AN: Again big thanks go to KenyanCougar for playing beta while Rennie75 is on holiday! Rennie - sorry you didn't get a sneak peek of this one but I thought it would be a nice surprise :D
Thank you so much to all of you who have taken the time to come back to this fic and read, follow, fav, and/or review - your support is truly appreciated!
Thoughts are in italics as usual :)
Disclaimer: I don't own Arrow, doh! The CW do.
"Ollie! You are broken!" Thea exclaimed, utterly exasperated with her brother even as she embraced him carefully.
"I'm fine Thea, I'm fine. " Oliver finished, not missing the looks on Felicity's and Diggle's faces as the pair rolled their eyes at him.
Over the next day Oliver continued to make progress and very soon he refused to take anything other than a Tylenol, which he would only take when Felicity insisted. He continued to worry about Tommy however who had still not regained consciousness. Oliver knew that the doctors had not actually expected Tommy to come round yet, but still, he was concerned about his best friend and wanted more than anything to go and see him.
"Oliver, it doesn't matter how much you glare at me I am not gonna take you to see Tommy unless the doctor and Felicity both agree to it!" Diggle said yet again. He knew how worried Oliver was and, having now heard the story of how Oliver had thought Tommy had actually died, he could completely understand his friend's need to see Tommy – but that did not mean he was willing to go up against Felicity for him.
"Okay Oliver, I've spoken to Dr Holland again for you and she has agreed that we can take you to see Tommy tomorrow morning after the doctors have done their rounds. Now quit glaring at Diggle." Felicity ordered. She had only just come in the room but didn't need to have seen or heard either of them to know that Oliver would have been glaring at Diggle again, he had been doing it for most of the day, whenever Thea wasn't there.
Felicity knew that Thea was extremely curious about why she and Diggle were spending so much time at the hospital and why Oliver never seemed to want them to leave. Sooner or later they were going to have to answer some of her questions, but for now the teen had been willing to leave things be and Felicity knew that Thea was just grateful to have her brother back in the land of the living.
Diggle had had a quiet word with Dr Holland the previous day while he was meant to be getting another round of coffees and had explained to the doctor how it would be best for all concerned if they stayed overnight as Oliver's injuries would be likely to trigger off some pretty bad nightmares. He had explained that Oliver didn't want Thea to know about them so Dr Holland had been careful to ask Oliver's opinion on the matter during one of her rounds when she had asked all four to leave, wanting to be certain that she got an honest answer out of her patient. Initially she had been inclined to deny the request, after all her staff were more than competent at dealing with PTSD. However, she had seen the flicker of relief that passed over Mr Queen's face, brief though it was, and had decided that provided they stayed as quiet as they had all day and continued to stay out of the way of her staff, it would do no harm to allow them to stay.
Dr Holland had had a quiet word with Mr Diggle again later and confirmed that she would agree to it. She informed him that she would arrange for a cot to be brought in for one of them and had been about to say that two would not fit but he had quickly replied that that would not be needed and explained that they did not want Thea to be aware of the arrangement. Dr Holland had understood and agreed willingly enough, it meant less work for her staff after all.
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The next morning all three of them were feeling pretty tired and worn out. Oliver had had several nightmares over the course of the night, just as he had done the first night, and consequently they had all had little sleep. On top of that Oliver was as impatient as ever for the doctor to do her rounds so that he could go to see Tommy. After seeing Oliver's eyes flick to the clock on the wall, back to the door, to her, to Diggle, and then back to the clock for what felt like the millionth time Felicity had had enough.
"Oliver! I know you want to go see Tommy but glaring at the clock and the door and both of us is notgoing to make the doctor come any soon and before you ask no I am not going to go see where she is you are not her only patient and you will wait until she is ready to see you!" Felicity ordered bluntly, being careful to avoid looking at the grin that was forming on Diggle's face. The last thing I need is to grin too when I'm trying to be all 'Grrr' with him!
Oliver however saw the smirk flash over Diggle's face and turned his glare back on him instead. He knew that Felicity was right and he was willing to admit, to himself at least, that patience had never been his strong suit. He turned back to watching the clock and the door again, but this time kept his eyes away from Felicity as he didn't want to cross her any further while he couldn't get up and defend himself. Oliver knew that he was going to have to talk properly to Felicity at some point, soon, he had come too close to losing her to allow much more time to go by without telling her how he felt. But right now he needed to concentrate on Tommy first.
Finally Dr Holland arrived to do her rounds and after checking Mr Queen over she agreed that he could now be taken down to see Tommy. Dr Holland had had to cover the hint of a smile that ghosted over her face when she had asked Mr Queen how he was doing today only to be told he was 'fine'. She had quickly learned that that was his default answer to any and all questions concerning his health, condition, and pain levels. She could also see that from the looks and eye rolling that she had seen coming from both Mr Diggle and Ms Smoak in response, it was something that they were both used to hearing as well.
