Re: Stegro's Arrowverse - Heir #02 - Heir Apparent
Reply #4 –
Chapter 05 - Relationship Revelations
"Attorney for shipping magnate, Martin Somers, has confirmed his client has no intention of testifying, maintaining his innocence in the wrongful death of Victor Nocenti. Nocenti's body was found four weeks ago. We'll keep you updated as more information becomes available."
"Obviously Somers requires more convincing," Oliver growled as he glowered at the morning news report on the TV.
"We thought he might," Nyssa said as she reclined on top of the bed, admiring her husband's physique, even as he reached for his shirt and began putting it on.
"Wait, how did you get those?" Thea asked as she entered his room through the open door. Oliver scowled in annoyance, even as he turned and tried to close his shirt. Nyssa stayed silent and still on the bed, choosing to watch rather than act. She was curious about what Thea's reaction would be to Oliver's scars, which she had obviously seen.
"Don't you knock?" Oliver grumbled.
"No," Thea declared forcefully as she strode up to her brother and forced him to turn around to face her. "Mum said there were some scars but she didn't..." Thea explained as she gently wrested the edges of her brother's shirt from his clenched hands and drew it open to completely reveal his torso; and all the scars upon it.
Nyssa watched the look of horror appear on Thea's face and recognized what it was; the beginnings of an understanding of what Oliver had gone through in the 5 years he was away.
"I'm..." Thea started before she had to stop. She took a moment to steady herself before she continued. "Oliver, what happened to you out there? What happened to you both?" Thea asked as she looked across the room at Nyssa, looking to see if she had any similar scars. Nyssa did have a few, but they weren’t where you could normally see them.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” Oliver said as he pulled his shirt free and began buttoning it. Thea scoffed at his words.
“Of course you don’t,” she said angrily. “You never want to talk to me about anything. The only thing you want to know about me is my social life,” she accused, turning to walk out. Nyssa was about to call out when Oliver spoke.
“Wait!” he called out, stopping Thea from leaving. He took a deep breath as Thea folded her arms in defiance. “I’m sorry Thea,” he started. “I’ve been told that I need to, get better, at talking about what happened to me while I was away. But I’m not ready yet.” Oliver said all this while looking Thea in the eye, hoping she would understand what he was trying to say. “Okay?”
“Do you have a second?” Thea asked after staring at her brother for a moment. Nyssa could tell she meant privately.
“Sure,” Oliver responded simply.
“Good. There is something out back that I want to show to you,” Thea explained before glancing at Nyssa. “I won’t keep him long.” Oliver looked at Nyssa and saw her nod her encouragement as he grabbed his jacket before he followed his sister out.
Thea led him down and out of the mansion and into the backyard to a clearing where two headstones had been erected. They read:
Robert Queen [/b]
A leader, a husband
A loving son and brother, whose light was diminished far too soon
“Sometimes I’d come out here, when I felt…whatever,” Thea said as she stopped in front of her father’s headstone. She knelt down and brushed away the stray laves that had settled on it before she spoke again. “Mom stopped going out about a month after funerals. Soon, she stopped talking altogether. I’d come down here because the house was so quiet.” She pointed at her brother’s headstone. “To talk to you.” Oliver could tell from her voice that she was trying not to cry. He knew he should say something but wasn’t sure what to say. “Stupid stuff. What boy I had a crush on or what I was doing that day. Sometimes I couldn’t help it and I’d ask, beg, you to find your way home to me, Ollie.” She stood and turned to face her brother. “And now, here you stand. But the truth is, I felt closer to you when you were dead.” She paused to brush a single tear away before focusing back on her brother. “I understand that it was hell there, but you need to understand that it was hell here too. You gotta let me in, Ollie,” Thea implored her brother. “You have to let someone in. And not just Nyssa.” Finished, Thea stepped past her brother and walked away, leaving Oliver to stand before the pair of headstones. Oliver looked down at his headstone, thinking about everything his sister had told him and wondering how much he could, should share.
“Still sure you want to do this?” Oliver asked Nyssa as they walked down the hallway, Oliver carrying a brown paper bag.
"I am," Nyssa replied. "You have told me much about her but that is all from the past. I would like to meet the woman that was able to grasp your heart for a time."
"I didn't exactly treat her nicely," Oliver admitted. "Then or now."
"We all make mistakes beloved," Nyssa said as she placed a hand on Oliver's cheek. "But it is how we move on from those mistakes that makes us who we are. You still want her friendship? Show her that you can, and still want to be a friend."
"I love you," Oliver said as he kissed Nyssa.
"I know," Nyssa replied with a smile.
"Here goes," Oliver said as he continued down the hallway to Laurel's door, knocking softly. Shuffling was heard from inside before the door was opened, revealing Laurel standing there, her face blank. "Hi."
"Oliver," Laurel said emotionlessly.
