Mr and Mrs Queen
Summary: Oliver leaves Smallville with his new wife, who is hiding behind a different identity and pursuing her dreams in Star City.
Characters: Mainly Chloe, Oliver, Bruce
There was a wall—this black thick impenetrable wall that blinded him the same time that it rendered him deaf and mute. It was a wall surrounding him and closing him off from the world, growing smaller and smaller, stifling him until he choked. The longer he stayed the less he remembered.
All he knew was the wall all around.
Through the thick walls, as he crouched-Oliver could not know what had changed—but all of a sudden dead silence was pierced by a low fast thrum. There was no sensation in that prison, nothing to deny that he was not in hell. And hell being this small cramped pitch black casket was the perfect type of hell for someone who lived most days looking out a glass wall from a tower so high up in the sky that he saw everything, the worst imaginable hell for someone who spent the night leaping from rooftop to rooftop, the wind strong on his face.
What could dead silence compare to the sound of her light voice in his ear as she virtually accompanied him every second he was a hero?
So when that dead silence tore with the steady thrum, Oliver pressed his ear against the cold black wall.
Came alive a little while.
Bore a hole so small it closed almost immediately.
But by God those few seconds he realized what had brought him out of that hell. There he was, standing in that alley he remembered at the back of the club, his hand warm and pressed low on her belly. He abhorred the tears that sprung to his eyes then because it clouded the vision that he thirsted for too long now. His sensations heightened to the tiniest flutter under his fingertips.
Suddenly he knew. The rapid throbbing sound that pierced through the thick walls around him when he had been closed off to the world. The darkness damned him, but those green tearful determined eyes were the light. That sound that woke him strong heartbeats of a little part of him that was his entire world inside her body.
"You remember me, Ollie," she whispered to him.
His throat swelled at the thought that she would need to say those words. Out of his control his arm pulled back, but he rallied and willed his body, broken when his skin finally rose away from hers and he lost contact. This was not his fight to lose, not with that heartbeat inside her that called him from the dark.
And he pleaded, "Chloe, help me."
She nodded, and she swore to him. Strong and determined. That was his girl, unflagging even when the odds were against them. The gap closed, and he once again was crouched in the blackness cut off from the whole world. Oliver rested his head back against the black wall.
When Orion described to her the disruption that would be caused by the boom tube, Chloe had no choice but to relocate the beginning of the mission to the Watchtower. At that time of the night the space was silent. Clark was off on his own, and so was the rest of the League. They were in town to help find a way to recover Oliver, and they would not do it isolated up here. She counted on the privacy that provided as she overrode the security system that immediately sent up a red flag at not just the presence of the stranger but the enormous waves of energy coming off Orion.
When they stepped into the Watchtower, Chloe sucked in her breath when she saw Clark standing at the center with his hands folded across his chest. She turned her head and raised her eyebrows at the sight of Bruce Wayne sitting on Tess' swivel chair.
"I heard the Watchtower alert from Smallville," Clark stated. "Imagine my surprise to find Mr Wayne sitting here."
To Bruce, she said in surprise, "You told him."
"I told you, Chloe, that I can't let you make the jump."
Her companion grew tense, and before he could turn his back on them Chloe clasped at Orion's large arm. Seeing the disapproval in Clark's eyes, Chloe said, "I don't need to ask for your permission, Clark."
Clark's stance softened. "Don't you think I recognize that by now?"
"Then what are you doing here?"
"Just because you're Oliver's wife now doesn't mean I've stopped caring for my best friend. You've got to think this through."
Bruce stood from the chair. The ease with which he sat fell from his shoulders at the turn of the conversation. He curled his lips at Clark, then turned to Chloe. "Why don't you enlighten me about your plan to protect Queen's kid in a hellish planet like Apokolips? Because the way I understand it Apokolips if just as much a possibility as New Genesis in this trip."
Chloe flushed at Bruce's revelation. She heard Clark's audible gasp, the way the farmboy's gaze dropped to her belly. Orion stepped away from her and shook his head. "I cannot allow you to use my mother box if you were to take a child. I have seen how children are destroyed by the twin planets. It's happened to me, happened to my brothers."
"I can protect my child. Let me save my husband."
"You know him best. You know Oliver would rather stay in the darkness than endanger his kid, Chloe."
In that, at least, Clark was right.
"The moment I open the tube and use the mother box the darkness will know and will come." Orion's voice was grave. "I fear there is no safety on either end of the tube."
"Let me go," Bruce repeated. "Kent can protect you from here physically. And we both know the darkness is not powerful enough to damn you."
She could feel the questions emanating from Clark. She kept her regard on Bruce, and saw all the answers in his eyes.
Clark responded for her, "You are a true hero, Batman."
The word had not even occurred to her. His action was far from being an act of heroism.
And then Orion spoke. "You will need to clear the way. The tube will appear as rippling light. Do not be fooled by its beauty. It is one of the most powerful forces in the universe. Once we have traversed the tube it will close with an explosion of sound and light. The force will go so great it is enough to wipe you off your feet, for the glass windows and these monitoring devices to shatter."
The look that Bruce gave her chilled her. "Why don't you leave? You don't have to stay here."
He had asked her the same thing early in their acquaintance, when the two of them were caught at the docks during a mission he had bungled. She was supposed to be safe behind her computer dictating strategy to him, but he had misinformed her of the dock schedule.
"Cut the crap," she replied. With a small smile, she said, "What's a few shallow cuts from glass debris compared to getting sucked into an intergalactic vortex?"
Before them, the rippling light formed a circle, growing bigger and bigger, and when Chloe peered through it was endless and incomprehensible to her human mind. She felt Clark grasp her hand tightly in his.
