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Topic: Stegro's Arrowverse - Heir #02 - Heir Apparent (Read 21 times) previous topic - next topic

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Stegro's Arrowverse - Heir #02 - Heir Apparent
Heir Apparent 

Chapter 01 - Homecoming 


Oliver Queen is alive! The Starling City resident was found by fishermen in the North China sea five days ago, five years after he was missing and was presumed dead following the accident at sea which claimed 'The Queen's Gambit'. Queen was a regular tabloid presence and a fixture at the Starling City club scene. Shortly before his disappearance, he was acquitted of assault charges stemming from a highly publicized drunken altercation with paparazzi. Queen is the son of Starling City billionaire Robert Queen, who was also on board but now officially confirmed as deceased. Initial reports indicate an unknown female was also found though this, along with her possible identity, are unconfirmed.

So much had changed in the years he had been gone. And yet, so much had not. Staring out the hospital window gave Oliver a sense of perspective that nowhere else had given him. He recognised the city before him. It had been his home. Now, now he wasn't sure what it was. 

"Beloved?" a voice called from the door to the room. Oliver turned to look at his wife of almost a year. "Are you well?" 

"I am. It's just a lot to take in," Oliver said. He gazed at her and wondered how he had been so lucky in his life to have found her. "Have the doctor's cleared you?" 

"Of course. I am in excellent shape," she replied, stepping fully into the room, the door shutting softly behind her. "And you?" 

"They are worried about how many scars I have. Also some of my fractures that never properly healed," Oliver explained. "We knew they would ask questions." 

"And you told them what we discussed?" his wife questioned. She had full trust that Oliver had held to their story but wanted, needed to confirm in case there were any slight changes that had appeared during discussions with the doctors. 

"I've been stranded on an island for five years, alone for two of them. I don't think they completely believed me but we didn't expect them too," Oliver revealed, knowing why she asked him as she did. 

"Then we proceed as we have planned," she stated, turning to enter the ensuite of the hospital room. Oliver turned back to looking out over the city. He heard voices in the corridor, a man and a woman's. The man was one of the doctor's that had examined him, while the woman's voice was familiar. As they spoke, Oliver realised the voice belonged to his mother, which was soon confirmed by the doctor as he warned her about Oliver. They stopped speaking and Oliver heard the door to his room open once again. 

"Oliver?" his mother called out to him. Oliver turned to look at his mother, tilting his head to the side slightly as she stood before him for the first time in half a decade. 

"Mom," was all Oliver managed to get out, his voice filled with emotion. He slowly moved over to stand in front of his mother, watching as tears welled in her eyes as he approached. 

"My beautiful boy," Moira said as she broke down, hugging Oliver tightly and pressing a kiss to the side of his head. She squeezed him tighter, not wanting to release him, reassuring herself that he was real and there. Their embrace was broken by the sound of someone in the ensuite. Moira stepped back and turned as the door opened and a woman stepped out. 

The woman appeared to be about Oliver's age with long black hair and olive skin. Moira couldn't pinpoint her ancestry, nor why she was in the room with her son. 

"Mrs Queen, it is a pleasure to finally meet you," the woman said and Moira was taken aback; was she meant to know who this was? 

"Ah, and to meet you as well, nurse?" Moira queried uncertainly. The woman glanced from Moira to Oliver. She appeared to be about to say something when Oliver spoke instead. 

"I think that's my queue," Oliver announced, moving to stand next to this woman. "Mom. I'd like you to meet Nyssa. My wife." 

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The trip to the Queen Mansion was a quiet one. Moira had barely spoken after Oliver's pronouncement, and then only to offer directions to first Oliver, and by extension Nyssa; as they exited the hospital and then to the driver to take them back to the Queen Mansion. She had travelled in the Bentley, obviously not expecting Oliver to have company. This had forced Oliver and Nyssa to travel separately; Oliver in the front with the driver while Nyssa sat in the back with his mother. Moira had sat and stared out the window, resolutely opposed to saying anything regarding Oliver's marriage. Oliver was beyond happy when the mansion came into view, and not just because it offered him the chance to see his sister and his home again. 

The driver pulled the Bentley around to the front of the mansion before pulling to a stop. Moira wasted no time, opening her door and climbing from the car before the driver could open her door. The driver continued to the trunk, opening it and reaching for the box that Oliver and Nyssa had brought with them. A hand on his shoulder stopped him and he turned to see Oliver standing there, reaching for his box.  

