Epiphanies

Recap: Chloe figures out she is in love with Oliver the day before her wedding to Jimmy and runs out on her nuptials. Determined to change her life for the better she returns to Metropolis ready to do the deep introspection needed to accomplish that. She keeps her love for Oliver a secret from everyone and pushes him away. Davis is following Chloe, absolutely convinced that they should be together, but Chloe is focused on Oliver, especially after he starts waging a campaign to make her notice him as more than a friend. Oliver and Chloe finally say their 'I love you's.' Lois and Clark end their fledgling relationship (again), but Lois decides to torture Clark by showing up with a prominent date to the DP's 100 years in business gala. The beast attacks the party injuring Oliver mortally while trying to kidnap Chloe. The team pulls together with Lex as an unexpected ally, and Chloe heals Oliver. Hiding out at Watchtower, the team pieces together what they know about the monster. Chloe figures out it's Davis, Clark wants to save him, Lois finds out about Bruce and Dinah, and the team (minus Clark) implement their plan to take down Davis once and for all. The team enacts their plan to kill Davis, but he comes back with help from Tess and Checkmate. Davis finds Chloe and she sacrifices herself, agreeing to go with him, to keep the people she loves safe. Davis sees that Chloe doesn't love him and being with him has dampened her spark. He asks her to kill him, and she agrees – but he comes back to life again. The team gathers to try to find a solution after Clark refuses to see their point of view again, but Chloe knows a way to access the Phantom Zone and sneaks away to find it. Bruce hijacks her trip and Checkmate finds them in the caves. Bruce escapes, but Chloe is caught and Waller tries to use Chloe to control Davis. (Someone in this story should really learn that that is not a good idea.) Davis says he can't stop killing, and being with Chloe isn't enough, he wants her love. The team regroups to find a solution to end Davis's reign of terror, but some unexpected opposition shuts down their chance at success.

Chapter 40

Emil and Oliver check on AC's condition, safe in Watchtower, their headquarters still offering them safe haven as it remained unknown to Davis and Checkmate, the group that had taken Chloe. They still didn't know much about them, just that they were well funded and had ties to the government. But that was a problem for another day.

Returning to the main room where Lois was fussing over Clark and Chloe had just finished healing Dinah despite Oliver's reservations, Oliver felt the crushing disappointment of their loss. He turned his feelings of failure and fear to anger and let them loose on Clark. "You should have killed that thing when you had the chance in the beginning or at least let me do it," Oliver says flatly, the accusation clear. Whatever Davis did from this point on, was on Clark's conscious, that much was clear to Oliver.

AC walks slowly into the room, his eyes glinting with barely repressed adrenalin and the need to act, the side effects of the drug stronger than he had anticipated. But he forced his mind into compliance, trying to move the conversation past the conflict between Oliver and Clark. "It's back and stronger than ever. We're gonna need another plan," he says.

"We had a plan," Dinah grouses. "It was working too." She shakes her head at Clark, her emotions running high. AC had risked his life to save hers, Chloe had risked hers to save Oliver, and Lois had risked hers to save Chloe. But Clark had acted against them, stopping them from making all their risks worthwhile.

"I'll send the beast to the Phantom Zone, that's what you all wanted," Clark says wearily, standing up and moving away from Lois.

"What?" Chloe cries, standing up and glaring at Clark. "We just tried that, and you stopped us!"

"No, I'll send the beast, not Davis."

"What are you talking about Clark?" Lois asks quietly. "Davis is the beast."

"I can split them." Chloe rears back the alarm on her face enough to alert the group to the danger of his plan. "Davis is not evil, we've all seen that. He doesn't want to hurt anyone," Clark reasons, from the angry expressions on the team's faces, they disagree with Clark's assessment.

Oliver moves up to stand behind Chloe. Chloe had seen the most humanity in Davis, and Oliver worried that Clark's assertions would only add to the weight on Chloe's shoulders.

"Except you," Lois says snidely.

"And I-"

Lois cuts him off, continuing with her list. "And Ollie. Or anyone who stands between him and Chloe. Or anyone he comes across after having a bad day."

Clark frowns at her. "You shouldn't even be here."

Lois draws up to her full height, looking down her nose at him in distain. It was a look he hadn't seen from her since he'd broken up with Lana the last time. "Is that right?" she asked with deadly calm. "Well I am here, and I'm staying. Chloe is my cousin, my family. I love Ollie, and his team? They're all good people and they can use all the help they can get! Help that you won't offer!"