"Are you ok? There are cops parked outside," Oliver asked. Both he and Nyssa had noticed the officers, courtesy of Detective Lance no doubt, stationed outside. They weren't sure how effective a defense they would be against Triad assassins but they might at least give some forewarning.
"I'm fine. They are from my dad. And how am I supposed to stay away from you, like you advised me to do, if you won't stay away from me?" Laurel wondered sarcastically. "What are you doing here?"
"It was pointed out to me recently that since I have been back, I have been cold and distant which has hurt those around me," Oliver tried to explain. "I was advised that it was probably a good idea to change this behavior before the damage I have done becomes too much to fix."
"And what? You thought you would start with the first person you pushed away?" Laurel pointed out angrily.
"By pushing you away, I thought I was protecting you," Oliver reasoned, pausing before continuing on. "But then I saw you at the court house yesterday and it made me realize that I had hurt you. I am sorry for that."
"You're going to have to do a lot more than a pretty speech, Oliver," Laurel said, still angry.
"I know. But I will do what I need to do to win back your friendship," Oliver declared steadfastly. "And in the spirit of that possible friendship, there is someone that I want you to meet," Oliver said as he stepped to the side to reveal Nyssa behind him. "This is Nyssa."
"I remember you. You were at the court house yesterday. And at Tommy's party for Oliver last week," Laurel said, her mind already working, connecting the dots. "Oh my god. You're her. The woman that was rescued with Ollie."
"I am," Nyssa admitted. "Though I would appreciate it if you would keep that to yourself."
"When I first heard the news, I hoped it might have been Sara, but then Ollie showed up and Sara didn't," Laurel said sadly. "It almost felt like losing her all over again."
"I am sorry for your loss, Laurel," Nyssa consoled. "I too, have lost a sister."
"Then you know what it feels like," Laurel confided.
"I do," Nyssa confirmed. Laurel stared at Nyssa for a moment before glancing at Oliver and stepping back from the door, admitting the two of them inside. "Thank you," Nyssa said sincerely as she looked around.
"Wow. This place hasn't changed. It's still how I remember it," Oliver observed as he too, looked around.
"Well, I haven't had the time to redecorate," sniped Laurel as she walked past the two of them.
"Laurel, I admit I'm a jerk," Oliver announced, stopping Laurel in her tracks. "5 years ago I was a jerk and now, after the island and everything that has happened, I am just a damaged jerk." Laurel turned to look back at Oliver and saw the look on his face. What surprised her though was the look of annoyance on Nyssa’s. Laurel decided to take pity on Oliver, though not before filing away the look on Nyssa's face for later.
"What's in the bag?" She asked, indicating the bag that Oliver was still carrying.
"5 years on an island gives you a lot of time to think. I thought of a lot of things on the island but there was one thing I thought about every day," Oliver said as he reached into the bag. Nyssa smiled too as Oliver had shared this memory with her. "I actually dreamed about it, and I promised myself that if I ever got off that island, that I would do it again with the two of you."
"Oliver..." Laurel started accusingly.
"Eat ice cream," Oliver said as he pulled his hand from the bag to reveal a large tub of mint chocolate chip ice cream. Laurel couldn't stop the smile gracing her face, joining the ones on Oliver's and Nyssa's.
"This is better than I remember," Oliver said with a smile as he dug into the carton with his spoon. It had been a long time since he had eaten ice cream.
"It is amazing," Nyssa added happily. "Oliver told me that it was good but this is beyond good."
"You've never had mint choc chip before?" Laurel asked, aghast at the thought.
"I did not have many luxuries growing up," Nyssa revealed evenly. "Ice cream was not one of them."
"I can't imagine what it would be like to grow up without ice cream," Laurel said. "Can you Ollie?"
"No, no I can't," Oliver agreed, thinking. "Raisa always had my favorite in the freezer."
"What's on your mind Ollie?" Laurel asked her ex. She could still tell when he was thinking too hard.
"My mother wants me to take up a leadership position at the company," Oliver replied. Laurel couldn’t help looking at him as if he had to heads. Oliver smiled at her look. "Yeah. Take my rightful place."
"I'm having a hard time picturing you as master of the universe," Laurel remarked casually. Oliver and Nyssa could tell she was being honest, not mean, when she said that, though she missed the quick glance they shared.
"Yeah," Oliver commented Oliver through a tight smile. "After five years on an island, I have plans. Things that I want, that I need to do. I can't be doing them if I am at Queen Consolidated all day every day, attending stockholder briefings and board meetings.”
"Oliver, last time I checked, you were an adult," Laurel pointed out. "You can say no."
"Apparently he tried," Nyssa replied casually. "Moira was, less than impressed."
"Well then show her rather than telling her," Laurel reasoned. "Be the kind of man that you want her to see you as. Trust me. Years’ worth of experience dealing with a disapproving parent here."
