AN: YES! STORY ONE IS FINALLY UP AND POSTED! *wipes sweat off brow* (More series info at the end.)
Disclaimer: I own none of the characters you recognize.
where you are wanted
Written by Becks Rylynn
''Wasn't that the definition of home?
Not where you are from,
but where you are wanted.''
- ABRAHAM VERGHESE | CUTTING OF THE STONE
Title: where you are wanted
Word Count: 10,766
Timeline: During 1.05 of Arrow
Laurel has been told that she is a natural at this whole parenting thing.
Her father told her, once, not long after Sin's adoption was made official, that she was born to be a mom. Flattering, although somewhat sexist considering she had never once heard him tell any man that he was born to be a dad. Including her husband - who actually does seem like he was born to be a dad about 70% of the time. She smiled, hugged him, and thanked him politely, but what he said had bothered her for the rest of the night. It was nice to know that he believed in her regarding at least one aspect of her life, but it wasn't a factual statement. Not even close.
She loves her daughter more than she has ever or will ever love anything else in this world, but to be honest, most of the time, she feels like the world's worst mom. She does her best, she tries to be everything all the books say she should but, but half of the time it feels like every choice she makes is the wrong one. Her first year as a parent was one of the most difficult periods of her life. It put strain on her career, her friendships, her relationship with her father, and her marriage. It was one of the hardest things she has ever done. It was also, as Dean likes to say, one of the bravest.
When she had taken Sin in, she hadn't been expecting things to be so hard. She just wanted that little girl to be safe and warm and loved. That was all she considered when making the decision to officially adopt her. She wanted what was best for Sin. She never even stopped to consider how hard it would be on her and Dean. During that first year, when everything was new and daunting, she would often jerk awake in the middle of the night and just lie there, staring at the ceiling, unable to get back to sleep, thinking about everything she absolutely needed to do in order to make sure Sin had a good life. Sometimes, she would roll onto her side and glare at Dean's sleeping face, wondering how on earth he could be sleeping when they were suddenly responsible for a not even four-year-old child. One memorable night, he found her in Sin's room, sitting on the ground, back against the wall, crying because she had forgotten to say 'I love you' when she put Sin to bed. It was an overwhelming time. The fear, the responsibility, the guilt, the mourning of her old life, the judgment from certain people in her life, the sudden bursts of emotions. It was a lot to deal with all at once.
Immediately after welcoming Sin into her home, Laurel took some time off of work to not only recover from the injuries Sin's biological mother had inflicted on her but to bond with her new little girl. Which wasn't easy. Sin, while grateful to be out of the clutches of that evil evil woman, was a traumatized kid who jumped at loud noises, retreated to small, cramped spaces when she was scared, and broke down in petrified tears whenever she so much as spilled milk on the table, terrified that they were going to send her back or punish her the way her mother used to.
Dean and Tommy were both amazing with her; sweet, comforting, calm, and firm in their reassurances that everything was okay and that she was safe now. Laurel was...not really. She has always been a highly emotional person and when faced with the devastating reminders of what Sin had endured, she would often break down herself. She wasn't the calm, patient person Sin needed her to be. She tried to be, she tried so hard, but she was an emotional wreck of a person during those early days. Perhaps it was understandable - Sin's trauma had been ongoing and arguably worse, but Laurel had also been through a great trauma when Sin's mother, her former self defense trainer, had kidnapped her on her way home from work and forced her into an illegal underground cage match, fully intending for her to die - but it was crippling. For awhile there, things got so bad that Laurel was barely even leaving the apartment, only leaving home to go buy groceries or to take Sin to her weekly therapy sessions.
Tommy, growing increasingly worried about her anxiety and weepiness, would come by, coax her out of the apartment to take Sin to the park, and she would wind up sitting on a bench, frozen, watching Sin tentatively play with other children with wide, frightened eyes. And then Laurel would completely melt down and Tommy would have to call Dean to come and get her while he stayed at the park with Sin.
It was a bad time. It was all just way too much, from the debilitating sleep deprivation to the way Sin seemed to cling to her and only her. Laurel cried a lot that first year. Almost every day. She cried in the shower, at night after her girl was in bed, while she was making dinner, during sex. It was humiliating. Then there was the anger. She thinks that might have been one of the things that scared her the most. It was never directed at Sin, never directed at Dean or Tommy or Sam or her father or any of her in laws or friends. It was always that horrible, evil woman.
Sin had spent the first three and a half years of her life being beaten, verbally abused, manipulated, and locked in closets. No one had ever shown her kindness or mercy. No one had ever told her they loved her. Sometimes, on her darker days, Laurel actually felt guilty that she hadn't killed that monster. That's what parents are supposed to do, right? They slay the dragons. All she had managed to do was leave the dragon with some bite marks, a bruised kidney or two, a broken arm, and a hairline skull fracture. It felt like a failure. It wasn't like Sin's mother got away with it. She was serving a life sentence in Iron Heights. She had lost all rights to her daughter. She had lost all of the money she had spent years making with her underground fighting ring. She had no contacts, no support. She was alone. She couldn't cause anymore trauma. But the dark, sick, twisted part of Laurel's mind just didn't think that was enough. She wanted her to suffer for what she had done. She wanted justice. Revenge may not be justice but - God, is it ever an intoxicating, tempting want.
The worst part - the absolute worst part - was the guilt. The truth about becoming a parent, the part that the books don't cover, that no one ever talks about, is that you don't always have that all consuming love right away. It doesn't work that way all the time. Sometimes you have to work at it. You have to give it time. Laurel still wishes someone had told her about that. For the first few months, while Dean was falling in love with the little girl and Sin was finding her home, Laurel was struggling just to breathe and to stay afloat in her new normal. She just couldn't understand why she didn't love her kid. Was it because she was unplanned? Because she and Dean hadn't spent nine months waiting for her? Because they hadn't been with her since the beginning? She cared about her deeply, she would have taken a bullet for her, she took care of her, she said 'I love you' all the time; she just wasn't sure she felt it. And then, one day, about six months in, Sin called her 'Mommy' for the first time, and it was like this explosion of love inside of her.
