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i'd travel a thousand galaxies (to have you here in my arms)

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2017 --

 

If anyone had asked Felicity Smoak ten years ago what she thought her life would be like today, she wouldn’t have known what to say.

“He’s circling around left Spartan - take the back alley entrance.”

“On it.”

But she wouldn’t have expected this.

She follows Spartan’s blinking tracker as it moves along her computer, before scanning the computer to locate the rest of her team.

Felicity could have imagined her life going several different, highly probable (if not probably boring) ways.

She could have easily continued her boring job as overqualified IT specialist at Queen Consolidated, segwaying into a careful life in the suburbs eventually with a small dog and a picket fence.

She could have even gave up on her life in Starling City entirely, moved back to Las Vegas with her mother and spent the rest of her days serving cocktails to handsy business men and pretending to laugh when her mom told people they were sisters.

Scarily enough, she could have even seen herself exchanging the hair dye and pencil skirts for her previous lifestyle of combat boots and purple streaks, (a version of herself that seems so far off it was almost like she imagined it) letting the darkness envelop the bright parts of her personality that breathed post-Cooper, maybe even following his footsteps straight to prison.

Felicity could have imagined colorful scenarios with countless endings for the rest of her life - she actually has a very vivid imagination, ask anyone - but this?

“Speedy - Count 4.0’s men are stationed at every entrance of the power plant. I suggest you enter through the air ducts to avoid detection - I’m getting the schematics now.”

Frantically typing in an amazingly complex algorithm (that she hand-crafted herself), helping 3 justice-driven vigilante’s in suits take down yet another bad guy hell-bent on destroying the city?

Yeah. She probably wouldn’t have guessed that.

“Copy that, Overwatch.”

Oh yeah - and she has her own codename too, like some fracking superhero out of a comic book.

She definitely would have never foreseen this as her reality - but she counts herself as extremely lucky that it is.

“Green Arrow, I need you to parkour or whatever you need to do to get up to the roof - there’s a door our bad guys neglected since it requires a complete override in order to open it. Unfortunately for them they’ve never met me.”

She cracks her knuckles harshly like she’s seen in the movies - although it does absolutely nothing to improve her efficiency so she literally has no idea why characters do that - and waits for her boyfriend - god , it feels so good to call him that again - to make his way up there.

“Done.”

“Spartan, can you circle around the back with Speedy and come in from the rear?” She’s met with a breathy chuckle that sounds suspiciously like Diggle. “Sorry, that sounded wrong. Can you enter from the back? God! That sounded even worse.”

“Can you both please go through the back of the building and cover Green Arrow as he goes after Count Vertigo 4.0?” She silently repeats her sentence for any innuendos. Realizing she aced it that time, she mentally pats herself on the back. “Hey, that one was good. Why can’t my brain say it that way the first time?”

Dig chuckles. “Cause then you wouldn’t be you, Overwatch.”

She hears the affectionate note in his voice and decides to forgive him to laughing at her verbal pain earlier.

“How’s the door coming, Overwatch?” Oliver sounds out of breath, even by his standards, and she honestly doesn’t want to know exactly how he got to the top of that roof.

“You should be able to get in….  now!”

She watches as the team  infiltrates Count 4.0’s secret hideout. She can barely believe they’re back to where it all began, really, six years ago. Taking down a madman sidled with the name Count Vertigo who’s hellbent at harming the city by use of the infamous drug that keeps reinventing itself.

It’s kind of poetic, in a way, that they’re back to where it all began just as she and Oliver are back to the start of their relationship as well. Poetic and a little bit… well, what’s the word?

Repetitive.

Seriously, don’t these guys ever get tired of hitting the streets with the same drug? What is the big deal with Vertigo? Cocaine and heroin not cool enough anymore?

She probably should be thankful it’s just the Count’s hideout they’re infiltrating tonight and not something more lucrative and dangerous. It’s a job for just the four of them (the Original Gangsta’s as she likes to call them) which is perfect since the rest of the team is MIA at the moment.

