Title: What Is
Sequel to: What Could Have Been
Pairings: Chloe/Dean, Lucy/Bart, some Chloe/Oliver
Disclaimer: I do not own Smallville or Supernatural
Summary: When Dean finally finds Chloe in the real world, nothing is as he'd expected it to be, and nothing is as it seems at first glance either. This Chloe is nothing like the one he was married to in the dream world---but he's only more fascinated with this version of her. How can he let go of her now that he finally found her, even if she IS supposedly married and expecting?
It was three weeks and Chloe had yet to show signs of waking up.
Dean sat by her side in the hospital, feeling sick at his stomach at how pale and dead she seemed. Her body had gone through a severe shock when the magic of her own master had attacked and damaged her so badly, forcing her body to shut down its own abilities as a sort of protective measure.
The doctors were calling it a miracle that she’d survived this long.
Running his fingers through her hair, Dean sighed as he looked at her pale face. “Come on love, wake up already.”
The last three weeks had been chaotic at best.
Oliver Queen, Chloe’s legal husband, had had a lot to do, and had covered up Chloe’s accident as an attempt by the same persons who’d attempted on his life---people he’d trusted in his own corporation. The young billionaire had also used the accident to declare the loss of the ‘Queen Heir’, and had gained the sympathy and support of apparently the whole world.
Lois and Lucy were taking this just as badly as Dean was, although Lucy was probably taking it worse as she blamed herself for her cousin’s predicament. One of the three was always in the room with Chloe, making sure she was hardly ever alone, wanting for her to see a familiar face once she woke up.
There was also the doubt of if she woke up---if she’d be their Chloe or the other one, the one who’d helped open the gates to hell and let out legions of demons---demons who were now let loose on the earth and wrecking havoc.
But, but even that Chloe had stood in front of her cousin taking the killing blow meant for her…
Sam though, Sam believed that Chloe might be more of the one they knew. Due to the severity of her wounds she’d lost so much blood, so the hospital had had to pump in so much new, human blood in her to keep her alive.
I just want to see her green eyes again.
He’d even take the eternally black ones, he would, he just wanted to see her awake and healthy and with her healing powers finally kicking in!
His cellular rung. He pressed answer and brought it to his ear. “Yeah?”
“I just got word from Bobby, Queen and Bart.” Sam’s voice was saying on the other line. “Their hunting trip in New Jersey proved that there are a multiple of demons there possessing a whole town. They’ve called for reinforcements. I’m going to go, Lois and Lucy too---although they were harder to convince.”
“Okay.” The hunter in Dean wanted to be on the front lines, but the man in him refused to move, to let go of the warm hand in his.
“Have you seen today’s newspaper?” Sam asked carefully.
Dean frowned, wondering at the cautiousness in his brother’s voice. “No. Why?”
“You feature.” Sam announced.
“What?” Dean’s eyes widened in horror.
“Well, apparently the press found it weird that with his wife battling almost certain death, Queen hasn’t been to the hospital these last two weeks.” Sam replied slowly. “They did a lot of questionings and a ‘source’ told them about this ‘handsome young man’ who ‘never leaves her side’. I don’t know who their source was, because the story is whack. Apparently you’re Chloe’s bodyguard who fell in love with her while protecting her and while Oliver is ‘off doing his own things and living in his own little world as if he were already a widower’ you’re staying by her side, giving her strength she needs to fight, to live.”
Dean blinked. “It said all that?” He paused before smirking and shaking his head. “Queen’s gotta be pissed.”
Sam chuckled softly. “He’s probably been too busy with the hunting to pick up a newspaper and read about the defamation of his character.”
The door opened and a doctor Dean hadn’t seen before entered. She was looking down at a chart, face beautiful, eyes blue, hair dark brown. The young woman looked up at him and frowned. “No cellular’s in this room. If you’re going to talk, do so outside.”
Her accent was British.
Dean nodded, feeling like a kid being scolded by a strict teacher. “Sam, I have to go.”
“Sir.” The doctor announced. “I have to give Mrs. Queen an examination and I’ll have to ask you to step outside.”
Dean hesitated, wanting to stay with Chloe, but he knew that he had to work with the doctors, they were the reason she was still alive.
Nodding he left the room, closing the door behind him, never once suspecting that the woman he’d left alone with Chloe wasn’t a doctor at all.
