Title: The Date
Series: Smallville/Batman Begins
Disclaimer: I don't own anything but the plot.
Pairing: Chloe/Bruce "Chruce"
When Chloe suddenly has a date, the Justice League have two missions: to keep an eye on their mother-figure like posessive sons, and find someone stupid enough to tell Bruce Wayne, Batman, that the girl he won't admit he likes has a date.
Chloe blew a piece of blonde hair out of her face as she fixed her last earring and rolled her eyes at the cries of indignation and horror coming from her ‘boys’. After realizing that the many secrets she knew could jeopardize all of her friends, Chloe had quit the Daily Planet (who could write the truth with Lex being the owner anyway?) and signed on full-time as the Justice League’s Watchtower…or mother…as she truly described her ‘job’.
And now, not for the first time, Chloe felt like a widowed mother about to go out on her first date after her husband’s death, and with angered, horrified, horribly protective and possessive sons protesting the whole thing.
“Chloelicious, I think you’re going about this a bit fast.” Bart announced with a deep frown as he shared a concerned look with AC.
“Yeah, I totally agree.” The man who was known as Aquaman spoke solemnly. “Maybe you should invite him here first before going out with him.”
Chloe bit back a smile at their antics. “Why? So you can scare him away like you did the last guy who asked me out on a date?”
“I have no idea what you’re insinuating.” Bart gave her a look of utter innocence, which she didn’t buy at all.
“So he just freaked out for no reason whatsoever during the five minutes I left him with you all while I went to get my jacket?” Chloe asked, still a little angered about that. It was like this every time a guy was brave enough to ask her out on a date despite the glares he got from the boys.
“Well, you have to understand,” Victor announced from where he was busy typing on his computer. “why he’d be so intimidated.” His eyes never left the screen of his beloved possession yet there was a slight smirk on his face. “Even though he was a civilian and didn’t know who we really were--you’re living with some prime male specimens, Sullivan.”
Chloe rolled her eyes at him. “Prime specimens, huh?”
“Yup.” AC agreed with a bright smile.
“It’s not our fault that we’re absolutely macho.” From where he sat with his friend on the sofa, Bart quickly rolled up his sleeve to show off his ‘muscles’ proudly.
She couldn’t help it. She giggled. It was difficult to stay angry at them, especially when they were all giving her puppy dog faces.
The elevator door opened and the leader of he Justice League paused as he stepped into the penthouse they all shared, blinking in surprise as he stared at her dressed in her best. “Are we all going out for dinner and someone forgot to tell me?”
Victor smirked at his laptop’s screen.
Bart made a face and AC suddenly found his nails utterly interesting.
Chloe rolled her eyes at them and turned to the only other person she considered an adult out of her new ‘family’. “No. You’re all staying here with your PlayStation.” She wrapped her thin black silk shawl around her shoulders, which were bare thanks to the sexy little black dress she'd bought for just this occasion. “I on the other hand, am going out.”
Oliver looked at them all suspiciously, obviously find the boys’ behavior odd. “Girls Night Out?”
“Nope.” Chloe grinned brighter at their confused leader as she went to Bart, retrieving her purse from where he’d tried hiding it under his cushion moments ago, and shook it playfully at him.
“It’s a date.” Victor seemed amused and disapproving all at the same time.
Oliver frowned. “A date?”
“Yes.” Chloe paused from where she was shaking her purse mock-threateningly at Bart. Oliver hadn’t been present during her last attempt at a date, but he had scolded the boys for their behavior when she’d whined to him about it the next day, so why was he giving her the same look AC, Bart and even Victor were giving her? “Oh no, don’t you start it as well!”
“Start what?” Oliver asked, eyes wide in apparent genuine innocence. “I’m not starting anything.”
“Oh.” She shook her head, scolding herself for having thought that Oliver would do something as childish as try to keep her from a date. “Okay.”
“I just thought that you’d be a little more mature about this, that’s all.” He announced, crossing his hands over his chest and leaning against the wall.
“What?” Chloe gasped, turning on him.
“You more than any other woman should know the amount of sickos are out there just waiting to prey on young women.” Oliver pointed out in a voice that showed both his disappointment and worry. “You should invite him to the penthouse so that we can look him over before deciding whether or not you’re safe going out with him.”