The first year was hard, is the point. Post adoption depression is, as it turns out, a very real and very scary thing that nobody ever talks about, and that coupled with some mild PTSD hit Laurel hard. Her breaking point was about five months in. Dean had left earlier in the evening for what was supposed to be a three to four day long hunting trip with Sam, Sin wasn't feeling well, and it was her first time being totally alone with Sin. He had gone out of town once before but Tommy had slept on her couch for the three days Dean was gone and her father stopped by every night to cook dinner. Foolishly, she had thought that she would be okay. But then Sin had woken up in the middle of the night, thrown up all over herself and her bed, and then all bets were off. Laurel wound up sobbing on the bathroom floor, covered in puke, and overwhelmed with everything. She ended up calling Dean at three in the morning, completely hysterical, pleading with him to come home, she couldn't do it anymore, she just wanted to sleep, she couldn't be a mom, what was she thinking? It must have really scared the crap out of him because he stayed on the line with her until Sam could get a hold of Tommy to tell him to high tail it over to her place, and he was home before the sun rose.
The next day, she made an emergency appointment with a therapist and she got help.
Things are better now. There is no magical cure for depression and she still has days where she wonders what she was thinking when she decided to bring a kid into her messed up life, but it's been about a year and a half since Sin came into their lives, she is theirs in every way that matters, and they love their girl. She has a hard time imagining her life without Sin these days. The idea of it sounds lonely and wrong. It was a slow process to get here, full of learning curves and setbacks and - yeah. Depression is a part of who she is now. Sometimes she wonders if it always was. But one of the things she's learned is that regardless of that, it is still possible for her to have a happy life. And she does. She really and truly does.
It's hectic, not at all what she planned for, and she still misses Sara every single day, but she's happy. It's just...
Honestly, sometimes she feels really inadequate. Dean is great at this. He had been the one hesitant about bringing a child into their lives, he had been the one mad at her for making the decision to take Sin in without consulting him first, he had been the one terrified of being a parent, and now here they are and he is really freaking great at this. To the point where it's kind of intimidating.
When she went back to work after a couple of months, he opted to stay at home with Sin for a little while longer. It's basically a permanent thing at this point. Laurel is so grateful that her daughter has such an amazing stay at home dad, she really is, and she loves him even more than she already did for doing this for their daughter, but Mom Guilt is real.
Dean bakes cookies and sews tree costumes for the school play. He makes Sin breakfast and she helps him with dinner. He picks her up from school, takes her to and from dance class, and makes small talk with all of the other parents every day. He knows all of the names of her teachers, her guidance counselor, her principal, all of her friends, their parents and their siblings. He is on top of things. He's freaking Mr. Mom. Meanwhile, Laurel knows next to nothing about the parents of Sin's classmates, accidentally got her teacher's name mixed up with her therapist's name during an email exchange last week, and cannot cook to save her life.
It's ridiculous, she knows, but there are times when she feels jealous of him. He gets to spend all day with their daughter. He gets to watch her at dance practice and gymnastics meets. Set up play dates. Make stupid, idle chit chat with the other parents. She doesn't get to do any of that. She wouldn't even know where to begin if she could. And he's fun. He's so much fun. He's always willing to make blanket forts with her, to play Star Wars and do a dramatic death scene, and if Sin runs into the kitchen while he's making dinner and says the floor is lava, you best believe he hops right up on that counter and asks her how he can help. Laurel's just the person who reminds Sin to eat her vegetables and doesn't always get their inside jokes. She can't help but feel like the third wheel sometimes. Dean - because he's wonderful - tries his best to make things easier for her. When she walks in the door after work, the first thing he does is tell Sin to go give her a big hug and tell her about her day. If Sin wants to make a pillow fort, he makes sure there's room for mom too. On her days off or when he's out of town, he tries to take a step back and let her take the reigns with Sin.
It's not easy to be the working parent.
Just another thing she never thought about when she used to think about being a mom.
It's been an exhausting day. It's been an exhausting few days, actually. Defending Oliver in court was never something she planned on doing and the fallout from it has only served as a reminder that she doesn't need that particular complication in her life right now.
Dean had been quiet when she told him at first, but she could practically feel the crackling anger and frustration over the phone. He didn't yell at her the way her father did, but when she begged him to say something, he sighed heavily and bit out, ''What do you want me to say, Laur? I don't like that this asshole is worming his way back into your life.''
''He's not,'' she had protested, pushing a hand through her hair.
A scoff. ''Sure, babe.''
''You're being unfair.''
''Maybe I just want to know if I'm gonna get left in the dust for Oliver fucking Queen.''
It was an ongoing argument that had been rearing its ugly head ever since Dean walked in on her and Ollie chatting over a carton of mint chocolate chip, with Oliver's heart eyes on full display. Letting him into her apartment that night hadn't been her finest moment, no, but the guy had just spent five years on a deserted island going through god knows what. What was she supposed to do? Throw him out on the street? She is a compassionate person. Call it a character flaw, call it a weakness, whatever, that's who she is. She can't let a stray stay out on the streets.
''The mere suggestion that I would leave you for Oliver is insulting,'' she ground out through her teeth. ''I would never go back to him.''
On the other end of the phone, Dean laughed. It was an ugly, mocking sound. ''He asked you to jump,'' he said, voice matter of fact and unsettlingly cold. ''And you asked how high. We're already halfway there.''
Laurel's grip on the phone had tightened and her heart thudded in her chest, anger pulsing through her. She had known that Oliver was going to be a point of contention in her marriage. She knew that when he showed up at CNRI that day with that familiar look on his face. The one she knew all too well. He used to wear it every time he would come crawling back to her after they broke up; sheepish, apologetic, promising her the world, that things would be different, that he was a changed man. It was never true, and as sorry as she felt for him for what he went through, she doubted it was true now. Ollie was who he was. That would never change. She, on the other hand, had.
She is a wife, she is a mother, she is an attorney, and she does not want Oliver Queen in any way whatsoever. Of that, she is damn sure. If Dean has insecurities, they are his and his alone. It bothered her that he thought she was capable of leaving their marriage and the life they had built together. It still bothers her. It makes her wonder what he really thinks of her.
''You know what, Dean?'' She had snapped. ''I don't have time for your ridiculous macho pissing contest with Oliver right now. If you think I would ever leave you for him, that is your problem, not mine.'' She grasped onto the counter, so tightly her knuckles went white. ''My father's hatred and bias has rotted its way to obsession and it's going to ruin his life. The idea of Oliver - of all people - being the vigilante is laughable and I know you know that. What was I supposed to do?''
He was silent for a moment. ''Look,'' he cleared his throat. ''Whatever, Laur. In the end, you're gonna do what you're gonna do regardless of what I think. I don't get a say. I never do. That's the way it is. It's your fucking world, baby. We're all just living in it.''
