A Warning would have been Nice
Disclaimer: I don't own any of this.
One last chapter to finished everything up. Thank you to everyone who enjoyed this piece, I really didn't expect all the lovely reviews and comments.
One last note: I know Felicity dyes her hair but for the sake of the story, I'll pretend it's natural. Although the scene where Oliver checked her hair was adorable.
Loraine Smoak had only been struck speechless three times in her entire life.
The first was when David asked her to marry him. The second was when the nurse handed her baby Felicity. Both times were etched into her mind as her most precious moments. The third time, however, was less precious and more traumatising.
Loraine blinked at the people staring back at her, not a word coming from her mouth. David was by her side, patting her hand while their daughter watched them both like a hawk. They were trying to give her time to process what she had just learned. It wasn't everyday that your future son-in-law tells you that he's a superhero.
"She's not saying anything," Roy whispered to Diggle, "She's quiet-I didn't even think that was physically possible for her. Should we call someone?"
Diggle gave him a warning look from the corner of his eye and they both went back to examining the Smoaks. They were all in the living room of the Queen Mansion, with Loraine and David sitting on one of the couches. Loraine' silence filled the room more than any party ever did. Finally, she managed to say something.
"Are you drunk?!"
Oliver visibly startled and let out a strangled "No!"
Loraine didn't buy it for a second and she leaned forward to try and smell his breath. "You don't smell intoxicated-he doesn't smell intoxicated. Oliver, please don't tell me you are on one of those crazy new drugs. Is my daughter marrying a secret drug addict?!"
"Mom!" Felicity exclaimed, "Oliver isn't drunk or high, he's fully within his senses. He really is Starling City's hero."
Loraine huffed, the realization sinking in. "Oliver...you really are that Arrow person?"
Oliver, who was thinking about hiding behind Felicity or escaping out the window, nodded.
"I can't believe this!" Loraine screeched.
Roy really did hide behind Diggle at this point.
Felicity grabbed Oliver's hand, her diamond engagement ring cool against his skin. Loraine was beginning to get worked up, her hands flapping while David seemed to be staying somewhat calm. "My daughter is marrying a man who shoots arrows and wears tighter pants than she does!"
Roy burst out laughing and Loraine's laser beam glare zeroed in his direction. Diggle-who was not going to take the fall for him-stepped to the side and let Roy be seen. Oliver, who saw his opening, pointed at Roy and exclaimed, "He's a superhero too!"
"Dude!" Roy said, "What did I ever do to you?!"
"You're the red one? The teenager is the red one and that's another thing no one chose to tell me?"
Felicity moved forward to sit on the coffee table in front of her mom. "This is very important, Mom; Oliver does so many good things in the city and keeping this secret is a burden not easily given. But now that we are getting married, we wanted you to know."
Loraine stared at her, her eyes nearly twitching. Felicity suddenly felt seven years old again and had gotten caught taking extra cookies from the pantry.
"Now you wanted me to know? You thought a few months before the wedding was the perfect time to tell me that Oliver Queen is a crime fighting superhero! And you! You probably click away on your computer finding everything out for him don't you?"
Felicity could only nod and Loraine quickly stood up from her seat and started pacing. "My daughter helps superheroes in fighting dangerous criminals-my daughter is marrying a superhero! And Diggle is clearly involved here as well; he's always been near Oliver's side- even if Roy is the one playing Mario to his Luigi."
Roy looked slightly confused and offended but Loraine turned back to the group with such fire in her eyes that he didn't dare ask. She seemed to tremble with anger for a moment before turning to David.
"How long have you know about this?"
David shrugged, replying quietly with, "Since we first met him. He really is doing good things sweetheart."
Loraine nodded once and then turned on her heel and stormed out of the room. The group barely moved until Roy let out a sigh of relief and said, "That was more stressful than meeting Oliver for the first time."
Felicity and David both got up to go after Loraine but Oliver stopped them. "I think this time, I should be the one to talk to her," he said, buttoning his suit jacket closed. He nodded to David and looked at Felicity.
"If I'm not back in fifteen minutes, send Roy and Diggle; make sure they are armed with the tasers."
Felicity gave him a look but he kissed her cheek and followed Loraine. He found her outside, on the porch. She was staring straight ahead, one hand pressed against her cheek.
"Loraine, please let me explain."
"There's no need," she said quietly. She took a breath and then added, "I always knew that the island must have affected you more than you said. I just never would have guessed that being a hero would be it."
Oliver didn't know what answers she wanted; he hadn't been just a vigilante in years but being a hero was still a dangerous job. "Loraine, I just want you know that I protect Felicity with everything I have. She does so much good for this city and for others; I couldn't do this job without her. I-."
"She's been involved with this from beginning, hasn't she? All this time..." Loraine took a deep breath, folding her hands in front of her.
"I have always tried to keep her safe-."
"Oliver sweetheart, stop." Loraine patted his shoulder, smiling slightly. "I know that you're trying to comfort me but I know 'Licity and I know you. You have this tendency to place all the blame on yourself, even when it is not deserved. 'Licity has always had a mind of her own and I do not doubt that she chose to join you of her own free will. And since then, I'm sure she's been speaking her mind."
