Hey everybody! This is my first Arrow fanfic, so I hope you like it. Let me just say that I'm already addicted to this show and there have only been five episodes. Happens to me a lot with new shows.

This is a tag to the most recent episode, Damaged. Maybe once the show gets further into the season, I might consider writing an original story. But I'll just see if you guys like this one first =)

I don't own Arrow.

Enjoy!

Damaged

Downstairs, the prison themed party raged on, the loud music sending tremors through the house, but Oliver barely noticed with Laurel standing there in front of him. She had stopped talking for a moment, so Oliver took her silence and used it to ask the question that had been burning inside of him since he had returned.

"Why don't you hate me?" he asked quietly. Laurel looked at him with what was almost surprise in her eyes. "You should."

"I did." Laurel's voice quavered slightly, but she kept talking. She had always been so strong. Oliver loved that about her. "For so long I did, Ollie. But after today, I realized that I was so focused on what happened to my family that I didn't even stop and wonder what happened to you."

Oliver glanced down momentarily as Laurel's eyes started to shine. She didn't cry, but he hated seeing it either way, because he knew he was the cause of those unshed tears. Oliver looked back up as she started talking again, quieter this time.

"I didn't know about the torture or your scars." She whispered. "what happened to you was more than you deserved."

Oliver wanted to disagree with that. Before he had disappeared, before the island, before any of that, he had been a jerk. He had been rude, cruel, selfish. He had taken everything for granted. In some weird, twisted sense, Oliver believed that the island had been made so he could become a better person.

"And I was wrong that I didn't ask you before. But I'm asking you now. I need to know. I need to see." Laurel continued, her voice pleading at the end.

"Are you sure?" Oliver whispered, gazing directly into her eyes.

Laurel hesitated for a fraction of a second before giving a slight nod of her head. "Yes,"

Oliver answered by reaching for the top button on his blue shirt. Laurel pushed the shirt open. Once all the buttons were undone, Oliver let his hands fall to his sides. He watched Laurel as she took in the sight of his scarred chest. Several different emotions flicked over her face at once: disbelief, uncertainty, pain, fear. Oliver felt her fingertips gently brush over each scar, as if she were checking to make sure they were real. He loved the feel of her hands on his skin. They were so gentle and so soft, and it brought old memories flooding back. Memories, that for once, weren't about the island.

"How did you survive this?" Laurel whispered, letting her hands fall away from his skin.

"There were times I wanted to die. In the end…there was something I wanted more." Oliver said slowly. He stood, frozen, trying to gauge her reaction. He watched as she fit the pieces together, and added the unspoken 'you' to the end of his sentence.

Oliver took one unsure step towards her, and she did the same. Then they were a mere inch apart. Oliver leaned down as Laurel leaned up and their lips met softly. Oliver felt Laurel's hand slide up around his neck. Their bodies pressed together, the fabric of Laurel's thin shirt rubbing against the skin of his chest. His heart beat faster and fire shot through his veins. Oliver felt Laurel's teeth gently graze his bottom lip.

But then her lips were gone all together.

Laurel gasped and pulled away from him, and Oliver suddenly felt cold. Laurel shoved past him, ending the blissful moment all too quickly.

"No, Laurel. You don't have to go." Oliver said.

But she was already gone.

-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-

Laurel raced out the door, trying to get as far away from Oliver as she could. She wiped at her mouth, trying to erase the kiss that had just happened between them, but the sensation stayed. The second she and Oliver had kissed, everything else fell away. The party. Her dad. The man in the green hood. Tommy.

Oh God…Tommy, Laurel thought. A few stray tears fell from her eyes, and she quickly wiped them away. She didn't cry. She wasn't supposed to cry. But Oliver had completely messed up her emotions for the night. Maybe for forever. She had cried so much after Sarah had died, and after she had thought that Oliver was dead too. Tears didn't bring her sister back, so they weren't good for anything.

Laurel had been so focused on getting out of the Queen's house that she didn't even see Tommy until she ran into him.

"Whoa, Laurel. Hey." Tommy smiled. Then he seemed to really see her and his smile faltered. "Hey, you okay?"

"Yeah. I'm fine. O-Oliver's trial is just taking a lot out of me." Laurel said, silently cursing herself for tripping over Oliver's name.

"Were you just with Oliver? Did you guys argue or something?" Tommy asked, placing a warm hand on her shoulder, drawing her over to a corner so they were out of the way of the people bustling through the house.

"Yeah, we kinda fought. He was just being Oliver, you know?"

"Yeah, I know," Tommy said with a smile. "Well, I'll take you home if you want."

"That's okay. I think Oliver would want you to stay. Please, stay."

Tommy's eyes searched her face, trying to search for an ulterior motive for her words. Apparently, he didn't find anything suspicious in her face, because he smiled warmly at her.

"Okay. Go home. Get some rest. I'll see you tomorrow." Tommy said gently. He leaned down to give her a quick peck on the lips, then turned to follow a waiter carrying around drinks on a tray.