"I've got it," Oliver said. This and the look from Oliver was all it took for the driver to back away, allowing Oliver to lift the box out of the trunk. Nyssa stepped up to his side and he offered her his free hand. Looking up, Oliver saw his mother watching him, the briefest of smiles ghosting her face. Oliver and Nyssa stepped up to the front door as Moira turned and opened the double doors into the house. 

"Your room is exactly as you left it," Moira said as she led them into the house. "I never had the heart to change a thing." Nyssa released Oliver's hand as he set the box on the ground just inside the doors, giving him a moment to take in the house he hadn't seen in years. Nyssa noticed an older man approaching from a room off the foyer. 

"Oliver," he called happily. "It's damn good to see you." Oliver stepped up to the man, looking him up and down before shaking the offered hand. "It's Walter..." the man, Walter, introduced himself. He had taken Oliver's silence as not knowing who he was. "Walter Steele." 

"You remember Walter, you're father's friend from the company," Moira urged. Oliver looked at his mother before glancing back at Walter before stepping past him. He didn't see the look that Walter and Moira shared behind his back, but Nyssa did.  

"It's good to see you, Raisa," Oliver said as he stepped up to an older, raven-haired woman wearing a maid's uniform. She was smiling with abandon. 

"Welcome home, Mr Oliver," she greeted with genuine, overflowing excitement. She broke her gaze with Oliver to look past him at Moira. "Mr Merlyn phoned. He wants to join you for dinner." 

"Wonderful," Moira said merrily. Oliver didn't react as she expected him too at hearing that his best friend would be joining them. Instead he looked towards the top of the stairs "Oliver? Did you hear that?" She asked as he moved to the bottom of the stairs. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Thea descending the steps before turning and pausing to look down at her brother. 

"Hey, sis," Oliver called up in greeting. Thea stared at him for a moment before her face broke into a smile as she practically skipped down the stairs. 

"I knew it. I knew you were alive," She confided happily as she rushed to hug him. "I missed you so much." 

"You were with me the whole time," Oliver reassured his sister as he returned her hug, his hand on the back of her neck. He glanced at Nyssa who seemed to have been forgotten for the moment and noticed that she too was touched by the reunion. Their hug broke apart and Thea glanced around the foyer, noticing for the first time the woman standing just inside the doors. 

"Who are you?" she asked curiously, wondering if Ollie was hurt. 

"Thea, I have someone I'd like you to meet," Oliver said, wrapping his arm around his sister's shoulders. "This is Nyssa. My wife." 

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Nyssa glided into the room she would share with Oliver. She had wanted to familiarise herself with the layout but now found herself looking at her beloved as he examined himself in a mirror, standing there with only a towel around his waist. 

"What do you see?" Nyssa asked as she stepped up behind him. 

"A stranger," Oliver proclaimed softly, almost sadly, as he looked over his torso, noting the various scars and tattoos that adorned it and remembering how they came to be marked upon him. "After 5 years, everything that was once familiar when I looked into this mirror is now unrecognisable." 

"You are my husband," Nyssa declared as she wrapped her arms around his waist. "Do you recognise that?" 

"I do," Oliver replied as he wrapped an arm around her. Thunder echoed from outside, causing Oliver to break his gaze from the mirror to look outside. "Storm's coming." 

"It is," Nyssa agreed. "You should dress. Dinner will be ready soon."  

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Oliver was looking at a photograph of himself with his father when the front door opened behind him. 

"What did I tell you?" a familiar voice said from the doorway. "Yachts suck." Oliver couldn't stop the chuckle that came from him as he turned and looked upon smiling best friend. 

"Tommy Merlyn," Oliver declared as he stepped into a hug with Tommy. 

"I missed you buddy," Tommy stated. Before more could be said, Walter called the two men into the dinner room as the food was ready. They men parted and followed Walter through the house to the dining room. Tommy passed his eyes over everyone in the room before settling on an unfamiliar face. "And who is this beautiful woman?" 

"My wife," Oliver deadpanned to Tommy's shock as he stepped past him and went to sit next to his wife. "Nyssa, may I introduce Tommy Merlyn. Tommy, Nyssa." 

"Of course, I have heard so much about you," Nyssa said, smiling across the table at Tommy. Tommy recovered and stepped around the table to sit in his own seat.  