The call had not gone well. To put it lightly. She had ended it with a cruel, ''Screw you,'' that was out before she could take it back and then he had hung up on her. She had regretted it as soon as it was out of her mouth. It wasn't what they did. They never ended calls on a sour note. Not when he was out of town probably doing something reckless and dangerous. Even if they got into a fight, the phone calls always ended with her saying, ''Come home safe. I love you.'' No matter what, that is how their phone calls end. That had not been what happened tonight.
It weighs on her. All night long the heaviness of guilt settles on her shoulders until she can barely breathe. It keeps growing, getting stronger and stronger until she's restless and anxious. If something happens to him, if he doesn't come home and the last thing she said to him was screw you, she will not come back from that.
She tries her best not to let it show for Sin, smiling and making everything as normal as possible. Unable to focus on work, she powers down her laptop for the night, slides all of her case files back into her briefcase, and makes a pillow fort with her daughter. She calls Dean three times, but he doesn't pick up. She tells herself he's just busy. He'll get back to her as soon as he can. He'll probably call before she goes to sleep anyway. It'll be fine. It's always fine.
Laurel gets Sin into bed a little later than usual, tells her a story (tonight the requested story is how she and Dean met and got married, which she's going to assume was brought on by the fact that Sin's friend Emily's moms recently got married) and then works on cleaning the disaster zone of an apartment. She usually tends to save the deep cleaning for the weekends but she can't sleep. She keeps replaying the fight with Dean over and over again in her head. She cleans the living room, puts all of Sin's toys away, gathers laundry for the next day, and scrubs down the entire kitchen. By the time she crawls into bed, it's almost one in the morning and all she's thinking about is how much she misses Dean. A long distance marriage is difficult to maintain on the good days. On the bad days, it's unbearable. She just hopes he knows how much she loves him. How much he's done for her just by simply being in her life. Right now, he and Sin are the only things in her life that make sense. She wishes she knew how to say that to him.
She calls him while she's lying in bed, lonely and unable to fall asleep. ''Look, Dean, I didn't marry Oliver,'' she tells his voicemail in a quiet rasp. ''I married you. There hasn't been a day that's gone by where I've regretted that. I need you to know that. I don't want him. I want you and the life we've built together. I love you. I love you. Please call me when you get this.''
She falls asleep waiting for him to call back, before she can decide whether or not she should take a sleeping pill.
She's not sure how long she sleeps for but soon, something is pulling her out of her slumber. It takes her sleep addled brain a moment to process that someone is shaking her and there's a squeaky, tearful voice saying, ''Mom. Mommy, please wake up.''
Bleary eyed and groggy, Laurel slowly lifts her head from her pillow and looks at the frightened child standing next to the bed. ''Sin? What's wrong? What happened?''
''I...'' Sin clutches her stuffed lamb to her chest and her face crumples. She bursts into hiccupy sobs, tears dripping down her cheeks, and Laurel is suddenly wide awake.
A mom thing, she supposes.
Before Sin, she was all about sleep. She has never been a morning person; pressing the snooze button until the last minute, refusing to get out of bed until at least ten on the weekends, and just generally unwilling to be a human until she had at least one cup of coffee in her. Once Sin was in her life, however, Laurel had quickly been forced to leave sleep behind. Middle of the night wakings were not uncommon. Between the nightmares, the bed wetting, and the general anxiety about life, poor Sin has never been a fan of bedtime. The sight of her girl's tears is like a bucket of cold water has been thrown over her. Thank God she didn't take that sleeping pill. She bolts upright, swinging her legs over the side of the bed and tries to draw Sin over to her.
''I'm sorry,'' Sin is sobbing. ''I'm really sorry. I didn't mean to. Please don't be mad.''
''Sweetheart, what are you - '' Sin backs away from her, holding her lamb over her face, still letting out these gut wrenching sobs. That's when Laurel notices that the bottom of Sin's Cinderella nightgown is visibly wet. ''Oh, Sin, kiddo, that's okay.''
Sin hasn't even heard her. She keeps backing away, crying and apologizing and pleading for Laurel not to be mad at her. She's terrified, shaking and sobbing, covering her face. She backs up until she hits the dresser and even then, she still won't look at Laurel.
She is waiting to be hit.
Also not an uncommon occurrence, sadly. They're working on it. Sometimes she's fine. She'll wake up in the middle of the night, come to tell one of them that she's wet the bed or she's had a nightmare or she doesn't feel well, and she'll be totally fine. Maybe she'll want cuddles or a story or to sleep in their bed, but she'll be fine. Other times...
Trauma doesn't go away. That is something that every member of this family knows. The abuse may be over but the scars from Sin's previous home life are still healing. Laurel slips off the bed and gets down to Sin's level, perched on her knees. ''Sin. Sin, honey, will you listen to me?''
See, this is the part that Dean is way better at. He is, somewhat surprisingly, really great at firmly but gently getting his point across to traumatized children. At making sure they understand that they're safe. Probably because he was a traumatized child.
''I'm not mad at you,'' she tries. ''Accidents happen. That's okay.''
Sin is still crying, still gulping and sniffling miserably but she's not sobbing quite as hard anymore.
Laurel pauses to give the girl a minute to process her words and calm down. ''You're safe here, baby,'' she says. ''Okay? No one is mad at you.''
There's a moment of silence and then Sin gets out a rasp of, ''You promise?''
Slowly, still a little hesitant, Sin moves the stuffed lamb to reveal her tear stained face. Laurel gives her a smile and hopes it's gentle enough. It must be because when she opens her arms, Sin practically trips over her own two feet to get to her. She throws her arms around Laurel's neck and squeezes as tight as she can. She also definitely wipes her nose on Laurel's shirt but that's just a hazard of being a parent. You're not a parent until you've gotten someone else's bodily fluids all over you.
''I'm really sorry,'' Sin mumbles. ''I didn't mean to.''
''I know, honey. It's okay.'' Laurel drops a quick kiss to Sin's forehead when she pulls away, gently brushing the hair out of her face. ''How about we get you cleaned up and you can sleep in my bed, okay?''
Sin rubs at her eyes and nods.
She's quiet as Laurel helps her get cleaned up, tired and embarrassed, and she is adamant that she does not want to talk about her bad dream. Laurel doesn't push it. She wants to, it's her first instinct, but she doesn't. Wearing the other person down was what she learned growing up. If you have a bad dream or a bad day, you talk it out. You do not wallow. You do not stew. You do not stay down. You get back up, put a smile on your face, and you keep going. Talk about your feelings. Face your fears head on. Anything else is a weakness. That doesn't really work for Sin. Forcing the issue the way the Lance parents did won't work for her. She'll either cry or shut down. Laurel and Dean have both learned to pick their battles. That's another one of those things that the books don't talk about. How humbling parenthood can be.
