A/N – I got the absolute best reviews for the Vigilante/ Team stories but don't worry, I do know it's not because the stories are so amazing but because you guys are! :) Thank you for letting me add an Epilogue which will hopefully resolve a few outstanding points….and, who knows, may even lead to the next round! It didn't turn out as I had planned but, well, you read and let me know!
DISCLAIMER – No new claim or possession of Arrow, just playing a bit more w/o profit!
"So not a serious alarm then?" Oliver asked.
Felicity's smile was smug as she advised, "It's the fit band – apparently your heart rate is dangerously elevated." Felicity was laughing as Oliver claimed her lips and continued despite the alert.
Oliver had now moved them so Felicity's back was against the car and as his lips again moved down to her neck Felicity's head dropped back with a moan. Unfortunately when she opened her eyes to gasp as Oliver pushed her more firmly against the car she then noticed the security camera pointed in their direction.
"Oliver – wait!" Felicity's intended exclamation came out as breathy moan so she wasn't really surprised that Oliver did not pause in his attention and actually returned to kiss her lips again.
Felicity indulged them both for a moment before pulling her lips away, the rest of her body remained glued to Oliver. "The security cameras…" Felicity tried again.
The words reached some part of Oliver's brain and he did actually drop his forehead to hers and take a couple deep breaths. His words, however, shocked Felicity. "We do need to stop and I need to go see Laurel." Oliver wasn't fully focused on his own words but he as he was focused on Felicity he didn't miss when a different tension invaded her body.
He pulled back quickly to see her expression and saw the hurt morph into anger even as she met his eyes and tried to push him away. "No, not like that…as the Arrow." Oliver supplied the information quickly and watched as confusion replaced the anger.
"The Arrow…why?" Felicity then put the pieces together. "You lied about her not pressing charges?"
"No, I did not lie to you – she won't press charges. I'll go as the Arrow and advise you delivered the message. That was the deal, right?" As Oliver did feel guilty about misleading Felicity he did look away.
"Oliver, you didn't just talk her into dropping the charges?" Felicity questioned in surprise. When Diggle had told her Oliver had chased after Laurel, images of the playboy billionaire pining for his lost love had nearly destroyed Felicity. She had difficulty accepting that Laurel couldn't be persuaded by Oliver.
"I didn't even try." Oliver shrugged negligently. "I gave her some excuses and said I would try to talk to you so that if you were even in contact with the Vigilante that I would ask you to deliver her message. If it wasn't for Detective Lance I would think we should tell her you are can't make contact-"
Felicity stared at Oliver for a moment after this first statement then she kissed him soundly on the lips. It wasn't as passionate as the recent ones but it did demonstrate her joyful appreciation for the fact that he didn't do the playboy thing and try to charm his old flame. While Oliver didn't truly understand why she was happy it was enough right now that she was happy and kissing him.
Even as Oliver and Felicity enjoyed several more kisses the object of their recent discussion was in her apartment awaiting her father's arrival.
Laurel paced around her apartment trying to ignore the pull of the pill bottles hidden in her bookcase. She'd had a drink when she got in but her nerves were still frayed. Maybe I should - a knock at her door interrupted Laurel's thoughts and startled her even though she was expecting her father's visit. She had called him after the unfortunate meeting with Ollie as she wanted to let him know about the possibility of an investigation into Ms. Smoak. After all, he was the detective who originally linked her to the Vigilante crimes even if no charges were filed at that time. She had thought he would appreciate the update and that it would perhaps get him off her back if he thought she was walking the straight and narrow again. However, instead he had seemed upset and cut the call short saying he would meet her at her place so they could speak in person.
"Dad." Laurel stepped back just in time to allow her father entrance.
Quentin Lance was clearly agitated and paced a few steps back and forth before turning to his daughter. "Laurel, what did you find out about Ms. Smoak?" He was uncomfortable keeping so many secrets from his daughter and did not want to lie to her further about Felicity. However, he also felt he owed both Felicity and the Arrow so he wanted to at least try to keep Felicity out of trouble. It was a difficult balance to maintain so the former detective instinctively sought to have Laurel do the talking.
"Dad, you probably know more than I do. We are still investigating the Vigilante and the sheer number of times her name is mentioned in reports warranted follow-up. I actually spoke to her today but she was not helpful." Laurel added with a distasteful grimace.
"You spoke to her today? What happened? What did she say?" Lance jumped on the chance to get additional information.
"Not much really. Actually, I went to the club to speak to Thea as the files note Ms. Smoak is often at the Club. I thought Thea might be able to confirm the rumors but she actually got upset and shut me down rather rudely. Then, oddly enough, Ms. Smoak appeared from somewhere in the back of the club." Puzzlement was clear in Laurel's expression as she paused to consider that point again.
The back of the club? That tidbit caught Lance's attention but he just filed it away for later thought and focused on his daughter. "What rumors are you talking about? Were you able to question Ms. Smoak?"
"The rumors at QC are that she got her position as Ollie's EA by sleeping with him – she was in IT before that. It does look suspicious but I can't imagine Ollie…well, she just isn't his type." Laurel flicked her hair back over her shoulder and shrugged with little concern before she continued. "I advised her of the investigation and the potential charges against her. I was actually hoping to use her to get to the Vigilante but it's probably a wasted effort. I am not even sure she has actual contact with him." Laurel continued to underestimate Felicity and had judged the blond as someone of little consequence even to Oliver. "For all we know, she's obsessed fangirl stalking him and that's why she's a frequent visitor at crime scenes. I really don't see the Vigilante needing her for anything."
