So here's chapter 6! Sorry for the kinda late update, I've been pretty busy lately.
This chapter takes place after the last episode. So Laurel and Tommy had that little argument about Tommy lying to her and all, so I took that a little further. Read on to find out what I mean =)
I don't own Arrow!
Chapter 6: Under the Willow Tree
Oliver was dreaming.
He was on the island, picking up that phone in the airstrip's tower. He dialed Laurel's cell, the only other phone number he actually knew by heart. He heard it ring. After six months on the island, he was partly hoping she would pick up, partly hoping she wouldn't. If she did, what the hell would he say? Hey, Laurel, it's Oliver. How you been? Well, I've been great, just stuck on an island for six months. Oliver laughed inwardly at the thought.
Then he heard her voice.
"Hello?" she said from the other line. She sounded fine. Happy even, as if she had just come from a party or something. Oliver wondered if she thought her sister was dead. Or maybe, after only 6 months, she still held the hope that Sara could be alive. Maybe she even hoped that he was alive.
"Hello?" she said again.
Oliver tried to speak, but it was impossible since he could scarcely breathe. Anything he had planned on saying lodged in his throat, choking him. Just as he was about to find the strength to talk, Slade came up behind him and slammed the phone down, cutting off the last connection Oliver would have with Laurel in four and a half years.
The dream shifted.
Oliver was with McKenna. Several scenes of them shifted together. They were standing in the SCPD precinct, kissing. They were spread out on a blanket on the floor of the then uncompleted club. Then they were in the hospital, McKenna explaining how she was moving away for a year at least. But the dream changed again, and it was no longer McKenna in the hospital bed, looking up at him with tears in her eyes. It was Laurel.
"How could you let this happen?" Laurel said, her voice reflecting the hurt and betrayal in her eyes. "Ollie, how could you let this happen? You were supposed to protect me. I mean, the Vigilante is supposed to protect people, right?"
Oliver jolted awake. His legs tangled in the sheets, as he sat up. He looked around, expecting to see Laurel accusing him for being the vigilante. But she wasn't there. It was just him, alone in his room. He glanced over at the clock on his bedside stand. It read 3:04. Well, he'd managed to get a few hours of sleep before the nightmares set in.
Oliver lay back down, staring at the ceiling, taking deep breaths, trying to steady his heartbeat. Earlier today, he and McKenna had broken it off. He had liked her. A lot more than he'd expected to. But Oliver knew that it really couldn't have worked out in the end. She was a cop and he was the Vigilante. Oliver knew that if she ever figured it out who he was, she would put her job before any feelings she had for him. And the same thing would happen if Laurel ever found out.
Oliver wondered, if telling Tommy was the right thing. At the time he'd had no other choice, but after he wondered. Would he tell Laurel? Oliver didn't think so, and he felt guilty for thinking that Tommy would say anything in the first place. Tommy was his best friend. And no cops had shown up on his doorstep yet, so he assumed that Tommy hadn't said anything to Laurel, because the first thing she would do is confront her dad. And that's why Oliver knew he couldn't be with her. He knew he shouldn't even try to get her back, because it was hard enough now to keep his secret from her. He didn't know if he could lie to her if they ever became something more again.
But all this telling himself that he couldn't be with Laurel only made him want her more. And it didn't help matters when she continuously showed up in his dreams. Or when he saw her in reality and she smiled at him, making his heart melt. McKenna had been good for him, for a little bit at least. He had started getting over Laurel. But now McKenna was gone, too, and Oliver was left alone, his feeling for Laurel slowly clawing their way back to the surface of his heart and mind.
Oliver sighed, running his hands across his face. He knew he wouldn't be able to fall asleep again, so he climbed out of bed and pulled a t-shirt over his head, and tugged on a pair of sweats. He slipped into a pair of running shoes, then grabbed a black hoodie and zipped it on over his shirt, whipping the hood on over his head in a very familiar fashion. He slipped his phone in his pocket, then headed silently through the house. Once outside, Oliver started jogging. He needed the feeling of the cool night air burning through his lungs as he ran. It helped clear his head. Well, it usually did. It didn't seem to be helping tonight, though. Laurel kept flashing through his mind, and he couldn't get the images, the memories, to stop.
"Where were you all night?" Thea asked when Oliver came in at 9:00 later that morning.
Oliver gave her a small smile. "Went for a run,"
"For six hours?" she shot back accusingly. "I heard you get up last night."
