AN: Ok, so I did it. And for future reference, when I say something will be up sometime next week, I mean in the next 7-14 days. The whole days of the week thing is just really weird, considering my circumstances. But here's episode 8, you'll notice I made a few changes and didn't include a particular party scene, and there's a reason for that, you'll see why in the next chapter. I should have it up by August 10, and then a double chapter later that month. And then everything should be back on track posting wise. Please review and comment. Even the smallest of messages have the ability to turn my day around.
"Mrs. Queen, welcome back to the company," Felicity said. The alpha was very nervous and trying not to say anything she would regret in the new and awkward situation.
"Thank you." Moira smiled politely as she entered the office.
"You look fabulous. Really better than ever. Did you do something to your hair?" Felicity continued to talk due to her nerves.
"Yes, I shampooed it without eight women and a guard watching."
Felicity chuckled, "Oh is it ok to laugh? Because I was ordered not to say anything about you being in prison just to avoid any awkward exchanges." Moira cringed and headed out of the reception area.
"Like that one?" Oliver asked, before following his mother.
"Right," Felicity nodded to John, before going back to her desk and eavesdropping on the board meeting already in progress.
"We need to drill down on these numbers before the earnings cull." Isabel paused for a moment and there was a shuffling of paper. "Oliver, I didn't realize your mother was stopping by for a visit today." Isabel said.
"Well it's not a visit this is her company too," Oliver replied.
"Of course," Isabel replied. "How are you Moira?"
"Back Isabel." Mrs. Queen said.
"Mr. Queen may I speak to you for a minute?"
Felicity cringed at the possibilities where Oliver's conversation with Rochev was going to go, none of them were pleasant for her pack member.
"What sort of message does it send to the investment community, to the city, if we hand Queen Consolidated right back to your mother?" Isabel asked.
"She was acquitted."
"By a jury, not by the city. Oliver, stop thinking like a son and start thinking like a CEO."
Felicity heard a buzzing sound, and looked up to see John answering his phone, only for his eyes to widen marginally in surprise and to go inside the office.
"Oliver," John said. "There has been a break in."
The team was staring at the crushed lab door in partial shock. Felicity was going through a mental list of the supernatural creatures and criminals in the city and cross referencing them with the list of people who were capable of inflicting this type of damage.
"This door was made of expanded reinforced titanium," John said. "What did they use to do this?"
"We're not sure yet," Officer Lance replied. "No sign of any explosives. Maybe a crane, maybe a forklift. We're guessing there was at least three of them maybe four. Given how quick they got in and out of here, they were fast. Any idea what these guys were so hot to break in here for? You didn't happen to leave a spare earthquake machine lying around, did you?" the team winced at the remark. "Sorry."
"This is what we were able to pull off the uh security cameras," the CSU tech added. He held out a tablet so they could watch the footage. "This is the only guy we got on video. The rest of the crew must have come in after."
"Actually," a man with a suitcase interrupted. He hurried to close the space between him and the group. "It was only one guy. Sorry I'm late, well actually my train was late. Well, the second one, the first one I did miss, but that was my cab driver's fault, I've got this great traffic app and he thought that he was right. But I'm here now though so."
"Great. Who the hell are you?" Lance asked.
"And do your parents know that you're here?" Oliver asked.
"I'm Barry Allen, I'm from the Central City Police Department with the crime scene investigation unit. We're working on a case with some similar unexplained elements in Central City so when the report of your robbery came over the wire my Captain sent me up here," Barry answered.
"And you think one guy ripped through this door like it was tinfoil?" Lance asked, clearly skeptical.
"One very strong guy," Barry nodded. "Yeah. It takes about twelve hundred fifty foot pounds of torque to break someone's neck. You see the marks on the guard's neck. The bruising pattern suggests that the killer used only one hand. I'm guessing you don't know how hard it is to break someone's neck?"
"Hmm," Oliver said. "No, no idea."
"Umm," the other CSU tech interrupted. "We're gonna need a list of the entire inventory here to figure out exactly what was stolen."
"Actually, I think I know what was stolen," Barry said. He headed over to the large hole in the floor. "A centrifuge, an industrial centrifuge. Probably the Kord Enterprises 2BX900, maybe the six series, both have a three column base. Here you can see the three sets of broken bolts where the thief just… pff… ripped it out of the ground."
"What exactly is a centrifuge?" Lance asked.
"It separates liquids," Felicity answered. "The centripetal acceleration causes denser substances to separate out along the radial direction."
