Missing scene in Vertigo.

What exactly happened to make Diggle handcuff Oliver to the table?


I don't own Arrow or Green Arrow or anything like that. I use some dialogue from the episode, but just to expand on the thoughts behind the words. I'm not making money, just playing with the characters.


Oliver felt sick. His head pounded, the room spun and his stomach lurched. This was the most dangerous time; he was vulnerable. He wasn't all there and that's when they could get him. Kill him. Or worse, cage him again and torture him. He had to stay awake, to defend himself no matter what may have happened to him.

What had happened? His insides swirled and his knees and arm hurt. He'd fallen. His knees hit the concrete and something grabbed his biceps, hard. He wrenched free and fell to all fours. Fingers squeezed his biceps harder. They forced him to his feet but he couldn't walk. He realized someone was dragging him along. Into danger. He forced a breath and looked to his side. A face stared ahead of them, worry creased into the lines in his forehead. Worried? Why would the enemy be so worried?

Oliver squinted. It wasn't an enemy, it was Diggle and he wasn't hurting him, he was helping him. Leading him away from danger, not into it. Sirens rang in his ears until the sound clouded his vision. That was impossible. He couldn't see. He couldn't hear. He felt the fingers grip his biceps tighter as his knees buckled and his feet just stopped. Then, only darkness and silence.

Diggle dragged Oliver away from the drug dealers and as far from the police as quickly as he could without hurting him. It was problematic at first; Oliver struggled against him as though he thought the Count had got him. But he couldn't coddle Oliver, he had to get him out of there. Oliver fell a few times as his legs wouldn't work, and Diggle led him as best he could but had to hold on so tight he was sure he'd leave a bruise. A small price to pay for freedom.

Diggle got him back to the warehouse and dumped him unceremoniously on the table. He tried to be careful but Oliver was so out of it, he kept fighting him. His body lurched and convulsed.

Diggle rummaged in the locker for the herbs Oliver had brought back from the island. He had to make a concoction to help his body fight the effects of the drug. He rushed back with the vile liquid. Oliver reached up and grabbed Diggle by the throat.

Diggle had not expected the attack and he wasn't prepared for it. He held Oliver's arm but he didn't fight. What could he do? Oliver's grip was strong but not enough to really hurt him. "Oliver." He forced his training and his instincts to shut up – he would not attack. "Oliver."

Oliver's grip loosened and Diggle ratcheted his arm back to his chest and held him in place while he forced the liquid down Oliver's throat. "Drink."

Oliver thrashed and spit and gurgled before he opened his mouth and screamed in fear and panic.

Diggle waited for him to settle down but he kept convulsing and fighting him. "Come on, Oliver. Let me help you."

Oliver looked at him fearfully. "Don't hurt me."

"Stay still, Oliver."

"Let me go, don't keep me here." There was panic in Oliver's voice.

"You're not trapped. You're home." Diggle watched Oliver stare at his surroundings. Diggle took the bowl back to the locker. He should probably take him to the hospital. But at the hospital he would be trapped and that wouldn't do Oliver - or the doctors and nurses - any good. He turned back and Oliver was sitting on the table, grasping it so tightly with his hands his knuckles turned white.

"You can't keep me here."

The hospital was out. It was too late for it now, anyway. He'd made his decision. He went back to Oliver and put a hand on his shoulder. He was so hot, burning up. "Lie back down."

"You can't keep me here." Oliver narrowed his unfocused eyes and glared at him. "I will fight you."

"It's me, it's Diggle. Your friend."

Oliver clenched his fist and rammed it up into Diggle's gut. It wasn't a strong punch but Diggle gasped and staggered back, more from surprise than anything. Oliver lost his balance and fell off the table with a pained gasp of his own.

"Oliver…" Diggle stayed where he was, fighting the urge to pick him up.

Oliver hunched, struggling to look up without falling onto his back. He sat there, his feet under him, his arms at his sides, hands holding his balance on the floor. If Diggle hadn't known he was drugged, he'd have thought Oliver was about to launch up at him and take him out.

But he was drugged. Yet…Diggle knew Oliver – not long, but long enough. Oliver crouched there, straining to keep conscious. If Diggle moved, he would force Oliver to act and while he was high, he'd likely hurt himself. Or, as Oliver had astounding reserves of mental strength, he could hurt Diggle. "Oliver, relax. You're safe – I promise. Stand down."

Oliver blinked.

Diggle took a ragged breath. Stand down was a military term. Seeing Oliver in action as often as he did, he kept having to remind himself the boy never spent one second in the armed forces. His style of fighting was like none other than he'd ever seen but the discipline was familiar. It was the discipline of the fiercest soldier.

"You won't get anything from me. You can kill me first."

"I don't want anything from you, Oliver. I'm Diggle. Your friend. Your bodyguard – it's my job to help you. To protect you."

"You think you can threaten me?"

"I'm not-"

"No, you won't."

Diggle realized Oliver wasn't talking to him. He eyed him. "Rainbows are pretty in the sunlight."

Oliver shivered. "I'm not giving you anything. You can't keep me here."