"I needed to clear my head. A lot has been going on with the club opening and McKenna leaving."
Thea's expression softened a little as Oliver brought up McKenna, and he knew he had convinced his sister. It brought a pang of hurt and guilt to see how easily he could manipulate those around him into believing every word he said. But it was to protect them all, and he shrugged the feelings away.
Thea gave him a smile, then turned to head up to her room. Oliver was about to follow her so he could change, but Thea turned back to him.
"I forgot to tell you, Mom's in the living room and…well, let's just say you have a visitor." Thea smirked knowingly, then turned and dashed up the stairs like she didn't want to be there when he saw who the visitor was.
Curious, Oliver headed towards the living room. When he stepped through the entryway to the sunlit room, Oliver froze in his tracks. The visitor for him was the last person he expected.
"Laurel," he said, though he was surprised anything could come out of his mouth at all with her standing there in his house.
His mother, Moira, smiled a little, and amused glint in her eyes, when she saw Oliver staring at Laurel.
"I'll leave you two be then." His mom said, excusing herself from the room, her heels clicking as she went.
Once she was gone, Oliver forced himself to step farther into the room.
"Hey, Oliver." Laurel said, and unsure smile on her perfect face.
"Hey," he replied warily. He could only wonder what she was doing here. She hardly ever came over anymore. There was no reason for her to. He figured it must have been important.
"Sorry, I probably should've called you before I came over, it's just…I don't know what I would've said." She said, twiddling her thumbs, then tucking a strand of hair behind one ear, like she did when she was nervous.
"What do you mean?' he asked.
"I need to talk to you. It's really important, and I didn't want to explain over the phone, or anywhere else."
"Okay, well I'm listening."
"I actually wanted to go somewhere to talk. Somewhere special," Laurel said, looking up at him with those big, beautiful eyes of hers. There was no way he could say no.
"Okay," he smiled. "But first, I think I should shower and change probably. How 'bout I come pick you up in an hour."
"Sounds good. I'll see you then." Laurel smiled at him.
Oliver let her out the front door, watching her long after she was gone.
An hour after Laurel left, Oliver showed up at her apartment, dressed in a fresh t-shirt, jeans, boots, and his favorite leather jacket. When Laurel opened the door, she was dressed in the same thing he had seen her in earlier: jeans, a long-sleeved shirt, and her beat up black Converse. He loved her in those Converse. It was so…her. She grabbed a gray jacket from the hook by the door and smiled hugely at him.
"Ready?" he asked.
"You bet. Let's go," Laurel said, walking past him, taking the lead. Oliver couldn't help but smile and follow her.
"Here?" Oliver asked once they had arrived at the 'somewhere special' place.
They had rode Oliver's bike about a mile or two outside of the city to a park with a lake. It was the same place that Laurel and Oliver had finally become a couple, back before he disappeared.
Laurel looked at him. "Yeah. I just thought…this was a happy place for me…for us, at one time. I just wanted to get away for a little bit. If you don't want to be here, we can go somewhere else-"
"No." Oliver interrupted. "It's perfect."
Laurel smiled. Then, she did something that surprised Oliver even more. She took his hand. He was too shocked to let go even if he wanted to. She started leading him to one of the bigger willow trees on the bank of the lake. Oliver took in their surroundings as they walked. The sunlight glittered off the lake and the willow branches swayed slightly in the light spring breeze. As they reached the tree, Laurel let go of his hand and ducked under the branches. Oliver took one last glance around. There were a few older couples in the park, but it was relatively empty. For a moment, Oliver worried about his bike, but he didn't really think granny and grandpa would take the bike out for a spin if he wasn't watching. Not wanting to wait any longer, Oliver ducked under the willow after Laurel.
He found her on her back hands folded over her stomach, gazing up at the branches above them, a small smile on her face. It was beautiful under the tree. The branches were high enough that Oliver could stand freely without knocking his head on the tree. The branches shaded the area enough, but it wasn't dark. Sunlight poked in here and there, turning Laurel's features to gold. She looked up at him and smiled. She was smiling a lot today and he liked it. He didn't remember the last time he had seen her this happy around him. Oliver stepped over and laid down beside her. The ground was a little cold, but not uncomfortable.
"What was so important that we had to come all the way out here to talk, Laurel?" Oliver asked.
Her smile faltered slightly, and she heaved a big sigh. "There's a couple things I wanted to talk to you about…" Laurel trailed off.
"Okay," Oliver said, turning on his side, propping up his head on his elbow. "I'm here, Laurel. I'm listening."
