A/n: Okay, I promise I am still working on Better with Three, it's just difficult to work on more than a one-off drabble with grad school breathing down my neck. I'm trying to get obsessed with my own characters, and most of the time it's working. Today was not one of those times. Plot bunnies are pernicious things, aren't they? And I can only hope the good(?) people at the CW will let Laurel don the leotard and fishnets to kick some ass along side Ollie. Especially since the Black Canary is one of my favorite DC heroines.

So enjoy this little introspective if you can.

Laurel had never told anyone what she could do. Not even Sarah had known, though Laurel had a sinking suspicion that she had been able to do it too. Something like that had to be genetic. It didn't just pop up randomly one day. Did it?

Anyway, this ability, this thing that she could do, kind of terrified her. Throughout her teenage years, whenever she was yelling or screaming, even just slightly raising her voice, her throat would vibrate strangely. And things would break. Her Dad had just joked that she had a set of pipes on her, just like her mom, but Laurel would never forget that time she had screamed at her high school boyfriend, who had done something stupid and trivial that had pissed her off royally. He had had to go to the hospital after she yelled at him, after both of his ear-drums had blown. He still had to use hearing aids. No one had been able to prove it was her fault, but she knew, and every time he had seen her around school after that, he hightailed it in the other direction. And the other kids had treated her with kid gloves.

Even now she has to be careful not to raise her voice, though she's gotten so much better at control since then, after those hours in a soundproofed booth she'd rented with the money from her part-time job. She'd told her Dad she was in a band, and he didn't ask any questions afterwards, when she came home hoarse and bleary. She had a sneaking suspicion he was having her followed, or he knew what was going on, and was achingly grateful he never said anything. Part of her hoped that if she didn't talk about it, it would go away, but no such luck. So, she had to practice, so she never accidentally hurt someone again.

She's good enough that she can use it on purpose. When some hood thinks that he can snatch the little cash in her purse, she can scream loud enough to disorient, even knock him out, without debilitating him for the rest of his life. She knows exactly the pitch she needs to shatter glass, which may come in handy someday. She knows that her voice also projects some kind of sonic blast, so she can knock projectiles away. Maybe nothing as fast as a bullet, but it's something.

If Oliver hadn't been there to save her, she still would have been alright. Her scream… her cry, would have been enough to knock out all her attackers, if she could have fended them off long enough to use it. And it would have had the added effect of bringing the police down on her place, to arrest all the bastards. Though she would have had a hard time explaining to her Dad how she had defeated how many well-trained Traid assassins.

So she understands what it's like to have a secret, and it's so very apparent every time she looks at Oliver that he's hiding things.

Of course, she tells herself, he just spent the last five years of his life on an uninhabited island. Who knew what he had to do to survive? He had 1,825 days' worth of secrets bottled up, and as much as she ached to ask him to tell her everything, she wasn't going to push. Anyway, wasn't she still pissed at him for Sarah's death?

She's still pissed at him, she repeats like a mantra. It's not that he cheated on her with her sister, which was already some majorly messed up Maury shit right there, but that he got her killed in the process.

And now Laurel will never know if she was just a one-off freak with a terrifying trick, or if this was the last gift her mother gave her before she passed away.

She doesn't know if she can ever forgive him for that.