"The lighter objects move to the top," Barry added.
"What did you say your name was again?" Felicity asked.
"Umm. You can see the cracks heading towards the door, footsteps, one guy. Anyway it's just a theory, one backed by a lot of evidence." Barry added.
"There has to be another explanation," Lance said.
"Yeah, no, I'm sure you're right," Barry said.
"You might want to fill our mutual friend in on this," Lance told Felicity as he led her a little further away from the scene.
"Don't worry. I'm sure he's already on it." Felicity nodded.
"Oliver, I got the final inventory from applied sciences," John said entering the office. "That CSI from Central City was right. The only thing missing is a centrifuge."
"You have to see this," Felicity said. She held out her tablet and pressed play on the video. "I pulled up CC traffic camera footage from across the street from applied sciences, this is three minutes after the alarm went off." While her pack members were watching she quickly crossed several names of the list of potential suspects along with several creature types. She was so distracted with her list she completely missed someone approaching the office.
"Can we help you with something Detective?" Oliver asked.
"Oh CSIs aren't actually detectives," Barry said. "We don't even carry guns, just some plastic baggies." Barry laughed. "Where should I set up my equipment?"
"I'll show you," Felicity said.
"What's going on?" Oliver asked.
"Your assistant said that you preferred to keep the investigation in house, so I cleared it with my Captain to give you a hand," Barry replied.
Oliver pulled Felicity gently by the elbow over to the corner. "What are you doing?"
"We need to find this intruder, and he seems to know more about it than any of us," Felicity replied. "Forensic science isn't exactly my forte so… I say we need him. Wouldn't you?"
Oliver nodded hesitantly.
"I'll show you around," Felicity smiled. She exited the office but wasn't far away enough not to pick up the tail end of John and Oliver's conversation.
"Why am I getting the feeling that you know more about this than Felicity's new friend?" John asked.
"Pray I'm wrong," Oliver replied.
Felicity had just finished setting up the specialized computers in the warehouse, when her phone rang. "Alpha Hale, Queen of werewolves everywhere."
"I know you think you're being cute, but you're not," Derek said.
"I am hurt little brother. Your lack of faith in your supreme second in command wounds me deeply."
"Why does Isaac want a ride to the train station?" Derek asked.
"The answer to your question is fairly obvious, in that our younger brother wants to go to the train station."
"Lis." Derek sighed.
"Derek I am not a telepath, I can't read cub's mind," she replied. She felt her phone vibrate in her hand once. "Hang on, I've got a text." She lowered her phone and read the screen. "Isaac and Cora are coming to stay at the house with me for a couple of days?"
"WHAT!?" Derek yelled loud enough for even Barry to be distracted from several feet away.
She slowly put the phone next to her ear again. "Need I remind you who is listed as our younger sibling's legal guardian, or are you going to yell some more?"
"They can't just travel around the world whenever they feel like it and not tell anyone."
Felicity's phone vibrated again and she checked the new message. "Surprise. I let myself in the house. See you for dinner."
"You leave your door unlocked?" Derek asked.
"No. I had extra keys made for Cora and Isaac," Felicity answered after raising the phone again. "They're our siblings Derek, they should be able to come to us in times of need. And I shouldn't have to remind you who is listed as their legal guardian."
"So this is fine, them travelling anywhere they want without any notice whatsoever?"
"In this instance, yes, because their visiting one of us. If Cora wanted to spend a weekend in Beacon Hills I'd be fine with it, as long as I knew she had gotten there safely."
"I don't believe you," he replied.
"We're not Mom, and in this instance I think it would be better if we didn't try to be. And stop staring at the phone like you want it destroyed. I can hear you glaring at it, and that shouldn't even be possible." Felicity took in a breath. "If you're that worried, why don't you come to Starling too. There's probably room on the train Isaac is taking, things are a little crazy at work right this second but I'll most likely have time to do something on the weekend with you guys."
"I just visited you."
"That was a freak out, not a visit," Felicity argued. "It'll be fun. We can do something not related to the end of life as we know it."
"See you guys later tonight. Love you bro, give my love to cub." Felicity smiled.
She heard Derek sigh heavily before he grumbled something barely audible that sounded like 'ditto'. She quickly checked her email and noticed some invite from Oliver about a party for his mother, quickly followed by an actual email from the man saying he was planning a party and he was sending her the guestlist and catering information for the RSVPs. She simply rolled her eyes and shook her head before turning her attention back to Barry, who had been staring intently at the floor for several minutes.