“Here here!” Bart clapped his approval.
“I just told her the same thing.” AC announced a little smugly.
“I don’t need you all to ‘look him over’.” Chloe glared at Oliver, clutching her purse so hard her knuckles turned white. “As you said, I know more than any other woman what bad things happen out there, so I know how to judge who to go out with or not.”
“Not to contradict or anything,” Victor finally looked up from the computer, all mirth completely gone and dark eyes filled with concern. “But you don’t exactly have the best track record when it comes to boyfriends.”
“Do I hear an amen?” Bart asked those congregated and shelled his hand around his ear for emphasis.
“Amen.” The other males in the room chorused.
Chloe glared at them all, cheeks suspiciously red. “I had one--.”
“One?” AC asked in disbelief. “Come on Chloe, Clark has told us all the stories, remember? You have never had one good boyfriend. All were either insane and murderous Meteor Freaks, magically gifted bookies, or just very, very stupid, very geeky and unappreciative cameramen.”
“Photographer.” Chloe automatically corrected. “Jimmy is a photographer.”
“And an abominable one.” Victor snorted in disgust. “Did you see his latest pictures of Superman? A kid could have taken better ones on a cellular phone.”
“Definitely.” AC backed Victor up on that earnestly. “Kid was in idiot passing up our Chloe for Kara.”
“Superchick aint half the mujer Chloelicious is.” Bart nodded vigorously.
Chloe smiled tenderly at the boys. They were real headaches most of the time, but they were loyal to a fault, and even though she wanted to strangle them at the moment she had to admit that they were only looking out for her. “Thanks guys.” Blowing a kiss in their direction she walked passed a silent Oliver and into the elevator. “See you all later!” She waved as the elevator shut closed on her.
The men in the room were silent for a moment as they watched the lights on the numbers of the elevator light showing the progress of the machinery.
“A date, huh?” Oliver finally asked, breaking the silence. “The Bat isn’t going to like this one bit.”
“Tell me about it!” Bart complained loudly with a large pout. “And Chloelicious wouldn’t even tell us who she’s going out with!”
“I don’t like this.” AC taped his fingers against his thigh nervously. “We don’t know who she’s going out with or where they’re going. Anything could happen to her and we wouldn’t even know or be there to protect her.”
Bart frowned and turned to Victor. “Yo, Cyborg, why weren’t you helping us convince her to stay, man? What type of amigo are you?”
“The type of friend who knew that Sullivan would never let us talk her out of this date, and knowing this, was busy hacking into her electronic planner so that we could have the coordinates for this date.” Victor announced suavely.
Oliver grinned in approval. “I guess we have a little mission tonight, huh boys?”
“Yeah.” Bart nodded, standing up from the sofa’s armrest and slamming his fist into his open palm. “Operation: Protect Our Chloelicious From the Unworthy One And Keep On The Bat’s Good Side.”
Victor raised an eyebrow at the youngest male member of the Justice League. “I think he was going for something a bit more like a simple, Operation: Stake Out.”
“Dude, that’s lame. My operation name was inspired.” Bart argued.
AC stood and went to look at Victor’s computer, smiling when he saw the coordinates. “They’re having dinner at The Dock. Great. It’s out in the open and surrounded by the sea, I should be able to get a good view of Chloe and this mystery man of hers.”
“You mean it doesn’t say who she’s meeting?” Oliver asked with a slight frown.
“No.” Victor answered with a shake of his head. “Even in her daily planner Sullivan can get somewhat mysterious.”
“She has him referenced as Date, that’s all.” AC read from her entry.
The males frowned.
Their leader once again broke the silence. “So who’s gonna tell the Bat that the woman he refuses to admit he likes is going out on a date?” Oliver asked, wincing when everyone zeroed in on him. “Oh come on gentlemen!”
“You are the Big Boss.” Victor looked all too amused with the slight nervousness in Oliver’s eyes.
“You’re also the only one other than Chloe that he talks to.” AC pointed out.
“And to be truthful, the Bat’s scary.” Bart concluded with a wince. “Superspeed aside, I don’t wanna be the one to tell him Chloelicious is getting some action tonight.”