Dr Holland couldn't help but continue to compare him to the Vets she treated. He might never have been in the Forces, but it was abundantly clear to her that he had been through some equally horrific experiences – without the benefits of any training and again she was amazed by the fact that he was still going strong. Dr Holland could see that this was in no small part due to these two that had been continually by his side since his return from that island and she was grateful on his behalf for the fact that her patient had the two of them looking out for him.
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Eventually the three of them made it down to see Tommy. Both Laurel and Detective Lance were in the room with him and Lance was in everyday clothes much to Oliver's surprise. They were both keeping vigil by Tommy's bedside and neither seemed to hear them approach.
"Not working today Detective?" Oliver queried gently, but making them both jump regardless.
"Oliver!" Laurel's voice was full of relief and it seemed that she was very happy to see him. "I've been so worried about you but I didn't want to leave Tommy. How are you?"
Oliver smiled in response but couldn't help thinking that if she was that worried then she would have been able to leave Tommy with the Detective for a few minutes at least to come and see how he was. He knew that both Diggle and Felicity had been down to check on Tommy's progress quite a few times and that Diggle had done so even before he had come back round. He was careful to ensure that none of that showed on his face however.
"Few broken bones, I got a bit busted up when that wall fell on me but I'm fine." Oliver couldn't help but notice that, unlike Felicity, Diggle, Tommy – and now even the doctor, Laurel did not react at all to his use of the word 'fine' and he realized that she had not noticed how he liked to use it even though all the rest completely disagreed with his definition of the word. The Detective however was looking at him in complete disagreement.
"Yeah, right. If that's your definition of fine Oliver then I'd hate to see what you look like when you're not fine." Lance replied dryly, much to Diggle's amusement.
Lance took in Oliver's appearance noting everything carefully. He was covered in vicious bruising including on his face, he had cuts and scrapes everywhere and his hands were banged up pretty badly. Lance could see through the hospital gown that Oliver's ribs were clearly taped and he knew that Oliver had both cracked and broken ribs. Both legs were in casts and Mr Diggle had informed him they had been crushed and broken. He could see the edges of a large dressing over Oliver's shoulder and he knew, again from Mr Diggle, that Oliver's shoulder had been pierced by a piece of rebar.
Lance couldn't help but notice that all the wounds apart from the legs and shoulder looked like the results of a vicious fight. He also couldn't help but notice that both Tommy and Oliver had wounds from being crushed and pierced by rebar – and that the Vigilante had looked like he had broken legs when he had somehow managed to stagger out of CNRI with Tommy in his arms. There were more similarities here than Lance wanted to think about truth be told, but he knew that this was not the time for questions of that sort. Besides, whoever the Vigilante was, he had saved countless lives that night and Lance figured that if he wanted his identity to remain a secret then he had earned that right – even if the puzzle was going to drive him crazy in the process.
Diggle pushed Oliver closer to Tommy as Laurel and Detective Lance moved to one side to let him through. He noticed the flicker of concern and fear cross Oliver's face for the briefest of seconds before Oliver's mask was back in place again. Diggle looked to Felicity and saw that she had caught it too – and that she was looking just as concerned herself, but that she was not even trying to hide it. He had seen Tommy several times already now of course, as had Felicity, but it was hitting him hard too if he was honest. Tommy had not been meant to be the one who was out in the field that night. At the same time however, Diggle was utterly proud of the young man who lay before him and knew that it could not have been easy for him to have run into that collapsing building to save Laurel. Diggle just hoped she realized how much Tommy loved her and that she returned that love. The last thing he wanted was to see Tommy hurt even further and he knew that he would be looking out for him more than ever now.
Oliver was stunned by how bad Tommy looked with all the pure white dressings that were covering his body and the tubes and wires everywhere. He had never thought he would see his best friend looking like this – hell he had never thought to see anyone he cared about looking like this. He looked up and met Diggle's and Felicity's eyes, the questions clear in his own without the need for words.
Is this what you feel like when I crash on you? Oliver asked without speaking.
Yeah man, you looked a lot like this at Christmas. Diggle replied just as silently.
You looked like this two days ago Oliver! Felicity's unspoken retort was equally clear to both Oliver and Diggle.
Lance noticed the looks going between the three of them and was sure something was going on that he was not privy too. He looked to Laurel, about to query it before noticing that she did not seem to have seen anything. Before he could ask Oliver about it however, Oliver's face suddenly turned back to Tommy, followed almost instantly by Diggle and then Felicity doing the same.
"Tommy!" Oliver's voice was full of hope and fear at the same time.
AN2: One more chapter to come folks. Please be really nice and let me know what you think - reviews are golden! Thank you so much!