The look on Oliver's face said it all.
Loraine nodded, appearing far calmer. "I'm sorry I got a bit crazy in there. I think the idea of my daughter facing danger like the kind you deal with, is going to take some getting used to. But give me time; I know that you are doing a lot of good work."
Oliver was beyond surprised; he had expected much worse than this. "Thank you Loraine," he replied, "And please don't blame David for keeping the secret."
Loraine laughed, patting his arm this time. "Oh Oliver, I've been married to him for nearly thirty years and I've learned that David knows more things than most people. As soon as you told me, I knew that David knew. I do have one question though?"
Oliver welcomed it and Loraine asked, "A while back, I visited Felicity as a surprise and she joked about having three handsome men in her room. Was that...?"
He nodded and Loraine laughed loudly.
Oliver grinned, and then turned when the door opened. Roy nearly sprinted out onto the porch and skidded to a stop in front of him.
"Felicity is kind of freaking out," he said quickly, "She told me to tell Loraine to come back inside."
Oliver replied, "In a minute."
Roy suddenly looked like a frightened six year old, with wide eyes and twitching hands. "But Oliver," he hissed, "she used her Loud Voice."
"And there's my genes," Loraine said proudly, before turning on her heel and heading back inside.
Roy and Oliver stood on the porch watching her stride back into the living room.
"That's you future mother-in-law," Roy stated.
"Yup," Oliver said, "And there is only one upside that situation-she thinks of you as a son as well. If I'm going down then you are coming with me."
"You wanted to be partners."
"I'm not that loyal."
Eleven Years Later
Oliver Queen considered himself a hard man to scare. The boy who landed on that island was easily frightened but he had honed himself into a man with nerves of iron. He had faced assassins, pirates, knives, guns and a near city destroying situation. None of it truly made him afraid; not after all he had been through, not for all the good he had yet to do.
But an angry Loraine Smoak scared the crap out of him.
"The next person who badmouths my family is getting my purse shoved down their throat!"
Oliver barely heard his mother-in-law say this because she had hopped out of his car while it was still moving. Granted, Diggle was parking the car outside the Starling City Academy but it was still alarming. Oliver hurried after her, forgetting Diggle's chuckles from the front seat.
"Loraine please! I promise David that I wouldn't let you get arrested this time!" he exclaimed but Loraine was already through the front doors of the school.
The Academy had called him on his way from picking Loraine up from the airport and after he explained the situation, she demanded that they go there immediately. The two of them marched down the wide corridor until they saw the sign for the principal's office. Turning the corner, they were greeted by the sight of a boy sitting outside the door on a bench. His uniform was dirty and ripped on the sleeve, his lip was bruised and his blonde hair was sticking up in every direction. Oliver took this all in, caught between anger and care and just wanting to sweep this boy into a hug. Every time he saw him, Oliver couldn't help but want to reach out to his son. A son with his father's eyes, his mother's hair and all of his namesake's charm.
Blue eyes snapped up to see them both standing there. Then they widened as the ten year old choked out, "Grandma?! What are you doing here?"
Loraine descended on her grandson, peppering his face with kisses before saying, "It was a surprise for the weekend! But now I hear that these people are accusing you of starting a fight in the playground?!"
Oliver whispered to her, "These people are the finest educators in the city-."
"Finest educators my ass! They can't tell the difference between my innocent grandson and a bunch of idiots."
Tommy's mouth is still hanging open; Oliver was starting to worry that someone would hear Loraine and call the authorities. Again.
"Loraine, I think Tommy has been waiting here a while. Would you mind going to find him a drink so he doesn't get thirsty?"
It was a weak idea but the only thing Loraine loved more that yelling at people was doting on her grandkids.
"Oh, of course! I'll get you some water sweetheart," she said, patting Tommy's head. Then she leaned down and murmured to him, "You kept your thumb outside your fist when you punched them right?"
Tommy tried not laugh and replied, "Yes, Grandma."
She nodded happily and sauntered off down the corridor. Oliver sat down heavily beside his son. He watched Loraine turn the corner before saying, "I don't know what's worse: lying to her or letting her walk around unsupervised."
Tommy laughed again but looked at his father with a worried gaze. Oliver sighed and clasped his hands together in front of him. "What happened?"
Tommy sighed, messing with the hem of his blazer. "These couple of guys have been giving me trouble for a couple of days; making fun of me because I'm Oliver Queen's son. Their parents say you don't deserve you place as CEO and that we're just a laughing stock."
Oliver was seeing red but he took a deep breath and asked, "So you punched them?"
Tommy shook his head. "No, I ignored them. Even if Lucas Carter is an annoying stupid-head."
Oliver grinned, patting his son's shoulder. "Well, I am happy you took the high road but I wish you had told me or your mom before this. And it doesn't explain the fight the teacher broke up."
Tommy frowned at his father, shrugging. "It was no big deal and has nothing to do with you or me. Carter was picking on Jenny Brookes because her painting for the school art show awesome and the guy can't draw a stick man."
