07: Stoned

A/N: Guess what we found?! Merry Christmas!


They had forced Albrecht Raines to flee a while back. He was a starving artist turned counterfeiter, who was so bad at counterfeiting that he shouldn’t have been on Oliver’s radar in the first place. The money that Raines produced was badly colored and easily spotted as fakes; for some reason Verdant had ended up with a lot of them and Oliver decided to look into it.

The decision of letting him go hadn’t been an easy one, but Bella had convinced Oliver that should Raines ever return, he was just going to get him again. In her mind, Raines was just trying to make ends meet, and had simply chosen the wrong way to do it. So when Felicity told him that Raines had returned to Starling City, with a vengeance, Oliver was more than pissed off.

Raines had turned to something new; Archery. He had been captured on CCTV while taking down innocent people with arrows and hadn’t even obscured his face. This guy was arrogant and he wanted to get caught. What happened to the bookish starving artist?

He benched Bella and Roy because Oliver had worked by himself for a long time, he didn’t need their help on this at all. Besides, Bella had been training today and wasn’t allowed to overwork herself – or so Oliver argued when they argued that they should come with. Oliver had seen the CCTV footage and Raines didn’t look that proficient with the bow and arrow. This was going to be easy.

Except… it was not.

When Oliver had finally tracked down Raines, he found him in a crack den with people who had successfully escaped police custody – no one’s infallible, not the police and certainly not Oliver. From his perch over the skylight of this abandoned building, Oliver recognized Archie the Archer, Beau Brummel – also an archer -, Bad Penny – massive fighting skills and shocking gloves -, Martin Flint – the guy loved his boomerangs – and Wurm – a mad scientist -. There were more people present but he couldn’t see them very well.

He had only 24 arrows on him, including his darts, and going up against three archers was tricky. Fortunately, Oliver didn’t need his bow to take people down. He could do this, he just had to be smart about it. He clocked a table of chemicals at the back, if he’d shoot a flare at it, it’d certainly catch fire. This was a good thing as it would serve as a distraction, but it could also be a bad thing seeing as Oliver had no idea what those chemicals were.

Sighing, Oliver tapped his earpiece. “Felicity, what can you tell me about Professor Wurm?”

Sorry?”

“Professor Wurm.”

Oh, hold on,” Felicity’s voice sounded, followed by some frantic typing on a keyboard. “He uhm… he was caught fabricating insanity-inducing drugs, why?”

“No reason. Thanks.”

Oliver, do you need backup?” Felicity was worried, Oliver could tell. “Because I have two people here itching to get their hands dirty.”

“I’m fine, Felicity,” Oliver shot at her. “This is easy.”

Are you sure? You don’t have to prove anything, you know, we already love you for who you are.”

“I’ll be back soon,” Oliver said as he tapped his earpiece out before Felicity could get in another word. Maybe this was about proving himself, his arrogance – his ego – rearing its ugly head but he knew one thing for certain; he was not going to blow up that table of chemicals.

He slipped off the roof as going in through the skylight wasn’t one of the smartest ideas in the world right now either and went around back where he almost bumped into someone who was out smoking. Oliver quickly jumped him and quietly choked him out before dragging his unconscious body behind a few crates.

Opening the door very slowly, he made sure that there was no one in the vicinity that could spot him getting in and proceeded to quietly make his way through the building, taking out random stragglers one by one. When he had secured most of the building, he made his way towards the room where he had spotted everyone. Why it had to be the top floor, he wasn’t sure, because they were very vulnerable there.

The building resembled some sort of parking space, it was square with corridors and rooms at the sides of the outer wall and a big open square in the middle. He made a mental note of keeping at least one anchor like arrow as a spare so he could save himself should he fall down. He was glad he saved his arrows on the ‘underlings’ so he had a full arsenal to go with but it still was going to be hard. Apart from Bad Penny, everyone of them had projectiles he had to dodge, should be able to dodge. And then there was the matter of the table with chemicals and a bunsen burner.

He was screwed.

Oliver resisted the urge to contact Felicity and lined up his first three arrows. He’d at least take out the guy with the boomerangs seeing as they really hurt when they’d connect with his head. He wasn’t allowed to screw this up, he needed to make it out alive or Bella would find a way to resuscitate him and kill him all over again. Bella… she would have been good for this fight, but noooo, Oliver said he could do things by himself. Oliver was an idiot.