"After, um…after Tommy's dad was shot…I was going to meet up with Tommy at the hospital, and…and my mom showed up." Laurel didn't look at him.
"Your mom? I thought you hadn't seen her in years? Not since…" since Sara died and I disappeared, but he didn't say that out loud.
"Yeah, it was a bit of a surprise. Especially when she told me why she was there,"
"Why was she there?"
"She said…" Laurel sat up. Oliver sat up too, inching closer to Laurel. She looked pale. "She said that she thought Sara was alive, Ollie."
Laurel looked at him, gauging his reaction. Oliver tried to take deep breaths, but it was difficult. Flashes of that night broke into his thoughts. The storm. The yacht. Sara. The storm worsening. Sara. The storm hitting the Queen's Gambit. Sara falling through the hole in the boat, and getting sucked under. Drowning. Her screams echoed in his mind, but Oliver couldn't shake the memories loose.
"No…it can't be…" Oliver said, dazed.
"Ollie?" Laurel said, touching his arm.
Oliver snapped out his hand, grabbing Laurel's wrist. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he knew he was probably grabbing her a little tightly, but the memories of that night took over his body, seizing his control. He could feel his chest heaving up and down with effort as he tried to breathe, tried to return to reality.
"Ollie…Ollie, let go," Laurel's voice finally broke through. He let go of her arm.
"I'm sorry," he mumbled. "I'm sorry, Laurel, I…." Oliver trailed off.
"It's okay, Ollie. I didn't believe it at first, either." Laurel told him, moving closer, putting her hand in his. "But, Ollie, my mom showed me things, she showed me evidence, a picture, and I think there might be a possibility that Sara survived. We were thinking that she probably washed up on another island. And island different from yours."
Oliver looked at Laurel. And when he saw the hope in her eyes, it made the possibility of Sara being alive not so impossible. The hope in Laurel's eyes gave him hope, even if it was just a shred of hope, it was still there. And if there was some truth to what Laurel and her mom were saying, Oliver would look into it. He was the one with all the money and fancy toys, after all.
"I know that it's a one in million chance that she really is alive, but I'm willing to take that chance, Ollie. I just wanted you to know." Laurel said quietly.
"I…if you find anything, you'll let me know?" he said.
"Laurel, you said there were a couple reasons why you wanted to talk. What's the other reason? What else did you want to talk about?" Oliver asked. He wanted to change the subject. He couldn't talk further about Sara until he had some evidence of his own.
"Well, first of all, I heard about McKenna. I'm sorry." Laurel said earnestly.
"Yeah. Me too. But hey, as long as you're happy, so am I," Oliver smiled at her, but she didn't smile back. "Laurel, what's wrong?"
"Tommy and I…he's been acting strange, ever since his dad was shot, and he won't tell me why. We had…we had sort of a falling out, I guess you could call it." Laurel looked down, and took her hand out of his. We, um…we decided to take a break. There's just so much going on with the club and now he's keeping secrets, and I just think it'll be good for both of us."
Oliver tried not showing the burst of joy that had just erupted inside of him. Laurel and Tommy were taking a break. He shouldn't have been happy, they were probably both hurting, but Oliver couldn't help it.
"I'm sorry," Oliver said. "Are you okay?"
"Actually…yeah I think I am." Laurel looked at him, and gave him a smile. "Thank you, Oliver, for being here. For listening. I don't know who else I would've talked to about all of this."
"I'll always be here for you, Laurel. I've made mistakes in the past, but I'm trying to make it up to all of everyone. You especially. So, whenever you need me, I'll be here." he whispered.
Laurel didn't say anything. Their eyes met and Oliver could feel his heart beat a little faster. Then, though they were right next to each other, they moved closer together. Oliver reached up a hand to cup Laurel's face, and she didn't pull away. A part of Oliver knew that he shouldn't, they shouldn't, her and Tommy just split, but Oliver's heart was telling him what he wanted and what he wanted was to be with Laurel.
It seemed to take a million years, but then Oliver was just centimeters away from Laurel. Finally, their lips touched and the whole world fell away. There, under the willow tree by the lake, had suddenly become heaven.
And Oliver never wanted to leave.
So there's chapter 6! Hope you liked it! So I'll probably go away from the show a little bit now. I'll probably include important points with Oliver as Arrow, but in the story, it'll be him and Laurel now.
Thanks for all the support! Please tell me what you think!
Thanks for reading!