Laurel gets Sin out of her wet pajamas and into the bath - which seems to lift Sin's spirits a little because she loves bath time - and cleans her up as quickly as possible. If Sin were any other kid, Laurel probably wouldn't have gone to the trouble of drawing a bath but Sin hates showers and there's no way she would have felt clean enough to fall back to sleep if she had just been wiped down with a warm cloth. It's fine. Laurel is an adult. She can handle not getting a lot of sleep. Sin relaxes in the warm water, even smiles when Laurel hands her her purple wash cloth.
Sin likes to be clean. It's a thing. They've gotten used to it. She likes to be clean, to have her hair trimmed and her nails cut regularly, to have her clothes free of stains at all times. Probably because sitting in her own filth for days used to be a regular punishment. When she first came to live with them, she was so amazed by the fact that they let her wash her hands any time she wanted. They've learned to accept her need to be clean, always making sure to carry tissues, wet wipes, and hand sanitizer with them at all times. If it gives her a little sense of peace, it's nothing.
Once Sin is clean and dried off, Laurel gets her into a new pair of pajamas and lets her crawl into her bed, kissing her forehead before she goes to deal with the bedding. After she has stripped the sheets and gotten them into the washing machine, it's two thirty in the morning and she fully expects Sin to be fast asleep when she gets back. Sin is not fast asleep. She's wide awake when Laurel staggers back into the bedroom with a yawn. She's even managed to dig her mom's tablet out of the drawer on the bedside table and she's got her eyes glued to the small screen. Laurel can hear Adventure Time playing on the thing. ''Sin.'' She tries to make her voice sound as stern as possible but she's exhausted and Sin has those big puppy dog eyes, so she caves pretty much immediately. ''One episode,'' she sighs, ''and then we turn the tablet off and go to sleep, okay?''
Sin nods eagerly, although probably just so her mom will stop talking so she can watch her show. Laurel expects a tired meltdown when the time comes to turn it off. She slips back under the covers on Dean's side of the bed and lies down. She does her best to keep her eyes open, watching her little girl's face. Even at almost three in the morning, half asleep, Laurel still thinks that the sight of Sin's laughter is the best thing in the world.
When the one episode is over, Sin does, in fact, try to convince Laurel to let her watch ''just one more, Mommy, pleeeease.'' But when the answer is a firm no, she does hand over the tablet with only minimal pouting, so that's a win. She settles down, burrowing under the covers, hugging Lambie to her chest. She tosses and turns a few times, like she's trying to get comfortable, before Laurel finally beckons her closer and Sin scoots herself over to tuck her tiny body into her side.
''Want me to tell you a story?'' Laurel asks.
Sin shakes her head. ''No, that's okay.'' She plays with Lambie's ears, tugs at the bow around the stuffed animal's neck, pokes at the beaded eyes, but refuses to close her own.
At this point, Laurel has basically come to terms with the fact that tomorrow is going to have to be more than a two cups of coffee kind of day. ''You're not tired?''
Sin doesn't answer the question. Instead, she asks one of her own. ''Is - Is this real?''
The question throws Laurel. She's not sure how to answer it. ''What do you mean?''
Sin tilts her head back to peer up at her. ''Is this real?'' She repeats. She looks so scared and worried, like she expects everything to melt away somehow. ''Are you?''
''Sweetie,'' Laurel frowns, ''of course I am.''
Her daughter nods and seems to be digesting this information, still toying with her lamb's ears. ''Okay,'' she says, quietly. ''That's good.''
Laurel can't not ask about that. She's not sure she should, she doesn't want to push Sin into talking about something that distresses her, but she can't not ask. ''Why are you worried I'm not?''
''I...'' Sin swallows. ''I had a bad dream.''
''That I wasn't real?''
Sin nods. ''That everything wasn't real. In my dream... You were the dream. You and Daddy. And I woke up and...'' She stops. She seems to curl into herself, making herself as small as possible, still tucked into Laurel's side. She brings Lambie up to cover her face again. ''I was back with Mother,'' she admits, voice muffled. ''I don't want to go back to Mother. I want you and Daddy to be my real Mommy and Daddy. I don't want you to be a dream.''
''We're not,'' Laurel says it quickly and firmly. Gently, she tugs Lambie down so she can see Sin's face. ''I promise you, we're not a dream. Your life here is real.'' To prove it, she takes Sin's small hand and brings it to her chest so the girl can feel her heartbeat. ''There. Can you feel my heartbeat?'' When Sin nods, Laurel leans in close to press their foreheads together. ''It means I'm real. I'm real and I'm here with you, okay? I will always be here with you. Daddy and I may not be your blood but we are your real parents. And you don't have to see the person who hurt you ever again.''
Sin tugs at Lambie's ears again. ''You promise you're real?''
''I promise I'm real,'' Laurel whispers.
Sin seems mostly satisfied by that. Still a little shaken maybe, but her tiny body noticeably relaxes and she curls herself more into Laurel's side. She's still wide awake, fingers playing with the hem of Laurel's shirt and Lambie is now wedged in between them, digging into Laurel's side, but it's a start. Tomorrow's going to be, like, a four cup day. ''Mommy?'' Sin asks, after a few moments of silence.
Laurel, desperately trying to keep her eyes open, murmurs, ''Hmm?''
''When's daddy coming home?''
Laurel freezes. She stares up at the ceiling and tries to come up with an answer for her. ''I'm not sure, honey. Maybe the day after tomorrow?'' That had been the plan anyway. But then the fight happened and now he's not picking up his phone and - I mean, it wouldn't be the first time he's stretched one of these ''business trips'' because of a fight. He hasn't done it since Sin came along, but you never know. They can both be pretty hot headed and stubborn. ''Why?''
Sin shrugs. ''I just want Daddy.''
If Laurel was a little more awake, that might sting a bit. It's not a statement that is altogether unexpected - and, frankly, there's a small part of her that is somewhat surprised that it took a few days for her to make a comment like that - and she's glad Sin loves her dad, but, selfishly, it still aches a bit. It is really hard to be the working parent. ''Yeah,'' she sighs. ''Daddy is way better at this, huh? I wish he was here too.''
''Do you know that song he sings to me? The one about making it better?''
