Sequel to: Living In Stockholm
Universe: Chlarry Series
Disclaimer: Don't own
Summary: Spiderman, Impulse, Green Arrow, Superman, and Bernard all keep tabs on Harry and Chloe...each seeing a different side of the couple's complicated relationship which the others do not see...and yet all realizing the same thing...
A/N: LAST SEGMENT IN THE CHLARRY SERIESSPIDERMAN
Living in New York meant that Peter was able to keep closer tabs on them, as both himself and Spiderman. As the hero he'd always secretly swing by Harry's apartment, watching from afar as things progressed. Harry had never believed in curtains and that gave the superhero glimpses into the life his ex best friend created with his captive. Not that Chloe was the normal captive. She had free-range of the apartment, could come and go shopping as she wanted, and worked with Harry at Oscorp. As time continued on Harry kept giving her more and more liberties, until Chloe couldn't be considered a captive, more of a roommate.
Of course Peter knew that the reason she was with Harry was to protect Superman, Green Arrow, and the rest of the Justice League, himself included...but many times as he watched them he forgot that she wasn't there because she wanted to be. She redecorated the apartment, completely redid the kitchen, and Harry just sat by and let his apartment be changed. He never complained, not once, instead would just lean against a wall with a goblet of wine and just listen to Chloe go on and on with a small smile on his face. He was obviously fascinated by her and the way her mind worked.
The New York gossip rags had been quick to realize this as well, the couple quickly earning a minor celebrity status as the paparazzi went wild over Harry's "besotted" ways. There were always pictures of the two of them out and about, or just enjoying time together, Chloe constantly with a sarcastic expression while Harry gazed at her in near adoration...or was laughing at whatever she was saying.
Sometimes Peter saw them while they were at different functions, him as a photographer, them as guests.
Harry had always been the center of attention with his good looks, charm, and connections, and while he'd always seemed at home with the attention he'd never smiled the way he did now as he spoke with Senator Maxwell, Chloe on his arm. She was always by his side, not a pretty, silent companion as all his past girlfriends had been at these functions. No. Now it was Harry who usually took a backseat as Chloe laughed and debated and basically stole all of the attention from him. He seemed far from displeased.
Senator Maxwell was a little pink in the face yet still amused by whatever it was the petite blonde was saying, Harry having to remove the flute of champagne from her so she didn't spill it on someone with the way she moved her hands as she spoke.
Senator Fritz cut in, a hand out towards Chloe as the other motioned towards the dance floor.
Chloe smiled and accepted the elderly Senator's hand, going to the dance floor with him, easily falling into step for the waltz. She twirled on the man's arms, smile bright, eyes twinkling, lips moving as she spoke.
Harry continued speaking with Senator Maxwell, both watching Chloe with small smiles on their faces.
Senator Maxwell nudged Harry and said something with a mischievous glint in his eyes.
Harry smiled genuinely, dimples deep, content gaze never leaving the blonde as he answered.
Senator Maxwell grinned brightly and patted Harry's back.
"Parker! You're here to take pictures! So take pictures!"
Sighing, Peter tears his gaze from them and returns to his job.
Bart knew that they were supposed to stay far away from Chloelicious and let her handle this situation on her own as she wished, but who was to know if he ventured to New York during his many little 'jogs'? What evil could he do? And it wasn't as if the others were being spectacularly subtle with their own checking up on the blonde so he figured it was his right as, well...he wanted to make sure she was okay as well! Why should Clark and Oliver be the only ones who thought they could 'secretly' keep a watchful eye on her?
He needed to make sure that she was fine.
That she was being treated well.
And, to be honest, he was curious about "Double G Jr" as well.
He'd heard all about the Green Goblin #2
from Spidey, and while Harry Osborn was painted the villain (and his actions did him no favor) Bart couldn't really see the guy as some Big Bad they had to be careful of. Sure, he knew a lot more about them than they were comfortable with, but he'd been true to his word and nothing about them or the Justice League had been leaked out. If anything, Osborn was guarding their secret vigorously. There'd been moments when Luthorcorp had been so close to having a breakthrough, and yet their insider sources had admitted that Oscorp seemed to be subtly manipulating things within Luthorcorp and had their own people inside making sure Luthorcorp never found success in any of their ventures.
