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The moment she entered the lair, laurel saw Tommy waiting for her; he was there, almost completely alone, with the exception of Felicity, busy at the computers; the blonde hacker took a big breath, and biting her lips, she left her chair, and walked away, ready to join the others in their search for the recently resurrected Sara.

“I… guess I’ll leave you two alone.” She simply said, walking past Laurel; Felicity was tempted to add something else, to reach out for laurel- squeeze her arm, maybe- but at the last second, she decided against it. She knew that Laurel was mad with her as well: they’ve known of the Lazarus Pitt, how it had brought back Tommy and Thea, but they had lied to her, kept it a secret, robbing her of the chance of getting Sara back.

She loved them- Ollie, Thea, Felicity, John- but she hadn’t expected this from Tommy. They had been in love. He had always said she was the love of his life. But he had kept this a secret from her.

“Let me guess, this is an intervention.”  She walked past him, threw her bag on the nearest chair, and refused to look at him; none of them dared to break the silence, to say the things that they knew would have ended up ruining whatever was left of their love.

“Laurel…” Tommy whispered, running his hands through his short black hair; he looked tired- and older, like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders. She looked at him with extreme sadness, wondering what was going through his head, and when exactly he had turned into this… version of Ollie and Barry.

Tommy wasn’t an hero. He shouldn’t have to wear such a weight on his shoulders just because… because he happened to know them.

She wanted to reach out, took him in her arms, forget that they weren’t one any longer, but then, as she took the first step towards him, she remembered why she wasn’t going to forgive and forget, the hell with the program. This wasn’t a 10-steps program, this wasn’t about her being an alcoholic- this wasn’t even about her. It was about her whole family, but mostly, it was about Sara- and about the fact that Ollie and Tommy had gone through great lengths to save their little sister but hadn’t allowed her the same choice.

“Don’t you dare to Laurel me, Tommy.” She simply said; at crossed arms, as cold as never before, she reached him, slowly. “How could have done this to me? You saved Thea….” She chuckled darkly, shaking her head. “Your family saved you… but you weren’t willingly to save my sister? When she was as much as a victim- if not more- than you all.”

Tommy took  a big breath; he had huge dark circles under his eyes, proof that he hadn’t slept in a while, probably since the whole thing with Sara had begun.  “Had I known that Ollie wanted to bring Thea back with the Pit,  I wouldn’t have allowed him to.” He massaged the bridge of his nose, falling on a chair at his back like he was dead weight. “Or… I would have forced him to make things differently, maybe.”

Laurel joined him once again, and something broke in her. This one, right before her, he wasn’t the Tommy she had always knew, always remembered, the one who had been returned to them safe and sound. And after learning that it had been the Pit to bring him back, after seeing what Sara and Thea were going through…  she wondered if maybe, just maybe…

“Do you have it as well?” She asked, tentatively. “The… Bloodlust, I mean.”

Tommy closed his eyes, clenching his fists and his teeth; he didn’t want to talk about it, he actually hated it, but he knew that, right here right now, it was the right thing to do- maybe the only thing to do, if wanted to make things right with Laurel.

“They brought me back a few days after it happened.” He said, standing and facing Laurel. “Talia Al Ghul did, actually. Nyssa’s  elder sister. She wanted to gain my father’s fidelity, so that together they could gather as many members of the League as possible and dethrone her father. All because he didn’t want to acknowledge nor Nyssa nor Talia as Head of the Dragon.”

Tommy paused, started pacing the lair; from his tone, the way his voice was rising, Laurel knew he was upset, that he hated talking about it. She wanted him to stop- and yet- she knew that she had to listen to him. Until the very end.

“When I emerged from the Pit, I attacked my father. I almost strangled him with my bare hands- and the funny thing is, he was allowing me to. It was Talia who stopped me. Hit me until I passed out. When I wake up again, I was… I still don’t know where, exactly. I just know that I wasn’t in Nanba Parbat any longer. And here it is, the short, old lady, who looks like two hundred years old, who hit me on the head with her cane and tells me that I’m not ready yet but she’ll make sure I’ll be.”

He smiled a little, his hands now in his pockets. “Her name is…was Ducra. She was part of an ancient group of warriors monks who lived hidden to the world, their sole purpose defeating the Head of the Demon. Ducra and her people taught me humility, respect. Control.” He paused, and looked at Laurel, his eyes suddenly sad. And very, very, serious. “For over two years.”

“That’s why you’ve been gone for.. for so long? That’s why you didn’t return until now?”

He nodded. “It took me over two years to learn to control my instincts. To rein the bloodlust in. And it hasn’t been simple. It still isn’t. What do you think I feel when I see my father, knowing that it was him who got me killed?”

She hadn’t known. Had always believed that Tommy simply didn’t like being around his father. For obvious reasons. But knowing this… it was… it broke her heart.  She launched at him, hugged him, and sobbed in his shoulder as he gently caressed her hair.

“Knowing that I could make it if I wanted to… it sort of… calms the bloodlust down a little. But Thea… the man who killed her is gone. And Sara… when she gets her soul back- and with Constantine is not a matter of if, but when- how do you think she’ll feel? She’ll desire to kill someone she has always adored.. Someone she knows we love with all of our hearts.” He hold her close, his breath hot on her hair. “I wouldn’t wish this feeling on my worst enemy, Laurel. I’m not sure I would have done it in your feet, but… I got it. I understand why you did it. And I feel guilty.”

“Tommy, you don’t…” She started to say, searching for his eyes, but Tommy stopped her.

“Maybe, had you known what would have happened- if you knew exactly what I had gone through, what happened to me- you wouldn’t have done it….”

She shook her head. “I had lost her once. I wasn’t ready to lose her again. I felt like… I was betraying her by being alive. Does it make any sense to you?”

He shrugged. “Please. Like any of us truly makes any sense. Diggle’s the only one who’s even just remotely normal.” They laughed- the bitter-sweet kind of laughter, mixed with tears. “She’s going to make it, Laurel. If there’s someone who can make it, that’s Sara.”