I know what you might be thinking. Is she uploading? Holy hell! Yes, I am, but, this is the last chapter. I wanted to end the Queen's story with a meaningful last chapter and not let it like I have for the last few months, but I had no inspiration to finish it... Well, now I have. I hope you enjoy this last installment!
"Grandpa, tell us a story!" the little girl whined, her stubborn eyes still ready to seize the day and make the best of it.
The older boy, sitting in his sister's bed, his head over his bended knees, back against the end of the bed, looked at his grandfather with hope in his eyes. He was old enough to understand his grandfather's stories had a base of truth, but still young enough to enjoy them with dreamy eyes of old times filled with a perilous future and dooming villains.
The grandfather smiled at them, coughed lightly and his voice, always so playful, transformed into something wise, almost ancient like, that made both children stand at attention, their backs straighter and their eyes glued to every movement of the old man.
"Many years ago, in this same city, a hero was born…" the man started, his eyes filling with a shine that transported not only his mind, but his grandchildren's as well to the past.
"He was forged in iron and fire, lost at sea after a boat accident. For many years, this man roamed, first through a dangerous island, where enemies lurked at every corner and not even the ground was safe, for it was an old war zone with landmines waiting for the incautious to step on it…" the old man smiled at himself, a woman's voice coming from the recess of his mind whispering at only him. "He met enemies, but friends as well, friends that taught him many things, to fight, to hunt, to survive in a dangerous world that could easily swipe him aside…" the man's voice turned darker, his face approaching his grandchildren's. "There, the man knew true despair, fearing for his life, for the family he left behind, for a future he always thought he could have… But the man fought and the man survived, not without losing friends and part of his own innocence… but he did it… and finally left the island… But, when he thought he could finally go free, other enemies appeared, trapping him in exotic countries, keeping him from seeing his family and friends if he didn't do what they asked for… And in there, the man learned that not only he was no longer the same reckless boy that left in that boat, but he also learned the world was a dangerous place, that he could trust no one, unless he wanted to be disappointed in the end… And the man lived like that, during two more years, traveling between the hot temperatures of Hong Kong to the freezing environment of Russia… The warrior learned different languages, different fighting techniques and when he thought himself ready, he returned to his city, to his home and to his family…" the grandfather told.
The girl's eyes were wide. It was not the first time her grandfather told stories about heroes, but it was the first time he told this one. She knew the stories about Flash, the Canary, Batman and Superman. Every hero with their enemies. Fighting armies of dangerous robots or of madmen. But they were already heroes… This story, however, felt different, and even a seven years old could understand that. The girl looked at her brother and saw his eyes follow their grandpa's hands movements while he cleaned his glasses and drank a glass of water. It was like he was hypnotized…
"But the man was no longer the same one that the family lost. He had seen too much of the world, knew how dangerous it could be, so, using his knowledge, a bow and arrows, the man embarked on a mission, to protect not only his loved ones, but to make sure everyone that was poisoning his city would get their punishment…"
"How? How could he know that?" the boy asked and the old man looked up with a smile.
"The warrior had a list. His father left him a list of every corrupt man and woman in that society and so, he used it as a way to clean his city…"
"That's stupid… Why couldn't he go bigger? Why only punish the ones in that list? I bet the city had a lot of other criminals… He could do so much better…" the boy replied and his grandfather smiled proudly. The woman's voice was once again strong in his mind… The boy was too much like her, he could see it in his fighting blue eyes and his quick mind.
"Hey, calm down, boy! We have a lot to cover yet…" the grandfather smiled, letting him know he was not mad at his interruption and continued. "But his methods were not always the better ones, sometimes he hurt people too much…" the man minded his words, not wanting to say killing in front of his grandkids. "And so, the police saw him as a criminal as well, naming him The Vigilant, even when he was trying to do his best… But then…" and his eyes shone more. "He met the two most important people he could ever meet…"
"Who?" the kids asked at the same time.
"He met his partners. A former soldier that was an incredible fighter, and a woman so beautiful that only her mind was brighter than her face. Those two helped him see that he could do better for the city…" the old man sighed, the memories resurfacing too strongly. It had never occurred like this, not when he told the other stories, but this one was special, he knew it. "And those three remarkable people started protecting, not only avenging, helping people in need, and slowly, other ones joined their group. A group that was no longer a team, but a family. They loved each other more than words could say. The woman was the mind behind their missions, she was a genius, working with computers and she didn't went to the field as much as the guys, but she was a hero nonetheless, she kept them safe, always sure to bring them back home and when they needed her on the field, she was remarkable. Once, she took a bullet for another team member, without a second thought… she was truly remarkable…" the old man looked at his granddaughter. Her glasses always made him remember his younger days, they were black and brown, just like hers…
"And the other man?" the boy asked, eager about the other team member.
