Title: Everything Changes With Time
Rating: PG-13 for now
Summary: 4 years after the events of Lazurus Chloe Sullivan mysteriously returns to Metropolis, but her relief is short lived when she realizes how long she's been gone and how many things in her life have changed.
Characters: Chloe Sullivan, Oliver Queen, Lois Lane, Clark Kent, Dinah Lance, Bart Allen, Victor Stone, Author Curry, John Jones, Perry White, and OC Felix Spencer
Pairings: Oliver/Dinah (in the very beginning), Chloe/Felix (one sided), Chloe and Oliver, Lois and Clark
Warnings: Mild violence and language scattered throughout this story
Spoilers: This story follows Smallville Canon through Episode 10X02 'Shield' After that I do my own thing
She ran harder and faster then she ever had before…
She ran toward the clock tower, its red and blue neon numbers were like a beacon in the night sky calling her back to him.
The stones that littered the cold wet cement cut at her feet, but she couldn't stop, she was too close now. It had been so long since she had seen him… since she had touched him. How long exactly she still wasn't sure she had stopped trying to keep track after day 437, that had been the day they found her scratch marks for the days that had passed scratched into the wall and the day they had punished her severely for it.
As horrible as it had been, the memory of him had helped her survive through the pain and through the torture her captors inflicted upon her.
None of those bad things mattered now though, because she was almost there. She was she almost back to Oliver.
Her heart was pounding and she could barely catch her breath, but that didn't matter either.
Only one thing was important.
She could still see the reunion between the two of them that Dr. Fate's helmet had shown her, that and the other images of them and what their future held had been what had gotten her through everything.
She continued to run down the street as fast as she could until her left foot hit a sharp stone and came out from underneath her.
She fell face first to the ground cracking her nose and chin. There had been a time when the throbbing she felt as the blood spilled from her nose might have thwarted her, but if there was anything she had learned after all this time it was to block out the pain.
"Well… well… what do we have here?" a raspy voice said from above her.
Chloe tried to stand but the man placed his foot on the small of her back immobilizing her. Fear shot through her body, she didn't know they had found her so quickly. She let out a small whimper of pain as he dug the heel of his boot deeper into her skin.
The man then lifted his foot, bent down, and grabbed her upper arms just below the shoulders. He lifted her until they were face to face, and Chloe couldn't help but let out a sigh of relief when she realized the man with the vice like grip on her arms was nothing but a regular run of the mill street thug. That was much better then the alternative.
Suddenly she felt a gust of wind and a second later the man lay unconscious on the ground several feet from her.
"Chloe?" a voice said pulling her attention from her assailant; she looked up her eyes wide.
"Clark?" she said shakily.
"Oh my God, Chloe." he rushed to her and wrapped his arms tightly around her. The ache in her ribs where they had been broken more times then she could count made her flinch from his super sized embrace, but the feel of someone touching her and not trying to inflict pain was a welcome change.
"You're alive." he said a mixture of shock and relief in his voice.
"Clark?" she repeated still stunned.
He pulled back and starred into her eyes, "Chloe, I need to get you to a hospital," he said taking in her appearance. He gently rubbed his thumb over the fresh blood falling from her nose.
"No. No hospitals."
"Chloe you need to get looked over you look pretty beat up."
"No, please." She pleaded looking up at him, "just take me to Oliver… I need Oliver."
Clark looked away from her, "hold on," he said picking her up bridal style Chloe wrapped her arm firmly around his neck like she had done so many times before. She closed her eyes tightly and prepared for the nauseous feeling that was bound to occur from traveling at Clark speed for the first time in years.
When they stopped Chloe slowly opened her eyes and glanced around. He hadn't taken her to the clock tower but to the Kent farm, "Clark what are we doing here? I asked you to take me to Ollie."
"Please sit down Chloe." he said softly still not meeting her eyes,
"you should conserve your energy." He led her to the couch but she didn't sit down.
"Clark what's going on?" she asked her tension rising, "is Oliver okay? Did something happen to him?" She felt her heart start to beat faster and her breathing become shallow. The only thing that had gotten her through everything had been the fact that Oliver was supposed to be okay, but with the way Clark was acting something had obviously gone wrong.
"Chloe maybe you should rest awhile and then we can talk."
"I don't want to rest! I want you to tell me what the hell happened to him! Please Clark… tell me he's okay?"
"He's okay, I promise." He swallowed hard, "he just doesn't live in Metropolis anymore."
"Oh, so he moved back to Star City?"
"Yeah, about a year ago."
