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Elementary Matters (1/1)

Author: serafina19
Title: Elementary Matters
Rating: G
Summary: Chloe and Oliver disagree on where their son should go to school.
Dedication: artgirltx for the prompt: “Public school or private school?” It’s over a year later, I know, but hopefully you enjoy it :)

Elementary Matters


Oliver turned his head over his shoulder.  “What do you mean, no?”

Throwing the brochure on the counter, Chloe shook her head. “I mean that I’m not sending our son to boarding school.”

“I turned out okay, didn’t I?”

Chloe scoffed, not disputing the point, but the process. “After two years on an island, a few near-death experiences and questionable decisions that helped wipe out your biggest regret from that time in your life.”  She didn’t like bringing up Duncan, or the memories that replaced it, but it sent the necessary message. “That place didn’t shape you into the man you are now.”

“And public school did wonders for Lex,” he countered, expecting his wife to either give in a little or acknowledge that Excelsior was the basis of the problem. Instead, she started laughing. “What?”

“Sorry, I just... pictured you as Lionel.” While the comparison wasn’t fitting or flattering, the picture itself was oddly funny, even if Oliver thought otherwise. She saw him about to interject, but she held a finger up to stop him. “You can’t blame me when you brought that parallel on yourself.”

Slowly, Oliver backed down, eventually replying, “You’re lucky I love you so much.”

Chloe grinned as she leaned against the counter. “While that’s nice to hear, that doesn’t make our decision any easier.”  She was tempted to flip through the pamphlet again, if nothing else, to attempt to see what was so great about Excelsior, but Chloe knew her mind was made up. “And I’m worried that we’re both too stubborn to make a decision.”

“Boarding schools provide certain perks and opportunities. You can’t fault me for wanting the best thing for him.” Oliver's latter comment wasn’t the safest thing to say, apparent by his wife’s reaction, so he wisely brought up another point. “Plus he’d have better protection at Excelsior. Better protocols and personnel.”

That wasn’t going to sway Chloe, as her decision relied on other reasons. “He’d be here if he goes to Star City Central. And no matter where he is, the best protection he can get are with his uncles, not with strangers."  She sighed. "Even with our status and your outed alter ego, I refuse to rob our kid of some normalcy in his childhood.”

“While I don’t disagree with you Chloe, I doubt that normal is ever going to be a word in our kid’s vocabulary.”

“It won’t be if we don’t let it.” Chloe shook her head, trying to keep her voice calm before continuing, “But I’ve managed to stay out of the limelight for the most part once the wedding and baby bump news died down and I think we owe it to our son to try.”

“I don’t disagree, but…” Oliver said, taking Chloe’s hand gently in his to reduce the building tension in the room. “I think we’re starting to get a bit off topic here. I don’t think this should feel this serious… right?”

Chloe squeezed his hand, almost grateful for the action. She wouldn’t admit it, but Oliver was right that things were slowly escalating for no good reason. At least their son was out with Lois right now so that he didn’t have to hear this.  However, even now, she couldn’t completely agree with Oliver. “I don’t know…we sound like parents to me.”

He nodded, reminded of how they used to worry about not being ready for this, but this conversation seemed to suggest that they were doing just fine at being concerned for their son’s well-being. They just needed to figure out some sort of middle ground.

“Look.” Oliver leaned his forehead down against Chloe’s, smiling as she stayed where she was. “The deadline for admission isn't for another few weeks. We’ll keep talking about this and figure it out.”

It was Chloe’s turn to nod slightly, as the air felt lighter around them. But she didn’t want to end the conversation without pointing out, “We’re going to have to make some headway next time.”

“I know,” Oliver replied, but first, they had a family night to attend to once Lois got back. It was their first one in almost three weeks, so if nothing else, he had a theory it might shed some light on what they should do.


Hanging up the phone, Oliver headed out of his study, intent on re-joining his family for the movie portion of family night. It was some clichéd children’s movie, but it was worth dealing with if he saw his son’s face light up.  It was why he hated when business interrupted this time, but that was a fact of his life.

He walked towards the couch, but he felt himself pause as he took in his family. It was something he never thought he would have and it was more magical than people told him. It was everything to him. It was why he got up in the morning, why he worked to protect and build the city they lived in, and why he dealt with whatever obstacles seemed intent on coming his way.

Chloe caught his stare within a couple of seconds, turning her head to smile at him, a gesture he quickly returned. However, it only widened when their son stood up on the couch so he could see Oliver.

“Dad,” he said. “Come.”

“I’ll do you one better.”  Closing the distance to the couch, Oliver picked up his son, placing his hands so that he could simulate his son flying in the air. It wasn’t as easy as it used to be, but Oliver couldn’t resist. That little face was capable of making him do just about anything.

After he put him down, his son’s eyes were wide as he asked for more, but Oliver walked around the couch instead and told him, “Maybe later.”