"What exactly are you looking for?" Felicity asked.
"Your thief's shoes touched the ground, which means he tracked in dozens of clues as to where he's been the past few days," Barry answered. "Gotcha." Barry used his tweezers to pick up something off the ground and put it in his gloved hand. "This shouldn't take long." Barry put the evidence in the machine and they both turned to the computer.
"So, you've seen him right? The vigilante?" Barry asked. "I read that he saved you. What was he like?"
"Green," Felicity answered.
"Green," Barry repeated. "That's interesting, right. I mean, why green? Black would be better for stealth and urban camouflage. Me, personally, I think that he trained in some sort of like forest or jungle environment and the green is a nod to that."
"I don't give the vigilante much thought," Felicity replied.
"Police reports show that he uses carbon arrows, but if he switched to an aluminum carbon composite he would have far better penetration."
"Maybe he thinks he penetrates just fine," Felicity muttered to herself.
"Do you want to know something else? I think that he has partners. Definitely someone with a background in computer science."
"Why are you so interested in the vigilante?" Felicity asked.
"When I was eleven my mom was murdered," Barry admitted.
"I'm so sorry."
"They never caught the guy who did it. Maybe he would've."
Felicity took in a breath of air and slowly let it out before voicing the thought that was running through her head. "It's not all it's cracked up to be, finding out the truth about situations like that." Barry tilted his head slightly to the side, silently asking her to explain the comment. "My Mom and Stepdad were killed in fire when I was in high school. Everyone told us it was an accident, but my siblings and I knew better, or at least we thought we did. Eventually we found the woman responsible and got the proof we needed to send her to jail and get justice, but not before one of my younger sisters was murdered, my uncle went crazy and was set on fire twice, and one of my younger brothers was raped and tortured. I'd say it was bittersweet, but there was nothing sweet about it, because all I managed to do was get what was left of my family hurt and killed."
"I, I don't, I didn't, I'm sorry," Barry stammered.
"And that came out really depressing and not encouraging at all," Felicity hung her head for a minute while she tried to think of a better way to express the wisdom she was trying to impart. "I'm not saying you shouldn't look into your mom's case. Just be careful if you do, and it's not that I don't think you're careful, because you do strike me as the type of person who is careful because you pay close attention to detail, I mean you would have to be to work as a CSI or you wouldn't be very good at your job, and from the way you handled the crime scene earlier and the way everything is set up now- and 3, 2, 1." She quickly shut her mouth and started again. "I wouldn't wish what happened to me and my family on anyone, especially you."
The computer beeped and pulled the two out of their conversation.
"The soil has a crystalline structure in it," Barry said after he looked over the monitor. "That's weird."
"What's weird?" Felicity asked.
"Found something?" Oliver asked as he entered the lab with John.
"We found something," Felicity said.
"There were trace amounts of sucrose and a speck of dirt the killer dragged in here on his boot," Barry added.
"Which got me thinking, there's a sugar refinery two miles from here. The land around it is suffused in with sugars, so I checked, they had a delivery truck stolen a few days ago," Felicity said.
"Their truck matches the make and model of the truck used to steal the centrifuge," Barry continued.
"Did you track the vehicle?" Oliver asked.
"We've been trying," Felicity answered. The computer beeped again.
"What was that?" Oliver questioned.
"You're not going to believe this, the truck, it was just used to rob a blood bank," Felicity said.
"Are you sure?" Oliver asked.
"Yeah, our guy just made off with 30ccs of O negative." She answered.
"Wait, super strength, likes blood, please don't tell me we suddenly believe in vampires." John joked.
Felicity had to fight her automatic reaction of smiling at John's comment, seeing as how he had met two of her vampire friends. She took in a large breath of air so as to not laugh when she identifies a new scent in the air: fear.
"We should give this information to the local police," Barry said.
"I'll take care of that," Oliver replied. "Did you say you were working a similar case in Central City?"
"Yeah, you know it's similar, it has similar elements, a lot of similarities," Barry nodded.
"Right," Oliver replied.
Oliver and John walked closer to the entrance in order to speak privately, Felicity assumed, about that night's new priorities. "I want you to look into this Allen kid. There's more to him than he is letting on."
"His intentions seem pretty clear to me," John replied.
"Just do it please."
"Oliver, when are you going to tell me what exactly we are up against?" John asked.
"Oww!" Oliver yelled.
"Sorry," Felicity said as she was helping with first aid.