"Given how I remember us spending our time, nothing bad I'm sure," Tommy said, back to smiling. He would be having a chat with Oliver later to find out the details of his nuptials; nuptials that no one seemed to have shared with anyone. 

Dinner was filled with innocuous conversation. Oliver ate very little as he sat at the end of the table and observed everyone he remembered so differently. So much had changed while he was away. And they didn't even know how much. 

"What was it like there?" Thea asked innocently, looking at Oliver. Conversation ceased around the table as everyone looked across the table at Oliver. Oliver glanced at Nyssa before he met Thea's eyes. 

"Cold," Oliver said evening. Thea just stared at her brother and Oliver knew that his answer would not be sufficient to quell his sister's curiosity. 

"Tomorrow, you and me, we're doing the city," Tommy interjected, trying to lighten the mood. "You've got a lot to catch up on. You're welcome to join us Nyssa." 

"Thank you for the invitation, but I think I might rest for the day," Nyssa replied. "The past few days have been quite an abrupt change to what I have become used too. Oliver, you go. Enjoy time with your friend." 

"That sounds like a great idea," Moira stated happily. 

"Good," Oliver announced. "Then I was hoping to swing by the office." 

"Well, there's plenty of time for all that," Walter hedged. "Queen consolidated isn't going anywhere." 

Further speech was interrupted by Oliver catching Raisa as she tripped on the carpet. One hand caught the fruit bowl she was carrying while the prevented her from falling further then she already had. 

"Oh, I am so sorry, Mr Oliver," Raisa apologised as she recovered. Oliver responded in Russian, to everyone's surprise. 

"Dude, you speak Russian?" Tommy exclaimed. 

"I didn't realise you took Russian at college, Oliver," Walter said. 

"I didn't realise you wanted to sleep with my mother, Walter," Oliver retorted calmly, no emotion in his voice. Silence descended upon the room as glances were exchanged. 

"I, I didn't say anything," Thea claimed as her mother looked at her pointedly. 

"She didn't have to," Oliver explained. Moira swallowed and looked at Walter, nodding. 

"Oliver," Moira started, taking Walter's hand. "Walter and I are married. And I don't want you to think that either one of us did anything to disrespect our father." 

"We both believed that Robert, like you, was, uh, well, gone," Walter added uncomfortably.  

"It's fine," Oliver said after a moment. He looked at his mother before he rose from the table. "May I be excused?" Moira thought for a moment before she nodded. 

"Hey, don't forget about tomorrow, buddy," Tommy called as Oliver walked out of the room. Nyssa looked around the table and saw the looks of sadness on their faces. She could tell that they were starting to realise that the Oliver that returned to them was not the same one that had left them five years ago. 

"Please excuse me," Nyssa said as she stood and went after Oliver. She found him in their room. "Oliver?" 

"I'm sorry Nyssa," Oliver apologised softly. "I thought I would be able to cope being around them again." 

"You have nothing to be sorry for," Nyssa said as she approached her husband. She could see the struggle that he was going through but she wasn't sure what she could do to ease the pain. "I think that both you and your family will need time to adjust to each other. Five years is a long time." 

"How did I get so lucky to find you?" Oliver asked his wife with a soft smile. 

"You washed up half dead on a beach," Nyssa deadpanned. "And it was I that found you." 

"True," Oliver stated, more relaxed now then he was. 

"We should try and get some sleep. It has been a long day," Nyssa stated. "The first of what I believe will be many." 

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"Couldn't sleep?" Nyssa heard Thea ask as she entered the kitchen.  

"This house, it is not what I am used too. I felt the need to explore a little of it," Nyssa said carefully, not wanting to insult her sister-in-law. "That was an hour ago." 

"Yeah, that can happen," Thea agreed. "And after three years living on a deserted island with only my brother for company. I can see why you would still be awake." 

"It was better then being alone," Nyssa declared coolly, trying to insinuate what Oliver had gone through before her arrival, as their stories went. "I don't think I would have survived if I had been alone." To her credit, Thea remained silent at this remark, considering Nyssa's words. Seeing that she had made her point, Nyssa turned to leave. "Goodnight Thea." 

"Goodnight," Thea called after her as the door shut. Nyssa made her back towards Oliver's room when she heard the sounds of one of Oliver's nightmares. He hadn't had one of those in a while until they had returned to the island; they had become more frequent then. What worried her though was the other sounds; Moira and Walter moving about. 

