This is yet another fic for the "35 Days of Arrow" Challenge on Tumblr (created by #Hoodsmoaked). This time the prompt is "The Lance Family".

This is my first fic involving Laurel. I like her, even though I am currently disappointed with the way her character is written and despite being an Olicity shipper. Laurel Lance is a strong character that deserves more than she is currently given. Any hate will not be tolerated.

Some days Laurel felt like she was living some really vivid nightmare. In this nightmare, her mother had left them, her father had turned into an alcoholic who only cared about his work, her own sister had betrayed her in the worst way possible and then had robbed Laurel the right to be mad at her by dying. Because how on Earth are you supposed to be mad at your dead sister.

And then there was Laurel herself, who up until six months ago knew exactly what direction she wanted her life to take. But now, all those dreams and aspirations seemed far away, unreachable.

She no longer knew who she was, or what she wanted to do with her life. She had watched the people closest to her fall apart and all she could do was watch from the sidelines, unable to help.

She remembered telling Oliver that the reason she became a lawyer was because of her father's work and love for the law. That was only partially true. The other, more important reason was that lawyers help people - at least good, uncorrupt ones do - their goal is to make sure that the helpless get the support they need.

Her dreams weren't the only thing she was missing, though.

Her mother was still gone and it seemed like she had no intentions of coming back. Her father was always busy with either a case or chasing after the vigilante all over the city. And her sister… Her sister was still dead.

She was all alone, with not one soul who could share her troubles.

Joanna had moved away after that night and Laurel couldn't blame her. She would have done the same had she not been tied to Starling City.

Thea Queen, whom she'd come to regard as a little sister throughout the years stopped talking to her as well. And the times she did call, the conversation was awkward - not at all like one between friends should be like. It had hurt her more than it should have, when Thea stopped reaching out to her. It felt like loosing her sister all over again…

And then there was Ollie - her lifelong friend and ex-boyfriend. But then again, he might as well have still been on the Island. No matter how hard he tried to hide it, she could see that the person she used to know was gone had no idea who this new Oliver Queen was and it didn't seem like he was eager to let her know him. But even if it weren't so, she couldn't bare to be in his presence now. Not any more than polite conversation deemed necessary.

They had a lot of hurtful history between them, too much of it for them to be like they used to. Oliver did make it clear that even though he agreed with her he still wanted them to remain friends. Laurel couldn't bear that, though. She couldn't stand to be close to him, because every time she laid eyes on him he reminded her of that horrible mistake they made after she and Tommy had broken up. The one thing that ended up costing her the one man that she could have shared her future with. The one who had accepted her with all her flaws and merits and loved her, until the very end.

Pretending she was living in a nightmare and that she would wake up soon was sometimes the only thing that got her through the darkness. And on her darkest days she could swear she hears Tommy's voice whispering and pleading with her not to give up. That she was Dinah Laurel Lance and she never gave up.

And in those moments, Laurel was reminded of why she shouldn't give in to the desire to join Tommy on whatever cloud he was resting on. She knew that if there was anyone who could bring her family back together and could wake her from her nightmare was herself, and herself only.