My continuation of 1x23, so set right after the season one end. It got away from me and instead of a one-shot became 4 chapters long.

Spoilers for the entire first season.

Not likely how the second season will start, but hey that's what fanfiction is for.

UPDATE (26/7/13): Due to popular demand this story is continued in a companion piece, called Consequences. This story was written as a beginning and is purposely open-ended, but for those who want to read on, visit my profile. Thanks to all who have reviewed and followed.


Priorities

Chapter 1

"Tommy. Tommy, open your eyes," Oliver pleaded. Not his best friend, not the person that was always there for him, no matter what fight they were having. Not his brother. "Tommy, please."

"Oliver!"

Oliver shot his head up in surprise, only now hearing someone climbing through the rubble towards them. "Digg?"

"I thought you might want some backup," he explained, moving towards Tommy's prone body, not mentioning the call he had received from Felicity, explaining the reports that several of the buildings on CNRI's street had collapsed. Taking in the gruesome sight of the iron rod protruding from the young man's chest his military training kicked in. He reached for Tommy's neck while Oliver watched on. "He's still got a pulse, Oliver," he said elatedly, immediately moving around in a flurry.

"How?" Oliver's voice cracked. "He's not breathing!"

"Then breathe for him," Diggle ordered, inspecting the iron rod. Very carefully he moved the rubble under Tommy, revealing the other end. Stripping out of his jacket and shirt, wincing at his own injuries, he wrapped a make-shift bandage around Tommy's torso, putting pressure on both sides of the wound and steadying the rod so it wouldn't move and do more damage. "If we can get him to a hospital in the next five minutes he might be able to make it."

Oliver's eyes widened and he immediately began to breathe air into his friend's lungs with a new hope. "Call my helicopter," he ordered Diggle between breaths, "and find something to use as a stretcher."

If it was possible to save Tommy then that's what he would do.


Felicity ducked subconsciously as the support beams above her groaned under pressure, but didn't stop monitoring the data streams, news feeds and police radio she had hacked into. From the basement of Verdant she was very possibly the only person in the whole city able to see the whole picture of the destruction of the Glades. She suppressed another sob and redirected an ambulance to a different hospital that had more room.

Her earpiece crackled and Diggle's voice came through, "Felicity, I need you to send the Queen's helicopter to CNRI, with medical provisions."

"Laurel?" she asked already searching the Queen server for the right network. She found it and requested an urgent flight.

"No, Tommy. It's not looking good."

"The chopper is on the way, five minutes tops. I've alerted the nearest hospital to look for an incoming helicopter. Detective Lance was heading to CNRI last I heard. If you find him get him to organise any other injured people onto the helicopter. That includes you, John."

"Roger that. Stay safe, Felicity."

He hung up on her before she could say she would. And that was when the next aftershock hit.

The support beams screamed in protest and without thinking Felicity threw herself under her desk. The electricity finally gave out and she was thrown into darkness as the ceiling collapsed.


Ripping apart one of the cheap wooden bookshelves in the law office Diggle produced a piece of wood that was long enough to act as a stretcher.

"Got it," he shouted, returning to Oliver who was still breathing for his friend. "How's his pulse?"

He paused to answer and then went right back to EAR. "Slow but mostly steady."

"That's good. Now, we just have to get him outside. We can go through the side entrance but then you'll have to disappear."

"I can't-"

"You're the Hood right now in case you forgot."

Oliver swore. "We'll get him outside and then you can go get Lance. I'll disappear and hopefully reappear as Oliver in time for the chopper. I think there is a cloths shop I can borrow from a few doors down. We can say that I was at Verdant making sure everyone was out."

"Alright, man. Now are you ready for this?"

Oliver nodded and together they rolled Tommy's body onto the improvised stretcher.


"Tommy," Laurel screamed again, her father holding her back from entering CNRI, Joanna standing to the side in shock.

Detective Lance looked over the half-collapsed building, hoping for his daughter's sake that Merlyn was going to walk out any second, and knowing that it would be verging on impossible. There would be few miracles that night and he had no idea if his daughter was owed one.

Movement to the side of the building caught his eye. "Laurel," he ordered, holding her by both shoulders, "I need you to stay here."

"What? Dad…"

"Stay here! Joanna, make sure she stays." He pushed Laurel into her friend's arms and ran to the ruined building.

"Over here!" came a familiar voice and Lance followed it to find none other than Oliver Queen's bodyguard dragging an unconscious Tommy out of the building on a piece of wood. A second look at Tommy made the detective's stomach roll.

"Oh God." He grabbed the other end of the crude stretcher and together they walked towards the street.

"He's still got a pulse," the bodyguard, Diggle he remembered, said. "Mr Queen sent me to look for Laurel, but I found Tommy instead. Queen's helicopter is on the way, set to head for the nearest hospital. There should be another two or three spots on the chopper, so anyone else you know of that is injured needs to be brought to the middle of the street."

"How did Queen know?"

"He didn't, but was in the Glades anyway, making sure all his employees got out of Verdant. When the first quake hit he sent me here and called the chopper," he made up on the spot.

Laurel's shrill shriek of "Tommy!" broke their conversation. Lance quickly set down the stretcher in time to hold back his daughter who came running at them. A quick look down showed Diggle giving mouth-to-mouth to the young man. Laurel swayed when she saw what was wrong with her ex-boyfriend.

"Laurel, you need to help Mr Diggle help Tommy, okay?"

She pulled herself together and dropped to her knees next to them. Diggle gave her orders between breaths and she complied.

"Joanna," he said, turning to the woman. "You and me, we are going to find the most injured people in the immediate area and bring them here. There is a chopper on the way for Merlyn."

She nodded once confidently and they split off in opposite directions.

Minutes later and the sound of rotor blades cut through the screams and sounds of collapsing buildings. Returning to CNRI with a sobbing pregnant woman in his arms, Lance noticed Joanna also returning with a kid holding her hand. He was also surprised to see Oliver Queen himself half dragging a limping man down the street. He watched as Queen's face closed off when he spotted his best friend.

"It'll be tricky, but they can land on the street," he shouted over the noise, pointing at the slowly descending helicopter. It landed and the co-pilot hopped out. Ducking, he ran forward and had a few words with Oliver. Nodding, he then gestured for Tommy to be brought forward. It was a tight fit, but eventually Tommy, Laurel, the woman, the child and Diggle – still applying first aid – were loaded on.

"They'll drop them off and come back as many times as the fuel allows," Oliver shouted over the blades to the remaining man, Joanna and Lance. "We'll need to have another load of injured waiting."

Turning back to the ruined streets they started to pull people out of the rubble.