He moved to the next room and popped up at the window connecting the other room and shot off his arrows, the glass broke and hit Martin Flint straight in the chest. The other three were quick to scramble to their own weapons and Bad Penny squealed with glee. Oliver needed to separate them, that would be the easiest. Ducking down again, he made his way out of the room and ran towards another before they followed him out of the room.

Oliver wasn’t fast enough when arrows whizzed around his head and one actually hit his leg. He rolled into the room, broke off the arrow to make it easier for him to run – he knew he should get it out, but he didn’t want to risk him bleeding all over the place incase it had hit an artery, it wasn’t as if he had time.

He opened a window and made it onto the ledge. Bella was going to kill him, he knew that. He managed to drag himself to the next window where one of them was waiting for him and shot at him through the window, shattering glass all over him and making him lose his balance on the ledge. He managed to shoot an arrow and winch himself up to the roof. It wasn’t too late to call for backup. He had a little time to do so. No. He could do this.

Oliver blocked the door that gave access to the roof with one of the big boxes that were on the roof for no reason at all. He did know that they were heavy and his injured leg did not like it. He then went to the other side of the building and climbed his way down, making his way back inside to – hopefully – surprise them with another barrage of Arrows.

But he ended up being the one surprised by one of the people he had missed during his initial sweep of the building. The guy had him on his back in no time after taking a swipe at Oliver’s injured leg and he seemed to be quite resistant to Oliver whacking him in the face with his bow. Oliver himself took a few blows to the head before he managed to push the guy off of him and shot an arrow at him, dropping him instantly.

The ruckus had done the opposite of what he wanted the others to do; they charged towards him again. He ran into the corridor, adrenaline pumping after his fight the other moment – which was good because the pain in his leg felt less and he was able to shoot off some arrows into Archie the Archer and Beau Brummel, although they kept going. They must be wearing kevlar vests. Oliver groaned as he loaded up again, this time aiming for their heads and managed to down Archie.

He was so focused on dodging the arrows of the two remaining archers – Raines was on the other side of the building – that he forgot about Bad Penny and she surprised him by taking hold of his arm from behind the pillar he was passing and shocked him all the way through his protective gear and made him nearly drop the bow. He elbowed her in the face, his arm tingling from the sensation as he turned out of her grasp and since he had no other choice, used her as a temporary shield as the remaining archers advanced on him.

Oliver fought against the flashbacks that popped up in his head, flashbacks to his fight with the Dark Archer – Malcolm Merlyn – that still haunted him on occasion even after two years. Oliver had never managed to properly defeat Merlyn. While Oliver was fast and had more stamina, Merlyn was a better archer. It had been painful to admit to himself, but it had been something he had learned to live with. The next time wasn’t going to end well for Merlyn even though he was Thea’s real father and the father of his dead best friend.

After Bad Penny served her purpose – he didn’t like fighting women or using them or whatever, but she hadn’t given him a choice – he dropped her body to the floor and rolled back into the room where he first started the fight, knowing full well that the mad scientist was in there. Oliver just hoped that Raines and Beau were stupid enough to follow him in. He threw a dart at the scientist, dropping him to the floor but not before the guy managed to tip the table with all the chemicals on them and the burning bunsen burner setting the goods on fire.

This wasn’t good. He had to stay away from it and not breathe in the chemicals. It seemed that the mad scientist knew exactly what he was doing. Beau was the first one to enter and from his spot in the corner opposite the door, Oliver shot him in the head. Raines was a bit more clever than that, he threw in a flashbang grenade, disorientating Oliver and making him unable to see before Raines started to bash into him, hitting his torso repeatedly.

Coughing as Raines kept knocking the air out of him, Oliver pushed the other man off of him with his good leg and tried to get a visual on the guy but he still couldn’t see. He did know that there was a window behind him and shot an explosive dart at the window, shattering the glass, allowing air to get into the room and the smoke to escape as his eyes started to readjust.

He dodge rolled to the left, unfortunately closer to the burning chemicals, and was stuck between the wall and Raines. Oliver strung his bow and aimed it at Raines. “It’s over,” he said while he coughed.