That would have earned Osborn some respect from the JL had he not been keeping their Mamacita from them.
Still...Bart kinda found it hard to hate the guy with the passion of a million burning suns when he heard her laugh that freely.
And the look in the guy's eyes when he heard the laughter...it would be embarrassing if it wasn't so reassuring for Bart.
Hidden in the shadows, munching on a hotdog, Bart watched as Chloe and Harry laughed as they walked their dog, arm in arm. The night was chilly and they were dressed warmly, yet were still leaning towards each other, and Chloe held a cup of coffee in her mitt-covered hand as she laughed once more. She shook her head, taking a sip of her coffee before leaning the cup over and offering Osborn a sip of the beverage as well, which he happily drank.
The bulldog stopped and started sniffing at a fire hydrant.
"And so dad never sent me to go to summer camp ever again." Chloe finished, mischievousness on her every feature.
"You're making that story up!" Osborn accused, laughter and disbelief in his voice.
"No! I didn't! I swear!" Chloe crossed her heart. "That really happened!"
"Everyone would have been in jail had that been a true story." Harry insisted, refusing to believe whatever the blonde had told him.
"No! We were minors. And anyway, who would want to admit that they'd been fooled by kids? It was an embarrassment to them all." Chloe was grinning proudly at this. "The good thing is that none of us ever went back to any summer camp, ever, and that was what we'd wanted from the beginning so it all worked itself."
Osborn shook his head, staring at her in fascination. "If I had pulled something like that my father would have sent me to boarding school and only allowed me home after I graduated from college."
A silence feel between them, all the levity from moments ago gone.
Bart continued to chew the Jumbo hotdog, looking back and forth, figuring it was understandable that Green Goblin Sr would be a mood killer.
Chloe sighed and offered up the last of her coffee.
That said a lot to Bart.
Osborn shook his head. "No thank you."
The blonde raised the cup to his lips stubbornly.
He gave into her...Bart noticed Osborn did that a lot.
"Better?" She asked once it was done and she'd thrown the empty cup into a garbage container.
Osborn just eyed her as if she was something precious he needed to handle with care, and only gave a small, silent nod in response.
Finishing his hotdog, Bart sped away, once more wondering exactly who truly had who captive.
Oliver did his best to trust Sidekick and her ability to keep Harry Osborn in check, but that didn't mean that he abandoned her. He'd been worrying that something like this might happen from the first moment he realized that the young Green Goblin was growing dangerously infatuated with their bold blonde. He'd tried his best to deter that attraction, in both Chloe and Harry, but neither had taken his hints and in the end his fears had played out exactly as he'd suspected they would. The JL wasn't the same without their den mother, and honestly, Oliver couldn't keep the superpowered people in check as effortlessly as Chloe had. Everyone felt her absence but no one dared actually say it out loud. It was like an unspoken rule in Command Central.
They thought about her though, hadn't given up on the hope of her coming back to them...it was obvious in the way that Watchtower was still the way she'd left it.
Sometime Oliver wondered how he'd managed the fledgling JL without her and her ability to reduce huge, super-powered men into quivering blobs of repentance with just one look from her eyes. The gods knew that no look from his eyes made them react. If anything they just rolled their eyes at him and followed command grudgingly. It was like having rebellious teenaged sons who were blaming their dad for their mom leaving.
Oliver blamed himself as well.
He'd seen this coming.
He should have done more to keep it from happening.
But sometimes he wondered if she wasn't doing more good where she was right now.
His gaze found Harry Osborn and Chloe as they spoke with several dignitaries at the charity function they found themselves at. Oscorp hadn't really been a presence at the charities before Chloe, but now they not only sponsored many but had founded a couple of their own. Children in the most stricken places in the world were being fed and educated...Queen Enterprises had donated a large sum to the Oscorp's newest foundation, and Oliver wondered whether Harry Osborn saw that for what it was. He believed the young billionaire did, because while Chloe had yet to notice Oliver's presence Harry Osborn had, and he kept sending Oliver thoughtful glances every now and then.
Luthorcorp was a partner of Oscorp, and yet when Lex apparently invited Chloe to dance, the look Harry bestowed on the bald heir proved that he didn't quite trust him. He'd listened to the dignitaries speaking to him, had been gracious and commented whenever it was necessary, but that dark gaze never strayed too long from where Chloe and Lex seemed to be trading smiled insults to each other on the dance floor. Honestly, Lex seemed to like to antagonize Chloe far too much. It reminded Oliver of elementary-school hair pulling.