Rushing ahead, she heard Moira calling Oliver's name, trying to wake him. Knowing how dangerous Oliver could be if startled awake, Nyssa ran faster. She entered the room, seeing Oliver thrashing about beneath the open window, rain pelting him, just as Moira started to try and shake Oliver awake. 

"Oliver, wake up!" She called loudly over the storm as she shook his shoulder. "Oliver..." 

Any further words were cut off as Oliver startled awake and his instincts kicked in. Nyssa watched as Oliver grabbed his mother's arm and flipped her over him onto the floor, bringing his hand down to her neck, intent on crashing her larynx. 

"Oliver!" Walter and Nyssa shouted together. Oliver blinked and looked down at his terrified mother and what he was about to do. Scared, he threw himself away from his mother, backpedalling until he was hunched in a ball beneath the windowsill. Walter moved to comfort Moira as Nyssa slowly approached her husband, trying not to startle him further. 

"It's ok beloved," Nyssa murmured softly, trying to soothe Oliver even as she rubbed his back. 

"I'm sorry," Oliver said shamefully. "I'm so sorry." 

"No, it's ok, Oliver," Moira stated, as Walter helped her up. "It's alright sweetheart. You're home, you're safe," Moira soothed, the mother in her coming out. 

Nyssa couldn't help but think to herself as Moira continued to soothe her son. "For how long?"

 

Re: Stegro's Arrowverse - Heir #02 - Heir Apparent
Reply #1
Chapter 02 - Starling City

Oliver was eventually able to fall asleep about an hour before dawn; spending the intervening time holding Nyssa as she slept. He enjoyed watching her sleep; it reminded him of the first night after the Amazo that he had been able to sleep without a nightmare waking him. It had been their wedding night. She had been so beautiful that evening.

Oliver awoke to the sound of the shower running and the feeling of a warm but empty bed. He sat up against the headboard and waited for Nyssa to finish. Soon enough the water shut off and Nyssa exited the bathroom, a towel wrapped around her body.

"Did you leave me any hot water?" Oliver asked, smiling at his wife.

"Maybe," Nyssa teased as she sat on the side of the bed next to Oliver. "6 months without a hot shower definitely makes you appreciate them."

"Imagine what 2 years would do then," Oliver countered. "But it was necessary. We couldn't be found in perfect health, it would raise too many questions. 6 months gave us the proper look of a struggling yet surviving couple. Especially as I am supposed to have been there for 5 years."

"It has also relaxed you more. You seem less like Al Sah-him and more like they would expect Oliver Queen would be," Nyssa commented. "They may even get a glimpse of the Oliver that only I have seen."

"He only exists because of you," Oliver stated matter-of-factly. "If your father had had his way, there would be nothing left but Al Sah-him. You were able to save the Oliver that was born when my father's boat sank."

"He was worth saving. He still is," Nyssa observed as her expression changed. "The plan for today?"

"I'm with Tommy for the day. I'll have him drive us past the factory so I can check on it," Oliver said. "You?"

"I thought I might familiarise myself with the city," Nyssa offered. "And check that our equipment is ready. I feel, uncomfortable without access to all of my weapons."

"Naked is more the word," Oliver grinned.

"Perhaps," Nyssa replied as she stood and dropped the towel. "You should get ready. Tommy will be here soon," She said as she sashayed back into the bathroom. Oliver groaned softly, considering if he should have a shower now as well.

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Nyssa was in the foyer speaking with Walter when she heard Oliver and Tommy descending the stairs behind her.

"I think that's my cue," Walter said as he noticed the two men. "I should be going. Thomas, I expect you to take it easy with him. It is his first day back"

"Oh definitely," Tommy promised. Walter eyed him for a moment before looking at Oliver.

"And you too. Take it easy," Walter instructed. 

"I will," Oliver replied with a smile.

"Nyssa," Walter said in farewell as he picked up his briefcase.

"Walter," Nyssa responded as Walter headed out the front door.

"I'll wait for you outside," Tommy offered as he moved to follow Walter. "I'll bring him back in one piece Nyssa."

"You better. I would hate to have to hurt you," Nyssa said calmly. Tommy smiled in response before disappearing after Walter. Nyssa turned back to her husband and caught the look on his face. "What is it?"