Clark looks hurt, but pushes aside his wounded emotions. "He has good in him. I can feel it."

Chloe's shoulders slump and she presses into Oliver's side, closing her eyes and squeezing his waist tighly.

"I thought he could learn to control the beast, and maybe I was wrong. I know now that even if he could learn it would take too long, and innocent lives could be lost. But I-"

"He's already killed again," Victor interjects. If Clark wanted to thwart them at every turn he deserved to know the full impact of his actions. "He killed 12 people two nights ago."

All emotion and expression drains from Clark's face. "I'll handle it."

"How?" Oliver asks, his tone aggressive, even though he stays still, his arm around Chloe.

"I have it under control."

"Like your last plan? Why were you taking him to the Fortress? So you could have group therapy with your dad? That worked out really well. Dinah and AC could have died. Davis could have taken Chloe. Lois could have been killed along with the rest of us, but hey, you had it under control," Oliver says, barely keeping himself under control.

"I understand what it looked like from the outside, but trust me, I had the whole situation contained," Clark says dismissively.

"Clark! You didn't have anything under control," Lois shouts. "You may be super fast, and super strong, but apparently you're not super smart! Speaking as one of the people Davis considered smashing into a puddle not once but twice now, I can tell you, your plan was seriously flawed!"

"We can't kill him, he's a person," Clark insists.

"We know we can't kill him, we were trying to send him to the Phantom Zone," AC says in exasperation.

"You heard him Clark," Lois argues, knowing she had the best chance of getting through to Clark. "We all heard him. He won't stop coming for Chloe." Fear fills her voice. "Eventually he'll get her, maybe he'll have to kill Ollie to get her, but maybe you're OK with that," Lois says without meaning it, just pushing to get a reaction from Clark.

"Of course not. I don't want Oliver dead, but I won't go along with Oliver either. He's killed. He made that choice and killing is never right. Never."

"We were all there Clark," AC says. "We all agreed, we all were part of the plan."

"The team killed that monster," Victor chimes in.

"Or we tried, anyway," Bart says with a pained smile, trying to lighten the mood.

"We did it to protect our own and to safeguard all the people you claim you were sent here to protect," Dinah reiterates the team's position.

"I wonder if it will take one of us dying to get through to you. Maybe Lois. That thing will do whatever it takes to get Chloe and even that is no guarantee that he'll stop killing. Splitting him is no guarantee. We have very limited options for how end this, and you just stopped our best bet," Bruce says grimly.

"Kal-El this monster is not of this planet, it should not be allowed to rampage here, taking lives while you seek a better solution. The time is now, we must act."

"I'll find him, OK? I'll fix this," Clark says with wounded pride. He explains about black Kryptonite, and how it can split the two sides of the creature.

"Are you going to listen to anything we say?" Oliver asks, reading Clark's stubborn look. "Can't you see that splitting the man, and whatever morality he has left, from the beast just increases the risk?" Clark shakes his head, clearly thinking he knew best. "Then I won't bother."

"I'll make sure Davis never hurts anyone ever again," Clark states then disappears.

"No. You won't. But we will. We have to," Oliver says quietly.

Victor looks around the room, seeing everyone's bleak expressions. He refuses to allow himself to admit defeat. He turns his dark gaze on Chloe. "How many colors of this damn rock are there?"

Chloe smiles, but everyone can see that she's out of hope, they'd taken their best shot, their best two shots, a portal to the Phantom Zone and Gold K. Now both were lost and they had nothing left to try.

CO-CO-CO

In Coast City, another green clad hero returns to his ratty little apartment, collapsing into bed without any thoughts beyond being glad to be home.

CO-CO-CO

In Metropolis, Chloe puts on a happy face, organizing a meal, wanting everyone to sit down together. One last time.

"I know what you're thinking," Oliver says softly in her ear, having snuck up behind her.

Chloe leans back into his chest, his arms closing around her. "No you don't," she says calmly, putting a herculean effort into keeping her emotions under control. "I was thinking how much I love you."

"Liar."

She turns and buries her face in his chest, her tears silently soaking into his shirt. "Don't give up yet, Chloe." He tilts her face up to his and he can see her despair. "Have you lost faith in me, Sidekick?"

"No," she tries to smile. "Never. I just… I don't see a way out of this Ollie."