Well, not so much ‘missing’ since Felicity knows exactly where each of them are - Rene is spending time with his daughter in Coast City, Dinah finishing up a week of boot camp for her police training in Central City - but when she’d referred to it as their vacation time Rene and Dinah hadn’t laughed quite as hard as she had.

It’s probably perfect timing for a break anyway - the Big Bad guys don’t tend to show their faces or reveal their evil doomsday plans til about mid-March, so fall is a the opportune time for them to be left with half a team.

She hopes she’s not jinxing it.

Thea had begrudgingly agreed to suit up again until the team is back, although Felicity can tell she secretly is loving it. Maybe adrenaline rushes are the secret antidote for the after-effects of a coma?

She watches her team, keeping an eye out for anything out of the ordinary. It’s a little bit weird to think of busting up an illicit drug ring as ‘ordinary’, but here she is.

The power plant they were infiltrating had no security cameras, only a satellite a few miles away that gave her an image grainier than a 1970’s home video, but at least she can make out which specs were here team and which were the Count’s men.

Mostly though, this is the part where Team Arrow does the brunt of the work. She just has to sit helplessly, miles away from the fight, while the sounds of gunfire and grunting fill her ears and pray that they all come home in one piece.

Six years in and this part doesn’t get any easier. Not even a little.

“Overwatch, do you have eyes on the Count?” Oliver asks, words broken up by the sharp intakes of breath that tell her he’s fighting.

“It looks like he’s heading for the exit on the northwest corridor… Along with 5 quarts of Vertigo. I swear the only thing I can count on in my life is this stupid drug reappearing every other year.”

Dig and Thea trail not far behind Oliver, keeping the Count’s men detained. Oliver maneuvers himself so he can cut the Count off before he can make it outside and launches a rope-arrow in attempt to stumble him as he runs. The Count must have been anticipating that, though, and he dodges it just in time before turning to fire more rounds at Oliver.

Oliver eludes the bullets easily, but the distraction buys the Count extra time that he uses to sneak out the doorway and into the alley.

“He’s on the move!” Oliver shouts.

“Got it,” Dig replies, shoving his elbow roughly into one of the Count’s men and reaching for his gun. “I’ll circle back around come from the other side. Speedy?”

“Right behind ya,” Thea responds, letting an arrow sail into the air that lands near a huge shipment of Vertigo. It explodes on impact. “Nice,” she mutters.

They trail behind Oliver as he chases the Count. Felicity stares at her computer intently, waiting for any indication from her team that she can do something to help.

A voice comes from behind her.

“Would now be a good time to tell you that a van full of Vertigo is pulling out of the parking lot and - wow, breaking a lot of traffic laws?”

“Ah!” Felicity yelps, startling. “I forgot you were here!”

Curtis smiles despite himself, re-adjusting his glasses as he sits near her desk and types into a computer nearby.

“Yeah, that seems to be a reoccurring thing.”

She had almost completely forgotten Curtis was manning comms with her tonight too, since he wasn’t actively needed in the field. It may have been an ego-buster for some, but Curtis seemed to take in stride the fact that he wasn’t as useful in the field as he was behind a computer. It made more sense to have him on the team as engineer/sometimes Overwatch (on the nights when Felicity was busy, obviously) than as Mister Terrific who, let’s be honest, was only as useful as a couple extra punches most nights.

“I’ll hack into the security feed and find out where they’re unloading the shipment,” he offers. “Although if Green Arrow doesn’t catch the Count this time, we’re pretty much royally screwed.”

“Not helping, Curtis,” Felicity admonishes as she types.  

“Right, sorry.” He adjusts his glasses, again, looking anywhere but her. Sometimes it was freaky how painfully alike they were.

She refocuses on her computer, watching from a security feed so grainy it should be illegal as the team eventually corner the Count in an alley a few blocks down. She watches as he turns to face them, obviously knowing his capture is imminent but wanting to go down kicking and screaming nonetheless.

They always do.

Oliver raises his bow to him. “Put the gun down Count - it’s over.”

“You can kill me if you like but the Vertigo plan will carry on unhinged. The shipments are already delivered and being taken to Central City as we speak. You’re too late.”

“Overwatch?” Dig prompts, knowing she heard all that.

