The Brave And The Bold
Summary: Barry Allen looked up to the Starling City Vigilante long before the two ever came into contact with one another. After an investigation into an unusual case leads to the beginning of an even more unusual friendship, the man that would become the Flash finds himself falling hard and fast after the accident that made him the impossible allowed them to become closer than he ever would have imagined. And Oliver? Well, the kid might just convince him yet that his humanity isn't completely gone.
Pairings: Main pairing will be Oliver X Barry, with reference to some canonical early show relationships of other characters (Laurel/Tommy, Caitlin/Ronnie, Nyssa/Sara, Iris/Eddie, Felicity/Ray, other background relationships), plus references to past crushes/relationships of Oliver and Barry.
Author's Note: This story will be canon divergent for the entirety of The Flash, and heavily canon divergent/AU post Arrow season 2. Content warning for canon typical violence (sometimes more graphic than in the show), depictions of mental illness (PTSD, depression, anxiety, etc). Rated M for sexual scenes and topics later in the story. Things that may or may not be mentioned in passing that I will not be ruling out (abuse, medical trauma, past sexual abuse, self harm, homophobia, victim blaming). I will post individual warnings at the beginning of each chapter, but this is just an overall summary of things that could appear in this story. If you think it may both you, please do yourself a favour and don't read it! Thank you.
Starling City, December, 2013
As difficult as it was to wrap his head around the fact that Oliver Queen was actually the Vigilante, Barry had always been a quick thinker and he was usually able to adapt to situations fairly easily. This was one of those times, thankfully, despite him being mildly in shock at this point. Besides, at the moment, he was more focused on the small matter of the older man laying on the lab table who was flat-lining.
When his body started to convulse unconsciously, that was when Barry really went into adrenaline mode.
"Hold him down!" He commanded the others as he rushed to Oliver's side, knowing that in this state it was possible he would fall off or hurt himself some other way, as he was not in control of his actions. "What happened to him?"
"He went to factory to confront the thief, we found him unconscious with two syringes sticking out of his leg and we have no idea what he was injected with."
Diggle was checking his pulse, "He's not going to make it."
"He will," Felicity insisted, attempting (and failing) to mask the sheer panic in her voice, "We just have to figure out what's in his system."
It was then that Barry began to realize he didn't have a clue where to begin, "I-I-I usually only work on dead people," he confessed, silently cursing that despite having read dozens of medical and pharmacological texts growing up, the pressure was currently getting to him.
The tone of voice Felicity used made him decide that regardless of the risks involved, he had to at least try to help Oliver.
"All right," Barry quickly grabbed the LED flashlight sitting on one of the tables and made his way over to the upper half of Oliver's body, opening one of his eyes to take a look. His pupils were dilated. "I can think of four possible diagnoses for what's causing his body to react this way."
Pupils dilated, body convulsions, legs swelling...
"Make that three possible diagnoses."
"Two," He told them, running over to grab a syringe, and drawing blood from the man's arm so he could see for himself what it looked like. It looked like goop, for lack of better term. "Got it. He's suffering from intravenous coagulation."
Diggle cast him a side ways look, while he continued doing chest compression as told.
The CSI looked at them, "His blood is unnaturally clotting, it's almost like... maple syrup."
"You can save him, right?"
Barry took a quick look around, and spotted a tipped-over box of McGuire's Rat Poison on their shelf, he went to grab it.
"Lucky you guys have a rat problem." He said, although it was even luckier that this was the same kind Joe had used when he growing up and he knew for a fact that this brand in particular contained Warfarin, which was used to treat precisely what Oliver was currently suffering from.
He didn't have to look to see that Diggle was staring at him in horror, "Are you kidding? That'll kill him!"
The brunette shook his head, "He dies if I don't!" Cardiac arrest, multiple organ failure, and other very bad, deadly things. "Rat poison is made of the same ingredients as the single most popular anticoagulant in North America!" he shouted over top of the wildly beeping machines.
The blonde looked directly at him, "Do it."
Oliver didn't have the time for them to argue about this!