“Is it?” Raines replied as he, too, was aiming his bow, but then on Oliver. “I could just stand here and wait until you’ve succumbed to the fumes, it’d be interesting to see you lose your cool.”

Oliver growled and fired off his arrow, straight into Raines’ head, but not before Raines got off a shot too, hitting Oliver in the side. Oh yes, Bella was going to kill him.

He got to his feet after breaking off this arrow too – he’d be stupid to pull out this one – before stumbling out of the room. He still felt slightly disorientated and unbalanced, but he was sure that once he got away from the building and chemicals that it’d be alright. He didn’t feel the chemicals take any effect whatsoever. He hit the fire suppression system button and decided to go out the same way as he got in; ground floor, back door.

It took too long for him to get down the stairs, occasionally tripping over his own feet and smashing into a wall because his injured leg didn’t want to cooperate and by the time he reached the exit, he was short of breath. Once outside, he sat down against the wall and hit his earpiece. “Can someone please come and get me?”

It took a few moments before Felicity’s voice came back over the radio. “Roy and Bella are on their way. Is there anything I should give them a heads up about considering how pissed she looked just now?”

Oliver chuckled. “She looks hot when she’s pissed.”

“Oh lordie…Any injuries Oliver?”

“Hmm… I think so, let me count…” he said as he eyed himself. “One… definitely two… Ah…” he rested his head against the concrete wall, feeling nauseous. “There’s blood and pointy sticks coming out of my leg and side.”

“What. The. Fuck. Oliver?” Bella snapped, unable to keep her radio silence.

“Hi honey!”

“Don’t start with me,” Bella said angrily, but maybe a bit more worried than angry.

“Are you drugged?” Felicity asked after the line went quiet for a while and she remembered the conversation she had with Oliver earlier. “There should be a dart on you with the herbs to clean out your system.”

“I only carry those when I know I’m going to have to deal with chemicals, Felicity. I did not expect this mess when I got here,” Oliver managed to reply as he put his head against the wall and closed his eyes. The world was spinning around technicolored rainbows. “I’m definitely on something,” he said softly as he pulled his bow closer to his chest.

“We’re ten minutes out. You’re in big trouble,” Bella said before going silent again.

They found Oliver at the backdoor, slumped against the wall. Roy kneeled down next to him and looked for a pulse and sighed with relief. “He’s still breathing and has a pulse,” he said to Bella before hoisting Oliver to his feet. “We’ll check him out when we get back, it’s too dark out here.”

“I’m going to call Steve,” Bella replied as she helped Roy get Oliver to the van. Unconscious people were always heavier than normal, but dragging Oliver to the van was even worse.

“Are you sure? I know he’s your friend and he got us some new toys but Oliver-”

“I don’t care that Oliver will not like it that Steve is going to help us,” Bella snapped as she opened the door to the van. “I trust Steve and we might need an extra set of hands to keep Oliver down on the table because Felicity sure isn’t strong enough and…”

“Okay,” Roy nodded as he put a blanket over Oliver’s body to stop it from cooling off. “Are you staying in the back with him?”

“Damn right I am,” she said as she closed the door and pushed Oliver up a little so she could sit down and have his head up against her legs. Once the van started to move, Roy called Captain Lance with Oliver’s ghost phone, pretending to be him, explaining that things got a little out of hand when he wanted to catch one bad guy, but that some of them might still be alive. He also warned him that they’d probably needed to use gas masks for safety. While Roy was doing that, Bella was calling Steve to come and meet them at Verdant with his first aid kit. She knew that the Arrowcave was well equipped with medical supplies and could turn into a basic hospital when needed, but she trusted Steve’s expertise, and he worked best with his own kit.

Luckily, Oliver started to come to as they were just about to pull up at Verdant. He felt that something wasn’t right, almost as if he wasn’t in his own body and knew that he was drugged. At least he didn’t feel any pain, right? “Hi,” he said, looking up to Bella in the little light that there was in the back of the van. “How long was I out for?” Focussing on his words was hard, he needed to control himself even if his mind wanted to do other things.

“Twenty minutes or less,” Roy replied as he parked the car at the back of the club to smuggle Oliver in. He got out of the van and opened the door to help Oliver out. “Make no mistake, we might be helping you, but we’re not happy.”

“Sorry, sorry, sorry…” Oliver said softly as he clung onto Roy. “Sorry.”