"I believe you," Oliver stated. "I have been on the receiving end of your father's disapproval."
"My father blames himself more than he blames you," Laurel admitted as she leant back into the couch. "He thinks that if he and Sara were closer, maybe she would have told him about the boat rip and he could have stopped her."
"It is sometimes hard for fathers to relate to their daughters," Nyssa observed quietly. "Especially if those daughters are strong willed. Something Oliver tells me Sara was."
"He spoke about her?" Laurel asked, surprised.
"Yes," Nyssa answered. "We spoke of many things during our time on the island. Our pasts, our presents and our future."
"Sorry, pasts, presents and future?" Laurel recapped slowly and concisely. "Singular?"
"Yes, Laurel," admitted Oliver. "During the years we have been together, Nyssa and I, we have grown close. Closer than I thought I could be with anyone."
"Even me?" Laurel enquired, a tear welling up in her eye.
"At first, no," Oliver stated calmly. "But after I thought about all the pain and suffering I have caused you and your family, I realized I could never be with you like that. Not after what I had done."
"So you two?" Laurel asked, her implication clear as she wiped the tear in her eye away.
"For almost 2 years now," Oliver said softly, pausing before continuing. "There's more."
"Do not tell me that you knocked her up while you were abandoned on a deserted island!" Laurel practically shouted. "I cannot believe that you are that irresponsible."
"What, no!" Oliver objected. Seeing Laurel calming down, he added the salt. "We married each other."
"What?" Laurel exclaimed, focusing all her attention on Oliver, her intensity almost palpable.
"We married each other," Oliver repeated slowly. At Laurel's continued glare, he tried to explain. "We never thought we were getting off the island. And by that time, our relationship. Too us it felt right to do that."
"I am not going to comment on you getting married on a deserted island," Laurel said, taking a moment to breathe and compose herself. "How did your mother take the news of your marriage? Given its lack of legality."
"She was far from impressed," Oliver admitted with a soft smile. "I may have convinced her to organize a proper wedding rather quickly by threatening to take a trip to Vegas if she didn't."
"I bet she loved that," Laurel deadpanned.
"She was not impressed, that's for sure," Oliver replied before his look saddened. "I am sorry."
"You apologized already," Laurel stated, clearly not wanting to talk at the moment.
"And after everything I have done," Oliver remarked. "It will never be enough." Silence descended on the room as no one spoke or even moved. Then Oliver thought he heard something. "Did you hear that?"
"Hear what?" Laurel asked in confusion; she hadn't heard anything. Oliver deftly grabbed the kitchen knife he had used to open the ice cream with; it was dull but his instincts demanded he arm himself and it would work in a pinch. Nyssa had also focused on her senses more even though she was furthest from the window that seemed to have Oliver's attention and closer to the front door. And then she heard a noise as well.
"There is someone at your front door," Nyssa declared at the same time her beloved spoke.
"There is someone on your fire escape," Oliver stated as he climbed to his feet; listening but taking note that Nyssa was also up. He heard more noises so he grabbed Laurel's arm, pulling her to her feet. "Come on!"
"What?' Laurel asked in obvious confusion; she still hadn't heard anything as the three of them began to move through the apartment. And then all hell broke loose.
The front door crashed inwards as a large Asian man wielding an Uzi broke in. Oliver pulled Laurel down and back into the apartment as bullets sprayed above their heads. Nyssa moved back as well but found herself separated from Oliver. The Asian man emptied the clip of his weapon before he spied Nyssa. Smiling an empty grin, he dropped his gun and drew a dagger.
Oliver searched for a way out of the apartment, even as he pulled Laurel along behind him. He was aware of the gunfire stopping behind him but before he could look, a second man crashed through the window into the apartment. Oliver ducked down further and continued into another room, Laurel close behind as he looked for a way to take out the attackers without Laurel seeing what he could really do. Their movement was halted, however, when a short Asian woman with long white hair stalked into the room, a small knife in each hand.
Nyssa was about to engage her opponent when she saw Diggle approaching the apartment, drawing his firearm when he saw the man threatening Nyssa. Nyssa quickly decided that John eliminating him was a better option and stepped sideways even as Diggle entered through the broken door; firing at the man engaging Nyssa. He fell to the ground as Diggle turned and fired at the second attacker, taking him out of the fight as well before he was disarmed by the short, Asian woman.
Recovering quickly, he relieved her of one of her knives before quickly parrying several thrusts from the other blade she held. He wasn't fast enough, however, to stop her from sweeping his legs out from under him; sending him crashing to the ground. The woman pounced on him, rendering him defenseless and was about to stab him when the blade she still held was knocked from her hand by a thrown kitchen knife. They both looked sideways to see Oliver recoiling from the throw. A quick glance back at Diggle and the woman lunged out the ruined door, retreating in haste from the suddenly uneven fight.