"So then take me there." she pleaded.
"Chloe there's some things you should know." Clark mumbled not meeting her eyes.
"Like what?" she asked growing impatient, "what do I need to know before I go and see Ollie." She stared at him waiting for an answer and the look on his face was the only response she needed.
"Oh. Who… who is she?" Chloe asked biting back tears, "Do I know her? Please tell me it isn't Tess?" Her mind was going a mile a minute.
"Chloe…" his voice trailed off and he rubbed his hands over his face, "maybe we should talk about this after you've had a chance to rest awhile."
"Please just tell me Clark."
"Dinah." He answered barely above a whisper, "they got married right after he moved back there."
Chloe finally sat down on the couch and pulled her knees to her chest. "I think I'd like to rest now Clark."
"Okay." He made his way around the couch and pulled the blanket that was draped over the back off then wrapped it around her.
Chloe grabbed the edges and pulled it more snugly around her. She leaned to the side until her head was resting on the arm of the couch.
"Do you need anything?" Clark asked gently, "something to drink maybe?"
"Sure thing," Clark sped to the kitchen and returned less then a minute later with a glass of water. He handed it to her then sat back down in the chair across from her. Clark leaned forward and rested his elbows on his knees, "Do you want to talk about where you were?"
"No." Chloe replied in between gulps. She hadn't realized how thirsty she had been. She downed the rest of the glass and went to place it on the side table.
"Would you like some more?"
"No thank you, and thanks for the save earlier," Chloe looked up at him and smiled weakly, "kinda felt like old times," she joked lamely.
"Yeah it did."
Chloe shot up, "Oh my God Lois! Where's Lois? Is she okay?" she asked suddenly remembering her cousin and feeling a slight pang of guilt that she hadn't asked sooner.
"She's fine. She's just working late at the Planet."
" Oh… Good," she said. "I assume she lives here with you now." She pointed to the obvious Lois mess littering the coffee table.
"Yeah she moved in again right after she came back from Africa."
"That's good I'm glad to hear some things worked out the way they were supposed to." She relaxed back against the back of the couch and pulled the blanket back around herself.
"You should get some sleep." Clark held out his hand to help her from the couch. "You can sleep in my old room," he offered.
"Thanks Clark." she smiled weakly and took his hand.
When they reached his bedroom she walked inside and let out a short chuckle.
"It's exactly the same as when we were in high school." She pointed toward the bed, "right down to the plaid bedding."
"Yeah well Lois and I sleep in my parent's old room, so there was no need to change this one."
Clark reached out and pulled her back into another warm embrace,
"I missed you Chlo."
She held tightly onto him. "I missed you too." she replied honestly, trying to keep her voice as even as possible and silently praying that she could keep her tears at bay for just a few seconds longer.
"Get some rest." he said releasing her, "We'll talk more about everything tomorrow."
She stepped farther into the room and started to close the door then quickly pulled it back open, "hey Clark?"
"Don't tell Oliver anything yet, okay?"
"Chloe, don't you think he has a right to know?"
"Of course he does, but the last thing I want to do is disrupt his life."
He gave her a single nod.
"Thank you. Good night Clark."
She closed the door, made her way over to Clark's bed and lay down.
Now that she was finally alone she let everything that Clark had told her set in. Oliver was gone, he had moved to Star City and married someone else.
Images of what she'd seen when she put on Dr. Fate's helmet had been wrong. She had seen the two of them reunited, the two of them married and the two of them with children, but that would never happen now.
The helmet had been wrong.
Clark sat at the kitchen table staring at the phone clutched in his hand. He'd promised Chloe that he wouldn't tell Oliver yet, but he knew he couldn't keep that promise. As hard as Chloe's "death" had been on him and Lois it was nothing compared to the way it had affected Oliver. Her 'death' had broken him, and he'd spent years blaming himself for the death of the love of his life. Sure he had found a way to move on to some degree, but that didn't mean that he didn't deserve to know that she was alive.
He scrolled down the numbers in his phone until he landed of Oliver's and pressed send. The phone rang several times before he finally picked up.
"Clark? What can I do for you?"
Clark took a deep breath, "Are you sitting down?"
"No, but go ahead anyway."
"Oliver, you really need to be sitting for what I'm about to tell you."
"Well that doesn't sound good, what's wrong? Is one of your fellow Kryptonians trying to take over the world again?"
"No. Look Oliver you really should sit down."
"All right, all right, I'm sitting. Now what's going on?"
Clark could hear the pain in the other man's voice at the mere mention of her name.
"Oliver, she's alive."