Banner by alxnhnt22
Disclaimer: Smallville: Superman the Early Years, and Superman, the comic and all their relevant characters, places and items, are the direct property of Warner Brothers Inc, The CW and DC comics.
A/N: Hi... (#timidtweet). I'm going to stop promising to be more regular, because every time I promise I will, I end up taking forever to update. -____- #DoBetterSelf
So this chapter is another little filler one, but I feel that with everything that went down in the last one, a little reaction time was in need.
As always read, review and enjoy,
Shout outs to the reviewers for chapter 7 saurina, serafina19, babydee1, iluvaqt, balmaudaj, I really appreciate all of your support and I send blessings into all of your lives... I hope you #cupsrunnethover
PS. Yes... I really did kill Victor.(How diabolical am I??!!)
"Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith." – Henry Ward Beecher
As soon as Dinah had come in, Chloe had been working on auto-pilot. Seeing the bleeding body of Bart had almost floored her. But instinct had kicked in, and somehow, she'd managed to keep everyone calm, and get things moving, all the while not letting her mind drift to thinking about the young hero bleeding out on the floor above her. Emil was on the phone in seconds, and at Watchtower minutes later. And meanwhile she'd been putting her people skills to use, trying to distract the former hostages from the mini war-room they'd been dragged into.
"I couldn't think of anywhere else to take them." Dinah had said to explain why she'd brought civilians to Watchtower. "The red sky freaked me out, all I could think about was getting them somewhere safe."
Chloe couldn't really argue. Watchtower was the safest place in the city as far as she knew. But that didn't mean it wasn't vulnerable. The Kandorians weren't Clark. They could fly, and probably more. Even under her wing at Watchtower, Chloe couldn't ensure their safety. Not to mention, they kept getting in the way, milling about between the consoles, and standing doe-eyed and staring at the screens. Chloe was getting a little tired of telling people to sit in one place, and stay calm.
She decided to leave Dinah to sort out the civilians with food and water, and made her way up the stairs to see how Bart was doing. Watching Dinah and the others carrying him through was possibly the most sickening feeling of her life. It set her completely on edge. Especially as Dinah couldn't tell her anything about how any of the others were doing, which meant that Chloe's mind was constantly considering different ways that they could be dead right now. Forcing herself to think of something else she turned her mind on the people who she had here, and could help. It didn't stop her from constantly glancing at Watchtower's double-doors, and wondering how long it would take them to find their way home.
"How's he doing?" Chloe said, as she approached Emil. He stood over Bart's body, with a deeply focused expression, glancing occasionally, at the various monitors, Bart had been attached to.
He drew away and dabbed at his forehead with the back of his hand. "Better." He said, pulling on his rolled up sleeves. "Once he'd been given blood, his system seemed to get back into gear, and that metabolism of his started working over time."
He pushed his glasses further up his nose, and gestured to the area of Bart's abdomen that had been most severely burned. "This area has already begun to heal properly."
Chloe looked closer at the area, now that it had been cleaned; it was easier to see exactly what they had done. "They branded him." She said closing her eyes.
"Yes." Emil said. "I'm afraid it will scar. I'm sure Bart won't be very happy. I couldn't tell you what this symbol is but-"
"It's a Kryptonian symbol." Chloe said. "Like a signature."
Emil shuddered, and ran a hand over his face. "Disturbing as that is, it's not my main concern."
Emil lifted Bart's arms away from his chest. "From what I can tell there are several fractures to Bart's ribs, which could easily be damaging several of his internal organs. I can't be completely sure until I do an X-ray, but I don't want to move him to Metropolis General."
"If his ribs are broken, what can you do here?" Chloe asked.
Emil sighed. "That all depends on whether or not there is internal damage. So far, I wouldn't say so. But he'd need surgery, to realign the bones I'm afraid."
Chloe nodded. "And his body won't heal on its own?"
"I'm sure it will Chloe, but the only problem is the bones very well may heal in the wrong place." Emil said, with an apprehensive look on his face. "As I said, I can't be sure. I'll have to get Clark to X-ray him when he gets here."