"We'll find it. Together."

CO-CO-CO

It's nearly noon when Hal wakes up to the bright sun of the west coast. The sound of waves breaking outside his window and the feel of his own, somewhat lumpy, mattress beneath him make him smile. He takes a quick shower, appreciating the comforts of home, before going to his small galley kitchen to see if he had any edible food, having been gone for several weeks.

A bad smell spills out of his refrigerator as soon as he opens it, causing him to immediately close it, opening the freezer instead. There he finds a box of frozen waffles and pulls two out with a shout of triumph. Dropping them into his toaster he fills a glass with water and gulps it down. Impatiently waiting for the toaster to pop he wanders around his apartment, briefly considering cleaning it up, or hiring a cleaning service to do it for him, and sees his phone lying on the coffee table. Tossing the phone into the air he catches it and hits the button to turn it on.

Hearing the toaster pop he walks back to the kitchen as the phone powers up. Grabbing a waffle in his hand and taking a big bite he holds up his phone seeing dozens of missed calls and text messages.

Hal frowns and stuffs the rest of the waffle in his mouth scanning the text messages briefly, his face falling.

CO-CO-CO

Chloe walks up the stairs from the living area to Watchtower's command center, feeling the weight of the world on her shoulders. She had made an effort over the last day to spend time with everyone, but mostly with Oliver and Lois. Unless they got a miracle, their time was about up.

Chloe enters the command center, dressed in a green tank top that hugged her breasts, pasting a smile on her face, looking around for Oliver.

"Chloe, looking stunning as always," Hal says cheerfully, grinning at the pretty blonde who had stolen his friend's heart out from under him. He winks at her then makes a show of letting his eyes trail down her body, spending a little extra time on her cleavage, waggling his eyebrows comically.

Chloe freezes, so happy to see Hal that she tears up, but she shakes off the swell of relief and smiles at him. "Thank you, Mr. Jordan."

He moves forward, leaving Oliver's side to hug her, making the embrace last longer than he would normally, partly to annoy Oliver, and partly because Hal was genuinely glad to see Chloe safe and sound. "Quite beautiful. I can see how you would be assigned the role of 'Beauty' in a rendition of Beauty and the Beast," he teases, but his gaze turns somber as he pulls back. "I've always loved a curvy woman."

She rolls her eyes at his flirting, stepping away from Hal as Oliver comes over to her, wrapping his arms around her waist from behind. Chloe smiles at Oliver's possessiveness as he presses a kiss to her temple.

"You know, that color really brings out Oliver's jealous complexion," Hal says with a straight face.

Chloe giggles while Oliver gives Hal a dry look. But inside Oliver was thrilled to hear Chloe's laughter again. She was meant to laugh and smile, not be buried under fear and doubts.

"It's good to see you man, but show a little respect, would you?" Oliver complains good naturedly, earning another laugh from Chloe, and an unapologetic look from his best friend.

"I'm better at showing my appreciation," Hal replies lightly. "Chloe, you just let me know if you're feeling unappreciated."

Chloe blushes hotly, causing Hal to arch both his eyebrows and smirk, wondering what she and Oliver had been up to that would cause her to turn bright red. Chloe diverts her eyes from Hal, recalling how she and Oliver had spent the night before, wanting to cherish every moment of what could be their last together. Chloe was certain that without her healing ability neither of them would be moving around easily.

"And I'm officially jealous again," Hal says, smiling genuinely at the happy couple. Ollie deserved a happy ending, and Hal couldn't be happier with his choice.

CO-CO-CO

The next team meeting has a decidedly different feel than the last. They have hope. Hal's power is only limited by what he could imagine, and he had sent out a request for help to the other Lanterns. Even if they didn't arrive in time for the fight, Hal was there, and Oliver knew it would be enough. No one had to get hurt. Hal could strike from a distance and hurt the beast without risking his own life.

Chloe and Oliver enter the room after the rest of the team, including Zatanna and Lois, have gathered. Hands clasped together they move as a unit, releasing as they turned to face the group, only to find purchase again, their opposite hands joining together as if magnets connected them, the pull automatic, undeniable, a force of nature not to be denied.

Lois grins broadly, happier for her cousin than she'd ever been for herself.

Hal stands up from his place on the couch next to the pretty dark haired magician. He explains about the Lantern Corps, and for a group that knew aliens, monsters and magic were all real, their level of awe at his story was almost comical. Hal says that the lanterns have a place for things like Davis, they just need to immobilize him.

