A/N: Yikes, has it really been like eight months? Where does the time fly? I am really sorry this has taken so long. I had a shit load of schoolwork like all spring and I also got addicted to Supernatural, so I spent a fair amount of my very limited free time watching that, instead of writing. I also lost a lot of inspiration for this. Don't get me wrong; season 2 of Arrow was just plain epic! But it definitely changed a lot of things that I was originally planning in this story and what I originally thought of the show and then I was just really lazy and unsure of how I wanted to continue this story.
Like for instance, I really hated Laurel this season. She was just so selfish. I had been neutral to really trying to like her since I assumed that she and Oliver would end up together in season 1. On the flip side, I really really liked Felicity in this season. I didn't dislike her in season 1, I was just skeptical to what the writers would do with her and I really liked it in season 2 and can't wait to learn more about her family in season 3. So yeah, that changed a bit of the dynamics of this story a little bit as you'll see in this chapter since originally Felicity didn't have much of a part and Laurel had a bigger one. That will change from now on. I just...I don't like Laurel. Hopefully she can be redeemed a bit in season 3, until then, I'm sort of writing her out of this story and bringing in Olicity as upcoming chapters will show.
I'm not sure how many more I will do, I have a few points that I really want to reach, if I add more between them or just time skip to them, we'll see. I'm currently applying to college and stuff so I'm really busy. Anyways, enough of my ramblings enjoy.
Current Month: September
The New Archer in Town
Chapter Twenty-One: The Beginning
"Artemis? I'm Bette, your new student liaison." A voice to the right of Artemis says. Artemis spins around, no longer adjusting her uncomfortable, itchy blue skirt. The girl to her right had perfect curly blonde hair that fell perfectly around her shoulders and blue eyes. The uniform also didn't look too large or uncomfortable on her like it did on Artemis. "Welcome to Gotham Academy."
"My what?" Artemis was about to ask, but a boy runs up and quickly snaps a picture of the two of them, interrupting her.
"We'll laugh about this someday." The boy states before running off.
"Uh...who was that?" Artemis asks and was also thinking,
"A sophomore, ignore him." Bette says, beginning to walk away. Artemis quickly follows after her. "It's not often we get new students as juniors, especially Wayne Foundation Scholarship recipitants."
"I guess I'm just unique then." Artemis mumbles. When she decided to move back in with her mom, she had assumed that she would just be going to Gotham North High School with her classmates from Gotham North Middle School. She hadn't expected to actually get the stupid scholarship. Now she was stuck here for two years.
Gotham Academy was a fancy school that much was evident. It was even nicer then SCSE. She was really missing her old school right now. She had talked to Harry and Lori over chat last night and she really missed them. It was almost like after admitting everything that bothered her, she was able to move on and continue her friendship with Harry and Lori. She had moved on with everyone except for Oliver. He was the only one, besides herself and her father, which she was still mad at.
"So this is the quad." Bette states, pulling Artemis out of her thoughts. "Most of the school is situated..."
She tuned Bette out again. She just wanted this day to be over so she could go to the Cave and be with her friends. Starting over again at a new school reminded her too much of her first day at SCSE, when Oliver had dropped her off. A small smile came to her face when she thought about how she and Harry had instantly clashed and about her first meeting with Jackson.
She would give anything to rewind four years and go back to that.
"Hey." Wally says as she walks into the kitchen. "How was the first day?"
"Fine." Artemis says, smiling at Raquel and Connor who were also present. She took a seat next to Wally at the counter, resting her head on his shoulder. "Just tiring. Gotham Academy is freaking huge."
"Gotham Academy is such a pretentious name for a school." Raquel states.
"Oh, it is. You should have listened to some of the people I met today." Artemis lowers her voice. "My name is Chad Toadsworth the Fourth. This past summer I spent my time switching between my villa in the Italian Countryside and my mansion in the Hamptons."
"You impersonating Gotham Academy people?" Robin asks, appearing out of nowhere.
"How do you know?" Connor asks.
"I live in Gotham City guys, I know what Gotham Academy people sound like." Robin tells them, perching himself on the kitchen counter. "By the way guys, I'm changing my name."
"What?" Wally asks as a slow jovial smile spread across Robin's face.
"You'll see in three, two, one..."