"Ahhh, thank you," Oliver replied. He pulled his hoodie back on with a wince and gulp of air. "You were right to ask if I knew more than I was letting on. I've seen men with abilities like that before."
"You have? Where?" Felicity asked. For a second she got hopeful, hopeful maybe Oliver already knew something about what she was and wouldn't outright try to kill her for being what she was, but from the look on his face, the spark of hope was quickly suffocated.
"The island. My second year marooned there, we, I came across the remains of a Japanese WWII military project. It was a serum designed to create human weapons," Oliver said.
"Human weapons, my god what's next, aliens?" John joked.
"This is real, Diggle. Those five years that I was away I came across things that just defy explanation. A doctor, his name was Ivo, he came to the island to test the serum on people. The ones that survive their endurance, reflexes, and strength were all enhanced."
"And you think this Ivo is in Starling City?"
"He's dead," Oliver replied. "And so is everyone that he injected with the serum, the last of which I burned."
"You think someone found the recipe," John guessed.
"A centrifuge and a large supply of blood, I think someone wants to make more of it. A lot more."
"Why couldn't you have been marooned on Aruba?" Felicity asked.
"There's a third component. A strong sedative." Oliver handed Felicity a bent up arrow.
"I think I preferred it when you left these in people." She winced as she accepted the now useless piece of metal.
"I need you to analyze the blood on the arrow head. If we can figure out which sedative they're using-"
"We can figure out where the next robbery will be," John finished.
Felicity gulped down a gag. "Barry and I will get right on it." Felicity made her way over to the desk to get a sample kit.
"I think our Ms. Smoak is smitten," John said.
"Diggle what did you find out about Mr. Allen?" Oliver asked.
"He's not who he says he is." John said.
Felicity shook her head for a second to dispel what John had just said. Her instincts about Barry were good, and while she trusted her friends, she also lost count of the number of times Oliver had jumped at his own shadow the first week she had started working with the team. She knew Barry wasn't lying about his reason for being here. And even if she suspected his boss didn't know what was going on, she also suspected even if they did ask him to leave Barry wasn't going to drop this case. Her wolf even liked him, and her wolf, while sometimes impulsive, had never been wrong when it came to trusting people. She just needed to trust herself.
"They have nitric acid next to hydrazine?" Barry questioned. "Manganese on top of acetone. This," Barry started waving two containers around from atop the stepladder, "is the definition of dangerous."
"If it's so dangerous then maybe you shouldn't be touching them," Felicity replied. There was a loud thunder clap from outside that distracted her for a moment, reminiscent of the gunshots going off in her ear, but she blocked it out. "Barry."
"I managed to get a sample of the perpetrator's blood from the police department," Felicity told him. "We need to isolate a sedative in the blood, it could lead us to the thief."
"How did the police get it?" Barry asked, still reorganizing various containers around on the shelves.
"Apparently, the vigilante shot him with an arrow," Felicity answered.
"You're kidding?" Barry asked. "You know what this means right? This means the vigilante is working the same case we are." He beamed.
Felicity chuckled. "Go figure."
"How did you get it?" Barry asked.
"Oliver has a lot of connections," Felicity answered.
"Wow." Barry laughed. "It pays to work for a billionaire."
"Actually my take home is nothing special. Especially given that I am rarely at home since I'm with him every night."
"Oh. I didn't realize you and he were-"
"Oh no," Felicity rushed to correct. "No. We're, he and I are not, I do not like Oliver." She smiled at Barry and he smiled back before going back over to the shelf. "Umm, I was invited to a work function, it's a, it's a party and I have a plus one." Barry nodded in understanding. "And I was thinking you would make a really good plus one."
Barry smiled for a minute before the look of joy disappeared. "There's not going to be dancing is there? I'm just not too good on my feet."
"Pretty cool right?" Barry asked after pulling up the article on her computer.
"You know there's been 100 percent increase in earthquakes since they turned on the large hadron collider?" Felicity double checked.
"That data is misleading," Barry began.
"Oh, do tell," Felicity said.
"You know about misleading don't you?" Oliver snapped as he entered the office.
"What are you talking about?" Felicity asked.
"He's not a full CSI, he's an assistant," Oliver said. "Who's bosses don't know you're in Starling, and there is no similar case in Central City. So tell me Barry, what are you really doing here?"
Felicity turned her attention back to Barry and was somewhat surprised to smell the scent of shame coming off the man in waves. What was more surprising was her wolf wanting to comfort him.