"Just the right amount of this stuff will thin his blood enough to get it circulating again so he doesn't suffer an ischemic stroke," Barry told them in an attempt to ease their nerves as he injected it into the man's IV.
Now all they could do was keep him stable and hope.
When Oliver began to come to, the first thing he became aware of was someone's fingers near his neck.
That woke him up instantly.
He lunged forward without thinking twice about it and wrapped his hands around his attacker's throat, hearing a choked gasp in response, his self-preservation instincts kicking in as he squeezed, hard.
Then he felt a hand grab his shoulder, and Diggle's urgent voice, and Felicity's overlapping it, "Oliver! Let him go!"
It was only then that his he actually paid attention to who he had grabbed.
Oliver released the kid and fell back against the table, "What the-what the hell is going on?" he demanded, surprised by his sudden shortness of breath, and the younger man's presence in his basement, the contents of which were supposed to be a secret!
Reaching out to put her hand on his shoulder as he stood up, hoping to calm him, Felicity answered, "You were injected with a strong-acting blood coagulant."
"You would have stroked out," Barry told him, breathing heavily and wincing as he touched his throat, "Ahem... but fortunately you had a very effective blood thinner handy." When the older man looked at him, he pointed to the red box on the table, "Warfarin. Better known as rat poison."
They told him who he was.
"Kid saved your life, Oliver," Diggle said from somewhere behind him, sensing his friend was starting to get angry.
Without his permission.
"Um," Felicity spoke up, her voice soft but firm, "This is the point in a lifesaving emergency where you thank the person that did the livesaving."
He turned to her, "You told him who I am."
The fact that they'd let someone they barely knew give him rat poison was actually his secondary concern, at the moment.
Oliver's voice was quiet, but he leveled a betrayed look on the blonde.
"Yeah, I did." She replied, her posture becoming defensive.
"That's not your secret to tell, Felicity." There was a distinctly sharp edge to his tone now. "I decide who finds out my identity."
He knew he was being unreasonable, he knew that, but it didn't stop him from being upset about it, because there had to have been another way to handle this - they could have possibly redressed him and brought him to a hospital, or...something.
Anger flashed across Felicity's face, and she moved around the lab table so she was in front of him, "Well, we didn't have time to get your vote. What with you, you know, unconscious and dying." She snapped.
"What happens if he leaves here and goes right to the police?" Oliver demanded.
"He wouldn't do that," Felicity responded, at the same time that Barry echoed her statement, "Besides, I trust him."
Oliver didn't see, his back turned, but Barry flinched a little as his voice raised an octave.
"Well, he knows now, Oliver. What are you going to do?" The computer geek nearly hissed, "Put an arrow in him?"
"I am considering it."
Seeing the way the young scientist paled, Felicity assured him, "Don't worry, he's kidding!"
Barry didn't seem too comforted, crossing his arms and looking down awkwardly.
Felicity, despite her smaller stature, glared up at her boss with blue eyes blazing behind her square-edged glasses, "How is this any different from when your mother shot you and you came to me for help?" she questioned him, in the form of a demand.
The forensic assistant had a pretty clear "what the fuck?" expression on his face when he heard that, "Your mother shot you?" he asked, shocked.
Scowling, Oliver turned and held up a finger, signaling for him to remain silent, before looking back at his friend.
"Or when you brought Dig down here when he was poisoned with Curare?"
The man known as the Hood was clearly pissed off at this point, "The difference is that I did my homework, on both of you! I don't just tell people easily."
"I-I'm not going to tell anyone," Barry spoke up, despite the warning he'd been silently given, "And you don't have to thank me, but you should thank her, instead of acting like kind of a dick."
When Oliver stepped closer, the look he gave Barry, despite the the two of them being close in height, made him shrink back slightly, "Mr. Queen." He added, with just a hint of sarcasm in his tone.
Thankfully, he was saved by the man's phone going off.
"I have to go home," Oliver sighed, sounding worn out, as he checked his text message, "That man that I fought in the bunker, he has what he needs to mass produce the serum from the island, and we have to stop him. You keep him here until I decide what to do." He started to leave.