Oliver's eyebrows flew upwards at his son's sudden angry tone. He waited for a moment before saying, "So, you started fighting with some boys because a girl you know was being picked on? You did what you said you would never do for a girl?"
Well, that sounded very familiar.
Tommy, however, shook his head. "No, don't be silly! I was just-they were getting on my last nerve and anyway I was just...dehydrated..."
"Dehydrated? Is that what the kids are calling it these days?"
He's been waiting his entire adult life to say that.
Tommy scowled at his father and Oliver tried not to smile at how much he looked like Felicity when he did it. "It's not a big deal Dad ok? I know what I did was wrong and I am sorry. Trust me, next time I will defiantly tell a teacher."
Oliver looked down the corridor again but didn't spot Loraine so he took the chance to talk a little more. "Well I am glad to hear that. But what I want to know is how does being teased by those boys make you feel? I know it can't be easy being "Oliver Queen's son". I just don't want you paying for any decisions that I make."
What he meant was that he didn't want Tommy to think he was some lazy CEO who let others pick up the slack for him-which is exactly the image he had to put out there to protect his secret identity. He just worried about what his children had to deal with because of that image.
Instead of looking sad, Tommy actually grinned, his spilt lip only causing him some pain. "Come on Dad; you know I don't care about that. They can say all they like about you and so can their parents. I know the truth."
Oliver stared at him, really, really hoping that he wasn't going to have to have the "I'm the city's hero please don't tell anyone" speech just yet. Tommy looked him up and down, eyes slightly narrowed; so very like his mother again.
"I don't know what it is about you, Dad but you do a lot more for Starling City then people know. Don't ask me how I know, I just do. So, Carter can say anything he wants; he's still just some idiot."
Oliver felt a warm grin spread over his face and he wrapped Tommy in a one armed hug. "I'm proud of you kid," he said, "But you still have to face Mom when you get home."
Tommy winched before replying, "It can't be as bad as what Grandma is going to say to the Principal when she gets going. Seriously Dad? You thought bringing her along was a good idea? That's like bring a grenade to a knife fight."
Oliver nodded, sighing slightly. "You know I love your Grandma like a second mother but telling her what to do is not something I ever want to try."
Footsteps from down the hallway made them both look up and Oliver frowned when he saw his daughter making her way towards them. At the top of the corridor, Loraine was arguing with a teacher, who looked terrified.
"Megan?" he said, "What are doing here?"
His eight year old sat herself down beside her brother on the bench, smoothing down her skirt and jumper neatly before saying anything. "The teacher sent me here."
"I punched Lucas Carter in the face."
Oliver was too shocked to speak but Tommy managed to say, "What? He's two years older and a foot taller than you."
Megan looked him straight in the eye. "And he cries like Uncle Roy after he broke his favourite bow."
Tommy looked at his father, who gulped. "Your sister has more of your Grandma's genes than you do," Oliver explained.
Felicity was, as expected, furious that both her children had gotten into trouble. However, she and Loraine both had strong words to say to the school about bullying and what could be done about it. Since it was a Friday, they agreed to let things be until Monday morning and celebrated having the weekend with Grandma Loraine and Granddad David, who had flown in that evening after a late meeting at the store.
Oliver found himself sitting in his living room after dinner, the fire on and a game of Monopoly spread out on the coffee table. Roy, Diggle and Moira were the only ones still playing; mostly because the boys were too stubborn to quit and Moira was trying to be peacemaker between them. Loraine and Thea were chatting away by the window seat; their meeting has been as traumatic as Oliver had expected. Thea had told Loraine every embarrassing story that she knew about Oliver and the two women had gotten along great ever since.
Felicity was sitting on the couch across from him, her legs tucked underneath her as Tommy read aloud to her from one of his new books. She was stroking his hair almost automatically while he sat beside her. Evening like these were rare, since everyone was so busy and someone usually needed saving.
Oliver looked down at Megan, who was curled up in his lap.
"Do we have to go to bed soon?" she whined and Oliver chuckled.
"I'm afraid so, but you do get an extra few minutes of a story because it's not a school night."
Tommy's head shot up when he heard this and he asked, "Can we have a story about the Arrow? Your stories about him are so cool."
"No!" Megan complained, "Those can be really scary stories."
She looked up at her father, with her mother's eyes and said, "Don't you have any happy stories?"
Oliver blinked and he looked up to see Felicity shaking her head with a smile.
Happy stories? This was his happy story. Not in a million years did he think that this moment, filled with family, was exactly what he needed. If someone had told the old Oliver, the one before the island, that this would be his future, he would have taken it as a warning and ran the other way. The Oliver on the island just wouldn't have believed it; he was too focused, too damaged. But after all these years, after so much heartbreak, victory and confusion, he was right where he wanted to be.
So he looked down at his daughter before glancing at his son and sending his wife a wink. "I do have this really good story," he said. And he did-he just needed a better opening than, "One day, Grandma Moira shot me."
Megan stared up at him while Tommy closed his book to pay attention. Felicity looked highly amused.
"It all started when a man spilt a latte on his laptop..."