"Of Monsters and Men"
Dedicated to Seekit9, who was the first to review "The First Night of Thanksgiving."
Disclaimer: If I owned "Arrow," Tommy would still be alive; if I owned "The Cape," the show would still be alive.
"Tommy Merlyn? Hi, I'm Jamie Fleming," the brunette introduced herself before she slid into a seat across the table from the head of Merlyn Global Group.
Tommy almost choked on his wine.
"You're the C.O.O. of ARK Corporation?"
"Let me guess, you were expecting someone a few decades older when you agreed to talk business here?" Her brown eyes sparkled in amusement.
"And if my wife asks, you are, not to mention, you know, a number of pounds heavier," he replied. "Aren't you a bit young for the job?" She couldn't possibly be a day older than thirty.
"Oh? Stop me if you've already heard the one about a rich kid getting promoted in the family corporation. We're not so different, you and I," the blogger-turned-businesswoman argued, before turning to peruse the wine list.
"Except your father wasn't killed while murdering over five hundred people," Tommy pointed out.
Fleming raised an eyebrow. After giving the waiter her drink order, she returned her attention to her dining companion.
"The only real difference between us is that my father has not yet been exposed for the monster he is."
(Tommy doubted that was true. For one thing, surely she wasn't best friends with a vigilante, but he kept this thought to himself.)
"You feel that way about him, and you went to go work for him anyway?" Tommy's brow crinkled in confusion.
"I prefer to say I infiltrated his company. Took me awhile, but I finally discovered the best shot I have of keeping him in line is by working from inside the corporation."
"That so? That, I must say, is a very interesting warm up for a sales pitch," Merlyn noted, before the waiter returned, ready to take their orders. After they'd selected grilled sword fish and beef tenderloin, he went on. "Alright, dazzle me. Why should Merlyn Global do business with ARK Corporation?"
"Don't give me your answer right away," the heiress said, once she'd finally finished her presentation. "I'll let you think on it while I use the ladies' room," she added, rising from her seat and grabbing her handbag.
While she was gone, a crash sounded from the entrance of the restaurant. Footsteps pounded towards the dining area.
Tommy looked up from the last of his crème brulee to see what all the noise was about. The blood drained from his face as he counted six armed men carrying assault rifles.
"Oh shit," he murmured under his breath, before things managed to get even worse.
"WHERE'S MERLYN?" the leader bellowed.
Goddamn it. Where the hell was Oliver Queen when you needed him?
"There was an anonymous tip," Felicity Smoake explained from Team Arrow's lair underneath Verdant as the Arrow sped through the city streets on the back of his motorcycle.
"The leader is Giovanni Continenti," the blonde continued, looking at an array of photos. "It appears he found out via the paparazzi where Tommy was going to be tonight.
"This is personal for Continenti—for all of them, actually. Each of the men lost a loved one the night of the Undertaking. And since they can't take out their rage on Malcolm Merlyn…"
"They plan on taking it out on Tommy," the vigilante surmised. After the Undertaking there had been a stigma attached to both the names Merlyn and Queen, but whereas the public had been somewhat mollified by the imprisonment of Moira Queen, Malcolm 's passing meant the full brunt of the hatred of the man was misplaced onto Tommy's shoulders. It cast a shadow over the young C.E.O.'s life, but this was the first time it had put him in peril.
"Roy's en route; he'll meet you there," the IT specialist informed him. "Too bad the Black Canary can't make it."
"Then we'll have to make do," Queen replied, slowing his bike as he approached the perimeter the S.C.P.D. had set up. He removed his helmet once he'd come to a full stop.
"There you are!" Quentin Lance's posture relaxed as the masked man drew near. "Listen, there are six armed men inside and there must be a good third of the city's elite being held hostage. They haven't made any demands yet; could be a robbery—"
"They're not after money," the Arrow interrupted the captain. "They want blood," he growled. "I'm going inside."
"Your old man murdered my wife," Continenti seethed, his weapon trained on Tommy, who, like the other patrons turned hostages, was now sitting on the floor. "Amsterdam over there lost a brother; Boulanger lost a daughter: you get the idea. The Glades were desiccated, but you don't care, do you? You just go about your life, running your father's business, enjoying his billions like nothing happened. Where's the justice, hm?"
"Do you honestly think I'm not ashamed of my father?" Tommy demanded in a voice just loud enough to be heard. "There's not a day that goes by that I don't wish I could erase what he did. I did what I could to help rebuild the Glades—"
"That's enough!" Continenti's leg lashed out, his boot landing hard in Tommy's side. The resulting pain from the kick was horrible, and Tommy felt certain that he now had at least one bruised rib.