"I told you my mom was murdered," Barry began.
"By your father." Oliver added.
"He didn't do it," Barry objected. His scent shifted to anger when he looked at Oliver.
"You said the police didn't find the man who killed her," Felicity said.
"The police think they did," Barry said. He turned his attention back to her and his scent shifted again, back to shame, the anger ebbing away. "My dad has been serving a life sentence." He shook his head back and forth. "They didn't believe me."
"About what?" Felicity asked.
"I was eleven. One night something just came into our house like a tornado, a blur, somewhere inside the blur I saw a person. My dad went to fight it, I tried to get him when suddenly-" Barry sighed and shook his head again. "I was twenty blocks away from our house. Nobody believed me. They thought I was trying to cover for my father, but what I saw that night was real. As real as the man that ripped down that metal door with his bare hands. That's why I look into cases like this, the ones nobody believes are possible. Maybe if I can just make sense of one I might be able to find out who really killed my mother and free my dad. I am sorry I lied to you. You better find another plus one." Barry dejectedly exited the office.
"He did lie about who he really was." Oliver pointed out.
"And what do we do every day?" Felicity grabbed her bag and stormed past her friends.
She tried to catch up to Barry by discarding her heels and taking the stairs, but when she got to the first floor his scent was virtually gone and the elevator he'd taken was empty.
"Why do I have to go?" Isaac asked again as Felicity untied and fixed his tie.
"Because Oliver invited all of us and it would be rude not to attend, especially since he knows you're in town," the shorter blonde pointed out.
"But I don't even know his mom, and I hate wearing a tie."
"Isaac," Cora began as she walked down the stairs in a black cocktail dress with gold accents. "If I have to wear a dress then you have to wear a tie."
"But it's yellow," the teen argued. "I don't like yellow."
"It's gold, and it matches your eyes," Felicity told him. "And it also makes you look very dashing."
"Ok," Derek said exiting the living room. "I cross referenced every person in mom's old address book with everyone on the list Oliver gave you and half of them have agreed to show, so we know the party won't be a complete bust."
"What does that put the total number of people at?" Felicity asked.
"About 100 people agreed to show up," Derek admitted. "Most of them from allied packs, but I did reach out to some of our mutual business contacts, so we know it won't be a complete political nightmare."
"Good," Felicity nodded, straightening out Isaac's tie and checking over her other siblings' appearances. The boys were in matching all black suits, the only part of their outfits that differed were their respective ties. Isaac's tie was gold to match the true color of his eyes, just like Derek's was pale blue to match his. "So how many people do you think will actually show up?"
"At least it won't be only Oliver's family mingling with the caterers," Derek replied.
"That is not comforting," Felicity told him with a glare.
"I don't get why we have to match our colors to our eyes?" Cora complained. "Isaac and I don't like gold, and there you are wearing something that's not red. If we have to match, then why don't you?"
"It's pink, that's close enough," Felicity said.
"Says the person who looked at sixteen different ties before finding the 'perfect' shade of blue," Derek grumbled.
There was a soft knock at the front door and Derek shot Felicity a puzzled look. "I'm expecting people," she replied simply, before making her way to the front door and opening it wide. "Well, you two look very beautiful."
"Thank you," Allison said, stepping through the open doorway followed by Lydia. They were both wearing similar black cocktail dresses that matched both Isaac's suit and Cora's dress (Felicity needed to remember to thank Sara for giving her Lydia's number, because all three siblings without dates would have been an utter disaster and this way maybe some good will come out of gathering so many different supernatural creatures in one room).
"Allison." Isaac smiled. "I thought you were staying in Beacon Hills."
"Felicity called and said you and Cora needed dates so you didn't gouge your eyes out in sheer boredom," Allison replied.
"I did not say you would gouge your eyes out due to boredom," Felicity objected.
"But they really can be that boring," Derek added.
"And I figured if we got some people from other packs to show up, you guys could discretely poke around about the Nogitsune, since Stiles is in Eichen for the next three days," Felicity continued. "And Lydia is here so Cora doesn't stick her foot in her mouth."
"I can behave," Cora protested. The other occupants in the room stared at the young beta with their eyebrows raised. "I can."
"Prove it," Lydia challenged lightly.
A determined look came across the female beta's face accompanied by a long absent glint in her eye, Derek and Felicity hadn't seen since long before the fire. "I will."
"Pardon the remains of the many computers who lost their lives," Felicity joked. "Work has been really crazy so I haven't had much time to tidy up."
