"Forced to Face the Truth"

By Wtchcool

Disclaimer: If I owned "Arrow," Tommy would still be alive.

"Where have you been?" Quentin Lance demands as soon as he recognizes the figure as the Hood. It takes him a moment to lower his gun.

Oliver can tell Quentin's angry. What can he say, I was off having a crisis of existentialism?

It's the first time they've seen each other in five months. Oliver hasn't worn the costume since the Undertaking—the night his best friend died. He hasn't seen the point.

He wouldn't have donned the leather tonight, either, but it turns out that the league that spawned the Undertaking is a lot larger than the handful of people that were assigned to Malcolm Merlyn's command—and they've sent another operative to Starling City.

"Detective Lance," Oliver begins, and already he's stuck his foot in his mouth. There is a reason Quentin's gone back to wearing his dress blues and it's arguably Oliver's fault.

"It's not 'detective' anymore," Quentin spits. "They demoted me when I said I was working with you."

Because he wasn't allowed to just say he'd gotten the tip from a confidential informant. He'd been pressed for specifics and he'd confessed that the Hood had warned him the Glades were in danger. Worse, he'd admitted this wasn't the first time he'd gotten help from the vigilante—the same vigilante he'd vowed to bring to justice. Hilton's heading the task force now and maybe that's just as well because Lance is fed up with cognitive dissonance.

"I'm sorry," Oliver manages. He's sincere; he knows how much Quentin's work means to him.

"So am I; fifteen years as a detective and instead of getting a promotion I," he sighs. "It doesn't matter. I'd do it again. It was for the good of the city; I risked more than my job to try to save the Glades." He'd thought he was going to die that night. He'd only defused that bomb in the nick of time… though that hadn't kept the other bomb from going off.

"You fucking asshole," Quentin continues. "Five months and you couldn't even call? I thought you were dead. I assumed you died in the Glades!" He doesn't even know the Hood's real name. If he had, he could've found out whether the vigilante had survived the earthquake.

Quentin blames himself for letting things get so serious in the first place. Would he have given a damn about the vigilante's survival if the only thing between them was casual sex?

"I'm sorry," Oliver repeats, knowing the words aren't good enough. "You're right; I should've called… I didn't realize you were worried about me."

"You should have," Quentin murmurs.

Silently, they agree that they've argued enough for one night. It's been too long. Lance closes his eyes, allowing the vigilante to keep his secret awhile longer, as they mash their lips together hungrily. This is what they've been missing.

~QL~

When they're through*, Oliver remembers to ask Quentin about the new league member in town. Lance promises to get back to him with any information he finds.

He should probably offer Quentin something before he goes. This would be a good opportunity to tell him his real name. Then he could explain (if he had to), why he hadn't been in touch. He'd genuinely thought his mission as the vigilante was complete and even if it wasn't, plain old Oliver Queen had had plenty of pieces to pick up. Quentin might understand, if not forgive him.

Instead, he says, "I've told you before. Stop calling me 'the Hood;' the name's 'Arrow.'"

THE END

*Quentin's suspicions have been confirmed. The condoms are green.

Author's Note: Fic title is from Gavin DeGraw's "Not Over You."

Hm, I'd meant to keep Tommy alive in my fics… Oh well, there's still "A Detective to Love."

I don't suppose there's any chance that Summer Glau's role on "Arrow," will prompt anyone to look up my crossover with "The Cape," Black Bird; Green Arrow?