Title: Third Time's The Charm
Disclaimer: I don't own anything
Word Count: 3,431
Spoilers: 8.03 "Toxic"
Summary: During a storm, Ollie comes to check in on Lois and it turns into something more.
Author’s Notes: thanks to the lovely boltgirl426 for the beta!
“Damn Kansas weather,” Lois muttered as she tried to get closer to her fireplace. It was at times like this she wished she lived in a warmer state.
But no, she was in Metropolis, where winter meant snow … and right now, they were having a lot of it.
In fact, they were in the middle of a snowstorm and all the news stations had warned that there might be a power outage.
How wonderful, she thought, could this get any worse? Then again, she wasn’t really sure she wanted to know. Glancing around her apartment, she smiled. She was living alone for the first time in years, having moved out of the Talon apartment just a few weeks prior.
It had taken some getting used to but it was better this way. She loved Chloe and living with her had been fun but with Jimmy there, it was just best that she wasn’t. Living with an engaged couple was awkward, to say the least.
At least now she got her privacy, which she was seriously lacking before.
Getting up, she walked to her kitchen and made herself a cup of hot chocolate. Grabbing a blanket, she made her way back to the fireplace. Taking a sip, she sighed happily. She could just fall asleep in that spot.
A knock at the door startled her.
“Just a minute,” she called. Standing up, she walked toward it. Who would be stupid enough to wander around in this weather? Looking through the peephole, Lois was surprised at who she saw on the other side.
She opened the door and found that she wasn’t seeing things … he was still there. Oliver Queen, dressed head to toe in winter clothing, was standing in front of her.
“Hey, Lois,” he said, smiling.
“Oliver,” she managed to say. Moving aside, she added, “Come on in.”
“Thanks,” he replied, walking inside. “It’s insane out there.”
“Of course it is,” Lois said, shutting the door behind him. “Then again, only crazy people would be out in this weather.”
“Ouch, Lane,” he said, dramatically putting his hand over his heart, “You wound me.”
“Truth hurts, Queen,” she teased. Seeing that he was actually shivering a little, she frowned. “Go get cozy by the fire. I’ll get you some hot chocolate.”
“I’m fine,” he protested. “I don’t want you to go to any trouble.”
“I’m not going to let you catch pneumonia,” Lois argued. “Now do as I say.”
“Haven’t changed, have you, Lois?” he said, with a grin. She shot him a glare and he just smiled innocently. But he did listen, slipping out of his coat and hung it at the coat rack by the door before going to sit by the fire.
Once she was certain he was okay, she headed back to the kitchen to make another cup of cocoa and get some more for herself.
Besides, it also gave her some time to calm herself down. She was doing an amazing job of holding herself together, if she did say so herself. At least on the outside because inside, she was going nuts.
Oliver was here … she hadn’t seen him in over a month and now he was there, without any warning or notice.
The last time she had seen him, he had been poisoned and almost died. When he woke up, the first thing he did was mention Tess Mercer, or “Mercy”, as he had called her. Even though it had been more than 8 months since they had split up, she couldn’t help the jealousy that had risen.
However, after Clark had taken off, he had seen her.
Lois watched as Clark pretty much ran out after Ollie’s declaration. He woke up and the first thing he said was that Clark had to save “Mercy”, also known as her boss, Tess Mercer.
And Lois had to wonder exactly how he knew her. ‘Seems as if your reputation isn’t as exaggerated as you would like to pretend, is it Ollie?’ she couldn’t help but think.
Once Clark was gone, he shifted and his eyes fell on her. “Lois,” he breathed. Shock was written all over his expression. “You’re here.”
“Yeah,” she replied, “I came here for a story because Ms Mercer told me about what happened at the party but when I saw you like that, I stayed to makes you were okay.”
An emotion that she couldn’t identify flickered in his eyes but disappeared before she could try to figure it out.
“Not only was she here, but she saved your life,” Davis interrupted, clearly sensing the tension between them.
“Really?” Oliver’s intense gaze was focused on her and it sent shivers down her spine.
“I didn’t do much,” Lois said, now embarrassed.
“Of course you did,” Davis said. Addressing Ollie, he said, “I’ll tell you, she refused to give up. If she hadn’t insisted I use the adrenaline, you probably would’ve died before Clark could get here with the antidote.”
