"Open Your Eyes"
Disclaimer: Well, if I owned "Arrow," we'd be guaranteed to see more of a certain ghost. I don't know that I'd want to own "Awake," but I'd like to think it would have been less incomprehensible if I had.
Thank god for masks, Quentin muses, as he lies wrapped in the vigilante's arms. As nice as it's been on rooftops and dark alleys, there are definite advantages to using a bed.
Lance knows the only reason they're in his bed now is because the Arrow feels safe behind the protection offered by his recently acquired mask. (Well, maybe not the only reason. Some credit should go to Quentin's uniform. Who knew that getting demoted would reveal one of the hero's kinks?)
Mind you, the mask doesn't have Quentin fooled. He knows perfectly well that Oliver Queen is the vigilante, but damned if he can tell the billionaire that. He'd never be able to explain how he knows.
Lance's eyes glance briefly at the only thing he's still wearing—a watch with a dark green band that almost matches the shade of Oliver's leather—before he drifts off to sleep, ensconced in the other man's embrace. It's a nice feeling, but he knows it's fleeting.
Oliver won't be there when he wakes up, and that's got very little to do with their issues.
Quentin opens his eyes. He's alone in bed, of course. He doesn't need to, but out of habit he glances at his watch, anyway. The band is black, not green.
He gets up to get ready for work. There's no uniform to put on because he hasn't been demoted here. He's still Detective Lance, might even be working his way up to lieutenant soon.
He'll call Sara later, he thinks on his way to work. See about dropping by her place later. He sighs, thinking about her. His daughter must think he's a real idiot if she still believes he doesn't know she's the Black Canary. The signs are all there. Her apartment is within a block of that 'Watchtower' place she calls her headquarters. Not to mention that the vigilante appeared as soon as Sara returned from the island, a little over a year ago, or that she's always protecting her sister…
He likes to think he'd have reached the same conclusion if he'd only had these clues, but he'll never know now. Because the truth is he figured out the Black Canary's secret identity the same way he figured out the Arrow's.
Not a difficult leap to make. Black Canary exists in the world where Sara lived, while Arrow is the vigilante in the world where Oliver Queen survived the shipwreck.
Quentin's become quite familiar with the concept of the multiverse in the past year—this whole idea that anytime there is more than one possible outcome all outcomes will occur.
The two worlds must have split apart roughly six years ago, when the Queen's Gambit went down, but he didn't notice the change until they returned to Starling City. One day he'd gotten the news that Oliver Queen was alive and back. He'd gone to bed, wishing that his daughter had been the one to return. When he awoke, he got his wish.
It's been that way ever since. He'll go to bed in one world, and instead of going to dreamland, he'll wake up in the other.
Lance knows both worlds are real; they have to be. He's mourned Sara's death once, been driven to alcoholism by it, destroyed his marriage—he cannot, will not ever accept again that Sara is dead.
The reason he knows the other universe is just as real, he tells himself, is not that he's developed any feelings for the billionaire. Quite the contrary, it's just that there's no way he'd have dreamed up a scenario in which he and Queen sleep together.
Sometimes, it's helpful to switch back and forth. If something goes wrong in one reality, he has a second chance in the other. Take the League's Undertaking, for example. He and Sara had saved thousands of lives that night, including Tommy Merlyn's. It's a pity that Quentin can't tell Oliver that his best friend is alive and well one universe over.
Quentin sighs again, as another conundrum comes to mind. With Sara alive, Dinah has moved back to Starling City. Lately, she's started hinting that she wouldn't be averse to giving their relationship another try.
There's no way he can tell his ex-wife that he's afraid of being disloyal to a dead man.
Author's Note: If you'll check the kink meme, you'll see I left a prompt for an Arrow/Awake crossover in early November. The idea came to me before I came across bendingsignpost's "Watches" series over the weekend. And then I needed my prompt to be filled so…
Anyone interested in trying their own hand at it?
Story title is from Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody."
If anyone wants more Quiver, please check out my current fic, "Black Bird; Green Arrow."