"Number Twenty-seven"

By Wtchcool

Disclaimer: If I owned "Arrow," it would be more to my liking.

Quentin knew he was looking at Number Twenty-seven's corpse. He supposed he should be able to dredge up some disgust, anger, something like what he'd felt when he'd pulled out Number Twenty-six down at the morgue. For the life of him, he couldn't feel anything other than relief. Yes, the weapon this time had been a poker, not an arrow, but he knew that it was the vigilante that had left assassin shish kabob behind in the Queen manor. Or, more accurately, it was Oliver Queen.

He'd known the Hood's identity for a while now (just because he'd removed Queen's ankle bracelet didn't mean he'd been fooled). Why else would he have allowed his daughter to stay at the manor while her life was in jeopardy? He'd known, as Merlyn obviously knew, that she'd be safest with the vigilante. (Oh would he like to have Merlyn up on charges as an accessory! Maybe someday, when he had enough proof, Laurel wouldn't kill him…)

This didn't change his feelings about the Hood. He meant what he'd told Harper and Queen's sister. The Hood was a murderer, not a goddamn role model and the absolute last thing he needed was for Oliver Queen to get another sidekick.

But, Number Twenty-seven had tried to kill his little girl. For that, Detective Lance could pretend that one of Queen's bodyguards had killed him, before tragically (and conveniently) dying of his own wounds. Never mind that the guard's body wasn't found anywhere near the hit man's or that the times of death wouldn't line up, that the crime scene had very obviously been tampered with. All that mattered was that Laurel was alive and well, not being buried next to her sister.

The fact that Queen had saved her because he still had feelings for Laurel, well… That should be immaterial. But that didn't keep Quentin's blood from running cold when he learned that Merlyn broke up with Laurel the next day. Merlyn, then, knew not only what his friend Oliver had done, but also why he had done it and had decided to yield to the competition and step aside.

His daughter would tell him that it wasn't any of his business. It wasn't; there was no reason for him to be disappointed, no reason for him to be jealous of his own daughter—

NO. He closed his eyes, horrified by the mere thought, and wondered how he was supposed to stay sober when his life was this fucked up.

Author's Note: Okay, this is the last one-shot, I swear.

If you need more Quiver, go check out my current fic, "Black Bird; Green Arrow."