"But if you would like wind chimes made out of defunct twisted RAM, by all means feel free to grab them off of the floor," Cora added.
"Hey. No." Felicity quickly scrambled to pick up all of the RAM off the floor. "I can still fix these."
"Really?" Cora held up a stick that resembled a curly fry more than an expensive electronic component. "It makes rattling noises when I shake it."
Felicity snatched the part out of Cora's hand. "These are expensive."
"You have a majority stake in two of the most profitable companies in the country," Cora replied. "You can afford to build yourself a new fleet of computers. You do not need to salvage something if it is beyond saving."
"I liked it better when you didn't have full access to the family finance records," Felicity grumbled, placing the parts she had picked up in an open box in the corner.
"You really should have thought of that before you asked for my help with that algorithm," Cora said.
"Hey, no business talk," Derek said. "We're going to be late if we don't hurry up." He picked up car keys off the table next to the front door. "Lis, where are the keys to the Camaro?"
Felicity pulled the keys out of her purse and waved them. "My car, my keys."
"I'm not driving the midget car," Derek said.
"If you don't want to ride with me then call a cab," Felicity replied. "I don't trust you to drive my baby."
"I'll take those thank you." Cora took the keys to the Mini Cooper from Derek's grasp.
"You realize if you have a drink you have to stay at least two hours before you can drive home," Felicity told Cora.
"Then it's a good thing I'm not drinking," Cora replied. "Besides I doubt Oliver would stock his bar with something that could get is drunk."
"I'm serious Cora," Felicity said.
"I know. I won't drink. Promise." Cora smiled. She walked over to the driver's side of the smaller car with Allison, Lydia, and Isaac following behind her.
"You ok?" Derek asked, when their sibling had started the car and backed out of the driveway.
"This is going to be a nightmare." Felicity groaned and let her head hang down for a second.
"It's a party, the worst people can do is not show up, it would look bad if they did anything else," Derek replied. "Or is this about you not having a date?"
"You know, for your information, I had a date until Oliver ambushed him at QC. Plus he was cute and smart, and he wasn't fighting a biological impulse to kill me," Felicity said.
"You dated a vampire? When?"
"That summer before I went to MIT." Felicity opened her car door and got in the driver's side. "And considering my horrible track record with human boyfriends, supernatural boyfriends are a step up in the dating department."
"Is that you're roundabout way of telling me you have feelings for Thierry?" Derek asked.
"No," Felicity scoffed. "I just, I liked Barry, ok. I haven't gotten along with a guy that well in a long time, and then life happened."
"At least you don't have my track record," Derek replied.
"So, how exactly did you get all of these people here?" Thea asked her brother as they waited for their mother outside of the fairly occupied ballroom.
"I invited them," Oliver answered.
"Then why do most of them look like they want to kill you?" Thea asked.
Both siblings glanced around the room at the many guests, most of whom they recognized, only to see several of them glaring daggers at Oliver.
"I might've had to call in a few favors to get people to show up," Oliver admitted reluctantly.
"Does Mom know?"
"Probably. Derek is most likely going to hold this over my head every time he sees me for the rest of our lives," Oliver said.
"Derek, as in Derek Hale?" Thea double checked.
"How many other Derek's do we know?" Oliver asked.
"I thought you two hated each other?"
"It turns out we have some common ground," Oliver admitted. "We ran into each other a few weeks ago."
"Please tell me this common ground isn't a girl." Thea sighed.
"It's a mutual friend," Oliver said.
"It is a girl. Are you being serious right now, Ollie?"
"Oliver, Thea," their mother said, getting their attention as she descended the stairs. "You both did a wonderful job setting this up. I'm impressed."
"Well, we can't take all of the credit," Thea said. "The Hale siblings helped too, apparently."
"You're kidding," Moira said in surprise. "That was very nice of them."
"It's the least we could do," Derek said, casually entering the conversation. "You look beautiful Mrs. Queen."
"Thank you Derek. You look very handsome, yourself. Is it just you here or are your siblings here too?" Moira asked.
"We're all here," Derek confirmed. "Lis and I will try and corral them over here later to talk, right now they're attempting to mingle, or rather their dates are making them mingle."
"Ah yes, the dreaded rounds of socialization, as your mother liked to call it," Moira remembered.
"Some people like banquets, others like barbeques," Derek said.
"Do make sure you all say stop by so we can catch up." Moira told him before excusing herself to talk to the other guests. "Oliver, do you mind helping?"