“You saved my life,” Oliver said, his eyes never leaving her.
“Actually, Dimples over here did that part,” Lois replied. “He’s the one who stuck the needle in your chest. I was just being my usual, stubborn self.” To be this coy was uncharacteristic for her but all this attention and from Oliver, a man who she realized still meant so much to her, was unnerving.
“You did a whole lot more than that,” Oliver said softly. “From what I can tell, you didn’t give up on me and that’s the reason I’m still here.”
“That would be correct,” Davis interrupted, smiling. “Your girlfriend over here decided that you weren’t going to die and didn’t let me go until I helped her. You’re a lucky man.”
Both Ollie and Lois paled at that.
“I’m not,” Lois started, ready to correct him.
“You’re right,” Oliver said quickly. “I am a lucky guy.” Lois shot him a questioning look but he wasn’t meeting her eyes.
“Anyway, I just have to do a checkup to make sure that everything is okay,” Davis said. Glancing at Lois, he said, “You’re more than welcome to say.”
“I actually have to go,” Lois told him. “Stories to cover, people to see.” She didn’t meet Ollie’s eyes as she said that.
“Well, thanks for all your help,” Davis said, clearly puzzled.
“Thank you,” Lois told him sincerely. “I do appreciate everything you did for him tonight.” Turning toward Ollie, “Take care of yourself.”
Before he could respond, she was out the door, making her way out of the Isis building. She couldn’t stand to be there any longer and she had to get out before she did something they’d both regret.
Ollie seemed insistent on hanging around in Metropolis. Fine, if he wanted to be there, she couldn’t stop him. But from now on, she had to keep her distance.
It was best in the long run.
Too bad her heart didn’t feel the same way.
Lois did a good job of following through with her promise, even when Ollie tried to contact her afterwards. She managed to avoid phone calls, “miss” e-mails, and duck out the few times he showed up in person.
Though Lois had prided herself on having willpower (after all, she had walked out on this man not once, but twice), the fact that he almost died shook her and she needed time to recoup. Eventually, she had received a gorgeous bouquet of roses with a simple card that said “thank you”.
In return, she sent him a ‘thank you’ card for the roses. No matter how pretty they looked, there was no way that she was going to contact him personally.
But he was here now and she had nowhere to run. Taking the hot chocolate, she mentally prepared herself. You can do this, Lane. It’s just for the night … be strong.
Yes, she could do this.
Making her way back to the living room, she forced a smile. When Ollie saw her and shot a grin her direction, it became genuine.
“Got your hot chocolate,” she said, handing him a cup.
“Thanks,” he responded. Taking a sip, he sighed. “This is good.”
“I’m no chef but there are a few things I can do in the kitchen,” Lois joked.
“I think there are a few things in the world you can’t do if you set your mind to it,” Oliver told her.
“No need to butter up to me, Queen,” Lois responded, laughing, “I am past the stage where I fall for your lines.” Liar.
“I’m just being honest,” Oliver said, with a twinkle in his eyes. Patting the seat next to him, he went on, “Sit down, Lois. It feels weird with you just standing there.”
“Give me a minute,” Lois responded. She walked to her bedroom and found an extra blanket. By chance she caught a look in the mirror and had to stop herself from cringing. Oh, God, her ex-boyfriend was here and she was dressed in a pair of flannel pajamas!
Well, there was nothing she could do about it now.
Heading back, she gave him the blanket. Seeing his questioning look, she explained, “It’s cold … I thought you might like a blanket.”
“Thanks,” he said gratefully.
Grabbing her cup and blanket, she sat down next to him. A silence fell between them for a few minutes, neither knowing quite what to say.
“So, I don’t mean to rude, Oliver,” Lois said suddenly. “But why exactly are you here?”
Ollie chuckled. “Direct as always. I was wondering how long it would take you ask.”
“Do I get an answer?” Lois asked.
Oliver nodded. “Yeah, actually, I was sent here.”
“Sent here?” Lois repeated. “By who?”
“By your very worried best friend and cousin,” Oliver said, with a grin.
She was confused for a second before it dawned on her. “Clark and Chloe.”
“I was talking to Clark earlier,” Ollie told her, “He mentioned he was worried that you were alone in Metropolis in this storm. Then Chloe called and was pretty much freaking out too. So to ease their minds, I came here.”