As he settled on the couch, Chloe started to play the movie again, but Oliver's attention maintained on the other two people on the couch, and how he couldn't imagine life getting better than these moments.


Once the movie ended, both Chloe and Oliver looked towards their sleeping son. Before she had a chance to ask, Oliver had him in his arms to carry him to his bedroom. Chloe thought about following him, but she decided to clean up instead, grabbing the empty popcorn bowls after turning off the television.

As she entered the kitchen, Chloe knew that the school papers were still on the counter, but she walked right past them. It was just one of many discussions they had as parents, a role they were still getting used to, even though it wasn’t exactly new anymore. Chloe supposed that was normal for all parents, and the fact that it didn’t seem to faze them too much was a positive sign.

Walking back into their entertainment room, Chloe smiled as she leaned against the couch. These nights were her favourites, the few nights when they both got time off to spend as a whole family. It was why she was so intent on not sending their son away. Their lives were busy, she got that. It was the one reason Oliver didn't bring up on purpose, but it was probably the only one that mattered.  However, Chloe didn't care how crazy things got, she didn't want a stranger raising her son, she wanted this family to be just that. Tonight alone was proof of the wonder behind that concept.

“I’ve been thinking…”

Chloe turned around when she heard her husband from behind her. However, a frown was quick to form when she saw the familiar paper in his hand. “Oliver, do we really have to talk about this now?” The night was as close to perfect as it got for them, and while their conversations on this matter didn’t reach argument territory yet, Chloe didn’t want to take any chances.

“We do,” he replied, ripping up the application before letting it fall to the floor. “I didn’t have parents to come home to… home didn’t even feel like home. He has us, he has a family, that’s what matters most. The name alone will open doors and between the two of us, I have faith that he won’t get too complacent.”

There was a pause for about two seconds as his words settled in before Chloe smiled. “I love you.” It wasn’t what she was expecting to hear from him, but she was glad to hear Oliver say that.

“Love you too.”

Smile still beaming on her face, Chloe leaned over to check the area behind Oliver, wondering if they were still alone. “He’s asleep right?”

“Out like a log. I think he gets that from your side of the family.” True, their little one had a tendency to eavesdrop, but when he slept, nothing woke him up. “Why?”

“I was thinking we should do something that levels out that ego of yours.” Chloe shrugged a shoulder before adding, “Considering that I was right and all.”

“What did you have in mind?”

“It’s been a long day,” Chloe said, turning around to walk down the hallway, “So I was thinking that I need a shower.” Pausing momentarily, she slid her cardigan down her arms. “What you decide to do with that information is up to you.”

Oliver wasted little time catching up to his wife, as he wasn’t about to argue with something that made tonight better than it already was.


Sera's Scribbles: I admit, I wrote most of this last night, so it could probably use more polish, but it was really nice writing something more light-hearted for a change.



( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 30th, 2014 02:10 am (UTC)
That was so sweet! I always imagined that a part of Oliver would want his son to attend his alma matter, as well has attend a school where the teachers and kids would not treat his son differently, since his classmates would, for the most part, also be children of the "rich and important." But knowing that Oliver is an orphan, a bigger part of him would never want to send his kids to boarding school. In your one-shot, did Lex go to public school instead of Excelsior? Was kind of confused by Oliver's comment. Thanks for sharing! Always happy to see new postings from you!
Jun. 30th, 2014 02:31 am (UTC)
Thanks! It was a unique prompt, so I wanted to ensure that I did it right. Granted, it also took some time to figure it out, so I'm glad you enjoyed it.

I feel like his son going to his alma mater is a sense of pride for Oliver too, but considering how devoted he is to the people he loves, I figured it made sense for Oliver to want to keep his family close.

Regarding Lex, I'm trying to stick to canon here, so Lex had experience with both. What I meant to bring across through Oliver's comment is how public school could also change people for the worse, as it arguably did for Lex (through meeting Clark etc). It's not the most solid argument (Oliver acknowledges that too), but it's something I thought he'd bring up. Hopefully that clarifies that up for you.

Thanks for the comment! Now that I've got some stuff started, I'll be getting to updates soon :)
Jun. 30th, 2014 03:11 am (UTC)
lovely! Always nice to read some light hearted. I enjoyed it.
Jul. 1st, 2014 11:24 pm (UTC)
It's nice to write it too. Thanks!
Jun. 30th, 2014 04:22 am (UTC)
I love this story, thank you!!!
Jul. 1st, 2014 11:24 pm (UTC)
No problem. I'm glad you liked it.
Jun. 30th, 2014 04:43 am (UTC)
Really amazing! I'm so glad Ollie realized that nothing matters more than family
Loved it
Jul. 1st, 2014 11:25 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much!
Jun. 30th, 2014 04:51 am (UTC)
awwwww I love family moments.
I admit I feel solidarity with Chloe, I would never want my children to grow up in a strange environment from the family.
but I think this happens because it is not in the culture of my country.
fic well written and relaxing.
Jul. 1st, 2014 11:28 pm (UTC)
I don't write too many of them, but they are sweet to read/write.