''Um,'' Laurel rakes a hand through her hair. ''Hey Jude?''
''Yeah,'' Sin's eyes light up in recognition. ''Can you sing that one to me? He sings it to me when I can't sleep.''
''...Of course, baby.''
Sin falls asleep sometime around four and Laurel is finally able to pass out shortly after that. The next time she wakes up, the sun is just beginning to rise and someone - an adult someone - is moving around in the bedroom. She raises her head groggily, but before she can wake up fully and spring into protective mom mode against the intruder, a familiar voice is murmuring, ''Laur, it's me.'' There's a strong hand on her back and when she forces her gluey eyes open, her husband is crouched by the bed, eye level with her. ''Hey,'' he offers her a lopsided, tired looking smile.
''Hey,'' she croaks out. She scans his face quickly for any visible injuries, relief thrumming through her when she sees none. He looks tired and like he just walked in the door, still wearing his jacket, but healthy and uninjured. ''I thought you weren't coming home until Friday.''
Dean shrugs. ''Easy case.'' He hovers there for a minute, opening his mouth like he wants to say something, but seems to realize now may not be the best time to talk about heavy subjects - what with Laurel half asleep and their five–year-old in the bed. ''I'm gonna grab a quick shower,'' he whispers, dropping a quick kiss to her forehead. ''Go back to sleep.''
That's all she needs. She stays awake long enough to check the time (5:04, her alarm will be going off in less than an hour and a half), rolls over to check on Sin, and falls back to sleep. It feels like she only manages to sleep for a minute, but suddenly, her alarm is going off and she's jerking awake, practically diving for the thing before it can wake Sin and Dean. Sin stirs slightly, making a small noise in her sleep, but when Laurel glances over at her, she just turns over, burying her face in her pillow and instinctively moving closer to Dean and away from the noise. Dean, who has gotten used to that annoying six thirty alarm, doesn't even react. Laurel swallows a groan and rolls onto her back, trying to resist the urge to call in sick to work and go back to sleep. Ugh, she has so much paperwork to do today. Stupid Oliver. She can't believe he guilt tripped her into being his lawyer. She can't believe it worked. With a sigh, she mentally accepts that today is going to suck and hauls herself out of bed.
She does allow herself an extra long shower, though. She thinks she's earned one. Worst case scenario, she skips breakfast and just grabs a coffee at work and ignores the fact that it's horrible and tastes like dirt because someone at CNRI who shall remain nameless cannot make coffee. (Spoiler alert: It's Jo. Listen, Laurel loves her and all, but she can't make a good cup of coffee to save her life.) Once she reluctantly leaves the inviting hot steam of the shower, still feeling half asleep, she tip toes through the bedroom, grabs her clothes and her makeup and escapes to Sin's room to get dressed and do her hair and makeup without waking them. She is really not on top of her game today. Because she doesn't want to wake her husband and kid, she forgoes blow drying her hair in favor of toweling it dry, she drops her lipstick on her white blouse, and she pokes herself in the eye with her mascara. She winds up with damp, stringy hair, a big red spot of liquid lipstick on her shirt, and her eye is too red and watery to put her contacts in. She looks like a hot mess. Also - and she really can't say this enough - she is exhausted. She got maybe three-ish hours of sleep last night, which, to be fair, is not the worst night's sleep she's ever gotten but she hadn't exactly gotten a lot of sleep the night before either because she was up late working. And she's not like Dean. She can function on little sleep, but she's not going to be happy about it and neither is her body.
However, plus side. Maybe if Oliver sees her looking like this, he'll stop pining over her, move the fuck on, and stop causing problems in her marriage. That would be the upside of this situation.
Just as she's putting her earrings on, Laurel hears the sound of little feet racing past the bedroom door. She pokes her head out of Sin's bedroom and glances in the direction of the living room, just in time to see Sin running over to the couch, blanket trailing after her. She leaps up onto the couch, remote control in hand, clicks the TV on, and turns the volume up to the highest. Just to let the entire building know that she really likes Doc McStuffins. Before Laurel has a chance to say anything, Dean's voice is calling out from the kitchen, ''You gotta turn that down, kiddo.'' Normally, Sin's response to that would be a huffy sigh but she wouldn't argue. Today, she apparently decides whining and grumbling is the best way to get what she wants. Because she's tired and she should still be asleep. Laurel had been expecting Dean and Sin to sleep in for as long as they could today. She sighs, feeling guilt sink into her stomach. Dean has barely gotten any sleep and now he's going to have to deal with an overtired kid all by himself today.
If it was any other day, she might be able to work from home but today she has to talk to Jo about taking over Oliver's case, she has to go tell him she's dropping him as a client, and she has a deposition later this morning. Not to mention, if she didn't have to do all these things for him, she could just go home after the deposition. But nooo. Fuck this entire situation, to be honest. It's not even like his case is about helping the helpless. It's about cleaning up her father's mess. The entire thing is unnecessary. It has caused an issue in her marriage, everyone has noticed the sour mood she's been in since taking the case, Oliver keeps looking at her with this quietly mournful ''how could you marry him and not me?'' look, and it is a fucking stupid case. For about the millionth time, she curses Oliver in her head for dragging her into this legal mess and kicks herself for allowing herself to be dragged into it. She should have just said no.
Briefly, however, she considers staying on the case and squeezing the Queen family dry. The unkind, bitter, hurt part of her, the part of her that resents Oliver for so many things, the part of her that misses Sara every single day, thinks that contributing to her daughter's college fund is the least that he can do after taking Sara away from her. She won't, though. That's not who she is.
Pushing back a yawn, she heads back into her own bedroom. She makes a quick call to cancel the babysitter before stripping off her ruined blouse and stepping out of her black skirt. She crams herself into a gray A-line dress that is maybe just a little too small for her at her current weight (it's an immediately post-wedding purchase and she does not have that body anymore, especially since she's stopped going to the gym in the past year), piles her unmanageable hair up into a messy - but hopefully still presentable - bun, and slips her glasses on. She hesitates before she leaves the room. She really shouldn't. She shouldn't be this nervous to face her own husband. It's ridiculous. It's Dean, not Oliver. He's not going to be huffy and irritated with her for days just because they got into a fight. She knows that for a fact. They've fought before. She knows how this goes. Even though they both have tempers, they both tend to always believe they're right, and they're both too stubborn to back down, they have, for the most part, managed to handle their shit like mature adults in this marriage. She's proud of that. That's what marriage is. Occasionally, it's hard work. It's just that she is so damn tired and she's really not up for hard work right now. She hasn't even had her coffee yet. She'd much rather ignore the problem and deal with it later.
