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Got My Name and Got My Wealth 1/1

banner by: geek_or_unique

Title: Got My Name and Got My Wealth (Prequel Series #5)
Chapter: 1/1
Characters: Chloe Sullivan and Oliver Queen
Rating: PG-13
Fictable Prompt: #80 Why? for saurina
Word Count: 4,047
Summary: Chloe wants to know why Oliver married Tess.
Previous Stories: | Don't You Know Who You Are | Got Love for the People That Have Warned You | You Don't Have to Make A Sound | Just For Kicks, All By Myself |

Got My Name and Got My Wealth

     “Hey Chloe.”
     Chloe looked up from the computer and smiled at Victor as he walked into the office. “Hi Victor, how are you?” she asked. The real question Chloe wanted to ask was how he was doing after the complicated mission that he’d run the night before. He’d already sent a message to the Eye in the Sky telling her that everything had gone according to plan but that didn’t stop her from worrying. She discreetly tried to look him over for any signs of injury without giving him the wrong idea.
     “I’m good,” Victor replied. He returned her smile as he held up the folder in his hand. “These are the specs for the new satellite features that Oliver wanted.” He glanced toward his closed door before meeting Chloe’s eyes again. “Is he busy?” he asked warily.   
     “You’re in luck,” Chloe replied as she held out her hand for the folder. “He’s on a conference call and cannot be disturbed for any reason.” Even though Oliver had been better the past few months since he’d kicked his prescription drug habit, most people still didn’t like dealing with him. They remembered all too clearly how much he’d enjoyed yelling at them and telling them they were beneath him when he’d been high. Chloe was still angry with him for all the employees they’d lost because of his antics.
     Victor’s smile widened. “Thanks, Chloe,” he said appreciatively. He handed her the folder and started for the door like he was afraid she would change her mind if he stuck around for too long. He paused in the doorframe and looked back at her. “I really am okay. Thank you for asking.” He held her gaze for a few seconds and then he nodded before he turned and headed down the hall to the elevator.
     Chloe swallowed hard as she watched him go. Was it just a coincidence that he’d felt the need to clarify that he was fine or was it possible that he knew that she was the person who had been helping him? This wasn’t the first time Victor had made an odd comment that left her wondering what he’d meant. The two of them had met when they’d both still been living in Metropolis and she had helped him out while they were there. She knew Victor was smart; it wasn’t out of the question that he’d be able to put the pieces together.
     But maybe it was just wishful thinking on her part. Chloe wanted to tell all the guys who she was and she wanted them to work together as a team. If Victor knew the truth, she would be one step closer to finding the nerve to explain everything to all of them. Chloe chewed on the corner of her lip as she considered pulling Victor aside and asking him. The thought had crossed her mind before but she had always managed to find reasons to talk herself out of it. Maybe it was time to just go for it. She couldn’t imagine any of the guys actually walking away from the cause even if they did end up resenting her for lying to them all this time.
     The sound of heels clicking loudly across the floor brought Chloe out of her thoughts as Tess walked briskly into the office. Chloe fought the urge to scowl when she caught Tess’s gaze. “Oliver is busy. You’ll have to come back later,” she said, doing her best to keep her voice even and hide the utter contempt she had for the other woman.
     Lex had fired his sister from Luthor Corp. about two minutes after Lionel’s will had been read, naming Lex as the sole benefactor. Less than a week later, Tess had moved to Star City and Oliver had hired her on as one of his vice presidents. The corporate world had been stunned by the development and speculation had run rampant that Oliver had completely lost his mind. Company stock had taken a hit and the tabloids had gotten even more relentless than usual as they followed Oliver around, waiting for him to shatter.
     Chloe had been surprised by the decision for about five seconds until she’d realized that Oliver was doing it to spite Lex. There had always been bad blood between the two of them and ever since Oliver had come out of his most recent downward spiral, he’d been more determined than ever to bring down Luthor Corp. Tess was smart and she was very good at her job so it really was a sound business decision to bring her on board before another competing company got into the mix.
     Unfortunately in addition to being smart and capable, she was also a raging bitch with a superiority complex and Chloe could not stand the woman. She seemed to think her high level position entitled her to be in charge of everyone and everything and that part did not work for Chloe. Dealing with Oliver was one thing; that was her job, but she’d made it clear to Tess from day one that she did not work for her and she wasn’t about to start no matter how many times the woman attempted to push her around.
     She could tell by the look on the redhead’s face that this was going to be one of those times. Chloe simply raised an eyebrow and waited for her to get on with it. She saw Tess’s eyes narrow before she spoke in her usual cold voice.
     “I’m not just anyone,” Tess reminded her. “Oliver and I have something urgent to discuss that is well above your pay grade,” she said snidely.
