Summary: Chloe is on a recruiting mission, trying to pin down Gotham's infamous Dark Knight. In order to learn more about him, she begins interviewing those he's captured. What will she do when the Joker escapes and begins targeting her?
Warning: sexually explicit content, moderate violence
"This sucks," Chloe grumbled for the millionth time as Victor and Oliver helped her into her car.
"Finally!" Oliver said. "Someone who understands!"
"You, shut up," she muttered irritably.
"Hey, I'm just saying I sympathize. You have no idea what it's like being surrounded by people who can't be injured."
Victor didn't comment, looking instead duly sheepish, though Chloe was sure she saw the corner of his mouth twitch.
Chloe had been frustrated beyond belief when the doctor informed her recovery time would be at bare minimum of six months.
A little over four weeks later, she was absolutely fed up with depending on everyone else. Everyone had to drive her places; she couldn't reach high shelves–even more of a problem than before getting shot–and everyone in the League was constantly fussing over her. Oliver had pulled her out of Gotham and back home to Metropolis so fast it made her head spin, and though she knew she was fortunate that good ol' Bill had at least missed her patella, she wasn't handling her recovery period all that well.
Meanwhile, as Lois kept pointing out, she was lovelorn. Bruce hadn't returned her calls during the first week, and after that she had given up, not wanting to be the reason he avoided the Justice League. She had sent Oliver in her stead to lay out the cards for Bruce, and though Oliver had made a valiant effort, Bruce insisted that Gotham needed Batman where he was.
He had at least consented to help out if ever they needed him, and Oliver had assured him that the feeling was mutual.
In the car, Oliver glanced wearily at Chloe. She had returned to work at Watchtower with her usual zeal, so really, he shouldn't be worried about her. But he could still sense that something was off, and when he had finally approached Lois and asked if she thought Chloe was all right. Lois's eyes had almost bugged out of her head.
"Thank God! Someone else has noticed!"
They'd pegged it down to one thing: Bruce Wayne. The fact of the matter was that whenever someone mentioned Bruce's name, Chloe seemed to suddenly become deaf in that ear and would loudly changed the subject.
No one, not even Lois, had been able to get out of Chloe what had happened when she spoke with Bruce in the hospital. And in spite of Lois's best efforts, no one had been able to get out of Chloe whether or not she and Bruce had talked at all since then.
Oliver didn't like to get involved. It was none of his business. Even if he was itching to give his friend a call and demand to know whether he'd broken Oliver's Second-in-Command's heart.
This weekend was a particularly sensitive situation. Chloe had agreed to return to Gotham to testify in the cases against the Joker and Harley. Oliver could tell on the trip there that Chloe was not her usual self at all. He was sure she was nervous about the possibility of seeing Bruce again, but more so, he sensed that she was frightened of being in the same room as the Joker. It was why he had volunteered to go with her as well as Victor, who was her personal escort and "wheelchair-pusher" for the trip. He wanted to make sure she felt protected–never mind that she might need so real protection as well, given the nature of these cases.
"I still don't see why I can't just have crutches," she groused as Victor helped her settle in the wheelchair.
"Because nobody trusts you to take it easy on crutches," Victor teased her. Chloe folded her arms and made a 'hmmph' sound.
"Come on, Watchtower," Oliver said, getting out of the car and walking around to their side. "Let's get this over with so we can go to my favorite restaurant for lunch."
"Got everything you need?" Victor asked.
"I've got everything except my dignity," she sighed. Victor chuckled and start wheeling her toward the courthouse.
"You two go ahead," Oliver said, "I'll catch up." He sent Victor a significant look and Victor nodded his understanding.
Chloe frowned helplessly as Victor pushed her away. "Where are you going?"
"Just need to make a few business calls!" Oliver lied.
Well, he had one call to make at least, but aside from that he was positioning himself outside the courthouse as the Green Arrow for the next hour and a half before the trial started to make sure the Joker or his lackeys couldn't try anything.
He pulled Victor's truck into an alley where he made the transition into his costume, then found nearby rooftop where he could see without being seen. Before switching on his voice modulator, he made the phone call.
"Wayne," a voice answered swiftly on the other end.
"Bruce, it's Oliver."
He heard the briefest of hesitations on the other hand. "Queen," Bruce greeted. "Haven't talked to you in a while. What's going on?"
"Don't worry, this is a personal call."
"Oh yeah," Bruce chuckled grimly on the other end. "That makes me relax. What's up?"
"I'm in Gotham for the weekend."
"You have business here?" Oliver could hear the frown in Bruce's voice.
"I don't. A friend does."
A pause. "Oh."
"You want to tell me what happened with you two?"
"None of your business, Queen," Bruce replied curtly. "And if that's all you called about–"
"I didn't call to gossip about her. I called because she's in your town, and I imagine you're going to be seeing her, so as a friend, I'm asking you not to do anything stupid."
"Excuse me," Bruce deadpanned, clearly not amused with Oliver's gall.
"I don't know happened and frankly I don't give a damn. I really don't need to know. But I do know that one of the best members of my team has not been herself lately, and that upsets me a little bit, Bruce," Oliver said coolly.
"Is this the big brother warning me to stay away from his kid sister act?" Bruce asked sarcastically.
"Well what exactly are you calling about, Oliver?"
"I'm calling to find out how long you plan to be an idiot about this and whether or not it's going to upset my weekend."
"Get lost, Queen."
"Bruce, I know you, and I know all the shit you've been through with women, and I know how broody and angsty you are, and most of the time, man, I sympathize, okay? Most of the time, I get it. Most of the time, I understand when you shut stuff out. But I'm here to tell you that there's a reason she's one of the best members of my team, and it has almost nothing to do with the fact that her skill levels are off the charts. She's a good person, Bruce, and you're an idiot if you let her go."
"Is that it?"
"No. That's the friendly advice. I'm calling because you're probably going to run into each other this weekend, and I'm warning you, if you upset her, or make this any more difficult for her than it already is, I will personally come find you, and shove one of your batarangs where the sun don't shine. And then kill you."
"What do you mean, make it more difficult? Make what difficult."
"You don't know?"
"What? Which case?"
Oliver got distracted from answering when he saw an expensive black car pull up to the courthouse. A tall, dark man on his cell phone stepped out, looking around him. "Both of them," Oliver answered.
Oliver watched as Bruce stilled slightly and heard him sigh over the phone. "Okay."
"All I'm saying is if you don't have anything nice to say–"
"Goodbye, Queen," Bruce hung up on him.
Oliver rolled his eyes. If the two of them didn't sort it out this weekend, he might actually have to let Lois interfere, just so he could have some peace in his life again.