“Yeah, alright,” Roy said soothingly, glad that Oliver was responsive enough to work with him as he took him to the entrance. “You’re going to be fine.”

“I’m here, but not.”

“Don’t worry, Oliver,” Roy responded as he nodded to Bella to open the door. “Felicity’s got you covered for that, one herbal cocktail waiting and ready for you when we get you inside.”

“I don’t think alcohol is going to solve anything…”

“Okay,” Roy said as he manouvered Oliver through the door and down the corridor to the cave.

“Oh my god,” Felicity exclaimed as she saw them come in and was quick to help getting Oliver on the table. She handed him a cup with the herbs mixed into water. “Drink this.”

“Hi, Felicity,” Oliver smiled widely at her before he looked at the cup. “There are leaves in this.”

“Yep. Drink.” Roy said before he looked at Bella. “Why don’t you go upstairs and check to see if your friend has arrived?” Normally Diggle would help Oliver with patching himself up, or even Felicity but Diggle was out of town, dealing with some ARGUS business and not even Roy knew first aid very well other than applying a bandaid or gauze and Oliver definitely needed stitches. It’s typical, really. Diggle was out of town for a few days and Oliver went into this crazy headspace that he was the lone ranger. Again. It was tiring and Roy had actually expected it to be less dramatic now that he had Bella. Now that he had something to live for.

His boss was an asshole.

Felicity took hold of the cup and pressed it to Oliver’s lips. “Drink, asshole.”

Bella narrowed her eyes on him as she bit on her thumbnail. “What the hell did he get himself into?” she questioned as she looked down at her phone, waiting for Steve to respond to her request for him to haul ass to the club.

“Oliver sometimes gets into the mood where he wants to do things on his own,” Felicity explained as she kept pressing the cup against him. “Like, almost as if he wants to prove to himself that he doesn’t need us. But he has us and he doesn’t want to rely on us. I don’t know, he’s just an asshole when he does things like this.”

“Diggle is usually the one who sees it coming, for some reason,” Roy added with a shrug. “But Dig’s not here.”

“He’s helping his wife with something this weekend,” Bella murmured as her phone lit up and she snatched it before the ringtone sounded. “Go to the security door past the bar. I’ll be there to let you in. Make sure no one is with you.”

Oliver giggled. “She’s cute when she’s bossy.”

“Drink, Oliver.” Felicity touched his bleeding side where there was something sticking out of him to make him wince and get him to drink the herb cocktail. “You need to cleanse and this works.”

“You’re no fun.”

Felicity watched as Bella ran to the door and then head slapped Oliver. “You’re so lucky you’re high right now and not feeling the pain that well, but trust me, you will suffer for this,” she shot at him. “When Dig comes back, you’re in deep shit, although now that you have Bella, she might be even worse than Dig.”

“Well, who knows,” Roy added as he looked over his shoulder with worry. “Between Oliver and Dig, Bella is bringing in someone else now and neither of them are going to be okay with that when they realize what she’s doing.”

“Yeah… I’d like to see that happen, actually,” Felicity said with a grin. “Bella would win, hands down.”

“She would. It’s not like they can do much other than get her run out of breath. We’ve all seen it when they spar.”

Their light joking over the the situation died down when they heard footsteps on the metal stairs returning and their friend’s voice filling in another on Oliver’s condition. Roy couldn’t help but narrow his eyes with confusion as the man didn’t seem the least bit surprised by what he was walking into. With all the technology and secrets surrounding them, Steve just went right up to Oliver and set himself to work by pushing the arrows through his leg after breaking the ends off. “Sorry, Buddy,” he apologized unsympathetically as the man let out a cry of pain.

“That wasn’t fun,” Oliver groaned as he looked at the sticks.

Steve raised an eyebrow at the tone and choice of words. “What exactly has he said? Verbatim.”

“I can do you better,” Felicity said as she turned around to reach on to her computer. “We record our radio in case something like this happens.” She tapped a key and the entire conversation was played back to them, causing Oliver to giggle at the sound of his own voice.

Bella had her arms wrapped around herself as she kept looking back and forth between her boyfriend and her friend and colleague. Hearing the replay of the night, Oliver sounding normal then suddenly sounding like, well like an idiot, left her feeling uneasy.