"I don't know how to access an interstellar prison," Hal says regretfully. "I know they exist, but until the other lanterns arrive, I don't know how to do that."

"How long?" Victor asks.

"A few days, maybe a week."

"We may not have that much time," Dinah says solemnly, not looking forward to going up against that thing again, even with Hal at their side.

Chloe looks up at Oliver, squeezing his hand tightly. "I may know of another way to send Davis to the Phantom Zone. But you won't like it."

CO-CO-CO

Later the team has dispersed, leaving Chloe, Hal and Oliver alone. "How is it possible that you continually come up with plans that I absolutely hate?" Oliver asked, using humor to mask his unease.

Chloe smiles reassuringly at him, sliding her hand over his jaw and drawing him down for a kiss. "Lex won't hurt me Ollie, and he could help us."

"You don't even know if he has what you need."

"No, and she won't until we get over there and ask him," Hal inserts logically.

Oliver didn't release his hold on Chloe and Hal shoots him a understanding look. "I'll bring her back to you, man. As good as new." It went unsaid that the bad blood between Oliver and Lex would only pollute the waters.

Oliver nods and kisses Chloe again, a light press of lips. "You better."

CO-CO-CO

Chloe and Hal make their way to LuthorCorp, walking down Metropolis's city streets. Chloe breaths deeply, not having realized until that moment how pent up she had been feeling.

"You're a funny one."

"What?" she replied, looking up at Hal.

"Didn't I see you doing a happy dance about Luthor's misfortunes just a few months ago?"

Chloe smiles and nods. "God, that feels like a million years ago." She considers her feelings on Lex. "Lex and I… we have a complicated history."

"I bet Ollie just loves that."

"Yeah," Chloe says with deeper meaning. "Lex is dangerous, I would be a fool to lose sight of that, but…" she shakes her head. "But… he's not all bad."

"He helped when that thing came for you the first time," Hal says knowingly.

"And the second," she says quietly, recalling her fear at seeing Davis in monster form the first time, and her desperation to heal Ollie at the DP Gala as Lex stood between them and Davis.

Hal arches his eyebrows in question, but Chloe shakes him off. "But you don't trust him?"

"No," she says slowly, as if considering her words carefully. "But I still think… I think Lex will help, especially if it aligns with his own self interests," Chloe explains.

They enter LuthorCorp and Chloe approaches the reception desk, Hal just one step behind her. "Hi, I don't have an appointment, but…"

"Ms. Sullivan, would you like to see Mr. Luthor?" the receptionist asks helpfully.

Chloe immediately feels alarm. Hal wraps a protective, reassuring arm around her shoulders. "Ah, I see we were expected. How nice."

"Lex. I want to see Lex," Chloe says, making sure that she's not shown in to see Lionel.

"Of course. Mr. Luthor added you to his drop in list."

Chloe continues to stare at the woman dumbly so Hal steps in again. He smiles at the receptionist, a pretty brunette, dazzling her if her expression is any indicator. "And who else is on his list?"

"Oh, I … ah…"

"Just between us friends," he flirts.

"Ms. Sullivan, Mr. Kent, Mrs. Kent, Mr. Queen."

Hal winks at her. "I'll have to see if I can't get added. Such a distinguished list."

The receptionist laughs, flushing under his attention.

CO-CO-CO

A guard who comes to escort them upstairs sizes up Hal, which causes Chloe to smile. She'd kind of love to see Hal's powers in action in a setting less threatening than the one she anticipated happening with Davis.

"Hey Hal," Chloe asks as they ascend in the elevator.

"Yes darling?" he replies cheekily.

"What's your full name?"

Hal scowls at her playfully. "Did Oliver put you up to asking me that?"

"No," she laughs. "What is it?"

"Guess," he teases.

"Harold. Henry. Harry. Harrison. Hale. Harley…. Haldorid."

"Haldorid? Is that a Harry Potter character?"

"Maybe, I don't know," she laughs.

"Harold."

She shakes her head. "It doesn't suit you."

"Then we'll have to stick with Hal," he says as he wraps his arm around her lightly as they exit the elevator on the executive offices floor. "But Chloe suites you, as does your laughter."

Chloe smiles up at him, bright and happy, but he can still see the tension in her shoulders as they pass through the doors into Lex Luthor's office.

