AN: I just want to thank every single one of you so much for sticking with me all the way through this journey - my first ever fic!
Rennie75 you have been the most amazing beta & friend & I am eternally grateful to you for bringing me into this amazing world & community. Dioch yn fawr cariad bach, dioch yn fawr! I hope this is a lovely surprise for you upon your return :-D
KenyanCougar has been kind enough to beta this for me as Rennie is away - thank you loads my dear! All mistakes are mine however lol :)
Thoughts are in italics as usual :)
Disclaimer: The CW own Arrow. I don't, sigh.
"Tommy!" Oliver's voice was full of hope and fear at the same time.
Two months had now passed since the day that Tommy had woken up in the hospital. Both Oliver and Tommy had been released and were both recovering well, although Tommy's recovery was a lot slower going than Oliver's. However, much to both Felicity's and Diggle's relief, Tommy was also a far better patient than Oliver. More than once the pair had agreed that they did not think they would have been able to handle a second patient who was as bad as Oliver!
Tommy had required further surgery to put a pin in his ankle from where the masonry had fallen on him. Much to Oliver's relief however, none of his own breaks had required metalwork, and they had all been greatly relieved on the day that the casts had come off as Oliver had been driving everyone mad! Both Oliver and Tommy had required intensive physiotherapy to start with and Tommy was still going to the hospital on a daily basis for his and would be for some time to come. In Oliver's case however, Dr Holland had soon realized that the physiotherapists had instead had their hands full simply trying to prevent Oliver from overdoing things and doing too much too soon. Again, she had made the parallel between him and the returning Vets that they treated.
In the end Diggle had managed to convince Dr Holland to let him deal with Oliver and had promised to make sure that he would not let Oliver overdo things. It's a good thing she hadn't asked me to specify whose version of overdoing things I meant! Diggle couldn't help but think wryly. Somehow he doubted that Oliver's version of rehab would have matched up with the doctor's, or the physiotherapists' version either for that matter - a thought that was borne out as Oliver went up the salmon ladder yet again. Oliver had been annoyed with the amount of muscle tone that he had lost during his time in the hospital and he was now working as hard as he could to regain that tone. He was also still trying to goad Diggle into sparring with him, but Diggle was refusing point blank for now. Even for Oliver that would have simply been too soon Diggle knew.
Felicity, Diggle, and Oliver were all in the lair and Tommy would be joining them shortly. It would be the first time that Tommy had been back in the lair since leaving to confront his father on the night of the Undertaking and to say that Oliver was a little tense about how Tommy would be would have been an understatement. He and Tommy had talked plenty of times both before and after their discharges, but Oliver knew that that would be different to actually being back in the lair with the rest of the Team. In the hospital and at the Mansion they had been Oliver and Tommy, not the Vigilante and a Member of Team Arrow. (Tommy was still not ready to return to his father's home even though Malcolm was dead and Oliver had had no intention of pushing him on that, especially now that his Mom was in jail.)
Both of them were still struggling with nightmares that had only been made worse by the Undertaking and they were also both struggling to come to terms with what their parents had done and the 502 deaths that had been caused by their actions. Tommy was finding that much harder than Oliver though still and Diggle and Felicity were both working with Oliver to try to convince Tommy that he was not to blame for his father's actions.
Felicity looked up as Tommy slowly came down the stairs into the lair, he was doing far better, but stairs were still hard for him. Regardless of that though, he had still wanted to meet down in the lair instead of upstairs in Verdant and none of the others had wanted to argue with him. She was pleased to see that he had the plastic bag from Wal-Mart in his hand and she just hoped that her idea to get them all to relax, and to get a bit closer back to what passed for normal for them, was going to work.
Tommy looked around for a few seconds as he finally made it down the stairs, catching his breath a bit as these stairs were longer and steeper than the ones he had been doing both at the Mansion and with the physiotherapist. He knew that he still had a long way to go before he was back to fit again, but he had just been relieved to have finally been able to discard that awful walking stick the previous day. If Tommy was honest with himself he was still utterly amazed that the four of them and their families had escaped the Undertaking with none of them being injured, except for Oliver and himself. He was still plagued by nightmares of being trapped under that piece of masonry and knew that it was unlikely that those nightmares would easeanytime soon.
Tommy was confused for a second when he could not see Oliver anywhere. Felicity was at her computers as normal and Diggle was trying to break the training dummy again from the look of it, but Oliver? He looked up as he heard a familiar regular metallic clanging sound and was astounded to see that Oliver was making his way up the salmon ladder. Granted, his progress was a little slower than normal, but the fact that he was doing it all amazed and concerned Tommy.
"Oliver?! What on earth are you doing up there? I thought you agreed you wouldn't overdo it?" Tommy looked to Diggle as he finished, he was sure the older man had agreed with the doctor that he would make sure Oliver didn't do too much.
"Don't look at me like that man, it was hard enough to stop him from sparring, I couldn't stop him from doing that as well." Diggle replied defensively to Tommy's look with a hint of a grin and a pointed look of his own that Tommy knew full well was saying that he wouldn't have been able to stop Oliver either - a point which Tommy was forced to concede.