I always got a sense that Chloe would be protective of her kids, if her interactions with the team were anything to go by.

Jun. 30th, 2014 01:35 pm (UTC)
Love this exchange :

“And public school did wonders for Lex,” he countered, expecting his wife to either give in a little or acknowledge that Excelsior was the basis of the problem. Instead, she started laughing. “What?”

“Sorry, I just... pictured you as Lionel.” While the comparison wasn’t fitting or flattering, the picture itself was oddly funny, even if Oliver thought otherwise. She saw him about to interject, but she held a finger up to stop him. “You can’t blame me when you brought that parallel on yourself.”


And this : “I turned out okay, didn’t I?”
Chloe scoffed, not disputing the point, but the process. “After two years on an island, a few near-death experiences and questionable decisions that helped wipe out your biggest regret from that time in your life.”

I love the fact she brought up Duncan (continuity-wise).

Thanks for sharing!

Edited at 2014-06-30 01:45 pm (UTC)
Jul. 1st, 2014 11:29 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed those parts and this one-shot. Thanks!
Jun. 30th, 2014 03:32 pm (UTC)
Oh, cute, cute, cuteness! You know what makes me happiest about this one-shot? That it probably made you happy to write after all of the angst you produce. Selfishly, I'm so glad you do because you're SO good at it, but this had to have been a joy to write. I certainly had a smile on my face the whole time and I hope it brought you just as much pleasure to write!

You brought your brand of realism to a fluffy idea and I just loved that. Their discussion felt so smart and honest and THEM and so in character for their opposing viewpoints. I appreciated that you had them step away from the issue for a while before it became an argument because I can totally see them handling marriage that way. Loved it! :)

Tangential thought, and I don't know if you picked the comics back up, but I really hope BQM gives us a name for this kid soon!
Jul. 1st, 2014 11:35 pm (UTC)
Aw, I'm so glad that makes you happy... because you have no idea. I write something light-hearted and so often it gets angsty on me (stupid realism).

It was also fun to write something while they were in a relationship. It isn't a dynamic I explore often enough.

I haven't picked up the comics again, no matter how tempting the storylines have gone yet, but I almost enjoy avoiding using a name. That said, if there is a name... let me know.
Jun. 30th, 2014 03:51 pm (UTC)
Awww, yay! I love this! I appreciate that you didn't make it an unnecessary fight between the two of them, and that they both dialed it back when they sensed that it could head that direction.

I never could decide which way they might go myself, since there were benefits to both decisions, especially considering the potential role their son would have as heir to Queen Industries, but I can see how public school would be their ultimate decision. Now that they're part of a complete family, something neither of them had growing up, they want to protect and savor that time together. And give their son a gift that they never got.

Thank you for posting this one. I love, love Chlollie family stories!

Edited at 2014-06-30 03:52 pm (UTC)
Jul. 1st, 2014 11:36 pm (UTC)
Awesome! I'm so glad you liked this, and thanks again for the prompt. It was honestly what I needed right now... even a year later.

I went back and forth a few times on which why to go, but in the end... family won out.
Jun. 30th, 2014 07:50 pm (UTC)
Absolutely lovely. Thank you so much.
Jul. 1st, 2014 11:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm happy you enjoyed it.
Jun. 30th, 2014 11:07 pm (UTC)
I love Chlollie family fics. It's really nice to read something more light-hearted.
I also loved how realistic this was because it's clear that they have disagreements and that their life can be complicated, but there's not unecessary drama either.
Thanks for sharing it with us. It's great!
Jul. 1st, 2014 11:39 pm (UTC)
It's nice to write this kind of fic too, so I'm glad you enjoyed reading it. I wanted it to feel real as well, so it's good to know I toed the line well. Thanks!
Jul. 8th, 2014 08:25 am (UTC)
Been MIA for awhile, but had to make this my first Chlollie fic to start catching up with.
I love Chlollie fam fics and this was just awesome.
Thanks for sharing.
Happy writing.
Jul. 17th, 2014 01:35 am (UTC)
No worries, I've been on a bit of a roll lately, but I'm so glad that you enjoyed this one (also flattered that this is you chose this to be your first one to start catching up). I haven't forgotten about your prompt from that day and I hope to finish that one of these days!

Jul. 8th, 2014 11:22 am (UTC)
These two are adorable even when they are disagree with each other. I love how Chloe knew what they would do and Oliver just needed some time to see things her way and I love what he said about family. It's something they both didn't really have it, so it's understandable they would want to give that to their son. Lovely story. Thanks for sharing!:)
Jul. 17th, 2014 01:41 am (UTC)
They really are, aren't they?

Family's important to both of them, so that was what swayed me in figuring out the decision in the prompt. I'm glad you agree and that you enjoyed this.

( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
Life's too short for frowning, so smile when you can :)

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