Disclaimer: I don't own Arrow or any of the DC comics character used in this story. This is for entertainment purposes only, and no profit is made off of this fanfiction.

AN: Loosely inspired by Jessica Jones, and completely inspired by the recent unfair death of Laurel Lance. I'm so angry, and this story does not contain Felicity Smoak's character at all. She is the bane of my existence. This is very Lauriver, and has season one and two influences. There is no Olicity bullshit, or random fanservice. Also very heavy comic influenced. You have been warned. There are trigger warnings for rape as well.

A Caged Bird

Lost Girl

Dinah Laurel Lance - always trying to save the world. But, she can't - not when she's stuck in her own head. She's not sure how long it's been since she's been out of control, but she's sure it's been a few months. Her father must be searching still, and her sister is probably devastated. Oliver, well, he's not exactly alive anymore.

"Come here," that voice calls to her. "I need you."

No, she wants to say. She can't, and she knows her efforts are hopeless. She has no control, and she will never regain that control. She's no longer Laurel. She's just a puppet to Count Vertigo, and that is all she'll ever be. She tries in vain to resist one last time, but she goes. It's hopeless. She's lost control, and she'll never be herself again.

It's the one burning question that he's been waiting to ask Tommy since his return. He takes a deep breath, and he finally utters the words how is Laurel. Tommy freezes for a moment, and Oliver can see the pain in his eyes. Their relationship was not without it's conflict when he left. Oliver knows that he could have treated her better - that he could have done better by her. He hopes that she doesn't hold a grudge. He hopes that they might at least be able to be friends.

Then, Tommy answers, and Oliver's world falls apart. "No one has seen Laurel for months."

It takes him a moment to process the words, and almost automatically his mind tries to come up with some sort of rational explanation. She must have ran off to some remote location in Hawaii. It must be how she's coping with the stress of his disappearance. It must still effect so deeply. She's just coping. She's not gone.

"Is she on vacation? I'm sure she's told Sara…"

"Oliver," Tommy's voice hardens. "I know how much stress you've been under, and you've finally just got back. But, Laurel…"

Tommy shakes his head and a grave look emerges on his face. "Oliver, look, I know you just got back..."

"Tommy," Oliver's jaw clenches as he utters the next three words one by one. "Where...is...Laurel?"

"Okay…" Tommy breathes. "There was this case she was involved in - she's, uh, a lawyer now. The DEA were trying to arrest a man known as Count Vertigo and prosecute him for drug changes and kidnapping. One day, she just didn't come into work - no phone call or anything. And, then a day turned into a week. They searched her apartment and practically the whole damn city. She was just gone, Oliver. It's been three months now. No one has a lead on where she might be."

Every muscle in Oliver's body tenses. His father's book - his mission - is still burning in the back of his mind. It will have to wait. She is what is important right now, and this city will have to rot for just a few more days. Because, it's Dinah Laurel Lance, and she is more important than revenge.

Oliver wants to hurt this Count Vertigo. He wants to skin him alive, and burn the rest of his body. He wants to turn that man inside out until he no longer feels human. The thought of tormenting this man seems to consume his every being.

"Tommy, I'm going to find her."

"Oliver," Tommy's voice is stutters slightly. "The DEA...the FBI, they are more qualified for this. I wish there was something we could do, but…"

"No, Tommy...fuck that!" Oliver screams as he slams his first hard against a wall. "Someone in this city knows something, and we're going to find that person."

Tommy's eyes lower to the floor. There's this hopeless look that sends chill down Oliver's spine. "There are no leads on Count Vertigo. No one even knows what he looks like."

Oliver draws in a deep breath and releases it. He can see Laurel's beautiful smiling face, and he almost remembers the texture of her soft brown hair. He hears her say his name, and he feels a rush of energy at the thought of her soft lips. He wasn't good enough for her when he left, and he might not even be good enough for her now. But, he's going to do right by her. He's going to find her no matter what it takes.

"Someone knows something," Oliver says. "We have to get that person to come forward."

"A charity event?" Tommy says. "It would help the Lance family, and maybe someone that knows something can come forward."

Oliver nods. "When I open my new night club, the first night we'll host an event."

And, if someone comes forward with any kind of information, I'll find her. Oliver feels that rage boiling within him again. When he finds her, he will make sure to always keep her safe. He thinks of that smile, and it gives him all the drive in the world to save her.

It's called V - a date rape drug that swept the city over night. Laurel remembers when it surfaced. The first victim, a nineteen year old girl, explained the effects. A man at a college party injected it into her, and suddenly she was under her control. Laurel could tell that the police didn't exactly believe her story until others came forward, and soon the drug was texted with the results that poor girl described.

Laurel always believed her, and she tried in vain to prosecute the man that raped her. The jury failed that girl like they do to so many victims of sexual assault. Laurel swore she'd find the man responsible for the drug and she'd prosecute him. She swore to that girl, and now, here she is under that man's command.

It's a horrible drug. She can move at her own will throughout the penthouse apartment, but the moment she gets to the door, she can't leave. It's like a horrible curse that he's dispelled upon her. When he injects that drug, her body does as he commands. Laurel glances at the clock. She hopes that maybe he'll be late this time.

Just thirty more minutes…

Laurel needs to clear her head - anything to get her mind off the clock. She walks to the living room and turns on the television. She sees it on the news. Her heart races and tears brim her eyes as Oliver appears on the screen. He's alive. The drug seems to wear down just a little bit more, and that groggy feeling is starting to release.

Twenty more minutes.

Laurel hasn't felt hope for so long, but there's this spark in her chest now. Her eyes flicker up to the clock - only fifteen more minutes. If he's late, she could maybe run. She hears the door crack open, and every muscle in her body tenses.

"Laurel...I need you."

Laurel tries harder than ever to resist, but her body betrays her mind. She's walking towards him. He has this sick grin across his pale face, and a needle in his hand. He injects the needle into her skin, and she feels that haze fall over her again. She wants so much to fight against it, but she just can't.

He places both of his pasty white hands on her cheeks. He looks into her eyes and says, "I love you so much Laurel Lance. Tell me you love me."

"I love you," the words feel like acid on her tongue.

"Tell me you'll never leave me," he orders.

"I'll never leave you."

She hates herself. If she could just be stronger, maybe she could fight this. But, she's not. And, she still feels like a caged bird.