“I’m definitely on something,” Oliver stated. “There were colors and gas when things started to explode, that was fun. I wish Tommy had been there to witness it, he’d get a kick out of it.”

“Maybe. I think it’s only part of the problem,” Steve muttered as he recalled another event more vividly. He pulled back at sections of the suit to expose more skin and looked up at Bella. “I’ll need another pair of hands.”

“Hey look,” he said as he saw the blood and dipped his gloved finger in it, before keenly observing the blood on his finger. “I don’t think that’s supposed to happen. That’s supposed to be on the inside, right?”

Bella glared at him as she pulled his hand away from the bleeding. “Stop that. Don’t make me put you in a time out, Oliver,” she scolded, hating to have to treat him like a child. Looking back up to Steve, she sighed. “What do you need me to do?”

He had been following their interaction and nothing had changed. “I don’t know. This is your little freaking quirk I’m trying to figure out here.”

“Oh! Touch his skin!” Felicity piped up. “I know what Steve’s trying here. Touch his skin, Bella.”

“I’m about ready to punch him,” she muttered as she wrapped her hand around his throat instead, waiting for whatever change to happen. She glared into his eyes, waiting for him to realize just how pissed off she was in that moment.

“That works, that’s your skin connecting to his,” Felicity grinned.

Oliver blinked a couple of times and tried to shake the fog that was in his head, he wasn’t sure what was going on, other than him being doped up on something, most definitely. “You’re not supposed to be here,” he said as his eyes focused on Steve, who had a self absorbed smirk on his face. He then looked back at Bella and frowned. “What’s going on?”

“I should be asking you that, Asshole. Just what the hell were you thinking leaving us back here so that you can go out? Alone? This is the exact reason why you need to work as a team. You need us.”

“It was just the one guy!” Oliver defended himself as he winced when he tried to move. He then assessed the damage. “Or not?”

Her eyes narrowed as she let go and looked over at Roy sharply. “One?” she confirmed, knowing what she heard didn’t sound like that.

“Initially, yes, I mean, the CCTV showed just the one guy, who knows what he encountered in that warehouse? I called Lance, I could call him back to confirm the bodies?”

“I can guarantee there was at least one more,” Steve spoke as he looked at Bella and Oliver meaningfully. “And that person got out.”

Oliver nearly fell off the table but managed to scramble towards the sink to throw up as the herbs were working their way through his system, much like it had done with Vertigo’s drugs. He didn’t feel the pain of his wounds, which was probably a blessing, but it was bad.

“Take it easy. Get it out and then come back and I’ll sew you up, get some safe medication in you that won’t fuck you up,” Steve said as he opened the rest of his kit on the table. “You can fill everyone in while I fix you.”

Oliver grumbled something as he rinsed his mouth and tried to straighten himself up, only causing him to be dizzy. Hunching back over, he made his way back to the table. “I went there for the one,” he groaned as Roy helped him to get on the table. “But I don’t remember what happened when I got there.”

Bella brushed back his hair from his face. “What kind of drug does that?”

“I don’t think it’s just a drug. How’s Mr. Swan doing by the way?” Steve asked as he poured some alcohol over a needle.

“He’s fine?” Bella blinked at Steve in confusion.

“After the charity event?” he clarified, turning his eyes up to her.

Oliver looked between Steve and Bella in confusion before it clicked. “Fuck. I may be on drugs but fuck. That bitch.”

She still was either in denial or not piecing it together. “What am I not getting that you two obviously just did?” she questioned.

“I think I walked into a trap,” he replied as he looked at her. “Esme was at that warehouse.”

Bella frowned as she shook her head. “I’ve been following those two since we put cameras on their house. I haven’t found anything yet to get them out of Starling that can stick,” she complained.

“Well, now we do,” he winced as Steve pulled out the remainder of the arrow in his side and started to clean it up. “What the hell did I do?”

“Seems you didn’t take our favorite girl with you to back you up and got yourself some new scars to tells stories about to your future grandkids,” Steve smarted as he began to stitch the largest wound closed.

“Steve,” Bella chastised, shaking her head though she couldn’t help but be slightly amused. “What matters is we got you back and we figure out what they are up to.”