"Chloe," Lex greets her politely, coming around his desk to greet them. "And your friend…"

"Hal Jordan, which you already know," Chloe completes the introduction. "Hal, meet Lex Luthor."

The two men shake hands and Lex glances down at Hal's lantern ring. "What an unusual ring."

Hal smiles, but it's barely more than a baring of the teeth. "It's passed down."

"Of course," Lex agrees, turning his gaze back to Chloe. "You're looking well. I haven't seen you since the Daily Planet Gala." Hal watches Lex carefully, and sees that Oliver was right, while the man unquestionably gave off an ominous vibe, he appeared honestly concerned about Chloe and her well being. "I'm glad you made it out of there OK."

Chloe smiles. "You too. I heard you had your standard post incident head injury."

The warmth in their exchange is more than Hal had expected.

Lex smiles, and there is some honest emotion in it. "Well, I wouldn't like to disappoint you."

Chloe meets his gaze then, looks down at her feet before meeting his eyes again. "I don't want to play games Lex, can we just speak plainly?" Lex nods, feeling the other man's eyes on him, but he remains focused on Chloe. Lex sweeps his hand towards the sitting area in his office, noticing how comfortable Chloe was with Oliver's best friend. Hal's hand on her back politely escorts her to the couch where the two sit side by side. Lex sits in one of the comfortable leather club chairs, facing them.

Lex studies Chloe carefully, seeing the tension on her face. "You've lost weight."

"Is that a compliment?"

"Merely an observation. I understand that you have been under… unusual strain recently." He pauses. "How plainly are we speaking?" She meets his gaze head on and he nods. Somehow once again she found herself in the middle of a dangerous event of global importance. She truly was a trouble magnet. "I assume you are here because you think I can help in some way with the… creature that has become obsessed with you."

"Yes," Chloe confirms without elaborating.

Lex stares at her, considering his course of action. He is not surprised to find that he is willing to help Chloe. He is less interested in helping Oliver or Clark, but Lex had thought that he would be the one to stand against an alien invasion. Maybe this creature was it, maybe it was an isolated attack, but the fact that it had fixated on Chloe, one of the most decent people Lex had ever known, was unacceptable. "I assume that you being you, you have a specific request, that you didn't come here to request my general assistance."

Chloe nods. "Zod and his disciples had some bracelets. Thick. Metal. They bore his mark."

"I'm familiar."

"I need one."

"Do I get to know what it does?" Lex asks with a sly smile.

Chloe purses her lips and shakes her head. "Sorry, no."

"So you came to ask for my help, but you still don't trust me."

"Trust is earned," Hal says, drawing Lex's gaze.

Lex looks back at Chloe. "So it is."

CO-CO-CO

Hal's phone rings and he answers it even as he keeps his eyes on Chloe as she stands talking to Lex by his office door. "Hal, Davis found Lois, she's on the waterfront at 29th street, on foot."

"I'm coming." The urgency in his voice gets Chloe's attention and she turns away from Lex, reading Hal's face.

Hal walks quickly to Chloe, smiling at Lex. "Nice to meet you. Chloe we need to go. Now."

Hal hurries Chloe out of the office and into the elevators, but stops just two floors down. He pulls Chloe off the elevator and finds an empty office. "Hal, what…"

"Davis found Lois. That's all I know." Chloe looks terrified. "You have the bracelet?"

"Yeah," she says shakily.

"Good, hold on."

He activates his ring and the glass in the window disappears. Chloe steps under one of his arms, holding onto him tightly and they are zooming across the city.

CO-CO-CO

Hal flies over the scene and Chloe knows it is a worst case scenario. It's broad daylight, and they're in the middle of a popular public park in the middle of the city. Victor is down, Dinah standing over him protectively, until Bart can get there and run him to safety. A red blur passes through the area and Victor disappears. Dinah moves up, placing herself in front of Zatanna who was chanting with her hand in the air, obviously channeling some sort of energy at Davis. Oliver was shooting arrows from the other side, with Bruce and John Jones nearby. The beasts howls echo off the nearby buildings, the sound eerie and frightening.

Oliver's arrows glinted with green and blue tips, and Chloe knew he must have kryptonite arrows. Bruce was lobbing some of his best stuff, chemical and explosive bombs, with John shooting bullets from two small black pistols.

"Where's Lois?" Chloe asked worriedly, safe in Hal's arms for the moment.