"You don't get to make yourself out to be some kind of martyr," Continenti continued. "Where the hell were you when your father was blowing half the Glades to kingdom come?"
Tommy didn't bother to answer. Breathing alone was enough of a challenge now and it wasn't as if any answer he gave would satisfy his captors. In truth, he'd spent that night at Laurel's apartment, thanking god that he'd persuaded her not to go into C.N.R.I. She would have undoubtedly been killed otherwise; the CNRI building was nothing but rubble by morning.
"Giovanni, look what I found," Amsterdam called out, as he hauled a struggling Jamie Fleming in by her arm. "I caught her hiding near the coat racks. She was busy using this," in the hand that was not pinning the captive, he held up an expensive tablet.
"Let go of me!" the blogger struggled in his grasp, trying to jab her assailant with an elbow. In retaliation, Amsterdam cracked the tablet against her jaw, ensuring the next weeks, if not months, of her life would be hell—assuming she lived that long. As blood trickled down her face, she prayed none of her teeth would come loose. Distracted, she didn't notice at first when the cavalry arrived.
"Let her go," a voice growled. Roy Harper, bedecked in red leather, held his bow ready to fire an arrow at the goon. When he wasn't obeyed, he let the arrow sail through the air, striking the criminal in the shoulder and forcing him to let the young woman go. Harper spun around in time to head-butt a would-be attacker.
Captain Lance was busy disarming a third man as the Emerald Archer delivered a roundhouse punch to a fourth. A fifth managed to get a shot off, grazing one of the patrons, before being subdued by two of Lance's men.
(And wasn't the sight of the city's vigilantes and police officers working side-by-side something that would have been unthinkable before the Undertaking? Quentin no longer believed that the man formerly-known as the Hood belonged behind bars and he wasn't the only one whose attitude towards him had warmed. Probably for the best, since Lance had ultimately concluded the only reason the hero would have for concealing both voice and face at all times was that Quentin would recognize him if he did not.)
Eventually, the only attacker who had not been restrained was Continenti. Oliver, wanting to put an end to the ordeal, but mindful of not wanting to add another death to his conscience, loosed an arrow that pierced the skin quite close to the Italian's knee. The leg refused to support Continenti's weight any longer and he tumbled towards the floor. His assault rifle had been lost in the fray, but he still had a handgun, which he clutched now.
"It's over, Continenti," the Arrow rasped.
"That's it, is it? I'm supposed to spend the next decade or so, if not more, in a prison? I'm not the one that failed this city. I didn't see you stopping the earthquake device that killed my wife—the device that Merlyn's father set off!"
"Killing Merlyn won't bring your wife back," the Arrow said. He couldn't help mentally comparing Continenti to Malcolm Merlyn—both men had been too blinded by grief and anger to understand the parts they were playing in a vicious cycle.
"You're right. But putting me in a cage for twenty to thirty years won't help matters, either. I'd rather join her," he declared, and before anyone could stop him, he put the handgun to his temple and pulled the trigger.
Two days later:
"Hey," Tommy said, as he carefully lowered himself into a seat beside Jamie's hospital bed, trying not to exacerbate his injuries (namely two bruised ribs, which still hurt like hell, but at least his jaw wasn't wired shut). "I know you can't talk, so just listen. I've decided, if you haven't been completely put off the idea of doing business in Starling City, that I'd like to sign a contract with ARK Corporation immediately.
"It's come to my attention that you can never have enough private security."
Author's Note: I rather suck at writing action sequences, so you can imagine my trepidation when I read Seekit9's prompt. But at least I found a plot bunny to go with it and I tried.
Readers of "A Detective to Love" will recall that Astra is a real restaurant, which I still have not gone to, but I perused their menu online in order to add more detail to the story.
Since prompt was for gen, did my best to not overtly ship anyone, but if you're familiar with my work, you probably know who Tommy's wife is in this fic.
Fic title from the song by Little Talks of the same name.
If any slash fans enjoyed this crossover with "The Cape," go check out my ongoing crossover, "Black Bird; Green Arrow."
…When I say ongoing, my writing is currently on hiatus pending further reviews. I want to be clear on this point because I was disappointed to discover that one of the fics on my alert list had been marked permanently abandoned. To clarify: I am not declaring now, nor will I ever declare one of my fics, abandoned. If the reviewers return I will do what it takes to get the muses to cooperate to get the fics done. I will not give up on one of my stories, and I will not give up hope that the reviews will come.