Orion motioned to Bruce. Bruce took a deep breath. And then, Chloe saw his shadowed figure turn. He was a silhouette against the blinding light. Bruce strode over to her and without a second's pause his arm wrapped around her waist and he pulled her to him. His lips crushed over hers. The second the kiss registered in her head, he had raised his head. He whispered, "I'm coming back with the bow. And then no matter what happens you're going to use it and you're going to free your husband, because people in love are willing to do everything for the ones they love."
"Bruce, if you're doing this for me—"
He chuckled. "Get sucked to a strange planet, riding a cosmic tube that could just as soon crush me into some antimatter? Of course I'm doing it for you."
Before she could protest, he had turned around and stepped in. Behind him Orion stepped and then Clark stepped in front of her, his arms outstretched.
Chloe heard the shattering glass, braced herself for the impact, but Clark's broad back bore the brunt of the debris and the force. She held her hands up to cover her ears.
"They're gone," she breathed.
Around her the Watchtower appeared as if one giant tornado had swept through.
"It's not over," Clark declared, looking out at the gaping hole left by the shattered window.
Chloe glanced out at the sky and saw the black clouds creeping towards them. Clark set his jaw as he looked down. She hurried towards the window and looked below, saw the darkness' minions making their way through the streets towards them as if commanded by a silent god.
"Darkseid," Clark whispered.
"Just like Orion warned." Chloe's eyes burned as, even in the distance, she recognized one of the figures below as her husband. She turned to Clark. "He'll remember. He's in there, Clark. I swear he is." She touched Clark's arm. "Don't hurt him," she said, her voice growing stronger.
Clark's eyes narrowed. "My first priority to Oliver is to make sure his wife and his kid are safe. "
At that, Chloe turned to Clark. "What does that mean, Clark?"
"It means that I'm going to honor the one thing that Oliver asked from me before the two of you moved to Star City."
Chloe licked her lips. Her heart thundered in her chest. "What did he say, Clark?"
"He asked me to promise him that if it came down to it, if I had to choose—then I need to keep you safe, even if it's from him."
A chilling calm washed over her. "And you didn't tell me."
"It was between the two of us." Clark glanced down. "I didn't think it meant anything."
"He has the omega symbol on his skull, Clark!"
"You expect too much from me if you think I could have jumped to this conclusion when he asked me to keep you safe."
Chloe blinked, "Right. When I shouldn't have expected anything from you." Chloe turned at the audible clearing of throat from the elevator. Bart shifted from one foot to the other. To Clark, she shook her head and said, "I could have done something, Clark. I could have fixed this." In her gut she knew neither she nor Oliver would have been strong enough to defeat this together. Even together they would not have been strong enough. But her husband was trapped inside his own head, his body manipulated by a force so evil it threatened to cloak earth in darkness. The one hero she had brought into the mission put his life on the line.
The noises from outside the Watchtower were thunderous as they came. Chloe closed her eyes. With the computer systems shattered from the boom, there was no way to communicate out. Victor would be on his way though, if he was not already. The intrusion was sure to send an automatic flag to Cyborg's systems. Since Bart had earlier been working with Tess, she had no doubt that Tess left for the Watchtower the same time as Bart.
Within the next few minutes, the minions stood in the open doorway. Chloe swallowed hard at the sight of Oliver Queen standing amongst the first who stormed the Watchtower.
His lips curved into a sly smirk as he proclaimed, "Somebody opened up something they shouldn't have."
Beside him, Desaad laid a hand on his back. "Leave her to me." And she swore there was a trace of concern in Desaad's suggestion. Chloe realized the man had been there during Oliver's brief moment of lucidity, had witnessed it. In all probability he knew if there was one thing that could break their viselike hold on the Green Arrow it was her.
And now her immediate mission was to be as close to her husband as possible.
Oliver turned away on command. Chloe aimed for him as she crossed the floor. She glanced at Clark, who was fending off Darkseid's minions left and right, leaving her to focus on whatever she had in mind. She glanced towards Bart. Oliver had turned his attention on the younger man. Halfway towards him Chloe stopped when Desaad laid a hand on her gut.
He dropped his voice and placed his mouth just near enough to her ear. "I know your secret, Mrs Queen."
"Get out of my way and maybe you won't be the first to die."
"Little spitfire," he murmured. "I enjoy it when you try me."
"Maybe I should remind you about what you should already know by now. I'm too strong-willed for you, Desaad."
"Maybe you are," he whispered. "Is he?"
But Oliver was holding Bart down in his strong grip. Chloe's gaze dropped down to where Desaad touched her stomach. Like she was burnt, Chloe stepped back. Desaad took a step forward, and she took another step back. His eyes lit up with the pleasure of discovery. Her back hit the heavy table that Tess had placed in the Watchtower. Desaad descended on her like a predator to his prey.
"This is too easy, much like burying a kitten alive."
Chloe glanced towards Bart and Oliver grappling on the floor. Knowing it was futile, she called out, "Oliver!"
"As easy as dropping a tiny bit of poison in a young woman's mead," he whispered in fond recollection. "Or even murdering an old woman who put you up to it to begin with."
Chloe used the distraction to kick him off of her and dive to the side. Desaad caught her arm and sent her reeling to the floor. She felt the hard material of the floor meet with the side of her face. When Desaad grabbed her ankle and pulled her towards him, she screamed.
Her cry was piercing, and it rang across the Watchtower. She looked towards where Oliver knelt above Bart. He glanced up, looking towards her with his eyebrows furrowed. And she swore he was fighting… because he was never ever going to leave her to fight alone.