“No because it was an easy job and she had already been training. Our girl has the tendency to overexert herself,” Oliver growled before taking a deep breath to block out the nagging on his skin and looked at Bella. “I know I’m an asshole but it was just the one guy, you know…”

“No more ops without a buddy,” Felicity scowled at him. “Simple or not, at least until we get rid of those who can manipulate you like this.”

“How very Diggle of you,” Roy complimented her.

“Thank you. I try,” she smiled as she handed Oliver a bottle of water. “Drink.”

Oliver allowed Steve to stitch him up and dress his wounds before he hauled his ass off to his clothes and got changed, hearing everyone talk as he did.

“I’m amazed by the lack of surprise,” Felicity eventually said as she looked at Steve. “Everyone who comes down here for the first time is surprised. You knew?”

Steve glanced up at her, confused for a moment. “Knew? About this? No. Oh no. You learn that when you work for Miss Swan that not much surprises you after awhile. I’ve seen far too much in this world to know just how fucked up it is. When she requested me to get her some weapons, I suspected she was getting her hands into some shit like this but kept my mouth shut because in the end, she’s always had my back in the field and I’ll have hers. I trust this girl with my life. The other idiots in the company, as skilled as they are, don’t always know a good thing when it’s in front of them.”

“Hmm,” Felicity nodded understandingly. “Like the ape you just stitched up.”

“He actually still has some underlying drug running through him. I’m not going to give him something that might react. He’ll have to wait until it clears completely before he takes anything else. I’m afraid it’s going to be a long couple days depending on whatever it is. Whatever influence that Mrs. Cullen was able to hold over you, I think they used the drugs because they didn’t know how it was that her ability failed the night of the charity event.”

“What worries me is they deliberately targeted the Arrow or Oliver. That they know Oliver is the Arrow,” Roy said as he watched his boss shuffle back in and take a seat on one of the chairs.

Steve looked unsure at that. “I think maybe they used the Arrow as bait to test. What better way than to lure out the vigilante? They know Oliver is almost always with security or Bella so it’d be next to impossible to get to him, or even her, alone.”

“Yeah but why the Arrow? They must be afraid of him then and plan on incapacitating him for something bigger. There must be a bigger plan.”

“He’s the hero most likely to come to the rescue,” Steve shrugged, unsure if that idea was right as he looked around.

“Oliver was the one that happened to be the person to get Peter, who Carlisle had following me,” Bella pointed out.

Oliver looked at Steve and shrugged. “Lightning guy.”

“Lightning guy?”

“Gifted, like me,” she murmured as she looked up at him through her lashes. “Controls the weather.”

“Oh shit…” Steve blinked as he sat up straighter, swallowing at what he knew his friend could have suffered through. “Bella – if I knew…”

“You would have gotten yourself fried,” Oliver said as he leaned his head on his elbow as he looked at them. “Not that I underestimate you, but you know.”

He looked over at the man and shrugged. “For a friend, it’s worth it. If it wasn’t for that weird thing she is able to do, she’d be dead many times over for me. Don’t tell me how I feel or what to do about my friends.”

“What Oliver is trying to say is that this whole metahuman thing is new to us. People in Central City are way more up to speed with them but sometimes we have to deal with one here,” Felicity said defensively as she leaned against her desk. “He has a hard time allowing people to help out, but…” she pointed at Oliver.

“And look at where that got him,” Steve gestured at the obvious.

“He’s a stubborn asshole,” Felicity nodded. “He doesn’t learn.”

“He is still here.” Oliver said and groaned when he heard the door open. “We have company.”

“It’s either, Alfred, Harley, or Catwoman,” Bella snarled at the last name.

“Heels. It’s Laurel,” Oliver groaned.

“I heard that,” Laurel’s voice sounded and stopped in her tracks as she saw the new guy. She then noticed Oliver sitting on a chair looking like shit. “What’s this? The stunt you pulled on my dad? Did you think… ‘hey, they have new gear, let’s send them all out for a prank call?’. Oliver, my dad is furious. You sent them to a warehouse that was supposedly filled with bodies and all they found was Albrecht Raines, tied up, telling stories on how the Arrow seemed to be playing soldier with an imaginary friend!”

“Well – we found out what you did,” Bella shrugged as she went make him some coffee.

“That’s a relief,” Oliver slowly nodded and wished he could disappear. Laurel’s wrath was ugly.