"Team, please report to the Mission Room." Batman's voice says. Raquel, Connor, Artemis, and Wally all give him strange looks as they proceed to get up and make their way into the mission room. There Kaldur, M'gann, and Zatanna joined them, as well as Batman and a boy in a Robin costume, different then the one the current Robin was in. The team all did double takes, looking back and forth between the two Robins.
"What's going on?" Raquel states.
"Team, meet the new Robin." Batman says, pointing to the new boy. "He is my new protégé."
"What about your old one?" Wally says, looking over at Robin their friend.
"I'm going to start going by a new name, you guys can start calling me Nightwing." Robin says with a smile.
"One of these days I will figure out your real name. That will just make this all easier." Artemis grumbles.
"Well, new Robin, let me be the first to welcome you to the team." Kaldur says, moving towards the boy to shake his hand. "I'm Aqualad, but they all call my Kaldur."
"I know who you all are." The boy says. "Nice to meet you all finally."
"Well, this is different." Connor states, voicing what they were all thinking. Everyone in the Mission Room, except for Batman, began to laugh.
Oliver jumped down, done with the salmon ladder for the day. Grabbing a towel and wiping the sweat off his face, he walked over towards where Felicity was typing away at her computer, an annoyed look on her face.
"What's up?" Oliver questions. She spins around, the annoyed expression still present.
"Oh you know, just dealing with the usual break up stuff." Felicity says before turning back around and facing the computer screen.
"Wait, you and Nate broke up?" Oliver asks. Felicity nods.
"It just wasn't working out, for either of us. We both just weren't meant to be." Felicity says with a sigh, angrily pressing a key on her keyboard. "I just think it was such a waste. We had such a great friendship and then we had to go and ruin it. I mean, we said we would stay friends but we all know that that never works out. It's just...relationships are stupid."
Oliver nods his head in agreement, much to Felicity's surprise. "Everything alright between you and Laurel?"
"No. Something is definitely up with her lately. She's just been...distant and easily angered. I...between her and Artemis, I'm at my wits end with women. Your kind needs to be much more simple." Oliver states.
"My kind?" Felicity asks, spinning back around to face him with an eyebrow raised. "Maybe your kind just needs to catch up."
Oliver cracks a smile, relaxing against the table. The rest of the Foundry was quiet. Diggle was out with Lyla, taking the night off. Laurel was...somewhere, she wasn't replying to his texts. And then Artemis and Roy had as good as left the team. Artemis still wouldn't speak to him and Roy was still...missing? He had told Oliver before he left that he needed to do some soul searching, but Oliver was beginning to think that that soul searching had turned into a brand new life somewhere away from Starling City.
"I sent a message to Artemis today." Felicity says softly.
"Why are you telling me?" Oliver asks. "You can do whatever you want Felicity."
"I know. I just wanted you to know. I still think you're being an idiot."
"She's the one not talking to me."
"Maybe you're not trying hard enough." Felicity tells him, spinning back around to face her computer. "By the way, police scanners just picked up on an alarm at Starling Medical going off. You going?"
Oliver pushes himself off the table, walking over to the case and grabbing his bow. He stared at it for a moment as memories from the island quickly flickered in front of his eyes like they did every time he picked it up.
"Yeah, might as well. Somebody needs to do it."
"I'm really happy you decided to meet with me Artemis." Felicity says with a smile, placing her napkin on her lap. Artemis does the same, eyeing Felicity suspiciously.
"It's nothing. I was in town visiting Harry and Lori." Artemis says, evenly, staring down at the menu to avoid eye contact with Felicity.
"How are they?" Felicity asks.
"Fine." Artemis responds.
"How's your mom?"
"Is anything not fine?" Artemis gives Felicity a pointed look over the menu and Felicity laughs nervously. "Yes, stupid question to ask."
The waiter interrupted them, taking their lunch orders. Felicity ordered a salad while Artemis got a Turkey Club. With the waiter gone, Felicity turned her attention back to Artemis.
"Why am I here Felicity? It's not like you've talked to me that much since I left the team." Artemis says evenly.
"That's why we're here. I'm so sorry Artemis. Wally called..."
"Wally set you up to this?" Artemis asks in disbelief. Felicity quickly shakes her head.
"No, no, no, no. This was my idea. He contacted us after your fight with your father. He told us about what you said, about being angry, and I realized that I had been so worried about Oliver, that I forgot about my mini sister. I forgot about my favorite person to have movie nights with and make fun of all the characters with." Felicity says, looking truly apologetic. "I'm so sorry Artemis, you deserve so much better."