Maybe Harry Osborn realized that as well, because when Chloe was returned to him his hand on the small of her back was claiming.
Chloe ignored Lex and leaned closer to her companion, taking careful sips the champagne flute Harry had returned to her once her dance was over. She was obviously shaken from her encounter with Lex, and seeking comfort from Harry, which he supplied by softly rubbing soothing circles on her lower back.
Oliver watched as she relaxed into the touch, smile slowly yet surely growing more genuine as she rejoined the conversation once more.
Not for the first time, Oliver wondered if shouldn't just get used to being the JL's "single parent".
Things were harder for Clark than they were for the others with Chloe's...forced vacation. Not only had he known her the longest, but she'd always been his best friend, his only confidant. Also, on top of that, he was dating her cousin and it was getting harder to explain why he wouldn't join her when she and Gabe went to visit Chloe in New York. Lois thought that he and Chloe had fallen out and was doing her best to try and patch their friendship. He couldn't exactly tell her that Chloe's and his friendship was fine...he just wasn't allowed around her while she was under control of Green Goblin the second. So things were tenser, harder, for him.
The only thing that helped Clark was the fact that he could keep an eye on Chloe, making sure that Harry was taking care of her. He'd been worried that the villain would go psychotic-had lost so much sleep out of fear that Chloe would cry for him to save her and he wouldn't hear her. But slowly that fear was dispelled as not only didn't Harry Osborn put back on the Green Goblin costume, but he seemed dedicated to making Chloe comfortable and happy despite her circumstances. His mind was on his work, not on super-evil-villain things, and if it wasn't for the fact that Clark sometimes saw the other man staring at the portrait of his father with a haunted expression he would have wondered if Harry hadn't forgotten all about the goblin suit.
The first couple of months there wasn't a day that Clark didn't watch over Chloe, seeing all she went through, her depression, her resentment towards Harry and the situation he had placed her in. He watched her steel herself against Harry's every action, watched her rebuff his every attempt to connect with her. She'd snapped at him, cursed him, slapped away his hand whenever he tried to hold hers, professed her hatred. She'd shut herself in her room for days, only letting the butler come in with food.
Those days Harry drank himself into a stupor.
Clark wanted to hate this guy, he wanted to detest him for what he'd done, but as the Kryptonian continued watching Harry Osborn the more he began to pity the man. He reminded Clark of Lex in a way, a younger Lex, but Harry knew things Lex never had and while he demanded a high price for his silence he was keeping it.
To be truthful, Clark didn't think Harry really cared.
Not in the way Lex did.
He didn't have that obsessive darkness that consumed all goodness...he was a boy who'd lost his father.
Clark had watched Harry more than once drinking as he spoke to his father's portrait, sometimes asking him forgiveness for not avenging his death, sometimes cursing him for never having truly loved him or taught him how one was supposed to love another person, and sometimes Harry just talked to the portrait. He was a son who'd lost his father a long time before he should have and despite their apparently rocky relationship he missed him. And Clark could relate. He missed his father as well, had so many things he wanted to talk to his father about, get advice on, especially about Lois, and yet Jonathan Kent would never issue one of his patented words of wisdom again.
And then Clark felt bad because at least he had his mother and his friends and his girlfriend.
The more he saw of Harry, the more he realized how very alone the guy was.
Other than a butler and a captive, who else did the man have?
Clark could see Chloe realizing this, see the fight she had with herself. She wanted to be angry, wanted to be resentful, and yet Chloe had this goodness in her-this need to comfort and heal-and in the end she slowly yet surely thawed out towards Harry.
Harry drank far less after that.
Clark continued to watch the two as they continued to dance around the other, Chloe trying to come to terms with her feelings towards her captor, Harry terribly awkward yet refusing to do anything to put into jeopardy the positive way their interactions were becoming. The butler watched almost as much as Clark did, fatherly love shining through as he did his best to help the two closer, adding his own little wisdom here and there, winning Chloe over and using her affection towards him to help his young master. Sometimes Clark felt a little awkward about watching Chloe and Harry now that he knew the young man wouldn't hurt her, but he found himself invested in this, and couldn't...wouldn't...stop watching.