"I just caught Thea about to sort what I think was Oxycodone," Oliver described. Nyssa's face dropped into a scowl, several different thoughts passing through her mind. "You can't kill her friend."

"I can," Nyssa deadpanned, clearly considering it. "But I won't. It wouldn't solve the problem."

"No, it wouldn't," Oliver agreed. "Tommy's waiting. I will see you later."

"Be safe," Nyssa offered.

"Love you too," Oliver replied as he kissed his wife before walking out the door.

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Nyssa had been driven into the city by the same driver that had driven them from the hospital to the mansion. He had left her with a phone number to call him to pick her up before departing to run several errands. Nyssa had quickly contacted the local League safe house so as to ascertain the readiness of their equipment and was informed it was all present and awaiting delivery. Now she sat in a small coffee shop across from Queen Consolidated, quietly observing the world beyond the window. Her observations were disrupted by a commotion behind her.

"Frak! Take a hint. NOT INTERESTED!" a bespectacled blonde told a man standing over her as she sat at her table, trying to enjoy her coffee.

"C'mon, it's just dinner," the man tried to reason as the blonde rolled her eyes. "Dinner can't hurt."

"No, but what you want after it can," the blonde challenged.

"You'd enjoy it," the man countered. "I'd make sure of it."

"I sincerely doubt that," the blonde responded. Nyssa was starting to dislike this man. His manner and bearing was condescending.

"Felicity, just say yes," the man demanded, losing his patience. Nyssa was now annoyed.

"I already said no Brandon," Felicity stated as she looked up at him. "Now, would you please leave me alone?"

"Felicity, you have been dodging me now for months. It's time that..." Brandon's speech was cut off by his yelp of pain as his arm was twisted up behind his back.

"I believe Felicity. It was Felicity, wasn't it?" Nyssa asked Felicity as she grasped Brandon's wrist. Felicity could only nod in astonishment. "I believe Felicity made it quite clear that she would not be having dinner, or anything else with you. I suggest you do not pester her anymore. Do I make myself clear?" Nyssa enunciated, applying more pressure to his wrist to get her point across.

"Yes, yes. Let go for god's sake," Brandon yelped out. Nyssa released his wrist and he quickly beat a retreat, leaving the store without a word; Nyssa watching him leave.

"How, how did you do that?" Felicity stammered out. "Why would you do that?"

"Just something that my father taught me when I was younger," Nyssa said as she turned back to face Felicity. As to why. No woman should ever suffer at the hands of men."

"Wow. I need to remember that one," Felicity observed. "I'm Felicity Smoak.

"I am Nyssa," Nyssa introduced herself, catching herself before she said more.

"Good to meet you Nyssa," Felicity smiled. "Would you like to join me?"

"If I'm not intruding," Nyssa said.

"I insist," Felicity confirmed. Nyssa smiled before retrieving her drink and joining Felicity. "So what brings you here today?"

"Just exploring the city. I'm new here," Nyssa explained truthfully. "And yourself?"

"Lunch break," Felicity admitted, glancing out the window. "I work at Queen Consolidated."

"Do you like it?" Nyssa enquired honestly.

"It's alright. It's not perfect but it's a stepping stone," Felicity said cheerfully. "Have to start at the bottom before you can reach the top right." 

"You do indeed," Nyssa confirmed as her phone started to ring. "Excuse me." Felicity nodded as Nyssa stood and stepped away for some privacy. "Hello. When was this? Are they both alright? Yes, of course I'll be right there. I'm in a coffee shop outside Queen Consolidated. 5 minutes," Felicity heard Nyssa's side of the conversation.

"Everything alright?" she asked as Nyssa turned back to her.

"I'm not sure," Nyssa said as she pocketed her phone. "I have to go I'm afraid. It was nice meeting you. Hopefully we will see each other again soon."

"You know where I work if you want to find me," Felicity stated. "It was nice meeting you too."

"Goodbye Felicity," Nyssa said as she turned towards the door.

"Goodbye Nyssa. I hope everything is ok," Felicity called after Nyssa. She watched as Nyssa waited on the sidewalk before a Bentley pulled to a stop in front of her. She climbed in the back quickly before it left the curb, disappearing into the traffic. Felicity had a gut feeling that she would be seeing Nyssa again soon then either of them thought.

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"Oliver!" Nyssa called as she entered the Mansion. She had passed what were obviously two detectives as they had left the grounds and was now concerned about Oliver. She had been told on the phone that he was fine but to her, fine was a relative concept.

