A.N. : This was a prompt by absentlyabbie on Tumblr, where she has also posted amazing drabbles that take place during the time Oliver had no recollection of who he was.
This idea captured my imagination - especially considering how Oliver would act towards the people around him -like the 'Ollie' of old - but I was mostly intrigued by the aftermath. So here's the story about the consequences that Oliver faces when he remembers who he (really) is now, after having been 'Ollie' for two months.
Also please note, in this story Tommy is alive, so it's firmly AU.
Hope you enjoy
The headache started late in the evening and got stronger as the night wore on. At first he thought it was the booze but then he was by no means a lightweight. The strobe lights in the club and the heavy bass music had only felt slightly irritating at first but an hour later the pain had intensified and his head felt like it was about to explode.
He resented that they had to call it a night so early. Oliver Queen didn't leave a club until he had deemed the night a success which translated into a couple of model lookalikes gracing his lap and a lot of alcohol making its way through his system.
But the pain was becoming unbearable.
He barely made his excuses to several lovely ladies that had crowded around his VIP table and left the club amid a chorus of regretful female voices.
His driver – the one who really made him uncomfortable with all the knowing, mature looks- took him home. Oliver didn't have enough energy to question the guy's –Dougal? Something like that anyway- worried look. Instead he tried to breathe through the pounding ache behind his eyes.
When he reached the manor that night his only thought was to take a couple of painkillers and go to sleep, hoping that the headache would be gone by morning.
Which it didn't.
Unfortunately, it was the same pain that woke him up.
All through breakfast and the drive to QC –he was doing that apparently, but he still wasn't used to that after two months- his temples pounded in time with his heartbeat.
Getting out of the elevator he purposefully ignored his secretary's greeting and the thoughts of the previous one he had, before she moved back to her IT position eighteen floors down from where he was. He sat behind his desk ordering Mrs. Fitzhughes to hold his calls and leave him in peace -or pain as the case was. The middle-aged, austere woman sighed in exasperation and did just that.
At that point even moving his eyeballs hurt and he couldn't help but liken this to one of the worst hangovers he ever had. Obviously Mrs. Fitzhughes thought it was something like that. He let his head fall back against the back of the chair and closed his eyes, willing the pain to go away. It wasn't working.
Dimly he registered his driver-bodyguard entering his office. For some reason Oliver didn't feel Diggle's presence as much of an intrusion as he usually did. Probably because the pain had reached debilitating proportions.
"Where does Felicity keep those teabags she raves about?" he groaned hoarsely, desperate for anything to help him get rid of the headache.
He didn't notice at first how there was no reply to his question, because it felt in fact like the whole world had gone quiet. For a moment the pain swelled in a sharp, piercing stab behind his right eye. Then like an assassin, swiftly and silently, it started receding.
Oliver groaned in relief and opened his eyes to stare at the ceiling. Despite the quickly receding pain, he felt disoriented. Not unlike the time he'd woken up to find Barry Allen in the basement. Carefully he brought his head down and stared at Diggle.
The man was looking back at him strangely, his brow furrowed. Oliver's sluggish brain recalled he had asked him a question about tea.
"What?" Oliver prompted.
"Oliver?" At the sound of the man's voice, Oliver's eyes narrowed and then widened in shock. His heartbeat accelerated. He barely registered Diggle repeating his name as wave after wave of memories crashed in his mind.
Diggle. His bodyguard. His driver. His friend and brother in arms.
The man who had stood by his side against all odds, who had believed in Oliver. Who had joined him in his quest for justice.
Oliver inhaled through his nose, but failed to slow down his breathing. It was coming out in panting gasps now, as he remembered the past two months and how he'd reverted back to his old self.
The one who had never stepped foot on the Queen's Gambit. He'd gone back to being the Oliver Queen of old who knew nothing of responsibility and everything about partying.
Looking back at Digg, Oliver barely managed to shake his head at his friend's offer for help.
He remembered now. Remembered everything.
Two months ago there'd been a car crash and he'd forgotten; Forgotten who he'd become. What he'd become.
Diggle had tried to be there after the accident. He'd tried to help him but Oliver had quickly shut him down, he remembered now.
"That should be Mr. Queen, right? Last time I checked I'm your boss."
"Your mother is my boss."
"Same difference, but I'd prefer Mr. Queen if you don't mind."
Of course. Mr. Queen, you really don't want to do this."
"Have a night out on the town? Sure, I do."
"Do you think it's good for the CEO of Queen Consolidated to be caught for the third night in a row leaving a club out-of-his-mind wasted?"
"You really need to relax, Dougal-"
"Yeah, whatever. Chill. I don't appreciate the judgmental undertones from the hired help."
Oliver groaned at the memory of his friend's face at that and how the older man had stopped trying to reach him several similar failed attempts. The disappointment in the man's eyes had unsettled him at first, but the old Oliver had of course brushed it off and didn't even bother getting his driver's name right after the man stopped trying to instigate conversations in the car.
He snapped his eyes to the man in question who was standing rigidly across the room. Oliver opened his mouth several times but then closed it not knowing what to say. Oliver had reduced Diggle to a bodyguard, a token fixture in a room where he was. Nothing more than a hired shadow. And he had stayed.
At that Digg's expression snapped from worried to surprised and then to hopeful.
Pushing back from the desk Oliver stood quickly on his feet. "I'm sorry," he told Diggle, hoping he would understand the urgency and sincerity behind the words.
"You remember?" Diggle asked simply.
"Yeah," Oliver replied, his voice hoarse with regret.
"Finally," Digg offered with a big smile on his face that made Oliver think for a moment that everything would be as simple as that. Then Digg's smile fell, becoming slightly forced. "I never realized how much of an asshole you were before the island," came the harsh but not unwarranted statement. Oliver closed his eyes in defeat.
While he'd wished many time that his years on the island had never happened, he had never wished to go back to his old self. That devil-may-care, irresponsible version of himself who disregarded the serious things in life as inconvenient nuisances.
"You are ten minutes late for the Marketing review meeting in my office, Mr. Queen," Isabel's irritated voice rang out as the woman in question entered the room and stood rigidly glaring at him.
Unwanted reminders ghosted in his mind about how he'd managed to ruin what little credibility he'd earned as a CEO in two short months. Isabel didn't like pre-island Oliver any more than Digg did apparently, and though this fell right into his initial plan to throw her off the scent about who he really was he inwardly cringed at her appearance right then.
His mind was swimming with thoughts and questions. "I'm sorry, Isabel but I think we need to reschedule. An emergency has come up and I have to leave immediately," he offered the valid but vague excuse, glancing at Digg who was nodding in approval.
Isabel's shoulders straightened at that and she fixed her eyes on him, searching his face while Oliver remained as stoic as he could. After a few seconds she offered a small, feminine smile. "I'm glad you're back, Oliver. I'll reschedule with Mrs. Fitzhughes," she said before walking out the way she'd come, but not before she smiled at him again over her shoulder. Oliver's cringe reached his face this time. She'd figured him out.
He looked out through the glass wall at her walking away from his secretary's desk. That's when it hit him.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this :-)