Looking to her cousin, she kept her voice as calm as she could. “Was anyone injured?”

“Some mannequins and there was some explosive residue. Dad thinks it was drugs or something,” Laurel said and looked at Oliver, the new guy and back at Oliver. “Am I missing something?”

“Can he get us samples?” she questioned instead.

Laurel reached into her bag and handed the evidence bag over. “He’s furious. This isn’t funny, Oliver.”

“Tell him we’ll make it up to him but the Arrow was poisoned and – I don’t know – under some kind control. He’s better in one sense now, but we have to wait for these drugs to get out of his system. Only we don’t know what they are,” Bella explained quietly as she went to set the bag on the table next to Felicity, knowing she will start on it immediately.

“It’ll be fine, you gave me my herbal mixture, didn’t you?” Oliver snorted as he eyed the empty cup.

“Yes, but you threw it up,” Steve said.

“Yes, that’s what it does,” Oliver said with a nod. “I’ll have another cup later, but the initial workings is immediate detoxification when drugged. Either inserted or inhaled.”

Bella sighed as she looked at him tiredly. “It didn’t remove whatever spell Esme fucked you up with.”

“That’s different.”

“We don’t know. Please, Oliver. Why must you fight us so much?” she pleaded, just exhausted. “Do you really want to do this? Because I don’t want to fight with you.”

He threw his hands up in defense and took another sip of his water. “No, do whatever you feel is necessary.”

Steve shook his head as he saw the two. “This is not going to end well.”

“Ohkay,” Felicity said sweetly, moving to Oliver to help him up. “Let’s get you home and in bed, Oliver, and please shut the fuck up until we know for certain you’re yourself again.”

Bella had moved away from Oliver, her frustration growing and getting the better of her. She knew that he was still very much affected and tried to not let his behavior influence her to snap decisions that she would later regret.

“So, Bella, want me to bring him to your house or shall I dump him at his apartment and have Roy babysit him?” she asked as she wrapped a blanket around the man.

Closing her eyes, she shook her head. “Charlie is home. Take him to his place,” she muttered as she moved to clean out her rifle from her last mission that she had left on the table. There was no way she would be getting any sleep that night.

Oliver shrugged Felicity’s hands off of him and moved to Bella, not hugging her but gently rubbing her back. “I’m sorry.” He was an asshole, he knew that and he should have been more careful with choosing his words.

“Not now, Oliver,” she begged as she tried not to look to him. “Just go and sleep this off. Come back when you’re you. Not this jackass from two years ago.”

He blinked at her, wanting to say something in return but chose not to. Oliver slowly nodded and went to grab his keys and cellphone before following Roy out through the back so he didn’t have to take the stairs.

Steve had felt for the guy but his concern was for his friend first. “You sure you don’t want to go after him?”

“I’m sure,” Bella said as she looked around. “He needs to let go some. I’ve given up enough of myself. It’s his turn. That is if this is going to work.”

“Bella, I’m on your side. Laurel’s on your side,” Felicity smiled at her from behind her computer.

Laurel had been stunned silent by what she had been witnessing. “Um…um…well, he is drugged, but yeah. He does need a kick in the ass and this may be it. Maybe he needs to be afraid of losing you to light a fire under his ass? But back to my earlier question that everyone ignored. Who is this guy and why is he down here?”

“Steve McGinty,” he smiled widely at her and held out his hand. “Nice to meet you. Bella’s my boss and your grown up child needed stitching.”

“Not anymore dumbass,” she muttered as she turned back to her cleaning her weapon.

“She’s my boss,” Steve grinned at Laurel. “She’ll always be my boss. And you are?”

“Laurel Lance, Bella’s cousin.”

“Awesome. You want to go for a drink?”

Bella looked up at their tones of voice and raised an eyebrow. “Well fuck. If I had known, I would have called Steve in four months ago,” she muttered to herself. Huffing, she spoke louder, her voice deadly in warning. “Nothing stronger than coffee, Steve.”

“Got it boss,” he grinned as he held out his arm for Laurel to take.

“I guess Harley found her Deadpool,” Bella commented to Felicity once the two disappeared. “I’m not sure how I feel about that.”

“Uhuh,” Felicity nodded in confusement. “I don’t know what just happened there, to be honest.”

 

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