Barry knew he was better off staying quiet, but whatever was going on; if he could help, then he had would do whatever possible. "He, uh, he touched your skin when he grabbed your neck." He said, and Oliver turned to him with a look of annoyance, causing him to hesitate. "I was able to absorb the residual oils from his skin... which, when added to a gel-based polymer, might be able to recreate his fingerprint."
Oliver merely gave him a curt nod before he disappeared up the stairs.
Frowning slightly when the young man sighed and hung his head, Felicity walked up and put a comforting hand on his arm, "Never meet your heroes, right?" she asked, softly.
Well, he definitely agreed with that now.
"How's your neck?"
"Fine," Barry replied, though he rubbed at the skin where there was sure to be bruises forming when he was reminded of it, "It's not the first time I've been attacked, anyways." At her surprised and concerned look, he tried to rectify his statement with humour, adding, "It is the first time I've been drugged, kidnapped and taken to a secret lair, though."
It worked, she laughed.
Despite Barry sort of feeling as though he was being held hostage until Oliver and the others decided what was to be "done" about him, he had to admit...
This was pretty freaking cool. He was actually in the Hood's base of operations, it was amazing and he couldn't keep the grin off of his face as he joined Diggle's side, "I knew the Vigilante had partners."
"He likes to be called the Arrow now." John replied simply.
What a badass name.
The young man was still looking around at all the stuff with a fascinated expression, "You three have messed with some really nasty people. The Dollmaker, Count Vertigo, Dodger, The Huntress..." he trailed off, taking interest in Oliver's collection of arrows.
Diggle glanced at him, "We weren't exactly keeping score."
"Well, I was."
Oliver walked in then.
"Barry," The forensic scientist turned around, a wary expression on his face as the older male approached him. He didn't sound as hostile as before, but his tone was still rather unfriendly, "The rat poison you gave me, are there any side effects?"
Closing his eyes, he thought for a moment, "Um, yeah... I think hallucinations, maybe, fever and um... excessive sweating." He opened his eyes to see the unsettled expression on Oliver's face, he had to ask, "Are you sweating excessively?"
Without answering, he turned away, only to come face to face with Felicity.
"You're hallucinating?" she asked, concerned, "What are you seeing?"
Oliver sighed, shaking his head slightly, he didn't want to talk about her, but he knew he couldn't keep hiding everything that had gone on to himself forever, not from his team. "A girl named Shado that was with me on the island."
"Shado," The blonde repeated, a vaguely annoyed expression taking over the worry, as she walked away, "Sara. How many women were you marooned with? You sure this wasn't fantasy island?"
His frustration level only increased when a very excited Barry rushed in front of him, "You did train in a jungle or forest environment!" his smile was bright; triumphant. "Hence the green." Seeing the ire on his face, he quickly added, "Here, uh, let me draw some blood, see what's up."
They headed over to where he had the medical equipment set up, "Hey, can I ask you something?" he asked, but Oliver merely stuck his arm out, a blank expression on his face, "Why no mask? Not to tell you how to do your vigilante...ing, but the grease paint thing? It's a poor identity concealer."
Felicity just had to choose him of all people to save his life, didn't she?
The kid was already getting on his last nerve, he did not need criticism on his uniform. Oliver replied, "So, find me a mask that conforms perfectly to my face and doesn't affect my ability to aim while I'm on the run."
But Barry didn't sense the nearly undetectable sarcasm in his voice, "You should look into a compressible micro fabric." And there was that cheery grin again, "It could be really great."
Just then, Felicity called out, "Found Cyrus Gold."
Oliver headed over to where she was typing away at her computer, "Who's Cyrus Gold?"
It was Diggle that answered him, "The human weapon that left you nearly dead the other night. The kid did manage to pull his print off of your neck." He could hear a bit of an edge to the normally stoic man's voice.
Wonderful, both of his partners were annoyed with him.
He glanced over his shoulder at Barry, who seemed too focused on testing the fresh sample of blood he'd just taken from him to notice.