Chloe bit her lip. At the mention of Clark, she was immediately reminded of everyone who wasn't there. Her eyes instinctively went to the door, as she wondered if they were alright. She caught Emil watching her and immediately turned her eyes back to Bart.
"It's alright to worry you know." He said to her. "After all, they aren't in the safest of places."
"Worrying doesn't help them Emil." Chloe said changing the subject. "Is there anything you need me to do here?"
"No." Emil said. "We should keep him sedated for a while, and I'm putting him on antibiotics, and just trying to keep him comfortable until he heals. We'll see how he manages on his own."
Before Emil could finish his sentence, the double doors banged open. Chloe and Emil craned their necks, to see Oliver and Clark walking in.
"Oh my God." Chloe said on a breath as she ran down the stairs to meet them. As she approached them she immediately noticed that Oliver was covered in blood. "What happened? Are you guys okay?"
Oliver said nothing and seemed to walk into Watchtower on auto-pilot. Clark glanced at him a little uneasily before turning to Chloe. "We're fine, for the most part."
Chloe couldn't seem to take her eyes away from the massive blood stains all over Oliver's dress shirt. "Oliver your shirt-"
Oliver looked down at what she was pointing at, and it seemed like he had forgotten it was there. "… It isn't mine." He said monotonously, bringing his hand to the stains.
"Where are the others?" Dinah asked as she approached them.
Clark glanced at Oliver again. Looking between them Chloe noticed a strange expression on both their faces. "What's going on?" she asked hesitantly
Dinah noticed it too. "Clark." She said, with a note of warning in her voice. "Where are Victor and AC?"
Clark looked away as he answered. "Victor… he's"
"He's dead." Oliver said from behind them.
"What?" Chloe said, in a breathless whisper. It seemed all the breath she had had been knocked out of her with those two words. All she could seem to think was 'This isn't true. This isn't true.' But all it took was the look on Clarks face to prove that it was indeed true. She felt her knees begin to give out on her, and searched behind her for something to balance on, finally leaning onto her desk for support.
"And AC?" Dinah asked, her voice sounded almost timid.
Clark looked at her with a look Chloe hadn't seen in months. The look on his face seemed to scream out pain, and sadness, and yet at the same time understanding and compassion, like he was trying to relate to Dinah. "Dinah… AC is… we lost him."
Dinah seemed to be frozen in place for a moment. "What do you mean?" she said finally. "Is he dead?"
Clark shrugged lamely. "I don't know." He said. "He wasn't the last time I saw him."
Chloe suddenly felt the need to get out of this situation. Like she needed to run and pretend like this wasn't happening. She stood up off the desk and began to walk away from Clark and Oliver, and toward the stained glass window. But as she approached it, she couldn't help but feel sick. Somehow, the memory of Jimmy, lying in his own blood on the floor flooded back into her mind, she felt tears begin to build up in her eyes. Closing them, she willed them back. Noise had become a muffled haze. She barely realised that she wasn't alone. But somewhere in the darkness, she heard Dinah's distressed voice, and as she opened her eyes, she saw she was surrounded by people. People who needed her.
"… How could you leave him in there?"
"Dinah we didn't have a choice-"
"He's a member of this team," Dinah cried "You should never have left him! All your abilities and you can't save your friends-"
"Dinah that's enough." Chloe cut in. Dinah turned to her with wrathful eyes, but was silenced at the serious look on Chloe's face. "Go and see if the hostages need anything."
She was about to argue, but Chloe cut her off with a look, and without another word she marched over to the hostages.
Chloe turned her attention to the newest additions to ground zero. She turned her eyes on Oliver, who had barely said two words since he'd arrived. His dress shirt was torn, and covered in blood, and there was blood on his skin and in his hair. She noticed blood on the sleeve of his shirt also, where it was torn, and realised he could actually be hurt. Clark, strangely, was in a similar state of disrepair. His Blur shirt had been torn, and as she looked over his face, Chloe noticed something which made her stomach turn. "Clark you're… You're bleeding."
Clark lifted his hand to his head, and sure enough, there was a trail of blood slowly making its way down the side of his face from his hairline. A little entranced, he couldn't stop staring at the blood.