"In here Nyssa," Oliver called from the Den. Nyssa walked in to find Oliver sitting with Tommy, Moira and Walter. "We're fine."

"What happened?" Nyssa asked.

"We were drugged, kidnapped and then apparently some weirdo in a green hood rescued us and killed all three gunmen," Tommy gushed out. Nyssa glanced at Oliver with a raised eyebrow but was only met with a blank stare. "I need a drink. I'll see you later buddy," Tommy said as he got up and left the room.

"I have some business calls to make. I will see you at dinner," Walter stated as he followed Tommy out.

"Are you sure you are alright?" Nyssa asked as she took Tommy's place beside Oliver. 

"I'm fine," Oliver confirmed with a soft smile.

"Nyssa, could I ask you to excuse us for a moment," Moira said to Nyssa. "I would like a word with my son."

"I'll be outside," Nyssa said after looking at Oliver and seeing him nod. 

"Thank you Nyssa," Moira acknowledged as she watched her leave. Once the door shut behind her, Moira redirected her attention back to her son. "Oliver, we should discuss what happened today."

"What about it?" Oliver wondered, curious what his mother was doing.

"Oliver, someone kidnapped you and Tommy today," Moira explained as if Oliver hadn't been there. "We need to determine why. Who knew where you were going to be today?"

"Just the people in this house," Oliver answered, seeing his mother raise an eyebrow at his response. "Are you suggesting Nyssa had something to do with this?"

"I'm not suggesting anything," Moira replied calmly. "But as you said, only the people in this house knew where you were going to be today."

"NO!" Oliver exploded, standing. "I trust Nyssa with my life. I've had to."

"I can understand that Oliver," Moira said, trying to placate her son. "But that was then. Now though..."

"I can't believe my own mother is suggesting this," Oliver growled angrily. "She is my wife."

"No, she isn't," Moira stated. "I had some checking down. There is no marriage certificate issued for you and Miss Raatko. You are not married."

"Perhaps not legally. We married each other on the island," Oliver argued. "But if you want it legal, we can make it legal quickly enough." 

"Oliver..."Moira started but was quickly cut off.

"Once I am legally declared alive, Nyssa and I will be taking a trip," Oliver explained clearly, anger still evident in his voice. "When we return, you can greet your, now legal, daughter-in-law."

"Oliver, there is no need to do anything rash," Moira reasoned, desperately trying to assuage her son. "We can work something out." She watched Oliver get a far off look in his eye as he stared at the wall behind her before he took a deep breath and refocused his attention on her.

"6 weeks," Oliver said calmly. "I will give you 6 weeks, mom."

"6 weeks to do what?" Moira asked, surprised at Oliver's sudden calm.

"You have 6 weeks to organise a wedding fit for a Queen," Oliver deadpanned. "After that, Nyssa and I will take care of matters ourselves. We've gotten quite good at it over the years." Not waiting for his mother's reply, Oliver walked out; Moira being too shocked to do anything but let him go. Nyssa met him outside, as she said she would.

"Are you alright?" Nyssa asked, concern evident. "I heard everything."

"I knew you would. And I will be," Oliver replied softly. His face then hardened. "We have other problems though."

"The kidnapping," Nyssa stated, falling instep beside Oliver as he headed upstairs. "I take it more happened then what will be in the police report?"

"They wanted to know about my father," Oliver revealed. "If he made it to the island. If he told me anything. I got loose before they could ask anything else."

"This changes things," Nyssa pointed it. "We are going to have to move up our plans."

"We are," Oliver agreed. "Call Namir. Have him deliver the equipment to the foundry tonight. No deaths but no witnesses either."

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"Oliver," Moira called as he and Nyssa exited the mansion the next morning. Oliver had had another nightmare but thankfully it had only woken Nyssa. "I'd like to introduce you to somebody," she said as she stood next to Walter and a tall, well-built man. "This is John Diggle. He will be accompanying you from now on."

"I don't need a babysitter," Oliver said with a smile towards Moira before looking at John. "No offence."

"None taken, sir," John replied calmly, not having been offended.

"Darling, Oliver's a grown man," Walter reasoned. "If he doesn't feel the need for armed protection..."

"I understand," Moira interjected. "But this is something I need." Oliver couldn't think of an argument and so smiled at his mother before looking at the bodyguard once again.