The men in the room all winced at the thought of having to tell Bruce Wayne about Chloe’s date, and at the thought of Chloe getting ‘action’. They all saw her as their mother-figure, and couldn’t think of anyone they believed worthy enough to get that close to their Watchtower.
Oliver suddenly blinked as an idea struck. “Maybe I can get Dinah to tell Bruce.”
“Hiding behind the Black Canary are we, Oh Brave and Fearless Leader?” Bart teased, and Victor and AC grinned teasingly along with him as they thought of Oliver’s girlfriend.
The Green Arrow blushed as he glared at them. “I am not hiding behind Dinah.” But he had already pulled out his phone and was calling the Black Canary. “Dinah.” He smiled broadly. “I have a mission for you. I need you to tell the Bat that Watchtower’s on a date.” He winced. “What do you mean it’s none of his business? This is Watchtower we’re talking about, she is his business.”
They could hear Dinah’s voice on the other line, arguing loudly with her boyfriend and the leader of the Justice League.
“What do you mean? You—you can’t do that! …Because I’m your boyfriend and leader, that’s why!”
“Hear him whine!” Victor chuckled softly to the other boys.
“But—but we don’t need you on the surveillance team!” Oliver blinked. “Hello? Dinah?!” His eyes were shocked as he pulled the cellular from his headphone. “She hung up on me.”
“Ooooh. Crash and burn!” Bart grinned broadly as he drummed his fingers against his thighs.
Oliver glared at him. “Just for that, you’re the one who’s gonna talk to the Bat.”
“What?!” Bart gasped in horror. “I’m too handsome to die!”
Oliver raised a finger and silenced Bart when his cellular rang once again. “Hello?” He paused, frowning. “Superman? Supergirl? Lois? Am I on speakerphone that I can hear you three all at the same time?” He frowned. “Hello Jimmy.”
Bart, Victor, and AC glared at the mention of the photographer.
“So Dinah just got off of the phone with you and told you everything.” Oliver was obviously repeating what they’d said. “That was quick.” There was a pause as he listened to what the others had to say. “And you want to help with the stakeout?”
He smirked in amusement. “Really Lois, your cousin’s history with boyfriends isn’t that bad!” He paused, a hopeful expression on his face. “You wanna talk to the Bat for me, Boy Scout? He couldn’t possibly kill you unless he had some Kryptonite on him.” His hope died a tragic death. “Damn.”
“A date?” Bruce Wayne asked slowly as he clutched his cellular so tightly he had to ease up when he heard it beginning to crack.
“Uh, yeah.” Oliver Queen’s voice announced uneasily on the other line. “She wouldn’t tell us who she was going out with or where, but Victor managed to hack into her files in her daily planner and so we have the coordinates to the location of this date. It’s a restaurant called The Dock. According to Lois, it’s one of the most romantic restaurants in Gotham.”
“I wouldn’t know.” Drumming the fingers of his hand violently against the top of his desk, a muscle jumped in the billionaire’s cheek. “Tell me something, Queen. Why would Watchtower’s date be any concern of mine?”
“Uh, oh, um, no reason whatsoever.” Oliver seemed more uneasy by the minute. “Just wanted to let you know, you know.”
“No, I don’t.” Bruce closed his eyes tightly and tried to erase the image of Chloe and some faceless bastard from his mind. “And unlike some, I actually worry about important matters and not trivial things like a date.” With that he hung up.
“So?” Dinah asked as she looked up at her boyfriend.
The penthouse was suddenly very crowded. Clark and Kara had flown in Lois and Jimmy from Smallville only minutes ago, and Dinah had arrived shortly before the phone call because she hadn’t wanted to miss seeing her usually tough and in control boyfriend squirm.
“What did he say?” Lois Lane asked, just as impatient as Dinah to get the 411 on Bruce’s reaction to the news of Chloe having a date. “Is he going to be there?”
Oliver smirked at the superheroes and sidekicks present. “Oh, he’s definitely going to be there.”
“I thought you weren’t going to make it.” The handsome yet nervous looking man smiled shakily at her as he stood and kissed her cheek before helping her into her seat and returning to his own. Their table was out in the open air right next to the railing, so they could look down at the black water below.
“You know that I wouldn’t abandon you, Marcus.” Chloe smiled as she leaned forwards over the table and grabbed his trembling hand, giving it a little squeeze. “Especially not now, not after all we’ve been through together.”