Hal shakes his head, knowing that they can't worry about that now. He sets Chloe on the ground just behind Oliver, at the same time, the beast rushes at Dinah and Zatanna, his massive arm sweeping them both off their feet and launching them into the air with a roar of displeasure. They slam into the stone boardwalk wall before anyone can react. John reloads and fires again, but this time Davis bats away some of the bullets, which change direction then slam into Bruce's stomach knocking him to the ground.

Chloe moves closer to Oliver and sees blood coating his leg. She rushes at him, wrapping her hand around his arm, sending healing energy into him. Oliver twists his head to see her, his heart filling with dread, not wanting her anywhere near the fight. Almost instantly he feels the pain in his leg recede. Glancing up he sees Hal has seized Davis in a large energy fist, giving the team a minute to gather themselves.

Bart zooms back into the scene; he stops and tries to get both Zatanna and Dinah into his arms. He manages it for about 100 yards then has to set Dinah down or risk dropping her. He hides her behind a tree and carries an unconscious Zatanna back to Watchtower.

Oliver sees the flash of Chloe's blonde hair out of the corner of his eye as she darts away to lean over Bruce. Swearing under his breath, Oliver moves forward, putting himself in front of where she is kneeling over Bruce. He knows that Chloe is healing Bruce, and doesn't think he'll ever be comfortable with her using her ability.

"Tower be ready!" Hal shouts, distracting Chloe from her task. She looks up at Hal, then shakes her head, looking back at Bruce and seeing that she'd healed him – kinda. He had stopped bleeding, but she'd been distracted before she could finish. John and Oliver both move to flank Chloe, as she pulls Bruce back to his feet.

"Bart, when you come back, take Bruce," Oliver orders into the radio.

"No," Bruce growls, leaning heavily on Chloe in order to stand.

"Affirmative, Arrow," Bart confirms, ignoring Bruce even though the man frightens him with his intensity.

"Chloe?" Oliver asks.

"I have it," Chloe pulls out the bracelet and hands it to John, not trusting her hand eye coordination to get the job done. John takes it, handing her one of his guns and Oliver huffs out a noisy wordless protest.

"Where's Lois?" she questions frantically.

"The hedge," Oliver says shortly, lifting his bow to be at the ready.

Hal drops Davis as a blast of heat that seems to emanate from the beast's eyes burns across his chest. Hal yells in pain, as his uniform and skin blacken, but he retains control and dives into the river, emerging a few seconds later, clearly injured but still in the fight.

Chloe takes a running step towards Lois, but Davis is directly in her path, standing over Lois. Chloe takes another step, then feels herself being hauled backwards. Oliver dumps her on her ass in the grass and shoots her a warning look.

"I have to get to her, she could be dying!"

The beast turns in Chloe's direction, somehow knowing she was there. "And if you get killed or taken? Who's going to help her then?" Oliver argues tersely.

Bart comes back through and Bruce disappears with the speedy teen, Batman's protests audible over the radio channel.

Hal hefts Davis up again, wrapping him in an energy net, but Davis shoots another heat blast at Hal, forcing him to dodge and messing with his concentration, which was needed to keep Davis immobilized. "Now!" Hal yells, wanting them to open the portal and end the fight.

Davis swings his gaze to where Hal was looking, the red lasers forcing the only three heroes remaining on the ground to dive out of the way. Oliver wraps his arm around Chloe's torso and leaps over the heat ray, lifting her off her feet in a show of brute strength, the grass and dirt where they'd been standing, burnt to a crisp a split second after he'd moved them away.

Hal tries to turn Davis around, mid-air, to divert his attention from the team on the ground. Davis couldn't see them, but he knew they were there. Hal swings Davis upwards, twisting him, but Davis manages to grab a hold of a large Maple tree, ripping its roots from the ground. He hurls it at Hal, but Hal dodges easily, floating up and out of harm's way. Unfortunately, Chloe, Oliver and John were behind Hal, and in the direct path of the flying 30 foot tree. John tries to jump out of the way, but this time, he is too slow. He gets caught with the root ball, pinned to the ground, unmoving. Oliver grabs Chloe again, diving to the ground to avoid a branch coming their direction, and rolling them out of the way. Chloe grunts as they tumble over a rock and one of the branches wacks into her side, sending pain shooting through her.