Which sounds exactly like something her five-year-old would want to do. So...
Still struggling with the stupid black belt that goes with this stupid too tight dress, she pads barefooted out of the bedroom and into the kitchen. Somehow, despite the fact that he's gotten even less sleep than her, Dean looks way more awake than she does. He looks perfectly refreshed and comfortable, puttering around the kitchen, making coffee and oatmeal. She has no idea how he does it, but she's jealous. She hovers in the doorway for a moment, standing silently and watching him move around, and then he catches sight of her. The second he does, he stops what he's doing and just stares. For, like, a weirdly long time. Eventually, she shifts uncomfortably, feeling strangely scrutinized. ''What?''
A slow smile starts to crawl across his lips. ''You look like a sexy librarian.''
She blinks at him. Not what she had been expecting. ''What.''
''Yeah.'' He nods, completely matter-of-fact. ''With the hair and the glasses and the dress.'' He grins. ''It's really doing it for me, Laur. Hey, can you say if you don't pay your late fees, I'll have to punish you?''
He tilts his head back and laughs. It's a warm and genuine laugh, no hint of leftover anger or frustration whatsoever. He steps into her space and winds an arm around her waist, drawing her closer to him so he can lean down and kiss her.
She kisses him back, smiling against his lips and relaxing into his arms. There's a small voice in the back of her head - that annoying, emotional voice that needs her to talk everything to death until there's definitive closure and she can relax - telling her that pretending the fight didn't happen probably isn't the healthiest thing in the world to do, but whatever. She pulls away from him slightly, just enough so she can murmur against his lips, ''Your books are due back on Monday.''
He chuckles again, both hands moving to cup her cheeks before he kisses her again. When he pulls away, he drops a quick kiss to her forehead before gently spinning her around and zipping up the back of her dress for her.
''So...'' She accepts the mug of coffee he hands her with a grateful smile. Cream, no sugar. Just the way she likes it. ''Sin had a rough night last night. I'm just forewarning you.''
''I figured,'' he says. ''I put her sheets in the dryer, by the way.''
''Oh,'' she blows on the hot coffee. ''Thanks.'' She checks her watch. She really should be going, but she thinks she can allow herself a few minutes for a cup of coffee. She'd probably risk being late just for a cup of coffee, to be honest. Especially this morning. She sips at the coffee and watches her husband spoon some oatmeal into a bowl. The silence between them is mostly comfortable, but she can still feel the after effects of their fight. It wasn't a good fight. She doesn't think it's one they can just sail past and pretend never happened. She pinches her lips together and stares down at her coffee, trying to come up with an opening. Some way to bring up the fight without sounding hostile or bitter or condescending.
''Does this mean she's playing hooky today?'' He asks, effectively changing the subject before she even has a chance to start talking about the fight.
''What?'' She raises her eyes to him. ''No. Why would she - She needs to go to school, Dean.''
''Laurel, she's exhausted and cranky.''
''But - ''
''She hasn't missed a single day of school since she started,'' he points out. She licks her lips. Okay, true. She slumps back against the counter and takes another sip of her coffee. ''She'll fall behind.''
''It's kindergarten, babe.''
''That's how it starts! My parents never let me miss a day of school unless I was death's door sick.''
''Right,'' he says slowly, ''and my father didn't even let me go to kindergarten because I had to take care of Sammy. I thought we said we didn't want to be like our parents.''
''I just don't want to make things harder for her,'' she sighs. ''You know she already struggles with school.''
''Missing one day isn't going to screw her up, Laur. Is this really the hill you want to die on?''
As if on cue, a shrill and grumpy sounding call of ''Daaaaddy'' sounds from the living room. ''Can we have pancakes for breakfast?''
Dean looks down at the bowl of oatmeal in front of him and Laurel watches what can only be described as horror cross his face. ''Sin, you told me you wanted oatmeal. I already made you oatmeal.''
''I haaate oatmeal.''
''The last time I made you oatmeal, you literally licked the bowl clean.''
''NO! I HATE OATMEAL!''
He slides his gaze to Laurel. To his credit, he doesn't say ''I told you so'' but he does arch an eyebrow at her and give her a very pointed look. ''We can't unleash that on her poor, unsuspecting teacher.''
Well, he's got her there. Laurel snorts and takes another gulp of coffee, ignoring the way it burns her throat. ''Will you at least do some flash cards with her today?''
Dean, busy cutting up apples to put in the oatmeal with the brown sugar and cinnamon he's just sprinkled in there, side eyes her. ''Can't we at least wait until she's six for the flash cards?''
''I'll do some reading with her today, how's that?''
''Deal. And make sure she takes a nap.''
''Trust me,'' he huffs, ''as soon as I can convince her to go back to bed, we're goin' back to bed. I didn't even want to get up but as soon as she woke up and realized you weren't there, she was demanding breakfast.''
''Okay, good.'' She glances down at her watch again. ''Shit.'' If she doesn't leave soon, she is going to be late. She makes a valiant attempt to chug the rest of her coffee. She chokes down a few more swallows of the hot liquid and abandons the mug on the counter. ''I'm going to try to be home as early as possible today, all right?'' He makes a hum of agreement and leans down so she can kiss his cheek. She turns to leave, but stops in the doorway, hesitant to leave. If she were someone else, she might be able to let this go. Unfortunately, she's not. She has a pathological need to talk things out. ''Dean.'' She turns around, fingers twisting at her wedding rings. ''I don't want Oliver in my life.'' He goes still. He doesn't turn around and he keeps his back to her, but she can see the sudden tension in his shoulders at the mention of Oliver's name. ''I don't,'' she insists. ''I thought being his friend was a kindness I could afford, but it's not.''
He turns around to face her. ''Laur...''
''You and Sin are my whole world,'' she says, ''and I don't want to mess that up.''
''You're not.'' He puts the knife down and abandons slicing the apple. ''I was an asshole last night. We both know that.'' He steps towards her cautiously. He doesn't sound as angry as he did last night. He sounds regretful, grimacing and rubbing a hand over his face. ''I shouldn't have - I trust you,'' he tells her. He says it plainly and like it's something that should be obvious, which - maybe it is. Maybe it should be obvious that he trusts his wife, but... It's Dean. Sometimes she's not sure he fully trusts anyone. She swallows hard. ''Laurel, I swear I trust you completely.''