Artemis was shocked and completely taken aback. She had come here expecting Felicity to plead with her to talk with Oliver or something. She hadn't been expecting an apology and she wasn't quite sure how to react.
"Diggle had been planning on coming, but something came up and Oliver needed his assistance."
"I understand." Artemis said. "I guess...I guess...I forgive you Felicity. I'm not ready for things to go back to the way they were though. I...I need to figure things out with Oliver to do that."
"That's fine with me. But Artemis, can I offer some advice?" Felicity asks.
"Sure, why not. You're paying for my food." Felicity gives a small smile.
"Oliver is a complicated guy, I know that you know that and probably don't think it is that big of a deal at this point, but it still is. He was on an island for five years, except for some excursions to mainland China, but nonetheless, he saw things, experienced things that none of us will ever truly know or understand. I don't think we'll ever know every detail of what happened during those five years because despite everything, Oliver has chosen to bare the brunt of that force on his own." Felicity explains.
"He's seen darkness and thinks he sees it in himself. You are a light in his life and I'm almost a hundred percent certain that what he said to you came from a place of fear of extinguishing your light with his own darkness. You've already been hurt by people in your life, he doesn't want to be included on that list."
"Well too bad, he is now."
"I never said he was smart Artemis. Oliver is impulsive, he sees you getting to close to him and gets scared and says things that I doubt he really means. He loves you Artemis as a daughter, even if he won't admit to it." Felicity concludes.
Artemis is quiet for a moment, staring at her hands in her lap.
"You alright?" Felicity asks. "I'm not used to you being this quiet."
"I'm alright." Artemis says. "Thank you Felicity."
Felicity just smiles, unrolls her napkin, and places it on her lap. "Now, I want to hear more about your new school. And Wally, give me the details."
For the first time in a while, Felicity smiled.
"I don't think I like new Robin very much." Wally says, plopping next to Artemis on her bed. She looked up over the book she was reading.
"Did I invite you in here?" Artemis asks. Wally just grins, grabbing on of her pillows and resting it between his back and the wall. Artemis spun around, placing her legs over Wally's lap. "He's not that bad."
"He filled all of my shoes with cream cheese. It was disgusting." Wally states. "Plus, he insulted M'gann's cooking, asked Raquel if she had a purpose on this team, called Kaldur fish boy, and had a temper tantrum when Zatanna beat him in combat training."
"Okay, maybe he's a little dislikeable." Artemis says. "But, I'm sure he's just adjusting."
"Why are you so quick to defend him?" Wally questions.
"Because he's a lot like me. Kid who grew up in North Gotham, crappy family, no good authority figures in his life, he's what you would expect." Artemis says.
"You didn't grow up in Gotham, you grew up in Starling."
"I didn't move to Starling until I was twelve. I was on my way to becoming Robin. It's...it's...because of Oliver I ended up different." Artemis says quietly, realization dawning on her. "Oliver is the reason I'm the way I am today. He...He showed me a better life with a real family, authority figures, and opportunities to actually be someone to be proud of. I would be nothing without Oliver. He trained me, comforted me when I had nightmares, gave me a home, gave me a family, even if he doesn't want to be part of that."
Wally is quiet for a moment, contemplating. "So I guess your talk with Felicity went well?"
"Yeah." Artemis says. "It was nice to have her. And then I talked with Diggle for like three hours on the phone yesterday. I guess the only one left is Laurel and Oliver."
"You should talk to them." Wally encourages. "You were happier with them. I like seeing you happy."
"Cheesy." Artemis comments.
"Fine, your happiness makes me want to puke." Wally corrects, making Artemis laugh. "Never smile again. We're going Goth."
When their laughter dies, Wally looks at her in the eye, completely serious.
"You should really go talk to them. You don't need to forgive them, but at least begin to work things out okay?" Artemis smiles softly, spinning around to rest her head on Wally's shoulder.
"Okay." Artemis says. "What would I do without you?" Wally gently kissed her temple.
"Well, you would probably be a lot meaner for starters." Wally says.
Artemis decided to stop in front of Laurel's apartment first. They hadn't talked in a few weeks. Last time Artemis stopped by, she spent the whole time talking about work and then complaining about some relationship issues she had had with Oliver. Artemis had left sooner then she had wanted too and hadn't talked to her since.
