Letting Go - Epilogue

Four months later

Oliver groaned as his opponent got lucky and aimed straight at the spot on his side that hurt the most. The bruised rib hasn’t yet fully mended from the fall he’d sustained a few days back when a guy, high as a kite, threw him off a five storied building. He’d been lucky enough to break his fall on a fire escape, and as such only had a couple of cuts and bruises as a memento instead of a tombstone.

Laurel had been furious though. Yelling at him for not taking better care of himself, for not having Diggle around as backup, for being stupid enough to almost getting killed. Then she’d hugged him in relief. He’d tried not to betray the pain, but she’d felt his wince...And she’d yelled even more when she’d discovered the lacerations and bruises on his side. And then she’d fussed over him and babied him for the next couple of days. Which, in his opinion, wasn’t at all bad. He loved being fussed over and babied by his Laurel.

The man landed another punch in that particular area and Oliver’s suspicion that the rib might be more than bruised was a suspicion no more. Maybe he should’ve listened to Laurel and gotten it X-rayed.

After yet another punch and another explosion of stars behind his eyelids, Oliver has had enough. He head-butted the idiot, kicked him in the belly, and stood glaring down at the fallen guy, fighting the urge to hold his aching side.

He felt, more than heard, movement at his back, and turned quickly, to see another idiot rushing toward him with a crowbar. Shit. He looked at his bow, lying a few feet away, mentally calculated the distance and the time it would take him to reach it. He liked his chances, so he rolled, grabbed his bow, and was on his feet in time to see his would-be attacker writhe on the floor as a slender figure in black leather and blond wig zip-tied him.

She stood in one lithe movement and walked toward him with a smile.

“Sorry, I’m late,” she murmured and kissed him tenderly. “The meeting with the judge ran a little longer than predicted. What did I miss?”

He grinned. “Nothing much. Interrupted burglary.”

“Yeah, I heard the chatter.” She looked toward the other man lying on the floor, lights still out. “Let me just cuff the other one, and then we’re going to the hospital.”

Oliver frowned. “What? Why?”

She zip-tied the second burglar, and placed a tracking device beside him. Quentin Lance now knew where to come to pick up the two perps.

“Because, mister, you’re getting that rib checked out.”

“What rib?”

She put her arms onto her hips and glared. At least he thought she did. The domino mask hid her expression very well. “The one this guy was using as a punching bag. The one you supposedly bruised last week.”

He went for nonchalant. “I’ll be fine.”

“I won’t,” she snapped. “Not until a doctor says you’re fine.”

He sighed. “You’re such a pill.”

Laurel walked back to him and rolled her eyes. “Drop the act, you idiot. Don’t you think I know you’re as happy as a clam when I fuss over you?”

He grinned and kissed her. Hard and quick. “Why do you do it, then?”

She lifted her hand and ran her gloved fingers tenderly down his cheek. “Because I like fussing over you. Just as you like to fuss over me.”

He gritted his teeth remembering the last time he had to fuss over her. He could understand why she got furious when he got hurt. He’d gotten furious each time she got hurt. The first time it happened, he’d even tried to forbid her to fulfill her promise to Sara to don the leather garb, mask and wig, and help him protect the city. She’d laughed in his face when he’d breached that particular subject. When he’d insisted, she’d called him all sorts of names, and made him sleep on the couch.

“And since I want to spend years and years fussing over you,” she said as sounds of police sirens approached, “we’re going to the hospital, and you’ll do whatever the doctors tell you to do.”

“Yes, ma’am.” He switched the bow into his left hand, and took her hand with his right. “I love you.”

“I love you, too.”

Λ

Officer Quentin Lance was the first on scene. He was just in time to get a glimpse of the vigilante couple down the darkened alley hand in hand.

He sighed exasperatedly, shook his head, and pocketed the tracking device seconds before the first squad car sped round the corner.


The End



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