Laurel managed to make it out to her car before she broke down. More tears fell, and this time she couldn't stop them. Even though it had just been Tommy to kiss her, all she could feel was the ghost of Oliver's kiss on her lips. Her heart felt like it was being ripped in two. She tried to think of reasons why she shouldn't feel the way she did about Oliver. Oliver cheated on you. He was the one to invite Sarah on that boat. He's no good. But for every reason she came up, the voice in the back of her mind spoke up and gave her a reason to like him. And not just like him, but love him. But she couldn't bring herself to love him. One or both of them would end up getting hurt.

And she had a feeling it was Oliver who was going to end up getting his heart broken.

-:-:-:-:-:-:

It was the day after Oliver had kissed Laurel, and once again, they were standing in his room, facing off against each other. Just say what she wants to hear. Make her believe that last night meant nothing, Oliver screamed to himself. He had to keep the secret going. He couldn't reveal anything about his other identity. He had to lie, once again, to keep her safe.

"Do you want to know why I don't talk about what happened to me there? Because if people knew…if you knew…you'd see me differently. And not as some vigilante guy…as damaged." Oliver began. He could see that hurt in Laurel's eyes, but he couldn't stop now. It wasn't enough. So he told her part of the truth. "I don't sleep. I barely eat. I can barely sign my name…let alone aim a bow and arrow." Oliver ended quietly.

He saw Laurel swallow as his monologue sunk in. He watched her face change as she began to believe his story. It hurt like hell to see her face change like that. He hurt him to see how easily he could manipulate the ones around him, especially the ones he loved.

"After last night…" Laurel paused, as if she wasn't sure what to say next. "clearly we're still attracted to one another. Oliver, nothing can ever happen between us."

But something did happen between us, is what Oliver wanted to say. He wanted to tell her how much he missed her when he had been on that island. He wanted to tell her that he thought about her all the time, tell her that he dreamed about being with her for the rest of his life. He wanted to tell her that he loved her. All the words he wanted to say were on the tip of his tongue, right there, all he had to do was open his mouth…but he couldn't. It would ruin everything. And she was with Tommy now. No matter how jealous he was, or how much he loved Laurel, he would never hurt either of them like that by ruining their relationship.

So instead of fighting, he said what she wanted to hear. "I know."

Laurel nodded, and handed him his polygraph results. He clenched the papers in his hand, never taking his eyes off of Laurel. He let her walk out the door and watched it shut behind her, sealing him in alone.

"Nothing can ever happen between us."

The words echoed in Oliver's head and suddenly it was hard to breathe. He stumbled back against the bed, needing the support so he wouldn't fall to his knees. Oliver knew he couldn't tell Laurel the truth; it would only put her in danger. But the thought of having to push her away like he just did, constantly¸ the thought of having to make her hate him just so he could protect her…Oliver didn't know how long he would be able to keep it up before he broke down in front of her and spilled everything.

Oliver glanced down at the polygraph results in his hand. Angry at himself for not following Laurel out, he balled up the papers and threw it hard across the room. He paused. Then the pillows went sailing across the room, crashing into things, breaking things. He tore the blankets off the bed, ripped the cushions form the couch, and got his hands on everything that he could throw.

After the room looked like it had been hit by a tornado, Oliver collapsed on the floor. He sat silently, staring out the windows, Laurel's face burned into his mind, her words engraved in his heart. "Nothing can ever happen between us."

So lost in his own thoughts, Oliver barely noticed when Thea came in and sight beside him amongst the debris. She leaned her head comfortingly against his shoulder.

"I saw Laurel leave. Then I heard the noise. Figured it probably wasn't safe to come in till you were done. I didn't want you throwing me across the room too." Thea said jokingly, trying to make him feel better.

Oliver felt the corners of his mouth twitch up into half a smile. "I've messed things up completely with Laurel. I don't think she trusts me. I guess all I've done since I got back is mess things up with people. I've messed things up with you, Mom, and Walter too."

"Well, you were away from any form of civilization for five years. It's somewhat understandable." Thea replied.

Oliver didn't answer. Thea sighed. Not like she was frustrated or angry with him, it was more of an understanding sigh. "You're going out again tonight, aren't you?"

Oliver just nodded. "I need some time to think."

"Yeah, that's your excuse every time."

Thea got up and headed for the door.

"Thea, wait," Oliver called out as he stood up.

Thea turned, hands on her hips. "Yes?"

"Tomorrow night, you, me, a tub of ice cream, and a couple of cheesy movies. No going out to party or, in my case, think. How does that sound?" Oliver asked, giving her a smile.

For a moment, his sister didn't move, just looked down at the floor. When she looked back up, she was smiling. "I'd like that. Tomorrow night. See you then, Ollie."

With that, Thea turned and walked out the door. Just like Laurel. Oliver sighed, deciding that he'd pick up his mess later. At the moment, though, he had to become the person he told Laurel he wasn't. It was time to become the man in the green hood.

Well, I hoped you liked it! Please review, it would mean so much to me! Thanks for reading!

-DaughterOfPoseidon333