Shaking her head at the door, Bela Talbot snorted, putting down the random clipboard she’d snagged while stealing the doctor’s uniform and went to Mrs. Queen’s bedside table. She looked down at the blonde, pale as she lay on death’s door, and the brunette marveled for a second at just how vulnerable the other woman was.
When Mrs. Queen hadn’t called her back after knowing that she had that object Bela had known something had happened, and then she’d seen the reports about the attack on the blonde’s life, her miscarriage, and her comatose body resting between life and death at the Queen Private Wing in Metropolis.
It’d taken her a while to get what she’d needed, and then she’d found her way in here, and the Hunter guarding Mrs. Queen was easily ushered out of the room.
I expected better from someone related to John Winchester.
Reaching into her pocket, Bela smirked as she pulled out a syringe filled with dark liquid, and she walked to Mrs. Queen’s side, tapping her finger against the inside of her elbow, finding the pulse, a vein, and then she injected the substance into the vein and pulled the needle out, letting it fall into the waste bin.
She pulled back and smirked.
First there was nothing.
And then Mrs. Queen went deathly pale, and her breathing became ragged, the veins in her arm turned black as night, showing clearly under the skin, spreading throughout her entire body rapidly until it hit the heart.
Bela tapped her foot in unconscious worry, sending a glance to her watch and then the door.
This was taking too long.
Suddenly Mrs. Queen’s body gave an unnatural jerk upwards once, twice, and then she gasped, taking in a large breath as her eyes flew open and she was suddenly sitting up in the bed, still pale as death and looking like shit, but otherwise fine.
She was good.
“I’m going to be obviously charging extra for this service and charging interest for having to keep your item safe for you while you wereindisposed.”
The blonde’s green eyes went to her in surprise. “Ms. Talbot?”
“No need thank me for saving your life, just pay up.” Bela announced, flicking at imaginary dirt on her uniform.
The billionaire’s wife winced in pain and looked at her arm, the veins still black yet fading. “What did you inject into me?”
“Phoenix blood, very rare, has nearly miraculous healing powers. It’s going to cost you a pretty penny. I had to search high and low to find someone who actually sold genuine phoenix blood.” Bela announced, snorting at the surprise on the other woman’s face. “Above all I am a business woman, Mrs. Queen, and no one gives me as much business as you do. It’d be idiotic of me to just let one of my biggest sources of income just die on me.”
Mrs. Queen’s face was completely blank before she suddenly chuckled and shook her head. “You’ll be rewarded generously for that service of course.”
“I know.” Bela nodded before pulling the wrapped package out of her pocket and holding it for the other woman to see. “I have it.”
The blonde went still, eyes wide. “That’s--?”
“Pain in the ass to get, I’ll tell you that.” Bela nodded, passing it to the other woman before pulling but her cellular and passing it to her. “I know you won’t have the cash on you, but there are all the things you’ll need to transfer the money into my account. All I need is your signature on the digital screen.”
The woman was smart, and she read everything on the Blackberry slowly before taking the little pen attached and scribbling on the screen, and pressing enter.
The phone beeped the transaction complete.
Smirking, Bela took the phone back and pocketed it. “It was great doing business with you, Mrs. Queen. Until next time, when I have managed to locate the other artifact you spoke to me about previously.”
“Until then.” She responded.
Quite pleased with herself due to the large extra earnings she’d made with this gig, Bela strolled out of the room and into the halls of the hospital.
Always a pleasure doing business with you.
Looking around her at the hospital room, Chloe frowned. Why was she here? Why had Bela had to go to the great length of findingPhoenix blood to heal her? Why hadn’t her meteor power kicked in and healed her up after whatever it was that’d landed her here?
Green eyes widened as the memories came back to her, and she brought a hand to her heart, horror filling her mind as she realized what she’d done.
I helped open a portal to hell. Throwing the blankets off of her, Chloe swung her feet over the edge of the bed and closed her eyes as dizziness beset for her a second. The moment it was gone her eyes were open and she winced as she jerked the needles out of her skin.
The beeping machine flatlined loudly.
Ignoring it, Chloe pushed off of the bed, and cried out as her legs, weak from disuse, crumbled beneath her.
The door to her room flew open and nurses appeared, terrified, obviously having seen the flatline from her machine and having expected the worse.
And then they saw her.
Their eyes widened and they stood in shock, not even registering as a frantic looking Dean Winchester pushed passed them into the room, freezing as he saw her alive, awake, and sitting in an ungraceful heap on the cold tile floor.
