Shades of Dark

Chapter One

Disclaimer: I don't own anything from the television series Arrow and I'm not making any money from this fic

Summary: Follows Birthday Gift. Slade and Oliver's relationship hits a major snag, with conflicts both generated within and without

Warning(s): Spanking; spoilers for the first two series of Arrow; AU; descriptions of torture in later chapters; themes of addiction; explicit sexual scenes between two men

Pairing: Slade Wilson/Oliver Queen

Oliver wasn't sure he should have been as turned on by Slade dominating him as he had been. He wasn't even sure he should have let things go as far between them as they had... because it was supposed to be about Slade receiving pleasure... and his lover had turned it around on him.

And now, it was two weeks later... and apart from calls and texts, Oliver and Slade hadn't communicated much. Oliver had found himself too involved with his company's work. The underworld of the city had been suspiciously quiet. Oliver wasn't sure what Slade had been doing. After the response he'd received to his suggestion about going on an actual date, Oliver had been hesitant about making any similar suggestions.

It wasn't that he was nervous. Slade clearly wasn't ready for them to go public. Oliver wasn't sure he should be, not really, but he knew how he felt about Slade and how much he looked to the other man. He was pleased they were exclusive, of course, but he didn't want to keep hiding this. Not when there was so much about himself that he had to hide right now.

Oliver hadn't worried about calling ahead to tell Slade he was coming. If his lover wasn't at the apartment, Oliver knew he could let himself in and wait for Slade. It was one of the understandings between them.

Oliver stood outside Slade's apartment, holding a bottle of whiskey. He found that his mind was calm. He was aware in a general sense... but he didn't have to be on his guard around Slade; especially not on a personal level.

Oliver reached out and pressed the buzzer.

There was silence for maybe half a second and then Oliver heard movement from inside the apartment. Then, a moment later, there was the sound of the door being unbolted. It was opened and Slade stood framed there.

Oliver wasn't sure how to put into words exactly what seeing Slade felt like... but perhaps the wide smile was some indication as he held up the bottle of whiskey. "Figured we could do with a night in."

The smile that touched Slade's lips was faint, but it was still there. He stepped back from the door. "Come on in."

Oliver stepped into the house, nudging the door closed behind him. Meeting Slade's gaze, he held up the bottle of whiskey. "Decanters?"

"I wonder if it should bother me that you seem to think I don't have any good whiskey." Slade walked through to the living room.

"Hey, I can't just turn up unannounced without a gift or something. And I know you're trying to keep a low profile." Oliver followed Slade into the room. "Can't be too easy to find work right now. My offer still stands."

"I don't need you to give me a job."

If Oliver hadn't been able to read Slade so well, he would have assumed his lover was irritated with him at best. As it was, Slade's gruff tones reminded him of the time they'd spent on the island... when they'd been friends and before things had changed so drastically between them.

Pushing away those memories (because the Slade under the influence of the mirakuru wasn't the same Slade Oliver had become to dependent on), Oliver stepped over to the glass cabinet and took out two decanters. As he poured them a measure of whiskey each, he spoke in a casual tone. "I was thinking... we don't get to see much of each other, apart from a few snatches here and there. It might be a good idea to combine our living spaces. You know... move in together." Oliver picked up one of the decanters and held it out to Slade, watching the other man carefully.

Taking the decanter, Slade took a long swallow, his eyes never leaving Oliver. "Are you suggesting you move in here? Or that I move into the Queen mansion?"

Oliver knew how to read Slade. He didn't think Slade was against the idea of them moving in together... but he was almost certain his lover wasn't at all comfortable with the idea of moving into the Queen mansion.

There was a reason why Oliver always came to Slade.

"We don't have to live in either," Oliver said. "If you'd prefer, we can move to another place entirely. We don't have to decide straight away, but it seems to make sense. To me, anyway."

"Hm." Slade drained the last of his whiskey and drew in a breath.

Oliver found his attention drawn to the clock on the mantelpiece. It was an old-fashioned wind-up clock... and it had also stopped. Guessing that Slade hadn't noticed the lack of movement, Oliver reached out to pick up the clock.

Oliver's movements was arrested by a hand closing around his wrist. If he hadn't known that Slade was the only other one there, Oliver would have pulled away and knocked the other person to the ground. As it was, he turned to Slade... in time for the other man's lips to crash against his.

Oliver couldn't help but respond. It had been that way since the first time. He felt Slade's hand shift to the nape of his neck, gently stroking down over Oliver's spine. Despite the touch being gentle, Slade's hand was callused and pressed on muscles Oliver had barely realised were tense.

Oliver stepped closer to Slade, raising his hand and sliding it up under Slade's shirt. He scratched lightly over his lover's bare chest and then slowly, reluctantly, pulled back. He knew Slade was trying to distract him and as he met his lover's gaze, he could see that Slade knew what he'd realised.

"What don't you want me to see?" Oliver asked.

"You're not going to like it," Slade warned.

Oliver took a deep breath then, feeling his anxiety beginning to rocket. "I guessed that. You wouldn't be trying to distract me from something I'd be happy about."

Slade nodded, clearly conceding the point. He walked over to the mantelpiece and picked up the clock, taking a vial of liquid that he must have stashed there.

Oliver stiffened, thinking of addicts and how they hid the substance they were addicted to. The liquid looked familiar... too familiar. "Is that mirakuru?" It was phrased as a question, but Oliver heard the note of certainty in his own voice.

An unreadable look passed across Slade's face as he met Oliver's eyes without flinching. "It's not what you think."