Diggle was right. Oliver was hallucinating. God knows what haunted memory was playing itself out in the poor guys' drugged up mind. What could Diggle do? If Oliver stayed there, half under the table, maybe things would turn out all right. Maybe he'd fall asleep. Diggle wasn't sure of the effects of the drug or how much was injected into him but based on Oliver's glassy eyes and shaking limbs, he was sure it would only be a matter of time before he blacked out.

"I won't let you." Oliver raised himself, grabbing the table with one hand as he pitched forward.

Diggle wanted to reach out and help but resisted the urge. It was gut-wrenching, watching Oliver in this state and not being able to do anything about it. Was this how he'd spent the whole five years on the island? Oliver told everyone he'd been alone but Diggle knew that wasn't true. Yet, in a way there was more truth in that lie than any other he'd ever heard. He'd been attacked, imprisoned, tortured and hunted and he only had himself to rely on. No matter how scared, hurt or tired was, he'd been completely and utterly alone.

Oliver leaned against the table, stumbling in place.

Even at home, Oliver wouldn't let anyone close to him. Not his mother or his sister, in a way, not even himself. As though he were two Olivers, the lazy billionaire son and the vigilante, separate and distant from one another.

Oliver touched his chest with his free hand. He winced and glanced down, fear shone in his eyes. "You drugged me."

He was becoming more lucid. He was talking to Diggle now. "Not me, Oliver."

He wavered on his feet. "I won't talk. Kill me."

"I'm not going to kill you." Diggle stepped forward.

It was a mistake.

Oliver pushed off the table and jumped on Diggle. Diggle tried to break free but Oliver used his body like dead weight and started punching at his head. There was no power in the punches and Oliver must have realized it. "You won't kill me or anyone else!" He grabbed Diggle's neck, his fingers finding their target as his eyes slid shut. "They'll be safe." His voice was barely a whisper and Diggle tried to pry his hands off his throat but Oliver squeezed. His whole body lay on him as though he concentrated all the power he had left in choking the life out of Diggle.

"Oli-f-f-r!" Diggle saw spots and he knew he had to get Oliver off him. He'd been fighting his own training, his own survival instincts, as his airways were blocked, but now he let them out. He thrust his open hand against Oliver's gut. Oliver's fingers eased for a split second but then he resumed strangling him. Diggle regretted what he had to do. He punched him in the stomach with as much force as he could and Oliver fell on him completely. Diggle flipped him on his back and held him down by the arms. Oliver fought, he kicked and caught Diggle in the shin. The pain was brief but distracting and Oliver used the opportunity to punch him again.

It was a glancing blow that knocked Diggle over. Oliver couldn't get to his feet but he didn't have to. He threw himself on top of Diggle again and his fingers found his throat. Before they could replay that stance, Diggle threw a fist that caught the side of Oliver's head.

Oliver went down, gasping for breath. Diggle didn't hesitate, he grabbed Oliver by the shoulders and lifted him up, pinning him against the table. Oliver's head lolled and his eyes slid shut. Diggle risked that it wasn't a bluff and he dumped him on the table, ran to the locker and brought out a pair of handcuffs. By the time Oliver regained his senses, Diggle had the cuffs in place and staggered well out of reach to catch his breath.

After he calmed down, he grabbed a chair and sat, staring at Oliver. Oliver slid in and out of consciousness for hours. He sweated. That was good. Get it out of his system. Sometimes he thrashed around, terrified, trapped, like a wild animal, caged and scared for his life. At other times, he lay so still, Diggle had to creep over to make sure he was breathing. Then he'd sit back down and wait.

He sat like that, well into the morning. He hadn't gotten a moment's rest but that wasn't part of his job that night.

Oliver's head rolled. Diggle stood up, eased a crick out of his neck and went over to him. He watched him. Slowly, Oliver's eyes opened. He stared but didn't seem to see anything.

"Mornin'," Diggle said.

Oliver tried to focus on him. Then he turned his head to the left. He tried to move his left hand. He stared at the handcuffs, holding him to the table. He looked back at Diggle and then shut his eyes, almost as though he was ashamed.

Diggle walked back to the desk. "How you feeling?"

"I feel like I'm getting the worst hangover of my life." Oliver groaned as he struggled to sit up.

Diggle remained at the desk and rifled through a few papers. "That coming from a guy who spent most of his twenties in a hangover, that's really saying something."

Oliver steadied himself, sitting on the table. He pulled at the cuffs again. "You think you can uncuff me?"

Diggle turned at that. Oliver's words were slurred and weak.

"I'm not gonna kill you. Promise."

Diggle wondered how much Oliver remembered. He seemed dejected, sad. Embarrassed, even. No, not embarrassed. Resigned. As though to say, this is how it's going to be. The moment I'm not in control, I will attack you. Try to kill you. Friend or not. No wonder Oliver didn't want to let anyone in. He was afraid those five years had sharpened him into a weapon that even he couldn't control. The depressing thing was, if he'd let someone in, he could let off the steam and be more in control when he lost control.

But now was not the time for such a heart-to-heart. He walked back to the table and, without a word, put the key in the lock and set Oliver free.