     Chloe rolled her eyes. Tess didn’t seem to understand that no matter what her fancy title was, Oliver still didn’t trust her, unlike Chloe, who knew everything there was to know about the company and all the deals Oliver was handling. “Would you like me to give him a message for you, Tess?” she asked with a sweet smile, knowing that it infuriated Tess that she wouldn’t refer to her as ‘Ms. Mercer.’
     Tess scowled. “Why don’t you stick to scheduling Oliver’s lunch dates and let me worry about actual business matters? But if you’re looking for some busywork, I have some files in my office that need to be rearranged.”
     “Tess.” Both women turned at the sound of Oliver’s sharp voice. “I don’t recall us having an appointment this morning. I’m rather busy,” he added before he shifted his gaze to Chloe. “I emailed you the Thompson proposal. Can you look over it and let me know if you think we should change anything?”
     Chloe tried and failed to keep the smirk off her lips as she saw the outraged look on Tess’s face. The Thompson deal was one of Oliver’s personal projects and Chloe knew Tess was not in the loop on it. He must have overheard most of their conversation. “Sure, Oliver,” she agreed as she reached for the folder Victor had dropped off. “Here are those specs that you needed.”
     “Thanks, Chloe.” Oliver took the folder and motioned for Tess to step into his office. “I can spare five minutes so you’ll need to make this quick,” he told her. Chloe did her best not to laugh as she saw Tess’s hands clench into fists before she sent a glare in Chloe’s direction and made her way into Oliver’s office.
     Oliver closed the door behind them and held up his hand when Tess opened her mouth. “Me first,” he said as he gestured toward the visitor’s chairs before walking around the desk to sit down. He leaned forward, his expression hard as he met Tess’s annoyed gaze. “I don’t know how many times I have to tell you this before you get it through your head, but Chloe works for me and only me. You do not get to come in here and try to tell her what to do.”
     “She’s disrespectful and nosy,” Tess snapped. “What makes you think that she doesn’t go home and share all of your secrets with that cousin of hers? I still don’t see why you hired someone with no business experience in the first place; let alone someone who lives with a reporter. Do you like having your picture in the tabloids week after week?” she asked.
     “Chloe is none of your business,” Oliver replied, his tone making it clear the discussion was closed. He knew how much it pissed Tess off that he wouldn’t give her more control, but he didn’t care. He’d hired her so they could work together to bring down Lex and Luthor Corp. once and for all. That didn’t mean that he had to trust her and he knew for a fact that she didn’t trust him either. “What do you want, Tess?” he asked warily.
     She glared at him again before leaning back forward, her eyes hard when they met his. “I want to know when you’re going to quit dragging your feet so we can put the next part of our plan into action. As much fun as this is for me…” Tess paused; the look on her face making it clear that she was not enjoying herself at all. “…I’m ready for phase two but I’m starting to wonder if you’re man enough to handle it.”
     “You’re such a bitch,” Oliver replied. He leaned back in his chair, crossing his arms over his chest as the tension in his jaw tightened even more. Tess was right; he was hesitant but it wasn’t because he couldn’t handle it or he was afraid of what it would do to his reputation. He’d sullied that enough on his own over the past year. Oliver just wasn’t sure it was the right move even though he had agreed to it when Tess had first suggested it.
     Oliver hadn’t been particularly surprised when Lex had fired Tess nor was he surprised when she showed up on his doorstep, demanding that he give her a job. He’d realized that she’d been expecting it and that was why she’d decided to tell him the truth about what had happened to his parents. She’d wanted him to owe her a favor and she’d also known that he would be her best ally when it came to bringing down Lex.
     But he hadn’t realized just how far Tess was willing to go to stick it to her brother. Tess wasn’t going to be satisfied working at Queen Industries and using her personal and professional knowledge to sabotage Lex and his business deals. She wanted Luthor Corp. for herself and she wanted to challenge the will that had made Lex the sole heir, but she didn’t have the resources to do it on her own.
     “And you’re a jackass but we’re not here to debate personality traits,” Tess replied, irritated. “Are you going to follow through with the plan or not, Oliver? I’ve been here for three months already. That’s plenty of time to make it look real.”
     Oliver shook his head. “I still don’t think anyone is going to buy that this is real. People were ready to have me committed just for hiring you. The stock is just now starting to bounce back. Maybe we should wait another month or so,” he suggested. Oliver wasn’t sure more time would actually help anything, but it might give him a chance to come up with a better plan.
     “You’re a coward,” Tess stated. She stood up, placing her palms on the desk as she leaned over, stopping when her face was a few inches from his as she scowled at him. “Does it really matter if people buy it? Who exactly are you worried about impressing, Oliver? You didn’t seem very concerned with what people thought of you when you were lying in the gutter night after night.”