"Why are you bleeding?" she asked him, afraid of the answer.
Clark said nothing, but his frown began to change into another expression, one that Chloe recognised but did not like. Chloe forced both of them to go up the stairs and sit down, so she could clean them up. She dealt with Clark first.
"Never really thought I'd have to do this..." She mumbled to herself as she took an alcohol wipe to his forehead. "This'll sting."
Clark didn't say anything for a while, and just glanced at her every now and again, and winced as the wipe brushed his forehead. "So how mad are you right now?" he asked tentatively.
Chloe said nothing, and focused on the cut on his head.
"I mean, I know you have every right to be." He continued. "You told me we weren't ready, but I wouldn't listen, and now…" He didn't finish, but instead turned his eyes downward.
Chloe couldn't help but feel her heart break at the sight of the dejection on his face. She almost smiled at the idea that despite all his vigorous training, and stoic expressions, he still cared. She wondered sometimes, but in her heart she knew that Clark could never stop caring for the world. It was in his nature.
She sighed "I'm not mad, Clark." She began as she threw the wipe away and reached for the butterfly stitches. "I'm sad, and I'm scared… I could really use my friend…" She didn't look him in the eye as she said this, but she could feel that he was watching her.
Finally once the stitches were in place, she turned to look into his face. "I could have used you a lot these past months." She whispered.
There was a familiar look in Clarks eye, one she hadn't seen since his guard went up, and he'd shut her out. A small smile pulled on the corners of his mouth, and disappeared as soon as it came. "I'm sorry Chloe." He said. "I should have been by your side through this… instead I held you at arms length. I just… You lost so much because of me, because of my secret."
Chloe nodded, but chose to say nothing. He needed to say this, to reconnect with his emotions so that he could come back to them.
"I don't want to hurt anyone else." He said finally.
Chloe smiled sadly. "I understand." She said. "You need to wash up, Also, get Emil to take a closer look at that when he gets a chance-"
"We have things to do Clark." Chloe said cutting him off, "Let's not waste time with apologies."
Clark smiled as she moved away from him, and focused her attention on Oliver. Her eyes narrowed as she noticed his hunched form, and his unfocused eyes. "Uh-oh." She began lightly. "I know that look."
Oliver said nothing, but his eyes snapped over to look at her, before turning away again.
"How much are you beating yourself up right now?" she asked.
Oliver remained silent as she checked him over, she tore off the ripped sleeve of his dress shirt, and noticed a bullet wound. The bullet had torn against the edge of his flesh, leaving a long, red, angry scar across his bicep. She sucked in her breath through her teeth, as she pulled out an alcohol wipe. "Geez Ollie… This was supposed to be your rescue mission-"
"Don't remind me." He finally said, still not looking at her. His voice was monotonous.
Chloe sighed. "This is gonna sting." She said in warning, taking his hand in hers for comfort.
Oliver winced and hissed as the wipe brushed his open flesh, his hand squeezed hers nearly painfully at first, but as the grip eased as he got used to the wipe.
"Why is it always the heroes who blame themselves for everything that goes wrong in the world?" Chloe began holding his hand a little more firmly. "I'm not blaming you, so I don't know why you're blaming yourself."
Oliver said nothing for a while, but the expression on his face contorted, the frown deepening, as he slipped his hand out of hers. "I'm not a hero." He said so quietly, she wasn't sure she'd even heard him.
"That's interesting." She said with a little smile. "Because I could have sworn that you saved an old lady last night."
Oliver turned to face her with a questioning frown.
"Amanda told me." She said still smiling. "She thinks you're a hero. And you weren't even in green-"
"Stop it Chloe." He said hoarsely. A little surprised, Chloe's eyes widened at him, and she noticed that he was no longer looking at her, but instead was enthralled with a spot on the floor. "Please, just stop it."
Chloe said nothing, but watched him carefully in the red light. The red morning light hit the side of his face, and made the hollows of his cheeks and neck darken dramatically. He turned his face into the light, and said. "He saved me you know."