“I don’t need you to babysit me,” Lois said, a little bit harsher than she intended, “Clark and Chloe should realize I have been taking care of myself for years.”
“I’m sure they do, Lois,” Oliver said gently. “They just care about you so they were concerned. I’m not here to ‘babysit’ you … hell, I didn’t even know you were living alone. I was worried too.”
Lois couldn’t help but soften. She couldn’t really blame Clark and Chloe … Clark had always acted like an older brother so she had gotten used to his overprotective attitude and Chloe was her cousin. It was kind of nice to have people who cared, even though she’d never admit it aloud.
But the idea that Ollie was worried sent emotions through her that she thought she would never feel again, at least not for him.
“Besides,” Ollie added, “It gave me a chance to see you again. With the way you’ve been avoiding me, I figured this might be my only opportunity.”
“I’m not-” she started to say but was cut off.
“Really?” Ollie said, raising an eyebrow. “So I imagined all those times when you ignored my phone calls, e-mails and even practically ran out when I showed up in person?”
“Lois Lane doesn’t run away,” Lois huffed.
“Well, that’s not what I saw,” Ollie retorted.
“It’s not like we had anything to say to each other anyway,” Lois shot back. “I don’t see why you’re dragging things out.”
“Maybe for the same reason that you refused to leave my side the night I was poisoned and fought so hard to save my life,” Oliver countered.
“I can’t believe you’re throwing my fear of you dying back in my face,” Lois exclaimed, jumping up and turning away from him.
She heard Ollie sigh. “I’m sorry … I just … I’m sorry. And I’m sorry I couldn’t hold my end up of the bargain too.”
Spinning around, she tiled her head. “What are you talking about?”
“About the deal,” Ollie said slowly, getting to his feet. “You let me go so I could save the world, right? And I didn’t do that.”
“Oh God,” she gasped. “You heard me.” Her little tearful speech that she had given when she thought he was unconscious … he had heard it.
“No, I didn’t,” Oliver answered, closing the distance between them, “Not at first. But the conversation did registered somehow. I had these dreams where I heard your voice, telling me these things. At first I thought it was just my brain creating what I wanted to hear but then I quickly realized you had actually said it.”
She couldn’t speak and he didn’t let her. Within seconds, he had her in his arms.
“What are you doing?” she practically whispered.
“What I should’ve done months ago,” Oliver said seriously. “Fight … for you, for us.” He lowered his head and for a second, Lois got lost in the moment but reality hit before his lips could touch hers, allowing her to push him away.
“Look, Oliver,” she snapped, walls up. “If you’re lonely, I’m sure you can talk to Tess. I’m sure she’ll be happy to accommodate you.”
“I don’t want Tess,” Oliver said firmly. “She’s in my past.”
“So am I,” Lois pointed out.
“No, you’re definitely not my past,” Oliver told her, “You, Lois Lane, are my present … and I want to be your future.”
“Oh, Oliver,” she sighed. “You know, most guys who are rejected once don’t persist.”
“I’ve never been like ‘most guys’,” Oliver said, with a grin. “And you’re not ‘most girls’, which is why we worked so well together.” He bit his lip. “Give us a chance, Lois. Can’t you do that much? Just a chance …”
“Ollie,” she said, wanting more than anything to say ‘yes’ and run into his arms. She had never felt this way before. This longing, this kind of need. She had been raised to be independent but right now she just wanted to say “screw it” and take him back.
Noticing that her resistance was weakening, Ollie grew confident, pulling her into his arms again.
“Just one chance,” he repeated softly.
She found herself leaning forward and he closed the remaining distance. As their lips were about to meet, the lights flickered, before everything suddenly went dark. And there goes the power. Perfect timing. Lois blinked several times, waiting for her eyes to get used to the dark.
“Oliver,” she called out, relieved that he was close to her.
“I’m right here,” he promised. “Do you have a flashlight?”
“In the kitchen,” she said. She had laid out candles and matches in case of a power outage but for the life of her, she couldn’t see them. Way to be prepared, Lane.
She felt him shift slightly and take her hand. Her vision cleared slightly so the room wasn’t complete darkness but it was still difficult to make out objects. Ollie led the way and she just went along with him.
Fortunately, the flashlight was right on the counter so he found it easily and turned it on.
