Pairing/Character(s): Oliver-centric, Oliver/Chloe, Bart, AC, Victor, Dinah
Disclaimer: all characters belong to CW/DC Comics
Word Count: 788
Summary: Oliver reflects on the holidays and family.
Author's Notes: written for stargatejunkie from scifiland holiday gift-giving.
No matter what anyone said, nobody ever got used to being alone. Oliver knew that from experience. He was good at pretending he was fine, but that’s all he was doing … pretending. It hadn’t been easy when he was a kid, and it wasn’t easy now.
The holidays were always the worst, because it reminded him of how he didn’t have any family or anybody special to share them with. Even back at boarding school, everyone went home, and sure, he went back to his house … but it wasn’t a home. It hadn’t been a home since his parents died.
His friends had tried to invite him over, but he always declined. Seeing their happy family would only make him feel even lonelier.
Over the years, he found ways to distract himself during the holidays- at first, through lavish vacations and beautiful women, and then, after that dreaded island experience set his priorities straight, through work, both at Queen Industries and his nighttime job as Green Arrow.
Everything changed when he met Bart Allen. He brought the kid in to work with him in saving the world, and he somehow became the little brother Ollie never had. The kid had a tough life, especially after he developed his powers. That Christmas was the first one he really celebrated, because he wanted to make it special for Bart, after all those years of living on the street. It had turned out much better than expected and was actually the best Christmas he had had since his parents were alive.
After Bart, he met more members, starting with Victor and then AC. Though they worked together, Ollie knew it was more than that. He was truly gaining something he never thought he’d have again- a family.
A brief stay in Smallville resulted in him meeting Chloe Sullivan, who would late join the team as Watchtower. A second trip to Smallville brought him their final member, a woman named Dinah Lance.
Ollie even managed to find love with Chloe. Though they started out as friends, slowly, she not only made her way into their small family, but into his heart. Even during their first date, he knew that this was going to be different than any of his past relationships.
These days, Ollie looked forward to the holidays. Chloe and he decorated, bought gifts, stuffed stocking ... it was perfect.
On Christmas morning, he was woken up by all too familiar voice yelling, and running around.
“Come on, everyone, wake up! It’s Christmas! There are presents to be opened!”
Ollie groaned and opened his eyes, blinking a few times, his eyes getting adjusted to the light. Squinting at the alarm clock, he groaned when he realized that it was only 5:30 in the morning.
“One of these days, I’m going to drug Bart’s hot chocolate on Christmas Eve,” came a murmur next to him. “That way, he’ll sleep through the night.”
Shifting, he looked at the woman next to him and smiled. Chloe smiled back, despite her obvious exhaustion.
“You’ve been saying that for years,” Ollie reminded her.
“Yeah, well, I’ll get around to it one day,” Chloe insisted.
“Admit it, you like him waking us all up,” Ollie teased.
Chloe shrugged. “Until we are ready to have children of our own, Bart’s a pretty good stand in.”
At that, Ollie outright laughed, though inside, he was dancing. Chloe wanted to have kids with him, and she had said it with such ease that his heart swelled with love.
Suddenly, the door swung open and a very awake Bart sped in.
“Aren’t you guys out of bed yet?” Bart demanded. “What part of there’s presents don’t you understand?” Even though he was in his early twenties, Ollie was convinced he would always be a kid at heart.
“Merry Christmas to you too, Bart,” Oliver joked.
“Yeah, yeah, Merry Christmas,” Bart responded. “Presents?”
“Not until Chloe gets her coffee,” Oliver instructed. Bart pouted and Oliver just raised an eyebrow. “Do you want to deal with Chloe before she has had her coffee?”
At that, Bart cringed. “I will go have it ready.” Then he sped off once more.
“I’m not that bad, you know,” Chloe said, swatting him playfully.
He grinned. “You’re perfect … once you’ve had your coffee.” She mock-glared and he just chucked. “Anyway, this buys us a bit more time.”
Giggling, Chloe nodded, unable to disagree with that statement. Ollie leaned forward. “Merry Christmas, Chloe.”
She closed the remaining distance, their lips meeting in a gentle kiss. “Merry Christmas, Ollie.”
No longer did Ollie have to just pretend he was okay. He was perfect, knowing that between the team and Chloe, he would never be alone again.