Damn it, he didn't like the kid, he didn't like being lied to, and he certainly didn't like the fact that he knew his secret now. Felicity was fond of him though. And he had saved his life... it seemed like that was enough to warm Diggle up to him. While he still didn't trust Barry, the kid did seem genuinely interested in helping them.
He wondered why that was though.
Thinking of the excitement and all of the questions, he realized the answer was plainly obvious.
Barry must have been a fan of the Arrow.
Wonderful, first Roy, and now this.
He had not signed up for having his own club of pre-pubescent admirers, though he should have figured that this would happen. Anything controversial was bound to have its own cult following.
"I've had facial recognition software scanning closed circuit cameras all over down," the blonde continued on, not noticing his distraction, "He's at the corner of Delgado and 25th right now, but we're just about to lose him."
"What else is at that intersection?" he asked.
"A parking lot, a market, a motel..."
John appeared at his side, "Could be where he's holed up."
"I got this," The man said, about to turn and leave, but his friend called after him, "Oliver. Why don't you let me handle this one? It's just recon."
He hesitated for a moment, "Fine. But I'm going as your backup."
The two then left together.
After silence filled the room, Barry could see Felicity watching them go, worry in her eyes.
"Don't worry," he tried to assure her, "I'll figure out what's wrong with Oliver."
"You'd be the first."
Barry was working on creating a mask for Oliver from scratch while awaiting his blood test results, but first he had to let the mixture of sorts heat up for awhile so it would be pliable enough to shape to his specifications. He hoped the man would like it when it was finished.
He could tell Felicity was concerned by how quiet she was at the moment.
"You're really worried about him, huh?"
She gave a very slight nod, "He takes crazy chances." The blonde paused, before adding, "Even when he's not hallucinating about beautiful island girls."
"Hmm..." Barry heard the hint of jealousy in her words. Not to mention, he had been there when Oliver told her that a girl named Shado had been on the island with him.
While he hadn't met this Sara person, he recalled reading an article about how Oliver had apparently smuggled his girlfriend's sister on board the Queen's Gambit with him, which was harsh, but there has been supposedly no survivors from the wreck, which he now knew was not accidental, but rigged by the late Malcolm Merlyn.
Still, he had seen Sara Lance's picture on the news when the ship sank, and if she was the same Sara stuck on the island with Oliver, then he had to agree she was indeed pretty...
But there was no way Felicity could know that that the other girl had been beautiful too.
Either she was just speculating that she was, or she did have more than platonic friendly feelings for the hero that she was denying.
Honestly, he couldn't blame her.
Deciding to investigate his hunch a little further, he began, "The other night, I asked you if you liked Oliver."
"I told you, I don't."
He would have accused her of lying, but she seemed so sure of her own statement.
"I remember," the brunette said, "But, if... you did, I could see why." He struggled to explain himself, "I mean, Oliver Queen. He is a billionaire by day, and he saves the city by night. What's not to love?"
She laughed, "Sounds like you want to date him."
Barry's ears turned red, and he let out a short chuckle, hoping to conceal the nervous churning in his stomach that he felt at her words. "I just have a...little experience, with liking someone who doesn't see you the same way." he sighed, before checking his watch and realizing the news would be on about now.
He quickly turned on the laptop.
"Protests continue into the final countdown for tonight's ignition of S.T.A.R. Labs' controversial accelerator. S.T.A.R. Labs founder, Harrison Wells, promises a new era of scientific advancement is at hand."
Disappointment flooded him.
"Guess I won't be back in time to see them turn it on."
Barry's words were still ringing in his ears.
The tactile hallucinations were in his head, touching Shado in the hallway, fighting with Slade and practically destroying the Foundry as he did so, the Warfarin hadn't caused any of it...
Was he losing his mind?
He was snapped out of his thoughts by Felicity calling his name, her voice was shocked, worried, and that immediately had him on edge.
"What is it?" He joined her side.
"Cyrus Gold... the police ambushed him and he..." She shook her head, "Three dead, the others critically injured, including Quentin Lance. He's in the ICU."
This was all his fault.