"Chloe," Oliver calls worriedly, but while his gaze is on her the beast sends a blast of air where Oliver's voice had come from, sending the Green Arrow reeling backwards, smashing into a metal park bench.

"Ollie..." Chloe scrambles to her knees but knows that if she can't get the portal open Oliver would be seriously hurt or worse as the battle continued. Pulling herself to her feet, she wraps an arm protectively around her middle. Chloe stumbles towards where John had been standing, searching the ground for the bracelet.

Suddenly Clark appears and Chloe can see a black crystal in his hand. Davis also caught sight of Clark and his howls deepened to a terrifyingly threatening sound. Fearing what would happen if Clark split the beast from the man, Chloe frantically searches for the bracelet. Finding it, she sees that Hal is barely managing to hold onto Davis, pulling him away from Clark, but Clark was still too close. If she opened the portal he might be sucked in too.

"Clark," Chloe yells. "Get Lois!" Chloe points at Lois who was still lying unconscious under a hedge, in the middle of the battlefield. Clark rushes towards her, then disappeared from sight. Chloe looks up to make sure Hal could still manage Davis, and Hal nods, wrapping energy ropes around the struggling beast. Chloe stands up straight and removes her ring so Davis could see her. Hopefully he still wanted her alive. "Davis," she calls softly.

His gaze swings to her and his unearthly howls finally cease. "Chloe."

She cringes, hearing her name in that frightening voice. "I'm sorry." With those words she throws the bracelet into the air and it flies towards Davis then slows and stops mid-air, rotating in a circle.

Clark returns to the scene just in time to see the vortex opening. "No!" he shouts, but before he can run to Davis, Oliver manages to shoot a small dart, loaded with just enough Kryptonite to bring Clark down, into his neck.

Clark falls to the ground, but Chloe's eyes are still focused on Davis. "I'm so sorry," she whispers, her gaze full of unspoken emotion: sadness, fera, hurt, but also unwavering certainty. The vortex grows, and Hal floats the unresisting beast into it, releasing his energy hold. The power of the vortex holds Davis captive, and he begins to transform back into the man. As the vortex transforms, Davis appears to be caught in a flat, two dimensional crystal. His eyes are glued to Chloe, his expression tortured. Hal felt a twinge of compassion for the man, but he knew the beast had to go.

Chloe turns away, walking towards Oliver, her steps quickening until she is running. Oliver's eyes are locked on Chloe, searching her form to make sure she was unhurt. As they finally meet, Chloe leaps into his arms. Oliver catches her easily, but steps back, weakened by his injuries, but still able to hold her up and wrap his arms around her tightly.

Hal is the only one to bear witness as the crystal tumbles end over end in the air, then flies up, exiting the earth's atmosphere.

Chloe runs her hands over Oliver's arms and back, trying to gauge the severity of his injuries. "Are you OK?" she asks in a near panic. "Are you hurt?"

He groans, setting her down on the ground, but cupping his hands around her face and smiling before he plants a hard kiss on her lips. "Well it doesn't feel good," he says quietly, "but, I'll live."

She smiles at him, but her expression is tortured. "You better." Oliver pulls her back into his arms and hugs her, giving and taking comfort.

Hal comes over to them, with John's unconscious form in his arms. "Not to interrupt your little reunion, but we should go."

Oliver looks up to see that people were beginning to move towards them, looking at the remaining heroes in stunned disbelief.

"Clark?" Chloe asks, not moving away from Oliver.

"Got him," Hal replies reassuringly. "Upsy daisy," Hal says lightly, floating all five heroes back to their headquarters.

CO-CO-CO

Watchtower is a hive of activity. Victor was back on his feet, his pupils dialated as RL-65 courses adrenalin through his veins, making him feel invincible. AC walks up to him and jabs a sedative into his shoulder.

"What the hell, man?" Victor complains, pushing AC back and taking an aggressive posture.

"Trust me, you want to stay here, in control? You need the sedative. Otherwise you go in lock down." AC nods towards the makeshift cage they'd had made just in case one of them couldn't handle the side effects.

Victor scowls but relaxes some.

Lois was on a stretcher, alongside Dinah and Zatanna. Emil checks them each over, still determining if they'd be better off healing in the traditional way. Zatanna's vitals were stable, but Dinah and Lois needed watching.

Bruce was sitting up in a chair, having refused medical care, but he hooked an IV up into his own arm.

