Letting Go - Chapter 9

Felicity was scared spit-less. Literally spit-less. She had absolutely no spit to fuel her verbal diarrhea. Which was probably a good thing. Because Helena Bertinelli was seriously unhinged and God only knew what she’d do if Felicity’s verbal diarrhea kicked in. Or what her seriously ripped, and seriously nutso boy-toy might do.

Unfortunately, thanks to the huge spit deficit, she also couldn’t ask Laurel whether she was scared, spit-less or otherwise, as well. Though the woman didn’t look scared. She didn’t look anything, actually. Just the cool, collected Dinah Laurel Lance façade she presented to the media every time they caught her on tape outside the courthouse. Your garden-variety Stepford wife.

She just sat there, hands tied behind her, back straight, head held high, face impassive, eyes blank. It was eerie really. If she wasn’t breathing she’d looked just like the life-sized doll that crazy Dollmaker had wanted to turn her into.

Felicity has never felt more alone than in this instant. Laurel had gone all cold and remote, leaving her alone in her scared-spit-less state. What about girl-power, sisterhood and all that? She could appreciate calm under fire, she did appreciate it when Oliver did it, she just didn’t appreciate it from her fellow captive. Not when it was Helena Bertinelli, the Helena Bertinelli that had been rather crazy the last time they’ve met, holding them captive. Who knew how much closer to Bonkersville the woman had come in the time she’d been away.

Felicity had a pretty good idea how much closer she’d come, though. A lot, if the phone call Helena had made earlier was any indication. She could probably run for Bonkersville’s mayor. She’d called Oliver demanding the new whereabouts of her father in exchange for Laurel and Felicity’s lives. At first, she’d just mentioned Felicity and her heart had warmed at the concern and anger she’d heard in Oliver’s tone.

But that had been nothing compared to his reaction at hearing Laurel’s name. He’d gone ballistic, which was completely out of character for the Oliver 2.0, the post Tommy Merlyn’s death Oliver. His voice had gone completely cold, yet vibrated with fury. And terror. He knew what Helena Bertinelli was capable of and had all the reasons to be afraid, to be terrified for Laurel’s life. Because Helena knew what Laurel meant to him, which made her the perfect bargaining chip. Oliver would do anything to keep Laurel safe. Even offering Frank Bertinelli on a silver platter.

If she had had any doubts about the depth of Oliver’s feelings toward Laurel, they’d been officially put to rest. Dinah Laurel Lance was it. The love of Oliver Queen’s life. There was no denying that. No hoping for something else. Not that Felicity had really been hoping. Despite what Laurel and everybody else might think.

“I must say,” Helena sneered as she stopped in front of Laurel, looked her up and down, “I like the new look. Though I never thought Oliver fell for blondies.” She winked at Felicity.

“I never thought he went for crazy bitches, either, but the man always surprises me,” Laurel retorted calmly.

Felicity cringed. In her opinion, telling crazy people they were crazy was never a good idea.

Hellen struck viciously, slapping Laurel so hard, her head snapped to the side. “I will enjoy making you suffer until Oliver charges in to save you.” She paused as if thinking. “Maybe he’ll even be too late.”

Laurel slowly turned her head back, licked the blood off her lip. “This is the first and last time you touched me.”

Felicity cringed again. She liked the backbone on the woman, but this wasn’t the time or the place for bravado. They were both tied to their chairs, at the mercy of the crazy lady and her beefy boyfriend. What was Laurel doing?

Helena laughed. “You’re right. I’ll let Chris do the honors. I’m thinking Oliver really will be too late.”

Felicity’s vision turned blurry as tears filled her eyes. Helena seemed to have forgotten about her, concentrating all her hatred on Laurel. And Oliver by proxy. She should’ve felt relieved she’d probably remain unscathed, but she couldn’t muster any relief. Who knew what would befall Laurel, especially now that she’s pushed the nutso’s buttons. And what would happen to Oliver when he came to their rescue and found...God, she couldn’t even think about it.

“What do you think, Chris?” Helena asked her sidekick. “Are you game to teach this fancy lady a lesson or two?”