You have no idea, Lance thought and had to stifle a sudden desire to laugh as he remembered just how fiercely the Arrow had laid claim to Ms. Smoak quite recently. "So what's your next play then? Are you filing charges?"
"Well, Ollie asked for additional time. He said Ms. Smoak had been going through a rough time with her family – he seemed protective of her but I guess that's because she's his secretary and he feels sorry for her. As a personal favor to him, I gave him 24 hours to change her mind and either talk to me again or to get the Vigilante to contact me but I doubt anything will come of it."
Lance was quiet for a moment as he processed the fact that Oliver Queen had covered for Felicity and seemed protective of her. Something is not adding up…
For her part, Laurel just now remembered her dad's reaction to the news and thought she may need to ask some questions herself just as her father's phone rang. After a quick call, Lance spoke to Laurel again, "I need to get back to the precinct. Keep me posted on Ms. Smoak and be careful Laurel."
"Sure, Dad – I'll be fine." Laurel brushed a kiss across his cheek then closed the door behind him. She had just turned away from the door when the lights went off in her apartment and she heard his voice.
"You wanted to speak to me?" Oliver asked in the gravelly Arrow voice as he stood just inside her apartment.
"Yes, I wasn't sure you would get the message…it's been a while since we've spoken…I appreciate you coming here." Laurel was surprised by how quickly the Vigilante responded to her request and took that as a positive sign of his interest in her. She had lied to her father and even Ollie as there was no was no official investigation. Laurel was operating on personal motives only as she wanted the Vigilante back in her life. She didn't mind playing that game again and thought she may also be able to get her dad back on her terms as well.
"Ms. Smoak contacted a mutual associate and requested a meeting on your behalf." Oliver was unconcerned about the lie as he was determined to get Felicity off Laurel's radar.
"Ah, I didn't think she could…" Laurel smiled smugly at what she accepted as proof that Ms. Smoak was irrelevant.
"Was there something you needed?" Oliver sought to end the meeting quickly as he didn't think it was smart to be drawn back into Laurel in any manner. He was finally tentatively accepting the past was the past and that he could have a future - he also knew that future was with Felicity not Laurel.
"I just…I wanted to tell you I don't blame you for Tommy, it was a rough time for me and I lashed out." That was all Laurel was willing to admit regardless of how she had hunted the Vigilante during that time.
Oliver remained silent and waited.
"I was hoping, we could return to our previous …" Laurel trailed off nervously when he didn't immediately take action as she had thought he would. Driven by desperation she tried again, "I work for the DA now but that should mean we are on the same side, right? We could both…benefit from this…"
"I am not the vigilante you first met, Laurel. A lot has changed…it is better that we have no further contact." Oliver had no intention of explaining details to Laurel but he did want to keep her safe and discourage her intention. "It wouldn't be a smart decision for you, it would put you in danger." Oliver added as an afterthought in case that would convince her. However, Oliver didn't factor in Laurel's recent self-destructive tendencies so his strategy backfired.
Laurel took a step closer and lowered her voice to respond brazenly enough to surprise both her and the Vigilante, "So what's a little danger among friends?"
"No." Oliver growled the denial and stepped back before he added even more forcefully. "Laurel, you need to take care of yourself—"
"I'm tired of everyone acting like I'm broken and need help!" Laurel lashed out in anger before switching back to a softer, more persuasive tone. "I can take care of myself so you don't need to keep your distance. I'm sure Ms. Smoak requires such protection—"
"I chose to protect Ms Smoak—"
"But, why? She's not worthy of you…I'm sure, we could—"
No, she is better than I deserve Oliver thought but did not give voice to his feelings. "Ms. Smoak is not a topic of discussion as she's my concern, not yours. If there's nothing else…" Oliver gave her no time to respond but instead left just as abruptly as he had appeared and the lights again flicked on nearly blinding Laurel.
Once alone and at his own place, Lance thought back over the conversation with his daughter. He really didn't think Laurel would pursue Felicity, at least not with Queen's interference. If things did go further then he was sure the Arrow would find a way to protect Felicity. Laurel would certainly be upset if she knew just how badly she had underestimated Ms. Smoak – she's got two of the most powerful men in the city protecting her. Lance chuckled before he actually processed that thought. Two of the most powerful protecting one single blond IT girl…Felicity came from the back of the club? Rumors she was sleeping with Queen but the Arrow laid claim to her as well. Lance's police instincts were on alert now as he didn't believe in coincidences. And both Queen and the Arrow know both of my daughters? The Arrow has saved both of my girls. Lance couldn't help a grimace of disgust that perhaps Queen wasn't the villain he liked to think he was. Had he been as blind about Queen as Laurel was being about Felicity? It couldn't be, could it? Could Queen be the Arrow?
A/N2 – Again, not what I intended but perhaps putting Laurel in rehab would get her out of the picture?! :) Anyway, I'm toying w/ the idea of a Detective Lance based story that follows the Team Arrow/ Vigilante timeline and style. If I go forward I'll try to post before the new shows start so pls keep an eye out and give it a try! Always open to ideas!
A/N3 - I'm not ignoring those Charlie fans out there (still so surprised but appreciative of that response)! I think I may try an ongoing story that follows the current timeline when the show comes back. I'm still working on that premise but I do have several ideas so hopefully you'll see Charlie soon! Open to ideas here too!