"Come on, Roy. Hey, I am not leaving anyone else to die!" He was acting crazy, shaking the boy, yelling at him, doing chest compressions, trying desperately to just get him to open his damn eyes. "You're strong, Kid. Come on! Come on! Come on, Roy! Fight. Come on, fight! Roy?!"
Oliver hadn't thought that it would actually work, he just knew that he wouldn't be responsible for the death of someone else he cared about, he couldn't be, and he certainly couldn't bear to see Thea's face if she found out her first love was dead.
He hated Mirakuru now more than ever.
The archer also couldn't believe that Roy had actually survived, but he had, and Oliver had to make sure he kept a close eye on the kid from now on, just in case. He and Diggle were discussing the fact that the man in the skull mask, whoever he was, was preparing an army of super soldiers for an as of yet unknown war. After going through all he had to gather what he needed, he highly doubted the man would give up there; they would see him again.
Always a fun prospect.
That was when he noticed a certain lack of chatty forensic scientist in his hideout.
Felicity gave a little shrug, "He went back to Central City, wanted to get home in time to see them turn on the particle accelerator."
He hadn't waited to say goodbye.
It bothered Oliver more than it should have, and he wondered why. Eventually, he figured it must have been because he never got a chance to thank Barry for his help with Gold, or for saving his life.
That must have been the reason.
Felicity's phone was ringing then, and she grinned, "Speak of the Devil..." she told them with a soft chuckle, "I should take this." She answered the call, "Hi."
"Did you make it?" she asked.
"I, uh, yeah, I made it back to Central City in time, but I missed the cut off in line at S.T.A.R. Labs. I was late, as usual," he told her, with a slight laugh in his voice.
"But in the spirit of not being late again, uh, if you ever decide that Oliver Queen isn't the right guy for you; if you decide that you want to go on a date with someone else, um... you should know that that guy, he'll be on time."
"Good to know," Felicity smiled brightly.
He knew it was ridiculous to try this, it would be Iris all over again, or worse, he or Felicity would end up getting hurt.
But neither of them could be with Oliver, even if they wanted to (he would deny until his last breath that he did, as would she), and they clicked really well...
"Oh, hey," He said suddenly, "And I, uh, I left something for Oliver. I hope he likes it."
The blonde girl hung up her cell phone and looked down at the little box sitting on the desk. From the looks of it, Barry had made it himself somehow - out of newspaper headlines talking about the Vigilante.
Okay, that was pretty neat.
She stood up, and looked over her shoulder to see both Diggle and Oliver watching her.
Beaming, Felicity gestured for him to come over.
He did, "What did he want?"
"In so many words?" Felicity asked, deciding not to tell him exactly what the conversation had been about, "Merry Christmas." She pushed the box across the table to him.
Oliver looked at her for a moment, he seemed startled, given that he hadn't exactly been civil towards Barry while he was there, but it didn't surprise the computer tech at all, despite having only just met him a short while ago, she could tell that he had a good heart.
After a moment, he picked up the box, and his eyebrow quirked upward slightly when he noticed the creative handmade wrapping paper adorning it. Lifting the lid up and placing it underneath the box, he stared at it's contents.
It looked like like dark green, nearly black leather, but somehow he knew that wasn't it. Carbon polymer? Polyester? Some sort of synthetic fiber... or perhaps a combination of different materials. What was it Barry had suggested he used before? Something about micro compressible materials? It looked like he had hand made his gift for Oliver.
A strange feeling that came over him was hard to place, but he definitely felt something.
Felicity helped him put it on without him even asking her to, and when it was adjusted properly onto his face, he was shocked to realize that it fit perfectly, and it didn't irritate his vision at all.
"How do I look?" he asked, uncertainly.
She beamed at him, "Like a hero."
Early into the A.M., Oliver and Felicity were still trying to track down leads on the freak in the skull mask when Diggle came rushing it.
"Have you guys seen the news today?" He asked, sounding...odd.
"No, we've been here all night, why? Is something going on?"
John's expression turned dark, and for a moment his eyes were fixed on Felicity, before he turned back to his friend/boss, "You know that whole particle accelerator thing that was going on with S.T.A.R. Labs back in Central City yesterday?"