The glass in one of the large circular windows in the tower disappear, and Hal floats himself, Oliver, Chloe, John and Clark through, the glass reforming behind them. Victor shakes his head. "Did that just happen?" AC just nods.

Emil moves towards John, but Bart zips past him, and by the time Emil turns around, Bart has laid John on another available stretcher and hooked him up to a heart monitor. "Thanks…" Emil says somewhat hesitantly.

Chloe helps Oliver to one of the couches, easing him down. "Chloe, don't," he says warningly, trying to disengage from her hands.

"Too bad, Ollie. You can be mad at me later," she says stubbornly, pushing her hands firmly into his chest and sending her power into him. Oliver instantly feels the pain recede, but frowns at her.

"Chloe…"

"I won't over do it, I promise," she says, pulling away, then darting back towards him, kissing him hard.

She moves over to Lois, Zatanna, and Dinah, and realizes she doesn't know who to heal.

"Zatanna is stable," Emil tells her helpfully, carefully assessing John, then deciding quickly that he needed RL-65.

Chloe moves to her cousin, and takes Lois's hand. After only a few seconds, Lois opens her eyes and sits up abruptly. "Chlo!" Lois looks around wildly, throwing her arms around Chloe.

"Glad to see you too, Lo," Chloe laughs.

"Is he… are we… what happened?" she groans, lying back down.

"We won," Chloe says simply, moving to Dinah. Chloe sinks a lot more power into Dinah before the songbird opens her eyes.

"Chloe… Victor…"

"We all made it," Chloe says, squeezing Dinah's hand. "Barely, but we made it."

Chloe cranes her head over her shoulder to meet Oliver's eyes. She smiles, then her expression disintegrates into tears.

CO-CO-CO

Sometime later, Clark woke up, the effects of the Kryptonite dart, only lasting an a little over an hour. Clark looks around the room, appearing hungover. "What did you do?"

The question sets off a flurry of renewed anger at the super powered alien. Chloe stands quietly as the insults and judgments fly. Lois comes up beside her, twining her fingers with her cousin's.

"Enough!" Chloe shouts. "It's done. You can be mad, upset, disappointed, whatever Clark. I don't regret it. We did what we had to."

"None of us regret it," Oliver adds his voice to the argument for the first time. "We wanted to work with you, but you continually chose to work against us. It's over now, and I, for one, will sleep easy."

"He deserved a chance, you took that from him. He never had a chance," Clark says, expecting them to feel bad.

Lois stares at him. "He came after me as a human Clark. The man was in charge and he still came after me to get to Chloe."

"If he had been human, he would have been sent to a jail. I don't see what your problem is. You don't deny that he killed all those people. Kidnapped Chloe. Tried to kill all of us. But somehow you think we should all forgive him, give him another chance. Life doesn't' work like that Clark. You make a choice, you live with the consequences."

Clark looks wounded, and disappears in a rush of air.

Lois hardens her expression and lifts her chin. "Who's hungry? Doctor? You look like you could use some food. Speedy… help a girl out, will ya?"

Bart nods and quickly disappears. Chloe squeezes Lois's hand, offering her comfort.

CO-CO-CO

Two days later, Chloe comes downstairs in the Clock Tower, dressed in a cream colored lace dress with long leather belt that wraps around her waist multiple times. Oliver's eyes lit with appreciation, especially since the belt and her shoes were green. The dress was both innocent and sexy, showcasing the smallness of her waist, but partially concealing the shadow of her cleavage behind the lace overlay that covered her chest and shoulders.

Standing beside Oliver, Hal grins at the small blonde that had made Oliver happy. "So bro, have you heard that in some cultures, when somebody saves your life, you gotta give that guy your girl."

"Not a chance," Oliver denies, without taking his eyes off Chloe. "But I'll give you some livestock if that helps soften the blow."

CO-CO-CO


Words 6372

inspiration for Chloe's lace dress: on Pinterst board "Chlollie Fashion" search for Epipanies Chapter 40 or type in (slash) pin (slash) 282741682827854228

When I first wrote the last fight scene, I left Clark lying on the ground. And again when I edited it. It took me awhile to realize I'd had Ollie drop him. My bad.

I clearly recycled some show dialogue here, moving it from one character to another.

The mood of this chapter was all over the place… but it works for me. Hal brings such a lightness to the story. It was fun to write him having scenes with just Chloe, and then with Chloe and Lex.