"You know, for superheroes, you all lack in the stealth department."
Clark turned in surprise to see Harry as he stood on his balcony, two goblets of wine in his hand, holding on out towards him.
Harry held the goblet out until Clark took it warily, the billionaire's dark gaze going to the streets below. "I wouldn't hurt her."
Clark didn't answer, just eyeing the goblet of wine in his hand, tasting it suspiciously. It was just wine. Nothing weird.
"Peter used to be my only friend, and yet even he checks in to make sure I haven't murdered her." Harry took a long gulp of the wine.
The kryptonian wasn't sure what to say, so he said nothing.
"I want you to take her away from here tonight."
Clark dropped the goblet in shock, not even his superspeed enough to keep it from shattering on the ground.
"Take her home, to her family, where she can be happy." Harry wouldn't look at him, his own grip tightening on his goblet as he drained it. "I'll continue doing my best to hinder Luthor from discovering anything that he could use to his advantage, and I'll take your secrets to the grave." His eyes closed tightly. "Just...make sure she's safe, and happy."
With that he turned and left.
Clark watched him go, before his lips twitched in a smile.
Apparently Harry didn't need his father around to teach him how to love someone properly...he was doing just fine on his own.
"So first you force me to stay here with you and now you're forcing me to leave?" Chloe's body was trembling with anger as she glared down at Harry, who was seated, one hand covering his eyes, the other clutching his latest glass of wine. "How dare you continue to make decisions for me! I am not Maxy! I'm not a pet that you can just adopt on a whim and then take back to the pound once you've gotten tired of taking care of it!"
"I know that." Harry's voice was level, calm, though his fingers were still covering his closed eyes.
"No! You don't! You keep jumping to decisions and they're always wrong!" Chloe was ranting, face red. "First you decide Peter killed your father, and so you had to kill him. You were WRONG. Then you decide that I'm with Peter and have been playing with you. You were WRONG. Then you decide that there was no other way to get vengeance on everyone but to kidnap me and make me stay here. You were WRONG."
"I know that!" Harry finally snapped, standing up. "I'm trying to do things right by you now! I know I screwed up! I know I'm screwed up! I know!"
Some of the anger left Chloe as she stared at him.
"I'm giving you your freedom back!" Harry went to take another gulp of his wine and growled when Chloe snatched the glass away from him and threw it into the fire, breaking the glass and causing the flames to spike. "I'll do my best to protect you and the people you actually care about!" He collapsed in his seat, covering his face with his hands, voice ragged. "Let me do one decent thing in my life!"
Chloe bent on her knees before him, expression tender as she softly pushed his hands from his face, bringing her own to cup his jaw.
Harry's expression was agonized as he stared deep into her face.
"So I'm free now?" She whispered, green gaze never leaving his dark one. "I can leave this apartment and go to live wherever I want? I can do whatever I want? And my friends will be safe?"
"Yes." He whispered, voice cracking. "I'm sorry...I..."
"So you will no longer hold the lives of the people I love over me as a threat." Chloe seemed determined to be clear on that. "I no longer owe you anything. I can just get up and walk out that door and never talk to you or see your face ever again."
Utter pain crossed his features as Harry nodded, lowering his gaze, unable to speak.
"Good." Chloe whispered, a small smile teasing her lips. "It was about time, Harry."
He nodded, mute, unable to look up at her.
Tenderness entered those green orbs as Chloe pressed up and kissed him softly, her lips moving slowly against his.
Harry's eyes widened in shock. "C-Chloe?"
"This doesn't mean you're forgiven." She warned him. "You're going to need to do a lot of pleading and restitution."
Harry just looked down at her in confused shock. "Why did you kiss me?"
"You said I could do whatever I wanted." She whispered, still cupping his face. "I'll start doing that from now on now."
Harry stared down at her, almost as if scared to believe her, before he finally reached for her and brought Chloe to him, kissing her. deeply
She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed back.
From where he'd been spying on them, Bernard sneaked away, a large smile on his face.
Young master Harry would finally be able to be truly happy, just like young miss Chloe.
And maybe now those masked men in spandex would stop stalking in the shadows outside their apartment and actually come inside for tea like civilized