"Not at all," Oliver replied.
"You look very fancy for someone who used to live in jeans and t-shirts." Thea teased.
"And you look very grown up." Derek smiled.
Thea snorted. "Surprised?"
"A little," Derek joked. "I heard you run a business now, a night club."
"Yeah, I'm running Ollie's club while he runs QC," Thea confirmed. "You guys should stop by while you're still in town. We can all get together and have drinks, reminisce."
"Sounds like fun." Derek smiled. "Normally I would recommend breakfast at the house, but Lis may or may not have turned it into a tech graveyard for a work project."
"She went to MIT, right?" Thea double checked.
"She did." Derek nodded. "Her and Laura both actually. They seemed to really like it there."
"So, what have you been up to? I haven't really seen you guys since the fire. I know Ollie said you had some friends in common, but I didn't expect you two to actually get along, let alone help us with this party," Thea said.
"Lis is the one who insisted on helping," Derek told her. "She actually works for QC, has ever since she graduated."
"Wait." Thea paused. "Oh my god. Felicity is your older sister. Your eldest sister is my brother's EA."
"You seriously couldn't even make it five minutes," Cora hissed, as she practically stampeded the 100 feet between her and her older brother after overhearing Thea's comment. "If this gets back to the other people at QC Lis will kill you, only to resurrect you and make you clean up the mess. She doesn't like most of the people here, let alone trust them. What if Mrs. Queen finds out, then we're really going to have a shit storm on our hands. All it takes is for one of them to overhear a single comment and they'll attack like sharks."
"I think you might be overreacting a little bit," Derek said.
"The number of people in this room that I currently trust doesn't even go up to the double digits, and that list does not include Oliver, no matter what Felicity thinks of him. No offense Thea, I know he's your brother-"
"Trust me, I am not opening that can of worms," Thea replied. "And I will probably regret asking this, but Felicity and Oliver aren't sleeping together, right?"
"If they were I would kill him," Derek said.
"Many men over the years have shared in that sentiment," Thea said.
"You can't kill Oliver," Cora added. "I already called dibs."
"When?" Derek asked.
"When I was seven. I saw a trashy magazine at the store that said Oliver was a man whore who broke women's hearts and made Lis tell me what that was, and then I declared that if anyone ever treated one of you guys like that I would eat them alive and burry the body so deep in the preserve, not even mom would be able to find it," Cora explained.
Thea noticed a red head quickly turn her attention to her friend before excusing herself from her current conversation and stomping over to where they were. She looked Cora right in the eye and shook her head. "Really? I mean, Isaac and Allison were a given considering the circumstances, but threatening the host. I expected more."
"It was a statement of fact," Cora replied. "I haven't technically broken the terms of the deal."
The red-head raised one eyebrow.
"C'mon Lydia, it's not like you to not toe the line a bit. Admit it. This is the most fun you've had in weeks," Cora said. "Nice venue, good food, free booze, a gorgeous dress, and people who use words to kill instead of weapons. This is your idea of a perfect evening."
"Oh Cora, you think you know what I'm capable of, but you have no idea. Game on little wolf." Lydia smirked, before flipping her hair and sauntering off.
Cora watched her date walk away and once she was certain they couldn't be overheard by the banshee she sighed. "That's my date," she said with a huge grin on her face.
Thea looked at Cora in shock.
"What?" Cora asked. "How could you not find that hot?"
Thea glanced over at Derek who just looked at the ceiling with a pained expression in his face. "Did we just witness the same conversation?" Thea asked him.
"Cora, Lydia is a good person and a good friend," Derek said. "But she also doesn't like you the same way you like her."
"Oh Derek, I know you don't have the best of luck with relationships of the non platonic variety, but not everything is about romance," Cora replied, as she went after her date.
Thea started snickering while Derek looked at his younger sister's retreating form in shock.
"If you'll excuse me, I think I need to go find something heavy to drop on my head until I've forgotten the last five minutes of my life."
"Yes," Barry said into his phone as he paced back and forth in the lab. "Yes sir. Yes, Director Singh I know that this is not the first time. Yes, sir, I do value my job. Very much. I will be on the next train. Mmhmm, I'll be back tonight. Ok." Barry stared at his phone for a second before sighing and putting it away. "Well my boss found out I don't have food poisoning. I need to get back to Central City if I still want to be employed, which I do. Tell the SCPD that the sedative in the thief's blood is ketamine. It's a scheduled three controlled substance; it shouldn't be too hard to track."