Chloe didn't want to ask who, but she felt like she already knew.
"He took the bullet for me." Oliver said. "… He saved my life."
Chloe couldn't think of anything to say, so she said nothing, and instead reached for the bandages.
"How many more people are going to die, because of my mistakes?" He asked, it seemed, to himself. It felt that he'd forgotten Chloe was there.
"You can't save everyone Ollie." Chloe said quietly, as she wrapped the gauze around Oliver's arm. "You didn't cause it, and you couldn't prevent it… But that doesn't mean that you're to blame."
Oliver turned to look at her, and Chloe felt her chest tighten at the emotion in his eyes. She hadn't cried in a long time, but she could have cried at that look. In the dark pools of his eyes he seemed to be lost in his own despair and misery. She felt like she could feel him reaching out from that darkness, calling for her to help him, pleading with her to pull him out… She had to look away.
Godhelpme,she thought as she sent him into the bathroom to wash the blood off his skin. One of the problems of working with heroes; is the constant need they have to be saved.
The rusty light poured into the little bathroom, through a small peephole of stained glass, and fell over Oliver's hunched form as he scrubbed at the bloodied shirt. The warm water in the sink became more and more scarlet, with every move of Oliver's wrists and hands. Entranced by it, Oliver couldn't help but feel that the blood was seeping into his own skin. The blood of his friends, comrades, people who'd relied on him, giving their own lives to save his…
… And for what?
He twisted the shirt more in the red water and squeezed more blood out. Why would they give up their lives for him? Despite Chloe's persistence that she needed his help, Oliver knew that he had nothing to give her, no help for her. He wasn't the hero he'd pretended to be, he was just another spoilt rich boy, who had more money than sense. Another spoilt rich boy, playing Robin Hood in Suicide Slums. Another spoilt rich boy… who didn't understand the consequences to his actions…
Human that he was Oliver made mistakes. But mistaking the Princess of Monaco for the Princess of England was one thing, that was an Oliver Queen mistake, slightly embarrassing, but laughable. Green Arrow mistakes took lives… took Lois'… Jimmy's… Victor's…
Suddenly his thoughts were flooded with Victor's relenting face, as the blood gushed out of his body at unstoppable force.
Oliver slammed his hands down on the edge of the sink, and gripped it tightly, as he felt his eyes begin to water. His head dropped, his chin coming to his chest, as his whole body began to shake. Whythehelldidyoudoit… he thought. Iwasn'tworthit…
Slowly he raised his eyes up to look at himself in the mirror. Looking for some kind of hope… that perhaps, he would see someone different looking back. But nothing had changed… He'd played hero for an hour or so, but nothing had changed… he wasn't anymore a hero, than he was yesterday, or the day before…
Perhaps… he thought, looking through the stained glass peep hole. Thereisn'tanyhopeafterall.
He opened the medicine cabinet, and took a look around.
Having been distracted by the countless other people who needed her, Chloe hadn't thought about Oliver for quite a while. Emil had discovered that Clark had indeed lost all of his powers, which had put a damper on Bart's X-ray. It seemed a lot more sensible to have bought that X-ray machine now.
It was only when she heard a thud from within the bathroom that she thought to check on Oliver. Leaving Dinah, Emil and Clark to come up with a solution to Bart's healthcare, she walked up to the bathroom door, tapping on it gently at first.
"Oliver?" she called "Are you okay in there?"
There was no response, for a moment she thought he might be sulking. But then she remembered that look of pure dejection on his face, and realised, he didn't have a good sulk in him.
"I know we have a bathroom policy here," she said lightly. "But if you don't answer me, I'm gonna have to come in."
There was still no reply; she now began to get worried. There was no lock to her bathroom door (why would there be when she lived there alone?) so, uneasily, she stepped into the bathroom.
"Oliver" she called as she poked her head around the door. "Are you alright?"
In the dim red light, she saw a shape sprawled on the cold tiled floor, and she felt her stomach drop into her shoes.
A/N: LO IS THE CHAPTER READ. loool I hope you all enjoyed it. Please review, and let me know what you think.
Darkeyes xxxxxxChapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6,