "I'm supposed to triage them, assess the damage and if they can make it to the hospital, I bring them back here, if I think they're too far gone, I heal them on site. I didn't triage her, I never got the chance, I put my hand on her neck to check her pulse and before I know it there's a white light, then I wake up in my hospital bed."
"You didn't actively try to heal her?" Oliver leaned forward. "But that's happened before, with Lois."
"Before I could control my powers, yes, and subconsciously I really wanted to heal her. But it's never happened like this before, I wasn't even thinking about healing Megan." Chloe said.
"What else?" Oliver asked her and Chloe shook her head. "Come on Sidekick you don't think I know when you're lying? You didn't really like the fajitas I cooked the other night and there's still something you're not telling me right now."
"You used too much garlic." Chloe glared at him. Oliver didn't turn away from her. "Fine. When I heal someone, it's like this pull from my belly button, I can feel it physically. This time it was like it was pulling from every inch of my body." Chloe winced. "It hurt."
"That's it." Oliver pushed himself out of the chair. "It stops now, no more."
"That didn't work before; it's not going to work now." Chloe chuckled and jumped up. "This was a one time thing, a fluke. You said you think I can heal it?" She turned her attention to Dr. Emil.
"Your lung function has improved since a few days ago." Dr. Emil said. "Marginally, like the lowest possible amount it could have improved. There is an 80% chance that it's a fluke, but we'll check, every few days, and we'll keep checking and if we notice any more improvements we'll keep up what we're doing. Meanwhile." Dr. Emil tore off a few pages of his prescription pad. "I'm giving you a better inhaler than the one the hospital prescribed and some anti-inflammatory medication. From what I gathered from Megan, she had a pretty severe form."
"Great." Chloe took the prescriptions from him. "Thank you Dr. Emil."
"I want a two week cruise in the Mediterranean." Dr. Emil said. "Paid vacation."
"You got it." Chloe smiled walking to the door.
"Chloe we aren't finished." Oliver followed her out.
"Aren't we?" Chloe kept walking.
"Stop." Oliver called out in his best Green Arrow voice and to his surprise Chloe stopped. "Turn around." She turned, glaring at him the whole time.
"Is this where we have yet another argument about me using my powers and you forbid it, I laugh at you, we yell for a few hours and then you remember that it's my body and my power and you have no say over what I do but I humor you anyway and allow you to give me ridiculous parameters." Chloe asked him.
Oliver frowned at her. "Is that really what you do?" He asked. "Just humor me?"
"Oh sweetie." Chloe took a few steps forward and straightened his tie a bit and brushed some lint off his shoulder. "That's pretty much all I ever do to you. It's better that way. Cause I get to do what I want and you think you thought of it in the first place."
"Well as long as it works." He teased her. "But seriously, if it happens again, if it hurts you again…"
"I'm gonna keep doing it anyway and you know it." Chloe laughed, then coughed, then wheezed and had to pull out her inhaler.
"Yeah, I really don't like that." Oliver frowned staring at her intently as she breathed in deeply.
"Really?" Chloe smiled at him. "Cause I'm just loving it." She couldn't keep the smile though and it faltered as she lowered her head.
"Hey." Oliver reached out and cupped her chin. "We're going to either fix this, or we're going to learn to live with this. Everything's going to be ok."
"Are you just humoring me?" Chloe asked in a whisper.
"No I'm promising you." Oliver said sincerely. They stared at each other for a minute and Oliver brushed some hair out of her face and was about to say something else when she suddenly brought the inhaler up to her mouth and took a deep breath. He dropped his hand and smiled sadly at her as they walked away.