Chloe winced. “Hey.”
In seconds he’d gotten over the shock and Dean surged forwards, wrapping his arms around her and pulling her off the ground, resting her on the bed. He laid her down reverently before his hands went to her face, tracing her every feature, eyes suspiciously moist.
“Are you really awake?” His voice was hoarse, disbelieving almost. “Am I really awake?”
Why wasn’t he angry at her? Why wasn’t he suspicious that she might still be her demon self?
“Call Doctor Fergussen!” One of the nurses screamed as she rushed out of the room.
“How are you?” Dean whispered, placing his hand softly to her abdomen. “Are you in pain? Do you need medication?” He turned to the remaining nurse. “Don’t just stand there! Get her some pain killers!”
“Y-yes sir!” the woman stammered before racing out of the room as well.
“How?” Dean whispered, wiping at a tear as his hazel gaze continued to search her face hungrily.
Chloe smiled softly. “I guess something must have given my powers a kick start.”
Dean’s gaze went to the package wrapped in cloth by her on the bed but his questions were interrupted as a doctor rushed into the room and ushered him out.
Chloe was considered a miracle, and after a night in the hospital for ‘observation’ she was allowed to go back home. Lois and the others were all out on a hunt, and so it had only been Dean and the ghosts to keep her company, but it was more than enough. Chloe had asked Frankie to keep the package hidden for her and Dean was, thankfully, too preoccupied with treating her like a breakable piece of china that he forgot all about the mysterious thing.
She’d spoken to the others through satellite phone, tears being shed on each side of the conversation, and she gave them all the same excuse for her miraculous healing.
Bela was her dirty little secret, and she preferred to leave it like that.
Somehow, a couple of weeks later when she was all healed and her powers were stronger than they’d ever been, enhanced by the miraculous curing abilities of the phoenix blood, Chloe convinced Dean to join the others in the hunt. He’d been itching to do so but hadn’t wanted to leave her side, afraid that something would happen to her while he was gone.
It’d been hard to get him to leave, but Chloe had finally convinced him. She smiled as she remembered the surprised and awed smile on his face as she’d kissed him goodbye.
She’d never met a person so dedicated to her, he’d proven himself over and over to her since they’d reunited, and he’d been the best ‘nurse’ ever while she was recuperating.
At her request he’d told her more and more in depth about their life together in the ‘other’ world…and more and more Chloe wished that that other life was the one she was leading.
She would love to have been married and had children with this man.
“Don’t give me that look.” Chloe murmured to Gregory, who was shaking his head in worry at her as she gazed down at the ceremonial circle and occult objects she had placed in strategic places inside of it. “I can do this.”
Gregory continued to look on in worry.
Darwin sat on the air in the corner of the dimly lit room, smoking his pipe, obviously torn about what she was about to do.
Rose was holding onto Anita protectively, tsking nervously as she did so.
Frankie was the only one who was excited about this, hovering in a lying position above the circle looking downward.
Chloe turned to the other person there with her. “You ready for this?”
He nodded silently.
Taking in a deep breath, Chloe clenched and unclenched her fists before going to the circle and sitting down, beginning the ritual.
I can do this…I can do this…
Lois Lane was nervous.
She’d overheard the conversation between Dean and Oliver and she was nervous.
They were returning home to Queen Manor after having successfully exorcised the little town they’d been in and were now in great need of a couple of days of vacation. Of course, after having overheard the conversation between Ollie and Dean, Lois couldn’t relax.
How is Chloe going to take the news?
Biting on her bottom lip she looked up as the large haunted mansion she loved and called home came into view and they parked in front of it.
Bart opened the door of the car and stepped out, grabbing a laughing Lucy and pulling her up into his arms. “Well, we’re going to our room now. Don’t disturb us till a couple of days.” And with a squeal from Lucy they disappeared in a blink.
And then…and then they heard a terrified scream from inside of the house.
Lois didn’t even give Dean or Ollie or Sam time to get out of the car. She rushed headfirst inside the house as quickly as her high heels would take her.
“LUCY?!” She screamed, throwing the door open and following the sounds of crying until she turned the corner in the spacious sunning room and froze.
Lucy was crying hysterically and hugging…
“John?” Lois felt her voice break as her eyes watered up.