His grin chilled Felicity’s blood. He looked as crazy as his companion. As Helena moved away and he approached Laurel, Felicity wanted to look away, close her eyes, but she couldn’t. She wouldn’t. Someone like Laurel, no matter the martial arts training she’s supposedly gone through at her father’s insistence, couldn’t stand a chance against a wall of pure muscle and menace. She prayed Oliver would come soon. Very soon.

As she watched through tears, Laurel’s arms tightened. Then her hands were suddenly free, and she was off her chair. She jabbed up with her right elbow, blocked a swing with her left arm, while swiftly punching forward with her right hand...And Chris the Sidekick lay on the floor unmoving.

At the same time as Felicity felt a knife at her throat, Laurel has already turned toward her, a gun in her hand. A very steady hand despite the blood oozing from her wrist.

“Drop the knife,” she ordered.

Felicity felt Helena tighten her grip on her hair and press the tip of the knife harder against her throat, but there was no pain. There was no time for pain. She was too busy staring with a mixture of confusion, awe, and terror at the barrel of the gun in Laurel’s hand. It didn’t waver.

“You drop the gun,” Helena sneered. “Or I’ll kill her.”

“I can drop you where you stand and you won’t even have time to blink,” Laurel retorted.

Helena laughed cruelly, pulling painfully at Felicity’s ponytail. “You? Please, you’re a lawyer.”

“And daughter of a cop. He taught me to shoot when I was still in elementary school. I can hit a playing card at 100 yards. Notice the distance here is much shorter.”

Laurel cocked her head slightly and Felicity knew she was sighting. Jesus, she would really shoot Helena Bertinelli. And judging by the way she’d KOd Chris the Sidekick, Felicity was of the inclination to believe that she’d hit her target. Preferably with Felicity staying alive in the process.

There was no opportunity to make good on the threat, though, since the standoff was interrupted by the incursion of a uniformed policeman coming through the door and a hooded figure dropping in from above. Both had their weapons, a gun and a drawn bow, trained on Helena Bertinelli.

“Drop the knife, Ms Bertinelli,” Arrow ordered, “and let her go.”

Helena smiled cynically. “Really? A voice filter. Are you afraid—”

“Shut up,” Laurel snapped. “I can still shoot you.”

“Laurel,” Quentin Lance warned, his eyes and his gun never wavering from Helena Bertinelli. “Drop the gun, honey, it’s all right.”

“Not until she lets Felicity go.”

Felicity felt her heart warm as fresh tears flooded her eyes. Laurel was protecting her. Laurel Lance was protecting her. Felicity Smoak, a nobody. Just a blip in Laurel’s life. Yet, she was protecting her.

“Felicity,” Arrow said, drawing her gaze. “Remember what D. taught you.”

What Diggle taught her? The basic self-defense techniques ran through her mind. Foot stomping, eye gouging, groin kicking...Nothing seemed to fit this particular occasion. Play dead! It might work. It might get her throat cut open, but it might just work.

Felicity went limp and Helena Bertinelli lost her grip. The moment the knife was away from her throat, Felicity sprang forward, seeking refuge with her new best friend Laurel Lance, who promptly pushed her behind her with her free hand, the gun still firmly trained on Helena.

Who’s obviously gone off the deep end and pulled her small crossbow from behind her back. She pointed it at Laurel, but before she could shoot, Helena Bertinelli was on her back with an arrow embedded in her heart and a bullet hole in her forehead.

Quentin Lance looked at Arrow. “You better get out of here, before the cavalry arrives,” he said as sirens sounded in the distance. “I got this.” He inclined his head slightly. “Thank you.”

Felicity watched Oliver nod in return, smiled reassuringly as he looked at her, then felt her heart squeeze as his eyes lingered on Laurel and their gazes met.

“I’m all right,” Laurel whispered. “Go.”

He looked like he wanted to say something, he took a step forward as if to touch her, but, as the sirens grew near, turned and parkoured out of the building. Felicity knew he trusted her to make sure Laurel was truly all right. She wouldn’t disappoint him.

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