“Thank you.” He smiled a little more genuine before looking up at the waiter that’d appeared by their table and giving his order.
Chloe did the same, and once the waiter was gone she turned all of her attention on the handsome redhead, never once letting go of his hand, and absolutely oblivious to the fact that her friends and family were hidden all around The Dock keeping a good, protective, curious eye on her.
She was also oblivious to the glare from the Gotham crusader hidden in the shadows, a glare which was directed at Marcus’ and her linked hands
“You look beautiful tonight, Chloe.” Marcus smiled in admiration.
Chloe blushed softly. “Thanks.” She then straightened, getting down to business. “You know you’re doing the right thing, don’t you?”
He nodded silently. “But it doesn’t make this any easier.”
“If it was easy it wouldn’t be such a big deal.” She whispered. “With your help we’re going to be able to bring down Lionel Luthor, and this time keep him in prison.”
Marcus took in a deep breath, apparently gaining courage with those words. “I don’t care what happens to me, Chlo, but he has to pay for what he did to my family.”
“And thanks to you, he will.”
They smiled and chatted during their last dinner together. They’d been working together secretly for the last couple of months, and this was the night before he’d go into Witness Protection under Commissioner Gordon’s faithful supervision.
Chloe enjoyed herself, glad to be away from the penthouse for a night, even if this ‘date’ was really a ‘business dinner’ instead of a romantic dalliance.
When it was time for Marcus to leave, she hugged him tightly and gave him a soft, friendly goodbye kiss on his lips, watching as he disappeared out of the doors, knowing that while she’d never see him again for his own safety, she would never forget him.
“Aquaman, what’s your position?” Lois Lane asked from where her boyfriend and her were hiding in the shadows to the left, high above, watching down below as Chloe’s date and her kissed before he got up and left.
She couldn’t help but feel a little hurt at the fact that Chloe was Kissing Friends with someone and hadn’t told her.
“In the sea next to them, have a good view on them.” Came his disembodied voice.
“He didn’t do anything impropriate with our Chloelicious, right?” Bart’s ticked, protective voice asked for the fifteenth time as they all watched the man leave.
Considering that from AC’s position he was looking up at Chloe and her date, the men of the group had made it his personal mission to make sure that the nameless date’s hands were keeping to himself.
“No. He was acting like a gentleman the whole time.” AC announced slowly.
“I don’t trust him.” Victor and Bart announced with conviction once they heard that.
“That guy looks awfully familiar.” Kara Zor-EL’s frown was nearly audible from where she was hovering with Jimmy, hiding behind the huge billboard with the name of the restaurant.
“Yeah, I’m taking some pictures so we can run them on the League’s computer and figure out his identity.” Jimmy could be heard saying.
“I don’t know who he is, but he sure is cute.” Dinah seemed to be talking to herself, obviously forgetting that they were all using a microphone and earpiece.
“Excuse me?” Oliver’s voice was pure male jealousy.
Lois laughed and rolled her eyes with Clark. It was just so amusing to watch Oliver and Dinah together.
“Wait, Ollie!” Victor spoke from where he and Bart were hiding behind some menus on the far side of the crowded outdoors restaurant. “I see Bruce!”
“Yeah man!” Bart sounded excited. “I think he saw that kiss too!”
“Oh oh.” Clark winced.
“He’s making his way towards her.” There was shuffling as Bart and Victor quickly hid further behind their menus when Bruce’s gaze swept in their direction.
“Dude, did he see us?” Bart whispered nervously.
“No.” Victor sighed in relief as Bruce made his way to Chloe.
Clark and Lois exchanged both nervous and hopeful looks as they watched Bruce go to Chloe.
“Fancy seeing you here.” A deep, masculine, utterly sexy voice announced to her right.
Chloe looked up and blinked in surprise to see Bruce Wayne, dressed in black, smiling down charmingly at her. “Bruce!”
“Can I sit down?” He asked, motioning to the seat that Marcus had just vacated.
“Sure.” She smiled at him as he sat down elegantly. He was one of the newest members of the Justice League, and one of the most interesting in her books. “So, what are you doing here?”