"He was exceptional! The soldier was not only a fighter, but very wise. He always made sure to protect his recently found family and every member knew that they could always count with him. That man had suffered a lot in the war, had lost a brother and almost lost himself, but he fought like there was no tomorrow, he gave all of him…"
"What about love?" the girl asked, her eyes shining with the possibilities.
"Oh, there is love too… Do you know who the vigilant fell in love with?" he asked.
"The genius!" the girl yelled, it was not a secret that the girl had a love for computers and all things technology related.
"Yes!" the grandfather said and the girl clapped. "They fell in love, but it was dangerous for them… What if something happened? They had secret identities… What if someone find out? But love was stronger and, in the end, they overcame everything and built a family together…" the old man remembered long lost laughs, a deep chuckle, a clear laugh and a giggle. Those were the sound of his younger days. "A beautiful family…" the man sighed. "And now, it's time for you to go to bed…"
"No! What happened next?" the girl demanded to know.
"Sis, I think grandpa is tired. Maybe he can tell us an adventure of this guy some other time… Maybe how he used the bow and the arrows…" the boy's eyes shone and the grandfather smiled.
"Yes, I would like that very much… And maybe I could even tell you how he teamed up with Flash…" and the children's eyes widen.
"What is his name, anyway? A hero can't be called The Vigilant…" the boy said.
"Green Arrow…" the grandfather said softly and the boy smiled.
"I like that… Sounds cool…" and the boy rose from his sitting position, walked towards the bedroom door and opened it. "Good night, guys." He said, before closing the door behind him.
"Grandpa…" the girl said softly. "Those people you were talking about… Are they those three grown-ups from your album?" she asked. The young girl had lost the count of the time she had secretly perused her grandpa's old album, and an old photo always struck her mind. It was of three people, two men and a woman, laughing in front of an old Big Belly Burger.
"And how do you know that?" the old man asked and the girl smiled guiltily. "Well, you will have to wait for my other stories to know if it's them or not…" the man said mysteriously and the girl sighed. She hated mysteries, they bugged her.
The old man rose from the chair beside the girl's bed, tucked her in, kissed her forehead and stepped out of the room.
He sighed when the door closed behind him.
"Dad?" a male voice called and the old man looked left to see his older son walk towards him. "The kids tired you out?" he asked with a smile and the old man laughed.
"I love them, but they are tough…" the old man replied.
"Well, mom is ready to go…" the son said.
The old man nodded and walked towards the front door. His wife was already waiting for him. She opened the door, kissed her son and her daughter-in-law goodbye and stepped out of the house. The old man imitated her.
The night was full with the spring scents, a light breeze moving the flowers and the trees and dispersing the aromas around them.
"Were you telling them stories?" the woman asked and he nodded. "Which ones?"
"The Green Arrow…" he explained and she looked at him, surprised. "I think it's time… It's long past… Starling City is now safe, no Triad or Bratva lurking around…" the man sighed, remembering all the sacrifices that were made for that.
"He would be proud of you…" his wife said with a smile.
"I just hope so…"
"You were able of managing the company, helping it rise even more, you kept the city safe when he could do it no longer… He lived a fulfilled life, he died with your mom beside his bed, his grandchildren's voice echoing in the garden… He was happy…" the woman sighed, knowing that the memories of his father were always somehow painful. He loved his father and mother and their absence was still hard, even if so many years have passed…
"Connor Queen!" his wife said harshly. "Don't brood! You know what your mom used to say, right?"
"I don't care what happened, I can't have two brooding Queens in my household!" Connor said, trying to inflect his voice with Felicity's tone and failing miserably.
"Tomorrow, we should go to their graves, we can ask your sister too…" his wife suggested and Connor smiled.
"Yes, I think it's a good idea, they will enjoy knowing that their great-grandchildren are already fans of their work…"
Connor took his wife's hand in his, both walking slowly towards their car, where their chauffeur was waiting.
He smiled at the moon. Yes, his father and his mother would like to know. They were always so crazy about their family… Connor knew they died when they had to, older than eighty-five, which was crazy if you thought about the many risks they took during their lives, but, because of that, Connor was thankful for all the time he had to spend with them, to learn with them, to love them.
Oliver and Felicity Queen would always be on his mind, until, he joined them, once again.