''Yeah, of course.'' He settles his hands on her waist, one of them slipping around to rub her back. ''My problem was never - It's never you, okay? You're never the problem.''
''No, it's Oliver, right?'' She can't help the sigh that escapes her lips. ''Dean, Oliver should be a non factor in our marriage.''
''You're right, he should be,'' he says, crossing his arms over his chest, ''but he's not, is he?''
Laurel worries at her bottom lip and rubs at the back of her neck, trying to think of something to say. When she thinks of her life without Ollie in it at all, it's...peaceful. She'll admit that. There's less hurt and resentment constantly bubbling to the surface in a life without him. Less nightmares about Sara. She doesn't think it would be the worst thing to kick him out of her life for good. To put him in the past and never speak to him again. Refer to him as someone who exists in the general world but not in hers. It feels strange to think about because he was once such a huge part of her life, but he's simply not anymore. He's not her friend. He's not her family. He's an unnecessary complication. Unfortunately, kicking him out of her life isn't that easy. She wishes it was.
To be honest, when she thinks of Oliver's return, his miraculous survival, his second chance, mostly what she thinks is 'why couldn't it have been her?' It makes her feel horrible because he has a mother and a sister and a best friend who love him dearly and whose lives have been miserable since he ''died'' but, in the quiet moments, Laurel can't help but think that if she could trade him for Sara, she would do it in a heartbeat. Ever since he got back, that has been one of her constant thoughts. Sin will be sitting on the couch on a Saturday morning, hair messy, cuddling her stuffed lamb and her Captain America blanket, singing along with the Little Mermaid, and Laurel will just think 'it should have been Sara. We should have gotten her back, not Oliver.' Sara would have been such an amazing aunt. She would have been so fun. She would have spoiled Sin rotten and sang along with her to every Disney movie and helped Laurel plan extravagant birthday parties.
Sara should be here. She deserves to be here. She deserved to be at her sister's wedding. She deserved to meet her niece. She deserved to live. But she didn't. She went with Oliver, she got on that boat, she made her choices, and she died because of them. Oliver got to live. Oliver got the second chance. Sara got nothing but a watery grave; eternity spent at the bottom of the ocean. It's not fair. None of this is fair.
Laurel blinks and looks at Dean. He's gone back to finishing up Sin's oatmeal, looking cool as a cucumber. ''You know,'' she clears her throat. ''It's been harder than I thought it would be. Him being back. The nightmares have come back.''
He stills. ''I know.''
''I see her face when I look at him.'' She licks her lips. ''Sara,'' she clarifies. ''She's underwater and she's drowning and I can't get to her. I can't get that image out of my head.'' She leans one shoulder up against the doorway and studies his reaction carefully. ''If I could cut him out, I'd cut him out in a second. I need you to know that. But, the thing is, I can't do that. He's in my life, Dean. He's in our life. He comes with Tommy and with Thea, and I'm not willing to lose them.''
''I know. I...'' He inhales sharply. ''I'm not willing to lose them either.''
''Then what's the problem? You say you trust me - ''
''But you still think I'm going to leave you for him?''
''No! That's not - Look.'' Suddenly, he looks very tired. ''You're a good person. You're - I mean, Jesus. You're the most compassionate person I know. You're always willing to help someone. Doesn't matter who that person is. If they need help, you're there.'' He steps into her personal space and moves his hands to her arms. ''I don't want that douchebag taking advantage of that. It's been a rough year. I don't want him fucking with your progress. I don't like it when I can't protect the people I care about.'' He says the last part quietly, like he's ashamed of it.
Laurel softens. ''Dean...'' She brings a hand to his face, stroking her thumb over the stubble on his face gently. She can feel his breath catch. His breath always catches when she does this. It still gives her butterflies. ''I love you,'' she says. ''And I love how protective you are of me and Sin. That's - You love your family. I couldn't ask for a better partner,'' she smiles. ''But I'm not a child.'' This is a fact. It's one she has always had a hard time getting through to her father and she doesn't want to add her husband to the list of people who constantly infantilize her or put her up on an impossible pedestal. ''My compassion doesn't make me soft,'' she says it gently but firmly, ''and my depression doesn't make me weak. I'm not going to let Oliver take advantage of me. Not ever.'' She moves her hand to his chest, pressing her palm flat against it to feel his heart beating. ''I am the one who gets to decide whether I need anyone's protection.''
He looks at her for a long time. He places his hand over hers, squeezing gently. ''Okay,'' he says, and that's apparently the end of it.
She had been expecting a little more, honestly. ''That's it?'' She raises her eyebrows. ''Okay?''
He smirks and brings her hand up, turning it over so he can kiss the pulse point in her wrist. ''I know you're a badass, sweetheart.''
''I'm dropping him as a client,'' she says.
''I still have some paperwork to finish up but after that I'll be handing him over to Joanna in case of any follow up. She didn't think it was a good idea for me to take the case anyway.''
''You know, I've always liked her.''
She chuckles. ''Me too. And, um, I'll be letting Oliver know I'm resigning as his lawyer today.'' She shrugs. ''It's not worth it.''
He seems...stunned. ''Are you sure? I - I don't want you to think I'm forcing you - ''
''No, no,'' she shakes her head. ''This is my decision.'' She presses her body against his and winds her arms around his neck. ''I felt like I had to clean up my father's mess and I did. There's no reason for me to stay on as his lawyer.'' He doesn't say anything but she can see the relief bleeding into his eyes. As irritated as she is by the suggestion that she could leave him for Oliver, she does understand his abandonment issues. Hell, she's got a few of those herself. Dean has been left so often that he just doesn't seem to know what to do when someone stays. He doesn't trust that not everyone leaves. She can understand that. ''Hey,'' she whispers. ''I loved Oliver, Dean, but I love you now and I'll love you forever.'' She stands up on her tip toes to press her lips to his quickly. When she draws away, she winks. ''Oliver Queen's got nothing on you, honey.''
Truer words have never been spoken.
By the time she's finally ready to run out the door, so late that Joanna is blowing up her phone with texts asking if she's died, Sin is sitting on the couch, happily eating the oatmeal she ''hates'' and trying to convince Dean to let her watch ten movies before she takes a nap.
''How about you have a nap,'' Sin pauses to shovel more oatmeal in her mouth, ''and I'll make you lunch for when you wake up!'' She looks so happy and proud of her generous suggestion, grinning happily and ignoring the milk dripping down her chin.
''That's a nice offer, kiddo,'' Dean says, reaching over to wipe the milk off of her chin with a paper towel, ''but it's also terrifying. Do you remember what happened when you tried to make us breakfast in bed?''