He did, he remembered hearing Felicity and Barry having a pros verses cons debate about it shortly before he left to go see it turned on. While he didn't fully understand the hype, the young man had been extremely excited about it, going on about all the potential knowledge they could learn to help further humanity, etc.
"Yeah, what about it?"
"Something went wrong, like, horribly wrong, last night... There was some sort of malfunction with a storm and the cooling system..." He took a deep breath, "It blew up."
Oliver stiffened at that and Felicity's hands froze mid-keystroke, spinning around in her chair to face him, "What?"
"I wanted to tell you in person," Diggle said quietly, knowing how much she cared for the boy despite having only recently met him. "Apparently seventeen people were killed in the explosion. Dozens of others are in the hospital with second and third degree burns from the blast, or in the ICU in critical condition."
A darkness seemed to fall over the room, making the temperature drop suddenly.
"Oh, my God. I-I have to... Barry, I need to call..." Felicity just managed to get the words out, before she was scrambling for her phone, not even realizing that she was shaking horribly until Oliver had grabbed her hands to stop her, since she appeared to be on the verge of a panic attack.
"I have to see if he's alright!" Sure, he had missed the cut off line to see it in person, but that didn't mean he was okay.
"Felicity," the tone of voice he used got both of their attention, "I already called Central City PD on the way over here."
"The same storm that caused the malfunction shattered all of the glass in the forensics lab above the police station and caused a massive citywide power outage," Diggle answered, his voice was grave, "Barry was struck by lightning, Felicity... He's in a coma."
Oliver barely heard his friend let out a distressed cry, hugging onto his arm in a death-grip, clearly distraught by the news.
He... didn't know how to feel.
The first emotion he could identify was anger, no, more than that, rage.
He wanted to break something.
It wasn't fair that a vibrant, quirky, lively and brilliant young man like Barry, kind and non-judgmental, was fighting for his life while human garbage like Skull Mask and other monsters continued to pollute the planet, and his city, with their filth.
Aside from that, he also felt worry.
Mostly on behalf of Felicity, because despite the twinge of jealousy that he refused to acknowledge, he knew that she cared for him a lot.
Then there was something akin to grief.
He hadn't thanked the kid for the mask, for saving him... or for anything.
Now he might never get the chance.
It wasn't right.
It was January 15th, halfway through the first month of the New Year.
Over a month had gone by and yet they were still no closer to figuring out who the guy wearing the skull mask was, a fact that was leaving Oliver in a more agitated mood than usual. When he returned to the hideout, he found Diggle watching the news on one of Felicity's computers.
"A spokesman for the Central City mayor's office confirmed the lack of any damage or radioactive fallout from the explosion that rocked S.T.A.R. Labs five weeks ago-"
"Is Felicity not back yet?" He questioned, not seeing the perky blonde computer tech anywhere in their lab.
His friend shook his head in response, "She said she wanted to spend a few more days with Barry."
Oliver sighed, knowing things would be more difficult with just the two of them, before asking, "Any improvement in his condition?"
"No. He's still comatose."
The vigilante frowned slightly at that.
Barry was so young, and good. It just wasn't right that he had to be going through something like this, even if he wasn't consciously aware of what was going on at the moment.
He recalled hearing Felicity talking on and on about lightning statistics shortly after Barry had gotten hit - she was really worried about him after all. What had she said? Right, that the chances of getting struck by lightning even once in your lifetime was one in three thousand.
"Actually, Felicity was worried that he might be getting worse."
Confused, Oliver tilted his head, "If there's been no change in his condition, why would she think that?"
Turning completely to face him, John decided to just let him in on the blonde's suspicions, "She found out he had been moved from the hospital, and when no one would answer questions due to her not being family, she did some digging. Apparently, the kid was moved to S.T.A.R. Labs. The CEO - the one responsible for the particle accelerator disaster - contacted his foster family and got their permission, the "Why?" she couldn't figure out though."
Well, that certainly was odd, but not necessarily something to be concerned about...