Soon John Diggle was driving Oliver and Nyssa away from the mansion and into Starling City.

"So what should we call you?" Oliver asked cheerfully. He saw John glance at him in the mirror before focusing back on the road.

"Diggle's good," he answered. "Dig, if you want."

"You were a soldier?" Nyssa enquired.

"Yes ma'am. 105th Airborne out of Kandahar, retired. Been in the private sector a little more than 4 years now," Diggle answered before looking in the mirror again. "I don't want there to be any confusion, Mr. Queen. My ability to keep you from harm will outweigh your comfort. Do we have an agreement? Sir?" Diggle asked. He heard the rear doors to the car open and close and he glanced into the back to find it completely empty. He slammed on the breaks, not believing that the two of them would exit the vehicle while it was still moving. He jumped out and opened the rear door, finding the backseat empty. He stood tall and looked around, to no avail; Oliver and Nyssa were gone.

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"Any trouble Namir?" Oliver asked as he and Nyssa walked up to the stack of crates and boxes in the center of the abandoned steel factory. The assassin dropped down from where he had been hidden in the rafters and kneeled before them.

"None Al Sah-him. All has been quiet," Namir reported.

"Good," Al Sah-him responded impassively. "If you have nothing else to tell us, you are dismissed."

"As you command, Al Sah-him," Namir accepted before he stood and left out of the rear of the factory.

"So do you think your mother will approve of our wedding?" Nyssa asked as she walked around the pile of boxes. 

"I would say it is a bit late for that," Oliver said as he stepped up to Nyssa. "We are already married after all. This would just be making it legal."

"I don't care if it's legal," Nyssa said as she draped her arms around Oliver's neck.

"Unfortunately, the rest of the world does," Oliver said before kissing Nyssa deeply. They held the kiss until they were forced to break apart for air. "We should get started. We have a lot of work to do."

"We should," Nyssa agreed as she stepped back and took her jacket off. Oliver followed suit before he pick up the first of the crates and started to move it deeper into the factory.

They spent the rest of the day moving all their equipment into the basement before unpacking and setting it up. Oliver made arrows as Nyssa set up and uploaded files to their computers. Before long they were working out, inverted crunches while hanging from the ceiling pipes or climbing up and down the salmon ladder he had built for Oliver while Nyssa preferred more grounded methods; though she indulged herself with a few trips up and down the ladder.

They then sparred against one another; first hand to hand before transitioning to metal batons and then on to practice swords. After that, came archery. Oliver was putting together his black recurve bow as Nyssa stepped up to him, already prepared.


"Ready beloved?" Nyssa asked as she watch Oliver handle his bow with almost as much love as he handled her. "Sometimes I wonder if I should be jealous of that bow."

"Never," Oliver stated confidently as he finished assembling his bow. He strapped on his quiver and stalked over to where Nyssa had moved too; ready for their little game. "How many?"

"Only 9," Nyssa said as she turned to face the empty space.

"Ready?" Oliver asked. Nyssa nodded calmly so Oliver knocked over the container of tennis balls, sending 9 of them bouncing out in front of them. They each calmly began to draw, nock and fire arrows, steadily pinning the balls to the wall. The final ball was practically split in two as 2 arrows had pierced it.

"A draw," Nyssa observed. "I dislike draws."

"I don't mind them," Oliver said with a soft smile. "Beats losing to you all the time."

"You have yet to beat me though husband," Nyssa stated. "Even with all you prodigious natural talent."

"Perhaps one day, I will," Oliver smirked as he looked at the clock he had hung on an empty pillar. "It's getting late."

"Who will you be starting with?" Nyssa asked as they both walked back to the computers.

"Adam Hunt. A friend is working on a case and I owe it to them to make sure they do not get hurt," Oliver said as he brought up information on the screens. "He has swindled over $40 million from the cities underprivileged, and gotten away with it by bribing or killing those who stood in his way. I think it is time he returned that money. One way or another."

"This friend. She, would be Laurel Lance; Sara's sister?" Nyssa asked.

"Yes," Oliver admitted sullenly, remembering. "I owe it to the family to make sure nothing else happens to them."

"This crusade cannot be about one family, Oliver," Nyssa said calmly. "It has to be about more than them. It must be about the city as a whole."

"And it is," Oliver agreed impassively. "Adam Hunt is just a convenient place to start."