''The eggs got alllll over the floor,'' Sin says.
Laurel bites back a snort. Yeah, all over the floor, all over the cupboards, all over the counters, all over her. It was a disaster.
''They did,'' Dean agrees. ''So how about you leave the cooking for Mom and Dad, okay?'' He pauses. ''Well, Dad anyway.''
Laurel opens her mouth to let out an indignant squawk but then stops because... Yeeeah, he's probably right. Everyone is better off if she stays out of the kitchen.
''You can take care of us when we're old and wrinkly,'' Dean says. ''Sound good?''
''Can I also watch ten movies?''
He heaves a put upon sigh. ''One movie, two episodes of Adventure Time, and then a nap. We can watch more when you wake up.''
Sin thinks about that for a moment, looking thoughtful and serious, even as she eats her oatmeal, dripping milk onto her pajamas, cheeks puffed out like a chipmunk. ''Okay,'' she says, once she's swallowed. ''But the movie has to be Mulan.''
''Deal.'' Dean holds his hand out for her to shake, which she does, even though she probably doesn't understand the significance of the handshake.
Laurel, who is well on her way to being at least twenty minutes late to work, abandons her quest to find her black pumps and just slips into some black flats. It's definitely not helping her to not look like a ''sexy librarian'' but at this point, she might be willing to embrace that label. There are worse things to be, she supposes. She shrugs on a sweater and hurries over to the couch. Sin has just jumped back up on the couch after putting the Mulan DVD in and Dean is slumped on the couch, awaiting his fate of another day spent watching Disney movies. ''All right,'' Laurel leans over the back of the couch to plant a kiss on Sin's cheek. ''I gotta go. I'm so late, guys. Sin, be good for Daddy. Daddy,'' she moves over to kiss Dean on the side of the mouth, ''don't fall asleep on her.''
''Eh,'' he waves his hand. ''24 hours without sleep is nothing,'' he says, as if sleep deprivation is not a thing that exists.
''Uh-huh, well, I'm still going to send Tommy over to check on you two a little later.''
Sin peers up at her with her puppy dog eyes and asks, incredibly seriously, ''Will he bring us chocolate?''
Dean chuckles warmly. ''Honey,'' he drawls, ''you ask the real questions.''
''I'll let him know to bring you something,'' Laurel says.
''Make sure you specify something small,'' Dean stresses. ''Because it's Tommy and we don't have room for a giant life sized Queen Elsa made out of chocolate.''
Sin's eyes widen impossibly and she sucks in a deep breath. He seems to realize what he's done almost immediately because he winces, waiting. ''I WANT ONE OF THOSE!'' Sin explodes. ''DADDY, OH MY GOOOOSH.''
Laurel laughs and leans down to press another kiss to her daughter's cheek. ''Maybe for Easter, hon.''
Sin points her spoon at Dean. ''Mommy gave me more kisses than you.''
''Well, you're cuter.''
''Aw, Daddy, I think you're cute!''
He takes a drink of his coffee, probably to hide his bright smile and possible blush. ''Then that's all I need.''
Laurel resists the urge to pepper them both with more and more kisses and slings her purse over her shoulder. ''I'll see you two later, okay? Bye, my loves.''
Dean gives her a mock salute and a lazy grin, ''Knock 'em dead, counselor.''
''Bye, Mom!'' Sin shoves herself up onto her knees, practically hanging over the back of the couch, cheerfully waving goodbye, just like she does every morning. It's a better feeling than even the best coffee in the world. ''Love you! Have a good day!''
In the elevator, frantically texting Jo to let her know she's going to be late, Laurel can still hear her daughter's squeaky little voice saying, ''Bye, Mom! Love you! Have a good day!'' She thinks it was definitely worth being late.
There's another thing you learn when you become a parent. Despite the late nights, the early mornings, being late for work, late for school, the stress, the constant laundry, the endless Disney movies, it's worth it. It is so worth it.
Laurel and Dean have not had easy lives. They have not had happy lives. Their lives have, in the past, been shitty beyond belief. Full of loss and grief and pain and just the absolute worst luck. But they still ended up here. They have a family, a life that they have built together, and they're happy. They are finally happy. So, yeah, she'll deal with occasionally being late to work. She'll deal with the exhaustion and the stress and all of the hard parts of parenting because that's nothing compared to the joy and the happiness she feels when she looks at her little family that she made. Nobody is going to mess with that.
Dinah Laurel Lance (legally Dinah Laurel Lance-Winchester) has a good life, a happy life. Finally. She has worked hard for this life, for her husband and her daughter and their happiness, and she is not going to let anyone take it from her.
Not even Oliver Queen.
AN: This kidfic 'verse happened because an anon on tumblr requested a Dean/Laurel kidfic and I promised them ''the fluffiest Dean/Laurel kidfic ever with a bunch of kids.'' Which then turned into a series. Originally, when I first created it, it followed along with Arrow canon and ''loosely'' followed along with the Supernatural canon and it was supposed to be a series of long fics. However, after April 6th happened, I decided to change some elements to shift it more into a Supernatural/Birds of Prey crossover rather than a Supernatural/Arrow crossover and turn it into a mostly fluffy oneshot series. Because Dean and Laurel deserve only happiness and good things but their writers blatantly hate them, so only fanon can give them that happiness. And because we deserved the real Birds of Prey in the Arrowverse.
Things to know about this 'verse:
- Dean and Laurel dated for a year, got married (on a total whim), were married for a year, adopted Sin, another year went by, and then the Arrow series began. When I say this 'verse ''loosely'' follows along with Supernatural canon, I basically mean that none of the big arcs past season five happened, but some of the elements remain the same: Characters like Charlie, Kevin, Krissy, Jody, and the Wayward Daughters are here, Bobby still died, and the bunker still exists.
- Dean and Laurel's kids = Sin (more like comic book Sin and not whitewashed Arrow OOC Sin), Timmy (from 9.07 of SPN, taken in by Dean and Laurel right before the start of season two of Arrow), Katherine (the only biological child of Dean and Laurel, born between seasons two and three of Arrow).
- Not technically Dean and Laurel's kids but basically Dean and Laurel's kids = Krissy Chambers and Thea Queen.
- Helena Bertinelli and Charlie Bradbury will also be fixtures in this series.
- The first few fics will probably be origin stories for all of the kids. This one was Sin's.
- More tags and characters will be added as more stories are added.
- Requests are open for this series. :)