"What do I think, Slade?" Oliver asked, his voice heavy with sarcasm. "Enlighten me."

Slade put the vial down... which wasn't what Slade wanted. He wanted the contents entirely gone; not sitting within easy reach of his lover.

"I'm not going to use it." Slade's voice was quiet, but still carried a note of sincerity.

Oliver shook his head, not bothering to even try to hide his disbelief. "How can I believe that?"

"You know what I became under the influence of the mirakuru, Oliver. Do you really think you wouldn't notice if I started using again?"

"Not if you were only using small amounts... just enough to take the edge off."

"I know I can't expect you to believe me," Slade said. "But I haven't been taking the mirakuru. That isn't why I still have it."

Oliver shifted. He wasn't sure what he was going to do, but he knew that he couldn't stay here. Not if he didn't want to tear emotionally into his lover.

Slade must have realised; whether from the look on Oliver's face, or from the movements as Oliver prepared to walk out. A look of defeat came over his face for a second and then he was holding his hand out to Oliver. For once, he wasn't hiding behind a mask... and the pain on his face was obvious. "Oliver... please don't leave."

Slade saying please was as rare as Oliver doing so. It was that, along with the raw pain on Slade's face, that caused Oliver to stay where he was. "I don't understand why you still have it, knowing what it did to you. Knowing what it made you become."

"That's exactly why I have it," Slade said. "I accept that keeping it secret from you was wrong, but I still have it to remind myself of how far I can fall... of how much I hurt you in the past and how much I'll give to make sure it never happens again." Slade stepped closer to Oliver, though he stopped before his outstretched hand touched him. "I realise I went about it the wrong way, but I'm asking you... don't give up on me. You didn't when I was at my worst, so don't... please... for a mistake."

Oliver knew he couldn't just walk out and leave Slade... not after what the other man had just admitted. At the same time, though, Oliver knew he couldn't just let this pass. No matter what Slade's reasoning was, he shouldn't have hidden the vial.

Taking a deep breath, Oliver stepped closer to Slade, moving right into his lover's personal space. Without hesitating, he wrapped his arms around Slade in a tight embrace.

Slade wrapped his arms just as tight around Oliver in return.

Oliver found himself a bit reluctant to let go of Slade so he could deal with this. Not after seeing his lover's emotional vulnerability. At the same time, he knew that this wasn't something he could just ignore... that Slade would expect him to respond in the same way he would if Oliver had done something similar.

Oliver held Slade tight a few more moments, allowing the other man to calm down from the emotions that had hit him. He didn't say anything until he felt Slade's death grip on him loosen and then he took a step back, enough so that he could press a kiss to Slade's lips before he stepped over to the couch, knowing his lover would follow.

Oliver sat down on the couch, still feeling a bit unsure. There was no doubt in his mind that Slade needed to be punished. Quite apart from how much his actions had hurt Oliver... hiding things like this set a precedent for their relationship he was certain neither of them wanted. When he glanced at Slade, he could tell his lover was waiting for direction. Holding eye contact, he held his hand out.

Slade moved closer to Oliver, but didn't take his hand. Instead, he stopped at Oliver's side and placed himself over his lap.

Oliver placed a hand on Slade's back. He knew he didn't have to hold his lover in place, but he thought he understood why Slade did that when their positions were reversed.

Slade clearly hadn't intended to leave his apartment. He was wearing a pair of loose-fitting pants and Oliver slipped his fingers into the waistband, tugging them down to bare Slade's backside.

Slade shifted a little, but didn't voice a protest. Oliver wasn't sure if his lover would try to get lost in his own head like he had the last time... but Oliver was determined not to give Slade the opportunity.

Lifting his hand, Oliver brought it down in a hard smack in the centre of Slade's backside. He didn't hesitate before landing another one... this time to the crest. He felt Slade jerk, but he continued to swat in the same way, making it impossible to predict where the next smack would fall.

Slade twitched with each subsequent smack, but Oliver could tell the pain alone wasn't going to get through to him. Not this time... not even with the emotions that had affected him so strongly.

Oliver began swatting a bit harder and faster; though he still kept delivering them in random places all over Slade's backside. He spoke quietly as he did so. "You should never have hidden it from me, Slade. I understand needing to face your demons. I've got enough of my own to face, believe me. But the mirakuru is not something you should keep. It isn't something you should allow to control yourself. Just like a recovering alcoholic shouldn't be keeping bottles of alcohol to give them strength."

"So... I should... take my strength from you?" Although Slade's voice was strained, there was a note of what seemed almost like hope in his voice.

"Better me than what almost destroyed you."

Slade made a sound that might have been a cry. "It almost destroyed you. I almost destroyed you."

"You didn't. You said I hadn't given up on you even when I saw you at your worst." Oliver lifted his leg, exposing Slade's sit spots, and began delivering the sharper swats there yet. "Did you ever stop to think that it was the other way round as well? You gave me what I needed to survive. Then and now."

Oliver didn't know if it was his words, or the spanking, or some combination of both... but he felt Slade slump over his lap. He caught the sound of his lover's quiet tears and helped Slade up, wrapping his arms around the other man and kissing him hard.

Slade returned the kiss fiercely and Oliver could taste the salt of his tears on his tongue. Leaning forward, he deepened the kiss,

He wanted to move them upstairs... but then, his cell phone rang. Oliver pulled away reluctantly, answering his phone... and then he went very still.

"What is it?" Slade asked.

Oliver focused on his lover. "Your son's been kidnapped."

To be continued...