He stiffened at the sound of her voice and pulled out of Lucy’s tearful hold, passing the girl to her shocked boyfriend, and turning to give Lois a tender, loving smile, tears accumulating in his brown eyes. “Lois.”
Lois knew it was impossible that he be there, that it must have been a shapeshifter or something, but she didn’t care. The brunette gave a cry and threw herself into his arms, holding him tight and crying hysterically. “John!”
His arms went around her tightly as he buried his face in the curve of her neck and she felt tears falling on her skin.
He was crying.
Just like her.
“What the---?” Dean could be heard hissing behind them.
“Don’t you even think about it, Winchesters.” Chloe’s voice was harsh, seeming to stop whatever it was Sam and Dean had been about to do.
Lois didn’t care, she just hugged John and knew, knew that this wasn’t a demon or a shapeshifter or even a ghoul.
This was John.
“How?” Lois whispered, finally pulling away and looking into John’s face, cupping it with her shaking hands. “How?”
John smiled shakily as he turned to send Chloe a grateful expression before returning his gaze to Lois. “Ever heard of the Tunic of Lazarus?”
Lois’ eyes had widened. “I thought---I thought that was a myth?”
“Well, all myths are based on truths.” Chloe interjected. “And most are kept in the Vatican’s Storehouse just waiting for someone with the right connections to steal them.”
“You did this?” Oliver asked shocked.
Neither Sam nor Dean had so much as spoken.
“Well, I didn’t do the stealing, I just paid for it.” Chloe replied. “I did get John’s bones from the grave though, and did the ceremony in the basement.” She grinned. “The good thing about it was that John’s spirit found me before I did the ritual so I didn’t have to do the ceremony before it to offer a demon something in return for the freeing of his soul from hell. He got out on his own---when the gate was opened.”
Dean and Sam looked up at that.
Lois was trying not to break down.
“So I did the ceremony and it took three days to complete,” Chloe sighed. “And voila. Instant daddy Winchester.”
John turned to Sam and Dean, smiling. “Hello boys.”
They were still, their faces torn with agony.
“It’s really him, guys.” Chloe whispered. “It’s really John. I promise you.”
And then they were hugging, the three Winchesters crying and holding onto each other.
Lois smiled, deciding she could give them this time to themselves, so when the others left to give the father and sons time alone, she followed, hurrying to Chloe and embracing her tightly, allowing her tears to fall again.
Chloe watched from the balcony as Lois and John walked in the garden below hand in hand, talking, elated, in love. It was, it made everything okay. It did.
She sighed and turned her back on the loverbirds, glad that Bela had been able to find the Tunic of Lazarus before a year of John’s death had passed. Otherwise the remaining resurrecting magic still left on the garment wouldn’t have been able to do anything for the corpse.
“That was stupid of you.”
Looking up, she wasn’t surprised to see Dean half scowling at her. “He’s your father, you should be thanking me.”
“That was dangerous and dark magic you played with, for three days.” Dean’s gaze was on her. “After all you’d been through, how could you make yourself vulnerable to the darkness in your blood again? Why?”
“I had this planned as a backup in case anyone dear died and I couldn’t get to them in the timeframe for my powers to work or they’d already used up their one life with me.” Chloe announced, sighing, turning her back on him and leaning on the stone railing, looking down at Lois and John once more. “The moment you and Sam told me that John was dead I knew that he would be the one I’d use it on.”
Dean frowned, leaning against the stone as well and watching as his father laughed and twirled Lois around by her waist before finally placing her down on the ground and kissing her desperately, like a man unable to believe he had the one he loved with him once more. “So this Tunic of Lazarus a miracle resurrection thing? You going to bring back the Olsen guy?”
“It can only be used once.” Chloe replied. “I think they were saving it at the Vatican for something special, but you know what they say: You snooze you lose.”
Dean turned to look at Chloe. “Why do I feel as you still have a lot of things you haven’t told me?”
“Because there are a lot of things I haven’t even told Ollie, and he’s my leader, I’m supposed to tell him everything.” Chloe replied truthfully.
There was silence between them.
Chloe sent Dean a sideways glance and could almost read the question on his mind. “Yes, he told me about what he plans to do.”
While the Winchesters were having their reunion Oliver had pulled her aside, chided her for doing dark magic, and then he’d hugged her tightly and told her not to allow herself to get kidnapped by demons ever again.
They’d hugged tightly, her smiling, knowing now that Azazel had been killed by Dean there was no demon out there with any power over her.