Tommy looked to Felicity, she was the only one that Oliver was scared of and he had thought that she would be able to stop his friend from overexerting himself even if no one else could. Felicity refused to acknowledge his look though but simply held her hand out for the bag instead. Tommy made his way over to her before handing the bag over and wondering just what it was the blonde had in mind this time. She had been very specific in what she had instructed him to buy and told him that nothing else would do. Tommy had not understood but, as he knew it was safer to simply follow her instructions, he had done as she had told him to anyway without stopping to ask why.
"Oliver, get down here." Felicity ordered.
Tommy was amused yet again to see that Oliver did exactly as she had said without arguing. He knew of nobody else that could get Oliver to do that and he wondered yet again when Oliver was finally going to get around to letting Felicity know that he loved her. He and Oliver had talked about it several times and Oliver had now openly admitted that he did love her – to him at least. Now Tommy just had to get Oliver to admit it to Felicity herself, which was proving to be a lot harder. He had even tried enlisting Diggle's help once but had promptly been stonewalled as Diggle had informed him that that was a job for Oliver's wingman, not his black driver. Tommy couldn't help but smile at the memory of that and he caught Diggle's eyes as he did so, knowing that the older man would realize what he was thinking about.
"What is it Felicity?" Oliver queried, the confused tone clear in his voice.
Tommy understood exactly why Oliver was confused, Felicity had used her 'I'm in control' voice, the one that none of them dared argue with, but at the same time it was clear from her voice and body language that there was nothing wrong.
"Sit down Oliver. Diggle, Tommy, you too. We've all been through a lot these past few months and it's been hard for all of us in a lot of different ways and we've all had to do things that we didn't want to do not that I'm saying that we didn't want to save The Glades because we did it's just that we didn't want to stop your father Tommy well we did want to stop him we just didn't want to stop him stop him.." Felicity paused and took a deep breath as Oliver quirked an eyebrow at her. "…Three...two...one. Anyway, the point is that we have all had more than enough to deal with and we need to be able to get back to it being us again, Team Arrow. Before we can do that though we all need to process and as we all know Mint Chip is the best way to process." Felicity finished with a grin as she reached into the bag and pulled out four one pint tubs of Mint Chip ice-cream and passed one tub to each of them together with a spoon.
Tommy grinned at that as Diggle smirked too and he was amazed to hear Oliver let out a brief laugh – the first one that he had heard from him since before the Undertaking. Tommy looked quickly to Felicity and smiled at the triumphant look on her face. Apparently this had been her plan and, unexpected though it was, Tommy was forced to admit it was a good one.
Tommy took the lid off of his pint and followed the example of the others as they dug in to Felicity's favorite flavor of ice-cream. They sat together each enjoying the simple companionship as they ate. There was no rush, sometimes they would stay silent for a while and at other times they would talk about what had happened, or life in general, or some funny little incident. As the afternoon wore on and the ice-cream disappeared Tommy realized that, almost without noticing or understanding how, they had regained their previous equilibrium. They were together as Team Arrow again.
The afternoon turned into evening and Oliver, after a lot of increasingly pointed looks from Tommy, finally accepted that it was time for him to truly talk to Felicity. Oliver studiously tried to avoid both Tommy's and Diggle's faces, knowing that both were watching with intense interest, even while they were attempting to pretend that they weren't. Finally Oliver gave in though and glared once at the pair who, much to his relief, took the hint and walked away giving him the space that he needed to do this.
As Oliver walked over to Felicity he took deep, calming breaths, slowing his heart rate and circulation in the process to allow him to focus and concentrate more easily. He had now accepted how much he loved her and knew that he simply could not risk anything happening to her again, could not stand to risk losing her. He needed Felicity to know how he felt, how much he loved love, and he needed to know if she felt the same in turn. He took one final breath before starting to speak.
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Tommy knew that there was still a long road ahead of him for his recovery and he knew that the others all had things that they still needed to deal with too, including Oliver. But they had made it this far and Tommy now knew that they would continue to make it through, together. They were more than just friends or even family. The bond that the Team had was so much more than that and it went so much deeper. They were friends yes, and they were family too; they were brothers in arms to use Diggle's phrase – they were Team Arrow and Tommy was incredibly proud and thankful to be able to count himself as part of that Team.
He was happier than he could express that Oliver had finally taken the plunge and had now gone to speak to Felicity and, looking at Diggle, Tommy knew the older man shared that happiness. Finally the two were truly talking about their feelings and Tommy realized that he had done his job as wingman after all.
Tommy knew that he would always have questionsand there would always be things he would want to know, but they had moved away from the incessant questions that had plagued him when he first found out who Oliver was. Those questions were no longer in the forefront of his mind and he knew that it was now finally time for him to move on and move past them. It was time for all the questions to be over – and it was finally time for them all to move on, together, as Team Arrow.
AN2: Again, my immense thanks to each and every single one of you who has read, followed, favourited, and/or reviewed - you are stars! Thank you!
Please be kind enough to let me know what you think of this final chapter. I fully admit that some things have been left open, that was on purpose as I may well return to do a sequel in the future, not sure yet :D Thank you!