“I respectfully disagree, Walmart-version of the Count,” Felicity says as she hacks into the truck’s location. “I believe the SCPD were just tipped off about the location of a truck carrying 500 pounds worth of Vertigo before it left Star City. Oh, and I hacked into all traffic lights within a four mile radius so… no cars - truck drivers with tons of drugs or otherwise - will be making a pit stop in Central City tonight.”

She finishes typing and pumps her fist in the air. “Vertigo? More like Verti-NO.”

Curtis chuckles along with her at her pun (that she definitely had not been thinking of since the Count reemerged five days ago) and they share an uncoordinated hi-five that they’re both glad no one is there to witness.

Digg gives an amused huff. “We gotta work on your trash talk.”

“It’s over, Count,” Oliver continues. “Lower your weapon.”

The Count’s lips curve menacingly. “You should kill me now while you have the chance - next time, I won’t be so easy to catch.”

Oliver rolls his eyes and steadies his bow. He was just stalling at this point.

“What is it about bad guys and monologuing?” Felicity wonders aloud, unknowingly echoing Oliver’s thoughts. “Literally in what superhero movie has that ever worked out for them?”

“I’m not going to kill you. Lower. Your. Weapon.”

Felicity can’t keep the proud smile off her face. Ever since Lian Yu, Oliver had been doing his best to find another way - in a lot of areas of his life, but most importantly, by not killing as the Green Arrow.

This wasn’t a promise blanketed by naivety anymore though - he accepted that sometimes, when the situation demands it, he would need to take a life, and it wasn’t something that he was going to rake himself over the coals for, either. With the help of the team - and with insight from Felicity, of course - he could make those tough calls if it was for the betterment of the city.

“Put your gun down,” Oliver repeats. “Now.”

The Count seems to weigh his options before tightening the grip on his gun, still clutching the Vertigo for dear life in his other hand.

Oliver sighs and pulls his bow back, prepared to launch a tranq-arrow into the Count’s arm, when three gunshots ring out.

The Count crumples to the ground, dark blood seeping from his chest and dampening his shirt.

The team scatters in self-defense - ducking for cover and trying to find the source of the gunshots.

“What just happened!?” Felicity shrieks, because she thought this night was pretty much wrapped up.

“The Count’s dead, three bullets fired from a nearby rooftop it seems,” Oliver recites as he leans down to check the Count’s pulse. Nothing. He can’t exactly feel remorse about that, considering this man was planning on putting a deadly hallucinatory drug on the market for worldwide consumption - plus had no problem popping off bullets in his direction moments earlier - but something about this leaves a bitter taste in his mouth.

Felicity frowns at her computer. “I’ll scan surveillance footage now.”

“That’s… weird.” Thea, not far behind Oliver, walks out to where the alley meets the street to scan for threats.

“Speedy.” Oliver warns. Vigilante or not, protective brother will always be his identity first.

“I just… don’t get it. There’s no one here besides us. No cop cars… why would one of his own men kill him?”

Oliver shrugs, too busy scanning the night with precision to pay too close attention to Thea’s question. They were outside, in a dimly lit alleyway in a godforsaken area of the Glades surrounded by abandoned buildings and beaten-down apartment complexes. These shots could have been fired from anywhere.

“I don’t know about motive,” Diggle says as he approaches. “But three precise shots? From a vantage point like this? Seems like the work of a sniper to me.”

Thea gives an incredulous chuckle. “So Star City has a sniper on the loose? Awesome,” she deadpans.

“I’ve accessed any video cameras that could have caught a glimpse of our shooter,” Felicity informs them. “The satellite that covers the rooftop of the apartment building to your left has two minutes where it goes completely black. Coincidence?”

“When is anything ever a coincidence?” Oliver mutters before using a rope-arrow to scale the building. He’s not really in the mood to play games tonight. If there’s a deadly sniper lose in his city, he’s going to find him.

Much to his chagrin, when he reaches the top he’s met with nothing but the noises of the city and a vacant rooftop.

“It’s empty, Overwatch.”