     “You came to me,” Oliver reminded her. He stood from his chair, instantly towering over her as he struggled with his temper. “You can call me every name in the book and throw my past in my face, but when it boils down to it, you need me and we both know it. Now sit down and let’s iron out the details,” he snapped. Oliver was done caring about whether or not they could pull it off. He just wanted to get it over. The sooner that happened, the sooner he could get Tess back to Metropolis and out of his life.
     Chloe hurried out of her bedroom, fastening her earrings in place as she walked down the hall to the kitchen. She hadn’t gotten home until after three a.m. because she’d been doing tech support for AC while he’d infiltrated a warehouse that one of the local gangs was using to smuggle weapons in and out of the city. She’d sent him all the information and she’d used the satellite feeds to monitor him while she’d hacked into the security system and disabled alarms to give him access. There had been more guards than she’d counted on, but AC had managed to hold his own and shut down the operation.
     But it had taken most of the night and she’d apparently forgotten to set her alarm and now she was late for work. Even though Oliver had been out of town for the past few days and things had been fairly quiet at the office, she still needed to get there and deal with morning calls and deliveries. Chloe was relieved to see that Lois was already awake and there was a half-full coffeepot waiting for her in the kitchen. She was reaching for her travel mug when she heard her cousin clear her throat loudly from the couch.
     “Morning, Lois,” Chloe said, not bothering to turn around as she filled the mug to the brim and took a long sip before adding more coffee and placing the lid on it. “I know I’m being rude and I came home really late and I’m perfectly willing to let you lecture me later, but right now, I have to get to work.”
     “Take a minute to read the front page of the Gazette,” Lois replied. “I left it on the counter for you next to your purse.”
     “Why are you reading the competition?” Chloe asked. But she turned, grabbed her purse in her free hand and looked down at the paper to see what Lois was talking about. Chloe gasped, nearly dropping her coffee when she saw the headline. “Is this for real?” Chloe quickly set her stuff down, snatching up the paper, her eyes already scanning the article before Lois had a chance to answer.
     “It’s real,” Lois confirmed. She pushed herself off the couch and joined Chloe at the counter, a look of disgust on her face as she peered at the paper over Chloe’s shoulder. “I have to say, I can’t think of people who deserve each other more than these two but I can’t believe the Register got scooped on this. I take it you had no idea.”
     “None,” Chloe replied as she stared at the wedding photo of Oliver and Tess. According to the caption, it had been taken two days earlier when the two of them had gotten married at a resort in Sonoma. The article went on to say that it was a private ceremony and there were plenty of quotes from the happy couple. “I cannot believe Oliver would do this,” she muttered even as she read the quote saying he was happier than he’d ever been.
     “I like Tess’s quote about how it was special because it was just the two of them.” Lois snorted. “Like either of them has any friends who would want to witness their unholy union,” she quipped.
     Chloe shook her head. This didn’t make any sense. She understood why Oliver had hired Tess but why on earth would he marry her? Chloe didn’t believe for one second that they were suddenly in love. Oliver had been photographed with two models a few days before he’d gone out of town. That certainly didn’t seem like something a man who was in love would do. She needed answers.
     “I have to get to the office.” Chloe tucked the paper into her purse and pulled out her keys before picking up her coffee again. “Oliver must be back in town if he did this interview. I’ll see you later,” she told Lois, not giving her cousin a chance to respond as she walked briskly to the door.
     Lois sighed as she watched Chloe practically run out the door. She honestly didn’t get why her cousin gave Oliver the time of day. She knew her cousin liked to help people and see the best in them but the man was a train wreck and his latest stunt just proved that there really wasn’t anything worth saving in him. Chloe was just going to end up disappointed.
     Oliver sighed as his cell phone rang for what felt like the hundredth time that morning. He picked it up off the desk and hit the off button, not bothering to check the display. He knew it was probably just another reporter calling to ask questions about his new marriage and he was not in the mood to answer them. He’d managed to slip out of his penthouse and get to the office without anyone seeing him and he had AC stationed outside the main office to keep people out since Chloe wasn’t in yet.
     He’d found that odd; Chloe was always at the office before him and on the few occasions he’d been there first, she’d usually walked in right behind him. Oliver wondered if she had a meeting or something that he didn’t know about. He didn’t doubt that she’d make her presence known when she got there. Oliver knew she was going to have questions. He turned his attention to the computer and started sorting through his emails, ignoring the ones from reporters and focusing on ones that were actually work related. Oliver let himself get lost in the busy work and didn’t hear his office door opening a few minutes later.
     “Why would you do this?”