"I'll make sure they get it," Felicity told him.
Barry nodded. "It was really nice-"
"Thank you for-"
"Everything I couldn't have… done it without you."
Barry sighed. "Good bye Felicity."
"Good bye," Felicity whispered to herself while she watched Barry walk away.
"We found trace amounts of ketamine in the thief's blood," Felicity announced walking into the lair. "It's a common surgical anesthesia derived from hydrochloric salt."
"Can you use that to track him?" Oliver asked.
"With the current concentration ratio in the blood sample there is only one possible location with a large enough quantity of the sedative that correlates with the amount of blood the centrifuge can process." With a few clicks on her keyboard Felicity had pulled up a picture of large grey building.
"What is it, there's no sign?" John asked.
"ARGUS doesn't like to advertise," Felicity replied. "It's a disaster bunker, right on the edge of the glades. ARGUS has them all over the country. They store relief supplies. Food, clothing-"
"Medicine," John finished.
"I'm on my way," Oliver said.
"Oliver, I can't believe I'm actually saying this." She walked over to her friend holding the bent up arrow. "The way this arrow head is bent; it means our thief's muscle density is at least 120 lbs./cubic foot. That's almost the same density as common concrete. Your arrows may cut this guy, but they will not stop him."
"I beat someone like this before Felicity. I can do it again," he assured her.
"What if you can't?"
"Oliver," John said, motioning to the computer screen with the security footage of Verdant's back alley, showing a small arrow stuck in the wall.
Felicity was sitting at her desk in the lair while John was cleaning weapons. Oliver had literally just left to talk to Roy and her eyes kept wandering over to the security feed that showed the back alley. She looked over her shoulder and saw John was completely occupied with his chosen task, so she turned on the comms and muted her end so Oliver wouldn't know she was eavesdropping on his meeting.
"What?" Oliver asked.
"I need your help," Roy replied. "A friend of mine's friend, well the cops think he OD'd, but we think he was murdered."
"Well, he wasn't an addict for starters, and this," Roy pulled up a picture of the body on his phone, "this doesn't look like any OD I've ever seen."
"Stay away from that." Oliver ordered.
"You know something? What happened to him?" Roy asked. "You're the one who told me to be your eyes and ears on the streets, and you know what that is not good enough for me anymore."
"Fine. Then we're done all together."
"I don't need you! I have friends that can help me. You can't stop us."
"I can slow you down," Oliver said. He drew an arrow and shot Roy through the lower leg.
Felicity winced and her wolf whined in sympathy for Roy. There was no denying that their meeting could have gone much better. Her own experiences with Isaac and Derek had taught her that hurting your loved ones to stop them from getting themselves was never a good idea. "This is bad."
Felicity and John had been searching the warehouse for a few minutes with little luck, when they came upon the trail of destruction.
"Oliver!" John called out.
"Oliver!" Felicity repeated.
"Oliver!" Felicity rushed to her friend's limp body where there were two spent syringes sticking out of his leg.
"Is he alive?" John asked.
Felicity checked for his vitals. "His pulse is weak, but it's there. Oliver, can you hear me?" she held his head up and checked his eyes. "His pupils are dilated." She turned her attention to the syringes in his leg and pulled them out.
"What the hell was that?" John asked.
"I don't know it's coded." She got up from the floor and ran over to the nearby computer terminal. She tried to turn it one but it was completely trashed. "Damnit! Look, I can't break into the dispensary files. I have no idea what he was injected with. Poisoned with."
"I know, we have no choice," John said.
"What are you doing?" Felicity asked.
"I'm calling 911." John had his phone out and was ready to dial.
"It can't wait."
"How are we supposed to explain this? Everyone is going to find out Oliver is the vigilante."
"It won't matter if he's dead." John dialed the number and hit call, pulling the phone closer to his ear.
"Wait!" Felicity took the phone away from him.
"Felicity we can't save him!"
"I know, you're right," she immediately replied. "We can't." She pocketed John's phone so he didn't get any ideas and pulled out her own. "But I know someone who can."
Felicity was about ready to wake Barry up by kicking him out of her chair. She'd heard the sensation of falling woke people up, and if that turned out to be a lie she could always scare the crap out of him. Time was the most important factor in saving the life of her pack member, so guilt wasn't even going to be a small issue. Thankfully, Barry's heart rate picked up slightly indicating that he was about to wake on his own, no intervention necessary.
"Please," Felicity nearly begged when Barry had begun to realize where he was. "Save my friend."