“Shooty-McGee must have booked it,” Felicity supplies, hacking into as much security footage as she can find. “I’ll go over the security cameras from the insides of the buildings from the past hour, see if anything suspicious turns up.”

“Uh, guys?” Thea interrupts. “Is this really such a big deal? I mean Count Vertigo was most likely going to try and shoot his way out of that anyway. Are we putting too much thought into someone getting a bad guy? I mean it’s not like we’re the only ones allowed to take down crazies in this city.”

Oliver slides down the rope he’d used, landing with a harsh thunk next to Thea.

“How do we know this isn’t another one of those crazies?” Oliver counters. “If we leave them on the street, they could end up hurting more people.”

“Count Vertigo did make a lot of enemies,” Dig concedes. “Could be just one of them exacting their revenge.”

“And he was, like, super icky,” Felicity tacks on, grimacing. “Forcing the world into a drug-induced coma, basically? Who does that? Icky people, that’s who.”

Thea nods. “Exactly. Maybe we shouldn’t be trailing this guy, but thanking him?”

Oliver sighs, subconsciously resting his weight on his good knee. He seems to battle himself over this - the fearless, alpha male vigilante in him wants to spend the rest of the night scaling rooftops while the other half just wants to take a win as a win and call it a night.

They did stop Count Vertigo and his men, while getting Vertigo off the streets before it swept through the country.

If there was ever a win, it was that.

“Come on, Oliver. If this shooter wanted to hurt us they would’ve done it while we were oblivious and easy targets,” John says. His logic isn’t wrong by any means, but something about this still leaves a sour taste in his mouth.

But… what can he say? He really wants to call it a night and spend the rest tucked inside with his girlfriend.

“You’re right. Let’s call it a night.”

“Team Arrow back to the Arrow Cave!” Felicity announces, not even realizing she let the term fly with Oliver in earshot. He’s warmed up to Team Arrow over the years, but Arrow Cave has been a hard sell. She’ll have to use more sexual incentives.

“Stop calling it that,” Oliver grumbles - although she would bet good money he is trying not to smirk under that hood of his.

“One day,” she concedes. “One day you’ll join the dark side, honey.”

She switches off her comm when they’re en-route and leans her head back against the chair, letting all the energy leave her body with a sigh.

Victory at last. And sleep… sleep at last.

Sometimes Felicity has to pinch herself just to remind herself this is her life . Crazy ninja assassins? Immortal magicians with crazy plots to destroy the world? Dead people that were apparently not-so-dead coming back every other week? Shape-shifting metahumans? Time travel? This is the kind of stuff that didn’t even surprise her anymore; this was stuff in her wheelhouse.

She not only gets to work with the heroes that put bad guys away - they consider her a hero, too.

Pinching herself just wasn’t enough.

Oliver had once told her that her superpower was her brain, and whenever she thinks of it (often replaying Oliver’s sweetest sentiments in her head like a greatest hits album) it takes her back to being a latchkey kid growing up in Vegas, her future looking no brighter than the neon signs that lit up The Strip.

She hadn’t expected great things from herself; hadn’t even known she was capable of great things.

Even after moving to Starling City, she had anticipated the ordinary. Basked in it, even.

But then Oliver Queen had shown up at her cubicle one sunny Wednesday afternoon - and the rest was history. A complicated, painful, bizarre, wonderful history - but it was her history nonetheless.

If anyone had told Felicity Smoak ten years ago this would be her life, she would have laughed in their face… and then probably hacked into their computer to find what kind of hallucinatory drugs they were on.

Ten years can change everything - and Felicity is incredibly grateful everyday for it.

____________________________

If anyone had asked Oliver Queen what his perfect day was ten years ago, the answer would have been a complete 360 degree shift from what he would say now.

A decade ago, he was on an island. In the North China Sea.

Ten years ago, his perfect day would have been a day where there’s fresh food, running water, and not the lingering feeling that he had a target plastered to the back of his head.

But, as the years go on, his days change. He goes to China, then Russia, then back to Lian Yu.

His ideas of a perfect day morph by the hour.