It didn't have to mean that Barry's condition was worsening, perhaps it was just the actions of a man who felt guilty for his creation negatively affected so many people, and he was trying to make up for it in little ways. But if Felicity was concerned, then he would let her look into it, if it gave her some small amount of comfort with what was going on with her friend.
It wasn't like he could really do anything to stop her, anyways.
Despite the somewhat dark undertones when he looked at it now, Oliver still wore the mask that the kid had made him, not only because it was more convenient, but as a way to honor him, of sorts. He reminded himself with it that the boy would wake up eventually, and when he did, he could finally thank Barry for the thoughtful gift...
Feeling the need to change the subject for Oliver's sake, Diggle proceeded to ask him how it went that evening.
"Same as every other pointed conversation I have with these lowlifes in Crescent Circle." He muttered, "Nobody has seen a man in a skull mask." He went to hang up his bow, "But he's still out there..."
John watched his boss pace around, a look of concern crossing his features, "Oliver, for the past five weeks, you've pushed yourself pretty hard looking for this guy."
"He has the Mirakuru, Diggle!" Oliver snapped, spinning around to look at him, "I mean, you saw what it took to kill one guy that had been injected. We practically had to drop a building on top of him!" He shook his head, "So imagine ten, or a hundred. Imagine a thousand."
"You said Roy was injected?" Diggle asked him.
The older man put a hand on Oliver's shoulder, hoping he didn't overstep his boundaries, "I've just never seen you spooked like this before, man."
Looking down at the hand, before back up at his friend, he sighed, "I should tell you something," he said, reaching to grab his grey overcoat from where it was tossed over a chair.
This would not be a fun conversation.
He really hoped the Mirakuru wouldn't affect Roy negatively
But then again, he'd never really been lucky.
Thank God Felicity had come back early.
Not that Diggle wasn't skilled in many ways, technology just happened to... not at the top of their list of skills, and right now they needed all the help they could get with this bomber case. Even though she was back and ready to work, he couldn't help but notice she wasn't her usual cheery self, and had a feeling he knew why, "How's Barry?"
Her smile tightened, "Ah, he's...still sleeping."
Seeing the raised eyebrow look Diggle gave her, she elaborated, "I prefer sleeping to coma, cause coma sounds... you know, not fun."
Despite her half-hearted attempt a humor, she could see the lingering sadness in her eyes.
He didn't really blame her.
Just as long as her thinly-masked grief didn't interfere with her ability to do her job, as far as he was concerned, she could have as much time as she needed to come to terms with her friend's condition.
Oliver was furious.
He knew he had no right to be, he knew as the words were coming out of his mouth, as he saw Felicity's expression morph into one of hurt and anger, that it wasn't her fault. She wasn't like him, he couldn't expect her to just bottle up her emotions until she blew up like he did.
Just because the island had made him into something nearly unrecognizable, he couldn't expect everyone to be the same way.
He couldn't blame her for being preoccupied with other things.
As he paced around the Foundry, trying to suppress his anger, he thought, Barry, this is all your fault.
Then, of course, came the immediate slamming guilt. It hit him with the force of a tidal wave crashing against the shoreline, so powerful in fact that if it were to manifest physically than it probably would have knocked him right off of his feet.
He felt like shit for just letting that thought cross his mind.
It may not have been Felicity's fault, but it certainly wasn't Barry's either.
How could it be?
The kid was in a coma, and he had been for over a month.
It was possible what Diggle had been insinuating was true, maybe he had been a little jealous of the way Felicity and Barry had connected, but that was his problem, not hers. And it wasn't really fair of him to get angry at her for being upset that her friend was in a critical state.
This was something he was just going to have to learn to deal with.
Shaking his head, trying to shrug off the sudden heavy weight on his shoulders, he made a silent prayer to a deity he wasn't entirely sure even existed, to wake the CSI up.
Maybe then, things would go back to normal, or their version of normal at least, and his friend would be okay again.
The man known as the Arrow had a lot on his mind.
He had already decided that he couldn't keep focusing on Laurel - he couldn't let her be his weakness any longer, but there was more to it then that. That was why he had called Sara, because it may have not been his responsibility to take care of her, but it was hers.
At least, in a way.