“I—decided that I wanted to dine out tonight.” Bruce announced smoothly, dark eyes on her. Those eyes never failed to draw her in. “What are you doing here? And by yourself? Chloe, Gotham isn’t Star City. It isn’t a safe place for a young woman to be out by herself in the day, much less the night.”
Chloe bristled. “I wasn’t alone. My date just left.”
Bruce’s eyes narrowed.
She hated it when Bruce treated her the way the others did. She didn’t know why, but she really wanted, needed his approval. It hurt to realize how little he thought of her ability to take care of herself. “Star City, Smallville and Metropolis mightn’t be Gotham, but they are all dangerous as well and somehow I’ve managed to survive this long.”
He frowned at her. “That’s because you had Clark taking care of you in Metropolis and Smallville, and now you have a whole LEAGUE taking care of you in Star City.”
Her eyes widened in shocked anger. “I have had to save all of the above more than once, thank you very much!”
“Really?” His voice was layered with disbelief.
“Really.” Chloe growled, wondering what it was about Bruce Wayne that angered her so easily and quickly. “And you know what? I’m leaving.” She stood.
So did he, leaning with his palms flat on the surface of the table. “And what sort of guy, knowing how Gotham is, leaves his date to go home alone?”
“The sort of guy that trusts that the girl he’s having dinner with can take care of herself!” Chloe leaned down on the table as well, bringing their angry faces close in contact. “Which, apparently, no one else believes I’m capable of!”
The blonde glared at the billionaire before turning around and stomping away.
Bruce ignored the waiters and stalked after her like the devil, not caring that there were people pulling out their cameraphones and taking pictures of the famous playboy Bruce Wayne stalking after some pretty blonde in what would seem to be jealous rage.
Chloe didn’t notice this as she fumed and walked passed the waiters, telling them to charge her bill to Bruce Wayne out of pure spite. She couldn’t believe that Bruce thought so little of her. How could he put his life in her hands whenever they were on a joint mission, and yet distrust her competence in such a way?
Sure, her only superpower was to heal and not die, but that didn’t mean that he could--.
Giving a little cry as a steely hand went around her upper arm and swung her violently back against a wall, Chloe looked up a little dazedly into Bruce Wayne’s dark eyes. Suddenly she realized that she was in a dark part of the restaurant, which only had one or two other people, with an angered Bruce Wayne invading her personal space.
“Bruce?!” She hissed once her heart wasn’t pounding so horribly. “What is your problem?”
“My problem is that you don’t seem to know how to stay out of problems and aren’t smart enough to at least choose the right guy to date!”
Her palm connected with his cheek sharply, the sound of the slap resounding through the dark hallway.
Chloe gulped, if she wasn’t so angry she’d be shaking in terror. Everyone in the Justice League were a little intimidated by their newest member despite the fact that he didn’t have any superpowers, and most did their best not to cross him--much less hit him.
Even Clark preferred to keep on the Bat’s good side…though, then again, Bruce did always keep a piece of kryptonite hidden on him just in case Clark went Red-K or something on them…so Clark’s hesitancy wasn’t that surprising.
Best not to think of that when Bruce has you pressed against the wall and there’s no way of escape.
Yet Bruce’s only reaction to her slap was the darkening of his eyes and his pressing her harder against the wall. “Did you know that the little boy you were cozying up to is on Lionel Luthor’s payroll? Huh?”
“Yes!” She snapped, offended beyond belief that he thought she wouldn’t know something like that. “That is why I was seeing him!”
Bruce froze, face going completely blank. “Run that by me one more time?”
Taking in a deep breath, reminding herself that he was trying to take care of her in his own way, Chloe looked up into those dark eyes. “I’ve been working on a side job with Commissioner Gordon. Marcus has agreed to turn State’s Evidence; this was our last meeting before he was placed in Witness Protection.”
Bruce was a blank slate as he pulled away from her. “You were meeting a contact.”
“Yes.” She took in a deep breath and felt the world crashing down on her. Why did Bruce’s reaction hurt her like this? She didn’t know the most reclusive member of the Justice League, and she didn’t know if she wanted to after this little meeting.
Why even try anymore if he thought so little of her?
“Goodnight, Bruce.” Pulling her shawl protectively around her shoulders, Chloe hurried away before he could see her tears.