Some days it is just seeing Thea or Tommy again; some days it’s a huge, greasy cheeseburger. Other’s it’s a time machine so he can go back and save those he’s lost (not as many as he eventually will, but already more than he can bare).

Most days it’s the simple release of death.

Each year brought different heartaches and by the end of his five years in hell his perfect day is just a day where he gets to see his family one last time.

Then, he came home.

Life was still gritty and dangerous and painful; but he was home. He was with his family again.

He put arrows in people. He righted his father’s wrongs. He protected Thea.

Even then, the most perfect day he could imagine in his mind was death.

Then John Diggle came along. And Felicity Smoak. Roy Harper not soon after and his life had… meaning. It had purpose. He wasn’t just mindlessly putting arrows in people’s chests; he was making a real difference.

He was protecting Starling City, the city his father loved - and in that way, still honoring him as well as Tommy.  

At that point in his life, his perfect day would be spending time with his mother and sister, and then ending the day with his Arrow family (he would have never called them that at the time, but yeah, that’s what they were) hunting down bad guys.

Over the next few years, his life made more dramatic shifts in losing people, painful realizations and god-awful bad guys (with a little bit of hope thrown in and a lot of love) than all his years “on the island” combined.

But the core has remained the same - his perfect day involves those he loves feverishly and protecting the city he calls home unreservedly. The details don’t matter.

And if anyone had told Oliver Queen ten years ago that his idea of a perfect day would end with him curled up on the couch, absentmindedly running his fingers through his girlfriend’s blonde hair as she babbles animatedly, well - he would have called them insane. And then probably put an arrow in them.

A lot can change in ten years.

“All I’m saying is that if this whole Smoak Tech start-up doesn't work out, the look on the board's faces when I told them I was starting my own company that would rival most of their marketed products - starting with the biostimulant - would be reward enough. I mean, I generally don’t take enjoyment in others misfortune, but when it comes to the people who fired me and tried to lay-off half their employees? I do. I totally do.”

Oliver grins down at his girlfriend, still reveling in the privilege of being able to call her that again. And marveling at her ability to talk so fast. Her babbles are one of his favorite characteristics about her and when they were apart he had heard them far too infrequently.

He hopes he never has to live without them again.

“You’re going to be amazing. Mr. Dennis and the rest of the board will regret ever letting you go. Especially once you get the biostimulant on the market.”

He continues to run his hands through her hair and down her back, feeling the goosebumps his fingers elicit as they gently rub her spine. It’s been almost two years since the shooting that left her paralyzed from the waist down, and even less time since she’d regained her ability to walk. The wounds that the bullets had left when they exited her body and the scars from her surgeries she’d undergone was still a sensitive spot for her - and a sensitive subject for Oliver.

It didn’t matter how much time passed or how many apologies he carved out with his lips against her skin; nothing he did could make him feel less guilty about leaving her feeling abandoned when she needed him most.

“Right? Curtis said the projections for our sales of the biostimulant are, in his words, ‘victory dance worthy’. Not that I do victory dances...”

Oliver’s mouth quirks, his fingers still tangled in her hair. “Sure you don’t.”

“Whatever Curtis told you, he is a filthy liar.”

He chuckles. “Curtis didn’t tell me anything. I just know you.”

She moves her head up from where it had been laying in the curve of his neck to send him a disbelieving glare.

“....And I had him pull up the security footage in the bunker.”

“Traitor!” She pokes his side in what is no doubt supposed to be a battle move but just feels like a light tickle. He can’t tell her that though, since it may wound her pride. And she’s adorable right now.

“Ow,” he feigns, rubbing the spot she poked. “I don’t know what the big deal is. It’s cute.”

Felicity narrows her eyes at that and he can tell she is fighting a smile.

“Let’s just say my tendency to occasionally victory dance is a closely coveted secret known by few.” She moves to straddle him then, her hips pinning him down in what is probably supposed to be predatory but ends up just turning him on.

“Can I trust you, Mr. Queen?”

His eyes darken -  something between amusement and lust. Mr. Queen had always got his blood rushing (a fact Felicity has known and benefited from.)

“You can trust me, Ms. Smoak.”