Relieved at the light, she smiled. “That’s a little better. Come on, I have candles in the living room. Snatching the flashlight from Ollie, she shot him a cheeky grin. He rolled his eyes playfully but walked behind her as she went on a search for her candles.
Thank God for the Daily Planet Secret Santa, she couldn’t help but think as she lit them. She had received them the previous year and thought they’d never come to use. Seemed as if they were though. Ollie helped her spread them around the living room and Lois was relieved to see the room a little brighter.
She took a seat on the couch, relieved, and Ollie took a seat next to her.
“I got those candles as a Secret Santa gift,” Lois said conversationally. She never did well with silence. “Thank goodness, huh? I mean, I never keep candles around. They always seemed like a waste. Why would you need a candle when you could have a flashlight? Flashlights can be used over and over again but a candle? Once and you’re done … waste of money, if you ask me …”
“Lois,” Oliver cut her off. “Breathe. You’re rambling.”
Nodding, she took a deep breath. “Yeah, I’m not very good with quiet.”
“I can see that,” Oliver said playfully. Growing serious, he said, “Lois, can we talk about what happened before the power went out?”
“There isn’t anything to say,” Lois insisted.
“We almost kissed,” Oliver declared. Looking away for a second before glancing at her, he said, “Look, Lois, I have done a lot of thinking in these past months, more so after I got poisoned. I screwed up the first time I asked you to give us another chance … I tried to work you into my schedule and that’s not right.”
“You’re a busy man, Oliver,” Lois said, “And an important one … I know that. You have your priorities.” Her not being on that list was left unsaid but Ollie could read between the lines.
“I do have my priorities, Lois,” Ollie said, entwining their fingers, “But you’ll always be at the top of my list. I know it doesn’t seem that way but if you give me a chance, I’ll prove to you that it won’t be like it was before.”
“I don’t want to hold you back,” Lois said desperately. “You need to go save the world and if we’re together, that’s what I will do. At this point in your life, Ollie, I don’t think you’re ready for a relationship.”
His expression revealed the heartbreak he was facing but quickly changed to one of determination.
“I recently found out something,” Oliver began. “Do you remember I told you that my parents died in a plane crash?”
Though stunned at the sudden topic change, she nodded. “Yes.”
“After I was poisoned, I talked to Tess,” Oliver continued, “And she found evidence that proved that my parents’ plane crash wasn’t an accident. They were murdered, Lois … Lionel Luthor had them killed.”
“Oh my god.” Lois didn’t even know what to say. “I’m so sorry.” That bastard. All of a sudden, she was even happier he was dead. What kind of sick person left a little boy an orphan?
“For a while, I wanted to just give up,” Ollie admitted, oblivious to her thoughts. “Just wanted to drink away all my problems. But then I thought of you and how you believed in me. And I just couldn’t quit.” He looked deep into her eyes. “See, Lois? You don’t hold me back … you push me forward. Even when you’re not there, you’re with me.”
One by one, he was killing all her arguments, all the reasons that she had to resist him. And he sounded so sincere that she couldn’t help but believe him. Couldn’t help but want to believe him.
“I love you, Lois,” he finished.
And she couldn’t breathe. This wonderful, amazing, gorgeous man was pouring his heart to her and for the first time in her life, she wasn’t able to speak.
Damn it, Lane, just go for what you want. Be selfish for once. You love him, you know that. Stop denying yourself already!
She smiled and moving forward, she wrapped an arm around his neck.
“Lois?” he questioned.
Putting a finger on his mouth, she smiled. “I’d like to kiss you now.”
A huge grin blossomed on Oliver’s face. “I feel as if I should say something about being a gentleman but-” He couldn’t say anything else; she cut him off by covering his lips with hers.
Ollie responded to the kiss, enjoying the feeling of being with her after such a long time.
I’ve missed this, she thought. And it was true. Pulling away only when the need for air became an issue, she rested her head against his chest. He just wrapped his arms around her, holding her close.
“I love you too, Oliver,” she said finally. She didn’t get a response, just felt a soft kiss pressed to the top of her head and Ollie’s arms tightened around her.
Lois had taken a risk but she knew that it would be worth it. They were worth it.
Who knows? Maybe the saying “the third time’s the charm” would ring true for them.