Oliver watched John climbed to his feet and retrieve his weapon, even as Laurel ran into his arms, crying. Oliver saw Nyssa come around the corner, looking as serene as the day he married her.
"Are you ok?" Oliver asked calmly. Nyssa smiled and nodded as Diggle approached him.
"Mr Queen, are you hurt?" he asked loudly. "Are you hurt?"
"No. No, I'm good," Oliver replied as he mind processed what had just happened.
"This," Diggle remarked as he indicated the apartment. "Is why it is a good idea to have a bodyguard." He continued as he moved around the apartment, checking on the two assailants he had shot and securing their weapons.
"I can't believe that just happened," Laurel said to Nyssa as they sat on the couch. Diggle and Oliver were across the room, speaking to a Detective. "How can you be so calm? We almost died."
"This is not my first brush with death," Nyssa remarked casually as she looked at Oliver. "After the first few times, you start to react differently."
"You really love him, don't you?" Laurel asked when she realized where Nyssa was looking.
"Very much," Nyssa replied honestly, switching her gaze to the woman beside her. "More than I ever thought possible."
"How did you know he loved you like you loved him?" Laurel wondered idly, unable to stop herself.
"He did something impossible," Nyssa said slowly. Laurel could almost see Nyssa go through the memories of something in her head. "He saved my life."
"How?" Laurel asked, curious. She had never pegged Oliver for the lifesaving type.
"A story for another time," Nyssa hedged. "Suffice it to say, he proved his love to me, though it was almost a year before I returned it in kind."
"Really!" Laurel exclaimed in surprise. "Now I definitely..."
"Laurel!" Quentin Lance's voice echoed into the room before the man himself appeared through the broken door, stepping past several uniformed police officers. He was clearly out of breath but didn't pause as he spotted his daughter and ran over and enveloped her in a hug.
"Daddy!" Laurel said, glad to have him here.
"Oh, thank God," Lance proclaimed openly. "Are you alright?"
"I'm ok," Laurel assured her father before asking a question she didn't want an answer to, but knew she had to ask. "Those cops that you put on me. Are the..."
"They..." Lance started slowly, not wanting to hurt his daughter.
"I went outside to ask them for a light," Diggle cut in, relieving the Detective who hadn't noticed his approach. "I found them both dead in their car."
"Mr Diggle. My thanks," Quentin said in genuine gratitude. "Feel free to run every red light in this city if you want too."
"Just doing my job, sir," Dig explained evenly. Quentin though, shook his head in disagreement.
"No. Your job is to protect him," Quentin stated as he looked at Oliver, who now stood beside Diggle. He stepped in front of the man and snarled in his face. "It seems that whenever you are with one of my daughters, people end up dead. You need to stay away from Laurel or so help me, the next time that you disappear, it will be permanent."
"Detective," Diggle said in an advisory tone.
"Dad!" Laurel exclaimed at the same time. "If he hadn't been here, I'd be dead right now."
"No, Laurel..." Quentin started, turning to face his daughter but was interrupted by Oliver.
"It's ok," Oliver uttered appealingly. "I understand."
"You better," Quentin said as he moved back to his daughter. "Who are you?" He asked as he noticed who he thought was a detective was actually not.
"I am Nyssa, Detective Lance," Nyssa replied casually as she introduced herself. She was imagining a horrible death for the Detective, but was fighting the urge to actually do it; too many witnesses.
"Right," Lance said dismissively. "Well, make sure you have given a statement before you leave."
"This should help," Oliver said as he walked and tossed Diggle an ice pack. He had noticed the man massaging his hand since they had left Laurel's apartment. "I'd say thank you, but I'm almost sure that would not cover it."
"Well, like I told your Detective friend. I was just doing my job," Dig replied, standing as he held the ice pack on his hand. "Besides, if I remember correctly, I think it should be me thanking you."
"What for?" Oliver asked as he put a confused look on his face.
"The knife," Dig stated simply. Oliver nodded as if he finally understood what Diggle was referring to.
"The knife," he said. "I got lucky."
"That was a kitchen knife, Mr Queen. It wasn't even weighted properly," Diggle explained. "Yet, you threw it with accuracy across a 10-foot room."
"Like I said, I got lucky," Oliver hedged. Diggle stepped up to Oliver; close enough to be confronting but far enough to be respectful.
"I'm not the kind of man you want to take for a fool, Mr Queen," he stated in a firm voice. "Do you understand me?"
"Yes," Oliver replied back, knowing he was right. Dig just looked at him, as if examining him.
"And I think just beginning to understand the kind of man you are," Diggle said observantly.
"Shouldn't take you long. I'm shallow," Oliver quipped. "And tired, so have a good night," Oliver remarked as he turned and walked off towards his room.
"Good night, sir," Diggle called after him as he flexed his hand before reapplying the ice pack.