Bruce was shocked at not only the fact that she was working clandestinely for Gordon, but at his own reaction to the fact that her meeting this guy was for a job, even though they’d pretended to be on dates to keep things from seeming suspicious.
Sure, he wanted to throttle the beautiful blonde for putting herself in danger like this, but mostly he wanted to throttle her for kissing that guy on the mouth…even if it had been to keep their meeting from looking suspicious.
Why am I relieved that she isn’t seeing someone?
He leaned against the wall that he’d had her pressed against only seconds ago, looking unseeingly up at the ceiling.
Why can’t I get her out of my mind?
Bruce couldn’t remember the last time Rachael Dawes had been on his mind. Now, the only face he saw when he went to bed and got up, the voice that sent shivers down his spine and jolts throughout his body was that of a petite blonde with the spirit of a hero.
“We have Bart and Kara trailing Chloe, so you don’t have to worry about her, but, you know, you’re going to have to tell her the truth about how you feel soon.”
Bruce turned his head and frowned when he saw Oliver Queen, Clark Kent, and the speaker, Lois Lane.
“Queen, Kent, Miss Lane.” He took in a deep breath, not surprised to see them there. They were always horribly possessive and protective of Chloe.
Yeah, like YOU can talk.
Not deterred, Lois Lane came towards him, poking her finger in his face. “While I applaud you for having good taste, Wayne, my cousin isn’t a psychic, so if you don’t make your feelings known to her, she’s not going to stay put and be single for the rest of her life.”
Clark and Oliver exchanged slightly nervous expressions as they took a subtle step backwards.
Bruce glared at the reporter. “Listen Lois, this is none of your bus--.”
“Chloe is my only family so this is my business!” Lois was poking him more violently. “And if you don’t get your act together soon and make her yours, you’re gonna lose her forever.”
Bruce opened his mouth to deny any such desire to have Chloe for himself.
But Lois cut in angrily. “And don’t tell me you don’t like her because you just behaved like a jealous boyfriend with her—and you have no right! So you better get your act together and stop being like Clark!”
“Hey!” The man that was Superman glared down at his fiancé.
“Now is not the moment, Smallville!” Lois announced, not tearing her angered gaze off of Bruce. “Clark heard Chloe telling you that this wasn’t a real date, but one day it will be a real one! And what will happen to you then?”
Without waiting for an answer, Lois grabbed Clark and dragged him away, leaving Oliver and Bruce alone in the darkness of the hallway.
“Um, yeah, what she said.” Oliver hurried away and then paused, not turning to look at the dark haired billionaire as he spoke. “And, Bruce, if you hurt her, we’ll make you wish you’d never been born.” There was a pause. “Chloe is the smartest, funniest, most loving and trustworthy person I’ve ever met, and everything aside, I would kill for her.”
“Good.” Oliver nodded before leaving him alone.
Bruce took in a deep breath and closed his eyes.
What was he going to do now?
Tossing and turning in bed, Chloe finally growled and threw off her sheets. She hadn’t been able to sleep for hours, and it was all Bruce’s fault.
Why did he have to provoke such a reaction in her?
Why did his opinion mean so much to her?
Growling, Chloe went onto her private balcony and looked up at the starry sky, hoping that their mission in Gotham would soon end so that they could all return to Star City. The less she saw of Batman and Bruce Wayne the better.
Noticing something on her balcony table, Chloe frowned when she noticed a single, perfect, black rose resting upon a silver card.
Looking around her in suspicion, considering that they were in the penthouse, Chloe went to the rose and carefully picked it up, smiling slightly when she realized that the thorns had been cut off.
Bringing the flower to her nose, she breathed in the heady aroma and picked up the card, flipping it open to find only one word.
Closing her eyes, smile growing larger, Chloe held the note and flower to her heart, having no doubt who’d left this for her. Her heart thumped rapidly and there was an oddly familiar feeling in the pit of her stomach.
Something similar to butterflies.
Touched that the man who never cared if he offended anyone or how anyone other than himself and Alfred felt, would go to such a gesture to ask her for forgiveness, Chloe kissed the black petals, and with one last look at the skies, she entered her room once more, never realizing that a figure in black watched her from the building across from hers, a small smile on his face.