     Oliver looked up as Chloe strode angrily into his office, clutching a newspaper in her hand. “You’ll have to be more specific,” he said even though he knew exactly what she was referring to.
     Chloe dropped the newspaper on his desk and Oliver saw the picture of him and Tess on the front page underneath the headline announcing their marriage. He had to admit the photo had turned out a lot better than he’d expected it to. They actually looked happy. He glanced up at Chloe again but before he could say anything, she reached across the desk, took his chin in her hands and tilted her face toward him. Her green eyes anxiously searched his.
     “What are you doing?” Oliver asked, confused.
     “Trying to figure out what kind of drugs you took that made you think marrying Tess Mercer was a good idea,” Chloe replied. She’d spent the entire drive to the office trying to rationalize Oliver marrying Tess and drugs was the only explanation she could come up with. He didn’t look like he was high at the moment but that didn’t mean he hadn’t been when he’d said ‘I do.’
     Oliver scowled and pushed her hand away from his face. His drug habit hadn’t been his finest moment, but he’d gotten over it months ago and he had no intention of going back. “I love that you always assume I must be taking drugs every time you don’t agree with one of my decisions. Your faith in me is truly touching, Chloe,” he muttered.
     Chloe rolled her eyes. “Don’t get indignant with me like you’re the injured party, Oliver. I’m the one who spent months cleaning up your messes and I’m still here,” she reminded him. Lois had practically begged her to quit after the night Chloe had found Oliver out in the rain and for the first time since she’d started working for him, she had seriously considered it. But she had stayed through the worst of his meltdown and once he’d been sober again, she’d warned him that she was not going to put up with his bullshit anymore.
     “Why would you marry Tess?” she asked again. Chloe crossed her arms over her chest and gave him an impatient look as she waited for him to answer her. She was pretty sure she would end up slapping him if he tried to feed her the same garbage he’d spewed to the reporter who’d written the article.
     “It was the right move,” Oliver said carefully. He could see that Chloe obviously didn’t believe the declaration of love he’d made in the paper so there was no point in trying to convince her that it was the truth. But he couldn’t tell her the actual truth either because Oliver knew Chloe would never approve of the plan. Hell, he barely thought it was a good idea but it was too late to back out now.
     “The right move for whom?” Chloe asked. She didn’t see how legally tying himself to Tess Mercer for eternity could be good for Oliver. Chloe didn’t trust the woman as far as she could throw her and she’d thought Oliver didn’t trust her either, but maybe she’d been wrong about that. “I thought you hated Tess,” she said.
     “You were wrong,” Oliver replied with a shrug. He’d never actually hated Tess, although he had a feeling he was going to by the time this whole thing was over. She was already on his nerves and he knew that she was just going to get more power-hungry now that they had gotten married. Being his wife was going to open a lot more doors for Tess than being Lionel Luthor’s bastard daughter had.
     Chloe sighed; irritated that he was obviously keeping something from her. “I hope you don’t expect me to take orders from her now that she’s your wife. That’s not going to happen,” she told him matter-of-factly. Chloe didn’t care if Oliver was in love with Tess at this point; she was not about to work for that hateful woman.
     “Not at all,” Oliver assured her quickly, grateful that Chloe seemed to be dropping her questions about why he’d married Tess. “Business is not going to change. Tess has her department and I have everything else. If she gives you a hard time, you can still come to me,” he said.
     “Who do I go to when you give me a hard time?” Chloe asked, raising an eyebrow. They both knew she would never actually complain about Tess; she was more than capable of holding her own and she certainly didn’t expect Oliver to fight her battles for her. But she found it interesting that his marriage was a few days old and he was already making it clear he would side against his new wife. There had to be more to the story.
     Oliver laughed. “You can come to me about that too, but you might not get results.” He leaned back in his chair, some of the tension easing from his shoulders. “Did I miss anything important while I was gone?” he asked.
     “Nothing I couldn’t handle,” Chloe replied. She chewed on the corner of her lip as she watched Oliver for a moment. She knew she should just go to her desk and get to work, but she wasn’t ready to let this go yet. “Do you know what you’re doing?” she asked quietly.
     He looked at her, not saying anything right away. “I’m doing what I have to,” Oliver said finally, his eyes meeting hers. “You’re just going to have to trust me on this one, Chloe.”
     “That’s asking a lot, Oliver. More than you deserve,” she added pointedly before she turned and walked out of the office, pulling the door closed behind her.
     Oliver swallowed hard as he watched her walk away. He knew she was right and he hadn’t given her any reason to trust him. He just hoped there was a small part of her that would do it anyway.

Tags: fanfiction, pairing: chloe and oliver, series: elm universe, smallville, title: got my name and got my wealth
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