She may have been the vigilante's blind spot, but she was also in pain. The alcohol, the drugs, it was all just a mask she was hiding behind, not unlike his own, and if Oliver could, he was going to help her. Not as a protector or an ex-lover, but as a friend.
Then there was Roy...
When he first heard from Thea what had happened, how he'd nearly beaten a man into a coma (never mind the fact that he was a serial killer), he knew.
He knew for certain that the Mirakuru was starting to take over, he could only hope that he had intercepted in time to teach him how to control it - not just the strength, but the rage that went along with it. If he could, then maybe hope wasn't lost for him after all.
Still, if there was anything he was glad about, it was putting the issue of the man in the Skull Mask behind him. With Officer Daily dead, hopefully the serum would stay gone for good.
It had never been his intention to reveal his true identity to that kid, but he had no other choice in that moment. All he could think of was what another earthquake would do to his city. If it had gone off, it probably wouldn't have left the undamaged half in tact.
Thankfully, it seemed as though Roy was willing to keep both of their secrets for now, because the less Thea knew, the better.
For now, anyways.
Every single day it seemed like Oliver's life was getting more and more complicated, not less.
Calling Sara had seemed like a good idea at the time, but now he was beginning to have his doubts. With that woman Nyssa in town, he'd gotten the feeling that things would only get more difficult. And he'd been right. He had so much on his plate.
If it hadn't been training Roy or lying to Thea or disowning his mother, then it would have been about his re-kindled relationship (if it could even be called that) with Sara, or his issues with Laurel, keeping his identity a secret and trying to make sure Starling was safe, then whatever was going on with Felicity...
But at least with Nyssa gone, one problem was taken care of.
He really hadn't liked the idea of a bunch of trained killers running around and kidnapping people in order to get to their flighty ex-member anyways.
Speaking of which, witnessing the two assassins kiss had brought up a lot of emotions in him.
Confusion, for one, because as far as he had always known, Sara was straight (not that he had an issue with it, he'd had some less than heterosexual relationships himself in the past). But then again, they found out on the island that you never really know somebody, until you know them. Perhaps a bit of anger or jealousy, but also suspicion - because he had known that Laurel being poisoned at the same time as her arrival was definitely not coincidental.
Snake venom wasn't exactly a common poison to spike someone's drink with.
It had also brought up old memories of his, ones that he had pushed to the very corners of his mind. His early teens, which had been spent mostly figuring out what girls were even for and how much fun an unlimited credit card and a fake ID could be.
But also, it made him think of Tommy.
About how much fun they had together, and while their relationship had been rocky up until their reconciliation on his death bed, they were like brothers.
But it hadn't always been that way.
True, his best friend had, prior to the destruction of the Queen's Gambit, half jokingly threatened him with death if he ever tried to discuss the things they had done together, as in, ever. Curiosity or not, Oliver had been the one to instigate it, at the age of fourteen when girls were just so complicated and he began having feelings that he wasn't too sure whether or not he wanted to explore.
It getting out could have damaged his family's company and reputation, however, and back then the last thing he'd wanted to be was a disappointment.
While, true to his word, they had never discussed it again, he knew it was something neither of them had ever forgotten, and yet things never became awkward between them (not for that reason anyway), it was just the type of friendship they had, the one that took nearly two decades to build up.
Thinking about the past was painful, for more reasons than one, and it was as he and Sara got ready to track down Nyssa Al Ghul before she could do anymore harm to the Lance family, that he decided perhaps some memories were just better left untouched.
I know, it looks like I'm just mashing my old chapters together, but mostly because the first few were boring filler ones I had to put out before getting to the story I really wanted to tell (like the Flash and the Arrow actually getting to know each other). I'm merging them because I realized they were really short last time and it just saves space and time; I may do this with a few others because the first handful of chapters weren't so bad aside from spelling and grammar errors; it was later on I found things started getting messy, lol.
ANYWAY, as I mentioned in my notice on the old version of this story, if you have any suggestions of things/events you might like to be included in this, please let me know! I'm always up for ideas from people who enjoy my writing. Thank you! 3