“Nobody can know my secret,” she says in her best Arrow impression, which makes him laugh out loud. She joins him, all pretense of sexy, predatory vixen gone and she is back to his adorable, giggly girlfriend.

Neither can really be mad though at the change in the tension, since just months ago a scene like this would have been unimaginable for both of them.

She covers his lips with a few sloppy, easy kisses and then eases her head back onto his chest. He can tell she’s exhausted by the delay in her movements and the fact that she is not initiating anything more tonight.

It’s fine, he doesn’t really care - they have all the time in the world for that.

He continues to rub her back gently, as his mind drifts in and out of what he needs to do tomorrow - pack Felicity a lunch, meet with the school district to discuss budget cuts, call Samantha to make plans to pick up William for the weekend.

He gets so lost in his own thoughts that he doesn’t notice the woman in his arms has completely passed out. Her breaths are even, her weight dead on top of him.

He gently shakes her shoulders, testing how deep she is. He had no qualms with carrying her upstairs but he also knows how much of a ninja Felicity can be when she’s in that half-awake, half-asleep state and he doesn’t particularly feel like being kneed in the stomach tonight.

“Felicity?”

She gives a soft grunt in response, snuggling further into his side. “Mmph. Don’t eat my cheese puffs, penguin.”

Oliver chokes on a laugh - sometimes he forgets what a weird sleep-talker Felicity can be.

“Okay, hon. I promise I won’t let him eat your cheese puffs, we just have to go to bed.”  

He began to shift his body from under her and lift himself off the couch before adjusting her in his arms. She stirs a bit, letting out a small groan but otherwise stays completely asleep.

Felicity is a blindingly bright light of energy when she's awake, but asleep she's essentially a dead body. When he reaches their bed - god , it felt good to say that again - he gently lays her down, pulling the comforter up to cover the thin straps of her tank top. He takes off his Henley, leaving him shirtless before moving to his side and squeezing in next to her.

She rolls over - she searches for his warmth even when she’s dead asleep, which makes his heart clench. He guides her body closer until her back is to his front, her legs wedged in between his and his arm tucked protectively across her stomach.

Perfection.

She moans softly, snuggling into him like she hasn’t felt human contact in days. “Mmm… love you,” she mumbles, so quietly that if his head wasn’t right next to hers he probably would have missed it.

It’s kind of ridiculous - he’s heard those words from her mouth a million different times in countless circumstances but they never fail to make his heart stutter in his chest.

This girl.

He presses a light kiss to the back of her neck, although he’s certain she has already drifted back to sleep and won’t hear his response. He doesn’t care.

“Love you too, Felicity.”

As it turns out, no one has to go back a full ten years to completely surprise Oliver with the answer to what his life would be like now.

Hell, ask him three months ago and he wouldn’t have believed he’d be here.

His past is messy and painful and occasionally wonderful. But it is very definitively his past and he has no interest in rehashing it now. But this life has now, with this woman in his arms? This life is very much his future.

And if anyone asked him now what he thought his life would be like in ten years the answer would begin and end with her name.

              _____________________

Sirens wail in the distance. He knows he’s in the right place.

He stands, looking out the window at the part of the city that had once been his home, so many years ago that it feels like a different life. It had been, in a way. Not a particularly good life, but a life nonetheless.

He finds it a little bit ironic, however; every time he comes back to Star City it’s like returning from the dead.

(Sometimes, it actually is.)

The first time had been a gift of sorts (or at least he thought it was). What his return home had really turned out to be was another chance for him to prove what a screw-up he was. How he wasn’t ready to return to his family and probably never would be.

The second time, he’d been assumed dead. He had returned and stayed underground, hoping no one would notice his brief visit. That time, it felt like returning to a place he remembered, but didn’t know anymore. All the key pieces of Star City were there - the skyscrapers, the constant wail of sirens in the distance, graffiti painted on almost every building in the Glades  - but something felt off, like the small inconsistencies that make you realize you’re in a dream.

The pub he used to pass right outside the Glades on his way home from work? It had gone out of business and was now a Big Belly Burger. The streets names he used to be able to recite from memory effortlessly, were changed to names he didn’t recognize like Queen Blvd and Palmer Place . He remembered there used to be only cops patrolling the streets at night and now there was this new “vigilante” trend.