She was free.
Oliver had then told her, looking her deep in her eyes, that he was going to go away, he wasn’t even sure for how long. Apparently during this hunt they’d met up with an angel, a real angel, and Castiel had told him that he had a chance to do something truly great to help in the War that was to come, but Oliver had to leave everything and follow him.
Chloe hadn’t known what to say as Oliver told her about his plans to change his identity and leave everything to her. She’d told him she didn’t need it, didn’t want his money, but Oliver had told her that to do the things she needed, to get the things she needed, she needed his money.
He wasn’t going to need it where he was going.
It’d been a tearful conversation as Oliver told her that he loved her dearly, and that while he wasn’t sure he’d ever see her again, wasn’t sure he’d be able to get into contact with her, he wanted her to know that she was the closest person to his heart, and he wanted her to find true happiness like he’d once had with Dinah.
“How do you feel about that?” Dean finally asked, not looking at her.
Chloe smiled softly. “Bittersweet. I’m glad for Oliver because he feels that this is the reason why he became the Green Arrow, why he trained so hard, it was for this moment in time, to do this job.” She paused. “But I’m sad because I’m going to lose my closest friend.”
She paused, sensing something down in the maze of the other side of the garden, and as she concentrated she could feel the leaves of the maze against the palm of her hands. She could feel the breeze against her face, the sun shining down on her from above. And if she concentrated hard enough, she could feel the confusion and mixed emotions.
Biting her bottom lip, Chloe’s gaze went towards the maze. She’d known that something like this might happen if she brought back Samto life, and she wondered if this connection she could now feel between them was a planned side-effect----if she’d truly played into Azazel’s plan. But Chloe couldn’t really bring herself to care, to feel sorry.
She’d seen how Dean had been destroyed by Sam’s death, and if she had to do everything over again she’d do the same thing.
Dean cleared his throat. “So, what do you plan on doing now that you’re going to be a single woman again?”
The question caught Chloe off guard, breaking her out of her thoughts of Sam and bringing her attention back to the elder brother. “Well, I spoke to Bobby, and we’re going to operate Queen Manor as Command Central. He left to go bring his books and things he needs. He’ll be staying here until we can get things somewhat back to normal around here demon-wise.”
Dean nodded for her to continue.
“He also knows of some other hunters who lost everything and need a place to live, and interestingly enough, they have some attributes I’m looking for in employees. Their names are Ellen, her daughter Jo, and this guy named Ash. Bobby’s already talked to them, let them know of the situation, and they’ll be arriving in the next couple of days.”
She paused, wondering why it was that he seemed a little annoyed. “Well, I’m going to continue the work I do as Chloe Queen, because even if Oliver and I are divorcing he’s willing his shares to me, I’m going to be sole heir of Queen Enterprises.” She paused. “And I’m going to head up the work I used to do as Watchtower but now I’m going to be doing it for a hunters force, not a superhero force.”
“Chloe.” Dean sighed, running his hand through his hair and turning to her. “What do you plan on doing now that you’re going to be asingle woman again?”
“Oh.” And suddenly she realized the real question he’d been asking, going red immediately at how amazingly clueless she could be at times. “What do you plan on doing now that I’m going to be a single woman again?”
For a moment there was silence between them, and then Dean grinned and reached for her, arm going around her waist and pulling her to his steely strong body. “I think I’ll probably start by kissing you.”
Chloe’s arms went around Dean’s neck as she smiled into his face. “Really?”
He nodded, bringing his face slowly down to hers until his lips were just a breath away. “Then I’m going to convince you not to be single anymore.”
Her blush darkened as something jumped in her heart at the intensity in those eyes. “And how will you do that?”
His lips curled. “Now that would be telling, wouldn’t it?” He whispered before closing his eyes, his lips capturing hers in a kiss that weakened her knees.
Chloe tightened her hold around his neck as she pulled her tighter into him and they continued to kiss, oblivious to the ghosts that’d manifested around them, all grinning happily except for Frankie, who snorted and shook his head in resignation at Dean of all people getting Chloe.
Running her hands through Dean’s short hair, Chloe groaned as Dean turned and pushed her back into the balcony and pressed her up against it, slipping a thigh between hers.
Rose covered Anita’s eyes, and the ghosts decided it was time to leave those two alone.
A new beginning was dawning on them, and it was promising to be a good one already.