"Artemis." Laurel greeted her, eyes red rimmed and glassy.
"Laurel? Is everything alright?" Artemis questioned.
"Oh yeah, just peachy." Laurel opens the door widely, ushering her in. Artemis tentatively stepped through the door, a bad feeling settling in the base of her spine. Artemis followed Laurel into her living room, completely shocked to see all the empty alcohol bottles and pill containers on the coffee table. "Oops, I guess I forgot to clean up."
Artemis stared at Laurel wide eyed, wondering what had happened to the cheery woman who used to pick her up from school when Oliver couldn't.
"Laurel...what happened?" Artemis asked.
"Well I guess it began after you left. Oliver began to "rethink" things in his life and how he behaved. Then he found out about some "underhanded" things I did to become the new Assistant DA last night and decided to break up with me."
"Oliver broke up with you?" Artemis questions.
"I'm sure there is more to the story." Artemis says, surprising herself with how quick she came to Oliver's defense. That was when something switched in Laurel's eyes.
"Who do you think you are coming into my house and saying that?" Laurel says, her voice rising. "And to top it all off, I got fired today because I showed up "high" and "drunk". Who do they think you are?"
"So it's Oliver's fault that you showed up high and drunk to work? And it's Oliver's fault that you did underhand things to get your new job? And it's Oliver's fault that everything goes wrong in your life?"
"He's the reason my sister is dead. He's the reason why Tommy is dead. He couldn't save them." Laurel takes a step closer to Artemis, reeking of alcohol.
"So that is what this is about. Have you felt that they whole time?" Laurel shrugs. "If you did, why would you have even dated him in the first place?"
"It's complicated Artemis, adult stuff. We have history."
"I'm not a child." Laurel laughs.
"Of course you are. You throw temper tantrums and then act all high and mighty when any of us show any faults. I can see the judgment in your eyes Artemis. You run away from your problems and bury your head in the sand." Her voice was becoming more and more jumbled, but the words continued to hit home. "You're a failure and no one has the heart to tell you. You failed Oliver, you failed me, you failed your friends, you failed your team, and you failed Jackson. God, as soon as you and Oliver get in one fight, you run away. And then try to whine to me about it when I don't care!"
"At least I'm not having a pity party." With that, Artemis walked away and out the door.
"Brat!" Laurel shouted after her. Artemis closed the door, drawing in a shaky breath. She...she had always thought she could rely on Laurel. With a sob, Artemis sank to the floor, her bank against the wall.
She wrapped her arms around her legs, burying her face against her knees. Yes Laurel was drunk and obviously high, but those words needed to come from somewhere.
"Artemis?" Artemis looked up, seeing Oliver kneeling in front of her. "Why you crying?"
"What are you doing here?" Artemis asked tentatively.
"Felicity caught a glimpse of you walking into Laurel's apartment building. I was hoping I could stop you from seeing her like that."
"I honestly don't know Artemis." Oliver said. "Laurel...Laurel is complicated. I've been trying to hide that from you for years, but I guess I failed. Did she say anything to you?"
"Nothing of importance. Just a lot of drunk babbling."
"It must have been important to make you cry." Oliver said. "Artemis, I'm so sorry for my actions. They were unwarranted. I was just...I was scared. Seeing you there, it hit home to me how much you relied on me and I was scared that I was just going to let you down like everyone else. For some reason, letting you done, it made everything in my body ache and left me thinking I couldn't breathe."
Without thinking, Artemis sprung out, latching her arms around his neck. Surprised, Oliver took a moment before returning the hug.
"I don't quite forgive you, but...I want to try again okay? I won't call you dad or try to insist we're a family or anything again. You can just be my mentor. I'll continue to live with my mom and you'll be my mentor, that'll work." Artemis says as the two of them stand up.
"That will be great." Oliver says. Artemis gives a small smile, turning to begin to walk away. Oliver frowned for a moment, before continuing after her. This should be what he wants, but why did it seem so wrong?
A/N: Wow, finally. This word document has been in existence since like February. I could just never find the time or inspiration to write it. So yeah, this will still be on semi Hiatus for at least the fall as I apply to college and need to focus on that. Hopefully I'll get another one or two in this fall, but I can't promise anything. Sorry and please don't constantly write reviews to tell me to update. I won't forget about this story and will see it through, I promise, have faith in me people. :)