Star City had changed as much as he had.

He may have lost an eye since the last time he’d been home but Star City was the one that lost the ability to see clearly.

So, he’d left. Again.

There was no one to kiss goodbye because there was no one that knew he was alive. Or even if they did - they wouldn’t care anyway. He’d learned that leaving was easier when you felt you had nothing to come back to.

And now, he was back again. Under circumstances more bizarre than when he had “come back from the dead” even, but still.

He wasn’t fooling himself this time though; wasn’t secretly hoping for some pathetic return to normalcy. Even here and now , when the possibility of seeing his family was the highest, he didn’t even hope. Even if he, by some miracle, got normalcy back, it wouldn’t taste the same. He wouldn’t recognize it.

He had learned a long time ago to think of himself as a trigger-puller, not a man. A killer versus a human being. It made things easier.

Floyd Lawton had been called many things in his life, but Deadshot would be the one that stuck.

He shut the blinds then, shielding himself to the view of the city. The Glades didn’t have much to offer scenically, but the lights from clubs and 24 hour bars always illuminated the night in an ironic sort of way (who would ever want to see the Glades ever, let alone at night?)

Chugging a shot of whiskey (alcohol was one of the few he brought with him on this little trip) he looks around the darkened apartment. It’d been one he’d rented during his second home-coming to Star City, all those years ago. He knew the apartment would still be under lease. He knew no one would look for him there - or anywhere.

The pictures he’d brought with him (brought with him everywhere, really)  were tacked to the chipped paint of the wall, faces he shuddered when he thought about.

On the top left corner, a picture of his ex-wife and his daughter. He hadn’t seen either of them in an amount of years he was beginning to lose track of, didn’t even know if they were still in Star City at this point in time. How old would his daughter be? Did she remember him? Had Kathy remarried yet?

He didn’t know if it was cruel or sweet that he kept their picture. He half-hoped that it was a cruel form of torture to himself, because that would mean he still felt something.

In the center of the wall right below that picture was his collection. For lack of a better term.  

If anyone were to raid his apartment, this would be the dead giveaway he was a hitman. It was probably stupid of him to leave it out in the open like this but at the same time - who the hell cares?

It was a stalker’s wet dream - photographs taken at varying angles, most of the time without the person’s knowledge, such a wide variety of faces that no one could call it a pattern.

A giant X in red pen crossed out all of them except for one. Successful hits .

Floyd didn’t know if he kept them as trophies or as punishment. At this point, what did it really matter?

Most faces he didn’t know beyond what they looked like with a bullet lodged inside their head, but some burned in his memory more than others. Is this was guilt feels like?

No… he’d stopped feeling that a long time ago. Whiskey helped.

He grabs the bottle and stares at the picture in the center: his next hit. He studies the photo, noting the differences in her appearance from what he knew of her.

It would be a simple enough job. Floyd had definitely dealt with worse.

And while he was here, he had decided to make the most of his visit. He’d help out an old friend. He had a debt to pay back and while he was in a thriving Star City, he intended to pay it.  Two birds, one stone.

Floyd laughs sardonically. Normally he wasn’t such a go-getter like this. Perhaps he was wrong about thinking returning to Star City would be a mistake.

Maybe third time’s the charm.

He looks at the photo again, the blonde hair and piercing blue eyes of Felicity Smoak easily recognizable, although he hasn’t seen her in years. The picture he’d snapped that day shows her getting into a car right outside City Hall, a fleeting smile on her face as the wind swept her hair back.

He drains the rest of the whiskey. What a pity.

But a job’s a job, he figures. And if there is one philosophy Floyd Lawton still believes in it’s you don’t earn the money until the job is finished.

Floyd may be a lot of things - a drunk, a pessimist, a hitman, a killer - but he is not a quitter.

Sorry sweetheart, he thinks, as he looks at the photo again.  A job’s a job - and he can’t in good conscience leave until there is a large, red X through Felicity Smoak’s pretty face.